Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fighting Tolerance

Debatable Opinions; Letters to the Editor
(originally published at OpEdNews)

A woman from Hebron, Mississippi sent a letter to the Laurel Leader-Call “strongly” disagreeing with advice which Abigail Van Buren (Dear Abby) gave to a 16 year old girl. The girl asked for help in dealing with a sexual orientation identity crisis.

I’ve never experienced an internal debate about my sexual orientation, but, given today’s adversarial environment surrounding the subject, I can empathize with the young girl even if I can’t understand her predicament.

I don’t know how many of us shared our thoughts with our parents when we were teen-agers. I don’t know how many of us believed that sharing those thoughts would be innocuous just to find ourselves in a knockdown, drag out “argument”. If this happened to you as it happened to me, can you imagine sharing your feelings with your parents knowing that it would result in an intolerable situation for you?

The letter writer obviously had an open and honest relationship with her parents; a relationship which nothing she said to her parents could derail. Those who have had such a relationship with unconditionally understanding parents are fortunate. I have no data which shows if more parents are accepting or rejecting of the kind of feelings the girl has. This young lady knows her parents, though, and, if we give it some thought, we would suspect that she would probably have already told them about her feelings if she knew they would accept them as legitimate. She does hint at how they would accept her feelings by saying that they attend a “church that believes homosexuality is a terrible sin.”

Of course, since the writer considers herself “a seasoned woman who happened (sic) to believe that a person’s sexual orientation is a matter of choice”, she may never have had to face what the girl sees as her moment of truth. The woman from Hebron doesn’t believe that the girl is facing any such moment. According to the letter writer, “it has not been proven that one’s sexual orientation is something a person is born with.”

Scientists who study such things are basically in agreement with her. A huge difference between the letter writer and the scientists, however, is that the writer makes her claim as if the absence of definite proof is proof of definite absence. On the other hand, the scientists are using imaging technology to study the brain and they are beginning to discover that there are differences between the brains of straight people and those of gay people. Although the scientists admit that it hasn’t been unquestionably proven that there is a “gay gene”, they’re getting closer to proving it.

Alternatively, the letter writer doesn’t give the scientific studies much credit. Perhaps, she, too, is a scientist studying the human brain and she hasn’t discovered the differences. Or perhaps, through her studies, she’s discovered that the (other) scientists are wrong. I’m not taking bets on that one.

The letter writer hopes that “Dear Abby has not advised this 16 year-old young lady to do something she could one day regret.”

This is a curious concern. The girl may discover that she’s made the horrible mistake of thinking that she’s gay when, in fact, she merely chose to think that she’s gay. What regret will she have? Will she regret the fact that she blew the chance of getting pregnant? I think not.

The letter writer states that “humans both male and female at some point in life has (sic) been at least curious about what it would be like to be with someone of the same sex, but if you want to do the right thing you don’t act on those feelings, you just put mind over matter.”

Maybe we have a situation where the newspaper limits the number of words a letter writer may use in a letter to the editor. If that’s the case, it’s unfortunate because the woman never got a chance to present data which proves that not acting upon “those feelings” is “the right thing”.

She further states that “I would not appreciate it if this has (sic) been my daughter Dear Abby gave this totally unprofessional advice to”. Ironically enough, this statement should tell us that, if the woman’s daughter was facing the same dilemma, Dear Abby may, indeed, be giving advice to her. She seems to be a parent who may become quite animated if told that one of her children is gay.

Lest we forget, we shouldn’t leave out the media’s influence. After all, “because of the media’s acceptance of same sex relationships this young lady could also be being influenced into thinking this kind of behavior is normal.” I’m thinking that the media began to accept same sex relationships as “normal” after a large portion of the American public had already legitimized same sex relationships with its acceptance of them.

The woman seems certain that giving the young girl advice which is “in direct defiance of her parents’ beliefs… is unhealthy for the child”. Many of us who did open up to our parents, thinking that they would understand, may have found that to be unhealthy.

I have confidence that science will ultimately find that homosexuality is hard wired in the human brain. However, whether it’s hardwired or a lifestyle choice, those who oppose same sex relationships should see their opposition as their choice and nothing more. It is arrogance and unwarranted self-importance that drives people like the woman from Hebron, Mississippi to try to force their opinions on others even if the issue will never affect them.

To friendship,

“Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong.” - Peter T. McIntyre

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Saturday, January 24, 2009

More Disinformation

Debatable Opinions; Letters to the Editor
(originally published by OpEdNews)

I recently read a very strange letter to The Post Bulletin of Rochester, Minnesota. I consider it strange because it was posted on the twenty-second of January. This is not to imply that letters written to the editor and posted on January 22 are inherently strange.

What’s strange about this particular letter is that the writer refers to an answer President Obama offered during his January 11 interview with George Stephanopoulos. The President made the measured statement that closing Guantánamo Bay is going to be “more difficult than I think a lot of people realize.”

The writer wonders if Obama had considered this fact while he was promising to close the facility during his campaign. She finds it incredulous that “only now, after high-level security briefings, Obama finally realizes the ramifications of closing Gitmo.” She tells us that, if this is the case, “then perhaps he is more of a dunce than the left has been claiming Bush is.”

The only other possibility, according to the writer, is that Obama really knew that closing Gitmo wouldn’t be a piece of cake. Consequently, she concludes that Obama “had to know he was lying every time he mentioned it on the campaign trail.”

Her sources include “the common-sense people I encounter--hard-working, blue-collar people who didn't go to Harvard”. She uses these people as references because they “immediately recognize this to be a bad idea.”

As I’m quite certain that the letter was written before it was posted, probably a few days before it was posted, the writer didn’t know the pending irony underlying the posting of her letter on the very day that The President signed the executive order ensuring that Gitmo would, indeed, be closed within one year.

Was the writer insinuating that President Obama’s statement to Stephanopoulos was a prelude to reneging on that campaign promise? If so, she obviously miscalculated.

Even if that was not her implication, she somehow considers Obama a “bigger deceiver than the left has been claiming Bush is”.

I read quite a few Obama campaign speeches, hoping to find one in which he encouraged “millions of wide-eyed idealists to ignore the reality of the situation and believe that Gitmo could easily be closed.” However, I did not find one speech made by Barack Obama in which he guaranteed that closing America’s shameful “detention center” at Guantánamo Bay would be quick and easy.

In one speech in which he opined that Gitmo should be closed, Obama said that The US should have “developed a real military system of justice that would sort out the suspected terrorists from the accidentally accused”.

In February of 2008, Obama said that the trials of those detained at Gitmo are “too important to be held in a flawed military commission system that has failed to convict anyone of a terrorist act since the 9/11 attacks and that has been embroiled in legal challenges”.

Another Obama campaign statement regarding Gitmo was that the existence of the gulag “sends a negative message to the world” and taints even trade-deal negotiations.

“To the extent that we are not being true to our values and our ideals, (the existence of the Guantánamo facility) sends a negative message to the world, and it gives us less leverage, then, when we want to deal with countries that are abusing human rights”, Obama said in December of 2007.

During the Stephanopoulos interview, rather than appearing to have changed his mind about closing Gitmo, the then President-elect said, “We are going to get it done, but part of the challenge that you have is that you have got a bunch of folks that have been detained, many of whom may be very dangerous, who have not been put on trial or have not gone through some adjudication”

The last statement appears to have been made by a man who is adamant about closing Gitmo, although he is not under the illusion that it will be quick or easy. The writer of the letter to the Post Bulletin, like so many who actually want Obama to fail, took just enough from the interview to conclude that the president has already failed to live up to one of his most important campaign promises.

If there were “millions of wide-eyed idealists” who interpreted anything that Obama said during his campaign as a prediction that closing Gitmo would be fast and easy, their interpretation had and still has no basis in fact. From where I sit, which is not on top of the world, able to know what the millions of Obama supporters are thinking, most Obama supporters didn’t hear him promise that closing the gulag would be a fast and painless process. I’ll go further than that.

Not only do the millions of Obama supporters realize that he didn’t promise to close Gitmo quickly, they were and still are intelligent enough to know that the effort isn’t a two hour job. They know this in spite of the fact that many of them didn’t attend Harvard.

Barack Obama has been accused by many of being “elite”, almost too smart to be president. Witness the letter writer’s statement that the people to whom she listens “didn’t go to Harvard”. While it doesn’t take attendance at Harvard or Yale to legitimize one’s educational background, the writer, like so many conservatives, seems to be proud of the fact that she knows people who didn’t attend Harvard. The writer, like so many conservatives, pushes the idea that too much intelligence precludes possessing “common sense” and is generally not a desirable trait. The last eight years have demonstrated what the writer and her “blue collar” friends consider the degree of intelligence a president should possess.

I have no doubt that Barack Obama will make mistakes during his presidency. After all, he’s only human. His supporters, I’m certain, also believe that and hope that any mistake he makes will not be catastrophic for the nation or the world.

I would ask those who didn’t support him during the presidential campaign to at least wait until he makes a mistake before criticizing him. I would ask those people to wait, but, seriously, I just don’t believe that they possess the degree of maturity and/or tolerance to enable them to do so.

Addendum: The news about the released Gitmo detainee who became the leader of an Al Qaeda cell in Yemen was published after I had completed the above article. Many on the right have used this instance as an opportunity to reinforce the idea that the gulag at Guantánamo Bay should remain open indefinitely.

There is one obvious response to those who posit this notion and several incidental responses.

The incidental responses are:

the person who has signed the executive order to close Gitmo was not in office when the detainee was released. The Regime was in power.

detainees have been held for a very long time without the benefit of being charged, offered legal counsel and tried. Possibly if this detainee was tried in an American court under American rules of jurisprudence, his guilt may have been exposed.

to paraphrase Keith Olbermann, is it not possible that, after being held under the above mentioned conditions and possibly tortured, we turned what may have been an innocent man into a Jihadist against The US?

Here’s the killer reasoning, though.

  1. A detainee is held for years under the above mentioned conditions
  2. If he isn’t tortured, he’s at least not treated humanely.
  3. He’s released without a criminal trial.
  4. He becomes involved with Al Qaeda.
  5. Conclusion: Obviously, Gitmo does not work!

To friendship,

“We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent man.” - George Orwell

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Don't blame it all on President Bush

Debatable Opinions; Letters to the Editor
(originally published by OpEdNews)

Op Ed cartoonist Mike Thompson published a series of cartoons in The Detroit Free Press entitled “Top 10 reasons to be grateful President Bush is leaving”. As would be expected, there have been letters written to the editor which agree with Thompson’s opinion and there have been letters which disagree with it. Also not surprisingly, I chose to respond to a letter which disagrees with the opinion and with which, prima facie, I thought I disagreed.

In the letter with which I thought I disagreed, a writer reminds us that “America is not a monarchy”. He reminds us that others may have played a part in the financial woes that the nation now faces.

As I began writing this column, I found myself going even further than the writer in making his case. In this column, I don’t limit the failures of the so called “Bush Administration” to the latest economic failure. In writing this column, I found myself looking at an even larger picture.

I used to call The United States of America The Former United States of America. In the name of fairness and the hope that my cynicism toward Barack Obama is misplaced, I’ve once again begun calling this nation The United States of America. At many points throughout its history, however many states which have made up The United States at any given time were, indeed, united. Granted, some states had different ideas than others on social issues, but there didn’t seem to be a pall of hate over the nation. There didn’t seem to be real hatred between what are called “conservative” states and what are called “liberal” states. A state would actually agree to disagree with another state while conceding that the state with which it disagreed was every bit as American as it was.

Under the Bush Administration, another euphemism I’ve been replacing with the title The Regime, “conservatives” and “conservative” states have honed in on their differences with “liberal” or “progressive” states much more emphatically than the ideas and ideals which they share.

People like the The American Prospect editorialist Robert Kuttner and I are aware that the divisiveness didn’t necessarily emanate from the brain of George W. Bush. There are those of us who realize that Dick Cheney made most, if not all, of the executive decisions in the so-called “Bush White House”. It is my contention that the decision to run George W. Bush for president in 2000 was based upon the appeal he’d have with the average American, a person who has recently become known as “Joe the plumber.” Cheney, on the other hand, would have appealed to the few people who consider Lex Luthor the hero of that particular Superman movie.

More proof that Cheney is the real leader of The Regime was the fact that, by sidestepping the vetting process he was supposed to have used to help Bush choose his running mate in 2000, Cheney placed himself on the ticket. As I, along with most Americans, was not privy to meetings that took place during that campaign, I can only submit that it’s my opinion that the set up was already determined.

Although Bush was not a signatory to The Project for a New American Century, Dick Cheney was one of the original signatories. As you recall, the PNAC is the neoconservative “club” which worked on answering the question, “Now that The Cold War is ended, what excuse can be used to continue to finance and build America’s military?” The PNAC decided that, rather than go through the trouble of manufacturing a new “evil doer”, it would use the already demonized Saddam Hussein to accomplish its goals. Who better to remind Americans how much they hate Saddam Hussein than a member of the Bush family?

There are many people, including yours truly, who believe that financing and building America’s defense was so important to members of The PNAC that merely putting another Bush in The White House would not, in itself, be sufficient to rekindle America’s hatred of Saddam Hussein and its prejudice toward and fear of yet another dark skinned population. These people, called “Truthers” for their relationship to the organization and web site called 9/, have gathered a large inventory of evidence which says that 9/11 was planned and carried out by members of The PNAC, aka The Regime, aka The Bush Administration.

We, of course, have gotten what we’ve deserved for having such a hair brained idea. We’ve been ridiculed and mocked, as our propensity for individual self-direction has frightened those who either can’t or won’t bring themselves to believe that American leaders aren’t a step above homo sapiens in the evolutionary chain and that, like all other people, they can be good or evil.

The writer of the letter, then, is actually correct, albeit not in the manner in which he thinks he is correct. In fact, I don’t accept the premise of the editorial with which the writer disagrees.

I submit that the “Top 10 reasons to be grateful President Bush is leaving” reinforces the deception that’s been at the core of far too many crimes, including war crimes, since January of 2001 and especially since September 11, 2001. I submit that George W. Bush’s “aw shucks”, self-deprecating, English mangling persona, intentional or not, has allowed The Regime, led by Cheney, to accomplish its Constitution bashing and corporate enriching agenda.

An editorial entitled “Top 10 reasons to be grateful The Regime is leaving” would have been closer to reality. The writer would then have had good reason to write “others may have also been responsible for America’s woes.”

We now have to sit and wait while we learn whether we are entering the era of an Obama Administration or if the results of November’s presidential “election” merely guarantees a seamless continuation of a regime of, by and for corporations. It’s quite possible that The Regime was installed in 1980 and hasn’t given up power yet. If one points to the fact that there’s been a so called “Democratic” president during this period, one doesn’t necessarily disprove the regime theory. Lest we forget, Clinton’s trade policies have served to make a mockery of the American blue collar worker and have been the seed of recent job losses. What more proof do we need that The Corporacracy is the true leader of The United States of America; the true leader of The World?

“America is not a monarchy” states the wise letter writer. Yet, by their social narcolepsy, the majority of the world’s inhabitants kneel before a liege lord whose every order is not only obeyed, but defended vehemently by those whose have died, who are dying and who will continue to die social deaths at the edge of The Corporacracy’s sword; a sword forged from the finest greed to have ever begrimed this planet.

To friendship,

“Christmas reinforces the greed of the greedy and the need of the needy.” – Michael Bonanno

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Is Isolationism All Bad?

Debatable Opinions; Letters to the Editor
(originally published by OpEdNews)

There were two letters to the editor of The Boston Globe stating that “more must be done” to end the civil war in Sri Lanka. One letter writer wants “President-elect Obama to reach out to allies to promote UN intervention”. The writer says that the civil war “has rendered the Tamils as refugees in their homelands”.

The second writer thinks more should be done by the Sinhalese led government to make the secessionist Tamil Tigers “irrelevant” because when provinces in Sri Lanka are freed from their “clutches”, democratic institutions emerge.

These two letters were written in response to a Globe editorial entitled “Sri Lanka's ignored war”.

When one writes that the UN should intervene, one is committing Americans to the cause. The US is part of the UN and Americans inevitably make up whatever contingent of UN forces intervenes in any global conflict.

While reading both the letters to the editor and the piece upon which the letters were based, I couldn’t help thinking of the fact that 2 million people have died in Sudan and 4 million have been displaced since that nation’s independence in 1956. What’s been happening in Darfur has been called genocide. This is why there has been a call for a “multinational military force” to be sent to Sudan to “secure access by the people of Darfur to the humanitarian relief that the government has blocked”.

“An international police force backed by some troops will be needed to build long-term security” in East Timor, according to the web site Foreign Policy in Focus.

The Council on Foreign Relations states that the US must insist upon an “expanded UN peacekeeping mandate in The Democratic Republic of Congo”.

And, of course, there’s the Israeli/Palestinian “conflict”.

I bet one of the points I’ve tried to make thus far in this column is obvious, even to the most casual of readers. There are a lot of so called “troubled spots” in the world and there are many Americans who want us to either intervene or talk our “allies” or the UN into intervening which, as mentioned, would involve sending Americans to a particular person or group’s favorite trouble spot.

It took The Regime, aka, the Bush Administration, three tries, but it eventually settled on “bringing peace and democracy to Iraq” as its reason for killing Iraqis and destroying their country. Many awakened Americans knew that this wasn’t the reason why 4,223 American soldiers have, to date, died in Iraq. I didn’t believe it in 2002, when The Regime started floating the rumor that we might invade Iraq, in 2003, when The Regime actually sent the military to invade Iraq or in 2009, when The Regime has been bragging about how much better Iraq is now than it was right after we invaded. I know that The Regime’s reasons were disingenuous then and will always remain that way. I don’t believe that anything that history, real or concocted, will reveal will ever convince me to believe otherwise. I know that I’m not the only person who feels this way.

One of my early responses to the “democracy” garbage was to question why The Regime suddenly chose Iraq for its democracy injection. It said that Saddam Hussein was a tyrant and tortured and killed his own people, but, in the grand scheme of things, wouldn’t it have been better to start big? Thinking back on the horrors that happened in Tiananmen Square in China, a country with a population of 1,330,044,544 people, wouldn’t it have been better for the US to inject democracy into China? Bam, right off the bat, we would have had a new ally with over 1 billion people and “ready to fire” nukes. The ROI on a slaughter in China would have been much greater than it has been on the slaughter in Iraq, a country of only 29 million people.

Of course we didn’t invade Iraq to help them to become democratic in the image of America. Most all Americans know that now, although there are still some who will never learn that.

Am I implying, then, that those who wish us to “become involved” in Sri Lanka, like one of the letter writers, are disingenuous? For some reason, I don’t believe that they are. In fact, among the people who want to see either US or UN military intervention in some of these “troubled spots” are Progressives, like me, who were aware of The Regime’s war crimes. Yet, they want to see military action in areas where, like Vietnam and Iraq, the landscape is known to the natives but would be completely mystifying to any US military personnel who might be sent to save one side or the other. In most of the troubled spots, English isn’t spoken well if at all and written words aren’t written in the Latin alphabet. Consequently, wherever we send American troops, they will more than likely be in Vietnam and/or Iraq-like environments and stand little to no chance of escaping without suffering traumatic losses. We can never come away from such a situation with what could be called a “victory”. As the first woman to ever be elected to The House of Representatives, Jeannette Rankin, once said, “You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.”

Another question might be on whose behalf would the “peacekeepers” be keeping the peace? It sounds like a curious question as one might believe that peacekeeping would be somewhat like officiating a sporting event. The peacekeepers should be neutral and become aggressive to whomever it is that tries to break the peace.

It only takes a look at Korea to understand the improbability that peacekeepers can remain neutral. There are still American troops in Korea who serve as peacekeepers, but we can be certain that, should unrest break out, those particular peacekeepers have already decided that The North will be the culprit and they will keep the peace by participating, non-peaceably, in the defense of South Korea.

Whose side would American peacekeepers be on if sent to the Gaza Strip? We all know the answer to that question, but is it the right answer? One death is one too many under any violent circumstance, but would The US defend those whose death toll from the conflict is 573 or would it defend the nation who has suffered “several” casualties?

Lest I seem cold and uncaring, my heart breaks and my blood boils even though I cannot fathom 45,000 people dying per month in a war, as is happening in Democratic Republic of Congo. However, when it seemed as though The Regime was going to send troops to almost every sovereign nation in The Middle East to give them the gift of democracy in return for a few million barrels of crude, didn’t those awakened Americans wonder how it was going to produce enough American soldiers to fight all of those wars? Didn’t we oppose the war in Iraq because it was not a war of necessity but a war of choice?

If we send troops into Sudan, wouldn’t that be our choice? If we send troops into Sri Lanka, would that not be our choice?

We can all agree that The Regime lied about Iraq, but that those who sincerely want to end real bloodshed and suffering genuinely care about those who are dying and suffering. Nonetheless, we don’t have the resources to stop all of it, if any of it. Our citizens, those who we should care most about, would become victims of the same bloodshed and suffering. We would never have an agreement among our population whether the side for which our kids were fighting and dying was the righteous side or the villainous side. Most importantly the past has shown us that, once we leave, remnants of the “defeated” population could very well reemerge and the fragile peace that may result from the violent war would cease.

Are we trying to force the alcoholic to stop drinking? Isn’t the first step in a 12 step program admitting to having a problem in the first place? No matter how many troops we send to any “troubled spot” in the world, we will never change the minds of the tyrants who are causing the pain and destruction. They have to come to the realization that what they’re doing is wrong and, considering the magnitude of what the tyrants are usually doing, the probability of their coming to that realization is slim to none.

Enter Plan B. When the tyrannical leaders fail to realize the evil of their ways, the people have to become intolerant enough of those ways to rise up against the tyrants and overthrow them. This, too, is no guarantee, as the blackness that people see can become so intolerable that dark gray begins to look good and dark gray is just a shade from black.

Another quote comes to mind. John Quincy Adams is credited with saying, “America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy.”

To friendship,

“Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right.” - Isaac Asimov

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Saturday, January 03, 2009

Societal Irrelevance

Debatable Opinions; Letters to the Editor
(originally published by OpEdNews)

Did you know that Sarah Palin is more qualified than Caroline Kennedy? A writer to The Baltimore Sun seems to think so.

The writer reminds us that Palin was a mayor “and is currently governor of a state that covers a land mass one-seventh the size of the continental United States.”

Is there some kind of special election taking place right now? Minnesota hasn’t named a senator yet, but that election’s over. Governor Paterson of New York has to appoint a temporary Senator to take Secretary of State designate Hillary Clinton’s place. Governor Palin has to choose someone to take Ted Stevens’ place in the senate. Governor Blagojevich seems to have found a buyer for the senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama, but I don’t know of any special election taking place right now.

Actually, in keeping with the theme of the letter, the contest referred to above would have to be one in which Sarah Palin was running against Caroline Kennedy. After all, according to the writer, Palin is “eminently more qualified than Ms. Kennedy is to hold any position of authority.”
If you’re like me, you don’t give a rat’s ass about how Palin measures up against Kennedy or the fact that Kennedy “has held no public office”. There’s plenty of time to learn if it’s true that “Kennedy has no qualification for any office”, as the writer states in his letter.

Palin is not presently competing against Kennedy for political office and this kind of comparison is all but meaningless.

That is, of course, unless one’s already made up one’s mind that the Obama administration has failed before its even taken office. Some people have already created very well organized web sites which call for the impeachment of Barack Obama.

I watch Keith Olbermann almost every evening. He presents the news with a progressively biased slant and I’m a progressively biased person, so it’s a pretty good match. He’s also humorous. What draws me to Olbermann more than anything else is the oratory genius with which he many times exposes truths about political corruption and social injustice. It’s the potential that he’ll do one of his passionate commentaries that keeps me coming back for more.

However, Mr. Olbermann, what you call “the gift that keeps on giving” could deter viewers from watching your show. No matter what stupid thing Sarah Palin says or what stupid thing Sarah Palin does, many Progressives no longer want to hear about it. She’s finished. Her 15 minutes lasted far too long, but it’s over.

Nor do Progressives want to begin following the career of Carline Kennedy Princess Di style. Progressives don’t want all Caroline all of the time.

Granted Fox News types, mostly Conservatives, love to make the kinds of comparisons made by the writer of the letter and love to make them well before it’s appropriate. It takes them a long time to build their muddy case for tearing down people they consider “liberal”.

Right now, however, if all goes according to plan, there will be an Obama administration starting at 12 noon on January 20, 2009 and that administration will have much to prove and much with which to prove it.

From my personal perspective, I’ve allowed myself a fraction of an idea that Barack Obama may really become President of the United States of America on the 20th and that he’ll genuinely carry out the duties of that office. I want to see that Obama was not pre-chosen for his position by The Corporacracy to carry out The Corporacracy’s agenda. I think it won’t take me long to figure that out, but I’m committed to at least allowing him to be sworn it before making up my mind.

There are issues that need addressing once he takes office or once the charade begins, whichever it is. As far as working Americans are concerned, or should I say American workers who are not working are concerned, there’s a financial crisis that’s put them out of work.

Israel has ratcheted up its defensive offense or offensive defense against the Palestinians. Depending upon how violent or self defensive Israel gets, Iran may feel the need to come to the aid of the Palestinians. If that happens, total chaos may break out in Pakistan and none of this can bode well for The U. S.

Military personnel and their families have to hold their breath to see if Obama’s promise to get us out of Iraq equals getting us out of a war or just getting us out of Iraq in lieu of getting into another quagmire in Afghanistan.

I realize there’s no way to stop contemptible partisans from denigrating and discrediting any potential public official that may not share their world view. On the other hand, serious people are people who know that the crises which presently face us have nothing to do with whether Palin is more qualified than Kennedy or even if Palin says or does something stupid.

As far as the writer of the letter is concerned, the man doth protest too much, methinks (sorry, Willie).

To friendship,

“The only thing worse than a man you can't control is a man you can.” - Margo Kaufman

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