Got an e-mail from a retired colonel, who chides me from time to time on things I say in Planet Wes, so I thought I’d share it and my response:
Tsk,Tsk Wes, U described the party in power perfectly. Like the old Army saying “if it moves, salute it” if it doesn’t move, Paint it”. Your party follows this adage only substituting “Tax it” and “Spend it” on the Greedy folks who clamor for more Freebies and can be sure of receiving same if the Vote is right.. Kirk and Mike Douglas are ‘actors’ for Cripes Sake!!. Take a lot of Liberal stuff out of your knacksack and U will B more relevant.. and don’t say U are an ‘Independent’. Otherwise I enjoy reading U.
I’m really happy to hear from you. Although you disagree with me, you appear to have an open mind and aren’t afraid to talk about it. How does an old Air Force guy come about repeating old Army sayings? You don’t sound old enough to have been in the Army Air Corps. Actually as I remember the adage from my Army days it was: If it moves salute it, if it doesn’t move pick it up, if you can’t pick it up paint it. But you were close.
I think I’m independent because I go back and forth from lefty to slightly to the right of Genghis Khan. And I’m pretty sure I’ve voted for more Republicans than Democrats and I’m actually registered as Non-Partisan (Yes, you can do that. They always want to change it to Decline to State but I’m not afraid to state a damn thing if I believe it to be true, and I tell them so). I even voted for Bush II the first time around, I’m chagrined to admit. Boy, did I blow that one. What a colossal idiot. We’ll be paying the price for him for generations to come.
As I’ve said in my column numerous times, my primary goals are to make life better for children and that’s not easy. I or we can’t endow them with good parents although if we could it would go a long way toward solving our root problems as a nation.
I used to think we could solve it by taking away all children from bad parents, steal an idea from the Israelis and put them all in a kibbutz, because that system seemed to work pretty well. But then I realized there was no guarantee that the “keepers” wouldn’t be worse than the parents. A sloppy, shiftless mother that loves her kids would be better than a child predator. Pedophiles seem to gravitate to that kind of work. Need I remind you of the Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts, the legion of Little League coaches standing in line to get their slimey claws on the kids.
So I figure we have to do the best we can from the outside to help the children, to see that they are properly fed and clothed and in decent living quarters, have proper medical care, are given access to a decent education and protected from evil to the best of our abilities. Because this world is far from perfect and safe for kids.
If it were a perfect world, the cost of such ideals would be minimal. But in our world such efforts can be expensive.
In this imperfect world, there are lots of people who lack the ability to care for themselves. And I for one am not willing to just let them die or be eaten — figuratively — by predators, whether they are 15 or 50.
One other thing we need, I believe is a military draft. I think young people from every class should serve their time and learn what a military life can offer. It would likely keep us out of these stupid wars, like the one in Iraq, which never should have been started and I’m on record saying that before we went in.
After 9/11, we had the world’s sympathy and we screwed up going after Saddam. We should have stayed on course in Afghanistan and got Osama bin Laden. That was the righteous thing to do and we blew it.
Those items are the top of my to-do list. If that makes me into a lefty or a bleeding heart so be it.
Hope I didn’t overload you. I didn’t start off to go into a rant but sometimes I get started and can’t stop. I may post this one on my blog, with your note. I won’t identify you without your permission. I think colonel is safe. There are a lot of those old guys retired around here and you’re not the first to drop me a line.