Friday, March 30, 2012

On the Trayvon Martin incident

"I think the issue is: if there wan't an outcry in the social media world, WE would never have know anything about this. To say we don't know YET, is absurd. If it wasn't forced we wouldn't know anything in the first place. Our justice system is a joke as it stands, so that the prosecutors 'said' they didn't have a case of a black kid being murdered, doesn't prove anything. All those things need to be brought to a jury, altho that doesn't necessarily mean justice either. The stereotypes don't do anything to help this case, either in the media or the courtroom, for Trayvon or Zimmerman. The fact that there were crimes committed in the area and this kid was wearing a hoodie (in 75 degree RAINY weather) have no correlation with each other. And the idea of drugs has 'just' been thrown into the mix. Why is Trayvon's body undergoing a toxicology test and Zimmerman never was tested for anything? Additionally, I think a fatal gunshot wound is assault injury enough. You mentioned the video - do you see any wounds on Zimmerman? Questions? Yes, that need to be addressed in a court of law."

(This is just one comment typical of the many I have read in several discussion groups across the web. - FS)

I have been following this for a few days now. Several points have been made that are valid, others not so much.

The facts:

(1) An armed vigilante reported a suspicious person in his neighborhood while acting as an agent for the police and was instructed not to follow the suspect.
(2) Said vigilante disobeyed orders and followed and confronted the unarmed suspect.
(3)The suspect was shot and there was no justifiable reason that has been given to shoot him.
(4) The objective of the police at this point is to attempt to cover their asses by backing the vigilante in order to save their neighborhood watch program.
(5) If they pull this off, their message is is open season on young black men if they happen to be in the wrong neighborhood.

The attempts to vilify the victim by characterizing him as a drug dealer only show how racist and vile these accusations have become. Even if Trayvon was a drug dealer, he was an unarmed black man who was committing no crime. Since the agent for the authorities disobeyed orders, I would think they would have thrown his ass to the wolves long ago and cut their losses, but because the victim is young and black, and they fear young black men with any power over their own lives, they are attempting to justify this shooting. It is disgusting, it is reprehensible, and the killer must be brought to justice. To think that any other factor than racist hate is the issue here is absurd. Trayvon deserves Justice. His family deserves Justice, and unless Justice is served, this nation deserves what happens.

Friday, March 23, 2012

And the sad part is, they think they have won!

18th Congressional District
Updated 12:08 a.m. March 21, 2012 100% of precincts reporting Source: Associated Press
Democratic -------------Votes ---Pct.
Steve Waterworth--------10,180---69.6%
Matthew Woodmancy--------4,447---30.4%

Three days ago, Steve Waterworth, a spoiler candidate endorsed by the Democratic Party who originally had no intentions of running for the 18th Congressional District, received 69.9% of the votes, while Matthew Woodmancy received 30.4%.

Congratulations Mr. Waterworth, and congratulations to the 18th district incumbent, Aaron Schock, for now having an opponent he knows he can defeat without hardly breaking a sweat. The Democratic party in Illinois has once again guaranteed two more years of Republican representation. Guess they were worried about upsetting CAT and ADM if, God Forbid, a Democrat ever gets into office here.

All sarcasm and disdain aside, my hat is off to the Woodmancy campaign and Mr. Woodmancy for claiming a victory! Yes, that's right, a


This entire campaign has been run on a shoestring budget, and it has gotten ZERO help from the Democratic party, not one red cent from anyone except the few blue collar people who wanted to see a politician who is not owned in Washington D.C.

Matthew Woodmancy is being gracious and looking toward 2014. He knows it will be another uphill battle, but he also knows the people who believe in what he wants to accomplish will continue to support him. If you haven't read Matt's platform, it is still available on the Woodmancy for Congress FB page.

In my opinion, the only people that won in this primary are the people who are happy with being screwed by the Republicans. Which means almost all of us lost.

Friday, March 16, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Parade - the Spirit of Unity?

You know, I get a little sick of partisan politics, but one thing makes me sicker...exclusion from any group by deliberate act of omission. Since the beginning of this process, Billy Halstead, Elaine Hopkins, and the Peoria County Democrats have deliberately and systematically avoided and omitted Matthew Woodmancy, a registered Democrat and a candidate for 18th Congressional District on Tuesday's ballot. Matt has been shunned by the Democrats because of his criminal background, but also because he is not another "cookie cutter" Democrat.
Some people might say that is reasonable, given the fact that Matt has freely admitted he has made mistakes in the past and is trying to get past them. But the fact of the matter is this is the same old crap we all faced in High School. The COOL KIDS make the rules, and shun anyone who doesn't want to play their game.
As a matter of fact, the Democrats were so worried about Matt being the only Democratic candidate on the ballot they actually sought out Steve Waterworth to go on the ballot as a spoiler to Matt. Steve revealed to Matthew at the debate in Macomb that he was not actually thinking of running until Elaine Hopkins encouraged him to run. Steve is a great guy, but let's face it, he has no chance of winning the election. He has tried twice before and failed.
Matthew has had to fight an uphill battle this entire campaign. The Democratic party has made it clear that not only will they not support Woodmancy, but no one else better support him either. Think of what an embarrassment it would be for them to have to acknowledge that a Gay Man from a poor background who has made a couple (and it is a couple) poor decisions in his life might actually have a chance of running for office. Worse than that, how about a Democrat who refuses to "kow-tow" to the party line, who refuses to take corporate or PAC donations, and thinks for himself?
Today, the Democrats will have several good candidates in the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Peoria. Dave Koehler and Cheri Bustos I know to be honest and reputable people with the best interests of their constituents at heart. The people of the 18th Congressional District also have a candidate who meets these high moral principals. His name is Matthew Woodmancy, and he will be in Block 11 of the Parade. When you see his banner coming down the street, show him the respect and courtesy he deserves. He is out their on his dime, not the party's. And he is running for Congress to serve you!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A note from Matthew Woodmancy

I often communicate with Matt about various things, since I am part of his campaign staff. But today I received an email I thought I would share with you.

I set out on this journey 14 months ago, and in that time I have been attacked and threatened. I have had my very motivations questioned. I have been called a “radical faggot” and been told I am unfit to hold office. I have had people threaten to kill me, and yet I do not regret my choice to try to serve this country which I still believe to be the last best hope for mankind.

I knew this was going to be an uphill battle, I knew this was going to be hard if not impossible, and yet I continued. The things in life that are worth doing, the truly important things, are the most difficult. Perhaps it would have been easier for me to accept that I have done too much damage to my reputation to my own life to achieve the highest of American goals.

To me there is no higher goal than to serve this country. If I managed to motivate just one person, if I made it possible for just one person to see that they can rise above their situation and can overcome the odds, then I feel I have accomplished something good.

Now ordinarily, I would keep this to myself, but in case anyone out there is wondering why they should vote for Matthew A. Woodmancy next Tuesday, perhaps this is really all that needs to be said. When it all comes down to the "bottom line", Matt is running for office for the right reasons. He isn't in anyone's pocket, refuses big money contributions, and isn't looking for PAC money in exchange for favors down the line. He is in this to represent the interests of the 18th Congressional District in Illinois. He is in this to represent you."

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

How close to Skynet are we?

So maybe I have been a little close to the whole Terminator thing lately. I did reviews of all four Terminator movies in the last week, which has my mind focused on science fiction themes like Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970) and I, Robot (2004), films where the machines take over from their human creators. You have to admit, it is a scary subject and one that makes you wonder why we would build such powerful machines.

So you can understand why I am more than just a little concerned when I read this article, "11 Incredible Weapons That Only America Has" in Business Insider. While most of these weapons still require human intervention, at least four of the eleven are hinted at as being autonomously operated. In other words, the machine is capable of being given a set of instructions and carrying them out without further communication. We now have Programmable Killing Machines.

There are some who say this is not possible, since machines have no ambition. And I grant you ambition is a human quality, not a machine imperative. But not everyone is convinced the danger is minimal.

In the article Robots: Possible Take Over of the World, both sides are given equal weight. Several links are provided at the bottom of the page to give readers some additional reference materials. And as always, I want to do the same. This article is simply a "thinking out loud" blog to give you a chance to respond to the idea, if you like. Me, I'm still waiting for the facts to trickle down, but in a world where we are within 5 years of self-driven cars and carry computers around in the form of smart phones, one thing is clear. We are dependent on our machines.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Matthew Woodmancy for Congress - 18th District, Illinois

I've known Matthew for about 14 months now, ever since we first met with a few other people at his house to watch the State of the Union in 2011. The first thing that impressed me was his honesty. We were talking about his candidacy for the 18th Congressional District in Illinois, and he was brutally honest about his background and circumstances. He knew it was an uphill battle, that he would be getting a lot of heat from the press, and he would have practically no financial support. As we talked about the issues, I found his knowledge impressive, and still do. He spends a great deal of time reading news articles and staying abreast of decisions and other political items that affect the 18th Congressional District, as well as the nation.

That alone is impressive, seeing as he also has had a year of misfortune with the health of his family. His mother, a cancer survivor, required an additional surgery last month, and his grandmother's health has also seen a decline. He manages to provide care for both of them while holding down a full time job and trying to manage his campaign with a minimum staff of volunteers.

Matthew A. Woodmancy is a local man with a background in the 18th district and a passion to serve the people of this nation. His platform speaks for itself, so I'll let it.

Matthew Aaron Woodmancy

Born January 25, 1984 in Pekin, Illinois. Attended Normal Community High School. Currently attending Kaplan University On-line completing a Bachelor of Political Science. Assistant Manager for Gumby's Pizza in Normal, IL. Resides in Pekin, IL.

Matt stands with the Veterans of this nation in seeking fair and equal treatment for all men and women who have offered the ultimate sacrifice to defend our way of life. The medical care and responsibility for wounded service members is a sacred duty that we as Americans cannot turn away from. Educational benefits, rehabilitation services, low or no interest home loans, and other special programs are the least we can provide for these valiant Americans who have stepped forward to serve.

Matt's dedication and commitment to making our nation a better place to live comes from his own real life experiences. Raised by a single mother, Matt grew up in Central Illinois. He has experienced first-hand the inequities of the system, and is dedicated to changing the laws and programs of this country to protect the middle class Americans, the very people who make this nation what it is.

Matt is a man who constantly stays abreast of the issues and in touch with his constituency. He works full time, attends to family health issues and mortgage, and still finds time to review the news, both local and national, to keep up with the latest news and concerns of his community and the nation.

While a registered candidate for the Democratic Party, Matt is a man who thinks for himself. He does not “toe” the party line. He takes into consideration what is right for the nation and what the people of his district want him to do.

Matthew A. Woodmancy stands for Union Workers, Veteran's Rights, and a return to Balanced budgets and Basic Services for the American People at the local, state, and federal levels.

The Economy: We need to increase state participation in retraining displaced workers, and reduce the bailouts to corporations who have overextended themselves through reckless actions. Mortgage bailouts for homeowners should be available to first mortgages only, not second, third or even fourth mortgages that clearly demonstrate the kind of reckless disregard for sound financial judgment. At the state level, every state should pass and implement a balanced budget amendment that prevents the state from building excess deficits.

Gay Rights: Society is changing. The Federal Government, however, refuses to recognize same sex marriages and civil unions. The 14th amendment formally protects a person's civil and political rights from being abridged or denied by any state. It is time that we, as a nation, accept the diversity of every American, and their right to participate in a free society as equals. We have continued to fight this battle since the days of Dr. Martin Luther King's historic speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and we can no longer tolerate discrimination in any form in our society.

Racism and Hate Crimes: I abhor discrimination in all forms, be it gay bashing, racism, gender bias, segregation, or ethnic profiling. This includes discrimination for all groups in all forms. Since Dr. Martin Luther King's famous speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, we have fallen short of the dream and some have continued to teach our children to hate one another based on our prejudices. We cannot legislate this shameful legacy away, but we can commit ourselves to the legacy of the popular entertainer who told us “The times they are a-changin'” and we must change with them. Hate does not begin with others, but in the heart of every individual. If we are to stop these heinous and reprehensible actions, we must learn to begin within ourselves.

Welfare reform: We cannot afford a permanent underclass who rely solely on the Federal and State governments for support. Welfare was never intended to be a permanent life style, but a safety net for those who stumble and fall while striving to reach the American dream. We have always been a people who help others in times of need, and we will continue to help those in need, who by no fault of their own, rely on Social Security and other safety nets. This goal is worthy of a great people and a great Nation. But those who continue to abuse the Welfare system have violated our trust and compassion, and this can no longer be tolerated. Vocational training, along with drug and alcohol treatment should be provided. It is in the best interest of America to help those in need to find jobs to support their families and allow them to pay back into the system. They however must live up to the standards of this Great Society they depend on for assistance. Stricter enforcement of the rules regarding the use of welfare and assistance monies must provide more accountability to the American people for this use of the taxpayer's funds.

Immigration: While this will always be the land of opportunity, we need to change the way we think about immigration. We are partly to blame for the current immigration problem, with the high costs we charge for those wishing to come into this country, a cost so high many who long for the American dream see no other way to come in but illegally. Even before the founding of the United States, people from all over the world came here with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. They wanted a better life and they wanted it here. We should not ask those coming here now to give us the shirt off their backs to try and achieve that same dream. If they are willing to meet the challenges of citizenship, then we as a country must help them achieve the American dream that we all reach and work for. America is the hope of millions, those who wish to live here, who follow our laws and are willing to do the hard work needed to become citizens of the greatest nation in the history of the globe should not be turned away at the nations front door because of unfairly high cost of entry. If they are, some will break in through a window or unguarded back door. The responsibility of the Federal government is to enforce the laws it sets for immigration. However, the Federal Government is either unwilling or unable to enforce its own laws. Their duty, therefore, belongs to the states to defend themselves from the high cost of illegal immigration. Their freedom to do so should not, must not be infringed by those in Washington. We must ensure that the United States of America is still and will forever be the last best hope for those who are willing to work for it.

War on drugs: We must take a hard look at the “war on drugs”. The United States imprisons a higher percentage of our citizens than Iran or North Korea, surely not the kind of company we want to keep. We are funding both sides: our Federal and State governments combat the importation and distribution of drugs, while our citizens continue to buy drugs. Both sides spend literally billions of dollars every year. We will never win the war on drugs this way. While we can surely all agree that cocaine, crack, LSD, Heroin, and Ecstasy are more deadly and dangerous than Marijuana, Marijuana is considered by the Federal Government to be more dangerous. I do not believe, nor does the scientific community believe, it is as addictive or dangerous. While not a complete solution, decriminalization of Marijuana might be the new weapon in this war. By softening our stance on Marijuana , we can not only reduce the cost the tax payers pay on incarceration, but we can deal a deadly blow to the dealers and growers bottom line. The money saved can be used to not only provide treatment and education of the dangers of drug use, but also on public schools, the real front lines in this war. When our schools are underfunded, and kids fall behind and fall between the cracks, they become easy prey for the dealers and gangs. Education is our silver bullet, for with it we can defeat the monster known as drug abuse and ultimately win the war on drugs.

On Education: We need a National Education Standard that will be enforced across all fifty states in all schools in all areas. With this, the Federal government should require all states who have allocated their education budget to the profits of the gaming industry to return to a base portion of income taxes that will not be allocated to the general fund. Our schools have been gutted by the gluttony of politicians who have reallocated those tax dollars to needless programs to benefit special interests and corporate donors at the expense of the children of this great nation. A voucher system will only add to the disparity of education available to children in poorer areas, while the rich will benefit as they always do. We need to level the playing field by raising the bar so that all children in this great nation have equal opportunities to reach their full potential. Stopgap measures such as district consolidations would not be necessary if sufficient funds existed to hire teachers, supply books, and provide the basic services required to ensure our children have a solid fundamental education. We need to work with the teacher unions. The teachers are, after all, the ones in the classroom every day.

The Justice System: Our Criminal Justice system is also of great concern. “We currently incarcerate people based not on the seriousness of their crime, but on their ability to retain adequate legal services. We charge some minors as sex offenders, when their actions do not merit a permanent criminal record. We have taken the raising of children out of the hands of the parents and are creating an atmosphere where the state allows the parents to abdicate their responsibility. This will not correct the crime, but it will eventually erode the American family. Only crimes of violence such as murder, rape, and assault should warrant the consideration of adult charges against a child.

On the 2nd Amendment and Concealed Carry: The Right to bear arms is one of the most basic freedoms of the American People. It was important enough that the framers of the constitution placed it only second to Freedom of Speech. Without this right we are at the mercy of criminals and despots who would take our rights, and possibly our lives, without a second thought. We have little to fear from a law abiding citizen with a concealed handgun, as long as that citizen behaves in a responsible manner. Concealed Carry is not a permit to act irresponsibly, but to protect assets and persons from those who do not respect the law. In all 48 states where Concealed Carry is permitted, a person is required to attend rights and responsibility training and to certify they are trained in the operation and proper use of a firearm.

While I do support the use of private firearms for the purpose of hunting and personal protection, I strongly oppose the availability or private ownership of assault weapons. Handguns are intended for personal defense, rifles and shotguns are tools for hunting when used properly, but assault weapons are tools of war, intended for only one purpose: to kill. No hunter can reasonably assert he needs automatic fire or armor piercing ammunition to accomplish his goal. While military and police agencies can make strong arguments for using such weapons, the average citizen cannot.

On a Woman's Right to Choose: I believe in the sanctity of human life, and believe that abortion, while sometimes a medical necessity, is certainly not an alternative to birth control, abstinence, or safe sex. While I am not advocating a return to back room abortions where women were often placed at unnecessary risk, I believe we must provide parental notification, not consent, when the woman in question is 16 years old or younger. While the decision for the woman is her own, her parents will provide her medical care and should be aware of any operation or procedure which might affect her health and well being.

Term Limits: I have signed the U. S. Term Limits Group pledge. I strongly believe career politicians end up serving only themselves and their own career interests. Passing an Amendment to the Constitution to enact term limits would put an end to career politicians, and by doing so, return us to a citizen government, where the voice of the many and the few is heard. The U. S. Term Limits group proposes a limit of three terms to the House of Representatives and two terms to the Senate. Even if this amendment fails to pass, I will bar myself from serving more than three terms in the House of Representatives and two terms in the Senate.

Social Security Reform: In order to preserve the Social Security System, we must remove the earnings cap of $106,800.00 and apply a flat rate of 6.2% on all wages or earnings for all Americans. Employer contributions will continue to be 6.2%, but would cap at $200,000.00. If we level the playing field in this manner, we shift the burden of Social Security on all Americans, preserve the ability of employers to create jobs and pay decent living wages, and protect our senior citizens and disabled from poverty.

So there you have it, the reasons to vote for Matthew Woodmancy on March 20th. No matter who you vote for, I hope you will vote.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Congress is not Big Enough?

I saw What's wrong with Congress? It's not big enough on the news feed and could not believe my eyes. Having read the story, I only have one thing to say: ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR FRIGGIN' MIND?"

With all the problems we have in Washington today, we do not need a bigger House of Representatives. What we do need is a House of Representatives with members who cannot be bought. Granted, that in itself is a tall order, given the state of the economy and the failure of the system to keep track of their members. But you can minimize the opportunity to "buy" a Congressman by imposing one simple rule: Term Limits!"

First of all, Term Limits ensures the Representatives are chosen from currently active people in their community. And for the House of Representatives, this is what you need. People who are in touch with the wants and needs of their communities, not staid, old rich guys who have become rubber stamp bureaucrats. You want men and women who have an agenda based on the needs of the voters in their community, not corporate powers and special interest groups.

Secondly, it is far easier to catch someone taking a bribe or being paid off in the early part of their tenure than after they have been in office for five or six years. A good example is Aaron Schock, the current Representative in the 18th district in Illinois. When he first took office in 2008 (like any good fraternity boy, he was a legacy from his predecessor, the current Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood), he was from a well to do area, and became the fair haired boy of the district. Today, this junior House member boasts a Campaign War Chest in excess of $3,000,000.00, has an estate close to the river, and is the consistent favorite of Caterpillar, Inc. and other corporate entities in his district. It is obvious by looking at his voting record that he is the property of the rich, a tool designed and honed for the purpose of maintaining their lifestyle at the expense of the "middle class", a group that is quickly disappearing from American Society. Without Term Limits, he will continue to serve his constituents, since he represents the money, and the money will always find a way to keep their boy in office.

Yes, I am aware that we also need to change campaign funding so there is a chance for a real representative to be elected instead of purchased, but we need to focus on one battle at a time to win the war. The beauty of Term Limits is they can be used to elect representatives who would actually vote to regulate campaign financing and contributions instead of simply giving you lip service.

We need Term Limits on ALL elected officials to ensure our nation has the kind of government intended by the framers, a Citizen Government! Three terms in the House of Representatives, Two terms in the Senate! This is what the Term Limits Amendment folks are asking for. Six years as a Representative, Twelve years as a Senator(which I believe is excessive, but let's go with this one for the moment), and not only the Federal government, but the States as well.

Passing Term Limits on the elected officials is the first step in retaking the government from the greedy and corporate entities who want to return the USA to a "company town" of have's and have not's. Term Limits are the first step in returning America to all Americans!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Kony and the Invisible Children

Have you ever wanted to change the world? Thanks to the efforts of Invisible Children, you have that opportunity today!

The video takes about 30 minutes of your time and tells you the ongoing tales of a man named Joseph Kony, the leader of the L.R.A. It tells you about a power hungry warlord who kidnaps children from their homes and forces them to either fight in his army or be killed. It tells you about children who are made to kill their own parents, children who are abducted for use as sex slaves, children who are deprived of any hope at a normal life. And it has been happening for more than 26 years.

The film is awesome, but even more awesome is the power behind the film. It isn't the filmmaker, the government, or some great wealthy corporation. Its YOU! YOU have the power to change the world, simply by working with the thousands of Facebook members worldwide to bring this man to justice.

Have you ever wanted to change the world?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The final sunset is too far ahead - The Peoria Smith Review

The final sunset is too far ahead - The Peoria Smith Review

The Politics of Reason

It would seem the Democratic Party of the 18th Congressional District has given up on the people of the 18th. Why else would they continue to tout a candidate who has no chance of winning?

The Democratic party has all but given up on the 18th, since it is in the lower half of Illinois, and that area has classically been represented by Republicans. The odds are slim indeed that a Democrat will be elected, no matter which candidate is successful on March 20th. But does that mean the party should promote a candidate who has absolutely no voter appeal, a candidate who was not going to run, but was convinced to run by a local blogger and retired journalist who simply cannot stand the thought of a gay man in office?

That may seem like a bold statement, but its the only reason I can think of for this vehement and constant attack on Matt Woodmancy. Steve Waterworth is a nice guy, a fair guy, and a man who served his nation in both the Air Force and the Air National Guard. But he's been presented to the voters twice now, once in 2006 and once in 2008, and he has fallen far short of the mark on both occasions.

Matthew Woodmancy has a criminal record for a foolish act and is paying his fines and has moved on with his life. He is ready to serve, ready to listen to his constituency, and ready to support real changes to the government. He wants to see Term Limits on all Senate and Congressional members to stem the rising tide of career politicians, another term for pawns of the corporations.

Woodmancy's commitment to family and family values is impressive. He cares for his mother and his grandmother while working full time as a manager at a Normal, Illinois Pizzeria. Like many of us, he is in financial straits, so his campaign is being funded on a shoestring, yet he refuses to accept corporate or PAC money, relying instead on the small donations of supporters. He understands that most of us distrust big money, as does he, and wants to stand firm to take politics out of the hands of the rich and corporate contributors.

Woodmancy fully supports the “Buffett Rule” and believes the richest ten percent of this nation need to pay their fair share of the tax burden that is classically passed on to the quickly disappearing Middle Class. He extends this rule to include Social Security earning, which are currently capped at $108.600.00. While employers would pay their 6.2% up to a maximum of $120,000.00, wage earners would pay 6.2% on all of their earnings with not limit. This last change would put the Social Security system in the black in a matter of five to ten years!

Steve Waterworth does not support Term Limits, nor does he fully endorse the Buffett Rule. His preoccupation with Foreign Trade deficits is admirable, but will do nothing to secure immediate relief for the citizens of the 18th Congressional district, or the nation as a whole. And most importantly, he is a candidate who has twice proven ineffective against Republican opponents.

If we are going to run a Democrat in the 18th, shouldn't we consider a candidate who might have a chance of winning?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

An interesting development in the Primary

The Debate in Macomb was an interesting comparison of Waterworth and Woodmancy. If you missed the debate, you can listen to it here, on Elaine Hopkin's blog.

The two candidates varied little in their stances, but there were a couple of points that seemed important. One was the topic of Term Limits, which Woodmancy supports and Waterworth opposes. Woodmancy believes that Term Limits would be the first step in returning this nation to a Citizen Government and eliminate Career Politicians. Waterworth believes that having fresh congressmen in office every three terms would make them more susceptible to "big money" influences. Another would be the trade deficit, which both agree is a topic to be tackled, but Waterworth seems to think this would be the way to turn the economy around, while Woodmancy believes the way to tackled the trade deficit is to educate the public on buying choices and therefore reduce the influx of foreign goods.

Both candidates appear to support President Obama in most topics concerning the rebuilding of infrastructure and the saving of Social Security and other "entitlement" programs. However, one statement by Mr. Waterworth concerning President Obama's health care program "Its the Christian thing to do." tends to concern me. While I am a Christian and support Christian morality, our political system needs to be a non-partisan, non-dogmatic affair. I would rather Mr. Waterworth support these programs because they are the right ones to support.

But one thing was missing, and perhaps that is the main point. Twice before Steve Waterworth has run for this office, and twice before he has lost. What I was looking for is the answer to the question, "What makes you electable this time?" It is a question I have asked several times without a decent response. Matthew Woodmancy is an underdog on many levels, to be sure. But Matt is a young person who admits to his past mistakes, is atoning for those mistakes, and has shown himself to be knowledgeable on the issues that appear to be important in this election.

To top it off, I understand that someone has begun a "Robo-call" campaign against Woodmancy. These automated calls emphasize his past, and do not address the issues of the campaign. In short, Woodmancy has become such a threat to Waterworth that whoever is supporting Waterworth (and I do not believe this has come from the candidate himself) is so convinced that he is unelectable that they are willing to shell out hard cash to smear Woodmancy and emphasize his past to the voters. That is mud-slinging, the worst kind of politics. And I would be loathe to support a candidate who uses these sorts of tactics, either by consent or ignorance.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Thoughts on America

BREATHES there the man with soul so dead, Who never to himself hath said, 'This is my own, my native land!' - Sir Walter Scott. 1771–1832

This is the question that fills my heart
as I look about at America. Are we
so fragmented, so different, so apart
from one another we cannot see

our crossroads are upon us? Our epiphany
must come today, or, should we turn away,
our legacy will be no more than history,
forgotten legends of a better, brighter day.

No hero comes to save us. Our choices pave our way,
and in them, we must choose to lay aside
the past of hate and fear and unrepentant sway,
of teachings long ago decried,

as foolish walls, built to repress and hide
the truth. We are the same. We live. We love.
We grow old and die. We ask our children to abide
our sins, forgive our debts, and above

all pray they will be better than we are.
Our legacy is all we have to give,
What will it be? Shall there remain a shining star
of freedom, peace, prosperity, or will we give

a legacy of apathy and indifference,
of pain and suffering, of rusted hopes
and dreams fallen in the mire of impotence?
The time is now, the scope

of what we choose will haunt the days to come.
Shall we choose to submit ... or overcome.

Frederick E. Smith
Copyright 2012 - All rights reserved