Alligators 'n Roadkill

Alligators 'n Roadkill
On The Road


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Wanted: A Post Modern for real Cincinnatus.

Has anyone stopped to think about what we pay our "public servants" these days?  When I say public servant I am referring to elected officials at any level.  From your City Council member, through County Commissioners Court, on up to State and National representatives.

Once upon a time these various elective offices were considered to be a way of serving the public good, and they all were - and should still be - part time positions.  That is part of way they are considered to be public service.  You know, busy people taking time out of their busy lives to help the common good.  Right?  I mean, it is obvious that members of Congress only work a small portion of the time.  Actually, they all spend more time campaigning for their next election that they do performing the duties of the offices to which they were elected!

And, guess what?  Our current situation is not the way it was supposed to be!  Our founding fathers were not looking to create a new profession, that of political office holders!  The idea was for a few folks to devote some time to the public good, and then to return to their private lives.  And, let some other person serve a term.  Constant turnover would be good for the country!  Certainly better than the same old, same old of today.

Now, commensurate with this idea of short term service, for the common good, was the idea that those who were elected to public office might be reimbursed for their costs of travel to and from the place where they worked together for that common good, and maybe a reasonable stipend for their time.

Unfortunately, all we have ended up with is a new outlet for one of the worst of the Seven Deadly Sins, greed.  Here in El Paso, Texas, our County Commissioners just voted themselves a hefty pay raise, citing - if you can believe this - the huge responsibility of managing our large county budget as being a requirement that they be paid - for their part time positions - an annual salary that is more than double the median income of this poor county!

We really need to think about initiating term limits on every elective office, across the nation.  If it is good enough for the office of President, it should certainly be good enough for the folks on City Council.  Two terms, and you're out!  And, since these are ALL part time jobs, the salaries need to be commensurate with the amount of work actually done.  Likewise, since these are part time positions, there should be no employee benefits provided, although perhaps health care under medicare or medicaid might be appropriate while in office.  Naturally, reasonable reimbursement for necessary travel and/or lodging should be available.  But, no more salary and benefit packages as if these were full time employees.  And, only the President should be entitled to any lifetime benefits.

I suspect that this would save a ton of taxpayer dollars.  Or, maybe we just need to find us a Cincinnatus?

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Misogyny much?

Along with the inexplicable support for a cretin (Herr Drumpf), I am unable to fathom why there seems to be so much virulent hate directed towards Hillary Clinton.  What is it that she is supposed to have done to piss off so many people?!  I mean, other than being female?  And, well educated?  And, intelligent?  Experienced?  Prepared?  Married to a pretty damn good President?  I mean, we all should know by now that Benghazi was just so much bullshit dreamed up by her detractors in an effort (largely successful for a good long while, by the way) to distract people from the knowledge that the real culprits for whatever happened there were the very critics who scream the loudest!  That's right, the very republican Congress which refused to adequately fund, and even cut funding for Embassy security.  She has been investigated from here to there, and back again, and has never been charged with any actual crimes, let alone convicted.  So, please, someone, explain why the apparently widespread hatred of this woman?

Edward R. Murrow is spinning like a wild top.

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that today's "reporters," these so-called journalists, have no concept of journalism or reporting of the news?  Or, maybe, they just have no balls?  Just once I'd like to see a politician - or any other person - asked a question that they then must answer!

Every interview that is shown on television these days, whether it is with a candidate for office, or a celebrity or sports hero or whatever, shows seemingly straightforward questions being asked, but never answered.  When the person being questioned fails to actually respond to the question, we never see the reporter push for the answer their question deserved.  They let it slide, every single time!

And, this is part of what is wrong with us today.  We (my wife and I) recently watched "The Newsroom" lately, and the scenes showing life on the campaign bus of the GOP's last Presidential candidate (Mittens; you remember him?).  Only one news person dares to ask real questions, and he never receives answers.  And, his questions are only to staff members of the candidate, because they deny him access to the actual, live candidate!  How could this be acceptable to anyone?  Yes, I know that this is a fictionalized television production, but I believe it is an accurate depiction of what goes on during political campaigns.

Look at the ridiculous staged events that are still referred to as debates!  None of these staged events comes close to even resembling the active give-and-take of political debates from our history.  And, that is so sad.  Our candidates are not being shown in any real light, and therefore our political decisions are canned, pre-determined, and lifeless.

Or, in real life, with the current campaign, we see on a daily basis, an asshole like Herr Drumpf get away with making the most outrageous statements, but never, ever being called on them.  Reporters ask him questions, he goes off on a rant, and they let him get away with it!  But, then, they let Hillary get away with avoiding direct questions, too.  The only one who ever responds to questions is Bernie, and he lacks adequate support.  (He does, however, appear to be making enough difference to affect change within the Democratic Party.  And, that's a good thing).

Ultimately, I'd love to see just one so-called reporter push someone, somewhere, sometime during an interview, to the point of obtaining a real answer to a real question.  And, I don't mean, "How does/did that make you feel?"  MMMMMMKay?

We've seen this shit before

I do not know which is worse, the actual person of Donald Trump, or his idiot followers.  His most rabid followers appear to be concentrated in that hotbed of ignorance, the deep South.  Irony, anyone?  They say all those catch phrases about how he tells it like it is, and he speaks for them, and so on.  And, they totally forget that he is nothing like them.  Well, other than his racist views, that is.

Donald Trump is the worst kind of carpetbagger.  A man who only wants their vote so he can go on ahead and inflict as much damage as he can on all the world, while making himself even richer than he may have been before.  Of course, we do not know if he really is rich, since his finances seem to be so well hidden.  There are reports that his biggest benefactors are Russians who are close to Vlad the Bad!  (Can you say, "Russian Mafia?")

He has offered not one single, rational thought or idea, or plan to do anything to help any American anywhere.  His mannerisms, speech patterns, and very existence smacks of Mussolini or Hitler.  Meanwhile, the son of a bitch is like a moth drawn to the light of media attention, and what could we expect?  He is, after all, a creation of the media.  It occurs to me that the best way to finally stifle him is to just turn off the damn light!  In other words, stop giving him so much free air time!  Stop devoting pages and pages of print space and web space to his latest blurting of empty words and phrases!  Do you not notice that his campaign is not running tv ads?  Why should he spend money on advertising when he gets so much free air time?

Worse, his supporters are just like him.  They are incapable of any rational discussion on any topic, and always - always - resort to ad hominen attacks on anyone who says anything they perceive as contrary to their candidate or their own positions.

They possess very firm opinions on a great many topics, but have no factual information behind those opinions.  They are only raw emotion fed by gross ignorance, and therefore, just as dangerous as he is.

At the end of the day, another question arises:  If he "tells it like it is," why are his supporters constantly trying to explain what it was that he meant when he said his latest foot-in-mouth bushwah?