Life on Almosta Ranch

Stories of ranch life and other silly musings of an old codger

David McClain

David McClain
Doniphan, Missouri, USA
February 08
I am a simple man who has lived a simple life for sixty years. I have not dined with movie stars nor Kings and Queens. I have not walked the halls of power, nor have I been a mover and a shaker. I have, however, been a soldier, a tinker, a jack of all trades. I have raised five children....I have been loved and I have loved. I do not see grand designs nor do I chase afer them. Instead, I listen to the heartbeat of the land and I rejoice in a bird's song in the morning. Do not come here seeking answers for I have none. I do have questions which I will ask you constantly though. I do not believe in aruging so Politics will not be discussed in my blog. I do not care what your personal beliefs are for you are free to believe as you will...please allow me to do likewise. I have never been rich, but I have always been poor. Being poor however has never stopped me from feeling rich. I feel rich because I have the love of a good woman. Melinda completes me. She gives me the peace of mind and soul required to write about life without regrets and without envy of those who might have more. She is my world. Almosta Ranch is our heaven and we are happiy. This is what I want to share with you in this blog.


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MARCH 13, 2012 6:38AM

Politics, my view: Inspired by Walter Blevins

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Today I want to write my second blog entry which was inspired by another great writer here on Open Salon: Walter Blevins. Walter did a blog a few days ago about political apathy and if any of you have not read it, you have missed a real gem. In terms of talent, Walter is one of the top ten bloggers on this site in my opinion and no, I am not about to list the other nine….I don’t deal well with dust-ups.

Walter’s post caused me to examine my own beliefs in our current political climate. Was I one of those who suffer from apathy when it comes to National politics? The answer I came up with is No. I am not apathetic towards politics but I do have a deep and abiding mistrust of our government.

The way I see it the problem lies in the fact that it takes a lot of money to gain a national office, whether it is as a Congressman, a Senator, or a President. It takes so much money, in fact, that by the time a man does successfully gain office he is well and truly bought and paid for by any one of the many special interests groups which are mainly made up of large corporations.

Couple that with my own natural aversion to lying and you see where I might have a certain mistrust of politicians. I mention lying because that is what any successful politician is best at. When he isn’t telling a downright lie, he is at the very least performing verbal summersaults with the truth.

Let’s face it folks, politicians are hard-wired to tell you only what they think you want to hear. How refreshing it would be to hear just one Presidential candidate say just once: “Folks we are circling the toilet bowl and we are gonna have to tighten our belts and do without if we are ever going to improve.” Or maybe just once I would love to hear them say: “Whose idiotic idea was it to go to war anyway? You vote me into office and our soldiers are boarding that big ole Freedom Bird home the next day. Let those folks take care of their own business.”

People, it ain’t gonna happen. Brown and Root would go broke. The oil companies would lose money and if we tighten our belts and do without, who’s going to buy all those big screen TV’s and brand new SUV’s?

So instead we have these guys telling us they have a fool proof plan of robbing Peter to pay Paul and it will only take eight years to right the ship (two terms). And they tell us they are going to strive to achieve “Peace with Honor”. Uh….pardon me, but there is no honor to be found in war.

Now you add to this sorry state of affairs, the fact that every four years a curious thing happens, everybody becomes an instant expert in politics and it’s enough to make you gag. Nowadays, in the Internet age, we are bombarded with thousands of “experts” who are absolutely certain they have the right answer, their candidate is right and anyone who disagrees with them is just an idiot.

Right or Left, Conservative or Liberal, Republican or Democrat, they all swear their man is on the side of the angels….they KNOW…can I have an amen from the congregation?

Personally folks, I have not been sure of anything since 1968. Of course I am just a simple man, uneducated in the ways of the sophisticated world in which we live. Maybe I should envy all you folks who have all the answers and I might even get around to doing that…..someday….not today.

No. Politicians spewing platitudes and dancing to the tune played by big business, while citizen journalist, as they like to call themselves, spew venom in the direction of any who disagree, while blindly following their politician of choice, is not for me.

I have my own political beliefs and that is just what they are….mine. I would never presume to share them with the public in an effort to change anyone’s mind or to sway anyone to believe as I do. I am neither Republican or Democrat. I am often conservative but just as often can be found agreeing with my Liberal friends of which I have many. I vote for the man and not the party. If neither man impresses me, I do not vote…it is my right and trust me…I earned it.

Mostly though I am a man who has lived most of his life with the KISS philosophy….Keep It Simple, Stupid. That philosophy works whether you are fixing a tractor, or fixing a country. I am a simple country rancher. I am responsible for the well being of all the animals who live on my land and it is up to me to give them the best life I’m able to give them, within my means. Would that our country’s leaders felt the same way about those of us who live here.

See why I never talk politics Walt. I promise not to do it again.

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Not all politicians are liars. Obama is not, and there are others who tell it like it is, but far too many seem to lack a conscience. That's my view, anyway. It's important, nowadays, to say "that's my view," instead of this is the truth passed down from on high! I agree with you there...
You and I are cut from the same bolt of skeptical cloth, Tor. Patrick, not intending any disrespect, but all politicians lie. It's a requisite.
Sounds like you got it right. Goes for the town council, too.
I feel exactly the same way.
All politicians do not lie. I was one.
Patrick....This is what makes a horse race, a difference of opinion. On the national level, yes they do.

Chicken Maaan.....skeptism or realistic, we agree.

phyllis....I think it might depend on the size of the city.

ladyfarmerjed....we are kindred spirits.

sheila....the whole article was focoused on the NATIONAL level. Did you run for Congress, the Senate, or President and more importantly...did you win?
Pretty good word-flingging, buddy! But, why does that not surprise me?
Although I am a bit of a news junkie and have written a fair amount of political satire, I make a point of avoiding most political punditry, both on OS and elsewhere on the Web. Little of it is meant to persuade or foster honest discussion. Most of it is predictable, filled with self-righteousness and is designed merely to inspire an “amen, brother” from like-minded readers.

Last week, I read two articles on Salon (not Open) about the Rush Limbaugh fiasco. I wanted to post comments that I felt would be reasonable and temperate, not at all inflammatory. First, however, I looked at the comments that were already there and I was appalled. The comments thread had immediately turned into a war of name-calling and rock-throwing. Why would any sensible person want to dip his toe in those waters? So I decided not to post my comments.

People tell me, “But politics has always been like this. You should see what they said about Jefferson, Lincoln, Cleveland.” True enough. But back then, partisan politics wasn’t in the air 24/7. People didn’t turn on a radio while traveling to work and listen to people like Limbaugh. People didn’t come home from work, turn on a TV and watch Olbermann and Maddow. People didn’t turn on a computer and head to the Fox News or Media Matters websites. Partisan politics was a small part of life; now it is like a nuclear cloud that we can never escape. It's dispiriting.

I have one slight disagreement with you about lying politicians. I think many politicians believe they are telling the truth. The problem is that they are so invested in the positions of the groups that support them – advocacy groups, corporate lobbyists – that they only see one side of an issue and thus believe that those with opposing views are dishonest, corrupt and/or anti-American.
Remember Carter's "malaise speech"? In a nutshell, that is why politicians are loath to tell the truth. Well, that and the money - definitely the money.
“I have my own political beliefs and that is just what they are….mine. I would never presume to share them with the public in an effort to change anyone’s mind or to sway anyone to believe as I do.”

Why wouldn’t you want to share your political beliefs and sway people to believe as you do? Would you rather people vote for candidates whose political beliefs are in contrast with your beliefs?
Perhaps politics isn’t something you want to discuss at cocktail parties or family events, but this is the forum to get off the fence and pick a side.

Oh and by the way, although you may claim to be independent your writing gives up your political allegiances. For example, you claim large corporations are to blame for elections being “bought”. We all know corporations are commonly vilified by Democrats under the false pretenses that Republicans are beholden to them. Furthermore, you don’t seem to have a problem with election influencing by unions and we all know whose bed they share.
The funny, or "curious" thing about politics is many people feel compelled to have an opinion as a matter of perceived civic duty. This in spite of not really knowing much about the issues. So they either rely on what they are told that matches what they want to think, or adopt a "they're all thieves" line. Either way, they figure this fulfills that civic duty.
Most politicians lie, but often they are the lies the public demands of them. The public-at-large likes to think they are without fault in the problems created by wanting to think they aren't at fault. An easy example is blaming teachers for failures in education when generally speaking, parents who don't get involved in educating their kids are to blame. The politicians wouldn't dare blame the parents when the ratio is 1 teacher to 64 parents.

I call it the portraits versus mirror device. People prefer having their reality airbrushed to conform to the image they'd like to think is true. Pity the pol who holds up a mirror.

The people who pay attention and get involved in discussing politics represent a small number compared to those who vote. The problem many of that type have is thinking they represent a larger number of their fellow citizens than they do, and that their skirmishing with "the other" is far more relevant to the future of American than it is or could be.

Then there are the Team Players who think they can read what you wrote and categorize the whole of your thoughts into a convenient slot. As these are generally not our best and brightest, that slot always conveniences their limited thinking , not your nuanced observations and thoughts. You point out the corruption of corporate control, so you MUST be a Democrat and I can extrapolate that into describing the whole of your thinking.

What you know that matches what I and many others know is the system has been corrupted. There's always a functional inadequacy in arguing function within a dysfunctional system.

Also, it's helpful to know that an ideologue will always think you are another ideologue, representing the opposite of whatever they "think." This has nothing to do with you, of course, it's just the poor thinker's way of justifying their particular form of low information fanaticism.

I've been arguing politics since I was 12-13 years old. I've seen it all, and most of it is non-productive junk. In general, America's political discussions revolve around the fairly recent creation of a left/right Outrage Industry. Much is argued, little is accomplished.

And after all of that superfluous piffling, a group of generally uninformed and uninvolved voters decide who wins.

"by the time a man does successfully gain office he is well and truly bought and paid for by any one of the many special interests groups which are mainly made up of large corporations"
I agree!
Dan....Thanks for reading, my friend.

Cranky....You are absolutely correct, the Television and Internet slams us 24/7 with this crap and I'm sure it is the cause of a ton of burn-out. You are probably right about the lying too, but I just can't bring myself to be that charitable.

Laura Deumyer...I remember that speech and I respected Carter for making it.

Johnny Fever....I'm not on the fence. Just because I don't choose to share with others doesn't mean I am undecided. Your last paragraph points up the weakness of discourse through writing. Just because I failed to list other special interest groups you believe I blame it all on big corporations and so am democrat...wrong. I voted for Reagan and Bush one. Sound dem. to you?

Paul J. O'Rourke.....Like Johnny Fever you latched on to the fact that I failed to list Unions with the special interests so I MUST be democrat. Well you see, I wrote this thing at three in the morning and I just didn't bother to do a complete list of all the special interest I feel are to blame. You read something, based your opinon on what you read, and went from there. Just for the record, I was born and raised in a Right to Work state and grew up listening to the evils of the Unions. I am no fan of theirs, but then I don't like Management either.

trilogy...thank you, but since I failed to make a complete list of all the special interests I felt to blame and I caused two readers to jump to false assumptions, let me just say that the Unions, Lawyers, and the National Rifle Assocation belong in that group as well.
David--we need more of the kind of unvarnished, unequivocal talk that you provide each and every time you write. If you're anything like me, you're disgusted with the whole process and we've got almost 8 months to go before the election.
And the rhetoric is only going to get worse. I thought that things degenerated during the last decade but they seem to have hit a new low these last 3 years.
There's a big part of me which wishes that I still lived in a small midwestern town where you could get directly involved and make a lasting impact at least on your own little corner of the world and not worry much about the "bigger world" of politics out there just as long as they leave you alone.
You should write on this topic more frequently--as painful as it would be for you. Good old fashioned horsesense combined with frustration at the lunacy that surrounds us.
Great post, David. Logical, sensible and not inflammatory, although you already have some commenters trying to make it inflammatory. And that's why we choose not to write about or share our political beliefs/leanings. In this hyper-charged climate, you just can't win.
The sentence: "You point out the corruption of corporate control, so you MUST be a Democrat and I can extrapolate that into describing the whole of your thinking."

Was meant to point out the inanity of Fever's statement. I thought about clarifying it a bit, but figured what came before was enough. It wasn't, so I clarify it here.

What’s so great about this post? David argues for nobody and advocates for nothing. He tells us he votes the man and not the party but then doesn’t tell us which man. Correct me if I’m wrong but being apathetic isn’t the most complementary of traits one can have. Allow me to give David one piece of advice as it relates to corporations that he might understand given his love of animals “it’s not wise to bite the hand that feeds you”.
David, wow, I am sure that you do not mean to continue to be insulting. No I did not win and it was an office at the state level. I tell you again, not all politicians lie.
Politics might be why I prefer history. On the one hand, it's too late to do anything about it, so you don't feel as frustrated as you do when knowing that there's nothing you can do about it. At the same time, we already survived, so the frightening uncertainty is removed . . . .
I remember Walter Mondale, running against Ronald Reagan, making a speech and saying, 'I'm telling you the truth, I will raise your taxes."I don't even think he won his own state during the election. People are sheep and want to hear what pleases them and fool them once, fool them a thousand times, they fall for it every time.