Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Some Questions for Voters

As we prepare to cast ballots in November for scores of offices and propositions, I offer these questions as a way of awakening our minds to the implications of our personal and political choices in the days ahead. I have deep convictions on what and who to vote for, and even a cursory reading of my work will hopefully convince the thoughtful that we need significant changes in the national direction.

Rather than repeat partisan opinions or offer direct recommendations, I present these queries for our reflection.

Here we go:

Democrat or Republican, Green or Libertarian: Are we prepared to help create a community and a nation that produces more than it consumes and earns more than it spends?

Are we willing to sacrifice so that we pass on a flourishing economy, educational system and social service network and sufficient national defense to the next generation, with less debt that we have today?

Are we willing to volunteer some time to serve the community apart from government incentives or programs - just because it is right?

Will we help people move from dependency to productivity through wise policies, new opportunities and personal interest in our neighbor?

Will we be friends with people of diverse cultural identity and political ideology, finding ways to work together instead of only exchanging polarizing comments?

Will we start a new trend of participation in local government by turning off our computers and actually attending city council or county supervisors meetings and speaking our minds?

Regardless of our views, will our friends and opponents speak well of our character, demeanor and service for others?

Are we ready to generously support our faith communities with our participation and our resources?

Can we find it in our hearts to support the arts that bring beauty to our world and perhaps participate in sponsoring opportunities for creativity to flourish?

When no one is looking or listening, are we praying for all in authority, asking the Lord to bless, bestow wisdom and redeem past mistakes? Or are we cursing under our breath?

When we passionately disagree with someone, can we stay on the issue itself or will we lapse into personal attack and unfounded generalizations?

Will we tell ourselves the truth about our national plight - that we are both part of the problem and the solution?

Are we able to reaffirm the genius of our Constitution, while avoiding the twin errors of making it divinely infallible or subject to the whims of ideological currents?

While working for safe borders and reasonable immigration policies, will we treat each person we meet with dignity and respect?

I hope to add to this list as the election draws near. We can create wealth of all kinds and prepare for a better future if we place the welfare of our children ahead of our own wants. Paradoxically, when we serve others without thought of reward, our lives will be happier, richer and full of lasting pleasure.

Let's start answering, "Yes" each day we are given breath.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A New Dictionary

In the interest of interpreting the current political polemics and helping humanity understand the current state of public discourse, I offer the following new entries into the OED, Webster's, and even Wikipedia (no students, you may NOT use Wikipedia in your research papers...):

Traditional Family Values: This phrase is code for homophobia, racism, sexism and oppression of millions.
(And I just thought it meant that Mom and Dad should love each other and raise their kids to be responsible citizens.)

Israel: The source of every problem in the world and the cause of all Middle East tension.
(The fact that they are a vigorous democracy and a center of creativity and enterprise is irrelevant.)

Equal opportunity, not equal outcomes: This is rapacious capitalism, trickle-down economics and unfair for the masses.
(Of course the writers of this definition live off the trust funds of someone that worked hard.)

Border and immigration enforcement: This is racism, xenophobia and injustice for all the "undocumented" that deserve a better life.
(Mexico's border with Guatemala is armed to the teeth and the mythical "Aztlan" of La Raza radicals never existed.)

Climate Change: Dubious science used to redistribute the world's wealth and anyone that is a "denier" is dooming humankind to destruction.
(Amazing how these proponents have become rich off the fear of others. Al Gore, when will you debate anyone in an open forum?)

Medicare "as we know it": Millions of seniors will be deprived of benefits and die early if Republicans have their way.
(Of course, the system needs help and we need to let it crash so Big Brother can intervene with emergency powers.)

Demanding ID to vote: This is Stone Age oppression that will deprive millions of their rights.
(The fact that ID's are free and that anyone that cannot get one may be illegally present in the nation is of no concern.)

Food Stamps: Everyone should be issued ration cards so that Michelle Obama, Chef-in-Chief, can make sure we do not eat an egg mcmuffin.
(Apologies to Gabby deserve some fun food after a lifetime of remarkable discipline.)

Oreo Cookie: Any African American that fails to align with the Left.
(I like my oreos with milk and I do not pull them apart.)

Free Enterprise: Allowable only with government approval and subsidies. GE, GM and Solyndra, anyone?
(I thought it was part of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.")

EPA: Enforcing (the) "Progressive" Agenda through hyper-regulation, armed officers and onerous fines during any dispute.
(They are supposed to help us ensure clean air, land and water for future generations.)

And finally, "fairness" - someone in Washington DC decides how to redistribute wealth and maintain power through largess distributed to dependents.
(I assumed fairness meant a level playing field, the rule of law and protection of rights ...silly me.)

Enough humor for the day. As we engage in debate and discussion, let's demand accuracy, honesty, and no deflection from the issues through personal attack or irrelevanm appeals to emotion.