Saturday, December 18, 2004

Baby or Fetus?

In the last couple of days we have been horrified to hear the story of Bobbi Jo Stinnett, the Missouri woman who was murdered and had her unborn child cut from her body. The story is truly chilling and I will not go into the details here.

In the news coverage of the story we find a very disturbing trend - referring to this baby as a stolen fetus, rather than a kidnapped child. I would have thought that after the grizzly murder of Lacy and Conner Peterson we would have learned that a woman who has been pregnant 8 months has a baby and not a fetus. When was the last time you asked a pregnant woman “when will your fetus be recognized as human?” No one would ask such a question! You would probably ask the mother-to-be “when is your baby due?”

This story from Fox News illustrates what I am talking about. The headline reads “Woman Charged in Stolen Fetus Case.” Lisa M. Montgomery, the alleged kidnapper/murder/scumbag, is not charged with stealing a fetus, she is charge with KIDNAPPING RESULTING IN DEATH. You kidnap people. The state of Missouri has enough sense to realize that we are not dealing with the theft of property but the abduction of a human being, why can’t the press see this? It is time that the media show some respect for unborn children.

The answer is because of the abortion issue - as a society we are terrified of this issue. If the press refers to unborn children, at any stage of pregnancy, as children, it will be seen as support for the anti-abortion lobby. To me, referring to an unborn child, who has been “stolen” from her mother’s womb, as a “fetus” is offensive in the extreme.

I don’t mean for this to be an abortion post, I just want to point out what I see as a problem with the way the press thinks of unborn children. Government certification, as in the form of a birth certificate, is not what makes a fetus into a child. Life does not begin at birth, if it did then Lisa M. Montgomery would be responsible, not only for the death of Bobbi Jo Stinnett (allegedly), but also for the initiation of the life of Victoria Jo Stinnett.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Junk Science Awards

My favorite site has released their top 10 Most Embarrassing Moments of the year. These are some great stories! It is amazing to me that there are people who actually think that scientists should run the country. Take some time and read these amazing and frightening stories.

Crime in the UK

Sometimes our British cousins can’t understand why Americans are so infatuated with guns. They cannot believe that in a civilized society why anyone other than the police would ever need one. Americans, of course, can’t understand the British position (at least Red state Americans, Blue staters think like the Brits). This story from the Belmont Club really put a spotlight on the issue. Everyone should be armed and then the criminals would think twice before breaking into a house. I would hate to live in the UK.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Reading, Listening, Watching

Time again to take a break from the news and talk about me, my favorite subject! No seriously, the news is getting me down so I must change gears for a while. With the election over I have been trying to get back on track with other interests such as books, music and the occasional movie. So here is what I have been doing:

READING: A Bed for the Night: Humanitarianism in Crisis by David Rieff This book outlines the problems in the current humanitarian system – its relationship to the UN and its origins in European Colonialism. I am having a bit of trouble getting through this book. The subject is interesting and the writing is good, I just don’t understand much of what he is referring too. I need to do some research on some of the key relief groups that he talks about. It is a good book so far but very academic.

LISTENING: From One by Ra. This is my new favorite CD! I first heard Ra on the radio with the song Do You Call My Name, which was really popular in Phoenix for a while. I really liked the song but I could never seem to hear the name of the band. Then a couple weeks later I started to hear a different song – Rectifier. This song was even better! I finally broke down and bought the CD a couple of weeks ago and I can’t stop listening to it. It is one of those rare CD that the songs you don’t hear are better than the ones on the radio. If you like hard rock or progressive rock you will love the band.

WATCHING: Aside from The Incredibles, which I have already blogged about, the only movie I have seen lately is Spiderman 2. I was kind of disappointed with this movie. I had great expectations all summer and could not wait for the DVD. I never found the time to see it in the theater. I felt the movie was a little slow to develop. I though Peter Parker was more whiney that the first movie (not sure how that is even possible). I hated the fact that he reveals his identity to EVERYONE of importance, except Jamison. Maybe I just need to watch it again.

I have been spending some time on my hobby lately. I have been painting figures for my friends at Tactical Miniatures for their new releases. I have sent the first batch back to them and I hope he gets some pictures up soon. I have also been working on my friend Tom’s web site. Just a basic set of galleries for his figure collections. I have done a few updates to my main web site as well.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Dan Rather News

This is a great evaluation of Dan Rather by Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal. It is one of the best articles I have ever read about Mr. Rather. I must say, I am glad he is retiring.

On another note, has this little blurb about Mr. Rather that is both frightening and funny at the same time:

Outgoing CBS News Anchor Dan Rather says he considers CBS a "magical, mystical kingdom — our version of Camelot."

In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter conducted last year and reprinted today, Rather also reports an unusual relationship with deceased CBS News legend Edward R. Murrow.

Rather says, "Ed Murrow's ghost is here. I've seen him and talked to him on the third floor of this building many times late at night. And I can tell you that he's watching over us."

Did I mention that I am glad he is retiring?

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

America Haters and Spineless Weenies

Now, I have read some pretty amazing America hating stuff lately but this might be the most insulting of the bunch. This guy has the nerve to say that the reason Alexander the Great is doing so poorly in US theaters is because dumb Americans are homophobes. It is interesting that Americans are homophobes but where is the condemnation of the Greeks who won’t even admit Alexander was gay? Please…the movie just plain sucks. We will see how quickly our tolerant and worldly European brothers flock to this turd.

Pat Sajak has made an interesting point about the lack of Hollywood outrage over the murder of Dutch film maker Theo van Gogh. I think he is on to something and it is very sad. Basically, condemning terrorists puts Hollywood types too close to President Bush.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

NBA Riots and Other Interesting Items

Irreconcilable Musings has a good commentary on the NBA riot of last Friday. It is based on an excellent article form the Kansas City Star. I have tried to stay away from this story but let me say that I think the majority of the blame rests with the PLAYERS. I agree that disruptive fans must be dealt with, but this is the job of security not basketball players. Jason Whitlock has touched on a subject that most people would not touch with a ten foot pole, but I think he is onto something.

Amber Gnat has found this article by Victor Hanson, it is about the positive things that have happened in Afghanistan and Iraq. A very interesting read.

Marine sacrifices his life for others is the head line of a story at The Seattle Times. This is an incredible story of a GREAT AMERICAN. This story needs to be told by every news agency, but sadly most people will probably never hear about this hero. Thanks to the other bloggers out there who found this one.

The Incredibles

Yesterday was my birthday and I decided to see a free movie at the local Harkin's theater. I had been wanting to see this movie for weeks and then the day before it was released I heard a review on a local talk radio program. The reviewer was raving about the movie and then it was mentioned that the plot owns a lot to the ideas of Ayn Rand. Well, I was floored. I am a huge fan of her work and am very intrigued by her Objectivist philosophy. This philosophy is the entire basis of the movie.

Needless to say, I was blown away! This is a great movie (as I am sure most of you already know)! Of course the animation is beautiful but the characters are so perfect; it is like you know these people. When Mr. Incredible is sitting in his cube I could totally relate.

The underlining message - society holds back the exceptional people - is stark. When Mr Incredible tells his number one fan that everyone is special, he replies that that really means no one is special. Think about that for a monent. We really do try to limit people rather than encourage them to excell. If you do not believe me take a look at the public schools.

Lessons everyone should learn from this movie:
1. be the best you can be
2. never try to change the people you love, help them be their best

There are a lot more lessons in this one but I think these two are the most important. This is a must see movie.

UPDATE: Here is a good review of the movie that explains the Objectivist connection much better than I can.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

More on Blogexplosion

OK, after careful evaluation I will continue with my BE membership. I am sure you are all relieved. I really don't get ANY traffic without it, so I have determined that my lack of comments is because I am not edgy enough. So, I will just need to be more offensive - you bastards! How was that? Just trying it on...

Back from Vacation

I am back at work this week, well for three days anyway. I really took it easy last week and tried not to read the news or watch it on TV. It was hard but I did OK. Now that I am back at work I have plenty of time to catch up. So many things to read! I will post more later.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

I Should do this for a Living

Last week I wrote this article about Iran and US policy towards it. The basic premise was that Iran is playing a game but the US has a real opportunity to promote democratic reform. It didn’t get to much interest. Then I was sent this link yesterday and it reinforces nicely what I had to say. The difference being this guy knows what he is talking about.

As many of you know I am not a fan of the American Left. I believe that they are snobs, elitists and completely out of touch with most of America. I know that people on the American Left think that I am an idiot. I just consider the source. One other thing about the left is that they are cowards – afraid to put their name on their hate. Just as I was feeling smug and very confident that I have figured it all out someone has to go and write an intelligent piece about our friends on the left. If more Democrats could, not only understand this point of view, but actually believe it, they might just have a chance.

On a lighter note, a Texas school district cancels their “cross dressing day.” Bummer!

Friday, November 12, 2004

US Urged to Slow Artic Thaw

I have managed pretty well over the last few weeks to avoid writing about Global Warming and other environmental bull. Then I saw this incredible article on and I just had to comment. The premise of the story is that Global warming is happing at such a huge rate that in less than 100 years the Artic ice cap will be gone and all the Polar Bears will be dead. This is all the result of a study by 250 scientists that are upset because the Bush administration will not listen to them and sign the magical Kyoto Protocol. The US is, of course, responsible for this environmental disaster, so we are the only ones who can fix it.

The really sad thing about this is that the data contained in this “damning” report debunks the very conclusions of the report. This is an excellent story pointing out the flaws. The interesting point is that Polar Bear populations seem to be INCREASING not decreasing and temperatures seem to be functioning within a normal cycle.

Now I know that there are people out there who feel very strongly about issues such as Global Warming but this one is really over played. The problem is many people want to believe everything that “scientists” say. Scientists are human and subject to the same biases, prejudices and mistakes as anyone else. Issues as big and important as Global Warming need to be approached cautiously - careful study by science and government is required. We cannot blindly follow one side or the other.

UPDATE: I found this nice site that covers the issue of CO2 and Global Warming rather nicely. Take a look at Greening Earth Society. They have a nice commentary on the McCain/Leiberman bill to reduce CO2 emissions. I like both of these guys but I really hate the idea that this is a futher politicization of this issue.

Political Parties as a Product

Back in the early eighties Pepsi ran a very successful ad campaign involving a blind taste-test between Pepsi and Coke. The commercials ran constantly and they were so successful even Coke began to believe them. This belief in the advertising of the opposition led Coke to abandon a nearly 100 year old product in favor of New Coke. This was a colossal mistake, sales of New Coke never took off and the company’s stock plummeted. After only a few short months Coke introduced Cocoa-Cola Classic which was close enough to the original to stop the slide.

There are several correlations between the market share battle between Coke and Pepsi and the constant battling between the Democrat and Republican parties. The most obvious is the color relationship – Pepsi is the blue product and Coke is the red. This fits nicely with Democrats being the blue party and Republicans the red. In colas and in politics blue is associated with a young, progressive base, red is more traditional and appeals to an older generation.

Ok, I know this seems a little weak but you get my point. If we look at the advertising for these products we can see that a common theme in the ads is a veiled attack against the competition and the implication that people who like the other guy are intellectually inferior, or at least, misguided. This approach, over time, has lead to an almost perfect market split between the two competing products. The taste-test ad campaign, and the resulting New Coke fiasco, demonstrated that the tradition associated with the product is MORE important than the product itself. Many people who chose Pepsi in a blind taste-test were loyal Coke drinkers and they had no intentions of changing products. There were, however, enough people to switch to make Coke take notice.

If we look at the ad campaigns for both political parties from the past election we will see the same marketing techniques in use, with one major exception – neither side attempted to veil their attacks. Both sides were very direct. Since these are political campaigns, and not actually products, we cannot look at sales as a matrix for the success of the advertising. Enter the polls – this is the major mechanism for determining the mood of the “market” in a political campaign. The problem with this is polls are not very accurate, especially when compared to actually market forces.

This accuracy issue has lead, particularly this election season, to some very strange poll results and to, what many people thought was, a surprise result to the election. I am not going to get into the problems with the polling in this year’s election, but suffice it to say that polls are less accurate than market indicators. This is because a poll measures what a person SAYS that they will due or has done – a market indicators measure what a person has ACTUALLY bought. In addition polls are more easily manipulated than are sales numbers. This is very important. If we use the same marketing strategies in campaigns as we do with products we should expect that the difference in data quality will affect the success or failure of the ad campaign.

One thing that both political parties need to be very careful with after this election is dealing with what the election results actually mean. Republicans are feeling as if the election has given them a mandate to pursue vigorously their agenda. The Democrats are torn between, on the one hand, becoming more radical (more to the left) in their approach or, on the other hand, becoming more centrist (more to the right). The danger is that one, or possibly both, parties are in danger of pulling a “New Coke” plan. Without strong market indicators it can be difficult for political parties to reinvent themselves, in favor of their perceived base, without destroying their actual base

This has led me to question the wisdom of treating political parties and candidates as merchandise. Modern mass marketing techniques are excellent for selling sugary beverages but it is lousy for selling politics. This treatment has helped to polarize the political climate while contributing to a lack of understanding of each party’s position on key policy issues. Sure, everyone knows that Democrats are for the poor and Republicans are for the rich. This is one area were advertising has succeeded – it reinforces stereotypes and promotes party talking points. It does not, however, promote real understanding of issues.

I believe that the next phase of political campaign reforms should address this imbalance between marketing and substance. I would love to see political campaigns move away from the slick marketing approach and begin to do ads that are simpler – ads that address the issues and not just point-out the flaws of the other guy.

There is one mass marketing technique that has worked well for colas and could work for politics – the blind taste-test. Line up each party’s ideas for solving each major problem and let the voters decide which answer they like the best. If the answers are not related to the party or the candidate then people will have to focus on the issues. Here is an example of this type of a “blind taste-test” for politics. In the end people may be surprised at their real political views.

Thursday, November 11, 2004


I joined BE sometime around the early-middle of October. It seemed like a fun way to increase visiblity for my blog and at the same time visit blogs I might otherwise never have seen. I really injoyed it and for several weeks it really lived up to my expectations. I began to get addicted to watching the hit counter constantly increase. After a while, however, I realised that I was getting more hits but not necissarily more READERS, just more hits. I rarely get comments and the visit lengths are always right around the minimum for BE to get credits. I have decided that I don't really care about the hits if no one reads what I have to say.

This lead me to the other problem with BE. As more and more people join my traffic has been decreasing anyway, even with surfing other blogs for several hours a day. It is the classic case of diminishing returns. When I surf I seem to hit the same pages over and over even though you are only supposed to see a page a max of once a day.

Then this past week we experienced the "Ratings Controversy." It seemed like every other blog I visited people were suddenly complaining about their ratings, and who rated them what. It was so childish and really detracted from what I like about reading other peoples blogs. I am begining to think that BE is burning me out on blogging...

With this in mind I have decided to stop surfing BE for a while and see how much traffic I get from BE as a baseline, with no action from me. In a few days I will make a decision as to wether or not I will leave BE. What do you BE users think about this? Have you seen any of the things I am talking about?

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Left Wing Professors and Other Stuff

This is an amazing story about a college professor who had students vandalize SUV’s as an assignment. But of course this cannot be an example of left-wing nut-case professors on college campuses, all Americans believe in vandalism as a legitimate form of protest.

This is an amazing story about a nutty Lawyer. OK, I know that the description is really vague, just read the story.

Here is an interesting story about videos of beheadings being sold at a gas station in Tampa. Very strange…

I really should have something intelligent or clever to say about some of these stories but I don't. I'm speachless...

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

More Good Reads

CBS Complains About Bloggers from The Templar Pundit, he has come up with a good find. Check it out - CBS just seems to think the blogging public is a bunch of uneducated morons. I guess this shouldn’t surprise anyone, they think the same thing about the President.

Wow! Shooting at schools is unacceptable! What a concept. I am sure glad everyone has reaffirmed this because I was beginning to think we had lost our moral compass.

Stories about Fallujah

I have put off talking about the battle for Fallujah but it just does not seem right to forget that American soldiers are fighting and dying to capture this city. The first story I saw today was this one about 35 US soldiers being captured. The story is from China View and was linked from the Drudge Report. Sounds fishy to me…

Drudge also has a link to this satellite photo of the city. Maybe you should just go to the Drudge report and read what they have, before I link everything from here.

Here is the BBC’s take on the fighting in Fallujah. The Times Online has an excellent map of the battlefield with key points.

As a final note of the Fallujah battle, my buddy The Mad Tech, found this letter from a US Marine in Fallujah. It is such an important letter that I am linking it from here because everyone needs to read this.

On a different note, the French seem to be having some trouble in the Ivory Coast.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Now I'm a Nothing!

I really need to quit taking these quizes!

I am Nothing!

Which Enemy of the Christian Church Are You?

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This might be better than a Meathead...maybe.

News of the Day…or Yesterday

This article from the Times Online is really good. It breaks down what the US election was really about and why it happened. Not bad for a British paper.

The future is Republican according to another Times Online article. I really like The Times. They are much more balanced than the BBC it seems.

I am a firm believer in ideals such as freedom of religion and the separation of church and state. One of the things that our fellow Americans on the left are very afraid of is an erosion of the separation of church and state. This article from CNN must really have them quaking. For the record, I am totally against teaching “creationism” in public schools. This should be reserved for religious schools.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

What to do about Iran

With the controversy swirling around the Iranian Nuclear program, the nation has, once again, become the focus of US attention. Unlike the Iranian Hostage Crisis of 1979, the current dispute with the Iranian government, over the potential development of nuclear weapons, has REAL security implications for the US and for other nations in the region. This is not a case of the pride of the US potentially being bruised, as was the case with the hostage crisis, there is real potential of armed conflict over this issue. The difference between the US in 1979 and 2004 is striking; we currently have an administration that is not adverse to taking military action to protect its security, we do not have Jimmy Carter as president, we currently have a strong military presence in the region.

These facts have not been lost on the Iranian government, which explains, I think, the Iranians “endorsement” of George Bush as President. Wait, you say, why does the fact that the current US administration’s willingness to possibly take military action against Iran actually causes them to prefer George Bush?

This one is a little complicated but try to follow me. I believe that the Iranian regime’s days are numbered, not from external force but from internal forces. They know this. In an effort to distract internal opposition and build patriotism, they have launched an expensive, dangerous nuclear program. In this endeavor it is important to have a US administration that will pay attention to Iran and serve as a rallying point for the population. George Bush is perfect for this situation because, with ongoing military action in Iraq and Afghanistan, he will be willing to negotiate a settlement that will not threaten the Iranian government. John Kerry would not have been a good US leader, in Iranian eyes, because he probably wouls have ended the Iraq mission early, leaving US forces free for an attack (not that they had much fear of that). More importantly, Kerry would have been much more willing to pursue economic sanctions through the UN, which could actually play against the Iranian government’s stability.

This logic would seem to indicate that the Iranian opposition should be more encouraged by a John Kerry presidency. Why, then, are they cheering George Bush’s re-election? The reality is neither the Iranian government nor the Iranian opposition believed that John Kerry would do anything, good or bad, in regards to Iran. The opposition believes that any conflict with the US, combined with Bush’s support for democracy in the region, is going to result in the collapse of the Iranian government. I think they are right.

So what does this all mean – what should we do about Iran? Iran is walking a very fine line – one slip and they are in big trouble. It will be very difficult to try and play the US while at the same time suppressing the opposition. The US must continue to support the democratic movement in Iran. We must continue to put pressure on the Iranian government to dismantle their nuclear programs. This pressure should be mostly military in nature but we should not be afraid to offer some economic incentives. We should do everything in our power to keep Israel from taking military action as this could actually strengthen the Iranian government. All of our actions with regard to Iran should server two purposed – eliminating the nuclear weapons threat and strengthening the democratic movement. In the end our success or failure in bringing democracy to Iraq may be the most important factor in dealing with Iran.

Friday, November 05, 2004

I'm a Meathead...Isn't that Special

I am a Meathead

Which America Hating Minority Are You?

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Some People are Filled with Hate…

This article from the Slate is just incredible! To think that some people are paid to write this kind of crap. It just blows my mind. The Democrats are the ones who have, for years, been telling everyone about peace, love and understanding. When will they begin to practice what they preach? When will they call out people who write this type of hate? This scares me more that anything I have ever seen from the Religious Right.

Some of the people who are upset by the election results are just plain stupid. See the Republicans do not have a monopoly on stupidity.

In another example of how stereotyping the nation’s political views is really dumb, read this story from Yahoo about the Democrat Hispanic Lesbian that was elected Sheriff in Dallas County. This is a heavily Republican county that voted strongly for Bush. I wonder why these homophobic, racist, sexist Republicans would allow this to happen? Maybe Republicans can consider the entire person when making a political choice. The only thing that would have made this story better is if she had been a Republican, but then again, nobody’s perfect.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

My Hope for the Next Four Years

Time for me to put my wish-list together for the next 4 years. With the President having a majority Republicans in the House and the Senate, he should be able accomplish a lot of good things. Here are the items I hope he pursues.

1. Finish the job in Iraq and Afghanistan - This is huge. Afghanistan is off to a good start but for the next few years we will need to keep a close eye to ensure the Taliban and Al-Qaida do not regain a foot-hold. Iraq is going to be a tougher job. I believe that once the last terrorist strongholds are destroyed the security issue will rapidly improve. I do not believe there will be problems with January elections in Iraq. Once the elections are out of the way the outlook for Iraq will greatly improve and it will be much easier to get more international support once the terrorists have been defeated. I believe both countries have a bright future but it will take some time.

2. Get bin Laden – I don’t believe that OBL really has much influence left to conduct terrorist operations but he is an important figurehead for the movement. Capturing him will help reinforce to the civilized world that the US is really focused on battling terrorism.

3. Overhaul the tax system – This could be the most important thing President Bush can accomplish in his second term. I would love to see the IRS dismantled and the income tax abolished. I think a VAT type system or a national sales tax is the way to go. The income tax system is open to abuse and influence peddling. It is an unfair system because the upper income people can afford to hire accountants to avoid paying their taxes. There are better ways to collect revenue that are fairer and involve less bureaucracy.

4. Cut the deficit by getting government spending under control – With the ongoing GWOT there will huge budget challenges for the next several years. This is the prime opportunity to get rid of some of the more wasteful and outdated government programs. We may need to rethink the Medicare drug program since it seems unpopular with seniors.

5. Fix Social Security – The time is now to correct this looming problem. I am not against the idea of allowing younger works alternatives to paying into the system but this must be carefully thought out. We cannot continue with a zero sum approach to SS. There must be some interest earning potential on the money that is collected. I don’t know the best way to fix this one but it must be a priority.

6. Immigration reform – We must find a way to allow people into the country who want to work or go to school but we have to secure our boarders. We can no longer stand by while hundreds of people die every year in the Arizona desert just to work. We need to make it easier for workers to enter the country so that only the criminals and terrorist will attempt to enter illegally. This will allow our security forces to concentrate on the “bad guys” and not on people who want to work. It will also reduce the cost associated with illegal immigration. We also need to punish companies that knowingly hire illegal aliens. If there is no market for illegal aliens AND it is easier to enter legally then there will be less illegal immigration. This means fewer people dieing to work and a savings to the taxpayers.

Here are a few things that I am concerned about and hope that the President DOES NOT put a huge amount of time into:

1. Gay marriage – This was a big issue during the election and many people feel very strongly about. I fear that this issue has the potential to be an unnecessarily divisive issue that can have very negative consequences for Republicans in the future. I do not support a constitutional amendment on this issue nor do I think there should be a federal law about this. I believe that states should be allowed to manage this issue as their constituents see fit. The real problem for me with this issue is not gay marriage but with the implications for other social issues such as polygamy. This has the potential to turn very ugly and now is not the time.

2. Abortion – This is a no-win issue for either party right now. I do support the ban on partial-birth abortions and this should be protected but the larger issue of abortions is a no-go.

3. The draft – There is NO indication that the President would ever consider this and that is the way it should stay. This issue would destroy the military and play into the hands of the President’s critics. Plan all military actions around an all volunteer force to ensure that the morale of the troops and the nation stays high.

These are some of my real dream issues that I have no hope of this administration, or any, of ever doing:

1. Abolish the Department of Education – Sorry all you teachers out there, but I do not see any compelling evidence that this is anything other than a huge waste of money. The only reason it is still around is because the teachers union is so powerful politically. I think that the Congress should set education standards and then award grants to states for the purpose of education. Each state should be able to determine the best way to achieve the education goals set by Congress.

2. Get the Department of Defense out of the nation building business – The DoD is totally unprepared for the job of peace-keeping or nation building and they should never be called on to do the job. The DoD should go back to being the Department of War and be concerned only with warfare. The job of nation building should belong to the State Department and they should be equipped to do this job. Forget the crazy idea of a Department of Peace that is the job of the State Department and it is time they have the tools to do the job.

3. Get out of the UN – This was an important tool of the Cold War but those days are gone. The UN is completely unwilling to take meaningful action when the need is obvious. They soak-up huge amounts of money and are filled with corruption. It is time for it to go and at the very least it is time for the US to get out. We can accomplish more good through direct negotiations and alliances than the UN could ever hope of doing.

There are so many more things that can be done or should be done; I cannot list them all and I doubt that anyone can. I addition each person will have a different list of priorities including completely different ideas. Certainly tort reform is a big deal that will get a lot of attention, as well as rebuilding relations with our allies. Judicial nominations will be huge over the next few years and I hope that the President can nominate judges that will protect the Constitution but are not so radical that they cannot be confirmed. We should consider lifting the ban on Canadian cattle. How should we deal with Iran and North Korean? The next 4 years will be very interesting and I hope that we can join together and deal with some of these and other important issues. Tell me what is important to you.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Post Election Thoughts

I have waited patiently to post my comments until it was clear that we had a winner. With John Kerry conceding the race this afternoon I figured it was time to say my peace. I must commend Sen. Kerry for deciding against long legal action in order to change the out come of the election. I will not, however, believe that he would have taken the high road had the results been closer. I am very glad the election is over and I am happy that Bush won. I am not happy at the division in the country right now. I think the President needs to reach-out to those people who are against him and try to heal the country, but those people who feel as if they have been wronged shouldn't bite his hand if offered. Partisanship is a two-way street, after all.

Cheer-up people, it is not the end of the world! See you all in 2008…

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Just Back from the Polls

I just got back from voting. It took more than 2 1/2 hours but it was worth it! We had a great time and everyone was very patient and cheerful. Turnout was awsome! I guess our polling place had 2 hour lines all day! Wow! We left as the polls closed and there were still 200+ people waiting! I just want to thank the American people for doing such a great job and I want to thank the people of my precinct for coming out in force. This is what it is all about. I am now off to watch the returns. Good luck to your canidate and lets hope for a quick, clean election.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Democrats and Outsourcing

The Democrats have made outsourcing a main campaign issue this year and it seems to resonate with the voters. The vision of millions of jobs moving over seas scares hell of people.

Before I go too far with this I must state that I work for an outsourcer and have worked in the outsourced IT profession for about 10 years. I, for one, own my entire livelihood to outsourcing. I am not afraid of outsourcing but I am afraid of off-shoring. John Kerry has said that he will enact tax incentives to prevent American corporations from moving jobs over seas. I am not really against this idea in principle as long as it does not impact the over-all outsourcing industry. Millions of Americans work in outsourced jobs here at home. I make my living in this industry and I have vested interest in seeing it stay healthy and here.

The real question that I have on this issue is how do the Democrats reconcile this belief in protecting American jobs at home but then promote the importation of “cheaper” prescription drugs from over seas? It seems to me that importation of drugs would be diametrically opposed to the idea of preventing the outsourcing and off-shoring of American jobs. The US is one of the leading manufacturing centers for prescription medications. It is a large industry that employs thousands of people. These are the high paying jobs that John Kerry wants to keep here and yet he wants to put these people out of work by importing drugs from Canada.

It is hard to imagine a way in which importation of drugs would not inspire these companies to move their operations outside of the US. If they did not do this how could they continue to compete against the cheaper imports? We have seen this in other industries in the past so the idea that importation would damage American companies is not out of the question.

What is more important to the Democrats; cheap drugs or good jobs. They seem to be stuck between a rock and a hard place on this issue. If they support drug importation they are supporting job outsourcing and off-shoring. If they go against drug importation they risk angering special interest groups who are strongly in favor of the idea. How can John Kerry have it both ways? A cynic might think that this is just another example of John Kerry wanting to be on both sides of an issue.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Why Kerry will not Release his Military Records

John Kerry and his campaign have pounded the president for months over his military records. They have accused the President of being AWOL and not completing his service requirements. No matter how much information the President has been able turn up about his service, including signing the SF-180 making his service records public, the press and the Democrats have been merciless.

All during this time John Kerry has campaigned heavily on his war record, sighting his military service repeatedly as an example of his leadership and patriotism. It seems that he proudly references his Vietnam War “Hero” status at every possible turn. The press has been right behind Kerry the whole way, refusing to ask him tough questions and attacking people who have questioned his service. All through this Kerry has refused to release his full military service records by signing the SF-180 form. Why? If the President’s service record is so important why is the service record of a candidate less important? Since he has made his service the center point of the campaign shouldn't the voters be able to see for themselves how well he did his job in the military? Why won’t the media press him on this issue?

I cannot answer these questions with any authority, but the lack of information as led to speculation as to what may be hidden in John Kerry’s service record. There have been some accusations that John Kerry was less than honorably discharged from the military and his status was changed at a later date. There has been speculation that the reason for John Kerry’s request for reinstatement of his service awards in 1985 is evidence of his one-time less than honorable status. There is also speculation that his discharge letter contains evidence that he was not initially a recipient of an honorable discharge from the military. I believe that this is the reason the he has refused to release his military records.

It is time for John Kerry to release his FULL military record. The public has a right to know.

US Failed to Stop the Russians from Removing Iraq’s Banned Weapons

The Washington Time has a very interesting story today that points the finger at the Russians for removing the infamous "missing" explosives from al Qaqaa. It also accuses the Russians of being involved in the removal of the Iraqi WMD. This was clearly a case of CYA on the part of the Russians as they were the largest arms suppliers to the Iraqi military. So much for Russian friendship. With friends like these…

Add to this what we have already learned about the Oil for Food program, and the French abuse of that program, and it seems as if the UN is nothing but an organized crime syndicate. But just remember, everything is OK as long as the US is not doing it, anything we do is a crime against humanity.

UPDATE: Fox News had this information about the Russian connection:

Rumsfeld, in one radio interview, also cast doubt on the suggestion by one of his subordinates that Russian soldiers assisted Iraqis in removing the munitions.

The Washington Times on Thursday quoted John A. Shaw (search), the deputy undersecretary of defense for international technology security, who said he believed Russian special-forces personnel, working with Iraqi intelligence, "almost certainly" removed the high-explosive material from the Al-Qaqaa facility.

Shaw said he believed the munitions were moved to Syria in the weeks before the March 2003 invasion.

Senior Defense officials urged caution over the Washington Times article because they could not verify its allegations as true.

"I have no information on that at all, and cannot validate that even slightly," Rumsfeld said.

The article prompted an angry denial from Moscow.

This throws a wrinkle in the story. In addition the Fox story covers the ABC News video that allegedly shows the missing explosives in the al Qaqaa dump on April 18, 2003. This seems to support the New York Times story that the explosives were removed after the US first entered the facility. Seems as if we know less about this story today than we did yesterday. Read the entire story and judge for your self.

ANOTHER UPDATE: This is another quote from an Foxs News article about the missing explosives:

A U.S. Army officer came forward Friday and said a team from the 3rd Infantry Division took about 250 tons of munititions and military material from the Al-Qaqaa (search) munitions base soon after Saddam Hussein's regime fell last year.

Explosives were included in the load taken by the team but Major Austin Pearson said he was unable to say what percentage it accounted for. The Pentagon believes the disclosure helps to explain what happened to 377 tons of explosives that the International Atomic Energy Agency (
search) said disappeared after Saddam Hussein's regime fell.

A Pentagon spokesman acknowledged they don't have all the answers and can't yet account for all of the missing material but he said it was a signficant development in unraveling the mystery.
"We've described what we know and as we know more we'll decribe that," said spokesman Larry Dirita.

Pearson, accompanied by Dirita, appeared at a Pentagon news conference to say it was his mission to go the facility and clear material from the base but he could not say what percentage of the material were explosives. He said he was not an explosives expert but instead said his main mission is to clear possibly dangerous material from bases to make them safe for U.S. forces.

This is the same story quoted above. The plot thickens...

Thursday, October 28, 2004

One More Good Story

This is one of those stories that you just know is a publicity stunt, but what good is a stunt if no one knows about it? I don’t care what anyone says, I believe that this guy means what he says and says what he means.

Another Voter Quiz Thingy

You preferred Kerry's statements 44% of the time
You preferred Bush's statements 56% of the time

Voting purely on the issues you should vote Bush

Who would you vote for if you voted on the issues?

Find out now!

See, this guy doesn't think I am a complete wacko. This is a neat quiz because it is just a series of questions and the answers are from each campaign. You don't know from which campaign an answer comes from so it is strictly about the issues.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Catch of the Day

Vietnam Special Forces Veterans Oppose John Kerry More veterans groups are coming out against Kerry. Seems that the press loves his Vietnam service but a large number of veterans don’t. Wonder what that means…

60,000 absentee ballots lost in Broward County. Broward County has got to be the most incompetent place on the planet. In the 2000 election the entire state was won by less than 600 votes, and now 60,000 absentee ballots are missing. I wonder how this will impact the election considering that most absentee ballots are from the military, but then again these may be duplicate votes from New York…

What Would Patton Say About the Present War? I read this today and it brought a tear to my eye. I agree 100% with the author’s assessment of how Patton would handle the Iraq War. We could use a man like him today.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Hero to Both Sides

John Kerry is the only Vietnam War hero to be venerated by both sides of the conflict. It is strange that he only likes to talk about being a US hero not a hero to the North Vietnamese. This is a great article that talks about what the enemy thought of the activities of people like John Kerry. If this does not constitute giving aid and comfort to the enemy, I have no idea what would.

Kerry and Sports

This guy just needs to stop trying to be one of the guys. First it was the Ohio/Michigan flap, then Lambert Field, next came Manny Ortiz and now this story from ESPN. See more sports gaffs from John Kerry at

Everytime he opens his mouth about sports he just proves what a liar he is! If he lies this much about the little stuff, what would he say when it is really important? He is completely clueless...

More on the Explosives

The Drudge Report and other sites are quoting an NBC News story yesterday that indicated that the explosives had already been removed from al Qaqaa before US forces arrived. Wow! I think I said something about this yesterday. Seems highly fishy to me, especially since the New York Times broke the story and CBS was desperately scrambling to get the story out. These are both highly unbiased news sources, as we all know…

Once again we see that this is completely trumped up story that is being driven by politically biased news outlets for the purpose of making the President look bad.

Monday, October 25, 2004

October Surprise? I believe that we are seeing with the story of the “missing” explosives in Iraq, the first attempt at an October surprise meant to damage the President. If you read this story carefully you will notice that there is no mention of when the explosive disappeared. They were last seen before the US invasion. There is no mention of whether or not the explosives were ever in US custody. The site has not been the responsibility of the US since the June 28 hand over to the Iraqi government. How is this embarrassing for the White House? The report that this is based on is already 15 days old, why is it in all the news outlets today?,2933,136466,00.html Here is a Foxnews version of the story. ABCNews is running the AP version of the story. No new details in this story.,,3-1327947,00.html Yet another version of the story.

All other these stories are so incredibly similar and yet no one is really asking the important questions. What percentage of the missing explosives in Iraq does this one site represent – 10%, 20% 100%? Why is the press not lumping this in the same spin as the WMD issue? Maybe Saddam used the explosive to destroy his WMD stock piles after the UN left but before the US troops got there. Maybe he gave the explosives to the al Qiada operatives before the US got to the site. Since no one can say when the stuff was looted how do we know it was looted at all?

Up until today no one gave any thought to how terrorists in Iraq got explosives. They got them by looting military facilities are buying them from someone who has. Does anyone believe that the terrorist manufactured their own explosives? I really think this is a huge non-story


As I do my reading about the election one political group/action committee/whatever keeps popping up in relation to potential voter fraud – ACORN. It is very curious that they do not get more attention from the MSM. This is a story accusing ACORN of registering al Qiada members. This is a story I found a couple weeks ago and am referencing again. It is a story about voter fraud in Colorado. This is the official ACORN web site. You can read what they think about themselves. Like all of these special interest groups they sure sound good on their own site. This is a story from Ohio about possible ACORN involvement in a voter fraud scheme. How about a story from Pennsylvania? All the battleground states seem to have an ACORN scandal. ACRON is at work in Texas too.

I could go on but I think you get my point. This ACORN group needs to be investigated at the highest levels. As a matter of fact I don’t know why the investigation has not already begun and why have the major media outlets not been covering this more closely? This is a big deal. If these people had been working to get Republican voters we wouldn’t hear the end of it.

What is more important than the fact that this is not getting media coverage is the fact that it is happening. I hope that, not matter who wins Nov. 2, there is a thorough investigation of this, and other groups, and that people are prosecuted.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

The George W. Bush Loyalty Quiz

This is a real popular item today so I thought I would try it. Here are my results from this quiz:

Your score is 9 on a scale of 1 to 10. You are a True Believer in President Bush. Your loyalty and devotion to him is matched only by your desire to see his liberal detractors locked away and declared enemy combatants. If all Americans thought as you did, and were it constitutionally viable, George W. Bush would be president for life.

Then take the John Kerry Loyalty Quiz Here are my results for this one:

Your score is 1 on a scale of 1 to 10. You hate John Kerry with every fiber of your being. He is the embodiment of everything you despise in a politician: a weak, liberal, flip-flopping, elitist, condescending appeaser who threatens all that is good and decent in America. Worst of all, you think he looks French

Seems pretty good but I don’t really fit with either one. I am definitely a Bush supporter but President for life is a little nuts. The Kerry one is off a little, I don’t hate him.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Political Stereotypes

We have all heard the political stereotypes being thrown around by both political parties – Republicans are old white men, Democrats care about the poor – blah, blah. There are dozens of these stereotypes for each party. But how many people do you know that do not match the common political stereotypes for their party?

Before I go any further I will try to list as many of these stereotypes as I can. I know I will miss some so feel free to remind me.

Democrats – weak on defense, intellectual, environmentalist, gay, anti-business, young, hippies, pro-choice, pro-UN, socialist, communist, anarchist, anti-American, pro-gun control, support higher taxes, support big government, multicultural, progressive, support redistribution of wealth, pro-science, anti-rich, cultured, Pro-free expression, for the common man/woman, inclusive, fans of pop/rock or hip-hop music, media friendly, pro-labor, New Englander, Liberal, liar, pro-separation of church and state

Republican – racist, warmonger, white, male, pro-business, anti-worker, fundamentalist Christian, Nazi, fascist, redneck, pro-personal responsibility, likes country music, ignorant, uneducated, not worldly, isolationist, intolerant, pro-gun, greedy, exploitive, rude, cowboy, NASCAR fan or sports fan in general, Southern, Conservative, anti-old people, hunter, rich, pro-life, anti-gay, anti-science, creationists, against the Arts, pro-censorship, liar, pro school prayer

Ok, I know that these lists are not complete and I know that there are some on here that you might disagree with or feel are inaccurate. That is the point of stereotypes – they do not have to be accurate and frequently are very inaccurate. Take a look at the list. How many of these stereotypes match your beliefs and your party affiliation?

Here are my political beliefs, you tell me what party I belong to (don’t cheat by reading my other posts).

I am a white male who believes in personal responsibility.
I am an agnostic who loves Heavy Metal and Rock music.
I am immensely interested in science and technology and believe that many of society’s problems will be solved by the proper application of both.
I believe in free markets and free trade.
I do not like the UN but I am not an isolationist.
I do not hunt.
I am not rich.
I believe that evolution is more likely than creationism to be able explain human origins.
I have attended college but I have no degree, yet.
I think that immigration is important to the future of the country but I support English only rules for government and schools.
I think the US-Mexico boarder is in need of greater security (as is the US-Canadian boarder), but I think we need to make it easier for Mexicans to enter the country legally. I love art in all of its forms but I do not think the government should spend the people’s money supporting it.
I am not worried about outsourcing of jobs to India even though I work in a call center (I actually think it is a great thing to a degree).
I am against censorship but I think most people have no idea what censorship really is.
I am a Patriot but I really love our friends from all over the planet (no matter what country you are from).
I hate Michael Moore!

So there you have it, what party do I belong too? This is not too tough to figure out. How do you fit into the common stereotypes? Do you think that the political parties do a good job representing your views? I believe that both the Democrat Party and the Republican Party have gone to the extreme in many of their views and have forgotten that most people are in the middle.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Things I have Found Interesting Today When I was younger I loved Bill Cosby, then a few years ago he seemed to loose it. In the last few months he has given a series of speeches that have cause quite a stir. Now I think he is doing a great job at shaking people up, making them think. This one is not earth shattering but it is extremely important. This one has been going around today but I just think this is a priceless example of double standards. Evil Dick got a flu shot and John Kerry and company attack him, but St. Bill got his and there is no outrage from the Kerry camp. Why? Once again the double standard raises its ugly head. Why is no one complaining about this movie being on TV before the election but Sinclair is somehow breaking the law?

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Jimmy Carter is Insane He proves with this interview that he has completely lost his mind. Why do people still listen to this loon? To think that we actually elected this man President...

EDIT: I am adding my responce to the comments here because I cannot format the text in the comments section. Sorry for the long post!

Jimmy Carter Bullsh*t from Hardball

In response to your question, this is why I, a “reasonable intelligent person” would “question his intellectual ability or judgment.”

MATTHEWS: Let me ask you the question about…the Revolutionary War as it was fought out in the South in those last years of the War, insurgency against a powerful British force, do you see any parallels between the fighting that we did on our side and the fighting that is going on in Iraq today?

This is a stupid question designed to plug Carter’s book while attacking the current administration.

CARTER: Well, one parallel is that the Revolutionary War, more than any other war up until recently, has been the most bloody war we‘ve fought.

This statement is complete crap. It has no basis in fact, whatsoever. Let’s look at the facts related to US war casualties “until recently:”
American Revolution – total killed 4435, wounded 6188, duration 8 years.
War of 1812 – total killed 2260, wounded 4505, duration 3 years.
Mexican War – total killed 13,283, wounded 4152, duration 2 years.
Civil War (Union) – total killed 364,511, wounded 281,881, duration 5 years.
Spanish-American War – total killed 2446, wounded 1662, duration less than a year.
World War I – total killed 116,516, wounded 204,002, duration just over a year.
World War II – total killed 405,399, wounded 671,846, duration 4 years.
Korean War – total killed 36,574, wounded 103,284, duration 3 years.
Vietnam War – total killed 58,209, wounded 153,303, duration 9 years.
Persian Gulf War – total killed 382, wounded 467, duration a few months.

Just a brief look at this list shows that the American Revolution is not even in the top half of our “most bloody wars.” Why would he say this? Either he is stupid or he is a liar.

I think another parallel is that in some ways the Revolutionary War could have been avoided. It was an unnecessary war.

This is a complete revisionist fantasy, deliberately phrased as to use current Democratic talking points – “It was an unnecessary war.” He is talking exclusively about Iraq here.

Had the British Parliament been a little more sensitive to the colonial‘s really legitimate complaints and requests the war could have been avoided completely, and of course now we would have been a free country now as is Canada and India and Australia, having gotten our independence in a nonviolent way.

This is what is commonly referred to mental masturbation. It is in the same league as people who like to speculate on why Hitler lost WWII. He assumes that Canada, India and Australia could have peacefully gained their independence without the American Revolution. This is known as a fallacious association.

I think in many ways the British were very misled in going to war against America and in trying to enforce their will on people who were quite different from them at the time.

Again, he is using party talking points here. Just how were the British misled into the American Revolution?

MATTHEWS: The president has said he had miscalculated in terms of not realizing how the war would proceed from the initial knockout of Saddam‘s forces, including the Revolutionary Guard, and then what he faced on the ground in terms of the insurgency.


Do you think as an historian you would have foreseen, had you been president, the nationalistic fight of those people in Iraq once we got in there?

As a historian, the idea that you can foresee future events is ludicrous. No one can foresee the future, not even Jimmy Carter.

CARTER: Well, I think almost any reasonable person who knew history would say that you can‘t go into an alien environment and force by rule of arms by forcing the people to adopt a strange concept.

This is truly an amazing thing to say. The implication is that the Iraqi people are not capable of understanding democracy. I am a reasonable person and I believe that the Iraqi people are more than ready to decide their own fate rather than living in fear and terror.

And also when we were so destructive in going into Iraq with tens of thousands of innocent civilians killed and now it‘s still, up until this moment now many months later there is still a great deal of animosity toward American troops. And there is no doubt that American troops‘ presence is stimulating additional violence.

There was a war, people died, it is a tragedy but this is clearly overstated. He should read “Dawn Over Baghdad” by Karl Zinmeister. The Iraq War is the most “sensitive” war any nation has ever fought. The US military’s ability to pinpoint a target is unmatched in history. No one does it better.

MATTHEWS: What do you make of this new philosophy, Mr. President, that we can go into countries like Iraq and that we can use our force of arms and our economic might to transform them into democracies? It‘s the new conservative philosophy. It‘s the Bush doctrine, whatever you want to call it. What do you make of it?

Another leading question. This is not a new philosophy, it is only new in the context of no longer waiting for an attack before we strike the bad guys.

CARTER: I don‘t think it‘s ever been proven to be accurate as a premise that you can go into an alien society, win with force of arms, destroying a major portion of that country and killing their people to make them adopt a new form of government and to accept new rulers.

Wow! This guy is a historian, as Chris Matthews has repeatedly pointed out, and he does not believe that this can be done? Has he forgotten Germany after WWII? What about Japan? Italy? These countries were completely transformed as a direct result of military and economic action, not internal revolution. History is full of these types of transformations.

Obviously, the only way out of this quagmire that we have formed in Iraq now is to have some guarantee of withdrawal of American troops and turning their premises of the Iraqis over to them politically and to the international community to help on an equal basis and a shared basis with many allies both in economic and military concerns in the future.

This is getting very tiring, after this point I will be done with this crap. Iraq is not a quagmire. Is it a difficult project? Yes. Will US troops be there for a long time? Yes. We will be based in Iraq much the same way as we spent the last 50 years in Germany. The boys are not coming home. Get over it!

I have no more time or energy for this. I hope this clarifies my opinion.

What Good is a Poll?

Everyday there is a new poll showing who is in the lead in the presidential race. Today it is Bush on top and tomorrow it will be Kerry. Change the channel and the results will be completely switched. What good are these polls? Does anyone out there believe them? Take a look at what all the polls lined up look like. You might decide that the polls are of some value after all.

Hump-day News Stories Tommy Franks is one of the greatest American generals. Too bad he retired. It is illegal to teach Christianity in the public school system but it is OK to teach Islam. I am really beginning to hate the public school system… News paper endorsements are not my favorite things. In fact I think the media should never endorse a candidate in a political campaign. That being said why is it OK for the Democrats to get an endorsement from a news paper but not a Republican?

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

When the Man Comes Around

When The Man Comes Around This is a great piece of animation! Make sure you have sound!

Beldar Asks... This is one of the best posts on who you should vote for and why. Everyone needs to read this.

Good Finds of the Day This one is just priceless! Love that hair Mr. Edwards. Thanks to everything is wrong for digging this one up. Vietnamese-Americans are not going to be supporting Kerry and I can’t blame them.,13918,1329858,00.html The Guardian got what it wanted – a bunch of pissed off Americans. Brilliant!

How to Vote

With all of the talk on the news lately about disenfranchisement and voter irregularities from the 2000 election and how it will happen again, I thought this would be a good time to talk about how to vote. It seems that many of the problems with the 2000 vote were attributed to confusion among voters. In an effort to do my part in eliminating confusion here is my step by step guide on how to vote:

1. Register – In order to vote in the election you must be a registered voter. Each state has there own process for registering. You can usually find out how to vote by checking your states voter registration instruction on-line. Google is a great tool for finding this info. Arizona has an on-line registration form or you can request the form be mailed to you. I am sure almost every state has a similar system. To be a registered voter you MUST BE A US CITIZEN. This is crucial. Most states may have additional prohibitions against felons voting. Check your local laws. There is a deadline to register – most states require that you submit your registration form no less than 30 days from the elections. If you send it in later too bad, you will not be voting in this election, but you will be registered for the next election. Never register from partisan hacks that come to your door or approach you in the mall. They cannot be trusted and if you register for a party they are not being paid by, your form may just end up in the trash.

2. Review your sample ballot and voting guide – Once you have been registered to vote you will receive your voter registration card and the voting guide. The voting guide will have a sample ballot. Read these materials, they will give all the info on the various candidates and propositions that are on the ballot. The sample ballot also has the information about where you are to vote. This is extremely important – you can only vote in you assigned precinct and your assigned polling place. If you don’t know where it is call the number on the ballot and get directions. Drive to the polling place before the election so you know how to get there.

3. Vote – This is the point of the whole process. Don’t go through steps one and two and then forget to vote on Election Day! When you arrive at the polling place you will need to sign in. They should have a list of registered votes for the polls. If you are in the right place, and you are a registered voter, your name will be on the list. Depending on your state’s laws you may need to show ID or a voter registration card. Be prepared to do this if required. If your name is not on the list you may request a provisional ballot. Follow the instructions on this ballot, but be warned, there is no guarantee that the provisional ballot will be counted. Once you are given you ballot and are in the voting booth READ THE INSTRUCTIONS! There will be instructions on the ballot as well as instruction in the voting booth. If you do not understand how to vote ask a volunteer. Vote.

That’s all there is too it! Remember, voting is a right and a responsibility and like any other responsibility you must be willing to do your part. See you on Election Day!

Notes on Neo-cons

This is phrase that gets thrown around a lot in today’s political debates and it is meant to have the same negative connotation as “commie” or “Nazi.” Just to be clear, people who subscribe to this political philosophy do not call themselves “neo-cons,” this is a term that their detractors use. It is meant to be a menacing, scary label.

But what does the average American know about people who are labeled neo-con? You should start by reading The Project for the New American Century Statement of Principle. This document is commonly referred to as the Neocon Manifesto. Gosh, what a terrifying document. It advocates exactly what the world complains we do not do but should do. Somehow when Americans speak of responsibility to the world, kooks all over begin to talk about American Imperialism or Fascism.

Compare the Statement of Principle to the points in the Fascist Manifesto and decide for yourself if “neo-cons” are just Fascists in disguise. Here is a link to the Communist Manifesto if you are really bored.

Monday, October 18, 2004

More Good Stuff The ‘rich’ should be taxed more, more, more! They are getting all the breaks! Hypocrites! Election nightmares. This could really get ugly.

News Stories of Interest This is a story about a school that will not allow students to have the flag in the background of their yearbook picture. I really don’t understand why this is such a big deal. Rules for the sake of rules is what this seems like to me. Hmm, let me get this straight, the guy Saddam invited to Iraq, before the US invasion, and supported is allied with Osama Bin Laden. Duh! This is news? I thought there was no connection between Iraq and al-Quida? The press is full of idiots… Why is this not on ABC, CBS or NBC? Oh yeah, they don’t want Bush to be re-elected.

Weekend Movies

I managed to get in a few movies this weekend. The first of this weekend’s selections is The Dream by Akira Kurosawa. This is more of a collection of shorts rather than a proper movie. The stories are all dreams, oddly enough, and they all have an environmentalist, anti-modernism or anti-war theme. The film is beautiful and incredibly well made. Although I disagree with the message, the movie is excellent.

The next one on the list was The Mayor of the Sunset Strip by George Hickenlooper. This a documentary film about LA DJ and rock groupie Rodney Bingenhiemer. This guy has had a life that most people can only dream of; it is filled with brushes with fame. He has probably met most all of the important musicians and stars for the last 40 years and was instrumental in the success of several bands, but no one knows who he is. What really surprised me is how miserable this guy is after living an amazing life. If you have an interest in music history this is a must see.

The last movie for the weekend was The Alamo staring Billy Bob Thornton and others. This movie did OK but after seeing it I am surprised that it did not do much better in the theaters. I really liked it. Like all Hollywood history movies I am sure that there are some pretty big holes in the movie but I still enjoyed it.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

A Nice Article on the Economy This is a nice piece about the realtive strength of the US economy compared to that of Europe. It is a real eye-opener!

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Team America,2933,135633,00.html I just can't wait to see the Exploding Michael Moore puppet! Anyone seen this yet? Sounds like it will be a blast.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Questions about Universal Healthcare

John Kerry and John Edwards have spent the last several days promoting their view of a universal healthcare for America. This is an extremely popular issue with Democrats and other social liberal political groups. It seems that once or twice a decade the idea resurfaces only to fade soon after election time. With all of the talk about universal healthcare there are a huge number of questions that are not being asked. Well, I am going to ask them, but I am sure I will get no answers.

How much will this cost? OK, this has been asked but the answer depends on the party affiliation. Republicans are throwing around numbers like $1.5 trillion or more over 5 years. They are sure that the cost will be astronomical. Democrats are rarely talking about the cost, preferring to imply that almost the entire cost can be covered by repealing tax cuts for people making more than $200,000 per year. I don’t know who is right but it seems to me that the cost will be the most important aspect of any healthcare reform.

Who will be covered? At first Kerry stated that universal Healthcare would be universal – everyone is covered. During the last debate he seemed to backtrack on that and target mostly poor and middle-class people for coverage. I think the ultimate goal of the Kerry plan is to cover everyone.

Who will provide the medical service? Is this a plan that is like a giant HMO in which the program will employ the doctors or more like a giant PPO where you will be able to visit any doctor you want? I really have no clue on this one. It seems that the giant HMO idea would be pure insanity.

Who will administer the program? Will this be an expansion of an existing government agency or an entirely new one? It does not seem possible for a program of this size to be administered by the government without adding an enormous amount of people to the federal payroll.

What happens to the existing health insurance industry and the employees of these companies? It seems that if you nationalize an industry or a large part of an industry the jobs impact can be very large. Will all these people be employed by the government? Will the loss of this portion of the insurance business adversely affect the stock values of these companies? Will a hit on the stocks of these companies impact the market as a whole? The economic ripples of a change this large will be very significant and should be overlooked when considering a program such as this.

What types of treatments will be covered? One of the complaints of an HMO system is that the HMO will control what types of treatments are available as a matter of company policy. Would our federal system attempt to control treatments in the same way? Will the government have input on when treatment should stop?

How will a federal healthcare system impact important debates over issues like abortion? Would the government have to pay for all abortions? How will abortion opponents feel about their tax dollars being used to pay for all abortions performed? This has the potential to be a very contention aspect of the plan.

What will the government’s claim to medical records of patients be? Since they are paying for the care will they make claims to the records? Who will have access to the information and how will the information be used? Rush Limbaugh is already seeing the potential for government intrusion into personal medical matters, will this system make this easier for the government to get information about you and your lifestyle? Will they use this against you and continued medical care?

When the program fails to reduce medical costs for the system as a whole will there be pressure to force behavioral changes in patients? What if you are a smoker, will the government now have the right to force you to stop? Will patients be forced to have procedures for their own good, like gastric bypass surgery for the obese?

How will this new program impact old programs like Medicare/Medicaid? What about VA medical benefits, will they be rolled into this new program or will they remain separate?

The more I think about this idea of universal healthcare the more questions I have. The more questions I have the fewer answers I can find. It seems to me the public cannot properly evaluate a program such as the one proposed by John Kerry without more information – a lot more information. Everyone in the country should be asking these questions and more before we allow anyone to attempt such massive change to our healthcare industry.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

ABC News Bias in Political Coverage

The Drudge Report ran this story last week about institutional bias at ABC: At the time I chalked this up as a ‘no duh’ and moved on. So, ABC News likes Kerry and wants to down-play his mistakes and play up the president’s mistakes. I really thought that this was already so obvious as to be a waste of time.

However, today I ran across this piece: This is a great analysis of the background of Mark Halperin, ABC News Political Director. Mark is the guy who sets the editorial tone of political coverage at ABC and the author of the memo referenced in the Drudge Report story. What makes this so interesting is that if the media connections outlined in this story had been connected to a Republican or Conservative in the media or business world, the outcry from the rest of the media would be deafening.

Consider this scenario if the participants had been relations of Karl Rove and the newsroom involved was Fox News…. Do you think this might get some time in the press?

The Daily News This is a discussion of the impact of Senator Kerry’s tax plan. This guy has really lost it. I though he was a kook when he boycotted the Iraqi Prime Minister’s speech a few weeks ago.

Will Germany ever send troops to Iraq?
Or not?,4386,277913,00.html
I guess this all depends on who is elected president, but the Germans don’t want us to think that this all depends on who is elected president. This seems a little like an attempt to influence the outcome of the US election. Maybe Kerry will get his wish. I am really disappointed in the Germans… I really like Joe Leiberman. He is a very sensible person, we could use more people like him in government.

The Presidential Debate

I watched last night’s presidential debate from the Republican Party viewing event at Bank One Ballpark. The security at the ballpark was very tight, as you would expect, but everything went smooth. It took us about 20 min to get through the security screening. The tickets that they used were color coded and ours were coded for the second level. It soon became evident that there were more tickets for the second level then there were seats. This was quickly resolved by allowing people to go up the third level and allowing yellow ticket people (second level color) to sit in the lower levels. All in all, the crowd was large, between 20,000 – 25,000 by my guess. The place was about half full – much bigger than the last several Diamondbacks games.

Before the debate started there were a couple of speakers that I did not hear too much because we were walking around looking for a place to sit. I think one of the speakers was probable the Arizona Republican Party chairman. After these speakers that most people missed they had some musical entertainment, a country band, but I never did hear who it was. Maybe the name was Aaron Tibasomething, I just don’t follow country music and their small sound system was swallowed by the size of the park and the crowd.

Once the debate started the real action began. Now, I must confess that I have not watched the previous 2 debates in their entirety. I have watched parts and read a lot of reporting covering the debates, but I just have a tough time watching them. The crowd did exactly what you would expect from a partisan crowd, they booed Kerry and cheered Bush but this made it tough at times to hear what was being said.

From what I heard and saw I thought the President did much better this time around. He seemed comfortable and well prepared for what many people though would be his weakest topic – domestic issues. I felt that he did fall back too much on the issue of education and the No Child Left behind act. This point was well made the first time through and he should have used a different approach later in the debate. It is a poor debate tactic to repeat yourself unless absolutely necessary and I didn’t think it was necessary.

Kerry, on the other hand, seemed stunned by the president’s aggressiveness, but he kept his cool. He too, was very repetitive in his arguments; most every issue that came up was going to be solved by repealing the tax cuts. He seemed very awkward when the topic came to his faith, seemed like a topic he was not comfortable with. The president was passionate but you could see that he was trying to restrain his enthusiasm. Another interesting point that I thought went against Kerry was the point when Bob Schieffer asked about the impotence of the strong women in their lives. The President really answered this question with conviction and the emotion was genuine, Kerry was totally caught unprepared for this. I don’t think he as ever, really, considered this. His ‘joke’ about how they all ‘married up’ was telling and sad. Not a good moment for Kerry.

I was really surprised with the performance of Bob Schieffer as the moderator. He asked very relevant questions and did not spare either candidate the tough questions. Some of this I am sure is due, plainly, to a professional journalist doing his job, but some of it had to be the fact that he is a CBS journalist and that news team is in real need of some fresh credibility.

In the end, however, a debate rarely changes the world. I think most people already know each candidate’s position on these topics. Each side will see what they want to see – their guy won hands down. It would take a MAJOR blunder by a candidate to truly impact the race and I don’t think either side made any major mistakes. A very good debate, in my opinion.

After the debate the crowd at the BOB eagerly anticipated the arrival of the president. Aaron Whatshisname came back out and played a few more songs to a much more energetic crowd. Everyone was excided about the president’s performance. The debate ended at 7:30 pm, which surprised me, and the president arrived at about 8:00 pm. He was accompanied by Sen. McCain and Sen. Kyle and their wives. The president was accompanied by the First Lady and their daughters. The crowd, of course, went nuts when the president was introduced. I expected that the president would not take very long and I was right. Both the Senators spoke briefly as did the president, they were all done by 8:15 to 8:20. I really wish he had spoken a little longer and really follow-up some the points that he made in the debate; it was not to be.

I really had a great time. It would have been better is the food lines had been shorter and if they had been serving beer. It was neat to be part of history.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004


I am not even going to attempt to explain this. A friend of mine turned me on to this ‘philosophy’ a few months ago but I have only just started to read about it. On the surface it feels like an updated Marxism. This is the ‘official’ site for Technocracy Inc. Seems to me like most of the articles were written in the 1940s. This is a site information and a community devoted to establishing a Technocracy in North America. There is background information and forums.

Technocracy is to politics/economics what Scientology is to religion.

There is Always something New on the Web This ACORN group seems to be involved in several voter registration scams. I will see if I can find other stories about the stuff they have been up to.,13918,1326033,00.html If the readers of the Guardian are so concerned about the US election, and if it is so important to life in the UK, why don’t they take the next logical step and become a state? If they did this then they would not need to try and influence a foreign election. I generally don’t like the Arizona Republics columnists but this is a good piece. I really would like to hear the President say something like this tonight. More evidence that Saddam and his cronies are murders on par with any in history. If the cost of a college education is so expensive how come people aren’t knocking each other over to get free money? I guess we should just automatically sign everyone up for financial aid and force them to take it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Evidence that Thomas Barnett is Correct This is an example of the importance of connectivity that is described in The Pentagon's New Map: Warfare and Peace in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas P. M. Barnett. You must read this book to fully understand the importance of this story.

Today's Web Stories,,2-1306055,00.html Don’t believe the junk about strict gun control laws stopping gun violence. This is just the type of story the American gun control advocates don’t want you to read.,,3284-1305030,00.html From the same news source – the exact wrong response to drug-gun related violence. When this does not work will they propose legalizing murder because they can’t stop it? This is pure craziness.

Between these two articles we see an example of Liberal political solutions to problems. First, in response to increased gun violence related primarily to the drug trade they outlaw guns. This, of course, does nothing to discourage criminals from continuing business as usual, but it does limit private, law-abiding citizens, the right to defend themselves. Inevitably, the gun crime related to drugs is not impacted at all by stricter gun laws or out-rights bans. The next idea is to legalize the drugs! Wow, the ‘logic’ that is use to explain this one is amazing – we can’t stop criminal so lets just decriminalize what they are doing. If this ‘logic’ is applied to other crimes the only result will be anarchy. Where do you draw the line as a society?