Monday, July 28, 2008

Freedom and the USA

A good friend recently added this quote from the former President Ronald Reagan to an e-mail she sent, "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."

Now there's an orator and someone who could stir our spirits. A true leader who reminded us what we could become. I remind myself, from time to time, that it is I who create my own choices, either by action or non-action. As kids we see freedom as separation from situations we dislike. As we age and take on greater resposibility, we realize that our freedom to choose how we live our lives fills us with gratitude for the bounty that is our lives.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Squeaky Wheels are Rarely Conventional

The squeaky wheel gets the oil. Groups with specific aims and agendas find ways to further their causes. Some have great success. Others fall be the wayside or percolate out of sight. Some grow from fledglings to powerhouses. The Internet has made transcontinental and even global reach relatively easy.

There has always been a silent majority that has solid core values and is unaffected by fringe groups and other extreme special interest groups because of their steadfastness in living and creating admirable lives for their families and loved ones. Special interest groups often brush on core issues, but often only tangentially as a contextual frame of reference for a more extreme position.

I'm cavorting around the Midwest this weekend preparing to attend my niece's wedding. After a few years in Southern California, I was reluctantly becoming convinced that irreconcilable polarities were no longer open to debate. The Midwest gives great hope. Debate is not dead! The heartland has true heart!

So often in "sunny southern California", once I've chosen a conservative stance on an issue, I'm given a sullen stare pregnant with disdain for my ignorance of being less educated than the liberal one who has quickly realized that I am unworthy of their time. I see such a reaction as insecurity on their part as they have often had an unwillingness to freely debate outside of their comfort zone. One could even call such a resistance to change stodgy and full of vanity. How is it that the liberal with all that open mindedness is so resistant to change? The vain have no need for outside viewpoints once they feel that critical mass for acceptance has been reached for their viewpoint. Open debate is intrinsic to inclusivity. The liberal mind is convinced of it's open mindedness, yet vanity dictates a selective open mindedness, such as Al Gore's global warming hysteria, a topic not open to debate. The indoctrination of the youth is almost complete. Orwell's groupthink has erupted from the most unlikely place.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Where does the distrust of US intent originate?

Finding a way is intrinsic to the American experience. People from all over the world flood into the country, anyway they can, to attend our Universities, to take advantage of our medical expertise and to enjoy a way of life that is as only as limited as the human spirit. Is our country formed by this growth? Certainly it is!

The flood of people into the US in recent years has made assimilation "inconvenient" rather than a necessity. It's human nature to put one's effort where it will create the greatest advantage, and that may not include trying to fit in. Finding others in your situation may be more appealing than learning a new language. When mere survival has been a primary drive, it may take awhile to become satiated enough to want to fit in. But when we see the unwillingness to assimilate and the well waxed legal representation that is capitalizing on political correctness, we get exasperated that we have no voice. Problems to the south of the U.S. create well kindled motivation to act and ask questions later. But, what will happen when the days of plenty become squeezed? The high oil prices will have a ripple effect that will be felt for months.

When we remind ourselves to be grateful for what we have we are motivated to help others, as we have as a nation, coming to the aid of others worldwide for decades. But we have been so blessed by the checks and balances of a functioning constitution, however imperfect it may seem, that we take our freedoms for granted. Someone who's functioning on a survival level will be unable to see an incentive for us to "help out" and will certainly only assume that we will make it right via some exchange that may not be wholeheartedly accepted; thus the distrust.

Granted, backroom deals have been going on since trade began, though these days, we may be able to have lawyers at every transaction worldwide. And now we do have an interesting bind: Can we claim to be perfectly altruistic and give up claims to Iraqi oil? Of course not! Sometimes I just wish that those who constantly demonize oil companies would pledge that they would not use oil themselves and pledge that they will use only their own money in making such a public spectacle of suing the oil companies, when it is we who pay the litigation fees at the pump for years! Just when is this little farce going to end? I never would have believed that environmentalist would have the audacity to castrate our free society. So perhaps the distrust originates from distrust of intent for starters and is surreptitiously carried through by warriors of the pen via media. Oh, that is caustic, is it not?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What's the definition of a racist in 2008?

Mark Levin ( mentioned the definition of a racist is someone who's winning a discussion with a democrat. The art of debate is no longer valued in a world of political correctness. To elaborate from this keyboard, discussion about anything slightly controversial leads to name calling as a means of ending further discussion. If we continue on this path, even more basic freedoms may disappear. Mark Levin throws around the term "facists" for the politically correct "mandate" in Universities; strong language, to be sure, but a description that has developed legs and one he's very proud to have originated in this context. Note that we have heard that the effort to silence Rush and his ilk will be less restricted were a democrat to get into office.

When a person starts accomplishing anything, there's always someone nearby who would prefer a level playing field, i.e. one where the creative can't distance themselves by accomplishment. If you want to accomplish anything, get used to the flack, but don't let it bother you. The presidency is a tough game. Obama would be wise to act as though controversial cartoons on major publications like the New Yorker don't faze him. The new Yorker claims that the cover of their magazine was presenting Obama and his wife in a satirical sense, but the reaction reveals that such a viewpoint was lost on the presidential candidates. But also, Obama seems to be too thin skinned to deal with the heat. The public is being told what is off limits step by step. Most of us could deal with such a jab. Who in their right mind would elect into the presidency someone so thin skinned? This little game is all about being elected. Obama is untested in any other arena. Imagine discussions with heads of state in other countries bamboozling this naive soul?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The religion of Global Warming from

I really must share this with my readers. It's a post from that is so brilliant that I wanted to leave it intact.

"Global warming: religion, not science
Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal has discovered that belief in global warming is like belief in religion:
If even slight global cooling remains evidence of global warming, what isn't evidence of global warming? What we have here is a nonfalsifiable hypothesis, logically indistinguishable from claims for the existence of God. This doesn't mean God doesn't exist, or that global warming isn't happening. It does mean it isn't science.
I’ve previously explained that global warming is a key part of post-Christian Mother Nature worship. The message is finally getting out there.
Bret writes:
[I]t is in keeping with this essentially religious outlook that the "solutions" chiefly offered to global warming involve radical changes to personal behavior, all of them with an ascetic, virtue-centric bent: drive less, buy less, walk lightly upon the earth and so on. A light carbon footprint has become the 21st-century equivalent of sexual abstinence.
That’s exactly correct. Easy solutions to lowering carbon emissions, like replacing coal power plants with nuclear power plants (a proven scalable way to generate large amounts of electricity without carbon emissions), are rejected. "

Thank you, Jesse!

Thank you, Jesse Jackson, for simplifying my dilemma: How was I to characterize the valuable pretense of stilted progress in the African American community’s plight despite massive progress? When there is an effort to solve problems, there’s a whole different dynamic than when an agenda is being kept alive. There’s a lot of money to continue to change hands if a plight of the downtrodden remains in effect. Please excuse my delicacy in my reluctance to “spell it out” as this writer has been conditioned, despite a growing reluctance, to remain readable to the politically correct. Someday I hope to look back at this display of reticence with the knowing eyes of a person who lives in a society where a specific tyranny of ideas is accepted only in small groups of willing victicrats rather than permeating a whole culture. On such a course are we now headed if we continue to allow political manipulators to convince us that we are downtrodden and ineffective. The big picture looms ever over the horizon and if we continue to keep our heads in the sand with petty manufactured dilemmas, the rug may be pulled out from under our feet and we may lose our way of life and all the things we take for granted.

But first, let me tell you a little about my perspective. I entered college in the fall of 1968 in Orange, California. These are my personal recollections of those times. A book is brewing, but I’ll limit the stream of ideas here. I’d lived in Europe the prior ten years and was trying to come to grips with being an American living in the United States.

There was great upheaval in the city of Orange, just south of Los Angeles, owing to a decision made at Chapman College to accept several African Americans into the College for the first time. Orange had no African Americans residing in town at that time. I was a freshman and must have been included in the experiment because I was to live with three of the twenty or so African Americans in the college dorms. There had been a decision to take a risk as a pilot program to help us all learn from each other in the college environment.

I had attended the International School of Geneva in Switzerland for seven years as luck would have it. My father worked for a large yellow tractor manufacturing company and had been fortunate to have had the opportunity to go to Europe to help with a new factory, first in Scotland, then as a manager in Geneva. The students at Ecolint as it was called, abbreviated from the French, “Ecole Internationale” were proud that 103 nations were represented in the school. We were all color blind to racial issues, other than for the purpose of learning about other cultures. I had a good friend from Sierra Leone, West Africa. Another good friend was from Sweden. The taxes in Sweden were the reason his family was in Geneva. Of course, there were a lot of diplomats with their families due to the proximity to the U.N.

Chapman College was an oasis of tolerance, though a few of the locals were very outspoken. Some of my Black (as they were known at the time) friends told me of death threats from “The Minute Men”; a racist group aware of the College’s actions. One black friend told me about how he’d been walking through a neighborhood where a woman, while watering her lawn, had intentionally aimed her hose at him and sprayed him with water while saying, “I was wondering if that brown dirt would wash off,” which left me incredulous! That was the beginning of my education of the African American experience in the USA. I'd read "Black Like Me" and lived in Mississippi prior to this, mind you. I had been a foreigner for the previous ten years in Europe, but no civilized Swiss resident would have the audacity, nor the lack of civility to act in such a way. Granted, as Americans in Europe, we were considered crass and unpredictable and openly disdained, but I became fluent in French and blended in to the point where my origins were unknown. Therefore, I understand throughout my core the viewpoint of those who judge us from Europe. Freedom in the USA is interpreted in so many ways and, owing to the structure of our democracy, is often left unchallenged in interpretation. The affected students were beyond exasperation and when a speaker for the “Brown Berets” made a speech at the campus, many joined up and found comfort in the solidarity. There was exuberant pride in that unity. A relatively peaceful alternative to the “Black Panthers” was welcomed enthusiastically.

Solidarity brings comfort but we must always be aware of those who want to capitalize on that solidarity for their own purposes which almost never align with original intent .To be continued……

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Oil prices are on everyone's mind.

The astronomical increases on oil prices are dampening an already damp economy. Americans are suffering under the burden. To add insult to injury, the decrease in consumption has motivated various states to consider raising taxes to make up the shortfall in revenues!

Iran has launched long range missiles in tests to let their neighbors in Israel and collaterally the United States know they have no reason to rest easy.

The presentation of global warming in schools often falls into the category of indoctrination rather than a topic of study for young minds.

Such a complex, yet fluid situation calls for exceptional leadership, since the potential for grave consequences exists. Although we hardly expect leadership during a lame duck session we can't expect anyone to step up to the plate. Our representatives have become experts at deflecting our attention from serious issues, in order to maintain their ascendancy.

Certainly we all make choices and must live with the consequences if we're to be responsible citizens. We struggle to create lives that are stepping stones to our dreams, if we dare. But there appears to be an elitist disconnect in Washington from the society at large. We have had a rude awakening from the complacency we rode into November of 2007. It seems to be human nature to save the best of times as a baseline, since we're always striving to improve. But the reckless greed that resulted in the real estate crisis set us up for a freefall. There really are consequences for bad decisions. But do we really want to expect the government to bail us out of problems? Lee Iaccoca borrowed money awhile ago as we held our breaths in disbelief. Where are we now as a nation? As United States citizens we have to work at being good citizens. Responsibilities precede rights, but how often we forget these simple truths.

A new look to choicez!

There's a new look to choicez! I've decided to come out of the dark ages and join the current world with this new look. My original intent with choicez was to learn some HTML and get a feel for web interactivity. It was a test bed of sorts.

Since choices are integral to our daily lives minute by minute and year to year, change is part of the landscape as we make decisions and move forward. I felt choicez was open ended enough to bring up a diverse range of topics. And so the adventure begins.