Vice presidential debate
We are bombarded with rhetoric from all sides of the ideological spectrum in the final days of the most important presidential election since the first presidential election held during the founding of this great nation. Most American citizens probably have decided which political party will receive their vote that will determine the subsequent direction in which the United States will travel.
After watching the vice presidential debate between Vice President Biden and Congressman Ryan, the question arises if the results of the debate will influence a voter's choice for president, or who is undecided, or if the debate changed their mind.
The solution to this problem can be found by referring to Proverbs 29:9: “If a wise man goes to court with a fool, the fool rages and scoffs, and there is no peace.”
Doesn't the aforementioned Bible passage describe vice president Biden's debate performance and, for that matter, the attitude of the Democrat party towards the citizens of our nation? During the night of the vice presidential debate, the Democrat party's war on civility was in full force before our nation. Instead of professionally debating the questions put before him, Biden exhibited how rude an over-the-hill political hack can be, that is, mocking, disdainful, close-minded, arrogant, and blustery.
There is no doubt that the debate proved to us that President Obama and Vice President Biden and their cohorts in the House and Senate have no plans to work out compromises with Republicans on important legislation to save this nation.
Every voter should consider another factor before casting a vote for the next President of the United States. After observing the bizarre behavior of Vice President Biden and the professional behavior of Congressman Ryan, which candidate do you want a heartbeat away from the presidency?
Tom Rice for Congress
On November 6, we will be voting for someone to represent the people of the new 7th Congressional District in Washington, D.C. There is a big difference between what each candidate thinks is best for our country. One candidate believes in big spending and big government and the other believes in a fiscally responsible, smaller government. The candidate I believe will do the best for our district is Republican Tom Rice.
Tom Rice is a true conservative and a proven reformer. He has the experience needed to represent us. He has had experience as chairman of Horry County Council, where he worked to create a more effective government by building consensus within county council, and by strengthening relationships with the various municipalities and legislators to develop a unified strategy.
Jobs are his top priority. He has worked with County Council and community leaders to rebuild the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation, and it is already paying off as job announcements are just beginning. He has worked to get more state and federal support for infrastructure in Horry County.
He has already met with business leaders in Georgetown recently to discuss what is needed to get the dredging done for the Georgetown Port without having to pass a sales tax increase to pay for it. Tom will use his experience as an accountant and businessman to improve the way the government spends our tax dollars in a more efficient way. Tom is someone I have gotten to know over this campaign period and has lived in South Carolina since birth. He is a friendly, considerate person who is really interested in working for the people in this Congressional District. He is honest and has shown me that he takes the time to listen. This is the kind of person we need to represent us. I hope you will consider him when voting on November 6th.
The Good Old Days
Remember the good old days — before 2007? Remember when we were getting “richer” every day as home values were going up, up, up, builders were working hard on new ones, bankers had money to burn, government was looking the other way, and home equity loans were a way to get really nice stuff? Remember?
The $300 million Georgetown County Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) came to be during those good old days — in the form of a list of projects (transportation, recreation and leisure, economic development, community enhancement, and government buildings) — to transform Georgetown County. Paying for the vision would be achieved by the growth that was bound to continue. County Council received and accepted “projections” for future growth and new tax money that the growth would generate. Paying for the $300 million CIP would be a piece of cake. Not only the higher “projected” tax revenue, but grants (free money), borrowed money, etc. would all be available to help pay the bills.
Next, remember the 2007-2008 not-so-good old days? The stock market went from about 13,000 to 6,500. Banks hit a wall; home builders hit the adjacent wall. What did County Council do? Switched to Plan B – huge impact fees — on January 27, 2009 on a 6 to 1 vote. Home builders – already bloodied — hit this second wall. But impact fees were “projected” to bring in $2 million per year for the CIP.
County Council cut pay for employees 3 percent in June 2009.
At the end of 2010 (Dec. 14) county staff made a depressing – not surprising — CIP status report: the “projected” revenue for the 10 years 2002-2018 was lower than the earlier projections by $40 million – tax money was down, “projected” impact fees were also. Further, staff had looked at projects and priorities and recommended $45 million worth of projects to put to the ax. County Council voted 7 to 0 to approve the report, and the cuts.
Fast forward to 2012 – the really not good days, when many homes are “under water,” unemployment is sky high, the economy's still in the tank, and the national debt is over $16 trillion.
County Council gives us Plan C – they are asking us to let them raise sales tax so they can have an additional $40 million to spend so they can reverse the spending cuts they agreed to just two years ago, plus add a few projects. Answer the question on Nov. 6; vote NO on Nov. 6.
Mitt Romney for President
I am writing this letter in support Mitt Romney. I believe that he is the best candidate for President. Even President Obama said that if I can't do it in one term I don't deserve another. Well he is right. He doesn't deserve another. The only thing he has succeeded in doing is dividing our country by playing the race and class warfare game.
Mitt Romney is not only a good businessman and former Governor, but he is also a good person who cares deeply about people. He is willing to go above and beyond to help those who are in need as he has shown in past instances. He is a religious man who believes in God and believes our forefathers wanted God to be a part of our foundation. He is a true conservative who knows what is needed to bring this country out of the debt it is in and to get people back to work. He has a plan to reduce the deficit by eliminating non-security discretionary spending. He also wants a cap on federal spending and to give the states the responsibility for handling programs that they can implement more efficiently. He is a champion for the small businesses and will work to reduce the taxes on both the individual taxpayer as well as the businesses. He will stop the increases in regulations that are tangling job creators up in red tape, which will create more jobs.
He believes in energy independence by increasing access to domestic energy resources and eliminating regulations that are destroying the coal industry and would approve the Keystone XL pipeline. This is something we really need. We must become energy independent, especially with the cost of gas and electricity skyrocketing and the recent events in the Middle East.
His plan also includes giving families access to great schools and quality teachers. He believes that the teachers and students deserve much better than they are now getting. Too much is being spent on the bureaucrats in the administrative offices and not enough on teacher's salaries and the students in the classroom. He wants job training programs to help those who don't want to go to college so they can learn a skill that aligns with opportunities for jobs. He wants to replace Obamacare with real health care reform that controls cost and improves care. Seniors are already seeing instances where certain drugs or tests won't be covered under Obamacare because they are over 70 years old.
You may not agree with me. But when you go into the voting booth on November 6, please ask yourself what President Obama has done to make my life better. My answer would be nothing. I am voting for Mitt Romney for President. With him and Paul Ryan as a team, I believe we will succeed in getting our nation back to work.
Religion – Christianity in particular – gets a lot of things right. That’s why it has remained a central organizing principle for many societies for thousands of years. Art, music, prose so beautiful it’s indistinguishable from poetry, fundamental insights into the nature of man and society, promotion of supportive communities, charity and advocacy of selflessness help explain religion’s durability.
Comfort, hope, and compassion are not a small part of what attracts followers to religion. To many, fear of death is so overpowering that were it not for religion’s promise of an afterlife their present lives would be difficult to endure. Therein lies the rub. Except metaphorically, no evidence shows that human resurrection is possible. More importantly, no one has suggested a life after this one which would be in any way attractive to those who love the life we have. This claim of immortality lays a foundation for seduction: “If this life is unpleasant, don’t worry. The next one will be far better.” Ask the next twenty-five seriously wealthy people you meet if they subscribe to that proposition. Nations and terrorist organizations find that people who buy in to the “life eternal” illusion are more easily persuaded to fight and die for them than more secular citizens. Moreover, people trapped in poverty by government’s or industry’s inability to create jobs and opportunity are more likely to submit if some form of afterlife is systematically held out as the cure for their problems. Priests burying the dead have a stronger hold on the living if they provide assurance – albeit unsupported – that their relatives “are in a far better place.”
But this disingenuous aspect of religion is not what disqualifies it from the respect of those who see the world differently. What nettles those who require only life itself to experience fulfillment is religion’s claim of exclusivity with regard to spirituality. Countless people in past centuries who knew nothing of today’s religions experienced ecstatic spirituality through contemplation, music, art or simply through caring for those in need. Spirituality implies deep meaning and values in one’s life — both of which are readily available to the most secular among us.
Another aspect of spirituality, getting in touch with one’s inner life, is more easily achieved in a Marine squad sacrificing to keep each other safe than in a congregation passively receiving sacraments. Connecting with forms of reality greater than ourselves is attainable in Yosemite, the Sonoran desert at night, from atop a majestic mountain, staring in awe at a nearby elk or bear, or gazing at the cosmos after dark. In nature and in our connection with the stars — whose atoms literally make up our bodies — we ultimately feel our own spirituality. As for inspiration as a facet of spirituality, it comes from myriad sources — the acts of people whose talents we admire, the writings of those whose minds see in ways that ours may not, the achievements of individuals showing unimaginable perseverance and determination and sacrifice.
The transcendent nature of the natural world is self-evident and self-sufficient. No claims of monopoly can make that reality more real, or bring us closer to the spirituality that every thinking person experiences. It is fully available to all of us, and no dogma makes it more accessible. Watch the face of a naturalist discussing bio-diversity and the connectedness of everything, or of a new mother adoring her infant, and you will see the most radiant view of spirituality that our world has to offer.
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