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Showing posts from September, 2008

Thank God for Our Sometime Democracy

The "recent" economic crisis has given some powerful people in the United States the perfect opportunity to invent an excuse to increase their power, line their pockets and avoid responsibility for their mistakes by pushing the burden onto the American people. The failed bailout proposal was an incredible threat to the integrity of our government -such as it is- and would have done nothing to solve the very source of our society's economic problems - all for a price tag of $700 billion. So why did it fail? Well maybe, just maybe, it was the voice of the people that was heard.

Although there was division along party lines, (60% of D's but only 33% of R's voted yes) those numbers show that the issue was certainly not clearly one side versus the other. It was, after all, President Bush's Treasury Secretary who proposed the bill. For many conservatives, voting no was probably a simple ideological vote, a vote for limiting the power of government and saving the A…

Foreign Policy Proposal

I have an idea as to how we can protect ourselves from the threats of terrorism. For most people, it comes under the heading "this is what loses you all your credibility." For some, it comes under the heading "it's just so crazy it might work." But for me, it comes under the heading "it's just so right it has to work." Here's the plan, plain and simple, no rhetoric attached (although I can supply plenty of that if you wish): 1. Withdraw U.S. military forces from all foreign countries. 2. Eliminate the Department of Defense, disbanding the U.S. Army, Navy, Airforce and Marine Corps. 3. Cut domestic military spending and end monetary support of foreign militaries. 4. Declare the United States a pacifist state unwilling to create or participate in war. 5. Do not allow U.S. policy to be isolationist. The U.S. must continue to lead the world through economic prowess, interaction and aid to other countries, helping to improve lives everywhere a…

I Could Debate Better Than Obama (Plus Georgia, Plain and Simple)

The general media consensus seems to be that the first presidential debate was a "draw". I largely agree, as far as one can agree with the MSM. I'm pleasantly surprised though that the debates are being handled by PBS, which is by far my favorite set of programming on the airwaves and by far the least MS out of the MSM. While we're on the topic of the allusive Main-Stream Media, please note I agree with many conservatives that the FOX network isn't part of it. Rather instead of being in the MSM, FOX makes a group of its own, technically termed the SBM. Try to figure that one out.

If I was forced to choose one man over the other as the winner of tonight's debate, I would probably choose Obama, but this is obviously because of my own biases and not any real enthusiasm about the results. As some of the pundits somewhat articulated in their analyses, neither candidate actually said any inspiring. They engaged in a little back and forth, for sure, but the debate l…

Discrimination in the Consitution

Tradition is not an excuse. It just ends up seeming that way.

Honestly I don't see why there isn't more attention paid to the fact that many fully fledged U.S. citizens and voters cannot run for certain public offices. There are extra limitations on everything from being President of the United States to being a representative in the House of the Alaska Legislature. Here's the deal, plain and simple:

If you can vote, you should be able to run.

Obviously ageism isn't something that people think about often, but just because a person may eventually be old enough to say become president doesn't mean that it's not wrong to deny them that chance right now.

From the Constitution of the United States of America:

Article I, Section 2: No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall b…

Face the Match-o-Matic! If You Dare...

If you want a mysterious no-names-involved matching with either McCain or Obama based on things they've said about various issues, ABC's Match-o-Matic is for you. On several questions I got the impression that the whole thing was a trap and that quotes were taken from each to make them seem like the other. In many cases the quotes are very similar. That's of course what makes it so fun; you're just going for whichever quote you like better and can't for sure figure out who's who. In the end though my fears came to nothing and I can affirm I am still a solid Obama supporter. Only three of my choices went to McCain - abortion obviously and then also the two on immigration, which was surprising. Anyways, try it out.

As for the rest of this post, I have determined I will do a good-old rundown of my school day, seeing as I haven't done one for quite a while.

I started off the day by being late to school for the first time this year. Technically that may not be…

Statistics

The United States of America:

As of 2001, the top 1% of households (the upper class) owned 33.4% of all privately held wealth, and the next 19% (the managerial, professional, and small business stratum) had 51%, which means that just 20% of the people owned a remarkable 84%, leaving only 16% of the wealth for the bottom 80% (wage and salary workers). In terms of financial wealth, the top 1% of households had an even greater share: 39.7%. (UCSC Sociology)

Now for some more impressive stuff.

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) reported in 1998 that the world's 225 richest people now have a combined wealth of $1 trillion. That's equal to the combined annual income of the world's 2.5 billion poorest people.The wealth of the world's three most well-to-do individuals now exceeds the combined GDP of the 48 least developed countries.While global GNP grew 40 percent between 1970 and 1985, the number of poor grew by…

Triumph the Young

Don Young, (current representative for all Alaska) has triumphed over Sean Parnell in the Republican primary by a smooth 304 votes. In other news, Don Young is a corrupt bastard. I have said so before and will say so again. And yet, the news above makes me inordinately happy. Why is this? I shall explain. In Alaska politics, if you are not yet a corrupt bastard and you have an (R) by your name, you automatically win general state elections. I have seen no counterexample in recent history. However, if you are a longtime corrupt bastard, even if you have that (R), there is a chance you might be defeated by a (D). The best recent example of this is the election of dear Governor Palin. In the primary, Sarah faced incumbent Frank "Worst Governor Ever" Murkowski. Naive boy that I was, I figured it was good that Sarah beat Frank in the primary because she seemed incredibly inexperienced and unintelligent, especially compared to Former Governor Tony "Swedish Chef" Knowl…

The Alaskan Accent

Recently I heard on national news (I forget the exact venue) a comment on Sarah Palin's "Alaskan accent". Well today, ladies and gentlemen, instead of addressing something seemingly important like recent politics or economics, I write to tell you quite strongly:

Sarah Palin does not have an Alaskan accent.

She has a crazy accent. I have no clue from whence such a thing sprang, but it was certainly not based upon the civilized language of upstanding Alaskans. I will indeed confirm that there is something of an Alaskan accent. I have been told I have one. Occasionally I will realize after I've said something that the way I pronounce some things really doesn't line up with habitual vowel sounds of the English language, as messed up as they are. Sarah Palin, however, sounds nothing like me. In fact, she sounds like no one that I know, either in or out of Alaska or anywhere on this planet.

If only there was something to call that way in which dear Sarah speaks. I wou…

Tuning in to One's Self

Some of my readers may remember that I am a puritan crusader of the worst kind. Now I return to criticize other habits of my peers, again bearing two spiky, numbered points. These two are quite specific compared to the last, which were extremely broad, and they are much less extreme than drugs and self-mutilation, but at the same time much more common and therefore probably almost as major disturbance in my force. Well, perhaps it's not so disturbing for me. But that's because I don't usually do these things!

Now I realize that this particular tirade of mine may stink of hypocrisy, but that's just something that comes naturally and has to be struggled against on a personal level. Please don't judge me for my hypocritical judgments. :)

1. Gum is a distraction without substance.

I have chewed a few sticks in my time, but not for quite some time and never with any regularity. Gum chewing, in my humble opinion, is a pointless waste of money, energy, silence and the …

The True Value of Freedom

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Here in Alaska, we know very well the true value of freedom. This applies to the Second Amendment in particular. Although my family's bagging in recent years surely hasn't been as good as our First Family's, my grandfather, father and both his brothers as well as my brother and myself are all enthusiastic hunters. I don't hesitate to state that my family owns firearms, and any infringement on this basic right is a threat to the foundation upon which this country was built.

My readers may be under the impression that I am a crazy-kool-aid-drinking-pinko-commie, which is not something with which I would have much to argue, but as with other individual issues, gun control is an area in which I sharply disagree with the Democratic Party and with liberals in general. Is it not true these United States gained their independence through the common man's musket? Individual possession of arms is an essential element of individual independence. Gun control clearly leads to …

No Rest on the Seventh

Today was my seventh day of school. You can be sure you'll keep hearing how many days I've gone through as the year goes on, since today was also the day that we got our planners. There's a handy little box at the top of each day where you write what day of school it is, so I don't think I'll be able to resist keeping track. Although it may be somewhat boring for prospective readers, I find a class-by-class run-through of my day to be a good thing to do. It's what I've done for my parents at the dinner table for years and it's certainly something I could look back on in the future. Besides, I think I've done enough high-substance writing for today. I just finished writing a very nice introduction to my expository speech for Speech and Debate, and I think I will use it for Academic Decathlon as well. And so, here is my day:

I woke up at 6:20 feeling especially ready for Monday despite the fact that I had gotten far too little sleep. I ate breakfast a…

Debating the Draft with Myself

Resolved: that the United States should instate a military draft. This is the first debate topic of the year and I think it will be very interesting to take it on. There are good arguments for both sides and I think I will be able to do well with both. More interesting, however, is that I am not quite sure what my actual opinion on this is. When Mr. Ortiz first wrote the resolved up on the board I was entirely sure that I was completely against the draft. Now after some more research and thought about the idea I am not so sure. First of all this is an interesting topic because it is not one that falls along the "left vs. right" measuring line. It isn't a case of the "far" ends vs. the moderates either. Much more it is a case of authoritarianism vs. libertarianism, the two oft-forgotten points of the political compass. For me, it really comes down to a much harder choice: freedom vs. equality. In an economic context of course I am very intent on seeking equal…

And on the Fourth Day...

...I think I will ramble on about myself and then talk about how the Republican platform painfully contradicts itself. And I started yet another article with "and". I have also completed yet another day of school- the fourth. I've continued walking to and from school every day, although that may not last much longer since it's gotten pretty rainy since I came home. Tomorrow will be the first of three straight days of soccer this week, which promises to be somewhat tiring. Perhaps I should also mention that on Labor Day I ate meat for the first time since coming home from Juneau. I didn't just let that slide for nothing, though. I brokered a deal that I'll eat meat now only if my family only eats meat two meals a week. I've sacrificed to make my whole family's diet better. (Thank you, thank you.) At least I can say I survived as a veggie for a while.

Currently I am listening to Rudy Giuliani. He is obviously very misguided, as are the people to whom h…

And Now Sarah Palin Freaks Me Out

Forget my hours-old mumblings about how I like Sarah Palin. It's amazing how much national media attention can dig up and bring to light. You have my sympathy, Sarah- having an unrelenting "liberal" media on your back really must suck- but as far as I'm concerned you can go back to Wasilla and stay there. For those of you who were of the idea that different religions actually have key differences to them, I think I am led to disagree with you. Different religions have their distinct cultures, traditions, and tendencies, but in the end they are what the believer makes them, as is the scripture that they (presumably) read. I've read the New Testament quite a bit and it seems pretty clear to me that Jesus didn't endorse violence (at all) but it comes as no surprise that others can read the same thing and come up with something totally different, especially when the topic is a part of something as dynamic and important as religion. I think I shall flip through my …

And This is Why I Can't Join the AIP

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http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/09/members-of-frin.html

I was really looking forward to joining the Alaska Independence Party when I registered to vote. It would be cool and fun and I honestly do think we should rethink Alaska's relationship with the United States. Now though it seems I had better steer clear of that and stick with being independent. Lord knows there must be plenty enough mud to sling at me from all I've written online, but I guess being in a "fringe" (but cool!) party just can't work if I still want to keep all my political options open. And hey, if you think I couldn't make it into national politics, just look at Sarah Palin. We're all entitled to our dreams. Honestly I really don't have anything against Sarah. She just sucks as a vice presidential candidate. I like her as governor. She should stay as governor. All her positions aside, what she's actually done in office has been pretty good. Sure she's not that…