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Six Years Later A Failed Presidency

(category: History, Word count: 1154)
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President Bush came into office with great promise, and the reality has been one failure after another, and this is coming from a writer who was a conservative Republican before the President knew what the term meant. Let's use former President Ronald Reagan's requirements for a successful Presidency. Do you remember the last debate between then President Jimmy Carter and candidate Reagan? The former Republican Governor of California asked the American people in closing if they thought they were better off today in 1980, than they were when President Carter took office four years earlier in January of 1977. The following Tuesday, the American people threw the failed President from Georgia out of office in a landslide.

Here we are now six years into another Presidency, and the only thing that I believe has been successful about this Presidency is the fact that the Dow Jones Industrial Average is somewhat above the same level it was in 2000 when this President was elected. Let's look at a few of the big issues this President has faced and to which he has reacted poorly in resolving.

1) The tragedy of 9/11 - Six years later, Osama Bin Laden the direct murderer of almost 3000 Americans remains FREE, and unencumbered by the United States military. Do we still have military units assigned to hunting him down? There is not a word in the press about it if we do.

2) Making America SAFER in response to terrorism - Do you really believe we are safer? I for one believe that no American passenger airplane will ever be taken hostage again by terrorists. I believe this only because of the American passengers on board who will react immediately to a hostage situation, not because of the marshal program but because Americans still remember how to defend themselves, and they will. As for planes crashing into buildings, do you really think all those FED EX, UPS, and US Postal Service planes are secure? Do you think private corporate aircraft are secure? What about the tens of thousands of private airplanes in America?

Recently a private airplane in NY flew up the East River, made a U-Turn and crashed into an apartment building on the East Side of Manhattan. Nobody realized what was going on until the crash occurred. As a result the government has not banned flights up the East River. It's kind of late, don't you think?

3)The Docks are not safe - How difficult would it be for a terrorist group to sneak a low yield nuclear weapon into this country aboard one of the tens of thousands of merchant transport ships that bring cargo into this country each year? Only a small percentage of the cargo is inspected.

4) Subway and Bus System still completely exposed - The terrorist acts in Madrid and London in the last several years exposed flaws in our own public transportation systems that have not been addressed. Do you really think that terrorists carrying backpacks with explosives in them would have any problem getting on a NYC bus or subway car, and committing their insane acts?

5) Hurricane Katrina - This terrible tragedy exposed government ineptness, and lack of responsiveness. There were bodies of American citizens floating down the Mississippi River in the streets of New Orleans, and this is the 21st century. FEMA which is the Federal Emergency Management Association proved to be completely incapable of handling, or even helping in this crisis. Do you really believe that these inadequacies have been addressed? If chemical or biological warfare were used against the United States by terrorists, do you think that we would have anything approaching an adequate response to such an attack? I don't believe it.

6) Initial Iraq decision making process - You have got to be kidding us, Mr. President. We know in retrospect that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and Saddam Hussein posed no direct threat to America. In other words, he was not going to attack us. The basis for the war was in error, and I personally supported it. We have wasted 3000 American lives during the invasion, and 3000 subsequent to the invasion in ERROR, plus 30,000 men who have been injured including terrible losses of their limbs.

7) Post Invasion decision making - Wow, could it really have been worse? Could the people reporting to the President have done a poorer job in post war Iraq, if they had wanted to? We had the unnecessary disbanding of the Iraqi army, to the throwing out of the Sunni civil servants that knew how to run the day to day government operations. We then installed the Shia civil servants who had not run the government in several hundred years. The whole thing was a series of colossal, could have been ANTICIPATED mistakes. Our window of opportunity to do the right thing has now passed. The American electorate has lost its patience with this President, and this war. Our options are running out, and there is no good ending in site for us.

8) Largest deficits in American history - You have got to be kidding when this man calls himself a conservative President. There is nothing conservative whatsoever about his spending policies. He has systematically outspent every one of his predecessors in history to the tune of trillions of dollars. He has not vetoed one Congressional spending act - first time in history. His prescription drug bill for seniors is costing almost $50 billion dollars per year more than it should because he included overpayments to drug companies, and created unnecessary giveaways to insurance companies to act as intermediaries in the program. Who would have believed that a Republican President would do such a thing?

9) Tax policies that don't make sense - I believe in the lowest rate of taxation possible. I do not believe that you cut taxes for the rich in a time of deficit, borrow the money from Japan, China, and Europe to fund the deficits, and then send tax refund checks to the richest 2 percent of the population with the borrowed funds. Furthermore, I do not believe that the very rich in our society believe you should do this either. Yet, that's what the President has done, an act of fiscal irresponsibility at best, and insanity at worst.

You figure it out for yourself. Look at the above and it equals a failed Presidency. All of this from a man who has never once consulted his father as to what he should do about Iraq. Both men have stated that they have not talked about it. This is a President that still can't talk about issues, or give even a minor speech without READING the entire prewritten document. He is that uncomfortable in his own skin. How will we survive another two years of this kind of leadership?

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Why Visit St Petersburg

(category: History, Word count: 456)
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Recently when I was in Africa, someone asked me - why should one visit Moscow? I immediately answered - because it is one of the most amazing destinations on in the world! However, then I realized that not everyone would instantly get it and that I need to explain what would travelers find were they to have a trip to Russia.

St. Petersburg has so much to offer the guests. The two greatest cities of Russia, Moscow and St. Petersburg, are some of the most historically rich cities on our planet.

St Petersburg boasts amazing churches, ancient streets and beautiful canals. Some people refer to this city as the Venice of the North. So many great artists, writers and musicians like Pushkin had lived and worked here and loved their every moment. The Mariinsky theatre is home to world famous ballet. If you could only visit the city for a weekend you would remember it for all of your life. There is so much to see here. You could take a boat ride out to the amazing fountains at the Peterhof palace.

Moscow is much bigger than St. Petersburg, but it is equally great place to visit. The Kremlin and Red Square with the glorious quintessentially Russian onion-domed St Basils cathedral. Russia's largest city does not have a concentrated historic centre like St Petersburg, but there are historic treasures spread out across this vast city like the Tetriakov gallery. It is also an incredibly vibrant modern city that is now really buzzing with the new wealth and culture that has sprung up in the last decade. Moscow also has some of the best restaurants and clubs in the world.

Those two cities alone are enough of a reason to explore Russia, the largest country in the world. Yet there is much, much more to Russia than this. Outside Moscow and St Petersburg there is an amazing country that even us, the Russians, just begin to discover. Russia is a enormous country, and features amazing scenery and a wealth of historical monuments. There is nowhere in the world a lake so deep, so mysterious and beautiful, and so blessed by an absolutely unique range of wildlife as Lake Baikal. There is nothing like Siberia.

When in Russia, there are so many things that you could do. You could take a boat trip down the Volga.

These are just some of the reasons why you should visit Russia. Sometimes I wish I could keep Russia all to myself, just like Catherine the Great kept Hermitage closed to everyone. But I know it is time to share Russia to the West. Be among the first to discover the wonders of Russia.

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Are Illegal Mexicans Really Bad For America

(category: History, Word count: 133)
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I've been thinking again. I know some of my readers regard that as a dangerous thing. For instance, the guy who ended his last letter to me with a "your hypocrisy knows no bounds". I get these sorts of letters all the time.

But, I have been thinking and, of course, I have been thinking about America's obsession with shutting down the Mexican-American border. You would wonder why I don't tire of this rhetoric and the reason is simple. America needs the likes of your humble and gracious columnist reminding them to get out of that box of uncritical thinking and untested assumptions.

So here goes:

1. When last I wrote on this issue, I dealt with just one of the "Let's-run-out-all-those-diseased-Mexicans-out-of-our-country group's axes to grind

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When Will America Wake Up

(category: History, Word count: 495)
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In order to win the presidency in America, candidates must stir up the religious fervor of the voters (gay marriage/civil union) and then vocally (and in some cases visually) wear your (new) Evangelical beliefs on your sleeve. It used to be candidate vs. candidate, then party vs. party, big business vs. the common (wo)man, platform vs. platform, then region vs. region, but now none of that matters as a new America has emerged, an America in which the majority with a religious manifest rules the minority with a secular agenda.

Throughout the centuries, most of the wars have been based on religion, something all people realize to be true. Iraq is divided into a power struggle of three religious factions; the same in the former Yugoslavia; the annihilation of the Jewish people in Germany; African genocide, and let's not forget the last 800 years in England and Ireland, to name but a few. The same thing is beginning to happen in America. We are so split between our ideals and beliefs - and religion is winning! Separation of church and state is being debated more and more often. Soon, if you're not like everyone else, religion's minorities will be faced with fear and uncertainty as history has proved throughout time. Proselytization will become rampant, with people converting so as to be in the majority. Missionaries will be like door to door sales(wo)men spreading their word that they are the true defenders of 'the American Way.'

The First Amendment of the Constitution is just words. However, the actions to support it without question are what make it alive with meaning. With the division we now have in America, will it still be supported? Or will it be changed little by little by a soon-to-be lopsided, right-wing Supreme Court. No one knows, but many are fearful of what may happen, especially after the last presidential election's surprising, or not-so-surprising, main issue.

In the presidential election of 2004, 82% of the voters said that their main concern was moral (religious) beliefs. That was more than the economy, education, the environment, terrorism, energy, and the war in Iraq. It was the number one concern in America; the basis of most people's decision on who gets their vote. Does that make any sense when our country is filled with so many more pressing ills right now? However, in reference to it, and give it its due process, one must ask: Whatever happened to 'live and let live?' Whatever happened to tolerance? Whatever happened to 'love thy brother?' What has happened to America, the land of the free to live our lives as free, consenting adults and pursue our forefathers' foresighted decree of 'separation of church and state?'

Ask yourself: Why do I have to swear on the Bible in court when the Ten Commandments cannot be displayed in a federal building? What will happen next? Only time, and the actions of our President, will tell.

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Can Illegal Immigration Lead To Terrorism

(category: History, Word count: 192)
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As I watched the evening news, I wondered why no one else seemed to understand that our porous southern borders were open doors for Middle Eastern terrorists. Perhaps it was fresh on my own mind because I'd had a recent conversation with a Virginia Police Chief, who told me his department had been notified by Homeland Security of the potential risk. Our government had received information that Middle Eastern terrorists loyal to al-Qaeda had arrived at the conclusion that the average white American would not know the difference between a Middle Eastern operative and a Latino migrant worker. They could easily get into Mexico, assume Hispanic identities, and simply walk across our borders along with millions of Latinos.

Once in the United States, the terrorists could live amongst the illegal immigrant community. Of course the immigrants would know these people did not belong in their midst, but they would never report them to local law enforcement. To do so would bring the law into their community, perhaps searching house-to-house, and the illegal immigrants themselves could be arrested and deported. Instead, they would mind their own business

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American Presidential Campaigns The Need For A New Vision

(category: History, Word count: 1279)
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The current article is the first part of a series on America's spiritual history and soul-identity. A subject like "America's Presidential Campaigns" that is so 'of the world' might be construed as relating only to political life, but that would be incorrect. What relates to consciousness is part of our spiritual life, as is what relates to the operation of light and darkness, and what relates to the vision we hold for the future.

________________

In every area in which consciousness exists, the possibility is also present to make choices that are more or less moral concerning thought and behavior, and to bring every aspect of one's thinking into the highest light. In relation to the national political scene, there is much unconsciousness that operates on all levels, and much manipulation that takes place by those who have a vested interest in shaping a particular outcome or in presenting things in a particular way. This is the domain in which darkness has a chance to influence outcomes. It is the area of vulnerability produced by the fact that people are asleep or unaware in relation to what is going on so that the shaping of opinion is done silently, covertly, and is not perceived by most or not until much later on. One of the arenas in which this shaping of consciousness takes place is within American presidential campaigns.

More than a year before a presidential election, candidates begin to step into place to position themselves for the available political and financial support that is necessary in order to run a national campaign. Generally, they have begun this process long before this. It used to be that presidential campaigns were much shorter. However, over time, the influence of media has created a watchfulness and anticipation in relation to potential candidates that extends longer and longer into pre-campaign planning. This watchfulness has contributed greatly to the success or failure of candidates, especially in states where they are not well-known and where extensive media coverage is needed, as well as personal appearance, so that former 'unknowns' can become someone familiar.

Within presidential campaigns, the role of media has become as important as the content of a candidate's message - a message which may come to affect the lives of an entire nation. In any campaign, there is the content of a candidate's message, and there is the shape of that message. More and more in recent years, the shaping of a message has been handled by media experts who offer a package that includes forming, shaping, promoting, and assessing the impact of any message. This is a process that is costly, but perceived as necessary in order to create a sense within the public of being able to selectively choose between rivals in an electoral race.

There was a time in which content was given more weight than appearance, when debates actually took place, with those listening paying close attention to the positions being advocated and the principles behind them. This is in contrast to the focus, today, which is often on the way in which things are said, or the personal quality of charm or likeability that a candidate possesses. Aspects of personality and character have always been part of an electoral process, but they did not form the center. Today, they are at the center. And because they are at the center, a candidate in a presidential election must be presented to the public in as appealing a way as a movie star. The effect of every image-variable needs to be considered so that the public can receive the desired impression. This shift in focus is due to several factors - the first, and perhaps most important, being the complexity and multi-layered nature of most national issues today which do not allow for a clear-cut presentation of positions or approaches to problem solving; the second, the technological advances that have made media instantly accessible across the country so that literally nothing that a candidate does goes unnoticed.

All of the involvement of media with national campaigns involves a high cost to candidates. But the burgeoning cost is not only related to this. It is also related to the need that candidates have to travel across the country and back many, many times, hosting events and attending others in order to interact with the public, especially in key electoral states. This grueling process of meeting all who are essential to meet at local and state levels requires a great deal of stamina on a candidate's part. It also requires a great deal of money. And, in the competitive arena in which politics and personality have merged, if a rival candidate has become visible in states 1, 2, 3, and 4, then it is incumbent upon his competitors to also create a similar kind of visibility. In this way, more and more is being asked of candidates in terms of making personal appearances, because the standard for what is possible during an election campaign has been raised in order to create greater positive publicity for those who choose to run.

Let us not forget that there is another way that one could conceive of and run a national campaign. It is the way of integrity and of focus. It relies on communicating more about issues and less about personalities, and it also involves reducing media's role in campaigns and therefore the amount of campaign spending. Such a campaign could take place in a much shorter space of time with far less cost to all concerned. Instead of taking years, it could be undertaken within one year, with primaries, whose dates are variable, more closely spaced together (See note). These changes would not allow each candidate to do all that is presently being done with respect to creating a public image. Instead, there would need to be more content-focused debates between candidates, and the public would need to reflect more, employing both reason and intuition, and to rely on appearance less, in order to be responsive to such discussions. Furthermore, if the stature of the presidency remained one of honor, leadership, and accountability - more in line with those who act on behalf of their constituency rather than as a separate entity, then both the glamour and the risk involved in electing a President could be less.

Becoming aware and using one's vote wisely is the responsibility of democracy and part of what it means to be a citizen. Were campaigns shorter and more focused, less reliant on celebrity and more on content, we would see a different kind of democracy in action when it came time to elect a new president. And because the cost of running such a campaign would be less, many more qualified people would be able to enter the public arena with their own ideas and visions for the future, enabling this country to more truly become a representative democracy, in keeping with its historical, constitutional, and spiritual foundation.

_____________

Note: In relation to presidential primaries, dates are established by each state and are subject to change. Currently, primaries take place between Jan. and May of the election year.

"Establishing the date for a Presidential primary, and determining the type of Presidential primary held, varies from state to state. This is due to differences in state statutes, party constitutions, party rules and regulations, party by-laws, and delegate selection plans. In some states, a caucus and/or convention may be held instead of a Presidential primary election. Other states may use a combination of both caucuses and primaries for delegate selection."

From: "2000 Presidential Primary Dates" - Federal Election Commission

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Sandy Berger Ruling Fair Or Not

(category: History, Word count: 550)
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For all intents and purposes, justice was served when Sandy Berger was fined $50,000 by U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson in her ruling on September 8, 2005 regarding Sandy Berger's mishandling of classified documents. Moreover, Sandy Berger will surrender his security clearance for three years following the ruling. Sandy Berger graciously accepted Judge's Robinson's decision.

In fact, some would easily believe that Sandy Berger got stiff penalties because his negotiations with chief prosecutor Noel Hillman and company involved only $10,000 in fine. His loss of security license compounded the penalties. Overall, Judge Robinson's decision made both the Republicans and the Democrats, the U.S Justice Department and the Sandy Berger camp, extremely happy and relieved.

Some people both in the government and the private sector, however, do not think that the ruling was fair at all. For these people, the penalties levied upon erring former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger was comparable to mere a slap on the wrist. For an error so grave, the fine should have been steeper and Sandy Berger should have been sent to jail.

It was a criminal act according to the law.

The Sandy Berger camp got around saying that what Berger committed was a mere violation of the National Archives' regulations, but it was hardly a criminal act. In fact, however, what Berger did can easily be classified as a violation of Section 793 of Title 18 of the U.S Code. Under this section, intentional dissemination of classified documents and materials is criminal. Even accidental dissemination of or losing classified materials due to gross negligence under this code is punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment of at most 10 years.

It was a difficult thing for Berger's critics to swallow that Sandy Berger got off so lightly when under this law, he could have been sentenced 10 years. Even if no one could realistically expect Berger to be given the full maximum, critics still believed that Sandy Berger should have been fined AND imprisoned for a term.

Sandy Berger deliberately removed the documents.

At first, Sandy Berger wouldn't admit to deliberately taking the documents from the National Archives. He insisted, when he was first questioned by National Archives officials about missing documents, that he accidentally shoved them in with his papers when he collected his things into his portfolio. He promptly returned these documents.

However, after due investigation, it was found out that Berger took more than those two copies. He in fact took three more on a prior visit. He later admitted to cutting these up when he admitted to have deliberately taken the classified materials.

Critics believed that even if they concede that Sandy Berger had no intention of disseminating the sensitive information, they had no intention of conceding that Berger made an honest mistake. The fact that he is a former National Security Advisor means that he knew proper procedures and protocols when it comes to classified materials. Sandy Berger knew that however crucial his interview with the 9/11 commission was, it was even more critical to protect national security by following the National Archives' regulations about these documents. The fact that Berger deliberately put himself above the law should have merited more than a slap on the wrist but a wallop on the butt.

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The Story Of The Guillotine

(category: History, Word count: 347)
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The guillotine was first put to lethal use on April 25, 1792, at 3:30 PM, in Paris at the Place de Greve on the Right Bank of the Seine. It separated highwayman Nicolas Jacques Pelletier's head from the rest of his body.

The device was perfected - though not invented- by Doctor Joseph Ignace Guillotin (1738 - 1814). The 'e' at the end of the noun is a later, British, addition. Ironically, he belonged to a movement seeking to abolish capital punishment altogether.

Guillotine-like implements were used on delinquents from the nobility in Germany, Italy, Scotland and Persia long before the good doctor's era. Guillotin and German engineer and harpsichord maker, Tobias Schmidt, improved and industrialized it. It was Schmidt who transformed the blade, changing it from round to the familiar form and placing it at an oblique, 45 degree, angle. The process of severing the head - the blade falling, cutting through the tissues and severing the head - took less than half a second. More than 40,000 people were guillotined during the French Revolution and in its immediate aftermath (1789-1795).

Nor was the guillotine abandoned after the French Revolution. As late as 1870, one Leon Berger, an assistant executioner and carpenter, added a spring system, which stopped the mouton at the bottom of the groves, a lock/blocking device at the lunette and a new release mechanism for the blade.

The murderer Hamida Djandoubi was beheaded on September 10, 1977, in Marseilles, France. The guillotine was never used since.

a.. Total weight of a Guillotine is about 580 kg

b.. The guillotine blade with weight is over 40 kg

c.. The heights of the guillotine posts average about 4 meters

d.. The guillotine blade drop is about 2.3 meters

e.. The falling blades rate of speed is about 7 meters/second

f.. The actual beheading was completed in 2/100 of a second

g.. The power when the guillotine blade stops at the bottom is 400 kg/square inch

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America S Happiness Index At New Low

(category: History, Word count: 1186)
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The other day it occurred to me that during Ronald Reagan's run for the Presidency he created a "Misery Index". This index represented a total of the rate of inflation, plus the prime rate, as an indicator of how the American people felt about how they were doing. No one has suggested resurrecting this index in recent years. My thought was to create a "Happiness Index". How happy are you with the leadership of the country. The problem is that other than taking an outright poll, how do you determine happiness? Could you merely ask people if they are happy, or not with the way things are going?

Think about it for a moment, and try to objectively look at what's been going on the last couple of years. For the last fifty years, the Republican Party successfully presented itself as the people's choice for as a strong anti-communist party versus the former Soviet threat. Republican President after President was elected on the basis of toughness versus communism.

By 1992, communism was no longer an issue as Russia, and the satellites went democratic, and the Berlin Wall had fallen. Suddenly, the Republican Party felt its foreign policy legs come out from under it. The communist bogeyman which was real since 1917 was no longer an issue. A sitting Republican President, George HW Bush was defeated handily by Democratic Candidate, Bill Clinton who had NO foreign policy experience, or even an understanding of things foreign. During the campaign that followed, foreign policy was a NON-ISSUE. There was no communist bogeyman for the Republicans to pin their hopes on.

The tragedy of 9/11 changed everything. When the tragedy struck, the current President of the United States was handed terrorism on a silver platter as an issue. Terrorism could then be used as a replacement for communism as the next boogeyman. Anti-terrorism would serve as the underpinning of the Republican Party the same way anti-communism served for over 70 years.

The President attacked the Taliban in Afghanistan who had harbored Osama Bin Laden, and his allies for years. When it came to finishing the job, and surrounding Osama in the mountains of Tora Bora, Afghanistan, we let this mass murderer get away by leaving the job to foreign hired mercenaries, the anti Taliban Afkan nationals. I assume we simply did not want to take the American manpower losses that might have been demanded.

The President then committed the American army and wealth to destroying the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq. Our entry to this war was based on false premises. There were no weapons of mass destruction. We are now left with chaos and civil war in that country, and no EXIT STRATEGY. As Americans, not one of us, including the President has any idea how this war will finish. He, the President has now placed our country in the same position as we were in during Viet Nam - Quagmire.

When Americans enter a war, they need to know the objective. During WW II, it was the taking of Berlin in Europe, or the fall of Tokyo in Japan. In Viet Nam, there was no mission, except the ephemeral objective of keeping South Viet Nam from going communist. What does that mean? Depending on how you calculate it, the Viet Nam war went on for about 15 years. How long will Iraq take?

I believe the President has been notified by the American people in the recent Congressional election that he is on a "short leash" when it comes to Iraq. What is the objective in Iraq? It can't be democracy any longer. These people do not understand democracy as we understand it. The concept of democracy in that part of the world has not existed in thousands of years.

Democracy is everybody's SECOND choice in Iraq. The Shia and Sunni's are killing each other on a daily basis in large numbers, some of which are unreported. Good, decent American troops, none of which are sons of any member of Congress, are dying in a war without an objective, except for "Stay the Course".

These policies should be unacceptable to all of us as Americans. The Republican Party in Congress was a surrogate for President Bush in this election. The voters could not vent their ANGER at President Bush direct. The electorate chose instead, to vent their pent-up anger towards Republican incumbents, who took a "thumping" as the President said. Yes there were other issues like corruption, but Iraq was the emotional issue. Had President Bush been up for re-election, he would have been soundly defeated by even a paraplegic blind mute this time around.

Let's get back to that "happiness index" I spoke about in the beginning of this article. Are any of us happier with the progress of our country over the last six years than we were before that period? Are we more optimistic about the future of our country now than we were a few years ago? Do any of us believe we are headed in the right direction, or even where we are headed at all?

I believe we are now facing MASSIVE UNRESOLVED PROBLEMS that if not addressed will get worse, and our present leadership is not even aware that they exist. America has moved from a farming economy pre 1900, to a manufacturing economy in the 20th century. It must now complete the move from a manufacturing economy, to a services / post industrial society in this the 21st century. This is going to be a tough move with big unanticipated downdrafts that can knock us for an economic loop.

China and the Asian rim want to manufacture everything, leaving us with nothing. Some of our brand name companies are more than willing to accommodate them. Nike manufactures nothing - everything comes from Asia. The massive oil companies in this country including Exxon, and others manufacture nothing - they are strictly distribution and marketing entities. GM and Ford can not compete against Asian manufacturing, and then there's Wal-Mart, which really functions as a distribution arm for China. Eighty percent of everything Wal-Mart sells comes from China.

This President does not have his eye on the ball, and we are in danger of losing our economic fire power in the next decade. He is asleep at the switch, and must realize that we can no longer afford the loss of precious lives, and national wealth on wars without objectives in countries that none of us have ever been to.

We do not have a "Happiness Index" in this country, but if we did, I believe we are near a low in our emotional happiness in this country. Things have to change, and they have to change in a hurry. Time is NOT on our side. Other countries want to eat our economy for lunch, and displace us as the world's only remaining superpower. This President would do well to act his act together, and start thinking about how to maintain national economic wellbeing in the face of the coming foreign economic threats that are looming.

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