Congress Is Broken!

For way too long Congress has abrogated its responsibilities to its constituents, the Constitution, and this country. I’m of the mind that the original intent of our forefathers was that Congress would make laws and the executive branch would carry them out and do other things to care for the country as required by the law or that might arise from carrying out those laws. That is NOT working. The executive branch has slowly gained the edge on the other two branches either through executive orders or clandestine operations. This isn’t a Republican or Democratic thing, it’s a thing that many presidents have done for their own benefit, and none more than donald trump. (I’m guessing that he went to all cash in his stock holding sometime last week, but we’ll never know.)

Trade wars are bad… No one will come out a winner. But, perhaps a real Trade War won’t happen, I mean, why should China retaliate? We want their materials and we will pay for them. Who is going to go without their iPhone?  I’m not an expert and so I’m sure my friends who are trumpist fan-boys will cry “Bullshit!” But here’s the short term impact…things are going to cost Americans more money. A tariff is a thing that gets added on to the price of a good. So if an iPhone “costs” $900 now, when you add a tariff that cost will go up. Another example is Boeing. That huge aerospace manufacturing company buys a lot of raw material from China, those airplanes will probably now cost more…who knows whether Boeing will be able to pass on those increases to their airline customers, but if they do, the airlines will pass those costs on to us, the flying public. And so, trump says…we will build our own stuff, and we may do so, but not at the cost that they do in China. So those high prices will remain, even if and because making steel in America is more expensive than it is in China. And how long would the rebuilding of a steel industry take? And what about the environment which I am sure will be pummeled during a steel industry sprint. But what if trump changes his mind? The new plants will then be as empty as the old.

Posit this: What if  China stopped buying from us and start buying from the new Pacific Rim treaty organization, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)? China is a huge market for U.S. products and I’m sure that is what the trumpists are hoping will drive China to cooperate. Not sure what the definition of “cooperate” is but if the Chines do cooperate, will trump get rid of the tariffs? That won’t help the steel workers. But what if the Chinese begin to target their products for sale in CPTPP countries and perhaps make America irrelevant in Pacific Rim trade.

Now I want to be the first to say that the claim trump makes about the theft of Intellectual Property (IP) is grounded in truth and it’s not a new thing. All you have to do is look at Russian and Chinese military aircraft which look stunningly like U.S. aircraft. And software…wow, you can buy unlicensed/illegal copies of some of the most expensive software in the world for less than $20 in India and China. And internet technology…like everything the U.S. has been cloned in China. So why doesn’t our government standup to help industry remain secure. Theses are out and out thefts from superb U.S. companies, stolen. But, for some reason our government has never really taken the bull by the horns for internet security. For instance, identities are stolen everyday and yet THAT SEEMS TO BE OKAY with industry and the government. The banks and credit unions reimburse us for any lost funds in credit card system hacks and few, if any, are prosecuted. Millions and millions of records are stolen each year and we classify this as “cost of doing business.”  A complete abrogation of responsibilities from the executive branch as well as congress. Theft of our data is just wrong but industry won’t or can’t stop it and government is no help. So now…these thefts are justification for tariffs. Bullshit.

Congress is Broken

Congress is Broken

no comments
Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

A Poet

Sometimes I wish I were a poet like my friend Steve Duresky. Poets sculpt words and emotions and then fuse and/or mold them into a stream of consciousness absorbed through hearing or reading and then supposedly consumed by the soul. I’d love to be able to “wax poetic” about things of the world, things of love, and just plain things. But alas, no poetry for me, just the “trudgery” of life, flitting from thing-to-thing-to-thing. Oh wait…that’s not baaaaaad. People take photos everyday and I do believe that a person will definitely get better the more photos one takes…even, maybe especially, those taken with a phone. I worry about words. Can you do a poem in 140 characters? Maybe Haiku was ahead of its time.

 

Syracuse University

Syracuse University

no comments
Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

Racism…and “Sticks and Stones”

Just recently, a white person said something inappropriate and ignorant to an African-American friend of mine. The incident was passed on by my friend’s spouse so I’m not sure of the exact words, but, the negative impact on my friend’s feelings and my friend’s interpretation of the words, were what was important. I shuddered, both physically and emotionally and, in fact, am still in wonder. To me, the sense of the word or words that were used objectified my friend, my friend’s race, and perhaps even gender. But, I also wonder about the speaker, the person whose words came so easily to hurt so deeply. What could make that person unaware of the humanity of all? Did that person actually want to make a connection to understand and change but could not properly articulate the outreach? What was that person’s background that seemingly has generated a cocoon of insensitivity and inhumanity? I think applying Christ’s Golden Rule in a case like this would have us not hope for comeuppance for the hurtful person, but, rather a reworking of that person’s human spirit.

This is a shot taken from the inside of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. The shot looks out, through the architectural crown and onto the US Department of Commerce building. Americana.

African American Museum of History & Culture

African American Museum of History & Culture

 

no comments
Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

High School

Another shooting. Crickets in Congress.

Yesterday we found out that an “expelled student” had tweeted his intention to shoot up a local high school and that he will do the deed today! Copycat? Disturbed child? Evil incarnate? I don’t know; I have to believe that someone is investigating.

I read the most incredible things after school shootings, some of them are just beyond comprehension. Gun sales have been down since November 2016, even Remington Arms filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The oped I read suggested that the arms industry might be hoping for a large democratic surge in the 2018 midterm elections since democratic wins always turn into large sales events for firearms and ammunition manufacturers. Some people blame school violence on (1) the parents and/or (2) video games that have made our children callous towards violence. Keep the guns…control video games. Or parental behavior. Hmmmm. Really. People who are really broken will more than likely always find some way to hurt people. The sheer difference in mass is the weapon…all the prohibition of video games, R-Rated movies, pornography…or whatever is not going to change the impact of a firearm like the AR-15 firing magazines of 20+ plus rounds at lightning speed into the bodies of small children. I posit that we have tried for thousands of years to “fix” broken people and that we haven’t been able to improve our success rate, indeed, we only give them more tools for terrible destruction. Of course, one of the “answers” to all of this is to arm the teachers. Of course, the next step will be to arm the students. And on and on and on.

I went out early in the drizzle and stood under the Wilson Bridge. I watched the homeless dig through the trash and the “Far From Homeless” jog on the asphalt trails. Oh, and, I took these photos.

Looking Straight Up at the Woodrow Wilson Bridge

Looking Straight Up at the Woodrow Wilson Bridge

 

Looking Back to Land at the Woodrow Wilson Bridge

Looking Back to Land at the Woodrow Wilson Bridge

no comments
Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

Union Station

My camera, my cane, mi cadera nueva! Off I toddled to Union Station today for a short walkabout. Miss DC was there, on a photoshoot that I was NOT a part of…or at least, not at first. She was nice enough to smile and pose quickly for me between the shots of her photographer.

I was not able to con anyone into giving me access to any behind the scenes places…well, maybe one. Not sure, I ended up back by the tracks and infrastructure and  was pretty much by myself. I took the second two shots of the trains and plumbing. I have no idea what all of the big pipes are for but the darkness of the tunnel I was in combined with the bright floods on the white pipes and red fittings made for a cool picture. There are lots of people who are homeless in the nooks and crannies throughout the station. It was cold out and they were getting warm…I talked with this guy for a bit, he hasn’t worked in years. Off again and then my hip told me to stand still for a while, so I stood on a balcony for a few minutes and shot straight down onto people walking by, I noted that most were alone, not with anyone. I put them in a grid.

Miss DC

Miss DC

Behind the scenes in Union Station

Behind the scenes in Union Station

Trains at the ready in Union Staion

Trains at the ready in Union Station

Searching for a warm place.

Searching for a warm place.

Passersby

Passersby

Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

Menu