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To impeach or not to impeach Donald Trump, that is the question.  And, honestly, I hope the answer to this unfortunate but very real question comes a lot sooner than later.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not some ranting nut job.  I know that impeachment is a big deal.  It requires a lot of steps, meetings, testimonies, hearings and enough evidence to all but bury most legal departments in paperwork for years.  Impeaching the President of the United States just can’t happen in a day.  Simply stated, it’s a process.

Sadly, this isn’t my first experience with U.S. impeachment proceedings.  I am old enough to remember the impeachment of Richard Nixon/the Watergate scandal as well as the more recent impeachment of President Bill Clinton in 1998.

Note to history buffs, while I am also fully aware that President Andrew Johnson was the first president to be impeached in U.S. history, I am, in fact, NOT old enough to have been around for that one.

Still, I must confess that seeing Nixon impeached and kicked out of office while Bill Clinton was also impeached but allowed to remain in office puzzled me a bit.  I know, I know, it’s two different proceedings but…still seemed a little weird to me.  Nevertheless, even though I disagreed with the process and the resulting outcome, I learned to deal with it and keep it moving.  But, I digress.

My point is that since Donald Trump is probably going to be impeached anyway, why not do it expeditiously?!  By expeditiously, I mean well before​ he does anymore damage, sends out anymore tweets, meets with additional heads of state or embarrasses the United States any more than he already has!

Think about it!  Starting the proceedings now would save so much trouble.  There would be no more outlandish and ghoulish facial expressions​ to scrutinize or poke fun at.  There would be no more threats of war due to the pushing and shoving of dignitaries that he feels are too unimportant to even be courteous to.  There would be no more embarrassment at having your president caught not wearing a headset for translation purposes during meetings with foreign dignitaries, despite the fact that he does not speak/read or understand their language.  There would be no more splitting Secret Service details between two states because he and his family expected special treatment.  There would be no extravagant weekend jaunts for the taxpayers to foot the bill for.  There would be no more hints of improprieties during FBI investigations or of collusion with foreign leaders.  All of that could stop right now.

Right??

Why wait?

Why wait until the poor are completely railroaded and totally without basic necessities such as insurance or much needed social programs?  Why wait until seniors return to eating cat food out of desperation and hunger?  Why wait​ until orphanages are overrun with Hispanic children because their parents have all been deported?  Why wait until missiles are fired as acts of war rather than “routine testing.”  By then, it will be too late.  The situation will be far too catastrophic for any incoming president to fix!

And truthfully, haven’t we already seen enough of Trump to know where he is going and in which direction he is taking this country?  Why wait until he totally destroys it?

I say, impeach him today!!  May as well get it over with.  After all, it is inevitable at this point.  Why prolong the agony?  Why allow him to waste more taxpayer money?  I say, save the time, the money and the headache.  Impeach Donald Trump today!  It’s the kinder, gentler thing to do.

Can anybody hear me?

Ok, I keep hearing over and over that the country is more divided than ever, usually in the context of blaming former President Obama for recognizing that he was black or Trump for attacking minorities.  But, let’s be honest here, the country has always been divided.  At no time in its relatively short history has it ever been a united nation where equality ruled.  Its very foundation is built on human suffering and taking advantage of others.  The truth is, Black, Negro, African-American peoples have been fighting for Human Rights in the United States since stepping off slave ships in the 1600s.

Amazingly, in 2017, Black, Negro, African-American peoples are still dealing with racial barriers in a country they have built and occupied since their enslavement.  Why on earth would anybody, from those individuals who are newly arriving in the US to others whose oppression wasn’t as visible or continuous, believe that their specific issues will be or should be dealt with first?

It is obvious that other races of people now experiencing unfair treatment as guests in the US are either convinced that Blacks, Negroes, African-Americans are satisfied and lazy or else are totally unaware of 400 years of their own mistreatment.

And now, instead of assisting Blacks, Negroes, African-Americans with their obvious and continuous fight for basic human rights, these other, now targeted groups/races of people either jumped on the bandwagon with the oppressor of Blacks, Negroes, African-Americans or pretend that they don’t notice the racial disparities that exist in the country that they chose to inhabit.

Perhaps if they had joined the ongoing struggle of the Blacks, Negroes, African-Americans, when it was only against Blacks, Negroes, African-Americans, maybe they would have avoided their starring role as criminal targets today.

They never considered that Blacks, Negroes, African-Americans didn’t come here willingly like they did.  They never considered that the very structure of America demands that someone be a permanent servant class.  They never considered that, even if they came in search of a better life than what they received in their homelands, they at least knew where they came from.  They also decided where they were going.  Blacks, Negroes, African-Americans are called African but, if they were dropped off in the continent of Africa, they wouldn’t know where to go.  Truth is, Blacks, Negroes, African-Americans are more familiar with the US than they will ever be with the continent they are labeled by.  And even here, they have never been welcome outside of the plantation.

So now, Hispanics, Muslims, individuals of Middle Eastern descent now find themselves the target of unfair treatment.  Now they are the bad guys!  They are the immigrants being targeted.  According to white America, if a wall is built keeping them out, crime in the US will diminish.  Like never before, US citizens fear being injured if they are allowed to stay or even worse if they are deported.

And now that they are the targets, they expect Blacks, Negroes, African-Americans to come to their aid and speak out on their behalf?

Have you noticed that no one is discussing building a wall in order to block Italians from entering the US?  No one suggests that all the criminal behavior, murders, racketeering at the hand of known Mafioso’s might be impacted.  We will never know.  That’s because they are welcomed.  In fact, all white skinned immigrants are welcomed into the United States without restriction.

Did the new arrivals totally miss that the US refuses to even acknowledge that racism is still very much alive?  They didn’t see that the country would rather address Women’s issues and issues facing the LBGT community than deal with 400+ years of the dehumanization of Blacks, Negroes, African-Americans—gay, straight, male and female?  What, did they think hard work would put them in good graces?  Did they think that they, in the last few decades worked any harder than Blacks, Negroes, African-Americans who built this country?  What did they really expect?

So, my advice is to take a number!  They’ve already missed their chance to take a stand.

Can anyone hear me?

I don’t know about you but, I do the same thing at the end of every year!  Unfortunately, this includes waxing a little sad.  You see, it’s that time again.  It’s time for me to review the outgoing year, with as much honesty as I can muster!!  From the negative to the positive, I try to take an objective look in my mirror and assess what I have accomplished, who I have hurt, what I could have done better, etc!!

Yes, I said “try” because all you can do is try.  Mind you, I don’t beat up on myself or anything like that.  But, if I am minimally honest, I normally need to issue at least two to three apologies!

With any luck, the recipients will be unreachable!  LOL!

In the event that they are reachable, I contact them and just get it over with as quickly as possible.

Admittedly, apologies don’t come easy for me.  I guess if we are even remotely honest, not many people like to apologize.  We’d rather be the recipient of an apology.  However, I have found out it can be very medicinal, humbling and cleansing to your soul.

I try to tread lightly since I never know how the recipient of my apology is going to respond. Sometimes, the recipient didn’t even anticipate an apology from me at all.  Sometimes, I have to remind the individual of what happened and why I am apologizing—which somewhat diminishes either my remaining guilt or the impact of the groveling.  Other times, they are extremely grateful because I took the lead.  Occasionally, my apology is not accepted.

Sometimes, the individual I contact owes me an apology too.  Sometimes—if I’m very lucky—they reciprocate.  Sometimes—more often than not—they don’t.   Sometimes a friendship is saved.  Sometimes, a relationship is lost.  Whatever the outcome, I try to remember that I am only responsible for my half of any relationship.

So, I do it.  I apologize.  I do this not because I am a martyr, but because I just gotta be happy with myself.  I guess my reasons for apologizing are somewhat selfish.  You see, I gotta be able to respect who I am.  I gotta be able to close out yet another year without dragging the old year into the new one.  I gotta be able to close out the year without further ado and without regrets.

At the end of the day, I wanna be able to look in that mirror—gotta be able to look into that mirror—so, at the very least, I can review the coming year with less and less to apologize for.  Maybe next year, I’ll be calling just to say Hello!

Can anybody hear me?

Insurance, insurance, insurance.

These days, there are so many insurance choices available that they seem to cover EVERY possible issue that may arise in your life.  There’s Whole or Term Life Insurance, Death Insurance, Auto/Motorcycle/Boat Insurance, Home Owner’s Insurance, Mortgage Insurance, Renter’s Insurance and a host of others.  Even if you own a spaceship, there is undoubtedly a policy out there to insure it.  You may not be able to afford it, but it’s out there.

The trouble with having so many insurance options presented, however, is that the rules, as well as the differing levels of coverage that exist from state to state, are, for the most part, profoundly unclear.  And, if you aren’t up to date on the constantly changing procedures, you can quickly become overwhelmed and/or be cheated out of a lot of money due to unnecessary or overlapping coverage.

If that isn’t enough, even if you manage to pay the fees and avoid the pitfalls, the insurance companies have other ways to cheat you.  For instance, you can pay full monthly premiums for life insurance for 30+ years only to turn 74 or 75 years of age and have your insurance benefits suddenly cut in half.  That’s right.  Despite being up to date on your premiums, you are not safe!  Apparently, the reality of your possible death and/or associated withdrawal of monies from an insurance company is just too much for them to handle.

So, incredibly, insurance companies are legally able to cut your benefits without any explanation or legitimate reason!

Things like age and uncovered illnesses (the parameters of which are, of course, determined by the insurance company) can easily get you a fast trip to the poor house.    Even with some covered illnesses, the copays and deductibles can decide and/or limit care options.  On some level, simply not having any insurance at all does away with the stress of dealing with unexpected costs and forms.  But then, you have to bear the weight of the full costs of treatment, which—as has been seen with antibiotics for cancer patients and the Epi-Pen—are artificially high in the first place.  You lose one source of problems only to fall into an entirely different set.  You just can’t win.

And it’s not just health insurance either.  Likewise, you can pay for Auto Insurance only to be penalized or even dropped by the insurance company for using it.  They accept payments from you month after month, year after year but, once you call them with a problem in need of service, your coverage is in jeopardy.

Again, the law of the land dictates that the insurance company has all the power.  Thus, they are well within their rights to alter or cancel your contract!

So we, the consumer, are truly at the mercy of the insurance company.   We, the consumer, are tasked to pay for insurance but never use it or risk expulsion.

As such, those of us who actually have insurance do everything in our power to avoid using the service that we are paying for.  To dodge excessive fees or hassle, we find ways to ignore health problems or patch things up on our own, which is not only ridiculous, but the very opposite of why insurance exists.

Could you imagine the power company dropping your service because you demand electricity at night?  Or, the gas company cancelling your contract because you asked for too much heat during the winter?

We need to band together as a society to force our representatives/government to step in and regulate insurance companies.  As it stands, they are the only ones benefitting.  Can anybody hear me?

There are literally dozens of websites dedicated to finding one’s ancestors.  In fact, new sites are popping up every day.

This, of course, works out well for anyone wanting to find out about their lineage.  People can easily see if they really are the descendants of royalty and well-known explorers.

As an added bonus, long lost living relatives/friends can be located as well.

Here’s my problem:  It’s wonderful to see those people on TV who have tearful reunions with their loved ones, but what about the long lost relatives/friends who want to remain just that, long lost?  What about individuals in witness protection programs, or rape victims, etc., who purposely don’t want to be found?

What recourse do they have?

Now, I know what some of you are thinking.  You can certainly understand why SOME people may not want to be located.  However, there is probably a lot less understanding for individuals who never endured a particularly traumatic situation but still do not want to be located by family members/friends in search of them.

I am a firm believer that most people are in contact with the family members/friends that they actually want to be in contact with.  The ones that have dropped off are, most often, intentionally cast aside.  For example, we may have stopped answering their calls until they stopped calling, changed our phone numbers, moved without a forwarding address, or simply stopped opening the door.  It seems pretty obvious that the honeymoon is officially over.

Okay, okay…every now and then there is that someone who fell through the cracks.  Somehow, you lost contact with them and, consequently, you don’t mind being located/reunited with/by them.

But, for the most part, we all have relatives we deliberately avoid, like Uncle Bill and Aunt Sue.  Their publicly unhappy marriage being on display at every family function you can remember was only part of the impetus.  Their rowdy offspring, tendency to pilfer things out of your home when you aren’t looking, inability to repay loans and startling lack of accountability were also factors.

Ironically, or maybe just annoyingly, these are the family members that don’t allow you to get away.  They show up at every family reunion, so you end up not attending just so you can avoid them.  Unfortunately, some innocents get caught in the cross-hairs.  The alternative is that everyone goes from quiet avoidance to pistols at dawn.

So, for the sake of peace—your peace—it is what it is.

Can anybody hear me?

Donald Trump

Love him or hate him; call him a racist; call him rude and/or obnoxious!

But, before you call him anything else, know this:  There is a real possibility that, someday soon, you may indeed be calling him Mr. President.

What does that really say about this country?

If you were anything like me, you laughed your head off when Donald Trump announced that he was considering a run for the presidency.

Back then, you thought an ice cube had a better chance of surviving in Hell then Donald Trump had of winning a primary much less a possible nomination.

Fast forward to today and he is actually a serious contender!  Do you believe it?

Most of us who have lived with and through the painful history of this country never thought we would live long enough to see the United States go full circle and end up right back to where it started from 60 years ago, with boycotts, rioting in the street for human rights and unjustified police killings in 2015-16?

What happened?  Where did all the well-meaning and post-racial folks go?

Could it be that once the curtain is closed on the voting booth their true feelings are expressed, with both their friends and their politically correct selves that espouse love and freedom for all publicly none the wiser?

With all the talk about wanting to end racism, reverse racism, bigotry, discrimination, hatred, etc. that everyone from pastors to politicians’ talks about, how can someone like Donald Trump be the frontrunner for president?  I’m not saying that the other contenders are any better for the job or that their viewpoints are any different from Donald Trump’s but, at least they exercise some restraint.  They at least care enough to lie.

After all, who’s going to know?

One thing is for sure, Donald Trump cannot be voting for himself.  He cannot continuously maintain a commanding lead without the participation of a lot of individuals who have publicly displayed disdain for him while privately supporting his (and perhaps their own) agenda.  What, more than anything, does THAT say about the current state of America?

Can anybody hear me?

I have so many things to blog about today that I don’t even know where to begin.

I could start with outrage over the Senate’s public verbalization of their intent to block any nomination of the next Supreme Court Justice by a sitting President. I could lose myself in the knowledge that any sitting president in Obama’s position would take this opportunity yet, somehow, he is vilified for it.

I could go on and on about there being no justice for Freddie Gray, et al. However, I would probably run out of ink due to the sheer numbers of those maimed or murdered at the hands of the police at any given time. And then, I could thoroughly crush my spirit by remembering that these are only the ones that make the News. A lot of others occur with little to no fanfare.

I could discuss the lady who made off with a purse containing $10,000 of tuition payment monies after the owner left it unattended in a local coffee shop. But, in truth, the owner of the purse would receive as much ire as the woman who took off with it. Who in the world travels with $10,000 in cash in their purse and then leaves the purse unattended? The purse should have been surgically attached to her hand!

I could discuss the Black Lives Matter campaign.

. . . . the Cops/Blue Lives Matter campaign.

. . . . the Animal Lives Matter campaign.

However, the need to have these campaigns in the first place speaks volumes about the society we live in.

Why isn’t it obvious that all LIFE matters?

I could discuss Black History Month but… (see entry on Black Life Matters campaign above.).

I could discuss the OscarsSoWhite “controversy!” But, I don’t care enough about the Oscars nor what they stand for to even waste ink and paper.

I could discuss Bill Cosby, however, I am tired of hearing about him. Either file charges against him, arrest him, try him in a court of law and not in the media or let him be.

I could discuss Peyton Manning but… (see entry on Bill Cosby above).

I could discuss the 22 year old man who took pictures/films of under-aged (elementary school) children engaging in sexual intercourse. However, I cannot wrap my mind around the idea that elementary school children can actually physically engage in sexual intercourse, nor that no one was paying enough attention to the situation to realize what was happening on SCHOOL premises.

I could discuss the UBER driver that snapped, killed about 6 people, injured 2 more, snapped back and continued his work day as usual. But, if I were to do that, I might put my foot in my mouth.

I could discuss the decision by some states to allow transgendered individuals to choose the public restroom that they most identify with. After all, the sheer magnitude of social unrest and possible crime due to imposters pretending to be transgendered, and other safety issues, etc., should outweigh any quick decisions made in order to feign sincere interest in solving this social issue. But that’s a nonstarter as well.

So, I’m not going to.

I prefer to discuss the 106 year old woman who visited the White House, hugged the President and the First Lady, kicked up her heels and had the time of her life! Boy would I love to sit down and have a cup of coffee with her and pick her brain.

She made me happy. I like that. So that’s what gets my attention today.

Can anybody hear me?

Tired . . . Tired . . . Tired. . . .

I don’t know about you but, I can’t do this anymore. I am so tired and fed up with my job and my life! Nothing is going the way I thought it would go. I cannot believe I rushed through my childhood to get to this overrated thing called adulthood!

Don’t get me wrong. I am not suicidal. I don’t want to die! In fact, the opposite is true. I just want to live! I mean really live . . . not just killing time while I survive from paycheck to paycheck. I don’t want to just hop from weekend to weekend with only tedium in between. I want a real life where you get to work and play! Simply stated, this ain’t it!!

I’m not even talking about being filthy rich or anything like that. I don’t want notoriety or the inability to walk the streets! I certainly don’t want to be in constant fear that some knucklehead is gonna kidnap one of my children either!!

I just want to be comfortable. I just want to not worry about EVERYTHING! Bills. Education for my children. Insurance. Employment. Wars. Violence. Constant repairs. Listening to endless complaints and filing even more myself.

It’s enough to make you want to get under the bed and stay there forever.

It’s enough to make you want to be a child again, forever under the protection (and support) of someone else!!

I mean, think about it. There are only about five things you get to do as an adult that you aren’t legally allowed to do as a child:

  • Driving
  • Sex
  • Smoking
  • Drinking
  • Voting

Let’s face it, you’ve done all of those things by the time you are 21! After that, what’s next?

If you don’t know, let me tell you.

Responsibility!!!

That’s right…responsibility. Before you even get to “enjoy” this thing called adulthood, you get weighed down by a thousand concerns that are dropped on you all at once. You worry about completing college/trade school, then living single for a minute before getting worried that you’ve been that for too long. Then you worry about getting married and before you now it you’re having babies. Adorable, lovable, utterly helpless, dependent and self-centered babies.

Now you focus on the children until they get tired of the attention that they once demanded and cherished and the vicious cycle begins anew, only it’s them finding out the horrible truth about growing up and not you.

So, right about now, childhood should be starting to look really good. How many are with me?

Can anybody hear me?

Ever hear somebody telling a really long story? You know, the kind that drags on and on for several minutes longer than the actual content would suggest is possible. Have you ever noticed that, right as they are finally getting to the end, they add: “And another thing,” before spewing more nonsense? I mean, you are already almost hating the sound of their voice as well as their deviated septum when, just like that, “and another thing” puts an end to any hope you had of getting away.

Somehow “and another thing” leads to another couple of minutes, which then leads to hours of more talking and often a word for word re-telling of the entire story in every painful detail!

For the sake of politeness you, once again, try feigning interest while your mind is wandering here and there. After all, you were raised to be polite, right?

Anyway, a couple of well placed, “Aha’s”, “Oh’s” and “You’re kidding’s,” really come in handy and make it seem as if you are somehow remotely interested in what this person wants to—not “has to”—say!

Oftentimes, the storyteller is so wrapped up in their own story (and relatively minor glory) that they don’t seem to notice the glazed over look that you know has to be in your eyes.

Do you ever wonder if these individuals—you know, the ones you run from when you see their profiles on the horizon—even know how annoying they truly are? You have to wonder, are they having fun at your expense? Can they not see the emotions you are trying to suppress? Are they ignoring your obvious discomfort or do they not care? Or, worse still, are they really THAT oblivious?

We may never know.

What I do know is there are more than a few of them walking around in my general circle (i.e. place of employment, at the family reunion, etc.). Somehow, they seem to make a bee-line to me.

Who am I kidding?

I’m a freaking magnet for all things crazy, annoying, stinking and needy. People see me and immediately decide that I am the one to bother, sit next to on the train, question about the intricacies of life or solicit monies from, as if there is a tattoo or neon sign on my forehead inviting all matter of nonsense to come my way.

With the invention of answering services, caller ID, etc., I have been able to control the flow of foolishness that comes from many of my annoying family members and former friends. However, handling the annoying public is another animal altogether. Nowadays, you must navigate this hazardous land carefully to keep from being shot, stabbed or worse, talked to death!

Can anybody hear me?

There comes a time in everyone’s life when they know they need to make a change.

It’s not just your inability to find a suitable television program even though you have a gazillion cable channels.

It’s not just the fact that you pick up your cell phone at least 1,000 times a day, more because it keeps you willfully connected if you wish to be and not because you want to actually talk to people.

It’s not just that you drink and eat on something all day long and therefore cannot tell if you are ever really hungry or not.

It’s not just that you pretend to be listening to conversations that you are supposed to be involved in when really you couldn’t care less about the subject matter (or even the speaker in many cases).

It’s not just that unproductive day that comes along on occasion when you are at work…nor is it the fact that even when you do take off from work, you may as well have gone anyway because you checked email all day and never really relaxed.

It’s not just that you suddenly realized after reading that last sentence that you don’t even know how to relax.

It’s not just that you are single. It’s not just that you are married. It’s not just your children and/or grandchildren.

It’s all of them — everything wound together — converging on you simultaneously!!

Mind you, any one of them can make you scream on a daily basis, but when you put them all together — KABOOM!

This feeling that I am writing about is more than boredom setting in. It’s more than ennui. No. It’s that moment when you know that if you don’t get out, you may freak out!! Every day is a struggle not to do just that! Every day is a struggle just to give a crap!

You try to stay to yourself but, it seems that as soon as you decide to do that, others seek you out…frantically! That’s when they need to see or speak with you — for some reason — in person. They aren’t content with text or email. No, they have to see you face to face.

Now, instead of screaming, you gotta smile. At work, you get paid to smile. At home, you owe it to your loved ones to smile…as much as you can. You smile so much that the tears run even when you have a grin on your face.

You gotta smile because no one person, no one thing is responsible for your emotions other than you. No matter who is doing what to whom, no one has permission to snap on people (much to my eternal frustration).

You and only you decide what kind of moment, day, life you will have. So, here’s what you do: you decide to make it great because you got another day to do so.  Why not make it great…on purpose!   Can anybody hear me?