Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Politics: Building the Perfect Party

Why do we vote for one politician over an other?

Some vote for the person they most associate with.  People take into account their ethnicity or religion.  Their socioeconomic background or what state they are from or preside over.  Many personal factors contribute to many voters choices, but these are not the only merits.

There are those who vote on the issues.  For most voters, this means one or two issues that are meaningful to that voter and all the others are just the cherry on top or collateral damage.  They have tunnel vision in regards to the whole package, as long as their immediate and important needs are filled.

Then there are the voters who vote party, irregardless of what they believe the candidate believes in.  They truly believe in voting along party lines at all times.  Ironically, nowadays this seems to be the most common reason for a politician to get someones votes.  Most people, when polled, do not know the candidates views on the topics and vote on what has been the historical record, or assertion of a record, that the party has pushed.

Sadly, in all of this, we have lost track of one of the main reasons we pull that lever for a given candidate.  It's the essence of why we place these men and women in positions of power.  At the end of the day, we hope, in the back of our minds, that we have chosen the smartest candidate.  Nearly every candidate has gone to an elite school and graduated with high marks.  Most of these men have been grooming themselves for this day for years.  The true fault in this practice of assumption is that most of these men aren't much smarter than the average Joe.  Sure we hear about Clinton's alleged photographic memory and his high IQ, but that memory could have masked some deficiencies.  We've heard stories of Bush's low IQ, but many articles have been written to the contrary. How these are believable about this gaffe master, is beyond me, but they say even Einstein was aloof at times.   It's a crap shoot when voting this way, because we're making assumptions on intelligence based on strategically rehearsed answers to generally well known questions.  Today I read about Romney choosing a man he considered for running mate to play the role of Obama in the rehearsal debate.  I assume Obama will be doing the same, although he's a little more seasoned after doing this just four years ago.

So here's my plan.  What if we start a third party.  A true party of the people, to represent the people.  There will be one criteria.  Both current Democrats and Republicans may join, as may any other affiliation.  This party will not be separated by political beliefs, but by another measure.  Men and women of all socioeconomic levels are welcome.  PhD level members as well as those who are high school dropouts are welcome also.  There may be Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Atheists, Agnostics, or any other religion welcome.  We do not discriminate in any way.  Blacks, Whites, Asians or any other race, creed or color is fully welcome to join. There will be only one prerequisite to join.  Measured intelligence.

The average intelligence quotient, based on Stanford-Binet and the Wechsler would be used to judge this.  There may be other factors involved, but this would be the basis.  Now, the world average on both tests is a grade of 100 (98 in the U.S).  One standard deviation put 2/3 of the population between 85-115.  The second group is between 70-84 and 116-129.  With the addition of these two groups, we include approximately 95% of the world.  The latter is considered advanced intelligence, but not high intelligence, or "gifted and talented."  These people, while intelligent, would not be welcome into the party.  Only those who achieve scores above 130 would be allowed.  Now while scores may vary between the two tests, they are generally very close.  Obviously, any Members of Mensa would be welcome with open arms.

Now, I know what you're thinking.  This is elitist.  This is segregation.  This is some sort of horrible "supreme race" I'm trying to create.  Hear me through.  When you want advice on the economy, you don't ask your cousin Sal who is making a pizza or fixing a car.  You ask a Nobel prize winning economist or a professor with a wall full of degrees.  Just the same, you're not going to ask that economist to fix your brakes.  We're not insulting anyone, because all jobs are important in their own way and allow us to continue through time and evolve.  What I'm saying is, let's be sure we're getting the smartest people.  Completely sure.

Now, some may say "why would I vote for someone in a party, I'm not allowed to be in."  Listen carefully, you're not allowed to be in the current two party system's parties either.  You may think you are, but it's a box on a questionnaire and you aren't being invited to their ranch for Labor Day.  Why wouldn't the average American entrust a group of people, who have selected one person (we would have no primary) to be their mouthpiece?  Why wouldn't we want to know that this man or woman will put together a cabinet of geniuses?  I know I would feel a lot more comfortable knowing that people who see things in literal and abstract ways are going over our day to day problems and not being lobbied or persuaded by an ideology.

Imagine, if we took the smartest people, from all parties, all nationalities, all religious denominations and we took, men & women, straight and gay, regardless of their belief system and we worked to create a more perfect world with logic.  With math and science.  With reason that supplants beliefs based on faith alone.  We took all the good, from all the best minds and channeled it into a solution for our problems.  No lobbyists, no compromises for political gain.  None of the bureaucracy we've come to despise.  Why wouldn't we trust the smartest people in the room to get it done.  It sure isn't getting done with the misfits we've been throwing in the White House the last 50 years.

Some of you might not like this, because you feel embarrassed you may not join.  Some of you may be embarrassed you qualify, but you've underachieved in your life.  Maybe it's you we need to speak to.  Maybe it's the man with the near genius IQ who's been out of work for three years or has been mopping floors or delivering pizza.  Maybe it's the kid who can't afford to go to college and has to take care of his family.  Maybe it's the person who has been looking for a chance to make a difference.  Out of every In this land of ours with over 310 million people, there are only about 7.5 million who fit the bill.  A minority for sure, but isn't this the kind of minority, you'd be comfortable taking direction from?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Can You Sleep At Night

We've all heard or used the expression "well I hope you can sleep at night."  It's used as a sarcastic way to offend someone who has done something bad.  Not awful necessarily, but bad enough that their conscious should eat at them.  The opposite is sometimes "I'm not going to lose any sleep over it."  Both are somewhat silly, but make a slight point.  Sometimes I wonder what people do or don't do that eats at them.

Recently, I've been arguing a lot of politics and religion.  I've gotten nasty at times and people gave gotten nasty with me.  One common theme coming from my opposition has been the act of being a good person. Most of them claim that liberals only care about handouts and receiving the benefits from the rich and that the conservatives are the givers.  I consider myself more on the liberal side and I take offense.  They have also preached their religion and how they are "Christians" and apparently that is supposed to be an indication they are givers and I should not question.  I am a non-believer and I am insulted and I do question, because historically I've seen religious types as takers, not givers.

I started thinking of a checklist.  Most people will say yes to all these things without thinking.  They are lying. They lie, because it makes them feel good about themselves to others.  They lie because an admission of guilt means they have lied about their morals and what they want to be. More importantly, they lie because it makes them look better in other people's eyes and that is really all that matters in today's world.

I'm an insomniac, constantly wrestling with my inadequacies and my faults, but let me ask you, those who sleep well at night.  So ask yourself this.  Have you done these things in the past few weeks?  I have and I still wish I could do more.

Have you held the door for someone...someone who was far enough away that it wouldn't have been rude for you to walk in without any regrets?

Have you crossed the street, then crossed back over to help someone else across?  In this case someone who was blind.

Have you donated money to a charity to help feed the underprivileged, when your donation, although minute was 2% of all the money you had in your bank account?

Have you let someone go in front of you on line....not because they had less items, but they seemed to be more stressed than you?

Have you given up your seat....not because the person was old or feeble, but because they arrived upon one seat and gave it to their child?

Have you sat and listened to someone's conversation....a conversation you've heard a hundred times before, but you knew it made them happy to tell it?

Have you thanked someone for doing their job....because everyone else took them for granted and you knew it was hurting them?

Have you stopped a complete stranger you passed on the street to point out a sunset.....because they might have missed it while walking the with their backs to it.

Have you seen a torn and tattered flag laying wet in the street, picked it up and folded it into a triangle....not because you're overly patriotic, but because it's the right thing to do.

Have you walked by a car late at night and saw the interior lights were on....then saw the door was unlocked, opened the door and turned the lights off.  Making sure to put the purse on the passenger seat, out of sight, beneath the driver's seat.

Have you told someone they looked good....not to flirt or come on to them, but because you truly felt it?

Have you told someone you don't know that well that you're happy you're friends....not because you are, but because you think they are special?

Have you told someone you haven't seen in a while you miss them....not because it's what you say, but because your heart aches to see them?

Finally, have you told someone you love them, not because you simply love them, but because you've hurt them so badly you can't imagine life without them?

I'm not saying I'm better than anyone else, but I sure as hell try to be, because if I'm only as good as most of the people I meet, well, our world is in serious trouble.  I guess we can all strive to be good, I'd like to think we can all just do better.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Hiatus - Frustrated

About three weeks ago, I decided to stop writing my blog.  Since then I've noticed I've been very angry and with no other outlets for my frustration, I find myself, at 3am on a Sunday, back at it. I don't know if this will go back to being a regular thing, but as I've stated in the past, this has been very therapeutic at times.  So here it goes.

I've been frustrated as of late for numerous reasons.  Inability to find a job, to be more clear, a career has gotten me downright defeated.  My money situation is dire, beyond dire and for the first time since I was much younger, I've had to ask for help.  This is very tough for someone who prides themselves on being self sufficient and not needing much to get by.  I've given up a lot of thinks the last few weeks and probably should have given some up sooner and would have saved a friendship.  That's a private issue, which shockingly, I'll keep in private.

The past few weeks I've argued politics and religion to know end.  It's a never ending battle, because when two groups, from different philosophical mindsets argue, it's bound to be endless.  What has troubled me with my counterparts isn't the usual nuisance, a lack of intelligence, but a lack of reason.  My main counterparts, to my knowledge are middle class.  Their inability to see the forest through the trees has me worried, because if two intellectual people can't see it, what does that say about the others, whose minds aren't as well formed.  More than a lack of reason is the see-saw game of hiding behind a loose interpretation of the Bible and when that doesn't work an even looser interpretation of the constitution.  I myself have been accused of never providing sources, but when I do, I'm slammed with the constitution or the bible. A day later, I'm accused of never providing sources again.

I have time on my hands and I read a lot. I read both angles and form opinions. Opinions of my own, not of some suit, sitting in front of a teleprompter and camera reciting some rhetoric his employers implore him to recite, just to keep viewership in the millions.  I make my own decisions, based on science, reason and common sense.  I don't hide behind fictional document, no matter whose word they are said to be.  If I am to be damned for eternity, so be it.  I have a feeling I'll have the last laugh.

Why wouldn't I want I want to believe all those I've loved are skipping around on clouds, eating chocolate covered strawberries and never getting fat. Getting to look down on me and guide me through the tough times.  It's a pleasant thought and a great one.  There is one problem.  I have an incredible inability to relinquish three things; Intelligence, reason and probability.  Intelligence has taught me that religion was a way to control the uneducated masses.  Reason tells me that the idea that all this was created by a being and that science, which has taught us so much over the years is wrong about this one thing. Probability says that when things are so outrageous they are rarely true, they aren't.  These three attributes lead me to believe that all those who I love are in the dirt, in the wind or in the water.  Nothing anyone can show me can disprove this. So please stop.  Faith is for those who need an answer when there is none. I do not need one. So we'll let that rest.

Aside from the arguments, I am lonely.  Having no money, curtailing bad habits and being on a budget has limited my social scene.  That's fine for now, but the lack of human contact has gotten to me at times. Those walks in the wee hours of the night do not bring me closer to the girl of my dreams or a reconnection with close friends.  They give me time to think about being alone. They also make me think about mistakes I've made along the way, which have brought me to this place.  I've made some new friends over the past year.  Some aren't really friends anymore and some are hi/bye friends and some are connections, which are good, bad and confusing.  I never have any preconceived notions about  friendships.  I let them grow the way they are meant to be and try not to force them.  I wish I could say the same for my relationships.  This month has been trying as my past two relationships basically started an ended in August...or at least they feel that way.  I'll survive and I am thankful for the very few who have been there for me.  The very few.

In don't want to fall into a woe is me story, but damn the last 25 years have been rough.  I feel as if I'm always doing for others and then the one time I don't and others have done for me, I've been blind to it.  So wrapped up in doing, I don't get a chance to enjoy the reciprocation.  The funny thing is, if every one of my friends in the world read this, the people who would smile and think that sentence was about them would be mistaken.  It's the people who don't know, or maybe aren't sure, who are the ones I'm sorry for taking for granted. It's the one's who have been closest and sometimes furthest away who have mattered the most.  The other night I found something from my childhood.  I was about 12-13 when this item was important.  It made me realize how incredibly lucky I was to have had this friend.  We're friends, in a way that doesn't really exemplify how important he is to me, but he is. He was a big part in my maturation process and someone I will always think fondly off.  It's friends like this and others who have just said "I'm here," that make all the difference in the world.  Especially when I know it's not just words, but they mean it.

I'm wrapped up in so many things and so many ideas are popping into my head.  I wish I could take a few months and live in a cabin.  Nobody around and write.  Write something, a play, a novel, a bunch of shit poems about being alone or being with someone who I let go or let me go.  I want to do something great, but I don't.  I want to be able to sit down and do something for myself.  Something to say to the world "this is me and my best."  Maybe it'll be shit and the realization that I'm shit will wake me up. Who knows? Every year I go to a school and at the end of the year, I have a group of kids who look up to me...and I feel like grabbing them by the shoulders, looking into their eyes and screaming "Be selfish!  Be as selfish as you can be without hurting anyone, because it's the only way to get ahead in this world!"  Do I believe this?  I believe it with every fiber in my being, but I can't get myself to be that way.  Sure I want someone to love me and only me. It's everyones dream. To have that perfect love, that perfect family. It's the American Dream.  it's the global dream, but the reality is, we're not wired that way.  We're made to cheat, to steal and to hurt, all to get ahead.  We're told money can't buy happiness, but without it we spend out days, telling ourselves we're happy, not being able to drive a city block without wishing we had that car, that watch that purse.  It's who we are and who we've become.  I want none of that/. I just want what I share with my brother, my father and my grandmother.  I want what I shared with my mother and my grandparents who aren't here.  I want that.  Every day. I want to share that with someone special.  Sure, to be able to fly to Paris with that person would be nice, but I don't need that. I just want that feeling.

Tomorrow I'll wake and I'll make some calls. I'll inquire with three places about my exorbitant amount of debt and how to rectify the situation. I've managed to accrue nearly $100,000 worth of debt without technically ever purchasing anything.  It's a wonderful trick I'd be glad to share.  Another time.

I'm going to go try and sleep, for an hour, maybe two. Who knows, maybe like today, exhaustion will grab me and throw me down and I will sleep for three hours. Maybe I will dream about long ago or maybe of the future.  Maybe it will be nonsense or even better a nonsensical riddle which masks a true story.   Maybe it will be of my mother.  She doesn't often, but every now and then she comes and talks to me. It is not always pleasant, but I cherish it.  Maybe in a dream she will explain what to do or how to do it.  Nah, she never has.   She just comes to me in my dreams and reminds me how much she loves me.  In the end, it's all I really need.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

My Blog: Coming to and End

Between this and the temporary blog on another website, I am approaching 500 blogs in a little over three years.   There have been times where I have tried to be funny and times where I've been too serious.  I try to keep an open mind and clear perspective, but in the end, my blog might have caused more harm than good.  It started out as a way for me to say some funny things and have 5-10 people tell me I'm funny.  Then it got to the point where 20-30 were telling me they loved it.  Then I got serious. People love negative quotes on Facebook and Twitter, because if for only a second, their lives excel.  I'm sure I've made a lot of people happy with my tales of misery, lost love and my inadequate life.  If that made someones day a little brighter, hell, embrace it.  I'm used to being kicked.

I've aired my dirty laundry and it's something I can't stand that I've done. I've reached out to people through this vehicle and simply pushed them away.  Their business for the entire Internet to see. Not wise. I've pissed people off with my views on politics and religion and will continue, but in a more personal setting,   They deserve it and nobody cares when they know I'm singling out one person.  I'm stopping.

I also want to start writing something a little more serious. Something that might one day end up on a shelf, not on someone's Facebook wall.  I don't think I'm that good a writer at this time, but I think my imagination could plaster over my deficiencies.  Who knows?  Maybe it's delusions of grandeur.  Maybe it's been years in the making.  I'll never know if I don't try.

I'm not saying this is the last one, but it may very well be.  I might write a silly movie review or tell people about a great restaurant, but for now, this is the end.  I appreciate those who have taken the time to write it and especially those who have said so many kind words about it.  Sometimes it's a distraction at work or something to do on a car ride upstate.  Many different people have told me one spoke to them.  For the most part they are silly.  That's what it was intended for.  A blank canvas to help me work out the ridiculous things that cloud my brain.  Hopefully I can use this energy and put it to good use.  Maybe I can incorporate my desire to write into my next job.

As I write this last paragraph, I want to apologize to anyone I offended, anyone I outed in any way and anyone who just felt I wasted their time.  This was never intended to be about others, but a reflection of my soul and inner workings.  The strange thoughts that rattle my brain and the deep things that tug at my heart strings.  This blog saw me break up with someone I dated a while and fall in love with two people rather quickly.  It explored my cries for help and my immaturity. It told how I felt at times of utter sorrow and compete joy.  I bitched and moaned and cried tears of joy throughout.  Some of these things really moved me.  When I go back and read things like My Man Crush, I laugh.  So many days I argue about gay marriage and I've never really even thought about homosexuality in any other way than acceptance.  I won't ever change that, no matter who or what book claims to know the truth.  I am set in my ways, but man enough to admit I'm wrong.  I've been wrong in this life so many times, it would appear I'm never right.  My decisions are always wrong, but I feel this one isn't.  I may see a new light. A beacon in the distance that will steer me back to this place.  I may come back out of boredom or a crushed heart that needs a place to bleed.  I don't know if this will or won't happen, but for now, a bid anyone who has graced this place with their presence Adieu.  Thank You!