Monday, November 22, 2010

Advent Soon Begins!

A Nativity Scene was erected in a church yard.
During the night someone came across this scene.
An abandoned dog was looking for a comfortable, protected place to sleep. He chose baby Jesus as his comfort.
No one had the heart to send him away so he was there all night.
We should all have the good sense of this dog and curl up in Jesus' lap from time to time.
This is too good not to share.
No one mentioned that the dog breed is a "Shepherd!"

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

The Elections Are Over! Thanks Be to God!

I am so happy the elections are over. Congratulations to those who won their elections yesterday. Whether our choices win or lose is less important than embracing those who did win and keeping them in our prayers. My great prayer is that all those who serve our nation choose nation over party and always attempt to do the right thing. And be honest. Please be honest. Please let the lying season be over.

A piece of historical reality that many people fail to realize is that while the United States is considered to be a young nation, our system of government is amongst the oldest and enduring systems in the world. The vast majority of nations have had major changes in government long after ours. We have our bi-annual 'revolutions' called elections and those elections often change the course of the nation.

Several things I've observed are these:

It is difficult to get really good people to run for office. It is expensive, grueling, and painful for someone to listen to the attacks on you. I found myself cringing at the attacks people launched on each other. Most candidates were guilty of this; some more than others. I can't imagine having to endure the slander and vitriol hurled.

Being the President is a really dreadful job. I guess it has its perks, but in listening to an interview of George W. Bush today and watching Barack Obama at the press conference, being the President has its own special agony. No matter what you choose to do or not do, you will be vilified for it. Yuch.

It also reminds me of something about myself. So many speak of 'no compromise' and being, by nature, a consensus builder, I find such speech uncomfortable. Maybe that's what drives governments but I don't find it something I'd be comfortable with. I, for one, would love to see everyone sit down and actually try and solve the problems of our nation together instead of hurling insults at each other.

But that's just me.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

What Disappointments Me About This Year’s Election

I decided to write this before the results are in. I am incredibly disappointed in this election cycle and it has little to do with the results.

Here is why.

First off, there seems to have been epic lying and dishonesty in this year’s election. People were assaulted by Republican commercials stating that there Democratic opponent voted to reduce Medicare. Actually, the healthcare plan voted to increase Medicare but was removing funding from privatized Medicare Advantage. The Democrats, not to be undone, were equally bogus with their 23% sales tax ads leaving out the little detail of this tax being in lieu of other taxes. The lies went on and on and on and there are no innocents in this one.

Secondly, the smearing and the defense of smearing. “Oh, there have always been smear campaigns.” Perhaps there have always been smear campaigns but now we have mail, Facebook, E-mail, and endless phone calls telling us that our opponent is the worst person who ever walked the planet. In this part of the country no one was willing to sink deeper and dirtier than Jack Conway in Kentucky. His ‘Aqua Buddha’ ad was disgusting.

Thirdly, there are some really bad candidates. The people of Nevada have to be really, really angry at Harry Reid to consider voting for a Sharron Angle who may be one of the all time worst major party candidates in the history of the universe. Of course, she is running at the same time as Alvin Greene in South Carolina so this may actually be a toss up. If you were to ask, I’d vote for Christine O’Donnell over either of these two. If I lived in Kentucky I’d vote for “None of the Above” in the Senate election. In my own district Todd Young’s major campaign platform is that he’s not Baron Hill. He made me long for the days of millionaire Mike Sodrel who is at least from here and seems to be a sincere man.

Fourth, there is really bad party leadership. I have not been a huge fan of Nancy Pelosi. She does get things done, but she’s a diehard partisan and ideologue. I tend to see myself as a consensus builder and a pragmatist so I have an innate distrust of partisans and ideologues. I have to believe the Democrats could have done better than her. Sadly, the quality will not improve when the balance of power shifts. John Boehner shares two of Nancy Pelosi’s worst qualities. He’s a diehard partisan and ideologue. Harry Reid was terrible and if he loses the election and the Democrats maintain control of the Senate, one of the people who wants to be the new Senate Majority Leader is Chuck Schumer from New York. God help us all. If the Republicans gain control the new leader will be Mitch McConnell. God help us all.

Fifth, in an era when things are very difficult and solutions need to take place, more and more ideologues win elections and pragmatic people are cast to the sidelines. I do not trust ideologues to solve problems. They busily try and follow the same path and plan no matter what the world is doing around them. It’s nuts!

Lastly, we still have a major healthcare crisis; we still have a lot of people who do not have jobs or are underemployed. Our national infrastructure if rotting away and we will have major education issues. We still have a major presence in Iraq; are fighting a war in Afghanistan, and terrorism is still a major problem around the world. Despite a lot of rhetoric and posturing by both sides, no one seems to be seriously discussing real solutions to real problems.

Maybe next time....