Thursday, March 31, 2016

Sanders and the DC Ballot

Panic ensued among Sanders supporters when it was reported that Bernie wouldn't be on the DC ballot because his name wasn't submitted in a timely manner.

Nope. It was. As reported by the Washington Post, all hoops were properly jumped through. But then the rusty wheels of bureaucracy kicked in.

 
The DNC is like any huge organization. It is full of minor functionaries who have no real concept of the big picture. They work on their tiny fraction without any awareness of whether or not their bit of work actually has an impact on anything important to the overall operation. This makes them apathetic as to the urgency of anything that crosses their desk. Although issues like Sanders' name for the ballot were supposed to be handled until 7:00 PM, everybody went home at 4:45 PM. The DNC is, after all, closely connected to the government. Is it any surprise it works like the government, doing the very least possible?
 

Don't get your panties in a wad, Sanders' supporters. He hasn't been neglected. He's just become the latest in a long line of victims of bureaucratic idiocy.


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Deep Truth Too Often Unheard


Thanks to Prince Ea. Subscribe to his channel. You won't be disappointed.

Anderson Cooper was Wrong

In a recent interview, Anderson Cooper pointed out that the "he started it" answer is the argument of a 5-year-old. I think he gave Trump too much credit.

The infantile infighting on the Republican side is leaking over into the Democrat camp. It appears that the Democrats are upset they haven't received the media attention they want because the cage-fight that is the Trump/Cruz idiocy has taken up all the oxygen in the room, as the media loves to say.

What is wrong with the American public? Why does this kind of stupidity fascinate people so? These men are supposed to be vying for the most influential office in the world and they are acting like babies. I shudder to think this, but maybe Mike Judge was right. This country is far down the slope toward his Idiocracy and we didn't even see it coming. Maybe the president we really deserve is Joe Bauers. 

At least he still has a modicum of common sense, something lacking in every candidate we have on both sides of the aisle. 

Joe Bauers for President 2016!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Root of All Evil in America


We have often heard the old saying "Money is the root of all evil." This is actually a misquote of a verse from the Bible -- "For the love of money is the root of all evil..." (1 Timothy 6:10, KJV). The love of money is undeniably one of the roots of all evil in the world. Heinous crimes, war, and murder have been done for its sake. But that's not the real root of all evil in America. In the US, the root goes deeper. It stretches into the heartland and into the poorest home. It is insidious, unseen, invisible, yet ubiquitous. It is everywhere and ingrained in the fabric of the country yet denied by the population.

Apathy.

The rich in America constitute approximately 1/2% of the population. I'm talking about the really rich. The obscenely rich. The multi-billionaires. Their high profile makes them easy targets for the vitriol of the press and public opinion. They become the scapegoats for all the troubles. This is not to say they don't share blame for the ills of the nation. However, they are not the reason there is poverty and disease and crime.

The nation as a whole can solve all of its problems if it simply would get off its collective ass and do something significant about it.

Too many people, and I mean the majority of the people in the country, don't believe they can do anything about the problems facing us. They abdicate their authority to politicians who are more interested in getting re-elected than in changing the status quo. But in a country with a population of over 300,000,000, what a massive change might be wrought with a single goal shared by such a number!

Put 1,000,000 people together and you have a standing army larger than most of the armed forces in the world. Put those same people at dedicated work on a project to accomplish something like, say, eliminating hunger in the country and what kind of result might you expect?

I know you will say, but there are charitable organizations doing just that. Are there? Most "charitable organizations" that collect money funnel the majority of their funds into administration and advertisement. For example, the American Cancer Society spends only 59 cents of every dollar it collects on actual programs to research cures. And the ACS is one of the better organizations out there. Its major expenditure other than programs is fundraising. That means it has to convince people to actually reach into their wallets and donate to find a cure for the deadliest diseases known to man.


Why?

Because when you ask someone what they can do to better the world they say they're just one person. What can one person do to shift the scales? Admittedly, not a lot. But just as not voting is letting the bad guy win, not trying is being part of the problem. If you don't do something to improve the world, you are saying that the shape it's in now is fine with you.

Is that really what you want to tell your children?

Monday, March 28, 2016

Why Sanders is Winning





Bernie Sanders just trounced Hillary Clinton in three caucuses. I am amused at the surprise evidenced by some at this. 

What did they expect?


For the last several decades, the higher education institutions of this country have been indoctrinating our youth with the idea that socialism is the perfect government system. "Social justice" and other buzz words have been drilled into our youth so intensely that they no longer are able to think for themselves. The idea of personal responsibility is alien. In its place is slavish loyalty to the concept that government is mother and government is father -- the family that used to be made up of individuals is now a village.


This is what they teach. Individuals are no longer qualified to raise their own children. Only the state is capable of developing a child from birth to adulthood. Only the state is capable of determining right and wrong. Only the state is capable of judging whether a person is worthy of success. 

The universities and colleges in the US are typically left-leaning. They famously shy away from conservative speakers and on-campus organizations. They have produced three generations of people whose idea of this country is that it is inherently flawed and that its government must change to better reflect the values of Europe in spite of the fact those very systems have led to economic and social ruin evident to the most casual observer.

So why is it surprising to the Democrat Party, or anyone for that matter, that Sanders is winning? He is the poster child for everything that has been taught for the last 50 years in the American public universities and colleges.

We may have the chance to see if all that theorizing, all that preaching that socialism is the perfect government, is true.


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Stop Feeding the Monster

After the tragedies of the bombings in Turkey, Belgium, and several other countries over the last few days, it would appear that radical Islam is taking over. Nothing could be further from the truth, but not if you listen to the media. In fact, the global media are the most powerful ally of radical Islam.

Without the attention put on their actions, the movement would slowly die out. Radical Islam is not new. It has been around since the beginning of the religion. Just as radical Christianity hit its height during the Crusades, the current global jihad will eventually fade. Generations will suffer, of that there is no doubt, but in the long run humanity will survive this insanity and go on to find new forms of insanity with which to torture and kill.


The one reason this particular horror will continue long beyond its due is the attention it is given by a prurient and scandal-starved media. The original Crusades had no worldwide media coverage. News of its victories and defeats took months or years to travel from one place to another. Today, news of a bombing in Brussels is broadcast to every corner of the world within minutes, with video and audio highlighting the terror while the newscaster gives a mandatory and half-hearted warning about how disturbing the images might be.

The terrorists know this. It is not a hard lesson to learn. It won the Vietnam War for the North Vietnamese forces in the 1970s. The VC and NVA were beaten and they knew it. It would take an all-out, last-ditch effort to convince the US media that they were still strong and give the impression they were gaining ground to push the US forces into retreat. Never mind the NVA were down to their last men and their supplies were dwindling. Colonel Bui Tin, who served on the NVA General Staff, said in a 1995 interview with the Wall Street Journal, 

"Support for the war from our rear was completely secure while the American rear was vulnerable. Every day our leadership would listen to world news over the radio at 9 a.m. to follow the growth of the American antiwar movement. Visits to Hanoi by people like Jane Fonda and former Attorney General Ramsey Clark and ministers gave us confidence that we should hold on in the face of battlefield reverses. We were elated when Jane Fonda, wearing a red Vietnamese dress, said at a press conference that she was ashamed of American actions in the war and that she would struggle along with us... The conscience of America was part of its war-making capability, and we were turning that power in our favor. America lost because of its democracy; through dissent and protest it lost the ability to mobilize a will to win... We had the impression that American commanders had their hands tied by political factors. Your generals could never deploy a maximum force for greatest military effect."

Even though the US and the North Vietnamese came to an agreement that resulted in the removal of US forces two years before the fall of Saigon, that event is still considered to be a signal of US defeat in the war. Much is misunderstood about that conflict and about the waging of wars military and ideological since the beginning of the nuclear age. 

The conflict with radical Islam is one of constant struggle against an undefined and unidentifiable enemy. The days of uniformed combatants and banners and logos is passing. When you cannot tell who the enemy is, it is easy to consider everyone the enemy. Thus, all Muslims become enemy. Just as during the Crusades, everyone in the cities under siege -- Muslim, Christian, Jew, whatever -- were considered enemy.


What boggles my mind is that when the current radical Islamic murder is criticized, some people point to the Crusades and say the Christians did the same thing. It is as if they are saying the murders being carried out today are allowable because murder was done in the past. This kind of thinking is perverse in the extreme. Just because atrocities were executed in the past does not justify further murder.

Yes, millions died in the name of Christianity. No one denies that, but we don't try to justify that by pointing to the previous Muslim Crusade from the late 7th to 12th centuries that killed, maimed, and enslaved millions across northern Africa, eastern Europe, and into Spain. War is a horrible thing, but to kill in the name of one's God is more horrible still.


As long as the unintended glorification of radical Islam continues, it will grow. Just as the American media fed the fears and prejudices of middle America and made the monster we know as Donald Trump a possible presidential candidate, the global media will eventually create a religious war that could possibly tear East and West apart in a conflict that could mean the end of civilization as we know it. That may sound extreme, but consider how US political stances have become so radical in the last twenty years. Extend that into the global theater and put a religious cloak over it.

It is a chilling and terrifying possibility.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Unemployed? Get a Job Quick!


Recent studies have found that the longer you stay unemployed, the less likely you are to get hired. Want to know why? Because the people who hire have an unconscious prejudice against applicants who have been unemployed longer than six months.

The government likes to crow about the low unemployment rate. Typically, it considers a national average of 5% to be "full employment." However, what they don't tell you is how hard it is to really know how many people are out of work. And it's even harder to tell how many people can actually get a job if they try.


The media likes to push the idea that you need a college degree to get a good job. Problem is, college degrees today are so common they hardly mean much any more. The degrees people are getting often don't equate to employable skills. Worse yet, when they do get employed, it's usually at less than they were led to believe they qualified for because the better paying jobs have been filled for decades by people who are working longer for less.


In what is supposedly the wealthiest nation in the world, we have a growing class of poor -- highly educated, well-qualified poor. It's a sorry state of affairs and something the government cannot fix. Our economy is sick. It needs a shot in the arm. Jobs need to be brought back from overseas but most importantly Americans need to learn to live on less, expect less, and find out what it means to be frugal in their lives. 

We are a spendthrift society. We are consumers, not producers. We demand more money so we can instantly spend it on trifles. Cable TV, designer clothing, fancy cars, jewelry... We need to learn to concentrate on the basics: food, clothing (practical), and shelter. Personal responsibility comes from common sense.

Too bad there's no college degree in that.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Rise of Alternate Fuels


In the last several years, the number of patents related to alternate fuels has risen dramatically. People are working more in the alternate energy industry than ever before as it becomes clear that dependence on oil is weakening our economic health.


After an abortive attempt in the early part of the century, mostly by companies more interested in government grants than in forwarding the technology, solar has taken off. Wind technologies, the most expensive by far, have shown the greatest growth in spite of that. This is good news for the economy in some ways, bad in others.

The internal combustion engine is 19th century technology. Even though there have been improvements, especially in the last 30 years or so, it remains a cumbersome weight on the public transportation system. There are many other ways to more effectively move people in an urban environment, however people are reluctant to change. It's just human nature to want to do things "the way we always did it."

Time to adult, people. Put on your big-people pants and take a long hard look at what can be done to improve our systems. Stop looking back. Look forward.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Sorry State of US Education

Public school. A time supposedly for learning, for beginning to prepare for life. In the rest of the world's developed nations, that holds true. Not in America.


The US public schools today are hotbeds of violence and disrespect. Our teachers are underpaid and underqualified. Students are undisciplined and coddled. The curricula are politically slanted and sometimes even incorrect. We have the least informed and least educated population in this nation's history, mainly because our educational system has become less one of teaching and more of indoctrination.

Compared to the rest of the world, the US educational system is mediocre to poor. We do badly at math, poorly at science. We spend more than any other developed nation on education for less return. The public school system is operating below the mean while independents, which pay their teachers better, have stricter qualifications for their teachers, and entertain students who want to learn, perform much better.


Maybe it's time public schools were overhauled. Maybe it's time the students in those public schools were punished when they misbehave instead of counseled. Maybe it's time to take a harder line, relatively speaking, than what is being done now. If respect for authority won't be taught in the home, it must be taught in the schools. If not, then we have no room to complain if youth crime grows unchecked.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

I'm Talking!





People are criticizing Bernie Sanders for objecting to Hillary Clinton trying to interrupt his response to her charges against him during the Democrat debate. They accuse him of sexism. This is disingenuous in the extreme. She was deliberately being rude.

After all her criticism of the Republican debaters, she should have known better. Was she supposed to be practicing for a debate with Trump and using Sanders as a foil? If so, she failed miserably. Compared to Trump, Sanders is an adorable puppy. Which is interesting, as Clinton has compared the Republican debate to barking dogs.

Sanders has been unusually tolerant of interruptions. The BLM protesters that crashed his speech were even given time at his podium, which they shouldn't have been allowed. Peaceful protest is one thing. Protest disruptive to the event and that interferes with something as important as the delivery of a presidential candidate's speech is not only disrespectful to the process, it is an insult to the speaker.

It seems no one -- Republican, Democrat, BLM protestors, anti-Trump protesters -- really care about listening to what is being said. It's all about being the loudest mouth in the room. As if that makes the message any more valid.

Just STFU and listen for a bit. You might learn something.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Kasich as President?





Well, Arnold Schwarzenegger has come out in support of John Kasich. If you have the support of the Terminator, does that make you dangerous? Not likely. Still, it's amusing that the Schwarz calls him an "action hero." Personally, I like Kasich as he is the closest thing the Republicans have to a real statesman in the race right now, but an action hero? Nope.


Overshadowed by the stupidity of the rest of the field, Kasich actually would have had a chance in a serious race. Unfortunately for him, the Republicans don't have a serious race this time. They have a circus, a minstrel show, a dog and pony show, a parade of fools and he's caught in the middle of it. His reputation as a serious candidate is being ignored because he might really be a good president. And a "good president" isn't what the Republicans appear to want anymore. They want to win the office but they apparently don't care who fills it, as long as he or she has an R after their name.

This country needs a leader to get itself out of debt and back into a productive mood. We have become soft, lazy, and unproductive. So little is actually "Made in USA" anymore. True, we have some impressive technology and a great military but our leaders are corrupt and greedy. We have lost our way when it comes to being the foremost example of integrity in the world. America has become a laughingstock and untrustworthy to our friends.

We also need to have a leader who will stop the waffling concerning foreign policy, to solidify who we are and how we act in the global theater. Mixed messages are different from diplomacy, and mixed messages are all our friends and enemies are getting about where we stand.

I just don't see that coming from either side of the aisle this election.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Still Recovering

I couldn't bring myself to post yesterday. I was speechless at the level of idiocy shown on the Republican debate. It's so hard to believe these are the people who want to be elected to the most powerful political office in the nation. No dignity, no statesmanship, not even any self-respect. I was reminded of three apes pounding their chests and bellowing at each other. 

Someone has pointed out that we don't have much choice on either side. Both front runners, Trump and Clinton, are under legal investigation - Clinton by the FBI, Trump by the IRS. In essence, we have two potential felons who the American public think would be perfect fits as president.

What have we become? What does it say about America that the majority of our political office holders are beholden to lobbying influences that have nothing to do with the public welfare? What does it say about America that the only people we would consider viable candidates for our highest office are people who make common criminals look like grade-school children playing at cops and robbers?

Truly, we must admit we have a huge problem with our values. We need to stop elevating outlaws and start removing them from office. In Ancient Greece, people were forced to serve in political office and not allowed to stay installed past their service end. When you have an entire class of the population who spend their whole lives as politicians, corruption is inevitable.

Term limits are a must. A balanced budget is critical to a healthy economy. Appropriations must be managed properly and only for necessities. These are simple, practical rules for good government.

Too bad America has forgotten.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Romney's Meaningless Tirade




Why? What did Mitt Romney hope to accomplish by his tirade against Donald Trump that hasn't been done already by Matt Walsh and a thousand other commentators? Did he believe no one was listening to the people speaking out against Trump's bombast? Did he think that only he would be heard? That he was special and his opinion was somehow more convincing?


Well, guess what, Mitt? You're just another voice in the crowd. Worse yet, you've given Trump more ammunition in his claim that the RNC is out to get him. Everyone more or less guessed that was true before. Now there is no doubt. Cruz and Rubio and Kasich will be staying in the race to insure a brokered convention. That might actually save what's left of the GOP. Nothing short of pushing Trump to the curb will save its image as not being the party of bigotry, misogyny, and fascism.

Maybe that was the reason after all. Maybe Mitt's tirade is part of a larger plan to distance the GOP from Trump and see to it that perhaps Trump will take himself off the GOP ticket and run independent. It would mean a GOP loss, but right now the GOP has given up all hope of winning anyway.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Meanwhile, Elsewhere in the World...

While the US is involved with its election cycle and its media ignores the rest of the world, massive global events are changing the face of the map.

China today took over another territory, pushing the Philippines out. The helpless island nation can do nothing but cry out to the UN for action, action that body is unwilling to take in the face of the power of Chinese military might. This is only the last in a long line of Chinese moves to annex the entirety of the South China Sea using their "nine dashed line" area argument.


This claim only goes back as far as the 1940s according to Vietnam, which has documentation they maintain verifies their claim going back centuries. The idea of international waters apparently has no weight in any of these nations' arguments, as they all want these islands. China wants them because they are strategic military points for control of the South China Sea, as does Vietnam. The Philippines wants them because they are bases for their fishing industry. Indonesia eyes the whole thing nervously as a possible military problem in future.

Combine this latest Chinese aggravation with the tension between it and Taiwan and you have a burning fuse toward an explosion that could include most of the countries in the Far East. Worse yet, the UN is bound to turn to the US to either send peace-keeping forces or intervene in talks since the US supports the independence of Taiwan (albeit indirectly) and is a sponsor of the autonomy of the Philippines.

The US has already said they will not recognize any restrictions China places on movement in the area. That puts it in the forefront of this dispute even before the general public are aware of the problem. The one group that might be able to make a difference, ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), can't come to agreement as to what to do about this. 

People talk about Iran or the Middle East as being the main trouble spot in the world. Not so. The Middle East has been on the boil for centuries and not boiled over because they have so many internal problems they can't organize well enough to create a major conflict. China, on the other hand, a nuclear power with a standing army of over 2 million and a high-tech air and naval force, is well-organized and determined to expand. 

It might be a good idea to learn Mandarin.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

For Whom the Bell Tolls





I have no words for what has happened today. Super Tuesday is a super nightmare. I have an irresistible urge to apologize to the rest of the world for the Republican Party of the USA.


I can only assume that the ordinary American citizen has decided they want to be ruled by a person who has no idea what they believe beyond whatever the current audience wants to hear. I will take some time to try to wrap my head around this insanity and hope that people will soon come to the realization that the Wizard of Oz is better qualified to be a presidential candidate.

I might even vote for him first.