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A view from afar

04/08/2014

I’ve not been blogging for a while – some health issues but mainly I just didn’t have much to say. Well, that’s changed.

what are you looking atWhen I lived in the US, I thought it was a pretty awesome place. But like most, I had “US is the best country in the world” blinders on. I am now an expatriate living in a very safe and sane part of México. After living outside of the US borders for almost 6 years, I’ve come to see the US in a totally different light.  The sayings “take a step back. Clear your mind. Refresh your perspective” and “can’t see the forest for the trees” seems, to me, to be very appropriate for the blogs which will follow. Being retired and living in another country allows me to view the US with a little less bias.

mexican american warFirst some “facts” that I have learned over the past 5 some years. The US does not have the world’s best healthcare, that’s a whole blog in itself, nor does it have the respect of the rest of the world. It is an imperialist power[i] and has been since Polk’s presidency. It has the world’s largest military, but hasn’t won a war since World War II. It spies on its enemies, friends and citizens. The citizenry are scared; they are afraid of a black president, people of color, most religions, any language other than English and, quite frankly, their own shadow.

You may not like what he says, but his stats are right on.

I follow the news from the US quite closely; my pension and Social Security are funded from the US and so I have a very vested interest. Some of my comments will probably seem harsh to most readers. But I no longer work for a corporation so I can say it pretty much exactly the way I feel it and see it.

There are so many topics to cover so I’ll start with the one that is at the top of my list – Congress.

baffooneryMy headline for any discussion for the current Congress would be buffoonery. These people are an international embarrassment. The House has, thus far, passed 57 bills to dismantle ACA (Affordable Care Act) knowing full well that it will never get past the Senate or the President. Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. – Albert Einstein. Plus the fact that the US is the only industrial nation without universal healthcare – what a disgrace! The Senate is hamstrung by the threat of filibuster, so it takes a supermajority to get anything out of that chamber. These people are professional (using the term very loosely) politicians; they only have one goal – to get reelected. What the majority of the country wants is immaterial.

gerrymanderingThere’s jobs to be created, infrastructure to be repaired, tax code to be redone and immigration issues to be solved, just to name a few, yet they do nothing. I almost feel sorry for House Speaker Boehner, he has two political parties to herd: Republicans and Tea Party. Those two groups can’t agree with each other, much less agree with the Democrats. And what can he do? With the rampant gerrymandering, whomever wins the primary wins the election. More and more it appears that elections are won or lost in the primaries. I, for one, am not even allowed to participate in the primary because I’m a registered Independent. I’m still waiting for the fiscal conservative, social liberal party.

PollyannaThe US is going to continue this downward spiral (and yes watching from the outside it is spiraling down) until/unless politics can be cleaned up a little. I’m not Pollyanna, I don’t expect honest politicians. What I would like to see for a start is congressional districts based upon natural boundaries: major highways, rivers, mountains – something you can see on a map. The result would be candidates that would have to have a general appeal to win the election – not wingers, left or right.

[i] American imperialism is the economic, military, and cultural influence of the United States on other countries. Such influence often goes hand in hand with expansion into foreign territories. The concept of an American Empire was first popularized during the presidency of James K. Polk who led the United States into the Mexican–American War of 1846, and the eventual annexation of California and other western territories via the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and the Gadsden Purchase. Anyone interested should read “A Wicked War” http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2013/feb/07/americas-wicked-war/

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. 06/08/2014 18:01

    glad you have found a voice for your blog! I look forward to reading more!

  2. 09/08/2014 20:41

    Sorry to hear you have been having some health issues, hope all is well now.

    Interesting what a little perspective can do, eh? I know I didn’t realize how biased the information we receive in the U.S. is until I was able to escape from it for a bit.

  3. Brad permalink
    19/08/2014 10:33

    Great job, Barry. It was always hard to get an opinion out of you! Glad you are feeling better.

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