Please visit my other blog
It is also available as a book with added comments and thoughts. It is a fundraiser for Multiple System Atrophy research - the disease that killed my wife and the catalyst for the blog. Please consider buying either a Kindle version from the Kindle store or a paperback version from Amazon. The title is "Living With A Snowman" by Scott Poole. It is available for purchase HERE.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year's Perspectives

We all know people that are intelligent, but cannot find their way out of a building. I have heard many, many people say of someone "they have no common sense". Intelligence is sometimes defined as the ability to acquire knowledge. Knowledge is really about facts and ideas that we acquire through study, research, investigation, observation, or experience. Wisdom is the ability to discern and judge which aspects of that knowledge are true, right, lasting, and applicable to your life and how to implement it.

Here are a few words of what I hope is knowledge tempered by wisdom:

1) Not everyone shares your beliefs or opinions.
2) There are over 7 billion people on this planet. That means there are probably well over a      million beliefs and/or opinions on almost everything.
3) Your beliefs and opinions do not make you right nor them wrong.
4) Others beliefs and opinions do not make them right nor you wrong.
5) Although there are absolutes in both "right" and "wrong" they are much less in number
    than we all imagine.
6) Neither tolerance nor acceptance is approval, nor does it need to be. 

A bit of commentary: Perspective and "common knowledge" is relevant to almost any belief or opinion. Remember it was just over sixty years ago that the "unbreakable" four minute mile was run by a human. Scientists, physicians, and other "experts" had expounded upon how this would never be achieved by a human as it was physically impossible. 

Speaking of "experts" that know better than we common folk, there have been people literally burned at the stake for saying the Earth revolved around the Sun. It was commonly accepted that the Earth was the center of the Universe for more than a millennium. For the same period of time it was "known" that disease was caused by miasma or "bad air". Sick people were bled to cure them as recently as the late 19th century.

As for more "modern" knowledge, how about these: You should not go swimming for thirty minutes after eating as you will cramp up and drown. We only use ten percent of our brains and if we could find a way to access it all we would be super-humans. You need to drink eight glasses of water a day to be healthy. How about the "fact" that the Great Wall of China is visible from space. All of these have been proven false. (if you were not aware of this, sorry - but it's true!)

For 2017 let's try to be tolerant. You do not have to approve or agree with what others believe, but try to accept it. Who knows, they may be proven right one day!

Happy New Year! May 2017 bring you all you need and at least a large portion of what you want!! 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Another Reindeer Tale

I actually wrote this as a post for Christmas Eve/Christmas, then forgot to actually POST it! So, it was wait until next year or post it now. 

Most of us have heard of the "famous" reindeer - Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen; and of course Rudolf TRR. But, have you ever thought about the other reindeer?

I happen to have obtained some information on another one - Marvin.

Marvin was another reindeer along the same designs as Rudolf - a bit of an outcast. However, he had no redeeming physical quality like a red shiny nose. He also was not liked by the other reindeer, you know - no reindeer games, etc., etc. He spent most of his young reindeer life trying to win the admiration, friendship, and/or affection of the other reindeer with almost reckless abandon. But, to no avail. Reindeer can be quite clique-ish and quite judgmental. Once shunned it is almost impossible to reintegrate into reindeer society without the Big Man's endorsement. Marvin had seen Rudolf's success and so wanted it for himself.

Marvin tried working on his flight tactics. He would fly around doing different stunts and maneuvers, but eventually realized he did not have the skills of a Comet or Donner. He was devastated. To help alleviate his loneliness he started hanging out with the elves and around the Claus's house more and more. When the Head Elf, Bernard, would come out Marvin was right there. "Looking good today Bernard! Are you getting taller? Anything I can do for you?" 
Marvin was always there trying to become fast friends with Bernard. 

As gregarious and accommodating as Marvin was with Bernard, he was even more so with the Clauses. "Good Morning Mrs. Claus" he would shout out as she was working at breakfast. "Lovely day isn't it?" Then inching over to the door he would poke his reindeer snout in and ask "Anything you need today? I am here to help." Then there was usually a comment like "My, my, Mrs. Claus I think you are getting younger every day!" or similar. "Where is the Boss, by the way?" 

With a booming "Ho, Ho, Ho" Santa would arrive in the kitchen for his breakfast. Marvin was right on it - "Good Morning, Santa! How are you? I'm not sure what it is, but something Mrs. Claus cooked up smells wonderful! I think you are in for a great breakfast!" Santa just looked back with a "good morning Marvin". "How can I help today Santa? I am here for you." Marvin would always ask. "Just let me eat in peace Marvin". Santa would reply. "Yes, sir! In peace it is. Just let me know what I can do. I will be right out here sir!"

Later, in the workshop Marvin would be right off Santa's shoulder. If Santa was reviewing the toys and gifts, Marvin was listening and observing it all. If Santa liked a gift, Marvin would expound upon its wonder. If Santa had a negative comment, Marvin would shake his head and tell Bernard that he could probably do better. He was always there with a comment and an offer to help. "Can I get you some hot cocoa Boss? Tea? I am here for you. Don't overdo it!" When lunch came Marvin said "Let me fly up to the house and get it for you Santa. Just sit right here. I will be right back."

This kind of behavior was not good for Marvin's acceptance by the other reindeer, and in fact was really hurting his standing with the elves as well. That just made Marvin double down on his efforts with Santa. He was on the spot with a drink, a comment, or a supporting role as best he could. 

There is more to this story, but I will address it later. By the way, you may have guessed it by now but as stated above, Marvin was not a red-nosed reindeer as was Rudolf. He was Marvin the brown-nosed reindeer; and would be forever known as such.  

Saturday, November 5, 2016

When Is 6 not 6?

Well, against the wishes of the authorities and my handlers, I ventured out into the world today to do some shopping. As is usual for me, I had an epiphany whilst walking through the grocery store - in the Toilet Tissue section to be precise. (for those of you that are unclear on epiphany and see the reference to toilet tissue - no, no, no. Epiphanies are mental. They can be messy, but all on the inside)

We as a people, or most of us, well - some of us; are working towards a better tomorrow - Better schools, lifestyles, equality, lower prices, bigger portions, better tasting fish, WORLD PEACE! We don't have a prayer. We cannot figure out toilet tissue (or as I will call it going forward - TP) When did buying TP become a MATH PROBLEM?!? You look at a package and it says: 6 rolls = 8 (hmm, ok) Then, next to that is one that says 6 rolls = 12! (my, my) Now they look approximately the same, granted the 6 = 12 may look a tiny bit larger, but...! The only definite difference is the price as far as I can see. Why can't 6 = 6?

Then, there is quilted, embossed, ridged, rippled, double-ply, triple-ply, soft, softer, softest, strong, stronger, strongest! A few rebellious marketers have the gall to be soft AND strong! Then there are multiple iterations within the same brands. Ultra-soft right next to the same brand that is Ultra-Strong. (FYI, as a user of this product for all my remembered life I understand the purpose in strong, but how strong does it need to be? I wonder about steroid enraged behemoths tearing off layers of skin screaming "I need a STRONG TP!" but I digress...)

Ultimately we are talking about a product to clean your nether regions. I do understand the importance. However, it appears that since we have let the marketers take over our TP the prices have gone through the roof. We also are raising a generation of kids that think 6 = almost anything! Happy wiping!

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Most Important Election of Our Lifetime - or is it!?

I have wanted to write something about the election, our candidates, and our “choices” in the upcoming election for a while. I waited as I watched, read, listened, and tried to get a handle on what I actually want to write. With that introduction, here I go.
Every election since the1990s has been presented by one or both parties as “the most important election of our lifetimes. We are again faced with “THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION OF OUR LIFETIMES”! Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. The bottom line is, we have survived all the other votes and will survive this one as well. The real danger here, as I see it, is the lack of empathy, understanding, and acceptance of those with thoughts other than your own. I have seen more name calling and hatred in this election cycle that I think I have seen in at least any other two cycles. There has always been rancor and name-calling, but most were in understanding that it was an election, and life must go on afterwards. Now seems more of a “scorched-earth” policy has taken hold of the populace. “If you want any candidate other than the one I support, you are not worthy to even have an opinion!”, seems to be the mantra. This is accompanied by the thought that if you do not elect my candidate the country is doomed. Let me just say, I have more faith in our country than that. Yes, the President has a lot of power. However, the Constitution is specifically set up to limit that power. It has served that purpose for well over 200 years. Unless we toss it aside, it will serve us for many more.
As for “the most important election…” end of the world predictions: In the past 14 Presidential elections we have never had over 64% of the eligible voters* to actually vote. In addition, we have averaged around 70% of potential eligible voters** to even register. These “most important elections” are being decided by under half of the people that potentially could (and should?) vote! This is one of the biggest problems I see. The majority of the voters and potential voters out there don’t really care. There are two classes of these IMHO: 1) those that get “paid” by the government and just don’t want anything to happen that would stop the funds from coming, or 2) those that think their vote wouldn’t mean anything anyway. (that being said, I just thought of a third – 3) those that don’t want to vote or even register as they are just living their life and don’t want the government to know who or where they are!) I will admit I have what some consider radical ideas about who should and should not be allowed to vote, but that is for another time. I also believe in the rule of law and eligible voters are specifically defined by law. So, we should work on getting our eligible population to vote. They need to be made aware of the issues, the platforms, and then they should vote. Having our government decided by less than 50% of potential voters is a travesty!
Now to the election of 2016. Our obsession with news 24 hours a day, our short attention spans that are always looking for the next thing, and our social media addiction, has led us to this point. We have two greatly flawed candidates. Trump is an egotistical, narcissistic blowhard that believes water was made for him to walk upon. Hillary is a sociopathic, lying megalomaniac that feels the job is “owed” to her. We deserve better choices. That being said – those are our choices. Oh I know we have Gary Johnson and Jill Stein in most states, but let’s get real. A vote for either of those is no more than a protest vote. (which this year, if any, I can understand!)
I was going to do a bit of a campaign commercial now, but in the interest of this getting read and spread around more I decided to not do so. I just ask that you look past the media, the “leaks”, the Facebook posts, and all the other “noise” and vote for who you truly feel will do the country less harm. Yes, that is all I really can hope for – less harm. Look at the party platforms. Go to the actual websites and campaign propaganda both candidates have put out and see what THEY actually have said, not what the media reported. Then VOTE your conscience.

      * eligible voters in this discussion means meeting any legal requirements such as proper registration

     ** potential eligible voters in this discussion means of legal age and meeting any residency requirements

Saturday, May 21, 2016

A Call For Discourse and Communication

I want to try something here. I need EVERYONE'S help! (at least everyone that can put together a civil and coherent sentence)

I feel that we as a people no longer truly have any discussions about politics and the politicians we elect. Instead, we have "flame wars" and memes and rants, and sound bite, etc. As I have posted here before, we also have a tendency to listen, seek out, and accept those things that support what we believe. It you are a Democrat voter/supporter, Republicans and Republican ideas are evil. The same if you are a Republican concerning your thoughts on Democrats. What I find odd and interesting at the same time is that no matter which "side" someone is on most people are not happy with the way things are or even the way things are going! So, maybe support for what we are or have been supporting should be changed?

Here is where you come in:

I want any and all of you to go to the area below this post to "comments". Then, WITHOUT ANY NEGATIVE COMMENTS ON THE REPUBLICAN PARTY OR CANDIDATE(S), tell me why you feel Hillary Clinton should be elected

I was going to put just "candidate(s) instead of Hillary, but I thought maybe mixing the two would make someone uncomfortable in putting down support for what they believe. I can assure you - there will be NO PUT DOWNS, NO FLAMING, NO CRITICISM! As long as you keep your tone and comments restricted to the positives on why Hillary should be elected, I will publish it as is.
FYI, I know all about voting AGAINST a candidate. That is one of the problems I see with the electoral system we have now. Combined with social media, the 24/7 news cycle has made it tough for any respectable non-politician to want to run for anything! However, I want to avoid the arguments of "because I would never vote for a Republican" or "I would never vote for Trump". Again, let's have thoughts, ideas, and accomplishments lead the day. Who knows, you could earn votes for Hillary. FYI, we will do Donald Trump after this. So, hold your thoughts. I will ONLY PUBLISH POSITIVE COMMENTS ON WHY SOMEONE FEELS HILLARY SHOULD BE ELECTED.


Sunday, May 1, 2016

A Thought

Just something that popped into my head yesterday afternoon after I heard from my daughter that she had to have her dog Cocoa put to sleep. She was a definitely part of the family. I was already feeling a bit melancholy anyway and this came out:

The certainty of the passing of all the places, creatures, and people we now know and have known is a certainty. This fact, however, neither lessens the weight of the burden nor the depth of the wound.
                                                                                    "THE" 4/30/16

Nothing more to add really. Just thought I would post this. 

Monday, March 28, 2016

A Remedial Lesson

I realized I had not done this in a while. I have picked up a lot of new readers (judging from the numbers of viewers and the emails) and wanted to "do my duty" to educate and inform. I am going to keep this basic. I have many posts on this site that go into detail on each of these. I could (and have) done an entire post on each.

Here are the basics you need to remember:

I have many posts within that go over this in detail. Just remember, when a politician uses terms like "federal funds", "matching funds", "state funds", or mentions spending; you should substitute "my tax dollars".

Again, explanations are in prior posts. Just realize that stockholders or more likely the customers of the corporation pay all the taxes. A corporation just passes them along. Watch for politicians or leader-types when they tell you that a company or corporation is paying for something.

3) CORPORATIONS DO NOT EXIST TO EMPLOY PEOPLE! (in most cases - some companies were started to because someone needed a job) Corporations exist to make a profit for their owners. (there are "non-profits" and charities, but I am speaking of a "normal" corporation) They do not exist to offer benefits, pay a living wage, or employ people. They have to do those things to get people to work for them. However, if someone will do the job for $5 an hour and no benefits, the corporation would be negligent to pay more! (if it were not for minimum wage laws)

Minimum wage laws are a real problem anyway. A company should be allowed to freely offer a job at whatever price they have to pay to get someone to do it. That would help solve unemployment. But, that is another subject. Minimum wage jobs are for entry level, non-skilled jobs. They are to help people get into the workforce, learn minimal skills, and first jobs. The fact that unskilled and untrained adults are taking these jobs and then demanding more money is idiotic and a sad testimony to our economy and our education system.

The founders never envisioned people wanting to, much less spending 20 - 40+ years in Congress. This clogs up the system, contributes to the status quo, eliminates action and new ideas, and develops crony-ism. We need to get the Congress rolled over every decade or so to keep things honest.

Since this is a "Remedial Lesson" I will stop there. I can go on and on. If you agree with these - pass it on. If you don't, you are welcomed to comment. I will print and respond to any cogent, polite response.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Sound the TRUMP-ETS!

I am going to do a political blog here. If you are close-minded, or already have your mind made up to vote a specific person or party - you may want to move on. I had thought about sitting out this election season as for comments, but I have been moved to do this due to the unprecedented candidates and events surrounding this cycle. (there are many other posts about elections and candidates throughout this blog - just go to election years)

I am older than many and have been voting in national elections since I was 18. Now, if you are younger than me that may not seem like much of a declaration. But, if you are my age you were of the first group of 18 year old citizens that were given the vote. Yes, the voting age was 21 prior to 1971. So, the national elections of 1972 was the first time that 18 year old voters were authorized in the U.S. I voted in that election and every Presidential election since. Why do I tell you this? Not to tout my age - heaven forbid! Just to show that I have participated in the political system and voting for a while now. To give you my political leanings, I am a Constitutional Libertarian. I think the Federal government has greatly overstepped it's reach and grown way to large and pervasive in our daily lives.

I am a student of sociology and psychology, both academic and observational. Societal manifestations of the mindset or geist, as it were, of the population fascinate me. This election cycle is a wonderland for me! The backlash against the status quo and elected elites is mind-boggling in its vehemence; both from the Republicans with Donald Trump and the Democrats with Bernie Sanders. To give you a time stamp, I am writing this the morning after Trump and Sanders took their party's respective primary in the large state of Michigan.

Although the Democrats have rules in place for their primaries that largely negate the masses ability to truly elect a candidate; the leadership/elites of both of the parties are almost blind with fury over the success of Sanders and Trump. As I just noted, the Democrats and Sanders is a bit different story from Trump and the Republicans. The angst there is rooted in the fact that Hillary and her campaign is having to spend lots more money and time on beating back Sanders instead of her nomination being a "done deal" so she can move on and battle the Republicans. There is almost no chance of Sanders winning the nomination (I was going to say NO chance, but mathematically it is barely possible) due to the super-delegate situation and the proportional distribution (vs winner take all) of the delegates from here on out. So, the Sanders issue is just one of focus and expense for the Dem elite.

The Republicans on the other hand have a very different problem. There are no super-delegates (although it would not surprise me to see them establish something after this cycle - stay tuned) and most of the contests from here on out are winner take all. Trump is almost as much of a lock at this point as Clinton. The March 15th primaries will be the key. I await them with great anticipation.

That is enough background and explanation. The reason for this post is to comment on the windstorm that is the Trump campaign (and media response to same). I mentioned I have been following and voting in Presidential elections since 1972. I have NEVER seen a bashing of a major party candidate leading at this point in the cycle from all quarters like what is happening to Trump. If you read this blog, two posts back I did one on cognitive bias. The "powers that be" that put together the news we see and hear know all about cognitive bias. I mentioned in that post about the photos of Bill Cosby all making him look like a maniac. Trump is facing the same thing. Every photo shown by a major media outlet (and minor online ones too) shows him grimacing, menacing, and downright maniacal looking. Now, he does look like that on occasion - we all do. However, when the photos are chosen that accompany a story they can chose one showing a calm Trump hugging his daughter or one where his mouth is open and he is wild-eyed. I did an internet search of photos of Trump in the news over the past four months - almost none looked like the photos from a year or more ago - amazing. Trump is being blasted by media (both conservative leaning and liberal leaning), the Democratic party and it's leaders, and the Republican party and it's leaders (truly amazing if you look at the support he has garnered from people normally outside of the Republican camp - a goal of the party - at least on paper!).

Now, is Trump controversial, bombastic, egotistical, and somewhat of a bully? Hell yes. But, that is some of his appeal! A lot of people are fed up with political correctness, politicians that only speak in sound bites with specially selected key words that come from focus groups to not offend anyone. Is Trump misogynistic, or racist - the two major factors opponents are screaming about? I would say - no. He employs females at top levels in his companies at a rate that almost no other corporations can even get close to. Women that have worked for him say he is not anti-female at all. (have their been complaints from lower-level women, yes. I am not dismissing them, but that can be said for almost all powerful males - Bill Clinton anyone?) As for racism, his actions with friends and business partners speak louder than the claims from his detractors. There are several friends that have publicly denounced these claims but they do not get reported widely. (remember cognitive bias and the media's knowledge of the same) Does Trump say stupid things that can be offensive in today's milquetoast world? Yes. However. if you take time to research it, a lot of the complaints against what he has said are about things he did not even say! Or, they are sentences taken entirely out of context. Seriously, do some research. Almost all of his speeches are online somewhere. Listen to them and then decide.

I am now officially declaring myself a Trump-et (my name - TM me! If you see this anywhere, I came up with it) Washington is broken. Democrats and Republicans alike are not happy with the status quo (for different reasons, but still...) Electing an insider and a crony is not going to change anything. That is why Trump scares everyone on the Hill. All politicians talk about how they are going to change things (for the better of course), most never really do. The same issues that were being talked about in the first election cycle that I paid attention to in 1972 are STILL being addressed today. I cannot believe that if the political and bureaucratic machine really wanted to solve at least one of these issues that it would not have happened. The only answer is to shake things up. True change is needed. Washington takes too much of our money and puts it in pockets of the same people over and over and over. They throw enough out to the masses to get votes to keep the status quo, but no more!

Trump-ets - UNITE! (again, if you take nothing else away from this - remember the Trump-et name - MINE!)

Friday, February 19, 2016

Good Old Days

One of the real issues we have to realize and account for as humans is that no matter how empathetic, sympathetic, understanding, outstanding, sharing, caring, or loving we are we can only evaluate someone else's circumstances and actions from one perspective; our own.

Now, there are people that are much better at this than others. Ultimately however, the filter of our own biases, prejudices, and experiences limit mere mortals on how much of someone else's issues we can relate to. (see the previous post on Cognitive Bias for a similar thought from a slightly different perspective)

We never know exactly what someone we meet or see is going through or has gone through. Even if you know them intimately, unless you have lived with them and experienced their life as yours (which is almost impossible), you would have no idea. I do not want to come off as "holier than thou", but I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Now, those that know me - especially from earlier in my life - knows that I have not been a poster child for patience. My wife's disease required me to work on and develop some. Things that used to really upset me now just roll off my back. I try to see things from others' perspective. I know that everyone can have a bad day. The cashier that was just short with you may have had a family member die in the past few days and not be able to take off work. The server that is less than efficient may have walked to work because their car broke down and they have no idea what they are going to do. The same can be said for other peoples' evaluation of you and your attitude. They have no idea that you just got horrible news or that a family member is in hospice. Just try to remember this when you are interacting with someone.

My thought when I first thought of this post was this line: One day, somewhere, someone, will remember this time as their "Good Old Days"! The same can be said in reverse. Someone is going to remember this time as Hell on Earth. Your understanding and acceptance along with a smile might make a difference.

Friday, January 1, 2016

That's Not What I Heard!

As a student of psychology and people in general one thing that has always fascinated me is how different people interpret the same data/input. I have been doing a lot of reading and studying on the subject and found out the name for this phenomenon cognitive bias. We all have biases that "filter" what how we interpret and use information. Even those of us that consider ourselves "open-minded" are victims to this effect. If we are not careful we can allow ourselves to become quite "close-minded" without meaning to!

Here is a graphic showing 20 cognitive biases that we can all fall prey to:
These are all interesting in one degree or another, but the ones I want to concentrate on are numbers five, seven, & eight.

How many of you have had your child pushed down or hit repeatedly by "such a good boy/girl"? (according to their parent - "they are just high-spirited") Maybe your dog was bitten or snapped at by another overly aggressive dog that was "just curious" or "just playing"? Choice-supportive bias (#5) allows the owner or parent of the aggressors mentioned to totally overlook the actions of their child/pet because they "know" them.

Conservatism bias (#8) allows us to base our actions or beliefs on what may be outdated information. For example, the global warming (excuse me - climate change) proponents refuse to acknowledge that there has been no appreciable warming for over seventeen years. Yet the carbon dioxide level has been rising. Now, there are extraordinarily complex interactions that control climate, and I do not want this to become diverted to that discussion - so, enough said. We tend to cling to what we "know" especially if the new data is very contrary or not widely accepted by our peers. The example given in the graphic is a good alternate one - that of the flat Earth. Except for a small minority of people, it is accepted now that the Earth is a sphere. This was denied for centuries after it was first proposed and was not universally accepted until people circumnavigated the globe. In fact, there were a rather large number of people that needed to see the photos from space before they accepted it!

Now for my favorite - Confirmation bias (#7). This one is a doozy! I first started noticing this when Fox News became a factor. Traditional conservatives tended to watch and follow Fox. Traditional liberals tended to stay with CNN or "main-stream" news outlets. I found this interesting as (at least on the big stories) they are covering the same news. They would have a slightly different spin on it, but the same news. It is all in our interpretation of the news that this really comes to light. For example, today's headline maker: Donald Trump. Now, he is extraordinarily polarizing, I think we can all agree on that. But, his supporters (or those not necessarily opposed to him) listen and like what he says. His detractors (or those that are opposed to him) listen and hate what he says. But, there is one thing I have noticed - the detractors and the supporters do not even know exactly what he said! Yet they still like it or revile it! I have been accused (on comments on this blog for example) of being a Fox News sycophant. I can honestly say I have never watched a Fox News broadcast, except of what portion of the Republican Party debates they broadcast. For clarity, I can also honestly say I have not watched a CNN or MSNBC broadcast (with the same caveat), at least for 15+ years or so. I get my news clips online or from Al Jazeera or BBC.
Back to "the Donald": one thing his detractors and some of his supporters bring up as validation for him is his supposed statement about wanting to require all Muslims in the USA join a registry. He never said those words. But, either side will swear he did.

Another example that I love to point out is Bill Cosby. Now, I am definitely not supporting him or claiming his innocence (or guilt for that matter, the Constitution says he is innocent until proven guilty - but where there is smoke, there is fire it is said and he has a LOT of smoke following him!) Has anyone other than me noticed that since the first accuser came forward there has not been a "good" photo of Cosby in the press? Go to his photos in the news and press releases prior - he was everyone's grandfather. Usually sitting in a sweatshirt with a smile on his face. Now he is always unshaven, unkempt, and looking like he is searching for a small animal to bite the head off of. If you don't believe me, go to the news articles. It is astounding. No one complains because we "know him" to be evil. So, evil looking photos are fine. If those had been shown three or four years ago people would have questioned it.

Bottom-line: I am not trying to get any of you to change any opinions you have. I am asking you to truly examine and validate from many (and different) sources. Also, be open to changing your mind. The world may be round!!