Thursday, July 31, 2008

Senator McCain targets Obama weakenesses

The recent ads by Senator John McCain’s campaign really are interesting. If you haven’t seen them I present 2 that I believe are intelligent, humorous, and raise real questions about Senator Barack Obama.

In this video we are presented with the obvious nature of Senator Obama’s rockstar celebrity status. That status has been decried by the major news media in no uncertain terms. And there is no question that Senator Obama has a presence that politicians dream of having. His ability to speak to crowds in America, or overseas, is unmatched – most obviously in comparison to Senator Hillary Clinton or Senator John McCain.

But it also asks a very serious question. What is the major news media not finding out about this potential Presidential candidate?

Objectivity is the hallmark of the news media, or at least it used to be. The impartiality of the news meant that the truth would be presented, no matter what the populace was hoped to be lead to believe in a veil of polispeak. Pundits were supposed to be the informed watchdogs for the citizenry, deciphering the polispeak and ignoring the election geared parade of kissing babies and shaking hands.

If the news media is capable of being beguiled, then how is the average American with an hour of time in their busy day supposed to work through whom deserves the Presidency? What issue that may be of importance to you and I are the major news media ignoring, or worse deciding we should not know so it cannot influence out vote?

And here the question of celebrity status is again questioned. Is Senator Obama as vapid on political issues as Paris Hilton is on driving? Is Senator Obama more concerned about entertaining crowds worldwide than addressing issues domestically, like Britney Spears is apparently more concerned about a good party than her children?

While Senator Obama took a whirlwind tour of Iraq, Iran, and Europe he has avoided the problem at home of domestic oil drilling. The Democratic Party has worked hard to maintain his stance that increased domestic drilling is bad and will not be allowed. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has gone so far as to block any kind of vote on the matter, preventing Representatives across the nation to vote as their constituents have contacted them and instructed them to do. Why? Because a celebrity Obama has enough clout and likeability to talk Iran and the Middle East into lower crude oil prices?

And recall that Senator Obama himself acknowledged that all Iran needs to do is block the Straight of Humus and oil will go to $300. Yet he also believes that he can talk to Iran, a nation that seeks the utter destruction of America for over 30 years, and prevent that. Even though the world knows that a higher oil price will harm America and benefit the Middle East. And Senator Obama does not want a back-up plan?

Actually his back-up plan is to raise taxes, which means higher prices as well. Because he believes that forcing the price higher will force Americans to use less energy. He is right but that also means that more people will lose homes, jobs, businesses because of the higher cost. You can’t use more energy is your small business is shut-down, along with all your employees. Is that a good plan?

I’m not saying that the ads of Senator McCain are correct. But I am saying that they bring up real and important questions. Do you have the answers? Are you sure?

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The 500th post at VASS - Our future demands understanding our past

I took some time in thinking about what I might discuss in the 500th post for VASS. There is the American Presidential race in general, the candidates - Senator McCain and Senator Obama, race relations, the recent apology by the House of Representatives for slavery and Jim Crow, the lack of a similar apology out of the Senate, domestic drilling, energy and its cost, inflation, the economy, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and of course fanatical groups like Al Quida and Iran. Obviously there is no lack of issues that are current and important to discuss.

But because this is the 500th post, and because one of the most important issues facing America has been and continues to be race relations I decided to go there. Considering the fact that CNN recently wanted to discuss their view on what it is to be Black In America, and that there has been no fanfare accompanying the actions of the House, I felt the issue of an apology would be fair game.

But I don't think anyone can really dispute the apology. The wording of the House Resolution 194 is very clear and consice. But there is another part that goes with it. Reparations.

Like the elephant in the room, everyone is afraid to discuss this issue. Most don't even know the history of it. Especially those that dispute reparations. So I am reposting a portion of an early post I made that deals directly with this question. It is not the only reason or explaination of reparations to be found on my blogs, but it does clarify the history.

And here you are:

Reparations is what is being directly referred to when the term 40 acres and a mule is brought up. As mentioned in the goals of Blackout, it is directly part of the compensation for unpaid labor by African slaves from 1619 to 1865. More fully it is linked to General Sherman and War Department, Special Order No. 15 –

"The islands of Charleston south, the abandoned rice fields along the rivers for thirty miles back from the sea, and the country bordering St. Johns River, Florida, are reserved and set apart for the settlement of [N]egroes now made free by the acts of war and the proclamation of the President of the United States."

Additional reference to First Freedmen’s Bureau Act, which stated

“…shall have authority to set apart for use of loyal refugees and freedmen such tracts of land within the insurrectionary states as shall have been abandoned or to which the United States shall have acquired title by confiscation or sale, or otherwise; and to every male citizen, whether refugee or freedman, as aforesaid there shall be assigned not more than 40 acres of such land...”

While the order by General Sherman did in fact provide for land, the above mentioned First Freedmen’s Bureau Act was shot down by Congress, this was later rescinded by President Jackson, even though it was argued that
"...In my opinion this order of General Sherman is as binding as a statute."

Reparations have been discussed and proposed to Congress since that time for roughly 138 years, and has not been resolved yet.

Starting in 1989, U.S. Representative John Conyers Jr. began annually introducing legislation calling for a study of the lasting effects of slavery and possible reparations. Why some would ask? What benefit could it bring?

Well there is NO question that America was built largely due to the efforts of slaves. The U.S. was an agriculture based economy and the cash crops of cotton, tobacco, staples such as corn and rice, were grown in the south with slave labor.
Estimates of the value of the unpaid labor and/or the above mentioned land has been placed from $9.7trillion to $24trillion, with other estimates slightly lower and many higher. Such estimates only confirm the absolute value and impact slave labor had on the formation of this nation. The foundation of this nation, upon which all other advances and achievements have been accomplished, is based in that fact.

After the slaves were freed, which happened with the 13th Amendment and not the Emancipation Proclamation [you can see President Lincolns' thoughts on this matter in my post to a comment at History in America comments], Jim Crow and other equally repressive laws and actions hindered Black African Americans. Incidents have occurred even in the 20th century and include the Tuskegee syphilis experiments in the 1930s, the destruction of Tulsa’s Black neighborhoods in 1921 and the loss of life and property when the all-Black town of Rosewood was destroyed by a white mob in 1923. The need to have a civil rights movement clearly states that there was massive widespread and constant repression of Black African Americans over many decades at the least.

Even with the many individuals and groups who have actively supported reparations, including Mr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and U.S. Representative John Conyers Jr., there still has been no action. Yet reparations have been made to Japanese Americans and Native American Indians, at least to some degree. Remorse has been expressed by the Government to both groups. Yet the United States Government has never apologized nor acknowledged the wrongs done with slavery and its actions/attitudes in the over a century since that time. [Now corrected, a portion of the Government has taken some non-binding action towards an apology on July 28, 2008]

It seems incredible that any government or institution could overlook such actions, I think. The world could not abide a lack of reparations for the Holocaust, yet the unknown numbers of Black African Americans that died (as damaged goods lost in transport for sale, or by slave owners as useless property, or from acts of cruelty) for centuries is something that can't even be discussed. I have a major problem with that.

Why reparations? In my mind it is simple... the nation has never healed, and never will until admission of its actions up to and including the civil rights movement is made. Monetary repayment is due, made perhaps in other manners besides direct cash payments [perhaps a fixed tax credit that is used over a lifetime and transferable to offspring until used], but denial of the fact of how this nation came to be is no excuse. We will never get beyond the nations largest and most subtle activity which is the division of Americans based on race, if we cannot come to terms with the past.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Slavery: House of Representatives apologizes, Senate silent, Presidential candidates without comment

**This may be long, but it's important, please read it all**

Chalk up another victory for Senator Obama and African Americans, and America in general. It’s taken some time but another historical event has taken place, and again it has received about as much fanfare as Janet Jackson’s latest album.

When I started to first write my blogs I wrote about an issue that has plagued every aspect of American life and politics since before the creation of America. That issue is Slavery. I have long been a proponent of an apology from the Government and I am a staunch supporter of Reparations.

“Many still do not wish to discuss slavery in America. I feel it is the one national taboo that though while addressed on a cursory level many times it has never been dealt with. It is so ingrained in people of this nation that neither Blacks, Whites or anyone else wishes to discuss it on a national level, and even in smaller more personal groups the subject is shunned and dismissed rather than spoken about. This amounts to mass denial on a national, and due to the interconnected manner in which the world operates even global, level in my opinion. Obviously to me this means that something must be wrong, since it is so deeply entrenched in the American psyche not to discuss it.”

“If the average slave worked only 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, 360 days a year for 4 decades of life that’s 158,880 hours of work per slave. If we assume that there were 3 million slaves from 1619 to 1865 (which is a low-ball estimate) then that is 476,640,000,000 hours of work done. Those are BILLIONS of hours. This does not even touch the Jim Crow era. Assuming a pay of just .05 cents an hour in 1865 money (no adjustment for actual worth in money today) that means $23,832,000,000. If I adjust by taking an increase of just 10% for each year for 55 years that’s a 9150% increase to $2,180,628,000,000. That’s TRILLIONS of dollars, adjusted just 55 years at 10%. There’s still another 87 years to go and we are adjusting from .05 cents. If anyone feels that more than TRILLIONS of dollars of work did not change America, they are stupid in my opinion.”

Of course there are those that disagreed with my views like

“Let me address the stupidity of the statements made by Speaker Richardson, and others including Mr. Frank Hargrove of Virginia. The argument goes that Americans today did nothing, and have no connection, involved with Slavery. This is the most obvious and persistent fallicy since perhaps “the world is flat” or “the universe circles the earth.””

“I feel insulted, and Michael Medved is the reason for it. I 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.”

Yet even institutions that exist today have been more aware and honest than the U.S. Government when it comes to the issue of slavery, apologies and reparations.

“A memo on this was released by then-Chairman William Harrison and then-President James Dimon,
“We apologize to the American public, and particularly to African-Americans, for the role that Citizens Bank and Canal Bank played during that period," said the company on its website. "Although we cannot change the past, we are committed to learning from and emerging stronger because of it.”

In addition to the apology, JP Morgan created a $5 million scholarship for African Americans in Louisiana.”

But finally yesterday House Resolution 194 was passed, a mere 5 months after it was introduced to the House of Representatives. House Resolution 194 is

“Apologizing for the enslavement and racial segregation of African-Americans.
Whereas millions of Africans and their descendants were enslaved in the United States and the 13 American colonies from 1619 through 1865;

Whereas slavery in America resembled no other form of involuntary servitude known in history, as Africans were captured and sold at auction like inanimate objects or animals;

…Whereas after emancipation from 246 years of slavery , African-Americans soon saw the fleeting political, social, and economic gains they made during Reconstruction eviscerated by virulent racism, lynchings, disenfranchisement, Black Codes, and racial segregation laws that imposed a rigid system of officially sanctioned racial segregation in virtually all areas of life;

Whereas the system of de jure racial segregation known as `Jim Crow,' which arose in certain parts of the Nation following the Civil War to create separate and unequal societies for whites and African-Americans, was a direct result of the racism against persons of African descent engendered by slavery ;

… Whereas on July 8, 2003, during a trip to Goree Island, Senegal, a former slave port, President George W. Bush acknowledged slavery's continuing legacy in American life and the need to confront that legacy when he stated that slavery `was . . . one of the greatest crimes of history . . . The racial bigotry fed by slavery did not end with slavery or with segregation. And many of the issues that still trouble America have roots in the bitter experience of other times. But however long the journey, our destiny is set: liberty and justice for all.';

Whereas President Bill Clinton also acknowledged the deep-seated problems caused by the continuing legacy of racism against African-Americans that began with slavery when he initiated a national dialogue about race;

… Whereas it is important for this country, which legally recognized slavery through its Constitution and its laws, to make a formal apology for slavery and for its successor, Jim Crow, so that it can move forward and seek reconciliation, justice, and harmony for all of its citizens…”

Only at least 389 years late.

Still it’s not a law, or an official Act. The Senate did not join in this Resolution. And the vote was by voice, so no official record exists of who voted what.

But it is a step in the right direction. It is an admission by part of the Government. It is a realization that wounds don’t heal by ignoring them. It is part of the recognition of wrong that started in 1988

“It [Congress] apologized to Japanese-Americans in 1988 for holding them in camps during World War II and gave each survivor $20,000. In 1993, Congress apologized to native Hawaiians for the overthrow of their kingdom a century earlier. In 2005, the Senate apologized for not enacting anti-lynching legislation.”

Yet a question has to be asked. Why has the Senate not acted on this resolution? Why did the Representatives not stand up and have their votes recorded for history? Why have both current Presidential candidates shunned and avoided the subject actively?

“…Senator John McCain said last October that he would support a federal apology for slavery, although some critics note that he failed to support the bill when it was discussed in February of this year.

For his part, Senator Barack Obama has said he has little interest in an official government apology for slavery or reparations for descendants of slaves, according to the Associated Press.”

Yet the Senate did pass a Resolution that apologized to Native American Indians this year. This also got little fanfare from the major media.

The fact is this is a victory for every Black American, and the ancestors that literally built the foundations of this nation on their backs and with their blood. So where is the media? CNN recently felt the need to talk about Black In America, the nation was stunned/rejoicing at the presumptive nomination of the first Black Presidential nominee, and yet a full open sincere apology from the Government still eludes a nation that refuses to speak about our past honestly. Unless you believe the highly romanticized and historically inaccurate depiction of President Abraham Lincoln and the causes of the Civil War – hint: it had nothing to do with slavery.

Perhaps the delusions and excuses of people like Medved and Roger Clegg are the reason

“The success of the Obama candidacy underscores the irrelevance of an apology" because it shows "enormous progress" in race relations, says Roger Clegg of the Center for Equal Opportunity, a conservative group that describes itself as opposed to racial preferences. "Haven't we already moved beyond it?"

The answer is, in my opinion at least, NO we haven’t. If we had there would not be cases in courts like Rodney King or Megan Williams, there would be no deaths like Sean Bell and Amadou Diallo, there would be no outrages like the one enacted by the police in Philadelphia. There would be no way that Michael Richards would have acted in the manner that he did, nor that the media would have railroaded Wesley Snipes as they did. There would be no need for comedians like Stephen Colbert to point out the obvious. And there would be no way that politicians like Frank Hargrove or Tancredo could could say what they have said.

Some things have changed, and that is great. But if we fall into the fallacy that the success of a handful of people is the same as equality for all people, the nation will never fully prosper. In fact the nation will continue to rot, as I believe it has since before I was born.

And again I ask where is the major media in discussing all of this? If this is not groundbreaking and important enough, the media has gone far beyond ‘yellow journalism’ in my mind. Perhaps they need to watch Bid Em In and get a clue.

The House of Representatives has taken a step, the Senate must follow that step, and the President must acknowledge and reiterate these actions. And in proving the sincerity and completing the rite of acknowledgement America must make amends. When a crime is committed and the criminal admits their guilt we accept it and give them leniency - but they are still punished – that is the law. America committed a crime against humanity, and is now just starting to admit its guilt. It cannot be repentant without its penance, and that is reparations. It may not be a law, but it is acting humanely and lives up to the highest standards we expect from each other as human beings and our Government.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Oliver Stone - an ultra-liberal pissing on America - movie preview

It would seem that for some in the American ultra-liberal far left wing, otherwise defined as fanatics, it is not enough that Senator Obama stands a solid chance at winning the American Presidency. It is not enough that the major news media are fawning over Senator Obama – treating his recent trip overseas as if he were a sitting President, and refusing his opponent the opportunities they give him (ie. New York Times editorial). Even the fact that a movie highlighting the very liberal Democratic Presidential candidate is in post-production is not enough (and the film will be out just before the election – nice timing).

No for those like Oliver Stone something more must be done. Something over the top. Something insulting. Something that has never happened to a sitting President in any medium. Oliver Stone feels that now is the time to make up a movie about President Bush, while he is in office.

Why can’t Oliver Stone give up his citizenship, move to France (or Russia, or Iran), and make whatever slanted version of history he wants. I’m sure the Taliban, Al Quida and a few other “see an American, kill an American” hate groups will be more than happy to pack theaters for his biased derogatory slime on film.

Obviously I have a problem with the upcoming film W. My problem is not so much political as it is decency. I don’t care that Oliver Stone has a political agenda the size of the Empire State Building. I don’t care, as much, that he is seeking to portray historical fact in a manner more akin to a scifi movie about they year 300,000 A.D. I don’t care that he is going to get about as many people in the audience (stateside) as there are members of – I’m sure they will all go see it 2x.

What I care about is the power and prestige of the American Presidency and thus America. America is the President on an international level, whether we love or hate any particular President. And Oliver Stone is so obsessed with his personal hate that he doesn’t seem to care what damage he does. He seems willing to do anything to place a(nother) blemish on President Bush, even if it means hurting every American and every American President to come.

This film, a supposed biography of President Bush – that seems to be focused squarely on the past according to the trailer - looks dumb. What may be even more dumb is that it was greenlighted by a Hollywood studio, and that actors of ability have taken several prominent roles.

Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Banks, Ioann Gruffudd, Ellen, Burstyn, should all be embarrassed that they would do this to an American President. I really thing that James Cromwell, Richard Dreyfuss, and Scott Glenn should have known better. I mean they couldn’t wait until President Bush finished his term of office?

And as for Jeffery Wright and Thandie Newton I am at a loss. Do they believe that a movie built upon diminishing the office of the President of the United States is going to help their careers or in any way highlight African Americans (who are routinely seen and expected to be Democrats only) in a positive light? Colin Powell and Condelezza Rice have succeeded in becoming exceptional political figures, a fact that did not exist in any other Presidency before President Bush. And Wright and Newton believe that a film that insults America is the best way to immortalize these 2 accomplished, educated, Black figures? I think they deserve far better.

I will show this movie trailer clip. Because I do believe in Freedom of Speech and artistic expression. But I in no way suggest that anyone should see this film. I in no way support any actor’s portrayal in this film. I denounce what Oliver Stone has done, and am angry at Thandie Newton and Jeffery Wright.

Could I be wrong about the film? Until it is released sure, and it is mathematically probable that I can fly, piss on the sun and put it out, and/or suddenly have a stroke and thus believe that Code Pink and San Francisco know what they are doing. But back in the real world, Oliver Stone is doing a wretched thing.

Imagine if someone did a hatchet job on President Clinton and Hillary back when he was in office while doing Ms. Lewinsky with a cigar; the Democrats and Hollywood would be raging and the nation embarrassed. How is this different?

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Senator Obama: looks great, less filling on economy and foreign policy

Senator Obama is quite a man. I mean that seriously. It takes quite a man to step up to the plate for a position that most my age or above never expected to happen. He is facing down the most difficult hurdle an African American has ever come against in this nation’s politics and looks to be competitive.

Though with that said I have to say that I wouldn’t vote for him. Historical importance and all, he is not ready for the position – but he is damn close.

My problems with Senator Obama are purely on his political experience and policies. In terms of his presentation, the fact that he is breaking barriers and making history are all things I deeply respect about the man. I find him charismatic, and a capable public speaker. His ability at polispeak is unmatched by neither Senator McCain, nor any of the past Democratic primary candidates he beat.

But that is not enough to be President.

I’ll give you an example. Senator Obama visited Iraq for less than 2 days, after 2 ½ years since his last visit of less than 48 hours. That is not fact finding, nor is it being open minded to changes that he opposed. That is building voter interest on the backs of the soldiers in Iraq. The same can be said of his time in Afghanistan.

Senator Obama has not changed his position. He never was going to. Thus the trip, with enough media coverage to rival the President, was just a new take on the shake-hands-kiss-babies politicing. He got into the race saying he would remove all the troops in Iraq in his first term, then shifted to a 16-month policy that will still leave some unknown number of troops in Iraq, and after his trip he still maintains that policy.

But as I have said to many people and in this blog, how do you expect to win a fight if you tell your opponent that you will stop before it’s over? If this were boxing, Queensbury rules all the way, but this is war. When America left Saigon did anyone view that as a win? Besides the North Vietnamese. Can anyone give me a reason to believe that Al Quida and any other insurgents won’t just bide their time for 16 months to end, if Obama is elected President, and then rally to make Iraq a bigger mess than it is?

If people want to praise Senator Obama for his unyielding position on Iraq, which essentially calls for retreat and means that every orphan and anyone who lost a loved one in Iraq will be gunning for Americans within 5 years of our departure, even if it is not popular then how can they not praise Senator McCain for his unyielding and at times unpopular stance to win the war? Mark my words, not winning in Iraq means that more American lives will be lost, and in our nation not overseas.

But there is also the issue of domestic economic instability. The housing markets are tanking, as are many financials that facilitated this drop. Senator Obama is looking to speak with advisors (though not 300 as he uses for foreign policy which is impractical) that include Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker and billionaire investor Warren Buffett.

Obama said in his meeting with advisers he expects to ``get their read on where the economy is going,'' and fashion some ``additional steps'' to address the short-term economic and financial and housing issues.

Robert Rubin helped to advise Senator Hillary Clinton. While many have chosen to forget, I recall that her campaign ended in debt of some $20 million. That’s after she loaned herself in excess of $6 million for her campaign. Somehow I think Rubin’s advice was ignored and/or faulty, you can pick which.

Warren Buffett is the greatest investor ever. He has made billions via investing. Yet he does not give one extra dime to the government than he has to. He has never donated any money to the I.R.S., but he has been very vocal to say that taxes should be raised. He is so sure that the government should have more of his own money that he is donating the bulk of his billions to a charity, run by Bill Gates – another man that made billions via business and investing. This tells me that he does not believe that the government can efficiently use his vast fortune to the benefit of Americans, whether Democrats or Republicans are in charge.

Paul Volcker, the predecessor to Alan Greenspan – the man who tried to get the Clinton Administration to do something about the internet bubble, is best known for ending stagflation and creating a recession that killed farming. To recap for those younger than myself Volcker reduced the inflation rates at the end of President Jimmy Carter’s term (13% in 1979) to reasonable levels during the President Regan Administration (3% in 1983). He also helped increase unemployment levels to those near equal to the Great Depression, bankrupted farmers, and generated the most protests that any Federal Reserve Chairman has ever received.

Senator Obama’s choices make a few things clear. It seems that his intention is to raise taxes (not just on the rich as he has already voted to raise your taxes this year), spend your money on policies that will feed the hungry as opposed to help them be able to feed themselves, and drive up prices for energy and oil.

The last 2 come from the fact that Senator has voted the most extreme liberal of the entire Democratic Party. He is not bi-partisan according to his record. Thus the Democratic Party opposes any domestic drilling for oil, preferring to use corn ethanol. That means that we will continue to drive up the price of oil – funding some of the enemies of America with more money than ever before – slowing the economy as businesses contract to offset the higher energy cost, and the cost of food will go higher since the price of corn is increasing. That’s inflation as I understand it. That’s hurting the average American. Higher taxes, higher energy costs and higher food costs – that is what I understand he is being advised to do.

There are other questions about Senator Obama that I have, but these are some of the more prominent right now. This is what the news media wants America to focus on. And just these reasons are enough for me, even though I have several others.

But is that what you want? Is this what you expect from a President after the polispeak is gone and action is required?

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Senator Obama overseas - polispeak and votes

So Senator Obama has gone overseas to visit Iraq for the first time in years. His first trip to that nation was done with little fanfare and lasted less than 48 hours. This time he will spend another 48 hours in the company of 3 broadcast news agencies, dozens of reporters, and supplied with help by reportedly 300 foreign policy advisors.

Now tell me this isn’t a farce.

It’s a whirlwind tour of the Middle East with enough press corps to equate to several fire teams, not counting the hordes of military soldiers that will be flanking the whole group. But the question is can Senator Obama learn anything new? Can he find out any first-hand information about where Iraq stands and what America should do in the near future?

Well in truth neither candidate has a great position on Iraq. And as noted by a recent USAToday editorial

“It's difficult, for example, to imagine a President McCain insisting on keeping U.S. troops in Iraq indefinitely if Iraq's government demands that they leave. Al-Maliki is acknowledging the reality that most Iraqis and most Iraqi politicians want U.S. forces out, at least as soon as they are confident that their own government can protect them.

At the same time, it's equally difficult to imagine a President Obama insisting on an inflexible withdrawal timetable if that means squandering security gains won with great American sacrifice. Though Obama has repeatedly insisted on a timetable, he has pointedly not said that every U.S. troop will be gone when the timetable ends. In fact, he has promised to leave a "residual force" of undefined size in Iraq, and carefully left himself an escape hatch in case the situation worsens. "You've got to make sure the country doesn't collapse," he says.”

So what are the realities of the situation then?

Well for Senator Obama I would think they include the following:

Senator Obama is the Democratic Party line. His votes are not only partisan, they are the extreme left of his party. Thus he was a strong backer of the comments by Harry Reid

Of course Harry Reid was wrong. The surge has worked as anyone with eyes can see. And now Senator Obama has to find a way to tactfully state the Reid and Pelosi were off their rockers. But he can’t say this in a way that agrees with General Petreaus (an enemy of strong Obama supporter – which would make them enemies of the U.S. government no?) or the Republican Party, or Senator McCain who has visited Iraq 6 times and actually has a frame of reference on the events there.

Senator Obama must avoid making it seem like his trip is a polispeak ploy. It’s obvious to everyone that this trip is not a Congressional fact finding trip but a means to allay the fact that he has no international presence or experience. Senator Obama is spending 1 week to create the impression that he is knowledgeable of international facts, and Presidential in the manner that he acquires them.

His whole goal is to gain votes on the backs of soldiers that are following the orders of the Commander-n-Chief. Thus by standing near a soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan he looks Presidential.

Of course if the trip looks like the blatant posturing it is, then he will get a negative backlash. You can’t look Presidential standing on the bodies of American soldiers. You are obviously spinning polispeak when insurgents act up as you proclaim them defeated and our job done.

Thirdly Obama wants to impress Europe. Both because of the fact that so many Americans have roots in Europe and that our economy is directly tied with the fate of those nations.

“It will not be a speech about campaign issues,” an adviser said. “He’s not going to address campaign issues in terms of other candidates, it is not a speech about American politics, and so it’s not a campaign event. We’re not trying to recruit support from the crowds that are coming. It’s not a campaign event.

The point of the outdoor rally is that the senator wants to speak directly to our allies and to the people of Europe and the people of the world and it would be inconsistent to do that and try to limit the attendance for that event. There’s a great deal of interest in his visit. We want to accommodate that interest.”

In fact this is a campaign speech. He is campaigning for the support of world leaders and corporations – who would then lend support to him and hopefully impress centrist Americans that would otherwise avoid his liberal policies.

If this is not a speech about American politics, what the hell is he going to say? He may not frame the speech in terms of McCain, but he will in terms of America and so it’s just another stump speech. Take out the polispeak and that’s all it is, but if his campaign makes it any more obvious it will backfire.

Will this all work? Well it depends. If you are of the mind of say Pete Hegseth maybe not

“Obama frequently decries the danger of “dogmatists” and “ideologues” in public policy, yet he himself has proved consistently uninterested in putting himself in situations where he might be confronted with the hard complexities of this war.”

If you are of a mind as say Peter Beinart then maybe

“This is not to say the security improvements in Iraq are illusory. It’s just that the war’s realities are too elusive to grasp on a brief trip led by people with a vested interest.”

Overall I have one overriding thought, this is political candy meant to do one thing – elect Senator Obama. There is almost nothing Senator Obama can learn with the media following him like puppies and the speed at which he is traveling. He isn’t there to learn anything substantive (lest he have an opinion that does not fall in line with Democratic Party lines, or worse contradict his far-left campaign speeches – more than he already has), he is there to look good. In the words of Fernando

“It's better to look good than to feel good."

And damn if Senator Obama isn’t being made to look good. But I wonder if all the bluster will lead to an Obama Presidency, and if it does will we be able to say this quote afterwards

“I hope when you are my age, you'll be able to say - as I have been able to say: We lived in freedom. Our lives were a statement, not an apology." Ronald Reagan

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Nelson Mandela is 90, and America still doesn't care

Back in the far reaches of time there was a prisoner that no one knew. Well at least in America. Back in 1962 a Black man was thrown in a jail (with the help of the CIA) because he wanted freedom. He wanted a say in his government, he wanted to be equal to those around him. He wanted an end to the poverty that was focused on ever other Black in the nation. He was a visionary, and that vision was enough to have him locked up for 27 years.

Back in the 1980’s people like Rev. Wright realized that this man existed in a tiny jail cell. They realized that what he wanted was an inalienable right. They realized that no nation should ever rule over its people in such a manner.

That nation was South Africa, the rule of law was Apartheid, and the man is Nelson Mandela.

Throughout the 1980’s and afterwards America woke up to the fact that a modern day slavery existed in the world. It was something the nation stood up and rejected, though not without resistance in some parts. But eventually the nation refused to do business with South Africa, hitting them in their pockets hard. We protested and held rallies. We politically turned up the heat internationally. And in 1990, Nelson Mandela saw the light of day as a free man. In 1994 he became the leader of his nation and abolished all vestiges of Apartheid. He led his nation to democratic rule, and improve the lives of millions of Africans in the process.

Today that man is 90 years old. An age many never envisioned him reaching in 1980. And his message today, though retired from elected office and generally from public life, is as strong as at any point prior. He seeks peace in Zimbabwe, as well as social and economic reform. He has fought to gain international attention to AIDS in Africa, and is a Nobel Prize winner. His words resonate as strongly in the world as almost and current national leader.

And I have to wonder. America woke up to Africa in 1980. For a brief moment the nation paid attention to a land filled with Black people, and the injustice being wrought by the Whites in power their. And then we walked away.

Today there is a genocide raging in Africa, and America does nothing. We don’t even discuss the atrocity on the nightly news. There are nations in unrest, and the majority of Americans can’t name 3 countries in the continent. [Most just refer to Africa as if it were one nation instead of multiple nations on a single continent. That’s not just rude, it’s stupid.] There are those starving, and those striving to survive, and America imagines the continent to be a big jungle filled with savages – even in the 21st Century.

“It is Not On Our Watch that again did something our nation seems incapable, or unwilling, to do. Today they gave $500,000 to the World Food Program (WFP) of the United Nations. The WFP has been providing food and support people in Darfur for years, in fact 70% of it’s aid goes to this area alone.”

Has America acted to help all the African nations? A bit. There is of course Somolia, and various donations of food and money given by individuals and a touch by the government. But that’s all the political polispeak of it. We aren’t involved in Africa. We don’t care what happens there. Because if we did all the African nations would be different today.

“America has become a policeman of the world in my lifetime. We have entered multiple nations as a peacekeeping force and in wars. Yet, for some reason America has turned its back while the equivalent of Orlando, Florida (or possibly Cleveland, Ohio – the exact number is unknown) have been killed since 2003. Let me make this clear, that’s between 200,000 to 400,000 men women and children that have been killed and counting.”

China is the leading investor in the African continent. America openly does business with, and therefore funds, the Sudan – funding the murder of children and women every day. I have spoken about HR 180 IH, and the presidential candidates won’t. Congress fails to act and the news media ignores it.

“When I think of Darfur I am reminded of a quote,
“Man's inhumanity to man is not only perpetrated by the vitriolic actions of those who are bad. It is also perpetrated by the vitiating inaction of those who are good.” – Dr. Martin Luther King.

Back in June I noted that there had not been a single candidate that had spoken about the atrocity in Darfur. Today that genocide in Darfur continues, Congress has not acted, and the Presidential candidates continue to turn a blind eye…”

But how much money has America poured into Serbia? How many laws were enacted to resolve that conflict? How many soldiers did we send to help end that genocide, which was discussed at least weekly on the news? And yet we can’t even pass one law to limit the money going to the Sudan from our government to say nothing of businesses.

Nelson Mandela is a great man. He has lead a life worthy of notice and remembrance. At 90 he continues to call out to the world to do the right thing. And America has gone back to the deaf ear it had the day the jail cell doors closed on Mr. Mandela.

We can do better, we can be better. And all the polispeak from both political parties is not enough to hide the fact that America treats all the African nations like they were in a Tarzan movie.

You can write to Congress to request action in preserving the lives of thousands of women and children via your local Senator or Congressman:


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Thursday, July 17, 2008

The political center - where are our answers?

So before I go further let me mention some up-coming news. I am currently in talks with a New York State elected official about holding an interview. I cannot say more at this time, but if there are further developments I will be happy to inform you all.

But looking forward to the Presidential race, there is just so much going on, or so some might feel. In fact very little has gone on since the field of potential candidates finally dwindled to 2.

For the most part all that has been going on is more of the same. Each candidate is in the process of moving towards the center on the political spectrum in an attempt to garner more potential votes. This move is old news for Senator John McCain who has already shifted on positions like religion and the Bush tax cuts. For senator Obama there is more recent and immediate moves.

As I mentioned to a friend of mine recently

“America is generally in the middle of the political spectrum. The average person is conservative on some views and liberal on others, but the balance of issues are neutral. Because of this we have both candidates running to the center.

Senator McCain has long been known as the Democrat’s Republican. He’s made deals that infuriated the Republican Party over decades, because he felt it was the way to get needed laws passed. As such the media, that formerly loved him only 2 years ago, has made a lot of bluster about any further moves to the center. But he hasn’t far to go.

Senator Obama is different though. As the most liberal Senator currently in office, and a voting record that is absolutely the liberal ideals of the Democratic Party he has much further to go. This should be caught by the media as major position changes. But it is severely played down.”

Senator Obama has changed his position on the number of troops to be in Iraq during his first year in office. He has jumped around on his view of Iran. And he has back off solid pledges of townhall meetings and public finance. This does not make him a horrible candidate, but it does make him a politician.

So much so that I found this political cartoon to be an accurate example

Photo found at

But the real questions for both candidates are the ones that really are not being answered. Is raising taxes in an economic downturn an effective plan, will bailing out troubled mortgages resolve the crisis, how will Social Security get paid for as the number of retirees grows to levels never before seen.

Those are just a few questions. And no matter the side of the political spectrum you reside on, these are the questions that need answers. My only thought is when will we get these answers – before or after the election?

Mark my words, the candidate that comes closest to giving this answer – without fear of offending some in their political parties – will ultimately be the next President of the nation.

But what issue is most pressing for you? What issue is the one that will decide the vote for you? Tell me, and let’s see where we are as a nation. Let’s define what the center is and remind the politicians that their ultimate responsibility is to address those concerns.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Omar Khadr: Beyond media, bias is it fair?

There is an international shit storm about to hit the U.S., and the American media is eating it up. The storm comes in the form of a video released to the Canadian government of detainee Omar Khadr. Omar Khadr is currently held in Guantanamo, after being captured in Afghanistan where he is alleged to have killed U.S. Sgt. Christopher Speer and blinded another with a grenade.

Omar Khadr is a Canadian citizen. He is the son of alleged Al Quida financial supporter Ahmed Said Khadr, his father. He was captured when he was 15, six years ago. Canada has not tried to get his release, and continues to make no efforts to regain him. He is facing life imprisonment in October.

The following video is the longest version of the video released to Canada, that I have been able to find so far. It is 5 minutes of 10 that exists. This snippet of video is the material being used by Canadian defense lawyers on behalf of Khadr.

When I say snippet that is because there is in fact 7.5 hours of video. The defense obviously used the most beneficial minutes for their cause. Part of what was excluded was video showing Khadr denying the existence of his family, and urinating on their photo.

I will comment further after the video

First let me say that I am a supporter of the Child Soldier Act [also see here What's better a laptop or food?]. I believe everything possible to prevent children from engaging in war should be done. The U.S. government (at all levels) has dragged its feet in this matter.

Now as for the video, it’s not horrendous. It does show that he is being treated like an adult though, which is illegal for a U.S. citizen child. He is Canadian. I cannot comment on international law (I don’t know it I’m not a lawyer).

The interrogations are being done by CANADIAN agents. They were involved lock step with his American detainment. The Canadian government was directly aware of what was happening, and they felt it was appropriate.

He was deprived of sleep, that is illegal mental torture. But he was given food and rest as the video clearly states.

The wounds he wants to receive pity for were inflicted (as reported by Rolling Stone in the most anti-war form) from the grenade he used to kill a U.S. soldier. [I have seen one news item stating the chest wounds were from gunshots – it is not made clear how he was shot in that same article] That grenade injured his eye and chest. And as noted in the video and the fact he has lived for 6 years he received adequate medical treatment, which the Canadian government was aware of.

These are facts we can determine from what is known. Anything else is subjective, and based on the views of the viewer. And the media is definitely against Guantanamo.

The first sentences of several media news releases says it all.

AP via Yahoo – TORONTO - A 16-year-old captured in Afghanistan and held at Guantanamo Bay sobs during his questioning, holding up his wounded arms and begging for help in a video released Tuesday that provided the first glimpse of interrogations at the U.S. military prison.”

Newsblog - “A 16-year-old sobbing teenager is not, needless say, the image the Pentagon would like you to associate with its infamous destination for "enemy combatants".”

Rolling Stone – “At that moment, Omar entered the extralegal archipelago of torture chambers and detention cells that the Bush administration has erected to prosecute its War on Terror. He has remained there ever since.” [3rd paragraph]

Leader-Post – “Canadian Security Intelligence Service officials "callously disregard" everything terror suspect Omar Khadr had to say during an interrogation when he was 16 years old, according to the Guantanamo detainee's two lawyers.”

And it just goes on.

But let me refer back to something. Ahmed Khadr trained his son to be a fighter. Ahmed Khadr placed his son in a war zone to kill Americans for Al Quida. Omar threw the grenade that killed Sgt. Christopher Speer.

It’s one thing to be against recruiting children into a military, or to force them to fight. It’s quite another to defend yourself as the child tries to kill you. Successfully at that.

In that video, did you hear remorse? Did you hear any argument that he did not kill Americans? Did you note him being upset that his father placed him in the situation he was in? NO, I did not.

You heard a child that wanted sympathy for the consequences of the actions he took, and his father wished him to live. You heard a child (whether he states, Kill Me or Help Me) that realizes that he has done a wrong and is being punished. You hear a trained assassin that is seeking means to circumvent any legal reprimand for his actions.

Are those my opinions? Yep. And of his Canadian government.

So while the media may want to focus on the fact that this murderer, active in a war zone, was a child and was treated, admittedly, badly stop. Before you give him pity stop. Before you hear the roaring tide of liberals saying that war is bad, stop.

Before Omar Khadr threw that grenade he had a choice. While in interrogation he had a choice. Before he urinated on the picture of his family he had a choice.

The lawyers from his defense team had a choice after viewing 7.5 hours of video tape. They chose the most sympathetic 10 minutes. What happened in the remaining 7+ hours?

The news media at large had a choice in how to frame this video. They could present facts, or color the presentation to increase exposure, gain sympathy, and support their political views. Call me old-fashioned but I believe Edward R. Murrow was in favor of facts.

Is his incarceration fair? Not entirely. But then again many nations incarcerate minors that commit murder, some less Westernized nations kill them.

Was his interrogation and torture fair? Who are you asking, me, yourself, the members of SGT. Speer’s unit, or the family of Sgt. Speers? You might get different answers from each, and every one of them is valid.

War is not without its mistakes and over-reactions. It is the single worse state of Mankind. But it is also a reality that has existed for as long as Mankind.

In the end this particular story does not reflect on Guantanamo, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Oil, Terrorism, America or Canada. It is a very small piece of war, and it is sad. Any other thought is what you bring to it, just as I have and the news media in general have not.

I would have to believe that overall we all would agree that this was not a shining moment for anyone involved, but that it is part of the price of war. It’s one outcome in a sea of tens of thousands of outcomes, just as occurred in Viet Nam, World War I, the Spartans last stand, the Crusades and every other conflict known to Man.

So what do you think? Not what the media, or fanatical political or religious groups want you to think, but your thoughts?

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Predicting the U.S. economy for 2nd half 2008 and 2009

Well how much fun are you having today? If you hold investments, it may not be a fun day at all.

Back in the 4th quarter of 2007 I said I believed the Dow Jones Industrial Index would hit 11,000. I thought this would be a move in the late 1st to 2nd quarter. I was wrong… on the timeframe. But this is not a pat yourself on the back kind of moment.

With Indy Mac having failed and fears rampant over whether Freddie Mac and/or Fannie Mae will follow there should be no doubt that the Dow will cross into the 10,800 area on Monday. Add crude oil prices that are continuing to rise on fears from Iran and you get a bad situation. But perhaps the real culprit for this current situation is the Fed (Federal Reserve).

The Fed has been providing banks extra money to ensure their solvency, but not requiring that loan reserves be increased. It’s kind of like stopping a leak in your tub by adding more water. The problem is not getting fixed and may get far worse. And all the panic about the mortgage industry seems to have done nothing but whip up polispeak from political candidates and political parties, each looking to sway voters.

Loan reserves must be raised at all financial institutions. That especially means Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And several institutions need to fail. That of course means that some people will lose their homes. Nothing can, or should be done about that.

When I some will lose their homes I don’t just mean the roughly 4% of homeowners that are in default. I include in that group those that will fail this winter due to the cost of heating oil increases. I expect that in total some 7% of homes are in danger of foreclosure this year. While it’s not a nice thing to say, they need to lose their homes for the economy to survive.

This is not unlike the enormous wash-out that occurred when the internet bubble broke in the stock market. Money was lost, as it should have been, and opportunities were created. Those that made bad financial decisions, whether corporate or individuals, lost and others benefited from that loss. It’s a standard cycle in the markets.

Of course what is likely to happen is that Congress (with it’s 9% approval rating – sure to go lower) will take taxpayer money and bailout homeowners and financial institutions alike. Thus more water will fill the leaky tub. Undoubtedly the current Administration will be blamed (even more than they should) and the war in Iraq (and possibly Afghanistan) will be identified as the cause of all these ills. Which is false.

The outcome will probably be a surge for Senator Obama, who prefers a bailout. This may lead to him being elected and higher taxes to pay for that bailout. And if anyone thinks a bailout of this size will be limited to just the top 1% of the nation they are insane.

I believe, looking at current factors several things are highly probable:

    1. Confidence in all financial will go lower forcing the need for more liquidity
    2. Several institutions will fail – focused mostly on those dealing with housing markets first
    3. Interest rates will increase by 1pt by the end of 2008, increasing another 1pt early in 2009.
    4. Crude oil prices will jump to maybe $160 a barrel by mid-September as winter starts, with a commensurate move in heating oil prices.
    5. Gasoline will reach $5.15 a gallon
    6. Home foreclosure will hit 5.5%
    7. Bankruptcies will increase by 3%
    8. Higher energy prices will be blamed for the further slowdown in corporate profits and significantly lower (negative) holiday sales in the 4th quarter.
    9. A Democratic Congress will be re-elected
    10. Senator Obama will likely be elected
    11. Republicans will be blamed
    12. Taxes will be increased for all incomes by 3% by 2009
    13. Corporate taxes will be increased by 10% early in 2009
    14. Inflation will soar unchecked by 3 - 5%
    15. Unemployment will grow to 8.5% by December 2008

While each of these items may or may not happen they are all interrelated. I expect each item to happen, at least to the degree I stated, generally in the timeframe given.

As money tightens, gold will be a hedge and prices for all precious metals will soar again. Credit will get severely crunched, and credit card rates will fly. The debt load on the average American will increase from the current $6,000 to $8,500. Most of this increased debt will be from higher energy costs. Thousands of small businesses will shutdown.

As a result of all these things I expect that the Dow Jones will drop to 10,200 by December. If I am correct about Congress and Senator Obama – for the reasons stated – then I further expect a drop to 9,300 during 2009. A significant bear market indeed.

The main problem is that the solutions being looked at now raised taxes and increased liquidity, fail to resolve the actual problem. And the combination will weaken the dollar, to a point where holding U.S. bonds is unattractive. I won’t even mention the increase in retirees and Social Security.

But there is opportunity. I see the housing markets as a great buy, for those willing to hold for 5 years. Buys in the secondary city markets will probably do best having a lower purchase cost and holding value better.

Several financial stocks will be excellent buys. Some have far better balance sheets than others, but will be blasted by the same investor fears as those in bad shape. Companies like Citigroup are trouble spots as they reinsure their own loans and thus hide them better on the balance sheets. Financials will lead the markets down, but they also will signal the start back.

Coal will likely start to regain interest in the quest for alternative energy sources. I expect nuclear energy will also get a push, with at least 1 new nuclear plant being authorized to be built in 2009. I expect a call to switch to ethanol produced by grass and sugar to go initially unheeded until mid-2010. Further harming the ethanol push is the fact that there will be a glut of ethanol by mid-2009 through 2011.

Bond rates will be more attractive in 2009 than today with the likely increases in interest rates. Of course inflation rises will remove that benefit.

There may be other sources of opportunity but they will be guided by factors including but not limited to:

    Iraq and Afghanistan wars
    Crude oil prices
    Heating oil prices
    Manufacturing and Industrial layoffs
    Retiree growth rates
    Healthcare costs
    International political stability
    Another terrorist attack on the United States

That is the outlook that I have based on what is currently ongoing in the world today. Some of this is just my on interpretation, some my deduction. But I believe that if only ½ of my expectations occur, the general outcomes as stated are accurate.

But look around and determine your own answers. Better to be prepared than taken by surprise.

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Friday, July 11, 2008

$12 a gallon of gasoline: the real scare

Here we go, the polispeak is in full force. Senator Obama has suddenly realized that Iran affects the price of oil. In fact he has been advised, recently one would assume, of the following:

Now let’s ignore the fact that both the Democrats and Republicans share equally in the lack of alternative energy sources for America in the past 40 years. Neither side can point a finger as ultimately both sides failed the American people on this issue, multiple times.

Rather I want to focus on a scenario.

Senator Obama has made it clear time and again that he wants to speak with Iran. Let’s say he is President (which is not all bad) and he does speak with Iran. Say the meeting goes ok, or so we are lead to believe. They promise not to create any (more) nuclear weapons. And then they go out and “shut down the Straight of Hormus”.

What does President Obama do? Speak with them more? What argument or negotiation can he make that is better than the, at least, $300 a barrel price of oil in the mere first minutes of the blockade? What would be better than the probable $500 a barrel price that would come easily in the first day?

Considering that Senator Obama has repeatedly stated that a strong offense, ie military, is not the means he would use first – and/or possibly ever – what recourse does he have?

Well Democrats have said that higher oil and gasoline prices are good. Because they will force America off of oil. That we need to use alternative energy. So the thought of $12 a gallon for gasoline must be thrilling to them.

Of course if this is true then you have to wonder if President Obama would say anything to Iran. Or if he could say anything that he felt was better than having higher oil prices.

At the same time remember this. If oil suddenly went to $300, heating oil 3x overnight. Gasoline goes to $12 and people will horde it in a manner that would make the 1970 look like a vacation. Millions would not be able to heat or cool their homes. Tens of thousands of businesses would close overnight. Unemployment would rocket past the levels last seen during the President Carter Administration. The cost of every good in America, or sold overseas, would be so high that a gallon of milk would cost like buying printer ink cartridges today.

So while Senator Obama is trying to use Iran as a scare, and a source of blame only on Republicans, remember the facts.

Democrats are as much to blame as anyone. Democrats want oil prices higher. Obama wants to talk to Iran. Obama does not like to use the military (even in the case of a 9/11 type of incident).

Diplomacy while businesses shut down, cost of everything skyrockets, and people freeze. That’s a really great plan. And every American will he stateside to experience every second of it.

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Rev. Jesse Jackson vs. Senator Barack Obama - Old Black Power disses New

Oh he’s gone and done it now. Rev. Jesse Jackson is scrambling to retract comments he made Sunday, his son is blasting him for those same comments and Senator Obama – campaign and all – are quiet.

What is the issue here? What was said?

Well it’s hard to be sure. What is known is that Rev. Jackson took offense at the speech made by Senator Obama. In a moment where his microphone was hot, and he believed it was off, Rev. Jackson let loose with comments Wolf Blitzer believes he cannot repeat on CNN air. According to Jim Tapper of ABC News the words were along the lines of

“…crude and disparaging remark along the lines of wanting to rip Obama's genitals off…”

Actually finding the remarks, via video or transcript, has proven to be difficult at this point. I have no doubt that they will surface at some point soon though. And I think that is the only reason that today, 3 days later, Rev. Jackson has made an apology.

This is not a sincere apology, it’s polispeak. He is protecting his political clout and image. Were he really sincere he would have apologized Sunday when he knew his comments were heard. The point is that Rev. Jackson does not like Senator Obama. I say that because it was almost 1 year ago when

“Jackson sharply criticized presidential hopeful and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama for “acting like he’s white” in what Jackson said has been a tepid response to six black juveniles’ arrest on attempted-murder charges in Jena, La.”

It seems that Rev. Jackson spares no words or feelings when he disagrees with Senator Obama, which I gather is a common event. Still that did not prevent him for making his ‘sincere apology’

Of course the real interesting point comes from the same source as it did a year ago. Rep. Jesse L. Jackson, Jr., D-Ill, had the following to say

“I'm deeply outraged and disappointed in Reverend Jackson's reckless statements about Senator Barack Obama. His divisive and demeaning comments about the presumptive Democratic nominee -- and I believe the next president of the United States -- contradict his inspiring and courageous career. Instead of tearing others down, Barack Obama wants to build the country up and bring people together so that we can move forward, together -- as one nation. The remarks like those uttered on Fox by Revered Jackson do not advance the campaign's cause of building a more perfect Union.

Revered Jackson is my dad and I'll always love him. He should know how hard that I've worked for the last year and a half as a national co-chair of Barack Obama's presidential campaign. So, I thoroughly reject and repudiate his ugly rhetoric. He should keep hope alive and any personal attacks and insults to himself.”

Perhaps it’s me, but I think that Junior knows how dad feels and speaks over family get togethers.

Now if you are what caused all this, here you go

"There's a reason why our families are in disrepair," Obama said in a Father's Day speech at Apostolic Church of God on Chicago's South Side. "And some of it has to do with a tragic history, but we can't keep on using that as an excuse. Too many fathers are AWOL, missing from too many lives and too many homes. They've abandoned their responsibilities. They're acting like boys instead of men.”

Now in my opinion I can understand that Rev Jesse Jackson is upset with Senator Obama. The thunder, and more importantly political clout, he once held is being shifted to the younger, more popular, Senator.

As I said back in September

“And will the media stop saying that Rev. Jackson and Al Sharpton are leaders of African Americans. There was no vote… Some might say that both reverends are the lapdogs of the news media, which is far worse than being accused of ‘acting white’”

I feel it’s even more true today. Unless Rev. Jackson wants to attack Bill Cosby, myself, and dozens of other Black bloggers and individuals that agree

“Too many fathers are AWOL, missing from too many lives and too many homes.”

The saddest part of this is that the net outcome could be harm to Senator Obama’s chances in the general election. He already has difficulty with older Democratic voters, and if this becomes the story I think it might once the video of his comments is aired, it further damages another segment of the Obama base. Hillary and Bill Clinton must be dancing.

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Monday, July 07, 2008

Professor Tremblay supports Senator Obama with polispeak

I love polispeak. It’s my own descriptor for the inventive and nuanced manner in which pundits, candidates, and often bloggers discuss politics. It’s worse than spin, and almost always is based in facts - usually after it’s been spun through a blender and strained.

I cannot say that I am immune from this. Like every single pundit, blogger, and politician I hold an opinion, thus I am biased for or against various issues, policies, and/or proposals. I try to be honest and clear in my view. But not all are.

Here is a case in point. Professor Rodrigue Tremblay on has an impressive title. One would assume he has his facts in order and is presenting them clearly. But bias seeps in apparently, or the Professor is using faulty information. So sadly, those that rely on his opinion are being misguided. Of course they may not care, since we all tend to go to the source we prefer for answers we generally want.

Still some things are facts and they should be stated correctly.

First, in the quotes he uses of Senator McCain and Senator Obama, the bias becomes clear. He quotes McCain speaking on Iran alone. He then quotes Obama speaking about retreating from Iraq, and then the issue of Iran. It may not seem like a big deal, except in doing this he creates the impression that McCain has nothing to say on Iraq. That only Obama has a solution, which is false even if you don’t like McCain’s solution.

Considering he is using his title, as he is due, I have to believe he is aware of the effect of his selective quoting. Thus he is purposefully guiding the reader to a conclusion that he endorses, rather than allowing them to make the choice based on fact. I presume that either means he does not believe his readers can make the choice based on facts themselves, or he believes they will make a conclusion that he does not support based on the facts. But I could be wrong.

He then goes on to correctly point out that race is a major issue in this election. That the racial past of America provides perhaps the biggest hurdle, and makes any presumptions of polls useless.

Having set the stage to enforce the idea that race should not hinder this candidate (which I agree with) he then jabs at the current administration. While true that the President has remarkably low approval ratings, he skipped over the fact that the Congress – led by Democrats for 2 years now – has even lower approval ratings. What may be most revealing is that neither the President, nor the Congress is leading the nation in the right direction – meaning that both political parties have failed the general public substantively at the same time. But to say that detracts from his theme, though it is more grounded in fact.

He goes on to note that both Presidential candidates are moving along their party lines. That both are swaying towards their centers to gain more of the general populace. The impression is that in Senator Obama moving from the hard-core liberals of the far-left he is moving directly towards the center of the nation. The main complaint is that he is being a politician, which is what he is. Of course this ignores the fact that studies done over decades find that the majority of Americans are neither to the extreme right or left politically. Americans generally are centrist, perhaps leaning overall to the right (conservative) with exceptions on some issues. But that isn’t important to understand the moves each politician is making is it?

[by the way, Senator Obama has been rated, multiple times, as the most liberal Senator. So a shift towards the center keeps him firmly liberal and off the national center. Senator McCain has consistently been viewed as left of his Party’s center, and thus his move places him generally at the national average.]

Of course this all leads to the Iraq war. As already set up, Professor Tremblay has a skewed view on this issue. To further that view he then directly misquotes Senator McCain, with a quote that has been misused and explained for over a month now. But why let good rhetoric go unused even if it is false?

“Indeed, McCain voted for the Iraq war in October 2002, and he would be very happy to continue Bush's policy in Iraq, even to the point of extending the military occupation of that country “one hundred years” into the future.”

Yes McCain did vote for the war, as did almost every politician serving at the time – Republican or Democrat. He did not make a separate choice, nor was he the only voice. In fact I recall many video clips of Senator Clinton making an impassioned plea for the war, based on her extensive review of the facts. Thus the Democratic Party was no less involved than Senator McCain on this issue, and to isolate him is just a means of guiding the reader to a conclusion.

And as I stated there is the misquote. McCain did not imply or state there would be a military occupation (interesting choice of words there) of Iraq. He did state that America could have a presence in Iraq for 100 years, just as we have in Germany and Japan for 55 years and counting, Korea for 50 years and counting, Viet Nam for 30 years and counting. Note that not one of these countries is occupied yet we have had a presence (which McCain stated) there for longer than some voters have been alive, and thus it would be no surprise to have a military base (ie presence) in Iraq either.

But Professor Tremblay then goes on to point out what he wants his readers to accept as differences, each guiding them to his own desired conclusion.

He uses Social Security. He implies privatization is a bad idea and that Government support of SS is preferred. But isn’t the Government regulation of SS the reason it is going bankrupt and has no solution. Has it not been the political foot dragging of both political party’s that has kept the impasse going for at least 30 years while the problem got worse? And aren’t IRA’s privatized yet working well for millions of Americans for decades? So how bad is privatization.

On health care we are presented an idea filled with holes. Yes Senator Obama promoted Government lead universal healthcare. But name one department of the Government that has run efficiently or on budget in the past 40 years. If the Government has yet to run anything as simple as the Post Office or the VA in the past 2 generations, why do some suppose it will run our medical care better?

And this implies that our healthcare is bad, which is a lie. We are leaders in the world with thousands coming to America for our treatments as opposed to waiting for Government run medical care in their own nations. So if other nations can’t get this right, why should we try it? Is cheap and/or free bad care better than proper care that costs more? And if the Government is willing to provide $5,000 in credits (which is the correct amount I am aware of) to help pay to get that better care why is it bad?

As for abortion (which is not the sum of all women’s rights issues) I am conflicted. While I respect a woman’s choice, she is not the only voice in the matter. Responsible men, something downplayed severely by the general media but yet still existing, should have a voice as well. My opinion has nothing to do with religion or government. So I will leave that alone.

As for Supreme Court Justices, individuals that should have no party affiliation and can make decisions as they chose for life, I believe that it is not a major issue. It may be a secondary, or tertiary consideration for President – but there are far more pressing questions that need to be asked. And keep in mind that Congress can block any potential Justice, as they have in the past and will in the future. Professor Tremblay seems to forget to remind his reader that the President’s choice is still under the sway of Congress.

On taxes we again get a myopic view of the candidates. Senator McCain is proposing to cut taxes, Obama will raise them. That much is clear fact. The question is who is affected and how.

According to the Professor, cutting taxes is bad. Yet that is the only plan that has been theoretically and in the real world effective in helping the economy and the Average American. Raising taxes, especially in a economic downturn has never worked and is theoretically dumb. Those old enough to have live through President Carter know that this can lead to 13% unemployment and similar inflation.

But let’s take this to the real world. More money in people’s pockets is good. We all agree on that. Raising taxes prevents that. And Senator Obama has already voted to increase the taxes on those making as little as $31,850 or more. I would never call that rich. So in comparison we have one candidate willing to do what has worked for decades in various Presidencies and another that has proposed one idea, yet voted the opposite in the same election year he is running in. Or perhaps the Professor and I have different ideas of rich, as Senator Obama seems to.

Lastly is the big question experience. The Professor would praise Senator Obama, who lacks experience, for surrounding himself with politicians that have the experience. But at the same time he denounces Senator McCain for that same experience. Don’t be fooled by the use of terms like lobbyist, both politicians have them.

How can you say that McCain is bad for having experience, working with Democrats and Republicans to pass laws, and the relationships he has built over decades: and then praise Senator Obama for the lack of all these things – but the wisdom to have people with those same qualifications advise him. Is it not more logical to believe that an experienced leader would better be able to interpret and solicit advise from peers than an inexperienced politician from those that are his superiors (in age, experience, and political clout only – for those wondering the racial aspect of that statement).

He then throws all his preconceived ideas out the window and suggests that Al Gore is the best Democratic Presidential candidate. I am unconvinced.

Polispeak, it’s wonderful when a title and careful wording can be used to misquote, misinterpret and misguide the general public. But it should not provide you with the answer for whom to vote.

And for the record, I have yet to decide whom I wish to be President, though I do lean to Senator McCain. I just dislike blatant polispeak and engineered writing designed to use the reader.

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Senator Barack Obama: the movie brought to you by Democrats

Polispeak is never more beautiful and impacting than when it appears on the silver screen. Such are the thoughts of the Democratic Party and David Guggenheim. And to that end Guggenheim is in the process of filming Senator Obama, a film that will be presented at the National Democratic Party Convention and then hopefully (Dems think) out to the general public.

And why not. Look what Guggenheim did for the doom and gloom polispeak of Al Gore. Since the movie An Inconvenient Truth (which inconveniently contains misstatements and inaccuracies) Al Gore has swelled in popularity and political power. He has sparked the fuel for green everything and the masses accept him as never during his political career.

If Al Gore can be transformed into a media darling and political top cat, imagine what will happen to the already popular Senator Obama. You can almost see Democrats and Hollywood drooling.

One definite positive will of course be the fact that some 10% of voters with their heads up their arse will finally be lead to understand that their email stating Obama is a Muslim is false. Too bad no one has made a movie warning these same people about emails that promise to give them millions from an overseas lawyer representing a dead person with their same last name. If these are the voters that the Democrats think will win them the Oval Office, they are in trouble and have their eyes shut to it.

The thing that gets me is that there are some voters that will be swayed by a film, created by an Obama supporter (he has already donated cash to the cause) meant to be biased in favor of Obama. That’s not politics or a documentary, it’s a big infomercial. But of course how many millions are made off of infomercials each year??

Perhaps the worst aspect of this idea is what it will mean in the future. Direct marketing of Presidential candidates will vie time alongside votes for American Idol (if that show could only end). Billy Mays will be preempted to present the latest pitch by a presidential candidate, promising to fix the world while you sit in your ever so comfortable sofa, if you just make a vote. And as technology improves even fewer people will take the time to use that technology to check out facts, instead accepting the polispeak spouted on their latest Iphone streaming video or satellite television piped into their cars.

Look I have nothing against movies about Presidents, or even candidates. Generally the movies will give me a President I can respect, agree with, and is acting in the best interest and spirit of America. But the reality is that some writer dreamed up that candidate and the ones we vote for are severely more flawed. A movie hyping a candidate like the next hopeful summer box office hit only makes me wary.

Is Senator Obama a good candidate? Well there is no question that he is better than Senator Clinton – a liar and highly manipulative. He definitely sounds great giving a speech. And he is young, which America obsesses over to the tune of billions each year. But none of that makes him a potentially good President.
So rather than spending a stupid amount of money to hype Senator Obama as if he were Will Smith, why don’t Democrats spend one-tenth the money (and time) and just present a couple of fully defined plans they think will actually improve America? Or do they believe that Americans are too dumb to actually read?

Well I know you my readers can. So what do you prefer, a movie highlighting a bunch of fluff or a couple of pages of facts? Which would sway you more?

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Friday, July 04, 2008

Reader comments on the 2008 election

I write for a lot of blogs. Currently the number is up to about 45 blogs, besides those owned by my M V Consulting, Inc., where my posts can be found at. That says nothing of the blogs where others comment on my posts or quote some portion of what I have said. As such it’s sometimes very difficult to respond to each comment someone makes, though I do try.

It is also difficult for all my readers to see comments made at various blogs on some of the posts I have written. To that end I want to take the time to not only post some of the comments made but to also try to respond to them. And I invite everyone to comment as well, either here or on the blog the comment corresponds to.

Your thoughts are important to me and if you write a comment, I think it deserves to be seen in the least.

The following comments come from Presidential Race Blog, and African American Political Opinion though more comments can be found throughout the web.

Democratic Nomination - Path to where?

with Obama as president candidate for the democrates, i have no confidence. Interestingly, I remember most of obama’s speech as rhetorical and superficial, taken from other speeches which he studied, and repititious of other people’s ideas. The first two instances I looked and listened to him via the television, I got goosebumps from inspiration; in retrospect, i can liken most of his speeches and line of arguments to those i heard in the past. his fever, i think he got from his hypocritic church which he attended the last 20 years. his racism, he also got from there, and the fact that he is half-black and has to depend heavily on the black american community for most of his votes. his elitism, is a reflection of where he came from and where he now is. These are the bumps i get when i listen to him now. i agree with hilary with her claim that she won the majority votes. she has indeed won almost the same amount of votes as obama, and a variety in her combination of voters, some blacks, white, hispanic, etc., etc., I only disappointed that the media did not cover obama with the same amount of scrutiny that they did to hilary, i think the results would have been different if they has done so. I do hope that the general elections will be covered fairly, and obama will not be given the easy path, sheltered for all slips, so that the outcome of the general elections be fair game.
thank you for your space

janet Felix


While Senator Obama has used lines from other speeches of politicians (with permission and thus not plagiarism) it’s not a unique action. Most politicians have done this to some degree over the last 20 years or so.

You mention that his former church is hypocritical. How so? You also call them racist, where is the proof?
I’ve spoken a lot about Rev. Wright and the polispeak soundbites used against him. I think it’s an unfair portrayal. But most of his comments and sermons that I have been made aware of are not racist. They are racial, which is not the same, and they do point out issues that exist in America. While some will feel offended or embarrassed by truth it does not change the truth.

As for the church, which was in the forefront of trying to abolish Apartheid, has helped the homeless, has gay and White parishioners, what is wrong about them?

You also make a misstatement. While Senator Obama received a huge vote from Black Democrats, he also had huge numbers of college educated, young, male, and other Democratic voters. If he only received the African American vote, then he would not be the Democratic nominee. Nor would he have won the multiple states where the Black population was barely 10%. You do a disservice in making that claim.

Ultimately Senator Clinton did get a huge number of votes. Much of this came as Senator Obama reeled from the Rev. Wright media blitz. But I still find that Senator Clinton was a deceptive and horrible choice for Democrats (and I made that clear in multiple posts).

The coverage of the Presidential candidates by the media has been overwhelmingly for Democrats. Along with that it has been for Senator Obama. That may lie in the fact that the media is overwhelmingly liberal and he is the most liberal Senator in the Senate. So to hope for even handed coverage seems a waste of time to me.

But there has been enough coverage that your misperceptions should not exist as well. I invite you to read through my blogs and to see what I mean.

Leading Democratic candidates Pros and Cons

The VP choices are the most important ingrediant in this Election. Everyone knows that Obama has a Bulls Eye Target on his Back, and McCain is on Death’s Door. I cannot figure out why none of our TV, Radio, Newsprint, or Magazine Newsies have picked up on this Point?

Steve ONeill


I have to say that I disagree with your conclusions. While Senator Obama is no favorite of the KKK or other narrow-minded racist groups, I believe that the Secret Service is far to aware to allow him to be killed. And while Senator McCain is older, he is more fit than most men half his age.

I doubt that either man would die in office, though it is possible. But that is the purpose of the VP and is no different than any other election cycle. The emphasis is not on who they pick but the overall policies they and their VP believe is best for America going forward.

To vote for or against a candidate based on imagined health issues or potential nutcase attacks does not help the nation gain the best President or future. Rather than obsess on the VP pick the best choice for President and the nation will go from there, I think.

What Senator Ted Kennedy endorsing Senator Obama means

The Racial and Ethnic classification of Americans is nothing more than institutionalized racism and must be ended. The United States of America has been known as a country of rugged individualism based on individual freedom and liberty. Why has America become a country obsessed with classifying its citizens into different racial and ethnic sub-groups?

The only groups that actively support the continued collection of racial and ethnic data are big government bureaucrats and “racial and ethnic special interest groups” that also happen to receive significant funding from the federal government. These organizations argue that identifying people by race and ethnicity is necessary in order to redress some past injustice and that the federal government must continue to collect and use this information in order to set up special racial and ethnic programs, affirmative action quotas and other set-asides for these groups, some of whom consist of new immigrants, illegal aliens and non-citizens. Nothing can be further from the truth. In a country where we can no longer ask people what religion they are, what their party affiliation is or what their sexual orientation is, why are we still asking them about their racial and ethnic background?

Americans are beginning to realize that racial and ethnic identification is more a matter of personal choice than anything else. In the 2000 Census, seven million American citizens refused to place themselves into a single category by refusing to describe themselves as only white, black, Asian, Latino or any one of the other specific categories listed, because they were of mixed race. Attempts by the government to create a “mixed race” box for the 2000 Census was met with resistance by racial and ethnic special interest groups like the NAACP and the National Council of La Raza, because they feared that a mixed-race box could pose a danger to the justification for their existence. The fuzzier such racial and ethnic categories become, the harder it will be for these racial and ethnic special interest groups and the government to traffic in them. If a mixed-race category were to be added, every brown-skinned person of mixed race registered in this category would shrink the government’s official count of Blacks, Latinos, Asians or American Indians, eventually reducing their political influence and ultimately the amount of money these groups receive from the federal government, which amounts to approximately $185 billion a year.

Through the mandated collection and use of racial and ethnic specific information, more and more of American taxpayers’ hard earned money is being routinely distributed to these racial and ethnic special interest groups at the expense of all other Americans who may or may not be members of these groups. Through executive orders, congressional legislation, affirmative action programs, racial set-asides, quotas and other programs based solely on race and ethnicity, our federal government is playing the key role that pits one racial and ethnic group against another, which could eventually lead to our destruction as a country.

Rather than helping a diverse population become assimilated and united as one nation, the Federal government is doing what the Nazi government of Germany did in the 1930’s and 40’s; creating government supported institutionalized racism by the intentional classification of it’s citizens by race and ethnicity.

With the support of racial and ethnic special interest groups, our federal government seems to view our citizens not just as Americans, but rather as “pawns” in some social science experiment to be classified and separated into different racial or ethnic sub-groups for some unknown purpose. By mandating the classification of Americans into specific racial and ethnic sub-groups, the federal government and the advocates of “diversity” are actually perpetuating institutionalized racism and keeping Americans divided. Maybe the real purpose of collecting this data is to justify the continuing flow of government money to these racial and ethnic special interest groups.

If we want to help poor Americans escape poverty, get better health care, find a job or get a good education, why should it matter what their race or ethnic background is? The answer is: It should not! Americans need to come together as members of one country and remember that we are all individual Americans, regardless of race or ethnic background. Martin Luther King, Jr., inspired a nation when he voiced his dream for a color-blind nation, a nation in which people would be judged by the content of their characters, “not the color of their skin.” The answer to this government encouraged racism is the concept of Liberty with a limited, constitutional government that is devoted to the protection of individual rights rather than the claims of different racial and ethnic special interest groups. Where Liberty is present, individual achievement and competence are rewarded, not people’s skin color or ethnicity.

I will support legislation barring the federal government from the collection of racial and ethnic information about the American people and/or the classification of American citizens by race and ethnicity, including the collection of census information. Exceptions should be made for law enforcement, hospitals and medical research purposes.
I will also support legislation that bans affirmative action programs, racial set-asides, quotas and any other programs that give special preferences based on race and ethnicity.

Candidate for Congress
New York’s 20th Congressional District


I will have to address this in a post of its own. Expect that shortly.

The real power of Senator Obama and Oprah Winfrey

I hope Oprah is prepared to deal with the false adoration she engendered by supporting Barack Obama. He has an agenda that has not yet surfaced,but I predict, if president, she will sorely regret what she put into action by supporting this man, who is all show and no integrity, political experience or skill. We can all canvas and do community organizing. or is she hoping that like most black women, Michelle will run Obama, not the people?

deb hart

False adoration? All show and no integrity? Black women run their men? You seem to have some major issues and they are poping out all over your comment.

First of all Oprah Winfrey is the major daytime celebrity, and has been for decades now. The adoration she has received is earned by the effort she has put forth. To assume less is to insult what she has accomplished.

While I agree that Senator is not very experienced the rest of your comment rings false. Please point out where he lacks integrity or skill? As a lawyer and community leader I have to believe skill and integrity come to the fore. Yet you dismiss this, why?

Are you sure you know as much as you believe you do about what either Senator Obama or Oprah Winfrey have done?

And as for the last part of your comment, I am offended. You don’t seem to have any clue or perspective there, but you do have what seems to be a racial agenda. You’re right on the edge of stereotyping. I would help you pull your foot out of your mouth except I’m fearful of what else you might say.

Simply put your comments make me believe you have an issue with any successful African American, and I have to wonder how you didn’t notice that I am a Black Puerto Rican. Do you think I am run by a woman, or without skill and integrity, or seeking false adoration? You really need to look at yourself and what you are saying, because it’s real close to bile.

Presidential Candidates Lies: Update

Some of your statements are just looking for technicalities.
I am not supporting any candidate, but am just giving one example to not take up time.

One example:
McCain said that Hillary wants to waive a white flag. You say this is a lie because there is no official army to surrender to. Are you seriously saying that because we aren’t fighting a government recognized army that we can’t “technically” surrender? And that makes one of our candidates a liar?

Some of the facts you pointed out are obviously correct, but looking for every technicality is a waste of time. You will find thousands more if you want. We should be look at flat out lies. Like when a candidate says that he/she is against free trade agreements yet vote for those same agreements and write about the value of free trade in his/her own books.

I hope I don’t sound like I’m going for a specific candidate, because I’m not, but just making a few examples.


Nitpick all you want but the facts are what they are. And I did not claim these are lies, Polifact did (which I noted in the post). And yes a lie is still a lie even if the details are minor.

In fact you cannot surrender to someone that does not have someone to surrender to. If there is no army who do you declare a war against or lose to? And that does make McCain a bit of a liar, or if you prefer misguided in his statements.

I have posted blatant lies, and minor ones as well. This was not the first post I address the issue on. And Polifact has a huge list discussing the degree of truth or lies the candidates have made.

But the issue is this. If there are candidates that continuously lie, big or little, to the American public do you want them in office? Especially if they are making multiple lies that sound really close to the truth so no one notices?

But if you look through my blogs I do point out major lies candidates make in multiple posts. But I was just adding a few that Polifact had which I had not covered.

Senator Hillary Clinton: Ireland and Sinbad tell the truth

It is easy for those unconnected with Northern Ireland to decry those who even played a small part in the peace process here but every building block played a part and Hillary Clinton’s input was just as key as any other vititors to these shores.David Trimble himself probably played less of a role than the Clintons if truth were known. One didn’t have to sit amongst the peacemakers in negotion in order to bring about the climate that led to peace. Hillary Clinton, through her good offices, played a major role in bringing vadidation to the various womens groups in Northern Ireland and it was pressure from Women that led to the first talks. More importantly the role Hillary played back home, although not mentioned much, was in making it much more difficult for Americans to contribute to the supply of guns to the IRA whether through pressure on the crime elements or on the funds collections. There is a lot more to Hillary Clintons involvement in the peace process than most Americans know about. Just because the first lady didn’t make a big deal of it does not mean that she was not instumental in her role in the process.


I am unconnected to the actual events in Northern Ireland, as are the majority of Americans. But according to the reports I have read, Senator Clinton did nothing but have tea. That does not qualify for bragging rights in my book.

You state she was working with women’s groups in Ireland at the time, which ones? What did she do to help and/or motivate them? I’ve seen nothing documented stating this.

And as for the NRA, it was not Hillary but Bill Clinton, the President, that was taking action. To my knowledge and information the then-First Lady had only one political action during Bill Clinton’s presidency – national healthcare – and it failed miserably. If you can point to anything that helps validate her claims, and refutes the claims of someone that is internationally recognized as having influence, I would be happy to read it.

Until then I will again state that she was using the actions of others to fabricate experience and political clout she does not have.

Rev. Wright, Senator Obama, and the media

I do wish that there were other people who view things the way that you do. There seems to be a rush to find anything on anyone that is degreading. I do hope that Americans have grown to a level that is above the spind-doctors. Thanks for a refreshing thought provoking statment.

George O’Neal

Hannity and Colmes are replaying a March 1, 2007 interview with Rev. Wright. He was incredibly hostile. They have been a topic on talk radio for months while there has been a de facto MSM blackout of Barack’s church. It is interesting that Wright’s views were little discussed while Mitt’s church received intense scrutiny. To borrow a phrase, it has taken a while for the chickens to come home to roost.

John Austin TX

Thank you. I do try.

I will say it again, the religion of a candidate has nothing to do with their ability to be a President.

It was not Mitt Romney’s church that was questioned but the Mormon religion. That was unfair and wrong. It had no reflection on his ability to govern – which his time as Governor proved.

As for Senator Obama’s church, what is wrong with standing up against Apartheid, feeding the homeless and welcoming parishioners of all races and sexual orientation?

What you mean is the questions of his pastor. And I have fully covered my thoughts on that. I invite you to check them out.

Remember those before us

Eddie G. Griffin said...
Written history is always subject to re-write (revision), plus the fact it was never acurate to begin with, written from a bias perspective.

chocolate_matters said...
Hello, just blog hopping and wanted to just have some input into the discourse here. Nice blog by the way.
Exactly what the brother above stated. History is always written from the perspective of the victory and any and everything we read should be scrutinized for its accuracy. As a student of history I have learn to question, question, and question some more everything I read.

Eddie and Chocolate

I agree that history is written from the winners view. And that is why I wanted to remind my readers that there is more to our past as Americans than what is selectively taught. Our nation is a wonderful nation and I would prefer no other even with the problems we obviously have. Yet we must be honest about where we come from and have done.

I think we all agree that more needs to be learned and spoken about to ensure that EVERYONE in the nation benefits from a better future.

Senator Obama to travel to Iraq and Afghanistan

Francis L. Holland Blog said...
He can go anywhere he wants, as long as he doesn't fall for the okey-doke of going with John McCain.

I can't see why John McCain's people and the Republicans are so desperate to get Obama to go with McCain to Iraq, except to create the impression that they are both reasonable people trying to solve a problem together. When the premise of Obama's candidacy is that he is reasonable and McCain is not on Iraq.

I say to Obama, 'Go wherever you want, but leave McCain home.' Birds of a feather flock together.


Perhaps Senator John McCain wants Senator Obama to see the places that he has been, and to hear first-hand the chances that have happened. I doubt that Obama had much of a chance to notice anything in the less than 48 hours he spent in Iraq.

The point is that the Democratic Party has consistently promoted the view that Iraq is a lost cause after they voted to go their. They have taken every opportunity to promote a doom and gloom view without paying any attention to changes or improvements. That narrow-visioned view of international events is unwise for a President.

To simply assume that Republicans want to point out that Senator Obama has no international experience belittles his need to be in Iraq. He has no international experience, and he took no time to learn about what is happening in Iraq. Wisdom is knowing your own failures and gaining knowledge from those with more experience than yourself. Then you can make a more educated decision.

Isn’t that what you want from a President? So doesn’t it make sense to go with Senator John McCain who has been to Iraq at least 6 times in as many years?

Senator Clinton Wins – Sorry I Misspoke

The Indypendent said...
Obama’s Race Against Race
By Nicolas Powers
From the April 25, 2008 issue
A black man runs from a howling crowd. If he’s caught he’ll be torn apart. If he reaches sanctuary he’ll be loved. This ritual is the Sacred Lynching. It’s a scene from Olaf Stapledon’s science fiction book, The First and Last Men. Set in the future, humanity has mixed and few people are “white” or “black,” and the ritual is a nostalgic celebration of racism in a post-racial world. It resembles our own supposed post-racial politics, and I see Senator Barack Obama as that last black man on earth trying to outrun our media mob.


And what does this have to do with Senator Clinton lying about her experience, failure to make a big primary win, and attempting to by votes (again) with a silly promise of giving the public a paltry sum of money that cannot possibly pass Congress?

Is Rev. Wright a reason not to vote for Senator Obama?

Ghost said...
I would have to agree with the writer of this blog in most part since I have heard these types of prophetic sermons throughout my upbringing in a town 90 miles north of Chicago. Yet, I think the bigger issue here should not be about Rev. Wright. Since Obama announced his candidacy for the Presidency I have wondered how and when he would attempt to traverse the chasm that is race in this country. What concerns me is that he would be so careless as to allow himself to be forced to have this discussion under duress. Now he has allowed yet another distraction to pull attention away from his message of unity by not addressing the genesis of the symptoms that we manifest today, namely de-facto racism and reverse racism. As far as I am concerned he should have distanced himself from this man long ago, not because he didn't like him but simply because it did not fit with his plan. You cannot expect the general American public to fully support Obama, while he emits such an aura of irresponsibility. He is smarter that this and we all know it. He needs to be concerned about votes and it's time he learned that you cannot pick and choose what you want to be transparent about. I bet in the next 48hrs the Clinton camp will give up their taxes and the history of her time as 1st Lady while the nation is caught up in the racial fervor since it is a more interesting topic. C-ya next time.

RJM said...
No. But I know a many who would find at fault with the statements that were made. Seriously, one thing that gets me was when he talked about our terrorism caused 9/11. It is very true. It was our actions that caused it. The HiJackers didn't just get into a plane and said hey lets blow this up. They were angry. They'll never forget the removal of their land for Israel or the removal of a democratically elected government in Iran for one of Tyranny. How many people know that though? The Clinton's Campaign is riding on the famous American action of inaction. Of thoughtlessness instead of thought. To the Clinton Campaign,her best shot at winning is this for all the voters:
Ignorance is Bliss.

msladydeborah said...
Pastor Wright is not a major factor in whether or not I will continue to support Obama.

I happen to feel very strongly about this whole issue because it is not reflective of his leadership as a minister.

I have been encouraging people to check out his background and to see what his leadership at Trinity UCC has produced.

He did not say anything that cannot be justified. We only need to look at the past to see why he and other people feel this way.

What bothers me the most is the attempt to make it seem as if something wrong is going on because he is the head of a black populated congregation.

This whole action is walking a fine line in terms of rights.

Pastor Wright can say whatever he wants to inside of his church. That is his right and if the members do not like what is being said, then they are the ones who needed to handle the business of that issue.

I also feel that Barack is going to have to deal with race up front now. There is no way around it.

But so are we. And I feel that we are going to have to be a lot more tough on the subject. We are going to have to learn how to deal with what is major and don't sweat what is not.

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