Current Events Ramblings, August 15

Things are going well here.  I continue to meet various people at the university as they continue to dribble in from vacation.  It's nice to be back in the college atmosphere, though most of the students haven't arrived back yet.  The weather here is very humid, though the temperature has stayed mostly in the mid-70s to mid-80s, so it's not as bad as Houston.  We've had a little bit of rain, but not much, but it's overcast and high fog most of the time.  Dalian is very near the sea--in fact, I think there's a beach somewhere on the outskirts of town, but I'm not sure--so the fog and clouds are to be expected.  I remember, from being in China before, how the people stare at you like they'd never seen a foreigner--and that was true in the 1990s.  But you'd think they'd be used to seeing them here because a lot of teachers are from America.  Maybe it's the cowboy hat I wear to protect my face from the elements.  I just smile, say "howdy," and touch the brim of my hat, and they don't have a clue what I'm saying or doing.

I noticed that the Republican debate and vote in Iowa this past weekend got a lot of play in the media.  There really wasn't a whole lot of substance to the vote, though it did knock Tim Pawlenty out of the race.  Michelle Bachmann won, and Ron Paul placed second, so that's pretty indicative of how off-beat it was.  Michelle Bachmann is a little too conservative, especially on social issues, for too many Americans, and if she starts rising in the polls, the media will do to her what they did to Sarah Palin four years ago--make a deliberate, concerted, unconscionable attempt to utterly destroy her.  An awful lot of people will hold their nose and vote for Obama, regardless of how incompetent he is, just because they can't stand the Christian right.  There are a lot of God-haters out there, folks, many, many more than we might think.  Ron Paul makes many Republicans--including conservatives--very mad, and his statement in the debate that the United States is as fault for our poor relationship with Iran caused some people, like Rush Limbaugh, to go ballistic.  Paul is largely correct, however.  100 years ago the U.S. had very little contact with the Middle East, mostly philanthropic, missionary, that sort of thing.  They didn't have anything we wanted so our relationship with the area was mostly neutral.  Now nearly everybody over there hates our guts, and that's mainly for two reasons--our undying, uncompromising support of Israel, and our attempts to force Western civilization down the throats of a people who don't want it.  That's our fault, not theirs, though certainly some of the tinpot dictators they've had in the ME haven't helped things.  "No entangling alliances," George Washington said, and as usual, the Founding Fathers were right.

I don't know who's going to win the Republican nomination, of course; my guess right now would be Mitt Romney or Rick Perry.  The Republican establishment will back Romney over Perry so he probably has the best chance.  Certainly, nearly anyone would be better than Obama.  He's done nothing but prolong a recession that should have been very short.  He's doing exactly what Hoover and FDR did in the Great Depression, i.e., trying to use government money to drag us out of the recession, and it didn't work in the 1930s, and it isn't going to work now.  So, if he gets re-elected, look for the recession to continue for most of the rest of the decade.  Until and unless we get a pro-business President who will cut regulation, taxes, and government spending, and signal some fiscal responsibility, there will be little recovery.  Some people have argued that Obama is trying to destroy the American economy on purpose, in effect, to punish the country for its historical treatment of "his" people.  I don't know about that.  I'm not going to judge the man's heart, I just know his policies are wrong, he's not encouraging a virtuous, self-reliant, moral citizenship as he ought, and, as a result, the country continues to flounder and sink even further into a financial and moral cesspool.  Congress is no help, either, of course.  There was a tad bit of hope, after the Republicans gained control of the House of Representatives, that they might be able to at least retard the downhill plunge, but they blew it in the recent debt ceiling agreement, allowing themselves to be demagogued by the liberal media.  A conservative Republican President might be able to do something positive.  But, ultimately, the country's problem is moral, not financial, and that's not going to be solved by the current leadership or a balanced budget.  The country is horribly, horribly divided between a strong, anti-Christian left wing and a conservative base that wishes to hold to the traditional Judeo-Christian moral code upon which America was founded and made strong.  That left wing is getting more numerous, and they control the major media and educational outlets.  There's no hope, folks, I'll tell you that right now.  You can't hold back a tide and the United States, by every historical precedent, is headed for disaster.  A few people can see it, most can't, and indeed, most are unwittingly contributing to it.  It's sad.  The answers are right in front of us; they are in history and the Bible, but too many people are ignorant of the former and don't want the latter.  It's a classic--CLASSIC--recipe for disaster.