Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Stand up for something or fall for anything

Everybody is tired of politics but right now some important things are being decided by Congress and the President. Filibuster reform is one biggie but how they deal with what they call the fiscal cliff is another. They both matter. Americans who are tired of all this talk of politics need to pay attention again because lobbyists are. If they are all the elected representatives hear from, you can bet what happens won't be good for the middle class.

One of the issues is Social Security and whether it has to be cut in some way or up the age it can be received, which might seem fine to someone who sits for their job but not someone like my father who worked with his hands and body all his life. He was lucky to get to 62 and get a few years of retirement before he died at 70.

Get informed and make your voice heard. It matters and I don't care if we've had enough of it or not. We need to be heard now. Obama needs us to push him and be behind him.

This is good on Social Security for those who think it's part of the problem.

My blog for Saturday will be on bullying and bigotry.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Global warming means climate change

Personally I doubt someone like Marco Rubio (or his ilk) gets it why, when he says the age of the earth is up for debate, he is put on a persona non gratis list for future government leadership by anyone who takes science seriously.  This is not about whether there is a creator or there is not. It's about something science has data to prove-- the age of the earth. For someone who still considers creationism equal to evolution for potential to be right,  (whether it is said out of ignorance or pandering) that person should not be taken seriously as a national leader. There is a reason for this and why it matters-- global warming.

Having written on the subject of global warming several times in this blog, what is being said about it hasn't changed much-- if you read scientists who are not paid to give the answer someone wishes. Basically it is called global climate change now because too many humans couldn't get their heads around how the earth growing some degrees warmer would actually make some regions colder. The earth is getting steadily warmer; but when we talk of weather, it's about possible ice ages (from 2003) as well as super storms. When ocean currents change, what does that do to the world's climate? Can you see the connection?

If you read no other links from this piece, please check out the following. It's lengthy and the story of one man's investigations into what was happening and where might it lead. Was he an alarmist or trying to get attention by telling humans what's coming whether sooner or a bit delayed? What should we be preparing to do? This is one opinion from 2007 (not when he began speaking or writing on this but date of this interview).

At one time Lovelock believed the earth would balance itself, but it's looking less as though it can when man is doing little to help it happen. The release of methane in the Arctic might contribute to why this thing is badly out of control. Some think we can do nothing but are they the same ones worried more about dollar cost than scientific research?.

For me caring about this and believing it's happening is not new. Here are a few of the pieces I have written on the subject, all with links most of which still work and are worth following.

When you do research, a lot of the articles talk on what is likely to be seen with a few degrees of increase. Then there was this-- what if it's more and comes faster? There is plenty of evidence that the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere is unprecedented for anybody who believes in science. Yes, scientists can now check such things through old ice and rocks.

Basically the earth is warming and humans are unlikely to be able to totally stop it. Can we though slow it or delay it? Some still don't believe it will happen, think their god will fix it, or claim since it costs money and inconveniences us, why do anything?

They are the same ones, of course, who wouldn't value anything listed above. They think dollars will fix any problem. Likely they believe they can move to some new country where the weather is better-- but can they? Will they find they are trapped in the world they created and die along with the poorest of poor?

I am not sure why some desire to amass wealth in things. They appear to think $1 billion + dollars is necessary but what they can do with it to improve their lifestyle that they could not with say $100 million? Isn't there a point where those dollars accrue to no avail and where the damage they have done to the earth, which is of value beyond paper or gold, isn't worth it? Evidently not yet for the ones still paying for environmental studies that will let them keep on abusing and avoiding real choices that might change this.

Listening to a speaker on NPR the other week-end, he said we could still change things on the East Coast of the US by reducing our emissions. According to most experts, it will not stop it, but it would slow it. What many experts are suggesting is we do what we can but we also prepare for the change. Are we? Anywhere? If the oceans rise will dikes be enough to save major cities like New York City? There are places where a lot of people currently live that are likely to become uninhabitable.

The latest super storm should convince those of us who can do math to change our view of at the least shorelines. Shouldn't it? The houses built on the shore in New Jersey should not be rebuilt there. I know humans like to think we can fix anything with money but once again, we cannot-- not when it's a big earth shift.

Facts and figures and we all agree-- right?

Except they don't because for all the major scientists predicting this kind of thing, there is a rightie claiming it's all communism and there is a paid fossil fuel corporate scientist who says it isn't happening or if it is, it's not man's fault. For those who think that way, it requires ignoring the climate changes they are seeing, the horrible tornadoes of 2011, the super storm of 2012, the melting ice caps, the change in the Arctic because they confuse climate and weather. Since it seems colder to them today, global warming can't be happening.

The end result is a resistance to government doing anything and they aren't considering possible changes for their own lives if this thing does get worse. Such people like the Rush Limbaugh faction claim it's Henny Penny running around crying the sky is falling and they forget the story of the grasshopper and the ant. Of course, a lot of them have been stockpiling wealth because everybody knows dollars/euros/gold can protect them from anything, right?

Well it cannot and whether the direr predictions of Lovelock come to pass, this earth has been in a balance. It will crave balance and won't let us vote on how that happens.

To have the Republican party put people at the head of Congressional science committees who believe the earth is 9000 years old, who believe God can fix anything, who think more trees should be cut down since they use oxygen, who don't believe in science basically at all, says they are currently the party of yahoos; and if they want to change that, they need to find new candidates to run for office. right now they get the title of science deniers and dollar valuers-- while they call themselves the values party.

So what do I think we, who do take science seriously, can or should do? One thing is be prepared ourselves to see disruptions in food supplies. Commonsense just says that regardless of whether a major disaster is imminent.

Then support new technologies. If you aren't in the field, you have no idea how many ideas are out there. The latest I heard about was getting water from air (assuming the air has it in it, of course)-- NDB Nano. The advances in solar and wind are impressive with better batteries to store the energy.

We use solar for the electric fence on our leased cattle property.  Some of these new green technologies won't work in the long run but others will and it takes support to get them off the ground.

Too often such ideas were bought up in the past by oil corporations who didn't want competition. The innovators need to hold out and think of the long range, not their short range gain. Same with keeping the companies in this country instead of the temptation of sending them off to other nations with $.50 an hour labor. We have to as a people care about more than ourselves and think of the future generations.

Once a super storm is on its way, there's not much we can do except get somewhere safe, if possible, and accept that maybe where we live isn't going to be safe in the future. What do we as a world do when that's whole nations? Do we really care about our brother or is it all us? The days ahead may cause many of us to have to seriously consider our own answer to that question.

What can we do other than put our collective heads in the sand? 

Be sure we are living somewhere that has a maximum possibility of surviving big changes.
Redesign and build homes that can survive tornadoes if that's where we live. If not your whole home, make sure you have a well-designed storm shelter.
Learn hunter gatherer skills.
Practice container gardening and buy heirloom seeds that can be saved and used the following year.
Be flexible and alert to what's around us. 
Always look up, down, around, and listen.
Learn the earth's patterns where you live.
Stockpile a rotating food supply
Owning basic tools would not only be good but valuable for barter if things truly turned bad-- they are good for now even if they don't.
Favor government support for research into green technologies.
Minimize our own carbon footprint without a law forcing us to do so.
 And finally for anybody who does believe in science, they absolutely cannot ever vote for somebody who says something like this-- Marco Rubio has no idea of age of the earth. That person cannot figure out how to deal with what is coming because they give equal weight to a theological interpretation of the Bible and what science can determine with technology. I think people can believe in a creator and still believe in science; but they cannot question the age of this earth and consider it equally possible it's a few thousand years old. You might consider that a partisan statement but it doesn't have to be if Republicans stop catering to ignorance and creating heroes out of religious leaders who have turned into political ones.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

 Happy Thanksgiving

which is in the United States, a time to stop and be grateful. It is traditionally a time of abundance, of family-- even as we know it's not that way for too many people. It is a very appropriate time to look ahead for what might take away abundance from us all. My blog on Saturday will be on global climate change. It's not just polar bears that need to be concerned about this.

Photo purchased from CanStock

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sex and Politics-- or cheating and power

When I got this idea of cutting down on the posts here at Thoughts, I listed off some possible topics. I hope relationships was among them because that's what's on my mind right now-- not my relationships but the ones currently we are reading a lot about if we are reading the news anyway.

One thing to clarify first-- politics is not government. Politics is the nature of how people work out decisions, relationships, power, etc. Unless humans are living solitary lives, politics is in any relationship they have (maybe animals too). So when I say sex and politics it means sexuality and the dynamics of human interactions.

One other thing-- in comparison to stories like why are we still in Afghanistan, the tragedy unfolding in Israel and Gaza, this affair is seemingly a non-story that wouldn't have been a story in the past.

It might matter to us as in how easy our online correspondence is to track [privacy? What privacy?] but has that changed so much when someone in the FBI wants to find your secrets?  An obsessive FBI agent led to the downfall of Petraeus

Now that it's out, it has gotten so much coverage mostly because humans love dashing heroes, beautiful women, juicy gossip, taking down heroes, and in the case of right wingers-- some way to punish Obama for daring to win twice. 

Our current example of cheating and power just keeps getting curiouser and curiouser as it reveals a world of interconnected warriors and hot women. So for anybody who reads here but has no interest in such relationship stories, the crux of it, that we know for now, goes like this (for today because it might change next week).

David Petraeus, who has been an American war hero (mostly to the right), suddenly resigned as director of the CIA-- right after the election (first suspicious clue for conspiracy seekers). He admitted he had been having an affair (the dates of which change with every story I read) with a married woman who wrote a flattering biography of him and has been embedded with him (turns out literally although the only for sure account is under a desk).

It gets more complicated when we find the affair was discovered while an FBI agent, on his own, was investigating harassing emails sent to another hot babe (all part of what would make for a good English melodrama) in kind of an interconnected group of friends which has led to discovering hundreds of titillating emails sent by the current General in charge of Afghanistan to the second of the two hot babes (it gets more confusing).

One person said the most damage this story is doing is to the Staff Sergeant trying to teach a group of young military recruits about the high standards of the military while we see the general in charge of Afghanistan has had time to send flirty emails to one of those hot babes.

When I first read about this, I went to Drudge (something I no longer bookmark because it's so one-sided and salacious but when I wanted salacious, it was the place I thought of), read the articles there and then went below for rightie comments.

The comment section is where this gets scary. They did not believe Petraeus even had an affair.  The commenters thought it was all about Obama trying to prevent the CIA director from testifying about Benghazi (which I gave my earlier take on back in the blog--Doubling down on dumb-- Benghazi).

Get serious, it's not like Obama would be hurt running for election with this attack having been al Qaeda. In some circles, they call that wagging the dog and some presidents have been accused of creating such an incident. Plus he's had an ongoing action using drones (which some believe is wrong) against terrorist leaders anywhere they are found. This attack could make his use of drones seem more necessary even to the left. It sounds more like that October surprise they expected him to create to stay in office. Plus he did call it an act of terror.

As far as I know, they have yet to prove what political group planned it. What I think is it was part of a much broader effort, but I can no more prove that then they can that the Chicago tough guys were behind blackmail and coverups. The latest far-out theory by some of the wackiest is that Obama set up the woman to have the affair and trap Petraeus. I tell you, righties will believe anything.

 The right wing has an ongoing effort to somehow blame Obama for those four deaths. That Libya was a dangerous country. That the men (three trained warriors and one ambassador who had seen the worst of Libya's civil war) killed all knew their dangers, not of interest. That the extra security was requested for Tripoli, also not of interest. Nailing Obama somehow for something that could lead to an impeachment, that is.  And wacky righties think they have it now-- Benghazi a way to undo an election they could not buy or steal.

Now skip the lack of logic that Petraeus' resignation would not and did not prevent him from testifying. Maybe some of those commenters were spy novel fans (all clearly watched Fox 'news' and/or listened to Rush and his ilk). Most of them sounded like bigots who cannot stand a black man as President.

Their logic is that if the affair had come out before the election it would hurt Obama which skips over the fact that the right had Petraeus up on more of a pedestal than the left.  The women, the FBI agent, the Generals all apparently were Republicans. When all those parties and high lifestyle were coming out, might it not have more likely impacted Romney who wanted $1,000,000,000 more for the military? [high living no surprise to locals]

A lot of those commenters saw Petraeus as a hero and by golly they still wanted him to be one. A resignation over a simple affair got in their way; and since facts don't seem important, they could dismiss those (he didn't have an affair but admitted to one out of ____ you fill in the blank).

They created a new story that had nothing to do with sex. Fox and empty headed commentators like Peggy Noonan are helping them do it. I used to respect her but listening to her talk about this with kind of an inane expression, a skinny old lady, she strikes me as so far over the top, and anything but bright that it's no wonder she was a speech writer for Reagan.

Is any of this affair/affairs our business as Americans? Do we have a right to demand sexual fealty from our heroes?  Alpha males and cheating

The affair and all that has come out since would not have been revealed except for two cat fighting females and an obsessive FBI agent, who had no idea it involved the General or any possible threat to security but as soon as he thought it could have political capital went to right wing politicians with the story due to his belief his superiors would not properly use it. It got as far as Eric Cantor who went to the FBI head but didn't reveal anything to anybody. He might've also wondered whose ox it would gore if it did come out before voting.

Incidentally that aggressive FBI agent sent a topless photo of himself to one of the hot babes. He has said it was sent to many as a joke which might have been true or not; but it is something that men, who do such things, often say (do not ask how I know-- but I do).

The more we read about this and that aspect, the more it sounds like one of those British novels regarding their military in India or Africa and the complex interrelationships that we had no idea was happening right there in Tampa (and likely on other high level bases). I suspect we would have been happier not knowing-- unless this involves revealing classified secrets which so far it appears it has not.

We're not alone with such scandals where two women set about bringing down a leadership-- not with that intent so much but out of jealousy.  France is going through something similar (could there be something in the water?)

Should we even elevate heroes? Do we like to put people onto pedestals so we can then see them knocked off? From the stories of warriors, like David Petraeus, affairs are not unlikely whether they end up proven (wisely he admitted it and won't end up in prison for perjury like Martha Stewart) or like Eisenhower, simply rumored and revealed by his mistress after he was long dead and couldn't deny it.

Is adultery in our leaders the business of the public? If someone is a general, the military regards it as theirs. From what I know of the military code of ethics, it's grounds for court martial to commit adultery (when it's proven). And I guess it's up for debate whether it still might impact Petraeus as a retired officer if they wanted to reactivate him and prosecute. I read they are unlikely to do that.

Some say this is all just too coincidental to come out right now. Oh, I don't mean those trying to tie Obama into it with the hope of another impeachment over nothing. I mean the James Bond film which came out at the same time.

Such films are likely one of the reasons for those conspiracy types to be sure Obama (or as one retired military leader said on Fox, the Chicago tough guys) had something to do with this as a cover up or had been using it as blackmail to shut Petraeus up. That would be smart, wouldn't it, to reveal the affair and make someone mad enough to reveal those secrets you were trying to blackmail them into keeping. Remember logic is not a factor in any of this-- not the behavior nor the reaction.

Some ask why I don't want to write more realistic stories, closer to real life. Why choose romances that are a bit of fairy tales? Well this is why-- rare are the happy endings when it involves people living life on the edge. Happy endings are for boring little lives that are the best to actually live but definitely don't make for 100,000 exciting words to tell about. Such lives are for memoirs which most likely (unless a celebrity or noted biologist) only have family members interested in reading-- if them.

Years ago when discussing Bill Clinton and his sexual scandals, Farm Boss said that was probably where he got his energy-- the cheating. It's that challenge of doing it, hiding it, knowing it could be found out, the power, the risk. This is not to say that there aren't some real love stories out there in these secret affairs. One that might be the case was Mark Sanford sneaking off to South America to meet with his lover and saying later she was his soul mate and he would not give her up. Evidently they are planning on marriage-- but will that lead to a happily ever after? If I had to put money on it, I'd take the other side ;)

Remember the old saying-- ah what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive. Actually a spider web is pretty well organized in comparison to human webs.

Jon Stewart, as usual, lays it all out with logic and humor. Too bad righties are so mad at those like him and Bill Maher who also did a good job on explaining it last night. They could learn a thing or two or three.  

Monday, November 12, 2012

one more thing...

For those who think that politics are way too disturbing or that this election decided something important in the United States, when we were returning from our family beach trip, we tried to turn on 620 Portland which has had all the progressive radio stations in our area. It was gone replaced by Fox 620 Sports News.

I thought maybe the liberal voices had gone elsewhere. Nope. They are gone in our state. On our way home as I dialed around trying to find one single progressive speaker, I ran across 4 Rush Limbaugh stations (and had only covered half the numbers).

Thom Hartmann history. Ed Schultz history and any other liberal voices-- gone. Portland has a lot of sports channels but now it has one more as a way to block any opinion but that of the right wing. The right wing money has found a new way to spread their mindless entertainment and keep Americans from hearing anything that isn't.

It hasn't changed my mind about this blog. I will still go to once a week but it has made me hope that Americans who are not of the right wing ilk stay with it on issue after issue. It sounds good to say we need to think positive and all. Well while we are doing that, the powers that be have the money and are willing to spend it. They aren't giving up and their newest dodge will be to try and turn Benghazi into a way to impeach Obama. You just watch. This is NOT over and I hope nobody is naive enough to think it is.

Bain controls Clear channel the largest radio broadcasting in the US who owned KPOJ and probably a lot of other stations that had progressive voices. So instantly they decided how they win next time-- or revenge for those who spoke the truth about them. For you righties who think that's great-- just wait.

There was a rumor out that they were trying to get Ed Schultz off MSNBC as they did Keith Olberman earlier. We'll see but Americans should not take for granted access to truth. 

It proves to me how important this election was and even more so the mid terms. Americans voted by 500,000 + votes for Democrats running for the House but didn't get control of the House based on gerrymandering. I know righties like this but someday you will find out, they are not on your side either.

Oh and as for my books, I'm disillusioned on that also but will keep on keeping on for now.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

blog changes

One thing I had decided several months ago is that blogging so much has been draining my fiction writing energy. The political campaigns probably did too as instead of thinking of my characters, debating what they would do next, researching what was historically happening at the time of the stories, I was reading political articles and figuring out my own analysis. It involved a lot of reading and a lot of thinking. It was very important to me to do that, but it was a detour that was not helping finish my books.

So Rainy Day Thoughts is going on a once a week schedule (most likely a Saturday). Although I am not sure what I'll write about, the topics which currently appeal are genetically altered food and seeds, global climate change, getting old, environment, religion/spirituality, preparing for disasters, where our culture is heading, philosophy of living, and I'm sure more will come to me.

It will not be political so much as social and physical regarding issues I think humans need to be thinking about-- as these are around the world issues. There might be a little US political push once in awhile as I do believe Americans can't afford to take the next two years off. We need to be informed and express our opinions if we want to see anything positive happen on a lot of important issues. It takes pressure from citizens despite citizens wanting to hide in a hole after this long and intense campaign cycle.

Less frequency here will enable me to put more thinking and time into my two historical romances (first time ever that I have had two books unfinished-- ack!). I also hope to write regularly in my creative/marketing blog, Rain Trueax where I will aim for one every two or three days. Writing professionally is a mix of creativity and marketing. Anybody who has actually put out books (ePub or traditional) knows this.

There are assorted reasons for having that second blog. I felt Rainy Day Thoughts didn't start out to sell my books. It was about ideas and life in general. It can still be the latter; but if I write about the books, my struggles with marketing or plots (a big part of my life these days), comments here dwindle into nothing, and I suspect it feels like spam to long-term readers. I've had that happen when a blog I had been reading suddenly turned to selling. I didn't like it either.

Independent writers of eBooks must have places to have their work seen as they aren't on any store shelf. My Rain Trueax blog is one of those for me. My goal for it is to see it develop a readership of those interested in creativity and/or are working on their own projects-- which could mean writing, painting, crafts or any of the many creative arenas. The problems aren't a lot different if you want to go beyond the hobby phase to actually selling.

There is a cost in cutting back on the frequency here as Thoughts has had a nice sized readership which I expect, with less frequent postings, to be reduced; but I need to balance life with the writing. Actually I have noticed a lot of bloggers, who've been doing it a long time (I began in 2005-- old posts are on a blog called Age Old Beauty), have also gone to less frequent postings-- if they are even still doing it.

I hope regular readers here, who would like more frequent entries and are interested in the life of a creator, will give Rain Trueax a try. I recognize that romances are very politically incorrect, not exactly the elite thing to write, but they are what I write. The blog, however, is about more than them. It's about creativity in all its moods and aspects. The blog list here will always have it with its latest topic. I'll mix my art in with it and openly invite other creative people to put up guest blogs.

Whether someone is aiming to write memoirs, sci fi, flash fiction, chick lit, romances, adventure stories, non-fiction, or the great American novel, I think sharing the work can help.

Much to my surprise, I've learned that I enjoy writing about writing and the philosophy behind my work-- and yes, romances can have a philosophy behind them. Mine express a lot of my cultural and political views-- although you're unlikely to ever see the words Democrat or Republican in them (never say never but I can say never to date). Not all romance writers cover controversial subjects as it does turn off a certain percentage of possible readers, but I wouldn't even write if I had to write pablum. I just hope gradually to find readers who also like something more than a happy ending with their romances.

Photo on top is from CanStock where I purchased the rights. It fits into one of the books I will be putting more energy into-- an historic romance set in Oregon after the Civil War. It got stopped, after getting about 20,000 words into it, by a need to re-edit my contemporary stories as well as do further research on a little known Indian War. I thought I'd get over to the area where it was set but summer was way crazy and it didn't happen. Maybe in the spring.

The other unfinished historical, the one likely to get my energy first, is set in southern Arizona of 1885-- another very interesting time. It follows a book, which is edited, ready to go and will be on Kindle the first part of December-- maybe :). It would be an apropos time as last December is when my publisher (Farm Boss) and I put out the first of my ten contemporaries. I will have opportunity for more photos of that area as I get back to Tucson in December.

So don't give up on Rainy Day Thoughts as it'll still be here, just less often.

El Tiradito, a Tucson wishing shrine (a plot factor in both Arizona historic romances).

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Some more takes on our election

Daily Show's take on Fox as they tried to deny the election results as long as possible. Why are we surprised-- we aren't. But this bunch will try to stir up rage and it's working with a certain element of the population-- those addicted to Fox and right wing talk radio for their information. Is it to keep their followers tied to them for their misinformation? Maybe. Republicans in power have shown their first loyalty is to their partisan group and not America. That's what so enraged that bunch about Chris Christie when he put the people of his state ahead of partisanship.

And a friend sent me the following from 'AllAfrica.com.

interview  Prof. Jean Emmanuel Pondi, International Relations expert and author of the book, "Barack Obama: From Questions To Admiration," explains reasons behind President's second term win. 

Americans on Tuesday November 6, 2012 re-elected President Barack Obama. What, according to you, explains the wide margin of victory contrary to opinion polls?  First of all, it is not really a surprise that Barack Obama has been re-elected because he conforms to what majority of Americans want to see in their representative at the White House. The image of America around the world has improved immensely since he took over power four years ago. Prior to that, being an American in most parts of the world was more of a danger - physically speaking, for the individual. Today, that has changed and I think that it is thanks to his policies, his extended hand of friendship, and the fact that Barack Obama is truly a world president. He represents the diversity of humanity in himself and his family affiliations. So, I think that what he represents for the world and America is positive, overall. Maybe that is why it was better for him to continue for a second term.

The second reason is that in times of crisis, it is better to have a sure hand; someone who can weather the storm more confidently than a person who starts to learn the principles of government in the middle of a very agitated sea. Perhaps, American voters understood that it was not the time to hand over power to someone who would start learning leadership in the middle of a storm.

The third reason is that Barack Obama had a well-designed and organised campaign strategy that was well oiled four years ago and perfected its organisation during this election.

 You talked of America being in the middle of crisis. Which crisis are you referring to?  America is experiencing economic crisis - with more than seven per cent unemployment, an economic growth rate that is very poor, high level of debt... All these make for a rather gloomy outlook. But I think it is all the more remarkable that despite this situation, Obama was still given a second chance. It means that there is something in him, his charismatic personality. After all, he was able to pull out a few things such as the killing of Osama bin Laden that also played a major role in uplifting his image in terms of security for Americans The situation in the Middle East is so tense with the war in Syria and the war of words between Israel and Iran.  

With the election of Obama, what do you think the future holds for this region? The truth is that this region has always been agitated, has always known trouble. Now, it is a matter of lessening the level of tension either in Palestine, Syria or between Israel and Iran. It would be too optimistic to think that someone can solve the problem now. The region is always a dangerous spot for American foreign policy. I think Obama was too absorbed in working for his re-election. Now, he will have a better time frame to deal with these issues as the election is over.  

Some people are of the opinion that Obama didn't do much for Africa in his first term. What do you think? I reject this way of thinking by most Africans. Mr. Obama is an American President. What did Africa do for his election in 2008 and re-election on November 6, 2012? The two are not connected. He is the President of the United States of America and his platform concerns the lives of American citizens to whom he is today linked historically. It is true his father is Kenyan, but Obama is an American citizen. It is time for Africans to stop thinking that somebody owes them something. The question is what Africans have done to merit any kind of gratitude from Barack Obama. I think Africans should work out a strategic partnership, present to America and negotiate with their President. But have they done that?

 How do you see the future of the world in the next four years with America under Barack Obama's leadership? Will the world be a more secure place, given the potentially explosive situation in the Middle East? It is a very difficult question to answer. The greatest challenge for America today is China, not the Middle East, Africa or Europe. The next world power from a commercial, economic and technological standpoint is clearly China. I think the Chinese are also determined in the next 25 years to become the world's first economic power because they are not yet a military super power. I think President Obama will rather insist on cooperation with all countries and cultures. I don't think he will be like a Republican president, a war monger who prefers the military solution in first place. I think he will be more willing to negotiate and put economic and technological cooperation first, before resorting to war.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

rejecting extremism

 Vision without action is a daydream.
Action without vision is a nightmare.
Japanese proverb

My take on yesterday's election is that Americans rejected extremism. More states okayed gay marriage. Two backed legalizing recreational use of pot but Oregon wasn't among them which is too bad as I voted for that as just commonsense. It's too bad that California is keeping the death penalty as I don't think it's proving beneficial, but there is always another time. It's an idea that's not going away.

The biggest extremists, running for leadership in Congress, were rejected which meant Mourdock, Thompson, Walsh, and Akin found their far right views weren't those of their constituents. Oh and West of Florida who says so many hateful things. He'll likely find a niche on Fox for that rhetoric now.

I don't think America rejected conservatism because despite how Fox and the righties have tried to paint it, Obama has run on what I consider to be real conservative values. The current health care bill under Obama was originally a conservative idea-- before their party ran so far right that real conservatives would not recognize it.

We went to bed happy last night. Glad Obama won a real victory of Electoral College and popular vote. We had donated to campaigns outside of our state for the first time and in each case, that candidate won. Big money was always against them, but the values of the voters counted more than those dollars-- even ours. In the end, it's still one man one vote.

Some say this is the end of white male controlled government in the United States. I disagree. I know a lot of white males who voted for Obama and Democratic values. They voted on the issues and I hope that's what is at an end-- voting on color or religion. Vote on issues. Vote on character. Color of skin is irrelevant and a lot of us see that. Hopefully more will.

So now comes the work because a budget crisis looms; and even though the Senate is a bit more Democratic in 2013, the House is still controlled by Republicans. Will they be more willing to look at issues like taxes to get the budget more realistic? The Republican mantra has been they must protect the wealthiest from any tax increases. Americans don't agree.

We'll see if anything can be done with the filibuster still in place or must it be turned  into a demand-- you want to filibuster, get out there and do it. It's been a lazy man's tool recently, but they can go back to real filibusters and they better. Right now a majority in the Senate buys you nothing but blockades where one Senator can stop anything. That is not the majority rules, and it's been used to block appointments that should have been decided by vote-- not blackmail. Real filibusters, filmed filibusters, would let Americans see what these people believe and why they support what they do. They say they can't do that as it stops progress on anything. Like this kind of filibuster doesn't???

I'd like to think that what I see about extremism losing would be the take of Republicans, but I doubt it for now. They will think Paul Ryan is their solution and he is a religious extremist who although he won reelection to his district, does not hold the values of the majority of Americans with his desire to force his religion onto others, with his lack of compassion for genuinely helping the poor or healing the sick which tells me he's not a Christian but a christianist.

One last thing-- I don't think that the hurricane cost Romney the presidency. I think seeing Christie and Obama working together, cooperating for the good of the people might've played a role. It's what the country has believed we do but hasn't seen recently. It reminded voters how it could be when leaders put the people ahead of the party. Obama was heading toward winning anyway though based on polling-- which turned out to be pretty darned accurate.

Electing Romney would not have not allowed working across the aisles despite his call for how he'd do that. He didn't in Massachusetts and he would have owed too much to the far right to do it as President. It was his way or the highway. Who he really was, we may never know.

Romney did give a very gracious concession speech. Losing hurts and he did it with grace. If he'd shown more of that during the campaign, less lies, less unwillingness to ever confront the extremists, this might've ended differently. For our country, I'm glad it didn't. I wanted those four more years and hope that a lot of positive things can happen during them.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

hope for the best

Vote! Make your voice count!

The following is something that made me smile and hope it will you too. Either way this election goes, thinking positive is not just a slick expression. It is what we need to do for a good life for ourselves and loved ones.

You cannot come in unless we deem  you worthy. 
Cheese would go a long way toward making you worthy.

Monday, November 05, 2012

What comes next?

 Tomorrow Americans vote. Many of us, through early voting, absentee ballots or vote by mail, already have. It is an important right and should not be blocked by those who want only the 'worthy' to vote (which means voting their way) nor by laziness on the part of the voter. Be responsible and make a choice for the future of the country and yourself. Make your voice count with your vote!

When the election is over, the votes tallied, however it turns out, I will hope for the best as will most Americans. I think we are all sick of politics. It will, for me, lead to two different paths depending on who wins.

If Romney wins, I will be watching almost no news for awhile. I cannot stand the man; and it's not the issues that he's run on, which I disagree totally upon, it's his character. He's proven to be a liar (lie upon lie and 533 lies in 30 weeks most of which aren't about changing his mind but blatant, pathological lies), and I cannot stand liars. In my personal life if I find someone is a liar, I will not be a friend of theirs. How do you trust or count on anybody who routinely lies? What can you believe of their words? None-- even when they occasionally tell the truth.

The second reason I won't want to watch him take over the job as president or listen to the bitching from the left is that he's a hypocrite, and I really really cannot stand hypocrites. It kind of goes with lying, but it's not the same. The following is an example.

Romney has been instrumental in sending jobs overseas. The plant of Sensata, right now, has had its manufacturing equipment shipped to China, the workers (to keep working as long as possible) had to train their Chinese replacements. Those jobs will be totally gone from the United States. Bain Capital, the company Romney still has ownership in, is 51% owner of Sensata.

This kind of deal has happened over and over with Bain. It's how Romney made his fortune. Buy companies, successful ones often, keep them awhile. If they didn't send the jobs overseas for wages of $.50 an hour if that), they would bankrupt them to end benefits, pensions, and lower salaries here (most likely why Romney wanted the auto manufacturers to go bankrupt).

Here comes the hypocrisy-- wait for it!

On the campaign trail and in ads, he is trying to scare workers by saying Jeep is sending their jobs overseas and it's all Obama's fault. Romney would stop this evil practice of sending American jobs overseas.

The auto maker said it's not true. The facts say it's not true. Jeep is adding jobs in Ohio, but they are also starting a manufacturing plant in China.

If you are defending what Romney is now saying at the same time defending what Bain is doing, you are probably a rightie. If you cannot see Romney's total hypocrisy in what he's saying, you definitely are a rightie.

We are in a world economy and a lot of major corporations have manufacturing overseas. My son is frequently on a plane somewhere because of this. It's been going on a long while, and it's not all about lower wages (China probably is). Some of it relates to trading benefits.

Republicans have blocked any effort to make such corporations pay a tax penalty for those practices, but while Romney has and does profit from it, he would use it in the campaign. That is a special type of hypocrite-- not even subtle. Rather like that Republican Joe Walsh who would talk family values while he wasn't paying his overdue child support (for political gain, probably, he has since worked that out).  This kind of hypocrisy is counting on the voters they need to not care or be ignorant-- either way, they don't respect their own voters or anybody else.

Finally Romney is a conman. I have never liked conmen who try to sell me something that supposedly will give me a special deal, make me money, and all I have to do is trust them that they know how to make it work-- without the facts. I got fooled the last time by a conman when I was in my early 20s.

So if Romney wins, I plan to tune out politics and him until the midterms.

BUT if Obama wins, I cannot do that. I will have to pay attention and support his work, have his back (that does not mean writing much about it here as I have other plans for blogging) because I know that the Republicans will continue to do what they have been doing-- anything to damage this country with the hope of gaining power. I will need to sign petitions, continue to write letters and make sure I push Obama to do the things I believe are important. If the only voices Washington hears are of the tea party ilk, Obama won't be able to protect food stamps, education, SS, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.-- even if he wants to do so. It's up to us to make him want to do so. There are ways to move toward balancing the budget without hurting the weak.

Right after this election comes the issue of the budget where the right wing are going to try to blackmail Obama into making the Bush tax cuts permanent for our wealthiest citizens. They will hold America hostage. They might do the same thing with Romney, but there they have a willing partner, who they know will sign any bill they want. Grover Norquist said as much.

Photo at the top is Farm Boss and me from November 1. He has been an integral part of writing this blog as I have him read them all. He gives me ideas and although the words are always mine, a lot of the ideas come from pillow talk as often as what I read. 

Incidentally, this week we saw a really funny film that, while crude and taking what happens to a ridiculous level, did nail a lot of what's going on politically. In some of the scenes, I hate to admit, I laughed harder than I have in weeks. IF you can take 'raw language,' etc, if you laugh at Monty Python, give it a try-- 'The Campaign' starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis. It is up to date with what's been happening, makes fun of Americans, politics, while it raises some important issues regarding our system. The Motch brothers (played wonderfully by Dan Ackroyd and John Lithgow) are not even subtle take offs on the billionaire exploiters out there today.

The film made a strong point-- we need honorable people to run for office-- right and left. What will it take to get them?