By Ken Yeager
Wow ! I am shocked that no one is posting anything on this blog lately. What happened? I stopped contributing because I thought no one was reading my nonsense (and understandably so). But all of a sudden, quiet…..one could hear a pin drop.
OK, some disagreement but hey, it’s over and as Mimi said, we are all entitled to our own opinions. Despite our common Saigon background, the fact is we all grew up (except me-I don’t want to grow up) under different circumstances and in different locations, all of which helps form the person we are.
Over the years, I have become a strong liberal Democrat who supports Obama and his administration. I suppose that having spent about half of my life living outside the U.S. has influenced my thinking. I tend to see things differently than most Americans whose opinions are influenced by U.S. newspapers and broadcasts. I do have to say that I have become much more politically aware in the last 20 years or so.
When I was younger, much younger, and off to Vietnam as a GI, I was not thinking about the politics of the war, I was just doing what I was supposed to do. Now I see that was a horrible war and a huge mistake to become involved in. As usual, our political masters lied to us, just as they did in 2003 and Iraq. I did and do support the war in Afghanistan but the more I read about this guy Karzi, I am beginning to think we should tell him to shove it and pull out. But at the same time, not sure that would be a wise thing to do, either. I just hate to see America’s (and our allies) youth wasted and treasure flowing in to the pockets of corrupt Afghan politicians and their friends and family.
I am a member of a group called “KawaNow” which is a bunch of Kawasaki Nomad riders worldwide, but primarily in the US and Canada. It is amazing to read some of the stuff that gets posted on the KawaNow website blog. It seems that most of them are Republicans or right leaning. I guess their biggest thing is “Freedom.” Freedom not to have to wear a helmet, freedom to carry a gun everywhere and anywhere, freedom not to have health insurance, freedom not to have to pay taxes, well you get the idea. Re helmets, now if we were all born with only one arm and hand, I would rather expect we would not want to get it caught in a piece of machinery and then have a hand….so why don’t people want to protect the one brain that they have? Guns !!! As a former police officer, I am against guns in general, but I have no desire to ban them. What I would like to see is NO machine guns. All guns to be purchased after a thorough background check to keep the felons and crazies from having guns. ALL guns registered with the local police authorities, all owners to be trained by a licensed authority, and guns to be kept under lock an key at all times, including a trigger lock. OK, I know the argument…what good is it if someone is in my house and my gun is locked up. But at the same time, kids play with things they shouldn’t and accidents happen all of the time. My dad always had a loaded gun in his nightstand and I still remember being shown it as a little boy and told to NEVER go into that nightstand and I never did. I knew it was there, I knew it was loaded and I knew he would whip the living sh-t out of me if I disobeyed him.
I do not believe we are all created equal and therefore we do not all have the same opportunities as everyone else. Some are born rich, smart, good looking, etc. Some are born poor, handicapped, less intelligent than others, ugly, and some are saddled with medical problems that will follow them all of their lives. As Americans I would like to think that we are all equal before the law (but I know better) and in the eyes of God (if there is one), but after that…well, we are not equal. But what is wrong with trying to balance the ground so that everyone can have a decent life and a share of the pie. I know that some will take advantage of any situation….but that is a part of life and when cheats get caught, they should be punished, but don’t deny a decent life to a person who has less of a chance in life because of circumstances he or she was born into. I hate to think of a family going broke trying to care of a child with serious medical problems or an elderly couple who cannot afford decent food for whatever reason. And those women who continue to have children with unknown fathers just to get a bigger welfare check….sure it’s wrong, but the children didn’t ask to be born and they should be given a chance in life, not confirmed to poverty. And taxes….need I say roads, airports, seaports, schools, hospitals, police and fire departments, the wonderful military that we have with all their expensive toys (this is not sarcasm), and of course, our expensive members of Congress, plus all of the government employees that are out there working for America. Sure, some aren’t worth the money they are paid, but most really try to do a good job each and every day and as a retired gov’t employee, I know I worked damn hard during the majority of my 36 years. I will let others decide if I was overpaid or not.
I will be the first to say that I think the media over hype most situations in the US, but what I am reading in the International Herald Tribune, CNN, Huffington Post and a few other things, the potential for political violence seems to be growing and I find that frightening. Differences, OK, disagreements, OK, but beyond that, take a deep breath and move along. Americans need to work together, not against each other. Enough. Have a nice Sunday.