Monday, December 22, 2008

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Well it is Christmas again and we in the Mundy family have tried to come up with an original and entertaining concept for a Christmas card. It semms to get harder and harder to come up with a new idea. This one we thought about for several months and we called Tyler another time to put his graphic talents to work to bring my vision to fruition.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Mrs. Ingrid Louise Mundy Harris!


My daughter's much anticipated day has come and gone. This past cold December weekend, my daughter was married to Jeff Harris for time and all eternity in the Salt Lake Temple. It was wonderful to take part in, though I look a bit relaxed with my hand in my pocket in most of the photos. Elder D. Todd Christofferson, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles officiated as the sealer, so that was very memorable for the young couple. Elder Christofferson had been our stake president when we were living in Nashville, TN--about the time Ingrid was born.

It was a great family get-together as well. Tyler was able to join us in the Temple and he, Dylan, Jesse and Heidi helped make the reception come off well. My sister, Janna, with her husband, Marty, flew in from Texas to join us in the Temple and my son, Jesse, came out from Topeka Kansas, with his girlfriend, Amanda, to attend the reception. There were also various cousins in attendance. Karen's sisters Connie and Becky were there with one of Becky's sons, Jacob. Karen's brothers Derek and Terry were there with their wives and a couple of their married kids--Derek's daughter, Kathryn, was kind enough to be the photographer. Jeff's family in Florida were unable to attend but he had a few close friends there.



We had plenty of cake and chocolate from the fountain left over to find a home for after the fact. All the the family who were there helped tear down and clean up and we all went to bed tired. Family members who traveled in took off the next day and the new Mr. and Mrs. Harris drove back to their home in Aurora Colorado to prepare for their honeymoon in the Bahamas. One down and four to go.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Your Mission, If Choose To Accept It...

I have mentioned before that I served my full-time mission in Guatemala and El Salvador (1971-1973) and that for several months I was part of a singing group called "La Familia Unida", which toured around the mission. We were pretty successful, getting thousands of referrals and more than 200 converts directly connected to our show. We were 19 and 20-year-old star want-to-bes, who had a great time together--you can get a more complete, in-detail history of the Adventures of La Familia Unida by going to www.mission.net/guatemala/el-salvador/Paseo, where Familia member and historian, Gaylen Scott (Wailin') Shirley, has posted the definitive tome to that great performing group.

Anyway, we recently had a mission reunion here in Salt lake City. It was a great success. We missionaries and our spouses filled the cultural hall and chapel--it was President Glade's home ward building I believe--to overflowing. We had a great time trying to figure out who everyone was--for some reason, nobody looked the way they did 35-plus-years ago. It was fun to watch people go up to someone take a glance at the name tag stuck to their chest and declare, "oh...So and So". I was still wearing my Santa beard at the time, so I may have won the "most unrecognized" award of the evening, if there had been such a thing.

It was great to see some of my old comps and share evocadores (remeiniscences). My first and last companions were there and several of the guys I served with in between, all greyer, balder, heavier and wrinklier, like me. However, the apex for me was the opportunity to play some songs and sing with two of the other members of the old group for the "entertainment" part of the evening. We had planned to have all 5 of us at the reunion, but Randy (Dob) Teel bailed out a couple of weeks before, and Scott (Wailin') Shirley's dad died two days before and was unable to attend.
But, John Clarence (Clarence) Cameron,

Scott (Fester) Eddo

and
I, Randy (Emery) Mundy tried to fill the bill. We hung a couple of the outrageous Familia Unida ties we used to wear from microphones in our missing brothers' honor.

I have to admit that we were not quite as good as we had been in the good old days. Some might argue that we weren't really all that good in the good old days, but I have some really bad recordings of some of our performances that reveal that we were pretty good--good musicianship and tight harmonies. Of course, you had to be good to be able to do the numbers as fast as we did them. In most cases, we sounded like we were in a race to see how fast we could actually do the songs and get out of the performance hall. This time we limped along with me singing high harmony on the group songs and the lead that Teel used to sing on the love ballads. It was sad that we were missing two of our main guys--we would have sounded much better with them, but I had a great time with my other buds.

It is my intention to get Teel and Shirley out to my place this summer to record some of our greatest hits--I have a little recording studio at my home--and then, have they other guys, Eddo and Cameron, out when they can make it to add their magic. So, La Familia Unida will likely fly again on CD, and, if we can organize another big mission reunion in the near future, the world might get the chance to experience us live. What could be better? You don't have to answer that.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Father of the Bride


Ready or not, here I come. I had thought about being a father for 29 years before it happened, and hoped that I would be ready for it when it happened on June 25, 1981. I guess I was. After my son, Jesse Lee, was born that day, my wife gave me four other children over the next ten years--Tyler Dean (June 12, 1983), Heidi Lynn (August 5, 1984), Ingrid Louise (December 4, 1988) and Dylan James (September 9, 1991). And from the birth of each one of my children I hoped that they would grow up and have the chance to find an eternal companion and have their own children.


I, myself, was married late by some standards--All of my siblings were married either in their teens or very early twenties. I was 27 years of age when I married Karen and I must say that my mother wondered If I ever would find the right girl. We had our first child, Jesse, when I was 29 years of age, and until recently, I was wondering when my first child would get married and settle down. I can't say that I was impatient. After all, I was pretty careful about marriage for myself and I was very happy to see similar carefulness in my children's romances.

A couple of weeks ago I received a call from a young man named Jeff Harris. He had called to ask for my blessing in marrying my younger daughter, Ingrid. I have to say that I was expecting it. I knew that Ingrid's interest in Jeff was pretty strong due to the fact that she had moved to Aurora, Colorado, to be closer to him and see him on a more steady basis and that it would make the romance grow or kill it. It seems to have thrived. At any rate, I asked Jeff if he thought she was ready for marriage. He replied that he thought she was. I told him that if he loved her even more than I did, and would take good care of her, I would condone, even support, the marriage. I have to admit that I have a problem thinking anybody would be good enough for my girls, but I also have to admit that Jeff comes reasonably close. He is a good Christian man, who tries to live his religion and is worthy, as a priesthood holder, to take my little Weezer to the Temple for marriage. I am sure that he will be a respectful loving husband to my daughter and a caring and and good example to my grandchildren, that he will always have his wife and children's happiness and welfare at the top of his priorities. If not, I will know where to find him.


I suspected years ago that Ingrid might be the first of my children to marry. She was always very motivated to marry in the Temple of the Lord and be a mother with children of her own. As I understand it, she had several pretend weddings with other children--her sister Heidi tried to marry her off twice before Ingrid was six to family friends' little boys, officiating at the ceremonies her self. Ingrid always wanted to do grown-up-things before she was ready. Once, when she was about four, I was trying to get all five of my kids into their seats to go to church. Karen had gone up into the house to run to the bathroom and asked me to take charge of the operation while she was indisposed. I had our infant, Dylan, strapped into his baby seat and told the older kids to get into their car seats or seat belts while I went back up to get my wallet. Jesse, Tyler and Heidi followed my directions, while Ingrid took the opportunity to jump behind the steering wheel and take the van out of gear. I heard Karen yell at me and I looked out of our bedroom window in time to see our van rolling down our steep driveway. Somehow, the wheels were turned so that, instead of proceeding across the street and into another steep drive that was so configured that it would surely have flipped our van on it's side, spilling Ingrid out of the still open driver side door, the van sharply turned onto the street and hit two cars parked along the street, nearly knocking the driver-side-door off of it's hinges before coming to a rest against the second car. Again, somehow Ingrid held on to something strongly enough that it kept her from being thrown out as the van turned so sharply at a pretty good speed coming off of our drive way. I flew down the stairs at the front of our house and out to the van hoping, almost against reason, that no one had been hurt. When I reached the van I quickly determined that no one had even a scratch. But, Ingrid was shaking and reaching out to me with a panicked, fearful, expression on her little face, declaring, "I not a bad girl, Daddy!" She was right, of course, she was not a bad girl. In fact, she was actually always a very good little girl, but a momentarily disobedient little girl who, fortunately, had her life miraculously preserved for, perhaps, some important future event.


I have always been extremely proud of my children and their accomplishments. My daughters are beautiful, like their mother, and my sons are all handsome like...well, they are all handsome anyway. They have all been blessed with great talents and attributes. All of my kids have great senses of humor and they are extremely creative. In Ingrid's case, she always seemed to exude self confidence, always expanding on her talents and taking opportunities to express herself artistically. She has great talent and gifts in the fields of art and entertainment--she sings, plays, and writes music, and dances and acts on stage--but I believe, perhaps, her biggest gift is her ability to be a friend to anyone. Karen and I always marveled at Ingrid's ability to create strong friendships with others in a very short time and her desire to make everyone feel a part of whatever activity she involved herself with. When Ingrid was born, for some reason she was unable to process enough oxygen--it is for this (her wheezing attempts to breath and process enough oxygen) and the fact that her middle name was Louise that I started calling her "Weezer"--so she had to stay in the hospital for about a week until she could breath on her own. I obviously worried about her and prayed that I would have the opportunity to see her grow up. Of course, my prayers were answered and Ingrid has surely had her life preserved to make it to this important point in her life. I still pray that my children will be successful and worthy of all of our Father In Heaven's choicest blessing, and I know that Ingrid is proceeding with faith and love and will be the best wife and mother that she can be.


I think she is ready, Jeff.


You are a good girl, Weezer. I love you.

Beardless Weirdness


As you can tell by the scary picture above, I recently shaved off my beard. You might think that that is no big deal; men shave all the time. But you must understand: I don't. I struggled to grow whiskers when I was a teen-ager and sported moustaches and goatees as well as I could before my two years in the Mormon mission field--facial hair was verboten as a missionary--but after I returned home I seriously began the beard. There were a few times when I felt obliged to shave: once, when I wanted to play intramural basketball--i could play as a non-student living in a university ward, but I had to adopt school grooming standards; and again, when I was called to be a counselor in the bishopric in Cerritos California--the stake president, Alma King, asked me to; and lastly, when I was called to be a ward missionary leader in Tennessee. I had asked President Sandstrom, the member of the stake presidency presenting the call, if I needed to shave and he said he would leave that up to me. I thought that, since I would be working closely with young full-time missionaries, it might be a good idea, so I did. I saw President Sandstrom a couple of days after I shaved and he immediately said "Grow it back! That pretty much settled it for me. Unless it was a requirement for some calling at church, I would likely never shave it off again. I have served in many church leadership positions since, including branch president, without having to shave. So, putting all of the times together that I have been without a beard, I am guessing it would total less than two years out of the thirty-five-plus years since I came home from my mission. Some of my kids could never remember seeing me without a beard. Ingrid had been begging me in recent years to shave it so she could see what I looked like without it. I avoided it.

The truth is: I like wearing a beard. And my wife, Karen, has preferred the beard, feeling that when I was shaven that she was being flirted with by different guy with the same mannerisms as her husband--it was a little off-putting for her. I have one of those faces that completely changes with a change in facial hair. When I was installed in the Bishopric in California, people were asking each other who that guy was that was sitting with Sister Mundy--they thought perhaps I was a brother or something. When I was called out of the audience to come to the stand jaws dropped. Of course it may have been that I was the last one they expected to be called. I recently got the same sort of surprise from people at church and work. Today another guy in the office said, "I just can't get used to you without the beard.

So why they the clean face, if it puts people off and scares little children and some stake presidents? Well, my wife Karen is hoping to teach release-time seminary here in Utah next year. She learned in her institute class this semester that not only do male seminary teachers have to be groomed to general authorities standards, but that the husbands of female teachers must also comply. So, I figured if this was her dream job--she taught early-morning seminary for ten years--that I should make the sacrifice (maybe sacriface is more like it)and get used to it now. I hope my wife is worth it, for all our sakes

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Ask Randy: What Happen?!!!

A friend asked me a few weeks ago about what I thought would happen in the presidential election. My sage response was that it would either be an extremely close race with McCain the winner, or it would be a blowout for Obama. As history will record, it was a blowout for Obama. I hate being right sometimes. I had hoped for the former but expected the latter, though I had a hard time understanding how the majority of the electorate would be able to embrace a candidate who had so many associations with unsavory and despicable people, the most liberal record in the Senate and a desire to redistribute wealth like Karl Marx. The answer, I think is several fold.

In the first place, Obama was the favorite of the mainstream media. It has been shown that the news media reported negative stories on McCain to the tune 60 to 70 % compared to 15 to 25% on Obama. The only place you could find serious reportage on Obama’s relationship with the racists, terrorists, crooks and anti-Israeli characters was on talk radio (from the beginning), Fox News (at the very last), and Republican ads (during the few days). Every time new information popped up that might hurt Obama’s chances, the mainstream media refused to look into it, or seriously comment on it. And, when the economic news swelled to fever pitch during the last few weeks of the campaign, the media refused to report on the blatant connections between the Democrats in Congress and their manipulations and unhealthy relationship with the directors of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which started the whole sub-prime lending institutions and housing market going into a tailspin, effecting the overall economy. Further more, as things began to look good in Iraq and positive things were happening which reflected well on the Bush administration and McCain, who pushed heavily for “the surge”, the media virtually dropped all coverage of the war in Iraq. Let’s face it; the mainstream media was in the tank for Obama.

In the second place, the American electorate is largely uninformed and unconcerned about anything that dose not seem to directly affect them personally. Let’s also face the fact that they are lazy about educating themselves. Our education system in the United States, hamstrung by teachers unions in the K through 12 group and quasi Marxists in the university, has failed to teach us about history, economics, and society without requiring their students to master the subjects, or so skewing the information that our students often leave school with an extremely frail grasp on reality. I am often appalled when I see people on the street interviewed and asked the simplest questions having to do with history or even current events and they have no clue. These are the nunmb skulls whom the the Democrats count on to swing elections in their favor. According to exit polls this last election, we have roughly 20-some percent of the population who describe themselves as liberals—I assume they know at least something about ideology to make that self assessment—and there are slightly more, around 30 percent, as I understand it, who describe themselves as conservative—being one myself, I am relatively more assured that this group knows something of political ideology and history—and the rest claiming to be moderates—this means to me that they have no moral compass or clear idea of what they truly believe and will sway with the wind. If it is indeed true that 50 percent of the population has no deep convictions or clear idea of what they believe, it is easy to understand how they can be manipulated by the untrustworthy media and their perceived economic woes.

The third nail in the coffin of reason for the American electorate is their ignorance of faith and a strong religious value system. The most glaring example for me is the issue of abortion. As I understand it, the vast majority of our population believes in God—around 80 percent, I am told—and still a majority of over 50 percent believe that abortion is wrong and should be limited to some degree. It is therefore hard for me to understand how we can elect a man to the office of President of the United States, who will have the power to reinforce the state of abortions in our nation by wielding the power of nominating federal judges who will necessarily be supportive of the unconstitutional Roe v. Wade decision. Obama has consistently fought to protect abortion on demand, including so called “late term” abortions, where the baby is partially delivered during the last trimester and has it’s brains sucked out before completely leaving the womb, and even voting against providing life support for babies who live through botched abortions, allowing the babies to die unattended. It is an emotionally cold people who worry about something as superfluous as “Change” when thousands of babies (black, brown and white) are being sacrificed on the altars of selfishness and personal convenience.

So, “what we have here”, as the immortal Cool Hand Luke said, as he was about to be shot to death, “is a failure to communicate.” The public cannot seem to connect the dots when it comes to cause and effect in the economy, social injustice or world affairs. Rightly so, we tend to turn to Republicans when self defense is the issue. But, for some crazy reason, when national security is not at the front and center, we turn to the Democrats when the economy is the issue, even though raising taxes and government spending has never caused the economy to grow, but rather, they have historically stifled productivity. Yesterday we elected a President who promises to punish business and the wealthy, who already provide over seventy percent of revenues and increase government spending to provide “tax relief” for 40 percent of the population who already do not pay Federal income taxes with welfare checks. And we have enlarged the majorities that the Democrats in Congress, where the likes of Pelosi and Reed, who have enjoyed even lower approval ratings than George W. Bush, will have full sway, with their most liberal colleague of the Senate signing their craziest and most liberal legislation. We only have to look back to the Johnson and Carter administrations, when the Democrats controlled Congress and the White House to anticipate what we likely have ahead of us.

So, though I pray that President-elect Barack Obama has an epiphany as he takes office and tries to govern more from the political middle than his record would suggest, I foresee a long 4 years ahead of us. I hope there is not so much damage done in regards to federal judges, the War on Terror, the economy, energy policies, the 1st and 2nd Amendments, the sanctity of marriage, etc. that we are unable to repair it when sanity reigns again or the fickle 50 percent of the voting public wants another change and decides to lean back to the right.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Politics Is Not Really A Laughing Matter, But...

I don't really think that politics is a laughing matter, especially as we may be looking at the next 4 to 8 years of liberal, even radical socialist government in the White House and both houses of Congress, but it may help to make fun of the politicians and their conspirators in the media. Friends often send me interesting stories, political cartoons, jokes and amusing quotes, so I thought it might be prudent to include some very pointed political axioms I recently recieved in this blog. I credit my friend Lynn Kleinman for these. As near as I can tell, the quotes are accurate and extremely correct in content and apply to this election, especially the ones by Mark Twain. If you read this and have not yet decided who you are voting for, perhaps these quotes will help you decide. If you have decided to vote for Obama, you will likely have a few more things that you do not appreciate.

Political Axioms:
'If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed;
If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.'
-Mark Twain

Suppose you were an idiot.
And suppose you were a member of Congress....
But then I repeat myself.
-Mark Twain

I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity
is like a man standing in a bucket and
trying to lift himself up by the handle.
-Winston Churchill

A government which robs Peter to pay Paul
can always depend on the support of Paul.
- George Bernard Shaw

A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man
which debt he proposes to pay off with your money.
-G. Gordon Liddy

Democracy must be something more than
two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.
-James Bovard, Civil Libertarian (1994)

Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer of money from
poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries.
-Douglas Casey

Giving money and power to the government is like
giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.
-P.J. O'Rourke, Civil Libertarian

Government is the great fiction, through which everybody
endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.
-Frederic Bastiat, French Economist (1801-1850)

Government's view of the economy could be
summed up in a few short phrases:
If it moves, tax it.
If it keeps moving, regulate it.
And if it stops moving, subsidize it.
-Ronald Reagan (1986)

I don't make jokes...
I just watch the government and report the facts.
-Will Rogers

If you think health care is expensive now,
wait until you see what it costs when it's free!
- P.J. O'Rourke

In general, the art of government consists of
taking as much money as possible from
one party of the citizens to give to the other.
-Voltaire (1764)

Just because you do not take an interest in politics
doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you!
-Pericles (430 B.C.)

No man's life, liberty, or property is safe
while the legislature is in session.
-Mark Twain (1866 )

Talk is cheap...except when Congress does it.
-Unknown

The government is like a baby's alimentary canal:
a happy appetite at one end and
no responsibility at the other.
-Ronald Reagan

The inherent vice of capitalism is
the unequal sharing of the blessings.
The inherent blessing of socialism is
the equal sharing of misery.
-Winston Churchill

The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist
is that the taxidermist leaves the skin.
-Mark Twain

The ultimate result of shielding men from the
effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

There is no distinctly Native American criminal class
...save Congress.
-Mark Twain

What this country needs are more unemployed politicians.
-Edward Langley, Artist (1928 - 1995)

AND THE BEST ONE...
A government big enough to give you everything you want,
is strong enough to take everything you have.
-Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Order in da' court, cause' here come da' Judges!

Be afraid. Be very afraid. If you are frustrated as I am with the decisions the Supreme Court hands down from time to time and the crazy legislation from the bench, churned out by the various federal appellate courts and Federal judges in general, you have to be worried about the real—actually, I think “surreal” is the better term—possibility of Barack Obama obtaining the White House and the authority to appoint Federal Judges. During the next four years. Given the likelihood that there will be Democrat majorities in both legislative houses, you can be sure that we will get some activist judges crammed down our throats in the next four years. It has been estimated that as many as three Supreme Court Justices—the oldest and most liberal ones—would retire during an Obama Presidency, giving him the opportunity to fortify the liberal side of the court. And, with perhaps hundreds of lower federal judge appointments added to the mix, our federal court system could be damaged for a very long time.

Presidents in the past have made claims that there should not be litmus test for appointments to federal courts, but the reality is that only the Republican presidents have followed through on that claim. In recent years, the more conservative presidents, Reagan, Bush, and Bush, have endeavored to put conservative thinking strict constructionist judges on the various feral courts, but have not always been successful. Fearful that republican appointees will seek to overturn Roe vs. Wade, Democrats in the Senate, applying their litmus test that all judges agree with current federal abortion law, have fought hard to keep Constructionist types of the bench. One only has to look to the bitter attempts to smear Bork and Thomas during their Senate hearings to recognize the lefts commitment to abortion and liberal judges. Because of Democrat opposition to conservative judge appointments and the difficulty of finding a constructionist judge who has not made statements about the bad law that is Roe vs. Wade, and because of Republican efforts to be evenhanded, some of their picks have not been that good for us on the Right. O’Connell, Kennedy and Souter were big disappointments for Conservatives. On the other hand, when Democrats have had the opportunity to appoint, Republicans on the Hill have generally acquiesced, to the President’s privilege to choose federal judges as a right of elective victory.

As it sits now, the Supreme Court is fairly evenly divided, with Kennedy providing a swing vote either way, depending on which side of the bed—the left or the right—that he gets up from in the morning. Obama has been very vocal about the judges he will appoint if given the opportunity: "We need somebody who's got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom, the empathy to understand what it's like to be poor or African-American or gay or disabled or old — and that's the criterion by which I'll be selecting my judges." Clearly, if you like your legislation coming from the bench rather than from state and federal legislatures, Obama is your man. He sees the Constitution as moldable, like a piece of clay, to be remodeled and twisted into the shape necessary to change America. McCain has said that he will pick constructionist judges, who will interpret the US Constitution as the founders intended.

There are mechanisms within the Constitution to amend it as it seems necessary. The requirements are strict and suggest that amending the Constitution should be a thoughtful and no easy matter, as can be seen from the following:
Article V.

AMENDING THE CONSTITUTION
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of it's equal Suffrage in the Senate.
The Constitution should not be amended or changed by Judges’ decisions and Obama’s idea of a qualified judge does not inspire me. The image of justice that Americans generally have is of the statue of ‘Lady Justice” holding up the scales in balance and wearing a blindfold. This suggests that justice should be handed out equally, without respect to persons. I think Obama’s image is of a lady holding scales that are heavy on the left side and the blindfold is pulled up to see who her judgments might affect.
Of all the reasons to not vote for Obama—his socialist agenda, his relationships and associations with leftist radicals and unscrupulous characters are deafening to those who are listening—his intention to fill the courts with leftist ideologs should equally give us great pause. Even just four years of appointing judges without enough conservatives in Congress to check his efforts could drastically alter the direction of our country and would likely take many decades to remedy. But, you be the judge.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Time To Send In The Cavalry

Again I watched the Presidential debates last night and again I was frustrated both with McCain’s inability to articulate his case without coming off like a desperate septuagenarian, trying too hard to be a nice guy and the media’s non interest in anything that could make Obama look bad. And again, I tortured myself with the thought of “how did we get this point with McCain as our candidate?” when we could have had an articulate and genuinely brilliant business man who truly understands the economy, explaining the conservative answer to our country’s problems. Instead, we have McCain, who wants to get along with Left, seeing himself as the "Uniter" that Obama claims to be, rather than defeat them and expose them for the Socialists—in some cases, Marxists—and enemies of capitalism and free trade that they are. To be fair, McCain tried, but he was much nastier in the debates with his fellow Republicans—Romney in particular—than he was with Obama. He seemed like it was hard for him to say anything that might make him look mean in the eyes of the undecided voters.

What McCain does not seem to understand is that the reason people are undecided at this point is because those people don’t have any core beliefs. They wouldn’t know an ideological thought if it took the shape of a brick and landed on their heads. To my way of thinking, anyone who truly understands what the formation of the United States of America was about or cares about personal freedoms and the right of self determination would already have rejected Obama’s policies. Those on the left, of course, are champing at the bit to turn America into their socialist utopia. In fact, the American Communist Party announced today that they think the country is ready to accept their brand of ideology—I guess they think if we can accept Obama’s plans, we are ready for the unadulterated undisguised genuine article. So, sadly, it is the “undecideds” who will determine whether we try to get back on a more conservative track and work our way out of a looming recession or embrace socialism and dive right into another depression--raising taxes on business has never increased the national coffers to the degree that cutting taxes has. And, because the undecideds have no core principles or deep understanding of politics or policy--they see the world through their clouded visions of "me, me, I'm on fire, put me out" or "I think I want a change" no matter if the change is a bad one--they will likely choose style over substance. That is why it is lamentable that McCain is deficient in the style category and unable to articulate the substance. The only other chance he has is to expose Obama for who he is, by shining the light of truth on his unseemly associates without any help from the news media. If the "undecideds" understood who Obama really is even they would pull their heads out of where ver they have them located most of the time and make a reasonable choice. Or, you would think so.

Again, McCain tried in his fumbling way to do that last night. After bringing up Bill Ayers, he allowed Obama to skate along with his same lame explanations of his Bill Ayers, terrorist, association and later changing direction by making claims about “Kill him!” comments supposedly shouted at the mention of Obama’s name at Republican rallies. I might point out here that Agent Bill Slavoski of the Secret Service disputes that any such thing happened, that he was surprised at the reportage of such because he was there and none of his fellow agents heard anything either. As part of his job, they have since investigated the claims deeper and found nothing to corroborate the reports. Of course we can expect nothing more at this point from the media or McCain. I’m sure there were many people watching the debate last night who asked themselves, “I wonder who this Bill Ayers guy is.” The "undecideds" and uninformed will have to be spoon-fed if we are to pull this out for McCain. Bloggers and 527s are going to have to pull McCain’s butt out of the fire. The leftist media wants Obama to win and they will not report anything, especially if it is true, that could hurt their chances. In essence, McCain has tied himself to the railroad track and the Obama-Media Express is hurtling down the track. It is time to call in the cavalry, if it's not too late.

Monday, October 13, 2008

"But, He's Just A Guy Who Lives In My Neighborhood!"

I can’t help but blog again about politics, and Obama in particular. I just read Stanley Kurtz’ article in National Review, “Chicago Annenberg Challenge Shutdown?” and it raises even more questions about Obama’s relationship with Bill Ayers than we have already had.

Of course, some of us know that Mr. Ayers and his wife, Bernadine Dorn were terrorists with Weather Underground during the 60s, that they bombed the Pentagon and the Capitol, that they are unrepentant for their actions—Ayers posed, stomping on Old Glory, for a magazine and was quoted by The New York Times as saying that the notion of the United states of America makes him want to puke, and that he felt that he had not done enough, and he was in Venezuela in recent years speechifying and ranting “Viva La Revolution”. And, some of us know that Obama’s wife, Michelle worked in the 90s with Bernadine Dohrn at the same law firm. And some of us know that, a few months prior to kicking of his first political campaign in an event hosted by Ayers and Dorn in their home, Obama became chairman of the board of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, founded and guided by Ayers to radically—the key word here is radical—change education in schools. Some of us also know that Ayers and Obama worked together in the Chicago Annenberg Challenge to effect this “CHANGE”—Obama, as we know, is very big on “change”—in the way education worked in Chicago, altering the focus of the traditional English math and science focus to (as I understand it) questioning authority and everything else. Some of us know these things even though the mainstream media has yet to look into the Obama/Ayers relationship. They are satisfied with Obama’s statement that Ayres is “Just some guy who lives in my neighborhood.” Incidently, I wonder if they still have the Che Guevara picture up in some of Obama's campaign offices.

This has not been enough for journalist Stanley Kurtz who has been looking into the Obama/Ayers relationship in great depth. Oddly, Mr. Ayer’s refuses to shed any light on their relationship, and Obama is sticking to his story that they are just neighbors. In his investigation of Obama and Ayers work together at Chicago Annenberg Challenge, Kurtz keeps hitting brick walls in being allowed to see documents of the organization held at the Richard J. Daley Library at the University of Illinois at Chicago which would clearly shed light on their work together and, perhaps, the reality of their political agreements. He draws the conclusion that perhaps Ayers himself is responsible for keeping the documents out of his reach. Please read Kurtz’s 8/18/08 article at National Review for the details.

With what we know already, that Ayers is not just a guy in Obama’s neighborhood, we should be, at the very least, very afraid. If the guy is afraid to let us know the details of his friendship or “comradeship” with Ayers, it leaves us with the only conclusion we can arrive at: it would hurt his chances to get elected. Just as it would hurt his chances to get elected, if he admitted that during his over twenty years of attending the Black Liberation Theology “church”, he sat through anti-American and racist ranting (sermons) by his mentor and great friend, Reverend Wright. Still, Obama claims, with a straight face, he never heard such things from the Rev. It seems clear to me that Obama is lying about who he is and what his agenda as president will be. If more than just some of us knew who he really is we would reject him and his neighbors and mentors.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

These Controlled Debates Don't Tell Us What We Reaaly Need To Know!

I have watched three debates so far and have not been very impressed with anyone other than the leftish media’s control of the events and their shameless efforts to protect Obama. These debates do us a real disservice in regards to informing the public. They pick questions that leave the respondents with the option to sit on their pat answers and not veer away from their speech material. From my perspective, the questions of character and judgment are the most important. The candidates can say anything they want at this point and claim as Bill Clinton did when he promised middle class tax cuts and then reneged because the economy and government coffers were in worse shape than he expected once in office. When you neglect character and judgment, you get leaders like Clinton and Carter: Clinton, who cheated on his wife in the Oval Office—not that she did not know that he was doing it or was perfectly capable of it—committed perjury (lied under oath—this was the reason for the impeachment trial, coo laid drinkers, not for his classless sex acts in the Oval Office—accepting illegal foreign campaign money for obvious quid pro quo give-a-ways to China in the form of rocketry secrets and to Indonesia in the form of tying up our clean coal reserves in Utah by Presidential dictate and giving Indonesia—the only other significant possessor of such reserves—a literal monopoly on the resource; and Carter who, because of his outrageously bad judgment almost ruined our economy and military beyond repair.

I find it amazing appalling that no one in the debates can ask Obama about his past associations with the terrorist Ayers family—his political dealings with them and their attempts to indoctrinate children through education programs that Obama fed government money into—the Reverend Wright and Obama’s laughable denial of having heard any of his hundreds of outrageous racially divisive and politically charged sermons in twenty year of attending his church—or his associations with Tony Rezko, who sits behind bars, but was instrumental in Obama’s real estate deals and a major contributor and fund raiser for Obama’s Political career. I think, if Obama would have to respond to such questions in front of a bunch of people who are just now beginning to pay attention a little bit, the voters would be better informed about who he is and make a more informed choice. Obama can say anything at this point and not follow through. The public needs to know what the media refuses to inform the public about: Obama has substantial baggage which should give us good insight to his character and judgment. He, in my judgment will likely be a costly mistake, even worse and more dangerous than Carter was.

But, I also am frustrated by the republican’s choice for the presidential spot. I know we were unaware of the looming current financial crisis when the primaries were going on, but I can’t help imagining Mitt Romney debating Obama at this point, instead of McCain. Not only would he have had a better grasp of the problems we have at them moment, but he would also most assuredly be better equipped to deal with them. He looks better on camera—McCain has a hard time looking cool to the younger set—and he is squeaky clean in the character and judgment category.

Hindsight is obviously 20/20—though not for me, I voted for Romney in our primary—but we could have done better. Religious prejudice may likely have cost the republicans the White House, if something fortuitous does not happen in the next moth to expose Obama for the empty shell or clandestine Marxist—in my opinion, he is the latter—that he is. I think that Palin was a terrific choice and she and Bobby Jindal and other young Conservatives are our future, but we have likely shot ourselves in the foot with our choice this time around. We have to fight against three enemies in today’s political landscape: The liberal Democrats, the liberal mainstream media, and the ignorant electorate who do not pay attention or care to ask the right questions of their leaders. Character and judgment matter, at least to some of us.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Un-Civil War: The 2008 Elections

I heard Peggy Noonan this morning on the radio saying something to the effect that the civility needs to come back into politics. I only heard the last little bit where she extolled the virtues of Reagan and his refusal say cruel and hateful things about his political adversaries. The feedback from other listeners seemed to reflect that she was saying that we of conservative bent needed to be nicer in our political discourse. The majority of the respondents seemed to disagree with her. And, without having heard exactly what she said, I would say we on the political Right have very little to apologize for. If anything, Conservatives take it too easy on the liberal Left.

Reagan was indeed a great example. The most hateful thing I can remember him saying to an adversary was, “there you go again.” He saved his harshest statements—evil empire and the like—for his and our true enemies. But for all of his graciousness he was insulted and degraded by the left and the left-leaning media as only a nutty actor, homophobic and racist tendencies. If you had seriously studied his life at all, you could never have arrived at such a prejudiced conclusion. But the Left was not interested in the realities of Reagan. They hated his conservative ideals and they easily transferred their hate to his person.

Much of what the Left dislikes about us on the Right is our contention that there is a Wrong and a Right. We believe that morality is important in both personal and public behavior. Non-religionists are very uncomfortable with the concepts of wrong and right, because, judged by the traditional Judeo-Christian principles and the Ten Commandments upon which our nation and its laws were founded, they could possibly be found guilty of something. In truth, Conservative religious people who honestly practice their religions understand that we all fall short in our efforts to follow God’s commandments in respect our fellow man. We are willing to forgive. But we expect that our leaders reflect our ideals as much as possible.

When Bill Clinton ran for president the first time, I distrusted him. The many stories of his marital infidelities troubled me. And, if I believed that if he was unable to be faithful to commitments to his marriage, how could I trust him to be faithful to his commitments to the United States of America. Needless to say, as a Conservative, I was opposed to him on political grounds and I would have voted against at any rate, but his character flaws, as I saw them made me suspect of every action he took as President. History, I believe, has shown that I was right to doubt Bill Clinton. He was indeed the philanderer that his critics had warned us he was. His actions as President only reinforced my beliefs about him; that he was self absorbed and egotistical, more worried about himself than his country. He was basically a dishonest man.

The Liberals were embarrassed by Bill Clinton, but mainly because he was caught. Most of the leadership in the Democrat party knew of his character flaws, but he was their ticket to political power after 12 years of being out of the White House. We on the Right felt vindicated in our criticism, but those on the Left were angry about our righteous indignation. Nothing could have irritated them more than losing a contested election in 2000 to a Born Again Christian named George W. Bush.

Liberal Democrats still claim that the 2000 presidential election was stolen, even though it was Gore who tried to keep overseas military ballots from being counted and only wanted recounts in heavily weighted democrat districts. And, they tenaciously hold this opinion in the face of every recount and study that has substantiated the election results since. This close election of a man who professed strong religious faith created the “Bush Derangement Syndrome.” The Left was so eager to pin the label “Liar” on some one from the Right, because of their embarrassment over Clinton that they have had to jump over huge logical and reasonable hurdles to make the claim that Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Bush came into office with high expectations of working with both parties to create more civility and bi-partisanship, but the bitterness over the close election left him little real hope of working with the opposition. Even the short lived respite from political divisiveness the 9-11 created was destroyed by the thought on the left that Bush was becoming a hero. At every turn, the Left and the leftist-media have tried to discredit him; attacking his efforts in the war on terror, focusing heavily on the costs in blood and treasure, and ignoring the successes. And through all of the attacks on his character, the labeling of “liar”, “Hitler,” and the incessant disparaging remarks on his intelligence, Bush has acted gentlemanly, never resorting to the tactics of his foes.

Now we find ourselves ready to elect a new president and we see more of the same in the way the Left and the media are serving up their opinions on McCain and Palin—especially Palin. Sarah Palin is a thumb in the eye for many on the Left. She is a powerful woman in politics who has strong values of a religious and moral base. The media has been almost humorous in their attempts to find something on Palin that will discredit here in Conservative’s and keep them from the polls; On the other hand, the Democrats have nominated a man who has clear background problems by his associations with despicable characters—thieves, racists and terrorists. Again, the Left and the leftist media know and do not care about these associations, or they are reluctant to look too closely for fear of exposing something that will turn off the voter in the political middle who pays little attention or has few core beliefs beyond their personal comfort. Again, I am not voting for Obama on political differences, but I am even more disturbed by his character questions than I was with Bill Clinton.

So, getting back to the civility question, we, on the Right, need not worry about being more civil. The Left will go crazy on Palin and McCain and ignore their own problems. We are generally not the offenders. If anything, we need to be more assertive, and honestly expose the Left for who they are and what they want to do. Do I here a big Amen?

Friday, September 19, 2008

But OBAMA Has Great Educational Credentials!

The following is from an email my conservative friend, Mike, forwarded to me that some liberal friend sent to him, I guess, to persuade him to rethink his vote for President, and my response to it. I don't really know if Mike has made up his mind yet on McCain, because like me, he was not excited by the Republican nominee because of unpredictability on things conservative and a seeming penchant to side with democrats on important issues of conservative import. However I suspect McCain's choice of Palin as his running mate may have appeased him a bit. But I digress...
The email from his liberal friend was pretty funny, if not insulting to the intelligence of a conservative thinker. The absence of logic in his argument is glaring, but I do not suspect that liberals, without corrective lenses and their inability to see a broader perspective with their usual blinders on, would be able see it.

The Email:

======Hope you won't be too upset Mike=========
You are The Boss... which team would you hire?

With America facing historic debt, multiple war fronts, stumbling health care, a weakened dollar, all-time high prison population, skyrocketing Federal spending, mortgage crises, bank foreclosures, etc. etc., this is an unusually critical election year. The idea of "leadership" must be broadened from mere "experience" to include knowledge, learnedness and insight.

Let's look at the educational background of your two options:

Obama:
Occidental College - Two years.
Columbia University - B.A. political science with a specialization in international relations.
Harvard - Juris Doctor (J.D.) Magna Cum Laude

& Biden:
University of Delaware - B.A. in history and B.A. in political science.
Syracuse University College of Law - Juris Doctor (J.D.)

vs.

McCain:
United States Naval Academy - Class rank 894 of 899

& Palin:
Hawaii Pacific University - 1 semester
North Idaho College - 2 semesters - general study
University of Idaho - 2 semesters - journalism
Matanuska-Susitna College - 1 semester
University of Idaho - 3 semesters - B.A. in journalism

Now, which team are you going to hire ?

My response:
Who was that guy? Is he allowed to work with sharp tools? Can he get out of his straight jacket? Is he out on his own recognizance? What an elitist!

In response to his argument voiced below, let's look at who the mentors and associates of the job applicants are and the achievements and judgments the applicants have made in the past.

Obama:
James Cone (liberation Theologist). Rev. Wright (Racist Kook). Tony Rezko (Crook and one of the prison population that is busting a the seams as we speak and would surely vote for Obama, if he could), Bill "Kill all the Rich" Ayres (Weatherman terrorist), Bernadine "You Go Bill, hand me another bomb" Dohrn (Weatherman Terrorist)--let me say here, to Osama's credit he only seems to want to tax the Rich more at this point, even though they already supply over seventy-five percent of income tax revenue--Father Pfleger (an embarrassment to the Catholic Church), Rashid Khalidi (PLO intimate and supporter), Louis "waiting on the mother ship" Farrakhan (anti-Semitic, anti-white, racist), and the list goes on…. His wonderful education has turned him into a brilliant judge of character--a perfect example of the man's powerful insight. Obama has never voted against his party on anything, even when it came to placing more oversight on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as McCain tried to do in 05'. Again, great judgment. He has, to my knowlege, never voted against a tax increase, and he has never voted for a tax cut.

Biden:
Has been in the US Senate 15 years longer than McCain, so he has had a long time of association with the Democrat Party, has the third most liberal voting record in the Senate--Obama's number one--and praised for his knowledge of foreign affairs, constantly makes the wrong assessment, as he and Obama did with the military surge in Iraq--McCain seems to have guessed that one right, like he did with the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac insight.

On the other hand…

McCain:
Ronald Reagan. That says something to me--it probably does to the liberals too, they hate to hear his name spoken, kind of like Maynard G. Krebbs, when he heard the word "Work". He got an education defending his country a went to the North Viet Nam Scool of Hard Knocks--very hard knocks. He has spent over twenty years in the US Senate, often irritating members of his own party--me included--but voting his conscience, proving that he will do what he thinks is right and not what the good old boys of his party might expect. And, he has never placed an earmark on a spending bill to feather his own political nest, like the extremely well educated Obama and Biden do. His insight has been good enough to know how to win in Iraq and will not be afraid to protect the US no matter what the socialist Europeans think about it.

Palin:
Ronald Reagan. Again, this says to me that she sees America as a special place, a shares the vision that America needs to be "city on a shining hill". Unlike Obama and Biden, she has worked in the private sector and learned lessons from the middle class. She has also governed on the local and state levels and has proven to be a reformer, not afraid to go against her own party to root out corruption.

Now, since my hope for America is that it does not become a European-styled socialist nanny state, afraid of its own shadow, with an economy perhaps worse than when the Brilliant nuclear scientist Jimmy Carter was president, I think my choice is clear.

It seems to me that the liberal thinker will reject all other information that competes with the idea of soaking the "Rich" and "evening the playing field"--redistribution of wealth. When Obama was asked not to long ago about raising taxes on the "wealthy" likely hurting or slowing the economy, his brilliant response was, "it is the fair thing to do". When the economy is hurt, everyone is hurt, especially the poor, you dolt! For the last 60 years, at least, the liberals have been the enemy of capitalism. Taking money from people who earn it to give it to people who haven't is anything but fair. They promote class envy and warfare and racial devide to reach their political goals: socialsm, or out and out comunism.

Our government was not founded on a principle of everyone having the same things, no matter their productivity. The American ideal was to allow everyone to prosper in proportion to their efforts, without government dictating their lives and to have personal freedoms such freedom of religious expression. The federal government has gone way beyond what its founders intended. It is supposed to protect us from foreign enemies and to make sure that the US Constitution is not infringed upon by the state and local governments. Sadly, liberal state and federal judges are accomplishing from the bench what our liberal legislators have not been able to do in Congress, in pushing forward the liberal and socialist agendas.

I know many educated idiots. I argued with them every day in college--they were usually the professors. The liberal elite think the common man is largely prejudiced, because of their lack of higher education and their outdated Judeo-Christian beliefs and principles. In the case of religious expression, liberals either find such expression offensive or unimportant in the balance of personal freedom, and they are unwilling to see that it is protected as it should be under our Constitution. So, there is no validity in the argument that an education prepares one to lead. Leadership does not come with a college degree. I have a BA in history and Master of Science in Occupational Safety and Health, but it is my study and efforts to understand the Constitution and apply it to my moral and religious understanding that qualify me to make choices in politics. Who understands our country and the world at large as I do? I don't think Obama and Biden are qualified to work for me. I don't care how many degrees they have and from what institutions they may got them from. It is what they want to do! They have proven themselves, by their associations and past votes to be wrong-headed. And they are wrong on every issue today, as I see it. I would have to be an idiot to vote for someone who thinks and acts opposite of my views and values, because of their education. One of the most brilliant men in the country in my book is Thomas Sowell, a man with a really impressive education, backed by common sense. I think I'll vote like he will surely vote.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

ASK RANDY: Government Bailouts? How Can I Get One?

That was the question a sarcastic young conservative friend of mine asked via an email recently. My name is not Abbey or Anne, but I am able to dish out advice with the best of them. So, here goes...

Well, it's actually pretty easy. First you become a huge financial firm or company on Wall Street, or you become a quasi governmental mortgage company with ties to powerful politicians that provide "oversight". Then, you hire a thirty-something CEO, who sees the potential of feathering his own nest at investors' (you) expense. Then, you ingratiate yourself with the politicians who "oversee" (both parties , but primarily Dems in the case of Fannie and Freddy) by donating to their re-election funds. Then, when the CEOs run the institution into the ground and bailout with their golden parachutes in tact and billowing in the wind, you can turn to the politicians who were supposed to be "watching" and warning the public of the danger ahead, and tell them that lots of people are going to be hurt if we are allowed to fail. The politicians take that argument to the public and say, "we're worried about the investors (you), so we feel compelled to bail them out with our money tree" (you, tax payer). And of course if the money tree (you, tax payer) dries up, Government can always print more money. So, in a nutshell, you just have to do stupid things and consort with unsavory people (sleazy CEOs and sleazy politicians) and put yourself between a rock and a hard place. It's easy!

If you have a question about anything at all, feel free to send you query to "Ask Randy" at rmundy@digis.net

Friday, September 5, 2008

Republican Silver Linings?

I have been watching our political parties’ convention events the last couple of weeks and am pretty encouraged by what I have seen. The Democrats were as obnoxious and shrill as they normally are in their over-the-top condemnation of George Bush or any other Republican President in the past, how the world has lost respect for us, the world is more dangerous today because of Bush’s “bullying” “unilateral interventions and foreign policy “blunders”. It is always the worst economy in 40 to 50 years in the Liberal Democrat mind. Obama was his usual slick self in laying out his vision for America, creating social injustice in the minds of the public and selling the old tried and untrue liberal answers to our Country’s ills—whether they truly exist or not—actually presenting plans that will only make matters worse or create additional problems for the future like FDR, LBJ, and the great (ingrate) Jimmie Carter: plans that will increase taxation, spending, size of government, and cost of living for all of us.

The Republican Convention provided me with hope. As I mentioned in my earlier blog, I am waiting for an American Maggie Thatcher to vote for. From the speech she gave a couple of nights ago, I am inclined to believe that we may have her in Sarah Palin. I think a virtual political star was born Wednesday night in Sarah Palin. Palin could not have given a more powerful speech to fire up the conservative base of the Republican Party and attract some conservative-thinking unaffiliated independents. She was brilliant in her gentle attacks on Obama and company (media included) with a smile on her face. She was truly fun to watch. Fred Thompson and Rudy Giuliani were also very good at presenting the case for McCain, using their humor to skewer the “anointed one” and his “disciples”. Even John McCain, himself, gave a passably good speech, laying out the big differences between him and his opponent and blasting both parties for dropping the ball. We could have made good progress with a Republican majority in congress and residency in the White House, but the republicans squandered that opportunity, a major gripe for most Conservatives during the past seven years and big reason they allowed the Dems to take control two years ago. McCain pinpointed the problem in his speech and promised to do his duty in reducing spending, cutting taxes, where he could, and using his veto pen overtime. Such promises in combination with the advent of Sarah Palin are the silver lining we have been looking for on an extremely cloudy political day for conservative Republicans.

So, it looks to me like we may well win this thing after all. With the Republican Convention behind us, I feel pretty confident that the Republicans will get a significant bump in the polls. We will still have to deal with the mainstream media, who are firmly in the tank for Obama, but their over-reaching attacks and investigations and criticisms of Sarah Palin will likely create a backlash further exciting the Conservative voters into action that much more. The polls typically favor the left because of the way they are constructed, in my mind, so we can expect that tie in the polls will actually favor the Republicans. So, if it’s close or the Republicans have a slight lead, I will feel comfortable about a win for the presidency. But we will need to do some heavy lifting still for Congress. The veto pen will help us keep the status quo on legislation and the power to nominate judges will help us to possibly hold our own on federal judge appointments. A friendly or fearful Congress will make our efforts to change Washington much easier. Hope and change!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Racist, Sexist, Ageist America?

So what are we Americans going to prove to be? Will we be racists, sexists or ageists? What ever the outcome of the 2008 Presidential election, you know an argument will be made for one of these moral deficiencies in the American electorate. If Obama loses, the left will decry the racist Right and lament the fact that we are just not ready to elect a black man to the highest office in the land.

This has been the argument from the media and the left from early on in the 2008 campaign. A liberal friend asked me several months ago before the revelations of Obama’s ties to his loony anti-American pastor, the Reverend (?) Wright, his criminal financier Tony Vesco, and his friendship with the dynamic Weathermen Ayres duo, and his ultra liberal voting record during his half term as a U.S. Senator, if I was ready for a Black President. My response was that I hoped it wasn’t this one. I know of several Conservative Black thinkers and politicians that I would love to see as the first Black President, like Mike Steel, Lt. Governor of Maryland; economist, Dr. Walter Williams, of George Mason University; and one of the most brilliant minds in America today—in my humble opinion—Thomas Sowell. Generally speaking, and opposite of what Liberals prejudicially think, we Conservatives are all about policy and how it is connected to right and wrong issues, not right and left. I will applaud louder than anyone on the left, when a black man or woman is elected President, but only if he reflects my political, moral, and ethical values.

On the Republican side, we have the oldest man ever to possibly be elected to the Presidency with a running mate who is decidedly a woman. McCain was not my first, second, or even third choice for the top spot. Though he has been great on the war on terror and has always opposed government over-spending and ear-marks, and been firmly pro-life, he has been goofy on his attempts to reach over the aisle on some crucial freedom of speech issues and seems to be almost as ignorant about the overall economy and ecology as the Liberal Democrats. His earlier acceptance of the global warming scam leaves me to doubt his intellect. My first choice, of course, was Romney. He had all of the Conservative credentials—though some had evolved, like his beliefs on right to life to a strong conservative stand. He is a brilliant business man who truly understands the world economy, supports the war against extremist Islam and understands how lower taxes and cutting government waste improves the economy and increases revenue. But, that is not what we got. It was my hope that Romney would at least get the V.P. nod to help McCain with some Conservative votes back and possibly tutor him on the realities of the economy. But, that too was not to be.

Enter Sarah Palin. Palin was obviously picked to try to get the female vote—presumably the disenchanted female vote that was supposed to go to Hillary Clinton, if she had made it on the Democratic ticket. I’m not sure how that will go, but happily, Sarah Palin is someone I can support. This might come as a surprise to some on the left, but we Conservatives are not opposed to “Conservative” women in politics. The Pelosis, Boxers, and Clintons of the feminine Left are not obnoxious to the Right because they are “women”, but because they are Liberals, who are exceedingly obnoxious to boot. I would have loved to have had the opportunity to have voted for a Margaret Thatcher or a Jeane Kirkpatrick. Sarah Palin is truly conservative who has demonstrated in her short time Alaska politics to be a strong advocate of pro-life, pro-gun rights, low taxes, cutting wasteful spending, and supporting the war efforts and our troops. She understands the issue of energy independence through opening up drilling for natural gas and oil everywhere we can and returning to build nuclear energy plants and new refineries. Hopefully she will have an impact like Thatcher or Kirkpatrick.

The truth is we on the Right are willing to vote for the Conservative person, no matter their race, sex, or age. When the choice is there, we will pick the person who reflects our values and will not be convinced that we are racist because we see Barak Obamma for what he is. Obama is a talented empty-suit speaker who says virtually nothing and associates almost exclusively with socialist extremists, and has the most liberal voting record in the Senate—his running mate, Joe Biden, has the third most liberal voting record—so it is easy to imagine what we would get. And the thought is not pretty. I will vote my clean conscience again this time: I’m voting for the fussy old Moderate and the hot young woman Conservative.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Was America Supposed to Be A Christian Nation?

I think most serious American Christians believe that our nation had a special designation from God, or was foreordained, to be a land to be governed on Christian principles. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--Mormon, if you will-I believe that God blessed this land for the establishment of Christ's Kingdom in the last days, that it was to be a special place for freedom loving and God fearing people to possess, as long as they were righteous. Is that just an afterthought, to give ourselves a purpose and meaning in a troubled world? Why did our ancestors come here? What were the English explorers trying to do in America? Did they do it?

In the one hundred years after Columbus’s discovery of the New World, England found herself falling farther and farther behind its European competitors in the so called mercantilism that was the reigning economic philosophy of the time. England was also realizing that it had a growing unemployment problem. Sixteenth Century Europe was in the throws of Religious unrest, and the newly (relatively so) established Church of England found itself in competition with the Roman Catholic Church and was experiencing its own sub set of religious dissenters. Economic and religious pressures in England were forcing many to cast their eyes to North America for answers to their various problems. History shows that they were successful in accomplishing their aims, but it may also be argued that they were too successful. The English that wished to come to America did not envision the creation of a new separate nation.

England missed her chance of perhaps writing a much different history of the world, when Henry VII chose not to let Columbus sail for England. Instead, the newly formed Kingdom of Spain backed the Italian explorer, and thus launched itself into the forefront of Europe, growing wealthier by the shipload of stolen treasure and goods from its increasing number of American colonies. England watched as many of its seafaring neighbor nations dove into the colonizing fray. As other European countries became richer and England began to fall behind, Englishmen like Gilbert, Ralegh, Harriot, and the Haklyuts (the elder and the younger) began to raise their voices in unison calling for England to colonize as well. Richard Hakluyt (the younger) warned, “all other englishe Trades are growen beggerly or daungerous, especially in all the kinge of Spayne his Domynions, where our men are driven to flinge their Bibles and prayer Bokes into the sea, and to foreweare and renownce their relligion and conscience and consequently theyr obedience to her Majestie.” (Pp.46)

These Englishmen recognized, or at least hoped, that American colonies could supply England and her navies (for defense against Spain and other nations) with cheaper goods and supplies than they could, at that time, obtain through international trade. They understood that buying things that they needed through their competitors only enriched their competitors. North America was covered with virgin forests of great quality that offered materials for ship building that their own diminishing forests could no longer provide. The alternative would be to continue buying lumber and ship masts from Russia and Norway which was more difficult and costlier than a trip across the Atlantic. They also recognized that English products like wool were losing their strength in the European market place. England needed new products and an expanded market place. Its own American colonies would provide access to the new growing fur trade and, if a suitable place could be found for planting, a product for the wine and olive oil markets as well as new cash crops. Richard Hakluyt (the elder) suggested that grapes, olives and sugar cane might thrive in Virginia.

Rapid population growth (it more than doubled) and declining real wages in England between 1500 and 1650 were the cause of much unemployment and social stress during pre-colonial and colonial times. Much speculation arose amongst many of its proponents that American colonization was the answer to the population and employment problem. Englishmen like John Winthrop saw millions of acres of land in North America going to “waste without any improvement…” “Why then,” asks Winthrop, “should we stand hear striveing for places of habitation…?” (Pp.135) The fact that the land was already inhabited was of some concern but proponents rationalized displacing the native inhabitants because of the good things that they might bring to the ‘savages’. Winthrop declares, “We shall come in with the good leave of the natives, who finde benefit already by our neighborhood & learne of us…” (Pp.137) Those Englishmen who might not be able to make a living and raise a family in England would surely be able to in America. John Smith, as others before him, listed “ Carpenters, Masons, Fishers, Fowlers, Gardiners, Husbandmen, Sawyers, Smiths, Spinsters, Taylors, Weavers, and such like,” as necessary laborers in any properly organized colonization effort. (Pp.143) American colonies would supply much needed lands, resources, jobs, and markets for struggling England.

High, if not first, on every list of reasons for England’s proposed colonization of America is to spread the Anglican version of Christianity and compete with the Catholic Church abroad. Richard Hakluyt (the elder) claimed as his first reason for colonizing America was “The glory of God by planting of religion among those infadels.” (Pp.340) Hakluyt, the younger, likewise declared, as his number one reason, “That this westerne discoverie will be greately for the inlargement of the gospell of Christe…” (Pp.46) The continued spreading of the Catholic Church was particularly troublesome for the English at this time. John Winthrop, in his list of reasons, states, “…to rayse a Bulworke against the kingdome of the Antichrist, wich the Jesuites labour to rear up in those parts.” (Pp.134)

Though the English may have stumbled at first, as is shown by their initial difficulties at Roanoke and Jamestown, they were very successful in reaching their goals. Helped by a fortunate naval victory over the Spanish Armada in 1588, the English were virtual masters of the seas. This freedom allowed them to pursue their goals of commerce via American colonization with minimal interference. They were indeed successful in providing employment and land for English subjects. The population of England’s North American colonies, much to the annoyance of the American Indians, was more than 250,000 by 1700 (more than 10 times the population of French and Spanish in North America). Trade in furs was so successful, again much to the displeasure of the Indians, that the beaver (and later the buffalo) were extremely depleted. The American forests were very beneficial to the building up of the great English navy and merchant marine. Although planters in the North American colonies had no success with grapes, olives, and sugar cane, they were, with the help of slave labor from Africa, able to dominate the tobacco trade. The colonies were eventually an economic success.

The English were equally successful, though often by use of force, in converting the Indians to Christianity. However, as colonists began to actually come to America, the religious reasons for colonization seem to shift from primarily doing missionary work to seeking religious toleration. Most significant was the fact that Englishmen were no longer pitted only against the Catholic brand of Christianity. Englishmen came seeking freedom from religious persecution from the Anglican and Catholic Church alike. After arriving, if one was unable to worship as they wished in a particular colony, they were often able to find like-minded worshippers and safety in another colony.

The English colonization of America was very successful. Richard Hakluyt (the elder) stated it very plainly when he wrote “The ends of this voyage are these: 1. To plant Christian religion. 2. To trafficke. 3. To conquer.” (Pp.39) England had accomplished virtually all of its goals. But perhaps, England’s efforts were too successful. Their American colonies, along with their other colonies around the globe, had helped England become the most powerful nation in the world. But, a century and a half after the English began to colonize North America, the Americans, as the colonist eventually became known, would form their own identity and require independence from England. The success of England’s colonization of North America was such that a new nation would be born--a nation that would replace England as the most powerful in the world. And, it became the foremost Christian nation in the world, perhaps the blessed place tha we serious Christians have always believed it to be.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Rolling With The Punches

Things are changing all of the time for everyone, whether they realize it or not. My position with the companies I work for is going to likely change in the near future. At the best, I will be continuing with them as a Consultant at a reduced compensation. This would allow me to take on other clients, of course, so I hope to be able make up the loss in income. I am better prepared for this event than I would have been six months ago. We made concerted efforts to reduce our debt--refinance the home, eliminate our second mortgage on the home, pay off the credit card debt we necessarily accumulated in our move here to Utah and all of the improvements I made on the house to make it livable for my immediate family along with my handicapped mother-in-law and handicapped sister-in-law--and we were able to get that accomplished a couple of months ago. I should mention here that our younger daughter, Ingrid, has moved out into the world to pursue school and work, but that our older daughter, Heidi, who was a police officer in Nashville, TN, has recently taken a job as a police officer at the University of Utah--she was sworn in yesterday afternoon--and will be living with us while she pays off debt--some of which is to us for helping her with the cost of move here--so, we slid back a bit in the debt department.

I will be busier than ever for the next little while, trying to figure out how things will need to be for the immediate future. I'm not exactly sure what arrangements and considerations will be made by my employers at this point, but believe they will be fair. I have already started looking for prospective clients and have some promising, I think, possibilities. So, keep me and my and my family in my prayers.

This actually happened to me earlier in my career and it turned out to be a positive. The company I was working for in Kansas as a safety management out of business and sold off all of their assets. I was a bit shocked, but I had already been working as a consultant with another company--this was with my employer’s knowledge and permission to allow me more income--so I was better prepared to go full-time as a consultant. Fortunately, the company that bought most of the assets from my employer decided he wanted hire me as a consultant, relaying to me that he did not feel he could afford me full time. This was my second client. I started teaching part-time for an environmental training association around the same time and shortly picked up a couple more clients. By the end of my first tenure as a full-time consultant I was making more than half again as much money as I had been as a full-time safety manager.

So, history has taught me to keep a positive attitude. I am confident that things will work out fine if I persevere, roll with punches, and keep paying my tithing.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Clowns To The Left Of Me, Jokers To The Right!

I haven't been able to get into my Blog lately, but I had this one planned for a while. I have been doing a fair amount with the "Profiles in American Leadership" lately, all while fretting over the current political and economic, not to mention social, landscapes. Though I have several more historical figures to spotlight in the near future, I think it only right that I take a moment to vent my spleen on things politic. And so...



"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a
member of Congress.. But I repeat myself."

--Mark Twain

Who, with any understanding of the politics of today can argue with Mr. Twain? We cannot blame the Democrats alone for the fuel prices and the slow economy, though they deserve the bulk—notice I did not say a “recession”, we’re not there yet. But, if the Dems and the media have their way we will be in a recession by the end of the year. The Republicans, though they regularly argued against current legislation prohibiting drilling in promising places and the building of new refineries and nuclear power plants for over thirty years, had control of both the legislative and executive branches for several years and did literally nothing to correct the governmental energy policies that have brought us to this scary point in time.

True, we have been trying to fight a war against terror on more than one front in the Mid East--and against the Dems and the media at home--but the Republicans have lost their way. Republicans try too hard to get along, even when it when it is against their interest to do so. The crazy Democrats have taken the opposite position to the Bush administration at every turn, no matter how ludicrous and idiotic, trusting that the public is fickle enough and uninformed enough to be warn down and turned in public opinion; if the Dems can drone on without serious questioning of facts and argument from the Republicans and Conservatives; and if the mainstream media is complicit enough to carry water for them. Of course, his had been the case for ever, but most obviously self destructive since 9/11/01.

The war in Iraq is winding down and new violence in Afghanistan is being quelled effectively, and the terrorists are getting their heads handed to them--I only wish it were in a literal sense*--wherever they can be found. Clearly, our efforts must continue in this regard, or perhaps even up the anti by putting more pressure on the other clowns in the area. But, any success we have against terror, though good for America, will be ignored by the Media or painted black by the Dems and Libs, because it hurts their chances in the polls.

The Republicans, however, have been frightened off by the Dems wins last election. They are in disarray and don’t know where to go or what to do. Let’s face it: they are just are not in the same league as the democrats when it comes to hard nosed politics. Republicans can be shamed by obvious misdeeds into eating their own, while the Democrats can stare into the sun and declare that it’s midnight. And the Media will never point out the obvious discrepancies.

Now we have an opportunity to slap the Democrats wit a resounding defeat in the upcoming elections. Although we have a pretty weak presidential nominee in John McCain—he actually buys into the “Global Warming” con game that the left has been playing for the last twenty years—the fuel prices and oil drilling issues we are faced with today should not only easily keep us from losing seats in Congress again this time around, but could easily give us back control. The Democrats chickens have come home to roost in regards to the nation’s energy policy, and the public needs to know who laid the rotten eggs that these ugly chickens were hatched from. However, the question arises: Do the republicans have the good sense and the guts to play the game hard? If we let this opportunity go by, we are as stupid and leaderless as I have begun to believe us, since the elections of 2000.

Even with McCain, our chances are good. Let’s face it: Obama is another gift. We cannot be afraid to call him what he is: an empty suit with empty rhetoric trying to distance himself, with help of the fawning media, from crazy leftist extremists in his past and present. We can pressure McCain to fight with the gloves off and to choose a V.P. who actually knows something about the economy and who is conservative enough to appease some of us conservatives who are holding our noses while we vote for him. We might even be able to coax some conservatives back who have refused to vote for McCain or wait till 2012. Romney is my obvious pick. Jindal would be my second.

The truth is that the American public is not as smart and informed as it has been in the past. Reagan was able to got them and explain why he was right and why they should follow him. I think that, if we take the facts to the voting public and articulate our argument with logic and without fear, not even the leftist media will be able to hide the truth. Lincoln said, “You can deceive some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t deceive all of the people all of the time.” The Dems and the mainstream media have had a good run lately, but I hope that we can turn the tied back again and that Mr. Twain will be only partially right this time around.

note *(I've thought for a long time that it should be made known to all prospective suicide bombers that their remains will be gathered up and sewn inside of pig carcases and buried appropriately. I'm not sure, but I suspect that for some of the literal minded Muslim Crazies, it might be a deterrent. After all, what self respecting Muslim virgin would sidle up to a martyr in paradise wearing a pigskin suit.)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

RONALD WILSON REAGAN

As a boy I watched a lot of television. In those days, old black and white movies were broadcast in the afternoons throughout the week on local stations. I suspect that I watched hundreds of old movies in those days and I had my favorite films and my favorite actors. I cannot say that there were many Ronald Reagan films that I remember thinking were outstanding, but I remember liking Ronald Reagan. In my later childhood years, I would see him in guest appearances on television productions, generally westerns, and eventually I saw him as the host of Death Valley Days. I continued to like him. When he came on the national scene as a candidate for president of the United States and I began to familiarize myself with his political beliefs, I not only liked him, I began to LOVE him. I saw him as everything I wanted in a president. I was so disappointed when he lost the 1976 republican nomination for president, that I threw my vote to a third-party candidate—an action that I vow to never do again, thank you Jimmie Carter. When Reagan won the presidency in 1980, I was jubilant. When he was re-elected four years later, I had hopes that the Reagan revolution would have a long-term impact on American politics. When Reagan died in 2004 and I watched his funeral and the various tributes to him on television, I was convinced that an historical giant and one of the greatest American Presidents had lived and died during my lifetime. Ronald Reagan was one of my true heroes.


Ronald Wilson Reagan
(February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004)

Ronald Reagan, nicknamed “Dutch” by his father for his Dutch boy haircut he wore as a child, was the second of two sons born to John and Nelle Wilson Reagan in Tampico, Illinois, in a small apartment over the local bank. As a boy, he moved around with his parents to various small Illinois towns, often living in poor circumstances due to his father’s alcoholism and employment as a traveling salesman. Reagan’s mother’s influence on him was critical during his youth, when he learned to have respect for minorities and faith in God and the basic goodness in people and an optimistic view of life. Reagan said that his devoutly religious mother would invite black people passing through Dixon, Illinois—persons who he would habitually bring home with him because they were not welcome at the local inn—to pass the night in their home and breakfast the next day before traveling on.

Reagan was a good athlete in high school and college, excelling in football, and attended the local college in Eureka, Illinois, where he worked summers as a lifeguard. He graduated from college with a BA in economics, but he moved to Des Moines, Iowa, and began a career as sports announcer at WOC radio. On a road trip with the Chicago Cubs in California in 1937, Reagan made a screen test for Warner Brothers Studios and landed a film contract which launched a successful acting career that lasted until 1964 and featured 60 feature films and appearances on more than 15 television shows as an actor or host.

Through a home-study program offered by the US Army, Reagan studied toward an officer’s commission and enlisted as a private as a cavalry soldier in Des Moines, Iowa in April of 1937. The following month he was appointed 2nd Lieutenant in the Officers Reserve Corp of the US Cavalry. After his move to California and the start of World War II Reagan was called to active duty. His poor eyesight precluded him from serving on the war front but he found important service in the Army’s 1st Motion Picture Unit making films to promote the armed services and the war effort. Before leaving the service in 1945, Reagan had earned the rank of Captain.

During the same time period Reagan made choices that would eventually take him to the White House. It was then that became involved in the Screen Actor’s Guild and was eventually elected its president and served from 1947 to1952 and again in 1959. It was during these years that his political beliefs began to come to the forefront, dealing with labor-management disputes and testifying before Congress in the House Committee on Un American Activities. He defended the rights of Americans to have the political beliefs they chose but condemned those that chose to act as agents for a foreign country. By 1948, Reagan began to have political aspirations—a partial cause for his divorce from actress, Jane Wyman, with whom he shared three children—and began to have reservations about the direction of the Democrat party. Reagan became a Republican in 1962 and married actress, Nancy Davis, who bore him two additional children and supported his political ambitions. He would later say that he did not leave the Democrat Party, but that the Democrat Party left him.

During his time as the spokesman for General Electric, Reagan honed his skill as a speech writer and developing the style of public speaking that would serve him so well in politics. At the 1964 Republican Party Convention, Reagan was given the opportunity to speak in behalf of Barry Goldwater and conservative ideals. It was this “Time for Choosing” speech that so impressed his fellow Californians that they began to see him as the Governor of their state and Reagan’s political career was launched. Reagan was elected Governor two years later and served in that office from 1967 to 1975.

Reagan began looking towards the White House almost immediately, enter the Presidential frey seeking the republican nomination in 1968 to give his party an option besides Richard Nixon and Nelson Rockefeller. After two terms as Governor of California and largely successful effort to bring the California economy more sound and the state government more solvent, Reagan began a more earnest attempt to capture the Republican nomination for President. Richard Nixon had resigned from the oval office during his second term because of the Watergate scandal and his then Vice President, Gerald Ford finished his term and was running as incumbent. This made it difficult for Reagan to win the nomination, but he came very close, winning 1070 delegates to Ford’s 1187. But again, Reagan established himself as the Conservative answer to liberal (Carter) and moderate (Ford) political positions. Four years later, Reagan would easily win the republican nomination and even more easily win the presidency over Jimmy Carter in a landslide. Reagan also had long coat tails—the Republicans recaptured control of the Senate after almost 30 years and gained 34 seats in the House of Representatives. Reagan easily won re-election in 1984 by an even great landslide than before, winning every state but Minnesota and the District of Columbia, with record 525 electoral vote and nearly 59% 0f the popular vote.

Reagan’s administration began in dramatic fashion, with Iran releasing 52 hostages who had been held for 444 days which had caused great frustration for the American people and had weakened further the already weak Carter administration. The prevailing thought at the time was that the Iranian government did not expect Ronald Reagan, who was generally perceived abroad as a “Cowboy”, to sit passively by as Jimmie Carter had. This only propelled Reagan’s image to greater heights with the American people and began to re moralize the American military, something that Reagan had promised would be a priority of his administration.

Reagan’s prevailing philosophy on domestic issues throughout his presidency was that "Government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem." Reagan’s policies were geared to allow more personal freedom and to ween people away from dependency on the government, to cut taxes and government controls, to allow more Americans more of their own money to spend as they saw fit, which would, in turn grow the economy. His supply-side economic philosophy and his desire to eliminate government restrictions on businesses were criticized roundly by liberal democrats and most of the media, but he persisted and he prevailed by calling on public support.

Reagan’s ability to connect with the common man suggested to many analysts the title “The Great Communicator.” He turned often to the American public in televised speeches explaining his plans and goals to drum up support for his policies and explain respectfully his difficulties with his advisories in Congress. This practice was very effective. The American public responded time and again by calling their congress men and women to express their support for the president and Congress would concede. Through this practice he was able to pursue his domestic and foreign policies to great effect. He also rebuilt the image of the United States and respect for it’s military strength abroad.

Reagan’s economic policies and tax cuts eventually grew the economy to unpresidented levels—the longest stretch of largely uninterrupted economic prosperity in American history of 28 years to date—and, as he predicted, vastly increased federal revenue. Detractors would later decry the fact that government spending during the Reagan years actually increased and that United States’ debt increased to record levels, however, most of the increase in spending was due to Reagan’s efforts to rebuild the United States military. The renewed prosperity that followed his tax polices has continued for nearly thirty years, in spite of major hits to the economy during the past couple of decades by such events as natural disasters, terrorist attacks and military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan during the past.

Reagan’s focus on rebuilding the Military was a large part of re-establishing the United States as the greatest military power on the earth and to back his desire to promote democracy throughout the world and to protect America’s interests abroad. Reagan increased military spending by 40% in his first six years as president and proposed the “Strategic Defense Initiative” (SDI), a missile system designed to shoot down enemy missiles in flight before they could reach America. Detractors called his plan “Star Wars” and claimed that it was infeasible. Today the system has proved not only feasible, but very successful and promises to be strong deterrent, as it is perfected and put in place. The Soviet Union could not match
America’s economic might and could not keep up in the arms race. When Mikhail Gorbachev came into power in the Soviet Union, Reagan saw an opportunity to push the Soviets toward more openness, understanding that freedom of speech would eventually spell the end of the Soviet Union. Reagan met with the Soviet leader at 4 summits to discuss arms reduction and push the Russian for concessions on human rights, insisting that the SDI program—a system that the Soviets knew they could not afford and could not duplicate—was not on the table for negotiation Though many feared Reagan’s unapologetic anti-communist rhetoric and in-your-face foreign policy, would lead us into war—early in his presidency he described the Soviet Union as an evil empire—he was proven correct again. In a speech at the Berlin Wall near the end of his presidency, Reagan, sensing that the time was right, called for Gorbachev’s government to “tear down this wall.” In 1979, the Berlin Wall was disassembled and two years after that, the Soviet Union followed suit.

Reagan had some difficult times as well, but he took adversity in stride and with usual optimistic good humor. Early in his first year as president, Reagan was shot in an assassination attempt. Though he was near to death in the hospital, as he was preparing to go into surgery, he quipped to the doctors, “I hope you are all Republicans”. Also early on, he felt compelled to fire 11,345 Federal Air Traffic Controllers who chose to strike against his warnings not to do so. In 1983, 241 marines were killed in a terrorist bombing of a barracks in Lebanon, where the marines had been stationed as a peacekeeping force. The US forces were removed, giving some of our enemies the opinion that America would not stand against terrorism. Later, Reagan ordered US forces to Granada to put down a communist takeover of the Island state and protect American citizens and interests there. After suffering numerous terrorist attacks, Reagan was able to establish a connection to some of the terrorist activities with Lybian dictator, Muammar Gaddafi. On April 15, 1986, Reagan ordered air strikes on Lybia declaring, "When our citizens are attacked or abused anywhere in the world on the direct orders of hostile regimes, we will respond so long as I'm in this office."

Perhaps, Reagan’s most difficult challenge was his attempt to aid anti-communist forces in Nicaragua against opposition from Democrats in Congress, which resulted in the "Iran-Contra Affair". The National Security team in his administration orchestrated sales of weaponry to Iran and gave some of the proceeds to support the “Contra Insurgents in Nicaragua who were fighting the Communist government there. The Tower Commission, who investigated the “Iran-Contra” scandal when it became known, determined that there was no evidence that Reagan knew of the “scheme”, but criticised the President for being inattentive in his duties.

Though his popularity dipped from 67% approval to just under 50% for a short time after the Iran Contra scandal, Reagan left office as one of the most popular President in American history and became an icon for Republicans and especially for Conservatives. During a vacation in Mexico in 1989, Reagan took a fall from a horse and received a concussion and underwent surgery to relieve subdurl hematoma. Doctors suspect that the event hastened the onset of Alzheimer's that eventually caused his death on the 5th of June, 2004. The national mourning and tributes that followed testify of the great love and respect that the American public held for President Ronald Wilson Reagan. No one loved his country more or respected the office he held more than Ronald Reagan. He would never enter the oval office without a coat and tie and expected the same of others. He was poetic in his expressions about his country as a “shining city on a hill” and often proclaimed the it’s greatest days were in it’s future.

In 1986, the Space Shuttle, Challenger, exploded during takeoff killing all aboard. Reagan’s response was a speech considered by many to be one of his greatest: “The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we'll continue to follow them... We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and 'slipped the surly bonds of Earth' to 'touch the face of God.” Ronald Wilson Reagan should likewise be remembered. He was an island of optimistic and visionary leadership for America's future in a sea of unimaginative status quo modern practitioners of politics.