Trying to see tomorrow isn’t always easy
By DS Gands
Oct 30, 2004
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The IRS is initiating an investigation of the NAACP for allegedly violating tax-exempt status law because Julian Bond, Chairman of the NAACP, made statements criticizing Bush policy.  Most certainly, one must ask if this will be a precedent expedition for the IRS into thousands of churches and other tax-exempt organizations across America that have criticized the current (and many past) administration(s)?  If not, it’s just another stick in the eye of this very intense election season and a continuation of fuel pitching toward the skeptical fire ablaze in the heart of Americans across this nation.


In other recent news, eight more Marines have been reported killed in Iraq and 3,500 troops just got their tours extended.  According to Reuters, there was no official detail regarding the troops’ disappointment in this order, but it did state that 40% of the troops in Iraq are Guard or Reserves, highlighting the dependence of the military operations on these resources.  This is the first time since WWII that these actions have been implemented.  Protection for the upcoming elections, they say.


Ours are not the only deaths being mourned.  A study was released in recent days through the media claiming that 100,000 Iraqis have died as a result of the invasion.  Let me say that again, slowly.  One hundred thousand.  According to the US Census, the Grayson County population in 2003 was – and let me write this slowly – 115,123.


Then, there are those long awaited ‘surprises’.  Another bin Laden videotape has emerged through Al-Jazeera that has been reported as a statement to the American people.  Most Americans don’t speak ‘bin Laden’, so I find it difficult to verify anything about this display.  In addition, I find it hard to believe that a man living in a cave has such remarkable electronic equipment available to him.  I suppose the paper sack backdrop was supposed to make it look low rent.  Whatever the intention – I personally don’t care what he has to say, I do, however, care a great deal that he has not been brought to justice.


The Congress has missed the deadline to revamp the Intelligence efforts.  They gave up on Friday, the news reported, stating that they would resume talks after the elections.  Friday – October 29th – 2004.  Three years after 9-11, bin Laden is issuing taped statements to the American citizenry and we still do not have a solid intelligence structure.  In between those stories is the one that some ‘westerner’ has made a tape threatening that blood will run in the streets, but no one can confirm whether it’s real or just a show off.  Maybe it’s just an outsourced, former prison guard re-employment training film.


In watching the Bush campaign ‘rallies’, and the Kerry Campaign ‘events’, there seems to be a great deal of jip and jab from the President without much substance regarding his record or his vision.  Kerry on the other hand is talking about policy, records, changes, and vision.  Don’t get me wrong, he has his share of jabs, but they seem to be more in the form of review of the events than a punch line from a comedian’s script.  With rise being given on a daily basis to the interpretations of flip and flop, it appears, by sound bytes, that Bush is flip and Kerry flops it all right out on the table.  It isn’t over for about 72 hours, but it seems a little late for me to hope for a President that offers me any answers about all the questions that have been raised since the Supreme Court appointed this one.  This whole thing has been a little like salt in the wounds, hasn’t it?


On the local level, Oklahoma politics is bleeding over the Red River with a vengeance.  The race between Carson and Coburn is a nasty and often sophomoric exchange.  If I could vote in Oklahoma, I would probably go for Carson.  The 527 cartoons against him turned me away from even considering whether Coburn (allegedly known as ‘Dr. No’) was being viciously slandered by other interests or his opponent.  Then there was the most recent one where Carson said he would fight ‘til the last dog dies, and I have to tell you, that one struck close to home.  I like that in a Senator, I don’t care where he/she makes his/her home.


On the District 4 US Congressional race, the only thing I have seen are ads for Ralph Hall.  The very first thing I turned and asked the television was ‘Isn’t that the one he ran last time?’, and even given that Congressman Hall swapped parties at 11:59, I was listening.  When he said that countries would fight for energy and that it would be a shame to send our troops on ships to fight for it since we have so much of it at home, the very next question was – ‘We are in Iraq, why?’  It is only the second largest oil reserve in the world.  So, I guess since Mr. Hall said that Jim Nickerson is ‘a nice young man from East Texas’, I’ll take him at his word and give the guy a chance.


On other local fronts, being the shared 336th District Court of Grayson and Fannin Counties, we have a young criminal prosecutor and an experienced multi-discipline attorney running for the bid.  I do not happen to think that either are what I was hoping for, but I knew years ago that one was promised the court and was surprised by the candidacy of the other.  I’m not big on surprises, but I do like to at least have a chance at a say in the matter.  Ellis is my choice.  At least I know, no matter your political perspectives, you have a chance at being heard when you speak in a court in which he presides.  Besides, after years of watching what the bench does to a body, I don’t think that being a judge is all that it’s cracked up to be.


But, here’s the deal.  No matter what they say or what I think, the fact is that I am no better off than I was four years ago, and in fact, I have lost a great deal.  In that time I have seen the worst attack on American soil, severe job losses, and a ‘war’.  We have all listened to the rhetoric, testimonies, allegations and excuses – not only from this administration, but stretching as far back as when I was in junior high school (and that was a while back.)  Bottom line is I lost a great deal of faith in the American election process in 2000, as did many Americans, and there has not been much to inspire confidence since that time.  In fact, the whole thing, if we stand back and look at it, is akin to that stick jabbed in an ant mound, and everybody is just backing up slowly as the rage engulfs that stick and permeates across the ground.


Do I expect that we will have an orderly and honest election on November 2nd, and that America will be allowed to elect a president?  No.  Do I think that we have any chance at all if we do not participate?  Absolutely not.   I believe that the only way Americans have a voice is to vote in this election.   Trying to see tomorrow isn’t always easy.


The Constitution guarantees our right to vote.  If we walk away from that, there is no America as we know it.


If you don’t do anything else next week – VOTE.  It may be the most important thing you’ll ever get the opportunity to do, but at the very least, for the next four years.