Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Campaign Ads Discredits
‘Change’ Slogan

For months we have heard Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama saying he is for change for this country. He says that he is not the same as other candidates or politicians in Washington.

And his Republican counterpart, John McCain, has joined the change bandwagon for a while now. After eight years of the Bush Administration, many Americans are not happy where this country is heading and McCain wants to make it clear that he’s not part of the Washington “same old, same old,” group. While he does have a reputation for being a maverick, he has been in Washington for a good number of years too.

But with Obama and McCain trying to desperately convince voters that they are the change this country needs, their actions do not reflect this. Their campaign ads towards each other are just as dirty and underhanded as the countless ones we have seen before in previous election years.

Is this the best our alleged leaders can do? Trash talk about their opponents as if they were running for an elementary school student body election? Can you imagine if you walked into a professional office meeting as a supervisor and start putting down your competitor without offers any real solutions on fixing your company’s product? Any respectable CEO would not allow that type of worker as a supervisor and we should not allow these candidates to act this way either.

But the only way to do that is to stop with the political bias that is so strong with Democratic and Republican supporters. Sure, it’s fine to have party loyalty, but it should not get in the way of fixing the problems that this nation is facing.

And McCain and Obama are their leaders. They should be leading by example, by showing ads and giving speeches that explain in detail how their plans will work and how they will actually change this country for the better. But instead, just like an elementary school student body election, this presidential election, much like others in the past, is very much like a popularity contest.

But let’s be realistic. Many supporters from both parties are too blinded by their candidates to care about the details of fixing this country. For them, a 2-minute sound byte from the local news report is good enough for them and the candidates know this. Essentially, getting elected to be president is as cheap and easy as a McDonald’s ad: Give the people what they think they want in the fastest, simplest way possible.

Which is why it cannot be stressed enough that all voters, regardless of their party affiliation, must demand from their respected candidates to offer the American people something more than a cheap car sale slogan. Yes, researching the candidates’ voting records and any bills they created or sponsored is great and using nonpartisan Web sites is fantastic. But the candidates are making us work too hard to do the job that they are supposed to be doing.

But sadly, this is not how the game is played.

If this is how the game is played in order to win an election, then there is something severely wrong with not only the political process, but also us, the voters, who seem to either tolerate it or are too much in awe of these candidates to care.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Still Being Spammed!

I apologize for not being able to update my blog as much as I would. Lately, it's hard to find the time to research a topic and then writing about it, as I normally do.

But another problem that I am having is with Blogger. Their Googlebots seem to believe that The Times Observer is spam, which I wrote about earlier this month. I don't understand this at all.

Another thing I don't understand is why after sending three requests to have a Word Verification code removed I still have it. Once I sent the first code removal request, it should have let some human know at Blogger that an actual living person operates this particular blog.

So that has also played an important role in me not being able to update my blog.

But hopefully soon, things will calm down some and I'll be able to comment, or rant and rave, about what is happening in the world.

But please continue to stop by, as I never know just how soon "soon" will actually be.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Teaching Children About 9/11

One of the few devastating dates in American history that will forever be burned in our history books and in our hearts and minds is Sept. 11.

Today, many are reliving the nightmare of seven years ago and are sharing personal stories of where they were when they discovered that their nation was being attacked and what they were doing at that very moment.

But there are a group of Americans who do not know what happened on Sept. 11 because they were either too young to remember or comprehend the day’s events or were not even born.

That is why it’s important that we teach America’s children and youth about the importance of this day and what it truly means to be an American, with all of the glories, sorrows, duties and responsibilities that are attached to being a citizen of this great nation.

While young children may not fully understand the complexities of the horrific events that occurred or how it changed our lives or forced this country to go into war with the enemy, they still need to know the importance of what went on.

Explaining it in simple ways that children can understand will help them grasp the meaning of 9/11. While just labeling “terrorists” as “bad guys,” may seem like sugarcoating what they truly are, it will help a 6-year-old boy or girl to know what happened.

Some parents will feel that explaining to a young child that planes were used to destroy buildings or to kill thousands of innocent people is too harsh, then simply saying that the “bad guys” attacked this country might be enough to satisfy their curiosity until they are older to understand.

But children should also learn about the heroism that was displayed by the passengers and crew on Flight 93 and how their sacrifice saved countless lives. They are the embodiment of what it means to be an American and to be a hero.

Yes, the details of what happened in Shanksville, Pa., are not pleasant and it will be hard to explain it in children-friendly terms, but it simply needs to be taught to the children. It is a critical piece of education for them.

Just like it is important to explain to them how this country came together on 9/11 and how people, total strangers really but Americans nonetheless, from different states where going into New York City and Washington, D.C., to help with the rescue and relief operations.

Children need to learn about these modern-day heroes, because they are as legendary as the citizens who came together and fought against tyranny and for independence more than 200 years ago.

We must never forget what happened on this date and it is our duty that the next generation of this country does not forget either.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

We're Still Here!

Well, the atom-smasher test started and the world is still happily spinning around. But you didn't need me to tell you that, huh?

Sadly, I haven't had the time to find any news articles that interviewed the doom sayers who said the atom-smasher was going to destroy Earth. I would have enjoyed to hear what they had to say.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

World Won’t Be Ending

A lot of people and scientists are afraid that the Earth will blow up tomorrow when scientists are going to power up the world’s most powerful atom-smasher.

Some fear that it will cause micro black holes or even a second Big Bang, which is a theory by the way. It’s hard to get worked up over a side effect that may or may not have happened trillions and trillions of years ago and no one actually saw.

So, do people have a legitimate concern about the experiment that will take place on the French-Swiss border tomorrow? Sure, when dealing with something of this magnitude, you have to be careful. And one would like to think that these scientists took a lot of precautions.

However, smaller atom-smashers have been around for the last few decades and the Earth is still here. People feared that nuclear power would blanket the world with deadly radiation, and some still do, and we’re not glowing in the dark.

And just going back a few years ago, people actually had fallout shelters and stocked food and water because the Y2K thing was going to launch nuclear warheads and cause the end of civilization. But it didn’t happen.

Or how a few believed more than 10 years ago the water would be too poisonous to drink and the forests would be a thing of the past because of global warming. The water is still safe to drink and people are enjoying campouts and hunting in the woods.

For those truly concern about the test tomorrow, it’s best to remember the doomsday predictions that have not come true in the past.

But hey, if the world does blow up tomorrow because of this atom-smasher, you can all tell me “I told you so,” as we’re hanging onto a chunk of Earth as it’s flying pass the moon.

Monday, September 01, 2008

This Blog Isn’t Spam!

While I was posting my recent editorial about John McCain’s choice of picking Sara Palin to be his vice presidential running mate, I noticed that I had to place a word verification code in order to post my editorial.

I thought this was odd and I clicked the “Why Do I Have To Do This” link, which took me to a page where Blogger explains to me that someone marked The Times Observer as a spam blog.

Needless to say, I was angry and insulted. When I write an editorial or column on here, I spend about a good two hours or more creating it. Writing takes time. I just don’t write whatever comes to my head. Most of the time is spent on researching the topic by reading various news stories from different media outlets. Then I try to find objective news articles or sources that are hyperlinked within the commentary to backup my opinions or just to inform you, my readers, of what is happening in the news. The remaining part of the time is dedicated to writing and editing the commentary and finding the right picture or video.

But who could have done such a thing? Why would someone think that my blog was spam? More importantly, why didn’t I receive an e-mail notice from Blogger explaining to me that I’ve been flagged? I would certainly like to have detailed information, such as who flagged me (or at least their IP address), and the date and time I’ve been labeled a fraud.

But then I remember reading something awhile ago. Allegedly, a lot of Obama supporters would flag people’s Blogger blogs if the blog was against the Illinois senator in anyway.

Of course, it makes sense, because my last post (not counting my vacation notice) was an editorial about Joe Biden and how his 30 plus years in the Senate puts an uncomfortable spotlight on Barack Obama’s inexperience.

Sadly, if it is a case of a die-hard Obama supporter, then this person clearly has never read all of the columns and editorials that I have written. Because if this person took the time, he or she would realize that I have written in support of Obama and I have criticized McCain. In fact, the most recent editorial is how McCain picked Palin simply because she’s a woman, even though I mention other credible attributes that she can bring into Washington. Of course, it’s true that I’ve written things that praised McCain and attacked Obama, but a little more on that later.

Now, if it is an Obama supporter wearing rose-colored glasses, and it’s a strong possibility that this person is a Democrat and liberal, then this person certainly blast the stereotype that liberals embrace freedom of speech. By flagging my blog as spam, this person started the process of restricting my right to free speech. And I would imagine that Obama certainly wouldn’t want a supporter to stop an American’s right to freely speak his mind, even if it is against him.

Yes, I’ve both blasted and praised many Republicans and Democrats (including presidential candidates and presidents) because I’m an independent voter. I just can’t root for one party and turn a blind eye to their shenanigans. It goes against my grain. And I call them like I see them. If an Obama supporter really did flag my blog, hopefully he or she will read this and follow some of my hyperlinks to other pieces that I’ve written, which will support what I’m saying.

And more importantly, a human from Blogger will be reviewing The Times Observer soon after I sent a request to have someone look at my blog and realize it’s not spam. I feel sorry for Blogger that they have to waste their time with such childish acts by closed-minded people, if that is the case. But I do appreciate that they gave me the benefit of the doubt and allowed me to continue to publish my commentaries with the word verification code. It maybe a pain, but at least I can work on my blog.

Hopefully, this will be the last flag-spamming incident for me, because this has left me with some bad heartburn and bad puns.