It’s all about values…

Veteran’s Affairs.

This agency is a severe blight on America’s soul.  Most people acknowledge the veteran, but not all veterans are the same.  I am a disabled veteran.  I am a disabled peacetime veteran.  There are others who are peacetime veterans.  There are those who made the military their career.  These career soldiers served in some war or another, some had more than one combat tour.  Some military people were killed serving their country, others wounded, others just served.  I am one of those that just served.  I had opportunities to be involved in combat but I was fortunate that the enemy never attacked when it was my time to play soldier.  I was exposed to Agent Orange and from what I understand now it was pretty nasty stuff.  My disability was caused in peacetime.  A year ago I was operated for a peacetime injury.  I applied for compensation.  For over a year I have heard VA say “we are working on it”.  Letters to the secretary and the president have not been answered.  When I identify myself as a veteran I hear people say thank you for your service.  I do not want “thanks,” I want someone to make the VA get off its butt.  Is that possible?  Where are the elected officials?  Why aren’t they doing something about the service from the VA?  I also hear, “VA has too much work.”  VA is the most urgent matter that the Congress has.  Where is the Congress?

Last topic is inclusion.  What does the word mean?  How is it practiced?  I have personal experience with the Democratic Party and inclusion.  In my experience it has been more exclusive than inclusive.  When I ran for Congress the first time, county chairs took me under their arm and gave me advice about being a politician.  One piece of advice that they gave me was to get a hold of Martin Frost, find out his schedule and be at all his events.  That was easier said than done.  Or as a pundit explained, “Martin has to see Barton every day.  They are buddies.  Martin is not going to endanger his relationship with Joe to help you”. Then there was the infamous hot check.  As I recall the TDP chair removed my name from the ballot because the check did not clear.  Well this time the check did clear.  However, this time the TDP chair decided that only the anointed one would be the only one welcomed at the county level and all of us were excluded by most county chairs.  Funny thing, the TDP did not return anybody’s check.  The TDP kept the money. So if we are talking about inclusion, transparency, and accountability we need to play with a full deck.  Thus far, the TDP has not played with a full deck.  Manipulating elections favoring some candidates over others is not necessarily democratic.

Four years ago I said that what the Democratic Party needed was leadership.  Today, I repeat my words of four years ago.  What the Democratic Party needs is leadership.  I believe that it is wrong to fabricate some great hope, building everybody’s hopes when the party does not realize that the leadership is out of step with Texas politics.  Old style closed room, cigar chomping people making decisions as to who was going to represent the party, well those days are over.

It’s all about values…

What is the meaning of this?  Values do not change, they take on new meaning.  When you speak of Social Security to today’s young people their world view of social security is a lot different than that of my generation.  Today’s young people are more concerned with the quality of their retirement than they are about saving social security.  Social security is worth saving only if it provides for a comfortable retirement.  Anyone who has parents living on social security can see that in many cases it is not providing a comfortable retirement.  With all the fear mongering about social security out there it is difficult for someone today to trust their future to the government.  Of course you hear right wing talking heads instill the fear of government to people every day.  Medicare is in a similar scenario.  Once Washington started tapping into the fund, before too long there was a shortage of money then there was the fear that it was not going to be solvent and the drama continues ad infinitum.  The only ones who benefit are the insurance companies who stand to gain from any weakness in Medicare.  It is safe to say that the problem with Social Security and Medicare is Washington, or as conservatives say “big government.”  Paradoxically, we continue sending back to Washington the same people who created the problem.  So we can say that “we” are the problem.

Education has been so maligned by people inside and outside education that one has to wonder if our children will be prepared for the future in today’s public schools.  The alternative to public schools are charter schools, vouchers and privatization.  Saying no to vouchers and privatization only emboldens the other side.  The anti-public school crowd has plenty of negative studies on their side to justify their position.  The easiest way to get a Democrat wrapped around the axle is to mention vouchers or privatization.  An argument over this topic is not worth the time of day.  We should have learned already that you can get anything you want if you are willing to pay for it.

Union support for the Democratic Party is overhyped.  As a Democrat who has run for office, I have looked for union support only to find nothing.  As a school teacher I know that unions are the only check that teachers have against capricious and arbitrary administrators.  The myth about not being able to get rid of bad teachers is exactly that, a myth.  Administrators have never had a problem getting rid of bad teachers and unions and teachers groups will not support a teacher when the teacher is clearly wrong.  Unions gain more by getting along with administrators than they do protecting incompetent teachers.

Published in: on April 26, 2011 at 10:24 am  Leave a Comment  

It is all about values..

I am a Social Studies teacher.  As a Vietnam veteran who lived and experienced the civil rights era, I am witness to a student population that could care less about any trials and tribulations of those who participated in these events.  To many students these events are just footnotes in history.  Most of the parents of today’s student population themselves have no recollection of these historical events.  I grew up in the Westside of San Antonio.  You would think that as a barrio boy I would automatically bond with today’s students.  Not so.

Today’s barrio is much different than the one I grew up in.  I am certain that barrio kids today love their parents, brothers and siblings, that they have barrio friends just as I did.  So what is different?  The values have not changed, what has changed are the circumstances and surroundings.  Many of us grew up hearing “I made it, you can make it.”  Today’s kids are more apt to say, “You made it, I can make it”.

Published in: on April 24, 2011 at 8:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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It is all about values…

For a while I have said that in politics it is all about values.  Values make you a Republican a Democrat or an independent.  Values make a statement about you.  Values establish a bond between people that is hard to dissolve.  If you ask someone to describe a Republican this is what you may get back:

Pro-Life          Pro-Gun          Pro-God          Pro-family      Small government

Low taxes       Anti-abortion                          Balanced budget

Anti-Gay         Strong military                       Pro-business

Ask someone to describe a Democrat and this is what you may get back:

Tax and spend             Pro-abortion

Big government          Weak on military

Big spender                 Anti-second amendment

Keeping in mind that these are merely perceptions.  One of the enduring lessons from my military experience is that perceptions are reality.  Or, as one of my supervisors once said, “don’t confuse me with the facts.”

It’s all about values

The first lesson in values to be learned by Democrats is going to be:

Perceptions are reality.

Published in: on April 15, 2011 at 11:27 am  Leave a Comment  

It’s all about values

Adios.

Can hardly say anything else in regards to the departure of the TDP chair.  Good Bye.  There is no disrespect.  As the chair departs it is time to look at who the replacement will be.  I have previously recommended Fidel Acevedo.  I remain committed to Fidel.  I have heard some other possible candidates.  I and other candidates for governor last election recall how we were blacklisted at County Democratic offices.  I also recall it was a county chair from South Texas who started the rumor that only the anointed one could win statewide and that all Democrats should unite behind the anointed one.  Most county chairs did.  I recall that the South Texas county chair mentioned that the DNC had come up with the conclusion that only the anointed one could win.  Goes to show you that the DNC does not know Texas politics.  It also goes to show you also that the county chair from South Texas likewise does not know Texas politics.  In fact, there are many consultants out there who do not know Texas Politics.  That county chair and all those who conspired to deny the candidates who paid their hard earned money to file to run for governor as Democrats, well all of those people should likewise resign.  The reason for that is that there is no place in the Democratic Party for such shenanigans.  The people should decide who they want to represent them.  To try to manipulate the will of the people, that is okay in some other countries, it is not okay in Texas and it is not hopefully the standard of the Democratic Party.  

I look at the mess in Bexar County and I ask myself “what went wrong?  Where is our civility?”  I remember the wise old saying “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”  It is obvious that in Bexar County two groups, both wrong are trying to get it right, and they are both getting it wrong.  Making a lot of Texas laugh, so they are all good for a good laugh.  I recall sage advice supposedly from LBJ.  “It is better to have your enemy inside the tent peeing out instead of outside the tent peeing in”.  The tent smells.  And no matter which side wins, the smell will remain. 

You really need to read my next post.

Published in: on April 11, 2011 at 12:45 pm  Comments (1)  

Great News! Maybe.

The state chair has decided not to run for reelection…frankly, sounds like a ploy.  I support Fidel for county chair, but it will be interesting to see who else jumps in the race and who the state chair will recommend.

Published in: on April 10, 2011 at 10:59 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Published in: on April 4, 2011 at 11:49 pm  Leave a Comment