Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The lightning round

I know I haven't written a piece for a few weeks, but I have a good excuse. Well, not really a good excuse, but here it is anyway. I am busy moving 18 years worth of horse/cow/ranch stuff from our business in Sacramento back home to Esparto. That is a piece for another day, and I assure you, I will write it. It's a case of government mismanagement that should make you pretty angry. I know our long time customers, the local community and most everyone associated with Gibson Ranch are very upset right now.

So, what have I missed? Let me go straight to the lightning round, where the questions and answers come fast.

What's your take on the Ground Zero Mosque?
That is a tricky one for me. Do I think they should build it two blocks from ground zero, on the site where the landing gear from one of the hijacked planes crashed through the roof of the building? No. It is terribly insensitive to the victims’ families, and it is my thinking that the area of impact around ground zero should be treated more like a national battle field. I don't want the Ground Zero Virgin Atlantic store, the Ground Zero Wal-Mart, or the Cordoba Mosque built there. How about just a great big office building with a memorial park around the 16 acre site?

On the other hand, it is private property, and the local zoning agency, even if they are a bunch of hand-wringing, politically correct, ninnies, has approved the building site.

I think the offer to give the Imam another site, a little further away, is the right thing to do, and he should take it. If this Imam is truly concerned with 'building bridges' between our cultures, he won't build this bridge so close to the grave site of the thousands killed by people acting in the name Islam. Maybe he is just angling for someone to offer twenty million dollars for the building and he takes his fifteen million in profit and opens a franchise of Cordoba Mosques around the city. It is amazing how doubling or tripling your money seems to belay your outrage about religious freedom.

Bottom line; you have the right to build it, it' just not the right thing to do. Not by a long shot.

What do you think about President Obama's "Recovery Summer?"
Who ever came up with that idea should be fired immediately, if not sooner. 14.6 million People without jobs and an unemployment rate of 9.5% does not a recovery make. At this pace, if we borrow and spend another ten trillion dollars, we might get back down to 5% unemployment in a few years. The people know who owns this economy now, and his name isn't George Bush.

What about all the combat troops leaving Iraq?
I guess it is a good news story, but it really isn't a true story. The fawning media is reporting all the combat troops have left Iraq, and President Obama has kept one of his campaign promises. I don't know who is happier, the people at MSNBC or the insurgents who want to topple the Iraqi government.

In fact, we still have 50,000 soldiers stationed in Iraq. Barring a miracle of biblical proportions, a considerable amount of them will remain in Iraq for the foreseeable future. Basically, the combat brigades have been reassigned with new designations. The 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team of the 25th Infantry Division is still deployed in Iraq; they just call it an Advise and Assist Brigade. Same soldiers, same weapons, different name. Nice try, but it kind of reminds of the aforementioned recovery summer. Call it whatever you want, but it is what it is. As long as the Iraq government squabbles, fights and creates a leadership vacuum, we will have to prop them up, or watch the country completely collapse. I would love to see all our troops come home, but unfortunately, we are there for the long haul. You can call the troops there peacekeepers, ambassadors of good will, or The Salvation Army, but the fact remains, Iraq is still a very dangerous place.

Last question; what do you think about the November election, will the Pelosi, Reid and the Democrats lose the Congress?
Ask me on Halloween, but right now it doesn't look good if you have 'D' next to your name. I would say the GOP gets the House of Representatives for sure, and comes very close in the Senate. Let's see if the Republicans can actually come up with a message that resonates with the voters other than "we are not Obama." We saw how well that worked in the last election when Democrats ran on the "we are not Bush" platform. You can win an election, then what?

Cutting spending, reducing the growth of government, if not an outright reduction in size, is great to talk about, but much harder to do. It takes a political will, a good deal of courage, and a tough chin, because it is going to be a fistfight when you start taking even a little slice off someone sacred cow. I hope the Republicans are up to the task. We will see.