Tuesday, June 21, 2011

On John McCain

John McCain recently made news when he broke with fellow Republicans regarding America’s place in the world. For a hundred years there has been a good bit of residual isolationism within the Republican Party and it has recently reared its ugly head again. McCain publicly disputed that concept and clearly stated that isolationism had no place in America’s foreign policy. Isolationism will never be to the benefit of our nation.

From my perspective, Senator John McCain is a real patriot as he is proved time and again. While I did not vote for him in the 2008 election, I have a great deal respect for the man. He puts America first, ahead of his own personal and political interests. Would that more politicians were as loyal to the best interests of America as he is.

Monday, June 13, 2011

An Outstanding Display of Political Skill

I just finished watching the first debate of the 2012 presidential campaign. CNN hosted the event set in New Hampshire with the seven declared candidates for the Republican nomination. How fitting that the debate took place in the state that is first in the nation to have a primary contests in the election year. It was a most fascinating display of political skill and should portend an interesting election season.

Most notable among the candidates was the similarity of their positions on the issues. They all took a far right stance in response to most questions. What I found fascinating was the candidates’ consistent ability to dodge the question and speak to a different issue of more importance to them. This was a direct violation of the rules that were set out at the beginning of the debate. The moderator kept reminding them that they should stay on the topic at hand, but they frequently ignored his pleas.

From my perspective, it would be refreshing indeed to find a politician that could give a direct answer to a direct question. I was impressed with the quality of the questions, both from the moderator and from those in the audience. They were specific and to the point. However, the answers where anything but specific and frequently missed the point of the question. Hopefully someone will give the candidates coaching on how to give direct answers to direct questions. The American people deserve politicians who can do so.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mike Huckabee Discovers Money

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee shocked the political world recently when he announced that he would not run for the Republican nomination for president in 2012. He admitted that after testing the waters all the signs pointed to a decision that he should be a candidate for the high office. Yet, in his heart he decided not to. Why did his heart prevail over his head in this matter?

From my perspective, money was the deciding factor which convinced Huckabee that he should not be a candidate in 2012. No, it’s not that he couldn’t raise the money. He was, in fact, convinced that he could raise enough money to make a credible campaign. But, he has discovered his power as a political celebrity to make money. Royalties from his book sales and his contract with Fox news brings a healthy income on a regular basis. It no doubt surpasses anything he earned as governor of Arkansas or as a Baptist minister. He is building a house in Florida which is estimated to cost in the range of $2 million. Why should he give up the lifestyle of the rich and famous just for the glory of being a candidate for the presidency? I’m sure he could find no credible reason to make that sacrifice.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Photographic Evidence

Good news: Osama bin Laden is no more! In a brilliant maneuver our intelligence community teamed up with the Navy SEALs to kill the evil man and send him to be with his maker. I am sure his maker is not the Creator of this world. It is fascinating that no sooner had the deed been done then conspiracy theorists began to doubt it’s truth. To quiet them down some are demanding that photographic evidence be produced. The news reports indicate that there are indeed photographs and even videotape of bin Laden being killed and buried at sea. So, if they’ve got nothing that hide, why doesn’t the Obama administration produce the evidence?

From my perspective, the United States government should not produce the photographs and make them available for public display. To have on view the gory details of the killing and disposal of the evil man’s body would serve no useful purpose. And, it certainly would not convince those who gravitate naturally towards conspiracy theories. They will find a hundred reasons why the photographic evidence is not convincing and is probably even part of a fraud. Hopefully President Obama will stick to his resolve not to publicly display the photographic evidence of bin Laden’s demise.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Is That the Best They Can Do?

Donald Trump is the latest entry into the race for the Republican nomination for president for the 2012 election. The first big issue that he brought to the front is the legitimacy of Obama to be president as long as there is a question regarding the location of his birth. The Constitution requires that a president must be a natural born citizen of the United States. Obama has only released a Certificate of Live Birth and not the long form birth certificate which some claim is the definitive document for them to see. There is plenty of other evidence that Obama was indeed born in the state of Hawaii.

Trump has made this a major issue. Today Obama released certified copies of the long form birth certificate. Donald Trump’s response was very interesting. He said, “I am very proud” that he was able to force Obama to show his birth certificate. He reiterated that he is both proud and honored to have accomplished this important task. From my perspective, one has to question: is that the best the Republican Party can do for a presidential contender in 2012? If it is, it should be a very interesting election season.

Friday, April 1, 2011

What I Found in the Koran

I recently came across an English translation of the Koran. Being the curious sort I opened it up to see what it contained. I discovered that each page had three columns, only one of which was in English. The other columns contain the same text in different languages. I also discovered that Arabs read books in reverse order of what we do. They start in the back of the book and read forward.

I found that it’s easy reading so I started with the very first verse of the first chapter and I’m now halfway through chapter 2. I ran across an interesting statement from the Muslim holy book: “O Children of Israel! Call to mind the (special) favor which I bestowed upon you, and fulfill your covenant with Me and I shall fulfill My covenant with you, and fear none but Me.” Koran 2:40. This sentiment is repeated in verse 47: “O children of Israel! Call to mind the (special) favor which I bestowed upon you, and that I preferred you to all others.”

From my perspective, it is very surprising to discover that instead of historic animosity between Muslims and Jews, the Muslim holy book ascribes special favor of God to the Jewish people. It will be interesting to see what other surprises I find as I read this book.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What We Learn from History

A recent issue of The Week quoted Aldus Huxley who famously said, “That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.”

From my perspective, this is directly applicable to our current situation in Libya where the United States has once again dabbled in a foreign society we do not understand. It’s a wonderful goal to get rid of a vicious dictator. But, like Iraq and Afghanistan, we do not understand their culture. What comes after the dictator?

Libya is a tribal society where people owe their allegiance to family and clan and tribe more than to the nation. As soon as the dictator is overthrown they will begin fighting each other for supremacy. Which side will we be on in such a case? Unfortunately, our political leaders learned nothing from the mess we found ourselves in when we invaded Iraq and Afghanistan. So much for learning the lessons of history!