This Is Me--2024 A to Z Theme

My A to Z Themes in the past have covered a range of topics and for 2024 the theme is a personal retrospective that I call "I Coulda Been" which is in reference to my job and career arc over my lifetime. I'll be looking at all sorts of occupations that I have done or could have done. Maybe you've done some of these too!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Why I Am A Racist

         Sometimes it's hard to know how to respond to some things.  In some cases it's pointless to even bother, but as a blogger I sometimes feel compelled to say something about what's going on around me.  Besides,by addressing controversy I get content for a blog post so I might as well speak my mind.

Anti-Racist Action banner from Art Against Racism
Anti-Racist Action banner from Art Against Racism
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

           As recent visitors to my blog have been reading, I've embarked upon a series of posts that I've called the President Trump Acclimation Series where I clarify and try to correct some of the issues that have arisen in the minds of some who have questioned why I voted for Trump.

         The reason why I'm doing this series, besides the questioning, is that I'm annoyed with the continuous reciting of the litany of labels that come from the anti-Trump crowd--racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, and so on.  From the left we hear about the rise in bullying since the election of Donald Trump, but mostly what I see is the bullying against Trump supporters.  This "harassment" comes from supposed friends and even relatives, people who suspect or happen to find out that someone voted for Trump, and a continual haranguing from left-wing media commentators and pundits.

        I plan to continue this series until I stop hearing these labels being cited in my comment section, on other online sites, and on the television "news" shows.  Or until inauguration day--whichever comes first. And that is if I keep feeling like doing the series. Stopping these posts is my prerogative just as not reading them is yours.  I hope you'll stick with me so we can continue the good discussion we've been having.   I also hope we can learn something.

Why I Am A Racist

       How do I know that I am a racist?   Because people have told me that I am.  And how do those people know that I'm a racist?   Because I announced that I voted for Donald J. Trump for President of the United States.  Now, this is faulty deductive reasoning the way I see it. Using this model can it also be said that I'm a billionaire because I voted for Trump?  This line of logic makes about as much sense as saying that everyone who voted for Clinton is at heart a woman with criminal intent or that if you voted for Sanders then you're a crazy old coot.

       We each vote for our preferred candidate for very personal reasons.  Some of those reasons may have a commonality with others who also voted for our chosen candidate while we might vote for the same candidate as someone else for very different reasons.  If a particular candidate were actually a racist or displayed a proclivity for racism then it would not necessarily follow that one who voted for that candidate did so because of the racism.  Typically most of us vote for a candidate based on economic proposals, social agendas, foreign policies, or some other relevant issues that are important to us.

       Yet, after this recent election, once it was clear that Trump had won the electoral college (the vote that makes the difference in this country), we who voted for this man were excoriated for our vote by the sore losers on the other side.  Sure, I can understand your disappointment and even anger, but is that a call to start spitting epithets at those on the other side?

       Facebook was bad as were many blabbermouths in the media.  To me this name calling and outright meanness was absolutely uncalled for and highly undignified.   At no time in my many years watching elections have I seen such reprehensible behavior in response to an election outcome.

        One particularly egregious response came from fellow blogger Andrew Leon at Strange Pegs. For many years I've tried to develop a friendly relationship with Mr. Leon despite his tendency toward pomposity and arrogance.  I've enjoyed his writing style as well as some of his subject matter.   However, after I read his post It's Not That I Don't Understand You I was rather disgusted since this post seemed to be more directed toward me than anyone else.  To belie any suggestion that I'm being overly sensitive or paranoid about his post I would direct you to a comment that I left on his earlier post  Dying of Cancer.   I had left a polite reasonable comment in response to that post and his response to me was so flagrantly rude that at that point I decided that I would not visit his blog any longer if he were going to take such a bellicose attitude toward me.

        His second post on his "Trump voters are racists" topic was brought to my attention by another blogger friend who directed me to the post with the thought that the post was directed primarily toward me.  After reading that post I was pretty much in agreement that Mr. Leon had me in mind when he wrote the post.  To add insult to insult, not only did he say that I and other Trump voters are racists, but also we are assholes.  Sounds like a sore loser to me--all common sense and ability to reason is replaced by emotional response.   This emotional response seems to be the hallmark of the left.   If they don't get their way then they call names, make false charges, pout, stir up civil unrest, and so on.

       I've found that the best way to end a conversation is to call someone a "racist."   How does one respond?   To say "I'm not a racist" etc--Mr. Leon rattles off some likely retorts we accused might counter with--doesn't appease the argument.  The leftist technique is name off a list of responses that they must have found in some leftist handbook or something.   Then to really nip the bud with finality the leftist can cap things off by calling their opposition an "Asshole!"--yeah, that's always a constructive approach to sensible dialogue.

       With Andrew Leon it's essentially that there is no need to have any discussion because I'm a racist and an asshole and he's right and I'm wrong.  End of debate.  Nothing to talk about.

         Okay, that sounds real constructive I suppose.

On the Other Hand...

          But then I got to thinking.  Andrew Leon is a pretty brilliant guy.  He's got a college degree and he's like a teacher or something.  Mr. Leon knows just about everything about everything.  I know that from reading his blog.  He probably is one of the smartest guys in the world.   And I ain't so smart.  I certainly don't think as fast and as intelligent as Andrew Leon.

          That's why I got to thinking:   This blog post I've been talking about must have been intended for humor.  Maybe it was like a parody or a satire or a treatise filled with witticism--an intellectual wit that is beyond my lowly capacity to understand such things.

          Yes, of course!  Mr. Leon was just funnin' us with some high sort of intellectual humor, but I'm not smart enough to get it...

        Or maybe he thought we were engaging in some kind of exchange of ideas--something like a cross blog conversation.

         Reading back it still doesn't seem to be very funny to me.  I guess my initial reaction was based on a correct assumption--Mr. Leon really does think I am an asshole and a racist.  The air of bitter gravitas mingled with an ugly dose of distemperatude permeates the mind of the reader of his blog post.

        And here I am saying I'm not a racist, but I can say anything since this is my blog.  Even though Andrew Leon says I'm a racist (and an asshole) because I voted for Donald Trump.   I don't want to get into a blog feud with anyone and besides Mr. Leon has had more experience with that sort of thing than I have.  I've always tried to be the nice helpful blogger who sometimes strayed onto the fringe of controversy, but always tried to be as diplomatic as I could be with visitors to my site or on the sites which I visited.  Besides, if I keep going with my series it's likely that I will offend more people.

        People sure get offended easily these days.

        And now look what I've done. My main point in this post was to disprove the accusations of Donald Trump's racism.  Now the post is too long.  I'll continue this topic in an upcoming post.  Right now I need to think up some nasty things to do in order to maintain my reputation as an asshole.

         I might do a post on Wednesday, but then again maybe not.  However I will post another Battle of the Bands match on Thursday December 1st.  This next Battle will be a fun little ditty that hopefully lifts spirits as we enter the holiday season.  Please don't miss it!

         Has someone ever unjustly accused you of something?  Do you think guilt by association across the board applies to a voter?   If you kept track of what candidates were saying during the campaign, was it due to directly listening to their speeches or was it based on what commentators or others said that they said and sound clips taken out of context?   


Friday, November 25, 2016

What Does Immigration Reform Look Like? (#Flashback Friday)

         Six years ago I was on my blog talking about similar things as I am discussing in my recent posts.  For today I had mentioned that I was going to discuss racism.  I'll get to that on Monday I suppose.  In this current post I'm going to participate in another Flashback Friday...

     Flashback Friday, introduced by Michael G. D’Agostino of A Life Examined is a monthly blogfest, occurring on the last Friday. Michael’s directive: “Republish an old post of yours that maybe didn’t get enough attention, or that you’re really proud of, or you think is still relevant etc.” Please add your link to the list at the end of the post if you’d like to join in.


What Does Immigration Reform Look Like?

         The immigration controversy is big here in California and Arizona.   In fact, the issue of immigration is one of the major issues that Americans are most concerned about after things like the economy and unemployment.   The immigration law that was passed by Arizona has caused a furor among liberals with cries of racism and invasion of constitutional rights.   There are many calls for immigration reform.

              What does immigration reform look like?

             As usual words have been charged and falsehoods created to help raise emotions.  So before we start the debate let's clarify the issues and define the wording properly.  The issue is not immigration.  The real issue is illegal aliens coming into this country to establish themselves without going through the legal channels and often having no true respect for the values that are the foundation of the United States.  Letting the floodgates of immigrants flow across the borders unchecked has led to more drug opportunists, gang members, human traffickers,  and terrorists to come into the country blended into the horde coming here to take advantage of our great country.  We are allowing a dangerous trend to occur.

               These immigrants are putting a burden upon our law enforcement, social services, educational systems, and the job market.  Standards are being lowered in our society.  Schools are suffering as the education process is slowed for those with advanced learning potential who are held back by non-English speakers and those with a lower quest for education.  Recent statistics in California show the dropout rate at 46% with a whopping majority to be Hispanics.

             There have been indications of movements such as La Raza and Azatlan that would like nothing better than for certain parts of the United States to revert to Mexican rule.  Mexican flags and those of other Latin American countries are becoming common sights as disrespect for the flag of the USA grows. 

              The furor raised by the Arizona law regarding immigration is based on a sham fueled by liberal and Hispanic activist propaganda.  The Arizona law merely states that the police will actively enforce federal law.  What a novel concept!  The police enforce law?  Where did they get such an idea?

             I don't like what's happening.  And before you suggest that I am racist or anti-immigrant, keep in mind that my wife is from Latin American.   She and her entire family came to the United States through legal channels, completing all of the necessary processes and legal papers over many years to eventually become proud citizens of the United States.  Her daughter and nieces and nephews have been honor students and college graduates and have gotten good jobs.   They did it right and I have no problem with anyone who wants to take this approach to immigration.

              If people aren't going to respect our laws of citizenship, why would we expect that they would respect any other laws that were inconvenient for them?  The way I see it employers who are hiring illegals need to be penalized and the anchor baby clause of the constitution needs to be amended. 

              What to do with all of the aliens who are currently living in the United States illegally?   There are estimates of anywhere from twelve to twenty million.  How should these people be handled?   What about future immigration?   Are you happy with the flood of illegals or are you against it?    What is the upside?

Monday, November 21, 2016

Is Anybody Listening? (#BOTB Results)

We often want to talk, but have a tougher time with listening. 

Debate Square, site of second debate between A...
Debate Square, site of second debate between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas in 1858. Freeport, Illinois, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
     Congratulations and thank you for maintaining a sensibly civil discussion in your comments for my previous few posts.  Hopefully this will continue as I progress in my series.  Name-calling as well as persistently repetitious derogatories are not very productive when trying to bring opposing minds together in some degree of agreement.  I do plan to address all the negatives about Donald Trump and his supporters over a span of several posts.

         As a blogger I am in dangerous territory in certain respects.  So far I have lost about fourteen followers which is sad, but that's up to those who "unfollow" to do this and I'm sorry to see them make that decision.  On the other hand, I've been experiencing a lot of blogger ennui over the past many months and have felt that I was heading to some kind of change in what I've been doing.   Right now I'm in wait-and-see land.

         The other day I picked up my phone to listen to a gentleman with an intelligent, considerate, and pleasant voice explain who he was and why he was calling.  He asked me some simple yes or no questions and I responded.  I listened until I had a question about what he was saying and tried to break in on his spiel.  He just kept talking.  It dawned on me that the voice was just a recording.  I began saying random things while the voice continued talking.  Suddenly the voice stopped and the line disconnected.   I guess I must have spoken some kind of trigger word that caused the caller program to shut down.

         In relation to talking about important topics that are causing division, I often get the sense that plenty of people want to talk until it's time to listen to the other side.  Then when the counter-argument is being presented, the opposing side of the argument digs in as they think about what they going to say next.   Coming to agreement is not easy when each side is so firmly rooted.

          As we listen to one another when we are in a state of debate, we come to our conclusions on not so much what is said as what is heard and the way this hearing processes that information.  What one hears becomes filtered through one's own perception.

        In any serious discussion each side wants to sway the other side.  Predatory listeners are ready to pounce on what people they don't agree with say without considering exactly what they mean or what their point of view actually is.  When both sides take on a debate in this matter then a discussion can easily escalate into a shouting match with accusations superseding any rational understanding of the issues on either side.  I think that's a lot of what is going on now on line as well as in the media.  Thankfully I haven't engaged in any face-to-face confrontations about the election, but I'm sure at least a few of you have.

          I'd just like for people to watch what they say and how they say it.  Everyday I'm still hearing the tired recitation of the litany of Hillary's  'basket of deplorables.'  Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, you name it. 

          Please, already--can we stop labeling with words ending in  -ist or     -phobic.  It's a weary old ruse--calling someone with what sounds like a clinical or scientific term in order to derogatorily insinuate that the disagreeing side is like a mad dog foaming at the mouth or some member of a loony cult or something.  Maybe that's actually what's in your mind when you are thinking of someone in those terms, but maybe it would be better to understand that you are often referring to someone who might merely disagree with you.   We may be on different sides of opinion, but we are also sharing the same world and would be far better off getting along and working together.

           I'll be breaking this all down in the next few posts.  On Friday I'll start with the term "racist."  But let's have a happy Thanksgiving first. Maybe the healing can begin this week.

Battle of the Bands Results 

       When I first set out with this Battle I had planned on pairing my other favorite version of "I Don't Want to Talk About It"--the version by Rita Coolidge--with the original by Crazy Horse.  Then I found the magnificent version by the Indigo Girls and was so caught up by it that I just had to use it and was totally prepared to give my vote for that one.   But after listening throughout the week I went back to my old favorite, Crazy Horse.  I still don't think any artist captures the feeling of the song like Danny Whitten's sad vocals.    My vote on this pairing goes to Crazy Horse.  In the end I had a fairly even Battle...
Final Vote Tally

Crazy Horse          13

Indigo Girls           15

Next Battle Thursday December 1st!

        Since I plan to continue with my President Trump Acclimation Series, an elucidation of the election results from my perspective, my song pick for my next Battle will be on the lighter side.  With Christmas coming I want to keep a happy balance to my posts so my next two Battles won't necessarily be Christmas songs, but they will be in keeping with the spirit of the season.   I hope you'll stay with me for my series and most importantly come back to vote on the upcoming Battles.

        Have a great Thanksgiving and then be here on Friday when we figure out why Donald Trump and his supporters are racists and what this really means. 

        Do you believe that many of our disagreement problems come about from filtering what we hear and not seeing things from the other side of the argument?    Do you think there is too much labeling going on?    Of all pejorative labels that might be used to describe a person, which one would you like least to be called?

Friday, November 18, 2016

Why I Voted for Donald Trump for President

            For my most recent Battle of the Bands please visit here and then vote for your favorite song version.   My results post for this Battle will be up on Monday November 21st.   In this current post I am continuing my  President Trump Acclimation Series

English: Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in...
 Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
             My series comes about from having been asked the question, "How could you vote for Donald Trump knowing all the bad things he had done?"   That's one of those loaded questions that doesn't come with any simple answer in order to properly respond.   That's why I decided on a series.  I ask for readers to listen with an open mind as I will address the question in the broader context that is summated in the oft repeated litany of accusations summarized in Hillary's infamous deplorable statement: 
"Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, you name it."
        I intend to address each of these negatives and more in future posts on this topic of my support for Trump, but I would rather begin with the positive side of my choice as I did not make my decision based on negativity.  I voted for Donald J Trump because of positive elements I discerned from the man, his family, and his campaign.   Yes, I do think there were positive elements involved.  Those who agree with me will easily understand.  And for those who disagree I only ask that you hear what I have to say with an open mind.   If you are not willing to do that then as far as I am concerned your own opinions have absolutely no validity and no value and therefore cannot be taken seriously.

       Agreement as well as disagreement is a two party action, but they both require listening and reasoning if either is to have any worth at all.

My Epiphanial Trump Moment

        For decades now I've been looking for that special presidential candidate who embraced the practicality of business rather than the ideology of politicizing our world.  Lofty ideas can be nice to dream about, but I'd much rather see actual results that lead to prosperity, security, and a better country in every way.   The bottom line is that I've been relatively let down by most U.S. administrations in my lifetime other than the exception of Reagan who to my mind is more mythological in the greatness which has surrounded his years in office.  My life was very good during his run so that helps fuel my perception of those years.

      As indicated in the first installment of my series, for about four decades I was rather indifferent to the personage of Donald Trump--I knew a little about who he was, but I was not particularly interested in anything about him.  In past elections I would hear his name floated as a possible candidate, but we always hear names tossed about as an election approaches.  I can state outright that I was never a Trump fan nor did I think about him too much one way or another.

        Then, on June 16th of 2015, when Donald Trump made his announcement to run for president, my attention perked as I took a more careful notice of the man.  Looking at him and listening to what he had to say and how his words were delivered, I saw a genuine serious intention emanating from this well-known figure.  What I saw was a man who knew what he was going to do and, more importantly, who knew that he was going to win.

         Certainly I was likely somewhat guided by feelings--something that I for the most part look down on--but more importantly there was a strong internal sense based on my cumulative knowledge of the man and other perceptions that I cannot easily define in just a few words.  So to put it succinctly, I knew immediately that Donald Trump was going to be the next president, that according to my deductive reasoning he would do a good job in the office, and that this would be the man whom I would be supporting in his presidential bid.   Plain and simple--this was one of those things that came to me almost by divine messaging for lack of some better way of saying it.

The Rough Road to the Presidency

        After the day of that initial announcement, I began to watch every rally, press event, or speech that I could.   Sure, he had an unorthodox style, but that was one of the things that attracted me (as well as millions of others).  Sometimes I would be shocked and cringe at some of the things he said, but thinking on them later I would get it.  I was getting everything he had to say as did so many of his other fans.  The news reporting was so different to what I was hearing from him, but that did not sway me and I will get to that aspect in a future post.

         Nothing in his rallies, sessions with press, the debates, or anything else caused my support to waver from my earliest sense about Donald Trump.  In upcoming posts I'll address all of the bad stuff that came out in the press, but as I've indicated earlier, this current post is about the positives.

           You see, Trump had the supporters like me from the outset and like a snowball rolling down a really big hill, that support grew in size and strength.  I was sold from the outset and though sometimes it seemed like everything was going to fall apart in Trump's campaign, he'd just bounce back stronger than ever and people would continue to flock to his appearances.

            Considering my other choices, there were several Republicans in the initial running whom I thought were pretty good, but none moved me like Trump.  Bernie Sanders had some interesting things to say and I kind of enjoyed listening to him, but there was not much practicality in what he was running on--not in my opinion at least--and I knew he did not have a chance.  I won't even get into the subject of Hillary Clinton other than to point out that she has been followed by decades of scandal and over all I find her to be a very unappealing and untrustworthy candidate.  Experience isn't always a good thing when we want a good thing done for our country.  A continuation of the Clinton dynasty was cringe worthy to me.

          Besides, I cannot support a Democrat Party which extols a platform consisting of many things that go against my Christian values so voting in that direction for me would be out of the question unless they put forth the most amazing candidate and I didn't see that candidate this time around.

The Peripheral Influences on My Support

         Some might point out Trump's flaws and ask how I as a Christian could support such a man--well, I guess that is to some degree the gist of the questioning that leads to my blog series and, as I've already indicated I will address these negatives in upcoming posts.  However there were many other things aside from Trump himself that solidified my stance on supporting him.

         Firstly, I took note of the people who started speaking in favor of Donald Trump.  Namely there were Christian leaders who were speaking out on his behalf and to me that added more evidence that I was seeing a positive in Donald Trump's candidacy.  After the other Republican candidates dropped out of the race I took note of the ones who got on board the Trump Train.  They were my favorites and the ones who railed against Trump were the ones for whom I didn't care as much.  That told me something right there.

          The more media people I saw talking against Trump and manipulating the words of the man and the stories surrounding him, the better I liked Trump.  I have such a great distaste for so many in today's media that when they tried to knock Trump down it just made me like him more.  In my opinion, aside from the horrible candidate choice in Hillary Clinton (don't cite her winning the popular vote as I have a response to that as well in a future post), I think the negative media coverage was a huge influence on Trump's popularity (more to come on that too).

       Then there were Trump's kids.  My wife and I both adore the Trump offspring.  They appear to be intelligent, driven, and highly respectable.   I think they epitomize the kind of adults most parents would hope their own children to one day become.  To me, a man's children say a lot about the man and the Trump family instills a lot of respect in me for that family.

       Finally, there were the people, the masses, supporters as well as the anti-Trumpers.    I'd look at the rallies and see the exuberance in the faces of those attending.  I knew it wasn't just me who liked Trump.   We were an army.   Looking at the other side it was like seeing a completely different army of foul-mouthed, anarchistic, aimless thugs and protesters.  That was a big turn-off that completely discredited their cause as far as I was concerned.  Mexican flags flaunted while American flags are stomped and burned.  If that is the opposition to Donald Trump then I want no part of what they want.

       I could go on about the positives, but this post has been long enough.  What I will say in closing is that my biggest reason for voting for Donald Trump is that I feel and have felt from the beginning that there has been a divine force behind him from the beginning.  It's not that I'm saying that he has been a man of God, but I am saying that over history I believe that God has used unconventional and even not particularly good individuals to do His work.

        Some might poke fun at my final point, but it is my conviction and I will stand by it.  I have prayed frequently about this election and have continued to be steered in the direction of Donald J Trump for President of the United States.  Many have pushed back on my convictions and now I am certain that there are several people who have a negative opinion of me or my decision.

        At this point in time I can say that I was absolutely correct in my expectation that Donald Trump would win the election.   I sensed it from the beginning and this is what happened.   I think he will continue to get a lot of media trashing which is unfortunate for the country.  But in the end, I think Donald Trump will be a great president as long as the country and the world lets him.  If I'm wrong, you can chide me about it later, but so far I've been correct about this election of 2016.  

         Feel free to comment as you will.  I will have more points to address in my next many posts.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

I Don't Want to Talk About It (#BOTB)

          My previous post, What Would You Like to Talk About?, has started off with some good conversation and I appreciate the contributions made so far.   You can still visit and leave your thoughts.  In the post I explained my intention of offering a series of posts telling why I think Donald Trump won the election, why I voted for him, and my thoughts on the negative issues surrounding the candidate.

          Initially, my concern in presenting this series was that no one would want to talk about it.  In our society we have many sticky topics that people are hesitant to discuss for fear of arguing and getting angry.   I would ask why.  Are we so uncivil when it comes to disagreement that we can't make an effort to understand both sides and maybe come to some acceptance and even agreement?  I actually think opposing sides of any issue are really in not as much disagreement as they think.

         We often engage with inflammatory language and accusations against the opposition.  The use of neutral language as much as possible as well as seeing the positive parts of an opposing argument can sometimes lead to constructive solutions and greater understanding of issues at hand.   If a discussion regarding disagreements ends with some kind pleasantries and a handshake then we are so much better off.    No one has to be mean to the other side nor should we distort what has been said when discussing the conversation later on.

          Truth, justice, and the American way is not only the domain of superheroes, but should be a credo for all of us.  And for those who don't come from this country you can substitute whatever way you prefer.  The United States of America is a pretty darn good place to live in my opinion and we're really not bad folks overall.  Even when we elect a President who seems unsavory to many.  What seems to be not always is what it is.   Appearances can be deceptive especially when funneled through the eyes of the media.  You can't always believe everything that's delivered by the media--or Google for that matter.

Battle of the Bands

       Battle of the Bands is the blogging event started by Far Away Series and now hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens twice each month on the 1st and 15th.   The premise is simple:  Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it.  Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action.

"I Don't Want To Talk About It"

         The most well known version of this song is the version by Rod Stewart first released in 1977.  Please don't vote on his version, but if you don't remember it then you can listen to it here.  There are a number of very fine recordings of this song.   For the Battle I've started with the original version by Crazy Horse.

Crazy Horse "I Don't Want To Talk About It"  (1971)

          This is the first version of the song with which I was familiar.  As a Neil Young fan, I also bought the albums by Crazy Horse, Young's early back-up band.  The group's debut album included the Danny Whitten penned "I Don't Want to Talk About It."

Indigo Girls  "I Don't Want To Talk About It"  (1993)
Alternate version Here

         Over twenty years following the Crazy Horse debut of this song, a version by the Indigo Girls appeared on the soundtrack of the film Philadelphia.  See what you think of this version.

Time To Vote!

        Which of these two song versions do you prefer?   If you don't like either then try to play along and tell us which version you think is the least innocuous to you. 

        Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the version you chose. Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around. And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.

Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands



'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

The Doglady's Den 

Angel's Bark  

Cherdo on the Flipside  

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 

Janie Junebug Righting & Editing.
J. A. Scott  

Winner Announced Monday November 21st

       I may slip in another of my political analysis posts on Friday, but I'll definitely continue with the discussion on my announcement post.  I figure I've only lost nine followers since the election so I guess I'm not doing too badly.  On the other hand, I haven't unfollowed any blogs--for whatever that's worth.

         Are you hesitant to discuss topics of disagreement with others?   Can you keep a cool head when having a conversation concerning a volatile topic?    What topics do you find provokes the most ire within disagreeing parties?  

Monday, November 14, 2016

What Would You Like to Talk About?

      Please give this post a chance and don't bail out before reading through.  I'd like to open a discussion with an eye on appeasement and assuaging any fears some of you might have about the recent U.S. presidential election.  I realize that many readers don't like to discuss or think about politics, but having seen the anger and ugly behavior resulting from the election outcome I think some points are worth examining.  This will be a process that might not be easy for some while others might rather entirely dismiss what I have to say about this.  I hope you will stay with me.

speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on Februar...
Donald J Trump speaking at CPAC
 in Washington D.C. on February 10, 2011.
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

      Not much need to tell anyone who won the U.S election of 2016.  In my most recent post--found here if you missed it and might be curious--I made an election prediction (based on this Battle of the Bands post) that Donald Trump would win the election.   Apparently my polling process was more accurate than that of most of the professionals.  My BOTB post called the election outcome pretty accurately.

        It likely comes as no surprise to most of my regular readers that I supported Donald Trump--or at least had an affinity for what he was saying.  Prior to his June 2015 announcement to run for President, I wouldn't have considered myself a Trump fan.  For three decades I had an awareness of the man.  Not once did I ever watch The Apprentice, but I was well aware that it was a popular show on television.  In previous elections I had heard his name floated for a possible presidential run, but I never cared much one way or another.  Then when he made that official 2015 announcement I had an epiphany that Donald J Trump would be our next President.

        Now, I understand that many of you are disappointed and even angry that Donald J Trump won this election.  Anytime we invest our emotions in something such as a presidential election it hurts when our pick doesn't win.  For my part, I would have been deeply dismayed and even angry if Hillary Clinton had won.   I certainly wouldn't have taken to the streets and likely would have just clammed up and ridden through her years as the President just like I did with President Obama, with whom I have little agreement.

        What I found most upsetting was the vitriolic outpouring that began appearing on Facebook in the days after the election results had been announced.  The rampaging on the streets and the usual yammering by the media pundits were bad enough, but the ugly words that I was seeing on Facebook were from a few family members and friends.  Being disappointed that ones chosen candidate did not win is one thing, but when people start repeatedly calling me and other Trump supporters ignorant, racist, stupid, and SOB's then that is getting a bit harsh.  There are some old friends as well as some family members whom I am not sure that I would want to associate with in the future if that's how they think of me.   To be upset about the outcome of an election is one thing, but to harshly attack others about this outcome is unreasonable and uncivil.  Maybe we all need to talk this out before we turn this into war and cold-shoulders.

         I've avoided discussing the election in the year and a half that preceeded it, but now I'm feeling a sadness interwoven with deep disgust about the reactions from the anti-Trump crowd about the outcome.  In the days before last Tuesday's election day I strongly considered mostly stepping away from blogging except for my Battle of the Bands posts.  The Facebook attacks caused me to reconsider this decision.   After one FB interchange I was encouraged by Damyanti at Daily Write and Hart at Confessions of a Watery Tart to go ahead and express my thoughts on my blog.   Always a risky thing to do I suppose, but in this case I believe it to be worth the risk.

         Both of these long time blogger friends as well as a few other people wanted to hear my explanation as to why I supported Donald Trump for President.   To me this is not something that can be easily or adequately done in a single post or even two or three posts.  And in addition to my reasons for supporting President-elect Trump, I think we have to examine and correct all of the scurrilous attacks and vituperation that was so thoughtlessly thrown about over the past months by media, candidates, and voters.  

          Take this now infamous statement by Hillary Clinton:

      "To just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the 'basket of deplorables.'  Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people, now have 11 million. He tweets and retweets their offensive, hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric. Now some of those folks, they are irredeemable, but thankfully, they are not America."

          This absurd statement epitomizes many of the false accusations against President-elect Trump and his supporters.  I want to correct this outlook that few have attempted to correct during the campaign.   In addition, I would like to explain why I believe Donald Trump won this election as well as addressing any questions or concerns readers might have about all of this.

           My goal is to present a series aimed at reconciliation, clarification, and understanding from the point of view of a political observer and not an expert.  Judging from the ineptitude of many of the political pros throughout this election season, I think my words have as much authority as those of  many of the pundits.  After all, like I pointed out earlier, I did correctly predict the election outcome (of course it was easy odds, but I went against the grain of the majority of the world of the politicos).

            Let me emphasize that my focus on this blog until Inauguration Day on January 20th, 2017, will be Battle of the Bands (with a couple of #IWSG posts thrown it).   I will be interspersing my President Trump Acclimation Series throughout and interweaving this theme into my BOTB posts.  My next Battle of the Bands post will be tomorrow (Tuesday November 15th).  Today's post will be quickly covered up by that post.

             If you think what I intend to do is a good idea then I hope you will share this current post so that others can be a part of the conversation.  Perhaps you'd even like to participate on your own blogs--if you do, let me know so we can do some linking.  

             If you have some specific issues that you'd like me to address in my series then let me know in the comments.   Tell me why you don't think Donald Trump should have won or what is the worst thing that he represents.   What are the worst attributes of his supporters?    Why do you think Trump will be a failure (or a success) as a President?    I need your feedback in the comment section.

            And if everyone hates this idea and stops reading Tossing It Out then I'll likely stop posting on this topic after a while and just put up Battle of the Bands posts.   However, before you settle back into the protective stance that we should never discuss religion or politics, let me suggest that this kind of avoidance is not only a likely reason that the United States got a President Trump, but also a reason that we have a great many of the conflicts in the world now.   If we don't understand each other, then we distrust and fear each other.   That's the way I see it at least.

           In any case, please give me some feedback and we'll take it from here.  President Trump will be in office soon and I'd like to be a voice contributing to a peaceful transition so maybe, just maybe, we do have a President who makes America great again.


Monday, November 7, 2016

Who Will Win the Election (#BOTB Results)

      Failure can be a means to an end as much as it can be the end of meaning. If we try to make sense of things that don't turn out the way we want then we might in the end lose our senses.  The preppers--the survivalists who want to disappear off the grid rather than be just another pawn in the big machine run by dictatorial government--might not be as loony as some might believe.  Who knows what will come next in the United States?  I haven't been real optimistic in the worldly sense, but I do believe something better will come, if not with the current election, then somewhere down a different road.   And it will be the road less taken...

       But enough rambling.   On with the results of the November 1st Battle of the Bands...

Battle of the Bands Results

       Let me start right in with the results.   I took the ill-advised route of pitting a very well known song by a popular group up against an unknown song by an essentially unknown group.   The latter pick was a song that took me several listenings to appreciate and that should have told me something right there.   I know when someone asks me to listen to something that they like a lot and I've never heard before, I'm often somewhat resistant to that song.  I think that's partly what happened here.

       My guess is that many of the voters were already locked into a vote for Green Day because that's the song they knew best and they didn't have patience to give the unknown factor a real chance.  I understand how that works because I'm the same way much of the time.   The Good Rats were at a disadvantage from the git go, but under those circumstances I think they did fairly well.

Final Vote Tally

Green Day      17
Good Rats       11

The Election Prediction?

      Considering the fact that Hillary Clinton has President Obama, the Department of Justice, and most of the media and the world of celebrities on her side she is at a definite advantage.   It's an unfair and unreasonable advantage in my opinion, but that's just the way it is.  Despite those incredible odds Donald Trump has made an incredible showing and it's not out of the realm of possibility that he could win this election.

        Did my Battle of the Bands predict anything at all?  Firstly, my thought is that "American Idiot" represents Hillary Clinton mainly because of the anti-Bush sentiments coming from a songwriter, Billie Joe Armstrong, who is a Democrat supporter.  Some voters went by the title to suggest that the song better fit Trump.  Similarly, as in most elections, voters will go by superficial things and not the meat of the platforms the candidates represent.  This means the presidential vote based on this BOTB outcome could go either way, but if we went strictly by Battle voting we might surmise that Hillary will win the election.

        However it is a much closer outcome when I take out votes the were submitted by those not from the United States.   Using only American voters in the Battle the count for Green Day is 10 with 8 coming in for Good Rats.  And some of those voting for Green Day indicated they preferred Donald Trump in the election.   From what I extrapolate regarding comments and what I think I know of those who voted in my Battle I think that puts Donald Trump in the lead for the election.

         So in the final analysis I will prognosticate a win for Donald Trump in the upcoming election. If this is the case I see it as a win for God and His people.   On the other hand we must take into consideration that " the God of this world" (2 Corinthians 4:4).   Make of it what you will.

        If you haven't done so already, don't forget to vote in the presidential election.  It's going to take a lot of legitimate votes to outnumber all of the fraudulent votes that have been cast.

   Next Battle of the Bands post will be on Tuesday November 15

         Be here next Tuesday for my next Battle of the Bands which will likely be the next post I put up on Tossing It Out unless I think of something that needs to be said in the interim.  My next song will depend on the outcome of the election.   I've got a few in mind and whatever the song it will be a great choice.  Mine always are.  But that is my opinion to which I am entitled to have--so far at least.  Which in a side note, I got kicked off Quora for my one and only response to a question answer on that extremely biased site.  I'm not sure how I got on Quora--I guess I accepted an invite.  Now that I've been kicked off those are just more silly email notifications that won't distract me from getting other more important things done.

        Do you think my prognostication makes sense?   Do you have an issue with anything I've said in this post?    What is your vision of the United States in the years to come?