Politics

Its  no secret that I’m on the left end of the political spectrum.  I’m also a realist though.

One of the reasons I voted for Bernie in the primary was because I believe if you shoot for the left, and politics working like it is supposed, what you’ll actually get at the end of the day is something just left of the center, which is progress.

I believe if you follow the trends you’ll see where future and current policy should lay.  Trend data shows increased support for background checks for all guns, increasing acceptance of LGTB rights – including the right to marriage, and that abortion is a right and should continue to be legal.

I struggle to understand people who support a candidate without an understanding of their proposed policies, persona, and holding them to their words and actions.  I’m not saying a candidate can’t change, but I am saying you should know the issues of all of the candidates out there before voting.

I probably am more of a political news junkie than most.  Probably more of a news junkie in general than most.  My most visited sites are CNN, Politico, MSNBC and FoxNews (and yes some comic book and tech news sites).

I just don’t know how any well educated and well read person can support Trump.  I listen to his campaign rallies, read news reports on his speeches and press conferences, and in general am pretty well informed.  I watched as he said Megyn Kelly had “Blood coming out of her wherever“, and I watched as she brought up his comments about her in a one-on-one interview a few months later.  He didn’t apologize about those comments – he said “excuse me” and smiled. 

Just yesterday he started his campaign rally by insulting a fire marshal.  Trump said “the reason they won’t let them in is because they don’t know what the hell they are doing.” The fire marshal he insulted was  named Civilian of the Year last year for his actions at a shooting at planned parenthood.  Trump said it wasn’t his own fault the just showed up.  That apparently the occupancy capacity at a site his campaign choose and signed a contract for was indicative of what is wrong with the American government. He didn’t mention that his campaign signed a contract and knew the occupancy rate, or that they gave out 10,000 tickets for a 1,500 seat auditorium.

Stuff like that blows my mind.  At his press conference on July 27th he said his policies and proposals for education, security, immigration and more were all “3 to 4 weeks away”.  He’s been running for the presidency for over a year now and he is just starting to flesh these out?  His comments about Russia and Clinton’s e-mails were appalling.  Of course his pundits are right.  He didn’t come right out and say “Russia hack a US citizen’s e-mails,” he just said if you “can find her e-mails” you’ll be “rewarded by the press.”  Again, letting a foreign power know that if you hack us, it’s ok because you’ll be rewarded.  And again, I have to admit the next day he said he was being sarcastic, but I watched his press conference live and there was no sarcasm there when he said it.

Building a wall between the US and Mexico is ridiculous.  Not because it can’t be done, but for how insane of a price tag it would have and how long it would take.  Its not something Trump could do during his presidency.  And to continue to say he would make Mexico pay for it is just ludicrous.   How.  If you have a plan come out and say how.

His immigration views.  Lets hold a whole religion culpable for the extremist who claim to be part of that religion.  If that’s the case I would like to do the same with Christianity whenever someone says god made them do it.  Or whenever a christian attacks an abortion clinic.  But again, Trump now says he would stop immigration from countries that are in conflict instead.  So no more political asylum or refugees from countries in conflict.  He says we need a tougher immigration policies for refugees, we already have a crazy long process for refugees that is incredible successful by any record.  Refugees are first vetted by the UN before being vetted by 9 different agencies who then meet to compare their findings.  The whole process takes 18 – 24 months!  Only 50% of people who are referred by the UN are admitted and even than 2% are “single males of combat age.”   (taken from TIME magazine)

His business record is not great. I mean better than  mine because I don’t have a business record.  He has a lot of failures and yes some successes. He has assaulted at least one of his wives.  He has several rape allegations against him including an ongoing on. He can’t seem to continually tell the truth.  His Politifact rating has him at 4% True.  4%!!!  70% of his facts fall under Mostly False or worse. I get it though, every campaign will have statements that turn out not to be true, but he flat out lies on the campaign trail.  A lot.  Clinton on the other hand has 23% True rating and 28% of her statements fall under Mostly False or worse.

One of the comments I’ve heard from people and read/hear/seen on the news is that his supporters say he says what others are thinking.  I just wonder if that includes the things that are flat out not true, the sexist or racist comments or how he judges a whole group of people by a small percentage of their population.

Look, I get why people are hesitant on Hillary Clinton.  I get everything that is said about her.  Her  comments over e-mails that don’t line up (even though the FBI director himself said there was nothing to prosecute her over) and Benghazi (even though a Republican Congress found her not at fault and spent more time investigating the incident than Congress did 9/11, JFK, Watergate or other big events). Maybe you don’t like her time as Secretary of State (even though at the time she had high ratings).  Maybe her other ‘scandals’ are keeping you away.  I get it.  But if the Clinton’s are beholden to their past, then Trump should be too.  If Clinton’s words are used against her, Trump’s should be too.  It’d be hypocrisy to not hold that line.  I’m not saying you have to vote for her, I’m not even sure I’m going to vote for her. But knowing the facts is important.

There are other options out there.  Jill Stein with the Green Party.  Gary Johnson with the Libertarian Party.  And don’t think those options are throwing away  of your vote.  Third party candidates sway the election, and sway future policies of candidates.  The Libertarian Party is just a few percentage points away from being included in all presidential debates.

Or you could write in a candidate.

But Trump.  Why.  Defend your choice with facts and reason. Weigh pros and cons.  And then accept your choice.

Or accept that you are making an uninformed choice.

22 Year Old AJ vs 37 Year Old AJ

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So this morning I got up, dressed, brushed my teeth, fed the cats, did some dishes, made coffee, made my lunch, watered the plants and still had some time to sit on the back porch and drink coffee before work.  Back porch time includes this post.  It feels good.

 

Last year Pat and I talked about how our visits now have to be purposeful, as we’ve outgrown the “Let’s just get together and do stuff,” of our 20’s.  Thinking about that I came up with a plan.  The new plan / aspiration – bike from Cleveland to Buffalo over the course of a weekend.  Pat can ship his bike from Portland, Maine to here.  We can then split the 200 mile ride over two days – spending the night in Erie Pennsylvania on the way out since it is almost exactly the half-way point.

However during the conversation 22 Year Old AJ combated 37 Year Old AJ.  37 year old AJ is ready to go.  However much it would suck, it’d also be fun.  When 37 Year Old Pat raised concerned that he’s not sure he’s ready for a one day 100 mile ride, much less two 100 mile days in a row. 37 Year Old AJ commiserated, I mean after all my legs are sore after biking 150 miles over one week.  But in my mind biking 100 miles in one day would be something that I go at a much more reserved pace than when I’m just out biking 20 – 30 miles.  But 37 year old Pat has valid concerns and 37 Year Old AJ understood them.

Now in the back of my mind, 22 Year Old AJ was hurling insults of all sorts towards Pat to goad him into riding.  After all, it was 28 Year Old Pat’s insults that ultimately led to me shattering my collar bone when I initially was hesitant about doing something and let him goad me into it.

When I told Pat what 22 Year Old AJ was shouting, he said 22 Year Old Pat was right there in the back of his mind as well.  22 Year Old Pat was ready to make this both a race, drinking competition and put some money aside for a bet on who would do better on this trip.  Yeah….22 Year Old AJ had all those ideas too.

We haven’t thrown out this idea completely, but 37 Year Old Pat and AJ apparently need to evaluate their lives a little more before actually embarking on something like this.

Bike to Work

I got up and biked to work this morning.  It was gorgeous mid-60’s and clear. 

It is after all National Bike to Work Day.

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I was keeping all the hope alive that it wouldn’t rain until later this evening, like predicted and that I could make it home ahead the blustery ‘damaging winds’ and thunderstorms that aren’t supposed to start til after 5:30pm.

Of course instead it started raining within minutes of my arrival.  Now the best I can hope for is a break this afternoon where I can bike home.  Otherwise I may look into catching a ride home.