Monday, June 30, 2008

Okay, we're back

Sorry that I haven't posted as much lately, folks, but I have a good excuse. You'll see on Thursday what I've been up to, because I'll post it here. To get caught up, let me catch up on a few recent news stories.

First, the news of Ralph Nader trying to get under Barack Obama's skin. Nader is entitled to make his remarks against Obama, especially in regards for what he feels are shortcomings in Obama's words and actions. Fair game. But this business about Obama "talking white"? Not gonna help, Nader ol' chum, because Obama IS white as well as black. While Obama's race is fair game, such clumsy phrasing as "talking white" won't help things. Nope.

Next, keep an eye on this story, folks. Iraq sues companies over oil-for-food kickbacks. If someone starts digging deep enough, I guarantee you that it's going to become an election year issue. I don't know for who yet, but it's going to rear its ugly head in some way or another.

Next is $4 a gallon gas. There's a scam going on somewhere, folks, and we're the patsys. We need to hold the collective feet of our politicians to the fire so that they get something done. We need to hold the collective feet of our politicians to the fire on a lot of things, actually, but if we can get this one thing done, maybe it will lead to other things. And - uhm... we need to - allow for more offshore drilling. C'mon, it's stupid to keep buying oil overseas and being at OPEC's tender mercies when we're sitting on our own oil reserve. I'd rather our money be spent here as well as give us better control over the price of oil.

If the price of gas keeps escalating (and right now, there's little reason to believe otherwise) and the Dems keep resisting offshore drilling, then this issue is going to bite them in the butt come November. While environmentalists may be giddy that we are trading in our SUVs (never owned one, by the way) and driving less, many market sectors are suffering meanwhile. Not just the airline industry, but also tourism, and hotels will eventually suffer if this keeps going on. And of course, Mr. and Mrs. America will suffer as more and more of their budget goes to buying gas. Maybe later, things will correct themselves, but not anytime soon, and certainly not before the November election.

I'm also going to work on a topic for July. Man, June went fast!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I'm working on a column; I'll try to be back Saturday

Hey, gang.

I'm working on a column that hopefully will appear in one of the local city papers, and I want to concentrate on it. I'll try to be back on Saturday, hopefully with some good news.

See you then.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Teen girls exercise their "right to choose"

As a pro-lifer in the abortion debate, I have heard the term "right to choose" quite often. Don't worry, I'm not going to discuss the abortion debate at this point, but...

...the recent news story of a pregnancy pact by some teenage girls in Massachusetts got me thinking about "right to choose". Now, I'm not saying that teenage girls should go around getting pregnant - quite the opposite, actually - but ...

... aren't they exercising their "right to choose"?

A "right to choose" implies a choice. Well, they made theirs. Their "pact" implies an actual decision to get and remain pregnant - despite the numerous artificial birth control devices that are at their disposal in their school or at their local Planned Parenthood. "Damn," PP must be saying. "There goes some lost revenue!"

There's a message here somewhere about why teenagers would make such a pact, despite having been bombarded with messages to the contrary all their young lives. Think of this: The "forbidden fruit" argument might be at play here. PP and their supporters have long been saying, "NO! Thou shalt not get pregnant!" that perhaps pregnancy has now been given a "forbidden fruit" appeal to these young folks.

Before you start accusing me of trying to slant things with simplistic arguments so as to favor my side of the debate, I will state here that yes, this issue is more complex than that. There's more than a "forbidden fruit" thing going on. And yet, this shows that these young ladies - and no doubt many, many more - are tuning out the pro-choice side, this despite the ubiquitous presence of the pro-choice side of the debate in our nation's public schools.

Pro-lifers have long been accused of thinking only of the unborn and not the mothers who are in the dire circumstances. Well, maybe this story shows that pro-choicers are more concerned with those women "right to choosing" abortion rather than pregnancy. Maybe it's time for the pro-choicers to listen to these young ladies as well.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Local newspaper to lay off 130 workers

My local newspaper, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, is in the act of doing something that is occurring at a lot of city print media: laying off even long-time workers. The other local newspaper, the Fort Worth Weekly, gave coverage to some of the reactions of the employees and former employees. A few years back, the other major city newspaper, the Dallas Morning News, also laid off numerous workers over a span of 3-4 years. I'm going to be discussing the print media in a little more detail next week.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Tim Russert: One picture says it all

The picture below of James Carville and Mary Matalin weeping over Tim Russert says it all. This is my feelings conveyed in image.

I'm still in shock.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

RIP, Tim Russert

I am very saddened by the shocking death of Meet The Press host, Tim Russert. Shocking is the only word that I can find for this. Man, I am going to miss him and his show. His show will still go on, but it's not going to be the same. I'll comment more later, but I wanted to mention Tim Russert's passing before any more time slipped away.

And speaking of time slipping away, sorry that I haven't posted lately. Got a little busy. I'll try to catch up tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Senate votes to privatize their cafeteria

In a move teeming with irony, the Senate voted to privatize their cafeteria. The irony is that the Democrats even considered it. But it's not so much that the food was that bad, it's that this situation affected them directly. Had this taxpayer-subsidized cafeteria been anywhere else other than in the Senate, it would have continued to be a tax-subsidized entity, because it would be regarded as a "sacred cow" by the Senate Dems. Right wing writers and commentators are already all over this story, telling the Senate Dems to apply thier privatization logic into other areas.

Results of my poll: The Coming Storm

Before I post a new poll, I am going to discuss the results of the old poll. Here's a link to the blog entry that discussed The Coming Storm: What's most likely to hit us next?

And below are the results:

A World War (1 vote - 6%)
An epidemic like the 1918 flu (1 vote - 6%)
A financial disaster like the 1920's depression (12 votes - 80%)
A monstrous computer virus (1 vote - 6%)
Global warming comes home to roost (0 votes - 0%)

It's no surprise that "financial disaster" got the most clicks. A financial disaster is the most immediate to us individually. Sure, we or our computers could get a virus, but money problems are even more immediate. A world war is something that is too distant at this point, and I'm surprised that it got any clicks (and I hope it stays distant!). The surprise for me is that global warming didn't get any clicks. It could be that my poll ran at a time when the weather is not normally very warm. Had I run this poll in July or August, most likely global warming would have gotten more clicks.

I'm still working on what I want in my new poll, but I will try to have it up by this time next week.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Well, I hope you're happy. Hillary's out of it now

It's a sad day for Hillary Clinton supporters, for she has officially suspended her campaign.

It's a sad day for me as well, for I had gotten a lot of blog mileage out of the contest between her and Barack Obama. SIGH. Sure, there's still John McCain, but he's hardly Hillary in terms of presence and determination. And he's already said that he's going to run a "clean campaign" - where's the fun in that?? "Today, McCain said nice things about Obama..." Bleecck!

Thing is, a couple of days ago when Hillary announced that she was going to suspend her campaign on Saturday (today), the non-liberal, non-biased media were almost gushing with excitement over it. The headlines were not so much saying, "Clinton to suspend campaign on Saturday", but rather "Clinton to suspend campaign on Saturday!" There was a giddiness to their headlines that I could see. It's like they were excited that she was finally going to step aside so that they wouldn't have to keep reporting negative stuff about her and Obama.

Hill had to be under enormous pressure to quit - so much so that even the combined titanic egos of her and her husband could no longer resist. Just as equally, Obama is under pressure to take Hill as his running mate. He must be thinking about that saying of what the spider said to the fly - and he ain't the spider. Even so, as I said in a previous blog entry, he shouldn't pick Hill. Someone better would be Bill Richardson, as the "black/Hispanic" angle is such that the non-biased non-liberal media would eat it up.

All of which makes the choice for a running mate for McCain all the more important. He's not going to score points against a black/Hispanic ticket if he picks another white guy. He needs either a woman (my suggestions: Dr. Condoleeza Rice or Kay Bailey Hutchison) or a black or Hispanic GOP politician. IF he picks another white guy, he could go with Joe Leiberman, who, although he was a Democrat, could help bolster McCain's image of "reaching across the aisle" by teaming up with a man who is as much a maverick for his party as McCain was to the GOP. A team of two mavericks still might not be enough to defeat Obama/Richardson, but it stands a better chance than picking just another white guy.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Barack Obama's VP choices

Now it's officially official, and Barack Obama is finally the Democratic candidate for President. Next comes the question of whom he will select as his running mate. There's already an article on this offering possibilities.

The one most talked about is the "dream ticket" of Obama and Hillary Clinton. This no doubt is the one that Obama will most likely be pressured to take in order to keep too many of Hillary's supporters from walking off, who are angry over the turn of events. However, if I were Obama, I wouldn't worry a whole lot about it, because who would those walk-offs vote for? McCain - the prolife candidate? Sorry, I don't see it happening - especially if Obama makes a wise choice for VP.

And Hillary wouldn't be a wise choice. After Obama's talk about being about "change", to accept Hillary would be to say "All that talk about change? Never mind." Hillary, of all people, represents the very atmosphere that Obama says he wants to change. Nope, I think a better choice that would still be a "dream ticket" is Bill Richardson, who is Hispanic. A black and a Hispanic on the ticket would be another historic event.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Study says that men prefer being solo over a bad marriage

Here it is, June already! And how fitting that this article appears on the traditional month for marriage.

The title of the article is: Men prefer being solo over a bad marriage.

I am in my 40's, and have never been married. An age, in other words, that many people - even men - have usually already been married. When people are in their 40's, they are often divorced from their second marriage, or preparing for their third. Hell, I know former classmates who are already grandparents. So let's answer the big question first: Do I WANT to be married? The answer is definitely yes. The idea of growing old with someone, and the idea of raising kids appeals to me, and it always has.

BUT, with the right woman!

The article linked above stated that the #1 reason why men don't marry is not because they don't want to marry or that they are afraid to marry, but because they are afraid of a bad marriage. That is me, to a "T". During my adult life, I have seen one example after another, time and time and time again how to marry the wrong way. I have seen divorces, remarriages, redivorces, and of course the ugly child custody suits. I have seen one ex have their asses handed to them by the other. I have seen the kids being used as ammo by the parents, with little or no regard to the feelings of the kids.

In my life, there have been very few examples of good, happy marriages for me to look up to. The examples I've seen of marriage send the message that "marriage is for sex for a few years until you have a child or two, then you divorce and fight over the kids". The marriage, divorce, and custody suits afterwards seemed to have become a bizarre rite of passage. It was painful, ugly, and senseless. So you see why a bad marriage scares me.

Not only do I not want to put myself through that kind of pain, I also don't want to do that to my children. It would kill me to hurt my kids the way that I've seen kids hurt by divorce, and I might agree to something stupid in order to spare my kids from being hurt. My logic then is still my logic now: I'd rather wait and be married right the first time than to rush into it and screw up. Rushing into marriage just because you don't want to be UNmarried is a very sure path to eventually being unmarried again.

Another thing that the article stated is that many who are single are not unhappy or lonely. They've accepted their current state. This may or may not suggest that they want to stay that way, but that if they do, they can live with it. That's how I feel. Another common criticism is that my standards are too high. The way to answer that is to ask "If I make my standards too low, for sure I'll find someone, but what are the odds that it will be the right one?" Judging by what I've seen during my adult life, the odds are not good at all. In fact, low standards and rushing into marriage are what caused a lot of the problems that we see today. If low standards and rushing into marriage didn't work in the past, why would they work now?

Another couple of things that I would have added to the article are that 1.) unlike women, men don't have a loud "biological clock" that pressures then into a decision, and 2.) unlike women, men don't generally share their feelings with their friends - at least not feelings of this nature. If any of my buds wanted to come cry on my shoulder about how lonely he feels, I'd probably tell him to go tell Dr. Phil. This is not out of meanness or a lack of concern, it's just that dudes don't do feelings with other dudes.

The only acceptable feelings that men share with other men are usually related to sports, like anger over a stupid call or joy over winning the championship. In any case, the lack of a loud biological clock and the hesitancy for men to share their feelings with other men can be both a good and a bad - but mainly it just shows that men and women are different - and despite the frustrations that it causes women, there's nothing wrong with the differences. It's what makes women women, and men men.

Let me finish this by saying that marriage is still a goal of mine. I would still like a wife and kids. That still appeals to me. Have I made mistakes in the past? Absolutely. I'd be deluding myself by thinking otherwise. But I do want to go to sleep every night with the woman that I love. I do want to hold my son or daughter (or both, if I ever get to that point) in my arms. I want it strongly enough that I want to do it right the first time, and there's nothing wrong with that. I want those arms that embrace me and whom I embrace with my arms to do so forever. That's a goal worth fighting for, and it's worth waiting for.