Just Let Me -- G -- Indoctrinate You!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Dear America,

It's another "day after;" nothing like a State of the Union from a wanna-be progressive trying to act like a Democrat who's most magnanimous applause comes from hearing Republican ideals -- tax cuts, exploring nuclear power - offshore drilling - clean coal energy, freeze on spending, and the ever so rousing appeal of an anti-lobbyist/anti-earmark campaign.

The good news, we can all be rest assured our President has "never been more hopeful about America's future before tonight."

Even if we, the people, are confused in figuring out how the 700 Billion in the Recovery Act and 787  862 Billion (adj. for the real change factor) in the Stimulus Plan can, in the end, equate to tax cuts we can all believe in;

even if we, the people, are still perplexed by the scale and damage of the last twelve months of selling ourselves short on health care legislation (and for all intents and purposes forgetting about jobs),  by (not) watching the escapades behind closed doors (with republicans not allowed), with Obama and his entire crew ignoring criticism (at town hall meetings and otherwise), can, in the end, equate to the flat response "I don't quit" no matter what the circustances;

even if we, the people, watch him increase government spending by almost 25% in the first year, can, in the end, equate to finding our fearless leader practicing without a license and prescribing a spending freeze -- oh, but not starting until 2011 -- amounting to an ounce of prevention after a gluttony of overeating, when in fact what we really need is the lap-band across the board.

even if we, the people, hear him chastise the banks and the system too big to fail, which warranted extreme measures by pulling a Robin Hood on the good ole taxpayer, entrusting the system to be bailed out and ultimately reap a return from our investment, can, in the end, equate to, whoa, hold up, let's use the monies we promised you in return to create a new jobs bill....one that is shiny and red and may cost billions more... um... one that isn't like the last one...um... as that one didn't work so much...trust me, we know what we're doing....even though we have a Treasure Secretary and a Chairman of the Federal Reserve just waiting in the town square to hear of their own demise as we speak.

ah but "I want a new jobs bill on my desk without delay!" said the king.

We, the people, had to be reminded last night -- as somehow it had escaped us over the last twelve months -- that we were still in fact looking at "change we can believe in." 

We had to be reminded that He was not really of Washington, that He's not like the other guys (and dolls),  that He was -- and IS still -- an outsider just like you and me.  Oh that Washington, it is "noisy and messy and complicated" -- and you little people out there have no idea how hard it is for me to do my shape-shifting and redistribution in the midst of such division; the petty displays, the lack of true character, and the constant campaign mode running rampant in the halls of congress (looking left) -- it must all come to an end -- and that goes for my fellow democrats as well (looking right).

He came in on the dream of bringing partisan politics to a standstill -- only for us to watch him shun the right at every turn, close the door to real change, and leave all hope for a new era of governing strewn across the front lawn.  After a year of watching this happen day in and day out, he thinks he can convince us that he is serious this time?  Who is he trying to kid?  Is congress really going to listen to the guy who runs on a do-as-I say-not-as-I do 24/7 campaign, bringing back his Hope and Change Commander in Chief, David Plouffe, for extra help?  Interesting to note the similarities of an article written by Mr. Plouffe for the Washington Post on January 24th...it's like Obama copied him or something. 

One thing that made me raise an eyebrow was the comment "I do not accept second place for the United States of America" -- what is that?  Air America to Obama, they could figure out a way to land a factory on the moon and still pay their people two cents an hour, but there will never be a day when we feel second to China -- never.  That's just a mindset that cannot be destroyed, but apparently must be taught at a very young age, otherwise, this American President of ours would get that.  

But now if we could just figure out a way to own our own real estate, collateralize our dollar with something worth it's weight in gold perhaps, and strip the federal government of most of it's bad habits and regulations and entitlements and perpetual blank check spending we might just resume the number one spot in the eyes of our leader, as that seems to be the root of our failure -- no allegiance and no respect only breeds more no allegiance and no respect.

In the end, he just doesn't get that the American people put BIG government in the same light as BIG banks right now; how Barack Hussein Obama has personally and actively handled the job as CEO and President is part of the problem and Americans are rather disenchanted with anything that equates to more growth, more expense, unknown costs, and unknown liabilities, all the while taking the power of the people away. (hey, and whattup with that dig on the Supreme Court...they're right there and they can hear you...)

Things just keep coming back to me like, "let me be clear, I am not interested in running GM"...and then running it; "I am not interested in taking over insurance companies."  "I'm not interested in punishing banks." "I didn't say it had to be universal health care." "This is where I differ from John McCain, I don't believe in a spending freeze across the board." 

"Now, I know Wall Street isn't keen on this idea, but if these firms can afford to hand out big bonuses again, they can afford a modest fee to pay back the taxpayers who rescued them in their time of need."  (he said last night) -- but really, you taxpayers can't have it either, on second thought I think we need to give that money to small community banks instead, so that they can in turn loan it to those companies who expand or increase wages. 

Control. Regulate.  Control.  Regulate. Punish.  Fine. Tax Break.  Regulate. Control...that's how government works and the people don't.

"Now, I know that some in my own party will argue that we can't address the deficit or freeze government spending when so many are still hurting. And I agree, which is why this freeze won't take effect until next year, when the economy is stronger. That's how budgeting works." 


Governor Bob McDonnell gave the customary rebuttal immediately following the State of the Dysfunction and pointed out the real "common sense" solutions (why it is so funny to hear Obama say those words last night, I don't know...)

Beginning with the first priority:  RESTORE proper limited government at every level.

One of his finest lines of the short response was a reminder from our founding fathers, saying :

"A government closest to the people governs best."

I would imagine McDonnell went to work this morning preparing to be the first to drill off the state of Virginia before the President changes his mind.  While last night, he laid out immediate no fault solutions to health care that wouldn't cost a dime -- other than the embarrassment of taking a year to do something with nothing to show for it -- and without it taking 200 attorneys and 2000 pages of legislation that nobody truly understands for trillions of dollars; and added the simple truth, and cornerstone of this nation, that "no government program can ever replace people caring for another" -- a little concept we Americans embrace every day.

And more real common sense ideas can be found at: http://www.solutions.gop.gov/

To say there was disappointment when Obama did not acknowledge the two officers, Sgt's. Munley and Todd -- who stopped Nadal Malik Hasan -- after they were expressly invited to sit next to Michelle is probably an understatement, maybe that's just G.  Did he mention Fort Hood or the Christmas Day bomber at all? Given the issues as to how we responded, the subsequent reporting of what happened, and how we intend to provide a couple of terrorists an opportunity to defend themselves in civilian courts,  I guess I would avoid it at all costs, too. 

Granted, it isn't a pleasant conversation to have with the American people, I know, but was this just an attempt to forget that it ever happened?  I would bet terrorists were listening somewhere in the hills of Afghanistan or streets of Yemen and hanging on his every word -- or maybe they have already figured this president out and didn't believe anything earth shattering would change. Time will tell. 

I think what pleased G most last night was the clear limitation of the use of his favorite phrases:

"Let me be clear"
"Make no mistake"
"I inherited"

He's getting more clever, I guess, in saying the same thing but different; in the end, this may equate to a one-term president of mediocrity with a lot of pomp, Plouffe, campaign and circumstance -- all he needs is a wig.

Make it a Good Day, G

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dear America,

Happy Wednesday...

aka National Hump Day for this presidency.

I wonder what we will be chatting about tomorrow? 
Will he do it?  Will he crack us one more time? 

Will His Eloquency turn the tide, make peace with the prevailing winds of disaster, and bring down the house in shouts of praise and adoration -- only for the hour he speaks -- or will it be a lasting impression, one that can survive under the rubble of an America we can no longer recognize, and bring new life in all of us (not just to those who idolize the man)?

We shall see.

One thing I would like to hear is an apology...

My fellow Americans,

I am deeply saddened by my behavior over the last several months, dating back to the very first day in office.  I never should have said I would close Gitmo right out of the gate -- that was naive of me, and only showed the world just how unprepared I was to take the nation's highest honor, that of being Commander in Chief.  Make no mistake -- The world -- it's complicated.

My other not so finest hour was bowing to world powers all over the place, embarrassing myself and this great country of ours and apologizing for a few things that actually make America truly remarkable...now that was acting stupidly...  So let me be clear about this -- I know now, for I  have seen it in action over the last couple of weeks in Haiti -- that our compassion for all people, not just ourselves runs far and wide in this wonderful land of the free and home of the brave.  I have never been more proud to be President of this country than I am right now.  [and maybe even showing some emotion here]

I realize -- while it may have taken some time, I know -- but I realize just how great the nation I inherited truly is. I have inherited, by virtue of your trust and confidence, a mighty nation who serves and stands for one thing -- and that, my fellow Americans, is Freedom -- liberty and justice for all.  I would like to take a moment and give a little shout out to footsteps I follow, G-Dub, thank you for creating the opportunity for me to come in, for passing along to me not only my greatest challenge but an extraordinary gift.  Thank you [motioning a chest pump and a salute towards Texas].

I realize, too, that I have veered more often than I should have in this first year, taken my eye off the ball -- what comes to mind in this moment of reflection, is the err to hop across the pond, taking with me a jet full of celebrity and arrogance, only to be shut down by the powers that be who apparently were mightier than me.  I wanted Chicago to win the bid so bad, I could have tasted it...I sure wish I could blame Bushie for this one, but in any event, Rio, I wish you every success that should have been mine, no hard feelings, yo?

I know, too, that I said in July, we had to have a health care package before I would let anyone in congress leave for their summer vacation -- then I said  we have plenty of time -- then Pelosi said we didn't -- then Reid said it had to be done before thanksgiving, before Christmas, before the State of the Union -- oops, that's tonight -- moveon.org shall we...So here we are, no health care yet, but make no mistake, we will have it, just not sure when, this is hard, being in charge of a bunch of bumbling idiots that only make me look bad. 

Rest assured, I am listening to you -- all of you, even you tea party fanatics and all you old people with nothing better to do but attend a town hall meeting when the better thing to do would be to take a vacation -- you know like normal people,go to Europe or Hawaii -- maybe that only happens for people I surround myself with, don't know. 

Anyway, I hear you loud and clear:  you don't want this 1 Trillion dollar health care package that still won't fix the problems and still won't cover the uninsured -- I get that.  I will only do what's in your best interests -- deficit neutral, even if I have to fudge the numbers -- and it must not burden our children, only the rich kids...only kidding -- really, I hear you.  It may not look like it, but I hear everything you say.  It only appears like I am ignoring you -- it only seems that way because I have inherited such a mess I know nothing about.  

Seriously, I know in the campaign I sounded ready to take it all on -- including Afghanistan, that that was the war we had to win, that was where our resources and attention should be all along;  I knew,  being a part of congress and all, that good ole Barney Frank there, and Chris Dodd [pointing out to the left side], put us in harms way with the Fannie and Freddie fiasco -- I knew what was going in. 

As a Senator, I watched our nation go further into debt to save special banks and insurance companies and investment bankers -- it's not like I didn't know what was going on, ya know.  I was there.  I saw the writing on the wall -- as I'm just that good -- and I still wanted this job -- how's that for showing a little commander in chief special qualities, huh? I saw the dangers lurking on every horizon and didn't think twice about it.  In spite of all the troubles and all the nation's worries and all of the immediate actions it would require of me, I wanted this job, more than I wanted Chicago to host the Olympics -- and my ability to take it ALL ON AT ONCE should speak for itself and prove my every good intention and the faith I have in my own abilities.

One thing I wish I could take back were all the times I said on my campaign that I would put the health care debate on C-Span -- nix-ay on the upid stay -- clearly, I made a mistake here and wish for goodness sake I could just take them all back -- all six, eight, who do we appreciate, each and every one of them.  Enough said. 

No, it's not enough -- I guess by now you have figured out that the honorable Mr. Wilson was right about a little thing under wraps and undercover in the old health care bill, the HR3020, the one that didn't make the cut -- if we were on C-span the whole time, you would know just how right he was, but I digress.  SO let's just have a rounding chorus of "you lie" here all at once and get it out of the way...on a count of three...

As we have learned desperately over the course of the last year, in order to move forward we must not look back, ever.  Even if that requires of us to disavow every promise we made to ourselves at the birth of this great nation.  Our founding fathers -- those crazy characters whom so many of you cling to at will and unafraid --could no more come up with a health care plan either, okay? They didn't know then, and certainly wouldn't have a clue now, what it takes to prosper and grow a modern world -- have no idea...as we're not talkin just about America anymore. are we?  No, we have higher aspirations, a higher calling, and stronger urgency about us and evils we must fight -- the overbearing live free or die patriots amongst us.  Holding tight there to your guns and religion, I see, and posing a more serious threat than I previously thought.

Oh darn it, some of your children may be listening, to all you kids -- read your American history [looking down and without conviction], it's important [clearing his throat as it is really hard to put it to words], just keep it in perspective and understand that progress requires us to take a more progressive stance, if you will, it's not like they were bad, or evil, or lacked intelligence, they could only do so much, you know, and this goes for your folks, too...  Now we must sally forth and change everything, in order to make a more perfect union, as the one in place holds way too many limitations.

Moving along, considering how important the war on human error, not terror, is to the security of this great country, we have had to make some changes -- we have had to take action immediately --except for that tragedy beyond comprehension at Fort Hood [hey hey up there findng his beautiful wife, Michele, and letting the audience applause for Sargent's Munley and Toddand that tiny little flair up on Christmas day in Detroit -- all of my grand and glorious efforts have centered around this task right from the start, don't you see that?  I wish it didn't take so long to meet with my newly appointed General McCrystal.  I managed to find an hour on the tarmac in between the big diss from the Olympic Committee and much needed R&R in Paris.  But, what's done, is done.

The task of bringing in 30,000 more troops was daunting; that took time, but I had to reassure my constituency that the decision was not taken too lightly or too hard [making him think of a beer commercial in his head and cracking an inappropriate corner smile].  Oh my friends, it was all about how I would look, you know, and I didn't want to err in either direction -- which is why when I finally made the announcement in front of all of you cadets out there at West Point, that I appeared bored with myself, I wanted to look like that.  TO give too much emotion would have made me look like a war-monger, anything less, would have put you to sleep [ah oh] maybe we should just continue...

I do have a vision for America's future; but right now, I'm just having a hard time not understanding why you all aren't happy with just allowing me do what I wanna do.  Remember, I was the one who told you that we were "five days away from fundamentally transforming America"  -- what part of that did you not understand?  My mother and father were both socialists, people.  Hello?  What did you think you were gonna get when you hired me?

But all that aside -- especially, every act of desperation of the last year --  I want to give you all jobs.  That's what my goal is today -- the government is hiring all kinds of people right now, and as the fastest growing employer, we are proud to say that we offer the best benefits money can buy, because we can, because we don't really pay for anything, you actually do, but that's not the point I wanna make here.  I can make jobs happen and on the seventh day, I will rest  -- as I have earmarked and invested 787 Billion dollars on you to make it happen -- adjusting for the recent increase in the actual cost of that program via our fine officers of the Congressional Budget Office, we're a little off, it costs about 75 Billion more than we first thought, poppycock, details.  And doncha know, I'm gonna put a freeze on everything we really don't need from here on out.

I have a vision, a dream if you will, that all of us will share everything we have -- equally and proportionately to every one's ability -- so that all Americans can be beholden to the same dream, the same ideals, the same wish that not one American stands out over another.  Our greatness should be of equal portion -- our compassion should look the same for all -- our homes should shelter a robotic nation proud to create children indoctrinated by a school system who blatantly changes history right before our eyes.  That they should grow up and live in a world where America is just one small piece of the global economy -- one that prioritizes the needs of third world countries over the gluttony of the western world; that our children become attorney's to settle the score for all the disenchanted, become doctor's making minimum wage out of the goodness of their own heart, and work for green companies, and green companies only, all the rest of you need not apply, or become actors.

This is the American dream I will protect all the days of my presidency; I will not give up...while if any of you think I'm tired yet, guess again, I'm just getting started.

So on this day, may we push the re-set button and press forward, leaving the days of yore gone in sixty seconds, welcoming in a new era, and collectively enjoying the fruits of our labor all together, and separately, according to every special interest and lobby known to man -- just one more thing I said I would never let in the front door, but truth is, one lie just leads to another, it's complicated like that, which is how this day got started.   I better stop while I think I'm still ahead in the polls.

Thank you, America, for putting your faith in me.
God Bless you and may God Bless America, or not,
praise Allah,
peace be with you,
Oh my, and to Hopenhagen -- almost nearly forgot -- my most heartfelt apology cries out to you yet, as I thought it would have been enough just for me to show up -- may I offer up my sincere condolences.  While you must know,  you live forever in our hearts and minds. 
Oh snap, and to Coakley, Deeds and what's that other guy, the one from Jersey, right, Corzine -- mia culpa, my friends, better luck next time, my advice is to do a little something that I like to do and blame it on Bush -- as make no mistake,  it just couldn't have anything to do with me.  

So, we will see what the big guy says -- one thing's for sure, no matter what comes out of his mouth, it will not dissappoint.

Make it a Good Day, G

Monday, January 25, 2010

Dear America,

I don't understand what the fuss is about.

This recent declaration of the Supreme Court to allow corporations and everyday business to people put their money where their mouth is is totally fair; and the biggest joke in all of it is listening to Obamasan take issue.

I'm sure like many of you, we pay attention to where the money goes all the time -- and one of my favorite things to do is comparing apples to apples in the marketplace...

Things like, in the first two weeks since the earthquake in Haiti, Americans donated 137 million to The Red Cross; in the opening weekend to Avatar, total revenue reached 236 million -- and as I took my girl to school this morning, heard that it has reached 553 million dollars to date; in the upcoming Super Bowl, a typical 30-second ad spot will cost Coca-Cola nearly 2.8 million dollars -- and total ad revenue in last year's football extravaganza came to a whopping 213 million dollars.

Of course, all this made G want to bounce around the net to see how campaign donations were spread around in the last 2008 elections; we shouldn't be surprised that the list of the top twenty organizations who gave generously were nearly all UNIONS.  Oh sure, some bankers were thrown in -- Goldman Sachs and Citigroup were both right up there. 

And low and behold, which party took the dominating share?  The Democrats -- taking at least 90% of all Union dollars.  Even a look over the last twenty years, Goldman Sachs has averaged 64% of contributions to the Democrats and Citigroup 63% ; while Companies like Time Warner, 81%; Walt Disney, 67%; while there is an organization simply titled "The National Committee for Effective Congress" which gives nearly 99% entirely to the democratic party -- somebody should look into that.

One thing worthy of noting, UPS has generally donated 63% towards the republican party -- so, for those of you who have read me lately, the question  of "what can Brown do for you" really is taken to a whole 'nother level, isn't it? 

But is it just me that wonders why Obama would wanna go down this road?  Seriously?

Averaging over 90% of all funds going to the donkeys:
  • NEA -- National Education Association, the nation's oldest and largest teacher's union
  • America Federation of State/County/Municipal Employees Union
  • SEIU -- Andy Stern's Service Employees International Union, and one of Obama's favorite White House visitors, as well as the fastest growing member of the AFL-CIO.
  • Laborer's Union
  • United Auto Workers
  •  United Food & Commercial Workers Union
  • Communications Workers of America
  • American Association for Justice (attorneys?  really?)
  • American Federation of Teachers
  • Teamsters Union
  • to name a few...
Peruse for yourself by going to http://www.opensecrets.org/
Go into the tab featuring "Influences and Lobbying" to start, then follow along into what they call the "heavy hitters" -- cheap thrills all the way around.

For me, it is bad enough discovering that Disney gave two-thirds of it's campaign dollars to the democrats in 2008, but realizing just how incredibly connected the unions are, in not only policy but in actual dollars, to this president is mind blowing; the audacity for him to say a word about the ramifications of the recent court decision is simply astounding.

I had always heard the unions were in bed with the democrats, but seeing it for myself, looking at the real numbers, the millions of dollars blatantly funneled into the party of collectivization and redistribution -- it just makes me ill.

Of course, it goes without saying but will say it anyway, this makes the upcoming State of the Union address all that more apropos and frightening at the same time.

Leaked to the press have been a few key areas ObamaHoffa will be hitting on in his address -- creating jobs, addressing the deficit, helping the middle class, and changing Washington.  Hmmm, with all due respect, where have we heard this before?  But I digress.

If he dares to go there -- at a time when so many campaign promises paid for by unions and broken by the actions of the last year are still fresh -- in order for him to do this successfully, he will need to convince most of us that 2009 never happened and quickly segue into pushing the reset button for 2010.  IF his arrogance is left at the lunch counter enjoying a piece of humble pie with Vinny,  he may be able to pull it off, otherwise, bring on the chicken fried steak, as he is toast.

What are the chances he will change his tune and simply be grateful for all business still alive and breathing on the wake of recession and a nation on the brink of utter disaster?  What will it take for him to admit that all business, even if it's in the making of a movie that disparages capitalism like Avatar, is essential and part of a nation rebuilding?  How bad does it have to get for him to understand it is American business, large and small --  and compassionate individuals, famous or not, who find it in their heart to donate to The Red Cross, whether it is in a ten dollar text message or writing a million dollar check?  What are the chances for him to recognize that whether it comes from a union boss or a CEO, our political system has always allowed for individuals to come together to voice opinions, make policy, and perhaps even change a little history -- what is so threatening about that?

The beauty of living in a free country is all of this.

America is still a shining example of how money makes the world go round every day -- we need to learn to revel in it, save it, spend it, build business with it, support our neighbors with it, and respect it -- but most of all, we must protect it by continuing to honor the natural principles at play and allow it to flow free.

It is my choice to spend it on a stupid movie like Avatar -- or not.
It is my choice to give it graciously to The Red Cross, or my church, or the homeless man on the corner -- or not.
It is my choice to give it to this candidate, or that, depending upon the convergence of values we hold dear, whether it comes packaged under union dues or a corporate umbrella -- or not.
It is my choice to be part of the millions dollars pouring into the city of Miami as we speak-- to watch the Colts, of course -- or stay in the comfort of my own home trying the new Dominoes pizza instead -- or not.

Hey, and speaking of making last ditch sales pitches, Obama could very well learn something from Dominoes -- here they are trying to capitalize on an entirely new campaign -- selling their new recipe for success based on how much their old pizza sucked!  Only in America.

The thing is, we can't make people do anything when it comes to spending our own dough; we may be able to influence another, but we sure can't control them;  government may establish laws and regulation, but they sure can't change the rules haphazardly or give one economic machine more power over another.  But in any case and like any other commodity worth it's salt, once it's gone, it's gone.

The mistakes we learn, as individuals and collectively as a nation, about the value of money itself, paired with our freedom to spend it, invest it, lose it, give it away or save it for a rainy day come with a high price and a great responsibility.

95 million viewers will be watching 213 million dollars sell everything from pizza to beer to soda-pop to shipping during a four hour football game on February 7, 2010. 

How many viewers will be watching our President come Wednesday to try to sell us on another year of ObamaAmbitions?
How many will skip it and take in a movie?
How many will be leaving on a jet plane to Haiti?
How many will be missing it -- as they have to work late at that nasty corporate office, probably a bank?
How many will be making a movie dissing the benefits of free enterprise and capitalism -- making the working people pay way too much to see it when it's done, allowing actors like Bradgelina drop one million dollars to Haiti on the fly?

Only in America.

It's a good thing the President has a little longer than 30-seconds -- or maybe not --
but only those of us who watch it will find out.

Make it a Good Day, G

Friday, January 22, 2010

Dear America,

America works best when left to our own ingenuity -- whether it's upon how we raise our children or grow our business or rebuild our country.

We don't even require a lot of fanfare about it; normally, it is good enough to just make it happen every day for our own pleasure and internal pride.

I remember the days when we went out of our way to buy American -- whether it was in our cars, food, or attitude.  We projected this image heralding only the best comes out of America, made only by our fellow hard working American men and women.  And used every ounce of this spirit in our advertising --whether it was to instill this American work ethic in our babies at home or in honoring our enterprising history and the industrial age.

Every day we woke up inspired and proud to be an American.

Somehow, that waving of our national flag throughout our routine and work and school and play and livelihood became something of an hindrance, a mark against us and against the tide.  And all the while, we became so consumed by being the consummate consumer we fell victim to losing the values that hold a nation together. Starting with simply taking things for granted, growing into choosing selfish indulgences over substance, and finally allowing our core principles to entirely slip away.

This didn't happen overnight; while many of us agree, it comes on the heels of "having it all" -- the irony, really.  Going from having it all to nothing.

Last year was a gift to America; we have awakened the prevailing attitude of complacency and the American spirit laying dormant, just itching to rise up and do it's thing again.

Allow me to spin for a moment, and recognize some of the talents of the current day MadMen amongst us...

It is one of the latest Allstate commercials that has G smiling; capitalizing on the reassuring and heartfelt voice of Dennis Haysbert asking us if we will look back at these times as the great recession or will it be the recession that made us great. First of all, it warms my heart almost immediately -- with the teachable moments continuing throughout the commercial, it takes less than 30 seconds to make me want THAT, and it almost doesn't matter how much they want from me to get it.

Another favorite of mine is the new Office Depot ad -- you know the one -- the small town barber gets unnerved (for a second) when he sees that a city slicker haircut mega-store is going in across the street undercutting his charge for a trim or a buzz, charging only six bucks... Quickly, what does he do?  How does he respond?  Does he board up the windows and call it a day? NOT IN AMERICA he doesn't --

-- he goes to OFFICE DEPOT, makes a big sign, and raises it high and tight across his storefront:
Take that.

Ahh don't you love a little competition in the morning.

Okay, last one, DENNY'S:  They take a simple guy sitting in a booth making fun of the people who consider "coffee and milk foam" a decent breakfast....he rattles off all the cappuccinos, mocha chinos, choco-chinos he can think of, and begins pointing directly down to a plate of three meats and potatoes, an extravaganza going on just below his nose, while happiness takes over his face.  He ends with reaching for his coffee, with the Denny's logo straight up and center-stage, and says something like ''whoever this Chinos guy is, he doesn't know a thing about breakfast, I'm not a fan of your beverage's but I sure do like your pants..."just knowing he is sitting there enjoying his grand slammer in a pair -- and spending the same amount of dough for his fair and balanced breakfast as the Chino-lover for their overpriced cup of joe with fluff. 

Love it.

The sales pitch, the pitting of one product against another, the gloating, the dissing, the capturing of a feeling in under 60 seconds -- it's all it takes to grab you, motivate you, inspire you and make you think -- do I want that or not?

If we go back six months, the sales pitch on Health Care was all about Obama getting it done before the summer break, in August.  Anyone remember? Of course you do.

It was Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and our leader himself pitching the product, grappling for market share, stirring people away from "the other guy" and even using "the other guy" as a tool to make their point. 

The other guy is just clinging to the past, business as usual.
The other guy is in the way of progress.
The other guy is out of touch of what you need.
The other guy is ignorant and behind the times.
The other guy is an extremist and carries guns to town hall meetings.
The other guy is AstroTurf, not the genuine article.
The other guy is against you.
The other guy is corporate greed -- Insurance companies, bankers and all that you despise.
The other guy is not for what you want --

-- you really want what we've got.

The funny thing is, all the other guy has been saying is open up competition, allow for Health Insurance to trade over state lines -- and if we simply did that, and that alone, half of the equation would be solved. And it would be done in such a way that is naturally, fairly and in such a way that protects the ingenuity of America --allowing for everyone to compete, have a piece of the pie, and ultimately receive the same quality health care for less.

The funny thing is, all the other guy has been saying is that we need to assess and attack the litigation, the malpractice, the fraud, and the waste -- including that which is already widely prevalent within our government run health care programs today, in Medicare and Medicaid (you know, the one's that will run out of money in a not too distant future because they are so well managed).

But while the attacks are made to this other guy, we have to be reminded of the law of negative advertising -- and that the best advertising is more often than not a positive spin on what you've got to sell (begging the question, what can Brown do for you?).

This past year has shown the power of controlling the message. The side in power has been fully responsible for creating the environment of division by keeping the other side out, using the evening podium to reach the eyes and ears of the public, and making every attempt to corner the market on their terms. The Obamarama Emporium tried awfully hard to push this health care package through as soon as possible, as it was imperative and vital and in your best interests, to do it and to do it without delay.

And even when the people came to voice their concerns, their wishes, their apprehensions, their ideas -- what did the people get?  Shunned.  Ignored. Treated with condescension, as the ignorant few coming out of the woodwork and ruining everything.  They tried their hardest to quiet us; and when that didn't work, they just left us out of it altogether -- and went to Plan B -- behind closed doors -- making underhanded deals and over the top concessions that went against every principle in place...

... and all too proud to be wrapping it up as a gift to America in the eleventh hour on Christmas Eve.

Besides making one of the greatest marketing faux pas' in the world by not knowing your audience, the market itself, if they had honestly paid attention to listening to themselves, they very well would have figured out how their message was constantly in flux.  From the very beginning, their message has been nothing but mixed up and all over the place -- and they did that all on their own:

One minute, it had to get done yesterday -- the next, we can wait, false alarm, there's no hurry.
One minute, it was due to the evils of insurance companies we're in this mess -- the next, it is just the insurance companies that don't agree with us.
One minute, it was against all doctors, their incomes and the cars they drive -- the next, somehow we found fifty doctors in white robes standing behind their man, as if the robe itself gave them instant credibility.
One minute, it was all about what the people want -- the next, everyone except you guys over there who think differently than us.
One minute, it was all about small business having a voice and benefits -- the next. unless of course you are associated with the Chamber of Commerce, then all bets are off.
One minute, and there were MANY, you said everything would be on C-Span and be out in the open, transparent -- the next, hurry, close the door behind you, we gotta get this done before anyone knows what is in it.

First of all, you know we can see you, right?  We know everything that you have said up until five seconds ago can be replayed over and over again on the web, YouTube, the nightly news.  And as matter of fact, we have just that much going on upstairs that we can remember most of it on our very own; what you say truly matters, and we pay attention to your every word.  And if we don't actually hear what you have to say, like via C-Span,  then we don't trust you anymore. aw snap

Picture this, if you will, every time you open your mouth and try to sell us on something, we store it in the back of our mind, and eventually, we start putting things together and thinking for ourselves -- maybe even in groups (like Town Hallers and TeaPartiers).

When things start to appear a little too slick, either too shiny for the buck or too good to really be true, we know from experience it usually IS; we may be stuck on our values and principles that have so far survived the last 234 years, but we certainly were not born yesterday.

Isn't it it peculiar that the entire month of December was all about ramming it through, gotta have a bill, gotta have a bill -- by Christmas, absolutely by Christmas, come hell or high water, Reid was so determined.  And by golly he did it; albeit it wasn't what the people wanted, it broke a few rules of engagement, it was a desperate measure in desperate times, but by golly, he got it done.

Ahh too bad; all for naught.
Number 41 gets voted in and everything gets wrapped up and repackaged all over again.

You can't be serious.

All of a sudden Pelosi says, there's no hurry, what's the rush?
All of a sudden Obama tells ABC, let's all regroup and "coalesce" with what is in agreement with both sides.
All of a sudden Reid starts clamoring to be "41's" new BFF in Congress--  whispering in his ear, I'm sure, how you doin? (say it like Joey on Friends)

We can see you... 
We can hear you, too, even when you think the walls of congress can protect you.

The problem is, you no longer know your audience; and your message will continually miss it's mark every time as long as you continue to get it backwards and think you can just turn US off. 

The truth is, we could have been over and done with this months ago, simply by letting America do what it does best -- by allowing us to openly and adoringly compete with each other -- just like car insurance, just like the breakfast buck, just like super-cuts and salons everywhere (which, have you looked around? a haircut can be found on nearly every corner).

The people know better.  But what started out as a means to get the uninsured, insured, and costs down, fraudulently grew into something way more than that -- it turned into a total annihilation of the health care business, killing all hopes for creating real competition by amplifying the government's control over 1/6th of our economy, in such a way that subsidized special interests and compromise state budgets for years to come -- all that, without so much giving the people the choice if they want to buy it or not.

The people know better than that and entrust a system that has seemingly worked well for centuries. It's called Free Enterprise, and it's free!  Not only does it not cost us anything, anyone can be a part of it; while it ultimately offers the most benefits to the most people when a society is anchored and sustained with the right ideals; and when allowed to be free, it is managed by natural laws that never change under supply and demand -- along side personal preferences and limitations -- along side the freedom to buy whatever we want to buy at a price we want to pay with a company that has earned our respect and hard earned dollar.

When left alone, it works! no matter what it is you're trying to sell -- even if it is your soul.

I'm famished; will it be a vanilla latte or eggs over easy?  Choice is mine -- and yours -- is this a great country, or what.

Make it a Good Day, G

BY the way, to BUY American more often (or always), look to the Bar Code on the product.  Anything beginning with a Zero - 00 thru 09 is MADE IN AMERICA or CANADA! 

If the first three digits begin with 690, 691, 692 -- move along -- it was made in CHINA

Thank you Allstate, Office Depot and Denny's for the messages that you bring and the embodiment of the American spirit you advertise -- with heart, ingenuity, and gusto  (respectively).

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dear America,

"Everyone should hear what the judge had to say."

This is courtesy of a fellow San Diego Tea Party member, Scott Rieker, who sent it out to everyone he knew this morning and asked we continue to pass it on....so here ya go, Scott, this one's for you; my first thought was to entitle it, The Way We Were (given the era -- both in song and judgement day)...but with a second thought, and after Tuesday's total paradigm shift, it's more like,  This is How We Do It

Ruling by Judge William Young, US District Court.

Prior to sentencing, the Judge asked the defendant if he had anything to say. His response: After admitting his guilt to the court for the record, Reid also admitted his 'allegiance to Osama bin Laden, to Islam, and to the religion of Allah,' defiantly stating, 'I think I will not apologize for my actions,' and told the court 'I am at war with your country.'
Judge Young then delivered the statement quoted below:
January 30, 2003, United States vs. Reid.

Judge Young: 'Mr. Richard C. Reid, hearken now to the sentence the Court imposes upon you.
On counts 1, 5 and 6 the Court sentences you to life in prison in the custody of the United States Attorney General. On counts 2, 3, 4and 7, the Court sentences you to 20 years in prison on each count, the sentence on each count to run consecutively. (That's 80 years.)

On count 8 the Court sentences you to the mandatory 30 years again, to be served consecutively to the 80 years just imposed. The Court imposes upon you for each of the eight counts a fine of $250,000 that's an aggregate fine of $2 million. The Court accepts the government's recommendation with respect to restitution and orders restitution in the amount of $298.17 to Andre Bousquet and $5,784 to American Airlines.

The Court imposes upon you an $800 special assessment. The Court imposes upon you five years supervised release simply because the law requires it. But the life sentences are real life sentences so I need go no further.

This is the sentence that is provided for by our statutes. It is a fair and just sentence. It is a righteous sentence.

Now, let me explain this to you. We are not afraid of you or any of your terrorist co-conspirators, Mr. Reid. We are Americans. We have been through the fire before. There is too much war talk here and I say that to everyone with the utmost respect. Here in this court, we deal with individuals as individuals and care for individuals as individuals. As human beings, we reach out for justice.

You are not an enemy combatant. You are a terrorist. You are not a soldier in any war. You are a terrorist. To give you that reference, to call you a soldier, gives you far too much stature. Whether the officers of government do it or your attorney does it, or if you think you are a soldier, you are not----- you are a terrorist. And we do not negotiate with terrorists. We do not meet with terrorists. We do not sign documents with terrorists. We hunt them down one by one and bring them to justice.

So war talk is way out of line in this court. You are a big fellow. But you are not that big. You're no warrior. I've known warriors. You are a terrorist. A species of criminal that is guilty of multiple attempted murders. In a very real sense, State Trooper Santiago had it right when you first were taken off that plane and into custody and you wondered where the press and the TV crews were, and he said: 'You're no big deal.'

You are no big deal.

What your able counsel and what the equally able United States attorneys have grappled with and what I have as honestly as I know how tried to grapple with, is why you did something so horrific. What was it that led you here to this courtroom today?

I have listened respectfully to what you have to say. And I ask you to search your heart and ask yourself what sort of unfathomable hate led you to do what you are guilty and admit you are guilty of doing? And, I have an answer for you. It may not satisfy you, but as I search this entire record, it comes as close to understanding as I know.

It seems to me you hate the one thing that to us is most precious. You hate our freedom. Our individual freedom. Our individual freedom to live as we choose, to come and go as we choose, to believe or not believe as we individually choose. Here, in this society, the very wind carries freedom. It carries it everywhere from sea to shining sea. It is because we prize individual freedom so much that you are here in this beautiful courtroom, so that everyone can see, truly see, that justice is administered fairly, individually, and discretely. It is for freedom's sake that your lawyers are striving so vigorously on your behalf, have filed appeals, will go on in their representation of you before other judges.

We Americans are all about freedom. Because we all know that the way we treat you, Mr. Reid, is the measure of our own liberties. Make no mistake though. It is yet true that we will bear any burden; pay any price, to preserve our freedoms. Look around this courtroom. Mark it well. The world is not going to long remember what you or I say here. The day after tomorrow, it will be forgotten, but this, however, will long endure.

Here in this courtroom and courtrooms all across America , the American people will gather to see that justice, individual justice, justice, not war, individual justice is in fact being done. The very President of the United States through his officers will have to come into courtrooms and lay out evidence on which specific matters can be judged and juries of citizens will gather to sit and judge that evidence democratically, to mold and shape and refine our sense of justice.

See that flag, Mr. Reid? That's the flag of the United States of America . That flag will fly there long after this is all forgotten. That flag stands for freedom. And it always will.

Mr. Custody Officer. Stand him down.


"So, how much of this Judge's comments did we hear on our TV sets? We need more judges like Judge Young. Pass this around. Everyone should and needs to hear what this fine judge had to say. Powerful words that strike home." Rieker

Jump ahead to 2010:

Underwear Bomber, look out, as this is how we do it (even though, you can't be too sure anymore).

The Director of National Intelligence, Dennis C. Blair, had this to say during his testimony before a congressional hearing on Wednesday:

"We did not invoke the HIG [High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group] in this case. We should have. Frankly, we were thinking more of overseas people. And, you know … that's what we will do now. And so we need to make those decisions more carefully."
Some time later,

Blair issued a revised statement -- you know, after he was lit up by the people in the big white house, saying rather emphatically (as compared to his wishy-washy response he had earlier in the day) "The FBI interrogated Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab when they took him into custody. They received important intelligence at that time, drawing on the FBI's expertise in interrogation that will be available in the HIG once it is fully operational" (as it's apparently not right now).

Of course, along side a court appointed, taxpayer-funded defender, Abdulmutallab will get every chance in the world to counter everything he previously said -- hopefully he presents his case before someone like Judge Young -- right, he's got one already appointed:

Judge Mark Randen
According to a profile found in Crain's Detroit Business, an article entitled "40 under 40" -- provides a snapshot of the judge and his background; also interesting to note it is from the same year as the ramifications set forth by the shoe bomber judge -- in 2003:

"Biggest achievement: Redirecting the lives of troubled young men and women."

"Current goal: To continue serving on the 36th District Court as a role model to young people, and to engage in youth-oriented programs off the bench. Would like to serve someday as an appellate judge."

Fascinating really. Makes me wonder if the judge believes this kid can be rehabilitated, as that seems to be his first motivation; of course, with the level of personal interest in being an appellate judge, by definition that comes with a fairly strong desire to correct the errors and injustices of previous cases. 

So where does this leave us -- somewhere in between the way we were and this is how we do it more than likely and time will tell.

Make it a Good Day, G

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Dear America,

Scott Brown -- America's muse for the day, if not the next entire week, if not for the next 10 months, if not for posterity looking a hundred years down the line.  Sure, this could be a slight exaggeration; he's just a man.  How did he so eloquently finish last night, "I'm Scott Brown, I'm from Wrentham, and I drive a truck."

America doesn't get any better than that.

I had my apprehensions; between the emotional days watching the fallout of Haiti's devastation -- between stories of orphans coming to America,  which, by all accounts, doesn't seem fast enough when looking at their faces -- between a replay of hanging chads clouding the mystery leading up to the real vote count, as poll skepticism was looming large and everything pointing in the direction of another one just too close to call or fears it may take weeks to decide came rushing back. My usually centered self was all over the place and couldn't be quite sure which way the world was turning.

That is until last night.

Scott ran an inspiring and clean campaign based simply on the idea that America "can do better than that."

It comes easy for us to recognize the depths and lengths we Americans can go to assist those in need anywhere around the globe, we see the immediate sigh of relief right before our eyes; we see the blanket of security we bring; we see the level of compassion and ability to drop whatever it was we were doing and go lend a hand or donate our hard earned money to help; Americans of all walks of life, experience, and expertise often come together in places where it's ever so difficult to find any criticism of our efforts whatsoever, unless of course you are a dictator or a minister of France.

But here at home?  We are dazed and confused, asking ourselves just how did we get here, knowing in our heart of hearts we truly can do better than that, than this.

Scott is spot on; America can do better.

When President Obama was being sworn in, his inaugural speech included the ringing in of  "a new era of responsibility."  It was Obama's way of saying exactly the same thing -- the overall sentiment that we can do better than that -- and it would begin with him one year ago today.

But we aren't doing any better, are we?  We are less secure than we were a year ago.

On this day, one year ago, when we thought all of our prayers were answered.

Obama came in, with all our hopes and dreams wrapped up around him -- that he really could ring in a new era, restoring the people's trust in government, breaking down partisan barriers that impede true progress, and bring people together for the common man, for the common goal of making America stronger.  We all wanted the same thing, or so we thought.

Not much has changed; we all were in agreement then, and argue over it in agreement now, America can do better than that.

And here we are, the day after one of the most cataclysmic political races of our time and one year into the Obama world, we can safely conclude that we haven't gone very far (while some may say we are worse) but make no mistake and let me be clear -- WE CAN DO BETTER THAN THAT -- as the state of Massachusetts told us so.

All I can say is thank the Lord, sweet Jesus, the seat of America's soul is alive and well -- even here at home.

The past year has been this gigantic, nationwide teachable moment for most of us; the irony, hindsight being what it is, Obama is probably the greatest gift to America that has ever lived (Beck was right).

The new era of responsibility, the one we thought was coming on the tails of the hope and change we can believe in campaign and masterfully played out right into the palm of Obama's hand, has been nothing but a hoax.  He isn't the all knowing one who can fix all evils; he is the problem reincarnated, new packaging but same old, same old. And in the last year he has proved it time and time again either by disappointing his own avid left, alienating the right, and annoying nearly every one in between for one reason or another.  And let's face it, truth is -- the independents and libertarians seem to be the one's making the call; it would behoove all of us to stay alert and look beyond our comfortable boundaries of "R" and "D".

Scott Brown won because it was not "the Kennedy's seat" -- as he pointedly shot back to the debate moderator, David Gergen, that it is "the people's seat" -- and isn't that just what you want to hear coming out of the streets of Boston?  How poetic and timely and revolutionary is that!

If we could only be so lucky to have this Scott Brown take his seat in Congress later today, and turn around and run for President within the next couple of years, a path reminiscent of someone very near and dear to all of us.  Now that would be the real stunner...Go ahead, Scott, drive your truck to D.C. and park it outside the gates of your next home, as a sweet reminder to our current Commander in Chief, the seat he is in is THE PEOPLE'S SEAT and thanks for keeping it warm but we want it back.

A look back to the last year is rot with failure and discontent.  The people are angry; and yet the powers in Washington continue to dismiss the prevailing attitude as nothing more than petty ignorance or mass hysteria.  Well the people in this great nation continue to speak, and what may appear as some kind of murmur of a few is more than that -- we now know it in every fiber of our being-- and while we may seem to go out of our way to look foolish and politely march on Washington to remind them of their solemn oaths and the people's process, the real failure will come in the pure lack of understanding how deep and real this discontent lies.

We may have a seat in the nosebleed section right now, but as of today, everything changes.

It is not just about health care -- even though, make no mistake, health care is an issue Massachusetts knows quite a bit about.  They have seen that level of failure -- and it's openly and honestly and constructively debated throughout the pages of the web...studies have evaluated MASS health care since the days of Dukakis and universal coverage dating back to 1988!

Other states -- like Oregon, Minnesota, Tennessee, Vermont, Maine and Washington -- have also tried.  And all have failed.  Research suggests that there is very little reason to believe that a national plan modeled after failed health reforms of our past will fair any better -- without it going way over budget, still not attacking the issues of waste and fraud and TORT reform, and still leaving people uninsured.  It is unrealistic to believe otherwise; Massachusetts voters have lived it and Scott is a U.S. Senator today because of it.

Ahhh but the real joy, is that it's not just about health care anymore, is it.  We have a controlling block of 41 votes in the Senate up until the next round of elections -- this should stymie the government run amuck for the time being.

We can catch our breath now -- and take a moment to realize the power of the people still stands strong.

Considering this administration continues to live on another plane then those of us who drive a truck with over 200,000 miles on it, with any luck they will keep their distance and hunker down just outside cell range for awhile longer.  Go ahead, deny that we even exist at all; then come November, the people will decide just how much we can do better for ourselves and the country we love, again.

Monday marked the birthday of Martin Luther King. I took a moment to listen to his "I have a dream" speech, and trust that it was played over and over again all the day through by many Americans.  I played a YouTube video with my girl along side me and listened intently at his every word, and for the first time, opened my eyes to the audience at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial, a gathering clearly captivated by this man.

The crowd was black and white;  they were sitting together in 1963 smiling at moments that touched their heart, emboldened by the minister's words of healing and renewal and responsibility and race (me being only one year's old and living all the way on the other side of the nation, in California).

I am struck by the level of agreement at play -- the agreement that we can do better than that -- when it came to getting along with all people of this great nation.  The message was directed to the whole and to the individual to do their part -- that our freedom was shared equally among man as a child of God, unalienable and carried with it certain rights, and as citizens, great responsibility and privileges. In his dream all people would "work together, pray together, struggle together, go to jail together, and stand up for freedom together."  And continues then to recite the words of my country tis of thee...

Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims' pride,
From every mountainside
Let freedom ring!

My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills;
My heart with rapture thrills,
Like that above.

Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees
Sweet freedom's song;
Let mortal tongues awake;
Let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break,
The sound prolong...

The lyrics were written by a man from Massachusetts, Samuel Francis Smith, in 1831.  It was the national anthem before The Star-Spangled Banner took over; and the melody, as most of us know, came from the British national anthem in "God Save the Queen."

What seems to work for America, and certainly never tires, is our unwavering praise and allegiance to what makes us great; uniting in spirit whether for a common cause to make real change in race relations, as did all Americans, both black and white, who came together to listen to the words and vision of Martin Luther King; uniting in humanitarian efforts for an island nation who had literally self destructed long before the physical devastation of a natural disaster;and in the uniting of the common man, of all walks of life and ideology, in restoring the balance of congress with taking back "the people's seat".

"Let mortal tongues awake;

Let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break,"

It is days like today we feel freedom ring and only wish Martin Luther King was still around -- not just for him to see how far we've come, but to selfishly ask of him for more; how his words of guidance and wisdom might enliven this president, this congress, and this nation once again.  This country was made and has prospered exponentially by collectively taking individual responsibility, whether it is to make crooked streets straight, "make every valley exulted, every hill and mountain made low".  And for the nation to truly become great according to King, we need only to heed the words of my country tis of thee for "this must become true" to make it so.

We have Scott to thank; we have Obama's first year to thank; we have the people of Massachusetts to thank (and New Jersey -- and Virginia); we have Martin Luther King to thank; we have past presidents good or bad or indifferent to thank; we have all of history that has come before us to thank; and we have God.

We are sitting here today knowing full well that we can be a little bit better at a lot of things and are determined to make it so -- that is if the good Lord willin' and the creek don't rise -- which for southern California is mighty likely as a third rain storm bears down on us...

on this Wednesday,
a year after the first day of the rest of our life (not) took his seat
and the day after a giant and a rock couldn't keep a Scott from taking his rightful place in history --
for it's the people's seat, you know,
and you can be sure that the people will never allow you to forget it.

Make it a Good Day, G

Friday, January 15, 2010

Dear America,

Things change; we usually never appreciate what we have until it's gone, while we can be struck with immediate despair and utter destruction of everything we've come to know and love in a heartbeat -- and with that, we begin today with all prayers heading in one direction, and that is south -- to Haiti.

And if history reminds us of anything, it is that we are lucky enough to live in the most compassionate and gracious country that has ever lived.

Oh sure, rumor has it that China got there first -- so let us stop for a moment in thanks and praise that they felt the need to mobilize any humanitarian efforts at all, huh? Wonders never cease.

Only thing is, WE -- as in the US of A -- were already there.

United States missionaries, one's like Christian Aid who have had a presence since the 1950's somewhere around the world, are mobilized every day, and currently lay in ruin along with the Haitians.

Not everything goes as planned, however, and not everything is fully understood -- even when missionaries come with good intentions; I stumbled upon a very interesting blog, Haiti Innovation, that gives us another point of view and experience worthy of a read -- and just as worthy were the comments subsequently attached.  There is always multiple points of light to the same story...always. 

My last couple of days have been pretty much lost in a technological black hole; of course, it can't even come close to the trials and unbearable destruction going on in Haiti, so with that G should just shut up.  But since it all started while I was gallivanting around the net to find information on Haiti and it's people and it's issues, I think I'm gonna go there anyway -- if only for a moment. 

While searching for insight, my fingers innocently marched over a firewall and into dangerous territory; somehow, some way, I was immediately overwhelmed and attacked from all sides.  After spending hours trying to take it all back, trying to find a way to wish it all away -- in the end, my entire computer crashed and burned and there was nothing I could do about it.

The thing is, even when imminent danger could be foreseen, as in Katrina, as in this earthquake in Haiti -- we may not get everything right in our actions or response -- both individually and collectively.  Apparently, scientists predicted a disaster looming to this extent back in 2008, but what do you do with that kind of information in a country already so destitute?  How did the powers that be respond?  How did they prepare their people, as if they really cared?

Haiti's reputation of corruption, in a land of the poorest of the poor, is all we know about this country; it is the reason we have the umpteen christian organizations, and Doctors Without Borders, and any other group destined to help change the world down there in the first place.  Two million people lived around the Port Au Prince area -- and the same two million people nearly died all in a matter of minutes.

I didn't realize until Wednesday that nearly 90% of all schools are privately held, non-public, entities provided by the missionaries large and small, many of them through a religious affiliation, which is why some of the early pictures out of Haiti showed children in uniforms of plaid skirts and white blouses in tears.

I didn't realize until Wednesday that if they are going to rebuild anything using wood, they will have to import the two by fours as the surrounding forests are all but gone; a system respecting the dynamics of replenishment and conservation, or planting a tree for every one cut down, seems to be non existent.

I didn't realize until Wednesday that there are people, like Joel Trimble, who have worked in Haiti for 34 years as a missionary -- an example of just one person bringing a sign of hope and perhaps a few blankets, books, and new beginnings for a land where leadership is nowhere to be found.
It must be nice to be President of the United States, you know, to be able to drop a pledge of 100 million dollars in aid on a moments notice -- to be able to deploy a half dozen ships and troops numbering in the thousands, including a fully operational and sea worthy hospital with the ability to hold thousands and bring immediate surgical aid or simply band-aids and plenty of TLC.  It must be nice.

You kinda like your job now, huh?

It must be nice to be able to take over all air traffic control and logistics requiring the transport and distribution of supplies directly to the people, as in placing  the USS Carl Vinson right off the port and slightly to the left of the island.  That is some kind of super-fly, super-carrier, isn't it.  It must be nice.

Of course, being the President of a country responsible for being the home of the Red Cross says a lot too; always there, that magical international and universal symbol of 'everything is gonna be okay.'  For such a little red cross, seeing it come over the horizon and out of the blue, I can only imagine how it must bring such a feeling of hope, an instant and overriding sense of security, for the face of despair.

And then there is being President of a country who can offer up the services of a couple of past presidents too, like that of William Jefferson "the player" Clinton and the cowboy, George W. -- creating instant ambassadors and international spokesmen out of them for the sole purpose of raising the roof and lassoing donations on behalf of those who lost everything. Now THAT must have been fun to do, in spite of the circumstances of course.

It just must be nice, you know, to be a President who can come to the aid of the world, anytime and anywhere -- that's all I'm saying.  It is moments like this where, if you are really smart -- while I for one truly believe that you are -- you will remember for the rest of your term and in every speech you make from here on out. The United States IS that kind of country -- and you, my dear President, can take all the credit in the world for it while during your reign in the here and now. 

It just must be nice, you know, for you to see firsthand how we operate here in the good ole USA and just how good we can be; these are the days that must make you and the first lady very proud to be an American, say oui?  And since these days come few and far between in your eyes, it may be worth your while to soak it up a little and take it all in...you know, so the next time circumstances offer you a chance to remind the world who we are, it will come to mind in an instant.

You know, I didn't realize until Wednesday that they consider a Haitian to be the father of Chicago -- a fellow by the name of Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable. As the story goes, he was the first to have settled onto the shores of the lake, opening up a fur-trading post in the 1700's. (Shooosh, it was long before fur became out of vogue; and plus, people depended on the stuff to keep warm, so it may be an issue where we agree to disagree and move on)  Anyway, the guy was considered best for his entrepreneurial spirit (again. an issue we can agree to disagree on the virtues of free enterprise) anywho... he proved a history so noteworthy that the city of Chicago grew to recognize him a couple of centuries later; but of course, you probably know all that, as a plaque was planted in 1968 and sits at the corner of Kinzie and Pine.

I find the serendipity of finding the two of you on this Haitian connection today rather fascinating, in a good way actually, so don't hate.  Anytime the world offers us a chance to come full circle in a manner of speaking, or in one way or another, it warms be through and through.  There are no accidents as they say.

But desperate times do call for desperate measures -- but having an entire army of men and women and community organizers and relief workers on the ground and ready to help in whatever measure they can -- priceless.

It must be nice to be President at a time like this.

As all systems were down on my end, I was able to catch part of the news streaming out of Haiti.  It became quite clear very quickly how the reality of two million people changed; while those who were left to live in the aftermath were thrown into a situation of such grave circumstances without the ability to do anything about it, let alone be able to prevent it.  NO water; NO electricity; NO security; and having all that occur in the midst of losing your home and family, at least, what was last known to be your home and family.

Moments would take me by surprise; moments like an emotional Steve Harrigan, of Fox News, reporting live -- while speaking with one of my favorite people to watch, Shepard Smith -- he had to stop, Steve, and catch his breath, and through his cracked, wobbly voice utter the observation of feeling so alone in the world... 

And even...
as big and beautiful that it is...
sometimes even bringing the world to you will never be enough --
then the camera fans over to a woman who must be held down to be comforted, as she is absolutely inconsolable from the loss of all five children at once.  As a mom, the only reason necessary to allow yourself the freedom to go insane.  I can't even imagine.

The Red Cross believes that nearly 50,000 lives have been lost -- Haitians, Americans, United Nations workers, missionaries, along with the ministers of a government already long gone, equally under the laws of nature and the imperfections of man.

Today, the hope and change just can't come fast enough -- but let us be comforted, as it is sure nice to know it is on the way.

Make it a Good Day, G

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Dear America,

I don't think I ever listened to the words of the entire song before today:

"Revolution" by The Beatles...
we all know how it starts

you say you wanna revolution, well you know...
we all wanna change the world...

moving along :

you say you'd change the Constitution,  well you know
we all wanna change your head...
they tell me its the institution, well you know
you better free your mind instead.
BUT if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao
you ain't gonna make it with anyone anyhow.

you know it's gonna be, alright
you know it's gonna be, alright
alright alright alright....

We ALL wanna change the world -- whether it's in our own homes, our own backyard or across the pond.
I believe we are doing the best we can and trust other people live a life from that spirit as well, even if appearances tell us otherwise.  We know what is in our heart -- and if coming from a good place, that is all that really matters.

Today is dedicated to my family; for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, across the street or miles between, bonds of friendship or blood, in celebration and annihilation, they are all mine and I love them all.

Make it a Good Day, G

Our ability to forgive, listen, learn and love anyway comes with the lessons of family life, even when we don't say the right things, even when we are provoked or attacked, even when we are misunderstood, and even when we are doing the best we can.

Every day, I want to be able to look in the mirror and see someone doing her best to accomplish that.

And to the negative chatterboxes, if you don't have something nice to say about all that,
then bless you and may you  keep it to yourself xx

Monday, January 11, 2010

Dear America,

The thing about experimentation is there has to be a willingness to fail, endure a little backfire, perhaps even get thrown off the horse and have one's backside bruised. But the beauty of it, if one is courageous enough to grin and bare it, is the possibility of success -- whether through an absolute paradigm shift or simply shedding new light upon an age old subject.  If we are really lucky, however, we may even gather a greater understanding not just with regards to tightly held beliefs about opposing views, but something even better -- a deeper awareness of our selves.

Clearly, speaking for myself, we find it all too easy these days dishing it out into the blagosphere; it becomes our means of getting the story told, the villain declared and captured, the evil portrayed and defeated, and coming to a complete and happy ending. 

But no fairy tale would be complete without a magic mirror instantly appearing out of nowhere, reflecting who we really are, or a fire breathing dragon to remind us of the dangers and trappings of putting yourself out there, exposing our thoughts and dreams and ideas to the world at the risk of everything, if also donning a few personal biases along the way.

Just before the holidays, G was asked to experiment with a relative.  It was proposed by "the other side" as a bridge to understanding each other, even though the packaging of such an offer was accompanied with a host of general assumptions already made, if you will, dating back a lifetime.  The gathering of the previously held beliefs should have been enough, what with the little bit of smoke already starting to fester... And yet, what did I do?  I responded.  Taking what was said very personally, I retorted privately, as well as used the overture as a means for supplying fuel for my Gthing.  I vented.  I stoked.  I vented and I stoked.  And then it happened. 

Experimentation in the face of danger only seems to create more destruction, more opposition, more discord; and all of a sudden we are surrounded by a raging wildfire burning out of control.

What is a shame really, hindsight being what it is, is allowing the kindling to spark; that is my regret, not having enough self control to walk away. 

Another thing that is a shame, is when people make anonymous comments about the flap back and forth without really knowing the whole story.  Actually, in my eyes, anytime people make an anonymous comment about anything is a sign of weakness; but if you feel that strongly about something, there should be enough bravado back behind you to claim it as your own -- especially when it comes to making a criticism. 

G is unafraid and all about speaking up -- even to the point where I risk sounding ignorant or misinformed or out of touch -- but it is ALL ME making the call each and every time, out loud and without remorse. I take responsibility for all of it; and make no mistake, my love of a fair debate about anything runs hot most of the time and welcome all to take part in that kind of repartee. 

For better or worse, real debate is what made America...and made it pretty great if you ask me (but of course, no body's asking) but, taking anonymous pot shots, not so much -- now THAT is, how do you say, bullsh**.

The thing is -- while I can't seem to say enough about it this morning-- if you are gonna jump into the fire, be prepared to get a little scorched; that goes for all of us -- but mostly TO ME!  A lesson learned the hard way, is still a lesson learned.

My story telling doesn't always work -- even if my point was directed more to the larger scale of things going on in America these days -- as in my last blog.  Clearly, we all have our issues; while the stark reality is, we must ask ourselves what has changed so much in America that has made the last fifty years so destructive for us all?  As any honest to goodness look at ourselves would tell us everything we didn't really want to know, but we're all the better for it -- the first step is asking the question.  Why is America unraveling right before our eyes?

AS evidence in the last couple of days, attempting to make a point by holding a mirror up in front of someone else may not always work on a personal level -- at least not without hitting a few nerves or hurting someones feelings; but it is absolutely required of us as Americans in order see the changes we need to make, or see perhaps where we went wrong, and that was the only point I really had in mind.  But for me to use bits and peices of another person's story as color for the masses, it only begs for negative attention from the wolves, anonymous or otherwise.

So, too, taking personal responsibility goes both ways; in most cases, anytime we come from a polarized, general assumption bearing negative connotations we must be forewarned, as we have already burned ourselves by lighting the match.

Such as -- saying, "liberals tend to evolve their beliefs and their ideas based more on 'lived experiences' than established family/religious/ideological traditions" or going back in time with reference to how someone was raised saying "when I was a republican, I believed that we were morally superior! and wouldn't doubt that you and your father have that same belief today"...

making politics PERSONAL is when feelings get rubbed the wrong way...stoke it long enough and voila, fire.

My mistake was getting sucked into the spontaneous combustion to begin with, a force destined for immediate and utter destruction and nothing less.

Admittedly, this is where G has made many of her errors -- jumping into something when all common sense is telling you to walk away, not listening to the inner voice of reason and sound judgment, not snuffing out the overly zealous -- and usually misplaced -- ego who's chief goal is retaliation... oops I did it again and hitting myself on the forehead numerous times as we speak.

Our founding fathers didn't agree on many things.  What they did agree on was a country based on the principles of law, not of man (because we are that stupid and ignorant and corruptible and full of ourselves), in order to create the best environment promoting order and civility and prosperity, even if that meant countless debates to get there. 

It was all about what we have in common -- and projecting just how these principles and values OF the PEOPLE could be translated to a law and governance that ALL people could benefit equally and fairly all the way down the line and all through the years.  It was not a compilation of outlining our differences under restrictive law, as heaven's to Betsy how would that work and also be a pleasant place to live and raise a family; but quite the contrary, it was the melding of an entire community in agreement -- finding the unilateral beliefs, the common values, and thereby clearly transcending the differences altogether-- to create a republic to protect and promote the prosperity of people at all levels under common law.

In order to create the more perfect union, some how, some way, we had to come together in unison as one people; and now, in order to keep it, we must be able to uphold the system in place, keep the debate focused on the common ground, and hold to the principles that protect freedom for all, even when it's hard, or turns ugly, whichever comes first.

But the truth is we all do it; we all stoke the system focusing on the polarities of policy and ideology -- the right and the left; conservative and liberal, republican and democrat; certainly, how else will we "know any better" if we aren't clear on all the many ways we disagree, right?  One thing's for sure, when we speak with respect, it works; when we fall from civility it looks more like:
  • Jeanne Garofalo saying the tea partiers are "all a bunch of racists"
  • Nancy Pelosi referring to townhallers as "Nazis" or "AstroTurf"
  • a distant relative thinking one side evolves while the other side falls to the dark ages 
No matter how you look at it -- it is all reckless fire burning out of the mouths of a cowardly dragon unless you are willing to have a real debate about it, openly and honestly and without preconditions -- and of course, willing for it to be on C-Span so to speak for all the world to see.

But where are we today? We are watching our government bicker like relatives -- calling each other names and the people out of touch, offering up our petty differences as kindling, stoking the fire of division, leaving us to make due in a scarred and damaged terrain, knowing it may take years for the new growth to come back and show real hope and change for a future. 

Truth hurts -- in more ways than one and all the way around; while that which exists as our reality masquerading around as bipolar heroins battling out with fire and sword only works best in make believe; at the very least, we can be grateful that most of us raised in America learn to pick our self up, brush our self off, and get back on the horse (the difference being now who owns the horse, of course).

I want to live in an America
where we all own our own horse
so that when we see fire
we can get up on our horse
and ride
as fast as we can
in the opposite direction.

Or at best,
come together for one and all
and guard our castle, our land, our freedom, our liberty
and put out the fire
no matter what cost or how many names we are called in a day.

Make it a Good Day, G

Last thought for the day --
in a manner of addressing all relative discourse --
how can telling me I'm ass-backwards on my horse
right out of the starting gate
get us anywhere but on a bridge to nowhere?
Therein lies the rub.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Dear America,

We can take the kid out of the socialism but we can't take the socialism out of the kid.

We are the product of our parents -- mostly the biological ones -- up until we reach such an age of independence that is...guessing around thirteen...when we slowly meld into the wide, wide world of all others that grow on us, influence us, shift us and mold us into an adult and ultimately carry with us to the end of our days.

Sure, the daughter of a conservative -- who responsibly cared for her every need all the days of her life -- could ultimately blow out of the house and freely leap into some kind of liberal paradigm -- perhaps even go so far as to raise her own children in a commune, live off the land, sing songs, and pretend the rest of the world does not exist -- at least figure they got it all wrong -- holding tight to her new found enlightenment that the rest of us are simply out of touch with the real thing, man -- that peace, love and Woodstock is where it's at -- leaving every shred of evidence of the contrary behind.  It can happen.

ah the rise of the Utopian generation (again... every century has one or two), if everyone could just share everything -- not even to have one more thing more than another -- than the whole world would get along just fine...

Even if this conservative gave the opportunity for his so-called conservative girl to be able to live on a hill overlooking the valley with a pool in the backyard and horses she could ride.  Perhaps, this little girl went through some emotional valleys, feeling a distance from a father who was seriously working all the time -- he may have been reserved when it came to expressing his love for his family -- or it may be that he was just too busy, traveling the globe for reasons of purpose and pleasure, whisking even her mother away at times, leaving her to a babysitter with the rest of her three siblings in the big house on a golden hill in the best neighborhood money could buy. 

Oh, the cruelty, of having pretty much everything you ever needed from a provider who in his day knew no better...  He was just working; doing what he felt he needed to do to earn a living and provide for his family -- and a very good living indeed.  He was just acting as a father to the best of his abilities;  and for the way it was back then, that was defined as how well you kept a job -- usually the same job for thirty or forty years -- and the ability to pay for the needs of your family and accumulate wealth from it.

Yes, admittedly, she was of an age where most women were told to 'just find a nice boy and get married.'  And when she found such a man, everyone was happy in the big house on the golden hill -- that is everyone except her, the end.

America has seen a lot of that in her day -- this girl wasn't the only woman in the world held to the standard that the best place for the woman is in the home, taking care of the children, leaving the bringing home of the bacon to the man of the house. 

But that was then.  This is now, man.

Here we are; America 2010; having a generation or two since the days where women were expected to grow up to be teachers, nurses or better yet, just find a doctor, honeyand get married and make me some grandchildren.

Oh yes, but that poor girl -- that one who was raised right and to the best of her father's abilities -- that poor dear...

Even if this conservative, who she grew to loathe and resent, provided the ability for her to get a college education and even, dare we say, go abroad for schooling at the age of sixteen, allowing her to get a feel for just how wonderful and perfect the Europeans do it...yes, their natural openness and freedom of expression, their beautiful landmarks and countryside, revealing in every nook and cranny a society of culture... refinement yet so chic; dated, yet so cutting edge; heavy heart and history, yet modern and forward thinking and always and often ahead of their time.  Now THEY are people who know where it's at, man.

The thing is, raising children, it's complicated -- and yet again

Raising children to become active, responsible, accountable, charitable, successful, solvent, kind, compassionate, enlightened, learned, appreciative, grounded, honest, good, productive, motivated, ambitious, hard working, happy people just takes work

It does not happen naturally or without effort or without our absolute attention -- it takes work.  And by example, even a girl with everything can grow up and take a look back and come away with nothing, even if only in her own mind.

In the macro sense, America has had plenty of time now to grow up -- to expand our horizons, spread our wings, get a taste for the good life and the not so much.  WE have liberated ourselves from a past that only kept us back!  We have seen the light and see that those founding fathers of ours man  -- boy do they have it all wrong...what were they thinkin? 

"A government of laws and not of men"
John Adams
(why, John, do you know something we don't know pray tell?)

"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. 
It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
John again.
(got that right, man)

"If men were angels, no government would be necessary"
James Madison
(his version of utopia, I'm sure,
but knowing full and well it can't be done
-- man is human and to err not so divine)

"Dependence begets subservience and venality,
suffocates the germ of virtue,
and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition"

Thomas Jefferson
(now that is heavy, man)

"Do not separate text from historical background. 
If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution,
which can only end in a distorted,
bastardized form of illegitimate government."
back to James

"It is much easier to suppress the first desire
than to satisfy those that follow."
Benjamin Franklin
(bend over once...bend over a thousand times)

"It is the working man who is happy,
it is the idle man who is the miserable man" 
Ben again.

"Tell me and I forget.  Teach me and I remember. 
Involve me and I learn."
yet another Ben

"The U.S. Constitution doesn't guarantee happiness,
only the pursuit of it.
YOU have to catch up with it yourself."
 oh Ben, talk to me...

It is ONLY in America where we have created a system where everyone is raised under the same principles and values set forth by our founding fathers based simply on a limited government and with respect to all that is required to be in community with one another and instill order and freedom for all . 

The age of learned men and reason came to conclusions about how best to raise it's citizens upon thousands of years of teachings, natural laws already divined by the grace of God that were UNIVERSALLY accepted and believed by every citizen, but holding to ONE key ingredient -- the ability for INDIVIDUAL MAN to continue to be of good nature -- virtuous and kind, simple and hardworking, and promote the wherewithal to keep it going one generation after the next.

In this age where "a learned blockhead is a greater blockhead than an ignorant one" (Ben again, and speaking frank), even a PhD does not give someone enough common sense to live by and grow the next generation -- as evident by all the talking heads today.

Hypothetically if we threw out all books and taught our children just one, let it be The 5000 Year Leap by W. Cleon Skousen.

Back to the opening line and considering that our own American President was raised by self proclaimed socialists... continued to broaden his family's liberal belief system with a Harvard education (studying Constitutional Law, go figure) ...ultimately teaching others what he learned based on his allegiance to both his parental influences, Utopian ideals, communing with anti-American radicals along the way, and attaching himself more firmly to all paths of social engineering and regulation than to the paths furthering greater independence and principles of freedom...now sits in the highest office of the land --  just how far back is he willing to take us?

The irony really!  You know, being that the very idea of the redistribution of wealth was considered ARCHAIC! in the hearts and minds of Franklin, Madison, Jefferson, Adams, Washington... you know, based on civilizations past -- based on human nature and the laws that bind, naturally.

Isn't it fair then to question our dear young President of his intentions?  A president who by all appearances and actions thus far, clings to an age old wisdom now clearly obsolete --  an unobtainable ideal that isn't even fiscally possible let alone socially acceptable -- by American standards that is. Just how can a society based on unlimited freedom and prosperity for all NOT make any sense to a learned man of such high education and well rounded background?

Unless, he's not exactly well rounded.
Unless, you are missing something. 
Unless, you look upon the work and the efforts of our forefathers with doubt -- ignorant to the deeper message that they teach us -- or that which they stood for, fought for, gave over ever ounce of their being to create the American dream for, that extra-ordinary something that only comes along once in every five thousand years or so.

It was all for you -- you silly girl --

so that you
could sit here today
forgetting any and all value
to that which came before you
before you got here. 

and now that you're here -- you know, that place where you have everything -- you can look out from your ivory tower with every freedom in the world, man, and every need taken care of, effortlessly and without strain... it's so cool... and resent him -- a father who just did the best he could in the day in the life of your childhood

-- leaving you
with the very foundation, with all capabilities and opportunities, for you to go out and make a life for yourself, any way you like it.

It was all for you.
No need to say thank you; but, counting your blessings wouldn't hurt... gotta start somewhere.

Make it a Good Day, G