Friday, March 10, 2006

Democrats Win The 2006 Elections

The Republican Party has committed suicide.  It’s hard to believe but it’s true.  A group of politicians that once espoused excellence, decent behavior, and the idea that the best interests of the public should be served, have become pseudo-Democrats.  As a group they were always a bit cowardly, refusing to stand up to the outrageous specious attacks of Tom Daschle, Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, Hillary Clinton, Charles Rangel, Ted Kennedy and the other luminaries of the dreck filled Democrat universe.  The Republicans have outspent the Democrats, something I never thought possible.

As a citizen of the US who has voted in every election since I came of age, mostly as a Democrat and recently as a Republican, I am disgusted.  I realize this feeling is not new; Mark Twain more than 100 years ago called the congress of the United States the largest, most public aggregation of crooks on the earth.  While nothing has changed on that front the country and the world have become much more dangerous.  We need leaders not place holders.  Representative Cunningham, a war hero, a brave person, is going to prison for eight years for taking bribes.  What would be the population of the congress if all were known about the rest of them?  They are the most disingenuous, lying group of individuals elected by a public that is so poorly educated that the cheapest advertising and media manipulations are effective.

The Democrat party will be returned to power in the year end elections.  It will have nothing to do with their plan, as they have none, but because the Republicans have abdicated their advantage.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

We Are Who We Elect

Do our elected representatives really represent the average American?  Alas, I am afraid so.  It is difficult for many to believe but George Bush appears to be head and shoulders above the members of the legislative branch in terms of character, intelligence, and world awareness.  Bush has only a mild record of pandering to public opinion which is why his poll numbers are so low at the moment.  It is my prediction that history will be very kind to him and his presidency; this despite the fact that most historians today have a severe Marxist, left wing bent.  The truth will out no matter how long it takes.

In the case of the Ports and foreign operation of terminals, this is an example of how the congress is really an image of the American people.  There are a few voices of reason among a large group of venal, uninformed, mercurial, fearful, and complacent individuals.  When visiting the Capitol one may look up to see the flags blowing with the wind, the same scene may be found within the offices of the representatives of the people.  These congressmen and senators are job holders plain and simple.

They worry more about their perks than they do about our safety.  They protect their benefactors more than their constituents.  For example it is now coming out that the asbestos and silicosis class action suits are rife with fraud; that law firms apparently paid for false medical diagnoses (in a least 68,000 cases) resulting in immeasurable damage to our legal and business system.  Will the Democrats demand an investigation?  I don’t think so as one Democrat congressman moved to end hearings with the comment that “Trial lawyers get blamed for everything from 9/11 to global warming.”  Decide for yourself what would be happening if this was a Republican issue.  The reverse is also true.

The unbelievably inept system of education in our country is one the great tools that enemies can use against us.  Militarily we can not be defeated.  We have, and are developing more, weapons that can be operated remotely.  We can, and this will most likely be the case, bomb Iran without the loss of a single US military life by using UCAVs (unmanned combat aerial vehicles).  These weapons can target and bomb places that are many hours from our shores, accurately and with devastating results, but we can’t get out of our own way in world affairs.  Neither right nor left really understand or care about the rest of the world.

In the United States if it’s not about us we are not interested.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Just a Picture in a Photo Album

I met my new granddaughter yesterday.  She is beautiful and appears to be fully equipped to start her journey through life.  I am already grandfather to two boys, who are also wonderful, but it got me thinking a little.  By the time I became cognizant of life both of my grandfather’s were already dead.  My fraternal grandfather died just weeks before my birth and my maternal grandfather died about a year and a half later.  To me they have always been just pictures in a photo album.  There is no way to know or appreciate dead people, and when they are part of the genetic mix that is you it’s an irreplaceable loss.

Because of distance, and family discord it was impossible for me and my siblings to know our grandmothers very well either.  As I look around and think back it occurs to me that nothing is or can be as valuable to a human being as a stable extended family.  This includes the crazy uncles and aunts, the wacky granddads, and loving grannys.  The ability to see where one’s origins lie, in person, must be a great experience.

My wife and I see our role as grandparents being stress relieve valves for the parents of our grandchildren, and the grandchildren themselves.  I doubt very seriously that, if we can maintain our relationship with these children, that they will turn out to be problem adults; it’s possible but not likely.  Our children still have one set of grandparents living; they lost completely the chance to have a relationship with their maternal grandfather, but did know their grandmother.  These experiences, both happy and sad, have shaped their perspective on life in positive ways.  They are really fine people, and so will their children be.

Society needs families as much or more than families need families.  Children and adults need a safe haven for tough times. It is not easy to maintain healthy family relationships; the slightest blow can disturb the balance for years.  Any family that has weathered the storms of life is to be admired.

I am very happy that for my grandchildren I won’t be just a picture in a photo album.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Its Back

I see from the paper today that AT&T is re-forming despite its breakup in 1981.  At the time I was in the telecom industry at the time and thought that this state of affairs would be the ultimate result.  The rationale for breaking up the Bell System was flawed.  The underlying reason was a good one.  The public reason was to encourage competition and to break up monopoly power.  The real reason was to accelerate technology development and introduction..

In 1981 the Bell System dominated telecommunications in the United States; similar situations existed around the world, the difference being that the Bell System was publicly owned while most others were government owned.  Because of their dominance the Bell Companies preferred to amortize their multi-billion dollar investments over a long period and so were not inclined to rapidly introduce technology that would make their investments obsolete.  MCI changed all that.

The prosperity of the 1990s can not be ascribed to any politician (Bill Clinton) or party (Democrats); the 1990s were a technology boom started by  of all people Richard M. Nixon, or at least his justice department which filed suit in 1974.  Today anyone can start a telephone company; and many are.

The latest refinement of voice over IP is just that; the latest not the last.  Already it is possible to do almost everything over a wireless phone, and with WiFi work can be done almost anywhere.  These things would not be happening at this juncture were it not for the 1981 breakup of the Bell System.  AT&T still owns Bell Laboratories but has little interest in regaining Lucent Technologies, at the time known as Western Electric.  AT&T was, and I emphasize was, the world’s greatest technology company, even now it is hard to miss senior engineers and executives who at one time or other worked for the Bell System.  They are going away to be sure, but they’re still around.

The new AT&T will never again be the force it was and that’s a good thing.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Is There a Culture in the US?

Does the United States have a culture, or in fact any culture?  If you ask our sophisticated European friends the answer is yes the US has a culture but it more like a bacterial one found in sewage.  They would know of course as their various histories and cultural achievements are well known and obvious.  If you ask our unsophisticated enemies who hate us passionately the answer is also yes, the US has a culture that is Satanic, decadent, and one that must be destroyed.  Ironically this latter view of the United States is almost exactly that of our far left leaning fellow citizens.

Actually the United States does have culture, not a culture, but many.  This is why we are loved, hated, envied, emulated, admired, and discounted.  I know this to be true because in my life I have been fortunate in having been able to travel the world and have been exposed to many peoples, cultures, and ideas.  In the United States one can do this almost every day without much trouble.  We are of course a nation of immigrants and as such we have imported everything from everywhere.

The main cultural aspect of the United States is capitalism which is the prism through which we must be viewed.  Capitalism makes success possible as it encourages personal development while socialism breeds self-contempt and ingratitude.  It is human nature to want to do it yourself.  The greatest gift any government can give is the chance to succeed.  All the rhetoric notwithstanding we are a very peaceful people and we hate any endeavor that keeps us from succeeding in our personal lives.  We will fight if forced to but we are not warlike.  Our defense is strong but its use is preferably dissuasive in nature.  We are currently in a situation which feel we have been forced to fight.  We are selfish.

In the United States there is a strong anti-intellectual bias.  My guess is that this is a result of experience with intellectuals in the “Old Country,” whichever old country that might be.  Cuba, for example, is still reeling from Castro’s intellectual takeover.  Our own political left would behave the same way if given a real chance to take over; which is why they won’t get it.  Our citizens have a healthy disrespect for authority and this makes us strong.  We also have, in general, a low level of interest in academic pursuits for their own sake.  College and University are simply for getting ahead and making connections for later life, this is probably true elsewhere but there is a pretence not found in the United States.  This is the reason high school and college graduates to a large degree can not read or write effectively.

We are a shrewd people; a native cunning has evolved from our immigrant natures.  We know how to survive and are not afraid to do so.  We come from everywhere and are disdained for it.  Ask any German and he will tell you that Americans are the dregs of the societies they left.  Americans are the descendants of failures in the homeland.  That probably is the case when viewed from the exalted heights of the European class system, but we like it.