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Our Thanksgiving dinner spread the length of a couple of tables near a stand of moss covered oaks and cypress. The thought of not sitting at a table with china and silverware at first seemed odd, but then I thought back to the first Thanksgiving. Our setting was much more in tune with the Pilgrims and Indians. This arrangement had an unexpected bonus, too, the chance to meet new people.

The camper in the next site saw the bald eagle as I was moving closer to get a photo. When it flew back into the trees he thought he saw where it landed, so we moved farther into the grove as he told me he had never seen a bald eagle in Florida. He was in his thirties, olive skinned, and his dark eyes lit up at such a sighting. Unfortunately we didn’t see the eagle again. The only birds above us were a flock of buzzards. They didn’t mind having their picture taken.

Do you have any idea how much you can learn about a person in a few minutes while you walk back to camp?

“See that small tent?” he said, pointing to a dark green, small pup tent by the larger one. I’m working on a design for a bear proof tent. That one is much stronger than our large, commercial one, but not strong enough.

“My next one will be made from high tensile strength airplane cloth.” This is where he got really excited. “With that cloth you can make a hole only if you really hammer something into it, and then to rip it takes 600 pounds of tensile strength.”

I took it word for it that that was really strong.

I asked what he did when not designing bear-proof tents. He had been a pilot for a cargo company before the economy went down. Now he buys and sells cars. That led to a discussion of the economy and presidents’ effect on it. We were on opposite sides of the political spectrum, but discussed the influence of Obama, the Bushes, Clinton and Reagan, agreeing on some points while remaining a chasm apart on others.

As we neared our camps I wondered about his wife, still sitting in her camp chair. Did she have these conversations with him—or with strange men she wandered into the woods with? And was she hot sitting there wrapped from head to foot in a long garment with a scarf around her head? So yes, you can learn a lot in a short walk in a campground, but you can also end up with a lot more questions than answers.

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I tried, I really, really did, but can’t resist a comment on Obama gaffs last night. (Isn’t that his VP’s domain anyway?) Just allow me this after eight years of hearing similar remarks about Bush (not my Bush, but Bush). I’ll be kind.

I’m trying to understand how Obama could have upset two huge segments of the population in one press conference. The first, of course, were the nation’s police, because they all consider themselves brothers. He should have stopped with I’m not aware of all the facts and come to a screeching halt when he felt the word “stupidly” boiling out to describe police action about which he had no first hand knowledge.

Then there was the point when Obama insinuated that he considered all surgeons dishonest enough to take a child’s tonsils out because the fee chart showed higher payment than other treatments. The fact that the diagnosis of a sore throat is usually by a family doctor who would not be doing surgery was lost in the rambling thought.

You can’t say he isn’t thoughtful when he talks. My mother used to say of a man who spoke with Obama’s glacial speed, “I just want to finish the sentence for him.” Mother, you would have done a much better job last night –for sure.

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There was so much handwriting on the wall that even the wall fell down.

Christopher Morley’s words in 1943 have relevance today for the “regulators” watching Bernie Madoff or Wall Street. So much for government watchdogs.

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A wasted vote is a vote for someone you know does not represent your own beliefs and principles. A wasted vote is a vote for someone you know will not lead the country in the way it should go. A wasted vote is a vote for the “lesser of two evils.” Or, in the case of John McCain and Barack Obama, what we have is a choice between the “evil of two lessers.”

 

Chuck Baldwin

Candidate for President

Constitution Party

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A truck hauling nickels for the mint dumped its load on I-4 near Orlando, Florida, last week. I don’t have to tell you hands were turned into scoops, do I? Guess what? Same thing has already begun in Washington even before the nickels roll.

 

Buried in an article about medical costs taking a toll on insured are these words of wisdom from Len Nichols, a health economist at the New America Foundation, a non-partisan policy group that advocates universal medical coverage:

 

“This makes clear the cost of doing nothing is high and growing. While policy analysts acknowledge that finding any new money to expand coverage might prove difficult, some also say the terms of the debate could be changing as policymakers and the public rethink their positions on the need for regulation and the role of the government in the industry – including the health-care system.

 

We can now imagine a government takeover that we could not imagine before.” Nichols said.

 

Or as a wise Chinese saying goes, “A journey of a million miles begins with one step.”  Are we ready to take that step?

 

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Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.

 

John Kenneth Galbraith

  

 

 

Go ahead and deride me. I’m an undecided voter. I, too, once looked with scorn on voters who couldn’t make up their minds after months of political rhetoric. Haven’t they read and heard enough to choose a candidate by now? Well, perhaps they have heard and read too much – and what’s more, done so with an open mind. Here’s how I came to that conclusion.

 

Not deciding right out of the gate this year to back my party candidate has been totally liberating. It has had the surprising effect of allowing me to see all the candidates with amazing clarity. The rose colored glasses are off and so are the gloves. Every misstatement, embellishment, and diversion to inanity on either side is sharply defined. If a candidate says something stupid or wrong, I am free this year not to defend him. I don’t have to squeeze my candidate’s views like silly putty to fit back into the Truth Can. If the facts don’t fit, I don’t acquit. Just let that lump of stretchy, over inflated verbal dough lay there for all to see. Oh, the candidate’s faithfuls will quickly pick it up, fill the center with a rock and hurl at the opposing candidate.

 

At this point neither party represents my beliefs, or if they do, they don’t adhere to them. I would like to see our election process overhauled to allow those outside the two monopoly parties to have a fighting chance. Perhaps more of us would take a more critical, non-biased look at candidates who represent our ideas more than an ass and a pachyderm.

 

We need to be addressing real issues like: economy on the brink from bailouts, energy needing big shot of ingenuity and attention, and danger from uncontrolled borders, to name a few. I don’t give a flying f*&% about pregnant daughters, community organizers, gay marriage, or whether a VP can field dress a moose, etc. As far as I can tell the only useful issue anyone is addressing (McCain) is earmarks. That’s a part of the whole big economic issue, but just a part. What ever happens, if we, the taxpayers, continue to bail out uninsured organizations like Freddie & Fannie and let the CEO’s who ruined them walk away not only without penalty, but with $9M, this country will be bankrupt. We might be rethinking that whole “too big to fail” mantra.

 

Meantime, I’ll be standing on the political street corner, arms crossed, peeking from under my hat brim at every pathetic attempt by the candidates to shape and reshape themselves into an image I can rally behind. Save your pompoms.

 

 

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