Archive for January, 2012

election 2012 results

I’ve been meaning to write this for a couple of months now. No sense waiting any longer. Want to know who is going to be the Republican nominee for the 2012 presidential election? Mitt Romney. Want to know who is going to be elected president? Barack Obama. That’s it. I have spoken. No need to continue to read or listen to any political pundits, debates, news reports, etc.

Want more about why I know this? It’s not involved. The Republican establishment does not want someone to come in and really rock the boat. They want someone who will be willing to support the Republican party line, not someone who wants to define it. This comes down to nominating the lowest common denominator – Mitt Romney.

What about Newt? While in reality he is as much an establishment Republican politician as any other Republican, interested in maintaining the governmental status quo, the Republican party is scared by anyone with strong rhetoric, and Newt’s mouth gets him into trouble at times (not to mention a shaky past political and personal history).

There is no real interest in changing politics in Washington, only changing the party in power. Less government is not on the agenda, as much as Republicans mouth the words. Less government means politicians have less power. It is the nature of the beast to breed and perpetuate itself. It is a pipe dream for any citizen to expect a politician to legislate away their own purpose for being. Therefore they will nominate the person least likely to work for any real changes.

Unfortunately, Mitt Romney will not produce any excitement among conservative Republicans or libertarians. Support for Romney will come down to “anyone but Obama,” which is the same thing that got Obama elected – “anyone but a Bush successor.” Will “anyone but Obama” be sufficient to win the election? I don’t think so.

The problem is that there will not be sufficient contrast between Romney and Obama. Obama is a hard-left liberal, but Romney is a middle-of-the road, or actually slightly left-leaning, Republican, and that will not be enough of a difference to get the average “independent” voter to give up on the candidate that they elected in the last election.

The truth is, Obama has too great a liberal base to be beatable. Almost all blacks will vote for him because he is black. The majority of Hispanics will vote for him hoping that a second, “lame duck” presidential term will allow him to give them what he has been afraid to give them in his first term. The “greenies” will see no other option than to vote for Obama, particularly if he can put off a final decision on the Keystone pipeline until after the election. Every welfare, food stamp and unemployment recipient will want to keep him in so they don’t get their lifestyle changed. There will be a good number of senior citizens who will be scared that they could lose social security or medicare benefits and will vote for Obama thinking that he will prevent that from happening. Most union members will also support Obama, in spite of the fact that his policies have hurt their employment opportunities.

On top of that, the economy is starting to improve. Some time ago here I wrote that the economy would improve regardless of (or in spite of) the government’s efforts to “fix” the economy. I also said that Obama would take credit for it despite the fact that his programs have had no real positive effect. People won’t care about the reasons for an economic improvement. If they feel things are improving they will no longer feel as strongly about blaming the bad economy on Obama.

In the end, Obama wins. He then goes on to use his lame duck term to promote his radical left agenda and in 2016 a Republican will be elected. Let’s hope that by then there will be a way to reverse course. Better yet, let’s hope that by then there will be the will to reverse course.

I sure hope I’m wrong.

a day late

That figures. Yesterday I finally gave up on my Canon Pixma iP5000 inkjet printer and ordered a new printer. After months and months of head cleaning and wasted ink, I just could not get the old one to print right anymore. Besides, when it did print, it would make black streaks on the page, particularly at the top of the page as the sheet was feeding in.

Since I figured the printer was toast, today I decided to pull all of the ink cartridges out and see if there was any way to get to the print head to clean it. Well, hell. If it were any easier I could have done it blindfolded. Take the cartridges out and, bingo, the print head lifts right out. Back when I bought the printer I probably put that whole section together, but six years ago apparently is too much time for my feeble memory.

Anyways, I take the print head out and, lo and behold, there is all kind of black ink built up on the bottom. No bloody wonder there was streaking! Ten minutes or so with a soft cloth and some rubbing alcohol and the whole bottom of the print head is one heck of a lot cleaner (though my fingers are a lot blacker). Wonder if it will print any better. Um, yeah, it prints like new.

That would have been good news if I had done this yesterday. Amazon is too damn fast for me – ordered yesterday with free shipping, which should take five to six days, but when I check to see if I can cancel my order I find it has already shipped. Since I really don’t need an extra printer and the old one seems to be printing fine (and since I have back-up ink cartridges for the old printer that can’t be used in the new printer) I think the printer I ordered will be making a round trip. Oh well, at least I’ll save the biggest part of the cost of a new printer. You live and you learn . . . hopefully.

dead or still dreaming?

As people get older, they deal with that situation in many ways. One type of “senior citizen” ignores the fact that they are getting older, or do so as much as is practical. They continue to live as though they have many more productive years ahead of them. For example, the dream of starting a new business does not seem any more impossible for them than it did when they were in their twenties. They keep on the path they have always trod, moving forward without regard to their age.

Others become like those people. They have spent their lives living in conformity to a societal ideal into which they were most likely born. They worked their nine-to-five jobs, raised a family, bought a house, worked their way up in a company (reaching an earning plateau around the age of forty-eight), and finally reached retirement age. However, “retirement” to those people does not mean sitting around doing nothing. It means that they finally have the freedom to pursue their own dreams, which could be anything from travel to, again, starting their own business. They approach their old age as something to be exploited, a freedom well earned.

There is another group, similar to the second group of people who have lived their lives in conformity, but who look at old age not as a time of opportunity but as one of dead dreams, limitations, acceptance of a life that is far from the conditions of their youth, and imminent death. These people draw inwards and their vision narrows. Things become less and less possible. Unfortunately, this is often because of poor physical health and/or poor financial planning, but is also the result of the kind of thinking that sees the proverbial glass as half full, or more accurately, as having only a few drops left in it.

I regret I find myself relating more to that latter group than to the others. It is not that I wish to think and feel like that, or at least I hope that I don’t wish to think or feel that way. Sometimes I can’t help but think that I must somehow enjoy having such a pessimistic, negative view of my life, for why else would I have it? We are all faced with choices in how we live our lives and I don’t know why it should not be possible to decide for ourselves which approach to aging we will take.

This whole train of thought was spurred by a short ride through the “country” this morning. I often like to take a drive out around the local farms and rural areas. I consider myself fortunate that, though I live within a small city, I live close to these rural areas. When I drive by the farms and houses with acreage, I get pangs of regret over dreams unfulfilled of having a house in a rural area. I once wanted to have a small farm, then I wanted ten acres, and then five, and now a couple of acres would make me plenty happy. The likelihood of ever having that at any future point in my life is so exceedingly small now that I cannot help but feel defeated in that dream.

As I was thinking about that today, my first thought was, “Well, that’s just the way it is.” As older people we just have to learn to accept what we have, and not be wishing that it were some other way. The question that then came to mind was, “Why?” I will grant that acceptance is sometimes the way we have to go, when conditions develop that truly limit our choices. But if we are not suffering from those conditions, why is it that I – or “we” if you are with me on this – have to accept a life that is less than desirable and devoid of dreams? Why do we have to just wait out the rest of our lives with the sole goal being our final demise? Can we no longer have dreams and work towards them? Is it too late?

Perhaps I am mistaken that we actually have a choice in how we think and feel about our lives. I certainly would like to think that we make active choices, but more often it seems as though there is some little man inside me, guiding my life, over whom I have no control. Sometimes I want to kick his ass to the curb and get him out of my life, but I almost always yield to his quiet, insistent, little voice saying, “Don’t bother, it’s too late, give it up, it’s not worth it, you’re too old for that, your life is out of your control, you don’t really make the choices, just accept it all, sit down, and quit arguing with me. Life is over for you.”

Christ, I hate that little fucker.

I’m feeling very old today, and very tired of being old. “Old.” How odd to think of myself as that. I always thought that it was interesting that I would be exactly fifty at the turn of the century. It was the idea that I would be living “half” of my life in one century and the rest in the next century. How very boring to be born at the beginning of a century, with the odds being that your entire life will have been spent within that specific century. My mother was almost like that, having only lived seven months into the new century. I always marveled that my grandparents had been born in the 1800’s, albeit at the very end of that era.

Though I occasionally thought about being fifty at the turn of the century, I never really contemplated life beyond that. I suppose because fifty seemed like a terminal point, something to get to more than to pass. Now I’m more than a decade past it and find that I have no age goal greater than living to see the next day. Hell, that’s not just an age goal, that’s the sole extent of my life planning at this point in time. I have to wonder how much longer I will live if I have no reason to do so other than getting through another day.

So is there a point to this post, or is it just more mindless, self-obsessed drivel about my dreary life? Well, I don’t see a point, so draw your own conclusions.