Monday, April 28, 2008

Scare Tactics

I really hate any politician (it doesn't matter the party, but the Democrats do it a lot), organization, or ideology that tries to accomplish things by scaring you into going along with them. People listen to things a lot more and are willing to listen to you if you make them believe that the alternative is drastic and scary and my kill you. Here's what I hear when I turn on liberal TV, read a liberal newspaper, or listen to a liberal talk: everything is out to get you, the world is mean and nasty, people hate you for one reason or another, the planet getting a little warmer will cause worldwide destruction, religion makes people hate, everything made by man will cause cancer or impotence, and by the way? You're too fat. That's what I hear. And the subliminal message to all this, the solution if you will, according to the Democrats? More regulation and control of your lives. You aren't smart enough for yourself to decide, so the government is going to do it for you. Let's run down the list. People out to get you translates into: big corporations are out to get you because a 100 million people buy a $1 item and their big profit symbolizes their exploitation of you, even though that good was extremely cheap and affordable for you. The world is mean and nasty translates into we're going to take from rich, successful ambitious people and give stuff to you because you decided welfare, handouts, food stamps, and entitlements are much easier than working or planning financially for yourself! People hate you translates into hey, we want the minority vote so we'll say that racism is rampant in our nation and promise you special benefits to compensate for that, even though that's reverse racism. Everything causes cancer translates into tons of regulations on any chemicals, no matter how unfounded the statistics are or irrational those regulations are. (DDT is extremely effective and cheap way to control mosquitoes, which carry malaria, which kills more people in Africa than AIDS, but DDT is a big no-no according to liberals, because it weakens egg shells). You're too fat translates into we're going to control what you eat and regulate fast food restaurants because you're not responsible enough to look after your own health. Here's a quote for you directly from the press to prove it:
"Fast Food Nation is the kind of book that you hope young people read because it demonstrates far better than any social studies class the need for government regulation, the unchecked power of multinational corporations and the importance of our everyday decisions." - Deirdre Donahue, USA Today
Scare tactics only lead to more messing in your lives, so think twice when a politician or media outlet tries to frighten you into thinking one way or another.

Obama Goes On Fox News And Lives To Tell The Tale!

Wow! A prominent liberal Democrat showed his face on the uber-conservative, cruel, relentless, Democrat-lynching, liberal-bashing, evil Fox News Channel! Is Obama okay? Did he survive? Is he in a wheelchair now? Did any blood transfusions have to take place? NO! He is perfectly fine, and would you think it, the discourse was civil! Heaven forbid that a network has a few anchors that are openly conservative as to take the guesswork out of deciphering any media bias! Obama actually accepts an invitation to appear on the network (as many Democrats are fearful to do, as they might have a conservative ask them a question) and he was treated with the utmost decency and was not torn apart! Maybe the network that says it is "fair and balanced" actually is in some ways. Sure there are many openly conservative people on the show, but at least you know that. Asking difficult questions should be at the forefront of any campaign. Democrats often shy away from Fox News, as there are conservatives there that may challenge them with a tough question. It is a lot easier to go on a show that's sympathetic to the Democratic cause on a different network and answer questions like "what's your favorite beer?" "What kind of car do you drive?" "What size shoe do you wear?" Those questions have zero substance to them and have nothing to do with policymaking. He goes on Fox that might challenge him, and he might get a question like "What exactly was your relationship with Reverend Wright?" "How exactly do you intend to fix Social Security?" Things that are important and tough are also tough to answer, so why not interview on the channel that asks you: Coke or Pepsi?

Pouring Gas On A Fire

As if the Reverend Wright controversy was not big enough already. Wright is now going around the country refuting the things Obama said to distance himself from Wright. I'm particularly fond of Wright's comment that "Obama didn't distance himself" but "did what politicians do." That comment could hurt Obama a lot, particularly in a campaign that's pushing for "C@&*^%." (I'm so sick of hearing that meaningless campaign catchword from a campaign that will return us to the failed policies of the 50s/60s that I am now going to censor the word change in all of my posts from now on) Obama's campaign also claims that it is "not politics as usual," but here is Wright saying that Obama is "doing what politicians do". The more we hear from Wright about Obama, the more his campaign seems sounds like the same-old same-old.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Change In The Wind?

Hillary Clinton was able to pull out a fairly decent victory in Pennsylvania yesterday, even by double digits over Obama. Winning was a thing that Clinton has not managed to do for a while, and winning by that large of margin may be able to throw some momentum in her favor. Particularly with another tight primary race coming up in Indiana. If she manages to win there, there is no way she will ever drop out of this race until the convention, as she will gain even more momentum going into the rest of the primaries. Obama continues to shoot himself in the foot (although in reality, they both are), so this Democratic party shakedown will continue for months to come. There will be more beating each other up, more super delegate controversy, and more votes for McCain come November. Good times.

Monday, April 21, 2008

McCain Accepts Public Funds...Good Or Bad For Him?

John McCain, the eventual Republican nominee, has decided to use federal dollars in order to fund his campaign, which limits how much he is able to spend. Even so, he will be eligible for $84 million, which is no small amount of change. Obama, who many people feel will be the Democratic nominee, has raised around $236 million so far, a huge amount when compared to what McCain gets to spend. Since Obama is not accepting public funds, he can spend and receive as much as he can possibly want. I'm not sure this was wise of McCain, but it could work out, too. Obama is going to have to spend a large amount of his money just securing the nomination, and in doing so he may exhaust the pocketbooks of many of his donors. I also have faith in Republicans being able to stretch each dollar as far as it can go. In 2004, John Kerry outspent President Bush by a wide margin, yet Bush was able to win the presidency. McCain will also be able to have a sort of matching funds program with the Republican National Committee. Money is important, but I think it is vastly more important for the money to be spent in the most effective manner. When a candidate has a vast surplus of money, often those funds are not spent in the wisest manner, so I think it will be interesting to see how much of an effect money has on the outcome of this election.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Question of the Week: Obama's Quote

I would like to disclose Obama's full quote, so everyone can see the context and then I can explain why I am even more put off by him after the full quote, not just the quote we've all seen on T.V., the part which I have placed in bold.
Here is a large chunk of his speech, so you can all the context of what he was saying:
"So, it depends on where you are, but I think it's fair to say that the places where we are going to have to do the most work are the places where people feel most cynical about government. The people are mis-appre...I think they're misunderstanding why the demographics in our, in this contest have broken out as they are. Because everybody just ascribes it to 'white working-class don't wanna work--don't wanna vote for the black guy.' That's...there were intimations of that in an article in the Sunday New York Times today - kind of implies that it's sort of a race thing.
Here's how it is: in a lot of these communities in big industrial states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, people have been beaten down so long, and they feel so betrayed by government, and when they hear a pitch that is premised on not being cynical about government, then a part of them just doesn't buy it. And when it's delivered by--it's true that when it's delivered by a 46-year-old black man named Barack Obama (laughter), then that adds another layer of skepticism (laughter).
But--so the questions you're most likely to get about me, 'Well, what is this guy going to do for me? What's the concrete thing?' What they wanna hear is--so, we'll give you talking points about what we're proposing--close tax loopholes, roll back, you know, the tax cuts for the top 1 percent. Obama's gonna give tax breaks to middle-class folks and we're gonna provide health care for every American. So we'll go down a series of talking points.
But the truth is, is that, our challenge is to get people persuaded that we can make progress when there's not evidence of that in their daily lives. You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. So it's not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.
Um, now these are in some communities, you know. I think what you'll find is, is that people of every background--there are gonna be a mix of people, you can go in the toughest neighborhoods, you know working-class lunch-pail folks, you'll find Obama enthusiasts. And you can go into places where you think I'd be very strong and people will just be skeptical. The important thing is that you show up and you're doing what you're doing."
Essentially was Obama is saying is that people are frustrated with government and that when people are down and out, they turn to things like guns and religion (traditionally conservative/Republican areas) and that's why he won't get the vote. I strongly disagree with this, which I made clear in my last post. But the full context also points out an ambiguity; an oxymoron in Obama's reasoning. He states that people are fed up and untrustworthy of government. A funny statement to be saying, as most of his solutions to all of our problems is MORE government, more intervention in our lives, and more complex, inefficiently run government programs that are the very thing that people are fed up with. I don't trust government in the least (Republican or Democrat), but I have to make a choice to have some sort of government, and at least I have a better shot getting less intrusion into my life electing a Republican. Obama claims that he is the man who can fix things, he thinks people are thinking "what can this guy do for me", to use his own words. Well I know a very famous Democrat (with whom I actually happen to agree with) who said "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." John F. Kennedy said that, and he's very right. I don't look to Barack Obama or John McCain to solve my problems. I know how to best fix my problems and help others fix theirs way better than any governmental official or government program because I know them on a personal level. The attitude of people shouldn't be "Obama will fix our problems," it should be "what can I do to better my country and the people around me and find solutions to my own problems?" If everyone helped their friends and family a little bit more, this country would be much better off and that's when people would stop being so cynical, Mr. Obama. People cling to things like religion because religion can give people something on a personal level in a way that government can never possibly begin to do. The country is better off when people help people, not when government helps people.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Barack's Out of Touch With Middle America? Ironic, Coming From Hillary Clinton

Senator Barack Obama has once again hinted at his true character. In a recent speech, he commented on small-town Midwesterners by saying that "it's not surprising they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations." Let me sum those words up with my own farm boy, stupid, ignorant, and completely retarded brain: people like me like guns, church, and upholding our immigration laws (and we're also apparently racist in Obama's opinion) because I am frustrated. Excuse me, sir, but I believe in those things for substantially more important and worthwhile reasons than that I'm FRUSTRATED with things. The worst part about this is that Hillary Clinton is playing off these comments in a campaign add and saying he is "out of touch" with Middle America, when she has the exact same attitudes! We here in South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and all the rest live in what's called "fly-over states", in that we are flown over by politicians going back and forth from the important, elitist coast states. These kinds of elitist attitudes have no place in the hearts of Midwest American people. The Democratic party has become the party of the wealthy elites, and the rest of us are just pawns to be wooed and convinced to vote for them when they need a couple more states under their belts to win an election. If they spent any time out here, they would realize that we are some of the smartest, innovative, tolerant, and down to earth people on the planet...but they wouldn't know that, would they? Washington D.C. and New York are quite a ways away from the heart and soul of America...the Midwest.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Having Tea With Terrorists,2933,348989,00.html

Former president Jimmy Carter's trip to the middle east to meet with Hamas is interesting, to say the least. I'm curious to see what will come of it. I'm guessing one of two three things will happen. First, Jimmy Carter, in his infinite negotiating wisdom, will end up "securing a mass of compromises and promises" with Hamas (a terrorist organization as defined by the state department). These "compromises and promises" will boil down to nothing but empty promises and rhetoric stated by the organization making themselves sound much more peaceful and touchy-feely than the ruthless terrorists they are in order to gain supporters around the world and to undermine United States efforts against terroristic organizations. A second scenario plays out similar to the first. Jimmy Carter will be holding talks with these terrorists on their soil, and will end up bashing American policy, efforts, and philosophy while on foreign territory, just like Al Gore. And the third (maybe the most likely) scenario? Hamas decides this is a perfect opportunity to make an example of America and slaughters Jimmy Carter on the spot. Let's hope that doesn't happen, but I would not be surprised.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

What If Iraq Ends Up In The Win Column?

For the first time in American history, a political party's success explicitly depends on our failure in a war. Should Iraq become a complete success and it turns out President George W. Bush was right in promoting democracy in that part of the world (all weapons of mass destruction aside), the Democratic party and its leaders will lose a huge amount of support. The leaders of the party have openly declared defeat in Iraq (see: Harry Reid, D-NV) whilst our troops are in harm's way and continue to fight for success in Iraq. All this while General Petraeus tells us today that things are dramatically improving in that country! I see many, many Democrats getting voted out of office once we win in Iraq. They declare defeat and then we end up winning, which we are starting to now and granting freedom to an entire nation? That is a huge blow to their credibility and they will lose a lot of support in the future if Iraq ends up in the win column.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Economics 101: Again

Everyone gets a little nervous when the economy gets a little shaky, but mild recessions will always happen, and they are a natural, self-correcting part of our economy. In a recession, slightly higher unemployment will occur, but this is not necessarily bad for a couple reasons. First, the recession came about in the first place because of a period of having a very successful economy. Business is booming, companies are expanding and adding on that new wing to the factory or office, investors are taking risks and many are becoming successful. A recession takes place when some of these ventures and investments do not work out. Turns out the business could not quite afford that new wing or the investment in that hot new computer company fell through because nobody was interested in the new products they were selling. Each of these failed ventures in turn represents employee job loss when these companies/businesses/investments fails. But remember, none of these jobs were there before the economic boom took place, and many new and risky investments were successful and created many more new jobs. So a recession is the market's way of keeping people from making too risky and foolhardy of investments, and a recession represents some of the more risky investments failing and also the jobs that were created as a result. The economy as a whole slows down, because many businesses and markets are interdependent on one another, so failure of some can cause pain in other industries as well. The sub-prime lending mess is a great example of what's going on right now. Companies such as Bear Sterns made risky business, and now we are having a recession because there were some risky deals made in the housing market. Some companies and individuals made too risky of investments over the last few years of economic prosperity that they were not able to afford, and now we have a mild recession as these people rework their situation to fix what mistakes they made. Once they do, unemployment will decrease once again and the economy will get back on its feet.
Amidst all this, the Democratic candidates and those in Congress propose a dangerous and ill-advised plan. They want to bail out companies and people who made these risky investments. This is a terrible idea in that it would say "go ahead, make incredibly risky investments, the government will come and bail you out if it doesn't work out". The lesson of recessions is to not be too risky in business endeavors and to learn limits of acceptable risk and to expand your business (and jobs) in a reasonable and safe manner. If the Democrats promise to bail out everyone who makes a mistake, none of these lessons will be learned and only cause more problems down the road, because why be careful investing if you know the government will just come in and save your butt? No responsibility required.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Question of the Week: Why Do Politicians Lie?

Politicians lie for a very simple reason: to get more votes. It's a reality of politics that not every person in the country will agree with your goals and beliefs. Maybe not even a majority of the country (or state, city, or school-wherever the election is taking place) will agree with a politician's positions. Having to please enough people to build a majority of supporters means that, as a politician, you have to tell people something that will please them enough to get them to vote for you. Crooked politicians will tell one group of people something in Florida, and then tell a different group the complete opposite when in Ohio. Fortunately, our founding fathers established freedom of the press and speech in our constitution and we can point out these discrepancies, especially in the age of YouTube. Even so, the ability to point out candidates' lies and "misspeaks" is irrelevant if the people who are voting don't pay attention enough to realize that they are being lied to. When a large chunk of the population doesn't make up their mind about who they are going to vote for until they get into the voting booth, that tells me that likewise a large chunk of the population is apathetic and uninformed. They hear something told to them by a candidate in Florida and go vote without realizing that the candidate said the complete opposite in Ohio. Which leads me to my second reason why politicians lie: because they can. Only very politically inclined people and those who really scrutinize the news are the ones that can actually make the connection of when a candidate is or is not lying. Only the well informed will know when lies are being told, and I think that a small percentage of the population pays this amount of attention. The rest of the population can be lied to and it will not affect how they vote, since they don't realize the politician is lying to them and thus their vote is not swayed.
Since a lot of the population falls for that kind of trickery, it is to the politician's benefit to lie to different groups of voters. You go around the country telling people what they want to hear--even if it's not the truth--and you will gain a lot of support in the uninformed voter demographic. That's why Thomas Jefferson stressed the importance of a "strongly informed and well-educated electorate", so that a majority of voters know their stuff and can make informed, educated, and well thought out votes when they go vote, and not just close their eyes and fill in ovals.

The Politics of Religion

McCain is starting to draw criticism for not talking about his religion much. Faith and politics has always been a touchy subject, everything from Kennedy being a Catholic to Obama's current situation with his pastor. I think that McCain is smart to not talk about his religion much. Religious voters feel very strongly about candidates' spiritual orientation, and many vote along those kinds of political lines. I don't think a candidate should be obliged to disclose the details of his religious faith. Sometimes the media can rip people apart over these things, and it can become part of a candidate's downfall. Take Mitt Romney, for example. Oh my gosh, he's a Mormon! Many people ignorantly didn't vote for him for that reason, just because he was Mormon. All religion really does is mainly influence how a candidate will feel on a certain issues, so if you feel the same on those issues, who cares what religion they are? It's not like they'd be extreme enough to instate their specific religion and repress everyone else; there's way too many checks and balances in our system to even get close to that kind of thing. I don't know what McCain's religious views are, but whatever they are, they cause him to adopt certain values that he would use in his presidency, and I just happen to agree with them too, even though we are more than likely not of the same religious persuasion.