Friday, February 8, 2008

Georgia Environment Hijacked by Republicans

Here in Georgia, the Republicans have solidly taken over. They are beginning to tear apart our environmental regulations, and the destruction of Georgia's coast has begun. For years great care was taken with the preservation of Georgia's barrier islands. They are primarily undeveloped, with a few exceptions, and Georgia remains one of the few states on the East coast with the majority of its islands still pristine.

Our governor is heavily supported by developers, who are doing their best to begin the destruction of the state through the loosening of environmental regulations, reducing buffers along streams and coastal marshlands, and working to get their claws into protected lands, particularly along the coast.

Jekyll Island is a great example. The Island is by law to be protected from development and to be accessible to all Georgians. Now under Gov. Perdue, the island is in peril. There are plans to develop luxury hotels and condos. There has been pressure to develop the southern end of the Island. If the developers have their way, the average Georgian will soon be priced out and not long after that, they will begin the process of making it yet another gated luxury community for the rich. To be fair I must say the the local state senator, a Republican, is fighting hard to keep the Island as it is. I wonder how much longer he will be able to resist his own party leaders.

The other state owned islands will soon follow. I expect that there are now secret plans to begin loosening the restraints on these wonderful pristine properties, so that they can be developed to become the playgrounds of the rich. Of course the politicians and their friends will reap the benifits and we, the people of Georgia, will be the losers. We will have lost our barrier islands that are so ecologically important to the survival of the coast, and we will be prohibited from visiting them. Our children will not know about the wonderful nature and history with which these islands now abound.

It is a shame that these politicians have such misguided policies and beliefs. Over the course of the last few days, I have learned of a bill introduced to allow the state DOT and its contractors to be immune from erosion violations. In another instance a south Georgia developer is being refunded a fine for encroaching on a buffer along state waters. A state employee was doing his job, but the politicians over ruled. The State Senate Majority leader has been guilty of destroying wetlands, the Speaker of the House wants to destroy dunes along the beach to develop a piece of propety that he owns. Pollution violators have been appointed to the State Board of Natural Resources and a leading envionmentalist was removed from that same board.

I once talked to an airline pilot who told me how much he enjoyed flying over Georgia on his east coast route, because he could look down and see the beautiful barrier islands that were not overwhelmed with development as in Florida and South Carolina. How much longer will he be able to say that? I fear that we are headed down a one way street with no return.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Republican Election = More loss of Freedoms?

As I listened to both McCain and Romney speak to the conservative political action committee today, I shook all the way down to my shoes. Both likened a democrat being elected to the end of this country as we know it. Both stated thinly veiled threats that a vote for a Democrat is akin to being a traitor to our country. That appears to again be the Republican platform. Vote for us and we will save the country from the Godless, baby-killing, Islamic fundamentalist loving Democrats. It sounds like the last seven years of Bush.

Wake up America! We have had enough of the abuse of our Constitution and our rights. We have seen thousands of our young people maimed and killed in an un-American and needless invasion. We have seen the Middle East become more unstable as a result, and we have given the Islamic fundamentalists more ammunition with which to recruit. Now McCain says we have to stay and sacrifice more of our young people for nothing. He is saying little about Afghanistan, where the problem remains and where our resources should have remained focused. Fortunately, the Democratic candidates have addressed this issue.

I fear for the future of our country, if we have to endure another four or eight years of Republican domination. Hopefully, the majority of the voting public will not fail the country and will see that we would simply be electing yet another George Bush to carry us farther down the road to ruin. It is so important that the voters open their eyes and see what lies ahead with these extremist groups, who have taken over the Republican party and to which McCain panders.

The Transformation of John McCain

I saw John McCain a few minutes ago on CNN, speaking to the "Conservative Political Action Committee" whatever that is. I now believe that the tranformation, the evolution, the pandering side of McCain is complete. He sounded just like George Bush as he spewed the extremist views of the right wing of the Republican party. I can't wait until the fall. He will be accusing the Dems of cuddling up to Osama, holding up the "necessary" spying on American citizens, and calling them traitors for opposing what I now think of as his and Bush's war in Iraq. He is definitely a disappointment. I would not have voted for him anyway, but I always thought he spoke for the more moderate side of the Republican party. In years past when no Democrat sparked my interest I thought I might hold my nose and vote for him. No more. He sounded so partisan today, that I cannot imagine him being able to reach across the aisle for compromise.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Post Super Tuesday

Super Tuesday has passed and we must, first and foremost, remember those whose lives were forever changed when storms hit their homes last night. John McCain came out a winner, as I figured he would. I really don't think he needs to worry about uniting with the radio talk show hosts. I think it is time for them to crawl back under their rocks for good. They obviously had little affect on the mainstream voters.

At times I wonder that kind of alliance McCain and Huckabee have. A VP position, maybe? If Huckabee continues, he will draw votes from Romney and assure a win for McCain. Why else would Huckabee, whose support is primarily southern, stay in the race? He has no chance.

Obama gained on Clinton, except among Latinos. It will be interesting to see how this race turns out. Will it continue on to the convention and risk a major fight there? It might very well be too late for fence mending by then. I, personally, would rather see Obama go against McCain. He seems to be a quick thinker with a thick skin. He will be able to stand up to McCain and the Republicans, when they start their mudslinging. Clinton, on the other hand, has enormous baggage and will be an easy target. I am also not sure how well she will be able to stand up and answer face to face criticisms from McCain. One thing in her favor is that she, like McCain, voted to give the President carte blanche on Iraq. McCain can't jump her for that one.

I saw a Latino leader this morning say that they now have leverage with both McCain and the Dems. McCain has shown that he is sympathetic to their cause. I wonder how that statement went over with the right wingers? McCain's "former" stance on immigration has angered them greatly and contributed to Rush L's anti-McCain diatribes.

We move onward and...well...either up or down. It's hard to tell. I do like politics, so I will observe and be opinionated. That's what's great about this country. We are free to have our opinions, at least most of the time. Under Bush, it's been an uphill battle. However, only 11 months to go and then, we hope, a change.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Political Conservatism or Misplaced Party Loyalty?

I continue to be both amazed and concerned at the right wing political attitude toward John McCain. The extremist radio talk show hosts are leading the way, characterizing McCain as a "liberal" because he voted against the Bush tax cuts, against the marriage amendment, and was more moderate on immigration.

I heard Glenn Beck this afternoon say that he would vote for Clinton before McCain so that she would be blamed for the current problems in the country instead of the Republican Party. Say what? The Republicans have been in charge for eight long years and will have to take the blame for the sad state of the country and the Middle East. It appears that Mr. Beck and his friends are more worried about their party than the country. Instead of worrying about the party image, they should be saying, "how can we work with the other party to fix this mess?"

It is scary that these people reject a moderate such as McCain. They also reject compromise as being "liberal." They have forgotten their history and the great statesmen, who put aside party loyalties and worked for the good of the country. These people have a couple of wedge issues, which determine who they support and what they think. Beck said that "values" were the most important factor is his supporting a candidate. He didn't exactly define "values," but I can guess what he was talking about: the usual Republican issues, abortion, and gay marriage.

The only saving grace about this whole misplaced thinking is that it is being led by a group of right wing radio talk show hosts. Let's face it, they are nothing more than pundits and hypocrites, who make their living stirring up trouble. One is a prescription drug addict, who puts people down for taking drugs, and never served his country, but wants to be sure everyone else does. So much for values.

It appears at least at this time, an hour or so before the polls close in the East, that many Republicans are rejecting this nonsense and voting their consciences. My guess is that McCain will still be the leader tomorrow. Hopefully, for once the voters will show that they do not follow like lemmings, but have a mind of their own.