Wednesday, October 5, 2011

This and that...

Chris Christie took to the podium yesterday to formally announce what he has been saying for the past several weeks…he’s not running.  Christie joins Palin, Trump, Bachman, Huntsman, Perry and now Cain as the latest flavor of the month to unseat Romney as frontrunner for the Republican nomination.  Kudos to Christie for being true to himself and true to the promise he made to the people of New Jersey to serve as their governor.  His politics aside, It takes a strong will to say no when everyone is fawning over you, begging you and throwing vast sums of money at you to run.  We could use a lot more of Christie’s strength of character in our politics.
This Republican parade of candidates is of historical significance.  Republicans are usually known for their discipline.  They stay on message and line up behind the guy whose “turn it is” to be the nominee.  It is usually the Democrats who evoke the image of herding cats.  But this is the era of the Tea Party and they have shown themselves less than willing to toe the party line.  The Republican candidates continue to run toward the Tea Party right.  That strategy may win in the primaries but it won’t play in a general election.
Have you been following the “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrations?  This small gathering of angry students has grown into a massive national movement of people who are angry about the disintegration of the middle class.  These are the “99%ers”; those who are not better off than they were four years ago.  Protests are occurring in New York, Washington, Chicago and Los Angeles.  The students have been joined by the AFL/CIO, teachers unions, first responders and a whole host of everyday Americans who are tired of the rich getting richer while the rest of the country slides rapidly into poverty.  A number of conservative media types have referred to these protestors as losers, bums, socialists, Nazis and “little more than a bunch of kids banging bongos and smoking weed.”  The truth is this protest is no different than the “Arab Spring” uprisings occurring all across the Middle East…the impoverished masses rising up against the rich and powerful.  This protest is no different than the one waged in the 1700’s by disenfranchised colonists who were tired of watching all the wealth sail to England while they wallowed in poverty. This is what democracy looks like.  It isn’t pretty.  Will the “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrations bring about any measurable change in our society?  Who knows!  But to ridicule their efforts is to ridicule the very foundation on which this country was founded.  One thing is certain; history is littered with empires that fell because the divide between the huddled masses and the wealthy few grew so wide that the entire structure collapsed.  History does have a way of repeating itself.
One of the most under reported stories concerns the massive escalation of violence in Mexico being waged by the drug cartels.  The beatings, mutilations, murders and beheadings have escalated throughout the country.  Thousands of innocent civilians have been slain.  The government and local police are helpless to stop the violence in part because many have been bought off by the cartels.  This violence is threatening our southern borders.   Our view of the world and our security will be immeasurably altered if we have to worry about an unstable Mexico on our southern border.
The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles is contemplating a change in the design of their new license plates.  No big deal…right? It happens every year.  This year is a little different.  The Texas BMV is contemplating adding the Confederate States’ stars and bars to their license plates.  Its Texas…what else can you say?

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