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I think it is very scary when people say things like "burn these stripes and you'll see stars"- this is America. We were born rebels, and we fought for freedom of speech, among other things. What I find really sad is how un-familiar most people are with the proper handling of the flag- like how it should never touch the ground, or how the proper way to retire a flag is to burn it- usually while playing taps. No lie. I am am Eagle Scout, and I know these things.
Also, I think it is as offensive to yell "you lie" to a sitting President during a speech to both houses of congress as it is to burn a flag in protest.
Of course, it's real- and the reason nobody can find it is that it is also mystical- so it doesn't always reside in this plain of reality. Or maybe it can tunnel into mud, like a giant worm- I mean, just because we can't find it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Nobody has ever really seen a black hole, but nobody is saying they don't exist. And I prefer to live in a world with mystery, with magic, with Nessie.
Give me a break- I think the person who crossed the line was Mr. Palin, who tried to imply Letterman was saying something about the 14 year old daughter when obviously it was about the one who got pregnent and had a kid out of wed lock- was the joke in bad taste? That's subjective- but the Palin's are in the public eye, and they put their daughters up on stage for the world to see- and to make jokes about. I think all this publicity about a stupid joke just gives them more press- which is no doubt what the Palin family wants.
I think they're all great- I think the questions is a bit off- like there's some kind of contest or something. Should we take the final four candidates and have them slug it out? I think a better way of thinking about the subject would be to ask "who are some of you favorite civil rights leaders, and why?". A small distinction, perhaps.
It would more amazing if Earth was the only planet in the entire universe to support intelligent life forms. I mean, come on- what are the odds? Have UFO's visited us? Probably. Will we ever know for sure? Probably. Does their existence endanger our religious beliefs? NO. So why do people insist otherwise? Because they're morons.
No- if one of the people on one of the major tickets in the recent presidential election is so stupid that she doesn't even know that Africa is a continent, as opposed to a country, why should the people voting for or against her have to be smarter? I don't think the founders of our country were joking when they wrote that they believed that all people "are created equal".
The implication seems to be, are we going to have a bad attack because Obama is the President elect- and that's a bunch of baloney. No doubt, there are people plotting to attack us- as there have been before 9/11, and have been since. Should we act like there is a threat? Of course. Should we let that threat take away our American way of life? Take away our freedom? Of course not. I am going to hope that, if Obama gets a memo saying someone is determined to attack us with planes flying into buildings, that he will do something about it.
Tinklenberg needs to win if for no other reason than to get Bachmann out of office- she's a nut, a throw back to the anti-commie whackos of days gone by. No doubt, she's who Michael Stipe had in mind when he wrote the song "Exhuming McCarthy". For those who may have missed it, she put in a really disturbing appearance on Hardball on Friday, saying, among other things, that "I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out if they are pro-America or anti-America". That's just divisive and unhealthy. Have you no decency- at long last, Ms. Bachmann, have you no decency left?
My father lived in Alaska off and on from 1952 until his death in 2003. He was what they call a real sourdough. He knew everything there was to know about the state- he would go on tirades about James Michner because he described a certain area poorly in his novel Alaska. My father was also a red neck, a working man, and a history buff- and he never, ever had anything but contempt for Ted Stevens. He new plenty of people with connections in Alaskan politics, and he said they all agreed that Stevens was as crooked as the day is long- and in summer, Alaskan days last a mighty long time. Based solely on my dad's views, I say vote for Begich simply to vote against Stevens.
At this point in the game, everyone it's all about persona- how one comes off to the general public. The time of intricate explanations of policy are over- what people are looking for is the basic essence of the person. John McCain comes off as fake- I don't think anyone, other than those already far into the McCain camp, took the 'Joe the Plumber' storyline as anything other than that- a storyline; a bunch of baloney made up by one of McCain's advisers in a desperate attempt to connect with the average working man or woman. On top of that, McCain also came off, yet again, as grumpy. And he kept saying that America is angry- which doesn't play too well. On the other hand, Obama came off as magnanimous, steady, and thoughtful, even when McCain tried to insinuate that Acorn is some evil cabal and that Obama hasn't been forthright to the public regarding his relationship with that organization- both of which assertions are false. No contest- Obama wins third debate, making it 3-0.
When all the talk about Joe the Plumber started up, it brought to mind a similar incident where Bob Schaffer used an ordinary citizen for political gain, but unlike our pal Joe, the citizen Schaffer used was an unwilling participant. When Schaffer was a Representative for the House of Rep. from Fort Collins, he decided to make some hay out of naming Post Offices after ordinary citizens facing life's "extraordinary challenges". He pushed through a bill in congress naming the local post office after Barney Apodaca, who did not want that to happen, and asked for it to be taken back. You can read about it in the humorous book Bush-Whacked, Chronicles of Government Stupidity (available on amazon)- it's on page 67. Just another example of how out of touch the GOP really is with the common man.
Okay, investigated, not charged. A case of semantics, I grant you. But I believe the issue in general was unsavory associations- and Keating is not the only example, simply the most noted, and to many people, the most pertinent in light of our current economic situation. On top of Keating, there's Jerry Falwell, whom McCain was distanced himself from but then, in what seems to be a pattern, contradicted himself and embraced. Then there's that guy from Texas- I'm sure you know who I mean- who once said that rape is like bad weather. If you know it's going to happen, you might as well lay back and enjoy it. That's an actual quote told by a McCain supporter- a guy who raised money for him. Now, I forget- has McCain properly distanced himself from that guy? Gotten rid of any and all money raised for him by this reprobate? And in case you can't think of his name, it's Clayton Williams. You can read about him in a link below, or just google him- he was once the GOP gubernatorial candidate in Texas.
The point is this- if there is going to be finger pointing at candidates for knowing, associating, taking money, or whatever from people of questionable character, let's make sure and do it on both sides.
One more thing- if you were really embarrassed to use Wikipedia, why did you? Why didn't you find some other source, if it was so below you?
Let's see- there's McCain, who wants to tax existing Health Care plans as part of people's income, or Obama, who wants to cut taxes for people who make less than $250,000. McCain, the de-regulating buddy of Charles Keating, and Obama- community organizer. For the common man and woman, the economic plan that will help them the most is Obama's, no two ways about it.
Actually, he was charged in the Keating Five matter- as one of the five senators who improperly used their influence as members of the United States Senate to protect Charles Keating- who took advantage of deregulation in the S & L market, made some very questionable deals with other people's money, and as a result and lost a lot of citizens their life's savings. (sound familiar?). True, McCain was not convicted- but he was censured for his actions.
I'll make this as simple as I can- the only way we are going to get real change in this country- the only way we are going to be able to do something about the economic disaster, the wars without end, the environments continual debasement- is to get a democratic majority in both houses of congress. If you want health care reform, vote for Figures. If you want Wall Street reform, vote for Figures. If you want to leave the world safer, cleaner- in a word better- for your children, vote Figures. If there is any doubt about how important this election is, read the headlines from ten different papers for the past week. To put it into one issue- think about how the GOP gutted FEMA, and what happened all along the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. We can't afford another minute of a congress or White House controlled by the Republicans. Time for change. Time for Figures.
To paraphrase P.T. Barnum, there's a moron born every minute. And not just people who say they're voting for Obama. How many idiots out there still think Obama is a Muslim? How many people even know what the Keating 5 scandal was about? I do take issue with the one-sided-ness of the Stern piece, and agree with the writer who asked why he didn't go to the South and seek out McCain supporters and ask why they are voting Republican. I think in that respect that the piece actually adds to the ignorance of John and Jane Q. Public. But I digress- are most voters ignorant? I think, to a certain extent, yes. And this is not unique to the American experience- in our long, oh so slow evolution as a species, we've done a lot of stupid sh*&- let's all remember that Hitler was actually elected at first, Galileo got the crap kicked out of him for saying the Earth was not the center of the universe, and that carpenter from Galilee got crucified for teaching peace, love, and understanding. So, yes, there are, and have always been, a lot of stupid folks out there. But, as Anne Frank said, in spite of everything I still believe people are good inside.
Hedrick has the right approach to education, to the environment, and to the economy. As the son of a teacher, I can appreciate his background as and educator in the California school system- which is as Byzantine a hornet's nest as you'll ever find. If he can handle that, he can handle the House of Representatives. His approach to energy- finding alternative sources that are green- will create new jobs right here. As for his opponent, this is a relic of the old school of thinking that got our economy where it is today- and on top of that, he's a bit of a hypocrite. (see link below for amusing story)
It is more clear, with every passing day, that what the country needs is to do is rid itself of any remnant of the Republican platform of the last eight years- and I don't care what any member of the GOP says about themselves and how different they are from Bush, to me they are all the same, and have lost any and all credibility. Just look at what happened today, both here and abroad- as the end result of the "trickle down" effect, de-regulating, greed is good type of thinking, we are looking at the very real possibility of another Great Depression dead in the eye- Thanks Gipper! Seriously, Carl Levin is a seasoned, powerful Democrat, a senior senator who is chair of the armed services committee who has proven himself time and again as a servant of both Michigan and America. I am confidant he will demand justice and accountability from the corporate world in the days to come, and in the next session of congress.
You know, I don't think anyone is too happy about the bail out, which McNerney voted for- but I also believe that it had to be done, in one form or other, and I think it was actually brave of McNerney to support it in both incarnations. In fact, if the GOP hadn't acted like a bunch of horses behinds, grandstanding in front of the cameras after the first attempt to pass the bail out, there would be $140 billion less in pork included in the deal. Thanks a lot, Republican members of the house. McNerney is a realist, a pragmatic politician with experience and vision, as shown by his approach to new energy. (see his post on Huffington Post below). I grew up in that area, and people that I know and have trusted all my life agree with me the McNerney is the man to vote for come November.
Former Marine Bob Tuke is a moderate liberal populist who has been endorsed by Tennessee's favorite son Al Gore and Gen. Wesley Clark, and deserves to be the next senator from the 16th state. He is for health care reform along, energy independence, and endorses A Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq. His opponent, Lamar Alexander, is an old time Washington insider who blindly supported Bush in virtually every major decision the current administration made. Some accuse him of being a scandal ridden phony- as you can see here:http://www.realchange.org/