Think before you vote

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 29, 2004

A self-named Independent voter died and met the Saint at the gate who said, &uot;You better take a look at both places before you decide where you want to spend eternity.&uot; So he spent a day in Heaven, playing his harp, floating from cloud to cloud. Not bad but a bit boring. The day in hell was much better…a beautiful golf course, bar and grill, pool, pretty girls, etc. So he told the Pearly Gate keeper he preferred Hell. Down he went but now there was nothing but a field of mud, all the wonderful amenities had disappeared. &uot;Hey,&uot; he hollered, &uot;where’s all the beautiful stuff that was here yesterday?&uot; The devil smiled and answered, &uot;Yesterday we were campaigning, today you voted for us.&uot;

Pay no attention to what a candidate promises he/she will do; the better it sounds the more unlikely it will ever happen. Presidents are not dictators, they’ve got to get by the always-troublesome Congress and seldom do. It would be better for the country if those Congressional races were held first. Then, because the country is so firmly divided, we’d have a clue as to which presidential candidate has a better shot at getting anything done. Whenever a candidate says, &uot;When I am President I will,&uot; you’d better stop listening right then and there unless the word &uot;try&uot; is next. No matter who wins, the only power they have is the bully pulpit. Bush did not run up huge deficits, Congress did. Kerry is not about to change the health care system but Congress might. Taxes, no matter who sits in the White House will go up. Kerry will not declare the war in Iraq is over any more than he stopped the war in Vietnam. He did find a way to get himself home and make it miserable for those who stuck it out and fought it.

Make your mind up based upon what each candidate has contributed to date. Bush is an open book, you know what he has or hasn’t accomplished. His &uot;voting&uot; record is clear. And so is candidate Kerry’s but he’d rather wrap himself in Vietnam than talk about his votes in the Senate the past sixteen years. He will not release his Vietnam medical records. He will not release his military records. He will not release records of the investigation conducted about his anti-war, anti American activities. And he will not release his IRS records that would show the source of his wealth and where a lot of it goes. You just have to take his word for it. Democrats do.

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Get your affairs in order. Astronomers have located a three-planet solar system practically next door. The planet’s sun is our nearest star and that branch of our scientists is stunned at the finding. The planet is roughly 14 times the size of earth and very rocky. It circles the star every 10 days, unlike earth’s 365, and the surface temperature much hotter than ours, 1,160 degrees Fahrenheit. The danger is that this solar system is only about 50 light years away and could collide with us at any moment. Let’s see now, a light year is the distance light travels in a year…about 6 trillion miles, times 50…wow, only 300 trillion miles from here. NASA is preparing a manned rocket expedition expected to leave earth in the year 2080 and arrive on the planet in the year 6320.

Another Task Force on the horizon, this one composed of CEOs from the Suffolk area. This seems to be a larger version of the Downtown Business Association that could be considered narrow in scope. Hopefully they will join the new organization if only to protect their territory. The idea is to learn from the CEOs what they consider important steps the city could take to make a more positive environment for new business and industry. The mayor already listed most of what is necessary…good public schools, adequate public, recreational, and daycare facilities. Probably most important is providing educated employees, a daunting task everywhere in the nation.

We graduate more than our quota of fast food employees; the Task Force might find a way to raise the sights by listing their minimum requirements and passing that information on to the school board. Perhaps a school board member should be on the Task Force in a position to change the school curriculum. Virginia Employment will benefit as well as temporary service providers. It is a good move by the mayor.

Robert Pocklington is a regular columnist for the News-Herald. Email him at Robert