Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Youth Vote

The conventional wisdom this election cycle is that first time voters will make all the difference in who the next president will be. College campuses have become central battlegrounds for voter registration drives and the youth of America see a kindred spirit in the Obama campaign that is not reflected on the McCain side of the equation.

Florida's senior citizen population, firmly in the McCain camp have wavered as the Palin factor has raised eyebrows and the decimation of retirement income has raided pocketbooks. McCain loses when the economy is at the forefront of the national discussion and his inability to excite on college campuses dooms him even more.

The young people are the new electorate and this election has placed them front and center in the idealogical battle for political supremacy. And while the new voting age demographic flexes their political muscles today (November 4th, 2008) an even newer demographic is struggling to make their voices heard. The youth of tomorrow. The 16-year olds who desperately want to be included in their country's future but are marginalized by arbitrary voting-age laws. All across the country there is a movement afoot to amend voting-age laws and allow more of our young people to have a say in their future.

A good discussion of this can be seen here: http://www.wandsandworlds.com/blog1/2008/11/those-who-cant-vote.html

It's not just the 18+ individuals that should be moving our country in a new direction. Stand up and be counted if you are legally able to do so and cast your vote for your future. If you are too young to vote, join the drive to lower the voting age and get involved in determining the path for America.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The trap has been set.

In 2000, Republicans captured the reins of government and stepped into the “power trap.” Believing that conservatism had triumphed and was here to stay as the dominating political force, they set out to recreate the world to their liking with a go-it-alone, take-no-prisoners approach. They marginalized anyone who disagreed with their policies and rammed their agenda down the throats of the country.

They shredded the Constitution which they claim to be their inviolate bible by turning a blind eye to activities like torture, unlawful imprisonment, and illegal wiretapping, all in the name of security but Ben Franklin summed it up best when he said, “Those who sacrifice liberty for a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Invoking war powers to justify any and all actions they plunged the country into costly and violent military engagements that have alienated the U.S. to the rest of the world and lowered our standing in the eyes of our allies. The benefits of these actions are still unknown but forcing democracy on people who don’t seem to particularly want it does not seem like a winning strategy to me.

President Bush has placed himself outside of the law by appending signing statements to a plethora of bills passed by Congress, reinterpreting or outright ignoring the document he just signed and making a mockery of the entire process. Injecting partisanship into every aspect of his administration the so-called “uniter-in-Chief” drove a Grand Canyon-sized wedge between those who agreed with him and those who didn’t.

No president should ever wear rose-colored sunglasses but they appear to be standard issue for the current occupant of the Oval Office. Free speech was actively disdained and protesters were arrested, illegally detained and hidden from view in order to maintain the illusion of an agreeable public.

Raising hypocrisy to new heights the Republicans crowed about sanctity of life for the unborn while gleefully signing death warrants for those on death row. I guess you can put a price on a life. If it’s discovered that an innocent man was executed it’s lamented as the price of justice. Instead of working to raise the moral discourse on abortion or providing adoption incentives thereby lowering abortion rates, conservatives continue their slash and burn policy of trying to overturn Roe v. Wade, inviting the return of coathangers and back alley abortions and praising that possible future.

Trillions of dollars have vanished in a sea of appropriately colored ‘red’ ink with no obvious benefits to the American public. Our education is in a shambles, our health care system is crumbling and our retirement system is relying on prayer to see us through. The free market has imploded through corporate greed spurred on by “trickle-down” economics that never quite met the promise of helping the middle and lower class. The conservatism of the last 8 years has bankrupted our country for ourselves and our posterity.

Should the Democrats prevail on November 4th, the trap will be set for them. I have the audacity to hope that they will not spring the trap and that the country will be on a better road than we are on right now.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I can't say it better than this

I found this comment on an article discussing a Republican's comments that some of her fellow legislators are "un-American".


I have cut and pasted the comment in it's entirety as a neat summation of what the last 8 years have wrought and what further Republican control would mean. In addition to the comments below I would add that the abortion issue hangs in the balance as well. While I personally lean towards the pro-life thinking, the remedy separates me from the conservative position. Overturning Roe v. Wade means back alley abortions, intentional poisonings to induce miscarriage, and trips to Canada to end pregnancies. I believe that making abortion the least favorable/desirable option while still allowing it as a medical procedure is the way to go. All of our efforts should be directed toward lowering the number of abortions in this country by elevating the issues of morality, increasing education on the issue, providing incentives and protections for adoptions as well as abolishing the death penalty. The hipocracy of sanctity of life advocates who rail against abortion but stand idly by while people are legally put to death for crimes they may OR MAY NOT have committed continues to astound me. If all lives are equally important then both ends of the spectrum must be supported.

Full credit for everything following goes to "Frank". Whoever, you are, you're singing from the right hymnbook.

Frank USComment posted October 21, 2008 @ 11:04 am

Do John McCain, Sarah Palin or conservative republicans respect the moral foundations of our country? The U.S. Constitution is abused by conservative republicans at every turn.
U.S. Constitution: Amendment I - Freedom of ReligionBecause of conservative republicans, your tax dollars are funding religious groups you may not agree with. To add insult to injury, conservative appointed judges have ruled that you do not have a right to challenge this expenditure.
Amendment IV - Search and seizureUnder the guise of court action against abortion, Conservative republicans had John Ashcroft subpoena all the medical records of literally thousands of women like you and members of your family. Conservative republicans invade your privacy every day by browsing your email and phone records. Unfortunately for all of us, they don’t appear to care about our U.S. constitution, and they certainly don’t care about your privacy.
Amendment X - Powers of the States and PeopleJohn McCain and conservative republicans have tried consistently to overturn States Laws. They used your hard earned tax dollars to destroy the will of the people of Oregon, and the famous “Death with Dignity” law; they lost, but undoubtedly will try again. Conservative republicans and John McCain do not respect States Rights. If your state votes for something conservatives don’t agree with they will use federal powers to overturn it regardless of how you and your fellow voters feel.
Amendment VIII - Cruel and Unusual punishmentWould you rather die, or support a government which supported and sanctioned torture? The founding fathers would rather have died. The founding fathers were proud to fight and die for our government: A government which specifically outlaws cruel and unusual punishment. Conservatives don’t agree with this philosophy. Conservatives are at odds with our founding fathers on this score, and too many others to count.
John McCain, Sarah Palin, and the conservative republicans have already gone too far in destroying the moral foundations of our country. I urge you to keep this in mind in the coming election as we rebuild our nation together by voting for Obama, who stated that in his first 100 days he would eliminate all of Bush’s unconstitutional signing orders as a start.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

WMD's again!

Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice was recently quoted about the reasons for going to war in Iraq as saying, "concern about weapons of mass destruction in Saddam Hussein's Iraq was the fundamental reason." This is in response to former Press Secretary Scott McClellan's claims in a new book that the runup to the war involved administration deception to the American public.

Her quote may actually be true although I believe that the WMD's made a convenient lynchpin for a war the administration WANTED to fight. The real issue for me is that the administration settled on WMD's as the cause celebre and then ignored any facts that didn't support their contentions. In addition they willfully manipulated the intelligence they had to make their point making war inevitable as opposed to possible.

That is the real crime. January 20th, 2009 can't come soon enough.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

America needs to move forward

Hillary Clinton recently was quoted as saying, “We need to get on track in America...to go forward you put the car in D and to go in reverse you put it in R,” drawing an obvious Democrat-Republican analogy.

I love that quote. As a matter of fact I would make it my sig at work if it wouldn't raise a ruckus which unfortunately, it probably would. It needs to be a bumper sticker.

After all the votes are counted and the nominees are settled we all have to make the decision about which way this country should go.

Even though I am trying very hard to give Senator McCain a fair evaluation, his words are beginning to sour in my mouth. Tax cuts are suddenly good again even during fiscal downturns, roe v. wade should be overturned, the supreme court needs more conservative judges, the iraq war needed to be fought, and on and on. As McCain courts the Republican base he has abandoned his principles to garner favor and electability. He represents the road to nowhere for America today. A continuation of 8 years of failed Bush policies and constitutional abuses is the last thing that the country needs but it is exactly what McCain is offering. If you liked the last 8 years, he's your man.

We have to try something else. Put the car in "D".

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My brother, my pastor

I don't know about you but there are plenty of times I have listened to a sermon at my church and disagreed with the priest. Heck, I disagree with the Pope on any number of issues but these disagreements don't prompt me to leave my church or my faith.

It would be a rare find indeed to locate a parishioner who agrees with everything that they have ever heard spoken during a sermon by a presider. The world is full of opinions and interpretations of the bible and world events and priests are no different.

Pick any bible passage and ask a bunch of priests to interpret and a I can guarantee that there will be vast differences. Some priests look at the passage in the context of the time in which it was written while some attempt to bring the passage forward to modern times and shoehorn it's message into current events. Neither is wrong or right. Just an opinion from a person of faith who has thought long and hard about what it all means in the context of the spiritual journey we are all on (agnostics and atheists included).

Reverend Wright is certainly on the radical side of the fence right now and Senator Obama is right to repudiate those ideas that don't aid in his own faith and go against his personal beliefs.

But I take issue with the thought that the words of Reverend Wright can be assumed to be the words of Senator Obama or that the ideas and thoughts that accompany those words are an integral part of the Obama creed.

Hillary Clinton claims she would leave a church that preached the sermons of Rev. Wright. That is her choice. But if disagreeing with a sermon means you have to find a new church you'll be switching churches every month.

I listen to a sermon and I reflect on what I hear. I discard those things that I disagree with and I hold onto the words that help me and strengthen my faith. That is what I expect from my priest. No more, and no less.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

There can be only one!

Satistics are flying fast and furious as the Pennsylvania voting is tallied and Hillary crows about her 10% win over Barack. The statistic that matters most is completely unknown at this point and no amount of polling in my opinion can discern what the voting public will do when there is a single nominee on the Democratic side to go up against John McCain.

Sure you can ask the question but the answers are all viewed through the prism of two candidates competing for the prize. If you're a Hillary fan you're already predisposed not be enamored with Barack and vice versa. Would a Clinton supporter cast a vote for Obama if he is the nominee? My bet would be yes, in most cases.

It's going to come down to "more of the same" or "something different". McCain's positions continue to evolve and change to reflect the current administration thinking as he tries to pander to the Republican base so as much as McCain hopes to avoid the "Bush" stigma, I think he's going to have to wear that stink around his neck during the runup to November. If you liked the last 8 years and you think that the country is on the right path, check the (R) box. If not it's going to be a (D).

Put me in the "something different" column.