Monday, July 27, 2009

Washington DC Chronicles-My Reflections

I just returned from my first trip to our nation's Capitol. It was all at once exciting, overwhelming, emotional and frustrating. I want to share what I learned, mostly for me to remember the thoughts, observations and emotions and sharing them with you, my gentle readers.

Let me just say how many wonderful, honest, non-agenda driven Americans I met on our trip. I was amazed at the crowds of people just wanting to get in touch with "their America". What is sad is how many people are there with an agenda, an agenda that is not necessarily in our best interest.

As we were leaving, my son bought a t-shirt in Washington that said this:
"I love my country; it's the government I'm afraid of.

I don't know if my Polyanna optimism is there yet, but it is close. Especially after the things I saw.
So, the literary adventure begins...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Dear Mr Kligerman-I accept your challenge, Part 1

This blog was written in response to a letter in the Bozeman Chronicle, July 10, 2009. Mr. Kligerman's beef is with a fellow writer who calls the President a dictator and our government socialistic. He challenges the reader the "Gimme me a f'r example" on the constitutional violations of the President. I have accepted the challenge. I hope to address my response in a series of letters to my new pen pal. I'd love for your to read along with us.

Dear Mr. Kligerman-

You have inspired me...You have challenged Mr. Comstock to "Gimme a f'r instance" regarding the abuses of power perpetrated by our President. Not having had the privilege of reading Mr. Comstock’s letter, to which your response was directed, I have to rely on the many airings of the Glenn Beck Show to imagine his list of grievances. So, if you will indulge me, I will be presumptuous enough to accept your challenge, on behalf of all of the Mr. Comstocks, who are not scared conservatives, as had been said, but concerned citizens who don’t like the direction in which we find our country going.

Let me begin by saying the list of constitutional variances began long before our current President. Democrats and Republicans alike have slowly eroded the freedoms given to us by the founding fathers. I can assume you would agree with me on this point, judging from the “imperialist government” comment in your letter. This brings me to my first point: addressing constitutional wrongs must be done, as Aristotle said, via the law, “which is free from passion.” Constitutionality must not be viewed through the eyes of the politically correct moral relativism by which we currently judge our laws, but by the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”, as set forth in the Declaration of Independence. To say that one man is an imperialist, because you disagree with his protection policies abroad, while supporting another man, whose massive imperialistic expansion of government (defined as the extension of power or authority over others in the interests of takeover and domination) here at home confuses the issue with “passion”. One only has to look at the unprecedented number of czars appointed to oversee the “affairs of the people”, who answer to no one, except the President, to consider the possibility that constitutional circumvention that has occurred. The Pay Czar, the Climate Czar, the Cyber Czar, the Green Jobs Czar, the Science Czar, the Guantanamo Closure Czar, the Car Czar, the Border Czar….and the list extends to 32 advisors with the ear of the President, and accountable to no one. Of course, if we know anything about this White House, this deviation will all be wrapped neatly in a marketing package, complete with logo, to disguise this power grab as a benevolent necessity.

You say that one GM does not equate a socialistic government, and if it were only GM, I would say you are correct. But it is a slew of Banks “too big to fail”, insurance companies, brokerage houses, Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac, state’s governments absconding with stimulus money to cover expenses they don’t have the backbone to eliminate, a mass of political crony paybacks we can ill afford and a stimulus package that does nothing but put the government in control of commerce and industry.

The majority of people voted for “hope” and “change” but is this the change they really wanted: Budgets are passed under cover of darkness, bills are written without valid debate, taxes are enacted under the guise of saving the environment, a Federal Reserve creating money from nothing to cover “debts” and a massive redistribution of assets being sold as fairness for the middle class. The pace at which the changes have occurred defies logic and yet we are too busy with our own lives and its problems to bother with objecting. We are the ones that allowed this to happen by not holding our leaders accountable. Somehow “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” has devolved into “I want what my neighbor has, regardless of the cost.”

No coup has occurred; it is a dissolution of freedoms we have allowed because “We the People” have been asleep. The spending of trillions of dollars we don’t have and the selling of our children’s future to foreign countries to pay for government programs and projects we can do without has now woken the sleeping giant. And you must now listen to the Tea Parties that declare this spending immoral and the Mr. Comstocks of the world that view these one sided changes to our government, via the Obama/Pelosi/Reed machine, as dictatorial and socialistic. This back and forth is the privilege and obligation of the governed: to air our grievances and debate its solutions. And, if necessary, as the Declaration of Independence states, “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another,” to do that as well.

Our forefathers had genuine grievances with their King. He wasn’t listening to the issues they raised; he taxed excessively without consent, restricted trade to penalize their dissention and dissolved any representational body that had the audacity to disagree with his opinion. Thus, living under monarchical rule, a.k.a. tyranny, they found it best to sever their ties with this government. The people of the Tea Party have similar objections, I will grant you that Mr. Obama may not be a dictator, yet, and Socialism has not fully overtaken our current Democratic Republic, but the signs are there, and the freedoms have been relinquished, all in the name of the greater good. If we, who disagree, allow our country to creep toward that which we detest, shame on us. It is our job to keep those who would expand government in check, just as it was yours to voice your disdain for those policies with which you disagree. If we don’t allow this discussion, we don’t deserve this gift we have been given.

As for “Articles and Sections”, I haven’t addressed these, but given the opportunity to discuss via the opinion page, I will. As I have said, you have inspired me.

Your new pen pal,
Jane Wayne
Belgrade, MT

(To read the full transcript of Mr. Kligerman's letter, follow this link: )

Monday, July 6, 2009

What would you give?

I find it amazing the scramble to understand Sarah Palin’s announcement to step down from the Alaska's Governorship. Maybe Washington and its various insiders, even conservative ones, are so used to the maneuvering and strategizing they can’t understand genuine love and sacrifice a mother has for her children. But, then again, the insiders have never really understood Sarah, and that’s the crux of the issue.

What was Sarah Palin’s appeal? She was the “everyman” in an every woman’s body. She wasn’t from the East Coast. She didn’t go to an Ivy League school. She worked her way up on her own, instead of through daddy’s connections. She said what she thought, and meant it. She didn’t cower to the political establishment but stood on belief. As she said on Friday, she did what was right, even if it wasn't not popular. And it wasn't popular...Not with with main stream media, not with the conservative elite and certainly not with the narrow minded liberal democrats. In a land where tabloid press is king and sensational journalism tops actual news, the vultures, so quick to protect their pet causes and candidates, broke their own rules of decent journalism and etiquette-leave the children alone. But they couldn’t….and no one came to rescue Sarah's.

I am tired of the speculation on whether or not this is calculated, if it’s smart, or if it’s political suicide. What Sarah Palin did is what we need more politicians, and people in general to do: she put her ambitions aside for the greater good. It was without calculation or ulterior motive. It was simply the act of a mom and wife doing the right thing for her family-the higher calling.

Have you ever wondered what you would give, or give up, for the greater good? As parents, we do it every day, in small ways, taking the heat for unpopular but right decisions for our children, our marriage, our community. But what if it’s something big, something we dreamed of, worked toward, and had within our grasp. Would you give it up?

I know a pastor who, in climbing the ladder toward his goal of becoming a national leader of inner city race relations through church connections, gave up a prestigious job for his wife and family, because he made a commitment to them first. He came back to his home town, hat in hand, and started over, because he loved them more than he loved his job. And I know a Father who gave up His Son, just to save a poor wretch like me. This is Sarah Palin’s example.

What would you give up? What would they give up? What would this world be like if selflessness trumped selfish ambition?

I admire Sarah Palin, now, more that ever. She is a person of character and conviction that is sorely needed in Washington….but will remain on the sidelines, helping other achieve their goals. This is the higher calling.

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”
John 15:13