Monday, November 22, 2010

Some ironic thoughts

When I think about several things, sometimes on face value, the thought often seems kind of crazy or silly.

Here’s some thoughts.

Thanks to modern medical practices, and some good education about diet and exercise, I think our life spans and quality of life are being extended. Now I think we are also talking about extending the retirement age. I find the linking of the two ideas ironic. Is keeping we humans healthier longer so we can work longer? I don’t think so, but that seems to be what is happening in the USA.

The present USA federal executive and the recent control of the two federal legislative houses by the same National political party prompt another ironic thought. It is one thing to debate the politics being practiced by the party in federal power, and another thing to debate the competency of those actually practicing these policies. Linking those two is a normal human tendency, and often results in people talking past each other. I find this ironic because it is really two different things, at least to me.

Are we in one United States, or fifty different states united for federal purposes? The question still goes on all the time, and I find it “interesting” when people say, in essence, why can’t all people think like me? Extend this to the whole world, with the Eastern value customs often being different from the Western value customs. I find it ironic that many humans think of the world has a whole vice a collection of many different states and government types, some which seem to perform better than others.

People often think of intelligence, education, and experience as being much the same. I find that ironic, since they are all different ideas, at least to me. How many people have heard others say that their kids are smarter than them? Well, if that were correct, then I think we should have a bunch of little Einstein types running around, and most of us don’t think that is the case. Better educated, perhaps? Better connected because of ancestors, maybe? But smarter, or more experienced, I don’t think so.

I find it ironic that many humans think their status quo will go on indefinitely. It could be our politics, our language and customs, even such things as public electricity or clean water and waste water treatment, or public travel at modern speeds, all on demand. Now the old expression that death and taxes will probably always occur is correct, and probably for sure change will always also go on. I believe this change idea for three reasons: humans are involved, and both gradual and catastrophic evolution are happening and will continue to happen.

Now the reader may apply these ideas to their experience and thoughts. I suspect other words like naive, idealistic, inexperienced, dichotomy, educated fool, shame, key-stone-cops, and even dumb may cross their mind. Another old time expression comes to mind too, kind of like Clausewitz's famous "fog of war" idea. This one is slightly older, but in modern terms says: "for lacking knowing what to do, we do what we know".

Last I find it ironic that most humans who promote change faster than other change already going on are also usually comfortable in their status quo existence. Their quality of life is usually pretty nice. Other humans live in a more base way where their status quo is not so comfortable, or predictable. Their quality of life is not so good, like coldness, sickness, and hunger are every day kind of problems.

I conclude this post with one example to show this is not just some idealistic diatribe about ironic situations. I once went through a Philippine village after a typhoon had come through, and all was pretty well devastated (so was where I lived at the time). And no government "help" was coming in, and people, husbands, wives, and kids were hungry and unhappy; and I went armed with 45 ammunition after that experience, and did not return there on purpose.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

This is one to write home about

Sometime in our future, when one’s kids ask about how things were in the “old” days, just tell them what you think now, and observed in your lifetime and experience. Of course, this probably goes on about everywhere and anyway, but these days are full of more change than has happened in even the recent decades. And the change is mostly human caused, I think.

Much like the idea of a “perfect storm” (either the book or the movie) things are converging in ways worth recording. Some of the outcomes may be surprising to many humans. Even the novel “The Coming Global Superstorm” may have some validity.

If you buy the idea of a “perfect storm” then think about this. In the book and movie, three different relatively individual storms combined to make a catastrophic event. Such a similar set of events may be occurring to we humans today.

Now just what do I mean, or imagine.

Storm one: Much of the world is going through economic distress, and nobody will tolerate them or their kids going cold and hungry.

Storm two: The clash between east and west value cultures continues. One has to live in other cultures to believe and observe this. It is the increased modern communications means that brings this to the front. Sometimes it is more base, like being chauvinistic. The good news is that we new world humans are “balancing things out”. And we New World humans are “from all over the world”.

Storm three: The friction between the rural human world and the urban human world will continue. Most of the human world is still rural, and any “progressive ideas” these days by urban humans will probably fail, like fall on deaf ears. Even the various forms of governments, like royalty, dictatorship, western style democracy or republican governments, tribal government, or some combination will only assert that we humans are still different in so many ways.

Like I said, these are times to write home about.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The military, expeditionary, and farm life

The purpose of this post is to talk about the common themes that surround the subject topics. More specifically, I want to think about portable electricity, mostly batteries, that seem to power most portable widgets that benefit us these days. A recent email from a relative got me thinking this way.

Anyway, public electricity to use in general is a recent phenomenon in human history, like the last one or two hundred years depending on how you count and where you live. Where I live today it is in the last 80 years or so. And in the older days here a two or three day electrical outage was considered OK…now people call to complain (on the electrically powered telephone) if they have to go 15 minutes without electricity for their home or business.

And it is a wonderful way to help we humans in whatever endeavor, like even sports games at night. Even gasoline or diesel engines that power so many good things usually get their fuel from electrically powered pumps. We are so spoiled, but can do OK if we need too, though.

When I think about batteries, I now think about them in two terms. One is the “battery case” or delivery method. Most think in terms of battery size, like “D” cell or “AA” cell. The other way to think about batteries in the chemistry that makes portable electricity, like lead acid, alkaline, lithium ion, or the various other schemes for rechargeable batteries. None are created equal.

Fast forward to the present day as far as batteries go. Most of us still have widgets (like cell phones) that use proprietary batteries. The wonderful military transceivers that talk to airplanes that support ground forces use batteries, too. Proprietary to me means custom designed, but hard to get after a few years (though they do work pretty good when they are working). And in the military, and especially in expeditionary situations, and now in farm life, getting batteries that will run whatever widget I have is a pain in the tail. Even a marketing and retail sales giant like should be applauded for all their inventory efforts.
But when one lives in rural America, or rural China, or rural Haiti, or rural anywhere (like the Saudi desert area) then the problem becomes both more apparent, and more obvious. There is a solution other humans have already thought of. And it is decades old. After all, right now Wal-Mart mostly exists in the USA.

Why not sell and use widgets that all of us use, be it military, expeditionary, farm, or mostly city use, that rolls in the wonderful portable electricity efforts going on into deliverable means, like the present batteries like “D” cells and even “AA” cells. Old companies like Racal out of England have figured this out already in then sales efforts to the third world where I captured some of their equipment. I was always impressed with the night vision equipment that ran on “AA” batteries, for example.

Whoever the human was that got the DVD standard for movies and later discs should be applauded. Later one could observe the competition between the follow on technology, BluRay vs DVD HD, two competing technologies, and both worked just fine for most of us. I for one hoped it would get sorted out other than the way it ended up. I am pretty much a generic human in this regards.

Now the portable widgets will always be around, and most help us humans in good ways. I just hope some smart people will make it easy on the rest of us, to include the batteries in our future.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Recording what you observe in your lifetime

Seems like a silly idea to most, and it may be. After all most adults think greater changes went in on in their ancestors’ times, and they may be correct, depending on where they live. That is correct in my case.

But much human change is going on in the whole world, including the USA America, and these days we all effect each other more than used to be the situation. This is a good problem, I think.

Now change can be recorded many ways…video is popular in many places I inhabit. But it still can be recorded in stories, as when some young person asks me about living “in the old days”. After all we humans are inquisitive, to include our kids.

Now one thing did hurt my feelings when I was telling some youngsters about fighting some dinosaurs at the rural place I live in Tennessee, and naturally some of them challenged me (after all I was making up a story). I used as my reference the movie “Jurassic Park”, and they wanted to know what that even meant, because that young crowd around the fire had never heard of the movie. Then I knew my time had passed, and recording history was a bigger deal than ever, and a little honesty might help, too, at least in my case.

Last, a little bit of politics from the Cumberland Plateau in East Tennessee. Even here, it appears, the times they are a changing. Not all I like, but at least I get a chance to vote my opinion and preferences.

It is when I sense hints of royalty and dictatorship at this low county level, as in stealing the vote, then I get alarmed.

And for sure, my stories about what I record these days will be interesting…some maybe even true.

And all I want to do is live OK until I die in Putnam County, Tennessee, USA. And record it of course. Mostly it will be with words, and that includes a blog.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Affirmative action gone bad

Now I still believe in the idea of “a diamond in the rough”. And I even taught at the Atlanta University Colleges for three years.

Now for those who think Negroes are inferior humans, just join the Marines and make up your own mind. I would not want to be on the other side when fighting Marines, from any race.

The key question in my mind is the cost of our national policy of trying to overcome past racial discriminatory policies and even laws. Or as a recruiter, I had quotas, and finding enough qualified females to make my quota made me happy when the rules changed. Thank goodness we can man our military, for example, with competent people to accomplish the mission. I, and we, should be proud of them.

What bothers me is our present federal President, Barack Obama.

When he spoke of 57 States, or even spoke of creating a new National Service equal in funding and manning to DOD, that got my attention. Then when I read he was elected President of the Harvard Law Review by his peers, that also bothered me since I also read he did a poor job. And after he was elected President and took a much needed vacation in Oahu, Hawaii, and then visited his dying grandmother from Kansas, and did not take his kids and wife; that bothered me a lot.

I have concluded he is a lightweight. While his ego and intentions are his alone, he is still, and in the end, a lightweight. And the “perfect storm” idea of having a National Party back him is also bad, in my opinion. When Nancy Pelosi began practicing her own foreign policy visits, that also got my attention.

Now as one who also thinks about consequences and which way to go forward, I am worried about the consequences of affirmative action when it affects me and my family. After all, nobody wants a lawyer or doctor they think is some beneficiary of affirmative action.

In such a consideration, affirmative action can also work against our best national interests. Some “diamonds in the rough” are in fact poor stones that should not be promoted beyond their ability. Most parents know this. And most of us want to make our kids happy.

Friday, November 12, 2010


The idea is pretty common.

The traditions, for example, of wedding rehearsals, most humans know about.

How about plays? Most performers go through rehearsals for human reasons.

How about amphibious landings? The military does it mostly to figure out the lessons learned. How about a future raid somewhere in the world to rescue people?

How about a musical rock tour? Most are rehearsed, too, for obvious reasons.

How about our wonderful emergency responders to police, fire, and water problems? They also rehearse, and good on ‘em. Even where I live bad weather brings down trees, for example. Even this can block roads, and maybe bop me in the head if I am dumb enough to go out in the storm.

To conclude, most humans can plan about most things ahead. That is a good reason for enjoying being a human. But sometimes, other things happen, and then a rehearsal is not a bad idea.

And I don’t mind paying for it in local city and county taxes since I respect these boys and girls good work and self sacrifice, and thinks it benefits me and my fellow citizens when we need it.

Friday, November 05, 2010

What happens if we have crummy leaders?

Now this question can apply about anywhere, and at all levels, like school board, city, county, state, and federal in the USA. Now it can also apply anywhere in the world since leader types are all over the place. Some are elected, some are dictators, some are royalty or tribal, and some are even some combination of all. Even nepotism is still around in a few places.

What worries me is if I think they can cause death or even starvation to my descendents while they are leaders that can influence my descendents. Then I have a problem, to me. Now if they die too, that is OK with me, but I doubt it.

Now maybe it was gonna happen anyway in the USA. But maybe not? After all we have all the advantages of being New World with all the Old World problems being shed. Maybe even the USA is destined to be an agricultural breadbasket, but probably not. Most Americans like working and making things.

Even one Marxist theory of dialectic materialism is an old world term appropriate to the Old World and another way of thinking back then about human history and actions in their time and experience.

Along the way, much friction is still occurring since most humans don’t like change, to include, it seems in this New World USA. Yet change is always occurring since it seems humans are involved, including immigrating humans.

So what happens if we have crummy leaders where we live today in the USA?

My suggestion is twofold.

First is to do whatever you think is right. Now that will probably be a painful process. And it is most important to start, thinking the finish will maybe be much later in the future, and good leaders at all levels may perish along the way. At least they will be proud leaders until the day they die. And they will have started things that are important to them.

Second is to applaud all the social and political change efforts that have gone on so far in the USA. A soft revolution is much preferable to what I imagine as a hard revolution.

To conclude, change is good, though most humans don’t like it. It makes us feel uncomfortable. Yet how are we going to elect in the USA New World leaders who represent us better than some of the crummy leaders it appears we have elected up until this time.

Yep, the times they are changing. And that includes the political status quo of the last century.

Last I heard, we are still in charge of our future, and our kid’s futures. My guess is this non revolutionary change ( I hope) will in the end take up to around the time 2020. The Moody’s forecast about two years ago suggested 2016. So where you live be yourself, and then guess and plan anyway you think is correct.