Categories
Journal Politics

Journal Entry – 8.22.2017

It is 12:59 PM on Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017.

For this post I just plan on free-writing, so it could be a bit of a ramble.

I’m very tired of the news and politics, so much so that I just want to shut it all out.  It makes me feel as though the entire country has gone crazy and we’re no longer in all this together as Americans.  America is a country where you just care about the individual and screw everyone else according to Republicans and the current President.  I really don’t like this type of thinking but since this is something I cannot control the only choice I have is to shut it out, to think differently and look for other places to belong instead of the umbrella “American” identification.

I believe that this way of thinking isn’t ‘American,’ at all.  Republicans will tell you that America is all about individualism and this is shown by the desire to cut 22 million people off of healthcare, of looking out only for the corporations and so on but I see things differently.  America was built also on groups and people looking out for each other.  This idea occurred to me as I’m exploring the local Cub Scout group.  What could be more American than the Cub and Boy Scouts!  They are about bettering the community, of being in a ‘pack,’ and about learning better skills as a group.  One also cannot ignore the historical value of the church in bringing people together and forming a community.  The church was where people worshiped yes, but also where they gathered, made friends and had a group to belong to.

Unfortunately the Republicans have created an atmosphere where you’re just in this for yourself and screw everyone else.  At least that is the way I see it.  And so I’m turning away from politics, just as current government has turned away from me.  Instead I’ll concentrate my attentions here locally, in groups of people that like to socialize, enjoy helping each other and making the community better.

It is hard to believe the state of things now days.  The current President has the support of the KKK and Neo-Nazi groups and a few people I know and trust will defend him even when there are KKK and Neo-Nazis running around.  They’ll point their finger at the anti-fa and say, see, see!  Nazis and KKK can never be defended even if another group is being violent and destructive.  To the clear thinking person, the KKK and Neo-Nazis hate people for who they are, for the color of their skin.  The anti-fa is also violent and destructive but one cannot defend or deflect hate groups by pointing fingers at another destructive group.  It amazes me how seemingly regular people are actually doing this these days.  There is no excuse.

In movies, stories and books a good human being always cheers for the kind person, the one who rises above the fray and helps others.  Someone like Superman who coincidentally was created on the American ideal.  People that defend the KKK and Neo-Nazis have forgotten this idea and have created a very twisted version of American history.  This is Fox News and other right wing outlets doing, they cannot shirk the blame here.  They have created a culture of hate and a President Trump and the current KKK and Neo-Nazi protests are a direct result.  To make matters worse politicians are elected that hold the same beliefs and it makes one lose complete faith in the system.  These leaders are not the wise old man of the great stories, they are in it for themselves, to hold on to their careers and this is not something you’d expect from the most powerful nation in the history of the planet.

Well, that is my ramble and I’m tired of thinking about it.

Categories
Politics

President Trump – Getting better!

I was absolutely heartbroken by the images of the chemical attack in Syria yesterday; especially by Abdul Hamid Youssef holding his dead two babies.

I fully support Trump launching the missiles at Syria and in doing so has taken action that Obama should have.  Although I was an Obama supporter he did let some international problems fester for too long without taking decisive action.

And so, I just want to say for the record that although I’ve not liked many, many of the steps the new President has taken I am behind him all the way for his actions in Syria and he has also scored other points with me as well.

I believe healthcare should be a universal right and with his health care bill he at least tried to get something done.  We have to get out of the cycle of Democrats and Republicans squabbling over what healthcare looks like and come to a solution.  In President Trumps bill he at least gave it a shot and so even though it failed he also gets points with me for trying.

I’ve never been a Trump supporter but with recent actions such as the ones mentioned above as well as clipping Bannon’s wings, letting experts do their jobs and so on, I’m more willing than ever to give him a chance.  Syria and North Korea are two incredible problems that are coming to a head.  Obama watched and did nothing on them.  And so again, I support this more aggressive posture from the USA in these two conflicts.  It is about time.

Categories
Journal Politics

Journal Entry – 2.2.2017

The world is different now due to President Trump.  I miss the certainty and comfort of the way things were previously. Now I wake up and am anxious to see what the news will say.  At the moment the US is upsetting its allies and as for the enemies, I’m sure we’ll soon be at war.

I’m anxious for immigrants.  They’ve first banned Muslims under the guise of “extreme vetting.”  Next will come a database, deportation of Latinos and then next in line would be the Asians.  All of this has given the extreme right a lot of encouragement and I’ve started to look into those corners of the internet where they reside.  I’d like to understand them further and try to get a pulse on where things might lead.

I’m hoping that America really is exceptional and will show it in a fight against Trump and Bannon but at the moment I also think that hate against various groups could go further.

First the Muslims are scapegoated, then it will Latinos and I’m sure then the Asians.  The first step has already been taken and approved by Trump supporters.  They will then support Latino deportation.  This is all under the guise of “keeping America safe.”  The US has to get rid of/monitor this person and that person because after all, we must be safe right!

All of this will / is contributing to a hostile atmosphere for people of any shade living in the USA.  What is most hurtful is should this progression continue in the way I’ve described above, which is entirely possible, is that I have friends and family who support this madness.  Trump has just revoked green cards – a promise that one can live and work in America – for a certain group of people; he could easily do it to many other groups.  Some of my friends and even family believe this is to make America safe.  Well, should the progression continue this affects my family directly.  I wish I could say that they would renounce their support of Trump/Bannon should even my own family get caught up in trouble but to be completely honest, I’m really not sure if they would and this makes me incredibly sad; I think the madness could run that deep. I wonder if they would demand to see some proof of legality even from us!

What has happened this past week was inconceivable just two weeks ago.  Is it really unjustified that even more inconceivable events are on the horizon given the way things have gone so far?  There is no safety valve and this sort of thing flares up across the world and throughout history.  Is the US so naive to think that it is immune, that it is ‘exceptional?’  I really hope it turns out to be exceptional but so far it really doesn’t seem to be so.

Anyway, I decided to make my feelings about Trump/Bannon known on the FB.  Here is what I wrote so it may be preserved and I can look back on this in the future; hopefully in much better times.

These are very dark and sad times. Only a short while ago America was calling itself ‘exceptional,’ and it is breathtaking to see how quickly and deeply it is falling. We’ve always told ourselves we’re the ‘good guys,’ but with a number of executive orders mandated through a free and fair election, that ‘exceptional’ takes on a different meaning entirely. America is forced to look in the mirror and is seeing a side which it has tried to ignore for a long time. These orders will, and already are, having very bad consequences that Trump supporters and the White House itself do not seem able to grasp. This isn’t a game; our reputation as a country is being highly damaged and in only a few short months we could very well find ourselves at war, with very few friends.

The silver lining is that storms pass and perhaps this will serve as a wake up call which shakes a lethargic electorate and citizenry into action. It has shaken me and I will be doing all I can to fight against this very wrong turn the country has taken. The question now is how long and how severe this storm is going to be. A wry smile appears on my face when I think the most controversial item of the past 8 years was an attempt to give everyone healthcare; just one week later it is possible war, realignment of the world order and a change in the core principles of what it means to be American.

It is amazing to see how spineless the Grand Old Party has become. It used to be grand indeed but now is showing that its representatives in the federal government are cowards with absolutely no moral compass, no bravery, not much of anything really.

For the record I’ve been both Republican and Democrat; now I’m officially neither. The point of this post is to show my friends that I’m highly against Trump, his agenda, and will be fighting back. Hopefully, this is the only political post I’ll make here; I’ve long used a different venue outside of social media for my political opinions which I find to be preferable and more effective.

Attached is a picture of the sunrise I took at Pillar Point Harbor on October 23rd, 2015. The light from the sunrise is pushing up against the dark fog. At this point, either can overtake the other: the fog could advance and blot out the light, or the sunlight will push the fog back to the ocean. I for one, always root for the sunrise.

Fog vs. Sunrise @Pillar Point Harbor – October 23rd, 2015

 

Categories
Journal Politics

Journal Entry – 1.25.2017

It is 5:31 AM and very dark outside.  I’ve put the dishes away, made tea, meditated and now have just under an hour to write a post.

My body is sore from the gym and karate.  In the past I’ve always given short shrift to leg day but have started to pay more attention since they are extremely important in karate.  My body has a type of soreness that I’ll blame on soon turning 40 but if I think back my body was just as sore during wrestling in high school.  My left index finger was also jammed during a sparring match and still hurts!

It is very interesting the direction in which life’s currents take you.  It had never occurred to me that I might participate on a mat in a fight.  I remember an old “Friends” episode where Rachel dates a guy who being successful in business now wants to be a successful cage fighter at middle age.  I always thought this ridiculous but here I am faced with the 2017 Fighters Cup in which I must participate.  It is not that I have a real desire to fight in a tournament but rather this is what our Shihan would like to see and there is a level of respect that comes with participating.  It is after all the dojo’s own tournament and so it wouldn’t feel right afterwards if I didn’t participate.  We’ll see how it goes but at this point I’m not scared.

The past few days I’ve been watching a lot of UFO, ghost and unexplained mysteries on YouTube.  I’ve come to believe there is a lot going on to which the general population is not privy.  There is also the reaction that anyone who sees or believes in these things are crazy.  Yet, after much consideration, research and listening it is the other way around.  It is those that reject all of these things who are keeping their head in the sand.  The only believe what they see and often times, if the event is so out of the ordinary and incomprehensible then they do not even believe what they have seen.  I have seen a UFO, two actually but one that was really bizarre which I’ll create a separate post about.

These videos and stories combined with current political events have created some anxiety.  President Trump is changing the status quo very rapidly and at a worse case scenario this could lead to all out war with China.  His election is very unfortunate and spells a very dark period for the United States.  These are the types of things that happen in lesser countries with a less educated population, not the USA!  So I find it very sad that many people I know and call friends have joined a good amount of the population in being hoodwinked.  They are lead so easily like a bunch of sheep by a conman.  They fall for the ‘us’ vs. ‘them’ trap that their one or two single news sources tell them exists.  Apparently the Liberals are now called ‘snowflakes’ and I know people who are actually calling their other friends this on social media.  And, unfortunately these same people are the less sophisticated ones whereas the international ones, the polyglots, those with the highest education always fall more on the liberal side.

I guess this should not be too surprising: mass culture of the United States has been going downhill for a while now with the mainstream actually becoming dumber than they were before.  It seems ironic that it should be this way given the advances in technology.  But when I listen to presidential speeches, or read anything from the past, even the 1800s I see that their use of language is more sophisticated, that there is more ‘thinking’ going on.  Compare that with anything Trump or his supporters say and my point is easily made.  American culture has become one of reality TV, consumerism, self-absorbed and frankly, a bit crazy.

Ask any American any question on any foreign or economic policy and the majority of answers will not impress.  Indeed the answer would be lucky to reach the level of a normal fifth grader. So is it really so surprising that a large portion of Americans voted for Trump?  America has finally taken a look at itself in the mirror and sees its true self; a self that has avoided this truth for a long time by calling itself ‘exceptional.’  Is it exceptional to ship off people’s jobs overseas, to engage in endless foreign wars, to have top rated TV shows be about drugs, sex and general stupidity? Is it ‘exceptional’ when half of your population can be so easily fooled?

And the Democrats are certainly at fault.  One thing that has been absent from the media is any story about how Hillary was so disliked that she actually lost to Trump!  This gives the right some good credibility when they speak of a ‘liberal-media.’  Instead I see stories about how Hillary should be Mayor of New York!

And so, I resigned from the Democratic Party.  I did so many weeks ago but still have not received my official confirmation; a confirmation that I’m not sure will ever come here in liberal California.

But restoring my faith in the Democrats – at least a little – is Jerry Brown’s promise to fight the Trump administration. A while back there was talk of a Calexit – California seceding from the USA.  The seed was planted and perhaps if America continues down this stupid path that perhaps California could break away in this century?  After all,  California is 40% Latino and used to be part of Mexico.  The economy of California is sixth in the world, forward thinking and could be self sufficient.  Should the interests of California continue to separate from that of the rest of the nation I do not see why this couldn’t be a possibility.  After all, can you give me an example of a country that has held together over thousands, let alone hundreds of years?  Nope.

Anyway, I really didn’t want to get into this subject here; instead I wanted to save it for my other blog.  But, everyday opening the newspaper ones heart flutters to see if we might actually be at war, or if some new policy will create a lot of social unrest.

In spite of everything I’ve said above, I do not want Trump to fail in many things.  A citizen should never want his own president to fail – leave that to the stupid part of the population to say such things.  Economic liberalization has left a lot of people behind and has not worked out as neatly as was explained to the citizenry from the mid 80s until just now.  It has been drilled into our heads that the only way forward is to lower trade barriers, to open up economies and so on.  That left a lot of towns dead here in the USA and given unfair advantage to developing countries.  The wealth that this created didn’t not “trickle down” as was promised; instead it was concentrated at the top!

Anway, hard stop, this really needs to go into the other blog.  It is now 6:22 AM and the day will soon start.  I just hope we’re not facing all out war here this year or in the near future which is a very big possibility the Trump supporters don’t and cannot quite grasp.

Categories
Journal Politics

Journal Entry – 12.29.2016

It is 5:59 AM; I’m writing later than usual.

Between Christmas and New Years work is extremely slow and has been so again this year.  I had planned to really enjoy this time but I’m still not in the proper holiday mood.  I did experience a holiday high starting a few days before Christmas but like the weekends am a bit sad that it is over even though New Years is coming up.

For us, New Years is nothing special:  there are no parties, no staying up late to watch the ball drop and often not even a toast.  In fact I plan to be in bed by 8:30 PM and hope all the noise around midnight doesn’t wake me up.  Besides, I really don’t understand why people would want to celebrate:  Donald Trump is the president and we’re going to be in for a very bad four years.  The nation is still in a state of shock and media news and opinion in a frenzy trying to digest this turn of events.  I do not believe the significance of this is properly realized however; America has elected its very first demagogue and it is my belief that historians will mark this as a huge slide downward from which we might not recover.  The golden age of the USA was just after WWII and it looks like we’ll continue spiraling downward as a nation.

Looking at the news is very depressing: there were just a bunch of massive fights in shopping malls across the nation; greed is king and we now have Christmas starting before Halloween; race relations have regressed; people are unable to discern real news from fake news; America could be on the path to war with China; and finally the next four years could bring upheaval like the planet hasn’t seen in a while.  I’m not sure what there is to celebrate going into 2017.  The internet is saying 2016 was the worst, I think they will eat their words halfway into 2017.

So, given that the trifecta of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas is now over and for all the reasons I’ve just mentioned above I’m not feeling very festive.  I looked back on my previous years posts around this time and it seems I haven’t been incredibly festive for the past couple of years.

I think the only way I can change my mood is to really turn away from the news, from world events, from social media and focus a bit more on mindfulness.  That is to say enjoy the moment, appreciate what is right in front of me and do not let things which I cannot control have undue influence over my thoughts.  At best it is a very enlightened, spiritual way to live life, at worst it is putting my head in the sand for the next four years.

I do have to say that I started using Twitter a bit more only to see what Donald Trump is going to say.  I think the entire world holds its breath every time he posts another tweet and it is both exhilarating and terrifying.

Aside from world events, 2017 is going to be a year of change for me.  I’ve done very well over the past five years with the company and this year I should end up not only at #1 out of 65 or so people in my division but also finally achieve President’s Club (which I would have had earlier if they hadn’t greatly narrowed the goal posts the past three years).  I’ve let my boss know that yes, I still love the company and my job but in 2017 I need to concentrate more on money whether it is through a promotion or just a massive raise.

In 2016 I was able to accomplish my personal goals, going to the gym more often, start karate, spend more time studying languages and even writing in this blog.  That is accomplished and will continue so in 2017 my goal is to make more money.  This isn’t out of a sense of greed, this is a fact.  I’m the sole earner in the household, expenses are increasing as my kids grow up and I’ve only been able to make it work thus far because I’ve hit and exceeded goal every year.  Should I not hit goal then the money would not be enough.

So the plan is to work with my current company and have honest discussions but if I don’t get anywhere then it would be foolish to not use the accomplishments of 2016 (and of the past five years which have lead up to now)as a springboard to a higher paying position.

A change in job is one of the most stressful things in life and can be quite scary but with the right mindset and planning it can go very smoothly.  The past few years have been relatively consistent, things are going to be shaken up in 2017, I can feel it already.

And would you look at that: through writing this post I’m in a better mood already!  I’m not going to let these next few days go to waste by being in a grumpy mood, I can be grumpy come January 3rd along with the rest of the country.