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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Obama is Right!!

Bet you’re surprised to hear me say that, huh? I think one of the reasons he is so fetching is that most people will agree that America Needs Change! Oh boy, does America ever need change. While I am certain that, even with all her faults and problems, America is still the best place on the planet to call home, we do indeed need an Extreme Makeover, Government Edition. I am by no means an expert on politics. I wouldn’t even consider myself a novice. I am actually embarrassed at how much I do NOT know about how our government was intended to function, nor where we went wrong. I, and perhaps most people, would probably be sickened if I/we knew all the things that actually go on behind the closed doors of our elected officials. It makes me sad when I think of visiting those graves in Boston, that those brave men who pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor- sad that we have come so far from what they envisioned. It makes me sad to see where we have come in the name of “Progress”. Or “change”, if you will. I received an e-mail this morning that caught my interest. I cannot verify the authenticity. But it doesn’t matter if Snopes validates it, or if some person just made it up. It is a very good read, and certainly food for thought. I know that I personally object to Sen. O as our Commander in Chief, for many reasons that I may or may not discuss in later posts. Without telling me who, what, when, where, how and most definitely why, his gospel of change raises neither excitement nor support from me, rather it raises doubt, suspicion and unrest. This supposed letter from a newspaper in Virginia helps me better define just what it is about this man that scares me.
The following letter appeared in Letters to the Editor in the Richmond Times Dispatch, Richmond, VA on July 7, 2008. Its well written and worth thinking about during this political season, though the USA is certainly not like Cuba in the late 1950's.Bill Rogerson

Beware Charismatic Men Who Preach 'Change'

Editor, Times-Dispatch: Each year I get to celebrate Independence Day twice. On June 30 I celebrate my independence day and on July 4 I celebrate America's. This year is special, because it marks the 40th anniversary of my independence. On June 30, 1968, I escaped Communist Cuba and a few months later I was in the United Sates to stay. That I happened to arrive in Richmond on Thanksgiving Day is just part of the story, but I digress. I've thought a lot about the anniversary this year. The election-year rhetoric has made me think a lot about Cuba and what transpired there. In the late 1950s, most Cubans thought Cuba needed a change, and they were right. So when a young leader came along, every Cuban was at least receptive. When the young leader spoke eloquently and passionately and denounced the old system, the press fell in love with him. They never questioned who his friends were or what he really believed in. When he said he would help the farmers and the poor and bring free medical care and education to all, everyone followed. When he said he would bring justice and equality to all, everyone said "Praise the Lord." And when the young leader said, "I will be for change and I'll bring you change," everyone yelled, "Viva Fidel!" But nobody asked about the change, so by the time the executioner' s guns went silent the people's guns had been taken away. By the time everyone was equal, they were equally poor, hungry, and oppressed. By the time everyone received their free education it was worth nothing. By the time the press noticed, it was too late, because they were now working for him. By the time the change was finally implemented Cuba had been knocked down a couple of notches to Third-World status. By the time the change was over more than a million people had taken to boats, rafts, and inner tubes. You can call those who made it ashore anywhere else in the world the most fortunate Cubans. And now I'm back to the beginning of my story. Luckily, we would never fall in America for a young leader who promised change without asking, what change? How will you carry it out? What will it cost America? Would we? Manuel Alvarez Jr.Sandy Hook, VA
Me again- Wow… I never thought about it THAT way! It really gives me a new perspective. All I can say about Obama’s pledge to change is “Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.”


  1. Here is the link to the original letter to the editor. It is apparently the real deal!

    Scroll down a little on the page and look for "Beware Charismatic Men Who Preach 'Change'



  2. oops, looks like the url was cut off. Here is a shortened version:



  3. If change is finally standing up to big business and claiming the taxes they've failed to pay over the last 10 years, I'm for change. (66% of corporations paid no taxes between 98 and 05).

    Click here for report

    If change involves increasing the fuel efficiency our automakers hesitantly resist, I'm for change.

    If change involves ditching unilateralism so we don't strain our forces in needless conflicts, I'm for change. (We can't do anything to curb Russian aggression because of our weakened military state).

    If change involves ensuring my children and your grandchildren can go to college for little or no cost, I'm for change.

    If change involves ensuring no man or woman loses his home and his life's work because of cancer or any disease and cannot afford his bills, I'm for change. (One third of all home foreclosures are because someone cannot pay their mortgage and medical treatment). This is an easy problem to solve.

    If change involves reducing the highest debt and deficit this country has ever had (not adjusted for inflation), I'm for change. If that means raising taxes on my boss' boss' boss, I'm for change.

    If change means that I, as a middle class member of society, will have my personal income taxes cut, I'm for change.

    If change involves ensuring energy independence, I'm all for change. (In the next 10 years, seven trillion dollars will go to the Saudis - assuming we're not importing 100% of our oil by that point, which could then be more than 10 trillion).

    If change allows my mother and her partner to visit one another in the hospital if necessary and share benefits those who marry for money or on TV get, I'm for change.

    If change involves the deregulation of technology, media and communications conglomerates who lock us into unfair contracts, trivially set the price for services, or allow our private information to be shared with the government, I'm for change.

    Of all the issues plaguing our country right now, a drastic new direction is needed, and I simply don't think John McCain offers any solution that isn't current policy. We're in a bad spot, and we need someone with a connection to the real world to fix it. McCain is rich beyond riches (not knowing how many houses he owns, saying anyone under five million a year is middle class) and he simply doesn't understand how badly we all are right now.

  4. Hi Ryan!! I read your comments on my blog and wanted to follow up with you. I absolutely agree with each and every point you made. Some more strongly than others, but you’ll get no argument from me: We desperately need change!!! I suppose where we disagree will be in who is the best (or least worst) person to bring about those changes. First and foremost, I am not at all convinced that John McCain is the best man for the job. Neither, though, do I believe Obama will bring about the changes he has promised. Given my choices, I feel McCain is better of the two, though not the best the reps could have come up with. Though we disagree, and though I will not “campaign” for you to change your mind, I am pleased that you are voicing your opinions and acting on your beliefs. If you feel in your heart that he’s The Man, then you follow those feelings and give him your support. I will be voting for McCain simply to choose, in my opinion, the lesser of the two evils. (That’s just an old fogey saying… I’m not truly insinuating that I think either of them are “evil”.) I watched the DNC and was also very impressed. I highly doubt the RNC can “top” the charismatic, polished, interesting and enthusiastic tone of the DNC. If Obama can pull off everything he is promising, without the ramifications I fear, then I will consider giving him my vote if he runs for a second term. I am more worried than encouraged, though. What concerns me is HOW he intends to implement these changes. Fred Thompson made a very interesting point last night during his speech. I can’t quote it, but the gist of it is this: Yes- businesses need to pay taxes. But who do you think will make up for that? The consumer will bear the burden. Businesses are not going to lose profits. They will pass along the cost of those higher taxes to the consumer. End Thompson, start me-So unless Obama is going to give you a big fat pay raise, you’ll be worse off than you are now when you purchase products from toothpaste to iPhones. Either sales taxes will increase, or the bottom line prices will increase. Don’t think for one minute that Publix, Wal Mart, Exxon, Johnson & Johnson, etc. are just going to absorb the higher taxes without passing the cost down to you. The statement (of yours) with which I agree the most is “We’re in a bad spot, and we need someone with a connection to the real world to fix it.” Amen brother to that. I am slightly hopeful that Sara Palin will bring a breath of fresh air to our government. If the press will leave her alone! While McCain is often painted as a Bush Twin, or “four more years of the same”, I’m less fearful of that (knowing his record for bucking the political republican norm), than I am of the inexperience of Senator Obama. One unfortunate thing about any candidate for public office goes back to your statment above “What strikes me as odd about that statement is Obama has never formally stated he believes gay “marriage” is the right solution. He’s publicly advocated Civil Unions over the last 18-months. I strongly believe that he wants gay equality (marriage included) but politically, the social feelings haven’t moved far enough into mainstream culture to keep that issue from being a hindrance in a general election.” That’s pretty much the tone of any campaign, doncha think? In order to gain voters, they will skirt around issues and not say what they really feel. If Obama is truly for same-sex marriage, then he needs to say so. As is, with the McCain objection to it, his statement gleaned votes from the gay/lesbians, while not necessarily alienating those dems who are against it. They take great liberty with their promises and ideas- committing and omitting whatever will gain the most support, regardless of their true feelings on the issue. Platform of commission and platform of ommision. If he is elected will he push for same-sex marriage? If so, then he is not truthfully representing himself in his campaign. At any rate, I’m proud of you for standing up for what you believe. So many people your age don’t even know what they believe in. There’s so much more that I wish I knew about government and politics- so much more to learn. In the meantime, as I continue to learn, I’ll follow my heart, reminding myself to be ever respectful of those who see things differently from me. I love you!! Aunt Cathy

  5. Ryan's response:

    Wow, really appreciate the response.

    You’re absolutely right on a number of points you brought up.

    Politicians in general cater to the popular position more often than conviction. Unfortunately, in a democracy we elect those to represent us, not agree with us. Nowadays, they agree with us about everything, even when they don’t.

    It seems conviction has been lost in politics (although I haven’t been around long enough to know whether or not anyone ever had them to begin with!). I’d argue Reagen was the last President with any actual conviction.

    As unpopular as it is to say it, we need a tax increase for businesses and the top two percent of earners. If that cost is offset by a two or three percentage reduction in my federal income tax, as well, I’m fine with that. If my taxes are increased, I’m also fine with that. I pay nearly 30% right now, and I’d gladly pay another 10% if it meant that infrastructure wasn’t crumbling, we had a universal healthcare program, alternative energy sources were properly and reasonably explored and our debt to the Chinese could be paid off. We can’t do any of those things by cutting taxes on businesses and high dollar earners. Business, as the central mechanism in our society, needs to shoulder the responsibility of being the primary contributor to Federal income.

    There are a lot of other issues at stake. Deregulation has allowed AT&T to become one of the largest companies in the world, solely during the Bush administration. Federal regulators have allowed airlines, energy, internet and telecommunications companies to become more and more powerful - all while avoiding paying their dues - by acquiring one another in a game of “who can get the biggest before they break us up.” No individual, other than a board member, is served by deregulation.

    The burden is already on our shoulders in the middle class. A majority of U.S. corporations pay no Federal tax at all, and thousands of the richest Americans keep most of their money locked away in tiny European or Caribbean countries. It’s sad, but people with money want desperately to keep it, and avoidance of paying taxes is something that’s far too common in our society.

    No one likes tax increases, but they are often more than necessary, especially when our government borrows more than it receives from tax. There are only two solutions to that problem: reduce spending or increase taxes. We can’t really reduce spending right now, our modern-day Vietnam prevents that. 10 billion a month it costs the “American tax payers”. I wonder if that figure includes the interest the Chinese charge us.

    Truth be told, I should be searching for a third-party candidate somewhere who shares my views, but even they’re more than disappointing right now.

    And no, I don’t think Obama will push for gay marriage, I think that’s a state’s job, but I do think in his first term there will be no more Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the DOMA will likely go, as well. Maybe some sort of benefits program for gay and lesbian Federal employees are on the horizon.

    And yes ma’am, respect is crucial. I’m glad that we can share thoughts about politics, though