Norway

Some days it just feels like it would be easier to move to Norway. I would just need to find a job and learn to speak Norwegian. Then I ‘d be a shoe-in.

But I’d need to speak Norwegian first.

Does anyone remember the saying that “Rome is burning”? That talks about when Nero set fire to his own city, blamed the Christians, and made no effort to put out the flames. That’s what I feel like right now. We elected Nero. He’s set fire to Rome. It makes me just want to move somewhere like Norway.

But I’d need to speak Norwegian first.

We can’t just find a formula and stick with it in our country. We have approached the point where every new group is reinventing the wheel. Not because the wheel went away. But because they want the by-line. Meanwhile, the citizens of our country are trampled over because of the actions of a few. Too bad we couldn’t just move to Norway.

We’d need to speak Norwegian first.

What place will take me if I speak English?

September 11th – Keeping The Meaning

Some may consider this post a day late and a dollar short considering it’s coming up on September 12th. That being said, I was trying to let the social media timelines clear out, as well as my own head.

The remembrances of September 11th, 2001 are varied across the board. To some people, there is deep meaning. For others, they just pay lip service.

I know that on and off in the prior 15 years, I have recounted the story of where I was (at KLBK talking to Mike Shaw). But it seems like my recounting has had similar effect on me as others have had on them. At times, it comes across as more of a requirement than a sentiment.

The attacks will always be a horrific point on the timeline of the United States. So was the assassination of Lincoln, the assassination of Martin Luther King, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the first landing on the moon, and the Pearl Harbor bombing. More sad events than exciting, but all life changing events that people have their stories of where they were.

There were heroes, villains, and victims on September 11th. Let’s continue to remember those who were wrongfully taken from us and vilify those who did the taking. There is a natural order in doing that for us as human beings.

But the bigger takeaway is how we came together as community after those attacks. I believe that needs to be at front of mind just as much. Community and the well being of your neighbor seems to take a backseat between massive events that we all remember.

Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Harvey, and the wildfires in Montana are events happening that need community to surround people. That is already happening in some cases already, if not all. The generosity and willingness to help is appreciated beyond measure by those that have received it.

But even if next September 11th rolls around and all is quiet, remember the horrific event, people that were lost, and people that have fought to avenge and hopefully make things safer. Then do something for your community. Create positive, lasting effects on people you know, as well as those you may not know. Be genuine. Or as they say in “Bruce Almighty”, BE THE CHANGE!

Kid Rock for U.S. Senate

Cue the naysayers.

Cue the critics.

They may be the same people who started in on Donald Trump. They may be different people all together.

Here’s my two cents:

  1. An organization who has become complacent and predictable sometimes needs a chance of scenery to shake up their routine. A shake up in routine is good to keep an organization and its members on their toes with a focus on the mission.
    1. Sub-point: The U.S. Senate already has comedian Al Franken among their members.
  2. The U.S. political structure was originally designed NOT for professional politicians, but for citizen leaders. The idea was to not create monarchs and dynasties, but to allow the citizens to run their own country.
    1. Sub-point: Brash and outspoken former professional wrestler Jessie “The Body” Ventura ran for governor in Minnesota. By all accounts, his leadership led to some improvements in that state. He then left quietly after one term.
    2. Sub-point: George Washington reluctantly accepted a commission in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. He tried to quietly go away after the war, but reluctantly served as President. He was also the person who set the decorum of only serving two terms (which wasn’t codified in law until someone shunned the tradition). He quietly retired to Mount Vernon to be a citizen.

I say bring on Kid Rock. Bring on Ted Nugent. Bring on anyone willing to step up and provide some diversity of thought and action.

Californian Republic Interfering With Elections

I will start out by saying “I get it”. Not everyone in California is spoken for by the vocal majority that is found in Hollywood or the Bay Area. But those who are vocal are in the majority in that state.

California is the one state that has had people brashly come out since November and say they intend to secede from the Union. By hook, or by crook, they will go, because the duly elected President of the United States is not their president.

Stop and think with me for a moment then. Let’s say they have gotten or will get their Calexit. What have they been doing for the past few months?

INTERFERING IN A UNITED STATES ELECTION OF A FEDERAL REPRESENTATIVE!

Yes, I meant to yell.

The most blatant race they stuck their nose in on was the sixth district in Georgia. Millions of dollars poured in from California donors to try and push through a Democrat not because he’s qualified, but because President Trump is currently with the Republican Party.

Who’s complaining about Russia?

We have more proof of this than we do of Russia.

Democrats and Republicans are a MYTH

“There will never be a viable third-party.”

I don’t know how many times I have heard or read that statement. These days, it often comes from the leadership of, or the straight-ticket voters for, one of the major political parties.

I will tell you right now that Democrats and Republicans have long since ceased being about different ideologies. It is now “he who has the most money wins”.

Obama had the most money. He just got it in different ways than before.

Trump had the most money, even without the party.

Bernie may have had more money than Hillary, but he threatened how the Democrats got their money.

The Democratic “ideals” threaten the money of business owners.

The Republican “ideals” threaten the social welfare money.

The United States is too obsessed with money.

If we take money out of the equation, our street signs would look more like this one. Some people may say that this is a pathway to chaos. Others say it is a pathway to the true American ideology.

We could have an election in September with everyone. We could then have a run-off in November. We spend less money on elections. We get a more concise result. We might also see less political dynasty.

To The Victor Go The Spoils

Imagine with me for a minute. You are with a group of people living in America. People far away are telling you what you can and you can’t do. It is their way or the highway. How would you feel? Of course, this is a situation you would have found leading up to the Revolutionary War in North America. It is also a situation you would have found in the southern states of the United States of America in the lead up to the Civil War.

Let me be TOTALLY clear about something. Racism is wrong. But it is not an “American problem”. Slavery was and is wrong. But slave labor happened in all cultures through history, and in some forms still happens to this day. That being said…

When two parties go to war, the winner of that war has won the right to re-write history and future as they see fit. This war-mongering and subsequent actions were the way politics played out commonly. However, slowly, the humans of planet Earth have realized their life expectancy can go UP when their posturing goes DOWN. Now they refer to these behaviors as bullying on an international level.

But, when war does happen, it is still anticipated by the losers that they will face the need to “repay” for their actions in a number of different ways. It is still anticipated by the winners that they will get to fashion the picture of history and the future to make them more comfortable.

I set all this stage for a reason that should be obvious if you keep up with the news. They are taking down monuments in New Orleans that have been part of the city for DECADES. Forcing removal and disallowing monuments of the like back when the Civil War was over would have been expected. To me, the removal of these monuments now feels vindictive. Wrong or right, these monuments are part of the heritage of the south. But only part. Instead of removing them, why can’t we add, as Paul Harvey would put it, “The Rest Of The Story”?

Yes, they are monuments to those who fought to preserve the “way of the South” when it comes to slavery.

But they were also fighting for the right to be represented by a government who they felt was seeing to their needs and wants. They were fighting for the right to legislate as they wished in each state. They were fighting for their individual identities as Southerners, and as residents of their respective states, all while fighting for the agreed on notion of what was the common good for them all.

WHAT they were trying to protect may have been wrong. WHY they were trying to protect it is the same reason every war is fought. WHAT they were trying to protect was bound to die out anyway. WHY they were trying to protect it are reasons that are considered righteous reasons when you chose to go to war. Only after that war is over do the winners get to say that the WHY was evil. Here’s the funny thing. In the Civil War, both sides had the same WHY. Only the WHAT was different.

Whitewashing history does not remove the troubles of that history. It only pushes those movements underground, where they can grow out of sight. They grow unchecked. Why not leave the history up and add to it? Battle those who still espouse and engender the values of WHAT the South was fighting for with EDUCATION about why the WHAT was wrong?

One way or the other, good luck to New Orleans. I truly hope their actions provide the peace they are seeking by taking those actions.

Witch Hunt

This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!

– President Donald J. Trump

I have to agree.

“What? Tim, are you a Trump supporter? Do you really believe his lies?”

Listen. I am not a fan of the man. I’m not even saying that I think he is squeaky clean in what’s been going on. But what proof have you?

“He invited Russia to mess with Hillary’s campaign during a press conference.”

No, the man is a blow hard, carnival barking promoter. He’s going to say what he needs to get your attention. He sure got it!

“His appointees have been talking with Russia and doing them favors.”

Do you have proof he knew of it before hand or asked them to do it? Vice President Mike Pence is closer to being culpable than Trump is. However, political appointees have been nailed doing bad things for years. And they come from both sides of the ideological isle.

“The Republicans were on tape saying Trump got paid by the Russians.”

A congressman speculated something. They speculate all the time! Why are they considered an authority on Trump’s personal matters? They didn’t want him in office as much as they didn’t want Hilary in office. That leaked tape comes off so “Hogan’s Heroes” in my mind.

I could go on.

No one has presented a smoking gun.

There may still be a smoking gun, but politicians and the media alike didn’t want this man to be where he is. This is definitely a witch hunt of massive proportions. What is still left to be determined is if the man is a witch.

Once again, I will remind you I am not a fan of Trump, nor of many of his administration. I am also not a fan of any politician these days. They are all self-serving.

I only wish we had some more European-like rules where if Trump was impeached and convicted, that we could just call for snap elections and kick everyone out of Washington ourselves.

Government, Not Politics

There is an industry surrounding politics. It is called Washington, D.C. For those who become skilled operators, there is money to be had in this industry. When this country was formed, there was framework for a government. But now, politics prevent the government from working.

In government, you keep things running. In politics, you tell the people that you fixed something your predecessor broke. In government, you defend the country. In politics, you do everything you can to become the hero of that defense. In government, it is about continuity. In politics, it is about power.

I do not want to hear about who is running for office 500 DAYS OUT. I would support a law that outlaws campaigning for any office in the country more than 365 days from the election day scheduled.

If people could live their lives, maybe they might be more informed about choices when they come up. Maybe they might be more willing to take part in the process, because they felt like it’s not the same old thing.

It’s government. Not politics.

And keep it out of the news cycle. It is NOT that important to burn your audience out on a topic before the topic absolutely must matter.

#BeardParty Essays: A Nation Of Laws

I have been sitting on this one for a little while only because I have not had time to sit and write. A number of discussions I have been a party to, or witnessed from the sidelines, have had me thinking about this.

“We are a nation of laws.”

That is a statement I can almost put any politician’s name behind because, at one point or another, most of them have made that statement in a speech. Practically every one of those politicians have been either left leaning or right leaning in their ideology. So this statement has meant different things to each person.

Some say the dominant white, Christian, male demographic is often above the law. A lot of people refer to this as “white privilege”. Others cry out that “Black Lives Matter”. I don’t return that with the other cliche of “All Lives Matter” because, well, that is…cliche. There are so many numerous sub-groups in this country, and they all have their social justice rallying cry. I don’t care to get in to a list because that is not the point of this writing.

Our world in its current incarnation will never be Utopian. There will always be a criminal element. When a crime is committed, the punishment prescribed by law must be enforced.

I was in an exchange with someone over the woman recently deported out of Arizona, back to Mexico, leaving her American citizen family behind. I was hit with a litany of “but” on the topic:

  • …but she was only trying to provide for her family.
  • …but she didn’t steal anyone’s social security number. She just made one up.
  • …but she was given a deal that allowed her to stay in the country.
  • …but she was brought to the U.S. before she was an adult.
  • …but she was targeted by a sheriff who was racist.

I was basically told that her being deported was not fair.

However:

  • …she was here illegally.
  • …she mad NO effort to gain her citizenship.
  • …she was duly convicted of a felony in a court of law.
  • …she was originally supposed to be deported over 3 years ago.

Is it going to be tough on her family because of her choices? Yes. But she is the one who chose to do what she did. She could have rectified the situation a LONG time ago, but did not. The fact that she was here as long as she was is not fair to We The People.

If this country is truly to regain its footing, let Lady Justice keep her blindfold on. Laws must be enforced equally.

We Need A Revolution

No, I’m not necessarily advocating what you maybe thinking. Often, when you hear about revolution, you start seeing a build-up of strength. People prepare for a physical fight, because that is the only way that those in power can get up-ended.

I have had many great conversations with my friend Zach about this subject. Some have been deep. Others have been quite shallow.

By the way, #bechtold2020.

But where these conversations have gone is that we are missing some great people willing to put aside their own good and do what is good for the country. I do not include military members in this. This is just about politicians. Used to, representing the people you do life with every day was an honorable profession. Now days, it is often a profession full of weasels. Zach and I have talked about how the great men who represented were often bearded men.

So while this may never take off, it would be great to actually see this be something. I’m declaring the BEARD PARTY.

While you do not have to possess a beard to join, it is about the ideas that are espoused by the presence of the beard. Nobody in the beard party has to agree on everything. They just need to agree on one. Whatever is in the best interest of our country. Not the lobbyists. Not the politicians themselves. Not those who aren’t lawful citizens.

Why?

That is where the strength of the USA is found. Together we stand. Divided we fall.

The idea was first posed by Benjamin Franklin. Join, or die. He knew the colonies wanted freedom from Britain. He also knew they wouldn’t get it on their own.

Likewise, today, our country is fragmented. While many wouldn’t want to admit it, we are in danger of slipping from being a powerful country because we show divisiveness. If we have no faith in our country and don’t support it, what makes you think we wouldn’t end up the victim?

So, this is not something Republican. This is not something Democrat. It isn’t about Trump, Clinton, Sanders, or Obama. This is about you and me. Let’s show the strength we have in the past. Let’s find that one thing that would earn the designation the Greatest Generation of the Modern Era. The cause to stand up for is our country’s existence and independence. That has never changed.

Let’s put a beard* back in the White House, and every other chair that citizens vote on the occupant.

*Literal or figurative