New Posts on Wednesdays and Saturdays -- er generally

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Globalism or Nationalism

It's truly a shame that this election has become so mired in the mud. It's nearly impossible to discuss real issues without being dragged into accusations of this or that unfaithfulness-- whether economic, legal, or social. We watched Bill Maher on Friday night where he was interviewing Ann Coulter, a hated name in liberal circles. All Maher wanted to discuss were the sexually titillating details while Coulter kept trying to get him back to issues. Issues were why she was supporting Trump despite his personality defects. 

One of the biggest of those issues, which Americans should be seriously considering is globalism or nationalism. This issue impacts a lot of the rest of them. The first link is a general overview, put out in May-- when it was still hoped it could be seriously discussed in debates.

             Liberals and Neocon conservatives tend to agree. [globalism] 

Tea party conservatives have another view [battle against globalization-- Sanders and Trump on same side]  

A firm libertarian view was harder to come by. On the one hand they appear to be against big government but on the other hand, they like economic exploitation as a way to profit. When I think about the libertarian view on anything, not hard to understand why they don't have a consistent policy. Here's their [political platform] on it but if you do a search, you find a lot of arguments either way. Just the Ron Paul forum can have a reader's head spinning.

Green Party says this about [globalization].

When you go evaluating what economists think about globalism, remember most came out of economic departments which have a very heavy bias toward it. That can occur when donations from corporations influence curriculums. It is a problem today with our university system, where pure thought is not easy to find-- nor is real analysis.

Hillary is being coy about what she believes but she has been quoted, in a wikileak hack, as saying in one of her lucrative speeches to private groups:
“My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, some time in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere.” [05162013 Remarks to Banco Itau.doc, p. 28]

In her remarks to Banco Itau, Clinton also denounced the idea of putting up barriers to global trade, a statement which will likely raise concerns with grassroots and working-class voters in her own party. “We have to resist protectionism, other kinds of barriers to market access and to trade,” Clinton said.
If she said that in speeches at her rallies, how would that go over? With the liberals-- great. Neocons probably also. With working class Americans, maybe not so much given how that would impact jobs and wages. 

When Trump, as a nationalist, says the opposite, that he wants to close the illegal crossings at our border and control immigration to be sure terrorist supporters are not among them, the media accuses him of being a racist, xenophobe and downward.

Nationalist or globalist would be a good debate but it isn't even asked. I guess they figure Americans can't understand the concepts. The pros and cons could take up the whole debate. Why it doesn't come up is likely because some would prefer it be presented as a fait accompli. Do it and talk to the people later about it. You can learn the details later. Trust us.

To be a globalist explains why the Clintons would believe our troops should be engaged around the world and go to war to defend places where it does not impact American interests. To a globalist, there are no American issues. Globalists are good for business and explain how we ended up with the long war in Vietnam. It explains Kosovo and Libya. It is also why Jill Stein said Clinton is likely to get us into a nuclear war. Think a major war is unlikely? With a global view, we are putting ourselves out there; and it's a real risk maybe even before Clinton gets in there [Turkey warns WWIII is inevitable if Syrian conflict continues].

We are in Syria for global interests even though some would say oil in the Middle East is an American interest. Actually today with the tar sands in Canada and our fracking, that is probably not true. We export our oil because oligarchs determine a lot of our policies. The idea of keeping that oil, storing it for American needs, is nationalism.

Nationalists are where we find 'American exceptionalism' and where we find a reluctance to go to war other places. Nationalism is about making your own country good first and then helping others. Nationalists can believe in charity overseas but would not see it as required but rather as spiritually needed.

There is a bumper sticker we used to have on a van-- Think Globally! Act Locally! That actually would fit a nationalism concept. Care about the world but take care of your own backyard. Our crumbling infrastructure is evidence we are not doing that.

Nationalism would favor a solid border to prevent illegal entries. Nationalists could also favor a strong policy of green cards to allow workers, who are needed, to come in legally.  Globalists would say we have no need or right to a border as the world  is one big family of humans.

Nationalism favors traditions and rituals unique to your cultural history. Globalists would see those pushed aside as too often divisive. Through PC, we are constantly trying to eliminate a lot of culture that isn't correct.

Businesses often benefit from globalism as it enables them to take their factories where workers are cheapest to hire and where environmental standards don't make their products more expensive. Nationalism tends to do more for richer countries than poorer.    

Excessive nationalistic thinking leads to isolation and decline. Totally open borders and trade [mercantilism] also can cause decline bringing everybody down leading to chaos under the excuse of highest return for a few is 'really better'. Balance is necessary, but not easy and not flashy sounding.  

When the Hearst media empire wanted the Spanish American War, it served purposes far beyond Cuba and the Philippines. It began a system of global expansion of American military and invasive wars. No, we don't 'occupy' as such other countries. We put large bases there, and it lets our corporations go in for their profit and safety (if you ignore sporadic terrorism outbreaks).  

Globalization both creates and takes jobs.  Trade policies when they are fair can benefit a nation. But there is a downside to total open trading because with so much of the world in poverty, it will have to take down the richer countries-- not their oligarchs, of course, but the workers. For a globalist, that's a fine deal.

Americans need to think on which side, of what is a very real divide, they are. This election will not be decided on it. It is going to be decided on Trump's failed personality as a leader, but the winning side will move ahead on what has mostly been a hidden agenda. In my mind, Obama is a globalist. He's been moving in that direction by the ongoing wars, that never let up, and his TPP plan that would allow laws and trade policies to rule over US laws. Is that what voters wanted when they voted

Here's my take on this. Know if you are a globalist, nationalist, or something in between and then don't think for a second you can now ignore what government does for the next four years. Too much is at stake. Have a position. Care more about that then about who won Dancing with the Stars. Care because it's your children and grandchildren who this will most impact. 

Nations do not remain static. They are constantly changing. Make sure you know which way you believe yours, whether you are American or from another nation, should go. 

My next post will be on the environment and in particular water. It's a biggie that again many don't think about until their water is found to be dangerous-- or they realize someone big like a Buffett now owns it...    

Saturday, October 15, 2016

some politics

Beyond these photos be scorched earth politics. For those who are getting all the politics they want and then some, please return to my blog another day. I do however, plan to spend the next few blogs discussing issues that matter to me. That would be, not necessarily in this order-- environment, social issues, economics, and globalism or nationalism.

On our leased land, it's pretty, but tansy is poisonous to cattle. On these plants are the caterpillars that will strip it given enough time.

Some people will not be voting on issues this Presidential election. For them, it will be ethics. If they have been paying attention to more than their own side's spiel, they will have to weigh which ethical lapses bother them most. 

On the lapse that the media is salivating over, it's a tad interesting, why Bill Clinton, being accused of raping and molesting women and then lying about an eventually proven, consensual liaison, was considered not a big deal for many liberal voters; but with Trump it is the whole tamale. 

Well, I confess, I didn't consider it a big deal with Clinton in terms of my voting for him for President-- twice.  I never figured he was an angel. I do believe the women who dared speak up, claiming he groped or raped them, were treated poorly. Because of the support of the news media and his wife, the women ended up being the ones attacked-- even those where it was not consensual. 

That won't likely happen to Trump's accusers. They are on the 'correct' side and helping to take down a dangerous dragon. It is possible Trump lied when he has denied what the women claim. It is also possible, given inconsistencies in some of the stories, that the women lied. Most of it is he/said/she/said. What do we believe? What suits us ideologically.

Bill Clinton, who have those who say he crudely discusses women, is benefited by not having a tape (yet anyway) with him saying that's exactly what he did. There are the stories of him golfing with a proven sexual predator where they shared successes. There are the stories of him partying (as did Trump) with a proven pedophile. But you know birds of a feather don't necessarily flock together-- unless it's someone on the other side anyway ;).

Trump's sexual words were disgusting. If he followed through with actions, that's not seduction but abuse-- and most likely sexual addicion (likely true of Clinton also). I would ask why these women never reported it at the time. One of them said he put his hand on her leg in a crowded nightclub in the '90s but why she didn't stop him right there, I don't know. I can't imagine letting a man touch me inappropriately without moving away or telling him what I thought of him

Maybe they had heard from the Clinton accusers where they found their reputations were destroyed, they were insulted, and the media dismissed them as well as Hillary's possible threats to them. Reputations can be ruined when women go up against powerful people

It is possible, with Trump, that he is still acting this way (Clinton continued with his predatory behavior into the White House). Nevertheless, his sexual addiction (the part he admitted) won't be what I'll be voting on. I wish it had not come out and that this whole had stayed on issues, which to me matter more. It will now look like he lost over this and that Americans want Hillary's policies-- whatever they might be.

Trump does have personality issues that I consider bigger deals-- unwillingness to educate himself; thin skin; too easily diverted, all of which could make him high risk as a President. He can't let insults roll off his back (not sure Hillary can either). It's not good to have a President who has to strike back-- not when the world knows how easily he's provoked.

I consider both candidates for President in 2016 to be ethically challenged, with huge egos, and a desire for power, for which, they will do and say anything. 

"Everything HRC touches she kind of screws up with hubris." Colin Powell wrote in an email. I'd  say he described it pretty well regarding her. If you go back through her history of who she appoints, what she promotes, how she operates, you see it time after time. That's a big deal in a President and any other year might've been the end of her chance to be President. 

In my place to rant, I wrote about the reasons people don't trust her: [transgressions or not]. To me, the emails carry through to today with destroying over 30,000 from her private server when doing business for the government as Secretary of State. Of course those were personal-- just about yoga and weddings... Seriously, only diehard liberals buy that one. Why would she care if the FBI or anyone looked at those innocent posts? There likely was more based on what's coming through on her staff and friends' emails.

I think we all know that her staff got rid of anything that looked illegal or embarrassing, and she got away with doing it because the FBI chief knew he dared not indict her and used the excuse she just didn't know what she was doing. That doesn't get other offenders off the hook but do liberals care? Not much.

HRC has the entire establishment backing her-- Republicans, Democrats, and media. For those like me, who want to vote on issues the Wikileaks material is disturbing since what she says in those paid speeches, like who better to guard then henhouse than the foxes (bankers for the Cabinet and on helping write regulations proved to also be Obama's favorite picks). No wonder she does not want those speeches being aired, the ones that made her millions of dollars, but no strings attached-- of course.

So will she have an enemy list? Has she used political power to gain wealth, sold access to the State Department for donations to the Clinton Foundation? Did the Clinton Foundation do good work or was it all about cushy jobs, jets and plush offices? The fact that no journalist has seriously looked into this gives her fans wiggle-room, but, as with Trump, there is a lot of smoke out there.

After I'd written this I saw that she went on a daytime talk show, which leans heavily left (full disclosure I've never seen the show as I watch no daytime TV). She was horrified at how Trump had stalked her during the second debate. Seriously, that's what she said when the photo they used to illustrate it is her walking to his side of the stage to answer a question from a participant and him leaning on his own chair. The host was equally horrified at his behavior. This kind of accusation helped Hillary win the Senate race in NY; so guess she figures it will work again as many lefties were posting what he'd done. Seriously, this is how they saw it. It was not how I saw it or the other half of the country. 

You can see how unhappy I am with either candidate. I am not convinced either will do what they have said regarding the issues. Both pander to their bases-- what do they really hope to do? Are they avoiding some issues to not have to say? As it stands, I cannot ethically vote for either; so what do I do? I'll be getting into that later, but first will come issues, which I wish Americans would care more about than many appear to do. If we get a President, who people don't trust, they better darned well be watching that chicken house themselves!

Next blog, I'll take a whack at the question of globalism or nationalism. It's complex and a biggie which influences many other issues from economics to laws. It was behind Brexit. I believe there are good folks on each side of the debate. Yes, we have a changing world... Wait, that'll be next Wednesday ;).

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

hoping for the best

What to write about when everything I am reading and thinking is so negative? I don't like writing about the dark side because it keeps me there as I think what words to write. I've done two blogs about toxicity and am not doing a third. Given the political season, it'd be easy to do.

I was thinking about the election and how disillusioned I am with both candidates, how little I trust either. Of course, when I say that, I make someone angry. They say a writer should never discuss religion or politics. It offends somebody, in this case about half the country. 

What I have decided for this election, and will remain the case until further notice-- I am voting on issues not character. I voted on character in the primary and voted for Bernie Sanders, though I certainly didn't agree with him on everything or even a lot of things. I saw him as ethical and a straight shooter. He is no longer an option.

The problem is voting on issues gets complicated for me, as to be honest there are issues where I disagree with each of them. Worse, the things these candidates say in public don't necessarily reflect their real views (check Wikileaks for more on that). 

Then, when it comes to issues, I have to weigh their importance. Some matter more to my personal life, to the future of my children and grandchildren. Weighing those will determine my vote, but I have to be honest, this November, I'll be holding my nose when I cast the ballot. 

At seventy-three, I've voted for a lot of Presidents, many who disappointed me, some who proved to be hiding a lot of their character, which only came out later. I think this is my worst election ever for feeling unhappy that I feel neither are who should be running this country and impacting the world. Worse the more that has been revealed of the secrets behind these two, the more the news shows up as nothing to trust either. Without good journalism-- or worse with a set of news media types who distort headlines, lie, leave things out, we aren't in much better shape than a Third World country. We have to have somewhere to get the truth-- but where would that be?

The problem is, like it or not, this isn't the kind of thing where we can responsibly say-- we won't play. We will be playing whether we vote or not. I think everyone should do their duty-- doesn't mean it'll be fun. 

So we vote and hope for the best...

Saturday, October 08, 2016

when in a bad time

While thinking of toxicity, how can I ignore how toxic our political environment has become? I try to keep this blog positive but...

Here's one thing that has gotten to me, and it was true of Europe during the Brexit debate and then vote-- it's not enough to disagree what must be done. Today the person who disagrees with us must be attacked. The candidate we don't like must be made into a monster. This is true of both parties in the United States right now. 

If I said I was voting for either major candidate, there are places I would be attacked for my choice that meant I was a bad person or stupid. If i said I was voting third party, the attack would be that I secretly wanted A or B to win and that was really what I was doing by voting out of the system.

Here's the thing-- when the politics of personal destruction reach behind the candidates to the voters, it puts pressure on people to not discuss their opinions. When some issues are such hot button topics that to hear someone sees it differently, debate disappears into angry attacks. And these issues are on both sides of the political divide. Talk about gun control, abortion, gay marriage, immigration, racism, political correctness, environment, taxes, etc. and you can guarantee to infuriate somebody if you don't already know to whom you are talking totally agrees.

This isn't just going on in the US. I think it's worldwide. It certainly was true with Great Britain voting, narrowly, to leave the European Union. I got into it once by having posted something about it and ended up with someone from Norway and someone else from Netherlands furious at each other with one on one side and the other the other. 

I guess we are lucky that mostly our debates are being settled at the ballot box, but in reality are they settled or just going underground, like abscesses, to surface in different ways? Are some of the rage attacks we see actually the result of this anger where it cannot be expressed, the person doesn't see things going the way they want, and it pops up against someone innocent or a spouse or themselves even.

A friend asked what can we do to peacefully bring ourselves together, and she suggested some possible ways. The thing is I don't think we can bring ourselves together right now. We just don't agree on what that would mean, and we are stuck in a a win/lose time. That rarely bodes well for good feelings-- even when it's over and a victory has been declared -- even worse if it's declared with gloating. And I have no reason to not think gloating will be involved after watching the recent aftermath of the first Presidential debate where the victor very much gloated the next day. If that happens again, how will that make the losing side feel? Like compromising and getting along or more angry than the actual loss had left them?

This situation reminds me of a book I first read years ago. I still remind myself of its principles when I come up against a sticky situation. 
One important one (for me) was to not allow things out of my control to become too important-- but a lot of what is going on right now is out of our control. Another was not to engage in situations that required a win/lose or lose/win outcome. The idea then was to not play-- except when it involves our nation, our culture, the future of our children and their children, how do we not play?

Wednesday, October 05, 2016


The following article caught my attention. One of the things I find at Facebook is assorted posts, sometimes not from friends, but from things that are sponsored or that it's assumed I'd find of interest. This one fits into my theme lately of life changing considerations. I think most of us have gone through being around someone who fits at least one of the categories of being a toxic person. We also could probably add a few to the list.

To start, if you read the list, you see that we all can fall into one of the negative categories at one time or another. For instance going through a negative period can be part of depression. The difference is when someone is using negativity as a way to gain power, as a way to suck energy from others.

I think right now it's equally important to avoid toxic situations which can mean reading less of the newspaper, avoiding certain television programs, etc. We seem to be in a high pressure time. We need to be self-protective. Nothing lasts forever but sometimes it can seem as though it does.

Saturday, October 01, 2016


 last October heading across the Willamette Pass

It's hard to believe we're back to October. I am trying to figure out where the summer went. It seemed gone in a flash. The farm is ready for winter (whether I am or not) with the barns full of 13 tons of alfalfa and 36 tons of good grass hay for the cattle and sheep. Ranch Boss has also been getting the vacation trailer cleaned up and ready if we do take it out in October-- the tentative plan. 

We are still debating whether to get a fifth wheel trailer. There are pros and cons. It would be a little larger, back up easier and supposedly handle better on the highway, but we manage with the 26' travel trailer as it has the basics. We'd have to sell it if we bought something else; so we're still ruminating on the issue. Either way our RV will have a desk for my writing. I don't do well on the laptop as at home I use an ergonomic keyboard to avoid carpal tunnel. 

We found this desk online as something lightweight, small and easy to stow. I also ordered a wireless keyboard, mouse, and smaller monitor, which will be stored in the trailer leaving me only to bring my laptop when we go somewhere.

Writing has been what I've done this summer but for little real gain in  measurable ways. I wrote two shorter books (60,000 words) that have not caught the interest of readers. I've gotten a good start with the third one-- but became derailed twice by other projects.

The first derailing was a Christmas short story that I thought might fit into an anthology that a group of writers will bring out this year with all the profits going to a worthy charity. I realized when I finished it (just under 5000 words) that it had the potential to be a novella (just over 20,000 words) that would lead into the next full-length Arizona, historical romance. As a short story, it'd not serve that purpose. So I went back to thinking what could I find that would work for a Christmas short story.

The second one began with a comment a reader made about writing an RV park romance. At the time I laughed, but then I thought-- hey, mature romance, transition in life, and recreation vehicles, all of which interest me right now. So I wrote a second short story, set it in a small Utah town where I'd love to spend time but which I've only driven through. That required research-- something I always love.

Finishing it up and its many edits, I looked at the requirements for the anthology. A biggie caught my eye. They are going to not be taking all that are submitted. I realized that these are writers who have done a lot of projects together. My story might or might not fit, but if being part of the group is factored in, mine would not be accepted. I totally understood how the ones who have been friends and worked together will have priority. But wait, if it is rejected, it also has the potential to be a novella. There is no losing on this.

I submitted my story and began working on its novellal using the same characters and situation but expanding it. If the short story does end up accepted, I'll hold this back for a future time, as the contract does not give them exclusive rights to even the short story. I even created a cover for it, which if it goes into the anthology I can use to promote purchase of the collection, but if it does not, then I'll use it for the novella. I really like the cover but won't share it until I know more where I'll need it.

If that sounds confusing, I will add to it by saying next I will write that first short story also as a Christmas novella, which I can bring out in mid November-- no matter what happens with the second one. I am enjoying the break from suspense, but I will get back to the paranormal, just not first.

Both of these short stories involve heroines and heroes in their late fifties and early sixties. Both follow a woman at a transitional point in her life where she's looking for a change but unsure what that would be. The two are set one hundred years apart, which means the women's options are not the same. 

I like it that there is no danger or suspense-- given our political season, stories like this are more relaxing to write. I also like writing characters closer to my own age and especially with that second one where it worked into my interests in those who live in their recreation vehicles full-time. I don't see myself doing it but that's the beauty of being a writer-- I can do it vicariously. Oh and the contemporary woman has two dogs, something I don't have but fun to write about for her.

Above images from Stencil, CanStock, Deposit photos, and my own photographs

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

on the in or the out?

 photo from August just because it's pretty

Do you have dreams that have you scratching your head and wondering what that was about? This one was from a week ago.
Living in a kind of apartment building (one I don't recognize), I want so much to be accepted by a groups. I don't really know why I am not, but my life, even when in the midst of others, feels lonely and closed off. I reach to them, but they never reach for me.  I am chosen for nothing. I recognize it's like my high school years all over again.

Wanting to be accepted, I show one of the group's popular leader a piece I had written praising their newest project. I had written it to overcome my jealousy. I am looking for attaboys that I am not admitting. I invite her to my apartment to read it before I publish it.

She is nice, reads it, and then looks up with an uneasy expression before she looks around my apartment. She says, 'I sympathize with you-- but you do understand why you are not part of our group?' When I don't answer, she says, 'Look at this apartment with dirt on the floor and the windows haven't been washed ever.'

I try to make an excuse. 'I've washed them. They're not that bad.'

She then looks at me and says, 'How could you fit with us?' She shakes her head. 'You're such a plain little person.'

'Well, I'm not little.' I was fully aware that was because I was fat-- as I try to not cry. I manage a smile that I don't feel. 'I need to take a shower.' 

The woman nods and leaves, heading back to her fans and friends, while I head toward the shower and a sob fest, but instead wake up. 
When I woke at 2am, the dream was strong in my mind, and I wondered what it meant? Not all of my dreams have meaning, but some are trying to tell me something about my own life. A few can be used in a book.

In this one, my muse had chosen a woman I know only from the Internet. I think she represented all the ones who are on the inside, the ones with whom everybody wants to be friends, the ones chosen to lead, those who decide who fits and who does not. Women like that aren't necessarily the mean girls like the movie. They are mostly likable, funny, and admired--including by me. They just don't see me as fitting and not sure I can clean up whatever blocks me. 

When I left high school, I thought I had put behind me the insecurity of cliques. I've found them a few times since, like in our rural church. Mostly in churches, the inside clique is the one supportive of the leadership. Maybe that's true for the Internet too-- except, there it's harder to figure out who the leadership is

In my experience with the Internet, through chat rooms to Facebook, I've seen that some are in on the joke, and they have everyone laughing while I am still trying to figure out what the joke was. 

Facebook allows and encourages many groups. To  some, anyone can belong. Others are very exclusive. Are cliques just friends with common goals? They can serve a purpose beyond that and work to gain power, promote causes, or sell something. Cliques can be a problem mostly when they have something someone outside needs. My dream reminded me of aspects of cliques that probably still bother me subconsciously-- high school swings a wide loop. If I was inside one, would I feel guilty or uncomfortable, given the price I might have to pay?

I have believed that dreams can be useful in letting us evaluate what we are doing, our fears, our ambitions. I thought more about this one than many as I tried to see if there was some part of my life that I'm not cleaning up. If so, is it getting in my way to furthering deeper goals