Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hope for the new world USA

Hope springs eternal is a phrase I like. But it is also human based, I also think.

So no matter how much damage our present USA federal executive (and his political party) does during his time in power in the USA; economic, political, and cultural (maybe moral), I think the masses, we humans, will prevail. Like the title suggests, hope springs eternal.

Now I also believe the status quo of the last hundred years is also changing, and the outcome will probably be unpredictable today. For those that trust the experts to predict, I understand and accept it. For those who ascribe to this idea, just look at how well the sports predictors perform. And I think they have better data than the political prognosticators usually have.

Having been a Marine, I trust human behavior mostly.

And I am becoming pleasantly surprised to read more and more that others may think and say the same effect in the whole human world. It sure seems like it is. While the outcome is unpredictable, I like it better than things like the more status quo European colonization policy of about 100 years ago (mostly the nation-state boundaries), that we are still enforcing, at least selectively. Call it a UN thing. Even Colin Powell declared it US policy years ago. I just wonder what the people who live there think?

Just let me provide one example of what I mean. A few English and Russian diplomats over 100 years ago came up with the Durand Line as an effort to divide the Pashtun Tribe, which was area between British India and Afghanistan at the time. This line is still the present border (now between Pakistan and Afghanistan), and we are still shedding American blood to keep it the same.

Let me provide a second example. Many USA humans are voting with their pocket books, and their feet, or so I think. Only time will tell, of course.

What appealed to me today is an article by a gal I like reading. Here's a link:

Most of us humans like leadership, if we have trust and confidence in those in charge. And at least for next 50 years in human history, I sure hope the USA can provide it. Of course, that is up to us voters in the USA, which is constantly changing, too.

Like the title suggests, hope does spring eternal.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The three courses of actions method

By my personality and professional training, I always offer alternatives to solving problems I present. Hence I apply this method to our present federal indebtedness that affects our USA nation today. That is the identified problem.

To me there are practical alternatives, as well as political alternatives. I take that into account. Consider this method in how you vote.

Alternative 1: Do nothing. Just muddle through and address each result as it affects us. This alternative has the advantage of deferring probable painful outcomes. It does defer the initiative to others than today's citizens and their politicians. This alternative will take about two years or more to reach down to the school board, city, county, and state levels, like 2014 or later. And the others are those that have been loaning us money so far.

Alternative 2: Live within our means, which is not what has been happening the last few decades. All these wonderful benefits will come to an end as priorities are set by our politicians. This practical alternative will have obvious political effects as the "aggrieved" use their votes to protect their interests. This commotion, or adjustment, will take probably five years or more. Many will find out happiness is not always connected to benefits. Many societal shifts will occur to reflect the decisions made.

Alternative 3: A combination of Alternatives 1 and 2. This alternative assumes it took the USA decades to get into this present mess, and it will take decades to get out of it. Hence, use the idea of laws and procedures that guide new world USA society along in the direction we want to head. Said another way, one has to accept that actions (and laws) have consequences. For example, imagine our future generations not being able to buy a house because they have to instead work three months a year just to pay the interest on the debt this generation is incurring. Plus their old ancestors are moving in with them after Social Security failed.

Along the way, we in the USA do not exist in a vacuum, both now, and in our future.

So what happens around the world if so many that depend on USA consumption can no longer depend on jobs to feed that consumption. After all they want to have families, and be warm and fed, too.

So bottom line: decisions will be made, like it or not. And the three courses of action method is one way to go in influencing your vote.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The meanderings of a lightweight

Just assume our present federal President is a lightweight. By that I mean he has good intentions in his mind, but less experience to help himself along given the problems of the world's humanity, including those of us in the USA. And in this assumption, he has hired fellow lightweights to help him rule.

People who have promoted him as being brilliant (like super intelligent) are balanced by those who have seen too many chinks is his armor. "Just listen to him" often works for so many who see much missing in his knowledge, or even truthfulness. Maybe he is just a crummy President, in the end.

I always liked the idea I was taught that to be a good Sergeant, one has to prove himself at lower ranks, first. If we have time, that makes sense to me. And we should make the time, I think. Mostly making the time means educating young men and women who have shown themselves to be good candidates. That gives them extra help with their increased responsibility.

I always also liked the idea of citizen politicians. And in that vein, I guess I can be a radical, too, and suggest our vast new world USA has outgrown Washington, D.C. Our legislature needs to be bigger (and more representative), and the 1913 law limiting our House of Representatives needs to change. That means, a radical thought I think, that the rules limiting building heights in D.C. need to change, or let's new world USA people just move our capital, kinda like what got Brasilia going a while back.

So does any of the preceding, or any other ideas and frustrations amount to a hill of beans?

I don't decide. Take your own path if you wish.

I have a good friend who always said, in the USA past, that nothing that any politician does, be it school board, city, county, state, or federal, will amount to a hill of beans, in the long run. He might be right.

But there is another point of view, too.

What's happening in the new world, north , central, and south America, I think one should pay attention to, especially the USA. I know I don't like much of what I see, but try take the longer term view of "compared to what". Hence I recognize that maybe old world people still are doing wonderful things by coming to the new world to advance their future generations.

And I think what they do will amount to a hill of beans.

Now getting there is probably beyond a lightweight's ability, or so I think.

I for one, would like to think our rulers are riding the tiger, rather than the tiger's tail.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Time for a change

Sometimes our politicians change, but then sometimes we change, too.

Last I heard was that the elected politicians were supposed to represent we common citizens. Seems fair to me. But if and when our politicians start dictating to the common citizens their values, of which I am one of the common citizens, then things have changed. Does the tail wag the dog, as an example of what I am thinking about? Does my vote still count in America? I sure hope so. What is good for our collective good, for example? Do I get a say?

Can our federal President say what is fair, or can we common citizens dictate that, for example? I personally resent our present President dictating my moral thoughts, especially when it comes to charity.

The question is begged about anyone's motivation? Does the end justify the means is also a good question? To me it drags in the idea of a human Constitution that we have today in the USA today. In my mind it tried to address all the human foibles we have, and we humans have pretty much not changed in thousands of years. We have our own human problems too, I guess. Hence, in my mind and thoughts, our Constitution is both special, and unique, in our human history.

So what is going to happen given the present situation in the USA, and I add in the Western World, mostly in Europe?

The quick answer is that I don't know confidently enough to predict.

The longer answer is that the idea of a human Constitution will predominate, even in China and throughout Asia.

After all, we all want to work (politically and otherwise) to make our families warm and fed, with good prospects for their future, where ever we live on this earth.

This "radical" idea suggests that it is time for a change. Lord hope it doesn't take a revolution to make it happen. Or a failing U.N. to boot.

After all, there are many other alternatives that will work, too.
Now that is another post for another time.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The world wonders?

This title applies today, though it was born in WWII, if you believe the history, which I do.

Why does the world wonder today?

I don't know, but this is still what I think. The USA is still a big deal in the world in all ways. What happens here still affects others throughout the rest of the world. This effect will probably last for another two decades or so, I think.

The new world USA electorate is still focused on many other things, like raising a family. Much of the "nuance" reflects this. Whatever happens here will probably be more family oriented, and often reflective of what our present politicians are and will do in the near future. A cynical individual, like I am, would suggest that many of these serf people are used to the status quo, as it affects them. And when the status quo changes, then the electorate will rise up and change their politicians, or so I think. What hurts my feelings, is that it will take family hurt and pain to have this happen. So much for "chattering".

Many in the next few years will be threatened as to their USA benefits, too. Like most, they want something for little contribution, and will use their vote to say so.

So why am I wondering? Because it did not have to happen as I sense things are unfolding today. Nobody wants to be cold and hungry, especially when it affects their kids. All want something for little contribution, but if and when it ends, then they go cold and hungry, burden their children, and in general, be unhappy campers, still with a vote.

So why is the "chattering class" even bothering to do their bit. I suspect mostly it is because that is a good job these days, and also they care about their families, too.

So why is the other class, kinda like the serfs, going on about their way. I don't know, but can guess. Of course it depends on where one lives, but in general one has many more problems than the 2012 elections in the USA.

So why is the new world USA still up for grabs.

Here's the good news. Compared to other places in the world, this is still a better place to be, and have a family.

I just hope our political leaders can influence the future decisions, vice the money makers when things turn sour, who after all, have families and have to make a living, too.

Like the title suggests, the "world wonders"?

And I wonder, too. Does it take family and societal pain to make change happen?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The die has already been cast

To me this expression means an irrevocable choice has been made. Some of us are planning ahead using this idea, in our own way of course. Now I never thought of myself as a survivalist (whatever that is), but now assume I will lose one half my wealth in the next few years, and maybe even get cold and hungry this next winter.

But I think I will survive, barely and certainly, and probably not happily. Especially when I think we humans did it to ourselves, though it did not have to happen. There were alternatives along the way. As to myself, I am doing things to try survive where I live just to get through this coming winter.

Of course I am positioning myself to go forward in other ways, too.

My logic line today is that eventually no other humans will loan us money, as in finance our debt. They will have their own problems, too. And then we in the USA will have to live within our own means, which are considerable. I think it is fair to say that many people and governments have been living in the past decades on borrowing, or the wealth of others as one might say. One subject I seldom hear discussed in the USA is what happens when fellow humans quit loaning us money. Right now the debate about debt seems to assume we can borrow forever. After all that has been the status quo for decades. And in the last few decades our inflation rate has been normal.

What appeals to me is the logic line, there. Compared to many others places in the world, we New World USA humans are an OK place to use trust and confidence in promoting our families health and success, and wealth that we have made.

Though, what happens when other humans get cold and hungry, too. Nationalistic movements, like what happened in Germany in the 1920's may arise. Just look at the recent elections in Finland, for example. Or in my imagination and experience, China may do its normal bit and devolve into civil war, with nuclear aspects. Lord knows what will really happen, to include mother nature wild card type events, all with some human reaction through our political leaders.

All this friction is normal to me, with one caveat.

It sure seems we humans (who can vote and have it count) have elected a generation of "lightweight" political leaders (with exceptions of course). And they have hired lightweight minions. Now how they handle the coming frictions is a big worry for me, both nationally in the USA, and internationally. For those who have other governments, like dictatorships, royalty, tribal, religious, or some mixture of all, that is beyond my experience level. I still think the key point to me is how well do they represent their citizens, and their circumstances. And how well do others respect it, or try impose their way of doing things.

So like the title suggests, the die has already been cast.

Lord hope we humans do "trade-ins", at all levels, and in our own ways!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Why are we in Afghanistan, today?

Like I think most Americans think, the USA had a good reason to go into Afghanistan, especially after the 911 attacks. In my mind there was self defense going on. And I think we Americans did a good job, all in all.

Now it seems the mission has morphed into something like "nation building". Now why that is in our National Interest, I don't know, though I've heard all the various reasons to try get there.

If we want to spend tax money, try doing so on the Cumberland Plateau, for example. Now that is a nation building effort I can understand as to be a good mission. Or just save it for other National Interests.

Or cut down the borrowing rate, assuming we can still borrow into the future.

We Americans are pretty good I think. That extends to our cultural instincts to help others, and even to do military type things. But along the way, some heavy weight type leadership is called for, and that seems to be lacking at so many levels of governments, these days.

Our present President Obama ran on the idea of hope and change. I still like that idea. But also, using his words, it's time for a trade-in, and we in the USA should consider this trade-in idea in how we vote in the future.

The federal Executive is a powerful position, to include those appointed minions. Use your imagination; suppose we elected a lightweight who appointed and hired similar lightweights. This is serious business. One could apply this to the other levels of government, to include the federal legislatures, both the House and the Senate.

Here's an example of serious business. One local Monterey Tennessee boy joined the Marines and has already been over there. Why? After all he has a Mom and Dad and local community in his life, too, who want to feel safe. I don't think he was brought up to be a Nation Builder in Afghanistan.

And I have a former student at GaTech who got mobilized to fill a Agriculture Dept. quota to help on farming in Afghanistan. I am still bitter for two reasons.

One is that he has his own family who also goes in harm's way.
Two is that other Americans would not fill this quota.

So like the title says, why are we in Afghanistan, today?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Let 'em suffer

It's a selfish thought for three good reasons in the year 2011.

First is that I can pontificate, and hope I die before I have to live the consequences. Most of us know there are always unintended consequences. Now that knowledge in my case is both through professional past experiences, as well as family life.

Second is that I tried, in my own way in my past, of trying to suggest changes to our culture and our many governments' present methods of doing business that other might agree on. Strike two in my mind. I failed, or just did a poor job.

Third, and last, is I suspect the old fashioned way of social security will come back. That basically means having more kids, who then take care of their ancestors the best they can. And as a now "Sr.", the thought of being shuffled around really hacks me off. I would rather die first with dignity and self respect and independence, but others are different, of course. Along that way, still contributing to society is a really big appeal, too. Bottom line, I would like to be warm and fed, and right now I can do it myself.

So good luck for the younger people reading this post. I am age 62, and already have passed the torch, at least in my mind.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Hope for our American future

First the bad news. The opportunity for our two present national parties (Republicans and Democrats) to make better our present economic problems has passed.

In hindsight, these two parties had about 100 years to have their way, and this is what we got. Of course "this" depends on where you live.

What really upsets me is what I believe to be the coming inflation, and its effects on my family and friends where I live. It did not have to happen, in my humble opinion. Bottom line, our quality of life is going to be reduced, like dimished in polite talk. I've lived through inflation, before, by the way.

And to pile things on, again on the down side, what will happen when fellow humans will no longer loan the USA money to finance our ways. Then we will have to live within our means, which are considerable, and which will be painful to so many of us, including me, who depends on a military retirement. I suspect inflation will be a factor that the loaners invoke when they assert themselves, and their rules that affect us, we the common citizens.

So much for the bad news.

There is good news, too. Mostly I use the idea that compared to other places in the world, this new world USA is not a bad place to be when change comes.

After all, people have to live, have families, and want to work, and that is why so many emigrate to the new world USA. And what ever happens, I suspect it will not look like the new world USA we live in today. Imagine your kids and different cultures, USA style, all mixing here on our land. This appeals to me, at least as compared to living in Sri Lanka, for example. Yep my kid may marry a person with a name from another culture, back when their ancestors emigrated here. I now suspect they are Americanized, what ever that means where they or you live.

And I suspect a new political party will arise to represent all this, maybe as soon as 2020. The alternatives like another way to rule I suspect just won't happen in new world USA.

To use an old phrase, in this is the national hope. Yep, I am optimistic that after much pain, the best is still yet to come, at least for my descendents. And I don't think of myself as relgious.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Just another Cumberland Plateau set of postings

He’s out of jail, again. I figure his drug use is a violation of his parole, so he’ll end up serving out the rest of his original sentence, and he will go away eventually for a long time. That is probably a good thing for him since he can’t take care of himself.

He’s still without a job so that confirms how worthless he is. He actually stopped by last late afternoon to get a bunch of his stuff out of this house, and lied some more about his circumstances. Too bad he doesn’t want to work.

All I kept saying was see you later. He’s got someone else supporting him right now, poor fellow. I suspect his world is finally closing in on him at age 40.
I presume his truck is still down, too. Like I said he can’t take care of himself, or pay to get his truck fixed if he doesn’t work.

It makes me curious as to how long his next term in jail will be. He comes up with a new excuse to not work every day. People like that piss me off. I go to bed at 10 and get up at 6 and go to work. It doesn't take a genius to do that.

I can’t remember exactly, but suspect it will be over one year, more likely a year and a half. And that is just the parole violation of his previous sentence stuff! Who knows what is being added on to.

Why he does not want to work still escapes me. I have done everything I could to break that code, and failed. I suspect he is, at age 40, just scared to leave Monterey, which one usually has to do that to get a job these days (not a periodic project). Hence he is not what I think of as the normal criminal, just a lazy human who lives off of the goodwill of family, friends, charity, and the local governments (think of food banks as an example). But like the old pecker head I can be, I warned him about all this, and he just blew me off. Now let the government take care of him (using my taxes of course). He should respond well (or at least better) in that environment.

Anyway, I don’t have to wake up at 0200 anymore to hear Jeremiah Johnson the movie in French, or find out the next day the movie Happy Gilmore has been reprogrammed to a serious adult level that I could not even see, after years of watching it again and again. Like I joked to you, I only live here, and still pay my way. And at the time he was highly drugged by himself, and mumbling at best.

Last, let me reverse, like mission first! There are a lot of good young people who can use all the reinforcement old people like me can provide. And I choose to do so.

Hope springs eternal. There are plenty of good American people around. And losers like him are still a minority, kinda like normal throughout the world I have been to and lived in.

And compared to the Marines from Monterey deployed overseas, Putnam County is OK. At least where I live now it is not a canvas tent with a dirt floor, with ice on the inside tent walls in the morning. Although long johns in the house did help, at this last winter that we are coming out of. And back then I did have to use an outhouse for obvious public sanitation reasons. Anyway, Putnam County is still OK, to me.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Ignore the people at your own peril

Most people know this in their own way. Whether it is in business, the military, political governing, or dealing with your relatives, the principle is pretty much the same. Just listen to them, and they will pretty much tell you what you probably want to know to get your mission or goal accomplished.

There are many famous lines that say this well. One is about relatives. It goes: "we can pick our friends but not our relatives". Another is about customers: "the customer is always right".

This post, and poster, chooses to focus on USA ideas. Of course one can expand it to many other places in the world where people ignored have been set off to demonstrate or even revolt against their status quo. The obvious area reported these days is the middle east, but the idea really does cover the world and all it various circumstances.

One common theme everywhere, I think, is that people want to be warm and fed, have dignity, and take care of their families. There are, again I think, about a zillion ways this gets expressed around the world.

Here in the USA I think it gets expressed mostly through the vote and at all levels: school board, city, county, state, and federal. Now if that is not possible for whatever reasons, then things like the Civil War occur; or otherwise called many other names to include the War of Northern Aggression, the War of the Rebellion, and the War Between the States.

The point is that ignored people will act in their own way where ever they live.

What worries me, and that is the correct term, then concerns and imagination takes hold, or at least comes into play. And our imagination is often our worse enemy. But it happens, and should be recognized by anyone with experience as a factor to be reckoned with, especially if they are in charge whereever.

So what worries me is thinking we have light weights in charge at too many levels. Let me define lightweights: "lacking experience though well intentioned". The obvious follow on to this idea is: what will they do when times get really hard? Like most, I think again, I hope for the best, and expect the worst.

What might the worst look like in the USA. Only your imagination really counts. Mine is going cold and hungry next winter, and having no expectation things will get better. Said another way, one can lose hope and faith in the ability of our present elected leaders at all levels. Another expression is trust and confidence. Things will get really tough when people start dying in large numbers, and communications suffers along with energy blackouts, or at least rolling blackouts. Like it or not, we are dependent on public electricity, which has only been around for about 100 years.

Having followed that logic line, then what happens when the present lightweights who hold the reigns of governments do their responses, which I suspect may include imposing some kind of martial law to rule. And what do we the people do to survive in our own local way?

Will it include demonstrations, revolts, tribal rule, religious rule, or some kind of royalty? I don't know. I imagine it depends on where you live and your customs.

And all I want to do is be warm, and able to eat, have dignity, and take care of my family.

Like the title says, ignore the people at your own peril.