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Let the Madness Begin

March 23, 2015 Leave a comment

Ted Cruz has formally announced his candidacy for President of the Unites States at Liberty University. And all the red-meat evangelicals are about to have an orgasm, metaphorically. In the coming months, more Republicans will take turns trying to convince the right-wing base that they each are the True Conservative Messiah. But let’s be honest. It’s all about how hard they bash Obama.

It’s a given that I’m not fan of the Chicago-style of politics that Barack Obama brought to Washington. He created a level of polarization rarely seen in Washington. And that’s saying something. Obama has boldly told more lies than I can count. Not that he invented presidential lying. Here’s just a few favorites:

  • Reagan: “I didn’t trade arms for hostages.”
  • Bush 41: “Read my lips: No new taxes.”
  • Clinton: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”
  • Bush 43: “Saddam has WMDs.”
  • Obama: “If you like your heath insurance, you can keep it.”

Would a President Cruz lie to us? Probably. It seems almost a requirement of the job. But he also brings something else, a smarmy batshit-crazy aura. Denying climate change. Wanting to shutdown the government. And remember Cruz reading Green Eggs and Ham on the floor of the Senate?

But I’m sure stranger things have happened on the Floor of the Senate, but do we really need that stuff in the White House? Where is the adult supervision? Have both parties locked up all the adults somewhere?

In the upcoming election, I will probably not take sides, not out of objectivity or “fairness,” just out of not trusting any of the candidates.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

The Era of Unending Rudeness

September 15, 2009 Leave a comment

Sorry for the hiatus. I have been dealing with several personal distractions. But I’m back in the saddle now, just in time to announce…

The end of civilization is near.

No, the Earth isn’t spinning into the sun. It’s just there is little “civil”-ization going on. At the risk of sounding cranky, we are now passing into the Era of Unending Rudeness. Following months of Tea Party shout-downs, and poor behavior by others, Representative Joe Wilson heckles the President of the United States in a joint session of Congress. Not to be outdone, Kanye West interrupts Taylor Swift’s VMA award acceptance to declare that someone else (Beyonce Knowles) really deserved the award. When does it end?

Of course, Kanye West is not new to putting his foot in his mouth. Back in the aftermath of Katrina, one of the worst hurricanes ever, Mr. West accused President George Bush of racism in the recovery efforts. I have frequently criticized President Bush for his decisions, ideology and even competence. However, I have never thought of him as a racist. Under the Bush Administration unprecedented humanitarian aid was given to African countries and people, not exactly the actions of a racist.

Had Beyonce won that VMA award and a white artist interrupted her to declare that Taylor Swift should have won, I expect West would have immediately made accusations of racism. Do his comments make Kanye West a racist? I have no idea of what is in his heart. And based on the impulsivity of his actions, I suspect he may not either.

The traditional apology tour began almost immediately. On the premiere of his new show, Jay Leno asked Kanye West, “What would your mother think?” Perhaps, more people should ask themselves this question before acting.

In the coming months, this particular incident will be mostly forgotten. We will be talking about someone else’s inappropriate or boorish behavior. What else should we expect from a Jerry Springer society? These outrageous performances, while not explicitly condoned, are laughed at, and then uploaded on YouTube, to be modeled by the next generation. And the cycle continues.

Does anyone remember respect or manners? Of course not. It’s far too Old School. But maybe, Old School is our only hope.

Welcome to the Era of Unending Rudeness.

Categories: Miscellaneous

Daggett: Time for Game Changer

August 11, 2009 1 comment

Despite being “NJ” Centrist, I have never posted commentary that was only for citizens of New Jersey. It is simply the state where I live. However, there is something happening in New Jersey that is very exciting for all of us. There is an Independent candidate, named Chris Daggett running for Governor of New Jersey in this off-off year 2009 election. What is special is that he actually has a chance to win.

Daggett has cleared two significant hurdles. He has surpassed the fundraising threshold of $340,000 to earn matching funds, worth over $700,000 as of today. And, he has earned a place at the debates. This is extremely rare for an Independent or third-party candidate.

The states have been called the laboratories of democracy. What if an Independent actually became the governor of a state? Wouldn’t it be a valuable experiment? I believe that’s something many of us would like to see. It would be an incredible shot in the arm for democracy and those of us with Independent leanings.

When Democrats and Republicans are snarling at each other, it’s refreshing to find a candidate who wants to serve and not attack. Daggett is running against the incumbent Democratic Governor and former Wall Streeter Jon Corzine, as well as Chris Christie, a Republican with a mixed reputation. So, Daggett still has a tough battle ahead. How many times have we yearned for an alternative to the two-party partisan games? Daggett can be a game changer.

This is a unique moment in time. The only major elections occurring in 2009 are the governor races in New Jersey and Virginia. So the country will take notice if an Independent is elected. Whether in New Jersey or beyond, I encourage you support to Mr. Daggett’s efforts to take us beyond the two-party system.

You can learn more about Chris Daggett at http://daggettforgovernor.com.

Categories: Miscellaneous

Sorry, I Feel No Empathy

July 16, 2009 Leave a comment

We have yet another day of judicial hearings on the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, complete with partisan sniping over judicial activism and other legal nuances. Admittedly, there is a fine line between making law and interpreting it. It is a matter of semantics. Usually cases are accepted (granted cert) by the Supreme Court because the facts or principles of a case reveal an ambiguity or conflict in the applicable law. Clarifying that ambiguity could be characterized as making law or interpreting it, again a matter of semantics.

The highest virtue of a Supreme Court Justice is objectivity, not empathy. If President Obama wants empathy, how would the nominee decide who to be empathetic toward? If not objectivity, wouldn’t it be bias? But truthfully, Obama’s empathy comment was more about his own ongoing campaign than about Judge Sotomayor.

To be fair, no one expects justices to be robots. They all have feelings, biases, and yes, empathies. Even strict constructionists have them. However, there are nine justices, not one, so any biases or empathies have built-in counterweights. The true question is “Is she qualified?” There seems to be no doubt of her credentials.

However, it is an opportunity for the both parties to bloviate. So I feel no empathy toward either side. And so, we have yet another skirmish in the Democrat-Republican tribal war that will ultimately change nothing, (no more than any other reality TV show).

Categories: Miscellaneous

Legalized Bribery

July 6, 2009 1 comment

That’s exactly what lobbyist donations are, legalized bribery. And it is doing enourmous damage to our country! We are in our current economic chaos because of lobbyists arm-twisting our legislative representatives with campaign donations.

After the Great Depression, Congress enacted the Glass-Steagall Act separating commercial banking from investment banking. In 1999, the Act was repealed by a Republican Congress and a Democratic President, allowing various financial institutions to become intertwined. That’s how American banks became “too big to fail”. Why was the Glass-Steagall Act repealed? Lobbyists from the financial services industry!

In 2003, the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act was passed, adding to the deficit and National Debt with a leviathan entitlement program. Not only that, it had a provision preventing the government from negotiating quantity discounts with the pharmaceutical companies! Who’s idea was that? Lobbyists from the pharmceutical industry.

How much more of this do we need before our citizens wake up? Lobbyist money is stealing our government and our futures! Both the Republicans and Democrats have been corrupted. We need new uncorrupted leadership. We need to shut down the lobbyist bribery machines!

This is why we need independent (preferably centrist) legislators. Seek them out. Learn about them. And DON’T buy into the “wasted vote” falacy. What could be more wasted than voting for one of two corrupt choices?

Categories: Miscellaneous

The Slingshot Effect

June 22, 2009 Leave a comment

The Islamic Government of Iran has fallen victim to their own theological hubris. The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, isolated from his own people, felt Allah was on his side. But what God wants the oppression of his own people? The people certainly didn’t. And they’ve endured much violence to prove it.

The true irony is that it was the oppression of the Iranian people what was what enabled the Islamic Revolution in the first place back in the late 1970s. The leaders of Iran have forgotten that.

There is admittedly a certain satisfaction in this for Americans, as it is believed that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was one of those who held U.S. Embassy personnel hostage for 444 days back in 1979. However, that provides little satisfaction to those killed, injured or arrested in Iran.

Of course, the Iranian Government is blaming the UK and US. It’s an old trick out of the tyrant’s handbook: create an external enemy to foster nationalism. President Obama has carefully avoided playing to a natural desire to publicly support the demonstrators. To do so, would play into the hands of the tyrants, giving them their straw man. Conversely, the neo-cons want to the President to be more hard-line. That bull-in-the-china-shop role, would give a Khamenei and Ahmadinejad exactly what they want.

Extremes create opposite extremes. Pull too far in one direction, then a society will snap like a slingshot in the opposite direction. We’ve seen this in our own country recently. The American economy pushed so far into laisse faire capitalism, and now as a result we are being flung toward socialism.

Pray for the Iranian people. They are courageous in a way that we Americans have not had to be in many years.

Categories: Miscellaneous

Picking Your Battles

President Obama made an important speech in Egypt earlier this week, reaching out to the Muslim world. It is obvious to everyone that he is trying to repair relations with the Arab world, hopefully softening anti-Americanism and the attraction of extreme fundamentalist militancy.

Despite this, conservative Republicans have chosen to pursue their own militancy by criticizing the President of the United States while he is still overseas. This would have been taboo a generation ago. Did Democrats criticize Nixon while he was in China? It was an era that had more self-restraint, a quality unknown today.

Whether it is an out-of-context phrase made by Sonia Sotomayor, or President Obama’s “war of choice” comment in Egypt, the Republicans and Neocons are sniping at every minor detail of the Obama Administration. This is a mistake for the Republicans. At some point, President Obama will make a significant error of some sort. (Every president does.) And the conservatives will, at that point, legitimately criticize him. However to the public, it will just blend into the constant noise of petty anti-Obama whining. Republicans, pick your fights carefully. There is power in self-restraint; use it.

Categories: Miscellaneous