Friday, June 27, 2008

Supreme Court Takes
Second Amendment
Out Of D.C.’s Crosshairs

Many Second Amendment supporters are cheering as the Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the nation’s capital had no right to restrict honest citizens from owning hand guns.

The controversial 32-year-old ban was held by gun control advocates as the ultimate, yet delusional, weapon to preventing crime and something that the rest of the nation should be doing.

However, the advocates always became silent when people mentioned how dangerous Washington, D.C. was because of the ban. This is because the ban did not stop criminals from obtaining guns from different areas and bringing them into the nation’s capital.

But this bit of common sense was lost to leading gun control advocate Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who said this about the ruling:

“I believe the people of this great country will be less safe because of it.”

And this is despite the fact that Washington, D.C., was once this nation’s murder capital. Apparently, Feinstein had her fingers in her ears on her way into the Senate during this time.

Many people are pleased with the ruling, because now honest citizens can start defending themselves against lawbreakers who do not follow the rules, hence their name, lawbreakers.

People like Feinstein do not have a clue as to what is really happening in places that have gun control. England has a strict gun ban and all it resulted are criminals still using guns or knifes to rob and murder their defenseless victims.

A dose of reality is needed for those who honestly believe that restricting decent Americans of their Second Amendment rights is a way to handle crime. And another dose is needed for those who believe that adding another law on top of similar ones will help matters.

Let’s enforce the laws that we have now and make sure that the criminals are punished and not honest folks.

Maybe if politicians like Feinstein did something about the crime in Washington, D.C., then law-abiding citizens would not have the need to purchase firearms to protect themselves.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Saying Good-Bye To George Carlin

It’s tough to say good bye to one of your favorite comedians. What’s even worse is that you take them for granted. You just assume they’ll always be there and BOOM, they’re gone.

That’s what happened when the creator of the “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television” died of apparent heart failure at age 71 yesterday.

George Carlin looked at life with a true critical eye and wasn’t afraid to put any issues in his comedic crosshairs and fired. No topic was safe from his funny, yet thought-provoking criticisms of life, politics and certainly religion. He offended many and made many others laugh at his hilarious rants and also at themselves.

(Editor’s note: The following is part of George Carlin’s standup routine. It has quite a few words and gestures that some people will find offensive and should not be viewed by minors. But if you view it and are offended, as George Carlin would probably say, “Suck it up and deal with it.”)

No matter how big or how small, George Carlin spoke a lot of truths in his standup routines that made everyone look at themselves and realize there is a little bit of George Carlin in all of us to some extent.

He had a unique way of looking at everyday things and putting a crazy little twist to it that made us look at them in a different way and laugh. And even if you didn’t agree with him, Carlin still had a way to make you laugh despite it all.

He told it like it was and he didn’t care what people thought or said about him. He was certainly one of the greatest hard truthers who forced people to see what was wrong with our society and us and still made us laugh at our faults.

However, it makes one wonder who actually had the last laugh. Carlin didn’t believe in a god and would have worshiped the Sun, since he could actually see it. Or he would rather pray to fellow entertainer and friend Joe Pesci simply because Pesci “looks like a guy who can get things done!”

Maybe Carlin found out the hard way that there really is a god, but decided to hang around Heaven anyway. After all, while we lost a man who brought a lot of laughter to the world, the Hereafter gained a man who could give it the laughter it wanted.

Friday, June 20, 2008

What The Falk Is He Talking About?

U.N. official Richard Falk says that there should be investigations into the 9/11 terror attacks, believing that the destruction of the Twin Towers and the Pentagon were the results of an inside job.

It’s hard to believe that Falk is the special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories for the U.N. and a former Princeton professor when he talks about baseless theories.

In a Fox News interview Falk said, “I do think there are questions that haven’t been answered, questions about the way the buildings collapsed and the failure to heed a variety of signals that there was danger coming.”

Questions about the way the buildings collapsed? Apparently, Falk did not see two giant airliners slam into the buildings. That is enough right there to make a rational person realize why the buildings collapsed.

But there is no need for such a money-wasting investigation, because Popular Mechanics has done a great feature that exposes the myths about many of the conspiracy theories that surround the events of America’s darkest day.

While many 9/11 Truthers, as they call themselves, and Falk claim that the Twin Towers collapsed because of a controlled explosion, many experts say the buildings actually fell because the jet fuel and items inside, such as furniture, carpets, etc., were burning at such a high heat that the steel lost its structural integrity. Experts say this is what really caused the collapse of the Twin Towers.

Falk also wrote the forward of a controversial book, “The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9/11,” by David Ray Griffin. The author also writes that the Pentagon was not hit by Flight 77 at all, which conflicts with the many eyewitnesses to the attack and the wreckage found.

And let’s not forget that al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and his merry band of killers took credit for the attacks. It would break their little black hearts if people began to think someone else did their dirty work.

It should be noted that in the FOX News interview that while Falk believes that 9/11 was an inside job; he says that the U.S. government was not responsible. But he does not say who is the alleged evil doer of this plot, which would make a good mystery novel.

While some are calling for Falk’s resignation as a U.N. official for his warped 9/11 beliefs, among other things, one must start questioning Falk’s senses.

While it’s easy to poke fun at people like Falk for their misguided beliefs, we have to realize that their wild, unsubstantiated theories are an insult and a slap in the face to Americans and to the victims’ family and friends.

Falk, as a U.N. official, should dedicate more time to tact and discretion than spewing insulting and groundless tall tales of 9/11.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

And Then There Was Truly One …

Presumed Republican presidential nominee John McCain can breathe a little easier now that fellow GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul has finally quit the race.

It is a sign of relief for McCain, because the U.S. representative from Texas could have pulled a Ralph Nader and ran as an independent, stealing precious votes away from the Arizona senator.

And he would have given McCain a run for his money. Granted, Paul was failing to achieve the same level of supporters, delegates or donations that McCain has, but according to the Associated Press, Paul “raised large amounts of money online and developed a huge grass-roots following.”

In addition, in an open letter to supporters, Paul stated he gained “1.1 million votes in the primaries.” He didn’t win a state, but that’s a number that’s hard to ignore.

While Paul should have stepped out of the race a long time ago, we should not write him off. He struck a cord with a great many Americans, especially Libertarians, Democrats, and independents, who became disenfranchised with the Iraq war, big government spending and what they feel is the desecration of the Constitution. And let’s not forget Republicans who joined Paul's flock.

This is a man who throughout his long political career has stuck to his guns on issues that even his fellow Republican leaders wished would go away. Paul brought up issues that many wanted buried and pointed an accusatory finger at anyone, including fellow GOP members, who were not standing right by Americans.

America has lost out on not having a man with Ron Paul’s integrity in the White House, but Ron Paul has not given up on America. Despite his huge defeat by McCain, Paul has decided to create the “Ron Paul’s Campaign for Liberty.” He plans to educate Americans about various topics, like free markets and non-interventionism, and will support candidates that share his political views.

And while he lost the political race, Paul is not giving up on who he is. Unlike Hillary Clinton, who gave her full endorsement to presumed Democratic nominee Barack Obama, Paul refuses to endorse McCain because he does not think the senator is the best choice for America.

Like him or not, you have to admire this man for his gumption. America could use a good dose of reality from a politician like Paul.

Friday, June 13, 2008

NBC: ‘Meet The Press’
Tim Russert Dies

By Anthony Leone

Tim Russert, best known as moderator of NBC’s “Meet The Press,” collapsed early this afternoon and died, according to the network.

At this time, it has not been reported what caused Russert’s death, according to NBC.

The network also reported that Russert was doing voiceover work for this Sunday’s “Meet The Press,” when he collapsed.

Russert recently came back from a family trip in Italy, where the family celebrated his son’s graduation from Boston College.

The 58-year-old Russert became the Washington bureau chief for NBC in 1984 and in December 1991, became host of “Meet the Press.” He was also the vice president of NBC News.

Last year, Russert was involved in the highly popular court case against former Chief of Staff to Vice President Dick Cheney I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby.

Libby testified that he rediscovered that former U.S. Ambassador and Iraq war opponent Joseph Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, worked for the CIA during a July 2003 telephone conversation with Russert.

Russert testified that was not true and the he did not find out Plame worked for the CIA until days after the phone conversation.

Russert worked for New York Democrat Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s Senatorial campaign in 1976 and continued to work for Moynihan as chief of staff until 1982. From 1983 until 1984, he was New York Gov. Mario Cuomo’s counselor.

Russert is survived by his wife, Maureen Orth, a Vanity Fair writer, and their son, Luke.

(Editor’s Note: This is not an editorial or a column, but a news story from media reports, Wikipedia and court transcripts provided by NPR.)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Kucinich’s Impeachment Quest May Hurt Obama’s White House Bid

Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich introduced 35 articles of impeachment against President Bush. But his quest to remove the President from office may hurt presumed Democratic nominee Barack Obama’s own quest to win the 2008 election.

What was the reaction by his fellow Democrats? They pretty much opposed the former presidential candidate’s futile efforts. In fact, Democratic leaders are expected to table the resolution by referring it to the Judiciary Committee, where they hope it will be buried and forgotten.

The articles deals with such things as the Iraq war, global warming, allegedly holding American citizens and “foreign captives” (let’s call them terrorists) illegally, voting rights, and President Bush’s handling of Hurricane Katrina, just to name a few. But let’s focus on the Iraq war.

Now, let’s forget a few things about why the impeachment will fail, such as how the U.N. never enforced its own resolutions against former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, so no one knew if he really had his weapons of mass destruction. Or that the U.N. voted in agreement to the resolution that Saddam still had WMD.

Or how former President Bill Clinton ordered Operation Desert Fox to deal with Saddam’s weapons programs, after Iraq failed, again, to provide U.N. weapons inspectors with an honest account of them. Or how there were reports that Saddam shipped his WMD to Syria before the 2003 war.

But let’s remember that a great number of Democrats who said many times during the buildup of the war that Saddam was a danger to America and the world with his deadly weapons. Did they lie too? They saw the same information that the President saw. So, does that mean there will be an impeachment for Bush and the Democrats?

And more importantly, this will not only shatter Obama’s chances for the White House, but the Democrat’s as well. Why?

Obama was strongly against going into Iraq from the very start. And here is a speech he gave in October 2002 at an anti-war rally that will probably come back to haunt him:

“(Saddam) has repeatedly defied UN resolutions, thwarted UN inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity. He’s a bad guy. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him,” the possible future president said nearly six years ago.

Now, if Kucinich’s goal is to get rid of President Bush from the White House, it could also rid the Democrats’ goal from getting into it.

This is why House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer and fellow Democrat and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have said that they would not pursue impeachment charges against the President. Because not only will it air the Democrat’s dirty laundry that a good number of them voted to give President Bush the power to go to war, but it will show how they are not unified if their presumed nominee was against going to war.

And more importantly, Obama’s speech is a huge weapon against him. He said that Saddam had WMD and knew that Saddam was a threat to the world and that U.N. resolutions were useless against the bloody dictator. But he didn’t think removing him was important enough for America’s safety.

Wow. What a thing to say. Because the Republicans can highlight this speech and point to Obama’s global inexperience and how he should not be the one to answer the phone about a national security threat at 3 a.m.

Granted, the President should have handled the war better. He should have given the U.N. weapons inspectors a lot more time before considering military use. His administration should not have allowed retired generals and other former military leaders to sell the war to TV networks. But it still boils down to one thing: At the time, we found ourselves in a global terror war and we needed to know once and for all whether or not Saddam had those weapons. And because Kucinich opened up this can of worms, the Democrats are going to have a hard time putting the lid back on.

Kucinich is the little engine that shouldn’t. He either does not realize or care that he is sabotaging his party’s chances for the White House. And Kucinich is showing how ineffective Obama will be as a Commander-In-Chief.

Kucinich’s impeachment crusade is like Don Quixote’s battle with the windmill: There is nothing there that warrants these charges.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Solutions Needed To
Help Troubled Youth

Many around the world were shocked when they learned that a 25-year-old Japanese man allegedly used his truck to run down a group of people, jumped out of his vehicle and stabbed 18 people, killing seven in Tokyo.

In fact, knife attacks have become too familiar in Japan, once proud of its low crime rates. This past March, there was a random stabbing outside a train station in Tokyo and in January of this year, five people were hurt in another stabbing attack, reports Reuters.

Over in the United Kingdom, The Times did a feature article on teen-agers and how they deal with gangs and knife attacks, which are becoming too common. Just looking at someone the wrong way or telling another teen what town they are from can result in a “shanking” or stabbing.

The residents of the two countries believe they share a common link to the cause of crime: No one will listen to them.

The teen-agers in the United Kingdom claim that the police are accusatory towards them, especially towards black youths, and the Japanese believe that the family structure is deteriorating.

“Recently, peoples’ relationships have become strained,” 29-year-old Taishi Ikeda, of Japan, told Reuters in an interview. “There’s no-one to talk to when you’re troubled.”

Granted, there are many factors for the decline of society, such as economics, politics, trouble in the home, or just the individuals themselves. The list certainly goes on and on.

Trying to find a solution will not be easy for this problem. Knee-jerk reactions are not going to help, such as the one from Japan’s top government spokesman Nobutaka Machimura, who suggested tighter restrictions on obtaining survival knives, like the one allegedly used by the 25-year-old man.

Some people believed that tighter or even complete gun control in the United Kingdom and Japan would drastically reduced violent crime. However, it just made criminals seek out other weapons to harm or kill innocent citizens.

Either tougher new laws or enforcement of current laws can be productive in punishing criminals. However, more is needed to reach out to youths before they find their way into a dead end alley with a person holding a sharp instrument of death in his hand.

Politicians and police should make more of an effort to helping or improving social programs to keeping kids off the streets. They should also make sure that counselors are on hand to help discuss the problems that most young people, and even young adults, are facing.

But while we feel sorry for the terrible conditions that troubled youths and young adults find themselves in, it should not excuse any crimes that they commit. Wrong is wrong and it should be punished.

But there needs to be more recognition on the solutions to prevent these people from finding themselves in a hopeless situation.

Sure, there are many youths who do great good and go unnoticed. And it’s important to recognize the good deeds done by others to show us all that there is a lot of hope left in this world.

However, showing the negative is just as important, because it shows where we as a society and as a people are failing and how we need to address and fix these problems.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Clinton Calls It Quits, No Big Surprise

Sen. Hillary Clinton, certainly one of the most powerful Democrats to seek her party’s nomination since her husband, Bill Clinton, quit her quest for the White House as first woman president.

But it was not that big of a story. The media was reporting since Wednesday that Clinton was expected to step out of the race and would endorse her one-time foe since Sen. Barack Obama seemingly won the nomination. And it did not come to a great surprise that she would urge her faithful supporters to switch sides and join Obama.

However, one had to hold their nose at the blatant hypocrisy when Clinton threw her endorsement and support to Obama. After all, she was the one who said that the Illinois senator was “irresponsible and frankly naïve.” Certainly not the words of encouragement she had for him then. But that’s the world of politics.

But it can be said that Hillary Clinton did the decent thing today by stepping out of the race and not prolonging it by taking it to the Democratic National Convention in August, as she vowed to do.

But just because there were no big surprises today in Clinton’s speech, it was still a historic moment in history.

“Though we weren’t able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you it’s got about 18 million cracks in it,” Clinton told her audience from the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., as reported by CNN.

This is the first time in American history that a woman was very close to getting her party’s nomination. But the best person won, a biracial black man, who also made history by getting his party’s nomination.

The cracks of equality will not be easy to ignore when we all either look up or down at the glass ceiling.

Losing Our Way

What does it say about our society that we turn a blind eye or just stand by and watch by the sidelines as another fellow human being is in the middle of the street, after being hit by a car?

Sadly, this isn’t a hypothetical question. Angel Arce Torres was crossing a busy street in Hartford, Conn., where one car swerved to miss him, but a second car behind the first one hit the 78-year-old man and kept going.

But what has gotten Hartford Police Chief Daryl Roberts so upset was how bystanders walked by and just stood there; gawking at the elderly man as he lay unconscious in the middle of the street. Other cars swerved from running over him and kept going their merry way. Thankfully, police say there were four 911 calls. Torres is listed in critical condition.

(Editor's Note: The following is a video of the accident, released by the Hartford Police Department. Some may find it disturbing to watch, so please use your own discretion. It's advised that young children should not watch the following.)

It’s despicable how a driver can hit anyone, let alone an elderly man, and keep on going. Torres was like a rag doll, tumbling head over feet when the car hit him, and at one point the car carried Torres several feet.

But how can anyone on the sidewalk or other drivers just stand there as precious time ticks away before a police car arrives at the scene, a whole 67 seconds after the accident?

Granted, it has been said that no one should move a person who has been in an accident for fear of causing further harm and to wait for trained medical personnel. But these people just stood there and gaped at him, as if they expected Torres to get up and start walking again. Cars passed by him and one person in an SUV parked to the side of the road right after the accident, but then drove off.

Fortunately, there were quick-thinking citizens who took action and called for help. The others could have stopped traffic to ensure that Torres wouldn’t get hit by another car.

They say that actions speak louder than words. However, these peoples’ inaction is deafening. It’s time that as a society that we start caring for each other and reach out with a helping hand when we can.

We simply cannot sit by anymore and watch another fellow human being suffer and hope someone else does the right thing.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Clinton-Obama Meeting Stirs VP Rumors

Rumors are spreading today as Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are holding a not-so secret meeting.

So far, no one in the know has revealed what the two are discussing. However, we have New York Senator Charles Schumer, a Clinton supporter, saying she will accept the vice president’s position if it’s offered to her. No kidding and no big surprise there.

Then we have Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson saying, “She is not seeking the vice presidency, and no one speaks for her but her.” Bull. Of course she’s trying to get the position. No one can seriously believe that she isn’t.

In fact, tomorrow Clinton is expected to make her official announcement that she’s stepping out of the race and will endorse Obama. That might be a good time for the two of them to announce together that they decided to put their differences aside, forget to mention the dirty attacks on each other, and tell America that there will indeed be an Obama-Clinton ticket.

It has already been discussed how an Obama-Clinton ticket could hurt the presumed Democratic presidential nominee. But it has been mentioned that one of the key things that could help the Illinois senator is the huge amount of die-hard supporters that Clinton can give him.

Whatever experiences Hillary Clinton has, it’s her supporter base that will be more beneficial to Obama. And it’s something that he is surely considering.

Granted, Clinton has also served on many committees while as senator of New York, such as Committee on Armed Services, Committee on Budget and Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, just to name a few. And she is also a commissioner of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe.

So those credentials might be useful as well for Obama. However, she seemingly does not have the great number of years behind her as an elected official and just as important, Clinton does not have any experience holding an international title that would help Obama’s lack of one. He simply does not have any global leadership experience.

Yes, Obama has gone overseas as a U.S. senator and has been involved in important meetings and speeches. But he lacks experience that comes with years of being in office. Now, as mentioned before, one of the people who would be better suited to help Obama in the international department is New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, who is a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Richardson can be a very attractive person to have by your side.

After all, educated voters do look at what the vice presidential nominee can bring to the table.

However, if Obama only cares about winning the race, then he might very well bring Clinton on as vice president and use her supporters only as a giant stepping stone to the White House. Once there, he can have his pick of the best political and international advisors. But it’s hard to imagine Clinton just silently sitting by the sidelines. There will be a lot of headbutting between the two until they can reach a resolve, hopefully.

And let’s pretend that they will make an announcement tomorrow about a joint union, then that gives them a big jump start in their campaign against GOP presumed nominee John McCain, who has not announced his own vice president as of yet.

With politics, you never know what’s going to happen next, but rumors do make things more interesting before anything is official.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Hillary Clinton’s Shattered Dreams?

Poor Hillary Clinton. When she unsurprisingly entered this race in January of 2007, the New York Senator probably thought that by tonight, she would be giving her victory speech to her enduring fans and supporters, after clinching the majority of the delegates. She was supposed to be the first female nominated presidential candidate in U.S. history.

But not all dreams come true, because out of nowhere, came Barack Obama, the young, charismatic junior senator from Illinois who stole Clinton’s dream. He wowed Democrats and the nation with his charms and offered a fresh new look to the tired, old faces that we were all too used to seeing.

But regardless of Obama’s entrance, why isn’t she preparing her victory speech tonight? Because for the large part, it’s been her undoing. Clinton played too much dirty politics, with trying to label Obama as a Muslim, to claiming she was under sniper fire but wasn’t, and when her aides were caught giving soft-ball questions to audience members to ask her during speeches. And let’s not forget about those teary-eyed incidents. Plus, getting into the two candidates’ policies would be very time consuming to get into.

These poor excuses used to run part of her campaign and combined with Obama’s dynamic entrance to this race made Democrats leave her side and join his ranks. Democrats in political boards right now hope that Hillary will lose the nomination to Obama, and that speaks volumes about the New York senator and her lack of unifying her party.

Many believed that because of her large female support, she would be a shoe-in for not only her party’s nomination but the White House. But even that wasn’t enough to lead her to a victory speech tonight.

It’s surprising that after years of being in law, as a governor’s wife and then a president’s wife, one would think that Hillary Clinton would have learned some critical lessons and mistakes made by politicians she has met. Many expected her to be in top form, a well-polished politician who knew what to say and what to do in a major election.

Surprisingly, this was not the case. She dropped the ball too many times and made an embarrassing spectacle of herself. Who knows what would have happened if she ran a cleaner, a more well-oiled campaign. But at the moment, it looks as if we’ll never know.

So, with one shattered dream down, another one like the legendary phoenix will arise: Clinton’s new goal is to become Obama’s vice president, if the media reports are true.

But when the dust settles tonight and Hillary Clinton walks into her bathroom to get ready for bed, what will she see when she looks in the mirror? What will her reflection reveal to her? Maybe she’ll think about the poor choices that she made that led to her failed campaign. Or maybe she’ll think of ways to blame her losing race on someone else and save those “excuses” some time later.

But will Hillary Clinton admit that the one candidate that made her lose her most precious goal was not Barack Obama but herself?

AP Tallys Obama As Nominee

By Anthony Leone

Barack Obama has sealed himself as the 2008 Democratic nominee, according to an Associated Press tally of superdelegates endorsements.

The nonpublic confirmation of these endorsements by the superdelegates themselves means that if Obama also wins Montana’s and South Dakota’s combined 31 delegates, the Democratic senator from Illinois will most likely lead his party in the White House race.

It is uncertain at this time whether Obama’s rival, Senator Hillary Clinton, will concede the race or will wait and see what the outcome of tonight’s races will be tomorrow, according to FOX News and the Associated Press. Her aides told FOX News that she is planning a victory-style speech in New York City tonight, saying that the senator from the Empire State will claim a popular vote victory.

An unnamed participant, who is not authorized to speak for the New York senator, said that Clinton is keeping herself open to be Obama’s running mate, according to the Associated Press.

(Editor’s Note: This is not an opinion-piece, but a news story based off media reports. Please come back later this evening for two editorial commentaries.)