Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

What do we do?

Just passed another Fourth of July with all the hoopla that means in the United States, vacations, picnics, family gatherings, fireworks, and a commemoration of the day this country declared its independence and did it in a blaze of glory and such violence that eventually Great Britain decided we weren't worth the hassle. 

Our forefathers then had to work out a Constitution and Bill of Rights, which theoretically would govern this new nation of thirteen states and many diverse ethnic groups. Many amendments later, more wars, here we are today and still debating what they were over two hundred years ago, issues like taxation, rules, religious freedom, etc. 

Does religious freedom mean I have a right to push my will onto you because my religion says I must? Christians are often told by their leaders that they are only one generation away from being displaced; of course, their leaders have solutions on how to avoid this fate by hefty donations to the cause... oh and that business of forcing their rules onto others (sounds more like Sharia law than the Gospels but hey it's for a good cause, right).

The irony has become, what is called Christianity today often bears little or no resemblance to what Christ taught; hence has earned a new name-- Christianist. In just our American history, I do believe this has gone back and forth for what freedom of religion or even Christianity should mean. I am not saying that the christianists don't still talk about Jesus but now he's a politician who likes and supports Pharisees...

I bought a book some years ago called Generations which describes how one generation impacts the next and a culture ends up repeating itself in a system of seven identifiable cycles before starting over again. The authors showed how this has worked through US history with names for each generation and descriptions of what they did. I would be willing to bet such a cycle shows up in other countries also. Human nature impacts human nature and hence things change-- except in the end, on the deepest levels, they really don't.

Today we appear to be in a very violent cycle, and this is around the world. If you read more than your local paper, you see how one country after another-- developed or not-- has been experiencing violent solutions to problem solving.

As an example: three Jewish teen-agers are kidnapped and murdered in Israel. In apparent retaliation, a Palestinian teen is kidnapped and murdered. Of course, none of these kids bore any resemblance to the problem the countries face. That's typical of terrorism which really is mindless. Even more typical is how someone can use an event like those killings to trigger a war they want, which means nobody really knows for sure if the 'other' side even did the gory deeds.

In the United States, the immigration problem has escalated with coyotes bringing up people and especially unaccompanied children from Central America where the the countries are experiencing rampant violence and poverty. In 2008, the rule for dealing, with those from Central America, was changed. They must by law be processed, released and asked to report back to the center in a month with no way to enforce that. Americans who are paying attention see the concern since many of these new arrivals are children whose parents were told the Dream Act would give them permanent citizenship. Their parents often paid coyotes big money to get them up here with the hope that would later bring them. 

By the way, we are not the only developed nation facing this sticky problem. It's ironic if you think about it how this has gone and is: developed world --> underdeveloped and exploits resources. Underdeveloped --> developed and exploits resources. 

So what is our choice? Stick head in sand or deal with this one? Deal with it how? Do we have enough resources to take on all the world's poor? Only those from some countries? Which ones? Considering our own debt and that we are a borrower nation, is there a point at which we break? 

Currently as a temporary fix, Obama wants more money for processing, more money for Central America but can we solve the problem of other sovereign nations? How would we do that? This may not only involve new arrivals who are children but also gang members (identified by tattoos) and the sick. 

Answers? It's not like I said I had any. I could go on with issue after issue, but you get the idea. 

Maybe you saw the article that said stress is catching. I believe that. On the other hand, how do you go around with a Pollyanna face all the time? How do you pretend what's going on isn't? Remember the Dylan song, Blowin' in the Wind-- 'How many roads must a man walk down before you call him a man?'  and even more devastating-- 'How many times must a man look away pretending he just doesn't see?'

So we talk about it and stress each other out. We ignore it and are responsible for leaders who do nothing (except get their own paydays and payoffs). 

We go me-me-me-me whenever someone tries to tell us something distressing and say it's always been this way even if we don't really know it has. I guess if we think it's always been this way, then we have no responsibility to do anything about it.

It's easy to space ourselves out of the world and it's problems. I do it all the time through writing. Most recently, I've been involved in life problems of families in two different periods in history. One was editing the newest historical romance coming out July 10 where I am back to 1899 and figuring out the problems of young would-be lovers and several families. In the other, I go further back for my work in progress, which takes me to 1867 with again families, love and this time an Indian war not to mention a conspiracy of the sort that crops up time and again including in our own era. 

When I come up for air, I go outside and enjoy my yard, sit and sip some wine, try to forget personal problems, try not to think about the President, Congress, immigration, climate change, war, violence, greed, power, etc. You know it's not real hard to do when it's beautiful outside, when the hummingbirds are darting everywhere. The males are doing their dance to encourage the formation of a second nest this year. It's an exciting time when baby birds get their wings. You can almost feel their new-found joy in movement.

Except my world is not the only world and eventually that other world will impact mine. It's how it works. So what do we do?

Images among those purchased from Deposit Photo as the kinds that sometimes work for me to use in backgrounds, trailers or blogs :)


Diane Widler Wenzel said...

I recently saw a cartoon with the following caption: "My desire to be well informed is in conflict with my need to be sane." There are certain other activities than reading the news that are known to be depressents. These activities cause chemical changes in our body and becoming depressed is no longer a voluntary choice. Writing and creative pursuits can make all the difference for some.

Rain Trueax said...

I really like that quote, Diane. It's so the truth. I guess it's be informed when it warns us about safety or we have a choice where we might make a difference like a petition or a vote.

robin andrea said...

I have very similar thoughts and questions, and I have no answers. We vote. We read. We lament the direction of things. We hike and bike ride. We laugh and cry and hope for the best.

Ingineer66 said...

I could solve the border and immigration crisis in a month, OK maybe 3 months. And I think 90% of the country and the immigrants would like my plan. No politician of any party seems to be interested in really doing anything about the situation.

Rain Trueax said...

What is your plan, ingineer? How do you know they know what to do?

Ingineer66 said...

I think I have described it here before. First seal the border and complete the fence. Deploy Marines that have been trained how to deal with civilians during our 12 year long occupation of Afghanistan. They don't have much else to do now that the war is over and they are very good at security and restraint.

Then allow everybody in that wants to come in and work. I don't really care how many it is. For the folks streaming across the border: take their photo, fingerprints and DNA. We need to know who is coming in. And make them pay a $5,000 processing fee. They are paying a coyote $10,000 now, so this is a bargain. Give them a work permit so they are legal and pay taxes and we know who they are. That way we get the workers we need and the criminals, drugs and terrorists have a much harder time getting through.

Besides the low skill workers, We are making people leave that are educated and have jobs because their Visas are expiring. Our policies are hurting people and the US. The system really is broken.

I think if we took these steps, most everybody would be happy. Except the drug dealers.

Rain Trueax said...

Some of it is worth a try but not sure we can really seal the border. They can certainly do better than they are and drones could patrol a lot of land with instant responses with crossings. Have you read how the children that are being brought up are sent across the Rio to the Border Patrol agents as who they go straight to. They know they will be cared for and currently to deport someone from Central America, we don't have a plan. Last night a pastor in the Dallas area has agreed to take 2000 of them for an abandoned school and they would then get them to foster homes. I thought we didn't have enough foster homes as it is. The children aren't workers and this is currently one of our bigger problems :(

Ingineer66 said...

The children are coming in droves because the President said he was going to go ahead with the Dream Act by Executive Order since Congress would not approve it. Then the word got out in Central America that the President said if illegal kids are here, they can stay. Not exactly what he said, but that is what they heard. It has been amateur hour at the White House the last 5.5 years.

Ingineer66 said...

I know we cannot totally seal the border. People got through the Iron Curtain and they shot people for trying. But we can do a much better job than we do now. And it would save the lives of a lot of people that drowned or die in the desert.

Rain Trueax said...

Actually you can more blame the 2008 law change. It let them understand if they got here, they could stay. None of what are coming in relate to the dream act which involved parents who brought small children here a long time ago and it wasn't their choice. It has nada to do with this influx. Somebody figured out they can make money off the lack of an ability to immediately deport those from Central America.

Righties want to blame Obama for everything but he put more people on the border than bush had. He has also deported a lot more which has annoyed the left.

This latest problem though is being pushed in our country by Christians also with the we must take in everybody. That is nuts! But if you look at England, it's happening there too. Still Obama's fault? Of course, if you already hate him...

Ingineer66 said...

I do not hate Obama. I think he is doing a poor job as President. I would like him to lead. Even if it is bad decision it would be nice to see him make a stand on something. How long have we been waiting for a decision on the Keystone Pipeline?

Rain Trueax said...

I think he leads and I hope the pipeline answer is no. It's not a good thing for our nation and only good for $$$.

Ingineer66 said...

Then he should make a decision one way or another. But if it is not built then the oil will go to China and we will continue to import more from unfriendly nations. Or it will still come here, but on trains that are more dangerous and have a much larger carbon footprint than a pipeline. So I think he should approve it. We have been waiting like 3 years for his answer.

Rain Trueax said...

You do understand that the oil is going to a refinery in Texas to then be sent to South America. That pipeline is NOT about oil for Americans or profit as it's a Canadian oil corporation. If they build a pipeline across Canada from those tar sands, they have their own set of problems. And that is part of the concern that those tar sands are bad for the environment in a lot of ways. Right now with fracking, which is also bad for the environment, the US is actually exporting fuel. As for them sending them on out of date cars on trains across our country, have you heard of laws? IF Congress wants to mandate safe rail cars (they don't right now), they can do it. It's not as though corporations run our safety standards and the ONE for sure thing Congress is supposed to do is regulate commerce.

Would you want that pipeline next to your home? They do break and leak despite all the assurances as we have had plenty of evidence of. So twenty years from now, it's still there and not maintained as it should be--

He hasn't dallied. There were studies made, conditions set, figuring out exactly where, and then how much our country gets out of it for the disruption to the land and the risk. And for that, it won't profit our country beyond a few years of construction work and then how many jobs might be added to refinery work and shipping of it to other countries. In exchange we get a possible ruination of aquifers including one of the US's biggest-- the Ogallala.

He should say no! But right now it's being delayed for the November elections where people can once again vote for $$$ or environment. For some, who don't realize you can't breathe $$$, this is a no-brainer. For others more is at stake including global climate warming!

Ingineer66 said...

So the oil will stay in the ground if he finally says no after the election? Like I said he cannot make a stand on anything. If it was so important to him, he would make a decision and stand by it. But like his constantly changing position on Syria or immigration to name two, he doesn't want responsibility for anything.

Rain Trueax said...

that is oil shale and I am sure the canadian oil barons will get it out with the methods they use today which take a lot of water and are damaging to the environment at the least locally.

Obama has made fracking very easy with no problems; so your resentment that oil barons in Canada won't make more billions, is kind of misplaced.

He made a decision on Syria. We didn't send in troops. You wanted to? Maybe back the guys who currently are the bad guys in Iraq and the guy who wants to be a caliph, rather like we did bin Laden years ago.

Sometimes doing nothing is doing something especially when you don't know who the good guys are. As it stands, we'd be supporting Syria's president over the fear a new tyrant is arising who will be a bin Laden. That's what happens when you jump gun such as the guy you voted for, McCain, would have been doing! He'd have you in war around the world and paying for it how again??? No, not paying for any of it unless it's on the backs of children and the poor.

Republicans can't make up their minds about Obama. He's either a tyrant or a weakling, trying to be a dictator or wimpy. Get your act together as he can't be both!

Ingineer66 said...

You are not seeing my point. He has changed his stance on Syria 3 times and currently does not really have a position. He tries to take both sides on the issue.
As for the oil, yes it will come out of the ground so we might as well put it in a pipe and put Americans to work. Instead the Chinese will get it and we will have nothing.

Ingineer66 said...

He is a weak leader that wants to be a tyrant and not follow the rule of law.

Rain Trueax said...

You just do not like him and that makes you find fault. So what you'd like is for him to do something and stick to it? What if the first thing the repubs wanted him to do was support the guy who now looks like he wants to be the next bin Laden! That happens to be the case. Give him arms, they said. And now it's obvious with what he's done in Iraq that he is trying to inspire a global jihad as he's named himself the Caliph. That is why I don't trust Republicans to vote sensibly. They like someone stubborn like GW who does something even when it's wrong. A leader who rules with nuance makes them upset. Nobody knows what to do with Syria but some would do something anyway. Oh and how would you pay for that new war? You guys also do not like taxes and that's how we got this huge debt now which you don't want but your solution on that is make the poor pay with less benefits and take away public education and health care. So you pay for wars on the back of the weak and you wage them with no idea what you are doing which is what everybody with a brain said about Iraq including the first Bush. It will break apart but no, would not listen. Then like to whine when it's a lifetime problem which it is and will be.

And on the oil, you really don't listen to what I say here. The jobs only last as long as the pipeline takes to build across the country. It would go to Texas refineries, maybe build a new one and then be shipped to South America. China will get its oil one way or another and I bet we are shipping them some of our excess now as the global oil market sends it to where it is close enough.

When that oil pipeline leaks someday, due to same a big quake like has happened before in some of that region, and ruins the Ogalalla aquifer, you will find out what that does to your bread basket and Texas, but Republicans who vote for the same idiots over and over never seem to learn about long term versus short term. You want cheap and quick answers when life doesn't provide them in a LOT of situations. You vote for leaders who promise you pie in the sky and then get mad when it didn't happen. You'll probably put up Romney again next time because all the rest of your possibilities are wackos. If you get a president, he will end legal abortion, get a constitutional amendment to end gay marriage, spy on you more than happens now, cut taxes again with that cockamamie idea that it will bring in more revenue, be back to fighting wars every which direction and you will then whine when the debt rockets.

I like Obama. I won't say he's always doing right. I am not thrilled at his not pushing to end this migrational flood, but he has to deal with nutcase lefties who want to open the floodgates and let in everybody who wants to come with no more idea of how to pay for that than you do with the endless wars you favor.

AND if we had armed this guy in Syria, the one who was such a hero to the right, we'd be seeing just what we are now with our guns used also (now he's just taking them away from the Iraqis who we were told would fight to defend their own country. This Caliph will be a bin Laden if he doesn't get killed by Obama's drones-- which I bet is the goal about now. And some nutty American leader armed bin Laden originally. but heaven forbid that a President would not do anything. Got to do something to satisfy his right wing base! grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr