Saturday, March 1, 2008

Republicans and Our Private Lives

This week the Georgia State Senate passed a bill requiring public schools to weigh students, report the weight to their parents and maintain cumulative weight records. It's interesting that the first of this type of bills was signed into law by a certain Arkansas Governor named Huckabee.

For years I have heard Republicans criticize Democrats for meddling too much in people's lives and creating big government. However, the shoe seems to be on the other foot. In Georgia the Republican dominated legislature is discussing a Right to Life Amendment that determines the beginning of life, and now they want to keep up with every Georgia student's weight. Can you imagine the ramifications? By the way, they have also decided that we don't have the right to decide whether we want to buy alcohol on Sunday.

If life begins at conception as the Republicans have defined, then will an unborn child need a social security number? Will the parent be able to claim the child as a dependent? Can you imagine the lawsuits that will result? What about the private information about a student's weight? Who will have access to it? How will it be used? Will an overweight student be even more ostracized by the other kids. I can imagine the snickers and stares during "weigh-ins."

On the national scene, of course, the Republicans have messed in our private lives in the name of national security. They can access the history of books that we have checked out of the library. They have encouraged us to spy on each other and people have been investigated because of a book that someone saw them buy at a bookstore. This all reeks of the old Soviet Russia.

The Republicans, of course, continue to drag Ronald Reagan's name up as the greatest president of our time, and give him credit for "bringing down" Communism, both wishful thinking on their part. At they same time they pass more laws restricting the way we live our private lives.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

John McCain and the Radio Talk Show Hosts

John McCain was right in repudiating the Cincinnati radio neandrathal's rant during McCain's rally. McCain is trying, I believe, to run a civilized campaign. These self styled "conservative" Republicans are nothing more than uncivilized rabble, who want to stir up trouble by making making negative innuendos toward opposing candidates. They tell lies and expect that their listeners will believe them and come back for more. Unfortunately, many of their followers do believe their drivel.

One can only hope that these people are not the mainstream of the Republican Party. If they are, then the Republican Party is in a downward spiral from which it may not recover for many years to come. I don't think that the majority of voters, Democrat and Republican will put up with this kind of trash talk and lies much longer. The voting public is tired of it. Hopefully, this will be the death knell for this type of radio. Already, it appears that a large number of voting Republicans are not listening to them. If more politicians and voters would repudiate their spoiled-brat rantings, they would soon have to retreat back under their rocks, maybe, permanently.

Experience and Presidential Candidates

I have listened with some amusement as the various presidential candidates have tried to convince the voters that they have the "experience" required to be president. Frankly, no one has that kind of experience, with the possible exception of having held a cabinet position. It is on the job training.

John McCain has frequently said that his military experience and his "foreign policy" experience in the Senate qualify him to be president. In reality, he has made no foreign policy decisions in his life. He has voted on committees and visited countries, but he hasn't had the "buck" stop with him when a final decision had to be made. His military experience, while outstanding, does nothing to qualify him for the presidency. He often talks about his commanding the largest squadron in the US Navy. However, outside of day to day operations, he was following the orders of the decision makers, not making those decisions himself.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are no different. Like McCain, they have never run a country and, other than voting on the Senate floor, serving on committees or taking junkets to foreign countries, they have not been involved in the final say on any major United States policy decisions.

Obama has summed it up pretty well, saying a president has to make common sense, informed decisions. A good president must surround him/her self with good people and ensure that the best possible information is at hand before making crucial decisions. None of the candidates can do any better than that. We, the voters, simply can't make decisions based on candidates' experience, because, frankly, they have no experience in a similar job. We have to look at the big picture and understand where they stand, what they stand for, and whether we agree.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Barack Obama, responding to recent attacks on his patriotism said, "Republicans have no lock on patriotism. That is a debate I am very happy to have. We'll see what the American people think is the true definition of patriotism. A party that presided over a war in which our troops did not get the body armor they needed, or were sending troops over who were untrained because of poor planning, or are not fulfilling the veterans' benefits that these troops need when they come home, or are undermining our Constitution with warrant less wiretaps that are unnecessary?"

I continue to be amused that the Republican party, in particular, somehow thinks that it contains the only patriots in this country. To them, Patriotism seems defined by war. Suddenly, US flags are broken out and placed on cars and in yards, where they are left to fade and become rags. Everyone cheers soldiers and thinks the President shouldn't be criticized. People are ostracized and threatened if they speak out against war.

Then I think about our founding fathers and the gift they gave us, when they wrote the Constitution and set up this nation on it's principles. Doesn't a patriot fight for the rights guaranteed to all US citizens by the Constitution, when the government threatens to take those rights away? When the US government takes unprovoked action against a sovereign nation, shouldn't a patriot stand up and say it isn't right? If the government or a group of citizens try to quash a particular religious movement, shouldn't a patriot stand up for the religious freedom guaranteed by the Constitution?

Then there is freedom of speech. Oh yes, freedom of speech! When one disagrees with the government, that person shouldn't lose their job. No one should be stopped and ticketed by a policeman because of an anti-war, anti-president bumper sticker. An innocent, overheard conversation or a particular book checked out of a library should not result in an FBI investigation. Finally, political rallies should be open to all. No one should be arrested at a political rally unless they are disruptive and refuse to follow instructions. The wearing of an anti-candidate tee shirt shouldn't result in an arrest. Yet all of these actions have taken place over the past few years.

I don't wave the flag. I don't constantly say "God bless America." I criticize the President, when I feel like it, war or not. I worship as I please, and when I please. I write letters to my elected representatives asking them to right wrongs. I speak up about my concerns in this blog. I feel no less a patriot than those who wear it on their sleeves and call anyone who doesn't agree with their views a "traitor."

Funny, this is all about living in a country where we have the freedom to disagree and to speak our minds, but those who call themselves "Patriots" seem to want less.

The Mudslinging has Already Begun

The Republican mudslinging juggernaut is starting up again. During the last election, it hid within the "Swift Boat Veterans" as they made up stories and photographs to discredit John Kerry's military record. Now they are already making up stories on Barrack Obama. I'm sure they were ramped up with all kinds of interesting lies for Hillary, but it didn't take them long to start on Obama. Look for him to be a Muslim, who hates America, has no patriotism, and will turn the country over to Osama as soon as he is elected. Unfortunately, Obama's wife played right into their hands with a statement last week about being proud of her country for the "first time."

All of this propaganda could easily be put aside by the Republican candidate, if he would disavow the lies. However, George Bush was conveniently silent in '04 as Kerry was smeared. Look for John McCain to be the same way, as he lets his partners do his dirty work for him. It will be interesting to see if the American public again falls for this nasty politics.