Whose pants are on fire?
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by Ron Cruger
I was on the phone with an eighty- seven year old family friend. We talked about the baseball pennant races, our health and politics. Somewhere near the end of our conversation he said, “Well, if that Obama guy gets re-elected we know where us older people will stand.” When I asked him what he meant he said, “You know, any one over seventy five, seventy six years old will be discarded. Under Obama the older people can just be eliminated. Give us a pill and get rid of us. We’re of no use anymore.”
            Two days after that conversation I received an e-mail from another old friend. The e-mail took exception to last week’s column about our coverage of the recent meeting of the “Starbuck’s Seven,” and the recommendation for the re-election of President Obama. The column, which had substantial criticism of the President, felt that, even considering the objection to some of his policies, he should be given an opportunity to finish what he had started.
            My friend then wrote, “Have you seriously looked at the direction this President is taking us?”
            Following my friend’s query he listed a serious enumeration of his specific thoughts of where, indeed, “…this President is taking us?”
            Following is the list of my friend’s objections to the directions the current President has led us.
-Weaker military
-More IRS agents
-15-18 % real unemployment
-40+% of every tax dollar collected goes to pay interest on our 16 trillion dollar debt.
-Fuel prices doubled and soaring
-260,000 fewer jobs.
-150,000 more Federal employees.
-47,000,000 Americans on food stamps.
-Annual income down $4,300.
-Clinton’s welfare work requirements diminished.
-Personal wealth down 30%.
-Health care insurance cost up.
-Abandonment of support for Israel (doesn’t have time to meet with Israel PM).
-Restrictions of religious rights.
-Increased attacks on US personnel and facilities (and he feels free to mislead us on the murders).
-Federal employees given more power than Congress.

            If my friend is correct with his list of Presidential complaints then a swerve from Obama to Romney is needed. Some fact checking is in order before we veer from the current President to a new one. We could all take the criticism and advice from former President Nixon advisor William Gavin as he wrote, “Reason requires a higher degree of discipline, of concentration, impression is easier. Reason pushes the viewer back, it assaults him, it demands that he agree or disagree; impression can envelop him, invite him in, without making an intelligent demand…The emotions are more easily roused, closer to the surface, more malleable.”
            Perhaps my friend is correct in his analysis of the direction the current President is taking America. It will require a few hours of research, investigation and honest scrutiny to confirm or deny the validity of the items in the list.
            The answers could lay in the following web sites that check political statements and their validity: FactCheck.org, FlackCheck.org, Politifact.com, Snopes.com, TheFactChecker.com.
            You might consider the exercise an investment in freedom.