Saturday, October 30, 2004
So Angela says I can't start a post on "Mosh," the new Eminem video that I quite like. Ray the new movie with Jamie Foxx about Ray Charles didn't make it to the Pocatello theaters, so I can't comment on that quite yet. The World Series is over, so I'm out of baseball analogies and pro-Red Sox information. Congrats to the Curt Schilling and the boys! So what am I going to do?
Well...the election is now three days away. I'm sure I'll have a few last minute comments about that. There is the Bin Laden tape and the failing health of Arafat...I was riding the PRT (public transportation here on campus) the other day and found myself thinking about Rosa Parks. Don't ask me why, but I've sat down the last several nights and have written some random thoughts about it. That will make it to a post eventually. I recently purchased the new James Patterson novel The Big Bad Wolf. Once I start that baby I'll be completely useless to the rest of the world. I'm hooked!
Hopefully I'll have a good post ready by Sunday night or Monday morning. Keep checking back! Have a safe and happy Halloween!
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
I once got in an argument with Nick Speth about Michael Moore, the week I became a blogger, and I'm not sure who won. I was quick to express my complete support of Bowling For Columbine, but hadn't seen Fahrenheit then to have an opinion. Now I have an opinion...random and pointless but the points that stood out for me the most:
- 1.4 billion dollars went to Bush and friends in three decades from who? The Saudi Royal family. There's an interesting connection. Something seems wrong to me about accepting this kind of cash. (Especially with the Saudi connection to Bin Laden.)
- How can you support the outcome and suggestions of the 9/11 Commission (I almost typed Warren Commission...I'm a nerd) if you never in the first place supported the creation of the commission. Bush opposed the creation of the now infamous 9/11 Commission.
- When every plane in the United States was grounded (I got a good laugh out of the fact that stupid Ricky Martin was grounded) why can the president of the United States pull the strings necessary to get the Bin Laden family out of the U.S.? That's simply ridiculous.
- The connections with the Carlyle group, Bush's former company affiliate, Halliburton, and the Saudi Royal family (as well as the Taliban) were incredible. I'll have to look some more into this, but I'm certainly not going to disregard Michael Moore, he tends to dig deep.
- I'm not questioning Michael Moore's patriotism. He was just as confused by the 2000 election and Florida as every American. Sure he is anti-Bush but I'd nearly bet close to half the country is, what makes him any different?
- Off the subject...I didn't realize that it was Ashcroft lost to a dead man. The late incumbent, Carnahan, beat Ashcroft in the congressional race. So what did W do? He made him the Attorney General. Smooth.
Okay so enough about the Bush-bashing, I was impressed that Kerry's name was never mentioned, nor was 9/11 overly publicized. It didn't need to be. I honestly thought the facts spoke for themselves. Moore's Orwellian reflection at the end was not needed, I almost thought he was pulling a "Kerry, shoot yourself in the foot" moment off. Overall I was quite impressed, felt that the hype over Fahrenhiet was stupid and the film was overrated, but it certainly beat the last movie I watched. Oh and the addition of R.E.M.'s "Shiny Happy People" was great!
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
This year is particularly special. Never would I have imagines this World Series match-up. The Cardinals maybe, they were hot right out of spring training, but who would have expected the Red Sox? No one in their right mind expected the Red Sox to make the kind of comeback they did against the Yankees. My roommate said she wouldn't have faith in the Red Sox until they won games 4, 5, and 6 of the ALCS--maybe her disbelief urged my belief.
I don't know about The Curse, but I know that the dedication of the Boston fans is unbelievable. And even more unbelievable than the fans dedication is the dedication of Curt Schilling. Battling bravely with a dislocated ankle tendon, he's more than admirable. Obviously my hope lies with the Red Sox, but the Cardinals are a worthy opponent.
Okay so maybe my American dream was to just hear James Taylor sing the National Anthem at the World Series---
The Political Game should be back to the normal political business soon. I've taken a few too many stands outside of the political arena lately, but tonight should throw me right back in... I'm on my way to see "Fahrenheit 9/11."
Sunday, October 24, 2004
First of all, if Green Day intended to mean that same sex-marriage was not a part of the Bush administration's agenda, I'm quite certain saying "faggot America" and "redneck agenda" is not the best way to go about it!
And second...the video is disgusting. It's like watching "Slime-Time Live." You can't turn the American flag into green slime, the stripes dripping off, and expect to not encounter some angry Americans.
Green Day not only does a poor job of expressing their point...I obviously missed it, they completely mock the intelligence of Americans. People are smarter (or I will say "most" people) than Green Day is giving them credit. People are smart enough to know a little something about patriotism and what it means to disrespect the American flag. Who really is the American idiot?
Friday, October 22, 2004
A fact of life is that there will be adversity. We will encounter obstacles and we will struggle. Some obstacles we will encounter often. "You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.*" But in those obstacles the talent, opportunity, and potential within us remains. We are when we come out of it, the person we were when we went in. More experienced, more self-aware, perhaps stronger, but nonetheless, the same. Do not lose sight of the person you are or the talents you have simply because one person failed to respect their human obligation. There are both positive and negative ends of the spectrum-- you will also encounter individuals who unbelievably step in when the rest of the world seems to step out. For the one person this week who did everything in her power to tear me down, there was one who lifted me right back up and helped me to remember that it is possible for others to have faith in my potential.
When I listen to Ray Charles' music I get goosebumps. I've heard others say they do as well. If people we know indirectly can have that kind of an affect on us, imagine what kind of an affect we have on those we interact with directly. Our human obligation is to treat one another with humanity. If each person felt obligated to practice humanity, imagine what realized potential would be out there.
"Some minds seem almost to create themselves, springing up under every disadvantage and working their solitary but irresistible way through a thousand obstacles.**"
No one has the right to stifle another's potential or greatness. How's that for a non-political post?
(Quotes:*Lady Margaret Thatcher,** Washington Irving)
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
This morning as I was watching the news I couldn't help but think of the election that is now two weeks away. I got a letter yesterday from my good friend Jared who is serving an LDS mission in Spain and he said that we was much more positive about the election when he was in the states, when he could hear the everyday mudslinging between the candidates. Everyday I'm less positive about the election because of that mudslinging.
After hearing some of the comments Bush and Kerry made about each other yesterday at their various campaign stops, I was frustrated, disgusted, and again, for the second time in so many weeks, I was ready to vote for Nader. (But, then of course the vote would most likely benefit Bush and why wouldn't I just cast my vote for him to begin with?)
I've come to only one conclusion...the devil we know. And I'm not intending to refer to President Bush as Satan himself, so don't anyone get all flustered over this one, I just mean with Bush we know what the next four years will be, more of the same. Good or bad. But, with Kerry we don't really have an idea what the next four years will be. Not that change isn't good--change is just unpredictable. I had a teacher once who always told us that "without change there would be no butterflies." Okay, that's an optimistic way of looking at it, but for some reason I don't see John Kerry every resembling the grace and beauty of a butterfly.
Get out and vote. I can't stress this enough. It's not only a big deal nationally, but I'm certain all of you have county and state races that are very important. Take it seriously.
Monday, October 18, 2004
The unwritten rule is that celebrities die in threes. Janet Leigh, Rodney Dangerfield, and Christopher Reeve. It may be stretching to add Salinger, but if anyone truly deserves celebrity status it should be Salinger. I'd bravely state that Pierre Salinger single-handedly changed the relationship between the executive branch and the press.
NewYork (AP)-- Pierre Salinger, who served as John F. Kennedy's press
secretary and later had a long career with ABC News, has died.
"Mr. Salinger's appointment came as the pervasive influence of television was becoming clear in politics and world affairs, and he assumed an unusually powerful role for a press secretary. He accompanied Kennedy to conferences with other world leaders, including the 1961 meeting with Khrushchev in Vienna, and was dispatched by the president to Moscow the following year to confer directly with Soviet leaders" (New York Times).
Pierre Salinger was a former White House Press Secretary to Presidents John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson and was an ABC journalist. In November of 1996 he stated publicly that friendly fire from the Navy caused the TWA 800 crash, based on an internet hoax (Lending his name to the Pierre Salinger Syndrome--assuming everything on the internet is true).
All faults aside, Pierre Salinger was in the heart of something that made him an honorable man. Pierre announced the death of JFK, witnessed the assassination of Bobby Kennedy, and never once disregarded his loyalty to the Kennedy family. He will be missed as one of the closest and most honest connections to the Kennedy administration.
Saturday, October 16, 2004
Friday, October 15, 2004
As Bannock County Democratic Party Chairman James Ruchti put is, "There is a new era of Democratic politics in this state, and a lot of the thanks for that goes to these individuals." Two years ago when the six legislators became known as the "Bannock Six," there were only three democratic senators in the Idaho State Senate. Now there are seven democratic senators and sixteen democrats representing their respective seats in the House.
Here is a little run-down:
- Sen. Bert C. Marley-- state senator from McCammon, ID who took the seat of Sen. Lin Whitworth (who is running this election year against U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson) upon his retirement. Marley serves on the Finance/JFAC committee, the Judiciary Rules committee, and the Transportation committee. Marley also serves on the IEA Board of Directors (region 5). Bert is a high school teacher at Marsh Valley High School where he teaches World History, German, and I think Government. He happens to be one of my dear friends, was my bishop for a time, and taught me Mythology, German, and World History.
- Sen. Edgar Malepeai--state senator from Pocatello, ID who holds District Seat 30. (Marley is in district 29) Edgar is also an educator and so is his wife. He has served on the Commerce/Human Relations committee, the Education committee, and the Local Government/Taxation committee. Education is Malepeai's main focus.
- Rep. Donna Boe--state representative from Pocatello, ID of District 30. Boe has served on the Education committee, the Judiciary/Rules committee, and the Ways & Means committee. She is not an educator, but has seen the constant rise in tuition and hopes to focus the next two years on bringing that cost down.
- Rep. Elaine Smith--state representative from Pocatello, ID, District 30. Elaine serves on the Business committee, the environmental Affairs committee, and the State Affairs committee. She is currently working on increasing the hazardous waste transportation fee.
- Rep. Allen Andersen--state senator from Arimo, ID, District 29. Allen is also an old friend of mine. Allen ran for office two years ago seeing frustration with the education system and the schools that his kids and I grew up in. He is serving on the Agricultural Affairs committee, the Education committee, and the Judiciary Rules committee.
- Rep. Elmer Martinez--state senator from Pocatello, ID, District 29. Elmer, also a high school teacher, has quite an invested interested in the success of public schools. He is also concerned with health care. Elmer has served on the Commerce/Human Resources Committee, the Health & Welfare committee, and the Revenue/Taxation committee. (side-note: Elmer and I once got in a heated debate about the failures of the adoption and foster care systems, I didn't win!)
Anyway, to make a long post even longer I could comment on Lin Whitworth who is running against Mike Simpson for the U.S Representative Seat. I won't, but I would encourage you to check out his website. Lin's an awesome guy, down-to-earth, and tells you straight up how it is. He has an impressive record in the state legislature and would be a great asset in Washington. (That and I really don't like Mr. Mike Simpson for very personal reasons.) C.L."Butch" Otter and Mike Crapo are also up for re-election this year, but they don't seem to have very strong opponents. Such is the case in these conservative states. I'll hold out my campaigning until Craig is up for re-election.
Since maybe only one or two of you are even in my voting district this may not be helpful to you, but I wanted to express my appreciation to the Bannock Six who have continued to support my education and are just great individuals. Good luck to them---
Thursday, October 14, 2004
Ten days ago if someone would have asked me what this quote meant I would have said it was a formula for speech giving or writing an essay. Today I realized it is so much more than a formula. As I just now watched the third presidential debate, I thought long and hard about conviction. The conviction of two very different men. Two men dividing a nation. Two men seeking only the greatest good for the American people. How far we've come from that ideal.
If the election was tomorrow, I'd honestly vote for Nader. I'm so tired of the same battles. The same debate. The same egotistical jargon. I don't want to hear about "family values" without any reference to how we plan to support the family. I don't want to hear about the war in Iraq without any estimate of when we'll stop turning on our televisions to find more American casualties. I don't want to hear another ficticious promise.
John Kennedy didn't live to give that speech. He never uttered the words I mention that now echo in my mind. The speech was written for November 22, 1963--he didn't live to speak such truth. If only we all understood the power of that statement. If only politicians today were held to the high standards of which he spoke. The standards are so low, the mudslinging so common, and the truth so rare. Politicians are brutal.
After tonight the only conclusion I've come to is that John Adams was certainly right, the "abuse of words has been the great instrument of sophistry and chicanery, of party, faction, and division of society." We are a divided nation in so many ways...why must our leaders contribute to this?
Monday, October 11, 2004
Christopher Reeve was most known for his role as "Superman." I'm not one to subscribe to the idea that an actor should be and is remembered for his/her greatest role, but in this case I can think of no better fitting way to remember Reeve. He will forever be known as Superman, not just Superman, the comic book hero, but Superman, the husband, the father, and the advocate.
The death of a celebrity is always broadcast across the country, some more than others, and some affect us more than others. But, there are stories that touch us and remind us of what it is to be human; what our responsibilities are as the human race. When Mother Teresa died I considered this, when Ray Charles died I considered it, when Ronald Reagen died I considered it, and today Superman himself has me considering what it means to be human and what my job is as a member of the human race.
Reeve suffered a major spinal cord injury in 1995 while horseback rising. Since then he has become an advocate for others with spinal cord injuries as well as an advocate for the much debated stem-cell research that could benefit and cure such injuries. No matter his pain, he has continued to lift others, rising to the occasion and reminding us that no matter the circumstances there is always so much more for us to do. No matter the difficulty there is a blessing in disguise.
Certain individuals inspire us to be greater than we could have ever hoped for. Reeve was one of those individuals to me. He will forever be an inspiration for this country and his contribution to stem-cell research may one day make it possible to cure spinal cord injuries as well as diseases. My all-time favorite Super Bowl commercial is and I think always will be the commercial, possibly for a drug manufacture company, when Christopher Reeve (post-paralysis) walks across the stage, and speaks of the hope he always held to walk again.
Today, he walks again.
9/25/52 - 10/10/04
The Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation
Sunday, October 10, 2004
I thought I would post on the 2nd presidential debate, but the uncivilized nature of it all and the fact that it was so much reminiscent of the first debate, in regard to foreign policy. If Kerry would give up that Global Test business he might have a better chance of winning this thing and if Bush could quit saying "You can run, but you can't hide," I might feel as if we had mature leadership in the White House. Hopefully Wednesday's debate will be much more informative on domestic policy. I want to know more about what the plans are for No Child Left Behind as well as how these two think they can cut the defecit in half.
Last night I was watching the Kennedy-Nixon debates on CSPAN and was amzed at how much more civil they were to each other (and the moderator) compared to Kerry and Bush. Nixon and Kennedy hated each other...Nixon was quoted as once saying that he never "considered attempting suicide" until the thought crossed his mind that he could "wake up one day, look in the mirror, and see Jack Kennedy staring back" at him. Yet he held a civilized demeanor in debate.
That was one thing I was happy about while watching the debate Friday night---Kerry only mentioned Kennedy's name once and in that case Kennedy was in a categorized group. John Kerry is no John Kennedy. End of story. But...Mr. Bush seemed to have a little trouble with keeping the names Kennedy and Kerry straight when he started tossing around the "L" word!
As non-political as baseball may be, I don't think I will make it much longer without writing a little post about the playoffs. I've refrained from spouting off about the Yankees who I absolutley despise. I was telling Nick that if it is unAmerican to hate the Yankees then I am as unAmerican as they get. Go Boston! (The Braves play tomorrow and if they lose they are out of the playoffs so I've got my fingers, toes, and eyes crossed at this point.)
There is so much going on in the world with the elections in Afghanistan, the funeral for Lori Hacking, the suicide bombings that you see on the news every night, and the ordeal Tony Blair is now facing, that is nearly impossible for me to keep up with it all...and this week is midterms. I'll do my best, but if you don't hear from me in a few days please understand. Have a great week!
Thursday, October 7, 2004
As far as posts go, I plan on writing a little something about the "Bannock Six" before November 2nd and of course there will be two more presidential debates that I will most likely comment on. English 102 resumes next week, which will give me something to post about I'm sure. And I keep looking at Coryspot to see if my good friend Cory has posted that little tidbit he's been writing about my love Morgan Freeman...
Anyway, happy blogging!
Wednesday, October 6, 2004
So here it goes and it will be somewhat scatter-brained as I haven't yet worked it all out in my head as of yet and I'll organize it by order of topic, bear with me. (and if you missed it here is the transcript or if you are really desperate I have four pages of notes on the debate itself, just ask...)
Paul Bremmer released a statement two days ago stating that the U.S. has not supplied enough troops for the effort. If the former Ambassador to Iraq is going to state such a thing, I am going to side with him. Edwards gave no data stating that he and John Kerry were prepared to either increase or decrease the number of troops in Iraq. Dick Cheney stated that: "what we did in Iraq was exactly the right thing to do. If I had it to recommend all over again, I would recommend exactly the same course of action." That somehow did not comfort me either because 1) they know now that Saddam had no WMDs and 2) our soldiers are still being killed daily and the numbers are rising monthly. No one "won" this argument as far as I'm concerned, but neither candidate said anything horribly wrong that lost them the argument either.
I'm confident that we did the right thing going in to Afghanistan following the events of 9/11. I'm pleased to hear that women are voting, children are going to school, and minorities are being recognized, BUT (and forgive me for sounding Kerry-esque)... We have let up on Osama Bin Laden if we have not yet captured him. Dick Cheney says we have not let up on the terrorist, but as Edwards and Kerry have both mentioned, we left Bin Laden at Tora Bora. That is letting up as far as I'm concerned. The real winners when it comes the issue of Afghanistan are the troops over there that are doing everything in their power to maintain control and peace. This success is not either a win for Edwards or Kerry, but reflects highly on the Bush administration. If only we had Bin Laden...
3. THE GLOBAL TEST
I'm going to have to side with Cheney on this one, Kerry made a big flub when he brought up the Global test in last week's debates, but Edwards was correct in that I think it is very important that the U.S. have decent credibility and the world needs to know that when the U.S. takes action it is for a reason. This one is a touchy subject for everyone involved, I am trying to avoid it all together!
4. INTERNATIONALIZING THE EFFORT
This is the part when no matter what is said I'm gung-ho about the Kerry/Edwards ticket. The Bush administration abandoned allies going in to Iraq and when it came down to reconstruction it continued to abandon the coalition. It is absolutely essential to the effort in Iraq and future foreign relations of the United States to have strong ties to the United Nations. We must form a coalition... a strong coalition, not the skaky coalition of Great Britain, Australia (oh, and Poland!).
Cheney felt that Edwards was presenting an echo of a plan, Cheney didn't present a plan at all, maybe an echo is better than nothing. All I know is that we must respect and appreciate the efforts of Prime Minister Allawi, but we also must realize the coalition is much broader, or at least needs to be.
The fundamental issue here is that during the Bush administration 1.6 million private sector jobs have been lost. 4 million Americans have fallen into poverty. The Bush administration is for the outsourcing of jobs, sending jobs overseas. Flat out--the Bush administration is the first administration in 70 years to not have created jobs. That is ridiculous. In the last 70 years there has been a World War, not to mention several recessions. If the Bush administration cannot create jobs they aren't going to win the issue period.
Now of course this one hits home with me and it could be a post of its own, but for the sake of time I will just remind my readers that yes, the Bush administration has created No Child Left Behind, establishing a system of high standards for American schools, a program that was great in logic, but lacking in reality, but the administration has failed to pass the mandates to fund it. 1/2 of Hispanics and African Americans are dropping out of high school. Tuition is rising in colleges and universities all over the country. The Bush administration has failed to strengthen education. Enough said.
Ok---so those are the six key points that I see making or breaking the election for either side. I am choosing not to comment on the Israeli/Palestinian dilemma that was mentioned in the debates or the issue of Iran and North Korean, I'm sure I have commented on these before or will eventually. I am also choosing not to spend a paragraph on health care-- it frustrates me more than education ever could! I don't want to comment on Haleburton or the AIDS epidemic, because I don't think either were addressed appropriately.
I will say that in regard to same-sex marriage it should be left up to the states. There should not be a constitutional amendment stating that marriage should be strictly between a man and a woman (this amendment is supported by Bush), I don't really think that government can place that kind of a restriction on its citizens. Traditional marriages do not have to be accepted from state to state so I see no problem with same sex marriages facing that same rule. It was very noble for Edwards to not pick apart Cheney for his stand against same sex marriage, given the circumstances with his daughter, and I think it was even nobler for Cheney to thank him and drop the subject completely. I'm interested in what Bush will say on this topic, but the most "human" (if that's the word for it) moment of the debate was while on the topic of same-sex marriage.
And last, but certainly not least... when mentioning the hope to garner votes from both sides of the isle, Zell Miller isn't the best example, Mr. Cheney.
Monday, October 4, 2004
There has to be something in the water in Vermont, their politicians are nutty! When Dave asked him who was better fit for the presidency, a governor or a senator, he stumbled and then lead you to believe that he wasn't an egotist. Historically speaking there have been some awesome governors who reached the Oval Office, but there have only been maybe two who have come from Congress. Could Kerry change this? Maybe, but the chances of Dean flipping the whole scenario around would have been more likely.
And when it comes down to it, I find it frightening to think of Howard "The Scream" Dean addressing anyone with "My Fellow Americans..." Now that's something to scream about!
Saturday, October 2, 2004
An important point that stuck out-- there are 10 times more troops in Iraq than in Afghanistan. The direct reason/threat to the United States following 9/11 was Bin Laden. Have we forgotten the facts of 9/11 completely?
Both candidates caused me equal frustration. It is pure stupidity (forgive me Nick Speth for using the stupid word) for John Kerry to say that he was against the war from the get-go. Did he have an out-of-body experience when he voted to use force in Iraq? And it is just as ridiculous for him to explain that he voted for it AND against it. You're digging yourself a hole Mr. Kerry. To give equal attention to my frustrations-- Bush needs to rethink his belief that the PATRIOT Act is "vital" to the war on terror. The PATRIOT Act is being challenged in courts all over this country. How can something so "vital" to the safety of America be so hated by Americans?
I was quite irritated with Kerry bringing up John Kennedy every other comment. What we're in now does not in any way compare to the Cold War. Kerry is no Kennedy and never will be. Also, you don't mention the Cuban Missile Crisis if you are trying to prove you won't go into war alone. Kennedy went against his military advisors, not just the world alliance. How is that any different than what Bush is doing now? The hole is getting deeper Mr. Kerry.
My last serious comment regards the alliance. Kerry is right about one thing-- Great Britian, Australia... oh and Polland, thanks W, are not the ideal alliance. They aren't going to make me sleep any better at night. We need a stronger alliance and one that remains strong, not pulling out when times get tough.
On a much lighter note-- I laughed at their ties! I've obviously got too much time on my hands if I noticed Bush in blue and Kerry in red. Brings up the question again "red or blue which state are you?" Overall I was displeased with the debate. Bush was stumbling for words and Kerry was spouting words that had no foundation in factual information. The highlight for me was Kerry's statement: (reiterating what the terrorism czar had said) "Invading Iraq in response to 9/11 would be like Franklin Roosevelt invading Mexico in response to Pearl Harbor."
I'm looking forward to the vp debate next week. I sure hope Mr. Cheney can keep is obscenities in check as well as his heart. And the presidential debate on domestic policy should be interesting...