Wednesday, June 02, 2004

My Two Brothers

As I mentioned, I have a brother who is in the Air National Guard. Because he may be deployed sometime soon, I will not put his name and rank on this public blog. My military brother is 1 1/2 years younger than I am. He has been living in Arizona for over 15 years. He is married and has two young children.

For the first 10 years that he lived in Arizona, I lived in Philadelphia,Pennsylvania. Opposite ends of the country and we did not communicate very much nor see each other a lot. Largely, because during that time, we were both financially constrained. I can say we didn't even talk over the phone. For the last 3 years I have made an effort to visit him and his family as often as I can. My traveling with my job allows me to get travel rewards for free flights and car rentals, plus, he is close to San Diego so I will occasionally stop over there on the weekend instead of returning home if I have to return to San Diego the following week. My company doesn't mind because it is cheaper than flying me all the way back to Kansas City.

Anyway...after so many years apart, this last year we had a lot of conversations about business and politics. The funny thing is that we both have many of the same beliefs, management styles and politics even after spending so much time apart. We are both serious Republicans when our parents were staunch Democrats. Imagine that! Of course, I can't tell a lie. In my 20's, I still voted Democrat and thought the Republicans were a bunch of neo-fascist that wanted to take our rights away. How else can I explain voting for Bill Clinton in both elections? I was not doing drugs, I swear (at least, I didn't inhale)!

The last four years I became disillusioned with the Democrats because they spent way too much time trying to run down other peoples plans and not enough producing of their own. Not to mention, on Sept 11, I woke up to a new world and realized that I would not have wanted Al Gore to be president during that time. In my mind, Al Gore was a "good management" type and not a visionary. Too much sticking with the tried and not so true policies. I was looking for a new plan and the Republicans offered it.

Let me stop there. I will do "why I am a Republican with informed dissent" on another occasion.

Point of this entry was to say that my military brother called this Tuesday and told me something important was on the news. It appears that manufacturing jobs are at the highest since 1973. ISM Index Rises That is huge. Particularly as the Democrats and the liberal media keep trying to tell everyone that the economy is still down and is not making it's way back up. That is the plan that they are working on for the election anyway. Not "how will I get more jobs going", but how the other guy isn't.

My bro' and I talked for awhile about the information because he knew I was talking to a friend who was one of the "the Republicans are only helping the rich by cutting taxes" people and insisted that any job growth was only in the low paying services sectors. This was irrefutable proof that was a bunch of hogwash. And since in was on the most "liberal" news organization CNN, you can't really argue that it's a Republican spin. Of course, the Libby's tried to spin it anyway by saying that it still hadn't replaced the 3 million jobs lost in that sector.

As a numbers person, that was a bunch of bull to me. I mean really, how do you get "highest employment rate since 1973" and still not replace the jobs? Somebody's got their eyes closed.

I have to tell you, I am not really a conspiracy theorists per se, but with the way the media reports nothing but negative, negative, negative on the job the President is doing, even though the indicators prove differently, it makes me start thinking that the news media IS the 5th column and is desperately trying to influence the elections.

My other brother who is 5 years younger than I am, is one of those "the Republicans are screwing us" folks. He has 3 children. He has two children who are receiving disability checks from the state. This enables him to stay home with the children. His wife works a part time job because she couldn't take the lack of other grown ups conversation (LOL!LOL!). I thought that was funny because she was obviously including my brother in the "non-grown up" group. Don't get me wrong. My brother is a good guy who would give you the shirt off his back, but he definitely thinks the government could do a little more "shirt giving" if you know what I mean.

He got pissed off last year when the big tax credits for people with children was en-acted and he didn't get any. Of course, I tried to explain to him that, since he fit into the lower tax bracket and got full credit for 3 kids, he got all of his tax money back and then some at tax time and that he could not expect to get more of somebody else's money when he didn't pay it in. The argument was lost on him of course as he continued to insist that only the "rich" got any benefit.

I reminded him that I was one of those people who got a benefit from the tax cuts and that I was not rich. The tax cuts were to help the middle income people because they are the ones that pay out the most. He told me I was a "brainwashed" lackey of the rich and I told him he was a "socialist bastard" that should go live in Sweden or Germany if he felt he wasn't getting taken care of. We had a few other exchanges on the subject and the war in Iraq, but I will leave that for later.

Suffice it to say, we do not agree on politics. But don't let that confuse you about our relationship. After we had that "discussion" we popped the top of some brewskies and sat down to watch some movies with his wife and kids. The next day, Memorial Day, we did the big barbecue with our relatives. He paid for most of the food and drinks (what does that tell you about his financial situation?)He only lives 15 minutes from me so I spend a lot of time over at their house visiting when I am in town.

That is the story of my two brothers. I love them both dearly. One I didn't really see for a long time, but somehow shares by beliefs and the other I think was adopted! :)

1 comment:

Jeffrey said...


That was a great blog. Really good. I'm going to stop back here for sure.