Saturday, November 28, 2009

What a shame

We can argue till we are blue in the face about what is important, but in the end fellow humans may have to go hungry and cold, or die, or get malaria, or whatever. And when we humans seem to make things worse, well, we probably did. But then things will change. Nobody wants to wake up in the morning and make things worse. Nobody wants to wake up hungry and cold, or die. And our expanding numbers on this earth only make the frictions and demands on our resources, worse.

There are always alarming headlines. Today’s headlines include things like any day on the Drudge Report ( ). The alarming headlines tend to focus on things economic, the status quo changing, lightweights and do gooders trying to run things, and the embarrassing and human tendencies to be human, which often translate to regional powers and dictators asserting themselves, and scientists still and always seeking patrons, mostly governments these days. They have to make a living, too.

But until people start dying in human caused stuff, things probably will not change much. What a shame.

The good news is that we have a “new world”. That is all of us who live here and are the progeny of our ancestors who immigrated, mostly for the hope to improve themselves, their families, their hope for the economic future, and to be here for so many other good reasons. In the process, we have made a new country in the USA with our own culture. And our culture is not too shabby, hence the immigration flows seem to be to the USA and not from the USA. Who cares what some “educated” elites say and think and rule by, since the patterns, mostly family and economic, will predominate in the end.

We today cannot rule and vote ourselves out of the future. Our history is full of such failed examples. This idea includes the three Neutrality Laws from the late 1930’s. Most rulers will try, though.

Our votes, where we can vote, may change things, maybe, and probably. But what happens when the have nots and deadbeats, can vote themselves benefits from the haves. Eventually, the whole thing will collapse. Somebody has to generate human wealth increases in the new world to pay for our culture, which is not too shabby.
What a shame.

Aren’t we humans fickle? And human.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

These are momentous times

All times are momentous, but these days there is much change coming, and already going on.

Mostly it is in the new world, America, but also it is around the whole world.

We humans have so much in common, to include going cold and hungry, that unites us as humans. And generally, we humans can elect our politicians to help ourselves and our kids, most of the time and in most places. It is the ability to vote that makes change, normally, possible. But also revolutions and civil wars are another way to do the same. And this is coming too, I think.

When people think their leaders; elected, royalty, manipulated elections, tribal, or whatever; think their leaders are not doing a good job, like their families and health are threatened, then change will come. It’s inevitable. Yes, these are momentous times.

Return to America, the best example of humanity is doing well without all the other old world problems our ancestors emigrated from. We are the new world human world example, at least for today. This is not just some academic idea, just look at the emigration flows. People have been emigrating with their feet and pocket books. There is something good going on in America. And this idea is beyond just our natural resources to exploit.

What we in the USA should thank our ancestors for it is both our Constitution, and the idea of a constitution that promotes ideas like the rule of law, and also recognizes our human faults. No one is above the law, including our governments, to include our executives and our legislatures. Much lip service is given to the idea of honest differences of opinion, but I hope it happens under the idea of a vote.

Some has been said of the biggest fault in the idea of democracy in America, mostly in our republican form of government. Bottom line, our votes, and efforts to vote, count. Those like community organizers that promote using tax payer money to benefit their causes and people are a minority. The majority have families and ancestor and problems, too. And they need help, too. And if they vote, things, and change, will come.

Yes, much change is coming.

Helping our poor is a big deal. Helping our other Americans is a bigger deal. Helping our deadbeats is a waste of time.

It is time to vote about those that favor poor and deadbeats over the rest of us. Priorities do matter.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Good ideas and humans

Few humans want to wake up in the morning wanting to do a bad job.

And we are experiencing, as an American culture, something like this.

Maybe the ideas are good, maybe they’re not.

Maybe those we have elected to do their bit are failing in promoting our families?

What do I mean? After all we are a great force in the present world today. But one should remind ourselves there are other great forces in the world today, too. And they might not think like us, etc. Most of we in the USA these days have been brought up by those we elected to think we are omnipotent. But maybe we are not, and should recognize this. Other peoples love their families too, and do whatever the situation presents itself to go forward.

We as a country and culture have spent decades of many efforts trying to make so much of the “other world” self sufficient, and we have succeeded or made progress, I think. At least we are doing OK. Well these people have values too, and also love their families. And they are simply being human, to include expressing their values, often local, which is normal.

Hence the friction point.

Do politicians with good intentions predominate, or do humans predominate?

I suspect the humanity will predominate. How it sorts out will be interesting.

And even here in the USA, we also have hearts and minds.

Friday, November 13, 2009

What happens if other people think differently?

What happens if other people are not like us?

What happens if they don’t respond for their own reasons?

A logical consequence of the present foreign policy is that others should finally respond to our treating them with dignity and listening to them. But what happens if they don’t respond to our goals. What happens if they have their own goals, especially if that is the way they were raised up. This is a classic East vs. West cultural friction.

One logical consequence of the present foreign policy will lead us to war if the others reject our good efforts. This means our kids and families going in harm’s way. Why?

Another consequence is to back off, our bluff being rejected by the opponent. The logical consequence is that appeasement will only kick the probability of war down a few years.

Then many people will die.

There are alternatives. Confronting Iran, for example, now, will make things better in the end, at least we hope. But ignoring the rise of this regional power and its leaders will only make things worse, or at least, many think so.

Germany and Japan were regional powers, and look what we got to solve in WWII, of course, for our own reasons.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What does gentleman mean these days?

A lot.

We have more in common than that which divides us.

It is sad that we common citizens may have to dictate common decent behavior for our “elected” representatives. We dictate this through our vote, so there is a time delay factor. But for sure, our votes count, and change is coming, and at so many levels.

What a sad state of affairs, but in the end, we did it to ourselves by those we have elected. But in the same vein, we can also undo ourselves. Hence future votes.

We have a hopeful future. A hopeful future is a family and job oriented idea that helps us promote our kids potential. And we Americans are so willing to work for this idea.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Coming home to roost

The title is associated with phrases like “chickens coming home to roost”. It is often used with the idea that some problems result from our own mistakes.

Now our nation with its present elected leadership is struggling over what to do about our future interests in Afghanistan. The reason we sent combat troops and the CIA with suite cases of cash into Afghanistan beginning late 2001, and after the 9/11attacks, was in our national interests, I believe. Now years later, the circumstances have changed. The circumstances include the morphing of the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and even our future national interests in the USA.

Other changes have occurred, too. Most are not reported by our “media”, mostly out of ignorance due to inexperience. By the way, in the old days (to me) we would say the “press” (which implied newspapers and magazines), but now so much more news seems to come via TV and the internet here in the USA.

After Vietnam, we as a nation created an all volunteer military force. This process included downsizing the overall military size, and putting much more of our national military strength in our Reserves and National Guards. One ulterior motive for the military leaders then, seldom discussed much back them, was to make it difficult for politicians to get us involved overseas in any military action since now it will take “activating the reserves”. Activating the reserves was avoided by our political leaders during the Vietnam period. And actually many Reserves and National Guard members already know this. Just look at the numbers of Americans from these groups that full time air transport people and things to Iraq, for example.

American people and businesses have all supported this, with loyalty and sacrifice. Good on ‘em.

Then things continued. After the downfall of the Soviet Union, a “peace dividend” was both pursued and expected. This further reduced our military might, mostly for good reason most thought. At the same time, the power of the dollar declined in our defense budget, for many reasons, and what we got was less and less, though more professional than ever.

Now things are coming home to roost.

While we in the USA may be the only remaining superpower, we no longer can back that up with our will. This may be OK. It is probably most hard on our State Department to try “pretend” the “old days” apply. Any astute Asians (to include Indians) understand this idea. They have their own problems, too. And the USA is not the best answer in too many cases.

But it also means things like the Tennessee reserve 278th ACR (Armored Calvary Regiment) gets activated and deployed for the first time since WWII in 2004, and now again in 2010.

And if we expand our deployments to Afghanistan to include more active duty military from the USA, like Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, then we Americans had better think this is in our national interests.

Now national interests mean different things to different people.

To the mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, children, and other relatives, thinking about our loved ones going in harm’s way can be tolerated if it is in “our” interests. If it cannot be tolerated, then it is not in our national interests. Hence the vote.

My mother lost a husband to death in WWII. I have thought about all this. And she had a child, too. My older brother.

These are momentous times. All times are momentous, but these are our momentous times.

Things are coming home to roost. Much of the world’s future will be influenced by what the USA leaders do, and who we elect to be our leaders, in the next two decades or so. But now we are no longer the dominating player in the world.

Let me end on a positive note, based on faith in humanity. Much as our human traits have hurt us in such forms as the Third Reich and Communism and now Islamic terrorism, they have been eventually dominated by humanity in the long run, and whatever that means, mostly being ourselves. Now that invites problems, too…like too many people on the earth, and too many do-gooders in the West.

But, again, on a positive note, perhaps we humans will sort this problem out, too. And I suspect, and hope, votes will in the end trump revolutions and civil wars, but we will see. Now this idea is both East and West.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Isn’t it amazing?

Here we live in one of the best countries in human history. And it is best for so many reasons.

Now it seems so many Americans may revert us back to some other less well off times. Some say we are already on that path.

I suspect their intentions of change are good. But intentions are a poor substitute for promoting our citizens…all of us. Our “all of us” quality of life is important.

And no amount of smooth talking will help people who are cold and hungry.

And we have alternatives to improving our quality of life. All that has gone on before may have caused as many problems as were solved. And the alternatives are at all levels, federal, state, county, city, and school boards.

One question as I frame it is: Are we a one-size fits all country with its bureaucracies, or are we a “group of united states” with all its bureaucracies? In other words, what are we today? Are we rural, urban, or something in between? Are we old, young, or something in between?

The consequences, if we can vote, are enormous. The idea of federal social security taxes to take care of our elders has reduced the old idea that one couple must have many kids in order to take care of mom and dad when they get old. In other words, our birth rate went down.

These are momentous times. Ideas like revolt and civil war are coming up again.

Isn’t it amazing? Now we will learn how many of our human ancestors may have thought and now begin to go through our own thought process. Of course, this assumes we can still vote, and our votes count. And voting is so much the American way.

Our Constitution defines two legislative bodies, the House and the Senate. The House stands for election every two years. The Senate members stand for election every six years. And we Americans have financed them, their very expensive staffs, and their pension and medical plans to aid the effort to do good.

As an example, do most Americans know that, for example, Congresswoman Pelosi has three staffs, a speaker of the house staff, a democratic party staff, and a congresswoman staff, and we pay for it. It is such these days that the senate and house staffs have their own exercise clubs, and neither accepts the others, and we pay for these clubs, to include the use of federal buildings.

So what will we do? Vote I hope. It is our country after all. And that idea is not amazing.

Friday, November 06, 2009

What’s gonna happen when we default?

It’s gonna be bad.

And the impacts vary depending on which government we are talking about. Some are better than others. There are federal, state, county, city, and even school boards that have much to say about taxing us. And we continue to pay because we have to.

And default means simply we cannot pay our debtors. Fellow human beings with money will not throw their money away out of American patriotism. They have to live, too.

And our own governments can only spend what they have, even including borrowing until it busts.

Too many companies like Moody’s are already predicting the junk bond status of US Treasury bills, thought the years do vary in their forecasts. It is closer than we should hope.

And we Americans still have to live and go on. And we will.

Times are gonna be hard. Many will be cold and hungry this winter. But in the same vein, we will both survive and be better for it. God help us all.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Winds of change are about

These are momentous times. For those that think about it, we are going through what many of an ancestors went through, albeit, for different reasons. This makes our times special, and unique. After so many decades of Democrat and Republican rule, perhaps there is another way.

Most Americans want change in their own mind. And unfortunately Obama is not “the one”. He did ride the idea of change into office, but Americans still want “real” change. Much has been said about partisan bickering and all, but I think most just think and vote about America first, and along with that idea, our families and our children first. Otherwise they are too busy with their families and businesses to take the time to keep a closer tab. That’s just the way we are.

The era of big government is over it was once said. Change suggests there are maybe better alternatives to big governments, at all levels. And some alternatives may work better than others. In so many ways, we Americans are pretty blue collar and selfish, as in our own interests trump all. This is so human and American, and still seems to be a majority; that still pays taxes.

In a time of great American marketing techniques (perhaps propaganda) it is still important to listen. Most people will tell you what is important to them, if you are willing to listen to them. And change still seems to be a message of a basic national need to go another way. After decades of Democrat and Republican rule, there are alternatives to these two parties.

Hence, the winds of change.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

The era of good intentions is over

So much has changed in the last and many decades since WWII. And change is good, I think. The other thought is how about we just live within our means.

Our American character to help our less well off may have been exploited beyond taking care of our own families which is so important to all, and should be the priority of any public policy. And the image of the poor being poor through no fault of their own has masked so much of our American population that are dead beats, that is they are too lazy to work, and get included with our noble efforts to help our poor, especially their kids. Most would say being “poor” in America is a lot better than being poor in so many third world countries. Where I live on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee is good evidence of my opinion. And I have lived in the third world.

This roller coaster of a ride to “help” others, while well intentioned in general, may also bankrupt our country. After all, we can afford up to our budget, and that’s it. Borrowing to go forward as a public policy that will burden our progeny to working months per year just to pay our bills, and may even cause generational warfare in the future, is a poor way to go. Sounds course, but people are people, in the end. And by bankrupt, this means not being able to borrow money, and pay the bills. Then things will get really ugly. Like dog eat dog. Is this what we want?

I think we got to this point by electing people from both national parties at all levels, school boards, city, county, state, and federal. And when times get hard, we will assert our votes perhaps another way. The era of good intentions is over.

So what do we do. Vote at all levels. While going through the hoops is a burden, there is no other way to change things. Except of course civil war or a revolution, which is now so un-American.