Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Here's Some Changes I Suggest for 2014

Happy New Year!

2013 was certainly an, um, interesting year, wasn't it? The government shut down, or didn't function, the NSA probably knows exactly what I'm typing as soon as my fingers hit the keyboards.
None of this in 2014, OK?  

Miley Cyrus twerked her way into history, the mayor of Toronto partied hearty through the year with his booze and crack pipe. And we barely noticed, since we were so busy Tweeting, Instagraming, Vining and taking selfies.

Everybody wants a new start as a new year arrives, so here are some totally unrealistic hopes for 2014. Feel free to chime in and add your own.

In 2014, let's have a year in which politicians say and do exactly what they think is right, instead of kowtowing to the crazy "base"

They call them the "base" for a reason. Yes, I know the base in politics refer to the hardcore partisans on either the right or the left. But I call them base because they are just that, the lowest, stupidest common demoninator. Ignore the jerks and do what's right for once, jeez!

Speaking of extremists, let's have a little common sense and recognize that there's not always black and white, but shades of gray.  For instance, we can pass some gun laws that help keep weapons out of the hands of criminals and the crazies, while guaranteeing the rest of us can use our guns to hunt, target practice or use to protect our homes, if we choose.

It goes both ways. Some proposed laws by hard line conservatives are odious, too, but they won't mean the fascists will take over the world.

Mild laws don't necessarily lead to a Police State, despite what the NRA says.

That doesn't mean there's no police state. Again, shades of gray. The Snowden leaks shows the NSA seems to think that they have to get all the information about everybody all the time.

But what do you do with that information? There's too much of it to make sense. Can't somebody there get some common sense, spy on the people we need to spy on, and leave the rest of us alone. I know that's imperfect, but it's an imperfect world, no?

In 2014, whenever there is a law we don't like, let's also avoid the hyperbole, shall we?  Many people might not like Obamacare, want to change it, get rid of it, replace it with something else. That's all good. Why not continue discussing a law that's less than perfect?

But no, it's not communism, it's not a complete government takeover of every aspect of our lives, there's no death panels, and it's not going to lead to the fall of Western Civilization.

Same with gay marriage. If you don't like it, fine. But God is not going to smite us and every time we get a destructive storm or a tornado, it's not because God is pissed off at us because some people of the same gender are married. And a kid who is aware that gay people sometimes get married doens't mean the kid will instantaneously turn gay.

In 2014, I'm sure some celebrities will do something stupid, outrageous, criminal or eyerolling. This year, every time they do that, let's not turn the incident into a 'that's how low our culture has sunk" sermon.
People like Toronto Mayor Ron
Ford need to calm down in 2014.  

Some people, celebrities or not, are stupid sometimes. That's often the extent of it.

2014 ought to be the year we declare war on Internet trolls. I'm not quite sure how to do that, but I'm among millions who are sick of them. You know who they are: The people who leave comments all over the Internet saying the cruelest, most ridiculous things to get attention.

I know they say don't feed the trolls by giving them attention, but that's not working. The more we ignore them, the louder they get.

I'm a free speech absolutist. The trolls have the right to say their outrageous things. But we need to call them out more, expose who they are, show their faces to the daylight and let the world know how awful they are.  Time to exercise our own free speech.

They've been hiding in the basement long enough, mooching off their mothers, not going out and getting a job and and instead shooing out their bile.

Most importantly, in 2014, let's keep our sense of humor, OK? People say and do awful things, and I can see taking offense when that happens. But it seems every peep, every little misunderstanding, every slip of the tongue leads to outrage, yelling, screaming, victimhood and general drama.

In 2014, let's all chill out a little, OK?

And Happy New Year!

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