Friday, January 29, 2010

Adrift in the wilderness

We in the USA appear to have a light weight President and some heavy weight types in the House, and maybe the Senate, that are trying to decide our future.

Perhaps we may not go along with all this. Perhaps we will vote new leaders in?

Hopefully they will represent we in the USA differently. And the voting schedule takes time. This is the American way.

And we all do love our families, and will do what it takes to promote their futures.

If the present national parties can’t represent so many citizens of the USA, then the normal routine is to replace them, and their parties. It has happened before. It sure looks like it is happening again.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I was shocked and bothered

As a father, I had a visiting 14 year old daughter casually say that Kim Kardasian was getting a divorce. It was the casual manner that got my attention. And I really don’t even know who Kim is. I am sure she, Kim, is a hard working person, and all the other stuff. But I want my daughter to be happy, with self respect.

Perhaps something is wrong. Perhaps I have become the cyclops of the old days. But perhaps not, also. All people want respect, at whatever level. None of us want insults, which we will never forget.

So I suggest we parents do our bit. It may be ignored, which is normal. But by golly, somebody has to be the parent, and somebody has to be the kid. Screw the hormone bit which we all go through, and since we are alive today, have been through.

And few are born with knowledge. Most have to be taught things like values and standards and even shame. Even schools teach things, also. The idea is that we need to be taught. Is that simple enough?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

At least we can vote

At least I think we still can vote, and have it count.

Can one believe that this is even thought about? But it is to too many Americans in our USA. This Marine wonders?

Between vote manipulations at all levels, federal, state, county, city, and school boards, one can wonder. Things have evolved, it seems. Manipulators have gained an advantage. This is so human, as in it has happened before. And now the pendulum has swung the other way. One can hope it just ends up with each person gets one vote, that counts. That sounds pretty simple, to most.

And when I went to school, part of the education was about our Constitution. One can either think we in the new world, America, are different in all ways, or one can think we just bring the old world over here, and do it again. Now that is a political choice.

And I know how I will vote, again, assuming, it counts.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Benign neglect

If ever an idea and policy practice needs to be reminded to all citizens, then this is a good time.
Benign neglect means many things to so many people. Today I would just call it a way to balance good intentions with a means to do so. And I would add the tie breaker is getting good results, like the quality of life and happiness of the intended, even if some tough love and patience is involved.
If you use this phrase and idea, be careful. Depending on the time and circumstances and location, the meaning and intent has changed, I think. What the Brits’ meaning was during their Empire times is probably different from we Americans in our post WWII times meant, especially in the Pacific area. And even in the 1960’s this idea was popularized in the USA when dealing with making amends for past segregation policies and laws. Our American politicians back then didn’t buy the idea, by the way. They went another way, again I think.
Now the term has come up again, I see. Mostly it is Brit talk about our American economy. It is all a good read.
So I suggest to the readers of this post to think about my definition of benign neglect: balancing good intentions with the means to do so. If you buy this definition, apply it as it affects your life and circumstances and area.
In conclusion, we Americans in our USA are still so diverse that one federal policy probably doesn’t work very well. Our USA is still big enough to have a need for many policies that try make things better, and they are naturally more county and state oriented. And the idea of benign neglect may work in one’s local areas. Of course, there are alternatives, too. But that is what politicians are elected to do, and what we voters elect them to do. And we still vote locally, state, and federal.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

These are amazing times we can tell our descendents about

Much history of the US revolution includes the idea of “taxation without representation”. Also implied was an imperial kind of king (the executive) and an imperial kind of parliament (the legislative). The Boston Tea Party was such a promoted example of frustration. It sure seems like such things are going on today, here in America. After all, our own personal interests predominate all. What’s in it for me, and how do I benefit is so typically human, and family oriented. And does my vote still count?

The whole premise of any government is trust and faith. When we common citizens lose trust and faith, then the seeds of revolt, revolution, or civil war arise. It is so sad that this one citizen can even consider this, but I feel like I have been forced into thinking about all this.

Now this citizen just doesn’t believe in conspiracy to do one’s political beliefs. I personally think incompetency is too often a more plausible explanation. This idea is scary, also.

Last, I trust the citizens vote, good, bad, or indifferent. And I also trust we can vote federally, state, county, city, and school board. While I may be frustrated that I have to wait for the next vote, that is part of being a citizen in the USA, and also a part of our tradition. Just let me vote.

Now money talks. And all politicians at all levels in the last decades have been able to spend the fruits of our labors. This seems like a good idea, as long as these elected people intend to benefit those that vote for them. This is such a simple idea.

Like the title says, these are amazing times. And I will predict our human instinct will predominate, as long as we can vote.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Americans want change
The elections of 2008 in reflection suggest we Americans want a change in our governments. This applies to the federal level, the state levels, and the more local county, city, and school board levels. This idea suggests many voters are simply not happy with those they previously voted in. As the Bob Dylan song sang in the 1960’s, “The Times They are a Changing”. It sure looks like we Americans are changing, too.
Now we Americans mostly vote to benefit ourselves. What’s new? And there is also an intrinsic streak to also help our fellow Americans in need. Mostly, this means warmth and food, and opportunity for those who want to work. Of course, underlying all this is those who want to help and pay and are also warm and fed. We all love our families, after all, and they need to be warm and fed, also. And most can do it, and also vote. So perhaps there are limits to help, depending on where one lives. Yes, perhaps America is not one country, but still a united states of different states, still called the USA.
Culturally, we in the USA in the past 100 years have done a good job promoting all citizens to a more comfortable way of life. As an example, we have flush toilets with splinter free toilet paper, and electricity to keep our refrigerators and freezers going. Yep, we common citizens are living like kings and queens in our older times. We should be proud, and happy. And most are.
Now a common political argument is what powers all this energy and money that pays for all this good American stuff. In the old days, most politicians promoted businesses in their way. The idea then was to help the generators of wealth, as bad as they might be. We voted in our own politicians that did what they thought was best. Now the idea is that we fellow Americans and generators of wealth are “evil” and wrong. The assumption is that the go-getters of business will work around all this, and they probably will.
Is this the change we want? Only we voters can decide. And again, our votes are as just as local as federal.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Pointing out the obvious

Our present elected representatives are too often immoral, and too often, lightweights. This applies to the federal types, both elected and hired. Our country is suffering as a result.

Now most think these present elected leaders have good intentions, although it is their real intentions that count. The alternative is the people’s intentions, as if we elected our politicians to represent we voters. And there are still so many politicians at the state, county, city, and school boards that also are players.

Never assume conspiracy when sheer incompetency will do.

Between the past decades of Ivy League education and the resulting hiring of these people into the federal bureaucracy , perhaps both national parties have failed us. Both Republican and Democratic parties have favored these people, but without ethics and a sense of country, too many have taken advantage. None of us are born with a sense of ethics, we have to be taught it.

Too may have ignored our USA Constitution as an anachronism. Yet in the same vein, our ancestors had the unique opportunity to create a constitution that considered all the human factors. It seems like we are better off for it. Mostly, in to today’s terms, it is to protect us from the do gooders who have gained political control. Perhaps there is another point of view, and we should vote on these views in the scheduled elections. Now that just seems fair.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

These are momentous times in America
Most Americans cannot believe such friction can happen in their life time. But, alas, it seems to be going on.
“It” can be in the eye of the beholder. And so it probably is.
What is our USA country going to be in our future? The American way is that we vote. No one or group can decide what our country is going to be unless we vote that way.
Now many fear there is a minority of American citizens trying to rule by their ideas.
Let us vote on the ideas, their and others.
And if those now in charge of the federal government agencies, and the President himself, want to ignore the Constitution and rule by their good intentions, well we may have the makings of a revolution. Now the title suggests, these are momentous times.
If someway a method to usurp the federal vote happens, then things will hit the fan, so to speak.
So I hope the vote still counts, at all levels, city, county, school board, state, and federal.
But if the vote doesn’t count, then these are momentous times.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Most know this
Some don’t.
In the winter, things get cold. What’s new?
In my old days, all we USA people did was put on more clothes, sleep closer together under heavier blankets, and just keep warm. A lot of people just do this now, but too many more do not do it now. They just turn up their thermostat, and live the way they want to live. Of course in this situation, somebody has to pay for the energy to heat the home with a thermostat, and so many more Americans have to work to deliver this energy. And they do a bang up job, I think. Consider how demand for energy goes up and down based on the winter weather, and it seems we can always be warm. All we have to do is turn up the thermostat, and the energy is there.
Now we Americans are not stupid. For example, when one built homes for their families in the 1880’s and later, the ceiling height was often 10 to 14 feet. This was to allow the summer heat to be above where we lived, as in below. Considering there was no electricity for most back then, this was a pretty good idea, I think. Anyway, just use a step ladder today in a room with a ceiling like 12 feet, and you will know what I mean. There is a “thermal” line that one crosses, and it is very hot above it.
Last, just overseas I know that the rest of our humanity also has to deal with their winter. In my old case in Korea near the DMZ, I lived in a canvas tent with a dirt floor where it never got above freezing for 30 days. And here I am posting decades after the experience about being cold, and alive. And they do OK, too.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

What level do you want to think at?
All times are momentous. These times are, too.
Here in our Western world, we are suffering from a recession that affects so many of our fellow citizens. No amount of smooth talking will keep families warm and fed. And the winter is coming on. And most government’s abilities to pay those that need help is also going down through reduced revenues.
And then there is a dead beat factor. Some Western people are poor and cold and hungry because they are lazy, and have become dependent on their governments help, i.e., tax payer money. And those that are poor and cold and hungry because of circumstances do deserve our help, and there are many ways this is happening, mostly at the local level, and with some tough love thrown in. In other words, things are already happening to help our truly poor. Good on these folks!
Having lived in the third world, there are many really poor people, too. And they are truly poor, not American poor. And they too get cold and hungry, and suffer from their rulers, all too often. And they too have their own way to react, and also have their own pride and family motivations and circumstances. And their rulers also react in their own way, often tribal, and even up to a national royalty type of way, like a King of Afghanistan. The old joke about herding cats comes to mind. Kings have to try herding tribal leaders, as an example.
Now many believe the stats that our Western birth rates are coming into a kind of replacement rate, kinda like slowing down. Many also predict and believe that the birth rates in the third world are about the same, which is high, and these future humans will want all the advantages, mostly energy consumption, that others also have. They love their families, too.
So back home to our USA. Are we a “new world” of humans in America, or a future pattern of some leader’s ideas of a commune that will benefit all? And of course how they can finance their ideas? The commune idea is as old as the hills. What a waste.
In the end it is the human factor. You go figure. Most of us love our families and will do anything to help them.
This post is disjointed on purpose. What level do you think at?

Saturday, January 02, 2010

These are momentous times in America
Much change is going on. Did we vote for it?
Now all say their times are momentous, but this time period may be really different. You decide. Seldom in one’s lifetime can one report to their heirs how they perceived what was going on at the time, as in their lifetime and experience. And the recession is only part of it, I think.
The basic functions of any government, mostly to protect and enhance our wellbeing seems to be assumed, or going federal or to do more local things we can influence. Meanwhile all I want from the government is the most basic things like local home defense (like police protection), water and septic service, and maybe even national defense. A little electricity to keep my refrigerator and freezer would help, too. For all this I expect to pay taxes, and get results. After that, we are on our own.
Now does my vote count, at the local, county, state, and federal levels? I hope so!
Those who may try usurp our votes by their means may condemn themselves to waste bins that may embarrass them in the long run.