a Note from the Publisher
In light of the political elections this fall, I started wondering if anyone running for office could really help American with the issues were faced with daily.
Being from Illinois, I thought of political candidates Alan Keyes (a man from Maryland running in Illinois). But he says its not right to have an abortion, but the death penalty is good. Should I get my answers from a man who thinks its not right terminate a fetus that cant live on its own, but its apparently okay to kill those who have already been living?
That doesnt help me... But all I feep thinking about is how our government is supposed to protect us, and everyone felt something was missing after 9/11. Then I remember that news reports were stating after 9/11 that if flight 93 that crashed in Shanksville Pennsylvania landed less than 30 seconds later, my nephew would have been killed while in school from that crash.
After 9/11, my nephew couldnt sleep for days.
Can he be comforted that we had a decision-making president to help an economy that was failing for a year before he became president, when we are gaining jobs in 2004? Can he be comforted that the decisive President Bush stepped in to fight terrorist-supporting nations like Iraq when everyone else backed away?
I dont know if President Bush can help us, when I wonder why people who have lost jobs have found that new jobs now pay Americans on average 13 grand less per year. Then I wonder: George Bush prays in the Oval Office, and occasionally he even open cabinet meetings with prayer. May he be too much of a religious zealot to warrant reelection? And another thing: both the right and the left oppose the Patriot Act, and Bush wants to expand government powers under it. But what frightened me the most was when I heard a President Bushs advertisement that ended saying the country relies on freedom, faith, families and sacrifice.
What do we have to sacrifice for Bushs plan?
What have we already sacrificed for Bushs plan?
John Kerry and John Edwards protested and say that in war situations Kerryd deploy all the forces in Americas arsenal - our diplomacy, our intelligence system, our economic power, and the appeal of our values and ideas - to make America more secure
Do the Democrats have the answers? Let me think... Our diplomacy didnt do anything for years. Weve been using our intelligence system already. And we are the biggest economic power in the world. And they hate our values and ideas. How will that help?
The Green party noteed that this election is dominated by fear. The Republicans play on the fear of terrorism and the Democrats play on the fear of Bush. Do we have to play on fear to elect our president?
Ive seen how other countries deal with our problems, like gas prices, or health care. In europe, gas is expensive (their government doesnt subsidize its price down), so they dont depend on cars as much as we do in America. In China, people pay for healthcare out of pocket, because there was no national health care plans like in the United states. And if that meant families lived together to save money, then that might help keeps the family together better than the American family.
Other countries dont seem to ask as much from their governemt as we do.
I wrote a poem in 1998, True Happiness in the New Millennium, and a few lines from it fit into this story perfectly:
you keep asking for a big brother and Im here to set you straight
you want someone to wipe your noses for you
well, pick up the damn tissue and do it yourself
because when you give up your rights, you take away mine
and were not having any of that
I say it again towards the end of the poem:
youre looking for peace in all the wrong places
youre asking your leaders to save you from yourself
but your leaders are losers and they're worse off than you
Maybe trying to say my peace about the electrions for this annual book was a good way to introduce this book, by ending with lines from a poem, and by always reminding us that we should be thinking about everything. I know thats why we write, and thats probably why we read. Enjoy the reading in this collection volume. And keep thinking.