Sunday, May 27, 2007

Iraq- What now?

  • No WMD found.
  • No links to AlQaeda
  • Saddam was less of a threat then the outcome.
  • Chance of democracy looks bleak.
  • The US actions in Iraq are increasing potential future attacks.
  • Action (choice)= Reaction (uncontrollable outcome)
  • More important tasks here at home.

Well the time has come. This is one of the issues near and dear to my heart. As I mention before, I remember when it happened. I remember when I swung from being an independent to standing strong with the democrats even though we differ in opinion other issues. It was the same day the house and senate all voted to give the criminal organization in control of the White House a blank check to spend American money and lives for their own greedy end. I believed then that the minority democrats who were opposed to this debacle would grow legs and support in a short time. I didn’t then realize the power of the propaganda machine. Now with the democrats showing no spine and showing that they don’t even understand why they overwhelmed the 2006 elections, a change in focus may be in order. That is for later consideration.

The Iraq war is way too big of a subject for one post. Whole books have been written about it, and whole collections would be needed to understand every aspect. I have read more then a few of them. I have a few favorites that I will cite, as the time is appropriate. The most pressing issue about the Iraq war is “what to do now?” What are the options at hand? What are the obligations? What makes the most logical sense?

The proponents of the war say we have to stay there until the job is finished. This makes no logical sense. The reason why congress gave the president the power to wage war in Iraq was to remove the weapons of mass destruction. The claim of the Bush administration was that Saddam and Iraq was in breach of UN resolution 1441. (The illegitimacy of this claim will have to a wait for a discussion of how we got into this mess. For now I am trying to stay on track and just consider what to do now.) Since this resolution has been fulfilled, everybody admits that no WMD now exist in Iraq; there should not be a problem. The problem is solved pull the troops back home.

With that thought in mind, when a CEO of a major corporation follows “bad intelligence” and looses billions of dollars not to mention if it cost the lives of many employees and achieves an opposite and negative outcome then the one expected, the CEO is generally fired in disgrace. But I digress.

The niche phrase chanted by the supporters of continued action these days is we have to “support the troops until the job is done”. I am not sure what the “job” is they are referring to. If somebody knows what this elusive task is please post it. After the WMD claim failed it was to install a democracy in Iraq. The linked report demonstrates a CIA finding that agrees it might be “impossible”, at least in its current state. (Again the poor planning and the complex issues of democracy in the Middle East are issues will have to wait.) Just know that a country where honor killings, virginity checks, and personal militias are acceptable norms obstacles exist. As it is there haven’t been elections in Iraq since January of 2005. The cost and the man power to ensure secure poling station is immense. With Halliburton ripping off the government there isn’t money left over for elections. One perspective often overlooked is that, in case people forgot, that democracy is just the rule of the majority. What if the majority voted to kill the minority? What if the majority voted to use its resources to attack the United States? That would be democracy at work. That is exactly what you could expect from a Middle Eastern Democracy at this point.

Explain to Iraqis people that you bulldozed and bombed you way across their country, destroying all their infrastructure and security, and left them with chaos and rubble in the name of democracy. “We are America and we are here to help so back the f’k off or we will shoot you, 'who yah'”. I am not certain at what point this seemed logical to the majority of Americans.

I am starting to drift off topic, but I needed to demonstrate how futile the idea of installing a democracy in Iraq is. This is especially true at the blood soaked hands of the current US political structure. So there is no reason for us to “stay the course”, a marketing term that has been dropped by the Bush propaganda machine.

The last reason given to stay in Iraq is that it is the Central front on terrorism. They claim that “we must fight them there or fight them here.” First of all if a terrorist wanted to they could walk across the southern border with 70% success. The second issue is that Iraq and Saddam never had links to Al-Qaeda. So you created a war zone on property that wasn’t yours to exploit. Next time you have a mole problem Set up traps and dig holes in your neighbor’s yard. Explain to them that you are fighting them before they get to your yard. See how that goes over. If you think that is hard. Try to explain it to a nation of people who have lost in the area of at least a half a million people. Try to explain to them that the US troops are there to set up a war front in their yard and invite terrorist factions, civil war, and economic strife even though they had nothing to do with the terrorist to begin with. "See now instead of a dictator killing you, you have civil war and religious extremist killing you, and this is better." Explain to them that a half million of their friends and family will have to die so we can get revenge on people from a different country completely unrelated to them. Good luck with that one.

Here is one thing that I can’t believe isn’t in the new every single day that our troops are over there. The CIA, yes our intelligence agency, the one conducting business under full duress of the Bush administration, had released a report. The report release in January of ’05 states that the action of the US in Iraq has created a “Breeding ground for terrorism.” The Bush administration asks us to support this action, an action that directly jeopardizes my friends and family member. Let’s do the logic. The fewer people who would like to harm American citizens, the less chance of their success. The less experienced those who would like to inflict harm on the US population, the less likely they are to succeed. Currently there are plenty of opportunities to recruit and cut teeth so to speak. However, you are asking me to support spending tax dollars and lives to increase the insecurity of the country and more importantly my family. How about “no”?

Look if you want to join a private militia and go over and get your face blown off for a non cause that you were sold like a $200 pair of shoes, fine be my guest. But when your actions become a source of danger for my family and me, I have issues with your actions. NO I am not going to disrespect you and call you names like they did after Vietnam. I understand more then most how a 17-year-old senior with no plans or ability to go to college ends up signing up for the military. But don’t say I am not “supporting the troops” because I want to bring you home and stop creating enemies of America.

The idea of chasing terrorist around the Middle East is like standing in a field with a bee hive draped apple tree. Then throwing a rock through then nest, and then trying to shoot just the soldier bees with a BB gun as they try to sting you. "SHOW ME THE" LOGIC!!

So, without the WMD violation, no chance of “installing a democracy”, the Iraqis citizens in worse shape and dying by the hundreds every week, and the result only increasing the risk of terrorism we must leave. The plans are easy, pack up the stuff and go home. Place the troops and the money left over on the boarders, in the INS, and international docks. Let’s give these kids a chance to go to school and fight some real American killers. Teach them to be doctors and scientist that battle obesity, drug addiction, AIDS, cancer, and the number one killer in the US, ignorance. With enough research maybe I can one day smoke a cigarette at one of those health places, what are they called again, you know the place people go to get healthy? Oh yah, a bar. Let’s stop bringing home boys that are mentally unstable to families that are left devastated by PTS.

I know that many people cringe at the though of what is to come in Iraq after the US leaves. The problem is we are just holding a finger over a cut juggler. one we cut. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. You can choose the action. The reaction is what happens because of your choice. The US chose to destabilize the region that was the action, civil and secular war is the reaction. You know in this country we even have the RU-486 that lets you change your mind the next morning. However, I do not no one doctor or pharmacist that will prescribe it if you are still having intercourse. First you have to pull out!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Illegal Immigration - Violation of Americans Constitutional Right

  • Questions: Is illegal Immigration a problem?
  • Answer: Yes.
  • Question: What underling conflict is the result of illegal immigration?
  • Answer: It is a threat to American life, security, and equality guaranteed in Preamble of The Constitution.
  • Logic: Life: Immigrants can be directly related to auto accidents, drug trafficking, and violent crimes.
    Security: The existence of borders and an environment that can be easily penetrated might allow terrorist to enter country.
    Equality: Illegal immigrants do not pay taxes. They are not subjected to laws governing legal citizens.
  • Question: Are there other economic concerns?
  • Answer: yes. 12 million Mexican immigrants sent away an average of $1650 each or about 20 billion dollars. That money in no longer circulating in the US economy.
  • Sum: Every opportunity taken by an illegal citizen is one not available to legal citizen. Every life lost to a foreign member is one that was supposed to be protected by the US government.

Immigration is hot in the news right now with both sides lining up to support this catastrophe of a bill. You have to watch out for that. Sometimes everybody in Washington DC have issues in common not because they are accurately representing their constituents. Sometimes the reason people in Washington feel the way they do about an issue is because they are in Washington. Immigration is an issue that could really do damage to this country and many different facets. The complexity lies in the fact that many of the perpetrators are just trying to make a better life for themselves and the lost the lottery of birth by a few hundred miles.

I am generally a compassionate person. Ask friends and family and they will tell you that sometimes I am too compassionate. But I prescribe to the fact that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. I also believe that getting ahead should never be attained at the expense of others livelihood.

As always you must approach any issue logically. There are so many holes in the logic of giving amnesty to Illegal immigrants that is hard to pick where to start. First, consider the statistics that are effected by the issue. Low estimates of amount of illegal immigrants in this country are about 12 million. There are roughly just shy of 300 million legal people in the United States. Let’s say very conservatively that one quarters of them are not employable categories of children, elderly, and severely disabled. That would mean that there are 225 million employable people. According to the Bureau of labor statistics we are sitting finally back at 4.5% unemployment. Now as a matter of simple math we just multiply. 225 million people X .045 percentage of those people are unemployed. That means 10,125,000 unemployed people have to compete with at least 12 million illegal immigrants for work.

Breaking this down to the basics. Human labor is a resource. It has value. The first basic law of economics dictates its value. That is the law of supply and demand. If a resource is plentiful and completion is fierce then the price you can demand for your resource is dropped. Lets pretend it is a hot day along a parade route and you're a kid who puts up a lemonade stand. You are the only one at first. At 2 bucks a glass you are selling them like they are going out of style. Now your neighbor sees your fortune and wants to "share" in it. Your neighbor is willing to sell his for a buck a glass. All the sudden you must either drop the value of your resource or fold up shop. It doesn’t help that your neighbor’s brother works for a grocery store and doesn’t have to pay for his lemonade mix. The same deal exist when an illegal immigrant works for an employer that doesn’t have to pay payroll taxes, insurance, or overtime on him. If you are a legal American who picks fruit for a living, you can’t afford to compete with him. In most cases the law won’t let you.

It is my biggest soapbox issue about the disparity between the top and bottom in American wages. It is a big issue that will have to wait for another post. Due to shear economics Illegal immigrants are a threat to the ability to pursue life liberty and happiness.
Even more economically related rifts are caused by the presence of Illegal immigrants. For example, most of the people that fit in this category send money back home. That is money that leaves our economy. Yet another issue is that the they cost money to exist. A city must allot so much money per citizen to educate, protect, and care for them. Many drive and get into accidents that maim or kill legal citizens. They don’t have money or insurance. Many of them are involved in criminal activity and require law enforcement to address them. That cost city money. Not to mention as we see a spike in energy costs they use energy. Could you imagine if 12 to 20 million people were not demanding gasoline, heat, air-conditioning, and cooking. this hearkens back to the old supply and demand again. Only this time the legal American citizen is on the demand side demanding, in competition, goods that are sought by the illegal consumer. If you were the only one on the sidewalk looking for a glass of lemonade, you would have some bargaining room.

Putting economics aside, a shift to security is another issue. (The 9/11 attacks and the US reaction is another issue too big and deserves it’s own post.) However, I would like to point out that 3 of the 19 hijackers were in this country illegally on expired visas. Two of them madu up half of the pilots. If we had taken Illegal immigration more seriously 9/11 would never have happened. I would like to restate that because it is an important concept. If the U.S. policy was to obtain a 0% illegal existence in this country the atrocity of September 11th 2001 would not have been possible the way it was conducted. So why have we spent hundreds of billions getting revenge but not a single extra cent insuring that it never happens again? Sure we set up the TSA, but that was like putting a condom on after you have already impregnated your one night stand. Why are people able to walk across our borders with the same ease of getting a 7-layer burrito? Be honest if it were Muslims that were hitching across the southern border would the American people be so unconcerned with the influx of illegals? If it had been say Venezuela who attacked us on 9/11 would we be so lenient on South Americans crossing the borders. No way!! However those countries have very similar community structures. They have organized militias that make their living selling drugs. In 2003 (which is the latest data readily available ) nearly 30,000 people died due to illicit drugs. I am sure the statistics haven’t improved much. South America via Mexican border is the largest source of cocaine. Way more then the 2,973 people that died in the attacks on the World Trade Center.

Any politician that tells you that they are willing to do whatever they can to secure the nation but then says they are for allowing the current state of illegal immigration doesn’t pass the logic of the truth tables.

So what can be done about it you ask? Here is where I may seem a little cold and callused. First we line the border with massive patrol units. Since it seems the southern border is the biggest threat we should start there. Anybody caught stepping across the border is fired upon. Not detained and sent back to try again. They are to be considered "the enemy" and treated as threats to the security of the American people. This is why I explained the perspectives above. If there were a group of gunmen that broke into a school and held 1000 students at gunpoint everybody would wonder why couldn’t we stop this from happening in the first place. If you saw a man carrying a gun entering a school you would be hailed a hero if you shot and stopped him before he had a chance to enter. The facts stated previously are directly similar to these same situations. Illegal immigrants come to this country and take resources that could be used on our children and ourselves. Weather they shoot you with a gun, run you over with their car, peddle their deadly substances to our children, or taking resources that are required for the well being of Americans, foreign citizens are killing American citizens here on our soil.

Either their presence in the workforce is going to be in direct competition with you or they are going to lower the standard on what is required of an employer. "all things are relative. " A common mentality is, "My job is worth more then a kid at McDonald’s makes." If the McDonald’s employee makes less, then the meaning of your statement would require a lower wage to fulfill. If forcing the employers to pay a minimum wage wasn’t important then why have the laws. Every man woman and child that crosses illegally into the United States poses a threat to the America. They do not live by our laws, constraints, or moral code. The people who claim that "illegal immigrants commit fewer crimes then other Americans" confuse me. Their crime rate is 100%. They have all crossed "illegally"!! Most produce false documents to work. None pay taxes.
Making the border crossing a more hazardous experience is only one part of solving the problem.

I do realize that the American government has spent the last 10 years of making crossing the border less appealing by making it easier for jobs to move to Mexico. (See link for a little satire break ) However, this is an insane answer as suggested. Any employer must be held accountable for hiring Illegal immigrants. I would like to say shoot them too, but they are loosely American citizens and deserving of due process. I guess. However they should also be held accountable for any negative footprint left by their employees. They are liable for unpaid taxes, unemployment compensation for the amount of people who were put out by their practices, and any criminal acts that were perpetrated by their employees. Only when you dry up the supply of jobs for these people will the demand of US residency go away.

Lastly, I have no problems with rounding these people up, no matter how long they have been here and sending them back. I have heard the argument "But you can't just send 12 million people out of the country". Yes you can. Have kids here? Should have thought about that before you broke the law. If a guy said he should be allowed to continue molesting a child because he had been doing it for 10 years we would think it ludicrous. A murder can go to jail even 30 years after the fact. Why should time be the reason illegal immigrants stay. Yes it sucks, but it is not this country’s problem. Go back, get in line, and hope for the best.

In conclusion, I am truly sorry that the people of central and South America are in such dire straits that they feel the need to seek sanctuary in our borders. However, we can not help you by letting you sink our ship. The best hope for you is that our government gets its head out of its rectum and we can supply help to develop and secure your own country. Lets face it South America has large quantities of resources including oil and lush coasts. It is their infighting that is causing their own discourse. I am sorry that you lost the birth lottery. Go back and fight for your own country. I would be willing to let you petition to join our country. You would have to throw away your flag, your identity, and your governing structure, but the rewards would be pristine. I would love to go to Cancun without a passport.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Religion And Policy

All right, I wanted to put this discussion off. However, these post are dictated by whatever is going through my mind at the moment. Since this weekend we made the appointment to have our daughter inducted into the Catholic Cult. (In other words, to have her baptized into the catholic faith). With a few other news blurbs on the TV and radio lately, The death of the leader of "the moral majority" certainly not the least, I have put a lot of thought into the role of religion in politics.

In the "introduction" post to this Blog I make it clear that religion and politics should not be mixed. What is meant by that assertion is that No religious organization should produce any doctrines that are used as or to make laws. In the same respect the government should not make laws that are directly meant to hinder the freedoms of a religious movement or its patrons. No national religion or religious practices should be endorsed or forcibly imposed upon the citizens. Like all other post, many topics will be touched upon that really deserve more in-depth discussion. However, this time religion as it related to forming policy in a functional democracy is the focus. Organized religion, my personal take on theology, atheism, and agnosticism and their function of being human will have to wait. This post is already going to be way outside most reader’s attention span.

To begin, "a religion" is an organized and indoctrinated set of beliefs. We all have a belief system. Even an atheist has a belief system. The atheist’s beliefs are just void of any concern of what happens after he dies. Even those who belong to a faith have encounter issues that are not address or not clearly addressed by their church’s doctrine. For instance, it is against the law to drink and drive, but there is no reference in the bible to address this issue. As a matter of fact the bible often promotes the consumption of alcohol. Jesus is known for turning water into wine, not the other way around. So in these instances a person must do what he/ she believes is right. We all must have these protocols in place to make it through everyday life. This system is made up of prejudices and formulas we use to make every waking decision.

When you vote for somebody and that person ends up in office, you voted in that person and their belief system that have attached to it. Hopefully you voted for somebody who had similar beliefs on subjects you consider important. Many people in this country have religious based belief systems. You can’t tell them not to bring those beliefs to the table. What you can do is develop policy with a directive that says, "if there is no logical provable evidence for a law, then it can not be a law." As an example, if a sufficient enough group of Hindus say get elected to a city government. They would not be allowed to make a law in that city that you could not eat cows. It would be unconstitutional.

First of all it would be a law that would limit a freedom. When freedoms are limited a diagnostic policy must be implemented. This is generally the role of the Supreme Court to ask, " Why limit this freedom?" The only acceptable answers are that they endanger the safety of the physical body of against the choice the citizens. (Because adults should be allowed to choose the way the live AND die). Reason two is that the law governs an activity where one citizen’s desires infringe upon another citizens right to choice or solitude. Secondly, the drive would be solely contrived from a religious belief. Using our "no cow meat" example, the only drive could be the desire to impose a religious doctrine on the general public. Oh sure you could use some statistics to show eating cow meat is unhealthy, but really you couldn’t rectify its dangers compared to other forms of food.

To understand why the founding fathers wanted to include the concept of separation of church and state into the constitution, one must simply understand what was going on during the creation of the United States. Many of the people left their home land, and many their alliances, in search of religious freedom. Puritans, Pilgrims, and even Catholics were compelled to find a place where they could practice their belief system with out interference from the government. The constitution was written by either these religious refugees themselves, or the sons and grand sons of the original "pilgrim". It was so important that it made it to the first amendment. While today we worry more about the government being controlled by the religious minorities, back then they worried that the government would control the religions and their followers, as it had happened back in England.

So why does the separation of church and state still hold water as good policy? Let’s face it slavery was considered a good idea for a long history of our country. We have to look no further then the Middle East to witness the result of religion driven government. It is evident on both sides of the argument. (This is a rare occurrence in politics that both sides have everything to loose by a change in policy.) The religious leaders control the government. There freedom to hold separate belief systems is not only intolerable, but also deadly. Only the concerns and freedoms of the few are considered important. In fact that virginity checks, arranged marriages, and honor killings might not be in the best interest of all the citizens. These governments’ economy and tranquility remain weak because of its incestuous relationship with the religion. Its ability to adapt with the times is hindered.

People are a resource. To limit your access to only wealthy religiously affiliated males limits your country’s ability to evolve. Imagine you owned a budding business. You wanted to hire the best accountant to manage your delicate finances. If you limit yourself by saying we are not going to hire women you already took half of the culture out of your options. It is because of our original willingness to accept all walks of life that we evolved to be the greatest nation. It is in light of the recent influence of the evangelicals, "moral majority", and the fundamentalist that frightens me about that continued status. They seek to discount and ignore the opinions on policy solely based on religious affiliation.

Here are a few things that are not good policy. You can not fund religious study and call it science. You can not fund science study as only a theology. You can’t make a law saying, "it is not OK to participate in this activity on Sunday because it is a sacred day." I should be able to go and buy myself a 5th of JD any day of the week any hour of the day. I work a swing shift and sometimes my only day off is on a Sunday. I get off at 2400 Saturday night and got to be back at work at 0800 Monday morning let me have my Jack!! There should be no federally sponsored holidays that are of religious orientation. Look you are not fooling anybody by calling Dec. 25th a "winter holiday". Simply pick a number like 4 and say every working person is guaranteed 4 floating days off per year where they can use for religious reasons if they want. If they want they can use it to take off Lammas a satanic holiday. If you want to use a day to take Christmas day off, then good. The government won’t even care if your child knows more about Satan Clause, Rudolf, and frosty, then he does about the father, the son, and the Holy Ghost. Anything that regulates "morality" is a threat to Americanism. These are example of poor policy.

On the other hand, you snot nosed brat is not going to get his freedom violated simply having to stand while his classmates say, "one nation under god". Listening to a prayer in school is also not going to alter your child’s life. Being a good parent, you can use the opportunity when they come and talk to you about it. You can explain your own creed and beliefs and those that run your family environment. It is completely acceptable for a judge and/ or a community to display the doctrines that drive their thought process. It is not a violation of your rights if the judge displays the 10 commandments on his bench. If anything it should be useful information. I don’t care if your "god" doesn’t like frustrated financially irresponsible men to rub against naked women and throw their money away on slots and Texas hold ‘em. This is their freedom. They might find that awful choir music you sing morally reprehensible. "God" is a generic term. We all worship something. That is our "God". Close your eyes and picture money, giant boobs, or a "dog" if you are dyslectic when you say it. No symbols or sayings are going to sway or brainwash you into believing in something.

Organized religion has been at the very least a major component that was necessary to every major war in modern history. It is imperative for the educated voter to understand that too much of a religion in their government is dangerous. That is true even if it is your own religious doctrine that has gained influence over the process. The strength of the United States comes from the input of all its citizens.

As always please send your input by clicking on "Comments" below.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Commercialization of the American Dream

America is rotting at its core. The American dream is no longer a mantra of inspiration. It is a marketing campaign. "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness? " Life has been lengthen but at the expense of depth. Liberty has been traded for what was behind door number two, "NO DEAL!!" Happiness is the lynch pin that has been used to manipulate the other two. It has been the preverbal "carrot on a stick." With each generation the meaning of "happiness" being redefined to keep us chasing that high like a heroine addict trying to get that same experience they had the first time. Think about it. How happy would our grandparents have been with the ability to cook a meal in 5 minutes, have hot water in doors, or be able to call a family member miles away. These things have exceeded being benchmarks for happiness. They are considered basic necessities of life. Don’t get me wrong. I am not advocating some purist or Amish ideology. My complaint isn’t with progress. My beef is with laterality (sideways movement). Somewhere the "happiness" that was the nectar of life has been replaced with the empty calories of the next "got to have it" fad. I am opposed to people feeling the need to put themselves and their families future in jeopardy to have a house too big for their need, a car that exceeds their budget, and a lifestyle that leave a family scattered and non-productive. I am turned off by a culture where mother and father have to work full time just to keep financially afloat. An environment where the children are raised by life, peers, and caretakers. Your children will have your physical features, but whose culture are they really preserving?
There will be a future post that explores acknowledging and correcting that situation. Here the death of the American dream is the topic. More importantly is what are the ramifications of this emerging reality. Like anything logical, in order to understand the effects of an action, you must understand the cause. Even deeper then that, you must seek the understanding of what the concept really meant to those who agree to it’s relevance. Huh? I am saying that we need to understand why our founders felt that this was an important concept and our generations have felt it an attribute worth preserving. The American dream has driven immigrants to leave their homelands and travel ½ way around the world investing everything to achieve it. In the calling for the inalienable right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" our founding fathers meant exactly what they said. They felt that everybody had a right to live no matter what their religious, ethnical, or class background was. Europe had a long history of valuing lives of people differently. Loyalty to a king was often demanded or death was the consequence. Liberty was meant to mean freedom from unnecessary government interference. It was not meant to free you from what you might consider offensive. (Democracy, freedom, and free enterprise is also too big of a topic to be included in this post.) In Europe the governments often took citizens property, charged taxes for which there was not representation, and the amounts were unfair. Our founders felt that the government’s role was to protect and serve. "Pursuit of happiness" was actually stated "right to property." The originators felt it was important for its citizens to be able to support and sustain their families. At that time land was the main asset required to guarantee that opportunity.
Land ownership as an asset is the second evolution that led to the situation we find ourselves in now. The first was the reduction of valuable immigration coming to take part in the culture. The Atlantic Ocean was the great filter in the inception of the great cultural experiment we know as The United States of America. When your choice was staying where you were at or hopping on a ship and taking a very dangerous trip across a huge unknown, something resembling desperation had to exist to drive you. Imagine taking a flight to Europe knowing only 70 of the 100 people on board were going to make it alive. Your desire for change and a better life would have to be immense. Your discontentment with your current situation would have to be strong. Your character to actually do something about it would be rare. The immigrants were of the best quality of people at that time. They were doers and real survivors. Think about it. Even today were mobility is so easy, Even though so many people complain about their home region, very few move far away from it. This trend continued until the trip across got easier and the way to earn you salt move from family intensive farming to hard labor.
So what does this have to do with the American dream? Those who pursed it were driven, strong, and proud individuals. Their idea of happiness was something that they could grant themselves as long as they were left alone. They were communities such as the puritans whose ideas of happiness has simply not getting persecuted and forced to worship in a way the didn’t believe. There was no welfare, unemployment, or Medicare. To be successful in achieving the American dream these immigrants had to be physically, mentally, and morally strong. These strong characteristics are no longer assimilating into the culture with the magnitude they did in those early days. The majority of the immigrants today are poor, uneducated, and weekly committed to the land. They come to the US but their loyalties lay to the south. Their offspring are often lost in a world where they are severely under equipped to excel.
The second major event that set the culture into this path of decline was the advent of the industrial age. As I mentioned earlier land was once valued as a major factor in the success of a family to achieve that American dream. The reason land was important was that it could be used to grow crops and raise livestock required for independent survival. The other thing useful was children. They were cheap labor. A large family could raise more crops and work more land and be more productive. This situation was also good for the children. Children of the farming economy had a place in the family. They had to milk cows, work the land, and pretty early in our culture we understood the value of education. They were also required to attend school. Even today we still get spring break and summer vacation. These traditions were derived from the fact that children needed to be allowed to stay home and work the farms during the crucial busy seasons. (Yeah, believe it or not there was a time when spring break wasn’t so your 17 year old daughter could use a fake license to get drunk on the breach and take her top off for a chance at "stardom".) Children of this period had self worth, meaning, and a close family relationship. They felt loved and needed because they were.
With the advent of the industrial age, factories became the way of earning a decent living. Land was no longer needed in order to maintain the American dream. Our society started crowding closer together into cites. Children went from being an important asset to family productivity to liabilities overnight. They no longer had that natural self worth provided by the farming family structure. They also didn’t have the responsibilities to keep their idol hands occupied. At first the fathers went to work and the mothers stayed at home. Many of the neighborhoods tried to keep that sense of community and family they had with the previous environment. Even today we hear stories of how neighbors used to look out for all the kids. The responsibility of instilling morality and self worth became the full time job of the mother. Eventually, as the gap has grown bigger between the "haves" and the "have nots", even the mother has had to take to the work force to make ends meet. The responsibility of raising the children has fallen onto the backs of the schools. These schools are often over stretched and under funded. Large cracks open for children with weak constitutions to fall through. These children which make up the great majority these days are raised by the television. Do you really want the big dollars of the marketing industry developing your child’s constitution? Telling them what is important, what is not important, what to want, and how to judge their level of success. "If you don’t look a certain way, own certain material items, and agree to accept a level of morality then you are not successful." The result? Think about it? During the late 1800’s through the mid 1900’s we had huge technological advancements. Automobiles and the logistics that go with it were designed. Diseases that had long gone uncured stopped. Sanitation, communication, and conservation techniques were all developed while the US was in transition. As of recently all we have done is improve ways to kill each other, view porn, and make fantasy of video games seem more realistic. That is how the American Dream has become a marketing campaign. There were a few other major contributors that allowed the ease of this demise. Releasing slaves into an economy with no rights, no land, and no way to sustain themselves was one. Wars, divorce, and development of a riskless society sped the decline along.
So with the original meaning defined, the course of events that have caused a variance from that idea, the only thing left is why be concerned, and what can be done anyway. So "Why care if we become mindless drones? As long as we think we are occupied, who cares?" Because we what this country to remain strong and great for our children and our legacy. If that is not a just cause then why would we send good men and women to die for the cause.
The problem is that in this country the people grant power to the leaders. These leaders are in charge of the most powerful military and economy in the world. With that power we have the ability to become the monsters we sought to break ourselves from in 1776. We are being taken over by a race who feels that violence is a legitimate form of diplomacy. Not an option of last resort, but one of the many options that are "on the table". The leaders we are being marketed don’t have these ideals in mind. They have shown little value to human life in order to feed their own power needs. Morality and continuance of the human race are the reasons to stem the midless erratic behaviors.
SO how do we fix it? How is a big answer that is dependant on a chosen approach. We have to find a way would be to reintroduce the concept of self worth into the culture. An increased emphasis on education and raising the general IQ level of the population would be a start though. A major step in doing that would be to close the wealth gap. That is a "Soap Box" topic meant for another post. It won't be easy. My wife's "lactation consultant" instructed us to use bottles that are harder to extract the liquid from when supplementing. She said we don't want to risk letting the baby get used to having such an easy time getting the milk out of fear that she will learn to expect it. We Americans have given up the tit for the easy flowing plastic bottle for years. everything is at our disposal. Hungry? Use the drive thru. Want to get married? Elope in Vegas. marriage doesn't work? get a divorcee. Get pregnant by "accident"? Don't worry, you still have a "choice". Look beautiful, be famous, increase your performance. It's all in a little pill. Too bad intellect, foresight, compassion, and a sense of justice are not available in a pill. Maybe we should get to work on that. To fix the American Dream will require colonial type decision making. Many of my post will address some suggestions.

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Saturday, May 5, 2007

Partison "Partisan" Politics

This is the most viewed post on my blog. The main reason is for a misspelling. This is one of my first posts and I did very little editing at first. The writing has improved since the beginning. If you are interested I ask that you take a look at the main page located at By all means comment by clicking the link at the bottom of each post if you would like to add something or even call me out. Oh and by the way. It is spelt “partisan”.

America's Founding fathers hated the idea of partisan politics. They saw and feared such alliances could breed corruption and cause a divide among the governing participants that would lead them to make policy out of spite instead of good conscience. They had seen such a result in Europe. It was by intent that no power or influences to these coalitions were granted. However, in the natural order of politics, debate and negotiations parties formed. There is strength in numbers, especially against numbers. If you are attempting to win the hearts and minds of those undecided on an issue, it is easier to do if you can show them that there is consensus. Deals can be made to support an idea that you do not care about in exchange for support for one you do. Just like that you have a party. Break out the bubbly.

Parties can be both sentence and salvation to the political process. It depends on how strong the bonds are. It also depends whether the environment is such that the people lend power to the parties or if the people are at the mercy of the power of the parties.

I personally feel that a good and educated voter can use the parties to their advantage. Unfortunately this doesn’t describe 90 percent of the American constituency. My wife only a few years back was so moved to vote. She was asking me whom she should vote for. I had to stop myself from imposing my own spirited and forged ideas. I had to because I really wanted her to be an educated voter and not just one who follows the suggestion. What I told her and what I tell anybody who asks me a similar question is this. If you can research all the candidates, in this age of the internet and information overload it is not hard to find something about each one, then find the ones that represent your values. If that is not something you are interested in, then a voter should know the party’s platform. Know that the Republicans are the Pro-life/ Anti-abortion, less gun control laws, less government intervention and welfare programs, smaller budget, aggressive foreign policy, and traditional family advocates. The democrats platform include Pro-choice/ pro-abortion, increased domestic welfare programs, more socialistic program, less aggressive and more passive negotiations style foreign policy, and more tolerance for individual freedom in family, religion, and speech choices. Pick issues that are important to you, and find the party that supports your perspective on those issues and vote for that party’s representative.

If you don't even want to take time to do that kind of research then you can use the fall back rule. If you think life is good and you don't want to see any changes, then vote for one party to hold the executive branch, and vote for the opposite party to hold the majority in the legislative branch. This will ensure that nothing gets done. If life is good, then that is exactly what you want. However, if you are frustrated with the current government, then vote for one party to hole the presidency and the majority in the legislative branch. The danger is that this change is a roll of the dice. You can't control the outcome. It may end up worse then it was before. This is however a good way to use the parties that are using you.

Personally I hate parties and agree with the founding fathers. I believe their fears are being realized today. With that said, I had been what I dubbed a "Blue Collar Republican" until recent years. Some would also call this inappropriately a closet liberal. A "Blue Collar Republican" is an ideology I inherited from my father and is very popular in this part of the country. This demographic is made up of people who work low to lower middle class jobs. These jobs are often unionized. Their family members, kids and friends are more then likely recipients of government programs. They use student loan programs, government sponsored scholarships, unemployment, tax credits, and most will depend on Medicare and social security when they retire. Their lower financial status in life has forced them to work elbow to elbow with people from different races, backgrounds, religions, and creeds. This has made them more tolerant on the whole. For all intents and purposes people from this sub-culture should vote more on the liberal and democratic side of the fence. However, there is a strong Catholic presence in the community. This influence places value on the human life at all phases. The church is opposed to abortion and preaches against supporting abortion. Another strong influence on the voting population in this region is the recent farming history. It hasn't been that long ago since the area was dominated by farming community. It was a lifestyle that required and prized the use of guns for protection of their assets and for sport. Also being a middle class society meant that many of their children found employment in the military after high school. So the Blue collar Republican often voted opposite of what would be seem to be their ideal party because of strong feeling on these two issues.

In the past that is how I voted. There was no stronger issue then the abortion issue. Voting for a democrat was equivalent to voting to murder hundreds of thousands of babies. On October 11th 2002 that all changed. Not just for me but for many of us that fit that previous description. Maybe not all of us changed that day, but over the course of the next couple of years. I remember standing on my desk where I was working as a draftsman screaming at the radio as one by one congressmen authorize to relinquish power to the president. Effectively giving up the rights that they were voted into office to manage. This was the day that the legislative branch empowered the President and all of his cronies to go to war.

Now this post is not to critique the decision to go to war in Iraq. That post will follow soon enough. The topic at hand is partisan politics. I believe that that day the man behind the curtain was reveled. The power and the corruption that had consumed the Republican Party were brought to light. The influence had grown so strong it was able to grip members from the other side of the isle.

While I carry this disdain for partisan politics. I long for the day when I can go back to arguing against abortion and for reduction in constraints on gun ownership on one side and turn to the other side to argue the merits of social programs. I wish the worst thing our president could be held accountable for is getting a blow job in the oval office. Man that seemed a travesty at the time. Think of all those potential Americans that ended up on that fat girl’s dress. But for now we are in a struggle to keep and even regain the very things that made this country great, different then the rest of the developed world. So the liberal has been allowed out of the closet. To get us pout of this mess we are going to need some super partisan politicians. People who are willing to stand strong against the powerful alliances that have been made. We need people who are willing to risk it all in the name of the United States and what it used to stand for.

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