I do not understand why there is so much conversation about the democrats getting rid of the filibuster. There are two Senators who will not vote to get rid of this pesky race-founded device. There will be no vote to get rid of the filibuster because, well, that’s it. Without those two, the whole effort is nonsensical. Those two will also assure that nothing of real consequence is done until after the elections in 2022. Just the way it is. Blue Dog Democrats have been doing this for many years, while the republicans then get to claim that the democrats can’t get anything done. There is no integrity in the House or the Senate, and there hasn’t been since the whole thing started in 1776. Social structures do not raise the level of civilization, they respond to it. Individuals raise the level, people like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos although with their own baggage. There is almost no such thing as group integrity.

There is individual integrity, and that is rare, indeed. The exercise of courage in combat is the same way. Men and women do not go to war to win or for the people around them. They go, once they get there and find out a little bit about the reality, to get the hell back home alive and in one piece. Our leaders are not there to help us. They are there to help themselves. If it helps them to help the rest of us, then we’ll get some help, otherwise not. Read the NY Times article today about Guatemala and how the United States has sent billions down there (four billion more approved as this is written) in order to help employers, help their employees to improve their lot in life, so they won’t all come up here and become illegal immigrants.

A big coffee grower from down there summed it up: “They sent one guy and he came with an app in order to allow me to know the coffee prices around the world at any instant. That was it. He left. What happened to the billions everyone was talking about?” The billions went to the same place that the billions went to that were flown into Baghdad, the trillions that were thrown into Afghanistan, and so much more in other foreign (and even domestic) places. Once money leaves the U.S. it’s just gone.  Money that’s allotted for staying inside the country is usually, in one way or another allotted to the members (civilian and military) of the Military-Industrial Complex. Accommodating all this without spending our days in anger, rage or depression is our main job.

Offshore accounts are a bit part of this. If you don’t have one, well, you’re not getting one and you are also not finding out who has one. That kind of information is protected by ‘proprietary’ rights, as has been proved in one court case after another, one useless and clueless investigation after another. Don’t get mad, however. Get back to work and try to ignore that part of what’s going on because you are not going to change it. You have to accept and work around it. Is going with the current democratic party part of the solution?  It’s a helluva lot better than going with those other guys and gals.

The GSR does cover what’s going on from time to time, but in general, concentrates on reporting about stuff going on around Geneva Lake.  Along the same lines as the national news, but smaller, the GSR made a video a few days ago that included the entrance to the first floor of the Riviera Pier project (now that the redevelopment is finished). The video was primarily about the vandalizing of the town fountain, centrally located in front of the Riviera Pier complex. For a few brief seconds the Rivera Pier structure, near the fountain was mentioned. The town just spent five million dollars, or so, rehabbing the structure. The GSR received several immediate complaints about the coverage. Not about the vandalization (that happens about three times a summer!) but about the fact that the cameraman shooting the video mentioned that the bottom floor of the Riviera, the part where everyone circulates through to get to the Gage Marine boats, was dark and dank, just like it was before the multi-million-dollar rehab. The callers were mad about that comment and went so far as to say, “stop criticizing everything we do. That’s not your job.” I apologized, then apologized again. But, in spite of my apologies, I must say that criticizing is what is at the foundation of what the media is supposed to do, and that includes the GSR. Observe, notice, compliment, criticize…and more.

Of course, reporters and editors have opinions, just as they must have and, of course, those opinions make it into the reports the GSR turns out. Only the mass media claims to have no opinion while it gives the public one opinion after another.  Some people liked the Coney Island effect the first floor of the Riviera used to provide…and now still provides. We, at the GSR, don’t like it.  We don’t like the filibuster in the Senate either.  We don’t like the lack of integrity in the political houses of the time period we are living in either.  Our job, however, is to accommodate those things and then note, report, and criticize where we feel it is appropriate.

~~~ James Strauss

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