Hey, Red AND Blue States, Listen Up!

This is a response to the internet letters from the Blue States to the Red States, and vice versa. The letters, meant to be humorous, are raising hackles and petty arguments in the current political atmosphere.

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Hey Red States and Blue States,

Hold it right there. I have something to say before you start breaking up this country. My name is Unknown and my remains are in a marble tomb near the center of Arlington National Cemetery. There are four of us in this tomb. We died in two World Wars, in Korea, and in Vietnam. We gave our lives for the land we loved and we each came home in a casket draped with the flag of this nation.

Our tomb is in Virginia. The marble for our memorial comes from Colorado, from the same mine that produced the marble for the Lincoln Memorial. We’re in good company here. This is the final resting place for more than 300,000 Americans including soldiers from the Battle of the Little Big Horn, the Civil War and just about every war since.  An eternal flame marks the final resting place of our 35th president John F. Kennedy.  Two astronauts who perished aboard the space shuttle Challenger, Richard Scobee (Washington) and Michael Smith (North Carolina), were laid to rest here. You’ll find the grave of Gertrude Simmons Bonnin, the American writer and activist who was born on a Yankton Sioux reservation. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes is buried here. He was born in Boston and he taught at Harvard. We share this place with innocents who died at the Pentagon and on American Flight 77 on 9/11. You’ll also find a memorial to the 259 American men, women and children from many states who died aboard PanAm flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.

If you guys split up…who gets Arlington?

Blue States, are you really so ready to give up Ole Miss? That’s a 160 year-old institution. It was one of the South’s first universities to admit women, and the first to hire a female faculty member. James Meredith, a native of Mississippi, courageously endured a great deal of hateful treatment to become the university’s first black student. And what’s wrong with Alabama? It’s the birthplace of Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Harper Lee, Hank Aaron, Mia Hamm and Hank Williams. The folks down in Huntsville built the first rocket that put humans on the Moon.

Red States, what have you got against Rhode Island? If it wasn’t for that tiny state you might be having tea and crumpets every afternoon. It was the first of the thirteen original American colonies to declare independence from British rule. Providence is home to the First Baptist Church in America and the first NFL night game! It’s also the home state of George M. Cohan, H. P. Lovecraft, Eileen Farrell and Nelson Eddy.

Let’s be fair about big cities. They have some tough issues, but they are also famous for museums and parks, music, the arts and great sports teams. Miami is home to the Adrienne Arsht Center (the second-largest performing arts center in the nation) and Dolphin Stadium. Atlanta boasts Zoo Atlanta (which is helping to save some of the world’s most endangered species). Don’t forget that St Louis is the home of Anheuser-Busch Breweries (for that frosty mug of brew you talked about Red States). You’ll also find one of those elitist universities in St. Louis. The Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital operate the Siteman Cancer Center and the Genome Sequencing Center. In fact, universities in cities around the nation do cutting edge research in cancer, diabetes, heart disease, birth defects, nerve disorders and much more. And yes, stem cell research is incredibly promising in many of these areas. Think of how you might feel if your doctor were to say, “It’s malignant…but don’t worry. There’s an excellent new treatment from Stanford that can triple your chances of survival.” And for Blue Staters with rheumatoid arthritis…it was a guy from Alabama who first synthesized cortisone.

Why the rush to divvy up this land that includes Big Sur, Yosemite, Yellowstone, the Everglades, the Channel Islands, the Grand Canyon and so much more? Why can’t we all share and enjoy the country that gave us B. B. King, Muddy Waters, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Marian Anderson, Motown, Carnegie Hall, the Grand Ole Opry, Lincoln Center, the Hollywood Bowl, and yes, Streisand? Who wouldn’t want a Philly cheese steak, a Maryland boiled crab dinner, Tex-Mex, gumbo or a slice of Boston cream pie?

In dark times we have always come through as a nation. Remember that after 9/11 Americans gathered from every corner of this land to help New York City. Firefighters from as far away as Montana trekked to California to fight huge blazes that threatened lives and property there. Rescue dog teams from California have mobilized in hours to help Midwestern victims of tornadoes and floods. After Katrina, as the government dropped the ball, trucks loaded with emergency supplies, and cars loaded with volunteers rolled out of San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and yes, Detroit. We are a nation of heroes ready to help our neighbors. We are a nation of liberal, conservative, and moderate soccer moms, doctors and chefs. Dedicated teachers, caring police officers, honest city officials and schools that achieve academic miracles are not unique to small towns or to big cities. And that volunteer military? The men and women who march into harm’s way to defend this country are from every corner of every state.

So before you start carving up these United States, remember that the spoils will have to include Arlington, and Lexington, Yorktown, Gettysburg, Wounded Knee, Pearl Harbor and every other inch of soil upon which American blood has been shed in our shared history. You’ll have to explain to the spirits of those who died why we can’t seem to muster the courage, the commitment and the respect for our fellow citizens to make this nation work.

Or can we?

Sincerely,

Unknown

The original  internet letters:

Dear Red States

Dear Blue States

Exclusive/original to Political Bunko

Please pass along or repost.

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My Daily Rant – October 21

Joe the Everyman

by The Tall Twin

“You see, [Obama] believes in redistributing wealth, not in policies that help us all make more of it. Joe in his plainspoken way, said this sounded a lot like socialism.” – John McCain

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/

It seems that Joe the Plumber has given birth to an army of “everypersons.” Now Governor Palin is talking about Tito the Builder. I can see the action figures lining the shelves at toy stores. They come with removable tool belts and a set of real, working power tools (batteries not included).

I agree with the concept. The time has come to recognize the American everyperson as the hero he or she truly is. I think the lineup should be extended. How about Joanna the Single Mom? Greta and Hank the Retirees living on a pension, Josh the Student Loan Seeker and Marco the Underpaid Elementary School Teacher? They’re pretty heroic too.

But back to Joe the Plumber. . . What is the one thing that he, as a small businessman, must have? Yep. Customers. He can end up paying zero in taxes if he doesn’t have customers on the phone requesting his services. I can say from personal experience, that in the past few years I have learned how to fix a leaky faucet, unclog a drain, and install a new “toilet kit” all on my own. I’ve had to because I can’t afford to call a plumber.

Republicans may claim that a redistribution of wealth is bad, but it has been common practice for quite some time now. The nation’s wealth has been pouring into the gilt-lined coffers of the richest 1%. The trickle down thing hasn’t seemed to work so well for average Americans.

It is time to “spread the wealth” in the form of tax relief for the middle class. It’s not only fair, but it’s good for small businesses. If I have some extra money in my pocket I might not go “pheasant hunting in Ireland,” but I might splurge on new copper plumbing to replace the leaky decades old crap I have now. I certainly wouldn’t shop for a yacht to park in my driveway, but I might hire someone to replace the fence around my backyard with a new one.

Tax breaks for the wealthy don’t trickle anywhere. They just make the rich richer. Tax breaks for the middle class could give people a little breathing room. It’s quite likely that much of the money they save would be spent in small businesses across the nation. People might feel comfortable enough to shop at the local bakery, go to the beauty salon, have the house painted, or take in a movie. In other words, they may become customers for the zillions of small businesses across the land.

And what happens to those tax dollars from the wealthiest plumbers who take home more than $250,000 a year? Some of that wealth could be used to improve the roads and bridges his trucks travel on. It could improve police and fire protection services that keep his business safe. By bettering public education, tax dollars help to train the people he will hire in the future, and offer health care for those he has already hired.

This is not socialism…this is smart business.

My Daily Rant – October 18

To Infinity and Beyond

The Adler Planetarium projector is sort of the Joe the Plumber of earmarks. It is a single example that has been used to make a point.

One of the McCain campaign positions is that there are far too many earmarks in the budget. In an attempt to paint Obama as the king of wasteful spending, during the Oct. 7, 2008, presidential debate, McCain said, “He voted for nearly a billion dollars in pork-barrel earmark projects, including, by the way, $3-million for an overhead projector at a planetarium in Chicago, Illinois. My friends, do we need to spend that kind of money?”

Senator McCain has scornfully mentioned the projector several times since.

Overhead projector. Really? One person’s pork may be another person’s investment in the future.

The equipment in question is hardly an overhead projector. It is a replacement for one that weighs in at 2½ tons, is 18 feet in diameter and elevates from 12 to 20 feet. “It’s used to display 7,000 stars and planets that are visible,” said Mark Webb, director of theaters at Adler Planetarium.

Should the Adler get Federal funding? The request seems consistent with the goal of better education for our children, making them more competitive in the 21st century. Obama has vowed to put education on a fast track to improvement, with science and math in the lead. The Adler serves the population (including the school children) of at least three states – Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana.

“The projection equipment in this theater is 40 years old, and is no longer supported with parts or service by the manufacturer,” a spokesperson from Obama’s office said in a June 21, 2007, announcement. The three million was requested by a bi-partisan group of six legislators from Illinois, but it isn’t the end of the story. The Adler will need about ten million dollars to finish refurbishing the facility. They plan to raise the additional seven million through private funding.

But why would those of us in other states want to use tax dollars to fund a planetarium in Chicago? The United Nations has declared 2009 as the International Year of Astronomy. We here in the United States need to take heed and give out children the tools to excel or at least be knowledgeable in this science. Consider the following.

“Beijing Planetarium is taking a very important part in the preparation of IYA2009 events for mainland China. We are investigating the possibility of including astronomy as a normal middle school course in some cities and emphasizing the importance of planetariums in astronomy education. We are recommending that every middle-size city in China could have a large- or middle-size planetarium and every middle school in China could have its own middle or small-size planetarium. It is expected that hundreds of new planetariums will be built in the next several years, and IPS 2010 in Beijing will greatly speed-up such a process in China, as well as in some other regions of Asia.”

So Chinese children will have the opportunity to reach for the stars. Our kids? Well, the funding for the “overhead projector” was cut.

Sources:

http://jotman.blogspot.com/2008/10/mccain-obama-and-adler-planetarium.html

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/782/

Joe Biden Intros Leno

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McCain Reacts to Debate and a Link to the Transcripts

This is what John McCain did when asked how the last presidential debate went last night.  You can read the transcripts here.

McCain's Post-Debate Statement

McCain's visceral reaction to the debate

“That One”

Yep, McCain really did refer to Obama, in last night’s debate, as ‘that one.’  Where’d he learn his manners? From Sarah Palin?

Oh, no, wait. He didn’t even know her back in ’98 when he quipped, “Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly? Because Janet Reno is her father,” at a Republican dinner.  So I guess he just identifies with Palin’s crude. (Oil, that is, Alaska Ass.)

Olbermann Blasts Palin

The other night, Keith Olbermann gave one of those magnificent rants he’s so good at. This one is about Sarah Palin and the terrorists SHE palled around with.

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