Politics

In case you're wondering…

This page is not meant to be answered - this is simply a jot-down of my thoughts on current events based on present-day Politics… If you're asking why include this on the Grand Stories, I'll let you in on a little secret: Every world, every story, any 'civilization' has some sort of law and order that keeps it running, and each and every event can and will disrupt it. By analyzing, questioning the decisions of, arguing and agreeing, and stating opinions of political reactions to present events, I feel it would help me analyze what characters would do in mirrored situations in their society. "But Real Life isn't Fiction" - Wrong. Lives are stories just as much as a book is. It's just infinitely more personal than a standard run-in-the-mill fiction off the Borders bookshelf.

This page is simply here to raise questions, no matter how trivial and/or simplistic they may seem. It's a resource - a reservoir of thoughts I have going through the times. On the off chance others were to be interested in what I jot down - that's why I've included this on the Grand Stories - however strictly on my page. If you're here to rage, change, delete, or edit what I jot down, I feel both sorry for you that you had nothing better to do, and sorry to anyone else who might have been reading along with interest: but I -WILL- keep a personal file along with this. Once every so often (if this is still up and continues to be allowed) I will run a restorative edit, to keep the ideas to it's original copy.

This page is for the collection of my thoughts ONLY, as much as I would love constructive and informative feedback, please post it elsewhere or keep it to yourselves… If you're here to debate - I don't need it. Speak to me in person and I guarantee you'll win: never was good at those such things… but if your aim is to change my opinion, your time is better placed elsewhere. Please see to it you don't waste it.

June 17th, 2010 - Subject: Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Also known as the BP Oil Spill. This oil spill, as of today, has reached the 58-Day mark of it's progression. You turn on the news, and you hear one of a few things: What President Obama doing about the Oil Spill - What's happening to BP because the Spill happened - and What damages the Spill has caused thus far. For those who don't know - here's some facts that were on Wikipedia that will clear up a few things:

  • The Deepwater Horizon is ONE OF the biggest oil spill disasters to date. Of the list that they have, this event is currently ranked at #4.
  • The US Government has blamed BP for the Oil Spill, and they are/will be held accountable for all cleanup costs. Essentially then, it's BP's fault.
  • The cause of the spill is a "Wellhead blowout" - the explosion killed 11 workers and caused injuries to 17 others stationed there.
  • The Drilling Unit was built by Hyundai Heavy Industries, owned by the company Transocean, however merely under lease to BP.
  • Production Casing was being run and cemented by Haliburton Energy Services. Casing provides several uses, such as the sealing off of high pressure zones from the surface, avoiding potential for a blowout!!
  • BP's interest in the Macando Prospect - the site where the Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig exploded, was 65% and later purchased the rights to drill there. Simply put, BP was simply an investor seeking new grounds to obtain oil.

Now my first question is this: Why go after BP? Simply by going at the facts listed above, as an investor, not an operator. They purchased the services of Haliburton ES. - "…on April 20, 2010, methane gas from the well under high pressure shot up and out of the drill column marine riser, expanded onto the platform, and then ignited and exploded." (Wikipedia) According to the facts listed, it was Haliburton's job to cement in place a casing to seal off high-pressure zones, in order to prevent this from happening. Now tell me - WHY GO AFTER BP? They had the drilling rights and were investing in a potential new oil drilling location.

Let's do some research on Haliburton, shall we?

  • Headquarters in Houston, Texas….
  • Nearly $18.3 Billion in yearly revenue…. With $2.22 Billion being pure profit.
  • Contracts a lot of work directly from the Pentagon…

And when browzing Haliburton on Wikipedia further, I noticed this: "In April 2010, Halliburton staff were employed on the Transocean operated [Deepwater Horizon] oil rig in the Mexican Gulf. Halliburton staff completed cementation of the final production well 20 hours prior to the [Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion], but had not yet set the final cement plug." (Wikipedia)

Interesting… so "completed" the job without the final cement plug… sure sounds like a bang-up job they did… cruel pun of irony intended. And with connections directly to the US Government, I'd assume BP is being pointed the blame, because…? Well, if I were an investor in a company, I wouldn't want them to go out of business. IF it was Haliburton's fault… being the US Government's primary source for these sorts of things… that would mean that blaming BP is covering Haliburton's hide.

SO! What have we learned thus far?
BP has taken the blame, and is trying desperately to clean up the oil spill.
Haliburton didn't finish their job, the most likely cause to the drilling rig explosion - the same that killed 11 people and injured 17 others.
According to NASDAQ, Both Haliburton and BP suffered stock market drops in mid April (April 20th was the original date of the explosion, mind you.) However! Haliburton, around June 1st, slowly had their market drop stabilize and begin rising again after a 50% loss in value. From $37 a share to $22 and now up to $26 and rising… What about BP? Over $60 a share to $31, and no stabilization around June 1st: they're still taking the heat from this explosion. Makes me wonder what happened around the beginning of June.

But before I could research the date, I spotted this: "BP is reportedly vulnerable to a corporate takeover as a result of the fall of its stock value and potential for continuing decline." (Wikipedia)

General Motors, anyone?

Well, whatever happened to save Haliburton from being fed to the dogs was in the US Government's best interest… I wouldn't be surprised if it was them misdirecting us to BP in the first place, however, one thing's for sure - The News Media claiming it being the "Worst Oil Spill in recent history" and it constantly being on track with this 24/7… this has SERIOUSLY gone on far enough. I swear, this oil spill has gotten more news coverage than the controversial War in Iraq did back with Bush. Also… 50-something days in, you think President Obama could have acted a little sooner to address these big companies? I personally feel that the government had no place in the matter - a corporate mishap causing substantial environmental damage, sure - I'd say that's grounds to be a Green Peace organization's head story, but not the top report on the president's desk: Keep in mind, we're still in Afghanistan and Iraq - in a WAR. I've got friends headed over there, in there, and just had my Step Brother return from there. It shouldn't be the President first order of business - in fact, businesses shouldn't be anywhere near the government, but that's a different point altogether.

So that about wraps up today and the Oil Spill stuff - On to day 59 of "who the hell cares"? I wonder what will differ from yesterday… My bet is on "Spill is a bit bigger now…" and that's it - The slow progress and media coverage will still be the same - annoyingly consistent.

June 18th, 2010 - Subject: Health Care Reform - "Obamacare"

This issue had been the hot topic of both liberals and conservatives alike. No… personally - I've never cared much about Obamacare or anything related to this topic - but I've been told once it's probably the single biggest subject President Obama has dealt with to date. So… let's take a look together, shall we?

First red flag - If we looked at this Health Care Bill together, we would be reading (as reported by the Politico on Nov. 18th, 2009) Two-thousand seventy-four pages. That's 2074… Maybe we'll take it chapter by chapter… Perhaps: Chapter One, Table of Contents would be a good start - It's only 14 pages long… much less daunting.

The reason I raise a red flag at this is for the simple question: why would anyone need over two-thousand pages to reform health care? Even if it had a separate section to each state… that's giving over 400 Pages per state! My first question would be what is lurking inside this plan that we don't know about? The conservatives definitely earned points with me here by their outspoken cry, of "Read the Bill"! It should be noted that the legislation was being pushed for mid-2009, not one full year into President Obama's presidency. Why rush legislation unless you got something to hide? You don't? Then give us the time to read the bill and decide for ourselves what's necessary and what's not… It would take too much time? I should hope so! You're considering health care to the entire nation! I should hope we take some time and analyze something that's affecting all of us.

Now… for a second interesting tidbit - Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 is the official name of the legislation today, according to Wikipedia. Actually, it should be… if I understand this correctly… one of two "identical" bills. One is the listed previously. The other, with the tag of "Obamacare" in it's wikipedia page, is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Here's to my big surprise…. TWO Health Care Bills? One, the "Obamacare", I knew of… but the one I thought was the Health Care Bill, was actually something different? Well… According to Wikipedia, both bills were passed, but the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 was abandoned for the bill now known as Obamacare. It lists that the abandoned plan had a Student Loan reform attached to it, increasing Pell Grants, 5% reduced cap to monthly loan payments, a bonus 5-Year forgiveness on loans, from 25 Years down to 20, easier qualification for Parent PLUS Loans, and increased budgets for historically poor, minority, and community colleges. How that relates to me? Well, What could have been a greater Pell Grant - money I am awarded, and don't have to pay back, reduced monthly payments for when I have to pay back said loans and the chance for my family to have Parent PLUS eligibility, just got shot out the window. That may have meant in the long-run I would have owed more money (lengthened amounts of times with a loan, longer still with lower cap rates on monthly payments), but it would have been more convenient and easier to pay off. The Pell Grant alone? I remember having to drop a class because my financial aid couldn't cover my textbooks for any of my classes. That alone could have made me on a class schedule having me graduate on time… but I digress - this… any of what was just mentioned… was abandoned. Sorry, fellow students!

Now… what DID we get?

What We Got

Wanting to use a resource other than Wikipedia to open, (even though it's my favorite, reliable site….) we'll be getting hit with the following - according to Reuters' "Factbox".

So… if I dislike your health care plan… You'll take my money anyway, but in fines. I'm sure I don't have to explain to anyone what happens if you default on a fine… Well. That's certainly nice of them: Pay us money for health care, or deal with the consequences of… paying us money. Another interesting note - The end date of the noted deadline is 2016…. President Obama started his presidency in 2008… if he was re-elected, that date marks the end of his second term. For some reason, I feel the phrase "Take the money and run" is appropriate here…

  • Firms with more than 50 workers who do not offer medical coverage could face fines of $2,000 per full-time employee. (- continuing off of Reuters)

So… any small business over 50 employees need to shell out their pockets and pay you money to keep themselves from… owing you money. Not only am I starting to see a pattern here, but consider this scenario - A firm with 49 employees are trying desperately to keep money in their pockets, because they simply can't afford the 50th Employee plus Health care. Once a 50th employee is in, be it by mistake, mishap, misconception or miscalculation, $2,000 times 50 employees is an immediate $100,000 fine - ON TOP OF owing each employee health care. So much for small, expanding firms… but I'm sure they have the money… right?

  • Federal subsidies would be provided to help people with incomes up to 400 percent of the poverty level purchase coverage on the exchange. Proposed changes would sweeten those subsidies for lower income people. (- Reuters, continued….)
  • Medicaid, the government health insurance program for the poor, would be available to everyone with incomes up to 133 percent of the poverty level, which stood at $10,830 for an individual and $22,050, for a family of four. Many states have eligibility requirements below those levels. (-Again, Reuters…)

It sounds good - in theory. The government is giving money to dire income and poverty-stricken civilians. There is still a question that needs to be asked, however - where is that money coming from? Certainly not the government… if you haven't checked, we're overclocking the federal deficit… government money comes from one of two methods, for those who don't know: you have the obvious choice, taxes. Highly unpopular, the taxes that would be implemented would take money from the rich and give to the poor: A Robin Hood, with an unbiased opinion. If you got the money doing a job, you're making multi-millions, yeah, in my opinion, that money could be better spent buying some random, poor Jimmy or Susan their lunch, paying for an infirmary check up for their 105º fever, rather than spending it on a new pimped-out corporate Jet, hot-tubs and all… However the scary part about "unbiased", means that the average Joe, who's working his butt off, trying to break even and actually get a positive net balance… maybe not feel threatened for once by a stack of bills in the mail… THEY are being taxed just as well, and they sink ever closer to bankruptcy. The second method is a bit more subtle, but none the better - print more money. The federal government can simply print bills into it's possession, "adding" to the over all pool of wealth in this country. However, you simply can't just print money and say it has value - it doesn't work like that… this is why, and exactly what inflation is: They print more dollars, so YOURS is worth less. Then, they have the money to spend on whatever, and you're stuck paying $6.95 on a gallon of gas.

Oh, if you ever do check that source, note the comments: there is a good number of them that are Democrats and Liberal Supporters, confused as to why the Republican Party is denying the American people this RIGHT. To quote (at the time of this post) messages that speak out against the Republicans, we have:

  • "America should be ashamed that so many would take a position oppossed to something so fundamental as healthcare for so many fellow Americans."
  • "Based on the small number of protesters outside the Capitol building (most of whom appear to be racist nut cases), it would appear the Republican Party has grossly over-estimated the true level of public discontent with the bill."
  • The party of NO is not going to get their way on this one! The American people deserve better. It should be the right of every American to afford and not be denied quality healthcare. Period.

From what I understood… this sounds more like "the right to owe the government more money". Don't get me wrong - if there was some way to get this health care to the needy, the poor, and willing volunteers paid for this service, I would be first in line to support it with whatever pennies I have left. (Quote me on that! A buck-twenty-two at this time…) I, personally, will NOT stand for someone else deciding how much money they're taking out of my pocket.

Here's an analogy for thought: You have a choice… to choose between a voluntary money military, or have your dollar bills get put into a money military draft. And if anyone tells you that a volunteer system like that wouldn't work, connecting to the same analogy, I say to them this: The United States Military, a voluntary system, responded to the terrorist attack nine years ago. They did just fine, numerically speaking - and it was not decided by some draft!

Now… one brief, quick look at trusty Wikipedia… just to cross-check the facts, shall we?

  • "The law includes a large number of health-related provisions to take effect over the next four years, including expanding Medicaid eligibility, subsidizing insurance premiums, providing incentives for businesses to provide health care benefits, prohibiting denial of coverage/claims based on pre-existing conditions, establishing health insurance exchanges, and support for medical research. The costs of these provisions are offset by a variety of taxes, fees, and cost-saving measures, such as new Medicare taxes for high-income brackets, taxes on indoor tanning, cuts to the Medicare Advantage program in favor of traditional Medicare, and fees on medical devices and pharmaceutical companies;[2] there is also a tax penalty for citizens who do not obtain health insurance (unless they are exempt due to low income or other reasons).[3] The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the net effect (including the reconciliation act) will be a reduction in the federal deficit by $143 billion over the first decade" - (Wikipedia)

"Expanding Medicaid eligibility" - The government will pay for more people to receive Medi-… wait.. the government has no money…
"Subsidizing insurance premiums" - The government will pay for a portion of your insur-…. waaaait… the government doesn't have…
"Providing incentives for businesses to provide health care benefits" - Cover them and pay us money, Or don't, get fined and pay us.
"Prohibiting denial of coverage/claims" - No matter what they're based on, EVERYONE must pay! We accept ALL (your) money!
"Establishing Health Insurance Exchanges" - Making switching to one universal government-run health-care plan just got easier…
"and Support for Medical Research" - The one good thing that might come of this… depending where the money comes from.

"The costs… are offset by a variety of taxes, fees…" - We're paying for this with your money, by the way…
Such as…
"New Medicare Taxes" - God only knows what taxes these include.Sure, have your insurance - but not so much… we want to keep some of it for ourselves.
"Taxes on indoor tanning" - …..?!?!?!?!?!?!!!? WHAAAAT?! What does INDOOR TANNING have anything to DO with this!!??!?!
"Cuts to the Medicare Advantage Program…" - So what money you DO wind up getting, won't be as much…
"and fees on medical devices and Pharmaceutical Companies." - So the stuff, and the people, who are AIDING you will get MORE money taken away… What an insentive to stay in business, eh?
"There is also a tax penalty for citizens who do not obtain health insurance (unless they are exempt due to low income or other reasons)" - Heck! I'm off the hook… I think ZERO income classifies as Low Income. If I try getting a job though, I'm screwed, if I make too much. Yay Minimum Wage?

And finally, the laughing stock of the whole ordeal…

"The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the net effect (including the reconciliation act) will be a reduction in the federal deficit by $143 billion over the first decade"……..
You tax us… you cut away what we have… you pay with our money anyway… and then you do the same to the companies trying to help us… And you're happy to report that you think the federal deficit might go down a hundred billion in the first decade… With what you're doing, that SHOULD be in about a YEAR'S worth of work, forget TEN years… Makes me wonder what you're doing with the rest of our money?! Oh, right… Spending it for us on something we would have only purchased if we felt it necessary to get coverage anyway…

Seriously - If we think we needed it, we would get it. If we couldn't afford it before? (Which is the point I'm sure ALL liberals are making right now) Well, we STILL can't afford it: you're just using our money for us. Thankfully, though, the little people won't get so much taken out of their budget for this… then again, what did they have to begin with? If you think about it proportionally? Perhaps they might actually be getting hit the hardest. Though, liberals.. you do make a good point…

What would a person in poverty be doing at an indoor tanning salon?

June 21st, 2010 - Illegal Immigration, Focus: Fremont, Nebraska

First off… the minute I saw this in the news, I yelled out a loud hoorah to the people of Fremont, Nebraska.

I'm sure, by now, we're all aware of the legislation and actions being taken in Arizona, about the vast number of illegals located there. Well, despite everyone else, the 25,000 person city of Fremont has signed into town law a ban on illegal immigrants renting residences and working at a job, despite the wishes of the city officials. According to the Wall Street Journal, "The law requires town officials to evaluate the citizenship status of any person renting property, while employers must check the status of would-be hires using a federal database."

Now, let me state my opinion on Illegal Immigration. It is of my opinion, that we currently have a system for LEGAL immigration for a reason: should this country accept too many immigrants, regardless, the population difference would make getting jobs that much harder, and if every immigrant demanded benefits, that's that much more money going to them to keep them here than giving welfare and foodstamps to our american-born poor and hungry.

Now… upon hearing of the action in Fremont, the ACLU vowed to challenge the act in a court of law, stating (continuing with the story on the Wall Street Journal), that the act the city was taking is “completely out of step with American values of fairness and equality.”

My question… HOW SO?! They're not even Americans! They are here illegally! You're lucky that they're moving them out of their city, and not doing what you're SUPPOSED to do with things done illegal - you arrest them! However, the track record of the federal government has been more than successful keeping the illegal immigrants employed and housed.

Again, my opinion? That's because, I feel, that so long as Democrats keep illegal immigrants housed and employed, with every benefit under the sun, they'll have their vote, keeping the Democrats in office. The opposition sees the illegal immigrants as poor and hungry that need shelter, and like any "caring" individual would, they do their best to feed them, clothe them, shelter them… Meaning any outcry against these actions would be viewed as hostile, hating, racist beliefs. Why is it RACIST to wish Illegals be turned away? They're ILLEGAL! If they want to be in this country, they should do it the old fashioned way, and get in line - personally, they should be arrested if their not here legally, you should be thankful that all we want to do is kick them out! Illegal Immigrants isn't a race - they come from a multitude of countries - but no matter what, they're NOT ALLOWED to be here!

Hell, I even think Maine should adopt the same law, as should every state! Illegal is Illegal, be it a Hispanic, a Canadian, and Irish, a German, an ANYTHING!!! But the ACLU's creed (found on Wikipedia to be: "to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.") will find some loophole, or lobby to keep these illegals here.

Thanks ACLU guys… cause we couldn't find jobs for ourselves already - it's nice to know Al-Saheeb Mohammad and Carlos Martinez are also competing for my job too, despite their illegality. I'll gladly compete with Colm Murphy so long as he was naturalized.

June 22nd, 2010 - Profiling versus Racism

Quoted by Wikipedia, the Oxford English Dictionary states that the definition of racism is, "…a belief or ideology that all members of each racial group possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially to distinguish it as being either superior or inferior to another racial group or racial groups." Racial discrimination has led to numerous hate crimes, murders, and far, far worse, i.e. a mass genocide. It has been used both off and on political grounds, and is generally used to incite emotions against or for a particular group - Extremist's examples being, "White Power", "Kill the Jews", and pretty much any racial slur ever created. The Ku Klux Klan members are a good example of one of these extremist groups.

Also a Wiki quote, "Racial profiling refers to the inappropriate use of an individual’s race or ethnicity by law enforcement personnel as a key factor (or sometimes as any factor at all) in deciding whether to engage in enforcement (e.g. make a traffic stop or arrest)." This is caused by generalizations by the populous, and effect more than just race. I'm sure you've heard Republicans referred to as sexist, racist, etc., and that too, is profiling.

Is Profiling, racism? Is profiling even inappropriate? Ex-President George W. Bush thinks it is, stated saying "Racial Profiling is wrong and we will end it in America. In so doing, we will not hinder the work of our nation's brave police officers. They protect us every day — often at great risk. But by stopping the abuses of a few, we will add to the public confidence our police officers earn and deserve." Now before you Republicans go on the defensive and those Liberals out there start throwing parties that I've finally bashed Bush… let me clarify his statement. His concern was for the policemen taking fire from the people for racial profiling - because they believed it to be racist.

In truth, it fits the description. It is the racial generalization that Arabic men are terrorists, wearing the white cloth and turban of Al-Queda. However, when we take a look at that opinion, there is no harm being done as of yet, just a bunch of red tape the Arab has to go through in order to go through checkpoints. Meanwhile, the 82-Year Old white, American-born grandma goes through without a hitch. For the people that are inconvenienced, this could be viable grounds for discrimination (under that term, racist).

I am proud to say that this is a true story - during a debate, my cousin was arguing Pro-Profiling. One of her partner debaters held up photos. One was a grandmother, the other, an Arab. He asked the entire class if they would pull aside either one at an airport. No one pulled aside the grandma, and maybe two-four people pulled aside the Arab. The rest of the class sat silent, hoping that this was the only point to the argument. In short, the photo of the Arab was a known Al-Queda, driving one of the planes into the World Trade Center on 9/11. With great tact, he informed that their lack of using profiling let this man onto the plane. The consequences of that act were obvious, and he sat down.

I would argue that such checkpoints are on full alert, twenty-four-seven. Their job is to stop terrorists, illegals, and anyone else from pulling destructive stunts such as 9/11. Profiling is a method that can be used and I approve of it being used: however it's only a matter of time before the grannies are being generalized as suicide bombers… then there would be another group yelling about this. Profiling makes sense, though - not many Non-Hispanics attempt to cross the border into the US from Mexico, for example… but despite it's uses, these generalizations technically classify as racism. What people on the left dramatize, is the extremist racism that has killed and ruined the lives of so many, labeling our own police force as the next KKK. Besides, if we keep using Profiling, the ACLU will continue their mantra of "Discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, nationality or on any other particular identity undermines the basic human rights and freedoms to which every person is entitled."

In my opinion, those to the ACLU, once a person becomes a terrorist, illegal immigrant, sexual predator… they've lost… nay, forfeited their 'basic human rights and freedoms', and should be dealt with as what they are. A threat to the American society. Kudos to the police force, putting up with those who criticize their actions, and dealing with the innocents they feel the need to stop. But please… We're ALL in one category or another - middle-age white males tend to be the leading group for sex offenders, so I've heard. It may mean money we have to spend doubling or more to our security for these checkpoints at borders and airport security, but that money won't be spent cleaning rubble at some ground zero. The American Life is worth more than the American Dollar, my friends. And it is my personal opinion that to keep EVERY American life safe and happy, we need to not blame our security for unnecessary stops and racial profiling - You can't be a racist if you treat everyone equally. So EQUALLY stop us all and those checkpoints. Money and Personal Inconveniences should be of no concern to us, so long as we can sleep comfortably at nights knowing the predators, illegals, terrorists, and everyone else trying to destroy the American Dream is where they should be - OUT OF AMERICA.

June 23rd, 2010 - General Stanley A. McChrystal and "The Runaway General"

Four-Star General Stanley A. McChrystal is the Commander of the International Security Assistance Force, and also the Commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan. That makes him the Theater Commander of the opening war of the 21st century. He is a well received military leader, to whom he would die for his soldiers, and his soldiers to him. He was forced to resign after a story release to "The Rolling Stones", to whom President Barack Obama wishes to replace his command with General David Petraeus. This matter is so expanse, that I had to split this topic into two segments. To touch on all the people involved, the Rolling Stones article (which, if you haven't guessed, is called "The Runaway General"), and simplifying all of this as to why this matter is a big deal… That may take more that a word-document page and a half of space. Well… let's get this started.

The biggest brew-ha-ha that made this situation a big deal is a potentially strategic move by McChrystal, by making a public request for more troops in Afghanistan. He had said that "While the situation is serious, success is still achievable." This in turn required a forced hand by President Obama, provoking him to take action. Politicians such as Congressman Dennis Kucinich believe that the line of command is and should be strictly drawn. With President Obama as Commander-and-Chief, a subordinate shouldn't suggest publicly what their superior should do, otherwise "they shouldn't be generals anymore". Though that would be his (very serious) opinion, with the President's focus toward the Gulf of Mexico, the War in Iraq and Afghanistan have been completely ignored. Oh shoot - I guess someone in the White House forgot to send us memos… WE'RE IN A WAR, B-T-Dubs!

Though this view isn't shared strictly by Politicians, when his views and events were journalized by freelance writer Michael Hastings, (writings that included now public embarrassment of Vice-President Biden, National Security Advisor James Jones, US Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry, and the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke) he was immediately recalled to Washington and meet with President Obama.

My Opinion: This man is a soldier through and through - he fought, bled, and would have died for his troops, his family, and his country. What was potentially revealed in that Rolling Stones article prompted Biden to call to mommy - the forced apology and resignation, though standard procedure unless McChrystal wanted to go through a Court Marshal for insubordination, sounds very much unlike this man. The fact that the man would have died for his troops? His actions given to the Rolling Stones made him a martyr, and because his troops would have died for him, no matter the replacement, Obama's next move would be among his teetering last, should he upset the military. And I make this sound so small scale: McChrystal's men include all in the Afghanistan war! Those men would be coming home very… very upset with Obama And if anything happened to those men? The rest of the military… and the families of those soldiers… Well… Obama wouldn't have a much longer presidency. So… was choosing General Petraeus the right call? Sadly, I know little about him - He was in the Bush Administration… he had the nickname of "General Betray-us", so… this man has some history I definitely need to look up.

It was looking up the nickname I found a (trusty ol' wikipedia) link to the MoveOn.org ad Controversy…

"The MoveOn.org ad controversy began when the anti-war liberal advocacy group MoveOn.org published a full-page ad in The New York Times on September 10, 2007 accusing General David H. Petraeus of "cooking the books for the White House". Oh.. and also… "On June 23, 2010, Move On erased these webpages and any reference to them from its website after President Obama nominated General Petraeus to be the new top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan on [the same date]".

"Cooking the books" refers to not reporting all of the facts, making numbers more 'pleasing'. This is one of the many things included in the more broad term, "Creative Accounting". If 1786 soldiers had died in Iraq, Creative Accounting might have cooked the number to 1750, or 1700… maybe even 1500, as an example.

  • "The Washington Post's Fact Checker stated that the General's report of "sharply declining Iraqi casualty rates is certainly open to analysis, debate, and challenge" but that "MoveOn.org does not provide adequate factual support for its larger assertion that Petraeus is 'constantly at war with the facts' and is 'cooking the books' for the White House". - (Wikipedia/The Washington Post)

After all the accusation, and then turning it all around and calling it President Obama's most decisive, smartest move in the media's news today… Even if that could all be forgiven. There's still one thing… If you note the dates of the scandal, you'll notice that General Petraeus is not new to a position like this: Where did he come from? Well, according to his latest action in politics before this… "On April 23, 2008, Secretary of Defense Gates announced that President Bush was nominating General Petraeus to command U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM), headquartered in Tampa, Florida."

President Obama is being praised for the wisest decision he's ever made - picking someone President Bush assigned. Petraeus is already a Four-Star General, and thus with the resignation of one of our own, and no promotions lined up for a Three-Star Lt. General… Things look questionable for the military in the future and it's involvement with the White House.

Oh, and… to answer some remaining satire to our latest, REAL President… you know… (The Demotivational Poster of Ex-President George W. Bush, saying "Miss me yet?")

Yes sir. Yes we do.

April 13th, 2011 - Local Hate Crimes - The Pride Flag

For those of you who don't know, the Pride Flag in the UMaine 'Mall' was stolen, and the flagpole pulled down and broken. Some seem to be after blood, threatening criminal prosecution when they are found, as well as expulsion. Easily arguable would be the defendant's side, where they could have just been doing this for fun and had no ill intent behind it. Such an act, however would overlook whatever goofing around this might have been and be taken as a serious offense.

My outlook? Even if it is a hate crime, with premeditated intent on doing so? Well, before you get out the rotten tomatoes and shun me forever, hear me out first - as a writer, I understand that without conflict, there is no story. No one wants to read about a support group or some character overcoming nothing everyday - with conflict, they re-affirm their beliefs and rise to stand up against and triumph over their opponent, whoever it may be. Whoever did this, even if it was intended, just gave the Gays, the Blacks, the Hispanics, every single group out there, a reason to stand up for who they are: there are still bigots out there, potentially like these flag-stealers, who would rather not deal with a difference in skin, gender, sexuality or opinion, and prefer some 'master race'. You can imagine what kind of category those people wind up in…

I don't praise these guys for what they've done - because they just vandalized University property and SHOULD be hunted down. I get pissed off if someone messes with my computer, even if it's harmless humor… vandalized and/or stolen? I couldn't imagine what I'd do. HOWEVER , the incident has presented the UMaine 'Pride' groups with an obsticle to conquer - it gave them conflict. So no, I don't think what the flagstealers did was right, but the groups can have something 'right' come from this whole ordeal. That's IF they can keep their heads level and their tempers cooled. For vandalism of University property, that is more than enough to put these guys far away from the Pride Groups. But don't take it personally as a Hate Crime until you know their intent - jumping at every action that can be viewed as offensive and blacklist that person makes you no better that the bigots that exclude you, viewing every little action you group members do and rule YOU out. To be the better man or woman, don't jump to conclusions and get evidence before you label it a hate crime. Just an IMHO.

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