Wednesday, December 24, 2008
I'm not ashamed of my faith. I believe it helps inform me when I make important decisions, but not in a way my critics say they do. I can certainly distinguish between basing my decisions on universal values and imposing my personal religious beliefs. I am careful not to do the latter. Of that, my conscience is clear.
This has been a remarkable year. It marks the closing of this administration and the dawning of a new era with the election of an African-American to the highest office in the land. I've made a great deal of criticisms of President-Elect Obama's policies, but that in no way means that I am not proud of the fact that we have come such a long way in our struggle as a nation to deal with the darkest parts of our past. On the contrary, I am filled with renewed hope for our country that we can move forward to seek justice and find the promise of freedom available to every one of our citizens. It is historic and it is a source of pride. I wish him, his wife Michelle and their daughters a pleasant sojourn in this great House as Barack Obama leads our nation.
In the meantime, I'm going to wish anyone reading this a very pleasant holiday season and a very Merry Christmas and to pray for peace in our lifetimes for the sake of our children.
Now it's time to do some serious scarfing down of Laura's Christmas cookies. I've already ordered several gallons of milk to the residence. Say goodbye to the belt.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
People have asked me about my reaction to the shoe-tossing incident. And I always answer basically in the same way: it ain't as bad as all that.
Now I'm not ignorant enough to deny the fact that exposing someone to the bottom of a shoe is an insult of the utmost hatred in middle eastern cultures. Think flipping the bird times ten. But I'll tell you what. I'd rather a person come at me, face to face, and express their beef with me than to go sneaking around anonymously denigrating my name and reputation undercover. Don't get me wrong. People are entitled to their opinions and that's their democratic right. I'd just prefer a person have the guts to face me when they want to cuss me out.
I didn't take that man's shoe toss personally. He doesn't know me and I don't know him. He obviously is upset about a lot of things that he believes I'm responsible for and I truly am sorry that he feels that way. I've only acted in what I believe to be in the best interest of democracy and freedom and progress for the people of Iraq. If he felt otherwise, there were other ways to show it. Assaulting the President is not a legitimate form of protest. But I harbor no ill will for that man.
The whole shoe thing's become a big deal, apparently, especially on the web. A little shocking for me, but I've been through worse. A whole lot worse. This was no biggie for me in the end.
It's gonna take a lot more than a couple of shoes to shake this guy down.