Friday, February 26, 2010

"Why We Fight" is a title of an episode of HBO's Band of Brothers. Its a particular moving episode, on the discovery of a concentration camp in Germany, by the Americans, in the waning days of WWII.

My mind wondered to that series when I was asked recently if I've been on an Olympic hiatus from battling the dastardly villains of the liberal left.

The easy answer would be yes. I've been lax because I've been maxed out on Winter Olympics. I can't get enough of the Hockey and Curling Tournaments!

The harder answer is that, in this era of full-bore disgruntled, enraged, and engaged partisans, I'm not entirely.

Even more so, I have trouble finding inspiration from the genre to write about.

True inspiration, not the self-serving, media driven, cult of personality that is passing for inspiration now a days.

In fact, I'm equal parts indifferent and outraged, but they short each other out.

This affords me a sober response to the rhetoric.

I can't trust either side to get the job done, and it needs done like yesterday, if not yesteryear.

I'm a conservative and I vote, its not apathy, its that the GOP can not incite me where they'd rather I'd be incited, all the while I'm rather excited to the point of pulling that voting lever real hard next time around.

I can't follow anything real close anymore not just because both sides get nothing done, but also because all the while they're doing nothing, its claimed the other side is the obstacle and is distorting the issue.

The reality is that when the Republicans were clearly in power, they got nothing done and in 2010 the Democrats can't get anything done. I'm going back decades with some of these issues that neither side has made positive nor substantive change to.

I'm cynical about the whole establishment.

Truth they say is out there, but I can't trust anyone really has a grasp of it to tell me, and inspire me with it.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Book Review: Rome 1960

For a good read on some Summer Olympic history, try Rome 1960: The Summer Olympics That Stirred the World by David Maraniss.

The Pulitzer Prize winner also wrote Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero and When Pride Still Mattered : A Life Of Vince Lombardi.

What you'll find is a swift moving history of the waning weeks of summer in 1960 when the games played out in Rome. Who you'll find is a cast of Americans that include the young and energetic boxer, Cassius Clay; the noble decathlete Rafer Johnson; and the elegant sprinter Wilma Rudulph.

Also in this retelling of a transitive period in global sports during the Cold War adolescent period, you'll meet members of the Soviet Union team and the last unified German team.

You'll learn about the beginnings of steroids in sports and how geopolitical battles were contested not only on the field, but in the International Olympic Committee meetings as well.

Not to be out done by the East - West rivalry, the two Chinese get catty, not for the first nor last time.

There was also Abebe Bikila, a bare-footed, gold medal marathon runner from Ethiopa.

A most fascinating bit of history to offer my readers is the nugget that after these Olympics were concluded, Americans began to worry about their overall competitiveness and physical fitness.

The new President, John Kennedy, appointed a 'special consultant' to "make it clearly understood that the promotion of sports participation and physical fitness is a basic continuing policy of the United States." p. 386.

Soon schools were testing children across the country in athletic prowess.

Which reinforces my belief that Government can't really do much right. Its been 50 years since, while obesity and sloth have only gotten worse.

Fix health care? Good luck with that one.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Its easy to target the President in politics, but I'm not intending to blame Obama for everything. In fact, I'm quite lenient on him. I rather not act like he and his party did for the eight years of the Bush presidency. I'm not going to be that guy.

Most problems we faced were around before Bush, and even before Clinton and Bush the elder. Our problems have been lurking for decades.

Instead of solving our problems the two sides agitate the other, the disciples are led down the road of good intentions, bedazzled yet angry at everyone else for the problems that are du jour right now.

Professing to trust none, yet committed to the heard, we split our vote on one of two candidates that increasingly are inches apart, not the miles they'd have us believe.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Have you read this oped from John Brennan, Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism in the USA Today?

With all due respect Mr. Brennan, but where were you while your boss and his cronies were emasculating the President, and the office of the presidency, all the while Bush was there?

Its a Bizzaro World, the GOP does exactly what the Democrats had done for years, and now again, the Obama Administration uses the same logic as the Bush Administration.


Monday, February 8, 2010

George Washington was right and these political parties are destroying the promise of America.

He said in his Farewell Address of 1796:

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty.

Reflect on how the founding principles, and in deed the founding fathers, are continuously under attack, ridiculed, and ignored by the cohorts of the Progressive ideology.

One way to counter act that regression of our shared and communal intellect, our degenerative body politic, is to reveal what placed these founders in such high regard in the first place.

George Washington, to be sure, wasn't one of the 'best and brightest', if we can borrow that misnomer from a later era. He didn't write the Declaration of Independence nor draft the Constitution. He was a natural leader of men, a General and President, and when he left public service he shared a lot of advice he learned from a tumultuous time period.

Sadly, we haven't paid heed to much of that advice in recent decades.

The Tea Party movement looks in some way to re-arouse the spirit of Washington, Jefferson, and Hamilton.

The biggest obstacle they'll face is the entrenched party apparatus', but I fear they are our last best hope of salvaging our future.

Any honest projection of the course of our nation going forward will acknowledge the dismal state of our finances: the debt, the deficit, and the obligations.

Neither party can claim superiority over the other in managing our books.

The Democrats have been in charge of the pocket book since 2007, when they took back the House of Representatives. They have failed miserably to not only make an effort to restore balance in the federal budget, but they have also failed to steer the nation toward prosperity.

It seems their leaders are doing their best to emulate Ayn Rand's government of Atlas Shrugged. Surreal is what it is, and frightening.

For their part, the Republicans lost their fiscal discipline at some point in the early '00s and it was not until they lost power that they were born again. Or so they would have us believe.

Consider that I'm only addressing our finances, and not our foreign policy, trade, education, health, or immigration problems!

Is this nation ready to support a third party? I'm a skeptic. In the 1990's I committed myself to voting third party whenever possible, and I'll argue night and day that it has never been a waste of my vote.

Unfortunately, millions have wasted their vote on the same old same old. The reasons are wonderfully articulate, and they have been voiced by such statesmen as Arlen Spector and the late Ted Kennedy.

One strident Democrat, filled with nothing but hate and contempt of Republicans, clued me in that he would vote third party, but there was no one to vote for. I replied, I voted third party all my life.

We live in the same district.

Washington had the courage to do great things, do we have the courage to do the little things, like vote for someone other than a Democrat or Republican?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Political uprisings are not for the faint of heart.

We've got the Tea Party Convention going on right now, and the political undulations which will play their way out from that center can beget some serious unintended consequences.

Like splitting the Republican and Conservative vote, which would allow a second term for Barack Obama, which as they see it, is one of the big problems we have right now.

And don't think that the character assassins from both parties aren't sharpening their knives as I type this. Stepping up and out, an attempt to wrest power from either political party will attract all kinds of the wrong attention, 'they' will not go down quietly.

Sarah Palin. She's already damaged goods. Katie Couric saw to that.

Who will bravely stand up next? We shall see, but be sure, whomever it is will attract the most villainous enemies, those that use their words to destroy a career.

Unintended consequences abound.

More thoughts forthcoming. . . .