Guns, Hysteria, Overreach, Money and oh yeah our kids

I hate extremes.

I believe that I along with most people live somewhere in the middle.  For most of my life that has been just fine.  Although I am registered to vote as one of the major parties, I do not vote party line but instead on a big picture.  I have proudly voted for presidential candidates from both parties.

I remember when I was finally allowed to vote, I thought my voice would be heard.  I quickly realized that there was no truth in that and for most of my life have not had the ability to vote for a great candidate for president.  Instead I have voted for the person who I hoped would do less damage.

Somewhere in the last few years it seems to no longer be possible to live in the middle in this country.  I guess it started under G.W and has gotten significantly worse.  We can no longer even have conversations without someone getting offended.  Name calling, finger-pointing and accusations are common place.  It is us and against them yet in the end we are all them.

The Sandy Hook tragedy should have been a time for us to pause, even come together as a nation.  Instead our political leaders and the financial powers are both using it as a back drop to drive an agenda.  Most people in this country agree that there should be changes to our gun laws.  Most people if treated like adults would be able to have a real conversation about it.  Instead we have ranting, raving and executive action.

I remember when I used to work and had to achieve a goal.  I would often get so frustrated trying to get the General Managers of the stores to buy into what I wanted to achieve, they did not work for me.  I would continually be told that leadership was using my influence to get them to partner with me to achieve the goal.  I did not always get everything I wanted, nor did they and many of the conversations were heated,  but we would always get something done.  I could not bang my fist and say tough this is the way it is.

We have a constitution in this country.  We have three branches of government.  We have elections every two years for the house, four years for the President and 6 for the Senate.  We who vote expect those who we vote for to work together.  If they do not we can vote them out.  We can allow our voices to be heard.  Our government was set up intentionally to move slowly.

Watching television today made me sad.  I saw the man who is supposed to be the most powerful leader of the free world give a campaign speech.  People applauding, children on stage, tweets and letters being used as prop.  Name calling and power over reach.  The NRA “declared war” and the media is gushing over The President.  I heard nothing about our violent culture, or the “honey Boo Boo” culture of our society.  Nothing about hollywood and our blood lust in movies.  Nothing about the number of children living in single parent households.

See, if we actually want to do something we need to really do something.  Passing a law just to ride the press wave helps no one!

I fully agree with background checks, real reform in mental health care and many other things. I believe our culture is too violent.  I do not let my girls play with guns.  I do not let them play violent games.  I do not let them watch anything rated higher than PG. I worry everyday about my girls.  This world scares the hell out of me!  But with that said, trashing our constitution scares me even more.  Where have the leaders gone?  I remember When Bush pushed through the Patriot act thinking it was wrong.  We all wanted to “feel” safe.

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin

We have a group of people who by the actions of our leadership can not, will not and just may not even be able to work together at this point to achieve anything. That does not mean that the president gets to circumvent the process.  The big boys get paid very well.  The begged for the jobs.  It would be nice to see them start doing them.

If you read this through to the end, thank you.  This is my opinion and I fully support a free society to be able to respectfully express opinions.


Can’t believe it has been 11 years

I remember as a child anytime someone would speak of President Kennedy they would always add that they remembered where they were and what they were doing when he was assassinated.  As a young person, those statements had no real meaning.

September 11, 2001 brought meaning to those words.  I was at the Best Buy in  Albany NY.  My Operations partner Sara and I had flown in Sunday morning for the physical Inventory Sunday night.  We woke up early Monday morning and headed to the store to help begin the reconciliation process.    I had been in the warehouse unaware of anything happening until I walked into the employee break room where I found a few employees watching television. They told me that there had been an accident and a plane had hit the World Trade Center tower.  As I stood there, the second plane hit.  I still recall the chill I felt, the shock, the looks we shared because we all knew that this had been no accident.

The next few hours become more blurred.  Employees who had family member in NY city.  Changing all of the televisions to live news and setting up chairs for customers to sit. My mother finally getting a hold of me, in tears.  I remember telling her I was sorry I had not called but I was not in NYC.

We were due to fly home later in the day which of course could not happen since air travel was shut down.  We ended up in a dumpy motel in a not so nice nearby city.  We shared a room and took shifts throughout the night watching the television hoping survivors would be found.  This was not intentional it kind of just happened. The next morning we drove our rental car home.  Driving into the silent airport is another feeling I will never forget.

We would like to pound our chest and say that the cowards who attacked civilians going to work did not change us, but that is not true.  We have cameras on every corners watching our every move.  We are molested while trying to board an airplane.  We hand over our personal belongings for search as we enter any large public venue.

Interviews are done with people who always say similar things about they do not mind a little inconvenience if it makes them safer.  But is it any safer really?  As people were taking off their shoes in the Philly airport in March, a drunk out of control man drove his car right through security fences onto the runway of the airport.  Last week the current boyfriend of a woman mad about the actions of an ex called in a fake bomb threat to a plane the ex was on.  The plane full of people  traveling to Texas had to be turned around and searched.  Millions of dollars spent on cameras that no one watches or do not work.  A study done over the summer showed half of the cameras in a Philadelphia  did not function properly.

The buildings at ground zero are still not completed due to labor and political issues and the museum still not open due to political and religious disagreement .  And we still refer to it as “Ground Zero”.

“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”  Benjamin Franklin