Monday, December 14, 2009

Daggett Thanksgiving Letter - Dorothy Daggett Johnston [Nov 26, 1970]

                                                             11 Farm Lane
                                                             S. Dennis, Mass  02660
                                                             Nov. 26, 1970
Dear Family,
                           Happy Thanksgiving. Here's a story of interest
to all Daggetts of the New Vineyard, Me., Marthas Vineyard, Mass,
Vinal Haven, Me., tribe.
  Tristram Daggett, son of Elijah of Holmes Hole "drew his 100 acres
east of the New Vineyard Mountains near Clearwater pond.
Obtaining a back load of provisions at the settlement (Farmington)
on Sandy River he hired a settler to guide him up the mountain to
the town line, newly marked by spotted trees. Thence he traveled ax
in hand, identified his lot, made a camp by a spring, and began felling
trees. He soon brought his family to a log house.They remained there
for 3 years, then moved to West Mills.
   Tristram Daggett, as a young man, made his living from the sea at
Marthas Vineyard. He endured much suffering as a soldier in the 7th
Regiment (Mass.)Discharged June 8, 1783, with a badge of merit for
5 years faithful service. His discharge papers were signed, "G. Washington".
  Parcels of land were offered by the Continental Congress to soldiers
for settling. Capt. Tristram was joined by his cousins and their families,
(Capt. Sam Daggett, Capt. Nathan Daggett, Capt. Silas Daggett) in 1793.
 At this same time Daggetts left Marthas Vineyard to make a settlement
at Vynal Haven, Maine. You see, the people living on Marthas Vineyard
before the Revolutionary War were subject to severe attack by the English
who wanted to control "the best deep-water harbor on the Eastern
Sea Board".   The English pillaged the island and lived in the people's
homes and ate all their food. (In Edgartown, we saw the great fireplace
at Daggett House behind which was a secret stairway to a chamber where the
owner hid when the English red coats, or the Tory tax collector came.)
  The Continental Congress, or the Mass. Bay Colony sent the Islanders no
money or soldiers for

- The Islanders never suffered Indian Raids because of the Rev.
Mayhew's missionary work.                    (*Praying Indians?)
[from Embden Days of Yore  by (Wollock?)]


protecting homes & livestock, so the Islanders formed their own
SeaCoast Defense, and all men served. Many Daggetts appear.
They also protected the coast of Mass & what later became Rhode Isl.
(Bristol) keeping open the sea-lanes to port of New York.
  You remember that until 1691 the Elizabeth Islands (Nantucket
and Marthas Vineyard) were part of the Province of New York.
This was Kings County, Queens County (Long Isl.) and Dukes
County (Marthas Vineyard). After 1691, the Bay Colony (Mass.
got control), so after many raids, many Daggetts left their lovely
island to try their fortunes as land lubbers. To go to Vynal Haven,
makes sense, but how a sea farin' man ever managed to stay in
Franklin County, Maine, I'll never know.  Mr. Gould, who writes
for "Down East" Mag. says they went because their wives were tired
of having their men folk off at sea all the time.  But I think sea-
in-the-blood, stays in the blood, and as you study the saga of the
Marthas Vineyard Daggetts you will find many of the Sea Captains
returning to their island.   Of those who tried to claw out a living
in beautiful, ledgy, mountainous, New Vineyard, Maine, it appears
to have been "subsistence" living --- only one or two generations
could survive.  The William Talcott Daggett farming family is one
of these. They lived out their days in Anson, Madison, Canaan,Me.,
and 3 generations later were business men. But there were many
sons & daughters in Capt. Nathan Daggetts, and Capt. Sam's &
Silas families, who quickly decided the rocky land of Maine was
not for them, and in (1800s) pioneered far west to Michigan & Wisconsin.
    This year I have found a branch of our family in Alpina, Mich.  
I have pondered for years, and wondered about our family "out west". 
I wrote the Postmaster of Alpina, Mich. in April 1970, and he
gave my letter to a Mrs. Francis Daggett Thompson. She was a
daughter of George (*Frank) Daggett, brother of  grandfather
W. T. Daggett.  She made a great effort to send letters to
granddaughters of West Daggett (and Sam Daggett), and as a
result of this
                                     -3-              P.O.332
                                                  (Thelma Daggett)
we are now in touch Mrs. Geo. Hermanson, Lewiston, Mich.
granddaughter of Sam Frank Daggett, another brother of
Wm. T. Daggett.
(Please add our new cousin, Thelma to your Xmas list. It has been
wonderful to find our family out there; and for Thelma, it is very
exciting because they have sought knowledge of "Uncle Chris
(Columbus), my grandfather (Sam Frank Daggett) and uncle
West's parents and kin for many, many years.
     We still have not located another branch of Daggett family
who went to  Davidson, Wisc,    (*?), and to the Dakotas, and we
have kin in Blair, Nebraska.
       So, I think it exciting to have our ancestors beginnings on
Marthas Vineyard. My nana Daggett with all her love of history
and her patriotic fervor for the early days of our country would have
loved these many stories of whaling days, then the lucrative business
of coastal piloting.       For nana & grandpa the terribly sad
childhood of the Nathan Daggett family, New Vineyard, Me. ----
all those little children left with a young girl mother (Mary Lionell
was wed at 14) ---  the young husband and his brother died in a
prison camp in Va.   (Two brothers of Mary Giles and Sam Lionell
also died (same thing) ---  the farm bankrupt, the little ones went
to live with friends & relatives, and with their new stepfather, John
Davis, farmer of Canaan, Me.       Already gone out west, were
4 grandparents and 2 gr. uncles of this family  ---  the sons and
daughters of Capt. Nathan Daggett of Embden, Me. 
Letters of love & sympathy must surely have come to Mary Lionell
Daggett, and so to uncle Jesse.  The Wescott family, Colby family,
Gray family, of Daggetts, went grandpa William Daggett and his
brothers, Geo Frank, West, Columbus, Isaac, either to live
permanently or to visit. Leslie, the brother born after his father's
death, lived in Maine. He and George are buried with their mother,
in E. Skowhegan Cem.. "Leslie came often to visit his mother. He was
at work in the lumber camps of Maine". Nathan Daggett & his bride Mary

were also living in Wisc. briefly when 1st married.
    Another tragedy in Nana Daggett's own (Barrett) family was
that of the death of 4 little girls from diphtheria. Her mother never
got over it.  The babies died in 3 days.
   It is interesting to read of the settling of land in Maine after the
Revolution, and at Sandy River Plantation families visited back
& forth across the Kennebec, & married. Transportation was by boat 
to Ft. Western (Augusta) then oxcart. Corn was ground at this post,
and a man one bag on his back, one under each arm, 20 mi..  The
country was wild, "one evening while at supper, he saw through his
cabin door, a moose loping over the inter vale. He shot the moose
in it's tracks without leaving the table".   [Happy Face]
   1788 a Raising Bee was held to raise a log church, fortress at
the edge of 7 mile brook. It had no windows but port holes, and an
overhang for better protection from Indians. Called Free will Baptist
Tabernacle.   Rev. Hampton Purington (W. Bath) preached there.
   People settled here from Temple, N.H., Wollich, Wiscasset,
Georgetown, Dresden, as well as Marthas Vineyard and Rhode Island.
   Of course you will read for yourself the story of Capt. Nathan
Daggetts kidnap from Holmes Hole & his piloting the Fr. Fleet into
Yorktown Harbor, Va. --- of Capt. Seth Daggett's vessels trading
the West Indies. ---  of all the mittens, sock and wigs (stocking
caps) the wife of Capt. Sam knit & sold. --- of Capt. Sylvanus
Daggett of Holmes Hole, "The only pilot ever to have beat a frigate
out over the Shoals in a head wind",  ---  and his brother, Leander
Daggett, who first brought a Merino sheep to the island (brought
from a wrecked ship) and 1st rubber for shoes from Belém, Brazil.
  We hope our family in Michigan will come now with stories of
the overland trip, and the settling of their homes in Michigan
& Wisconsin.
        Every Daggett should get to the Island some day
        Every Daggett should go see "Daggetts rock & the old cellar
holes in Phillips, Me.   So lets tell all the little boys & little girls
the story of a stalwart family they may be proud of.

                     With love to all,          Dorothy Daggett Johnston

                                                                Nov 26 ' 1970


*Deciphering Dorothy's handwriting was not easy for me.
Also in some cases the wording just didn't make sense to me.
Due to the fact that all I have to work with is an old photocopy,
some parts just fade out of view at the bottom of the page
(like the "(Praying India..." at the bottom of the first page)
I did my best, and through research and comparison I managed
to figure out nearly everything. You might want to look at the
original first. See if you concur with my 'reading', and by
all means contact me with any suggestions or corrections!
I tried to keep the finished transcription as close to her original
handwritten letter as possible. I kept her spelling as she wrote it
as you'll notice with words like "Marthas" (Vineyard) and
also with the two different spellings if "Vynal" and "Vinal" (Haven).
Where you see a (*?) I simply couldn't understand what she
- I'm inserting scanned images of the 4 page copy I had to work with
below. If you click on the image it will open up into a full-page view.

All in all this was a wonderful learning experience.
I've wanted to do this for many years and finally I just sat
down and did it.

I hope Dorothy would like what I did and my presenting it on
the Internet to be read and appreciated by family and others.

I hope you enjoy it as well..

- Thomas Russell Daggett

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What next? - Then and Now

Now that Bush and his gang of war profiteers are [mostly] gone, what next?

We have a new president and the majority of Americans people have finally come to their senses, so what comes after the country and much of the world breathe a big sigh of relief?

There is so much to do to repair the damage done by the previous administration we need a triage system to manage this disaster.

I don't expect president Obama to magically wave a wand and fix everything that the Bush gang screwed up. I don't expect that I'll agree with everything he does or does not do. I don't expect him to fulfill all his campaign promises. There are too many undercurrents inside the beltway that are working against Barack Obama for him to accomplish that. He has to choose his engagements carefully, trust himself, and those people whose judgment he's learned to trust over the years and start eating the elephant bite by bite.

And if that wasn't enough of a challenge, the Republicans are admittedly doing nothing but throwing roadblocks in his way and publicly hoping that he fails. For purely political reasons the Republicans are working against fixing the very mess they (for the most part) created, America be damned. The only people they care about are what remains of their base. You know, the ones who evidently have no problem with Rush Limbaugh mocking the uncontrollable movements of a beloved actor, Michael J. Fox, that are caused by Parkinson's disease.. Or the thinly veiled and at times outright racism evidenced by things like the "...Magic Negro" song. The ones who through the wars, the lies, the belligerent dictatorial actions seen and unseen, and the refusal to admit reality still thought George Bush was doing the right thing.

(Original draft date 3/9/09)
- That's from a draft I just discovered.

Now, ten months into the new administration there's good news and bad news.
Some of the good news is obvious. We now have a president who is intelligent and pragmatic, progressive and engaging. A huge change from former president Bush, the ignorant, reckless, belligerent fool and the political Chickenhawks who surrounded him.

President Obama is representing our country well. He is gaining international respect for himself and for our country. He favors diplomacy over the bullying tactics of the Bush administration that turned allies into enemies (remember "You're either with us or against us"?).

He still has to prove himself over time though, and the 'guts' of a country don't automatically change when a new administration takes office. The career employees and the other branches of government are still there for the most part, and the 'legacy' placements of the previous administration can either help grease, or toss sand into the gears of a new administration.

This administration had a monumental task in front of it, and that task was compounded in those early days by a financial crisis whose magnitude had not been seen since the Great Depression.

I truly can't comprehend what kind of fortitude it took to not only withstand the pressures of those early days, but to do so with such confidence and grace. From what I've noticed, a good sense of humor must help, along with self confidence and a group of trusted advisors & friends.

Some of the bad news relates to (and stems from) the divisive culture nurtured during the Bush years. What used to be partisan wrangling has turned into rude combative obstructionism for so many of the Republican party. Add to that a racist element brought out by the election of our first black president and what we're seeing exposed is an incredibly ugly side of some Americans.

If that wasn't bad enough, irresponsible and egotistical glory-seekers like Limbaugh, Hannity, and Beck (to name just a few..) are fanning the flames of racism and dissent. An entire cable network, Fox (I won't call it 'News') is engaged in a campaign against the Obama administration. Truth, honesty, or any journalistic principals don't fit into their campaign to take the small group of remaining Bush supporters (and related malcontents) and use them to further their stated goal, that being the failure of president Barack Obama and his goals to fix what Bush and his party broke.

These people have chosen to engage in personal destruction at the expense of our country's health.

Some in the Republican party have compared this to the criticism of president Bush.
How childish and how ignorant!
The same can be said about many of the 'complaints' of the Teabaggers.

The culture of intolerance and hate that's been nurtured over the past eight years has grown to a dangerous level. Irresponsible elected officials like Michelle Bachmann are actually inciting individuals and groups who might just need a slight nudge or implied blessing to move from talk to action.

As I predicted (really going out on a limb..) in my original draft, our new president hasn't fulfilled all his campaign promises. Anyone who expected him to is extremely naive. Despite the best of intentions so many things change once you take over as President of the United States.

Previously unknown facts and issues now figure into your plans.

The competence of those you chose to delegate responsibilities to figures in and isn't always positive.
A cable 'disinformation' network might spend considerable resources (and any remnants of integrity they might have left) working with your failure as their goal.

And of course every organization or group that's been held down by the previous administration expects you to work tirelessly on their cause, ignoring all other factors.

My personal disappointments have been in the area of upholding the rule of law and the oath of office. I realize that I am ignorant of so much of what President Obama has to deal with, but I believe I do have a right to expect that a solemn oath be honored. When you swear "...To protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America..." you can't just choose to ignore serious and destructive crimes, not just against the Constitution but also those that violate international laws and conventions we've signed on to. Perhaps the worst crime being the lies told to gain acceptance and support for a war resulting in so many unnecessary deaths.

When our jails and prisons are overflowing with so many people convicted of non-violent crimes (including those involving marijuana), and also those who are addicted to heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamines (who should be given treatment instead of spending huge amounts of money to 'warehouse' them), you can't simply choose to ignore that oath you took and let those from the previous administration who [allegedly] committed crimes of such magnitude and far reaching implications go unpunished.

For someone who has faced all his other challenges with confidence, to "... choose to look forward instead of backwards ...", ignoring such destructive crimes is truly unbelievable and to me makes you complicit or at the very least guilty of obstructing justice. The same goes for the decision to continue certain secretive policies of the Bush administration, and to let the telecoms who enabled the country's many intelligence agencies to [illegally] spy on innocent citizens 'get off' without prosecution.

President Obama certainly knows what kind of precedent this sets, and how it will enable and give future administration the political cover to engage in similar (or worse) misdeeds. To be complicit in or enable that flies in the face of his otherwise honorable character traits.

It's sad to think that within the legacy of President Obama, this failure to uphold the rule of law, this failure to uphold the oath of office he swore to in front of the citizens of this great country, will tarnish all of the good things he accomplished. Not because he couldn't, but because he chose not to.

Overall I'm so proud of our president and the direction he's taken our country. He represents us well and is such a welcome change after the nightmare of the previous eight years. He is certainly not perfect, nor should anyone ever expect that, but he is an honorable man trying to do his best for his country, doing so in spite of an ugly exhibition of thinly veiled and at times outright racism. His honest attempts at bipartisanship are met with scorn and hostility. Pragmatic in other areas but as yet unable to be so in this case when the good of the country and limited time demand it.

There's still time of course. Two wars, a fragile economy, and the opposition party dedicated to do nothing but obstruct whatever you try to do (and I left a *few* things out) isn't that hard to deal with is it? [\sarcasm]

Best of luck Mr. President. I'm not sure how you've kept your sanity to this point but I'm sure glad you have. The ability to suffer idiots and assholes must be a part of it, something I don't do nearly as well. They're revealing their character and you yours.

I'm proud of you sir, but please don't ignore that oath you took. That and the Constitution are more important than any one of us.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Citizens Bank What Balls You Have

Of course it's not just Citizens, as many banks are similarly guilty of unbridled greed. Today was just another one of those days that brought it home to me.

I'll start by admitting that I have been lousy at managing money throughout my life. Over the past few years however I've been much better. During those previous years I must have contributed thousands of dollars in overdraft fees to the bottom line of various banks. Obviously that was entirely my fault, but the amount of the fees were and are increasingly exorbitant. Lately they're obscene.

This morning I went to Wal Mart for some groceries and more plastic storage tubs needed to pack items in before my second pest treatment (see my Endicott Dispatch blog to read about that nightmare). I spent about $97.

Meanwhile in my Citizens account(s) I was waiting for a reply to a message I sent them about what I thought was a mistake. My service fee for overdraft protection has been $3 monthly and last month I was charged $30, so I alerted them to that, expecting that $27 would be credited to my account.

I returned from shopping and logged in to my online banking account to see that my checking balance was $0.00 and my savings account was ($2.91). That means I was overdrawn by $2.91.

Then I saw that I had a message waiting for me. It stated that the fee for overdraft protection had changed from $3.00 monthly to $30.00 annually and that I'd been notified about this a couple of months ago.... Oh crap! Now I remember, the fee was actually going down and I recall being happy (and surprised) about that, but now there's no $27 credit to my account. Again, my fault, but I'm now overdrawn and my next social security deposit isn't for 10 days!

I hit "Reply" on the message from the bank and proceeded to explain my situation and asked for guidance. When I clicked "Send" a page popped up telling me that 'my session had timed out'.. No reminder warning me that this was about to happen, and besides, I was typing the whole time, why would a page 'time out' when I was actively entering text into a reply field?

Now I'm getting somewhat irritated and I fire off a message to technical support about the issue. Then I call the bank and speak with a customer rep. After explaining the situation and receiving an apology for the online problem the woman looked at my accounts and told me that I needed to deposit some money to cover the overdraft or I'd be charged $39 #^@*!%@ dollars!

Now don't forget that I have no income for 10 days when my next social security deposit arrives.. That $39 overdraft fee gets repeated until then!

All I could think of at that point was bankers partying it up at some posh resort thinking "Thank you suckers!" or some Citizens CEO getting a huge bonus and internally smirking while thinking about how their industry just got bailed out by the government (tax payers).

I'm not sure if I even want to watch the upcoming hearings where they'll be questioned about these overdraft fees. The greed and arrogance of these people seems to have no bounds. Any contrition voiced by them can't be taken seriously due to their continued arrogant behavior since the last time they were called to testify.

The whole situation is a farce, as is the 'debate' on health care reform. The majority of the population gets screwed by the corporations and most of our elected representatives support them while their re-election coffers are fattened in the process.

I have no problem with paying a penalty when I screw up. I do however have a problem when that penalty is milked over and over as a one teat on a cash cow.

Friday, July 24, 2009

What I Want To See From The Media & My Thoughts So Far

Here's what I'd like to see from the news media regarding the arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates:

  • A timeline of the event.
  • An explanation by legal experts of the laws pertinent in this situation.
  • Nationally recognized experts in the field of police standards and training.
At the moment my thoughts are that most of the statements I've seen so far are emotional knee-jerk reactions.

I didn't take President Obama's statement as a condemnation of the entire Cambridge Police Department as the the president of the Cambridge Police Patrol Officer's Association claimed. That seems to me to be a defensive mischaracterization of the president's remarks.

The demeanor of the officers that responded is more important than that of Mr. Gates. I believe that police officers are trained to remain calm and deal 'professionally' with subjects even if they're confronted with insults and the like.

It is nevertheless always a good idea and mature behavior for someone in professor Gates' position to also act respectfully. That's easier said than done of course, but as for the police it's essential to remain calm to diffuse and de-escalate a situation.

I always pause when I hear the head of an organization say that they will conduct an 'internal investigation' on one of their own, especially after taking a defensive stance as the Cambridge police have. An independent inquiry should be undertaken to eliminate the question of bias.

Finally, I have a feeling that most if not all the parties in this incident will at some point look back and have second thoughts about their statements and their behavior.

At least I hope they do..

Monday, July 20, 2009

I just re-read my "About Me" (then looked at the date of my last post..)

Well.... it was accurate when I wrote it!

As far as my blog for "blogsNH" (Concord Monitor Online) goes I should tell you that I stopped for personal/health reasons, and since then I've hesitated resuming for multiple reasons.

I have less energy because of some of the medications I'm taking.

Preaching responsible security can seem like an exercise in futility much of the time. I was spending a great deal of time and energy providing what could be a valuable service for readers and getting little to no feedback from either readers or the paper in return. A few fellow bloggers showed support but at the end of the day I can't justify the effort vs. energy spent.

The Monitor wasn't nearly as progressive as they could be. At that time they didn't even allow comments, and they still don't have live links to contact the reporter.

Too many of the articles (online) are poorly written. So many are brief blurbs leaving out most of the pertinent facts. It's like posting a headline and lead without any details, or showing a photograph without the cutline..

The blog software is clunky and all too often the communication with the Monitor personnel took too long. In addition to that, the contact person seemed to have some kind of relationship with a conservative right-wing group/podcast.

Finally, I simply don't like being associated with some of the more frequent bloggers there.
Nothing 'personal' towards them as people, and maybe it's me, but as a volunteer service as opposed to the responsibility of a professional position it's a choice I've made.

I do feel that the Concord Monitor Online is getting better and I hope that trend continues, albeit at a much more rapid pace. Perhaps loading up the blogsNH section with in-house sports blogs isn't fair to the citizen bloggers (despite my personal tastes/feelings). Having a separate section for Monitor employee blogs would be more appropriate, or maybe just expanding the space for blog headlines so that the sports blogs aren't all that readers see. That has frequently been the case lately.

I also feel that not having a dedicated contact person/supervisor for the blogs was an issue I noticed. My contact was splitting his time between various duties and that resulted in a lack of timely communication and probably less dedication towards improvements and innovation.

There are so many examples on the web of engaging site design and progressive staff enlisting reader and citizen participation in blogs, citizen journalism and reader commentary. But without management behind the scenes willing and able to let go of outdated thinking and bringing in some of the outstanding progressive professionals to replace those who perhaps aren't able to migrate into the new paradigm.

I'm certainly no expert but I think any unbiased assessment of Concord Monitor Online would conclude that there's a great deal of room for improvement.

This is one of those big historical shifts in technology and lifestyle affecting a wide range of industries. If those industries don't adapt, or are too slow to adapt, they will be left behind and die off.

As for me? I will keep going forward and see what each day brings. When I have the energy and motivation to write I will write.

I don't want to leave this existence not having made a positive difference. Unfortunately I have a great many negative actions in my past that I need to make up for, so since then I've tried to learn and grow as a human being, progressing on the road towards enlightenment.

I've isolated myself since then and need to change that now. Fighting the self-loathing and embarrassment I wallowed in for the last twenty years and learning to forgive myself is a challenge but essential. The prospect of living alone until I die is untenable. Finding a woman who has the intelligence, understanding, patience, and humor to share my life with is a similar challenge but also essential.

Wish me luck and positive thoughts OK? I'll be posting here and over at my other blog The Endicott Dispatch more frequently [again].

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Insanity, Irresponsibility, Hypocrisy, and Complicity

In the news today an "alleged" drunk driver ran a red light and killed a young pitcher in the prime of his life. After the sadness and some outrage nothing will change. This kind of thing happens every day and it's tolerated.

Yet the same people responsible for creating and enforcing laws in this country are dead-set against marijuana, even for medicinal use.

That's crazy hypocrisy.

Now I just watched William Cohan on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart explaining in very simple terms the insanely flimsy and 'hard to believe it's legal' foundation for Bear Stearns business model and the reason for it's collapse.

This is the first time I've heard about how this crazy system works. On all of the news programs, all of the political blogs, through all the political campaigns over the past twenty years I have never had an inkling of the insane system that the investment banking and hedge funds operate under.

That's crazy enough, but the thought of hundreds of Billions of taxpayer dollars being given to this same system (and many of the same people) to prop it up is the height of insanity and irresponsibility!

I think that if the people of this nation/world truly realized how they were being used to prop up this house of cards they would revolt.. and why don't they know?

Isn't that the job of journalism?

And why are our elected representatives part of the problem?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Some Random Thoughts Roaming My Mind

[Sorry about the screwy formatting (grrr), but I'm 'wicked tired' and I've got to eat something..]

1. People are frustrated by all this taxpayer $$ flying out the door and having no control.

2. The credit society most people live in got them (and the lending institutions) into very bad
unsustainable habits.

3. The Bush administration reinforced #2 by committing our forces to a war where the
American people were purposely kept disengaged (no 'war tax' etc.. "War? What war.
Mistakes? No mistakes here..").

Going from a balanced budget and a surplus to Trillion-dollar deficit spending under Bush.
'Heck of a job George...'.

3a. 'Due diligence'.... There was little to no 'due diligence' (except maybe to protecting
"secrets") over the entire Bush administration's tenure.

4. Current frustrations include millionaire financial misfits getting rewarded despite
the fact that they helped create the mess.

- And as far as I'm concerned, there is no place in a responsible society for
failure to be rewarded.

5. This bailout money is corporate welfare.
Ask any social worker about the restrictions imposed if you take public assistance.

I'm sure it's a culture shock and a rude awakening to these millionaire executives to have to
show restraint and contrition. To suddenly be answerable to the people who have to bail their
sorry incompetent asses out when they've gotten used to answering to no one except a chosen few.

Most people that have jobs work hard and many pay their bills on time, only to see their
retirement accounts wiped out or drastically deflated while top executives get their
'golden parachutes' and rewarding failure with 'performance bonuses'.

They see billions literally thrown at companies* owned by friends of Bush/Cheney. Billions
more thrown to corrupt foreign governments/officials and terrorist organizations.
They see inexperienced political appointees given the job of 'overseeing' critical programs
including spending in Iraq.
Instead of appointing the most competent people to government positions, neophytes whose
primary qualifications are party loyalty and monetary contributions to that same party
were chosen.

Crimes and mismanagement were covered up by over-reaching "secrecy" policies

Between the corruption here at home, and the corruption in many of the foreign
governments that we provide[d] money to, what percent actually got to where it was
supposed to? (We can't tell because too many of the people responsible for that were either
incompetent or complicit themselves!)

- Now picture yourself as President Obama [voluntarily] stepping into this huge
disaster created by seven years of Bush/Cheney and the republican majority (and *some*

You can't possibly accomplish anything by yourself (other than by example and leadership)
so you have to delegate much of it to others, some of whom will undoubtedly mess some
things up.

Being a man of courage class and honor he takes ultimate responsibility for his errors and
those in his administration who make mistakes (as opposed to 'having faith in them' but
taking no responsibility and never admitting to any mistakes [as the previous administration

If most people were truthful and honest with themselves, they'd have to admit that
(were they in President Obama's shoes) they would have either snapped under the pressure
or be looking for some form of escape via medication or heavy drinking.

To Obama's credit, he appears to be holding up fairly well and providing
leadership amidst all the turmoil surrounding him.

He needs to reign in some of his closest advisers though. Rahm Emanuel and others are
making his job harder at the moment.

Don't forget the Republican party (what's left of it), led by a hateful radio commentator (one
of many) who are acting like juvenile delinquents and doing absolutely nothing to help their
constituents by standing in the way of everything President Obama and Congress try to get

America needs their help, and they're hoping for (and contributing to) *our*

- Picture President Obama trying to scale a wall (holding America's future and
well-being) while other Americans (mainly Republicans) throw crap on him and
try to saw off the bottom of the ladder instead of helping him get up the wall.

And despite all this you will still find far too many people leaving comments on progressive
web sites [and others] being hypercritical, and saying things like "If Bush and Cheney were
back in the White House everything would be just fine.".
(Kool-Aid withdrawal/accepting
reality must be very hard for some )

*Some of whom provided sub-standard services, some that put the health and safety of our troops at risk, some that killed innocent civilians, alienating potential allies, some that
basically sanctioned rape of their own employees, and almost all of them protected from
criminal penalties by the administration who considered itself 'untouchable'.