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When I was young, and thought I ruled the world, I went car shopping. it was about time for a new car, I wasn’t really in the market, but repairs were due and perhaps I could leap into a new car, and let the dealer fix up the old one on his dime…. I walked into the Honda dealer on Cleveland Avenue 15 minutes before closing , way back when Honda Accords were listed for $12,000….

I test drove then sat down with the salesman/manager (he negotiated back and forth with himself), and I said, it’s a nice car, but I can’t go over $8000. He got all exasperated, and flustered about, and said, .. “if you sign it tonight, I can give it to you for $8500…. Right here. Right now…” That scared me. I began to wonder what on earth was wrong with the car; still, I could have sold it the next day for $9000. But, it was too fast for me, and I said so. “I can’t sign tonight, I have to look at all the options including finances.”

I spent all night trying to find a way I’d lose money on that deal.. I couldn’t find one. So at 10:00 am I drove to Cleveland Ave, … the car was gone! I approached the manager I’d had the conversation the night before, and thinking they were prepping it up for me, I said … I decided to take that offer now…”

“Sorry, kid. That was for last night. It is gone. Would you like another vehicle?” I didn’t want to pay more than $8500. so i said “no:….

As a caveat 7 years later I saw that same model, same year, on the used car lot with a price tag for a used car, of $14,800…. My left shin was black from all the kicks I gave it…

To this day, I’ve always wondered why he went so low that one night? It has definitely been the best deal ever on a vehicle I’ve seen, and I haven’t figured out any rational reason why he would do such a thing…. Being the sales manager, the man in charge, it obviously had some import….

This relates to the fiscal cliff in this way. Just because an offer was made… doesn’t mean it has to stand. It was made for a limited time only.. That time frame is at the discretion of the seller.

Did you ever try to use a coupon that has expired? What happens? It doesn’t work.

If Republicans do not act on this in a timely way, the price goes back up… That way, they will have more respect, as did that young car buyer, of in the future, acting in a timely fashion…

If they don’t accept now and firm a deal, it is time to pull the offer. Later on, we can settle for keeping the tax cuts on those under $250,000 and Republicans will sit out in the cold…..

We wanted to sell it today, we gave them an offer they couldn’t refuse, they refused and the offer got pulled…

It was for a limited time … only.

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I’m trying to put all your ideas together into one package. So, let me get this right… All you are asking is for, is a country where:

1) There is no universal healthcare.
2) Few entitlement programs.
3) Low Flat Tax System.
4) Faith based Government.
5) A deep reverence for God.
6) Extremely strict rules against abortion.
7) Marriage has already been strictly defined as between man and woman.
8) Homosexuality is a sin, and illegal.
9) Dress Codes are strictly enforced.
10) Tattoos, piercings, baggy pants, are banned.
11) Has the Death Penalty which they aren’t shy about using.
12) Strong private school system with religious focus.
13) Widespread dependency on oil and natural gas drilling.
14) Growing nuclear program
15) Nonexistent environmental nuisances
16) Culture that promotes family and stereotyped roles for men and women.

I’ve endeavored to put all your values on one page. I share your frustration because today, ever since 2008, it seems like America is moving further and further away from these values.

But you don’t have to be frustrated anymore. I have looked far and wide and have discovered a place already in existence that has those values in place, and more. If you sorely long for those values above, it is sincerely a place where you and your family would be very happy.

It is Iran.

You don’t have to pay me. I don’t need any commission. Just glad to help a fellow Delawarean out…. No problem.

There are two choices before us:

One, we tax the top 1% and live the quality of life we deserve…..

Two, we continue the tax cuts, allowing the top 1% to not pay their fair share in taxes, and continue the quality of life we’ve suffered since 2001..

Simple microcosmic view: find a pothole in today’s state road system… You can’t, it’s covered up with stimulus funded new pavement… Nice, crisp, sharply painted blacktop, as far as the eye can see….

Compare that to the Bush Era… Potholes galore and getting them fixed was like pulling teeth…

Now pull back and look at your entire lifestyle with all it’s moving parts…. first see one where everything outside your control is operating smoothly like clockwork ( a Visa commercial comes to mind), and the other where it is all cacophonous and catastrophic…..

So, in which type of lifestyle do you prefer to live?

Decide and vote.

We are there already?

The night before Father’s Day was a beautiful one. Not too hot, not too cold, just a small breeze to rustle the hair. The moon was a sliver, and the planets bright. I took a little too long exiting the car with the family and stopped for a few moments to be alone with the sky…….

Inside the family was stirring. The buzz of voices was blurry, and if I tried, I could have picked out what they were saying if I wanted to, but I had lagged to be alone. Instead I became preoccupied with what I was experiencing at that time.

I sat down on a waterproof seat cushion, and looked up. A couple of friends I had known since college stared back. Arcturus, the mighty giant was overhead, and slightly southwest lay the sparkling beautiful Spica. But tonight this summer sky was dominated by Saturn hovering over the southeast. And as I relaxed, ….. I let my mind pull up, high above the accretion disc of planets, and attempted to visualize where I sat in the context of this solar system. That yellow orb of Saturn was over 7 times the distance of the sun from earth. And right now, a metallic object, built by several members of our species, was orbiting that orb surrounded by 59 moons, and was at this moment sending digital photo’s back to earth. Not to mention that we had been able to put a probe onto one of its moons, which looked eerily like parts of earth, even though any water had been locked up as ice for billions of years……

And then out of nowhere the thought came, from where I don’t know, that asked me the question of just how such a species, capable of manipulating the laws of physics so precisely as to send an object into that planetary system from ours, the equivalent of aiming an electron the length of a football field and have it land on a softball over a hundred yards away,………how could such a species, capable of cooperating so precisely, be at odds over something like Iraq?

And where do I, one tiny electron, fit into this vast expanse of empty space?

Occasionally the “philosophical” muse finds me, like a little boy who looks for bugs under a rock. Suddenly it is there, scaring me. This night was one of those increasingly infrequent times. As I stared at Saturn, which to my eyes was nothing but a yellow dot, ( but knowing full well the power of its 900 mph winds and its immense beauty,) I switched topics and asked myself this question: how do I define myself……….who or what am I?

To most of you who will read this, you know me as a blogger. I write down ideas. I try to express them as interestingly as I can. I have been doing it for only a short time. And as I peruse my archives today, most of what I once wrote, now matters little. However, my perusing through the archives of other local bloggers, turned out to be rather fascinating. Looking at those blogger’s early days were reminiscent of looking through their high school yearbooks; one could see the seeds of what they would one day become, mixed in with the joyful exuberance over their own discovery of just what their abilities would allow them to do…………

But if our electronic memories like this, fade in such a short time, how does one stack up in a long term analysis. Fame is fleeting. We may remember a name for awhile, and maybe a couple of trivial facts, but then we move on. Take Ronald Reagan for instance. Just less than 20 years ago he was the driving force of our society, all over our newspapers and TV’s. Today he is still somewhat the driving force behind one of our nation’s political parties. But ask a fifteen year old who has finished American History, and you get this answer: “uh…….was he one of America’s Presidents?” “Yes?…………………………………………..” and that is enough of an answer for him. He feels vindicated. He got it right. Today it takes two or three college courses in Reaganomics to reach that level of knowledge that everyone who was alive in the eighties, now takes for granted. So if Ronnie Reagan’s influence has faded this fast, what on earth does it take to make a concrete, lasting impression?

Ask about Lincoln, and you get “He freed the slaves”. So that’s the magnitude of an act necessary to be remembered just 142 years. So what do we know of a hundred years before that,… five hundred before that,….. a thousand,….. two thousand, …..four thousand?…………………….Surprisingly we actually know a little from those vast expansive time frames. We know of Abraham’s journey, from what today is Basra, up to Damascus, and down through what today is Israel and over to Egypt. We know of the attempted sacrifice of his son Isaac, the destruction of Sodom and Gamorrah. We know these things because religion…..one religion in particular, made a point of writing it down. Why? Why did they not follow the trend of all other local religions who emphasized power, the accumulation of wealth, and exalted position?

We don’t know why. But for some reason they just thought it was more important to tell their stories, which emphasized the common elements of our existence, and by preserving such stories of life and love, that relate to all men and women, their stories were told from generation to generation, and therefore got passed down to where we know of them today…………. ……One should note, we know much less about the pharaohs who left the longest-lasting monuments ever built by man. And we know even less about all other civilizations who studiously logged each accomplishment of every king throughout their civilization. Those names never survived the conquering armies and now are lost forever………………………..but we know of a lady named Ruth.

The window suddenly opened behind me and a voice full of love and life said, “Daddy, oh, there you are………………….” and that is when it hit……………………I am a dad…………….and that…………. is how I define myself…….. ….Whether planned or unplanned, those four indiscretions of my youth, have in their turn, now defined me. No matter how else I choose to define myself, it will be that special code of proteins, which got passed down to this small, select group of the next generation, enhanced with those of my wife, that will carry what I am, long and far beyond after anyone will have any clue of who Bush I, Bush II, or Clinton I, Clinton II were. It is this gift of life, given to me by my father and mother, stretching back to the beginning of our species, a chain of which I am most grateful to have been a part of, that now, has been passed on…………………………

Someday……….. a small living part of me may grow up in a floating colony plotting its own orbit around the giant orb of Saturn. … Wouldn’t surprise me….. I am almost sure I carry that gene.

But my greatest responsibility as a man on this planet, is to prepare my own kids for the success of their own lives. Those of you who read these blogs know first-hand the personal cost exacted by the inordinate amount of time it takes to research and track down elusive leads. You know the choices neglected to make it happen. But your contribution to the blogosphere, no matter how spectacular, matters little if you neglect that progeny that wants to spend some of that fleeting time with you, before they are grown and literally, gone……………………….

So if our life is this important, with the continuation and passing down of traits from one generation to another, when is it morally and proper to kill someone, and thereby break that link and chain forever? When are we morally entitled to stop that genetic line in its tracks and prevent it from continuing through time up to our species extinction?

For instance, is it theoretically ok to kill another family’s son, who is at that moment is in the process of trying to kill me? ……………………..Yeah, we all have the right to survival. Ok,…..So let’s try this one: is it ok… to kill another family’s son who is preventing me from taking something of his that I want, like oil? Do I, because of the special configuration of my own amino acids, have that moral right to take his life?

On this point……….I find it hard to justify permanently erasing something that has taken over million years to evolve, like someone’s unique genetic code. I cannot sanction the removal of a unique human history, spawned from the mixing of memory and desire, just so I can drive my SUV.

So as a “dad” ……….on this Father’s Day or anytime, …..do I have the moral right to remain silent, as other sons and daughters are getting slaughtered for a reason,… …one that borders on lunacy whenever, and if ever, it is rationally probed?

Well, let’s think about it……I definitely have that option……I can certainly choose to say nothing,………but do I have the right to say nothing?……….. And this is what I struggle with…….

The Constitution gives me the right to remain silent whenever I am wrongfully prosecuted. But for the Constitution to remain relevant, it demands that all of us stand up and speak up, whenever we feel that the Constitution is misused to wrongfully persecute others. So as an American citizen, by default, I am required by my Constitution to make my views known……………in any public forum to which I have access. If my views are relevant, they get picked up and rise to the top. If they are not quite all there…….they get passed over, forgotten, and sink to the bottom……..But as a citizen of this great country, I , as well as you, continue to have the obligation, or duty, to make our views known.

So as a “dad”, here I am on this Father’s Day: Just doin’ my part, man. Just doin’ my part…………………..

Had the opportunity to watch the Health Care debate in Las Vegas. Here are some of the gems.

“We are looking at a system where people tell you the words you want to hear, but are less than forthcoming with plans to make it happen.”

“Half of the bankruptcies in this country are the result of people not being able to pay their hospital bills.”

“31% of the money in the insurance system goes toward the “for profit” system. Using that toward bringing down health costs would prevent financial insolvency.”

“Corporate profits, stock options, execuitive salarys takes 31% out of the healthcare dollar with no benefit to the health of anyone.”

“Doctors do testing to cover their backsides. do away with malpractice.”

“Take the profit out of medicine. Health care is a right, not a privelege,”

“Who has the courage and willingness to take a stand for the American people and take on the insurance companies who give us diminishing returns and insist on higher co-pays and higher deductibles.”

“How does Ameica plan to stay competitive against other countries with lower health care costs.”

“If Individuals hold on to more of their money, using only a fraction of the money to maintain the system. eliminate costs, purchase drugs by bulk, thereby passing the lower costs on to the economy”.

“Single pay, medicare option is the way to go. If people chose this option, this country could evolve. Competition among insurance companies is not the answer for competition drives up prices. Each company is cherry picking for the most lucrative health dollars, whereas the poor will get stuck on Walter Reed type government programs which will collapse under the strain, and a death spiral of the entire system will occur.”

“Some suggest that the government provide subsidies to insurance companies. Did it work for pharmeceuticals? Take insurance companies out of the picture. Health Care is a right.”

“The change will not happen through Congress. Are you kidding? They are beholden to too many lobbyists. Any attempt to change will be chopped up, water downed giving, no relief.”

“This country is literally bankrupt. Controlled by the military industrial complex, this country is whistling through the grave yard. You cannot trust a president. You can only trust the Amercan people. We need a plan where you chose the options. You know what is best for you. On this issue, you cannot trust the leadership. They have been screwing up for fifty years, have you had enough yet…..”

‘There is a role for the president. That is to change the culture. To energize the environment which sets a tone to demand from us the best that is in us. We diet all the time, but with a trainer we have a greater chance of success. The president is not an solution, the president is a tool, the people can use it.’

‘Lobbyists pay for the people who pay for the campaigns that pay for the candidates who pay for the marketers who manipulate you people to vote for those who have been told to suscribe to the view that was paid for originally.’ — Gravell