7 Mar

Pops FamilyThe Feast of St. Rocco

The Beginning

This is the story of my father, feast may not be the best way to describe him but it does make a great title. This historical document will cover his life and the lessons we can learn from him. I will start with his early days where he was born in the town of Barano on the island of Ischia in the Bay of Naples. He’s the youngest of eleven children born to Luigi DiCostanzo and Regina Margarita Lombardi DiCostanzo.

They had eleven children but only seven survived; one daughter and six sons. This is not only an admirable accomplishment during the depression, but it happened in spite of my grandfather’s trips to the United States to earn money to send back to Italy to help support his family. He made three trips here for about six years each time. His objective was to work hard and send money back home.
This account will start with his early years as he grew up on the Island of Ischia between the years of 1929 and 1950. He started life as the baby brother of five older brothers. It’s most likely that the oldest brother Pashcal (Pasqual) (I will be using phonetic spellings for his brothers because to use their actual names would spoil the flavor of this historical document) rarely tormented him as older brothers usually torment younger brothers because he skipped town early in life and found refuge in southern France in the town of Gignac near the city of Montpelier. At some point the next older brother Neenuch (Antonio) also snuck over the border into France in the same town of Gignac. It has never been confirmed or denied that these sudden departures were the result of the Italian Selective Service System, but the rumors have been spread by me, my brothers and many of our cousins.

That left the only sister in the bunch; Naanynell (Anna), and the younger bunch of brothers, Filuch (Raphael), Bateest (Batiste), and Chichile (Franco) and my father Rocco. My grandmother was left to raise this bunch usually by herself while my grandfather was overseas earning what ever money he could earn.

It was the Depression, and they lived on a small farm with no electricity or running water but they had some land and they had an innate ability to work hard and get results. This family never had an opportunity to get an education, but none of them were ever limited in any significant way by a lack of education. There’s a big difference between uneducated and stupid. I’ve known a number of people who’ve enjoyed far more education than they deserved and they have trouble tying their shoes without adult supervision.

My father and his siblings had the benefit of being intelligent and hard working. I think they also had the gift of common sense. Intelligence is one quality, but the ability to use what has been learned in school in any meaningful way is a separate quality. A lot of educated people fail to use what they know in any useful way, but my father and his family had an abundance of that quality.
Hard work and common sense are qualities that go a long way. You can achieve anything with those qualities and this family did. They worked hard at working their farm to provide food to consume and to sell. They raised a few rabbits, made some wine and were loaned out as labor to help neighbors and family who were not as blessed with cheap male labor as our family was.

Every member of this family enjoyed a successful life filled with riches. None of them earned a significant fortune that would impress a banker, but they each raised a family and supported themselves and provided a better life for the next generation and the next and so on and so on. We’re all spread across the world but stay in touch and care about each other and respect and admire who we are and where we came from. An education is nice to have, but not essential to success. Hard work, determination and a love of family and friends can be a close substitute.

As I said a successful life filled with riches.

There was no electricity so they had no TV, electronic toys or electric lights. One time we asked my father how to say toaster in Italian. He looked at us with a confused look on his face and said, “I don’t know, I never saw a toaster until I came to the states.” I think that was the first time I really understood how different a life he lived than we lived growing up as his children.

They all had to walk to school for what little education they did get. Unless we were lied to they had to walk up hill, both ways in five feet of snow all year long; quite an accomplishment for a Mediterranean island. No wonder they all dropped out of the fifth grade two or three times each. We came to believe that you needed a note from the Pope to get into the 6th Grade on that Island.
We had cars, TV, radio, toys, sports and places to go and things to do. They had the farm they lived on and a piece of land near the beach with a small shack / cabin on it they used when they worked there. Transportation involved feet with no shoes and donkeys (Ooo Chuch)

They lived a life of hard work and family. The very shallow gene pool we sprang from provides a family tree with very few branches. When I use the term “friends” in this historical document I could possibly still be referring to family. Perhaps it’s best that I don’t dig too deep into this topic. I don’t want anyone to confuse the Mediterranean Island of Ischia with West Virginia. There are too many scary similarities between the two.

They had cousins and friends who lived similar lives on the same island, but they never had the kind of free time to go out and play that we’re used to today. They had nothing to play with other than rocks, sticks and an occasional deck of cards. Not the same deck we are use to, but the Italian 40 card deck used to play skobe (Scopa) and breesk (Briscola).

My grandfather suffered from glaucoma. During the war he had the opportunity to get some medical attention that may have saved his sight. They were fighting and bombing near Naples so he decided not to take the risk. He ultimately did go blind so the last 20 or so years of his life he was blind. He was never an invalid; he worked with the family and made a contribution in spite of his blindness.

He accepted the condition and adjusted his life to accommodate his condition. No one ever spoke of his complaints or of him sitting in a corner waiting to be taken care of or feeling sorry for himself. They did speak of the jobs he performed on the farm and around the house; they spoke of how he lived while he was blind. There was a change, not a limitation. I’m sure that he didn’t want to go blind, but the blindness never beat him, he beat the blindness.

I met him when I was 8 years old. He took me, my sister, and brothers around the farm and gave us a tour and told us what was growing where and which one of his sons planted whatever we saw. He never had a Seeing Eye dog or a white cane, but he was able to get around and know where he was. He did use a Seeing Eye grandson, at least for the 2 months I was with him. We frequently walked around with his hand on my shoulder as we walked. I was able to guide him, but I might not have been necessary. He may have been trying to make me feel important. Not bad for an uneducated, illiterate blind Italian.

He was known around town for singing and playing the mandolin, I don’t know that he was very good at either, but I’m sure that didn’t matter. He was always full of fun and went through every day with a smile on his face. Five of his grandsons have been named after him. All of us seem to have a similar personality. We are predisposed to stay positive and keep a smile on our faces and on the faces of those around us. I don’t think you could put a price on an inheritance like that.

It’s not limited to the Luigis in the family, the entire family leans toward the positive. We can go through life determined to be miserable or determined to stay positive. It’s a choice, and we choose to be positive. We choose to smile and look for reasons that the glass is half full and not half empty.

Our grandfather had much less of an education than his hooligan sons who were tossed out of the 5th grade multiple times. With such a limited education he passed on to his descendants a strong work ethic, a positive approach to life and a strong sense of family. In our world the bicciere (glass) is always half full!

Life was basic and fun, every one of the members of this family lived their life with a smile on their face. They never had money, they never had any sort of leisure activities that could compete with the electronic marvels our kids get, but they worked hard and played together every day. Decades after they moved away from that island they would reminisce and talk about the great times they had as children.

One of the memories I remember being discussed was when they were working on the piece of land near the beach Morundi also a phonetic spelling. Naanynell would come by with food for them to eat. One large bowl with enough food to feed four hungry boys doing a hard day’s work. One bowl, four forks. Filuch ,Bateest , Chichile and my father Rocco working together and eating together out of the same bowl.

Imagine 4 young men born and raised in a very primitive environment, working hard like men their whole lives to support themselves and their family. One bowl of some very basic food for the four of them to share; the problem here was that one of the brothers was Filuch. They were all hard working boys who had a great deal of respect for their family. That bowl was all there was to eat until they got back home at the end of the day. It had to be shared four ways.

Filuch does everything slow and deliberate. The three other brothers tore into that bowl like they attacked every job they had, but at one point they had to back off and let Filuch be Filuch. They had to leave enough in the bowl for him to eat his portion slowly and deliberately, as they sat there watching him eat.

They worked hard to scratch out a basic existence and they stole a little bit of time to play games or cards or something fun that wasn’t work, and could think back decades later and remember those times as part of a great childhood. They never complained or regretted their childhood and what they didn’t get or have. They dwell on what they had and what they did together. Many children today can learn a lot from my aggressively uneducated father, aunt and uncles.

They also learned some bad habits growing up in Depression Era Italy. They all smoked, most likely starting in the womb, but the exact dates have never been determined. One thing that is interesting is that they never had any spending money, and they don’t grow tobacco on the island, so just exactly what were they smoking? Some questions should not be asked or answered. Let’s move on.
As the years moved on they worked primarily to support themselves and their extended family on the island. As time passed they all did their best to leave and make a living someplace. They moved to Canada, France Australia, France and the USA. The family that moved to Canada ultimately moved back to Italy, but the rest settled and stayed in their adopted countries. The family grew and continued to grow, until it’s the size that it is today.

In 1995 we had a family reunion on the Island of Ischia, which did not enjoy 100% attendance. The original 7 children in the family had grown to more than 95. There have been many births since then and we now total well over 100. Mostly male children, female children in this family are very very rare, the females always think of themselves as a princess or a queen, and the males in the family let them think that way. Over time we discovered that it’s best not to piss them off.

Besides an abundance of intelligence, common sense, a strong work ethic and a sense of family, we also have pretty mobile sperm with more than our share of the Y chromosome! Don’t pity us it’s our cross to bear!

Lessons Learned

• Family and friends are important.
• Stay positive Families who work together and play together stay together.
• The glass is always half full, it’s never half empty.
• Material possessions and money are less important than friends and family.
• Sacrifice for family is not a wasted gesture.
• Hard work and dependability are qualities to be proud of. They’re the building blocks of success.
• Education is important, but not essential for success.
• Common sense and a strong work ethic can help make up for a lack of education.
• Challenges come our way, understand them and overcome them, don’t surrender to them.
• Find a reason to smile every day and make those around you smile as well. Happy people are healthier and more successful than those who look for a reason to be miserable.
• As a parent it’s important to raise your children and give them the opportunity to achieve more than you were able to achieve.

Where is Success?

19 Jan

Where is Success?

We already discussed how success is punished in this country and in some ways it’s looked down on. Your success may be perceived as the cause of my lack of success. Your success is looked at as an opportunity to confiscate a lot from you to allow the elected empty suits another opportunity to mismanage some of our hard earned money. Your hard work and the rewards of that hard work should provide you a certain amount of disposable income that you should get the first opportunity to mismanage, not an elected individual whose motives are questionable.

I recently read an article about an unusual group of people who have enjoyed a significant amount of success and they did it all without government interference or more importantly in spite of any government help. “Why Amish businesses don’t fail” By Geoff Williams informs us that they enjoy a success rate of about 95% while the rest of the population suffers with a 50% success rate.

Their success seems to be the result of hard work, cooperation, simple methods, and commitment. Mr. Williams blames the high success rate on how these unusual people are raised in simple environments where they’re taught to get up early to milk the cows and do their chores. He doesn’t say this in the article but it is implied that there are strong family ties and a sense of obligation.

If I was to try to emulate the Amish to enjoy my own success, I should be part of a strong family.( Strong in terms of everyone works hard, like each other and care about each other) Also a strong family in terms of a healthy work ethic and a positive attitude despite limitations and setbacks. Another important quality should be honesty, commitment, integrity, and love of country. Lucky me I never realized my Italian immigrant father was Amish; I’ll give up my cell phone and computer at a later date.

Well we learned something from this article. Success is the result of hard work, good family and qualities such as honesty, integrity and commitment. Have you ever noticed none of our government programs or offices involve any of these. The closest they come is possibly an Office of Family Planning. (Is this office intended to prevent you from creating families?) The government does not do anything to enhance an environment to allow success. On one hand they depend on success to confiscate our rewards to give them something to mismanage. The results of their actions actually punish success. If I were running that business I would have to have a long serious discussion with senior management to determine what their objective was.

If you want to collect enough money to reward you and your friends and illegitimate family members through corrupt government programs as well as your failed attempts to manage the government and do what has to be done, why not create a better environment to allow success, not punish it.

The secrets of success are clear to the Amish, and millions of others who have been successful in the past. Elected empty suits have no idea how to recognize it or nourish it or maximize its effectiveness.

When you aren’t smart enough to count to 20 without taking your shoes off, avoid doing any brain surgery. That’s a simple concept, why can’t we get that from our elected officials.

Vote the Bums Out,


Redistribution of Wealth Day

17 Jan

Redistribution of Wealth Day

Soon it will be April 15, and it’s commonly accepted as Tax Day. We’re all expected to file and pay our taxes to allow the government to misspend our hard earned cash. It’s also a day that we should reflect on the history of this country. As I recall taxes played a part in the founding of our country. Taxation without representation was mentioned a time or two.

Well it’s a bit different now. We do have representation, but the empty suits that we elect to represent us forget who brought them to the dance. They did their part in this relationship; they stood in front of us and told us what we wanted to hear. We did our part and hoped that this time a politician wasn’t lying to us. There’s a little bit of the naive romantic in all of us.

Since the situation is different now than when this country had a revolution, perhaps we should approach the problem in a different way. First it would be a good idea to clearly define the problem. That should lead us to a clear understanding of the options available to resolve the problem.

The public piggy bank is owned and operated by individuals in elected and appointed positions who should not be trusted to collect the money from a third grade bake sale, let alone the public piggy bank of this great country. These men and women serve us at the local, state, and federal level. What a country we have. We’re so bountiful that we can generate and sustain so many men and women of questionable honesty and integrity.

Amongst themselves they make up issues to spend our money on, we rarely get consulted or a chance to advise or consent to the spending. Some of the spending (about 20%) of the money spent goes to issues for the common good that most prudent citizens would easily consent to. Another 20% goes to some areas that some of the prudent citizens would consent to after some sort of dog and pony show put on by the elected hooligans to explain their spending. The next 20% goes to some issues that only the deaf dumb and blind would agree to.

That leaves at least 40% of their spending that’s so far out of line that they have to pass the bills at night when no one is looking and with the lights out. The thieving bastards redirect and launder this category of spending to satisfy the instructions of their controllers and handlers. If there’s any honest to God misappropriation of funds that goes from the public piggy bank to their individual pockets or the pockets of their friends and illegitimate relations it surely comes from this category.

So that identifies what part of the problem is. The public piggy bank is not operating at peak performance due to integrity and ability shortfalls. Apparently we’re putting individuals of questionable character and ability into positions of public trust.

The second part of the problem is that once they’re in office they’re harder to get out of office than a Public School pedophile masquerading as a teacher in a Union Environment. Some of you just winced and some of you are nodding your head and some of the teachers in a Union Environment just asked what my point is? We’ll discuss that later.

Term limits should be part of the electoral process. It should be formalized where we have laws and legislation that mandate how long a potential thief can stay in office. But until we get there we have to use our low tech term limits. If we don’t vote for the same loser over and over again we can term limit them.

Once we get a handle on the quality of the elected hooligans we have to have a little more input into how they spend our money. The public has to have more say than an election every 2 years. We need an opportunity to impeach or recall congressman and senators when they disappoint their electorate. It should be easier to fire the bums than for them to stay in office and follow the will of their puppeteers. Some of us work in a fragile environment where a few small missteps would cause us to get fired and lose our job and have to find a new one. Our elected officials need to live in that type of environment. We voted you in and if you piss us off we’ll vote you out now, not when you thought you would be reelected. If they have control over our public piggy bank they need to be on a very short leash. Those of us who voted for them should have more control over them than the people who fund their campaign of lies distortions and fabrications.

Keep these things in mind as we approach Tax Day and as you review the performance of your own elected hooligans.

Politicians in Handcuffs

16 Jan

Essays on the political scene!!

The Press is Starting to Get It

22 Nov

The Press is Starting to Get It

The failure of the website that was expected to fuel the Affordable Care Act, and the obvious lies the President was caught in has finally forced the Main Stream Media to challenge their darling in the White house on the details of the promises he was making about the ACA.

Let’s mention here that the free press was always expected to be the watchdog of the people. They were supposed to hold public figures accountable. Asking tough questions and digging for information to catch public figures in the lies they would tell. The Main Stream Media used to fill that role for us, but they stopped that a long time ago. They’ve stopped being our watch dog and now they are more often than not cheer leaders. They are either willing accomplices to the lies or naïve and inexperienced dupes who get “weak in the knee” as they serve as cheerleaders for elected liars and thieves.
Those who challenged the ACA from the beginning are no longer being chastised by the media. The contradictions and the lies are now the subject that the Main Stream Media reports.

Why didn’t they challenge the promises and contradictions when the topic was new? Why didn’t they challenge the President and his other willing accomplices before Congress voted for it? Why didn’t they ask the obvious questions?

The polls showed from the beginning that most of the people did not believe the ACA could deliver what was promised. The Promises were that the plan would give everything to everybody and cost less and cover everybody. On its surface that seems impossible, an amazing claim like that should cause the watchdog of the people to ask some questions just to learn how their brilliant leader was going to achieve such an amazing feat.
They never made an attempt to look after the public interest. They spent a lot of time chastising all the opponents, but they refused to challenge the President when he and his administration made the unbelievable claims.

Now with the spectacular failure of the web site, and the millions of cancellations, coupled with the serious increases in cost for those who are losing their insurance the Main Stream Media is finally asking the questions and challenging the President and the administration.

Their pointed questions and the lame incoherent answers from the President and the others in the administration have caused a serious decline in the popularity of the President.
What was their motivation to finally challenge the obvious contradictions? I believe they were finally embarrassed by the gross lies and fabrications that they let go unchallenged that made them look so incompetent. The president used his allies in the Main Stream Media to get away with his lies. The President lied and the Main Stream Media swore to it.

Their blindness to their obligation as the free press embarrassed them into action.
I think the President and his team believed their own story. They believed they could do all things for all people for little to know cost because they wanted it to be that way.
The believed that insurance companies were making too much profit and this would cut into their profit and those less fortunate would get taken care of. They also believed that the rich would pay more and that would take care of the poor.

Their assumptions turned out to be wrong. The profits are necessary and they fuel he free market society so they will be there and they should be there. The rich frequently are not those with trust funds and inherited money, they turn out to be you and me and those who work hard and get our income reported on a W2. Almost all of us are paying for those who can’t or won’t earn their own way.

They want to provide top of the line benefits to everyone but to pay for it everyone has to have the same benefits. We all have to pay for insurance and coverage we don’t need ot want to pay for it for those who can’t pay for it themselves.

The plan is to complex and too cumbersome to work under the best of circumstances. No one in the administration has any business experience so no one has the skills to make a complex plan work.

The Main Stream Media will make a show of beating the drum on the failures of the President but it will probably back away when they see it’s hurting him. They will back off and start blaming the messengers again.

An effective Public Watchdog will force public figures to be honest and real. The watchdog won’t tolerate a public figure that can’t be faithful to their spouse, who won’t stay the course, or who takes advantage of the public piggy bank.

When a public figure says that changing the rules of the Senate is an abuse of power yesterday but says that it is time for change and the right thing to do today, the Public Watchdog must feel a need to stack and make the public figure defend the new position. The credibility of the media and the public figure demand it.

When our public figures change their position more often than they change their sleeping partners; we have public figures that are not looking out for the public interest. That’s only partly the fault of the low levels of integrity in the public figures; it’s mostly the fault if the Public watchdog that lets them get away with it.

The Main Stream Media finally gets it, they see how challenging public figures when they lie in public has a significant impact on the opinions of the low information voters. Now we have to get them to see how their naked bias impacts their duties as the public watchdog.

The Over Educated and Under Experienced and Health Care

15 Nov

The Over Educated and Under Experienced and Health Care

The following is an interchange between one of the architects of the Affordable Care Act and Chuck Todd of NBC.

JONATHAN GRUBER, M.I.T.: “Let’s start with understanding that we’re not talking about the vast majority of Americans. This law is really leaving those with employer insurance, those with government insurance alone. We’re talking about a small minority of Americans that buy insurance on their own through the individual market.

CHUCK TODD: Still millions of people.

GRUBER: Exactly. It’s 12 million people, about a third of which will end up paying more under this law. And that as you said in the introductions sort of the idea. We currently have a highly discriminatory system where if you’re sick, if you’ve been sick or [if] you’re going to get sick, you cannot get health insurance.

The only way to end that discriminatory system is to bring everyone into the system and pay one fair price. That means that the genetic winners, the lottery winners who’ve been paying an artificially low price because of this discrimination now will have to pay more in return. And that, by my estimate, is about four million people. In return, we’ll have a fixed system where over 30 million people will now for the first time be able to access fairly price and guaranteed health insurance.”

This opens a window into the mind of at least one of the people who built the ACA. He describes healthy people who either chose not to buy health care insurance or chose very limited policies as “genetic winners”. He also says that they were paying artificially low premiums.

This thought process condemns the insurance companies as poor business people and incompetent. How could the costs of the insurance they had be artificially low? Why were the insurance companies still in business if they undercharged for the policies?
I think they were looking at the situation through their own eyes and not the eyes of the genetic winners. Who is he identifying as the genetic winners? Almost certainly he is describing healthy young educated individuals who are more successful than the average young individual.

They do not have employer provided health insurance so they are probably self employed. They are more independent and smart enough to evaluate the situation and make the best choice of how they will spend their money.

They decided to buy insurance for catastrophic coverage rather than for day to day needs. They took the bet that their annual medical bills would be less than the cost of the premiums for medical insurance so they covered themselves against a sever accident of a major medical illness.

In a free market economy in a land of free men and women that is a freedom that should be available to all. The ACA does not like freedom; it can’t allow free choices because it can’t work if everyone gets what they want.

The ACA condemns an insurance company’s decision not to accept an individual if they have an existing condition. That is a smart business decision by the insurance company.

I don’t think the over educated and under experienced people who created the ACA understand how insurance works. An individual pays the premiums and expects the insurer to cover the expenses covered by the policy. For medical insurance the insured accepts the concept that they may be paying for something they will not need. The cost of the insurance premium is worth the risk; hopefully they will not have to dig too deeply into their pocket to cover any medical expenses. The insured hopes the only medical expenses they have to pay for will be the premium for the insurance policy.

The insurance company wants the same thing. They have to pay for the expenses of all the insured they cover. They use actuaries to determine how much risk they are exposed to and how much the premiums should be. One significant risk they refused to take is to insure people with preexisting conditions. The risk and exposure does not make it profitable. Profit is a good thing not a bad thing. Profits make the free market economy grow and thrive.

The insurance companies want to collect more in premiums than they have to pay out in expenses so they have profits left over. The actuaries provide the details of the risk and exposure to help management make the decisions to operate the business.

Let’s spend a few moments discussing those who have preexisting conditions. A few find themselves trapped, and they have a difficult time because of their conditions but they have other ways to cover their expenses. Most of those who have pre existing conditions get there by choice.

They chose not to pay premiums for health insurance when they were healthy and took the risk that they would not need the insurance. Now they need it and they are stuck with the risk they exposed themselves to.

Another cause is they did not have a job and could not pay for insurance because they didn’t get themselves a job when they should have. Perhaps they never finished school, they don’t have any experience, or they have poor work habits.

These are victims of their own making. Actions have consequences. We all have to prepare ourselves for a job and a career early in life. Parents are part of the process. Parents provide the right guidance and support for their children.

The overeducated and under experienced architects of the ACA think that the young healthy who do not want to pay high premiums for coverage they don’t want are “genetic winners” and they think that insurance companies are evil and unfair for running their business in a responsible way and wanting to make a profit in the process.

They also think that those who failed to get insured and stay insured before they developed preconditions that make them too much risk to allow the company to stay competitive are the victims.

No wonder the ACA doesn’t work and doesn’t look like it can be made to work.

Where is the Media?

13 Nov

Where is the Media?

One of the basic freedoms we enjoy in this country is the freedom of speech. Part of that freedom or in addition to that freedom is the freedom of the press. We expect the press to be the watchdog for the people. Technology has advanced to a point that printed newspapers are dwindling away. Television news enjoyed a large piece of the media, but that’s dying out as well. The internet is the current growing medium that many people rely on to get their information.

Technology provides speed and accuracy in the sharing of information that we never had before. One hundred years ago when a politician made a speech a reporter with a note book showed up and took notes. Those notes were the basis of the story that was printed in a paper the next day or the next week. Today a speech is broadcast as it happens and recorded so we all get to see the words and the tone of the speech. Technology provides accuracy as well as a history. Everyone has a cell phone and most cell phones record audio and video. A quality video camera that will record audio and video for a 2 hour speech fits in the palm of a hand and has incredible quality.

One thing that I’ve noticed in recent history is that a news conference or a speech is given and I get to see it, then I get to hear or read the report that is available through the media. My direct observation provided me with a different set of facts than the media reports. Am I smarter than the reporter? Do I have better listening skills than the reporter? Do I have an opinion that differs from the reporter so his interpretation is colored by his position rather than the obligation to listen and report hat is said not what he believes?

The answer to every question listed above is yes. I am smarter than they are (and I’m not very smart so that speaks very poorly of them). I do listen carefully and I know that words mean things and I accept the words of the speaker not the words I expect them to be using. And yes I do have an opinion and I know enough not to color what I see and hear with my own opinion. I expect them to be accurate in reporting not advocating for their position.

With this technology why aren’t the members of the media acting as our watchdog. Too many politicians and candidates say one thing today and then another thing tomorrow. They have no problem saying what they think the voters want to hear instead of what they believe, because they can. Our watchdogs with all of the technology they could possibly want fail to report the facts. Public figures leave large footprints. Political and professional as well as entertainment and sports figures live their lives and leave a record of those lives.

The media should report facts, all of the facts. They should answer the questions: who, what, when, where, and, why. If they can’t determine the why, admit it and move on. The who, what, when, and where are a good enough starting point for the story. The subject of the story should be given the opportunity to answer the why anyway.

In leadership, consistency is an important quality to strive for. In politics it’s more important. Integrity depends on consistency. I want to vote for men and women of honor and integrity. When they can’t demonstrate a consistent thought process and a consistent set of standards, then I want to know that before I vote for them. I expect the media to focus on that, not to focus on allegations uncovered by the candidate’s opponents.

There is no way that any of us can go through life without having a political point of view. At work we interact with a lot of people and we can’t allow our personal political point of views to interfere in our jobs. It does provide a basis for some good lunch time discussions and arguments, as long as they stay out of our working relationships and our ability to do our jobs.

The media has failed to keep their point of view out of their ability to do their job. Their bias is overt and has a negative impact on the perception of the voters. The constant criticism and attacks that were directed toward President Bush is a big part of the low approval ratings he had while in office. The failure of the media to question the Hope and Change that President Obama campaigned on allowed many voters to believe what he promised in the campaign.

The state of the economy and the polls show that today there is a great deal of buyer’s remorse on the part of the voters who voted for President Obama. His promises didn’t add up, but the media failed to question his promises or to do the analysis on his plans. His promises are falling flat, but he had achieved most of his legislative agenda. He promised everyone that we would get everything that we want and we wouldn’t have to pay for it.

He would give us everything and it would make everything cost less. I wouldn’t believe a statement like that if my own brother promised it to me. I know there is no free lunch. If my brother said he would give me something expensive and it would cost me less than what the expensive item is worth, then I would expect that he was confused and needed to be corrected. I would ask him some questions (and it wouldn’t take too many to determine where he made his mistake) and we would both come to the same conclusion that the expensive item was going to cost what an expensive item is supposed to cost.

The sky is blue, water is wet, and politicians are lying if their lips are moving. These are facts of life, and these never change. There is never a free lunch. There is a cost and it may be hidden, but the lunch has a price, someone will pay for the free lunch.

I’m hoping starting with this election cycle that the true statement “politicians are lying if their lips are moving” will stop being such a constant truism. If it happens it will happen because of the voters who have finally had enough of incompetence and corruption in office. It will not be because of the media, our watchdogs have let us down and fail to provide the service expected of them based on the freedoms they enjoy that were established in our Bill of Rights. They are expected to provide facts and report them accurately. They may provide opinions and commentary as long as they identify it as their opinion. They have long ago lost the ability to separate fact, fantasy, and opinion.


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