Thursday, December 11, 2008

BlagObama Senate Seat Fiasco

For those of you who have read my other posts, you know that I am a Conservative. You also know that I think a lot. I have to, to get it right. I am still gathering information about the Blagojevich abuse of power allegations. I read the indictment submissions on The Smoking GUn, and they are devastating, and very graphic.

This whole Senate Seat for Sale scandal is not only disgusting, but illustrative of the seedy political arena President-Elect Barrack Obama willingly jumped into on his way from Hawaii to the White House. I have no evidence yet that Obama was involved in this, though there is that possibility. Here is why I think this:
  1. David Axelrod, Obama's Rove (chief political advisor) said Obama had spoken with the Governor about this. He was on a TV show, it was taped, and it was dug up after the revelation of Blago trying to get whatever he could for himself and his wife to relieve the financial pressure on his family, due to his only being a governor. I guess that doesn't pay enough for him.
  2. A reporter at a local Illinois TV station reported the day after the election that Obama was scheduled to meet with the governor the next day, to discuss filling the impending vacancy. I have not seen any confirmation that any meeting actually took place, but then, I'm a consumer of news, not a producer of it. I'll await any confirmation.
  3. Governor Blago indicated on tape when discussing the matter that Obama wanted candidate #1 (That lady, Valerie Jarrett?) to fill his seat. He said that they were only willing to give him future appreciation. Blago wanted money, so he swore about Obama that he was a M-F-, and he repeated it in different conversations. How did he know that they would only offer appreciation, if he didn't talk with someone about some sort of compensation?
  4. Obama did not display outrage, disgust, or other anger that his still-warm Senate seat was up for bid by the governor. He said it was an ongoing investigation, so he could not comment on it. Really? Not even to say that it was a travesty, and he totally condemns that type of shameful corruption? Why not?
  5. Obama has helped Blago get elected over the years, as Blago has helped Obama over the years to do the same. The press is trying to say that the two of them travelled in different Democrat circles in Illinois, though I doubt there are different circles in that state. To quote Lincoln, a House divided cannot stand. Neither can the Illinois Democrat party.
So I have yet to see proof beyond reasonable doubt that Obama is involved with this thing, but the doors for going down that path are open. One thing that gets lost in the sauce is the presumption of innocence. I have held to it in this case, as much as I would like to indict him myself. In another related idea, there is nothing in my mind wrong with governor Blagojevich getting input from different sources, including the potential Senators, on who should get the seat. There should even be room for discussion, political considerations, and even favoritism. Where the line is clear as day for me is when compensation for the selection is either sought, considered when offered, or the unspoken rule during said discussions. Clearly, Governor Blago was in this for his own financial benefit.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Is Gay the New Black?

I was just reading an article on some news website, and saw the headline above. I don't even have to read the article to give the answer: NO, by no means is "Gay the new Black".

One does not need to be gay to know that being gay is a choice or lifestyle one can make or hide. Even if you grant that Gays are genetically wired to not be straight, if the desires are not acted upon, if the lusts are not fulfilled, one can easily hide their homosexuality. Being gay doesn't necessarily mean one is effeminate. There are strong, big, successful Gays that don't give the outward appearance that they are gay. I occasionally hear of athletes who are outed, and people seem shocked! Shocked that such a talented, often masculine guy, or very feminine gal is lesbian.

But let's talk reality here. Who doesn't know that I am black? I once had a conversation with a well-intentioned white brother in Christ, who asked me, after I divulged my lineage as including my white mother and black father, if I identified myself as black or white. After my spontaneous laughter subsided, I told him to look at me, think about it, and ask me again if he still needed to. My race is as obvious as the nose on my face. No, in fact, it is more obvious, because if one is nearsighted, and has no glasses on while looking at me, they may not see my nose, but would still see my race. I have no choice. I cannot hide my race casually.

Sure, there are those who can "pass", but they still have the genes inside them. Michael Jackson may be able to obscure his race chemically or surgically, but his kids show his genes. So do pictures from his younger days. But for the rest of us average Joes, our race is set and obvious. As America mixes races more thoroughly, our descendants will all be a happy shade of brown; some more, some less. But Gays will continue to have the luxury of choosing. Choosing to openly be gay, or to hide their activities that define them as Gay.

So don't dare compare being Gay with being black. Compare being Gay with being a Liberal, or with any other group of Americans defined by their actions and beliefs. Gays were not brought to this continent in chains against their will. Gays may have come on ships, and some slaves may have been Gay, but they were not captured, sold shipped and auctioned because they were gay. Blacks have struggled mightily for civil rights which mostGays have always had. This brings up the issue of tolerance, which I will not expound upon here. Suffice it to say, Gays have been tolerated, but that is not enough these days for them. They want acceptance and normalcy to be conferred on them, which goes way beyond tolerance.If we grant special rights based on lifestyle choices, where does it stop? Which group will get special rights based on their particular lifestyle choices?

Let's suppose daredevils demand the right to low insurance rates, just like non-daredevils are given. Or that smokers demand acceptance of their lifestyle choices, so they should be able to smoke wherever they choose. Or that professional race drivers be allowed to drive on the roads and highways at speeds they have proven themselves to be able to safely drive on the track. Or that Republicans should be able to pay lower taxes because that is their lifestyle choice. I think the point is clear: no special rights for groups defined by their actions and feelings.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Content of the Character

Well, we now know that Barrack Obama has won the 2008 Presidential Election. Congratulations are in order, and I think he might have won even if Acorn et al had not cheated. Senator Obama's victory is historic, in that he is the first black American to win the highest office in the land. In the generic sense, I am happy that bridge has been crossed.

Now we can not blame racism for our problems, not say "The Man" is holding us back, and we can now get off our collective behinds and take responsibility for our own lives and actions. Granted, there are many who have already taken that step, and are mainstream American conservatives, but I say it as an all-inclusive statement because we are all Americans, as Barrack likes to say.

Now we can say that the psychology of slavery has been overcome, and blacks are now just like the rest of the American society, full citizens able to reach the highest office in the land through peaceful means. There is nothing that American blacks cannot do, and nothing that any other self-identified sub-groups cannot do. Barrack has proven it, so let's get to work.

My brother called me last night to bask in the win of Senator Obama, and to ask a question. He asked if over the next four years Barrack Obama could win my vote. I immediately thought of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous line, which I have used as a guiding light in my life: Judge people not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. I already judged President-elect Obama by that standard, and decided not to vote for him for that reason. Too many things strike me as either bad, weak, or hidden to entrust him willingly to the highest office in the land. Need I list them? for posterity, I will:
- Jeremiah Wright and the hateful things he taught the Obamas over the past 20 years. Did he know and not care, or was he that politically deaf that he missed it?
- Bill Ayers. That 60's radical still wants to use his associations to bring an end to Capitalism in the USA, and will use his connections to Obama for that purpose. Mr. Ayers may have succeeded in moving the mainstream of American educational thought to the left, but it is still not in the mainstream of American values. I also believe Barrack will appoint people who think like Ayers to posts in his administration, to our country's detriment.
- Stealing Hillary's election. See HillBuzz.com, and see how it was done. Not the stuff of a candidate on the up and up.
- belief in man-made Global warming, against all the scientific evidence.
- naively thinking that we could negotiate with hostile countries without preconditions. To think that we can come to agreement with nut-jobs like Ahmadinejad of Iran, when what he/they want is the extermination of Israel belies his inexperience, and is a pipe dream. They will not compromise, as we should not either.
- Acorn. Obama's association with Acorn is obscured, and seems to be one of political expedience, and this is not the type of organization that a President should be involved with. Will they be called in to help set the agenda during the transition, as he said would happen if he won the White House?
- Franklin Raines. This former head of Fannie Mae is up to his eyeballs in the financial crisis, including being a CEO who took a large golden parachute, at the expense of a failing business which we had to bail out.

Am I without hope? No, not at all. First, God is still God, and He is still in control. Second, the GOP still has more than 40 seats in the Senate, so they can still filibuster, if it is necessary. Plus, Senator Obama plans to run again, so he will have to balance his extreme Liberal tendencies with his need to get moderate and Republican votes in four years.

To answer my brother's question, President-elect Obama can earn my vote, but it is unlikely he will try to. We will make it through the next four years, but the country will be weakened and damaged. Will we be able to repair it? I'm not sure, but it is worth trying. Next post: the judiciary, abortion, and the rest of the targets of Liberal assault.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

McCain got this one Right

I am pleasantly surprised that John McCain got the pick for VP right. Sarah Palin seems like a great choice for several reasons. Everyone has some baggage, so we'll see what the opposition dredges up. But for now, let's review the positive points.

1. She's Pro-Life. Look at her family: she has five (count 'em) kids, including one who has Down's syndrome. That's love, and that's also a temptation to abort when it is convenient.

2. She's pro-drilling for oil in Alaska. She seems like one of those "Everything is on the table" types, which is good, because it will take oil, natural gas, nuclear, solar, wind, bio-mass, water, and any other power sources we can come up with to power our future growth. Voluntary conservation is good too, so I do mean everything is on the table.

3. She is for doing the right thing, even if it means bucking her party. Of course if everybody is a Maverick, then there is not party, only a bunch of people going their own ways, but kow-towing to the party to the point of compromising your core beliefs is not good. If there is corruption (Ted Stevens?) get it out. If there are problems, don't just defend them blindly, nor dump them under the bus in knee-jerk fashion. Get the facts, make a decision based on what is right, and then stick with it! Sarah seems to have done this in Alaska.

4. Have you seen her? She's cheerful, looks strictly business, and speaks clearly and forcefully. She took up the mantle of Geraldine Ferraro and Hillary Clinton without the liberal baggage and without Bill. According to Mrs. Ferraro, hillary never mentioned her run for VP in 1988, but Sarah Palin did that first. She gets it, knowing her political roots come from both sides. Let's see her finish the task of shattering the glass ceiling that those other ladies cracked. Note that she will do it mostly in dresses as well, not the de-feminizing pants suits. I believe she will attract a lot of Hillary voters, even if they are not all pro-life. They, like she, are pro-woman, and the Democratic ticket has two men, as usual.

5. Sarah Palin brings more executive experience than Joe Biden. I have never heard of Joe Biden running anything but his mouth, his campaigns and that Accela train home every night from DC to Delaware. Mrs. Palin even has more positive executive experience than Barack Obama, dare I say. The only executive experience Mr. Obama has is running the Chicago Annenberg Challenge with William Ayers, the unrepentant terrorist. The summary of his tenure as and executive of one of the two wings of the non-profit was that they used up $15 million in the first year, drew scrutiny for mismanagement, and had to reorganize, disassociating the group from it's original partnership groups, and then ultimately using up the $50+ million dollars with little to show for the money within six years. I'd say that being a mayor of a town, (albeit small) and then being elected governor over a sitting member of your own party is quite an accomplishment. Sarah Palin also governed for a year and a half, and has had a positive impact in that time.

6. Sarah Palin is an avid hunter, and support gun rights. She also understands that reasonable precautions need to be in place to protect the public. Let's see how she presents her position, as I am not yet as familiar with her positions as I will be in the near future.

7. She's from wa-a-ay outside of Washington. You can't get much further than Alaska, and still be in the USA. Alaska is very near Russia, so she may have some exposure to or understanding of how they work. Again, though, let's see what she says about this in the near future.

8. On foreign policy, if she doesn't have much in that area, she can certainly learn about it from John McCain. John McCain may get the border fence and immigration policy wrong, but he understands other things, like the threat of radical Islam and jihad, and how to deal with Russia and China. Sarah Palin may not bring much to the table in this regard, but she has at least as much foreign policy experience as Barack Obama, and she can learn from McCain as president, which is much better than President Obama learning from the VP Biden.

9. Sarah Palin offers change as historic as Barack Obama. With the choice of Mrs. Palin, there is certain to be someone in the White House who has never been there before, either a black man, or a woman in the highest offices in the land. I would also note that if the McCain/Palin ticket wins, Hillary is pretty much out forever. Sarah Palin is young enough to run in 2012 or 2016 (if McCain hangs in there), thus freezing Hillary out. If Obama wins, Biden won't run in 8 years, and if the Obama/Biden team fails in the first four years, Hillary has an opportunity in 2012. I doubt Hillary will be in the running in 2016, as she will be so old, both in years and in ideology. So I think women will figure this out as well, and vote for the woman who is likely to be the president ofter the winner of this fall's election.

More later, as things develop, but boy, this is a big improvement. I think I might even send the RNC some money!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

McCain on the Brink

Wow, what a turn of events. I watched John McCain at the Saddle back forum, and he sounded like a guy I could really respect, like, and vote for. I mean, pro-life, sure of himself, all the right moves, or at least as many as can be expected from a political candidate these days.

But these are not the days of Reagan, nor even of George W. Bush. The persona that was presented at Saddleback was not the person who would take a pro-choice VP. It was not the person who would ban drilling in ANWR, nor who would sound wishy-washy, as he so often does in other settings. It also was not the angry person who grudgingly gives lip service to a border fence (or the more often repeated phrase secure the borders first).

I mean, if he selects a pro-life VP running mate, you can pretty much kiss the GOP goodbye. We cannot out-Democrat the Democrats. If voters want a Democrat, they will vote for Obama. He's the true Dem here. Or they could even still engineer the overthrow of the Obama candidacy, and install Hillary as their candidate, as she would love to have happen. But the GOP depending on Democrats that they attract by alienating the GOP base is like a football team putting their defense on the field to beat the defense of the other team. It just doesn't work! You play to your strengths, and beat them fair and square. Yes we can (to borrow a phrase)!

Not to be outdone, the Democrats are trying to get the pro-life vote, while remaining solidly pro-abortion. They put some mealy-mouthed mushy words in their party platform about protecting the life of babies, and supporting pregnancy, a few paragraphs after stating they will never allow Roe v. Wade to be overturned, nor infringed upon in any way. One pundit called it putting some words out there for pro-Obama Republicans to have an excuse to vote for him. It's too thinly veiled to fool us. Anyone who thinks will see thru it.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Barack's Big Speech

Unless you are not politically attuned, you probably have heard of the speech that Barack Obama made today, 24 July 2008. You may have even heard some of the speech. Depending on your perspective, you might think it was brilliant, or you might think it was out of place.
Why might some think it was brilliant? let me see if I can look at this from the liberal perspective. If you are a liberal and know anything about history, you might think that a great man, going to Berlin and giving a speech is great in the tradition of John F. Kennedy in 1963, and maybe even as Ronald Reagan did in 1987. While the allusion to Reagan might not sit well with too many on the Left, both he and JFK spoke eloquently about a wall coming down. They addressed the issue of their day, and confronted it head-on, with clarity and courage. Barack Obama did the same thing, in the same way with today's issues. He alluded to many moments to tear down many walls, including those of racism, sexism, global warming, and equality of wealth. He said that this is the moment to tackle all these large issues, and they are in the opinion of many people, inarguably the most important things to be confronted.
Barack has the courage to mention them, the courage to challenge the world to join with us in a fight that is too large for any one country to win. Barack is the one, the savior, who will address the most important issues of our times. He will bring the war in Iraq to a close.
One must admit, he looked presidential as he stood at the podium, addressing hundreds of thousands of people. He also delivered the speech with eloquence and conviction, looking like a true statesman. Now that he has capped his world tour with this speech, Barack Obama can simply return home, bask in the glow of the media attention he well deserves for standing up to the forces of stagnation, for presenting bold new initiatives that will benefit the citizens of the world!

If you listened to this from another perspective, that of a Conservative, you heard a very different speech. Some key points stood out to those of this viewpoint, especially that of citizenship. Give the man his due, he did say he was a "Proud Citizen of America", but he also said he was a "Citizen of the World". That American pride was more of a fig leaf as he then blasted away at the country he says he is proud of. The speech entails a lot of things but two things are key to the issues at hand: First, a President must be first, last, and always a citizen to the United States of America. While we live in the world, our first concern must be the good of America, because America is not evil, and wishes no evil on those it shares the world with. Being a citizen of someplace implies that your loyalty is there, not in the contrasting or different place. For example, a French citizen is first concerned with and loyal to France. He may consider what is good for China as well, but his first concern is always with France and how what he does affects France. So it must be for Americans, especially the President. The second thing is that he is not yet the President of the Untied States of America. He may challenge the German people, and by extension, all of the European people, but if he loses his bid to become President, there is little chance he will be back over to take up the fight he is challenging them to today. This highlights the arrogance of addressing a people at a historic sight when you are not yet the victor in your own political battle. Both John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan were President when they made their historic speeches. They were positioned to speak for the American people, as they had been voted into leadership through the established process, and had been in office more than two years. Barack Obama has a lack of understanding of American Exceptionalism. Presidents Kennedy and Reagan had a proper view of America as great, a global contributor, and a positive force in the world. I'm not so sure Obama sees the United States that way, though he thinks he can turn America in the right direction again.

Aside from the assumption that he has the authority to challenge Europeans to fight with us for the things he has not yet been given a mandate to do, there is the issue of proving global warming. He mentioned the oceans rising, the ice melting as a result of the cars being driven and fuels being burned around the globe. It is not yet a proven fact that global warming is occurring, and it is even less sure that man-made processes are contributing to said warming. There is recent evidence that smoke from industrial power generation may have clouded the sky, contributing to global cooling. While violence in Darfur and other places is real, and proven, it is not simply because of people not getting along, it is a sort of war. There are political forces at work that drive all such bloodshed, and resolving those issues is not as easy as just talking to the affected parties. Palestinians and Israelites are not ready to just split the difference and settle down, no matter who proposes the idea. They are fighting for their homelands, from each other's perspective. Hamas is committed to the destruction of Israel, and there is no middle ground.
When he talks about tearing down borders, he is inviting non-Americans to share the wealth that Americans have worked hard to establish over the centuries, to take advantage of opportunities that they have not earned nor even truly understand. America is more than a job bank. It is more than a place to get government paid health care. There is a process by which a set number of immigrants, as decided by the people through their representative have the right to become Americans, and the chance to share in the American dream. The right to become citizens is not just to be given out carelessly, as those like Barack Obama would allow to cross our borders with the intent of getting as much benefit as they possibly can.
One final item Barack Obama threw into the speech that would infuriate those with a Conservative perspective is that the war in Iraq is to be "drawn to a close", with no mention of winning. Here Mr. Obama stands in the shadow of an obelisk made in tribute to Hitler and his war effort, with no acknowledgment that the peace in Germany came after we won World War II. There, in Berlin, the method of achieving lasting peace should have been foremost in Barack Obama's mind, yet he didn't even mention winning in Iraq. He seemed intent on scoring points by pledging to get us out of Iraq, as though getting out were the best thing for the citizens of the world. If he had only acknowledged that we are winning in Iraq, and that we can finish the job, then leave when a lasting peace, as there is now in Germany, he would have truly spoken momentous words. Yet the history of Germany, which he touched on but did not cover adequately, teaches us that if we win, as we did in WW I, and then leave the country without the ability to repair and support itself, it would end up in the hands of tyrannical dictators (Hitler?). If after the tactical victory in Iraq, as there was in Germany after the second World War, yet we allow a non-democratic rule to take hold of part or all of the recently vanquished foe, the part of the country under such influence would suffer as badly as before the war. Recall how the Russians ran, ruled and ruined East Germany, surrounded Berlin, and tried to strangle Democracy as it sprouted in the fertile soil of post WWII Germany. It took over 30 years to get that right, and Iran would like to do the same to Iraq after the second Gulf War. If Iraqi society has the infrastructure and freedom in place to support itself, the police and the military to defend itself, Iranian-influenced Muslim extremists would fight to rule part or all of Iraq, with dire consequences. The blood of the many brave soldiers, men and women, spilled in Iraq would have been made to be in vain. Countries do not just "bring a war to a close". It's not a sports season, or a retail shopping center that gives up and moves on. Wars are won or lost, no matter what people say. We won the Vietnam war, but then ultimately the South Vietnamese lost it when we withdrew and allowed the enemy poised across the border to come in and take over.

I was disappointed that Barack Obama did not visit the injured soldiers in Germany who had no doubt been prepared to see him. Democrats often say they support the troops, though they do not support the war. Here was a golden opportunity to do just that, and Mr. Obama turned it down. It is amazing to me when political figures fall into their own stereotypes, and prove there is a basis for them. I'm sure this did not win him many new supporters among the military in his quest to become the Commander in Chief, the President of these United States. No matter the reason, and they certainly will spin him one good one when they realize the impact of such a gaffe, a person who is in the area, and has a heart of concern for the troops would have made the visit. If he had such a desire, and it is his campaign, there is no reason they could not have done it. Schedules can be adjusted, less important people can be rescheduled, flights can be delayed. In my mind, this reveals the true nature of Barack Obama: concerned about political speeches, and not concerned about the troops.

One last point: if it was incumbent on Americans to teach their children a foreign language, why did Senator Obama not try to deliver the speech in German? And was it widely published that the crowd that heard Senator Obama's speech was lured to the venue by a free concert immediately preceding his speech?

Friday, April 18, 2008

I used to be "Anybody but McCain", but...

I now see McCain as the lesser of three evils, soon to be two. My animus for Mr. McCain's policies are well documented, and unchanged. I am not a McCain supporter, and I doubt I ever will be.

That said, I am even more alienated from Obama and Clinton, as the truth about their positions becomes more evident. Here is a short lit of the things Obama has revealed that soured me on him.
  1. He says he is against the war in Iraq. He claims that we never should have started the war, and he would withdraw our troops as fast as possible.
  2. He is for taxing "the rich", meaning the upper middle class, where I ascribe to being soon.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Obama Speech Rewrite

I have a copy of Barack Obama's speech, and I think it was very good, with a few notable exceptions. I think I will rewrite parts of it, and post it here. Did you read it? I will try to link to it, or at least the text of it. I don't think one needs to hear his actual voice reading it.

Stop back by soon, and it should be up.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Battling the Braviax 3

Well, they responded. They sent me a link to another site, and basically nuked the virus, as it existed in my PC. However, it had tentacles in some other part of my system, because it tried to reinstall itself, but I digress.

The link they sent me was bleepingcomputer.com, and they provided me a script based on their scan of the system that I ran and returned to them Friday. Anyway, the plan was to boot into Safe Mode, drag & drop the script on top of the ComboFix.exe program I got from the bleeping computer site, and let it run. It popped up some ominous warning,s like, "this program is very powerful, and may result in harm to your computer if you choose to run it." A bit later it warned me that "1 in 100 PCs are damaged by this program." I ran it, and it told me to restart the computer, which I did. Upon restart, the AVG came back to life, just in time for me to uninstall it. I did that because the Spysweeper Antivirus is running, and doing a good job so far. Spysweeper AV found the remnant of the virus, and quarantined them. I did note, however, that the virus was not running, which was a major improvement. What that tells me is that the virus is still lurking somewhere, and is trying to reinstall itself, though it is not successful.

WebRoot told me that they would have a new set of signatures that would handle this virus out soon, so stay tuned. Now, about WebRoot service and support: they are nice enough people, but there are the limitations:
1. Their hours are from 8:00 AM until 8:00 PM daily, and I'm not sure about weekends. Kind of limits ones who work the first shift from accessing their services often.
2. Their team assumes you will be using the ill computer to talk with them, and some viruses may screw up your system to the point that that is not practical.
3. They kept me on hold for over 35 minutes each time I called, probably because like most East coast people, I was calling them near the end of their support hours.

Bottom line: this was a nasty virus, and I wonder how or where I got it. Ok, I went to a variety of sites, most unknown to me before I went there, and I got cookies from all over the place. but hey, isn't that how the 'net is supposed to be used? Only kids are supposed to stay in sites that are known, safe, and pretty much assured to be healthy. Oh well, maybe there is something to being like a kid sometimes.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Battling the Braviax 2

I gave up on stopping the invasion of the Braviax for the weekend. I have more important things to do, like spend time with my family, fix my banister spindle, and celebrate Easter. the last thing I did on Friday was to reboot in Safe mode, then delete the file braviax.exe from the c:\windows\system32 folder. I thought I had beaten it, but when I rebooted in normal mode, the file had been recreated at the startup time. It is the symptom, not the source of the virus. Of course I had some other great ideas, but these are obviously either professional virus makers, or some hacker teens with too much time on their hands.

Friday I sent the status file to the anti-virus company for them to figure out what to do about it, and they said they would send me an update for it really soon. Look for it in a couple of days, they said. As of tonight, they still have not sent a response. This is getting really old.

Just a bit of background: Jordan kicked the banister spindle out when he was two years old! He just got angry, kicked and pow! It was downstairs, or at least pieces of it were. Fortunately, Home Depot had the right size and color of spindle in stock. It matched about 95%, with only variations that the trained or searching eye would detect. A drill, a hacksaw, and hammer and a punch were all that was needed to fix it.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Black or White: Do I have a Choice?

I have been following this issue of race with Barack Obama with some interest recently. I am 47, had a white mother, and a black father, just like Obama. However, we look at him and say he's a black man. Does he have a choice? Is he more black than white?

When I was in college, I went to a Christian training program in Minneapolis, MN. We stayed in a frat house, with the girls on the top floor, the guys on the second floor, and the ground floor and basement were co-ed. This worked out well, as we had team leaders of older, more mature Christians for every three or four person team. Everyone in our program was black, and I assumed it was a "black" training program. I didn't know there was any other type. To my surprise, as the summer wound down, the program was going to be over before my summer job was over. There were others in the program in the same situation, so the director offered to let us stay with "the Leftovers" in "The Leftover House", comprising leftovers from all the different training programs around the city. We took our gear, and moved when the final day came, eager to meet the other "Leftovers". To our further surprise, they were all white. We had been part of a set of training programs that had been divided racially. I of course immediately asked why. It was 1981, not 1881, so it made no sense to us. The answer I got was that they did not want us to be distracted by the race issue as we learned the basics of the Christian life! Hello?! Isn't getting along with your fellow man one of "the basics" of the Christian life? I had a hard time explaining that to my non-Christian family, when I got back that fall. But I digress.

Of course we had a lot to talk about with our new "leftover" brethren and sistren (is that a word?). After talking for a while, I had told the brother that my Mom was white, and my Dad was black. He asked me sort of naively "Are you black or white?" I laughed, but then realizing he was serious, settled down, and told him calmly to "look at me again, and then ask yourself that same question." His eyes darted around as he thought briefly and said he guessed I was black. But it raised the question in my mind, that I don't have a choice on how to answer. It's the same one that Obama faced, and may still face.

Am I black or white? Put another way, am I going to who am I going to "throw under the bus", my Mom or my Dad? Who should I deny? This seems like a false choice, but I have to go with the black parent, because I am most easily identifiable as his son. So Mom gets set aside (I could never "kick her to the curb"; throw her under the bus, or otherwise dis her). Another story from my life highlights the point.

I went to the Jacksonville Jazz Festival once in 1988, while still single. I took a lady with me, a friend who I was toying with the idea of becoming possibly more. We stopped at a KFC for lunch, and at the counter, the light-skinned sister who served us seemed nice enough, until my companion asked for some hot sauce. She snootily replied that they did not serve such things at that restaurant. My friend leaned over, and in a lowered, friendly tone said, "What, not enough of "us" around here to justify buying it?" I looked around, and sure enough, there were no other black folk either customers or employees in the place. The server looked at her like she had never heard such language, and didn't say another word. On the road, back in the car, my friend started talking about the server kind of badly. She suggested that the server had been brainwashed by being around too many white folk, and other such remarks. I kind of played along, then after she said a few remarks about white folks not knowing good food, and generally derogatory things, I said "You know, my mother was white." Her face turned ashen, and she apologized profusely for dogging out white people. She said she didn't mean it about all whites, but that some fit that description. I toyed with letting her go on, but I let her know that I was not that offended, but found it rather amusing how differently she talked about white people when she thought they were not there.

I say all this because Obama reminds me that we can't choose who we are understood to be by reason of the color of our skin here in America. He can't choose his white side any more than I can, and it's sad. In fact, I didn't realize I was black until I was about nine years old. I wonder when Obama realized it. But here is the point: Obama chose to go further black in his associations than he might have otherwise, probably to make up for going further white in his achievements than I did. I have a BS from an HBCU, and that's all. He got an undergrad degree from Columbia, then a Harvard law degree.

Sure, I met the type of black leaders that he did, but I did not join their churches. I knew the types of Christians who cursed in church for effect, who blame America for many things, usually too many things. But I chose to go to a church that agreed with me for the most part. Anyone can find such a church. I have yet to have had a pastor who I got to know, disagreed with, and would now have pressure to disavow, as does brother Obama. So why does he hang onto Pastor Jeremiah Wright Jr.? Most likely for one of two reasons, or some combination of the two: he may actually agree with the positions preached by Pastor Wright, or he wants to keep his credibility with the black community by hanging tough with a brother under fire for his outspoken support of blackness above all else.

I tend to think he does agree with Pastor Wright in large part, because as a congregant, one gets to know the positions of the pastor. One also gets to pick which of the pastors does key things like administering marriage vows, baptizing children, etc. If I disagreed with a pastor as much as Obama now claims he does with Pastor Wright, I doubt he would have continued to go to that church. Also, Michelle Obama was not proud of her country until Barack was seriously running for the presidency, which is right in line with Pastor Wright's teachings. I she smarter than Barack? Did she pick up on what the pastor taught better than he did? If so, maybe she needs to deb running for the office, as she shows better sensitivity to the teachings around her.

The best solution is that while I am of black and white descent, I am an American. No hyphen, just "an American". I use the best of all my upbringing as often as possible. My friends in grade school and high school thought I was cheating because I did my homework. Which race do you think my friends who thought that were from? I also disappointed a lot of people when I told them my name was Pro, and acted humble about my hoop skills, and they thought I was really good, until I stepped on the court. Which friends do you think those were? I know it may be pushing it a bit, but why was I not scared walking around Compton, CA in 1991 during the day? I could still smell the smoke from the riots, but I felt safe. I took advantage of the affirmative action opportunities and got the best education I could, because blacks were offered support due to white guilt over slavery.

So my point is that we, as Americans, need to take advantage of every legal and ethical opportunity that presents itself to become the best we can each be, no matter what our genetic background is. Barack Obama would do well to stress those points, rather than putting his grandmother down for her reactions that mirror any other American's feelings when threatened by hoodlums or gang bangers. Bringing people together does not mean excusing their ignorance, nor ignoring their differences. It means using the best of all cultures, while recognizing that the Christianity and western civilization that America was founded on are the strengths of this great land, and of its great people. We've moved past slavery, let's move past everything being seen through a racial prism.

Battling the Braviax

A strange thing has happened. I've been invaded by a virus. It resides on my PC, but since 3/17 it has impacted my life.

I have been battling this thing so much that my wife is mad at me, my kids think I'm ignoring them, and my wrist hurts. I bought an anti-spyware/Anti-Virus program from Webroot, because a respected friend told me he used it to fix his impossible virus infection. He got a similar virus, and they had to custom update the program for him. Well, I'm at that point, but they have not yet come back with the fix.

Here's what happened. My wife got this nasty gram from a program in our PC that it had been infected with spyware, and the windows was going to load the latest antispyware to pervent (sic) spreading it around. I thought my old trusty AVG Free would handle it, but it has been knocked out. KO'd cold. Won't even come up. And poor Zone Alarm is keeping it contained as best it can. At least ZA is working, and visible. AVG is not even visible! I tried using the free spy sweeper, and it found two viruses. I bought the SW online, and installed it on the "little PC". Then I wrote the setup files to a CD and carried it via sneakernet to the "big PC". I had previously disconnected the big PC from the internet, to contain the virus.

So what are the Braviax? I think they came from another planet, and are trying to take over earth, starting at my PC. Nobody has a way to stop them that I am aware of, though there are some posts on the web about those who have fixed their PCs of it. How it was healed was not recorded, but just a given in the story. They sound like some reject from star wars, or some really smart heroes. Anyway, it is slowly eating away at me and my family. In fact, I should be up int eh bed right now, but I had to vent about this, and they are sick of hearing about it,and of seeing me at the PC nearly every waking moment.

So I broke down, plugged my big PC in, downloaded the file the tech support guy suggested, and it turned out to be the same rev as the program that was already loaded. Plus, it "corrupted" the files in the Webroot folder. I was more scared than Obama's Grandma walking through Harlem at night! I rebooted into Safe Mode, and removed it manually from the list. I left the old version installed, and reran its installer. I ran the scan in safe mode, and then rebooted into normal mode. The virus greeted me at the middle of boot up, before the AV/AS got started. It can't do much with the already running virus.

Well, I'm getting sleepy, so I better go. I'll fill you in on more of this later. Right now I better go. and BTW, I am going to go cleanup and archive my old "Anybody but McCain" style posts of the past month. they don't seem to be getting any traction, and though I am still disgusted by him and his Open Borders philosophy, etc., I am not going to slam him so hard. I'm going to focus on the real enemy, our opposition, the Democrats. Good night!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Elizabeth Jewelry

Here is a fellow Etsy artist I'm sure you would love to check out her shop. Elizabeth Jewelry has been creating gorgeous handcrafted Jewelry from beautiful Oregon for over ten years. She has been selling her line of jewelry in national catalogs and dozens of stores. All jewelry is genuine Sterling Silver, gemstones, freshwater pearls and swarovski crystals with a touch of the increasingly popular cubic Zirconia beads.

Take a look at her website: www.elizabethjewelry.etsy.com

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Fear: not the motivation we need, from Hillary or McCain

I wrote a reply to Gary Bauer's article of 2/29/08 on why we should vote for anybody but Obama. I am not an Obama supporter, let me make that clear. However, Gary was using fear as the key argument against voting Democrat, no matter who wins. I'll try to put the link in here:

John McCain may be strong on the war, but he too, would close Gitmo. He would limit our ability to interrogate (waterboarding, anybody?). McCain would fight the war "over there" while letting illegals in over here: ask Juan Hernandez, his adviser on immigrant affairs.

Yes, Obama is a leftist with some even more leftist supporters. However, I can't count on McCain with a Democrat house and Senate to do Republican things. With the Gang of 14 ideology and his signature piece, McCain-Feingold on the line, he won't push strongly for strict constructionist supreme court nominees, Ted Olson not withstanding. For every Ted Olson, there is a Warren Ruddman (David Souter, anyone?)in his campaign.
McCain is doomed to fail, because if he moves right, the libs who nominated him will bail. He will also be a flip flopper, which doesn't attract most people, if he moves right. If he moves left, Obama will be the true lib, and we, the true conservatives on social, defense, moral, and immigration issues, will stay home or vote Ann Coulter-style.

John McCain is not moving right, and he is not naturally conservative. He curses people out, holds grudges (Bush 2000), and does not admit his failures. I think McCain's Freudian slip was showing when he said his upcoming debates would be "dispirited", and he is "a proud Conservative Liberal Republican". I know what he was trying to say, but I also saw his heart. Nobody is perfect, and I certainly do not expect a candidate for President to be perfect. However, I do expect a person who seems to have a humble heart (G. W. Bush, Ronald Reagan), and who is not just the lesser of two evils. I think a good strong Republican congress and senate are the best checks against a probable Democrat president next year. Fear will not motivate enough people to swallow their principles and vote McCain in, especially when McCain is not likely to protect us much better than his opponents.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Lord and JWs

I have been having an on-going conversation with some local Jehovah's Witnesses. They have come by my house, asked to drop off some literature, and if they could discuss the Bible with me. I,being the confident Christian that I am, of course take on the challenge. I talk with them for about a half hour or so almost every Saturday. I try very hard not to argue, as I don't want to turn them off, though I do want to turn them to Christ. They seem just as intent to turn me to Jehovah.

Last week, the guy came by while I was out, and of course my wife was busy with the kids and
could not take the time to carry the torch to them for me.
So this week, the guy came while I was on the phone talking. I answered the door, but he was polite, and seeing the phone cradled on my shoulder, excused himself before I could stop talking and ask him to wait. Never mind that I was talking with a lawn care service salesman, and it was not that important. So I thought I got off easy this week without talking with them. Annnh- Wrong answer! I got a call a few minutes later from another JW, one who did not seem to know me, or know of me. He just started talking, and I stopped him after he said he wanted to talk about the Bible, to ask what church he attended. He said the kingdom Hall, and so I said "Oh, you're another JW". He agreed, and off we went into talking about the Bible. He wanted to present something that they probably told him about at one of the many Bible study/meetings they have weekly. We politely talked for almost an hour, and then we both had to go, but I agreed to accept the free literature he offered to mail me.

It seemed that even though my timing was off, the Lord (Jehovah if you will) wanted me to talk with them this week. I truly enjoy sparring with them, almost as if we had Samurai swords. We thrust, dodge, avoid, and eventually, someone will prevail. I know that the Lord always wins, so I am glad to be on his side. I am honored to be used in this way, as I sometimes feel as though I am a "cracked pot", a weak vessel, but the Lord chooses to use me in this way, and it thrills me to no end! I always pray when I am about to go talk with them, and I look forward to it. This is one of the things that He has prepared me for over the years, because one must be very broadly knowledgeable to discuss things with JWs. They are all over the place in and out of the Bible, and if you can't discuss things with them they think they get the upper hand, or they may intimidate you into impatience or into not evangelizing them. Many people think the best way to deal with them is to pull the blinds, pretend you don't hear them but I take the position that they are a mission field on my front porch. I hope to follow in the footsteps of Dr. Walter Martin and J. Vernon McGee, as they reached out to JW's when they had the chance. What can the Lord do through you? What has he prepared you for? Whatever it is, it will glorify Him, and bring you true satisfaction. It may even feel natural!

Why I Will Never Vote for Hillary Clinton

This is a first cut at explaining logically why I will never vote for Hillary Clinton for President. Here goes!
  1. Mrs. Clinton thinks she knows better what to do with my money, and would raise my taxes to get it and prove it. I am one of those middle class tax payers who she mistakes as "rich", because the end of the Bush tax cuts would hit me and my family hard.
  2. I don't think universal health care is a good government policy. I think the best way to reduce health care costs is to have tort reform, but she will never advocate or support such a position, because she is a lawyer herself. Trial lawyers support Democrats like her; look at John Edwards!
  3. Bill Clinton would be in the White House again.
  4. Interns would be in the White House with Bill Clinton again.
  5. Mrs. Clinton would reduce our commitment to winning the global war on terrorism, even if not all the troops were taken out of Iraq.
  6. Mrs. Clinton is pro-choice. She is guaranteed to appoint liberal judicial nominees to the Supreme court.
  7. Mrs. Clinton is in favor of big government, and would try to use government to implement some (as many as we could finance) of her programs to improve America.
  8. Mrs. Clinton has socialistic tendencies, believing government has the best ways to solve people's problems. Conservatives believe people can best solve their own and each other's problems if left alone by government.
  9. Mrs. Clinton has never run any business, and has no sense of what it takes to run a country. As first lady, she was around the president, and certainly learned some things, but there is no comparison with seeing another person run a business or a country and being responsible to do so your self.
  10. Mrs. Clinton never defines "The Middle Class", but I bet that at $80k to 100k, I am not in it. She says she will help the middle class, and that we are key to the country's future, but I doubt her sincerity about that, based on her husband's past record.
  11. Finally, I do not believe that Bill Clinton will be under Hillary's control now any more than he was when he dated Monica Lewinsky. She says she can control him, but I have not seen that in the past. She only cleans up after him, and old dogs don't change. It seems ridiculous on its face to think that Bill Clinton will not have an active role in making policy and important decisions during her presidency. Former President Clinton would be in essence skirting the laws about not having a third term by being married to Hillary during her presidency. They ran as "two for the Price of One" in 1992, and it would be no different today.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Why I Don't Support John McCain for President - Updated

I am trying to get down to the bottom line on how I feel about this current Republican Presidential Candidate. This is a summary that I hope clears things up. Maybe I'll write about the other Presidential candidates similarly, if time permits. Here goes!
  1. He has these open borders guys on his team, including Juan Hernandez, which indicates Mr. McCain does not "get it" about the border. He would still sign the bill that he co-sponsored with Senator Edward Kennedy. Kennedy may yet send it back, if the Democrats win the Congress again. Then we would be a world of trouble, so Mr. McCain is not trustworthy there.
  2. the Gang of 14 deal weakened the President's ability to submit and get votes on the Supreme court justices of his choosing. Mr. McCain even believes that he should consult the Senate on his possible nominees before actually submitting them, so there is little if any chance a true conservative judicial appointee will be submitted. In this regard, he differs little from the Democrat opponents he will face.
  3. Mr. McCain fought against the Wisconsin Right to Life on a life issue, so his vaunted Pro-Life position is not as strong as it might seem when he proclaims it from the stump.
  4. A Republican president will be the de-facto leader of the party. As such, Congressional Republicans will not fight him on issues that he is liberal on, and will just go along to get along. As president, Mr. McCain will want to get things done, and with a Democrat Congress, he will fight his own party more (maverick, anyone?) than he will fight the Democrats. They will be easier to beat.
  5. Mr. McCain is too old to be President. A contest between him and Barack Obama would be a cakewalk for the first black American President. Mr. McCain might be able to defeat Hillary, because there is so much Clinton fatigue, but he has no chance against a young, popular articulate man with destiny on his side. Also, the war is not as popular, so Mr. McCain's strongest issue is not the top priority in this upcoming election. The war may be my top priority, but many view it as either too long, or almost won, or immoral.
  6. Lastly, the war. I believe it is a travesty of justice to close Guantanamo, which is what he and the Democrats want to do. Keeping the enemy combatants out of this country is essential to keeping our legal system out of military proceedings, and ensuring that we can get the intelligence we need. Also, waterboarding is not torture, as Mr. McCain should know best. I hope never to learn what the other non-torture techniques that are used against terrorists, because they too would become ineffective and Mr. McCain would probably outlaw them too. I am sure that we do not use any tactics nearly as brutal nor unethical as those used on Mr. McCain when he was held by the North Vietnamese. So rather than support Mr. McCain in his effort to become President, I will contribute to congressional candidates, and Senatorial candidates, and hope for the best.
Subsequent comments, 3/23/08: I wrote this in a very angry time in my political life, and while I still believe this, Obama has shown himself to be the Liberal that he has been portrayed as, and Hilary has shown herself to be the ruthless, selfish, spoiled brat of a candidate that she seemed to be before the carefully crafted image she set up for this political race. She's not only bad for the country, she's bad for the Democrat party. She is trying to either win or tear down the party, whichever comes first. It's sad!

Obama Debate Thoughts

I did not have the privilege of watching the Democratic debate in Texas, as I live in Georgia. I did hear some of the clips on the radio. I was disappointed because he seemed to contradict himself. In answer to a question, the candidate seemed to be saying that he would meet with other heads of state without preconditions, then he said that those countries had to prepare to meet with us. He said that meeting with the President of the United States should not be something that those countries have to earn, that we are not above them.

It bothers me that Obama does not recognize that we are one of the best, if not the best, country on the earth. It is not that we are inherently better than other people, but our form of government recognizes the weakness of man, and balances the power among many, to protect the society. It was founded by Godly men of Christian background. Obama not recognizing the strength and value of our country, and form of government is troubling because he seems to equate the US with Cuba, North Korea, and other dictatorially controlled countries, at least morally. There is, to my mind, no moral equivalent between us and those countries. Obama says the foundation of any discussions we may have is freedom in those countries, which sounds a lot like a precondition. Leaving aside the apparent contradiction, he does seem to let his view that we have freedom, and they need it, surface, if ever so briefly. I have hope that Obama will change to let that portion of his understanding win out when he becomes President. I am not sure, but can only hope.

Shelby Steele has an interesting book about Obama out, and I intend to read it. I read a chapter or two, and recommend it for those who want to know the background of this man who could be President.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

McCain: not saved by the NYT Attacks

Today I heard of the salacious stories about John McCain and some lobbyist named Iseman. She looks good, for an old guy like him, but she's not much different than his trophy wife. Putting aside the obvious target of a candidate fooling around on the campaign trail, and focusing on the ethics issues, it seems awfully suspicious that Mr. McCain was close to a lobbyist when he is trying to build and maintain this image of a good, clean incorruptible guy.

Now as a guy, I know how easy it is to be influenced by pretty women. They are all over, and if one is not careful, he could be attracted to, and therefore make foolish decisions because of one of those women. I have to stay away from women like that, as I have higher goals in mind than just fulfilling my flesh. I don't think that many guys will honestly say that they can hang around with attractive women and not be attracted to them, so this was a foolish move on Mr. McCain's part. So let's be clear about that: The appearance of impropriety is a big thing when one is trying to be the clean candidate, and it casts a bad light on his judgment. As President, judgment is the key quality that is required.

With good judgment, I would trust almost anyone as President. I say "almost anyone" because "good judgment" implies that the person will defend and protect the country above fulfilling their person desires and maintaining their personal image. Such a person with good judgment would protect our borders first, and protect our people from foreign invaders, whether they are invading through cracks in the fence, or just overstaying their welcome (9/11 anybody?). A person with good judgment would help people to achieve their best, and encourage them to provide for themselves and help their fellow man. A person with good judgment would also protect the most innocent among us, such as unborn babies, while letting those who have been found dangerous to society face the consequences of their proven actions.

So just because the New York Times is attacking John McCain does not change my position on his judgment. It also does not change the positions that drove me to not want to vote for Mr. McCain. While I do believe that the enemy of my enemy may be my friend, Mr. McCain has not proven that he is a friend to me. He is simply facing the heat that would come on any enemy of the liberal establishment, as voiced by the NYT. A moderate Republican is too conservative for the NYT, but not conservative enough for a true conservative like me. They endorsed John McCain in the primaries, but had no intention of supporting him in the general election. Why should anyone follow the suggestions of a hostile group of people when picking their candidate? Yet the media pointed to his endorsement by the NYT, his victories in "blue states", and people started talking about electing the candidate who can win "broad support". When poles of the Big Tent are liberal, the tent tends to collapse to the left.

I know not one person who is excited about John McCain for President. Not one. And I know a lot of people, from various parts of the country. Groups like the NYT believe that we will like or dislike a group for personal reasons. To a small extent, that is true, but the main reason conservatives like a candidate is that they like his positions on the issues, and trust that he will give every effort to getting those positions enacted into our laws or at least into our culture. Sometimes a position can be influential by just repeating it from the bully pulpit, while there are clearly those that need to be enacted into law. This explains why the Border enforcement and the Fair Tax were not enough to propel Mike Huckabee into the top position in the campaign. Not enough people believed he would really do those things, and not enough people really believed he was conservative enough that they could really trust him to get the job done in a conservative way. He had a record of running as a conservative, but then backing down to a Democrat legislature. He also has a class warfare streak that comes out in speeches and in debates, and that rubs a lot of conservatives the wrong way. But that's a whole nother subject.

These primaries were without the two main candidates we would have liked to see, and so we had to choose between five people who were not our first choices for President. Probably the best would have been George Allen or Jeb Bush, if they would have run. However, Macaca and Bush derangement syndrome along with Bush fatigue shot those guys out of the water. We are now down to the lesser of five lessers, and Mr. McCain is less than we want. No matter what the NYT says or does, John McCain is not the kind of guy I can get behind with any enthusiasm, even if I feel compelled to defend him on some issues they raise. I almost cannot vote for him, which some might see as a softening of my position.

This leaves me wanting to tell you about how the Gang of 14 ruined my chances of voting for McCain, and how the Mexican border positions Mr. McCain takes are hardening me in my opposition to Mr. McCain, but that will have to wait. I have to go to bed, to stop complaining about McCain, because I have a job to attend in the morning. I work my butt off all day to support my family and pay my taxes, so I need my sleep. By the way: when do Candidates sleep? They seem to always be up, or on their way somewhere, leading a press junket on aq plane. Oh well... Good night!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Anybody But McCain (still)

I have been toying with the idea that I should not vote for John McCain. Not that he is not a great Vietnam hero; he is. Not that he did not have a conservative voting record, it is generally more conservative than his Democratic opponents. It's the rest of his baggage that makes him unpalatable.

Mr. McCain is supposed to be giving us conservative judicial nominees, but if memory serves, was not the Gang of 14 about making the President submit his choices to the Senate before actually submitting them as candidates? Did McCain not advocate the president consulting with Congress before submitting candidates, to ensure that they were not too "out of the mainstream"?
Lest you think I am out on a limb by myself, Mark Levin has written a column much more scholarly than I could ever write, but then, I don't expect my readers to all be scholars.

On the immigration issue, Mr. McCain has Juan Hernandez on his campaign staff as an adviser on Latino affairs. That is like the fox guarding the proverbial henhouse, as Senior Hernandez is a Mexican citizen, who advocates open borders and pseudo-amnesty.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

It Ain't Over yet!

What a day to begin a blog! McCain just won Florida's primary, and thinks he can drive the bandwagon all the way to the presidency. Depressing. But there is hope. More tomorrow!