Thursday, March 29, 2012

The New World USA is special in human history

Why do I think so? Mostly it is because I have lived elsewhere, and have seen the differences with my own eyes. And I like what we have here today.

Now this is not some kind of post that suggests trust me because I think I have a good point of view. Rather it is a post about using your own eyes where you live, and your judgments, about what is best for you, and your Family.

Now I think we all know there are alternatives to how we want to be governed, to include our present Constitution, dictatorship, royalty, tribal, or whatever.

What seems to be special to me, is that the basic citizenry matters, like we (including me) rule, vice some other way to rule. In that scheme, most of us don't trust we fellow humans that much, like many of them are thinking short term or selfish, or even worse ill educated mob rule. But the beauty of our present Constitution is the " checks and balances" method of ruling, and our trust and confidence in the results, including the idea of "the rule of law". Now that is a big deal to most Americans, I think, and they will even pay taxes to support such ideas and governments. Now even most people "hate" lawyers, but at least they provide a way to adjudicate our human frictions, especially compared to other ways, like buying influence, or even revolt.

So now I perceive many fellow Americans think otherwise, like we can make it even better than what we already have, or even more simple things like it will go on forever, like public electricity. I personally agree with many of these ideas, but disagree with how fast, or even more simple things like just debate the ideas and methods, and then vote on those who represent these ideas and methods. This whole way to rule is what makes we new world USA different. A lot of places and people don't do it "that way". And I don't assume the present way is a given, like will go on forever.

So I am proud and satisfied of what we new world USA citizens have today and our ancestors built, and will do about anything to support that way of ruling. The new world USA is special in human history.

Last, what is frustrating to me, is that we common citizens (many at least) may have to "regress" in order to appreciate what we have. Now I don't choose to go that way, but maybe it is going to happen, even in our new world USA.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Marriage and middle America

When our elected leaders vote laws that break up marriages for welfare reasons, then we get what is happening now. This idea and history is over 40 years old, and even now dead Senator Moynihan expressed it in his forecasts before he died.

This whole terrible situation has take a long time to brew, so to speak. Just look at our laws, rules, and welfare benefits these days to see what I mean.

What I think we have in America today is like around 2/3 of children born are out of wedlock, like they have a mom, but dad may not be around for the hard stuff, like raising a kid. Now even I have read this applies mostly to the Negros in our America, but when I run the numbers, even this applies more and more to our "other" part of America.

So in my mind, I think that private charity to help our poor and needy is different from the government, be it federal, state, county, city, or otherwise getting involved, constrained by all the laws and rules that abrogate common sense when it applies to the governments.

For whatever it is worth, I live in rural east Tennessee, and most of the poor people here are not Negros. To add, having been a USA Marine, I also know the same thing, that is being smart and hard working deserves promotions, but being lazy doesn't deserve the same. Even I can be hard, like let them (the filchers) die off or be institutionalized if that is what they want.

What bothers me is that those deposed that way to be lazy and live can make a lifelong way of living off of the government dole. Now that grates me knowing they have good skills, but do have other government provided options these days that I think private charity would take care of, like work for food, as an example. Even food banks are involved in my frustration.

Let me say it one more way, there are white people I know who filch off of the poor (both male and female), and they still breed, too.

So back to the subject.

Why don't we elect fellow Americans who devise laws to promote marriage, like having two adults at home to raise their children? After all, raising kids is a pain in the tail, and we all know it.

The quick answer is that we can.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Good on TVA

Now there is much to be said about our poorly performing governments. I would agree with most criticisms these days.

But in the same vein, an awful lot of Americans are doing a good job providing we common citizens with electricity. One of them is TVA (Tennessee Valley Association), an area I live in. Now exactly where I live gets its electricity from TVA, and "delivers" it to me, at a good price I think, though getting more expensive.

Now having been in the Marines operating in "all climes and places", I really do appreciate those that go out to do repair and maintenance type things when things are cold and miserable. I would do it in the Marines because I had to, but I still did not like doing it. Nobody wants to be wet and cold, especially given bad weather problems, which most know do happen, like it or not. Sometimes it is even pretty dangerous. But many Americans do just that to help get us electricity, and I thank them very much.

Now in these times it even seems that we have elected leaders who want to change things more quickly to their point of view that may be messing with how TVA, and others, have operated in the past. Even decisions about sources of energy that I would probably have made then are being denigrated by this political group's "todays" standards they abide by today.

I have always suspected when they lose electricity, then things will change, but we are not there just yet. What bothers me is do I have to suffer too for "them" to get to that point.

So back to TVA. These may be difficult times for those involved in making electricity for the common good where I live. But I still applaud those that both put up with today's circumstances, and muddle through enough to do a good job.

Even I have lived in day on day off water, and periods of no electricity, so, again, I say "good on TVA". Things here are better than that in late March, 2012.

And these days I make some of my own electricity from hydro power, and given all the maintenance upkeep efforts I do, I truly do appreciate all that TVA, and its fellow Americans do about every day.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Changing the system

The beauty of what the system is in the new world USA is that we can still vote, and have it count. Now that is a big deal, since this simple idea is not universal, like many others in our world can't vote, or have it count if they even can vote. The obvious example is of "elected" Presidents for Life.

Now if one buys his idea of being special, which I think we are, then other ideas follow.

For example, many USA candidate people at all levels, be they federal, state, local, or school board should be voted on, and some need to be reinforced for doing a good job, and some need to be voted out for doing a poor job. Said another way, in an old time expression, let's not throw out the baby with the dirty bath water.

Now one can look at this dilemma in many ways, but mostly it is opportunity for change if the voters want change. Add to this the classical lying and misinformation that is promulgated (often called propaganda) during elections by politicians running for office, and one just has to wonder what we will end up with.

Now that is a typical voters dilemma.

And lord knows it doesn't take really hard times to make this apparent to so many voters who will be affected, one way or the other.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Enough already

Forget about my quality of life and expectations.

Having lived around the world, I know we have a good deal in our new world USA. The thought of some group messing up all this is, if they do it, is shameful. How naive, though maybe well intentioned and inexperienced.

Even I am making my own electricity, not for any green reasons, but more as a matter of survival. I choose not to have to live like Abraham Lincoln did, but more because I am a spoiled American. And I am paying for it, literally and figuratively. Now our ancestors did OK without electricity, and so can we, though I prefer having it still at even a basic level.

Most Americans expect public electricity on demand, forced air heat, and public clean water and waste water stuff, and food. As a Marine, I don't count on any of this...we have to work together to make it happen. And we have been doing it even in the last half century. Good on those who have and are doing it, today.

So when some group messes up all this, I think "enough already".

Now I don't focus on the past, for my own reasons. Rather I think about our future.

And I fear what the present lightweights in charge might do to my quality of life, way of being, call it what you want. In that vein, I sure hope we in the new world USA can still vote for those who represent us, and have it count. Otherwise things will get really hard, like taking to the streets, or revolution, or whatever it takes to assert ourselves.

In the meantime, I still worry about what the present lightweight federal leaders, and their hired minions, will do, if something bad like a war breaks out in the Middle East, for example, or the Yellowstone caldera breaks loose. Who knows, but mostly they seem to react, vice act. Now that idea suggests both a crummy leader, and his hired minions acting like him.

Now I have both grown up inside the Beltway in DC, and worked there too. To cut to the quick, a lot of hired minions have a lot to do with our future, and that is just not right, like we had nothing to do with them. Our elected politicians hired them...we didn't.

So what do "I" think. It's time in the new world USA for we citizens to take charge of our future.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Double standard

Does it seem to you that the idea of a double standard seems to be getting worse recently, like in the last 20 years or less? The options, to me; are about the same, better, or worse.

Now by double standard, I even suggest other ways to define the term in your own part of the world. It could be lying as a way to rule, political correctness, going along to get along, demonstrating you are savvy to others you want to impress, lack of ethics, laziness, cultural bias, simple greed, poor or no education*, secondary school clique mentality, poor reporting, and the list goes on.

And it probably applies in many areas, like religions, politics, business, and even whole cultures.

And this idea and question applies to all types of leaders; be they elected, dictators, kings, tribal chiefs, behind the scenes people, or otherwise. And this idea applies to all humans wherever they live, whether they are already affected or may be affected in the future.

Now even I know not to believe every thing I read, like I discount it at about 90%. Even the foreign reporting about what is happening in Syria is different from USA domestic reporting says,depending on whom do your trust for honesty and accuracely, and the two reports are too often quite different. And all most want to do is be informed.

And one obvious solution, if you even buy the idea that there is double standard problem that is worse than normal, which is teaching and upholding standards, and ethics, to boot. As an old Marine I would say, it is leadership by example, and steadfastness during times of turmoil. These ideas are universal, and timeless. Said another way, we can't tell people what to think, though many try, but we sure can impose standards and behaviors in both our citizens and our children.

After all, there are good times and bad times in our human evolution, and it usually takes "the regular people" to change things, over time of course, and in little bitty pieces. Such is my 'sense" today.

And right now we the people will guide our cultures as best we can, usually at the Family level, which is pretty good, to me. And lots of people already are doing this kind of thing, so good on 'em, and keep it up. Slowly but surely, the big ship will change course!

* To me there is: intelligence, and most of us are average, which is good; education, which varies all over the place and often depends on the individual being educated and the culture that is educating their young; and experience, which usually increases with working or being a parent over time, like getting older.

Friday, March 09, 2012

One path to our future

We the people are gonna decide.

Now the path may be convoluted. This obviously includes the idea of our culture evolving, too.

And the best part is that we humans will decide, one way or the other. After all, it is our future, and hope for ourselves and our Families.

So what is gonna happen in the interim. I don't think anybody knows right now, but I still venture a guess.

We humans are still in charge, throughout the world, to include the new world USA. And our Families will probably go forward, like propagate in their own way, and survive in their own way, depending on where they live.

Even being cold (during the winter) and hot (during the summer) and hungry may change few things, to include how we live, and our expectations, especially when the urban human relatives move to more rural settings where they can eat, drink, and use the bathroom in order to survive. I suspect much friction will evolve during this evolution. Being in a rural area is probably a good deal, these days, even though I have to put up with it, too.

Our human growth will probably slow down, for human and Family reasons, not for some elected politician's reasons in 2012.

So how is it going to sort out? Nobody really knows!

But I suspect we humans will do OK, in spite of our present leaders, some elected, some kings, some tribal, etc. After all, some are better than others.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

This is a food story

It is kinda neat, to me, when we humans from different cultures meet each other. Often there is friction, which is kind of normal, to me, to include our bellys.

What still amazes me, is the food stories between the different cultures, but even more the stories that come from when urban meets rural in about any culture and time, like what we eat, and thrive on, to include feeding our kids.

Obviously, to me, the world is becoming more urban, whether that is good or bad, I do not know. And during that process, just what we eat is also changing, like what we eat and serve our Families.

This is a fun story.

I had an Afghani friend decades ago at Ft. Sill, and we agreed that even most foreigners were considered "dirty" by the local mothers protecting their kids, like that was a "universal" truth. For example, one can drink from any glass, but then most mothers clean it before their kids can use it, of course in a suttle way that most guys know. The same fellow would also offer me Afghani food home cooked in his BOQ room, and I would nibble and politely decline going for more. Mostly, it was a chicken meal, by the way, and usually I left hungry, but also thinking I had done my best to accommodate my friend. I also suspect, he thought otherwise.

So let me devolve into other food stories, mostly about wherever ever we live.

It has to do with eating possum, which a lot of people still eat in the rural USA.

It must be a rural recipe, which includes Monterey (Tennessee). Even my Groton (South Carolina) time had many having 2 or 3 possums for super bowl parties. Even the local Piggly Wiggly in Estill there offered chicken legs, like the real thing.

The key thing is to feed possums food you trust, like dog food, for a few days
or more. This lets this carrion eater "clean out". Usually, one keeps them
in something like a chicken coop.

Paul Hargis (my caretaker at the time) once told me that once he saw a possum crawling out of a dead cow carcass, and that was when he lost interest in eating possum.

Back not long ago when I trapped actively, mostly I caught raccoons, but
did catch some possums, too.

In one location it got to be like Red Fox 14, Williams 0. Bummer. I guess
it enjoyed all the sardines and soy oil I could provide.

And I remember when my mother's mother wrung a chickens neck as part of
preparing it for a meal in Franklin, Tn. USA. After seeing all that, I and Max (ny brother) would not eat it, though when you think about it, it was probably cleaner
than store bought.

I've never tried possum; in fact tonight I am eating some stuffed (with
scallops and crabmeat) sole.

PS Back in my USMC time we had some severe racial problems, and one solution was to have soul food day in the mess hall once a week. Well this idea backfired because most black Marines were from cities, and abhorred foods like "Chitlins". Of course, being from rural Tennessee, I was very familiar with it, too, since it was often made at home, including by JoJo (my mother) if you can believe that. I myself would not eat it, though I have eaten other strange things (to me) in my time around the world.

PPS One more USMC story. One of my ruff tuff Marine friends went to a wedding in Istanbul, Turkey, and at the reception they had a local delicacy; cold
soup with chopped lambs intestine. Well, he ate it, and then proceeded to
blow chow in front of everybody. Give him credit, at least he reported it on himself.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Story time

We New World USA Americans are not too shabby!

And we still like stories to be told to us at all ages I think.

And I know we like ourselves (some more than others), and love our Families.

Hence any story time is probably pretty nifty.

Now if things are even chilly in your home during the cold season, or otherwise not perfect, I think stories do help a lot for our kids, being one who has had stories told to him. So anyone who wants to be a "story teller" better start thinking about the stories they want to talk about. The stories will usually have ulterior motives, but so what. Again, as one who listened to these stories I have heard, I always enjoyed the time, and the expectations of future story time.

Let your stories be Family, local, political, or even religious. That's the story tellers call. One can even read Bible stories, for example.

To me story time can be magical, and even we can be magicians in our own way.

None of this stops the also obvious, like boys and girls frictions, even as siblings, young people, and old people.

Last, some of these stories can be short or long in time. I suspect they will vary according to the story tellers. So be it. This is not like going to school, and going through periods.

This is just story telling time.