Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A reminder about 9/11 from Penn&Teller - 10.30.2007.1

Considering the recent comments by Rosie O'Donnell when confronted by Bill O'Reilly's camera crew, and her original comments suggesting conspiracy as the source of the 9/11 attack, I felt a need to provide this.

Let's never forget, and stop making up enemies when the facts are in front of us.

Be aware that what some may feel is objectionable language is contained in this video. If that offends you, do not view the video.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Stephen Colbert and South Carolina's primary - 10.23.2007.1

I was writing about Stephen Colbert recently at Presidential Race Blog, and I wanted to say a bit more about him. The fact he is running for President is a statement. And that statement is making an impact.

Already in a poll of potential voters Mr. Colbert has gained better numbers (he received 2.3 percent of the vote with a 5 percent margin of error) than Gov. Bill Richardson (2.1 percent), Rep. Dennis Kucinich (2.1 percent) and former Sen. Mike Gravel (less than 1 percent). Considering the margin of error that potentially places him just behind former Sen. John Edwards (12 percent) and easily the closely ranked Sen. Joe Biden (2.7 percent).

On the Republican side, Mr. Colbert is running on both ballots, he had less than 1% of the potential voters, but again Ron Paul is hardly a frontrunner either. Even Senator John McCain has only 10 percent of potential votes.

Both the Democratic and Republican parties in South Carolina say that Mr. Colbert could run. In fact,

“Mr. Werner said, “our executive council would have a hard time not putting him on the ballot.’’

And it gets more serious when you consider Colbert’s viewers tend to be young, white, educated, and male. Their median age is 37 and there’s a 60/40 male-female split. So far this year, he’s drawn a nightly audience that averages 1.3 million viewers nationwide, 874,000 of them in the 18-49 year-old demographic. The U.S. Census bureau says South Carolina has about 1.4 percent of the nation’s population, which would suggest that Colbert has about 12,200 viewers there.

Greater minds than my own have found that Bill Richardson, Chris Dodd, Joe Biden, and Mike Huckabee, and yes Ron Paul too, are all potentially doomed by Mr. Colbert making any attempt to further his chances in South Carolina. Isn’t that interesting?

So what do we take from this?

The current political landscape is a horrible mess with as much truthiness coming from pundits and satirists as from the candidates themselves. There is reason for concern. Because this highlights how little many believe in the ability of our politicians in providing a cohesive and functional answer to the problems of the nation.

I want Mr. Colbert to get a delegate in either or both parties. I want him to be able to shake the stolid and grave foundations that both political parties are firmly entrenched in. I want there to be a question of ‘Who the hell did that happen’ in the media.

The point is that what we see politics today is little better than 30 seconds of showmanship. At least Stephen Colbert provides the honesty of absolute incredulity. That makes him more consistent and honest than any politician in decades perhaps.
If Mr. Colbert is able to get a delegate, or even a better than 10% vote total, the message will be clear. Politics has devolved as badly as major news media. This will be confirmation of how substance has been thrown to the wayside, with showmanship the guide to future elections. And with that, the degradation of the American quality of life will be apparent.

Sometimes it takes a slap in the face, or a joke in the worst of taste to wake people up about what is before them. I don’t think that is the intention, nor the fact, of what Mr. Stephen Colbert has done. But it’s close enough to both, that perhaps it will make a difference.


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Friday, October 19, 2007

The problem with the Presidential candidates

**This can also be seen at Presidential Race Blog, where I am a contributing author.**

I was reading through the various blogs about the Presidential candidates, as I do on a daily basis and I found an interesting thing. Everyone is upset about the Presidential candidates of 2008. That’s Democrat, Republican, Independent and whatever else you choose to call yourself.

It’s an accomplishment devoid of cheer.

Republicans are upset that there is no clear candidate that has a good track record dealing with Iraq, the economy, gay issues, healthcare, and immigration. Those are the big issues that seem to dominate the pundits and many blogs (including my own).

Democrats seem to be channeling into the idea that Senator Clinton will be the nominee for the Presidency. The other options are lacking in experience, not strong enough on extreme issues, and/or lack the presentation Sen. Clinton provides.

I can’t say that all of them are the key concerns of average Americans, and definitely not in that order. Living in Binghamton, New York I see a connection to ‘middle’ America that I feel most pundits have ago lost touch with. Most pundits and political parties are far too extreme to really connect with the Average American that I have met and live around today.

The question of race and gender has also taken the pundits by storm. Since day one, the fact that a woman and Black man are actively involved, with strong credentials, got them buzzing on the effect they can have on the election. Average Americans I’ve spoken with don’t really seem to care about that as much though. While there are many that will not vote for a woman or African American, most are more concerned with their jobs, and the safety of their children; whether from terrorist attack or actively fighting against that in Afghanistan and Iraq.

And there is the rub. Americans want to know that the dream still lives. That their kids will have a good life and maybe do better than them. They want to retire with dignity and maybe enjoy the free time they will finally have. They want to feel secure that their jobs will exist tomorrow, and that they can feed the kids and take them to a doctor when they are sick. That’s the big concern.

From what I can tell, the issues are the economy, the war in Iraq, healthcare, and taxes. Within the economy are social entitlements and social security. That’s basically it. To date no one feels that any of the candidates, regardless of political affiliation are really good at all those items.

No one has an answer that deals with Social Security effectively. While no politician will remove it, none know how to fund it. And moving it to a private fund is seen with confusion. So a bulky poorly administrated program continues to wither with no real help in site as baby boomers begin today to start collecting on this rapidly diminishing fund.

Huge anger exists of the entitlement programs that are in effect at this time. Many feel too much is being given away to people who don’t deserve help. Not because the idea of the program is wrong, but that it’s application is. Too many pay too much to allow others to flourish with no intention to benefit the system and public at large. And again politician’s answers seem to imply either the wholesale removal of the programs or expansion to even greater levels. Neither is attractive.

As for the war, Iraq is the focus. Most want their sons and daughters to be safe. No one wants harm to come to any of our Armed Forces. Every person I know respects the commitment made by those standing for our nation. But they want them home and out of the line of fire. At the same time there is a clear understanding that bringing them home with irrational speed, based on extreme emotion of a few and political one-upmanship, will not make them safer once home. Yet politicians are reaching for the extremes of staying and fighting an ideal and religion (which can never be defeated by mere arms alone) or cutting and running with out tail between our legs. Political maneuvering aside that’s the options on the table currently from the candidates. Neither works for most I’ve heard from.

I can go on, but I think the point is made. The election of 2008 is a critical one. The results of this election will have ramifications that will last a decade or more after the fact. We will be taking America in a direction we will not be able to change course from. America will be led down this path by a leader, regardless of party, that seems to be incapable of the issues before them.

Now that does not mean they are incapable of rising to the need of the American people. I hope strongly that whoever wins can do that. It’s what will be required. But considering all candidates to date, I don’t see it.

I see extreme views alienating the core of the nation. I see fractures and inaction because of that. I see America standing still as a gulf stream of events take place around us, pushing us in a direction like a raft on a current without an oar.

But the one thing that may help is one thing. We vote. We pick the best choice, separate of political affiliation, that has the potential to be the leader America needs but does not have going forward.

I don’t know who that candidate is. I will not reveal my choice at this time. That is not the purpose of this blog. The goal is to provide the best information, with as little bias as possible, and to encourage as many as possible to vote. We will only get one chance to pick the direction this country will go in. We get one chance to place an oar in the water at this crucial time. Take that chance.

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Will political ads buy your vote?

**This can also be seen at Presidential Race Blog, where I am a contributing author.**

As we approach of the primaries and then enter the Presidential race of 2008 in earnest, more Americans are beginning to pay real attention to who the candidates are. It’s given that there have been multiple debates on each political side, and many organizations have made standpoints on issues they believe are essential in their potential nominee. Yet, most Americans have yet to pay any attention.

That will soon change as we approach December and the early primaries of 2008 loom on the horizon. If you thought Christmas, Hanukah, or Kwanza were about religion, gifts and family cheer you will be sadly proven incorrect. This year that time will be about immigration, taxes, and the Iraq war.

This can be said with some authority when the advertising numbers are viewed.

“National cable networks sold 301 ad units between January and Sept. 2, 2007. That compares with a mere 19 units sold over a 15-month period during the last presidential cycle, January 2003 to March 2004.”

There is no end in sight. But what do these numbers really mean?

Estimates state that up to, or far more than, $2.7 billion will be spent on political advertising by Election Day in November 2008. That’s a huge number. That’s just swamping television, broadcast radio, and the internet with political ads. I would presume that at 30 seconds a piece the total number of ads, placed back to back, could equate to roughly a week or more of nothing but ads.

That’s a lot of time to say as little as possible and yet gain as many votes as possible. In all honesty, it’s an attempt to blur the facts and coerce the votes on the cheap. Because there is not a scholar on the planet that can summarize the Iraq war, and its ramifications into a 30 second sound bite. Hell, the debate by President Lincoln took hours and that was over 100 years ago, without a war, terrorism, nuclear weapons, illegal immigration, or taxes. If the Presidency was so complicated then that it took hours to justify the worthiness of who is to be elected, how long should it take now?

I realize that the immediacy of the world today does not lend itself to long debates fill with facts and details. I realize that superficial items like the clothing and colors the candidates wear are more easily digested. Still one has to ask, with so much time being devoted to pick candidate A, why is it being split up into multiple 30 second ads. My thought is that we the people are being misled to a degree and the candidates know it.

If any candidate was seriously interested in letting the nation know what they think, they would buy a half-hour block of time, and run that once a month on cable and broadcast television. They would send out transcripts of that discussion with the people, and post it on the internet. They would give definite answers and stand on a platform everyone can understand. And poll numbers would not sway their beliefs.

Think about it. I will use Senator Clinton as an example, but the same actions can be found with all the candidates. We have seen Senator Clinton strongly demand that the nation go to war with Iraq and Saddam Hussein, coincidentally while polls were favoring such action. Not all agreed with the information available for the war, but Sen. Clinton was a staunch advocate. As polls went against the war Senator Clinton came out against the war, at the same time plans were made that she would run for the Presidency. Now in the middle of her campaign, after defending organizations like MoveOn.org and questioning President Bush’s comments on Iran, Senator Clinton has begun to state that she may not take all the troops out of Iraq during her first term and that military strikes against Iran are feasible answers to their nuclear ambitions.

If you only follow the 30 second soundbites of the ads, you will miss these comments and turns in policy. They are minimized and drowned out by her regional and targeted messages. The Senator has distracted attention with ‘thoughts’ about college funds for all the children and denouncement of the plans of her peers. I am not saying her actions are correct or incorrect. I am highlighting the fact that the political ads obscure the actual platform that Senator Clinton, and to varying degrees the other candidates, hold.

We deserve better. We need to pay more attention. The 2008 election is not a MTV video. The lives of all Americans will be changed by the next President. I strongly believe that. So as the attention increases, and the ads fill the airwaves I suggest taking a bit of time to look back and learn the history of these candidates. Compare what they have said in the past with what they say today. Check how and when they changed their positions. It’s one thing to come to a better understanding on an idea, it’s another to just go with the popular opinion for the sake of gaining political power on the emotional cheap.

IF we don’t, you may not like what happens after the election when it’s too late.

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Marine Corps high school in Chicago

**this post can also be seen at All American Blog, where I am a contributing author as well.**

Oh the horror. Yes true terror because kids in school are being asked to be disciplined and respectful. That is the real argument against the new Marine Corps High School that just opened in Chicago, in my view.

I think the argument against this school can be summed up by this quote

"What it does prepare them to do is be good little soldiers, which I'm afraid we've got all too much of these days," said Andy Thayer.”

Wow. Mr. Thayer is just far too out there. We have too many American citizens protecting our nation and allowing citizens to live their lives making comments like this without being shot dead in the middle of a street. We have too many in the Armed Forces that love our country so much that they are willing, voluntarily, to giove their lives for what they see as the greatest nation in the world.

I must say that I obviously disagreee with Mr. Thayer and those that share his opinion.

In a world where Columbine events are becoming part and parcel of going to school, individuals like Mr. Thayer want to increase such events rather than lessen them as I see it. Discipline and obedience, are not bad things. Uniforms, of any type, are not a bad thing. Why all the fear?

One might conclude that the kids in this school are required to join the military. That assumption is wrong. One might think that the kids are not being taught the same as in other high schools, and again that is false.

There is a long tradition and history of great leaders that have attended West Point and other military schools. I have yet to hear anyone say that they have failed to educate or prepare their students. Yet, given this precidence, there are those that oppose a military school that is voluntary to enter, and more disciplined during this time of upheaval and confusion in our schools.

Why? Because Mr. Thayer, and others of his ilk, oppose the War in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now I respect that anyone who opposes the war voices their opinion. But I find it stupid to reject various acts that benefit our children and nation, because of that opposition.

Much like the rejection given to the Blue Angels, the Marine Silent Drill Team, and other events in San Fransico; this is based on one belief that is inflicted on those that neither have anything to do about it nor nessecarily agree. Providing children an education in a disciplined and safe environment, or allowing our returning slodiers the ability to enter an airport terminal does not help those that wish to run from the war.

Whether running away, tail between our collective legs, is an effective end of fighting versus a group of people that oppose our existence due to their religious belief is a question that will not be answwered by attacking the institutions and people that exist to help maintain and improve American lives.

It’s time that those that oppose the war stop attacking people and institutions that have nothing to do with American law and policy. If the only answer is there are ‘too many soliders ‘ then that is not good enough to attack the new Marine school. My response is simply that there are too many Columbine/Virginia Tech shootings, too high a drop-out rate, too many teen mothers, and kids in trouble to say that the system shouldn’t have a school like this.

That’s the real issue being attacked, and that has nothing to do with the Marines or the war in Iraq, no matter how it is spun.

Unless comments like this carry no weight

"When people see that we went to a military school, they know we're obedient, we follow directions, we're disciplined" Natassa Bourkas, 16, a student at the Naval academy, told the Tribune."

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Dr. James Watson calls Blacks inferior - 10.18.2007.1

This is a repost of a comment I made at Black & White Blog where I am co-author. I invite you to see the original post and leave comments on either blog.

With great sadness I have to say that ignorance pervades even at the top of the scientific community. There is no excuse for the words of Dr. James Watson. They are blatant, racist, and ill-informed at the least. But historically, this is an argument that has long persisted.

Perhaps all those that continue the line of ill-reasoning stated by Dr. Watson as

“inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa ... because all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours – whereas all the testing says not really”

should look to a far better known and more quoted figure, William Shakespeare

The lady doth protest too much, methinks - From Hamlet (III, ii, 239)

Or better yet

O, beware, my lord of jealousy; It is the green-ey'd monster which doth mock
The meat it feeds on - Othello (III, iii, 165-167)

I feel the Othello quote is best. Because I have to believe it is the jealousy and constant barrage of statements of superiority that lead to these kinds of statements. It helps those that feel inferior and hold a lack of self-esteem a means by which to leverage themselves up. To bad all fact and observation prove this to be incorrect.

Regardless of the degrees and desire for some to state otherwise, some of the greatest innovations and discoveries were not made by Caucasians of any region.

Mathematics, on which all technology and most sciences are dependant on, was the creation of Blacks, long before any organized cultures in Europe existed. In fact perhaps the earliest mathematics occurred in the Congo.

“The Ishango Bone, found in the area of the headwaters of the Nile River (northeastern Congo), dates as early as 20,000 BC. One common interpretation is that the bone is the earliest known demonstration[7] of sequences of prime numbers and Ancient Egyptian multiplication.”

The earliest Greek mathematicians were not until roughly 600 BC.

But of the thousands of inventions and innovations of Black inventors, not to mention Asians, people like Dr. Watson wish to turn a blind eye. They hope to infuse personal commentary in place of science, history and fact to justify their ludicrous claims.

If there is any doubt, one need only search Google or Ask.com for the facts of who did what when. Dr. Watson and his ilk are refuted right there.

The part that truly worries me is that men of this type are the ones that led the cry for a master race. They ran experiments of the most inhumane nature, in the hopes of creating that race. And now there is Dr. Watson who is researching DNA, and god knows what his ultimate goal for this research may be. I can only hope there are several groups and individuals watching what he is up to.

As for your question:

“What if one race was scientifically inferior to another in terms of learning ability? Let’s say, for example, what if the black race was scientifically inferior and if that could be proved through a trusted scientific trial? Would blacks throughout the world accept it or would it be labeled as a racist trial?”

I cannot imagine how that could be possible. As I have stated above, many of the discoveries in science occurred because of the minds of Blacks and Asians throughout history.

But if I follow that line of thought, the answer would be that regardless of what Blacks would think (or Asians for that matter) the media would disseminate and promote this story above all protests. There of course would be protests, and I have no doubt that the scientific finding would be analyzed by the best Black minds in the world.

As for

“What if the white race was inferior to the black race. Then, who would black america blame their woes on. Of course White America would say, we’re just dumb white folk. Food for thought.”

Actually there are 2 things you are incorrect about. The first is that African Americans do not “blame their woes” but rather highlight injustice and inequality in America that has been created and promoted through centuries of the existence of America.

When bloggers write about the Jena 6 for months, it’s not a woe but an injustice they are writing about. When I write about Ms. Megan Williams, it is not blame or woe, but a recognition that the major news media has failed in their job. It is to ensure that there will be equality under the law. It is to ensure that such acts will not be done again.

When there were riots in America after the Rodney King trial found the police officers innocent of all charges that was not a woe. When media ignored the death of Sean Bell, or breezed past the racial slurs of Michael Richards, or ignored the fact that murderer Jonathan Riches was finally brought to justice, all of this is not woes.

Some may blame White American society on many of the ills that prevail in the African American community today. In part they are correct. In part it is also the fault of the Black community. But these are not cries of misfortune that are baseless.

The second point is that if such empirical fact could be found, White Americans would not hesitate to denounce, discredit, and ignore the findings. The media would not carry the story, except for a few that might phrase it as a bit of silly, misguided, fluff. Bloggers speaking about it would be decried as militant and reverse racist.

Given a bit of time, and the eventual circulation of the story, multiple lawsuits would appear asking for White Americans to receive preferential designation in various programs, like college entrance exams, job placement and so on.

Several of the suits would appear to repeal/end any and all laws or organizations that exist to benefit African Americans and minority groups. The reasoning would be that since White Americans are inferior they need greater protection under the law and that any actions for non-Whites give them greater power and thus is unfair and lop-sided justice.

While this may sound laughable, I would bet that there would be enough concern and fear generated by this fact of inferiority that many of these lawsuits would win. As any honest White American will admit, they generally fear African Americans. That is without reason or causation; imagine when that general fear is given fuel with fact.

And here is another thought to ponder. Why would the thought of ANY group or race being inherently inferior to another come to your mind from the words of Dr. Watson? This is not an accusation just a question.

When I read his comments I was insulted and knew he was wrong. At no point did I think one race is better than another. What caused you to speculate otherwise?

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Responding to Michael Medved's rant against reparations Part 6 - 10.9.2007.6

Continued from Responding to Michael Medved's rant against reparations Part 5...

    6.THERE IS NO REASON TO BELIEVE THAT TODAY’S AFRICAN-AMERICANS WOULD BE BETTER OFF IF THEIR ANCESTORS HAD REMAINED BEHIND IN AFRICA.F*** you Medved. I’m sorry but I had to say that as my anger is huge. How dare Medved say that. How could he possibly assume that?

    If there were no African slaves, I feel it’s obvious there is no America as it exists today. There would have been fewer and smaller cities everywhere, incredibly less agriculture would have been grown to be traded. Less money means less arms and ships to defend America from the British, or others. Perhaps the effect means no America at all. And that means world history from that point completely changes in manners NONE are able to accurately comprehend.

    But of the things I can say, my ancestors would not have died by the millions. I’m sure the children and families of those lost would have been better having their father or mother still live. I know that without slavery MILLIONS of families would never have been broken up. That would be better. I know that MILLIONS would not have had to live worse than cattle and livestock for their lifetimes, nor would they need to see their children born into an equal life and taken from them. I know that untold numbers of women would not have been raped (men too for that matter), and their children from these forced encounters viewed as non-existent. I know that untold thousands upon thousands would not have been mutilated and murdered for sport or as punishment for trying to be free or not doing their job properly.

    I can imagine that the word N***** might not have the same meaning it does today and has for centuries. I can imagine that I would not be treated as an object of fear as I go to and from work. I can imagine that my ancestors would not have had to strive to be considered equal for 100+ years. I can imagine that my father, mother and grandparents would not have been denied a place to live solely for their color of skin.

    How much are those things worth? How much more when multiplied by 346 years?

    It is only the greatest level of conceit and self-aggrandizement that could allow anyone to claim that the lives of anyone is better with 346 years of racism, murder, abuse, mutilation, sexual abuse, degradation, insults, and I fear to imagine what else. If this was such a positive effect on the African Americans of today, I ask that Medved, his family and friends all be sold into slavery under the same conditions of the past for the next 346 years. I’ll even grant him just 89 years. I’ll guarantee that at the end of that time his descendant s will live in a nation of stronger economics and greater education than now. Is he willing to volunteer? Would anyone of sane mind?

    But wait, your descendants will have better lives. Isn’t that worth it? According to the all-knowing and generous Medved, and those that think like him, it is. Someone give him Prozac.

**I will end this line of discussion here, but I will continue the response under another title - Real points on reparations**

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Responding to Michael Medved's rant against reparations Part 5 - 10.9.2007.5

Continued from Responding to Michael Medved's rant against reparations Part 4...

    5.WHILE AMERICA DESERVES NO UNIQUE BLAME FOR THE EXISTENCE OF SLAVERY, THE UNITED STATES MERITS SPECIAL CREDIT FOR ITS RAPID ABOLITION. – That is just insulting. Of course America did not create slavery. Medved insults the intelligence of his readers to again debate this issue. It is not the question of the existence of slavery that is in question. It is the actions of America with slavery that is the subject. Again this is obfuscation of the subject.

    The blame is the fact that American slaves had no rights, unlike indentured servants, and were not considered or treated as human beings. That is indisputable. Unlike slaves throughout history, such as the Romans, the Greeks, and others where slaves were considered 2nd class citizens and were able to either integrate or elevate themselves to part of the society American slaves were considered property similar to chairs. Livestock were more ingrained in American society.

    Even today, the concept of a cowboy (a term created to describe slaves that worked with cattle) and movies of them feature more scenes and plot involvement with cattle than African Americans. From start to finish it’s denial and obfuscation. Even for over 100 years after the 13th Amendment African Americans were not able to integrate into American society due to segregation and Jim Crow laws.

    Perhaps if Medved considers time according to geological parameters he would be correct in saying it was a quick change. But to my knowledge there is no other society that had slaves or indentured servants (which are quite different I say again) that treated them in the same manner as American slaves. They may have been treated badly, but they were human. African Americans were not. So the comparison is flawed, because being a 2nd class citizen for 500 years (exaggeration) is not the same has being less than a cow, horse, pig, or chair for 300+.

    And I will add that, if other nations had slavery, of any form at any time in history I could care less. The discussion is American slavery. The issue is American reparations for American slavery. What the Roman, or the Brazilians did and for how long is an interesting side note but it does not justify nor resolve the American issues. This may be a wonderful way to avoid the actual argument, but it does nothing to resolve it. It’s sidestepping the issue. Medved should realize that most of us can see this and should stop insulting us. Deal with the issue.

    “When magistrates in Massachusetts discovered that some of their citizens had raided an African village and violently seized two natives to bring them across the Atlantic for sale in the New World, the General Court condemned “this haynos and crying sinn of man-stealing.” The officials promptly ordered the two blacks returned to their native land. Two years later [1648], Rhode Island passed legislation denouncing the practice of enslaving Africans for life and ordered that any slaves “brought within the liberties of this Collonie” be set free after ten years “as the manner is with the English servants.” ”

    Oh how kind and merciful. Thank you Medved for showing me the compassion that America had at the time. 2 slaves out of MILLIONS that died in forced transit, and countless others killed on American soil, were sent home. I can sleep better now.

    The kind people of Rhode Island decided my ancestors should ONLY be enslaved for a decade. Well that is better than a lifetime, how gracious of them. Too bad that the number of slaves in Rhode Island did not approach the perhaps hundreds of thousands that were sold for a lifetime of slavery during the very same time period.

Continued in Part 6...

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Responding to Michael Medved's rant against reparations Part 4 - 10.9.2007.4

Continued from Responding to Michael Medved's rant against reparations Part 3...

    3.THOUGH BRUTAL, SLAVERY WASN’T GENOCIDAL: LIVE SLAVES WERE VALUABLE BUT DEAD CAPTIVES BROUGHT NO PROFIT. – Slaves that arrived in America had a value. Those that died in the slave ships were just flotsam. To ensure profitable trips, cargo ships overloaded their ships planning ahead of time for the deaths of a portion of the Africans. Photo found at http://americanabolitionist.liberalarts.iupui.edu/middle_passage.htm

    By your own admission, probably millions of Africans died and there was no accounting for them. Just as there is no accounting of the chairs that were lost on those same voyages. How many people need to be killed for how long to claim genocide? How many died in the Holocaust? How many Serbians died before American troops were sent with the U.N. to stop the genocide? In Darfur today, it is considered genocide in action with over a million dead and that has been ongoing for 4 years at least.

    By your own admission slaves died en route to America for 300 YEARS, creating millions of dead, not counting untold numbers being killed once in America. Remember, you don’t need to account for, nor is it a crime to kill livestock. Slaves were less valuable than many livestock and there was no full accounting of them. How do these numbers not reach Genocidal numbers?

    Is it not a genocidal act because a far smaller number of Slaves lived than the total dead? By that logic some have denied the Holocaust. That is no less an ignorant answer. Just because the total population of Africa was not killed does not make it less of a horrific and despicable act.

    “By definition, the crime of genocide requires the deliberate slaughter of a specific group of people; slavers invariably preferred oppressing and exploiting live Africans rather than murdering them en masse.”

    As you stated slavers overcrowded their ships because they knew as many as 1/3 would die in the forced transport. That sounds like a deliberate slaughter. Causing the expected death of hundreds if not thousands of a specific people at a time, each time they moved their ships. While you try to drive sympathy to the slavers, I fail to join in that opinion. They committed knowing Genocide, without pause since they claimed that Africans were not human.

    Your further argument, implying that ALL slaves were considered as valuable as livestock, fails as well. First I’m not grateful that some slave owners felt as much pride in some of their slaves as they did their cattle or horses. The fact that some were selected as breeding stock does not make me feel better either. It is inhumane.

    Further it means that some slaves were NOT given this favored status. Much like some horses and cattle were put down to improve the heard, your logic means the same happened to slaves. The loss was considered acceptable. Since the value of ALL slaves was not the same, murder of some was par for the course as it would be with any livestock.

    4.IT’S NOT TRUE THAT THE U.S. BECAME A WEALTHY NATION THROUGH THE ABUSE OF SLAVE LABOR: THE MOST PROSPEROUS STATES IN THE COUNTRY WERE THOSE THAT FIRST FREED THEIR SLAVES. – Again you lie. America was not a manufacturing economy. That is a fact. America at that time was an agricultural nation, exporting sugar, cotton, and tobacco. Those were huge cash crops. Those crops came from slave labor.

    “50% of U.S. exports in 1855 were cotton”

    “American cotton production soared from 156,000 bales in 1800 to more than 4,000,000 bales in 1860… the number of slaves in America grew from 700,000 in 1790 to 4,000,000 in 1860”

    “New York rose to its preeminent position as the commercial and financial center of America because of cotton. It has been estimated that New York received forty percent of all cotton revenues since the city supplied insurance, shipping, and financing services and New York merchants sold goods to Southern planters. The trade with the South, which has been estimated at $200,000,000 annually, was an impressive sum at the time.”

    While the North made huge amounts of money from providing slaves, equipment, insurance and trade for the South, it was the crops of the South that was the source of American income until the industrial revolution took hold.

    One of the primary causes of the Civil War was the fact that the North, without the agricultural trade from the South could not sustain itself. Prosperity in the North was only attained from the slave labor in the South. From 1619 until well in the 1800’s America was a farming nation that is fact. We made virtually all our money at that time from that income source, again a fact.

    Another fact that needs to be noted is that Northern slaves were used to build the infrastructure that became the North. They were used to build city, streets, buildings and everything else. Similar work was done in the South. Jim Crow laws were in massive effect in the growth of the West. There is no aspect of the nation that exists today that does not have its roots in Slave labor. That is a fact.

    America could not exist as it does today without slave labor. Thus all the wealth that exists today has at its roots African Americans and their unpaid work, their blood, and their inhumane treatment and living conditions. There is no amount of double talk or distraction that takes away from these facts.

Continued in Part 5...

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Responding to Michael Medved's rant against reparations Part 3 - 10.9.2007.3

Continued from Responding to Michael Medved's rant against reparations Part 2...

    2.SLAVERY EXISTED ONLY BRIEFLY, AND IN LIMITED LOCALES, IN THE HISTORY OF THE REPUBLIC – INVOLVING ONLY A TINY PERCENTAGE OF THE ANCESTORS OF TODAY’S AMERICANS. – Not only is this absurd, it is a lie. It is factually in accurate. American history includes and is part in parcel tied to the 13 colonies. We accept as American history everything from the first colonists beyond. In fact the ‘discovery’ of America by Christopher Columbus (who was not the first European here and thus why we are called America and not Columbia) is considered a national holiday. To deny that portion of our accepted history is to minimize everything about America.

    The 13 colonies all have slavery. That is a fact. The northern colonies had more indentured servants, but there were slaves. To deny that is a lie. It is an attempt to romanticize the facts. It is also true that the northern colonies took on abolition after a time, to deny the initial action is to sidestep history. You know better.

    Further the first African slaves were recorded in the American colonies in 1619, which does not mean slaves were not here before then. 89 years later as you claim, they were still slaves before the Declaration of Independence. In fact slavery existed in America from 1619 until its formal end in 1865. That’s when de facto slavery took over with Jim Crow laws and sharecropping. The Jim Crow laws were in effect, to varying degrees, as late as the 1970’s. If we only count until the Civil Rights acts (which should not have been needed if the 13th and 14th Amendments were actually enforced) then slavery lasted roughly 346 years.

    Math and time do not change because you prefer to view it a certain way. If you wish to parse split hairs you can, but that does not change facts. It just allows you to view things in a manner that will let you sleep at night and live with your head in the sand.

    “Of course, a hundred years of Jim Crow laws, economic oppression and indefensible discrimination followed the theoretical emancipation of the slaves, but those harsh realities raise different issues from those connected to the long-ago history of bondage.”

    How can you not connect the cause with the result? Without slavery there is no Jim Crow. As you admit, slavery continued de facto under a different name for over a century after the 13th Amendment. For something ‘indefensible’ you seem to provide many defenses.

    As for your claim of

    “Even in the South, more than 80% of the white population never owned slaves.”

    Exactly what time frame are you using for that claim? Given the fact that slavery existed for some time in all 13 colonies, then was predominant in the south for at least the 89 years you are willing to provide for, and then continued de facto under Jim Crow, there are centuries of Whites that owned slaved for some period of time. And those that owned slave did not own just one. They owned several families, working in the fields and the homes. So to say, arbitrarily and for your conscience, that only 5% of today’s White population is descended from slave owners is a farce. I would guess that if you count from the start of slaves in America, which includes the colonies that we count as America, then I would guess that the number could be at least as high as 25%.

    I submit the extended family of Thomas Jefferson. Denied acknowledgement for centuries yet proven as descendants, how many other African Americans share tied ancestries to White American slave owners going back centuries. Oh, and don’t forget that many slaves were not documented as they were not considered humans, so you cannot give an accurate guess as to who owned slaves where and when.

Continued in Part 4...

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Responding to Michael Medved's rant against reparations Part 2 - 10.9.2007.2

Continued from Responding to Michael Medved's rant against reparations Part 1...

As for students of history and their feelings, do you feel guilt that the Romans held slaves? Do you feel guilt that Genghis Khan ruled more of the world than any other leader? Do you feel pain knowing that the Crusades and the Inquisition happened? Does the story of the 300 Spartans become less heroic because Spartans routinely left babies thought to be too weak in the woods to die? So why should a student of history feel more or less guilt in knowing the rarely spoken facts of American history?

“the current mania for exaggerating America’s culpability for the horrors of slavery bears no more connection to reality than the old, discredited tendency to deny that the U.S. bore any blame at all.”

I’m sorry, bringing up facts is an exaggeration? You say this as opposed to the constant barrage of media, in all forms, that has for centuries claimed that America never did anything wrong. Let’s take our heads out of the sand for a moment and realize a few things. The original colonies are thought of in the most romantic of forms. Similar to how the Middle Ages are seen now. Books, movies and television shows have and continue to obfuscate the truth. When you look at old Western movies, how often are Whites portraying the Indians? How many movies ever show ANY Blacks? How many address the fact that slavery existed in America at that time? Or that Indians were given diseases blankets and driven forcibly from their homes? Who do you think is exaggerating those ‘facts’?

The fact is that these things happened. America did them. To acknowledge that is not an exaggeration. It may feel extreme because the ‘family secret’ that everyone knows and no one speaks about may feel like its being shouted when someone whispers about it, but it is not. The extremity is the degree that it is hidden from the common discussion. It’s so extreme that when the current democratic presidential candidates were asked about reparations, all except one refused to even answer at all. Talk about fear.

As for the points you make:

    1.SLAVERY WAS AN ANCIENT AND UNIVERSAL INSTITUTION, NOT A DISTINCTIVELY AMERICAN INNOVATION. – There has never been a claim I am aware of in my lifetime that has said Slavery is only an American idea. As I recall, my elementary education addressed the fact that Romans and Greeks had slaves. My later education made clear that Spain and England had indentured servants (which is not the same no matter how that is spun around). And there have been many movies that have further let the public know that slaves existed long before America; I believe you’ve seen the 10 Commandments with Mr. Charlton Heston.

    To claim that other nations having slaves and to mention how many does not change our actions. The issue is not what happened in the Ottoman Empire, but in America. If you watch wrestling and then go out and have a fight you will not be absolved because someone else did a similar thing. You are still culpable for your own actions.

    This entire argument is just a means of distraction from the original point that America had slaves. Those slaves were not considered human, as indentured servants were. They had no rights, as indentured servants did in several nations including America and Spain. They were considered on par with furniture, and livestock was often considered more valuable. What other countries did with and about their slaves has no bearing. 2 wrongs don’t make a right.

Continued in Part 3...

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Responding to Michael Medveds rant against reparations - 10.9.2007.1

I want to thank my friend MichaelH and the Bakare Chronicles for bringing this post to my attention. This is long, but I feel it’s important and worth it. Please read it all.

I feel insulted, and Michael Medved is the reason for it. Photo found at http://www.koze950.com/?p=29I would like to blow this off as a rant by a guilt-ridden ignorant man, but given the prominence and success of Medved in general that does not apply. Thus I will just have to accept that he is stupid. [Stupid is defined as wanting in understanding or as I like to say “ignorance does not know, stupid is knowing and not caring.”] Given that, I think it’s time that a better answer to his “Six inconvenient truths about the U.S. and slavery” is addressed with some logic.

Before I go there I find it quite interesting that in the comments to his post, there are many jumping on the bandwagon of Medved. I hope they are all happy to be in the same mindset and company of Georgia House Speaker Richardson, and Frank Hargrove.

It is interesting that most people I have known in life across this country don’t want to discuss slavery at all. It’s barely and poorly discussed in schools. Few who have discussed it at all have been able to remain calm in the discussion. I have observed more denial and anger from this conversation than anything else. And none have provided me reasons to change my opinion on reparations or an apology. But I will note that when someone does address these issues, especially in denying any culpability, hoardes come out to comment in agreement. To me that is just mob justification.

But I ask Medved to reply to this.

I served in the Marine Corp, as did my father in Viet Nam where he suffered life altering and permanent injuries. My father volunteered because our nation needed him. My sister served in the Army. My grandfathers on both sides of my family served in the military. I can go on with my cousins and so forth but the point comes down to the fact my family, like many others, love this country enough to give out lives for it. At the same time, we are all intelligent enough to realize that our nation has made mistakes and done outright acts of wrong over it’s history. To acknwledge this is not a bad thing, it’s just honesty. America is not a saint among nations, and for me to say that is not an attempt to

“discredit the United States and to deny our role as history’s most powerful and pre-eminent force for freedom, goodness and human dignity”

To make such a broad and baseless implication is an attempt to discredit your detractors on a basis of patriotism that is insulting and inaccurate. How dare you.

Also to belittle the plight of Native American Indians is also insulting and an attempt to justify actions taken in the past. America did not just 'displace' Indians, we removed them from ancestral lands and stuck them in swamps and barren plains, and those that refused we killed. If you wish to minimize that as ‘mistreatment’ then that is your own guilt. If you feel both these actions detract from our better actions now then that is your personal problem. I do not share your guilt and personal shame. I understand that a child may get into fights and perhaps steal, but with maturity and time that same child can become a great religious leader or hero or another form of leader.

Continued in part 2...

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Monday, October 08, 2007

Which candidate matches your views? - 10.8.2007.1

I found a very interesting Presidential candidate selector. There are more than just a few questions. Many I found though provoking and are questions I wish there was more discussion about. This list included one particular question I never see asked on breakdowns like this, Reparations. But it also includes immigration, social security, the candidate’s ages, marital status, national healthcare and other issues.

I won’t say that you should or should not vote for anyone that pops up for you. I won’t say that this list is who I would vote for. But I am presenting what my results were. I found the rankings to be interesting and a touch surprising.

Another nice thing is that this list includes those that have dropped out of the race, recent additions and a couple of top names that are not running but have drawn interest from the media and pundits.

Try it out for yourself. Oh one thing though, there is a huge ad that pops up before you get your results. But you can go past that ad to get to your results without a problem or searching for a way to get it off. I can’t blame the site for the ad; hey we all need to make money right?

You can try your hand at the selector here http://www.selectsmart.com/president/2008.html and you can see the side by side comparison of candidates here http://selectsmart.com/president/2008/comparethem.html.

My results:

    2008 President Selector Rankings

      1. Theoretical Ideal Candidate (100 %)
      2. Duncan Hunter (68 %)
      3. Chuck Hagel (not running) (65 %)
      4. Alan Keyes (64 %)
      5. Sam Brownback (64 %)
      6. Tom Tancredo (63 %)
      7. Newt Gingrich (says he will not run) (58 %)
      8. Jim Gilmore (withdrawn) (58 %)
      9. Mitt Romney (56 %)
      10. John McCain (56 %)
      11. Fred Thompson (51 %)
      12. Ron Paul (48 %)
      13. Tommy Thompson (withdrawn) (48 %)
      14. Mike Huckabee (48 %)
      15. Kent McManigal (campaign suspended) (40 %)
      16. Rudolph Giuliani (38 %)
      17. Al Gore (not announced) (37 %)
      18. Wesley Clark (not running, endorsed Clinton) (30 %)
      19. Bill Richardson (29 %)
      20. Joseph Biden (26 %)
      21. Hillary Clinton (25 %)
      22. Christopher Dodd (24 %)
      23. John Edwards (24 %)
      24. Barack Obama (22 %)
      25. Dennis Kucinich (22 %)
      26. Michael Bloomberg (says he will not run) (22 %)
      27. Mike Gravel (19 %)
      28. Alan Augustson (campaign suspended) (11 %)
      29. Elaine Brown (11 %)

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Friday, October 05, 2007

Senator Clinton tries to buy cheap votes with baby bonds - 10.5.2007.1

Do you remember old films and cartoons where you will see a politician (usually an empty suit) pick up a baby and kiss it? A recent take on that was done in the program Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law. In that episode Phil wound up shaking babies and kissing hands. You have to see it to get the joke.

[If anyone has a video clip of that, let me know and I’ll add it]

But we are in the 21st century and modern day politicians can do the old trick in new ways. Take the ‘proposal’ by Senator Hillary Clinton for example.

"I like the idea of giving every baby born in America a $5,000 account that will grow over time, so when that young person turns 18, if they have finished high school, they will be able to access it to go to college”

Wow, that sounds great. What a human being, a caring mother. A load of crap. It’s just candy to get votes, and I’ll explain why.

First, who is going to come up with the 20 billion dollars such a program will cost? You will, say hello to new taxes.

Second, what if your child doesn’t want to go to college. Maybe they want to be an artist, truck driver or construction worker. Where does their money go to? Do they just lose it? Where does that extra money go?

Third, when we say every baby, that includes the babies born of illegal aliens (or the silly undocumented workers designation – here’s a clue the document missing is a U.S. birth certificate or green card hence illegal). If the parents are caught and deported, where does that child’s money go? What if the parents leave the country and take the child with them? Do we pay for college in another country? Do we send that cash to the child in another country?

Fourth, what kind of college qualifies? Community college (which is not really college but high school 2.0), vocational colleges?

Fifth, if the average college tuition is $22,218 (private) or $5,836 (public) and we assume 10% annual growth for just 18 years that means (forgive my math it’s been a while) $98,973 and $32,380 respectively. Taking $5,000 for 18 years at 10% (current rates are 4.75%) then Senator Clinton’s generous gift of your money generates $27,936. Now if my math is correct (which I’m sure I will be told if I am not) and interest rates go up to and stay at 10% (not going to happen) there is still a shortfall of $4,444 just for private school.

I know that the growing cost of college probably won’t be what I just stated, but I can equally be assured that interest rates will not be that high or consistent. It is reasonably accurate that under almost every scenario the money saved will still fall short of the average college.

So depending on the college wished for, loans, grants, and part-time work will still be needed. The wonderful cure all of Senator Clinton’s gift of your money will still not be enough. Of course you can imagine that this amount will then be lobbied for an increase to make up the difference. There will also be special interest groups that will want increases for their kids like Latinos, Native Indians, the overweight, anorexics, gays, kids who are colorblind, kids who can’t dance and so forth.

Millions will be spent to make sure the funds are not misspent. Millions more will abuse the system somehow, and yet millions more will go to studies to see if the system is failing or adequate. The amount will be increased, illegal immigrants will complain that they aren’t getting a fair chance and college tuitions will increase proportionate to the Clinton gift and students will complain about it.

Oh and the last reason why this plan will absolutely not work, and why Senator Clinton is using it as a modern day ‘kiss the baby’ is that if it was such a great plan she would have tried to get it passed on the state level and used it as an example of how wonderful a leader she is.

Since this ‘idea’ has more holes and long-term complications than Swiss cheese Senator Clinton never bothered to run with the idea and saved it for a time when she needed more attention in her quest to gain the Presidency. Funny how it came out now, just as every Democrat is looking for a way to avoid the MoveOn.org problem, especially since she wouldn’t want anyone to remember that she voted in favor of what MoveOn did.

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Republicans forget, Democrats fabricate, America may be in trouble

**also found at Presidential race blog**

When you think of the President of the United States, you think of the leader of the nation. The key here is leader of the nation, not a political party or a portion of the population but everyone. That is what the highest elected position in America demands.

Given that thought, one would expect that all the political parties would address all the people in the nation. That means debates, interviews and so forth with representatives of all the major demographics. It would mean answering tough questions on issues that face America today and going into the future.

What is expected is not the case though.

What is going on with the Republican Party? As stated by Mark Radulich of 411mania.com,

“There is room in this country for blacks to migrate over to the GOP if only they would actually try and make some overtures. The problem is, while the GOP does not stand in opposition to black Republicans, it also does not go out of the way to earn more black votes either. In other words, if blacks just suddenly appear out of the ether, that's fine, but the GOP doesn't seem interested in putting any work into garnering black votes or grooming black power leaders for the benefit of winning future elections.”

Amazing. All this while top Democratic candidates are out sensationalizing the condition of Blacks. John Edwards has stated

“We cannot build enough prisons to solve this problem. And the idea that we can keep incarcerating and keep incarcerating — pretty soon we're not going to have a young African-American male population in America. They're all going to be in prison or dead. One of the two.”

Sounds bleak doesn’t it. On one side you have people with blinders on. On the other we have those that either presumes loyalty due to their promises (regardless of their actual records upon being elected) or sensationalism created for the sole reason of driving votes to them out of fear.

Without someone pointing out real facts – like the fact that there are more Black men age 18-24 in college than jail (according to 2005 Justice Department statistics) – there is only one voice out there. What that voice says does not mean it is to the benefit of African Americans.

So the question is, are Republicans going to lose the Presidential election race of 2008 because they ignore over 12% of the population, or will Democrats win because they will inspire fear in that same population? Does either option seem even remotely in the benefit of the nation?

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Some racial slurs some American schools teach - 10.4.2007.1

You can comment here and at Black & White Blog, a blog I co-author to discuss issues from both the African American and White American viewpoints. I invite everyone to take a look and give their thoughts.

I want to thank my friend Shay for pointing this out to me.

School is about education. We all go there to learn. Learn about history of the world and the nation. That’s what it’s supposed to be about. But some schools feel there are other things that kids need to learn.

Of all the things that kids could learn about Slavery and the Civil War, how does this help? Where does knowing this word expand the mind and promote new thoughts? In what way could this be construed as being positive in race relations?

Maybe the school should have had the word REPARATIONS on the cross word, defined as – What America refuses to do or discuss, though it’s been done for Native Indians and Japanese Americans.

Perhaps another word may have been APOLOGY, defined as – Words never spoken by any President or Congress to African Americans in any form.

I would even go with MODERN DAY, defining that as – Impossible to exist without the work, sweat, and blood of African Americans Slaves that built the economy and infrastructure of America from roughly 1619 to 1865, and continued under Jim Crow laws until 1968-ish.

If they wanted to be controversial they could have used 13th AMENDMENT defined as – America opens its eyes and suddenly realizes that human beings exist in colors beyond white and pink.

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Senator Harry Reid, defending America's people, some of them - 10.2.2007.2

What a guy, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. He is such the authority on what insults the Armed Forces and troops in Iraq. I’m so pleased that he can stand up and let us know all those people that HE is the watchdog of America.

Actually, Sen. Reid has help in his pursuit of defending the image, respect and honor of the military. MoveOn.org and Media Matters are there to provide him the tools he needs. You know who both those groups are.

MoveOn.org, the supremely left group that so loves our military (the very people who enable such a group to exist and publicize their views without harm) they impuned the credibility and loyalty of the General in charge of Iraq, thus questioning the loyalty of everyone in that commanders chain of command. They publicly, on an international basis, attempted to humiliate the Armed Forces and all that they do for our nation, without question on a voluntary basis even at the cost of their lives.

Let’s not forget Media Matters. An organization that purports to identify failures in media to report accurately, and to identify acts that demean and insult the American people. Sadly none of this can be done without inaccuracy, misquotes and out of context statements. From their recent out-of-context accusation of racism, where every public African American “leader” including Rev. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton found none, to stating Rush Limbaugh attacks the American military when Mr. Limbaugh correctly cited a soldier that was found to have made statements to the press that never happened.

What friends of Senate Majority Leader Reid. The constituents of his state must be quite proud when he says,

Rush Limbaugh owes the men and women of our armed forces an apology

But when it came down to a vote to condemn the aforementioned ad by MoveOn.org Sen. Reid voted against condemnation. That is an insult. That demands an apology.

The factual comparison is that Senator Harry Reid, on the basis of my understanding of his voting record and comments, stands behind extreme left groups that wish to demean and belittle the very people who defend their right to free speech. That he approves of tactics that seek to personally attack individuals that differ from those organizations views. That misinforming the public for the purpose of improving the political status and election chances of candidates they approve of is justifiable.

This is who Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid aligns himself with.

I don’t care what the personal political views of Sen. Reid are. He has his right to believe what he wishes. As a politician he has an obligation to follow the views of his constituents, not rich billionaires that fund political groups with an agenda (such as George Soros), or political groups that are directly seen as extreme even in their own party.

Politicians, specifically the 24 that chose to vote against condemning the MoveOn.org ad (includiung Presidential hopeful Senator Hillary Clinton) and the Senator Barack Obama’s non-vote, may wish to obscure or ignore these issues. I say keep them in mind.

When it comes time to vote, there will be many that may have forgotten what some have done. Sen. Reid is among those that hope that, as do organizations like MoveOn and Media Matters. I will not. My vote is worth a long memory that includes candidates and politicians so dedicated to extremist money that they chose them over our military.

This is what I think, what do you think?

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MoveOn.org should not be forgotten - 10.2.2007.1

For all the talk and condemnation of the MoveOn.org ad personally attacking Gen. Petraeus, what affect does this all have on the Average Joe? Where does this entire fluster shake out? The Presidential election and the effects on the nation.

After 2 weeks of denials, the New York Times has finally admitted they broke their rules. This is a big deal. It’s not that the NY Times dropped the price of the ad some $70,000. MoveOn is funded by billionaire George Soros, they can afford whatever price the Times makes up. The question is whether the news organization is impartial, which this proves it is not. The paper broke rules against favoring a political party, running an attack ad, and several other regulations that the Times has in place for themselves. That’s a blatant move, and thus a virtually explicit declaration of ultra-liberal political affiliation.

Some could say that it’s not a big deal. News organizations tend to be liberal anyway. I disagree. Writers may or may not be liberal; a news organization should be neutral. This apparent declaration, which the Times tried to justify for 2 weeks, shows that they are not neutral and thus lie to the American people, as I conclude. It’s a strong conclusion I have come to, and if I am correct it means that every item reported about the President, national policies and international interactions may have been tainted. Imagine that, everything that the Times has said has been altered from the truth, either through omission of facts or editing of those facts, to make readers act in one manner or another.

Add to this the fact that not one of the Democratic Presidential candidates has made a single statement to condemn the ad and the problem grows. It’s not that they are breaking political ranks, this issue is beyond that. The Untied States Armed Forces are in place to protect EVERYONE, without regard to political affiliation or individual thoughts. Our soldiers die for the right to have ads, like the despicable MoveOn ad, to be able to appear without someone dying for it. A mere handful of countries can claim the same thing.

The ad attacked not just the General, but every American military person. To say that Gen Petraeus lied or betrayed the nation is to say that every soldier in his command did the same. It is to say that a temporary political point in time is more important than the lives and constitution he has sworn to uphold and protect. Considering his positive and well supported (by both parties) appointment, this questioning of loyalty is deeply misplaced.

What does it say when the potential next Commander-and-Chief has so little respect for the troops under their command that they will allow any attack upon them individually and as a whole. Yes, disrespect for the whole military. Gen. Petraeus did not leak out information or aide the enemy. He did not put our soldiers in harms way, or intentionally cause them to be killed. He has not reported lies or information that has not been confirmed and understood. He has not acted in any manner other than professionally and respectfully, even while his report given to Congress was questioned in its complete truth to his face.

I feel that a vote to not condemn personal attacks against our Armed Forces is a negative signal of what will come in the future. To vote against condemnation is to vote for the MoveOn ad. It’s a statement of no confidence in the military and a Commander-and –Chief must have faith in the military to command. Especially if that Commander has never spent one second in the Armed Forces.

Equally, the failure to vote either way is an act of cowardice in my opinion. Some issues are black & white. You either agree or disagree. To opt out is merely an attempt to play political games, seeking to keep funding without angering the general populace.

We need our leaders, and those who hope to become a leader, to state what they believe and to be accountable for that decision. If money, and political extremism, are the issues that they feel are most important we need to know that prior to an election. The repercussions are too dire to find out after the fact.

And to know that our news media organizations are being honest to us is no less important. If they are equally biased, what is to stop them from creating a new McCarthy, rather than exposing one? Where does the slippery slope begin that leads to a news media that is merely the tool of the government as opposed to reporting on it? It may sound implausible in America, but if our rules and standards falter how can we be sure it cannot happen?

The MoveOn.org ad is more than just an ad. The controversy and reactions are far reaching. And Average Joe should keep in mind what this means and can lead to. If we don’t we may not be able to get back from the road it takes us down.

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