Dick Palmer: Consider being happy or go crazy

Getting ready for Christmas is always a crazy time for most of us, and it isn't getting any easier as the years continue to roll on by. And yet, the message of Christmas has endured centuries on end with a basic message of "Peace on Earth, Goodwi...

Getting ready for Christmas is always a crazy time for most of us, and it isn't getting any easier as the years continue to roll on by. And yet, the message of Christmas has endured centuries on end with a basic message of "Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward Man."

World conditions, especially today, are certainly contrary to that basic concept. Even though most of us favor a friendly world atmosphere, we are being victimized by religious conflict and economic turmoil on a scale beyond our wildest imagination. Although America is experiencing great economic times, the political turmoil is taking a heavy toll. Today, Americans everywhere are angry, divided and bewildered. Our future is clouded. Are we going crazy?

For those of us who grew up in the 1930s and 1940s, life was relatively simple. Few people had any money and neighborhood relationships were one of our most important assets. We played together, cried together and faced a difficult future of world tyranny, united with resolve, even though many of us paid the price with personal sacrifice, loss of family members in war and the uncertainty of a meaningful life in the immediate future.

We survived and the United States became a greater nation dedicated to world peace and understanding. We helped rebuild some of the very nations that today would spit in our faces at the drop of a hat. America continues to turn the other cheek and today remains the greatest nation on the Earth. Because the world is getting smaller, our enemies cannot tolerate our presence as a nation united by religious freedom, unlimited opportunity and always benevolent to friend and foe alike. So with that, I ask again, are we going crazy?

There is no question terrorism is our greatest enemy today. It's unfortunate that too many Americans are quick to blame President Bush for this developing worldwide disaster that came into focus years and years ago. If we don't draw a line in the sand right now, America is in serious danger and the Twin Towers disaster on Sept. 11, 2001, will only be remembered as a blip on the screen of worldwide disaster. We are at war with extremism that can only be stopped by a united world effort. That's what puzzles me the most here. How can nations like France and Germany sit back and ignore the very presence of terrorism in their own countries and not back up the United States whose resolve returned dignity, religious and economic freedom to millions of German and French people? Today these nations sit on their hands and badmouth us instead of joining this worldwide attack on religious extremism. Are we going crazy here?


Politics today is way out of balance in our country. Even though Democrats and Republicans worship together in churches, synagogues and mosques throughout our land, eat the same foods and enjoy the same freedoms, political "attack lines" have blurred our international image as a country based on religious, political and economic strength.The ongoing, embittered effort to gain political power with rock throwing and mud slinging does not coincide with the democratic strengths that built our nation. Terrorism is our enemy and it is going to take more than political barbs to defend this nation against perhaps our most serious enemy since our founding fathers gave us the independence to work successfully within a diverse society of immigrants willing to make the sacrifices needed to sustain a democratic and free society. This makes sense to me, or am I going crazy here?

And as an aside to all this, several times a day I want to throw my telephone through the window because of the tons of solicitation calls flooding the telephone lines. It's ridiculous and I hang up on most of them. The thing is, buying stuff over the telephone doesn't make much sense when you can buy most of it right here in this area. Local, yes, even national chains located here, hire your friends and neighbors who pay taxes and help support the services you and I depend on every day of our lives.

So, are we going crazy here or is there just enough space left in our brains to appreciate what we have and express our love for our country without the terrible rhetoric spreading doom and gloom through our nation?

On the lighter side

Emil Trygeness doesn't think he was a wanted child. He tells Ole that when he was born, his dad passed out cigar butts.

Dick Palmer is the former editor and publisher of the Budgeteer News. He may be reached by telephone at 729-6470 or by

e-mail at .

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