Journal Politics

Issues of the Day

Once again the urge to write has been slowly and steadily building over the course of these past few weeks as I read the headlines. After reading today’s newspaper this urge has finally bubbled over and if I do not write to release frustrations and disbeliefs I feel that my health might suffer. Each of these issues deserve an entire post but I will do my best to shorten my thoughts on each topic although will most likely be unsuccessful.

1. American Automakers

After seeing a photo of the four chiefs sitting next together at a congressional hearing I could not help but think of the three stooges plus one. They show up in individual corporate jets with no specific plan and demand money as though they deserve it along with their multi-million dollar salaries. It was heartening to learn that they were rebuffed and ridiculed for such nonsense.

However, they now pull publicity stunts such as driving to DC in fuel-efficient cars and stating they will work for $1 for a year as though it is a great sacrifice. They should know that $1 is far too much of a salary for driving their companies into the ground and their failed business models. Regular people get fired for far less but they seem to think they still deserve a salary and should get free money from taxpayers!!

The downside to all this is the hard working people who will lose jobs due to their incompetence. Their main job function and large salaries as CEO are specifically to prevent the entire business from failing which they have failed to do. It seems illogical that a normal sales person will lose his job should he fail to produce but when a CEO crashes his company into the ground they start crying to congress.

I believe that the public recognizes that throwing money at companies whose products nobody wants to buy is a bad idea. On the other hand it would incredibly damage the economy as these giants are deemed “too big to fail.” I guess the old adage “the bigger they are, the harder they fall,” is perfect for this scenario.

The auto companies have done their best to stop fuel-efficient cars and public transportation development for far too long. Now the price is being paid and they believe the American public will get them off the hook. Let them burn but hopefully Obama will come up with some plan to lessen the impact on the American worker.

2. Capitalism

Just a short note that for all the demagoguery on how Capitalism is the “American” way and anyone who thinks otherwise is a Communist, let them be drawn and quartered. Capitalism does not involve asking the government to provide free money to help them make a profit. Capitalism involves failing if the business is inefficient and nobody wants the products produced. Yet, businesses obviously consider hypocrisy to be OK when their business is the one asking for money.

3. India

I was surprised to see the headlines “Terrorists targeting Americans and Britons!” splashed across the headlines last week. If one read the information carefully, that information came from a British diplomat who overheard one guy as an Italian if he was American or British. From that, it morphed into the whole operation was “TARGETING AMERICAN AND BRITISH!!”

Yet, the casualties where over 100 Indian nationals and less then 10 American and British wounded or killed. This makes no sense to me. Imagine if the situation were reversed, the attack happened here, with close to 200 Americans killed and only a few Indians, yet the Indian newspapers shout that the terrorists are TARGETING INDIANS!! I’m certain that the Americans would be up in arms and throwing a fit.

To come to a point, if one American is killed in a “terrorist act” it will spawn hundreds of articles, debates and so on. Yet, when it involves foreign nationals only a handful of articles will be written and soon forgotten. Unacceptable.

3. Christmas

It would seem that I am having a very difficult time getting into the “Christmas Spirit,” these days. The dire economic news plays a small part, but much more it is the society which I have come to not like very much since coming back from Asia. Perhaps the pinnacle example of this is the Wal-Mart employee that was crushed by hordes of animals trying to get a good deal on some trinket. This once act really defines a society at large which has become nothing more than a consuming monstrosity. The point of life in America seems to be to “purchase” to “consume” and to continue doing so in larger and larger quantities.

It has come to the point that when I hear a Christmas song playing on the radio I expect it to be combined with a Gap or Starbucks commercial trying to hawk me some sweater or fancy coffee. The magic and feeling of goodwill has gone out of Christmas and been replaced by cheap sales pitches. When did we let these stupid companies hijack a very special time of year??? I guess it goes right along with being a Capitalist society and the belief that greed and every man for himself is a good idea. Consuming is what matters and any who disagree better get out of the way as exemplified by that unfortunate Wal-mart employee.

The fact is I hate what society has become but am heartened by the fact that Americans in general are great rational people and a backlash is sure to come. America has the amazing ability to correct itself as shown by the election of Barack Obama. I believe that people of any nation are inherently good but it is in America and it is in the basic nature of our traditions and character to be able to change at a more rapid pace than other countries.

However, greed and the constant pursuit of profits are formidable enemies and it may take some time to rediscover that caring for others is what is important in life.

Journal Politics

The Presidential Debate

It has been a very long while since I last wrote an entry in my blog. This may be due to the fact that life doesn’t hold so many exciting discoveries when you’re back in your home country and it’s so easy to slip into monotonous routine.

However after watching the presidential debate I’ve made a very exciting discovery. I am now voting for Ron Paul for president.

Just hearing his name will cause most people to subtly smile as they know he will never be elected and is considered a bit “out there” even when they don’t really know anything about candidates or politics at all.

The reason I have changed my mind is to a well traveled person such as myself, he is speaking the absolute truth that many Americans do not want to hear.

The Republican mentality is that of “America can do no wrong.” They believe America must go attack other nations when “America feels threatened.” And therefore, America must attack the terrorists before they attack the USA. However, Ron Paul is saying that one of the reasons people might want to attack America just may be due to American foreign policy of “supporting dictators,” “attacking other countries” and bullying other nations.

And he is absolutely right.

The thing about most (if not all) of most of the candidates, Republican or Democrat, and like most Americans is that they’ve never lived abroad, learned another language, and thus can never understand a different mentality especially that of another culture. Thus, the thinking is always “us vs. them.” Therefore, when Ron Paul explains that it is the bullying of other countries which creates resentment of America, the other candidates attack him by saying he is reading “their propaganda.”

Every experienced traveler knows that a big portion of the world has really come to despise America due to the foreign policy. Terrorists are not attacking us because “they hate our freedoms,” as the Republican candidates would have us believe. Terrorists attack for a variety of reasons to be sure, but if we fall back to 9-11 as the Republican candidates often do, shouldn’t we look at where those terrorists came from and who is currently supporting their government? Perhaps it is not a question of who supports who but I’m sure the hijackers didn’t wake up one day and say “ya know,, I really hate Americas Freedoms. Maybe I’ll go hijack a plane and crash it into one of their buildings because of those damn freedoms.”

However, most Americans really have no idea what goes on in the rest of the world and believe they are educated by watching CNN or FOX. These people are the majority and therefore will elect the president. Therefore, even though what Ron Paul is saying is spot on, he will not be able to win.

Republicans have become a party that supports and rewards aggression towards other nations. America will be your friend if you do what we say and we will give you money. However, if another nation takes the notion of sovereignty too seriously and it interferes with American interests, then American foreign policy is to interfere with the politics of that country.
It is my belief that most American people want peace. However, it is the government that has created a culture of fear in this country and have them believing the only way to be safe is to stay on the offensive and keep attacking others. The Republican candidates embody this and their ideology is “for security we must attack.”

Yet, I have to be understanding in that most people have not had the opportunity to understand or even try to understand another viewpoint. If someone hates America and wants to do it harm, Republicans believe it is not necessary to look at the reason behind it, or even how they became that way. Their response is to attack. More often than not, the reason might be because of Americas own foreign policy.

Whenever Ron Paul spoke, the other candidates would snicker and smile. The good ole’ boys club they were indeed. By snickering it sends the message of “I think your ideas are so ridiculous I’m going to make a silly face as though we cannot take you seriously.” However, they knew Ron is a long shot so did not waste too much time piling up on him and concentrated their heaviest blows on each other.

It’s ironic that the Christians are in the Republican camp. Doesn’t Jesus say to love one another and turn the other cheek? That has definitely not been the course the Republican administration has been on nor are the current candidates advocating. Such hypocrisy baffles me. Perhaps that is “terrorist propaganda” as well? Speaking the truth has often been a very difficult thing to do throughout history and rarely wins you any friends, especially among the powerful. Jesus did it and look what happened to him.

As I click the button to post this on my site a scary thought just occurred to me. When I was in Vietnam and expressing my political opinion through my website I always had to think, “Am I going to get a knock on the door from the police the next day?” Now, I’m wondering if the American government will pick this up on their scanners and put it into my government profile. It makes me laugh to think how inefficient the Vietnamese government is and how they still probably use manila folders in big metal filing cabinets. Yet, I almost turn pale when I think of how much information the US government probably knows and how efficient it is.

As a last thought: Seriously….. President Huckabee????? How could the USA have a president with that last name… HONESTLY!!!!