Opinion

I’ve been reading several statements from several residents about their concerns of the newly created angled parking on Main Street downtown for the past few weeks.  I think the intentions of the city were good but the result just isn’t ideal.  People found out rather quickly how nerve-wracking it is to back up into traffic going 35 miles per hour or more.  It’s not good.

In response, the city made the change that no SUV’s, vans, or trucks would be allowed to park in the new angled spots due to those in lower vehicles not being able to see to back up.  I don’t think that’s enough to eliminate safety concerns.  It also reduces parking spots for those of us driving SUV’s, vans and truck, which are quite a few of us.

Personally, I’ve been very pleased with downtown improvements other than a few trees that I wish could have been saved.  I had been withholding judgment on the angled parking till it was fully implemented and now that I’ve seen it, I don’t like it.

Besides the safety issue, which is obviously the most important one to consider, it’s also fair to say that it looks odd.  It’s weird to come upon a parking lot in a road.  As a driver you find yourself more concerned with those  trying to back up, rather than paying attention to what downtown has to offer.  All the improvements and storefronts become a big blur in my peripheral vision.

I would highly recommend doing away with the angled parking on Main Street and Franklin Street, where I believe it is planned to go next.  Both roads are too heavily traveled for angled parking, in my opinion.

Reducing traffic to two-lanes was probably a good idea.  It gives a buffer zone between the road and pedestrians and hopefully slows down traffic but the angled parking is unnecessary.

Personally I stink at parallel parking but I’d prefer it over backing up into a moving vehicle traveling 40 miles per hour.  Backing up in Walmart’s parking lot scares me enough and people are generally only going 10-15 mph there.

I’d just encourage the city to go back to the drawing board and reconsider the issue.  Let’s make changes to the plan before more money is invested on Franklin Street.

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This weekend I plan to watch the new movie Lincoln by Steven Spielberg.  I didn’t know it’s message would be so on key with today’s world but it is, especially after the last presidential election. Every American needs to take some time and remember our history.

I read this on Facebook and wanted to respond to it:

Dear American liberals, leftists, social progressives, socialists, Marxists and Obama supporters, et al: We have stuck together since the late 1950’s for the sake of the kids, but the whole of this latest election process has made me realize that I want a divorce. I know we tolerated each other for many years for the sake of future generations, but sadly, this relationship has clearly run its course.

Our two ideological sides of America cannot and will not ever agree on what is right for us all, so let’s just end it on friendly terms. We can smile and chalk it up to irreconcilable differences and go our own way.

Here is a our separation agreement:
–Our two groups can equitably divide up the country by landmass each taking a similar portion. That will be the difficult part, but I am sure our two sides can come to a friendly agreement. After that, it should be relatively easy! Our respective representatives can effortlessly divide other assets since both sides have such distinct and disparate tastes.
–We don’t like redistributive taxes so you can keep them.
–You are welcome to the liberal judges and the ACLU.
–Since you hate guns and war, we’ll take our firearms, the cops, the NRA and the military.
–We’ll take the nasty, smelly oil industry and the coal mines, and you can go with wind, solar and biodiesel.
–You can keep Oprah, Michael Moore and Rosie O’Donnell. You are, however, responsible for finding a bio-diesel vehicle big enough to move all three of them.
–We’ll keep capitalism, greedy corporations, pharmaceutical companies, Wal-Mart and Wall Street.
–You can have your beloved lifelong welfare dwellers, food stamps, homeless, homeboys, hippies, druggies and illegal aliens.
–We’ll keep the hot Alaskan hockey moms, greedy CEO’s and rednecks.
–We’ll keep Bill O’Reilly, and Bibles and give you NBC and Hollywood .
–You can make nice with Iran and Palestine and we’ll retain the right to invade and hammer places that threaten us.
–You can have the peaceniks and war protesters. When our allies or our way of life are under assault, we’ll help provide them security.
–We’ll keep our Judeo-Christian values.
–You are welcome to Islam, Scientology, Humanism, political correctness and Shirley McClain. You can also have the U.N. but we will no longer be paying the bill.

–We’ll keep the SUV’s, pickup trucks and oversized luxury cars. You can take every Volt and Leaf you can find.
–You can give everyone healthcare if you can find any practicing doctors.
–We’ll continue to believe healthcare is a luxury and not a right.
–We’ll keep “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “The National Anthem.”

–I’m sure you’ll be happy to substitute “Imagine”, “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing”, “Kum Ba Ya” or “We Are the World”.

–We’ll practice trickle-down economics and you can continue to give trickle up poverty your best shot.

–Since it often so offends you, we’ll keep our history, our name and our flag.
Would you agree to this? If so, please pass it along to other like-minded liberal and conservative patriots and if you do not agree, just hit delete. In the spirit of friendly parting, I’ll bet you might think about which one of us will need whose help in 15 years.
Sincerely,
John J. Wall
Law Student and an American
P.S. Also, please take Ted Turner, Sean Penn, Martin & Charlie Sheen, Barbara Streisand, & ( Hanoi ) Jane Fonda with you.

I wouldn’t even answer the above statement if I thought only a few people were thinking about such a solution to our nation’s problems.  Unfortunately there are too many, some in Congress, who are so eager to demonize everyone with a different opinion and/or ready to throw in the towel and write this country off.  I’m not one of them.

I am 100% opposed to both sides retreating to their own narrow ideology.  Our nation wouldn’t be half of what it is without our diversity.  We’d just be another country – nothing special, certainly not the light of freedom to millions, if not billions across the globe.

Lincoln’s House Divided speech has always had my respect but I never grasped the real meaning of it until today.  I never really understood why Lincoln thought it was so important to keep the Union together.  Why not let the slave states form their own country and go their own way?  Think about what our country would be today if the union hadn’t been preserved.  We wouldn’t be much, would we?

Trying to understand and respect each other is the call of humanity.  It’s not just a call for the United States but without us as a living example that it can be done, what good are we to the world?  There’s enough wars, conflicts, intolerance and hatred.  Do we need to add to it?   We have to learn to live together, agreeing on the foundation of our democracy with its rights, privileges and duty but sometimes, for the sake of peace and ultimately humanity’s survival, we just have to leave some things to God.  We aren’t to be judges of one another or dictators forcing our beliefs down the throats of others.  We’re also not to wall ourselves up in a cave of narrow-minded ideology, only accepting those who accept our way of thinking. We’ll never grow or evolve.  We’ll just shrink and be left in our own darkness.

Think about it.

This is Lincoln’s response to Horrace Greeley regarding Lincoln’s desire to preserve the union:

Executive Mansion,
Washington, August 22, 1862.

Hon. Horace Greeley:
Dear Sir.

I have just read yours of the 19th. addressed to myself through the New-York Tribune. If there be in it any statements, or assumptions of fact, which I may know to be erroneous, I do not, now and here, controvert them. If there be in it any inferences which I may believe to be falsely drawn, I do not now and here, argue against them. If there be perceptable in it an impatient and dictatorial tone, I waive it in deference to an old friend, whose heart I have always supposed to be right.

As to the policy I “seem to be pursuing” as you say, I have not meant to leave any one in doubt.

I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be “the Union as it was.” If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views.

I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men every where could be free.

Yours,
A. Lincoln.

 

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I can’t be the only one disgusted with local political campaigns. I know I’m not.  Unfortunately, politics has always been a dirty sport.  Even our founding fathers were often at odds with each other.  There’s a huge wall in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum dedicated to all the mocking ads, articles and cartoons created by his critics.  In other words, what we’re seeing today is nothing new.

We can go back further to Hamilton and Jefferson, whose debate was very much in tune with today: big government versus a smaller government.  Hamilton supported a strong Federal government; Jefferson supported state rights.  “Hamilton feared anarchy and thought in terms of order; Jefferson feared tyranny and thought in terms of freedom.” (United States History – Hamilton vs. Jefferson)  They probably didn’t like each other a whole lot.  However, through their clashing an eventual balance was found and that’s what’s lacking from today’s political leaders.

An interesting note is that Hamilton was eventually shot and killed in a duel with another of his political foes, Aaron Burr.  So it pays to be a little more diplomatic and less trigger happy.  http://blog.constitutioncenter.org/2012/07/burr-vs-hamilton-behind-the-ultimate-political-feud/  If you get the chance, I’d encourage you to read about the presidential election of 1800.  If the election of 2012 looks bad, it’s nothing in comparison to 1800 or Andrew Jackson vs. John Quincy Adams in 1828.  Politics has always been dirty and petty.  It’s a miracle our country has survived our politicians.

It does take a concerted effort to be independent thinking politically.  I don’t want to be in the stands blindly cheering on a political party and every candidate they throw before me.  It’s no secret I support more Democrats than Republicans but I’m not so irrational to think Democrats are 100% correct 100% of the time. So as a voter we have our job to be informed and not sheeple.

Our politicians also have a job to do and that’s be serious about the problems we face and provide workable answers to them, even if they can’t stand their political opponents.  Personally, I don’t give a darn what a candidate thinks of his or her opponent.  I want to hear what a candidate thinks of themselves, and more importantly, that they can think for themselves.

If these commercials were used by aliens to understand human beings, they most certainly wouldn’t consider us the highest life form on the planet.  The term “intelligent life” would not be in their description of humans. I’m not sure I’d put that term there after watching these.

Oh, but I love politics!

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I didn’t vote for Barack Obama in 2008 mainly in protest to the treatment Hillary Clinton and her supporters endured during that campaign. I also saw McCain as a fairly moderate voice, willing to work across the aisle in a Congress that all too often  plays trench warfare and accomplishes absolutely nothing.

This time around I am supporting Obama for several reasons, the biggest being I don’t want to reward those who have smeared his name with idiotic conspiracy theories about his birth, his “real” father, religion and political philosophies.  There’s a lot of Americans who need to grow up and ditch their racists tendencies.  I firmly believe the Tea Party would have never formed had Obama been white.  Yes, I believe we’re taxed too much but that’s not their biggest motivation in their hatred towards Obama.

Secondly, Republicans in Congress have been obstructionists to any and all Obama proposals to the detriment of the American people and that’s exactly how Republicans wanted it.  Republicans in Congress want us to suffer as much as possible so they’ll regain the presidency.  They’re unworthy of elected office.  Democrats who do the same are also unworthy.

Mitt Romney has morphed into so many different people, I don’t know who he is and I’m afraid that he doesn’t know who he is anymore.  That’s sad because I was considering supporting him.  I always considered him moderate, sensible and smart.  His pandering shows he’s just another typical politician but the real nail in the coffin was his insulting remarks about 47% of Americans.  I can’t support anyone who is so heartless and out of touch with the reality so many of us deal with on a daily basis.

I also do not support repealing ObamaCare.  There are needed reforms in ObamaCare.  It’s not perfect by any means but I don’t want to go back to being denied private health insurance due to a pre-existing heart condition. I’ve been down the road and it’s a helpless feeling.  My only choice was Medicaid, so unless you want  your private premiums to keep increasing because you’re paying for people like me who either are denied or can’t afford health insurance, you better hope ObamaCare isn’t repealed.

I would like to see the burden of health insurance lifted off of business however.  Republicans are right in that it kills job growth.  There’s a better answer for health care, and I hope someday we find it, but I know I don’t want to go back to the bad ol’ days.

Romney has also been a little too trigger happy when it comes to statements made about the Middle East.  I sure as heck don’t want George Bush III in office.  We can’t afford any more wars and a war in the Middle East could very easily erupt into World War III and that’s no exaggeration.  I’d rather have a cooler head in the White House exhausting every diplomatic solution before engaging in military conflict.

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