Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Tribute

Memorial Day began as Decoration Day, honoring the dead soldiers on both sides of our American Civil War. As with any holiday that becomes a three-day weekend, the original vision becomes obscured as feasting and travel overtake memory. The celebrations should continue - but they must be joined with solemn reflection on the many men and women who have died in our nation's service. Regardless of politics or policies, this is a good day to reflect on the fallen and remember the sacrifices of our service women and men. Here is my tribute.

Thank You

We do not know why the bullet found you
And your buddies made it home
But we remember.

Your red cross did not stop the shrapnel
But a another soldier lives today
Because you were there.

You jumped on the grenade
And saved all the platoon
These flowers are for you.

In two days you were going home
To meet your new daughter
And the sniper found your heart.

We buried you with honor
Handed a flag to a tearful clan
Thank you for loving us more than life.

We will recall your smile
Through misty eyes we will wait
Until the Day we see you again.

Left or Right, Black or White, rich or poor, we are all enjoying the freedom secured by the brave. Let us take a moment of silence, listen to Taps and offer prayers of peace for the families picking up the pieces of dreams shattered by the visit of a chaplain. And let us labor daily for a world without war.  

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Looking Beyond Ourselves

As I listen to the political debates, there is a missing component in the "retail" politics that fluctuate hour to hour in our data-saturated (but wisdom-deprived) world. There is much talk about Obama inheriting a terrible situation and "how much worse things would be" if he had not racked up $5 trillion in new debt. The Obama machine attacks the Romney record at Bain Capital incessantly because they have nothing significant to show for their amateurish efforts of the past four years.

The Romney campaign is a bit clearer, especially on deficits and foreign policy; however, they are also missing the larger point, though it leaks out in apocalyptic phrases.

The missing issue is, "What needs to be done for a better long-term future?" Yes, we need immediate relief for many. What is being lost are the strategic and structural decisions that will empower a future that is bright for our nation and global community.

Private-public partnership opportunities abound to rebuild infrastructure, truly reform health care, open new energy markets with both current fossil fuel resources and advanced research and unleashing ethical and effective decentralized education reform.

We can ensure the pensions of public employees by embarking in a determined and fair process of privatization with public oversight.

With best practices employed, we can save 15-20% on domestic spending programs without depriving a single person in need. We can realize the same savings in our military without harming our hurting veterans or weakening our ability to respond to crisis.

If we ask what is best for our future, we will be fiscally-disciplined, unleash entrepreneurs, shore up our infrastructure, insist on educational effectiveness and stand with all people of conscience against Islamofascist global terror. We will preserve traditional marriage while allowing all citizens to arrange their domestic situation justly. We will stop the holocaust of the unborn and open avenues of domestic adoption to qualified people. We will hold fathers and mothers legally and morally accountable for their decision to welcome a child into the world, while offering compassionate, non-judgmental care to all in need.

President Obama, and Governor Romney, how are you going to lead us into this healthier future? Do you have the courage to do what is necessary or will you continue to take the easy road of cliches and polemics? Please inspire us...but inform us as well.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Questions for Our Nation

The Presidential campaign season is here. Even before the conventions, we are subject to hourly pronouncements and trivia created to distract us from the compelling issues that demand a referendum in November. I do not care about high school pot-smoking or pranks; I am deeply concerned about the constitutional, economic, moral and social issues that demand attention from all our leaders in all branches of government. Rather than regale my readers with polemical profundities (smile), here is a series of questions for all the candidates as thoughtful people consider their choices. These queries are addressed to the women and men that aspire to "public service" - a notion that I hope can be revitalized from its current permanent ruling class. "Ms. or Mr. [insert title and name here], what are your plans for... ...creating a hospitable environment for all people desiring to come here legally, while ensuring that only citizens vote? ...reducing government waste (including over-bloated Pentagon budgets) while making sure the poor and vulnerable are served? ...delivering health care in a just, decentralized fashion where doctor and patient are the focus, not a massive redistribution of wealth? ...facilitating private-sector economic growth without unnecessay regulation and totalitarian legal tactics, while refining a 21st century understanding of environmental stewardship? ...respecting the rights of those with deeply-held moral and religious convictions as well as those who differ greatly? ...supporting the fundamental institution of heterosexual, monogamous marriage while creating ways for adults in other living situations to care for each other and enjoy legal rights? ...confronting radical Islam and the insidious dhimmitude perpetrated by those who insist of separate rights and promote violence against their critics, while respecting our moderate Muslim neighbors? ...supporting Israel's right to live in peace and security while creating a democratic Palestinian state that renounces violence and unequivocally acknowledges Israel as a legitimate state? ...restoring power and responsibility for more governmental functions to the cities and states and reducing the size of the federal governnment, thus reversing an 80-year trend that saps our resources and effectivness? ...reigning in the power of public employee unions and privatizing pensions so we can actually afford to care for the elderly? ...insisting on a full audit of the United Nations' budgets and programs? ...balancing our federal budget and stimulating equitable global trade? ...confronting China, India, Russia and the 57 Islamic states concerning their human rights abuses? ...creating a hopeful view of the future?" Thoughtful women and men are not looking for bumper stickers and cliches. We have proven to ourselves that minorities and women are equal partners; therefore, let's make November about ideals and issues, principles and practical work, values and vision. Our wonderful nation deserves our best, Ms/Mr. Candidate!