Tuesday, September 30, 2008


It is a sad but real situation when you find and report an act that is or appears to be improper. That I reported on the somewhat irregular dealings between the Bayview Chamber of Commerce and the Bayview Community Center Foundation as wrong, and tried to in detail and through several interviews of persons that were present,I have been counter attacked.

Somehow, in the embarrassment of doing wrong, several members of the board and their supporters, have sent letters to the editor, vilifying my objectivity and my motives. One such letter will soon appear in the paper. In the quest for objective reporting, the Spokesman-Review prints letters to the editor. That,in and of itself speaks to the idea of fairness.

I have spoken on this blog, and again in print through my columns in the Spokesman-Review, about the miss-handling of the July Fireworks raffle. This is fact, not supposition. A further development, as previously chronicled in this blog, suggested an improper allocation of fireworks funds to another related organization, the Bayview Community Center Foundation. It appears, for the first time in public, that those funds have been returned to the Chamber. That was only learned from one of the angry letter to the editor.

I had hoped that the issue was settled, although there were thoughts of an investigation. Those thoughts were laid to rest when the Foundation board returned these funds to the Chamber. Unfortunately, some of the parties to this action chose to retaliate. That is alright, because that then gives those who disagree with the letter to the editor, which I understand will be published shortly, to voice their opinions, both pro and con.

At this point, I choose, having retired from the field of battle, to rest with the knowledge that I helped avert not one, but two misadventures,To cease, pending future developments, to address this issue. Reporters are not allowed the privilege of reply to those that express their opinions. That, however, does not apply to those that disagree with the letter of intimidation sent to the paper. For me, lacking cause for further action, I have no personal animosity with those that have vilified me through either the remarks on this blog, letters to the editors, or private e-mails, which I received en mass from some of the players that represent the board of directors of the Chamber of commerce.

Those that volunteer for public positions are always subject to review and criticism by the people that elect them, whether as governmental politicians, or community groups. It is time for openness discussion and truth in all dealings, else wise this organization will sink into oblivion, a thing I would truly hate to see. Perhaps it is time for all of us to look into our hearts to discover truth. Not ego trips, not slanted truths but an all working together kind of thing.

It isn't important that we all march in lock step, it's only important that we respect each other and openly communicate. If a board meeting of one or another organization is being held, and the public is invited, is is important that these organizations publish both the times, dates, and agendas of these meetings, so that all interested parties can attend. Setting up votes outside of the formal meetings is wrong, if indeed that happens. If some of you reject cooperation between other community organizations, I will oppose you. Cliques are even though not formal are an abysmal thing. It has been brought forth that nobody wants to serve, thence here we are, doing the best we can. I challenge that premise. I know of several stalwart community members that happen to belong to other organizations that would love to participate, if only the in crowd would make way.

The old saw,"we can hang together, or hang separately" is as true today as it was back when those words were spoken, during the debate to declare independence, in 1776. Backbiting, while not a real problem in large cities, becomes a horrendous problem in small towns and villages. When one moves into a small rural area from the city, they need to modify their standards to a different set of circumstances.Those that can't seldom stay very long.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Community Stuff

Don't forget to attend the Gary Eller concert and Jam Sunday, September 28 at 2:00 pm. If you are a musician that can play folk or bluegrass, come on down for the show and the jam following. Eller has traveled far and wide to capture songs about Idaho, specifically old ones from the 1920's and older.

I've met Gary, played a tune or two with him. He's the real deal. A retired Nuclear Scientist, he holds a PHD in chemistry,a banjo and a guitar. Gary has been playing bluegrass and Folk for a long time as a hobby/avocation. The Bayview Community council in conjunction with the Bayview Historical society is hosting the event at the Community center.

The Buttonhook is closing for the season on the 28th. With the real estate market bottoming out, and an escrow hold on closings at Vista Bay, cash flow has substantially been reduced. As a result of the action of the Developmental Analysis Committee, (they allegedly paid $75.00 to the county resulting in a stop on closings) ten local employees have been laid off and the Buttonhook has been closed prematurely. What is it they say? Unintended consequences? Perhaps it is time to reexamine the role of this committee. Is it to monitor developments? Or is it's goal to stop or severely delay any development. A parallel would perhaps be the folks that live in trees in Northern California, trying to stop any logging.

So, then, where does the line get drawn. If this is about extremism, it is doubtful that the community at large will support it. For the most part, as I have observed, and I include myself in this example, the shock of our lifestyle being turned upside down has caused an outbreak of negative response to ALL development, or at least most of it. It would appear to me that some of the currently planned developments will go forth, or at least when the real estate market recovers.

Reality, however, suggests that former employees of Waterford Park, (I'm one)might have a personal ax to grind.I have overcome that anger, but some haven't. Others are perhaps governed by the eviction of the trailer park. I to, mourned the loss of those inexpensive home sites. People that lived there were out friends and we miss them. Still,isn't it time to get realistic and start planning for the future Bayview, rather than the old one that unfortunately is gone. Maybe we need to examine whether our egos have taken over from out common sense.

I have lived here for thirteen years. The day I moved here, and it was before I retired from the mortgage lending business,I looked around and said repeatedly, this place is going to boom, and soon. Well it didn't and my forecast was premature. But the inevitable arrived in the investors that invaded. I guess my point here is that this is the reality, not what we wish, which is to go back to where we were. Newcomers have moved in and some immediately attempted to redesign the community. Such is the style of many that move out of a community that doesn't like them to one that they can have a fresh start in. Others move in, can't adjust and move on.

Many things have changed besides the developments. The huge blue back fishery is gone, probably forever. Trophy trout fishing is going to follow.The sudden influx of small mouth bass suggests a new future fishery, but the hundreds of small watercraft that plied the Kokanee fishery are gone and will not come back. This town could have died from that change. Perhaps only the development of a high end tourism market will save Bayview's economy. Perhaps it is time to start thinking instead of reacting to development. Our future is not entirely in our control. Try going back to your home town. Is it the same? Hell no it's not, and this place won't be either. For a time, we will have peace, because speculative building loans Will and have come to a halt. This condition, in my opinion will last for perhaps four or five years, maybe longer, depending on how far our economy falls.

Whether or not most of you realize it, we are headed pell mell into what could pass for a repeat of the great depression of 1929-1939. That was ten years of starvation, unemployment, foreclosures and a screeching halt to manufacturing. The Bayview economy has suffered from the wipe out of the trailer park, as well as the departure of the fishing fleet. The few surviving businesses are vital to our local economy and need to succeed for out little village to endure. I encourage all of you to drop in to the local restaurants, the mercantile and oh yah, I blew it on my recent column in the S/R when I neglected to mention Ralph's Internet Cafe. Ralph is still in business, going strong and will stay open all winter, along with Terry's and the captain's wheel. Along with informing tourists and newcomers, Ralph has morphed into the town greeter. Everyone seems to end up there for tacos or brownies, maybe a burger or an ice cream cone.

Just a moment to remember the depression, most of this country was rural back then. People could feed themselves from their own garden, farm animals and such. Now most live in a city, or at least a crowded suburb. Can you feed yourself from your property? I think not. This could get very interesting, and perhaps diminish the petty things that we worry about today.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

More Chamber Stuff

Some remarks recently have suggested that I have been attacking Jim MacDonald. Not true. Jim MacDonald's integrity is beyond question. The combination of health issues that have weakened Jim, has given other activists within the chamber the latitude to create chaos. I really hate to personalize these things, but people do bad things and when they do, a light needs to be shined upon them so that the rest of the community will become aware of what is taking place.

Loyalty to one's fellow officers is commendable, but those that receive that loyalty are obligated to refrain from abusing that trust. A string of events starting last Summer and continuing have been troublesome: Criticism of those that solicit funds for the fireworks fund if in fact those funds come from a source that is disliked by the complaining officer; Jumping to conclusions as a newer member of the community as to raffle rules, without appropriate research, hiring an expensive attorney to interpret a rule that one phone call to Boise would have cured; miss-allocating funds entrusted to the chamber by the public; all of these things are egregious mistakes in judgment. Robbing Peter to pay Paul is not appropriate behavior.

When people run for office, whether a political office or a community organization, they take on a responsibility that requires thoughtful actions, not impulsive acts. That mistakes or worse are criticized is part of what you accept when running for that office. Perhaps the worst of these sins would be the betrayal of Jim MacDonald, an honest caring community leader whose helpers have let him down.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Jumping Through The Looking Glass

Activities of the Bayview Chamber of Commerce grow curiouser and curiouser. On the heels of the fiscal disaster over the July Fireworks Raffle, (legal fees still not publicly disclosed) the September meeting got even more bizarre. The developer group planning to establish a golf course community on the back side of Bernard Peak was invited to speak to neighbors concerns. It turns out that those that own land on Twete Road or Good Hope Road, feel the age old complaint, "we bought rural land and you want to change that!"

About 50 or 60 people showed up, primarily to address the development. County Commission President, Rick Curry and a sheriff deputy were present as well. During the meeting, the power went out and stayed out for the rest of the event. Between lanterns and the deputy's spot light shining through the window, the meeting went on. After about 30 minutes of discussion regarding the development, Chamber president, Jim MacDonald, claiming illness and that he still had a meeting to run, gave the folks 5 more minutes to conclude the discussion. Five minutes went by, and he gaveled the debate closed, and suggested they could continue out in the parking lot.

What happened next was surreal. With the deputy and Curry looking on, about 12 people in all were left in the room. Skip Wilcox made a motion that $960 of the proceeds from the fireworks raffle be donated to the community Center foundation. Treasurer, Kathy Ellis supported the motion, allegedly claiming she had a telephone meeting with Lynette Cravens of the State Lottery Commission. She went on to say, (paraphrased) that the chamber had to give that money away, at least 90% of the proceeds, or face a $10,000 fine. Over the objections of Ralph Jones and George Grandy, the motion was passed.

It is necessary to point out that Skip Wilcox, Kathy Ellis and Tom Ellis are Community Center Foundation Board members. They did not recuse themselves. This apparent conflict of interest bring up several points, some possibly illegal acts. First, representing the raffle as benefiting the fireworks fund which is held separate from the general fund, then giving the money away to another organization that the proponents are officers of, smacks at the very least, a conflict of interest, and possibly raffle fraud. Secondly, When, the next morning, Ralph Jones called Lynette Cravens at the lottery commission, she denied ever having such a conversation with anyone in the chamber about anything and promised to clarify that in a letter to the chamber. If this is true, that would constitute a deliberate fraudulent act. According to Jones, the chamber secretary, Claire Cosgrove admitted to receiving the letter from the state, but as of this date has refused to divulge the content or show the letter to him.

What motivated these officers to do these things is a mystery. We intend to find out what if anything was illegal, and pursue that course. This doesn't bode well for the future of the organization.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

"Those That Don't Learn From History"

"Are Bound to repeat it." I don't remember whose famous quote that was, it is more widely ignored than any I know of.

"Following a ten year bull market, loose interest rates and borrowing standards, the stock market plunged amidst bank and investment house failures." 2008? Not even. That was 1929. If it sounds familiar, it is.

This condition is close to being a current event, rather than history. The things that brought Wall Street down back then was primarily a highly speculative market, in which investors borrowed to the hilt to purchase stock that was going Up ... Up... Up. When the market slipped and the banks called in margin accounts, those without means, defaulted on those loans by the thousands, causing over a period of three years, a cumulative failure of the entire economy.

Everyone has heard the term "1929 crash," but the real depth of the depression was 1932. It didn't all happen at once, and if it indeed happens again, it will also be a slow crumbling of our financial infrastructure. We didn't start recovering from the '29 crash until the industrialization leading up to World War 11.To date, in 2008, eleven banks have already failed. Washington Mutual, the country's largest savings & Loan, is teetering on the brink and will probably either fail in the next week or be bought out. All but two of the leading investment houses are either bankrupt or bought out by banks that may find themselves in the same boat.According to Taipan Publishing Group, there are currently 117 banks on the FDIC watch list. Already, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is strained from insuring deposits from those eleven banks with many more to come.

Many people are not aware that many savings plans, money market accounts, CD's 401k's and all stock and mutual fund accounts are uninsured. Most investors have never faced a total melt-down of this country's economy. I attribute some of this to the lack of productivity we have experienced since free trade was established as our policy. Your uninsured deposits have already been loaned out to people borrowing too much on too little collateral that are in foreclosure. When/If your bank shuts it's doors, your money is gone.

Many, if not most banks are shutting the loan spigot off, attempting to get heavy in cash, which is going to cause the auto industry to crash, as the over building of real estate already has crushed that industry. If oil comes back down to around $65 or $70 per barrel, that will help. The closing of our national forests to logging, even selectively, and the curtailing of mining and heavy industry can be laid at the feet of extreme environmentalists that don't believe or don't care, that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

People, we are feeling that reaction now. Prior to 1929 we had a very strong industrial base that when reactivated, produced the war materials that supported England in 1939. We do not have that base anymore. It's all offshore. If we were to try to ramp up our military in a war situation, without our allies that are producing much of our steel, aircraft parts and on & on, we can't even defend ourselves. We have sold our collective souls to save a buck and it's going to bite us on the ass.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The reccesion Word Has Been Spoken

I'm not going to quote from either campaign, but as long as the R word has been used, I will comment on that.

An amalgamation of several factors have come together to create what is definitely a recession.I have myself laughed about the two quarters thing. Thirty years in the finance and primarily mortgage financing have taught me that the feet on the street know a recession long before those in the ivory tower. By the time two quarters go by, (6 months) all these talking heads can say, is what has already happened.

I predicted about a year ago, a serious recession that might even dip into a depression. (check your grandparents for that definition)

Several factors are in play. One, the price of oil. Two, the drop in the dollar, three, long term interest rates stayed too low, too long. When that happens, the demand is used up, while production keeps on.

This creates an over abundance of supply, without the accompanying demand. spec building is in full gear, without any buyers in sight.The huge construction industry has been on a roll for over ten years. Many young workers have never experienced anything but growth.

Right now, we have a combination of high inflation, created by low taxes and high expenditures in the middle east. Also at fault, are artificially low interest rates, which encourage people to borrow. Back to the oil prices, the entire food chain has been affected, causing food prices to skyrocket. The tractors in the fields are costing three times as much to operate as three years ago. These costs are passed up the line for produce, meat, which is raised by hay, (prices way up) grain, (the same) all due to the skyrocketing costs of operating machinery.

The greed of the financial institutions, I can't explain. The reason, is they all learned the lesson of over extension back in the early eighties. Could it be that the losers back then are retired and no corporate memory exists? Forever good times only exist in "The Wizard of Oz," and other fairy tales. Everything that goes up, will indeed come down.

Look at Washington Mutual. Prior to 1980, they were a true mutual, which means the depositors are the owners. In, I believe, 1983, Washington Mutual became insolvent, but wait! They didn't have any stockholders. The executives of this large bank merely re-invented themselves, and became a stock corporation. Makes you wonder how they are going to escape this, the second time they went broke.Merrill-Lynch, Lehman and Bear-Stearns have all failed. We are closer to an entire meltdown than at any time since 1929.

Malcolm Speaks

I heard from Malcolm today. He has returned to Spring, a suburb of Houston about three miles north. He has electricity, which is better than most, has his internet connection, but as yet, no dial tone. We are waiting for a more complete description of what he is facing, but it appears his mobile home didn't get blown away.

O k, 2 pm September 15, the power finally came back on.
I went to San Antonio,stayed at my grandmothers rental house(which happened to be empty). I waited 24 hours to make the return. on the return at Flatonia,Texas we passed the convoys of Cat 1000 watt generators with their federal police escorts ... Hundreds of them. I got lucky with the weather holding out until I made it through southwest Houston where I saw only light damage from wind. Some hours later the same part of Interstate 10 would be under several inches, perhaps feet of water. Upon my arriving home I did notice the wind had some incredible force to remove the skirting off of every trailer in the complex. A few missing shingles and such.

While leaving Houston, I called my grandmother and she told me, my 49 y/o cousin who lives in Galveston , failed to make the bus for the evacuation. We can only hope for the best. As of yet no word on him.

To the northeast of where I live the damage is awesome. Trees plucked roots and all and thrown over 20 ft from the hole. Mangled steel pieces from industrial buildings and signs litter the storm drains.

I've only seen a few pics of Galveston and I am very concerned for my cousin. Now its time for my first shower and maybe more later.

Friday, September 12, 2008

More Malcom & Ike

In our continuing coverage of Malcom Lowry's survival attempts, I am again reprinting some of his e-mails to me, along with my warning to him. I will continue to cover this as long as he can still communicate with me.

"Mother Nature just played the "you gonna die card" in your poker game. Stick the most important stuff in your rig and get the hell out."(Herb)

(Malcolm) "Ya, the poker game is a bust. I'm headed for higher ground you'll know more when I know more."

"I've talked with the fire dept and of course Ive been watching the news and internet reports; we are being told to shelter at home but as I've mentioned previously, I live in a mobile home.The advice for mobile home dwellers is to go elsewhere...So I have altered my plan. I will spend a good part of tomorrow at the shop which is 45 feet above sea level,well out of reach of the storm surge, to drop off my tools and secure some other valuables. By late evening I plan to be in a brick home on the "clean" side of IKE. There is no doubt this storm is the most ominous threat to Houston in 25 years.

The places which will be affected by storm surge are all evacuated, special needs people are gone too. The highways have NOT opened to contra flow. the mood is a calm. Anxiousness is a better description than impending doom. for those of us still here, we've all accepted the fact we cannot totally evade this monster , we will be hit... HARD. Hurricane cat2 wind for more than 10 hours, heavy rain, and possible tornadoes. ya....there is fear, but I have not seen one person panic or any of the emotions other than concern coupled with swift action by the local governments and citizens alike."

UPDATE: 1:11 pm 9/12. Alright I've had enough already....I'm headed south to San Antonio. I'll give you a call after I'm out of this mess.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ike's Fury

This is another of several posts which my former neighbor, Malcolm Lowry is sending daily reports on the arrival of Hurricane Ike. When the storm hits, he will hopefully update repeatedly while he still has power.

24 hours sure made a difference in the medias coverage of IKE. The damaging winds now span a distance of over 200 miles from the eye. It seems as if Ike is building up strength for the eventual inland campaign aimed some where in SE Texas. Stern warnings and mandatory evacuation for the gulf coast counties,and wind advisories all the way north of Conroe. We here in spring expect power outages from winds reaching 60+ mph with gusts up to 100 mph. this is not good for the thousands of people in mobile homes....that’s me!

With the evacuees from the coastal counties coming inland, it will be difficult for driving just due to local traffic unable to travel south because of the contraflow of the interstate. I myself don’t wish to be looted so I will be riding this thing out. However I do have a backup plan. IF by tomorrow evening I don’t feel comfortable here in the 40+mph winds starting @5-6pm, I will go to my shop where at least some steel and concrete were used to build it.

The local news is having their turn in the spotlight every news cast is like an audition for GMA or TODAY show. Reality tv at its very best. Ha! At the grocery store people are stocking up on the standard emergency supplies: batteries, water and beer. The highways are still in their normal configuration with moderate traffic. everyone I've spoken with is calm and not overly concerned with being forced to flee.

OK, well I think I might give my poker buddies a call and see maybe I can get a game going for tomorrow night. if the storm gets bad enough maybe I can do as good as I did during Katrina! In fact I think I made $80 IN the 8 or 12 hrs of Katrina. this storm is expected to last much longer; I hope this helps my game!

Addendum: I have e-mailed Malcolm urging him to bail out. He lives in a mobile home with a shop out back that would be one story. Houston is now predicted to be the center of the storm with 90 MPH winds and a 20 foot storm surge. with Galveston Bay leading almost all the way into Houston, it will probably be fatal for him to stay.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Trouble in Texas

Texas in bracing for what could turn into a major disaster. Determined to react better and faster than in the past, local counties are taking independent action. Matagora County, roughly half way between Houston and Corpus Christi has ordered a mandatory evacuation. Other area have done so with infirm patients. Obviously, the memory of patients in nursing homes perishing because nobody came for them is haunting, and perhaps always will haunt those in charge of these areas.

Our on the spot reporter, Malcolm Lowry, had this to say. "It's hard to believe that were in for a major storm when you look at the sky. It's a beautiful Morning with a clear sky and 92 degree temps predicted for the day."

A rather disturbing account was passed on by Malcolm, quoting a New Orleans police officer. We have no way of verifying this, but Malcolm is normally dependable. We will leave the name of this officer out, so as to protect her from retribution in the department, and also to protect against an inaccurate quote.

"Yes, a lot of people are frustrated. Everyone I spoke with decide that if, "IKE were to greet our shores, they were not leaving." citing high gas prices, being herded around like cattle without the comfort of ones own surroundings, packed like sardines in evacuation centers is not a pleasant experience. Of course, being killed, one presumes, isn't either."

She went on to suggest that many "bad seeds" are in the majority of evacuees, leading to rampant crime after evacuation. Apparently her position is that like the old "visiting firemen" of old, these people, not of the community they land in tend more toward crime than in their own neighborhoods. She went on to say. "Allegedly, I wish the media wouldn't interview the "bad seeds" ... The ones that feel the government owes them something. The government lined up buses, (free) put them on Amtrak, (free)and carried their lazy asses out of town and put them up in shelters. They still found something to complain about." (We believe she is talking about Katrina in this example)

One of the major problems with the evacuation is illegal workers that are afraid to report to evacuation centers for fear they will be segregated and hauled off for deportation. Apparently, the Customs and Immigration authorities have, in the past guaranteed a cessation of enforcement during mandatory evacuations, yet in another case, rounded up several for deportation. Without editorializing about this, it appears that major loss of life may occur if this monster storm hits some of the more agricultural areas, that team with illegals. That they shouldn't have been there in the first place, pales with the consequences that could occur.

Malcolm went on to remark about the fact that Houston seems to always be the point where evacuees are cared for. It sounds like some, if not many locals are a bit tired of being a lifeguard station for others.Malcolm's last remarks were, "Ya, looks like it could be dampish over the week-end. lol. I'll be riding this one out like I did Katrina. Actually, by the time Katrina made a serious threat, it was too late to run.The interstates were clogged, people ran out of gas or overheated, and it was a disaster.Mu parking lot was flooded, but I passed time playing poker." (he didn't say whether he won or not)

Apparently many of the State, Federal and local authorities are geared up to cure the problems that occurred with Katrina. Gas tankers will patrol the freeways, where evacuees run out of gas. All traffic lanes will funnel to the north and not buses will be left to drown in the lower areas, as happened with Katrina, as the bus drivers abandon their jobs and ran with their families. All in all, Katrina did not bring the best out in anyone. We can only hope that an important lesson has been learned. We will continue to relay reports from Malcolm,as long as he has the ability to send them.

Update from Malcolm:

"Parts of Brazoria County are evacuating today. They were voluntary now they have decided to make it manditory for the Surfside areas. Schools closed for the rest of the week. and fuel trucks are being called in. they are holding emergency meetings for city council in Galveston to transfer all council jurisdiction and power to the mayor. Trash services are being canceled.

where I'm at we are looking at the nasty side of the storm plus a cold front heading south we may have some flooding in the lower elevations." (Apparently, the feeling is that IKE will take care of trash distribution)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Hurricane Ike

It is ironic that this storm is called Ike, since the evacuations that will take place will be over what they, in the south, call the Eisenhower freeways. All of the original interstates were empowered by the Eisenhower administration, and of course, the congress of those times. It is perhaps interesting, that while throughout the south, signs liberally dot the freeways, proclaiming this fact, none in the north acknowledge this great president and general as the benefactor.

For those too young to remember Dwight Eisenhower, or his presidency, many called him the do nothing president. The reason was that the perception of him was that of a sloth that slid his way through eight years. In reality, he just wasn't a publicity hog. As a General commanding the entire war in Europe and North Africa, he was used to delegating responsibilities to lower echelons of command then letting them run with the ball, so to speak. He forced the interstate system through a reluctant congress, who thought it was unconstitutional. It may well have been, but under the guise of national defense, he declared these super highways as defense installations for the purpose of moving troops and equipment rapidly to the ports of embarkation on both coasts. He got away with it, and the nation no longer had to put up with two lane highways running across the country such as route 66, highway 99 and others.

I am posting this about Ike, as a friend and long time Bayview resident, Malcolm Lowry, now resides in Spring, a city just a little north of Houston, and in an apparent direct path of Ike. I contacted Malcolm and asked him to give me regular updates on the progress of this violent hurricane. Currently, they weren't terribly concerned, and hadn't got any serious warnings from the State or City. That's about to change. I will keep everyone up to date as long as Malcolm can keep 'em coming. According to the storm center, Ike is due to wreak it's havoc in the Houston area around Saturday. Stay tuned.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

John McCain

I just finished watching the CNN special on the life of John McCain. Considering that CNN isn't noted for being the bastion of conservatism, all in all, I thought they did a pretty good job of telling his life story. Sure, they emphasized his warts, but they also portrayed him as a man of principle, a man that doesn't bow to knee jerk party line, when principle was in the way.

Many people that doubt his credentials as a viable candidate, point to his temper and the breakup of his first marriage. First, dealing with temper, is a subjective exercise. Most people that rise to the top of a political career,are either phonies, or passionate about government.Passion sometimes takes the form of anger, and that's to be expected. Nobody should stand in place with a smile on their face while being attacked on a personal basis.

The breakup of him and his former wife is a story that has been told time after time with returning vets. Not just the ones that survived combat, but especially those that survived imprisonment. Our Veteran Administration Treatment Centers across the nation are full of Viet Nam Vets with Post Traumatic Syndrome. Many, if not most, when repatriated, found it difficult to adjust to life as usual. Liberal politicians constantly harp on the subject of understanding and helping those that were so afflicted. Is it such a stretch to assume that after over five years of imprisonment, torture, and the feelings of guilt that this, just as human as any other vet, might have had problems readjusting to life as usual. It isn't unusual for marriages to flounder when faced with a vet that is maladjusted to normality.

That this man has overcome most of the major challenges, crippling injuries, PTSD, and other experiences, along with the knowledge that his line of Admirals, both father and grandfather expected nothing short of greatness from him. He appears to be a man of principle, not slogans, nor party first if he feels they are wrong.

Why then, are so many people aligned against him? Could it be that he is upsetting the status Quo so badly, when the Democrats started smelling blood on the water, that his opponents have become shrill? This man may be the best transitional president we've ever had, or needed. Many of us have made mistakes in our personal lives. I certainly have. For this man to make some of the same mistakes that I did with much more justification, I can accept. Do we need change? We certainly do. I just think that McCain/Palin are the change we need, not a throw the baby out with the bathwater change the democrats suggest.

I used the word transitional, because some have forgotten that we only elect a president for four years, not eight, and it's not automatic that he run for a second term, though if he is able, why not.We all know that I am 70, just two years younger than McCain. If he remains healthy, alert and involved, well, that's a decision best left to the future.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Election Years

I am impatient for the election to be over. Normal people turn into petulant children, cranks turn rabid, mature adults turn spiteful and insulting. . Discussions are not limited anymore to issues. Now most people on line feel it necessary to first discredit the other. This is done by belittling the person with whom you are debating. This can take many forms, none of which will change anyone's vote. In fact, it may well turn the recipient off enough to where they change their vote against your choice.

Why then, do people do these things? It's a mystery to me. Normally nice people snarl and bite at folks that show a tendency to favor the other candidate. I'm not just talking about the far left, although they seem at the moment to be the loudest, shrillest voice. Right wing wackos fit this description too. Facts cannot be altered, but opinions are owned by the opiner. Hours upon hours are spent by people that are undoubtedly at work,apparently not too well supervised.

The most amusing issue of the day, is the candidacy of Sarah Palin for Vice-President. In an unbelievable development, the left is all abuzz with reasons why picking her was a mistake. Why,then,if that is their feeling, don't they just shut up and let the Republicans shoot themselves in the foot? Could it be that these lefties feel threatened by this sneak attack? That maybe, just maybe, Palin will draw away some of the Clinton vote?

Do we hear the same level of contempt for the selection of Senator Biden as Obama's running mate? Of course we don't. Perhaps the media pundits, but not the Guy/Gal on the street. Another inconsistency is calling Palin, a first term Governor, and executive, too inexperienced, when Obama who is also a first termer, and a Senator, to boot, is touting his inexperience as a plus. His mantra is throw the establishment out. We need change. Apparently this principle only applies to one party, not the other.Well, we are going to have change. It remains to be seen who will create those changes, however. It does not appear that either candidate is a shoo-in. It is notable though, that Obama/Biden appear to be leveling off, while McCain/Palin appear to be on the upswing. It's too early to tell, but I can't wait for it to be over, whoever wins, just so I don't have to listen to adults acting like children. Of course with the Internet, some probably are. Calling people derogatory names is not an adult exercise.

Addendum: I just finished listening to Sarah Palin give her acceptance speech. I wondered, while waiting for her to come on, whether she would out of lack of speaking experience, embarrass the ticket. ... She knocked them dead. Now I understand why the lefties are so upset.