Just what every 18 year old wants to talk about with their older brother right?  I know it is not your typical subject for bonding and can be the quickest way to get into an argument with any family member.  The second letter I was actually going to send you is about our Dad and my Mom and how a guy from Alabama ended up marrying a girl from California during the era of Vietnam.  But with only five months away from a presidential election, and my uncanny ability to procrastinate for months at a time, I figured this to be the best time as any to give my two cents on the subject.

First and foremost, if you are not registered to vote I would highly encourage you to do so as soon as possible.  Outside of being a billionaire, or political insider it really is your one voice to try and make a change in the political system.

I was born into a family of Republicans.  Well that is not entirely true.  My Mom Carey and my Step-Dad were Republicans, I have never asked Dad which party he belongs to, to be honest with you.  But the first time I really started noticing how important an election was to my Mom was in 1981 as California was swept up with the excitement that Ronald Reagan brought to the Republican Party and ultimately to the Presidency.

I don’t know if it was because I was so young or because we didn’t have the Online Social Community we have today, but it seemed that all Americans were behind this president.  The 80’s were good to many people and many house holds saw increases in their personal wealth.

What we didn’t realize at the time is that it was all going on credit much like it is today.  We give credit to Reagan for  ,but don’t take heed to the lesson that the Soviet Union, who controlled that wall, fell primarily because they could no longer support all of the areas they once held with their military might.  Their failure was using all of their money to build thousands of nuclear weapons and building armies to man bases in all of those territories they controlled.  Sound familiar?

By the time I could vote for a president it was 1993, and I changed my political affiliation from being a Republican to being an Independent.  I honestly just never thought that there are only two answers for every issue.  The world is not as Black and White as a political party will have you believe so I figured that being an Independent would let me vote for the best candidate instead of being pressured to vote for a person just because they happen to be in the same party.

Ok, have I lost your attention already?  Well wake back up because this is important stuff and more so than ever.
In my observation I have never seen our country more divided than it is today.  I have never seen people disrespect a President or each other as we are and it is only getting worse.
The truth is that our government is no longer for “We the People”.  It is controlled by greedy billionaires who pay millions of dollars to lobbyists who “influence” senators and congress men into passing legislation that will ultimately help make them richer.  Both the Democrat and Republican parties are guilty of this, so as a voter who does not have a billion dollars you ultimately are voting for the greedy corporations you want to see survive.  I will give you an example of this.

The oil well and the ocean.  If you are a Republican it is only natural that you want more oil wells.  More oil wells means more jobs, more supply of oil which will should lower gas prices so we can help the economy.  This makes perfect sense right?  So the Republican oil lobbyist makes friends with Republican congress men and senators and passes a bill allowing them to drill in areas once protected in the Ocean.  This makes the politician a lot of money because they now go buy stock in that oil company.  This makes the oil company lots of money and everything seems just grand.  What they don’t see, that the Democrats see is the fact that we have to fight wars in Middle Eastern countries to secure that oil.  We actually spend billions more on oil just to power the tanks, helicopters, ships and jets to fight those wars.  And if the Republican does see that fact, they justify that it is ok because the population is Muslim.  I know I am stereotyping an entire political party and definitely not every Republican has that point of view, but if you were to see the comments on the typical political message boards, they would reflect what I am saying.

With the oil well, the Democrat sees an evil monstrous mechanical demon leaking oil into the ocean killing fish, wild life and contributing to an ever-increasing polluted planet.  They see that those wars in the Middle East caused the back lash and the reason we have Al Qaeda terrorists wanting to kill Americans.  They see that although they may have huge differences with Muslims, that they are still human beings so they feel we should not be fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan. And they also see that oil will not last forever. What Democrats do not acknowledge is that they still use oil every single day from the sneakers they wear, to the gas they put in their car, to the keyboard they are using to blog about the evils of oil.  Now you see why I’m an Independent?

With that said, the Republicans are pretty blatant about the way they want to make the rich even richer, where the Democrats genuinely do want to help “the majority” of America.  The Democrats do not always have a great track record on executing a plan to make that happen, and sometimes fail horribly along the way but at least the intent is there.

Unfortunately sis, most people join a political party so they don’t have to worry themselves with all those issues.  They usually have a handful of issues and depending on which one is the most important they will end up with the party that supports that issue. But to be honest with you, our political system is so broken that the survival of our country is beyond the petty issues that keep Americans from voting for the best person.  The best person can’t possibly even get to the point of being nominated for President because they have to sell-out to people who will help them get voted along the way.  Ultimately you have to decide on the lesser of evils.

So what is the largest issue facing us?  It is the fact that our country for the first time is in decline as a world power and world influence.  While I will agree that the National Debt is of large concern to any well thinking economist many would agree that some amount of debt is good for an economy to grow.  In all honesty sis, if I was looking at the world from a birds eye view, the only reason our American Dollar is still valuable is because many of the worlds economies base their economy off the strength of the dollar.  I know I am losing you here so I will make it simple.

As long as the United States keeps creating wealth for China, China will have no problem giving money to the US.  If the US doesn’t have money “debt” to grow their economy, then China won’t have American Companies coming there to build companies.  And since China and the US both have Nuclear Weapons and a powerful Military, does money even matter any more?  Well of course it does because once other countries get hip to the fact China and the US survive because of resource domination and that domination is fueled by money we just print over and over, they will start basing their currencies on something more stable.  That means the dollar falls, which means China starts calling their debt payable, which the US is unable to pay back…and you see where I am going with this?

So I am ending this letter not by telling you who to vote for.  I am telling you that the US middle class is disappearing because the wealthiest people find ways to keep legislation making them money whether that is tax breaks or sending jobs to other countries.  If we continue down this road we will be like many other third world countries where there is just a rich class and a poor class.  So when you vote, vote because of the important issues, not because a party is telling you to vote a certain way.

Love you Sis!


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 So why did I call this story “Something To Look Forward To”?  In short, that is what life is about.  We all live for the things we look forward to.  The year was 1999, maybe 2000, on a typical Southern California afternoon in the San Fernando Valley. I was making my weekly pilgrimage to the nearest supplier to feed my oil addiction and happened upon a conversation between an elderly local and the gentlemen who managed the gas station.

It was your typical discussion of someone reminiscing of the “Good Ole Days”, and that those Good Ole Days existed at one specific time in America’s history.  For him it was the 1940’s and 50’s.  It was right then a younger gentlemen, about my age 27 or 28, came through the door and patiently waited to pay for his gas with one ear to the conversation in front of him. When the men noticed him waiting they broke from the conversation and that’s when he spoke up.

“The Good Ole Days, no matter what time or place, always happens to be when you are young when time is moving much slower.  Why?  Because you constantly have something to look forward to!  Everything is new, and you don’t have the responsibilities you did once you entered the work force.  When you did enter the work force you ended up living for your weekends and your vacations, and then time went by much quicker.”

Both the elderly local, and the store manager stared at him with blank faces partially for the young man’s candid intrusion, but also for the words that seemed beyond his years. “Life becomes the moments you look forward to.” he told them.  “Your weekends, the Holidays, your vacations, your family visits, those are the moments you remember.  But if you think about it, “Time” has never been better.  We have cell phones, computers, incredible technology and instant knowledge of what is happening in the world.”

The elderly local then interrupted the younger stranger but only because of enlightenment, and the realization that what he was saying had at least a tiny amount of merit.  “You are absolutely right” he admitted.  “Schedules and work can become so monotonous that I only remember a few days out of the year.” he said.  The gas station clerk nodded his head in agreement.I paid for my gas and left them as the young stranger gave one last bit of advice which I still have not managed to take myself.  “Make everyday something to look forward to, and your life will be a lot longer.”

But this story is not about the meaning of life per say.  Actually, this is not even a story as much as it is a collection of letters to you, my sister Heather.   You are twenty-two years younger than I, and you are the only sibling that I really don’t have a relationship with.  And one of the main reasons for that is the fact that you are almost completely deaf.  You and I also have different Mothers and grew up in two very different places in the United States.  I grew up in California, and you were born and raised in the “Roll Tide” state of Alabama.  You are now turning 18 and I am at the ripe young age of 41 and I have so many things I want to tell you about the world as you now become an adult.  So this is a story about you, me and the World as I see it.  After all, what is a brother good for?

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