Is the Political Pot Calling the Kettle “Black”?

About a month ago, I wrote a response to an editorial piece for my local newspaper.  It wasn’t published there, so I convinced the author of this blog to post it here for all the world to see.  Obviously, I didn’t take much convincing considering I’ve in away for the better part of the month.  Still, with my average of one to two posts a month, it’s probably about time that I put something up again.  I am legitimately trying do publish more often.  I suffered the same sort hiatus from blogging as did my Tucson counterpart (and I use that term loosely, he is far more prolific than I).  I’ve tried to revamp the direction of the blog, and each time I settle into the same routine of churning out a post a month.  At least I’m consistent.  At this point,  I still have visions of sugar plums and a more focused topicality to the content here.  The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.  Thanks Lao Tzu.  I’m moving forward here, if only by a step.

So what I have below my response to a satirical editorial by Will Durst.  Mr. Durst is self-proclaimed as America’s Top Political Satirist.  In late-August, he wrote an article, “Mister Muzzle and Nuzzle.”  You can find it here (scroll down to August, 27, 2011).  It’s a great article – very sarcastic.  On a whim I penned a reply in the same style.  It’s not quite my style, but I enjoyed the opportunity to step out of my literary skin and try a response in the same manner.

Now technically I wrote this reply in August – so this today is only a quasi September post.  Will there be another?  Stay tuned.

In response to “Mister Muzzle and Nuzzle” by Will Durst

Mr. Durst’s laugh-and-bash editorial of Rick Perry’s Texas-style entry into the GOP presidential race largely ignores the reality; even a generic-flavored Republican from the candidate buffet is a more palatable alternative than Obama’s medicine.  I didn’t care for Obama’s healthcare pill, and I didn’t care for the elixir of injecting greenbacks into Wall Street.  Last I checked, America is still hooked up to an I.V. monitored by S&P and Moodys.  And if those monitoring stations indicate anything other than a clean bill of health, the Feds launch an investigation.  At least Biden will celebrate the boost in payroll numbers.

Let’s face it, America is waking from its Obama fairytale with a huge hangover.  This isn’t like quite the Cinderella story topped with sugarplums and happily ever after endings that we envisioned – not when nearly 1 in 10 can’t get a job.  Apparently census workers are seasonal positions.  Check back in ten years Detroit.  Unbeknownst to Obama, most of America can’t take weeklong vacations every month or afford to have working wives make celebrity appearances on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.  But hey, every job has its perks.  I get my jollies after I punch out at after work, sit down and watch stocks jump like yo-yos.  What a rush; my net worth jumps around more than Tigger on a pogo-stick.   Talk about entertainment.  Do we still need another four years of Obama in his Washington bubble?

Who cares about numbers though– Social Security isn’t a Ponzi-scheme.  I’m glad Big Government will be there to support me.  Thanks Obama.  I like spending money too.  Let’s do that cash for clunkers thing again.  Yeah, I know the program cost taxpayers about $24,000 for the $4,000 I saved on my new Kia Rio.  And yeah, it’s a foreign car.  So what?  The new Chevrolet Equinox our Labor Secretary drives around Washington in was assembled in Canada.  At least it feels good driving a Chevy.  Looks good in photo shoots too.

Remember those trillions we pumped into the economy?  And those bailouts?  Thank God for those new jobs.  Like $500,000 equals one job?  That’s a Black Friday deal if I ever saw one.  But math wasn’t my strong suit, so I guess me and Washington have one thing in common.  But hey, we can build more industrial plants in Singapore; they need work too.  It’s the cost of doing business.  And that Nobel Peace Prize is looking mighty fine.  Whoops.  I forgot about those wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.  Wait.  Not Libya.  “Kinetic Military Action.” How’s that for linguistic jujitsu?

Let’s not be too hard on Obama.  He has a country to run.  Without his clairvoyant government intervention into nearly every. single. aspect. of our lives, private markets would surely collapse.  Re-election takes front and center too.  Move over Bachmann, Perry, Romney, Cain, Paul, America – Obama has a bunch more goodies coming.  I don’t think I sent my thank you card for the last Christmas present.  You know, that whale of a healthcare bill Obama-Santa gave us all on Christmas Eve, 2009.  It’s the gift that keeps on giving.  Won’t forget that one anytime soon, no sir-ree.  I’m totally looking forward to my upgraded MVD-style doctor office visits.  Where’s my Medicare card?

What other dollops have me salivating this year?  Oh, oh – immigration reform!  Yeah!  That’ll seal up this Hispanic vote.  Don’t touch Social Security or Medicare.  Takes care of elderly.  Drop “G-d” around enough and pick up some of those crazy Christian southern folk too.  Hmm. Why do so many conservatives want to run against Obama?  Can’t they tell Obama offers something for everyone?  Just leave the milk and cookies on the counter.

When Parties and Politics Actually Mix

Normally, it’s bad form to discuss politics at a party.  Last time this happened, the topic of conservation nearly caused a brain hemorrhage in liberal woman who naively solicited my opinion.  At this current party, I again was in the minority – not necessarily because of my conservative leanings (although, that may have been true), but because I was the only person there to not speak Farsi.  Thankfully, everyone also knew English too.

I began speaking to one young man, Allie, who – at 22 – is a graduate student in the architecture program at Arizona State University.  He is a United States citizen, but he travels to Iran regularly.  He commented that one the largest differences he has noticed between the United States and Iran is the notion of “career” in the workplace.  Iran, like many other countries, employs a “siesta”-type work system whereby shops close mid-day to allow time for relaxation and eating.  Allie argued that this system provided the advantage of strengthening families by providing more “together time.”  In contrast, America works hard; it encourages its women to work hard; and  it purports to create a proportional relationship of work to “success” .  Unfortunately, according to him, America does this at the expense of family development.

Weakening the family unit, he posited, in turn will lead to a less stable society.  Eventually, this will undermine a nation’s strength.

Core governance begins at an individual level but it ends on a national level.  The more self-discipline one possesses individually, the less need one has for corporate government.  To maintain a strong national government, the lower spheres should be equally considered and strengthened.  Extrapolating Allie’s larger point, weakening the lower levels of government – namely the family – will slowly erode a nation’s strength.

The aim of ExDeserto, obviously, is to encourage reform that supports the pillars underpinning America’s national dominance.  ExDeserto accomplishes this goal by fostering discussion of these conservative ideas through this blog – and apparently by face-to-face communication at Persian parties too.

Remembering John Roll

To those close friends and families of those slain last Saturday morning outside the Safeway grocery store, January 8 will mark a profound loss that will – even with the passage of time – likely leave an indelible imprint for years and decades to come. The unjustified taking of any life at the hands of another is never acceptable – whether that person be a politician, a judge, a nine-year-old girl, or an elderly retiree.

Some pundits have listed Arizona as the epicenter of violence – from the passage of SB-1070 to Judge Roll’s certification of a lawsuit brought forth by illegal immigrants against ranchers here in Southern Arizona. Even Sheriff Dupnik – in his official capacity – outrageously decried Arizona as the “Mecca for prejudice and bigotry.”

While unfortunate that this tragedy has resulted in political finger-pointing, it’s important to remember those lives so indiscriminately taken – among those Chief Judge John Roll. Though I have met Judge Roll personally, I better knew of him through reputation. In 2008, he lectured during my Blackstone Internship and also at the law school.

Many others can, and have, extolled his soundness as a lawyer and jurist; but I knew of his character commitment to the faith. Anytime a solid Christian passes away, a time for mourning is all but inevitable – not only at death, but also for the void that is left from that pillar in the family and the community. If there is a ever a glimmer it is this: for those in Christ, death is not the end. Even the worst tragedies can birth well-springs of life, of hope, and of a stronger future. May God raise up other lawyers and defenders of truth to take his place.

 

Update: In a powerful tribute to Judge Roll, federal courthouses around the nation lower flags to half-mast.

New York Marathon: An American Winner


Not since 1982 has an American won the New York City Marathon. This race is one of the most competitive in the world. Traditionally dominated by Africans, Americans have been left nipping at the heels – securing second was the American gold. But Meb Keflezighi changed that today, and I offer a hearty congratulations.

America represents freedom; it represents a chance to succeed. Call it exceptionalism or call it pride – but America strives to be the best. We aren’t satisfied with second.

Like many successful individuals, Meb did not not inherit wealth or fame. Born in Eritrea, he became an American citizen and now runs under the red, white, and blue. When I think about this race – particularly how difficult it is to win – I’m thankful this melting pot of American culture is able brings immigrants like Meb that continue to build on the greatness of prior generations. We aren’t satisfied with second. And we shouldn’t ever be.

Remembering 9/11


I was a senior in high school eight years ago when I turned on the TV and witnessed the terrorist attack on American soil.

That morning, I had woken up early and turned on the television; this was a bit uncommon for me. On the screen, billows of greasy smoke poured from the first World Trade Center building. Shortly thereafter, smoke billowed from the second one too.

2,993 Deaths.

If there is ever something that touches the cords of my humanity, it is the death of innocent lives. Even though eight years have passed, I pray to God that I never forget or become dulled by passing time.

In its aftermath, America managed to project a clarion call: attacking freedom will not go unanswered.

Below is an exert from President Bush’s speech to Congress; it acknowledges that while grief will subside, America’s fight for freedom and justice will continue.

It is my hope that in the months and years ahead life will return almost to normal. We’ll go back to our lives and routines and that is good.

Even grief recedes with time and grace.

But our resolve must not pass. Each of us will remember what happened that day and to whom it happened. We will remember the moment the news came, where we were and what we were doing.

Some will remember an image of a fire or story or rescue. Some will carry memories of a face and a voice gone forever.

And I will carry this. It is the police shield of a man named George Howard who died at the World Trade Center trying to save others.

It was given to me by his mom, Arlene, as a proud memorial to her son. It is my reminder of lives that ended and a task that does not end.

I will not forget the wound to our country and those who inflicted it. I will not yield, I will not rest, I will not relent in waging this struggle for freedom and security for the American people. The course of this conflict is not known, yet its outcome is certain. Freedom and fear, justice and cruelty, have always been at war, and we know that God is not neutral between them.

God Bless America.