Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Pete Morin Editorial Review--Issue #66

One good turn

Remember your very first day at school?--Sitting in a first grade classroom about to experience a whole new reality listening to your teacher lead you through your new day. She instructs you to take your pencil and start to learn the alpabet. You've now come face to face with your first moment of unprepardedness; you don't have a pencil! Enter Mr. Dunphy(his real name), the school custodian, who recognizes your unease and quietly offers you his pencil. Your life is saved! A five year old can breath once again.

The above actually happened on my first day at school and I will never forget what this kind man did for me. It's been 57 years, but all that time seems like just a few moments ago.

Fast forward over twenty years later to 1974 and I'm working for a convenience store chain opening a new local store. As I'm leaving the store I notice a little girl just up the sidewalk crying and holding a bottle of spilled milk. She was told by her mom to buy milk at the new store and return home, but she had acccidently stumbled and dropped the milk bottle. I told her everything would be alright as I was leading her back to the store where I replaced the spilled bottle with a new one. As I saw her walk away happily the thought of Mr. Dunphy entered my mind. What he had given to me I now passed on to this little girl; an act of kindness towards another person in distress.

This instance isn't recounted to 'toot my own horn,'but is meant to simply show that, as the old saying inplies, what goes around, comes around. If we really want to pass on a nation to our descendents that's civil, democratic and just we must learn to be more involved in creating and nurturing this civil society; government, with all its power and laws cannot, and will not, be able to do so. We MUST return the levers of power to our States and local communities. We MUST participate in forging this society between ourselves and local government. Anything less will simply make us wards of a leviathan state.

The hour is late, but let's hope not too late.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Pete Morin Editorial Review--Issue #65

In Honor of----

The year 1985 saw the birth of a niece, Jessica Fleming, my wife's sister's child. At the time I was in enrolled in an evening college course for english composition. We were studying a particular form of poetry called 'villanelle'. The first and third lines of the first stanza must be included in the remainder of the poem for it to meet the requirements of this style. The following was written for Jessica and is relevant today since Jessica has given birth to her first child on September 24TH. It's titled "Small Creature".

Small creature, feel the strength of a living hand, is right,
Sweet youth, cleansed of age cannot be spoiled,
Gather Love as a butterfly to flight.

Grasp the earth as it spins always in new light,
The sound and taste of life excite and re-new,
Small creature, feel the strength of a living hand, is right.

With every breath your heart leaps with fondness, in spite
of those things for which you have no understanding.
Gather love as a butterfly to flight.

Now, as days grow shorter and you give the good fight
to help those who had once helped you,
Small creature, feel the strength of a loving hand, is right.

In twilight hours your hands reach to hold tight
to dreams that dance in your mind, to sleep,
Gather love as a butterfly to flight.

Bring love to those who turn the dark to bright,
Sweetness and youth once remembered with such cheer,
Small creature, feel the strength of a loving hand, is right,
Gather love as a butterfly to flight.

Happy Birthday, Taylor Renae Minopoli. May you find love as a butterfly to flight.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Pete Morin Editorial Review--Issue #64

Obama—the stealth President

Midterm elections are almost upon us and President Obama may soon be able to reveal to the nation his true character and aims to improve the economic climate. The President may finally tell us what many are undoubtedly thinking, but have been unable to do so before the appropriate time. The President will gather up his Teleprompters and apprise the country of his true intentions and political affiliation: President Obama will reveal that he is a CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN!

That’s correct!—he’s a stealth conservative. Before you dismiss this out of hand, I ask you to consider the following.

Obama foresaw a McCain presidency as one of accommodation and general ‘go along to get along.’ This approach would lead the country nowhere. So he did the only thing he could; he ran to the left of McCain on a platform of “hope and change.” This maneuver allowed him to appease the left and not anger the moderates. The right would support McCain and if he played his cards just right the media would assist him in making the right look like a bunch of extremists. Comments of ‘spreading the wealth’ and capital gains taxes not being reduced would placate the left and then it was on to Election Day.

Once in the Oval Office, the president passed a series of mind numbing legislative acts. First came the stimulus package, the GM and Chrysler bailout and finally, healthcare. Along the way there was an aborted attempt to get Cap & Trade passed—but what the heck, one misfire isn’t that bad.

All Obama had to do now was sit back and wait for the anticipated backlash from conservative America. He knew it would come, but it was just a matter of when. And did it ever come. The right responded magnificently. Many people came out of their homes and left their couches to protest this hard lurch to the left. The 40% of the electorate that identified themselves as conservative, and many independents to boot, created the “Tea Party.” Finally, after years of sitting on the sidelines the silent majority was energized. The President, when ensconced in his private office, must have been overjoyed at the new found patriotism of his fellow conservatives. All the President needed to do now was keep the pressure on the left by not agreeing to extend the Bush tax cuts and spending more phony stimulus money. A gigantic political wave was about to hit Washington head on. Conservatives would regain control of both houses and the first order of business would be to repeal and replace the healthcare law.

Here’s where the real shocker for the hard left would take place. Expecting him to veto any such attempt, the President would announce to the nation his true affiliation. Passage of a new bill would take place and the American people would be the beneficiaries of the new healthcare legislation!

Alright, so all of this is a little wacky, but other than that hasn’t the President done a great job of energizing America? Hasn’t he done what John McCain would never have been able to do? Barack Obama, stuck in his ideological mindset and unable to understand the greatness of the free market, will be judged as he wanted to be judged: he’ll be a great one term president.

I salute you President Obama. You’re the best thing that ever happened to conservative America.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Pete Morin Editorial Review--Issue #63

The Heart of Free Enterprise

Did you ever stop to consider what the true essence of a free society embodies? Just what makes us a free people with the ability to determine our own path in life? Nothing can be more sacred to the free enterprise system and capitalism itself then the contract. Every time we engage in a transaction with another individual, or a business, we exercise this most basic of all human endeavors.

Today, in America, the contract is under relentless assault from the far left. President Obama and his minions want to let you know you're too stupid to determine what's best for you. Their prime aim is to ingratiate themselves between you and those with whom you wish to contract. Think this is a preposterous notion? I invite you to reflect on the following:

1) The current U.S. Congress has determined that you can't be trusted to purchase your own healthcare. The new ObamaCare injects itself between you and your doctor with respect to the best treatment you should receive. Don't like the government's choice and run afoul of the law and you'll get a visit from the IRS.

2) With a little help from their friends (General Electric), Congress has seen fit to outlaw incandescent light bulbs in approximately two years for the new CFL light bulbs. They're so much better, according to the ruling class. Any business that attempts to sell those old bulbs after the proscribed date will feel the wrath of a nanny government scorned.

3) We now have several 'safeguards' in place to prevent financial institutions from ripping us off, or at least that's what we're led to believe. The truth, however, is a little more complex. Credit will be harder for small companies to secure since banks will be less likely to sustain any losses that could put them at a financial disadvantage. Credit cards will be more difficult to obtain and rates will remain high even for the most credit worthy.

4) The Environmental Protection Agency has determined that our energy producing industries don't meet their stringent requirements with respect to carbon emissions. Think your heating oil is expensive now? Wait until you see the price come winter.

5) Want to renovate your bathroom? When it comes time to choose a new toilet the only kind you'll be able to purchase is the inefficient, low-flow, 1.6 gallon model (anyone familiar with this type of toilet knows it takes as many as three flushes before you get the desired result).

6) Aren't you just excited about the new Chevy Volt? Can't wait to get your hands on this $40,000 + vehicle, can you. You'll get an amazing 100 + miles of emission free mileage from this beauty. When you get home (assuming you make it home), all you have to do is plug it in to an electrical outlet for eight hours and you're all set for another 100 + mile cruise. Hopefully, your electrical supplier is a wind turbine farm, otherwise it's more carbon emissions! Don't fret though. I'm sure the price will come down when government hits car companies with a surcharge, or tax, for producing those antiquated gas burning vehicles.

All of the above are instances where government has come between you and other people, or businesses, with whom you might wish to contract. Under the guise of protection, or superior knowledge, the ruling class let's us know we're not capable of contracting on our own. They will decide for us because we are the benighted, unwashed masses. The two hundred year tradition of buying and selling; the bond that has made our nation the most successful in the history of mankind will be junked for a more efficient model. The heart of free enterprise will be ripped from the collective chest.

If we don't get to the polls on November, 2nd and change this disastrous course we'll have no one to blame but ourselves. The choice to contract freely is yours--don't waste it.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Pete Morin Editorial Review--Issue #62

As one door closes--

1982 was a difficult year for the American economy, not to mention those who would come face to face with losing their employment and possibly their living. This writer was faced with such a circumstance and I've never forgotten what it means to be unsure about the future. So, in a moment of reflection, and a little despair, the following short essay is presented. It was written that same year and still strikes a chord of sympathy for anyone in such a similar predicament.

"Anything Worthwhile"

"Anything that is worthwhile is never easy to get," said the man staring at me from across the desk. Dan thought this to be a really stupid thing to say. "Right now the last thing I need is to hear that from some under-achieving bureaucrat."

The day started as usual; an alarm clock, the smell of coffee brewing and a hesitant sun peaking over the hills from the east. Dan slipped on his work clothes, drank a quick cup and headed for the routine that was his for the last fourteen years.

As he entered the old factory building, the time clock gave its usual clang and clunk marching towards seven o'clock. The friendly hum of the boring machine let everyone know it was ready to get to work. Dan moved easily among the spindles, nuts, gears and other parts he learned to fashion from lumps of metal; his hands roughened and dirty from endless hours of touching his life's work. Soon the heat and sweat of the bowels of the pounding shop were part of his soul as the noise gave life to sculptured product.

Noon time approached and a shrill buzzer pierced the noisy cauldron as if to call a halt to the calamitous riot. Dan retreated to the lunchroom for a sandwich, soda and a few cigarettes until it was time to repeat the morning's ritual which would eventually become part of the finished day. The afternoon sun, however, bore no resemblance to its morning cousin. Now the rhythmic beat had forged a furnace; sweat and strain coming easily to all on the shop floor.
Occasionally, a foreman, or supervisor, would extol someone to finish a job or clean an area, but above this the smell, sights and sounds were endless, giving way only to the puncture of the buzzer as it kept watch over all in the shop. It gave its final warning now. Stop work and clean up, wash the grease from a hundred hands; dirt from faces of spent men.

As Dan made his way to the time clock it belched out a last clang, a bitter clunk. He then placed his card in the 'out' rack. As he left the factory the machines fell into a stone silence. Today would be the last day for Dan and for the plant; its heart permanently extinguished. Middle America had lost another son. For the first time in many years Dan felt the pangs of failure and dejection.

"We'll see if we can get you an interview over at the new auto plant," said the bureaucrat. "But they can be choosy since so many are out of work." Dan nodded in agreement. "After all," he said, " anything worthwhile is never easy to get."

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Pete Morin Editorial Review--Issue #61

A view from the stands

Saturday was a beautiful day to take in a college football game. A deep blue sky with puffy white clouds and a nice twenty mile an hour breeze made for a great day to see a game from high in the stands.

Just as much fun as the game though is watching and listening to the banter of the folks in attendance as they enjoy the day as well. The good natured rivalry and spirit of the competing forces, the smell of grilled hamburgers and hotdogs and the spirited cajoling of the cheerleaders imploring the fans to support their team were enough to make me realize how much I missed this venue for almost a year.

There was something else that caught my eye amid the hoopla and celebration; something that made me realize how great it was to be an American. Two individuals sat just below me wearing shirts that may have given an indication of where they were from, or possibly just shirts they chose for this occasion without any particular thought to their significance. Both were Harley-Davidson shirts, extolling the virtues of their dealerships in Stoughton, MA and Valparaiso, IN. Whether or not these two individuals were actually from these two cities didn't strike me as important, but what did cause me to take pause was this: What do the people of Stoughton, or Valparaiso think about what's going on in our country today? Are they happy with the state of affairs that our President has consigned to our nation on its current path? How about the folks in Des Moines, IA, or Brookings, SD, or Butte, MT? As I looked at these people, whose background I could know nothing, could it be they're satisfied with the policies of this administration?

How about the people of Arizona whose State has been sued by our own Justice Department while only trying to enforce Federal law with respect to immigration. Do they agree with what's being done to them by our own Government? When Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton offered up the State law as an instance of a violation of civil rights to the United Nations Human Rights Commission are we not even slightly embarrassed, not by the law, but by the actions of this administration? Being lumped in with the horrific regimes of North Korea, Iran, Venezuela and Cuba would make me wonder which side our government is on.

Do the people of Beaufort, SC, or Baton Rouge, LA, or Casper, WY really believe there's nothing exceptional about America? Is our exceptionalism no better than Britain or France or China? There were two world wars fought in the last century that indicate there certainly is something exceptional about America. The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines who fought the great battles of those wars would beg to differ with President Obama. They didn't give their time, honor and some the ultimate sacrifice to hear an American President talk so cavalierly about our greatness. I, for one, am embarrassed to even hear this President talk about America, because I honestly believe he's embarrassed to invoke its greatness. How such a man attained the position he now holds is beyond comprehension. Mistakes do happen, even in a nation such as ours. We can, however, rectify this mistake in 2012. We can also show our love of Nation and Constitution by rectifying other mistakes in the coming Congressional elections on November 2Nd of this year.

We are an exceptional nation, with exceptional people and exceptional dreams and hopes for our children and grandchildren. We will make those changes necessary to put us on the correct path of renewed exceptionalism and we will do it because we love this nation and refuse to follow anyone who does not.

It was a grand day on Saturday. The team I was rooting for was victorious, scoring two touchdowns to come from behind in the fourth quarter. All of us will make sure America wins again. We'll do it with our voices and our votes and we'll do it from more than the stands; we'll do it from our hearts as well.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Pete Morin Editorial Review--Issue #60

Failure is not an option

The above was supposedly uttered by Gene Krantz when Apollo 13 was in danger of being lost on its return flight from the moon in 1970.

America faces a challenge today far greater than that faced by the astronauts on that fateful mission. If we Americans fail to retain the freedom to pursue our lives as we see fit without an overreaching government breathing down our necks, then we will have failed not just ourselves, but all those generations that came before us in securing liberty for themselves and their posterity.

This is no idle observation easily dismissed out of hand by those who would wish to see their power and control over men's lives undiminished. The forces of the left would like nothing better than for those of us who cherish our liberty to simply fade away, or acquiesce to their superior intelligence and natural ruling ability. I, for one, will have none of it! I will not stop exposing their shameless record of failed economic policies and blatant attempts to turn our Republic into a European socialist state.

It becomes more apparent every day that President Obama is not qualified for the position he now occupies. The 'historic' moment has turned into an ugly nightmare. Unemployment, home foreclosures, increased taxes and a ridiculous health care plan are but a few of the horrific scenarios that this 'not so presidential' individual has visited upon this great nation. The very least we can do is continue to expose this charlatan for what he is; a Marxist ideologue.

So, I will keep fighting for liberty, limited government and a free enterprise system that exemplifies our history and best traditions. For all Americans failure to do so is not an option.

(Thanks Dave for your kind words of support)