If you’ve got the time, watch the whole video. I found it to be infused with encouragement and optimism.

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I vaguely remember visiting Valley Forge as a kid. I’m willing to admit that the visit was less than inspiring for me at the time. It certainly would have made a more lasting impression if the visit had been in the dead of winter, with no shoes, meager rations, and nothing but a canvas separating me from the harsh winter weather. What men have endured in the pursuit and defense of freedom is nothing short of amazing and astounding.
I, for one, am grateful for their service, blessed to enjoy that freedom, and proud to be an American.

Praise God for veterans!

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The other day, Rush Limbaugh was talking about polling and the organizations that conduct them.  My summary is that polls are used to advance agendas of the news organizations conducting the polls.

Now, the Rutland Herald probably does not have much influence on foreign policy in Washington, but consider the (unscientific) polling that they’ve done on their website and I think it serves as a microcosm of what goes on in a larger scale in the nation.

RutlandHerald.com - Rutland Herald - Rutland news, Rutland sports, Rutland real estate, Vermont jobs_1255178090680

Who isn’t concerned about going to war?  There is no way to answer this poll for reasonable people who might disagree about the appropriate use of force (read: war) to best meet our national defense needs.  If I answer “Yes” (as I hope most sane people would), I’ll be lumped in with a lot of people who think that war should never be considered as a tool of diplomacy.  If I answer “No”, then I’ll appear unconcerned about either Iranians or Americans.  If I answer “I don’t know”, then it will appear that I’m aloof and that I haven’t really given the matter any thought.

So, how should I vote?

So I can paste a picture of the results (as of today at roughly 9am), I will vote “Yes”, because whether I like the idea of going to war with Iran or not, I am concerned because it will mean lives lost and life is precious.  Here are the results:

RutlandHerald.com - Rutland Herald - Rutland news, Rutland sports, Rutland real estate, Vermont jobs_1255179115589

Wow!  I’m surprised to see how many voted “No”.

Granted, this poll will probably not be used to influence anyone, I think that it is still an example of how polling (more often than not) serves the agenda of the pollster through wording that limits the possible answers.

Here is a video of Bernie Sanders (hold your guffaws) bloviating on the Senate floor about rural dairy farmers on the verge of collapse.  Listen to the first minute (if you can) and you’ll get a flavor of the man and his mission.

Bernie Sanders on the floor of the U.S. Senate

If you can’t bear to watch, here is a transcript of the first minute of the video:

I wanted to take a few  minutes right now to touch on an issue that in fact has not gotten a lot of discussion here in Congress and that is that family based dairy agriculture is on the verge of collapse.  This is not a regional issue this is a national issue.  From the east coast to the west coast what we are seeing is prices plummeting for dairy farmers way below the cost of production and if congress does not act all over America rural communities are going to be suffering  economically, people are going to be losing their jobs, and the American people increasingly will not be able to obtain fresh locally produced food.  And as we talk about stimulus; as we talk about trying to revive this economy lets remember rural America and lets remember the dairy farmers throughout this country who are producing an important part of the food we consume.

Later on, Sanders talks about how people don’t want to get their food from China* (I haven’t checked, are there any Chinese food products in the American market?).  I’ll stay focused on one point that he emphasizes in the video above: If Congress does not act.  Sanders, an avowed socialist, is nothing if not honest about who he is and what he believes in.  He believes sincerely (I think) that they only way to solve the problem of milk prices is for the United States Congress to do something about it.

His amendment (SA 2276) to the agricultural appropriations bill (H.R. 2997) allocates an additional $350 million to help raise prices paid to dairy farmers.  Compared to the billions being thrown around in Congress, $350 million is a drop in the bucket, but the thought process behind it is still dangerous (and costly – a million dollars  is still a million dollars no matter how small it may seem to someone of Sander’s position and influence).  To think that he can, with a stroke of the legislative pen, alleviate the plight of thousands of farmers around the country and that this is merely a step to solving the problem of price fluctuations is ridiculous.

The money will do little to nothing to save the family farms.  Which is precisely what works well with his agenda.  When farmers continue to go bankrupt Sanders has room to maneuver and claim that what Congress did before was inadequate and now they must do something more.  Ultimately, his vision would be one where the bureaucrats close to the Capitol would masterfully orchestrate the entire dairy industry (along with the auto industry, the banking industry, etc.).

There is always hope that the voters of Vermont will realize that what Sanders wants for the country is not in keeping with their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Because Vermont seems to attract liberals and repel conservatives, my hope may not be the same kind prophesied by Barack Obama, but it is hope nonetheless.

*I find Bernie’s obsession with China quixotic.  On one hand, the Chinese espouse and practice the socialist/communist ideals that Bernie cherishes.  On the other hand, he consistently vilifies them for flooding our markets with cheap goods.  Similarly, he heralds the cause of the working class citizens of America, but seems to have no respect for the working class citizens of China (or other countries for that matter).