Tuesday, March 30, 2010

How do wars start?

It’s all pretty much human, in the end.

Now the famous expression that “war is an extension of politics by another means” makes a good point.

So far, humans have always started wars. And so often these wars are started by human politicians in regional powers. Now most of these human politicians do have regional power, and use their own good judgments. Now these human politicians have probably worked hard, sacrificed a lot, and been a little crazy or egotistical. Too many have been expansionist, as in to assert their personal or national objectives on their neighbors. That is just the way things seem to have been in human history.

Now in the last 100 years, there have been two world wars. WWII was started by regional powers Germany and Japan. WWI was started in a small region, Serbia. But one can go far past these terrible wars to our more distant past, and always it seems we humans start the wars, and too often it is the current regional powers that start these tragedies. If one just should focus on all the USA involvements throughout the world just since WWII, one can get a hint of all this.

Two questions are begged. Just what is a regional power, and more importantly, what is a world power? Of course the time frame makes a difference in how one answers.

A third question is begged, too. Can diplomacy substitute for war?

Most hope so, but in this the common problem of how do disparate regions and peoples talk in some common language? And how do values and objectives get recognized and “negotiated”? Here the idea of “unintended consequences” comes to mind. In this is the unfortunate idea of eastern thought versus western thought, and values. Today, we simply talk past our human selves, all too much.

Now it is obvious we humans in the world are different. We have different foods, different values, and different customs. Even men and women are different, too.

So in all this is the idea of why wars start. Mostly it is human, and our leaders on all sides have both started it and failed because it started. Good intentions in the west, for example, are simply not respected in the east. We humans just think differently. And I might think of a diplomat as a kind of “translator” who has failed, or at least disappointed the human politician.

So sometimes we have to fight. What a shame. But that seems to be the human way.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The pendulum continues to swing

Aren’t we humans amazing throughout our world. We all seek governments; and there are so many like republics, democracies, royalty, tribal, nation states, and dictatorships; and such subsets as fascists, communists, socialists, capitalists, parliments, religions, and self serving ideas for the rulers in charge at the time.

And then there are many ways to change our governments to include common citizen votes, voting with our pocket books, migrations, revolutions, revolts, and subterfuge. The use of assassination and even sanctioned murder come to mind…hang the guilty so-and-so comes to many minds. This almost invokes the lynch mob mentality which we humans have also resorted to, like the much advertised French use of the guillotine.

And all this leads to the New World. Like here in the USA. Here a couple of hundred years ago we humans had a chance to “try again”. Since then we have been “trying again”. And we right now can still “try again”.

Now the trying again idea comes and goes. Like the title says, the pendulum continues to swing. The idea is the future of humanity, which is always uncertain for the obvious reasons, like we are different. I think all would agree that men and women are different, too. And so is the rest of humanity.

If you buy this idea, then one should pay attention to what we humans in the New World do. The pendulum continues to swing. There is much friction about, mostly over our progeny’s financial future, and that is enough to keep the pendulum swinging.

And how we in the New World can swing the pendulum is also up for grabs, it seems these days.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sometimes I think, too.

And I think I still have a vote, too.

And I know not to let my imagination get a hold of me. Said another way, my imagination is my worst enemy. Said even another way, we are our own worse critics. That is just where I am, today. Sleeping on things also helps a lot.

So I can think like anyone else. I can even use my imagination, and even worse case things. Now this is just me, and I think, also normal for most humans.

Now I am also skewed by my training in the nuclear side of things. What I was taught was to sense a pattern of behavior over time, and then make a judgmental decision. That logic I still apply today to when I am thinking.

What I sense disturbs me. I sense our present elected Executive and our present elected federal legislators, and their staffers, are both ignoring our USA constitution, and asserting laws that control us that maybe we do not want.

Back to the idea of the vote. We USA citizens can change all this if we want. Now it will probably take many years, but one has to start somewhere. And our Constitution has so many checks and balances to admit all our human foibles that the process is both terrible, and so human, also. Welcome to life in America. And welcome to how our ancestors handled our human tendencies back then.

Now if USA citizens don’t like their Constitution , then they can amend it to suite their needs. Now this is a deliberately painful process, on purpose it seems.

I just don’t want some “do gooder” doing their bit to rule us their way.

Any way, I think I can still vote and have it count, like at school board, county, state, and federal. If I am correct, then this is a good course of action, aka, I can vote

Then things will sort out.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The era of good intentions is over

Now this era has lasted for decades.

Fiscal accountability in promoting our American future will grow in influence.

After all, our size in number of people alone has grown, so why should not other things, like our elected public governments, at all levels, by the way.

The catch seems to be ideas like a tipping point in political terms, or a paradigm shift in academic terms, or just an old fashioned term like the straw that broke the camel’s back.

When all the good intentions start dragging down old granny, or me, or my kids, or my grandkids, then I am now motivated to vote and work for my cause.

The key point, to me, is I also count, and have worked for it. The obvious question is: should I keep working for it?

There are other alternatives that I prefer. I just wish I heard more about basics, like police and fire protection, or on demand electricity to keep things going where I live. Now all these things cost money, and I just wish to hear about more than pie in the sky talk by ill educated people.

Most of us have been through high school, and know about cliques and other such high school foibles.

My question to all is this the way we want to go as a country?

Now I can talk to I am blue in the face, so in the end none of this matters, kinda. What bothers me is that normal humans that loan us money will not loan us money in the next decade’s future, and then we will have to change to live within our means, which are very considerable, by the way.

Now there are also old time ideas that influence my thoughts. Back in WWII we actually had to have war bond drives to get enough fellow Americans to provide enough money to fight for their benefit. Now my thoughts today are they had their own problems, and to make “loans” (buying war bonds) took some sacrifice. Now it probably did not involve sacrificing “granny”, but there was a balance to it all.

In the end, there were no foreigners then loaning us money to prosecute a war in our behalf. Things were different then, and I think things are different now. Even the threat of inflation is scary to those who know about it, or have lived through it.

Like the title said, the era of good intentions is over. Nobody in their right mind would try buy a house with an 18% loan for example. This comes from Louisville, Ky, for example in the 1970’s. I preferred to rent at the time of decision. That was a better deal for me. And I was married with kids, so I was so influenced.

There is good news, a lot. We Americans are hard workers and do OK.

I suspect after much hard times now perhaps started by our present elected politicians that many fellow Americans and others in the world may die before their time. What a shame. What worries me more, yes I can have emotions and worry too, is that there were other courses of action that might have worked better, like much better.

Like the title said, the era of good intentions is over.

The sad part is that it is not all America’s choice anymore . The next couple of decades are going to be tough on future Americans. I suspect there will be much political bitterness. The good news is that I suspect our progeny will sort it out to their advantage. I just hope it doesn’t take a revolution, which I think our present political leaders may be setting up.

Good intentions are one thing, thinking about our present and future families is another.

The era of good intentions is over, I hope.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I always wondered what my ancestors thought during the times of the American Revolution

Now I was taught and accepted ideas like a distant imperial kind of English King and English parliament prompted what happened as an American revolution. The underlying idea then, as I was taught, was to mine our vast American people energy and land resources to promote business at home in England. Right or wrong, this is what I think today. There were many grievances, and also some good stuff. And I was also taught that most of our revolutionaries were in the minority, as in most American colonists were loyal to the King.

So fast forward to today. And I don’t believe any movie, as much as I also enjoy them, like the movie “The Patriot”.

So can one apply human experience and circumstances in their time to our circumstances and experiences in our time? Is there a common human kind of denominator that might help us today? I think so, since we humans are pretty much the same now as then.

So this voter thinks our present elected Legislature and Executive have imposed themselves on their ruled population. I accept all this, but what I fear is that the obvious reaction is not the vote, but something more akin to a revolt or a revolution. That is a bad course of action compared to the alternatives we have.

In the meantime, much of this is a moot point. When we as a country cannot borrow enough money to pay the bills, then federal politicians will have to do old fashioned kind of things, like set priorities and fight over spending. And all our taxes are considerable, both local, state, and federal. For example, what fellow human being would loan the USA $10 billion dollars for 10 years at an interest rate of 10%, or $100 million dollars; and then expect to get back $5 billion dollars in their principal in the end. Now the number will say $10 billion, but the spending power after inflation would be $5 billion. Now that is a bad deal. Since nobody knows what the future will really be, what would you do today?

And locally, are we to go without clean water supply or police protection to support the retirement benefits of teachers? Now these are the kind of reasons to vote.

Much friction is coming. Let us hope we go another route than our ancestors in the time period of 1776, But in the end, we will go our own route. And we also love our families and kids, and their opportunity for our American future.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Do you believe in the diamond in the rough idea?

Now there are variations which seem to still carry weight these days. Statistics like African American 70% out of wedlock births are too much ignored. And these are also fellow Americans, and their kids have opportunities also, I hope.

Now I think there is something cultural going on, as in the rest of America should both accept and embrace this latest African slave imported culture. Now all of us probably admit there are OK kind of things going on, but when one messes with our kids, then things will change. So be it.

This is simply America and our own American culture.

And will citizens accept poor performance and ignorance in the name of governing?

We in America are OK. And we will compromise to do our taxpayer bit at all levels, county, state, and federal. And I think we will do our version of charity with tough love delivered, to do our bit, also. What we won’t do is make our kids future less than anything we thought we could do. In this is the face of change.

I used to teach at Morris Brown College in Atlanta for three years. And you know what, some fellow humans were not diamonds, they were simply others.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

It is the human factor that would impress this voter

Said another way, do people still count…as in all of us.

Now I presently live on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee, and for a lot of good reasons we have had more than a fair share of now historical utopian settlements, to include recent one hippie type settlement that is in a second wave of effort…the first effort from California failed.

What seems to be the common thread of past failures, as in people move off, is that the humans who work hard eventually get frustrated and later more emotional about their other human neighbors who are their local version of deadbeats. These kinds of people choose to denigrate themselves as a way of existence. That is just the way we humans are, it seems.

My imagination suggests to me that this idealist communal principle is part of our human nature. But my now old age wisdom and experience also suggests the need to temper my humanity with some practicality. After all, I am a human too, and I have children and their children to think about, too. As hard as it is to admit, some humans are deadbeats, and I cannot change this as much as I wish it so.

And here locally, I understand the idea of why some people are poor. Some are truly poor, as in circumstances, like their mom and dad didn’t even teach them how to brush their teeth with the local water. But they still made their babies like normal.

But there are so many other local people who are poor because they are deadbeats. Often these days drugs are involved, but this is both another story and another way to be a dead beat. Of course the question of where does the money to buy drugs come from and the local answer is both: stealing, and well intended government welfare. For example, a local gal gets a $25,000 disability check from Social Security, and within a month $15,000 has gone to drugs. And later her brother has to collect her nightgown body passed out in a winter yard, and his ancestor who tolerates this is not strong enough to collect her up. As sad it is to report, this happens all too much.

Now any fellow human can think anything they want, and will I am sure. But I also can think anything I want, and I think that that any kids that don’t have a mom and a dad at their home have a strike against them. Now, like most, I am more than familiar with modern day arguments that kids do better with a single happier mom, than a contentious marriage. I just don’t buy this argument. Kids do better for our American future with a mom and dad at a home that they live in. And moms and dads have many reasons to be married, to include having kids that they promote in their own ways.

All the preceding logic suggests many human factor things. Any reader can make up their own mind about their values, and what is important to them.

I’ve got my values and ideas, and you have your values and ideas. This is so American as long as we can vote.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Why do puppies play

Because they can.

Why do they when they can…I don’t know.

Spring is starting to spring on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee. Maybe that helps? But also it is going to snow Sunday night or Monday morning, so much cold weather is still around. After all the humming birds left early during last September 2009 so I took that as a hint we humans and puppies may experience a long winter. So it seems to be happening around here.

Watching puppies play on this puppy warm spring afternoon is like watching an off-Broadway show, or a local play which is pretty much as entertaining, and thriftier. When I was younger I used to call my father cheap…now I call him thrifty. And he died in 2002, and I do still call him thrifty.

Today I and several others from all age groups spent more time opening a pit that may or may not work out as a cave. We used all legal means, just to cover my tail. Anyway, we hoped, in my words, to make it to China, but at the end we are still stuck in Putnum County, Tennessee. Teaching young men was the fun part of it today.

So it goes on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee on the time of the spring equinox. Perhaps we are more pagan than I imagined?

And the puppies are still playing. And it is still fun to watch.

Friday, March 19, 2010

I am a child of the 60’s, too

We had many courses of action then, and we still do, as long as we can demonstrate, and then vote.

What worries me is that some might try to take away my ability to demonstrate, and then vote. This worry is real to me, be it right or wrong. Any other means to take away my vote is also wrong. After all, I am an American, and I have rights.

My vote also counts in so many ways, to include city, county, state, and federal. Even school boards that spend so much of our property taxes in so many places allows the tax payers to vote about their kids and our future. Votes like for the County Commissioner come to mind.

Any attempt to take away my child of the 60’s ideals is simply misplaced, though I think it is going on. I am an American, too.

As a child of the 60’s I wondered then, and I wonder now, what went in during our ancestors thinking during the times of the American Revolution. I suspect much of these thoughts are going on today in our present day terms.

I am incredulous that I can even use my imagination this way. But things have suggested that I also anticipate all this.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The year 2010 is gonna be a bad year for all of us

And we, elected and we the governed, did it to ourselves. What a bummer and waste of good intentions. After all, we have our own families to support and promote. If our families will suffer then things will change, I think. If we adults suffer, then things will be more ameliorated. Lest I use a big word, then things are going downhill, and we people are doing it. The old expression comes to mind: screw with me once…shame on you, screw with me twice…shame on me.

Now because we are Americans, we will help out our fellow citizens, including those drug and alcohol addicted people. Here locally, this includes a 5 months pregnant woman. Now don’t forgot how our votes count. Most are local, like county and school boards, and in some places city. Some are also state, and then federal. As long as our votes count, then that is pretty good.

Now change is normal, and most humans don’t like it. But in the same vein, don’t mess with our kid’s futures.

Now I also hear to ignore the Constitution, or even improve it without offering amendments as written and I think understood.

What is so silly is the seeming naivety of our present federal leaders in the executive, and those that are also in the federal legislative. They seem to have their goals, and if it diverges with those of us who elected them, so be it. Their naivety is that we Americans have our own opinions, too. This smells of the old times of colonial times, to include King George, his Parliament, and his hired solders, like the Hessians. Standby for heavy rolls. In another way, perhaps we are living some momentous times.

All this could be, though I doubt it. Let us tamp things down in our time.

There are other courses of action, also.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Inflation 101

The title is a freshman college type course description. That is the approach this post uses.

The question is usual about what does inflation even mean since the subject is in the news so much. It is a good question. The experience level in America with inflation depends on one’s age, and so many younger citizens have simply never had the experience. And the question I hear often enough is “what does it mean to me?”

Of course what it means depends on you are, and your particular circumstances. But in the same vein, the common denominators apply to all of us.

The cost of living index is a good way to read the present calculated inflation rate. While the two numbers are different, to most the two impact our lives about the same. Anyone drawing monthly social security dollars knows all this, by the way.

Back to inflation and what it means to us, the common citizen. If inflation any given year is 5%, and our take home pay goes up 5%, then all is well. But if inflation goes up 5% and our pay is capped, as in no increase, then our quality of life decreases by 5%. To normal humans raising a family this means what their $100 dollars of pay for groceries now only buys $95 dollars worth of food that year. Bummer. And apply this idea any way you want to your quality of life and how you live.

Now one can talk about inflation another way. Let us say you have saved money for any reason, to include a “rainy day”. For example if you had $10,000 saved in a bank, and annual inflation was 10%, then in 4 and ½ years you could only buy $5,000 worth of stuff. Bummer. So many try to increase that $10,000 savings to $20,000 dollars just so in 4 and ½ years they are even. Bummer again.

Now there are also pros to this. For example, if you are paying a fixed mortgage you got when rates were lower, then inflation may help you in the short run. And ivory tower types apply this also to many other levels. But in the end, what do the voters in America think? Mostly, how does it affect them?

What seems shameful is for those in elected leadership seeming to apply their ideas of a commune to the whole USA country, using the federal legislature and federal executive to get it going again. Let me add in their hired staffers. Now many in our past have tried this with the best intentions, and all have failed in the end. Bummer again.

If what is going on today should bring back USA like inflation in our recent decades old past, then things will sort out in the end, and as always. It is the human suffering in the meantime that is so disturbing. It did not have to happen as will probably unfold.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The ends do not justify the means

There are variations to this human foible.

One goes along the line of the “tyranny of the minority”. In this variation one can think the 1776 revolutionists were the minority, and obviously had their way in making our USA we have today.

In other more modern variations in the USA there are examples of those who think they know best and usurp our votes in practicing political control. The era during the President Wilson times comes to mind, as does the present times. Now I don’t know what exactly went on during the Wilson times, though I do read about it. Now I do think I know about what is going on these days, because I am living it.

Alas, I decided months ago to try learn about what the English Parliament was thinking and doing during the time of our American Revolution, as well as what the executive, aka King George, was thinking. My ideal was to see how other humans in their times made their decisions given all their derisive times.

So far, I think that we Americans are still in charge of our destiny, good, bad, or indifferent. And we should be able to vote this way, as good or bad as the process is. Mostly, this means, the majority of citizens who vote should rule thru our elected politicians. Is that simple enough?

I think this is what America is pretty much about. Letting the people vote and rule, as good, bad, or indifferent as others may think about what they think is the way to go.

Simply said, the ends do not justify the means.

Now what is a shame is what seems to be what we are doing to our descendents, like our children and their children. In this is the potential for revolt. Just what would you do if expected to work for 6 months a year just to pay for your ancestors federal bills, long done and dead in their time. After all, our children have their problems to work through in their lifetime, too.

Alas, things may be descending these days. If our votes count, then most can live with the results. If votes don’t count, as if voters are ignored, then I expect things will change. If the executive ignores the legislative or judicial branches, or both ignore the voters, for example, then things will change.

Golly, I hope it doesn’t get to this point. After all, we are all Americans in the end, I hope.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Can some people impose themselves on others?

The idea of the consent of the governed always bubbles to the top. This is so American.

Now the consent may not always be perhaps a good course of action, but by golly, it is the consent. Perhaps over time that consent idea will change? That is what politics and votes are about here in America. People, humans, Americans, have their own ways to look out for themselves, and promote their future.

And most also believe and pay taxes to the many levels of governments that rule us. There has always been faith and trust in our new world future, I think.

Now I also think in our Nation’s continuing evolution, there are those who want to impose their ideas on the rest of us. Good luck!

As long as we can vote for all levels of our rulers, school board, city, county, state, and federal, then things will sort out as always.

If other Americans want to change this in their way without the consent of the governed, then the poo poo will hit the fan.

I, for one, don’t think this will happen. I sure hope not, anyway.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Emotionalism vs. rationality

The common uniter is our humanity. Just who do we trust with our American future, if anyone.

Now I also appreciate what a good deal we have here in America. Having lived overseas; there are worse deals. Try day on day off non potable water when you can get it, for example. Most don’t like the smell of overfilled toilets full of poop, for example.

And now we have a lot of people who think American rights and benefits, like 24/7 electricity, are normal. This these days is called the status quo I think. Of course this is normal to those who vote and make decisions these days, it seems. That is all they know. And they are so confident in their human illiteracy.

So let things go, as in people will die. In large numbers. Just let it go. Mostly this idea has to do with just being cold and hungry. My emotional response, and maybe rational response, to what is going on these days, is just to give up and let people die. Even when I see media TV things about battery powered “widgets”, to include cars, that suggest they are energy “free” just makes me angry because of the simple stupidity. Some of us know this has to come from electricity, like power plants. The current idea is called a longer exhaust pipe.

Now in my emotional rant, there are so many other ideas that are just presently promoted and just still plain suck. My idea is to promote my country, mostly local and state, so it can benefit our progeny. My rationality suggests my fellow Americans will do it in their own way. I hope so.

Now I have a friend who suggested about 10 years ago just to let things go. Nobody could screw up America, and all of us, in the end.

Now I wonder.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

If only they had listened to me

Can we still vote?

Our USA Constitution reflects, I think, our ancestor’s recognition of our humanity, which is not all good.

And there are other alternatives. Many reflect paying attention to the “people” as they are today. For example, I admire the Chinese Communist leadership trying to change the representation to say the obvious in their country…over ¾ of their present population is very rural, and they will be ruled, one way or the other. In this is much friction which we should worry about. The leaders there do, also. To use a Gandhi line modified, if the ¾ rural don’t want to be ruled by the ¼ urban, then they won’t.

And the beauty of the “American” way of culture is that we made it, all of us, together. And like it or not, there are many influencers, European and British mostly, but also African from the slave trade, Asian from that slave trade, and now more than ever, Latino from that source. We even had an Italian slave trade into the South in the last century I think…and now I get some good recipes. Plus we exploited our resources for our own benefits.

My key thought is my ability to vote, which is so “American”. If other humans try to take that vote and idea away, then things will change in a bad sort of way.

In other words, the present friction is OK, as long as I can still vote.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The big collapse is coming

I would have predicted it would happen around 2016 not too long ago. Now it may be even sooner.

Here’s the good news. Our productive new world in America will be the way things end up for the whole world. Unfortunately, along the way, things will get very painful. Ideas like the status quo, and simple things like our collective governments providing police, fire, clean water, and waste water treatment will bubble to the top. Along the way, electricity to make light at night, and keep our refrigerators and freezers going 24/7 will also bubble up to the top. All this is so simple, but also so full of friction, and fog in political terms. The big collapse is coming, I still think. Just how we humans do as a response is up for grabs.

Just what happens is also up for grabs. My guess is that the ability to get loans, on a national scale for the USA will come to an end, or at least be difficult. We can get into all the various kinds of ivory tower theories, but if politicians can’t provide things like electricity, then things will change. Like I suggested in the title, the big collapse is coming. And we did it to ourselves. If all our present taxes, local, state, and federal, are not enough, then maybe our elected persons will revert to the old time ways, as in argue and debate over how to spend and prioritize our existing contributed tax monies. Of course this idea assumes we cannot borrow our way out of the present situation. And of course, we American humans and our politicians have made this situation.

We can shoot the messengers all we want, and probably will.

Much friction is coming.

The big collapse is coming. It will start when our federal government cannot get enough people to loan us enough money. It will end when inflation gets down to acceptable numbers (to the voter).

I still think in the end, all we strive for is to promote our families and opportunities for our kid’s futures.

This idea is not political in America. It is simply human in the world.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Another way to rule…American style

The recent discussion of who knows what is in the recent bills our federal legislative branch is voting on prompts this post. The obvious examples are the various health care reform bills that amount to thousands of pages. Who can read them in the time allotted, and then take the time to follow the arcane language of referrals and such that is in such a bill, which ever version and title. Does anyone even know what is in the latest proposal? I don’t, anyway.

Now some do. They are mostly “staffers”.

And these staffers are also fellow Americans, and do the most basic work any government employee should do, kinda like a Senator or Congressman should be doing. And I suppose that many of our elected legislators depend on what their hired staff says to do? Maybe I am wrong, but my “inside the beltway” experience says otherwise. Much federal money and other such things work this way these days.

Now all this “staffer stuff” is new in the last few decades. And so is who pays their salaries and benefits, which are good? Mostly we taxpayers pay their salaries and benefits, but it will take an investigative reporter to delve further. After about 30 google searches, I have given up for now.

For example, the present Speaker of the House I think runs several committees, each with its own staff. These staffs include, I think, the congressional staff, the speaker staff, and I think a Democratic Party staff. Now I just don’t know right now, and I really don’t know for sure who pays right now.

What I do know for sure is the quality of life of those staffers I observed during my time “inside the beltway”. One example galled me. The Congressional staffers had our elected congressmen build a $54 million dollar gym in a federal building just for them. Even Senate staffers were persona non grata. They had their own gym, too.

So who’s in charge in D.C. I really don’t know for sure. But for sure, we Americans are really in charge, in the end.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Cooking can be fun

Most of it is ego, I think.

Now preparing healthy meals is also an objective to so many. Also preparing tasty meals is an easy way to go. The “customers” after all are our children, relatives, and friends.

And tasty meals seem to sell here in America. And we seem to have a good deal here. Nobody is hungry, for example, at least right now

So making our friends and relatives and such to cook for is a good deal, I think. Mostly they are also willing to eat and live, and enjoy the human process.

Back to cooking. One idea, I suggest, is that one must be willing to experiment or try any kind of recipe or just a principle to feed whoever they feed. And they might even fail. So what. My test is how I listen to what the eaters say. One can apply their own experience to this idea, if they so choose.

Anyway, cooking can be fun…sorta.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Our future counts more than our past

What happens to our children and their kids is probably of more concern than what happened to us in our past. At least I think this.

Now many also think that the most recent past is a reliable way to predict the near future. Those who subscribe to this idea also may have a point.

And also many may know others who “carry the waters” of those who have gone before them. I suspect that emotion may play into this way of thinking, but I really don’t know. Anyway, in this scheme, the logic of our ancestors and their own problems in their times gets applied to us, today.

The last factor I think of is the “status quo”. The logic is that because it (whatever that is) has always happened, then it will always happen in the future. Now as a retired Marine, this idea is a hole I could drive a train thru, when given the opportunity, of course.

So what is our relatively near future to be? Who really knows?

And then there is one definition of happiness: good health and self-respect.

And so let me predict. This is always fun to do because there is no way to prove anything in any way.

But I predict we will promote our children and their happiness in any way we can. And any way we can may surprise us!

And I predict the future will be “American”, as in different from whatever other humans in our world do. I think we will be not too shabby.

In a perverse sort of way, maybe we will have made things better for our children, and their children.

There are so many reasons to think this. For example, many people think things are cold because the local weather is cold to them, and it is cold. But then speak with fellow Americans who bust ice in heated horse troughs in Nebraska, or simply put on more layers of clothes in New England, and the idea of American happiness becomes something maybe to brag about.

Or go without electricity during rolling black outs, and find out there are other ways to cook when the refrigerators and freezers fail to work long enough.

Anyway, while our “status quo” may be up for grabs, consider that our future may be much better. In other words, maybe our kids may be happy.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Another reason why I am nervous

Our present President and his hired minions are lightweights.

Is that simple enough?

Now my alert level went up during the campaign for many reasons. Here are some:
His famous statement that there are 57 states.
His bragging that he would create a new national defense service equally funded, manned, and equipped as the Department of Defense.
His alleged poor performance as the President of the Harvard Law Review. That this position was elected by his peers also says much.
That his visit to Hawaii after his election to the Presidency included visiting his dying grandmother, and he left his wife and his kids at their nearby vacation home.
That he said he would ruin a lot of families by his energy policies in Pennsylvania.

Since his election, his credibility, as in telling the truth, keeps coming up again and again. Now most of us want to believe anything our President and his minions say, but any crack in his credibility contributes to our nervousness. Is our nervousness fair or unfair?

And if it is fair, does it reflect some kind of personality defect?

Last, are his ideals and policies and practices going to get some of us killed before our time? Or is it already even happening?
The psycho-babble method

When many of us in our own ways try to interpret all we read and hear, many will also try to rise above the innate human tendency to attribute motives and intents to all people, both those we agree with and those we disagree with. Now most of we humans, are after all, humans, and we will necessarily use our own personal experience and knowledge to put ourselves into the shoes of others, and then proceed to say what we think the others are “thinking”. This is too often a waste of well-intended time, though we all do it, I think.

Now to support this idea of well-intended time, one should be aware of “studies” such as one in Scientific American Magazine decades ago that suggested normal human jurors were just as savvy as court expert psychiatrists and psychologists in trying to guess motives. I for one, invoked this idea and reference in trying to get “challenged” off of a court martial, and I failed. Though later I led the effort to condemn the guilty party to life imprisonment. He stomped a little girl to death.

So one can think and do as they like, and I suspect most will. Anyway, I will, too.

Now I can also report that there are other names and phrases for the psycho-babble method. I have heard pop-psychiatry, psycho-wacho, intents, and idealogy, to describe how other humans think. I am sure others have many more phrases like these.

Recently I heard another slightly different approach to this method’s problems that appealed to me. This approach was so human and so simple it caught my attention.

Suppose we think other humans are well intended, and wrong. Now that places both sides on dangerous ground, as in psycho-babble stuff. But, what was new to hear, was the consequences of being wrong. The idea of being wrong is what got my attention. Hence, I even entered the world of psycho-babble.

Here is where I crossed “capabilities” with my judgment of “intents”, and what I had listened to. Suppose other humans are well intended, but wrong?

I for one can live with that chance, until I think it will adversely affect my children and their children. Then I will rise up, which where I live on the Cumberland Plateau, means I will vote in all elections, school board, local, state, and federal. The alternatives like revolution and civil war, are so much worse, and silly to think about, but also worth mentioning as an example of my seriousness about the future of my children and their children.

So has this voter succumbed to the psycho-babble method. I don’t think I have. But maybe others have succumbed; that I just don’t have an opinion about right now. Sounds a little bit like “Forest Gump”, doesn’t it?

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Spring has sprung

Hope springs eternal. Today on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee things were below freezing this morning, and now it may hit like 41F this PM. I might even wash off the salt from my made in Japan car (an Isuzu Trooper and a good car). Our local governments do a good job at keeping the roads open, but I also have to clean off the salt stuff so to keep the corrosion down. This is a known factor. All in all, a good report.

Now one, as I am, can “listen” to what the local animals do, as in listen to the local humming birds. They left in early September 2009, and I took this as a hint that here locally we may have a long winter, maybe even a cold winter. So far this seems to be happening.

Now, again, spring starts on the spring equinox date, which I think is March 21st. Basically it has much to do with our solar radiation and our earth’s time, but also is the date when daylight balances with darkness. It is predictable and usual.

Now, here, locally, I would not plant tomato plants until after the local normal freeze stuff happens, which is May 15th by the way. And, also, by the way, a long time gal already knew this, or at least suggested this.

Like I said, spring has sprung, or at least is springing.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Charity versus governments in helping our poor

My perspective is from where I live, on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee.

First my old time report. I no longer prefer to contribute to the United Way or any of its subsidiaries, like the Combined Federal Campaign.

I prefer to do charity and contributions the old fashioned way, like contribute locally. Mostly it is just needy people I hear about. And, unfortunately, I have had to differentiate between deadbeats and needy kids. Such is life up here. And of course it is always who I hear about. Christmas a year ago I gave presents to five young kids whose local teachers suggested them. That is what I am talking about.

Now recently I also hear about an older gal (like 35) that got a $30,000 disability check from social security. Now four weeks later after her payment I also hear she has already spent $15,000 of it on drugs. Who knows what to believe, but for sure I think I might want to help her more “locally”, as in even doing some tough love.

So how do we try help our poor who are poor through no fault of their own? Just for the record, I don’t buy that argument. Kids are pretty smart, and do the best with what they have. Now in the same vein, one also has to buy the idea of being taught, as in brushing one’s teeth, or cooking a safe meal, or cutting safely with a chain saw. I don’t think any of us are born knowing how to do these so basic things, and so many others, too. For me, my mother’s mother had to teach me how to cook, for example.

So back to helping our poor. There is a difference between truly poor and truly deadbeats, even when addicted. And locally the best way to sort it out goes to charity, vice our governments. For example, how do we handle a druggy gal 5 months pregnant?

I suggest local charity has a better way. At least that is my experience on the Cumberland Plateau.
Will the American way of human life go on?

Of course we have always had a way of life.

Now do you, the reader, think we Americans are different, or just old world humans doing our bit in our new world? And of course the new world we think about from our experience is North America, but there are other Americans also doing their bit. Now they may have different histories, like Spanish, French, African, or even Asian, but by golly, they are Americans, too.

Somehow, I think we lucked out with our mostly British traditions that we have multiplied to our USA country. Now that is just an opinion, of course.

Now I also think we humans have more in common than not. Mostly, to me, it means promoting a better future for our children, and even grandchildren. Now some don’t think this, it seems I am learning.

So I am guessing our American way of human life will predominate in the end. Mostly, it is about our kids and their kids. The obvious extension is that we from an older generation will bite the bullet if we think it promotes our families in the long run. That is so simple and also so human.

The obvious distress these days is the amount of fellow Amerians out of work. For those living through all this, it is not fun.

Maybe also this terrible situation has precipitated many thoughts about what might be downrange given what our governments are doing. Can things get worse, maybe?

When do we bite the bullet, so to speak?