Frank's Pet Peeves
My intention was to write a heart-warming Father's Day piece, and I may do that later. Lord knows, I have plenty of stories for that. But, today my mind refused to cooperate, thus we have my jumbled thoughts on some current issues. It is not an all-inclusive list, but here are some of my pet peeves.
Mass Shootings. Can anyone seriously believe this is not a problem? Scarcely a day goes by without news of another shooter. We are the only country in the developed world with this problem. Shouldn't that tell us something?
The weapon of choice is most often an AR-15 or similar weapon, and most of the shooters obtained them legally. It's a pattern, folks. Are we content to simply accept these murders as a way of life? Personally, I prefer that my family is safe when they venture out to theatres, concerts, restaurants, and shopping. Haven't we had enough of our children murdered for innocently going to school?
No one wants to take away your precious guns, but common sense tells us we need change. I know this issue is a passionate one for many people, but they surely don't condone mass murders. Do they? Do you? When influential people suggest publicly that those who live near our border should get a gun, what does that imply? Is that thinly-veiled support for vigilante killings? What about politicians who advocate open-carry for everyone? I can't fathom how this will end well. What are these people thinking? I envision a fender-bender road rage incident that turns into a gunfight. We need better leadership. My gut tells me they are pandering to a base who want open carry for whites, but feel differently about minorities. We can and must do better.
Work from Home. First, let's be clear. A work from home arrangement primarily benefits white-collar, higher income workers. The pandemic has proven that much of the desk job type work we do can be effectively done from home. I would question the motivation of any boss demanding a worker return to the office after having demonstrated their capabilities from home. It shows a lack of trust and a desire to micro-manage. Good bosses have no issues, but a bad boss with a bad style will make it so uncomfortable employees will leave. It is all about control. Did you know there has been a mini boom in spy software to monitor home computers to make sure employees aren't goofing off? Big Brother wants to keep tabs on you to make sure he's getting his money's worth. It is laughable on some level, and reminds me of a sales manager demanding call reports to scrutinize daily activity. Most were fabrications to keep him off your back. Employees are fighting back with a surge in the sale of anti-surveillance software. Whether at the office or remotely, bad management is bad management. The work world has changed, as it always does. Shouldn't we evolve to the new normal?
Qualified Immunity. I've been hearing a lot about this lately, and I have questions. Why should any profession be immune to accountability? I have heard it protects police officers from frivolous lawsuits, but it seems unfair for them to hide behind their badges when they have done wrong. It denies justice to victims and is immoral.
Cell phone cameras have shown us the problem is widespread across the country. Maybe police officers should be required to buy malpractice insurance like physicians and lawyers. Even Realtors have errors and omissions insurance. Then, if some one is a repeat offender, their insurance rate might rise and push them out of law enforcement. There is no doubt the trust in law enforcement is eroded when the public believes cops can act in any way they choose and get away with it. All professionals face scrutiny for misconduct, and it should be no different for police officers.
Vaccine Deniers & Refusers. What is the matter with you people? Magnets are not sticking to you. Chips are not embedded. The vaccines are a miracle of science and technology. If some of you had lived years ago, we would still have polio! Deniers are using the same tired arguments from years past, attempting to twist the science or misinterpret it to bolster their argument against vaccines. They grasp onto any hypothesis that will support their claim. If all of your information is gathered from dubious social media posts, well...you can see the problem. Refusing a vaccine in a global pandemic is like refusing a lifeboat on the Titanic because it might leak. By the way, Clergy people claimed smallpox was God's punishment and shouldn't be treated. Sound familiar? Remember all the vaccine-autism controversy? A British doctor released a fraudulent paper on the subject creating the debate. It was positively debunked and proven fraudulent in 2011, yet some still cling to that belief.
Billionaires. Is anyone else tired of them? Too much money. Too much power. Too much influence. Billionaires pay little or no taxes. They grabbed a lot of Covid cash, yet workers got no raises. Even the so-called "good billionaires" have questionable beginnings. Our country is now one of the worst in the developed world for earning your way out of poverty. Opportunities are disappearing and remember this:
The wealth of the top 1% is more than the bottom 90% COMBINED!
40% of Americans would struggle to raise $400 for an emergency.
There has been no income growth for decades for most people.
The U.S. childhood poverty rate is 17.5% and has not improved for decades.
Billionaires? Meh...who needs 'em?
Politicians, especially Senators Manchin & Sinema. The Democrats won. A razor thin Senate majority and an opportunity to address long overdue needs and reforms. McConnell could finally be overcome. At least that's what we thought, until the power-hungry, corporate-sponsored Senator Manchin took McConnell's place. Along with the spotlight-seeking Senator Sinema, and the protected Jim Crow filibuster, meaningful legislation will either be watered down or derailed. We shall see what the future brings...for now it looks bleak. The lack of support for voting protection shows Manchin doesn't care about black voters, because he doesn't need them. Demographically, West Virginia is overwhelmingly white and his seat is safe. As George Carlin put it years ago, "They don't care about you, never have and never will. It's a big club, and you ain't in it."
And the final pet peeve is:
Trumpism. It is past time to repudiate this man and everything he brought to Washington. It has been exhausting, every link of the chain leads to the next in a never ending supply of mendacity. The corruption...my God, the entire family legacy is of greed and corruption. How it continues with such wide-spread support is mind-boggling. They have cheated and stolen their way through life, and the only explanation that makes sense is the former guy has used a certain charisma on his base, emerging as a cult leader. If he told his masses to drink the kool-aid, they undoubtedly would. The tragedy of his aftermath is the demise of the Republican party, and indeed, the demise of our democracy. Just as he poisoned everything he touched throughout his life, he did so with our government. So much has been written about this dysfunctional family already, that there is little for me to add. I. for one, am ready for Trumpism to disappear.