Tuesday, August 31, 2004

The Day Is Ours

9/11 is a part of every American. 9/11 is both conservative and liberal. It belongs to us and also to Kerry, Nader, and Bush. 9/11 doesn’t belong to any one person, nor does the positive or negative feedback. 9/11 is America’s tragedy, thus belonging to the emotional psyche of us all. It does not belong to one leader or his administration. In every circumstance a leader rises. A leader brings us through the challenging confusion. One leader.

The leader happened to be President George W. Bush. Out of controversy he rose to the occasion, the leader, the winner in 2000, and the honorable president of this great nation. It could have been another man. It could have been a different outcome. It just so happened that the leaders most equipped to deal with the disaster that fateful day in September subscribed to the Republican party. But despite our leadership, 9/11 happened, and it isn’t going away. 9/11 will always define us, as did Pearl Harbor. 9/11 will forever be etched in our minds, as students, as parents, as politicians, as members of the free world under attack. It irritates me to no end that 9/11 is being commercialized and perceived as Bush’s war. As Bush’s greatest moment in office. As a personal endeavor that only Bush carried. We were all affected by 9/11. We each as a product of 9/11 question our homeland security. We take less for granted and appreciate so much more. We unite. Again, 9/11 is both conservative and liberal. We are one always, not just in the face of tragedy. Not just as our congressmen stand together on the steps of our nation's capitol, singing "God Bless America."

We each individually have our own story of what happened that day. A very personal memory. We can't be denied that. I remember for the first day in many years not watching CNN before school and hearing of the events at the bus stop. I remember watching the towers fall in my morning art class. I remember thinking about the end of the world for the very first time in my life. Listening to Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the U.S.A." changed my life that day. 9/11 is just as much mine and yours as it is those people at Madison Square Garden participating in the RNC.

This is not about 9/11. This isn't about the 2000 election or Kerry's war record. This is now about the issues. May we always remember 9/11 as a defining moment in American history, but never use it to win votes or sway voters. 9/11 isn’t the question this November. This November it is about our troops, our economy, education and the man we choose who will best lead us, who will be effective, and who will do the best job. And this isn’t about Michael Moore, despite the inclinations of Senator McCain. This is about the future.

Tonight as the prayers and silence fell over Madison Square Garden, I felt as if I had been deprived of something so essential to who I am. Though it isn’t a surprise to anyone, I am liberal. And I felt like the RNC claimed 9/11 for themselves. A conservative plight. A memory of their own, a tragedy of their own, a defeat, a horrific day, a conservative day. It wasn’t. 9/11 remains the worst attack of OUR history and it is exactly that OURS. Ours as Republicans, Independents, and Democrats.

Monday, August 30, 2004

"Freedom is our Birthright"

Tonight as I sat watching the Republican National Convention, I sat pondering the words of Senator John McCain. McCain, who I admire for his ability to win friends on both sides of the isle, struck me with his speech about our only responsibility and obligation to freedom, as it is our birthright.

What does that mean? I don’t intend to get into a comparative argument of humanity and freedom, but is not also our responsibility to respect the coalition? In our best efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq we lost one very important thing: alliance. The United States is the only super power remaining, but how “super” can we be with out the alliance of other countries, nations, and friends? I considered today the possibilities and culprits of World War III, what would it take? Given the large mass of Russia, China, France, etc. what chance would the United States have if the world turned against us? I assure you we would be as successful as Cuba (post 1959). And I also assure you that many people on foreign soil truly believe that freedom is not our birthright.

Despite how we each individually vote in November, despite our party preference, despite our personal views, we must all look seriously at our relationship with the “stronger” countries of this world. We must acknowledge the need for the United Nations. We must seek that power and resolve to maintain positive and working relations with that establishment. If we claim that freedom is our birthright, we better have the support to back it up, and we better have the agreement of other nations (not just Great Britain) to protect our birthright.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Willis in the Wetlands

Generally supportive of the EPA, I was floored this week when Bruce Willis was fined $21,000 for violating a federal wetlands protection law. Why you might ask? Not because I don’t feel he was in the wrong, but because I honestly think the EPA is capitalizing on his celebrity. Following a visit from officials, Willis immediately stopped work on his Sun Valley residence, promising to repair any damages to the wetland area.

The state of Idaho is 1% wetlands, a percentage I understand the EPA is greatly concerned with. Their concern should be in the missing zoning procedures that would prevent residential areas from existing in those known wetland reserves. The Idaho Environmental Protection Agency, though more conservative than most state ran branches of the EPA, is in a word being “harsh.”

An average citizen in other states (Sun Valley is by no means “average”) would only be required to repair any damages and to return the land to its original composition. No fine. No problem. But of course in this case, since the 1% of wetlands lies in an area of the state populated by higher class, higher income individuals, the EPA sees this as an opportunity to boost revenue for their mediocre agency. (Mediocre only in the state of Idaho…don’t get me wrong.)

Previously Willis encountered a suit from the exact same agency, which was dismissed on grounds that he would replant and restore the character of the wetlands. Why $21,000 this time? No apparent reason other than The Whole Ten Yards billing he just received. Shame on the EPA. I’m sure there are a few politicians around who would liberally give a donation…it is an election year after all!

Friday, August 27, 2004

No Nader in November

The Idaho State Journal reported today that Ralph Nader will not appear on Idaho ballots this November. Evidently, 4,388 valid voter signatures were turned in by the independent candidate qualifying date, but 5,106 were needed to actually qualify and to be added to the ballot.

Of course in Idaho this isn't a major deal, given that there are few independents (actually there are very few of us not registered as members of the GOP!) but I imagine it could be a larger dilemma in states with nearly equal numbers of democrats and republicans.

We should be presented all of the options (this coming from Miss Indecisive)-- as we don't know what may happen between now, the day of qualifying, and November. We may not intend to vote for Ralph Nader, but out of respect for those who support Nader, we should at least allow for his appearance on the ballot. (I realize this is all in effort to prevent the Rev. Al Sharpton from appearing every year!)

Nader was not on the 2000 general election ballot, but as a write in candidate in the state of Idaho, he did receive approximatley 12,000 votes. Just a reminder that you can write-in Nader (or someone else of your choice).

This isn't too relevant to the political ongoings in Idaho, much less Bannock County, but I felt an obligation to my good ole art teachers at MVHS who first introduced me to the green party to at least mention it. Though of course it goes without saying that I will be casting my vote on the Kerry/Edwards ticket!

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Tenet Takes A Stand

Since the suprising resignation of the CIA head George Tenet, we have heard very little from him. The once prominent intelligence director has stepped down from the spotlight and has left many wondering how he feels about the 9/11 Report.

That all changed as he denounced Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kansas), the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee for he and the fellow committee members' efforts to reorganize crucial intelligence agencies. Tenet is quoted as saying: "This proposal reflects a dangerous misunderstanding of the business of intelligence. It would undermine years of effort to integrate disciplines -- hard-won steps that have led to some of the most significant intelligence successes in our history."

George Tenet, once recognized as the leader of intelligence, recognizes the proposed plan to merge the CIA with other agencies, including those under both the Pentagon and the Dept. of Homeland Security, as an effort to push "the security of the American people off a cliff." He addressed the fact that derailing the CIA at this critical time in our nation would only cause irreparable damage to the United States security.

In response to this unexpected opinion presented by Tenet, John D. Rockefeller (D-West Virginia) sided with the ex-CIA director, and stated his belief that this effort to reform the intelligence community went against the direct suggestions of the 9/11 Commission Report.

Tenet may have caused an uproar on Capitol Hill, but as always the group of people he is concerned with is not the bureaucrats or politicos, but the American people. Tenet's fierce stand for American security deserves a brief highlight. The intelligence community as a whole will surely miss the insight of the former CIA director. The 9/11 Report as it stands may be against Tenet in the long run, as the CIA was directly hit my the report, but in respect to American security-- Tenet may prevail.

(Note: I purchased the Report today at Walden Books!!)

Monday, August 23, 2004

Fall Classes Resume

Today fall classes resumed at Idaho State University. For me this means fifteen credits, not too many, but just right for me! It probably means for my handful of faithful readers you'll have a few wound up arguments from me after my political science and history classes. Fair warning.

The college experience is much less crazy this year, as opposed to last, my freshman year at ISU. This morning it was me lying in bed laughing at the frantic freshman running through the house trying to figure out what to do this first day of school as I relaxed and didn't have a single fear!

My English teacher is quite interesting--- no that doesn't do her justice! She grew up in Texas, moved to Arkansas, got her doctorate, and here she is at ISU teaching me! She has a fine southern accent and is very excited when it comes to literature. I think we will get along just fine. If we were only reading Faulkner... (I actually came out of that class for the first time thinking I could be an English professor and be happy about it. I have this problem everytime I encounter great instructors who present great content! Happened with philosophy, but it just hasn't quite struck me in the math department!)

Seems to have been a productive first day and I'm anxious for tomorrow and the days that will follow. I'm a geek like that! Hopefully with all that is happening I will find the time to write interesting and informative posts. Please hang with me, eventually I'll post something!

Sunday, August 22, 2004

One Nation Under God

During the summer of 2002, several cases rose regarding the statement "one nation under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, cases that still this summer have not been resolved. During the first few months of this year, the Supreme Court heard a case involving a school district versus a father who felt his child should not have to recite the pledge due to religious disagreement.

A little background:
On June 26, 2002, Judge Alfred T. Goodwin of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, ruled the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional when recited by students because of the phrase "one nation under God." The phrase "one nation under God" was added to the pledge written by Francis Bellamy in 1892 by Congress in 1954. The reason for which the idea of constitutionality arises is the first amendment. It states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

I have no disagreement when it comes to the phrase, but today, as I was reading the words of the Star Spangled Banner, I was surprised by a phrase in the fourth verse of our national anthem that I had never given second thought to:

"Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation! Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, And this be our motto: In God is our trust!” (Francis Scott Key--1814)

Now I don't suppose either Francis Bellamy or Francis Scott Key meant any harm or intended to cause an uproar. Both men were deeply religious, regarded Providence as the only reason for which this nation came to be, and weren't afraid to share their beliefs with history.

I just wonder how long will it be until the Supreme Court hears the case of whether or not our national anthem is unconstitutional.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Athens 2004

Originally I hadn't planned to comment on the Olympic games, I even told my good friend Angela so...but like everything else I've said I wouldn't write about--I've changed my mind. Today as I was reading the newspaper, I for some reason felt inclined to read the comics, which I rarely do. There in the comics was a fine Blondie strip. Watching the olympic games on television, Dagwood commented: "It's good to see everybody get together and play nice for a change." What an understatement!

It was refreshing to see all countries file in at the opening ceremonies, happily and without malice. France, Russia, and the United States in one place, without the politics of war seperating them. It is great to see Afghani and Iraqi women participating in the games. But, what I've found to be the greatest sight was North and South Korea together, marching in as one, competing together. What a miracle that is. What a beautiful sight. What a long and uphill road it has been since the Korean War and the Cold War.

Tonight I caught the men's gymnastics all-around competition. Paul Hamm made me cry! The thought that after three successful events, the error on the vault could take him out of the running, and with determination and two more events he could come back and take the gold--- it was amazing, uplifting, and will surely be one of the greatest memories of the Olympics for me.

As wonderful as this all is...what will happen following the closing ceremonies of the 28th Olympiad? Must we return to the bickering and seperation we've acheived in the last few years? For the moments we spend watching the events, it is so nice to not be seeing images of Iraq and floods of campaign stops by Bush and Kerry. I haven't worried about November's election all day! (Or the fact that we've practically left the U.N. as well as our allies.)

What a wonderful job Athens has done, not just in hosting, but in the successful attempt to unite the world. If only for a brief moment in time. If only it could last forever...

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Red or Blue: Which Are You?

From questions regarding the Big 12 to the author of the book of Revelation, the Slate quiz is similar, yet vastly different from the poltical quiz I have on my links... but much less political. We find ourselves less concerned with AIDS research and more concerned with "Annie Hall."

Check it out:
http://fray.slate.msn.com/id/2103764/

Knowing that red and blue states are states of mind, not actual U.S. states, determined by the way in which they vote (democrat or republican). Amazingly, I'm not either, red or blue. I am right in the middle. With most political quizzes I would be rather insulted and concerned with my reputation...I'd never want to be considered a "fence-sitter" or anything near conservative, but with this I'd assume I'm a well rounded individual. The site says:

"If you're a blue-stater, you might happen to have learned how often Rush Limbaugh is on the air, but if you're a red-stater, chances are you know it off the top of your head. That instinctual knowledge is what this quiz intends to judge, not how smart you are about the other side. And there are many people who are purple—neither red nor blue, or both red and blue."

Okay...so it is just something to waste time and it won't tell you which way you should vote or if you should go out and purchase a membership to the NRA, but it is kind of interesting. If anyone takes the test I'd be curious to know your results. Red or blue!

...On A Personal Note

On a more personal note, not so connected to the world of politics:

With the release of Rachel Proctor's new single, "Me and Emily," I feel inclined to say something. I'm not an advocate, I'm not a spokesperson, and I'm surely not a role model, but I have an obligation to myself to not let this one go by without a thought. "Me and Emily" joins a growing list of country and pop songs that address the issue of child abuse.

I have no intention of remarking on the issue, but I wanted to post a few websites that deal with the epidemic in our society. And if anyone has knowledge of these occurences, these websites may offer assistance.

The Child Safety Institute
http://www.kidsafe-caps.org/

Childhelp USA
http://www.childhelpusa.org

Thanks for letting me get on my soapbox for a moment. It was just one of those things nagging at me tonight.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Fatal Fathers

An interesting program will be on A&E tomorrow night called "Fatal Fathers." What I've seen about it shows different fathers accused of murdering wives and children, including Scott Peterson. It might be worth your time:

"Fatal Fathers" Monday August 16th, 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. (in Pocatello, Mountain Time) A&E

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Gods and Generals

Standing face to face with the enemy at the Battle of Manassas, mounted on a horse, refusing to yield to the Union troops, Thomas Jackson received the name “Stonewall.” I’m taken many history classes and yet I don’t ever remember learning about Stonewall Jackson and his role in the Civil War. Gods and Generals has changed that.

In a trilogy of Civil War films, Gods and Generals chronologically is based prior to the Battle of Gettysburg. The film mainly focuses on the battles of Manassas, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville. I found it to be one of the greatest movies I’ve ever sat through (…but beware it is nearly four hours long). Not only is it a great film, it is historically accurate, and in a day when war is all around us, it depicts the humanization of war.


Inparticular there are several very touching scenes: the Irish-American brigade battle scene, the "1st Brigade speech" that Stonewall addresses to his brave men, and the scene where he prays with Jim Lewis. Stonewall Jackson, though not the only lead character, was portrayed as a hero. I’ve always looked at the Civil War as one side versus the other, good against bad, but it’s not like that… it is American versus American. Good men seeking freedom and showing great dedication to their beliefs. In this secular age we don’t necessarily understand deep religious roots, but in trying to understand the Civil War I realized that given the circumstances and their stone-age methods of fighting, deep faith was all they could rely on. I don’t generally find myself too connected to characters in films, but this one hit me hard. Maybe it was just the order, structure, and belonging that Stonewall was seeking or it could have been the fact that Bob Dylan sang the theme “Cross the Green Mountain” throughout the credits!

Also…recently someone asked me what I knew about Harper’s Ferry (not sure who), today I know that the Battle of Fredericksburg in the film was filmed on site in Harper’s Ferry as it is the only remaining battleground of the Civil War completely preserved and not privately owned. It is now a National Park.

If I haven’t mentioned it I really enjoyed the movie and would recommend it to anyone interested in the Civil War or 19th century warfare.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

The Big Brouhaha

When I made the decision to have my own blog, I made a promise to myself that I would never do two things: 1. Push my “radical” Kennedy theories and research on anyone and 2. Never am I to discuss those yellow ribbons. I shouldn’t make promises that I can’t keep. I’ve had it…

Driving home this evening I counted exactly 56 yellow ribbons. Not to mention the millions I saw of red, white, and blue appearance. It infuriates me! Why do we collectively choose this way of showing our support? It seems to me there would be better ways of displaying our patriotism and support. But that would make it all too simple, now wouldn’t it. (And don’t you dare question my patriotism…I tried to join the Army and they wouldn’t take me!)

It should be simple, our nation is at war and those of us at home should feel obliged to support the troops, but as is the case with everything there are two sides to this. Last night I was reading on the SFGate website and there was an article about this very thing. It seems in the Bay Area these little yellow ribbons on vehicles, lampposts, telephone poles, and windows have caused quite a stir—to the extent of hate mail and death threats! Now, I’m not that extreme. I just don’t agree with the commercialization of war.

How do we know that the money we spend on these little ribbons is actually going to the troops and if it isn’t, displaying them on our cars will not give the troops the support they need. I will reaffirm the fact that I am not a supporter of the War in Iraq, but as a citizen of the United States I am not against the men and women who are fighting. It is their responsibility to do so whether or not this is “fictitious” war.

I’m at my wits end with this one…Could someone please explain to me the reason these ribbons are plastered across our society? And just a warning… (I’ve heard in some parts of the country people are going door-to-door selling these things) If you come to my door, I will stand there in my ugly black shorts and tell you that you are making a mockery of war and I for one am sick of it!

Ok…I’m done ranting. And you were expecting the ‘two shooters, four shots, one dead president, and a dishonorable discharge’ scenario…weren’t you?

New Favorite Blog

For those of you interested, my friend Cory Miles has created his own blog. He is more of an entertainment kind of guy and I'm sure this new blog will be great! ...And it's not political. Please check it out. The link has been added to "My Favorite Blogs," but the address is:

www.coryspot.blogspot.com

It's worth your time! Good luck to you Cory Miles and I anticipate great posts!

Monday, August 9, 2004

This Day In History

Now here's something you won't find on a conservative website... But for my dear friend Jared's sake (who is currently serving a mission in Spain) I must take a moment to celebrate this day in history.

30 years ago, Gerald Ford was sworn in as the 38th president of the United States. Though the president best known for falling down the stairs (not once, but often) has his day in history, today is best known for the resignation of Richard Milhouse Nixon.

It nearly slipped my mind until I realized they weren't talking about Henry Kissinger on CSPAN excessively for nothing! It was today 30 years ago that after the Watergate scandal, the debacle of the Nixon tapes, and great scrutiny, Nixon boarded Marine One for the very last time and gave his "peace salute" to the American people.

A man who did very little to promote peace as a war was being waged on foreign soil, though I respect the man for his attempts in China, saluted this country and walked away. He should have been indicted, he should have been impeached, he should NOT have been a coward!

Of course I will get the "what about Clinton?" speech from at least ten people by the end of the week, but in my final moments of free liberal sneering can I just say thanks to Bill Clinton for withstanding the impeachment hearings and staying when his country needed him most. ...Oh and the state funeral he WILL have will be amazing!

Sunday, August 8, 2004

Up In Smoke! Update

Not surprisingly, the Idaho State Journal is a few steps behind. In today's newspaper is a fine article on the Idaho Clean Indoor Air Act. But...the ISJ supports the legal loophole area businesses, including the restaurant that started this headache, Kim's Poppa Pauls, have taken advantage of.

"Resaurant owner Kim Taylor defied the Idaho Clean Indoor Air Act passed by legislature this year, which bans smoking in public places except for bowling alleys and bars and other businesses restricting clientele to age 21 and over. Also exempt are social, fraternal, and religious organizations. It is that last clause which Taylor believes is a loophole." (ISJ/8.8.04)

Why didn't anyone call me two weeks ago? What the ISJ failed to mention is the tax payers money that went into this bill and that after passing on the senate floor it failed on the restaurant floor. All that the ISJ presented in the article was the loss of business for Ms. Taylor, the known harmful effects of smoking, and their belief that "eateries can use legal loophole to allow smoking, but customers decide if it's acceptable."

No Kidding! But, for those of us truly stirred up by this "loophole," Senator Brent Hill who originally sponsored the bill, will be holding public hearings on this new smoking rule in Pocatello. (One is scheduled for the 17th at the Ameritel Inn.)

I'll look into it and get back with you all.

Saturday, August 7, 2004

Report and Reform

I've yet to read the entire 9/11 Commission Report, just what I can here and there on the internet, but what I have read is the plan of reform. The FBI took less of a hit in the report than the CIA, much in part to Director Mueller, but together they face a huge challenge... the proposed appointment of a national intelligence director.

Now, I am not one to shoot down ideas pertaining to our national security, but why do we need yet another director of intelligence? There are over a dozen intelligence agencies in operation today, including the recently created cabinet post of Homeland Security. It seems to me the lofty ideal of joint intelligence is far from reach with the rivalry amongst the CIA, FBI, and Department of Homeland Security (not to mention the NSA, NGA, NRO, DIA...and the list goes on).

With the resignation of Director Tenet earlier this summer, which I've yet to come to terms with, there is not only a void, but the questions hangs over our heads as to how effective our current intelligence community really is right now.

The proposal of a National Counterterrorism Center to direct the so-called "war on terror" is ponder-worthy, but my fear is the budget and monetary control will be in the hands of the Pentagon, the Pentagon that is so closely linked to the direct agenda of the president.

Hopefully the Marshall Public Library will come through for me and the 9/11 Report will soon be in my hands (don't hold your breath on that one), but until then please bear with me!

Common Ground

Those of you who still have not checked out Nick's Daily News, here is my last reminder to you, it is worth your time. Today I was pleasantly surprised by a post by Mr. Speth on his website and would like to share with you that as well as my response to him. Mr. Speth, like the majority of my closest friends, is conservative, intellectual, and very polite. I was very impressed by the way in which he handled my anonymous post and would recommend to all of you that you follow his example. We often get caught up in the "game" and forget that despite the party we choose, with the help of our friends, we can find common ground.

Nick Speth said...
Thanks, my anonymous friend. I'm not insulted, at least by you. I have to say that I wasn't a "supporter" of Michael Moore, I merely accepted his opinions as those of a well-meaning person. If you take that as "support" than, well okay. Now I've come to question that.At any course you and I agree that those that disagree with us can still be patriotic. I've learned and I think that we can also agree that, despite all the partisan rhetoric on both sides, we all share the same values. We just disagree on the priorities and to a lesser extent the degrees.On the subject of Gun control, for instance, I said that we all can agree that keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and of children is something we all want. The disagreement on the subject of gun control comes from balancing a right to bear arms with this well-meant desire.The abortion debate is another one. Those on the side called "pro-choice" are committed to keeping a womans right to dictate what happens with her body, a right I respect. Those who are "pro-life" usually respect that right, but feel it is eclipsed by the right to life of the unborn.Of course there are wackos on both sides, but our political system requires compromise; that's its beauty. I don't think you're one, and it seems that you don't think I'm one. I'm greatful. Really though, I'm not sure that Michael Moore isn't one anymore. Again, we'll just have to agree to disagree and vote our conscience.It's been an enlightening debate. Drop by again and if you have a site at all let me know. I'd love to read some of your work.

Tara Rowe said...
Thank you for your fine website. It is a truth universal that Republicans and Democrats differ in belief, but I find the common ground much more of interest than the mudslinging. I look at Orrin Hatch and Ted Kennedy and see what good friends they are despite the isle that seperates them. Like them, we of different beliefs can still be cohorts in the attempt to educate and seek middle ground.Of course there will always be the difference between pro-choice and pro-life, the difference between a card carrying member of the NRA and a citizen trying to keep assault weapons off the streets, but the optimist in every American should see that together we can do more than debate these issues. Together we can support troops in a war we may or may not agree with by remembering what sacrifices each soldier makes. Together there is so much more we can do than if we right-winged or left-winged fly seperatley. That is what true patriotism is. Patriotism is the common ground.I appreciate your cordial demeanor and patience with my antics. In the political world there is a spectrum of people. There is the far-right and the far-left, neither of which I think you or I subscribe, we aren't fence sitters, but we have one thing in common...dedication. I'm glad to be in your company. Keep up the good work!

Now that I've spent the week on this topic, I'll be moving on. I promise to post something good very soon. Keep reading and please give it a chance... check out Nick's Daily News!

Friday, August 6, 2004

The Firestorm: My Post

As I stated in the previous post, I've begun a firestorm with Mr. Nick Speth of Nick's Daily News. Just to save you all time, here is my post. Yes, it is opinionated, biased, and somewhat liberal----but then again if it wasn't, it wouldn't be like me! Enjoy:

It's amazing to me that anyone who publicly ridicules President Bush is considered to be a "hatriot," not in the sense Moore spoke of, but in the sense the Republicans have slated for anyone who disagrees with them. To me it seems the ridicule isn't just about Iraq, but any ridicule of "W" in general, is immediatley shot down by the Republicans. Gee, sounds incredibly unlike the ridicule the Republicans boasted while Clinton was in office. I think Bush and Moore have more in common than you are aware of Mr. Speth. They both hold their beliefs to a greater value than the rest of us. Maybe we should all go watch "Bowling for Columbine" and see exactly how much Moore cares for America and wishes for American safety and security. I watch occasionally just to arouse a sense of patriotism in myself. Good for Michael Moore, we thought with that Oscar speech two years ago that he was done for, guess more people agree with him than you would think. But then again it must not be about conviction and determination, but like everything else in the GOP, it just must be a matter of which side of the isle you pitch your tent.

Nick's Daily News

For those of you who haven't checked out the website of Mr. Nick Speth, I would recommend you do so. His website link is located on my sidebar, under my favorite blogs.

I have recently began a firestorm with Mr. Speth, as an anonymous poster, regarding a post he created against Michael Moore and his speech at the Democratic National Convention. I am currently in the process of writing a fine post in support of Moore, but would rather I have a complete post before I lead readers into thinking I too may be a "hatriot."

For the record: My opinion is, as it has been since September 11th, that George W. Bush is very strong in his beliefs and dedicated to the goals he sets. From the day of attack, he has been convinced that going to war with Iraq is the greatest move in the interest of national security. I respect him for his strong beliefs, as not all of us are confident and dedicated enough to hold strong to what we believe, but I do not agree with this war in Iraq. It could have been the right idea at one point, but that was before we went against the wishes of the U.N., lost repectable allies, and found no weapons of mass destruction in the hands of the enemy.

Check out Nick's Daily News if you get a second, I promise it is worth a second of your time. Keep on the look out for my own post on Michael Moore and the 9/11 Commission Report (I have to finish reading it, it is 500 pages you know!).

Thursday, August 5, 2004

Upcoming Posts

Believe it or not I have found things to do with my time and haven't got as many posts completed as I would have liked to. Upcoming articles I plan to write sometime in the near future include: The 9/11 Commission Report (My take on it anyway), My newfounded Ray Charles philosophy, and a take on adultery from what I would assume is Michael Moore's perspective. I'd also love to form an opinion on Farenheit 9/11, but I haven't yet seen it! Keep on the look out, this could be good!

Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Up In Smoke!

This 57th Legislature in the State of Idaho has once again left us, tax-paying, citizens breathless... in more ways than one. If you remember during the second regular session of the legislature this year, an act by the State Affairs Committee relating to the Clean Indoor Air Act reached the Senate floor, providing that the prohibition on smoking could be extended to publicly-owned buildings. Great... for those of us non-smokers who would prefer to not have to be in that enviroment, but NOT great for those business owners who could no longer allow for their regular customers to smoke within the walls of their establishments.

A local resturant lost 60% of their regular business to this act of legislature. (Which I do admit is steep.) But... what I find to be unreasonable is that this very business in less than one week was able to find a loophole in the verbage of the bill. Now, I understand that state senators are not required to have a background in English or Composition (and they are from Idaho...) but come one, one week?

So I looked further into the dilemma. Senate Bill No. 1220 clearly states, in the Statement of Purpose, that "this legislation...regulating smoking in public places, publicly-owned buildings or offices, and at public meetings...sets standards to protect the public health, comfort and enviroment, the health of employees who work in public places, and the rights of citizens to breathe clean air." Minor detail of a section headed: PROHIBITIONS--EXCEPTIONS. The bill outlines exceptions to this rule including retail businesses engaged in the sale of tobacco, bowling alleys, and....drum roll please...."Buildings owned and operated by social, fraternal, or religious organizations when used by the membership of the organization."

So basically, if you have a membership to any certain place, that would literally define that place as a building owned and operated by a private organization...what's my point? Smoking is allowed in a private organization as defined by this fine legislative document. This creates a fine loophole for any establishment that would prefer smoking within their walls. All you have to do is define yourself as a social organization by accepting a membership fee.

I don't smoke. I don't like smoke. Why would I want to pay a membership fee to be surrounded by smoke? Sure, I understand a person has the right to sit in a cloud while they enjoy a meal, I don't get it, but I understand rights. But, why should I be subjected to pay that same membership fee, to eat the same food I did before the bill was passed, when I don't even smoke?

Could someone please explain to me why we put up with this? Not the smoking, to an extent not even the membership fee, but why do we have a congress writing and enacting bills if a week later there is a known loophole? In that case we could just skip the process altogether, save our senators a few months out of the year, and cut taxes. Or as it stands, lets just pay our membership fee to enjoy our meal in someone else's cloud. Makes perfect sense, doesn't it?

The Political Game

I cannot solve history's mysteries, I cannot tell you where Jimmy Hoffa is buried, and the attempt to cure insomnia is obviously not going so well, but fear not I am making incredible progress! Or at least I've found new projects to occupy my time. Hence the blog. The Political Game, though only my title and online creation, the game itself is as old as this nation, has been brought to you in part to instill free thought and open debate, but also in an effort to give my over-analytical mind something else to do at four in the morning. (Yes, I will admit I do get tired of conspiracy theories, James Patterson novels, and.....sigh.......Kennedy.) Expect a sneering liberal view, often toppled by dominant right wing fanatics... a.k.a. my closest friends. I hope you enjoy this blog and please feel free to leave comments. Happy Reading!