Sunday, April 27, 2008

America’s descent into third world standards has some advantages

As public policy multiculturalism is a disaster. The American melting pot idea is so human as to be obvious to most at home, and both the old world and the rest of the new world. Practicing vital national interests is a normal policy to most, and now that we have been led indirectly into this policy, we can reap the benefits. Even labels for the census and other USA government bureaucracies are silly, and our politicians have mandated this silliness. Many personally would resent be labeled a European-American as they are an American, pure and simple. Even Latino or Hispanic or African American are silly.

Good, bad, or indifferent, the USA has been withdrawing for decades, and now more than ever has to take what ever is served. There is a silver lining in this grey cloud.

On energy policy, let the nations that depend so heavily on middle east oil devote their national resources to protecting their interests. The USA is not one of these, and let us not enable them as allies to use our USA people and military to protect their citizens and interests. Let them step up to the plate, so to speak. For those that object to this idea, fine. But we have been degrading ourselves for decades, and now have to live this idea.

On foreign policy, we are more and more forced into organizing or joining coalitions of common interests to have our way, and compromising along the way. How to deal with the present North Korean dictatorship is a good example. The same can apply to Syria and Zimbabwe and resurgent pirates. Will we honor our treaty obligations to Israel and Taiwan allies?

On domestic policy, the financing of all the city, county, state, and federal programs is approaching collapse in the USA, as by 2017 to use a Moody’s forecast. Many third world countries depend on foreign aid and many think much goes to the despots that run these nation-states and some city-states. It appears much the same is going on in the USA, though by different means. And our present poor leaders are still on this course, unbelievably. When we start being thrifty and acting in vital national interests will be a breath of fresh air, even as many fellow Americans suffer from loss of benefits. It is not that the politicians at this future time want to be mean or perform payback, it is just that more was promised than can be paid for. Blame the present generation, even the “greatest” generation.

Most environmentalists survive only in the west. They would never survive in the third world, as be assassinated. Even if their ideas (often good from a western point of view) apply to the third world, the savvy environmentalist does not want to die for their cause. Hence the Americans are leaving Okinawa and going to Guam for the sake of a “maybe” issue about salt water manatees. What is amazing is that all this has been through the very severe Japanese wickets (it is their land and people after all), but wacko USA environmentalists have turned to USA courts. To conclude, as America reverts to a more third world status, tolerance and protection for environmentalists will decline. People starving for environmentalists’ ideas have little tolerance. This especially applies if the environmentalist is unelected.

And in the third world, many politicians with limited means tend to promote the middle class over the lower classes. When push comes to shove, expect the same here. Holding people accountable to established standards will probably have many beneficial results. If we elect politicians and indirectly religious leaders that promote sex through marriage, for example, we may be surprised, and even thanked. Those that attack our vast drug culture in the future will also be surprised, as a little toke is so different from making meth in the kitchen at home. Maybe some Thai court rulings, applied American third world style, will get some peoples attention as to what is good public policy.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The best and the brightest should be individuals and not cabals

In the not too distant past there was a dilemma at a 23,000 acre quail plantation in the Southeast USA. Many whitetail deer educated people said we had too many deer and needed to kill about a thousand does to get things back in balance. Yet there were paying customers (to the tune of about one-half million dollars a year) who paid much and traveled far, and reported they were not seeing much of any deer compared to the past, and subsequently quit paying and traveling to this plantation. The owners did listen, and convened a conference of whitetail deer educated experts to advise on what to do. Here was where many learned the politics of whitetail deer biology. Depending on one’s connections and expected outcomes, there were cabals of PhD’s on this subject at Clemson, Auburn, and the University of Georgia. The latter was chosen, and we got some good advice, and how things sorted out in the end is unknown for this post. These eco type things take time.

This story of cabals, connections, and expected outcomes applies to those staff members hired to work at all levels of government and even media, since even pundits often have hired staffs. So when you read about a new law or program, or a pundit’s article, it probably is done by a staff member or members as the main effort. And the federal government types, executive, legislative, and judiciary, seem to have a preference for Ivy League School cabals. Whether this is good or bad is in the eye of the beholder, but the present system smells of poor government and leadership, where experience should count more than it does these days. The preference for intelligence and education seems to trump experience these days. One can note that political party tactics and strategies include dominating even the questions that can be asked. This is another symptom of the light-weights from certain cabals being in control.

Exacerbating all this is the mean spirited atmosphere and politics of personal destruction in Washington, D.C. that drives so many of our best and brightest from even applying. One present joke line about “can we get the adults back in charge” is a symptom of what has been happening for more than a decade.

To get the best and brightest political leaders, and hired staffs, depends mostly on voters. To expect the present volunteer candidates from both national parties to undermine their status quo and many decades of comfort factors is unreasonable. More reasonable is to vote in Americans to make things happen in 2008, 2010, and 2012, and subsequent elections. Like the whitetail deer story, these things take time to have an effect.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Freedom of speech is not defined by any individual

All the rancorous discussion about freedom of speech is new in the last decade or so. That such rancor and terrible statements are being made reflects poorly on our American society. The poorness may be because of the poor education of the offenders, or the dominance of ego and emotion over self-restraint and respect for improving our society. In other words, the method of political discourse is as important as the ideas debated, and some seem to have lost this so new world American idea.

The silly part is to hear, again and again, that one should not object to any individual or groups conduct or rules because they are using their free speech rights. The classic friction of individual rights compared to group rights comes up, again. If taken to an extreme, which seems to be the route we are on today in the USA, then we have a formula for inaction and anarchy.

This possibility has always been around. Even our far ancestors adopted the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 to ensure order trumped chaos. Even in the last century it was taken as gospel that one cannot use the free speech idea to cry fire in a theater. There are group imposed limits as well as individual imposed limits to maintain American good order and discipline. Now it appears things are getting out of hand again, and some knee-jerk reaction will be what it takes to bring things back into balance. If this comes to pass, is it the offenders or offendees that are the catalyst for the most obvious need to maintain an orderly society?

A key point is that the free speech advocates seem to need to be checked. If checking them means some new version of a 1798 law, or more recent campaign finance laws or hate speech laws, well that is where they are leading. Maybe all will it take is prosecuting the laws we already have on this subject, (since the problem is not new). What a shame, because it does not have to end up like this. As in many other cases in America today, it is time for adults to step in and take charge.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Much change is going on in plain view…though seldom reported or recognized

More people are devoted to an individual vice a constitution than ever before. This smacks of old world nobility, even if so un-American.

More politicians and their parties have loyalties that trump National Interests. The change is the degree, where ideas and lobbyist purposes other than National Interests have more influence than even three decades ago.

The rise of nobility type groups composed of today’s soothsayers and jokesters called pollsters, environmentalists, and pundits is appalling. In an older time in America, all had to enter the world of politics and elections. Now more than ever, many get hired as a staff member or sponsored as a court member to weave one’s version of entertainment mixed with policy, along with job security and income.

Another appalling change is that political managers of former and losing political campaigns of the past are now trotted out as experts on how to manage and win. Some even get rehired. The major change is gall of all this, and the silliness of even considering them, and their loser records.

Yes, much change is in the air. And much of that change is the end of the old status quo and poor leaders and managers that got us to the poor state we are in today.

We all know that talk is cheap, and alarmist claims are as old as history. We also know that change does occur, often gradually, and sometimes in lurches. We appear to be at a “lurch” time now. The seemingly ever growing influences of environmentalists and their agendas is now being balanced by companies going out of business and people going cold and hungry, or our overseas opponents defeating us with vastly increased oil prices. As one Brit pundit suggested, toleration of these eco types is no longer funny or quaint when people are being adversely affected. Food riots around the world will always trump western idealism that causes food shortages.

So are we in charge of change, or is change in charge of us. Does it take companies and people going out of business and world food riots to make change happen? Or can the power of elected ideas make change happen before people lose? To depend on today’s version of the political groups and their candidates to implement change is just how we got to where we are today.

We Americans have better alternatives and ways to change than what has been happening and can happen in our future.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

America’s priorities for the next fifty years will have much to do with everything

Think upper classes, middle classes, and lower classes. Think enemies, foreign and domestic. Think local vs. state vs. federal. Even think affordability vs. desirability when prioritizing, assuming we can’t have it all when we want it.

America has had an idealistic and well-intended love affair with the lower classes during the last fifty years. Many efforts and dollars have been devoted to helping this group along, to include such venerable institutions as the Catholic churches and their schools. America has had a fifty year effort to promote federalism as a well-intended effort to make one size fit all, and to make us “one” country. The interstate highway system is a good example. The Cold War and the onset of the nuclear age set policies, laws, and budgets for fifty years that made sense when applied by those devising such things. Earlier more local accomplishments like clean water, waste water treatment, public electricity, levees, and basic health like malaria control and vaccinations, paled in comparison during the last fifty years, being already done deals. Last, America’s historical personality that tends towards isolationism and pacifisms reasserted itself, again.

We Americans are never stuck in the past, though some of our people and politicians may be. The status quo can have a bad connotation. “For lack of knowing what to do, we do what we know” is a limiter to future priorities. And time does move on and drive things, thank goodness. For an example's sake, a circa 1908 problem about what to do with all the animal waste resulting from transportation in cities was a big health and political deal. Now we have other problems.

In the present election cycle of 2008, and the immediate ones in 2010 and 2012, one can use perspective in deciding their votes, local, state, and federal. For example, one scheme should give priority to promoting, protecting, and growing our middle classes, as opposed to the lower classes as a priority. The same scheme should protect and promote all the local things that may have become politically boring. For sure control of local schools and curriculums should return to the parents to include enhancing their responsibilities as parents of school age children. Out of wedlock births should be ostracized for what they are, irresponsible sexually promiscuous behavior, to include unsafe sex given the terrible SDT numbers today. The same future scheme should recognize and reward integrity and honesty as good guides in how to run and promote a society. Political tactics and parsed words and pandered budget gimmicks all too often work in the short term, while the long term society suffers or demands even more band aids on top of earlier band aids.

The list can go on, but the point is that America is never stuck in the past, and the last fifty years of past should be no bind on our next fifty year future. Absent the present volunteer candidates for federal president even mentioning this type of discussion, and the present system still promotes this silliness (locally, state, and federal), then it is time to find, promote, and protect, other candidates that give more emphasis to devising and leading to our National future, and not our past.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Environmentalists gone wild…free falling clams

For those who just got screwed by all the commercial airplane inspections that delayed their travel, read the first part of this link. And I thought all the added expenses to the ticket prices were all fuel related.
There are no bad workers…only bad leaders

No body wakes up in the morning wanting to do a bad job. Most people want the dignity and respect of hard work, even if they are somewhat slovenly and lazy. And yes, we do have low life criminals who must be locked up to protect us from them.

Presidential candidate Obama Barrack seems especially good at exposing American wounds to the light of day, and even ripping scabs that exacerbates the pain. Many wish he could also heal the wounds, but alas, he is too lightweight.

And the wounds still fester. Most embarrassing is that some of these wounds are self-inflicted, as in we did it to ourselves. More defiantly, we and our politicians did it to ourselves. And in this can also be a solution. The subject is free trade.

Most rural Americans I know (Cumberland Plateau, Tennessee) still believe in free trade. Of course the definition of free trade is “free trade”. As an example, most negotiated treaties require our free trade competitor humans to go by the same rules as we have to go by, to include worker rights, safety, environmental, and even things like insurance. Then one thinks like the greater cost of American workers is better balanced by the cost of transportation of their lower cost competitors products to the USA, and there is “fair” trade. Many Japanese and German auto companies have relocated their manufacturing to the rural USA as one example of how they handled the balance in their way.

The aggravation I perceive is the loss of trust and faith in the ability of our governments to hold our free trade partners’ feet to the fire. Words mean things, and the problems on the other end of free trade agreements are their problems, and not so for weak-kneed American bureaucrats who may have other agendas. And all so many American workers want to do is get up in the morning and go to work, and do a good job.

Here is another good example for why we should vote.
Defining a vital national interest and how to try achieve a vital national interest are two different things

For example, educating the next generation is a vital national interest. Just how we try do it, public education, private education, vouchers, curriculums, is a local and state voting issue. For another example, providing for a common defense is a vital national interest. Just how thrifty and smart we are about doing it, and even the areas of concern, like foreign terrorists or Darfur, are a voting issue. For a last example, providing for basic police and fire protection, and basic health protection like clean water and waste water treatment is a vital national interest. Just how we fund it in competition with all the other local demands is a votable issue.

Yet seldom, if ever, do any candidates standing for election at all levels, local, state, and federal, even bother to discuss or offer for debate just what is a vital national interest in any of the communities we live in. It is as if we put the cart before the horse, and all too often the issues get confused as to prioritizing all the competing demands. And so many of the competing demands cross the lines of vital national interests expressed at the various levels, local, state, and federal. For example, and assuming we have to get out of the borrowing business to pay our public bills, do we spend money on an expanded water treatment plant in our local community, or use the same money to send our military into Darfur? Using the idea of being guided by vital national interests, the answer is obvious…spend the money on the expanded water treatment plant.

Especially confusing to most voters is federal grants to states and local governments. Just why this is a vital national interest has never been answered by politicians or even pundits. It’s history suggests it was born from other reasons. If the federal government collects enough money to pass a lot back to states and local governments, then it is collecting too much to redistribute in ideas that may not be in our vital national interests. If this money being spent as block grants is in our vital national interests, then let the states and local governments justify the taxes and the local voters vote on it.

One can go on and on in this simple idea of having vital national interests influencing how we tax and spend. One point is if times get hard, or bad, we have other courses of action than the mess we have today.

And never assume anything. That we live in a new world nation-state that still has the traditions and means to think of vital national interests as a guide is special in the world. Others are not so fortunate.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Anus of the Earth may be in Shanghai

Which way is the human condition to work out?

Is it this picture from downtown Shanghai during the recent USS Lassen visit in 2008 representative?

Or is it the more touristy picture (below) what we may see during the Olympics in 2008?

The idea is that the amount of pollution in China is bad. In this case Shanghai is a really big city (8th biggest in the world?), and at the terminus of the Yangtze River, and the last decades or so pollution is worthy of report.

So which way is it to be? Is the Chinese government and propaganda and maybe even NBC promoting their Olympics’ contract to give us one picture? Or is to be more like the recent USS Lassen picture showing what an unhealthy place Shanghai and the Yangtze River have become.

As one who used to enjoy a view of the East China Sea from my front door porch in Okinawa (about a yard and a half square) , now I wonder just what mess is being dumped into the East China Sea I swam and snorkeled in? Even laying on the paultry Kadena AFB Okinawa beaches that bordered on it seems less appealing.

Shanghai is in a lot of movies since movies began. And the attention and stories continue.
Did you know?

The Royal Navy’s Fleet Flagship, HMS Ark Royal, made a visit to Norfolk recently. Later she trained with the US Navy and Marines off our eastern shore.

Giuseppina Pasqualino di Marineo, an Italian performance artist, was recently murdered at age 33, during her “Brides for Peace” Middle East tour.

The French ship FS Jeanne D’Arc participated in the pirate incident response off of Somalia.

Martin Luther King was a Republican.

The Israelis just conducted a major National Defense Exercise beginning April 6th that had the region in a high hover.

The Israelis operate some high tech German built diesel subs that carry modified US Harpoon missiles with “suspected” nuclear warheads.

Teacher Jolita Berry was attacked in a high school fight in Baltimore last week. The school systems response is also noteworthy, if you know.

House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank and Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, and their staffs, are planning more schemes to move the risk to the taxpayers from those who made bad decisions, such as buying mortgages that are now in default.

Little of “did you know” is reported by our media. Did you know?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

A generation of poor American leadership has finally caught up

In genealogy, a generation is 30 years, the time frame for this post. And more than a fair share of poor leaders have been at all levels, federal as in President or Congress, and their vast hired staffs, down to state governments and local leaders, to include governments, schools, religions, and unions. The evidence is cumulative, mostly embarrassing in its impacts to a Country such as the USA, but also negative in the terrible impacts on the coming generation. While the future will have to reap what our poor leaders have sowed in the decades’ past, so can citizens begin to sow a better new world USA. While all is not doom and gloom, much pain and suffering, as being hungry and cold, will ensue. And we did it to ourselves, somehow. And there are still bright spots that may be dimmed, also. What a shame!

First some cumulative evidence. The very recent success of the French against some small village thug group of a dozen pirates off of Somalia represents leadership vice devotion to committee action and other such interagency time consuming action. The tendency for turning problems like Hurricane Katrina and the recent sub-prime mortgage “crisis” into another mining of the national wealth demonstrates poor leadership. The political leaders’ inability to keep expenses within income means demonstrates a status quo attitude and poor judgment that will become apparent when no one in their right mind will loan us money to pay expenses beyond all the income means. Moodys has already given the USA a window of warning…2017 or so being the year of reckoning. Kids as young as six are now getting legal records of being a sexual pervert for being dumb in school when real leaders might have applied more common sense and a sense of proportion in dealing with this kid. The politician’s tendency to spend the collected monies for today’s benefits at the expense of tomorrow’s demands will have dreadful outcomes, from federal social security and medicare demands to local government unions “guaranteed” expectations. Only poor leaders would do all this to the point where some state legislators, as in Louisiana, exempt their criminal and even poor performance from affecting their retirement benefits. One might want to check out their local state and counties, as a start, to see is something similar is being sneaked by.

All is not doom and gloom. Voters should start with electing leaders who promote standards over excuses and assumptions. No longer will the war on poverty go on forever, where we as a USA continue to spend money on underlying causes without simultaneously locking up the low life criminals. No longer will we accept the simple statements like “restoring USA respect in the world” or “we need another conversation on race” “just on face value”. Standards still imply locally things like basic police protection, fire protection, and health protection having priority over local government union contracts when the governments can’t pay it all. School curriculums and social standards are still the parents’ choices.

That much pain and turmoil will have to occur is the result of our poor leadership over the last generation. One can say we have just had a bout of poor leadership. And while I sympathize with idea that American voters are part of this problem, and have been silly, perhaps dumb, too often self serving in school systems (think jobs over kids), and even naive respondents to the pandering of this last generation of poor leaders still living in the past and even status quo, the obvious solutions have to do with basic American standards, and politicians who can explain all this to the future citizen voters. Temporary political success in our past is no excuse to running a local area, school system, state, or our Country down. And all evidence suggests we need to use our votes are all levels, local, state, and federal, including adding our past poor leaders into the coming suffering groups. If this sounds like pay back, it is not. It is sending a message to future political leaders, as in live like “us”, and succeed together. Voters will back up “ future winners”. We could sure use a “bout” of strong future leaders.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

How will the reporting media report their self demise?

Going out of business is tough. One can take responsibility, or one can blame.

First the blame idea:
It is the politics.
It is the unprofessional reporting.
It is the business impact of the news’ reporting business. Think unelected pundits who make a living this way.
It is the over expansion of too many people in the new to the world 24/7 news cycles.
It is the over impact of TV reporting what is the real news.
Second is the responsibility idea:
Citizens are more demanding than ever.
Basic integrity in news reporting is at a nadir.
Citizens have more ways to “get” their news.
The percentage of un-informed voters is down. The percentage of over-educated fools is up.

Of course, all people just want to know is the “news”. What a simple and powerful idea for a future business plan.
The tyranny of the minority in America

Fortunately the majority still rules in a country such as the USA in America.

As a citizen who took vacation and kid's school time off and traveled some distance to see the Olympic torch pass by in 1996 before the Atlanta Olympics, the farce of the torch run recently in 2008 San Francisco gained my attention. The serious threat of disruption by minority protesters caused most people to miss the torch being run along the announced San Francisco route (since the route was changed and unannounced). In spite of whether one agrees or disagrees with the minorities protesters reasons ( I happen to agree), they should have shown some courtesy towards the majority of viewers that took the time and travel, often with their families.

Now even the coverage of all this seems appalling. Somehow the protesters are being honored by too many in the media coverage. Even the local politicians self report they feel good about “containing” all this. What a change from 1996 when so many citizens would have taken the protesters out, as in tackling them long enough to let the torch pass and the rest of the crowd to enjoy the historic occasion.

This whole occasion has made this citizen wonder again about the riots by protesters and the police response in Chicago during the 1968 Democratic Party Convention. History generally reports it was a disaster for the Democratic Party. Now I think maybe it was a win for the USA. And this may apply to the Democratic Party Convention in Denver this summer. After all America, the USA, is about we citizens, and not any present national political party’s frictions, or some minority group without basic manners that has latched on.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Americans cannot have it both ways

Our world has changed. And now we get to live with it. For decades and under both national political parties, we have reduced our presence in the world. It has not been by accident, but on purpose.

Now when there might be a dog fight, some others will bring their big dogs. And we may lose, or just back off. Is that what we wanted in our earlier votes? Or more realistically, is that what we can afford, or want to prioritize. Now is it benefits, or basic government services, like defense or spending more public money on our underclasses?

Good, bad, or indifferent, that is where we are today. Do any Americans think there can be enemies at the gates? … as in wanting to live like us using all that our new world American world has provided for us.

Most Americans realize we have a special deal that is worth fighting for, and defending. Our more idealistic and self-absorbed think things in America are on auto-pilot and even God-given or some other version of deserved, to assume an ever fountaining money fountain of income.

Now this is a votable issue. So is the choice of which language we want our kids to learn as a second language.
Lancing an American boil

Suppose we gave a tax and few people came. Suppose we broke decades of “assuming” and just made people accountable for their actions. Suppose we increased our number of American stakeholders by increasing our number of taxpayers (vice tax dependents). Today’s and the decades old trend is otherwise. Suppose we broke with decades of associating happiness and self respect, with income. This last comment is prompted by a brother, retired multi-millionaire through the health care industry, who was observing a local family while we shared a lunch at a local eatery here on the Cumberland Plateau. To over generalize, he observed that while he was well-off, and they were dirt poor, they seemed happy, and he was somewhat envious of whatever it was they had and shared.

Boils are an old time term for pockets of infection that are painful in the pressure and pain associated with them. Today’s teenagers would call them really big zits. The old time way to treat them was to lance them to let them drain and relieve the pain and pressure, while the body then took over and healed the wound. Perhaps something similar politically is called for by today’s doctors of democracy.

While death is an option, many might want to take the medicine and method, today called the honest vote. An honest vote is what occurs inside the voting booth. While the medicine and method is painful, so is death in this case.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

What’s so special about republicans and democrats?


Both represent the status quo that has gotten us to the point we are at today. Most voters are unhappy with how things are today. And these parties’s existence today is not all that long, like maybe eight or more decades. They are not even mentioned in the Constitution or in people’s thoughts at our startup. We had other parties at our startup. Even today more voters call themselves independents vice republican or democrat. Like a tick well dug into our skin, both parties are so well dug into America’s “skin”, that any American with political ambitions from the local to federal levels must go through one of the two party wickets…because they say we have to. Maybe some of today’s party leaders have forgotten the history and startup reasons for their party. If this sounds like unions and union leadership, so be it. When one thinks about this, the two national parties “raison d'être” is closer to unions than one might care to admit.

America has a love affair with third political parties. Generally, they are thought to be a waste of voter time, though they and the candidates do send a message. Every once in a while they become a new national party, usually on the backs on the old status quo. And also every so often, they even change elections results. Many think Clinton became President in 1992 because of candidate’s Perot’s efforts, as an example. Add in George Wallace in 1968 and John Anderson in 1980 as examples of other efforts.

Times are different these days. While the present candidates for federal President seem stuck in their own parties routines, most voters are not similarly stuck. Does it still bother so many Americans that so much donated cash is being raised for candidates and sometimes through their own parties. Are the donors donating cash for nothing in expected return?

A key point is that the USA, America, is special. And no amount of republican or democratic party efforts can change that. So go independents!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Moral values in American leaders

Most of our American leaders are at the local and state levels. Add in the federal politicians, and we have over one-half million elected leaders alone. Multiply this group by their hired minions, and add in our religious leaders and union leaders and teachers, and we have a lot of fellow Americans in leadership positions. One would hope they share the same moral values as the citizens they represent and live among, but this does not seem to be case all too often. This also applies to common sense values based on moral values similar to their represented citizens, or the citizens they live among.

Here’s one reason to think so. The old expression that one “aw-crap” overcomes thirty “atta-boys” still applies. Said another way, most will tell thirty others about their bad treatment or disappointment while they will tell eight people about their good treatment. A second reason to think so is to tolerate the abysmal personal behavior and standards of a leader because they also do many good things. Recently this appeared above the American political horizon in the form of Rev. Wright in Chicago, where similar citizens of the USA could promote all the good things he has done in his service to his church and community and the USA, compared to his vile, hateful, racial , and anti-American rhetoric. Decades ago, Rev. Wright would be dead in the water by those Americans judging him using their moral standards, and their willingness to do so. Now so many use today’s moral standards to give him a pass. Some, of course, are naïve enough to be subject to the basic propaganda techniques, like he really did not say it, or words were taken out of context, or one had to hear the entire speech to really understand, or we just heard wrong. And most seem to be liberal democratic party types in the case of Rev. Wright, but one can use their suspicions and judgments across the American political spectrum.

It is probably a fair report to suggest that many Americans have different moral values, and even some are always subject to propaganda techniques even if they don’t know it. It is also probably fair to say that no amount of rational and reasonable discourse will change what other people presently believe, especially in regards their moral values. And it is also probably reasonable and fair to believe that many politicians and leaders running for office also try take advantage of those same people. We all preach to our own crowd.

The other story is so many Americans these days don’t want to let their fellow citizens with different moral values drag them down, as if, if some of these different values may cause great harm financially and perhaps even in foreign policy. Tolerance of letting them have their way and chance has been going on for decades, with poor results to too many Americans. Part of this other story is the need to vote just to maintain things like dictating school curriculums, government budgeting and avoidance of borrowing, the accountability of the judiciary at the local levels when it dictates unaffordable spending that can only be honored with borrowing. The other story said another way is that change is coming. Whether one group with their recent morals will be in charge, or more older moral values will be in charge, is a matter of the vote, pure and simple. Either way it will take decades; and 2008 is a good year to start.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Who’s short changing our young women?

The short changing is across the board. Sexually transmitted diseases that result in death, sterility, or lowering of marriage prospects are just one symptom. Lowering of self esteem, so crucial to growing good young happy and healthy daughters, is another symptom of what has been going on the last three or four decades. Another short changing is the crazy notion that boys and girls are the same, and the indoctrinations that reinforces all these notions. Reinforcing self respect seldom happens compared to the way thing used to be reinforced. Public shame and embarrassment about having sex out of wedlock, and the ever growing having children out of wedlock, is waning. Last, the idea of feminine beauty being looking like teenage boys is unfair, and unnatural.

Who’s doing this shortchanging? The usual culprits are the ugly disagreeable women who give away sex for attention, and the similar men who take advantage. But so many others make the usual culprits pale in comparison. The promoters of the pill and abortion as birth control methods are major short changers. Our community leaders, some religious, some teachers, all parents, are major short changers if they deviate from making young women in charge of their and human reproduction. Pregnancy denied does not stop diseases and all the terrible consequences. Having sex because you can never supercedes the basic female instincts of self preservation and motherhood. And our society’s politicians that do not establish laws that reinforce and reward families and marriage that support our young women have short changed these young people. Even the idea that a young girl can have a family and a career without consequences is so unfair, even if politically correct.

Now one can never tell boys and girls what to think and how to act, especially when hormones are raging. This not rocket science. The idea is as old as humanity. But we can dictate behavior, and support ideas and policies and laws that promote and protect and grow our daughters into productive young Americans. Anything less, which is what we have been doing in the last few decades, is short changing this group of young women.

In our vast land many fellow Americans deserve to be congratulated for being themselves, and in so doing enhancing our young women. All is not doom and gloom. There are many bright spots. Growing these spots into bigger areas should be a National Interest objective in the next one or two decades.

Call it Nation Building, “at home”. For example, the well publicized idea of it takes a village to raise a child is so third world and associated with Africa. While trendy, this idea fails so many of our American National Interests to promote our young women by “our” values. So as always it comes down to our votes…political, pocket book, and even choice of churches and religious leaders. Now this is a good way to protect and promote our future young women in pursuit of their happiness and our societal interests. These days it is called a “win win”. Decades ago it was called “women’s rights”.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Storming the Bastille…American style

Votes vice pitchforks are a good way to go. For every congressman we replace, we also replace an average of 14 hired “personal” staffers. For every senator we replace, we also replace an average of 34 hired “personal” staffers. And these federally elected Americans also have committee staffs which are separate, and some even have national party staffs for their national party positions. And so, just on average, our Congress hired around 9500 “personal” staffers in 2000 numbers, all taxpayer paid. Now don’t forget all our federal executive’s hired staffers, and add in the entire federal bureaucracy if you like, though these tend to be more civil service jobs with all their protections. Now go on to our state and local governments to include school boards, and the impact of our votes can be really profound. Less one denigrate how important even school boards are, the Gwinnett County, Georgia school annual budget is 1.4 billion dollars. Gwinnett Country is a suburban county for Atlanta. In 1995 the numbers for our Nation looked like this.

Now and until Moody’s downgrades our borrowing status circa 2017 (as they have forecasted) , we can still storm the Bastille, American style.

While all situations are local, there have been several notable trends now going on for decades that will adversely affect our American future, unless we take begin voting in new “changers” at all levels, local, state, and federal. And the sooner the better.
1) For decades we have addressed our underclass by giving priority to spending money on underlying causes. A much smaller priority has gone to simultaneously locking up the underclass criminals to protect us from them. Like sheep, we have just accepted all this, to include murders of our children by robbers, and having to keep our kids in the yard just for self defense. This has evolved more to be an urban and suburban issue than a rural issue. Either way it is a votable issue to so many. And most have the most altruistic goals, but they also expect programs that produce results. Peeing away our National Wealth with good intentions comes in a poor second. Getting things done is a winner, if we vote for the “winners”.
2) We have enhanced the quality of life of so many local and state government employees by providing lucrative retirement and medical benefits, often now better than many of the taxpayers have. Much of this has been “voodoo” financed by assumptions of forever growing property values and income taxes. When one adds in all the federal promises about social security and medicare, and given all the taxpayer’s guarantees of covering mistakes and even defaults, mostly promoted by our federal politicians, no one, let me say it again, no one, really knows the compiled impacts and implications of all this, though it is ominous. Hints are everywhere. California is the 8th biggest country, financially, and when it is necessary for them to propose releasing criminals on to the streets, some politician and hired staff have given priority to benefits over basic government services, like not being murdered in the course of routine life. In this example, the best way to change things is to use our votes. One can follow out their logical results of what has happened so far and may happen to the rest of us. Protecting the citizens from criminals will win out, and education and basic school curriculums will win out, and defaults of retirements and medical insurance benefits will occur. When we taxpayers have to assume the losses, mostly by working more of each year just to make do, much friction will occur. Many Americans will suffer.
3) Those who expect social security and medicare benefits may be left out in the end. How future voters sort all this out is up to them and their politicians since our present elected politicians have passed on it, as in a chance to make things better for our American future. And ideas of generational and even class warfare are more than academic. For example, the trillions of dollars we have spent on our underclasses might have gone towards money in the bank for our seniors and their social security and medicare benefits. Now many seniors will go cold and hungry and have reduced expectations of life. Will any from the underclasses say thank you for trillions of dollars spent in their behalf over decades by our seniors?
4) Video foreign policy and pundit foreign policy is appalling. That so many respond to this ignores the most basic idea of what is in our National Interest. America is not the World’s policeman. And our National blood and money must only respond to our National Interest. Most pundits would be more impressive if they were to form and join some today’s version of the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War circa the 1930’s. Even sending in their kids would help. Start with Darfur. And as long as they want to use our blood and money in their cause, they are on the losing side of American history.
5) Most American workers agree with free trade. The trick word is “free”. For decades the zillions of band aid laws and rules promoted by politicians intended to protect and sometime enhance American workers have worked against us when our politicians, and bureaucrats, use a double standard. Three impacts are obvious on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee. One is the lower quality of anything made in China. Since I live on a wildlife farm, plows denting by basic plowing force me to more Canadian and American products that not only don’t dent, they turn the soil. Second, we still use all the environmental rules on the downhill side; those most are obvious and common sense because we would do it anyway. What really hurts is to see local factories in Putnam County that made airbags for cars and candy for Americans and hats for Americans go overseas. Hence the third quality or question, locally of course. Is our federal government, in my words, about basic common sense that includes basic free trade, or are they thinking some other way? Like it or not, this is what people are thinking.

And on to thinking. We still have our vote, thank goodness.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

And the band plays on

Our ship of state is undergoing a crew change. The two main national political parties that have sailed us into harms way still act as if the status quo will go on forever. These parties have had their chances their forbears earned, but “just because it was” does not mean “that is the way it will always be”. That citizens have picked up on this before the two national parities are picking up on it only amplifies the need for a crew change. The present discussion about advantages and tactics in the present Presidential elections cycle is an obvious example; when the democratic national party wants to tamp down their previously ordained cycle and agreed upon process, because it hurts their perceived chances at success in the later November election for President. Seldom, actually never, does one hear discussion of our National Interests from this party. And the republican national party seems to be the new main sponsor of earmarks and pork barrel spending with little discussion of the downside of this spending, all to often having to be financed by more borrowing and lack of common voter influence. And the band plays on.

Maybe like animals that can sense coming earthquakes, citizens can sense coming financial and political calamities. While animals will perhaps run for the hills, we citizens can vote for mitigating the coming calamities that only humans could make happen. The trend is already long set and obvious with there being more “independent” voters than “democratic” voters or “republican” voters. The “sense” is the threat to we, our families, and our children. The threat is the expectation of a more dismal future brought on by all that our politicians, and their national political parties, have brought to us today.

The threat and expectation are both real.

The expectation is that we can use our vast good intentions, and national wealth, to change how people are. Somehow our good intentions will elevate long suffering under class’s to soar and achieve, if only unleashed by those we elect. The under classes will recognize this and respond in kind, in this theory. As evidence we have elected politicians for decades and they have spent trillions of dollars in pursuit of this most wonderful goal. That little has been achieved is a votable issue…not just the results but the original intents and assumptions about how to best achieve the basic expectations. For the neophytes, this effort is unique in human history.

The threat is decades old. We Americans have given priority to addressing the perceived causes of what makes people underclass, while giving much lower priority to locking up the lowlifes. It has been a one front campaign, with predictable disastrous results when the reporting media reports murders of young women from Auburn and UNC, just for money and by robbers. Why weren’t these dirt bags, with records, locked up to protect us from them. And why can’t I even walk my dog at night in Charlotte without some thug with a gun putting it to my head. The results of this misguided effort by both of our national political parties has various impacts in local communities, all adverse. Even the idea of accepting all this as part of the problem is reinforcing failure. Many want their tax dollars to go towards protecting and promoting our best, and locking up our worst. The idea of reinforcing family success and kids, not failure, is so basic to American success. While we can never dictate what people may think, we can dictate behavior. This is not rocket science. Welcome to America. And yet the band plays on.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Running an American government is too important to be left to today’s loser politicians

And the reporting media and pundits that make their living promoting their politicians…

It has not always been this way. And politicians and media are usually hard working. Not too many decades ago politicians and reporting media even had some modicum of National Interests, and our common citizen’s interests in their practices. Even if most promoted their local districts and even themselves and their political philosophies, they also recognized the need to nurture our Country. And there were few pundits, PhD experts, etc., etc., etc. Even standards of basic integrity were different a few decades ago. Politicians lying about their promises to the voters, called campaign platforms, were still expected and tolerated. But lying out and out was not tolerated, even if insanity seemed to be part of the lying. There were standards enforced by the voters, and a basic trust that those elected had some sanity, truth in their words, and some interest in protecting our Country. We trusted our fellow citizens and their votes in their districts more than we do now, and not too many decades ago.

That not too long ago world seems long gone, with exceptions in many local areas in our Country. Most of the exceptions seem to be at the local levels, like counties and school boards that still consider the general good as a political consideration, or ensuring they pay their way to protect their and their kids futures.

First to the media. It is getting boringly repetitive to hear the economy is “the worst in X years” or similar things about every time we have a Presidential election. While many Americans may fall for this, many do not, especially if the facts don’t agree, to include where one lives. And in basic propaganda 101, many have lost respect and willingness to pay for this unprofessional reporting and conduct. While many in reporting media may be recent graduates of prestigious journalism schools and getting hired as a start job, one wonders when the light bulb will go on as to the average age and good looks of so many of these young people, and their expectations of being thrown on the ash heaps of growing older. And I still wonder just who decides which schools are “prestigious”. One suspects there will be many bitter people who have been shortchanged and overcharged in their journalism educations, all the while their professors enjoy their benefits and retirements. Once upon a time, the reporting media served a function of government, often called the 4th Estate. The function, their job, included looking out for conflicts of interest and basic pandering and stealing, and report it to the citizens for we to decide. And people paid for this by paper subscriptions, now more like Internet clicks, or whatever. And the media people were graduates of the school of hard knocks. Now those interested have to do what our 4th Estate used to do, again, not too many decades ago. And the idea is not to do muckraking, just basic investigative reporting when something doesn’t sound right. And a lot does not sound right, as in pass the smell test. Alas, most expect nothing much to change except for so many to go out of business, and so many to lose jobs.

Second to the politicians. A revolution is due in America, though not a civil war. A civil war means deaths and ambush fights; a revolution means votes. And much of America is at the local level, like the curriculum for our kid’s public educations. For decades we have been electing politicians to do our will. Now things have become politicians telling us how to live, and pay by the way with our money. Where their self confidence and self righteousness changed is still questionable as to timing. And things seem to have evolved to being more like the politicians, again we have elected them, playing with Monopoly funny money and dictating what we are do and what the future will be. This present group of politicians, is collectively, a bunch of losers at all levels, local, state, and federal. And if as we did we elected them in, so can we elect others to better represent us.

Voting them out is obvious as a better path to our American future. But most citizens and parents do not throw out the baby with the bath water. Hence we use our own common sense selecting politicians to achieve our objectives, local, state, and federal.

No body born in America probably ever thought of themselves as revolutionaries, but there we are.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Curmudgeons for vital National Interests

A curmudgeon is a crusty irascible cantankerous old person full of stubborn ideas.

Vital National Interests is such an idea given our recent past and probable future. Vital National Interests can be domestic, and foreign. The military types who promote Clausewitz use the idea of “center of gravity”. Vital National Interests and Centers of Gravity are much the same in principle. Rather than bog down in academic definitions, think of the places attacked on 9/11. The World Trade Center was a financial center of gravity, the Pentagon a military center of gravity, and the flight that went down in Pennsylvania was thought to be aimed towards a political center of gravity, either the White House or the Congress building itself. Another center of gravity is our lifestyle center as personified by Hollywood, or even theme parks. That they were not attacked suggests they will be sometime if they can get by our wonderful Americans defending us, and even the constant delays in that year’s Academy Awards and locations suggest others at least thought this way. In all cases much damage was done to our Country. It was a successful sneak and surprise attack.

Suggestions we should get involved in Darfur, or Zimbabwe assuming the present dictator is gone and leaves the place a basket case, reflect at best the indignation of the writer, or the video journalist. Even those who promote the Ukraine joining NATO “never” present it in terms of Vital National Interests, since it is not. And the idea also applies at home. Educating, vice indoctrinating, our children is a Vital National Interest to this curmudgeon. Being able to make change in small business or even the McDonalds drive-through lane, and read and write and even do taxes, is a Vital National Interest for these young people to succeed in life, and be happy.

Now I have my definitions of Vital National Interests, and other Americans may have other definitions. A key point is to not confuse the two. This idea is not new, nor original. It has been presented as the Powell Doctrine, or even the Weinberger Doctrine. And the ideas are dead-on correct.

What is morally appealing is not always and necessarily in our National Interests. It’s a grey colored world. Hence it is emotionally appalling to hear fellow Americans or even Europeans suggesting we Americans go in harms way with our National Blood and Money (now too often having a borrowed element) in pursuit of “their” moral and political objectives. Yet none of them believe this enough to form and join an “International Brigade” ala the Spanish Civil War circa the 1930s. This is a good “acid” test of what is really important, as in a vital National Interest.

And so to our probable future. Too many present candidates have been short-changed in their educations, or become too over-confident about our present American society’s ability to sustain itself without some nurturing. Some Vital National Interest nurturing is called for if our American way of life is even to survive, and our children having more than a third world chance in life. So vote, please, locally, state, and even federal. It will probably take the cycles of 2008, 2010, and 2012 to take effect.

We Americans will be best off if we can stay focused on Our Vital National Interests, foreign and domestic. Now that will take our votes. The idea and principle is not too complicated, and one does not have to be a Curmudgeon. One just has to think about what is “really” important to them and their futures.