Thursday, April 29, 2010

Educating the normal people

I think of people as being either smart, normal, or dumb. If you buy that idea, then read on.

I for one used to think I was “smart” until I got into advanced mathematics at GaTech. Then I realized I was normal, albeit a hard worker in the mathematics area.

Now that I am older, I think about how to give my kids and grandkids every advantage in life they can have. And I depend on educators to help in this effort. Obviously this makes sense given the long historical human record of having schools to educate our young humans.

Now there is much disgust with the present education “system” in America. I am sure the people who work in the system are well educated, and also mostly hard workers. Yet the “output” is poor, it seems. When a cash register clerk in an Atlanta McDonalds drive through can’t make change, that is pretty bad. That kid got screwed. And along the way, the perception is that things are worse now, not better.

Now one light bulb went on, recently.

Suppose the smart educators who devise so many initiatives are doing the “classic” “for lack of knowing what to do, they do what they know”? In plain English, perhaps they are just poorly led in focusing on the smart people, or treating normal people like smart people.

Now I have delved into generalizing, which is a poor way to go. There are so many people in the USA, that a decentralized approach supervised by local school boards and local governments is probably best. The alternatives like federal and state government education supervision naturally suffer when it comes to “our” kids.

In all cases, what’s the focus? Is it the smart kids, or the dumb kids, or the majority normal kids?

And, depending on where you live, there are other problems, like the out-of-wedlock birth rates…that is future kids needing an education that come from a home with a mother and no father around.

Back to the “normal” kids. Perhaps “they” must be the focus of education to benefit them. Now here ideas abound, and I have mine, too. The key point is to educate them to be successful in the basic skills, like the 3R’s, or making a home budget, etc. In the old days it was called the 3R’s, and even today ideas like a home budget and balancing a check book and doing basic home maintenance should be taught as a priority. If there are not enough hours, then priorities should predominate to educate our majority “normal” kids.

There are only so many hours in the school year to teach. Setting priorities is fundamental to enhancing our kid’s potential to be good workers and satisfied citizens. And this is a local decision, depending on local situations I think.

Bottom line. How do we educate the majority normal kids? My suggestion is to recognize that most of us are “normal”, and to give these kids a priority in all local education decisions about how to do this. Said another way, if we can’t do it all right now, just do the basics, like educating our normal kids.

Anybody who has had a baby knows much of the basic and beginning parenting skills, like changing diapers and feeding babies, is simply not taught in school. There are things we learn out of school, and taught by family members. My suggestion is that this still should be taught out of school. But we still need to be taught, helped if you will. Nobody I know is born knowing how to raise a baby.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The beginning of the end

The title suggests the bad news using this old time expression.

One can also express hope and expect that after the end of our recent decades of American voting and political behavior, a new beginning will blossom. Of course most would ask, what does that mean for me? The quick answer is that we will live like normal human beings, and accommodate to whatever our circumstances are. Some will do better than others…what’s new?

Now the “end” can mean many things, mostly a change in the status quo. One guess is that many governments will default on their obligations from our past. Default pretty much means can’t pay its bills, and all other options have been exhausted. Just imagine trying to buy groceries with an IOU from some government. Or just imagine working for a company that is no longer being paid by some government, and still expecting to go to work and get a paycheck. Or just imagine being home invaded by a criminal, and there is no local police protection to respond to help ourselves. Or how about my child getting typhoid from the local untreated water, and expecting they might die? Or last, how about my electricity and phone doesn’t work?

Some of us are going to get “screwed over” after a lifetime of other behavior and faith.

Now the “future” can also mean many things, and again, mostly be a change in the status quo.

For example, voters in the USA will probably elect future politicians that vote for and provide for laws and practices that promote the common good…not the present time talk but the real common good. The obvious example is that if there is not enough money to do everything we desire, then we should do the basics first. Now that is a future.

And of course we in the USA don’t exist in a vacuum. The rest of the human world will influence us, too. And much of the friction in the USA is also going on elsewhere, just differently. The wildcard is the present dictators in the regional powers that may drag us down with them. After all this happened in WWII with the regional powers of Japan and Germany dragging us down. And now it may happen in China (a civil war) or Iran or North Korea (a local or regional war). One obvious American question one has heard before still is valid: “can we all just get along?” Or another question still arises, why should my family member die for their problem?

Anyway, as bad as things may get financially and politically that affects our USA future, and after much USA human suffering that may be coming (it will vary locally of course), I forecast we will emerge a human normal reasonable people and nation (locally varied of course, again). The interim period will involve much friction, but also in the end we in the new world USA are not too shabby a people.

And we will continue to vote our way to our future. And this will still attract so much of the rest of the future human world. We have a special idea and principle here that does so well for humans. And so many of them know the alternatives are not as good as the future USA.

So the “beginning of the end” can also be the “beginning of the future”. Now that is a voter decision in the USA, I think. Should be interesting. At least where I live I think so.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I can be worried, too

When decades of our past elected governments passing laws and employing practices that ultimately threaten our collective well-being, like our lives, then the times will change.

And all I want to do is to be represented. Yes, me, my family, and my neighbors.

Now my worry is way past the present economic hardship period we as a USA are experiencing. Even our federal government still collects over $4 trillion in taxes these days that is then dispensed as benefits; but on top of that the federal government chooses to dispense another $2 trillion in benefits it must borrow to get.

What happens if humans won’t loan the federal government the money? Now I am worried. Even in WWII, the USA had to have war bond drives to get Americans to loan the federal government the money to prosecute a war, which obviously was in our self interest.

The consequences then, and now, both worry me.

The brouhaha in Arizona as reported is a symptom of why to be worried. Lawlessness and even marauding murder and kidnapping have come to Arizona. It has taken over a decade for the consequences of the past laws and practices to cause the local people in Arizona to protect themselves as best they can these days.

What worries me is to hear our President say he will use the powers of the federal government to try overturn the decisions of the local people in Arizona. And it worries me that there are already federal laws that only have to be used to do the same kind of thing. It worries me that the oath the President took in front of the whole nation did not mean much, to him.

Now I own and live on about a square mile of land on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee. Now this does not make me an Arizona rancher in the border lands, but the idea that when I am out and about on my property that some illegal or other trespasser can kill me worries me. Especially what worries me is that no one in any government will enforce the present laws.

Now I also worry than no past or future law can be enforced. Has it come to this? Can we actually have laws, and practices, that allow, actually, promote anarchy. Or even worse, can we choose to ignore any present law or practice to behoove what any government person at whatever level thinks is appropriate. I am worried this is going on.

Less this worry seem extreme, just review what is going on in England in regards the piracy going on off the coast of East Africa. Here the human rights of the pirates are being respected over the rights of the humans on the invaded and captured ships. Hence, if I were a captured pirate, I would rather deal with a British warship than say, an Indian warship.

I also worry that the present USA Federal government, which represents us around the world, may in the end, use ideas and practices that may get a lot of us killed, to include us, or most importantly, our family members and local friends. Along the way so many more world citizens may also suffer death, and other such mayhem.

Now is my worry a consideration in how I vote? I know so.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Preparing meals is a good deal

Now many in the west these days are not trained about preparing food for their family. Now probably more females in the east are also trained by their mothers to prepare a meal (what an advantage). Mostly it means cooking the local foods.

In either case, any meal preparer learns, and follows their own customs.

The normal dilemma is simple. How do we feed our family, mostly our kids.

The obvious dilemma is the amount of food, and then on a cascading down slope the caloric value, then the taste value, then the health value.

Now most will think all this discussion is silly, and they may be correct.

Along the way, there are fads, like cooking in boiling liquids that add to the flavor of whatever we have prepared and put on the sticks. I remember one style was called “fondue”, and it was OK, especially with some wine added in!

Now here in the west (the USA) where I live, I still thank my mother’s mother for teaching me and more importantly inspiring me about cooking . Now she did it her way, and I can do it my way these days. Most importantly to me, it is her ideas that carry on.

And of course the methods of cooking have evolved, too. I even have options of microwave ovens, or even heat ovens I can set the temperature on, and trust it.

And of course I can even trust chilled food and drinks that even kids may carry to their school. Here in the USA west, I can live like an old time royal person in either the east, or the west.

This is a good deal for those that can or want to cook.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Tea Party idea

Not too long ago when asked who would I vote for in the 2008 federal election, the usual answer was “I wished we had another choice”. Now the location I can report from is the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee. This whole talk got my attention. Hence my report on an idea.

I am age 62, and also educated, in my opinion. I went to Ga Tech.

I moved here from Atlanta a good while back and on purpose. I voted with my pocket book, so to speak. Quality of life was a big part of my decision about my life. I had been the President of a company based in Athens, Ga, a good place to live, I think. And the job was quite good, too.

Since my move, things have changed, a lot. Mostly for our American good, I think.

We in America have had many third party movements, even before my time (born in 1948).

This time things seem to be different, like the idea of an idea vice some present individual with money and motivation counts more than the overriding idea. In other words, the idea counts most, and whom we vote for reflects the American idea of voting. Said simply and another way, there seems to be an idea that many Americans will vote for an idea for the future, vice a party. Mostly the idea is our future, mostly our family’s future.

Let me forecast another way. The present status quo in America favors our present two party system, both Republican and Democrats. The idea of the Tea Party, I think, is just to vote American. In this idea much change will come.

Now conventional wisdom is to try divide and conquer, as in most suspect the Tea Party Ideas will hurt the republicans more than the democrats. So be it in 2010.

But the idea does not change, and the consequences do not change. And the highest percentage of independents does not change. Americans are mostly just going along, as just in being themselves and looking out for their quality of life. The voters still have a choice as to their future, in the end.
Just another report about American friction

Just last night about midnight on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee a friend of mine about age 24 was lambasting the current state of affairs here in America. I (age 62) had just awakened and so was full of senior energy to debate. Later I crashed, burned, and died, as did he. Then it was about 0200 locally.

What astounded me was his ignorance about the facts. What did not astound me was the reports of “his” facts.

I’ll only focus on one of his “facts”. It was that Gore was the legally elected president in 2000. I was surprised to hear this even now in 2010. When I asked him an historical question, like how many times this had happened before when the majority vote went one way, and the electoral vote went another way, he was embarrassed. He could not answer. He thought his passion was in his time and according to his beliefs. He was astonished to hear this has happened before, like three times if you include 2000.

My suggestion that he use the Amendment process to change the Constitution was accepted. It is a pain in the tail, by the way. But there are like 27 Amendments, so we can change our Constitution if we want to. He agreed with the idea of the rule of law, and taking an oath to an idea, vice an individual.

He had never even heard of King Louis 16th or the Weimer Republic. The idea of hauling in a wheel barrow full of paper money to buy a loaf of bread was simply silly to him. The idea of taking an oath to some individual (like Hitler), like what happened in Nazi Germany or is still happening in Iran with the Army of God, was new to him. The idea of paying a bribe just to travel was also new to him.

From there, I went on transmit, which is dumb. But I did. I made analogies to other forms of governments which I have experienced (lived under) around the world. Some got his attention, like what I did to keep from being assassinated in Istanbul a long time ago. Is that what we want here in America?

Last I heard, unbelievably to me, the old equivalence argument. In his opinion, the last 8 year president was so bad that to express my disappointment in the present president was also bad. I got my feelings hurt when he called me a Republican, and I reminded him for the umpteenth time that I was an independent.

So I guess there is much friction about. Some of it is based on pure ignorance. Some of it is based on facts.

In the end, I guess it is what the voters decide, good, bad, or indifferent.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Here is a guess about the Korean peninsula

The present leader of North Korea will die from getting old. Now by nepotism, he inherited his position from his father, and he was savvy enough to survive. Now will his chosen son inherit it in the same way; most doubt it. I agree.

What happens when the people who live in North Korea evolve in this case. Mostly most think they just want to live (like eat and have families), but other factors come into play, too.

Many will move to a better place, like South Korea, and some will move to China by the border area. All this emigration will cause much friction. In the meantime, normal Korean practices from the South will also begin to assert themselves. But in the same time, there will be a Korean uniting that will take decades to enhance. In all this there is hope.

The future debate to this westerner is how will it all sort out. My guess is just fine. There may be surprises along the way.

The idea is that Koreans are different than, say, Japanese, or any kind of Chinese.

Now there are wild cards. For example, will the humans who rule the present government in North Korea go nuclear in some way? Or will the USA government choose some military option response. Or will we just let it go?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

What is important to Americans

Is it our quality of life we enjoy these days? There are many reasons to think so.

This idea includes our government getting involved in charity to take care and provide opportunity to our perceived American have nots. In the meantime, there is still much USA private charity going on. Even our dead beats seem to benefit, depending on where one lives. And what is so sad is that we also turned so many of our mentally “off” people out to the urban streets about 50 years ago, and now they have to survive as homeless people.

This these days is not too important to Americans, I think.

What is important is quality of life to most Americans.

And so many American politicians (mostly federal), mostly in the last two or three decades ago, passed things like NAFTA, and other free trades laws. I think the consequence was an improvement of our quality of life. An example might be the clothes we wear, or the electrical widgets we use today. So many common Americans are living like royalty in earlier times. This is good, I think.

Along the way, I ask a question. Have we Americans given up our independence to be ourselves. If the answer is yes, then there are two obvious answers. One is yes, let other humans tell us what is going to happen. Second is no, we are going to be Americans and new world, and we will sort it out. In this case, the sorting out will be normally human, which is pretty neat in the long run.

Now that may be expensive (as in quality of life), but so have other cultures and tribes gone through this process. We are probably new world better, I hope.

One more thought. How much quality of life can we afford? Where I live on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee, using a hammer drill also requires “bits”. One stone sign project took two bits from China and one bit from Brazil. Later I went to a German bit which cost much more, but it worked in the end. You go figure.

So what is our quality of life benefit going forward to be? I would suggest to vote.

Our vote, at all levels, school board, county, state, and federal, will best suggest what is important to Americans. And in this is the way to our future we choose to go.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Trust and faith

Most Americans will accept about anything political. But if they lose trust and faith, then things will begin to change. We all expect to be ruled at all levels, and also expect to be represented at all levels. In our American past this idea has been to most citizen’s advantage, and they voted that way. Hence the trust and faith idea. And all levels means federal, state, county, and school board, for example.

The key idea to this voter is to be represented, and of course be able to vote. How else can I exhibit trust and faith in those who display these qualities I choose to vote for? Later paying the taxes for all this usually comes as I expect it will. Paying taxes is never an enjoyable experience, like in paying property taxes.

To follow this one line of logic, it is shameful that my daughter who lives in Charlotte, NC, has to hire private police protection on top of the local property tax paid police protection. Now that is a version of her local trust and faith. And you know what, she and her family are moving away.

If that is what it has come to in Charlotte, then voting will become a big deal in the next couple of decades. Paying property taxes is supposed to provide basic services.

Even paying other taxes, like federal income tax, is much the same. Having written one check to the federal government for over a million dollars in 2003 or so brings up the question of trust and faith, again. I don’t know where it went, and most importantly, how did I benefit from the payment?

Now there is much publicity, aka, news, about “spreading the wealth around”. Now many such good intentioned ideas have been tried before. Just where I live in Tennessee is such a recipient of these ideas, including hippie communes that migrated here. All, historically, fail in the end.

Why is pretty simple. It is a human kinda thing. Not all humans will tolerate dead beats, both males and females. One of the burdens in life is to have to work to support a family we choose to have. Now there are many variations of how we humans exist. All these variations include trust and confidence.

Now being manipulated by the best American advertising and political focus group efforts thrust to most Americans by our present media is just an advancement from the old time Nazi propaganda. The idea is pretty much the same, just more professional.

Now just how we will respond and vote is still unclear. The idea of human trust and faith, I suspect, will count a lot. Also organizing efforts like community organizers will influence things, too. But in the end numbers count, and the majority of Americans will vote based on their trust and faith.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Progressives in Putnum County, Tennessee

Things have changed up here on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee. And we locals have elected these present local rulers, and their hired minions. While this is a pretty nice rural county in the USA, I think our elected leaders and their hired minions have become local rulers, vice local representatives.

Of course, this is a voter decision, in the end.

So what is important to us, the local county citizens?

Now I have my opinions, and most others who read this post have their opinions.

I just hope, and will vote this way, is to do the basics, like security (police), fire protection, clean water, and waste water stuff. Even public education of our children is also a big deal. All the other things our local governments have done in the past may pale, I think.

What I find interesting these days in local politics and rules is that local trespassers can complain to the police after I catch them invading my land, and along the way doing vandalism and damage to my land, and then complain to the police that I am being a pain.

Such is living in a progressive rural county in Tennessee. And I am still paying local property taxes for this “treatment”.

Just who is being in charge, or even represented?

I am just glad I can vote.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Another electricity update

There are two kinds of public electricity. One is called DC which was promoted by Edison. The other kind is called AC which was promoted by Tesla and is what we use today. AC won out a long time ago for good reason.

Now here In rural Tennessee, like Monterey on the Cumberland Plateau, we are pretty used to electricity on demand these days. Rural electrification occurred around the 1940’s or so, I think. So more to many, things like washing machines and refrigerators and freezers became very useful. So did telephones. And we bought them and used them.

So is electricity on demand a “right”? For example do we expect that the lights will come on when we turn the switch. Do we expect that our refrigerators and freezers will work 24/7/365? Do we even bother to understand where all this “energy” came from?

The alternatives, like oil lamps and candles, like we are taught Lincoln learned by, are not as good. In other words, rural electrification was a benefit to most rural Americans at the time, who both enjoyed the benefit, and probably voted for their benefit, too. And they probably spent their money at their time to even buy things like washing machines and refrigerators and freezers. They probably even hooked up a telephone, and paid for it.

In my experience, even my mother’s father had a telephone number like 7, later 7 and 22, in this then rural town called Franklin, Tn, circa 1930’s or 1940’s.

So which way are we common citizens going to go in regards our electricity usage?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

It is a voting question

Do we Americans want to be ruled or just represented?

The question is a big deal to many. So many humans in the world cannot just be represented.

Now here in the USA there seems to be today a kind of “perfect storm” of the executive and the legislative working together to rule us. And we did vote for them, so be it. But we can vote other ways in the future, too, it seems. And even today we still are complaisant, as even paying all our taxes on time, local, state, and federal. After all, we did vote for these people, local, state, and federal.

As an old song goes by Bob Dylan, the times they are a changing.

My encouragement is to vote. That’s it.

Those who have organized their voters, as in community organizers, have done a good job. But in the future, the majority can still vote, too. There are alternatives, like what most voters think, and are willing to pay for.

The idea is pretty simple. It has been offered many ways over hundreds of years. Basically if the minority have nots finally figure out in a democracy that they can vote themselves incomes from the majority haves, then eventually, the whole system will collapse.

The obvious question is why would these minority voters do such things. The obvious answer is selfishness. Mostly in the short term, like decades, it seems. What’s in it for me today seems to be a human embarrassing tendency.

So just go vote.

The idea of the USA and the new world are so different from the rest of the old world still counts. That is probably why so many of our ancestors immigrated here. And being able to vote was a big deal.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The good news and the bad news

Guessing about our USA future is tough and mostly a waste of mental effort, I think. Most guesses still depend on where one lives and what they do, and of course, their experience in their lifetime. Now age seems to add to the seasoning in all this idea.

Yet we are still interdependent, and so what one does one place may affect me where I live, for example.

Here’s some guesses.

First the good news. We Americans in the USA are not too shabby. Like all other humans in the world, we will work, and use a goal of benefiting our family’s futures. And I suspect while most don’t think about the ideology, most will vote and even fight if need be to keep this good system going. Even our government and private support of our dead beat elements should benefit in the long run. Even our retiree’s in the present laws get a good quality of life. What a country.

Second the bad news. This wonderful country and underlying system may collapse for lack of funding. All these wonderful benefits, at all levels, like school boards, county, state, and federal, may exceed the ability to pay. If this happens, then the adjustments and friction is going to be painful. Anyway, if the money isn’t there, then it isn’t there. Now the borrowing option, which has been a last resort to so many politicians now for many decades, may probably come to an end.

So here’s a guess to our next 100 years future.

We USA Americans will in the end be ourselves, to include those we vote for. And we will be still America as a United States vice some “federal government” . Tribes and other such local ideas (like state and county) will still count. And I predict, compared to the rest of the human world, the so called “new world” will still attract a lot of humanity. The alternatives are worse it seems.

The family future idea counts a lot, too.

So much for the good news and bad news.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

The coming political and voter decisions

Which way is it going to be? Are our local county and state governments going to provide basic services as a priority, or provide other priorities at the expense of basic services?

Now I define basic services as police, fire, clean water, waste water treatment, and reliable electricity for me and my loved ones.

The first patterns of behavior are slowly emerging, and it doesn’t look good for providing basic services as a priority. Said another way, if you can’t do it all, at least do the basics. And so many Americans work at providing these basic services do so well.

Now some governments do better than others. This can be construed as a local type of political and voter decision.

Now to abandon basic services is to invite anarchy, by the way.

There is an old saying that goes like this: “For lack of knowing what to do, we do what we know”. Those political leaders used to the status quo may end up like the dinosaurs who perished. Perhaps this analogy applies to some state and county governments, today. Perhaps it might even apply to some public school boards. It might even apply to our federal government.

I guess I wonder if it will finally take people dying to prompt the change to the present pattern of behavior. What a shame if this is what it takes. And this “taking” will last a long time, I think. Again, it did not have to happen, if it does.

What a shame.

Most of us just want to wake up in the morning and do a good job. Along the way some clean water and flush toilets help. So does knowing I can call a local police and fire force if I need too. And having the lights come on when I turn the switch helps too. And counting on the electrical refrigerator and freezer working is a nice plus in the preservation of my family's food.

Monday, April 05, 2010

The idea of change in our American future is what most Americans want.

So many that voted for Obama, and his party, was on the hope of change. After all, after now decades of the alternative Democratic and Republican Party choices, well, so many Americans just wish they had another choice. Said another way, Obama is not the one as it has turned out.

Now we Americans still have to live in the real world, including our American world. And our world includes other elections other than federal, like state, county, local, and even school boards. And they impose taxes, too. We just have to sort it out, like normal.

So how do we go forward in our American future?

I don’t know.

But I suspect change is still coming, all for our best, at least in future voter’s minds, at all levels, by the way.

The key point is being able to vote.

I suspect many hard times are coming, and may last for decades. I just hope the latest “crisis” does not become an excuse to transition to some kind of royalty or dictatorship government. I just hope we can still vote at all levels, and for what we think is in our interests.

Now at least the German voters in their time elected people like Adolf Hitler to impose himself and his Party.

But we are different, and their method back then won’t work today in America. We are so different, and hopefully our future votes will express it.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Where’s the professionalism?

It is hard to figure this one out as far as reporting goes. After all, most world citizens just want the “news”, as in reporting the facts, and that is good enough. Now things in western news seem to have gone off course, at least for a while. Now also we humans have some hope in the more eastern type of reporting, as in these humans are also OK.

Now I think most people wish for the best, and anticipate the worst, and use their news to help them along. Mostly most readers of the “news” just want to learn a business advantage or family advantage they can anticipate to enhance their family’s future. This is so human.

What is hard for this human who lives in the USA is to discern what is “facts” and what is “opinion”. Having been a professionally trained sales person (a USMC recruiter), I understand the idea of a “sales pitch”.

And there is also the rest of humanity, like the rest of the world. My example invokes India, who have I think has 400 million humans living without electricity, so obviously there is no electrically delivered news. Yet I suspect they get their news, one way or the other. And they count, too.

My western type summation is simple. A lot of our fellow humans are simply different from people not like us, like easterners, and they have families and values, too. If you follow this logic, then perhaps we can lead a new way to just reporting the “news”. How about “just the facts”, which takes a lot of work and time in western talk. This idea, in academic talk, would be a paradigm shift. It’s going to happen, just how is the question? What’s the local joke…do you want fries with your order?

Now easterners are no better, since they are humans, too. But perhaps we humans can exploit all this now long established, and latest technological means, to transmit information, to include the news.

What appears to me is that so many of our young people in journalism schools are being taught about how to deliver the news, and even how you look, is a big deal. Now this idea may work on parents, but I don’t think it will work on the world, including the USA.

Now this will take some professionalism to make things better. Ideas like oaths mean something will come into play.

Are the western educators up to this. I hope so, since I am a westerner. But if not, then I guess people like them will simply be superseded in time.

Would you like fries with your order?

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Is there a privileged class in the USA?

The simple answer is no.

Now some may think they are from a privileged class, even an elite class. After all, they have been successful in their lives, and so should their children, who they will sponsor and pay for in so many ways. Maybe this happened to them, too. Maybe they even inherited money from some ancestor’s past.

And with so many children benefiting from all their parent's wonderful efforts and sacrifices, perhaps we can breed smart people, and then educate them in the higher schools that will enhance their lives, and hopefully, the nation. Along the way we expect these same children will gain the experience that made their parents so successful in their time. This sounds pretty human to most of us.

The catch is the “breeding”. Now every parent will help their kid most any way they can, and there are a lot of American kids out there who are born smart (through luck I would say), who will also offer good national, state, and local leadership based on their brains, education, and even minimal experience which will late mature over time, one hopes.

And a lot of these future leaders are not from what I call the present day privileged class. American is much bigger than this, much bigger than being a big “high school”.

Now it seems for centuries now, and for good reason I think, that the best schools for educating our young people are found in the NE part of the USA. I am from such a point of view, for example.

But the world has changed, and so have our schools of educating our children. Because the USA is OK, we now have many good schools for educating our children, smart, normal, or dumb. Now that is a parental problem to deal with.

I suspect there will be many years of friction as America changes, in this way, too.

Also. There was a book published, and an idea, about all this, many decades ago. It was called “The Best and the Brightest”, and I enjoyed it. But if this is what we have gotten, then I will shop elsewhere. Mostly the idea shopping around counts.

We in the USA have “bright” people, and should reinforce them in academic terms, and later in elections. We are way past the idea of the NE USA schools educating our young people.

Now if some of these “best” people ruled in their own way by their advice to those who appointed them, then maybe we are in trouble in our national future today. Said another way, can we find better political leaders to go forward?

After all, there are other courses of action, and other leaders we can vote on, also. And they are pretty best and bright, too.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence

This old time phrase still seems to apply to today’s times. The idea is pretty human…we always hope for the best and expect other courses of action, i.e. the other side of the fence idea, applies to we humans.

And while change is constant, it is not always for the best, as in our future, as in our family’s futures. Sometimes change may make our human quality of life less.

Now I have been tempted to buy this older idea since we in the USA and the new world seem to have an OK quality of life. Perhaps we should reduce our quality of life, if that will “save the world”. But what if, like the facts, interfere, like make our futures worse, and on purpose. Like I said in the title, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

One for fact idea bothers me. I now hear organizations like the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) want to dictate to me, a land owner, how I should live and survive up here on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee. First they don’t want to pay for their idea (like taxes), other than their own salaries. Second is that they want to maintain the “environment” in their vision, which is pretty much in the “eye of the beholder”. Now I even have sympathies, until I hear the definition of “what environment” the “eye of the beholder” wants this place to look like.

As a report to the reader of this post, much of this land when we Europeans came here was open land, with Eastern Buffalo (now long extinct) and Elk grazing in the pastures, kinda like “Little House on the Prairie”.

Even at the end of the last Ice Age about 10,000 years ago, New York City was still ½ mile under the ice. Is that the objective, which is obviously silly? And if the objective is make it like the last 100 years, well that is silly, too.

Now we in the USA can discuss and argue until we are blue in the face. What seems especially frustrating is that anyone can “hang a shingle” saying they are an environmentalist.

Now let’s move overseas. My example is India. There are 400 million humans there in rural areas without electricity. And I also read they want electricity to improve their quality of life. So where is there a discussion in the western world about all this. Now if you are a local political leader in this India example, then there is much more discussion, including environmental kind of things. Yes, there is another point of view, depending on where one sits.

My question to myself today is simple two ways. How do how I try to enhance my family’s future? And so far, how much are we humans affecting our environment, as compared to how much effect does mother nature still have?

And I don’t think of myself as stupid. I went to GaTech on a scholarship, so I give myself some credit.

I just now wonder how green the grass will be on the other side of the fence.

Now we have many courses of action that will enhance our family’s futures in our own homeland.

So be it.