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Category: Disagreements

WHO AM I? Conservative or Liberal?

The person most qualified for the job should get the job.

People that borrow money should pay it back.

Limits should be placed on access to abortion.

Separation of church and state should be absolute.

Citizens’ access to weapons of mass destruction should be limited.

Collecting taxes to exceed the defense spending of the next 10 largest countries is a dangerous squander.

We should invest in knowledge and be guided by our discoveries.


Richard Kimball, Vote Smart Founder

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Brandon and Saudia would have been in jail instead of on a plane headed for home if my wife and I hadn’t been there. Two brilliant students just finishing internships working for us. One was headed back to work for the governor of Indiana and the other into health care in her native Georgia.

With an early pre-dawn flight, we decided to give them a lift on the two hour drive up to the Portland airport.

Now this gets a little tricky to explain, it is a “you had to be there” kind of thing. But here is my best effort: I was driving and Adelaide, my wife, was sitting in the back seat directly behind me, while Brandon was sitting shotgun and Saudia directly behind him. In the dark of the night, we came up to a stop sign before turning left on to a main but poorly lit street leading out of town and to the Interstate. Off in the distance, parked under a tree, I noticed what I thought was a parked police car. I turned left, drove five or six blocks as the police car slowly approached from the rear and then suddenly hit its lights and siren at the same instant that another police car came screeching around the corner in front of us, hitting its siren. I pulled over.

I was completely fuddled and asked Brandon what I had done. I knew I hadn’t been speeding. He shrugged his shoulders and Adelaide said, “Maybe one of our brake lights is out.” Two police cars for that?

I didn’t think so. I watched as the policemen that pulled up behind us quickly jumped out of his car and put his hand on his holster, while the other car put on its brights and blocked the road in front. “Wow! What the Hell is this?”

The officer with his hand on the gun quickly approached me from behind, then seeing me, slowed as his hand dropped to his side. Now it was he who looked fuddled.

Nervously I asked him what I had done. In an odd, suddenly cautious and disappointed voice he said, “Never mind, you can go,” and blurted out an inaudible something to the other police car and briskly walked back to his. Both cars pulled out and disappeared into the night.

Brandon, Saudia, my wife and I just sat silent for a minute or so. I glanced over at Bradon and then back at Saudia. Neither would look at me and then I got it.

I just exploded. When we had turned left onto the main street the police car down the block only saw Brandon and Saudia in the windows. with two others in the dark shadows next to them. They saw a car full of black people.

Apoplectic would be the word to describe my reaction. I had never seen it up close and personal, but now that I had there was blood in my eyes. I wanted floggings or at least a couple of badges.

I ranted about how I was going to some friends in the local press and city council. When I finally came up for breath Brandon and Saudia just looked up and stared at me, and then as if in tag-team manner asked that I not do that.

I was now the student and to be taught by two who had clearly earned their PhDs.

They told me that if I did those things, it would only make it worse for other blacks. Their suggestion was simply this: “If you really want to do some good, if you want to be helpful, Richard, sponsor some community discussions on racism and tolerance. It will bring it out into the open and maybe strike a note with a few who will make such things less likely.”

The effect those two had on me came in level parts of shame and awe. Of course they would know, this was no first time for them.

Yes, some community discussion, it was the thing to do, the smart, effective, helpful, proper thing to do. But I was none of those things, and by noon I could be found in the mayor’s office unrolling an obscenity-laced review of the night’s events.

She, of course, promised to have a stern discussion with the Chief of Police who would make sure everyone was properly chewed out and made all the more hateful.

There were more important pressing things to do with my time than sponsor forums on race. Besides I had stirred up a nice angry pot and could now, like most of the self-righteous, point my countenance skyward and arrogantly walk on, confident that I had busted some ass and created peace on earth.

Score one for me on the Mutant’s team.

The other side of the coin is this — a defense that will upset some who read this. Not a defense of those policemen in my story, but one that knows they are not the norm. I could give you equally vivid emotional descriptions of the hundreds of ethical, honorable police officers slaughtered on America’s streets each year, putting their bodies between you and real evil.

It isn’t a desire to hurt others that generates generations of police cadets. It is a desire to do good, to serve, to be of value to their community, friends, and family and to feel value in themselves.

It isn’t unusual, it is normal for some in any profession to turn to the dark side, particularly in a profession that finds a few hundred of its number murdered on the streets every year.

Could it be that showing more value and far better screening might be a more fruitful response?

You do not want to give up the protection of those willing to protect you, but we might fork over bigger salaries and a lot more training to avoid those on the dark side.

— –

(Excerpt from Kimball’s Autobiography of a Nobody — The Miracle of Me)

Richard Kimball, Vote Smart Founder

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Are you a New Wave Republican?

free clip art power and control

Deny elections, deny vaccines, deny climate change, deny wages, deny all abortions and health care for the poor. Defund social programs and public education. Support assault weapons, a paralyzing defense budget, and a Christian nation.

Eisenhower, Nixon, Goldwater, Ford, Reagan, the Bush’s, and every other Republican leader in history weren’t!

Richard Kimball, Vote Smart Founder

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Mark Watson

I had an exceptionally happy childhood draped in countless adventures with friends, brothers and two never-could-be-duplicated parents.

So, I ask myself, why have I spoken mostly of traumas? I think it is because the traumas we recall seem to stick up like weeds on a nicely mowed lawn.

Like Mark Watson, the only other person I would ever know who struggled so between the black art of invisibility and the desire for acceptance. There is a Mark Watson in everybody’s life. Now, even sixty-five years later, when I think of Mark, I still cringe with self-loathing.

He was a slightly odd new kid in class, so anxious to make a friend that he became the brunt of the kind of cruel jokes children are capable of.

At a class party of sorts, Mark and I were the two self-designated wall flowers when it came time for everyone to sit at a long table to enjoy some cake. It was then that a fun idea came to me that I was sure the “mob” would enjoy. When Mark followed me to the cake table I kindly offered him a chair and as he turned and sat, I pulled it away. He hit the floor in a humiliating sprawl and the class exploded in cackles of laughter.

His eyes were welling with tears as he pulled himself up, staring at me. He was completely broken and then ran out. It was the kind of look that eats your heart and burns into your brain forever.

At Mark’s expense I learned one of the most valuable lessons of life. The next morning, I became Mark’s friend but never forgot what I was capable of if I simply followed the mob.

It is easy, comfortable, and safe to follow the mob. It is why, I suppose, so many are mob followers today, rather than taking the harder, lonelier, more constructive road of thinking for oneself.

I would feel a debt to Mark Watson later in life, as I tried to be one of the constructive, and would, at least in part, thank Mark for it.

Anyway, arriving at school that next morning I became Mark’s friend. Arriving, I saw some in the class were doing their best to have a little more fun with Mark. They had grabbed the cap off his head and surrounded him, tossing it around in a circle. Mark, upset and on the verge of tears again (a schoolboy taboo of galactic proportions), was desperately trying to retrieve it. As I walked up, Mark glanced at me and just gave up, going over and taking a seat on a bench.

Thinking I was now part of the game, one in the mob suddenly tossed the hat to me. I turned my back on the mob and walked over and sat next to Mark placing it on his head. Not done with their fun, my classmates came over to snatch it off Mark’s head again, but that did not happen, and Mark and I had my reputation from the fancy-dancer Rudy fight to thank for it.

I may have done things worse in my life than jerk that chair out from under Mark Watson, but none that ever made me feel smaller or where I learned more.

New chapters coming once each week — Full book thus far under THE MIRACLE OF ME / autobiography of a nobody

Richard Kimball — Vote Smart Founder

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“What do you do?” I asked. Answer: “I raise moms. I let only the females live. They are expected to get pregnant every year. If they do not get pregnant themselves, I impregnate them. If they still do not, I butcher them or sell them off to someone who can make good use of them.”

It is an odd world, where one male will do, and that most Americans, including me and much of the world, lives by.

What is it?

Richard Kimball

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Intelligence is a disease?

It is a statistical absurdity to think our life on earth is all there is of consciousness in the universe. As a statistician once demonstrated, there are more suns in the sky than there are grains of sand on earth. And in case you missed it, the new Web Space Telescope just upped that number of suns 10-fold. Trillions of those stars have been around for billions of years longer than our puny, insignificant, unexceptional sun.

Yet here we are, alone, no one reaching out to us or making themselves known, even though so very many other worlds have had incomprehensible amounts of time to advance further than we.

Science suggests several reasons for this, most related to space and time, but perhaps the reason is closer to home, perhaps intelligence is a disease that no matter where it takes root, it inevitably comes with a deadly cancer called arrogance.

All developing intelligent life would naturally, routinely believe themselves exceptional, the chosen ones, superior to all and perhaps even made by a God, in God’s own image and thus all-powerful, God-like themselves.

It could be that arrogance inevitably kills its host and intelligence can never significantly develop enough to discover an antidote to arrogance or even recognize that one is necessary.

Most everyone I know would quarrel with the notion that intelligence is a dangerous thing but if I asked every other species on the planet, not a one, not even the earth herself would disagree. Our intelligence has come with catastrophe for the earth and all those we share it with.

Richard Kimball, Vote Smart Founder

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To all the lovely people: Are they coming for you?


I think the world of compassionate people, often value their judgment more than my own, even as I disagree. The other day one let me know that saying bad things about evil people would not help heal.

Where is that point of departure, when a lovely person, smart, kind and gentle, decides, “OK, I gotta fight.”?

If it is not when they bludgeon YOUR capitol, YOUR institutions, YOUR schools, YOUR books, science and the facts, can that point ever come? Does it even come when they come for you?

Richard Kimball

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Image result for free pictures of children having fun

For our children yes. For us maybe no.

We are all products of the sources of information we choose to absorb, and those sources have latched on to what every other species on earth has always known — fear sells.

The basic difference is that no other species would ever think of screaming fire in a theater if there were not an actual fire.

Pick your source for information, doesn’t much matter which one, watch for a bit and see if they do not tell you to be worried about stuff, often with who to blame or even hate. That is what sells. That is what builds audience and cash. We are all simply wired to pay attention, to tune in when someone says, “WATCH OUT!”

Hell, information sources have become so fear mongering that Americans can no longer agree on what is right and what is wrong.

Institutions that could only have been created by a free people for protection and justice, like the Congress, the FBI and Justice Department, are now seen as enemies by millions of Americans. If abandoned, replaced by what, by whom?

A leader of the French revolution famously said, “There go the people. I must follow them, for I am their leader.” In today’s vernacular it might be put: “I cultivated a mob and will follow no matter where they go.”

No, there is not much fun in it, but as in all past American epochs, and I believe with this one, someone in the mob will eventually stop, then someone else, then others and a sense of common commitment to each other will win the day. It is then that sensible leaders both conservative and liberal will be exposed and politically survive, stand on solid common ground, and turn us back to reason.

Richard Kimball

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  Fighting Through Life

 My work was my passion and I always had too much of both.  It was about the 25-year mark of my life’s work when a spectacular left hook, I did not know I had, smashed into the face of my University of Arizona Director.

 I worked all the time, all the time.  It is when I finally decided to take a break and go on a holiday that she called.  She was our National Director in the main office who also oversaw a director of one of our satellites in Arizona.  A string of lies forced her to fire him but he would not leave the office, apparently unwilling to take directions from a “girl” and certainly not going to be fired by one.

 My vacation abruptly ended, and I had a four-hour drive to load up a bit of steam.   I walked into our satellite Arizona office and told a snickering nut case to pack up and go.  He did not, suggesting he would leave at the end of the day and that was all there was to it.

 The next few moments are a little foggy in my memory as they always are when anger holds sway.  Although I do remember getting in his face and splattering out a slop pail of unkind words.  As it turned out my slop was unkind enough to get him to take a swing that glanced off the side of my head. That is when to my total surprise I discovered I have a spectacular left hook.  My spot-on accuracy changed his expression and the color dripping down his pasty white face.

  As I headed for home, I was pretty upset about what happened and how I had handled it.  It was not the first-time I let my anger rule my actions.

 As I pulled into my driveway, perhaps the most interesting, accomplished person I knew was standing outside in his yard.  At 93 years, he still had youthful good looks, was one of my closest friends and my next-door neighbor.  As a poor kid growing up in the Depression with nothing much for parents, Jack used to shag balls for Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, once hitched a ride into D. C. and was picked up by Eleanor Roosevelt as he worked his way through school.  After earning a Yale law degree, he found himself ducking enemy fire as a Marine gunner in the South Pacific.  The only time I ever heard him say he was scared and ran away, was when he turned 18 and Jean Harlow asked him up to her bedroom.

 As the years rolled by Chief Justice Earl Warren asked him if he couldn’t clean up what had become some very seedy operations at the U. S. Supreme Court.  His portrait still hangs there in thanks to this day.  He became the President of two major universities, chairman of MetLife, as well as a couple other major international corporations.  Two U. S. Presidents would be included in his circle of friends and when he relaxed a bit, he might be found having a picnic lunch with actress Jean Simmons on the hillside of the site they had chosen to build the Getty Center. To me he was Forest Gump with a brain.

 Anyway, there he was, standing outside as I pulled into my driveway, and I was about to hear one of the most jaw dropping, life awakening responses to a question I would ever ask.

 Visibly unsettled, I walked up to him, told him all that had happened and then asked, “Jack, you have led so many efforts, been so successful in life, struggled and achieved so much on so many fronts.  How did you managed it when you were forced to fight on your way up all those hills?

   He just looked at me for a moment in silence, and then softly said, “Richard, I never fought with anyone.”

 Richard Kimball

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  The average focus length is 8.2 seconds.

  This piece will take almost 1 minute to read, or in other words, roughly 7 times longer than your attention span.

 Franklin, the Founder I would most like to have over for dinner, said something to the effect that the older he got the less certain he was of anything.

 Richard Kimball, the person I most trust, has been confused about almost everything around me and all within it, as long as I can remember.  As result: I have always been a listener, sitting quietly, soaking in the monologues of those I once knew certain, knew more than me. 

 But now I am old and have heard an awful lot and must say, I don’t care what you think or what you have to say.

 Like all my age, I am done. As with almost everyone else I have ever known, I am only interested in what age and experience have left ME to prattle about.

 Richard Kimball, Vote Smart Founder

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 Few things make one more miserable than that moment in an argument when you realize you’re wrong!   

  For that reason, two words have never been heard in debate, “I am wrong.”

  Once you invest in a point of view, you’re done.  In fact, research has shown that exposing people to contradictory facts only intensified their existing beliefs, making them more inflexible.  You see this reality with participants on January 6th, opposing sides on the Supreme Court’s abortion decision, at your job and in your personal life.

 If you want to be persuasive and impact someone’s misguided beliefs, you’d better start by agreeing with them.  Only that approach can expose any unfrozen receptors and open potential for adjustment.


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Election Deniers


  Millions being spent by Democrats to support election fraud, pro-life and Uzi-supporting Republican candidates?

                                   W T F !

 Of course, they do it in the hopes of getting unelectables as Republican nominees in the general election, or at least get more viable Republican challengers to burn through their cash defending themselves before facing a Democrat.

 They are having so much fun with voters it gives them the giggles.    You know, the same giggles Trump gets when surrounded by evangelicals he privately says are full of shit, scammers, and hustlers.

 These Democrat 2.0 versions of Trump deserve an equal amount of your derision.  If you do not think so, just imagine if this idea gets legs.  Democrats funding extremist Republicans and Republicans funding extremist Democrats.  That is a world you DO NOT want to see or in the end, live in.  



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