Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Weekly Prayer

Father, thank you for this day. Thank you for the gorgeous weather we are seeing in Pennsylvania this afternoon. Thank you for the rain we had yesterday. Please send more.

Thank you for your mercy toward my friends, family, and co-workers that were in the path of Hurricane Rita. Thank for you for sparing their lives. Please be with them and everyone who was affected by the storm. Give them strength and encouragement as they pick up the pieces of their lives and move on. Bless those who have donated their time and money to help people they do not know. They are wonderful people doing your work.

Lord, show us your glorious plan for us. Shine your light upon us. Forgive us for our sins and our transgressions. Thank you that your mercy shines on us every day. We are the clay and you are the potter. Form us into jars and fill us with your spirit. Help us feel the joy of knowing you. Amen.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Philisophical Discussion Revisited

We have some new comments on the Philisophical Discussion so I thought I would open it back up to debate. I like to check the site meter at the bottom of the page occassionally to learn about who is viewing my site and how they find it. I'm always surprised how many people find this site by typing "philisophical discussion" into an internet search engine. I'm also surprised how many people type "deep freeze crack" into their search engine. I'm not sure what that is all about.

Anyway, the fact that people are looking for philisophical discussion tells me there are people out there looking for answers. If this stupid collection of bytes and pixels I call The Deep Freeze helps them do that, then I want to encourage it. So I am going to put a permanent link to the Philisophical Discussion on the right side of the page. Please take the time to check it occassionally and comment as you feel led.

Friday, September 23, 2005

The Third Wheel

Democrats are just giddy lately, don't you think? Bush has had an awful summer that saw the momentum on his social security plan sputter, Cindy Sheehan drum up new anti-war protests, and a botched hurricane response in New Orleans. His poll numbers are at an all time low near 40%. Like sharks in the water smelling blood, the democrats are in a frenzy to attack the President and rip him to shreds. Some say the Bush presidency is over only nine months into his second term. He's a lame duck. They think they have won.

Already people are looking forward to the 2008 election. I can't remember any presidential campaign starting this early. Nobody was talking about the 2000 election in 1997. Already people are starting to call Hillary Clinton "Ms. President." But Hillary is in a tough spot right now. She has been grooming herself for the Presidency ever since she joined the Senate. She quickly landed a seat on the Senate Armed Services Committee and started making trips to Iraq to collect film and photos of her spending time with the troops. She knows a democrat cannot get elected on an anti-war platform. But her shift to the right has left a power vacuum on the left. Cindy Sheehan is evidence of that vacuum. People on the left are desperate for someone to cling on to. This week Al Gore has started ratcheting up the anti-war rhetoric. Some speculate the former Vice President may be making a run for 2008. This puts Hillary in the tough position of having to please the anti-war left while still appealing to the moderate Americans who are pro-war. What we are seeing is the splitting of the Democratic party.

Now before the Republicans start rejoicing over the democratic ineptitude, they should examine their own house first. Conservatives elected Bush to cut taxes, privatize social security, and balance the budget. The old country song used to go "One out of three aint bad." In this case, one out of three stinks. The neocons are disgusted with Bush's brand of "compassionate conservatism." This president has yet to veto a single spending bill. With no threat to their pork projects, Congress openly defies this president as evident by their total disregard for setting a cap on the transportation bill this summer. They openly went over the number the president threatened to veto, and this president signed the bill anyway. He has no teeth. Now Bush proposes spending $200 billion to rebuild New Orleans in a project the scope of which our federal government has never attempted. The neocons are outraged. The party is ripe for a split.

So what we have in this country is really four factions. We have the far left which hates the war and takes joy in seeing America being embarrassed in the eyes of the world because they feel it makes President Bush look bad. They favor a society that taxes the rich and gives to the poor. We have the moderate left that likes the social programs of the New Deal and feels government has a responsibility to end poverty, but they also think America must have a strong military presence and must confront terrorism openly on the battlefield. We have moderate republicans who are pro-war and think government has a responsiblity to help those in need, but should not foster a life of dependence. And then we have the neocons who are pro-war and think socially it is the job of the government to level the playing field, but after that it is every man for himself.

On both sides of the aisle politicians try to ride two horses at the same time. It becomes a game of trying to secure the radical base while appealing to the moderate wing. But the two radical wings are becoming so far apart it is creating a vacuum in the middle. I think America is ripe for a third party to swoop in and scoop up all of those moderates who don't agree with their radical base. I can see the moderate left joining with the moderate right to form a new party.

The problem is this new party will be still be called either Republican or Democrat. Our country is just set up for a two party system. It's too hard to change that now. The election laws are written so that it takes a large amount of organization to get on the ballot. New startup parties can't do it. And if they could, the mainstream media would not treat them like realistic candidates (where was Ralph Nader during the 2000 and 2004 debates?). That is the reality. The leader of the new party will have to come from one of the two existing parties. I envision a fundamental shift in the country like what we saw under Reagan and his "Reagan Democrats." The country was equally divided back then just a few years removed from the Vietnam war, facing double digit inflation and unemployment. The Reagan movement pulled the country to the right toward supply side economics and a strong military. The result was 25 years of unprecedented economic boom and the end of the cold war. Hopefully the new order can be equally successful.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Deja Vu

Just a few weeks removed from Hurricane Katrina the Gulf Coast once again is bracing for a bitch named Rita. It appears that Rita is headed for the small coastal town of Galveston, TX.

I was fortunate back in March to attend a convention in Galveston. It was my first time there. It was a typical beach town, but unlike any I remember seeing here on the east coast. The town was very diverse in its demographics. The streets were populated with whites, blacks, hispanics and asians. But they all seemed to share a common bond in that they were mostly poor. The homes were modest and employment seemed scarce outside of the tourist industry. In the hotel I stayed at they prominently displayed old pictures of the Hotel Galvez which was built in 1911. The people of Galveston are extremely proud of their history, but there was a certain eeriness to the town.

Even though most of the locals are a generation removed, they still talk about the hurricane that wiped out the town in 1900 and killed twelve thousand people. There was no federal government to evacuate people. There were no 24 hour weather channels and weather services to warn people of the impending danger. Fishermen who had been out to sea reported there was a storm coming, but nobody could anticipate how ferocious it was. There were no school busses to evacuate people in large numbers. Everybody was left to fend for themselves. Most of them died. Those that were left rebuilt without any help from the outside. After the hurricane they built up a large seawall and elevated the entire city by 17 feet. It was a marvel of engineering.

The streets of Galveston had a strange feeling to them when I visited in March. The town looked like it has the potential to be a major tourist destination, but yet the streets were often empty and quiet except for the old trolley that still operates. It was as if the town was inhabited by the ghosts of the 12,000 people who died in that hurricane one hundred years ago. Many homes were boarded up and appeared abandoned. It is a small island, maybe only a mile wide at some points, so wherever you go you are constantly reminded about the devestation whenever you see the gigantic seawall. It serves as a constant reminder of the past as well as a warning that the city lies in the path of a major storm sure to hit the tiny island some day in the future.

All indications are that the future is this Saturday. On the news they are saying there is a mass exodous from Galveston today. I-45 looked like a parting lot this morning as people flooded the highway to take the only bridge off the island. After Katrina everybody is being cautious and evacuating early. Our elected officials want a second chance to show everybody they know how to do it right. But long before Katrina there was Galveston. Bob Dylan said, "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows." And the people of Galveston didn't need Katrina to tell them to get out of town.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Final Frontier

Oh no. It appears global warming is worse than we thought.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Weekly Prayer

I have decided to start doing a weekly post I will entitle "Weekly Prayer." It will be a prayer between me and God that I have chosen to share with all of you. It will concern my thoughts on current events and our society in general. Occasionally I may include some personal requests. It will be a prayer from my perspective. Due to the personal nature of prayer, I will not be allowing comments on it. I'm not doing this for politics so I will not allow political commentary. It is not something that is meant to be picked apart. On the flip side, it is also not something that is meant to be applauded. The glory goes to God. Not me. So without further delay, here is the prayer for the week:

Father, thank you for your many blessings. I thank you that I have a loving wife and an adorable son. Thank you for giving me the means to support myself and them. Thank you for your everlasting love.

Lord, lately racism has been heavy on my heart. While interacting with people recently I have been accused of being a racist for comments I made concerning the victims in New Orleans. It hurts, God. I don't feel like a racist. I don't wish ill will on people because of the color of their skin. But maybe I am a subconscious racist, as one person called me. Maybe by not favoring social programs designed to lift people out of poverty I am unknowingly discriminating against people I know are a higher proportion of minorities. You know my heart, Lord. If I am a racist, help me see that. Open my eyes to see the hatred in my heart.

I have doubts about this country, Lord. Serious doubts. I look into my son's eyes and I wonder what kind of country we are leaving for him and his children. Help us, Father. Help us see your righteousness and turn from evil. Help us end the corruption in our government and hate in our society and base our country on your Godly principles of love, kindness, compassion, and mercy. But ultimately may Your will be done. Amen.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Leadership

In criticizing President Bush's speech last night, John Kerry said, "Leadership isn't a speech or a toll free number."

Of course not. We all know that leadership is saying you have a plan and directing people to go read your website.

Hat Tip: Blogs for Bush

Conspiracy Theory

This one is worthy of DailyKos:

What if Karl Rove came up with the idea to evacuate all those people from New Orleans to Texas. Think about it. New Orleans is a heavily democratic urban area in an otherwise rural (red) state. Thousands of people have been moved to Texas, a solid red state. Many of these people, according to polling data, are planning on growing new roots in Texas rather than go back. I haven't heard anybody promise these people transportation back to Louisiana. Let's review the effects.

Now New Orleans, a heavily democratic area, has been reduced in population increasing the chances of the state going to the Republicans in future elections. Those people that were removed were transplanted to a heavly red state where their voting block has been severly watered down rendering them rather ineffective in future elections. Do I smell a conspiracy? How long do you think it will be before the left picks up on this?

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Compassionate Conservatism

I just got done watching the President's speech live from New Orleans. I thought overall it was a good speech. He provided reassurance that the federal government will help those who have to rebuild their lives. That is what the country needs right now, especially the people on the Gulf coast. They need to hear that life will go on and they are not alone.

I thought Bush scored some major points when he talked about the inequality of life before the storm and how we have a responsibility to rebuild the community better than ever. He spelled out specific plans to promote home ownership and minority entrepreneurship. He showed he is a compassionate man who cares about minorities despite what Kayne West has to say. Unfortunately, I'm sure the left idealogues like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and the left wing blogosphere will be out in full force tomorrow telling blacks not to believe him. It really is a shame the left will not allow minorities to give him a chance.

I am concerned as a conservative how we are going to afford a $200 billion reconstruction effort. A few months ago we were happy to see the federal deficit for the year coming in $200 billion less than originally projected. Now that is gone. If Mr. Bush ever gets done fighting wars and rebuilding hurricane disaster areas, he needs to tackle the federal deficit problem if he truly wants to leave a lasting legacy.

Update - 9/16/05 Other thoughts from the President's speech:

I wish this president showed more leadership sometimes. This is a trend with all presidents ever since maybe Reagan. Presidents don't ask the American people to do anything anymore except give money. All we heard last night was a bunch of promises about what the government is going to do. I come away this morning asking myself what can I do? I have already given money, but isn't there something else I can do short of getting on a plane and going to Louisiana to help rebuild? That's what leaders are for. The President had a golden opportunity last night to give the American people a simple list of things they can do like: donate blood, donate clothing and furniture to the salvation army, ration gasoline and conserve energy. He passed it up.

Leadership means giving direction and delegating tasks, not just throwing money at the problem. I suspect this president as well as most recent politicians are not willing to ask the country to sacrifice. I think they fear that if they ask America to tighten their belts and their purse strings a little bit they will be committing political suicide. Imagine how inspirational it would have been last night if the President had asked the American people to try to limit themselves to 10 gallons of gasoline a week beyond what they needed to get to work. Then to prove he just wasn't paying lip service he pledged to personally reduce the fuel consumption of Air Force One, Marine One, and his SUV convoys by 25% by cutting down on his travel. (Let's face it, does he really need to keep traveling to Iowa to talk about farm subsidies or Florida and Arizona to talk about Social Security? Or keep flying to Crawford every weekend?) Or what if he asked all Americans to set their air conditioning at 75 degrees instead of 70 degrees or turn it off all together and sleep with the windows open? These are simple things Americans can do and I would bet most Americans would be willing to do. Making simple requests like this would provide more leadership than saying "I have troops and money and everything is under control."

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

We're All Human


While preachers preach of evil fates
Teachers teach that knowledge waits
Can lead to hundred-dollar plates
Goodness hides behind its gates
But sometimes even the President of the United States
Sometimes must have to stand naked.

- Bob Dylan- "It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)"

In case you can't read the note, President Bush is writing a note to Condi Rice during their meeting at the United Nations that says "I think I may need a bathroom break."

Judicial Activism

This just in from Drudge: A federal judge has declared The Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional. I know we all know it, but here it is for review:

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which is stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

I haven't had a chance to read the court ruling yet since it hasn't been posted. I'm curious to see what the judge has to say. I suspect he says it is wrong to call our nation a "Republic...under God." I will save my comments on the ruling until I can learn more. In the mean time I found this interesting bit on the history of the pledge.

*Update* - Drudge gets me all in a tizzy when he flashes that red and blue siren light. This is the case that was kicked out by the Supreme Court a few years ago when they ruled Michael Newdow could not sue on behalf of his daughter of whom he did not have custody. The Supreme Court effectively kicked the can down the road on that one. Now the case is back.

The federal judge in this case claims he was bound by the precedent set by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals a few years ago. Understandable. He cannot overrule a higher court than his. The case will now go back to the 9th Circuit. Unless they overturn their own precedent, which is highly unlikely, this case will be going back to the Supreme Court.

Ankle Biting Pundits via Michelle Malkin points out this bodes poorly for the Democrats at this time. It overshadows their message as Washington gears up for the biggest Supreme Court battle in decades. This ruling is going to remind the moderate public that certain judges want to remove God from all public forums, which is still vastly unpopular with the American people. Now the Democrats are going to have to appear as if they want to keep God in the Pledge, even though they don't. This will make it harder for them to oppose President Bush's nominees.

It Started with a Dream

This past year I feel like I have grown considerably. Maybe it's my new job. Maybe it is being a parent (My son is one year old tomorrow. Shout out to the Nate Dawg!). Maybe it is this blog. Maybe I've just been listening to too much Bob Dylan.

When I started this blog I was a solid republican. I think too much so. I admit I was drinking the Koolaide. I started out wanting this blog to argue for the conservative agenda. Since then things have changed. I have changed. I realized I don't like to argue with people. I don't want to be a talking head for the Republican party. I want to exchange ideas. I want to go beyond the daily partisan bickering of Supreme Court nominees, hurricanes, the Iraq war, Karl Rove, Social Security, and taxes. I want to reach a consensus with people. I want to find the truth.

Lately I have had some writer's block. It's not that I don't have anything to write about. On the contrary, I think I have too much I want to say. My nineth grade English teacher used to tell us for really great writers, getting their thoughts down on paper was like trying to catch lightning in a bottle. The ideas come too fast for them to write them all down on paper. That is how I feel right now. I want to explore the inner-workings of our society and break things down. I want to provide a perspective to our society that everyone can agree with because I feel once we all agree on a common ground it is then and only then we can begin to reach compromise.

Unfortunately, to do that would take more than I have time to write in one day and limit to one post. I am considering splitting it up into multiple posts. Call them chapters if you like. Maybe this is the start of a book. The past few days I have been working on the outline in my head. It would encompass a history about how we got to this point, what the two sides of the aisle see as our current position, and what both sides of the aisle see as our future direction. It would touch on issues of economics, society, race, gender, and culture. My goal would be to provide an objective perspective on these issues with no spin. I'm not out to praise conservatives and criticize liberals. I'm seeking to understand both and to each provide an understanding of the other side. You can see how all of this is too big to put into one post.

My initial thoughts for an outline go something like this:

1. The World Through the Eyes of Liberals
2. The World Through the Eyes of Conservatives
3. How Liberals Came to be so Liberal
4. How Conservatives Came to be so Conservative
5. How Both Sides View Racism
6. How Both Sides View the Role of Government
7. How Both Sides View the Media
8. How Both Sides View yada yada yada...you get the picture.
9. The Truth. Hopefully by the endI/we will be able to conclude that the truth is neither liberal or conservative, but rather someplace in the middle. The final chapter will attempt to spell it all out.

Like I said, this is just a rough outline I'm working in my head. I may not even have time to put together something this massive, but I'm excited about doing it. So why am I telling you all this? I guess I want to warn you the pace of my posts may slow down. Maybe I will post each chapter in the sidebar and continue doing several smaller less in depth posts while I'm writing my book. Maybe I will start a new blog all together devoted solely to my vision and provide a link on this space with alerts when new chapters are posted. (That idea just came to me while I was typing and I like the sound of it.) Anyway, I'm interested in anyone's input. What are the topics you would like to see addressed? What advice would you provide? If I use your suggestions I will be sure to note you in the acknowledgements section in the back of the book if it ever gets printed, but don't expect any royalties. Write your own damn book, sucka!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Someone Explain This to Me.

I don't know how anyone can claim George Bush is insensitive toward minorities and then sanction something like this Crescent of Embrace memorial in Shanksville, PA. How can anyone be so ignorant to not see the correlation between this memorial and the Red Crescent of the Muslim religion? Several Arab countries incorporate this into the design of their flags. This is the equivalent of the Cross to the Christian faith. I'm sure if they had designed a memorial shaped like a cross the ACLU would be filing lawsuit papers against the government to get it blocked. Conservatives are rightly outraged by this memorial design. I think liberals didn't take notice until they saw conservative outrage and decided to start supporting it out of spite. Now we see they once again side with the terrorists and prefer to give aid and comfort to those who wish to kill us rather than pay proper respect to those on flight 93 who faught valiantly on that September morning in 2001 to sacrifice their own lives to save the lives of those in Washington D.C. We have become so politically divided we cannot see past our own hate for fellow Americans. This is a sad time for our country.

Answered Prayers

Almost two weeks after Katrina hit New Orleans it seems life is starting to get back to normal. Thank God, early indications on the death toll are not nearly as close as originally feared. Locals are starting to clean up and life is slowly getting back to normal. With each day the water receeds a little bit more and a few more people get municipal water, sewer, and power restored.

The Pittsburg Post Gazette reports the federal response to Katrina was not as bad as the media reported it to be. The National Guardsman he interviewed pointed out how the federal government cannot do anything until the state governor requests help which came late in the case of Katrina. And after that the military people and supplies cannot just be beamed in like a Star Trek episode. It takes days to mobilize the National Guard in calling people to duty, stocking supplies, issuing orders, and transporting them. In fact, the response to Katrina was faster than the reaction to past hurricanes Andrew, Iniki, Francine, and Jeanne. Some of the statistics and behind the scenes analysis in this article are quite interesting.

A Prayer For America

Father God, thank you for the freedoms we enjoy in this great country. Thank you that we can live in a land of opportunity and peace where all men and women are free to pursue their happiness. It is only through you that we can enjoy such freedom.

We are a country that has lost its way and wandered from your will. We take the gifts you have given us for granted. We are selfish. We crave things we do not need in order to impress people we do not know. Sexual immorality has infiltrated and plagues our society. The world tells us it is ok to give in to our sinful desires. It is ok to want things. It is ok to give in to your sexual cravings. It is ok to lust after your neighbor's wife.

Have mercy on us, oh Lord. Forgive us. Humble us. Let us see that these things we desire cannot give us happiness. Give us the wisdom to see that the only true source of happiness in this world is through your love. Lead us from temptation. Help us to see our evil ways and turn from them.

I pray for our leaders. I pray that they would seek your counsel. May you give them strength and wisdom to do what is right in accordance with your will for I know your will is righteous and just. Give them the courage to fight against those that wish to destroy us.

I pray for the American people. I pray that you would guide them them in their daily struggles against terrorism. I pray you would be with those who were affected by Hurricane Katrina. Give them aid and comfort. Let them know that you have a plan for us that we can trust because you love us. Give strength and encouragement to those who have answered your call to assist those in need. I thank you for these people, Lord. They are soldiers in your army of angels determined to advance the Kingdom of God. Bless their hearts for they are extraordinary people.

Thank you again for your many blessings. I pray that your will be done and that we as a nation would glorify you.

Amen.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Never Forget

Friday, September 09, 2005

Where Have You Gone, Barry Goldwater?

My friends, it is with deep regret that today I declare the conservative movement in this country has lost. Socialism has won. It has weaved its way into our society and can never be removed. Hurricane Katrina is what has brought me to this conclusion.

I read through the Constitution this morning with particular emphasis on the powers of Congress. Nowhere in the document does is say anything about the government having the responsibility to evacuate people in the path of a natural disaster. Further reading gives no indication the United States government has any obligation to help people affected by a natural disaster. Yet today the government is taking heavy criticism for not doing enough to get people out before the storm and not doing enough to help people after the storm.

As a society we have come to take it for granted that the government will always be there for us. Government will solve all of our problems. We no argue over whether the government should get involved, instead we haggle over what level of involvement the government should have. And it is not just Katrina this applies to.

To too many people it has become a self evident truth that it is the federal government's job to fund your child's education.

To too many people it has become a self evident truth that it is the federal government's job to fund your retirement.

To too many people it has become a self evident truth that it is the federal government's job to give you free healthcare.

These are just a few examples of what socialism has conquered in this country. But socialism is not resting. Its tentacles continue to reach and grab on to more parts of our society. Many people think the federal government has an obligation to make sure you have a good job, live in a nice house, and drive a nice car. Going further than that, there are those that feel the government has an obligation to regulate your behaviour. Tell you what to eat, not to smoke and drink, what you should watch on television, what kind of car you should drive. It is only a matter of time before these too become "self evident truths."

We now live in a country where one out of every six people works for either their local, state, or federal government. One out of six. That is about 50 million Americans by my rough estimate. Government doesn't produce anything. It has no major revenue source other than taxes. All government can do is spend. The more people we have working for the government, the less we produce as a nation. Eventually we will end up in a cycle where everyone works for the government. That is communism, and we all know how that experiment worked out.

Right now I do not have much hope for our future. These programs have become too popular. The conservative movement cannot argue to remove them without committing political suicide. All we can do is argue over how much to allot to them. We have lost. America will never be the same as it was 100 years ago.

But life goes on. I have come to accept the reality in which I live. These socialist programs are never going away. All we as conservatives can do is try to reduce their scope and watch our public officials to make sure our money is being spent wisely. Sorry for the downer.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Fair and Balanced

Every morning I listen to Michael Smerconish in my car on the way to work. Mike considers himself an independant whose views tend to align with the Republican party more often than the Democratic party. I consider myself much the same way. While I agree with many of the policies of the Republican party such as limited government and hawkish defense, I also disagree with a lot of things the party embraces such as immigration policy and free trade.

In his column today, Mike spells out 26 truths that all reasonable people, republicans and democrats, should be able to agree on. It's a great list. Read it and see what you think. Ask yourself "True or False?" before you read each line. I find myself agreeing with every point.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

I Am Not a Racist

Sometimes I think some people still think we are living in 1962 when it comes to race relations in this country. The honeymoon period after Katrina hit the Gulf Coast lasted about 24 hours before people were calling each other racists.

Over the weekend I saw a news report on television where a reporter questioned a black woman who claimed she was on the roof of her house watching the rescue helicopter fly over her repeatedly without picking her up. The lead in to the interview suggested the woman's race may have been a factor. Many notable black leaders, including Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and Mayor Ray Nagin have suggested that if New Orleans had been inhabited by rich white people, the federal government would have responded further. They have also questioned why more of the people in charge of the relief effort aren't black.

While I was doing a google search to collect my thoughts for this post, I came across a post by Kirsten Anderberg that suggests Katrina was actually a form of racial "genocide". She claims that the only people who deny racism in this country are whites. It is a clever technique Ms. Anderberg uses. Call all white males racist. When they deny it, question their credibility since they are white males. Either admit to being a racist openly or be convicted based solely on your denial. That's fair.

I am tired of hearing the Christian white male being equated with racists. I am a Christian white male, and I am not a racist. I would never discriminate against someone based on the color of their skin. But the common perception is that whites are just ignorant to their own behavior and discriminate without even realizing they are doing it. As a result, the actions of whites toward blacks are constantly viewed through a prism of racism in the backs of our minds. The white helicopter pilot is called a racist because he passed over the black family sitting on their roof in order to save the elderly white woman stranded in three feet of rising water in her car. Is that fair to him?

Usually I don't even think about race. In fact in my conversations with fellow conservatives, race is rarely discussed. We don't make conscious efforts to discriminate. On the contrary, we usually go out of our way to make sure everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed. When we suggest the 1% of Americans that pay 50% of the taxes should get a break we aren't even considering race. We just see an unfair tax system. When we balk at the idea of state run healthcare race isn't a factor, economics and making sure people get the proper care are. When we ask to see identification at the polls it isn't to intimidate minorities from voting, we just want to make sure people don't vote twice or in the wrong district. We want everyone to play by the same rules on a level playing field which is why we react with shock, outrage and denial when we are accused of racism.

I will never forget in my old job as a manager when I hired an African-American. While I was training this guy we talked about our personal lives while we got to know each other. He had a high school diploma with some college and 10 years experience in the military. One day the topic of college came up and I will never forget what he told me. He said, "Mike, you just don't understand. My folk (blacks) just don't have the opportunity to go to college like your folk (whites) do." I told him I completely disagreed with that. Everyone has the opportunity to go to college these days. No college turns you away because of the color of your skin. The government doesn't say you can't go to college. Financial aid is available to everyone to make college affordable. If you don't go to college it is because you chose not to, not because you can't.

But that is what is wrong with our society today when it comes to race. Minorities are told the forces are lined up against them and "The Man" is determined to keep them down. Many people prey on this mentality. They tell minorities "The Man" doesn't give a damn about them. They tell them "The Man" wants to increase their taxes so "The Man" can make more money. They tell them "The Man" wants to prevent them from voting so they can't improve their desperate situation. They tell them "The Man" doesn't want to educate their children so the next generation of their family can clean "The Man's" toilets and wash "The Man's" cars.

Minorities soak these messages in and come to a conclusion. They figure the best they can hope for is complete dependence on the government. They think their only chance to get ahead is to hope for a minimum wage increase. They listen to politicians who tell them free healthcare supplied by Uncle Sam is the only healthcare they will ever qualify for. They think they have to apply for food stamps to feed their families. They never apply for better jobs because they think "The Man" will deny them of it. They believe their only hope for a comfortable retirement is a monthly social security check. They believe they are victims. They deny the freedom and opportunity of the American Dream applies to them. Their will is broken.

I submit that while slavery is dead in this country, the mentality of white superiority still lives on. In the 18th century slave owners used to mentally break the will of blacks by physically beating them in front of their families. They were put into a mental state to believe things were never going to change and the best they could hope for was the benevolence of their master. The owner was saying, "Life on the plantation is all you can hope for. Listen to me if you want what is best for you." Today is much the same, except instead of using whips to break their will, people use words.

African Americans in this country need to step back and look at their situation. On one side they have a party that says we don't care about blacks, but we also don't care about whites, hispanics, asians, or arabs. We care about Americans. And we want all Americans to live under the same set of rules which allow you to reap your own rewards for your own hard work and ingenuity. On the other side they have a party that says beware of "The Man." Only we can give you what you need. In other words they are saying, "Life on the plantation is all you can hope for. Listen to me if you want what is best for you." If blacks seek to find the true racists in this country, all they need to do is turn around and see who is holding the whip.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Grow Up

I can't bare to watch the media coverage of Hurricane Katrina anymore. The horrific images of people standing in water up to their waste trying to salvage their few precious belongings doesn't bother me as much as how everyone is trying to spin this tragic event to get a political win out of it. This is my politically incorrect no spin take on the whole situation. We all need to grow up. We need to stop being republicans, democrats, conservatives, liberals, whites, blacks, hispanics, Christians, Muslims, and atheists. Right now we all need to be Americans.

No doubt our federal government failed us. The safeguards in place to protect New Orleans weren't strong enough to handle a catagory four hurricane. Today there are reports that officials were warned years ago this could happen. Nothing was done. But this shouldn't surprise us. Nothing important ever gets done until something like this happens. Big governments have big inertia. It is hard to get moving. And we can argue about where they are more effective, but if 7000 National Guard troops had been on this side of the Atlantic rather than in Iraq, it would unquestionably been a big help in the aftermath of the storm.

No doubt the state and local governments failed their people. In New Orleans hundreds of school buses were left sitting through the storm when they could have been used to evacuate people beforehand. In the aftermath the governor of Louisiana and the mayor of New Orleans were slow to institute martial law opening the floodgates (no pun intended) for looting, murder and anarchy.

So we have established the government messed up. Do we all feel better now? Did that solve our problems? No. Lost in all of this finger pointing is the people who need our help. Ask those victims who they think is to blame and most of them will say they don't care. All they care about is where they are going to sleep tonight and how they are going to feed their families. Now is not the time to pin blame. Now is the time for action. There are hundreds of thousands of people with no food, water, clothing or shelter.

Go visit the Salvation Army online or the American Red Cross and act rather than blame.

Disclaimer: I will not be contributing to these organizations. My company has many employees who work and live in the devastated area. I have never met any of them so I can not tell you their names, age, gender, race, or religious beliefs. Thankfully, all of them are safe and accounted for, but several have lost everything they own and have no place to live. My company is taking up a fund to help our fellow employees offering to match $2 for every dollar I contribute. I plan to contribute to that fund instead of the ones I linked to since it will maximize the effect of my donation.