From a birds eye view…

We are en route to Australia.  First stop is Sydney then Melbourne and then the Great Barrier Reef.  There were so many options but we narrowed it down to three. 

Started yesterday afternoon when I picked Josh up at school. He had informed me that he had just puked his guts out.  Wonderful.  On the way to the airport we had to pull over once and then the other time he bravely just stuck his head out the window.  After lots of sleep and a few more times in the bathroom, he seems to be no worse for the wear.  A total trooper. 

I booked this vacation last January.  Getting the flights and the hotel rooms early on sort of guarantees that we get what we want.  There were two options to get here either United or Qanta’s.  Went with United because the cost difference was pretty large.  Now that I am sitting on United, I know why Qanta’s is more. 

United reminds me of what is happening to the United States.  Although I am quite aware, maybe more than most, about all the new and exciting ventures happening around our country yet to me, the country is getting old and tired. On this plane, the technology for the movies is old, the seats are antiquated, and the interiors need updating.  It all works but it is old.  Like our country, our debt and lack of leadership hasn’t allowed us to invest in infrastructures such as state of the art airports or new highways. New Orleans is a perfect example of minimal amount of money being spent to restore a city.  I feel like our country has become tired and fat. 

When I talk to people who have been to China or India, you can see the excitement in their eyes as they tell about the growth.  Even walking through the Frankfurt Airport last summer which is beautiful and new makes me long for that when I walk through JFK, La Guardia or Newark.  First entry into our country you don’t feel like you are walking into a state of the art country but something 20-30 years old attempting to update through new construction that once it is done will be behind the times upon completion. One of the reasons I got so excited about seeing the plans laid out for the Highline is that the architecture, the community use, the greenery is all so grand and beautiful, well thought out and state of the art.  The Highline says hope.  Yet here is a public space that will cost millions to complete and a huge amount of the money must be raised in the public arena.  Why?  Why shouldn’t the Government (Federal or Local) be supporting the future parks?  It is the same thing with Pier 40.  Wonderful ideas coming out of a small group of people who want to create what the community wants with parks and facilities but it is easier for the Government to just hand it off to a big developer who can pay for it without public money or private funding who will just create another boring bland shopping mecca like Disneyworld.  Quite frankly, that is pretty sad especially in New York City. What happens when the money tightens up in the public sector, does the Government just sit by and let the future projects that will keep us looking like we belong in the 21st century, dry up?  What happens when the shopping mecca doesn’t create the economies that were planned.  Do they let the large companies who built the infrastructure just walk away?  Can’t imagine people not using parks but I can certainly imagine not filling up Cirque du Soleil every night or a movie theater or another Gap store.  Does the Government care about that or do they just want to bring in the cash now and screw the future of our communities.

This past 7 years has been an utter disaster.  Run by a bunch of men who were conservative in the 50’s and 60’s and now we are in the 21st Century.  They have held us back as a nation.  They have lived in their own myopic world and let the powerful US become the evil meanie.  We are have become the great and powerful wizard behind the curtain.

Next election, who is going to bring us back to reality?  Who is going to make the hard decisions?  Who is going to put our budget back into alignment?  Who is going to be in touch with our nation now and its future?  Who is going to make friends again with the rest of the world?  Who is going to put money back into the infrastructure of our country through projects, education and growth? 

This pre-election hype is painful to watch.  Why is Iowa the first to decide who the candidate should be?  Wouldn’t it make sense to let Missouri, the state that is more a microcosm of the US?  Regardless, are Iowans going to go in the voting booth, by themselves and pull and lever for a black man or a woman? I am not so sure.  Wouldn’t surprise me to see John Edwards win because he is white and Southern. 

Obama has never sat right with me. I want him to be the guy but he isn’t. I have met him and listened to his same speech and looked at his voting record.  He seems so much like an idealist, like a Jimmy Carter, that I am scared that he will never make a decision but spend more time trying to get everyone behind something he wants but not sure he wants it bad enough to offend other people on that other side of the table.  Is he really a person who can execute and lead?  Not sure John Edwards could lead, maybe I’m wrong but think it might take him a good year if not more just to find the bathroom.  Hilary on the other hand is incredibly organized, has no problem making decisions and does understand how to get people on the other side to some happy medium.  She’d probably be beyond efficient but is she capable to making serious changes in the way our country is run.  We are in need of someone like FDR.  Our entire infrastructure is old, fat and arrogant.  It needs a major redo to bring us into the next century and beyond. 

Like this plane, it works but it could be so much better.  Less than 5 years from now, this plane will be old but capable.  I want it to be cutting edge, state of the art, and leader of the pack.  That is what the US should be or in the end, we will become like England.  Once a ruler now just part of the party when the rulers get together not the leader.

Looking forward to Australian.  More fresh ideas from food, clothing, architectural design, etc. are coming from down under.  They are quite far but change is happening. Australia just elected in a new head of their Government after the old head teamed up with Bush.  Says something.  We are living in a very flat world.  Times are changing and I hope the US will be part of the change.  Right now, from my birds eye view, literally, we are definitely lagging.