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Over? Nothing is over until we say it is.....

Oct 14, 2014 -- 12:01pm

South Carolina is one of the reddest of the red states.   It’s conservative Republican through and through.    The general election is coming up shortly, Tuesday, November 4th.    Most of the state-wide offices have at least 2 people running for them, Democrat and Republican.    At least I think they do…you wouldn’t be able to tell unless you’ve searched for the candidates.

Coming from someone who votes Democrat more often than not, I don’t know why Democrats even try in South Carolina.    Looking around at the political landscape it’s hard to find any real evidence that Democrats are actually running.   Their names will be on the ballots, but I haven’t seen signs, heard ads or gotten any fliers from any of them.     Is it that much of a lost cause?     Just 2 years ago, in the 7th District congressional race, the Republican Tom Rice didn’t have an easy time beating Democrat Gloria Bromell Tinubu.   This year it’s a re-match between the 2, yet I haven’t seen any mention anywhere that Ms Tinubu is even running, let alone trying to win.

Four years ago, Nikki Haley had a very narrow victory over Democrat Vincent Sheheen.    They also have a re-match this year.    Now, Sheheen IS spending money and running ads, but it’s all negative and doesn’t seem to be working.    But he’s the only person spending money to get their message out.

The US Senate, Superintendant of Education, Lt. Governor…those are all races that are in play from both major parties, yet not a peep from the Democrats.

Granted, as a red-red state, it’s almost impossible to think that any of those races will go to a Democrat, but if you’re going to throw in the towel this early, why even waste your money on the filing fee?    

Dave 0, technology won

Oct 01, 2014 -- 10:51am

If you get a chance to listen to the Hot Talk Morning Show with me and Liz, you know we do segments on technology quite a bit.    There’s always new things to keep up with from computers, to websites, to apps, to phones, to drones….plus studies on how some of these new technologies are affecting the human race.      I try to keep up with all the literature and articles about technology so I can pass along the latest.   The problem is, I am so far behind the tech curve, that I don’t know if I’ll ever get out.   

 

Did you ever have friends who were fans of some TV show that had a running storyline or narrative, like a soap opera or 24 or the X-Files?      Your friends would tell you how great the show was and how you’re missing out.    You thought about starting to watch the show, but when you did, you realize that you don’t know any of the characters, storylines, relationships or why this person is doing something to that person.   So what happened?   You stopped watching, because trying to get up to speed in the middle of a series, a movie or any kind of fad or movement is hard to do.     That’s how I feel with technology.      

 

I know the names, the words, the principal players and what the tech is supposed to do….I just don’t know how to do it.   And the more advance it gets, the further behind I get.     Let’s start with phones.    I have a flip phone (actually a slide) so it’s not a smart phone, but I’m thrilled that this latest phone has a full keyboard, as opposed to trying hunt and peck each text on a non-qwerty keypad.     It also has a camera!!!    Last one, not so much.      My wife has a smart phone and tells me all the time that I should get one.     That’s when I turn into my parents.     I come up with all the excuses of why I don’t need one…but the real reason is that I’d be lost until someone sat down…for hours….to explain how everything works.    I don’t have hours.    And I keep falling further behind.       The same story goes for I-pads and mp3 players.     You name it, I don’t have it.     I’d like to, but I always have a handy excuse for not getting something.

 

I remember everytime I’d go back home to visit with my parents, almost without fail, they’d ask me to go out to their huge gas-guzzling American car and help them program the buttons on their radio.   They figured I was in radio, so I should know how, plus it was one of those technologies that they never kept up with, and thus kept falling further and further behind.     That’s me now.    But one of these days I’ll overcome the fear of looking like the feeble old man and take the plunge on some of the tech I’m missing out on.    Hopefully there’s be some random middle-schooler in the neighborhood I can hire to be my IT guy.

Everything is NOT political

Sep 17, 2014 -- 11:52am

I caught a couple seconds of the Rush Limbaugh program the other day.    He was telling listeners how every story or issue is political and was encouraging his listeners to look at every issue through that spectrum.    I think that’s the root of a lot of our problems in America today.    No, not listening to Limbaugh although the case could be made…but trying to make something out of nothing.   Trying to pick a fight with ‘the other side’ just for the sake of being contrary.

The latest examples both come from the world of the NFL: Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson.        You know the back-stories.    The issues at hand are domestic violence and child abuse.     You would think that both issues would be cut-and-dried enough that most reasonable people would be aghast at what both men did and would hope that each would receive reasonable punishment either from the league, the criminal justice system or both.      But no…that’s not how it works in everything-is-political world.     Instead, I hear people say it must have been the woman’s fault for provoking Rice.    I read stories about how ‘my parents whipped me like Peterson when I was a kid and I turned out okay’.      Just because something happened in the past, doesn’t make it right.    Just because you got whipped by a spoon, ruler, belt, switch or hand, doesn’t mean that we can’t advance and find a different way to discipline our kids today.      There were lots of things around in generations past that we thought were fine, but later found out, not so much…like asbestos, lead paint, smoking and drinking during pregnancy, blood-letting.      

But people still try to play the political card.   I heard a Fox News analyst talking about Ray Rice, saying “…the anti-testicular police are coming out and taking this guy’s (testes) and ripping them off…”.     Really?    I guess since we’re against Ray Rice knocking women out, we’re diminishing his manhood?    Oh, and did I mention that analyst was a woman?       Then on Fox and Friends, 2 of the hosts discussing Rice’s elevator incident said the message is, “take the stairs”.     The other replied, “when you’re in an elevator, there’s a camera.”      Really?       That’ll stop domestic violence in its tracks.

People have argued that the liberals are using these incidents to push their message.    If the message is ‘don’t hit women’ and ‘don’t beat your children bloody” then I’ll accept that.    If this is a political argument as you say, they you must have a contrary position on hitting women and beating children.    Is that the position you want, just for the sake of argument?

In our history, beating one’s wife or girlfriend was ignored, if not expected.   Beating your child to keep them in line was the norm.     Our nation was built on people learning from the past…taking the good things and making sure they live on, while weeding out the bad, making sure they wither and die.      This is just part of the on-going weeding out process…no politics necessary, just common sense.

days of future past

Aug 19, 2014 -- 1:25pm

I saw an article the other day where Clemson University researchers are asking for the help of families in the Upstate to count how many fireflies they see on a nightly basis so they can determine whether or not their numbers are dwindling.    They are.      Reading that article made me realize that I hadn't seen a firefly (I used to call them lightning bugs) in at least a couple of decades.    I don't know if it's because of the region I live in or because they ARE dying out.      Either way, it's sad.    The thought of catching lightning bugs with my bare hands and watching them glow inside my hands cupped together or just letting them crawl on my arms until they decided to fly away brings back such fond memories of a much simpler time.     The act of trying to track a bug that's only visible for a half-second before they go stealth for a few more seconds.      Telling my mom and dad, "there's one...there's another one...." all night long.    The fact they they might be going away disturbs me...not only because it kills a cherished memory, but because too much of our youth has disappeared over the decades...and not just because I'm getting wrinkles and losing hair.    

A woman in North Augusta was arrested last week because she left her 9 year old girl at a nearby park for the day while she went to work at her fast-food job.    She faces a maximum of 10 years for child neglect.     2 things....here we have a woman trying to make an honest living by working a minimum wage job, rather than sitting at home collecting a government check, and she faces a felony charge for her desires to advance herself.     But (more germane to this discussion) when I was 9, I was staying out until well after dark with my friends, riding across town on my bike, going to and from school by myself.       My parents would have been locked up for years for things they allowed me to do then.   But then again, if you google the words "9 year old" and "playground" the first artlce you come to is about the boy in Michigan who was stabbed by the 12-year old.     Not something I worried about growing up in Wood River, Illinois.     I read another article that asked if the reason so many parents are getting in trouble these days is simply because they're doing the things are parents did when we were kids, but didn't have to worry about DSS looking over their shoulder for child neglect charges.

Was it better living in a simpler time when were were able to fend for ourselves...or is it better than we have stronger laws looking out for kids these days?     Stronger laws are nice, but they were only made necessary because our society isn't as safe it used to be.    It's ironic...crime stats show that violent crimes have declined steadily since the late 1800s...but for some reason our neighborhoods seem much less safe than they were even a few years ago.     We're living longer than ever before, but in this world, do you want to?

   

....still waiting

Jul 22, 2014 -- 12:19pm

I've been a part of this morning show in one way or another since 1997.     My role has changed from time to time, but one thing that's remained consistant is my views on issues.     Of course, views change and evolve as more information comes in...and you CAN change your mind on something without being a flip-flopper.     Strom Thurmond used to be a rapid segragationalist before he changed his mind.   Of course, he had a child with a black woman at the time...talk about separate but equal.    President Obama told everyone for years that he was for 'traditional' marriage and against same-sex marriage.     A few years later, when the polls said it was okay, he's now firmly behind it.     

I've always been very socially liberal and not ashamed of it.     Through the years, listeners would call in and chide me by saying, '...just wait, as you grow older, you'll come around."       Well, I've lived way more than half of my life and I haven't come around yet.    I'm still waiting.    I still believe in the same things I did as a 20 or 30 year old.   As a matter of fact, I think I'm even more staunch in my beliefs.     When you work at a station all day that leans so heavily in the opposite direction that I lean, you can't help but push back...it's human nature.       I don't mind listening to logical arguements about anything, but I don't hear logic.   All I normally hear is fear-mongering.     Fear is a great motivator.     It keeps people in line.    It gets people to think like you.   It gets people to hate the other side becaue they're trying to destroy your way of life.     Or so you're told.      Fear also keeps you from hearing the arguement from the other side.      I'm afraid.    I'm afraid that the divide between the right and left is continuing to get larger and larger and more divisive every day...with every issue.      I'm afraid that politicians will continue to fight for whatever will keep them in office, rather than what's good for the country as a whole.      I'm afraid that the US won't be a better place for our grand-children, but not because of political actions, but rather because of polticial IN-action.     Nothing gets done.   Neither side budges.

Polls say less than 10 percent of us think that Congress if doing a good job.   Yet a large portion of the country says they want the government to stay out of their lives and not govern so much.     If you're one of those, you must be thrilled with the job they've been doing lately.

 

A Nation Divided

Jun 16, 2014 -- 12:17pm

A new poll from the Pew Research Center shows that the divide in the US is betting bigger between liberals and conservatives. Are you surprised? Did we need a poll to prove this? Actually, it's good to get numbers to back up the over-all feeling that most of us have. I've been saying for years that it appears as though the good-natured political banter of previous generations has been replaced by pure hatred...or at least disdain for 'the other side'. If you say that to someone with a strong opinion either way, they usually respond by saying they don't 'hate', but they just vigorously disagree with the other side. Tomato, tomahto.

The Pew survey says that in 1994, only 10 percent of respondants said they were unflinching liberals or conservatives...nothing would make them change their positions. That would mean that 90 percent of the country was probably leaning one way or the other, but were willing to listen to the other side, at least on occasion and depending on what the issue was. The new survey showed the number of those unflinching has doubled to 21 percent. That means 1 out of every 5 people you know have nothing but bad thoughts about those evil-doers on the other side of the aisle. It consumes them. They wake up in the middle of the night wondering how 'those people' live with themselves with all their twisted ideas and illogical dogma. They steer just about every conversation into something political. They consume as much information as they can to back up what they believe, but don't want to listen to information that may dispute those ideas. Seems like it would be hard to live with blinders on.

What caused the increase in the chasm between liberals and conservatives? Most people point their fingers at the media. The media didn't start the fire, but we sure do fan the flames. Back in the day, before 24-hour news cycles, the media repoorted the news without (much of) a slant. You knew that if you tuned into Tom Brokaw, you'd see the same stories that Peter Jennings and Dan Rather were reporting. Today, you can watch Fox and MSNBC side by side, and not see any of the same stories through the course of an hour...because each station picks out the stories they think their audience wants to see and gives the people what they want. So, instead of seeing different sides, any consumer can comfortably stay on their side of the fence without having their bubble burst. The same goes for talk show hosts. They know who their audience is and what they believe. If they don't back up those beliefs, they lose audience. I'm a part of the talk radio beast. I try to listen to all sides of an arguement, but it's hard to be impartial when you get pushed relentlessly by one side. It makes you want to push back...even harder.

Glenn Beck came out a couple of months back and said he regretted playing a role in 'tearing the country apart' during his time at Fox News. He went on to say "if we could have talked about uniting principles a little more, instead of just the problems, I think I would look back on it a little more fondly." I don't hold Beck any more responsible for tearing the country apart than I do Keith Olberman, Rush Limbaugh or Al Sharpton. But I don't exonerate any of them either. 

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