Saturday, October 11, 2008
9. Obama has changed his tune on many different issues, raising concerns about his judgment and consistency. He has flip-flopped on Iraq, Israel, Iran, NAFTA, Reverend Wright, taxes, and campaign financing. Where does he really stand?
8. Not only is Obama wrong about Iraq, his policies are unclear. His major flaw is the opposition of the successful Iraq surge. He has changed his position since winning the democratic nomination, becoming a bit more hawkish. He still wants to leave Iraq, which would been a sign of defeat, but has been unclear about exactly how.
7. Obama's views toward Iran are dangerous. He states that he would negotiate with Iran, “without preconditions,” in his first year of office. This will give Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the world’s chief sponsor of terrorism, credibility send wrong signal to Iranian dissidents.
6. Obama’s judgment about personal and professional relationships is highly questionable. Jeremiah Wright is a prime example. Obama defended his friend stating: “I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother.” After Rev. Wright delivered two more talks along the same lines as the clips that led to the March 18 speech, Sen. Obama finally denounced Wright the following month, stating: “His comments were not only divisive and destructive, but I believe that they end up giving comfort to those who prey on hate, and I believe that they do not portray accurately the perspective of the black church.” “They certainly don’t portray accurately my values and beliefs,” he said. -National Review
5. Obama opposes drilling on and offshore to reduce gas and oil prices. He advocates additional tax burdens on oil company profits, of course, those taxes will be passed on to the consumer, thus causing prices to rise.
4. What does Obama really think about America? (Does he hate America?) It may seem like a ridiculous questions, but he has made some statements, and has some associations with America haters that has made me, and others wonder. When commenting about wearing a flag pin, he said: "There are a lot of people in the world to whom the American Flag is a symbol of oppression." He has been seen folding his hands during the "Star Spangled Banner" in the past. His twenty year association with Revered Wright and relationship with sixties radical William Ayers raise so many questions.
3. Obama will make us vulnerable to our enemies. Obama would use the failed strategy of the 1990s as opposed to the post-9/11 strategy that has kept us safe. "The most recent example is his support for the Supreme Court decision granting habeas-corpus rights to terrorists, including — theoretically — Osama bin Laden. When the 5-4 Supreme Court decision was delivered, Obama said, “I think the Supreme Court was right.” His campaign advisers held a conference call where they claimed the Supreme Court decision was “no big deal” according to ABC News, even if applied to Osama bin Laden, because a judge would find that the U.S. has “ample grounds to hold him.” - The National Review
2. Obama will ruin our economy. He will raise taxes on upper income payers, payrolls, dividends and capital gains earned. “Mr. Obama is hawking a tax policy that would take the nation back to the effective marginal tax rates of the Carter days. He wants to further tax income, payroll, capital gains, dividends and death. His philosophy is pure redistribution.”- Kimberly Strassel, Wall Street Journal. Obama is closer to a socialist than a capitalist.
1. Here is the bottom line: Barack Hussien Obama is a true-blue Left Wing Liberal! All one has to do is to examine voting record in the Senate. He has a long left wing voting record which includes increasing government spending, raising taxes, restricting businesses, mandatory education under the age of 5, pro abortion and his record shows he has complete faith in his party's faulty environmental movement. "National Journal" rated him the number one liberal in the Senate in 2007.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Barack Obama: "Joe Biden."
Early Saturday Morning (August 23) presumptive Democratic Candidate Barack Obama sent a text message to his faithful revealing his Vice Presidential choice. Six term Delaware Senator Joe Biden was his pick. Biden is older, and has much more experience than the four year Illinois Senator. Clearly, the Democratic Candidate's weakness in foreign affairs was addressed with this decision. The new running mate will add experience to Obama's very short political resume, but come November, Biden's presence will not make a difference.
Obama's decision to communicate his important choice seems very curious. Instead of normal channels, the use of cell phone texting was used. This appears to be a brilliant way to get his people out to vote come election day: "Don't forget to vote for Obama today." One wonders how effective that could be since there are probably more rich republicans with cell phones. By text messaging at 3:00 AM the morning newspaper headlines where missed. A mistake? No, not really, since newsprint is becoming much less important. Obama and Biden will rule the rest of the weekend cable news cycle.
The Obama campaign should be very worried that Biden will be seen as a father figure, and that could magnify even more the lack of experience of their candidate. Omaba has risen to the top of the party on the theme of "change." One can easily question why choose someone who has been a part of the system for three and a half decades. With that in mind, one wonders if the Biden pick a reaction to recent polling data suggesting the Illinois Senator's numbers are not doing so well due to his weakness of only four years as a national politician?
The Delaware Senator also presents some other problems:
1)Biden has said many controversial things in his 35 years in the Senate. Here are a few examples:
"In Delaware, the largest growth in population is Indian-Americans moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking."
"[Obama is] the first mainstream African American [presidential candidate] who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook, man."
In the heated campaign of the next two months or so, Biden surely may say something he should not.
2)Twenty-one years ago the senator was accused of plagiarism when he borrowed lines from British politician Neil Kinnock in one of his speeches.
I believe Barack Obama best choice for running mate would have been Hillary Clinton. It would have patched the differences between the two and the democratic party would be completely united and very hard to defeat in November. In reality, there is an unspoken split between the Clinton and the Obama camp, and Joe Biden, a person Clinton does admire, only puts a band aid on the wound.
Joe Biden has served the public in the senate for 35 years, almost nine times longer than Barack Obama and almost twice as much as John McCain. He gives the 2008 Democratic Ticket great experience, especially in the areas of foreign policy and national security. The problem for Obama that it highlights his main weakness: his lack of experience. For a candidate that is running on the word of change, the choice is almost contradictory. This is a losing ticket.
Friday, August 1, 2008
The first time I heard Limbaugh's voice was over the car radio in the Southern California Desert when I was moving to San Diego. At the time I was the typical so-called liberal who consumed the anti-conservative meat the main stream media dished out. I don't remember exactly what he was talking about, but I can recall that it was a bit offensive to be at the time. I quietly filed it away and thought "such a right wing wacko."
A few years passed before the opening riffs of "My City Was Gone," by The Pretenders, caught my ear one day. The rock classic is the theme of The Rush Limbaugh Show. Granted, I considered myself left wing at the time, but my convictions were weak. I wanted to hear 'the other side.' I soon found out this other side was entertaining, as well as making some sense.
The defining slice of wisdom from the Conservative Icon that clinched it for me was when Rush spoke about the environmental movement: "They are the same people..." Limbaugh was referring to the fact that you will see the same faces at a green rally, at an anti-war rally and at a democratic rally. Yes, I thought, they are! He is so right!
The early nineties saw a political rebirth for me, all as a result of Rush's radio show. Politics began to fit neatly like a jigsaw puzzle. As crazy as it may seem, I felt a sense of patriotism like I never had before. I was ashamed for some of those crazy and stupid thoughts I had when I was a Democrat! Yeech!
For Americans like me, Rush Limbaugh is the balance of political thought in the country. Our world twenty years ago was dominated by the major news networks, the best selling newsprint, and the Hollywood culture. All of whom were slanted to the left. On the right were only a hand full of entities until Rush came along. It was no surprise that Limbaugh would be successful, and end up with an audience of fifteen million listeners and 650 radio stations.
It has been written that Rush Limbaugh saved AM radio. Absolutely! The AM band is swarming with Conservative Talk Shows. At least 25 of those draw audiences of over two million listeners. Two decades ago there only a few, none of them slanted right, that were heard coast to coast. Just a few months ago the Conservative Icon signed an eight year contract for $400 million, a figure that is unmatched by anyone in the media. As Rush celebrates his twenty year anniversary, he stands alone at the top of his game.
There are many, so many stories of lost souls, believing they are liberal, due to the influence of the left wing, mainstream media, that have been saved by the harmless little fuzzball, as Limbaugh would call himself. Count me among them. I owe nearly all of my political philosophy to him. Cogratulations on twenty years, Rush!
Sunday, June 8, 2008
I believe these are two of the weakest candidates I can remember. Neither appeal to me at all. Both are disciples of big brother, and think the average American can not make a decision without the government.
Barack Obama is the weakest of the two. This is especially evident in his speeches. A great orator - maybe his only strength, the Illinois Senator gives a wonderful speech. Besides the endless mentions of the word "change," he is all style and no substance. The little meat he throws at his faithful is straight out of the liberal playbook. Make no mistake about it, Obama is a liberal. He walks in the same line former Democratic Nominees George McGovern, Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis did. All of those were labeled as liberal and lost in electoral landslides.
Republican John McCain is far from your average GOP Candidate which has won the white house 23 out of the last 37 elections since Lincoln first won the White House in 1860. The moderate does not appeal to the conservative base of the party which is needed for election as president. Conservatives have a bad taste in their mouths from McCain's positions on illegal immigration, global warming and campaign finance reform. They have accused the Arizona Senator of sleeping with the enemy by is 'maverick' actions of compromising on those issues with Liberal Democratic Senators. It is unknown how many will stray away from the McCain camp. I certainly don't expect them to vote for Obama. Conservatives would choose to stay home instead.
There are certain political winds that are blowing in each candidate's direction, and it will be up to Obama or McCain to take advantage of them. Most important on the voter's mind is how they feel at the time they cast their vote. The current state of economy leans in the Democrat Nominee's way. With the media telling us all about how hard the economy is, real or not, the perception of rough economic times goes against the current party in charge, the Republicans. Also going against the GOP is the Iraq War. This one issue could even out, given John McCain's record of military service and experience. Voters may want to trust the Arizona Senator more in managing Iraq.
Even though Obama can ride high on the waves of the prospects of a bad economy and anti war sentiment, he has some real chinks in his armor which can prevent him from winning in November. Voters really do not know him well, so there is a matter of trust with this young and politically inexperienced (compared to McCain's) nominee. The issue with Reverend Wright, his pastor of twenty years, weighs heavy on many minds. Two decades of association with this racist is troubling. This does not fair well for the average blue-collar, country loving voter. These are the citizens who usually elect the president.
Those hard working voters could be in John McCain's column come November. I don't think they are his yet, he will have to win them over. The Arizona Senator has said he wants to run a good, clean campaign. If this means that he will not attack his Democratic opponent and point out his flaws all the differences between them, he will surely lose. McCain only gains an advantage if he exposes Obama for what he is: A classic liberal. If he does, not only will the blue-collars cast their ballots for him, but he will probably capture most the conservative base, even though some may hold their nose and vote for the maverick knowing the Illinois Senator as chief executive would be worse.
This should be the Democrats year. With the woes of the Iraq War and the American media bashing George Bush every chance they get, Barack Obama should have a huge lead in the polls. He does not, again, that shows his weakness. Obama got a little bump this week, after wrapping up his nomination, and has a slight lead. John McCain has been able to separate himself from the President, Obama and the Democrats have been unable to put the scarlet letter of 'Bush clone' on the Arizona Senator.
Politically, the November election is light years away. Much can happen. As it stands now, Barack Obama and John McCain have an equal chance to be elected the 44th president of the United States. I believe this is McCain's election to win. If he campaigns hard and shows America how liberal Obama is, he wins. Possibly in a landslide. On the other hand, if the economy sours, the war continues to go bad, and McCain runs 'a never attack your opponent' campaign, Barack Obama will be the next president.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Memorial Day weekend is when the world's most famous race, the Indianapolis 500, is run. It has been a calendar fixture for nearly a century. No other race in the world has the tradition, and is more well known. It is not the only show in town. Over the last decade, NASCAR's 600 mile race at Charlotte has drawn more TV viewers, and has become a regular Memorial Weekend Sunday event. The Coca-Cola 600 is a cap to a Sunday triple header of headline races, starting with the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix.
This year's Indianapolis 500 arrives with much anticipation. With the growth in popularity of NASCAR and the Indy/Cart split of 1996, the race has lost its luster over the past decade. Thankfully, the division between CART and the Indy Racing league has been reconciled, and this years race figures to be competitive. Dan Wheldon starts on the pole, and this is the deepest field in over ten years. Danica Patrick will be one of three women starting today. She IRL's most popular driver. With her first win under her belt, she is a legitimate threat to win today. Dancing With the Stars winner Helio Castroneves is looking for his third trophy at Indy. The Indianapolis 500 is primed to reclaim the Memorial Day Weekend dominance it had enjoyed for years.
The Coca-Cola 600 has no shortage of interest and intrigue. A new rivalry has begun this year. With three victories, Kyle Busch has torn up the ovals and is leading the point standings. One of those victories were the result of Busch sending NASCAR's most popular driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr., into the wall in the final laps. Adding to the drama is the fact that Busch was bounced from the Hendrick team to make room for Dale Junior. The fans call this a feud, and it is much more intense with them than the drivers. Kyle Busch has the pole for the Coca-Cola 600.
Die hard fans may get up early and watch Formula One's Grand Prix from Monaco on Sunday. The average American race fan may be surprised to discover that "The Jewel of the Formula One" is one of the most prestigious races in the world. It is considered one of three races of the triple crown of racing, along with the Indy 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Most Americans do not take well to this form of racing. One of the reasons is that there are no current divers competing in this series from the United States.
As New Years Day has college football and Thanksgiving Day has pro football, Memorial Weekend Sunday has always had auto racing. It is an American tradition. I will be watching, as millions of others will.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
For almost 50 years, since 1969, Edward Kennedy has been representing Massachusetts in the Senate. This is far too long. The Liberal Democrat holds a lot of power in the Senate as chairmans of the Pensions, Education, and Health committees. He also serves on the Judiciary and Armed Forces committees, where he leads both the subcommittees of Seapower and Immigration. Power that significant can only come with over eight terms in the Senate. Only Robert Bird of West Virgina has served longer in the governing body.
Senator Kennedy has built up tremendous political clout in our Government. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 was a bill where he played a major role in its creation. Behind the scenes he pulls strings and twists arms. Kennedy may be the the number one saint of liberalism, considering his longevity.
To liberals, the Massachusetts Senator is treated as royalty. As I believe most of our countries problems are a result of rampant liberalism, Kennedy is a symbol of the elite of big government, the monster bureaucracy and how government is grossly flawed. He is also a good reason why we need term limits.
Term limits will make a better republic. Constitutionally, we already limit the President to two terms, we should do the same for Senators and Congressmen. Eight years would be wonderful for everyone who serves office at any level. As Washington, Jefferson and Franklin may have envisioned, government service is a privilege, not a career.
Thomas Jefferson worried about the dangers of a declining democracy in serving too long. Benjamin Franklin advocated a rotation system to keep offices free of a single influence. George Washington set the precedent of stepping down as chief executive at the end of his second term. What noble men!
Would the United States be better off if Senator Kennedy was forced to retire in 1977? Absolutely! Just think of how much better we would be if a Business Leader, a Teacher, an Engineer, a doctor, a nurse or any member of a thousand different professions would take eight years away from their careers to serve for the people. What a wide variety of ideas we would have for solving problems and making government better. Political corruption would still exist, but on a much less scale.
I fear that all of what I am wishing for are just pipe dreams. It may never happen. The career politician has deep roots. They begin as lawyers, are elected to a local office and climb the ladder to Governor, Congressman, Senator and sometimes President. They sometimes come from elite political families, and there is no family that represents elitism and political power more than the Kennedy family.
Unfortunately, Senator Edward Kennedy recently suffered a stroke. I wish his family the best. He should resign because of health reasons. Edward Kennedy is the poster boy of term limits. His political service is the reason why the nation needs those limits. That will be his legacy when he finally leaves office.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Leading in the polls and having raised the most money, Mrs. Clinton had a huge advantage as we began this year. Once people began to cast votes in the first week of January, she was knocked off her front-runner status with the Iowa Caucuses, where Clinton finished a dismal third to Obama and John Edwards. Barack Obama’s campaign took off, and at one time, he won thirteen primaries/caucuses in a row.
Was the average democratic voter tired of the Clinton name? Where they attracted to a new and fresh face that offer hope in their eyes? To most Democratic voters, the answer was 'yes.' Obamamania knocked Hillary Clinton down to earth, and we found she had some real weaknesses. She misspoke often, for example at a campaign rally in March, she told the crowd she was under sniper fire during a 1996 visit to Bosnia-Herzegovina. Weeks after her speech video footage proved it to be untrue, and the New York Senator had to eat her words. Consistently at her rallies Clinton often cites her time as First Lady as political experience for seeking the oval office. That tune falls on deaf ears to many voters.
His Super Tuesday victories launched Barack Obama on his way to the democratic nomination. But like the lady who he replaced as the front runner, Obama proved to be human and make some mistakes that threatened to derail him. At the top of that list is the Reverend Wright controversy.
Reverend Jeremiah Wright was Barack Obama’s Pastor for twenty years. The reverend married the Illinois Senator and his wife, and baptized his two children. Obama even titled his book from one of Wright’s Sunday sermons. Some of Wright’s sermons have been video taped, and they show him as an angry black man, making all kinds of outlandish claims. Among the things the Reverend believes is that the US government was behind the 9/11 attacks and created the aids virus to eliminate the black race. One easily concludes that he does not like the United States very much.
That miracle Hillary is hoping for may not be not much of a long shot. Obama has not been quick to condemn Wright’s comments. In the minds of many Americans, the choice of a spiritual guide, such as a pastor, is very important. Many are correct to wonder if he may share some of the same opinions he does as he has been a member of Wright's congregation for twenty years. Clinton gained a little traction with her opponent's slip up. Is it still possible she could win?
He answer could lie with the superdelegates. Superdelegates were created by the Democratic Party to ensure democratic leaders a choice in the nominating process. The 796 superdelegates are officials in the party, such as senators, congressman and state legislators. They are not selected by voters in the regular primary or caucus process, and need not be bound to vote in a particular way. By the end of June, when all the states have chosen their delegates, both candidates will not have the required number to win the nomination. It is up to the super 796 to make the final decision. This gives Clinton, the wife of a former president, a bit of an advantage since her connections run deeper than Obama's in the party. The wish is to have those party officials perceive that Clinton is the better choice for the Democrats.
Barack Obama will be leading in the delegate count before the convention. Would the party be so bold to choose Clinton by the superdelegates? Given his recent weaknesses and Clinton's successes in the latest primaries, that reality is not such a long shot. If that happens there are sure to be near riots. The Obama supporters and the black community would never vote for Clinton in November. By the same token, how likely are Clinton voters going to be Obama supporters in the fall, if he is chosen?
Another issue that must be addressed before the Democratic Convention is the seating of the Michigan and Florida delegation. Both states broke party rules and moved their primaries to February. As a penalty, the Democratic Party has banned them from the convention, and will not seat their delegates. The decision was made at the time when Clinton was the perceived nominee, and the New York Senator would not need those delegates to win. But once the year got going and the Obama express was rolling, the Clinton Campaign keeps mentioning these states since she could use those delegates to cut the margin. Clinton won both states. Obama’s name was not on the ballot in Michigan. Those voters should be heard and seating them would give Clinton more hope, however, clearly, that would be unfair to the Illinois Senator. This dilemma will have to be resolved before choosing the nominee. It could be another factor in Clinton's favor if they were allowed in the convention.
Historically when there is a fierce battle between two candidates within the party, a split occurs, and the party will lose the general election. The longer the Democratic Nomination remains undecided, the better the chance Republican John McCain will be the next president. Twelve months ago democrats would never imagine that they are destined to defeat in November.
With their superdelegate rules and the all the candidates weaknesses the overconfident Democrats have slit their throats. Their whole system is flawed. If the superdelegates select the candidate that did not receive the most votes, it would be like why even have all the Presidential Primaries in the first place? Both Obama and Clinton have shown that they will have trouble appealing to all voters. They appear to be much weaker candidates than the party hoped for. The Democrats must reconcile, compromise, chose a candidate and unite right this second. Fortunately for John McCain and the Republicans that is unlikely since, given their egos, both Clinton and Obama will fight to the end. The Democrats will only have to look in the mirror for blame when they lose in November.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
The first Earth Day was in 1970, and was founded by the modern environmental movement. Its purpose is to make the masses aware of environmental concerns. Today those concerns are magnified with the global warming hysteria. Not only does the green crowd want to make citizens aware, they seek legislation to ensure it. They have been successful.
Environmentalism has a goal of making good little greenies out of all of us. We should all recycle, watch are carbon footprints and cut down on are energy consumption. Just to make sure, we need laws to enforce that! Lives will be seriously altered and freedoms will go out the window. Ultimately this disrupts the capitalist engine of a free society, which is what I believe is the true intention of the movement. Not much different that the goal of communism, is it?
I refuse to recycle because for two reasons. There is no cause for me to do so, and I will be dammed if a government entity tells me I must over a silly little matter. I shall resist any attempts to change my lifestyle.
There is nothing wrong with an individual making efforts to conserve and be environmentally aware. I applaud that. But don't force it on others.
There is much debate about the notion of human activity harming the planet. Obviously, I don't believe that notion at all. Using the smokescreen of Global Warming to scare the masses into false actions that will harm some basic freedoms is dangerous to me. Vlaimir Lenin would be right at home with the modern environmental movement.
Monday, April 21, 2008
There is no question that Danica Patrick has talent. Finishing second twice last year, one had the feeling that she would finally break through in 2008, since this is her second year with a good IndyCar team, Andretti Green. Patrick gives much credit to her teammates for her first victory. Crew Chief Kyle Moyer's fuel strategy was the key element behind the win. Racing is really a team sport, and she is lucky to be there. In the past, women have suffered being on mediocre teams where they have a hard time showing their talents.
Auto racing is the only major sport where women compete at the same level as their male counterparts. Not only are there lady drivers, but females are found throughout the racing world on race teams, such as pit crew members. You can also find them in the garages as mechanics, or even as officials for most of the major racing sanctioning bodies.
Patrick is by far not the first lady to break in to the sport. Janet Guthrie raced three times in the Indianapolis 500, and in 1978 finished ninth. Guthrie was the first woman to compete in a major NASCAR race and ended up in 33 of them, finishing in the top ten 5 times.
Historically, the woman at the top of the list is Shirley Muldowney, the First Lady of Drag Racing. She won the NHRA Top Fuel Title three times, and is a member of both the International Motor Sports Hall of Fame and the Motor Sports Hall of Fame of America. Muldowney is a legend.
Many women have found a home in drag racing. You must give the National Hot Rod Association a lot of credit for welcoming talented females. They are proud, as they should be, of their pioneering efforts in featuring successful women drivers. Since 1966, nine females have recorded victories, lead by Pro Stock Motorcyclist Angelle Sampey with forty-one. (Muldowney is second with eighteen.) Owning three championships, the lady is a superstar. Along with Sampey, Melanie Troxel, Karen Stoffer, Peggy Llewellyn and Erica Enders are all past winners and current competitors on the NHRA circuit. When I can, I always try to catch an event on the tube and enjoy when those women excel.
In the most popular form of auto racing, NASCAR Sprint Cup, women have been few and far between. Guthrie has been the most successful. Shawna Robinson, Erin Crocker, Kelly Sutton, Kim Crosby, Tina Gordon and Deborah Renshaw have struggled in the minor leagues and have not made much of a mark.
Formula One has seen a handful of ladies behind the wheel. Only Lelli Lombardi scored points an F1 race.
Danica Patrick has raced side by side with Sarah Fisher and Milka Duno. Sadly, a 1-2-3 female finish is nearly impossible, since both women are stuck on weak teams.
Last year in the Champ Car Series, which now has merged with the Indy Racing League, Kathrine Legge was a regular, but did not fare well. She left to race in Europe, and will not compete in the IndyCar Series this year.
Less than 24 hours after Patrick's victory in Japan, Simona De Silvestro won the Champ Car Atlantic Series race in Long Beach. She became the second woman (Katherine Legge the first) to win in that series. She is a bright star on the horizon and could soon be competing on the same tracks with Patrick. I shall be watching.
Danica Patrick now is carving a nice niche in the legacy of female auto racers. Her Toyota 300 victory will be not be her last. Leading in the 2005 Indianapolis 500 in her rookie year made a believer out of me. Last weekend's win has made believers of the rest. Not only is she is a serious contender for the IndyCar Championship, the lady has a good chance to capture the Indy 500 next month. I will be cheering her on! Go Danica!
Saturday, April 19, 2008
My wonderful parents raised their three children Roman Catholic, as it was their duty to. I went to parochial schools for most of my life and I was caught in the middle of Pope John XXIII's Vatican II reforms. That spanned the old catechism of holding a priest in higher regard that my father in second grade, to a high school 'rap' class where all we did was sit in a circle and rapped about anything that would come to mind.
Much confused me about the religion I was raised in. When I was old enough to choose my faith, I enrolled in an course in college about Catholicism in hope to resolve some questions. With Father Martin as the professor, to my surprise, I became aware of many things I was not taught previously in my many years of Catholic Schools. "The Roman Catholic Church has tried to change with the times." To my shock, Father Martin then revealed that he was a Marriage Counselor. No, they had not changed! This is an example of what I believe is the problem with the Roman Catholic Church.
The vow of celibacy prevents a Priest from the most common human activities, which is so important in marriage. There is one thought I could never get out of my mind since college: The teacher has no experience. How can someone who has never flown console flyers in need? There is an easy answer to that question. Simply because they are told to.
In my childhood years of Catholic instruction, sex was never discussed, in fact, it was as if any mention of it was hidden under the covers or locked in the closet. What about the opposite sex? Women could only receive six of the seven holy sacraments, since they could not be priests. The implication sometimes lead one to casually surmise that males are the dominate sex and women are mere objects. Another blow to healthy sexual attitudes. Once the sexual abuse was discovered and revealed, the Roman Catholic Church hid it from the rest of us, a crime almost as severe. The guilty were moved, and many of them did it again! The sacrament of confession, I have always thought, was like a revolving door. One sinned - went to confession - you did your penance, and, alas! Your soul was free to sin again. It was nice to see both popes, the late John Paul and Benedict, apologize for the scandal. Granted, the church has tried to reform. They realized it was wrong to suggest a priest was the best a boy could be and they made the mass more user friendly, dropping Latin. Still, this elaborate, authoritarian structure still is present.
Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the United States reinforces my conclusion that the sexual abuse stems from the church itself. The elaborate costumes the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger wears come straight out of the middle ages, representing a time of tyrannical shepherds and meek sheep. To the country's faithful the pope is the vicar of Christ to the world. An American Catholic should be considered a Roman Catholic first, since the pope at the top of the hierarchal ladder. He is more important, and should have more influence, than the president, that is, if one truly practices their faith like a good catholic should. The celibacy, the sacraments, the hierarchy, the concept of a conversation with God only through a vicar can cause a soul tremendous torment. Like a rat in a maze, a true path is hard to find. There still exists many 'built in' issues with The Roman Catholic Church. Sadly, it is clear that most of the important problems they will face will be of their own making.
As for celibacy, it remains too. Over a year ago the pope wrote: "Priestly celibacy lived with maturity, joy and dedication is an immense blessing for the Church and for society itself." I don't see the church changing their mind anytime in my lifetime.
In my childhood years of Catholic instruction, sex was never discussed, in fact, it was as if any mention of it was hidden under the covers or locked in the closet. What about the opposite sex? Women could only receive six of the seven holy sacraments, since they could not be priests. The implication sometimes lead one to casually surmise that males are the dominate sex and women are mere objects. Another blow to healthy sexual attitudes.
Once the sexual abuse was discovered and revealed, the Roman Catholic Church hid it from the rest of us, a crime almost as severe. The guilty were moved, and many of them did it again! The sacrament of confession, I have always thought, was like a revolving door. One sinned - went to confession - you did your penance, and, alas! Your soul was free to sin again.
It was nice to see both popes, the late John Paul and Benedict, apologize for the scandal. Granted, the church has tried to reform. They realized it was wrong to suggest a priest was the best a boy could be and they made the mass more user friendly, dropping Latin. Still, this elaborate, authoritarian structure still is present.
Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the United States reinforces my conclusion that the sexual abuse stems from the church itself. The elaborate costumes the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger wears come straight out of the middle ages, representing a time of tyrannical shepherds and meek sheep. To the country's faithful the pope is the vicar of Christ to the world. An American Catholic should be considered a Roman Catholic first, since the pope at the top of the hierarchal ladder. He is more important, and should have more influence, than the president, that is, if one truly practices their faith like a good catholic should.
The celibacy, the sacraments, the hierarchy, the concept of a conversation with God only through a vicar can cause a soul tremendous torment. Like a rat in a maze, a true path is hard to find. There still exists many 'built in' issues with The Roman Catholic Church. Sadly, it is clear that most of the important problems they will face will be of their own making.
Monday, April 14, 2008
When speaking to his supporters (his chosen elite) in a San Francisco fund raiser about the challenges he is facing in next week's Pennsylvania Primary, the Illinois Senator said: "It's not surprising then, that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations." His words say so much: Obama thinks he is better than them.
There is so much wrong with his statement, which I believe he never intended it to be heard publicly. A good place to start picking his words apart is to simply understand that Barack Obama is a presidential candidate seeking the votes of the so-called frustrated Quaker State citizens. In his heart, the Pennsylvania faithful are not smart enough to vote for him. It is easy to conclude that Obama must believe the same for the people from the Appalachian Mountains across the country to the Great Basin. He is the self appointed messiah that will take away their frustrations through government, if they are only smart enough to see it!
In truth, Obama represents the entity that seeks to take their guns away and laughs at their religion. That entity is pure, unabashed, flat out liberalism, where the ones who call others racists, bigots and ignorant, are those things themselves.
I now know more about the Reverend Wright-Barack Obama relationship. The Democratic Candidate can condemn his former pastor's comments all he wants, however, there is a good chance that he shares the same ideas.
Barack Hussein Obama is a horrible Presidential Candidate! His latest political gaff, beliefs that he truly professes, has sealed his fate. He is a classic liberal in the George McGovern/Teddy Kennedy tradition. Middle America will never vote for him as President. Thank God!
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
The brilliant political mind from England has concluded that the reason Mrs. Clinton is behind in the polls, and will most likely lose the Nomination to Barack Obama, is because voters in the Democratic party, most of them he would probably consider both friends and fans, hate women.
The notion that a citizen from another country is actively participating in America's political arena, by giving a charity concert for an American presidential candidate, is ridiculous. John should keep quiet to and just sing. There are about 300 million people born here who have more of a right to adore or trash the New York Senator than him.
U.S. election laws ban foreigners from donating or raising cash for candidates, however, there is an exception: As long as the foreign national isn't compensated. The left leaning singer is not believed to be getting paid for the fund-raiser.
Elton John should have retired from the music business years ago. In his never ending quest to maintain his extravagant lifestyle and excessive spending, he has churned out a run-of-the-mill, unlistenable product since the mid-eighties. Amazingly, John has said he is currently playing, singing and writing at his best. Surely a sign that he has not fully recovered from his well publicized alcohol and drug addiction.
To be fair, Elton has done some great charity work, especially for AIDS, with his Elton John AIDS foundation. I commend him for that.
The old classic rocker that I loved in the seventies is no longer around. "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" is one of my all time favorite albums. In my mind, no one could come close to Elton John. On October 1, 1975, in the Tucson Community Center, I was a witness to Captain Fantastic in the best concert I ever saw. I will never forget it! I knew the words to most of his songs, while worshiping every note.
Near the end of the seventies, I feared he was losing his form. For the most part, his albums were beginning to bore me. He did Diet Coke commercials, and Disney Movie Scores. Those were entities I thought a true rocker would never do. He sold out. "Candle In The Wind 1997," a tribute to most over-rated personality of the twentieth century and my choice for the worst song ever, was the final nail in Elton's coffin for me.
With the Hillary Clinton concert being no exception, Elton John has a long history of showing the world how intelligent he is. Just a year ago he ranted that we all should ". . . get out in the streets and march and protest instead of sitting at home and blogging. I do think it would be an incredible experiment to shut down the whole internet for five years and see what sort of art is produced over that span.” A Profound Elton once confessed that the world should "ban religion completely," and his opinions about abstinence programs are absolute: "They don't work."
Even though Elton actually accused his democratic comrades of hating women at his concert for Senator Clinton, he will feel right at home with them. They will hardly notice, for he has some work to do for Hillary and the party. As the 2008 Presidential campaign progresses, he will continue to bash conservatives and preach his liberalism. Fortunately for the opposition, the piano man will be on the attack with the same quality found in his dismally selling and easily forgotten records of the past few decades. Elton John is an old, tired, washed-up idiot. What he says in both words and craft are useless today.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
One in a series of those decisions was her 1975 wedding to a fellow law student she met at Yale four years earlier, William Jefferson Clinton. Marriage and politics go together, and the new bride could hardly ask for a better groom: A young brilliant, ambitious young lawyer with a bright future. One will go nowhere without a mate. It would not take long for both political careers to take off. In 1978, Bill Clinton was elected governor of Arkansas, which soon would launch both into the national spotlight.
If it hadn't been for a broken promise by George Bush Sr. to raise taxes, William Clinton may have not have been elected president in 1992. He was, and there was a democrat in the White House again. Hillary proudly served as first lady for eight years. Surely, husband Bill always had the wish to be president, but it is unclear when his wife had the first thoughts about following in his footsteps. Some say it may have been before her White House years, others say it may have been while serving as first lady. Whatever the case may be, as a candidate, Mrs. Clinton has labeled those eight years as political experience on her resume for seeking the highest office in the land in 2008.
From 1993 to 2001, Hillary Clinton did not make any important decisions that impacted the laws of the United States. She only acted as an advisor, probably one with considerable influence, since she was the president's wife. When she did act in that role, her best known proposal, as chairperson of Task Force on National Health Care Reform, was rejected by both the house and the senate. In addition, much of her time was spent dealing with the sexual escapades of her husband, both alleged and real.
America suspected that the first lady had the oval office in mind when she ran for senator from New York in the last year of her husband's term. Why not Arkansas, where the Clinton's lived before? She had never lived in the Empire State. Simply owning a house there was enough to qualify to run for office. New York is an extremely liberal state, which suits Clinton's political philosophy well, and it holds much power, more, than, say, a state like Arkansas? She was easily elected. A question comes to mind as to the stature of a first lady of the United States: Could Hillary be elected, or even run, if she were not in that position? I think not.
New York Senator Hillary Clinton could not have come this far without her husband. Today, her campaign is in trouble due to her lack of political experience. Seven years as a senator seems not to be enough. She will not win the 2008 Democratic Nomination, a prize many thought she would easily get six months ago. The major error she has made is that she is running on her accomplishments when she was in her white house, a place she could not have reached if she was not Bill Clinton's wife. Democratic voters are taking a look and are asking: "What accomplishments?"
Sunday, March 23, 2008
I loved Christmas, and I remember making the argument Jesus had to be born first. He could not rise from the dead unless he lived. December 25th should be more important than March 23, or the first of April, or, wait, what ever the date of Easter is. The greatest celebration in the Church is not on the same day every year? I was so confused!
Thank god for the confusion! It started on me on the path to gain more information. It was on my own, and not with any aid from my parents or the local priest. Long ago, after catholic high school, I realized Roman Catholicism may be just baloney. After years of comprehending most of Roman Catholic doctrine, I decided it was pretty silly. By the way, one of the things I picked up was one should never address the faithful "Catholic." They are "Roman Catholic," since they take orders from the pope in Vatican City, which is located in the heart of Rome, Italy.
Today, I would never call myself anti-god. At heart I am atheist, meaning that I live my live with out a deity. To the faithful I am agnostic, which means "I don't really know," rather that their anti-god definition of "atheist."
I understand the value of religion and know how important it is to a society, especially in a free country, like the United States. In addition, I will not deny the United States was founded on religious principles (like some atheists do.) We all have the right worship the deity of our choice, or not choose one at all for that matter. Our wonderful wall of separation between church and state prevents any one religion or group to become politically powerful.
As for my Roman Catholic background, yes, I would have to say it probably was the framework for most of the moral code I live with now. However, there came a point where I did not want to add to it. No more! I had to get rid of some things, such as wasting an hour every Sunday in the boring mass service, where I never got anything out of. I still reject their silly constraints on sexuality, their condemnations of capitalism and their many centuries of being an enemy of science. Even today I cringe, as American Roman Catholic Bishops ignore the sovereignty of our nation as they are one of the leading advocates of unlimited illegal immigration. I decided years ago I was too smart for the Roman Catholic Church to hold me down. It may seem strange, but I have the Easter holiday to thank for that.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Senator Obama has belonged to the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, which, until last February 10th, has been lead by Senior Pastor Reverend Dr. Jeremiah Wright, since 1988. Even a casual look at the Senator's biography suggests a significant influence from Reverend Wright. Barack and Michelle Obama were married by Wright. In addition, the title of Obama's 2006 book, "The Audacity of Hope," was directly taken from one of Wright's sermons. This is the same Reverend that, on past occasions - from his pulpit, spoken about supporting racism, 9/11 conspiracies and antisemitism. Many of these sermons are colored with sexual innuendos.
This is troubling to the average American. Obama's recent statements seem like a boy sticking his gum in a leaky dam: ". . . in sum, I reject outright the statements by Rev. Wright that are at issue." Barack Obama and his family have been members of Trinity United for twenty years now, and to simply reject Wright's statements just won't do. We all know how we bring our faith home in our lives, especially if we are a practicing member for a great deal of time.
Voters are worried exactly how much Reverend Wright has influenced Barack Obama's life. On the surface (marriage, a book and twenty years) it seems to be a lot. Much of we hear from Obama's former Pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, is opposite of what we believe. Right or wrong, the Senator may be found guilty by association. Not only is his presidential candidacy is in trouble, but his political life may be also.
Saturday, March 8, 2008
The Kiln, Mississippi native was even more special to Green Bay Packer fans. Under head coach Mike Holmgren, Favre brought the first Super Bowl title to the city since the Vince Lombardi years. It was a long 29 year wait for the most storied franchise in the National Football League. The Packers never won another title, but with number four, they were always a contender. Fans cheered with his sometimes incredible touchdown passes and died with his incredibly stupid interceptions. Packer fans always forgave him. Just to watch him play was simply amazing.
After 17 marvelous years, Brett Favre's biography is now the NFL record book. He owns nearly all of the major records. Favre could have won anther Super Bowl or two, and thrown a lot less interceptions, but, he guaranteed his Hall of Fame legacy years ago. Last year, another championship was reachable as Green Bay hosted the NFC Championship. Unfortunately, it would be the Packer Quarterback's last game as the New York Giants won in overtime. Favre writes one more record with his retirement: most touchdown passes, last season in the league(28.)
Being so close to a Super Bowl last year, Brett Farve's retirement comes to a surprise to some, since the team looks like a contender next season. In his words: "There's no doubt I can still play. I just don't think I want to, and that's all there is to it." Citing the endless hours preparing for the three hours on Sunday he loved, Favre just could not spend that time anymore. The coming year proved no certainties, either. Yes, the Packers may be a good in 2008, but Favre knows how hard it is to reach Nirvana in the NFL, and getting close last year was, in his mind, a good time to leave the game.
Now, we have all those wonderful memories of Brett Favre. Where it all started was the 24-23 come from behind victory over Cincinnati in the third game of the 1992 season where he came off the bench to lead the team for victory. He started the next week, and the rest is history! A Packer fan can't forget the Super Bowl XXXI victory, where the Southern Mississippi graduate threw a touchdown with his first pass. His most memorable performance was in a Monday Night Game in Oakland, a day after losing his father. Green Bay won that December 2003 game, 41-7, with Favre throwing four touchdown passes in the first half. The recent 2007 season was treat as much as it was a surprise, where Favre lead the team to a 13-3 record. Through it all, the iron-willed quarterback started ever game! All 275 of them, including the postseason. That, maybe, is Brett's greatest achievement.
Where would Brett Favre rank on the list of the greatest quarterbacks is a topic that will be debated forever. His 12-8 playoff record and one title counts against him. His love for the game, natural ability and durability speaks volumes. With every game, he entertained us! Favre was just plain fun to watch! The NFL will not be the same without him. In the end, one thing is for sure: We will always think of Brett Favre as one of the game's greatest players.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Maybe - if he was a true conservative, he should has saw this coming. There is a long tradition of right wing bashing from the New York Times. For they are always in the tank with the democrats.
I hope John McCain has learned his lesson. A Republican should never cozy up the the left wing media! He will see that there will be more biased stories and fabrications about him to come as we inch closer to November.
The real story of the week is McCain's lesson.
Monday, February 18, 2008
(Twenty-Eighth, Democrat 1913-1921)
Elected with only 40% of the popular vote in a three way race in 1912, Wilson had a vision of spreading democracy everywhere. His administration would seek out pro-US factions all over the world and sometimes intervene in the name of democracy. Instead of making friends, that diplomacy would make enemies. His vision would take America into World War I, and allow the allies to defeat Germany, which would leave a European bitter. That environment would help lead to the rise of Hitler and the Nazis. A strong case can be made that Wilson’s actions made World War II unavoidable. At home, he set up the Federal Reserve System and imposed the income tax. Wilson took the federal budget from less than 3% of GDP to over 20%. Personally, he was said to be a racist and a mad man. Wilson suffered a stroke in 1919, and ignored most of his presidential responsibilities for the last two years of his term. Woodrow Wilson, more than any other president, did far more harm to America than good.
2. James Buchanan
(Fifteenth, Democrat 1857-1861)
Supported the states rights for slavery. With his flawed interpretation of the Constitution, he thought the states had a right to secede from the nation, and going to war to stop it was illegal - but Buchanon did not do a darn thing to prevent it! With lack of leadership in trying to compromise the differences between the North and South, southern states began to secede, one by one. The Civil War was unavoidable after his four years in office.
3. Warren Harding
(Twenty-Ninth, Republican 1921-1923)
Several scandals occurred during his administration, involving bribery, kickbacks and fraud, and they were mainly due to the fact that Harding appointed many of his friends, as well as some political opponents to prominent positions. No evidence exists that the president benefited from these scandals, but Harding was slow to respond, and should have used better judgment, as the public saw him as a weak and ineffective leader. Harding died two and a half years into his term, and one wonders if he would have finished it (Impeachment) if he had lived.
4. John Tyler
(Tenth, Whig 1841-1845)
He became president upon the death of William Henry Harrison, and was expected to carry out his policies. But he didn’t. His non-support for Harrison and the Whig party policies lead to all but one of the Harrison/Tyler cabinet to resign. The Whigs viewed Tyler as a hypocrite. A life long slave owner, he supported the states right to choose slavery and defended South Carolina's choice to secede if it wished.
5. Herbert Hoover
(Thirty-First, Republican 1929-1933)
Hoover had the unfortunate circumstance of becoming president six months before The Wall Street Crash of 1929. He then made a fatal economic error by supporting and signing into law a tariff act that fueled international trade wars and made the Great Depression even worse. You don’t raise taxes in a depression! That one decision lengthened the Great Depression and sealed his fate as one of the worst presidents.
6. Franklin Pierce
(Fourteenth, Democrat 1853-1857)
Advocating the states right to decide slavery issues, Pierce made the mistake of supporting the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which repealed the Missouri Compromise, which guaranteed free territories north and west of Missouri. Ignorant of the local anti-slavery feelings in the region, his actions would result in bloody rebellions in Kansas and sewed the seeds for Civil War.
7. Jimmy Carter
(Thirty-Ninth, Democrat 1977-1981)
His Administration is rightly associated with the loss of Iran, the hostage crisis and the "Desert One" debacle, and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, not to mention recession, inflation, "malaise" (his own word), disco, rampant promiscuity on Main Street, and drugs in his own teetotaling White House. Perceived by the world as weak and thankfully paved the way for Ronald Reagan. Carter gets the tag for the worst former president we have ever had after his almost forgettable four year term.
8. Ulysses Grant
(Eighteenth, Republican 1869-1877)
Grant’s administration is remembered by several scandals that he managed badly. There was an attempt to corner the gold market, stolen money and bribes. Although Grant never profited from any of the crimes, he hardly acted against the criminals, and went as far as criticizing those who spoke against them. He hired friends and political contributors rather than looking out for the countries needs. Overshadowed by his popularity as a General, in reality his presidency was mostly ineffective and achieved little in eight lackluster years.
9. Lyndon Johnson
(Thirty-sixth, Democrat 1963-1969)
His Great Society was wasteful and counterproductive. Big government in all of it’s glory. It taught the poor and the minorities to rely on the big brother in Washington instead of earning some self confidence. The ripples of his programs would be long lasting and still crash on the shores of our society today. Johnson’s escalated the Vietnam War, after saying he would not while campaigning for re-election in 1964. His mismanagement of Vietnam was legendary.
10. Andrew Johnson
(Seventeenth, Democrat 1865-1869)
Elected with the Republican President on the Union ticket in 1964, Johnson, a democrat, became commander in chief upon Lincoln’s assassination. He got in trouble with republicans right from the start when he vetoed Civil Rights legislation. He has the distinction of the first president to be impeached. Twice it was attempted, and both times it failed. Impeachment was more political, initiated by a republican controlled house, rather than based on any serious crimes. Johnson had some good intentions, and historians have graded him better recently, but with impeachment and his inept reconstruction in the South, he makes my list just barely.
11. Martin Van Buren
(Eighth, Democrat 1837-1841)
His administration got off to a bad start in just two months when hundreds of banks began to change the way of converting money, setting of a wide spread panic and economic depression, that left Van Buren’s four years in ruin. He was snake bit, and probably was not his fault, but that specter was always with him as he governed. Van Buren was able to hold control of his fellow democrats, getting re-nominated, but was handily defeated by Harrison in 1840. A truly unspectactular four years.
12. John Quincy Adams
(Sixth, Democratic-Republican 1825-1829)
Expectations were high for the son of the second president, as he squeaked into office over Andrew Jackson (who got the most votes) in an election that was decided in the House of Representatives. As James Monroe’s Secretary of State, Adams was one of the prime movers of The Monroe Doctrine. However, once in office, his foreign policy left much to be desired, as did much else he tried to do, since most of his decisons were met with opposition by congress. At times he was indecisive, and would not fire any of his cabinet who were Jackson supporters.
Note: William Henry Harrison(Ninth, Whig March-April 1841) and James Garfield (Twentieth, Republican March-September 1881) could easily be number one and two, however, both cannot be fairly judged, based on their short time as president. Surely any the above ten would rank higher in non-accomplishments, but the one month spent by Harrison before death and the five and a half months spent by Garfield before his assassination pales in comparison to the years spent wrecking America by each of the men on my list.
Why is Richard Nixon (Thirty-Seventh, Republican, 1969-1974) not on my list? Although he was the only president to resign, the Watergate scandal overshadowed some of his accomplishments in foreign policy. I do not believe he was a good president, however, it is my opinion ten men did much worse in the oval office than Nixon.
(First, Federalist 1789-1797)
He is The Father of our Country, and I believe him to be not only our greatest chief executive, but possibly the greatest American that has ever held the office. The legendary general won The Revolutionary War based upon revolutionary ideas. Loved by all at the time, he was the obvious choice for our first President, after presiding over the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. Having commanded through peril his armies to victory, he gave up power twice, once after serving as commander-in-chief of the army, and then, uneventfully, after serving his second term as president thus creating the informal term limits for presidents. As president, he suppressed Shays Rebellion and preserved the Articles of Confederation.
Washington is remembered for his great personal integrity, and a deeply held sense of duty, honor and patriotism. His personal character stands above more than being a war hero or founding father. One of Washington's greatest achievements, in terms of American values, was refraining from taking more power than was due.
2. Thomas Jefferson
(Third, Democratic-Republican 1801-1809)
Jefferson was a remarkable man. He role as a statesman and a founding father was in addition of being a author, inventor, architect, archaeologist, paleontologist and horticulturist. This background surely became his intention explore and expand the States to the new west. As president, possibly Jefferson's greatest achievement was his purchase of "Louisiana," which did not just double the size of the United States, but it meant that the future refugees from Ireland, Italy, Poland, Russia, and Germany would have land to settle and, with all the risks inherent in true freedom, to thrive. Jefferson skillfully defeated the Alien & Seduction Acts, which was the first threat to the new nation’s constitutional liberties. Our third president also was a staunch believer in limited government. Sometimes his eight years in office were uneventful, due to that philosophy. Jefferson is also remembered for what he called a "wall of separation between Church and State." A regular church goer he was one of the few who successfully divided personally religious convictions with government.
3. Ronald Reagan
(Forty-First, Republican 1981-1989)
His Presidency will be forever remembered for winning the forty year Cold War without bloodshed. True to his principles, Reagan was always optimistic and believed modern government did more harm to Americans than good. He cut taxes in which businesses and consumers prospered, that also contributed to the high tech revolution of the 1980’s and restored the principles of limited government to their proper place. Reagan's best moment was
when suffered a near mortal gunshot wound from a would-be assassin, he faced it not just with courage, but with humor.
4. Abraham Lincoln
(Sixteenth, Republican 1861-1865)
There was no better man for the time. Lincoln united American at it's darkest hour. He was a a honest man of high morals, those qualities where an inspiration to politicians who followed him.
Lincoln lead the Republican Party the first political party in history founded specifically on universal moral principles. Many believe him to be our greatest president since he preserved the Union and his vision began the process of emancipation. (Why fourth, not first or second? The achievements of the previous two occurred without bloodshed, and Lincoln chose one of the worst Presidents ever has his running mate, Andrew Johnson.)
5. Franklin Roosevelt
(Thirty-Second, Democrat 1933-1945)
Roosevelt was elected to four terms, leading the nation, and the world, through World War II, Americans and all freedom loving people in the world loved him. He served 12 years spanning crises more acute than any others in U.S. (Save the Civil War.) Also known for bringing the nation out of the great depression with is policies. FDR’s legacy was indelible.
6. Dwight Eisenhower
(Thirty-Fourth, Republican 1953-1961)
Eisenhower's Military Experience enabled him to be a strong leader during the cold war, in which he managed and averted many crises. A Conservative in office, he emphasized fiscal restraint with his economic policies, where federal budgets cut and managed. One of his best known achievements was creating the interstate highway system.
7. James Monroe
(Fifth, Democratic-Republican 1817-1825)
His legacy is the Monroe Doctrine (1823) which was a blueprint for America ’s Westward expansion, and used by several presidents since. His administration has be labeled "The Era of Good Feelings." The Missouri Compromise (1819) kept the nation together and adverted a war. Monroe's was great at selecting good people. He picked a great cabinet, and often asked for their advice. A quality vital for good leadership.
8. Theodore Roosevelt
(Twenty-Sixth, Republican 1901-1909)
Roosevelt's diplomacy via “speak softly and carry a big stick,” meant peace through strength, and he severed with that philosophy. His ‘Square Deal’ busted trusts and businesses became more responsible. Roosevelt was known as ‘The Great Conservationist’ and he started the National Park System. He built The Panama Canal & Mediated the Russo-Japanese War.
9. James Polk
(Eleventh, Democrat 1845-1849)
Few presidents accomplished as much as Polk did in four years. The US became a coast to coast country when Polk acquired the American Southwest as a result of the Mexican War, and got the Oregon Territory by making peace with Britain. Polk successfully reduced tariffs and was an advocate of free trade. He kept his promise to serve only four years.
10. Harry Truman
(Thirty-Third, Democrat 1945-1953)
Truman's most remarkable attribute was that he came into the presidency virtually unprepared for it, and accepted all the challenges and responsibilities without doubt. His “The Buck Stop’s Here” Leadership style, he was not afraid to make a tough decision, and he made many. Lead the country through the end of World War II, making the decision to drop the A-bomb.
11. Calvin Coolidge
(Thirtieth, Republican 1923-1929)
The most under rated president in American History. Overlooked and misunderstood by the many who list him as one of the worst. He finished the term of Harding, and was re-elected in 1924. In just over five years, Coolidge was a small government conservative, which might explain his exclusion from many historians who believe a president must be an active legislator to be effective. He used the veto pen many times. Coolidge believed that business was the backbone of America. He cut taxes resulting in the ‘Roaring Twenties’ prosperity, and was responsible for starting commercial aviation. He was the first to recognize the power of the image of the President, and used PR firms regularly.
12. Andrew Jackson
(Seventh, Democrat 1829-1837)
To many, Jackson is listed as a great president based his leadership qualities and his expanding the role of the executive branch. He also increased participation by citizens in the political process. That was the beginnings of our Political Party System. His new plans would still exclude blacks and women. As the nation headed west, Jackson wanted to destroy the American Indian Tribes on the way. A fact that tarnished a somewhat remarkable administration.
Friday, February 15, 2008
So let me make it official: NASCAR should be mentioned in this discussion. In fact, I will go further and claim stock car racing is number two, second only to professional football in America!
The sport sometimes still appears stuck in the south where its roots are. You don't hear about NASCAR much on talk radio where the major media are on the west coast and in the northeast. The cable sports panels hardly ever mention the "good ol' boys." To the non-fan, to even mention the fact that NASCAR competes well with the major sports seems silly. But, make no mistake, there is a huge fan base that watch and go to the races, buy the gear and follow their favorite drivers.
I should say 'worship their drivers.' Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Jimmy Johnson and Tony Stewart top the list of brand names that rabid die-hards follow like housewives tune into soap operas. With no pun intended, those personalities drive the sport. Forty three of them in every race. This is the most important difference from all those professional 'team' sports. But wait, Stock Car Racing is a team sport! From the car owner to the crew chief down to the pit crew, it is as much as a team effort as anything played with a stick and ball.
In 2008, according to television ratings and merchandising sales figures, there is no question that the NFL leads the pack. No other sport in the United States attracts half the viewers or sells the most gear as the National Football League.
Looking at the average Nielsen TV Ratings for the last complete regular season, the NFL leads with a 10.2 share. Second is NASCAR Sprint Cup with 4.2, which is more than double than the next number the list. Tied for the third position is the NBA and MLB at 2.0, and professional Hockey comes in at a dismal 1.1 rating. College Sports do respectable with football at 3.8 and 1.6 for basketball.
Clearly, NASCAR wins the battle for second place when it comes to the ratings through the season, however, when it comes to the playoffs, Baseball (6.8,) Basketball (3.9) and the major college sports (New Years Day and BCS games averaged a 7.5 and March Madness came in at 6.1) draw more viewers than NASCAR's ten race chase format at a 3.8 rating. The Chase occurs when Pro Football begins and baseball is in their post season, so the competition is tough, but the sport appears to hold up fine.
Even though NASCAR had a down year in 2008, since TV rating were down, the entity stands tall among the other professional leagues. Major League Baseball has been tarnished by the steroids scandal, the NBA has lost viewers and some credibility recently with their referee scandals and the professional Hockey strike of a few years ago nearly killed the league. Even the NFL does not know what to do about the New England Patriots video taping issue. Professional Stock Car has had their problems too, however, one thing you can say is about NASCAR is that they usually address them, such as penalties for bending rules. Top drivers like Gordon and Johnson were docked 100 championship points last year. In 2008 NASCAR has vowed keep the sport fan friendly. That is a key, those fans need to keep coming and keep buying the merchandise.
Figures for licensed sports merchandise are hard to find, and they are only estimates. NASCAR claims sales of over two billion dollars. That does not come close to the NFL ($3.5 billion,) and MLB ($3.3 billion.) Without exact figures, the sport could be neck and neck for third with the NBA ($2.2 billion.) One thing no other sport can claim is the huge local economic impact of a event. Stock Car racing scores big in that department.
February 17 will be the 50th running of the Daytona 500, the sports biggest event. According to a report conducted by The Washington Economics Group, Inc. the race has a total economic impact of $1 billion. Compare that to the estimated impact of the recent Super Bowl XLII in Glendale of $400-500 million to the Phoenix area. In speaking of Phoenix, it is also estimated that the area gets about $350 million annually from the two NASCAR weekends they host. One more bit of extraordinary trivia: Of the 20 largest events of 2007 in terms of attendance, NASCAR clams 17 of them.
There is no question that NASCAR solidly holds second place as the nations most popular sport, given the statistics of attendance, TV ratings and economics.
Friday, February 8, 2008
In his speech at the CPAC, McCain reaffirmed his commitment to the conservative wing of his party. He also admitted his shortcomings: "Surely, I have held other positions that have not met with widespread agreement from conservatives. I won’t pretend otherwise, nor would you permit me to forget it." The all but chosen GOP Nominee now has eight and a half months to convince conservatives of his intentions.
General elections sometimes come down to a choice of selecting the lesser of two evils. As much as John McCain has violated basic conservative principles in the past, a true conservative should inherently know that a vote him is much better than the alternative. The alternative being at least four years of a big government, higher taxing, security risking liberal. It should be an easy decision to make.
John McCain is going to need a united Republican party behind him. The pro-democratic mainstream media will attempt to deface his character, defame him profanely and lie about him.
The good news is that it will be nothing that the veteran Naval Officer has not gone through before. It will pale next to his five and a half year hell as a North Vietnamese Prisoner of War. Senator McCain can take it. And so should good conservatives take this man on November fourth.
It is time for all Republicans to unite and Elect John McCain President.
Saturday, February 2, 2008
Here is are a few lists of my Super Bowl Memories:
THE TEN BEST SUPER BOWLS
1) SB XXXII (San Diego) Denver 31, Green Bay 24.
John Elway and the two TD underdog Broncos finally win it all, upsetting the defending Packers in a back and forth battle that came down to the wire.
2) SB III (Miami) New York Jets 16, Baltimore 7.
More for the significance of the AFL beating the mighty NFL, and less for the game. It was the day the AFL became respected and the Super Bowl, as a major event, was born.
3) SB XXXVIII (Houston) New England 32, Carolina 29.
An action packed game coming down to a game winning field goal in the final seconds.
4) SB XXXVI (New Orleans) New England 20, St. Louis 17.
The upset and last minute drive that launched the modern Belichick Patriot Dynasty.
5) SB XXV (Tampa) New York Giants 20, Buffalo 19.
This came down to a missed field goal with seconds remaining.
6) SB XXIII (Miami) San Francisco 20, Cincinnati 16.
Joe Montana's legendary two minute drive for the winning touchdown in the last minutes.
7) SB XXXIV (Atlanta) St. Louis 23, Tennessee 16.
The Titans came from 16-0 to tie, then saw them Rams go ahead, only to come up a yard short on the final play of the game.
8) SB X (Miami) Pittsburgh 21, Dallas 17.
The Cowboys had the lead in the final quarter, but could not stop the talented Steelers.
9) SB XVII (Pasadena) Washington 27, Miami 17.
Down most of the game, the Redskins outlasted the Dolphins in the end, thanks to John Riggins.
10) SB V (Miami) Baltimore 16, Dallas 13.
Believed by many as a bad game due to the many turnovers, but it came down to the final seconds with Jim O'Brien's winning field goal.
THE TEN WORST SUPER BOWLS
1) XL (Detroit) Pittsburgh 21, Seattle 10.
Ben Roethlisberger goes 9 of 21 with two picks as the winning QB. It was the worst performance by a winning team in the Super Bowl. It was also the worst officiated Super Bowl by far. This game sucked!
2) XXIV (New Orleans) San Francisco 55, Denver 10.
Clearly, this game was gonna be a blowout and a snoozer after a first quarter dominated by the 49ers.
3) XX (New Orleans) Chicago 46, New England 10.
A mismatch that became evident by halftime.
4) XXXV (Tampa) Balitmore 34, New York Giants 7.
The glamourless Ravens actually shut out the Giants, a kickoff return was NY's only points. Who was Drent Dilfer? He was the winning quarterback.
5) VIII (Houston) Miami 24, Minnesota 7.
Played in the oddest SB location, University of Rice Stadium. The Dolphins put the game away early by scoring the first two times they had the ball.
6) XI (Pasadena) Oakland 32, Minnesota 14.
The Vikings were a terrible Super Bowl team, and this was their last and weakest stand.
7) XXVIII (Tampa) Los Angeles Raiders 38, Washington 9.
The Defending Champ Redskins did not show up to play. The Raiders killed them!
8) XXXIX (Jacksonville) New England 24, Philadelphia 21.
Down by 10 points with 5 minutes left, the Eagles clumsily wasted their time trying to come back. It was too little, too late.
9) XLI (Miami) Indianapolis 29, Chicago 17.
Last year's contest was the first one played in rain. The Bears jumped to an early lead, but could not hold it to a Colts team that did not play very well.
10) XXXVI (Minneapolis) Washington 37, Buffalo 24.
This game was over when the Redskins made it 24-0 early in the third quarter.
OVERRATED SUPER BOWLS
SB XIII (Miami) Pittsburgh 35, Dallas 31.
Listed on many 'Top Ten Lists,' but not on mine. It was not that close. Pittsburgh dominated the second half, building a 35-17 lead. It was over then.
SB XIX (Palo Alto) San Francisco 38, Miami 16.
The featured match-up between Dan Marino and Joe Montana never materialized, as Montana's team dominated.
SB VII (Los Angeles) Miami 14, Washington 7.
Remembered as the cap to the first undefeated season by the Dolphins. The Redskins should have been shut-out. Only Mike Bass' return of the famous blocked field goal and subsequent pass of Garo Yepremian prevented that.
UNDERRATED SUPER BOWLS
IV (New Orleans) Kansas City 23, Minnesota 7.
This was the last AFL-NFL match up, and, clearly, the Chiefs were far superior. The game showed the world that the American Football League may have been the better league. It also took away much from the idea that the Jets victory over the Colts in SB III was just a fluke.
XIV (Pasadena) Pittsburgh 31, Los Angeles Rams 19.
The underdog Rams had nothing to lose, and played the Steelers nip and tuck until the fourth quarter. Terry Bradshaw would say later that this game scared him the most.
XXVII (Pasadena) Dallas 52, Buffalo 17.
Although this was a blow-out, I cannot forget Don Beebe's effort to strip Cowboy's defensive end Leon Lett of the ball at the goal line to prevent a touchdown. Down 52-17 at the time, Beebe could have packed it in, but, no, he showed heart and effort, and was my real hero of the game.
SUPER BOWL XLII PREDICTION: New England 37, New York Giants 26.
Friday, February 1, 2008
It is hard to label the Arizona Senator a Republican. He certainly is not a conservative. His image will always take a back seat to the principals his Party. The independent McCain is famously known as a Republican "Maverick." In reality, he will say almost anything to remain popular to members of both parties, and that is why, rather than fighting for key GOP issues, he often sells himself as a sort of healing messiah and shakes hands with he opposition. As an example, the following is a list of legislation he has co-sponsored with some prominent liberal Democrats:
--McCain-Feingold - Limits free speech.
--McCain-Kennedy -Grants amnesty for illegal aliens.
--McCain-Lieberman -Caves in to the 'global warming' crowd and would raise taxes.
--McCain-Kennedy-Edwards - Their “patients’ bill of rights” gave more power to trial lawyers.
John McCain is a hero. Five years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam was pure hell! God, I admire how he was able to weather that terrible storm, and I could not be more grateful to him for his service to our country. However, that is not a qualification, nor a requirement to become President of the United States. They are two separate things, and his history as a POW should never shield him from political criticism. It seems to me, however, that John McCain, and many of his supporters, believe it should. And, that is one of the reasons that I must say I do not like John McCain.
Looking back at the 2000 GOP South Carolina Primary, I found McCain to be arrogant and smug in his campaigning, I wondered out loud if he truly hated conservatives then. I think so, and he still does today. The Arizona Senator flips-flops like pancakes. Some of his actions, such as the legislation listed above, are seen as driving a knife in the back of his fellow Republicans. You could almost call him a liar when he calls himself a conservative in his campaign ads.
Only a few months ago, I honestly believed that John McCain was finished, for there was no way that the conservative base of the Grand Old Party would accept him. In a way, that still holds true. Luckily for McCain, that base has been divided among the other candidates: Mike Huckabee grabbed the religious conservatives, Mitt Romney corralled the economic leaning crowd and Rudy Giuliani won over most of the hawks. Without one candidate to unite the conservatives, the Senator became the front runner, and appears unstoppable, since Romney and Huckabee are still in the race, and will continue to split the base.
The only hope for true conservatives, like me, lies on Super Tuesday. The alternative to McCain is Mitt Romney, not Mike Huckabee. My eye sees Romney as a much more viable candidate than Huckabee. There must be a swarm of support for Romney on February 5th across the nation, or the GOP will be finished in 2008. The conservative base will not show up in November, as Republicans will suffer the same fate as they did with Gerald Ford 1976 and Bob Dole in 1996. The swarm could happen. The John McCain media gushing may spark a rush to the polls next Tuesday by conservatives. I am hopeful it will, as I cast my vote for Mitt Romney.
Monday, January 28, 2008
On Monday (January 29, 2008,) Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy formally endorsed Barack Obama for president. He was accompanied by his niece, the daughter of late president, Caroline, and nephew Patrick Kennedy (Bobby's son.) The mainstream media is hopeful that they may get their wish!
This is so much style over substance! There they all were! Descendants of the royal family anointing the chosen one. But Barack Hussein Omaba is far from John Kennedy. He may be young and can command a crowd, but Obama wants to raise your taxes and you to be dependent on Uncle Sam, where JFK lowered taxes and appealed to our individual abilities.
The Democratic nominee will either be Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. The party has a clear choice. Back to the eight years of a Clinton back in the White House, or relive a early sixties fantasy with a camleotesque Obama.
No trace of a forward vision and discussion of real issues that matter. We're in real trouble if one of these makes the White House.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
That is right! The Down Jones Industrial Average ended up for the past week! So where did you hear that? Hardly nowhere.
Naturally, it is the fault of the mainstream media. Always on the lookout for the shock spin of items to grab those ratings, no media outlet is going to tell you good news. If you follow the way they have been covering the economy, a terrible recession is on its way soon!
The state of the US Economy is a far cry from what you may have heard. Overall, it is strong and in good shape. GNP (Gross National Product) was a healthy 4.9 % for the 3rd quarter of 2007 (the latest period we have info for) and unemployment is less than five percent. Here is the big figure: Inflation actually decreased 0.1 percent in December! In addition, have you also noticed the price of Oil has decreased over 10 percent in the past month?
Granted, there are places where the economy is not so hot, such as the Michigan, with a down auto industry, and California, where the housing market is stagnant, however, the overall condition of the US Economy continues to fare extremely well. What happened on Wall Street in the past few days was a good example of that, as the Market corrected itself. That is what strong free markets do. Leave them alone.
The biggest threat to our Economy is government intervention. Restrictions in the form of legislation will always slow free trade on both the consumer and the seller. Higher taxes will always take away money from the consumer to spend some where else and the seller to expand or improve their products. This is important to know in an election year.
The majority of the journalists in the mainstream media vote democratic, so it is easy to understand this is another reason why their coverage of the economy is almost always negative.
Democrats love taxes, and they generally can an adverse effect the economy. Or course, let us not forget that one of their guys is not in the White House.
So take all this media coverage with a grain of salt, the US Economy is doing fine.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Mrs. Clinton's campaign has had the aid of traditional Democratic liberal entities, thanks to the ties of her two-term former president-husband. Even before Bill left the Oval Office, her sights have been set on returning the White House. Hillary's rise is not unexpected. But Illinois Senator Obama's rise is.
Almost out of nowhere Barack Obama has become an important candidate. His keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention as a freshman senator, launched him into superstar status. So far, in this year's primary season, he was won over voters with his engaging and charismatic style. Omaba has done it the old fashioned way, and believe it or not, because of this, he is in trouble, and probably will lose to Clinton when it it all over.
Obama has not needed the traditional liberal mechanics to win votes. As a black man, he has not consulted African-American advocates such as Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton. The Democratic insiders are either mad or beside their selves. How dare Obama do it by himself! The liberal mantra of a negro needing help by all powerful caring left wingers is not working in the Illinois Senator's case. Racism in reverse! I have always believed that liberals think that Africa-Americans cannot make it alone. Barack Obama is his own man, and his rise says much about his personal character and ability.
There will be a battle, perhaps a bloody one, the rest of the Campaign. Already we have heard mumblings of accusations of racism from the Clinton camp. The liberal Clinton machine will be hard to beat, and there is hope that Obama's grass roots approach can overcome it. Unfortunately, I don't think so.