Archive for the 'Politics' Category

An Open Letter to Those Asking After the Election “How Did This Happen”?

Dear Friend,

We all knew this day would come.  The day after the 2016 US Presidential Elections.  We knew there would be one group of people greeting this day either in excited jubilation, or, at the very least, a sigh of relief.  We knew there would be another group of people who would face this day in disappointment or even dread.  There is a third group, those who couldn’t care less, but since they are indifferent, it is unlikely they would even read what I have to say.  This letter isn’t for them.  It’s not even for the celebratory group.  It’s for you who are scratching your heads in stunned disillusionment wondering how in the world America ever came to this.

I shouldn’t have been surprised to see many of my FB friends from Europe and Oceania expressing their stunned disbelief at the election results.  Just yesterday, I was reading a Time magazine article that said, of the world’s nations, only Russia and China were supportive of the idea of a Trump presidency.  The article, a compilation of submissions from Time’s correspondents around the globe, was refreshingly candid about why different groups felt the way they did – and the reason was almost always cultural.  The Russians and Chinese, accustomed to authoritarian leadership, respected Trump’s “take charge” attitude.  Europeans, who lean toward socialist democracy, identified with Clinton’s left-leaning politics, although there were pockets of Trump supporters among the far right European groups:  the National Front in France, the Independence Party in the U.K., and the Dutch Party for Freedom.  The one region with a marked divide in support was, not surprisingly, the Middle East, although the divide was different than you might think.  While Jewish Israelis and Arabs throughout the region were strong on their support of Clinton, Israelis with dual American citizenship gave Trump a slight edge because of his open support of Israel and his endorsement of moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. (Time, Nov. 8, 2016)

To be honest, I didn’t see Donald Trump having a snowball’s chance in perdition of victory, not even during the day yesterday.  As the numbers came in, I could not allow myself to indulge in more than cautious optimism.  But for weeks now, I haven’t been able to get 1980 out of my head.  There were just too many parallels.  We had an ineffective liberal president in the Oval Office who only paid lip service to his favored special interest groups and ignored the rest of America.  We had a long-shot non-politician as the Republican candidate being lambasted as a loose cannon who would start World War III the instant he got his finger on the nuclear button.  For the first time in ages, there was a vocal movement to vote third party.  And until just before the election, the polls were showing a significant projected margin of victory for the Democrat.  Even Iran’s feeble attempt to threaten American voters is a parallel – over the U.S. Embassy hostages in 1980, and over the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal in this election.  If you are too young or were too uninterested at the time to have followed the 1980 election, I highly recommend you read up on it.  You’ll be amazed at how similar it sounds to the last 18 months or so.

There is one other parallel to 1980 that I have only alluded to so far.  I did that on purpose because, dear reader, it answers your question.   You want to know how Donald Trump got elected?  It happened because, just like in 1980, the Democrats attempted to disenfranchise what one of the election night commentators (I forget which; I bounced around so many different news outlets last night) called “John and Mary Q. Public.”   These are people who usually either don’t vote at all, or don’t normally vote as a bloc.   Despite what the media has been trying to tell you (remember, on August 28 of this year, CNN’s Chris Cuomo openly admitted “We couldn’t help [Hillary Clinton] any more than we have.”) (Morefield, 2016), John and Mary Q. Public transcend race and socio-economic status.  They are the nameless, faceless Americans who just want to make it through the day and from paycheck to paycheck.  Under normal circumstances, they don’t care about politics or politicians and only want to be left alone to live out their lives as they see fit.  They are what Richard Nixon called “the silent majority,” and usually they are just that – silent.

Only one thing awakens this sleeping giant and gets them to the polls – anger.  And the usual source of that anger is the feeling (regardless of whether or not it’s justified) that they’re being denigrated by one party or the other.  This year, I have had the privilege of having frank discussions with voters of all races, tax brackets, ages, and education levels.  If there is one thing people particularly resent, it’s being told that “Because you’re an X, you must support Y.”  Even today, my stomach was churning at being told that “college-educated women supported Clinton.”  (Full disclosure: I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and am currently working on my Master’s Degree in Public Administration.)  Uh, I didn’t support Clinton. Nor did many other college-educated women I know.  And among us, not a single one appreciated it being assumed that we did.  But I digress.

Back to John and Mary Q. Public.  Over the past 8 years, they’ve seem their lives become more difficult.  One, or perhaps both of them, either lost their job between 2008 and 2010, or had their hours/pay reduced.  Then came the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.  Where they once had adequate health care partially subsidized by their employer, the ACA took that away because to continue to offer health care coverage to their employees would bankrupt the company.  Or perhaps they had private insurance coverage that, again, while not ideal, was manageable.  Or they decided that, for whatever reason, they couldn’t or wouldn’t purchase health care coverage and take the risk that they wouldn’t need it.  It was their freedom to choose, and the ACA took it away.  To add insult to injury, the ACA put the universally-despised Internal Revenue Service in charge of verifying that all Americans have health care coverage, lest they pay penalties when they submit their required annual tax returns.  When it became clear that Americans were opting to pay the fines because it was more affordable than the premiums on the Obamacare plans, the government increased the fines.  On October 24, less than three weeks before yesterday’s election, it was announced that premiums for ACA healthcare plans would soar another 22% on average, compared to an average 7% increase the year before.  Let me say that again:  a 22% increase on average.  In Arizona (a state whose election results are still unconfirmed as of this writing), the average premium for next year will increase by a whopping 116%.  (Luhbi, 2016) And so many underwriters of Obamacare plans have opted out of the program rather than go bankrupt that many Americans only have one choice of healthcare plan.  Where’s the freedom in that?  Where’s the “life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness”?  When people can’t support their families because they’re forced at legislative gunpoint to feed a bloated governmental Jabba the Hutt, they’re going to take action, especially if the party in power adds fuel to the fire by providing free health care to favored special interest groups but not to them.  This isn’t a race thing or an immigration thing or an anything “thing.”  It’s simple human nature to want to provide basic needs for your family.  When your government tells you that others can get special treatment but you can’t just because you don’t have a coalition or a lobby or a non-governmental agency presenting you as a victim, you’re going to be upset and justifiably so.

Please understand that I’m not talking about the truly needy:  the destitute, those who cannot provide for themselves because of physical or mental impairment or the very young and very old without families who can provide support.  John and Mary Q Public understand that.  Despite what you may have read during this election cycle, they’re not stupid.  But they are fed up.  They’re fed up with members of special interest groups being provided food, clothing, shelter, and healthcare all for free while veterans and those receiving Social Security get shafted.  They’re tired of being told that they can’t display the American flag in their own country because it “might offend someone.”  They look back to a time (that many remember, or at least heard about first-hand) when 18- and 19-year-olds took up arms, fought and sometimes died for the sake of freedom in places like Normandy, Sicily, North Africa, Italy, Germany, seas and islands throughout the South Pacific, Vietnam, Cambodia, Iraq, and Afghanistan.   Then they see 18- and 19-year-olds at home clamoring for “safe spaces” because someone scrawled a candidate’s name in chalk on a college sidewalk. (Seriously, is this current generation of young adults so collectively sheltered and spoiled that none of them realized all you needed to make that scrawl go away forever was the contents of their ever-present water bottle?)

I’ve left out several things on purpose:  the allegations of racism, of misogyny, of inappropriate language caught on a hot mike, of lawbreaking (or, at least, egregiously bending) and of sexual scandal.  Despite what many would have you believe, there’s enough to go around on both sides.  Neither candidate was squeaky-clean.  Not everything said about either candidate was true, nor was everything said about either candidate false.  And dang it, if there’s one thing I’m sick of, it’s the inevitable litany of accusers who are silent as the grave on some wealthy public figure for decades until lo and behold, this figure is leading in the polls and gaining momentum among the undecided public.  Then, as soon as support dries up and goes away, so do the accusers.  This has happened for at least the last three elections (probably for longer) and enough is enough.  I don’t believe in coincidences and this pattern has happened far too consistently for me to give the benefit of the doubt.  I’ve also decided not to mention single-issue voters – those who choose a candidate solely based on their stance on religious freedom, abortion, immigration, foreign policy, the Supreme Court, what they look like, etc.  These are people whose vote was decided long ago and are not germane to this discussion.

Finally, what John and Mary Q. Public were thinking was this.  On one side, we have four more years of what’s been going on the last eight.  President Obama said that a vote for Clinton was an endorsement and continuation of Obama’s legacy.  Donald Trump, Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, and all the other candidates offered themselves as alternatives.  Even though Bernie Sanders gave Clinton and Ted Cruz gave Trump their endorsements, many of their supporters could not stomach voting for the person whom they saw as denying their candidate a “fair chance” at the nomination.  Like John Anderson did in 1980, the third party vote wound up tilting the Electoral College vote for the Republicans.  In the last Presidential Debate of the 1980 cycle, Ronald Reagan famously advised voters to ask themselves “Are you better off than you were four years ago?”  In 1992, Bill Clinton’s campaign team famously paraphrased Reagan’s question into a statement:  “It’s the economy, stupid.”  How ironic that in 2016, Hillary Clinton’s anticipated coronation was halted by the same sentiment.  John and Mary Q. Public decided that no, they are not better off now than they were eight years ago (whether it was because of the economy or any other reason that mattered to them).

So to my friends both here in America and overseas who are disappointed and dismayed at the outcome of the election, believe me when I say that I’ve been in your place.  I was there in 1992, in 1996, in 2008, and again in 2012.  The last election was the worst for me; I honestly didn’t believe that America would survive another four years of Barack Obama’s policies.  I was wrong.  For those of you who think that America cannot survive four years of a Donald Trump administration, I have every confidence that history will prove you wrong, too.  Don’t despair.  Get involved.  Start caring about your government, not just the White House, but your Congressional delegation, too.  Your Governor, your state senators and representatives, and your local governments.  Attend city council and county commission meetings.  Our government is of the people, by the people, and for the people.  And guess what – you ARE the people.  But if you don’t do something, someone else will.  Remember that.  Don’t let discouragement turn into disinterest – let it be your motivation to do better next time.

And for all those who can’t understand how America can be Germany in 1933 all over again, it’s because we aren’t.  We’re America in 1980.  God bless us all, and God help us all.

With Love,

Ginny  >^..^<

References:

Luhbi, Tami (October 25, 2016).  Obamacare Premiums to soar 22%.  CNN Money.  Retrieved from http://money.cnn.com/2016/10/24/news/economy/obamacare-premiums/

Morefield, Scott (August 12, 2016).  CNN’s Cuomo comes right out and admits it: ‘We couldn’t help Hillary any more than we have’.  Bizpac Review.  Retrieved from http://www.bizpacreview.com/2016/08/12/cnns-cuomo-comes-right-admits-couldnt-help-hillary-377744

Time Magazine (November 8, 2016).  What the World Thinks About the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election.  Retrieved from http://time.com/4560936/election-2016-europe-china-russia-middle-east/

Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is

An Open Letter to Jeff Bezos, Chairman and CEO of Amazon.com

Dear Mr. Bezos,

The irony of writing this letter to you on Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day is noted, but is not intentional.  I learned two days ago of your donation of $2.5 million to support same-sex marriage initiatives in Washington state.  I considered the idea of ending my affiliation with Amazon in response, but in truth, I like your service, just like I like Starbucks even though I disagree with many of their policies as well.  However, today you committed a fatal error.  You assumed you had your Cloud Drive hook set when you yanked the line.  You are wrong.

I found this email in my inbox today:

Your Account Is Changing

Cloud Player and Cloud Drive are now separate services. Music you previously imported intoCloud Drive will remain in Cloud Drive at its original audio quality, and won’t count toward your Cloud Drive storage limit. Music you import to Cloud Drive in the future will no longer be available in Cloud Player.

You’ve been enjoying a free promotional subscription to Amazon Cloud Drive and Cloud Player. After it ends, you will be limited to 250 imported songs in Cloud Player.

Customers who are over that limit and close to expiration receive 30 days to test out our new features. Once you log in, you have 30 days to enjoy your music, everywhere. If you’d like to keep using Cloud Player for free, remove songs from your ‘Imported’ playlist until your library is below the 250 song limit before the 30 days are up. At the end of the 30-day free upgrade, if you have more than 250 imported songs in Cloud Player, you will not be able to play your previously imported music in Cloud Player – but you can start fresh and re-import up to 250 songs. Music you imported before July 24th will remain stored in Cloud Drive.

When you upgrade to Cloud Player Premium for $25 per year, you can import up to 250,000 songs. Upgrade before your promotional subscription ends and get 50 GB of Cloud Drive storage at no additional cost. Learn more.

Mr. Bezos, with all due respect, forget you.  I don’t mind paying money for my Sirius/XM subscription.  But then again, I actually USE my Satellite Radio subscription on a daily basis.  In fact, I don’t know what I’d do on my commute to/from work without FirstWave, Siriusly Sinatra, SEC Play-by-Play, and The Catholic Channel.  I saved my music on the Amazon Cloud Drive so that I could listen to it at work. (My employer’s firewall blocks Sirius/XM, along with almost every other music access website.)  Then when Amazon no longer supported my employer’s dinosaur of a browser that they insist on not upgrading (we can’t download anything, either), I couldn’t even listen to that anymore.  My computer at home is mute due to a driver problem that no one can diagnose, much less fix.  So why the hell would I pay money for a service I can almost never use?

I activated my 30-day free trial, though, just so I can download everything from my Cloud Drive onto my phone (I just installed a 32-gig memory card).  Once that’s done, consider my Cloud Drive account closed.  This doesn’t mean I am cutting Amazon off entirely, however.  I’ll maintain my Amazon account to support my Kindle, but upgrading to a Kindle Fire is no longer the set decision it once was.  In fact, I am going to do some serious research into the Nook Color, for which Barnes and Noble has made several VERY generous discount offers in the past.   Still, that is a decision that requires disposable income, a necessity that the Communist-in-Chief has made an impossibility for wage slaves like me.  But that is a different argument, and not germane to this discussion save for the fact that your demand that I pony up $25 a year to maintain a cloud drive that I almost never use is something to which I am not going to accede.

Meanwhile, I hope you sleep well with the votes you made with your pocketbook.  I know I won’t lose sleep with the votes I have made with mine.  In fact, although my body is weak today, my spirit is soaring.

Sincerely,

>^..^<

Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize

All I have to say is:  YGTBSM

America: the view from the Outside

There was a well-hidden article on cnn.com today that, IMHO, is not getting the attention it deserves.  It’s good to get a look at America from the outside every once in a while, and to learn that stereotypes work both ways is an eye-opening thing indeed.  For those who are too engrossed by my erudite opining to click upon the link, the summary is that African immigrants to the US and African-Americans seem to have little in common.  Their perceptions of each other are tainted by stereotypes proliferated by the media and Hollywood.

Even more fascinating to me than the mention of my high school is the revelation that African immigrants said that they identify more with the mores of middle class America than the individuals who have been in this nation for generations, yet claim sub-Saharan Africa as their “homeland.”  Most striking of all was the admonition of Nigerian emigré Vera Ezimora, 24.  Ezimora, on the subject of slavery and racism in America gave the following sage advice:

“We have all been tortured.  Now that we are free, holding on to the sins of white men who have long died and gone to meet their maker is more torture than anything we have suffered.”

It seems to me that she is saying that to hold on to the outrage from the enslavement of one’s ancestors (who were all dead before most people living today were even born) merely perpetuates that enslavement by trapping a large segment of the population in a cycle of hate that gets passed from generation to generation because we don’t look beyond it to what can be if we keep our focus on the inside of a person rather than the outside.

I was fortunate enough to be exposed to all kinds of people from before I can remember.  The town I grew up in was the home of the major university in the state.  The property catty-cornered to ours belonged to a Filipino family (the head of which was also our family doctor) and that to our rear belonged to a black family who had held onto it for a hundred years before suburbia encroached (it had been a gift from the plantation owner who had held all that acreage where our little white-collar subdivision now stands).  One thing my dad is proudest of was the fact that his mother was so far ahead of her time when it came to equal opportunity.  In 1930’s Moultrie, GA, my grandmother, Mattie Lou Hall, ran the kitchens for the Moultrie schools.  She was the one person in town (according to my father) for whom the black denizens wanted to work most.  Their reasons were two-fold:  one, she offered jobs that allowed weekends off and two, she treated everyone equally.

I had the pleasure last night of meeting a middle-aged African-American woman who is the wife of a soon-to-be-retired Marine (as soon as he gets back from Iraq).  Like me, she is in a mixed-race marriage and we shared stories of our experiences in seeing the prejudices committed by our own “kind” toward those we love.  I related my tale of how, when Hubby was teaching Spanish in a tiny rural district that was fairly balanced among whites, blacks, and Hispanics, he had been accused in a 2- to 3-week period of discrimination against all three groups.  My response was to tell him “Congratulations:  you’re now an equal-opportunity racist!”

Her tale revolved around a young black Marine who had made allegations against her husband of bias against his race.  In truth the issue was that the younger Marine was unwilling to perform his duty.  Over her husband’s protests that the proceedings were closed to the public, my new acquaintance received special permission to attend the hearing.  When her husband’s name was called, she stood up with him.  When the judge told her that these were closed-door proceedings and she would have to leave, this brave lady respectfully but firmly stated from whom she had received permission to attend and that she was going to stand by her husband no matter what.  At the revelation that the Marine accused of racism had a spouse of the same race as the accuser, the allegations withered as fast as the confident faces of the accuser–and his counsel.

Semper Fi, sister.

A Middle-School Lesson for Obama and the Democrats

This is an entry I’ve been meaning to post for quite some time, and feel a strong need to get done while there’s still time before the election, especially with Barack Obama wanting to “spread [America’s] wealth.”  If that statement hasn’t made your alarm bells start clanging, read on:  the following is for you!

Although I was teaching English/Language Arts in the small, rural, impoverished district where I was employed before I moved to the state capitol, at some point during the year, there would arise an occasion to give this small lecture about how Communism/Socialism only works on paper.  I never got to complete the lesson, because someone would indignantly shout out the “moral of the story” before I could finish.  That’s ok–that’s how I wanted it.  I wanted them to realize the lesson on their own and they did.  Every time.

To make my illustration, I would begin by writing on the board that famous one-sentence summary of Marx and Engels’ Communist Manifesto:

From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.

I would then lead a brief discussion of the meaning of that sentence, to ensure that everyone understood what it meant.  I’d then ask the students “Sounds good, doesn’t it?”  The students would agree.  I would leave that quote on the board throughout this mini-lesson.

At this point, I would choose two students to come to the front of the classroom and stand beneath the quote.  I was always careful to choose two students who loved being the center of attention and who could take a good-hearted ribbing.  For the sake of this illustration, I’ll call them “Chris” and “Tyler.”

“Chris,” I’d tell the students, “is a model student.”  Chris is always on time to class, prepared with pencil, paper, and textbook.  Chris takes notes in class, and asks questions in order to ensure understanding of what is being taught.  Chris’ work is always turned in on time, neat and legible.  If there is something Chris still doesn’t understand when class is done, Chris will come in before school to meet with me.  When it’s time for the big test, Chris has kept up with the chapter reading, so on the night before, all Chris has to do is review the things that need reviewing.  Chris gets a good night’s sleep and eats a good breakfast the next morning.  Chris uses the test-taking skills taught in class and takes his/her time.  When I grade the test, Chris’ hard work has paid off, for (s)he has earned a “100” on the test.  I then write a large “100” above “Chris'” head.

Then there’s “Tyler.”  Poor, poor, Tyler.  Tyler is always the last one in class and the first one out.  Tyler’s attendance record has more “no shows” than Harry Houdini at Halloween seances.  When Tyler DOES show up to class, don’t expect to see pencil or paper.  Tyler couldn’t locate the textbook if his/her life depended on it.  Tyler’s idea of taking notes?  Writing a snarky comment on a piece of paper and passing it to a classmate.   The only question Tyler has ever asked in class is “How much longer, Miss?”  The night before the test, Tyler stayed up all night IM’ing someone from MySpace.  Tyler overslept on test day, skipped breakfast, and missed the bus.  Tyler stumbles loudly into class halfway through the period, and announces loudly enough to disrupt everyone:  “We had a test today?”  Of couse Tyler “Christmas tree”‘s the test, marking random answers here and there.  Still, Tyler beat the law of averages and scores a 40 on the test.  I write a large 40 above “Tyler”‘s head.

At this point, I stop to remind the class that 70 is the minimum passing grade, and write a large 70 between “Chris” and “Tyler.” I then remind them of the quotation written on the board above both of them:

From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.

Next, I tell the students that since, according to the principles of Communism/Socialism, “Chris” has 30 points more than (s)he needs, I am going to take those points and give them to “Tyler,” who needs 30 points to pass.

I turn around and, with a different color marker, begin to cross out the “100” above “Chris”‘ head, and draw an arrow toward “Tyler”‘s “40” which I also cross out, replacing each score with a “70.”

Funny thing is, though, I never get to finish.  As I illustrate Communist/Socialist theory on the board, some student–usually one of the more vocal ones, rather than one of the highest-scoring ones–invariably shouts out “But Miss, that’s not fair!”

At that point, I stop.  I cap my marker and put it on the tray.  I turn to the class and benignly smile.  I say quietly and calmly, “And that’s why Communism doesn’t work.”

Middle school students have a super-heightened sense of what is or isn’t “fair.”  They pick up in five minutes what tweed-clad graying Economics professors haven’t learned in over 100 years:  Socialism doesn’t work.  It goes against all of human nature.  If we work hard to earn something and play by the rules, dammit, it’s ours.  Keep your grubby hands off it.  Conversely, if you want to be lazy, that’s your perogative.  If you choose to do so, however, don’t expect someone else to take up your slack.

Please don’t misunderstand me.  I know the system fails from time to time and people who DO play by the rules occasionally lose.  I’m there now myself.  For the first (and hopefully, the last) time in my life, I’m drawing Unemployment.  What I need is a short-term stop-gap measure until I’m back on my feet.  I don’t need some overprotective government entity doing everything for me and making us all pay out the wazoo for it.

The thing we’ve forgotten all too quickly is that whenever liberals attempt to “stick it to the rich,” it’s us average Joes who really get the shaft.  Back in 1991, Congress imposed a “Luxury Tax” on high-ticket items such as jewelry, cars, and boats with a selling price of over $30,000.  What happened was that rich people STILL got the luxury items they wanted–they just bought “gently-used” items instead of new ones in order to avoid paying the tax.  It was the middle- and lower-class wage-earning workers who MADE these big ticket items who wound up paying–by losing their jobs.  No demand means no employment.  The rich stayed rich (hell, they SAVED money in the long run), and the poor workers lost everything.  This “luxury tax” wound up costing the Federal Government money in lost income and sales taxes and increased unemployment and other assistance payouts.  The next Congress couldn’t repeal the “luxury tax” fast enough.

You’d have thought the Democrats would have learned their lesson.  Sadly, they haven’t, else Obama wouldn’t be preaching “sharing the wealth.”  You’d have thought America would have learned its lesson as well when it comes to a “sore loser” tax.  Judging by the number of people who are swallowing Obama’s proposal hook, line, and sinker, I think it’s safe to say that we as a nation haven’t.

Those of you who haven’t yet taken advantage of early voting, it’s not too late.  Let Obama and the Democrats know that you are not falling for this sucker play.  Show them that you’re smarter than that.  My middle school students were.

Postscript:

Apparently, I wasn’t the only one with this Tale to tell.  Waiting for me in my Inbox when I finished was the following link on the same subject.  It’s well worth the read.  I just hope that by using the name “Gator,” he doesn’t mean that he pledges allegiance to the Florida Philistines.  The Dawgs are going to kick some serious Gator tail in Jax on Saturday, then blacken it and serve it on rice, Cajun-style (in remembrance of our sweet victory over LSU this past Saturday)!

Food for Thought

My last post generated quite a bit of interest, and a modicum of criticism.  In accordance with the policies in my House Rules, I posted those that presented logical discourse and debate.  The one who had nothing to contribute but name-calling and anti-Semitic rhetoric got the attention he deserves:  none.

It was, however, the criticism from much closer to home that stung me.  I was told to my face (by someone who is NOT voting for Obama) that my post was shallow and descended into character assassination.  That hurt.  I wrote my post as a cautionary tale (in the spirit of my teaching philosophy derived from George Satanyana’s “Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it”) in order to get my 1.4 daily readers to understand that his/her duty as an American citizen is to go into the polls an informed voter.  Don’t choose one candidate over the other because of something that happened decades ago, or because of an accident of birth, or because of who he chose as a wife, or because of what his kids did (or didn’t do).

Think about your values–what is important to you?  What to you is worth defending?  Worth dying for?  Worth preserving for your children, and for generations after that?  What is it you want people to think when they hear the words “United States of America”?  Once you’ve figured out what your values are, research the candidates.  Look not only at friendly sources, but unfriendly ones as well.  Get the view from all sides, because I guarantee you, there is no such thing as objectivity in media.  There was for one brief, shining moment in the mid-20th century–Edward R. Murrow led the way, but in less than five years after Murrow’s death, even Uncle Walter was showing his true colors of bias.

What matters to me?

The Constitution I swore to give my life for when I joined the service back in 1985.  Even though the Air Force released me from that oath when I received my Honorable Discharge in 1993, I still feel bound by it.  I still will, if necessary, die to defend it.  The ENTIRE Constitution–the Preamble (which, thanks to Schoolhouse Rock as a kid, I have completely memorized), all seven articles, and all 27 amendments, ESPECIALLY the first ten. I’m going with the candidate whose stated positions are more in line with mine regarding a strict interpretation of the Constitution.  Point to McCain, but only because his view is ever-so-slightly stricter than Obama’s on the Constitution.

That includes the First Amendment, which I spent three months studying as a senior in college, under the instruction of one of the foremost scholars of 1st Amendment law in the country, Dr. William Lee at the University of Georgia.  The 1st Amendment states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. [Emphasis mine]

Note that the Amendment guarantees freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion.  Sorry, ACLU, you’re dead wrong!  Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and the Wahhabists have as their stated goal the deaths of all who do not worship their way.  Sorry, pal, but that ain’t the American way.  If I die for my faith, I fully intend to take as many of my murderers with me as I possibly can.  I’m willing to let God sort it out–are they?

Which leads me to the Second Amendment.  The founding fathers learned their lesson when the British government seized their guns at the first opportunity.  They specifically wrote the Second Amendment to prevent that from happening again.  I AM the NRA, and I DO vote.  I’ll be damned if I drop the ball on my watch. Point to McCain.

Twice already, I have mentioned dying for what I believe in.  That’s my choice.  “Choice” is NOT forcing an innocent to die for one’s own misfortune or stupidity.  Abortion is cold-blooded, pre-meditated murder, period.  Even in the case of rape or incest–there has already been one innocent victim, why must there be two?  Castrate the bastard who did it, and take care of the pre-natal needs of both innocent victims:  mother and baby.  When we were first married, my husband and I sat down and had a serious talk about the Right to Life (which was called “Inalienable” by that Patron Saint of Liberalism, Thomas Jefferson).  We both were in total agreement that if, God forbid, I were ever to be raped and become pregnant as a result, that we could not punish an innocent baby for the circumstances of his conception.  Neither one of us knew if we could raise this child in our own family (and so far, thank God, we have never had to make this decision), but there are SO many good families out there aching for a child to call their own.  One of my very best friends and her husband just recently gave up on their quest to adopt after 16 years on the waiting list.  It was heart-wrenching to see her go through the process of giving up a dream.  Neither Presidential candidate satisfies me on this issue.  Point to Sarah Palin.

Obama made a point of saying at one of his myriad rallies that “All sexuality is sacred.”  Bullmalarkey.  Does that include rape?  Pedophilia?  Incest?  Beastiality?  When it comes to homosexuality, call me a realist.  I know it has gone on since long before recorded history.  It will continue to go on long after I’m cold in the ground (did I ever mention before I don’t want to be cremated?  I don’t, but not for any religious reasons.  The “why” will have to be a Tale for Another Day).  We can make laws against it (and adultery, and premarital sex) until the Second Coming, but it won’t matter a hill of beans to what goes on between two consenting adults in the privacy of their own bedroom.  (On the other hand, I’m all for laws against sexual activity when at least one party does NOT give consent, or is not an adult).  HOWEVER, what you do in the privacy of your bedroom needs to be just that–private and in your bedroom.  Don’t parade it in front of me or my kids, don’t flaunt it, and DON’T make a mockery of a Holy Sacrament instituted by God the Father Almighty by calling what you do “marriage.”  John McCain is on record as supporting the Sanctity of Marriage Acts spreading among the states like a healing salve.  Yes, I know all about the fiasco of his first marriage and transition to his second.  I’m not happy with it, but I’m much less happy about what Obama has said and done.  Point to McCain.

I believe that a stronger America is a safer America.  September 11, 2001 marked the first time in 189 years that a foreign power committed an act of aggression on the American homeland (Hawaii and the Aleutians were merely territories when the Japanese attacked in WWII).  On the morning of September 12, 2001, I bought a red, white, and blue cloth bracelet bearing the slogan “God Bless America” that was being sold as a fundraiser that week by the school where I taught at the time.  Sales had been slow before 9/11; afterward they couldn’t keep them in stock.  It’s still on my wrist, just above my watch.  I remove it only for sleeping and washing.  It’s a constant reminder of what can happen if we let our guard down for just one moment.  I like Theodore Roosevelt’s philosophy of diplomacy:  “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”  His “big stick” was the Great White Fleet.  Ours is the ultimate “wack-bonk” stick:  we hit (“wack”); they fall (“bonk”). [Hey, Instinct, did we agree on 5 or 6 cents per click royalty for the use of your Registered Trademark?  I forget.]  Obama wants to meet the most insidious America-hater on the planet, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, without conditions.  He hobnobs with Hamas.  He wants to abandon all we have worked for in Iraq and Afghanistan, making the deaths of our servicemen valueless and their beliefs (and those of the rest of us veterans) meaningless.  I’ll throw in my lot with the man who has been on the receiving end of the “tender mercies” of America’s enemies.  I want my country represented by a pit bull, not a pansy.   Red, White, and Blue point to McCain.

There’s my two cents and a bit more.  Vote your conscience and vote for the future of America.  But above all, vote.

Margo Channing, the Broadway superstar in the classic 1951 film All About Eve portrayed so brilliantly by Bette Davis, said it best:  “Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.”  Make that a bumpy fortnight.

Think Before You Vote.

It’s election day.  To say the economy is in the toilet is the understatement of the century.  People are losing jobs left and right.  When it comes to food, clothing, and shelter, you can choose any two–if you’re lucky.

At the polls, there are a bunch of “little candidates,” but only two really matter.  One aging candidate represents the old guard and traditional values.  He is a respected war hero, especially by those who claim the “moral high ground,” but also has enough of a following by social democrats to avoid being automatically tagged as a “hard-line right-winger.”

The other candidate wants change, period.  He is in his 40’s and a dynamic speaker.  Questions linger about the validity of his citizenship, as well as other nasty rumors about his background and intents once he takes office that just won’t go away.  He mounts a grueling campaign, flying from town to town, making speech after speech about how he wants to restore wealth, respect, and hope to a dispirited and increasingly-pessimistic nation.

You are the average citizen, exercising your right on election day and shaping the future of your nation.  Whom do you choose?

The aging symbol of the past, or the young dynamo?

Which one?

Decided?

Good.  Remember who you picked.

You’ve turned in your ballot.

You can’t go back and change it.

Oh, I forgot to tell you a minor detail.

The year is 1932.  The country is Germany.

If you voted for the aging war hero, you chose Paul von Hindenburg.

If you voted for the young dynamo wanting change, you chose Adolf Hitler.

Early voting started yesterday in Texas.  Election day is November 4.  Think carefully before you cast your ballot.  The future of not only your country, but mine and our children’s country depends on the choice you make.


April 2017
S M T W T F S
« Nov    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30  

Top Clicks

  • None
Widget_logo
i am a geek


My blog is worth $6,774.48.
How much is your blog worth?