Friday, February 26, 2016

Friday, 26 FEB 2016 :: GOP debate reactions

I guess I have to enter my two-cents in the conversations about last night's Republican (GOP) debate.  I have to say, I didn't even know there was one until it was already started.  I heard about it on the news program I was watching.  This is strange to me.  I would think that I should have heard about it happening from one or more of the news programs I normally watch each week... usually every weekday, at least.

The stage was down to five contenders... Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Governor Kasich (spelling?), and Donald Trump.  The Democrats are down to two candidates and their debates are more like conversations because there are only two people to watch.  With five on one stage, and a limited time allowed, and topics that sometimes are really media plays for future sound bites, it is hard to discover real truth.  (On either the GOP or the DEM debate stages!)  It begins to look like a lot of repeat performances, with the same statements and tactics to avoid a real answer.

I have complained before that politicians say whatever it takes to get elected and then can't deliver what they promised because government is not a one-man show.  The best a candidate can do is to offer ideas about what they want to see accomplished, the directions they will move in... and maybe how they will proceed.  It is hard to share all that with your political enemies, in your party and in the opposition.  I'm not sure how much anyone would want to reveal in campaigning, but there is an expectation that solutions will be offered.  Voters try to pick the candidate with the best solutions.

I remember Donald Trump claiming that he was a business man, not a politician... that he never wanted to become a politician, that he knew what they were like, that they promised everything and delivered nothing.  I think Trump is becoming a politician now because he has to... the effort to win requires it.  He is beginning to form strategies for the same problems that other candidates are requested to have strategies for.  And I think he is finding out how hard it is to be a politician, someone who wants to hold a national office. 

The main difference between Trump as a business man and Trump as a politician is the same problem we face in every election.  We can't solve real problems until we have the real data that is required to solve them... and that doesn't happen until after someone is elected.  We can say "this might work..." or "that might work..." but we don't really know what we can do until we get there. In politics, it all depends on who else is elected, who owns the House and the Senate, what the budget is like, what is happening in the rest of the world, how many other crises we are fighting, etc.  It doesn't matter how high someone may want to build a wall on the Mexican border, it takes money and time and it won't solve the problem... does anyone remember that they dig tunnels under the fence and come up in parking lots already?  (The wall might have to be as deep as it is high... and still there will be someone willing to dig deeper to achieve their goals.)  Personally, I don't think walls are the answer.

Back to Trump ::  I don't think he even expected to last this long.  In the beginning I thought he was just trying to shake things up, get the topic of immigration out in the media, use his techniques for getting free publicity  :-) , and have some fun.  Now that he has lasted this long, and won in several states, the idea of becoming president is more real to him... and to the GOP.  That has changed the war for the White House.  Trump's views and his methods of presenting them are creating a wall of fear that he might win the GOP slot on the ballot.  The campaigning battles are getting more pointed... like the repeated requests last night from other candidates for Trump to outline his specific plans to solve the problems he complains about, and for less character assassinations from Trump as a way to deflect his lack of them.  :-) 

It was quite an experience watching the maneuvers last night.

I'm not sure what America will do in this election... we are hard-pressed for any ONE candidate that will be the best for our country.  We want the best... we want perfection (in everyone but ourselves)... we want America to be free, and good, and great again.  I don't know that America can ever be that again, or who will be able to carry us through the financial crises that are coming our way (sooner or later). 

The main problem for me is our deficit, our debt.  If we didn't have the enormous debt we have, we would not have to pay most of our tax base in interest payments, China and other countries would not own our debt (and control our decisions because of it), every program we have would not be in jeopardy of ending... If American's rallied to pay this debt off by buying special bonds, it wouldn't solve the problem either -- because the problem is our legislators.  They would just do the same things over and over and get us back to this problem again.  As someone whose survival depended on social programs like food stamps (and welfare cash at one point), and now is connected to Social Security Retirement benefits, the financial health of America is important to me.  Finding the balance between those who are deeply dependent on help from the government and the health of the country's finances is something I have thought about for decades.  It is hard to get past the politics of legislation, the battles between the parties, to the survival of America and its most vulnerable citizens.

I suppose it is hard to realize that the poor and homeless want to find solutions to our budget problems...  we are always seen as the cause of them because we are easy targets, and we can't fight back.

I won't go into some of my personal solutions for our many interwoven crises, which are getting worse as each day passes, but I hope we find someone to lead this country that will be able to deal with the problems of our government without thinking more of the "party" than they do the country.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Friday, 12 FEB 2016 :: Some thoughts about the Democratic debate last night.

Hi...  I made a rather lengthy comment on my Facebook page last night about the Democratic debate I watched yesterday.  I was still recovering with my thoughts when I entered it.  In an effort to refer to it more easily, I want to enter it as a blog post here. 

I am deeply concerned for America as we go through another political cycle to choose a president and other legislators.  I plan to enter more blogs at this site as the election process continues.

I have left it in the same format as it was posted, which is without any breaks in the text!  Enjoy....

Thursday, 11 FEB 2016
I guess I should add a few words about the debate coverage I was able to see... I think the idea of the government raising "revenue" to pay for the programs they want to implement is deceptive. The only revenue the government generates is taxes... and they keep looking for more victims to pay it, more ways to "raise" it... I think I was very struck by the accepted idea that wealthy people have a responsibility to provide all their wealth for the government to use. There is a post by Young Americans for Liberty below this space I am filling right now, and it says :: SOCIALISM....with a photo of the Berlin Wall, I think... barbed wire and fencing that kills, imprisons, and defeats the need for human freedoms. There is a catchy phrase below the title word, but the idea remains that government run countries create prisons of poverty for regular people, while the "leaders" enjoy lives of wealth and excess. I cannot understand why the people of America think this is better. I know what Welfare feels like, what it does to people, how it is a prison without metal bars... and I know the desperate need we have to accept it when it is all there is for us to access. America WAS a great country, but it is in that grey area where all countries go to die...struggling for air, looking for miracles, grasping at legal loopholes and regulations that might keep it alive. Our priorities have changed, ever so slowly, maybe, but they have changed. We are not invincible, but we are still free... maybe we can find a way to stay free, to allow differences of opinions without making laws to force everyone else to change. I suppose I was really amazed at the section I heard about forcing other countries to submit to our power and control. Technology is changing warfare, and it will be used to hurt us. Our military battles will be computerized, and the rest of the world will catch up with us. Anything, ANYTHING, attached to the internet will become a weapon, a target, a tool for destruction. I suppose there already are many crimes we don't know about because they are happening somewhere on the internet and haven't been discovered yet. Who will be able to deal with the changes that technology is bringing with it? How will we recover as a nation? Where will the funding come from. I think it is an indication of our country's healthcare budget when government insurance doesn't include new eyeglasses or basic dental care. I think it is another indication of our country's financial status when Retirement benefits are paid almost two months after the month they are designated for. I think we will see the real state of America's financial situation if we look at the way it is handling it's "saving money" efforts, including legalizing things that cost too much to deal with in the legal systems. Abortion is promoted, euthanasia is promoted, higher ages are suggested or required for receiving program funds, healthcare is mandated so the government can try to control prescription prices, etc.... if you look beyond the obvious, beyond the rhetoric, beyond the public displays, and recognize the diversions of your attention, I think you will find a foundation that is about to crack into pieces. I know I am trying to figure out what happens when your cash is worthless, and the banks lose what you trusted them with, when stocks disintegrate, bonds become bankruptcy, and there is no where else to turn.
I am relatively new to Facebook and still learning how it works.  I think the link below may be to the individual post, but I am not sure.  It was on the page I gathered it from.