Thursday, May 29, 2008

Would McCain or Obama win the Presidency today?

With the imminent nomination of Senator Obama as the Democratic nominee the question facing the nation is who will become our next President. It's a question that only has 159 days left to be decided. It's a question that we all will be discussing and debating with more frequency and intensity as the days count down.

To that end I have provided a unique look at the current tenative shape of the electoral votes, as shown via Hannity & Colmes. I think this gives an interesting insight to how the nation might vote, and what the nation is looking at for the future.

Of course your vote can change this map dramatically. Neither presidential candidate can win at this time. But there is an obvious pattern, and sveral states could easily sway the probabilities to either candidate.

Take a look at this, and if you don't agree get involved. If you do agree get involved because those that don't will. No matter what, vote because you can make a difference.

(sorry for the technical difficulty with the video)

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The new utility stock view

Utility stocks are the Shakespeare of the stock market. That’s the common thought. They don’t have big swings in price, are good for dividends, and are safe. Ask most stockbrokers and that’s what you will probably hear. Most think it’s the place to invest in bad economies and for old investors seeking to preserve money.

But is that true?

Utility stocks include several areas that are now, or possibly in the near future, growth industries. That includes ethanol, wind energy, biomass, hydropower, and other forms of green power generation. Each of these and many more are considered new areas of development that could help fuel the economies of multiple states, as well as the overall American economy.

A recent comment by Jim Cramer states

“Wind power is hands-down the best form of renewable energy.”

One of his picks in the wind power arena is Kaydon, which should have wind power account for 20% of the company's sales by 2009 possibly tripling by 2010. Kaydon is currently the market leader in wind-power bearings, with over 50% market share.

Now that is not the kind of growth that sounds stolid or boring. That sounds like big growth. And similar comments can be seen in several energy areas, that formerly were as unexciting as dividend returns (which have been cut by many utilities in recent years). Considering this a new look at utilities is in order.

There may be more reasons to be involved with utility stocks than you ever thought before. But check with a registered professional before making any investment decision.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Democratic Nomination - Path to where?

Does anyone find it interesting that Senator Hillary Clinton, via husband former-President Bill Clinton, now claim that they have the most votes any Democrat has ever received before? The timing is almost laughable.

First the Clinton machine claimed that they would win with little trouble. The pundits agreed. Then in November 2007 Senator Obama gathered some steam and Senator Clinton got caught playing all sides of an issue (whether she supposed giving illegal aliens driver’s liscences in New York State – she answered yes, no and maybe in less than 2 minutesin a national debate which I have posted on).

Then the issue became the fact that Senator Obama was just playing race and was a minor character because he won in South Carolina. Race was a major issue, and gender was a common back drop. Both were reasons the Clinton campaign believed they would prevail.

Then as Clinton lost states 2 to 1, the argument became that she was leading the Super Delegate vote. She pressed that Super Delegates would know that she was the better candidate and she would win.

Then when she lost the Super delegates she now claims she has the majority of vote. Of course to get that math right you have to give her every vote in Florida (ignoring the votes that Senator Obama received) and all the votes that were in Michigan (ignoring that she was the only name on the ballot and the fact that 40% of Michigan picked uncommitted rather than vote for her).

Is it interesting that she now claims that the voters in Florida and Michigan need to have their votes counted, when a year ago she agreed and pledged to penalize them – when she thought she didn’t need the votes? Does this sound desperate at all? Isn’t the ship sinking, and not only is the captain going down, she is trying to take the crew and passengers too.

The Democratic Presidential nomination has be filled with racism, gender bias, polispeak politics on vote rules, religious fear and hatred, and desperation all centered or initiated by Senator Clinton and her campaign. Can any Democrat truly say this is the kind of President they want? That you would ignore all the negatives and vote for her anyway?

The more this race has gone forward the more I have to wonder how the Democratic Party will survive, and if it should. When the best that the Party can offer is Clinton and her tactics (which currently seem like poisoning the well because if she can’t win no Democrat should), or Senator Obama who has no real plan stated, but has snippets of ideas that are protectionist/isolationist and failed policies of the past?

I really have to wonder is any Democrat now available really going to lead the nation to a better place considering the issues that face America. And I don’t care about the “Bush is bad”, “Bush has ruined America” crap that some toss about. President Bush is leaving office, thus that is the end of his policies. America is still free, and there has not been another attack on our soil. He may not be a great President, or overly smart, but he did what was needed at the time (and some of what wasn’t too). Instead of looking backwards, look ahead and tell me what can the Democrats do to improve the situation.

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Friday, May 23, 2008

Congress polispeak to Karl Rove spends your tax dollars and wastes time

I hate watching blatant partisan politics. It’s the blatant use of polispeak and opportunism that gets my ire going. Such as the subpoena on Karl Rove.

It’s May 2008 and Karl Rove is getting questions about his involvement in the President firing lawyers around April 2007 and the conviction of former-Alabama governor Don Siegelman in June of 2007. Isn’t it interesting?

Let’s see, there is a Democratic Congress in place now. Karl Rove is seen as a dark evil figure that was instrumental in the Bush Presidency. This is an election year and the Democratic Congress has achieved none of the goals they were elected for in 2006. Does it sound like Congress is trying to give the Democratic Presidential candidate a boost with the public by attacking the Republican Party sideways?

You might think this polispeak bluster is just that since we know a few things. First that there was nothing illegal about the President firing the lawyers in 2007. After multiple Congressional meetings, and untold numbers looking through the laws it was confirmed that the lawyers in question worked at the pleasure of the President. That means, at any time, for any reason, the President can fire these individuals – which he did. No surprises there, everyone knew this. And for all the bluster and all your taxes spent that’s all that happened. But because of the polispeak and accusations Alberto Gonzalez resigned his position.

And in the case of Governor Siegelman, an investigation was long in place tracking his acceptance of bribes and conspiracy. The former-governor was a criminal, and he was caught. Some Democrats want to place blame with Republicans and I have to ask why? Because Seigelman didn’t win his re-election bid, or because he was a criminal that got caught? Some question if the investigation was politically motivated, I question why a criminal was shielded from the law as long as he was. Remember, Seigelman was convicted – that’s not political so no matter the cause of the investigation (which could be just good work by the FBI and other law enforcement groups) the man was point blank a criminal.

So where in all this does Karl Rove need to speak to Congress. Over half a year after the facts, in cases where there is no law broken, Congress wants to spend your money to ask him questions. And the only hope that Congress can have for justifying this is if, while being questioned, Rove says anything that hasn’t been said before – or exactly the same way. That would lead to perjury charges. That’s the best case Congress can get.

So considering that Congress is wasting your money, and making an obvious political push to elect a candidate, how do you feel? Do you think your taxes are being spent well? Because some tens of thousands of dollars (if not more) are going to be spent to question Karl Rove about old useless factual events, instead of getting a better law regarding your children’s education, or getting more oil from non-Middle East sources, or lowering the cost of healthcare, or getting our soldiers home from Iraq (whichever you may think is important).

No wonder Congress has a lower approval rating than President Bush.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

And the Kentucky Primary underwhelms

So Senator Obama has lost Kentucky. Big deal. Yes I realize the numbers work out to a 35% or 250,000 vote defeat. And I still don’t find it as an important loss. Let me explain why.

First is the fact that Oregon has yet to be counted into today’s results. Indications at this time are that he will win there by 10 to 15%. Even not looking at that win, he took more than enough delegates at this point to have a majority that cannot be overtaken. And let us not forget that Senator Obama has won more states (by 2 – 1) overall. Thus the majority of Democrats across the nation find him to be the better candidate, even with the media fed Rev. Wright issue and his loopy position on direct Presidential-level discussions with nations like Iran, Cuba, and others that would kill every American as soon as speak with us.

Second are the questions about Kentucky itself. Let’s not forget that Kentucky is the most socially and culturally diverse state (if you happen to be White and Protestant, to a lesser degree if you are Christian). It’s not just that Kentucky is part of the South, with its long history of racial conflict, it’s that this state is a stronghold of the Clinton’s. And we have seen how really inclusive the Clinton’s want to be in this election. Not like they haven’t told everyone enough times since November 2007.

But I’m not angry with Kentucky. I’m not even surprised. But I would have hoped they would be able to pay attention to details just a bit more. It seems that most Democrats in Kentucky would prefer a White woman that has lied to the American public – multiple times just since January – and will do anything to win over an African American candidate that has none of the baggage or the need for playing on gender and racial division that the Clinton campaign has made their last stand on.

Senator Obama has won more states, gotten more votes, won more delegates, gained more Super Delegates, and told more truth. If that is not enough, if the fact he is not White is too ‘scary’, that most Democrats in Kentucky cannot accept him as the majority of Democrats in America have, I’m just happy I don’t live there.

It’s not that I believe Senator Obama is the best candidate. It’s not that I would vote for him – Black or White. But it is about what is the best choice for America, and anyone that would stand in front of the nation and lie, promote racial divisions, and jump on any bandwagon that polls well regardless of the actual benefits or negatives of that bandwagon – well I cannot understand how that person can be America’s best choice.

But then again I’m not from Kentucky.

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Is a new Dollar a waste of time and money?

If you are anything like the average person in America when you think of the Treasury you might think of the IRS first. Some may think of the Federal Reserve. Even a few may think of the Secret Service. But how many would think of a dollar bill?

Obviously we all know that the Treasury is responsible for making the money we all use every day. And of the trillions of dollars made in the past 40 years or more, little has changed besides the signatures on the various denominations. In fact the Dollar has remains the same for so long that the term greenback, or greenmail, and so on are easily recognized to represent or involve the U.S. currency.

It’s also obvious to anyone who has lived overseas or collects currency from overseas (or as close as either neighboring nation) that we are a rarity in the world. We are currently one of the few nations that can claim a uniform size and color to its currency. But that was until today.

Why? Because there exists another thought that some Americans think of when they think of the Treasury or the currency. It’s along the lines of “pain in the a**”. And their reasons for saying so have merit. Because they are Americans that have problems with their vision or are blind.

So I can understand their issue. Every bill looks the same as another. It can be quite difficult to work out. But this is hardly a new issue as I mentioned before.

In fact, when the Government was sued because of how the Dollar looks and feels they went into court and said just that. The blind and vision impaired have long ago adapted to the currency question, and that to make changes would cause extreme financial difficulty. But the Court of Appeals wouldn’t buy it. So there may be changes in the works shortly.

Now I am not a fan of changing the Dollar. I agree that the cost is not justified, near term or long term. More aesthetically I always dislike the way European currency was of differing sizes and colors. It reminds me of Monopoly money more than a currency. I just never could take it too seriously. And with some of the exchange rates I’ve seen in my life, some of those currencies were worth just about that.

But perhaps more than that I disagree with the Courts reasoning. They seem to be creating laws from the bench. They are creating arguments that prosecutors are supposed to make. And they are doing so with a sarcasm that is, in my opinion, unbefitting judges of their level.

“The court said using the government's logic, people could argue there's no need to build wheelchair ramps because people without use of their legs can crawl or ask for help from strangers.”

That logic, if it has been summarized correctly, is insulting. The comparison doesn’t work unless you want to adopt an ultra-liberal interpetation. Such an interpetation is fine – if you are not a judge making a landmark decision. If for no other reason this makes them wrong.

Of course there are many overseas that have their own snarky, bitter and twisted, bollox comments about America finally following their lead. But since I don’t make fun of those currencies, even though some of their bills look more like poor hankercheifs – and are valuable enough to be used as one – I’m not going to pay attention to that.

What do you think? Do you want an orange Dollar bill the size of maybe a Candyland set money, and a blue 5 Dollar bill the sice of a small envelope? Do you think that the inevitable lobbying for a pink currency bill, or a yellow bill, or a black one is worth your taxes? Is this the issue we really want the Treasury to increase their budget (and inevitably our taxes that fund their budget) on? Or would you prefer to keep the dollar the same and get a better tax code, or maybe a better Fed Chair that can stay on top of the economy? 3 Judges have made their decision for you, but at least you still get an opinion here.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Iran: What should America do?

So in the 4th day of the start of the unofficial race between Senator McCain and Senator Obama the barbs are continuing to hit their marks. Of course the start of the race lies with President Bush.

It must be said that President Bush was wrong as he spoke overseas. A U.S. President should NEVER discuss the internal political matters in a foreign state. It weakens any potential President in terms of foreign policy and is little different than when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tried to affect policy when she visited the Middle East.

Going beyond that, I do have to wonder about what Senator McCain first stated

‘What does Senator Obama expect to gain…’

Seriously, what does he expect? If an American President speaks to any nation that promotes terror, they elevate that nation. Without a clear ability to gain something of equal importance, direct talks hurt America.

I gave a friend this example,

“No one is concerned about the threat of Papua New Guinea today. But if the President of the free world went there and spoke to their leader about their military and goals, it would instantly be news. New Guinea would instantly have more political power than other nations in their region and be more involved with every world power. Now imagine if you just change the country to Iran.

Imagine Iran saying that America was so afraid they had to talk, tail between their legs, to the powerful Iran. And so on.”

The fact is that Senator Obama is wrong on this. He is wrong to make the comparison about President Kennedy. While it is true that there were talks to remove all future nuclear weapons from Cuba, and to discuss the cold war, it wasn’t because President Kennedy was a talkative guy. President Kennedy threatened and near took America to war, over the missiles and Cuba. It was the Cuban Missile Crisis that created the talks. So it was the threat of force, and only that imminent threat that got talks going.

When you compare President Kennedy’s motivation to talk to the USSR to the plans of today’s Presidential candidates, he doesn’t match up to Senator Obama. Maybe those to young to recall the incident will not realize this, maybe those older have romanticized the event, but President Kennedy did not just start talking, and the threat of the post-nuclear USSR was far more tangible than Iran at this moment.

So think about it. How does elevating Iran, a nation that denies the Holocaust and desires the death of Israel and advocate the overthrow of the American political system, make America safer? What argument could Senator Obama provide that would suddenly convince Amenajad (President of Iran) top change his mind or tactics? Especially since he claims these beliefs are part of how he views his faith?

I’m sorry for Senator Obama’s fans, but such a plan or even the idea is idealistic and based in a fantasy world that has nothing to do with the here and now. It may sound nice, and is preferable to the current status or violence, but it’s about as attainable as buying a gallon of Ethanol in New York City or a snowstorm at the equator.

I’ll compare Senator Obama and Senator McCain in depth shortly.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Senator McCain's view of his potential Presidency

As we turn our attention to the eventual Presidential race between Senator John McCain and Senator Barack Obama it's time that we start to mark what they promise and state to the American people. Rather than focusing on polispeak soundbites that can be, and often are, misquoted or taken out of context by major media; I prefer to provide the actrual words of the candidates.

The following is the full speech by Senator John McCain. I take this to be his core promises of what his Presidency can provide. It's comments we can hold any future discussion, debate, or speech to.

I hope this will help those still deciding (like myself) between McCain and Obama a bit more facts and input to make a decision on.

You only have one vote, use it!

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Why is Islam feared?

With all the emphasis in the years since 2001 on Islam I wondered what most Americans actually know about the religion. My questions have become more prominent as emails lying about the faith of Senator Barack Obama have circulated the internet since November 2007 (at the latest) and influenced some in the Democratic nomination process.

I am not a Muslim, so my understanding is limited. I do not intend to insult any Muslims, and if my ignorance leads me to an incorrect statement I apologize. But with the results of exit polls from the West Virginia Democratic Primary revealing that some chose not to vote for Senator Obama because they feared he was Muslim, I thought something should be found out.

Islam, the name of the religion, started in the 7th century with the prophet Muhammad. The word Islam comes from Arabic and means submission or to submit to God. A Muslim, or follower of Islam, means one who submits to God. So we can see immediately that Muslims are not much different from Christians, Jews, or any other major religious group in the world today. They have a firm and devout belief in a single God.

Islam is not a fringe religion. While not as populous in America as some places in the world, Islam is the 2nd largest religion in the world today. There are reports that also state it is the fastest growing religion and will in the near future have more members than found in any religion. I take from that the fact that obviously many intelligent, respected, and normal people across the globe have found this religion to be the spiritual answer they sought. These are the same people that provide healthcare for the ill, research new technologies, transport people and goods in planes and ships, farm, and generally do most any job that any person in America might do.

I want to take a moment to look at a couple of practices of Muslims that some seem to fear. One of the most well known outside of Islam may be the 5 prayers that must be performed each day. All Muslims are required to pray facing Mecca 5 times a day, at specific times, unless it is impossible to do so. Thus doing surgery or fighting a fire would not be impeded by the need to pray, but watching American Idol would be (no loss there). This is no different that the high holy days among most religions, or actions observed by orthodox believers. Going to accept ashes on the forehead on Ash Wednesday or being home by sundown, or even going to mass on Sundays. The fact that it occurs individually – say at O’Hare Airport – is little different than those that wear a yamika or cross to me. It is following a faith and expressing that faiths belief in God. Some may be embarrassed or upset with such an expression, but that would be a personal problem of the viewer and not the Muslim.

Another practice that some cannot understand is the fasting during Ramadan. This one seems simple enough to me. It seems similar to Lent, except that it is done by all practioners and is organized as opposed to the individual sacrifices made by Catholics during this time. Again it’s an expression of faith that is not unusual or scary as some believe.

One precept of this faith is the requirement to give to the poor and needy. Again this is a requirement of all that can afford to do it and based on individual wealth. Where this is unlike the collection plates in Sunday mass, or the tithing some provide their religious institutions this is done directly by the individual Muslim as I understand it. Thus there is no centralized religious organization that has all the wealth of parishioners which is distributed at the choosing of that organization like say the Roman Catholic Church or such (which is not necessarily bad either).

A different aspect of Islam than some other religions is the Sharia laws. Many are unfamiliar with this aspect of Islam, including myself. What I can say about that is that since many Muslim nations and cities interact with the international markets and business every day it can’t be as demonized as some reports make it out to be. There is always the exception of fanatical beliefs, but I will get to that in a moment. Essentially the laws are different than our own, but so are those in England, France, Russia, Japan, and so on. Each nation has its own cultural based laws that some in America would dispute or dislike. Sharia on its surface is no different.

Of course there is the concept of Jihad. It may be one of the most misunderstood concepts for those outside of the Islamic faith. It has been made the brunt of jokes, and the point of great hate. But what is it?

I cannot say exactly what it is or what it entails beyond what I have read. That said it entail more than just a military aspect. It involves the spiritual self-perfection of a Muslim as well as exertion against non-Muslims. It can be a personal effort, or one done by certain individuals on behalf of others. In its most military aspect it might be equated with the motivations for the Crusades or the Spanish Inquisition. But I don’t begin to say that this is its only interpretation.

All of these things are neither new to the world nor a danger in them. Long before the 20th Century Muslims have existed and interacted with the world. And had not fanatics attacked America, this nation wouldn’t care. But fanatics did.

Like in any faith there are fanatics. Those that have the most extreme views that the majority in their religion do not agree with. In the Christian faith here in America there are those that believe killing doctors that perform abortions is ok. Yet they ignore the commandment that Thou Shalt Not Murder. And this is just one example. Every religion has them. Even some would call the actions of Buddhist monks setting themselves on fire a fanatical act.

Given that there are always extremists in the world, and that some will always justify a vile and despicable personal action with their belief in a particular religion, we have seen this with Islam.

So I have to wonder, given all the similarities and non-threatening aspects of Islam, why so many in America are terrified by it. Why does this one religion cause some to refuse to vote for a candidate of that perceived religion? What causes such anger?

Acts by a small group of fanatics that do not share the same belief as the majority in a religion is the answer. No different than throughout history, just this time it happened to us. It’s important to realize this, because it obscures a hard and fanatical edge of our own. Instead of fearing and hating a religion most never heard of 9 years ago, I suggest a bit more research. Because nothing is more powerful and destructive than hate fueled by ignorance.

I hope that this has helped, and opened a path for more communication.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Ok, I saw this in a clip on Fox News coverage of the West Virginia Primary. I knew I wanted to see it in full. Once I saw it I had to provide it for you my readers.

Enjoy, and may the force be with you.

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West Virginia and the Presidential election

So the primary race is now in West Virginia. And while it’s very early, indications are that Senator Clinton will win her 3rd state with a margin of over 20 points. That compares to Senator Obama in that he has won over a dozen states with that same margin. Thus a question comes to mind of why Senator Clinton winning with such a margin, especially when she has rarely been able to muster such a rally and of late has barely been able to accomplish a win at all.

One answer stands up among many others, and it’s an answer few have been willing to comment on though it has been a factor in this Democratic nomination process since Senator Obama announced he would run in 2007. Race. The other factor, to a far lesser degree is gender.

Let’s be honest. That is the motivating factor today, and in several of the states so far. Several commentators have mentioned that voters in West Virginia are noting that Senator Obama’s perceived religion is a factor. Perceived because they claim he is a Muslim. And Senator Clinton’s recent remarks, which can be boiled down to ‘elect the White woman not the Black man’, is also showing influence. So we see bias based on religion, gender, lies and racism hold sway with more than just a few voters in America.

And the pundits act as if they are shocked. Like the Clinton campaign never promoted images of Senator Obama as a drug dealer, or emails claiming he is a fanatical Muslim spy, or just directly insulting him because he is African American and running for the Presidency. Obviously they seem to have forgotten all the news events I have been writing about since 2006 here.

What does it take to look at the factual evidence and see what has been done for what it is? Or is the prospect of dealing with the reality of racial prejudice, even in the most liberal party, too unsavory for White Americans to deal with?

The fact is that both Senator Clinton and Obama are virtually the same on their political views. Their proposed platforms are near mirror images of each other. Differences are slightly more than cosmetic, more points of contention for pundits and news junkies like myself than actual preferences for most Americans. Thus the 2 things that are different have been emphasized and manipulated.

The Clinton campaign has not been shy in trying to use race and gender to their advantage. Calls seeking to minimize the damage to the Democratic Party have been unheeded since back in February. And in West Virginia, a state not known for its tolerance of religion or race, the lines cannot be crossed.

Remember, this is the same state where Megan Williams was kidnapped, raped, tortured and abused for over a week. It’s the same state that avoided national attention on this case. It’s a state that has virtually eliminated coverage of protests over the handling of the case – where the 6 White criminals still have not been charged with hate crimes though race has been seen as a big factor in this case.

Am I angry over this case? Hell yes! And I have made that clear in at least a dozen posts on multiple blogs. But when a Presidential candidate that has overtly used her race as a campaign tool is winning in a landslide in West Virginia, I can’t say I am shocked or even remotely surprised.

This leads me to another question. What factor will race play in the general election?

Senator John McCain seems to be above such petty actions as using race as a tool. I believe that as a soldier that has seen combat alongside soldiers of every race in America he is not so blind. I could be wrong. But I don’t feel he will use race. And Senator Obama has clearly tried to avoid this issue as much as possible, notwithstanding the attacks and comments of former-President Bill Clinton, Senator Clinton, and her campaign (and the media driven insanity over the five 10 second polispeak clips of Rev. Wright from over an unknown number of years).

But race is going to be as big a factor in this election as what America will do in Iraq. It may not be spoken directly, but it will be there. And I have no doubt that many of those less bold than some in West Virginia will bring it to the fore, even if the media tried to turn a blind eye to the racial storm they have helped to build.

So can America look at 2 men for the same position and not see their race but just their qualifications? If we take our cue form the business world, the answer is no. Just count on one hand the CEO’s of major corporations in the stock market. If we go by law enforcement the answer is no. Just listen to the changes in testimony of the Sean Bell case, or the actions of the police in Philadelphia. If we look at the media in general we get an adamant no. With barely 2% of the population shown in media being non-White, and the propensity of news organizations to demonize African Americans (see my comments on the full coverage of Wesley Snipes, or Bobbie Cutts, or OJ Simpson, or Sean Taylor, or the Jena 6, or Megan Williams, or the ‘Barbie’ bank robbers of Atlanta, or Sean Bell, and I can keep going on), the position is undeniably clear.

Given all that, this election will be a landmark for many reasons. The degree and manner in which race is used. The vocalizations of citizens over race. The perceptions promoted about race in various formats. The number of people that will vote based on color, and the number that will vote based on color to make a point of one extreme or another. And of course there is the question of the issues facing America.

Now I do notice and comment on how race affects me and the nation as I see it. Of course that comes to fore in covering the Presidential election. But I am not motivated by, nor condone or agree with the use of race as a factor on who should win. I believe that America needs the best person possible to lead this nation on a path that we will not be able to alter for at least a decade or more.

While I will not shy away from race being used in the race for the Presidency, I will not advance it as a reason. As I have noted at the beginning of covering this election, my goal is getting the best President elected. That is still my focus. With Senator Clinton all but out of the election my focus is now on the 2 remaining candidates. Both have been individuals that I favor. I will soon make my own decision on which I feel is best. I will make that decision known. But I will not let that color my coverage, as best as I am able.

Remember, we as citizens have an obligation to our nation. That obligation is to vote and pick the best person possible for our future. We only get one vote, so make it count. Because one it’s done we can’t go back.

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The question of Stem Cells and gene therapy

In the not too far past there used to be a common theme in many movies and television shows describing the future as free of all disease and afflictions to the body. The miracles of advanced science were credited with this breakthrough.

In many of those same films, books, and television programs the unforeseen fruits of these same breakthroughs lead to massive and sometimes apocalyptic levels of death from new or simple diseases.

These are the 2 heads of the argument over human stem cells and their research. Science fiction no longer the question that once was debated by a few philosophers and writers is now an involved industry with lobbyists and famous figureheads on both sides. And as the debate rages on, research continues in various parts of the globe.

Honestly I am torn. On the one hand I realize the potential to save lives like those afflicted with Parkinson’s Disease like Michael J. Fox. And on the other I understand the propensity of mankind to corrupt scientific findings like atomic energy creating nuclear weapons. Given these to thoughts it’s difficult to know what is actually best.

Add to this conundrum the fact that science still does not know what they are dealing with. In the early 1990’s there was world-wide clinical human trials using bone marrow stem cells on 1,000 patients. The study was ended when 3 patients in France had leukemia like conditions occur. But an 18 month study recently published in Molecular Therapy on 600 mice of gene transfer has shown on tumor growths or other affects. So it seems that the 3 in France were an abnormality. Or were they? We really don’t know.

But because of my own questions, and the nature of the science involved – for good and bad – I see nothing better than a blog to discuss the issue. What do you think? What have you heard or learned? How do we ensure only the best uses of stem cells, or has the genie left the bottle?

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Looking across the pond to ride the bull

Over the years that I spent as a stockbroker I learned that you should never get so tunnel-visioned as to only see one aspect of a market. I’ve known many brokers that solely focused on technology, or banks, and so on. When their sector was in trouble, they and their clients had little safe haven until the market turned. Few things are as troubling as being over-weighted in a sector the market hates.

Conversely I have known brokers that were able to see opportunities driving down the L.I.E. (Long Island Expressway) – he noted that over a couple of months a bank with little exposure in the northeast was suddenly increasing it’s advertising and deduced they were poised to start making mergers and enter that market and was right. I have even seen brokers look at an industry and see the future potential. Such as with breakthroughs with various drugs, or the growth of the internet back in the early days of AOL.

I even saw the potential of satellite radio back when Sirius Radio (then called CD Radio) first got its FCC license for the frequency they use. [I did not get the pricing exactly correct at various points in the time I recommended that stock, I have to be honest.]

So in that vain of thought I occasionally watch what is happening across the pond and the globe, even though I am no longer a broker. And I am noticing that over in London there is an interesting wave of commonality that is unusual to me.

Lately there have been a lot of similarity in the British and American markets, which is beyond the usual trend. Of course there are many reasons for this. The similarity in our systems of government, the shared culture and past. The good will between the nations and the numerous multi-national companies that we share.

Now with all this said I have to wonder what this synchronism of market activity will mean when weighed against the advance of the Euro and the European Union? Will the effects of higher oil prices, and lower levels of alternative fuel sources trigger an adverse effect on London, and thus New York? Will the ripple effect of high transportations costs for British and American goods hasten the decline of the Dollar and Pound? And if this is correct, how long before such an effect is seen in London and then Wall Street?

So I suggest that for those looking for the next phase of this current market cycle here in the U.S. the place to look may not be in the American markets. Look across the pond to our cultural cousins and look at the big picture. Who knows what you might glimpse.

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Presidential election 2008 priority issues

As the race for the Presidency of 2009 reaches its next stage I feel it’s important to go back over several issues that were ignored in the recent past. Issues have been broadcast for days and weeks now about the character of associates of the candidates, and race and gender. Yet most pundits and major news media have seemingly forgotten the issues in their never ending desire to promote their ratings.

So let me present the issues that I have noticed are truly important to the majority of Americans.

  • 1. The war in Iraq.
    No matter your opinion of how correct we were to get into the war in Iraq, America is fighting now. Placing blame on the past decisions has kept many busy, and used up valuable energy, but resolved nothing. The issue at hand is simply this; either we win or we run away.

    If we run away, the results will include the instability of the region, the empowerment of Iran, an increase in the cost of oil, likely heightened threats against Israel, and inevitably attacks against Americans and America. When I say attacks against us I mean just that, terrorist acts on varying scales killing civilians in their homes and work on our soil. Because the various factions that take over Iraq in our absence will definitely (fairly and unfairly) blame every ill on America, and the orphaned sons and daughters will eventually be coerced to seek out and kill Americans.

    Conversely if we go for the win we must commit more funds and resources, risk international disdain, and lose members of our military. Ultimately we will have to have a military base in Iraq, not unlike Japan or Germany. As much as ultra-liberals may like to misquote Senator McCain’s comment, it is likely that winning the war in Iraq will require our PRESENCE over the next several decades, with some portion of that time being in various levels of actual combat.

  • 2. Education
    There is little argument that the children in public schools today are dumber than the generations that preceded them. It may not be the nicest statement, but it is accurate. Children today are less creative, active, and deductive than perhaps since the start of the industrial revolution. They are being asked to memorize various facts, yet comprehension of those facts are at record lows. Fewer know what is in the Bill of Rights, can identify North America on a map, or how to properly structure a sentence. And this is while there is unprecedented access to the knowledge base found on the internet, and more instantaneous connectivity then ever before.

    Kids today are being taught less and retaining bare minimums. While this may be most obvious in cities throughout the nation, it is a national event. The long term effects of this will be devastating to the nation.

  • 3. Economy
    While the unemployment levels are hardly at levels in the 70’s many are feeling like they have less money than in decades. Interest rates are incredibly low, yet tens of thousands are on the edged of losing their homes. Average wages are up from the past and discretionary spending is high (unless you count an iPod as essential) but the average person has $6,000 in credit card debt. Few feel secure in their jobs.

    Considering that crude oil prices are brushing against my prior year high estimate, gasoline and winter heating oil prices are sure to hit millions hard. Add to that the higher cost of food due to ethanol production, and that glut levels are increasing with Federal production mandates, and you find consumers with less money than may have been planned. This says nothing of the potential inflation that may be caused with interest rates as low as they are.

    The Presidential candidates have offered 2 different ideas. One is to take more money from taxpayers, the other to cut taxes. While the tax increase is stated to target only the “rich” such a definition is vague at best. Recent votes in Congress have included those making $31,850 or more for increased taxes of at least 3%. The tax cut is stated as being universal, with a goal of affecting the middle class primarily.

  • 4. Safety
    National safety from internal and external sources. While some would prefer to think that America is safe from future foreign attacks, the reality of the world is that we are not. Like the best of safes, eventually someone will break in and in like manner America will be attacked. Minimizing the nature and scope of such an attack is vital. A madman with a gun or suicide bomb is unsettling, but far less devastating than airplanes as weapons, a radioactive ‘dirty’ bomb, poisonous gas, or other mass attacks.

    As far as I am aware, these are the most critical issues facing America. These are the questions that need to be answered by our next President. There are other issues but these seem to be the primary ones.

    This is what we need to hear the candidates answer. This is the planning that we need to understand. These are the things that will provide us the best President for the nation.

    Any other reason or issue is secondary in my opinion. Even worse, the attempts by the media to grab ratings distorts the answers we need to hear and blocks the things we need to know. Answers and plans.

    As this final phase of the Presidential race continues I suggest we all keep these issues in mind.

    Remember you only get one vote, and once you have you don’t get a do-over.

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    Saturday, May 10, 2008

    Full interview of Senator McCain with Bill O'Reilly

    Since I know some have not see this interview, and to give a comparison to the interview of Senator Hillary Clinton, here is all 3 parts.

    I've already commented a bit on the 1st part of this interview previously. And I have commented often on all the various potential Presidential candidates. I would suggest you take a search for whichever candidate you have a question about.

    I admit that I agree with a lot that McCain has to say, and in comparison to Senator Clinton it's obvious who has the greater experience and better plan for America. At least to me. But now you have an opportunity to make a decision for yourself.

    Now we just have to wait for Senator Obama to get on the program as he promised some time ago.

    Remember your vote counts, use it.

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    Friday, May 09, 2008

    Thoughts on Senator McCain at the O'Reilly Factor

    So here are some of the thoughts I’ve had about the first part of Senator McCain’s interview with Bill O’Reilly on the O’Reilly Factor. I plan to provide the full set of videos as soon as I can have them downloaded. Currently I’m having an issue with the sound mixer. Please be patient.

    To start with it’s obvious that Senator McCain has a far superior level of experience when it comes to the military and military actions. Neither Democratic candidate has served a single day in defense of this nation or ever in the military during peace time. That lack of understanding may be fine for a President during peace times, but whether you like it or not we are currently engaged in 2 military actions – thus experience matters. Ultra-liberals may enjoy the concept of peace, from cozy houses without fear of death from anything, but that freedom is only possible by the cost soldiers pay every day since the creation of America.

    The conversation goes on to discuss taxes. Now as I have previously posted - $31,850 is the new definition of rich - both Democratic candidates have voted to increase the taxes of everyone making $31,850 and up. A far cry from their claims of only the rich being taxed don’t you think. Senator McCain voted against that increase.

    But consider something else. If you own any stocks, mutual funds, or bonds the Democratic candidates want to increase the tax you pay if your investment makes money. So all that money you are trying to save for retirement – kiss a good part of it away if the Democrats have their way. That money will go to Government programs to decipher why April 2008 was the coldest on record, but Global Warming is creating a hot house in the world.

    But don’t forget that all these taxes are coming out of pockets that have to pay more money for food because the glut of ethanol production is using up corn that would otherwise go for food. And gasoline costs more because of OPEC, and the fact that we are pushing for more ethanol plants instead of oil refineries. Don’t even mention nuclear power to the eco-ultra-liberals. Their fear of hurting an owl or some such supersedes the fact that without an alternative source of energy millions will eventually die.

    Moving on to Senator Obama’s preference to speak with nations that are dedicated to the eradication of America. Senator Obama wants to speak with North Korea, Iran and other nations that hate our existence. Why? What can you offer or discuss with a country that has spent 50 years on one thought only, finishing the war they had with us (that’s North Korea for the younger readers). They have gone nearly bankrupt and many are starving as they divert all funds and food to their military.

    How about Iran. A nation that would kill millions solely because of their religion. Do you believe that leaders with such intolerance would be any friendlier to a nation of multiple religions they disagree with, and lifestyles they abhor? They are extremists, given, but how do you compromise with someone that believes that God wants them to obliterate the existence of those that do not believe and act exactly as they do?

    I need only say one thing about the media driven Rev. Wright issue, which I thing Senator McCain nailed.

    “This campaign is not going to be about, in all due respect about, Rev. Wright or Mr. Ayers. It’s going to be about vision; it’s going to be about a plan of action for the American people that are hurting right now.”

    As for the government running healthcare, I stand by Senator McCain. Name one agency that the Government runs that is fiscally sound. Name one Agency that is not mired in red tape and inefficiency. Name one that provides all the services it is supposed to do, and in a timely manner. I know of none. And the Democratic candidates want to create another of these agencies because they believe that YOU are not smart enough to be given money and chose the healthcare program you think is best for you and your family. How kind of them.

    But there is also the media to consider with Senator John McCain. Where were the months long outrage and media investigations of his connection to Pastor John Heagy. Aren’t that pastors comments against gays and Catholics unacceptable? But if Senator McCain’s refutation of his unsolicited remarks, and endorsement, are enough to keep the media off his back – shouldn’t Senator Obama’s be the same?

    But the media is far from even-handed, or focused on the issues. The New York Times has made that very clear as their attack on Senator McCain was backed by nothing. It was a blatant attempt to discredit a Presidential candidate whose political views they don’t agree with. Another reason I say that you need to check the candidate’s positions as the media wants to decide that choice for you and get a President that may not be in your best interest.

    It should be noted though that Senator McCain has weathered this and other smears throughout his career. At no time has he fallen back and whined about it. He has refuted the positions and waited as other media groups proved these smears false. This is highly unlike at least one Democratic Presidential candidate that runs behind their gender anytime they are questioned strongly or find their campaign in a weak position.

    Lastly, I know of no one that questions the honor and dedication of Senator McCain. Anyone that would call him a traitor, in the face of direct first-person comments contrary by fellow Prisoners of War, is simply a fool. There are few in the nation that have given so much to this nation, and to besmirch that is to be ungrateful and deceptive in the most cruel and vile way. There is no reason unsubstantiated smears should be allowed for any candidate, regardless of political party, because such claims against Senator McCain are no better than calling Senator Obama a fanatical Muslim or attacking his race.

    Well that’s what I got out of the first part of Senator McCain’s interview. I admit that I agree with many of his opinions. The issue of immigration is not one of them obviously. But that will be discussed in a later video on the issue.

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    Thursday, May 08, 2008

    Creating wealth in the stock market - ideas

    From time to time I am asked questions about the stock market, investing, owning a business, and other questions relating to generating and maintaining wealth. Most often the question for those without a high personal net worth is how to create wealth, and for those already on the path how to accelerate their growth. These are not simple questions and each has several different answers. There is no single blueprint that leads to wealth or a higher personal net worth.

    Perhaps one thing I’ve noted is that anyone can create a net worth if they are willing to commit the time to it. Another universal fact, in my opinion, is that creating and growing net worth is based on time perhaps more than any other factor. I have virtually never seen anyone have a net worth that has not worked for it and spent time cultivating it. Those that have, either through an inheritance or a lottery win, generally have thrown away their wealth within 5 years because they have not built up the foundation for the funds they received.

    One of the best rules of success, I feel, is something I learned from Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich. The principle is simple – Do what you do as well as you can, never worry about the money, and the money will come. It seems odd to some, but in my life I would say it has always worked. If you are not doing your best, you will never be paid as well and thus you will never have enough money or wealth for what you want. If you use your energy and time worrying about the bills or what is in your pocket, you have none left to generate the funds you need or want. Of course that is not to say that you don’t have a plan for your money, just not an obsession about that plan.

    More directly I would generalize that for those looking to enter the stock market there are a couple of things you should do. Read the Wall Street Journal (or similar daily economic newspaper of high regard) for a year, ask for and read several (a dozen or more) mutual fund prospectuses, and get a stock broker you are comfortable with. While all that is happening, set a budget that takes 5-10% of your discretionary income (at least, more if it’s affordable) and set it aside in a separate savings account.

    Now I say read the Journal because there is a terminology used in investing that is not used anywhere else. One of the biggest hurdles I hear is that people are unfamiliar with the terms used and thus are unnerved by investing. In reading the Journal daily you get a familiarity in learning those terms. (Don’t be embarrassed to have a dictionary at hand to define difficult terms, I did it and so have many – whether they admitted they started like this or not) In addition it will help you get a feel of the market and the cycle that occurs.

    I recall that when I was a new stockbroker, I had a gentleman ask me if I had spent a cycle in the market. I had no idea what he meant, to which he laughed. He meant that I had been a broker for a year at least, and had seen the overall cycle of earnings reports, forecasts, reactions and other events moving the market.

    Understanding the timing of the market is as important as understanding the terminology. You don’t want to buy stocks in the short-term to start with, but if you know that say the travel industry in the U.S. is weaker in the spring than say the fall or winter, you may get a better purchase price to start with. Another thing the reading will provide is the reactions that the market has to events. Whether it is a disaster, political unrest, missed earnings, or an unforeseen event companies have immediate reactions. While each reaction is individual it helps to know that missed earnings can lead to a drop in stock price for a short while, but does not mean that company is a bad investment long-term. A disaster could hit the market, but not affect long-term returns. And when a company is in trouble you can learn some of that wording as well. It’s not fool-proof, but it will help you sleep at night while others panic over something that could be minor. Trust me that I have seen this.

    As you get familiar with the general market cycle and terminology read the mutual fund prospectuses. This will tell you about the goals of the mutual fund, the historical returns, the administrator of the fund, and the stocks that are – or can be – in the fund.

    There are big differences in mutual funds. Some only buy bonds, some only large corporation stocks, or just banks, or just eco-friendly companies and so on. Some only look to preserve your money, some seek to grow at all costs, others are more balanced. There are funds that can buy penny stocks – considered the most speculative equity investment – others buy junk bonds – the most speculative debt investment – and some can use options – highly leveraged investments. There are funds that started on a great year for market returns (like during a market bubble) and therefore have great historical returns, improving the performance in bad years in their average, and others have been around for decades showing a more realistic return over time. Some advisors are hotshots taking huge fees for their names, others are unknowns starting out, and many are just working hard. All of this is important, to varying degrees on how well you can sleep at night and what performance you wish to have.

    The last step is to get a broker. After spending time learning the terminology of Wall Street, and the reactions, and mutual funds that you are comfortable with, you now have a means to evaluate what kind of broker you want. Some are newbie’s and desperate to show performance and take risk. Some are seasoned pro’s but with huge numbers of clients. Some like to spend time talking to clients, some don’t. Some are better with a specific area in the market, like banking or biotech. What you are comfortable with will help reach your long-term goals.

    And I believe a broker is necessary. The market is a constant, changing, gut-driven industry. A good broker can hear the unspoken words in an earnings report and be cautious, or have an eye for something the market will want in the future. They aren’t always right and it does cost money, but this is what they do everyday all day. It’s not a 9-5 job, and not everyone can do it. In my experience a broker may be wrong 40% of the time, but investors on their own tend to be wrong 70% or more of the time. And when you compare wins, investors on their own just don’t match up. But that is what I have seen with a good broker, which only you can decide for your self.

    And I do emphasize starting to grow your wealth with mutual funds. The risk is lower and cost to invest is as well. It’s easier to add to a mutual fund position, and cost effective. The fee to a broker is not prohibitive, in my opinion. And it allows you time to see results and plan for future growth. You may not agree, but it’s one way to create a net worth and grow it.

    Now this is just one suggestion for growing your worth. In the future I will mention others. They are all based on my experiences and those of friends and family. There is no guarantee they will be the key for you. I always advise speaking with a trusted professional in the field I speak about.

    Hopefully this is the first step in helping you attain the worth you desire and deserve. If you have more suggestions or experiences to share, please comment. But always do what you do best; I believe that if you do that the money will come.

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    Wednesday, May 07, 2008

    Senator Clinton Win’s – Sorry I Misspoke

    I almost feel bad for Hillary Clinton, almost but not quite. And I say this because in the Indiana primary Hillary holds a lead of 4 percentage points over Senator Obama with 88% of the votes counted at the time of this post. It’s sad because Hillary was expected to have a double digit win, no less than 10 points, over Senator Obama according to polls Monday.

    The fact that Senator Obama has gone through 8 weeks of dealing with the media driven Reverend Wright issue, 2 press conferences by Reverend Wright and Senator Clinton’s preposterous patronizing call for the public to vote for her to save 18 cents on their gasoline cost have all culminated in one of the slimiest victories in this Democratic nomination process yet. It’s just embarrassing, but there is one fact in these numbers that no one has accounted for yet. In fact today was the first time I heard any suggestion of polls revealing this fact. Republicans voted for Hillary.

    Rush Limbaugh, back in March as I recall, asked Republicans to vote for Hillary to exacerbate the nomination process. Tonight reports have stated that Republicans indeed did vote for Hillary and accounted for potentially 7% of the total. If that is correct then as of the writing of this post Hillary would in fact have lost by 3%. This takes the embarrassment of her projected 10-point win and makes it a landslide of disappointment.

    I am happy that Senator Obama took the high road in reference to the gas tax 'holiday'. I’m even more greatly pleased to know that 16% of the voters in North Carolina realized the obvious polispeak trickery that Senator Clinton was trying to employ; given the Republicans voting for Senator Clinton its reassuring to know that the majority of voters in North Carolina and Indiana saw through the Clinton campaign's desperate plea to buy votes by any means necessary.

    With all this said we can only hope that the Clinton campaign has used up all of its tools in its bag of tricks and its manipulitive power by now so that they can not coerse the Super Delegates into stealing the Democratic nomination from Senator Obama. Of course Senator Obama will not win the Presidency most likely because of the massive damage Hillary and Bill Clinton had inflicted on his reputation and experience. But at the very least there is something to be said for justice and equality in America with him winning the Democratic nomination.

    For those states still waiting their turn to vote I suggest you listen carefully to the Clinton campaign, former President Bill Clinton and Hillary as they slash and burn their way to the convention.

    I’m not saying that I guarantee there will be more “misspoken” statements (lies) but I wouldn’t go to Vegas and make a bet against it.

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    Monday, May 05, 2008

    Is your vote worth 18 cents? Indiana, North Carolina speak up.

    The title of this post is not a joke, it’s a serious question. It’s a question that I’m not asking, Senators McCain and Clinton are asking it. It’s a cheap polispeak bid to buy your vote for as little as possible.

    Now it’s being packaged really nicely. Lots of bluster, with claims of a summer long holiday or an attack on big business. It’s a cute claim that if you vote for X Congress will suddenly get shocked from their slumber and force the price of gasoline down. And I have a bridge to sell you too.

    I will give Senator John McCain a bit of credit here. He came up with the idea and started to sell it before Clinton even noticed it was an issue. But there is no doubt that Senator Clinton noticed the positive polling McCain received and jumped on the bandwagon. I will give Senator Obama credit as well for not going along for the ride.

    Now lets assume for a moment that this ‘gas holiday’ actually happened. Yeah! You get to save about .30 cents a day, or $27 over the summer. If you went to see Iron Man, plan to see The Incredible Hulk, WANTED, Indian Jones or any other summer movie you spent all the savings. That’s just seeing one of those films. Short holiday huh?

    Of course when you add up all the people ‘saving’ money you can quickly get into the tens of millions of dollars or more. And every dime of that money will be sucked out of the roads in your particular state. Hope you like potholes and closed roads. How much more gas do you use to go through a detour? Still think McCain and Clinton are doing you a favor?

    Now let’s get back to reality. This will never pass. I say that because this is not the first time this has been suggested. It never passed before, and it won’t now. Because the roads have to be driveable and open. And if the taxes are lost from the pump, you are guaranteed to pay for it elsewhere. So the real question is what do you want to be taxed on.

    As for the idea of taking the profit from Oil companies, hurrah America is now a socialist nation. Because only socialists, and their economic cousins communists, believe that the government knows how much money you should make. And if you think that Democrats and Congress voting to increase the taxes of everyone making $31,850 or more is 2-faced, wait till they say that your business exceeded the profit for your industry and takes away all your money. You made a better mousetrap, made millions and employed thousands – but you went over the cap and so you made $100,000 while the government took your $10 million to spend on a study on whether or not the spotted owl is surviving. Doesn’t that feel good?

    Of course we have left out the other part of stealing the money of companies, the economy. As the government takes money from all corporations, yes even your small business – just like they promised to raise the taxes of just the ‘rich’ – they have less money to invest into research (they fired half the R&D departments since the cash wasn’t there and they need reserves for a bad economy, loans from banks to buy new equipment, and bonds that are out), to put into retirement funds (kiss that 1-for-1 contribution to your 401K goodbye), mergers are too expensive (so much for your mutual funds and stocks). Since growth is low as are interest rates foreign investments pull out of the nation the dollar drops and things get really expensive.

    And that’s just what I can foresee. Imagine what a real economist can tell you. And if you think I’m wrong just sit and think of all the things connected to corporate profits and/or the federal gas tax. It won’t take long to get numbers in the billions falling away, being spent by a government that hasn’t balanced it’s checkbook in my lifetime and runs every aspect of it’s operations about as well as your local DMV on a really good day.

    And the Senators know all this. They know the arguments and have seen the projections. They know the Congressmen and women. They already counted the votes. So they know it will never happen, but it sounds great and makes people think they care, as long as no one stops to think it through.

    Of course I don’t expect better from Senator Clinton. She tends to think the public is either dumb or forgetful. Because it was only early this year she promised to use the money from big oil to pay for healthcare. And she is used to making empty promises, like telling upstate New York she will create 200,000 jobs (after 7 years there still hasn’t been one made on her watch, but 30,000 have been lost – great management there). Or there is the wonderful campaign promise she made that would give every child in America $5,000 for college the day they were born. Amazing that she stopped talking about that once people (including me) asked where the money for that would come from, what happens to the money for those that don’t go to college, or does that include children that are illegal aliens. But that kind of polispeak got her headlines and votes, which was the real reason for the offer to buy your vote.

    So considering this I ask voters in Indiana and North Carolina, is your vote worth 18 cents?

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    Friday, May 02, 2008

    Full interview of Senator Hillary Clinton

    Before I continue to critique Senator Clinton, her lies and misconcieved half-formed plans I thought I might present her full conversation with Bill O'Reilly. This way I can just go over all the issues at once.

    Indiana and North Carolina please keep in mind all my prior posts (which you can get from clicking the labels below) before you go to the polls.

    Remember your vote counts.

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    Senator Hillary Clinton on The O’Reilly Factor discussing America

    Well the first part of 4 videos on Bill O’Reilly and Senator Hillary Clinton is now done. It’s taking forever to get all the videos downloaded to YouTube.

    Here is the first part of their conversation

    Now here are my thoughts:

    One of my biggest problems with what bill O’Reilly didn’t ask, in any point of the interview, is why Senator Clinton lied to the American public. I am directly referring to her lies about being under sniper fire in Bosnia, and her lie about being a key figure in the Ireland Peace talks. In both cases her every utterance was a fabrication intended to puff up her abilities, create an impression of experience, and gain voters that do not follow the political news as much as someone like myself. And in each case her lies were refuted by first-hand witnesses of high regard.

    Another point that I thought should have been brought up was the fact that Senator Clinton has been more than happy to take advantage of the Rev. Wright media barrage leveled against Senator Obama. Yet she was given a pass on a far more serious issue. That being her association with a known criminal, Norman Hsu, and her campaign’s acceptance of $1 million that was stolen – which her campaign tried very hard to not give back. If an association with a pastor that has no political power, and is not up for election, is significant how is it not important that she received stolen monies and harbored a fugitive?

    I know that these 2 items are constants in my conversations about Senator Clinton’s nomination run. But I find them critical indicators of what kind of President we can expect her to be. And in both cases we do not see an equivalent, relevant action or situation among any of the other Presidential candidates.

    But directly pertaining to the video are the following:

    First is the “sudden” decision to appear on The O’Reilly Factor. There has been an open invitation to all the Democratic candidates to appear on the program since November 2007 as I recall. They all denied to appear, with the exception of Dennis Kucinich (which might have been on Hannity & Colmes I’m not sure).

    But with Senator Obama currently reeling from the major news media motivated (led by Fox News) Rev. Wright debacle, and Clinton emphasizing the racial aspects of the Democratic nomination since November, she decides to make the move. Remember that she contacted O’Reilly. If this is not an example of counting polls and being calculating I don’t know what is. And it’s completely in line with her past actions (ie the Hot Coffee bruhha) of jumping into headlines for the sake of self-promotion.

    But since Rev. Wright is a personally important issue for Bill O’Reilly, which I continue to feel has minimal importance to the actual issues a President should be voted for, this was the first question. And Senator Clinton was allowed to not be asked why some of her prior pastors made similar comments to some of those that Rev. Wright has made. Or why she has not had a pastor or church since Bill Clinton left the Presidency. That kind of makes her opinion on being in a church (the same one for 20 years) moot.

    She also mentions that she does not believe the US could be behind AIDS. While I do agree, I am not 100% on this. And no reasoning American should be. Why? Because America has done a similar thing in the past. Tuskegee Experiments. 2 words that no White pundit or politician wants to utter.

    The fact is that America harmed African American men, and the Black community, for 4 decades. That’s the equivalent of my lifetime. The end of this human experimentation, something that is universally denounced among nations across the globe, was a mere 30ish years ago. And if America could do this in my lifetime once, potentially affecting the fathers and grandfathers, uncles and/or brothers of you my readers, why would they not do it again? Some of those involved in running this ‘experiment’ are still alive and could influence policy. Were it not for the whistle-blowing on this, America would never have known. What prevents the Government form doing this secretly again, and this time keeping quiet because of the devastation? America dropped the 2nd H-bomb on Nagasaki after seeing the horror of Hiroshima, partly because the Japanese were ‘nips’. Thus how can anyone say that AIDS was 100% not possible in a nation that has shown what it can do to those not exactly like the majority?

    For Senator Clinton, this is 100% impossible. And you know it must be true because she loves to make speeches in front of African Americans on Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday. Though she does nothing to denounce the racially motivated and incendiary comments of her husband. I wonder what influence he has on her views of Black Americans and why she hasn’t distanced herself from him?

    [By the way, the latest Rasmussen poll shows that ‘surprise’ Senator Obama is seen as sharing the views of Rev. Wright – at least in part. But pundits are amazed as everyone, regardless of political party, agrees that there is no evidence in his voting record, actions, or conversations. Yet it is the major news media that has plastered nothing but Rev. Wright for 3 weeks now. That wouldn’t influence voters, could it?]

    Moving on we come to oil and energy. In particular the fact that Senator Clinton has jumped on the bandwagon created by Senator McCain. Shocking that she would approve of a plan someone else made that has polled well. Suspending the 18 cents federal gas tax is popular, and hypocritical.

    Senator Clinton has shot down drilling in ANWAR, which would have at least lessened the current problem had we done this years ago. In addition Senator Clinton is anti-nuclear power (voting against it 7 times). Considering that she is against these alternatives, and promoting ethanol - which is less effective than gasoline, increases the cost of food globally, and potentially is polluting the Gulf of Mexico not to mention unavailable in about 45 states in the nation – one has to wonder how committed she is to fixing the energy crisis.

    Of course this was a wonderful time for her to jump on the “oil companies are bad” stump polispeak. One of the mantras of ultra-liberals all big business is bad. They make too much money and need to be penalized. So much for the American dream.

    Senator Clinton does not mention the fact that the profits of oil companies fuels this economy. From jobs, retirement funds, mutual funds, the stock market, and the value of the dollar oil companies are a big part of a stable economy. Take away their money and you hurt America directly. But that’s something anyone who has run a business might understand – Clinton has never run anything.

    That say nothing of her thinly-veiled intent to socialize business in America. If she were to take money from, or cap profit of, oil companies what industry is next? And what level is the limit? It’s a slippery slope that ends with businesses essentially being employees of the government – that’s called socialism and in its most extreme communism.

    Lastly in this segment we go to healthcare. Universal Healthcare is again her big issue. Senator Clinton failed to get this passed the last time she was around the Oval Office and this is her mulligan try. In her explanation to Bill O’Reilly Senator Clinton has left out a key component of her plan. Everyone pays for Universal Healthcare, it’s free to no one. And if you don’t pay you will be penalized. Thus it is very realistic that those who need the most help will not only still be unable to afford it, but that they will owe money because of the penalty for not having healthcare insurance. Nice plan, huh.

    Another question that was not addressed well is her response about running this program. She avoided the fact that already California and New York States are in debt some $20 billion mostly due to healthcare costs (minus a hefty 20% discount for fraud which is more than believed actual). This is inefficiency of the Government as much as increased costs. And Senator Clinton had no answer.

    The Government cannot run the Post Office efficiently – and it’s cost goes up routinely without an increase in performance. The Veterans Administration is so bad it would be laughable were it not so sad. Name a DMV that you think is either efficient or inexpensive. And let us not forget that the Government routinely buys hammers and nails for in excess of $500 each (and I do mean each nail) and has not run a profit in decades. [By the way, the profit that was claimed by the Clinton Administration was a lie of fuzzy math the Government employs. What was done was that the Clinton Administration valued the growth in the stock market, averaged it, and projected it forward 5 years. Based on that math the Government was in a surplus by the end of the 5 year figures, and they spent money based on being even at the end of 5 years. Of course the bursting of the bubble led to the “sudden” deficit that happened instantly as Gore lost the election. Try to run your business like that.]

    So given these everyday facts, and that Senator Clinton promised Upstate New York the creation of 200,000 jobs yet provided a net loss of 30,000 since being elected Senator, do you think she can manage costs? Do you think a(nother) Government run program will be cost effective?

    Yes Senator Clinton spoke well. Yes she kept composed under the pressure that Bill O’Reilly provided. But if you listen to what she said, understand the environment in which she said them, and facts she avoided mentioning you might come up with a loss. American needs a President that is cool under pressure. But we also need a President that has a plan that IMPROVES the nation in more areas than not. This first part of the interview does not encourage me to believe Senator Clinton has that plan.

    Do you agree?

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    Thursday, May 01, 2008

    My May Day message

    It’s that time again. That once a year event that brings out thousands if not tens of thousands in protest and cries of change every year. Few cities in America are untouched and most require extra police officers to maintain the peace.

    What is this grand and prominent event? May Day.

    That is the time when illegal aliens, mostly from Mexico, gather to complain about the immigration laws and lack of privileges they receive in this nation. Oh, and a good number of bleeding hearts tend to join them.

    Now I don’t know these people individually. I’m sure that many are great people and wonderful to know. I’m sure some are scholars and many are parts of fantastic families. And were it up to me, I’d round them all up and deport every single one of them.

    The most important thought is that these are all criminals. The crime is that they have entered the nation without permission. They are undocumented because they lack passports, greencards, or any other document allowing them to be in this country. Thus they are already wrong.

    The next problem I have is that they dare to complain. They expect benefits because they are here. As if an American would get benefits from Mexico or any other nation because they were an illegal alien there. Like I am obligated to do something for them because they entered our nation without permission.

    It’s one thing that liberals and Democrats want to take American taxes and spend them on programs that benefit those that either chose not to provide for themselves, or through fate cannot. These Americans may be a drag on the system, but they are our people, and thus an argument can be made for us having a responsibility to them. No such argument can be made for illegal aliens.

    If an illegal wishes to be in America because they can make more money here, and send it back to their country depleting the economy and failing to help our economy, that is their choice. That choice includes the risk of being caught and deported.

    We have no obligation to provide medical care to these people, especially when children in this nation do not receive health care. My taxes don’t need to provide them with anything, when they could be going to taking care of a needy American child.

    We have no obligation to their children. The fact that they drag them to this nation to draw on my emotions does not obligate me. Nor does it mean that I must pay for their child to have a better life than their parents have.

    As I said, when they gather to have their rally I would have the police and INS surround them. Each should be checked for American ID or green cards. Everyone without it should then be set up for deportation. If they left anything, well it’s their own fault for drawing attention to themselves.

    I don’t care what type of jobs they are doing. If they want to be here they can be quiet and happy that they are better off than in their own nation. They can always go back home. And if they have children that are born in America - thus citizens – we will take care of them within the system. They don’t get a free pass or an excuse because of the kids. The illegal parents get deported and the kids go in the system. If they don’t like it, they can all go back together.

    I’m just tired of having so much money being spent, and dedicated, to people that have broken the law. I cannot understand the ultra-liberal bleeding hearts that would give away the nation to those that don’t respect our laws and would spit in our faces for not giving them more because they want it.

    So it’s May Day. I’d rather it be Farewell day.

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