A letter to N.Y. Sen. Tom Libous

A letter to N.Y. Sen. Tom Libous.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

A letter to N.Y. Sen. Tom Libous

Searching for a friend I’ve lost track of, I found this letter – which was sent to New York Senator Tom Libous some months ago.
It’s from a former Marine — a guy my own age — and while I don’t agree with him on several points, I did find his argument powerful, and wanted to share it with you.
Here it is, verbatim.

December 22, 2010

“I’m 63 and I’m Tired,”¬® written by Robert A. Hall¬®

I’m 63. Except for one semester in college when jobs were scarce and a six-month period when I was between jobs, but job-hunting every day, I’ve worked, hard, since I was 18. Despite some health challenges, I still put in 50-hour weeks, and haven’t called in sick in seven or eight years. I make a good salary, but I didn’t inherit my job or my income, and I worked to get where I am. Given the economy, there’s no retirement in sight, and I’m tired.. Very tired.

I’m tired of being told that I have to “spread the wealth” to people who don’t have my work ethic. I’m tired of being told the government will take the money I earned, by force if necessary, and give it to people too lazy to earn it.

I’m tired of being told that I have to pay more taxes to “keep people in their homes.” Sure, if they lost their jobs or got sick, I’m willing to help. But if they bought McMansions at three times the price of our paid-off, $250,000 condo, on one-third of my salary, then let the left-wing Congress-critters who passed Fannie and Freddie and the Community Reinvestment Act that created the bubble help them with their own money.

I’m tired of being told how bad America is by left-wing millionaires like Michael Moore, George Soros and Hollywood Entertainers who live in luxury because of the opportunities America offers. In thirty years, if they get their way, the United States will have the economy of Zimbabwe, the freedom of the press of China, the crime and violence of Mexico, the tolerance for Christian people of Iran, and the freedom of speech of Venezuela.

I’m tired of being told that Islam is a “Religion of Peace,” when every day I can read dozens of stories of Muslim men killing their sisters, wives and daughters for their family “honor”; of Muslims rioting over some slight offense; of Muslims murdering Christian and Jews because they aren’t “believers”; of Muslims burning schools for girls; of Muslims stoning teenage rape victims to death for “adultery”; of Muslims mutilating the genitals of little girls; all in the name of Allah, because the Qur’an and Shari’a law tells them to.

I’m tired of being told that “race doesn’t matter” in the post-racial world of Obama, when it’s all that matters in affirmative action jobs, lower college admission and graduation standards for minorities (harming them the most), government contract set-asides, tolerance for the ghetto culture of violence and fatherless children that hurts minorities more than anyone, and in the appointment of U.S. Senators from Illinois.

I think it’s very cool that we have a black president and that a black child is doing her homework at the desk where Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Proclamation. I just wish the black president was Condi Rice, or someone who believes more in freedom and the individual and less arrogantly of an all-knowing government.

I’m tired of a news media that thinks Bush’s fundraising and inaugural expenses were obscene, but that think Obama’s, at triple the cost, were wonderful; that thinks Bush exercising daily was a waste of presidential time, but Obama exercising is a great example for the public to control weight and stress; that picked over every line of Bush’s military records, but never demanded that Kerry release his; that slammed Palin, with two years as governor, for being too inexperienced for VP, but touted Obama with three years as senator as potentially the best president ever. Wonder why people are dropping their subscriptions or switching to Fox News? Get a clue. I didn’t vote for Bush in 2000, but the media and Kerry drove me to his camp in 2004.

I’m tired of being told that out of “tolerance for other cultures” we must let Saudi Arabia use our oil money to fund mosques and madrassa Islamic schools to preach hate in America, while no American group is allowed to fund a church, synagogue or religious school in Saudi Arabia to teach love and tolerance.

I’m tired of being told I must lower my living standard to fight global warming, which no one is allowed to debate. My wife and I live in a two-bedroom apartment and carpool together five miles to our jobs. We also own a three-bedroom condo where our daughter and granddaughter live. Our carbon footprint is about 5% of Al Gore’s, and if you’re greener than Gore, you’re green enough.

I’m tired of being told that drug addicts have a disease, and I must help support and treat them, and pay for the damage they do. Did a giant germ rush out of a dark alley, grab them, and stuff white powder up their noses while they tried to fight it off? I don’t think Gay people choose to be Gay, but I damn sure think druggies chose to take drugs. And I’m tired of harassment from cool people treating me like a freak when I tell them I never tried marijuana.

I’m tired of illegal aliens being called “undocumented workers,” especially the ones who aren’t working, but are living on welfare or crime. What’s next? Calling drug dealers, “Undocumented Pharmacists”? And, no, I’m not against Hispanics. Most of them are Catholic, and it’s been a few hundred years since Catholics wanted to kill me for my religion. I’m willing to fast track for citizenship any Hispanic person, who can speak English, doesn’t have a criminal record and who is self-supporting without family on welfare, or who serves honorably for three years in our military…. Those are the citizens we need.

I’m tired of latte liberals and journalists, who would never wear the uniform of the Republic themselves, or let their entitlement-handicapped kids near a recruiting station, trashing our military. They and their kids can sit at home, never having to make split-second decisions under life and death circumstances, and bad mouth better people than themselves. Do bad things happen in war? You bet. Do our troops sometimes misbehave? Sure. Does this compare with the atrocities that were the policy of our enemies for the last fifty years and still are? Not even close. So here’s the deal. I’ll let myself be subjected to all the humiliation and abuse that was heaped on terrorists at Abu Ghraib or Gitmo, and the critics can let themselves be subject to captivity by the Muslims, who tortured and beheaded Daniel Pearl in Pakistan, or the Muslims who tortured and murdered Marine Lt. Col. William Higgins in Lebanon, or the Muslims who ran the blood-spattered Al Qaeda torture rooms our troops found in Iraq, or the Muslims who cut off the heads of schoolgirls in Indonesia, because the girls were Christian. Then we’ll compare notes. British and American soldiers are the only troops in history that civilian came to for help and handouts, instead of hiding from in fear.

I’m tired of people telling me that their party has a corner on virtue and the other party has a corner on corruption. Read the papers; bums are bipartisan. And I’m tired of people telling me we need bipartisanship. I live in Illinois, where the “Illinois Combine” of Democrats has worked to loot the public for years. Not to mention the tax cheats in Obama’s cabinet.

I’m tired of hearing wealthy athletes, entertainers and politicians of both parties talking about innocent mistakes, stupid mistakes or youthful mistakes, when we all know they think their only mistake was getting caught. I’m tired of people with a sense of entitlement, rich or poor.

Speaking of poor, I’m tired of hearing people with air-conditioned homes, color TVs and two cars called poor. The majority of Americans didn’t have that in 1970, but we didn’t know we were “poor.” The poverty pimps have to keep changing the definition of poor to keep the dollars flowing.

I’m real tired of people who don’t take responsibility for their lives and actions. I’m tired of hearing them blame the government, or discrimination or big-whatever for their problems.

Yes, I’m damn tired. But I’m also glad to be 63. Because, mostly, I’m not going to have to see the world these people are making. I’m just sorry for my granddaughter.

Robert A. Hall is a Marine Vietnam veteran who served five terms in the Massachusetts State Senate.

Deposit , NY

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

My day job

My day job.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

My day job

Lately, haven’t spent much time on fiction beyond the “flash fiction” we write in our weekly writers’ group sessions. They’re fun to do, and fun to read, but – face it – they’re not my novel and not another short story (though they do present some awfully good starts).
To actually EARN an income, albeit a small one, I have begun to freelance. I have two main clients in the non-newspaper world, a condominium magazine (http://newenglandcondo.com/articles/380/1/Bountiful-Harvest/Page1.html) and an insurance consumer.com site.
They both pay reasonably well, and both require my journalistic skills, rather than p.r. prestidigitation. I like that. The link I just added in will take you to a gardening article recently published in New England Condominium magazine, which goes out to condo managers and board association members throughout New England. I’ve written about security systems, common space redesigns, board and neighbor conflicts. I’ve learned enough to not really WANT to live in a condo; I think I may be too ornery.
This kind of writing keeps me honest, keeps me informed and disciplined and active in my journalistic field.
But I long for more fiction, for more indulgence in the writing that gives me a heart-kick as well as a mind-kick.
For the Telegram & Gazette, in Worcester, I write a regular restaurant review and a monthly column for book club members. This week, a very large online book club started following my book club blog (http://readitandreeap.blogspot.com), so maybe that will open up the conversation and provide new ideas for future columns. I absolutely love writing this column, because books are my passion. When I read an outstanding author, I like to share it by writing a quick book review on that site. And when the T&G publishes a column, I put it there too. The T&G column is called “Read It and Reap,” and it’s published the last Sunday of each month. But note that the blog site is Reeap, thanks to a subtle switch necessitated by someone’s unused ownership of the other site name. Drat the un-ending confusion this will cause.
It’s time to sit down for a serious talk with my novel’s characters, too, to be certain they are as true and as well crafted as they need to be for publication.
I don’t want to self-publish; I really, really, really want to go the traditional route, even though I’m told every day, in many ways, that traditional publishing is gone/done/finished/kaput/meaningless. I just don’t believe that.
So after this last talk with “Emilee’s Song,” and whatever tweaks come out of it, she’s going off to more agents, hopefully with an uncommonly appealing cover letter (dreadfully difficult to accomplish, for some reason) and making the rounds in hope of acceptance.
Wish me luck.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Snow predicted

Snow predicted.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Must do list for writers

Must do list.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Read it and reap

Read it and reap. These posts are located at http://www.readitandreeap.blogspot.com (note two ees in reap).


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment