Sunday, June 19, 2011

Another President from Texas?

I just watched a blistering speech by Governor Rick Perry of Texas. A combination of Jefferson Davis and Davy Crockett this speech was the kind of red meat that Conservatives love and it looks like he is going to run for president. So here we have it our deep thinking, socially liberal president of the future, who comes from Hyde Park in Chicago against a man who comes from the cotton fields of Abilene, Texas and who once said that Texas ought to leave the Union.

What will Americans choose?

Frankly, I think the Texan wins.

For all the "Yes We Can" rhetoric of the Obama campaign the thing that President Obama has not done is crush his opponents. The fact is that Progressives in the United States have not had a leader who crushed opponents since President Johnson. To put it simply in America the Right does what it wants and its followers are rabid supporters while the Left retreats to its enclaves and complains.

In 2009 the Democrats had complete control of the Federal Government. They passed some good legislation. But they also compromised with those who lost the election and in the end what we got was a muddle rather than change we could believe in. Can you imagine Franklin Roosevelt running this that way? Within a year of his election there were pictures of the President everywhere. Within a year of President Obama's election 50% of the country thought he was a Muslim Communist who caused the Recession. This is because the Left refuses to fight to win and the Right does not do that.

America has been destroyed by Conservative policies. In 1980 America was the world's leading exporter and was the world's creditor nation. In 2011 American companies created more jobs in China than in the United States. In 1980 America was a leader in many sectors. In 2011 we are a laggard. For most of the 1980's, 90's and 2000's we have been governed by Conservative policies. What have those policies gotten us;

1) We have outsourced or off shored millions of jobs.
2) Once Thriving Cities have fallen into the abyss while Southern states, subsidized by Northern Taxes to pay for Water and Power (See Dallas, Atlanta, Las Vegas and Los Angeles) have undercut them.
3) Deficits run up by presidents Reagan and George W Bush turned America into a debtor nation yet our poor Liberal President Obama is blamed for spending?
4) Deregulation of Banks caused the largest financial crash in 70 years. Now the Republicans want to destroy any reform.
5) American used to look forward to pensions and retirement. Today most Americans born after 1950 will NEVER retire.
6) The American Public University System the pride of the country is being systematically defunded so that only the elite can afford an education.
7) Americans have not seen their wages rise in real terms since the 1980's

And this plan is what Rick Perry has in mind for the United States. Rick Perry wants to finish the job of turning America into a nation where "success is rewarded" which is a euphemism for
helping the successful and ignoring the rest.

In fact America and Brazil have traded places. While we were wasting trillions in Iraq, Afghanistan and bailing out unregulated Banks and "opening" our markets to "free trade". Brazil spent its money educating millions of children, building work class infrastructure, creating a bio fuels market that makes the nation self sufficient and protecting their core industries. The Germans have a high value export driven economy. The Chinese are spending millions sending their best students to American Universities and repatriating these students to their shores we on the other hand are building walls and fences to keep people out.

For those of us who so want President Obama to succeed we wait in horror for another President from Texas.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Valley of My Ancestors

To Most Americans, even those of Italian descent, a visit to Italy is a combination of tourism, gelato, and Roman ruins. But for me Italy is always a visit to the valley of my ancestors. As a poet and writer I am always listening to the music of a place and Vestone the town where my mother is from and my family has dwelt since at least 1500 is a feast for the aural senses.

First off as a person who speaks Italian, Portuguese and Spanish I am very attuned to Latin languages and the dialect spoke is eastern Lombardy is a delight. The guttural sounds and sounds that combine French and Provencial with an almost round sound and then enters sharp and hard grunts that create a language that frankly is so superior to the sweet language of Dante and St Francesco that it pains me why more poetry is not written in that tongue.

The valley where my mother is from is a deep green. With small towns that no tourist bothers to visit but it is a place we are connected to and while my family and friends there are very stylish, frankly the guy who takes care of the goats is more fashionable than most Americans there is a sense of style that I as a fat American cannot but attempt to imitate. Lake Garda another spot of family is just beautiful and my relatives there are just delicious.

The ten days I spent in Italy, more particularly the Valle Sabbia of the Province of Brescia was delightful and to be in the valley of my ancestors, eating Spiedo, Polenta and great Red Wine with a piece of Bagoss.... pretty damn good. You can keep Florence and Milan I will take Vestone everytime. With a side dish of Padenghe and Lake Garda as dessert.

Friday, June 3, 2011

America Causing its Own Decline

The Economy is Stagnant. The May Jobs Report is a disaster. A whole generation is seeing future wash away. If you wanted to know what it felt like in the 1930's you now are getting to feel it. The difference however is that America has always been optimistic until now.

61% of Americans believe that they will never be as prosperous as they were before the Great Recession. Yet in Washington we are arguing about Ayn Rand and Franklin Roosevelt. Lets be honest for the past 30 years America has made a series of bad decisions. Now America needs to make things right. The answer is not ideology. Paul Ryan is wrong and so is Barack Obama we need America to stop arguing and work together.

I think that the US should force Sean Hannity and Rachel Maddow to merge their TV shows. Make one side political show illegal. As we watch America decline I think about Rome and Britain and grieve the America of the mood walk is gone perhaps for ever.