It’s a Madhouse, I Tell You!!

This past week has been an absolute madhouse for me. Trying to get everything in line for the trip has been challenging.

Our travel department screwed up – I had to call Germany myself to get the hotel and the corporate rate. Goes to show what happens with outsourcing some of your core services. Other travel arrangements have also been changing almost on a daily basis.

I finally handed off the last of my projects today. I always like finishing up what I started, but it couldn’t be helped. And I have a different supervisor.

Lots of stuff has happened, and I will continue to be busy getting ready for the flight out on Monday. And there is so much that I’ve wanted to write about.

I’ll try to squeeze another post in before the trip, but most likely the next post will be from Germany.

In the meantime, stay safe and stay warm. The last thing that I heard was the Global Warming has been postponed

Travel Imminent

After many delays, it looks like the green light has been given to travel to Germany. Yes, the project that I was selected for back in December has finally started up, and I’ll be traveling on March 3.

It will be interesting to see what the European press thinks about our upcoming elections, and more importantly, how they perceive the Presidential candidates. Of course, the BBC and the International version of CNN will give their 2-cents worth.

So wish me luck on the travels – I’ll be out of the country for 2 1/2 weeks, but only a short couple of keystrokes from posting articles and reading your comments.

Sticks and Stones…

…will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.

I take issue with that statement. Words can cut deeper than a knife, scarring a person for life without any visible signs. Words have a power unto themselves, able to bring people up to the clouds or dash them to the rocks below. Perhaps that is why there is the reaction to the following:

“What we have learned over this year is that hope is making a comeback. It is making a comeback and let me tell you something, For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country. And not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change. I have been desperate to see our country moving in that direction and just not feeling so alone in my frustration and disappointment. I have seen people who are hungry to be unified around some basic common issues. It has made me proud.”

Of course, this is the quote from Michelle Obama that has raised the ire of so many people around the country. Perhaps taken out of context, but nonetheless, only proud of her country once in her adult life? Really? Why has she been so disappointed in her country? I haven’t a clue since her and her husband are, by almost every standard, successful in serving this country in government service as well as private ventures.

Perhaps I’m reading into this a little too far like many people, but then, perhaps not. Consider the following statement of her husband, Barack Obama, on not wearing a lapel-pin of the United States flag during an interview:

“The truth is that right after 9-11, I had a pin. Shortly after 9-11, particularly because as we’re talking about the Iraq war, that became a substitute for I think true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security.

“I decided I won’t wear that pin on my chest. Instead, I’m going to try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great, and hopefully that will be a testament to my patriotism.”

Perhaps Barack isn’t proud of his country either. Or does he know of the symbolism that is our flag that represents the history of our country. Perhaps Mr. and Mrs. Obama should consider the words from a Red Skelton speech (found at Praesidium Respublicae among other places) explaining the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States before taking office:

I — Me; an individual; a committee of one.

Pledge — Dedicate all of my worldly good to give without self-pity.

Allegiance — My love and my devotion.

To the Flag — Our standard. “Old Glory”; a symbol of courage. And wherever she waves, there is respect, because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts “Freedom is everybody’s job.”

of the United — That means we have all come together.

States — Individual communities that have united into 48 great states; 48 individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose; all divided by imaginary boundaries, yet united to a common cause, and that’s love of country, of America.

And to the Republic — A Republic: a sovereign state in which power is invested into the representatives chosen by the people to govern; and the government is the people; and it’s from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people.

For which it stands

One Nation — Meaning “so blessed by God.”

Indivisible — Incapable of being divided.

With Liberty — Which is freedom; the right of power for one to live his own life without fears, threats, or any sort of retaliation.

And Justice — The principle and qualities of dealing fairly with others.

For All — For All. That means, boys and girls, it’s as much your country as it is mine.

In many respects, between the various speeches of these two and from the rest of the Liberal Democratic candidates, I’m beginning to believe that these two are card-carrying members of the “Blame America First” crowd. If they have no pride in their country and it’s accomplishments, if they do not understand its history and traditions, then they have no business campaigning for any political office. And that’s just for starters.

I keep hearing the word “change” from the Democrats, especially from the Obama camp. Change what? No details, no substance, just the word “change.” Changing something for the sake of change leads to disaster. This is something I have witnessed time and time again. Yes, I also hear the words “I have a plan” from the candidates, and the few details that they release scare the you-know-what out of me.

The talking points that I hear are nothing but a fragrant load of fertilizer designed solely to garner support and votes. And perhaps that is why I am so cynical of all politicians, Republican, Democrat, and “others.” I expect to be lied to by these selfless public servants that spend millions of dollars for a job that will only pay them a fraction of what they spent on the campaign.

Yes, the words of the politicians will eventually come around and hurt us. Those words are translated into laws, for better or for worse. We will be taxed, and that tax money will be spent on some of the most inane pork projects ever conceived by the political mind. And we, the citizens that voted these shameless hacks in, go about our daily lives not having a clue how our elected officials are spending their days (and our money) while in office. What short memories we have…

Perhaps we all should pay attention to what the politicians say and do, not only while they are on the campaign trail, but while they are in office as well. And they must be held accountable for their actions or inactions. We need to remember the following words most of all for they tell us who should be running the government:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Site Launched & Catching Up

This is the first post at the new site, and I’m excited. Yes, it launched a day later than I wanted, but what the heck!

My wife and I spent the past week on a cruise in the Caribbean, and was it ever nice to get away from it all. No worries, plenty of sun, some drinks, and a little sand between the toes. Paradise!! We almost jumped ship in the Bahamas.

Of course, coming back was very, very hard. Snow looks really, really ugly.

Not as ugly as the Democratic race for the nomination for President. We didn’t follow any political news during the cruise, but just looking at the TV the past couple of days just makes me want to shake my head and travel back out of the country.

Then there are the shootings at another college campus. Our prayers go out to all the victims and their families.

I’ve got a lot of catching up to do over the next week or so. In the meantime, I hope that everyone likes the new site, and I hope to stay here for a long, long time.

Vacation and a Change.

By the time you read this, my wife and I should be winging our way to places much warmer than Michigan for a week or so.  Snow up to my knees, so where’s the Global Warming?

Since there won’t be Internet access, I can just feel the withdrawal symptoms already.  But I think the wife is going to feel it more!

Also, I believe I’m going to move the blog again.  So soon, you may ask?  While I like WordPress, I just don’t like the templates that they have.  I guess it’s the creative part in me that wants to change things (or the engineer part – I can’t tell the difference sometimes).

The new blog will be at Tom’s Place (tomsplace.iblogger.org).  There are some posts there to see how the blog looks, but don’t comment there yet!!  I will import all the posts and comments to the new blog around February 18 after we get back and officially launch the site.

I will most likely keep the Blogger site (Tom’s Common Sense) and this site up for nostalgic reasons as well as providing links to the new blog, but updating will be rare, and comments will most likely not be transferred past the 18th.

So everyone get ready – there are more changes on the way!  And I apologize in advance for the trouble that this could cause.