Saturday, August 30, 2014

Funny Facebook Post of the Day...

Little Shelter Animal Rescue & Adoption Center's photo.


       We're bringing back some of our favorite recurring posts from the past.   One of our favorites was the daily Facebook posts.  Some are political, but all we care about is if it makes us laugh.  We snagged this one from my friend and drummer from my band, Big Bri.  He always had black cats, one of which I adopted and named Mosh.  Good cat.......... This coming from a guy who'sfavorite bumper sticker was "I Love Cats - Dead Ones"!

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Friday, August 29, 2014

Who's Ruining America , Part II - Gerrymandering



When Your Congressional District Looks Like a Game of Space Invaders, Be Pretty Sure It's Gerrymandered........

      Happy Labor Day Weekend to everyone!  It's been a long week for us, so the prospect of having the next three days off with little to do came just in time.  Kicking off the rebirth of SC6, we are trying to define what needs fixing in American Politics.  Yesterday was an easy and popular target.  Today, we are going into a lesser know, but even more dangerous cause of our current mess: Gerrymandering.


     For those political neophytes out there, gerrymandering is when the lines of a district are manipulated to give a certain party or candidate a decided advantage.  Simply put, it's rigging the game.  Ask most strategists, military or otherwise, what's the most effective way to win a fight, and most will tell you to fix the battle ahead of time.  Most battles are won BEFORE they are fought.........   

   Above, you see the 4th Congressional District of Illinois, which for the past 21 years has been held by Luis Gutierrez.  I didn't pull up his election results, but it's safe to say that he probably hasn't encountered much of a challenge in his 11 terms.  The 4th is widely regarded as one of the best examples of gerrymandering.   Clearly, when they made the district map, they had the two major section northwest and southwest of Chicago, and they needed to find a path of least resistance to connect the two. Hence, the west loop that is probably about two blocks wide..... 


   Now you might be thinking this isn't a big deal, but the problem is this goes on all over the country, in every national, state and local district.  Don't believe me?  Just check out your state senator or representative's district map.... While you'd like to blame the other party for the problem, here is the saddest part - BOTH parties set it up in coercion.  Yep, just look at South Carolina as an example.  It's a pretty red state, with Republicans usually winning statewide by about 10%.    With seven districts, common sense would dictate that the seats would be split 4-3 in favor of Republicans. Nope, it's 6-1........... and that one isn't changing hands anytime.  Why, because it's agreed to by all congressmen involved.  The 6th District is set up like scraping up table scraps of minority voters to give Jim Clyburn a permanent 67% cakewalk every two years in perpetuity.  If he gave up some of his voters, Democrats might actually have a second or possibly third congressman in Washington......

    While congressmen get an idea of the district map long before it comes down the pike, it is eventually OK'd by the Justice Department.  But, if you're waiting for the day that DoJ comes down on a district that is overwhelmingly in favor of minority congressmen, don't hold your breath.... Both Democrats and Republicans have no problem with the current setup, because Republicans have a pretty good idea that if not for gerrymandering, they might NEVER control the House of Representatives.  Cozy arrangement indeed.....

    Now, here is the part that should worry you. First, a warning....... If you are a super Left Wing or Right Winger, I am about to piss you off.   Gerrymandering ultimately hurts America by making these districts MORE red, and MORE blue.  It's estimated that 90-95% of Congress gets re-elected every two years.  Why? Because they have little to no competition. What little competition there is usually comes from within the party from a more extreme sect.  So eventually, the districts become more and more extreme, and the center whittles away.  In 2010, I did a post which named the 20 congressmen/women as 'the easiest to get along with' by the other party.  By 2013, 16 of them were out of Congress, and three of them were dead.....

     Back in the 80's, the members of Congress used to go to the bar, have a drink, and work out whatever issue was at hand.  Now, simply being in a picture with a member of the opposing party is grounds for a primary challenge....   Why?  Because of gerrymandering, and because the 80% of sensible voters stopping showing up at off-year and primary elections, surrendering the power to the extreme and motivated 20%.  It's unlikely to go away.  The Get Out The Vote programs are so detailed, they know which houses to knock on, and which to skip, and pray they forget it's Election Day.

    While more competitive districts make it harder to keep control of Congress, they ultimately empower the moderates to run Congress, leading to compromise and legislation that eventually can help end the gridlock and lack of action that we pay these clowns (Bobby?) $174,000 a year to do......

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Who's Ruining America: Part I - The Media



You Can't Fixing a Problem Without Defining It First.....


      Thanks for coming back, as we finally get to some meat of what we're trying to accomplish.  We kind of indulged ourselves with the first few posts, but it's time to get to work. We all know things are just wrong right now with our government, and in many ways, our country.  The important part to us is to try and pinpoint just where it went wrong.  There are many places that the train went off the tracks, so this will be a series of posts that we will start off with.  Welcome to Who's Ruining America..... First up, an easy target - The Media.

  Network Television
   I was a kid of the 70's and 80's.  When it came to news, we had the same people delivering us the necessary information that we needed.  Walter Cronkite was always there at 630, along with John Chancellor and David Brinkley.   Honestly, I never was very aware of any agenda they had, or what their viewpoints were.  But they were trustworthy.  When Cronkite finally came out and said that Vietnam was unwinnable, it was more important than anything coming from Capitol Hill or the Pentagon. It was over.  More importantly, they just read the news, except when they would defer for a minute, and a GIGANTIC caption that read "COMMENTARY".........Later on they were replaced by Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw and Peter Jennings.  Still decent, if not quite as well respected.  Nowadays, news is delivered in group conversation form, with constant opinion, not fact.  No offense to them, but I'll decide what is 'terrible' or 'ridiculous' or 'tragedy'.......

   The fact is, television is an awful place to get your information.  TV anchors want to be taken so seriously, they let their biases take over the conversation too often.  The only possible exception could be some of the Sunday morning news shows, but they make a major mistake - they hire a 'panel of experts', 90% of whom are 50 times more biased than they are.  It's like trying to have a Gamecock Fan and a Tiger Fan debate who is better.  Tonight, the correct answer is Texas A&M..........  Add to that, the endless list of panel shows of such well-rounded and erudite people like Rosie O'Donnell and Whoopi Goldberg.  Having an Oscar or being funny makes your opinions worth something?


Cable Television
     Ugh!  Here's an idea that started off great.  24 Hour news.  Finally, an opportunity to really spend some time to fully discuss and dissect a topic, so viewers might actually LEARN something........ Nope.  We forgot that TV is for ADD, short term memory crackheads.  We try to enjoy Cable News, but it's just become impossible.  Lets spend a minute, and give you a brief review in true Festivus style, of how they've all disappointed us.....

Fox News Channel
        Conceived originally as a station to give Republicans equal time on issues (maybe a little more), Fox has regressed into ragging on Barack Obama 24/7, and pushing the Tea Party every 30 seconds. Their best credit is that they do talk about a variety of subjects, some more entertaining than others.  But it coincides with their biggest beef - too short segments.  If I hear "we're against a hard break here" one more time.  We do like the Weekend Morning Show.  Our least favorite?  Eric Bolling - the guy who killed Cashin' In.  Was a great biz show, now it's a shill for Ted Cruz....

MSNBC
      For Republicans like myself, it's almost unwatchable.  Morning Joe is okay, but any network that hires Al Sharpton and gives him his own show is dead to me. The midday shows are bearable, but their nighttime lineup makes me gag.    Their best move? Firing Keith Olbermann, allowing him to return to ESPN, where I liked him in the 90's....  The worst? Rachel Maddow. On every diatribe she goes on, I can pinpoint where she goes off track.  Between her and Fox's Megyn Kelly, 900PM may soon be banned altogether........

CNN
     I watch CNN in the mornings, and have for the past few months, when Fox's Obama Bash O-Mania went overboard.  This week, I'm particularly happy because they hired Alisyn Camerota to sub this week. I love her.  They generally do a decent job of trying to go middle ground, at least compared to the other two.  There are two notable exceptions: Guns and Race.  They get a bit preachy on both.  My biggest problem with them?  They only seem to be able to count to three.  That is, they discuss the same three topics over and over that day, while adding little to it. I have a big brain - I can handle it.  Ultimately, CNN disappoints because they've been doing it longer than any of them - they should be better than this.  Favorite Show: The Hunt With John Walsh.  Least Favorite: Don Lemon.  Question anything about race, and the guy explodes.... Not professional at all.


Online News
     Lets be honest here.  If you solely get your information from SC6,you need treatment.  Serious, Serious treatment........ I give opinion, not truth.  I hope it's the truth, but I certainly don't have a lock on knowledge.  I rarely had 'breaking news'.  Why, because we don't have real contacts. Of course, that doesn't stop some of us.  Some use the popular 'anonymous source' or 'person close to the situation'............. and they lie.  We generally are self-righteous egomaniacs that value our own opinion infinitely more than the rest of the world does.  I try to fill avoid.  As far as Right Wing and Left Wing Blogs go, I could take or leave 50,000 of them.  The worst I've seen - Western Journalism.  Flat Out Bullshit....... 

Radio
       Be discerning, folks. Radio offers the best opportunity for lengthy discussion, especially for regular people to voice their opinions.  However, most call-in shows, especially national radio, are no better than TV.  Listening to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Neal Boortz embarrasses me as a moderate Republican.  Like Rachel Maddow, I find myself going "Ok, Ok..... uh,wait ........ no,no,no..... what the f#*^????"  Common Sense just loses itself as it goes on.  And it's been pretty well documented how most of these guys are shills for their sponsors.  I do have one saving grace on air:  the POTUS Channel on Sirius XM.  I don't listen to Patriot the Progressive Channel.   POTUS does a good job of discussing topics in detail, with very little opinion.  The best shows?  Michael Smerconish from 9-12 am, and The Press Pool with Julie Mason. Smerconish is a middle ground compromiser - as close to myself as I've seen in major media.  Julie Mason is excellent at showing the ridiculousness in politics, and she plays great 80's New Wave music....     

Newspapers
       My friend and former Morning News editor Jackie Torok will like this, but print news may be the last great hope.  Why? Because when it's done correctly and according to standard, it's dry news.  Every story is written the same way - it's like a form letter.  It at least gives you a chance at impartiality.  That, and the back sections give them an opportunity to go into a story in more detail.  Of course, all bets are off in the editorial and opinions sections.  Yes, some are liberal J-School graduates doctrinated by their college profs, and tainted by an idealistic, yet unrealistic, desire to change the world.  However, most try to report unbiased.  Least favorite part? The ink stains on your fingertips.........

You
     I hate to break it to you, but it's your fault too.  What, I'm willing to blame myself, but not you?   Yes, you need to reflect on yourself for a minute.  Do you try to see the other side's point of view, or do you just watch shows that just agree with you?  We all like to get confirmation that we're on target on things.  I'll get mine if the hits start rising, or if they fall of a cliff.  The truth is, most of us are generally closed minded tour news.  You have to make an effort to learn more, and it also makes better arguments for your side, because you actually KNOW what they think.....not what you think they think.


There is waaaaaay too much information out there, and a lot of it is crap.  Don't just absorb information - disseminate it, question it, and make up your own unique opinion on subjects.  I'm a Republican, but I am far from in lockstep with the GOP platform.  I'm not just a Republican. I'm me.  I'm unique, and so are you.  When using media for your politics. Tread lightly..........

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

My Vision of America......




If You're On a Mission, You Better Have a Vision..... Deluded Or Not!

     As we kickoff Phase II of SC6, we want to inspire and give you an idea of where we are aiming to take this political bus.  So, we're going to attempt to do both at the same time, and hopefully, entertain you as well.  Good Luck.....


     Something we've learned along the way, which we definitely failed to do when we ran for office, was to win both the minds and hearts of our supporters and non-supporters (translation: enemies)......   Anyone can give cold, dry facts - we were among the best at that.  But, we've figured out that there have been much dumber and less informed who have piled up a following behind them. We'll name a few along the way.  So, with all apologies to the great speakers of our day, we give you My Vision of America.

(Crank Up the Patriotic Music!)........


     I have,,,,,,,,,,, a Vision................. of America!  While many dream of a United States that was like when they were young, or of a time and / or place that they've never been to or lived in, I dream differently.   I don't falsely deceive myself or others into a time gone by.  The world changes.  Sometimes good, sometimes bad.  But you cannot change the past...... Every moment is an opportunity to change the direction of your life, your future, and the future of your country.  The problem today is that both parties have been hijacked by special interests, by the 10-15% that find no center ground. That make their living on ideas and positions that line their own pockets and more importantly, give no compromise to help America progress an inch in the right direction. It's time the 70-80% of the rest of us - the disenchanted people that think DC doesn't work for them - to push back a little, and push open a hole to find solutions.  I have........... a Vision....... of America!   (drum rolls and cymbal hits, please).........


     I see an America where politicians value voters by their ideas, and not their wallets.  Where their districts don't look like The Michelin Man doing a handspring while holding a violin.  Where using the terms RINO and DINO merit punishment like expulsion or castration, your choice.   Where Republicans and Democrats can willfully admit that their Congressman or Senator is an idiot.  Where party platforms are not separated like the Berlin Wall.   Where a party member can utter these dreaded words about a member of the other party......... "He/She has a point".


     I see an America where politicians aren't afraid to admit there are pending issues that they need to courageously address.  That they each take their share of blame for our present challenges.  That Democrats see that Social Security and Medicare/Medicare will soon cause our budget deficits to explode to levels as bad or worse than they were in the last 5 years.  That Republicans quit protecting the super rich and corporations with tax exemptions that the middle class don't get. That both parties realize the middle class are being squeezed by them both. 


    I see an America where people are taxed equitably.  Where buying Range Rovers and having a stable of babies don't get you bigger refunds.  Where the FairTax blowhards at last admit that it's a scam, devised by the Megarich and blindly followed by people getting half the necessary information.... Aw hell.  An America where the FairTax doesn't even get airtime.......


   I see an America where the social divisions fall away.  Where blacks and whites understand and respect each other. Where they talk with, and not at each other., Where people realize that all faiths - including Muslims - are probably praying to the same God.   That they stop being bigoted and violent towards each other - and worse, that they use verses and quotes from the Bible and Koran to justify prejudice.  That they respect people who differ from them, and that know that in politics, most of us don't like to legislate morals, but let Mom & Dad do it...


    As much as I see in this Vision of America, the true excitement - and challenge - is that so much of this is incomplete. Like I said, the future is unwritten.  Therefore, it is up to each of us to help write that future and fill in the blanks.  The most important part each of need to realize is that we don't all have the answers, and that NONE of us have the power do enact our will on our own.  It takes a team, and it takes - SAY IT!   COMPROMISE.  This is my Vision of America.  Now go out there, and let's do something to change our house, our street, our town, our state, our country and our world! 

(Marching Band erupts into song, and I kiss a baby)..


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Rules of The Game .......


If You're Going to Try and Raise the Bar .......


   Forgive us, as we move slowly into our second coming......  We're learning quickly that we may not be the 8 post a day machine we used to be.  I have a decent job, and some semblance of a life - along with trying to maintain our recent fitness improvement ( we'll get into that another time ).  So, the goal will be to find realistic solutions for America's problems. It's a lofty goal, but we suck at small solutions anyway. 


    Being a Center-Right Blog, we are shooting for consensus building ideas that cross aisles. Our partisan days are over....  We're getting old fast, and time is running out.......We're not worried about being right and taking credit. Idealogues on both sides are going to hate us. But, that doesn't mean we can't learn from them, or that at times they may be right. More right than you or I..... That being said, we lay down the ground rules that we ask you to follow for the potential benefit of all:


1:  Be Respectful For Others
     As much as we love seeing Bobby call people Ass Clowns, we're going to request that you refrain from calling fellow readers/postings the same.  Many politicians deserve derision, and we fully encourage breaking down those that deserve it.  But we don't have a ton of fans, so we need every one we can get.  Be nice to each other......



2. Be Funny Or Go Home
        It's what we love, and frankly, it's what made us great.   Sarcasm, Gross Out Humor, Wit, Irony........  It's all fine with us.  It helps get the point across, and it's more entertaining.....


3.  For God's Sake, Please Post!
        Remember how awesome/terrible the post that I did on the Hotties of the Hill was?  Neither do I.   We are a figment of our readers. We take requests.  If you like something, tell us.  If the Milton Waddams Award is so 2006 to you guys, let me know.  Sometimes, being liked is more important to us than being respected.  Our first post, and we're already contradicting ourselves.  So much for idealism.......



We'll keep the bar low for now.  Sorry for not just jumping right in and ripping off a stellar post, but we're just easing into this.  Next post: a slide show of what we've been doing the past 20 months!


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Monday, August 25, 2014

Your Worst Nightmare Comes True .......



                                   SC6 Comes Back Online After a Two Year Layoff.......


     We've been thinking about this for a while, especially with all the dysfunction going on in DC.  Like the header says, we're getting back in the game, because SOMEONE has to blog with common sense in mind.  Not an ideologue, but someone who has been in the game, and lives in the real world.... It's the new, smarter SC6.  But don't worry............... We'll still have women in bikini's.


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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Cartoons of the Week....


   Hey, remember when we would have ONE cartoon every Sunday? Well, this week we have an all-time high of FIVE political cartoons for you!  Call it rewarding a faithful audience. Besides, this will be the only Christmas present you get from us...

   Like we remind you from time to time, these 'toons are on a one week delay. No doubt next week's will be very somber, but it gives you an idea of what we were thinking about before Newtown.  Basically, it was two things: Christmas and the Fiscal Cliff.  So, when you can combine both, chances are you will make SC6. You can go the Elf On the Shelf route..







The Basketball Season Route....

















Or the Three Wise Men Route - or is that One Wise Man, and the Other Two?












But Life is not all Fiscal Cliffs and Basketball... With Pot being legalized in some Western States, even Santa has to be careful with munching on certain goodies.











Meanwhile, North Korean Doughboy Kim Jong Un was able to shoot a satellite into Outer Space, where it's bouncing around aimlessly - but far enough to worry everyone in the Pacific.  It's always every son's goal to show up his old man...






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