Thoughts, rants and commentary of a simple man

Why flawed CA Prop 37 should not be passed

Posted on October 15th, 2012 in On Politics,Personal Messages | No Comments »

There has been much talk in the past few months of the upcoming election. And while most talk has centered around who should win our vote for president, there is a growing discussion in my home state of California surrounding a number of proposed measures. Of these, Proposition 37 is one of the more widely debated ballot measures.

At the core of it, the measure appears to seek approval of the people of California to enact a law that will require “labeling on raw or processed food offered for sale to consumers if made from plants or animals with genetic material changed in specified ways” and will also prohibit “labeling or advertising such food, or other processed food, as ‘natural'”. On the surface, this seems like an absolutely wonderful ballot measure, as it will mean that the people of California will finally be able to know which foods they are considering buying or eating that might be genetically modified (GMO) or genetically engineered (GE) while at the same time putting the onus of labeling these foods on the manufacturers and producers of these foods. But as I read the text of the measure, it has become clear to me that the responsibility for labeling seems to lay much closer to the consumer while putting no real accountability at the source of large food manufacturing and the most prominent sources of food distribution.

Prop 37 will put the bulk of the responsibility of the labeling of foods on the retailer of those foods:

Retailers (such as grocery stores) would be primarily responsible for complying with the measure by ensuring that their food products are correctly labeled. Products that are labeled as GE would be in compliance. For each product that is not labeled as GE, a retailer generally must be able to document why that product is exempt from labeling.

Other entities throughout the food supply chain (such as farmers and food manufacturers) may also be responsible for maintaining these records.

Prop 37 will likewise open the door to unsubstantiated lawsuits surrounding the labeling of foods such that someone can in fact bring a suit against the retailer that sells the product in addition to the wholesaler that moves it regardless of whether there was any damage done because of the labeling violation:

Litigation to Enforce the Measure. Violations of the measure could be prosecuted by state, local, or private parties. It allows the court to award these parties all reasonable costs incurred in investigating and prosecuting the action. In addition, the measure specifies that consumers could sue for violations of the measure’s requirements under the state Consumer Legal Remedies Act, which allows consumers to sue without needing to demonstrate that any specific damage occurred as a result of the alleged violation.

Additionally, there are several glaring exemptions allowed in this measure that are troublesome, if not down right confounding:

The measure also excludes certain food products from the above labeling requirements. For example, alcoholic beverages, organic foods, and restaurant food and other prepared foods intended to be eaten immediately would not have to be labeled. Animal products— such as beef or chicken—that were not directly produced through genetic engineering would also be exempted, regardless of whether the animal had been fed GE crops.

This means that beer, wine, spirits and other alcohol drinks will not have to abide by this law. Likewise, restaurants that sell GMO/GE food – restaurants like McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Outback Steakhouse, Chili’s, etc – can still sell GMO/GE food without you ever knowing about it. Additionally, and this is a big one in my opinion, animal products – chicken, beef, pork, eggs, milk, etc – that are not directly GMO/GE but that were fed GMO/GE feed will not have to be labeled as GMO/GE.

I’m of the opinion that, in the end, if this measure passes, all that will end up happening is grocers will up their prices to offset the cost of verifying proper labeling, small producers and farmers will suffer tremendous cost increases in production to either comply with the law or find ways to exploit loopholes and larger producers will have already discovered ways of circumventing this law by way of the many loopholes and exemptions in it. Meanwhile, large prepared food providers will continue to sell GMO/GE food for immediate consumption, the Monsantos of the world will continue to rake in huge profits from their GE foods and food products and will assist the larger food producers in bucking the system while the small farmer is left trying to figure out how they will stay in business.

As bad as I want proper labeling of foods, I just don’t think Prop 37 is the right path to it. It leaves entirely too many ways for the bad guys to win at the expense of the good guys while burdening the grocers that we frequent and not really providing much coverage for the end consumer. It might sound controversial, but there is just no way I can vote for this measure as it is worded. If the exemptions weren’t in place, I’d vote a big fat YES for it. But until that happens, my vote is in favor of keeping the playing field level for small food producers, local farmers and grocers.

References:
Prop 37: Read the Text | Propositions | Elections 2012 | KCET
California Proposition 37, Mandatory Labeling of Genetically Engineered Food (2012) – Ballotpedia
California Secretary of State, Prop 37 (PDF)

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Candidates for California Superintendent of Public Instruction

Posted on June 8th, 2010 in On Homeschooling,On Politics,Personal Messages,Rants | 1 Comment »

I know this is very last minute but I wanted to post some of the replies I received today from the candidates that are running for Superintended of Public Instruction. Voting for the California Primary Election closes at 8:00 PM today, so if you haven’t voted and you have a heart for home schooling, here are the candidates and their responses to the question: “What is your view on home schooling?”

  • Gloria Romero
    I couldn’t contact her in my email list because her email address is not published anywhere. I find this a little odd for a state senator but, having exhausted my efforts in trying to located a contact email address, I chose to give up lest I spent my entire day trying to find her email address.
  • Lydia Gutierrez
    “Thank you for doing the ground work in wanting to support the best person who will fight for your child’s well being.
    I fully support homeschooling. Before traditional education, children were taught at home or self-taught, like our most favored President, Abraham Lincoln. I am concern what has been happening around the world of children being forced to go to public school or even families having to flee their country because of fear of being arrested because they homeschooled.
    We must fight for parental rights and this is why I supported the ‘Right to Work’ initiative that would not allow unions to use dues for political use without the permission of the member. My union, California Teacher’s Association (CTA) supported the ‘No’ vote on Proposition 4. This was wrong; every parent has a right to know what is happening to his or her child at school.
    When it comes to educating a child, the best scenario is parents, teachers, and the community are playing an active role in the child’s academic success.”
  • Alexia L. Deligianni
    “I support a parent’s right to homeschool their child.”
  • Leonard J. Martin
    Please refer to a previous post of mine detailing Mr. Martin’s response to this question.
  • Grant McMicken
    No response as of this writing.
  • Karen Blake
    “I fully support home schooling. I would work to keep the home schooling a viable option for all parents.”
  • Daniel M. Nusbaum
    “Dear Ms. H., I support and encourage families who privately homeschool their children. As long as the parent(s) have sufficient education, they should be left alone by government to teach their own children. If anything, government could and should do more to support homeschooling parents in their efforts, by providing teaching materials and other educational support requested by parents in order to be the best homeschoolers they can be! If elected I will educate myself to learn as much as I can about the homeschooling movement and the laws pertaining to it in California.” [NOTE: This is from his website. I could not find an email address for Mr. Nusbaum]
  • Tom Torlakson
    “Thank you for contacting me. I appreciate having an opportunity to respond to questions from voters. I’m glad you took the time to ask on Election Day!

    Homeschooling is an option about which many parents feel strongly and want to pursue. So, I support parents’ rights to choose this option for their children. “

  • Faarax Dahir Sheikh-Noor
    No response as of this writing.
  • Henry Williams Jr.
    “We homeschooled our children for 12 years in California (San Francisco Bay Area). I will see to it that parents have the full freedom to home educate their children.

    Sending you my Candidate Statement attachment with important media links.

    Just loaded this MUST WATCH YouTube video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTQug1jSlpI&feature=channel

    See: Queering the Schools
    http://www.city-journal.org/html/13_2_queering_the_schools.html

    In addition, I am highly recommending that Californians vote for Ken Miller as our next governor. Here are 2 of his media links.

    https://download.yousendit.com/OHo2SkhkNmNiR0pFQlE9PQ

    https://download.yousendit.com/OHo2SkhaTlE5NVh2Wmc9PQ

    Please feel free to forward this information to your circles of influence to help them decide on what is best for their families.”

  • Diane A. Lenning
    “Hi Robert, I support “free choice” in education which includes home schooling. My nephew was home schooled and got a quality education. It is important for parents and students to have choices in education.”
  • Larry Aceves
    “Larry believes that homeschooling is a parent’s right and if a parent chooses to home-school their child, he would support that decision.

    I hope that this helps to answer your question. If not, please let us know.”

If I get more responses I will post them as they come. Again, sorry for the late posting.

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Why you should not vote for Leo J. Martin for California Education Superintendent

Posted on May 24th, 2010 in Observations,On Homeschooling,On Parenting,On Politics,Personal Messages | 3 Comments »

My wife Sandi just ran across a blog post written by a homeschooling parent who made contact with Leo J. Martin, a candidate for Superintendent of Instruction for the State of California in this year’s upcoming California elections.

In the blog post Mr. Martin is quoted as saying in reply to his position on homeschooling:

Home schooling’s appropriate for children who have special difficulties that make it impossible for them to participate in traditional schooling. But under California law, a parent has the right to home school provided the parent is qualified to offer instruction. Personally, I believe nearly all kids would benefit more from being in traditional schools. Many parents home school for religious reasons, because they still hold outdated views on race or ethnicity, or for what they consider to be moral reasons. Since we have provisions for students to attend a school outside of their local community when there are legitimate reasons to do so, home schooling as an alternative to “unsafe” campuses is hardly a legitimate alternative. For the most part – overwhelmingly – the public schools of California are not only safe but are providing a high quality education. Yucca Valley should be no exception. If it is, as Superintendent I would like to hear the
complaints.

There has also been a tremendous amount of fraud connected with home schooling. Corporate organizations have sprung up to drain precious taxpayer dollars from the state budget to “supervise” home schooling. That has been to the detriment of those children, who by necessity, must be home schooled.

My advice? Send the kids to a traditional public school.

Needless to say there are many points in his response that I take issue with as a homeschooling parent, such as:

  • Home schooling’s appropriate for children who have special difficulties that make it impossible for them to participate in traditional schooling.
    According to who? Appropriateness of homeschooling, location of education or educational curriculum should really only be defined by the parent of the child being educated or the adult who is seeking education. Just like many adults find that educating themselves at home is appropriate, so do many parents find educating their children at home appropriate. To say that homeschooling is “appropriate for children who have special difficulties that make it impossible for them to participate in traditional schooling” is completely ignorant and alienates a huge segment of the population of the state. Elected officials should know better than to call their constituents stupid. Candidates need to know this. Any person who would reveal such extraordinary ignorance in dealing with parents and their decisions on educating their children has no business being in a leadership position over the educational structure and development of an entire state.
  • Many parents home school for religious reasons, because they still hold outdated views on race or ethnicity, or for what they consider to be moral reasons.
    I actually had to read this sentence a few times to see for my own eyes that Mr. Martin did indeed say these words. Apparently he is completely out of touch with the reality that our kids face in public schools today, like issues of crime, drugs, rampant promiscuity, inability for staff and administrators to effectively discipline children, lack of values placed on education within the public school system and an increasing student to teacher ratio throughout the state at all levels of education. None of these have anything to do with religion, views on race, views on ethnicity or morality. These are all issues that our kids face in California public schools today, issues that all parents should be aware of and concerned with. These are just some of the reason parents choose to homeschool, and none of them are religious in nature nor indicative of outdated views on race or ethnicity.
  • Since we have provisions for students to attend a school outside of their local community when there are legitimate reasons to do so, home schooling as an alternative to “unsafe” campuses is hardly a legitimate alternative.
    Who gets to decide what is a legitimate reason for a student to attend a school outside their local community? Someone who believes homeschooling instead of sending your student to an unsafe campus is hardly a legitimate alternative? If this is the attitude of the highest ranking educational leader in our state, I’d rather not educate my kids in this state. With this statement he is in effect saying that just because your local campus is unsafe doesn’t mean that he agrees with your decision to homeschool. Thanks Mr. Superintendent sir. Is there a way you could be less concerned about my child or my desire for him/her to be safe at school?
  • My advice? Send the kids to a traditional public school.
    And my advice to you? Stay out of office. Your incredible disregard for parents and their children would be comical if not so incredibly alarming. Parents in our state need an advocate against our government. What we don’t need is an advocate for the government against our parents and children.

Mr. Martin’s response to an another email inviting him to look closer at homeschooling and to see for himself why so many parents choose this route for their children’s education was met with an equally alarming and ignorant response:

I did not expect any home schooler to be satisfied with my response. Nor will I change it to appeal to the thousands of home schoolers who are voters. If this election were in the 1950s I would have received a question from someone representing tens of thousands of parents who opposed the racial integration of our public schools. They would have been looking for a candidate who agreed with them. My response would have turned them off and they would have urged me to read all the arguments in favor of segregation. I know those arguments, as I know the arguments for home schooling. Now, I’m not equating home schoolers with segregationists, but the situation is the same. As I would not edit my response to the segregationists to win their votes, I will not shape my response to home schoolers to seek their votes
either.

I explained before that there are legitimate reasons for home schooling. If you meet those conditions, I fully support home schooling. But that is not why most home schoolers engage in it. And while they have a legal right to do so, I do not support home schooling in those situations.

Best Regards,
Leonard J. Martin

I am not going to go into my take on this response of his. All I will ask is that if you are a homeschooling parent in California, please spread the word that this man is bad for our state’s educational system. All homeschooling parents and children will suffer if this man is elected. Let’s do our part as a free state to see to it that he never makes it into office.

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The vote that seemed to not count

Posted on May 26th, 2009 in On Politics,Personal Messages,Rants | No Comments »

In about an hour the California Supreme Court will render its ruling on the constitutionality of Proposition 8, the state ballot measure that amended the California Constitution to clearly define marriage as being between a man and a woman. The history of this topic goes back a long way, but the voting history of this issue is still relatively young, having first appeared as Proposition 22 in the 2000 election. In that election the state of California voted almost 2-1 in favor of defining marriage as being between a man and a woman.

After several lawsuits and lengthy court battles the California Supreme Court, seven justices to be exact, ruled that the vote of the people wasn’t sufficient and invalidated the vote stating the results of the measure were unconstitutional. Within a matter of months the exact same ballot measure was on the ballot again, this time as an amendment to the California constitution, in the form of Proposition 8. And again the state of California passed the measure.

No sooner had the state spoken on the matter of homosexual marriage for the second time than the opponents to Prop 8 has the legal filings ready. Literally the day after voting day law suits were being filed on the matter. Ultimately the issue was taken up again with the Supreme Court and today the results of the deliberations of the arguments for and against Proposition 8 will be made public. At stake are whether Proposition 8 is legal based on its status as an amendment AND whether all of the marriages performed during the few months when Prop 22 was reversed will still be recognized by the state of California as legal marriages.

At the end of day all I can muster up on this subject now is that regardless of the outcome I will still hold fast to my belief that marriage is between a man and a woman. I know that this line of thinking is not popular in today’s world and that conservative political views being broadcast over liberal media channels like television, radio and the Internet generally leads to bashing, slamming and the attacking of liberals asking the question “how can you think that way?”. And while I could easily ask that question of my liberal friends who believe homosexual marriage is perfectly acceptable, I won’t.

They have their reasons for believing the way they do and I have mine. I don’t hold their opinions or beliefs against them and I don’t find it cause enough to call them names like “closed-minded”, “intolerant” or “ignorant”. No, in fact I value differences of opinion between mine and others. It stimulates conversation and opens the door to communication between people of differing beliefs.

I have stated more than once my opposition to homosexual marriage. That hasn’t changed. I don’t believe it is about equality or there would be a stronger push for marriage rights for children, inter-familial marriages and marriages among people already married. I don’t believe sexual preference should be the basis for minority status any more than religious belief should so the case that denying the observance of homosexual marriage is discriminatory really doesn’t make sense to me (though legally it does since California does see homosexuals as a minority). No, I think this has more to do with a group of people wanting something that someone told them they couldn’t have and as a result that group of people have done all they can to get what they feel they deserve. More power to them. If I wanted something that someone said I couldn’t have I would probably go crazy trying to get it anyway I could, too.

Perhaps one day when crazy Christians, Jews, Muslims and Scientologists fight for their status as a minority and start trying to get laws passed specifically for their minority group it will become clear what some people that oppose homosexual marriage feel. Perhaps not. But as I have said before, I will not hate you or condemn you for your belief. To the contrary, I welcome your opinion and hope that it can open a dialog between opposing sides, opposing view points and opposing political beliefs so that we as a people can be brought together, even in opposition, rather than being torn asunder because of our beliefs.

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Obama administration fires GM CEO Wagoner

Posted on March 30th, 2009 in Observations,On Business,On Government,On Politics,Personal Messages,Rants | 2 Comments »

It might not look right or even sound right, the words “Obama administration fires GM CEO Rick Wagoner” but that is, in effect, what happened. And if you know anything about me you know that I have a resolved and absolute dissatisfaction with Barack Obama as a president.

So it goes without saying that I am shocked and upset by this move, announced over the weekend and discussed by Mr. Obama this morning at a press conference he held to bring forward news of the government’s plans and actions toward the failing American automotive industry. The first question I have to ask is how can a government flex that much muscle that it can ouster a corporate officer of one of the largest companies in American history, a company they have no stake in, in such a short period of time when it took a court order and a subpoena to get the names of the recipients of the bonuses awarded to AIG executives, a company that the government owns 80% of?

Let me be clear about one thing: I am not saying that CEO Rick Wagoner should not have been fired. To the contrary, given his performance and lack of strength exhibited over his tenure at the helm of GM it makes sense that the company should seek to replace him. But that is the company’s own prerogative, not that of the US government. Just because the government is lending GM (in total) about $20 billion does not mean that they can reach into the corporation and start shifting the organization around.

No, in fact I would have expected that in the case of banks and financial institutions that have been pissing away the hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer money that was used to nationalize those banks. The government took ownership of the bulk of the companies and should, in effect, have ownership rights to that company, including making organization decisions. Why we didn’t exercise those ownership rights still blows me away as I watch the financial sector continue to retain people that brought our country to its knees by paying them the same amounts of money, if not more, to do the same thing. Where are the bank CEOs’ heads? Where are the calls for resignations of Mr. Liddy from AIG? Where is the government muscle in that industry?

Instead GM, who does need the money – there is no doubt about that, is told their plan for looking forward and righting their ship was not sufficient in the eyes of the government and that, in order for them to be in a place where the government will trust them with more, must bounce their CEO. Chrysler was not given that same decision? Why not?

Now GM has another 60 days to revise their plan so that they can borrow more money from the government. And Chrysler has 30 days to get their merger/partnership deal with Fiat put together in a way that is adequate to the government so that the government can give them another $6 billion. Oh, and if the deal with Fiat falls through then Chrysler will receive no more money from the government. But that’s fine because Mr. Obama has a plan for that.

See, if it doesn’t work out for Chrysler then Mr. Obama has suggested that using American bankruptcy laws might be a potential solution for Chrysler as a means to release their liability for older, heavier debt that they can’t seem to get themselves out from under as a corporation. Um, Mr. President? If bankruptcy were an option for them why the hell didn’t we let them file two months ago instead of giving them money just so they could ask for more two months later?

It would seem the only smart company of the big 3 was Ford who elected not to take any government bailout funds. So while the government is firing CEOs and forcing partnerships Ford can sit back and look like the only stable company of the three. Way to go Ford. I have not really ever liked anything about you, but this little gesture of yours… top class.

Too bad the weakening auto industry will have a catastrophic domino effect on the entire economy if it does fail. Vendors and suppliers that supply GM and Chrysler more than likely supply other automotive manufacturers. And since the manufacturers have forced suppliers to scant profit margins, at best, if a supplier loses a contract like GM they could very well go out of business. Meaning Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi and many other manufacturers not in the news for failure will be directly affected by GM and Chrysler’s inability to manage their business.

When will the auto industry learn from Toyota? When will they take what Toyota has done seriously and implement the principles of kaizen, hoshin kanri and 5S? That is perhaps for a different discussion.

For now I am still a little flabbergasted by the way our new presidential administration has failed to act like business owners for businesses we own while acting like a corporate boards toward companies we have no ownership interest in at all. If they fired Wagoner, they could have very easily fired all the idiots at all the banks that have brought our economy into the toilet and gotten rid of their bad business decisions before giving them billions of dollars to make more bad decisions with.

But that really isn’t Obama’s way now, is it?

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So many things to not like about Obama

Posted on March 25th, 2009 in Observations,On Government,On Politics,Personal Messages,Rants | No Comments »

Last night President Obama gave another prime time press conference to fill in our great nation of what he is doing to make our economy better and what his plans are to right the ship. After listening to the entire speech and subsequent press questions, I was left with so many disappointments.

I know he is doing what he thinks is right for our country. I cannot say he is doing the best he can because I don’t think anyone has ever seen his best. But I can say that in his effort to make his administration transparent I am left with more questions than answers and a complete bewilderment as to when he is even going to answer a direct question with a direct answer.

The speech was pretty, much like all his other speech writers. His speech writers deserve at least a nice bottle of wine for their efforts. But his lack of experience and complete inability to boldly take a specific stance on a specific subject still shows how much growing as a leader he has left to do. When asked the question “Will you sign a budget if it does not contain a middle-class tax cut, does not contain cap and trade?” Mr. Obama returned with a very long response and never even really touched on the subject. When asked a second time he again did not answer with a yes or a no. He simply skirted the issue again.

When asked, multiple times, about his delay in responding to the AIG mess and why it seemed that governor Cuomo was handling the matter more than Obama, he finally retorted with “It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I’m talking about before I speak, you know?”. I think we know, Mr. President. I think we know that you have access to more information than anyone in the world and that nothing in this country happens without you knowing about it first. That was the second weakest cop out of the night in my opinion.

The first weakest cop out, and the one thing about Mr. Obama that continually pisses me off, can be found in his response to the question about some congressional republicans calling his budget proposal “the most irresponsible budget in American history” and the asking of the question “Isn’t that kind of debt exactly what you were talking about when you said “passing on our problems to the next generation?”. The first thing he did was pass the buck back to the last administration. Again.

I am so sick and tired of his belly aching over the mess that was handed to him. He knew what he was getting himself into when he ran for president. He knew the situation we are in. We do not need our leader to keep looking back when asked about his budget plans. We need him to look us in the eye and tell us that though it looks bad now, because of the structure of his plan, it will end brighter than it starts out. He needs to show us that he has a plan, a clear plan, to dig us out of the hole that the Bush administration put us into. He needs to step up and take responsibility for what is to come instead of pawning off responsibility to those that are no longer in office.

I am still waiting for Mr. Obama to become the leader that so many people believed he was when he won the presidential race. So far I have only seen someone that knows how to politic, hire great speech writers and evade questions. I have still not seen his plan, though he claims to be the most transparent president in history. And I have yet to see the hope that he said he would bring as soon as he took office. So many promises not fulfilled.

It is my prayer that he succeeds in all that he does. So far all he has done is given a crap load of money to some corrupt banks, make abortion more accessible, prevent us from handling terrorists in ways that were working and conduct several very well worded press conferences. Though he has done one thing that he said he wouldn’t do that I think it a good idea.

As part of his campaign he said he would be bringing our troops home from the middle east within 18 months. To do that, he has sent almost 20,000 more troops to the area. Way to show you care about bringing our troops home Mr. President. Hopefully you will still make your target. God, I hope you do.

Until then, could you perhaps learn to answer a yes or no question with a yes or a no? And for the love of Mike, please stop reminding us that the mess is not your fault. Show us what you are going to do to get us out of it instead.


References:
The complete transcript of the questions asked Mr. Obama and his answers
Reactions to his press conference
How Politico.com saw it

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Good questions that Obama will not be asked

Posted on March 24th, 2009 in On Government,On Politics | No Comments »

NOTE: This post was in the hopper but unfinished prior to President Obama’s press conference on March 24, 2009. It is being posted late, but relatively unedited (save for minor fixes to grammar, spelling and structure). Just wanted anyone reading to know.

Tonight President Obama will be giving another prime time national press conference. I think this is his way of trying to keep the people of the United States up to speed on what is going on with his administration from his perspective as opposed to the perspective of the media. Regardless, I am definitely going to be watching/listening to his press conference with an ear for catching something new from him.

For some reason I cannot shake my utter contempt and dissatisfaction with Obama’s presiding over our country. I pretty much am opposed to every one of his ideas and decisions. That does not mean that I am a George W. Bush lover or a John McCain lover. It just means that I fail to see how Obama has come to embody the hope of a nation. I will say without batting an eye that I am not liberal in any capacity. I tend to lean toward a conservative way of thinking, mixed in with a little bit of libertarian and a little bit of independent. Perhaps that could explain why Obama has seemed to screw up at every turn in my opinion.

Still, the man is sitting on one of the worse messes of government this nation has ever seen. Make no mistake about that. His presidency will be marked by the way he gets us out of the current situation we are in if he ever manages to do that. I know many people believe that he is the end all, be all to everything political (and still I don’t know why anyone would believe that given his lack of political experience) but there has to come a point at which he shares with his people the plan behind the statements and decisions he has made.

I am sure that with the current state of our economy still relatively dicey and with the recent news of AIG and other financial institutions completely mishandling their federal bailout funds that President Obama will more than likely spend the better part of the night talking on that subject. But I hope he actually offers a clear plan of action this time. I hope he manages to inform us as to what he is thinking when he does what he does. And I hope that he manages to answer the questions asked of him succinctly, compassionately and non-politically, as a good leader would, not as some guy sitting in an office with good speech writers and good staffers would.

What brings this up is an article I read recently from Politico in which 10 questions are presented that could put the president in a place to have to sidestep an answer. Of course, he is practically an old pro at that now so I don’t see him choking too hard on whatever questions make it his way.

I do know that I am tired of hearing him pawn off the problems we are having to the previous administration. I would love for him to grow some balls one day soon and just step into the situation from the perspective of “I know we are in a tight spot and I am planning to get us out of it – it is my responsibility to do that as your president” instead of constantly refering to the mess we are in as the “problem I inherited when I took this job”. But outside of that I really hope he actually offers something to us, as a nation, that will lead us to believe that there is something in store that will help us, as a nation of American citizens, to get out of the hole we are in right now.

I hope he doesn’t politicize the issues too much, or try to turn issues into partisan skirmishes instead of a challenge that we can all work together to solve. And I hope he manages to speak some meaningful words in the midst of all the pretty words that he always uses. And for the love of all things furry, smiley and happy, I hope he doesn’t introduce another tax or another increase of tax on the wealthy or another way to try to steal more money from those who know how to earn it in order to “spread the wealth”.

I don’t think that is too much to ask of our leader.

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Stem cell research and what it is all about

Posted on March 9th, 2009 in On Government,On Politics,Personal Messages | 5 Comments »

I was saddened to hear the news today that president B. Hussein Obama decided to reverse President Bush’s policy on stem cell research.

From tiny embryonic cells to the large-scale physics of global warming, President Barack Obama urged researchers on Monday to follow science and not ideology as he abolished contentious Bush-era restraints on stem-cell research. “Our government has forced what I believe is a false choice between sound science and moral values,” Obama declared as he signed documents changing U.S. science policy and removing what some researchers have said were shackles on their work.

“It is about ensuring that scientific data is never distorted or concealed to serve a political agenda — and that we make scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology,” Obama said.

Dictionary.com defines ideology as the body of doctrine, myth, belief, etc., that guides an individual, social movement, institution, class, or large group. Does science qualify as a social movement? How about socialism, politics or the ever growing Obamagasm this country is currently in the throes of? If the “facts” that scientific decisions are based on become common doctrine does that mean that future presidents, perhaps of a more conservative nature, could then undo the crap that B. Hussein Obama has done in the name of not following ideology?

To stay on point though I have to at least mention what a lot of people ask about on this subject: why is this such a contentious issue? It think that stems from the fact that there are no provisions that prevent scientists from developing human embryos for the sake of stem cell harvesting. Unless I am wrong about that, which is certainly a possibility. But it seems to me that when there are hundreds of thousands of abortions performed every year that it should never become an issue to have to fabricate lives to snuff out in order to get at stem cells.

We as a country put more than enough embryos to death each year. I cannot see the need for us to allow for the creation of embryos for the purpose of harvesting their stem cells. Of course now that scientists not only have a green light to research the effect of embryonic stem cells but have funding to go with it (thanks to the B. Hussein Obama economic stimulus and recovery and spending of your tax dollars act) you can be sure that there will be more and more discussions on this matter. And I would be willing to bet it is going to revolve around the fight between being able to do something and whether being able to is a license to do it. The good old argument of “just because you can doesn’t mean you should”.

I know I harp on our president quite a bit, but in my opinion he has done more damage to our country in the last few months than anyone cares to see. The bailouts, Guantanamo, his decision to provide funding for abortions both in the US and overseas, his political appointments and now stem cell research just goes to show that he really does not care about Americans, humanity or the sanctity of life in general. I am so saddened by this man and his decisions. And all the while his image is carried over our airwaves to throngs of supporters cheering him on and taking his side.

He promised change. He is bringing about change. But I can’t help but wonder when someone is going to look at the change he is bringing and ask the question “Is this change what we really need?”. His popularity is making him untouchable and is making me sick. How much longer until the election of 2012?

Change… change you can believe in. I am well inclined to tell him “No thanks Mr. president, you can keep the change.”.

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Government knows best

Posted on March 3rd, 2009 in Observations,On Children,On Government,On Parenting,On Politics,Rants | 1 Comment »

There was a time in our country when parents were afforded the position of “knowing what is best” for their children. In fact it wasn’t that long ago that parents were not only expected to tend to their kids but were encouraged to do so. But it seems as though the government has become increasingly interested in the governing of not just the political landscape. Apparently the government wants into your family now.

I had heard about this issue originally from a Home School Legal Defense Association newsletter and I later read about Senator Barbara Boxer seeking to ratify the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. After reading the content and the message behind it I am left with an overwhelming disgust for our government. Not that I liked the government before, but this makes me want to become a politician just so I can speak out against this crap.

How can any politician believe, at all, that the government knows better than a parent when it comes to raising and handling their own kids? I know there are edge cases of neglect, abuse, bad parenting and utter parental stupidity that could easily be recounted that might provide a small sense of justification for this. But I would say that in the bulk of families that could be affected by a decision like this most have parents that are in some way or another involved in the welfare of their children. The government does not need to pass an intrusive legal decision that would in effect put the governments decisions regarding children above the decisions of the parents of those children.

Does this not seem odd to you? I take comfort in knowing that as a parent I am responsible for my children. I take comfort in knowing that since I live in a free country, a country that does no derive its identity nor its principles from the government which covers it, that I can parent my children however I see fit. Like home schooling my kids. Like disciplining them as I see fit. Like providing for them, sheltering them and teaching them the way that I, as their parent, think is the best way.

I hope Senator Boxer takes one on the chin with this attempt. Seriously, the government is meddling in affairs that it just should not be in. Parenting is one of those areas and that really needs to be left up to the experts: us parents.

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Social or socialistic?

Posted on March 1st, 2009 in Observations,On Politics | 4 Comments »

An Obama democracy

I found this little tidbit on Angela Steven’s Domestic Divapalooza blog. It would be funny if it weren’t so true. I wonder if that day when we awake to communism is going to be within the next four years?

I pray it isn’t so. But given the rise to fame of Obamasiah and his apparent inability to do anything wrong in the eyes of mainstream liberal citizens, it would appear that whatever he says, goes. And every day, through the social web, print, radio and television, we are bombarded with messages of his awesomeness, messages of hope and change, messages of past administration failures that he inherited but is going to do something about. Messages that are conveyed without opposition, without question and with a complete reliance on this man to bring about the restoration and change that will save our country.

He used the media to generate an extraordinary following. His message was everywhere your eyes and ears were and his followers were primarily youth who glommed on to his message and hung onto every word. His supporters would hold rallies and have meetings and he would deliver wonderful speeches. His promise was for change and stability and financial success and his victory was sweeping.

After being elected in a major win, and once in office, he took a firm and bold stance and immediately implemented sweeping changes similar to what he promised as he campaigned. But soon things took a different turn and before long the Hitler regime was implementing nationalization and socialism throughout Germany.

Wait, you were thinking I was talking about Obama?

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