June 2012

By Wink

I don’t intend to vote for Mitt Romney in November. He seems nice, and pretty smart, but I have disagreements with him in some important areas, and he is somewhat inconsistent, having taken ‘firm stances’ on both sides of every major issue during the last 20 years.

Note that I didn’t use the word ‘Mormon’ in the above paragraph. That is because I couldn’t care less that he is a Mormon.

I don’t live in or around Utah, but I have known a number of Mormons. For the most part they seem to be concerned citizens – genuine, nice, very smart. I would be delighted if we had a Mormon president someday…not this year, but someday.

Apparently, 40% of Americans do not know Mitt Romney is a Mormon. This is sad, but illustrative in pointing out how ignorant the average voter is in this country.

It is of note though, that this ignorance may be to Romney’s benefit.

In 1967, when Mitt’s father, George Romney, was a legitimate candidate, a survey showed 17% of Americans said they would not vote for a well-qualified Mormon for president. The most recent poll, a 2012 poll, shows 18% of Americans will not vote for a well-qualified Mormon for president.

While attitudes regarding race, gender and sexual orientation seem to be improving, the anti-Mormon bias remains.

The one-percent increase in ‘no’ votes, from 17% to 18%, is not statistically significant enough to say attitudes are getting worse, but they are certainly not getting better.

Forty-five years later, and no progress? Ugh.

Not surprisingly, education does matter. In the more recent poll, six percent of college grads said they could not support a well-qualified Mormon, but 23% of the respondents with a high school diploma felt that way.

(Since the unlearned show a greater antipathy toward Mormons, maybe Romney should be more supportive of education, but supporting education would make him unacceptable among those who currently run the Republican Party.)

Regardless, if you feel Romney is a better choice for president than Barack Obama, vote for him. For God’s sake (pun intended) don’t let ‘Mormon’ be an issue.

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By Wink

You know, I have never been much of a conspiracy guy. When I hear about Area 51, the Bermuda triangle or the Kennedy assassination, I get bored, because the ‘theories’ about them are pretty much the same as reality TV – not real. (Okay, I like the idea that maybe Lincoln really did hunt vampires.)

But there is one ‘conspiracy’ we can all believe in: Conservatives want fewer and fewer people to vote. They want to leave all the decision-making in the hands of the people who are pretty much making all the decisions right now – the very wealthy.

There are two obvious prongs to the efforts to limit voting:

Overt: Create new rules to make it harder to vote. Republicans have done this in many states. There is the additional effort, in Florida, to remove people who are already registered voters.

The overt methods are despicable, but understandable if grabbing power is more important than maintaining a legitimate democracy.

The other way to reduce the number of voters is more subtle, but sadder……

Disillusion the Electorate: Dissuade people from voting. Make as many people as possible not even want to vote. Make them all have the same dismal thought.. ”It is no use. My vote counts for precious little and Congress never gets anything done anyway.”

Nowadays, that is actually true. Since taking over the House in 2010 the GOP has essentially shut down the American government.

They got elected by promising jobs, and have spent the last two years doing nothing about jobs. Not only have they not acted on jobs, they haven’t even proposed anything to decrease joblessness. No action. None.

That was the plan all along. Follow the prescribed talking points, get elected, then ignore all you said and simply lock up the government.

Republicans would tell you that squashing all of Obama’s proposals is taking a principled stand, but what they are really doing is shirking their duty. They have no concept of the word ‘governance.’

To govern is to act. When we are in a recession the government has a duty to act, but not for the current crop of GOP-ers.

On the national level, the GOP only has two acceptable items, two items on which they will ‘act’…

  1. Aid the wealthy
  2. Prevent the passage of any item proposed by Barack Obama, so they then refocus on point #1.

(On the state level, the GOP has only one item – abortion.)

All else Republicans say is smoke. Any talk of jobs, or balancing the budget, or ‘values’ (whatever that means) is just smoke.

All efforts are to provide more wealth to the already wealthy, and any other verbiage is just to get re-elected.

Obama tried, repeatedly, to compromise. He has negotiated in good faith. He has even proposed Republican ideas.

How foolish of him.

In order to regain power, the GOP hoped gas prices would rise. They prayed the economy would tank. In the absence of either of those, they are now trying to sell the idea that the economy has stagnated, and that Obama lacks the leadership skills needed to fix these problems.

Republicans question Obama’s leadership? There is not a single GOP member of the House who ‘leads.’ Each one is lead, by the nose, by conservative think tanks. They are a lock-step set of drones who dare not deviate from the assigned talking points, let alone come up with their own ideas or (heaven forbid!) try to work with the Democrats.

Leaders lead. They problem-solve, they do not ‘problem-create.’

And the populous becomes more disillusioned.

And the conservative think-tankers smile…

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By Wink

I hate the people on the elevator. Maybe I should be more magnanimous, but I hate them. They slow me down. They slow me ‘up.’ They make small talk, or make me make small talk. They sometimes acknowledge me, and sometimes don’t, even when I say ‘Hi.’

Ascending, these people get on on floor 5 and get off on 6. Descending, they get on on 4, and get off on 2.

Come on, people!

I would understand if they were wheelchair-bound, or on crutches, or otherwise handicapped, but these are healthy people who just won’t take the stairs, not up for one flight, not down for two. (It is of note that, in my building, the elevator button is 15 feet from the stairwell.)

I hate them.

A brief elevator synopsis…

  • It is too slow.
  • It stops on other peoples floors…ugh.
  • It may be populated with people I don’t care to see
  • You don’t know WHO has been touching those buttons

And so it is that I take the stairs to my floor every morning.

I used to work on the tenth floor, but my department was moved down to floor seven. I discovered that the walk up to seven is way easier than the walk to 10 – quite a difference those three floors make. I am getting up in years, after all.

I take the stairs partly for exercise, but every bit as much to avoid the mindlessness, and extreme laziness, of the elevator. That device is for the lazy people – mentally lazy, physically lazy.

Taking the stairs allows me, sometimes, to skip working out during my lunch hour. (This is a horrible excuse to skip a workout, but I use it anyway.)

I don’t race up the stairs, but I get to my floor pretty quickly. Naturally, if I take the stairs up, it would be idiotic NOT to take them down. So I do.

While it takes a certain amount of exertion to climb up the seven flights, down takes almost no effort. I fly down. I doubt it takes much more than a minute.

I used to be pretty lonely in that stairwell, but others have either caught the exercise bug, or just don’t want to wait for the elevators. Now there always seems to be someone for me to negotiate around, especially on the way up.

Down, especially at the end of the day, is an entirely different matter.

Men, women, old, young, in tennis shoes or high heels, everybody blows down the steps at the end of the day. It might as well be the Indy 500. No matter how fast I am, I have a hard time keeping up, going down.

Is it cynical to think the motivation may be to get away from work as quickly as possible? Maybe everyone has a dance recital to get to…

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