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 A modest proposal for a new century . . .

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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:07 am

In understand your frustration, Joe. We usually experience the result of misguided actions. We are on the verge of another war. Trying to stop it is becoming political. America's actions affect the world. We may not be directly responsible, but often our support for the culprit(s) puts the blame on our shoulders. How can we not be blamed when we support illegal actions taken by so-called friends? We have the power to stop these activities, but it is often political suicide to do so. It takes courage to do the right thing that will benefit all people, not just our party or our country. War with Iran can be prevented, however the drums of war are getting louder and I fear that it will happen. It is not just material things, i.e., rising gas prices, but more importantly people will be killed on both sides. Revenge will be swift and encompass all involved. I want to be wrong with this prediction. Perhaps cooler heads will prevail perhaps.
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:43 am

My one experience in S. Korea was enough terror that the thought of war that might touch this country is beyond comprehension. There is nothing more horrid than the total lack of control - the fact that there is nowhere to escape. I am worried about those people in the embassies and for some, ordinary clerks just doing their job, the fear they must feel just going to work. I can't even think what the terror must have been for those who lost their lives. Even the bravest feel the terror of an untimely death.

Much of international politics is beyond my knowledge base. I know it is infused with the drive for profits by international corporations, oil, arms dealers and leaders seeking power over resources. Also, the frustrations of the people in the countries who don't receive the "trickle down effects" of power changes as they were promised. I think those people must feel desperate for control over their own lives. Just as many people in this country have lodged their frustrations over their economic disparity in the venom they display toward the Obama Administration, people in less sophisticated countries let out their frustrations by blaming the U.S. (where everything looks wealthy and easy while they suffer in poverty) .

I don't feel that I am "apologetic" for trying to see the chaos through the eyes of those who live in other countries in desperate poverty and a two-class system - the very rich and the very poor. Military provides one of the few employments, a chance to feed their families.

There was a discussion in these forums once about aid to foreign countries and that it should be tied to how that country treats its citizens, that many countries just take our aid and add it to their budgets but nothing changes for the people - they see no benefit from the "friendship" of the U.S. and the governments make no effort to encourage their gratitude. The suggestion from some analysts in think tanks was that aid should be re-evaluated annually, and redistributed based on what it accomplished the previous year. Aid is a political tool; its use requires delicate diplomacy beyond my knowledge and experience.
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Victor D. Lopez
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:50 am

Joe,

I feel not only your frustration, but your pain and sacrifice. I share them, as do millions of "middle class" Americans who work hard and feel the squeeze of an eroding dollar due to many things, including what I think is politically motivated decisions by a supposedly independent Federal Reserve. The safety net is not available to the people in the middle who are being taxed (sorry, dirty word--we now call them largely user fees or involuntary "investments," or some other sanitized title to make us feel better about the federal, state and local governments sticking their hands in our pockets at will and calling us "selfish" if we squirm or have the temerity to complain about it in polite company). Gas on Long island has reached (and exceeded in some places) $4.30 per gallon. This for people who pay the highest taxes in the country as is--ironically (tragically?) in such places like Levittown (Nassau County) where the first planned suburb sprouted up after soldiers returned home to the relative prosperity paid for largely by their blood after WW2. (This was always and remains a working class neighborhood, not a playground for the wealthy.)

D.K.,

I also try to view the chaos through the point of view of others, and have experienced poverty in my own family and even in my own life at one point due to circumstances beyond the control of very hard working parents in a country spinning out of control beyond our immediate borders. My heart goes out to any human being suffering through circumstances not of their making as I have felt that suffering in the flesh and seen mismanagement destroy the country of my birth quite literally and completely through corruption and the willingness to print money with no attempt even at the appearance of fiscal responsibility. (Sounds eerily familiar, no?).

Having said that, I am troubled by a President who does not seem to know whether Egypt is an ally or not. Dear Mr. president, could you then please explain why we are funneling money to such a country? Are we hoping to buy their friendship, are we appeasing extremists so that they maybe will hate us just a little less? Are we simply that stupid? We give aid to countless countries that hate us, and that aid more often than not ends up in the pockets of corrupt leaders or, worse, feeding armies of ruffians who use the money or food to feed and supply their armies to subjugate, rape, maim, murder and otherwise terrorize their own people and their neighbors. Can someone please, please, PLEASE tell me why?

Giving foreign aid to people who hate us, profess their intent/right/wish to do us harm and, even worse, who actually do us harm (even if they profess to be our best friends) is insanity.

Foreign aid should only go to those countries that earn it. And then, frankly, only to the extent that we can afford it. I am not as generous as I would like to be in my charitable giving not because I am heartless, avaricious, or detached but because I can't afford to give what I would like and will not borrow money to do it. I expect my country--using my money--to live up to no lesser standard. Generosity by a country that cannot afford to pay its debts and has mortgaged the prosperity of generations to come is reckless, foolish, and . . . insane.
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E. Don Harpe
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:15 am

Victor, maybe the question you should be asking is "who" rather than "why." I'm quite sure you know that Obama isn't the first or the only President to "give" money to other countries, even those who may not as friendly to us as we'd like. There are many quite lengthy explanations as to why Obama chose the wording he used, and we either accept it or we don't.

I think the people that believe in the President will accept the explanation, and the ones who want to see Romney elected will never accept anything.

I find it interesting that many people who blame Obama for everything are the same ones who made excuses for Bush about everything, and many that say we should stop blaming Bush for anything that is happening today are still blaming Clinton for a lot of the things that happened during Bushes term. For instance, on 9/11 I saw a lot of people still wanting to blame Clinton for "failures" that they say allowed the attacks to happen, while still not being willing to place any blame on Bush.

What is going on now is a result of the cumulative efforts of a lot of people from a lot of administrations, and not the sole doing of any single one of them, and I don't think either side is blameless.

I do believe that nearly everything that happens in the world puts wealth and power into the pockets and hands of a few already extremely wealthy, powerful people, and there is not much the American people can do about it. Until major changes are made in the way we elect our leaders, we will continue to have two vastly wealthy parties switching back and forth in the White House, furthering their own ends, while the people bear the true expense of all of it.


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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:22 am

I am grateful for the various points of view expressed here; some similar and some divergent, from truly a mix of valuable life, work and education experiences. Dialogue without rancor is what is needed to understand why we see the world a certain way and how each opinion expressed has validity to that writer. I think there are many answers to problems, and yet none are the complete answer because problems have many branches.

I have seen two themes, however, with no disagreement: The Congress needs to have a total overhaul in how long representatives serve, the cost and length of campaigns, the payment for service and perks and the expectations of cooperation, collaboration and representative accomplishments for which they are measured. We need them to work for their pay. Period.

Secondly, we seem to agree that aid to other nations without appropriate returns on the investment, year after year, is not wise. There needs to be a major analysis of foreign aid and how it's used.

We also seem to agree on some level that the cost of government is high and taxes are uneven across the nation and across levels of income. The differences lie in the timing and nature of solutions and who should bear the costs of austerity. There is also a divergent view as to whether austerity or government support will contribute to prosperity and the timing of either. Another divergent view is regarding who should pay for the government and what services are sacred and to whom. Another divergent piece is whether government or private industry should be the source of those sacred programs that are currently either government funded or some combination of government and private funding.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if political campaigns across the country could have honest debate on issues such as these with their research staff providing intelligent, potential solutions for the national electorate to consider. Instead we are bombarded with sound bits of half truths and twisted truths that say nothing and merely malign or turn into a slogan complex policies for which people need concrete information.
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joefrank
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:50 am

9/14/2012

I've always believed that we give foreign aide to prop

up dictators, the middle east is an example, look at Iraq

we gave them millions over the years, I was shocked to

learn the hundreds of millions of dollars Saddam's sons

took out of the bank, other dictators who torture their

own people and kill them like Syria, no one has stepped

up to stop it ! It's a sad sad world we live in, let's pray

for peace.........

Cheers..Joe...Very Happy
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:32 am

The tragic thing is that people across the world have been praying for peace since the beginning of time - and we are still self-serving, hateful and fear-ridden people, subject to governments that lead us against each other. Yet, each day in homes and businesses and even in streets across the globe, prayers to the same God cry for peace and weep for the dead.
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Victor D. Lopez
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:53 am

E. Don,

I am not one of those who is boosting Romney. He was never my choice to lead my party. I had no enthusiasm for any in the field this time out. As to "who," the answer is all of them--every president squanders our wealth by giving it to undeserving, ungrateful countries around the world. Romney will get no more of a pass from me than Obama. Nor should either get a pass from the media or the American people. this is a theme I have expressed many, many times in many venues, including here.
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Victor D. Lopez
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:57 am

D.K.,

I wholeheartedly agree with your last two posts. Yours too, Joe.
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:04 am

It does appear that in many areas of thought, we are in accord. The blame game will continue. The problems will continue. The cries for change will continue. The helplessness will continue. Inequality will continue. Along with that people will continue to suffer. We will continue to pray for a better world and cling to hope. Around and around we go, where or when it will stop, nobody knows.
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joefrank
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:19 am

9/14/2012

To me this is a beautiful peaceful picture, they have no worries.

Cheers..Joe...Very Happy

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Don Stephens
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:21 am

Abe F. March wrote:
It does appear that in many areas of thought, we are in accord. The blame game will continue. The problems will continue. The cries for change will continue. The helplessness will continue. Inequality will continue. Along with that people will continue to suffer. We will continue to pray for a better world and cling to hope. Around and around we go, where or when it will stop, nobody knows.
DK wrote:
The tragic thing is that people across the world have been praying for peace since the beginning of time - and we are still self-serving, hateful and fear-ridden people, subject to governments that lead us against each other. Yet, each day in homes and businesses and even in streets across the globe, prayers to the same God cry for peace and weep for the dead.

AMEN!
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:56 pm

If only I had a spleen to vent` I'd vent it fully and let you all know what I think of the entire situation--fortunately I am nothing but a gutless, bionic woman, alive due to the grace of God--Love to you all. bounce
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:00 pm

It does appear to me we are all trying to get to the same destination. We have differing ideas about how to get there.
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:10 pm

I do not hesitate to give my two cents worth. I believe this country is in a time of international and national crisis, not due unilaterally to one man named Barack Obama. I believe that those who love this country and care about its future need to rally together and top putting fodder for the extremists out on the Internet Facebook and YouTube and wherever and pull together - you know - like during World War II, the last time I remember the Western World pulling together. Though they are "hating the U.S." the rest of the Western world is not far behind.

The political presidential & congressional campaigns need to stop. Simply come to a stop. All of them. If we have to put off the election to make up for it then so be it. Let all statesmen and Congressional representatives put their heads together and suspend their campaigns too. Get to the bottom of the Arab spring and the terrorism and the fanatics abroad. We have enough of our own fanatics. We have had our own burning of cities in frustration and protest.

We don't need someone second guessing our state department as they try to mend all that has just occurred. If you ask me, Romney fanned the flames by showing we have dissention at home - but that is a political opinion on my part that I will release if he will stop biting at the heels of President Obama until this international matter is fixed. His people continue to lie about the first statement from the consulate that was trying to pour cool water on the flames - continues to say it came after the bombing and was an apology that did not condemn. Stop this XXXX and get down to the truth and be helpful to the President and the national government of a free country. Pick up the campaign later.

This is serious. Islam is more ancient than any of our religions and it has lots of followers. Unless women in this country want to find out what lack of freedom is really all about, they better shut up on Facebook and encourage some silence while women of intelligence in the professions to help us through this crisis have their say. Believe me, our men don't mind shutting us up.

There is enough intelligence in this world to straighten this out so Islam can be in their countries and whatever we have can remain in ours. I worked in Key West where multiple alternative life styles ignored each other and went about the business of living and working and raising families. This country often manages that with its multiple ethnic and religious differences - better than anywhere in the world probably.

I'm spitting in the wind. But I'm putting it out there anyhow.

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joefrank
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:15 pm

9/14/2012

I don't understand why the Govt. doesn't close our

embassies in the middle east, these diplomats and their

staff are in serious danger ! They need to be evacuated

at once is Hillary and the state dept, stupid or what !! I'm

so angry these people are still in these countries, there's

nothing like a huge angry mob with the taste of blood !

Washington wake up before we have more funerals on our

hands then you'll have to deal with the anger of the American

public !!!

Joe....
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Victor D. Lopez
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:25 pm

Long live Bionic Woman! Smile
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joefrank
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:32 pm

9/14/2012

Victor..

You are funny !

Cheers..Joe..Very Happy
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:15 pm

Thank you , Victor. I am still alive. Very Happy

I feel for the many moderate Republicans--you and Don--who do not agree with the direction their GOP has taken.

It would trouble me if I had to defend their views and I am glad I don't need to. Remaining Independent works for me.
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E. Don Harpe
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:31 pm

Personally, I think we're being herded.

I was raised in Springfield, TN, about 30 miles north of Nashville. You can get to Nashville from Springfield by taking highway 41 or highway 431. If the Democrats were highway 41 and the Republicans were highway 431, it really wouldn't matter which one of them we took, because they'd both take us to Nashville when the journey was over. I think what we're voting on is the scenery we want to look at on our trip, and not where we're actually going. I think the destination was determined many years ago by a group of people who wanted to control every thing, and the truth is they don't really care which highway we take, so long as we end up where they want us. And we're just going along with it, because we don't know a better way to do things.


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alj
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:34 pm

Like Victor reminded us in his OP for this popular thread, and as Hal the Computer said back in 2001, What's wrong, E. Don??

Turning things over to our "computers," is a choice we made, isn't it? to make our lives easier and to turn the responsibility over to someone - or something- else?

I'm asking everybody, here - not just E. Don.

Ann
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:40 pm

When I lived in S. Korea, it was considered a dangerous place. I went to all bases, even those on the DMZ. I also traveled to other countries considered dangerous. I was 35 years old; I felt immortal. Sometimes we put our thinking into the head of others who don't feel the danger.

Hillary Clinton has been overseas for a long time working with statesmen and all the international stuff. President Obama has been a party to all the international chaos. The entire State Department, the CIA, the FBI and the U.S. Military has been in those countries. Within that group of people is more information than I'll ever have at my disposal to make decisions. I will leave major decisions up to them.

I wish Governor Romney would shut his mouth, however, in this time of international crisis. For certain, he has none of the specialized information and ought to support the President in public and voice his concerns in private. However, he doesn't care about the country, he only cares about getting his digs in. And that is my own opinion based on what he did and said in the middle of uncertainty and the murder of brave men. He is pitiful and right now a danger to an international crisis.

However, I know that is not the opinion of his minions who think he is showing his true presidential abilities. Oh, well, you can fool some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time. His lack of statesmanship will come back to haunt him, mark my words. His wife who is so anxious to become first lady probably is wringing her hands as she sees her possibilities slipping away. I think he wants to be president to gift the white house to his wife; he looks uncomfortable all the time.
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E. Don Harpe
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:50 pm

What's wrong? Well, personally, I think we're being herded.
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Victor D. Lopez
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:01 pm

Alice,

I am actually embarrassed by both the GOP and Democratic Party these days, and have been for some time, though I still have and want an R after my name. When my party is wrong, in my eyes of course, I call them on it. Not that anyone cares. But I do. The problem is that most people--even most thinking, rational, good people--don't do that. the result? Polarization that begets more polarization.

Here's a newsflash for all true believers: There is no US versus THEM, unless, of course, we're talking about the people trying to kill US. It is all US, WE, and OUR. We can argue over who is best suited to take the wheel in the ship of state (hint: NO ONE RUNNING!) But only the truly deranged shoot holes in the bottom of the ship when their guy/gal/party does not get a turn at the wheel.

Parties and partisans are boring and largely useless as they keep playing the same few notes over and over and over again, entertaining themselves and hoping others will find their tune a catchy one. (I recall starting this original post with something about the auto stimulation of both parties . . .)

Republicans are not the enemy. Democrats are not the enemy. People who excuse the inexcusable, defend the indefensible and forever blame the other guy/gal/party for the failings of their guy/gal/party are the problem. (And if they're actually trying to physically harm us or our country, then they are also the enemy.)

We don't have to listen to the other side. That's why remotes have up/down channel buttons and--blissfully--off buttons too. We don't have to read people with whom we disagree, or we can just skim their posts/articles/books to see if there is anything new there, and skip the same old when there is not. We can choose to play in our side of the sandbox only with the boys and girls that think just like we do and point at all those weirdos on the other side who are oh, so inferior to us. It is a lonely and limiting life, but well suited for some.

Those who think Obama is perfect and hear a chorus of angels whenever his name is mentioned belong in a padded room, as do those who have a similar reaction to Romney. From my perspective, and with all due respect to all the partisans out there who are free to call me names, BOTH are LIGHTWEIGHTS. I will gladly be voted off the island in which anyone who takes serious objection to this statement resides. I have no desire to live in Laputa or in the world that exists down the rabbit hole or through the looking glass--these are places for all true believers, where they can prosper and be forever warmed by the light of their self delusion.
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joefrank
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:26 pm

914/2012

Victor.....

Bravo.....

I couldn't have said it like you did !

You could be a congressman, but then again I don't

think anyone would be insane enough to get into

politics, I've come to believe it's a special club you

get into and don'twant to leave, I don't think it's the

money, I think it's being power hungry and how you

can control the American People's lives, but what they

don't realize is one day the American public will wake up

and we'll have another 1776 again....

Cheers...Joe...
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