Saturday, May 24, 2014
No doubt there will be push back on my words as my brain goes into gear but, as you know, I keep a pretty close tab on world events, try / seek to remain middle-of-the-road on matters of politics and especially watch the initiatives of the POTUS regardless of who occupies the chair. The first thing I saw this morning as I opened my computer was about the Obama presidency at the two-thirds point of his tenure, he is "embattled" by all the issues dogging his White House. My question, frankly, was, why shouldn't he feel embattled?
This latest in the long line of battles is about the debacle at the VA. That battle is of such a grand atrocious scale that it should anger anyone that has ever even known a veteran. The politicians wave the flag, tear up at ceremonies, seek the VFW, American Legion, other veteran groups favor via, of course, political contributions but then when the meat hits the grinder, everyone is surprised by the lack of intense medical and psychological support these men and women need and deserve.
There will be a few thrown under the bus at the VA, as we have already seen, but this President will defend Shenseki. I even read a WSJ blogger pontificating that she believes Obama has created a whole new way of quelling (placating is my term) poor performance by not firing but just taking the heat until the fire dies down with the next debacle and then quietly accepting the accountable leader's resignation or retirement. So you can know, I believe in absolute accountablity and when something as major as VA being ill-managed as surely this VA is, when four Americans are killed in Libya with little to no rescue attempted and we are still waiting for reconciliation of the matter, when we read now almost daily of the auto recalls of epic proportion from a company that provide a tax-funded lifeline while bonuses continued to be paid and the core business structure remained wrongly in place, why should anyone be amazed at the recalls?
Some will read this as anti-Obama listing which is not the case at all. Battles erupt when the roots of poor leadership are not erased early or sooner. Apologizing to world leaders at the beginning of a Presidency was an omen of things to come I believe history will record. The horror stories abound on ObamaCare with people forced to walk away from their medical policies or seeing their premiums go higher in orders of magnitude. I will just stop with the list for each is a battle a weak, ineffective POTUS has created for himself from my perch in NE Ohio. Again I highly suggest spending time watching the political legislative process unfold in real time on CSPAN and then one would not be surprised to see that the presidency is on the same scale of ineffectiveness as Congress.
As I sit here watching two of my grand daughters just getting up, one age four and the other age 8, I ponder what their world will be in the next twenty years as their adult lives, families, jobs become a reality. To this day I still hear people talk about the problems this POTUS has is due to what he inherited from George W. Bush. In my life I have never seen such a spectacle of a sitting president still pointing fingers of blame at his predecessor six years into his time. In the business world that would unacceptable on any scale and grounds for removal. There comes a point when you embrace what you have and manage yourself through it, PERIOD! I still do not see this Administration having done that and the die-hards loyal to the Party will still embrace that as a solid defense in casting blame is simply amazing to me.
On this Memorial Day celebration weekend, I guess I am especially disgusted with the elongated litany of issues that should never have seen the light of day. The VA issue is the last straw for it affects hundreds of millions of Americans in so many ways when our veterans are not given what they so richly and rightly deserve. I want to respect this president and his band around him, czars and all (never hear much from or about the czars do we?) but I see next to nothing that causes me to fully embrace his policies. We are a great nation but we have been greater. We are a nation to be feared but we are less feared than any time in my lifetime it seems. Watch Putin! Putin is feared internally and more and more feared externally. Watch Putin! America is the only power on earth capable of stopping this raw aggression but we will not instead bearing olive branches hoping he decides to stop; Europe in the late 1930s all over again as I view it.
Saturday, May 17, 2014
Yesterday I watched an intriguing interview with a young man on Charlie Rose that captured my mind of where we are in this world today as a nation. He has written a book on the engines of growth in China which I have ordered and look forward to reading. In the interview he underscored what many Americans have lost sight of, I believe, when he stated that still America is the "currency of the world." His fundamental meaning was that in spite of all the negatives of our political system, corruption, slowed growth, tepid diplomatic force and weakening and downsizing of the military and now the awful realities of the Veterans Administration and on and on, America is still the country "of last resort" meaning where people turn to see what we will do and wish to come into. That, in that moment, caused my heart of nationalistic fervor to warm up.
Frankly, and I plead guilty as well, I have become tired of all the negatives hurled at my country. People scoff at our ineptitude as we watch Russia push her borders in the shadow of NATO. Americans want that to stop, I believe, but more and more Americans feel it is somebody else's problem so let them worry about it. As the 2016 electioneering begins in earnest, I feel a sense of worry when I look at the field of Democrats and Republicans for not one appeals to me for an array of reasons with corruption and professional politicking being at the head of my "not" list.
Yes, we as a nation have so much to offer this world but we seem to keep circling our selves into these firing squads and pulling the trigger aiming at each other. The blessing of living in this nation is that we are still a relatively safe country in which to live and rear families. I have seen much of this world and miss parts of it for a visit but not to live. We have a relatively good educational system that needs to be uplifted and upgraded to the twenty-first century and focus more on the students and less on tenure and union demands meaning protecting inept teaching at all levels of the educational food chain. The "entitlement" generational legacy of our nation's wealth is of great concern as are the bursting prison populations for there is so much bad in our culture but it seems insurmountable at times.
As I have stated in almost every class I taught, America is still the nation people still aspire to come to for education and a life for you never see people swimming back to Cuba, for example. This is a great nation. Yes, it can be better; much better. But we should never forget that it is We the People that allow our nation to sink to new lows on many fronts for it is We the People that send our republic's politicians to Washington to supposedly do our will and bidding. I am, frankly, quite fed up with the whole political system as are most Americans if you believe the numbers, and I do believe the poll numbers. I highly suggest taking a week and watch the three CSPAN channels so you can watch the "process." It is worth it to give you a deeper appreciation of how a business would fail every time if they ran their business the way American politicians "work" the process.
It is good to know we are still viewed by these blooming countries like China, Brazil, Russia, South Africa, etc, etc as the best in the world and seek to model what we do. So on this Saturday morning, I am humming the National Anthem in pride in calling myself an American!
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Good morning as the daybreak creeps up on us here in NE Ohio. Had an earlier than usual wake up and, as I usually do, spent that quiet time thinking, praying for specific people and things, my nation and its leaders, the military. I like to think about Bible verses and their special meaning in this abundance of quiet. I really enjoy YouTube for I get to watch and listen to the music I love which is Southern Gospel. And then I begin to ponder the "stuff" of this world for there is much to ponder for the fields of "stuff" are ripened to harvest with never ending bounty of "stuff."
This week has been uniquely uneventful meaning my schedule has been relatively light so far too much time has been wiped away in watching worthless television, angering commercials that seem to never end for one will run into two then three and up to seven before a program returns. I am finding my belly tightening us in watching this total waste of time. Have I ranted enough yet? Whew, now I feel so much better!!
I do have this insatiable hunger to want to seek understanding as to why things happen as they do in this place called our world. The despicable nature of Man continues to amaze me for the depths of depravity Man can drill into seems endless. This kidnapping of girls in Nigeria is repulsive but I realize if I wait just another day or two something as heinous or worse will find its way to the camera lights. The sad part is that as humans we are growing more and more detached from these awful things that people do to other people. Reading through the Bible each morning where I began at Genesis 1:1, you quickly realize that the despicable acts of Man are certainly nothing new nor will they ever be. The debauchery, slander, killings, rape, etc, in the Bible are blatantly evident so why would anyone be surprised here in 2014 with anything Man devises to do to people?
The Russian expeditionary aggression is troubling for many reasons and having many friends in Poland, Slovenia and throughout Europe, no doubt there is much consternation and worry about realizing that what the world has forgotten in the lead up to Nazi aggression and the Holocaust is alive and well today. How this plays out is not yet known but I have the sense it will not end well for there is no force on earth, today, with the wherewith all and political gut strength to stop it; so we watch and hope or worse, just ignore as many in Europe and the USA did in the late 1930s and we know, now, how that ended!
The missing Malaysian jetliner, the South Korea ferry, Clinton gear up for 2016, the Lewinsky story re-broke yesterday as this gear up begins in earnest, the deadlock in Congress (what a miserable joke that institution has become) and now the euphoria with this Southern Carolina former prosecutor turned Congressman, Trey Gouty, about to head yet another investigation into the Benghazi tragedy; it is endless as are those TV commercials. I know right now before the TV is even turned on that a new "BREAKING NEWS" CNN likes to call it will reach into our hearts with some shocking disaster or act somewhere in the world; so very sad but so very true.
Today, right now, I am going on strike with television. I am going to TV fast so whatever the nut jobs of the world doing whatever they choose to do will just have to do it without my viewing and concerning myself with it. Whew, boy that felt good!
In a little while we will have our precious Ms Hope with us all day and that is worth more than any worrisome news, tragic weather or some famous person dying, planes crashing, ships sinking or a new poll; oh do not get me started on polls! I want you to know that during this now near two hours I have been up in the quiet and solitude of my home, today has been prayed over, friends have been lifted, songs have been sung and tears have rolled from my eyes but you know, I am very happy! I am thankful for my health, my family, my getting to do what I get to do, having linkage with so many people from so many avenues of my life, knowing I have friends that will have another really tough day, realizing that is pain in each family and in each life ... this day I choose to be happy in the knowledge that there is a God that loves me, that wants the best for me and is greater than any of this craziness in our world.
I hear footsteps from the bedroom with my wife getting up so I know coffee will soon lift me to knew heights. Yes, with all the stuff, and there is plenty of it, this will be a great day in the Lord!