Monthly Archives: November 2008

I’ve GOT to stop reading political blogs!


Its anybody’s guess whether Fox or the Hillary Dead Ender’s at NoQuarterUSA is funnier/scarier/more pathetic/further beyond description. Halidane was right, the “blogosphere” “is not only queerer than we imagine, its queerer than we CAN imagine!”

All of you people need to put down the mice, back away from the computers and go out and do something positive with real people in the real world. Donate blood. Send a personal letter and some small gifts (paperback books, dvds, gameboy DS games, you know, stuff for 19 year olds) to our men and women serving overseas. Go volunteer at St Vincent De Paul and feed hungry-people. Help your neighbor with their garden. Send some money to Save The Children or Amnesty International. Write letters for someone Amnesty is trying to help. Spend time with your family.

In short, STOP HYPERVENTELATING ABOUT HOW SORRY AND FRIGHTENED AND PUT UPON YOU ARE. %)(*$%!!!! You’re doing better than 90% of the world already. You’ll be fine. Have some dignity for crying out loud!

Thank you for your attention.

Bill

We’ve come so far. We have so far to go.


Funny how history works out. If the G. W. Bush campaign hadn’t smeared McCain out of contention in 2000, we might be looking at the closing days of the successful Second McCain Administration. Osama bin Laden might be dead. And Jeb Bush might be the President Elect.

The spew on the Fox blog from people who think BHO is the anti-Christ or the enemy of America is sad. We’ve got plenty of real enemies. Freedom and justice always have plenty of enemies. Winning is easy, and teaches little. People show their true colors in adversity. Both the Obama and McCain campaigns have a lot to teach about how to address adversity. For starters, someone who see only the worst in others often brings out the worst in themselves.

“Healing our nation” is far too abstract. How to we find a way to work with the wingnuts who want to argue that Obama’s a secret Muslim who hates whites and wants to destroy our economy? Republican losses in the House and Senate are mostly moderates. What’s left is more ideological and less reality-based. The election of a Democrat as President, and Democratic majorities in both houses means the lid is off the box and all the loons that were a fixture of the Clinton years will be back at full cry. The lopsided results at the polls won’t stop them from arguing that they election was stolen, and appeals to patriotism won’t get them to honor the elected government. (Clinton’s second term was worse than his first…)

The fact is, the RIght contains treasonists, people who value their own opinion, and their benefit, over any law. That’s why they are always slinging the word around- what people fear is what they’d do themselves, if they could. I’ve heard Obama compared to Hugo Chavez… hard to take that seriously, but its meant seriously.

At least in France the Right can point to the Terror and the Paris Commune and the left can point to the Occupation to justify their worst fears of each other. Its mostly theory, here, except for Reconstruction and 100 years of Jim Crow, lynching, poll taxes and the rest… hmm maybe that’s why a certain stripe of conservative goes on about Obama’s hating whites…. And there WERE genuine bomb-throwing Anarchists, smaller in number but no less murderous. One band of leftist jerks really did make a wagon bomb (as in horsedrawn…) with sash wieghts wrapped around the explosives for increased anti-personel effect, and set it off next to the Los Angeles Times building….

But I digress.

We’ve come so far. We have so far to go. The journey is the reward, I suspect. The new lands, new peoples, new main courses and favorite stories, and the company of those we meet on the road. Peace.

My $5 says none of McCain’s lies about Obama come true: Care to bet me?


We’ve heard from the McCain / Palin campaign that Barack Hussien Obama is a socialist, a tax and spend liberal, inexperienced, an unknown, and a Chicago politician. Here’s the major claims from McCain’s speech today, from his web site. I’ve got $5 that says he’s full of &(*%$, and that his dire predictions are neither true now nor good predictors of the future. If ANY of McCain’s predictions about Obama are true, you’ve got my $5. NONE come true? I get your $5. Anyone wanna bet me? I’ll take the first 10 players, just put a comment up here.

Here are Senator McCain’s specific claims about Senator Obama:

1) “Obama will raise taxes on small businesses” (my condensation of the first two paragraphs below) – this begs the question what is small business and what is raise taxes, lets call it the MEDIAN (not Average) small business, the one bigger than 49.999% of the others and smaller than 49.999% of the others, whatever that is, by definition of the Small Business Administration or whatever its called now. This would be an interesting number to know in any event. And raising taxes is an increase in the percentage of income tax on profits.

2) “He believes in redistributing wealth, not in policies to create jobs and opportunities. He promises to cut taxes for 95% of Americans even though more than 40% pay no income taxes. Barack Obama’s plan to raise taxes on some in order to give checks to others is not a tax cut; it’s just another government giveaway.” – this is very specific: McCain says Obama will raise takes on some to give money to others- (and, by implication, horrors, the people being taxed will be wealthy and the people being sent money will be poor!) Since much of Federal taxation IS redistributive – I pay a higher percentage (at least marginally) if I make more, how can we tell if McCain’s prediction that Obama will make a difference is true? Even McCain supports progressive taxation… Is this the frequently heard “interpretation” that “cutting taxes for people who don’t pay taxes means you must be giving them money!”? Ok, so dire prediction #2 is that an Obama administration will send checks to people who don’t pay income taxes now. Straight Robin Hood steal from the rich and give to the poor. This will be easy to recognize if it happens.

And dire prediction #3 is that Obama’s policies will not create jobs or opportunities. That’s easier. Shall we compare the job creation rate in 4 years of Obama’s presidency with job creation / loss in 4 or 8 years of Bush? Compare Obama’s first year with Bush’s last? This will be one to discuss- Obama’s job creation rate-to-date compared to Bush’s overall average rate? Or month by month, rate for the 1st March of each term, first April, second October, etc? The bigger the picture, the better view of the effect of policy should be, so maybe it should be a comparison of job creation rate per year of term. For each of the 4 years, there are Bush’s 1st and 2nd term data and there will be Obama’s 1st term data.

4) “I won’t spend nearly a trillion dollars more of your money. Sen. Obama will. And he can’t do that without raising your taxes or digging us further into debt.” An easy one- did an Obama administration spend nearly a trillion dollars more than McCain claimed his administration would, sourced from raising your taxes or added borrowing? This must be a total Federal budget figure and be either over a 1 year or 4 year term. Both campaigns have made predictions for future budgets, we’ll compare McCain’s predictions of McCain’s expendatures and tax revenues vs Obama actuals. They sticky part is how to define “raising your taxes”. Is “you” the average or median taxpayer? The one that Obama claims he’ll give a break to? (this is a good claim/counter claim…) Since 40% of earners/taxpayers are said to pay no federal income tax, and the presumption is that this is because they are poor (not always though…) it seems a bit foregone to put a cut-off at average- 50% of all earners, since 80% of them pay no income tax. So lets make this a sporting proposition. Only 60% of earners are said to pay income tax- let’s let “raising your taxes” be the taxes of the average of people who *pay* income tax- roughly the 70% level among earners. And added borrowing means increasing the deficit BEYOND the rate we’ve seen under Bush.

5) “Sen. Obama will force millions of families into a new huge government-run health care program.” – another crisp prediction. Were millions of families (two partners or a parent and at least one child define a family) forced into a new huge government run health care program? – This might seem like a slam-dunk for McCain- with 40 million or more citizens having NO health insurance of any kind. If Obama sets up a Federal back-stop, anyone without another plan will be in the new one. But Senator McCain says “Forced”, as in “against their will”. So the question is not have the uninsured been covered, but have millions of families been torn from the bosom of their private healthcare and forced, without choice, into a government run system. This should be easy enough to spot if it happens.

6) “I won’t make it harder to sell our goods overseas…” Do exports rise, fall or stay the same?

7) “…and kill more jobs. Sen. Obama will.” Do export related jobs rise, fall or stay the same?

8) “Sen. Obama wants to raise taxes and restrict trade “- We’ve covered the tax part at #4 above, and exports under at #6, so this must be imports. Do imports rise or fall under Obama? Senator McCain doesn’t note whether he includes oil, so we should do this both with and without oil included in imports (and although we’re a net importer of oil, we DO sell it too…)

9) “Sen. Obama will delay drilling for more oil and gas,…” – “delay” may make this an argument, but the answer should be pretty clear to reasonable people.

10) “…close coal-fired electricity generation…”, – this is very clear: do megawatts from coal decrease, increase or stay the same?

11) “…and oppose building nuclear power plants.” – Another place where reason will be needed to judge “opppose”, but reasonable people will get this right too.

So there are 11 predictions McCain makes about Obama. To repeat the bet, my $5 says NONE of these 11 things happens. I’ll bet with the first 10 takers, and we’ll have to work out a time to pick the result- After 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, 4 years?

It’ll be interesting to keep score too!

I’m “Italic BOLDING” McCain’s predictions and contrasts with himself so we know what we’re talking about. I just copied this from “http://blogs.usatoday.com/oped/2008/11/why-you-should.html” and its only as good as what I found there.

“Why you should vote for me

What has been called the longest presidential campaign in history will be decided today. Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama make their closing arguments.

By John McCain

Axxmccainforum These are tough times for many Americans. They are worried about keeping a job or finding a new one. Some are struggling to put food on the table and stay in their home. Sarah Palin and I will run a government that stands by your side through these troubled times. And we will do it by supporting the American dream to own a small business that will create new jobs. Those small businesses employ 84% of Americans.

We need to support small businesses, not tax them. As Fred Thompson said so well, “Now, our opponents tell us not to worry about their tax increases. They tell you they’re not going to tax your family. No, they’re just going to tax ‘businesses.’ So, unless you buy something from a business, like groceries or clothes or gasoline or unless you get a paycheck from a business, a big business or a small business, don’t worry, it’s not going to affect you!”

The McCain-Palin tax cut will double the child deduction for every family. We will cut the capital gains tax. And we will support new job growth by cutting business taxes to keep American businesses in America.

A direct question from a gentleman now known as “Joe the plumber” revealed Sen. Obama’s economic goal: “Spread the wealth around.” He believes in redistributing wealth, not in policies to create jobs and opportunities. He promises to cut taxes for 95% of Americans even though more than 40% pay no income taxes. Barack Obama’s plan to raise taxes on some in order to give checks to others is not a tax cut; it’s just another government giveaway.

If I’m elected president, I won’t spend nearly a trillion dollars more of your money. Sen. Obama will. And he can’t do that without raising your taxes or digging us further into debt. I will freeze government spending on all but the most important programs like defense, veterans care, Social Security and health care until we scrub every single government program and get rid of the ones that aren’t working for the American people.

If I’m elected president, I will not impose “one size fits all” health care coverage on families and small businesses through expensive mandates and fines. Sen. Obama will force millions of families into a new huge government-run health care program. I will bring down the skyrocketing cost of health care with competition and choice to lower your premiums, and make it available to more Americans. I’ll make sure you can keep the same health plan if you change jobs or leave a job to stay home. I will reform the tax code to be more fair and give a $5,000 refundable tax credit for every family regardless of their income and source of insurance.

And, I’m not going to spend $700 billion of your money bailing out Wall Street bankers and brokers. I’m going to make sure we take care of the people who were devastated by the excesses of Wall Street and Washington. I have a plan to protect the value of your home and get it rising again by buying up bad mortgages and refinancing them so if your neighbor defaults, he doesn’t bring down the value of your house with him. I have a plan to let retirees and people nearing retirement keep their money in their retirement accounts longer so they can rebuild their savings.

If I’m elected president, I won’t make it harder to sell our goods overseas and kill more jobs. Sen. Obama will. I will open new markets to goods made in America and make sure our trade is free and fair. And I’ll make sure we help workers who’ve lost a job that won’t come back find a new one that won’t go away. Sen. Obama wants to raise taxes and restrict trade. The last time America did that in a bad economy, it led to the Great Depression.

If I’m elected president, we’re going to stop sending $700 billion to countries that don’t like us very much. Sen. Obama will delay drilling for more oil and gas, close coal-fired electricity generation, and oppose building nuclear power plants. As president, I will start new drilling now. We will invest in all energy alternatives nuclear, wind, solar and tide. We will encourage the manufacture of hybrid, flex fuel and electric automobiles. We will invest in clean coal technology. We will lower the cost of energy, and more important, create millions of new jobs.

I ask you: Will we continue to lead the world’s economies or will we be overtaken? Will the world become safer or more dangerous? Will our military remain the strongest in the world? Will our children and grandchildren’s future be brighter than ours?

My answer to you is yes. Yes, we will lead. Yes, we will prosper. Yes, we will be safer. Yes, we will pass on to our children a stronger, better country. But we must be prepared to act swiftly, boldly, with courage and wisdom. We cannot spend the next four years as we have spent much of the last eight: waiting for our luck to change. We have to act immediately. We have to fight for it”

Of course, not all of us have been waiting for our luck to change, some have been out making better luck!

Californians, please vote NO on Proposition 8. Its unfair, and its wrong.


I know about the presidential contest and I have strong feelings about it, but I want to go down the ticket a bit to the nearly-as-important (or maybe more important) issue at Proposition 8, the ban on same-sex marriage. Proposition 8 defines marriage as one man, one woman. The intention is to prevent same sex couples, two men, two women, from marrying. Its wrong, and its unfair. All the rhetoric against same-sex marriage is just about word for word what was being said against “mixed race” marriages not too many decades ago. By the same fear-mongers, and their same, fearful, followers. We’re better than this, Californians. Marriage is about two people who love one another. Please vote NO!

Neither “Adam and Steve” or “Jasmine and Eve” are threats to my (male-female) marriage, or anyone elses. The issue is a fake and the arguments are frauds. This is, pure and simple, an attempt to put a religious opinion against homosexuals- gay or lesbian, into State Law, and deprive people of basic rights because of who they are. I think this is immoral. People who want to exclude homosexuals or anyone else from their churches are entitled to do so. They even get to keep their tax exemption. But they should never get to impose their religion on others via state law.

This is REALLY IMPORTANT to me. If affects friends of mine, and their marriages. It affects friends of my son, and their parents. Marriage is a commitment between two people to be one, to care for each other, love each other, and if fortune is with them, raise children together. The argument that only couples who can concieve a child should be able to marry is foolish at best, and opens the door to great evil.

PLENTY of men and women marry, who are either unable to have children or choose not to. In my family, my beloved Aunt Martha and Uncle Stan were married for many years, and childless, until they adopted. They were biologically unable to have children. Should their marriage have been denied because of that?

Some years after my mother died, my father re-married. His new wife and sweetheart was “beyond childbearing age”, and they have had no children together. Should they be denied marriage?

My brother and his wife have chosen not to be parents. Should they be denied marriage?

I say, “LET THEM BE MARRIED!”, in all three cases, and I’m sure the proponents of Proposition 8 would agree- these couples who cannot or do not have children are terrific candidates for marriage because they love each other and want to spend the rest of their lives together.

Proposition 8’s supporters want to deny Adam and Steve, or Jasmine and Eve, the same Civil RIght to marry, for religious reasons that have no place in state laws. Marriage is the business of two people who love each other and whatever authority, religious or civil, that performs the ceremony. Witnesses, friends and relatives are customary, but not required. Approval from people of religions not-your-own are not required. Its about two people who love each other, period. Lets keep it that way!

And DO remember to vote- if you don’t vote, you have no right to complain if you don’t like the outcome! Even if you can’t make your mind up about anyting else, even if you don’t read all the candidates positions for the school board, go out and PLEASE vote NO on Proposition 8!