Monday, December 7, 2015

Whine, moan, and cry....Hey, it's what we do!

We've become a nation of world class pissers and moaners.  We whine about everything, but rarely have anything constructive to offer.  Why is that?  I think it's because we've forgotten how to...umm...THINK!  We're seldom challenged to think.  We just turn on the TV and let Rush or Rachael, Fox News or MSNBC or CNN or whoever, spoon feed us what they feel we should know, what we need to think.  No muss, no fuss.  We just nod obediently and then head to the water cooler where we regurgitate all our newly found "wisdom".   We don't seem to cross check what we're told, looking for a different perspective.

I throw out ideas and people quickly pile on with their (sometimes snarky) criticism, but when asked to suggest an alternative idea for consideration, all I hear is _____________.  They should take lessons from my wife, K.  In our almost 9 years of marriage she's offered many alternative ideas that, quite frankly, made more sense than mine, and my position then changed.  She helped me grow.  I LIKE people to disagree with me, so long as they can offer something else for me to ponder.  If I only wanted to hear from people who agreed with me, I'd just talk to myself in front of a mirror.  *ewww*

A current hot topic illustrates this:  gun violence in America.  We all agree, including me, it's out of control.  Yet the only solution I've heard offered is the same old thing the NRA and (mostly) Republicans have shot down (pun intended) over and over and over before.  Can anyone think outside the box and find something that might show results, yet be palpable to the NRA and their front men?  Can anyone today think constructively?

We need more creative thinkers like Candice Lightner.  She's the California woman who lost her 13 year old daughter back in 1985 to a hit-and-run drunk driver.  We already had laws against drunk driving, but she felt more was needed, so she founded Mothers Against Drunk Driving, or MADD.  Since then she has shamed many legislators into voting for tougher laws and more stringent enforcement, shamed many who have had one too many to call a taxi, and no doubt saved many lives.  Constructive thinking!

We need more people like John Walsh.  After his little son, Adam, was abducted from a Florida mall and killed back in 1981, John went on to start the TV show America's Most Wanted, which has helped apprehend over 1200 child predators and rescued over 50 kids.  Constructive thinking!

Somebody had to come up with the idea of Meals on Wheels, and grow food banks out of local soup kitchens.  Constructive thinking!  So, OK, these people all must have had supercharged personalities, and you don't.  

Can you not volunteer with your city?  To my knowledge most have plenty of openings for volunteers to work on Creative Arts Commissions, Planning and Zoning Commissions, Senior Affairs Commissions, Civil Service Commissions, or maybe deliver some of those Meals On Wheels or help at an animal shelter.  Expose yourself to something new.  Learn.  THINK.

Please come visit me here often.  Agree or disagree, I don't care.  But be prepared to show me why my thinking is flawed if you believe it is, and give me something else to consider.  But to just come here and whine, then go back to your room in mama's basement to live off your public assistance is doing no one a favor.  We don't need any more people using up valuable air.



  1. I wish I had a good answer to the problem of gun violence in this country, but I don't. America has always been a violent society and probably always will be, but these constant shootings are really getting me down, and I can only imagine what the relatives of the victims of gun violence are enduring.

    1. True Stephen....I attribute the lack of any consensus on what we could do on gun violence and just about anything else to our extreme polarization. The Democrats and Republicans, the rich and the poor, the young and the old...we all want what we want without thinking what anyone else might want, too. I'll say it again, we need to remember how to compromise. A little give and take would make us all a lot better off.

  2. Oh crap, I agree with you. The lack of thinking has become pervasive in our society. The media and the internet have driven thinking to 15 second sound bites and internet memes. Most are looking for simplistic solutions and pass on bytes/memes without checking or thinking.

    Recently a friend shared a meme on FB that said "The largest genocide was not the Holocaust but the 100 million Native Americans killed by the U.S. Government". It took me 2 minutes to find population data of the Americas throughout history and find the source that said the upper estimate of deaths in all of North, Central and South America was 100 million since the time of the Vikings but consensus was in the lower 10s of millions with much being done by other natives. The meme was saying we had killed 100 million since 1776. Impossible. When I forwarded the facts I got the usual "Yes, but..". Be accurate folks because errors and hyperbole invalidate the point you wish to make.

    It is easy to get caught up in the slogan/soundbite. Just last week when it was pointed out to me that people on the no fly list could still get guns my first thought was wow, just add them to the database. Further reading informed me the simple, reactive solution has some issues arising out of the Constitution. Owning a gun is a constitution right, flying isn't and adding those names would violate the due process clause. It turns out the late Senator Ted Kennedy had ended up on the no fly list. Maybe a thoughtful compromise might be adding the names only to flag for additional scrutiny instead of a blanket denial. (but there is probably an approval time max in the instant check law) Nothing is simple.

    This doesn't mean I think everything through or end up being right about everything. I am wrong more times than I can count. Like when I thought DART wasn't a good idea or the time, about 10 years ago, when a banker asked me what I thought about investing in high rise apartments in downtown Dallas and I said no.

    One final note. When you advocate an idea there are some basic laws of physics that one must take into account. 1)The law of gravity - there are forces always pulling down on everything and every idea. 2)For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction - there are always forces and ideas working against you. 3) and one I am adding - The law of unintended consequences. What can go wrong?


  3. I don't think it's that people don't know what to do. Common sense gun control would be easy to pass except as in many things, one special interest group has hijacked the government.

    1. Agreed, the NRA & Co are obstructionists, but that being the case, the other side needs to change course and find some points they CAN agree on and move forward. Otherwise, absolutely nothing gets done, nothing gets better. If your opponent in football has a killer rush defense, stop rushing right at their strength! Start passing!

  4. Ross Perot had a solution when he ran for President, and it was a pretty idea and might have worked too, but it was pointed out to him that it was a gross violation of the Constitution. Today, that doesn't seem to matter.