A Rain Trueax blog created as a place to discuss ideas and explore differences. First will be my opinion, when something has tweaked my interest or I've seen an article I want to share. Then will come your opinion if you choose to comment. This gives us a chance to have a dialogue where we sometimes agree to disagree. Such conversations are, in my opinion, always win/wins. (Of course, I'd believe that-- I am a moderate).

In the sidebar are political sites and blogs. I don't have to agree with them. They are not hate spewing (that is a bridge too far) but they are partisan and discussing political issues of the day. BUT, if they consistently only have a partisan agenda-- and they annoy me-- they disappear for a time-- or forever depending on whether they change the 'error' of their ways ;)

Thursday, April 20, 2017

a book

Although I never read political books written in the decade to which they are reporting (too close to me and not far enough from the events), this one could be tempting (no, I won't be reading it either though).

Even today, the left wing wants to believe Hillary had the election stolen. Americans were stupid or blind. Trump brainwashed them. And on it goes without understanding how the Democratic party is part of the problem and why Trump wasn't the only one winning elections in 2016. 

 Personally, I believe Hillary could not speak to her real goals out of the belief Americans weren't ready for them. She was likely convinced she was right about what she felt should be done. The thing is-- how many Americans support globalization when it impacts American jobs? Being a nationalist has been turned into being a racist by the left, but truly can you help others when your own life or nation is deteriorating?

Most of those, willing to sacrifice jobs here, aren't worried about losing theirs. They are rich, on pensions they feel are safe, or have jobs that are not devalued here by treaties that favor other nations. They may even benefit from cheaper labor at the bottom (all the while espousing a $15 minimum wage, which won't help the bottom when prices rise). 
Obama did not run on being a globalist because he knew he'd lose. He though did a lot to put globalism into our laws and even treaties. The first time I heard him talk about it publicly was after the election. I would say what he's done since the election-- going from one island paradise to another-- says a lot about how he sees this country. The friends he's vacationed with tells something more.

I get it how some argue we are all one. The world is one big whole, and we must all care about everyone, our enemies, and especially the poorest of nations. 

Anyway the book is about the Clinton campaign and what went wrong. I don't think many who pay attention to politics must read it to know. We were reading about it as it went...

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Are all lefties and righties drama queens?

It's beginning to seem that way when I go to a right or left wing site and read the hysteria-- depending on who was winning that day (or thought they were). I have a suggestion. If you are feeling terribly upset, find mixed sources for news or for awhile quit reading news. IF you get your news from Facebook, consider a new hobby.

This morning, a very nice lady wrote on her blog that Trump profited from the Tomahawk strikes. She knew this because of Facebook. Okay... Now I didn't believe she was right (she, of course knew she was) but I went looking for info online regarding how much stock he owned in Raytheon (between $1000-15,000 at one time). Does anyone seriously believe that he knows to the dot how much he owns in anything or that he'd chortle over a profit to a company where he owned such a small amount. My upset friend didn't bother looking at [Snopes] where I found those facts. She had what she wanted-- evidence for his evil deeds-- and believe me, Facebook is full of it, very little vetted by anyone. 

One of my friends at Facebook regularly relies on the Palmer Report for her absolutely true and reliable facts. I have tried multiple times to block seeing Palmer Report given what my research said about them. It always comes back like the bad apple. 

If you rely on Palmer Report, at least know who puts it out. 

Take my word for it. It hasn't changed since the election-- just moved targets. I understand that the left, feeling abused, enjoys reading negative stories about Trump, they enjoy passing them on, some profit from this need-- BUT it won't help anyone's life to get caught up in that kind of cycle of hate and often misinformation. 

For further misinformation regarding the attack on the Syrian airbase, I read her repeating how Trump personally warned the Russians, how the airbase wasn't really damaged since they could use the runway, how civilians were killed hence it's all hypocrisy. For my friend who posted that, I am letting it go. She does it on her own blog and it's her business-- right or wrong. 

The facts might not reassure her-- that our military warned the Russian military as humans weren't the target. The buildings and planes were. We don't destroy runways because (Oliver North is my source) they are too easy to patch and use anyway-- besides we might need them if we are actually planning boots and planes on the ground. The goal was to destroy infrastructure and planes. Supposedly (not sure of source for this) 20% of Assad's planes were destroyed. What we wanted to do was punish the illegal use of a nerve gas that is banned. If Obama had done the attack, the same ones complaining would be saying, how humanitarian. 

I feel bad for my internet friend that she is so upset. My suggestions though on how to feel better won't help her as she is only getting her news from one source (from best I can tell). Is she a drama queen? I don't know her well enough to be sure but she is upsetting herself and about something she has nothing she can do anything about.

If the news is upsetting you-- stop watching for awhile. The problems will still be there when you return to them. You can't vote now. Your letters and phone calls are probably not persuading anyone. Take some deep breaths, get out in nature and remember bad times don't last forever. They just seem like they do.   

Saturday, April 08, 2017

here we go again or do we?

So, it's sabre rattling time again as the world faces those who apparently only see victory in terms of destroying. North Korea keeps trying to develop a way to send a nuclear bomb to San Francisco (a bomb it's not supposed to have). Assad uses sarin gas on children as a way to terrorize his people (and the world). 

As an aside on this topic: if you want me to read your posts (here or elsewhere) putting down Trump, don't call him by a derogatory name. It demeans you more than him, who is unlikely to see what you wrote. I get it how much some hate him but frankly names like I regularly read other places belong in grade school. A serious debate is ended by such tactics, at least as far as I am concerned. There are ways to make clear who you mean without becoming a sixth grader.

Back to the topic of what happened this week in Syria. My main question is not about what was done by the US or whether it'll lead to WWIII. What I want to know is: Why do nations like Russia defend Assad when he uses banned weapons (agreed on by all civilized nations) on civilians? Things like sarin are not even to be used on soldiers but who supports it being used on children?

In short, why did Russia say nothing when the evidence was clear a plane had flown from one of Assad's many airports and dropped a bomb that was outlawed? 

My question also is why does China defend North Korea. Syria and North Korea are clearly not trying to be considered civilized nations. They are beyond the pale for how they treat their own people. As they are currently operating, they have no chance to develop a reasonable life for their citizens while they threaten the rest of the world-- like North Korea threatening to hit someone with a nuke. 

If self-interest is all Russia and China care about, why defend those who would destroy their own chance for a better life with possible wars that never benefit anybody in the end???

I would have thought no one would defend using sarin gas and yet Russia remained silent about that, maybe even helped Assad keep some of it back. The use of it on children has to be called out for what it is-- pure terrorism. I understand the weak, those who don't have strong countries, do feel terrorism is their only choice-- but Russia and China? I want to think of both of them as civilized nations with long histories of cultural development and yet time and again here we are. 

This image is a Dreamscope app using a photo of a campfire on the edge of a lake. It's a peaceful image, and what I'd like to think the world wants for itself-- peace and as good a life as it can manage for its people. Am I naive?

Friday, March 24, 2017

what to care about most...

Right now, for anyone paying attention to the news, there is so much 'information' out there that who can keep track of it all? Some of it very much involves our personal lives. Some is more abstract and about maybes.

Today the House will vote on the GOP 'health' care bill. It sounds likely that it won't pass. No democrats will vote to undo the bill that they consider their signature accomplishment (if you don't count a rising debt, more wars in the Middle East and the rise of ISIS as a worldwide terrorism network). Many Republicans won't support it since they feel the bill is Obama Care Lite or heavy-- depending on whether they are moderates or  conservatives. 

The irony is none of this is about health care. It's about insurance for health care. What the House is wrestling with (apparently) is who should pay for health care. Who should get it? What should it cover? This will not make finding doctors easier or dealing with those suffering from chronic conditions, where most of the high cost is found. It also won't do anything, from what I can tell to allow competition across state lines. With the current situation, there are those in one state paying $20,000 for a couple with a $6000 deductible. In other states, the purchaser gets their insurance cheaper than before the ACA. 

It will do nothing that I can tell to bring down prescription costs. Not a thing to train more doctors, which is how you actually get competition. I am not sure where the issue of a lifetime benefit limitation is but for someone born with epilepsy, this was a big deal. It also won't help with the elderly and the need for nursing home care-- not that ACA did either until someone loses everything and can go on Medicaid anyway. 

All of us, around the world, have to be impacted by the recent terrorist attacks where all it takes is a vehicle and a knife. You can NOT stop that before lives are lost. It's not anything that requires expertise. Where you can stop it is by what is considered very un-PC-- vetting our own citizens. As it stands, we could not arrest someone before they commit a crime. The most recent example of this problem was the radicalized British citizen, born there, who did have a violent record and the government had been aware of his being radicalized. Knowing did nothing to stop what happened this week. It can only be stopped by what currently most of the 'developed' world cannot do-- arrest and put someone in jail before they commit a crime. Lots of luck changing that. As it is, the rest of us have to hope for luck as anywhere in the world it only takes one radicalized person to kill and maim innocents, those who had had nothing to do with what angered that radical :(.

Then there is the accusation of rape in Maryland. A 14 year old girl has said she was brutalized by two youths, 18 and 17 years old, who were attending the high school as freshmen. Both had come from Central America, either as refugees or illegally. Leaving aside that, what I learned about that was that in states across this country, adults can stay in public schools until they are 21 or in the case of Texas-- 26. Now that isn't a big deal for a student who is having a hard time graduating and has been there all along, maybe one who had an illness that pulled them out of school for a period of time; but to me to take young men from a foreign culture and put them in with what amounts to children is insane. For their sake and that of the students, they should have been at a community college, providing their classes for free but where they are in school with those their age.  Apparently schools across this country are not willing or able to take into account cultural differences in their decisions? More PC gone amok.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

worldwide threats

 March 21, 2017 our yard

There is so much of the world about which we know so little. Most of us read about places like Turkey, but what do we really know? I had an English, online friend some years back who had a second home there. It sounded delightful then, but that was before terrorism began to rear its ugly head once again and turn delightful places into war zones. Why does this have to happen? Why can't we all live in peace and not attempt to take over governments or countries? It does not seem to be in the nature of humans-- sadly, as many innocents pay the price for this inability to live in peace.

Anyway this was an article that I thought was important. Was it ever smart to store nukes in Turkey? If so, it appears not so much today.

The world is once again on the brink of more problems than we know what to do with-- like China building up islands in the south China Sea. Like North Korea threatening to nuke the US. Like Russia taking over Crimea and is that all it wants? 

And, what about us, within, where half our country has only one goal in mind-- taking down the US president and making him unable to deal with any of what is out there. If not him, who?

We recently finished watching an interesting documentary on Netflix-- Ken Burns: The Roosevelts. It went from Teddy, through Franklin, to Eleanor's death and had reminders of how our government has struggled to find balance between differing interests while the world throws out its own curves. 

One issue it brought out was how our military had deteriorated before WWII erupted. It wasn't remotely ready, even without Pearl Harbor, for what it was about to face. Back then, it had a people ready to step up to the task and work hard to change that. Do we have that today? We know that we don't have the manufacturing plants that workers back then could turn toward ships and war machinery. We shipped that capability, along with steel, overseas.

One of the arguments recently has regarded NATO and whether we are paying too much of its cost. The problem with the military, there or here, is how it takes away from needed social programs as well as infrastructure within the home countries. If only all in the world would want peace and better lives for all the humans. 

Born in the midst of one war, growing up during the Cold War, coming of age with Vietnam, it seems I've never known a time where peace lasted long. Can that ever be changed? 

Saturday, March 18, 2017

what the government giveth it can taketh away

Americans might be more interested (or should be) in the next government budget than they've ever been with half the country sure Trump is going to sell the country out. 

As a nation, generally speaking, we've been on a certain trajectory begun with the Roosevelts and in particular Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Using the Great Depression, he got many programs in place that his beloved uncle, Theodore, had been unable to do. America has had a kind of dual concept of itself from independent cowboy to custodian of the weak. When you have a dual sense of self, it can lead to what we see today. One side wins. The other is furious at the changes. And then it reverses.

It suggests cutting spending on most domestic programs to increase spending on military, nuclear, and Homeland Security, with his belief we are in trouble with enemies from around the world like North Korea, terrorist organizations, and possibly Russia again. When he says a strong military is a deterrent, I think he means it-- but is he right? When you have a strong military is there a temptation to use it like in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and assorted smaller operations around the world. America has never desired to be the world's mercenary force, but it has happened.

In addition, Trump wants to end minimum tax (something that has nailed his rates in the past) and lower taxes on corporations, where we have a high rate compared to other developed nations, and lower it on individuals with no certainty as to what that would involve.

So what it looks like is more military and less Meals on Wheels where they  receive 1/3 of their funding from the federal government.  

How does cutting a program like that actually save money if it forces the infirm from their homes and into institutions? Or are the critics of the funding right to think that the community will step up especially if it has more money due to lower tax rates?

There has been an economic theory that when the rich get richer, it trickles down. I think that's been proven a fallacy by the immense build up of wealth in the years since tax rates were lowered and their ability to hide money overseas has enabled them to avoid the taxes they might've paid. This is all made possible by government rules.

FDR believed in income redistribution as well as globalization-- though they called it a different name back then. Through the government projects he began, we ended up with some great infrastructures. Eisenhower went a step further with the interstate freeway systems, which allows ease of movement and also the massive trucking we have today. All that, while railroads, after years of much government help, were mostly ignored. Government giveth and government taketh away. 

It is possible that people will step up. In the past the Carnegies and their ilk built libraries, theaters, museums, added to national parks, and they did it, at least partly, to redeem their reputations after the robber baron accusations. Right now we seem to admire those so wealthy that all they can do with it is to use it to buy influence from both parties, which I guess benefits the politicians but the rest of us... not so much.

is one example of how individuals can come together, without benefit of the government (although they do often get tax writeoffs) to do something wonderful for a community. Maybe such will rise again to fund programs like Meals on Wheels which seems such a good thing for all the people-- not just the ones receiving the help.