brotherpeacemaker

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Policy Should Never Trump Integrity

Maybe you’ve seen the video of Arizona Senator John McCain practically calling a reporter a liar when it comes to the military’s handling of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy effecting gays and lesbians serving in the military (click here to see the video). Mr. McCain was adamant. He didn’t care what evidence anybody could produce to the contrary. Mr. McCain was insistent that the military does not actively search the emails of its personnel to find people who were homosexual. Mr. McCain said he knew people in the military and based on that knowledge alone he would defend the entire military. It was impossible that anybody there would do anything otherwise. People in the military simply do not do anything that goes against policy.

And to think that at one time this man was the conservatives’ best shot at obtaining the White House.

Mr. McCain’s support of the entire military might have been admirable if it wasn’t so bullheaded. He simply refused, or at least said he refused, to understand that there are people in the military who would use military resources to actively find homosexuals in the military who never made their sexual orientation an issue of their service. Mr. McCain didn’t care what anybody said, it simply doesn’t happen. It is totally impossible and any thought of an investigation to determine if anything might be different is a total waste of time and not worth his attention. The military would never do anything to harm any gay or lesbian person serving in the armed forces. It simply isn’t something that people in the military are concerned about.

This is interesting because just the other day every last Republicans serving in the United States Senate voted against any change to the military’s policy towards homosexual serving because of its potential harm to the military machine. There are way too many people serving in the military who are so against anybody wearing their unorthodox sexual orientation openly that they would be willing to abandon their service to their country as a protest to an end to the current status quo. But Mr. McCain will insist that these same people would never do anything to harm the career of their fellow homosexual soldiers. Can you really have it both ways?

I suffer from no illusion that there are people who are willing to give up their military career to keep our homosexual brothers and sisters in their rightful place. A gay or lesbian soldier enjoying the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts is simply not the American way. Too many of us feel that we need to have strong reminders to people who are different in order to keep our mindset of heterosexual superiority.

Everyone knows that homosexuals serve in our armed forces right along with their heterosexual counterparts. Even the people in the military who would like to rid the military of all gay and lesbian personnel know that these people are serving. That’s probably why they would be so willing to break the rules to expose the homosexuals among us. To think otherwise is to pull a maneuver that’s the equivalent of sticking one’s head in the sand or plugging one’s ears with one’s index fingers.

Our military is not an organization of saints. This is the same organization that is associated with the Abu Ghraib correctional facility scandal that exposed the physical and mental abuse of so many Iraqi citizens at the hands of so many military personnel. True, only a handful of military personnel were prosecuted for those crimes. But to think that a few grunts at the bottom of the military chain organized that entire fiasco is to truly underestimate the deviousness of the military machine.

Like any organization of hundreds of thousands of people, the personnel that comprise the military run the gamut of human behavior. That’s why it’s such an asinine statement to say that it is totally impossible that anyone in the military can be bastard enough to destroy somebody’s career out of spite. Personally, I know a lot of people who have served in the military and a good percentage of those people don’t have the integrity to change a light bulb let alone keep their nose out of the affairs of fellow soldiers despite what Mr. McCain might insist on to the contrary.

Believe it or not, I can appreciate the military machine of the Untied States. I like the fact that the mightiest military on the face of the earth is intended to keep us safe. But that intention can be easily misconstrued for an alternative purpose. And just like the military keeps us safe, we need to do our best to keep our military safe. We can’t afford to pretend that corruption in our military is such an impossibility that we cannot entertain the thought of examining evidence that might prove otherwise. Our military deserves better.  The people in the military serve to protect the freedoms of all Americans and not just the ones who happen not to be homosexual.

Some people are homophobic. They hate gays and lesbians to the point that they would actively wreck the careers of their fellow soldiers for whatever reason floats their boat. Like all citizens of the Untied States, people in the military are free to hate that which they may hate. But they cannot discriminate against people solely on the basis of that hate. People in the military are just as capable of breaking laws and policies as anybody else. You’d think that somebody who would want to be President of the Untied States would work to protect all its citizens despite their sexual orientation. Mr. McCain proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that we cannot sit back under same false assurance that somebody else can handle things on our behalf.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010 Posted by | Homosexuality, John McCain, Life, Republicans, Thoughts | | Leave a comment

How Not To Play Basketball by Sarah Palin

Basketball Net

Death happens in sets of threes.  And political careers of Republican conservative politicians appear to be no exception.  First we have Nevada Senator John Ensign’s admission of an extramarital affair that turned into something out of a soap opera, with the Senator’s aides accusing the husband of his former mistress of extortion by demanding a substantial cash payout.  In order to end his nightmare, Mr. Ensign laid his adultery on the table for the world to see.

Second, we have South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford who figuratively and courageously told his constituents to go to hell as he boldly went by his lonesome where no politician has ever gone before, at least while in office and without his entourage, to have a tryst with his mistress way, way, way south of the border in Argentina over the Father’s Day weekend.

And now we have our third.  On the eve of Independence Day, traditionally a time when media attention is at a low point, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, with no fanfare, no pre-prepared remarks, and not much of an audience to witness the event, made an announcement that she would be stepping down as Governor.  The lipstick wearing doppelganger for a pit bull is calling it quits after just thirty two months in office.  And ever since the Republican National Convention when the Republican nominee Alaska Senator John McCain shrewdly bypassed all the politically qualified candidates to the wind and went with his gut to select the charismatic thrilla from Wasilla to be his vice presidential running mate, Ms. Palin’s attention has been on anything but being Governor.

To be fair, the past year has not been kind to Ms. Palin and her family.  When she skyrocketed onto the national political stage, it was quickly made painfully obvious that Ms. Palin was not ready for the national spotlight.  While it should be noted that no one is immune from making gaffs, Ms. Palin became a walking talking gaff machine.  All attempts to keep her from media scrutiny backfired.  The only thing she was allowed to say was her convention speech with the well worn and overused line that lipstick was the only distinguishing characteristic between a pit bull and a hockey mom.  And when she did manage to break communication silence, the results were less than stellar.  The interviews with CBS’s Katie Couric and ABC’s Charlie Gibson were not her shining moments of intellect or political sophistication,  And Saturday Night Live comedian Tina Fey used Ms. Palin’s public appearances as inspiration for some of the best comedy on that show in years.

After the election, Ms. Palin’s appears in the news under headlines more suitable for the attention hounds of Hollywood than for a politician of vision.  Ms. Palin has allowed herself to fall into heated public battles with Levi Johnston, the father of her grandson, and with late night television comedian David Letterman who crossed the line with a less than entertaining joke mocking her daughter’s appetite for sex.  Ms. Palin has accepted two high profile speaking engagements only to bail out and then, on the flip side, she’s passed on Republican dinner invitations only to agree to appear at the last minute but refusing to take a high profile role by declining to give a speech.  Even her creator Mr. McCain refuses to give her any thing resembling a political endorsement these days.  And Ms. Palin has confessed to becoming increasingly unhappy with the unflattering media scrutiny regarding her battles with her state legislature and all of the ethics complaints filed against her.

Now all of this, and much, much more, would drive anyone to want a timeout to lick their wounds.  But politicians, especially the kind that want the national attention of a national office, don’t want to just ride off into the sunset and fade away from existence.

But the timing of Ms. Palin’s retirement announcement only leads to more suspicion.  To announce the step down on the Friday before the Independence Day holiday weekend will simply lead to more scrutiny.  It leaves her with less than three years as Governor on her resume which is not a very strong argument to run for any national political office.  This shoots a huge hole in all of her talk about looking like a pit bull.  She doesn’t have the tenacity to run Alaska, how in the world will she convince the people that she has the resolve to run the presidency?  It is interesting that the Alaskan Governor quits her job free of scandal and while she was still extremely popular in Republican circles.  But South Carolina Mark Sanford, neck deep in scandal and more revolting than Michael Vick, at least for the moment, decides it’s in the best interest of his constituents that he stays in office.  Go figure!

During the press conference Ms. Palin used another metaphor and presented herself as a point guard exhausted by the full court press attacking her on the national level.  Ms. Palin said that she has driven through a full court press, protecting the ball, keeping her head up because she needs to keep her eye on the basket, and now finds it necessary to pass the ball so that her team can win.  Ms. Palin admitted that some are going to question the timing.  But after much prayer and consideration she said she asked the people who meant the most to her, her kids.  She posed the question whether or not she should be a positive influence and fight for all our children’s futures from outside the Governor’s office?  She said it was four yeses and one hell yeah.  That one probably came from Bristol tired of being an easy lightning rod for her mother’s controversies.

If the basket in her analogy is indeed a life outside of government then Ms. Palin would probably have a much easier time than staying on as Governor.  There is little doubt that her charisma and charm could work wonders as a fund raiser or as a political lobbyist.  But if her plan was to for a higher profile political office then her strategy leaves much to be desired.  A good basketball player knows when to pass the ball, but they never simply quit in the middle of the game.

Sunday, July 5, 2009 Posted by | Alaska, John McCain, Life, Politics, Republicans, Sarah Palin, Thoughts | 2 Comments

It’s Not Too Late To Stop These Witch Hunts

john-mccain-no-torture

A few days after he lost his bid to be President of the United States, Arizona Senator Republican John McCain faded back into something a lot closer to not being the President.  Mr. McCain made an appearance at an airport in Arizona after he disembarked from a plane.  His McCain Express entourage had dwindled down to practically nothing.  There were probably a half a dozen reporters around him to hear his plans for the future after spending the last few months before the November election sharing the center stage of the world’s attention with his opponent Illinois Senator Democrat Barack Obama and even his own sidekick the co-maverick Alaska Governor Republican Sarah Palin.  I remember thinking how far the mighty has fallen.

Mr. McCain has been kept in obscurity as Mr. Obama’s star continues to shine and capture the enthrall of the world.  Mr. Obama gets a dog and the world goes gaga.  Mr. McCain had a number of dogs for years and can’t get so much as a thank you card from the local PETA branch.  Mr. McCain tried to make an issue over the fact that as President, Mr. Obama would be the recipient of more than two dozen state of the art military helicopters from a wildly over budgeted military contract.  Mr. Obama agreed and scaled the project back significantly getting credit for saving the country billions of dollars.  Just what exactly does a former presidential contender have to do to garner some kind of attention in this pro Obama political environment?

In his latest attempt for relevance, Mr. McCain warned that any attempt by Mr. Obama’s administration to prosecute the Bush era lawyers who wrote memos signing off on water boarding and various forms of torture, euphemistically referred to as enhanced interrogation techniques, would start a witch hunt that would only hurt the country.  Mr. McCain said that if you criminalize legal advice to the President it will have a terribly chilling effect on any kind of advice and counsel that the President might receive in the future.

Well duh!

If a lawyer is telling the President that the executive branch of our trifecta government doesn’t have to follow the principles set forth in the United States Constitution one needs to wonder why this person is a lawyer for what many believe is the most powerful man in the free world.  If a President acts on bad advice from a lawyer then the President, sworn to uphold and to defend the Constitution as part of his oath so help him god, needs to be held accountable for acting on bad advice.  Holding people accountable for knowingly giving bad legal advice, legal advice that would appear questionable to an advanced five year old, would have a chilling effect on people who think they have carte blanche to disregard law and tell their client whatever the hell they want to hear.  Hopefully, it will have a very chilling effect.

If the average lawyer told a client that he or she can ignore any law on the book, pick up an assault rifle and pump his or her neighbor full of lead in a preemptive strike, chances are we would want that lawyer prosecuted.  It wouldn’t be a witch hunt.  It would be an act of justice.  The same rule applies in this situation as well.

The Bush era torture memos released by the Obama administration are full of jaw dropping suppositions for what is and for what is not torture.  Simply saying that torture is not torture does not make it legal.  It isn’t a quasi or somewhat confusing or nebulous ruling of legal interpretation.  The torture memorandums used to support this wrongful activity have been judged by many legal experts as nothing more than gibberish.  To the layman, most legal writings are legal gibberish.  But we’re talking about people who should know better.

The witch hunt isn’t the one that is trying to determine who may have broken laws.  The witch hunt was the one that had so many people working so hard to root out any information from Iraqi and Afghanistan civilians in places like the prison in Abu Ghraib, Iraq and the military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  People who had no affiliation with any of our opponents in the war on terror were brutally assaulted in the name of freedom in a witch hunt for information they did not have or confessions to activities they did not do.

The witch hunt we should be trying to stop is the one in the future that would run along similar lines in a so called hunt for terrorist or anybody who would do this country harm because a future presidential administration decides to employ lawyers who would rather work hard to hand their client a less than clever way to circumvent law instead of upholding law.

Mr. McCain might consider this little more than a witch hunt.  Considering the partisan way the witch hunt for information and/or confessions was originally handled I’m not surprised to see Mr. McCain push for letting yawning dogs go lie down.  Let’s just bury this whole thing under some pretense that tries to convince people that this is just a learning opportunity.  But real learning comes when people are held accountable for their poor decisions.  I guess Mr. McCain suddenly felt a real need to demonstrate once again why he was not the best candidate for the job of protecting the United States Constitution.

Thursday, April 23, 2009 Posted by | Barack Obama, John McCain, Life, Politics, Republicans, Thoughts | Leave a comment

Forgiveness In The New Age Of Political Bipartisanship

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A lot of attention is being paid to President-elect Barack Obama’s cabinet choices and his willingness to pull people from the other side of the political aisle as well as his old political opponents.  There is talk that Mr. Obama has offered the post of Secretary of State to his Democratic nominee competitor New York Senator Hillary Clinton with all of her foreign policy experience and tarmac ducking experience.  Mr. Obama is entertaining this even after Ms. Clinton planted the idea during the campaign that while Ms. Clinton and Arizona Senator John McCain have years and years of experience, Mr. Obama has little more than a speech to his credit and is little more than a warmed over version of Jesse Jackson.

More talk has Mr. Obama extending an olive branch to his Republican rival Mr. McCain even though Mr. McCain went off the deep end and called the new President-elect a dangerous choice for America and made the suggestion that Mr. Obama isn’t one of us, the patriotic Americans who love America.  Mr. McCain couldn’t even look at his rival for the presidency during their first debate.  And now, the man Mr. McCain blatantly disrespected is willing to bury the hatchet and talk about some political collaborative efforts that he could use Mr. McCain’s help on.

Mr. Obama has even forgiven the political turncoat Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, who deliberately and unabashedly worked hard to get Mr. McCain elected.  In December of 2007, Mr. Lieberman endorsed Senator John McCain for the presidency.  Mr. Lieberman even went so far as to denounce the entire Democratic Party in a speech to the Republican faithful when he made an appearance on stage during the Republican National Convention.  Mr. Lieberman faced serious retribution for his betrayal of his party.  Many of Mr. Obama’s supporters wanted Mr. Lieberman stripped of his chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

However, Mr. Obama had urged Senate majority Leader Harry Reid not to remove Lieberman from his position.  Mr. Reid has made public his anger over Mr. Lieberman’s criticism of Obama during the election.  The Senate Democratic Caucus voted 42 to 13 to allow Mr. Lieberman to keep his chairmanships, although he did lose his membership in the Environment and Public Works Committee.  Mr. Lieberman credited Mr. Obama for helping him keep his chairmanship and for his favorable treatment.

Without a doubt, there is a serious amount of forgiveness and clemency and hatchet burying going on in Washington these days.  People compare Mr. Obama’s overwhelming impression of political exculpation to the behavior of President Abraham Lincoln who pondered had to literally reconstruct the country after the civil war as Mr. Lincoln and his cabinet deliberated over how to reintegrate the states that tried to secede from the nation and what to do with Confederate leaders and the freed slaves, determined to find a course that would not alienate anyone.  People in Mr. Lincoln’s day thought that his policies were too lenient.  But nevertheless, Mr. Lincoln will go down in history as a President that worked to heal a nation and mend fences.

Mr. Obama is willing to forgive any and everyone except his former pastor Reverend Jeremiah Wright.  Mr. Wright gained national attention when excerpted parts of his sermons were subjected to intense media scrutiny in an attempt to paint the new President-elect as little more than an undercover, typically angry black man who wants to make America pay for its so called abuses of the black community that happened so long ago because racism no longer exists.  Mr. Obama took extraordinary steps to calm the issue.  He denounced his pastor’s statements in a speech titled A More Perfect Union in which he sought to place the pastor’s comments in a historical and sociological context.  Many people thought the speech was historic.

But the scrutiny of critics continued to press the issue of his relationship with Mr. Wright.  The controversy came to a head when after trying to just fade away to oblivion Mr. Wright made a series of high profile media appearances in which he claimed amongst other things that Mr. Obama was simply a politician fighting for a political office.  He had to distance himself to look more acceptable to the American public.  Mr. Obama had enough.  Mr. Obama called a press conference and spoke more forcefully against his former pastor, saying that he was outraged and saddened by his spiritual mentor’s behavior and resigned his family’s membership in the church Mr. Wright help to make.

It’s interesting to note that right after Mr. Obama made his forceful condemnation of his former pastor, the interviews by Mr. Wright ceased.  Mr. Wright never retorted.  Mr. Wright, who many accused of trying to bring attention to him self and injure his spiritual protege, quickly returned to his path of obscurity, as if he had accomplished whatever he had set out to do.  Whether it was intentional or not, scripted or not, real or not, planned or not, the public action of severing his relationship with Mr. Wright was enough to bring closure to that particular issue for the vast majority.

Still, it is interesting that people who called Mr. Obama naïve, dangerous, a Muslim, unpatriotic, a terrorist, irresponsible, and wrong for America, are being welcomed back into the fold with open arms.  People who accused Mr. Obama of trying to teach children porn, of trying to turn the United States into a socialist country by taking away rich people’s money and giving it all to the poor, of palling around with terrorist, and of being the antichrist amongst many other accusations.  People who did their best to destroy Mr. Obama’s character are being forgiven.

But the one man that says Mr. Obama is who he is, a politician trying to win a political office, is just too offensive for even Mr. Obama to forgive in this new age of political enlightenment where even the greatest political devil can be made an ally.

Monday, November 24, 2008 Posted by | Barack Obama, Jeremiah Wright, John McCain, Life, News, Politics, Socialism, Thoughts | 9 Comments

Contract Terminated

CVN Republicans Crossroads

The Contract with America was a concept implemented by the Republican Party and presented to the American people six weeks before the 1994 Congressional election campaign.  It was developed by Larry Hunter with assistance from Newt Gingrich, Dick Armey, Bill Paxon, Tom DeLay, and others.  The Contract was based in part on text from one of former President Ronald Reagan’s State of the Union Address.  The Contract detailed the actions the Republican Party promised to take if they became the majority party in the United States House of Representatives for the first time in forty years.  It was introduced during the first midterm election of President Bill Clinton’s Administration, and was signed by all but two of the Republican members of the House and all of the Party’s non-incumbent Republican Congressional candidates.

Supporters of the Contract with America described it as revolutionary in its commitment to offering specific legislation for a vote, describing in detail the precise plan of the Congressional Representatives.  Its provisions represented the view of many conservative constituents on the issues of shrinking the size of government, promoting lower taxes and greater entrepreneurial activity, and both tort reform and welfare reform.  With all the promises that the Contract represented the Republican Party gained a majority of seats in the 104th United States Congress.  It was viewed as a major triumph for the Republican Party and its leaders such as Minority Whip Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay, and for all the people who were part of America’s conservative movement.

During the first hundred days of the 104th Congress, the Republicans pledged ten bills.  Each bill was to be given a full and open debate, a clear and fair vote, and each was to be made available for public inspection. These bills were not intended as governmental reforms but represented significant changes to policy.  The main points of this program was included tax cuts for businesses and individuals, term limits for legislators, social security reform, tort reform, and welfare reform.  The Contract with America was responsible for:

  • The Fiscal Responsibility Act which would require a balanced federal budget, unless sanctioned by a three-fifths vote in both houses of Congress.
  • The Taking Back Our Streets Act which was an anti-crime package including stronger truth in sentencing, good faith exclusionary rule exemptions, death penalty provisions, funding prison construction, and additional law enforcement.
  • The Personal Responsibility Act which made cuts in spending for welfare programs by means of discouraging illegitimacy and teen pregnancy by prohibiting welfare to mothers under eighteen years of age, denying increases for additional children while on welfare, and enacting a two years and out provision with work requirements to promote individual responsibility.
  • The American Dream Restoration Act which created a five hundred dollar per child tax credit and initiated steps to repeal the marriage tax penalty and the creation of the American Dream Savings Accounts to provide middle-class tax relief.
  • The National Security Restoration Act which prevented troops from serving under United Nations command unless the President determines it is necessary for the purposes of national security, to cut America’s contribution for United Nation peacekeeping operations, and to establish guidelines for the voluntary integration of former Warsaw Pact nations into NATO.
  • The Common Sense Legal Reform Act for tort reform which instituted loser pays laws, limits on punitive damages, and the reformation of product liability laws to prevent frivolous litigation.
  • The Job Creation and Wage Enhancement Act which was a misnomer for a package of measures to act as small business incentives such as capital gains cuts and risk assessment and cost-benefit analysis and an unfunded mandate to create jobs and raise worker wages.
  • The Citizen Legislature Act was a not very seriously supported amendment to the United States Constitution that would have imposed a twelve year term limit on members of the Congress.

The Contract with America is credited by some as having helped secure a decisive victory for the Republican Party in the 1994 midterm elections.  Some parts of the Contract were enacted by the Republican controlled majority while others were unsupported by the Congress and President Bill Clinton vetoed other parts.  It was Mr. Clinton who sarcastically referred to the Contract with America as the Contract on America.

With the presidential election of 2000, the country gave the Republican Party a perfect political trifecta where the conservative right controlled both houses of the legislative branch as well as the executive branch and control of the judicial branch as well.  A Democratic President was replaced with a Republican President.  And whatever Republican President George Bush wanted the conservative Republican legislature was more than happy to provide.

The people of the United States haven’t enjoyed a balanced budget since Mr. Bush took office.  Mr. Bush inherited a budget surplus and managed to create one of the largest budget deficits in his first year in office.  The national debt has doubled to ten trillion dollars.  So much for that Fiscal Responsibility Act.  And the Personal Responsibility Act is little more than a farce as companies like Halliburton and Blackwater enjoy corporate welfare in the form of no bid multibillion dollar contracts without having to produce much in the way of results.

And all the tax cuts passed since the Republican’s took over the White House haven’t produced much in the way of jobs.  Jobs have evaporated as corporate profits soared.  Oil companies have jacked the price of fuel to record levels with their profits making their own historic records.  Companies enjoying record profits are steadily cutting jobs and outsourcing their work to the very cheapest places available.  Another round of tax cuts won’t do a thing for creating jobs.  It’s socialism to do anything to provide tax relief to the public.  It’s not socialism when we provide tax relief to corporate entities.  While the public is given a five hundred dollar tax credit per child, corporate America gets millions of dollars.

The past eight years has demonstrated our leadership’s penchant to take care of the handful of us at the highest pinnacle of our economic hierarchal pyramid.  Our troops die in a foreign land protecting our freedoms and then corporate America swoops in and reaps all the economic benefits.  And with our government that heavily favors corporate America, while many corporations are more profitable than ever, more people are struggling to make ends meet.  The tenets of socialism that spreads the wealth have been resoundingly reversed.  It got so bad that many of us couldn’t even afford gas to go to work.

But to counter the fact that we were getting economically screwed, our leadership got us focused on family values.  In order to distract us from the fact that some corporate entities are more profitable than ever, the American people were given personal issues like abortion and the protection of marriage from the evil homosexuals with their dangerous beliefs that they could express their commitment to their partners the same way heterosexuals could.  We have to defend marriage even though we do nothing to protect marriage from people who cheat on their spouse or get divorced.  The sanctity of marriage must be protected.  And while we are discriminating against homosexuals, the middle class is steadily dwindling.  And then we weren’t being patriotic to question our leadership.  It is unpatriotic to criticize our government leaders when we are involved in a misguided global conflict.  But it’s okay for corporate entities to pillage the national treasure and profit handsomely at the expense of the public through global conflict.

Mr. Clinton was very prophetic when he called the Contract with America the Contract on America.  And many people have awakened out of their political sheep slumber to implement change.  America started to initiate change in the 2006 midterm elections.  America took away the Republican majorities in both houses of the legislative branch.  Instead of seeing the signs that people wanted change it was business as usual.  The chickens of global unilateralism came home to roost.  The focus to make corporate America profitable has bankrupted middle America.  Corporate America was fat and happy as Middle America continued to lose jobs and faced entire communities of foreclosures homes and a credit crisis.  Obviously the message didn’t get through the first time.  More political change was necessary.

The 2008 presidential election was proof positive of what the people think of our contract with the Republican Party.  Since 1994 they had a chance to do what they said they would to help us all.  But I don’t feel like we have been helped at all.  I feel more like we have been gang raped and bitched slapped.  You damn skippy I’m voting for a reverse course.  Even the people who voted for this contract nonsense have reconsidered.  And the verdict is that this contract should be terminated effective immediately.  Our experiment with this thinly veiled American brand fascism just doesn’t work

Thursday, November 6, 2008 Posted by | Barack Obama, Capitalism, Democrats, Economy, John McCain, Life, News, Oil, Politics, Republicans, The Economy, Thoughts, Unemployment, Universal Healthcare | 2 Comments

President Barack Hussein Obama

obama-family-wins

I really, really tried last night.  But no matter how hard I tried to stay awake, the sandman would not be denied.  I fell asleep about nine Central Standard Time, about ninety minutes before Senator John McCain gave his concession speech.  I had fallen asleep on the couch and woke up to go to bed when I heard Mr. McCain’s voice.  I don’t remember exactly what he was saying, but I heard enough, he was conceding.  It registered on my sleepy brain that Mr. McCain, but I don’t think it registered that Mr. Obama won.

Ms. Peacemaker and I started tracking the polls about six thirty in the evening.  Mr. McCain was first on the board with eight votes to Senator Barack Obama’s three.  I think that was the last time Mr. McCain was in the lead.  At one point, the polls had Mr. Obama with about one hundred electoral votes to Mr. McCain’s thirty eight.  Mr. Obama pretty much was enjoying a two to one lead.

Now, I don’t know what officially makes a political landslide, but the 2008 election should be considered a prime example on the national scale.  But all night long the people monitoring the election claimed that the race was close and that Mr. Obama failed to flip some crucially needed traditionally Republican voting states.  When there were two hundred electoral votes for Mr. Obama and ninety for Mr. McCain, a few minutes before I lost consciousness, I figured all Mr. Obama needed was to win two more states, Florida with twenty seven votes and California with fifty five.  With awareness quickly fleeing away I knew it was pretty much in the bag.  It was virtually impossible for Mr. McCain to overcome his more than a hundred vote deficit and pull off an upset.

Regardless, I woke up to an expected surprise!  The forty fourth President of the United States will be the first President who is not known as a hundred percent Caucasoid male.  President Barack Obama will be the first visible minority President.  More than two hundred and thirty years after the birth of our nation we finally have a little racial variety in our highest executive office.  The historic nature of the occasion is monumental.

But then again, the challenges ahead of him and the rest of America are truly monumental.  No President has ever come into this office facing the variety of problems that await Mr. Obama.  Yes we may have had a President that had to face a great depression early in the twentieth century.  Yes we may have had Presidents that had to guide the country through wars.  But now we have an economic crisis of its own monumental proportions, a war fueled by differences in ideologies in two countries, a healthcare crisis with so many Americans losing everything including their lives, global competition as well as global animosity for the previous administration’s unilateral global policies, and so much more.  We voted for the black man to lead the country after the last white man screwed it up so royally.

Voting for Mr. Obama is only the first step.  He is not a dictator of a nation but a leader.  His predecessor, President George Bush, was at one time fond of saying that he is the decider who controls the fate of this country.  But if this election has done anything it has drilled home the fact that it is the collective people of America that are the deciders of this country.  The President might feel like he, or surely one day she, can operate with personal impunity, but he leaves the rest of his or her party to face retribution.  It wasn’t Mr. Obama who was the greatest contributor to the defeat of Mr. McCain but Mr. McCain’s association with an immensely unpopular President who explicitly and implicitly said that he didn’t give a shit about what the American public thought.

Mr. Obama goes into the presidency with the momentum of the world behind his back.  This great victory was achieved with a great deal of effort and coordination of people around the nation.  Mr. Obama cannot do it all alone.  He needs the help of the American people and he needs to stay accountable to the American people.  A lot of people supported Mr. Obama because they felt he was truly the best man for the job.  But on the other hand, there are a lot of other people who voted for Mr. Obama simply because we felt he was the lesser of evils.

If anything can be learned from the story of George Bush it is that the support Mr. Obama may enjoy today can evaporate quicker than a snowball in the hottest pit of hell.  He needs to remain focused and he needs to remember who he serves.  It was the people who donated the most to his political effort.  A lot of people wanted to see change.  Business as usual is not an option.  Two years from now there will be another national election and the Democratic Party that is firmly in charge of the legislature and the executive branch will be held accountable.  I strongly suggest that he, nor anyone else in politics, doesn’t continue the tradition of taking the people for granted.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008 Posted by | ABC News, African Americans, Barack Obama, Black Community, Black History, Black Men, Black People, CBS News, Cindy McCain, Democrats, Economy, Fox News, Joe Biden, John McCain, Life, Michelle Obama, News, Politics, Racism, Republicans, Sarah Palin, Talk Radio, The Economy, Thoughts | 8 Comments

Direct Results Of Previous Presidents

For the first few years of his administration President George Bush was able to blame a lot of the things that were going wrong on the record of President Bill Clinton.  When inflation was on the rise it was Mr. Clinton’s fault.  When unemployment started to rise it was because of Mr. Clinton’s policies.  When the trade center towers fell it was because the Clinton administration didn’t go after Osama bin Laden hard enough.  When the all of America’s military muscle and national intelligence couldn’t catch the mastermind of al-Qaeda it was because Mr. Clinton left those organizations in such a bad state for Mr. Bush to inherit.  When the deficit started to rise it was because the previous administration didn’t pay it down fast enough.

But truth be told everything that has happened to this country for the past nearly eight years was the direct result of Bill Clinton.  Relatively speaking we had it good during the Clinton years.  People had jobs and the economy was going well because people had enough confidence in things to keep the bubble inflated.  The national debt was actually being paid down after years of reckless spending.  We were not in some godforsaken perpetual war.  We had problems but they paled in comparison to the things we face now.  And because we had it so much easier on a national level we had the luxury of taking our eyes off of national issues and started to focus on matters of ethics and morality and character.

It didn’t help that Mr. Clinton was a philanderer caught red handed in Monica Lewinsky’s blue dress cookie jar.  So many people who were sticking their own hand in somebody else’s cookie jar.  But it didn’t stop people from humiliating the President with a big to do with impeachment hearings.  A man gets caught having an affair and other people having their own affairs want to prosecute him for it.  It didn’t help that the Democrats in the Congress were rolling over faster than Krypto the super dog.  The Democrats didn’t even try to support the leader of their party.  It was inevitable that a change was coming.  Eight years ago we wanted someone who claimed to moral and ethical and wanted to bring integrity back to the oval office.

Eight years later we find ourselves in a polar opposite situation.  The country is floundering economically and militarily.  It might be nice for some people to focus on feel good issues like voting for a President that will make us feel smart because the President and his running mate actually look so intellectually lacking.  It might be nice for some people to vote for the man to be President who is so conservative that he or she is willing to revoke a woman’s right to choose for her self what happens to her body.  It might be nice for some of us to vote for the man to be President who will change the Untied States Constitution so that marriage will for the first time in history be defined as the union between a man and a woman and we will stick it to all those same sex couples.

But because we collectively no longer have the luxury to focus on conservative issues of morality and the regulation of other people’s morals we need a President who can focus on getting us back into a healthy economic status and restore some semblance of national strength to our global neighbors.  Because things are so dire we need to bring our attention away from our moral values and make sure we protect our economic values.  The President with the best plan to calm the jitters in the economy sounds so much more important than the President that’s ready to pass some kind of same sex prohibition.  The next President will be a direct result of Mr. Bush’s inability to keep his focus on our national issues.

Like Mr. Bush is a direct product of Mr. Clinton’s time in the White House, the next President will be a direct result of Mr. Bush’s presidency.  But while Mr. Bush was able to indulge his conservative leanings because of the comparative success of Mr. Clinton’s national stewardship, the next President will have to roll his sleeves up and work harder than most Presidents ever did to repair the damages and failures of the Bush administration’s leadership.

If Mr. Bush had done a better job of keeping the economy on a more even keel then more of us would have been able to continue to select our next President based on whims designed to punish others who may not live up to our ethical or moral standards.  Quite frankly, I believe we shouldn’t be using such matters in our presidential equation.  If the President wasn’t so focused on making us adhere to his standards of behavior he might do a better job of running the country.   Thankfully, Mr. Bush has done more to bring this concept home than any other President has in a long time.  Hopefully, the next President will be a direct result of the lessons learned from Mr. Bush’s presidency.

Sunday, November 2, 2008 Posted by | Barack Obama, Democrats, John McCain, Life, Politics, Republicans, Thoughts | Leave a comment

A Republican House Divided

As far back as I can remember I watched the Munsters with Fred Gwyne who played the friendly monster zombie Herman Munster.  Why would anyone be scared of Herman?  And I didn’t fully understand the relationship between Frankenstein and his monster.  I was always referring to the monster as Frankenstein.  It didn’t help that back in the sixties there was the cartoon of the little white boy named Buzz Conroy who flew around the planet on the back of his homemade super robot named Frankenstein, Jr.  It’s no wonder I believed, like many others, that the monster’s name was Frankenstein.

But back in the early seventies I saw the miniseries Frankenstein: The True Story that told Mary Shelley’s story much more detail as a psychological thriller.  Doctor Frankenstein was actually an apprentice for another doctor who was trying to uncover the secret of life, Doctor Henry Clerval.  But the experiment morphed with unexpected results when a reanimated human arm continued to move and gain strength despite the continued decomposition of flesh.  The Doctor Clerval discovered that he was actually on the verge of creating an unstoppable, uncontrollable, reanimated zombie.  But Doctor Clerval died before he could pull the plug on the experiment.  Doctor Frankenstein took it upon himself to see the experiment to its full conclusion.  He reanimated the entire human corpse of severed body parts.

Initially, the unnatural reanimated man was a wonderful accomplishment.  He was the epitome of European standards of beauty.  His demeanor was that of a young child.  But like the arm that the other doctor found, the reanimated man’s flesh continued to deteriorate.  People began to respond to the reanimated man with revulsion and hatred.  The more Doctor Frankenstein tried to control the interaction between the people and his creation the more the creation rebelled against the creator until, eventually, the two destroyed each other.

This is the scenario I see unfolding under rumors in the news that Governor Sarah Palin is rebelling against her handlers from the McCain for President campaign.  Ms. Palin went from being a virtual national politics nobody to becoming one of the brightest stars in the Republican Party sky almost instantaneously.  People heard her credentials about being the Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska for a couple of terms and then being the Governor of Alaska for all of twenty months before being selected as Mr. McCain’s vice presidential running mate and that was all they needed.  She was a right wing conservative ready to flaunt small town American values, whatever that means.

But the McCain Palin team recognized the fact that, other than great at giving scripted speeches, Ms. Palin really didn’t have that much experience with national issues.  She needed to be brought up to speed.  For the most part, Ms. Palin was kept away from the press until she could be educated on what needed to be learned.  Her first interviews were rather disappointing.  Ms. Palin needed more work and more time and the pressure was building to present a candidate who would be ready on day one.  Ms. Palin needed more interviews with Mr. McCain on deck to hold her hand.  Ms. Palin needed a more sophisticated wardrobe to improve her visual appeal factor.  And with nearly every political move the effort took on a keystone cops execution and affect.

It is not surprising that frustrations are building for everyone involved.  It is rumored that Ms. Palin and Mr. McCain differ in political strategy.  With less than two weeks to go before we vote for our next President, Ms. Palin wants to throw political courtesy out the window and attack Mr. Obama for his relationship with Bill Ayers and his relationship with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.  Ms. Palin wants to tell the country that Mr. Obama is not a patriotic American and wants to do the country harm.  Ms. Palin wants to remind the nation that Mr. Obama doesn’t have executive experience that is so valuable.  It’s just a coincidence that Mr. McCain doesn’t have any executive experience either.

With the little time we have yet to see these politicians campaign Ms. Palin is pulling out the stops.  While everyone says that they are the one to unite the country, Ms. Palin is ready to drive a wedge the size of Alaska into the country that will pit her America against the other America.  Ms. Palin stands ready to burn bridges to everywhere in order to appeal to her Republican base.  Ms. Palin holds absolutely no reservations about drawing a line in the sand.  And when people have such a strong desire to live by a sword, they will more than likely die by a sword.  And it won’t Sarah Palin that suffers a retaliatory strike designed for mutually assured destruction of character.  Mr. McCain will suffer the wrath of retaliation.

The infighting in the McCain Palin effort for the presidency has spilled over any effort to keep matters contained.  The creators of the Palin political machine can no longer control their creation.  I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that Ms. Palin refer to the McCain political brand as a washed up has been.  There is a new Republican force on the horizon.  In the words of Darth Vader just before he murdered his old mentor Obi Wan Kenobi, the student is now the master.

One of the things I most admired about the Republican Party was its ability to move as a single, forceful block of political power.  Once the decision was made, everyone towed the line.  When Ms. Palin was picked as Mr. McCain’s political running mate, whether people agreed or not, the face to the public was that it was the best decision a Republican has ever made in the history of the Republican Party.  When the Republican’s held their national convention in Minnesota, they were nothing but positive in their assessment of their political chances for the presidency.  Compare that to the cracks of the Democratic National Convention where delegate Anne Price Mills from Texas goes on camera tearfully rejecting Barack Obama because he wasn’t Hillary Clinton.  The fact that he was still the Democratic nominee was lost.  The Democrats still needed to pull together compared to the Republican’s political Kumbaya.

But now we are just a week or so away from the election and there appears to be some disarray.  Mr. McCain’s strategy for the presidency appears to be going as well as his last flight over Vietnam during the war.  The Republican heavy hitters are still playing the brave face, but it’s pretty obvious that there is some trouble.  There might be a political implosion unfolding before our eyes.  Only time will tell.  She might not be able to help Mr. McCain in his last gasp effort to become the next President.  She may not even want to continue to help him with what she thinks is his failed political strategy.  But I’m sure Ms. Palin thinks she can be the new face of Republican politics.

Friday, October 31, 2008 Posted by | Democrats, John McCain, Life, Politics, Republicans, Sarah Palin, Thoughts | 2 Comments

Trick Or Treat For The McCain Palin Campaign

Sunday, October 26, 2008 Posted by | Barack Obama, Democrats, John McCain, Politics, Republicans, Sarah Palin | 1 Comment

My God Comes With Kung-Fu Grip

“There are millions of people around this world praying to their god, whether it’s Hindu, Buddha, [or] Allah, that his opponent wins, for a variety of reasons.  And lord, I pray that you will guard your own reputation, because they’re going to think that their god is bigger than you, if that happens.” – Reverend Arnold Conrad

Another preacher wants to demonstrate spiritual science by reminding us and god that if god doesn’t move heaven and hell to make Senator John McCain win when it is obvious that the majority of voters have made it clear that they do not believe he is fit to be our President.  Even Mr. Conrad has to admit that it would take a miracle for Senator John McCain to win.  And if god wanted to prove to people that he wanted to be known as the Christian god, Mr. Conrad has put a challenge to make sure that the prayers of all the non-Christian believers, as well as the Christian believers who want Senator Barack Obama to win the White House, to go unanswered.

This is the same mentality that goes into football teams praying before the big game for a win.  But god isn’t going to use his limitless powers of the universe to make sure one team beats the other.  If somebody wants to win the football game they’d better make sure they put in the work to win.  God doesn’t play favorites like that.  The same holds true for the presidency.  If god cared to influence to influence things so directly what would be the point of spending millions of dollars to campaign and having millions of people go to the polls.  What would be the point if it’s all in god’s hands?

But the last thing god wants to do is get into the middle of our happenings.  God doesn’t give a flip if we’re stupid enough to vote a yahoo from Midland, Texas to be our President, a man that would run amok on the world stage with unilateral decisions on war, global economies, the environment, trade, diplomacy, and such, he sure wouldn’t get involved on such a man’s replacement.  If we don’t see that we should elect our representatives with more care to assure that the world’s needs are met then we shouldn’t expect god to come in and put us back on the right track.  Obviously, we collectively have more learning to do and will have to suffer through the consequences of not taking the lesson to heart.

People like Mr. Conrad give people the wrong impression about god.  If Supreme Being of the universe wanted to influence the election he wouldn’t just magically make it happen.  Like most, he would get his ballot, stand in line, and cast his vote just like everyone else.  The Supreme Being has supreme humility and wouldn’t be interested in proving his greatness to others.  If god was to manifest himself in front of people this very moment many would dismiss him as a vagabond unfit for our attention.

God isn’t interested in solving people’s problems.  God doesn’t need us to worship him.  God is god whether we know it or not.  The last thing he needs to do is to prove his power to us.  He doesn’t care if we think that the Hindu god is better or if the pagan god is better.  Who are us to think that we have the right to judge god?  The Supreme Being doesn’t need the approval of people who are so far from being able to vote intelligently for leadership that it isn’t even worth his effort.

Is your god is better than my god?  Who knows?  God!  Who cares?  Not god.  This isn’t a contest of who can manipulate the spiritual belief system the best to manifest tangible results.  This isn’t a contest between the Supreme Being and a golden calf.  Our presidential election is about as far removed from anything spiritual as praying to god to make things happen in our favor.  God doesn’t need to prove to anyone

Besides, if god really wanted to prove his power I seriously doubt such a manifestation would take form in an election rigging.  You don’t need god for that.  Instead of praying to god just put the election in the hands of voting machine manufacturer Diebold and make a huge payment.  You’ll have a much better chance at getting the results you wanted than depending on any god who works in mysterious ways.  And if god really wanted all of us to recognize him and pray to him for our salvation, all he has to do is send a meteor the size of Australia to collide with the Earth.

Saturday, October 25, 2008 Posted by | Barack Obama, Democrats, John McCain, Life, Politics, Religion, Republicans, Spirituality, Thoughts | Leave a comment

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