Riding Life!

Riding Life!
Life is like a wild horse--Unless you ride it, it will ride you! (from the movie: "Princess of Thieves.")

Sunday, September 15, 2013

C: Disconnect to Connect

This video has so much to say....


Technology.  It is supposed to ease our workload--it makes me accessible to clients 7 days a week unless I use restraint.  Call that "easier?"  Nope.

Technology.  It is supposed to "connect" us.  I think this video makes a strong case for the opposite.  Handwritten letters and mailed invitations have gone by the wayside to be replaced by emails and evites.  Timelines for Facebook have taken the place of check-in or report phone calls.  Facebook posts have all the transparency and sincerity of Christmas newsletters. 

We are robbing ourselves of community.

I think technology is great...if we have the smarts and the discipline to tame it and make it work FOR our good, not against it.

--C

Sunday, September 8, 2013

C: RANT REDUX - The Dangers of Uncertain Trumpets

Well, we're at about a week and a half since Secretary of State Kerry all but declared an operation of "limited" intervention against Syria, only to have the President publicly do a trajectory change...it's only gotten worse in my view.

I awake this morning to this "crawl" across the bottom of the screen: "Russian and Chinese warships being moved to the Syria coast."  No one's talking about it on the news shows, but the crawl got my attention and raised my hackles.  You can do an internet search on this, or go right to this CBS source or to this  page.  Yep, the Russian and Chinese are beefing up their presence in the long wait between the President's first signal and while he weakly vacillates in his resolve.

I also saw this morning his chief of staff saying that the reason the President went to Congress for approval (a bit late the day), was that he cannot honestly say that there is "imminent" danger to the US from the Syrian situation.  Well, knock his arguments for intervention down another notch, then.  Why is he talking about this PUBLICLY?  Why wasn't this discussion done before he made intentions to bomb Syria known?  Why announce the decision and THEN go back and ask Congressional permissions.  Weak, weak, weak; and, I'm afraid, internationally laughable.

This amid reports that our only "ally," France, has done an about-face, too, announcing that it will await a full UN report before joining any move against Syria.  Who can blame them?  If our President is unsure, why should they throw their hat into that wobbly ring?  Here is a report on the French.

Why is this happening?  I'm no foreign relations expert, but here's my feeling:  Our President has blown an uncertain trumpet.  When you blow the battle trumpet, you need to be ready to roll.


1 Corinthians 14:8 says: Again, if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle (NIV).

Who, indeed?

I have been flipping all around my cable television channels, watching both cable reports and the network shows.  Pundits and "experts" are debating the pros and cons of striking Syria (notably, not mentioning the Chinese and Russian ships).  For me the issue is much larger: Can we follow this leader into war? 

All this debating should have been behind them by the time Kerry went to the podium on this.  Our President has shown himself weak, and he has embarrassed us.  I can almost see the Chinese and Russians scheming to further humiliate him by moving their ships to Syria. 

Here's the thing:  Are we willing to go to WWIII over this?  I submit that the answer is "no."  China knows that; Russia knows that.  In the end I predict we will tuck our tail and sit back.  The President has put us in that
kind of position.

So, the issue for me is not whether we should intervene in this horrendous Syrian situation.  The issue is whether we have a leader who could lead us in that endeavor.

These are trying, fearful times for our country that do not bespeak our greatness.  C

Sunday, September 1, 2013

C: Rant Warning. Where is Our Leader????

DISCLOSURE: I did not vote for John Kerry when he ran. I have never voted for Barrack Obama, however, he is my president. I am an American. 

Day before yesterday Secretary of State John Kerry gave what I thought was a well-reasoned speech about limited intervention in Syria. I know most of you have watched with the same horror I feel as over 100,000 people have been killed in Syria's civil war. I have recoiled from the images of chemical warfare used by someone (presumably the government) on one's own homeland. What could be worth that?

I watched Secretary Kerry, searching for clues about whether I should trust him in what he was saying. He seemed to me to be a juxtaposition against his predecessor. Hillary Clinton always seemed to me to be gad flying across the face of the earth and accomplishing little. During
her speeches as Secretary of State she always looked worn, and her composure looked contrived, as if she was consciously trying to portray someone in command. Her remarks about Benghazi have angered me and revealed that she does not view that situation as I do. 

I have trust issues...

As Kerry spoke, he looked genuinely composed, in command of the facts. I softened and listened, hoping for leadership and assurance that my country was making an informed decision in this horrible situation, using information I don't have and wisdom that is worthy of national position.

In the end he convinced me. I agree that there may be a moral imperative here. I agree that Iran and others are watching. I agree that it may strengthen our security at home in the long run for evil doers out there to know that the United States is strong and full of resolve. Not that it matters in the end, but I mentally and emotionally climbed on board with Secretary Kerry and came into agreement that my country should, once again, move into the war zone. I hate it. I hate being in Afghanistan / Iraq to any extent. I just want us to all get along.
 
Still, if the leaders of my country think...
 
This assent was a shock to my family and circle of friends, knowing my political proclivities as they do.

I did have one big reservation about throwing my itty-bitty support to Secretary Kerry: The president. I have no confidence in his leadership. I believe he is pulling my country domestically down a dangerous path. I do not see him as a strong leader.
Still, there is Secretary Kerry, Secretary of Defense Hagel, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, all the national security advisors. 

My mind's eyes moved back to Secretary Kerry. Yes, I decided to trust.

Then the president spoke yesterday.  To my mind he did exactly what I feared. My view is that he backpedaled on his own secretary of state. The news this morning says that he had "privately" reconsidered moving ahead without congressional approval, that his remarks were a "surprise" to his advisors and to his cabinet. Really? Who does that to his cabinet?

At the leadership level of the presidency, I believe that one should do all
his/her "dithering" behind closed doors. Upon reflection I do agree that Congressional advice and approval is needed--BUT MAKE THAT DECISION BEFORE YOU MAKE A PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT!! 
 
Do not trot out your Secretary of State to make a proclamation tantamount to limited declaration of  war until you are sure. If you can't be sure, keep your mouth shut. MAKE THE DADBLASTED DECISION then be united. Don't head off in one direction then pull off to the side--in full view of the world.

I am ashamed and embarrassed. I am no longer on board. We have no leadership, and I don't want to go to war, no matter how limited, under this kind of wishy-washing. I don't know how he can go to his upcoming summit and face the Russians who are housing a traitor who has revealed that our own President has presided over spying on his own people (ala Russia, by the way--can't you see Putin giggling?).  And now, to face Putin after this dazzling display of weenieism...

I'm back to trust issues... C  (sorry for the shouting...)

P.S. - After posting I have been watching the Sunday morning news shows--not good.   Watch Kerry now...he doesn't look so rested this morning.  Probably a rough last 24 hours.  He's a good soldier, though--this is simply not enough for me.  I think our leader does not know what he is doing. 
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