Archive for the ‘Hot Potato Politics’ Category



   Posted by: pastordiehl

Let’s look at one final hot potato topic before we get back to more devotional items. Sonia Sotomayor has been confirmed as America’s first hispanic Supreme Court Justice, but not without a valiant fight from the Republican side. As we all know, Supreme Court justices are to be political-neutral.

Our constitution calls for Supreme Court Justices to be appointed by the sitting President. Every time a President, from either party, appoints a justice, the other political party puts up a whale of a fight to prove them unfit, thus throwing into question the justice’s credibility. Its true that past liberal justices have attempted to reroute America by reinterpreting the constitution. From the news I’ve picked up there is absolutely no reason Sotomayor is not qualified for the position, except that she is a woman, a hispanic, or that she was appointed by a Democratic President. Yet 31 Republican senators voted against her appointment. How can a political system like ours survive if the government is so stalemated politically that it cannot function as the constitution calls for?

I had the same complaint when the previous Republican President faced the same opposition. What’dya think?



   Posted by: pastordiehl

Here’s another thing that rubs me the wrong way, and I want your opinion. About a year or so ago I went to a visitation at a funeral home. There I saw a middle aged man that I knew was living with his unmarried girlfriend and her retired parents. He has a reputation for not working. So I approached him very friendly like and asked, “Where are you working now?” He replied, “Nowhere right now. I’m waiting on my disability.” He was waiting on his disability!

Now, I understand that there are those who cannot work because of a physical or mental disability. That is not their fault and the rest of society should step in and financially assist them. But there was absolutely nothing wrong with this man except he was lazy. And his working girlfriend and her parents were carrying him. His hope was that someday the rest of us taxpayers would step in and carry him, as well. Now, that makes me mad!

I know hard working people in our church that would be approved for disability if they chose to apply, but they don’t; they would rather work for their living, and I respect them for that. But I also know people who are today receiving government disability checks who could work alongside any of us. There is something wrong with this picture.

What are your opinions about this? Is government disability a good thing or a bad thing? How can it be fixed?



   Posted by: pastordiehl

Another hot potato issue I’d like to address came to light just yesterday. I went home for lunch and tuned in to CNN News while I ate. President Obama was on there giving a rousing speech in Elkhart, Indiana. He was announcing a government plan to award $2.4 billion dollars in grants to US companies to pioneer hybrid automobiles of a new generation. I got the impression this was as big a deal as John Kennedy’s challenge to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade (which we did). The President said he wanted us to lead the world rather than foreign countries leading us! Amen!

I salute the vision and the ideal. However, the plan is to stimulate the economy, not beat the Russians to the moon. Is it wise for us to invest $2.4 billion dollars in private business endeavors when there isn’t enough tax revenue coming in to pay our current debts, let alone this new huge one. I’ve decided not to participate in the recession, but the US economy is in one, whether we like it or not.

What’s your take on this major attempt to boost our struggling economy? Is this plan good or evil?



   Posted by: pastordiehl

One more political question. What do you think of the “Cash for Clunkers” program? I understand the incentive is to get old fuel-inefficient models off the road and motivate people to buy new cars, thus boosting the economy. That makes sense to me. But the trade off is that if all the older model cars disappear from the used car lots because taxpayers are giving $4,500 each to have perfectly good cars crushed or shredded, where does does that leave the unemployed, disabled, or first time car buyers? They must assume debt they cannot afford just to get to work or the grocery store. What a waste. 

Doesn’t it make more sense in a free market economy to let people with higher paying jobs buy the pricier cars and trade their older cars down to those just working their way up? That way everyone wins, not just the people with the better jobs. That has been the American way for decades.

I’m interested in your thoughts on the “Cash for Clunkers” program. Is it helping or hurting the economy? Good or bad and why?



   Posted by: pastordiehl

I want to comment on another political hot potato issue. America’s health care system is seriously flawed, with health care providers jacking the cost up for those with health insurance, which raises the insurance rates for everyone. Those that do not have health insurance are destined to poorer care. When President Bill Clinton tried to bring some reform to the health care system in the early days of his administration, the Republican controlled congress forcefully shot it down. And the problem grew worse.

Then President George Bush (whom I voted for) had eight years to remedy the situation, and his administration and the Republicans in congress did absolutely nothing. And the problem grew worse.

Now that President Barack Obama is in the White House with a Democratic controlled congress, there is another chance to do something with the health care system. The Republicans again want to hold the course and change nothing, voting down every attempt to compromise.

I am reminded of what Jesus said about Christians taking care of the poor and needy. What do you think of the whole matter?



   Posted by: pastordiehl Tags:

There’s been a lot in the news about Professor Gates and Officer Crowley lately. Even President Obama got into the act, saying the officer acted “stupidly”, and inviting them both to the White House for a beer. The news media has hyped this small incident up into a fever. Was Officer Crowley unfair to Gates because he was black, or did Professor Gates ramp up the encounter as an “educational tool”?

Being raised in a small Indiana town, I had absolutely no contact with any blacks as a child. My first experience around them was in Basic Training at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Two black soldiers stick out in my mind. The first was Private Corley, a sharp, athletic young man from Chicago. He excelled at everything we did and came out as the top soldier in my company. Everyone liked him. Then there was Private Armour, also from Chicago. He was a big, overweight, dim witted guy who hated whites and the Army. He was finally hauled off to the stockade for having smuggled a fifth of whiskey into his locker.

My first military assignment was to work in Post Headquarters at Fort Knox, during the height of the Vietnam War. There were a lot of brass working in that office building, but I don’t remember one black person of any rank working there. Perhaps that was racial profiling in itself.

My next assignment was to work in an espionage unit headquartered in Augsburg, Germany, during the Cold War. One of the men working in my office was a black man from New Jersey (I think), whose name was John. He was educated and his father was serving as a State Senator back home. We became good friends. Back then, the common white term for blacks was “colored”. Whenever anyone would refer to a “colored man”, he would interrupt and ask “What color”? And he pressed the issue until the offender backed down. He insisted we use the term “black”. My respect for black people as equals came from my experience with him and Private Corley. I think too many of us stereo-type all blacks as Private Armours.

What is your personal experience with someone of another race?