Saturday, February 27, 2010

The evolution of a new third party in America

Now I hear, read, and watch what our present political leaders and their minions explain to us, the common citizens. I listen, like normal.

Then I also hear that the new kind of “tea party” will inevitably split the Republican Party and therefore give the Democratic Party the election victory that will bring all the things most object too. By reinforcing the democratic candidate’s elections, this may all happen.

But there is a Plan B, also occurring, and most sense it. Basically it says we will vote, and let the consequences fall. In the short term the present executive and legislative types may survive, but in the long term, things will change. The transfer point is the 2010 election cycle, these days. Another more realistic guess is the 2012 election cycle.

And you know, maybe this kind of thought may happen, in the entire USA end.

The idea I think of is one idea that maybe the new third party, which I choose to call the American Party, may really happen.

Now I suspect, and would expect, that many from both the present two national political parties will predominate. They suggest normal friction.

And Plan B suggests many former Republicans and Democratic type people will also join this new idea and change their stripes. Only time will tell, of course.

Friday, February 26, 2010

What does default mean?

This question is often bandied about for both federal and state governments. This always bothers me as to how casual the meaning and impacts might be. Now in fairness, this is uncharted territory, and no one really knows what will happen. Neither do I.

In the end, I think, we voters at all levels, federal, state, and local, like county and school boards, will decide what it means. Mostly I think it will mean who we pay, who we don’t pay, and how we will try to muddle through the process. Now much friction will occur during this most painful process. Everything will be up for grabs, to include those making the decisions. Mostly we will try to honor our ancestors and their politician’s obligations because that also helps us.

The big rub will come when people get cold and hungry, and families move into common dwellings, and start to live another way. And all our fellow Americans, to include our entrepreneur class, will also try to survive this suffering. Now that is a wild card, to me.

I suspect much human bitterness will arise that will influence this action. The idea is that we did this to ourselves, and never again may be the motto. I think of this idea in the most basic American idea.

It is fun being an amateur historian because I believe that we can use the examples of our ancestors to guess what we will do now. Now of course these times and we humans and our circumstances are different, but perhaps our human reactions and thoughts and decisions have some commonality. After all, we all love our families and our children, and will always promote their futures.

The last wild card that may affect things, to me, is foreign affairs. Will we be dragged into another regional war, like the Persian Gulf, for their historical reasons. Many may die, especially if it becomes more global, and that idea makes me unhappy. Now appeasement works long enough to kick it downhill, but in the end humans will fight to preserve their way of life and their families way of life.

What a sad state of affairs that there are men and women who can do this to their country, and to us.

Anyway, what does default mean?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A question of faith

Do you believe anything our federal government President says? Many do, or want to believe what he says.

Many also do not believe what he says. They have their points, too.

Being cold and hungry and maybe poor has something to do with all this for so many. It is a cold and long winter, so far. But there is something else going on, too. It is a question of faith.

In human politics it is also called trust and confidence when we can vote.

And it is bigger than just our President and our other governments. Most voters want change in all that has gone on in the last many decades.

Now the votes begin, again.

Another idea comes to this voter’s mind. The idea is called “taxation without representation”. What we are presently doing to our future generations seems to fit this category. They are people and future voters, too. And so many parents recognize this in their own ways.

Now it is going to happen, as also many more things, again. Call it a question of faith.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The coming frictions

Only we humans could make these situations happen.

Any government of the consented citizens usually elects people that will influence their futures. I for one, can’t believe I am even thinking this most fundemental way. I never thought it would get to this point in my life (I am 62 and a child of the 60’s, too).

We may be screwing up. And what a wonderful country in the USA we presently have to screw up.

Not too long ago, people voted for representatives in the USA that seemed to promote laws and policies that benefited us, the citizens. The idea is pretty simple. Set up things in America that benefits us all, both now and in the future. And this idea has been both federal, state, and local, like counties and school boards.

And even we have figured out how to try balance things like: too many people in India and China, rainforest destruction in Borneo, and other human environmental type stuff.

What makes sense to me, a voter by the way, is that we can still vote in the USA.

Now I wonder what some of my grandchildren may do when they get to voting age. My imagination is that the idea, when the light bulb goes on, that they have to work a good part of their year just to pay our bills (from today because we could not), will think that a bad deal that they will reject. I would. This idea invites generation warfare, I think. And we USA humans set it up during our times. That’s what our politicians are doing today, I think.

There are other frictions, too. Do we as Americans and our elected governments want to promote capitalism or some other way? Now that is a friction we can vote on.

Much future friction is coming. This idea includes unsustainable debt payments, both interest and the basis debt (hoping fellow humans even will keep loaning us the money). But also we Americans in the USA are also humans that do a pretty good job, as compared to India or China. We are not too shabby. Alas, much friction is still coming.

We are setting it up, it seems. And we have been electing those that are doing it.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Planning ahead

Most of us do it. Some don’t. Either way, things we may not like are going to happen in the near future.

If others do not loan us money as a USA to finance all these wonderful things we enjoy, then things will change because we have to pay our bills, I think.

Now I think there are gimmicks and ways to extend all this, but in the end, we have to pay our bills. Why else would humans (USA or foreigners) invest in the USA. Nobody will throw away their money, I think. And only one match may set off the whole house of cards collapse.

Now at the level I live at, the idea of “inflation” is one that is coming back, I think. To me it means that going to Walmart, for example, will cost me more for the same things. That makes me unhappy!

Also, I think our future depends on ourselves, as in, in the end, paying off our debts that our two political parties have brought upon us. Again, after all, we are not too shabby, and love our families enough to promote their future.

So last on planning ahead, any citizen has two choices, to me. One is to go the survivalist route. The other is to go another American route, which means to me we survive for our children’s and our families sake. Either way it will be painful for all of us. Nobody wants to be cold and hungry.

For me, I am ready for tough love. And I will vote for it.

Monday, February 22, 2010

I too love my country

It’s kind of embarrassing to think that some fellow Americans may be bringing us fellow Americans down to their image of what they want us to be. What a shame that they, maybe, are messing up, for all the usual reasons. We in America are normally better than their vision.

We have other ways, like alternatives, that also make America a pretty good place for humans. After all, in the end, it is about us and our families. And “their” expectations may be different that than ours. And we voted them in, at least, for now.

Having to wait for new elections is frustrating, but also the American way. The alternatives are far worse, I think.

Now the other observation is that too many think that we are one Nation, as opposed to being like a “united states”. That is different, and only time will tell.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Capabilities versus intents

Another way to look at things is one the military teaches. Basically it says that judging other’s intents is both difficult, and often a waste of time. The alternative of just looking at other’s capabilities is more doable and reliable. A prudent person probably should stick to the latter idea, as that will guide their future actions in a better way. Obviously no one can predict the future, but there are ways to plan for the future and all it will bring. In other words, there are ways to plan ahead, and think ahead. And some ways are better than other ways.

These ideas can apply to human conflict as in war, but also politics at all levels, families at all levels, and even ideas like climate change. Just what do people intend is difficult to guess, and often wrong. Just what they can influence and change is more manageable. Either course of action is often painful. One can lose or win, including people, militaries, nations, and institutions.

Now winning, and therefore there is losing, is no longer a popular idea in the USA. This idea has been superseded by “feeling good”. But that idea often falls by the wayside in places and families where being cold and hungry becomes a factor. In other words, good intents like feeling good wane by real world things like being cold and hungry in the winter in the northern hemisphere. I mean this is a squishy way of applying the idea of intents versus capabilities to regular human life when trying to make things better, as in win for our families, and even our nation.

Now so many fellow citizens are becoming concerned that their American way of life may come to an end in the near future. Both the comfort we have brought about for ourselves, and the trust in the status quo, is now up for grabs. Who can we trust, with the best word being “trust”.

I suggest we use the ideas of capabilities versus intents to go forward. Other’s use religion, and that works for them, too. And the normal human response is to go local vice national. We humans have more in common locally (and tribal) than nationally. In all cases, “what’s gonna happen to me” seems to bubble to the top. And the suggested way to think about all this is “capabilities versus intentions”.

Everyone, in the end, will figure it out in their own way. And their family’s future, especially their children’s future, will usually trump all. This idea is universal by the way. Americans are unique in many ways, but we are also humans in the end.

So I look at capabilities first. I see those political leaders trying to impose their vision of our American future on us. Their intent, as to why, I have my ideas, but in the end I really don’t know. But their capability to mess up my way of life now gets my attention. They can really mess up things, as in hurt me and my family and my children. Now that is an attention gainer.

There are alternatives to the present capabilities of our elected leaders. It is called the vote.

And unless we are human stupid, we have to change things in politics to enhance our families, our children, and our nation.

And I suggest we use the ideas of capabilities versus intents to influence how we think.

And then vote.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I have children, too

The thought that some of my children and relatives will die for some other American’s ideals just drives me crazy.

As a now retired Marine, I understand more than a little bit about war. And in the same vein, I would not want to be a cop in the USA. At least in the Marines, I used to be able to shoot the bad guys, not arrest them (in the old days).

Now I think there are people in charge of our federal government, both executive and legislative, who think otherwise. Now my children engaged away from our country are being asked to be more like cops than soldiers. That puts them in harm’s way that makes me unhappy. These ideas are just silly and stupid. They have a mission to accomplish, and seem to be going a fine job.

The normal emotional response is just to think about these same politicians doing all this to their kids and relatives, or maybe even themselves. The more American response is to vote. Either way, one imagines, things will change.

And the other normal emotional response is why should my kid die for some good idea in some god forsaken place that does not protect me, an American. These days it is called “nation building” and “counter insurgency”, but I don’t think that is a big deal to most Americans. And I think most Americans understand the dilemma of following thru or bailing out of what earlier politicians have started.

We have more concerns at home, I think. We also have a nation to continue to build and maintain, and also have our own “hearts and minds”.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I am not giving up on America

Recently, like for decades, the trend has been to try do better with less resources that are exhausted by too many benefits we can’t pay for. And the treasury has been full and mined to exhaustion, until recently. Now it is exhausted.

And it sure seems like the voters are making the corrections that need to happen, in order to preserve our families, our family’s futures, and maybe even our USA futures. We Americans are not too shabby!

Now many humans buy into the conspiracy ideas, as in some people are plotting to do their bit. For me, I usually assume incompetence as a better alternative to explain what has happened, and what I might agree with or disagree with.

Now I have become worried more than normal. The recent federal elections reported so much have given some new direction to the way we as America should go as a USA. Alas, the present executive, the President and his minions, and too many in our legislatures, seem to have gone their own way. It is the pattern of behavior that has gotten my attention. So I am worried they (whoever they are) may try to take away our vote by any present legal means they can use. How about declaring another emergency, and going with marshal law, as an example. Like I said I am worried. And I have lived in the third world where this happens, all too often.

Back to Americans. We are hard working people who love our families, and work to improve things. And we live in a wonderful country. That is a good reason to be happy, as tough as self respect and happiness can be.

Monday, February 15, 2010

It’s just not right

It is a privilege in life to live where handshakes and words still matter.

And human intelligence is different from human education, for example. And ethics, like “it’s just not right” is also different. Most humans are not born with all this; most of us need to be educated on all this. Families are a big deal on all this also, I think.

Why discuss this. Mostly because ethics education seem to be suffering in the USA these days. Values and standards, American all, still count a lot. And most of us know it in our own experience and communities, including how our moms and dads raised us.

Now for whatever reason, more children than ever are being born out of wedlock. This is a sad state of affairs, I think. Here in America, I think kids will benefit by having both moms and dads at home.

It will probably take old fashioned ideas like “shame” to help make all this change to benefiting our children.

We Americans are OK. And we have a future, too. On this rests the National Hope.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A path to our future

I think most of us want to make things better for our families, and maybe at the same time, our nation. Now just how we do all this is for our vote, and most want to vote after going through their busy lives at all levels. Most trust their governments to do their bit, but if ever there is a loss of trust and faith in their governments, then things may change, I think. And governments are all levels, collectively, federal, state, county, city, and school board.

And the voters can change their elected American politicians, if they want to.

Less if even Americans denigrate things like local school boards, consider that the Gwinnett County School Board (in the Atlanta area) had a $1.4 billion dollar budget this year. This is big time I think, and hopefully some of the populace can influence the action. Who else should influence the action, by the way. After all it is our kids, and our future.

Now we seem to have light weight types who want to use their federal elections to rule us Americans in their vision. Is that what we want? I don’t think so. We have better ways to improve our families and ways of life.

In the meantime, the status quo is not too bad. After all, our ancestors (and their elected representatives) also worked for the same goals.

Let’s vote.
I’m proud of my local county government

The local main roads are as well kept up in the winter snows as one would hope. And all this took tax money and the efforts of so many county employees, and the equipment we paid for and they maintained. Good on ‘em.

I mention my pleasure and pride because all this good stuff from a county government costs money, as well as the hard work of so many fellow Americans. And now that times are hard, I expect less; the winter is only half way through. Welcome back 100 years, in the worse case point of view.

And right now I have rural electricity, and my lights are on, my satellite TV stuff works, my electric refrigerator and freezer work, and I can make frozen pizza in my electric oven later today for my family and even friends, and the public schools are open.

Now I do have a wood stove insert and also run off a now rare in America hydraulic ram using local spring water. One could just say I was Y2K ready then, and am now in 2010. And the water spring sources are also from local areas, I think, and hope. I have done the science, and think I am correct. I sure hope so.

Less I sound like some kind of survivalist nut, I just want to brag about my fellow Americans in my local county government who are doing OK for us, I think.

Good on ‘em in Putnum County, Tennessee.

Friday, February 05, 2010

A recalcitrant American report

Now in my mind a recalcitrant American is someone who thinks independently without peer pressure. In other minds a recalcitrant American is some old person who just doesn’t care for his own reasons. He has other motivations and has lowered his standards enough to do OK. The term “old fart” may be appropriate.

Now it looks like I could have my 14 year old daughter come up here from Atlanta to live with me at the Hemlocks near Monterey, TN, and even attend the local Burks Middle School this remaining school year. I am becoming to believe she really wants to do it. And she has been up here enough to know the good and bad, I think. It is the hormone thing we have all been through, and she is going through, that keeps all this gooey.

Now I don't attend religious worship places very often, since I think of myself more as a pantheist, which makes me a weirdo at Monterey. So like I do go to Roaring Falls for my Easter Service, as an example. A local friend's hikes and picture shows also are such things, I think again.

Also as a Marine, I know, or at least think, that most of us need some structure and routine, and religions and churches do a good job at that, I think. Here on the Cumberland Plateau, I think I should go with the local choices if I want to introduce my daughter to such local structure and routine provided by churches. Again, maybe I am a weirdo, and being overseas a lot has made me think more about values and Family and less about formal religions, which exist for good reasons all around the world.

Now here is one good response I have heard:

Clay, We have wonderful news, Sue's Sister Frances,(Senior Director) goes to the First Baptist Church, and she was just telling Sue what a great Youth Pastor they have and what a great job he's doing bringing the Monterey Youth to their Youth Group, she said there must be sixty or seventy of them, they have a music group with guitar, drums and three or four instruments, and they sing and play in Church and your Daughter will fit right in.
And who knows, some of this may rub off on ole Clay. Bill and Sue

End of report

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Another Cumberland Plateau update

Today another young woman with a child died up here. The first report is that it was a drug overdose and she was sitting on the toilet at the time. Now gossip is just that, but the mother and the girl she was are dead, that is for sure.

Now life is full of low lifes, and that is nothing new. There is a self correcting aspect to all this. What a shame for the kids when their momma dies. But life goes on.

And somehow all we humans survive being kids and grow up. It is a tough transition, most think. Some don’t make it, by the way. And peer, like school pressure, is pretty tough. And the girls are just as mean as the boys. I think. So much for this report.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The times they are a changing

Change is constant. And most humans don’t enjoy change. For example, most humans have a need to plan ahead. And unfortunately, not all change is for the better for humans, even though we would wish it so here in America.

And here we are today watching change happen in front of our eyes. The change I think we see is normal in one way, but the pace has accelerated in another way. It is the pace that makes this old Marine a lot nervous. The burgeoning national debt is one example of change, and even in 2008, Moodys, the credit rating firm, forecasted US Treasury bonds which reach junk bond status by 2016. Now that date has even moved up.

It is the wildcard idea that is most disturbing. Imagining such scenarios of change as the collapse of the US economy because we can’t borrow enough money, and then we don’t buy enough from China that causes them their problems, and there becomes a witches brew. Add in a good natural disaster, like a good volcano in Indonesia, or Yellowstone doing its bit with a geologically periodic major eruption, or the Three Gorges Dam in China being cracked by a man-made earthquake from the weight of the impounded water, with the resulting surge of fresh water into the east china sea through Shanghai that changes weather patterns, and well, it’s a wildcard. Like I said, it is the obvious human fragility to seek some predictability which is so normal.

Now here is the good news. We Americans are different here in the New World. Ideas also count along with human tendencies. We can change as well as anyone, and also know we can vote to help the process along. We are different, and most non-Americans know it. Hence the immigration numbers and flow arrows. In fairness, other peoples are not too bad, either. One normally should live outside of America to recognize this. The basic idea is pretty obvious, most humans will promote their family’s future. And their solutions are not too shabby, either.

I have thought long and hard how to simply explain where we are today here in American politics. All the normal and expected attacks I think I know and recognize. And perhaps it is not too simple. But then perhaps it is more simple than most would like to think about.

Perhaps we have simply compounded too many laws over our two hundred years of existence to make sense with what we have ended up with today. And less I apply this idea to the federal government, the state and county and city governments may also have a part in this idea. We Americans may have to take charge from all the politicians we have elected, and begin to change things another way.

After all, the idea is to enhance our family’s future and opportunities. And then the Nation comes next.