January 2008


Senator McCain, as one of the countless conservative Republicans in the US, I urge you to re-examine your candidacy for president. I cannot see any positive benefit from your candidacy in the Republican party, of which you are a supposed member. You have shown through your past actions that although you claim to be a Republican, you are really a Democrat. And probably a moderately liberal Democrat to boot.

So I ask you, Senator: What does you candidacy do for my party — the party of Lincoln? How does your tacit support for amnesty for illegal aliens (regardless of what term you use for your enlightened social outlook) constructively help our country and its future citizens? How do your continual forays across the political aisle under the guise of bipartisanship in support of Constitutionally-defying legislation help individual citizens? Do you think that the conservative base of the Republican party is politically inviable? Do you think that the political hodgepodge that provided you the primary win in Florida will carry you to the nomination? Furthermore, do you think that you stand a chance to win the presidency from either of the remaining Democrat candidates, Clinton or Obama?

Clinton will shred you with her superior debating and political skills. And Obama will defeat you, frankly, because it will be a very negative candidate comparison for you when you have your first debate with him. Can you picture in your mind the image of the golden-ager juxtaposed with the vigorous young (and politically compelling) candidate. Your candidacy gives voters in the general election very little space between your views and those of either Democrat candidate. So, I’m sure that all things being equal, the lion’s share of voters will opt to put the first black or woman candidate into office to, in their minds, set the record straight. I fear neither their gender or their race — however, I do fear their ideology. And I fear the irreparable damage that the presidency of either Democrat candidate will do the fabric of the America that I do and my ancestors have cherished. I fear the election of either of these socialists will spell the beginning of the end of our Republic, with the unashamed redistribution of wealth, internationalization of our governance and the welcome embrace of millions upon millions of illegal aliens.

Is this the legacy of your candidacy that you would like remembered by worldwide historians for generations to come? John McCain, Republic breaker! I can tell you this…as a staunch conservative Republican, I will never cast a vote in the name of John McCain. And I will not sit the election out. And I will not participate in or contribute to a political party that allows a social liberal such as yourself to achieve a competitive standing in it. I will, however, vote for your Democrat rival in the general election. It will be better for me ethically and morally to vote for a candidate who is everything that they advertise them self to be than to vote for you. It will be better to abet the destruction of our nation at the hands of the Democrats than it would be to close my eyes, hold my nose and suck in my breath to vote for you.

See, I think that the appellation RHINO inaccurately describes your persona and your candidacy. I think you are a political poseur, who has capitalized on circumstances to achieve front-runner status in my party.

So, Mr. Senator, I urge you to listen real hard to your party — all its members. Because I’m telling you that your successful nomination as the Republican presidential candidate will ultimately leave you as the “King of Nothing.” If you care about your party, and ultimately your country, you must seriously consider withdrawing your candidacy now. It may sound like a joke, but I am every bit as much a loyal American patriot as you, and I only see bad things in store for our country and its future if you continue your quest.

Another year older and wiser!

Miss Lily is Seven!!!

And if you feel the urge, she prefers gifts in cash or by check, please!

Any hope for Barak Obama to pass the laugh test with his claim that he is the agent for change in this year’s presidential election all but went out the window today with his endorsement by several of the Kennedy’s.

I think we can do this in a flash card format:

Obama

1/27/08: Barak Obama — Perhaps an agent of change.

 

Obama-Kennedy

1/28/08: Barak Obama — Same old, same old.

 

It’s a case of guilt by association. The candidate who spent months framing himself as the consummate political outsider is now in the process of being hoisted on his own petard: Probably as a result of his political greediness. He’s now taken up company with the ultimate political insiders. In fact a political family that has metastasized itself into the very fabric of American politics. So sure, if you suspend your disbelief, then Obama is the agent of change that you’re looking for.

 

But I’m here to tell you that based on the events of today if you want real change, you ought to keep on looking.

I have lived a moral, upright life…obeying the laws and paying my taxes, and I will continue to do so. I have worked my entire adult life and have been active in the affairs of my community.

I am an American.

I believe in God and Jesus Christ, and I am proud of my faith. I am tolerant and accepting of the religions of others, and I am prepared to defend the rights of my neighbors to practice the religion of their choice and heritage.

I am an American.

I do not believe that a law-abiding American should have a single Constitutional right modified, abridged or challenged by their government, legislators or fellow citizens. I believe we are a nation of laws and not men, but that each citizen is innocent until proven guilty. I believe that all men are created equal, and that the laws of the land should be applied equally. I do not believe in legislative special treatment for any person because of their race, sex or ethnicity. I believe that there is no such thing as a hate crime — the result of any crime speaks for itself.

I am an American.

I do not believe in free trade. I believe that free trade is a means for crafty foreign nations to use low-cost labor in order to achieve economic supremacy over the United States. I believe that tariffs and other economic protectionist measures are good for the workers of the US and that the applications of these measures is one of the Constitutional responsibilities of our government and our leaders. I believe that a the security and viability of our nation is threatened by our dependence upon foreign sources for strategic goods, particularly the tools of war.

I am an American.

I believe in the melting pot. I believe that a disunited country cannot flourish. I believe in a single, common language. I believe that an ethnically separated citizenry cannot coalesce into a cohesive, united nation. Separation brings mistrust, inequality and political rancor…and this practice must not be encouraged or tolerated by the federal government. I believe that our language, culture, morality and history unites us into a social entity stronger than the sum of the parts.

I am an American.

I believe that there are immutable truths that cannot be changed to suit the whim of modern day revisionist thinkers. The wholesale banning of words because of some vile past meaning or common social use is intellectually dishonest. I believe that feelings, or the fear of hurting someone’s feelings, should not influence government decisions or legislative actions. Feelings are subjective, and subject to modification with the current socio-economic climate. I also believe that there is a poverty of true intellectual discourse on college campuses. There is no room for ideology outside of that adopted by the administration and the educators. Young students are being indoctrinated into a cult of personality and inculcated with a set of beliefs that flies in the face of their personal and our country’s heritage.

I am an American.

I believe that American has no role as policeman of the world. America’s interests are best served when we respond to a threat, rather than project our power to preempt a perceived danger. An interventionist America only strengthens our adversaries and enemies. I believe that America should have the best trained, best equipped military in the world. The threat of a military reprisal should be enough of a deterrent to prevent any nation from challenging our interests abroad or attacking our homeland. I believe that we should combat terrorism by utilizing the governments of other countries as military surrogates. I believe America should maintain an active foreign intelligence apparatus, and we should be constantly engaged in surveillance and human intelligence gathering.

I am an American.

I believe that the Constitution prohibits the establishment of a national religion by the government, and furthermore it guarantees a separation of church and state. This does not, however, prevent the display of a creche or menorah on the town square. The Constitution does not sanctify the institutional intolerance of religion; it does however guarantee that any person is not required to subscribe to the beliefs of any other person’s religion. I believe that abortion is a crime against humanity: A society that encourages and forgives infanticide cannot take its place among the greatest in the history of the world.

I am an American.

I believe that each citizen bears a responsibility to society to obey the laws of the land and to contribute to society to the level of their ability. I believe that the government exists to provide a framework for the implementation and enforcement of our Constitutional rights. The government should not be used as a means for the redistribution of wealth or as a on organ of charity. I believe that a government that fosters co-dependent behavior does a disservice to its citizens.

I am an American.

I support every person’s right to disagree with me and my beliefs. I also believe that I have the right to my opinions and to have them heard without fear of ridicule or reprisal. I would fight and die to secure the rights of others to either support or criticize my views, and I trust that others would feel similarly.

I am an American.

One can interpret the results of today’s presidential primary in South Carolina many ways. But no matter what the intermediate thought processes, one has to come to the conclusion that this contest was a racial litmus test. What do I mean by this? If you look at the results according to AP exit polls, the voting by race went like this:

Overall: Obama 55%, Clinton 27%, Edwards 18%
Blacks: Obama 81%, Clinton 17%, Edwards 1%
Whites: Edwards 39%, Clinton 36%, Obama 24%

I can’t overlook the fact that the majority of black voters in South Carolina voted for the black candidate. Now, contrast these results to those obtained in New Hampshire (which has a predominantly white population) , where Hillary Clinton won the primary vote by a meager 3%. This indicates a considerable number of white voters in New Hampshire didn’t vote along color lines in the way that the South Carolina voters did today. Apparently the more “progressive” NH voters selected their candidate on issues rather than on skin hue.

Unbelievably, commentators like the idiotic Chris Matthews of MSNBC excoriated white voters for not having the “courage” to vote for Obama — and he blamed this for Obama’s NH loss. He and his sidekick Joe Scarborough riffed about the institutional racism in New England in general, and Boston in particular, in their post NH primary commentary.

I wonder if any of the national media commentators will have the requisite courage to question the color-blindedness of the black voters in SC? Maybe Mr. Matthews will put a verbal smackdown on the results — obvious racially-driven results — in this southern state primary.

Don’t hold your breath. I’m sure the spin will be that there was a black voter backlash against the Clintons, or some other such hogwash. I say hogwash, because a wild card in this primary was home-state boy John Edwards. All things being equal, John Edwards should have expected more than 1% of the vote from black voters in his home state. Right? Well, things aren’t equal. In fact, this vote result indicates quite vehemently that all things aren’t equal. Note that among white voters, Edwards did indeed win his home state. One can speculate about why there was a black-white voting discrepancy for Edwards, but if we’re honest, this poor old white guy was a victim of his race!

Now I can hear Matthews saying that black voters were finally given the opportunity to vote for their “deliverer”. How could they be faulted for voting for their black “Moses”? But by my analysis, in the end it’s just a plain-and-simple case of racism, or more correctly, racial bias. Black voters in SC voted for the black candidate because he was black. Any other conclusion is wrong or patently untrue, based on the results.

When we get to the next important primary state that has a predominantly white population and if the voting results prove to shut out Obama, for whatever reason, I hope that we don’t hear admonishments and criticisms of the voters because of the results. Because these voters will be no more biased or racist than were the voters of South Carolina today.

Right Chris?

The Gift!

My fellow Americans, that gift would be our tax dollars!

Based on the fiscal stimulus “agreement” announced today by the bipartisan Congressional negotiators, our tax dollars are going to get a workout beyond our wildest dreams. For those individuals who have paid income taxes, the agreement proposes a rebate of $600 to a single tax filer, $1,200 to a filing couple and more for those with children. The more is $300 per child for filers with children. The agreement also provides a “rebate” of $300 to those people earning more than $3,000 but who did not pay income taxes.

Republican negotiators stated they were “pleased” that the bulk of the proposed tax rebates (around 70%) were going to go to people who actually paid income taxes. I guess I’m pleased that “rebates” weren’t proposed for those without jobs! Baby steps, baby steps…

The entire stimulus package is estimated to cost $150 billion, with $100 billion going towards tax “rebates” and the other $50 billion in business tax cuts.

I might have a warped, jaundiced view of the world, but I always thought that by definition that you qualified for a rebate only if you paid for something in the first place. Now, I can see the logic and the fairness in the first part of the tax rebate plan — giving back tax monies to those who actually paid them. However, having said this, I do see a fairness problem with the plan giving back $300 per child. The problem that I have is that income tax payers already get a deduction for their dependents (children)…so they get preferential tax treatment over taxpayers without children.

The other place that I have a problem with the plan is that of nomenclature: Giving $300 to an individual who never payed income taxes in the first place is NOT a rebate. It is a gift. A gift insisted on by the congressional Democrat negotiators. It is an insult to the intelligence of each income tax payer to call this a rebate for those particular individuals. Truth in government (and advertising!!) mandates that this action be called what it rightly is…a gift to the core constituency of the Democrats.

I thought I’d never see the day come when the spirit of welfare co-dependency intruded so deeply into our government. But it has! And it leaves me thinking that the Democrats have used this rebate gift ploy to their great advantage, politically speaking. Unfortunately, instead of being just an economic stimulus package, this whole agreement has become an extension of the DNC’s 2008 re-election campaign!

Now aren’t you glad that your tax dollars are so hard at work?

In today’s media reading scan, I saw a small news tidbit from the Associated Press Anti-Bush Campaign Planned, by writer Jim Kuhnhenn. The gist of the story is that a “liberal advocacy group”, Americans United for Change, plans on a year-long campaign to “inform” the public about President Bush in a effort to keep his approval rating at or below its current 34% value. The group, headed by liberal operative Brad Woodhouse, plans to spend $8.5 million to deflate the approval rating and legacy of President Bush, mostly in advertising expenditures. A bus will also travel the country with the symbols that “progressives” point to as failures of the Bush administration: the Iraq war, hurricane Katrina and the “failed” economy.

It appears that the Americans United for Change is counting on the philosophy that the view is better while standing on the crushed, defeated bones of your enemy. They want change (read get Democrats elected), and they’re going to do whatever it takes to get their “mission accomplished”.

But the real story isn’t this group or their planned campaign. The real story is the players behind the scenes, including the backgrounds of the key operatives of the Americans United for Change. The problem is rather than proclaim their political history and ties, they fail to mention them as part of their resume of who they are. I did some investigating on the Internet — Googling the names of the “Staff” at the AUFC: Brad Woodhouse, Suzanne Granville, Jeremy Funk, Lucinda Guinn and Shannon Williams. The backgrounds of these characters are heavily entwined with the Democratic party and with big labor. The only operative that I was unsuccessful with was Shannon Williams, who seems to be the political neophyte in this organization.

Brad Woodhouse, President: was the spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) in the early 2000′s. During that time period Dana Milbank, a columnist for the Washington Post, termed Woodhouse “the most prolific e-mailer in politics.” In 2005, Woodhouse left the DSCC to to become communications director for Americans United to Protect Social Security, a group fighting the Bush Social Security plan. After the defeat of the Bush Social Security plan, Woodhouse organized the AUFC, which is associated with a loose coalition of “progressive” groups called Change America Now. According to Jeffery Birnbaum in the Washington Post, the AUFC staff frequently meets with aides to the Democratic congressional leadership to discuss strategy and upcoming votes.

Suzanne Granville, Deputy Executive Director: was an operative holding several leadership positions in the AFL-CIO during her 10 year tenure there. At the AFL-CIO, she lead the charge against many of President Bush’s legislative initiatives that were opposed by “progressives”.

Jeremy Funk, Press Secretary: made his progressive bones stalking Rep. John Thune of South Dakota during his senatorial campaign against then-Senator Tom Daschle. Funk, a Daschle staffer and the advertising genius behind the “F*** John Thune” t-shirts during that campaign. Not surprisingly, Funk was arrested in 2002 for tailgating Thune!

Lucinda Guinn, Field Director: A career-long political operative. Starting as an operative in the Gephardt for President campaign in 2004, she has held various political positions as: The campaign manager for the unsuccessful campaign of Democrat Earnie Porta for Delegate in Virginia in 2005; The campaign manager for Jonathan Levey, candidate for CA Assembly (who also worked in the 2004 re-election campaign of Tom Daschle in South Dakota) in 2006; As an account representative for MSHC Partners (a Democratic political campaign communications firm) from 2004 to 2006; and along with her present association with the AUFC, she is the Regional Field Director for Americans Against Escalation in Iraq.

Sometimes it’s not what you read, but what you don’t. Scratch to reveal just what’s beneath the surface and you never know what you’ll find. Like the Democratic party and labor ties to the “progressive” AUFC organization. The people running this organization are odious mud-slingers in the finest tradition of MoveOn.org, in all it’s political incarnations. I’m sure that the Democratic-bent brain trust located at 1825 K Street, N.W., Suite 210, Washington, D.C. (a building which houses many Democrat and labor-front organizations) are honing their attacks on President Bush as well as on all of the Republican candidates in the upcoming election. Like elections past, they will engage in shameful and shameless attacks on these candidates in an effort to advance the agenda of their “progressive” masters.

I just hope that the light which I’ve shed on their organization will help to open the eyes of people. If you think that the “win at any cost” political philosophy has seen better days, I’m here to tell you that you ain’t seen nothing yet! Groups like the shadowy AUFC are going to be throwing political bombs at candidates in order to wreak political havoc. Political operations like this have no heart, and certainly no soul. They just have financing from their ideological soul mates in politics and labor.

And they will (and have demonstrated that they will) do anything to accomplish their goals.

Unless you’ve been asleep over the past 48 hours, you are probably well aware that there is turmoil in the world’s financial markets. The European markets tumbled in trading overnight on Monday, followed by the a 128 point nose dive (which had been as deep as 450 points mid-day!) of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Thank God the markets were closed Monday due to the Martin Luther King Day holiday…otherwise we may have witnessed financial Armageddon!! In any even, as it stands…we are all going to be trapped in a financial elevator that has NO BOTTOM. This doesn’t mean that every day will be filled with gloom and and a smattering of doom. But it does mean that over some uncertain time period that our pensions and 401K’s will be savaged as a result of the hyper-emotional market instability.

But the questions nagging at my mind are: Why the precipitous drop now? What indicators were used to urge investors, worldwide, to recoil from the marketplace of commerce?

We all know that all matters financial are ruled by emotion. What a person doesn’t invest based on a feeling? Whether that feeling is trust, security or greed…an emotion drives our investments.

This financial crisis reminds me of a stable full of thoroughbred horses. It isn’t, however, a serene place — because the stable is on fire. And the horses are doing what horses do at a time like this. They PANIC!! When help arrives and they peer into the stable, all they see are flared nostrils and the whites of bulging eyes. And when the rescuer tries to lead each horse to freedom, the horse is just as likely to dash back into the flames as they are to escape to safety.

Right now, all the investing horses are still in the flaming stable…reluctant to be led to safety. Panic rules the day! The stable doors are wide open and safety in the form of cool night air beckons them — unfortunately the madness of the panic reigns.

That’s investing in a nutshell. That’s what’s happening today. And for the foreseeable future.

My only problem is that every person that I know isn’t this financially panicky or skittish. It bolsters my fear that we’re all captive to the vagaries and fears of a small number of financial dons (with flared nostrils and white-filled eyes) who are willing to sacrifice our financial security for their financial gain and security. Face it, we all have very little tacit control over our financial futures, given the structure of the present investment system. We are reliant on investment “professionals” to shepherd our finances on a daily basis for our gain and benefit, and act as stewards of our trust. If these investment professionals make the wrong financial move, or worse, willfully screw up our investments for their gain…we don’t get to act or react until after the damage is done. Sure we can punish the guilty, but only after we’ve picked up the pieces. Regardless of what the small private investors do, most of these professionals are more beholding to and mindful of the powerful financial dons. These dons are their bread-and-butter. The financial riffraff comes and goes!

I fear that until the greed is satisfied and the fears are allayed with these dons, we are all going to suffer. That’s too bad because many good people — hardworking people at the bottom and the middle of the financial ladder without savings and other financial resources — are going to suffer through no fault of their own. Jobs will be lost and lives will be torn apart by this turmoil.

It’s a shame that the same faces will emerge from this unscathed as always…secure in their fortunes. And it is a crying shame that the rest of us will have to live on the crumbs of their excesses.

In his Democratic reply to President Bush’s radio address on Saturday, Representative Barney Frank from my home state of Massachusetts pretty much revealed the intricacies of the Democrat play book when it comes to what they want for an economic stimulus.

According to Rep. Frank…they want to really throw open the coffers to all Americans, regardless if they’ve paid income taxes or not. They are also seeking a lot of ancillary goodies, in terms of programs and give-aways, for lower income Americans.

Well, today Sen. Chuck Schumer has let loose with a second volley regarding what they think “stimulus” is, and how Democrats seek to promote it. Sen. Schumer would like to see any stimulus plan include those who have paid Social Security taxes, but not necessarily income taxes.

Now I know that Rep. Frank and Sen. Schumer are both intelligent guys. And I also know that they understand that Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes accrue to the individual…and they don’t get deposited into the “big bucket” like income taxes do. These two “individualized” taxes are a common denominator…everyone pays them and their contribution (and frankly a whole lot more) is payed out to them someday. Income taxes, on the other hand, are “progressive” and help to fill the general fund. Not everyone pays into this general fund, depending upon their income level and tax status. However, this general fund is where the funds for the proposed economic stimulus fund will come from. The economic stimulus monies will certainly not come from the Social Security fund or from the Medicare fund.

So, and I ask this rhetorically of course, why do the Democrats want folks who haven’t contributed to the funds that will fuel the economic stimulus to receive a tax rebate? In these parts we call that action a gift. But that’s one of the key precepts of the socialistic mindset that pervades the Democratic party — to bluntly redistribute income and wealth not according to initiative or contribution, but according to the recipient simply having a pulse. And as an unspoken quid pro quo, the Democratic politicians expect a return on their investment — votes from recipients eager to thank their legislative masters for the largess that was delivered to them.

This philosophy should insult the intelligence of every single legitimate income tax payer! With apologies to Mark Knopfler/Dire Straits, it’s “Money for Nothing” at the heart and soul of the Democratic Party play book, economic stimulus or not.

I hope President Bush and the Congressional Republicans hold the line on this issue. Our government is not a charity, and it absolutely should not be in the business of redistributing wealth. I hope that someday, in some way…the Democrat party can come to see this plain and simple truth.

Traffic Surveillance Camera

The video monitoring camera, that is.

Whether you think it’s Candid Camera or Big Brother, increasingly someone out there is watching you! With the added video capabilities of the now-ubiquitous cell phone, you are, like it or not, under possible scrutiny.

And that scrutiny has become even closer…and by the “authorities”. The veterinarian that I use for my dogs is located in Leominster, MA. His office is just down the street from a brand new Lowe’s and a soon-to-be-opened WalMart. Part of the development project was the reconfiguration of several traffic interchanges from Route 190 to Route 110…as well as the addition of several sets of traffic lights at other intersections further from the new stores. As I’ve gone to the vet recently, a very noticeable feature of theses new intersections/traffic lights is the presence of video monitors. There are four monitors at each intersection (each facing in the direction of oncoming traffic), mounted on the same hardware as the traffic lights. And, at two of the intersections, there are two additional cameras mounted on their own pole, approximately 50 feet from the intersection, which also which face the direction of oncoming traffic. The two additional cameras are only found on the busier street, Route 110.

There are five new traffic intersections in this location…and by my count 22 cameras! That’s a lot of video!!!

This raises some questions in my mind: Who monitors these cameras? Obviously it is a police function, but who does the monitoring? Is it a dispatcher…an officer…a “watcher”? And what are the images used for? Are they recorded and archived?

These are three fairly innocuous intersections…they are what may be considered rural. One abuts a cow pasture — another “Ollie’s” junkyard — and the third my vet’s office. I can’t imagine that a crime spree will occur in the future, even with the presence of the new Lowe’s and WalMart. So I have to ask myself, “Why the cameras?” Just as a point of information, I surveyed other intersections in Leominster and found a few others with monitors/cameras. These appeared to be new construction intersections, or intersections that were re-constructed. But there were no (visible) monitors at higher traffic intersections — for example those leading to the Whitney Fields mall (the former Searstown) or at the intersection near Water Tower Plaza on Route 12. Very high volumes of traffic pass through these intersections daily, so if any were to be monitored, I would expect it to be these!

So, why the monitors near the Lowe’s and WalMart? Only two reasons, at least those without more sinister connotations, come to mind. The first is “revenue enhancement” by more aggressive traffic law enforcement. The second is the surveillance capability to follow the vehicle of a criminal, just after a crime is committed — perhaps an armed robbery, and capture said criminal in a shorter amount of time.

Sure, those are both possibilities. But there are legion folks out there who worry (I thin needlessly) about the “government” eavesdropping on phone conversations originating or terminating in certain overseas countries. Their rights to privacy are decried…and the government is the bad guy in this situation. Well, right here in Leominster, MA…which is by no means the only place with video surveillance as I’ve seen similar monitors is Boston, LA, Denver and Washington, DC (and I’m sure if you pick a city or town, you might find them there too)…we are potentially, and very likely, being watched. I personally find it disquieting and in the case of the Leominster intersections, a bit of overkill. Others might find it totally acceptable given the post-911 feelings towards terrorism and security.

I can tell you that the next time you’re in the area, give a big smile and wave as you go through the intersections, because somebody, somewhere, IS watching you!

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