I don’t belong to any political party. I vote all over the ballot when I can. I look for the most talented and  best-adjusted-to-the-times candidates. But I do tend to stick to candidates of the two major political parties. Does that make me a Republicrat or a Demopublican? Read and see. Maybe this helps explain why the two main parties are so divided. Lots of citizens are divided, in un-unifiable ways.

I intensely dislike coal and oil as fuels. Every country needs to clean up its air after about 200 years of abuse. But the reality is that coal is currently so much cheaper than oil or natural gas. It’s also a very abundant source of energy in U.S. One quarter of world’s total coal reserves are found here.  There are 26 states producing coal, which means jobs, albeit on the decline. Coal generates around 45% of our electricity.

I dislike oil a bit less than coal but wish it would go away. No chance. It’s still in demand for gasoline, diesel and energy needs. We have to face this fact: OPEC (the oil exporting countries) expects demand for oil to spike roughly 25% to nearly 30 million barrels per day in 2021.  Oil drilling and fracking in this country is a huge job source and makes us energy independent. No more relying on Saudi Arabia. Do we dump those jobs and that independence? Of course not.

So with coal and oil (and natural gas) my attitude is “definitely some day but not right now.” We’re working on sunlight and wind and even ocean-wave power but we’re not there yet. And we need something that will make up for all those lost coal and oil jobs.

That leaves me no immediate fan of that Green New Deal. The cost would be astronomical at a time when Covid has knocked us off our feet. It does not make up for the jobs that would be lost by banning fossil fuels. We already have very unhappy people in the coal states who realize that there will not be a coal comeback, regardless of who’s president. If you, like me, have driven through those formerly bustling towns in Kentucky and West Virginia you’ve seen all the boarded up houses, the ghostly downtowns. Just small malls now with a fast food outlet and a cheap clothes store. Maybe a barbershop. Not much else happening.

Downtown Thurman, West Virginia. 

I’d like more civil discussion with Iran. It’s leaders are neither stupid nor unrealistic. It’s the major player in the Middle East, albeit a Shiite Muslim one and therefore always in contention with the Sunni Saudis. We had a verifiable no-nukes treaty with Iran. President Trump dumped it because it wasn’t a permanent one. Limited time frame. That’s left Iran free now to crank up its nuke research. It’s fomenting great trouble for Israel, too. Talk beats war every time. Talk and sanctions when talk isn’t moving things along.

I’d not talk publicly with Kim of North Korea. He’s one of those 4th world people who come to power by a hand-me-down system rather than election; he’s erratic and operates a broken down system that devastates its people. You don’t want to legitimize him, which is what Trump did by going there to meet him. It made him Mr. Important. All the talking with him should be done back channel. Meanwhile, we stay fully and militarily engaged with South Korea and Japan, neighbors who’s held us exile a nasty neighbor.

I liked Trump’s plan to require our NATO allies to put more money into defense. Not the way he did it. You don’t motivate people by calling them deadbeats in  public. You don’t get a pay raise by telling your employer “you’re a miser and a cheapskate and unless you give me more money I’m leaving.”  You know the standard answer to that: “don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.”

I’m very progressive on social issues such as abortion, same-sex marriage, non-discrimination, better wealth equality, and national healthcare. I think a majority of Americans has moved heavily in that direction in the past few years. The Old South still resists many changes, but even hardcore Georgia is coming around — slowly.

I lean conservative on a lot of debt issues. I operate our home financial matters that way. No big market bets, no unpaid credit card bills, no car payments. I’m 100% for Social Security and Medicare. I’d prefer that SS become self-sustaining by dropping that ceiling of taxable earnings at $142,800 next year. We should all pay SS tax on all earnings above a set poverty level. Currently, you can make $10 million but only pay SS tax on that first $142,800. That’s just not right!

Some worthy debt is okay for the U.S. when interest rates are very low. Not when they are high. The same goes for us as individuals.

I’m okay with military spending on research and development. I think those who say “we don’t need so much” are not in a real world. Russia paid a huge price for not being up to the surprise German invasion of WWII. We paid with Pearl Harbor. South Korea with that war that almost swallowed it.

I’m okay with police. I’m not okay with the state of their training or the state of their transparency or their increased use of military weaponry. I’m also not okay with the number of shootings. Fund the police but override the unions which make dismissal so hard. Police need to be brought into that brotherhood of the firefighters and Coast Guard, not perceived as a Fahrenheit 451 force. More on that tomorrow.

Of utter importance: schools. It’s another arena where unions are wagging the dog. (You see a consistency here, right?) We should be able to quickly get rid of under-performing principals and teachers. I prefer that each state makes it’s own public education rules, not the federal government. What’s taught must be negotiable with the public, especially parents of school kids. Common Core is/was a disaster. And we can dispense with handwriting exercises now in the computer age. If we’re to have national indebtedness, then let it be because we pour so much money into upgrading school facilities and teacher salaries — not for football teams, stadiums, parade grounds. Finance school lunches 100%. Finance psychologist-counselors and security measures.

Lastly, housing. Not everyone can have a house in a high-population-density area. Everyone could have a high-rise unit. Especially those not yet in wealth equality. That’s where my long-espoused adoption of the Singapore Model fits in. High-rise development along transit lines, cluster schools and grocers, government financed sell-backs for those with mortgage disabilities, state-wide Section 8 for those in the poverty class. This empowers those whom the banks won’t finance. In turn, it gives government moral backing for disallowing the homeless on public property.

That’s my partial package. Where do I fit.

—30—

 

Published by Bob Jones

Journalist since age 19. St. Petersburg Times, Noticias y Viajes in Madrid, Overseas Weekly in Frankfurt and Paris, the Louisville Courier- Journal, the Honolulu Advertiser, KGMB-TV, NBC News foreign correspondent in Africa and Southeast Asia, and MidWeek columnist. LL.B LaSalle University Law. 3 years in the U.S. Air Force. Covered: Biafran War in Nigeria (1968) Vietnam War (1969-73), Iraq in 1991. George Foster Peabody Award for distinguished journalism for reporting in China. 2 Emmys for documentaries. Married to journalist Denby Fawcett; one daughter. Brett Jones, foreign service officer, State Department.

6 replies on “Yeah … In Your Dreams!”

  1. As you may remember, I worked for a union in Hawaii for about 30 years and while I consider my contribution more of civil and workplace rights representation as oppossed to alot of the other nonsense, i could not agree with you more that they seem to now be more destructive than constructive. Ive seen the good, bad and ugly and feel over a historical timeline, their once relevent and useful work has now become just useless. The reasonable rules were created and put in place. Union pensions have given way to more personal employer matching 401ks. Union halls, formally used as gathering places for shared knowledge have given way to instant news, google and electronic social groupings. The Janus decision has easily allowed workers to cease union membership and dues paying as condition of employment. Great (and sometimes controversial) union leaders have given way to impractical representaion without the historical relationships with management that were just as important as the “rough stuff” always spoken of today.

    All of this said Jones, why in the hell do people (polticians especially) think these union leaders today are so powerful? Look at what happened to Amemiya after the likes of the HGEA got their hooks in him?

    And……….Im still alive! Be well!

  2. Not much that I can agree about except the Social Security and Medicare. Iran doesn’t have a right to protect itself the same that Presidents and Congress spouts about Israel? Let’s talk about Israel, an apartheid, a human rights violator of the Palestinian People, an immoral establishment because of the Holocaust. How many Americans are aware that new Congress members are sent to Israel for indoctrination? Mazie, Colleen, Tulsi, Ed. went. And you thought that they represented Hawaii. they will espouse when questioned, “ Israel has a right to defend itself.” The indigenous Palestinians don’t? Ilan Pappe Israeli Historian, writes honestly about Israel’s axis of evil. “ From Balfour to the Nakba- The settler- colonial experience of Palestine.” MIDDLEEASTEYE.NET. A recent Journalist John Pilger tweets:” Biden or Trump, Johnson or Starmer(Britain) , atrocities such as this are covered by bogus accusations of anti- semitism, if we allow it. Israel gave 74 Palestinians 10 minutes to pack up their whole lives.” Haaretz.com The atrocities have been occurring since 1948.Why America’s support? My conclusion is that atrocities against humans is what America is about, how it came to be, and how it continues, no matter what Party! 😢

    1. I’m with Patty. If we break with the Israeli link, letting them mediate with their neighbors, we then can get our media back on track to work on our own issues, which are large and looming.

  3. Bob, you’re a moderate. And that’s a good place to occupy because you can embrace good ideas from both sides without getting locked up in the narrowness of “support the Party, or else.” I follow a similar path. Now, about something here. Generally I wouldn’t get personal about comments but when someone calls Israel “an immoral establishment because of the Holocaust”, that kind of blatant nonsense needs to be called out. Patty’s rant reads like a mix of Proud Boys, KKK, PLO terrorist, and American Nazi Party doctrine rolled into one mix. Like them, Patty tells us she supports the baby killers of the PLO and other Arab Terrorist organizations and she probably denies the Holocaust actually happened. I won’t bother to refute her false and malicious comments point by point. From the day Israel was declared a Nation by the UN, various forces (inspired by the Third Reich) have tried to destroy it. Luckily, the decent, moral forces of the World have supported Israel’s survival. As for Patty’s hatred of America, it’s very sad. But she is lucky she lives here where we all have the freedom of speech..something Patty and her ilk would love to eliminate.

  4. Larry, so ignorant! My love of American makes me speak out.To be complacent, is to be accepting of my countries atrocities! We’ve seen a lot during this election year. My ancestors came in 1630’s on my maternal side, my paternal ancestors signed the Constitution, and you are correct I do have the right to speak and question the Zionist and your bull shit that is so detrimental to our freedom, media freedom, University academic freedom-and the Palestinians, Muslim & Christian, right to exist in their country. No one asked the Palestinians if they wanted their land taken to create Israel by the UN. In fact Britain betrayed them. What an utter tragedy!. 750000 refugees, 500 villages destroyed, one village massacred by Zionist, which are as bad as the Nazis. I’ve visited Dachau, Germany’s atrocities were unconscionable, but so are Israel’s.. terrorizing children.Fortunately there are many enlightened people such as I in America. I’ve long been a supporter of Jewish Voice for Peace in the US, Canada, and Britain which supports Palestinian rights to exist and to return. There are journalist with integrity who investigate and report. One,Robert Fisk, died in Ireland recently. The Middle East was his forte. Another, Johnathan Cook, reports from Nazareth. Gideon Levy, Israel.You might check out what they have to say.The US media does a poor job of honestly covering this issue. SA a good example. I’m at the age that I don’t have any tolerance for the ignorant, the complacent! People are dying, children are homeless right now right in our country while billions are given to Israel to terrorize! I object!

  5. Bob it sounds like you are a candidate not a columnist. More like a Chinese communist with housing. Socialist on finances and a moderate liberal on other. If a tru moderate was to speak you would loose. So keep up the one sided editorial.

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