What’s Good About Turning 63?

When I reflect on my life, especially when I’m speaking with a younger person, I often refer to my own moment of magic awakening, which for me came when I was 32.  At that age, I discovering a deep romantic love and from that a child about to be born which radically changed my life.  Finally, I felt like I was firing on all 8 cylinders, making good decisions and having a plan, or at least a notion of where my life was going.  For the first time in my life I felt in charge and confident of my choices.  My wife and I had another child in less than two years.  For me, that transformation could have only happened once I was in a position where other people were dependent on me.

Today, I have nearly doubled in age since that awakening.  The child that was about to be born 32 years ago is now himself a father and his sister is married and living in Colorado.  That deep romantic love that created those two kids is today a faded memory however, the original members of our family, that is the four of us, will meet soon as a group for a long weekend, together and all together for a reunion tour of sorts.  While that romance is gone, the reality and functionality of our roles as parents and a maturing, adult-based family grows and remains strong and we can all enjoy each other’s company.

I think that my 32 year old self couldn’t pull that off, yet at the time, I gave him high marks for maturity.  Maybe only a 63 year old can have the experience level necessary to understand and accept why maintaining relationships, even in otherwise broken homes is important.  I know many of my contemporaries can’t seem to understand it either, even given their advanced maturity levels, so it’s not a given that age alone causes enlightenment.

The longer I live, the more cognizant I become of the importance of history and the value of experience.  We all know “experience” as a common word, but “experience” as a life-force, as a stringing together of years, moments, memories and lessons to form for you a clearer path into the future, based upon your knowledge-based life, is simply something unattainable without the requisite years it takes to bake that conglomeration of activities into the story of what makes you you.

The best advice I can give younger people is to embrace and study history because it is the only vision of experience you can have in the absence of forming your own.  There is much to learn from others experiences, if you can learn to control your own ego.  If you fail to do this, by the time you have a strong level of experience, it may be too late to apply what you have learned to anything important.

I’m looking forward to learning what I’ll think at 73.


PC Bigotry

The recent Press & Sun-Bulletin Guest Viewpoint, “Should women consider gender when voting?” represents a great opportunity for a teachable moment.  The authors are identified as members of the Democratic Women of the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes, a 14-county organization that identifies, encourages and supports qualified women interested in running for political office.  Based on this alone, would anyone think it credible that these authors see politics any other way than through the prism of gender?

The title of their editorial poses a question that requires a yes or no answer, yet they fail to actually posit their conclusion, choosing instead to bemoan the fact that, according to their information, only 29% of office holders are women when they represent 51% of the population.  What would be a much more useful determinate of reality would be to know what percentage of elected offices fielded female candidates.  Undoubtedly that number is much higher that the 29% who were successfully elected as opposed to those who ran and were defeated.  Isn’t it fair for voters to decide that a candidate, even a woman, isn’t the right candidate?  The author’s data simply indicates women who won, not really useful information.

In an essay of less than 500 words, the authors use the term “woman” or “female” some 50 times.  Replace those terms with “black” or “Hispanic” and all of a sudden the tenor and tone of the subject matter changes dramatically; why, because we have been so brainwashed into a stupefied state of political correctness, we can scarcely see the reality of our thoughts and words until someone not affected by that fog of bigotry brings it to our attention.

Consider the title of the essay, substituting black for woman:

The new title:  “Should blacks consider race when voting?”

Here is just one other example, using exactly the same words as the authors, substituting the word woman or female with the word black.

“Obviously, blacks vote for blacks. If blacks never voted for black candidates, no black could win elections.  But why are some black voters hesitant about supporting blacks? All things being equal, why don’t black candidates get a bump from blacks?”

While the above paragraph might make most readers squirm, somehow when the authors say the exact same thing about women, no one notices.  I believe this is representative of the so-called soft bigotry of low expectations, ironically doled out in this case by the very group of woman supposedly opposed to and appalled by such attitudes.

Promoting a gender, a race, a religion, a nationality, all of it is bigotry, even when the practitioner thinks her cause noble.  We have to focus on the quality of the candidate, not using the scorecard of, do we have enough, blacks, Hispanics, women, etc.  What we need are high quality candidates and frankly, I don’t care in what color or gender that package is wrapped.



What Do We Deserve?

It is amazing how many schemes with good sounding intentions end up accomplishing exactly the opposite. The Iranian nuclear deal, Obama-care, gun control, minimum wage, equal pay for equal work, food stamps.   A fool’s dose of credulity is required to accept as accident consequences 180 degrees out of phase with advertised outcomes.  Today’s unfolding political realities are unmasking the truth that the intentions were never good; the actual results were planned and calculated.

The Iranian deal knocks the US down a peg, right where Obama wants us, stripped of the notion of “Super Power.”  Obama-care gains a larger control over people’s lives which gives massive power over to government.  Gun control legislation is a “feel good” reaction to things politicians can’t yet control.  The minimum wage buys liberal votes, fattens tax revenue and punishes business, again putting America in its place and shutting out sub-par workers, feeding the welfare state.  Male-female work equity assures that employers favor men for jobs and negates competition and finally, food stamps create a robust, underground cash economy, induces obesity without oversight and again, buys liberal votes.  While ads tell us 1 in 5 kids are starving, reality is that obesity is the biggest single health problem in the poorest communities.  Malnutrition is unheard of in the US, yet many believe whatever they are told, denying their own observations.

The campaigns of Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders have pulled the covers off politics-as-usual.  As the back-room machinations of state’s methods for deciding delegates and supporting candidates becomes widely known, even more incredulity creeps into the American psyche.

Rene Descartes, famous 17th century philosopher said, (I think tongue-in-cheek), “Good sense is of all things in the world the most equally distributed, for everyone thinks himself so abundantly provided with it, that even those most difficult to please in all other matters do not commonly desire more of it than they already possess.”

I hope all of this is enlightening to voters.  Finally, we all have something in common, liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat, it matters not when we’re all being conned.  These members of the ruling class conspire with each other to get what they want while convincing their constituents they are fighting the good fight when in reality they are simply pretending to make changes while feathering their own nests.

Alexis de Tocqueville wrote this about the US in the 1800’s, “In the United States . . . the pursuit of wealth generally diverts men of great talents and strong passions from the pursuit of [political] power; and it frequently happens that a man does not undertake to direct the fortunes of the state until he has shown himself incompetent to conduct his own. The vast number of very ordinary men who occupy public stations is quite as attributable to these causes as to the bad choice of democracy.”

One candidate has shown the “great talent and strong passion..” in the private sector.  Perhaps now, in public office, his final chapter is to set about the task of making America great once again, but is that what America wants?

This presidential election is being conducted on opposite ends of a scale that will tell us all whether or not the United States will embark upon a journey that celebrates who we are and where we came from, building on that glorious legacy, or if we will transform our nation into the homogeneous fabric of sameness and conformity so much of the world embraces today.

The vividness of the contrast is dizzying and the sad reality is that likely less than 7 in 10 eligible voters will decide the country’s fate.  Famed French philosopher Joseph de Maistre said, “Every country has the government it deserves.”

What do we deserve?


Rules for Bars

  1. Don’t pound the bar to get the bartenders attention

Correspondingly, don’t shout, “Excuse me, or HELLO??, or raise your hand in the air like the retarded 3rd grader you were in your old alternative school.  If you used to be required to wear a helmet to school, you probably shouldn’t be drinking anyway.


  1. Never ask, “What kinds of beer do you have?”

It’s a bar moron, what kind of beer do you want?  Ask for it by name fool.


  1. Shouting conversations from one end of the bar to the other

Please, don’t have them.  Get off your fat ass and go sit next to the moron you’re shouting at.  This way I don’t have to hear your shrill, drunk voice.  Louder is not smarter..


  1. Picking up women.

If you’re drunk, your breath smells like an elephant fart and your IQ SOBER is 75, please don’t bother the well dressed woman minding her own business at the end of the bar.  Stick with the toothless crack-whore waiting for you back at the trailer.


  1. Over-use of profanity.

Look around.  If a family of 4 is eating hamburgers behind you, they probably don’t want to hear you go off with F*&k this and F*&k that, you Fu*&ing assho&e.  Remember, you’re not in the trailer park anymore.


  1. Shouting at the TV

The TV only shows you pictures.  It can’t hear you.  The coach and players can’t hear you.  The reason you’re in a bar and drunk is because you can’t coach and you’re a moron when it comes to defensive strategy.


  1. Debates about Team Affiliation

You like the Yankees.  I like the Mets.  That’s not the same as Hiel Hitler of Let’s go ISIS!  Who you like in the world of sports means nothing to anyone but you.  If you like all of your shirts to have other men’s names on your back, you roll with that buckwheat.


  1. Handling your money responsibly

If your rent is 3 months overdue and you’re picking cigarettes out of the sand buckets, maybe you can’t afford to be out in a bar.  Maybe you should go to rehab.


  1. Fighting

If your communication skills are so low that you need to fight, you need to stay home.  No one smart wants to risk hurting their fist or going to jail because you’re a moron.  You like jail, I don’t, get in your big truck and take your sad ass home.


  1. Politics

No one cares who you think is the best candidate.  You probably can’t vote as a former felon, so why are you lecturing me?  By the way, your breath smells like an elephant fart.


Rules for Restaurants

The following 10 rules are posted as a service to restaurant workers everywhere who are too polite to say anything to rude and obnoxious patrons for fear of losing tips or even their jobs because some moron pitches a fit when they are called out for being stupid, rude or obnoxious.

  1. There are 4 kinds of toast, order one.

Order the one you want without asking, “What kind of toast do you have?”


  1. Shut up and look at the menu.

Blab to each other AFTER you order, don’t keep the waitress waiting.


  1. Don’t ask stupid questions.

If you need to know where the coffee was grown or the name of the hen who hatched the egg, eat at home.


  1. Don’t flirt with the waitress.

The same table of old men every day really?  The line and the men get OLD fast.


  1. Control your kids.

I know you think they’re cute, they’re NOT, keep them quiet and sitting with you.


  1. Control your voice.

I know you think what you have to say is important, it’s NOT and saying it LOUD doesn’t make it any smarter, shut-up, others are trying to converse normally.


  1. Put your cell phone ringer on buzz.

No one wants to hear your crappy ring tone for 3 minutes while you fumble through your coat to find your phone blasting away.


  1. Don’t talk on your cell phone in the restaurant.

We don’t want to hear you blab.  Go outside and spare us the boring details


  1. No video clips.

The rest of us do not want to hear your stupid YouTube video, save it for the taxi ride home and bore the driver to death


  1. Kids video games.

Just say NO and actually pay attention to your kids.


Dive Bars

Every town has at least one, affectionately named because of their nondescript nature, seldom found in a building less than 50 years old, usually tucked away on a back street, dull flickering milky neon in the windows the only sign of welcome, easy to miss on a dark street in a sketchy neighborhood but nonetheless somehow beckoning.

I found mine the way everyone should search for theirs; find the nearest bar to your home and if that place does not meet the criteria, keep searching and moving outward until you do find it.  This becomes your home base, last stop or first stop, maybe both on a night out on the town.

The challenge becomes fitting in.  These places have a caste system in place that rivals the Hindus and with one wrong move, you could become an untouchable.  Your first foray into the bar will be met with stares, hushed conversations muffled by hands covering mouths and the sense that you are the center of attention, the newest fish in the little fish bowl.  Best move, make friends with the bartender and keep your eyes from wandering.  Let the action come to you, don’t go looking for it.  The smart strategy is to make your first trip on the busiest night so you blend in.  Then, after a few visits, check out the quietest nights, like early in the week, and get a feel for the place.  It won’t take long for one of the “regulars” to give you your initial interview.  This is the equivalent of pledging for a fraternity or sorority, without the Greek life thing.  Your success or failure at this interview will determine your starting position in the social standing.

After that point, you will be ranked and placed into a hierarchy that can be manipulated either upwards or down, depending on your performances from now on.  Titles, social standing, rankings and those being punished are all generally well known but never openly discussed.  As a newbie, your role is to listen, be quiet and fit in.

If you’re a guy, your standing initially is determined by your appearance, attitude and sports teams affiliations.  Deficiencies in any category can be overcome by excesses in the others.  If you bring male friends along, be careful not to upset the natural balance of testosterone/estrogen as the Alpha- Males may get their backs up.  You can counter this issue by bringing attractive woman.  This can automatically raise your standing.

For women, attractiveness rules the day.  Depending on the male/female balance of the place, you are either a threat or a treat, a rough choice which probably explains why women hate going to bars alone.

Before any dive bar can be yours, you have to go through this process.  Where this uniquely American system places you may be an alternative to expensive therapy. Who would have thought that a stranger’s opinions and self-medication might do an even better job?


Utopia vs. Reality

Chris Matthews, famous left-wing big mouth from MSNBC recently engaged presidential candidate Donald Trump in debate about a hypothetical.  Matthews went on to concoct that in his hypothetical example, abortion was illegal.  With that established, Matthews then asked Trump if woman having these now hypothetically illegal abortions should be punished.

Trump answered in the affirmative.

Given the created fantasy world Matthews invented, there is no other intellectually honest answer than yes, after all, if something, anything, is deemed “illegal”, than disobeying that law makes offenders subject to penalties.  A law or illegality lacking a sanction is not a law but a mere suggestion.

Liberal’s like Matthews live in a world rich with hypotheticals because they are by definition seekers of a utopia that exists only in their minds.  The more rational among us have already concluded that there is no such worldly occurring state of Nirvana because we live in the world of reality.  Ironically, many liberals distain for religion also cuts them off from the only true achievement of a utopian state not of this world.

Trump might have turned the question back on Matthews and asked him to define the punishment for this illegal behavior, after all, Matthews is the one who dreamt up the scenario.

The real purpose was to create a hypothetical situation, obtain a hypothetical answer and then claim that in fact the answer can be used in the non-hypothetical reality, which is obviously unfair and untrue, a well known hallmark of Chris Matthews “reporting” style.