Thursday, June 19, 2014

Relationship: It's complicated

Recently in the news there have been at least a couple of stories in which someone is complaining and asking why all the attention on illegal immigrants from Mexico when military veterans are being ignored. It's like, only one of those can be addressed at a time and the wrong choice was made all in an effort to yet again discredit our African-American president.

Now, in 2012 the U.S, population stood at 319 million. Of those, 4.3 million were employed by the federal government. Among those, 247,113 work for the department of Veterans Affairs. Another 18,000 persons work over at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Given those numbers, isn't it just possible the federal government can do two things at once? The problem is, the critics complaining about the priorities can't see that or are ignorning it for the sake of criticism. It's either one or the other and apparently taking care of Latin American children held in a shelter in Arizona is not as important as veterans, at least to those making the noise this week. It's doubtful that's the case among all the federal employees working in the trenches.

Most likely those working with immigration are also concerned with veterans, but their job is those kids in Arizona. Likewise Veterans Affairs folks have some sympathy for the kids but their job is to straighten out the mess in their own bureaucracy and take care of veterans

But it doesn't end there. Life in general and government in particular have gotten so complex and so huge, it's difficult for one person to keep track of everything that's going on, let alone understand it all.  I mean, sure veterans' treatment is important as are those kids being detained, but what about climate change, what about gun violence, what about voter disenfranchisement, what about Benghazi? ( Ok forget Benghazi, that one's just ridiculous) But there is this new push for yet another invasion of Iraq.

Just one of the complications with another invasion.
A Facebook meme from

General Sherman's March To The Sea 
You have to wonder what good that will do.  It would be our fourth invasion into that volatile section of the world in about 20 years or so ( not counting adventures like the capture of Bin Laden) and what the hell makes the saber-rattlers think it would end differently this time. I mean those folks have been fighting each other since the 7th Century with no sign of resolution yet. There was a publication from Narcotics Anonymous in the early 80s that suggested insanity is taking the same action over and over again expecting a different result each time. It's not going to happen, just more lives lost, temporary calm and then American troops leave and it all starts up again.

See how easy it is to get sidetracked, and once you do, the thread to all the other issues fades and confusion is compounded.

The point here is that there is too much going on for a single person to comprehend, so we isolate the ones that bother us the most and work on those. In the 60s as most of us at the time were attempting to embrace the waves of social change we became overwhelmed with it almost immediately. Civil rights gave way to Vietnam protests, leading into environmental rage. Women's liberation got into the mix as well, not to mention the affairs of a criminal in the White House.

Today it's even worse, enflamed by communications made possible by the internet. There's that idiot rancher in Nevada who stands off federal officials when they want to collect money he owes for grazing his cattle on public lands. Incidentally, just in the past couple of days, one of the gun wackos who was at that standoff shot a policeman and a BLM employee. That was the second shooting by a participant since the gang gathered on the Nevada ranch. (Another sidetrack, see?)

Also, in the confusing mix are personal issues, just the necessity to provide the basics for our families, food, clothing, shelter. The result is, we can all get lost in the maze. If we applied a Facebook status to our relationship with the world we would  most likely choose: "It's complicated."

Back to that government, just because the maze is so immense that we can't comprehend it all in one sitting when mixed with all the things we really have to keep track of, that doesn't mean one job is being neglected in favor of another. All those issues can be addressed but not by the same individuals. Faced with that myriad of issues in the 60s I realized you have to choose one or two you can handle and hope someone else is choosing some of the others. 

At the government level that's why we taxpayers pay for all the advisors the president has available, just so he can remain informed across the spectrum, but he too, has to depend on bureaucrats to perform their assigned tasks. If they don't, who gets blamed? It's always Obama. Always. That's an issue in itself, another complication.

As big as it is, the federal government is very capable of fixing the problems for veterans AND working with those children in Arizona, not to mention all the other things Big Fed does, so just back off with that criticism and the complaints that one is being ignored in favor another. That isn't happening.

1 comment:

  1. Well said, Tim. I always keep in mind when voting for a president that I am also voting for a team -all the appointees and other folks he (or she) will place in critical positions, who then go on to oversee a particular sphere. The most control I feel I can get over the process is to hope a candidate shows up who will make those appointments wisely. It is why I like moderates (that nearly extinct species of politician) who can both compromise and embrace those who do. And I, at my most idealistic, want them to do it with grace, fairness, an even temper, and enough intelligence on issues to know what they don't know and appoint people who can both lead and advise well in their areas of responsibility. No guarantees but a good start... Someone whose agenda is too far to one side of an issue or another needs to be heard, of course, but when it comes to governing, their voices need to be blended with others so compromise can sift through. WHEN can we expect this to happen?


Interesting quotations

· " “Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” — Ernest Hemingway

When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth. Kurt Vonnegut

“If you wrote something for which someone sent you a cheque, if you cashed the cheque and it didn't bounce, and if you then paid the light bill with the money, I consider you talented.” Stephen King

The thing about ignornance is, you don't have to remain ignorant. — me again"

Never debate with someone who gets ink by the barrel" — George Hayes, former Alaska Attorney General who died recently

My dear Mr. Frost: two roads never diverge in a yellow wood. Three roads meet there. — @Shakespeareon Twitter

"The mark of a great shiphandler is never getting into situations that require great shiphandling," Adm. Ernest King, USN

Me: Does the restaurant have cute waitresses?

My friend Gail: All waitresses are cute when you're hungry.

I'm not a writer, but sometimes I push around words to see what happens. – Scott Berry

“The rivers of Alaska are strewn with the bones of men who made but one mistake” - Fred McGarry, a Nushagak Trapper

Many people hear voices when no one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stared at walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing. – Meg Chittenden

A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity. – Franz Kafka

We are all immortal until the one day we are not. – me again

If the muse is late, start without her – Peter S. Beagle

Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. ~Mark Twain Actually you could do the same thing with the word "really" as in "really cold."

If you are looking for an experience that will temper your vanity, this is it. There's no one to impress when you're alone on the trap line. – Michael Carey quoting his father's journal

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. – Benjamin Franklin

It’s nervous work. The state you need to write in is the state that others are paying large sums of money to get rid of. – Shirley Hazzard

So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence -- Bertrand Russell

You know that I always just wanted to have a small ship to take stuff from a place that had a lot of that stuff to a place that did not have a lot of that stuff and so prosper.—Jackie Faber, “The Wake of the Lorelei Lee”

If you attack the arguer instead of the argument, you lose both

If an insurance company won’t pay for damages caused by an “act of God,” shouldn’t it then have to prove the existence of God? – I said that

I used to think getting old was about vanity—but actually it’s about losing people you love. Getting wrinkles is trivial. – Eugene O’Neill

German General to Swiss General: “You have only 500,000 men in your army; what would you do if I invaded with 1 million men?”

Swiss General: “Well, I suppose every one of my soldiers would need to fire twice.”

Writing is the only thing that when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.—Gloria Steinem

Exceed your bandwidth—sign on the wall of the maintenance shop at the West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center

One thing I do know, if you keep at it, you usually wind up getting something done.—Patricia Monaghan

Do you want to know what kind of person makes the best reporter? I’ll tell you. A borderline sociopath. Someone smart, inquisitive, stubborn, disorganized, chaotic, and in a perpetual state of simmering rage at the failings of the world.—Brett Arends

It is a very simple mind that only knows how to spell a word one way.—Andrew Jackson

3:30 is too late or too early to do anything—Rene Descartes

Everything is okay when it’s 50-below as long as everything is okay. – an Alaskan in Tom Walker’s “The Seventymile Kid”

You can have your own opinion but you can’t have your own science.—commenter arguing on a story about polar bears and global warming

He looks at three ex wives as a good start—TV police drama

Talkeetna: A friendly little drinking town with a climbing problem.—a handmade bumper sticker

“You’re either into the wall or into the show”—Marco Andretti on giving it all to qualify last at the 2011 Indy 500

Makeup is not for the faint of heart—the makeup guerrilla

“I’m going to relax in a very adult manner.”—Danica Patrick after sweating it out and qualifying half an hour before Andretti

“Asking Congress to come back is like asking a mugger to come back because he forgot your wallet.”—a roundtable participant on Fox of all places

As Republicans go further back in the conception process to define when life actually begins, I am beginning to think the eventual definition will be life begins in the beer I was drinking when I met her.—me again

Hunting is a “critical element for the long-term conservation of wood bison.”—a state department of Fish and Game official explaining why the state would not go along with a federal plan to reintroduce wood bison in Alaska because the agreement did not specifically allow hunting

Each day do something that won’t compute – anon

I can’t belive I still have to protest this shit – a sign carriend by an elderly woman at an Occupy demonstration

Life should be a little nuts or else it’s just a bunch of Thursdays strung together—Kevin Costner as Beau Burroughs in “Rumor has it”

You’re just a wanker whipping up fear —Irish President Michael D. Higgins to a tea party radio announcer

Being president doesn’t change who you are; it reveals who you are—Michelle Obama

Things sports announcers say

"… there's a fearlessment about him …"

"He's got to have the lead if he's going to win this race."

"Kansas has always had the ability to score with the basketball."

"NFL to put computer chips in balls." Oh, that's gotta hurt.

"Now that you're in the finals you have to run the race that's going to get you on the podium."

"It's very important for both sides that they stay on their feet."

This is why you get to hate sportscasters. Kansas beats Texas for the first time since 1938. So the pundits open their segment with the question "let's talk about what went wrong." Wrong? Kansas WON a football game! That's what went RIGHT!

"I brought out the thermostat to show you how cold it is here." Points to a thermometer reading zero in Minneapolis.

"It's tough to win on the road when you turn the ball over." Oh, really? Like you can do all right if you turn the ball over playing at home?

Cliches so imbedded in sportscasters' minds they can't help themselves: "Minnesota fell from the ranks of the undefeated today." What ranks? They were the only undefeated team left.

A good one: A 5'10" player went up and caught a pass off a defensive back over six feet tall. The quote? "He's got some hops."

Best homonym of the day so far: "It's all tied. Alabama 34, Kentucky 3." Oh, Tide.

"Steve Hooker commentates on his Olympic pole vault gold medal." When "comments" just won't do.

"He's certainly capable of the top ten, maybe even higher than that."

"Atlanta is capable of doing what they're doing."

"Biyombo, one of seven kids from the Republic of Congo." In the NBA? In America? In his whole country?

"You can't come out and be aggressive but you can't come out and be unaggressive."

"They're gonna be in every game they play!"

"First you have to get two strikes on the hitter before you get the strikeout."

"The game ended in the final seconds." You have to wonder when the others ended or are they still going on?

How is a team down by one touchdown before the half "totally demoralized?"

"If they score runs they will win."

"I think the matchup is what it is"

After a play a Houston defender was on his knees, his head on the ground and his hand underneath him appeared to clutch a very sensitive part of the male anatomy. He rolled onto his back and quickly removed his hand. (Remember the old Cosby routine "you cannot touch certain parts of your body?") Finally they helped the guy to the sideline and then the replay was shown. In it the guy clearly took a hard knee between his thighs. As this was being shown, one of the announcers says, "It looks like he hurt his shoulder." The other agrees and then they both talk about how serious a shoulder injury can be. Were we watching the same game?

"Somebody is going to be the quarterback or we're going to see a new quarterback."

"If you're gonna play running back in the SEC you're gonna take hits."

"That was a playmaker making a play."

Best headlines ever

Sister hits moose on way to visit sister who hit moose.

Man loses his testicles after attempting to smoke weed through a SCUBA tank

Church Mutual Insurance won't cover Church's flood damage because it's 'an act of God'

Homicide victims rarely talk to police

Meerkat Expert Attacked Monkey Handler Over Love Affair With Llama Keeper

GOP congressman opposes gun control because gay marriage leads to bestiality

Owner of killer bear chokes to death on sex toy

Support for legalizing pot hits all-time high

Give me all your money or my penguin will explode

How zombie worms have sex in whale bones

Crocodile steals zoo worker's lawn mower

Woman shot by oven while trying to cook waffles

Nude beach blowjob jet ski fight leads to wife's death

Woman stabs husband with squirrel for not buying beer Christmas Eve