Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Price of Choices

Readers, I am sorry for not posting lately, but it is because the debates have been pithy, the sniping has been absurd, and I have had to make choices about which candidates to back.

So, let me start with some bad news: Tom Tancredo has bowed out of the race. Thanks, Sir, for bringing immigration to the front of everyone's consciousness. It is projected that Chris Dodd will likely be joining him soon. I would also like to wish my condolences to the Kucinich family on their loss.

Good News: Mike Huckabee has officially graduated to the first tier and Ron Paul is not far behind.

Endorsements: It is the opinion of this author that there are only two candidates from each party worth voting for. As a result, though I do not agree with all of their stances, I find their integrity so redeeming that these are the candidates that I will either vote for or encourage my friends, family, and readers to vote for. Duncan Hunter, Dennis Kucinich, Bill Richardson, and Ron Paul have earned my respect and the endorsement of this blog.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Illusion of Choice

I was frequenting my favourite blogs over the past few days to catch up on my reading when I read a post about the current state of the gaming industry. Now, normally, this kind of thing makes so much sense to me that I fail to see the need to post about it. But, this one got me thinking.

A quick summary is that we used to have distinct choices in consoles, Sega/Atari/Nintendo. Among those choices, we didn't have variants that were so nuanced that we really had no clue. But now, with Microsoft and Sony, we do. Well, unless you want the a product made by Nintendo. The problem is that with all the variations, it really ads up to a lot of confusion to the consumer and gets the consumer either becoming cattle and buying what they perceive to be the "popular" choice, or they choose not to buy a product because the cost/benefit ratio just isn't big enough to override the confusion.

Well, guess what? That got me thinking about voter apathy in the current generation and other illusions of choice. And we have voter apathy and the illusion of choice caused by too many choices in spades. The Democratic Party has 8 current candidates, all of whom are nuanced variants of one another. The Republicans have 9 candidates, and all the front-runners are either nuances of each other or nuances of their Democratic rivals. Heck, even their second tier, while different from the front runners, are nuanced variants of one another.

Of course, politics are not the only place where choice is an illusion. Look at all your various drugs. Yet again, for one problem, there are twenty different choices all with side effects that make not a single one appealing. So like our politicians and game consoles, we are left wondering if we are better off living with the problem rather than dealing with choosing bad solutions.

Maybe that's why I'm a registered Liberterian. Maybe that is why most of the younger generation of politically inclined citizens have registered as independents.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Ron Paul - Second Tier Fundraising King

Did you hear the one about how Ron Paul raised over $3.5 Million in 24 hours? Holy Crap! Good job Ron Paul.

Final Match-ups

This week, I give you the last two "second-tier" candidates. One is filled with controversy, the other is the lesser known Senator from Connecticut.

Chris Dodd - The Other Senator from Connecticut
Tom Tancredo - Congressman from Colorado

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Ron Paul's Halo

Well, talk about an interesting way to raise funds. Some college students are raising money for Ron Paul by playing Halo 3.

Hunting Season

It's official. It doesn't matter which party you belong to because the target is always the same. Hillary, does it feel like you were born with cross-hairs for a birthmark? Or are you just starting to get both barrels from all members of both major parties because of your stances or lack thereof?

On the other hand, if you are looking for change, and don't mind a little help from another planet, never hesitate to ask Dennis where he gets his ideas from.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Unelectable on Principle

Some candidates have a bad habit of creating careers and making statements that make people love to hate them. These are the candidates that are "unelectable on principle". The funny thing is though, that if you listen to them outside of their "gaffes", you find these candidates to have real integrity. So, this week, I am giving you:

Joe Biden - The guy has some severe integrity and is open to say he is willing to learn from his mistakes. However, getting an Asian to vote for him would take something far more severe than an act of Congress.
Alan Keyes - The Republicans don't even want him in their debates, and he is currently the only minority candidate running on the Republican ticket. But for us in this blog, he is the essence of a second tier candidate - grass roots, horribly qualified, and with or without us, has about a snowball's chance in heck of getting elected.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Unapologetic Candidates

Every party has that one candidate that does themselves no favors by clearly, on most points, being on the side of the other party. While the Republicans clearly have two, one of whom is a front-runner, the Democrats this year have exactly one. These guys definitely have the chutzpah to spare, and that earns them a special place in my blog. So in the spirit of saying something outlandish and sticking to it, I present you, my readers, with this week’s featured candidates:

Ron Paul – Sticks to his guns, no matter how many potshots are taken at him, not that he doesn’t draw fire with almost every opinion he expresses. I wouldn’t so much say he should run as a Democrat, but he clearly shows his died in the wool Liberterian roots that earned him their nomination in 1998.

Bill Richardson – If he were pro-war and anti-abortion, he would look far more conservative than Guiliani.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Keeping Tabs on the Debate

2016hrs EDT:
Ron Paul took his liberterian stand and emphasized the need for the USA not to have an amendment to ban gay marriage. This is because he views this both as a states rights issue, and an issue or personal and religious freedoms.

Mike Huckabee maintains a good sense of humour - He mentioned that he was glad that he did not participate in the first 20 mins of the debate so that the front runners could get each other bloody and he could run for President. But in regards to abortion, he did a horribly smart thing: He quoted the constitution and the mention that all people have a right to life and liberty.

Tom Tancredo is claiming to be the Real Conservative. Softball question.

Duncan Hunter has garnered MASSIVE applause for his stance on being a conservative. Sadly, he effectively said nothing other than tearing down JFK for Cuba, and praising Ronald Reagan for assisting El Salvador. He uses conservatism to justify militarism.

Ron Paul is stating that the only way to change healthcare is to take the corporations out of the equasion all while taking the USA out of Iraq and every other country. He wants it market based. He wants to pay for it with saving money from what in his opinion is our failed foreign policy.

Duncan Hunter pointed out that the mandates the Romney has in his healthcare plan is still a mandate for socialized healthcare with heavy regulations

Mike Huckabee believes that healthcare should be in the hands of the individual consumers. He also believes that we have a health problem and not a healthcare problem. "When all the old hippies find out they get free drugs, wait to see how well that gets out there..." - in regards to social security.

Tom Tancredo points out that healthcare should be privatized through health savings accounts. Sounds like every other Republican outside of Romney.

Time for potshots against Hillary.

Guiliani agreed with Hillary on 2 points: 1 They are both Yankee fans, 2. "I have a million ideas, America can't afford them all..." - Hillary

"I would much rather lose a campaign than lose a war" - McCain. On another note, he is the closest to potentially winning versus Hillary of any of the top 4 according to Fox News.

Mike Huckabee fears Clinton giving away our sovereignty if she gets elected. I wonder if anyone pointed out that his weakness is the fact that he too, is a former governor from Arkansas.

Ron Paul attempts to differentiate himself from Hillary by taking the true libertarian stand and isolationist stand.

Mike Huckabee wants privatized healthcare, but insists on using the euphamism of "Personalization". He says that privatization gets a bad rap due to people thinking private = Enron

Ron Paul also wants privatization, but wants to give younger Americans a way out of Medicare, Social Security, Public Schools, and mandatory health care insurance.

Duncan Hunter wants to solve Social Security with Trade Policy that has a reciprocating effect of equal trade tariffs on both ends - theirs on our goods and ours on their goods

Tom Tancredo jabs against Guiliani by pointing out that Guiliani wants Social Security benefits for illegal immigrants - Guiliani did not deny it.

Duncan Hunter looks towards diplomacy in getting Vladamir Putin in line with our missile defense plans. He wants to exploit Putin's opening of sea based missile defense with a few Aegis cruisers in the Black Sea.

Tom Tancredo takes a potshot against Nancy Pelosi for putting us in a bad situation with Turkey and the Kurds

Mike Huckabee says that we should let the Kurds clean their own house of the PKK versus US intervention so as to let Turkey not be an enemy

Ron Paul speaks his mind on the only issue he seems passionate about - getting us out of the rest of the world.

Ron Paul wants us yet again to not be interventionist and go back to the Republican roots and get out. He claims that W won for that same reason although he claims that the Republicans have abandoned their principles.

Fred Thompson effectively called himself too Lazy to Fail.

Still, would the current field please leave Reagan dead and concentrate on the future rather tahn the past? So readers, which second tier candidate do you think won?

Preparing for the Florida Republican Debate

Tonight, Bill Krystol declared the Republican race a 5 candidate race. Looks like a single "Second Tier" candidate is prepared to shake up the establishment! Good work Mike Huckabee!

On another note, Florida, like the rest of the nation, is wondering when a real conservative, or any candidate will step up. So, I'll paraphrase Eminem on this one "Will the real conservative please stand up, please stand up, please stand up..."

Friday, October 19, 2007

Friday's Elimination - The Drop-Out

Sadly, another second-tier candidate dropped out of the race. Senator Brownback, thank you for running a dignified campaign.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Running Against the Past

I am not the only person to notice this, but it seems that both major parties have found parity in campaigning against the past. The Democrats are running against Bush while the Republicans are running against Clinton (past and future). Well, some Republicans are running against Bush while some Dems are running against Clinton.

What I am wondering is, when are the major candidates going to stop fighting a past they cannot change, and start fighting a political war based on the future of this country? And for those who do want to fight for a future, when are they going to start going beyond platitudes and put real substance into their fights?

This weeks featured candidates who do just that:
Mike Huckabee
Dennis Kucinich

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Today, I Stopped Giving to Charity

I’m at my boiling point. I just got pestered for another charity donation today. The CFC (Combined Federal Campaign) representative spoke to me about giving to charity saying that I could give a blanket amount to a number of charities, to one charity, or I could give money that comes out of my paycheck every month to any charity/charities. And at that moment, as I was reading the headlines (thank you John Edwards), it occurred to me that every day that I work, I already give to charity whether I like it or not. I give in the form of taxes.

Why do I consider paying taxes giving to charity? Because the act of taking my money in the form of taxes is the same act as the one that is being used to fund the poor. It is being used to fund “welfare programs” “for the common good”, that in many cases allows certain people who have no desire to work, to live without working. That money is being used to pay for medical services for people who either cannot afford to pay (due to being taxed to death) for medical insurance, or for people who refuse to pay for medical insurance and do not want to pay out of pocket. It is used to pay the “retirement fund” known as social security which is social but far from secure, and that I do not expect to see a penny of in my lifetime, that requires a COLA (Cost Of Living Adjustment) annually and yet again has built in medical coverage. It even helps support medical insurance for “underprivileged children” between 3 months and 25 years whose parents make less than $85k/year. Somehow, I don't consider a family that earns $85k/year in need of charity. Then again, I don't consider anyone over the age of 18 legally a child either.

What other ways am I giving to charity? I have no children, and even if I did, I would not send them to public schools. But as a taxpayer, my money goes to the salaries of underperforming principals who hire undereducated teachers, who act even more under-qualified when they teach those poor underage souls that are so "underprivileged" that they must go to public schools and learn nothing but how to be complete underachievers. This of course leads to more money being taken out of my pocket in the form of taxes to pay for the next batch of welfare/charity recipients. And this could be avoided if the average worker was not taxed to the point where affording a good education for their children was out of the question. So yet again, my taxes insure that more people will not be in a position to pay them.

Speaking of welfare/charity, my tax dollars pay for subsidies for farmers so that they can grow… nothing! Paying farmers to grow/harvest nothing sounds like charity to me. I know I don’t want my tax dollars to go to that.

And that leads to more corporate charity. Because now we have created a society of useful idiots that are good for nothing but asking if you want fries with that and earning minimum wage, the congress has passed laws that lead to the loss of jobs due to a higher minimum wage and “better” benefits. Of course those higher wages leads to higher prices at the businesses we choose to do business with, all while creating more charity recipients. All the while, these same congress critters are assigning even more of my hard earned tax dollars to the purpose of "earmarks" that they never have to claim responsibility for (thanks Hillary and Barack). These of course are their charitable donations of my tax dollars to buy votes to get themselves re-elected. Mind you that this is also the same congress has also approved pay raises for themselves and better benefits on my tax dollars that I did not approve of. And since they are doing such a poor job representing their constituents, they clearly are not earning their wages. Yup, that too is charity.

Of course, I did not approve of my tax dollars funding the legal appeals process of criminals who get three squares a day and free lodging (at better conditions than some folks who live in the inner city). But my money goes to their care and feeding and even organ replacement/sexual reassignment surgery and medical care. Yet again, my tax dollars are being charitably donated by my government to other people and causes that I do not approve of, all at my expense.

I think the last straw about my tax dollars being used as charity is the entire fact that every year, Presidential and congressional campaigns get the option of using matching federal funds to fund their election efforts. So they are telling me that my money that is being forcefully extracted from my paycheck in the form of taxes is being used to fund the campaigns of people that I do not like, much less want to see in office, as they run for office. No thank you, John McCain and Russ Feingold. And thank you for telling me that you were going to use my money in that fashion John Edwards. Like I really want to see you, of all former congress critters, in office as President. Seriously, thank you for raising my taxes. I don’t need that money. Well, not for anything other than funding my own retirement, paying for my own medical insurance, being responsible for my own future and the future of my wife and children when I get married and have children. So I clearly do not need that money.

And people wonder why I refuse to donate to charity. And I said this to the poor sod who hit me up for the CFC. Of course the really sad thing is that she agreed with me.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Let's Start a Political Revolution

I can't help myself, I am a sucker for what most people deem to be lost causes. And I mean so far lost that even St. Jude himself wouldn't be willing to bet on them. Well, for all those people who believe that voting with your conscience cannot be done, consider me your new St. Jude. And with luck, and your support, maybe we can get enough support garnered for our favorite candidates who best represent what we want and what we need to turn us into the Murphy for the major contenders. So Rudy, Mitt, Fred, Hillary, Barack, and John, watch out... your days as leaders are numbered.