Saturday, July 26, 2014

"Liberty is too Precious a thing to be buried in books"

From the old film "Mr. Smith goes to Washington." The final speech, as the corrupt politicians try to force Smith out of the senate before he exposes them.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Marco Rubio

Kansas City, KA – The Junior Republican Senator for the state of Florida  is forty-three years old, and already people are talking about him becoming one of the youngest ever presidents of the United States of America. In the polls, last year, he took a beating.
Just after the Boston Bombing, he and the “Gang of Eight” released an immigration reform bill. But the bill went sideways, and everyone associated seemed to be left out in the cold. However, his poll numbers are climbing again, and, while for a while he was sixteen points behind Jeb Bush, he is now only three.
There has been much talk about Republicans reaching out to minorities. Marco Rubio could do this easily. He is a Cuban-American born in Miami, Florida. He speaks Spanish, and has plenty of stories of his parents and grandparents with which to build a powerful narrative.
He has done some of the preliminary things “necessary” to run for presidents, besides also hinting that he just might. Before the senate he was very capable in state politics in Florida, more than once pulling off tough elections.
In his book An American Son, he tells his life story. Of how when he was very young he was spoiled by his parents, causing him to be selfish, pensive, and unpleasant. He talks of how that affected his political career. In Florida, when the elections were going bad, at least once, according to his book, he went to a car to pout until his wife got ahold of him.
When he ran for senate five years ago, he ran against Charlie Crist, then then governor of the state. Rubio scraped a win in the primaries, but then Crist suddenly ran as an independent. (Crist is now running for governor of Florida as a Democrat.) Rubio had a long, hard fight. Until, on election night, they were unsure of victory. Then he got a call from the media services. “Were calling it for you.” He won that night.
In the upcoming election of 2016, there are many people in the field. The young man from Florida is one of them. But there are already people who are calling it for him. It will be interesting to watch how it plays out.

Andrew C. Abbott

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Airplanes, Black Boxes, and the Chocolate King

Kansas City, KA – Just a few months ago, Flight 370 was lost, and despite Ocean Shield and all the Shaws’, Presidents’, and Kings’ men, it still hasn’t been found, and no one knows why.

In a terrible, unfortunate, and saddening turn of events, we are reminded of the final scene of the film Hunt for Red October. After the breathtaking hunt for the submarine Red October, which is finally found, we hear the ambassador ask “Do you mean to tell me you’ve lost another one?” Well, we've lost another one. Another flight has gone down, Flight 17, and again, no one knows why.
The loss of life is tragic, and the stories continue. Now the Black Boxes appear to have been found. John Kerry, our secretary of state is stating that evidence points towards Russia, or at least Russian involvement.
There are stories of desecration of bodies, of thievery, of tampering with evidence, and of much more, including a story I read that popped up briefly stating the bodies had been dead for days before the crash, before it disappeared from Huffington Post. I am sure the wild theories will get worse from there.
But a light has been shown, now, in glaring colors upon those that are holding these cities. These riotous rebels. They call themselves the Donetsk People’s Republic, maybe thinking that if they give themselves a nice democratic sounding name they will get more support.
But now we are finding that there does not seem to be much that is very nice about them. They are apparently handling the crash site as drunken men, both figuratively, and, it seems, at times, literally. As drunken soldiers stumble through the site.
The world has been reminded that on Ukrainian ground, there are violent rebels, causing atrocities, unrest, and killing. As Ukraine tries to take back its borders and hold the ones it still has, the world has again been reminded of the conflict, with the loss of their own loved ones.
Petro Poroshenko is the new president of Ukraine. He is a former Chocolate King, making billions in the industry of making our favorite sweet. Since the possible shoot-down of Flight 17, and then the gross mishandling by the rebels of the incident, his nation has, in a sense, been vindicated in the world’s eyes. It took the conflict coming to us for the widespread outrage to begin at these “Separatists.” But now President Poroshenko has a golden opportunity. It is such a great one that he could have written the script himself.

Andrew C. Abbott

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Back Door of the Alamo

Kansas City, KA – Recently I was at a “leaders’ lunch” at a conference, when a WHO radio host, Steve Deace, who came from an abusive father, said that that same father told him, in his life, one good thing which he has remembered all these years. “The reason the men at the Alamo fought so bravely, is because there was no back door.”

In his book the Art of War, (which, by the way, is an excellent read for any looking for some weekend reading) Sun Tzu says that very few men will fight, unless they stand on “desperate ground.”
Desperate ground can be hard to find. Society many times goes out the back door, against such men as Joseph Stalin, no one came up against him, only those that stood to lose everything, or understood that everyone else would, opposed him.
When a confrontation can be avoided, it often is. It would be better if it were not that way. We all know the famous stories of thousands, perhaps millions of people under the control of Hitler’s regime who thought it atrocious what was being done to the Jews, and other groups, but said and did nothing, because they were not the ones in danger.
Those that did do or say something tended either to be Jews themselves, or those who recognized when any part of society loses its freedom, everyone else does to. In other words, those who did not try to use the back door.
The back door is almost always there. If you look hard enough is almost any situation, you can usually find a way out, a way to run away and say “living to fight another day.” But not many heroes are made that way, and not many nations saved.
We don’t know the names of the men who ran, during Scotland’s war for independence, at the battle of Fallkirk, but we do know the name of the man that stood. His name was William Wallace.
Vladimir Bukovsky, dissenter from Russia who spent a third of his early life in prisons and insane asylums for daring to oppose the government there by reading poetry in public said “The man in the crowd says ‘why me?’ And everyone is lost. The man with his back against the wall says ‘if not me then who?’ And everyone is saved.”

Andrew C. Abbott

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The E In Fad

Kansas City, KS - In the 1960s, it was the decade of the Space Race, it was the decade of the Kennedys. The Babyboomers, children of the silent generation, were coming of age. And they were all Democrat. Or at least it seemed that way to some. The hippies, they wanted free love, and free pot, and they were much more likely to vote Democrat... some even said the Republican party was dead.

According to a New York Times, in a study conducted earlier this year, they found that when children are growing up, no matter how true it may actually be, they latch on to what they hear as going on around them at that moment, and, in future years, when their time comes, they vote according to ideas formed as children. If they hear "Democrat bad, Republican good" they vote that way, or vise-versa.

In the 1960s, the Democrats had a problem. They held the White House, they seemed to be going nice and strong, they were the ruling party, but the nation was also, due to the cold war, in a bit of a crisis. When JFK was shot, belief in government plummeted. The children saw, and remembered. And when they became old enough to vote, the children that had heard their parents bad mouth the (then Democratic) government for its "cover up" and wasting money on the Space Race, voted the other way, and caused a Ronald Reagan Revolution.

Just a couple of days ago I read an opinion piece in the Guardian, the paper that originally broke the story of Edward Snowden and his charges of government spying to the world. The piece was entitled, rather bluntly "GOP Self-Destruction Complete: Millennials Officially Hate Conservatives." The author went on about how the twenty-something's in this country are increasingly ethnic, increasingly jobless, and increasingly wanting to allow gay marriage and pot-smoking. In case you were wondering, these are usually groups that do not vote Republican.

But, at least according to The New York Times, a paper not exactly known for its right wing leanings, although the Democrats are the majority party, holding the presidency and the senate, and although right now it looks like the new era of those who want a new type of free love, and also want to smoke pot will stick around forever, and always voting leftist. The Democrats have a problem, they are the majority party while the nation is in a mess.

So it is possible that, just as the Democrats of the sixties gave way, in the form of their children being old enough to vote, gave way to the Ronald Reagan Revolution, we will have another revolution, (2020?), as the young people of today, growing up with eight years of Barak Obama,  an extremely unpopular president, run from that, as many did in 2008 and 2012, towards the Ron Paul Revolution. History tends to be a bit more live waves coming and going than like a tsunami, always charging in one direction.

In the '60s, it looked like it would stick around forever, but it did not, just like, for twelve years, it looked like the Republican tide might be here to stay. But that fad died when Bush Sr. looked at his watch. As it says in the children's novel, Frindel, "This is just a fad, and when you ad an 'e' to fad you get fade. I predict that this fad will fade."

Andrew C. Abbott

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Other Castro Brothers

Mason City, IA – In 2004, a little known senator from Illinois by the name of Barak Obama gave one of the keynote addresses at the Democratic National Convention. His speech, especially the famous passage from it “there is not a black America or a white America, but the United States of America…” helped shoot him to almost instant fame, and the presidency four years later.

In 2012, the democratic mayor of America’s seventh largest city, San Antonio Texas, was asked to give the keynote address at the same convention. The then thirty-seven year-old Latino, Julian Castro talked about his past, and his grandmother, who, on the day he and his twin brother were born, entered a menudo cook off, and paid their doctor bills with her winnings of three hundred dollars. He spoke of beginning with education, and giving everybody a chance, with "investment."
Everyone loved him, giving him more twitter mentions then just about anyone else at the convention. He spoke of how America is supposed help everyone reach their dream, and that government is to be sure that we are the land of equal opportunity.
Now, Julian is being talked about as a possible vice presidential, or even, some whisper, presidential candidate for 2016. His twin brother, Joaquin, is a freshman congressman to the United State House of Representatives. Both have now become symbols in the democratic party of what the new era looks like. Ethnic, young, and full of ideas.
Of course, both are pro-gay and pro-abortion. Julian saying in his speech in 2012 it does not matter "who you love." He has kept up this theme since then in other speeches and talks. They also appear to have little or no interest in making government smaller, talking instead giving everyone a fair share, etc.
Last Wednesday Julian’s nomination to the president’s cabinet, as the new secretary of housing and urban development, was passed by a super-majority in the senate, not including Ted Cruz, who voted against him.
But the Castro brothers seem to have their fingers in many pies all at once. According to a story put out by Bloomberg News last year, the twin brothers have come up with a plan they think will make Texas a democratic state once more. Although Republicans have won every single one of the last one hundred and more state wide elections, the brothers think through hard work and getting the Latinos to vote, (possibly for a president like them) they might get it to work, not in 2016, or 2018, or perhaps even 2022, but beyond.
They are young and ambitious, not yet forty, and already going places. Both are Roman Catholic. Only Julian is married, although Joaquin maintains he is the better looking one. They, unlike many, have a plan.
The brothers just might pull off their ideas of turning Texas democrat again, like it once was. States allegiances shift. For a long time the South was Democratic, now it is majorly Republican. Other states have, precincts, and cities have shifted back and forth over the years.

Part of Mitt Romney’s argument was that he had saved the Olympics, and should be allowed to lead America. If the Castro brothers can save Texas for the democrats, one or other or perhaps even both of them may feel that they should be handed the white house.

Andrew C. Abbott


Saturday, July 5, 2014

Les Brown: "I am going to make it."

Windom, MN - Lester Brown, labeled retarded, from a poor home, and now a millionaire. An excerpt from his story, in his own words.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The End of Albert Speer's Story

Windom, MN – At the Nuremburg trials there were around twenty main defendants. Most of them were generals, ministers in Hitler Regimes and all around monsters. But one of the men on trial was unaware of the atrocities, unaware of the evils of the labor camps, and that man was Albert Speer, an architect.

Albert Speer’s story is that of a man caught up too highly with power and of a man, according to himself, who did not want to know, and so he never did.
As the architect for the Third Reich of Adolf Hitler, it was Speer’s job to build the buildings, which in Hitler’s words, would make sure they were remembered. Before the war, Speer was the one who designed the 1936 Olympic Stadium, where Jessie Owens ran, Jessie was the man who beat the Germans.
He also contracted numerous jobs for the National Socialist Party, Hitler’s party. But in the end he was given “The Great Assignment.” He was to rebuild Berlin. In what would have been perhaps the most massive building project ever conceived Berlin was to be rebuilt along lines laid down by Adolf Hitler. The buildings were to be so large as to border on the ridiculous. An arch over four hundred feet high. It was never built, due to the fact that the ground would not support it, and it would have sunk through.
A dome was to be built that would have been so tall it would have risen above the clouds, and so large on the inside, fitting so many people, that it would have possibly had its own clouds and rain. Of course it, along with buildings planned to be over 22 million square feet, were never built, because the regime fell.
Albert Speer survived the Nuremburg Trial, with a prison sentence for allowing workers to be imported for his building projects, making use of slave labor. But of course Berlin was never rebuilt along his lines, instead it was destroyed. All that remained of the plans were a few wooden models and some pictures of what it would have looked like.
Speer, in his autobiography makes no excuses for his behavior, freely admitting he was caught up in the power he had and the positions he held. He would go to jail for twenty-one years in all. Although he does give a warning for the future, not to trust blindly. But he also reminds us “One does not always recognize the devil, when his hand is on your shoulder.”

Andrew C. Abbott

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Albert Speer: The Man who was friends with Adolf Hitler

Windom, MN – There is a red book, almost six hundred pages named Inside the Third Reich. One of the best I have ever read, and one of the saddest. The autobiographic tale of a man who, in his own words, was friends with “the devil.”

Albert Speer was an architect, nothing more. But one day he came to the attention of a man who was the most powerful in the country. Adolf Hitler, the newly appointed strongman of Germany. Speer was twenty-eight years old.
This formerly plodding young man, was suddenly swept into friendship with one of the most powerful men in the country. And with this friendship with the first man in the state, making drawings and building buildings for him, came entrance into the upper echelons of the country.
Adolf Hitler had not been born into politics, and he had not even been born German. His first wish was to be an architect himself, or a painter. But when he failed the entrance exams at university, he was thrown into dejection, drifting until he met six men who wanted to form a new political party, poor like himself, they had worked their way into power. But the man Hitler always remembered the boy Hitler’s first ambition, and Speer often thought that Hitler projected his own lost dreams upon him as living the life Hitler never had.
Speer was at once taken with him, to the extent that he found him “magnetic.” It was, he would later recount in that massive red book, almost dreamy, at times, to be friends with so high a man. Hitler liked to talk about architecture, and when Speer brought him new drawings for his grand ideas, he would excitedly look through them, pushing everything else aside. It would later become so bad that Hitler’s adjuncts would beg Speer not to show the furer any drawings that day, for if he saw them, no work, no matter how important, would get done.
Speer began by drawing things like platforms for great party rallies. Then the posters to hang behind those platforms. Then the benches for the people who would in front of them. And then came the day when Speer had surpassed all others, and he was designing the stadiums into which all this would go.
Adolf Hitler had Albert Speer. Speer, according to himself, was not a racist, the man was not a Nazi. He did not believe the propaganda, he never once would read Mein Kamp. But what he would do was all in his power to stay friends with Adolf Hitler, as the world moved towards war, and Hitler called on Speer to do a building project so enormous, it would make Paris look “like a small town.”
To be continued.

Andrew C. Abbott