TR? Newt Gingrich? See the comparisons?

English: Theodore Roosevelt, circa 1902

Our 26th President Theodore Roosevelt

He’s loud and opinionated. He’s obnoxiously confident. He’s always the smartest guy in the room. He’s brimming with ideas; most of them good and some of them clunkers. He’s ambitious. He’s opposed by his own Republican party’s so-called “insiders”. AND he wants to be President. Newt Gingrich, right? Well…sure…but the same was being said of Theodore Roosevelt in 1900.

English: A 1900 Republican campaign poster for...

1900 McKinley campaign banner.

Roosevelt was no friend to the GOP party bosses, just like Gingrich. In fact the Governor of New York was put on the Republican ticket as William McKinley‘s

William McKinley, President of the United Stat...

William McKinley

running mate in order to control him and keep him in his place. They figured in the VP slot he would have nothing to do, would be forced to support the dictates of his boss, the President, and would never be heard from again…like all previous Vice Presidents; after all only John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and

Martin Van Buren. Library of Congress descript...

Martin Van Buren

Martin Van Buren in 1836 had ever served as Vice President and then been elected President. Four others became President upon the Presidents death. So the odds were good that Roosevelt would never be heard from again.

Like Gingrich, Roosevelt was always the smartest man in the room. He was the youngest to ever hold the Presidency. And his clashes with his own party eventually led him to form the Bull Moose party in 1912 and run as a third-party candidate against the incumbent Republican William Howard Taft. One can assume Gingrich is not planning such a split. In fact his positive and complimentary approach to ALL his GOP rivals has had me thinking from the start that he’s trying to position himself for a VP nomination if his out of step and out of funds Presidential bid flounders.

TR’s personal life escapes this comparison, for he was a devoted husband and father. As we’ll undoubtedly hear more about in coming months Gingrich was not a good husband to his first two wives. He had affairs with his second and third wives before divorcing the preceding wife. But all those heavily invested in the political process know these stories. But they don’t seem to matter to most.

Roosevelt ascended to the top post like two others before him when the President was assassinated in September 1901. When he left office in March 1909 he was still a young and vigorous man.  He had dominated the Congress and the World during his tenure truly transforming this country. Child Labor laws, National Parks, building a huge robust Navy that he sent around the world, Anti-Trust laws…and more. There are only four faces on Mount Rushmore; and he’s one of them.

English: Mt. Rushmore

Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln on Mt Rushmore

Gingrich may not be Roosevelt. But he may be. He may be the transformational figure this country needed at the start of the 20th Century and needs again at the start of the 21st Century. Having a brilliant history based intellectual like Gingrich in the White House who also happens to be tough and unconcerned with kissing the butts of all those GOP Washington insiders can ONLY be good.

He’s the smartest man in every room he walks into. From that standpoint he reminds me of both Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon. The same could be said for both of these disgraced Presidents. On second thought…

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Racism and Obama. For better or worse?

“My prayer is that Obama’s soaring rhetorical skills truly inspire Americans toward the better angels in our nature. And that the symbolism of a black man in the highest office in the land ends forever what little racism still exists, or the claims that racism is the cause of victimization of the African-American community in this country.”

November 5, 2008

ME

Official photographic portrait of US President...

Our President: Barrack Obama.

I wrote those words three years ago in a blog called “The New President” in which I made what I thought was an obvious statement that our nation could no longer be looked upon by its toughest inner critics as a racist nation. In the article I wrote that no predominantly white nation in world history had ever elected a person of color as their head, their president, their leader. In writing that blog the day after Barrack Obama‘s election to the most powerful office in the world I was complimentary and optimistic. Pointing out, perhaps naively, that Obama would be judged as were the 43 white men who preceded him in the office; by his accomplishments and not by the color of his skin.

It seems I may have been wrong. I’m beginning to think it’s entirely possible that Obama could be the ignition to a worsening of race relations in this country. How bad could it get? Let me put it this way: I’m fearful. I am fearful that Obama’s defeat in 11 months will be blamed on racism rather than on his failed leadership, and policies.

Yesterday a friend with whom I have profound political disagreements posted an article onto Facebook that she referred to as “the truth”. The article was called “Racism and President Obama”. In the first sentence the author, who calls themselves Jueseppi B., alleges that the United States became the model for a racist nation the day Obama was sworn in.

Though I provide a link to the article in this blog I don’t recommend reading it. It’s nothing but an idiotic racist rant. By someone in love with government hand outs and jobs all around, apparently for all his African-American friends. Unfortunately his view is increasingly common. It’s a common tactic by the political black community to scream racism every time something goes wrong for one of their own. It’s silly and lacks imagination and intelligence to presume that a nation is a model of racism when it’s population is made up of 12.6% blacks and that same nation has a black leader.

Racism still does exist in this country and its repugnant. Sadly these imbeciles who harbor such hateful views far too often reside on the right or conservative side of the political spectrum. And far too often Americans with better hearts and minds fail to loudly condemn the bigotry that is quite often directed at our President. And the problem with these facts is that you give aid and comfort to the black racists who paint all white people with the same broad brush.

This used to be a racist country. And in fairness to those who still look for it, institutional, government sanctioned racism existed during the lifetimes of most African-Americans or their parents. Thank God, and some very strong people, it does not any more.

But speaking as a white person with no racism or love of Obama I am fed up with racism being thrown out as a reason for opposing our President, or for opposing the type of governmentprograms that create an entitlement mentality and diminish personal fortitude and commitment. It’s and old song that needs to change. What is sad is that, like the boy who cried wolf, every time racism is falsely cited as the cause for a black persons failure white Americans are hardened against such claims in the future including the legitimate ones. And that’s wrong.

English: This is the long form birth certifica...

Oabama's long form birth certificate

ALL Americans should have soundly condemned the “Birther” movement against Obama and the subtle racism that was not-so-hidden in the claims that the President wasn’t born here. ALL Americans should condemn the Photoshop images of Obama made to look like some tribal medicine man. Avoid posting them on social media or waving them at demonstrations. If you can’t see the racism in such images YOU really are a bigot or an insensitive jerk.

Lastly accept that jerks like I just described DO exist and probably always will. Just like the racist Pastor Jeremiah Wright, there are always extremes on every side of an issue. But quit calling our nation and by implication all Conservative white people racist. It doesn’t help your cause.

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Unmarried and Low Income becoming far too common!

Two remarkable statistics reported in the past two days by the U.S. Census Bureau caught my attention. Today it was reported that 48% of Americans are now in poverty or are qualified as low-income. Yesterday the same Commerce Department bureau reported that the percentage of married adult Americans has fallen to a record low of only 51%. If you turn the number around that means 49% remain unmarried. Then it struck me how close the two numbers were. 49% unmarried…48% low income or poor. Is there a relationship?

Marriage DayAs you digest these numbers remember the old saying about examining percentages too closely, “Beat a statistic to death and it will tell you anything”. But having offered that disclaimer we have to acknowledge that these two startling statistics are connected.

The U.S. Census Bureau defines an income of $45k a year as low-income for a family of four. Since the average American individual income is only $40,584, in my state of Washington it’s $43,564, the average American needs two incomes to avoid being low-income. The average household income in 2010 in the U.S. was $63k. It’s certainly lower in 2011.

What the two reports also include are the fact that minorities make up more of the poor and more of the unmarried. Only 31% of African-American adults are married, Hispanics were just above 50% and whites were around 70%.  Not surprisingly the poverty rates for each ethnic group roughly correspond. The 2010 Census says the percentage of white kids under 18 in poverty at 12%; for Hispanics its 35%, for blacks it’s nearly 39%.

This is not intended to be a lamentation of the decline of American values, but merely an examination of what may be smart to do, and what may be detrimental. It seems finding a partner and making a commitment to them and them to you to help you through the tough times and help you better enjoy the good times is not only a reflection of good moral values as some would say, but also good financial judgement.

As one who has been married for 25 years I can tell you honestly that it’s not easy. I can tell you staying together this long and helping each other makes things better. At various times in the previous 25 years I’ve been unemployed or without significant income a couple of times. My wife has been in the same position too on a couple of occasions. There is no doubt without the other’s income to lean on each of us would have been in a much worse position then and now.

The Washington Post reports that the marriage patterns are a striking departure from the middle of the 20th century, when the percentage of adults who never wed was in the low single digits. In 1960, for example, when most baby boomers were children, 72 percent of all adults were married. The median age for brides was barely 20, and the grooms were just a couple of years older.

“In the 1950s, if you weren’t married, people thought you were mentally ill,” said Andrew J. Cherlin, a Johns Hopkins University sociologist who studies families. “Marriage was mandatory. Now it’s culturally optional.” One has to wonder, why? Why has it become culturally optional, especially when this evidence and other factors show how marriage is a net-plus for society?

Now in the area of poverty there are certainly other factors to consider, education for one. During this extended recession while unemployment has remained above 9% for nearly the entire Obama Administration; unemployment for those with at least a College Bachelors Degree has consistently remained well below 5% (otherwise known as full employment). But here again there is a tie-in. More than 70% of those with a college education are married. It’s WELL below 50% for those with only High School or less.

I favor a change in attitude about marriage. Let our kids know that living with a partner outside of marriage is not only contrary to our values, our religion (if applicable), but also to their self-interest. It should be OK NOT to be married. But it should be recognized that we all benefit from the values too many have derisively called “old-fashioned” for far too many years.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

Caution: Government Makes Everything Worse – Stossels Take Blog – Fox Business

john Stossel on FOX Business Channel

As usual John Stossel blows up conventional theory. In his blog he points out that a ban on cell phone use in cars won’t help save lives. The National Transportation Safety Board’s call to ban cell phone use while driving is more nanny state nonsense that will do little to make us safer.

Caution: Government Makes Everything Worse – Stossels Take Blog – Fox Business.

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Palestinian IS a made up people AND conflict.

English: Newt Gingrich at a political conferen...

Republican PResidential Candidate Newt Gingrich

Lost in the uproar over GOP Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich‘s claim that Palestinians are a made-up people is the fact that he’s absolutely right. I’ll go further and state that not only are the Palestinians a made-up people but their plight is a largely made up problem. There has never, ever been a Palestinian Kingdom, Royalty, or Government; except for that which currently “governs” the Palestinian territories around Jerusalem and Gaza.

I’ll bet my mortgage that most Americans are completely oblivious to the true story behind the “Palestinians”.

A League of Nations mandate required the establishment of a new, separate, Palestinian nationality for the inhabitants of the Ottoman territories East of Jerusalem in 1917. Upon the creation of Israel and the subsequent Arab-Israeli War of 1948 a “Palestinian Exodus” occurred.

Nakba 1948 Palestine - Jaramana Refugee Camp, ...

Palestinian refugee camp in Syria in 1948

What’s important to note is that it was a voluntary exodus for the country that had been established, Israel. Neighboring countries Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Egypt then and now have most of the world’s Palestinians, these people without a nation. Palestinians actually make up more than half of Jordan’s population of over 3-million people.

Map showing the West Bank and Gaza Strip in re...

Israel and Palestinian controlled lands

But most significant in their plight is despite being Arab, Arab speaking, and Muslim like the indigenous populations of these neighboring countries none of their host nations have welcomed the Palestinians.

More than 60 years since the Exodus these Palestinians and their descendants live in tents and are not allowed citizenship in their host countries. They are not allowed to own land, vote, or in any way live as their brethren. You have to ask yourselves, why? What would happen if these Arab countries granted full citizenship and rights to a people who have lived in their lands for over 60 years? Well…the problem would go away…wouldn’t it? And then Arab’s would be forced to find some other reason to hate Jews and Israel.

I find Gingrich’s strong and truthful statements about Palestinians refreshing. Gingrich hasn’t said he doesn’t want peace in the Middle East. On the contrary, he has just been particularly strong in condemning the rain of rockets that continually fall on Israel. Were it happening daily in the United States, say…along the Mexican border, would you be any less “strong” in your condemnation of  it? We’ve tried placating them for over 30 years. Perhaps telling the truth and calling them what they actually are will lead us to what everyone wants. Peace.

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