Doubling down on failure

The faith in “parchment protection” to remedy societal maladies puzzles me. The truly evil among us are not detoured by imaginary protections.

Being formidable would better serve the vulnerable. Disarmed does NOT equal safety.

The pressure to add yet another layer of phantom barriers in the pretense of keeping us safe is building. In reality the malefactors benefit from these measures in the form of a safer work environment.

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So far 2018 has shown no sign that reality is part of our daily experience.  The binary “news” narratives and trivial outrage echo through social media widening the divide between humans/countrymen/neighbors/friends/family.

Life has never been so easy yet a boiling anger is poised to tear everything apart. This is apparent to any looking in from the periphery. Perhaps the perceived chaos is what keeps media relevant.

Matters beyond our control have little relevance in our daily lives yet some choose to wallow there, seemingly oblivious to actions that can be taken to make the time we are blessed with better.

“Be the change you want.” -said someone

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2018 prognostications

My guesses for next year:

Gasoline will top $4 sometime during the year.

Dow has a 25% correction.

Interest rates remain very low.

Seahawks fail to make the superbowl in 2018.

Mariners fail to make the playoffs in 2018.

My interest in televised sport might be rekindled with the Winter Olympics if an internet path is available, I will NOT watch network coverage. The Tour, MLB, NFL, etc. remain soiled and unwatchable to me.

The rumblings in Saudi Arabia intensify and radiate beyond their borders.

The EU continues to crumble. I suspect the crash is a ways off yet.

The “perv-nado” (male sexual harassers) brings down more celebrity and political elites but the tide will peak and ebb this year. A few will be exonerated, though they will be forever chard by the flames of accusation.

The democrats will make modest gains in the mid term elections.

The Russian conspiracy investigation will not lead to impeachment.

Corporate legacy media will continue its trend toward irrelevance.

North Korean tensions come to a head.

The Clintons’ reputation further degrades as more corruption comes to light.

Funding for colleges declines.

Gold tops 1,500.

NFL ratings continue to slide.

The Fed raises interest rates .25% one time.

An alternative to Youtube emerges.

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2017 Prognostications – how well did I do?

Perhaps my worst performance to date…:

Dow 18,000 NOT EVEN CLOSE! Currently 24,651!

Gold 1,200 -A Bit low but close

Gas $3.55/gallon. Range of $2.10-4. – Generally correct though it didn’t slide down as low as I predicted.

Housing continues to slide.  -Not seeing that around here…

“Legacy media” gets caught in scandals as the actual purveyors of the “fake news.” Fading… -Hey got this one right!

Russia gains more international support as corruption in American politics and policy is more widely exposed. -It appears correct at least in the middle east and perhaps Asia.

Trump makes Obama look lazy. – subjective but generally yes.

Obamacare unwinds. If paying more for insurance you can’t use qualifies, I got this one right too.

Shopping malls begin to fade. -Retail stores are suffering. Amazon is kicking everyone’s ass.

The Clinton scandals tarnish others. Looks like anyone connected to the Clintons is corrupt – Donna Braisles (sp) book and others…

Seahawks fall short of the Superbowl. Didn’t make it in 2017, too early to tell if the will make it in 2018. My bet is they won’t.

Mariners make the playoffs. Nope

More terrorist attacks in the west by jihadists. Yup

European financial turmoil continues. Still kicking the can down the road.

China’s financial challenges boil over. The lid is still on the pot.

Fukashima is makes headlines. Nope

Big Quake >5 in PNW Nope

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Ain’t News

The biases at various “news” sites  are most apparent by what is NOT being reported and to the weight a story is given.  One site may headline how President Trump is obviously guilty of collusion with the Russians and will soon be impeached while any news of Hillary’s Russian connections, pay to play, hijacking of DNC and the shafting of Bernie are absent. Another site may inversely reflect those same stories.

When speaking to folks about current events where their cognitive biases lie and which “news” sources they prefer to hear echo those sentiments quickly become evident. Any challenge to their beliefs or ignorance is met with defensiveness, the intensity of which is directly related to the emotional investment they have in the narrative/agenda. It is rare that anyone will look deeply into what contradicts their delusion – myself included.

Honestly I do not know what to believe except that I don’t believe anything I see on the news is 100% fact or presented in an unbiased fashion. The gap between what is being reported on and what actually is going on in my life that I can actually do something about it is so wide that it is virtually pointless to watch the “news.”

I’ve not found discussing these issues with others, even those who’s biases are more in alignment with my own, to be productive. Any chance to truly make a positive difference in the world does not depend on me changing you but for me to make the changes in myself that hopefully will resonate in others. Perhaps then, like notes in a chord, good things will come of it.

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NFL Self Immolation

With all of the college educated talent in the NFL it would seem that a coherent message could be put forth that reaches the intended audience and at least hints at a viable solution to the issue(s) they are trying to address.

Unfortunately, it appears (to me) that the message has been lost and is perceived as divisive rhetoric serving only to assign blame without offering any amicable resolutions.

With millions of eyes tuning in for entertainment each week it would seem that a message could be formulated and delivered in such a way that addresses these issues the vast majority of Americans already agree are problems in our society. I suspect that equality and justice FOR ALL are virtually universally held American tenets they want promoted, protected and preserved for EVERYONE.

Why this is elusive is a mystery. The League responses seem to only further divide and alienate.

The President’s actions are puzzling as well. Had he recognized the First Amendment Right of the players to express themselves and invited the insights and experiences of players from these communities, it is likely we’d better understand the problems and be able to formulate solutions.

It appears the loudest voices (on all “sides”) are bent on destroying it rather than fixing it. The principles set forth in our Constitution are a good foundation to build upon. I would argue that it is better to strive toward the ideal of “Liberty and Justice for All” than to embrace chaos hoping something better will emerge. History tells us how easy it is to succumb to tyranny and how difficult it is to establish and maintain a country based on individual liberty that so many aspire to be a part of despite its many flaws.

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The Loudest Voices

The edges continue to fray.

One side calls EVERYONE a Nazi whilst flying soviet flags. If that ain’t “calling the kettle black…”

The another extreme seems to be equally antagonistic though their message seems to be lost. I can’t tell if they ARE actually Nazis. I’ve not heard any race rhetoric or desire to shut down the speech of the “other” side unless it involves disdain for NFL players deciding to kneel during the national anthem.

For the record I support Colin Kapernick’s choice and right to take a knee during the national anthem. What is the point of saluting the flag unless it is voluntary. Home towner Mike Bennett the same. He believes sincerely in his cause. Agree or disagree he IS entitled to freedom of expression. The consequences are what they are. HE has made that choice.

How far will the toward the middle it unravel? That is my concern.

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