I am Michael, and I am unfiltered.
Why The Blog?
For years, I have been known as the guy that writes those incredibly long emails and Facebook posts. I love critical thought, and like to look at just about every issue from every possible angle. I don’t take anything I read or see on the news for granted, I don’t believe what any political party line throws at me, and I try to think in terms of absolute common sense. I am a cynic. As a result, many have told me I should start a podcast, get a personal blog going, or get published. Not interested in further complications, I took the easier path and started this blog. Let’s see where it takes us!
I have experienced all sorts of reactions from those that read my ramblings. I have seen conservatives assume I am a liberal, and liberals assume I am conservative. I am neither. I am a free thinker that happens to have a lot of interesting life experience. So I will try to bring my ramblings here. I don’t ask readers to agree with anything I have to say, because each of us has our own core motivators and life experiences that form how we see the world. All I ask of the reader is to have an open mind.
I believe we all see the world through a lens formed by own life experiences. Combine that with a person’s core motivators, and you can get a basic understanding of that person. If you are open minded enough, you can even respect that person no matter how much their views are in conflict with your own.
I was born in mid 1960’s Los Angeles to an upper-middle class family. Most of my family were entrepreneurs. We were not flying private jets to yachts on remote islands, but dad always had a new Cadillac and mom had a Ferrari. We didn’t live on a sprawling estate, but did live in a beautiful south of the boulevard home in the hills of Encino. We were never at the Oscars afterparties, but it was not uncommon to find people at our parties from whom many might ask for an autograph. I would say we were at the lower end of the 1%.
Politically, our family were what I think of as “California Republicans.” That is, they voted Republican for the fiscal policies, but when it came to the social issues, they didn’t tow the party line by any means whatsoever.
There was no concept of inequality. Looking back, I would say we lived in a very odd bubble. Different races, ethnicities, and sexual orientation were so much the norm, that is wasn’t noted. I mean, of course one knows. But saying Gus is gay is like saying Bob has brown hair, or noting that Darren is black is like noting that Laura has blue eyes. In other words, to say something like you are “color blind” when it comes to race is patently dishonest unless you are actually blind, but if a person’s race is in any way a factor in your choices, well. That is just dumb in my opinion. I mean, we knew all of the “isms” existed, but from our perspective, that was the stuff of another planet.
Even when it came to “having money,” our groups of friends were not based on financial status. Just as many people in our group had big homes in the hills, as lived in small rented apartments in the valley below. Some of my friends were significantly more wealthy than my family, and some had families that lived month to month, stretching that paycheck as much as possible. As adults, some of those who were poor are now wealthy, and some of those that were wealthy are now poor. It was never about what we had, but what we did with our lives that counted.
Even when it came to religion, my mom was Catholic, my dad was Jewish, and at school and in our neighborhood there were people of all sorts of other religions. There was no tension, because there was nothing to have tension over. You just are who you are, and “Hey, wanna go to the beach?”
Much of this comes with some interesting life stories. that I may reflect on, such as Mario Andretti being “Uncle Mario” to me, or throwing around footballs with OJ Simpson when I was a kid, or playing t the beach with John Wayne, or swimming with Annette Funicello’s kids while she served us lemonade in the piano shaped pool at the house she bought from Liberace, or living across the street from Michael Jackson, or throwing the baseball around with Steve Garvey and Ron Cey. A lot of fun little memories in what to me was a perfectly normal life.
But looking back, along with some of the incredible life experiences I have had as an adult, I think I have gained a very well-rounded world-view.
I look at politics this way. The difference between a Democrat politician and a Republic politician boils down to which demographic they want to lie to the most. They may change their side of the aisle based on party affiliation, but I am fully aware that they are both “bought” by the same lobbyists. Why do I have such a cynical view of both parties? Because I have been in the room with ambassadors, former congressmen and presidential advisors enough to have been told enough “behind closed doors” how the system works.
But growing up, I was a Republican. Heck, Reagan wasn’t just my hero, I even went to his funeral! But I am not a Republican anymore. That does not make me a Democrat by any stretch of the imagination. I would say I more closely align with Libertarians, but not so much that I would wave the party flag. At the end of the day, I would call myself a constitutionalist, or a classical liberal. There is a great book by Matt Kibbe called “Don’t Hurt People and Don’t Take Their Stuff.” I think that about sums it up for me. Laws should answer that question, and be fully qualified. For example, over the debates on civil rights for [insert your minority group here], if you want to make law, ask yourself: Does this law hurt anyone or take property away from anyone? If the answer is YES, you better be making a very powerful case of absolute necessity.
A great way to look at my political thought is to look at the past decade debate over gay marriage. Should it be legal or not? The Republican party position was to say “no” and the Democrat party’s position was to say “yes”. My answer to that question was a bit more complicated. Why is the government regulating any marriages? To me, it should not be legal or illegal. It should not be a matter of government, period.
With regard to fiscal policy and government spending, I see the Democrats spending recklessly on social programs in which very little of the money spent actually gets to the people that need it, while the Republicans spend recklessly on military, which is not just bloated with incredible waste, but how many missiles do we actually need to destroy the world?
In this blog, I will get into politics quite a bit. Both sides are likely to want to “cancel” me. But I can back quite a bit of what I discuss up with real life experience. As I mentioned above, I have had deep conversations with presidential advisors and ambassadors, I have been on the inside as a defense contractor, and I have had private behind closed doors conversations with people that were there when some really bad stuff happened that occupied the news cycle for months and played a part in presidential election results.
In some of what I may discus here, I am the source. Having been a military contractor with clearance, I know a bunch of stuff I can’t talk about. But I can talk about a bunch of stuff in a roundabout way. You will just have to take me at my word on this stuff. If you don’t believe any of it, I really don’t care. Just consider that some of this might be true. That will make a difference. I would rather people investigate on their own and ask questions. It is amazing how much information is actually available if you look in the right places.
Other things I discus may be from conversations with sources that I simply cannot reveal. For example, I may have been told how things went down one day by a presidential advisor that was in the room, but I cannot tell you which advisor it was, can I?