Posting opinions, letters and correspondence from far and wide. Even some to/from my elected representatives.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bringing Cultures Together - A "Hamburger with the Lot" at a time

There's something particularly enjoyable about Thanksgiving. A time where thanks is given to the wonderful bounty of America, to its freedoms, to its sacrifices (particularly of the troops who gave their own lives). For me, it is also a time to thank my family, all of 'em - wife, sons, nieces, nephews, brothers, father, mother and sister and Tessie. Without mum and dad, I wouldn't be here, nor would I know what I know, would not have seen what I've seen and would not have had a "Hamburger with the Lot". Without my own upbringing, I wouldn't know a "nong" from a "wanker". Without my brothers and sister, I would have had no allies later in life. They struggled their way forward and we all ended up bonded - even though we're separated by distances, we know we're together. Then without my adopted country, I would never have known politics had a left and a right nor would I know that the Verizano bridge towers are six inches wider at the top than at the bottom because it's that big. I wouldn't know how big a bonus can be. I wouldn't know how fast you can be promoted if you're good at at what you do. I wouldn't know what a reflected echo sounds like outside the Oyster bar in Grand Central. And I wouldn't know what three miles of old money in Greenwich looks like (a la North St). And without both countries, I wouldn't know what it's like to eat a "Hamburger with the Lot" on a Wall Street Journal instead of the Daily Telegraph.

To all of you out there, I give thanks to the most important people in my life, starting with Stella, Brandon and Max. And I also thank my family down under who brought me the "Hamburger with the Lot". On ya mate!

And I want to thank the Equadorian in deli Taste of New York City who looked at me quizzickly before dutifully doing a damn fine job putting together a burger the likes of which he had never made before. He asked me several times "you want - beets - on that?" "and you want - pineapple - on it?" "which goes on the pile first". He sliced the pineapple too thin and missed the tomato(e). But, the amazing thing about this great country America is that, if you want it, someone out there will make it for you. If you yearn for it, work for it, go after it, you can have it. Let's hope it stays that way.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Conservatives - Where to from here?

First, find your way out.

Conservatives have choices to make.
  1. Join the Libertarian Party
  2. Reform the Republican Party
  3. Hunker down and drop out altogether.
Conservatives have research to do.
  1. Is the Libertarian Party ever going to be successful?
  2. Is the Republican Party reformable?
  3. Is hunkering down a viable strategy for our children?
Conservatives have realities to face.
  1. Is the media really biased and if so, how do we influence it so that it is not without undermining our own support of the first amendment?
  2. Who should lead the Republican party for the foreseeable future?
  3. What IS the foreseeable future?
  4. How do we plan moving forward?
  5. What should be our short term and long term goals?
  6. Are there any places within our policy platform that we need to adjust?
  7. What should they be adjusted to?

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Obama will be like touching a hot stove.

All of these newly registered voters. They've not voted before so they've never touched the hot stove before either. So that would mean that they've never known the feeling of despondency that comes from promises made by a politician who then turned out to fail to deliver. It means they don't know what is like to have their curiosity and fascination that is devoid of reasoning or logic dashed to pieces. If (and it's a big if at this moment 11AM on Tuesday November 4th 2008) Obama wins then it will have been due to various factors. And the loss will be bitter because it was the first election for me where I was able to vote for my own head of state (formerly having been only able to call myself a subject of the Queen of Australia who is of course a foreigner).
But there will be good news to come of all of this. One of the rays of sunshine I make as a prediction is that all of these newly registered voters, if they should indeed come out and actually vote (I have my doubts), well they will be as a child who has never touched the hot stove of liberalism. And over the next four years we will see those voters become despondent, disappointed and crestfallen. Because they will learn (the hard way) over the next four years that populism and the cult of personality may be good for false hopes and revving up big crowds but it does not make an economy grow or recover, nor does it lead the world toward democracy and freedom, nor does it spell magical solutions to societies ills. Obama and a Democrat controlled congress will appoint liberal judges, raise taxes and reshape the United States in ways that will shock, horrify and appall these new voters. Just as a baby puts its hand onto the hot stove and spends a brief moment wondering what is wrong with the situation, so to our new voters will have a few months perhaps a year or so before suddenly, just as a baby recoils in spasms of pain, so to our newly registered voters will suddenly be shocked and pained by what they see before them. The good news is, not too many among us ever touch the hot stove twice.