Tuesday, October 31, 2006
It was a little bit of a romantic comedy and a lot of political commentary. Overall I would recommend the movie as it was a good way to spend a couple of hours.
I will try to come back later and comment on something a little more substancial, but I wanted to comment on this.
Monday, October 30, 2006
13 Reasons to Continue to Ignore Republican Talking Points
What I don't understand is the seeming tepidness of so many Republicans. Yes, the war in is a long, hard slog. The world is not Topeka, Kansas (would that it were). A journalist pointed out to President Bush at his most recent press conference that the Iraq war has now been going on as long as World War II did for the United States. Well, yes, but we lost 407,316 men in World War II. On Iwo Jima alone, we lost 6,800. This is not to say that the deaths of our people in Iraq should be trivialized. But comparisons with World War II -- in terms of sacrifice and terrible price paid -- are ridiculous. And of course, WWI was fought in Europe, the South Pacific and we as a country actually committed to fighting the war. I don't believe we gave tax cuts during the war, or had bizarre photo opportunites in the war zone. (You get the idea)
Republicans have abundant reasons to reserve a spot at their polling places on Election Day:
1) The economy. More than 6.6 million new jobs have been created since August 2003. Our 4.1 annual growth rate is superior to all other major industrialized nations. The Dow has set record highs multiple times in the past several weeks. Productivity is up, and the deficit is down. Real, after-tax income has grown by 15 percent since 2001. Inflation has remained low. As Vice President Cheney summed it up at a recent meeting with journalists, "What more do you want?" The tax cuts proposed by President Bush and passed by a Republican Congress can take a bow. The tax cuts by this administration have touch a very small portion of the population in a significant way. After all most people in this country were helped by the rise in the child tax credit by $400.00 per child, and of course teachers by the $250.oo expense deduction. Yes, this has certainly grown the economy.
2) The Patriot Act. Democrats and liberals mourn this law as a gross infringement upon civil liberties. Yet the much-discussed abuses simply haven't materialized. The law has, on the other hand, permitted the to cooperate and share information about terrorist threats -- at least so long as The New York Times isn't publishing the details of our counterterrorism efforts on the front page. When in doubt attack the NY Times. Mona says the much discussed abuses of the Patriot Act simply haven't materialized. I say they simply haven't materialized YET. Or perhaps they haven't been made public yet.
3) The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, to which liberals clung with passionate intensity, has been cancelled, permitting us to work on missile defense. In the age of Kim Jong Il and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is anyone (except Nancy Pelosi) sorry? Yes let's get rid of all the treaties, they just hold this adminstration back ABMT, the Geneva Conventions, etc.
4) Immigration. Republicans in Congress insisted upon and got the first serious immigration restriction in decades. On Oct. 26, the president signed a law that will build a 700-mile fence along our southern border and, what is more important, does not offer amnesty. It also doesn't fund the border fence but if we mention that we may be questioning the sincerity of the adminstration. We can't have that now can we.
5) There has not been another terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11. Who would have predicted that on 9/12? This has to be the dumbest of the talking points. After all, there was 9 years between the first and second attackes on the World Trade Center. But Bill Clinton won't get credit for that now will he.
6) Libya has surrendered its nuclear program. Thanks to the British Foriegn Ministry's ability to negociate with 'bad guys' in order to accomplish something. Wouldn't this also be a good response to point 13.
7) A.Q. Khan's nuclear smuggling network has been rolled up. No real comment here, I would feel even more comfortable though if we had say, captured or killed Osama bin Laden, or perhaps stopped Kim Jung Il from conducting a nuclear test as well.
8) John Roberts and Samuel Alito sit on the U.S. Supreme Court. Yes, lets vote to continue to stack the Supreme Court with people so far to the right they believe that the Constitution is barely of human origin. (Okay I don't really believe that but this is another useless reason to vote for Republicans.)
9) Those Democrats who do not want to close Guantanamo Bay altogether want to give all of its inmates the full panoply of rights Americans enjoy in criminal procedures. I would hate to think that the any Americans would actually want to uphold our ideals and not degenerate our country in to some third world tin pot dictatorship or anything.
10) Democrats believe in immediate withdrawal from Iraq.( A different approach for this one) Actually I don't believe I have heard anyone advocate IMMEDIATE withdrawal, I have heard a call for a phased withdrawal and setting a series of dates for these to occur. The withdrawal also is to forward positions IN THE REGION. If they succeed in forcing us to leave under these circumstances, the United States will suffer a stinging defeat in the war on terror. As opposed to the slow moral-decaying process that we are in now. The terrorists already believe that they drove the Russians from Afganistan and Israel from from Lebanon and Gaza. Let's see, the Russians left Afganistan because they were taking continuing loss that the military found to be unsustainable, that would seem to be a correct assessment on the Terrorists part. Israel withdrew from Lebanon because the were an attrition creating situation that was slowly decaying the moral in the IDF (Check number two) The Israelis, in a poor political move, withdrew from Gaza after years of attacks by the terrorists. Seems to me that even if that wasn't the motivating factor they at least could make a valid point. (Check number three) They are convinced they chased us out of Lebanon in 1983 (Under the Reagan Administration. This occurred after a military base was attacked and the 'will' for us to stay there was stripped from the military.) and from Somalia (This after they killed a number of aid working/peace keepping members of the US military, removing the 'will for us to stay there.) in 1993. (Checks number four and five.) According to Osama bin Laden and those who share his views, we are militarily strong but psychologically and spiritually weak. (Seems to me that Mona is proving this point very well) Like it or not -- and no one likes it (But the military contractors) -- we cannot leave Iraq now without utterly and decisively validating this analysis. We might as well run a white flag up the flagpole at the Capitol. Sorry Mona, your analysis is actual proof enough they may be correct. And the Russians would be considered to be 'liberals' the way you are using it, and Ariel Sharon and Ronald Reagan either. (Of the above points I suppose that just leaves Ehud Barak and Bill Clintons as the 'weak willed' liberals wouldn't it.)
11) Democrats would like to eliminate the terrorist surveillance program. I haven't ever heard anyone say this at any time. The Democrats just want to follow the laws that are on the books like FISA and the 72 Hours waiting time. It would of course be horrible to want to actually enforce the law, and expect the person charged with that job to actually do it correctly.12) If Democrats achieve a majority in the House, Barney Frank will chair the Financial Services Committee, Henry Waxman will head the Government Reform Committee, and Alcee Hastings will chair the Intelligence Committee. Wow, if the Democrats achieve a majority they apparent will actually want there own people as party chairpeople. I am frankly shocked.
13) Democrats believe that the proper response to Kim Jong Il's nuclear test is "face to face talks." That's what the Clinton administration did for years. It worked out well, didn't it? Yes actually it did. The North Koreans didn't reopen their nuclear weapons program until GWB came in to office and decided to take a 'different' approach dispite the advise of his then Secretary of State. The went even further when GWB included them in the 'Axis of Evil' and then invaded one of the other members of that Axis. After all they may not have looked at any of that as a threat or anything. Oh and we couldn't expect that Kim would, say, behave like those wonderful and perfectly civilized Libyians could we?
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Windows and Doors
I was informed on Thursday after work, that as of the end of the month I will be laid-off. I believe that this will be a temporary situation and that I will be recalled after the first of the year. (Basically at the beginning of tax season.) But for at the moment, unless something changes, I will be temporarily out of work.
While this was a bit of a shock, I actually am not horribly upset about it at this point. For one thing, it will give me time to finish preparing for the CPA exam. Second, it will lower my 'at work' stress of trying to stay busy the rest of the year. And third, I always have other options to look for short-term income replacement. (Nothing illegal mind you, but things that I can do to create income.)
Oddly, while my wife and I were both upset on Thursday, we both are taking a vary positive attitude on the situation at the moment. (Trust me that is odd. Usually I am the positive one and she is the negative one, but so far she is telling me exactly what she thinks about my 'job search' situation.)
Updates to this situation as I have information.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
How to Stop Unionization 101
Just to be clear before I go off on my rant. I am not the most pro-union person in the world. I feel that unions, in many cases, are more interested in protecting themselves rather than their members. I was employed for a year not that long ago at a union grocery store, during that year I paid my union dues regularly, but got nothing for it. I also saw the union take hours away from union members because of 'minor' issues. I really found the whole situation very frustrating.
All that having been said, I became aware earlier this week of the following. The Bush Administration has changed the definition for what constitutes a nursing supervisor when it comes to unionizing. The problem I have with this is that the new definition is so broad, it neatly prevents the nurses from unionizing. The way the new definition appears to be written, and I would like to add here I am still looking for additional information on this subject, any nurse who has functioned as a Charge Nurse is now defined as a nurse supervisor. My wife has worked at a number of medical facilities as a nurse. She worked for over 5 years at one of the 'T0p Three Hospitals' in the country. Any nurse who was on a floor for more than 6 months would take a turn as a charge nurse. They were not given a choice, they would be designated as a charge nurse. Now the facility in question is not unionized, though several of the hospitals in the 'hospital system' are unionized. They run the poor nurses in to the ground and now they don't have any legal redress to fight the situation if they so wished to.
I have a problem with this. Again, not because I think that a union is the be-all and end-all of labor situations, but the working people should have the option to decide if they wish to be unionized, and not shut out by a bad definition.
Labels: President W
To Stingray #1
The link is to a story about an 81-year-old man who was attacked by a stingray while on a boat with his Granddaughter. Just thought I should mention this.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
The Bush 'Puppet' Speaks
This is the headline of a CNN article from today.
The President said the same things that he has said repeatly before without effect.
"If you listen closely to some of the leaders of the Democratic Party, it sounds like -- it sounds like -- they think the best way to protect the American people is, wait until we're attacked again." This makes me wonder what speaches he is hearing.
The article basically states that he said nothing new and that the comments are part of a 'defense' against the information that is contained in State of Denial.
Oh well, I suppose some one will actually believe that the Democrats shouldn't be trusted to run Congress. Especially after the last couple of weeks with the Republicans in charge.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
I would ask for the forgive of all whom I have offended, and forgive all who have offended me in the last year.
May we all be sealed in the Book of Life for a sweet and healthy year.
May all who visit here have an easy fast.
I will be back after the Yom Tov.
An Interesting Exhibit
The items on display are a wide variety of archeological items from the Holy Land that are of historic value for both Jews and Christians. It gives an interesting look at life during the early Christian period.
If this exhibit is available at some point in an area close to you, I would highly recomend taking the time to see the it. It had dinnerware, tombware, and even a large portion of an early period church to see.
One of the most facinating items was a large segment of the Dead Sea Scroll known as the 'Temple Scroll.'
While I would say much of the exhibit is aimed at Christians more than at Jews, it is still very interesting. This is the first time any of the items that were on display had been outside of Israel. The tour is starting here, but I am not sure where else it is going.