Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

America Has Spoken

November 5, 2008


America has spoken and Barack Obama will be the next president of the United States.

I will admit that he wasn’t my personal choice.  But he was America’s choice and so he will be my president.  As such he is entitled to my respect and to my support as president of my country.  That doesn’t mean that I will agree with him on everything he does — I may not agree with anything he does.  But I am a citizen of the United States and Barack Obama will be my president.

I hope President-Elect Obama will practice what he preached during much of the campaign and bring us together.  We are  very badly divided — there seems to be no ‘united’ in the United States!  I hope President Obama will be able to heal some of these divisions.

The campaign was long and hard-fought.  Now it’s time for us to come together.

It’s Over!!!

November 4, 2008


By the time you read this, Election Day voting should be underway.  With the exception of a few last-minute events, the 2008 campaign has come to an end.  I can’t begin to tell you how delighted I am.

Reports say that this has been the longest and most expensive presidential campaign in American history.  As far as I’m concerned two years is entirely too long.  For me the main result of the long campaign was that I have less respect for both of the major party candidates than I had months ago.  I think they both spent entirely too much time tearing down each other.  Their ads were more misleading than enlightening.

Why should any campaign last two years?  If Canada can hold an election within six weeks of the start of the campaign, why can’t we?  Sure our population is larger, but is it really that much larger?

This election has cost approximately a billion dollars.  That’s over $300 for each American citizen.  Both candidates have said they have plans to stimulate the economy.  If I had received $300 the week before Election Day I promise I would have quickly spent it!!

The good news is that the 2008 presidential campaign is over.  I just hope the 2012 campaign doesn’t start tomorrow.

Quo Vadis

October 18, 2008

I remember reading a book, Quo Vadis, as a youngster.  I vaguely remember a movie with that same name, but I’m not sure about that.  The book is a historical novel set in the time of Emperor Nero of Rome.  Quo Vadis is Latin for ‘Where are you going?’ and the book evidently made quite an impression on me since it popped into my head after fifty-some years.

Betsy and I went to Hendersonville yesterday to help out my folks and on the way back home we listened to a Nashville radio station.  There was a report that some organization was driving illegal aliens to early voting places and helping them vote.  The report, backed up by at least one election commissioner, was that the voters could not speak English and had no ID, but were allowed to vote anyway.  I had never thought of Nashville, Tennessee, as the home of a major political machine.

The report may not be true, but the fact that it was even made is disturbing.  One of the foundations of the American way of governance is that we have fair and free elections, and after the election is over and the people have spoken, we will all come together in support of our leaders.  This obviously did not happen in 1860, and to a lesser it didn’t happen in 2000 and 2004.

So what will happen this year?  What will happen if a sizable part of the American public thinks they were denied their right to vote?  What will happen if a sizable part of the American public thinks the election was stolen by voters who shouldn’t have voted?

Quo Vadis, America?

Bailing Out on the Bailout

September 30, 2008

Unless you were on another planet yesterday, you know that the House of Representatives voted down the bailout plan that was supposed to save us from economic disaster.  You also know that the Dow lost 777 points yesterday.  And you know that the political recriminations started before the final vote was announced.

I’ll admit that I have mixed feelings about the bailout plan.  If the politicians and bureaucrats are right, the bailout is (was) the only way to avoid an economic catastrophe.  But aren’t these the same politicians and bureaucrats who were telling us just a few months ago that everything was fine and there was no problem?  And aren’t these the same people who passed the laws and made the regulations that allowed us to get into this mess in the first place?  Why should I believe what they are telling me now?

Perhaps something dramatic needs to be done, but I don’t really like many of the ideas that have been proposed.  Betsy and I have tried to be prudent — we saved for a sizable down payment on our house and only bought what we could afford.  If something like the the proposed bailout plan passes I think one of two things will happen to Betsy and me.  Either our taxes will go way up to pay for the bailout or inflation will go way up and eat away at the money we’ve saved for our retirement.  (Of course both of those things could happen at the same time, but I don’t want to think about that!).

Sometimes I feel that I was foolish to try my best to make prudent decisions.  Perhaps I should have just enjoyed myself and then yelled for someone to bail me out when things got bad.

I don’t know what is going to happen in the next few days as far as the economy is concerned, but things should be interesting.

Consider What The Future Might Bring

September 8, 2008
Sarah Palin accepting the vice-presidential nomination.  September 3, 2008.

Sarah Palin accepting the vice-presidential nomination. September 3, 2008.

I’m sure my children will tell you that I’m an old fuddy-duddy, and they might  be right.  But I don’t think that I’m quite the Neanderthal that they sometimes think I am.

For example, is the U. S. ready for a female President or Vice-President?  I think we very well may be.  The excitement generated by the Sarah Palin nomination for Vice-President exceeds anything we’ve seen in a long time.  I feel she has generated much more excitement than did Geraldine Ferraro did in 1980.  Betsy has not been particularly interested in politics since we’ve been together, but she sure is interested now.  She can’t get enough information about the new vice-presidential nominee.

Could Sarah Palin successfully handle the duties of Vice-President?  Yes, I think she could.  Was she the most experienced person John McCain could have picked?  No, but Joe Biden isn’t exactly a a sterling example of ‘change’ for Barack Obama, either.

Maybe we put too much emphasis on experience.  Most of the men and women in Congress are ‘experienced’, but they haven’t had a great record of accomplishment for the past ten years or so.  Maybe we need a few more outsiders!

Can the McCain-Palin ticket win?  I don’t know.  But regardless of the outcome of this election, consider the choice we might face in 2012 or 2016:  Hillary Clinton or Sarah Palin.  Wouldn’t that be something to behold?

No Wonder We Think Government Is Broken II

August 23, 2008
The Cumberland County Courthouse

The Cumberland County Courthouse

A week or so ago I wrote about the school situation here in Cumberland Country.  You can read the entire post HERE, but in a nut shell the Board of Education decided to delay the start of school because the budget for the year had not been approved.

The latest news when I wrote that first post was that the county mayor had filed two lawsuits against the Board of Education, the second claiming that the board had violated Tennessee’s Sunshine Law at the meeting during which the opening of school was delayed.

Yesterday the Chancery Court judge hearing the second lawsuit ruled that both special-called meetings held by the Cumberland Country Board of Education were held in violation of the Sunshine Law and are considered void.  The judge said there was not enough adequate notice for the public for those meetings, and the subject of the first meeting differed from what was on the agenda.

The judge then ruled that Cumberland County schools must be open on or by Wednesday, August 27.

Of course, the judge’s ruling does not solve the money problem.  The Board of Education is facing a five million dollar shortfall for the coming year.  Among steps being considered to close that gap:  elimination of the entire transportation budget (no school buses),  cut the Security Coordinator position (there was a shooting in a Knoxville high school yesterday), dropping all advanced placement and honors courses in the high schools (that should help us compete in this high-tech world), and potentially eliminate all extra-curricular activities.

Schools may open next week, but I don’t think the problems have been solved!

No Wonder We Think Government Is Broken

August 16, 2008
Cumberland County Commissioners  meeting, August 12, 2008.

Cumberland County Commissioners meeting, August 12, 2008.

If you live in Tennessee, you’ve probably heard about the mess we have here in Cumberland County.  School was supposed to start here on Monday, August 11 (which seems entirely too early, but that’s another story).  On Friday, August 8, the Board of Education delayed the opening of schools because the budget hasn’t been finalized.  Betsy wrote a good blog about the issues involved, if you haven’t read it, click HERE.

Since then things have really gotten interesting.  For several days county football teams and bands practiced on the courthouse lawn.  Three compromise budget resolutions were voted down at a County Commission meeting.  As you can imagine, the discussions at that meeting were very heated with much more shouting than calm debate.  Even the Knoxville television stations covered that meeting!

Then our county mayor sued the Board of Education, claiming that the Board had violated Tennessee’s Sunshine Law.  The lawsuit claims that the August 8 meeting was called by the Director of Schools instead of the Chair of the Board of Education as required by law.

The next day a member of the Board of Education resigned, saying he didn’t think that the school was holding the director of schools accountable or putting the students first.

Then the county mayor filed a second suit against the board, asking a judge to schedule a hearing to consider an injunction ordering the schools to start immediately.

I can hardly wait to see what happens next — aren’t we setting a great example for our children?!?