Friday, December 30, 2011

This is a good time to be a political propagandist

After all, you can say about anything, even lie; and more often than not, apparently lazy reporters today will reverberate all this "as news".

If the 24/7 news cycle, or something else, has led "reporting" to this state, then this is not healthy for any society of people wanting to be informed.

Now I also suspect political propaganda has always worked, most recently under the Nazi regime in Germany. But the techniques are alive and well in most advertising today, and even the USA Friday night news dumps.

Now one can vote with their pocket books, which I have done over time. My subscriptions to Time and Newsweek, and all print newspapers, are long gone. Even my addiction to TV channel FoxNews is being abandoned by me do to the voiced ignorance of their newsreaders (cookie cutter blondes and pretty boys) and apparently their producers, mostly in New York City, too.

So as we common citizens go forward in life, how are we going to be influenced in our vote, assuming we can still vote?

I myself am most interested in the facts, and not the opinions of many "reporters" and pundits, who often have their own agenda. As my now deceased father used to say, I only believe 10% of what I read, and 50% of what I see. And all too often, it seems opinions are now published or broadcast as news. Now this is different in the last half century, and morally wrong, to me.

And all I want to do is make an informed vote, locally, state, and federally.

And I recognize that many fellow citizens are too busy working and raising a Family to be informed enough to their satisfaction. But I have the time, and inclination, to be informed, like not having or wanting to take out the time to filter out the propaganda.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Scourges of humanity

Disease and famine are scourges of humanity.

Now many scourges are caused by mother nature, but we humans have done our bit, too. Much famine I read about is often human caused, for example.

And my perspective is influenced by having lived around the world, and most recently in rural east Tennessee.

For example, where I live now there are plenty of poor people, almost all white. Many choose to be poor, whether on purpose or not knowing better. Often they are from broken homes, which is another scourge of humanity. Drugs and alcohol are often involved. It's hard to generalize about so many humans. It is my opinion that this is just a sad fact of life for a relatively small percentage of our total population.

Here's one local example. A single mother (age 30) of two, overdoses on illegal drugs, and dies. Her two kids are forced to live with relatives.

Here's one more example. A single male, age 41, never really knew his father, refuses to work a steady job, and lives off of local government handouts, charity food banks, and his relatives and few friends. Some get insurance payments, too. He is obviously not starving, and tolerates that life style. So do many of his relatives.

So I didn't "fall off the turnip truck" yesterday, an old fashioned phrase.

It's been a remarkable trip through life for this fellow, born in 1948.

If one buys the polls (I do), then American culture is at a crossroads of sorts.

I think about this a lot. Mostly how to define what is going on, and what is important to me.

Several things keep popping up in my mind. Here they are:
1) Why is government involved in charity? Obviously, to me, that is a voter decision, and we have seemed to elect people that want to get government more involved in charity, and are willing to pay taxes for this involvement.
2) How about my group rights, vice my individual rights? Both are defined, to me, in our USA Constitution. In a nutshell, can one individual shut down a group for their own reason(s).
3) Schools should exist to teach the 3R's; and skills for life, like filling out tax forms, balancing home budgets, and making things. The rest of life's education of our children should occur at home, to include ethics.
4) One of government's jobs is to promote a man and a woman raising any children that result. I think of this as so fundamental. This old fashioned idea can be as simple as tax advantages to living together when raising kids. Just one dumb example for me. I remember getting in a fight around age 13, and the other kid got a broken arm out of the fight. Well the reactions from my mother and father were totally different, so having a mom and a dad around helped influence my upbringing.

So do we want to descend into an historical scourge of humanity where the rabble and riff raff run things into the ground? Of course not. But it does take leadership and action, and one sales pitch is to start where you are to impose standards, and maybe in twenty or thirty years our descendents will get the benefits. To me, I can't tell anyone what to think, but we sure can impose standards of behavior.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Just the facts, ma'am

I recall this line from the old Dragnet TV series. It was delivered by Jack Webb, as I also recall.

Now we Americans are pulling out of Iraq, thank goodness. Now this is a hint as to my politics.

The facts, if you will, are pretty simple.

After we invaded and won the war in Iraq, the Department of Defense (DOD) took over winning the peace. DOD appointed a retired Army General, Jay Garner as I recall, to be in charge. Earlier Jay Garner had led the effort in Kurdistan (northern Iraq) after Desert Storm when we imposed a no fly zone. His stated objective was to leave Iraq within six months, and let them (the Iraqi's) sort it out.

Well, again as I recall, a big political battle went on in Washington, D.C. The State Department (led by another retired Army General, Colin Powell) ended up winning the political battle, and a well regarded bureaucrat, Paul Bremmer, took over winning the peace.

And now nine years later, many dead and wounded Americans later, and $840 billion dollars later, we are finally out.

One opinion, too.

Back in the late 1800's a bunch of Russian and European diplomats drew colonial boundaries, mostly in Africa and the Caucus areas. I wish they had made a Kurdistan, and a Baluchistan, and a sub-divided Sudan (which is pretty much was has happened). Now I suspect, in the case of Kurdistan, most local political leaders in Turkey, Iran, and Iraq, will disagree. And many people are now dying for these decisions, and the decision makers are long dead. Go figure.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The value of ethics

I heard another hope for our new world USA culture today. It mentioned ethics.

Now this subject can be taught in schools, but to me it is best taught at home over time by a Mom and a Dad for it to be imbued into our psyche and culture. And it is being "imbued" by so many Moms and Dads throughout our world, so good on them!

Now one can even define their ethics, usually along the lines of right and wrong, the golden rule, or respect for others; and in the end, self respect. Each of ourselves are usually our own worst critic.

Another key point, to me, is that an ethical background makes one better able to make day to day decisions on the fly, as in quickly. It happens all the time.

So let us just reinforce those who imbue ethics in our descendents.

And let us reject those who have just been shortchanged in their ethical upbringing. Now to do so will probably takes decades, but one does have to start somewhere.

I buy the idea that if an idea takes decades to take place, it will probably take decades to change course. Along the way, people will have to die, usually of old age. After all, one can't teach ethics to old dogs, and these "old dogs" just need to die off.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Mission First

The mission of government is to represent the people being governed. The people are the rulers, in the end.

Now there are variations of this idea in human history. Be it dictatorship, royalty, tribal chiefs, parliamentary, republican, all these ideas in the end need the people to support it, or at least put up with it. Sometimes it takes a war for others to impose their system. Sometimes it takes a revolt or revolution to accomplish the mission. And then, here in the new world USA, think local, state, and federal since there are many governments. Though many, the mission is singular.

Now in the new world USA it appears we have a new group at the federal level who want to change the mission. Now the mission cannot be changed since it is a human right that the people are the rulers. But the friction is nevertheless going on in the new world USA. Only time will tell how it sorts out.

Most hope it only takes a vote, vice fighting among ourselves.

And most only have so much "time in the barrel" before they are replaced by their children. In the meantime, since their children cannot vote and are generally not ready to fight, adults are pretty self-sacrificing in representing themselves, their Families, and their children.

Like the title suggests...mission first.