Tag Archives: Politics

Can’t we do better?

Surely you remember the time when we expected a lot more than usual from those we elect to represent our interests in, say, Congress.

I certainly do remember.

Today, we can scan the political horizon and find any number of nimrods, dipsh**s, fruitcakes and borderline psychos serving a the highest levels of government.

Since the Republican Party supposedly is on the ascent, I feel compelled to single out just a few GOP officeholders to make my point.

Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida is being investigated for having sex with underage girls; Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia says the Constitution doesn’t really separate church and state; Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado has declared that this is a Christian nation; closer to home, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has been under felony indictment on securities fraud charges and is favored to win re-election to a third term as the state’s top law enforcement officer.

I just have to mention, if only briefly, that we elected a president of the United States who admits to sexually assaulting women, who says he’s never sought forgiveness for mistakes he has made, who has admitted to cheating on all three women he has married, who once said he “could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and never lose any voters.”

Politics is supposed to be a noble profession. These days it is being practiced by run-of-the-mill nut jobs.

Scary, man.


Political frenzy is upon us

We have entered into a type of season with which I will need to familiarize myself. I want to call the Season of Political Frenzy.

It seems like only yesterday that the 2020 presidential campaign ended. Joe Biden won the presidency over Donald J. Trump. Except that Trump didn’t concede, didn’t acknowledge publicly that Biden is the new president, didn’t offer any support for a “peaceful transition.”

It’s now two years later. The midterm election is upon us. Republicans have stars in their eyes about taking over control of the Senate and the House. The campaign is ramping up rapidly.

The midterm campaign isn’t even over and already the speculation is beginning to overtake many of us over whether President Biden will bow out, whether Donald Trump will make yet another run for the highest office in the land, who among Democrats might want to succeed Biden and who among Republicans might want to become the “anti-Trump” within the GOP.

I enjoy politics. I take a great interest in following the ebb and flow of the political tide. I have my favorite candidates and my preferred stance on the issues of the day.

The frenetic nature of the coverage, though, seems to be worsening with each election cycle.

Truth is, I want a return to boring politics.


Politics outshines politicians

I long have believed that politics is a noble profession, in that it is designed to serve the public, to do the public’s bidding. We pay for public policy decisions with our money, so those who enact that policy are doing noble work.

Except for this reality.

Politicians too often do not stand up under the standard set by their chosen profession.

I read in the Washington Post, for example, that U.S. senators say that a deal is within reach that would seek to curb gun violence in this country. However, what emerges from the Senate conference rooms will not contain all of the things on President Biden’s wish list. Therein lies the meaning of what I am suggesting.

The president — a lifelong politician, to be sure — has implored Congress to “do something” in the wake of the Uvalde school slaughter of those 19 precious children and two of their teachers. “Enough is enough,” he said the other evening.

Politicians heard him. Some of them ignored his plea because they are too beholden to the money that pours in from those who oppose any legislative remedy to the senseless slaughter. Others applaud the president.

What happens now? Some senators are huddling to find what they will call a solution. It won’t live up to the billing. Yet the politicians who cobble together this alleged remedy will praise themselves for their “bipartisanship.”

Pols do this every couple of years when the latest continuing budget resolution runs out. They take the nation to the brink of fiscal calamity, only to craft another continuing resolution. Oh, and then they slap themselves on the back and tell us all how great they are. They make me sick.

What will it take for politicians to live up to the standard set by the craft they pursue? Just stop playing games … especially now when lives are at stake!


Don’t politicize pandemic!

Never would I have imagined that a worldwide medical crisis would produce the kind of political division in the world’s most prosperous nation that we have seen erupt in the United States of America.

Did you see the video of that woman in Virginia threaten her local school board if it requires children to wear masks in school? She said she would scarf up any firearm she could find and … do something with them, presumably to harm other human beings. Why? Because they might order students to wear masks to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

It’s happening everywhere, man! Blue states and red states have become battlegrounds among Americans who are fighting with each other — and threatening public officials — because of masks, vaccines, social distancing.

Good grief! What in the world has happened to us?

I am just one American patriot, so I can speak only for my little ol’ self. If the government tells me I have to do something, like wear a fu**ing mask to prevent the spread of potentially fatal virus spores, then I am going to follow the government’s lead.

I served in the Army for a time more than 50 years ago and was told then I had to follow “lawful orders.” Failure to follow such orders would result in me being punished for insubordination. I haven’t heard an unlawful order yet coming from the feds about how we should conduct ourselves if we are dedicated to getting rid of the killer virus.

Too many of my fellow Americans have determined that these mandates are unlawful and so they have decided to disobey them. They are courting disaster and tragedy, not just for themselves but for everyone around them.

They are politicizing a quintessentially non-political issue. Our public health is way beyond the realm of cheap politics.


Wanting to shed politics

Those who know me only through my blog or from what I used to do for a living, which was write and edit opinion pieces for newspapers, seem to believe I am wedded to politics.

That I cannot live a day without talking politics with … someone, anyone.

Not true. There are days, such as today, when I want to set all that aside. So, I am going to do that very thing for the rest of the day.

I plan to spend the day with my wife, sons, our daughter-in-law and our granddaughter. We are going to yuk it up in the house and carry on without a worry in the world.

Then I suppose I’ll get back to the regular stuff in the morning. However, I won’t guarantee it. You see, I ain’t addicted to politics.



Debt or investment?

One man’s piling onto the national debt is another man’s “investment in the future.”

So it goes with the debate over Build Back Better, which is President Biden’s domestic spending initiative that is hung up in wrangling between congressional Democrats and Republicans and, yes, even between factions within the Democratic Party.

Whether it’s a $3.5 trillion spending package over 10 years or a $1.5 trillion package, it’s a lot of money.

What is so damn troubling, though, is that the GOP caucus is now worried about the national debt. It wasn’t worried one little bit about it when Donald Trump pitched an idea about cutting taxes for rich people, depriving the government of revenue it could “invest” in programs to help the rest of us. Now, though, it is all hung up on the debt and the cost of the infrastructure package that Biden and some within the Democratic caucus want.

Yeah, I know. It’s politics. That’s a family member of mine’s favorite rejoinder. It’s his fallback position when he can’t find any justification for the nonsense being bandied about.

It still stinks, man.


Politics of the pandemic?

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Whoever thought in a million years that an international medical emergency could devolve into a partisan dispute among leaders of the world’s most indispensable nation?

If you could foresee such a thing happening, then you are the smartest human being to ever walk this good Earth.

A pandemic erupted in late 2019. It spread around the world through that winter and into the spring of 2020. The U.S. president at the time downplayed the threat to human beings. Some of us believed his public dismissal. Others of us didn’t.

It has gotten only worse since that time.

We now argue over whether we should wear surgical masks to prevent being infected by the COVID-19 coronavirus. Politicians tell local authorities they cannot do things above what they declare to protect their constituents. Learned medical doctors and scientists are called “idiots” and “losers” by a former president.

We end up arguing along partisan lines over whether masks do the job. Republicans say “no.” Democrats say “yes.”

Oh, meanwhile, the disease keeps sickening and killing us. The U.S. death count is 600,000-plus. Are we worried? If not, we damn well should be.

The politics of the pandemic is beyond annoying. It is disgraceful that we would tolerate any short-shrift given to this disease by those — namely on the right and the far right — who dismiss it all as some sort of conspiracy.

We also have the vaccines.

Read my lips: The vaccines work! They are effective. They also are safe. Yet we hear from the goofballs on the far right — namely the QAnon cabal — about human beings turning into chimps because they get the vaccine.

What the … ? The only individuals who buy into that nonsense are the chumps among us who swill the Kool-Aid being offered by certifiable nut jobs.

We need to pull together to rid the world of the pandemic. The scientists know of what they speak. The politicians among us — starting with the immediate past president of the U.S. of A. — are know-nothing clowns.

We have an international medical crisis on our hands. The politics can be set aside for a day when we defeat the pandemic.

The non-pol sounds like a … pol!

It occurred to me a while ago, but I haven’t said so until right now, but the guy who campaigned for president of the United States as a non-politician is sounding like an actual politician … only he is so bad at playing the role of pol.

Donald Trump cannot resist the temptation to politicize everything, and that includes a pandemic that is infecting and killing thousands of Americans every day.

Now he says that Democratic-run states asking for federal help are doing harm to Republicans because those Democratic states have been “mismanaged for a long time.” Translation: They don’t deserve the help they are seeking from the feds.

What a cheap, petulant, petty and disgraceful point of view!

Donald Trump continues to exhibit his fundamental failure as a leader of a nation in the throes of a serious medical crisis.

The economy has tanked. We are entering Depression-era jobless reports. Businesses are declaring bankruptcy. And, yes, Americans are suffering grievously at almost every level imaginable.

Throughout all of this, Donald Trump speaks in terms of political outcomes and whether his own re-election campaign will rise or fall.

Yep, this is the non-pol who won election to the only public office he ever sought. He tried to sell us on the ruse that he was a self-made man, that he built this gigantic business empire all by his own self and that he would bring that expertise to the White House.

It turns out that was a lie. Imagine that.

He is now turning the blame machine on others. He failed to respond to repeated national security warnings about a pandemic. The dithered and dawdled. He looked the other way. Trump didn’t cause the pandemic and I won’t lay blame there.

However, he damn sure did accelerate the suffering by his non-response early on. Meanwhile, those “Democrat-run states” took proactive measures all on their own. They need the help from the federal government because — and this is the stark reality that Trump doesn’t understand — we’re all part of the same great nation.

Meanwhile, the non-politician plays politics.


Listen up! No politics in church!

I have sought to follow a time-honored credo, which is that I don’t discuss politics or my work while I am in church.

My response usually goes like this when someone would challenge something I wrote in the newspaper where I worked at the time: I came here to talk to God, not to you … about my work; call me in the morning, then we’ll chat.

We have relocated in the past year to a lovely community in Collin County, Texas. We have found a new church where we like to worship each Sunday. It’s a small congregation, but it fulfills our need. Everyone is welcoming, warm, hospitable and the place is full of love.

However … we have run into individuals who like to talk politics with us, or I presume just about anyone who’ll listen. It wouldn’t surprise you to learn that the congregation is a pretty conservative bunch, which is all right with me. That’s their call. I adhere to, um, a different point of view.

Thus, when one of our new friends decides to engage us in a political discussion, I am inclined to nudge them away. I change the subject. I haven’t yet offered up my longstanding retort. Hey, I don’t know them well enough yet. Perhaps over time, they’ll get the hint and I won’t need to drop the verbal hammer on ’em.

If not, I am ready to put them into what I perceive to be their place.

Family encounter proves it: Life is much fuller than just politics

LA CENTER, Wash. — I affirmed something I knew long before today.

We attended a birthday party at my sister’s home in Washington state. The back yard was filled with family members and friends of my sister and her husband.

All of us had a grand time.

One of the party attendees happened to be a second cousin of mine. We disagree mightily on our respective world views, not to mention our political choices. He has expressed his “love” and admiration for Donald J. Trump; I have expressed, well, something vastly different.

The affirmation dealt with how love of family and friends supersedes politics. At all times!

My second cousin is serving in the U.S. Army. He has been deployed to the Middle East to participate in our nation’s war on terror. He challenges my blog posts on occasion. Every so often I’ll respond to his criticism. He gets fired up. My cousin is an intense young man, so perhaps we all can expect his emotions at times to get the better of him.

Today, though, we set aside all those differences. We sat at the same table and talked about, oh let’s see … family matters. We talked about his family, about our family; we shared some international travel experiences. He gave us a bit of history on how Greek soldiers’ attire came to be.

What’s the lesson here? Life does not revolve solely around politics. The love of family and friends goes far deeper than any political differences any of them might experience. Indeed, I have many friends with whom I have severe disagreements — but I still love them; I hope they feel the same way toward me.

So it went today in a rural Washington back yard. We came together to enjoy some barbecue and beverages with close and extended family.

We love them all … even those with whom we disagree politically.