Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving-ish

Found a blog with a warped sense of history that appeals to me. The title is The History Bluff and their funny Thanksgiving post is the Top 10 Things the Pilgrims Were Thankful For.

I liked most of them, but felt inspired to write my own. Here's my list of
The Top Twelve Things for which I would be thankful if I were a Pilgrim:
12. Grandma wouldn't insist on everyone watching the entire Macy's parade, as well as the pre- and post-show commentary with her. (No offense intended if you enjoy it; I always wanted to read my book without getting scolded during the talking heads, marching Shriners, and juggling clowns.)
11. No Black Friday sales' rush (we had sales 2 weeks ago that were better than the sales I saw today).
10. No television show, "Survivor" on which to compete. (It would be too easy anyway; they lived the real deal.)
9. No Simon Cowell (or hundreds of non-singers abusing my National Anthem).
8. The number of participants in the new world's first talent show would be no longer than the Mayflower's Passenger list.
7. Wouldn't have to prepare a corresponding all-vegetarian menu.
6. The side dishes of giblets, as well as fish-eye soup, were down on the Indian's end of the table.
5. Ties optional for the men; hose optional for the women.
4. After dinner folk elegies performed by the famous country trio: Cotton, Stills, & Mather.
3. Wouldn't have to watch William Bradford clog -- on "Prancing with the Puritans."
2. There wouldn't be any question about whether the Mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses were going to come knocking and interrupt dinner.
1. Everyone thought it was "normal" to ask God to bless the food they were about to eat and thank Him for their abundant blessings.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Silly Children

I enjoy children. They have a view of the world that is, on one hand, overly simplistic, but, on the other, is intensely practical. My children have said some things lately that have kept me in stitches.

Nearly every Tuesday night, our church has "Gospel Night" in which the adults go visiting, the girls have a "Charm class" (which is really a craft/dessert-making-class), and the boys have "Karate for Christ" (actually a blend of 4 arts, but we didn't want any of the "stigma" aspects of MMA associated with our church). (By "stigma" aspects I mean: we really don't want droves of "TapOut" mentality teens, just kids wanting to be able to defend themselves).

A week ago Tuesday my family sat down to dinner (prior to Gospel Night). It was Little Bear's turn to pray, and he has been doing a great job for several months now. For some reason, he ended his prayer with (mind you, this prayer is for our dinner), "And please help no one to get killed at Gospel Night." My wife and I snickered quietly, but nearly lost it. It was even funnier when half an hour later, AT Gospel Night, he volunteered to pray and said almost the exact same thing! Other than muscle, joint, and bone soreness from practice, no one's been hurt in any way at Gospel Night, so we don't know why he prayed that prayer -- we do know it was funny to hear.

Also during Gospel Night, just Little Bear's prayer, Sugee walked into the auditorium (late), saw a friend (whose name rhymes wigh her own), raised both her hands in a "ta-da" manner, and said, "_______'s here!" Everyone except my wife thought Sugee said her own name rather than the friend's -- that was good for a 15 second show-stopper.

Our littlest one (4 months old already) wants to grow up and is very strong-willed: she does not like a pacifier, she hates to lie down (unless she's sleepy), if we put her in a reclined seat (bouncy chair) she will try to sit up, and if you hold her hands, she'll do everything she can to walk or jump. This morning little Bright Eyes was put in a baby car similar to this picture -- later, she started fussing. When I found her, all I could see was the top of her head! It seems she had been put into the car with both legs in one leg-hole, been standing the entire time, and finally (after a half an hour!) slipped down to a sitting position deep inside the seat area. We laughed, but she was so mad (thankfully, my wife was the one to put her in the car, so I wasn't in trouble, this time).

Lastly, we have Tank; he says a lot of funny things. My current favorite is his prized red race car: "Lightning TheClean."

I had hoped to write several other things they've said or done lately, but since I made the mistake of attempting to save them all up for one post, most have slipped my mind. In the future, I think I'll need to write smaller posts -- as they happen.

Monday, November 17, 2008

TMI (Yet Still: TLI) in the News

As a young kid, I wanted to be just like my dad: a welder in the Air Force (the realities of the profession changed that desire). As I got older, I dreamed of one day becoming an astronaut or a fighter pilot (but I need glasses). Throughout high school and college I had several other aspirations, all similar: military-intelligence-related. None of which ended up happening.

I've "worked" for the same church since I got out of college, doing different things "on the side." I started by doing small business consulting. Have helped various businees with their incorporation, basic business set-up, implementing records management protocols, automating office work, employee searches, business reorganization, training, and retraining employees. I also still enjoy doing the kind of work that paid for my college education: construction, maintenance, and remodeling. Have done all types of work on houses, apartments, condos, businesses, & churches (from roof, to attic, to ceilings, down to walls, floors, foundations, and everything in between). If I have a preference in my employment, I enjoy doing computer consulting the most. Have built & repaired computers, done systems analysis, network analysis, website analysis, web design, logo design, built & managed websites, as well as trained employees to use applications software (some new software, but usually train them to use the software they already have more efficiently). When other work was slow, I've done other, totally-unrelated work: sold jewelry, driven & delivered vehicles, worked security, even transported hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of cash, documents, and jewelry (locally and domestically; never did international transport). I might someday be able to work for someone else, but I've been self-employed for so long that I enjoy my freedom and the variety of things I'm able to do.

From the list above, you can probably guess I have a lot of different interests. I'm also constantly reading. I prefer to get my news from the internet than from the nightly newscasts for several reasons: I only see the stories of interest to me, if I decide I'm not interested, I move to the next, and because I'm reading rather than listening to a news anchor, I can get through the information faster. The problem with reading the news is so many headlines pique my curiosity. Anything that refers to my interests (current or past), people I know, places I've lived, places my friends live, things I've done, and anything I've ever wanted to do -- all of those articles grab my attention.

One of this morning's articles is a great example: Astronauts prepare to unpack Endeavour's cargo. The headline alone was a show-stopper for me. After I clicked the link I was a bit under-whelmed. I don't think the first sentence was meant to be funny, but I couldn't help laugh at it anyway. "Astronauts aboard the international space station and the newly arrived shuttle Endeavour planned Monday to start unpacking a new toilet and a contraption that purifies urine and sweat into drinkable water at the orbiting outpost." (Note to self: be glad you did not become an astronaut.)

Some of the rest of the article was interesting, but it highlighted a discouraging trend I've noticed in online news: since there are no space constraints (as there are in printed newspapers), news editors are no longer requiring journalists to edit articles as well as they have had to in the past. Rather than keeping the inanity in their stories to bare minimum, reporters seem to revel in it.

I read blogs and editorials for fun and opinion; if they ramble, I expect it. However, from a purely "Journalistic" perspective, I prefer comprehensive, concise detail in my news stories. I'll admit, this particular article was not as bad as many I've read, but Mike Schneider (the Associated Press Writer that filed this Houston-based story) could have written the same article in half the space and kept my attention more closely.

Having TLI (Too-Little-Information) of importance, and TMI (Too-Much-Information) that's frivolous seems to reflect my disappointment with the entire Presidential election-season that just ended. (Also, in the future, I hope they don't last two years; two years of fluff in the news was frustrating.)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Poll Comments: Blog Reading

I finally updated the code behind the blog and found all the cool stuff; it's still pretty easy to update. Adding new widget-type stuff is easier, and I like the ease of spatial-editing too.

One of the cool things is the polling capability. I'm sure there isn't any danger of me rivaling Zogby, but I wasn't particularly sure just how I wanted to start it. I gave it some time and came up with this one:

"What do you look for in an "interesting" blog?
---------------------------------------------
Blogs about the lives of my friends or family.
Opinions with which I generally agree.
Opinions about which I can debate.
Finding "pointers," shortcuts, tips, and ideas that educate, or make my life easier.
Cutting edge technical information.
The latest fashion info, trends, and celebrity gossip.
Hobby- and craft-specific info.
I just love to surf from blog to blog reading about other people's lives.
Other: (comment here -- on this post)

The only two problems I have with the ability to poll readers are the inability to add comments to each poll, and the inability to put in a poll as a blog posting (that could be accessible for vote-casting indefinitely). Other than that, I like it.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Troubling Things

During the last election there were many that said Bush "stole" the election due to the fact he won only by electoral votes. I know how the electoral college works; Obama won it on votes, and unless the electoral college breaks precedent, next year Obama will be voted in as the next President.

How the electoral college works doesn't "trouble" me a bit, what has been troublesome this year is having listened to several people relate how easy it was to register more than once (everyone one I heard interviewed said they were voting for Obama). Now I'm hearing people also voted more than once. Take, for example, this fine upstanding citizen (Ron Jones) of Philadelphia who stated he "decided to come back and vote a couple times."
video
(This video was copied from YouTube.)
Hopefully, he just misspoke? Perhaps he meant he came back several times until the lines weren't long? but after listening to it 5 times, it still didn't sound that way to me.

Last month I was unhappy to see a precursor of the Youth Brigades Obama has touted. (If you haven't seen it, watch it on YouTube, or message me for the video.)
Seriously, who in their right mind would allow their child to be involved in any group that encouraged them to march around in a quasi-military outfit spouting political rhetoric purporting adoration of their anointed leader? When I watched that video I was immediately hit with visions of Hitler's Brown Shirts.

Then last night I was extremely upset to see this video of a teacher "brow beating" her class into submission to conform to her personal opinion:
video
(This video was also copied from YouTube, and no, I haven't any clue what language the people at the beginning are speaking, nor can I read the subtitles.)
What irked me most was her statement "I can support whomever I want to support, as long as I don't, uh, browbeat another person for the candidate they supported..." (In my not-so-humble-opinion, she is surely pushing the envelope.)

As a side note, I find it strange that most videos of this "type" (the anti-obama type) are not remaining online very long. They seem to have been "reported as offensive" by so many people that YouTube has pulled them down: de facto censorship -- by the masses. (As I find videos I may want to share or watch a second time I have begun saving them to my computer.)

I don't like conspiracy theories, I generally find them so far-fetched as to be amusing, annoying, and too "incite-ful" to be worth wasting time on. However, I have found at least one thing every day that is illegal, bordering on illegal or just out-right troubling. Is anyone else finding (at bare minimum) one thing -- every day -- since the election happened as well? Am I paranoid? perhaps crazy? or does it look really look like "1984" is a possibility?

In closing, I'm least concerned about dying (yeah sure, go ahead, threaten me with heaven). I'm also not "worried" by whomever is "in control" in America from anything other than a political or economic standpoint (I do, however, like to see my kids eating regularly). Nor am I particularly concerned about the rapid introduction of radical, communistic mandates by the soon-to-be new government. I think what concerns me most is the apathy of the general populace regarding what is "right" and "wrong" (i.e. legal vs. illegal) and why it is "OK" to stifle, hide, or attempt to stamp out altogether the ideas of conservatives -- be they fiscal, social, or political conservatives. But -- it's "unconscionable" to even mention a single irregularity when discussing a left-wing viewpoint -- whether they're slightly progressive, liberally socialistic, or full-bore "hyper-radical communists" (the "lunatic fringe").

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A Day of Infamy

"For the first time in my life, I am truly ashamed of my country."
This was the first thought that crossed my mind as I happened to turn on the television last night (just in time to hear McCain's concession speech live). I rarely watch election returns; I prefer to spend the time with my family (and get the full story when all the results are tallied).

In explaining my position, I think it's imperative I first relate the things about our nation that do not cause shame:

I am not ashamed that we elected a black American; that isn't relevant to being a President. (FWIW, I did vote for Alan Keyes in a past election, but I feel the color of someone's skin doesn't determine how well they can, or cannot do any task.)

I am not ashamed that we elected the first illegitimate President in the history of the U.S.A.; disappointed for his personal loss, but that too is not relevant to being the President. (It is, however, a good example for others.)

I am not ashamed that we elected a Democrat; we've done that before.

I am not ashamed that we elected a liberal; of the Presidential candidates running this year, I knew whomever won the election would be hard-pressed to label themselves "conservative."

I am not ashamed that we did not elect a fiscal conservative; it's been a long time since we've seen one of those in the White House.

I am not ashamed that we elected a pro-abortion candidate to the Presidency; disappointed yes, but we've seen this done this before.

I am not ashamed that we just elected the most inexperienced President in the history of our great nation; again, disappointed, but someone must hold that dubious distinction.

In fact, I am not even ashamed that the President-elect cut his political teeth in the Chicago arena of thug-politics-at-its-worst; disappointed yes, but we've had thug-politician Presidents in the past.

So what, you may wonder is so shameful that I would make this statement?

There are a number of minor reasons; I'll relate two of those before the crux of my statement.

First, I'm ashamed so many voters focused on a candidate's personal polish & appearance, reading ability, and continuous recitation of platitudes (all shallow extraneous traits) to the exclusion of personal experience, full disclosure of all aspects of personal history & character, and values.

Secondly, I'm ashamed that a US Senator could go to Africa (at U.S. tax-payers' expense), campaign for a Communist Muslim (wanna-be dictator) in support of sharia law (one that incited riots and instructed his supporters commit murder when he lost), and not be required to answer for his actions. Not as a Senator, not when he became a Presidential candidate, not as President Elect, and even highly unlikely he will ever be held accountable for his actions as President.

Both of these minor reasons don't surprise me as much as I would think they should. Bill Clinton's appearance on the national political scene was Obama's "polish precedent" and guide. As for the "corruption precedent," it is rampant at the highest level of government in every nation I've studied.

What I'm primarily ashamed of is the fact that for the very first time in the history of the U.S.A. a majority of the voting public has eagerly embraced a radical, activist communist.* The United States of America experienced a meteoric rise to greatness -- becoming the greatest nation on earth -- in less than two hundred years via support of capitalism -- rejecting communism. Yes, we have had Presidents in the past that embraced both socialistic and communistic ideals, but none so blatant as our coming President.

I have no hopes that the next four years will strengthen our nation in any lasting economic or political manner (one possible exception is faith - Americans have historically turned closest to God in times of crisis). I can only hope that for the next four years Obama remains so focused on reelection that he steers the course of liberal Democrat, or at least no further than moderate (perhaps even survivable) socialism. Whatever the course, I pray it isn't so radical it crashes our economy, corrupts our citizens, dismantles our morality, shackles the freedoms enjoyed by our churches, or harms our nation in an irreparable manner.

**NOTE: I realize some would attempt to take me to task on the variance of "socialism" and "communism" as they relate to Obama. However, the beliefs I've heard outlined by the now President-elect barely skirt the edge of Socialism even when tempered by his pseudo-moderate public image. Therefore, I've elected to call this spade a spade.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Early Voting, Vote Prep, & Another Oddity

Every year there seems to be a bigger hype about early voting than the previous year. I think voting is one of the most important things one can do as a citizen, but I don't early vote, nor do I like early voting. If it were up to me, I would abolish early voting and instead have two days of voting (Monday and Tuesday), a longer lead time to send out absentee ballots (for those overseas - domestic voters would have no change), and theater-wide electronic voting (for our overseas troops) that could be electronically beamed back to the U.S.A. on election day.

There are several reasons I dislike early voting as it now is: the long lines are key, also, the fact that some item may be revealed about a candidate in the last few days (thus, negating support for a candidate by a voter) is another. This is not to say I would not vote early; if there were any chance of me missing an opportunity to vote on election day, I would probably vote early rather than fill out an absentee ballot.

One of the main reasons I don't early vote is due to the fact that few of the voter guides I read are completed prior to election day. Which means, unless I want to do all of the research on all of the candidates myself, I'm voting in ignorance. This year, in particular, voting in ignorance could have been bad.

In the past I have voted by issues first, and then, if there weren't any issues of interest to me, I would vote for whatever Independent or Republican I liked the most. (Typically, Democrats in south Florida are left-wing Liberals, Tree Huggers, or Socialists, none of which appeals to me. Also, most of the Republicans and Independents promote conservative or libertarian values, both of which appeal to me.)

One of the local races I can vote in this year has proved to be an exception. There are three people running, none are Libertarians or Republicans. The incumbent is a liberal Democrat -- I haven't voted for her since I moved to south Florida (14 years ago). One of the two challengers is an avowed, hard-line Socialist; people with those political leanings disgust me, so I'll definitely not be voting for him. The other challenger is listed as an "Independent." I initially thought she was a Libertarian, but her endorsements seemed a bit odd. After further investigation, I realized she is a hard-line, far left, socialistic environmentalist! Two Socialists and one liberal Democrat in one race!

As you can probably guess, I'll be voting for the liberal Democrat. This particular race brought to mind a passage of scripture:
Jeremiah 12:7-11 "I have forsaken mine house, I have left mine heritage; I have given the dearly beloved of my soul into the hand of her enemies. Mine heritage is unto me as a lion in the forest; it crieth out against me: therefore have I hated it. Mine heritage is unto me as a speckled bird, the birds round about are against her; come ye, assemble all the beasts of the field, come to devour. Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness. They have made it desolate, and being desolate it mourneth unto me; the whole land is made desolate, because no man layeth it to heart."

In closing, I talked to an individual last week that had an interesting, albeit jaundiced, view of politics in the U.S.A. It was this individual's contention that for those who are Believers voting is:
1. irrelevant (because "God's Will" will be done anyway),
2. unnecessary (because it is "of the government"), and
3. sinful (because we really shouldn't be involved in any part of government).

I disagreed. Voting is a right afforded to all citizens of this country. If I, as a citizen of this country, choose not to exercise a right, then that is my privilege. If however, I, as a citizen of heaven choose not to exercise a right that could enable me to have a positive influence on my community, or have a Godly testimony to others in my community, or could improve my ability to witness to those around me (by not allowing those into office who seek to curtail my rights as a Believer), then I am committing sins of omission, negligence, apathy, and irresponsibility. I really hope my explanation didn't offend that individual, but I was extremely disappointed by the naiveté of that opinion.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

A Matter of Trust

As I've stated in the past I'm not overly impressed with all aspects of either candidate, I WILL, however, be voting for the candidate that is (and has been) the most transparent in all aspects of their political career, their education, their long-term associations, and future aspirations.

I cannot conceive of anyone entrusting the office of President to any person that is unwilling to unveil their entire life to public scrutiny. Whomever assumes the office of President of the USA will be "in charge" of the world's only remaining superpower. That is a HUGE amount of responsibility and MUST NOT be taken lightly. One of these 2 men (McCain or Obama) is going to be left holding ALL the keys to ALL the "locks" that hold back the most advanced military in the history of the world. I would NOT give a set of car keys to ANY person that I could not trust explicitly, nor should anyone with any semblance of common sense vote to elect a commander-in-chief that has yet to demonstrate any degree of integrity. Additionally, I refuse to vote "present" by voting for some impossible-to-elect 3rd-party individual merely to show my disapproval for both major parties and "teach them a lesson" (whomever "them" happens to be at the moment). That type of "teaching" is never teaching, it is the selfish, irresponsible, and highly arrogant antics that stem from prideful immaturity.

With so much at stake this election, anyone not voting for the candidate that will most closely follow the principles that brought our country TO greatness, is not only voting to take our country FROM greatness, but is also voting FOR the destruction of all we have, all we hold dear, and all that is unique to us as Americans. I realize that this "destruction" may, or may not happen in the next four years, but each individual that fills a term as President leaves a mark (for better or for worse) on our nation.

As a Believer I'm required by God to be a good steward of everything with which HE has entrusted me; my citizenship in this nation is one of those blessings. As a citizen, I am responsible to exercise my right to vote, and as a voter, I am responsible to do what is best (long-term) for my country.

In conclusion, I think the words of Sir Francis Bacon sum it up the best, "Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper."

Political posts from the past

I've decided to delete my "other" blog (which is even less used than this one) and combine it with this one. Since there were only two major articles on the other blog, I've combined them here in one post. On rereading my post from February, I was surprised how relevant it still seems.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Why are race, gender and religion the focus?
6 February 2008


Are the people in the media un-educated? or are they attempting to entertain too many middle-schoolers that have no real interest in politics but revel in gossip? For months I’ve heard various and sundry newscasters gush about Obama’s skin color and Hillary’s gender while lambasting Huckabee and Romney for their choice of religion. [Editor's note: The media gushed happily about Hillary's gender, yet have bashed Palin for hers - not to worry, they're unbiased.]

To put it bluntly: WHO CARES!!! Am I the only one that realizes no one in their right mind should vote for ANY current- or ex-members of Congress to run this country? especially inexperienced junior Senators?

Hello!! Morons of the media (and anyone else that doesn’t have half a brain) legislators (i.e. Congress people) are good at running their mouth, period. Most of them have never had to make anything work!! A few of them CAN get things done, yet most of them have spent an entire career doing NOTHING worthwhile. They have no any positive impact on our economy, our social values, or our environment, yet they proffer their “extensive experience” (of doing nothing) as reason to vote for them as administrators? and instead of intelligent commentary, the media slobbers all over itself trying to make news of non-news-worthy events?

All these people in Congress pass more and more laws every year and expect some administrator (i.e. President) to get it done… or delegate someone to get it done. They expect all of us to pay for their “lofty idealism” which in reality is nothing more than pompous self-aggrandizement. I see all of this ridiculous pork-barrel spending that should be eliminated, yet, those in Congress have guaranteed incomes... no worries about recession for them... no strikes or lockouts... they vote for their own raises whenever they feel any economic pinch. They’re virtual demi-gods in their own minds.

Then whenever any one of them wants to throw their hat in the ring as a "candidate" for President the media frenzy locks onto inane details and TOTALLY IGNORES what is genuinely important to running as a viable Presidential candidate.

Expecting a legislator to be a good administrator is like appointing a homeless person to run HUD as a publicity stunt: yes, the homeless may have many ideas on affordable housing, but they have no clue of the complexity of day-to-day issues and operations of administering the business. And if they get their fingers too deep into management, it’s all going to come crashing down.

An acquaintance told me Hillary is "experienced" because she’s "been there." If that is the case, then show me see the volunteer willing to be the first surgery patient of the hospital janitor — he's "been there" and has watched at least 2 minutes of every surgery for the last 8 years. We all know that wouldn't happen anytime soon. Furthermore, if she had "been there" then how did Bill have so much time on his hands to chase (& catch) skirts? As a Senator, she has never pushed through one major piece of legislation (I don't think she's even gotten any minor legislation through). She was a do-nothing on all the boards she sat on. The only "experience" she can claim is being married to an ex-President. If that is all that's needed to run this country, I’d rather vote for Laura Bush, at least she was nice enough to read books to little kids.

Another person told me they liked Obama’s message of "Hope." That’s stupid: hope is what you need when your child is missing in the jungle and someone else is doing the search and rescue work. I don’t want hope, I want intelligence, I want administrative experience, and I want fiscal responsibility. The only thing Obama offers beside dark skin is an aura of mystery. No one knows anything about him or his political aspirations, other than the fact he wants to be President. I googled his church and read the statement of faith... that has got to be one of the most racist, anti-American churches I’ve ever heard of!! If they haven't changed it yet, you can read it yourself right here: http://www.tucc.org/about.htm [Editor's note: They have since rewritten this page, but it can still be found on the "Internet Archive" website right here. It is difficult to read unless you highlight it with your mouse first.]

As far as "race" goes — it’s blown all out of proportion. Why is someone that is 1/2 Caucasian and 1/2 anything else never called "white" if they have any color in their skin?? I’ve got several kinds of Native American in me, but I ran for office no one would call me the first "Native American" to run for office. Pointing to the fact that Obama may be the first black President is ridiculous, not only is he not "all black" but the genetic difference between, white, black, brown, & any other "color" is only about 4% on the DNA level! He’s got the most blackness of any candidate so far? whoop-dee-doo-daa. If I were to rate my friends of color based on the shade of their skin, I’d (rightly) be called a bigot; Obama and the media have done it and they state they’re pointing out diversity? They are not pointing out diversity, they are MAKING diversity: a mean-spirited, aggressive diversity which does nothing more than place a false barrier between darker skinned people and lighter skinned people; as if someone's brain can be "black," "white," "red," or "yellow" — ignorant media people.

Moving on, one of the local talk-radio guys keeps talking about how McCain is a "great war hero" and could represent the Republican Party well. His arguments rest mainly om McCain’s ex-POW status and because he isn’t afraid to "cross the aisle" to get things done. I for one, think the war-hero/political prisoner card has been played way too many times. Every other person I’ve known that’s gone to war (I’ve known many) does not like to flaunt the fact that they had to kill people, or that they were tortured, or whatever it was they had to do. (Let me be very clear: I do highly respect the fact that he was willing to go, and the character he showed in staying when he could have come home early.) What annoys me is when McCain revels in the "war hero" attention... when he signed up he knew that could be a part of the job. And the only "aisle crossing" I’ve seen him do is in direct opposition to core conservative values of the Republican party... then rather than crossing the aisle and coming right back, he seems to want to pitch a tent and camp out over there. If he’d stab his own party in the back for personal political gain, I surely would not want that kind of person in the White House. Politically, he seems to stand somewhere between moderate (I think they called them Blue Dogs in Reagan's day) and semi-liberal Democrat; he just wears the Republican hat so people take him seriously when he bashes other Republicans.

Some of my friends tell me how great Ron Paul is, while others think he’s completely loony. Yes, he has a few good ideas, but some of his other ideas would cripple our nation economically (gold standard would mean we pay all our debts in gold... but we currently don’t have enough gold, that's why we’re in debt) as well as put us at a military disadvantage internationally (eliminating the CIA... the only federal agency mandated to gather intel overseas... not to mention, most political and military intel is drawn from there). He’s already run as a "bona fide" Libertarian candidate in the past, but he’s running as a Republican now to try to validate himself as a candidate? If you’re really a Libertarian, why would you lie to the American public? One of my biggest peeves with him is his bigotry. Yes, bigotry: as late as the 80s and 90s he was allowing white supremacists to write articles in his newsletters... but he claims not to have any knowledge of that — in HIS newsletter? suuure. I think if I published a newsletter I’d instruct the editor on submission guidelines and get (at bare minimum) a list of the articles to be published... PRIOR to the publication date — of course, I’m no doctor.

Then there’s Huckabee. People complain he was a minister, but — hello — he gave that up... and even if he didn’t, he belongs to exactly the same denomination (even from the same state) of Baptists that Bill Clinton did — and no one had a problem with Clinton's religion. I DO have a problem with Huckabee outspending every other governor of Arkansas in history: outspending the next 3 closest "big spenders" combined. Also have a problem with him releasing more criminals than the combined total of 16 separate states that are near Arkansas: 16 states to his 1, and he put more criminals back on the streets — Oh yeah, that’s SO safe, I'm "inspired" by him — inspired to buy a gun to protect myself if he gets anywhere near Pennsylvania Avenue. He also claims to be a Republican, but his record refutes more core values than McCain’s — he too is a "de facto" Democrat. If no one else in America noticed, at least the NEA did — he’s the only Republican candidate I’ve ever heard of to be endorsed by them.

And lastly, we have Romney. Everyone is bent on destroying him, but I’m not 100% sure why. I really don’t like that he’s a mormon, but that’s not politically relevant, so throw that argument out. He’s been independent, and he’s now Republican, but no matter what he "is," "was," or "claims to be," he WAS elected governor of one of the most liberal Democratic-run states in the union. If he could get elected there, then he is really a Democrat. At least he did do some good things there, and he alone (of ALL the candidates that are still in it) has prolonged administrative experience in times of economic adversity.

We only have ONE OF SIX candidates with extensive administrative experience, and that is NOT IMPORTANT to the media??? They need to be fired.

I think my biggest peeve with this election is we really only have one party running for office. Yes I know, Ron Paul is Libertarian, but technically, Libertarianism is a subcategory of Liberalism. (i.e. The end result is the same, but the processes to get there aren’t: a few ideas are radically different, but it’s still not conservatism.) All the other candidates that are still in the running are either self-professed Liberal Democrats (in fact, Obama and Clinton respectively were the 1st and 16th most liberal senators in 2007), or de facto Democrats running as Republicans. They’re too "conservative" for the far left, but too liberal to mesh well with middle-of-the-road conservatives. Their political ideas only serve to muddy the divide between left and right. The most "conservative" of the pseudo-Republicans that are currently running for office are no more than 25 years worth of "leftward drift" policy behind the "liberal Democrats" that are currently running as Democrats. Either no one in the media is intelligent enough to notice and point this out, or they are more concerned with making news than reporting it. (I could write several posts on this, but the short version is: there seems to be a "leftward drift" in both conservatism and liberalism. As Liberalism becomes more "liberal" Conservatism follows behind. How far behind varies issue-by-issue, but in most cases seems to stay approximately 15 to 35 years apart, so that values today viewed as "liberal" will in the near future be hailed as "conservative.")


Yes, I am Caucasian; yes, I am male; and yes, I do go to church regularly, but who in their right mind is really so IGNORANT as to express race, gender, or religion as more important than extensive administrative experience?!?! We are preparing to vote for the leader of the free world! Yet the stories proffered to pique our interest in the political realm are less intelligent than what my 5 year old son thinks up? How did we get so many dumb people in the USA? How did so many get into media? How in the world can so many "sheeple" citizens listen to this drivel and be swayed by it? I thought we were living in the greatest country in the world, but if this election cycle is a true indicator, the "great" people that inhabited our country must be gradually moving out... or dying off.


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The Idolization of Politics
9 October 2008


I am not a fan of "politics" as currently practiced in the USA. The fact that someone was able to get elected to the House of Representatives or the US Senate does not automatically defer "experience" on that individual. "Experience" is gained by years of doing, not by an election, not by speaking about doing, not by blood-lines, and not by the "old-boy" network. Furthermore, when considering "experience" it is vitally important that the experience gained is fully manifested and represented to the public in a manner that is open and truthful, rather than highlighting some aspects of said experience and downplaying other aspects (in most cases, half of the truth is less truthful than an out-right lie).

It seems to me that McCain’s "experience in crossing the aisle" has as many (if not more) cons as it does pros. I would prefer to know a seated President has rock-solid convictions and will do what is legally and ethically right regardless of media-generated public opinion polls, than to have a President that folds up his (or her) convictions and packs them away for the sake of unity — via compromise. McCain’s early (Reagan-era) Senatorial experience is in many respects, admirable, while much of his recent experience is at best mediocre, and some is positively horrendous. The "McCain-__________" bills of the last few years are the most-obvious example. I won’t beat those dead horses here, but suffice it to say, at the times-of-passage most of those bills seemed (to me) to be no more than political posturing. This year's Presidential race has verified my original opinions. There is much I dislike about McCain, some things I could tolerate if he were President, and much I absolutely abhor. It is disheartening to see he is the "best candidate" that the Republican Party could agree upon this year. [Editor's note: my opinion of his judgment was greatly improved by his pick for Vice President. I would not mind her filling his role should something happen to him. Biden on the other hand? hate to say it, but I'd rather have Hillary than Biden.]

Similarly, the Democrat Party's choice of Obama as their representative is sad; however, in that case, it is worse than just "sad" — closer to unimaginably pathetic. Obama is a different breed of candidate altogether; one that is (thankfully) rare in our system of government (although, I fear that from this election forward, candidates like him will become more prevalent). Other than a law degree, there was no experience in his past to qualify him to be elected to the Illinois State Senate. Other than his experience as an Illinois State Senator, he has nothing in his past to qualify him to run (let alone be elected) to the US Senate. Which leaves us at his current bid for President: there is no fundamental knowledge base in his past from which he can draw to make intelligent, informed decisions as a President. To put it bluntly, all of his "experience" is illegitimate: it is based strictly on his skin color, dress, demeanor, and speaking ability. Obama has become the "American Idol Candidate" for President.

If I were to take the next few years of my life to earn a law degree and then run for the Florida State Senate, it would be nearly impossible for me to get elected. Even if I could find deep pockets to back me, and even though I would have more life experience, business experience, and political experience than he had when first elected, it just would not happen. I cannot understand why people waive the need for experience when a candidate’s skin color happens to be in the minority of the populace. "People of color" are not any more or less intelligent than the typical "WASP" living in the USA. The fact that an individual’s skin color is different shouldn’t mean they need more "help" — if that were the case, then that would mean all "people of color" are inferior. I reject all reasoning that stems from the opinion that any race is inferior to another. The genetics underneath our skin are no different from any other "race" of humans. Prejudice of any kind (positive or negative) based on skin color is arrogant, ridiculous, and immature.

Furthermore, much of what Obama claims as "experience" would negate any possibility of me hiring him to fill any position. When hiring any individual for positions of power, influence, or extreme responsibility, clear references are critical. Anyone with a record of consistent ethics violations in their past (even if committed in ignorance) should be disqualified. I would like to see the institution of full background checks for all candidates for political office before they could qualify — treasonous or terrorist-supporting candidates need not apply.

Surprises are NEVER good when hiring a new employee. It amazes me that very little that has come to light regarding the past acquaintances of Obama has been adequately covered by the media. Much of my family is from the Chicago area, much of my family that is not from Chicago is from some part of Illinois (and has, in the past, been involved with "less than stellar" enterprises, and individuals). Consequently, the politics of the region was of interest to me, and I learned much of Chicago-style politics, ACORN, and Rezko long before I’d heard of Obama. Any one of those "3 strikes" would immediately put any "potential hires" in jeopardy, on probation, or in the "uninterested" pile of resumés.

I believe background information is extremely important for anyone striving for the position of President. As "President" one answers solely to "the people" — and "the people" is an abstract concept: meaningless to those with little or no personal standard of ethics. If I could not trust someone to "watch a till" I would not entrust that person to protect my family, country, and way of life.

Lastly, it appears to me that, to-date, all of the debates, venues, moderators, and questions have been designed to promote the "stage presence" of each candidate: "The Idolization of Politics." Stage presence is an extremely poor indicator of an individual’s character. A good stage presence plays to the masses; it ensures that each person hears what they want to hear, rather than the truth. It uses long empty phraseology which can be restated (at a later time) to mean totally opposite opinions and cover all discrepancies that may come to light. It is far better to focus on documented fact, evidence, and character (including the character of acquaintances) when making any important decision.

In short, "Stage Presence" is perhaps the single worst possible character trait upon which to make a decision regarding the hiring or firing of any individual for any position:
All con men have stage presence in spades.