Saturday, August 30, 2008

Palin Picked Because Of Sex?

Who is Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin? She’s basically the counterpart of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Essentially, they’re the same: Very little political experience, both pretty young compared to their older partners and both are minorities, more or less.

Presumed Republican presidential candidate John McCain made a calculated risk that just might help him. He selected Palin just because she’s a woman and to attract the good number of Hillary supporters, especially women, who are still bitter that Obama got the Democratic nomination and not Hillary Clinton. Many have already joined McCain’s camp.

But what does Palin offer besides her female attributes? Actually, plenty. She has been elected to a city council, then a mayor and then onto the governor of Alaska. While not having much experience in the big political pond of Washington, D.C., she does have more experience than Obama when it comes to being a leader.

Obama has been in the Illinois Senate and a U.S. Senator, where he represented the people. Palin has held positions where she has led the people. That means that people voted for Palin to be their leader, which is a bigger responsibility than electing someone to represent you.

She has certainly worked very hard on the state level and even upset fellow Republicans when it was not in the best interest of the party. While appointed chairwoman of the Alaska Oil & Gas Conservation Commission, she investigated fellow commission chair and Republican Randy Ruedrich about breaking state ethics law. The result was that Ruedrich resigned and that he paid a $12,000 fine.

This and other incidences shows that Palin has what it takes to stand up to her own party in order to do what’s right. Certainly a very courageous talent that is desperately needed in Washington. This should make Republicans and Democrats shake in their boots, because Palin seems to be the type of leader that isn’t going to be intimidated by higher powers and she’ll easily adapt to the big changes that Washington has to offer.

Some have criticized McCain for choosing an inexperienced Palin to be his vice presidential running mate, because he has been attacking Obama on his inexperience. Certainly fair, however the difference is that it’s the experienced McCain who is running to be the president, not the inexperienced Palin. Certainly a big difference and it is an inexperienced Obama who is running for president.

But with her tough-as-nails leadership, even Palin must realize that there is only one reason why McCain picked her over veteran politicians who are more familiar with the goings on of Washington.

The question is: Is Palin OK that McCain is using her sex to help him win female voters and the election? That and many similar sex-base questions are certainly going to bombard the Republican duo and they should be asked. After all, Palin seems almost perfect to counteract a biracial Obama. He will certainly get a lot of the black vote, while Palin can help with getting the women vote.

It does seem to be blatantly obvious why McCain singled out Palin to be his vice presidential running mate and a slick political move. It's clearly a desperate attempt by McCain to unseat Obama's growing chances of winning the White House.

It is a shame that Palin is not solely chosen for her impressive, but limited political leadership. Only time will tell if this was a wise political move on McCain's part come November.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Going On Vacation

Hello all. I'll be away on a mini vacation and I'll be back Wednesday evening. I won't have e-mail or Internet access until then.

Of course, I didn't time it well since the Democratic Convention will be in full swing while I'm away, but you have to take a vacation when the getting is good.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Biden Factor

The wondering has ceased and the political world cannot stop talking about Barack Obama’s choice to be his vice presidential running mate, Delaware Sen. Joe Biden.

Many Hillary Clinton supporters are no doubt furious that the presumed Democratic nominee did not choose the New York senator, but it was a calculated maneuver that he had to take. As it has been mentioned before, having a double-minority ticket would be too much for some closed-minded Americans to accept.

In addition, many are already having a hard time swallowing the hypocrisy of having Clinton throwing support to the Illinois senator after hearing from her about how unqualified he is to be president during the long campaign trail.

But sadly, many of us have to deal with a double dose of that hypocrisy, because Biden too has said that Obama does not have what it takes to be president. And that’s not all he said.

“I am not running for vice president,” Biden said at the time, as a Democratic presidential candidate himself, in an August 2007 interview with FOX News. “I would not accept it if anyone offered it to me. The fact of the matter is I’d rather stay as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee than be vice president.”

Of course Biden would take it. Not too many politicians would refuse to have that job title. But that is something that Obama has to be concerned about: Biden’s infamous “running of the mouth.” Who can forget in a February 2007 interview that the Delaware senator said this to his possible future boss?

“I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man,” Biden said in a New York Observer article. That “openness” created a backlash and it just might cost Obama his chance at the White House.

However, Biden does have a lot to offer as vice president because of his long history of being in the Senate. And his liberal voting record may help Hillary supporters swallow the bitter pill that Obama picked someone else, but who does mirror Clinton’s views.

Biden’s experience will clearly help Obama’s inexperience and he can certainly guide him on important issues. But this grandfatherly portrayal just might magnify Obama’s inability to lead this nation.

Only time will tell if Obama made a wise choice in Biden.

Yet, Obama seems to be one step ahead of his Republican counterpart, John McCain. The Arizona senator is expected to announce his own vice presidential running mate soon, but Obama made sure he beat him to the punch by doing it first. It shows that Obama is more organized than McCain and the Democratic Duo has already politically attacked him.

McCain will have to make a quick recovery and wisely choose his partner if he hopes to overcome an Obama-Biden ticket in November.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Real Life Superheroes?

Move over Batman and Robin, there are some other vigilantes going after drug dealers: New Jersey Ninjas.

Two young men decided to dress up as ninjas and armed themselves with their collection of ninja-style weapons (swords, nunchucks and even a cross bow), and wanted to send letters warning drug dealers and users of the dangers of illegal substances after their friend was caught up in it.

While these young men may have had good intentions, what they did was dangerous. As the old Italians used to say, “Never bring a knife to a gunfight.”

Sadly, too many people see a Chuck Norris film and watch “Hidden Tiger Crouching Dragon,” 20 times and they start to think that a ninja can really flip in the air five times and dodge bullets and kill the bad guys with his sword and throwing stars.

The reality is that doesn’t happen. It might if the drug dealer laughs so hard that he cries and doesn’t see the nunchuks coming towards his head. But his fellow drug dealers will probably see it and pull out a weapon that uses ancient Chinese gunpowder.

Assuming that their aim was to scare drug dealers and users into giving up their deadly ways, it was clearly misdirected. Yet, many can see the frustrations from citizens who are in the grip of the crimes and dangers that are created by the drug world. In a world of instant entertainment, people want instant results.

While the Wild West ways may yield those instant results, it may very well create a slippery slope that can easily lead to chaos.

But hopefully this will send a message to police and elected government officials that citizens are tired of the drug war and would like to see the type of results that can only be found in action movies – the instant kind.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

School Responsible
For Gay Boy’s Death?

A gay junior high school student was shot and killed in school last February by a fellow classmate because of a variety of reasons it turns out. And now his parents want to sue the school district for not enforcing the dress code when the boy was dressing in women’s attire.

In fact, the whole case has been riddled with drama from the beginning: The victim, Lawrence “Larry” King, allegedly came from a broken home. His mother was a drug abuser and his father was gone, according to a Newsweek article. It seems as if he was adopted by Greg and Dawn King at age 2 and at age 15 Larry King was living at a group home at the time of his death due to alleged problems with Greg King, according to the Newsweek article.

His alleged murderer, Brandon McInerney, 14, killed him because either there was a confrontation between the two boys or simply because King was gay. McInerney has been charged as an adult for King’s murder.

Certainly, that’s the sad part. Now here comes the astounding part:

The parents of Larry King, who attended E.O. Green Junior High School in Oxnard, Ca., are suing the school district for not enforcing the school dress code when their son would wear makeup and feminine clothing to school.

Granted, these are grieving parents of a 15-year-old boy and no parent could imagine what type of hell that is, losing a son who was murdered possibly because of his sexual orientation.

But it really cheapens King’s death even more so by suing the school district for not enforcing the dress code. But according to the California Attorney General’s Office, the school couldn’t stop King from wearing women’s jewelry or makeup because the state has a hate-crime law that prevents gender discrimination.

Clearly, the Kings should have been the ones responsible for how Larry King dressed, not the school. The school was caught up in a politically correct legal web, thus it could not enforce any school code on Larry King. Yet, today’s parents seem to believe that teachers and school officials should also play the role of “parent” when it comes to their children. But that is a role only reserved for them and it shouldn’t be handed to anyone else.

Yes, Larry King did not come from an ideal home and he was living in a group home at the time of his death. Clearly, this is not a typical living arrangement. But his parents were able to reach him and instruct him.

Teenagers face growing difficulties with each passing generation. And while it’s commendable that society is becoming more accepting to gay Americans, that acceptance is not carried out by most teenagers, who are still trying to find their way in the world.

Regardless of gender discrimination laws and dress codes, someone should have told Larry King of the consequences of dressing inappropriately in middle school and that person should have been one of his parents.

But let’s not forget who is solely responsible for Larry King’s death and that is his alleged killer.

Friday, August 15, 2008

From Bigfoot To Big Believing

It got some pretty good media coverage, even if some of the reporting was a little tongue-in-cheek. And it was something that Bigfoot believers and researchers have been waiting for their whole lives: an actual Bigfoot body.

And who knows if they really got it or not. Matthew Whitton and Rick Dyer, both from Georgia, and Tom Biscardi, host of a Bigfoot Internet radio show, presented to the world in California today with photos of an alleged Bigfoot body.

They claim that the body is kept in a secret location until scientists can run detailed tests on it. So far, tests done on three DNA samples from the alleged Bigfoot have revealed to be: One sample was human, the second sample was from an opossum and the third sample could not be conducted because of a technical problem.

However, even Bigfoot researchers don’t believe the claim and Whitton and Dyer have given three different versions of how they came across the supposed body.

The famed hairy giant has been spotted by American Indians for centuries and even early American settlers have reported seeing the beast. And it continues to this day. In fact, every corner of the world has its own variation of an ape-like man.

With so many witnesses’ accounts spanning centuries from different countries, including pictures and video recordings, it does appear that some creature is out there. The majority of unconvinced scientists should not dismiss Bigfoot entirely without doing some proper research.

However, hoaxers who enjoy playing a joke or trying to make a quick buck have certainly hurt the credible claims of witnesses and those who spend tireless hours researching and looking for the elusive beast. And according to serious Bigfoot hunters, Whitton, Dyer and Biscardi are hoaxers, but only time will tell if that is true or not.

If the creature is out there, and many sober, credible witnesses claim that it is, it is only a matter of time before real evidence will be produced.

In the meantime, researchers have a tireless two-front battle on their hands: Finding evidence of Bigfoot and discrediting hoaxers that severely damage their cause.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Clinton’s Name On Nomination List

Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s name has been placed on the nomination list for the Democratic Convention for symbolic reasons.

Now, it couldn’t be that symbolic if it took both her and presumed Democratic nominee Barack Obama (or their people anyway) weeks to negotiate to have her name on the nomination list in the first place. If it really meant something, it would have taken less than an hour to place her John Hancock on the list if it was really that symbolic.

Sure, it’s a nice thing to do for a political loser. But the reality is it’s like giving a kid who came in second in a bowling contest a small, cheap plastic trophy cup, while the winner gets a solid-gold statue of himself. That’s what it really boils down to: They placed Clinton’s name on the list just to stroke her badly hurt ego.

Because what type of “emblematic” meaning is there behind getting Clinton’s name on the list? Sure, it’s to recognize “the former first lady’s groundbreaking presidential run.”

But it’s not like Clinton is the first woman to run for president. Sure, you can call it “groundbreaking,” but that’s only because Hillary Clinton is easily the most recognizable woman in politics. It’s her celebrity-like recognition and status that allowed her to go so far and not solely because she’s a woman. Don’t believe me? Go ask Caroline P. Killeen or Cynthia McKinney how their campaign for president is going.

However, let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that symbolism is the only reason why Clinton’s name is on the list. Her name is on there just to make her disgruntled backers happy and hopefully convince them that Obama isn’t such a bad sport and back him for now on. Because a lot of them are still extremely bitter that Obama basically won his party’s nomination.

When Hillary Clinton entered this race, I wrote that it would be a wild ride. She hasn’t let me down yet.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

U.S. Denies Israel’s Weapons Request

The U.S. has denied a request by Israel for weapons or military equipment because the U.S. believes it would be used for an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, reported the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz.

The story is highly suspect however, because the Haaretz does not offer a source for the alleged request, but other media have reported that Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak does not deny the Haaretz story. So that seems to authenticate what the Haaretz reported.

But what can be gained from such an attack? As history has shown the world, it would prolong Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons development by years. In 1981, Israel attacked Iraq’s nuclear reactor and as recently as 2007, Israel attacked Syria’s clandestine nuclear reactor.

But according to an Institute for Science and International Security report, an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities might not work.

And recently, Iran has stated it would continue its nuclear program despite more sanctions from the U.N. The U.S. and other nations believe that Iran’s nuclear program is not for peaceful energy for its people, as Iran has stated, but for nuclear-grade weapons.

And with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad saying that Israel is dying and has called for its destruction, it would be foolish to assume that Iran does not have sinister intentions for its nuclear facilities. After all, Ahmadinejad claims that Iran's nuclear program is for peaceful purposes and yet he has stated that Israel should be wiped off the map.

Let’s suppose that Israel will attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, what would happen? Besides pushing development of any nuclear weapons back a good number of years, Israel would undoubtedly suffer deadly retaliation from Iran, Syria, Hamas, and other terrorists groups who would like to see the Jewish state die in a smoldering hole.

There are ramifications that Israel would have to face, however it is a country that has a long history of being nearly constantly attacked by its neighbors. A preemptive strike by Israel is not an act of aggression, as some would say, but an act of self-preservation.

Israel has the right to exist regardless of threats and dissociations from Iran and terrorists groups. However, Israel should continue seeking non-combative solutions with Iran until they are exhausted.

But while a preemptive strike to ensure Israel’s existence should not be the first option, it should be an option nonetheless.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Olympics Sets The Stage For Tragedy

The Olympics give us a rare opportunity for the world to come together and watch the achievements of athletes who win by pushing themselves beyond their endurance.

However, the Olympics unwillingly place world events on a stage to be speculated and ridiculed. When China was awarded to host the 2008 Olympics, its atrocious human rights record gained more attention than what government officials wanted.

These limitations were further magnified when it was reported that the freedoms that China promised to international journalists were severely tighten and restricted.

Certainly not something that should surprise too many. If a communist country cares little for its own people, why should they care about foreign visitors?

But the most recent event that was calculatingly placed on the Olympic world stage is the current conflict between Georgia and Russia, with South Ossetia sandwiched in the middle.

While the Olympics is one of the few events that can draw many diverse nations and people together to make them cheer together in the glory of winning and share a moment of sorrow in defeat, the Olympics, in a unique way, also brought many together to bear a tearful witness of the tragedy of the loss of people in South Osseria or the loss of a people’s freedoms in China.

Because these two events have, in a horrific fashion, been place on the same stage where people competing for gold metals for impressive achievements of the human body, this murdering of decency forced us all to take notice of them and not be able to turn away.

While these things should not intrude on the Olympics, nonetheless they have and we should not turn a blind eye. This would be a good time for the world to truly unite together to better help our fellow men and women of these injustices. The accomplishment in this would be worth more than a million gold metals.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Can Edwards Recover
From Affair Scandal?

Former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards’ dreams of being Barack Obama’s vice president are shattered after he admitted to having an affair with 44-year-old novice filmmaker Rielle Hunter, reported ABC News today.

It has been speculated that meetings with Obama and then Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton a few months back after dropping out of the race that Edwards would be their choice for vice president. That speculation was further fueled when Edwards endorsed Obama this past May.

While Edwards’ experience in the Senate and in politics in general would have made him a very attractive candidate for the VP position, having an affair on his terminally ill wife would turn down even the most morally challenged politician. Granted, Edwards told ABC News that his wife’s cancer was in remission during his affair, but that isn’t how some people are going to see the 2006 fling.

And when the National Enquirer first reported on this recently, it was reported that Edwards fathered a child with Hunter, but Edwards’ former campaign aide, Andrew Young, has stated that he is the baby’s father.

Now, what does this really mean for Edwards’ political career? It will hurt him, but he can recover from it like Bill Clinton. Clinton had numerous alleged affairs, not including the Monica Lewinsky one, and he’s approval ratings were still quite good. America still loved him.

With Edwards background of helping the lower class and the poor, he is basically a media darling in that regard. Whatever political faults he may have, Edwards’ heart is in the right place when it comes to people in need. Many might easily forgive Edwards for his affair and say he was under stress of losing his wife Elizabeth before hand. Some might see that as a “noble” and understanding cause of running into another woman’s arms.

By no means is this an excuse for Edwards to cheat on his wife, but merely how some will see it. Besides, Edwards is no Eliot Spitzer, the former New York Democratic governor who was caught with a call girl earlier this year.

However, there seems to be more to this than meets the eye. Hunter, who was hired in 2006 to film campaign videos for Edwards, had been living under false names while she was pregnant and lived in expensive homes in North Carolina and California, according to ABC News. Her baby girl was born on Feb. 27 of this year.

And Edwards claimed that he has not paid any money to keep Hunter silent about their affair, “but said it was possible some of his friends or supporters may have made payments without telling him,” ABC News reported Edwards as saying, a former North Carolina senator.

(Editor's note: It an updated story, ABC News has reported that Edwards' 2008 national finance chairman Fred Baron stated that he gave "assistance" to Hunter without the former senator's knowledge, according to an e-mail sent by him to the news network late on Friday.)

And Edwards also told ABC News that he did not tell his wife of the famous Beverly Hills Hilton meeting with Hunter last month.

It is only a matter of time before the whole truth comes out. Edwards just has to take his medicine that the media onslaught and his wife will give him before he even considers entering politics again.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

McCain’s Sleazy Campaign Ads

Recently, Paris Hilton created her own ad to counterattack presumed Republican presidential nominee John McCain’s ad that compared the heiress and celebrity with his political foe.

Yes, McCain has launched some sleazy ads against his Democratic presumed presidential counterpart, Barack Obama. Because of certain things that Obama has said, McCain had campaign ads that linked the Illinois Senator with airhead celebrities or is the next political Messiah.

And yes, these campaign ads are sleazy and tactless. Sadly, they do not begin and end with John McCain. All politicians from both sides of the political aisle enjoy launching their attack ads at their opponents.

But who is it really for? Are these ads for die-hard political supporters with their rose-colored glasses locked on? It’s only these people who usually eat up these ads, but where does it leave the rest of us who are looking beyond these political shenanigans and want real substance from the people who want to be our next president?

People like us would rather have McCain and Obama spend their money more wisely by telling us what their plans are for this country with its crumbling economy and facing a global terror war. But instead, they would rather childishly criticize each other than offer real solutions to the problems we face.

And the real sad part is that Paris Hilton made more sense in her mock campaign ad than either McCain or Obama in their attempts to fix the oil crisis.

Paris Hilton For President - Wait What?!!

But no, that does not appear to be what these candidates are after. As one reader told me in the last presidential election while I was an editor of a newspaper, “It seems as if the candidates spend more time telling us how bad the other guy is.”

And that’s exactly right. Last week we had Obama falsely accusing McCain and President Bush of planning on using racial scare tactics and offered no real proof of them doing it. And McCain has been telling us that a star-struck Obama would not make a good president.

If candidates are unwilling to give voters more informative campaign ads that tell us how they are going to make their plans work for Americans, than at the very least, stop with the tasteless attack ads. By doing so, these candidates insult our intelligence.

Take Down the Bird Feeder

I don't normally do this, but a good friend of mine and a devoted reader of The Times Observer forwarded me this in an e-mail and I thought it would make a nice little addition here. It's funny and it makes a lot of sense for the most part. Feel free to pass it along.

The analogy is absolutely right on . .

Maxine tells it like it is!!!!

I bought a bird feeder. I hung
it on my back porch and filled
it with seed. What a beauty of
a bird feeder it is, as I filled it
lovingly with seed. Within a
week we had hundreds of birds
taking advantage of the
continuous flow of free and
easily accessible food.

But then the birds started
building nests in the boards
of the patio, above the table,
and next to the barbecue.

Then came the poop. It was
everywhere: on the patio tile,
the chairs, the table ....

Then some of the birds
turned mean. They would
dive bomb me and try to
peck me even though I had
fed them out of my own

And others birds were
boisterous and loud. The
sat on the feeder and
squawked and screamed at
all hours of the day and night
and demanded that I fill it
when it got low on food.

After a while, I couldn't even
sit on my own back porch
anymore. So I took down the
bird feeder and in three days
the birds were gone. I cleaned
up their mess and took down
the many nests they had built
all over the patio.

Soon, the back yard was like
it used to be...... quiet, serene
and no one demanding their
rights to a free meal.

Now let's see.
Our government gives out
free food, subsidized housing,
free medical care, and free
education and allows anyone
born here to be an automatic

Then the illegals came by the
tens of thousands. Suddenly
our taxes went up to pay for
free services; small apartments
are housing 5 families; you
have to wait 6 hours to be seen
by an emergency room doctor;
your child's 2nd grade class is
behind other schools because
over half the class doesn't speak

Corn Flakes now come in a
bilingual box; I have to
'press one' to hear my bank
talk to me in English, and
people waving flags other
than 'Old Glory' are
squawking and screaming
in the streets, demanding
more rights and free liberties.

Just my opinion, but maybe
it's time for the government
to take down the bird feeder.
If you agree, pass it on; if not,
continue cleaning up the poop!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

NY Times Attacks McCain
For Defending Himself

I want to say this burns my bacon, but to be honest, it explodes it.

The New York Times’ editorial board wrote an opinion piece about Barack Obama accusing John McCain and President Bush of using or planning on using racial scare tactics. But while many would think that they would go after Obama, they instead attack John McCain for firing back at Obama’s false accusations.

First, they claim that McCain’s attack ad of comparing Obama with drunken celebrity Britney Spears was a “racially tinged attack” on the Illinois senator. How they make this great leap of illogic, The New York Times makes a weak case for it.

While there has been no real evidence that McCain has or will use race against Obama, The New York Times decides to paint him guilty of racial attacks anyway by associating the Arizona senator with a few dirty Republicans who allegedly used a racial attack on black Senator candidate Harold Ford in Tennessee in 2006. The ads against Ford “juxtaposed” him with white women, according to The New York Times.

However, the only ad that I could find that’s against Ford isn’t a racial attack at all and it’s still a weak comparison with McCain’s ad, because if you’re going to sleazily compare a presidential candidate with an airhead celebrity, who better than Britney Spears? It seems like a good case of The New York Times seeing things that aren’t there.

Is John McCain's political ad a racial attack against Obama? The New York Times seems to think so.

And instead of attacking Obama for his obvious and false racial assault on not only McCain but President Bush, The New York Times goes after McCain’s campaign manager Rick Davis when he defensively said, “Barack Obama has played the race card, and he played it from the bottom of the deck.”

Now, it’s interesting that The New York Times doesn’t have a problem with, “You know, he’s not patriotic enough, he’s got a funny name, you know, he doesn’t look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills,” but they’re having kittens over what Davis said.

Because according to The New York Times, Davis’ statement conjures up a “loaded racial image” of Robert Shapiro during the famous O.J. Simpson murder case when he said, “Not only did we play the race card, we dealt it from the bottom of the deck.”

But isn’t that what Obama did? He blatantly played that card and it was from the bottom of the deck because it was a low thing to do to accuse our nation’s president and another politician of using racial scare tactics and don’t offer any solid proof.

The New York Times not only kicked John McCain when he was down after being falsely accused of being a racist by his political opponent, but they stomped on him for trying to defend himself from Obama’s baseless attacks.

It’s bad enough that they turn a blind eye against Obama’s despicable statements, but they also made a feeble argument that McCain will use racial attacks simply because he is guilty by association because of what fellow Republicans allegedly did in Tennessee.

This sadly certainly gives credence to what many McCain supporters have been saying about Obama: He’s a Teflon candidate that the media simply loves too much to be objective with.

But more importantly, The New York Times just destroyed its own credibility when they attacked the victim and not the attacker.