Monday, March 31, 2008

Some tribes are better than others

This is a most “anti” multicultural idea. Not all tribes and nation-states are created equal. Some are better than others.

“Better” in western terms means things like rule of law, women’s equal rights, and basic social services like police protection, fire protection, and public health policies (to include clean water, sewage control, and malaria control). Those who want to return to more lawless and savage states are invited to move to these places on earth, for which many still exist, and then tell us how to live like them if they are even still alive or can communicate in the near future. This idea is not political, like the old “America, love it or leave it”. It is a practical idea, like go check it out, and report back.

To be preached to by those who have derived their “truth” in the West is appalling unless they live as they preach. Former Vice President Gore’s mansion in Belle Meade, Nashville is such an example with its enormous carbon footprint and home base for “his family” all the while he preaches for the rest of us “to cut down”. I’ve been there and it is a big monstrosity. Even more appalling is those who practice unelected environmental promotions that denigrate our energy lifestyles, all the while not denigrating their lifestyles. Just who elected or appointed them (of course many appointed themselves since they know the “truth”)? Since I believe there are too many humans in the world, and even if demographics suggest a lowering of total numbers, it will be overcome by increasing energy lifestyles of the existing numbers; the future over the next 200 years or so is gloomy. But there are other ways to go after this problem than the self-anointed environmentalist’s ways. Yes, some tribes are better than others. And some courses of action are better than others, starvation being a poor course of action, for example. For the poorly informed, the cost of basic rice and wheat will become more newsworthy in the next year. And few will volunteer to starve.

To speak of the New World we live in almost always has the tone of some idealistic and even academic theme. Yet this tribe in America is also a practical idea of success. We no longer have to “carry the waters of our Old World ancestors”. However we came here, we (who are mostly descendents) are a successful tribe in our own right, now. That this tribe is not God given, nor automatic in human history, is obvious to those Americans who have lived in other tribal areas and learned other “truths”. Certainly we are full of our own problems, many brought on by our own compounded successes to date. Today’s financial problems are a good example.

And so to the sale’s pitch. Forming a more perfect union is part of our tribe’s instincts, and history. Fighting over how to form a more perfect union is so American. Tearing down America is not a good method, given the better alternatives. Some of us object to being torn down, given all the work and good that has gone on so far, and having lived in other parts of the world and seen the alternatives. Best future leaders will recognize this, acknowledge this, and explain how they want to make things better. That they can explain, and we can vote, is a still a privilege unique in much of our terrible human world. We Americans are a pretty good tribe, all in all. A little nurturing by savvy citizens will go a long way.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

I might screw around a little but I am not a whore

I first heard this expression while on recruiting duty decades ago. The principle still applies to the quasi-business world, and politics, where decisions are seldom black and white. Some have or have done or will do with “ a load of compromising on the road to their horizon”.

Perhaps this is how we may muddle out of our present financial and political mess in the USA, sooner rather than later. Most will think, and some may say, we have had a bout of poor leaders in the last few decades. This may be unfair given hindsight, but that is how things are thought of today. And we voters have been selecting fellow Americans at all levels during these decades, local, state, and federal. And some have been better than others, depending on the vagaries like locales, voters, education of the electorate, and social standards. Now many suggest our present candidates for federal President, all volunteers by the way, are a weak group compared to some earlier standard they think of. Like beauty, standards are in the eye of the beholder. My standards include saneness, basic honesty in explaining things to the electorate, and experience. Intelligence and education comes in a poor second, especially given another old time expression of “educated fools”.

All this leads into a concern, an “antenna” going off, that today’s financial (and political) problems are being addressed by a combination of Americans, and some non-Americans, who do not have our best interests in their mind. They for many reasons are still status quo. Mostly, it is Americans using their education and politics trying to solve the recent decades of problems using 1920’s history and lessons learned. That today’s America and things are different from the 1920’s is obvious to most, and so should our solutions be. Again, some “antennas” say this is not what is happening.

Most hope the present efforts to rescue Wall Street and the whole crowd succeed. Historically, the efforts are to keep a recession from becoming a full blown depression, and in this theory this benefits us all. That some political efforts are also on going to make sure if all this fails, then we taxpayers assume the losses with our taxpayer monies, is just another reminder that the status quo is alive and well. Some just don’t get it!

America is still full of political ostriches that put their head in the sand as too many ancestors have been doing for decades. At all levels, local, state, and federal, politicians have been getting elected for decades by we voters who support more and more retirement and medical benefits for their government employees. As a voter and taxpayer, it is difficult to find a source that “compiles” all these promises to sum up the implications, locally. Well, the implications are too often locally enormous, as in make the present Wall Street problems seem minor, or so the “antenna” senses. And all this, including the worst case local governments and their politicians and their voters, may drag us down in the end.

There are practical solutions still available that do not need another band-aid form of government. One is to make all governments from schools boards to cities to counties to states to the federal government have to conform to basic business accounting practices. This idea should show the awesome compiled implications of what we have wrought. Then at least, we have more information to vote on, and what we want to do about the problem. Right now it is too try increase taxes, reduce benefits (promises), or default. Among these terrible choices, can we voters have a voice. In this is our future.

There is a Plan B, called the status quo. It will probably pull apart our American social fabric, and much of the World’s social fabric when many begin starving in this Plan B. Already there are reports this is going on in the rest of the world, and our unelected environmentalists who have led to starving for the most idealistic and altruistic reasons will now come to the Court of Humanity.

None of this is by accident. It is all on purpose. How typically human.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Treating our National Health

How many Americans will go to a doctor who treats symptoms vice the disease? How many will keep going to a doctor who keeps putting band aids on top of band aids, while leaving the underlying wound to fester and probably get worse. Sooner or later, many Americans will switch doctors. Sometimes patients have to get sick or die, or sometimes the doctor dies or goes out of business, or just sometimes Americans get fed up and seek a better deal for the most basic human value, health and treatment of the most simple diseases for our relatives, and sometimes us.

The present financial mess, mostly reported in our financial capital of New York City, and our political capital in Washington, D.C., clearly shows the band aid method is alive and well. Many prescriptions being bandied about are just band aids on top of band aids, and treatments of symptoms vice disease. Some even exploit the windows of opportunity that our lobbyists are so professional at using. One can say for lack of knowing what to do, they all do what they know. As in mixing medicines, or even software on computers, no technician, bureaucrat, or politician knows what the ultimate effects will be on our Country. And we elect these politicians, and they appoint so many, and use so many lobbyists. And our reporting media is so poor in reports to we common citizens. And the band still plays on, so far.

Here’s a quick summary, with reference links to follow:

The scale of the financial problem is well beyond New York and Washington, D.C, and the status quo types are still today setting up we American taxpayers to “take the hit”. This means go hungry and cold, and be sick when we can find a job. Reporting media types should also pay attention. And in the end, we cannot take the hit since the combined obligations are so far past our ability to pay, as in devote 100% of our income to the politicians to distribute.

The present financial rescue actions are on the scale of a fifth of a trillion dollars, but the scale of the unfunded deficiencies and over promises are somewhere between two and fifty-nine trillion dollars, depending on the studies. Again references will come at the end of this post so you can form your own point of view and judgment. The point is that much is being done, but it is woeful in comparison to what has to be done in the not too far future. And so far, what has been done and is being done is band aids on top of band aids. That few really know the depth of this problem is a sign of serious incompetence, locally, state, and federal. And the interconnection effects are hardly talked about. As an example, if the federal politicians (and we have to vote for them) decide to increase federal taxes to fund Medicare and Social Security deficits, they are drawing from the same taxpayers that also pay the state and local employee benefits. No one has compiled the cumulative effects of all this, but it might be fair to suggest we taxpayers will have to work most of the year to fund all the promises from today, and our past. Is this what we voted for? Was this the intent? Is this what we want?

That the Louisiana state legislators have exempted themselves from having their state retirements being subject to convictions for political corruption sends a message that they may know something we don’t.

Let many be emotional, at least for a second or two. Trillions of taxpayer dollars have been spent over decades on trying to make America better, much going to helping our under classes. Now none of this is in the bank to help the retirement and medical funds that so need this same money. As a result, many Americans are going to pay again, mostly in lower life expectations. Is that what we wanted, or expected?


Friday, March 28, 2008

Suppose we elected losers and they hired fellow losers

It has happened about Iraq and Mesopotamia, and can and is happening again. For lack of knowing what to do, our Executive and Congressional politicians, and many of their hired staffs, do what they know, which is mostly perpetuating the status quo of the last few decades. Now this “group” wants to do for us about the present financial mess what they have done for prosecuting a War in Iraq and a War on Terror, all within their Beltway, of course. In hindsight it is so obvious most of this “group” of American leaders has no experience and little educational preparation about prosecuting a war, and probably little more experience and educational preparation for dealing with the financial mess, other than perpetuating the status quo and responding to lobbyists. Some even use their meager efforts to undercut the defense of America, as if she doesn’t need it, or some one else will do it.

This link provides one reasonable review of the poor prosecution of the war in Iraq:

Just when our American psyche and natural charitable instinct went from helping our under classes to having them dominate our politics and budgeting from local to National is a matter for historians and their books. My guess is sometime in the 1960’s. Just when our national political parties also switched is probably in the same timeframe. From understanding and addressing underlying causes to accepting the murders by lowlifes of our family members is where many have drawn the line. While we cannot dictate what people think, we can dictate and legislate behavior. And murder and mayhem is such a reasonable responsibility of governments from local to federal. Just lock up the criminals and build enough jails to make it happen. This is not rocket science. Just how we began to elect losers that got us to this point of accepting murder of our family members suggests a change in course is due. The old days of expecting standards to help influence society for the better is still a viable course of action. And for those who want to know when the war in Iraq will end (count me in), many also want to know when the seemingly never ending war on poverty will end (count me in, also). Even a change in local budget priorities to the basics, likes new jails, is so obviously long overdue (after all our population is growing). This needs to be respected in too many local areas as our local politicians try to balance local government benefits, and retirement benefits, for example. The trend is nation-wide, and so threatening to our Nation’s future.

And all I want to do is have grandkids play in the backyard without fear from criminals and sexual predators. Maybe they can even go out into the neighborhood on their bicycles and play with the local kids, kinda like the old days. Maybe they can grow up as little Americans. And the premise of the local PC family police, often called Family Services, should have been a non-starter, in the end. And you know what, we can still vote for this idea. Let me make it sound as simple as it is, and was. If we lock up the bad guys, then our kids should be safe to be kids.

If ever there was a time period for local to national parties to rise and fall, now is such a time. Our Nation deserves better. And if it is finally time for the budget battles about benefits vs. basic government services to extend to where we live, so be it. Actually, the budget battles are already underway, it just depends on where we live. The birds are already coming home to roost. Others in most Communistic North Korea have already done this drill about 15 years ago, albeit with the dictatorship ruling 20 families winning out in the end by taking advantage of nationalistic loyalty. In this historical case, when the system and governments had failed, and all were starving, there was an organized campaign for the old people to go out and die, as in commit suicide. Somehow many don’t think this will work in today’s America.

Change is due. So are our votes. Those who have led us into this mess are probably not the best Americans to lead us out of this mess. The present candidates hardly even speak about all this. They and their status quo got us here. Only “real” change will get us out of here. This voter suggests considering whether or not a candidate even speaks “about all this”.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Non-violent ways to change things

Our vote is an obvious simple and so American method.

One study suggests there are 515,000 elected positions throughout America. These are local, state, and federal. And most elected positions have hired staffers, so the numbers can be much bigger. But for the sake of a simple start point, let us deal with 500,000 elected positions. Again these are local, state, and federal. And positions can be city and county commissioner, school board members, members of Congress, or even the Governor or President.

To change things let’s:
1) Vote out 10% of the fellow Americans running for office in 2008 at all levels, local, state, and federal. When in the voting booth, vote out 10% of the incumbents. This will send a message about change to recognize America has changed, and needs “sane” leaders that recognize this. This amounts to 50,000 elected positions.
2) Vote out 25% of the fellow Americans running for office in 2010 at all levels, local, state, and federal. This will clear out the deadwood that did not get the message in 2008, or did not care, or worry that their status quo world has changed. This amounts to 125,000 positions.
3) Vote out 50% of the fellow Americans running for office in 2012 at all levels, local, state, and federal. Otherwise we Americans are still stuck with the last of the surviving political dinosaurs trying to solve tomorrow’s American problems with their old politics and methods. This amounts to 250,000 positions.

New buzzwords should enter American political dialogue, like “doing more with less”, or “performance based budgeting”. Even “benign neglect” may come back in foreign policy as a discussable option. What is so silly, is these are repeats of buzzwords from an earlier time. And the rise of one or two new National Parties will help this voter revolt along (I would call it a change in direction). And not that the rise of new National Parties needs help because the present National Parties are so ensconced in the present status quo and political power they and their staffs are dragging our Country down. They are so status quo and not “getting the message”. I wonder what Hoover and fellow politicians were thinking when he ran for President circa 1927.

Probably the coming hard times will make change happen anyway. In this case, what is so objectionable is others being in charge of our future, as in financiers, Allies, and the old time dinosaur politicians. Especially objectionable is to recognize already in March of 2008, “our Congress” is moving to have we taxpayers paying with our work and taxes to pay the losses in the present financial mess, while the financiers still make money. If this is happening, then change is due. And votes beat pitchforks in the streets in America.

In America, commonality and incentive are so American terms. So let us apply it to our federal Congress and Executive, to include hired staffers. Much as in the Contract with America idea from the 1994 election, let us apply the military retirement rules and medical benefit program (called Champus) to our Congress and Executive, to include hired staffers, and make it retroactive to all, retired and active. One way or another, this should provide incentive for change. If it is good enough for our military, it should be good enough for our Congress, Executive, and their vast numbers of hired staffers. No exceptions can be allowed, or if they do, then let us vote these dinosaur types out of office and jobs.

A key point is that spending is and has been out of control for all kinds of reasons, to include rising national wealth, rising property taxes, rising income taxes, our votes (and being pandered to as well as fear prompted votes by seniors), and a sincere desire to form a more perfect union, as in some kind of grand American socialist English commune scheme from the the 19th century, or even the hippies in the 20th century. All this has been without some kind of basic performance accountability, to include standards. Now that the birds may be coming home to roost, we Americans still want to and need to find and elect politicians that act in our National Interests. The present crop is not good enough, though one must be careful as many communities and States and fellow citizens should be applauded for their good performance to date.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The need for Allies is in America’s future

Since we have reduced our military and diplomatic power and economic power over the recent decades, the need for Allies is greater than ever. Now is a good time to think about this.

Start with an example. When the coming Persian Gulf War starts, many people think the Iranians will block the Strait of Hormuz, among their other actions. This action would seriously hurt the Japanese and Indian economies, and one of two things will happen. First, these two Countries will tell the Iranian leaders this is unacceptable, and this alone will stop this adverse action. Second is that both these Countries are allies of sorts, and we or they or both will use military action to keep the Strait of Hormuz open to keep the oil flow going, mostly from our Arab allies who pump the oil to Japan and India (many do call it the Arabian Gulf, by the way). This example points out how important our Allies are.

Protecting their National interests will be also in our National Interests, probably. Now is the time to think about this, while there is time to think rationally. And this example points out that others may start shooting first, and drag us into a greater war. This is not an implausible idea since the assassination of a family political figure in the Balkans ultimately dragged us into WWI. And the key point is now that we have reduced our military and diplomatic and economic power, how important are our allies to our National Interests is a valid question. When we were a super power, we had more flexibility to go our own way. And while we as a USA Nation are still the “big dog”, others just need to think we lack resolve, for example, for them to go in ways harmful to us. Some may even try to trick us. More commonly they will be local, and most Westerners don’t think local fights like engaged in by Iranian backed Hamas and Hezbollah, or Philippine Islamic insurrections, or Sri Lanka Tiger planting of sea mines, or FARC efforts in northern South America, are worth the effort. They are probably right if the Vital National Interest test is applied. Let these world areas remain lawless and terrible until the local people change things. But also if Israeli's think they will be eliminated, as promised by their so many enemies, is their existence in our National Interests.

The idea of a Middle East Regional War may be closer than most wish. The coming Israeli large National Defense drill beginning April 6th has the region abuzz. And they alone may go after the Iranian nuclear program, probably from German made submarines launching modified Harpoon missiles from the Indian Ocean. A key point is that our Allies will act in their own National interests, and we have to decide what we want to do in response. The very recent and large naval deployments from the USA and Europe into the Region also suggests some Americans and Allies are thinking ahead to perhaps shooting, extraction of Nationals, or humanitarian actions.

Isn’t it strange that many of those Americans so dedicated to peace in the world use methods that may generate military conflict and wars in the end. While counterintuitive, this often happens. The cross-cultural divide between East and West is a two way street, and the ignorance on the other Eastern side is so often appalling, petty, and regionally egotistical. Hence some of our Allies’ militaries and diplomats are more practical and realistic and even use benign neglect in dealing in these issues that represent our common interests. And talk has been cheap. Now we get to live with our decisions, to include others, mostly Allies, deciding our future, to include our kids and grandkids future.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Doing less with more is a good buzzword. Will we vote for it? We have so far!

How much of our federal government responsibilities, to include defense and homeland security are being degraded, as in slowly but surely brought down? And why? After all we voted and decided on it, even if we didn’t understand. Even the method of drawing down our own defense is interesting if one gets into budgeting. It appears much of our vast defense budget is a jobs program as the priority, with our National defense and Homeland Security being second. Not to bore us, but those of us used to the older days of devoting taxpayer money to accomplishing the mission are now in the minority. So here is a minority report.

The USA is now a third world country, albeit the best third world country militarily. Our ability to act militarily and diplomatically has been degraded systematically by our elected Government. To make it sound simple, diplomacy works with a credible military threat. And we are slowly downgrading our military threat with budget cuts. And much of this downgrade has little to do with the educated professionalism of our fellow Americans in the military. Rather it has to do with jobs programs that drive up the costs of so many tools that our military uses.

So, do Americans understand that the old days of being a dominant super power in the world are long gone. Do our military types understand their prominence in our society and our role in the world has changed. While alliances and unities of effort will help, America is not in retreat, we have retreated. Is that what we want in 2008?

Here is a real American question. Is our military to project our politician’s ideas? Or is it to protect our politician’s ideas?
Who are today’s Best and Brightest?

They are the people we should be electing and selecting!

Today there is some unshakable idea that the Best and Brightest get into the Ivy League Schools, and generally reside there. This idea is at best decades old, with Notre Dame previously having a better record of National performance and image. And given the recent decades record of performance, our Best and Brightest certainly most likely do not come from the Ivy League Schools. The question is begged because so many hired staffers still come from the Ivy League Schools. And these hired staffers form much of our present federal government in Washington, D.C., be they working in the executive, the legislative, the judiciary, or the bureaucracy. In all cases, how many of our Best and Brightest think of themselves as citizen politicians, and offer some time out of their lives to rule this Country?

The record of performance suggests two serious trends with repercussions for our Country are going on.

One trend is that of younger less experienced Americans are coming to D.C. with all their limitations while they start their careers. The first four years of the recent Iraq War provides such an example, with lack of unity of effort between bureaucracies and even the executive and the legislative branches. Older more experienced Americans might have avoided all the failures we as a Country have suffered as a result. Less we pick on Bush and the Republicans, it goes back to Clinton and the Democrats, too. Clinton issued an edict telling all bureaucracies to work together, as if that is good enough. The buzzword is interagency working groups. And actually it goes way past Clinton coming to the Presidency in 1992. McNamara’s “whiz kids” did more harm than good to our Country, as did our Best and Brightest advisors to President Kennedy that got us into Vietnam…both these ideas are debatable, in civil terms, of course.

The second trend is the bitter acrimony between the two National Parties, usually called partisan politics, which has run off many of our Best and Brightest citizen politicians and potential hired staffs. As so many Families have done the math, monetarily and politically, the answer is that going to D.C. or doing the same more Locally, is just not worth the effort. So while techniques like the politics of personal destruction may work as a political “war method”, it is drawing down the benefits of our Best and Brightest taking some years out of their busy lives to work in the National or Local interest.

Since many are from the school of thought that says one never complains without offering future options, there are options. The most appealing is for Americans to include considerations for supporting future Best and Brightest type candidates when voting. This is most appealing, so American, and so New World. There are other much less appealing options, like civil war or worse, like generational warfare. The thinking behind these other terrible options is that no one group of Americans should drag the rest of us Americans down in pursuit of their goals. Hence support our Common National Interests, and the candidates that think that way. The recent financial homeowner defaults on mortgages involves at best about 1 in 20 mortgage owners, yet this group of risk takers and their enablers may take many more down with them. Now this is an example of what is happening today, and what future Best and Brightest should act on, vice react on. Most of us don’t won’t to be presented with a problem to solve…rather we would prefer to solve problems ahead of time. Now that is “leadership”, and nurturing getting our Best and Brightest back into our Governments is in our National Interests.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Are these the kinds of future American leaders we want, or need?

Today it appears either Clinton, Obama, or McCain will be our next President. That they got to this point shows hard work, savvy, perseverance, and exploiting the status quo of the last few decades. It also shows the egos of these individuals and their staffs. In the coming hard times, it also appears, these people may not be the kind of American leaders we want, or need? Will they use the position of President to act in our National Interests, or their ego, and national party’s interests first. How about our interests' first; and do they bring experience to the challenge or should we suffer while they and their staffs learn and propose positions? This is a most serious question!

Today’s financial woes are probably the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. Look at the financial woes and histories of Jefferson County, Alabama (Birmingham); or the states of New Jersey and California. Expect cascades of defaults that will become federal in nature. It took them (the executives, the legislatures, and the judiciaries) decades to get where they are, and the histories are all different, but today’s financial problems may pale in comparison to what may happen about a year from now when local governments depending on property tax income begin having financial problems. So back to the basic question, are the present candidates for President even up to being leaders in hard times? The two present Democratic candidates even are still, unbelievably, promising more spending and taxes and borrowing as if the old status quo with which they are familiar will go on forever. It even appears that even Obama wants to use USA taxpayer money and borrowing to address the world’s poverty.

Here is why the question is asked. Leaders shape events by experience and force of personality. Followers do what they are told. And the present candidates running for President still seem to be in some old time world that just doesn’t exist anymore. Slowly but surely, if they become President, others will dictate what we followers will do. Even their egos, be they politicians at the federal, state, and local level, cannot tell people to go broke. Yes, others (mostly surviving financiers) will then be in charge, and finally the body politic can elect a new group of more savvy-to-the-times leaders.

Why do we have to wait for this one act play to happen? We don’t, but it will take leaders that look forward and exploit all the advantages that still exist, mostly the majority of American citizens. Standards vice excuses will predominate. Why do we have to wait for someone else to tell us the obvious. Even the pursuit of a more perfect union using taxpayer and borrowed money, as in some kind of English commune or more locally thought of hippie commune, will be balanced by affordability and results. Again, why do we have to let things get to the situation where other more financially responsible fellow Americans and world citizens have to tell us what to do. Well we don’t, but our choice of leaders at all levels will have a lot to do with it, if we choose to act and vote about being responsible sooner rather than later.

The classic question of what makes great leaders comes up. Do terrible times like a World War or Depression cause great leaders to bubble up and grow to lead us? Or are great leaders already born, and come to the front in times of adversity? In either case, are the present obvious candidates for President, Clinton, Obama, or McCain, the kind of American leaders we want, or need? This voter suggests there are other fellow Americans oozing with leadership whom we can draft in the 2008 Conventions to go forward to our very gloomy and fuzzy future.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The great election of 2008 in the USA is a start

America has changed, and our votes will show it, locally, state, and federal. It will take time, as all long term course changes take. Most Americans still want to form a more perfect union in this large land, but the methods of achieving all this is the big change. Instead of elected politicians bragging about how much of our taxpayer money they can spend in pursuit of some vision of “a more perfect union”, perhaps we can expect results, even affordable results. In politics it might be called performance based budgeting; in the American military it might be called accomplishing the mission. Either way, the taxpayer money dedicated towards social change in some vision is changing for two reasons. One is expecting results, and the second is running out of taxpayer and borrowed money.

Most of us expect a return on a government investment. For our present politicians, investment is too often a code word for a new tax. Find and dandy as it is getting harder to pull the wool over the voter’s eyes. Most want change, but how we go about it is a votable issue.

Making change is a votable issue. Our elected politicians also have their hired staffs and even unions that have much to do with our being ruled and our futures. This report extends to all levels, local, state, and federal. At the expense of over generalizing, too many of these staff fellow Americans use their educational advantages as to get hired. That makes sense, until one senses how things are and which way the big arrow is pointed. Perhaps education has superceded basic intelligence, or more importantly, experience. Of course in a perfect American world, we should expect and demand fellow Americans who balance all three. That alas, does not seem to be the state of affairs today. After all, the future is our children... even if it competes with adult jobs programs.

Let me devolve for a minute. My water source is all “hippie style” local spring water powered by an 1879 designed hydraulic RAM, and we have been living up here with it just fine…until a city boy from Palm Beach and another city boy form Durham got involved and broke the system. Being a Marine, I don’t mind having to poop into a 5 gallon bucket, but most of my relatives do mind. Bottom line, we had to do a jury rig to keep the running water and flush toilets going, and I was “mad”, as in using some USMC bad language. All this is a lead in to experience counts, too. Like big time.

So as we choose our votes for 2008, think locally, state, and federal. If you think you are about change, then perhaps you are even part of the vanguard. For example the debate about “school choice” may fade into the background of “curriculum”. Just what do we want our kids to be taught. And I suggest we teach locking up our criminals while trying to make things better. Now this is a reasonable smart way to go forward. Back to the vote.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The American dream will never be over. It is so New World.

The past mining of our national wealth by status quo politicians and their vast hired staffs is over. Suppose our present day robber barons were politicians and their staffs? After all these politicians have demonized modern corporate Americans. There is a good case for we believing this, both ways. Why else, to make it seem simple, are so many immigrants still coming here, all the while we are going through financial turmoil, to be kind. And why do so many politicians and their staffs advance their social agendas at our expense, as in while we are going under. Are they also going under? Many would like to know?

The best intended can also be our worst enemies. Decades of trying to address under lying causes as to poverty and world and American racism, albeit at the expense of just doing the basics, like providing police protection and building enough prisons, have come down to murders of our best and brightest kids in college: by old fashioned robbers for money of two girls at UNC and Auburn being recent examples of this horror. Now at last, people can vote for and even demand a two pronged approach which includes basic police protection, for example, and also trying to improve our society. In no way should we as an American society accept anything other than the rule of law. Standards should always trump excuses. When one leaves academia and liberal sponsors, finally we can think about other more productive ways to make American better, as in to become New World. Either way, dumping past failure is so obvious. And the failures abound.

And this is the beauty of America and the New World. The desire and intent to make things better is always there, but so is the willingness to change course and admit mistakes. Our last four or more decades of political elected rulers have what most would say is a proven record of failure. Why reinforce their failure, and their ideas, with more of the same, especially with our money? As profound as this obvious question is, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are still running in the old fashioned mode, as if our money is the only answer. Mission and accountability and achievement still account to many, and other courses of action are called for in the New World to improve our future.

To end this idealistic discussion, let’s be practical. Good intentions and political ambition count for little. Our votes should be for those who advance our National Interests at the local, state, and federal levels. Just what do we expect, as in to have to go to court and sue. How about the old days when our votes counted, as well as the hard work of our local citizens. How about when we went to war when politics and diplomacy failed. Do we expect lawyers and politicians to decide the answer, and what happens if the enemies don’t “go along”. Sounds like the old fashioned go to war times. How about when parents dictated the school curriculum for their kids, and the school teaches and administers responded (it does still happen by the way).

Change is underway. Mostly it is standards. Thoughts of entitlement are like the old Proverb in that all my ancestors honors are all their own.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The difference between a cheapskate and a thrifty person depends on the eye of the beholder

I used to call my father a cheapskate, but as I got older I started calling him thrifty. Now the same is probably happening to me, and what is now probably said about me by my relatives.

When times get financially hard in the USA, our definition of happiness will certainly be redefined. That is the good news as so many Americans who think their entitlements so far in life are God given, are actually human given. People too busy now to value their families will have more time to appreciate what they have. What a shock to so many to find out that even clean running water and forced air heat are privileges, and not God-given rights. America will be better off if we actually have to pay our way and work together for our common good.

The main question is not that change is coming, but will we use our votes and common sense to be in charge of the change, or will others, maybe even foreigners, be in charge of our change. A train analogy may be make sense by suggesting the track has already been laid, but just who are going to be the engineers driving this train. And we should not pick on the foreigners who have bought into the American dream by loaning us so much money that our past needed to keep things going: benefits, government retirements and medical benefits, and basic government services like police, fire, water, health, defense, and safety and border security. Yes, as hard as it is to believe, our taxes were not enough to do the basics.

Much as in genealogy research, or crime scene investigations (from TV observations), having two independent sources is a good way to go in trusting one’s conclusions. This poster can report now three independent sources have reported what I think. The present candidates for President of the USA are poor leaders, and all wish we had other choices for a leader and bully pulpit for the coming hard times, both foreign and domestic. Now many posters suggest we have to accept what we have been offered. I respectfully disagree. My disagreement is a little idealistic, since there are supposedly 515,000 elected positions, and it is certainly not too late to find and vote in other political leaders, to include the President of the United States. But the local city and county commissioners count too in our future. And so many communities are full of leaders, men and women just oozing with leadership, who may get dragged down in the near future, but also are the best citizens to bring us back for our future.

To remind the readers of the train analogy, it is not to late to find and vote in the engineers to drive today’s train. For those that disagree about 2008, then I suggest it is also not to late to start working on the engineers for the years 2010 and later. There is something inherent about wanting to drive our own USA train, and hiring our own engineers and building our own routes. The eye of the voter and their common sense will count for much. Here’s why.

If we have so many smart men and women, how did we come to the present situation? Perhaps they are educated, but not smart, or experienced. Perhaps they are human? Another old joke line comes to mind. If you ask three PhD’s a question, you will get at least four different answers. In my case, answers to very difficult biology questions at a quail plantation (playing God with land and life is dangerous) were best answered in terms of reliability by old time people who had lived there, and seen things come and go. In their case they were poorly educated, but also smart and experienced. So like them, the answers about the differences between a cheapskate and a thrifty person are in the eye of the beholder, and voter common sense.

PS. Did you know a PhD got a Nobel Prize for proving a good investment plan was to diversify?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Standards are trumping excuses finally

Our American society’s willingness to accept about anything, to include the murder of our children for robbery, is over.

This poster perceives that our past decades emphasis on addressing underlying causes is now being balanced by a two pronged approach, with the second approach being protecting the main part of society from thugs. In the far distant past, this was called normal police protection. Said another way, we protected and promoted our winners, which are in fact the majority of our society. And these hard workers still need the respect and benefits that all our local, state, and federal politicians can provide. Where we lost our way decades ago when we emphasized addressing the underlying issues as a first and only priority is even older than my time. So thank goodness our American standards are trumping excuses, finally. Mom’s and Pop’s and kids should always be a priority.

The recent Democratic candidate Obama speech about his minister is such an example of accepting, and indirectly promoting, the old status quo way of promoting excuses over standards. While I agree with and know much of the obvious report of the bitterness in the Negro community over past terrible laws and prejudices, this whole idea is a failing idea of focusing on the past and excuses vice standards, and not our New World American future. And so much of America is past all this, though obviously Mr. Obama and much of his constituency is apparently not. His world is different from my world, and I still get to vote, also. He gets his vote and money, and I get mine. He does probably get more money.

Just what does he and his types expect to happen in the future, as if I should accept the murder of my daughter by a robber because the robber was a Negro or Cumberland Plateau lowlife? The common cause is America, not any individual group. And the best way to change America is by standards, not excuses. What is always amazing is that so many know this, and say thank you. Most of my thank you’s are from rural Negro people, by the way, mostly fear oriented from city people. While we and they have put up with all our past practices is both condemning and historically accurate. The drug impact is appalling, mostly from the crime distribution point of view. Most galling is to hear Mr. Obama’s Rev. Wright protest there are more young black men in prison than in college. While I don’t agree with his numbers, I do agree with locking up thugs to protect the breadwinners in society.

And the objective of thinking “American” is the right focus. And the objective includes having standards trump excuses. There is no race card, only an American National Interest and New World card, I hope. Now this is a voting issue.

That there are few other potential national leaders running for the federal President and their parties choices are giving us their choices, for us to vote on, suggests changes are due.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Turning a sow’s ear into a silk purse seldom succeeds

Pointing out the obvious seldom works, either.

That so many American institutions have tried to take low life Americans and turn them into bright shining citizens is so American noble. That so many institutions have failed, or suffered from the law of unintended consequences, is a realistic appraisal of what has happened since the Vietnam era, circa the 1960’s.

And let us be certain about what a low life might not be. The circumstances of one’s birth, as in poor or not well off financially does not make a low life. The circumstances of where one lives or goes to school does not make a low life. Whether one is a first generation American, or more old school, does not make a low life. A low life is rather just a normal circumstance of life, as in a certain percentage of any society are low lifes. And whether the reasons are inherited, or situational, is of little interest to most, except for those Americans who want to turn sow’s ears into silk purses.

That so many institutions in America have tried to convert low lifes has, in the end, been detrimental to the institutions. Be it failures, or the law of unintended consequences, the institutions have suffered for their noble efforts.

Let’s name names. The military decades ago, increased its allowed percentage of Mental Group IV (the lowest mental group) acceptable candidates as part of changing America for the better, and making quota along the way. Our civilian leaders had much to do with this, by the way. As a Marine, we just knew our training methods and band of brothers ideas would change anyone for the better. Well, we failed, and leaders usually spent 90% of their time on 10% of their Marines, all too often low lifes. Finally we had a Commandant who started an expeditious discharge program to rid ourselves of these people, and things began to turn around almost immediately. The good Marines saw what was happening, and went home and told people, and we are the beneficiaries today. An analogy for today’s political leaders is obvious: if they focus 90% of their time on good Americans, they will be surprised as to the results.

While not a low life issue, the idea of affirmative action for Negroes has suffered from the law of unintended consequences. What started out as a noble idea has been abused into a quota excuse for screwing fellow Americans out of jobs, and frustrating so many Negroes enough to where even I would think racism is going on. And I taught at Atlanta University for three years, plus I have 6 years of recruiting experience. First on frustrating so many young Americans who have gained access to advanced education and subsequent leadership positions. By using double acceptance standards, like college admission scores, so many kids have been set up in ways not to their advantage, and so many have been frustrated later just after school, when they have to compete with peers who started out with advantages, and have built on their advantages. None of this is racial, just human. But when students enter a law school, for example, and have to compete with peers better prepared by life and circumstances, they, those who got in by double standards, often get beat out. So what is new, except that some Americans well intended policy has made things worse in the end. And the problem amplifies if a customer thinks their lawyer (or doctor or military lieutenant) is a “quota baby”, and shy away from them. None of this is racial, just human. Now I buy the “diamond in the rough” idea, but I expect to deal with diamonds in the end.

Another down side of affirmative action is screwing fellow Americans out of jobs otherwise earned fair and square by the merits and the costs. For those benefiting because of racial quotas, or those using the system to hire black shadow companies to then benefit, the backlash is coming. There is no free lunch, and since no one alive today has anything to do with slavery, and few have much to do with Jim Crow laws in the South, the whole idea is a failing idea. ‘Mend it, don’t end it” is a quaint phrase that mollifies few. How about our American benefits to include quality and a good fair price?

Companies come and go. So do political parties. So do main stream churches. And so do American educational institutions. At one time I believe Notre Dame was considered to be an American intellectual capital. Now that mantra in the recent decades has been passed to the Ivy League schools. Based on American performance and results, many are not sure why, but that is just as things seem now. But as these Ivy League institutions have changed, all too often in the pursuit of changing sow’s ears into silk purses, and bringing in low lifes, while well intended, will drag them down much like the military decades ago. This argument will probably fall on deaf ears until the financial and government jobs for their graduates disappear in the near future. The hirers may expect more, and go to other schools as a start point. Based on performance, this is probably good for America. In the meantime, so many of our Ivy League kids are getting screwed and will bitter about it. The only ones who may not be as bitter will be the low lifes who got in, mostly by being low lifes recruited by an idealistic school with good intentions.

It takes being older to remember when Black Panther types were invited to New York City cocktail parties hosted by the then trendy types, and it was recorded and reported in the national press. No one hears anything about these people anymore, suggesting a human outcome is underway.

Where do we go from here? The assumption is that government policy and jobs may still count. And it may. Many Americans will be surprised to learn how many of our “leaders” are hired, or appointed, as well as their “experience level” in government, be it in the federal Executive or the federal Congress. Some may be more derogatory, and think of them as managers at best. In all cases, it seems silly to hear Senators talk about management experience when their present Senate staff may consist of, say, 65 hired staffers. And this is just the “personal” staff, who really do much of the work and budgeting and even law writing. Some have Senate committee staffs, like foreign policy, which may have 200 plus hired staffers. The point is many of these hired leaders are from the aforementioned system. Is that what we Americans want. And do we know they are having their politician voting for their multi-million dollar gyms, for example. Is this is what American is about?

We must vote for politicians who will focus on the 90% of we good Americans. We need a lot of care and help, too. The well intended, often infatuation with the lower life 10%, needs to fade in perspective. At best, they rate 10% of our political effort.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Americans should know there is no free lunch

Even those who take risks should be ready if their bet is called. To not be ready smacks of expecting a free lunch, one way or the other. To expect a free lunch today at the expense of other Americans, present or in the future, smacks of personal indulgence if done without all votes on the idea. Even fear, as in scaring the seniors as to losing benefits, is not a reason to ruin our Country’s future for all Americans. America is about all of us, to include Seniors. But America is not about Seniors, exclusively. To use such political tactics is immoral and un-American, and it has been done to get votes as in pandering to the Senior vote.

The present financial crisis in the World started in the USA, and seems to also fall in along this principle of risk and expecting a free lunch if the bets are called. What is a shame is that the policies, practices, and politicians of the recent decades have brought this on us in promoting so many egalitarian and socialistic grand intents, with politicians and their staffs taking the risks, and we citizens left holding the bag that promises a free lunch if things don’t work out as planned. What is also a shame is thinking that if we weather this present financial crisis (which we may not), we can expect more in the next few years as the past comes home to roost, to use another old phrase. Voters should understand that all the government guarantees are not unending, and we as local, state, and federal governments can be bled dry unless we allow our taxes to take up to 100% of our earnings. And even that may not be enough. Even Moody, the risk and lending Company, has given the USA a ten year window before they lower our borrowing credit rating. In practical terms, at that time no one will loan us money to balance the budgets. This has happened before, and can happen again.

A practical effect is obvious. If a government, local, state, or federal, cannot collect enough taxes (mostly income or property, though many small cities use fines for auto violations) or borrow enough money to pay coming bills, defaults will begin, and the friction between government benefits and government basic services like police and fire protection will be exacerbated. All this will lead to generational wars within the USA and third world status for the USA. Expect birth rates to go up to be like the traditional social security system, our quality of life and life expectancy to go down, and we become more rural for those who can put up with this. There will be a disproportional impact on urban Americans who will have to gain new skills and lower their standards.

Another probable practical effect is our enemies piling on, as in kicking us when we are down. Diplomacy will be belittled and military means often called for just to defend our New World way of life. What is so predictable is having to fight with what we have, vice fight with what we would like. Mostly it is a money issue, and with taxes being restricted, depending on our votes and politics, and borrowing limited to our home country and "Bond Drives", many Americans will die who did not have to do so in better financial times. The good news is our American mettle will be shown, and we are a pretty good people.

There is an oft quoted phrase which may be an urban legend, but here it is a food for thought:

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years.
Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.

The election cycle and year of 2008 is a time to begin demonstrating by word and vote, that we Americans in the New World are different from our Old World ancestors. Old time status quo politicians need to be sent to scrape heap of USA history. We Americans must by word and deed demonstrate we know there is no free lunch, that we have a better way than the path we have been on for decades, and out votes will show this. To paraphrase another quote, if we don’t like change, then we will really not like being inconsequential.

And change needs to be at all levels, local, state, and federal. The status quo that brought us all this does not have to continue. We can vote to change things before things change us in the New World. We are not yet at the pitch fork level of storming the Bastille, but our present poor leaders, including so many running for offices, are going in that direction. For lack of knowing what to do, they do what they know. Hence, it is time for change, and 2008 is a good of time as any to start. And again, think local, state, and federal in your voting considerations.

Be it a comet, or our votes, our political dinosaurs need to go since they work against our best National Interests. And they will not go easily since the status quo has worked so well in the past... though citizen financed free lunches will go by the wayside as the old time political dinosaurs writhe and fight in their demise.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Machinations of an unprofessional national media

Does it bother other citizens that so many cable media report about themselves?

Today the recent tornado near CNN in Atlanta got a total coverage. This was like these so-called international news types reporting who among their fellow employees just had a baby. It makes them look like what they are…which is an enhanced (by technology) local TV station. And that is fair enough since most local TV news operations are pretty nifty, I hear. If the recently fired female anchor in Philadelphia was drawing down $700K a year, then local news is also a big deal.

What really offended me was the unprofessional reporting of the “cookie cutter female reporter” who, in an outtake from the Atlanta reporting, stated that also the Southwest USA was also burning. Turns out it was a small wildfire, like 0.3% of the area, but of course all she does is read the news, also being fed by a fellow silly American news writer similarly out of touch, it seems.

America deserves better. And yes, I did turn it off as a waste of my time.

No wonder they are going out of business.
The clash of the trends in America

In the game of musical chairs some of us are left standing when the music ends. What happens when the music dies?

In the last five decades certain trends appear obvious. Said another way, our present state of affairs is not what things used to be. While change is constant and also inevitable, not all change is for the better. Our recent (in the last few decades) apparent poor political and religious leaders have led us to the state of clashing trends that don’t all work to our future national success, and even survival.

Here’s obvious trends:

1) Today’s politicians still maintain the promises of Social Security and Medicare benefits while spending all the tax money collected for it, today, and for other things. The demographics are making this financially untenable in the not to distant future, but today’s politicians still won’t address this issue in today’s times. It appears their egos and sense of politics, and personal time to mine our Country’s riches, trumps our National Interests in these matters. For the younger readers, one aspect of the trend is to pass the problem on to you, and your politicians.
2) Today’s politicians continue to promise and pander more and more benefits, now to even the middle class, the recent SCHIP efforts being a good recent federal example. Local and state politicians have even supported very lucrative medical and retirement benefits to both themselves and government unions (new in the last few decades), often above what we common citizens expect for ourselves. While the intent may be so noble and socialistic, the trend is the irresponsibility of promising and pandering all this without adequate long term and sustainable funding. Much of this has been funded to date by ever increasing taxes, supplemented by borrowing, and enhanced by the last few decades of ever increasing property values and the resulting increased property taxes. None of these sources can be considered long term and sustainable funding as the recent hint of hard financial times suggests.
3) Our governments, local, state, and federal, are trending towards giving priorities to the benefits part of the budget compared to the basic service part of the budget. This trend reflects budgets are being balanced, which is good. It also reflects government incomes from all sources are probably declining, and our basic government services will take the hit (vice the government benefits). All the stories of unsafe food, unsafe toys, falling bridges, criminal low life robbers committing murder who should have been locked up by judges in the prisons we should have built, and new diseases new to America like “fifth disease” and “West Nile Virus”, reflect the trends going on.
4) The main steam media (MSM) has taken a decidedly liberal socialistic bent. Most people recognize this trend as facts and opinions have homogenized to some untrustworthy milk. Mostly it is the unethical and often poorly educated behavior that bothers most fellow American citizens.
5) A relatively small percentage of Americans have become America bashers. While I am confident it feeds their egos, it is a poor way to improve things. But the trend goes on. And so many religious leaders have crossed the line into politics.
6) Americans have been very supportive in the last five decades with all the ideas to make things better in America. The trend is still there, but some expect some results, eventually. Where's the beef?
7) Multi-culturism is a failed idea, and so "old world" to boot. The melting pot idea still best reflects our "new world" heritage, with all the friction it brings.
8) All is not doom and gloom. One good trend is the altruistic nature of the American psyche…we practice charity and it is more so in the last five decades. Another good trend is that we can still vote. Another good trend is that many local and state communities have good leaders who will guide us in the next decade or so. A last trend, more like a perception, is that Americans are still interested in making things better, while less tolerant of do-gooders and self-appointed environmentalists. Making things happen for our good seems to be a developing trend.

Does hope spring eternal? Yes. And yes to voting for those new political leaders who are anything but part of our past.

Friday, March 14, 2008

American nation interests in today’s times

National Interests should win out, though the dance will be more complicated.

As bad luck would have it, we as a Nation are on our way to a financial slowdown, maybe a recession, maybe a depression. The definition is interesting only as an academic idea. The reality is much more important, and as so many females in the USA also have jobs, the consequences will be much different from what happened in the Depression in the 1930s. And we as a Nation will probably drag down other Nations to make this whole terrible possibility world-wide. Either way, going without jobs is a big deal, and with so many females in the workforce, the consequences will be so American.

One obvious consequence is a change in our course as a Nation. One can think those present day and also status quo politicians who led this most rich nation into the financial doldrums need to be replaced. We deserve better, and we did elect them. The counter offers I read are also so silly as they suggest many of us Americans are somehow “evil” as if we wake up in the morning wanting to do bad, to include screwing our fellow Americans politically and economically, all esoteric ideas of course. Realistically, things are different, and we have a common USA National Interest.

Another trend change is the transformation from promoting our USA companies composed of USA peoples from advancing our Country and our people to making them evil and enemies. While hard to admit, it has and is still happening. Now when some American people begin to go without jobs, and most likely without food, and even basic things like heat, things should even out between idealism and realism. Never lose the initiative is part of leadership 101, so guiding and leading these fellow Americans is a good idea. Being realistic, like jobs, also goes a long way.

So who do we choose as our future political leaders? There is much to suggest our present status quo political leaders are just that. They are more about them than us. So be it. But we can change the status quo by our vote. And our vote should be about our future, our astute leaders who have realistic and American national interest plans about helping us; and we should dump the old time leaders who got us this mess we are in. And 2008 is not too late because so many important elections are at the local and state level.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Deciding our American and New World future is up to us

Doom and gloom is upon us. Terrible times are coming, mostly financially related. And these terrible things, financially, will be world wide.

Being hungry and cold and out of work did not have to happen.

The USA side of these things make some of us a little bit bitter when we have to suffer the consequences of other’s policies and practices that brought us to this terrible state of affairs. Isn’t life both unfair, and so predictable. Most depressions are related to our human greed, and trying to get something for nothing, or less, as in “margins”. This “time”, it seems like our USA government’s practices and politics of over taxing, over borrowing to where those that loan us see this as a poor choice, and even pandering benefits now funded by borrowing have broken the “camels back”. That so many politicians are still pandering promises of more benefits, often on a massive scale, and so many citizens even still listen to all this, is a bad trend. That so many elected leaders and their hired minions are even today using our public money to preserve the status quo is unnerving.

The politics and frustration be damned. The USA, which is pretty neat, will have to live within its means, and we will have to elect politicians who will do their best with what they’ve got. This is an old idea, and not rocket science, by the way. Taxpayer funded socialism has failed in America. Said another way, we in the USA and New World are the role model for the whole world’s future, even when we sort out hard financial times, which are coming to all of us. Along the way, it is fair to suggest there will be at least one new American political party, though I predict two.

Even depressions do not stifle humans and their energy and love of their families in the long run. I just wish this idea helped when one is hungry and cold and out of work.

To amplify this idea, hope springs eternal. And such past idealist ideas such as English communes, American socialism, and even communism have failed. “Honesty is trying and failing” is one of our American virtues. In the same vein, one can suggest we are smarter as we dig our way out of this latest depression, and the outcome become so American and New World.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A wink and a nod about sex out of marriage

A perception is this is another thing that has changed in our media’s standards about what to report to we Americans. Not too long ago many of us read that sex out of marriage was not even interesting for we Americans to decide if this was important in what we thought about our political leaders, as in President. And this went on way before Clinton, as in Kennedy and Johnson, and even applied to Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy. The exception was homosexual sex out of marriage, as in the Walter Jenkins story circa 1964. Now that was reportable. The point is that we Americans were selectively fed information that met some reporter’s and news editor’s definition of what mattered. Now deception is a British specialty, but should it also be an American specialty?

This still seems to be going on today, and many object. Let the American people decide if it is “pertinent”. If the reporting media seems to be doing opposition research, that is just fine. Most Americans would rather be embarrassed and knowledgeable now, rather than later and after a vote. And a majority of Americans think the reporting media is prejudiced, as in promoting “their” candidate or national party, so the whole process is exasperating if we are really being spoon fed information about candidates running for office.

Another astute comment about Clinton getting away with cheating on his wife, and it being exposed in public, still rings my thoughts. As long as the integrity violations have to do with sex, most Americans will be forgiving, even if it is women resenting men. And after all, for every married man or woman who cheats, there is another man or woman who goes along with all this. While many don’t buy this since marriage vows and words still mean something, it is for the American reporting media to report, and the American voters to decide what is important. The American reporting media should be reporters, and not propagandists.

The present hoopla about the Governor of New York is still developing and should be followed, as it will be. Just who the other customers are will probably come out. And I hope who the prostitutes are also comes out. They both deserve a comeupance. But a trend is also so obvious in its difference from our last few decades past, and as one who usually complains about selective reporting, the trend should be recognized. The trend is there is more reporting and less selective deception and propaganda about any individual or national party when it comes to sex out of marriage. And for this, good on the Americans who expect us to decide. Being a good news reader, and a good news producer and editor, is to be rewarded. Sustain it, and our USA country will be better for it, since it is we Americans and our families and kids still living here doing the best we can with what we’ve got.

I for one have my one vote. I am more forgiving, and don’t expect some kind holier than thou political leader. Even Marines benefit from street fighters, at least to a degree. But for sure we should expect “just the facts” or “just good reporting”, and then making up our own minds. That is the trend that is happening, and so healthful to we Americans if it keeps up. And lord help those who try abuse this trend!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

What hath humans wrought?

Not all change is good. The part of emancipating women becoming more sexual promiscuity is not a good change. The part of trying to achieve our most ideal English commune ideals, more often in America called socialism, has unleashed a criminal class upon us: ... as well as bankrupting us in pursuit of addressing underlying causes, while also paying benefits to so much of our society. Only humans could make such ridiculous and unnatural things happen. What hath humans wrought?

There was a time when most political and religious leaders had a goal of preserving, and even advancing, their local human societies. Even the idea of “advancing” was different as the idea meant more like advancing the quality of life of we common people. And the quality of life issue was mostly socialistic: happiness being good things like government provided security, health, an opportunity to vote. Also practical ideas like public electricity, public clean water and waste water treatment, public education that focused on the 3R’s, and public transportation like roads blossomed. Now most of this is assumed as “normal” and our political and religious leaders have moved on to other priorities…much to their chagrin I suspect they will find.

For our girls, our American daughters, the pill and other women’s liberation ideas were so idealistic and well intended. Unleashing half of America to work to our benefit seemed like such a great idea. It still is, within common sense recognition that boys and girls are different. As a guy, free sex seemed, well, free. Turns out it wasn’t. Having lucked out and made it through the wickets of sexually transmitted diseases, many of my fellow Americans have not lucked out. The consequences of these diseases is not free, both to these fellow Americans, and our society that our politicians and religious leaders are supposed to lead and advise on. If their prescription is more of the same, then change is called for. Our young people and America deserve to have families, and they need some leadership to help them along. This is such a great socialistic idea that I wonder about why no present national party or major religion even discusses this idea. It is our country, by the way.

For we Americans who live by the largesse of our ancestor's laws and politicians and benefits, fine. I personally appreciate my military retirement benefits, including the cost of living increases. And yes, I have been in harms way. My retirement even helps pay my child support, thank you John Q Citizen. I also had an Uncle who retired as the Bursar at Vanderbilt without the cost of living benefit, so the subject is close to my heart. All this is a lead in to the coming generational wars our present leaders at all levels are setting up. If, and when, we cannot afford it all, what will our priorities be? If, and when, fellow humans will no longer loan us money because it does not make sense, as in the principle declines, what will our priorities be? If, and when, taxes and borrowing cannot pay simple things like all the basics as well as the benefits, what will be our American priorities?

What hath USA humans wrought? Hopefully the solutions are not band-aids, but real surgery and change.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Confusing privileges with rights is dangerous to a society’s future health

Within two generations, a generation being 30 years in the USA in genealogy terms, many things in the USA are now taken as normal human expectations. Things like TV, telephones, automobiles, good health and an opportunity for a long life, having babies in a hospital, forced air heat with a thermostat, and even running water and flush toilets, with splinter-free toilet paper, are just expected as “normal”. One has only to live overseas to know such “normal” things are in fact privileges, and not rights, though we all wish they were rights, as in God given. My attention-gainer occurred while staying at a Ryokan (a traditional Japanese hotel) in Hiroshima near the train station. There the Ryokan had upgraded to a modern western flush toilet, vice the traditional squat toilet, but the whole setup still included stick-figure instructions on how to use the flush toilet. And all this was in the mid 1980’s, and Japan is a pretty modern country.

All this is a lead-in to a lifetime of observations, and seeing trends that may be adverse to our USA future, and my family’s future. The practical effects of confusing rights and privileges is potentially harmful.

First, the obvious trend. All these obvious things like TV, telephones, public electricity, good public health policies and practices, safe food, heat, clean running water and dirty water treatment, and yes, flush toilets with splinter-free toilet paper did not happen overnight. Our American ancestors did all this over time using hard work, legislation, and sacrifice that would make the most spoiled environmentalist proud. But I also suspect our ancestors intent was more socialist, as they provided what we enjoy today, a quality of life that exceeds what the royalty and elites had a few hundred years ago. Talk about we serfs doing well here in the new world. Also obvious is that all this needs maintenance, physical and political, since none of what has been achieved is God given.

The second obvious trend has two elements. One is that so many of our fellow Americans, and their politicians, think they can build on the work of their USA ancestors since all they have today is automatic and God given. If they are wrong, and they are, they are sacrificing our future on their bad judgments and good intents and big egos (some even diminish their ancestors) that will ultimately drag us back to some old world state of serfdom. Two, or second, is that our present wonderful state for we “serfs” is also being dragged down by pandering to our USA middle class. The old time status quo politicians have made careers out of mining our national wealth over the last five decades by redistributing our income taxes from those who create the income and taxes to those who want the benefits and vote in these politicians. The result is now culminating in our times, where promised benefits are dragging down, budget wise, all these most wonderful things that we “serfs” now enjoy, and expect. The obvious question is begged, just what is our USA priority when we cannot afford it all?

There is one obvious business solution. Call it taking care of the main customers. The political version is to recognize and support and fund the basics less we even lose what has already been achieved. Much change is in the air. Businesses come and go, and so do political parties.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Third world mentality and standards in the USA

It is coming all too soon if a minority in America can gain their way. Many suspect they don’t even know what they are asking for. Politically and health wise, I object to some minority of Americans dragging me down to some third world level of public health and food safety, as in getting malaria in Tennessee. While most of us Americans have a revolutionary heart, we also have a parental and social goal to make us and our families better off than our past. Disease control is included. And our ancestors went through all this, and presented us what we have today. My opponents need to be squashed like a bug since they threaten me, and what I think is a so reasonable American existence.

Along the way, I owe my allegiance to my nation-state, the USA, and not some local warlord who will arise, given a chance. Now it is time to add in politics and health, since only my nation-state will protect and promote my vote and my family’s health.

For those who think I may be wrong, so be it. If I am right, the consequences for our future generations are pretty serious; be it me, my kids, or my grandkids.

In the same vein, those who want to play at being American revolutionaries can decide whether they want to play or be real, as willing to die for their cause, which most certainly they will. And fellow Americans will turn in these pretend revolutionaries.

In the meantime, this great American and New World human experiment under a Constitution goes on.
Time heals all wounds

…Or at least tones down most of our emotionalism, often well deserved.

The traditional phrase usually applies to the tragic loss of a loved one. It can also apply to terrible situations like divorce, disappointing children, or more recently, politics. The point of the saying is so human in all cases.

And humanity was toned down in the decades past when time delay was necessarily introduced in politics by ‘letters to the editor”, or having to wait for a scheduled political meeting, or having to compose a genealogy letter and wait for a response. Even the time delay in getting one’s political positions published to their fellow citizens in a newspaper, or a meeting, often had a calming effect that best reflected more time to think about whatever was so riling, so “feather ruffling”, or genealogy purposeful.

This “time heals all wounds” idea we can use to our advantage today, though there is small evidence it is happening today. This thought is premised on the old fashioned idea that well reasoned and educated thought will win more votes and change more political things than insults and revolutionary words that any political retard can repeat, given a little time. Let me say it another way. A little civility will go a long way, and time has a way of introducing civility to political discussions. And when one organizes to promote their politics and all too often certainty they know the “truth” and are possessed of this quality unique in human history, perhaps a little time will tone some of this fervor down. Most embarrassing is when people preach to their choir. While they may feel good, little change occurs.

Especially distressing in my lifetime is to perceive so many Americans seeing their fellow Americans as enemies, or disingenuous, somehow evil, or just unpatriotic. Yes communication is a two way street, and the breakdown of poor communications as exhibited by our instantaneous blogs and other such posts is a good example of why a little time to think might help things along. Even our education principles that have changed curriculums from simple subjects like American history and civics and home economics and shop to more touchy feely subjects like pet care have made many kids more ignorant in the end. Perhaps that is the point of this post. Some of our revolutionaries may be educational retards, and they don’t even know it. Even the use of bad language is so boring as an attention gaining method. I speak this as a Marine, and I am not impressed.

Now give many American communities credit; they have not allowed this curriculum corruption to happen, and so have enhanced their kids opportunities in life. A lot of mothers and fathers should be congratulated. So good on ya!

Give things a little time in acting, or reacting. More importantly, show a little leadership in demonstrating civility and word and deed, and acting vice reacting. Those that do not do so are on the losing side of history, to include American and New World history. And the world is full of these characters, also. Even here in the USA, we have more than our fair share of anarchists and faux revolutionaries who have entered a dangerous game for which they will be eliminated from society, by jail or death. But in the same vein, any good leader will recognize the good parts of what these people say just as we eliminate them by vote or otherwise for their methods.

One just wishes we and they were savvy enough to give time to heal all wounds. Alas, it is not so.

As a Marine, I don’t like reacting, or being on the defensive, and giving away the initiative. Nor do most Americans. So let us at the community and state level, vote and elect those who will lead, borrow good ideas for our future, and give time a chance to work to our American advantage. While our kids don’t know it, they need our mother and father leadership. One might even say mom and dad graduated from the school of hard knocks, and have valuable lessons to pass on. Even with hard financial times apparently coming, we still have our own American advantage, if we vote for it. The point of giving time to heal all wounds even applies as a factor, thank goodness.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Low lifes and future public policy

Many decades ago our various parts of America were united on one thing for sure: basic police security was a fundamental function of civilization, and the local citizenry cooperated and supported their local police in all ways, to include providing tips as well as going to school together and attending church together, in other words, living together. Even in the double standard racially segregated parts of America, basic respect and even fear of the law was a common bond. Today we don’t have this bond in too many places, but we can get it back for mostly good reasons.

Sometime in my lifetime, we Americans decided to make attacking the underlying causes of poverty a number one priority, to the detriment of protecting us from the low-lifes responsible for so much crime back then. Many people back then even thought society should attack on two fronts: addressing the underlying causes as well as locking up the low-lifes to protect us from them. Well, that did not happen then, but it can now. Rather even where I lived in the Washington D.C. area, newspaper crime reports by the Washington Post and the Evening Star suddenly quit including pictures or racial descriptions of suspects, which in that area were mostly Negroes. Now I live on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee, and the normal suspects are not Negroes, but still descriptions and photos would sure help the citizens in reporting suspects to the police. And since nothing in America is on or off, but rather tends towards slow change, leaders at all levels need to reinforce today’s slow reintroduction of suspect descriptions and photos to help we citizens help our police.

And low-lifes are not automatically associated with the circumstances of their birth. A certain percentage of any society will always be low-lifes, and public policy should address this criminal class, as well as not confuse this class with just being poor. Most know that dignity and respect have nothing to do with being poor. Public policy must recognize this quality, and reinforce success, not failure. One of the great benefits of the USA’s military is that it is a true meritocracy; the circumstances of one’s background being absolutely minimal compared to performance and hard work, especially after one’s initial period.

Also America’s preoccupation with racial themes has skewed the most obvious problems in the Negro population. The out of wedlock birth rate is one (new in the last five decades) since it has been used as an excuse to obfuscate the low-lifes’ impacts on the Negro communities which still seem to be self-segregated in so many areas of our Country. Fine, but never-the-less, we must lock away the low-lifes to protect the fine upstanding people who deserve to be reinforced in their communities and where they live. The high incarceration rate of young Negro males pales in comparison to what we can do to reinforce our hard workers and positive role models. None of this negates also attacking the underlying causes we think may be at play, nor imagining not even holding people accountable for their own behavior, though we will for the obvious reasons.

Less many fellow Americans think this is some kind of subtle code discussion about Negroes, forget it. Again, I now live on the Cumberland Plateau and crime here is much of a non-Negro flavor. And the present “sub-prime” financial crisis has much to do with personal life-style choices of fellow Americans, and nothing to do with race. Even the old joke about Marines wanting to break things and kill people has nothing to do with race, as Marines know. Again Americans must be held accountable, vice we fellow Americans accepting the excuses of those losers and their politicians, especially if they want us to pay for their mistakes or mis-applied public policies. The recent murders of young women at Auburn and UNC, apparently for robbery for money, is a hint that things are wrong these days if there are robbers about who can murder by concentrating on education centers.

The long run of changing society for the better by prioritizing our American efforts to address the underlying causes has been exposed as a failure of the basic idea, not the intent. Now it is time to take a two-front approach, with the first front being locking up the low-lifes as part of old-fashioned public policy. The three-strikes rule seems reasonable as a start, and if reinforced. Remember, the burden is on the low-lifes to reenter our American society on our standards. Our society’s burden is to protect and promote our winners, our best, our breadwinners, and our children. Now it is time to vote, mostly local and state.

This is both an esoteric subject and a real subject. Having been home and driveway invaded in Atlanta and Charlotte, back to the basics makes sense for our collective American future of locking up the low-lifes, and keeping them locked up, mostly away from us. And I have relatives who have hired extra neighborhood security on top of the local security, mostly because they need it, and also because they can afford it. This is a terrible state of affairs, when our basic reason for governments cannot even provide home security. Yet it is happening, today at least in Atlanta and Charlotte.

Real change in America is at the local and state levels. Most Americans recognize this, and some local chapters of our two national parties even recognize all this. Some even predict another national party is on the way. If it arises, it will probably be bottom up, vice top down.

And all we want to do is be safe in the pursuit of work, living, and education.

Friday, March 07, 2008

On the Home Front

Much of the turmoil in the USA probably is part of a greater turmoil in the entire world. But in the same vein, the turmoil here at Home may be more acting than reacting. In the dog and tail wagging analogy, just is the USA dog wagging the world tail, or otherwise? The reported evidence suggests arguments for both. And all the enhanced connectivity throughout the world enhances the dog and tail wagging analogies.

Most USA people are too busy with work or families to even worry or think about all this. So the discussion is probably more limited to those that care, and have the time to think and act. While the percentages may be small, the demographics are large on a USA Home Front. And while many claim expertise based on intelligence and homework, many claim expertise based on experience. Hence one can focus on the USA Home Front, since most USA citizens have experience mostly at home, and based on their experience in their lifetime.

The oath most USA politicians and many others, as in the military, take, is to the Constitution, and not any individual or cause. The oath always mentions enemies, foreign and domestic, also. I always thought the domestic enemy idea was silly, even in the last few decades. Now the recent minor examples of sedition, criminality, and cult-like behavior have prompted a rethink of my earlier thinking. The examples are the military recruitment center treatments in Berkley and New York City, the burnings of many homes in Washington State because they did not meet some peoples’ definition of environmental purity, and the USA cult-like behaviors tolerating political correctness while encouraging nanny state governments that have always failed so far, and taken a lot of our money along the way. On the latter, one can say we are throwing good money after bad in pursuit of nirvana. For the conspiracy minded, someone got that money, just not the intended.

Most unnerving is what our society has done with educating our children, our future generations. That some of these children choose sedition and anarchy over reasoned arguments and voting is appalling to me. And I don’t blame the older generations, a relative idea if there ever was one. But that some find it appealing or nifty or cool to burn down someone else’s house or throw a bomb at a military recruiting station or suppress free conservative (many would say smart) economic ideas because they disagree is a symptom of some underlying disease that, like all diseases, must be eradicated ruthlessly. And most probably assume a certain small percentage of any population will be anarchists and self anointed religious police, or just plain retards in their own way, but it seems we in the USA are making or attracting more than our fair share these days.

The courses of action are obvious. We kill the disease, and we attack the symptoms and causes. The war on malaria in the USA is a good historical example, though the politics of today’s courses are complicated because humans and politics are both the disease, and the cause. And sorry Mom or Dad if your kid, or my kid, gets caught up and eradicated. They are playing dangerous games that will not be tolerated. And there are other safer and so American courses of action.

I for one, on the Home Front, have little patience for attacking the symptoms and causes as the main course of action if it means the anarchists and other retards are allowed more time to take us down on the Home Front. There is enough evidence that our way of life in the USA is being attacked domestically, and we need to use basic Small Wars and third world practices to “kill the disease” while we also attack the symptoms and causes. It has been tough to say this, but there we are. Hard to believe, isn’t it?

If the present friction over the southern border control problems are any hint, then the present politicians’ of both national parties unwillingness to do the “will of the people” also applies to the wink and a nod attitude towards the tolerance of the anarchists and seditionists and all other domestic retards. So there we are again.

The difference between many, and the anarchists and the seditionists and the narcissist retards, is a socialist idea, and an oath, as to defend a Constitution, against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

It should be interesting to see if the two national parties, democrats and republicans, will rise to the times in 2008. Probably not for the most basic status quo motivations. But as they arose in our not too distant past, those involved at the time were so excited. Now that is another course of action that is so American!

What is so hard to guess is: will we come up with one or two new national parties in our future? Much change is in the air, and long called for. Only time will tell.
Crossing the Bar

Alfred Lord Tennyson

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

I feel so good I am not going to adopt a puppy

Yes I know the finances of our country and the future looks bleak. But also the future of the old world ideas dieing in favor of the new world arising is most hopeful. A college educated Hungarian girl knockout in Hawaii is why. Perhaps she will navigate through the old time systems to make our Country better, for her own purposes, of course. Now that is America! And I have never met her because she has relatives already here.

She has choices. The old Russian system, now more like a Mafia, is enough to drive her to America, much to the chagrin of her close relatives. The concern is legitimate, and thick. Much international telephony is about her, and whether Hungary is a better long term deal than our USA, is still up for grabs. Mostly the concern is about being sexually exploited, mostly by Hollywood types. Most of her loved ones just want her to be happy.

Maybe our experiences and upbringing in the USA leave us somewhat deficient as to what is important to humans. Has political exploitation made us callous? No one has to believe this as an American, but rest assured others in the world do question our values and our priorities.

The reason people like our Hungarian girl come here is because of us.