Tom's Thoughts

Location: Granite Falls, North Carolina, United States

I'm an ordained United Methodist minister no longer pastoring churches, a former media producer with skills ten years out of date, a writer trying to sell my first novel, and a sales associate keeping body and soul together working for the People's Republic of Corporate America. I'm married to the most wonderful woman in the world, who was my best friend for 17 years before we married.

Friday, April 18, 2008

More on Hypocricy

This past week George W. Bush admitted to another impeachable offense. He approved the use of torture (regardless of the tortured vocabulary to get around that word). So what do our esteemed media outlets focus on?

Barack Obama's remarks about working-class voters being bitter about the situation the Bushites have put us into, and turning to religion, guns, and xenophobia.

It was fifty minutes into Wednesday's debate before the pitiful "moderators" asked any substantive questions, then they were more into the "gotcha" mode than in the serious discussion people were hungering for.

I notice they never ask why McCain doesn't wear a flag in his lapel. Nor did they ever ask how much Mitt Romney spent on hair cuts and makeup.

These overpaid pretty TV faces don't know anything about what we out here in the working world care about. In fact, they don't find it ironic when a man with eight houses (McCain) calls a man who pulled himself up out of poverty (Obama) elitist.

Well, I want to say that Obama understands us a lot better than the overpaid talking heads or fat-cat politicians who live at ease on money earned by others. (Bush and McCain)

We ARE bitter about the Administration that send our sons and daughters to die in a war based on 935 lies while giving tax cuts to their wealthy supporters.

We ARE bitter about seeing our jobs shipped overseas and being told how much better off we are because we can buy all these cheap trinkets from China.

We ARE bitter about gasoline going through the roof and we aren't able to afford to drive to work on our wages, but have to go into debt to buy a tankful of gas, while oil companies are raking in record profits and enjoying enormous (in every sense of the word) tax cuts.

We ARE bitter when we try to get help when we're laid off and are denied, yet see illegal immigrants getting all kinds of handouts. I have been told of first-hand experiences with this.

We ARE bitter because we can't afford a decent place to live nor the heating oil or propane to heat it.

So in our bitterness we turn to those things that have been constants in our lives: our culture, our faith, the comfort of knowing we are armed against a home assault and can hunt for food if we can't afford to buy it, the comfort of being around people like us and distrust of outsiders.

Changing the subject, though, I just thought of something. When Jimmy Carter was in the White House, gas first hit a dollar a gallon. He got Congress to fund research into alternative fuels so we wouldn't have to be so dependent on Arabian oil.

When Ronald Reagan came in, he immediately put a stop to that research, and worked on getting the price of oil down. As a result, we are more dependent on the financiers of Al Qiada than ever.
Thanks, Ronnie. Of course, we never heard of this when Reagan died a few years ago. No, the news coverage could only be called hagiography.

See why we're disgusted? Obama was dead on the money.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Harry Chapin's Heirs Endorse Barack Obama

I clicked on "Next Blog" above and was sent to another political web site. The author had just gotten an e-mail from Jen Chapin, daughter of the late Harry Chapin, and she and her mother are endorsing Obama's candidacy.

Here is Sandy Chapin's statement:

On Barack Obama and Harry Chapin
By Sandy Chapin

I am so excited about Barack Obama as a candidate for President of the United States that I am compelled to share my thoughts with you. I learned from Harry that when you really believe in the power of individual people you can accomplish great things. I learned that when you are young with boundless energy, initiative and sheer determination to pursue the impossible dream you can empower others to galvanize their own energies, ideas, and determination. Remember, Harry said that out of every six or seven tasks he tried, “I might fail at three, but if I hadn’t tried I would have accomplished nothing.”

Harry founded an organization to end hunger at home and abroad with the realization that he must not compete with, but partner with all the existing, dedicated anti-hunger groups and he would make a life-long commitment in order to ride on past the occasional hurdles that lead to doubt and despair.

I have been waiting a long time to see someone light the fire to inspire individuals to act, to see a universe beyond self-interest and to fulfill his potential to be the best that they can be.

Yes, I believe Barack Obama is like Harry- standing tall for his country with intellect, stamina, and desire from the depths of his being, not to divide and conquer, but to seek a better tomorrow. I believe Barack Obama defines compromise not as concession, but as seeking and combining the best qualities out of differences. I believe Barack Obama defines strategy, not as tactics, but as preparation plus iimagination. Imagine what we can do, acting all together, doing our best!

Yes, my intuition says Senator Obama is a new kind of leader who can lead us, as Harry said, “Onwards and Upwards.” But I have also read and watched and listened and studied and I believe Barack Obama is the best person for this new era of a new generation, a new economies and a new world order. He understands our disaffected youth are a generation starving for direction and for a sense of purpose. They want to address the huge gap between the rich and poor caused largely by the explosive power of special interests. And they are more aware of the profound and complex issues facing this new world where we are intricately bound whether or not we choose to be. He is the best person to enlist a majority of citizens to address the new economic order – no longer the 19th century where a factory owner with tax breaks in his pocket would buy new machinery and hire more workers. It is workers who alleviate poverty; it is workers who are the engine of the economy. Workers with incentives from government can repair our collapsing infrastructure, can assist in teaching the under-schooled, can develop the new companies for energy efficiency and innovation. And I believe Barack Obama can move America into its appropriate relationship with the rest of the world, a position that has been essentially altered during two terms of George W. Bush.

China has consolidated at home and set out prongs of power on every continent abroad. The European Union has steadily strengthened and enlarged. India and Turkey and Brazil and Russia and Vietnam and Venezuela and Morocco will be our allies and partners or not. The present administration has taught us that who is president does make a difference, a difference of life and death. Peace comes, not from threats, but from understanding -- understanding that today’s world and tomorrow’s is multi-nuanced, multi faceted, multipartite.

Some people called Harry Chapin a visionary. He knew that you had to have a vision, to stretch toward a goal, but you had to engage in the streets to structure the best plan to achieve it.

This is a pivotal election. Our country is crying out for change. We need Barack Obama to lead us back to our roots in the constitution and moral character and forward to active and responsible citizenship in the nation and the world.

Something I've been thinking about...

I saw this on another blog, but I've been putting off commenting on it myself. But now that our illustrious Congressman, Patrick McHenry, has made his true colors known in the national media, I've got to say something.

First, though, McHenry went to Baghdad on one of those sheltered tours Republican Congressmen take so they can pretend to be manly. While there he tried to go into the gym to work out a bit, but he didn't have the proper credentials. So he called the contract soldier who stopped him a "two-bit security guard." That made the headlines. What didn't get so much publicity was the fact that he took video of a rocket attack that landed in the Green Zone, in fact hitting the gym he had tried to get into, and posted it on his web site with descriptions of where it hit and how much damage it had done.

The son of a bitch thereby told the Iraqi insurgents how effective and accurate their attack had been so that they could improve their aim the next time. The next time came, and now three brave American soldiers are dead.

And McHenry still hasn't issued what any sane person would call a true apology.

This brings up the point I wanted to talk about: The Satanic images on the Republican elephant logo.

If you go to any official Republican sites, or look at Republican literature, you will see a stylized elephant with a blue top and red-and-white striped bottom. The three stars in the blue field are upside-down.

They are Satanic Pentagrams.

I knew the Republican Party was possessed by something evil, and now this proves it. Ever since the Bush crowd have been in the White House, the logo has had pentagrams instead of stars.

I pray for an exorcism this November.

Monday, April 07, 2008

More on Media Amnesia

I said what I said before about Hillary Clinton, but still, I can't let one thing go.

She has been getting all sorts of grief (probably deservedly so) for remembering sniper fire that never happened when landing at a Balkan airport.

But, putting things in context, I remember Ronald Reagan saying he remembered helping to liberate a concentration camp in Europe at the end of World War II. He was never in Europe during WWII. He was over here making movies--war propaganda movies included, which helped the war effort--but he never was at a concentration camp's liberation.

So where was the media outcry over that whopper to match what they are screaming about Hillary's misstatement?

Or for that matter, why was it a story for no more than two days when George Bush I, in 1988, forgot that Pearl Harbor Day was in December and thought it was in September?

The old double standard from your "liberal" media.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Still More Republican Hypocricy

It never ceases to gall me how the draft dodgers in the Republican Party and on Fox "News" are always questioning the patriotism of war heroes, even while giving lip service to "supporting the troops."

It happened in 2000 when the Bush campaign destroyed John McCain's soul by spreading lies about him, including lies about his Vietnam service.

It happened again when the Repuglicans in Georgia morphed the picture of Sen. Max Cleland, a man who left three limbs in Vietnam in service to his country into a picture of Osama bin Laden.

Again, in 2004, they got swift boat veterans to tell lies about John Kerry, contradicting what they themselves had said only a decade earlier.

Now, draft dodgers Pat Buchanan and Bill O'Reilly dare to question the patriotism of former Marine hero Jeremiah Wright, simply because they don't understand fire-and-brimstone preaching, and care nothing about the Black experience in America.

I wonder how the Patrick McHenry campaign is going to impugn the patriotism of Daniel Johnson. Daniel Johnson was in the Navy when he lost his legs rescuing a shipmate. Everybody on the left and right praised him for it. George Will even devoted a column to praising his heroism. Now he's running for Congress from our district. Assuming he wins the Democratic primary and assuming McHenry pulls the usual shenanigans to win the Republican primary again, he will take aim at Johnson's patriotism, the way the rest of the cowards on his side usually do. It will be interesting to see what lies he comes up with.