Tag Archives: Politics

Merit Not Hype

Judging policy and actions by merit not by partisanship or popularity

Let me begin by saying clearly that I did not vote for Trump. I felt most represented by Gary Johnson. That being said, I support the Constitution, those sacrificing for our freedom in the armed forces, the flag of the United States, and the ideals the founding father put forth. I also support the office of the president, if not the person occupying that office from time to time.

In my estimation, Donald J. Trump appears to be a lousy human being in general. I find many of his exhibitions of moral character, or lack thereof, deplorable; however, like many previous presidents, it is not their personal lives that are of greatest concern to us as a nation. It is their actions as president that we should be focused on.

In his first week, the President posted 4 Executive Orders to the Federal Register. I am not a big fan of Executive Orders. The last three administrations relied heavily on the privilege to do things that either should have required congressional and senatorial approval or were things that the government shouldn’t have been involved with in the first place.

There has been a lot of hub-bub over the Executive Orders issued in these early days of the new administration and hysterics over their reported effects. I have an aversion to EOs in the first place, so I felt it behooved me to actually read the orders issued so far rather than relying on the interpretation of others.

If you are prone to post about things in a headline panic, I would suggest you take a little time to read the actual EOs. The 4 orders take up 2, 2, 6, and 5 pages respectively, and they are all in plain English. All of them consist of the administration’s position on the subject at hand and directions to the secretaries of the relevant departments of the executive branch, mostly DHS, to follow the administration’s position within the confines of existing law.

Yup, enforce the laws already on the books. In some cases, they are instructed to potentially create new administrative laws through the proper processes and with the appropriate allowances for Requests for Comments from the public. Even more important, these directives are to be funded through the proper channels, mostly funds already allocated to these areas and in so much as funding is available. Another point is the frequent mention of reports with deadlines for the secretaries to get back to the Office of the President on progress. There are also clauses that include transparency and reporting to the public.

While I will concede to a few potential interpretation issues, the policies are not horrific or draconian as the media, extream left, or people who just don’t like Trump would have you believe. It appears that the President’s modus operandi for his term in office will be to run the government as its CEO and that he recognizes that the people are shareholders.

The most ‘radicle’ statement was “It is the policy of my Administration to seek the prompt repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” (emphasis added by author) The key word here is SEEK the prompt repeal. The EO is not a repeal itself.

Everything in the EO “Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal” [EO 13765 Jan 20, 2017] has to do with things like “minimise the unwarranted economic and regulatory burdens” and “afford States more flexibility and control” as stated in the first section of the order. At least in my mind, State control over the health and welfare of their own citizens is far more efficient than a federal, centralized system. It is also more equitable to the rest of the nation.

The constitution was clearly designed to promote State rights over federal dominion with very few exceptions, those being mostly related to interstate commerce and national defense. Federalization of anything else is generally an overreach of the federal government, from a constitutional perspective.

I know the Affordable Care Act, immigration reform, and border security are hot issues, but please, take a little time to read what is actually being issued from the Office of the President before contributing to the headline panic. We should all remain alert, and when warranted, organize to defend our constitutional rights. In the mean time, how about scaling back on the sharing of media-frenzy and do a little fact checking BEFORE posting or emailing to everyone we know about the latest “travesty” or “injustice.”

The statement “I will build a wall, and Mexico will pay for it!” is a gross oversimplification of what the EO proposes as policy, again within the current laws and existing legislated funding. Read the EO for yourself. It’s only a few pages, and remember it is policy, not law.

I will remain skeptical and vigilant in reviewing Executive Orders as they are issued, and I remain cautiously optimistic about the High Office and its current occupant. When it comes right down to it, I am loyal to the constitution, not those elected to public office. They serve at our pleasure, not their own.

To review Executive Orders go to the Federal Register

A few parting words from a former president:

Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer.
~John F. Kennedy

Until next time, be vigilant, be informed.
~FlyBoyJon

September?

Okay, I confess, I have been one lazy blogger this year. There are a number of reasons for the lack of posting, but a lack of things to post about is not one of them. Trying to finding my voice for this blog is the main reason I haven’t been posting much. Another is that we have been flying under the radar on some personal matters.

Let’s begin with the former, shall we?

Voice

A blog must have a distinct voice of its own for it to be ‘successful.’ At least that’s what I have heard. In part, I guess my dilemma is that I’m not sure what I want the blog to be, how to gauge success, or what I would even consider that to be.

As the name FlyBoyJon implies, I am a pilot and the early intent for the site was to chronicle the journey of an adventure pilot. Something that I work on for several years was a series of adventure flights. Sadly those plans fell through and with them the aviation adventures I had intended to blog about.

Over time life has impinged on my flying to such a point that it has now bee quite some time since I took to the skies. This is something that nags at me far more than I often let on. There is nothing sadder than a grounded pilot.

Itching to get back in the air I had begun an experimental aircraft build project. Once again life stepped in. I ended up going back to school to get my FAA mechanics license and a degree in Aviation Maintenance Technology. A good thing to be sure, but it made me seriously rethink my choice in aircraft for the experimental build. Something I do plan on getting back too.

Further keeping me from aviation posts here was the decision to separate my personal aviation from business aviation. I added a domain for my professional aviation work. And once again life has a way of changing plans. My professional aviation pursuits have also been tabled for the time being.

By now I bet this is sounding rather whiny, it is to me. Believe it or not, I’m not complaining. It’s just the way things have gone down. I’m no spring chicken and I’m not loaded with disposable cash so some things just have to wait and I’m okay with that.

A long-time interest that resurfaced during mechanic school was amateur radio. I finally got my ham license and rose through the licenses and started volunteering as an examiner for license tests. Ham radio is a specific, narrowly focused interest though and it required another blog, and domain all its own. I also ended up getting a commercial radio license with hopes of it being of use in my aviation pursuits.

My wife and I also have a personal site. For a long time, it was a personal journal and email site, then a genealogy site, and later back to just an email host. Now it is our online business site.

We currently have five domains with three active sites. The two inactive ones being for commercial interests. With all of these domains and sites and not much going on in my aviation world I just didn’t know what to do with this site. So I’m back to Voice. What is the voice for this site?

Land ho!

As to the second matter, flying under the radar… That has to do with our future planning. All things tallied up, there is no way in hell we will ever be able to retire if we stay in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area. That’s like 10 counties of no-way-in-hell.

To be brutally honest, I have really grown to hate California. The legislature seems to collectively suffer from cranial-sphincter insertion syndrome and has a nasty habit of passing really bad legislation. The urban sprawl has become grossly over-populated, the economy sucks, and it’s just too damn expensive. It has also become very difficult to find any meaningful work here that would make staying viable.

With California not making much sense for us, we decided to look for some rural property in southern Oregon. Back in June, we purchased a two-and-a-half acre lot outside of Bonanza, Oregon, about 30 minutes northeast of Klamath Falls. As crazy as it sounds, we still haven’t made it out to look at the property. We were in KF in May and had planned on working with an agent based in Bonanza. After several ‘scheduling issues,’ we dropped the agent and came home. I wasn’t happy with the outcome of the trip and was feeling frustrated and generally in a funk when we came across this lot and jumped on it.

I had a good feeling about this property and Tammy had an uncharacteristically neutral feeling about the whole thing, almost zen like. When it comes to buying a rural property, that’s about as in sync as I think we could get. Since then we have both been gearing up for the big change physically and emotionally.

So when will we be moving up north? Who knows. We have been paying off the land, which is just that, land. I will need to build the homestead. I do want to get up there fairly soon because I don’t want to be 60 trying to build a house, but we aren’t in a huge rush. We need to bank some materials and resources, most likely find a gig for a year or two, maybe longer, or get really lucky with some online work. We certainly don’t want to try and move or build during the winter so it will be a spring or summer affair in the next year or two.

This kind of planning takes a long time. I had been studying a lot of building, farming, and permaculture subjects for over five years to get to the point where I was ready to make this happen. This has been a long time in the making.

So why haven’t I been blogging any of this? Ther has been too much fluidity in everything involved. We have a gig now and we didn’t want to stir anything up with a potential move and no defined timeline for one. We still don’t have a defined timeline, but we are much closer to having one.

One of the reasons I didn’t start posting in June was that we haven’t been able to get up there and do a land and resource survey of the property. It’s tough to make a building plan without knowing where it is going to be seated especially if you are hoping to work with the land and not forcing the land to your will.

What we have been able to do is to start the weather tracking now that we know where the land is, and follow the seasonal trending. We are also going back into the historical weather record for the area. There is a webcam a few miles from the property, but that is of limited use.

Back to the blog and its voice

So what does this have to do with finding a voice? I’m not sure. I have things to say and it’s usually something of an editorial nature on several somewhat related subjects. Mostly in the theological, sociological realms. Really it comes down to, will this be an editorial or journal, or maybe a hybrid? I honestly don’t know at this point. What I do know is that I want to be writing and this is a good place to do that. For now, I’m going to let things flow and see where it leads.

Until next time,
~Jon

Résumé Updating

TakingNoteIt’s been a while since I took any time to update the old résumé, though I must admit not a lot has changed, it’s just time to polish things up a bit. I have a LinkedIn account and I do make minor changes there every so often, but I haven’t done much with the hardcopy. *shudder… hardcopy*

While going through my LI profile something in the “Interests” caught my eye…

“movies, music, writing, flying, aircraft (design/construction/restoration), amateur radio, history, anthropology, archaeology, genealogy, archive, preservation (document/book/photograph), blacksmithing, silversmithing, metal fabrication, woodworking, sustainable living (building, power, farming, food), alternative building technologies, primitive technology, self reliance, resiliency (personal, local, community, regional, national)”

I’m pretty sure I have gone down this road before at some point, but it bares repeating. It’s the resiliency line personal, community, local, regional, national, (and by extension international). With all of the hullabaloo about Brexit people are thinking about how it will affect them. Really, it shouldn’t.

Before anyone starts screaming “Exclusionist!” or “Nationalist!” like somehow nationalism is automatically a bad thing like the bought-and-paid-for media would have you think, participating in worldwide commerce is not bad, far from it. Depending on a centralized global economy is bad, very bad. Even centralized national economies are bad. We keep having example after example of what happens when centralized economies have sector hiccoughs. The whole thing is affected.

When the US economy crashed in 2008, due to our own internal centralized economy and the managers of that system doing bad things, it was felt around the world. When the Greek economy tanked it was directly due to the EU centralized economy, and it affected all of the EU and beyond. The Brexit issue has been felt all over the globe as well. These effects are all because of the idea that the world is somehow better off when we all have our eggs in the same basket. It is absurd.

Why Jon, when you say it that way it sounds so obviously bad, but surly global economics aren’t that simplistic. Actually, yes. Yes they are. At least from the notion that centralization is a good thing. So in this case it really is that simple.

Centralization, in any system, creates more sub-systems and moving parts that are all interdependent. The level of complexity is exponentially increased, and much of the energy that goes into the system goes towards minimizing losses and damage the system itself creates, and of course the administration of the system. Not to mention that the resulting product is generally of lower quality by the time it gets to the consumer/user. Worst of all, with all of the interdependence even a small hiccough produces problematic ripples throughout the system and may even halt it all together.

A simple example is the spinach crisis a few years ago in the US. Much of spinach supplied to restaurants and some grocery stores was recalled because a pig got loose on one farm. There was an outbreak of e.coli, not an epidemic, but large enough and wide enough spread to panic a lot of people, cost farmers millions, destroy a large portion of the nations spinach crop, and waste millions in resources throughout the centralized food system. Absolutely none of it was necessary. To top it all off, it further set in motion more restrictive regulations shutting out some small farms due to the onerous regulations and cost.

So what does all of this have to do with resiliency? Any engineer will tell you eliminate single-point-failures, and provide redundancy if you want a resilient system. You cannot design a resilient system from the top down, it just wont work it, more to the point it can’t work. It must be designed and built from the bottom up. That’s why the order I use is so important personal, community, local, regional, national, (and by extension international).

To avoid collapse of any of the centralized systems we currently have, start with yourself and your family. Have plans and preparations in place so you are more resilient. Help family and neighbors to be more resilient. All of you can start working on getting your community more resilient.

Slowly but surely people are waking up to the simple facts. As the understanding of how theses system interrelate and how wasteful they are, how the systems only care about the system and not the end user, how the user is cheated out of high quality goods and is forced pay a premium for the privilege, people are beginning to put all of the pieces together.

No amount of railing on and on about how simple this all is will convince those who choose to stay the course. They must see the light in their own time. This is something that I am coming to terms with myself. It seems so clear, and I want the people I care about to be resilient and not suffer when those hiccoughs occur. All I can do is walk the walk and demonstrate by example.

All of the Brexit panic, anger, frustration, division, and the eventual blow back all come from not understanding what great-granny always said “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” Smart old broad that.

~FlyBoyJon

An unproductive cycle

I seem to be getting into a cycle of posting that doesn’t seem to work well, or encourage more frequent posting. I have been posting once a month on all of the blogs I post too, on the same day, and then ignore them for another month. It’s like getting that hated chore done because it needs doing, not blogging because I have something to say, or feel like posting. I need to shift this trend back to “blogging is fun” not a chore.

Blahahahah… Okay, I got that out of my system.

220px-Goofy.svgSo much going on and yet so little progress to show for it. We have been planning to relocate for so long it just feels like the wheels are spinning in the mud. I have been planning for every contingency a new homestead environment can throw at us that its all become a mash of thoughts and potentials. The problem with this is I can’t go any further, it’s all just rehashes of stuff I have already considered. Without having a piece of land to plan around, an environment to adapt to, resources to count, conserve, and work with, I am just spinning tires in the mud.

We are so close, but nothing looks like we are any closer than we were a year ago. I had originally set a goal for this spring, as in March, April, or May, NOW. We should be relocating NOW. But that got pushed to a trip up north in mid May to scout out property, and hopefully buy a plot, with an actual move some time in late summer or early fall.

I am antsy to get up there. I don’t want to be scrambling to get a structure up and livable before winter sets in, and I sure as hell don’t want to wait it out until next spring. Let me rephrase that, I can’t wait it out until next spring. Ahhhhhhhhhh! Sorry. I’m just one giant ball of nerves grasping at something to keep my brain from running amuck amuck amuck. breath…

Zack is in his final term at De Anza. Two english classes and a music appreciation class away from his degree in English Literature. I am very proud as one might imagine. Annoyed, not that the two english classes books are a total of $80 for six books, that’s fine, the music class however… If I understand the bookstore correctly is about $250 for a book and a CD, seriously?! The cost of textbooks is nothing new and I would expect it for a math or science book, not this. We will do what we need to. Zack has worked hard to earn this and nothing will stand in his way to complete his degree. I just don’t like being gouged by publishers.

I sound in so negative, and I’m really not feeling mad or angry, just annoyed. It is so easy right now for me to get worked up when I encounter what I perceive to be stupidity, ignorance, and a lack of courtesy, respect, or common sense. Yes, I acknowledge that it is my perception and not necessarily what is actually happening, that I may not have all of the facts, that situations arise, I get all of that. I still get annoyed, and my threshold is low right now.

wingnutBetween to asinine behaviour of all of the political parties, and theire more vehement followers on all sides this political season, along with the general lack of good behavior out in public, I just don’t want to be out in it. I don’t go off-property very often, once a week maybe. I don’t go online all that often for the same reasons. I don’t want to be a hermit. I actually want to get out, do stuff, go places, enjoy being out and about. I’m just not in the right headspace to be out in the world.

When Tammy and I went up north last year in February it was a wonderful break from the urban sprawl. Just that short four days was enough to get me through a couple of months back in the concrete jungle. That rejuvenation ran out a few months back. I really need to…

Lest we forget there are six…

220px-Goofy.svgOh ya, there are six candidates running for president of the United States. Though it may surprise some of you, I am still undecided on the presidential run for the roses.

The candadates in order on the California balott are:

I am half tempted to throw Ralph a bone just for his persistance. After looking through all six candidates websites its basicaly down to the two major parties, draght!

The judgment of a political party that limits its support right out the gate like the Peace and Freedom Party with the head line “California’s Feminist Socialist Political Party” should be questioned. Gee, I don’t feel alienated by that group, not one bit.

“The Libertarian Party is America’s third largest political party, founded in 1971 as an alternative to the two main political parties.  Our vision is for a world in which all individuals can freely exercise the natural right of sole dominion over their own lives, liberty and property by building a political party that elects Libertarians to public office, and moving public policy in a libertarian direction.” It sounds good but the platform is all about rights but nothing about responsibility to the rest of the nation, because it’s all about ME!

The greens. By far have the most developed platform of the four alternative parties. The theme of equality, entitlement, and fairness is still lacking a statement of responsibility to the nation, sure there is responsibility towards the environment and to women and to Native Americans. Everyone is equal but these deserve a bit more equality that the rest of you. Huh?

“The American Independent Party joins America’s Independent Party” Unfortunately nether the party, or their candidate have much of anything to say apparently, at least online.

So where does that leave us? Stuck again with the ass and the elephant.

~FBJ

Backlash to Oblivion

Left or Right, they are both Wingnuts
Left or Right They are both Wingnuts

Not just a couple of really fun B movies from Full Moon Productions, no what I am talking about today is the backlash that is forming in the election furor. The backlash is coming from the last several decades of affirmative action.

It appears that the uneducated masses following the McPalin campaign are making the rest of us Caucasians look like jack-booted racists with all of the racial slurs being heard at campaign rallies; not from the candidates, but from the crowds. It seems that the name calling dirty politics of “the month before” have struck a nerve in those unable to articulate themselves, you know, mouth breathers.

I am not a big fan of “affirmative action” mainly because it is a discriminatory practice, offering preference based on ethnicity, with a point structure in government hiring. If I where a black female paralyzed Vietnam veteran with post traumatic stress syndrome I could walk into a government office, flip off the hiring manager, poop on his desk, and still get the job. As it happens, I am non of the above, and am therefor “entitled” to nothing but a guided tour to the door. That sounds a bit bitter, and in all truth it is. I have personally been affected by discrimination in employment on more that one occasion. I am however not a protected class from discrimination and therefore I have no recourse. Thank you Affirmative Action.

So I understand where the anger and frustration can come from. Yes indeed some people are raised with discrimination as an acceptable element. It is not. What both parties have done for this great nation is do thier best to agrevate the situation. Discrimination serves none of the citizens of the United States. Stop using it as a political tool!

Obama has been just as guilty as Mcain in more covert ways. As an organizer in the inner city of Chicago, he knows how to get the youth activated, and has done so remarkably well, as Hillery will testify.

I was thrown a bit when I read an article from CDR Salamander here in the very short article are links to two videos one, from a classroom in Kansas City in support of Obama and the second, a WWII propaganda cartoon done by Disney. After watching the videos I had to take a few moments to stop and think. I strongly encourage you to check out the “Class Project” video at least before continuing… seriously, go watch it and come back, I’ll wait…

Now I am generally not an alarmist, I don’t see this as a huge deal, nor do I see it as a representation of the nation as a whole, or a racial segment there of. Some people in general are more susceptible to group mentality such as religious extremists, cults, and gangs, regardless of race. It is just the way some people are wired and is facilitated by environment. It is not inherently a bad thing, however, when that wiring is triggered by someone with a strong magnetic and bigger-than-life personality they can fall into an almost trance like state. When in this state, instruction is needed, purpose, if it is not given then the mind follows baser instinct to achieve the goals, or perceived goals, of the leader. This is how distributed control works after indoctrination. Local leaders claim to be passing along instructions from the leader. This process works for religions, political groups, and cults and can be adapted to almost any environment.

What disturbed me about the Obama supporting class project is that it is a small demonstration of Obamas ability to charm people in a way that hasn’t been seen since JFK. It is not a concern about what Obama would do himself, it is concern about what others with a less pristine record, that he is reported to have been in association with that could use that connection for nefarious, self-serving ends. Which they will do regardless of weather he wins or looses. Obama himself, he knows his abilities, and as of yet has only used them for good, as it where. We shall see about the others.

This power is being seen by the mouth breathers as a serious threat to thier way of life. As dumb as that sounds. They have been indocternated with all kinds of BS as well and are acting out based on thier fears. This is the mess that the parties have created, what we have to deal with. As for “Trailer Park Barbie” (Palin), all she seems to be able to do is feed the fire.

There will be a huge battle after the election one way or the other and its not going to be pritty.

~FBJ

We Need More from 44

comic1And the blogosphere went nuts.

The first presidential debate is over, the hands down winner… no one.

McCain seemed a bit doddering out of the gate but picked up speed as the debate wore on. Obama, eloquent as always, seemed a bit less shinny and new. McCain presents as having a stronger grasp of military and diplomatic concepts, if not a strong a grasp of language. Obama is clearly better versed on domestic and social issues.

I am still wondering who this guy Obama is. McCain has been exposed to the light of scrutiny for many years which brings a sense of knowledge as to who he is. Obama seems to be a manufactured persona, who is he in the real world? Although this is a personality and likability factor, the campaign is being fought on this battleground just as strongly as it is on the issues.

Is the important realm of concern domestic or foreign policy? From a non-partisan position, that’s what this whole election boils down to. The U.S. is going to get screwed one way or the other. Which way do you prefer? At home, or overseas? It’s kind of like “paper or plastic?” Neither is a good choice. Cut down trees or pollute the air, land and water. I am inclined to bring my own bags to the store, but we don’t have that option in this election.

So now I am at “the better of two evils” phase. Unfortunately for McCain, Sarah Palin seems to be pure evil. Or at least an inexperienced, right-wing extremist, who holds grudges and won’t flinch when it’s time for payback. Seriously, she scares me, and at this juncture, I can’t see myself putting her one loud “boo!” around the corner from the big desk.

This leaves me with Obama. I have nothing I can positively put my finger on; I just don’t trust his abilities to see the country through the next eight years. What’s that? Eight years you say? Yup. It is very unlikely we would see a presidential change in 2012 unless the next president screws the pooch in such a huge way that they won’t get away with the “we are so close to turning this one around” speech.

Things a going to get dicey in short order. We have a weakening economy, two active off shore military engagements with, at last count, four more that could precipitate into active engagements in January. Our domestic environment is just as volatile in several areas and nether candidate is, IMHO, up to the entire challenge.

The next decade is going to require leadership with strong foreign relations skills, a thorough understanding of the diplomacy and force, both economic and military, a strong set of domestic policy skills, be fiscally conservative, extremely strong on national defense, and a hell of a PR person to get the public to buy everything they are selling to keep the country safe and rebuild the economy. Does ether of the candidates fit that bill?

So for this election I am still undecided. I really am not sure who can be “more” than the other. The whole VP thing is unfortunate because it brings more baggage to the table. I must admit however, I am looking forward to the Biden / Palin debate on the 2nd of October. It should be very amusing, in a train wreck sort of way.

~FBJ

Faireness and Entitlement

6a00d8341bf7f753ef00e550404e3d8834-800wiIt has become clearer each day of this election season that America, as a society, is determined to believe that the world is a fair place, or that we can make it one, and that there is an inherent entitlement to this fairness.

I am inclined to point out that fairness and entitlement are illusions. Nether exists in nature. Nature is a system of balance. The strong survive, the weak die. Natural Selection exists in nature as the equalizer and pressure valve for life on this planet, it maintains the balance. The great irony is that some of the most outspoken lobbyists for fairness and entitlement are the “warm and fuzzes”.

This false scenes of fairness and entitlement has been boosted into over-drive in the last two generations, it is interesting that the problem has grown proportionally with the proselytizing of Political Correctness doctrine. These practices have also corresponded with another trend, the dramatic decline of nationalism in the United States.

For the United States to escape the current situation of economic decline and foreign dependence, the country must once again find itself. Nationalism must once again be important to the population, the scene of pride in “American Made”, pride in the flag, and a belief in the principles of government the founding fathers gave birth to is a just form of government for its citizens. It is Nationalism that can save the United States not religion or extremism to the right or the left. Nationalism from the population and practicality from the government.

A recent email spam went out enumerating a political platform. Some of the points are interesting and are worth looking at:

(1) Press 1 for English is immediately banned. English is the official language; speak it or wait at the border until you can.

The money saved in printing and postage of oversize documents would be substantial and it would encourage English literacy. Private sector use of multiple languages is entirely up to the company, government use is an unnecessary taxpayer expense.

(2) We will immediately go into a two year isolationist posture to straighten out the country’s attitude. NO imports, no exports. We will use the ‘Wal-mart’ policy, ‘If we ain’t got it, you don’t need it.’

Though not entirely possible, stopping foreign aid, and calling in old debts is long over due. It’s time to close the checkbook.

(3) When imports are allowed, there will be a 100% import tax on it.

The areas this would effect include returning outsourced jobs, making American manufactured goods competitive in the market place, returning tens of thousands Americans to work. On the down side, there would be a short period of increased costs of goods to consumers. The increase in costs of goods would be shortly off-set by the increase in employed persons and increased salaries.

Yes, this is a painful growth process. This would not have happened in the first place if politicians had not tried to increase foreign imports at a “fair market price”. Again a false scene of fairness. Just look at the ratio of imported goods to manufactured goods. Does that look “fair” to you?

(4) All retired military personnel will be required to man one of our many observation towers on the southern border. (six month tour) They will be under strict orders not to fire on SOUTHBOUND aliens.

This one just plays on frustration with the immigration system in place. Retired military personnel have served their country, there are other solutions.

(5) Social security will immediately return to its original state. If you didn’t put nuttin in, you ain’t gettin nuttin out. The president nor any other politician will not be able to touch it.

There are many areas in social services that need to be covered. This should be one of the biggies covered in the period of isolationism. There should be an element of deserving involved; “nothin’ in, nothin’ out”.

(6) Welfare – Checks will be handed out on Fridays at the end of the 40 hour school week and the successful completion of urinalysis and a passing grade.

Though not literally as stated, this is a big one. Education and job training are elements that should be required for participation in welfare. Clean and Sober initiatives should also be required, treatment if necessary. Citizenship should absolutely be mandatory. I do not have a problem with social services per se’. I do have problems with welfare breeders and people who play the system because they know they can, and it’s easier than working.

(7) Professional Athletes –Steroids – The FIRST time you check positive you’re banned for life.

This is a private sector matter and does not belong in political discussion.

(8) Crime – We will adopt the Turkish method, the first time you steal, you lose your right hand. There is no more life sentences. If convicted, you will be put to death by the same method you chose for your victim; gun, knife, strangulation, etc.

OK, just nonsense. Yes, there are justice system needs. Those should be longer term evaluations and changes. Most of what I am talking about are one or two term initiatives.

(9) One export will be allowed; Wheat, The world needs to eat. A bushel of wheat will be the exact price of a barrel of oil.

Hadn’t thought of this one myself. I like it.

(10) All foreign aid using American taxpayer money will immediately cease, and the saved money will pay off the national debt and ultimately lower taxes. When disasters occur around the world, we’ll ask the American people if they want to donate to a disaster fund, and each citizen can make the decision whether it’s a worthy cause.

This goes hand-in-hand with number 2. I do like the added element of options as to what I want my tax dollars to go toward.

(11) The Pledge of Allegiance will be said every day at school and every day in Congress.

(12) The National Anthem will be played at all appropriate ceremonies, sporting events, outings, etc.

Both 11 and 12 are elements of nationalism. In general practice I agree with. (I will leave out the God issue for now)

~FBJ

Cold War and Economics

US_Russia-relationsAn interesting post from Thomas P. M. Barnett today titled Column 116 got me thinking about the conflict / economics correlations.

What resurrecting Cold War with Russia costs us The West’s re-demonetization of Russia is in full swing, with aging advocates barely able to conceal their glee in resurrecting the “good old days.” It’s a sad commentary on our grand strategic thinking that we so blithely add back the Cold War to our already full plate of global security interests. We were tapped before Russia and Georgia went at it: witness Bush’s efforts to “sue for peace” with every rogue regime out there. Now we’re making ourselves more strategically irrelevant than ever, because a military superpower that takes on all to defend all is too easily exhausted and thus more feasibly defeated by smaller powers.

While the US is decidedly not in a good position for any new engagements at the moment, the prospect of a new cold war does bring  to mind the correlation of conflict and economics. The current engagement in Iraq, like the engagement in Vietnam, is unpopular with many Americans. This lack of support has broken the pattern of improved economics come with conflict and military spending.

If a new conflict, such as a cold war, where to promote a sense of nationalism, a conflict that the population would support (in the 80% approval range), we could see a tremendous surge in the economy in as little as one year. Huge increases in military spending to contractors for equipment and R&D, 100,000 plus new jobs. This kind of bloodless paranoid saber rattling can be good for a nations economy.

All of this begs the question, “Are the American people still willing to pursue anything as one nation?”. Does any sense of nationalism sill exist in the population as a whole? The answer to this question would shed light on many other issues as well.

Could a sense of nationalism save America or has the population become so ideologically divided that it can no long agree on something as basic pride in country.

~FBJ