Barack Obama’s speech – the major one, on race
and his pastor’s harangues about black views of this
nation. Obama is certainly a good speaker, a great
communicator, possibly in the mold of Franklin D.
Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. This
was a major speech. The success of his presidential
quest might depend on it. Few such vital efforts have
met with such mixed reactions. On the pro-side, this
editorial from a major metropolitan newspaper (not
the New York Times!): "Not since the lifetime of Martin
Luther King has a political figure confronted the
anguishing issue of race so squarely, so forthrightly,
so sensibly... It was a remarkably candid assessment
of America’s racial divide..."

On the con side, national columnist Debbie Schlussel
was as succinct as possible. Asked why she had not
commented on the speech, she replied, ..."because he
didn’t say anything that really addressed or assuaged
me or anyone with any reason on his historically
racist pastor. He basically said nothing.... But here’s
what he did say on Rev Jeremiah Wright’s views: ‘A
profoundly distorted view of this country - a view that
sees white racism as endemic and that elevates what
is wrong with America above all that we know is right
with America’... What he didn’t say is why he sat by for
those views for years, even though he admitted to the
New York Times and others that he knew about it...
That’s the issue. Unaddressed. Can’t be addressed."

Does this issue erode Obama’s advantage over Clinton
in votes and delegates? Possibly. Only time and the
Democrat National Convention in August will tell. Until
then, the endorsement of Governor Bill Richardson may
prove to be a very valuable asset to Obama’s candidacy.

And how about candidate Hillary Clinton?
Much has been made of the now famous "3 AM"
phone call TV ad, and who would be best able to
cope with a national emergency. Senator Clinton
has stressed her readiness to assume command of
everything – diplomacy, armed forces, economy,
and all areas of government services. Relating to
her claims are the 11,000+ pages detailing her
personal activities during the years her husband
was president of the United States. Those records
have evoked evaluations of "exaggeration" and
"overstatement" by people who have reviewed them.
Just two examples: (1) With respect to foreign service,
in March, 1999 Mrs. Clinton, visiting Egypt, planned
to make a "courtesy call" on President Mubarak. It
was a 15 minute visit, followed by a tour of a mosque,
a museum, a youth center, and a visit to the Temple
of Luxor, before flying on. (2) With respect to national
security issues, there is no evidence that she attended
National Security Council meetings, and she did not
have a national security clearance. However, she and
daughter Chelsea did enjoy some fantastic worldwide
sightseeing tours at taxpayer expense. The terms
"exaggeration" and "overstatement" may in fact be very
conservative evaluations.

What is China up to? It does make you wonder.
Wehave gotten used to reading about hundreds, even
millions of children’s toys being recalled and returned
to their manufacturers in China because the paint
contains lead, which is dangerous to humans – especially
babies and young children. And there have been examples
of food being recalled because of bacteria, etc. But now
their latest attack on the health and well being of the
American people is contaminated Heparin, an important
blood thinning medicine, offered for sale through the
American firm, Baxter Labs. By the time the door was
closed on the China produced Heparin, some 700
patients had experienced severe allergic attacks, and
there has been an undetermined number of deaths.
There are so many unanswered questions: why do we
continue to do business with China . . . why don’t we
more carefully screen imports from this obvious enemy
of the American people? And this special note to
American visitors to China during the Olympic games
this Summer: be careful what you eat and drink ... and
hey: be careful when you attempt to cross a street. Not
that many cars, but those cycles can be killers!

It is very difficult, in fact, almost impossible, for an
Evangelical Christian to find anything favorable in the
beliefs and pronouncements of liberals, such as Nancy
Pelosi, currently the Speaker of the House in the US
Congress, and next in line for the presidency, after the
Vice President. But when Ms. Pelosi does something
right, she deserves commendation. She has become the
first US Government official to speak out strongly in
defense of the Tibetans who are being persecuted by the
Chinese. Ms. Pelosi even traveled to Dharamsala, the
Dalai Lama’s seat in exile. "The situation in Tibet is a
challenge to the conscience of the world," she said, "If
freedom loving people throughout the world do not
speak out against Chinese oppression we have lost all
moral authority to speak on behalf of human rights
anywhere in the world." Right on, Ms. Pelosi!

It should be obvious that there may be too much
emphasis on the election of a president. Actually, that
is an increasingly powerless position in our system of
government; the real power rests with the Congress. A
19th century president speaks to this point: "Now more
than ever before, the people are responsible for the
character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant,
reckless and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate
ignorance, recklessness and corruption. If it be intelligent,
brave and pure, it is because the people demand these
high qualities to represent them in the national
legislature." – President James Garfield, 1877

Afterthoughts . . .

Good news report from the UK. A new British study
titled, "Deliver Us from Evil; Religion as Insurance,"
discloses that people who believe in God are happier
than agnostics or atheists. The statistics were presented
at the Royal Economic Society’s annual conference. The
study found that believers are better able to cope with
major disappointments, and that they become happier
the more they pray or go to church. The report concluded:
"Religion tempers the impact of adverse life events." We
knew that, but it’s nice to have secular scholars confirm it.

Some unusual news from Russia. In about 1775
William Cowper wrote, "God moves in mysterious ways,
His wonders to perform." Last week a Franciscan
scholar in Rome wrote that Michael Gorbachev is a
Christian – that he was seen kneeling in prayer at the
tomb of St. Francis. A similar report from Russia is
that Vladimir Putin, the ex-KGB officer and until just
recently President of Russia, has embraced the
Orthodox Christian faith, and has been seen wearing
a cross around his neck. It appears that our prayers
for these Russian leaders are certainly in order.

Some sort of conflicting actions. This past week
two relatively small headlines appeared over stories
buried in your daily newspaper. One reported that
among Palestinians, a poll disclosed that an over-
whelming majority approved and supported the murder
of eight students in a Palestinian raid on a Jewish
theological seminary in Jerusalem. The other reported
that the USA was transferring $150 million to the
Palestinian Authority to assist President Mahmod
Abbas’ government. Prime Minister Fayyad said the
US contribution "was coming to us at a time of great
need and it will help our efforts in building toward
Palestinian statehood." The ways of government
leaders are often difficult to understand.

A clear statement from our first president:
"The foundation of our national policy will be laid in
the pure and immutable principles of private morality;
the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected
on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order
and right which Heaven itself has ordained." – George
Washington, First Inaugural, 1789

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Are you illiterate? The adjective is "Democratic." The noun is "Democrat." You can't write Democrat convention without appearing to be ignorant. The proper term is "Democratic Convention" and "Democratic Party."
Actually Democrat is correct
because there is nothing democratic
about the Democrat Party. A better
name would be the Socialist Party
because of their love for big

The word Republican is used
for an individual, and is also
used to describe the political
party , etc. No reason why
Democrat cannot be used
the same way. Example: He is a
Republican, and he belongs to the
Republican party.
or He is
a Democrat, and he belongs to the
Democrat party.

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