Sunday, July 27, 2008

US President Missing In Action

As I watched the satellite pictures being beamed back of Senator Barack Obama’s world wind tour of the world or better known as the “Obama-Palooza Tour” by the Republicans and other haters, I was struck by the reception he received from the other world leaders and leaders at home. The purpose of the trip according to conventional wisdom was to see if Senator Obama could “appear” presidential. How does one appear presidential? Well, I guess for starters he wouldn’t vomit on the shoe of another leader, I would imagine he would not be confused about the countries or leaders he is meeting with, and I guess he probably wouldn’t try to cop a feel of some foreign dignitaries’ wife.

Here is the problem we are facing as nation, our President George W. Bush has through ineptitude abdicated the office of President and currently there is a void in power. This void is palpable and was visible at every stop that the Senator made. The world is also hungry for change. The world is anxiously waiting for America to once again assume her role as the beacon of the world and not the bully. The reception that Senator Obama got was overwhelmingly more responsive and congenial than the receptions for both President Bush or John McCain. If the test was to “appear” presidential then I think the Senator passed with flying colors.

There was a lot of talk about the Senator “negotiating” troop withdrawals in Iraq with the Prime Minister. This of course was merely a smoke screen to cover up the current lack of leadership on the part of the current administration. Let’s face it George Bush is the lamest lame duck President we have had in recent memory. He isn’t even wanted by his own Party’s nominee for anything more than fundraising on the campaign trail. With the current officeholder in a state of limbo, the world and the nation is looking for someone to step in and fill the void. Rightly or wrongly that someone today is Senator Obama, he has been thrust upon the international and national stage by events that were predictable and avoidable. The problem is that no one tried to avoid them.

Unfortunately we are a nation without a leader, maybe it is the cost of democracy with our revolving Presidency or maybe it is the result of a leader who was not prepared to lead. Either way we have to deal with the aftermath of a leader with no one to lead. It is almost as if everyone is holding their collective breaths for the day when George Bush can go back to trimming brush in Crawford, Texas and we can move forward again as a nation. Even many who were once Republican stalwarts are calling for a change in direction and for all intents and purposes that change appears to be Senator Obama. As we saw with the foreign tour many of the world’s leaders share and believe in the type of world vision and America’s place in it as does the Senator. The world can see the storm on the horizon waiting to explode if we continue down this path we are on.

The world is looking for leadership and for too many years America has not provided that leadership. We have promoted negotiations and fairness as weaknesses, instead of a carrot and a stick we have just being using the stick. Despite the Bush administrations last minute stabs at negotiations their moment has passed. They had over 7 years to conduct these negotiations and opted not to, no one is going take them seriously at this late stage in the game. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has logged more miles for negotiations in this last year than she did all of the previous years combined. We are currently set adrift for months until the election decides what direction we will take as a nation. Will continue with the failed policies of the 50’s and 60’s or will we embrace a new direction for the complex issues that face our nation and our world?

Whether you believe in it or even like it, you cannot deny that the Senator is gaining momentum and with it power. The thing about power is that those with it always want to be on the winning side, they are sizing up their choices and Mr. McCain is not inspiring a lot of confidence. Anyone familiar with athletics knows that once you get momentum on your side few things can stand in your way, but they also know that momentum is fickled. It can switch in a moments notice, you are riding high one minute and the next thing you know it’s gone like a jilted lover. Right now the momentum is clearly on the side of Senator Obama despite the current poll results. There is a feeling, an aura if you will that speaks clearly to those willing to hear it.

In my opinion, the Presidency is Senator Obama’s to lose. This doesn’t mean that the Republicans will concede without a fight. There is a lot drama to be played out and this will not be the campaign promised in the primaries. You remember the one based on issues and not personalities. The one were there would be no more “swift boating” and a gentlemanly discussion of the issues, ain’t going to happen. We mustn’t believe that we will not be needed in this election, that our efforts and our enthusiasm are unnecessary, the Republicans will be counting on our overconfidence. We must remain vigilant until the very end, we must close the deal. There will be many who at the moment where vision meets reality will have second thoughts, we must calm their fears and press our case. Unfortunately being right isn’t always enough in this world, we must also be persistent and unwavering in our commitment and our support.

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

It’s Not Our Fault

I am so sick and tired of the Republican attack dogs and their presidential candidate “whining” about the lack of news coverage their candidate is getting. Despite the fact of its inherent untruth; no one has been allowed to make more gaffes than Senator McCain and his supporters. The once media darling is now complaining that he can’t get any coverage. Well, let’s examine what Mr. McCain has been doing the last week while Senator Obama was touring the world. Mr. McCain and his surrogates used every opportunity they could find to attack and try to discredit Senator Obama. Whatever happen to the pledge to campaign on the issues and take the high road, no swift-boating for McCain. That lasted maybe a week.

While Senator Obama was addressing a record crowd in Berlin, Mr. McCain was in a small German restaurant in Columbus, Ohio. Now while that trip to Columbus may be newsworthy in the Mayberry Gazette, it can hardly compare to the speech Senator Obama gave before 200,000 cheering Germans. Now granted I’ll admit that for the first time in the history of America a black man is traversing the globe speaking and acting Presidential and may one day lead the free world is news. I’m sorry it is a compelling story for so many reasons and not only in America but around the world. But regardless of the historical value of the candidate, even if this were another campaign between two white males John McCain would still be boring.

I’m sorry but this guy is the most boring candidate I can remember in recent memory. Knowing what they were facing, how the Republicans could nominate this guy just shows they recognize they haven’t got a snowballs chance in hell of winning this election. The country and the world is hungry for change and they trot out a 71 year old who can’t even send email as their candidate for change. Change of what his diaper? There is no excitement around this guy’s campaign and his supporters appear just to be going through the motions. They try to defend him and rally support around him, but he is as charismatic as day old beer. So before you start hammering the media for their coverage of Senator Obama take a look at your candidate and what he is bringing to the table.

Riding around in a golf cart with the elder Bush is not going to bring the reporters out in droves, I think there was a Brittany Spears sighting somewhere or was it Hannah Montana. If this is the campaign we have to look forward to let’s just call it off now and save ourselves a lot of time and money. I saw McCain shopping at the grocery store with “average Americans” and he looked dumbfounded. He looked like the kind of guy that hadn’t been to the grocery store in years, does this sound familiar? If John McCain is suppose to resurrect images of Ronald Reagan he has a long way to go. So far the only parts he has gotten right are the forgetting of facts and the naps.

If John McCain wins this election then it will come down to one fact and one fact only. It won’t be because Barack Obama is too young or inexperienced, it won’t be because he is too liberal, and it won’t be because he is not a leader. It will be because when it was time to close the deal the American public could not see themselves being led by a black man. It reminds me of all those times I was interviewing for jobs and I left the interviews excited thinking I had the job in the bag. I mean on many occasions I would be introduced to the top brass and given the royal tour, only to be told that a call would be forthcoming. The problem is that in many of those situations the call was never forthcoming. Sometimes we are enamored by the idea of something, but then when it is actually time to implement or to accept the reality of the idea we hesitate. Does this mean that those people who wanted to hire me and didn’t were racists. I don’t know it is not for me to judge, but what I do know is that there is such a thing as buyers remorse.

Let’s face it we are about to do something that even the founders of this nation would never have conceived of. While there are many who will say, “it’s about time”. Let’s not forget that there are many who are unwilling or ill-prepared for that day. So while Senator Obama is currently the “media darling” that could change in a New York minute. The press and the wing-nuts have already begun to call him the “messiah’ and the “anointed one”, it just goes to show you how seriously they take their “so-called” religion. Religion is fine for them so long as it is for the downtrodden and the natives.

John McCain has done just about everything wrong a candidate at this stage of the election could do and yet the polls are still relatively close. My personal belief is that Obama is going to win and win big. There are just too many things wrong with this nation to continue with business as usual and Mr. McCain is offering nothing in the way of solutions or new ideas. His latest new idea is to set a timetable for withdrawal in Iraq and to open up Alaskan and offshore drilling for oil as if the answers to the questions Americans are asking is to continue down this road to destruction.

You want better coverage Mr. McCain and you Republicans get a better candidate. But don’t blame the public if we don’t won’t to spend our time listening to Mr. McCain fumble through another acceptance speech or answer a difficult question. It is not our fault that your candidate is not very interesting. It is not our fault that your candidate represents the past. It is not our fault that your Party is bankrupt of any new ideas or answers for the future. It is not our fault that we are living through what many Americans see as a crossroads or a historical period in this nation’s history. It is not our fault that the majority of this country is tired of the politics of fear and division. Really, it’s not our fault!

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fly Me To The Moon

There has been a lot of talk recently about the “energy crisis”. I wonder if this is the same energy crisis we heard about in the 70’s? If it is then that means for over 30 years instead of solving our domestic energy needs, we have ignored them and allowed them to grow. In 1970 we were importing about 24% of the oil we used and the embargo back then threw our economy into a tail-spin, imagine what would happen today when we import about 70%. Rather than using the past 30 plus years to develop new or existing technologies to reduce or break our dependence on oil, we have elected to do something worse than nothing. Instead of our vehicles getting smaller and more fuel efficient during this time they have actually gotten larger.

Today we as a nation and as a world face one of the most daunting and important tasks in the history of mankind. We must put an end to our usage and dependence on fossil fuels. They have created an economic drain on our resources and they are killing our planet. We are borrowing money from one foreign country to pay our oil bills from another foreign country. This should be our biggest national security issue, yet few people are saying anything. You see it is the old diversion or bait and switch tactics. Focus on the faceless terrorists while we are bled dry by the oil countries and companies. How long do you think we can continue our crusade in the Middle East occupying these countries and still be dependent on their oil reserves?

I remember when I was a child a speech I heard, it was in 1961. The speechmaker was then President John F. Kennedy and what he said seemed shocking to me at the time. He challenged this nation to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. Now imagine what that sounded like back then, many thought the man insane. Space exploration was still in it’s infant stages and the US was being beaten to every milestone by the Soviets. They had sent up the first satellite and the first man in space. The challenge seemed impossible at the time, after all space travel was the stuff of science fiction. But despite the overwhelming odds against the challenge enough of us accepted it and went about the business of making it a reality that we succeeded. Regardless of your opinion of the importance or relevance of space exploration, we all must marvel at the ingenuity we displayed as a nation to accomplish it.

Despite skeptics who thought it could not be accomplished, Kennedy's dream became a reality on July 20, 1969, when Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong took a small step for himself and a giant step for humanity, leaving a dusty trail of footprints on the moon.
[1]

Today we are being challenged by a different obstacle. One that I feel is vitally more important to not only us as a nation, but to the rest of the world. That challenge is how will we supply our energy needs into the future without destroying the planet we live on. The call has been sent up by both Al Gore and T. Boone Pickens as well as a host of other concerned citizens. The goal is to reduce and to eventually end our reliance on fossil fuels and replace them with clean renewable sources. Of course as with the naysayers of the 60’s there are those who say “it is too hard and we can’t do it”. There are those who want us to not only continue on this path of destruction but to escalate it by continuing to drill for fossil fuels no matter what the consequences.

It is sad to realize that we have become a nation of physically soft and intellectually lazy people. We have become fat, dumb, and happy. The energy companies would have us to believe that they will solve our energy needs for us. Are these the same energy companies that for the past 30 plus years have done absolutely nothing but rake in astronomical profits from fossil fuels and now they are going to put themselves out of business? Are these the same energy companies who in association with the automakers have given us the SUV and the Hummer as an answer to our shrinking energy supplies? It’s like the airplane is crashing and no one is saying a word. We all see it happening and everyone is just quietly sitting in their seat with their seatbelt on waiting on the inevitable crash.

"We are borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Persian Gulf to burn it in ways that destroy the planet. Every bit of that's got to change," the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 continued. "But if we grab hold of that common thread and pull it hard all of these complex problems begin to unravel and we will find that we are holding the answer to all of them right in our hand. The answer is to end our reliance on carbon-based fuels. I'm convinced that one reason we've seemed paralyzed in the face of these crises is our tendency to offer old solutions to each crisis separately — without taking the others into account. And these outdated proposals have not only been ineffective — they almost always make the other crises even worse."
[2]

This was from a speech given by Al Gore where he makes a direct appeal to the nation much in the same way that JFK did 40 years ago. Every time I see Al Gore I am reminded of what could have been done if he had been seated as President. That election and the following one demonstrates for those willing to see the state of our nation. George Bush offered us all the things we wanted with none of the sacrifice. He was the snake oil salesman who promised us panacea in a bottle. Al Gore on the other hand presented us with challenges which would have required sacrifice. Many of us chose the snake oil, because it was easier. The time for easy is over. There are no more easy answers. There are no more tax-cuts and war; there is no more deregulation without foreclosures.

The U.S. should switch to the use of natural gas-powered vehicles for a chunk of the national fleet, Pickens said.

“Natural gas is cleaner, it’s cheaper, it’s abundant and it’s domestic,” Pickens said.

Natural gas generates about 22 percent of the country’s electricity. If most of that natural gas was diverted from electricity generation to fuel for cars and trucks, and if wind turbines generate that electricity instead, that would cut demand for imported oil by about $300 billion a year at today’s prices, Pickens said.
[3]

We have the technology to begin to solve our problems, the question then is do we have the will? Are we willing as a nation to take up the challenge and change the way we live for the good of all? Or shall we continue to be the selfish bullies of the world consuming the lion share of all the natural resources despite our small numbers? The challenge is there for us as a nation and with all that is at stake how can we not accept it. Many people falsely believe that if we change that jobs will be lost and our economy will tank, but I ask you to remember all of the industries and products that were spawned by the space industry. It may even return us to a nation of producers and not just the biggest consumers on the planet. Anyone for a flight to the moon?

[1] http://archives.cnn.com/2001/TECH/space/05/25/kennedy.moon/
[2] http://news.mongabay.com/2008/0717-al_gore.html
[3] http://www.straightstocks.com/current-market-news/pickensplancom-slash-americas-thirst-for-imported-oil-700-billion-a-year/

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Monday, July 21, 2008

The Case For Governor Kathleen Sebelius

As the date for selecting a running mate for the presumptive nominees approaches there have been many names thrown into contention for both candidates. While there have been many qualified names offered up for the Democrats and many people have their own personal favorites, I am no exception. According to conventional political wisdom the main purpose of the vice-presidential nominee is to bring unity to the party if there has been a fractious primary, or to bring geographical strength to an area where a candidate may be weak, or for gender, generational or ideological concerns. I believe that one of the top and best choices for Senator Obama’s selection as a running mate would be Governor Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas.

Now, I have to admit that I have a personal bias towards Governor Sebelius and the State of Kansas. I attended the University of Kansas and have been a major Jayhawks fan for decades. All of that aside though, I would like to discuss my case for having Governor Sebelius on the ticket for the Democrats. I have been a big fan of Governor Sebelius since she was elected Insurance Commissioner, while I live in the neighboring state of Missouri I have been keeping an eye on Kathleen Sebelius. Her star has risen swiftly in state and national political circles and she had been rumored for other positions previously.

Most of you I am sure are familiar with her biography, but for those who are not let me give you some of the highlights. She was born in Cincinnati, OH and attended Catholic schools throughout her life. She moved to Kansas in 1974 and attended the University of Kansas where she earned a Master of Public Administration degree. Her father was a Governor of Ohio and her husband is a federal magistrate judge. She was born and raised a Catholic and I believe is still a practicing Catholic. While I personally have issues with the Catholic Church, I do not hold them against the Governor.

My first point for Governor Sebelius is the fact that she is a Governor. Unlike legislators the public views Governors as actually doing work and accomplishing things. Let’s face it a legislator can go through their whole career and never produce any meaningful legislation. Governors on the other hand govern, they submit budgets and handle crisis’. There is a reason that many of our past Presidents were ex-governors. The two political Parties have done such a good job of tearing down each other in the Congress that the public’s perception of legislators is just above child molesters.

Next is the fact that she is a blue Governor of a traditionally red and Midwestern state. For the record though Kansas is not a traditionally red state. Let’s remember that Kansas was a free state and fought for the abolition of slavery. Kansas also offered free homesteads to freed slaves. Kansas has had it’s issues with race, but they have always been willing to give people a chance. As a rural farm state they have always believed in the value of hard work and common sense. While they may be too conservative for a lot of folks taste they have a history of live and let live and Kathleen Sebelius typifies that attitude. As Governor she has refused to sign abortion legislation that would criminalize, eliminate, or reduce access to abortions, even though she is personally pro-life.

Another of her strong characteristics is that she is a fighter and will stand up for what she believes in. This was demonstrated when she stood up to the energy companies that wanted to build coal fired power plants in the state. Many thought this would reduce her popularity due to the smear campaigns being employed by the energy companies, in actually she became more popular. Governor Sebelius has continued to gain popularity in the state and nationally for her stands on the issues of capital punishment, the environment, and a rational gun policy. Governor Sebelius would be a hearty foe for any Republican VP candidate during the debates and on the campaign trail. She is tough and effective yet she has not lost her capacity to be a woman.

My final point but by all means not the final reason for Governor Sebelius to be chosen is the fact that she is a woman. I believe that having Governor Sebelius on the ticket will not only shore up the rural white and Midwestern voters, but would also allow the Democrats to break two historical barriers in the same election. Many of the women in this country wanted to see Hillary elected not only because of her being a great candidate, but also due to her historical candidacy. Having Governor Sebelius on the ticket would go a long way to motivate and excite those many Hillary supporters who wanted to also be a part of a history making campaign. It would also demonstrate how much the Democrats respect the significant contributions women have made not only to the Party, but also the nation.

Will Governor Sebelius get the nod for VP? I doubt it the odds on favorites coming out of the Obama camp are white males with strong national defense backgrounds to short-circuit the un-patriotic and inexperience arguments that the “swift boaters” are going to present in the fall. The Republican memes have already begun with the same campaign rhetoric they have used the last three election cycles (flip-flopping and weak on defense), I guess if it keeps working. I for one would applaud the selection of Governor Sebelius because she exemplifies many fine qualities that our country is sorely in need of.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Crabs In A Barrel

There is a saying in the black community that blacks cannot improve as a people because like crabs in a barrel whenever one tries to climb out of the barrel the other ones will pull him back down. The reaction of some of the so-called black leaders to the success of Senator Barack Obama seems to bear out this analogy. It seems like the closer he gets to making history the more the “haters” try to sabotage him. The sad part about this whole episode is that the same leaders who are critical of the Senator today, should he get elected will be at the White House the day after the inauguration looking for handouts.

The latest perpetrator in the series of “crab mentality” is Jesse Jackson’s and his comments being aired on Fox News about Senator Obama.. Now I have written extensively about the exploits of Mr. Jackson. From his reshaping of his relationship to Dr. King, to his corporate boycotts that seem to benefit his family, to his love child exploits; Mr. Jackson has demonstrated a lack of personal integrity in my opinion. His recent comments caught on a hot mic during an interview concerning health care policy where he appeared to be promoting the castration of Senator Obama is just the latest in a long line of comments that Mr. Jackson has been allowing to “slip” since it became clear that Senator Obama was going to make a serious run at the nomination.

Jesse Jackson reportedly ripped presidential candidate Barack Obama for "acting like he's white," according to The State newspaper in South Carolina, but the civil rights leader says he doesn't recall making any such comment...He later told the newspaper that he did not remember making the remark, but State reporter Roddie Burris told FOX News that Jackson's "acting like he's white" comment came during a 45-minute, one-on-one interview Tuesday after an hour-long speech at Benedict College in Columbia, S.C. Burris said he stands by his report.[1]

These comments were made back in September of 2007, when the Senator would not bring attention to a rally Mr. Jackson and Al Sharpton were holding for the Jena Six. While the Senator wanted to draw attention to the larger role of race in America, according to Mr. Jackson because Senator Obama didn’t follow his lead then he was acting white. When did Jesse Jackson become the barometer of blackness in America? The comments made by Jackson then and echoed today are representative of more than their generational differences, but also represent the envy and jealously that is being barely contained on the part of Mr. Jackson.

There are two aspects to the cause of the continued “slips of the tongue” that has plagued Mr. Jackson the first is the generational gap between the two and how it plays out in their views of America. Mr. Jackson wants Senator Obama to be a black man who is running for President, while for Senator Obama he views himself as a man who happens to be black running for office. Those seemingly subtle differences in language bridge decades of black life in America. Senator Obama can not win running as a black candidate, just as Jesse Jackson could not win. Why Mr. Jackson would want to insure the defeat of Senator Obama is beyond me. Mr. Jackson still views the nation in terms of the old struggles with the old answers.

According to the article, Jackson called the incident in Jena "a defining moment, just like Selma was a defining moment," and said Obama's failure to seize the opportunity to highlight what he describes as a disparate approach to prosecuting whites and blacks demonstrates his weaknesses as a candidate.

“If I were a candidate, I’d be all over Jena,” Jackson said at the historically black college.[2]

Is there still racism in America? Of course there is, but it’s forms have changed over the years and so it’s alleviation will require new tactics. Tactics Mr. Jackson is either unwilling or unable to grasp. By standing by the old methods of delivering money to urban organizations to mete out to the uneducated masses of poor inner-city people, Mr. Jackson stands to fill his coffers at the expense of his less fortunate brothers and sisters. It is no wonder he is opposed to any new concepts for attacking the problems of the inner-city.

Senator Obama will be our next President not because of people like Jesse Jackson, Jeremiah Wright, or the many new “black” commentators who have suddenly been discovered by the MSM, but in spite of them. There is a train leaving the station in America and there will be some folks that don’t get aboard for various reasons, but the train will leave with or without them.

Richard Pryor had a joke he told that encapsulates the current state of black support for Senator Obama from the old guard of the civil rights movement. He is not one of them and so he isn’t beholden to any of them. Richard said he use to go home and when his old friends seen him they would say, “Man you ain’t nothing, you wasn’t ever nothing, you was telling them same ole jokes back then, loan me a dollar."

[1] http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,297332,00.html
[2] http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,297332,00.html

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Fear Factor

Someone once described courage as not never being afraid, but going on in spite of the fear. As a nation and as elected officials we seem to be running dangerously low on courage. Oh we have the tough talk down, we have the posturing, but do we really have true courage? Since 9/11 when at least 2,985 people died from the terrorists attacks I think that what has been lost in all the hype is some perspective. While this was surely a tragedy, the population of the United States in the year 2001 was somewhere around 290 million people. Based on those numbers the terrorist attacks killed less than .02% of the population, yet since the attack we have responded by invading sovereign nations, torturing our fellow human beings, and gutting our Constitutional protections.

We currently have a sitting President with plummeting approval ratings in the last year of his failed presidency and yet he is still able to bully a frightened Democratic Congress still fearful of the “national security” question in the upcoming election. This President should not be able to get even universal health care passed at this point. But when courage is needed in the face of not only terrorism, but also tyranny, once again our elected officials can’t seem to find any. Because of these fears Democrats have caved on a number of issues trying to appear “tough” on terrorism. My question is what have we gained the last eight years with warrior sheep Bush in the White House being tough on terrorism? We must as a nation begin to demonstrate real courage by not allowing what the terrorists couldn’t take away to be taken away by the fear of terrorists.

Wiretapping orders approved by secret orders under the previous version of the surveillance law were set to begin expiring in August unless Congress acted. Heading into their political convention in Denver next month and on to the November Congressional elections, many Democrats were wary of handing the Republicans a potent political weapon.

The issue put Senator Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, in a particularly precarious spot. He had long opposed giving legal immunity to the phone companies that took part in the N.S.A.’s wiretapping program, even threatening a filibuster during his run for the nomination. But on Wednesday, he ended up voting for what he called “an improved but imperfect bill” after backing a failed attempt earlier in the day to strip the immunity provision from the bill through an amendment.[1]

It is a sad day when even the presumptive nominee of the opposition party feels compelled by political expediency to succumb to the political reality that is now America. The thing that I can not understand is how can we as a nation ever expect unity when we can’t even look at the same information and agree on what we are seeing. It’s like looking at a man being lynched and someone calling it a suicide. We as the governed of this country must begin to exert some courage of our own and start demanding an end to this childish bickering and obstructionism. It is time for some truth and honesty about what is going on in the name of freedom.

If we continue to allow our freedoms to be eroded then the terrorists will have created another Tet offensive. In the Tet offensive in Vietnam the Vietcong engaged in an all out offensive throughout the South in an effort to demonstrate that no area was safe from their reach. While the offensive was a military disaster it was a political windfall for the Vietcong. It was the turning point of the war for many Americans because it showed the disconnect from what the government was saying and the reality on the ground. Do you think it mattered to the Vietcong that it was a political decision to leave their country and not a military victory?

In many ways we are encountering the same thing today with the war on terror. If we lose our freedoms then the terrorists have won. It won’t matter that it wasn’t a military victory, they don’t have the numbers or technology to accomplish a military victory. They will have won in the sense that we will live in a constant state of terror and we will no longer have the rights we are suppose to be fighting for. They will care less if our rights were taken by a jihad or loss to a fear mongering political class.

The real courage will not be found in Washington, they have proven over and over that many of them lack the courage of their convictions or they have no convictions. No my friends the courage must come from the people. Just as with the Tet offensive it was the grassroots movement that turned the tide against the war. It wasn’t the “dirty hippies” but just everyday folks saying enough was enough. They demonstrated the courage that was missing in Washington. They were willing to take to the streets to reclaim the idea of “government by the people”. We have never needed courage in this country more than we do now. Today we face the lost of our freedoms in the name of saving them.

Moral cowardice that keeps us from speaking our minds is as dangerous to this country as irresponsible talk. The right way is not always the popular and easy way. Standing for right when it is unpopular is a true test of moral character. - Margaret Chase Smith

[1] http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/10/washington/10fisa.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

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