Saturday, February 24, 2007

Newsletters, I don't need no stinkin' newsletters

I've mentioned that I read several newsletters daily. One really punched my buttons a few days back and here is part of a reply I sent to the author.

Dear ...

"In general, I really enjoy your newsletter and in truth am no fan of Bush 43 either. But, the latest column went past my tolerance level for tirades against him. My recollection is that with regard to Social Security, Bush attempted to address the issue and Congress (and the American public) wanted no part of it. Consequently, actually working to resolve the problem died for a lack of second.

I'm certainly NOT happy about the spending that is taking place, both for the war AND any other pork barrel project or "earmark" that any given Representative can hang on the budget or any other bill.

I have written in the past to indicate that Medicare Part D saves me approximately ... per year and enables ... to receive necessary medication ... So, for what it's worth I wholeheartedly support it. Is it a panacea? Does it do everything a program such as this should? NO! But is it better than what was available two years ago? Absolutely!!! Without Plan D we could not afford ...

With regard to The War on Terrorism, and not JUST the conflict in Iraq: As a very early "boomer", I'm not so far removed from the "Greatest Generation" that I can see the need for response to acts of aggression. The only way I'm willing to compare the basis of this conflict to Vietnam is in the lack of resolve of the American people at the failure of immediate result. Seems I recollect at the outset of this campaign we were advised that this would not be a short term or easy victory. In Vietnam, the American public had little investment when we began going "in country". Likewise, the premise for entry was flawed. Don't misunderstand here, either. Is Iraq a mess? Again, absolutely. But are we totally wasting our time and efforts, I'm not so sure.

We as a Nation have become far to invested in "instant gratification" and "The Great Society" programs foisted on us by another Texas President of a different party, Lyndon Baines Johnson, that we have lost sight of the principles that this Nation was founded upon. Not the least of which is independence and self-reliance. Our Churches have been generally divested of their role as providers of aid and comfort. Government has gone from being a Nation under God to a Nation legislating away our Creator and becoming the provider of all our needs. Our children have no knowledge of any but immediate history and their general educational level seems to slip further each year. Mediocrity becomes the target in the name of equality.

And whose fault is that really? You, me, and each and every other American - voter or not. Yes, the President has power, but so do the other two bodies of Government, the Legislative and the long ignored Judicial. I think the ultimate point I'm trying to make is that while I am no fan of Pres. Bush, I'm reluctant to say that everything that's wrong with this Country is his fault and am tired of everyone else with an axe to grind because they don't like any one or two issues that he or previous Presidents advanced, doing the same. Speak the truth and acknowledge that we ALL are responsible for the deplorable shape we're in, and don't make the President a "scapegoat".

My favorite quotation of Benjamin Franklin's is his one in answer to the question: "What kind of Government have you given us, Mr. Franklin? To which he replied: A Republic, Madam, if you can keep it." Note he said Republic, not Democracy. And I will parse hairs with you there in admitting that we are a Democratic Republic if you will admit that we are NOT nor were meant to be a true Democracy.


Given my thoughts above, it would appear time for each of us to assume responsibility for our own lives and quit abdicating to "the government". Much the same as TEC, if we will work together to resolve issues and go beyond the point of having to be a winner and make the other side a loser, our Nation will see benefit, as will our denomination.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Defenders of Freedom

Just finished reading comments on the recent "non-binding" resolution from the brave Congressional defenders of our freedoms as espoused by Some Soldiers Mom.

I am a conservative. And I, like many others, am not pleased by our current Senate, House or Chief Executive (or those preceeding the current sordid lot, for that matter). But I fervently support our troops. I'm not that remote from the free world's largest military base and well know since troops have been deployed following 9/11, that base has been at half strength on any given day, week or month. It is staffed by young Americans who are willing to put everything on the line in an effort to defend that in which they believe. They are my friends and neighbors and they deserve better.

When this whole mess started, I really didn't see it as akin to Vietnam. My basis for opinion was an historical knowledge from relatives who served in WW II as well as myself living thru the time of our efforts in Southeast Asia. Part of that time I was in the Guard. I had friends who didn't come back from Nam, friends who came back maimed and close friends who still wear the scars of that conflict in their hearts and minds. I saw 9/11 and our subsequent response as a different matter. In terms of the conflict itself, I still do. But in retrospect, a lot of the negative response to Vietnam was from within, the politics surrounding the mission, if you will; and an overriding lack of commitment to success. I believe that to have become the case now, also.

Unfortunately, it appears that a most vocal portion of our nation is commited to peace at any cost. Had this been Dec 7th, 1941, I fear those very same people would have been willing to ignore the assault and go about their business of appeasement which politically seems to have become all too easy. And, in time I worry that will be our downfall. For when we, as a Nation, stand for everything, we will stand for nothing.

Monday, February 19, 2007

What were I?

Many times I’ve been asked: “What was I before I became Episcopalian?” Seems that’s one of the questions posed to each of us with more than some frequency. I guess that’s because so many of us reached the Episcopal Church from another denomination.

Having never really had the proper answer, it came to me this past Sunday.

“I’m actually a cradle Episcopalian who happened to be orphaned to the Baptist Church for a time in my youth.”

Saturday, February 03, 2007


Was watching the tube this morning and USA channel had the movie Apollo 13 on. It got me to thinking:

How many people actually walked on the face of the Moon?
Twelve, all being American, male, NASA Astronauts.

Then I wondered how old they all were.
Here's the list:

Neil Armstrong, born 1930
Buzz Aldrin, born 1930
Pete Conrad, born 1930 died 1999 - age 69
Alan Bean, born 1932
Alan Shepard, born 1923 died 1998 - age 74
Edgar Mitchell, born 1930
David Scott, born 1930
James Irwin, born 1930 died 1991 - age 61
John Young, born 1932
Charles Duke, born 1935
Gene Cernan, born 1934 and
Harrison Schmidtt, born 1935

All surviving astronauts from the lunar missions are now in their mid 70's and it has been 35 years since man has set foot on the moon or any other extraterrestrial body except the space station.

The point being?
We haven't come so far in the last 35 years, have we?
And how much longer will we have these men among us to tell their stories?
Not so long, I fear.