Merry Christmas, My Friend by Corporal James M. Schmidt, former U.S. Marine First published in "Leatherneck Magazine", December 1991
'Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone, In a one-bedroom house made of plaster and stone. I had come down the chimney, with presents to give and to see just who in this home did live.
As I looked all about, a strange sight I did see, no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree. No stocking by the fire, just boots filled with sand. On the wall hung pictures of a far distant land.
With medals and badges, awards of all kind, a sobering thought soon came to my mind. For this house was different, unlike any I'd seen. This was the home of a U.S. Marine.
I'd heard stories about them, I had to see more, so I walked down the hall and pushed open the door. And there he lay sleeping, silent, alone, Curled up on the floor in his one-bedroom home. ,
He seemed so gentle, his face so serene, Not how I pictured a U.S. Marine. Was this the hero, of whom I’d just read? Curled up in his poncho, a floor for his bed?
His head was clean-shaven, his weathered face tan. I soon understood, this was more than a man. For I realized the families that I saw that night, owed their lives to these men, who were willing to fight.
Soon around the Nation, the children would play, And grown-ups would celebrate on a bright Christmas day. They all enjoyed freedom, each month and all year, because of Marines like this one lying here.
I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone, on a cold Christmas Eve, in a land far from home. Just the very thought brought a tear to my eye. I dropped to my knees and I started to cry.
He must have awoken, for I heard a rough voice, "Santa, don't cry, this life is my choice I fight for freedom, I don't ask for more. My life is my God, my country, my Corps."
With that he rolled over, drifted off into sleep, I couldn't control it, I continued to weep.
I watched him for hours, so silent and still. I noticed he shivered from the cold night's chill. So I took off my jacket, the one made of red, and covered this Marine from his toes to his head. Then I put on his T-shirt of scarlet and gold, with an eagle, globe and anchor emblazoned so bold. And although it barely fit me, I began to swell with pride, and for one shining moment, I was Marine Corps deep inside.
I didn't want to leave him so quiet in the night, this guardian of honor so willing to fight. But half asleep he rolled over, and in a voice clean and pure, said "Carry on, Santa, it's Christmas Day, all secure." One look at my watch and I knew he was right, Merry Christmas my friend, Semper Fi and goodnight.
Mery Christmas and God Bless to all who the brave men and women in the USA Armed Forces.
After today's posts there will be a post on Christmas eve but that will be it until after new Years.
In 2009 I am going to attempt to give the President Elect Obama a honeymoon and avoid blogging him. I actually think that since he is entitled to that (unless he does something really bad ) But I do have some controversial things I plan to Blog on.
Education whats wrong with it and how to fix it.
Christianity positive influence or not? Which religion is true and how to tell. Christianity and the founding of our country. I recently got in a heated discussion on these subjects on another blog but for some reason the thread was deleted. So we will have the discussion here. It should be scads of fun.
We will also try to discuss economics. Here is hoping their are some economists out there who can help with that discussion. Oh yeah and a farewell blog to president Bush.
I’ll be frank, this economic crisis has had me baffled. I can not understand how 10% of mortgages in the US being at risk can sink a global economy. I am now subscribing to a straw that broke the camels back or in this case consumer confidence theory.
I have been listening to a lot of pundits on the subject. I heard a really good interview with Steve Forbes Saturday morning he seems to have a good handle on the why and the how to fix.
Anyway we do need to learn from our mistakes and to that end I have put together a list of things I think led to this. This will not be a list that bashes one group, person or party because frankly everybody has some skin in this game. Here it goes not in any particular order. Just free form.
1. Politicians who cannot control their need to spend taxpayer dollars. 2. An economic policy that kept the dollar to weak. (Thanks Alan Greenspan) 3. Consumers who went into hock up to their eyeballs. 4. Failure to regulate Fanny and Freddie Mac. 5. Greedy, stupid bankers and Wall Street moguls. 6. Investors who focused on short term stock prices rather then the long term health of companies and the Boards of Directors who let that drive their decisions. 7, Corporate CEO’s who wasted money on luxuries like corporate jets and fancy parties (take a lesson from good old Sam Walton) and the stockholders who paid them ridiculous amounts even when they did not perform. 8. New accounting rules that needlessly destroyed the book value of some financial institutions. 9. Politicians who mandated banks make bad loans so more people could own homes. 10. Panic.
Feel free to add suggestions for additional reasons. i am sure I missed some.
The last piece in my series on a Republican platform. What to do about the social issues. My answer is no surprise. No big changes. The Republicans gain more votes then they loose by supporting Pro Life, Pro family. Conservative social values. Survey after survey has shown this. For instance single issue pro-life voters outnumber single issue pro-choice voters 2 to 1. Most of the people who support liberal social policies and vote Democrat are not going to start voting Republican if the Republicans abandon those issues. Conversely a large number of Republican voters will stay home or migrate to third parties if the Republican party abandons conservative social causes. I am not arguing that this makes sense I am only stating facts. The Republicans do have to do a better job of explaining their views but that's another issue. On the two big ones I would try to accommodate some tweaking and too that end I have a massage to my religious conservative friends. I have been thinking about what Cal Thomas has been saying. He is right to a point. I do not think the Christian Right should abandon politics but morality does not follow the law the law follows morality. So you should spend more time on convincing the the world to be moral and then the laws will follow. Also think in increments. Abortion is a good example. An overwhelming number of Americans support abortion restrictions except where the life of the mother is at stake or in cases of incest and rape. We loose them when we insist that it be restricted in those instances too. I am not saying morally you are wrong to restrict it in cases of Rape and incest but that only accounts for what 1% of all abortions, Wouldn't it be great if we could stop 99%. We might be able too if we convinced the public we were the moderates on the issue by taking that circumstance off the table. Do that and eventually people will come to see it our way on the rest. Another big one Homosexuality . NO one should be discriminated against in housing and employment and government should not be telling people what to do in their bedrooms. We should say that. However we should also say that it is not the governments job to give affirmative approval to a lifestyle that a majority believes is of questionable morality. That is an important distinction. The Republican party and the Christian right need to discuss openly and come to terms with how theses issues are presented but it would be a great mistake for them to part ways.
I love Christmas and listening to Christmas Carols. So as my family gets ready to meet the day we listen to Christmas music on a station that plays nothing but from Thanksgiving till New years. This morning that sappy song from the 1980's African Live Aid concert came on. You know the one where they sing about "and there won't be snow in Africa this year."(1 ) (I much prefer the classics ). Any way I mentioned to my teenage son where that song came from and ended with the comment and they are still starving in Africa.
My Teenage son immediately responded with "That's because they are all run by dictators. if we just went in and removed the dictators they wouldn't be starving. I don't understand why people think its wrong to use military action to remove dictators." And the UN is no use because most of them are dictators."
Out of the mouths of babes comes wisdom.
(1)Nothing in the post should be considered a denigration of the efforts of Live Aid to get food to starving people. I applaud private charity work to relieve suffering if even temporarily. It is however a sappy song.
My favorite Bush is the one who didn't run for president. The articulate and popular former Gov. of Florida Jeb Bush. Not that I want to see any more Bush's run for President. I do think Jeb would be a great Senator and would win. News reports are he is considering running for Martinez's seat. Martinez has announced he is not running for re-election in two years.
Why do I like him. He is nothing like his Dad or Brother. Besides being articulate he says things like this.
"In an interview with Politico immediately after November’s election, the former Governor said the Republican Party should take four primary steps to regain favor with voters: show no tolerance for corruption, practice what it preaches about limiting the scope of government (“There should not be such a thing as a big-government Republican”), stand for working families and small business, and embrace reform. Bush said conservatives should “do the math of the new demographics of the United States,” explaining that the Republican Party “can’t be anti-Hispanic, anti-young person, anti many things and be surprised when we don’t win elections.”
As part of my continuing series on a new Republican platform lets talk about Education.
The Republican platform for a national education policy should be......a policy that we not have a policy. I'm not kidding. Newt Gingrich was right 10 years ago. Abolish the Department of Education. Think about it. The DOE was formed in the 1970's under Carter. Since then has our Education system gotten better? It has not. Look at the recent foray into education policy, No Child Left Behind is a disaster of a policy. By any measure we are failing.
This is because education is a local issue. It is a local issue because what determines how a school system performs is more then anything else the culture of the community. Yes quality and dedication of teachers and facilities condition play a role but the overwhelming factor is culture. What value do the parents and the community as a whole but on education.
Our education system needs to be reformed radically but it can not come from the top down it must come at the local and state level. This is where federalism can shine and states can innovate and try solutions that meet the particular needs of their communities. Innovation is the key to revitalization of our educational system. Some great ideas are floating out their and will be the subject of future posts but for now the message to the federal government is back off.
The key is to present this the right way. Giving power back to the States and Communities to educate their children. We are going to let the states find the right course. Giving power back to the people. These are the things that need to be said about education by Republicans.
I must admit I am pleasantly surprised. While I am sure I have some policy differences with President elect Obama's cabinet appointments so far they seem like competent appointments and none that would appear to want to drag the US in a radical direction. This is a good thing for the country on these perilous times.
Their has been a lot of questions about why he would appoint Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. Putting a former rival in a powerful position where they can undermine you is a dangerous proposition. Their are a lot of reasons why appointing her might be good or might be bad. Lets throw out one really devious reason that someone would do that. I am not claiming this is why the President Elect appointed her but if someone where an evil genius consider this. She has to give up a powerful senate seat. If a year or two years from now she gets fired as Secretary of State she has no platform for her future political aspirations. Think about it. (just for fun)
A bright spot for Republicans; Obama has picked a couple of popular governors and senators to be in his cabinet.
This now gives the Republican Party a better chance to win those seats.
The Republican Party needs a new Foreign Policy Platform.
I was a supporter of the Iraq war. I believe it was a just cause and it advanced freedom in the world. I do not understand how the removal of a brutal aggressive tyrant can ever be a bad thing for the USA or the rest of the world. However, I have learned that the American public does not have the stomach for a drawn out conflict unless there is an eminent and direct threat to this nation. That reality though disappointing must be considered. Our current posture needs to be rethought. We must be muscular but more low key. Not isolationist but not so willing to carry all the water. Energy independence is one of the keys to an effective foreign policy because it will allow us more room to maneuver in other areas.
Here are a dozen points for a new foreign policy.
1. We will use all non-military means at our disposal to promote freedom in the world. This includes democracy, personal freedoms like speech and religion and economic freedom.
2. If our national security is directly threatened we reserve the right to act swiftly, unilaterally, and with maximum force.
3. If you harbor our enemies we reserve the right to take appropriate military action on your soil and against you if needed.
4. If an ally of ours is subject to an unprovoked attack and we are asked for assistance we will stand by our allies. This includes responding in kind to a nuclear attack. (take note Iran and North Korea). however our allies must take more responsibility for their own defense and take the lead in diplomatic efforts to diffuse regional crisis. They must be willing to step up the the plate. An example; let's face it North Korea is not a threat to us but to South Korea and Japan.
5. We will not intervene in other military conflicts either between two nations or internally in one nation UNLESS the majority of our allies in the free world support the action, ask for our assistance and shoulder an equal share of the burden. Its time for Europe to step up to the plate. No more should we shoulder the responsibility of protecting peace and freedom only to be used as an international punching bag.
6. India is the largest Democracy in the world and will become an economic powerhouse. We must develop a close economic and military alliance with them.
7. We must improve our relations with Central and South America. We can not interfere when Democratic choices are made that we disagree with. We must take steps to convince Latin Americans that we respect them, seek their friendship and strengthen economic ties with them. We can not have a hostile Latin America at our back door. Our enemies China, Russia and Iran are making inroads and this must not be permitted to go unchallenged. It should be challenged not militarily, but with public relations efforts and economic ties that are mutually beneficial. Countries like Venezuela that are hostile to us but not a real threat should just be ignored. To fight with Chavez only strengthens him. Finally it is time to end the isolation of Cuba. What was once an appropriate posture towards Cuba is no longer the case. At this juncture in history freedom in Cuba will be advanced through cultural and economic exchanges. Negotiations should be opened up with Cuba provided Cuba is willing to talk and with the understanding that for the time being there are some things we must agree to disagree about.
8. We must maintain our military technology advantage. That is the only way we can maintain our Freedom. This means a missile defense shield for the USA and the ability to fend off computer attacks and launch our own as well as defend our assets in space from attack and maintain our technological advantage on the ground. If our allies want in on the missile defense they can. Screw Russia. If our allies do not have enough guts to stand up to the” Paper Bear” that’s ok too. The decision is theirs.
9. For diplomatic reasons this can not be said in the platform, at least not in this way, but we must recognize that the biggest long term threat we face is China and plan accordingly.
10. Foreign Aid is what I call enlightened self interest. It can generate enormous reservoirs of good will around the world. However it can be done more effectively for less money. No more huge cash transfers that wind up lining the pockets of corrupt foreign politicians but investing more money in small scale projects that directly benefit people. Many of these programs also promote economic freedom. Many missionary and not for profit groups are very good at this as is the Peace Corp. We should both mimic their efforts and provide funding to them. This will be more effective and less expensive.
11. We are advocates of fair and free trade.
12. We will not enter into multi lateral treaties that erode our sovereignty.
I have said Republicans need to go back to being the party of Reagan. What would the Gipper do with the immigration issue? We know the answer to that because he gave illegal aliens amnesty. Ok yes we got more immigrants after that but that was because the other issues were not addressed. My point is that Reagan recognized the contribution that immigrants make to the US. We are a nation of immigrants. It is not a conservative position to be anti-immigrant. But they are breaking the law we can not reward law breakers you say. Ok that is a valid point but we also need to be realistic in dealing with this issue. Can we really hope to deport them all? What about the people who hire them? Are conservative willing to go after all those small businesses?
Here is my solution. 1. Institute a realistic guest worker program that addresses the labor requirements of our country and gives workers from Mexico and Central America the ability to fill those needs. The Democrats will have a hard time supporting this because of Union opposition and we can gain traction with Hispanic voters.
2. We will not give amnesty to. No rewards for illegal activity. However we will not penalize them in the guest worker program application process. They will be able to become legal through that program.
3. We must gain control of our Borders. Put more feet on the ground and use more technology so we can stop illegals coming in. It can be done with enough resources.
4. Their must be severe penalties for employers who break the rules once we give them a legal way to hire foreign workers.
5. The guest workers will be taxed, pay into social security and be eligible for benefits like everyone else. They will not be eligible for welfare or unemployment. Those are only for citizens. If you can not find enough work please go home. Their Children should receive an education. Educating anyone is ALWAYS a benefit to everyone. What about health care costs? Employees who hire guest workers will be required to pay a fixed amount per day for each worker that would go into a fund that would reimburse hospitals for care given to uninsured guest workers. Hopefully that will work out to a nominal amount like 2 or 3 dollars per day.
6. Finally as a quid pro quo we do away with all federal laws that require government forms (Bonus: this will save $$) and ballots be printed in multiple languages. To become a citizen you are supposed to be able to understand English. You should only be voting if you are a citizen .Therefore, if you can not understand English you should not be voting. Immigrants must be forced to learn English because language is one of the linchpins that hold a culture together. I welcome Immigration but insist they learn to speak and read English if they are going to stay here.
That is my realistic conservative solution to the Immigration.
So it seems Hillary Clinton may get the nod for Secretary of State. I can live with that. if it has to be a Democrat I can think of worse choices. She is intelligent, not as liberal on foreign affairs as some other Dems and she is tough as nails. I actually admire how tough she is. I bet she can stare down Putin and their certainly will not be any looking in his eyes to see his soul or heart or anything like that. Don't panic, their are plenty of things not to like about her. But like I said we could do a lot worse for Secretary of State.
3. No more unfunded mandates on State and local governments. These raise property taxes hurting people on fixed Incomes (a populist issue Republicans can get behind and out flank the Dem's) and stifle federalism.
More to come on Immigration, a new foreign policy for a new reality, education, and what to do about social issues. Keep checking back
John Podesta ex Clinton Aide head of a liberal think tank and Obama Transition Chief once took the Pentagon to task for covering up information regarding UFO's. Read all about it hear. Now my purpose in bringing this up is not to make fun of Podesta. he strikes me as very intelligent (although I often think "intelligent liberal" might be an oxymoron) competent individual. I am certainly open to the possibility of alien life having visited our planet so I don't have any problem with what he has said on the subject.
My point is this. Can you imagine if he was a conservative and was John McCain's transition chief. Stories in every major media outlet that would not actually come out and say "What a whack job" but that would be the direction they pointed and never mind the late night TV Monologues and Saturday Night Live skits. They would go on about it for weeks. Is a little balance asking for too much?
This column by Camille Paglia is very interesting. I disagree with Paglia a lot and I also agree with her a lot. Either way she is always thought provoking. She has one of the most interesting minds of all the pundits out there. Take a few minutes and read what she has to say about Obama (whom she supported) and Palin.
Some of you may recognize I am revisiting this issue but it is an an area where Conservatives need a palatable alternative to what Liberals have to offer.
Their are many problems with social security. First it is demographically unsustainable in the long run without raising taxes on the working or cutting benefits on the retired. Second it redistributes money without in any way creating economic gain. In contrast 401ks, Ira's etc... give a boost to the economy because they provide capital funds to business. In spite of recent events in the long term they provide a higher rate of return then Social Security. Of course liberals will not hear of changing Social Security's pay as you go system into a better system that gives some control to the public. I once had Congressman Rush Holt (D, NJ) say to me that the "public is not smart enough to make there own investment decisions"
In spite of this I think I have come up with an idea that we might be able to sell to the public. The percentages I use are for illustrative purposes only. The numbers would have to be played with to find the combination that works and that will require someone with more technical knowledge and mathematical ability then I can muster. Any way here it goes.
We pay a Social Security payroll tax of 7.5%. Give people the ability(voluntary) to divert 1% to a government approved mutual fund that invests only in state, local or federal bonds (leaving 6.5% for Social security). Completely safe and they get more money when they retire then just social security would pay.
"Wait a minute" you are saying. "Did you not just say this is a pay as you go system." What happens to the people currently getting benefits if that money is diverted?" Well the answer is part of the profit being made on the invested funds will not go to the investor. Part will have to go to shore up social security but not so much that the investor does not come out ahead.
This helps Social Security, Increases the amount of capital available and starts getting people use to the idea that there might be a better way.
As I said this is an outline of a concept that probably needs a lot of work but I think it may be a solution.
First and most importantly we must go back to being the party of Ronald Reagan. We can not just pay lip service to it as we have for many years. Yes I know it was 30 years ago but that does not matter because the principles he stood for are still applicable. Smaller government, fiscal responsibility, low taxes, a robust military used judiciously, (in fact go back even further and walk softly but carry a big stick) America first and yes family values. Ask ourselves what would Reagan do?
By the way Ronald Reagan would not be rabidly anti immigrant. Forget that demagoguery on that issue it is not helping.
Second Impose party discipline. Forget the big tent nonsense. Take some core issues and tell dissenters stay on the reservation or you can forget about party support when you run again. Might we loose some seats that way? yes but in the long run worth it. Take earmarks for example. Tell them either you vote against all earmarks or else. Lead follow or get the hell out
of the way.
Develop Patience. The one thing Democrats are good at is incrementalism (except when they are in complete control then luckily for us they forget that). Move the country in your direction with little steps. Pick and choose your really big battles. Vote against all the hair brained proposals but really go to the mat on the ones that the public will get riled about. (think back to Hillary's Health Care plan). Wait for it....wait for it... let Obama push something stupid. Don't be too quick to pile on. Let him screw up
Public relations, Ohh where do I start. Yes I know it is hard because we do not get a fair shake from portions of the media but we can do better. I know rabid conservatives like Coulter and Limbaugh excite the base and are entertaining but they alienate the middle. We need reasonable sounding politicians who can explain why Republican policies are better for them in terms they can understand. (people like Bobby Jindal) Then we need to get this message to college kids, seniors, Hispanics and Independents. These groups may have gone to Obama but they are not wed to him. They will switch once they see how democratic policies hurt them. Believe me those policies are coming. Raising payroll taxes for social security and would you belief the Democrats are talking about doing away with private 401 k'sand replacing it with a government run one. Their will be plenty of opportunities we just have to discipline ourselves to go after them in the most effective way.
Don't go to compassionate conservatism explain why conservatism is compassionate. Thats how Reagan did it.
Obama is not a Moderate but he convinced the voters he is. Learn that lesson.
Finally we have to be the party of Integrity. Keep lobbyists at a distance. Anyone who even engages in something that has a hint of impropriety or immorality must be swiftly shut down.
This policy must be strictly enforced. The Democrats are incapable of this. We have been much harder on our own in the past then the Dems are on theirs but we have been slipping. If we want credibility when go after corrupt Democrats we must put the word out that anything less then the highest ethical and moral standards will not be tolerated with in our party.
Well first let's give credit where credit is due. Obama is an amazingly good communicator and his ability to inspire people is exceptional. He is a leader. (my problem is with where he is leading). I also think his race helped him. It turned out the minority vote strongly and a lot of people wanted to vote for him to prove to themselves and the world that we are not racists
Second the Republicans have not given the voters any reason to love them. many of our best and brightest were corrupted by Washington and developed the arrogance of power. They discarded Republican principles in order to win reelection.
George Bush made some big mistakes. That turned the nation against him. Don't get me wrong I believe he is a good man and he did not get credit for a lot of the good things he did but lets face it he made some errors. I will argue forever that what we did in Iraq was just but in hindsight it was a mistake to do it. ( a full discussion of that may be a separate post). Then he mishandled the dam thing for 6 years. We lost the PR war when it came to "rights of Terrorists" I am not sure why we lost on that but it has had negative consequences for us. I could go on but fairly or not the American Public lost confidence in the President and that negatively effected the whole party.
Lastly Poor timing. An economic disaster occurred at the wrong time. Lets face it the party in power when the bubble bursts gets the blame whether they deserve it or not and I have seen both Democrats and Republicans burned by that.
Considering this perfect storm McCain didn't do half bad.
Some of these things we can fix. So enough Post Mortem. Get up off the ground. The next job is to design a blueprint for success.
A few rays of sunshine for conservatives. In three states the voters declared marriage may only be between a man and a women. I mean if we can get that passed in flaky California we can do it anywhere. Also it looks like Norm Coleman will keep his seat in Minnesota eking out a real close one over that freakazoid Al Franken.
OK maybe not abandon all hope. I am however in a deep funk. I predict this country is headed down a very bad road. The same road that the anemic economies of Europe have gone down.
In an effort to look for a silver lining I will say that the one good thing that will come out of this is that NEVER AGAIN WILL SOMEONE CALLING AMERICA A RACIST COUNTRY HAVE ANY CREDIBILITY. That lie now has a stake through its putrid heart.
The ray of hope is that conservative Republicans can get there act together and capitalize on the coming disaster to sweep back into office in 4 years. More on a blueprint for that will be coming in a future post.
For now I suggest prayer. Pray that Barack Obama is kept safe. Pray that this country wakes up to the fact that they threw out the baby with the bathwater and pray that our culture turns from its immoral ways.
Today I heard Obama say. " Tommorrow we change America."
Is anybody listening? Do the voters realize he is not talking about changing a dozen Bush policies?
He is talking about changing the Nation we have known for over 200 years. He is going to male it into something none 0f us will recognize and few of us will like.
Push past the historic candidacy, however, and one sees something even larger at stake in this [presidential] vote. One sees what Joe (The Plumber) Wurzelbacher saw. The real 'change' being put to a vote for the American people in 2008 is not simply a break from the economic policies of 'the past eight years' but with the American economic philosophy of the past 200 years. This election is about a long-term change in America's idea of itself," Wall Street Journal columnist Daniel Henninger writes. "I don't agree with the argument that an Obama-Pelosi-Reid government is a one-off, that good old nonideological American pragmatism will temper their ambitions. Not true. With this election, the U.S. is at a philosophical tipping point. "The goal of Sen. Obama and the modern, 'progressive' Democratic Party is to move the U.S. in the direction of Western Europe, the so-called German model and its 'social market economy.' Under this notion, business is highly regulated, as it would be in the next Congress under Democratic House committee chairmen Markey, Frank and Waxman. Business is allowed to create 'wealth' so long as its utility is not primarily to create new jobs or economic growth but to support a deep welfare system. "The political planets are aligned to make this achievable. In the aftermath of the financial crisis, prominent Democrats, European leaders in France and Germany and more U.S. newspaper articles than one can count have said that the crisis proves the need to permanently tame the American 'free-market' model. POW Alan Greenspan is broadcasting confessions. "The question is: Are the American people of a mind to throw in the towel on the system that got them here?
If you believe government should make sure you have a place to live, medical care and all your other necessities OR if you believe the government should cut up the pie to make sure you get your share OR if you made bad financial decisions, or didn't get enough education, or got 3 different girlfriends knocked up or are a drug addict or alcoholic or just generally make poor decisions and think the government should bail you out OR If you think you are entitled to more not because you work for it but because that is what would be fair THEN you should vote for Obama and the Democrats.
If you believe that the less the government gets involved in your life the better OR if you believe in taking responsibility for fixing your own mistakes OR If you believe instead of dividing up the pie we should make more pies OR if you believe that the way to get ahead is through hard work and sacrifice then vote for McCain and the Republicans.
Tommorrow is the day the nation gets what it asks for. Let us hope the nation does not regret its choice.
I had a history teacher in College who was fascinating because he had lived history. He was from a family of White Russian Cossacks who fled Russia and scattered across Europe. His Grandparents where both killed by communists one by being tied to a bed and left out in the snow. He was also a linguist who was an interpreter at the Nuremberg trials.
One story he told was how he was sent to boarding school in Germany during the rise of Hitler.
He listened to the propaganda his teachers spouted and became a fan of Hitler. On returning home during a break he told his father of this. His father asked him "Son have you read Mien Kampf ?" My Professor admitted he had not. His father told him "read the book" and he did.
It opened his eyes to what Hitler was really about. He returned to school and became increasingly unpopular with the teachers as he challenged their propaganda.
Soon he left Germany and wound up coming to the United States where he joined the army so that he could fight the evil he knew was coming but which the German people either did not know or did not believe was coming.
Here is an interesting email floating around the internet.
Today on my way to lunch I passed a homeless guy with a sign that read "Vote Obama, I need the money." I laughed. Once in the restaurant my server had on an "Obama 08" tie, again I laughed as he had given away his political preference--just imagine the coincidence. When the bill came I decided not to tip the server and explained to him that I was exploring the Obama redistribution of wealth concept. He stood there in disbelief while I told him that I was going to redistribute his tip to someone who I deemed more in need--the homeless guy outside. The server angrily stormed from my sight. I went outside, gave the homeless guy $5 and told him to thank the server inside as I've decided he could use the money more. The homeless guy was grateful. At the end of my rather unscientific redistribution experiment I realized the homeless guy was grateful for the money he did not earn, but the waiter was pretty angry that I gave away the money he did earn even though the actual recipient deserved money more. I guess redistribution of wealth is an easier thing to swallow in concept than in practical application.
Not raising taxes on the Middle class so says Obama. Well that all depends on your definition of a tax increase.
Some History. Ronald Reagan cut taxes. Both Bush I and Clinton raised them. Bush II enacted a tax cut after 9/11. That tax cut lowered the top rate, cut capital gains taxes and reformed the onerous estate tax system. If you recall these tax cuts helped limit the economic downturn brought on by the attack of 9/11. Something W does not get enough credit for.
The problem is those cuts expire in 2010 unless congress renews them. Something Obama and the Democrats have made clear they will not do. That result will be a top rate that will increase to Clinton era levels and will result in middle class taxpayers paying more taxes. Not to mention the increase in the capital gains tax and how the estate tax will force many small family owned farms and business to liquidate when the owner dies.
I am at the point where I will be glad when this election is over and we can go on to other issues. I want to talk more about religion and I want to start a discussion on education. I think we also need to start discussing another favorite subject of mine called History. No matter the outcome of the election I hope to be able to stick around.
They speak of how it is a tragedy that the Supreme Court did not adress redistribution of wealth and how his personal salvation and the salvation of the nation is dependent on redistributing wealth to the African American community. Not my words his. LISTEN!
Some people have questoned whether John McCain used sound judgment in picking Sarah Palin for his VP some have actually sated it as a reason for endorsing Obama, Including Powell, some conservative pundits and the liberal rag that is my hometown paper.
Are their criticisms that she is not ready valid? I think not. I think it stems from bigotry. No not gender based. They are intellectual and cultural bigots. (the same bigotry a certain cowboy movie actor once suffered from) She actually has more relevant experience then Obama and has a record of getting things accomplished. The fact that she can see Russia from her state actually does give her more foreign policy experience then Clinton had as governor of Arkansas or Carter as Governor of Georgia had. (thats a joke in case you elites missed it)
The problem is that she did not get an Ivory league education. She speaks differently then the East Coast elite. She speaks the vernacular of rural America. She kills animals instead of spending time pondering Supreme court decisions. Seriously do we want a women like that in the oval office?
Well I do. The last 3 presidents were all ivory league made and as far as I am concerned they were all screw ups.
Look at the genius Governor we have in NJ. Wall Street Financier gold plated credentials, a gazzilionaire. His approval rating is lower then George Bush's and he did what no one thought possible and screwed up NJ even more. He has been touted as everything from a presidential candidate to Secretary of the Treasury.
Meanwhile Sarah Palin has an 85% approval rating in Alaska and got a pipeline built that no one else could. She beat the hell out of the entrenched old guard in her own party to get where she is. This is a women who is a natural born leader.
I wish all our politicians were like her. Are there some things she will need to study up on. Sure. but she is capable of that. It actually is not rocket science. What you can not learn is how to be a great leader. Sure you can learn a few skills but greatness is born not made. Sarah Palin has proven she can lead and I hope all the regular people stand up and stick it to the elites on election day.
There are a couple of things that Powell said that really tick me off.
First he said some things about Palin which I will address in the next post.
Then he said I do not want to see two more conservatives appointed to the Supreme Court.
This highlights the fact that Powell is a RHINO (Republican in name only.) Can anyone tell me one Republican position that this guy agrees with. One just one is all I ask for. Of course you can't. By the way McCain is (unfortunately in my opinion) no raging conservative. We are not likely to get far right judges with him. We are more likely to wind up with judges like Sandra Day O'Connor and Kennedy. I can not understand why this guy is Republican (guesses anyone) and I am not surprised he backed Obama.
Secondly he spoke about a US soldier who gave his life in the current conflict who happened to be a Muslim and spoke about how he was disturbed by the Republican efforts to falsely paint Obama as a Muslim.
The problem is he is holding John McCain and the Republican party responsible for fringe groups they have no control over. With the Internet any nut job with a computer can spout whatever they want (case on point THIS BLOG) and it can take on a life of its own. To hold McCain responsible for that is disingenuous.
But what if he were a Muslim? I thinK a persons religious beliefs are fair game. It is not like race which is an irrelevant factor. It says a lot about you. I have Muslim friends. I disagree with their choice of religion but they are wonderful people. I would defend there right to believe what they want and would risk my own life to defend them from harm. That being said many Muslims hold beliefs that are an anathema to our culture and before I would vote for a Muslim for any office I would demand evidence that they are sufficiently acculturated to America that they have rejected that subset of their beliefs.
For instance would you vote for someone who believed all Women should wear a chador in public? Of course most of you would not.
But I digress the main point is that Colin Powell's reasons for his endorsement strike me as phony. He has endorsed Obama because he is a liberal who wants liberal policies enacted. So Mr Powell while you can endorse anyone you want please stop pretending to be a Republican.
My two favorite subjects to discuss Religion and Politics are taboo in polite society. This Blog is so I can indulge myself. My opinions will usually be conservative (with a few suprises) and often controversial. I hope you find it an interesting ride.
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