The last eight years has been anything but desirable for the Unites States as it addresses the American spirit and cooperation between opposing political, racial and minority groups. We have seen our politicians vote on legislation based solely on partisan politics while protesters take to the streets simply because they do not like who won an election. America has witnessed a specific political party vote against any legislation, regardless of merit, simply because a person of a different party is president. This has taken place under two presidential administrations and the country is tired of it just as the country is becoming weary of groups rioting and destroying under the guise of freedom of speech.
The Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, had the welfare of the people at heart when it was developed. It was an entitlement program that would guarantee healthcare for everyone. Like all entitlement programs it has to be funded in one way or the other. Existing revenues that come into the national coffers in the form of taxes can be diverted from existing programs and can then be used to fund the health act. If other programs are not eligible to be defunded, then additional funds from additional taxes can be obtained. If the country has no interest in additional taxes to an already large tax structure then America can borrow money to fund the program. The problem with the tax option is that borrowing money for entitlements has no return on the investment and no revenue is generated by the borrowed money. Our national debt would continue to rise and our children and grandchildren will bear the brunt of bad decisions.
True the form of centralized control, assumptions are made that don’t reflect the common sense nor allows the common man to make decisions. Communism was based on Centralized Control and ultimately failed miserably and led to the fall of the Soviet Union. Obamacare based a large amount of funding on young men and women in America taking mandatory insurance. Instead the youth opted to pay a penalty and not be forced to pay extremely high insurance premiums for insurance that they do not need. This left only the older workers that need insurance to pay for the insurance. The base of people was much smaller than anticipated and the funding suffered. Prices have sky rocketed and in some states the private insurance companies have dropped out of the markets causing distress in these geographical areas.
The Republicans have had seven years to get a plan ready for appealing the current Affordable Care Act. So far, after six months of controlling the entire Executive and Legislative branches of government, the Republicans have had no success in repealing and replacing Obamacare. Congress is in gridlock, America is sick of it and many loyal patriots that we sent to Washington are facing backlash back home. Some is justified but much is not justified; however, the perception of incompetency permeates throughout the country.
Finally, after years of waiting and hoping someone uttered the word that so many have been waiting to hear; “bipartisan participation”. It was stated by a key member of the Republican party that there needs to be bipartisan participation to work through the details to dismember the current Affordable Care Act, insure that key parts of the act remain to protect vulnerable Americans and provide adequate funding in a realistic manner and allow Americans to make decisions for healthcare on their own.
Let us hope that “bipartisan participation” is not only isolated to health care reform. Let us pray that this is the beginning to true collaborations between all political parties and we put the good of the nation at the forefront of future legislation. If this happens we will once again see America shining brightly around the world as the pillar of freedom.


The United States of America was founded on the principles of religious tolerance.  John Locke wrote on it and this impacted Thomas Jefferson when he was crafting our great Constitution.  While our country was built on Christian principles, it was also established on allowing every person to believe and practice their own religion without reprisal or discrimination.  With the country having  Christian based values, there are certain Christian holidays that have been celebrated since the beginning of our country and date back to Germany.  While these holidays are religion based and allows workers of all beliefs to have a day off from work, it is not mandatory that everyone within the boundaries of America must celebrate these holidays within a religious context.


Today political correctness is working itself into the social fiber of our country.  This correctness is being inserted into our celebrations in a manner that jeopardizes the rights of the institutions that provided our religious tolerance.  So many of our government agencies are opting to recognize Christmas as a religious neutral holiday and the beautiful nativity sets that brought warmth and peace to so many government buildings across our country are disappearing.  This will then not offend any one that doesn’t believe in Christmas.  Just last week the governor of Rhode Island refused to refer to their tree at the capital as a Christmas tree but has it referred to as a “holiday tree”.  What is lost from this conversation is the fact that the holiday was founded as a Christian Holiday, was identified as an official Federal Holiday and allows Christians to celebrate this special holiday in accordance with tolerance from other individuals.  Unfortunately, many of our governments have ignored the need to be tolerant of the holiday and instead they have opted to change the title of the event and the true meaning of the Christmas holiday in favor of a non-tolerant view.   This is in contradiction to the people’s doctrines that began the event and what the holiday was intended to be.


When I first went to Saudi Arabia I was told to ship our Christmas tree as a holiday tree and not to mention Christmas in the shipment description.  It would then get through customs.  I did so and my tree came through.  I also witnessed many Christmas trees that had been confiscated in the customs area at the Dammam port.  But Saudi Arabia was the keeper of the Islamic faith and they make sure that everyone understands this and there are no false expectations when a person goes there to work and live.  It is interesting to note that the compound I lived in use to decorate heavily for Christmas and one area was referred to as Christmas Tree Circle.  The company stopped the lighting so that they could be politically correct.  The largest group of people who were disappointed when the decorating ceased were the local Saudis as they loved to drive through the camp at night and enjoy the lights.  I took pleasure in placing a well-lit Christmas tree in my large picture window so people could drive by and enjoy the season.


There are glimmers of hope that the trend to sanitize Christmas and thus other religious holidays could be moving back to the traditions of our country.  Wal Mart, one of the largest corporations in the world,  just announced that they would now greet customers in America with a “Merry Christmas” and not “Happy Holidays”.  I use to purposely wish the cashier a “Merry Christmas” and wait for a response.  I usually had it returned to me.  Merry Christmas everyone.