The New Assault on the Middle Class by the Republican Party

The Party of No! has a new no nothing agenda planned for the citizens of this country. Here is a sample:

1. Repeal the new Health Care Law and give it back to the states. This fantastic idea is now being put forth by Congressmen from Arizona. Since when did the State of Arizona have any new ideas worth considering?

2. Take all private and public pensions and confiscate their assets. I could hardly believe I was hearing this one. Public pensions are under assault because some states have used the money for other projects and are now not able to fund the pensions of those who paid into them over many years. This is another example of the kind of governance we had under the Bush Administration. How is this different from the Bernie Maddoff Ponzi Scheme? The private corporations used this tactic to escape the pension plans set up by labor unions and transferred it back to the Federal Government while they abandoned the US workers and set up shop overseas. What is missing is this whole scheme is that if you take away the buying power of the retired citizens of this country the net effect is to make the US a third world country unable to support itself. The public employees retirement system(PERS) for the state of Oregon is not only solvent, but it returns a surplus of income to the State of Oregon in the amount of about one and one half billion dollars to the treasury after all the bills are paid to its employees an to its retirees.

3. The Republicans have called President Obama the most corrupt President the United States has ever had. When questioned about this they tried to retract the statement, but they have promised to spend the next two years holding hearings and wasting taxpayer money investigating ever law passed in the last two years. So the Party of No now becomes the Party of Useless Hearings wasting the taxpayers money and collecting fees from corporations who pay them to do their bidding. The TEA PARTY EXPRESS is basically being ignored while the Republican Party brings this country closer to bankruptcy.

4. Finally, I would call upon my fellow citizens to demand an accounting of everything our politicians do that does not rebuild the factories and infrastructure of this nation, that taxes corporations importing goods and materials from other countries and that does not actively reward the middle class for its labors. If we do not do so, we will have lost all that we have worked for to build this nation.

The Senate Needs to Send a Strong Message to Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky

I do not know what the Senate rules are for censoring one of its own Senators, but something needs to be done when Senator Mitch McConnell apparently intends to spend the next two years making certain that President Barack Obama does not get elected for another four year term. If that is all he intends to do then he should resign from the Senate and form his own party and raise money to defeat the President if he decides to run again. Even though I am from the State of Oregon, when a Politician such as McConnell is dedicated to getting rid of the health care bill passed by the last congress because he can no longer receive money from the Health Care Industry, particularly if we should turn the health care bill into a Public Option, he should be publically censored by the Senate. I am outraged that McConnell, according to one source leads the way in receiving money from the Health Care Industry. If he is so opposed to the changes in the Health Care Industry, why doesn’t he give up his health care benefits as a Senator and buy his own health care plan on the open market as he is advocating for every ordinary citizen. Every Senator, whether he or she is directly from your own state, represents you as a citizen of the United States. So why should we allow a Senator to spend his time and our money, we do pay his salary even though he is from a different state, on the sole purpose to ensure that President Obama is a one term President of the United States.

My view is that the Republican Party has forgotten that we are the United States of America and that even though they would like to be in power, they must have more important duties than simply oppose every good idea the Democratic Party has to offer, and whether they like it or not, the Health Care Legislation while flawed is a step in the right direction.

Censoring Senator Mitch McConnell should be the first item of business by honest and patriotic Republican Senators, because in a time of war for a Senator to make it his sole priority during the next two years to defeat the President of our Great Nation sounds to me like a treasonable offense. So what about it, you who are members of the Senate, are you going to allow a member to do nothing positive for the next two years but thwart the President of the United States? Where is your oath of allegiance, your duty to uphold the constitution of the United States and to care for the welfare of all of our citizens? Have you forgotten why you were elected in the first place? Why do you not do something about the Supreme Court of the United States which has extended its powers, at the expense of both the Congress and the Executive Branches of out government? So far their policies have favored the Republican Party, but in the long term it will affect both the Republicans and Democrats, and the Executive Branch regardless of who is in power. So my challenge to both the Senate and the House of Representatives is to get off you duffs and do something positive for a change. As for the Supreme Court, you also need to set aside your petty one sided view of the world and do something to restore the power you have stolen from the other two branches of government, but your brains seem to be missing when two of your members attend a meeting of the Billionaire Koch brothers to plot ways in which to give more money and power to giant corporations. What happened to the phrase “of the people, by the people, and for the people”? It appears to be construed to mean for “of the corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations” or “of the Republicans, by the Republicans, and for the Republicans,” and to hell with the rest of the nation.

To update the information on Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, in the recent election, he raised more money than all of the seven other members of the Senate and House combined, i.e., $20,652,563. Six of the other members raised less than $2,000,000 and one raised less than $1,000,000. My question is: “How much money did Mitch receive from lobbyist to increase his own wealth?” Until we as members of the public understand how politicians at all levels profit from public service, to the extent that they will do anything to protect themselves and other millionaires from tax increases, we will continue to have politicians whose only goal is to obstruct any legislation which benefits the working class of this nation and continue the shipping of jobs to China and other nations which do nothing to provide manufacturing and innovation in scientific and technical pursuits which have made this nation a leader in the world.

We Need Innovative Thinking and Solutions to Our Current Problems

We have many problems including the oil spill, the monetary problems with the banks, insurance companies, and stock market, the political deadlock in Congress, the Right leaning excesses of our Supreme Courts, and what has become a nation by the corporation, of the corporation, and for the corporation. We are not in danger of becoming a socialist nation, but we are being dominated by multinational corporations who care nothing about the citizens of the United States. The idea of loyalty and patriotism and personal sacrifice to the welfare of this nation has slowly declined since World War II. The wealthiest one per cent of this nation care only about their personal wealth and will do anything to protect themselves from paying taxes by removing their money into secret and protected off shore accounts. The bailouts of the banks and insurance companies came about due to the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, which was passed after the 1929 stock market crash to prevent the wild speculation that occurred in the past decade and resulted in two costly stock market declines and then the meltdown of banks and insurance companies. The instrument used to bring about this meltdown was the derivative which should have been a commodity product with a margin requirement. Instead it was allowed to be sold to very wealthy individuals without a margin requirement so that the banks and insurance companies could leverage the money a thousand to one or more. This would be like buying a house for $500,000 with a down payment of $50.00. Not only was there no margin requirement, there was no transparency so even the investors had no idea of how their money was being invested. Let say you had a CD of $500,000 invested in a bank, and the bank could take your money and invest it in a derivative without a margin requirement. The bank was essentially using your money as collateral for a smoke and mirrors derivative, but the investor did not have to post a margin of 20%, 50%, 75% or at best 100%. To give you an example of how risky this kind of transaction can be, the Hunt family tried to corner the market on silver in the 1970’s, and ended up have to sell valuable properties at a discount because they could not meet the margin requirement. They lost millions of dollars partly because the Silver Commodities Board changed the margin requirements for the purchase of silver in midstream and made them retroactive in order to punish the Hunt family. So if you had purchased $100,000 of silver with a margin requirement of 50%, you would have had to pay $50,000 to own a $100,000 worth of silver. If the margin requirement was changed to 75% in midstream, you would have to pay an additional $25,000 to own the $100,000 of silver. This was what was done to the Hunt family by the Silver Commodities Board, except there were millions of dollars involved. Also, if you purchased 10,000 ounces of silver at $10.00 per ounce, with a 50% margin, and the price went down to $9.00 and ounce, you would have to add $10,000 to bring your margin back to 50%. However, the banks and insurance companies had no margins plus they could hedge their bets by placing a put or call to make money if the price went down or went up. What a sweet arrangement for the banks and insurance companies. They had your funds on deposit and were free to play with your money in any irresponsible manner they chose and when they got in trouble, they went to the treasury for a bailout of taxpayer money. If a private citizen did this kind of fraudulent transaction, they would be put in jail. So when your congress person or supreme court makes a statement or makes the corporation a person and rewards that corporation, bank, or insurance company with additional funds without any penalty, just remember our government is no longer of the people, by the people, and for the people, it is of the rich, by the rich and for the rich, or you can substitute corporation for people.

NO GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE

No Grounds for Divorce
July 4th, 2009 by Walter L. Bell, Ph.D.

My Lovely and Interesting Wife

Every person has interesting characteristics that you only learn about as you live with them over the years. My wife grew up in the South, as did my mother, so I understand the ways of looking at the world, particularly the emphasis on good manners, how to act in a social setting, and heaven forbid that any guest would come to your home and go away hungry.

I learned shortly after we got married that she is definitely not a morning person. I almost always am fully awake unless I have stayed up too late, or have had a particularly busy schedule from some task I had to complete. My wife does not like to talk in the morning, other than to say hello. She is a great cook. If she ever cooked something I didn’t like, I would never say a word because I don’t cook unless it is something very simple. My wife can cook any kind of ethnic dish without a problem. For example, I like hot and sour soup that you get in a Chinese restaurant. The problem is that some Chinese restaurants make very bad hot and sour soup, so I asked my wife to make some. We experimented with it, and I kept tasting it until she got is exactly to my liking. Breakfast is another situation altogether. She makes her own, and I make mine. Until she is fully awake, she cannot be trusted. That is the subject of this brief article.

One morning while we were traveling in our RV, my wife made coffee. Ordinarily she can perform this morning task without any problem. The coffee she made on the morning in question tasted great. I would not have known that anything was different until she started to clean the coffee maker and discovered that the filter had no grounds in it. It was slightly discolored, but that was all. We discussed what steps she had taken when she made the coffee. The only way you can have a cup of coffee without grounds is to start with cold water and instant coffee and heat in the microwave or pouring boiling water over instant coffee. However, neither way of making coffee with instant coffee yields a coffee that tastes like brewed coffee in a coffee maker. But, as my wife, in her usual zombie state when she first gets out of bed, discovered, instant coffee tastes exactly like regular brewed coffee made from ground coffee in a coffee maker.

So, if your wife makes an important discovery, even if by accident, forgive her. After all, very few people know that you can make coffee in a coffee maker with instant coffee. In fact I looked up information on instant coffee, and it is made from premium coffee beans. So if your wife ever makes a similar discovery remember it is no grounds for divorce.

Posted in Political and Historic Events, Technical and Scientific Discoveries, Uncategorized

Tags: Zombies in the Kitchen

CHICKPEAS, MULES, AND WATER–THE SIEGE OF VICKSBURG

Chickpeas, Mules, and Water–The Siege of Vicksburg

If you have ever gone through a Memorial which is dedicated to the fallen soldiers and civilians who have died or survived a horrific battle between two armies, you cannot come away from the memorial without a feeling of sadness and despair. This was the experience my wife and I had when we spent about three hours driving through and viewing the memorial of the seige at Vicksburg, Mississippi about fifteen years ago. If you read the account of the battle in Wickipedia, you do not get the same feeling nor do you get much more than a recitation of the Generals who commanded the armies who fought in this terrible battle. The scene of the battle was a grassy knoll where the Union Armies with supperior manpower and weapons laid seige to Vicksburg which lasted about six weeks. The feeling we got was eire. It was almost as if we had come upon the battle as it was being waged. The loss on the Union side was approximately 4 to 1, although the Wickipedia version does not tell the true story because it counts the men of the Confederate side as casualties even though they surrendered. I have never seen an account of a battle which counted those who surrendered or were captured as casualties. It reminds me of a professor I talked to who told me if you want to make history you have to write it.

The Siege of Vicksburg was a turning point in the Civil War, or as the Southerns call it “The War Between The States.” The reason the siege of Vicksburg was so important, had to do with its geographical location on the Mississippi River. Vicksburg is located on a high bluff overlooking the river where the Confederate forces mounted their big cannons and could blow any Union ships out of the water coming from the north or the south. The Union forces were determined to drive out the Southern forces in order to split the South into two regions. The siege of Vicksburg began about May 19, 1863 and ended about July 19, 1863. To get to Vicksburg, General Ulysses S. Grant’s Union Army of Tennessee had to bring his army down the west side of the Mississippi River and in some places had to build a canal to get his supplies and munitions so he could cross the river south of Vicksburg through some very. swampy land, with his army besieged by mosiquitos, knats(called by the Indians as”no-see-um’s”, snakes, probably alligators, and heat, because by the end of February, Mississippi gets very hot and miserable. An aside, having lived in Mississippi, I can personally attest to the misery the “no-see-um’s” caused me when raking leaves or working outside, so Grant’s Army had to be miserable while marching through this terrain.

Once General Grant arrived near Vicksburg, he approached it from the east with about 35,000 troops which later grew to about 77,000 troops, which compared to the Confederate Army forces of about 18,500, commanded by Lt.Gen. John C. Pemberton, was a very lopsided conflict. However, as my wife and I read about the conflict as we drove through the memorial, the Southern forces were very good at defense. Their forces were able to look down upon the Union forces and they were well defended with gun emplacements, tunnels, etc. When the Southern forces surrendered, according to the Wikepedia account , the Union forces had 77,000 men with 4835 dead and the Confederate forces had 32,697 with about 3,202 dead. I am not certain whether the Confederate forces who surrendered included civilians as well as soldiers or not.

I found out in talking to people currently living in Vicksburg an interesting detail that I had never seen mentioned in any of the history books written about the Siege of Vicksburg. According to the locals, the main sources of food as the siege continued were chickpeas and mule meat. Much of the population were living in caves to escape the artillery shells fired by the Union Army, so the casualty rate was very low, and the primary reason for the surrender of the Confederate forces was not because they were being overwhelmed by the Union forces but for a different reason entirely. The South was experiencing a very severe drought, and Vicksburg did not have wells but cisterns, which could only be filled by local streams or rainwater. So, while a diet of chickpeas and mule meat might have gotten very tiresome to eat, the population could not survive without water. So the Confederate Army at Vicksburg was forced to surrender. The Union Soldiers were so in awe of the bravery and the defense put up by the Confederate Soldiers that they lined up and shook hands with them as they surrendered. The Confederate soldiers were allowed to return to their homes because the Union Army could not provide food for so many men and did not want to divert their forces from bringing an end to the war.

In one Southern home we visited, there was a bulge in the wall in the entry hall to the home which was plastered over and left because am artillery shell was logged in the wall. It was too dangerous to try to remove it, because there was no way of knowing whether is was live or not. Two unmarried sisters had lived in the house during the Civil War and as well as after the war. It was obvious that at one time they had been well off, but the war changes the fortunes of many. This included the two women living in this home. The wisteria vines had not been trimmed so they came in one window of a very large room and went across the room and out the other side through another window.

Our next stop on our tour of Vicksburg was to go to the bluff and look down upon the Mississippi River. It is an awesome sight because it is a very long way down to the river bank. If the Union forces had tried to scale the cliffs the casualties would have been very great. I think one reason for our reaction to Vicksburg, was that I am certain that both my wife and I had family members fighting on both sides of the Civil war. We probably had more on the Confederate side since our ancestors were primarily Southerns. The soldiers on both sides of this conflict usually went to join a unit as friends. My Grandfather was 18 years old during the Civil War but did not serve because he broke his leg. By the time it healed, all of his friends had already gone of his had already gone to war. Serving in the Civil War with friends was a common practice as depicted in a book I just finished reading. This book, by Harold Coyle, “Until The End,” is about the conclusion of the Civil War, and follows two other books he has written about the Civil War. “Until The End” takes place in the Eastern states and is well worth reading.

A PARTIAL FAMILY HISTORY

I have two older sisters and a nephew who spent years compiling a history of my fraternal relatives, the Bells, and my maternal relatives, the Rankins. I was only mildly interested and would spend a small amount of time reading the genealogical record they produced. Over the past five years since I have had time to do some research of my own I have become very interested because as you read about the ancestors, you begin to understand that human history repeats in the form of triumphs, tragedies, successes and failures. We not only share genetic material but psychic tendencies as well. For example, my fraternal family came from Northern Ireland to Virginia, and began to expand south as well as west. Some were killed by the British and some by Indians. We always thought we were of Irish descent, but because of the trouble between Cromwell and James I, much of Northern Ireland was depopulated. As a result, Northern Ireland was open to settlement from Scotland. The Scots were primarily Protestant while the Irish were Catholic which later led to the killing on both sides by the Protestant and Catholic factions of Northern Ireland. When the Scots were defeated by Cromwell’s Army at the Battle of Dunbar, many of the leaders were started on a forced march to the South of England, and like the Cherokee Indians, in the forced march known as the Trail of Tears, many died during the march and during captivity. My wife’s ancestor, Ninian Beall, was one of the captured leaders of the Scots. He was sent to Barbados and served four years in prison before coming to the area now known as Washington. DC. He served five more years as an indentured servant and was given fifty acres of land at the end of his servitude. By the end of his life, he owned seven square miles of land in what is now known as Washington D.C., served as a Col in the Militia. Either he or one of his sons built the mansion that Jacquelin Kennedy lived in for a year after President John Kennedy was assassinated.

The Scots were scattered worldwide many going to Australia and the Americas. The ones staying in Great Britain, became leaders in medicine, teaching, finance and many other professions requiring advanced education. During the Cromwell era, the Royalists were scattered as well with many of them coming to Maryland and Virginia for their own safety. My first known relative, a John Bell came as a stowaway on a ship, probably to escape from Cromwell’s tyranny. He married Ann Bennett, member of a prominent Virginia family. There are two distinguishing characteristics of the early families to their new homeland, one they acquired vast tracks of land and two they had large families. My ancestor and his new wife were given a large track of land by the Bennett family. This trend continued as the families moved westward on both sides of my family and my wife’s family. Another interesting pattern was the marriage of first cousins and the marriage of two or more brothers marrying sisters in a neighboring family. My wife’s mother and two of her sisters, of the Goss family, married three brothers of the McGehee family. These same patterns happened in my family as well. Cousins born into these families are referred to as double cousins. They often have similar medical problems and other similar traits because they share more genetic material than normal cousins. I do not know if any double first cousins intermarried, but I would certainly hope not.

GENEALOGICAL RESEARCH
When my nephew, retired from teaching, he started his own genealogical business. He had much experience and was able to gather information on my wife’s family and found that our ancestors had intermarried. A McGehee married a Borum on my side of the family. I grew up in Oregon, and my wife, Doris McGehee Bell grew up in Mississippi. but we met in Oregon. My Mother grew up in Jonesboro, Arkansas and my wife’s Mother in Greenwood, Mississippi. These two communities are only 150 miles apart and both in what is known as the Mississippi Delta. However travel was limited for most families, so communications were also limited. Another limiting factor is researching ancestry are the changes in spelling. Bell and McGehee have many variations so that from one generation to another the spellings may change from Bell to Beall to Beal, etc.

Many emigrants to this country were at the mercy of the census taker whose spelling was poor or who could not understand either the dialect or the language spoken by the immigrant. If one looks at writings in early American , the spelling was not standardized.

The practice of having large families was necessary in order to manage the large tracks of land and also because so many children did not survive to adulthood. My paternal grandfather had eleven or twelve children, but only three survived. His first wife died after having nine children with one daughter surviving and one who was born blind and raised by another member of the family. He then married a second time to a young woman who was a friend of his eldest daughter and also the same age. His second wife was supposedly part Cherokee, but this is primarily oral tradition. She had two children and two miscarriages and died in her twenties. It was not uncommon for the men to have two, three or four wives by the time they died. One of the common ancestors of my wife and I have had twelve children by her mid-thirties and died. Her husband married again and had more children.

Like many families who had ancestors living in both the North and South, we very likely had family members fighting against each other. The conflict we have been having this past six years is only a continuing saga in human history. Finally, the Scots have continued the tradition of scholarly achievement in the United States and have held public offices in all branches of government and in the professions. My family has a long tradition in teaching as well as military service. If I remember this fact correctly, about two thirds of the leaders in this nation are descendants of Scots, so Cromwell may have done a great service in sending them on their way from England. I have a book of note: Sir Robert Bell and His Early Virginia Colony Descendants, by James Elton Bell and Frances Jean Bell(2007).
Kentucky Ancestry: A Guide to Genealogical and Historical Researchby: Roseann Reinemuth Hogan
Scottish Ancestry: Research Methods for Family Historians Revised 2nd Edition
Tracing your Scottish Ancestry Third Editionby: Kathleen B. Cory, Leslie Hodgson
Plantagenet Ancestry: A Study In Colonial And Medieval Families (Royal Ancestry) by: Douglas Richardson; Kimball G. Everingham
Google Blog Search
I have my own blog, actually two blogs. I might very well consider dedicating one of those blogs to book reviews and another to genealogical research. Of course I would like to monetize them to support my hobby. I could easily start with my own library and expand from there. I have many topics in mind including reincarnation, utopian novels, zen philosophies, several books such as writings by Kahlil Gibran which are out of print but not out of mind,
I lean to reincarnation, because it is the most logical. It is not a continuation of life from one point, i.e., birth , but a continuation of past, present, and future. I would hate to think as some scientists claim that we are nothing but a combination of atoms and that thought is merely a chemical process. If you consider scientific thought and look at persons such as Einstein, or children born with information that they could not have acquired in such a short span of time, it creates doubt that we live only one life. In fact thought may be the ultimate reality.

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ETHNIC AND OTHER STEREOTYPES

I do not know about you, but when someone uses an ethnic stereotype or any other stereotype, I wonder if we as a group of creatures known as human beings will ever learn to trust one another. Warfare has been the primary method of eliminating anyone who is different from us whether it is their religion, tribe, color of skin or any other excuse. During my lifetime, I have lived through World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Cold War, ethnic cleansing in what was once Yugoslavia, and presently the war in Afganistan, and Iraq. We currently have two Presidential Candidates who have radically different ideas on how to end these wars. One thinks winning the war with honor is important, but we got into the last war in Iraq, dishonorably so how can be get out of the war honorably? One candidate, John McCain, stated on Larry King’s show about three years ago that we should not have a draft because we were not well served by draftees, but he must have forgotten or never knew that most of the enlistees in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War were enlistees only after they got their draft notices and then signed up for the branch of service of their choice to escape being assigned to a branch not to their liking, the infantry, for example. I wrote to John McCain, after that interview with Larry King, and asked him how he came to that conclusion, since his way was paid for by taxpayer money at the Naval Academy. It was only by chance that he was shot down and spent five years in Hanoi Hilton as a prisoner of war. He might have been killed, just as the enlistee or the draftee, could have been killed, and if they were killed then dead is dead. A bullet or a bomb does not stop and seek out only the draftee.

In my family, my father served in the Navy in World War I, a Greek brother-in-law, served in the Army Air Corp in World War II, a Hispanic brother-in-law served in the Korean War and the Vietnam War, was a DI in the Marine Corp, and was sent to Texas to tell the the Spanish Speaking residents that their son had been killed in action. I had a cousin of Scottish descent who was a Naval Academy graduate and served on board a ship in World War II. No one cared or asked their ethnic, political, or religious background before, during, or after the wars they served in. No one asked how they happened to be serving in the military or how it happened that someone they knew either never served or never served in combat. In my case, I served in the National Guard and later in the US Army in a Helicopter Company. I served honorably, had only one three day pass, primarily because I had several jobs I performed, and yes I was a draftee. I got a deferment to finish college, which meant that I would get drafted once I finished college, and I served honorably and well even though I was a draftee.

John McClain was asked if he resented the treatment he received from George Bush in the 2000 campaign, because Bush lied about him in that campaign. He told Larry King that he forgave Bush because every politician lies and cheats during an election. So are we well served by a graduate of the Naval Academy, who is not supposed to lie or cheat, yet decides it is the correct thing to do when running for and is elected to a public office such as as the United States Senate? What happens when his opponent is of mixed race, white and black? If you come to think of it, my family is certainly mixed. Both sides of my family came from Scotland to the Colonies to escape persecution by the English. But the British Isles were constantly being invaded throughout their history so they were certainly not ethnically pure. We have found out recently that President Thomas Jefferson supposedly had a black mistress, although later reports point to his uncle as the one who had a black mistress, not Jefferson. He happens to be a relative of mine. In fact, at one time, many of my relatives were large land owners in what later became the Southern States. Many of these relatives had slaves at one time when the rum, slave and cotton trade became profitable. I am very certain that some of my slave owning relatives had black mistresses. There are certainly a good number of U.S. citizens who have my last name as their last name. The same is true of my wife, who is also a distant relative of mine. She thinks her paternal grandmother was probably part Choctaw Indian. My fraternal grandmother was part Cherokee Indian. So I have trouble keeping my ethnicity pure, and I have trouble knowing which ethnic group to hate. Maybe I should just accept all ethnic groups as deserving of respect.

General Colin Powell commented that even if Barack Obama were Muslim rather than Christian, which he is not, would that along with his Black and White heritage, make him unfit to become President of the United States? He had just read about a Muslim Soldier who had served honorably in Iraq and had been killed in the line of duty. His parents are U.S. citizens and certainly were grieving for him as would any parents regardless of their race or ethnicity. I hope we are ready for Presidents of many different backgrounds. This nation was founded upon the principles of religious freedom and civil freedom if I remember correctly.

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