Saturday, April 17, 2010

Random Thoughts

(1) In all of this midst of the Republican/Conservative dismay over the direction our current "captain" is taking this great ship called the United States, I have a thought to pose. What is the current alternative plan being offered by the Republicans/Conservatives? What really frightens me (as a lifelong Republican voter) is that the Republican Party is in imminent danger of being as marginalized as the old American Whig party. The Whig Party literally became the Anti-Andrew Jackson party. After Jackson left office, the Whigs were left with no chief over-riding philosophy and became splintered over the issues of sectionalism and slavery. I don't think that the Republican party has offered any clear set philosophy since the presidency of Reagan. At that time, the Reagan Republicans were united in a two-pronged vision for America: Anti-Communism and a opposition to the increase in the size/role of the national government. Under President Bush, the Republicans abandoned their opposition to the growth in the government. Now I don't hear any "new" Republican vision minus one that states if Obama is for it-we're against it. If the Republicans are sincere about wanting to re-take the reins of the government, they have to develop a vision that will show America that they are worthy of being trusted with running our government.

(2) It is almost mind-boggling that so many of our governmental officials are now claiming that they were "blind-sided" by our economic down-turn. Anyone with eyes to see saw this recession coming years ago. Once the price of gas started climbing, are we surprised that the economy has headed south? When the American people have to start paying two-times the amount for gas since prior to the beginning of the war in Iraq and 9/11, is it any wonder that we are suffering today. Remember those days prior to 9/11 when gas was hovering around $1/gallon. Now our national, state, and local leaders claim that they "misunderstood" the extent of our recession. The Alabama State budgets were only salvaged by the economic stimulus package money (what happens next year when that runs out????) The city of Mobile is looking at possibly laying off three hundred city employees. What happens to next years budget in Mobile when the local unemployment rate gets blind-sided by those layoffs? When do we, as voters, start holding our political leaders accountable for their actions? Instead of automatically assuming that our incumbents are voted back into office, shouldn't we be looking to "throw the bums out" if they cannot handle our budgets? If my income level drops, I have to tighten my budget and live without certain things. Why can't we expect the same from our government?

(3) Congratulations to Baldwin County for voting a 1% tax increase to "save" their school system. Remember the days when the Baldwin County schools were the peak of efficiency and the Mobile County schools were the "red-headed step children?" What happened???? Before we people on the western part of the Bay start patting ourselves on the back, remember we have to renew our property tax increase from several years ago. Would you like to put money on that vote? Remember, that was the vote where the School Board threatened to cut out all extra-curricular activities if the vote did not pass. Teacher and Coaches hit the streets talking to their neighbors about the need to pass the tax. The vote did pass and the very next day (literally) the Mobile County School Board laid off over three hundred teachers. Do you really think those same teaches will hit the streets now? I would imagine that many Mobile County residents will view the property tax renewal as a prime opportunity to "cut" their taxes. Good Luck Dr. Nichols, I think you're going to need it.

(4) I have lived through many experiences in my life. I can remember the assassination of JFK; Neil Armstrong's walk on the moon; the glorious fall of the Berlin Wall. Even during the dark moments (i.e. Watergate, Vietnam, etc.), there were few moments when I doubted the future prosperity of our country. However, now I'm not so sure that I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. Please understand, this is not just an indictment of the current presidential administration. This train wreck has been many years in the making. Our government and our people have been oblivious to the future and have been spending like there is no concern for tomorrow. We (Republican and Democratic administrations) are spending and believing that future generations will pay the tab. For the first time in my life, I am actually worried about the direction in which this country is moving. I'm really beginning to wonder if it is fixable. I remember reading a book in high school, The Promise of Joy by Allen Drury, there was a quote I will never forget: "Let us wear on our sleeves the crepe of mourning, for a civilization that once held the promise of joy." I hope that I'm just being pessimistic, hopefully things will get better (at least for the sake of the children).

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