Saturday, November 24, 2012

Random Thanksgiving Thoughts

Thanksgiving, that most American of holidays. And I had a very nice Thanksgiving for which I was thankful to see a cousin and uncle I had not seen in some time with the rest of my family (blood and otherwise). Hopefully will be able to continue to renew old family acquaintances in the near future. Ah, the joys of the internet making the world that much smaller...

Several things have been on my mind lately so I'll just skip over a few. First, in the interest of making sure everyone is treated fairly, what the heck was John Sununu and much of the Republican Party doing when they said that the only reason General Colin Powell, a staunch Republican who also happens to be black, chose to support President Obama's re-election (as well as the first time around in 2008) was because he is also black?! I've happily taken Democrats to task for such idiotic statements and will do the same here. Regardless of whether the Republican establishment liked the fact that Gen. Powell voted for Obama or agreed with his reasoning for doing so (and he clearly stated why he supported the president and it wasn't because he was black), to suggest he did so because they share a skin color is racist. The fact that no one prominent within the party rose up to disavow those comments is a major reason why there is a very real perception that the Republican Party is the party for racists (well, ok, white racists). Unless and until the party recognizes it cannot continue with the strategy it has employed for the last 40 years, it faces the very real possibility it will go the way of the Whigs.

Ok, it's been a while and I actually started another blog post on this but got sidetracked and not in the mood to finish that thought so I'll address it in short here. Thank goodness Lucas is no longer controlling the Star Wars empire! Don't get me wrong, I am most grateful for the empire (I know, an ironic word choice) he created back in 1977 and to suggest that I am an ardent devotee is a significant understatement. But over the course of the last 20 years, he has angered me far more than made me happy with the bastardization he has done to the franchise with continual technical upgrades to the original movies and the lousy prequels he did (well, ok, Episode III was watchable but still far lagged behind IV and V). Now, with someone else in charge, even if it is as part of Disney, I have a lot more hope for the future and am looking forward to seeing where the franchise goes from here. Somewhere in a galaxy far, far away, I'm sure better things await.

Recently, have come across several people who have become much more politicized. That is in contrast to myself as I have grown less so in my old age. What struck me, though, was how they view everything in their life through the very narrow lens of politics. One person made it clear that they were removing all of their social network friends who had differing political viewpoints. Another tried to argue with me that I was wrong for not being as strident in my political views and that I should be focusing my efforts on getting one of the candidates elected for the betterment of our country as the other candidate would destroy the nation. Trying to point out to this individual that I would vote (without disclosing to whom, they simply made an assumption) and that I had problems with all of candidates and their views a variety of issues was useless as they took the opportunity to point out how the opposing candidate (only the major party candidates mattered to this person) was wrong on EVERYTHING and ignored anything I tried to say. I guess it goes along with the tendency of these same people to only hear things that support their particular worldview and ignore anything else as irrelevant. So, if I don't listen to Fox News then I am getting a slanted viewpoint that only supports liberal weenies who want to burn the flag, get rid of English and turn the country into Northern Mexico (or choose your own country) or if I am listening to Fox News then they only offer "conservative" news and I am some back-woods redneck hillbilly who spends every Sunday in church listening to ignorant preachers who hate gays. Nope, thanks but I prefer to get my news from many sources and ignore the many talking-heads who somehow manage to get paid for saying stupid things for both extremes of the political spectrum while ignoring the needs of the nation as a whole. I now hope that the day comes where we can come back to some sort of middle ground that will allow collaboration on big issues for the nation instead of small-minded wedge issues designed to only garner votes from a small subset of the electorate - because we are now in election mode every day of the year. Politicians now view their job not as one of governance but of getting re-elected. Unless and until this changes, things will likely not improve significantly.

Ok, ok, I've digressed so I'll stop ranting now.

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