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Saturday, October 8, 2011

A Saturday Reflection


It’s an understatement to say that we have a big communication gap because a lot of us have not walked in someone else's shoes. We take it for granted that our view is shared by the majority. I grew up in a low middle-class family because my stepfather was fortunate enough to work at Foster Air Force base and later at another federal job. Oh my gosh a federal job but he also served in WWII, another federal job. I was also blessed with good luck to live in an era where layoffs were uncommon and jobs were plentiful. My laboring days are over, so I can't relate to the working middle class any more. I have an idea of what they're going through, but that's it.

I was surprised by to hear my fellow retirees were getting out of the stock market because they could not stand the volatility. This was one breakfast where I mostly listened with sadness because some of my old buddies are struggling with their health and medication. A couple of them were with Bank of America, but the $5.00 fees for debit cards angered them, so they're moving their money to another bank. Tuesday's breakfast was a wakeup call; I may be in their shoes one day. A friend of mine lost his wife four years ago, but he always speaks fondly of her, as if she was still alive until he realizes, she's not, then he invariably ends his story teary eyed. I know that I always say I won't go to another one of these gatherings, but when an old friend calls, I change my mind.

After six years on the forum, I'm still convinced that we are not mature enough to talk about the confederate flag flying over government buildings, affirmative action, unemployment, or anything having to do with race or religion. The analogies don't even make sense because they are not carefully thought out. Most of the comments are meant to be taken to the water's edge, with a warning to the monitors, not to delete. Even if the poster's comments get deleted; that poster gets satisfaction because he/she got to see his vile comments at the VA, even if it was for a short time.. If someone laughs or offers support of the stupid comment, it makes it that much better. I've been around a few years, but I've never seen people act like that in person. That's too bad because I've always wanted to get into discussions that don't have to be controversial, but normally are. Their responses read like something that a 12-year old would post. For instance, what's a cup cake sale to demonstrate against the unfairness of affirmative action, have to do with NBA stars? What's the difference between getting preferential treatment because your parents attended the university, and affirmative action? In the first place, it's not white people against minorities because minorities did not protest in favor of affirmative action. It was white lawmakers who came up with the idea. I don't like anyone standing up for white people or minorities because there are white people who agree with affirmative action but may think it's time to take another look at it, and they are minorities that believe we don't need it at all. Then there are the unofficial spokesmen for the white race, who apparently don't know that over 125, ethnicities make up that group, so which group is he representing? I don't know why a social experiment such as affirmative action can't be discussed on its merits without people feeling that they are somehow discriminated against. Instead of a cupcake demonstration, the drama team should've taken this up as an issue, and then they could have published the results. I've seen a couple of debates where I was overwhelmed with the civility, information, and protocol in discussing the important issues of our day. I may be getting too old because I think we have a lot of 12-year old mentalities in our forum where " oh yeah, and you are another one" will get more attention than a civil debate.

I've never been for a culture of dependency, but I know it exists. I don't make excuses for it, but I ignore those that want to use it for a wedge issue. I've always asked myself if I would ever take public assistance. It's something we all discussed at work, yes it's easy to say we wouldn't, but I would like to think that I wouldn't let my pride be the reason my children went to bed hungry. It's easy to preach, when the likelihood of ever needing public assistance is almost nil. I certainly wouldn't brag about it or judge those unfortunate enough to need assistance. We always get that well scripted answer, of “I don't mind caring for the needy but most of the unemployed doesn't want to work." Most us don't mind caring for the needy, but some of us don't think a majority of the unemployed is shiftless and lazy. Therein lies the difference.

It's getting to be a habit for me to let out all my frustration that I accumulated during the week by writing a Saturday blog. It's pretty good therapy, and I don't have to post my frustration at the VA where it probably be much misunderstood, but it doesn't really matter because all they'll do is look at a couple of words that I posted and fire back the usual schoolyard garbage. The forum does give me a lot of good ideas on how I can explain my side without confronting people that just want to fight. Can I go toe -to- toe with the trolls, absolutely, doesn't take much brain power to fire back an insult. I've done that, but it's not satisfying besides after a while a person like that will be stereotyped as a troll....This way I can ignore the troll bait and someday I might not have a need for a Saturday vent blog.

I do have to give credit to Rebecca because I stole her idea of having a blog to vent. You take that, and words of inspirations from on- line friends just to get through a week of posting at the VA. One day it will get better because the 12 year old mentality will grow up and realize, a difference of opinion ,is just that.


Rebecca said...

I don't know if we should be insulting 12-year-olds like that. =P

But, yeah, I agree! I enjoy the posters who have something to add to the conversation and I just have to ignore the input of those who are angry at an invisible stereo-type. Do they think that those people who are abusing the system frequent the vicad comment section and will be shamed in to changing their ways? What a waste.

I was bothered at how Born was treated.

Mike said...

That's a good point, Born can take care of herself but they tried to make he be something she's not.I tried to say that but I was ignored...I think they saw blood in the water.

Good question I doubt that they have a computer and if they do the ViCad comment is the last section they would read.

Edith Ann said...


Let’s talk about the folks on the Victoria Advocate forum. It is getting very tiresome to try to discuss—keyword: DISCUSS—anything! One of the best things about the forum a couple of years ago was that we could have the discussion you and I aspire to. Those posters are long gone, though, and I don’t know if they will be back for the election. I have no desire to trade two words with the majority of the pseudo-religious right on the forum. *Notice how they can no longer claim the moniker of Moral Majority?* Anyway—

As to the cupcake event—have the local republican Einsteins caught on to the fact THEY are chowing down on a young republican group? All their rhetoric would be expected if the story was about the Young Democrats Club’s bake sale. But it isn’t.

We need some folks who are interested in actual debate and discussion. One could only hope…

Good comment Rebecca. I really have a problem with their perpetuating the lie that all folks who receive benefits abuse the system. And that is all they want to discuss there. They are not willing to acknowledge that it was under Perry! that the budgets for staff for these agencies has been slashed time and time again. The opportunity for fraud has never been greater--everything is done, pretty much, by phone.

Anyway, they are still giving me heartburn. I just have to keep reminding myself it is 3 or 4 real dumbasses on the VA that are the problem.

Mike said...

It's hard making a point but when I do, it's quite rewarding because it's so rare. I'm glad I got through when mathguy thanked me and told me he learned something, that's a first in six years. It's not really that I want to win an argument; all I want is a rational discussion because winning is subjective.

Anyone can post a one- sided hypothetical or a personal observation that has relevance but is it representative? That's all I'm asking for.

I may not be the sharpest tack in the box but I can't believe an adult would write a letter to the editor attached with his name, that has not been properly vetted. I don't mean a questionable personal opinion, I mean erroneous historical facts. We all make mistakes now and then but it gets tiresome when people don't have knowledge theirs.

Some posters don't know that I'm not the reason they're getting deleted; it's that they are breaking the forum rules. I didn't answer the poster who made all this posts about me hating republicans and conservatives. I've shown proof of not being hateful ,to a that particular person before,but he just ignored it. He wears the conservative republican brand on his sleeve and doesn't like if someone posts a cartoon or negative comment toward the party. It's not one of those vice versa things because in his mind liberals and democrats need to be admonished. He actually thinks he's a fair minded, all American conservative republican. One time ( a long time ago) I told him that he should go buy a mirror or at least go back and read his posts and blogs.

Edith Ann said...

Don't take this personally, but why would you expect the good folks of Victoria County and the surround area to check their facts and make sure theya re accurate before they fire off a letter to the editor? The national 'leaders' don't do it, why would the locals think they have to? I'm just asking.

Remember what side it's coming from. Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry and others are all over the airwaves making speeches to the masses with all sorts of inaccurate facts. I think they call it mis-statements. I think Herman Cain calls is a disagreeance.

It an entitlement. They do it becasue they can. What did that button say that I sent you? Something about lies? That's what you see on the forum.

Yeah, seeing the light bulb come on for some folks is gratifying!

Mike said...

Self respect is the reason we research something before letting the whole county know we are a dunce....We know some of them and thought more of their intellect before they wrote the letter.

Politicians are trying to win votes with half truths or ear tickling,

You are right they are following their leaders.

Edith Ann said...

Folks like you, Rebecca, Legion Spotter, Bighorn--y'all like to get your information correct. I am constantly checking stuff, but I still goof. We all goof at times. The difference is, we'll own our goofs and continue the discussion.

The others just lob grenades and either run to the next topic or stand there and foolishly insist they are correct despite evidence to the contrary.

I often wonder if it is a matter of not wanting to look like a fool. You know, like when you forward emails that are bogus, and you get busted on them. I'd like to think no one LIKES to look like a fool. To own their goofs would be admitting, "I was too stupid to realize this was bogus..." maybe?

Whateve--they are not going away!

Mike said...


By the time stamp on your blog, when do you ever get any sleep? You're up late and up early...:-)

My answer to your question..Ron Paul and his supporters are non- interventionist both in the economy and foreign affairs. The war in Libya was questionable but I think the president ended up making the right decision by erroring(if he did) on the side of humanity. He did not want to see the troops of Omar Qaddafi slaughter hundreds of thousands of his own people. We had the backing of the Arabs states and the U.N. and several Allies. We eventually ousted a ruthless dictator but we haven't found him yet. To be honest, that has a similar ring of invading a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 but we didn't commit any ground troops, a lot of money, and we were in the area anyway. I think the jury's is still out.You are right we have bases around the world for our own strategic benefit but some are not; an argument could be made to close them.

I've argued with conservatives about taking care of the poor, every one of them said that it should be left to the church, nonprofits, and individuals.I'm all for that.I then asked the obvious question of what if they didn't and showed them where charitable contributions have been on a downward slide for years. I also told them that healthcare is much more expensive now and the likelihood of a person who just had a heart attack, taking a $30,000 bill to his church. It is likely to be met with, "we'll have a bake sale and barbecue "-but that will only take care a small part of the bill. They then say "that's why we have Medicaid. "Duh! ...... That's my point, they no longer want to think for themselves; all these years no one has made EPA the bogeyman; ask any republican what they think of the EPA today. Every republican will automatically condemn those that are marching against Wall Street because Fox News says they are bad and have blown isolated incidents out of proportion, such as urinating in a police car. If that story is true or not, do they really think it's representative of the thousands of people protesting? Where did the clear thinking, researched republican of old, go?

Mike said...

That's an interesting take on the bogus chain emails; I remember several times when we called out a couple posters for posting them. Kenneth eventually took down his blog because one of his cohorts admitted that the story he posted was bogus. Old Rusty Bucket was caught posting several bogus emails but now he just puts out a disclaimer saying " I didn't vet this but just saying, what if it's true.".. I think everyone's aware that bogus chain emails will be checked out, so it's no longer a problem. But now they go back to personal observations that can't really be verified.

I have been questioned several times but when I reply with a link; the questioner disappears for day or two. They could come back and say well that's another way of looking at it but I still contend in the end I will be proven right but they don't even do that. In essence, what they do is call me a liar and if I allowed it to stand, others that don't know me would believe them.A debate is an exchange of ideas, not necessarily picking winners and losers. There are pros and cons to about every issue and sometimes that pro today will be a con tomorrow.

Mike said...


It's funny you should mention Legion357...We both realize that we don't see eye to eye on everything but the beauty of it is,I know that rascal has done his homework before he even posted. Even if he didn't,he has that planted in my mind because he has earned his reputation of not shooting from the hip.

Edith Ann said...

Legion, Rebecca, Mary Ann...
there are many who do their homework, and understand debate and discussion as well as understanding we won't always agree. I would hate to think I HAD to dislike every person I disagreed with! I eventually wouldn't like anyone!

It is not about winners and losers--I agree.

Sleep? Sleep is for losers and weinies! The rain woke me this morning. 8^) I'm surprised you are finding time for sleep, being the Oracle of Victoria and all. And you know that trumps the pontification award, don't you? Congrats!

Mike said...

Rebecca and maryann are in a class all their own...IMO

I can't remember ever arguing with Rebecca, normally she just calms me down with a funny quip..... She is passionate about technology and education; I usually look to her views as new ideas.She is a conservative but not an ideologue... She does love her freedom.

maryann is an honest person but I won't get into a religious argument( we are in the same religion) with her (she'll destroy me)but we give and take on politics, knowing that she is a social conservative and she knows I'm a liberal democrat... We except that...that's unusual.

Why are you calling me the Oracle of Victoria?... I've always said that I'm just a lowly poster without any special skills? I don't get it.

Kyle said...

Mike - Rollinstone gave you that moniker in a blog post of his

Mike said...

Thanks Kyle

How have you been?

I've missed you putting the trolls in their place, but I'm sure you have a lot of better things to do these days. I guess you're keeping your powder dry...:-)

Have a good one

Mike said...

Sorry EA

I haven't checked the VA forum but I would have missed rollingstone's blog because I don't read it. The only reason I read the last one was because I was following your post. Let me guess, it's the same old bla bla bla, socialist, liberal,with endless snarky comments. I bet as soon as the old right wing crowd wakes up,they will be signing in with " great post,I agree wholeheartedly,bla bla bla, the most horrible president we've ever had."...

Darn, I've been very unpopular this week with Victoria's

I've been accused of being a meanie to republicans and conservatives. I've also been accused of lying, pilfering cartoons, getting preferential treatment from the local newspaper, and now I assume I'm accused of being a know- it- all.

It's only fitting that I should quote of my favorite president's;FDR.

"Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me — and I welcome their hatred."

My version with a twist: Never before since I've been in the forum have forces been so united against one lonely poster as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me — and I welcome their hatred...:-)

Edith Ann said...

Yeah, same ol' blah, blah, blah. Actually, it's falling kind of flat. Besides Kyle and Pat Barnes, rollinstone is the only other comment. His left hip, Getsmart, must be in the 'down' cycle of his bipolarness--he was on that commenting and blogging frenzy, but hasn't posted a thing in 2 or 3 days.

I am always amused when someone goes to so much trouble to single you out to tell you that you are insignificant! Sometimes I have to remind myself who the crazies are...

Mike said...

I don't usually post on the weekends but I didn't realize how fun it could be.Cowboys are in their bye week or else I wouldn't have posted this much.

I got on the computer this morning to edit some video that I shot of my grandsons game Friday night. I was pleasantly surprised that EA had submitted a new blog realizing that she has been busy lately. I looked at my comments and it took off from there. Its already 12:30 but I haven't checked in at the VA yet. I thought it would be dead like it was yesterday.

I think the awards were a wash EA,faux is faux no matter what the packaging looks like.

We didn't mention Kyle,now talk about someone in a different league...This is how they used to describe Darrell Royal and I apply it to Kyle.."He can take his'n & beat you'rn, or take you'rn & beat his'n...

Edith Ann said...

Absoluutely on Kyle! He is a master! Wit and humor and funny all the time!

Rebecca said...

Yeah, Kyle made me addicted to vicad. =P

Mike, I don't argue with you because I see you as a person, and I respect you. I have also watched myself come from a very religious-fundamental conservative position and I really don't trust me when I think I know all of the answers. When I'm sure I know it all, I've learned that that's when I really don't.

I think I'm more liberal now, though I am very conservative about some things.

Respecting FREEDOM makes you liberal, if you think about it.

Rebecca said...

Maybe I learned more from you than I could find to argue about.

Mike said...

Well thank you Rebecca.

I know I don't know all the answers but all I'm shooting for is 80%;I can live being wrong 20% of the time on me know when I'm wrong or could be wrong,so I can maintain my average...:-)

I don't think many of us are ideologues we move with the issues but we keep our core principals. ...Sometimes I can honestly say I don't what the ideologues are talking about but I've always had trouble with fundamentalist. 

Mike said...

If I see a person in need of food, what if I walk up to another person and, through threats, intimidation and coercion, take his money and give it to the needy person? I believe and hope that most Americans would see such an act as theft. Would the conclusion differ if we collectively agreed to take one person's money to feed the needy person? It'd still be theft. Immoral acts such as theft, rape and murder don't become moral when done collectively through a majority decision." -- Walter Williams

That's the mindset of someone that does not want to pay his fair share taxes or pay mind to his Christian beliefs of taking care of the poor. They use hyperbole to persuade others to do the same. That's the only way their conscience can remain somewhat clear... They pray to their philosophy of " I've got mine." ... What kind of person listens to this wing nut?