Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Yearning

Whatever your age, you want something. It may be a sunny day that smells fresh and beckons early positive thoughts. Feelings. It may be a favorite aroma that tickles the tongue for eggs, bacon, or something else. Perhaps it is a sticky bun dripping with pecan chunks buried in cinnamon and caramel goodness; warm would be good, too, especially accompanied with a pat of butter melting into the ooze.

Or, your yearning may point toward a car, maybe new, maybe an old classic, possibly sporty and loaded with special features. Or other shiny objects may be in your want column? It might be a new appliance, a kitchen makeover, or a new audio system connected to a giant screen TV.

Others yearn for a better job, a grander home, perhaps an exotic trip to a foreign land.

Yet others – still others – ache for food, fresh water, better health, a family made whole by recuperation from serious illness, or a death of a loved one. These are the basics most of us take for granted.

On Sunday we seek calm, solace, personal space, and peace. Sensing a lack of these, we go to church or some other place of worship and enlightenment. We listen for words of comfort and meaning. Words that will help us during the week to cope with what bothers us. Words that guide us and quiet our fears.

Wanting. Searching. Aching. Yearning.

Common feelings. Sensations of need? Or are they only wants?

Wanting and needing are two different things. Wanting is a sense of lack needing to be filled. So much wanting is really a sense of incompleteness, a vacuum begging to be filled. How much of this is worthwhile? How much is mostly meaningless?

In the larger world many of our wants are narrow, cheap and of little actual value. These are the things that make us feel better about ourselves or maybe feel better than other people?

In America, we are conditioned to want. That is what advertising is all about. It creates in our minds the sense of lacking, the need to fill that lacking, and the purchasing of whatever to fill the gaps in our lives. We all feel the pull of advertising. We all feel the lacks in life. But when we feel an aching large gap we mix helplessness to the mix of emotions. A crisis looms until the ache is fed a solution.

Best if the want, the yearn, is well understood. Is it vital? Is it important? How much of it is necessary, if any? Focus on the important. Train resources on the needs and get to work.

Doing this for others usually lessens the ache within ourselves. Filling the needs of others fills an invisible need of our own we did not know we had. Doing this finds peace. Feeding this purpose fills aches and yearnings.

It makes the old car seem new again. And the hungers fade away.

We can hope so.

June 15, 2021

 

Monday, June 14, 2021

Misuse of Public Authority

The title of today’s blog could have been ‘Bits and Pieces’ and you will see why. However, the subtitles included all demonstrate a common thread – misuse of the People’s power.

Ours is a democracy, built on the model provided by the Greeks millennia ago. Changes were made to the model to produce the American Republic. The final model of the 1790’s favored landowners who were mostly white and wealthy. The result was distorted representation of We The People. That result has been modified through the past 235 years to broaden the democratic process. Yet the white privilege and wealth standard was maintained in many ways.

The morphed result has led to these actions experienced during the trump administration:

               DOJ investigates press, corporations, and others as political enemies

               Pentagon budget used for southern border wall building

               Congressional inaction on January 6th Capitol Attack

               Congressional blockage of infrastructure bill

               Federal tax policy vs Democracy

Not only has the federal model of governance been misused for the above purposes, it remains ‘in power’ to frustrate correcting the problems and 'clear and present dangers' presented by this situation. The crisis grows worse while the system is given a chance to correct itself under Democratic leadership. Republican leadership – now in the minority – plots methods to restore power to the House and Senate to continue manipulating and blocking progress to repair all the damage.

Delay tactics are the largest strategy. The system is loaded with nefarious means that are used to waylay progress. GOP leadership has mastered this approach and Democrats appear powerless to counter.

Abusing public power on a grand scale has been the hallmark of the last 30 years of our federal governance. The proof of that resides in the subtitles listed above. Ponder that long and hard. Take your time. Think on what needs to be done to correct the situation. Then think how we get the federal government to address these problems adequately and fairly. Such does not appear possible currently.

That is precisely the problem.

When did We The People become such a charade? And how?

Can we fix this? Ever? If yes, how and by whom?

June 14, 2021

 

 

 

Friday, June 11, 2021

Fixing Immigration

The problem with immigration is not at the border with Mexico. The problem is not with other countries. The problem simply is:  What does America want its legacy of immigration to be? 

Are we to be a land of inclusion? Are we to be a nation of hope? Are we to be a country that welcomes others to become one with us?

Or are we a nation with high bars and standards to exclude people different from us?

It is our choice. It is our freedom. We have the right to make this decision and be whatever we say we should be.

However, there is a big IF. That IF is: we are a democracy and We The People make the decision. Currently we are not doing so. Elected politicians are making the decisions and they are at odds with our history and with the polls, and with the will of the people.

So, the problem is not immigration of people from without, it is with the people within our borders. You, me, them.

We don’t need to visit the US/Mexico border to see a crisis unfolding. That is not where the crisis resides. It is much closer to home. It is within us. You and I. Just the two of us multiplied by 160 million. Stop blaming outsiders. Stop making this a political party problem. It is not any of that.

No; it is a problem with you and I. Do we include or exclude?

Make that decision. Then deal with the consequences honestly and openly. Either decision has consequences. Which set of problems do you want to solve? Which pathway will you take?

More importantly: what does the decision say about the kind of person I am? You are?

June 11, 2021

 

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Open Letter to President Biden

Dear Mr. President,

I am happy you won the election and am very supportive of your early days in office. You are doing a great job. Keep doing it!

I have a few suggestions I would like to see you pursue:

1.      Do not make the mistake Pres. Obama made in trusting republican congressional leaders to compromise and cooperate. That wasted two years of political advantage in congress and nothing has happened to tell us republicans are trustworthy or collaborative.

2.      Pass the infrastructure bill at the full value you originally proposed.

3.      Invest in people: education, healthcare, social security, infrastructure.

4.      Continue to preach competitive advantage of America over China and Russia. That is the truth, but we must continue to make it true long into the future.

5.      Putin is a putz. Know this and merely seek his collaboration and cooperation. He must prove that or be isolated from the global village.

6.      China is not a putz, but they do not control the world nor should they. Neither should we. the global village should ‘control’ the world through cooperation and collaboration. Those who do not are outsiders and isolated.

7.      Military should be defensive, not offensive. Kindly remember that.

8.      The American people are our greatest asset. Invest in them. Believe in them. The good will follow.

Listen only to those who are willing and able to be a part of solving problems. Those who do not are in the battle for themselves, their power and wealth. They do not speak for the American People. Avoid these people at all cost.

Thank you and bless you and your difficult work.

Sincerely,

June 10, 2021

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

In What We Trust?

Our money claims we ‘trust in God.’ Our history proclaims America is on God’s side, whatever that is. Our churches have preached that message for so long we tend to believe it is true. Only that is not likely. We do not trust in God.

Instead, we trust in ideas, facts, history, research, invention and so much more. Of course, that requires us to believe in us, our abilities to grow, learn and prosper. That is the American Way. Its fruits are the American Dream.

Believing in that, however, should remind us that we believe in each other if the Way and Dream are to succeed. No Man Is An Island. We learned that long ago. It took American military forces to defeat Hitler and Japan in the Second World War. We did not do that alone. We had allies who had long before been doing battle with the Axis powers. We joined late but decisively. And that turned the balance of war toward the Allies and peace.

No Man Is An Island. We stood with our global partners to wage war and make peace. We need to do that again.

Only this time no military should be needed. Today, we can do much through service to others and toward other nations. We can do business with them, help them find the resources to improve their own economies and resources. We can help build a world economy that relies on each other, not competes ideologically or militarily. That is a lesson much of the world understands and agrees on.

Two powers do not agree: Russia and China. Russia is dealing from a position of weak economy, weak will but strong military. China deals from a position of huge numbers of people, a large military, and strong resources. But it suffers internal weaknesses that would be formidable for any other nation. This makes China vulnerable in so many ways. A military victory over an expanded region plus Taiwan would be a disaster for China and the global village. It is too large a consequence to allow China the victory. Better if they focused on peaceful needs within their own country than seek hegemony over others.

Russia would benefit from the global village and its shared economy. However, Putin continues to think that force is needed to win respect. He misses the point and has for most of his career. Force is a sign of weakness. If you have to act the role of bully, you have already lost the battle for minds. Invest, instead, in your people and their standard of living. Do that and watch your society soar. Now that is something to be proud of, not the past. Not the military. Not the propaganda.

Mr. Putin: stick your nose into your nation’s business and stay there. Fix what is broken there. Watch the good things happen. Realize that military is and always has been a last option to prop up a failing regime. This is as true for you as it is for America. And China.

We all have enemies in some fashion or other. The problem is with the other. Don’t fall for the bully routine. Become the nation of hope and potential that makes your nation impregnable. Then watch the global village function as it ought.

June 9, 2021

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Two Economies

One economy we have. Another is the one we want. Knowing the difference between the two will save us a lot of grief.

The current economy has much potential in it. That potential remains built up demand with some built up supply. As the economy comes back from the pandemic, there will be imbalances in the equation of supply and demand. Buyers will cause prices to rise until supply returns to proper levels to satisfy demand. Money is not in question for many people; the pandemic allowed them to cut costs and save money. They learned to dampen their needs and their wants. They settled into a routine that kept old buying habits quiet. With the ebbing pandemic, society is opening up to old activities. Buying sprees are evident.

How to handle this? Continue to dampen your demand and purchasing. Prices will resume a fair balance in time. wait it out.

Now, the economy we have suffers from many plagues. The opposite of these plagues is where we will find the new economy we want. Here are some thoughts:

·        Our labor pool lost jobs more from obsolescence than the pandemic. The two happened at the same time but are not related.

·        The labor pool is willing to work but needs retraining to do the new work that has been emerging for the last several years.

·        The infrastructure is not in good condition, and much of it is not located where it needs to be. Plus, technology is now a major portion of infrastructure without our realizing it. It must be enabled and supported. Publicly supported and funded.

·        Product and service demand worldwide is huge. Those markets remain to be supplied. American products and services remain of high quality and innovative. They are in demand. We must supply that demand or lose the market. Other nations will respond if we don’t. Russia cannot; China has size issues that plague it. The US is nimble and can adjust. But the labor pool must be supported by employers if they want skills and talents to do the work.

·        Low cost products make temporary markets, not long lasting ones. Invest in the future products and services. That is where the reward and profits are.

·        Focusing on national issues only insulates us from where the future resides; outside of our own nation. The global village is a real place. Do not hide from it.

·        America First will make America Last over time. The consequences are too great to play with. Step up and do the necessary work to make good things happen wherever the demand is.

·        A global village protects all its interests. Peace comes from that reality.

·        Military regimes waste resources and harm themselves more than winning victories. Sad but true. Historical fact.

If we know what we want for an economy, we must build it. The resources are there. The need is there. The smarts are there. All we need is the doing of it. Why is this a political issue?

Only fools make politics instead of progress.

June 8, 2021 


Monday, June 7, 2021

Fauci’s Truth

In the early days of HIV/AIDS complete ignorance reigned. Thousands of young men were dying throughout the world. In those days no one knew what they were dealing with. No one knew where the disease came from or started. Without that they had few clues about what they were working with.

Researchers dug in. Started where they could. Relied on scientific method and slowly accumulated data that pointed towards an understanding. False leads were plentiful. Pharmaceutical corporations dug in as cases mounted. Hundreds of thousands of new cases were reported. Young men continued to die in mounting numbers. New York City was a hot spot. LA was a hot spot. Miami, Paris, London, Berlin and so many more. Then millions were dead. The crisis defined itself.

Parents and grandparents were shocked. The passing of their younger generation was too much to bear. Young talent was robbed from society. Musicians, actors, writers, artists, mathematicians, scientists, explores, all of these and more were suddenly absent from our future. The loss was staggering. The business community especially was hurt.

Today 36 million are dead from HIV/AIDS. It is a pandemic but now ebbing. Immunologists, scientists and major donors funded the research that discovered treatments and drugs to tame the disease. Make no mistake; the disease remains. We have only learned how to live with it and lessen its toll both in death and in disability.

Dr. Anthony Fauci was in that heroic effort to defeat HIV/AIDS. For decades he has been front and center in that fight. He understands pandemics. He understands the science. He understands how the human body fights diseases naturally, and which diseases overpower the body. Which diseases need other solutions to save the body, to save lives. He has been there in HIV/AIDS. He has been there in other diseases through the years. And now the COVID-19 pandemic.

The only difference in his role in COVID was his leadership role in educating the public. Problem was he had a new boss assigned to him in the presidency. That boss was not a scientist. That boss had no respect for truth or facts. That boss was only about his own visibility and assumed superpowers. He told his people what to say, and what to support.

Walking the fine line throughout this ordeal, Dr. Fauci still spoke the truth. He still worked the truth and the methods of science. He kept at it. Seven days a week. Twelve to sixteen hours per day. Fauci is not young; he approaches 80. But his mission remains pure and true.

To question this man’s credibility is not only foolish, but also political propaganda. If we are to survive as a credible social order, we must dump the propaganda. We must dump the trump. And get on with life and business.

That means listening for the truth and facts. That means being involved in understanding what is news and what is not.

I have followed Dr. Fauci for many years. I have his back. I hope the rest of us do as well.

June 7, 2021