Saturday, May 31, 2008

Gas Prices

Thomas Friedman has written an article on high gas prices. He starts out talking about what it might be like if someone running for president could actually tell us the truth. A pretty stupid way to write this article since it has nothing to do with who is running for president, but then again Friedman makes a living as a writer and I don't:
For starters, he or she would explain that there is no short-term fix for gasoline prices. Prices are what they are as a result of rising global oil demand from India, China and a rapidly growing Middle East on top of our own increasing consumption, a shortage of “sweet” crude that is used for the diesel fuel that Europe is highly dependent upon and our own neglect of effective energy policy for 30 years. Cynical ideas, like the McCain-Clinton summertime gas-tax holiday, would only make the problem worse, and reckless initiatives like the Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep offer to subsidize gasoline for three years for people who buy its gas guzzlers are the moral equivalent of tobacco companies offering discounted cigarettes to teenagers.

Friedman is an asshole but in this case I agree with him. I remember watching the rise of popularity of bigger and bigger SUV's with dismay from the time they first came out. I kept wanting to say: "What the hell is wrong with you people? Have you learned nothing? Gas prices are just going to keep going up, always, the fact that it's stable for a brief time means nothing." And that is still true today, eventually we will have $7, $9 even $12 per gallon.

And human nature being what it is that is what is needed to inspire us to invent alternate energy sources. It's a shame the Gas Crisis of the 70's taught no lessons to the public at large, but it sure taught me something. Back then I had a little Opal Kadett, a car that is no longer made which is a fate it deserves, but in those days I could fill up it's little 10 gallon tank for $2.50. After the Gas Crisis it cost $10.00. Today 10 gallons would cost $40.

Friedman goes on to talk about his mythical presidential candidate:

But the message going forward to every car buyer and carmaker would be this: The price of gasoline is never going back down. Therefore, if you buy a big gas guzzler today, you are locking yourself into perpetually high gasoline bills. You are buying a pig that will eat you out of house and home. At the same time, if you, a manufacturer, continue building fleets of nonhybrid gas guzzlers, you are condemning yourself, your employees and shareholders to oblivion.

All of this is so true but the fact is the car makers are stuck, they have all these gas guzzlers to get rid of, they have to try and sell them. After all, that's how the free market system that Friedman is usually so fond of works. And those companies who were too stupid to plan ahead would go out of business, this is a good thing to free market people. Yet when Chrysler went bankrupt many, many moons ago the government bailed them out because it would have had a devastating impact on our economy. Like we bailed out Bear Stearns recently. If we keep bailing out these large corporations when they go under then we should impose stricter regulations on them in order to keep such things to a minimum. But the Republicans want to give the corps more and more freedom to conduct business any way they want then turn around and cry for corporate welfare when the things they choose to do end up being short-sighted, greedy and stupid.

We all get screwed with higher gas prices because gas is required in every business that exists and they will pass those increases on to us. After all, it's not like the executives should take pay cuts or anything. But it really is the only thing that will change our energy policies. When all the other alternatives become cheaper than gas those businesses will boom.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Gas Prices and God

Vjack at Atheist Revolution has an interesting story about one of the good side effects of our high gas prices - fewer people are going to church!
When the Rev. Robert E. Dennis notes that gas prices are necessitating some difficult choices by American seniors (e.g., gas, food, medication, etc.), he is on the right track. However, I have to fault this group for suggesting that church should even be among such considerations. That their "offerings" are down 20% looks rather trivial against increases in home foreclosures and seniors having to chose between medication and food!

The problem is that it will cut into the Good Rev's income. I wonder if most reverends live next to their churches and don't have to drive to work? Anyway, if they were all that upset over it all they have to do is pray for lower gas prices. Bible says prayer can move mountains, gas prices should be easy. Oh wait, someone tried that already, holding prayer meetings at gas stations and it didn't work. Now that's odd.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Ford Sucks

Thanks to Underground Atheist for this story; A Ford Dealership named Kieffe & Sons in Mojave, CA. has put out a very prejudiced ad:

"But did you know that 86% of Americans say they believe in God? Since we all know that 86 out of every 100 of us are Christians, who believe in God, we at Kieffe & Sons Ford wonder why we don't tell the other 14% to sit down and shut up. I guess I just offended 14% of the people who are listening to this message. Well, if that is the case then I say that's tough, this is America folks, it's called free speech. None of us at Kieffe & Sons Ford is afraid to speak out. Kieffe & Sons Ford on Sierra Highway in Mojave and Rosamond, if we don't see you today, by the grace of God, we'll be here tomorrow."
Would he be willing to say that to black people who are also about 14% of the population?

If Ford does not put a stop to this I will never buy a Ford again. Not that I was ever going to but this makes sure of it.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Hillary: Unforgivable

I've been angry at all the crap that Hillary and Bill and have pulled during this election, her desire to win at all costs, even if she destroys the party in the process. Her desire to win clearly moving into desperation. But today she went too far, way too far. In answering a question about why everyone wants to push her out of the race she said this:
My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. I don't understand it.

Her meaning couldn't be more clear, she's hoping Obama gets shot so she can step in and be president. Everyone is saying it's just a gaff, she really didn't mean that, but I disagree. Sure, it was a gaff, but something like that doesn't come out at a press conference unless that thought is very much on her mind. I'd be willing to bet it's even been discussed behind closed doors at her campaign. I've wondered why she hasn't dropped out before now, her continuing at this stage is just insane. Now we know, she's hoping for the worst, because it would be the best for her.

I've long remembered a stand up routine Eddie Murphy did back in the 80's, talking about Jesse Jackson. Eddie imitated the first black man to run for president, he ran all over the stage, pretending to dodge bullets. I didn't think it was funny and the feeling I got was that Eddie didn't either, there was a real edge to him that night. When Barack first started running I remembered that Eddie Murphy show with dread and have often thought that I hope Barack is taking his security seriously.

Bobby Kennedy was the hope of change for his time and was brutally killed. I was 14 at the time and I was as shocked and saddened as I had ever been in my young life. How dare Hillary say what she did, how dare she even hope for Obama's assassination even for a second.

I think she not only ended her presidential campaign today but ended her political career as well. No chance now she will be VP, no chance of anything except maybe being able to hold on to her senate seat. But don't count on it.

Update: I was looking for some stories on this and was surprised at how many people saw nothing wrong in her comments, but then something else leaped out at me. She's said this same thing 2 or 3 times before over the past few months. Keith lists them in his Special Comment but that really didn't register with me but now I get it. This was no gaffe, she is trying to say that people should vote for her because there is too good a chance of Obama being assassinated. This is far worse than I first thought it was, this is absolutely deplorable as a campaign tactic. I'm beyond angry now.

Keith Olbermann was almost too angry to speak when he did his special comment on this tonight.

Ellen vs McCain, Love vs Hate

Ellen DeGeneres had John McCain on her show yesterday. What he says clearly demonstrates the absolute hypocrisy of the people who oppose gay marriage, who act as if they aren't damaging real people.
I just believe in the unique status of marriage between man and woman. And I know that we have a respectful disagreement on that issue.

I like that (sarcasm). He just tells Ellen he thinks she should be a second class citizen without the full rights of other Americans but he says that's "respectful." There is nothing the least bit respectful about that, in fact it's about as DIS-respectful as it's possible to get. Then he says this:

Well, I’ve heard you articulate that position in a very eloquent fashion and we have a disagreement and I, along with many many others, wish you every happiness.

More hypocrisy, he wishes her every happiness EXCEPT the one thing she wants to do that will make her the most happy, the one thing every other American, including McCain has. Either he knows damn well he doesn't respect her at all and doesn't wish her any kind of happiness, and is just saying this because this discussion is awkward face-to-face, or he does respect Ellen and is just pandering to the right wingers in order to be president.

Which is worse?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Hillary is Lying

One of my pet peeves of the media today is they don't give the facts, they just repeat sound bites. If it takes a bit of effort to explain the situation then they won't do it. This even includes Olbermann and Matthews last night on election coverage, I thought those guys would educate, but no. They actually spent more time talking about how complicated it all is than it would have taken to explain it.

What is Hillary's big lie? She keeps saying she has won the popular vote and this is flat out false in many ways. And not only false it involves going back on the rules of the Democratic Party that both candidates signed an agreement to when all this started. Haven't we seen enough lies and going back on their word from the Bushies? We don't need another president who does this.

She gets more votes when she adds in Michigan and Florida, which they both agreed would not be counted. Those states broke the rules and to keep order the DNC had to give them some consequences for it or everyone would break the rules and we'd have chaos. Nobody campaigned in either state and Obama's name wasn't even on the ballot in Michigan and their rules don't allow them to count write in votes. Hillary won those states quite unfairly and she knows it but wants to count them now.

But there is more. Caucus states don't count the popular vote only the delegates. Weird, I know, but that's how it works. If we don't like the system then let's try and change it at some point in the future but not in the middle of the primary season. If we were to get all the numbers from all the caucus states, Obama won the popular vote by quite a substantial amount even if Hillary adds in Michigan and Florida. Another rule is that we count delegates, not popular votes, which is why the caucuses don't need to count the popular vote. So popular vote is irrelevant anyway.

So, to summarize, Hillary only appears to have the popular vote if she cheats in several ways and goes against the rules she signed her name to. I am not amused by these baldfaced lies from her nor by the media failing to explain the real situation. I'm sure there are a lot of people out there who don't follow this stuff closely who think maybe Hillary should get the nomination if she has more of the popular vote, and that is just wrong. People need to know that Obama has won by every measure we have and Hillary is acting like George Bush trying to start a war in Iraq and I've had more than my fill of those kinds of lies.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Real John McCain

McCain is an old fool who has contradicted everything he's ever said. He doesn't stand for anything he just wants to be president. Go here to see more video of him contradicting himself.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Rocket Man

The Jetsons are here in the 21st century at last. Or maybe it's a super hero. The music that was put on it is absolutely perfect.

When the new century broke my complaint was "Where are the flying cars? They promised me flying cars!" Apparently I wasn't the only one because someone did a commercial that said just that with the commander of Deep Space 9. But in thinking about it there are inherent problems with flying, whether in a car or a jet pack. What if the power gives out? Of course you will plummet to your death, but imagine that there are as many flying cars as there are cars right now? We would have a dozen cars falling every day, causing all kinds of damage when they hit.

So there will be no flying cars or jet packs in everyday usage until they solve that little problem.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Special Comment

Keith Olbermann has another Special Comment tonight where he really slams Bush. I've never seen Keith so angry and I've seen him pretty angry. But I agree with 100%, Bush just pisses me off so badly it's hard to even talk about him but his comment about sacrificing golf for the troops was just unbelievable, even for him.

What is really cool this time is that MSNBC had the video of it right away with the code for embedding. I used to have to wait a day until someone put it on YouTube then embed what was usually a very bad image. They announced on Countdown to go to with instructions for how to embed it. On one of his earlier comments MSNBC had a video of it but no way to embed it so I still had to wait a day. I shot an email off to Keith telling him they needed to do this very thing, have a way for us bloggers to embed the good quality video and get it out in the blogosphere right away. They must have paid attention.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Ed Schultz Show!

This is progressive radio that isn't Air America. It's nice to know there are others out there, after all, Air America has almost gone out of business a couple of times.

Big Eddie's show comes on at noon out here on the west coast, although I have to tune in to a Seattle radio station online to hear him because the LA station doesn't have him until 7 PM.

I didn't like Ed too much at first, he makes one really bad first impression because he sounds so much like Rush Limbaugh. I've talked to others who say they can't listen to him for that reason alone and I have to admit it was disconcerting for a long time. Also, he didn't seem like much of a liberal to me. He says; "I’m just a fat, red-headed, white guy from the mid-west." Also an ex-football player and even an ex-Republican. It took his wife, Wendy, to get him on the liberal track, so I doubted his commitment to being a liberal, or progressive if you prefer.

But there was nothing else at noon except Randi Rhodes, and I really can't stand her. Over time he won me over. He proved he's a real progressive by the way he's talked about the issues, even didn't like Hillary all that much because she isn't liberal enough. He never said that directly but I picked that up after listening long enough. I have to say he and I are in exact agreement on all things political, and I'm a REAL left-wing liberal. Only thing he's gotten wrong is in his support for biofuels and his refusal to see the problem with them, especially with corn. But hey, nobody is perfect.

But he's funny and boisterous and does his show with a lot of energy, humor and conviction. He is also making the rounds on the TV news talk shows, though usually not the same ones as Rachel Maddow. He is on Larry King a lot and sometimes even on Fox. Like I said, no one is perfect. But he and Rachel were on a show together recently which was fun. Can't remember which one it was, though, either Dan Abrams or Dick Greogory.

But he is worth tuning into, he's my third favorite radio guy after Rachel and Thom Hartmann in the number 2 position. He will sound less like Rush Limbaugh the more you listen to him, I promise. You can find him online at

Monday, May 12, 2008

Obama Has a Plan to Win in November

Found this very interesting web site that shows Obama's plans for winning against McCain. Ambitious enough and good enough that best case projections have him winning over 80% of the Electoral votes. This has me pretty excited:
Obama Over The Top: How New Voters Could Redraw The Electoral Map
So Poblano devised several possible scenarios. The first, titled the “40/20 Plan,” increases the youth vote by 40 percent and the African-American vote by 20 percent, while keeping the Latino vote at the 2004 level. The “40/30/20 Plan” projects a 40 percent increase among 18-24 year-olds, a 30 percent increase among Latinos, and a 20 percent in increase in the black vote. Finally comes the “Best Case Scenario,” which assumes a 40 percent increase among African-Americans and a 50 percent increase in both the youth and Latino vote nationally.

The “40/20 Plan” alone increases Obama’s chances of winning from 49.5 percent to 68.3 percent. The “40/30/20 Plan,” meanwhile, lifts this probability over 70 percent:

These projections illustrate the extraordinary level of flexibility enjoyed by the Obama campaign as they head towards the general election. Rather than focusing on simply winning Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, they have a big enough war chest and a broad enough base of support to create all sorts of contingencies in case one of those typical battleground states goes for McCain.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Hillary on SNL

They opened with Amy Poehler as Hillary Clinton. This speech is incredibly funny because it's incredibly true. These are the things everyone is thinking but won't say, three reason why she should be the candidate instead of Obama:

I'm a sore loser

My supporters are racist

Unlike Obama I have no ethical standards.

PS: The first video disappeared so I had to find a replacement.

Friday, May 9, 2008


Lieberman personally checked McCain's "bearings" and they are in great shape. I think these two are a LOT closer than anyone knew they were. Nothing worse than two conservatives getting together - disgusting!

Super Delegates

Now Obama has taken the lead in Super Delegates, having gained 12 since the Tuesday elections while Hillary has only gotten 2, but she also lost 2 who jumped ship to Obama.
Sen. Obama, D-Ill., picked up two superdelegates this morning giving him a new metric to tout in addition to his current commanding leads in pledged delegates, popular votes, states won, and money raised.

So he leads in just about every category, I can't think of any others to add in there, except of course among hard working uneducated white people (I'm going to fume over that for a looong time). Eugene Robinson, my favorite commentator on Countdown after Rachel Madow, also said he was incensed when he heard what Hillary said.

As a statement of fact, that's debatable at best. As a rationale for why Democratic Party superdelegates should pick her over Obama, it's a slap in the face to the party's most loyal constituency -- African Americans -- and a repudiation of principles the party claims to stand for. Here's what she's really saying to party leaders: There's no way that white people are going to vote for the black guy. Come November, you'll be sorry.

How silly of me. I thought the Democratic Party believed in a colorblind America.

You tell 'em, my black brother! This 54 year old hard working white guy is with you 100%. Hillary sounds more like a republican every day. She really ought to just quit before she damages herself even further.

McCain said Obama was the favorite candidate of Hamas. Do we need any more evidence that he is a stupid old man? Doesn't matter, Obama had no chance with the stupid, white, old man vote. Most of them would have trouble getting those hoods off in time to vote anyway. Obama came back and said McCain has lost his bearings. Now isn't that just a fine put-down? It's hard to even be insulted by that, the guy just has class and style. The McCain people said it was a barb about McCain's very advanced age. I guess you would have to be a stupid, old white guy to have made that connection, and an even stupider, old white guy to think bringing up McCains' VERY advanced age was a good idea.

Did I mention that if he is elected he will be the OLDEST guy ever elected to the office?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Life In America

Every once in a while there are lots of things I want to write a little comment on instead of a whole post, in the past I've called it Tidbits.

Apparently, Lindsey Lohan stole a coat from a night club and then returned it. The owner is suing her for $10,000 for unauthorized rental.

I know I talk about politics, atheism and Mac, and I often am incensed at the amount of coverage this kind of crap gets - - - but this one is just TOO funny.


Bill and Hillary from many, many years ago. I wonder if they were starry eyed idealists back then, hippies looking for love and peace? I wonder if they had any inkling of where their lives would be today back then? Probably not. Life is pretty bizarre, isn't it?

Too bad she won't ever be president, I think she'd most likely make a good one, although I'm a bit afraid of her right wing leanings. I hope her and Obama can work something out and she becomes his VP. He can set her on one task - reforming medical care.

Most likely this is our next president, get used to it. I just hope he lives up to the possibility I see in him of being the next FDR. I'm pretty relieved to see an end to the Bush/Clinton Oligarchy.

As VP I'd like to see Jim Webb (if he can't get Hillary). Webb would be good as the southern white guy who has a strong military background. Bill Richardson as Secretary of State, Al Gore as Secretary of Energy with a mandate to get us off oil as much as possible. John Edwards as Attorney General, set him off to clean up the Justice Dept like a bulldog going in for the kill.

In Florida a teacher was fired for doing a magic trick in class. What was it? He made a toothpick disappear - this got him fired with the charge of - wait for it - - - WIZARDRY!! No, that is not a typo, he was fired for wizardry, and by people who run a school! What century is this anyway? Stay out of Florida or you might get burned at the stake.

Hillary said today that it was the hard working white Americans who voted for her. Does that mean it's only the lazy-assed blacks who voted for Obama? Imagine if Obama had even mentioned getting the black vote, the press would be all over him, but that's OK, Hillary is white so she can get away with it.

This whole campaign is showing just how bigoted America really is and just how low Hillary can sink. Forget her as VP, let's have Richardson as VP. A black man and a Hispanic on one ticket, gotta love it and why not? The bigots aren't going to vote for him anyway but this way he will get the Hispanic vote, imagine turning all those Cubans in Miami into democrats?

Useful Idiots

I came across this amazing web site about the Evangelical Manifesto. They are PDF files to download and probably too long for most people to read it all, but I did find some good stuff:
First, we repudiate two equal and opposite errors into which many Christians have fallen. One error is to privatize faith, applying it to the personal and spiritual realm only. Such dualism falsely divorces the spiritual from the secular and causes faith to lose its integrity. The other error, made by both the religious left and the religious right, is to politicize faith, using faith to express essentially political points that have lost touch with biblical truth. That way faith loses its independence, Christians become the “useful idiots” for one political party oranother, and the Christian faith becomes an ideology. Christian beliefs become the weapons of political factions.

Useful Idiots is such a great term, it's one I will definitely use in the future. I'm amazed that some Evangelicals were actually able to see this, they tend to be blinded by their ideology. The Republicans have lured them in with social issues such as abortion and gay rights and they vote on those thing while destroying themselves financially.
Second, we repudiate the two extremes that define the present culture wars in the
United States. On one side, we repudiate the partisans of a sacred public square, those who would continue to give one religion a preferred place in public life.
In a diverse society, it will always be unjust and unworkable to privilege one
religion. We are committed to religious liberty for people of all faiths. We are firmly opposed to theocracy. And we have no desire to coerce anyone or to impose beliefs and behavior on anyone. We believe in persuasion.

Now this is truly astonishing for an Evangelical. Their MO over the years has been to attack other religions, like that one group in Oregon that tried to keep out a Buddhist Temple from their town because it was devil worship. Or Bob Barr being outraged when he heard that Wiccans were able to hold ceremonies on a military base. So I'm very happy to see this development, it shows real rationality and a sense of fairness, although that word "persuasion" gives me pause. The Inquisition could be called "persuasion."
On the other side, we repudiate the partisans of a naked public square, those who would make all religious expression inviolably private and keep the public square inviolably secular. This position is even less just and workable because it excludes the overwhelming majority of citizens, who are still profoundly religious. Nothing is more illiberal than to invite people into the public square but insist that they be stripped of the faith that makes them who they are. We are committed to a civil public square – a vision of public life in which citizens of all faiths are free to enter and engage the public square on the basis of their faith, but within a framework of what is agreed to be just and free for other faiths as well. Every right we assert for ourselves as Christians is a right we defend for all others.

Now here they have it wrong but I think it's just ignorance on their part, but then I think most atheists get it wrong, too. The Separation of Church and State is most important to the religious because it protects them from religious persecution, or of being in that "Useful Idiots" role as they say above. Religion tied to government is no longer free. But the real bottom line of it all is that the government should not be in the religion business, period. It sounds nice to give everyone their say but the government has to stay away from religion in any way. Besides, adding religion into the public square is no way to promote civility, it's a way to destroy it.
Third, we are concerned that a generation of culture warring, reinforced by understandable reactions to religious extremism around the world, has created a powerful backlash against all religion in public life among many educated people. If this hardens into something like the European animosity toward religion in public life, the result would be disastrous for the American republic and would severely constrict liberty for people of all faiths. The striking intolerance shown by the new atheists is a warning sign. We call on all citizens of goodwill and believers of all faiths and none to join us in working for a civil public square and the restoration of a tough-minded civility that is in the interests of all.

Now this one cracks me up. Probably comes from that Barna survey a few months ago that said people had a more negative perception of Evangelicals than just about anybody else. What they call intolerance by atheists is just a question of us calling it like we see it. Most religion is evil and causes evil things to happen. Like the T-shirt that said "Imagine No Religion" and had a picture of the New York skyline with the Twin Towers still there.

I read something a while back that showed that certain Evangelicals, Hispanics and blacks primarily, do not understand other Evangelicals obsession with such issues as abortion and gays while completely ignoring Jesus' message to help the poor and needy. Wow! And here I thought Jesus said to make a lot of money and let the poor fend for themselves, I mean, that's what right wingnuts are all about. Did Jesus actually say to help the less fortunate and that it's not good to be rich? You'd hardly know that from the behavior of most Evangelicals.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Indiana and North Carolina

Yesterday I said I thought Hillary's Gas Tax Holiday stupidity would win the day over Obama telling the truth.

I was wrong! Obama won by 14% in North Dakota and only lost by 2% in Indiana, that's a damn good showing. It's nice to know that Hillary's blatant vote pandering with something she knew she could never get done and wouldn't help anyone if she could, didn't work. This shows that Obama can win by treating Americans as adults, really quite amazing and unexpected.

And, it appears, the Rev Wright didn't have much affect either, or perhaps it went the other way, people voted for him because he was being picked on by the media over something he had no control over.

People, especially the Super Delegates, were beginning to get nervous about Obama, he seemed to be reeling from some heavy punches and all were doubting if he really was the guy. But this decisive victory today shows he is still the man.

I still feel sorry for Hillary, she is a great campaigner and would most likely have blown away anybody but Obama. She just ran at the wrong time but had no way to know it would be the wrong time. Who could have guessed Obama would have this kind of impact so quickly? Notr me and not anybody. I'm thinking again that an Obama/Hillary ticket could be a good thing. Both have brought in new voters and got people excited enough to vote in record numbers. With Hillary on the ticket Obama could pull in all of her supporters, 40% of whom say they will not vote for Obama if he gets the nomination. It would pull the two sides together and also guarantee Hillary using her formidable campaigning skills for Obama in the general election at full strength.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Gas Tax

Hillary is going to town on this gas tax holiday thing, stealing the idea directly from McCain. She likes it so much she has even run a TV ad making it look like Obama is not interested in helping people out.

The truth is she is never going to make this happen this summer as she says, and she damn well knows it. Even if it got through congress - and not even democrats want to vote for it - Bush will veto it. And Obama has said it's pure political pandering, he even had good reasons for thinking that because they did this very thing in Illinois. They dropped the state gas tax while Obama was in the state legislation and he voted for it. When they looked at it a year later they discovered that the gas at the pump never got lowered, the oil companies just pocketed the extra money. It was a free givaway to them, and Hillary is smart enough to know this.

So the truth of it is Hillary intends to give nothing at all to the people, she is just trying to make it look like she is and whore for votes. But as we all know, perceptions are far more important than facts in politics. Obama spoke to the voters like they were adults and could understand the concepts involved, Hillary treated them like little kids who will get all excited and never bother to look behind the curtain for the real Oz. Of course, Hillary's is the better campaign strategy. It also shows that Obama really does have hope that the American public isn't stupid.

And then there is all the Republicans sneaking over to the Democratic primaries to vote for Hillary because Rush told them to. If it wasn't for Rush pushing this I think Hillary would have lost this whole thing back during the Texas/Ohio primaries. And all the Democrats voting for Hillary are helping the Republicans.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Books to Read

One of my favorite atheist writers is Massimo Pigliucci, his blog is Rationally Speaking. He doesn't write often but when he does it's always worth a read. What he has on today's blog is a list of must read books.

This is his list of Top Ten books on Evolution.

And this is his Top Ten for Philosophy.

This is on Amazon with a note from Massimo on each book. I have to admit I haven't read even one of these, but I've heard about most of them, read parts of them and read people talking about them. It seems odd that a defender of evolution such as myself, with a better than average knowledge of the subject has never read Origin of Species by Darwin. When it comes to scientific stuff I prefer magazine articles, entire books can be very daunting, plus I know that many things have changed in evolutionary science since Darwin's day so I tend to think it's better to read more modern things.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


From the Chicago Tribune comes this story by Lawrence Korb and Ian Moss:

In 1961, a young African-American man, after hearing President John F. Kennedy's challenge to, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country," gave up his student deferment, left college in Virginia and voluntarily joined the Marines.

In 1963, this man, having completed his two years of service in the Marines, volunteered again to become a Navy corpsman. (They provide medical assistance to the Marines as well as to Navy personnel.)

The man did so well in corpsman school that he was the valedictorian and became a cardiopulmonary technician. Not surprisingly, he was assigned to the Navy's premier medical facility, Bethesda Naval Hospital, as a member of the commander in chief's medical team, and helped care for President Lyndon B. Johnson after his 1966 surgery. For his service on the team, which he left in 1967, the White House awarded him three letters of commendation.

What is even more remarkable is that this man entered the Marines and Navy not many years after the two branches began to become integrated.

While this young man was serving six years on active duty, Vice President Dick Cheney, who was born the same year as the Marine/sailor, received five deferments, four for being an undergraduate and graduate student and one for being a prospective father. Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, both five years younger than the African-American youth, used their student deferments to stay in college until 1968. Both then avoided going on active duty through family connections.

Who is the real patriot? The young man who interrupted his studies to serve his country for six years or our three political leaders who beat the system? Are the patriots the people who actually sacrifice something or those who merely talk about their love of the country?

After leaving the service of his country, the young African-American finished his final year of college, entered the seminary, was ordained as a minister, and eventually became pastor of a large church in one of America's biggest cities.

This man is Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the retiring pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ, who has been in the news for comments he made over the last three decades.

Compare him to the right wing hate mongers like Rush Limbaugh who are attacking him.  Limbaugh never served this country one day in his life.  Not that I agree with what Wright said, I don't even like the guy, but I think a little perspective is needed.

And what Wright said has nothing to do with Barack Obama.  Why hasn't the media held McCain's feet to the fire for Pastor Hagee, the guy who called the Catholic church the great Whore, and that was one of the nicer things he said.  Hagee makes Wright look like a saint yet McCain actively sought out his endorsement and when challenged has not denounced him.  Nor have the media made a circus out of Hagee. 

If we were voting for president based on who his reverend is (an asinine way to make that choice) Obama would definitely get my vote over McCain.