Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Our ancestors were not perfect, either.

Nobody wakes up in the morning wanting to do a bad job.

And as part of the European colonization times about 100 years ago or so, the idea of a nation state was dictated and decided on by diplomats in their time. The main way to do this was to agree on boundaries, and then have policies that supported the idea of nation states. Most of this was to benefit colonization with all its benefits, some local I may add.

Along the way, nobody seems to have asked the locals about their “national” loyalty, and what it took to raise a family to have kids who had self respect and some hope of a future.

Now we are paying the price, it seems. The price means things like using our militaries to impose our will. This is fine if it is in our self interest. This is one reason we fight wars.

Afghanistan is gaining all the media interests these days. But the friction between the idea of nation states and local tribes and warlords still goes on. In Afghanistan, some Americans might wonder why are they resisting us and killing some of us. Perhaps some of them are just being tribal with all its amplifications. As poor as their land and life may be by Western standards, that is what they know and will fight for. They have families, too.

Now they, mostly the Pashtun tribe in Afghanistan, are not perfect either. Their promotion of Osama Bin Laden is a good example. But that was 10 years ago, and now the present tribal leaders still have their own problems, but it is not the 10 year old tribal leader’s decisions and financing. Just like we Americans, foreigners, including outsiders, suffer in the end.

Add in another tribe with its leader’s aspirations, the Persians (who are not Arabs), and things can get complicated for the manipulator. But there are self correcting local solutions, and these people know it. And any attempt to dominate the region will be regionally resisted. Such is their dilemma. Welcome to a part of the world that is tribal.

And all we want to do is help. Like I am from the government, and I am here to help you.

Think about so many areas in Africa, or the trans-caucus, and our ancestors have set us up to support their ideas. Perhaps there is another way? Let’s consider doing it.

The future looks bleak if we continue this kind of foreign policy. By bleak I mean being un-American. Some might even say invoke the new world. That is what humans seem to be doing anyway. There is a way forward.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The American evolution continues

Times are hard for 1/10 of our fellow Americans without jobs. Our declining property and even sales tax bases for many local and state governments are causing a lot of problems for keeping the past going. One State is even cutting the school time to 4 days a week in order to keep all present teachers employed, even those that might teach “pet care” as an elective. One city may even lease its water system for “its” city monetary needs to the probable detriment of its taxpaying citizens who will probably pay more for what they now pay to the city for water and other such things.

Now we already pay considerable taxes to all our governments like school boards, cities, counties, states, and our federal government. Most consider our common good as a good reason to do all this.

The problems that are becoming apparent in this recent evolution are the priorities of those politicians we have elected to lead us in our common goals, like educating our kids in such a way that can make them successful and happy (as in run a home family and do a good job that gains self respect).

There is one obvious friction. Many present politicians will maintain the present status quo as best as they can. After all, for lack of knowing what to do, they do what they know. And there are alternatives, like assigning priorities that benefit most of us citizens. Home security (police and fire protection for example), clean water and waste water treatment, national defense, and promoting families come to mind. And in the end, all solutions are local for local reasons. And in the recent evolution we simply can’t afford all these good intentions.

While there are obviously poor moves that some fellow Americans have made towards an imperial federal government, the rest of the country is just working and paying the taxes that provide for our common good. And never assume conspiracy when simple incompetency will do. This is the nature of evolution, even an American evolution. And never forget even we Americans can have “educated fools”. At all levels, I think.

So as we do evolve, three ideas bubble up to the top. Promote and protect our families. And recognize and benefit our vast size and differences. And third, do things at all levels that promote the first two ideas.

Like the title suggested, we Americans are evolving. And we are doing so in our new world with all it financial and other problems.

The best way to evolve is to vote, at all levels.

Many believe that the main fault with our form of government here in the USA is the ability for the have-nots to vote themselves benefits paid for by the haves. I think this is correct. Entire organizations, like “community organizers” milk this idea to the max. And our American national character to help our less well off gets exploited, it seems. But in our American evolution in our new world, we can do things differently. Again, vote at all levels. The have-nots are a minority in the end, and we majority can help them as we choose. This is another example of evolution. And I live and have worked in a very poor area of our Country, Appalachia, so I have some experience in this subject.

Yes, the American evolution continues, and this evolution still attracts so many fellow humans in our world.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Whoa be to those who think they can work around the American Constitution

These are momentous times not just because of our jobs problems for so many fellow Americans, but also because there is now becoming to appear a group in our Executive and our Legislative branches who want to rule, and by their edict. I am sure they have good intentions, and they work hard for their objectives.

The friction they are encountering is our American way, often expressed by our American Constitution, and it is frustrating to this group of fellow Americans.

And this group, if you believe it, are frustrated because they do believe in their good intentions and ideas. Maybe they are wrong, for so many reasons. Hence the checks and balances system seems to work OK.

Checks and balances is an idea that reflects that humans live here, and some even rule here. And some most aggressive rulers want to impose their good ideas. And if they are correct, then let them get Amendments to our Constitution passed per our Constitution. After all, Americans do change, too. But it is up to us and our elected leaders to do such things. Ruling imperially, vice changing our Constitution, is just silly.

And the imperial inclined rulers in America can’t do it anyway. And I suspect we will vote in new political leaders who will work another way. This idea is an American way. Some might even say it is a new world way.

After all, we are different from the rest of the world.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Our saving grace is our American humanity

Many trends are out and about. The recent deaths of good students by low lifes in Chicago are just an example. Our American society has spent decades and billions of dollars to try make things better. We have failed, so far. Though some things have gotten better, most of the improvement is do to our American character. All this can be summed up as to our American votes and social standards, and the politicians we have elected at all levels.

It is less a funding idea than an American standards idea. Can you believe this is a novel idea?

What seems so naïve is there are alternatives to what has gone on the last decades. And the idea of politicians giving priority in their objectives to making a budget work is seemingly lost these days. The old idea of our elected politicians fighting over funding and priorities seems to be gone. What a shame. And we elected them. For lack of knowing what to do, they do what they know. That seems to be where we are today, at all levels, local, state, and federal.

One way or another, Americans care more about their busy lives raising a family and working than anything else our political leaders think is important. When times get hard, they do even pay more attention. This can be short sighted, but must be considered, especially by politicians.

In the meantime what appears to be the federal Congress and the federal executive are trying to rule the whole USA by good intentions, vice the old fashioned way of checks and balances bolstered by our Constitution. These are momentous times as to what our American humanity will tolerate, and even gravitate towards. And if we want to change how things work, then one alternative is to use the Constitution as to new amendments, or even just changing older laws.
In older humanity days, bolstered by our Constitution, we went the amendment route, which is difficult, and on purpose. In the same vein, it represented what we as an American people wanted to do. Sounds fair, doesn’t it.
In the interim, the old time idea of a government at all levels devoted to improving our lot in life seems to have faded.
What seems to be going on these days suggests future frictions to include generational wars, urban vs. rural wars, and even our basic American humanity. Let’s vote.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The stampede is over

Reasonable thought might balance basic human and political instinct that is in a hurry. At least here in America.

Several forces are at play. The federally voted Congress and President appear to be more imperial than ever. The American media is becoming more cynical and political. The American voters are rising to assert themselves. Simple things like our families and our children’s future are becoming predominant.

The era of good feelings and good intentions is over. More practical policies that favor we American people will emerge. In hard times, things like our safety, clean water, waste water treatment, public schools, and national defense may assert themselves as priorities.

Our intrinsic national character to help our less well off is a lower priority when we suffer. The era of deadbeats getting attention as a priority is over, too. Keep in mind right now we do pretty good in this arena of helping our less well off through our own means.

Of course, many do organize the minority of voters to vote for the transfer of money from the haves to the have nots. What’s new. Yet this group is still a minority if we all vote. And most have nots still want to work hard. It is the dead beats that drag them down.

So what do we do. Vote. Consider candidates at all levels that promote laws and policies that enhance our way of life, and our kid’s way of life, in the long term. Short term benefits seem to be hurting us as a Country, in the end. And we can go bankrupt as a Country if that is what we want.

Bankrupt means certain things. Like we can’t borrow money anymore to pay for all these good things and ideas. Like politicians will have to fight over how to divide the tax pie we have given them. Like unemployment benefits end for lack of money. Like the price of gas for our cars go up. Like we will have to vote for new political leaders.

Live for today and die tomorrow is so un-American.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The other USA government

It’s the “staffers”.

As a math example, back when our two houses of Congress passed a law about 1911 and the President signed it, we made our federal House of Representatives at the number 435. Back then we had about 90 million Americans. One can do the math, but rounded off each congressman represented about 250,000 fellow citizens then. Now the Congress is at still 435, but now each congressman represents more like 750,000 fellow citizens since our country has grown in population.

But the demand for services has not ended, like constituent services.

Now all wise and savvy federal legislators hire “staffers” to meet the requirements of being a legislator. Our federal taxes pay most of their salaries, and these fellow Americans even have taxpayer funded special privileges like sports clubs. For example, a member of the House sports club cannot attend a Senate sports club. Such are “staffer” perks.

Former Speaker of the House Gingrich suggested as much. Some well motivated 26 year old staffer may in the end be writing policy and dollars about health care, for example. I understand why, since these legislators are busy. Few doubt their work ethic. They just have to take their “staffers” opinion as to what the bill says. And most politicians are like most of us citizens, they can’t figure it out, too. They trust their staffers, and some are better than others.

So what are we to do as citizens about our congressman, and the staffers they hire. That is up to us.

A waiting room at the doctor’s office

I hate eating my words as a male. I now go to the doctor routinely, and have made it a personal budget item. And I now think it is a good idea even though I resisted it for decades. Perhaps with age, comes a little wisdom, or at least having become a graduate of the school of hard knocks has changed my way of thinking. Sometimes the docs have better drugs than Dollar General Store or just toughing it out.

In the Casablanca movie, the line about being “shocked” about gambling going on in Rick’s Casino tripped me off today; I was so shocked today while in the waiting room.

I fellow loud mouthed citizen and his wife were saying what I have been thinking and hearing. I don’t know the couple, and probably don’t even want to know them. But I was moved by what I heard.

In a nutshell, they are fed up with our federal leaders. President Obama took some especially hard hits in his comments. The wife responded with her desire for change and her vote for Obama to do so, but they both seemed to agree that President Obama is “not the one”.

During the last election cycle in 2008, many people asked who they were going to vote for. Up here on the Cumberland Plateau, many answered by saying they wish they had another choice than the Republican or the Democratic nominee. I took that as a hint that much change is coming, like another “third” party that may stick this time. But I and many know these kinds of things take time for organization, fund raising, registering according to election rules, and doing all this at local, state, and federal levels. This time it seems to be more about ideas and our families’ future than any one individual’s motivation.

These are momentous times. Expect the status quo dinosaurs to rail about and fight back. But most certainly change is coming. This is so American.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Who knows what to believe?

I have time to think I know what is going on. And it is tough because of disinformation, sales pitches, old fashioned propaganda, and simple keeping the status quo going.

All of these things I thought we were past here in America; and was I ever wrong. People have changed some in the last centuries as I don’t think we enslave or eat people, though I think it still happens in our world. And those who rely on TV media, poll statisticians, and professional public affairs people are especially challenged.

Here’s a couple of questions I would love to have asked, and answered by leaders at all levels. I still have not heard much.

What are our vital national interests in Iraq and Afghanistan today? I think I know what they were a while back. Can we Americans ever understand and respect our Eastern enemy’s beliefs enough to use them to our benefit? In other words, can we compromise our own principles to achieve our objectives?

Can we Americans consider our own response to being invaded by foreigners? I personally would fight like hell against these invaders, even if I live in a poor place.

Is government a jobs problem, or a way to enhance our people? Do things like police, fire, clean water, transportation, and waste water treatment trump all the other good things local governments do?

Can today’s politicians live within their tax payer’s means, and assign spending priorities accordingly?

I do have my own answers as of today, and the reader may have their answers, to include more questions. Many questions may be local.

Great change is coming. And it is as simple as to hearing the questions and the answers from our elected rulers. A key point is that we vote. The alternatives are poor, as in revolution or banana civil war. Both are human too. USA citizens are better than that, I hope.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

What’s wrong with change?

The short answer is nothing.

After all, change is constant, though most human beings are uncomfortable with change. After all, it changes our status quo.

And some change is human, like our votes or our revolutions or more like voting with our feet and our pocket books. Our humanity and our ever expanding numbers seem to drive much of this. Ever changing emigrations and expectations for energy use are two examples to think about. In the end, most human changes are family driven as in what benefits my family.

And some changes are mother nature’s changes. Our earth is constantly changing, too; as well as things like the sunspot cycle that affects global warming now, in the past, and in the future. All these external changes we have to accommodate to, it seems.

So what do we do today. Mostly it is be moral, and do what ever you think is correct, wherever you are, and whoever you influence, and use initiative and sometimes sacrifice as it may take a toll in your view. Families are a good example of following this idea of changing for the better. And vote vice join a revolution or civil war. This is so new world American, and different from other old world peoples in our world.

Change is constant, and we are in charge. And humans are special, too.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The times they are a changing

Who would have thought the most basic and noble ideas to improve our society would fail. Let me define suffering, like people going hungry and cold.

The reason they failed is simple, the human element. Everybody loves their family, and we humans will do about anything we can do to enhance all this.

So what is the predicted future. Humans.

We will do about anything to enhance our families.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

What’s going on?

These are momentous times. There is much friction that may lead up to a new third party in the USA. Maybe the two present parties will promote our USA lives. Maybe they won’t. And the former national Whig party went down in our past, so it has happened.

Most of the third parties we are familiar with in our past are associated with an individual. This time the hints of a third party are associated with an idea.

Those who have history habits will appreciate the differences between us and the rest of the world. We USA people are not necessarily the same as them in the much of the old world, and even the third world; just we are comfortable, so to speak, in our new world. We have different cultural values and even our own kind of government. Our ancestors came here to get away from their former societies and cultures. And they made us what we are, American melting pot.

There is much friction here in the USA. The status quo is being reinforced it seems by both of the national parties, and even old ideas promoted; even old theories about how to make society happy. Dinosaurs go down hard with resistance, it seems.

Many of these present ideas are all failed ideas, and I happen to live in a part of our country where most of these well intentioned ideas have failed. None of us want to starve, go cold, and die early; or even help dead beats.

And even good ideas need funding, if we can afford these good ideas. And we Americans generate a lot of taxes as part of our wealth. A long time ago our politicians had to fight over how to distribute the pot they have; now it seems nobody assigns priorities which used to be what politicians did. So now, it seems, every thing gets funded, and we go into borrowing to fund all this stuff.

And there are ways to express our American nature to try help our less well off citizens, even the dead beats. We have a system, just not a total government system.

Unfortunately it seems that many people will now have to suffer in order to bring about change. And we can argue and debate until we are blue in the face about what is right and wrong, but in the end it comes down to people, all the people. And most Americans, like most people, just want to get through life as best they can, and make life better for their children.

We had a Civil War about 1860 or so. While it could happen again, I think Americans are more inclined to use their votes these days.

And what about holding responsible people accountable with today's present regulations, like even firing them. That is a another alternative to more regulation, for example.

I think, and hope, we will vote at the school board, city, county, state, and federal levels offered to voters.

There are better American alternatives than revolution, or civil war.

In the end, it is healthy what is happening. After all, one in their country must justify their existence and way of life every so often. And then we vote as a way to make all this happen.

As the title of this post suggests, much change is in the air. These are momentous times. The last federal election in 2008 suggests as much about the desire for change.