Sunday, December 23, 2007

Edwards Is Best Bet to Beat GOP

Here is an article that shows why Edwards is the best choice to beat the Republicans in the general election:

The conventional wisdom has it all backwards.

The Democratic Nomination

Edwards has consistently rated best against the Republicans from the beginning. That's one of the reasons why I think when it comes down to it when the voters get into the booth they might pick Edwards despite what they said in polls. Hillary is too hated by too many people, unjustly, in my opinion but it's there never the less. And too many people are afraid a black man can't yet be elected president in this country. So at vote time they will choose the good looking, Southern, white guy.

Edwards has been my man since the beginning and was even back in 2004. I think he's grown a lot since then, too. He is the only candidate who has been honest on the campaign trail and the debates, is very anti-corporatist, and has managed to maintain a top-tier ranking.

While I agree with Kucinich more on the issues I think Edwards would make a better leader. Part of it is that Kucinich has been unable to build up much support even though many Democrat agree with him more than anyone else. Edwards is just as shunned by the media as Kucinich but has stayed at the top, no small feat. It's survival of the fittest, perhaps we have a terrible system but we are stuck with it for now and we need someone who can work it to their advantage. I think Edwards would get a lot more done than Kucinich would. It doesn't much matter how good someone's ideas are if they can't implement any of them. And I think he really is a powerful and honest advocate for the poor and middle class and not for corporate America, which is why the corporate media doesn't like him. By honest I mean he really does want to help the poor, he isn't just saying that to get elected.

Edwards has said a number of things that really impress me, one is the idea of asking the public to sacrifice to get some things done, like helping the environment. He said it's about time Americans were asked to be patriotic about something other than war. Conventional wisdom says don't ask the public to do anything difficult, but Edwards says people want to be asked to participate in something important. That's the kind of talk that stirs people up and gets them excited.

I like Obama but I do think he is too inexperienced and it really shows sometimes. I think the best case scenario is for Edwards to get the nomination then pick Obama as VP. He is young enough that he would definitely be ready for the number one position in 8 years. And I think after 8 years as VP a black man for president would be much more acceptable to the
American public. And having him grandfathered in by a Southern, white guy has a better chance of working.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Why Right-Wing Ideas Keep Failing

Here is an interesting article that says what I've been saying for years; the Republicans aren't stupid and incompetent, they are doing things EXACTLY the way they want to do them.
But here’s the real problem for today’s conservatives: their movement’s intellectuals and experts are overwhelmingly the ones who have come up with the ideas that have largely proven to be just as bankrupt in practice as the gold standard that Paul wants to resurrect. The brains behind the enterprise don’t have any ideas left in the well to draw from that haven’t already been tried and failed. Frum says, “…politicians who want to deliver effective government and positive results have to care about more than values – and have to do more than check their guts. They need to study the problem, master the evidence, and face criticism.”

Okay, based on the evidence, here’s a criticism: movement conservatism’s lavishly funded think tanks have produced ideas leading to nothing but ineffective government and negative results.

The link above leads to a book all about the same thing , that right wing ideas keep failing because they are just flat out, objectively wrong. Everything they think is supposed to happen when they impliment their ideas goes wrong because all the basic ideas are wrong. They believe 1+1=3 and when it keeps adding up to 2 they just go crazy. Their solutions are always; do more of what wasn't working!!

The Republican's political and economic ideas are all based on ideology, which they believe with the fanaticism of any religious fundamentalist. What this means is they never look at what is ACTUALLY happening then make adjustments if things aren't working - you know, like a sane person does. Mostly they just look for people to blame, like Bill Clinton, and Bill is such an evil genius that even 7 years out of office and he is STILL making all their plans go awry. Damn, he's good, high five, Bill!

What this boils down to in practical terms is that Republicans should never, ever be elected to any public office of any kind for any reason, not even dog catcher.

And to those people who are Republicans, and I mean the average public, switch sides because conservatism as we know it today is wrong and will cause serious damage.

This doesn't mean the Democrats are always right, they are sometimes right and are more willing to change direction when actual evidence is shown to them. Republicans think evidence is a liberal bias.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Ten Reasons Why I Broke Up With God

I rarely copy an entire article I found online but I've just been too tired and stressed to post here as often as I would like. For the record, Darcy is doing better. She is at home and is even strong enough to get out of bed and get dressed by herself.

Anyway, all the appropriate credits are on this thing as well as a web link:

Ten Reasons Why I Broke Up With God
By Annabelle Gurwitch,
Posted on December 13, 2007, Printed on December 14, 2007

After his address on religion last week, I'm sure I'll never be invited to Mitt Romney's White House should he be elected President. It's not just because as a National Public Radio commentator, documentary filmmaker, single-payer universal healthcare proponent and driver's license for illegal immigration-supporting liberal, I don't travel in the same circles as he does. As an atheist, I now know that I'm not even included in Romney's America.

You see, I broke up with God years ago, but not really because of the big stuff that leading godless heathens like Christopher Hitchens write about. As with most relationships, it's the little things that drove me crazy. Here's my top-ten list of reasons I gave God the old heave-ho. In no particular order:

1. Shellfish. My God would never make mussels, clams and oysters taste so good and then prohibit me, a Jewish gal, from eating them.

2. The meek shall inherit the earth. In my family, like much of America's workforce, not only have the meek inherited nothing, they are barely holding on to their standard of living. So on this point alone, I reject the Bible.

3. American Gladiators. If there were a God, American Gladiators would not be returning to TV this winter.

4. Iran. If there were a God one part of our government wouldn't be opening doors to negotiate with Ahmadinejad, while another fans the flames for military action.

5. There's not enough good Szechwan in Los Angeles. If there were a God, he would make better Chinese food more readily available in Los Angeles. LA is mostly made up of transplanted New Yorkers, so why can't we get good old chicken and broccoli in garlic source out West?

6. Britney Spears. If there were a God, Britney Spears wouldn't be one of the most Googled topics on the Internet. Although perhaps there is a God and this is one of the signs of the apocalypse. Example: Spears gave us views of her vajayjay: 3,450,000 Google hits. Jonas Salk gave us the polio vaccine: 212,000 Google hits.

7. Multitasking is of dubious effectiveness. Recent studies have shown that multitasking isn't that productive. If there were a God, he wouldn't allow my illusion of being able to accomplish more on a daily basis to be taken away from me.

8. God doesn't give you anything you can't handle. My God wouldn't allow people to make up inane aphorisms about him. I'm disorganized, easily distracted, have a fear of anything medical and have a kid with health issues. My God would know that I was a poor choice for this assignment, that this saying is just moronic and only serves to make people like me feel worse when we inevitably fail.

9. Trannies. Most all of the little beauty tips I've employed in my career as an actress I learned from the transvestites and transsexuals I used go-go dance with on the bar at the Pyramid Club in NYC. Especially tricks with crazy glue. My God simply would not stand for unequal treatment of gay people.

10. Darfur, AIDS, my awe and respect for the mysteries of science, that lead paint is in kids' toys, that we allow people to live on the streets, that we haven't passed stricter gun legislation... OK, I lied. I have a million top ten reasons why I reject the notion of the kind of God invoked in particular by the Republican candidates, though most of the Democrats have also enrolled in the campaign God-a-thon.

That said, I am willing to admit that I might be completely wrong about God. After all, round-toed Mary Janes are back, which is something I've prayed for, because it's just against nature to squeeze into pointy-toed high heels. Furthermore, Donny and Marie are reuniting. It seems so improbable that there is interest in them that even immaculate conception seems plausible to me now. Not to mention that the chance of a presidential run by former pastor Mike Huckabee -- not long after a movie about existentialism titled I (Heart) Huckabee was released -- seems to be the same as the notion that dinosaurs walked the earth at the same time as man.

But if Mitt and I ever did break bread, he would get no flak from me on the Mormon faith. Compared to burning bushes, people turning into piles of salt, plagues and general mayhem of the Bible, I find Joseph Smith's buried tablets written in the secret language that no one has ever heard of a perfectly reasonable story that was turned into a three-part series on South Park -- such consistently brilliant satire that its existence alone might just prove there is a God.

Writer and actress Annabelle Gurwitch is the creator and producer of the Fired! project. The documentary Fired! which was featured on The Sundance Channel in November 2007. Her column Fired Up appears regularly in The Nation, and her essays have appeared in publications including the Los Angeles Times, Glamour, Child, Premiere, and Penthouse.

© 2007 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
View this story online at:

Monday, December 10, 2007


This survey is from American Research Group, inc.

Essentially what it says is that 53% of the American public want Bush impeached, which makes the dems inaction so damn frustrating.

All I can think of is they have been so intimidated by the pubs for so long when they say boo the dems hit the ceiling, like Sylvester in an old Tweety cartoon. And one time Sylvester hit the chandelier.

That's why I call them spineless, they don't even have the guts to do something the majority of their constituents want them to do and is something that serves not only their own self interests but the country's interest as well. It's really a no brainer unless you are
spineless. Hell, even the spineless would go ahead under these circumstances, they are lower than being spineless.

My guess is there is some kind of back room deal going on, the dems are playing ball with the pubs when they should be crushing them.

November 13, 2007 - Impeachment

A total of 64% of American voters say that President
George W. Bush has abused his powers as president. Of the 64%,
14% (9% of all voters) say the
abuses are not serious enough to warrant impeachment, 33% (21%
of all voters) say the abuses
rise to the level of impeachable offenses, but he should not
be impeached, and 53% (34% of
all voters) say the abuses rise to the level of impeachable
offenses and Mr. Bush should be
impeached and removed from office.

Which one of these four statements do you agree
with about President Bush:

1. President Bush has not abused
his powers as president.

2. President Bush has abused
his powers as president, but the abuses are not serious enough
to warrant impeachment under
the Constitution.

3. President Bush has abused
his powers as president which rise to the level of impeachable
offenses under the Constitution,
but he should not be impeached.

4. President Bush has abused
his powers as president which rise to the level of impeachable
offenses under the Constitution
and he should be impeached and removed from office.

11/12/07 #1 #2 #3 #4
All voters 36% 9% 21% 34%
Democrats (39%) 16% 9% 25% 50%
Republicans (35%) 64% 6% 12% 18%
Independents (26%) 29% 11% 26% 34%
Based on 1,100 completed telephone interviews among a random sample of registered voters nationwide November 9-12,
2007. The theoretical margin of error is
plus or minus 3 percentage points, 95% of the time.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Patriots

I'm a big NFL fan, which is odd because I'm much more the bookworm type than a jock. In fact, there isn't any other sport I will watch 5 minutes of. So how did I get hooked on football? Simple, back in the early 80's I lived in Seattle. I soon discovered that on Monday morning at work the only thing everyone talked about was the Seahawks game the day before. So I started watching just so I would have something to talk to people about on Monday. Wasn't long before I was hooked and I've been watching ever since.

Once I left Seattle it was hard to find a team to root for, especially in the LA/Orange County area. I hated the Raiders and the Rams were just too pitiful. So I started getting hooked on the good teams because they were so much fun to watch. First it was the the 49ers with Joe Montana and Jerry Rice, who didn't like them? And they were even in one of my favorite cities in California. The combo of Joe and Jerry hooked me in even farther and Darcy got us tickets to one Monday night game at Anaheim Stadium (just up the street from us) so I got to see Joe and Jerry and the rest of the 49ers play the rams. My one and only pro game, I'd rather watch at home, much more comfortable.

There have been other teams over the years, especially with the Raiders and Rams eventually moving away so I didn't have a local team to cheer for even if they were good. The Bears when McMahon was QB, the Packers when Farve took them to the Superbowl, and of course, the 49ers under Steve Young who was almost as good as Montana. And, naturally, the St. Loius Rams, figires those guys would only become good after leaving OC. I thought Joe the best quarterback I had ever seen (but I'd never seen one before 1983). Until today when I think Tom Brady has now donned the mantle of best QB ever. And this year is his best year. So what fun to find a video of highlights of yesterday's game (which I missed because Darcy came home from the hospital) on the NFL site with links to it just like YouTube. It is so much fun living here in the future.

Hrrumph. After several minutes of trying it is clear the link for the NFL video does NOT operate like YouTube so I can't embed the video itself on the blog. Sometimes living here in the future is very annoying. I will have to give the link to the website and have people go there to watch if they want. It's less than seven minutes but really gives you the feel of the game and the quality is FAR better than YouTube.

Monday Night Football: Patriots and Ravens Highlights

Monday, November 26, 2007

Political News

Really, I think everyone is amazed that anyone found any kind of heartbeat at all. I wonder if they've ever found a regular heartbeat, doesn't seem possible. The name Darth Vader didn't stick to him for nothing. Then there is a recent poll that said 55% of Americans think Cheney is going to hell. Quite a statistic when you figure at least 9% of the population likes him and another 15-20% don't believe in hell.

Horrible news, isn't it? We won't have Trent Lott to kick around any more. But then we have to look at the reason for him resigning, and specifically before the end of the year. New laws have been enacted that say anyone leaving Congress after January 1, 2008 has to wait an entire year before they can become a lobbyist and rake in the big bucks. So Trent just wants to make sure he doesn't miss a whole year of a 7 figure income.

Here is the article from CNN Money:
Even with a boost from holiday spending, the U.S. economy looks shaky, thanks to slumping housing prices, Wall Street woes and debt-laden consumers. How bad could it get?

It could get really bad, especially with the dollar falling so rapidly. We have Bush's economic policies to thank for this, although a better name would be Bush's Looting Policies. They have funneled money upwards to the rich so they could get much richer and the poor and middle class have to struggle twice as hard to to keep from sinking. When people are working too hard and getting sick without health insurance, and one pay check away from homelessness, they are usually too busy and too tired to march in the street or pay much attention to politics, and that is the whole point of Republican Economic Strategy. And besides, all of them have most of their money in foreign currency so as the dollar falls they actually get richer.

He's were he belongs at last! Too bad it's because Bush invited him. George was having a visit today from all the American Noble Prize Laureates so he couldn't very well keep Al out, he would look petty if he tried. So he made the diplomatic move and called Gore personally to invite him over for a private meeting, makes him look like the big man even though we all know what kind of a man he is; one who isn't fit to shine Al's shoes. The fundies and Neocons all just about had a collective stroke when Gore got the Noble Peace Prize. They hate the guy with a passion (because they know as well as we do that Gore is the rightful president and Bush pulled off a peaceful coup) and they absolutely can't stand the idea that the rest of the world respects him. I think if they did a poll they would find him far more respected around the world than King George.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Stupid Citizens

Jay Leno talks to the people on the streets and asks questions that are on the citizenship test. It's scary that these people can vote. He jokes they are are deported for getting all the answers wrong, if only that were true.

At the very least we should make people take the citizenship test before being allowed to be a registered voter.

Friday, November 9, 2007

We DO Torture!

Vjack, over at Atheist Revolution has a good post on the history of waterboarding and that only America doesn't seem to know it IS torture and that we are engaged in it. And he has some unkind things to say about Christians on the matter:
Fortunately for the politicians, Christianity, often blended with a sense of white racial superiority, made it easier for the American people to swallow what was being done in their name. After all, the victims of waterboarding were not Christian and thus merely immoral beasts. It did not surprise me to learn that one of the early defenders of waterboarding was a Christian minister.

Keith Olbermann has even worse things to say in one of his Special Comments:

It is a fact startling in its cynical simplicity and it requires cynical and simple words to be properly expressed: The presidency of George W. Bush has now devolved into a criminal conspiracy to cover the ass of George W. Bush.

All the petulancy, all the childish threats, all the blank-stare stupidity; all the invocations of World War III, all the sophistic questions about which terrorist attacks we wanted him not to stop, all the phony secrets; all the claims of executive privilege, all the stumbling tap-dancing of his nominees, all the verbal flatulence of his apologists...

The link takes you to an Alternet site that has not only a video of it but a transcript. Powerful stuff, Keith keeps getting better - and angrier - as time goes on.

I understand his anger, I've been incredulous for months that America has sat back and let Bush and his crew turn us into the kind of country who tortures our enemies. I remember one Vietnam POW saying that one of the things that kept them going through all the torture they had to endure was knowing America would never treat their prisoners like that.

Guess we are now the Vietnamese now.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Leopard 10.5

Man, do I want it! I've never been one to update OS's quickly. I've got an old beige Mac that is still running 8.1 (that's a pre-OSX system for the uninitiated). When I got my Quicksilvers in 2002 I ran OS 9.2 for a couple of years because I didn't want to mess with OSX. Didn't use it until Jaguar. Then when Panther came out I waited a year before upgrading to that. Tiger I went to much faster, upgrading after only a few months after it came out because it had some cool features.

But Leopard I really want. All kinds of good things in it. The most important for me is the new Finder, which works much more like Mail or iTunes but I especially like the preview mode, Quick Look, in Finder. I bought a Finder replacement app, Path Finder, a while ago mainly because it had a good preview feature and the few times I've stopped using it and gone back to Finder I've quickly gone back to Path Finder because I really needed the preview feature. Works even better now that InDesign makes previews as well.

But my favorite feature is Back To My Mac. If you have a .mac account (and I do) you can connect to any other Mac of yours that is registered on .mac and use it like you were there. Which means while I'm at work I can open my home Mac and vise versa. There has been many a time I've left things at work I wanted to work on at home and forgot to take with me. Nothing for it but to wait until I get into work the next day. But with the new Leopard feature I can access the work Mac right from the Finder. You used to have to buy Apple Remote Desktop for that, a $500 program.

Time Machine looks great too. It saves a snapshot of your system and files every hour, but not the whole system only what is changed. Suppose you have a file you've been working on for days, at some point you realize you really want to go back to the version you had yesterday afternoon. You can flip through Time Machine until you find just that version of it and copy it back your hard drive.

And there are several other cool features, too. Preview will now let you combine several PDF's into one. Partition your hard drive without erasing it. Notes and To Do's in Mail look interesting. They have Dashcode, which is supposed to make designing Widgets easy, maybe I'll give that a try. Guest login so if I want to look up some porn without Darcy knowing it's all gone when that Guest account is gone :-) Or Private Browsing in Safari will do the same thing.

But my rule is to wait until at least 2 updates on a new OS for them to get some bugs out, but it's going to be hard. What does keep me in check is that there are several system enhancement apps I use that aren't fully Leopard compatible yet so I have to wait for them. Also, I just can't afford it right now which is what is really holding me in check.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Illegal Immigration & the Middle Class

A lot of talk these days about the question Hillary supposedly flubbed on the debates; driver's licenses for illegal immigrants. The idea is to make the roads safer but that really doesn't track for me. Those who are terrible drivers aren't going to take the test anyway. Perhaps a few might study up so they can pass and thus be safer drivers but I don't think it will really create much of a change.

The better argument is that those with driver's licenses can then get insurance. This makes more sense because it affects all of us to have uninsured drivers out there.

But the bottom line is it's a step toward legitimizing their illegal status. With a DL they can then become a regular part of society and get other things as well like jobs, apartments, credit cards, etc. Is this good or bad? It's a matter of opinion and I think both sides can be justified.

Illegal immigration is a very tricky issue for pubs and dems. For pubs the racists don't want any more brown people here, but the big business pubs want the cheap labor. For dems these are our fellow unfortunate and working class people that need a helping hand, but on the other hand they are surpassing wages for the rest of us. Then there is the issue that it is hugely unfair to those who have gone through the system to get here legally.

After much thought the issue that I think trumps all of them is cheap workers coming in and suppressing wages, and quality of life, for the entire middle class. I think the attacks on the middle class by the rich and the corporations is the most serious problem in America today, democracy requires a strong middle class in order to function. Not to mention the idea that people can work hard all their lives in this country and follow all the rules and still end up in their later years completely broke and unable to afford health insurance. To me this is just wrong, it is not the America I thought I was growing up in and not the America I want to see.

So I am against illegal immigration and against giving them amnesty because we need to protect our middle class which is being attacked at all levels and directions. The claim is that Americans won't do the jobs illegals do but I think that's a total crock. If there were no illegals to be used - and abused - by employers then they would have to pay a decent wage to Americans who would, then, do the jobs. Everyone says that will raise prices everywhere and if that is true then I say that it is the price we will have to pay, hopefully that will be offset by increased wages. But I have my doubts about how true that really is, one figure I heard is that if crop pickers got $15 per hour it would only raise the cost of food by less than 10%. In my opinion the problems with high prices and low wages is the crooks at the top, taking multi-million dollar payoffs and ones not even linked to performance.

For one individual to make $20 mil a year for 5 years then get a $200 million payoff when he leaves, even if the company is in worse shape than it was when he came in, is just obscene. The problem is how to stop that. I think the best thing is enormous taxes on that kind of income, something like 90% on anything over $20 mil in one year, which could pay for health care for everyone. The irony here is that universal health care for all of America would help the corporations enormously because they spend a fortune on health care for their employees. Most corps have huge departments devoted entirely to employee health care. Removing that cost & hassle would benefit the corps to the tune of billions a year.

And the middle class aren't asking to be rich, nor are they asking for there to be no rich people, they just want to not be in desperate poverty at the end of their lives or to spend their entire lives one paycheck away from disaster. I don't think that is too much to expect from this country, nor do I think it will cost the rich a significant reduction in their quality of life.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Edwards Speaks Against Government Corruption

This is a great speech that really does address what is behind all our worst problems in this country, that we are run by the corporations who have bought the politicians. And this speech is the reason why I support Edwards and do not want Hillary to win.

Remarks by Senator John Edwards

St. Anselm's College, Manchester, New Hamphshire
October 29, 2007

Many of you know that I am the son of a mill worker -- that I rose from modest means and have been blessed in so many ways in life. Elizabeth and I have so much to be grateful for.

And all of you know about some of the challenges we have faced in my family. But there came a time, a few months ago, when Elizabeth and I had to decide, in the quiet of a hospital room, after many hours of tests and getting pretty bad news -- what we were going to do with our lives.

And we made our decision. That we were not going to go quietly into the night -- that we were going to stand and fight for what we believe in.

As Elizabeth and I have campaigned across America, I've come to a better understanding of what that decision really meant -- and why we made it.

Earlier this year, I spoke at Riverside Church in New York, where, forty years ago, Martin Luther King gave a historic speech. I talked about that speech then, and I want to talk about it today. Dr. King was tormented by the way he had kept silent for two years about the Vietnam War.

He was told that if he spoke out he would hurt the civil rights movement and all that he had worked for -- but he could not take it any more -- instead of decrying the silence of others -- he spoke the truth about himself.

"Over the past two years" he said, "I have moved to break the betrayal of my own silence and speak from the burning of my own heart."

I am not holier than thou. I am not perfect by any means. But there are events in life that you learn from, and which remind you what this is really all about. Maybe I have been freed from the system and the fear that holds back politicians because I have learned there are much more important things in life than winning elections at the cost of selling your soul.

Especially right now, when our country requires so much more of us, and needs to hear the truth from its leaders.

And, although I have spent my entire life taking on the big powerful interests and winning -- which is why I have never taken a dime from Washington lobbyists or political action committees -- I too have been guilty of my own silence -- but no more.

It's time to tell the truth. And the truth is the system in Washington is corrupt. It is rigged by the powerful special interests to benefit they very few at the expense of the many. And as a result, the American people have lost faith in our broken system in Washington, and believe it no longer works for ordinary Americans. They're right.

As I look across the political landscape of both parties today -- what I see are politicians too afraid to tell the truth -- good people caught in a bad system that overwhelms their good intentions and requires them to chase millions of dollars in campaign contributions in order to perpetuate their careers and continue their climb to higher office.

This presidential campaign is a perfect example of how our politics is awash with money. I have raised more money up to this point than any Democratic candidate raised last time in the presidential campaign -- $30 million. And, I did it without taking a dime from any Washington lobbyist or any special interest PAC.

I saw the chase for campaign money at any cost by the frontrunner in this race -- and I did not join it -- because the cost to our nation and our children is not worth the hollow victory of any candidate. Being called president while powerful interests really run things is not the same as being free to lead this nation as president of a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. If protecting the current established structure in Washington is in your interest, then I am not your candidate. I ran for president four years ago -- yes, in part out of personal ambition -- but also with a deep desire to stand for working people like my father and mother -- who no matter how hard things were for our family, always worked even harder to make things better for us.

But the more Elizabeth and I campaigned this year, the more we talked to the American people, the more we met people just like my father, and hard working people like James Lowe. James is a decent and honest man who had to live for 50 years with no voice in the richest country in the world because he didn't have health care. The more people like him that I met, the more I realized something much bigger was stirring in the American people. And it has stirred in each of us for far too long.

Last month Ken Burns -- who made the great Civil War documentary -- launched his newest epic on World War II on PBS -- and what a story it tells.

At the cost of great suffering, blood and enormous sacrifice, within four years after Pearl Harbor it is incredible what this nation achieved. America built the arsenal of democracy worthy of our great history. We launched the greatest invasion armada in the history of warfare against Hitler's fortress Europe, and, with our allies, we freed a continent of suffering humanity.

At the same time on the other side of the globe we crossed 10,000 miles of ocean and liberated another hemisphere of humanity -- islands and nations freed from the grip of Japanese militarists. While at the same time succeeding in the greatest scientific endeavor ever undertaken -- the Manhattan project -- and topped it off with building the Pentagon, one of the largest buildings in the world in a little over a year.

It is incredible what America has accomplished. Because no matter what extraordinary challenges we have been faced with, we did exactly what America has always done in our history -- we rose to the challenge.

And, now, as I travel across America and listen to people, I hear real concern about what's going on. For the first time in our nation's history, people are worried that we're going to be the first generation of Americans not to pass on a better life to our children.

And it's not the fault of the American people. The American people have not changed. The American people are still the strong, courageous people they have always been. The problem is what our government has become. And, it is up to us to do something about it.

Because Washington may not see it, but we are facing a moral crisis as great as any that has ever challenged us. And, it is this test -- this moral test -- that I have come to understand is at the heart of this campaign.

Just look at what has happened in Iraq. What was the response of the American people to the challenge at hand? Our men and women in uniform have been heroes. They've done everything that's been asked of them and more. But what about our government? Four years after invading Iraq, we cannot even keep the lights on in Baghdad.

When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the American people were at their best. They donated their time and their money in record numbers. There was an outpouring of support. I took 700 college kids down to help -- young people who gave up their spring break. But what about our government? Three years after hurricane Katrina thousands of our fellow Americans, our brothers and sisters, are still housed in trailers waiting to go home.

There's no better example of the bravery and goodness of the American people than the response to the attacks of 9/11: firefighters and first responders risking and too often giving their lives to save others, charging up the stairs while everyone else was coming down; record bloodbank donations; and the list goes on. But what about our government? Six years after 9/11, at Ground Zero there sits only a black hole that tortures our conscience and scars our hearts.

In every instance we see an American people who are good, decent, compassionate and undeterred. And, American people who are better than the government that is supposed to serve and represent them.

And what has happened to the American "can do" spirit? I will tell you what has happened: all of this is the result of the bitter poisoned fruit of corruption and the bankruptcy of our political leadership.

It is not an accident that the government of the United States cannot function on behalf of its people, because it is no longer our people's government -- and we the people know it.

This corruption did not begin yesterday -- and it did not even begin with George Bush -- it has been building for decades -- until it now threatens literally the life of our democracy.

While the American people personally rose to the occasion with an enormous outpouring of support and donations to both the victims of Katrina and 9/11 -- we all saw our government's neglect. And we saw greed and incompetence at work. Out of more than 700 contracts valued at $500,000 or greater, at least half were given without full competition or, according to news sources, with vague or open ended terms, and many of these contracts went to companies with deep political connections such as a subsidiary of Haliburton, Bechtel Corp., and AshBritt Inc.

And in Iraq -- while our nation's brave sons and daughters put their lives on the line for our country -- we now have mercenaries under their own law while their bosses sit at home raking in millions.

We have squandered millions on building Olympic size swimming pools and buildings that have never been used. We have weapons and ammunition unaccounted for that may now be being used against our own soldiers. We literally have billions wasted or misspent -- while our troops and their families continue to sacrifice. And the politically connected lobby for more. What's their great sacrifice -- higher profits.

It goes on every minute of every day.

Corporate executives at United Airlines and US Airways receive millions in compensation for taking their companies into bankruptcy, while their employees are forced to take cuts in pay.

Companies like Wal-Mart lobby against inspecting containers entering our nation's ports, even though expert after expert agrees that the likeliest way for a dirty bomb to enter the United States is through a container, because they believe their profits are more important than our safety. What has become of America when America's largest company lobbies against protecting America?

Trade deals cost of millions of jobs. What do we get in return? Millions of dangerous Chinese toys in our children's cribs laden with lead. This is the price we are made to pay when trade agreements are decided based on how much they pad the profits for multinational corporations instead of what is best for America's workers or the safety of America's consumers.

We have even gotten to the point where our children's safety is potentially at risk because nearly half of the apple juice consumed by our children comes from apples grown in China. And Americans are kept in the dark because the corporate lobbyists have pushed back country of origin labeling laws again and again.

This is not the America I believe in.

The hubris of greed knows no bounds. Days after the homeland security bill passed, staffers from the homeland security department resigned and became homeland security consultants trying to cash in. And, where was the outrage? There was none, because that's how it works in Washington now. It is not a Republican revolving door or a Democratic revolving door -- it is just the way it's done.

Someone called it a government reconnaissance mission to figure out how to get rich when you leave the government.

Recently, I was dismayed to see headlines in the Wall Street Journal stating that Senate Democrats were backing down to lobbyists for hedge funds who have opposed efforts to make millionaire and billionaire hedge fund managers pay the same tax rate as every hard-working American. Now, tax loopholes the wealthy hedge fund managers do not need or deserve are not going to be closed, all because Democrats -- our party -- wanted their campaign money.

And a few weeks ago, around the sixth anniversary of 9/11, a leading presidential candidate held a fundraiser that was billed as a Homeland Security themed event in Washington, D.C. targeted to homeland security lobbyists and contractors for $1,000 a plate. These lobbyists, for the price of a ticket, would get a special "treat" -- the opportunity to participate in small, hour long breakout sessions with key Democratic lawmakers, many of whom chair important sub committees of the homeland security committee. That presidential candidate was Senator Clinton.

Senator Clinton's road to the middle class takes a major detour right through the deep canyon of corporate lobbyists and the hidden bidding of K Street in Washington -- and history tells us that when that bus stops there it is the middle class that loses.

When I asked Hillary Clinton to join me in not taking money from Washington lobbyists -- she refused. Not only did she say that she would continue to take their money, she defended them.

Today Hillary Clinton has taken more money from Washington lobbyists than any candidate from either party -- more money than any Republican candidate.

She has taken more money from the defense industry than any other candidate from either party as well.

She took more money from Wall Street last quarter than Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, and Barack Obama combined.

The long slow slide of our democracy into the corporate abyss continues unabated regardless of party, regardless of the best interests of America.

We have a duty -- a duty to end this.

I believe you cannot be for change and take money from the lobbyists who prevent change. You cannot take on the entrenched interests in Washington if you choose to defend the broken system. It will not work. And I believe that, if Americans have a choice, and candidate who takes their money -- Democrat or Republican -- will lose this election.

For us to continue down this path all we have to do is suspend all that we believe in. As Democrats, we continue down this path only if we believe the party of the people is no more.

As Americans, we continue down this path only if we fail to heed Lincoln's warning to us all.

"At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected," he asked, "if it ever reaches us it must spring up amongst us. It can not come from abroad. If destruction be our lot -- we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men we must live through all time or die by suicide."

America lives because 20 generations have honored the one moral commandment that makes us Americans.

To give our children a better future than we received.

I stand here today the son of Wallace and Bobbie Edwards. The father of Wade, Cate, Emma Claire and Jack -- and I know, as well as you, that we must not be the first generation that fails to live up to our moral challenge and keep the promise of America.

That would be an abomination.

There is a dream that is America. It is what makes us American. And I will not stand by while that dream is at risk.

I am not perfect -- far from it -- but I do understand that this is not a political issue -- it is the moral test of our generation.

Our nation's founders knew that this moment would come -- that at some point the power of greed and its influence over officials in our government might strain and threaten the very America they hoped would last as an ideal in the minds of all people, and as a beacon of hope for all time.

That is why they made the people sovereign. And this is why it is your responsibility to redeem the promise of America for our children and their future.

It will not be easy -- sacrifice will be required of us -- but it was never easy for our ancestors, and their sacrifices were far greater than any that will fall on our shoulders.

Yet, the responsibility is ours.

We, you and I, are the guardians of what America is and what it will be.

The choice is ours.

Down one path, we trade corporate Democrats for corporate Republicans; our cronies for their cronies; one political dynasty for another dynasty; and all we are left with is a Democratic version of the Republican corruption machine.

It is the easier path. It is the path of the status quo. But, it is a path that perpetuates a corrupt system that has not only failed to deliver the change the American people demand, but has divided America into two -- one America for the very greedy, and one America for everybody else.

And it is that divided America -- the direct result of this corrupt system -- which may very well lead to the suicide Lincoln warned us of -- the poison that continues to seep into our system while none notice.

Or we can choose a different path. The path that generations of Americans command us to take. And be the guardians that kept the faith.

I run for president for my father who worked in a mill his entire life and never got to go to college the way I did.

I run for president for all those who worked in that mill with my father.

I run for president for all those who lost their jobs when that mil was shut down.

I run for president for all the women who have come up to Elizabeth and me and told us the like Elizabeth they had breast cancer -- but unlike Elizabeth they did not have health care.

I run for president for twenty generations of Americans who made sure that their children had a better life than they did.

As Americans we are blessed -- for our ancestors are not dead, they occupy the corridors of our conscience. And, as long we keep the faith -- they live. And so too the America of idealism and hope that was their gift to us.

I carry the promise of America in my heart, where my parents placed it. Like them, like you, I believe in people, hard work, and the sacred obligation of each generation to the next.

This is our time now. It falls to us to redeem our democracy, reclaim our government and relight the promise of America for our children.

Let us blaze a new path together, grounded in the values from which America was forged, still reaching toward the greatness of our ideals. We can do it. We can cast aside the bankrupt ways of Washington and replace them with the timeless values of the American people. We can liberate our government from the shackles of corporate money that bind it to corporate will, and restore the voices of our people to its halls.

This is the cause of my life. This is the cause of our time. Join me. Together, we cannot fail.

We will keep faith with those who have gone before us, strong and proud in the knowledge that we too rose up to guard the promise of America in our day, and that, because we did, America's best days still lie ahead.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Darcy News

I've been neglecting this blog lately, I don't know if I have any regular readers but if so I apologize.

The problem is my wife, Darcy is not doing very well. We had to call the paramedics to take her to the hospital 4 weeks ago on Sunday. After 3 weeks she got out on Friday night, but by last Thursday (less than a week) she had to go back in. The doctor was very worried that all her blood stats had gotten worse, mainly the ones indicating kidney function. They say she is now down to 10% kidney function.

So, I've been too depressed to write very much, nor have I wanted to talk about it. I don't think she has much more time and I'm stressing out. I've literally been nauseas for the last 4 weeks. We always knew it was just a matter of time, that she couldn't dodge bullets forever, but we never anticipated a slow decline where she got to the point of being bed-bound. She's miserable now because everything is a struggle and she's in some pain, though not a lot most of the time.

After 9.5 years of her anti-rejections meds her kidneys and liver are failing and there isn't much we can do about that.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Young People Rejecting Christianity

I found this great blog article through Alternet, all about how young people - those under 30 - feel about Christians. Apparently you can't be obnoxious for decades without some kind of backlash, most do not look favorably on Christians, even the ones who are Christian themselves:
This study is prompting quite a bit of soul-searching among Evangelicals. Some feel this study verifies things they've long suspected; others are just stunned. Maybe it's the way everybody's always ignored their persistent conversion efforts -- they just got so used to being tuned out by the mainstream culture that it never occurred to them that anyone might ever take anything they said seriously. And now, they're genuinely surprised to find out that yes, we were listening -- and yes, we did take it all very much to heart. And, furthermore, what we've heard has deeply damaged our opinion of them.
All they've been spouting for years now is hatred and criticism and they are shocked that people find that distasteful? And note that this study is from Barna, a Fundamentalist organization. Here's more:
-- The long-term trend toward a less Christian nation is probably good news for liberalism in general. If there are comparatively fewer Christians, there will be more people of other faiths -- though other Barna studies have found that the biggest gains of all are being made among atheist and agnostic free-thinkers, who are also the most likely to be political liberals. This, in turn, bodes well for the various scientific fields that have come under attack by the religious right; and it opens the way for Christians and non-Christians to find some fresh common ground on issues like social justice and the environment as the religious leadership changes.
The biggest gains are being made among atheist and agnostic free-thinkers. Heh heh. I've long said that the most potent force for creating atheists is the bible, someone has to be brain dead to read the whole thing all the way through and not see something is seriously wrong. But it is looking as if the most potent force for creating atheists is Christians themselves. And it all bodes well for science and liberalism - AHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAH!!

I must have died and gone to heaven.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

A Tale of Religious Abuse

And excellent atheist blog is Atheist Revolution. I found his entry called "An Ode for Tony" to be particularly heartbreaking. There isn't much I can add to the story, best to just go and read it.

But beware, it might make you depressed, it sure did that to me. The insanity of religion just infuriates me sometimes, and the insanity of parents doing this to their son in the name of religion can only be depressing.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Who's Got The Money

This video doesn't take much explanation except to say we have the Republicans to thank for this.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Democratic Debates

This time I felt that Edwards really separated himself from the pack and especially from Hillary. She waffled and refused to take a definitive stance on anything, a true politician using political speak - sound important but don't really make a commitment that will offend anyone. Edwards never had that problem, he took a firm stand on everything and did not waffle at all.

First came the Iraq War, Edwards stated flat out that he would immediately start bringing the troops home as fast as the generals say it's safe to do. Hillary said she might leave some troops in to still do military ops. Hard to be more different than that. This falls in line with her vote for the war with Iran earlier today, she's republican light, not a true liberal and democrat. The pundits are making a big deal this morning of the fact that none of the top three would promise to get out of Iraq by the end of their first term. This doesn't bother me, it's actually a good idea to not commit to something you can't be certain of. I'd rather see that than have people make promises when they have no idea if they can deliver.

The second instance that stood out was on Social Security, Hillary was so vague she didn't even answer it at all but just said we have to first move towards fiscal responsibility and she would not say one thing she would do to fix it. Edwards immediately came out and said he would raise the cap on the income limit on taxes, to me the single most important issue about Social Security. He said exactly what I think, that it's ridiculous that someone who makes $50 million a year will only pay FICA tax on the first $97,000 and none at all on the rest. While someone who makes $80,000 will be taxed for his entire income. Make everyone pay the tax on ALL their income and all problems will be solved and we could probably even lower the tax rate. Edwards gave real answers even if it might not please everyone.

The pundits on MSNBC all said the same thing, especially Chris Matthews, he seemed really angry that Hillary dodged so many questions. And they all gave Edwards points for being direct and honest. On the Today Show this morning Tim Russert commented on Hillary's reluctance to take a stand on many issues.

But Kucinich had the best line of the night. He said: “You can have someone who was against the war from the beginning, and voted against it consistently ever since . . . or you can have someone taller.”

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


It seems that President Bush has been sending memos through back channels to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama with tips on how to stay in Iraq. Really! I'm totally serious here, this really happened, it says so in the new book by Bush's lapdog Bill Sammon, The Evangelical President.

Apparently Bush thinks that once someone is sitting in the Oval Office and sees the intelligence (a really appropriate name for it, eh?) that Bush has seen a rational person can only come to the very same conclusion Bush has, that we have to stay there forever!

And he wants to keep Gitmo open so that his successor will have that option. It's almost enough to make you start feeling sorry for the guy, I wonder if there is enough air up there in the clouds where he lives.

The fun part is imagining what the Hillary and Obama camps did when they got those memos. First I would imagine stunned looks all around, follow by peal of hysterical laughter.

Someone ought to put Bush and O'Reilly in the same room together, alone but with video running, just to see what they might say in private to each other.

Racist O'Reilly

It seems that Bill O'Reilly, affectionally called Billo by Keith Olbermann, went into Harlem with Al Sharpton and had dinner at a place called Sylvia's. Supposedly famous but I've never heard of it, but then I do live on the other coast and haven't been to New York in 38 years.
Apparently Bill has never been there before either and was amazed at what he saw:
I couldn't get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia's restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City. I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it's run by blacks, primarily black patronship.

First time I heard about this I just couldn't believe it but it's the real thing as you can see here at Media Matters. They even have the audio of Bill saying this. Bill goes on to say:
There wasn't one person in Sylvia's who was screaming, 'M-Fer, I want more iced tea.' You know, I mean, everybody was -- it was like going into an Italian restaurant in an all-white suburb in the sense of people were sitting there, and they were ordering and having fun. And there wasn't any kind of craziness at all.

Wow! Black people acting just like ordinary people!!?? When did this happen? Must have been when Bill had his head up his ass.

It's astonishing that anyone could be that much of a racist in this day and age and not even know he was one. In fact, when CNN did a story on this, playing the audio so everyone would know Bill really said it, O'Reilly called up the anchor and screamed at him over the phone for making him look like a racist.

Seems like Billo's head is still firmly jammed up there.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Bill Maher Against Religion

In last Friday's show Bill really disses religion and speaks up for rationalists everywhere:

Friday, September 21, 2007

Olbermann Slams Bush

And here is Keith's comments on Bush's comments at the press conference. The one that made the democrats jump up and yell "How Far, Sir!"


Myself and many others have been fuming at the democrats being spineless, craven twits and voting to censure MoveOn for their ad. Here's a note I sent to the Democrats in the Senate:

"Why are you spineless Democrats jumping every time Bush says anything? He's supposed to be a lame duck yet a bad answer at a press conference initiates an immediate vote. Why do you keep letting him play you like puppets?"

And here is a letter I received from MoveOn, I'm incredibly moved by the comments from military people who understand what America is all about and aren't falling for Bush's horse-puckey. It makes me so angry that the burden of this war has fallen on a very small percentage of our population - the families of our professional military, mostly poor and rural folks, while the rich sit back and make big bucks off their lives and limbs:

Dear MoveOn member,

Yesterday, an amazing thing happened. After the Senate's shameful vote, and after President Bush called MoveOn "disgusting," our email started to fill up with messages like this one:
I'm currently in Iraq. I do not agree with this war, and if I did support this war, it would not matter. You have the RIGHT to speak the truth. We KNOW that you support us. Thank you for speaking out for being our voice. We do not have a voice. We are overshouted by those who say that we soldiers do not support organizations like MoveOn. WE DO.

YOU ARE OUR voice.

And then came the donations. By midnight, over 12,000 people had donated $500,000—more than we've raised any day this year—for our new ad calling out the Republicans who blocked adequate rest for troops headed back to Iraq.

The message from MoveOn members was loud and clear: Don't back down. Take the fight back to the issues that matter.

All day, messages from vets and military family members kept pouring into our email, many of them aimed at the Senate:
I have given a son to this country. My brother, my father, my uncle have all served honorably and bravely. I am a loyal American. I am outraged and sick to death of the tactics this administration uses to try to silence dissent to a war that is unjust, built and maintained on lies, political power, and greed. I was content to let others fight more loudly, but no more.
–Sharyn W., NC

I am a prior soldier who served in Iraq for 13 months, and am now an expecting mom with a husband who is deployed in Baghdad. I don't think I can ever forgive the Bush administration for the lies that tricked America into this war and hurt my family so badly. I am ashamed of those American politicians who would condemn an organization for practicing the Freedom of Speech that so many soldiers have died for.
–Danielle B., OH

As a US Navy veteran and an Iraq war veteran of over a year I want to ask, What has happened to us? What has happened to our voice? Where is this country going with stopping free speech and free press? ... Every time I think of the long nights I had in Anbar remembering what I was fighting for, well here it is....
–Ahmad H., LA

These folks have made sacrifices many of us can't imagine. Their charge to us was clear: keep speaking the truth about how President Bush and the Republicans have betrayed our trust.

And still the messages kept coming ...
I've had three nephews serve since 2002, one of whom was killed in Anbar Province. I have a fourth nephew at Quantico training. I want this war over before he is deployed and before any more of our soldiers are sacrificed.
–Michele R., NE

Three members of my family are military. Two Marines have served in Iraq and an Army Lt. is deploying in November. If we had all spoken out when the administration used General Powell perhaps we would not be in this mess.
–Carol B., PA

As a Marine I served for many reasons but one of them was to allow people the freedom of speech, whether I agreed with it or not. Wearing a uniform does not mean someone isn't a shill, is spewing propaganda, and downright lies. MoveOn has every right to buy an ad and say what they want about a public figure. This administration has lied to us, deceived us, misled us and when posed with a challenge this is how they respond?
–Keith G., VA

The Senate won't pass a policy to end the war or even to make sure our troops in the field have enough rest time between deployments, but they hold votes to crack down on millions of Americans who are upset about the war?

Well—it isn't going to work. We put together a hard-hitting ad that highlights how Republicans failed our troops and if we can raise enough money today, we'll air it across the country. Please help if you can:

For all of us on the MoveOn staff, this week was a bit of a rollercoaster—MoveOn was attacked by nearly the entire Republican party, while too many Democrats ran for the hills. But what kept us going were messages like these—and the incredible privilege we feel to serve all 3.2 million Americans in

When the story is written of how the Iraq war ended, you will be the heroes. Thank you.

Health Care

Here is a story on American Prospect by Ezra Klein. Supposed to be about Hillary but seems to be more about Edwards. He says we have Edwards to thank for getting Obama and Hillary to come out with health insurance plans as far towards universal coverage as they have. Without him they would have been much more timid. One of the reasons I support Edwards:
Edwards was perhaps an unlikely candidate to push the health care conversation forward. In 2004, his primary campaign released a plan that didn't even pretend to cover every America -- it sought little more than coverage for kids. But freed from the (partly self-imposed) strictures of his 2004 role as the southern moderate, Edwards' 2008 campaign has been far bolder in its policy. Exhibit A is his health care plan, released long before that of any other major candidate, which achieves full coverage, offers a public insurance option, regulates the insurers, and much more. It is easily the most impressive health care reform proposal adopted by a national Democrat in 15 years.

I saw him speak about health care at one of the debates and he was very passionate about it and seems to really understand what the problems are and the cost in money, suffering and lives with our current health care system. How much any candidate can do remains to be seen, I think a lot of that will depend on how many Democrats get elected to congress.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Adobe Icons

I final got Adobe Creative Suite 3, so now I am fully Intel Mac-ed with my most important and most used applications. They are very nice and very fast - but man, what god-awful icons they came up with!!

This is a company whose main focus for years is making the top creative apps in the biz, every graphics pro uses these apps, and this is the best they can do for their own icons? Sheesh!

Fortunately, all is not lost for people are coming up with new ones to replace them with - Adobe Icons.

None of these are great but great isn't needed to be better than Adobe's icons. Actually, just being awful would be an improvement. The Adam Betts ones are my favorite.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Hillary Health Care

My friend, Long Live the Village Green has a post about Hillary's new health care plan. Like most of us she is still trying to figure it out because many things aren't spelled out:
At lunch I checked my Faithless (Atheist and Agnostic) Group email and found a posting from one of our members about Hillary Clinton's newly revealed health plan. He was outraged. In his words, "This isn't universal health care, this is mandatory health insurance. Health insurance is not health care. Millions of people who have insurance aren't getting the health care they require because the insurance companies decide what gets covered. And this nation values the private sanctity of the insurance companies more than health care."

I'm on that same list and share those concerns but supposedly part of her plan is government subsidies to the insurance companies to make sure the cost of insurance is reasonable. Also she has the option of joining Medicare, which I think must be either free or low cost, but she doesn't say. There is something about insurance payments always being a percentage of your income.

Hillary may not have the best plan but any step to universal health care in this country is a good one. And for those who think the government can only be terrible with these things I have to point out my wife Darcy. Diagnosed with a fatal lung disease 14 years ago and needing a transplant, she had to go on Medicare. She was part of an online group of people waiting for lungs and the stories of all of them were terrible. Every single time those with private insurance were initially turned down for the transplant. Some would just give up at that point and die, others would fight and most of the time would finally get approval, but a fight with your insurance company is the last thing someone with a fatal illness should have the face.

But Darcy was the only one who didn't have any problems, because she had Medicare - government insurance. Those who think private insurance will work better than the government has never had to put their insurance to the test.

After the transplant there are tons of very expensive drugs one has to take, totaling around $5,000 per month, far beyond what any working person can afford. Once again, Darcy had no problem but those with private insurance got messed with every step of the way. One had her insurance company sold to an HMO who only allowed a limit of $250 a month for meds. She's dead now.

This is the concern of the writer above, it is still private insurance and they will still try to get out of having to pay for anything expensive. There has a to be a way around that.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Rebutting Bush

Bush's speech last night was so far from reality that on MSNBC Joe Biden practically blew a gasket and almost called Bush insane. He was as angry as I'd ever seen him. Today on Hardball Chris Matthews spent the whole time showing how everything Bush said was an outright lie. Especially his ridiculous claim that there are 36 other countries helping us. Turns out there is 24 and a few of those are a single soldier, and one of those was just asked to withdraw by his government. Our troops number 15 times all the other countries combined. I don't even like Matthews and think he's nothing but a kiss-ass Republican sycophant, but I could see even he was pissed off and amazed that Bush could say what he did. After 6 years and a million dead human beings it seems the press has finally caught on that Bush is lying - amazing.

On Alternet there is a very good article by Howie Klein that sums it all up, with comments from several Democrats, but the best thing on there is the video of Edwards' commercial that came on right after Bush. With that speech he showed himself different from all the other Democrats, he laid it on the line and told off congressional Democrats as well as Bush, all the others are still playing political games while people die. I had high hopes for Obama when he entered the race but instead of being a leader and showing he was outside of the usual party leadership he fit himself right in as just another player, saying all the right things in just the right way, which is why he's second, and the media likes him. Howie has quotes from Hillary, Obama, Harry Reid, Pelosi and Howard Dean. Compare them all to what Edwards says, only Dean even comes close and Edwards is suffering from the same thing that ended Dean's run in 04, the media doesn't like him.

The only three candidates with the guts to go outside of the mold and speak their minds are Edwards, Kucinich and Gravel. Kucinich and Gravel don't stand a chance, the media don't like them either, although after hearing Dennis earlier this week on the Ed Schultz Show my opinion of him went way up. I'd probably vote for him except I really do like Edwards better and he has a chance to win, even though the odds are against him right now it isn't out of reach, he IS leading in Iowa.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

How Popular Is Bush Now?

I just found a new blog that looks interesting, here's an excerpt of one post:
Do you want some swing state proof that the GOP is on its last legs? Ok, how about in my home state of Ohio, the ultimate swing state.

Example 3: Here in the Buckeye State, George W. Bush had a 61% approval rating in April of 2003, which now stands at 30%. On Iraq his approval has fallen from 66% to 28%. Whether the War in Iraq was worth all we have lost, he has fallen from 51% saying yes to 28% now saying yes.

Wow, Americans hate him, Ohioans hate him as much if not more than their countrymen overall and all hate his policies.

Oh, how the "mighty" have fallen. And despite all the polls neither Bush nor the Democratic Congress seem to have a clue about how most of America feels.

A note about Petraeus, when asked if the war in Iraq was making us safer he paused for a minute and looked confused then said he didn't know, he had been focused on meeting his objectives in Iraq. Excuse me? Does everyone get what this means? The man leading our war in Iraq doesn't know if the war is in our best interest. This means that saying we were safer was too big a lie for him to tell to congress but he couldn't go against Bush so he said I don't know, and had that deer in the headlights look for a minute or so. It wasn't the kind of question where he could pull a Gonzales and say "I don't recall" so "I don't know" was the best he could do.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Liberal & Conservative Brains

There is a new study out on the difference between liberal and conservative brains and how each type functions. Full article can be read here.
Frank Sulloway, a researcher at the Institute of Personality and Social Research, at the University of California, Berkeley, who was not involved in the study, said results "provided an elegant demonstration that individual differences on a conservative-liberal dimension are strongly related to brain activity."

Analyzing the data, Sulloway said liberals were 4.9 times more likely than conservatives to show activity in the brain circuits that deal with conflicts and were 2.2 times more likely to score in the top half of the distribution for accuracy.

What does this mean? Very simply that liberals actually use their brains more - this is that little known activity called THINKING! Some people (especially conservatives) have heard rumors of such activity but haven't experienced much of it themselves.

It doesn't say if this is genetic, that our brains are hard wired for a particular way of thinking. The study really isn't broad enough for that but my guess is it would be 50/50. This is the usual percentages researchers in nurture/nature studies cite. This is because they don't really know except that both seem to have very large influences.

My guess is that this type of mindset is learned and is based on two very different perspectives. For the liberals it's all about curiosity, for the conservatives it's all about fear. How does one get their particular perspective that shapes how their brains function? That brings us back to the nurture/nature argument. In my opinion nurture vs nature is all over the board, some people seem to be highly influenced by how they were raised while others seem to be completely untouched by it and go their own way, and still others seem a nice blend of both. In my case I've pretty much always been curious and still am. I read science and history books for fun, after all, just to learn something new. Conservatives seem to be more concerned with being safe than in learning new things. In fact, one very strong image I have of the religious conservative is they want to keep their children away from knowledge because it's dangerous.

They'd be right, it is dangerous, probably THE most dangerous thing around, but that just makes it more interesting.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Larry Craig

I love this guy! As far as bad publicity for the Republicans we couldn't ask for a better guy, not only is he gay and refuses to admit it, got picked up by the cops and pleaded guilty, but he won't resign! The leaders of the GOP must be in a frenzy, only by tossing him out can they get him out of the news cycle, but he won't go. The last word on Friday is he WILL resign. I sure hope he un-resigns again, after all, he didn't leave right away but will stick around for a couple more weeks. Plenty of time for him to change his mind 2 or 3 times.

And to add to the irony, the Republican Presidential Convention next year is being held in Minneapolis. This means everyone going to it has to go through the same airport that Craig was arrested in. Oh, that should be fun. They should rename it the Larry Craig Memorial Airport, or maybe just the men's room; The Larry Craig Memorial Men's Room with a little plaque on the door and arrows pointing to it placed all over the airport. Oh, what fun.

And they can't drive there because the bridge is gone. All of which makes Minneapolis the perfect place for their convention since it sums up a large part of Republican rule nicely.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Keith Olbermann lays waste to President Bush

Like he hasn't done that before, but Keith's commentaries are well worth listening to. It's like he's the only special commentator left in America who isn't on the right wing payroll or an idiot, the only one really willing to tell the truth about Bush.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Glossy Screens Part 3

A while back I wrote a post on the new iMac glossy screens, only problem was I hadn't actually seen one yet.  So I went and found some at the Apple store so I could see for myself what all the fuss was about.  Unfortunately, they were far worse than I imagined and I wrote a second article on it.

Today I was at Fry's to look for a couple of things and thought I'd see if they got the new iMacs in yet, they hadn't had them the last time I was looking.  Now they did and I checked the screen out very carefully and it was much, much better.  I'm still angry that Apple made the very stupid decision to put a 6 bit TN panel in instead of the 8 bit ips panels that Apple monitors have always been, but at least the color and tone was even over the whole screen this time.

So it must have been a bad batch in the first ones that went out and they seemed to have fixed them now.  The screen looks good but it's still glossy, another really bad choice by Apple.  And as good as this screen is it can't hold a candle to the screens in the last generation white iMacs that I ended up buying.  Even the 24", which is an 8 bit ips panel, doesn't look as sharp and clear as my 20" because of that god-awful gloss on it.

But at least they have a usable screen now in the 20" imacs.  A non-pro might not notice the lower quality of the new screens and if the glossy doesn't bother you, now you can at least be sure you aren't getting a monitor faded out on the bottom and too dark at the top.  Although I bet there are still a few of those floating around.

The New iPods

The Classic and Shuffle remain the same, the Nano becomes a Mini Me of the Classic, which I think is an excellent idea. For those on a limited budget you get the full iPod just with smaller disk space. The 4 GB is $149, the 8 GB is $199, and you can watch videos.

But the really cool one is the iPod Touch. Looks just like an iPhone only slightly shorter with the full touch screen and WiFi. You can even download songs from the Apple Store if you have a WiFi connection. And they are working a deal with Starbucks to sync their music and WiFi with what Starbucks is playing in their store. Hear a good tune while buying your coffee? Just whip out your iPod Touch and you are immediately on a WiFi connection to the iTunes store where they will let you know automatically what song is playing and you can buy it with just a touch. Surf the web with Safari, too. Runs $299 for an 8 GB, $399 for a 16 GB.

They still aren't doing enough, though. This is the perfect opportunity for them to turn it into a full blown PDA with notes, calendar, games and things. They have half of that now and the touch screen for easy maneuvering and typing, why stop with it half full? Still, I don't own an iPod and don't need one (especially if it isn't a PDA). Darcy has one but after spending $299 just last Xmas I'm certainly not getting another one now, especially since I just spent a fortune on 2 new iMacs. Someday they will make the iPhone good enough, as well as AT&T good enough (and cheap enough) and I'll put away my Palm and LG flip phone. For now I'll just wait and see what develops.

Baby Boomers

I wrote this a while back but thought it was too good for just a single posting. It was one of those moments where I just got angry and started typing and captured some raw emotion. So I'm presenting it again:

How Did This Happen?

I'm sitting here listening to Cat Stevens songs and thinking about my youth, we had such ideals back then, we wanted so much and dreamed so far. World peace, love, brothers and sisters to all. It's with tears in my eyes that I look at what we've become as America totters on the brink of fascism and we are responsible for the death of close to 1,000,000 people in Iraq. We railed and protested against our parents and their generation for being hypocrites, but looking back now they were practically saints compared to what this generation has become. The worst our parents did was fail to live up to the ideals of what America should be, what the boomer generation has done is throw those ideals to the ground and stomp on them as if they were evil.

I'm now old and tired, as old as my mom was when Cat recorded these songs, 3 years older than my dad ever made it to. Oddly enough there is still fire in my belly, rage against the machine. Too bad it's accompanied by nausea. My whole body hurts and I'm tired down to my bones and my beloved Darcy is about to die soon. And Cat Stevens is now a devote Muslim who did not condemn the Ayatolah's death sentence of Salman Rushdie, so much for peace and love.

And on top of that we stand at the brink of world disaster with global warming. It won't lead to the end of mankind but it will lead to world-wide problems like nothing we've ever seen, millions of refugees across the globe, hunger, misery and death for multiple millions of humanity. I fear the future will look at the baby boomer generation and see us as either monsters or insane, maybe both. We all claim Hitler and the Nazis as the worst evil that men can sink to but future generations will put that label on us.

How did this happen? Christians and rich people, the fundamentalists who have tried to ram theocracy down our throats and the neocons who have gladly used them as the means to power. If any good can come from all this it will be if both such groups are reviled and hated for as long as humanity lasts.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Saving the World

I had several different ideas for my holiday posting but when I saw this story on the Today Show I knew this was it. It's all about a web site called Kiva that allows all Americans to give small loans to poor entrepreneurs around the world, and by small I'm talking about starting at $25. These loans are then paid back with 2% interest, Kiva takes no cut at all.

I did a story about this very thing a while back on my commentary blog Here In The Future, about a guy named "Muhammad Yunus, Banker to the World's Poorest Citizens." He began loaning money to the poor, the people who really needed it and found they paid back the loans at a much better rate than rich people. And the amount they needed was ridiculously small.

The Kiva web site makes it possible for all of us to chip in and help those who need it most, and not charity but a loan. This is how economic growth really happens, from the bottom up, not from the top down. Trickle down is another way of saying getting pissed on.

Sunday, September 2, 2007


Over on Atheist Revolution he has a nice rant on what religious people believe. I hardly need to redo it here since he did such a good job of it. Check it out and read the whole thing yourself. Here's just the very end which sums it up perfectly:
This is my main pet peeve - the confusion of personal belief with truth and the unfortunately common tendency to elevate personal beliefs to the level of empirical reality.