Sunday, August 31, 2008

More on the Conventions

The Democratic convention finished with a bang. They needed to accomplish three things: bring unity between the Obama and Clinton delegates, define Obama as a candidate, and differentiate him from Republican John McCain. From my perspective, they accomplished all three of those matters.

Now we await the Republicans in St. Paul. They also need to accomplish three things: heal the rift between McCain and the ultraconservatives of the Republican Party, define McCain’s campaign agenda, and differentiate it from the Bush legacy. It will be interesting to see if they are successful in accomplishing these things

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Convention

I am having a great time following the Democratic convention. However I am disturbed about the way the media keeps trying to find a controversy between the Clintons and the Obama campaign. No matter how strong a statement Hillery makes in support of Obama, the media keeps looking for the slightest little pause or inflection in her voice that might indicate that she really doesn't support him.

Clinton fought a hard campaign although it was a bit flawed in strategy. She has every right to be a proud of what she achieved, but now it's time to move on and pull together in unity. I think that's her intention but the media needs a controversy to sell their stories. I hope America doesn't buy.

And that's my casual perspective on the convention.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Huff and Puff

Lyndon G. Furst: A Different Perspective

I’ll Huff and I’ll Puff and I"ll. . . .?

I have for many years been fascinated with children’s stories and their application to adult life. One favorite that comes to mind is the story of the three little pigs and the big bad Wolf who threatened their very lives. In building his domicile, one little pig made it out of straw because it was so easy. Another pig made his dwelling place out of sticks because they were so readily available, while a third little pig, giving considerable thought to his personal security and the dangers that lurked nearby, built his house of brick.

Now comes the big bad Wolf. Not giving heed to the dietary restrictions found in the Hebrew Scriptures, Mr. Wolf decided to feast upon pork chops for his evening meal. With visions of a succulent roast pig dancing in his head, he confronted the first little pig, who scurried to his house made of straw. It was an uneven contest, for the Wolf huffed and puffed and blew the house down. However, the wolf did not find satiation with one pig and sought another, whereupon he confronted the house made of sticks. He huffed and he puffed and he blew that house down too.

As big bad wolves tend to do after tasting easy success in mismatched combat, our wolf became filled with pride and arrogantly sought out a more challenging venue to display his prowess. He confronted the little pig in the house made of brick. "If you don’t come out I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down," he threatened. The little pig laughed to see such a sight as the big bad Wolf huffing and puffing with little effect upon this house which, constructed according to the local building code, could sustain winds far greater than what the wolf could produce. In the end, the big bad Wolf was vanquished and the little pig live happily ever after.
I was thinking of this story last week as news broke of Russia’s brutal invasion into the tiny country of Georgia located on its southern border. This little bit of a country was once part of the Soviet Union and before that a part of the Russian Empire. Since the fall of communism Georgia has declared independence as a sovereign nation and become enamored with the benefits of close friendship with the United States. It is one of the strongest supporters of our war in Iraq.

What a shock it must have been to the citizens of Georgia that, having cast their lot with America and the Western democracies, Russia should be so bold as to invade their sovereign nation without fear of reprisal from the one great superpower left on this earth. Strangely enough, the American President George Bush was sitting side-by-side with the Russian Prime Minister, Mr. Putin. If you remember, Putin is the man whose soul was subject to close inspection as George Bush looked intently into his eyes while they were together on his Texas ranch some years ago. Bush saw an honorable man. I wonder what he saw this time when he looked into his eyes at the Olympic Stadium there in faraway China?

The Americans put on a nice diplomatic display in response to the Russian’s rough handling of our Georgian allies. That did not seem to do any good for the Russians not only invaded the disputed province’s but also their tanks and armored vehicles roamed at will through the Georgian countryside bringing death and destruction to any who got in their way. Eventually, the American President, George Bush, tired of diplomatic niceties and reverted to the role of tough talking Texan with which he finds more comfort.
President Bush showed barely controlled anger as he threatened dire consequences if the Russians did not immediately withdraw from the sovereign territory of our Georgian friends. He huffed and he puffed but there was no real attempt to blow the Russian house down. Mainly, he threatened to keep the Russians out of the rich boys club and denied them entry into international meetings.

The Bush administration insisted that the territorial integrity of Georgia be respected. The Russians laughed at the suggestion. Doesn’t Bush know the time-honored formula at the conclusion of all wars? To the victors go the spoils! Unfortunately, the Russians know that Bush really can’t do anything in response to their thuggery. America is financially broke, economically shaky, diplomatically weak, and totally dependent on foreign commodities to maintain its current standard of living. Further, our military is exhausted from the long protracted wars in the Middle East.

From my perspective, about all Bush can do is huff and puff in response to the Russians military adventurism. Let that be a lesson to the next president; America must rebuild its strength on every level if it wants to continue as a superpower in the 21st century. We cannot confront the Russians, or any other power bent on building an empire from a standpoint of weakness. If we are to be a beacon light of democracy in this world, we must rebuild America and make it strong once again. Hopefully, our two candidates for president will realize that necessary task ahead and rise to the occasion.