Another Sunday…

…with lots to do.  Unfortunately, it’s not for blogging…much…

Work has been busy.  We’re preparing for not one but two huge projects coming up in the next month or so.  This means lots of time at the office, and everything that I normally do at home during the week gets pushed off to the weekends.  Not much time to research and write semi-intelligent posts…but here goes.

I’ve noticed that the Republicans are sorting themselves out as to who will become their nominee for the next election cycle, and Obummer’s camp doing their best to discredit any Republican candidate.  If they spent just half that energy in fixing the country’s problems there wouldn’t be any problems.  But that’s politics, and that is to the detriment of the United States.

Hurricane Irene is causing havoc this weekend along the East Coast.  First an earthquake, now a hurricane (presumably with hailstones).  Makes one wonder what is next.

Two weeks from tomorrow is the 10th anniversary of 9/11.  I’m debating what to write for the occasion.

The blog server is acting flaky again – lost connections to the WordPress database.  Debating (again) whether to move the blog or not to another provider, and if I do, will I be able to devote the time to write?  If the work schedule is like what I think it’s going to be, it’s not going to be worth it.

Off to mow & trim the lawn, pick tomatoes, and all the other stuff that needs doing….  * Sigh *

Berliner Mauer

Fifty years ago today, construction on the Berlin Wall began. A dark day indeed for post-war Germany. Below are a series of pictures that I took of the areas where the Berlin Wall once stood (please ignore the finger in the picture).

When I was in Germany several years ago, my traveling buddy Kevin and I took a bus tour of Berlin. We got off the bus at one of the stops and followed the cobblestones that marked the location of the Wall. Our travels took us by the former Gestapo headquarters to Checkpoint Charlie and on to the Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate). I will say that of all the times traveling through Germany, the trip to Berlin was the most profound to me. A lot of history occurred here.

Perhaps we need to reflect more on the lessons of the past for clues on what to avoid in the future. Somehow, I think that many people (including our politicians) are woefully deficient in this thought process.

Just A Few Thoughts on the Past Week

I really wanted to spend some time to comment in depth on this past week’s debacle from both Houses of Congress and the President, but between being sick and trying to keep everything else together at home just didn’t leave enough time.  So here are a few thoughts & comments on the situation.

Monday and Tuesday this week, Congress passed and President Obummer signed legislation raising the debt limit of the United States and not much else.  Sure, there are promises to do a better job next time around, but that got tossed off to a committee that doesn’t exist yet, so Congress might get off the hook (again).  So does anyone have the confidence that Congress or it’s proxies will do the right thing by the People of the United States?

Apparently not, according to Standard & Poors, who downgraded the credit rating of the United States a notch from AAA to AA+.  Not only that, they stated that it could be downgraded again in six months if the financial situation of the United States doesn’t improve.  They stated:

“The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as America’s governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective, and less predictable than what we previously believed.”

Of course, both Parties of Congress blame the Tea Party for the downgrading of the US credit rating.  Actually, they’re honked off at the Tea Party for bringing to the attention of the American people the fiscal irresponsibility of Congress (no matter who was in power at the time).  Quite frankly, if the Tea Part had not exposed the shenanigans of our elected leaders, it would have been business as usual in Washington – no one watching over the politician’s shoulders and they would do pretty well as much as they wanted.

But back to the point at hand:  The downgrading of credit reflects the bad financial state of the country.  Spending more that what the country takes in and kicking the can down the road doesn’t instill confidence in the finance rating companies.  Passing legislation that does nothing more than raise the borrowing/spending limit of Congress with a promise to fix it later is sheer nonsense.  And the financial industry knows it just as much as the Tea Party.

We have politicians as our leaders, and politicians are not true leaders that keep the citizens of this country as their priority.  After all –

… a typical politician’s primary job is not to serve the people who elected him. His primary job is to get himself (or herself) elected or re-elected. Second is to reward all those contributors that gave $$ to help him get elected. Third is to get as many perks & benefits as he can while he is in office. Last on the list is the common person like you & I.

It is amazing that out of 311+ million people we cannot elect better leaders than what we have.  More is the pity.  I seem to remember a reported conversation between a woman and Benjamin Franklin:

A woman asked Benjamin Franklin what type of government the Constitution was bringing into existence. Franklin replied, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

I think the Republic as the Founders envisioned has been lost, and replaced with something that we just cannot seem to recognize.  Can we citizens of the United States ever get it back?  Only time will tell, and only if the leaders we elect are true leaders, not the self-serving shadows we have come to expect.