Monday, February 28, 2011

Voting with my pocket book

A recent light bulb went on, to me. Until this "light bulb" went on, I thought I had to assume and take about any insult and lack of service, including what I paid for.

Now I am beginning to think maybe many others think like me. Hence, in this idea, just vote with your pocket book and wait, and see what happens.

Let me provide some stories.

My local USPS (US Post Office) fellow would not walk the last 20 yards to deliver a package, which I paid to have delivered. I later found a note in my mailbox saying to hike or drive the 2 miles to the local post office, and back, just to get the widget I had ordered and paid for. Now, being a good local citizen who does not want to put anyone on report, and having bitched to local post master, he brought it out to me. Forget that UPS and Fedex and my local Mexican maid routinely do the same thing, like come the last 20 yards. When I later confronted the postmaster (in a nice way), he suggested there were union rules involved.

So I called to try put me a no USPS shipping list. I was told that was not possible.

So I no longer shop with both, or use their shipping methods. Now that is voting with my pocket book, to me.

Now it gets worse. I live in east Tennessee, but have land in the Nashville metro area (middle Tennessee). Now to even use their legally required and provided GIS (Geographical Information System) I am having to kiss the tail of some young person who is probably not from there, just to get some simple GIS data. And I still pay taxes, which I think, still helps pay their salaries. They can run me off, all they want, but in the end I have a pocket book, too. Even the old time water board leader fellow, a retired vet, suggested when he died other outsiders would take over. That did not bother me as long as they provided a service. I listened, and now I also get to vote with my pocket book.

Let me go on. I recently ordered a widget through some firm not local. Now 17 days into trying to get it returned (which has failed so far), and not even being able get Netflix, which I still pay for but get no benefit, now I wonder why?

One more go on. I have been arrested three times for the same thing in my local county. Even the last time, the police apologized, and brought me back. So much for the effects on my Family, which are obvious to most. But so called jack leg boots coming into my home on a late Sunday evening and waking me up (like 2300) is another example. And this has happened to others, if you believe the local newspaper. I still got a County tax bill, later, by the way.

Last, and in your local area, I suggest just to vote with your pocket book, and see what happens. You might be surprised.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Words mean things

To me there is a swirl of word things around me. To simplify things, in my military mind, words mean things.

And I don't think we humans have changed much in the last 2,000 years; but at age 62 I have also seen changes in my lifetime that disturb me about our political American culture. And these changes are not about the status quo, but in words meaning things.

Now I think it is time to even speak about things like morality, ethics, and even political correctness.

Now I think most are not surprised by a candidate for any office claiming and saying about anything in order to get elected. Most voters know to take it with a grain of salt. But when they continue, if elected, to rule by lies and subterfuge and too many obvious reverses, then that is different in my lifetime, I can report.

Even more so I am bothered that those elected and those appointed by them take oaths so casually, to include the inauguration of our Federal President in front of our whole Country. Even signing documents about disclosure and avoiding purchasing conflicts of interest seem above the law to so many. Even more, too many elected and even appointed people saying they will not enforce a law previously voted on and signed by an executive disturbs me. This idea smacks of royalty, which is not the USA I want and am willing to pay taxes to. After all, these people may be in the executive, but they are not the judicial, another branch of government in the USA.

Now I accept an appalling amount of ignorance in our elected politicians, whether I like it or not. In fairness some are smarter than others, and I guess and hope most are pretty hard working. But when I read reports about federal elected politicians, or their staff members, wanting to check on railroad schedules from California to Hawaii (across the Pacific Ocean), or Senator Charles Schumer saying there are three branches of government, the Senate, the House, and the President, then I am at best disappointed, and wonder what I can do, other than vote, of course.

All this ignorance has nothing to do with ethics or morality I would also say. Whether one is smart or dumb, educated or not, experienced or not, being honest (ethical and moral) is a simple way to rule in the USA.

But the alternative of things like lying, as in doing some simple kind of debate point or method in order to advance one's cause, is something I suspect most of our Moms and Dads did not teach us, or even encourage us on. After all peoples' lives are at stake as goes ruling, and helping a business succeed is crucial to keeping so many of us being gainfully employed.

I often wonder what times were like during the fall of the fall of the Roman Empire; or more "recently", the American Revolution against England. I suspect things are different now, though I will never know and will not speculate on.

So I expect some kind of uniquely American and New World way to go forward, with much pain in the process, and where words mean things. The status quo of the last 100 years is changing, right in front of us. In Apollo 13 talk, anarchy is not an option, and never has been. Citizens will step up and be guided in ways other than what is happening these days; that is they will act in their self interests for their Family and where they live. And I expect the anchor to all this will be words meaning things, at least more than seems to have been happening in the last half century.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The power of video

You can believe it or not. I don't believe most contrived and presented pictures. You may. Like I said, I don't, and take things with "a grain of salt", an old time expression. And I know how to do Photoshop stuff (including videos), like many of us.

In the old days (like since WWII), most video was TV delivered, like over the over the air networks. Now the internet and cell phones have made video another way to "report". Check out YouTube for example. But even before then, the power of video, and pictures in general, was well known. Even in the "old" days we all who went to the movies would often have to watch Real Tone movies about current events. This idea later expanded to even when "news" gained 15 minutes a day in the evening USA national TV after people came home from work, to include Huntley Brinkley. That period was the first time I heard my mother fart.

Later things "progressed". Even CNN and many other 24/7 news channels entered cable TV systems. Now where I live in east Tennessee, I still wonder why I can't get just the channels I want to want and do watch. I still have to buy packages, including things like CNN and MSNBC, which for my politics, I abhor. I asked a lawyer lobbyist 1st cousin who attends to the Tennessee legislature about this, and his opinion is that it was their decision.

Now I have been a Marine recruiter in Kentucky a long time ago, and I think I understand the basic principles OK. I've even had a lot of training is this area.

And I think I "know" a lot about "propaganda". I used these principles all the time. I am as good as any Nazi, I would think. This included exploiting video, back then. After all, I had a quota to make for that month.

Now I advance to today. I still only believe about 10% of what I read, and at best 50% of what I see, to include video. So if you want to be an informed USA citizen about what is going on, for real, then good luck. There are other sources, thank goodness, paltry as they are. And video stuff is suspicious, at least to me.

Even look at the composition of any video you see. For example, is it an area shot or a more focused local shot. Anyway, I think this way. Maybe you should, too.

Now the "news" people who present their news should be subject to the American Sherman Antitrust Act, which will probably never happen. But I also predict many subscribers and voters will vote with their pocket book, to include even the recently reported item that Newsweek magazine sold for $1. After all, why should I pay for other humans giving me their opinions? I can go to the local Hardees at breakfast time and coffee club for that, for example.

So what is the value of video when you watch it however. I would say be careful, like most I think.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Are we being exploited?

In my mind exploited means being taken advantage of.

Those running for elected office may not be acting in our interests, like be a representative, but more acting in their interest and intentions. However you think about this, your answer does affect our human future.

This is a worldwide idea, and problem I think. The common theme I read about is "democracy", whatever that means in one's own country, or even my local County in the USA. Even local sharp fellows have tried to steal an election, using computers of course. And all I want to do is have my vote count.

And even politics can be hard ball. Like one method is to impugn your opponents credibility. That has seemed to work in our human past, at least in the USA.

But how about "our" future, not some politician's future?

After all, most humans just want to work, and promote and defend their family's futures. This idea has little to do with "democracy". After all there are alternatives, like tribal leaders; even dictators and royalty. The key point to me is listening to the ruled, however the government sorts out. I am confident all these kinds of governments know how to listen. And some do better than others.

So are we being exploited? I think so.

How are we people going to sort it out? I don't know for sure.

Monday, February 21, 2011

All this turmoil in the USA was and still is predictable

Here's why. Humans are being themselves, which is mostly selfish. And some are worse than others. All want to do well for themselves, their families, and their grandkids that they know right now. Whether they loan money, rate the credibility of the borrowers, or simply just work to get through life (like be warm and fed), we are all human in how we think about things and make decisions.

It is the predictable decisions that makes things so...predictable. Even two or three years ago, Moody's, one credit rating company that does this for a living, predicted the down rating of the USA's ability to borrow in 2016. And while that was an opinion, it seems to have made a point to me.

The logic line I follow is twofold, both folds human. When governments can no longer borrow like in the last many decades, then people will lose jobs, and even schools and police protections may shut down. And two, when the loaners start imposing their conditions, then voters are no longer in charge.

Now then can we local voters even decide as to how our future goes? After all, if there is not enough money for all good intentions, then what will locals vote for as to be represented for their benefit? Think priorites in this case. And I still think we can vote, and help it count.

There is a worse logic line I have thought of, and hope never happens. Suppose all the borrowing continues, somehow, and in the future when our kids or grandkids grow up and find out they have to work for two or three months a year just to pay the interest on the federal debt, and can't even buy a house because they can't afford the house payments after satisfying all that the present generation is borrowing on, then I predict generation warfare, whatever that means. After all they want to have families, too.

Now I cannot predict the future at that level, but it is a good guess that things are going to be painful here in the USA. And some places will be more painful than others. Even where I live in east Tennessee I suspect times are going to get harder in 2012 and later. I am weird enough (age 62) to still appreciate all the public electricity benefits we have today, which may decline in the future if our elected governments have their way. And my military retirement payments (all electronic will also suffer, I suspect). I would say come arrest me, but then maybe this option will become unaffordable to state and local governments. Now I am just speculating, but the point is what I think is predictable is coming sooner than Moody's 2016 estimate.

And we USA humans did it to ourselves so far, including our votes so far.

And I really don't want to go through anarchy, again. Try exiting a hotel in Istanbul in ways just to keep from being shot. I can be devious, too.

And, for my DC friends, even I have biked the C&O Canal bike path all the way from Cumberland, Md. to Georgetown, DC, twice. I have even paddled the lower Shenandoah in flood stage, and was scared to death when it met the Potomac River, and the standing waves were such that I had to look up to the crests. I have even fished both Forks of the Shenandoah River, but I'll always remember catching hellgrammites for bait on the South Fork. And I have many many other stories, some going back to post Civil War observations, and even more modern trips like on the Yakagany in PA.

So I don't think DC is like Rome in its' end. We new world humans are better than that, I think.

But stand by for heavy rolls.

It will be a better world in the end, including the USA. After all, the old world has its problems, too. But the interim is going to be painful, like being hungry and cold. But if this forecast becomes what happens I would rather be in the new world USA than anywhere else.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Just another report from Monterey, Tennessee

First a perspective. Monterey is located in east Tennessee on the upper Cumberland Plateau. It is a nice place to live. Almost most humans up here are white, mostly I would guess from Scotch-Irish descent. Racial prejudice is tough against blacks (which are few up here), unless they excel in football. High school and middle school sports are a big deal, including girls basketball. There are even a lot of college girls scholarships to college if they are good in basketball. In geography terms, Monterey is about halfway between Nashville and Knoxville, TN. The altitude here is around 1900 feet, so it is cold here, too.

The drug problem here is horrible. Having lived elsewhere, my guess is that we locally are about average, which is a sad state of affairs.

Let me define the local drug problem, as I see it. Some girl (age 40) gets an inheritance check for $25,000, and goes through it in three weeks. A lot of pills around here go for like $80 dollars a pop (about six months ago). Many are dying early, so that appears to be a self correcting problem.

Now the good news. Compared to some other places I have lived, this is an OK place. My local county and city property tax bill is about $4800 a year.

Now the bad news. A lot of people live off the government dole, and maybe even some charity stuff.

The obvious, to me, debate, is this local "poorness" do to inheritance or even circumstances , or just plain laziness, like go get a job like most of humanity tries to do. In the meantime, just breed kids and let the government pay for it (like a once a month check).

Here at Monterey these days, I think there are a lot of low life and also well intended humans who rip us off as well as compromise to exist on the government dole. Now that upsets me, mostly about the kids they breed.

So I wonder locally how helping poor people works out in the end. Right here being a tough love kind of person is my choice, both in those I vote for and how I might contribute. Of course most don't like it.

For sure I will not, or hope I don't help contribute to maintain somebody's drug habit, especially if they exploit their kids. I offer as evidence, up here of course, going to the Crossville Flea Market and observing the women who are chubby, pierced, and tattooed, all getting in vehicles better and newer than I can afford. Now that upsets me.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

What's wrong with wanting to be warm and fed?

The simple answer is nothing is wrong with humans being themselves.

My guess is also simple. Enough lightweights that are comfortable in their own lives are willing for the rest of us to suffer. And so many of these lightweights are just that. I still wonder who pays for all this life style they might enjoy right now? I sure hope is not some government using legally collected tax payer money to pay their way to pontificate their opinion, while I suffer.

What really worries me about my families future's is the impacts of the lightweights now voted in (like our President in the USA), and all these similar lightweights he hired. It even bothered me a lot that so many or our elected Congressmen (and their hired staffers) a while back still wanted to know things, like the train schedule to Hawaii.

People are already dieing even here in the USA. When Parkview Hospital in Dallas, Texas has to suffer from an electrical blackout, that is poor performance for fellow humans in dire straights. I still appreciate being able to turn "on the switch" and have the lights come on, even where I live in Eastern Tennessee.

Another worry is about some local "kids" who are now in the military and deployed overseas, like in Afghanistan. I fear for them for the simple reason of: what would I do is some foreign invader took over my local town? To me, obviously, I would fight.

Even "more" is the thought that some lightweights may send some of my family in their cause.

Like I said, most of we humans in the USA just want to be warm and fed during our winter time. Now that principle is pretty heavy weight, to me. It is kinda like paying taxes for obvious reasons to so many Americans.