May 2, 2012
I am a relatively creative person, however...
I could not make this up.....for your amusement
March 12, 2012
This is not about Political Sports
This is really about idiots, the amazing number of Americans who are deciding the Republican nominee for PRESIDENT of the United States. One can certainly make excuses I suppose. The 4 remaining candidates are very "wanting" in characteristics that would make them effective Presidents. But really you have got to be kidding...we get what we deserve I guess.
"Sandra Fluke is the model Welfare Queen for the 21st Century. Upper middle class to start, going to a very expensive (and very liberal law) school on scholarship, and now (as we know from news reports) a tool of the White House media shop. She won't have kids like the old-style welfare queens. Instead, she will first absorb all the government benefits she can while in school, and then work for a liberal law firm or political organization as a political activist. Or she may become another trusted lieutenant of Eric Holder at Justice. She is a product of the American version of the cradle-through-career indoctrination and career of the old Soviet Komsomol," - Jed Babbin, American Spectator.
Likely Republican voters from Mississippi:
Fifty-two percent said that Obama practiced Islam, while just 12 percent said he was a Christian. Thirty-six percent said they were not sure.
How can one have respect for what this party is offering to solve the amazingly difficult problems and challenges confronting our country.
February 10, 2012
It Makes You Scratch Your Head
After the long weekend of revolution participation here, I had to pay 13 Egyptian pounds--the equivalent of three U.S. dollars--to have an X-ray of my stress-fractured ankle. The hospital was part of a labyrinthine and crowded complex, and I had to ask directions repeatedly. But eventually a cast and a containment brace were put on my ankle, all for the cost of the equivalent of an additional 45 U.S. dollars. I tsk-tsked and said to the young doctor, "That is expensive! Much more than last year." He replied apologetically, "Yes, I know, I am sorry, but now we are using some American products."
I did not mention that these American products would cost at least 300 times more in the U.S. than they cost here, or that in America I would have to pay $600 to health insurance extortion every single month for life in order to afford medical treatment. As I limped back to the taxi, accompanied by the typical sympathy, offers of help and well-wishing of strangers, I reflected on the strange chasm of values, self-interest, the evils of capitalism, human decency, pragmatism, social unity, and the vacuum of understanding into which can rush ... anything.
Anything, like Rick Santorum, from HuffPost:
He said that the health care law passed under Romney in Massachusetts in 2006 was "the stepchild of ObamCare" and said that Romney "built the largest government run health care system in the United States."
Health care should be a defining issue for the election, a key contrast between the Republican nominee and the incumbent president, Santorum said. But Romney, Santorum said, "would simply give that issue away in the fall, give the issue away of government control of your health."
It doesn't register that our health care system is broken, and that 50 million people are without health care. Costs are rising much faster than inflation. Something needed to be done....but roll out the old "government is evil" card, even if it flies in the face of reality. What does it matter, really?
February 8, 2012
Let's Play a Game - You are Mitt Romney
You are Mitt and want to run for President. You were the Republican governor of what many Americans consider to be the most liberal state in the country. Your history strongly suggests you are a moderate Republican who was fairly well received during his term in Massachusetts. You are a Morman. You obviously want to run in the Republican party. Just as obvious is the fact that it is controlled to a large degree by what can graciously be described as a bunch of Looney Tunes who think that the earth is flat and the moon is made of green cheese.
So, how do you get the nomination? You are smart, accomplished, a successful businessman who has made something like $250 Million. You implemented a health plan that is surprisingly similar to Obama's. If you want some specifics of his term you can find it here:
You will find that you probably agree with some actions and not others. He seems like a moderate, reasonable Republican. I doubt that you get the nomination by saying you are going to do the same things for the country. The wacky doodles wouldn't stand for it. You don't talk much about your Massachusetts accomplishments, do you? And your religion? I think you don't bring that up either. Isn't the only way to get the nomination to move right, way right? What would you do differently? How would you be playing this game?
February 4, 2012
I Don't Get It
Do you? I really have no comprehension of how anyone can take any Republican candidate seriously, seriously. Given the state of the economy, their economic plans are a joke. All they want to do is cut everything that will assist the poor, the unemployed and the middle class. All proposed cuts significantly help the wealthy get wealthier while doing nothing to build the infrastructure necessary to get our country moving into the middle of the 21st century. The environment is to be exploited for economic gain, consequences be damned. Global warming....the earth is flat. Energy policy....they are so beholden to Big Oil that they will deny the most blatant facts. By doing nothing to move away from fossil fuels, we are cementing our dependency on Middle East Islamic dictatorships. And that is smart policy? What are people thinking? Wait, I should correct that, they aren't.
These are obviously complex issues, but from a high level, people's distrust of government seems to blind them to what is in front of their noses. The government is like not so different from a large corporation, overly infected with bureaucracy. Its intent is to help and to solve problems. Can it be harmful? Yes, of course, just like actions by any individual or group. We face some daunting problems that demand clear, level-headed thinking. I feel these people are drunk on fear, suspicion and greed that distorts their ability to see. It is a horrible way to live, isn't it?
February 17, 2010
Are you mad enough yet? Health care, financial meltdown and big bonuses, energy policy, never ending wars, crumbling infrastructure, education, religious fundamentalists, taxes and the rich, discrepancy between rich and poor, lack of inspiring direction, Tea partiers, Sarah Palin as possible President, a Congress that is totally dysfunctional, Republicans who are against everything except helping big business and making people think they are for the forgotten white folks, the environment, the list is pretty long isn't it? And I could easily make it longer.
I have been playing around with politics for a very long time, and this site, off and on, for a couple of years. I know local politics, I know how to organize and get people motivated to accomplish goals. I understand many national and international issues, not as well as some, but far, far better than most. I am not part of the paranoid and greed contingent. I think it is about time to do something more. It is time to use my skills and knowledge and talents to deliver solutions. Perhaps it is a bit Quixotic, but better try than do nothing.
So I am challenging myself to begin something that will bring people together that will solve problems and move our country forward, to celebrate innovation and accomplishment, to deliver solutions to the problems that confront us, to be more than a politician and more than a businessman, but somehow meld the two to drive the real Americans who embody the American Spearit to take back America from Idiot Garbage. I must begin.
March 21, 2008
The Passport Breach
First we find out that a couple of state department contractors looked at Obama's passport records three times, all politically significant dates this year. Then we read today that someone looked at Hillary's passport records sometime last year. And now, there are indications that someone looked at John McCain's passport records. Are they related? Are they the same couple of people, or are they all from the same contracting firm? Who did they report to? What other work do they do? What are their histories? Why hasn't the State Department released their names yet?
Given the record of this administration, it is not surprising that this only came out because a reporter had some inside information and not from the State Department itself. It is also not surprising that the State Department has not released any names yet. There might be a good reason, but the record leads me to be suspicious of their motives. I expect the State Department will stonewall any investigation
March 16, 2008
Fabulous Fumble of the Week - Eliot Spitzer - 3/16
Tough call this week. We have Eliot Spitzer with his sexcapade, then Geraline Ferraro and her untimely comment about Obama only being where he is because of the color of his skin, and then there is O.I.L. whose concern for the economy in his speech in NY this week was laughable (NYT).
So who wins? I would say that we can eliminate O.I.L. This is nothing new. It is not like we should be surprised by his idiotic comments, or his lack of responsibility. It is second nature to the guy. Geraldine is a big story, but I don't think it is as seismic as Eliot's. Yes, what she said was stupid, and sure it got a lot of play, but she is a small figure in the campaign without significant impact.
Eliot, on the other hand, is rather special. Describe by many as arrogant, self-righteous and smart, it is quite something to see the Governor of the second largest state fumble so blatantly. Of course, I should would love to know what is going on in the head of his wife.
March 13, 2008
Scholarships and Varsity College Sports
Bill Pennington, of the NY Times, has written a great series about the downside of College Varsity athletic scholarships. I would recommend it for anyone vaguely interested in the craziness of high school and college athletics. You can find one article here, and another here.
I have some connection to college sports. I played football at a Div. I school when I was a freshman, then quit and moved to a swimming pool, where I played varsity water polo for three years. I left the sport for many years, but returned about 7 years ago as a volunteer coach for the now club water polo team of my alma mater. To some degree I see what the impact is on many of the students and the strain it places on their lives. I have become a huge advocate of the club college sports scene. I will write more of that at another time. Please read the articles. Mr. Pennington does a great job of describing many of the conflicts with our current athletic system.
March 12, 2008
Yesterday I ran 4 miles. Today, after work, I worked out with a Bullworker, an amazing little machine that provides a great strength workout. I have been using one of these things regularly for the past four years and find it terrific. They are inexpensive, lightweight, very portable and easy to store. How can you beat that? You can find one through Amazon here.
America's Racist Society
There is no question that we still live in a very prejudiced society. Whether it is racial, sexual, religious, physical or whatever, we seemed consumed with labeling people in categories, analyzing reactions by categories then try to deny that we are acting in a way which confirms those categories. Yesterday, comments by Geraldine Ferraro came to light which some construed as racist. She said that Barack Obama got to his position partly because of his race. (CNN)
"In her first interview with Daily Breeze, published late last week, Ferraro said "If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman, he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept," Ferraro told the newspaper. She also said Hillary Clinton had been the victim of a "sexist media."
Is this racist? Is it true? It could very well be. People are certainly voting for these candidates because they are black or a woman or white, depending whether you are Barack, Hillary or John. Pollsters and media folks continually break down voting patterns by race, sex and religion almost daily. Does anyone really think that these candidates have achieved their respective positions without taking advantage of some cultural "wave"? Granted this is not the only reason, but I am sure it is a factor. People are excited about the fact that a "black" (he is half white and half black) and a woman are the two leading Democratic candidates. I would contend that many people are supporting their respective campaigns for that very reason. Now a high profile person points that out, and she is blasted by the media. What is their goal in doing so? Perhaps they are helping to stir the pot to generate more viewers. They certainly do what they can to keep race and sex a big part of the political scene. Whatever the real motives, and I am sure they are multifaceted, it sure is interesting.
Sex and Prostitution
So what is it about the MSM that thinks politicians have some unusual sex drive that sends many of them to prostitutes? Are politicians really that much different than all the rest of us? I would think the huge flurry of interest is because these are public figures who will help either sell airtime or magazines. One should remember that prostitutes live off the needs of the larger society, not just celebrities and politicians. We are only aware of the media magnets, not the general population. All these articles are factually ridiculous.
However, the issue of why the question appears is much more interesting. Again we need to explore the motivation behind the headlines, like why bring up the issue? How does it play out in the media? Does it help sell papers or attract more viewers? The issue of truth is completely different. I would even say that all those "expert" opinions are rather suspect. I have not heard one of them try to differentiate between politicians and the rest of us.
March 11, 2008
O.I.L. (Our Illustrious Leader) Keeps Pounding for Yards
GW keeps pounding away at anyone who stands in his way as he continues his march to unrestricted Presidential power. He never backs down, he never doubts. His methods are consistent and have generally been very successful, haven't they? The Dems have been exceedingly ineffective to stop him from his torture requests or his recent moves to protect the telecom companies from prosecution for helping the Administration wiretap Americans without a warrant. (NYT)
"The flash point in the debate has been the question of whether to protect AT&T and other major phone companies from some 40 lawsuits pending in federal courts, which charge that the companies' participation in the eavesdropping program violated federal privacy laws and their responsibilities to their customers.
Mr. Bush says the companies acted out of patriotism in responding to what they believed was a lawful presidential order. He has said that the lawsuits are being pursued by money-driven class-action lawyers and that they should not be allowed to threaten the financial solvency of the phone companies."
Why change your strategy when it works?
Posted by Chip Spear at 1:32 PM
That Uncontrollable Urge
Sex, sex, sex. Ah, old Mother Nature sure likes to throw a curve or two into our lives, now doesn't she? Or at least it does for Eliot Spitzer, Governor of New York. Of course, he is not the only one who has succumbed to urges that he or she rationally knows will derail their chosen path. Certainly Eliot knew that his actions were illegal and would lead to his downfall if caught. He knew that he was potentially destroying his marriage and family. He knew that he was putting his career in jeopardy. He knew he was being hypocritical, given his prosecutorial history as Attorney General of NY and Governor. And yet, he still hired a prostitute and had her cross state lines.
So, why would someone in his position destroy so much of his life? What is driving him? That is a silly question really, in the sense that it is so complex that one almost shouldn't even bother asking. But of course, we do. Why does anyone go to a prostitute when they are in a supposedly happy marriage? Obviously they are not getting what they sexually want from their spouse. And therein is the problem.
Is it the culture, or is it something that is inherent in the differences between men and women? Why is it that men have had a desire to continually seek sexual satisfaction outside of their marriages? Do men want to cheat? Or perhaps they are inclined to have sex, more often, in many different forms than are acceptable to their mates? I am sure this also has something to do with the quality of their relationship, but not entirely. This condition is so pervasive, and historical that I feel it extends well beyond the quality of a relationship. One can't individually blame all men or women for this. Maybe it is the Venus/Mars thing.
Posted by Chip Spear at 8:57 AM
March 9, 2008
Jerry Doolittle's blog, Bad Attitudes, has posted some terrific entries over the last couple of days. I urge you to check it out.
Posted by Chip Spear at 7:08 PM
Today was a swimming day, not too far, about 2000 yards. I swam a 500 warm up, 12 laps free, 4 back and 4 breaststroke. Next, a 250 kick, 5 laps kick, 2 fly and 3 breast. Then I swam a reverse ladder. I start at 10 laps, take a 15-20 second break, then swim 9, a 15 second break, 8 and so on. Today I swam the 8 and 7 lap segments breaststroke to break the routine a little. Usually when I do this workout I finish with a set of 4 to 6 singles butterfly, but I think I cracked a rib skiing a couple of weeks ago. My ribcage is rather sore and the butterfly makes it worse, so I am holding back a bit.
Posted by Chip Spear at 12:01 PM
March 5, 2008
Foreign Policy Experience
What exactly does "foreign policy experience" mean? I really don't know. Do you have foreign policy experience if you sat on an Foreign Affairs Committee in the House of the Committee on Foreign Relations in the Senate? Or do you have foreign policy experience if you were an ambassador to Costa Rica? Or if you wrote a book about a European war?
The point I am trying to make here is that this is a very complicated. I am not so sure that sitting on a committee or even traveling around the world on some trade commission junket makes you better able to make decisions. I would contend that spending time in Europe does not necessarily prepare you for solving a crisis in South America, or in SE Asia. Those cultures are very different, with distinct problems and ways of looking at the world. I don't think anyone is really knowledgeable enough to say they are really experienced to solve the problems of the world.
There are so many countries, with so many issues, cultures, religions, races, and everything else that exists, that no one person can really know "foreign policy". Perhaps what one should ask is whether an individual running for President has the strength and humility to know how much and little he or she actually knows about a situation. Then, will that person bring in the right experts for advice, and god forbid, actually listen to what they have to say. I would contend that is much more important.
Posted by Chip Spear at 9:43 PM
February 25, 2008
Sitting in my very suburban environment, I read the newpapers, several magazines and blogs. Almost every one gives me a sense that Barack is on a roll and can't be stopped from getting the nomination except by some chicanery by the Clinton campaign. Yet, despite all that I just read several articles indicating she was still ahead in polling in Ohio. From most of the articles I read one would think that he had already won. (HuffPo) It is all so very interesting.
I feel that the media likes to have a conclusion. They must think that uncertainty indicates weakness. They seldom take a longer view that this turmoil might be good. It is part of the political game. It also ensures that different views and perspectives are injected into the political process. The longer this goes on the more likelihood that lots of ideas get into the campaign. We get to see what works and what doesn't. We get to think about viewpoints and issues in ways we might not if the campaign was over too quickly. In addition, we get to see more of the candidates, especially under stress, when their true nature emerges from behind the curtain.
I think of the criticisms of American democracy and its high degree of uncertainty and flux in comparison to controlled states like the Soviet Union, China, Cuba, or now Russia. There is a certain ease when you don't have to deal with the contention and messiness of multiple opinions. It is often less efficient, however when taken in the long run, I would suggest that it actually builds a better society.
I also think that the game is a lot more fun if you don't find out who wins until the last second. Blowouts are a drag.
Posted by Chip Spear at 1:58 PM
Why is Barack Black?
I am very curious why the media, and most of the country considers Barack Obama to be "black" when he has a black father and a white mother. He is 50% white and 50% black, but always referred to as black by the media. Why is Halle Barry considered black also? She has a similar background. If they both marry white partners and have children, will they also be considered black? At what point do they become mixed race, or just Americans?
What is it about our country that we have to label people in this manner? Is it a function of our white culture to exclude those who do not appear to be "pure"? If you have some particular black characteristic, like kinky black hair, are you black?
I would contend that we are still a very racist society and the media does little to turn the re-orient the definitions. We should ask ourselves about the motivation behind the labels. What is going on? Who is scoring points here and who is losing?
Posted by Chip Spear at 1:50 PM
January 29, 2008
The Issue is No Longer Bush's Failed Play
We all know what a disaster Bush has been in far too many ways to bother itemizing. The issue now is with the response by the MSM to him and the Republican candidates. Given the disaster in Afghanistan, what is the Main Stream Media doing to adequately confront the President and the guys on the right running for his position? (AP)
Afghanistan risks sliding into a failed state and becoming the "forgotten war" because of deteriorating international support and a growing violent insurgency, according to an independent study.
The assessment, co-chaired by retired Marine Corps Gen. James Jones and former U.N. Ambassador Thomas Pickering, serves as a warning to the Bush administration at a time military and congressional officials are debating how best to juggle stretched warfighting resources.
What is their strategy? What are they gaining by not seriously questioning them? Why do they continue to defer to the O.I.L.? Why do they still believe what he says? Are they gaining something here?
Posted by Chip Spear at 6:24 PM
November 18, 2007
I have not written on this blog for almost a year. Partly because I needed to concentrate on making $ and partly because I felt that I had only negative things to say about the political system in the U.S. today. How in the world could anyone say anything remotely positive about what this idiot is doing in the White House? He is, in my opinion, a complete disaster. I could easily rant like everyone else in creation. But I refuse. I refuse to live a life consumed with negativity. I live it too much of every day. The specifics aren't too important as to why my life is particularly tough at the moment, but I will just say that I am doing everything I can to be positive and make everything and everyone I touch more positive too. So I stopped writing. But I am going to start again. At least, I am telling myself now that I am going to start. We shall see how long it lasts. So, hi to anyone who happens to stumble upon my little voice in the net.
Posted by Chip Spear at 7:43 PM
June 19, 2007
Bloomberg Hits One Out of the Park
I could not say whether I would support Bloomberg as a Presidential candidate, but he sure hit a home run when he said the U.S. is in serious trouble. (NYT)
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, sounding every inch the presidential candidate he insists he is not, brought his message of pragmatic, nonpartisan leadership to California on Monday, telling a crowd of Google employees that the nation was "really in trouble."
In unusually stark terms, Mr. Bloomberg expressed his frustration with the state of the nation, touching on campaign-style issues like the war in Iraq, immigration, education, health care and crime before a crowd of more than 1,000 employees at the Google campus here.
"Whoever out of those 20 becomes president I think has to do something about a country that I think is really in trouble," Mr. Bloomberg said, referring to the current crop of candidates. "There’s the war, there is our relationships around the world."
"Our reputation has been hurt very badly in the last few years," he continued, criticizing what he called a "go-it-alone mentality" in an increasingly interconnected world.
Some of the Democratic candidates have said much the same thing, but today's statement was stark and right on the money.
Posted by Chip Spear at 7:59 PM
June 15, 2007
North Korea gets the money
The issue regarding the transfer of $25 million is resolved. North Korea either has, or is getting its money. (Time) Now the North will start dismantling their nuclear weapon facilities. Yea, sure. Would you like to place a bet on that? I can't see the future, but I think it will be a long time before the North stops their program. I am interested to know what excuse(s) they will voice now.
June 8, 2007
Paris/OJ....How we love you
I just walked by a TV and saw a live feed from CNN. I was unfortunately watching a helicopter camera shot of the police car driving Paris Hilton to the court house. With all the problems and serious issues in the world, we are being bombarded with news stories about a spoiled, self-obsessed, rich brat who is going to jail because of her arrogance. Wow, what does that say about our culture and the media?
Posted by Chip Spear at 12:42 PM
June 6, 2007
Have you had a feeling lately that something is screwy with the media? I am having a very hard time watching a lot of the political news shows these days. How can you really be interested in watching talking heads pontificate about the intricacies of the latest Presidential debate when we are more than 7 months away from the first caucus. The day after the 2006 November election, various cable shows grabbed the Presidential campaign like a pit bull on steroids and refuses to let go. I suppose it makes sense. How else are they going to fill there time? What would they talk about? More war? North Korea? No one cares about that. Education? Boring. Katrina? Too old.The contemptuous attitude of the Bushies? I think that one is too dangerous for the media's own self interest. Darfur? American's are more interested in American Idol and Dancing with the Stars.
We do live in a rather strange media driven world. Perhaps we, as a group, are too blame. The media only serves up what people will watch...I think. Of course, if we didn't watch the junk they would change the content until they found something else that was connecting with the viewers. I think this is all part of the reason I haven't been writing too much lately. I go through these periods of disgust with the whole thing, like we are just running around in circles saying the same thing over and over and over again. How often can you say that the Bushies are arrogant, paranoid, disrespectful leaders. Really. I don't know. Send me your thoughts.
Posted by Chip Spear at 1:21 PM