Robert Pensack: An appeal to all Americans

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— On Nov. 22, 1963, while in my eighth-grade study hall at my high school, at age 13, an announcement came over the public address system that President John F. Kennedy Jr. had been shot and killed in Dealy Plaza in Dallas. I still remember the disbelief, shock and sadness that ran through my classmates and left me forever cynical about the forces of good versus evil that affect human existence and all of our life experiences here on this planet.

Kennedy represented to the majority of Americans and to the world community a unifying, humane and dignified American and world leader who embodied intellect, patriotism, courage and hope.

I grew up with a genetic form of heart disease called Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, which killed my mother when I was 4 and crippled my brother and I in our adolescent and young adult years. We both went on to receive life-saving cardiac transplants as adults, and we are both alive today at ages 60 and 57, respectively.

As teens, my brother and I were the lucky recipients of the best that medicine had to offer, as we both received incredible medical care at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the government-funded medical research facility that administers almost all of the meaningful medical research that this country carries out.

As a patient and beneficiary of government-run and government-funded medical research and care, I was fortunate enough to have my life saved on multiple occasions by a system that was, dare I say, nationalized or socialized. Life-threatening diseases are, in general, treated with the best expertise at our finest academic institutions of health care research. These are, for the most part, our University Medical Centers, the most blatant example of socialized medicine that exists in our country. The physicians who make up the staff at most of these institutions are paid by a governmental system funded by "We The People" of this great country. These physicians are, for the most part, motivated by a genuine thirst for knowledge and a desire to heal the sick. They work relentlessly for a system that pays them a fraction of what they could make in private practice. They represent the "Gold Standard" of excellence in our system of health care, and they are, for the most part, state government employees. So much for the argument that the quality of health care will go down if we have government-run and government-delivered health care.

Our teachers, firefighters, policemen, soldiers and most of our public servants are the real heroes of our society, and they should be encouraged and rewarded accordingly.

We need a change in the direction our culture has taken. We need to start caring about the future of each other and our planet. We need to create a society where knowledge is revered, where intellectual and cultural pursuits are encouraged, not mocked or frowned upon.

We need to choose a leader who is highly intelligent, compassionate, courageous, strong, fair and just, ethical, moral and honest. A person who can motivate us to focus on our common struggle as humans. A person who puts what is right first and emphasizes our common needs and desires as Americans and human beings. A person who will not bow down or cower to the power mongers who bully the world into doing what makes them wealthier and more powerful at any cost. A leader who can reach across to our adversaries and make a common peace with them so that we as a people can flourish and thrive as inhabitants of our common planet.

In my lifetime, I have never seen a politician who inspires the kind of hope in me that I last felt when listening to John, Bobby and Martin.

In 2004, I heard Sen. Barack Obama speak on TV as the keynote speaker at the National Democratic Convention. My heart and mind were inspired, as if struck by a lightning bolt from memories of past decades. I am not supporting Obama because he is a liberal Democrat or because he is the first serious potential African-American president. I am supporting him because he stirs in me the kind of passion and pride and hope that JFK, RFK and MLK inspired in me as a 13-year-old eighth-grader back in 1963. He represents all that is good about our American dream and our American ideals. He has the ability to unite us and cast aside our differences for the betterment of our country and our society.

I hope that all of you will throw away party affiliations and vote for Sen. Barack Obama to be our next president of the United States.

Comments

bikegirl 6 years, 6 months ago

Well said Bob,Obama has rekindled a new hope in me too,time for a change in a positive direction for all people on our planet.

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ColoradoNative 6 years, 6 months ago

Can someone explain to me what Obamas plan is for our country? I've yet to hear one.

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steamboatsconscience 6 years, 6 months ago

hey bore Wasn't you righties Hero Ronnie Reagan the "Great Communicator" Doesn't that put him in the same league as Hitler? Didnt Ronnie have charisma? Did you vote for Him? Anyone with oratory skills is just like Hitler? What a buffoon thou are. BTW did you catch your hero Jonah Goldberg on Bill Maher Friday? A lot more civilized than you my boorish friend. Methinks he would consider you a buffoon also.

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justathought 6 years, 6 months ago

sbvor, I have to agree with you on this one. All of his great speeches on "change" are just that, speeches. How much "change" will he accomplish without the house and senate behind him? All that this far left creator of social programs and re-distributor of wealth will get changed is higher taxes and all of the democratic politicians will get behind that change.

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steamboatsconscience 6 years, 6 months ago

bore you certainly love to throw terms around without applying them to both sides of an argument. Merriam Webster Dictionary totalitarian 1 a: of or relating to centralized control by an autocratic leader or hierarchy : authoritarian, dictatorial; especially : despotic b: of or relating to a political regime based on subordination of the individual to the state and strict control of all aspects of the life and productive capacity of the nation especially by coercive measures (as censorship and terrorism)2 a: advocating or characteristic of totalitarianism b: completely regulated by the state especially as an aid to national mobilization in an emergency c: exercising autocratic powers : tending toward monopoly. 2a) Sounds a lot like what the Bush Administration has done in involving us in an illegal and immoral war. socialism
1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods2 a: a system of society or group living in which there is no private property b: a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state3: a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done.

3) Isn't that where we are now? And widely promoted by the Bush Administration? The top 5% of people in this country hold 51% of the wealth

http://www.ncpa.org/pub/st/st289/st289c.html If I am stating the obvious, than I must be obviously correct. Correct?

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raver 6 years, 6 months ago

sbvor really isn't worth the time or thought to reply to.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 6 months ago

Wow- The Bore compares Obama to Hitler. I guess it's okay when talking about Obama, but compare the Bore to Hitler and somebody wets their pants. I think the Bore needs a pair of Depends.

Maybe I need to repost my past posting that compared Bore to Hitler just to hear the little girly scream "I demand an apology!!!" again.

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katrinkakelly 6 years, 6 months ago

Obama - Osama DUH? - sorry guy - not gonna happen.

Hilllary - Bill as the first man????????????????????????

WE are at WAR. Peace time and I would consider the above.

McCain - POW - with a possible Libertarian runnning mate! HELLO! give him a chance to get us out of Iraq without looking like VIETNAM!

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steamboatsconscience 6 years, 6 months ago

katrinka Iraq IS this century's Vietnam lets stop killing our children and innocent Iraqis in an immoral war started by an imperialistic President that is being continued so he can save face and hand it off to to next President who will not be named John.

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katrinkakelly 6 years, 6 months ago

Ok, how about Mike? Here is some great reading material!

Character Is the Issue: How People With Integrity Can Revolutionize America

by Mike Huckabee

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katrinkakelly 6 years, 6 months ago

Bob,

I will never forget watching the motorcade on television when our president John F Kennedy was killed. Time stood still in Naples FL. I will never forget boarding a plane to get out of Havanna the day Castro took over either. Or for that matter, Jimmy Hoffa and Jackie Gleason with Frank and Marilyn in Miami Beach!

Obama may be a fine canidate but not at this time.

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katrinkakelly 6 years, 6 months ago

I was an American born citizen on vacation with my parents.....................who lived in Naples, FL.

Obama "may" or may not be a fine canidate, I have no idea. I am not a Demorat (literally) or Cuban.

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mtnkids 6 years, 6 months ago

sbvor-- Steam Boat's Very Own Rush limbaugh

i wish i could muster up some pity for you, trapped in your pathetic, tiny minded little box of hatred, but, we all make our own choices, so i can't. you might want to consider getting a life.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 6 months ago

Give it time! Hatred shares a duplex with Contempt.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 6 months ago

Ahhh...the Messiah Complex. How self-important of you. I guess we loved Iraq so much we had to bomb it.

"I used to love her, But I had to kill her." Guns & Roses

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colobob 6 years, 6 months ago

Obummer? No how, No way! Just another one of the "cut & run" candidates that would allow the fight to come here on our own soil. At least JFK had a pair and knew when to stand and fight, not turn tail and run! I find the comparison of the laughable. And this isn't about race, it's about national security. I wouldn't care if the president elect was green with orange stripes as long as he or she held the security of our nation as their primary objective.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 6 months ago

Bore- 10FEB08 1210pm, this thread, above:

"I'll say it again...

Socialism is the common denominator among all totalitarians.

Obama is a Socialist AND a great orator:

http://nj.nationaljournal.com/voterating...

That makes him particularly dangerous (as was Hitler):

http://www.steamboatpilot.com/forums/ope..."

"That makes him particularly dangerous (as was Hitler):" "That makes him particularly dangerous (as was Hitler):" "That makes him particularly dangerous (as was Hitler):" "That makes him particularly dangerous (as was Hitler):"

Sounds like a comparison to me, you blind-a$$ed liar. You're really reaching now.

Is it time to post the phone number so others can thank you for your staunch idiocy?

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thecondoguy1 6 years, 6 months ago

sbc,,,,,,,,,,,,,, you ought to be ashamed of your self........... you are in contempt of the brave men and women including my beloved father who gave their lives so you could be free to spew your disgusting blather................ forget you, period...............................................

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 6 months ago

Bore's on the unicycle again. It's the only bike I know that allows you to backpedal.

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steamboatsconscience 6 years, 6 months ago

condo I am truly sorry for your loss, I have the utmost respect for those that serve. I too have been to the funerals of friends who returned from Vietnam in body bags. And a couple who made it back with grave psychological problems. Was fighting that "war" worth that cost? How many more would have died if we continued on? Is saving face worth even one life lost? Thats my opinion on the current "war". Our troops are dying so that this administration can save face in a foreign policy that has gone wrong. I am not going to proselytize here, I just want to save a soldier's family the pain that yours and thousands of other families had and have to go through for a government's "pride".

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 6 months ago

So, you compared Obama to Hitler. Thanks for admitting it, HDNbore.

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michaelc 6 years, 6 months ago

sbvor:

"These are crocodile tears from a surrender monkey who wants to see ALL our sacrifices to have been in vain:"

that really is a deplorable thing to say. how dare you tell those against the war they are incapable of feeling compassion for those that have died. this is so much worse than the ad homs you decry because it is demeaning in a deceiving, subtle way. you really are a snake, sbvor, from everything i've read. and i don't care what you say about other people, read what you're writing. the audacity of a the pro-war guy dehumanizing the opposition is startling. we can feel too, you know. your histrionics are tired, misleading, and no different from anything i could find on the am dial. this poor attempt at manipulating language and using it against "dissenters" is particularly horrific. please apologize?

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 6 months ago

You highlighted "Dangerous" when comparing to Hitler. We all know why Hitler was dangerous. When I compared you to Hitler, rightly so, you pee'd in your panties.

BTW- 400 ring a bell?

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michaelc 6 years, 6 months ago

sbvor:

"Michaelc, Out of respect for our war dead, I decline your invitation and stand by my previous comments."

again, this is a tired rhetorical strategy and is insulting to our intelligences. moreover, it's astounding logic. so because someone opposes the war, they are incapable of feeling for families who have lost children? answer me? i, as i am sure so many others are, am so distraught at all we have lost in the middle east (american and iraqi life) that it is beyond offensive for you to tell me how i feel, and frankly your succinct, dismissive tone is repulsive. i feel like an idiot having to defend my humanity to you, yet it is a position people are constantly put in these days with this administration and their talking points which you gleefully champion. it takes away the focus from what's really important: the troops and how your president treats them like crap with the veteran aid packages he provides.

have fun in sbvoreality, but i fear it too small for anyone else.

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michaelc 6 years, 6 months ago

you are unbelievably incapable of understanding what i am saying. if you honestly think you answered what i was talking about, then i don't know what to tell you. i am talking about you denying the opposition a human face, and yet again you are showing your true colors. people die in war and saying that iraq saved lives is an utterly teleological argument and is unsubstantiated.

i also find it funny that not one of the wars you mentioned had a moral component to them. they were, above all, a reflection of our hyper-realist global strategies.

overall, you approach this issue in such a myopic, narrow way that i wouldn't now where to begin in correcting you. i know, why don't i do a google search then copy and paste the link as if it were extremely edifying:

http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=blowback&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=war+on+drugs&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

believe it or not, war kills people and making it seem like such a white and black, good or bad, issue is simple-minded.

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Mary Stanton 6 years, 6 months ago

Wow kielbasa, if what you elude to is accurate, that would certainly explain a lot of his hot air!!!! It about knocked me off my chair.

It blows my mind how someone without a family member over there fighting in that war is always the one spewing about how righteous it is for us to be there.

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katrinkakelly 6 years, 6 months ago

People, are you afraid of some very factual "HISTORY".

Thank you SBVOR! I know we do not always agree but you got it right on this one!

Kiel-over, Does Lisa know that you are online most of the day with the Pilot instead of doing your job at your front desk?!

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 6 months ago

I'm most of the long stuff at home. What about you?

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 6 months ago

Plus, I average a 55hr work week, not including stuff I do from home.

Token- yes, I'm happily married, going on 10yrs this summer! LOL!

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Token 6 years, 6 months ago

Actually me too! Good for us! You just keep me from getting bore-d on this forum!

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Mary Stanton 6 years, 6 months ago

Plus, those who live in glass houses.........

Unless you are his boss and it does not interfere with him getting his work done, it's none of your business and not your place to ask. There are people all over this site, especially sbvor who has forums completely filled with his own rantings posted throughout the day and night, who spend far more time here than Matt

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 6 months ago

Token- I live to entertain!

And what I post doesn't prohibit my workload. I'm a workaholic; come in early, leave a little late, take a 5min break when I can. I prioritize quite well. You have the right to ask, though.

As I have always said: I have nothing to hide.

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JazzSlave 6 years, 6 months ago

Back to Obabma. I watched him deliver a speech last night in Wisconsin. Forced myself to sit through the whole thing. It can all be boiled down to this:

I bring you hope. We're going to bail out of Iraq. Hope is good. Exxon is evil. We must hope for hope. I will give you health care. Don't be afraid to hope. I will make your student loan obligations go away. I am the incarnation of hope. Vote for hope.

Just over 3,000 words to say next to nothing. But he said it well. The text, in case you have trouble going to sleep tonight: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/12/AR2008021203144.html?hpid=topnews

His charisma & magnetism are undeniable. But there's no There there.

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justathought 6 years, 6 months ago

Jazz, you left out CHANGE. Don't have any idea what he thinks he's going to change or how he's going to do it but if we dare hope for change (and vote for him) it will happen.

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Hadleyburg_Press 6 years, 6 months ago

Obama is hoping for change, but I'll bet he's looking for larger denominations...

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