Link: “What A Character!”, the Thursday Writing Prompt at Flashy Fiction

Flashy FictionWhat A Character!, the Thursday Writing Prompt for 8 August 2013 is waiting for you at Flashy Fiction.

Dream up someone new, then head on over and share a story that reveals your character.

Write Something!

Politicians…Don’t Be Slimy!

At the risk of losing the few followers I have, I’m going to make a rare post on politics.  No, I’m not going to endorse a candidate.  I’m simply going to throw out some of my thoughts on the subject.

The most important qualities for me are honesty and character.  If I think a candidate is slimy, he’s got a huge hole to climb out of.  What do I find slimy?  Changing what you claim will be your highest priority, if elected, based on which group or state you’re speaking to is a big no-no.  That’s pandering and I don’t like it.  Making negative ads?  Slimy!  Run on your merits, not what you think I’ll find detracting about others.  Shoot straight.  Look at the camera and let me see that you actually believe what you’re saying.  Regurgitating what your fact finders and statisticians tell you is easy and we all know that data can be skewed any direction to prove a point.  Fortunately for most of the candidates, none of them are slime free.  Of the Republicans, Santorum probably comes across as less slimy than most of the other Republican hopefuls, which is likely why he’s currently one of the front runners.

Unfortunately for him, he has made some statements and has some positions that a lot of voters find troubling.  Most have and this leads into my second quality…don’t be a flake.  If you’ve got really extreme views, you’re probably not the best candidate for me.  If you think you have some way of “converting” gays to straight, or you’re in a religion that believes you can kill people with your mind, or, back in college, you thought it would be okay to join a radical group that used violence to try to achieve their goals…you’re a flake.  The exception to this rule is defending our country, our freedom, and our Constitution.  In these, I want a fanatic who understands that while we need to play nice with the other peaceable countries in the world and cooperate in most things, there are times when we need to act…unilaterally, if need be.  [For those out there who are skeptics on this, we have some of the best intelligence and surveillance ever.  We don’t act without cause.  The decision to take lives in return for those of our own isn’t made lightly.]

At this point, some of you are probably pegging me as a war monger.  Not so.  I believe war is horrible, but it has to be waged sometimes…yes, in the interest of peace.

So, where do my political allegiances lie?  On some issues, I’m more conservative.  On some issues, I’m more liberal.  On some, I don’t really know where I am…thank God I’m not running and have to have a here or there position on everything.  Why don’t I call my positions Republican or Democrat?  Because those aren’t positions.  They are political parties…of which we don’t have enough.  I know that we technically have a lot more than we ever hear about, but that’s part of the problem.

For all intents, we have a two party system.  There hasn’t been a real third party involved in an election since Ross Perot and years before him, John Anderson, but neither of them really had a shot at winning.  We’ve become so polarized and so label-happy in this country that rather than really learning where someone stands on all the issues, we make them pick a party and then we know…without having to learn anything about them.  Half the time, the Independents aren’t really Independent, rather they are Republicans or Democrats who are disgruntled because their own party doesn’t want them, but their quest for power is so great, I mean, they want so badly to serve the people of this great nation, that they abandon their party and run as an Independent, typically drawing votes away from their former party, ensuring a victory for the other party.

The other big failing of the “two party” system is that almost nothing gets passed…bills, budgets, etc…because too many of the politicians are afraid to break ranks with their party and vote what they really feel or think is right.  I don’t think I really need to go into all the backroom deals that take place to get support from members of the other party.

I’d love to see a really strong Independent who could actually vie for the Presidency.  I think our system could really benefit from that.  It would be fairly simple for such a candidate to catch my interest and get me to listen to what he has to say:  Be of strong moral character, honest, and don’t be a flake.  Let me know you’re going to defend our Nation and its principles, and then we’ll see where we match up on all the other issues.

Enough is enough, already!

originally posted 10/15/2009 7:37 am

Oregon Apartment Complex Bans Flying the American Flag

(headline for this article: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,566341,00.html?test=latestnews)

Are you freaking kidding me???  The apartment complex is afraid someone will get offended by seeing an American flag flying from an apartment or car or a sticker on a car?  They can get over it!  They are in an apartment complex in one of the states in The United States of America.  If they don’t like it, they can take their happy asses back from whence they came…and if they are American and don’t like it, they can try to find a better country to which to emigrate.  Good freaking luck on that one, pal!  Maybe you don’t agree with our foreign policy or are concerned about all the business the government is trying to poke their heads and dig their money-grubbing fingers into, but this still beats just about anywhere you can find to live.

It’s way past time for us to stop concerning ourselves with someone being offended by seeing the U.S. Flag flying high in all her glory.  (It’s also way past time for us to stop catering to all the special interest groups, but that would be a whole other post.) Why is it that we’re the only country that doesn’t have the balls to say, “It’s too bad that you don’t like it.  It’s our flag and we’ll fly it where we want.  If you don’t like it, shut up and get out!”

It’s time for us to get back to standing tall because we’re Americans, especially on our own soil.  We have so much freedom, that for the sake of free speech/freedom of expression, we allow people to burn our flag in our own streets… unceremoniously and maliciously.  Try that anywhere else.

The article also mentions that they won’t allow flying sports team flag on cars either.  Are they afraid someone’s going to get offended because someone watches a different sport, or roots for a team that’s doing better than theirs?  Really?  If we let this go, what’s next?  Better not let them wear outerwear that has flags or sports teams logos, either.  They might be spotted heading in and out of their apartment.  What if I’m sad that they can afford $100 shoes while I have to hit Payless or a thrift store.  How about we just all go nude?  No, that wouldn’t work either.  Someone’s bound to have a better looking body than me, right?  That could hurt my feelings, too.  We could all wear the same color muumuu and bags over our heads so that we all look the same and figure wouldn’t matter because it would be hidden under the muumuu, but that wouldn’t quite do it either…  I’m not as tall as Shaq, or maybe someone his height would be ashamed because he’s unusually tall.  I guess we’ll just have to sneak into our apartment and never come out so we don’t risk offending or being offended by anyone.

Is that a bit extreme?  Yeah, but we seem to like extremes lately, and go out of our way to cater to them and/or avoid them.

***Note:  If you were offended by this post, too bad! Deal with it!

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Edit:  Seems like some folks read my post… just kidding.  By the time I had finished this and published it, there was a follow-up article (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,566740,00.html?test=latestnews) which says the ban was rescinded.  Amazing how a little scrutiny and national attention can do wonders to squash stupid policies…sometimes.

My Hero for the Week – Carrie Prejean

originally posted 4/21/2009 1:17 pm

(Maybe I should make this a weekly topic…   I’ll have to think about that)

Carrie Prejean, first runner-up to Miss USA 2009, My Hero for the Week

No, I don’t watch the pageants (or the Oscars or Grammys or CMAs, etc.), but this one has stirred up quite a buzz.  The “news” media is calling it a controversy.  According to what I’ve read, Carrie Prejean and Miss USA 2009, Kristen Dalton, were separated by .36 of a point going into the Q&Q round of the competition.  I haven’t heard anything about the question Miss Dalton had to answer, but Miss Prejean was asked whether she believed in gay marriage, she answered “We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite. And you know what, I think in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised.”  The speculation is that her answer is what cost her the win as one judge made it clear that he didn’t like her answer.

So, why’s Carrie Prejean my hero for the week?  It has nothing to do with whether I’m for or against gay marriage.  It has EVERYTHING to do with the fact that she had the COURAGE to stand up there on the stage, in front of the hundreds/thousands of people in the audience, and the handful or so of people watching it live across the country on TV, and say what she honestly felt.  That, my friends, takes more courage than most people will ever have to display.  According to what I’ve been reading, she’d have locked up the win with the politically correct answer that went against what she believes.

What’s really sad is that the weenie judge who tanked her couldn’t see past his personal prejudice for people who don’t believe the same thing he does and give her great credit for having the courage to answer honestly.  I guess it shows that what we really want in this country are people who look good and feed us the BS they think we want to hear, regardless of what they really believe.

I don’t want to take anything away from Miss Dalton.  It’s kind of sad that her victory is now being overshadowed by this controversy, but I can’t say how impressed I am with Miss Prejean’s character.

Way to go, Carrie!

Comments:

Old Bob wrote (4/21/2009 10:28 pm):
this young lady obviously received some lousy coaching. answering the question from her heart instead of her head is much like applying for a retail job and admitting that you have stolen from previous employers…not smart.

Reply:

Lorwynd wrote (4/22/2009 7:44 am):
I’m sure you’ve seen the news about this. She has since defended her response and said she has no regrets. Maybe that’s just an attempt to put on a good facade, but coaching aside, I know these girls spend a lot of time preparing for these events and I’m sure they know who the judges are and what they are for and against. The question, supposedly randomly drawn, was given to her by an openly gay man who makes his living writing/blogging/whatever you want to call it about famous people, frequently trashing them. I’m sure she knew what answer he was looking for. Instead she chose the higher ground and answered honestly.

Now, let’s think about this from another angle. Maybe she is much more shrewd than anyone gives her credit for. She could have given the answer most people would have expected from Miss California in trying to win, but then what? She wins. Congrats, here’s your crown, a one year contract to be a goody-goody, an apartment , some money, and no one really remembers who she is. It was only Sunday night that this event took place. How many people can put a name to the crowned-less-than-a-week-ago Miss USA vs. how many know the name and face of the runner-up? Who now has the better shot for the talk shows, speaking engagements, and being the poster child for millions of Americans? True, she may have been up for poster child for the gay marriage groups in California and around the USA, but that would have railed against what she believes.

Jimmy Choo wrote (4/26/2009 9:34 pm):
I was really upset that the judge w2ho asked her reacted that way. It’s Miss California’s point of view anyway.

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