Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Inspiration from Missouri's Ozark Mountain Darevils

YOU MADE IT RIGHT
(Elizabeth Anderson / John Dillon)
1974

I've got a moon out my window in the night
and I've got a sun out my doorway when it gets light
I've got stones on the mountain and a clear, blue, wind-swept sky
thank you, Lord
you made it right, you made it right

and I've got a woman to love me when I'm gone
and I've got stars to find me the way back home
I've got rain in the morning when I'm stranded all alone
thank you, Lord
you made it right, you made it right

I've been standin' on a hillside in the night
and I've been singin' 'bout the good things and the light
there's a new star on the horizon and it nearly fills the sky
thank you, Lord
you made it right, you made it right

there's a new star on the horizon and it nearly fills the sky
thank you, Lord
you made it right, you made it right
______________________________________________________________________
Lyrics are copyright 1974, 1975, John Dillon & Elizabeth Anderson




IT'LL SHINE WHEN IT SHINES
(Steve Cash / John Dillon)
1974 
 


the old cat on the roof
he could stand a little push
'cause he's got nine good lives to live
but like my momma said
you only live till you're dead
and you got to give and give and give

there's a pebble in the pond
goin' on and on,
makin' waves and tides and ripples and rings
there's a leaf in the wind
that don't know where to end
chasin' days and ways and wishes and dreams

seems like ev'ry one
is out lookin' for the sun
singin' rain and pain on he who hesitates
but it'll shine when it shines
you might think I'm wastin' time
but I'm just a good old boy that's learned to wait

whippoorwill's in the dawn
pretty soon, he'll be gone
and he's got one good song to sing
but like my daddy said,
it's in your heart, not your head
and you got to sing and sing and sing

there's a window in the wall
lookin' out on it all
leavin' fears and tears and troubles alone
there's a fire in the stove
keepin' out the cold,
warmin' wine and winters and babies and homes

seems like ev'ry one
is out lookin' for the sun
singin' rain and pain on he who hesitates
but it'll shine when it shines
you might think I'm wastin' time
but I'm just a good old boy that's learned to wait

yes, I'm just a good old boy that's learned to wait

______________________________________________________________________
Lyrics are copyright 1974, 1975, John Dillon & Steve Cash





Wednesday, November 7, 2012

RESPONSE TO COMMENT ON CYNICAL VOTER

From Gerald Ford re Nixon; it doesn't quite mesh with what you've stated regarding his criminal acts: "No question, Tom: he would have been indicted. The probability is he would have been convicted. It would have been a long, tortuous appeal. The odds are he would have gone to jail." The rest I won't get into; there's a lot we agree on (the hubris of Clinton) and a lot we don't (my sons, their families, friends, etc., are very well-informed politically, although there will always be those that can't be educated no matter how hard we try). The fact is, it's another day and it's up to US, all of us, to keep the Congressional feet to the fire, to stop this bipartisan nonsense and work for us, not the lobbyists, cronies or anyone who is not a registered voter (i.e., also a citizen). Back in the day, voting wasn't secret and only landowners had the privilege; sometimes I think that's what we're headed back to. - Karen

This was a comment left on last night's blog entry by my friend Karen.  I want to respond to her comment with all the respect it deserves.  I may sound ignorant or misled, but that is my problem to deal with.

So .... here goes:

Karen,

I agree fully with President Ford's assessment of the situation involving President Nixon and backs up the point I was trying to make in my blog entry.  There is no doubt in my mind that President Nixon would have been impeached by the House then convicted by a bi-partisan Senate in 1974.  After that, I doubt he would have been indicted in the civilian courts or spend time incarcerated but if he had been, it would have not have been due to "criminal acts" but rather because he was President at a time when elected leaders were held accountable for things that happened under their watch.

There was a time when elected officials were held accountable for their actions or inactions.  Senator Joe McCarthy was censured in the Senate because of the way he ran the Committee on unAmerican Activities and rightfully so.  Do you remember Senator Bob Packwood?  The Senator kept a private journal which was somehow discovered.  In this journal he wrote of sexual fantasies involving female members of his staff.  He never showed them to anyone, never read them to anyone but once discovered, Senator Packwood was forced to resign from the Senate.

It was a different time and times have changed dramatically over the years.  When the Articles of Impeachment came out of committee, the following day President Nixon was visited by a group of Senators.  It was a Republican group of Senators led by Senator Barry Goldwater.  They knew that President Nixon had to be held accountable for illegal activity that occurred during his administration, whether he had actually done anything or had knowledge of anything that was going on under his watch.  President Nixon did the right thing and resigned.  His Vice President, Spiro Agnew, had resigned two years earlier because of tax irregularities.  Agnew was held accountable for his past taxes and forced to resign.  My current Representative in the House is fighting a lawsuit by the IRS for back taxes in the thousands of dollars, yet he still holds office and was re-elected last night.  Times have changed.

The system did have a big hiccup under Reagan with Iran-Contra.  The system slipped a bit as Reagan's Administration made it through the investigation.

When President Clinton took office and was sued for sexual harassment by women during his governorship in Arkansas , we should have seen it coming.  The investigation into illegal use of the FBI led to whether he was using his power to have sexual relations while President.  While nothing was proved of criminal activity by Nixon, Clinton gave us plenty of evidence of criminal activity during the investigation.  He tampered with a witness to a Federal Grand Jury by trying to force Monica Lewinsky to perjure herself.  That by itself is a felony which is cause for impeachment and removal from office.  But he went even further.  He perjured himself at least three times during his testimony before the Grand Jury, three more felonies, all a cause for impeachment and removal from office.  Then he took his case to the American people, pointing his finger at us and lied to us.

The trial of Clinton was one of the most partisan actions I can remember.  Despite all of the evidence, Democrats voted to aquit the President.  That in and of itself was a slap in the face to the American people but after the verdict he walked out on the White House Lawn followed by all these Democrats as a show of unity.  It was also a final flip of a single finger to the American people.  The system had failed miserably.

You once told me that thanks to President Nixon, you were cynical when it came to politics.  I think you have it wrong.  The system worked when Nixon stepped out of line.  That should be a positive thing.  The system was working.  As President Clinton flipped the country off, the system failed.  Total breakdown.  That is when I became cynical and when I would think you would as well.  Clinton stood there and told us the law does not apply to him, and it evidently didn't.

The other part of causing me to be cynical is the way campaigns are run these days.  Times have changed.  Half truths are thrown out by both parties as gospel.  Appearing on talk shows instead of being out among the people is the new standard.  There was a poll taken a few years ago where an astonishing number of the youth in this country perceived the Jon Stewart show to be actual news while it was in fact satire.  I meant no disrespect to your children or family in stating what I did.  I do however stand by the fact that the average American voter these days is less knowledgeable then forty years ago.  This is particularly disturbing considering the mass communications we have access to these days.

This is what has made me cynical and I hope it is a good response to your comment.  The system has been breaking down slowly.  Political philosophies are now stated in short sound bites instead of deep explanations.

I am proud to be an American.  I am respectful of my right to vote and my right to say what I feel.  I am extremely respectful of how this country has peaceful and organized transfer of power, unlike any country in the world.  I am also deeply respectful that the will of the people be carried out through elections.  That is what will happen next January 20.  Once again the will of the people will be carried out as President Obama begins his second term as our President.  It is a good thing.  It is this basic tenant that keeps this country running strong.  Four years from now, somebody else will take the helm of our country and we will continue on, whether it be a Democrat or a Republican.

Yes I am cynical of the campaign process and cynical of the overwhelming partisanship that sets us back a little.  Even though the system totally failed in dealing with President Clinton, it still survives and that is why I will continue to vote.

I may be "misled and ignorant", but I  will continue to speak and to vote in a way that I feel is best for the country.  I will also accept the outcome of these elections without malice but with respect of the will of the American People.

Times were different.  Times have changed.  My sincerest wish for this country is that we take a step back to times of decades past, and become a united country once again.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I AM A CYNICAL VOTER

I grew up in a very patriotic family who took the right to vote very seriously.  Politics were argued often between my uncles and their father and as a child I sat and listened and took it all in.  I loved history and every election held was history in the making.  It was during these times of listening that the simple basics of my political philosophy were born. 

In 1968 I was in the sixth grade and it was an election year.  We discussed the election in school most of that fall and I became truly fascinated with an election for the first time in my life.  I followed the candidates on the evening news as they were followed around the country talking to people face to face.  I watched with fascination both conventions that year.  I watched the devastating Democratic convention in Chicago which showed riots in the streets.  I was proud when Senator McGovern picked my senator, Tom Eagleton, as his vice presidential running mate.  A few days later I look on in confusion as Eagleton was pulled from the ticket and replaced by Sergeant  Shriver, a member of the Kennedy clan.  McGovern lost the election the moment he pulled Eagleton from the ticket.  Then I watched the Republican convention, a peaceful united party nominating one of the democrats most hated republicans, Richard Nixon.

During the campaign the candidates traveled the country meeting the citizens one on one and explaining where they stood on the issues.  It seemed to me that Richard Nixon held a stronger handle on foreign policy during the campaign.  This was important because the country was in the middle of a war in Vietnam that was not a popular war.  It was perhaps the most unpopular war up to this time in our county's history.  Nixon became President Nixon rather easily in 1968 thanks in part to George Wallace of Alabama taking the whole southeastern block of states from McGovern.  I sat up Most of that night watching the returns come in well past the time when they declared Nixon the next President of the United States.  I went to school the next day very tired, but very pleased with myself.  It was the beginning of a tradition I would follow every four years faithfully ... until tonight.

As I write this, I hear gunshots outside so I checked the CNN web site and saw that they are projecting another four years of President Obama.  Although that means my choice lost, the country will survive another four years.  We always have and we always will.  Might be rough going and sacrifices may need to be made, but the country will be okay.  Now, back to my cynicism. 

During the 1972 election, a little break in at the Democratic Headquarters at the Watergate Hotel would give the press enough fodder to drive President Nixon out of office, even though he never broke the law or obstructed justice.  He did not tamper with witnesses, but it got to be such a distraction for the country that the republican leadership in the congress suggested to President Nixon that he should resign.  Being the classy man that he was and realizing what was best for the country, that is what Nixon did on August 5, 1974.  At the time it was a low point in our history, but we had no idea how low things could go in the future.

During the next few elections, the campaigns were run with class and properly.  Reagan and Carter followed their predecessors by traveling the country meeting with citizens one on one and had some very respectful debates.  The pattern was followed in 1984 as Reagan ran against Walter Mondale.  In 1988 as Vice President Bush ran against Governor Dukakis the pattern of how a campaign should be run was again followed.  Then came the year 1992 where the first steps of the classic campaign began to fall.

I first noticed it when Governor Clinton of Arkansas showed up on MTV for a "town meeting".  It was the first step toward my total cynical look at campaigns.  During the MTV show, one of the potential voters asked Clinton what kind of underwear he wore.  Let me say that again.  To this voter, a young lady, one of the most important issues in her little head was what kind of underwear the man who would be the next President wore.  What was worse than the question being asked?  Clinton actually answered the question.  Instead of explaining that the election process in the United States was a serious process and should be treated as such, he answered what many would think to be a private matter that was of no business to the general population.  This was where my cynical nature of elections began.

Forward to Clinton's second term.  He was being sued by two women for sexual harassment.  He hid behind his office of President to protect himself from lawsuits for actions taking place before he became President.  Then came THE investigation.  It started as an investigation into the unlawful use of FBI files that the President reportedly using to pushing for votes on issues that his administration wanted to ram through.  He never turned over the files claiming they couldn't be found, thus ignoring a subpoena by the Special Prosecutor. During the course of the investigation, it came out that he was having extra marital sex in the oval office.  The man who was proud to tell the world what kind of underwear he wore suddenly found himself thinking that there are somethings in his private life that the country had no business of knowing.  He tampered with a witness to a Federal Grand Jury by trying to force Monica Lewinsky into lying to the Grand Jury.  He went on television and pointed his finger at the american people and lied to us, saying that he did not have sex with this woman, as a matter of fact he hardly knew her.  He then perjured himself to the Grand Jury, a felony, at least three times and was rightfully impeached.  The incredible part was this man who had witness tampered, committed perjury and lied directly to the American People was acquitted by a partisan Democratic Senate.  It was the most blatant example of the President being above the law ever.  While Nixon had decided that the country needed to move on and resigned, Clinton was egotistical enough to commit felonies while in office and say he was above the law.  The FBI files were eventually found after the impeachment trial ... on a table in the living quaters of the White House.  How could I not be cynical after that?

Then came the election of 2000.  Back to Richard Nixon for moment.  In the election of 1960, Kennedy and Nixon had one of the closest elections in history.  The vote coming from Illinois did not come in until the early morning hours.  As was documented in Theodor White's "The Making Of A President-1960" everyone knew that Mayor Daley of Chicago was holding the Cook County votes until the southern part of the state reported so that he would know how many votes Kennedy would need to take Illinois and thus the election.  White even quotes Bobby Kennedy as saying that Daley was coming through.  Richard Nixon knew what was going on.  He knew Daley and what he could do in Chicago.  Nixon advisers tried to get  him to demand a recount, but Nixon said no.  It would not be good for the country.  In the year 2000,  George Bush won an extremely close election.  Vice President Al Gore was not as classy as Nixon though.  They recount votes for a month after the election until finally the Supreme Court had to decide that enough was enough and rightfully give the Presidency to Bush.  Yet another step on my way to being cynical about whether these men want whats good for the country or just want power no what the effect it would have on the country.

Now comes the completeness of my cynicism.  The last two elections have shown a new way of campaigning.  Obama found that an easy way to get to voters with softball questions was to hit the talk show circuit.  I still can't believe our election process has come to this.  Candidates, primarily Obama, hitting the Letterman Show, The View, Late Night, and the worst of all, appearing on the comedy channel on a satiric news show.  I can snicker at the thought of Obama being on the comedy channel.  There is a certain symmetry to it.  But then the serious side of my philosophy on politics and how campaigns should be run kick in.  It has become a joke.  Candidates, through PACs, throw out half truths or half lies at their opponents and treat it as the truth.  Both parties take part in this.  No longer does a candidate travel the country meeting with the citizenry on a face to face basis.  Much better to sit and have some light hearted banter with David Letterman, Whoopi Goldberg, or Jon Stewart.

I voted this year.  I voted by researching the actual facts instead of the half truths.  I did not vote a straight ticket, I seldom do.  I vote for the man and his beliefs and philosophy, not on how well Jon Stewart likes him.  I have been lumped in with voters who are haters, bigots, misinformed.  I challenge that picture of me as a voter.  I take my right to vote very seriously and I do not take it lightly enough to even pay attention to what a candidate says on a talk show.  It is the candidate out with the people that you find out what kind of candidate he truly is.

It seems as though, as younger voters enter into the voting booths, America does not take casting their vote with the seriousness that it deserves.

Yes, I am a very cynical voter.  I do not believe that campaigns should be run the way they are and that votes should be cast for the reasons they are.

God Bless America .... we need it.