Thursday, 26 November 2009

365 days Until the Next Thanks

Another Thanksgiving has come to pass....51 of them now for me.

I am thankful.

I am thankful that my health is great and no issues.

I am thankful that I have a new job about to start.

I am thankful of a kid who did finish school, finally.

I am thankful that the kid did get an apprenticeship....and maybe can eventually earn a real wage.

I am thankful that things have kinda worked out as well as they did.

I sat pondering today with the approaching 2010. I'm finally packing up and leaving Germany....for a new start of sorts. I'm going into the "pit" and getting a chance to live in a radically different place....Arlingtonstan. For some reason, I'm seeing 2010 as a massive restart that I probably needed.

So 365 days will pass....and I'm thinking this will be an interesting blog that I'm going to write a year from now. Things will come to pass....and I'll likely shift from third gear into fifth (maybe).

So as the sun sets....I'm pondering the next 365 days and what they bring.

The "Damn" Decade From Hell (my title)

As most of you know....I tend to regard Time and Newsweek as worthless pieces of journalism. They are begging for people to buy their publications....and will write just about anything....to attract folks.

So you will notice this next week....for anyone who might be stupid enough to subscribe to Time.....the new issue: The Decade From Hell.

Basically from 2000 to 2009....it was a "BAD" decade. They want you to know this. They will pull out forty bad things from the Bush era and attach it to the decade. It's a neat and tidy episode that Time draws.

An attempt to pump us down? I can sit down and pull out the long list of why the 1960s were a terrible decade and screwed up the nation entirely.

I can also sit and write why the 1970s were worthless and gave us no respect.

I could find time to write why the 1980s were a failed era.

I probably could find 66 reasons why the 1990s simply didn't click.....didn't gel....didn't take off.

The next decade? 2009 to 2016? Who knows....but it can't be much of a winner if compared against the past five decades.

Time is doing their best here folks......their absolute best. It's hard to be a major failure of a news magazine and have such marginal profit. You can't attract the best writers. You can't do great in-depth pieces. You can't travel to London and do a big piece on the Thames River. You can't lay out a huge negative piece on Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid because that wouldn't fit with the agenda. So you as a national week-old news pretender are stuck. This is the best that you can do.....and we just have to accept that or not buy your publication.

You can guess my position.

A Thanksgiving Blog

There's a blog out there concerning Thanksgiving and the Pilgrims....chatting mostly how this "socialist effort failed". I spent fifteen minutes reading the piece....and was absolutely unconvinced. The basic argument is that the Pilgrims organized themselves into a commune and then committed every single error that you'd expect out of a socialist experiment.

It's a tidy effort and probably worth analyzing. But there are problems with this concept.

Imagine you going to the local church that you attend.....and convincing forty members to pack up and move to remote place on the Earth. Your chief authority in this endeavor? The Bible. It'll somehow provide every rule you need and give you strength in this great adventure.

So you and the forty pack up and move to this highly remote location....with no outside help. The vast majority of your group have never really camped before. Few of you have ever done any carpentry work. There might be three hunters amongst the group but your food requirements are way beyond the efforts of the three. A couple of folks might be willing to fish but if you limit them to methods of the 1600s....they will be lucky to catch three or four dozen fish a day....which would barely help to keep the group fed.

The effort to have everyone involved in the commune....each contributing some part to the overall mission? Religious conviction might have carried you for thirty days....and then the reality of the mess would have set in. You would have come to see each the sun each morning and regret this religious experience. Yet, the neat thing about a remote location like this...is that you can't just up and leave. They have you stuck....in a place with no escape.

Like true religious fanatics....there are always the outsiders....in this case, the local Indians. The Indians have camped out for their entire life. They've hunted and fished....so they know every trick in the book for putting meat on the table. They've seen good times and bad....and know spring will always come.

I don't buy the 'failed experiment' deal with the pilgrims and socialism. It was a failure of sorts....but more due to stupid ideas about taking a bunch of rookie church fanatics at camping....and setting them in the most remote part of the world. Their naive nature and absolute belief in what they were doing.....were the trigger and the cause of failure.

Just the Rules and Facts of Life

The Republican National Committee guys met, and worked out some formula of sorts...to establish who is Republican and who is not. Basically...from the ten items below....if you disagree with three or more of these...you don't get national funding from the party:

(1) We support smaller government, smaller national debt, lower deficits and lower taxes by opposing bills like Obama's "stimulus" bill;

(2) We support market-based health care reform and oppose Obama-style government run healthcare;

(3) We support market-based energy reforms by opposing cap and trade legislation;

(4) We support workers' right to secret ballot by opposing card check;

(5) We support legal immigration and assimilation into American society by opposing amnesty for illegal immigrants;

(6) We support victory in Iraq and Afghanistan by supporting military-recommended troop surges;

(7) We support containment of Iran and North Korea, particularly effective action to eliminate their nuclear weapons threat;

(8) We support retention of the Defense of Marriage Act;

(9) We support protecting the lives of vulnerable persons by opposing health care rationing, denial of health care and government funding of abortion; and

(10) We support the right to keep and bear arms by opposing government restrictions on gun ownership; and be further

I kinda had to laugh. It's an interesting list. Most are standard Republican positions and have been so for decades. What national Republicans will fail this test? None....I'd wager that not one single guy is denied funding from this list. In fact, in most states...if you had a problem with just one of these items...you'd be questioned already as a Republican.

The next question....will Democrats work up a list of ten thing and deny their folks the same funding....under the same rules? My guess is no. Republicans are typically the only folks with time on their hands...to waste on a project like this. The Democrats will be busy meeting with lobbyists, Chinese guys with money, hookers, and environmentalists, thus using the time more wisely than the Republicans sitting on some third-rate talk show...explaining their new rules.