Thursday, October 30, 2008

Smart Pumpkin

We had the fun and excitement of pumpkin-carving this past weekend. Of our two pumpkins bought at the now traditional pumpkin spot about five miles south in Whiteland, one became a smiling ghost. The other takes on a civic duty and preaches a good message: "Vote Obama 08." Well said, smart pumpkin.

Originally, we were going to create a work that would have rivaled the magnificance of Michaelo's masterpiece - the Palin pumpkin. We'd stencil her face on the pumpkin, and then of course add an ever-so-fitting witch hat. Nearby, we'd have a button that says, "Lipstick and pitbull sold separately." Thought that was pretty clever, but it was later determined we non-Palin folk must be "anti-American" as we seemed to lack the skill to perfect the stencil-pumpkin work. Plus, it might very well scare the kids away from our porch come trick-or-treat time. So, the voting encouragement won the battle and became engraved on our pumpkin. It beats out the pesky yard signs, and spreads the good word.

Now all we can hope is that enough of the country is as smart as you, gets to the polls, and makes the correct choice. We shall see...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Concerns

We are in the final month of a presidential campaign season, and it's apparent we all have concerns about how it'll all turn out.

A common thread thought among reasonable people is that we need change - how we'll see that needed change is largely what's being debated. A frequent comment I hear is that the future is about tomorrow and our children's tomorrows. I'd concur. But would also note that without an adequate today and tomorrow, there won't be an adequate line of tomorrows for our future generations.

I worry that my children won't be able to attend any kind of protest in the future. If they happen to speak out in disagreement about a policy issue or war, they might be deemed "unpatriotic" and locked up. Or, if in sitting in a church where someone says something against the mainstream, if they don't leave, they might someday be questioned about their patriotism and judgement. That's not my view of what a free society, with free speech, religion, and press, is all about.

I worry that the housing market won't recover and we won't be able to ever get a return on value for the wonderful, lovely home we've shared for three years. I worry that my future retirement savings and those of my children will be wittled to nothing because we leave it in the control of greedy corporate lenders who have no accountability and continue receiving tax breaks all in the false sense of "keeping good jobs here."

I worry that my family's employer health care will become unviable because my plan will be taxed, and the same self-policing thoughts that have been allowed for coporate Wall Street will price me out of the affordable range and the insurance companies' long-desired caps to limit their payouts will thus limit my diabetes coverage and become a tool to bankrupt my family's future.

The candidates both have decent ideas about energy efficiency that would mean domestic oil drilling (hopefully limited in some areas and regulated to protect our natural beauties), biofuels, wind power, and other methods. That's a step in the right direction that will give our kids a chance to not rely on the Middle East for oil but also be able to enjoy their environment here. Global warming issues are a part of that and need attention.

While I would continuously educate, nurture, and advocate that any daughter of mine be mindful of sex and not engage in it until she's old enough and met the right person, I wouldn't want to foreclose the opportunity that she might someday get prematurely pregnant. And while I don't personally agree with abortion and would want to teach her that, I wouldn't ever take away her choice to decide for herself based on her beliefs.

I am learning to live with God in my life and am a student of the Bible. However, this country was founded by people who were fleeing from religious persecution. They may have had strong religious convictions, but they chose not to make those a part of government and should be separate, and personal. That's what I believe. My family's religion is my family's religion - not yours, and not my neighbors'. A line is there.

On foreign affairs - I want the war to end and our troops to come home, and my fear is that we're on a path to never getting out. It's a war we can't win, because that's a region that's seen conflicts going on for 1,000 years and hasn't been forced to step up adequately and make itself better. We need Iraq to support themselves, embrace what they want, or else it's a doomed warzone we'll never be able to escape. Leaving gradually and making it so that self-support is implemented, is logical and responsible. This is an enemy that can't be defeated by us alone - we need the world's help, and right now, thanks to the past years, we aren't well-liked. That needs to change for us to succeed overseas. That hope, rather than brunt military force that may never end, gives me more to smile about when thinking what the futures maybe for any boys in our family.

We need change, for today and tomorrow and future generations. Fear-mongering, repression, and policies that push others' views and beliefs onto the masses isn't the way I see that happening. Being forced to live without choice, without civil rights and freedoms that generations of troops have fought and died for, isn't what we must leave our children. We need to leave them a world with those things, as well as protected natural resources that can be balanced with society's needs. Our children deserve that.