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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

California Ban on Gay Marriages to go Back to Court

This time the argument is that it is unconstitutional for voters to revoke equal rights without going through the legislature first. Evidently these lawsuits were already prepared in case proposition 8 was passed.

Regardless of whether or not you agree with gay marriage, this brings a larger issue to the table. The idea of giving the wording of the constitution (state or national) to the whims of the masses is a horrible idea. There is a reason we are a representative democracy: mob rule does not work. I'm not saying that the average person is not smart enough, but there needs to be a buffer between ever changing will of the American people and something as sacred as the constitution. I'm sure it's tempting to try to go around the courts in this manner, but in the long run it will bring nothing but trouble. If banning gay marriage is that important to Californians, they should elect legislators who make that part of their platform.

Everybody Wants a Piece of the Pie

When I was in college, I had to take a public speaking class. In it we learned about the fallacies we should avoid when making arguments. One of these I had trouble accepting as a fallacy. It was the 'slippery slope' argument. While in some cases the slippery slope can be grossly exaggerated, in many cases it's a legitimate and accurate argument.

A prime example of this is the $700 billion payout. Many people argued that if we did this, other industries would also start wanting bailouts and would probably get them. Looks like they were right. If we don't put the brakes on this right now, we will end up with a government controlled economy.

The government cannot insulate America from hard times forever. Eventually this slump is going to have to run its course. The longer we put off the inevitable, the worse its going to be when it does happen.

Atheists Now Every Bit as Annoying as Christian Prostelytizers (Maybe More)

At least when Christians do it, they are trying to save someone's soul. What possible purpose does this serve? Militant atheists have always struck me as people so insecure in their beliefs that they have to convince everyone else they're right to reinforce their own belief system. I've heard atheists criticized as being people who mock faith while taking a huge leap of their own. This kind of thing makes me agree. It's ironic that they've rejected religion only to go and form their own.

Bush Suspended Deportations to Protect Obama's Aunt?

While I have my suspicions as to whether this is the reason, it wouldn't surprise me if it were. Watching the speech Bush gave after Obama's election, I got the feeling Bush was happy to see him win. I'm sure there are some hard feelings between McCain and Bush still lingering from the 2000 primaries. Maybe Bush was happy to see him fail again.

Still, I doubt it would have made a difference either way, even if Obama's aunt would have been deported. He had no control over his aunt's actions. If anything, it would have only generated sympathy. People for whom immigration was an issue this election had no real choice anyway. Would they rather vote for a guy whose aunt happened to be an illegal alien or a guy who actually crafted a huge amnesty bill?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Stop the Presses! The U.S. is Conducting Secret Operations Around the Globe!

The New York Times is at it again, publishing classified information supposedly leaked to them from intelligence officials. When I was in the Navy, I held a Top Secret security clearance. It was unthinkable to me to ever divulge classified information to someone not authorized. If I had and got caught, I would have rightly went to prison. I was just a peon though, I guess the rules change when you get to the top.

You can read the whole story here if you really want to, but I can summarize it for you: Since 2004, the U.S. has carried out secret missions around the world targeting terrorists. These missions were authorized by the president.

This is supposed to be news? Maybe I've seen too many movies, but I was under the impression that the special forces were constantly involved in secret missions around the world, trying to keep us safe. In fact, I'd be more worried to learn they were sitting on their asses doing nothing.

Hooray! Another Day Off in the Works!

Plans are already underway for a Barak Obama national holiday. Isn't that a little ridiculous? Shouldn't we wait until he actually does something? Or does winning the presidency by using his race to play on white people's latent guilt over slavery and segregation now constitute an achievement worthy of a day off of work?

I can understand black people's jubilation over his election. It shows that a lot has changed in this country in regards to race. While the event is certainly remarkable, the man has a long way to go to prove he is.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Outrage: One of the World's Most Dangerous Toy's Allowed into the Toy Hall of Fame!

The infamous stick was allowed into the Toy Hall of Fame on Thursday. This truly is an outrage. I don't know what kind of mothers these curators had, but mine would never let me play sticks. Oh, my brother and I tried, and it never ended well. We would usually start with a simple sword fight which after a few badly bruised knuckles would end with us beating each other about the head and neck with them. Luckily mom set us straight early; we could have put out an eye!

This sends a dangerous message to children that it's ok to play with sticks, perhaps the most nefarious toy since the rock. Surely there's some kind of online petition floating around somewhere we can sign to have this stopped? I mean, what's next? Don't even get me started on string...

Wright Still Desperately Trying To Capitalize On Obama's Fame

I guess he decided it was safe to bring it back up now that Obama is safely elected. He says his words were taken out of context, making it obvious he has no idea what that means. I've watched long portions of those clips and if anything, they made it worse. He also says that ninety percent of the people in his church don't agree with what he says. I highly doubt that as well. I'm not religious and I don't go to church, but most of my friends and family do. All of them have left or switched churches before because they didn't like what the pastor had to say, sometimes even if he was just too boring. He claims the media used him 'as a weapon of mass destruction' to attack Barak Obama, making it obvious he had no idea what this means either as Barak Obama is just one person. If he was so afraid of being used by the media, why did he later hold a snarky press conference where instead of showing in what way he was taken out of context, he used it to reinforce what people already thought about him, hurting Obama even more?

I highly doubt Obama agreed with the things Wright said, but that's not the point. For years, he used this church to get ahead in Chicago politics. That's hardly 'new' politics. I just wish Wright would have crawled out from under his rock a week ago, so we could have been discussing this then.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

My New Hero

Alexander McPherson, a biologist at the University of California, was relieved of his duties supervising other scientists because he refused to attend sexual harassment training. He isn't being forced to attend because he sexually harassed anyone, but because the University of California requires all supervisors to attend. McPherson said it was insulting to require him to go.

Good for him for pointing out the ridiculousness of policies like that. The real purpose of mandatory sexual harassment training has nothing to do with preventing sexual harassment from occurring, but removing the liability of the companies these people work for in sexual harassment lawsuits. It's asinine to treat everyone like potential sexual harassers, as if the ones who are don't know what they are doing. "Gee, I didn't realize grabbing that woman's ass was wrong. Thanks to this training I'm now enlightened!"

Where Did John McCain Go Wrong?

Everyone's seems to be adding their two cents about why McCain lost, so I'll go ahead and throw mine in as well.

Many people think John McCain lost because this was an anyone but a Republican election. To some extent, that's probably true. Throw in the fact that people got the chance to vote for an historic, charismatic candidate and I'm sure both of those things made a big impact. Those things are only factors though, because John McCain ran trying to out populist a real populist.

Most people dislike, distrust, or even downright hate the government. Instead of arguing with Obama about who was going to use the government to help people more, he should have differentiated himself by telling people how he was going to help them by heading to Washington and dismantling the government piece by piece. In the beginning, he kind of halfheartedly did that, but after the economy became such a big issue I guess he figured people didn't want to hear that and started to demonize Wall Street. A better route would have been to demonize the government, who really was to blame. McCain should have flooded the airwaves with clips from this video showing democrats talking about how safe and secure Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were.

The next Republican to win the presidency will be one who is not afraid to underline the basic ideological differences between conservatives and liberals.

More Blame Games From McCain Campaign Staff

Now 'insiders' from the McCain campaign are claiming that Palin didn't know Africa was a continent, went on huge shopping sprees, and threw temper tantrums. Stories like this show that McCain's campaign was run even worse than we thought. He obviously had no loyalty from the people working for him if they are going to come out and spread all these rumors, true or not. It says a lot more about the people telling these stories than it does about Sarah Palin. They are petty, sore losers.

While I still think he would have made a better president than Obama, simply for policy reasons, he obviously isn't a leader if he can't inspire more loyalty than this from the people working for him. I sincerely hope that if he is silly enough to make another run for the Republican nomination, Republicans aren't silly enough to vote for him.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Russia Wastes No Time

Russia announced today that they will be deploying missiles near Poland as a response to the U.S.'s missile defense plans while expressing hope that the new administration will work to improve relations.
Poland is a NATO member and to allow Russia to threaten them in this way is an outrage.
Could Russia be the first nation attempting to test our new, inexperienced president like they tested John F. Kennedy as Joe Biden has predicted? People like to remember a strong JFK standing up to the Russians during the Cuban Missile Crisis, but in fact it became apparent later he capitulated to the Russians, agreeing to pull missiles out of Turkey and to stay out of Cuba's affairs. Will Obama also back down to Russian aggression?

Gay Marriage Banned in California

Proposition 8 passed in California, banning gay marriage. Actually, it already was illegal but was overturned by a judge who said the law violated the equal protection clause of California's constitution. Prop 8 amended the state constitution to include the phrase "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

I feel bad for all the gay people who rushed to get married after the judge declared the first ban unconstitutional. I do, however, like to see states deciding these things for themselves. Hopefully this doesn't end up in the Supreme Court which will ultimately result in nine people deciding the issue for the whole country.

Sarah Palin in 2012?

I don't see what all the hoopla about Sarah Palin is. At first I really liked her too. I had no real reason to as I, like most Americans, knew very little about her. Mainly I liked her because she added some excitement to what was becoming a snore fest of a campaign. It was also nice to see someone who appeared so genuine enter the race. She seemed to really represent conservative ideals, in stark contrast to John McCain.

But is it too much to ask for someone who is truly conservative but can also speak well? Sarah Palin needs to learn to speak in complete sentences before she even thinks about running for president. I'm not saying she's a bad public speaker. In fact, she sounds great when she's giving a speech. However, when she's making off the cuff remarks I'm constantly reminded of the youtube video of that beauty pageant contestant from South Carolina stuttering about 'the Iraq.' Whether this is a reflection of her intelligence or she just needs a lot more practice, I have no idea (although I suspect it's the latter). Barak Obama, with all his umms and uhhhs, at least managed to complete his thoughts when communicating.

Congratulations President Obama

We all knew he was going to win and I thought I had already accepted it. I still felt disappointed as hell this morning, though. I couldn't bring myself to watch his acceptance speech, but I did watch McCain's concession speech. I think I'd have been less angry if I'd watched the acceptance speech instead. It almost seemed like McCain wanted Obama to win. In fact his whole campaign seemed that way. There were so many legitimate issues that McCain just decided not to bring up. He wanted to be the 'better man' I guess. I've got news for John McCain, you didn't get nominated to be the better man, you got nominated to win.

John McCain likes to talk about putting America first, but in this election he put his own ego first. If he really cared about America, he would have been as ruthless as necessary to make sure we didn't have a President Obama. Instead he was more worried about what people thought of his honor and dignity.

As disappointed as I am, I remember how much it irked me to see people saying such mean and vindictive things about President Bush. I vow not to do the same thing. I'm sure I'll have lots of things to disagree with President Obama about, but I'll never let my expression of those disagreements sink to the level of some of the left's attacks on Bush. The majority of people chose Obama to be our president and as Americans we should respect that and the office he holds.