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Rock and Roll, And A Little Bit Country

In response to yesterday’s post, Scott writes, (among other things):

…I read a Thomas Friedman article a long time ago that basically said to shut the borders to any Middle Eastern country until they've cleaned up the mess that is spilling over from their bastardized religion. I don't for a second believe that Islam is evil, but it is being used by bad men as an excuse to perform it, and to motivate impoverished and hopeless people to join ranks…

…This thwarted attack will be a boon to supporters of national security, and should turn the tides back toward Republican candidates.

Scott, you’ve just described all religions, my friend. Although, in the case of Christianity, replace “bad men” with “people in Kansas who bake pies.” And although I’m not familiar with the Friedman article, I am 100% behind his position. I know we’ve been conditioned to unquestioningly accept the world’s “tired, poor, and huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” however those statements 1) happen to be merely a poem, and not national policy and 2) were written in 1883, when the immigrants coming to this country were interested primarily in working hard and assimilating into American culture and not very interested in blowing us up. We’re supposed to be a Melting Pot, not a Powder Keg.

Furthermore, it is amazing to me (and by “amazing” I mean “friggin ridiculous”) that there are any people left in the country that could possibly politicize any aspect of our national security. If Kerry were president today, I think I'd live in constant fear. Ok, well, not really constant, but I sure as hell wouldn't get on a plane or a subway. Same goes for someone like Gore. I've said it before and I'll say it again: The President of the United States should not be worrying about what kind of car I drive or how warm it is outside. The President's only job is to provide safety and security to the American People.

For example, aside from the tired old anti-war sentiment, the only other piece of rhetoric I hear from the Democrat’s camp is: "Oh, but what is Bush doing about Health Care?" I don't know, listening in on the conversations of radical Islamic terrorists and thwarting multiple attacks is keeping me pretty healthy.

(Besides, only fifteen percent of this country has no health insurance. That's 45 million. The unemployment rate is around 4.8%; that's around 7.8 million. So actual number of people without health insurance is 37.2 million. If you break that down per major city, using New York City as an example, about 3% of the population of every major city in the US is without Health Insurance. Doesn't exactly sound like a problem that should be rectified at the expense of National Security. Furthermore, this country has not had national health coverage since its inception: why the hell do we choose now to worry about it? If FDR, the crown prince of social programs, didn't establish a Universal Health Care system, why would we expect Bush to?)

Color me Fascist, but I'm all for wire taps, the same way I don't mind if a cop looks in the trunk of my car; I'm not doing or carrying anything illegal, and as such, have nothing to hide. The people who vilify the Republicans for "taking away their civil rights" most likely are doing, or planning something unsavory that they do not wish the authorities to see. I don’t want to live in a police state, where jack-booted Stormtroopers kick in my door at 2 AM looking for unfiltered cigarettes or other contraband, but that’s the stuff of Orwellian cinema, and not reality. Want to hear a quick story? Of course you do.

Two summers ago, I had been playing softball in Central Park with some friends from work. At the conclusion of the game, we packed up our stuff, and walked east, hoping to stop in somewhere for a couple of cold ones. Near the exit (around the 80’s; I’m not exactly Magellan when it comes to Manhattan), we, and every other pedestrian were being stopped by a few members of the NYC police department, as well as large, plainclothed men with sunglasses. They wanted to look through our bags.

As an American who has been more than adequately educated as to his rights, I immediately asked why. And, in all fairness, one of the officers complied with my request and told me that some big important Jewish organization (possibly Dreamworks Studios) was holding a big important benefit concert and there had been concern over possible terrorist activities. Now, I’ve been pretty clear on my position regarding Israel for some time now – I could care less if both groups bomb themselves back to the time of King Solomon (where they’d probably be very happy). But since this was taking place on my country’s soil, and any violence could very well affect my fellow American Citizens, I felt that the police’s concerns, and subsequent actions, were 100% justified, and I dutifully obeyed.

Some of the people in our group grumbled, calling them “Nazis” (yes, I appreciate the irony), but in the end, everyone complied with the directive. They had no choice, really, as the presence of the impassive gabardine suits made impractical any other action. And you know what, I really didn’t care about the fact that hundreds of thousands of dollars were being spent by NYC in securing a pro-Israel benefit, but not one penny was being spent on securing our softball game. Because indirectly, I WAS safe. In fact, the closer to Jewish people that I happen to be standing, the safer I feel. The last thing I want to do is hang around in a crowded arena filled with white, Midwestern tourists, because you know security there is going to be as overlooked as Paul Giamatti on Oscar night.

Speaking of missing the big prize, is there a rational person among us who thinks that the Democrat party will enjoy success in the next presidential election? Sure, the war in Iraq isn’t exactly going along swimmingly, but is that all the Dems are going to have on their plate? That and this Global Warming nonsense? I think the recent defeat of Sen. Lieberman in Connecticut’s State Primary shows just how fractionated the party, and its voters, actually are. I believe that, because of their infighting and almost complete lack of anything except a vague political platform, the Democrats will find themselves fighting against a strong, tenacious, and well-organized Republican force.

So thanks Scott, for your comments, and for the inspiration for this post. It's been getting a bit heavy in here lately; tomorrow I'll write something about, oh, I don't know, blenders. (I know there's at least one other person on the planet who might look forward to reading that).


Scott said…
Wow, you can really lay it out there. I'll have to tell my friend Eric about your blog. You and he are basically the same kind of thinker. Good stuff, great read, great ideas. I wish more people thought so rationally.
Valannin said…
Thanks, man, appreciate the kind words.

Next time they hold a referendum on raising teacher's salaries, vote "YES". That way we have the motivation to develop more of those rational thinkers.
Flood said…
This blog is going to cause my divorce.

Just sayin'.
Valannin said…
I'm honored. What other writer has garnered such acclaim?

Valannin: Shattering the Chains of Wedlock.

I like the sound of that...
Moni said…
Let me be the voice of opposition here. Yeah, the issue of health care may not be as important as national security, but it still needs to be addressed.

Maybe it's true that only 15% of Americans don't have health insurance, but that 15%(hmmm,I wonder if that statistic accounts for the massive amount of illegals...I think not) that goes to the ER then the hospital can't recoop the cost. And guess what, that's why people with health care insurance will pay $6.00 for an aspirin(example). Then in turn the cost of health care is astronomical and restictions are place on how a and when a person can see a Doc(HMO) The end result of this vicsious cycle, if there is an end; atsronomical health care cost where only the wealth will be able to afford.

I seen some elderly patients that have to make a choice between eating and buying there meds.

National Security is imparative that's certain. But who will we protect if hospitals close their doors...the dead.

You think that can't happen every weekend some big hospital probably will close it's ER because it's already operating in the red.(pardon the pun)
Valannin said…
Goody, I like opposition. I thrive on opposition.

My point, Moni, was that it DOESN'T need to be addressed by the federal government at this point in history. The relative health of its citizenry is of no technical concern of the government. Or, at least according to the Constitution, should not be.

And if we're going to get into Dramatic Instance here, my parents don't have health insurance, and that's due to professional choices that they have made. A company, corporation, or a government should not be forced to offer any insurance to their employees; thank god they do, but 90% of the time, that's just good business sense. I don't hate WalMart because they don't offer benefits - I hate WalMart because they do far too much business with overseas manufacturers that can undercut domestic production by billions of dollars.

If a hospital goes into the red, then it closes. Such is the law of economics. Perhaps they should stop offering services to those that can't afford it. It behooves organizations, private organizations, mind you, like the Red Cross, and yes, even the Churches to offer free medical care to those who don't have insurance. But it is not, I repeat not, a function of a Federated Republic Government. Perhaps the Swedes and other Socialist countries can do so, but look at their tax rates! I don't want 80% of my salary going to the gov't just so some teenager can get free birth control pills.

Yes, yes, I'm a heartless bastard. But rational. Besides, with insurance of any kind (medical, prescription drugs, car, life), comes corruption. A National Universal Health Care system will only serve to further line the pockets of pharmaceutical manufacturers and over-priced "specialists." In fact, if one were to dissolve insurance altogether, doctors would be forced (again, principles of economics) to charge what the market can bear. And not a penny more.
Moni said…
Using Dramatic Instance, Moi?! I disagree with you on this one. Health care cannot be made to run like a business, it's like putting a price on someone's life. Is my life more important than anyone elses? Is yours? Oh and are you actually suggesting that health care be provided by non profit organizations like the church? The same church that brainwashes and stifles free thinking? ( your words, not verbatum)

I'm not suggesting that we have a socialistic health care system, but our government needs to address it. Sure it's not one of our constitution rights, but the supreme court seems to change laws regarding other consitutional rights(another post, another time) If a socialistic health care system will only serve to line the pockets of pharmaceutical companies and specialists, then how come Americans are ording their meds from Canada and Mexico? I think because their cheaper.

But hell, you know I can't sway you, you could argue/debate the horns off of a billygoat. That's what makes you so cool Val.

Valannin said…
What makes me cool is my collection of black leather jackets...
Writing Blind said…
How do you think of all this stuff? Your intellect makes my little head spin.
Valannin said…
I thank you for your kind words...I think of it because, well, what else is there to think of? I don't watch Desperate Housewives or 24, and I need something to fill the void. How do you think of the words that you sling? I blame it in the scotch. Not "blame", actually, more like "attribute."

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