Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘politics

Thinking Differently

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I overheard a snippet of the impeachment trial yesterday and an analyst’s opinion afterward. Were any minds being swayed? The general opinion was, no. It didn’t sound like the second day added much to the impression clearly accomplished on the first. Then the radio host referenced the Democrats would finish presenting their case by the end of the day.

The Democrats’ case. Why is it their case?

There was an insurrection against our government fomented by the outgoing President. Why isn’t the prosecution supported by all legislators, regardless of political party? He threatened his Republican Vice President’s life! Why wasn’t the entirety of the GOP incensed by this?

The trial should have no party component. Imagine that. Just Senators holding the President accountable for his actions to instigate the riot and his inaction to mitigate the situation as it was raging at its worst. Where was the law and order President when his supporters were beating police with flag poles? He ultimately told the rioters he loved them.

The events of January 6 at the US Capital should obliterate any distinction between the two political parties.

I regret that the prosecution felt the need to bludgeon us so repeatedly with the evidence. One time through with the chronology of the facts would have been plenty. Saying the same things over and over again does not make a point more convincing. If entrenched politicians won’t waver from a partisan position, save us all some time and just vote on the articles of impeachment.

Get it over with and let’s move on to the next priority that deserves congressional attention.

Imagine a dream of politicians debating issues without constraints of political party affiliation. ‘Us versus us’, instead of ‘us versus them.’ What if we were all in this together instead of one half automatically opposing whatever the other half suggests?

Imagine a world of unicorns and rainbows. It would be just as productive.

An exercise of thinking different can be interesting, but the amount of change it will produce is hard to measure. My gut tells me real change is unlikely.

My heart tells me to keep thinking differently, regardless.

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Written by johnwhays

February 12, 2021 at 7:00 am

Weird Night

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Last night my feelings went through a bit of an unplanned roller coaster ride as a result of two different hours of television. Cyndie and I have settled into a routine of late where we turn on PBS Newshour during our evening meal. I think it’s a bit of a nod toward acting our age. The last month has been thick with political news but, thankfully, coverage has swung away from the outrageous insurrection and toward the refreshing articulateness of the new administration.

I sat down to a remarkable plate of boneless barbequed ribs and sides that rivaled fancy restaurants while listening to analysts and an incoming cabinet member speak clearly and intelligently about the issues of the day. It was delicious in every way.

Watching politicians who are able to speak without hyped manipulations of reality, instead, talking comfortably, concisely, and without animosity, is so refreshing it made me downright giddy.

Maybe I was just delirious over the incredible meal Cyndie had prepared.

It was bliss.

Unfortunately, about the time I should have been turning in for the night, Frontline was on with an episode about “Trump’s American Carnage.” I knew it would be horrific, but presented with Frontline’s high quality of documentary production, I couldn’t resist.

It was so incredibly opposite of the glee I enjoyed earlier, I almost forgot how good the new administration feels.

On the bright side, I didn’t forget about the great food I enjoyed.

When I stop to think about the last four years of enduring the 45th President, I am amazed I survived with my wits only partially dimmed. But I understand why I find myself feeling so emphatically thrilled over the contrasting ambiance of the entire administration that has succeeded him.

It’s a lot like that sensation you have when you finally stop banging your head against a wall.

The roller-coaster swing last night from high to low made for an unexpectedly weird Tuesday night.

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Written by johnwhays

January 27, 2021 at 7:00 am

Even Jim

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I don’t know how obvious it comes across to those of you who regularly stop by my daily dose of “things and experiences” but it is generally my habit to avoid overtly naming targets of my discontent. That is primarily a result of my house of glass being particularly vulnerable to thrown stones. Not that I ever strive to completely conceal my true opinion, however.

I tend to avoid getting into a fray that involves two directly opposing views whose participants are unlikely to waver from each of their own stances. Few, if any, issues are clearly and precisely “either one or the other” due to the reality that inequality and the reserve energy stored within is naturally inclined to move toward equilibrium and a static state.

The world is much more a mixture than it is a stash of separated ingredients.

Still, there are people who want not to perceive it as a mixture. They find ways to cope with the hypocrisy and cognitive dissonance of their views in ways I struggle to comprehend.

In the United States of America, too many have allowed themselves to accept outlandish, bizarre manipulations of reality by Donald Trump and the mysterious cadre of sycophants who enable his narcissistic kleptocracy that is wreaking havoc on this nation.

For four years I have wondered who could stop this. Each protection woven into the threads of our democracy appeared to unravel as abuses were pressed into it. At one time in my life, I perceived impeachment as an incredibly significant event. These days, it seems like a discarded tissue after wiping a nose.

Now it has come to this. Even famously apolitical comedian Jim Gaffigan has thrown in the towel on appearing immune to the spectacle of destruction. He tweeted the f-word!

If Jim can take the risk to stand up against the idiocracy, I can, too.

People responded to Jim’s outburst, complaining that as a comedian, he shouldn’t be making a statement about politics. But the same people want a failed businessman who hosted a reality tv show where he fired people to be their political leader.

Some Trump supporters defend their choice as a quest for morality and law and order. How do they fail to see the dissonance between their goals and the person they elected to get them there? How’s that working for them? Do they believe any of the lies spoken by their President?

Enough is enough, I say. Too much, even.

I’m with Jim.

One responder to Jim’s tweeted rant commented, “…couldn’t disagree with you more. Wish you saw the truth.”

In the face of two such completely opposing views of what constitutes truth, me thinks someone is failing to mix all the ingredients.

Personally, I see Donald Trump as a blatant liar.

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Defend Democracy

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For the record, lest there be any confusion over where *This* John W. Hays stands on the issue of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress by the 45th President of the United States, I believe the facts presented and the behaviors of the accused in every moment since the issues of the July 25th phone call arose are obvious and self-evident by ordinary human reasoning.

The one glaring aspect that I fail to grasp is how, out of the 198 people in the House of Representatives and the 53 people in the Senate who align with the Republican party, none of them seem able to voice the slightest conviction toward holding the President accountable to any degree that comes close to matching the seriousness of his actions.

It doesn’t make sense to me.

I wish there was a more universal urgency by ALL elected officials to defend our democracy against any threat to the integrity of our elections.

It saddens me to see our national reputation being tarnished across the world. My intuition tells me that foreign nations most hostile to our country are giddy with delight over the instability being sewn into our political process by nefarious characters who seem to be getting away with things despite the world knowing full well something is going on.

What a shame that efforts to be positive and filled with hope are daily burdened by the negative weight of all this ugliness.

I look forward to the resolution of the current proceedings and cling to hope that intelligent, decent people will uphold their oaths to defend our constitution, regardless of their party affiliations.

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Rosier Color

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There is a way that the slowly transitioning angle of light moving through the seasons silently changes our perspective of everything. Because we tend to be oblivious to the subtlety, curious circumstances that materialize in our daily affairs often appear as having some outward cause, when in fact, it originates from within.

It’s the way we see events from inside our own minds that colors the realities.

It would behoove more people to consider choosing a rosier color. The trick, however, is in having enough sense to recognize when the worst of history begins making its way back for an encore. How do we keep “never again” alive?

We don’t have the luxury of voting bums out, because our system is built on voting people in. The majority might agree on not wanting any more of a current administration, but they struggle when it comes to needing to agree on the replacements.

One difference from everything that came before, is the amount of industrial pollution fouling the planet. Our amazing progress is conjuring up weather events that wield uncharacteristic intensities. The calamities that grab our attention now are not the challenges that our parents faced.

If only a twitter or facebook message could fix all that ails us.

A simple slice from the surface of a thumb can wreak havoc on buttoning a shirt, or turning a page. Little things that were once inconsequential, become monumental challenges. Is that because the way our mind sees it? Or simply because, that’s the way it is?

Rhetorical questions. The kind that beg to be erased by the onset of heavy eyelids, demanding to give in to the pressure of sleep. Deep sleep. REM sleep. Never hear the alarm sleep that only ends when saturation has been accomplished.

Or when the light slanting through the window in the morning provides a color of hope that our hearts fail to resist.

Who doesn’t love a moment of feeling a little hope filling their hearts at the break of a brand new day?

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Written by johnwhays

May 3, 2019 at 6:00 am

Two Frights

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Today’s title isn’t about politics, either. I successfully ignored all media broadcasts of election result(s) play-by-play yesterday, much to my delight. I voted early, so that task wasn’t a part of my yesterday and I was able to remain in the bliss of ignorance as to the eventual outcomes.

However, that didn’t mean my evening was without drama. I experienced two different momentary frights, both of which resolved positively after the shortest bits of distress, I’m happy to report.

The first fright occurred when I couldn’t find a much-favored loaf of brown bread I had just taken out of the freezer on Sunday. I could see that our college crew, who are providing morning support while Cyndie is out-of-town, had made breakfast during their shift.

They didn’t eat it all, did they? Couldn’t have.

Did they put it in the refrigerator? Nope.

Did they take it with them?! Well, the question occurred to me.

Oh, there it was, in the drawer below our usual placement.

Panic averted.

What? I really like brown bread.

With the return to Standard Time this week, darkness arrived while I was just finishing up tending the horses. This provided an opportunity to take care of the task of closing up the chicken coop for the night, as well. That meant I would make one less trip out into the soaking wet, very cold, and uncomfortably windy weather that is our reality this week.

By the time I reached the coop, chickens were already inside. I slid the small back door closed and walked around to the front door to peek in on them for a head count.

1, 2, 3, 456… 7, 8.

I looked again, squinting as if that would help see better in the encroaching darkness. Eight. I could easily discern the three yellow Buff Orpingtons. The difference between the black Australorps and the Golden Laced Wyandottes was a lot harder to make out.

It was a Wyandotte that was missing. It figures. They are often turning up as the odd hen out.

I had one more place to check. Opening the side doors to the nesting boxes relieved my fright. She was just keeping an egg warm, that’s all.

Or, she was thinking about spending the night there. Not allowed!

I slid a hand beneath her to feel for an egg. That was all it took for her to decide she was ready to hop up on the roost with the rest of her brood.

That egg was a lot warmer than the two I gathered from other boxes at the same time.

Nothing to be frightened about here. Carry on.

Good luck with governing to all the candidates who received the majority of votes yesterday! Feel free to use your new responsibilities to make the world a better place for all.

At the very least, let’s hope they find a way to give us less to be frightened about than what has become usual fare from the halls of power in this U.S. of A.

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Written by johnwhays

November 7, 2018 at 7:00 am

How

with 6 comments

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that light
is too bright
especially at this time of night
I can feel my eyes
putting up a fight
with hopes of saving
some small shred of sight
despite the unwelcome fright
of seeing what just might
transpire
I cannot understand
how so many people
would knowingly raise their hand
in support of one particular man
who has demonstrated time and again
so many traits unpleasant
while he repeatedly fanned
flames of hate, fear, and banned
good sense or even
complete sentences of real plans
just a catch phrase or two
bullying braggadocio
rising on the worst
his cultivations rehearsed
to prey on some rabid thirst
void of real love and honesty
what remains is some kind of curse
how?

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Written by johnwhays

November 9, 2016 at 6:00 am

Embrace Change

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Is it possible to fully understand the vast number of worlds and details of lives to which we have, at best, limited exposure? Not that we are supposed to. How often are decisions made, despite an honest comprehension and acceptance of how little we are actually aware?

What can one individual really expect to grasp of the full range of issues and disciplines at play in the world? Let me see how many I can leave out by failing to mention…

Starting nowhere in particular, …medicine. Pharmacies. Hospitals, patient care, insurance, finance, facility maintenance, emergency management, legal advice, illegal gambling, addiction, recovery, psychiatry, academia, higher education, childhood education, reverse mortgages, home construction, plea bargaining, coupon shopping, fuel additives, auto sales, product placement, advertising, manufacturing, shipping, travel, cultural sensitivity, political ambitions, mathematical odds, gravitational waves, electron microscopes, archaeological mapping, district boundaries, city planning, manure management, religious zealotry, emotional manipulation, theater production, recording industry, music licensing, athletic training, team building, volunteerism, broadcast journalism, pain management, nutrition supplements, insulin, scar tissue, therapeutic massage, skin grafts.

Demolition, trucking, forest management, bear hunting, bird migration, traditional celebrations, sleep deprivation, common misconceptions, in-depth investigation, maintaining confidentiality, healthy intervention, interior decoration, retail product purchasing, industrial scale food production, buying fabric, spinning yarn, nailing crossbeams, laying foundations, paving highways, recognizing symptoms, healing psychological wounds, making amends, raising children, caring for elders, predicting the weather, creating complex spreadsheets, coding software, upgrading hardware, saving lost data, creating historical records, storing precious documents, managing a bank, growing wealth, affordable healthcare, establishing a fair tax.

Proper shoes for walking, insoles both firm and cushy, camping gear, college years, immigration, negotiation, land management, proper drainage, flood mitigation, product liability, instant gratification, adequate illumination, mineral rights, engine displacement, performance enhancing drugs, commercial sponsorship, codependent relationships, legal guardianship, adoption, acting, directing, angel investors, screenplay writing, sky writing, stunt flying, flight instruction, ground rules, ruling parties, parting ways, space exploration, deep-sea diving, grant writing, non-profit organizations, managing foundations, educating the masses, bullshit detection.

Historical re-enactments, religious interpretation, traditional hymns, learned behaviors, family bias, class divides, social acceptance, criminal negligence, healthy confrontation, anger management, pet care, pest control, toilet training, Oedipal complex, renal failure, clogged arteries, plugged drains, drain fields, debt manipulation, cosmetic dentistry, animal husbandry, oral history, re-framing history, flagging industries, recycling precious metals, fabricating complex machines, publishing magazines, controlling military spending, black-market weapons dealing, lifting economies, deep sea fishing, car racing, long distance putts, fire protection, lumber harvesting, crop raising, hospice care, librarian, business consulting, museum curation, sculpting, designing, choreography, judge, cook, baker, candlestick maker.

If you chose to read every last word of those paragraphs, you might consider serving in government somehow. I also think you’d make a good editor.

I shudder over the number of instances when I have heard political arguments or strong opinions expressed with fervent finality, when there are so many more pertinent details worth considering in the world than can realistically be included. No one person can know everything there is to know.

I feel like the general population of the United States is looking for a person who does know everything, when they think about electing a President. Others are just looking for a candidate who will constrain decisions to a narrow band of specific interests.

I’d prefer the kind of leadership that is allowed to be flexible enough to respond to the latest information available and make decisions based on a combination of historical reference and what is known now.

Since the world is constantly changing, it makes sense to me to embrace the change, rather than struggle in resistance against it.

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Written by johnwhays

February 13, 2016 at 10:34 am