Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Time to get back up to speed

Okay, getting back to blogging took longer than I thought. Sorry about that, but stuff comes up, yanno? So with that…

Death in the family
My thanks for all who sent their thoughts and prayers for my uncle. I very much appreciate it. He was a good man, and he will be missed. Such times are reminders of our mortality. I have no more living grandparents, and my parents’ generation has lost a few members. This makes me appreciate the ones still with us all the more. By the way, when was the last time you talked to your uncle or aunt? Better do it now.

Edtoon video
My initial efforts to do an edtoon video did not come out good, as the lighting - well, it sucked. I need much better lighting so that you will be able to see what I’m doing. I’ll work on it, because I want you all to see what goes into making an edtoon. And for the video, I’ll make the idea for the edtoon as I’m working on it, so that you can see what thought processes go on for an edtoon. The edtoon will have Barack Obama and John McCain, but that’s all I’m going to say at this point, because right now I have NO idea on what it’s going to be. You’ll just have to wait and see just like me!

Nancy Pelosi’s tortured Catholic theology (Meet the Press, Aug 24, 2008).
The only good thing to come out of Pelosi’s pathetic explanation of the Catholic Church’s view on abortion is that it finally got some bishops to speak out about it. In recent decades, many Catholic bishops have failed in their duty as shepherds, which was most glaringly demonstrated in the priest scandal of 2002. "Better late than never" is the phrase that pops into mind, but the bishops shouldn't stop at criticizing Pelosi - there's plenty of wayward Catholic politicians to go around for them. As for Pelosi, she should brush up on her Catechism. Tom Brokaw knew better of the Church's position on abortion than she did! Her alleged “knowledge” is embarrassingly lacking, and she is exactly the type that I was referring to when I wrote this column some years back. Pelosi is a meat-eating vegetarian, as mentioned in that column.

Sarah Palin
Palin has certainly drawn a lot of interest and excitement. She's saying all the right things, and even got praise from the pro-choice columnist, Camille Paglia (I love reading her columns, by the way). However, I am reserving judgment until I hear more, because I always keep in mind that it is the nature of politicians to say what others want to hear. There's an old saying that goes, "If it seems too good to be true, then it probably is". That's what I keep stored in my head when it comes to the stories that come out regarding politicians. For me, the jury is still out in regards to Palin. As of now, I am still voting 3rd party come November.

Palin is scheduled to speak at the GOP convention tonight. That would be a good time to sell herself to the American public, and to explain about the recent issues that have been brought up about her. By the way, kudos to Obama for saying to leave Bristol Palin (Sarah's teenage pregnant daughter) out of it. It's Sarah that's running for office, not Bristol. The teenage pregnancy is difficult enough to contend with, and she doesn't need the glare of the national spotlight to make it worse. There's no need to make this another Jamie Lynn Spears saga.

Sorry that I don't have much to go on about Palin, but there just isn't that much out there yet. But give it time - I'm sure more is to come, and I will most certainly comment on it. I'm not in a swoon over her like other people I know. I speak more on swooning below.

Barack Obama
And speaking of Obama, let's go ahead and hit upon the "spotty past" that I had mentioned previously. There's questions I have, and it's not easy to find objective sources for answers. Should I believe the pro-Obama sites, or the anti-Obama sites? Either side will be saying their version of the truth by emphasizing what favors their side while de-emphasizing what doesn't favor their side. Below are my questions. If there ever were a time to sell Obama to me, this is it.

1.) Tony Rezko
My understanding is that Tony Rezko was a slumlord, and Obama was his lawyer. Also, Rezko donated a considerable sum to Obama for his campaign before Rezko was indicted for various legal charges related to finance. So how much does this taint Obama? If Obama is going to sell us that he is a "man of the people", I don't see how such a man defends a slumlord.

2.) "Clinging to guns and religion" comment
Obama got a lot of bad publicity from a remark he made at an April 6 fundraiser in California in which he said that Americans are clinging to guns, religion and anti-immigration sentiment because they are bitter about Washington’s unfulfilled economic promises. Hillary Clinton tried to use this comment against him during the Democratic primary. The "clinging" comment, I think, is what got the elitist talk going. If there ever was a time for Obama to defend the "little people", that fundraiser was it - but his comment suggests that instead he was trying to appeal to his potential donors with talk that they likely wanted to hear. Unfortunately, that's not what I want to hear.

3.) Bill Ayers
Why, o why would Obama go meet this man if he was planning to run for office? Ayers was part of a group that had orchestrated the bombings of buildings! The Weather Underground promoted and practiced domestic terrorism as stark, dramatic messages that "the establishment" couldn't ignore. But surely there were other, more civil yet just as passionate leaders that Obama could have chosen to associate with?

4.) Voted "Present" 130 times
That's what I don't like the most. If he's liberal, then vote that way! To me, voting "present" so many times shows not so much a lack of convictions, but rather an ambition that seeks to not have any potential "controversial" votes on his record. On the one hand, he'll visit men like Ayers, but on the other hand, he'll vote "present". Which is the true Barack Obama?

Anyway, that's the spotty past that I am curious about, and would like answers to. I see that Obama will appear on Fox on Thursday night. If Obama can make a good showing of it on "enemy turf", he will go a long way in helping his campaign.

Swooning over politicians
Just in my family, I've had members that have swooned over both Obama and the recent selection of Palin. Swooning is not good. I don't like swooning, and I don't swoon over people - at least not politicians. Swooning means that you're accepting a candidate uncritically. That's also not good. The swooning family members who support Obama don't like me criticizing Obama. Well, as a columnist and blogger, criticizing politicians is what I do. If I wanted to gush about Obama - or Palin - on my blog, then I might as well join their campaigns. Other family members wonder why I'm not on board with Palin, since she's prolife. Like I said previously, it's the nature of politicians to say what people want to hear. But what I haven't heard enough of is more about Palin and her past. Until such time, I am reserving judgment on how I feel about Palin. Call me a cynic if you will, but cynics don't swoon. It just doesn't fit our cynical attitudes.

Football is back!
What else needs to be said? :-D

Okay folks, that's it for now. Hopefully now I can get back to posting on a regular basis, and I'll keep you updated on the edtoon video.


blackink said...

Oh, JP, you knew I was waiting for this, didn't you? Welcome back.

Ok, just for clarification, Obama worked for a law firm that represented Rezko. It'd be the same as tying a news reporter to the editorial that runs in a newspaper - it's a connection but an extremely thin one.

As for the "guns and religion" comment, Obama was referring to the tendency of conservatives to use cultural issues as a wedge during tight elections. Rather than have debates centered on economic policies and the Iraq war, Obama meant that Republicans will rally around issues like gay marriage, abortion and gun rights to bring out voters. Maybe it wasn't his most articulate moment but people have made too much of that comment. If people think McCain - and not Obama - is some sort of middle-class champion, they are sadly confused.

Meanwhile, Ayres' activities with Weather Underground happened when Obama was in grade school. The Ayres that Obama knew as an aspiring public official was far removed from the '60s radical Ayres had been. They were colleagues on a local board, and from there Ayres hosted a fundraiser for Obama and they appeared on education panels together. I have relatives who were Black Panthers, went to jail and the like: does that mean I'm supposed to disavow myself of them now?

And, JP, voting present - to me - doesn't a spotty past make. We don't know the substance of those votes or what they required: I've sat in hundreds of government meetings that required votes before, and let me tell you, not all of them require a "yay" or "nay."

To show you that I'm agreeable, though, I'll have to agree that swooning is a bad substitute for knowledge. Information is power, you know? And we need to learn as much about Palin as we can over the next few weeks. She's too much of an unknown for people to swoon, certainly.

John P. Araujo said...

ABSOLUTELY I knew you were waiting for this! :-D

Thanks for providing insight into those questions of mine. Like I said, it’s not easy finding answers that aren’t overly tainted with pro- or anti- Obama rhetoric. While I know that you’re an Obama supporter, I also knew that you would know what kind of answers I was looking for. See, I remember that about you from our Skiff days. ;-)

As for your responses:
Rezko: You make a good analogy with the column and its newspaper. Do you know if Obama himself ever represented Rezko?
“Guns and Religion”: I agree, not Obama’s best moment. Hopefully he’s learned from that, especially now that he knows what the GOP will do with it if he says something like that again.
Ayers: You make good observations about Obama’s and Ayers’ relationship. I’ll concede that point.
Voting record: It’s not that he voted “present”, but that he voted “present” so many times. Granted, not every issue requires a long period of meditation before making a decision, but 130 still seems to be an awful lot of “presents”. If indeed most of those “present” votes were on minor issues, then I’ll concede this point as well.

By the way, over the weekend during one of those family discussions over politics, one of the Obama supporters suddenly blurted out, “Well, if Obama were as prolife as he is prochoice, THEN would you vote for him?” We all looked at each other, and finally I said, “He wouldn’t even have to be as prolife as he is prochoice. I like a lot of what he says already. I just don’t accept his views on abortion.” Other family members who aren’t voting for Obama for the same reason agreed with me. I believe that a prolife Obama is exactly what this country could use right now.

Joel, I know that you don’t like the idea of one issue being a make-or-break on whether I vote for a given candidate, but please understand why this one issue is that important to me: I view the sacredness of life in all its stages as paramount, because we need to exist in order to have any of the other rights that we enjoy. I love this country so much that I want all Americans – born and unborn – to be able to enjoy the rights that we all enjoy.

Here we are, in this day and age, with so much going for us that the generations before never enjoyed, and yet we still let fear control our society in such a way that we justify killing the unborn. If someone doesn’t keep pointing out why this is wrong, then we’ll never get to the point that Bill Clinton once said of “making abortion rare”. If we truly want to make abortion rare, then we need folks like me to keep pointing out WHY we want to make abortion rare.

Like I said, Palin is a politician, and she’s saying on the abortion issue what folks like me want to hear. But the GOP has largely given lip service to the prolife cause, and I’ve held my nose long enough voting for them, giving them chances to back up their promises. It used to be that others told me “But if you don’t vote GOP, then the Dems won’t be motivated to change!” to get me to vote that way. However, neither the Dems nor the GOP have changed their ways. The Dems are so locked into the prochoice side that the GOP knows that it can take the prolife vote for granted, and that’s exactly what it has done. Thus, I can’t in good conscience vote GOP this time around, which is why I’m looking at third parties.

Thanks for your responses, amigo. You gave me a lot to think about.

Anonymous said...

Blackink does some serious disinformation service in an earlier comment here.
Here is a video of an interview with Percy Sutton, a NYC politico and former Manhattan borough president. In this video, he specifically states that Khalid Al-Mansour requested that Sutton write a recommendation to Harvard for BHO.
Now, just Google 'Khalid Al-Mansour' to discover what a hate-monger he really is.
Just check the Hillary Clinton Forum to learn more:
Ayres said on 9/11/01 that he didn't regret what he had done (Google Ayres if you don't know). Hideous, despicable comment. BHO wasn't 8 then.
BHO's chums are Rev. Wright, Rev Plegler, Louis Farrakhan, Ayres the radical bomber, a well-connected Syrian convicted of corruption in Illinois, hate-monger Khalid Al-Mansour...yikes! How many hate-mongers and terrorists can one person know?
Rezko worked for Jabir Herbert Muhammed, son of the Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammed. Rezko worked for Jabir in several important position. Rezko donated money to several BHO campaigns, they were tight, and it is disingenuous to suggest otherwise.
And this doesn't address the others close to the BHO campaign, like Robert Malley, who considered Yassir Arafat, terrorist killer of children and Olympic athletes, a friend.
The references above are not hearsay but direct interviews, Hillary Clinton web sites and Google search term suggestions. Find out on your own and decide for yourself.
But you have to be seriously misinformed and deluded - simultaneously - to not recognize the threat of BHO.