23 December 2012

Christmas memories

They’ll ride 200 miles today
And hope that Santa knows
Where to leave their presents
When down the chimney he goes

They’ll eat at least three times today
And open gifts a half dozen more
At his and hers and mine and ours
And theirs, a half-a-score

They’ll enjoy the gifts and lights and songs
The turkey and the ham
The stuffing, the corn, the cranberry sauce
And the rolls with strawberry jam

But somewhere deep inside they’ll recall
Christmas reds golds and blues
When you could play all day long
And never put on your shoes.

There’s no use trying to fix the blame
And they don’t even try
They love them both despite their faults
No sense in asking why

So they all try to lay hurts aside
This cold and wet December
And try to give the kids they love
A Christmas to remember

22 December 2012

Finding sense in the senseless

An unspeakable tragedy unfolded while I was on the road to Washington to see my kids a week ago last Friday. My own son, William, is 9, and so the attack on an elementary school hit particularly close to home for me. So many young lives taken, so many brave teachers lost, and one psychopathic killer, undeserving even to be mentioned in the same breath as his victims. At times like this, my Christian values forget that I deserve Hell myself, and the grace freely given to me is hard to come by for this dude. All theological indications are that the shooter has been in Hell about a week now, and I find that comforting. A just and holy God is allowing him to suffer the fate his sins deserve, while my own sins are covered and hidden mercifully from me by the sacrifice of Jesus, whose birth we will celebrate next week. I’ll overlook the theological implications of the children and teachers, not that it’s unimportant, but simply because it’s not my point at the moment.

Coming as it did on the heels of another senseless shooting here in Oregon, the usual suspects of liberal wackjobs and conservative wackjobs have taken to the airwaves and fiber-optic lines to tout their “answers” to all that ails us as a nation that allows such events as these take place. Being right about everything as I am (What? You don’t think you’re right about everything? What do you think you’re wrong about and if you think you’re wrong, why don’t you change?), I have the answers. Most of you won’t like them and that goes for both sides.

First, although I am staunchly conservative, I have long advocated certain common sense gun controls. I am not a member of the NRA, since I find some of their positions extreme. I am also not an adherent of the delusional approach that banning all weapons (why only firearms?) will result in homicidal individuals repenting of their evil schemes because they can’t legally get hold of a gun, or else will, in the words of the great philosopher Archie Bunker,
resort to pushing people out of windows. Banning all firearms only guarantees that people who obey the law will be armed with nothing more dangerous that their keys, helpless sheep until LEO can arrive. Guns must continue to be legally available to most (not all, most) law abiding citizens. Banning firearms only guarantees that when a shooter appears, the innocent will always be outgunned. A number of years ago, this was proven true when The Los Angeles Police Department found itself outgunned by a couple of bank-robbing thugs armed with ILLEGAL fully automatic AK-47s and body armor. Where were the police in Newtown? Where were the police in Clackamas? The same place they always are: covering too much territory with too few officers. They are neither omniscient nor omnipresent. They play the odds, which until last week said crowded shopping malls contain only shoplifters and elementary schools contain only little kids who snuck in with Dad’s pocket knife. As a civilian, I must take some responsibility for my own safety. For me, I decided that means carrying a handgun.

Taking my legally obtained firearm out of my fully registered, law abiding, properly trained, multi-time fingerprinted and background checked hands makes no one safer except a potential assailant.

My gun may save your life someday because I took the time and expense to obey the law and prepare for the unexpected. My firearm is no threat to anyone who is not a threat to me. It also means that I have spent time thinking about what to do if I find myself in the position of the Clackamas shoppers or the Newtown teachers. I am observant in public. I am watching the people around me, looking for someone who looks odd (besides me), people behaving strangely, looking out of place. I know what to do, how to (and how not to) approach a shooter, when it is absolutely necessary to use my weapon, and when I can use it without putting people in greater danger. Nick Meli apparently used just such a thought process, if his story is true (I’ll grant the possibility that it isn’t). I think about the angles, how to minimize the potential for someone behind the shooter to be in greater danger than they already were should I miss. Although I’m not a half- bad shot, I know I’m responsible for everything that bullet affects from the time it leaves my gun until it stops, and I know that in any event, if I must discharge my weapon, even if completely justified, life will forever change. But not everyone can or will take these precautions, and therefore some simple, common sense limits to the 2nd Amendment must exist. Here’s what I think they should be.

1. Ban ONLY full-auto firearms. Oh wait, they’re already banned. Somehow, a decent number of these are in human hands outside the military. How is this possible?!? Don’t these criminals know that such weapons are illegal?? What part of “criminal” do you not understand? Think a “gun-free zone” will do the trick? Do they have unicorns there, too? Think Lanza or Roberts would have even seen such a sign, let alone obeyed it? Cold-blooded murder is a more serious felony than gun possession. If they were willing to violate the first, more serious law, why would they hesitate to break the second, relatively minor law?

2. Require any person owning a gun to register said weapon, complete a background check, and a low cost, easily accessible, eight-to-forty-hour gun safety course (the longer and more comprehensive, the better, within reason).
This one’ll make the NRA have fits! You should be able to demonstrate familiarity and proficiency with your weapon or leave it at home, period. If you cannot properly and safely handle a firearm, you have no business handling one at all. Every permit holder I know prays to God he/she never has to fire their weapon outside a range. But the fact is the fastest way to stop a bad man with a gun is a good man with a gun.

3. All firearms transfers must be documented, and that includes person-to-person and gun show purchases/trades. I don’t like this one. It’s inefficient and expensive. But I have to admit the so called “gun show loophole” must be closed.

4. Taxes paid from legal gun and ammo sales can be used to fund the infrastructure to implement the required registration process and lower the cost of mandatory training. Ammo must be freely obtainable upon showing valid ID. Without ammo, a handgun is a paperweight, a rifle is a baseball bat. I’m not concerned with the type or amount of ammo someone wants to buy. If they can pass the background check and training, let ‘em have it. Now, here’s where my own logic poses a problem. While I believe a person should be allowed to own any gun (except full-auto), including so called “assault weapons (I’m thinking mainly of the widely avaiable AR-15 and the
AK-47, perhaps the finest, most reliable rifle ever invented), I do NOT advocate being able to CARRY said weapon in public. And since any high-powered rifle is wholly impractical for home defense, why would anyone need to own such a weapon? Unless……..

5. …the anti-gun-registration folks are up in arms (no pun intended). “This is the first step to government confiscation of all guns, like Hitler did in Germany in the 1930s!” Godwin! You lose! Seriously, if the government decides to take your guns, they will. “Over my dead body!” Yes. Probably so. And they’ll be okay with that. You can’t hold off the whole army. If they come after your guns, they’ll leave with them, and with you dead or alive, it won’t matter much to them either way, they’ll still leave with them. They might pay a heavy price, but face it; they can confiscate your guns if they want to. The best defense against that is to elect people who believe like I do (campaign contributions can be sent to me via PayPal). :^)

6. Home defense depends on immediately accessible firearms. I have a pump-action 12 gauge loaded with #6 shot and a 9MM Makarov. They are loaded and within easy reach EXCEPT when my kids are here. It’s my understanding that both the Oregon and Connecticut shooters stole their weapons, or in any case, obtained them without the owner’s permission. A homeowner simply cannot allow this to happen. Part of being a responsible gun owner is preventing unauthorized access to your weapons. Common sense dictates that a home defense weapon must be available immediately for defense, but other, non-immediately essential weapons should be secured as best you can (nothing is 100% safe from a determined thief).

7. Uniformed, heavily armed law enforcement personnel should be required at all public buildings, including schools(I started writing this several days before the NRA’s press conference).
Private institutions such as stores, malls, and private schools could be given assistance to provide such security at their discretion, but if they choose not to, they are responsible for the consequences of their actions/inactions. Of all the stupid things you want to raise my taxes for, this is one I’ll take.

8. Background checks must be streamlined and simplified for most persons, so that the vast majority of persons can be quickly and easily approved. At the same time, there must be a way to flag profiles of people who have had minor run-ins with the law or sought or been recommended for treatment for mental/emotional illnesses. There should be a minimum 48 hour waiting period, and I’d prefer 5-7 days. For private sales and gun shows, the firearms could be turned over to a local licensed gun dealer or the senior county LEO to complete the transfer for a small fee.
Flagging a person should be kept confidential except for the flagee, and should NOT by itself be grounds to deny ownership. It’s just a safety precaution to allow cases where there are clearly no apparent reasons to deny ownership/possession to proceed quickly, while non-slam dunk cases get a little more attention. That won’t stop all the nuts, nothing will stop all the nuts, but it’ll stop some.

9. Law abiding citizens should be able to “opt-in” to a registry to permit more freedom to obtain weapons and ammunition, similar to the TSA’s frequent flyer idea. If you’re willing to register, voluntarily providing more information to LEO, you can. “WHAT?? Give the government a list of everything I own and any time I buy more??” See number 5 above. I’ve been fingerprinted something north of a half dozen times, and background checked at least 5. I have nothing to hide that would stop anything short of #5.

10. MENTAL HEALTHCARE!!! Why in the blue hell are we so worked up (from either side) about mandatory abortion pills when 20 year olds are aborting 5 year olds??? This is another one of the very few cases I’ll agree to pay higher taxes. At the same time, mental illness is not, by itself, a “get-out-of-jail-free” card for criminals.
Just because you’re nuts doesn’t automatically mean you didn’t understand that you were murdering people. We will never be completely safe. Anywhere. There’s just too many Lanzas and Robertses and Loughners. Law enforcement can’t keep everyone safe all the time. But a little common sense can go a long way toward making everyday life safer for us and more difficult/dangerous for criminals. Just my two cents. Keep the change.

01 December 2012

Who dares stand against his rightful lord?

18 November 1312

Our hunting party set forth from my Lord DeSpencer’s Fortwirth castle before dawn, planning to hunt the woods hard upon the Vesicarum Swamp. We had not yet approached the woods to the northwest when we encountered a fence! Someone had fenced the woods, blocking our progress and continuing around to the east before turning north along the edge of the swamp, terminating at the Larkhall Burn Bridge.
Of course we trampled the vile, illegal thing and continued into the woods, four spearmen in front, seven archers in the rear, and Commander Willard of Hawick astride Warbringer in command.
We had scarcely entered the woods when we heard a horn blowing from the northeast. Our archers on the right flank moved toward the swamp and sighted a group of villagers and a few pathetic huts on the far side of the loch. They appeared quite agitated, and were crossing the bridge as if to approach us. Meanwhile, Cdr Willard’s prized hunting dog Charger had indeed charged, into the thick forest due north of us, apparently (we thought) spotting game. The Cdr called to Charger, but to no avail, and turned his attention to the unknown, ordering the party to move east to determine the source and intentions of the horn and rabble of peasants.
The bloody fools from the village charged us straightway, attacking with pitiful farm tools, little more than sticks, really, and babbling some nonsense about “their lands” and “sacred forest.” ALL these lands, even these very peasants are the property of my Lord DeSpencer, duly granted by the King for long, brave and noble service! And these stupid, ungrateful vermin fence and hunt the forest without my Lord’s blessing? And even to attack my Lord’s most loyal and fearless commander?!?
Two archers stopped on the bridge and managed to bring down Jeffry of Newcastle upon Tyne, one of my Lord’s best archers, before we shot them through, but the archers could not be again brought to bear due to the close nature of the fight.. Our attention was so focused on the peasants that we didn’t notice until after the battle that two more archers (if you can call what these wretches carried “bows”), whom the dog had spotted, had taken down the archer on our left flank, he being Arthur Farrier, a boy of 14, but already a good marksman, a fine lad, he shall be missed, and his family the object of my Lord’s protection and blessing.
While our spearmen jousted with the peasants, the two archers who had flanked Arthur came in to attack, the Cdr’s dog right behind, snapping and snarling in splendid bestial fury. The narrow confines of the dirt path that ran between the woods and along that blasted fence made our superior numbers useless, as the peasants attacked two and sometimes three on one.
But they were so poorly equipped, and completely unarmored, they were quickly dispatched, but not before William Campbell, a Scot by birth, but a faithful subject of my Lord, was severely wounded. The remaining four or five peasants, apparently coming to their senses, fled in great haste back across the bridge and beyond, out of sight behind their huts of mud and dung and twigs.
Cdr Willard ordered the dwellings and fence fired, but we had little in the way of making such a large fire, and the fence was perpetually damp, being set hard upon the edge of the swamp, and with Campbell down, he assented to return to the castle, forestalling vengeance upon the wretched creatures who dared defy their rightful Lord!

24 November 2012

Another Time Machine

Man has already invented a working time machine. It can transport you back to a specific time and a specific place with a specific person. Pity it only works one way. Most of us have several. This is one of mine.

21 October 2012

Methinks they doth (or did) protest too much.

I came across something amusing. Mitt Romney is being criticized for using religious deferments to avoid service in the Vietnam War (a religion he still clings to, btw, I don't know whether he clings to guns or not). Much of the current administration, and many of the very people piously voicing this crap, are the same people, or children of the same people, who spent Romney's deferments protesting the war they now criticize Romney for not joining.

It would be funny, if it weren't just sad.

Mitt Romney is at least as qualified as Obama to be CinC, perhaps more so, because he might actually attend his briefings.

20 October 2012


By itself, the word "perhaps" is powerless, no better than an even bet.

But with GOD, "perhaps" becomes limitless!

"...for perhaps for this reason..."
Philemon 15

08 October 2012

25,000 visits

Sometime over the weekend, my little corner of the blogging world passed 25,000 hits. I remain ever grateful that anyone at all finds a reason to visit, and better still, a reason to return. To those who agree with what they find here, thank you for your encouragement. To those who disagree, I am thankful we have differences worth discussing. And to those in between, I'm thankful for the freedom to discuss. God bless y'all!

29 September 2012

I beg to differ.

The original poster's point is taken. It's always too soon to give up. (Almost always) But I disagree with the statement as made.. The hardest part is not the beginning. The hardest part is the endless middle. The long countless, thankless, weeks, months, years, when you are striving faithfully, but seeing absolutely NO results. In fact, you're seeing only more indifference, if not active hostility. It is here that your faith and endurance will be tested.

04 September 2012

Romney Ryan 2012

Now that we've really heard what these two gentlemen want us to hear (light on specifics as campaign speeches are wont to be), I figured I'd take a closer look. As always, your mileage may vary.

It's no great secret I'm not 100% behind the ticket. Who ever is? I've voted FOR (rather than against) maybe two politicians in my life: Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, and Shelby County (TN) Commissioner Chris Thomas. Well, other than the few times I've written myself in.

But these are a few things I liked.

"...optimism is uniquely American. It is what brought us to America. We are a nation of immigrants. We are the children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the ones who wanted a better life, the driven ones, the ones who woke up at night hearing that voice telling them that life in that place called America could be better."

"They came not just in pursuit of the riches of this world but for the richness of this life.


Freedom of religion.

Freedom to speak their mind.

Freedom to build a life.

And yes, freedom to build a business. With their own hands.

This is the essence of the American experience.

We Americans have always felt a special kinship with the future.

When every new wave of immigrants looked up and saw the Statue of Liberty, or knelt down and kissed the shores of freedom just ninety miles from Castro’s tyranny, these new Americans surely had many questions. But none doubted that here in America they could build a better life, that in America their children would be more blessed than they."

Yes, optimism and the opportunity to go as far as hard work can take you is uniquely American. That immigration is an issue for us means people WANT to come here. And we have ways to do just that.



Over a million did so last year.

"But today, four years from the excitement of the last election, for the first time, the majority of Americans now doubt that our children will have a better future."

Some estimates indicate that millions, tens of millions, have lost upward of 40% of their wealth.

Who's fault is that?

How many terms does Obama need until something, anything will be his fault?

"This is when our nation was supposed to start paying down the national debt and rolling back those massive deficits."

Yes, Dubya was a deficit spender, due in no small part by two wars. Support for deficit spending is usually in direct proportion to your support for what it's being spent on.

"I can still hear [my mother] saying in her beautiful voice, “Why should women have any less say than men, about the great decisions facing our nation?” I can still hear her saying in her beautiful voice, “Why should women have any less say than men, about the great decisions facing our nation?” I wish she could have been here at the convention and heard leaders like Governor Mary Fallin, Governor Nikki Haley, Governor Susana Martinez, Senator Kelly Ayotte and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice."

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz called these women "shiny packages." Really? Three governors, a senator and a former Secretary of State, one of the most accomplished and intelligent women on the planet.
This dismissive tone is one of the clearest examples of the spiteful, vicious tone that saturates the national discourse.

And don't talk to me about Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, or other conservative flashbangs. I don't watch them either. I'll admit FoxNews is slanted to the right if you'll admit MSNBC is slanted to the left.

"Many of you felt that [something special was happening] on Election Day four years ago. Hope and Change had a powerful appeal.
But tonight I'd ask a simple question: If you felt that excitement when you voted for Barack Obama, shouldn’t you feel that way now that he’s President Obama? You know there’s something wrong with the kind of job he’s done as president when the best feeling you had was the day you voted for him."

I find it amusing that his base is unhappy because he's done to little, while conservatives are unhappy with him because he's done too much. This is another symptom of the polarization of modern politics. But almost everything he's "accomplished" is something I disagree with.
"The President has disappointed America because he hasn’t led America in the right direction. He took office without the basic qualification that most Americans have and one that was essential to his task. He had almost no experience working in a business. Jobs to him are about government."
Let's talk for a minute about "you didn't build that." In fairness, I don't think Obama meant that the way people took it. He was talking about infrastructure, not individual small businesses. But even here, he's wrong again. Yes, infrastructure is (usually, but not always) built by government, not the small business owner. But that infrastructure also carries customers to his competitors. To people who will never darken the door of his/her business. And don't get too cocky about how much government has "helped" him. That infrastructure was built in part by his taxes, since welfare recipients rarely start their own businesses. And if the infrastructure (a traffic signal, road extension/widening) benefits him too much, he'll have to pay part of the costs up front.

"It’s the genius of the American free enterprise system – to harness the extraordinary creativity and talent and industry of the American people with a system that is dedicated to creating tomorrow’s prosperity rather than trying to redistribute today's."

Bain Capital made Romney rich. Very rich. And yes, the very nature of business is that some people succeed and others fail. Some fill new jobs, others lose old ones. But I highlighted the last phrase for a reason: This "recovery" has been and still is largely a phantom. While the Administration touts the number of "new jobs" created, they conveniently ignore what kind of "jobs." A recent article in the New York Times revealed a study by The National Employment Law Project, a LIBERAL research and advocacy group, which said "The overarching message here is we don’t just have a jobs deficit; we have a ‘good jobs’ deficit."

I learned a long time ago that numbers without context can be used to support any position. So let's note that the NELP blames this on runaway corporations, gouging profits, and insufficient government intervention.

Corporations exist to make a profit. Yes, many of them pay otherworldly salaries to their top executives. But there's a way to address that: Buy local when you can; buy from companies that have sane, rational business models.
But don't just scream about corporate profits and label them "untaxed." Corporations do one of three things with income: Pay wages; pay dividends (your retirement fund, if you have one, is very likely receiving those dividends and rising in value as stock prices rise); or invest in research and development. They purchase equipment, goods, and services, usually provided by smaller companies. Those wages and profits are taxes, either as wages, dividends, or capital gains. Government cannot create wealth. It merely shuffles dollars around on the whim of the regime, while taking a cut for the privilege.

"That is why every president since the Great Depression who came before the American people asking for a second term could look back at the last four years and say with satisfaction: "you are better off today than you were four years ago."

Except Jimmy Carter. And except this president.

This president can ask us to be patient.

This president can tell us it was someone else’s fault.

This president can tell us that the next four years he’ll get it right.

But this president cannot tell us that YOU are better off today than when he took office."

I'm very disappointed in Mr. Carter. I used to think fairly highly of him persoanlly, although I disagree with him, strongly, on a lot of issues, as many of you disagree with Dubya. But Dub has at least, mostly, kept his mouth shut. I can't think of any reason on Earth for anyone to proclaim that The Carter Administration was our "golden years." Of all people, a former President knows how hard that job is, and how much criticism he's exposed to on a minute by minute basis. And Carter has the added bonus of being dead wrong on the Israeli/Palestinian issue.

"...unlike the President, I have a plan to create 12 million new jobs. It has 5 steps. [I'll focus on only on a few parts]

First, by 2020, North America will be energy independent by taking full advantage of our oil and coal and gas and nuclear and renewables.

Second, we will give our fellow citizens the skills they need for the jobs of today and the careers of tomorrow. When it comes to the school your child will attend, every parent should have a choice, and every child should have a chance.

Third, we will make trade work for America by forging new trade agreements. And when nations cheat in trade, there will be unmistakable consequences.

Fourth, to assure every entrepreneur and every job creator that their investments in America will not vanish as have those in Greece, we will cut the deficit and put America on track to a balanced budget.

And fifth, we will champion SMALL businesses, America’s engine of job growth. That means reducing taxes on business, not raising them. It means simplifying and modernizing the regulations that hurt small business the most. And it means that we must rein in the skyrocketing cost of healthcare by repealing and replacing Obamacare."

Energy Independence. What's it look like? First and foremost, and it's shocking how few people understand this most basic of all realities, we have to drill where the oil is. We can't drill where we want to and hope we can somehow drag the oil underground from thousands of miles away. The reality is we are a petroleum economy.
So called "green" technology, "zero emission" vehicles, and solar and wind energy are, at this point, inefficient and expensive. We're stuck with so-called fossil fuels for many years to come. We're banning drilling here, while the rest of the planet has no such qualms. We haven't built a new refinery in 25+ years. Ethanol is expensive, takes food out of the food chain, which raises food costs, requires a TON of water, and burns inefficiently, reducing engine performance and gas mileage. A properly built, safe-guarded and inspected nuclear plant is our best option at the moment. Researching alternative energy is too expensive. We can't afford it. BUT... research is only going to get more expensive, so we can't afford NOT to. But in the mean time, I need gas to get to work & see my kids. When I went home for my Mom's funeral in December 2008, gas was $1.38. I filled up yesterday at $3.99. Whose fault is that? When it's $6.99 in 2016, will that finally be Obama's responsibility?

College degrees are increasingly useless and outrageously expensive. We're not training people for the jobs they might actually get. And my own college debt, small by today's standards, will almost certainly not be paid off until I die.

Obamacare (which seems to be a racist term these days) is expensive, unrealistic, makes being a doctor a losing proposition and does NOT GUARANTEE UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE. At best, it guarantees (almost) universal health insurance.
And yes, it looks suspiciously like Romneycare. I'm hoping Mitt has learned a few things since his stint at the helm in Massachusetts.

"In his first TV interview as president, he said we should talk to Iran. We're still talking, and Iran’s centrifuges are still spinning."

This is another example of turning a blind eye to the realities of international diplomacy. Iran doesn't care what we say or how long we say it.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has, in so many words, promised a second Jewish Holocaust, all while denying there was ever a first one. Israel has asked only to be left in peace. That doesn't mean Israel should have carte blanche, but it does mean that tiny nation, historically one of our staunchest allies, and the only thing resembling a Western style democracy, has a right to protect itself from attack. If that means bombing Iranian nuclear facilities, Benjamin Netanyahu will have the political will and resolution to do so. He's the closest thing to a Churchill the current world has.

The reality of the world we live in is that we have enemies. Enemies who have vowed to destroy us. They don't want peace, will not accept peace. Gutting our military will not make us safer, it will make us more vulnerable. Unilateral disarmament is unilaterally insane. But then again, Obama, anti-colonialist that he is, thinks a weaker military will buy us respectability. Iran, and Vladimir Putin's Russia, have no respect for anything but power. Our current foreign policy is sort of like a cop yelling after a fleeing felon "STOP! Or I'll... yell STOP again!

What we've done is allowed politicians who have been screaming "Vietnam!" for 10 years to turn Iraq and Afghanistan into a self-fulfilling prophecy by doing the same thing we did in the 1960-70s: Promise to help our allies, piss off their enemies, send in just enough troops to get them killed, then bail out and leave the enemy in control of our former allies' fate.

"He abandoned our friends in Poland by walking away from our missile defense commitments, but is eager to give Russia's President Putin the flexibility he desires, after the election. Under my administration, our friends will see more loyalty, and Mr. Putin will see a little less flexibility and more backbone."

John F. Kennedy was the last Democrat that had the backbone to stand up to the Russians. Obama has taught our enemies we don't have the will to fight and our allies that we can't be trusted.
Within four years, what will Putin have done to secure "peace" with the US?

"If I am elected President of these United States, I will work with all my energy and soul to restore that America, to lift our eyes to a better future. That future is our destiny. That future is out there. It is waiting for us. Our children deserve it, our nation depends upon it, the peace and freedom of the world require it. And with your help we will deliver it. Let us begin that future together tonight."
This is the culmination of my argument, and the saddest commentary upon it. I don't see anyone, not Romney, and certainly not Obama, that can reunite our caustic nation. The fringes are too large on both ends, and too fanatical. The majority in the middle doesn't care enough to participate, or do anything else harder than complain. But at least we can make the future less expensive.

Anyone who has tried to make a personal or family budget knows there comes a tipping point where your debt is maxed out, you've cut expenses to the bone, and you can't increase your income. Our government can increase its income by making exorbitant taxes worse, refusing to cut expenses we simply cannot afford, and continuing to put those expenses, present and future, on our Chinese credit card, until we've maxed out our last card.

What will that America look like? I've said before, and I'll say it again, if we don't find a way to build consensus and live within our means, there's no reason to believe we will cannot go the way of every other great civilization in history. If we continue the path of greatest resistance, we will be fighting in the streets within 10 years, maybe 5.