Sunday, August 31, 2008

Who? Hu?

McCain says his thinking and choices are not about him, they are about America. Well, in picking Sarah Palin as a running mate he has turned this thinking upside down. This is clearly a grab for the disgruntled Hillary clan and clearly panders to the neocons. Let's picture a day when McCain is gone (sorry, but you always have to think about this) and she becomes president. Does that scare you? It scares me to death, even if she is a fine woman, great mother, etc. Let's picture her on the telephone with Putin. "Hello, Mr. Putin. How are you? How is the weather in...uh, er...where you are?" Or better still, "Hello, Mr. Hu." Aside, "Who is Hu?"

Now compare that to Joe Biden.

This shows a lack of judgment on McCain's part. And being president takes judgment and the ability to look further than your nose.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

One heartbeat

One heartbeat from the presidency: Sarah Palin.

She opposes abortion of any type, including incest and rape.
She denies that global warming is a result of human activity.
She supports teaching creationism in public schools.
She favors drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Two years ago she was the mayor of an Alaskan city of less than 10,000 people.
She has been the governor of Alaska for 18 months.
She is an opponent of listing polar bears as a threatened species.
She favors legislation to allow wolf hunting from helicopters.
She favors legislation to allow bear hunting from helicopters.
She opposes protection for whales.

There is an ongoing investigation involving her actions in her home state.

From the Fairbanks, Alaska, Daily News-Miner:

"Sen. John McCain's selection of Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate was a stunning decision that should make Alaskans proud, even while we wonder about the actual merits of the choice.... Alaskans and Americans must ask, though, whether she should become vice president and, more importantly, be placed first in line to become president.

From the Anchorage, Alaska, Daily News

"It's stunning that someone with so little national and international experience might be heartbeat away from the presidency.

These remarks come from Sarah Palin's home state newspapers.

Pigs were Murderers!

Did you know that pigs were responsible for killing many Native Americans during the early years of our nation?

Queen Isabella, the one who sent Columbus to the New World, thought it would be a good idea for him to take lots of pigs on the journey. It made sense because: 1) pigs reproduce quickly and from an early age 2) pork is high in calories and protein 3) Jews don't eat pork (this was the way they'd know if any Jews had sneaked aboard without converting beforehand - this was back in the Inquisition days).

What she didn't know was that pigs, or at least the piggies from Spain, carried lots and lots of nasty diseases. So, if the Spanish had been able to keep all the little piggies in a pen, it would have been okay. But pigs are smart and they learned how to escape and ran off into the woods to do their piggy thing. And of course that included poop. Other animals living in the forest and doing their thing just like the piggies, like deer, rabbits, etc. were on the menu at the local Native American McDonald's. Next thing you know the NA's were eating deer and rabbits loaded with nasty piggy diseases. They got very sick very quickly and died.

So the moral of the story is EAT KOSHER!

Friday, August 29, 2008

George and Buddy, welcome to Wal-Mart


George is broke. His friend has money. His friend has good stuff to sell. George likes good stuff.

George says, "Hey buddy, I'd really like to buy some of your stuff. But I'm broke."
Buddy says, "OK, I'll lend you ten dollars. Just pay me back eleven dollars later."
George: "Wow, you really are my buddy."

George: "Hey Buddy, sell me some of that stuff."

Buddy thinks, "George is an idiot. I just lent him $10, he owes me $11, and now he wants to use the money I lent him to buy some of my stuff. I can charge him whatever I want because I know how much he wants my stuff."

Buddy says, "Sure George. And because you are my friend I'll give you a great deal. I normally sell my stuff to my other friends for $20 but I know you only have $10 so I'll sell it to you for just the $10!"
George: "Deal!!!"

So, Buddy makes $1 interest on the $10, gets the $10 back by selling the stuff that cost him $1 for the original $10. So George is still broke, has $1 worth of stuff, and owes Buddy $11.

If you are wondering, George is the United States and Buddy is China. And it's all true. We borrow money every day from China, billions, we buy their stuff and owe them the billions plus interest. And they sell us stuff, lots of stuff.

Welcome to Wal-Mart.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Executive Order

Definition: A legally enforceable order, decree, or regulation issued on the authority of the head of the executive branch of government

This is an order by which a president may circumvent the constitutional legislative process. In other words, it violates the Constitution by giving the president powers which are not expressly written in the Constitution. It is a powerful weapon for any president, and has been used without restraint by both the Clinton and Bush II administrations. Checks and balances? Only when we think it will pass.

To witness the extent to which the Bush administration has abused this power, do a search for "Bush executive orders" and you will find:

Executive Order: Blocking Property and Prohibiting Certain Transactions Related to Burma

Executive Order: Blocking Property of Additional Persons Undermining Democratic Processes or Institutions in Zimbabwe

Executive Order: Blocking Property of Additional Persons in Connection with the National Emergency with Respect to Syria

Executive Order: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Executive Order: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Undermining Democratic Processes or Institutions in Belarus

And my particular favorite:
Executive Order: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq

So who are these people undermining the democratic processes of Syria? Please explain because I was under the impression that Syria was far from a democracy. Or is Bush saying that we as Americans cannot deal financially with Syria, or is it up to the president to decide who what and where as it applies to any of these countries? Is this not Imperialism?

I am not an absolutist when it comes to isolation. Rather, I believe America should follow a policy of hands off. Non intervention of the Washington-Jefferson type. Intervention and Imperialism are one and the same. Imperialism and unlimited executive power are one and the same. To paraphrase Hitler, if you can convince the people that what you are doing is for their own good then you are home free. So after 9/11 we have been propagandized into believing in the "war" on terror. We have had the Constitution sterilized by the "war" on terror. We have wasted trillions of dollars on the "war" on terror. We have had the dollar's value cut to nothing by the "war" on terror. We as Americans have done exactly what the alleged enemy wanted from the get-go. We have destroyed ourselves without them lifting a finger. And we should expect more of the same unless real change comes.

Now, read my favorite EO, dated July 17, 2007. You are by law prohibited from threatening the "Stabilization Efforts" in Iraq. I must ask, who destabilized Iraq in the first place? Now we as Americans are prohibited from demonstrating against the "war?" Is this how Americans are protected in the "war" against terror?


Hopefully you have not pulled out every hair from your balding head searching for the answers to my "Presidential" questionnaire.

Here they are:

1. James Madison
2. Martin van Buren (born post 1776, get it?)
3. Lincoln, Garfield (the man not the cat), McKinley, Kennedy
4. No
5. James Monroe
6. Thomas Jefferson
7. Thomas Jefferson
8. 4th
9. 5th
10. Jefferson and John Adams
11. 0, he was never president
12. Ulysses S. Grant
13. Arlington, former plantation of Jefferson Davis (president of the Confederate States of America)
14. Give me liberty or give me death!" Patrick Henry
15. True (16)
16. 20
17. Theodore Roosevelt (not JFK)
18. Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt
19. William Howard Taft
20. ?
Random thoughts of the day.

Why oh why did Zhang Yimou pick Jimmie Page and Whole Lotta Love to represent London and the UK at the closing ceremonies of the 2008 Olympics. I mean, this is the land of Shakespeare, The Beatles, God Save the Queen. Come on people, get over Led Zeppelin.

Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps are aliens. I can prove it. Nobody can run that fast or swim that fast. There, I proved it.

Anyone notice the top two video releases this week? The Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana. I'm old. The New Kids on the Block are back. They are old enough to be Miley's dad (sorry Billy Ray). So if that's true then where does that place Jimmie Page? And me?

It would be very cool if the Tampa Bay Rays finished ahead of the Red Sox and Yankees. I'm tired of New York and Boston dominating the sports pages.

Putting aside the lighter side, if you haven't noticed yet the New Cold War is getting hotter. I don't quite get what is going on in Georgia (the country not the state) but the Russians are saying they have successfully tested a missile that is capable of breaking through the proposed US missile defense. Oh great. Here we go again. Does anyone believe that either Obama or McCain can handle this?

Did you know that we have American troops in 130 countries around the world? Yes, 130. Why?

George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both viewed an isolationist policy as best for the new nation. Both agreed that aligning with foreign nations was not in the best interest of the United States. Both agreed that becoming entangled in foreign intrigue was not in the best interest of the United States. Yes, it's a different and much smaller world now, but it makes no sense to me that we have troops in 130 independent nations around the world.

And finally, why are we still in the 60's regarding Cuba? We deal with China, we negotiate with North Korea and Iran and are cozy with the oppressive Saudi regime. Isn't it time to say hello to Cuba?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The voice of the people

I had an interesting conversation this afternoon with a police officer friend of mine. We had never discussed politics before, so I had no idea of what his thoughts were concerning McCain and Obama. The discussion came up because yesterday was the local election primary for Indian River County right here in Mayberry, er I mean Sebastian, Florida. Now this guy is not your typical police officer, and his wife even claims he has three distinct personalities. I won't go into details because some of you may know him. So we got into this discussion and he comes out with this anti-Obama speech that rather startled me since I never expected a dyed-in-the-wool Republican in this person. But he based his assumptions on Obama thusly: he's a Muslim front for terrorism, a crook, and he scares my policeman friend!!! To say I was startled is an understatement, and I laughed it off as him trying to get my goat. Nope, he was dead serious. I asked him what he thought of McCain. Isn't too crazy about him either, but he's got it over Obama. Then I jokingly asked him if he felt so negatively about Obama due to the fact that Obama is black. "Hell, no, I don't care what color he is he just scares the ---- of me."

So where does this lead me? I am not all that fond of Obama. He's a face without substance, IMHO. But a Muslim front? Uh uh. But it got me to thinking how many other Americans might be thinking the same thing. Or is this guy just an aberration? Somehow I don't think so. I truly believe that when lots of middle Americans (either called so due to class or location) pull that curtain behind them on election day, their base prejudices will rise to the fore. And that is what scares me.

What is the voice of the people? What will convince voters on election day? Will it be the economy? Will it be party alignment? Will it be Iraq? Or will the voice of the people be good ole' down home racism?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Change to WHAT?

So we are currently swamped with the latest rhetoric, "Time for change!" Change to WHAT? Real change can only come when a real honest to goodness Washington outsider becomes president. Why? The very fact that McCain and Obama are the choices solidifies the Washington insider mentality of both parties. Both candidates are dependent on other Washington insiders to get to the point that they are now. Both need the support of Big Business. Both need the support of Big Money. Without that they cannot possibly win. Neither candidate has enough fortitude to stand up and fight for his platform of ideas. Real change will not get their face on TV. Presidential elections are not really about changing anything but the face that occupies the Oval Office. Since the Kennedy-Nixon debates our presidents have been elected as much on the basis of how they look as what they talk about. Obama is a perfect example of this. His speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention catapulted him into the national spotlight. But his popularity has nothing to do with his politics. What are his politics? Change? But, the fact that he speaks intelligently and makes a good appearance is enough for many people, especially those who are sick to death of the neo-cons now in command. But the reality is that he offers little that is directly opposed to McCain. McCain's campaign is based on one point and one point only: He is not Obama.

That leads to my next point. Why is it that politicians seem to have only one approach, i.e. my opponent is a crook, a liar, and worse. Why aren't these guys ashamed of their own record which is probably just as unseemly as their opponent. And why not tell us what you would do if elected, rather than what your opponent has so dastardly done in the past and would do if elected. That's the politics of negativity. And it's used ad nauseum.

Soon we will be inundated with Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton bad mouthing Obama courtesy of the McCain clan. They will throw every negative comment used by the Democrat side at Obama. In the meantime they will adroitly sidestep any direct answers as to what McCain is all about.

Soon we will be inundated with remarks about McCain being more of the Bush years. They will throw every weapon they have at McCain. In the meantime they will adroitly sidestep and direct answers as to what Obama is all about.

Is this the best America can do?

You want real CHANGE? Write in Ron Paul.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Going to "Electoral" College

Many students throughout the US will be heading off to college during the next few days and weeks. The future of America rests in their hands, or so we like to think.

But how many of us know that we, too, are heading off to college? Huh? Yes, everyone who votes in the November election will be going to college.

How many voters in the country are aware they we do not directly elect our president? Chances are that even our current president may not be aware of this fact. Our system of electing the next president is an outgrowth of the Virginia Plan. It is known as the "Electoral College." Basically the idea was to incorporate both the popular election and the legislature into one system. Thus in each state the voters actually elect delegates from one party or the other who pledge to cast their votes for the winner of the general election in their state. Pledge but are not obligated to do so. The number of votes for each state is the total of Senators and Representatives from that state. The total number is 538. You need a majority to become president, hence 270. Originally the idea was to prevent election fraud and the fear that the voting population would not be informed enough to vote properly. Thus this somewhat cumbersome and antiquated and misunderstood system. But in all fairness to the Founding Fathers, they were not far off the mark when they worried about an uninformed electorate. Just ask an American to name the first five presidents, or even the last five.

So, my thinking here is that rather than deal with this 200+ year old method, we stand McCain and Obama up (in McCain's case prop him up) before the American people and ask them a couple of questions. The one who gets the most right answers is our next president.

So, fellas, here we go:

1) Who is considered the "father" of both the Virginia Plan and the Constitution?
Hint: His wife's name was Dolly, he was our shortest president, and probably weighed less than 100 pounds soaking wet.
2) Who was the first president born in the United States?
Hint: It's probably not who you think it is.
3) Name the presidents who were assassinated while in office.
Hint: There were four of them.
4) There is one mention of religion in the US Constitution.
Hint: Fill in the blank...
______religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States
5) Which president was the author of the Monroe Doctrine?
Hint: It wasn't Marilyn.
6) Who was the first Secretary of State of the United States?
Hint: He was also the second Vice President
7) Who was the second Vice President?
Hint: He was also the first Secretary of State
8) Which amendment protects citizens from unreasonable search and seizure?
9) Which amendment guarantees every American citizen "due process?"
10) Which two presidents died on the same day, July 4, 1826?
Hint: The day is exactly 50 years to the day after the signing of the famous document that one of them wrote, the other stepping aside so the former could do so.
11) What number president was Benjamin Franklin?
Hint: It's less than ten
12) Which president is buried in Grant's Tomb?
Hint: He became president after Johnson
13) What famous cemetery was once a plantation belonging to a president?
Hint: He was NOT president of all the states
14) Finish this famous quote. "I know not what course others may take; but as for me..."
Hint: He was the real "Patriot Act"
15) True or false: there is a Constitutional provision for a personal income tax.
16) Abraham Lincoln wrote in the Gettysburg Address, "Four score..." What is a score in years?
17) Who was the youngest man to become president?
18) Name the president's represented on Mount Rushmore.
19) Who was the only man to be President, Secretary of War, and Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court?
20) Do you still beat your wife?

Sorry, fellas, no sports trivia or questions about how many houses you own.

That's my idea, and I'm sticking with it.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Joe Biden, the People's Choice?

How important was it, is it, that Obama pick a "Presidential" VP? Certainly post Cheney we need to have someone who represents the American people. Not a war monger. Biden has been criticized as being outspoken. Maybe that's a good thing. Some of his comments, especially concerning Obama's readiness for the No. 1 job, will be repeated ad nauseum by McCain. But let's give some credit here to both Obama and Biden. Biden spoke his mind, Obama chose him anyway. Biden is certainly a Washington insider, but aren't they all? Is he any less so than McCain? Or Obama? And that catch phrase has been used over and over, but exactly what does it mean? It can only be seen as a scare tactic, but I don't think the Republicans can throw that around considering McCain's experience as a Senator.

And speaking of McCain...he was a prisoner of war for 5 years. He has physical ailments that inhibit his movements. Physical. How about mental? His many slips of the tongue are slips of the brain. Is he what we want in the White House? Is it far fetched that someone who was supposedly tortured for five years would have some degree of mental problems? I once got to know a WWII prisoner of war. He was tortured by the Japanese, and described to me the demeaning methods to which he was exposed. Some fifty years later it was still as if it happened to him just that morning. Would it have any less effect on McCain? Does he have the physical and mental ability to handle the world's most stressful job? I don't believe so.

This is just four more years of Bush. Where are the Washingtons, the Jeffersons, the FDRs that this country once produced? Where is the leadership that we once were praised for in JFK, Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt? Even Clinton. Eight long years of America heading downhill is quite enough for me.

I may not be caught up in the Obama headlights, but the Republicans have let this country down and it is time for change, big change.