My life in Colombia

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The state of affairs in US politics, as I see it

Feb. 12, 2020
An old farm in central Washington.

As I sit here this morning listening to the news, the talking heads are saying that for a campaign runner to win California they will have to through a ton of money at that state. I'm left wondering why has the presidential campaign turned into a money show? The more money a person has to through around the more likely they are to win the nomination. That isn't right. The person who wins the nomination should be the one most qualified to be the president, not the one who has the best money-machine.

Millionaires and billionaires are the last people qualified to be President. So why do people vote for them? I don't understand, it boggles my mind why someone would vote for an unqualified bazillionaire to be the President of the USA. To those who do vote for such people - don't you think about anything other than the words they are spewing? Since when have you been such a huge supporter of such people? Especially if you are not among their circle of personal friends. In what way do those people relate to you and your station in life?

Then there are the elderly people running for president. First, I will not vote for anyone over 60 years old. I don't care who they are, how much money they have, how much experience they have, who their relatives are/were. They could be starting a stint of 4 years, possibly 8 years, in possibly the most stressful job possible. And while in that job they are also slowly losing their mental capacities. Yes, that will happen to every one of us, like it or not. I'm not too far from that part of life. I'm not 40 anymore, those old people running for president might appear "well and good" in their TV ads, but what will happen in 2, 3, 4 years when they are not thinking so clearly? I think the answer is clear, just look at the guy sitting on his fat butt in the Oval Office right now.

What happened to the Republican Party? My late wife, Cheryl, was a registered Republican, and I think she would be beside herself in disbelief by what they have turned into. The Republican Party has turned completely away from their roots and turned their backs on the constitution and on their own oath of office. Their job is not to defend the President, it is to defend the constitution. That appears to be the last thing they are interested in doing at this time.

This is only my complaints about politics in the US, I am also going to posit a few changes I think would be worthwhile in light of how things have turned these past 4 years.

  • Like some sports, put a money cap on the campaigns. No more bazillionaires buying their way into the race; no more fundraisers to get millions from businesses and people. This race should be about qualifications, not who has the richest campaign.
  • Tell the media, ALL media, that they must provide equal time to all candidates and if the submitted ads are about the campaigner himself/herself, not about an opponent, then the ads should be FREE. In other words, if the ad has a positive, self-building message, there's no cost to get it out to the public. If the ad is attacking an opponent, charge a huge fee for it. And if the ad is found to be a lie in any way, it must be blocked. Truth in advertising is something that seems to no longer exist. That needs to be changed.
  • Polls. There are too many polls, and they start much too early, get rid of them. They are polling people, and people change their minds, frequently. A poll might be reasonably accurate, but in two weeks, forget it, and look at another new poll, then in two weeks do it again. They are a waist of time and money. If for some reason beyond my mental capacity to understand, then do one poll a month, and limit the number of polls to no more than 3 and those should come from different sources using different questions.
  • And finally the most important to me is GET RID OF THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE. Dear lord that system is antiquated and irrelevant and doesn't work as it was meant to, anymore. Whoever those 538 people are they have proven they don't care about representing the voters of the state they represent, they only care about who will pay them the most for their vote, or whoever they prefer rather than who the people of the state prefer. The Founding Fathers created the EC as a compromise between the Senate voting for the President or the popular vote electing the President. It was supposed to be a little of both. It has proven it doesn't work as intended. The so-called "battleground" states are too strong in the vote, they have too much representation. Those states include California (55 EC votes), Texas (38), Florida, New York (29 each), Illinois, Pennsylvania (20 each), Ohio (18), Michigan, Georgia (16 each), North Carolina (15), New Jersey (14). Those states are all, except 2, in the Eastern US. If you live in the Central states with only 3 - 6 EC votes, do you seriously believe your personal vote counts?
    The EC needs to be removed from the Constitution, but the Constitution is holier than the Bible in the US, so it won't be removed.
    This brings me to what should naturally follow such a move - use the popular vote for electing the President just as it is used for all other elections in the country. The popular votes works in most, if not all, other countries. The person who wins the office did so because the people of the country chose that person. You know that your vote counts. With our system using the EC your vote doesn't count, it doesn't matter, we've seen that in several elections now. In 1824, 1876, 1888, 2000, and 2016 the EC voted the opposite of what the popular vote (the people's vote) wanted.
    The popular vote isn't just a one-off election. If there is a tie there is then a tie breaker election. The candidate that wins the popular vote by even the smallest margin wins the office because that is what the majority of the citizens want. It is not according to what a very small group of people think is best for the country, or who padded their pockets the most, or whatever other reason they may come up with for not following the will of the people.

The Fool On The Hill right now is beyond anything our country has ever seen. He has taken everything the Presidency represents and has thrown it out the window. Is that what you wanted when you voted for him? I certainly hope not. But you got what you apparently wanted - a rich, indecent, out-of-touch, not-the-brightest-candle-on-the-shelf President who has upended the US and destroyed everything we stand for and our reputation among the countries of the world. If you agree with all that and think he is such a great guy you will vote for him again and I think that would be a shameful thing to do, to continue the flushing of the USA down the toilet.

At the top I expressed my feelings in regards to elderly people and millionaires running for President. So who will I vote for? Not an elderly person and not a millionaire. This year, anyone will be better than the current Fool On The Hill, but not another elderly person and certainly not another millionaire.

Happy New Year and why are you feeling sad?

Jan. 1, 2020
New Year's Celebration in Cartagena, Colombia

New Year's Eve - why do people "feel kind of sad"? That is what I hear from people, even right now on CNN the talking heads are saying that. I don't understand it. I don't feel sad. I've never felt sad at the changing of the year. I don't understand why people would feel sad for the year changing. Why don't you feel happy that you have another year to look forward to? Another year to maybe make changes in your life.

I haven't stayed up to midnight on New Year's Eve for many years. Not even when Cheryl was still with me did we stay up to watch the fireworks, not every year. One year she and I drove down to Nogales to watch the New Year fireworks there. It wasn't much, of course, being such a small town, but it was different from the norm, and we enjoyed it.

If I remember correctly, Cheryl never talked about being sad at the changing of the year. And in my childhood it was never a time to be sad. I just don't get it - why are people sad at the changing of the year? If anyone can explain please do so in the comments box at the bottom of the page.

About the picture above: That picture is of the New Year's Celebration in Cartagena..

For me, the changing of the year is a happy time, and tonight I go to bed with a smile on my face because a dear friend sent me a video of her speaking in English and wishing me a great new year.

Happy New Year to Everyone! Smile! Put on a happy face. Put the negativity behind you and look forward with a positive outlook. If you can do that, you'll be happier in your life, overall.

Happy New Year

Dec. 31, 2019
The Aduana (customs) building in Barranquilla, built in 1919.

Another year is behind us,
We made mistakes, you and I,
What will we do about them?
Dwell on them until we are bitter and sad?
Or put them away and move forward?
Move forward to where? A new year,
A new opportunity, to write a new chapter,
in the story of our lives.
I, for one, am looking forward
to what might be in store for me.
I wish everyone a great and fantastic 2020!

About the photo above:

Antiguo Edificio de la Aduana

This historic building, called the "Old Customs Building" in English, was built in 1919 by the English architect Leslie Arbouin. The building was restored and modified in 1994, and is important to imports and exports from the local port in Barranquilla. Since its reopening, it has been given several new uses. There is the Biblioteca Piloto del Caribe (the Caribbean Pilot Library), the Archivo Historico del Atlantico (Historic Archive of the Atlantic), the Modern Art Museum, the Hans Federico Neumann Center of Musical Documentation and some important administrative offices of Baranquilla.

Merry Christmas

Dec 25, 2019
Christmas display in one of the city parks.
Merry Christmas to everybody! I hope everyone has a great day.
By the way: I'm not using Facebook anymore. I can't get logged into the stupid thing, no matter what I do, no matter what password I use, nothing is working, and I really don't care. If, by chance, I do get logged in some day, I will delete my account.
Me on the old Muelle (dock)

Chip Wiegand

Contact me: Chip Wiegand

I teach english as a foreign language in Colombia. I'm from Kennewick, Washington, USA. In my previous life, as I call it, I was an IT guy, systems administrator, computer tech, as well as a shipping/receiving guy and also worked as a merchandising guy for a year for a camping/RV accessories store.

Expat in Colombia - Where Expats Blog

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(Atlántico, Colombia)

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© Chip Wiegand -> I hope you enjoyed your visit!