Thursday, October 23, 2008

Birds of a Feather

My daddy always cautioned us to be real careful about who we hung out with because he believed wholeheartedly in "guilty by association" and that "birds of a feather flock together." When he said this to the teenage me, I would roll my eyes (when he wasn't looking) and sigh audibly (well, not TOO audibly), and just quietly wait for him to finish. But now the adult me knows that it's true: people do tend to spend time with, publicly endorse, and collaborate with those they admire and aspire to be like, with those whose opinions and beliefs they share.

We all do it.

Even Obama who has a long relationship of admiration and support of William (Bill) Ayers, a member of our domestic terrorist hall of shame. reports that an unidentified blogger unearthed a 12/21/1997 endorsement in the Chicago Tribune in which one Barack Obama publicly praised Ayers' book on the juvenile court system. His glowing endorsement is printed right beside a picture of his young, smiling countenance.

Then there's that 1995 meeting Obama attended at Ayers' home. There's a multi-year trail of board meetings, retreats, organizational meetings they both attended. Just google "Obama Ayers" and enjoy the pages and pages that result, each page filled with references to blogs, news articles, and transcripts of radio and television shows outlining all the times the paths of these two men have crossed. The Obama folks continue to pooh-pooh any association with Ayers as nothing more than coincidence, but there are far too many coincidences to ignore.

Obama repeatedly uses the same logic I used with my daddy: denying any association and when that doesn't work, dismissing the old adage about guilt by association and birds flying together as pure antiquated poppycock. While such rebuttal sounded airtight and foolproof when I used it as a teenager trying to get my daddy to let me go to a big rock concert, I'm now listening through ears that more closely resemble my daddy's wizened ears to a man who wants to preside over this not-perfect-but-still-great country, and I'm here to tell you that those feeble, ridiculous arguments sure do sound like, as my daddy would say, the bit dog is hollering.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Say It Ain't So, Colin

I am dumbfounded. Not struck mute, but dumbfounded. Colin Powell announced just about an hour ago that he is voting for Obama. And that's fine. It's his choice. Let me state here and now for the record: I respect Colin Powell. I love to hear him speak on important issues - he is so articulate, so confident, so knowledgeable, but this press release reads like it was written by the Obama folks, and I respectfully take issue with a few things.

Powell: Palin is not ready to be President.
Dots: Note to Powell: Palin is not running for President. If he's saying McCain is too old to be President, that's ageism. If he's implying that because McCain is the oldest, he will die first, that's ludicrous. None of us - regardless of our age - is guaranteed supper tonight.

Powell: McCain is "polarizing".
Dots: SAY WHAT? Obama is promoting class envy and class warfare. How is that building cohesion?

Powell: Obama is running an inclusive campaign.
Dots: Obama is black. His running mate is a white man who's a career politician and a known plagiarist. Maybe that's inclusive enough for some, but I again I mention the perpetuation of class warfare, of pitting people against each other. How inclusive is that?

Powell: A victory for Obama would electrify not just this country but the entire world.
Dots: While we can't ignore our relations with the rest of the world, I, for one, am ready to tend to our own backyard for a while.

Powell: McCain seems a "little unsure" as to how to deal with economic problems we are having. There seems to be a new plan every day.
Dots: Well, I guess that's proof that Obama's safe, evasive strategy works: don't get into specifics. Tell the people what they want to hear - just keep using the word "change" like you invented it, and that'll be enough.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Plumb Lines

When I was in school, my dad was a superintendent at a local rock quarry, and my math teacher's dad was one of my daddy's employees. For reasons that had nothing to do with political correctness, everything to do with her personal philosophy that valued everybody and their contributions, and maybe more than a little bit to do with her concern for my math grade, my mother made me say that my math teacher's dad worked "with" my dad. Not "for" him but "with" him.

Maybe that's why I abhor class warfare. (N)Obama's campaign, like so many Democratic campaigns before it, feasts on class warfare: championing the "little people" and maligning the "top 10%" (though things may have changed because lately I've heard 5% instead of 10%). Pitting the "rich" from the "poor" is a standard tactic, the Democrats' native language. (We'll enjoy a philosophical discussion about the various - and perhaps more meaningful - definitions of "rich" and "poor" another day.)

Over and over and over again we hear how (N)Obama proposes no tax cuts for those making $250,000 or more, but what we don't hear is the details of his plan and how this is going to snatch all of us from the jaws of a depression.

There are many, many people - small business owners - who make $250,000, at least on paper. And while it looks good on paper and sounds real good on the ear, the truth is that most of that money actually goes to salaries of the people they hire and purchasing materials for things they need and buying equipment and paying rent, utilities, and taxes. The business owners I know who make $250,000 on paper are the people who work the longest hours and take home the smallest salaries in their business.

Enter Joe, a plumber in Ohio who dares to want to talk to (N)Obama about how the (N)Obama tax cut proposal would affect him when he is able to complete the purchase of his plumbing business. (N)Obama responds that he wants to give a tax cut to the people like Joe used to be: the people who now (or will soon) work for Joe.

Say what?

Seems a reasonable thing for Joe to want to talk to Obama about, since we have no specifics other than (N)Obama plans to give tax cuts to those who allegedly need and deserve it. Joe asked a question that the news media won't ask . . .at least they won't ask (N)Obama. Palin? They'll ask her anything and drill her relentlessly about what magazines she reads, but I haven't heard them ask (N)Obama many pertinent questions requiring specific answers.

(N)Obama, tax-paying minds want to know: how will your tax plan actually HELP our country and its citizens? If the people who make $250,000 (on paper or otherwise) have to close their doors because they can not carry the increased tax burden, how does that help? I just don't understand. Guess I need a new calculator.

Joe and his crews may be the absolute best at fixing a leak under the sink or replacing pipes with small holes that allow escape to an unbelievably large amount of water, but they can't fix the flood that will inevitably be caused by (N)Obama's tax proposals. Joe and all his competitors and colleagues alike aren't enough to do that.

And while we're talking about Joe, I wish the (N)Obama people would leave him alone. (N)Obama is running for President of this great country, which means it's his job to answer questions from voters. And when a voter like Joe asks a question that (N)Obama and his people don't like, it is absolutely, positively unacceptable for them to wreck the man's life by retaliating, jeering at him, invading his privacy and derailing his life. That is a totally unacceptable response. Just answer the question, (N)Obama. And be quick about it 'cause Joe's got work to do.