Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Good Humor is Hard to Find

It's not easy being funny and witty, and relevant. That's why when I find something that is all three, I feel the need to share it.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give to you The Onion and their economic stimulation plan

(BTW, is it bad that I like this plan better than the one actually being debated in Congress?)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I'm not sure how this happened

I've come to a realization recently ...

somehow ...

I've become a mini-parrot head.

I've discovered the joy that is Jimmy Buffet's music.

I sing and dream of being in Margaritaville.

I long for my cheeseburger in Paradise.

I always know that it's Five O'Clock somewhere.

and I'm not really sure how this happened

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Simple Joys

Is there anything better in life than a simple joy? The kind that you see/experience often, but in their simplicity bring a smile to your face and a joy to your heart.

It's what happens when you are driving in the car, and a song you love comes on the radio. Even if you own a copy of the song and can listen to it as often as you want, somehow hearing it on the radio brings you happiness. That's a simple joy.

It's what happens when you crack open a nut and find two inside. Sure, if you're that hungry, you could just crack open two of them, but you don't have to, because there was a bonus nut inside. That's a simple joy.

It's what happens when you watch a child run around and laugh with innocent laughter and simply enjoy life. Reminds you of the better times in your life when you can be carefree and just happy. That's a simple joy.

I enjoy life better when I take time to notice the simple joys. I experienced all three of the ones listed above today. And I had a good day.

Thanks Reece, Phil Collins, and the almond I cracked open and had double nutmeat inside.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

10 minute trip to childhood

Ahhh ... nostalgia

Here's a clip of 100 Nintendo games in 10 minutes. Very sweet, very awesome, very memory-inducing.

(Credit to for providing me the link)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Great Quote

I promise ... sometime soon, I'll get away from blogging about just politics. But I ran across a great quote today, and it describes my ideology and it gives yet another insight into why I love Fred Thompson, and want him to be the next President of the United States.

"Christ didn’t tell us to go to the government and pass a bill to get some of these social problems dealt with. He told us to do it"

Friday, January 11, 2008

My Guy is:

Fred Dalton Thompson

This is probably not a surprise to many people who know me well.

He's truly the best conservative choice in the field. He's strong on the economy, foreign policy, taxes, and State's Rights, which are easily my biggest desires to see in a candidate.

My only hope is that he can find enough support to maintain a national push to the G.O.P. nomination and the White House.

I think my biggest hope right now is a Thompson-Romney ticket, though I could live with that being in either order.

The order of my choices for the G.O.P. nomination, my candidates are: Thompson, Romney, Guiliani, McCain, Huckabee, Paul. And for President of the United States, you can throw Obama onto that list right before Huckabee, and then Bloomberg right after Huckabee. Though I must stress, there's a large gap between Thompson and Romney, a huge gap between Romney and Rudy, and a dozen Grand Canyons between Rudy and McCain. So I really hope I don't have to go below my third choice.

The Candidates

First, let me say that I agree with Ryan completely in one area that he mentioned in his last comment: it's a lot better to discuss this stuff in person over a beer than it is via electronic communication.

I'll also say, however, that it's really made me think hard about the issues, since putting a record out there of my opinion is a little more binding than making off-the-cuff remarks.

Now, onto the third in a (probably) 4 part series on the primaries, my look at the candidates. And while, yes, I am a Conservative to the core, that doesn't mean I can't look beyond the end of my nose. In fact, I came very close to supporting a Democrat in 2004.

So, let's get started, shall we? For the sake of brevity, I'll do skip candidates who have dropped out, or who need to drop out ASAP (I'm looking at you, Gravel)

Hillary Clinton (D)

Well, I can make this one short and sweet. She's not really done anything all that tangible, she's for a bigger government, and her biggest claim to fame (and biggest credential) is that she's Bill Clinton's wife. Well, in my limited political mindset, I supported Perot in 1992 and Dole in 1996. No support of Bill Clinton means absolutely no support of Hillary Clinton. I'd probably rank Hillary Clinton as my least desirable of all viable candidates.

John Edwards (D)

Let's see:

Wants: bigger government
Plays: the class warfare card
Is: A hypocrite
Was: An ambulance chasing lawyer who drove up costs for everyone
Has: No chance of me supporting him for anything but excommunication.

Rudy Guliani (R)

He's a very likable guy. I like the fact that he's willing to own up to past mistakes, something missing all too often from public officials.

I think he has strong leadership qualifications, and I think he has a good economic and tax plan. He struggles at times to have a good, definitive plan for illegal immigration, but at least he has something of a plan. He's got a good record as Mayor of NYC (tough on crime, job creation among the big plusses)

However, I don't see him bringing any improvement to foreign policy over the Bush Administration. And for my preference, I'd like to see some improvement there. Rudy, in my opinion, would only bring the status quo to foreign policy, and that's not exactly what I'm looking for.

Mike Huckabee (R)

Well ... beyond the point that I can't say "President Huckabee" with a straight face, here is my problem with Mike Huckabee: He's running as a Republican, but he's not really a Republican.

He's a guy with a history of tax and spend. He raises taxes and spends money. And, he gets billed as a Republican and/or Conservative for this ... why exactly? Is it because he only spends that tax money on the things Jesus would (allegedly) approve of?

Oh, yeah, and the guy already is promising up to four Constitutional amendments. That excites me. Or ... you know ... not really.

On the plus side, the thought of Vice President Colbert does excite me, so he has that going for him.

Dennis Kucinich (D)


Voted against him in a reelection bid for Congress when I lived in Cleveland. Don't like what he did as mayor of Cleveland, don't like what he did in Congress, and I don't like what he stands for.

But, that cereal he endorses ... it's tasty. So again, at least he has something going for him.

John McCain (R)

Look. I want to get behind John McCain. I backed him in the primaries in 2000, the first time I could actually vote in them. The first vote I ever cast was cast for John McCain. I just don't like a lot of what he's done since then.

His stance on Guatanamo is not satisfactory to me. His stance on immigration is poor, at best. His stance on terror, while understandable given his personal history, is not one I think is good for the nation as a whole. His campaign reform isn't good, either. He and I completely disagree on global warming.

His economic platform is good, however. I like that he wants to cut spending, and that despite being in Washington for so long, he's never tried to get through a pork ear mark. I applaud him for resisting that temptation, and I truly believe he would work hard to balance the budget and bring spending reform to Washington.

Barack Obama (D)

This guy is an unknown to me on so many levels. I hear about how he wants to bring change, but I never hear how he wants to bring change. I hear about how he wants to solve problems, but all I hear are the problems. I don't hear any solutions. And, I think Greg Easterbrook (yes, TMQ, of wrapped the problem with that up nicely:
Suppose God appeared in a glowing cloud and said, "You either may have indefinite continuation of existing social and economic trends or you may have change, but I make no promises about what type of change" -- which option would you select?
Good question, no? Something to think about when a candidate only promises change, and doesn't tell you exactly what kind of change he means.

Having said that, there are some positions that Obama has given us his stance on. Oil, energy, health care, and Iraq, to name a few. And while I applaud him for taking a firm stance, I have the following issue with his stance: it's not his own. It's taken, almost verbatim sometimes, from the official positions of influential ($$$) liberal special interest groups (, ACLU, etc). That scares me. That tells me that there should be caution that Obama might not bring "change", as much as he'll bring the agenda of a few powerful organizations. And any candidate who does that should scare everyone on some level.

Now, I don't want to just bash Obama. He's got a lot of positives. He's got energy, leadership, charisma and charm flowing through him. He exudes confidence. He's able to excite people by his mere presence. This is something I want in a leader and especially in a President. I'd just prefer he use that for issues and directions I want taken.

Having said all that, if I had to pick a Democrat for the White House (gun to my head, vote for a Dem or you die situation), I'd pick Obama. But, really, that's like me picking a "winner" if asked the question "which one of your friends would you most like to go gay with?" Sure, I pick a "winner", but I'm not happy with the end result.

Ron Paul (R)

I'll be honest again: I started the primary season out as a Ron Paul supporter.

I like a lot of his core issues. Get back to basics in the Constitution. Limit the role of government. Withdraw troops from foreign lands where they aren't serving a national security interest. Fight inflation. Cut taxes. Limit government spending. Stimulate the economy the old-fashioned way.

However, Ron Paul fails, in my opinion, to mix common sense in with great backbones. His clinging to the horrible idea that the US is primarily responsible for the 9/11 attacks is sickening. His lack of denouncing papers, bearing his name, that carry racist, sexist, and other bigoted messages to the public, and choosing instead to simply wash his hands of them and deny involvement, shows a lack of accountability and action when needed.

I want to support Ron Paul for his ideals, but I can't, because he fails in common sense, understanding, reasoning, and comprehension. Too bad, really.

I found a quote on NRO about Ron Paul that I think sums him up and explains why I cannot support him: "Ron Paul starts with seeds of sensibility, and then they blossom into lunacy"

Mitt Romney (R)

Mitt Romney has very good positions and ideas on health care, taxes, budgeting, Roe v. Wade, Homeland Security, and foreign policy. To go through his website and look at what he stands for brings about a desire to vote for him, at least from me as a conservative.

He's been accused of "flip-flopping" on issues (such as abortion and gun rights), but when I saw his interview on "Meet the Press", I was convinced that wouldn't be an issue if Mitt became President. He gave a very sincere reason for changing his opinion on abortion (saying it's one thing to theorize about an issue, it's another to actually sit in the Governor's chair and act on an issue). And really, shouldn't we all be allowed to change our minds on issues as we mature and get more information?

To be honest, the gun rights issue (I'm a life long hunter ... but really, just varmints) upset me more than any perceived "flip-flop" on abortion. And that's because the entire saga, and every reference to it, reeks of pandering, desperate pandering, to the base on an issue, when he's viewing the issue in (in my opinion) an incorrect way.

And that brings me to a larger point.

Mitt doesn't always look comfortable and natural. It looks like he's trying too hard to sell himself and his ideas, and not just be authentic Mitt. And, being in sales, I understand the balance between remembering your talking points and what you want to get across and being natural and you and authentic. It's a struggle we've all had at least once in our lives. I just wish he would show more authentic sides of himself, rather than try to sell us on what he thinks we want.

Mitt, you're great as you are. You don't need the fake polish. You've got a great record in private sector and in government as a leader who can get results. Run on that. Not what opinion polls tell you to run on!

Fred Thompson (R)

The big question surrounding Fred: if elected, will Sam Waterson be in your cabinet?

Fred Thompson is almost the antithesis of Mitt Romney. He comes across as very genuine. He's a guy who exudes confidence and authenticity whenever you hear him speak or watch him in front of a crowd.

But he sucks at the political process and the political games. He's suffering from entering the race much later than the other major candidates, much the same way Wes Clark did in 2004. He's not getting much publicity outside of his own circles, which hurts him. It really casts doubt into the mind, asking the question "Is this guy electable?"

Having said that, he's outstanding on foreign policy, outstanding on taxes and budget, outstanding on states rights. He's a conservative's conservative, and he has a record in government work to back it up. Moreover, thanks to Law & Order, he's recognizable throughout the country. And that certainly helps his questionable electability.

But I'm not certain he can play the game well enough to win. He doesn't do great at fund raising or anything of that ilk. And that's going to hurt him. It keeps conservatives from jumping on his bandwagon, because they don't want the disappointment that comes with the "What if" candidate.

Mike Bloomberg (I)

I'm including Bloomberg because he's giving strong implications that he might run.

I don't get the appeal of the guy, to be honest.

He's great on education, but poor on guns. Very poor on immigration, and has no real foreign policy or foreign policy experience.

I guess the appeal of this guy is that he's been both a Republican and Democrat, and is now an independent. I suppose some could see how that might make him good in the middle ground and a uniter in Washington. I don't see it that way. He's very left-leaning on most important issues, and will draw almost no support from anyone on the right.

His best asset is his bank account and his track record in business. But other candidates already have that, with other stuff to mix in. Sure, it could be fun to see a third candidate step in and jumble the field, but I can't see a situation I'd like to be in where I select Mike Bloomberg come November.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Issues, Part 2

Alright ... let's finish off the Issues listed in el chart.

Homeland Security

Obviously, this is an important issue. Our President must be committed to helping us remain safe on our home soil. Some would call it the most important issue, and I'd be hard pressed to argue with them definitively.

The chart linked to above divides this into four separate categories: Patriot Act, Wiretapping, Torture, and Guatanamo. I'm not going to sub-divide this issue, as they really all link together. And, when you look at that chart, you won't see a lot of split candidates on the issues.

On the Patriot Act (and wire tapping, too), I think it's a great idea ... in practice. I'd like to see it done with a little more caution and have it tweaked to depower the federal government and restore some more privacy. I'd like to see reduced burden of proof to obtain warrants to wiretap, search, etc in the interest of Natioal Security and Anti-Terrorism, but not completely warrantless. I don't believe you give up freedom to fight for freedom, because you don't really get freedom at all that way. You're just exchanging freedom types. And I think we're called to pursue freedom at it's purest form. It's the basis of our country. That said, if my options are to keep the PATRIOT Act as-is, or to scrap it (no tweaking possible), I'd probably lean slightly towards keeping it.

I also believe that keeping Guatanamo Bay open and operating is essential to our National Security. The reason for this is not because I want unsanctioned prisons, or cruel and unusual punishment inflicted upon anyone. Rather, it's because when someone is trying to harm our country, I don't believe they should get the benefits that come from being in our country, namely Habeas Corpus. If only for that reason. Guatanamo is important to us.

Meanwhile ... I'm incredibly torn on the issue of torture. Morally, I'm completely opposed to it. I don't want anyone being starved, dehydrated, water boarded, or anything like that. At the same time, I recognize that we're not at war against a typical enemy here, either. If, and this is a big if, we could negotiate an anti-torture policy that every side in this war would be bound to and live by, I would want the USA to not torture anyone for any reason. But I understand the enemies we have better than that, and do not naively think that they might abide by such an agreement. As such, I think I support the USA having torture as an option, but one that is used with as much reservation as we use with the option to use nuclear weapons.


Illegal immigration is a serious problem facing our nation today.

Legal immigration is something that will continue to make our country strong.

Those two statements seem like complete common sense to me.

Anyways, my ideal candidate will want to get tough on Illegals who are already in our country. No amnesty, no quickpath to citizenship. But, more importantly, my ideal candidate will have a plan to help stop illegal immigration into the USA.

What that plan is ... well, again, as long as it's good, logical, and doesn't raise my taxes, I'll like it. If you have a good way to build a Great Wall of USA, fantastic. If you have a good plan to beef up border patrols and have a virtual fence, fantastic. If you have another idea that will help control it and will actually work, fantastic and I want to hear it.

More importantly, still, is to find ways to discourage illegal immigration. The biggest reasons illegals come to the USA are jobs, education, and health care. Therefore, if we take away these perks, it seems to me we will reduce the number of illegals. So, we need to find a way to stop them from getting jobs. I suggest punishing the companies, very severely, through fines, loss of tax breaks, sanctions, and the such who hire illegals. And we keep illegal immigrants out of the public schools. Make the parents provide Social Security numbers on enrollment forms to verify that the parents and/or students are citizens and/or legally in the country. Ditto for any non-life-saving health care.

I'm not sure what the ideal conclusion is for illegals already in the country. Perhaps giving them a small window of time to report themselves and have them put "in line" for citizenship while remaining in the US could be an option, with anyone found after the short window (3-6 months) who hadn't reported being deported immediatly and forced to the back of "the line". And I wouldn't be opposed to not granting citizenship to children born in the USA when both parents are illegal immigrants. Again, no need to reward the activity.

So, to wrap that up, I see it as an important issue, but one that I don't have a definitive plan I want to see followed. What I want is a candidate who does have a plan, knows how to execute that plan, and will solve the problem with that plan.

Internet Neutrality

As a conservative discussing Internet + Politics, I'm supposed to make an Al Gore joke, right?

Anyways ... I'll be honest. This issue was so far off my radar, I had to look it up to find out what it meant. I found two sources on Wikipedia to give me a general idea of it. You can read them here and here.

In my (very) brief look at the issue, it seems the argument in favor of it is more government involvement, more taxes, and more regulation of the market and private sector.

Therefore, I must conclude that I am opposed to this, but cannot say it's anywhere near a make-or-break issue for a candidate.

If anyone has more info on it, however, let me know, as I may be missing something.


If any country poses a threat to and/or attacks the United States the Commander in Chief has the right to use force in response, and I would dare say a duty to use force in response. If any country is posing a threat to the world and ignoring international laws and/or mandates, the United States needs to impose sanctions of varying sorts and degrees on that country.

So, if that country happens to be Iran, I support the option of force and the use of sanctions on Iran.

Pretty simple to me.

Iraq War

I supported the Iraq War when it began. I support it now.

I thought we went into Iraq with too much confidence, and too little troops and power. I thought the strategy of "Shock and Awe" would have worked had we given enough power to the "Shock and Awe" to make it work. As a result, I supported the surge, though thought it would have been unnecessary had we entered correctly in the first place.

I support withdrawing from Iraq when our presence there has helped to make that country secure, stable, and able to stand on its own against the other regimes in the area. I support starting to lower the number of troops present as military strategy allows. I believe that an immediate withdraw of troops will undo all the good we have accomplished up until this point, and will have made every troop death in the war that has occurred meaningless. I believe that setting a hard date for withdraw will draw our enemies together and give them a calendar to work with.

I need a President who is willing to stand by our troops in Iraq and give them the resources, manpower, and time neccessary to complete the mission. Period.

Minimum Wage Increase

This is where my desire for small government starts to border on insanity. I'd very much prefer that we completely abolish the idea of a Minimum Wage and allow the free market to decide what employees are worth. Companies will not be able to attract quality employees without paying them competitive wages. Companies without quality employees will not succeed. Hence (using logic) I see that only companies that are willing to pay their employees a decent wage will survive in the free market.

This may not have once been true, but in the age of information, companies cannot get away with what they once got away with. Information is available to quickly and too freely for companies to be evil in this day and age.

So, I really see no need to increase the minimum wage nationally. It will not do what it is intended to do (help the lower class). Companies will simply hire less employees at a higher rate, and with less jobs, the lower class will have less than it does now. That's really all there is to it, in my opinion.

That said, this is an issue for the legislative branch, not the executive branch. I want my Senators and Representatives to care about this. I don't need my president to. There are far more important issues for a President, in my opinion.

Same Sex Marriage

The reason, in my opinion, that marriage is recognized by the federal government is because it gives a benefit to the nation. Marriages produce children, which are the next generation of workers, leaders, and Americans in general. And in return for this, the government gives recognition and tax breaks.

And, even in a day and age when more and more children are being produced outside of marriage, the need for recognition and benefit through tax breaks are there, if only because so many studies have shown that children from a natural two-parent household do much better in school and life that children from other situations. So, yes, even in this day, heterosexual marriage gives us a benefit as a nation, and as a reward (or thank-you, if you will) we recognize that and give a tax break.

Now, same sex marriages do not give that benefit (naturally) to society. So, I see no need to recognize or reward same sex marriage in the same way as heterosexual marriage.

(Look at that. A logical argument against same sex marriage. And it didn't involve my moral or religious beliefs at all. *gasp* *shock* *horror* Is that legal?)

So, my position is: no federal recognition of same sex marriage.

Now, my position is also no federal ban on same sex marriage. And especially no Constitutional amendment.

I can see plenty of good reasons (such as economic growth, attention, etc) why specific states might want to recognize and give, on the state level, tax breaks to same sex couples who partake in a same sex marriage. More power to those states. Let each state decide if they want to define marriage as between one man and one woman, or if same sex marriage is okay (and for that matter ... nah, let's not touch polygamy today). And if a couple is married in state one, and move to state two where there marriage is no longer recognized, they lose the tax break. They can still live together. But they knew before they moved they would lose the tax break, so I weep not for them.

And I'm 100% opposed to the term "civil union". To me, it's nothing more than a wussified way to get around same sex marriage. It's saying "Marriage is important, and you can't be married because you're of the same gender. But, if you act like your married but call it something else, that's ok." Not in my book, sweetheart. Either allow same sex marriage, or don't allow it. But to allow same sex civil unions but not same sex marriage is just silly.

Universal Health Care

Everything the government tries to do that the private sector could do better, the government screws up.

I expect nothing less if the federal government wants to implement Universal Health Care.

I am 100% opposed to this. And if I could get a higher number than 100, I would. Honestly. And not just because I'm in the business.

The private sector works fine. If you properly educate people about their options, put less regulations on the market, and give proper tax incentives, the system will fix itself.

Now, if you want to have government health care, I can support that in one very specific way. Do it like you handle shipping. The USPS is one of many choices (along with DHL, UPS, and Fed Ex). So they have to compete. Put the government health care out there. Give them a field force, actuaries, claims services, networks, etc. See if it will work. And if it's the best option you can find, take it. And if it's not, don't take it, and find something else. And if they make it proportional to your income, hey, low-income folks can find health care that way, without screwing up health care for the rest of the country.

I will not support any candidate who wants to implement Universal Health Care. Period.

And that wraps up the issues in the chart. The only big thing it didn't touch on was taxes and spending. I want both decreased. Which is a pretty simply explanation.

I think I'll do a candidate review next time, and then reveal who I back the time after that, along with my list of alternates, in order.

I'm enjoying the political process right now, and I hope all of you, like me, are taking the time to examine your beliefs, priorities, and government wants. This is a chance to speak out and speak up. Let's not waste it.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Issues, Part 1

Well, they're counting up votes in New Hampshire which brings me one step closer to actually participating in the process. So let's start going down the chart on the issues.

Roe v. Wade

To the surprise of just about nobody who reads this blog, I'm in support of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. But I don't want a national ban on abortions. Because, also to the surprise of no one who reads my blog, I think this should be a state issue. And that the Federal government should pass no law or uphold no ruling that on a federal level legalizes or bans abortion.

Having said that, Roe v. Wade, and abortion in general, are not Presidential issues for me. The President of the United States will not be deciding in any certain way if the decision is overturned or if an federal laws are passed or not. At best, the next President will have an indirect say by appointing judges to the Supreme Court and to lower courts. And that issue is something to debate and look for in a President. But it goes beyond abortion, and into strict interpretation vs. bench legislation.

The Death Penalty

I'm in favor of a legalized death penalty. Not because I want it used, but because I want it as an option in determent from crime and negotiation with criminals. I recognize that statistical studies show that it either does or doesn't work as a deterrent depending on the study, but I happen to believe it does.

As an issue, I see it again as a state issue, with two exceptions. I believe the Federal Government should have the right to execute an offender regardless of state law if the offender is convicted of (attempted) Terrorism or Treason.

Another issue that's not important in my long-term scheme of choosing a President.

No Child Left Behind

My actual opinion on NCLB is that the Department of Education should be abolished, and replaced with a system looking more like it belongs in a confederacy.

But I recognize that this won't happen.

So with that in mind, I'd prefer a candidate who wants to keep NCLB in place, but give it a major overhaul. Send more help (not punishments) to struggling schools, give the states a larger (but more accountable) say in the measurements, and allow for voucher options.

More than that, however, I really want a candidate with an honest, good plan to help our educational system. Education is the backbone of America, as it will create the next generation that will lead us into glory or destruction. As long as your plan is well thought out, doesn't impose unfair taxes, and will honestly move us forward, I think I can support you on this issue.

Embryonic Stem Cells

Here's my stance very simply (and it's quite the conservative, small-government stance):

  • No federal funding for stem cell research
  • Private sector funds
  • If the President and/or Congress feel it's an important issue, allow tax-based incentives for corporations, institutions and individuals who do prominent work in research

Seems common sense to me. Haven't heard that from any politicians in the race, though.

Energy and Oil

This is one of the three biggest issues in my opinion. The United States needs to become energy independent. And not at the cost of bankrupting our food supply.

We need to drill for oil where we have it in our great nation. We need to tap into the reserves we have. We need to provide tax-incentives for companies to develop hybrids electric cars, alternative fuel sources, and the such.

We need to open up energy trade with any nation that will trade with us. This especially includes Canada!

We need to move towards more Nuclear power.

Above all, we need to become energy independent, if only because remaining dependent on other countries, especially in the Middle East, keeps us susceptable to foreign policy rules from other countries and makes us slaves, of a sort, to foreign rulers. We need to stay out of Kyoto, but be mindful of the energy movements around the world to keep our fingers on the heartbeat of innovation.

Gun Ownership

Get ready to see the conservative, constitutionalist side of me many of you don't see very often.

There should be no ban on any type of weapon. Not assault weapons, not semi-automatic, not automotic, not tanks.


The right to bear arms in this country is not about protection against other citizens. Is not about the ability to hunt. It's about the ability to protect ourselves against a government gone bad. And we can't truly have that right if we don't have the proper arms. What are basic pistols and hunting weapons going to do against a rogue government?

But, at the same time, I don't believe the right to own a gun remains for certain members of our population. Those who have committed gun crimes, should lose the right for a long time, if not permanently, subject to a court judgment on a case-by-case basis. Ditto for those who have committed violent or especially heinous crimes. It is a right you lose when you lose the trust of the people around you to safely use that right.

So put me down for no restrictions on weapon sales, but yes on background checks and the such.

And that'll do it for now. That's about half of them. We'll do another look at issues, and then a look at the candidates, and then I'll probably do a final post endorsing my chosen candidate, as well as those I'd be most happy to see if he doesn't get the nomination.

I'd also love to hear other comments about these issues, as I believe the beauty of America and democracy is the free exchange of ideas.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Choosing a President

So, this November we here in the United States are electing a new President. It's probably impossible to not know this. And even before then, we've started the process to determine the Democrat and GOP nominees.

Normally, I make the statement that I hate politics. And I do. But I'm really intrigued by the elections this year. Maybe I'm buying into media hype about this being the most wide open race in more than sixty years, but I doubt it. I'm not normally one to buy into media hype.

I honestly think we're at a pivotal point in American (and World) history, and who we the people elect can help determine which path we take at this pivotal point.

I think I've finally figured out which candidate most appeals to me and which of them I'd most like to see in the White House come January. But I'm going to take some time on my blog and review the issues and the candidates.

I'll be using the candidates and the issues on this grid. It's a good tool for a snapshot of candidate positions. My plan is to use this blog to go through the positions there, describe my position and rationale for them, and then in the end see what candidate matches up best to me. Like I said, I think I know who I support, but I might even surprise myself.

I'll probably also include a few links to neat things I find around the 'net on politics and the such. For starters, you can check out the two new blogs I've linked to on the sidebar.

I hope you guys out there are as excited and interested as I am. Even if you hate politics and ads and the such, you should take the time to get informed, and informed on your own, not just from media, talk shows, and the such.

I'm Stoked

The new American Gladiators is premiering on TV right now.

This is awesome.

It's either going to be an amazing show recapturing my childhood, or an amazingly bad trainwreck of a show.

Either way, this should be very entertaining

This is awesome

Truth in Advertising

So, I'm watching VH1's 100 top songs of the '90's. And they run a commercial for "Rock of Love 2". This prompts the following.

"You know, one of these years, I'd like to see VH1 just tell the truth about what they will be airing. Just call the shows "A Bunch of Skanks Sleep With an Old Celebrity, and He Picks a Winner".

And I think I'd watch that show, at least once, if only because of the name.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Missing Z

Rachel's post today hammered home a lot of good, emotional points. I miss him so much sometimes. There are days when I'd give just about anything to be able to call him up and talk about sports. I remember breaking down (in public) this past summer when I was considering (after the Indians resigned Travis Hafner) if they could afford to keep Sabathia and Sizemore around, and if not, trying to figure out which one would be the better keep, and knowing that if I could get JZ's opinion on it, he'd know exactly the right and most sensible answer.

But it goes beyond sports. Beyond any single topic we ever talked about, and Lord knows we covered just about every spectrum of conversation we could. I just ... miss him. Rachel's right. We're supposed to be getting together to watch the draft in a few months, having children grow up together, and all that stuff. That's how it was supposed to work. I still get angry with God because it doesn't work that way.

I offer two things today, in this post, in memory of Joshua Wayne Zickefoose. A song and a joke. If you don't like sick twisted humor, and/or you might find offense to certain types of jokes, I'd warn you not to read the joke at the end of this post. It's the one alluded to in Rachel's post.

This is a song that brought my a lot of comfort a couple of years ago when in the span of a week I lost a dear friend who was also a peer and my grandfather during Christmas Break from ONU. Some of the details of the song don't really apply to me, but the overall feeling and message of the song does bring me comfort and hope.

Thinking About Forever

[Time goes by and God knows I try to carry on with the life]
Decide not to hide feelings inside, even though they hurt
Sometimes, I forget to remember you
It’s easy to lock away these pains, don’t want to relive it through
But I stay strong, you taught me how to move on in this world
I married my sweetheart, even got a little baby girl
I wish you could see her, I swear she looks just like you
[If you can hear me, show me a sign, please send a butterfly or two]

[I’m thinking about forever missing you (I'm thinking about forever)]
[I know you’re so much better we made it through (I know you're so much better)]

Now I know what it means to live for someone else
To give up yourself
[Things have changed, and times it gets kind of strange]
Your love remains the same
Do I make you proud? Mama, can you see me now?
Whatever is good in me is because you showed me how to take love by the hand
And so now I can share you with my baby
So that she can understand


ending chorus:
[I’m thinking about forever missing you (I'm thinking about forever)]
[I know you’re so much better we made it through (I know you're so much better)]
[I’m thinking about forever missing you (I'm thinking about forever)]
[I’m tripping on whatever hearing you (I'm tripping on whatever)]

This was one of JZ's favorite jokes. Mandy didn't let him tell it because it was so awful. I don't particularly like it, but it reminds me of him, so I tell it, because it's like having a part of him back when I tell it. I'm sure this will offend some of you, but I'm sorry ... I have to do it.

So, a woman went into labor on the first of April. She went to the hospital very early in the morning. The birthing process was long, painful, and complicated. But, finally, after several hours in labor, the baby is delivered.

Immediately after the baby was delivered, the doctors took it from the room. An hour goes by, and they still haven't returned the baby to the mother. Two hours, three hours and still no baby. Finally, six hours after the baby was delivered, the doctor enters the room, dribbling the baby like a basketball. He chest passes the baby to the mother who is laying in bed, and she ducks in horror and involuntary reaction and the baby flies through the window and plummets to the ground.

In horror and grief the woman yells at the doctor "Oh my God, you just killed my baby"

The doctor replies "April fools! It was born dead."

I miss you. You bastard.