TW Peck's Weblog

random thoughts & perceptions on just about whatever strikes me fancy

Posts Tagged ‘politics’

No Bama

Posted by twpeck on July 12, 2008

I am going to tell you right up front there is no way I am going to vote for Barak Obama for president.

I vote on both character and issues.

Good character is important because that breeds trust and, after all, the president is someone who needs to be trusted to work for my best interest.  Please note I said “interest”, not for what is best for me or what I want or who is going to do the most for me.  It seems lately that we, as a culture, would find very foreign the words” Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” (John Kennedy).

That spirit is going away and the new sense is: What can the government do for you.  I never liked Reagan’s slogan “Are you better off now than you were 4 years ago” – that seemed like pandering (though I know that was not his reason for using that pharase).

I am very tired of politicians pandering.  They tell you what they think you want to hear (or at least what their pollsters say you want to hear) and it is not a sincere desire to do so.

I see Mr. Obama doing that.  Listen closely past the rhetoric.

In a recent speech he talked about how “big” oil was reaping huge profits while we suffered at the pump and that he was going to get even by taxing these windfall profits.  Then in the next breath he talked about how we all need to come together and stop the bitter rhetoric, etc.

Well, how can you say one sector is evil and we need to get them and then turn around and say we should all work together.

Another thing – he promised to use public financing (which is fine with me as long as it is paid for voluntarily) and then, when he realizes that is going to limit his spending (he has big bucks), he turns around and says he won’t take it.

I know I am slowly blending a move towards the issues side, but that is my point.  I just don’t sense that Mr. Obama can be trusted or that he is sincere with what he says.

This is not a flip-flop,  which is a convenient change of mind rather than a contemplative one.  A contemplative one is where the guy says, “well, I have been thinking about that and I came to the conclusion my position was wrong”  That is honest.

I am seeing a lot that is not so honest with Mr. Obama.

Guess I ran out of steam to discuss my disagreements with his issues.  Maybe some other time.

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Is it fair ?

Posted by twpeck on July 4, 2008

My youngest “son” (he is a step-son but I don’t think about him that way) just graduated from high school.

It was a rough journey for him. Not physically, but emotionally, and it is something that he still struggles with.

It is the concept of “fairness” and “unfairness”. His “fairness” struggle is over the fact that he comes from a divorced family. He has never stated so, but I have heard this in his voice: “Why did God let me come from a divorced family?” He has stated this verbally – “why did God allow my grandpa to die?”

We all struggle with this concept.

Now, the farther away one moves from someone, the less important “fairness” becomes.

If a friend receives a raw deal, then that is an outraged unfair. If it is neighbor, then that is an angry unfair. A news report on someone far off – it is a “too bad” or “that is sad” unfair.

So, fairness has a sense of locality. The closer something is to you, the more likely you are to have a concern about fairness or unfairness.

But the reality is that fairness is most important when it comes to our self, and, too often, we measure that not by an objective yardstick, but by how the results effect us.

Take taxes, for instance. There is this concept that it is “fair” for the rich to “pay their fair share” of taxes.

What is that and who is determining that? Well, we have tax “brackets” in what is called a “progressive” tax. This means that the higher one’s adjusted income, the more one pays.

So, is it really fair for “the rich” to pay more than a third of their adjusted income while those in the lowest pay none?

Personally, I am in the lower range of the tax bracket (I paid around 15% of my adjusted income), but I don’t see how it is any where close to “fair” that because someone works hard to advance at a job they should have to pay a larger percentage of their income than I do.

To be truly “fair”, though, means I am willing to sacrifice on my part. That might mean paying more taxes, giving up a right, or doing something that I don’t like (like cleaning the toilet – I use it, so why shouldn’t I clean it?).

Fairness, then begins with my self. Am I being fair to others? Is my fairness self-centered or centered on balancing the scale?

Bible thought for this entry:

Phillipians 2:4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

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July 4th

Posted by twpeck on July 3, 2008

In two days will be the 232nd “Birthday” of the United States of America. It has, so far, been a fascinating experiment in Representative Democracy and the balancing of power in governing people.

It is worthwhile, at this time, to remember the Preamble of the Constitution, which is sort of the vision statement or the purpose statement of our government. Let’s take a look at it:

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Here are some thoughts on this amazing statement:

  • This government system was established to bring order and protection to the people.
  • Government is not about about power or authority (as is often the case), but instead to serve the people
  • There is an implied sense here that it is about all people, not just the rich or just the poor or just the majority or just the minority.
  • Bringing about Justice and Liberty (they are capitalized on purpose) are primary functions of this government.
  • Government exists because the people want it.

It would do us well to pull out that dusty old document called the Constitution and read it. We would do even better if we could look at a law or a regulation or a program offered by government and ask ourselves if what is being proposed measures to the Preamble. Does it meet the purpose and function of government? One wonders how many would not.

Bible thought for this entry:

Michah 6: 8 – No, O people, the LORD has already told you what is good, and this is what he requires: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.

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