Thunker’s Weblog

Congress and the Way Things Never Should Be
October 14, 2011, 7:36 pm
Filed under: politics

Over the past several months we have been the unwilling bystanders as the United States Congress goes through the excruciatingly painful experience of party politics at its worst.  The debt ceiling debacle stands out in sharp relief, along with the most recent rejection of President Obama’s Jobs bill by the Senate, of how our elected representatives place party ideology over public needs.  The public need is clearly diagnosed with the symptoms of unacceptably high unemployment rates, flat consumer spending and home foreclosure rates that scare even the most cynical of economists.  Congress promotes legislative stagnancy with its ideological battles which only is a dis-service to the people Congress is meant to represent.

Albeit the current economic situation is not as severe as circumstances of the pre-Depression 1920’s, the political climate is similar.  The economic policies of Herbert Hoover were analagous with the position of the Republican leadership.  President Hoover believed and the Republicans continue to believe that private industry will eventually come to life, reanimated by some ethereal desire to invest in a failing economy.  Franklin Roosevelt realized that sometimes the economy needs some pushing to get it going again.  It is that same ideology that needs to permeate Congress: get the economy running again.  Paying for the costs of economic investing will largly be paid by the increase in revenues derived from the more vibrant economy.

I am not expounding the generalization that Obama’s Job’s bill was a perfect piece of legislation.  It was, however, a strong message to help those in need.  Congress is sending an altogether different and more disheartening message.

If a reader of this post thinks this is too liberal a view, I am putting Congress under the microscope only due to the fact that the theory that we should wait for companies to begin rehiring has turned into a farce rather than a fact.  Over the past two years, we have been waiting for the private sector to step in and kick-start capitalism.  It hasn’t happened.   And it doesn’t appear that it is going to happen.  With that being the existent scenario, it is justified for government to step in.


Discrimination – Alive and Well
October 20, 2008, 4:53 pm
Filed under: politics | Tags:

One of the interesting  nuances of this year’s presidential campaign is the blatant age discrimination being leveled against John McCain.  The fact that Mr. McCain is 70+ years of age has become the wellspring of comedic material for the late-night talk show circuit, the editorial cartoonist’s brush and the politcal talking heads of the news networks.  Being over 70 has somehow become a liability, whereas in other cultures those of advanced years are honored and respected.

Whatever the merits or failings of John McCain, age should be a factor just as much as race is a factor: neither should be a factor at all.

Barack and the Inability to be all things to all Americans
September 24, 2008, 2:25 pm
Filed under: politics | Tags:

I recently listened to a report on NPR.  The report centered around Hispanic women who had been Democratic supports but had switched to become John McCain supporters.  One of the women interviewed cited her reason for switching allegience was Mr. Obama’s dropping of his Chicago church following the controversy surrounding the pastor.

The Hispanic subject of the interview cited Mr. Obama’s actions as demonstrative of a lack of character.  Why didn’t Mr. Obama stand by his pastor and his beliefs, questioned the woman.  If Mr. Obama could be so variable when controversy arose, then what did he really stand for, except for the ability to be a political chameleon?

I understand the woman’s point in that we want candidates who have a solidity of character.  I couldn’t help but see the irony in the woman’s position.  She had switched her political party affiliation and allegiance because she was upset with Mr. Obama for having done the same thing.

War and Peace
March 13, 2008, 4:55 pm
Filed under: politics, religion | Tags: , , ,

The war in Iraq usually bring more questions then answers.  The typical fare of inquiries run along the lines of, “Whey are we, the United States, even involved?”  Or even better, “Since we are mired in this military muck, why don’t we put all the resources into it available, clean the thing up and head home?”  Well, the political pundits will, with great rapidity, point out that the issue(s) are much more complex then that and more thought and money should be paid to their respective think-tanks.  One of the truths of the Iraq war is that President Bush has engaged the U.S. in nation-building again.  The success achieved in the days following World War II  with the Marshall Plan quickly turned sour with the subsequent failures to spread democracy in places like Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.    Of more recent date, the United States has partnered with the U.N. to try and bring the world over to the U.S. way of thinking.  Again, results have been less then stellar when the existant conditions in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Croatia, and Sierra Leone are brought to mind.

The U.S. has tried several different methods to share its view of the world.  Assistance in its various forms has been the preferred method.  This approach has not been met with open arms for the last thirty years, however.  The approach is met more with suspicion then anything else.  I would suggest a different,  less caustic approach.  By appealing to a nation’s all ready established cultural and religious norms that promote peace would meet with much less animosity.  Instead of trying to force feed Anglo-Saxon beliefs on countries with different norms and cultures, the U.S. should be using its diplomatic efforts to encourage change from within the existant country’s belief systems.  The Koran is replete with admonitions of peace and promises of glory for the peace-giver.  Political harmony is much more achievable by utilizing the existing beliefs then by using a fast-food delivery style that is immediately rejected and scorned.  ‘Nuff said.