Reflections Of Honor: Veterans Day 2008

unknownsoldier.jpgIn 1918, on the 11th day of the 11th month at the eleventh hour, the Allies and Germany signed the armistice that brought an end to the hostilities on the Western Front and marked the end of fighting in World War I. The war officially ended on June 28, 1919 with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.

In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the first Armistice Day to remember those who were killed during the war. People around the world took time out of their day, each November 11th, to recognize those members of their armed forces who died during the war. In 1938, Armistice Day was made an official U.S. holiday as “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day’.” Years later, new legislation changed the name to Veterans Day and it became a day to remember all of the men and women who have served our nation in the Armed Forces, not just those who died.

Veterans Day is a day to thank and honor all of the men and women who have served in our nation’s military, during peacetime and war. It is a day to acknowledge that their contributions to our nation are appreciated and the sacrifices they made to serve their country did not go unnoticed.

Every Veterans Day I think about the men and women in my own family who served our nation proudly.

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Milking The Teet Of America

aigbailout.jpgOn September 16th, 2008, the United States government agreed to ‘bailout’ American International Group (AIG). The reason given to taxpayers for this decision was to “save financial markets and the economy from further turmoil”. Since that day in September, all we have seen are sluggish financial markets and economic turmoil. The American taxpayers have been left wondering if they really needed to bail out AIG in the first place.

AIG is the world’s largest insurer, and we were told that allowing the company to fail would have had a detrimental affect on financial markets. Over the past few months, the government has bailed out big companies like Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and AIG, yet they allowed one of the largest investment banks, Lehman Brothers, to go belly up. How did they decide which companies were worth saving and which ones were not? We have no way of knowing how each decision was made, but it’s clear that the government was not interested in spending money on every business that needed help and we are to trust that they made those decisions in the name of financial market stability.

Less than a month later, the U.S. Congress passed the “Great Bailout of 2008”. That bailout, unlike the others, required congressional approval, but like all the others, was passed with the promise to restore confidence in the credit industry, stabilize the market, and save us from even greater financial ruin. Only this time it cost a heck of a lot more than all the others combined.

When Congress passed the Great Bailout the American people were re-assured there would be transparency so they would know how much of their money was being spent, and where that money was being spent. So far, that hasn’t happened.

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On The Job Training: 72 Hours Later

Three days ago, Barack Obama was elected the 44th President of the United States. In the 72 hours since his election, the stock market has dropped about 1,000 points, the unemployment rate has skyrocketed, and U.S. automakers burnt more cash that you would ever see in a hundred lifetimes.

There is no doubt, when President-Elect Obama takes office, he is going to have his hands full. There are still a lot of questions about how he will manage the current economic crisis, as well as how he will handle the foreign affairs situations like the one being proposed by Russia.

Today, he held his first press conference, which I found quite stiff and orchestrated. I did have one question before the press conference even started, though. Since when do we have an “office of the President-Elect”? Yes, his title is President-Elect, but since when did that include the term “office of” in front of it?

He will not be sworn into office until January 20th, 2009. Until then, he has no authority. No matter what happens with the U.S. government between now and then, he has no power to make decisions, he has no authority to change a single thing, in fact, he can’t really do anything at all. So why are they calling it an “office”?

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The Obama Presidency

Tonight was an historic night in the United States. Barack Obama has become the first African-American elected to our nation’s highest office. He is also the first Socialist elected to that position.

Barack Obama has proven that all things are possible. He proved that someone with zero executive experience and who associates with known domestic terrorists can be elected President. He has also proven that the American people (at least the majority of them), at this time in history, are more receptive of socialist economic ideas than free market capitalist ideas. But most of all, he has proven that anyone can become President as long as they are willing to lie to the American people, ignore solid inquiries about their proposed tax plans, and have the ability to raise millions upon millions of dollars in order to do so.

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The Dawn Of A New Era

Is it just me or has this been the campaign that seemed like it would never end? It won’t be long now before we can turn on the cable news channels and not see a politician for at least 10 minutes. Of course, they’ll be focusing on high speed chases, missing college girls, and the mysterious chupacabra, but heck anything other than election news will be a welcome change at this point, right?

As I started typing this entry, the polls in Dixville Notch and Hart’s Location were just about to open in New Hampshire.

Dixville Notch, New Hampshire is a small village of about 75 people that is famous for being one of the first places to vote during Presidential elections. They are also one of the first to declare the winner at their location. Over the course of the past 12 elections they have chosen the winner 50% of the time. The last time they selected a Democrat was 1968, when they picked Humphrey over Nixon. They were wrong.

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Double Standards, Defined

I’ve had it with the double standards. I’ve had it with the media bias. No matter who wins on Tuesday, I’ve learned one thing during this election cycle. The American people are no smarter today than they were 4, 8, 12, or even 16 years ago.

For years now, the media has had a field day filling our minds with information they want us to believe. Instead of reporting the news and leaving the facts open to interpretation by the viewers (or readers), many news organizations spend countless hours with their “contributors” advising us on how we should feel, what we should know, and most of all, what we should think.

Has our society become so mindless that we need these “contributors” to explain what’s going on in the world, sometimes for hours on end? Whatever happened to picking up the newspaper and simply reading the news? Whatever happened to the evening news reporting just that? It’s a rare occasion today to get any type of unbiased report from the media, and what about those double standards? What exactly is a “double standard“?

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