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I tried to retire.

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Travel in Burma by self

As much as I would like and certainly my wife would love, I find myself unable to divorce myself entirely from the political conversation. Although I have been around the edges of politics for many years, I have never belonged to any political party and have remained an independent. I have supported and voted for both parties and openly supported Obama in a not too friendly area for the President. Never the less, I have always stood for certain issues, like women's rights, the right to choose, minority rights, better pay for teachers, health care for all, and I have never shirked from being called a liberal. If you look up the definition of "liberal" and not fall into the trap set years ago by the far right, you might discover you are also. A number of years ago there was a national poll and questions about speech, the rights of minorities, were asked and a large majority were on the so called liberal side.

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Many years ago I was the president of a local chapter of the National Association of Homebuilders, and also was a state and national director. I was in Washington many times, sat in the office of our representatives to discuss the issues the association was concerned with, and got a good look at how politics worked and still works. The difference today is the disparage and down right hate between the parties and their followers. Congressman Jack Edwards, a Republican was a friend of mine and I still consider him my friend. Jack and I did not always agree but we always remained civil and always respected each other. I don't see that today and the country is the loser. Think just a moment, after two years in office, we still hear people questioning the President's citizenship. Can any reasonable person possibly believe that Clinton or McCain would not have discovered that and used it to its full extent? Of course not, and pundits and politicians that still bring that up are simply looking for attention and appealing to a very small group of people that have limited intellectual ability. If you for one moment think this diatribe is for someone who has political ambitions-----think again; Not even close. Could not be elected, not worthy of being elected, too selfish to serve but will not be stopped from saying what I believe in.

I guess the 2000 election was the thing that made me stand up and scream, and like others much smarter than myself, have always believed that election was stolen. Justice Souter called the ruling that gave Bush the office the lowest point in the Court's history.   For those that have forgotten Justice Souter was appointed by George H.W. Bush. Unfortunately, the political landscape has become so dirty and corrupt most people will not run for any public office because they do not wish to expose themselves and their families to that reality. How sad is that? There is no doubt, money has corrupted both parties and until there is control, until the American people get back our country, we will continue to be subjected to what we see and hear every day. This should not be a partisan issue------it is far too important.

Over the years one of my favorite quotes is from the comic alligator character Pogo, when he says, "We have met the enemy and they is us". If you are not aware of the upcoming budget battle, Libya, Sen. Ryan's 2012 proposal, the Tea Party, then you may well be part of the problem. There are far too many people that have taken the attitude of I'm not interested, let someone else do it, I just don't care, not my problem, and the list goes on and on and on. But do you care about gas at $5/gal, apples at $2 a piece, getting a pay cut, or simply finding out your credit card is refused? You may not need to know what the "up tick rule" is, but if you do know you will have a better idea of why gas is now $4 a gallon. One of the biggest problems of not paying attention is that allows Congress to do with your money anything they wish because they know you are not going to ask any questions. That has gotten so bad now, that if you write your congressman or senator you will receive a canned response that will thank you for your interest in the matter and he or she will keep that in mind and please feel free to write again. Do you really believe you even got a letter to the person you wrote to? Well here is a news flash, you did not. Now if you had given $50,000 dollars or were a lobbyist you better believe your man or woman in Washington would be available. That can only change when the money is taken out and that will have to be a grass root movement because the big guys want to keep the status quo.  

Unfortunately, I do not have a good answer or magic solutions for the problems the country is facing but I do know that as long as we let special interest groups keep control, we will not see financial responsibility simply because there is too much money being made by a very few. Let me be clear here, this is not about attacking rich people because people like Bill and Melinda Gates, Warren Buffet, and Ted Turner have given billions to causes all over the globe and America has a great history of such people. But America has also had a history of producing people that will willing do damage to others for their own personal greed and the Congress has enabled some of these people. The message we need to get across to our servants in Washington is, we will no longer allow them to pigeon hole us by appealing to us on single issues that we feel strongly about, in order for them to get our vote to remain in office. We ask that the partisan bickering stop and make the hard decisions that have to be made. I fully believe that when the American people are told the truth, that even when asked for sacrifice they will step up, but do not ask for the sacrifice of many, for the prosperity of the few. That is simply immoral. There is a big and important budget battle on the horizon and both Republicans and Democrats are going to have to give up some funding, but let us be sure that the funding given up, is not one simply to make others rich, but are instead thoughtfully examined by both parties and the very best thing for the majority of the people is guarded. I think everything should be on the table to work toward a balanced budget and some of us are going to get hit. As previously stated, when the people are told the truth and understand, they will step up. Simply look back at WWII when so much was given by so many. WWII brought out the best in us when Dad went to war and Mom went to the factory and we were a proud nation. I'm now an old man but I cling to that belief and I will die with it.

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Gin Arnold is a 70 year old liberal living in Cotacachi, Ecuador after living in S. Alabama. I have owned several businesses, lived aboard a 32 foot sailing yacht, been a bar tender, boat captain, short order cook, and imported furniture from (more...)
 

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