Monday, September 22, 2008

Passing along the 'Good Word'.

'Investigatin' Cat' wakes up to another Op-Ed source: Lutherans!

It is a wonderful world indeed when a Lutheran pastor happily 'introduces' one atheist to another. Among the most tolerant of men, Pastor Tim is also exceedingly cool.

Maggie - This was sent to me by Sandy Randall, who designed and oversaw the construction of the new church - at no charge! He is an atheist and I always kid him and tell him he'll get to heaven far before me (and if you don't mind, I feel the same about you). At any rate, he, like you, is very articulate. I thought you might appreciate his views.

I am writing this in open breach of the generally understood unspoken protocol against discussing politics other than with close friends and immediate family. I am sending this by "bcc" to everyone in my email address book and hope you will consider doing the same, possibly with minor or total rewrites.

The past eight years have been disastrous for the USA and as a result for the world. How, and even if the populace of this country elected George W. Bush to be president is incomprehensible to me. Now we are faced with a choice- an opportunity to begin the difficult process of cleaning up the mess he has made.

I have a lot of respect for John McCain, the sacrifices he has made, and his obvious deep devotion to our country. But there are many others who have made sacrifices which I was never called upon to make and who have repeatedly proven the depth of their patriotism. I'd point to my good old friends Ken Ashe and Bob MacDonald, to wit. But that does not mean they should be president.

I am prompted to write this message because a couple of earnest people of good intention have questioned the reasons for being a Barack Obama supporter, evidenced by my T-shirt, bumper sticker, and lawn sign. At those times I was not prepared to to respond well and I am concerned that there may be a lot of people who honestly are having trouble deciding. I want to present my reasons for what is a frighteningly clear choice.

Obama has consistently opposed the war in Iraq. Foisted upon us by Bush & Cheney under a cloud of lies and misrepresentation, with assurances from McCain that it would be a brief and successful intervention, this military action was represented as being somehow a decisive response to 9/11. What I predicted it would do, and what Carol and I joined hundreds of thousands of people in Rome and Madrid to protest, is to foment antagonism and foster terrorism, which is precisely what has happened. McCain was not as disgustingly cocky as Bush, with his staged posturing in a flight suit in front of a "mission accomplished" sign, but he was equally wrong then and now. By the way, this issue is why I could never have voted for Hillary Clinton.
McCain claims to "support our troops", but has voted against legislation which would do so. This is a transparent strategy to try to discredit as unpatriotic anyone who thoughtfully realizes that our "mission" in Iraq was a mirage all along and can neither be defined nor fulfilled. McCain's support is not for our troops but for our government's policy of military intervention. His threats about taking action in Georgia, his posturing about Iran, smiling proudly delivering the little ditty of "Bomb Bomb Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran... to the tune of Barbara Ann . This scares the hell out of me and it should you. Most of the world hates us already, with good reason, and this guy says that rather than trying diplomacy we should bomb anybody we don't like.

The Age Card: OK, its not "P C" to discuss this, but listen to McCain in interviews. He gets confused about geography, can't keep his countries straight. Gets names mixed up. Tells anecdotes about deceiving his captors in POW camp by reciting the names of the defensive line of the Pittsburgh Steelers when asked to identify his fellow soldiers. Or was it the Green Bay Packers? He's told it both ways. Decide for yourself whether he was getting drifty or merely lying. I am an "old guy" known to my kids and wife as "TOG" (The Old Guy), thanks to a line from Carol long ago. At 61 years old, I have to make an extra effort to be sure I don't leave things out of a report or repeat myself. At 61 years old, I find I sometimes repeat myself. Or leave things out of a report. Maybe forget some key calculation in a structural analysis. I've passed the baton to the next generation. In case you don't know it, Chris Randall is in fact the President of Randall Millennium Homes, which, incidentally, seems to have a greatly improved prospect based upon our recent successes at Browns Corner. I don't want somebody even more absent minded running this country.

On Elitism: I think it is shameful that anybody would try to discredit Obama as an "elitist" as has been done repeatedly. I may be a bit sensitive on that because of what my entire family has done academically. I guess I must have misunderstood what Mom and Dad meant when I assumed that to shoot high and to do the best you can was the model for how to live your life. I guess my opinion doesn't count, having been born with a silver spoon in my mouth like Obama, but I'm am in awe of a black guy of poor mixed race parents, raised by his grandparents of modest means, who somehow managed to be the president of the Harvard Law Review. Through the experiences of my kids at Ivy league schools, I believe I have better than average insight into what goes on there, and Barack's accomplishment is nothing short of astonishing. That he should leave that role for a career in public service instead of big bucks law practice is equally astonishing and says a world about his character. I wish I could be half the man he is. The McCain camp is sponsoring a guy who married an heiress and has stated publically that he believes the upper end of "middle class" is about $5 million dollar income. He can't recall the exact number of houses he owns and he thinks tax breaks for the rich (over $5 mil income !!!) is the key to our future. This is insane!

Medical Insurance: If you haven't seen Michael Moore's movie, Sicko, I think you should. I've heard from people whom I respect that he may have oversimplified matters, but it is clear to me that millions of people in this country are sick and dying of things which could be treated if it were not prohibitively expensive. Our present system is run by organizations which funnel money into the accounts of those lucky high achievers who have climbed above the magic $5 mil threshold and are thus entitled by McCain's logic to tax breaks.

Sarah Palin: We were Italy when the selection was announced. I simply could not believe it. Carol has cautioned me that If I say what I really think (you know I rarely do that) I may offend people. I'll just attach this link Samantha sent us and ask you to consider whether you would hire this woman to provide day care for your child? I am aghast at the thought of the possibility of the old guy checking out and having her run our country.

Not "Change You Can Believe In" from the "Straight Talk Express" when you heard him say he doesn't care if our troops stay in Iraq for 100 years. Not "change" evidenced by a voting record of 90% in support of Bush policies. Not change from a guy who can't see that his public ditty about bombing Iran is flagrantly offensive to the rest of the world. Not change from a guy who has no clue about the realities of energy costs and energy policy and who ridicules Barack for suggesting we can all make the world a little better (or perhaps less worse) by implementing energy conservation in our daily lives.

I am urging you, if you have read this far, to do any of the following things:
If you think you favor McCain, please reconsider.
If undecided, do your homework before it is too late.
If you support Barack Obama, SHOW IT. Send money, volunteer, proudly sport your button, your T-shirt, banner, bumper sticker, yard sign, etc.
Carol has become a volunteer Barack's "Volunteers in Battleground States", where she will be working in Montgomery County, PA during October. I'll probably be there with her. Speak out. Help save this country and build a better world for our children and theirs.

Robert J Randall

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