What is happening abroad?

dinner-with-friendsWhat is happening abroad the USA? Last evening wife and I were invited by a couple friends of ours to their place for dinner. The food drinks and most important the company was as good as always. After some appetizer and drinks we sat down at the table for a steak dinner perfectly cooked on the outside grill. We finished the meal with some dessert that my wife made and some coffee.

We talked about many different topics and subjects. At some point, and for just a couple minutes, we talked about China and the USA. It was interesting to see how some events that have been showing in international news are interpreted. This is the topic of this blog entry.

As we know, in the past year or so, China has started to build islands based on rock formations in the South China Sea. Today the islands have runways able to handle operations for military planes. Missiles and troops have also been deployed to these recently reclaimed bodies of land. Take a look at a map and let me know your thoughts, based on distance, if such reefs are closer to other countries than to artificial_islands_chinaChina.

A few weeks ago, the Hague Tribunal rejected the claims that China is making about the South China Sea based on previous usage. Of course, a few days before the arbitration findings were made public, China rejected the authority of the tribunal and continued to claim that most of the South China Sea falls under their jurisdiction.

Towards the end of the past millennia, the USA made a big push to move a considerable amount of manufacturing from the USA to China. I believe we called it outsourcing and globalization. Politicians, large and medium size companies were behind this shortsighted idea in order to reduce manufacturing costs (and increase profits). The idea was that displaced workers (in the millions) could be retrained to do other jobs (mostly support and sales). That was an outlandish idea but when money talks, politicians jump.

In the past few weeks, news of China building and deploying air craft carriers hit the Internet. China has stolen technical data to build stealth aircraft and now is at a point that they are able to move military power to where they feel is in their national interests. Of course, their national interests appear to be in conflict with the opinion of most countries including the USA. Our Navy is still conducting freedom of navigation exercises in the South China Sea. It seems that in the future it will become more and more difficult to continue such practices and there might be some armed conflicts in the not so distant horizon.

china_aircraft_carrierThe ideas of China claiming ownerships and exploiting the natural resources found in the South China Sea are not new. That has been going on at different levels since the 1950’s. What has dramatically changed in the past couple decades is the economic power in China fueled by the fleeing US industry.

We are all familiar with the concept of American Ingenuity. In my opinion it comes from the fact that people were forced by need to come up with novel ideas to be able to conquer and adapt to the needs and demands of the land. That is how starting in the east coast, through a couple hundred years, people built new machines to cover long distances by land, air and sea. We also had to feed and house more and more people so developments in such sectors took place.

Today things have changed. We can travel from any place in our country to another in a very short period of time. We are developing new technologies in some fields. Life is good.

On the other side, we are a large contributor to pollution of the atmosphere, oceans and land. There are many people that do not understand the causes of global warming and how can we contribute to reduce the effects that might (they will) change the world and our way of life.US Toxics

Abroad, in the past few years we have observed issues / developments in China, Europe, Iran, Russia, Israel and Latin America. It seems that in most cases Not to say all) the USA has not been able to manage or lead such changes. At this time, China will continue to expand its economic and military power and will dominate and control Asia. Russia is having some economic trouble given the sanctions that were imposed for their invasion / occupation of Crimea. It was Putting that spearheaded lifting the sanctions from Iran and allowing them to rebuild their economy and become a nuclear power which in the long run (no more than a decade) will create serious problems in the Middle East. By the way, Russia is selling advanced weapons systems and several nuclear reactors to Iran.

iran_russiaThe European Union is collapsing. The recent departure of the UK and the huge influx of refugees are going to have a toll on the European economy. There is no way that millions of refugees seeking asylum can possibly be accepted in Western Europe. Politicians can say whatever is politically correct for them to be elected and stay in office, but the matter of fact is that Europe does not have the necessary resources (money) to educate, house, feed and offer jobs. Not too long ago the economy in Greece was in need of several multibillion dollar monetary contributions to keep them afloat. The unemployment is Spin is very high. Italy is not doing so well either. It seems like at this time, Germany and France have relatively stable economies. Will they be able to fund the migrant crisis being experienced by the European Union?israel_russia

Israel has always been a good U.S.A. ally in the Middle East. In the past decade our relationship has been fading. Israel is starting to do much more business with China and Russia. A large percentage of the production of raw materials and raw foods from Latin America is being absorbed by China.

Seems like the USA presence in the world is quickly fading. So what is going on inside the USA? Besides currently being one of the best countries to live in, things are getting more and more interesting.

Healthcare_Costs_Per_Capita_USAHealthcare, education and manufacturing have almost collapsed. I believe we have already discussed what caused the manufacturing problem. Let’s look at education. In America we pay the most amount of money for K-12 education in the entire world. Yet we are ranked 15 in results. Politicians and unions are not interested in teaching our children. They are only interested in staying in office and getting benefits that our economy can no longer sustain.

In healthcare we have a very similar situation. The costs of healthcare are the highest in the world yet positive outcomes are ranked 13th. In the past few years costs for insurance and medicines have skyrocketed. Quality has gone down.K-12_education_costs

This is an election year. About 8 years ago and then four years later, we elected an African American president. Many voters were under the impression that it would dramatically help among other causes, the divide between African Americans and Caucasians. If you watch the news on TV or read them on your favorite electronic gadget, besides the Olympics there are constantly death of African Americans by white police officers. I happen to be a white male. I am a law abiding citizen. Happen to have a concealed and carry permit issued by the sheriff office of the county I live in my home state. I have researched how should I behave if for some reason I get pulled over by police after what happened with Philando Castile in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. That is not something I would brag about.

permit_holder_killed_by_policeSo what can we do to help with the current and future situations in the United State of America? In a few months we will be able to vote in the presidential and local elections. Please think about who will get your vote. Instant gratification and political party lines have not worked in the past 60 years or so. We need to send politicians a strong message that we want to rebuild America and help the world. Voting for a black president because one is black is as bad as voting for a woman if you are a female. If after reflecting on the candidates (not on their2016-Election

promises because they are typically empty to get your vote) you vote for the one you believe will be best for America, you will fulfill your duty for yourself, family, and Americans.

The Naïve American

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