Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Palin Captured by Somalian Pirates!

This is how I see John McCain's campaign strategists will pull his butt out of the tailspin they are in: Just before the Vice-Presidential debate Somalian pirates will capture Sarah Palin and hold her for a ransom of one trillion dollars. Not only will this save them from more pathetic embarrassment, but it will solve the current financial crisis and suddenly John will look like the hero he keeps telling us prematurely he is...

This whole economic bailout thingy is too depressing to think about. We have the head of the US Treasury, who used to be a financial head of state, telling us that we are facing a financial crisis, but we are too dumb to understand the reasons why. This, from an administration that has a history of telling lies to the American public, and they wonder why people are complaining and not trusting their solutions. Congress is running around like chickens with their heads cut off, pointing wings at each other saying it's all Nancy Pelosi's fault. Newt Gingrich , in his usual two-faced manner, was whipping up no votes among Republicans, then making a public statement showing his support for the bailout bill. And, shock of all shockers, almost every person running for re-election voted against the bill.

In the meantime, the stock market lost in one day more than the amount asked to bail out the markets, banks in England, Germany, and Asia went belly up, and it's doubtful if credibility in any American economic or social theory will ever be taken seriously again. Oh yeah, we want democracy and the American way of economics in our poor, third world part of the globe, you betcha. It's only a matter of nanoseconds before some despot will make the claim that Christian ideals causes economic collapse.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Afghanistan and bin Laden

"I don't know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority."
- G.W. Bush, 3/13/02

"I am truly not that concerned about him."
- G.W. Bush, repsonding to a question about bin Laden's whereabouts, 
3/13/02 (The New American, 4/8/02)

I was watching Fareed Zacharia interview Hamid Kharzai on Sunday morning, on CNN, where he stated that Osama bin Laden was not in Afghanistan. So, I began wondering, just what have we been doing there that we want to send additional troops to accomplish?

According to US intelligence sources, nobody knows where Osama bin Laden has been since 2001, when he was in  caves at Tora Bora. To say that he was living in some caves is a bit misleading. They were more like loft apartments, having been excavated by the bin Laden construction company, and there was even a swimming pool. The CIA operations head for the region knew where he was and asked the Pentagon for backup of 600 to 800 Army Rangers. The request was denied and the Pentagon has declined to explain its reasoning ever since. Instead, they used native forces with about 50 American pseudo-soldiers helping, only to learn that they were a few hours too late.

Since then there hasn't been any credible information on his whereabouts. He could still be in Pakistan, or he could be hanging out in some chalet in Saudi Arabia, or anywhere in the world with one of his 52 brothers, sisters, or cousins. George Bush has stated that capturing bin Laden would serve no purpose.

But lately, George Bush has been wondering what kind of legacy he is leaving behind. Since June he has upped the number of drone flights into Pakistan, which is why we are hearing of planes being shot at. He has also engaged British commando units to go over the border, which was reported by the Sunday Times. Using the British military so the US press would have less opportunity to catch wind of what is going on. Musharraf was resistant to these border incursions, but he was ousted in the nick of time and the new government has said please, do what you will.

I think it's interesting that our military bases in Afghanistan mirror the route of an oil pipeline that is being built from the Caspian Sea to Turkey. An oil pipeline that was first proposed to the Taliban government, who declined the offer, and were then invaded by the United States. The pipeline contract was then granted by the Kharzai government, who had previously been in the employ of Union Oil.

Kharzai is also negotiating with the Taliban, and if he can get them to work for him, they can isolate Al Qaeda forces, leaving no real reason for us to be there. The Middle East will never truly become democratic the way that we want it to, their societies are based on tribalism, which has led to the same conflicts for the last 1500 years. And if we can pull out of Iraq without the condom breaking, we will have ended two wars and imposed a peace that will last a thousand years. You know, until the next time.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Bailouts, Debates, and Palin, OH MY!

Congress is supposed to have the terms of the bailouts negotiated by the end of Sunday, which is when Hell is scheduled to freeze over. Looks like snow is coming early again this year to Colorado. The weird thing is that you have a bunch of Republicans who are against the plan formulated by their Republican administration, and the Democrats are treating the warning very seriously, wanting to help out as much as they can. In the meantime,the largest bank failure in our history has begun, and if  more people start taking their savings out, many more will be fore sale on the cheap.

The reason that so many people are sceptical if the bailout will work, is that nobody has made any guarantees. The people who are telling us how bad things are this very minute, are the same people who have been telling us for the last two years that they had everything taken care of and not to worry. Plus, the numbers involved are extremely large; they are just imaginary numbers, not real to me and you. It proves how our system, based on a mythical currency called dollars, is so much smoke and mirrors. I wonder if I can use my Tommy Bahama shirts as barter at the grocery store...

I enjoyed the Presidential debate Friday night, it whetted my appetite for the ones to come. I was also surprised by how many people thought Barack Obama won, it just solidified the jump in the polls he's had this last week. Unfortunately for me, every male in the US thought of it like a prizefight, myself included.

And, like sharks circling a seal or surfer bleeding in the water, the media is beginning to work itself into a frenzy over the upcoming VP debate on Thursday. Some are wondering if the McCain camp will get it cancelled, fake a family emergency within the Palin household. Other are gleefully expecting just as many questions on foreign policy, as Joe Biden is much more knowledgeable on the subject than John McCain and Barack Obama put together. Take off the gloves and wrap their hands in gauze with ground glass glued to it, like the old Muay Thai fighters used to do before the turn of the century.

Based on how poorly Sarah has shown herself during interviews so far, and the silly photo ops with lapdog public figures like Henry Kissenger, the fears are that she will majorly embarrass the GOP and her running mate. Conservative intellectual elites have begun to call for her withdrawal from the campaign, giving her a no confidence vote being just a simple heartbeat away from becoming President. This reminds me of the admonishment to be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.

Was the Debate any Good?

My expectations were perhaps too high. I was hoping for a street brawl, with the beginning like the old Saturday Night Live takeoff on Point/Counterpoint, where Dan Ackroyd turns to his opponent and says " Jane, you miserable little slut..."

John McCain did much better than I thought. He wasn't the bumbling old man, staggering around without a clue to what's really going on in the world, the way he seemed the last two weeks. He made some strong arguments and actually maneuvered Obama onto his turf during the first part by talking of tax cuts and earmarks.

But the real focus of the debate was foreign policy, which was McCain's strong point, or so it was said. Barack came across knowledgeable and had a more graceful style. he missed a few zingers, like the fact that McCain hasn't taken care of the vets, has a horrible voting record on veteran benefits bills; and the problem now in Iraq after the surge is that the Iraqis are arresting those people as traitors who had been convinced to turn against Al Qaida and fight with the US in Anbar Province. The real sniping just began at the end and they had to stop and say their set closing remarks.

For a third party analysis of the debate, click on this link to Bob Barr's column, The Debate that Wasn't. Needless to say, he felt they both were pretty spineless when it came to explaining the economic crisis and how to get out of it.

Polls were taken afterwards, pundits had their analysis, both campaigns said their guy had won. Many said it was a draw. Perhaps it helped John McCain get back on the right path and he's not taking so much meds now that the swelling on left side of his face went back down. Perhaps Barack Obama showed that he had a clearer understanding of what our foreign policy needs to accomplish, which is why the polls among undecided voters put him as the winner.

As for me, I remained sober because McCain didn't resort going to the well of his POW experience more than a couple of times. Not really worth downing a shot.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Yea, the Debate is ON!

I've been looking forward to the Presidential debates for their sheer entertainment factor, much like a good football game, or more accurately, a good boxing match. I'm looking for low blows, head butts, maybe an ear bitten off, and lots of blood smeared all over. Now that John McCain is being dragged to the match, I hope he is up to the task.

I worry because he and his running mate have not been looking, well, very Presidential lately. We've had pundits like George Will and Karl Rove dumping on John, and even super conservative columnist Kathleen Parker has changed her mind and rescinded her support of Sarah Palin. Carl Bernstein wrote an incisive article on the reasoning for choosing Ms. Palin. He had spent much time with Senator McCain, his wife, and their children for a piece back in 2000. His conclusion, like so many others have been saying, is that John McCain is not the same person he was back then. He is not sticking to his avowed principles, his campaign is using the same underhanded advertising that people are fed up with nowadays, and his choices do not seem to be the calm, reasoned ones that befit a President.

I wish for a good, spirited debate, to play the drinking game where you take a drink of alcohol every time McCain mentions his POW experience, but I'm afraid that it will be a one-sided affair with Obama's oratory skills shining through. Of course, he could not be in top shape and be lethargic like he sometimes seems, where people think he comes across rather professorish. Neanderthals that we are, spraying blood and cutting your opponent is more satisfying than a well thought out and articulated argument. I can't wait.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Now, No Bailout Agreement

Geez. I read the papers in the morning, check out a few web sites, write a blog entry. Then I go pick a grandkid up from school. When I come back everything has changed from the morning, it feels like a bad acid trip or a Phillip Dick novel. There is no bailout. There is a rebellion among House Republicans, who tout a weak plan of their own that was never brought up before. There is no reason to the meeting at the White House, all members sit and diddle their thumbs for an empty gesture of a photo op...

Then, Washington Mutual died, the feds have been having a busy day closing it down. There are about 25 other banks that may fall like a stack of dominos. No word from John McCain's campaign if he will do the debate this evening; he seems to be losing it, and we are watching the total meltdown of a personality in real time. 

And poor Sarah Palin. I watched part of the Katy Couric interview, and it seemed like she was going to lose it and cry. She is in way over her head, the pressure of a national campaign is too much for her even with her handlers keeping her from the media. 

Our economy is in really bad shape. The local county and city governments whine over how much their budgets fall short,big businesses are leaving here in droves, my brother-in-law may soon find himself without a job, and I have one of those subprime mortgages, trying to make increasing payments on a fixed income. The murder rate is up, people are packing heat just to go to Walmart...

Bailout Deal Reached

About half an hour after John McCain arrived in Congress a press conference was called and the basic terms that had been agreed on were announced for the economic bailout. Thanks for all your help John, guess you can go to that debate after all... And the auto industry got their 25 Billion dollars that they asked for. There is no guarantee that any part of the bailout plan will work, and more and more money will be asked for, kinda like the current war we are waging in the Middle East.

Let's hope this works because if it doesn't, our whole economy could collapse. Serious damage has been done to the reputation of the dollar and stability of American institutions. For the past 80 years the dollar has been the currency that international trade has been based on, and English the international language of business. That may no longer become the case, and markets may switch to the Euro, which we have been fighting not to happen. A trivia answer is that Iraq had no longer accepted US dollars for their oil payments and demanded only Euros right before we invaded them...

And the world market will get worse as essential commodities such as oil and water become more scarce. Japanese investors have been buying up small watersheds along with European conglomerates like Nestle. The Japanese have also bought part of Lehman's operations and snickered all the way back to their country. They remember 15 years ago during their own economic crisis and it was US businessmen tramping through their markets and buying assets, saying how they didn't know how to run their own economy. Payback...

So, not only have we become Socialists overnight, but may well be on our way to becoming a second-class nation. Our society is a melting pot of races and cultures, and we need to work on uplifting more of our society, in places like Pritchard, Alabama; clean up the blatant corruption in small towns like Mustang Ridge, Texas; solve our homeless situation, restore dignity to those who have lost jobs, and give hope to our children that they actually have a future.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

McCain Wants to Cancel Friday's Debates

Congress has been working around the clock for the last five days trying to hammer out a plan for the financial bailout, and it looks like they will have it accomplished within the next few days. Even President Bush went on television this evening to talk to we, the people, to reassure us about it and not to panic.

This morning Barack Obama called John McCain and suggested that they both put politics aside and issue a joint statement on supporting Congress's efforts. In response, Senator McCain issued a statement saying that he was going back to Washington and help solve the crisis, and that their upcoming debate should be cancelled. Senator Obama's response was no, a President should be able to do more than one thing at a time...

It seems that John also cancelled his appearance on the David Letterman show, saying that he was on his way back to the Capitol. David found out that the Senator wasn't leaving until the next morning and was in another studio taping an interview with Katy Couric. David then showed the live feed to his audience, and when McCain asked if there were any more questions, shouted out "Yeah, I have one. Do you need a ride to the airport?"

I see this as a setup. It's the Republicans who are holding up and stalling on the bailout plans. Suddenly, John McCain flies in, rallies his troops around him, they finish hashing out the details, and he is lauded as our new hero, who's leadership helped solve the financial crisis. All scripted and served to us on a platter so his poll points shoot upwards again.

Except President Bush has taken some of the wind out of his sails by inviting both Senators Obama and McCain to the White House tomorrow afternoon for a briefing and meeting on the crisis with other administration officials and Congressmen. So, there's no reason to cancel the debates unless McCain is running scared away from them. All Barack has to do is piss him off and get him to explode in anger like he usually does, and it could be the nails in the coffin for the carpetbagger who moved to Arizona just to run for Congress.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Our New Socialistic Country

So, now that we have suddenly become a socialistic country, what becomes of the Bush Doctrine of spreading democracy throughout the world?

Our government is taking over the giant mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac, the insurance giant AIG, giving tens of billions of dollars in cash to banks all over the world, and now Ford, GM, and Chrysler are asking for handouts, too.

US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson submitted a 3 page plan to Congress, giving himself more power than anyone else in the history of the United States, saying to trust him in making the right decisions. It would allow the Treasury the power to buy any financial instrument from any financial institution as a means to relieve it of bad assets. Estimated costs are 700 billion dollars and counting... Oh, and we have to do it now, before it's too late.

Of course both Democrats and Republicans are wary of trusting the Bush administration for anything and are trying to negotiate some responsibility into the plan. Republicans are challenging the cost and scope of the plan, wanting a cap on spending, while Democrats are pushing for an oversight committee and some help for homeowners. This is a good example of bi-partisan negotiations, with the Bush Administration being the third party.

I wrote before that the only way to guarantee that the oil taken offshore here will stay here is if we nationalized the oil companies. Perhaps this is all part of a plan, and they will be next, ha, ha, ha ha,ha!

Monday, September 22, 2008

We Should End Party Politics

More people than ever before are interested in the current Presidential election. More people are writing, blogging, and creating videos, trying to influence other people's opinions. One of the more interesting websites is Blog Net News, where you can see blogs from every state in the USA.

It's obvious from the Democrat's inability to keep their promises once they became the Senate majority, and how bankrupt the Republicans are by the same, tired tactics that they are using in waging John McCain's campaign, that our two party system really sucks. We need more choice.

By having a salad bar system, where you are allowed to pick someone regardless of their party affiliation, you could end up with some interesting combinations, like a Hillary Clinton/Sarah Palin administration. Yep, they'd end up killing each other before the first year was over... Or, how about Ron Paul and Bob Barr, two guys that would make you think, if not scratch your head?

My personal favorite this election cycle would be to pick two Vietnam vets, Jim Webb (D Virginia) and Chuck Hagel (R Nebraska), two straight talking guys who would really shake things up, if not make things a lot more fun.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Remember the 2000 Election?

Ok, we know that Karl Rove is only consulting with the McCain campaign, and has more allegiance to George Bush. Two of his fellow Lee Atwater disciples are helping to design ads, and I think the worst is yet to come, as they will try to take people's minds off of the results of the upcoming debates.

These are the people who ran a smear campaign against John McCain by saying that he:

Had been brainwashed while a prisoner of war.

The senator's adopted Bangladesh daughter was his love child.

Had infected his wife with VD.

Had turned her into a drug addict.

Was connected to the Mafia with the Keating Five.

The results were that John McCain dropped out of the race. Not once did George Bush repudiate or apologize, much like John is not doing when confronted on the lies that he has been spreading. I guess if you can beat them, then you can join them...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Medal Of Honor

Today's Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post gave some major space to a story about a visit to Liberty Middle School by a Medal of Honor winner, Drew Dix. I liked the Post's version better, they described how the school went to the extra attention of putting flags for each medal winner out in front of their school, and how they had studied about what it meant to win the Medal of Honor.

Drew is almost a local boy, raised in Pueblo when he went off to the Vietnam War. The Post article describes his experience during the Tet Offensive, and how he became a real-life hero. Of course, I have friends who also were heroes during that war and never received such a prestigious award, as well as others who never made it back, but it's people like Drew Dix that act as a symbol of pride for all acts of bravery during a war.

From the article in the Rocky Mountain News comes this impressive reaction to Drew's visit and talk by Joel Kapp, a 13 year old eighth grader,   " War isn't necessarily all about fighting. For some people, like the Medal of Honor recipients, it's about what you do during that war and the decisions you make, and whether or not they were the right ones, and living with yourself after you've made the decision. When you look to the person on your right and you look to the person on your left, you should see value in each and every person you see, just because human life is what we fight for in the first place, even if it means the death of others."

John McCain's Fiscal Policy

In light of John McCain flip-flopping his position on the Lehman Brothers takeover in the matter of two days, his spokesperson and economic advisor for his campaign, the ever anorexic Nancy Pfotenhauer said that his fiscal policy would balance the budget by the end of his first term without making any real major cutbacks.

He plans to do this by ending earmarks, which costs us 18 billion dollars, and by cutting another 160 billion in discretionary spending. What was meant by discretionary spending was not defined.

According to an analysis of his program, the Center for American Action Fund estimated that by the end of his first term John McCain would have us in a deficit of 505 billion dollars. So we are left 337 billion dollars short of a balanced budget.

I guess John McCain was giving us the straight talk when he said that economics wasn't his strong suite.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Poor John McCain

Poor John McCain, even his own party is against his stated policy of getting rid of earmarks. It's the one thing that he can claim the title of maverick over, and one that really needs to happen, regardless of who wins in November.

Stopping pork projects, earmarking legislation, and posting budget items online is a good start. But we also need to eliminate lobbying, have term limits for all elected offices, judges included.

Our laws need to have expiration dates, so that every law passed can either be renewed if it's a good one, tweaked so it can be made better, or allowed to die if it's a clinker. The problem here is that every elected representative feels that they have to make laws and now we have an unwieldy and over-burdened system that can't keep up with changing times. Instead of constantly adding we need to begin subtracting and making laws written in simple, plain language, free of ambiguity.

All industries involving investment money need to have oversight. If the futures commodities market were to go back to the way it was previously regulated before Phil Gramm's interference (with John McCain's help), gas at the pump would come down by $1 to $2, and even the price of coffee beans would come down by $3 t0 $4 per pound.

The damage to our markets have been done, we are looking more like a socialistic country by taking over Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers and AIG. If we also take over the oil companies we could guarantee that oil pumped within the US would stay in the US, and not sold on the world market, ripping us off once again. A foolish American public and their money...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

David Petraeus Kicked Upstairs

Today General David Petraeus turned over command of Iraq after 20 months to General Ray Odiemo, who was his second in command. Most commentators feel that the two think alike and that there will not be much change in the American military policy towards Iraq. So, we are in a holding pattern until we elect a new President. 

But that won't stop the Iraqi people from blowing each other and our soldiers up, until it will become a country filled only with maimed and crippled folks. Perhaps the 80 billion dollars in oil revenue sitting in New York banks will be enough to buy wheelchairs and crutches for them all.

Trying to stop uneducated, fanatical bombers from killing innocents isn't why we are there. Evidently, deposing Saddam Hussein wasn't the reason either, since he's been tried and hanged some time ago. Maybe we will begin to leave after the oil pipeline has been successfully built through Afghanistan and into Turkey. Maybe we will leave after the Iraqi government has asked us to if Obama wins; it certainly won't happen under McCain's watch.

The reason we are there is an experiment, to spread our version of democracy and political ideals throughout the world. Two hundred years ago it would be called imperialism, so see how far we have advanced as a civilization? I find it ironic that we are using our weapons of mass destruction advance our agenda, and not the peaceful way that we say things will happen under a democratic government.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Karl Rove on McCain Ads

This campaign gets more bizarre. On Sunday morning Karl Rove appeared on Fox News and said that the recent McCain ads stretched the truth and set him up for retaliation. It's my understanding that McCain has hired two former workers from the Bush campaign that were responsible for the lies spread about John McCain back then, and he is now using them to create hit pieces on Barack Obama. If this is true, then John has sacrificed his ideals and dignity to his ambition and desire to be President.

My sister noticed that John McCain doesn't like being questioned by women, and he began to get pissed even before the hard questions were asked on The View. It may be from the sexist views he has towards women, that all men of his generation seem to have. I noticed it in my father and uncles and had hours of fun teasing them about it, enjoyed pressing their buttons.

Sarah Palin was in Golden, Colorado this morning, stumping on her own. Her speeches are getting better and she seems more relaxed. She is still spouting the nonsense about telling the government no thank you to federal funds on the pork project dubbed the Bridge to Nowhere, not mentioning the wee fact that she kept the funds along with previously supporting the project until it became a symbol of excess and an embarrassment. I stated earlier in my posts that her habit of telling little white lies were going to come back and bite her, and boy, has it ever...

All public figures are different from the personas that they display before us. Want to become disillusioned with your favorite president? Go to his presidential library and read what went on behind the curtains. If the Democrats want to attack McCain, all they have to do is get footage of him losing his temper on the Senate floor and put it in ads. Do you want this angry old man, who can't keep control of himself, making important decisions that will affect the world? They could also attack him on his increasing senility, as someone who may not know where they are at 3 a.m. when the phone rings...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Doug Lamborn Compares VP Candidates

My 5th Congressional District representative and Party puppet, Republican Doug Lamborn published an article in our local paper listing 10 reasons why Sarah Palin is better than Joe Biden.

Unfortunately, he didn't write it, just signed his name to it while regurgitating last week's tired arguments, many which have been shown to be not true. I guess the reasoning behind this is that we are the idiots who can't observe and think for ourselves. Trying to compare Palin as being more experienced and knowledgeable than Biden is the wrong track to take, because it's such a joke. They should steer away from denigrating Biden's service as a Senator and promote Sarah simply as a breath of fresh air. Most criticisms leveled at Biden also would reflect on McCain as well, such as Lamborn's argument #2. Focus and write on #1 Doug, the other ones are bad logic, not true, and can easily be refuted. Or better yet, get a better writer than this one.

One of the more interesting arguments, is that Sarah Palin is a regionalist, she understands the West. This is the opposite of the statements that she and John will put country first. I hope that the inference here is not to the Wild West, which was a forty year period in our nation's history, and has lived on as fiction ever since. You go, you cowboy you...

This all reminds me what my father used to tell his children so many times in the past: when you keep your mouth shut people may think you are stupid, but when you open it you remove all doubt...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

ABC Interview

I'm not sure what it says about our country when a lot of our younger people get their political news from the Daily Show, and the most difficult questions yet asked of a candidate came from The View.

The most frustrating thing about ABC's interview of Sarah Palin is that they chopped it up and served it in edited segments. You never got to watch the whole thing uncensored from beginning to end. Groups that support Ms. Palin felt that it was a hit piece designed to make her look bad, and complain about how the Mainstream Media is a left-wing boogeyman. People more critical of Ms. Palin looked at her performance and tried to separate the rehearsed aspects of her answers from the views that she actually may have.

I've long felt that we really don't need professional politicians, that regular folk could do the jobs just as well. Now I'm rethinking that position and am wondering if you shouldn't be made to take a proficiency exam if you want to seek a political office. I shudder to think that I would have allowed stupid Texans that ignored an order to evacuate Hurricane Ike in office. Basic standards need to be met, so that the George Bushes, Sarah Palins, George Allens, and Rudy Gulianis of this world are kindly not allowed to waste our time.

One of the most telling things I heard, was when some women were interviewed about why they liked Sarah Palin. Well, she's a regular woman just like me, I identify with her, and it gives me hope that I could even be Vice President

Do you think that you are prepared and would make a good Vice President now? Well, no...

I want a politician who's smarter than I am, who spends all of their time studying the world political and economic situation. I want someone who can be a representative of all of the good things my country stands for, not someone who's so jingoistic that they will lead us into World War 111. Maybe I should spend more time listening to Bob Barr and Ron Paul?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Sarah Palin, Hurricane Ike

When asked by reporters where she got her answer to the Russia question, Gov. Palin replied, "My Magic 8-Ball got stuck on that one, so I asked God." Too bad it was her ego that answered...

OK, I was cruel to her in my last post. It's sad, really, watching this woman getting shredded for being so ignorant. What will happen to her and her family after losing the election, and she goes back to Alaska with a husband who's unemployed and five children, one of whom has Down's syndrome? And Alaska has lost all of their earmarks... Will Cindy McCain give her a Budweiser distributorship?

Ahh, but if she wins, I'll bet that Mr. Putin will test her mettle by invading Georgia and the Ukraine within the first 100 days. He's giggling and planning it now. Every despot in the world may be planning similar things and we will be pushed into WW111.


My nephew works for American Medical Response out of Mobile, Alabama. Just like the local AMR here in Colorado Springs, they have made mistakes in almost every paycheck they have given him. They have lent him out to FEMA during the hurricane emergencies, and he's been sent out to Louisiana. They sent him on a truck that was out of commission, it was too old and mechanically unsound, that they claimed they had been saving for FEMA.

Every day that he has been sent out the ambulance has broken down. First, the clutch went out, then the electrical system burnt out and had to be replaced, and this morning the brakes went out. He's scared what might happen if he has a patient on life support and it breaks down again. Luckily, there have been military mechanics able to fix it, but it's embarrassing to have to wait for 5 hours to be towed when you are supposed to be providing emergency relief services.

He and his partner have a place with cots to sleep and a place to shower, but they haven't gotten a paycheck yet. AMR says that he is working for FEMA now, and FEMA says that they pay AMR to pay him. How can he pay his bills back at home or keep his car from being repo'ed? It won't be sorted out until long after Ike has passed, but this is no way to treat people whom you want to depend on. Only their compassion for others and the belief that they can help is keeping them there. And the worst is to come, with Ike due to make landfall soon.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

George Bush's Sept 11 Speech

I know that I will sound like a conspiracy theory spouting wacko if I mention the Lizards, but every couple of sentences George Bush's tongue would flick out between his lips in a very reptilian way...

Sarah Palin gave her first solo interview today, and it was pretty much as I expected it would be: she is an idiot. She may be charismatic, but put together with John McCain, and you have a senile old man with an ignorant young woman, and we will lose all credibility on the world stage. Since you know that neither of them will be running the show, I wonder who will actually be making any major and important decisions in the Republican White House. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

On the Campaign Trail...

My sister is a Democrat, yet every morning, after I come home from taking kids to school, I find her watching the stump speeches of McCain and Palin. I notice that they are repeating the same speech each time, as if there were no cameras recording them. This includes Sarah's line about saying "no" to the Bridge to Nowhere after it was reported that she actually said "yes." I guess the speechwriters feel that it has better dramatic effect to leave it in.

If you watch the body language between Sarah and John, you see that he creeps her out, especially when they embrace. It may have something to do with how swollen the left side of his face has become, or maybe she just doesn't like him.

Plus, they are making an aggressive campaign stance by following Barack Obama from state to state, trying to steal his thunder. By promoting Ms. Palin up to celebrity status, keeping her away from any give and take with reporters, you drive the sharks into a feeding frenzy, and they will write reams and reams about their frustration. It deflects attention away from talking about items of substance and focuses on gossip. We, as a nation, are far more interested in the glitzy, glamorous, made-up lives of celebrities than the dirty, grubby, grabbing for political power. 

And if we can portray ourselves as rebels who can stand up to the corrupt establishment, take the pure ideals of plain folks who will magically transform the bad establishment, maybe you will believe the fiction. Maybe you won't notice that we are the establishment, and have been for the last 26 years. And if you don't believe us, we will change our message until we find something that you can believe in, and if I repeat lies about my opponent long enough and often enough, it takes on the patina of truth. Thank you, Mr. Rove.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Iraq and Afghanistan

Today President Bush recalled 8000 troops from Iraq, and sent some more to Afghanistan. Cynically, this is a move to take some of the wind out of the sails of the Democratic nominee, making this war less of a contention for debate.

I have yet to see a listing of the accomplishments we have achieved in these countries, the rebuilt infrastructure, schools and hospitals that we've promised to these people. The longer we are there, the more tired the population gets of our troops.

My analogy is what if there are Chinese troops and tanks taking over our country to free us from George Bush, and are marching along Academy Boulevard? Would we resent them? Co-operate with them? Form pockets of resistance, arming our friends and neighbors? Hide those resistors from the troops? A lot of what has happened in cities like Bagdad is a natural course of events when a country is occupied; it doesn't matter what the conflict has been.

The longer we are there, the more burnt out our troops become, having to be alert enough in life or death situations in 115 degree heat. The Army not letting you go home when your time is up, forcing you to enlist for another tour of duty or two or three until you lose the distinction between what is reality and what is the hell of this war. You have to deal with being poisoned by your own government, that uses depleted uranium in its bullets and bombs, and as reinforcement in the humvees you have to drive, leaving deformed children born in its wake. You never know if any man, woman, or child you see is carrying a bomb, or what you don't see buried alongside of every road.

And if you do come home, how do you deal with that pressure and the images of death and how do you end up channeling that energy? Unless you get therapy that is successful, you will direct it inwards and commit suicide, or direct it outwards and commit violence. These are statistics that are not added to the casualty lists and every politician and general should be held responsible.

There will never be a clear victory in these countries, nor probably in any other conflict that will be waged in the future. We haven't made any permanent friends in the region. I'd like to see Dick Cheney, George Bush, and that whole crowd tried for treason for the way they lied to the public to get us into Iraq in the first place, there are a whole bunch of books that make the case more eloquently than I can. But I will have to settle for however history ends up treating them...

Monday, September 8, 2008

Honesty in Politics?

Probably more people than ever before are following the elections this year, and all of the blogging on the Internet has played a large part. I want to thank all 5 of my readers...

Most of the mud throwing has been about the candidates spreading lies in their speeches, lies about their positions on issues in the past, lies about what their opponents did or did not do, lies about what their opponents are going to do if elected. 

Each time an election cycle starts, we hope that the candidates will be more honest and behave ethically towards their opponents; but every time it devolves into a dirty mess, and we feel soiled. We tout our country as the greatest proponent of democracy in the world, then let folks like the Bush administration make a mockery and fools of us all.

Barack Obama says its time to change Washington, and because the polls have shown that it resonates with the public, John McCain is suddenly trying to out-change him. The cynic in me says that neither will accomplish much change because the whole system needs a complete overhaul. Our society is still too racist and we are too disrespectful of our fellow man. In short, we are all too human.

I think the best way to conduct the presidential debates, and any time a politician talks to the public, is to hook them all up to lie detectors, with the results shown on the screen as they are speaking. It may not be an accurate measurement of how truthful one is, but it will make things more fun.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Before the Campaigns Heat Up...

Everything seems anti-climatic after the conventions. I have to share the television with grand-daughters again, watching episodes from Animal Planet and Total Drama Island... John McCain and Sarah Palin are campaigning here in Colorado Springs today. I forgot to call for tickets so I will sit this out, try and read some fiction set in Tibet and Mongolia.

As our emotions deflate, there comes post-convention depression and a return of cynical viewpoints. The political blogs are going crazy flinging mud and accusations at each other. There are a few things I find unsettling, unfortunately all coming from the Republican side.

1) What is that growth on the left side of John McCain's face? It has been getting larger over the past few months, and at the convention was covered by a piece of plastic and makeup. If its cancer, then the prognosis is not good for the Senator from Arizona. I haven't seen any major news outlet mentioning it, and my sister, who's a nurse, pointed it out to me. John has a history of skin cancer and it would be a shame if he waits until after the elections are over to get it treated. This also explains the weird, distracting choice of the photo of the middle school from North Hollywood for the background during his acceptance speech. The green expanse of grass simulated the green screen effect during close ups, and the color created a jarring note, distracted viewers from looking closely at his face. An example of smoke and mirrors...

2) One of the things I never liked about the Bush administration, has been the way they have tried to force public opinion. When describing a situation or point of view, they come up with a couple of pithy phrases that get repeated by loyal team players at every opportunity. The silliness of it has been repeatedly used for comedic purposes on the Daily Show with John Stewart. If you utter a phrase long enough will people believe its true? The worst one of these, of course, has been "weapons of mass destruction." 

This style of hit and run was used again during interviews at the Republican convention, set pieces of attack on Obama and defense pieces of Palin. It makes people like Carly Fiorino, Mitt Romney, and Rudy Guliani look like sheeple. I was hoping that this form of group think would not take place and is why I am pessimistic that John McCain will actually be able to change the Republican establishment in Washington, which he is a part of.

3) Sarah Palin is beginning by telling little white lies. Does it matter if her speech writers wrote them or she herself did? But she's saying that she didn't support the Bridge to Nowhere, that she sold the governor's plane on ebay and made a profit, or that she didn't support Alaska's embattled Senator Ted Stevens. 

These are all easily checked facts and her detractors are having a field day. It may be that she can't help herself; in order to make people like you, to embellish stories with what you think they want to hear. We all do it at one time in our life, usually in adolescence. But it may signify that she has no problems stretching the truth and is amoral by nature. We have had 8 years of the worst examples of this kind of behavior, and is the best reason that the Republican Party needs to be rebuilt from the ground up. It must stop and be changed now.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

RNC Day 4 McCain's Acceptance

I originally wanted to compare and contrast the speeches from the two conventions along with thousands of other bloggers in the country, but that would be a cruel thing to do to the Republicans. Michelle Obama, Ted Kennedy, Hillary and Bill Clinton, Joe Biden and Barack Obama all gave much better speeches than their counterparts.

This Republican convention had its moments, introducing the firecracker Sarah Palin to the country, and John McCain's speech was much better than I thought it was going to be. His retelling of his POW imprisonment was expected, but it was more personal and revealing how he turned a tragedy into a watershed experience, something that he draws strength from to this day. To the rest of us it sounds like a broken record and pandering, but it was something that defined him as a man.

He tried to give specific things he wants to do to help the economy, but it was the weakest part of the speech. The same old retread ideas that have been put on the table before don't make the case that you are a maverick and a reformer. Besides, the original Maverick was James Garner... What's bothered me all week long is that everyone else's speeches sounded like they were trying to convince themselves that McCain was the guy to lead them, hence the militaristic and almost jingoistic tone disguised as patriotism. It was heavy-handed, though McCain did try to interject a respectful note towards his opponent.

So, instead of being demoralized, the Republicans have some hope that their candidates will give a good fight in this election. The choice for Vice President was a gut instinctual move that looks like it has payed off big time ( I still think she was Cindy's choice ), and now we will have some good debates in the near future. In my dreams I see Gore Vidal once again rising to the podium, taking on the brash, young Sarah Palin...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

RNC Day 3

Well, the house was rocking tonight. It was a raucous crowd whooping and cheering the speeches. Mit Romney, Mike Huckabee, and Rudy Guliani all gave ones that seemed like they were from the same speech writing team, but that didn't matter. They all began with John McCain's POW experience, telling us what a good character he is, then went on the attack against Obama. It was a good swan song for their political careers, and a full house cheered and applauded.

Talk about treating politicians like they were celebrities, the real star tonight was Sarah Palin. She delivered her speech well, and got to deliver the most zingers against her opponents. She even got to deliver the best joke of the night: What's the difference between a soccer mom and a pitbull? Lipstick... She came across confident, sarcastic, and someone who will be able to handle the pressures of campaigning. In a copycat move, John McCain made a surprise visit at the end of her speech. They still don't know each other very well, and her body language when he went to embrace her was less than pleasant, get it over with old man...

It remains to be seen if she can learn enough about domestic and foreign policy to debate with Joe Biden, but she could make it interesting and not be a complete drubbing. She certainly gives the GOP campaign the shot of adrenaline it needs and proved that she can dish it out with the rest of the girls.

A major theme was to drill, baby drill! If we drilled off of all our coastlines and the oil was available tomorrow, it still wouldn't bring the cost of gasoline down one penny. Instead, we'd be selling it to China and the Russians on the open market at the current barrel price. The only way to keep the oil for ourselves is if we nationalized the oil companies... And you know that will never happen. We are being manipulated by the agendas of the oil companies and it won't make us any less dependent on foreign oil. Our oil will just add to their profits while making you believe that it was a patriotic thing to do. A sucker really is born every minute...

RNC Day 2

I was going to play a drinking game, have a drink every time someone mentioned John McCain's POW experience, but I would have been passed out by 8:30 pm. Good thing I'm diabetic and gave up drinking awhile ago...

This was a better evening with back to back speeches that moved briskly. The theme seemed a bit creepy, trying to outdo the Democrats but proving why the Republicans just don't get it. Stealing the " change " theme and calling theirs authentic defies logic. Want change? Then elect us even though we control Washington and could make these changes anytime we really want to. Inspired by the speeches at the Democratic convention? Well, feel doubly inspired by how patriotic we are, how militaristic we are without mentioning the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. I guess that explains all of the empty seats. Also, the eleven year old grand-daughter asked " where are all of the black people? "

The whole Bush family was there for a video tribute to H.W Bush, except for Jeb Bush, who must have stayed at home eating his bitter pills, and our current president, who sent his speech in by video. There was another video tribute to Ronald Reagan thrown in for no reason at all, unless the very name makes you salivate.

The best speech of the night came from Fred Thompson, who gave a dramatic reading of John McCain's POW experience. I think he got lost halfway through and added a couple of beatings and broken bones, but nobody noticed. Every person of my generation that I have talked to that has also been in Vietnam has been critical of the way John keeps answering questions by referring to his POW imprisonment, as if it makes him especially qualified to give you an answer. Too bad Fred couldn't give this good of a speech when he was campaigning for himself. Though you came away feeling better about John McCain, there was no substance in it, no defining exactly what his policies are going to be.

Tonight will be Sarah Palin's speech. She has been set up so that she cannot flinch or fail and must give the speech of her life. Can a great speech be written on such a short notice? We'll see.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

RNC Day 1

So the Republican National Convention didn't really open, coverage from Hurricane Gustav took over the airwaves instead. I think Laura Bush and Cindy McCain gave some speeches about the hurricane, something along the lines of let them eat cake? I was hoping to be able to contrast Cindy's speech with Michelle Obama's, but wisely the RNC officials didn't want that to happen.

Tonight President Bush will give a speech by telecast, probably because he's too chicken to show up in person. I don't know why the candidates snipe back and forth about who's fit to be President, when here's the biggest example of a person so obviously unfit and we've had him in office for eight years. His lies to the American people have been so blatant and in-your-face that on many occasion I have waxed nostalgic for just the good old I-have-not-had-sex-with-that-woman days. Let's see, am I impressed by the misguided arrogance that costs us billions of dollars and thousands of lives, or one case of oral sex with no-one looking?

Anyway, I don't think I'll have to take notes on shrub's speech. I do hope that there will be someone who will rise to the occasion and give one to rival one of the ones given by the Democrats. I would like to feel inspired here, also. But it seems that the real fun will happen during the upcoming debates, as long as John McCain doesn't cheat like he did at Rick Warren's lovefest. And this is the heart of the matter that bothers me: that John McCain talks about cleaning up corruption and yet relies on the same old negative campaign tricks and using Carl Rove. After being ripped by those same tricks in the past when they were focused on him, he is willing to turn them now at his opponent. And this is the price for one's ambition, taking a backseat to morals, ethics and human decency...

Monday, September 1, 2008

Thoughts on Sarah Palin, Hurricane Gustav

Even though Sarah Palin is governor of Alaska, she is still a nice, naive woman where national and world politics are concerned. I know the upcoming GOP convention will be her Warholian 15 minutes of fame, but it's cruel to take her out of her safe niche and throw her to the wolves who will expose how shallow her thinking is.

 After she and her family get mistreated and abused and lose the election, I doubt that they can go back to their former lives. They are not rich people like the Bush family, or Al Gore, or John Kerry, or John McCain, who can use their money to insulate themselves from the rest of society. They will have to go back to Alaska and live with their shame, and people can be cruel. It may affect her marriage and the health of her youngest child. On the bright side, maybe John McCain will give them one of his houses!


My nephew works for American Medical Response out of Mobile, Alabama. Prior to the knowledge that Gustav was coming, they had been hiring unqualified people without their state certification to work part-time rather than give their employees overtime. Now that FEMA has contracted them to use their employees, they are scrambling to get their old, more experienced employees who had quit on them hired back. My nephew is certified for over 6 states in the region, so he can be deployed just about anywhere the hurricane hits.

He is currently in the city of New Orleans with the National Guard. Because there are no restaurants open for business, and his company didn't give him any money up front for things like food, he's had to go begging the National guard for MRE's, and looting a local hospital for supplies for his ambulance. Despite these handicaps I know that he will do a good job, for it's the unsung heroes like him that save lives when disasters strike.