Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Another View From Main Street

Jobs are more plentiful, but growth slowed recently.  Many are still out of work.  Businesses are still cutting back their employees.  Full time work hours are being cut because business owners would have to provide health insurance for full-time employees. 

With the Affordable Health Care Act being implemented, uninsured people are fearful what it means to them.  One man interviewed on CBS was amazed his premiums were less than he feared.  Parents with children born with chronic or life threatening illnesses are grateful insurance companies are now required to insure these children.  Parents of college students are relieved that they do not have to pay for a separate policy for the child.  Amoral political groups continue to manufacture and circulate lies about the Health Care policies as if we do not have enough genuine concerns to address.

Bigots, racists and prejudiced individuals continue to undercut the efforts of the first black president.  It makes a difficult presidency harder.  Sadly, some of the racists disguise their sentiments as politics, contaminating the efforts of financial recovery as well as political party policies.

Banks we helped to financial stability continue to gouge customers with high fees and interest rates.  They continue to grow.

We are grateful that American automobile companies are doing better.

World problems periodically erupt like hot spots in a forest fire.  The people in these hot spots expect the world, especially America, to bail them out of their problems, even those that are self inflicted.  Then when we act, they hate us even more.

Preschoolers and Kindergarteners are coming home and discussing political and international problems with more understanding than some of us adults.  They don't understand why we can't fix it.

Local elected officials who espouse a belief in small, rather than large Federal government, cut taxes on the home front while insisting on cutting them at the Federal level.  Are they so shortsighted they do not know more responsibility at the local, county and state levels will require their constituents to pay for things locally?

People of all parties continue to experience nausea over attack ads and finger pointing.

Federal elected officials, suffering from inadequate training in socialization skills, continue to threaten, bully, attack, bluster, obstruct.  Why was it we sent them to Washington?  Are we going to have to fine all members of Congress for every law they fail to negotiate through the entire process.  Maybe we could subtract $1,000 for every time they obstruct a vote.

Newt Gingrich continues to act like the rear end of a donkey.  Will we never see his retirement?

Immigrants continue to bypass legal entry.  They can't understand why they are not embraced with warmth.  They feed the environment with hate for natural-born Americans.  They despise the weather.  They dislike that they are expected to learn this language.  They demonstrate for policy changes.  They send home for friends and family to join them -- illegally as well -- and flood the land.  The conservative response to such problems is to spend more money building stronger borders and for more guards.  The liberal response is to allow amnesty or forgiveness every few years.  There is stress on all sides.

People continue to go berserk and try to make a name for themselves by shooting up schools and malls.  It's a favorite new attention-getting device.  It's effective.  The media continue to feed the problem by giving them coast to coast attention until everyone is sick of hearing about it.

Politicians hold up their fingers around their constituents to determine wind direction.  This is so they'll know whether to beat drums for gun control or to support the NRA.  It isn't as if the gun control already in  place actually works.  Or for that matter, that most criminals even attempt to buy their guns legally.  Security measures are ineffective.  People, even though struck with a 2 x 4 of information, don't bother to take notice that someone needs help.  Even when it is noticed, there frequently isn't help available. 

We continue to be war weary.  We continue to be a broke country because of wars.  The world continues to expect us to borrow money so we can defend them and help support them while our politicians don't want to support our own poor and hungry.  I still suggest a short-term (perhaps five year)  moratorium on supplying weapons and dollars to other countries.  That might help us see some relief from the threat of bankruptcy.

And then there is the frequent battle in Congress with people threatening not to pay the national debt or at least the interest on it.  Fine, upstanding, law-abiding citizens pay their debts.  The threats not to pay them -- that's trash talk.  That's insanity.  That's unacceptable.

Congress doesn't even believe in Congress or the Constitution any more.  They are so uninformed and arrogant that they think they are exempt from abiding by the laws enacted by Congress.  They even disregard the rule of the Supreme Court.  They also disregard the signature and office of the Presidency.  They should be recalled.

The rich continue to get richer and the poor get poorer.  And the ill-informed members of the poorer populations continue to think that is okay.  They keep reelecting the same individuals that protect those who exploit the hardworking wealth producers of this land -- the lowly employee.

And the most exasperating thing of all is that people who expect education, roads, bridges, parks, senior citizen centers, etc., etc., etc., apparently think these things can be achieved without taxes.  How?  If there is a way, write up the proposals.  Submit them to your congressmen.  Write them up on-line.  Tweet them out one line at a time.  Do something before your little hot rod falls into a sink hole or another bridge collapses with your own kids on it.  Tell us how to educate our children before they grow up even more ill-informed than our tax cutting politicians. They are the future of our country.  They will have the responsibility for young and old alike some day.  They need to learn all they can learn.

In summary, the view from Main Street is almost as bleak as it was.  The stress level is ever growing.  Our minds and nerves are on high red alert.  We are begging for mature and lucid decisions from our leaders.  It's time to tackle the gridlock and win this game for all of us.

If it doesn't get done, that may make a young friend of mine correct.  She said that life sucks and then you die.  Let's show her some more of the good years, please.  I remember good years from the past, don't you?  Wouldn't you like some more?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Same Ol', Same Ol'

Here we are again, another crisis with the debt ceiling looming . . . war on the horizon. . . Iran a potential threat . . . Israel and Palestine quibbling . . . Republicans and Democrats pointing fingers at each other . . .  news media in a hurry to begin Presidential election insanity.  There's not enough going on that they need that back?  Just a regular year, month, week, in paradise.  There's even another shooting to make the craziness complete.

And here we, the people, are sitting in the same ol' situation -- stressed further by the one per cent getting 95 per cent of the monetary plenty.  Uncertain how the new medical insurance will affect budgets and families, couples face 2014 with trepidation.  And the Tea Partiers are extorting the President as well as the members of Congress who passed Obamacare.  Isn't this against the law?  Oh, only when regular people do it.  The Congress is exempt from normal laws.

Then, of course, there is the other part of the war between Tea Partiers and the rest of the country.  They continue to think roads and bridges repair themselves for free.  I guess they also believe kids learn to read by themselves.  Well, possibly their kids do, for as we all know, their ilk are superheroes.

Please hear this plea, oh Lord.  Please see there are no games about the debt ceiling.  Please let the bulimic rich share with their employees now instead of waiting to regurgitate it back in philanthropies later when 95 per cent of the country needs charity.  Whatever you do, don't excuse them their sins of greed just because they had to find somebody to give it to since they couldn't take it with them.  We probably shouldn't even mention the ego trip they are on because they have something to share with the people they exploited.

Help us to solve our issues with Syria without going to war.  Please bring Israel and Palestine to the table for genuine talks and real resolve.  Help Iran to feel more a part of the world community without adding to the nuclear problem.

Get all political parties in the mood to negotiate and help them use reason and intelligence.  Stop their constant bickering if you will. 

And best of all, help us get better mental health treatment for all Americans.  Perhaps trained psychologists should hold group therapy with all children from Kindergarten on through graduation.  Certainly, all people likely to have PTSD should be automatically sent to therapy.

The bickering might be slowed in future congresses if there were age requirements.  I read the other day that although women achieve adulthood in their early thirties, men don't mature until around 43.  So, how about age requirements of around 45-65?  This should include term limits, as well.

Whatever you can do will be appreciated.  I'm sure even the people directly involved would like your help with this.

These things I ask in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Has The President Relinquished His Power?

The Russian suggestion that we might want to back off our strike plans if Syria will turn their chemical weapons over to the world community may well have rendered this article moot.  However, it is being published here anyway, because what is written is important if Syria doesn't follow procedures to give up the weapons.

There is a lot of speculation as to whether the President will go ahead with the plans to strike Syria even if Congress votes no on the issue. Apparently some Presidents act anyway, even after a negative vote.  Though some Congressmen wish the President had not had such a right, they are probably wrong.  But, even if he did have such power, I believe he relinquished it when he asked Congress for a vote of confidence on the issue.

There was already a lot of talk these days about impeachment.  Much of it is pure hot air -- more conservative propaganda meant to win the next Presidential election.  But, should the President receive a no vote from Congress and then strike anyway, that might just lend cause to proceed with the threat.

Members of Congress have to listen to their constituents.  They forget often enough that they were elected to represent our wishes not their own agendas.  A lot of U. S. citizens do not want to meddle in Syria.  Should they not be heard?

Much as the President would like for everyone to forget his speaking about line drawing, he did say there would be consequences for the use of chemical weapons, and we do remember.  So, almost a century ago the world set a fuzzy red line about the use of chemical weapons.  For some time, the world has done nothing about their use.  Remember Sadam Hussein and mustard gas?   Now our President believes the United States is responsible to punish one country which used them.  And where is the rest of the world?  Mostly holdouts who are planning to be dropouts on this issue.  If this is a world's fuzzy red line, then the world should take action, not one major power along with a handful of little ones.  This might be a good time to develop some rules and procedures that would be used by the entire world community every time someone used them.  Then there would not be a situation like this for any country objecting to their use.

The President might want to sit back and review a few facts while congress debates a potential vote.  Not many individual people in the Middle East are our friends.  They have no problem coming to our country to study in our universities and some of them stay and earn a stack of dollars.  But, on the whole, they resent our power and our strength.  Some of them even hold clandestine meetings plotting the demise of Americans.

One news program showed a Syrian saying that if we bomb Assad's part of Syria, we will be starting World War III.  Can you assure us he is not right?  Can you promise that Assad figuratively flipping the middle finger at the President was not meant to start just such warfare?  Alone, they may not have the might, but they seem to have the support of Iran, Russia and Iraq (letting Iran fly supplies over to Syria).  Now the latter is a case in point.  After all the money and deaths over their country, where do they get off letting Iran use their air to help Syria?

We are war weary and broke.  We see no good coming from another war, especially when there seems no immediate threat to our country.  I liked the days when we didn't fight unless we were attacked first.  What happened to them?

I hate to sound unsympathetic, but I am feeling crass right now.  Were these really innocent civilians that died, or were they American haters?  Were any of them already our enemies?  Muslim Brotherhood?  Future jihadists?

Is our intel correct this time?  Or is the intelligence community setting up conditions for another unfavorable and unnecessary war?  No matter how desirable it might be to have a democracy in Syria, that should be their choice and their war, not ours.  Is it possible the rebels orchestrated the use of the chemical weapons to provoke us to action -- similar to the lies told to us by a member of Hussein's administration and his former mistress?  And why were we chomping at the bit to act before the report from the team that entered Syria to check if they were used? 

Horrible though I know you will find this, Mr. President, Syrian children may not be so sweet and innocent as American children, especially yours.  Think carefully before defying Congress if they eventually hold a vote and the answer is no.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Oh Sigh, Syria

We, the people of the United States, were taught that we are, or at least soar, like eagles.  After that lesson, most of us have the good sense not to want to be a preying hawk or a passive dove.  We would prefer to fly above the fray.

Syria, both the rebels and the controlling officers, are watching our country to see which figurative bird will prevail.  They don't think we are eagles.  They are laughing at us.  I've already said to the rebels of the Middle East, or anywhere else, that it is not America's job to police the world.  So, if you decide to rebel against your governments, you need to prepare a structured plan which will give you at least a half chance to win.  It is not okay for Syria, Egypt, Yemen or wherever to make an impulsive jump into war and expect the world community to rescue -- bail them out.  You knew your leaders had chemical weapons and that they had no scruples against using them.  You should have thought of that and planned a coping strategy before acting.

President Assad, I believe it would behoove you to quit bragging.  Our president here in the United States has been dealing for several years with an obstructionist House of Representatives.  The majority of that House in Congress is Republican.  They never cease, even despite much American disapproval, to try to get back the presidency for their party.  So, they act like dissonant members and obstructionists with the hope the public will think the President is at fault.  Right now those dissonant Congressmen are engaging in their usual bluster about whether the president is right or wrong and whether he is planning to authorize too much or too little.  But if you continue to say that our government blinked because we were afraid of your military, you are probably going to cause the United States Congress to coalesce, at least on this one issue.  Remember the remark of the Japanese leader at the start of World War II.  He said he was afraid he had just awakened the sleeping giant.  He had.  Also, as close as you are to Iraq, have you not witnessed the results of a U. S. Shock and Awe campaign?  Do you want the hawks to call for one on your turf?

It's possible, I suppose, that you do have a better military than most of the world believes.  But most of the world doubts it.  So, if you cannot back bluster with might, it is best to get and stay quiet.

World Community, especially Great Britain, is it or is it not moral to use chemical weapons on anyone, especially one's own people?  If it is wrong, what should the world do about it?  Should we fight it or watch it?  What is your moral evaluation and are you willing to stand behind your principles?  Or are you, also, waiting for the United States to back your beliefs? 

To our Congress, this is a time to set aside politics and make a decision based on morals.  Is it right or wrong to use chemical weapons?  On your own people?  Is it the world's responsibility to police it?  Should we lead a police effort?  Should we even participate in a police effort?

Messieurs McCain and Graham, please do not vote against the plan because it is too little, too late.  Make it a yes or no vote on the proposed plan.  The good Lord knows it will probably become more than planned anyway.  It always does.

No games gentlemen.  Please pray people.  Please base your votes on moral choices, not just on the use of chemical weapons, but also on our responsibility for and business to interfere in another country's war.

Yes, Mr. President, we believe you did have the power to launch that attack.  But, thank you for not exercising it without the vote of Congress.