Hallowe’en Horror: Trampling Freedom of Expession?

Friday is Hallowe’en, one of the most pagan holidays still celebrated in the Christian West It is also a personal favorite, not only for the indulgence in candy consumption that is part of American Hallowe’en traditions,, but for the unbridled political and social humor often expressed on this celebration of death and monsters, as we shall see in my discussion below of a political flap in West Hollywood, CA. But, first let me set the context of Hallowe’en political satire for you.

Go into any Wal-Mart or Walgreen’s or any other store that sells Hallowe’en masks this time of year and you will find, along with the usual assortment of vampires, ghouls, zombies, Frankenstein’s monsters – the traditional choices for Hallowe’en costumes, masks that are the heads of various political figures. My kids went to a Hallowe’en party at the local public library last week and guess who was in attendance: George Bush, Bill and Hillary Clinton, among others. From what my kids said, I gathered no one was offended and I did not see any editorials in the local paper denouncing these kids, nor did any local politicians make any public comments about them.

When I was younger and living back in Chicago, my ex-wife and I were somewhat “famous for our Hallowe’en costume parties and our friends would plan and prepare for months for these parties, trying to come up with creative ideas for a costume. One year, a very creative friend,a white red-headed female, came as Aunt Jemima, having made the costume herself and doing a full makeover on herself to make her look like Aunt Jemima Full theatrical makeup, no mask. Continue reading Hallowe’en Horror: Trampling Freedom of Expession?

Joe The Plumber: A Follow Up

When I wrote my Joe the Plumber post about a week ago, I never expected the response I got. It was increbile seeing the huge spike in the number of people visting this site because of that post.

I am not really all that concrned with the numbers for my blogs. My articles tend to be rather esoteric, and for the most part, politically incorrect in the left-wing sense of that expression. So, to see the daily views increase by nearly 1000% for those two days was a shock, to say the least. But, not being one to shy away from such a “marketing” windfall, I am going to talk some more about this infamous plumber today, especially since John McCain is seemingly maing Joe thePlunber ab\n American Everyman and making the conversation that catapaulted Joe to his fifteen minutes of fame the central theme of McCain’s economic message to the American voters these last two weeks before the general election.

It seems that McCain has a new ad campaign called “I am Joe The Plumber.” A FoxNews blog I ound has a video of the ad You might want to read through the comments on this blog. Some interesting information and perspectives on this ad, McCain, and the general election. Continue reading Joe The Plumber: A Follow Up

One For The Ages

It’s late October in the USA and that means it’s time for the World Series, the Major League Baseball championship, for those of you just moved here from Pluto or beyond. Now, talking about baseball might seem a bit out of character for this blog, given the fact that we are only two weeks away from what may be the most historically significant Presidential election in American history, challenging the election of Abraham Lincoln for that honor. And talking about baseball may seem trite seeing as how this country, and the world pretty much, is in the throes of a recession that shows no signs of not becoming a full-blown depression. But both the election and the economy are the reasons why talking about this World Series is neither trite nor irrelevant to the themes of this blog.

Like this year’s election, neither team playing in the World Series can be considered a perennial contender, one of those teams like the New York Yam that almost always seems to be playing in the championship series. Both teams, like both candidates, more or less. do not fit the stereotype of World Series champions. Both teams have their own unique personalities and their own non-stereotypical style of doing things. Maybe that is why Tampa Bay and Philadelphia are playing this week instead of the Yankees, the Dodgers, the Red Sox, or even my beloved Cubs. Continue reading One For The Ages

Deception and Deceit in American Politics: Crossing The Line

There has been a lot of talk this election year about election reform and the undue influence of special interest groups in both the election process and the passage of legislation. John McCain, and by extension the Republican Party, have claimed to be champions of these reforms, especially in the area of lobbyist influence. But, as the quote below from the Associated Pess clearly shows, all their talk is just that – empty talk/ The GOP seems to have forgotten that actions speak louder than words. and this latest action by a member of the GOP speaks volumes.

Freddie Mac secretly paid a Republican consulting firm $2 million to kill legislation that would have regulated and trimmed the mortgage finance giant and its sister company, Fannie Mae, three years before the government took control to prevent their collapse.

AP IMPACT: Mortgage firm arranged stealth campaign

Lest you all forget, all these government bailouts are debts that we, the American taxpayers, will have to pay. If anyone seriously thinks that the corporate beneficiaries of these government handouts will repay the money they get, I want some of whatever you have been smoking. Continue reading Deception and Deceit in American Politics: Crossing The Line

Bill Ayers: A Study in Forgiveness… Or Christian Hypocrisy

Ome of the underlying currents in recent American politics – somestimes a very dark current – has been a candidate’s religious beliefs and values The emphasis has been on cndidates who show a strong commitment to the moral values associated with Christianity, e.g., strong support for right-to-life. But this commitment to Christian values has a dark, hypocritical side to it as well. There has been a tendency among certain “Christian” politicians to ginore some of the most basic tenets of Christianity, especially forgiveness.

The Lord’s Prayer, accepted by all Christians, specifically states, “Forgive  us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” The implication is that we cannot expect divine forgiveness for our own sins against God unless we can first forgive those who sinned against us. But, it seems that forgiveness for some self-proclaimed Chtistians like John McCain only goes so far.

Forty years ago this country was involved in a “war” in Southeast Asia that many young people, the ones who were being called upon to put their lives on the line, felt was morally reprehensible. Bill Ayers was one of these young men. So was I. Continue reading Bill Ayers: A Study in Forgiveness… Or Christian Hypocrisy

Deception and Deceit in Presidential Politics: Joe the Plumber

Probably the worst trait of any Presidential campaign in the USA is the perceived need by the candidates to distort the truth – to lie to the American people – in order, at least in the view of the principals – to garner support. Do the politicians think we cannot handle the truth or do they feel that the truth is not sexy enough or do they think we’re too stupid to understand the truth and/or to see through their distortions?

Whatever the case may be, the debate between John McCain and Barack Obama two days ago was more of the same. Today, we will shine the light of truth on one of the lies that came out of that debate.

McCain makes the first aggressive move of the evening, bringing up a conversation Obama had with an Ohio plumber. McCain and the right have seized onto this part of the conversation: “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

But here’s the entire context of the exchange, per NBC/NJ’s Athena Jones:

JOE THE PLUMBER

The article gives a full account of the conversationbetween Obama and Joe the plumber.

It  seems that McCain is misrepresenting the facts of Obama’s proposed tax hike. Iwould attribute this to senility or Alzheimer’s, given McCain’s age, but all of the medical information about McCain seems to indicate that he is quite healthy and shows no signs of the mental impairments that plague others his age who do not have the benefits of the high-quality free health care afforded US Senators. So, the only other two explanations I can think of for his misrepresentations are stupidity or dishonesty. I’ll let you decidefor youselves, but I lean toward the dishonesty explanation. After all, he is a politician and has been one for a very long time. Continue reading Deception and Deceit in Presidential Politics: Joe the Plumber

Do A Good Turn Today: Eat Popcorn!

My youngest son is a member of the local Boy Scout troop. He joined earlier in the year and this is his first year doing fundraising for his troop, so his old man is helping him out by asking all of you to support the very worthy efforts of the Boy Scouts by going here and looking at all the wonderful gourmet popcorn that Michael and his fellow scouts have available.

You will need to enter this order key TEZAYXF so that Michael gets credit for the sale and the money goes to the proper troop.

Your popcorn will be shipped directly to your home. You will, of course, need a credit card or a debit card to order.

Michael and I both thank you for your support!

A Truce With The Borg

A couple of months ago, I bought myself a new HP Pavillioncomputer – just the box – with an AND triple-core processor (2.1 gHz), 4.0 gHz of RAM, an NVIDIA GeoForce video card, RealTek HD sound and a HUGE hard drive. This machine has more power than any system I have ever used or owned. I absoluely love it!

It came with Windows Vista pre-ihstalled – no surprise there, and up until yesterday, I had been running Vista exclusively. Vista is not as bad an operating system as I was led to believe. In fact, especially in look and feel, it reminds me of Ubuntu, the Linux distribution I was running on my old HP, which is now my wife’s computer. And that resemblance was the problem for me: why use a poor clone when you can use the original?

I had been planning on trying to set my new machine up with a double-boot [both Windows and Ubuntu installed and I get to choose at start up which OS I want to use for that session] ever since I bought it, but was going to wait for the new version o Ubuntu due for release next month. But, being constantly reminded of Ubuntu by Vista, and how Vista falls short of the mark, I broke down yesterday and decided to install Ubuntu with or without the double-boot option. Continue reading A Truce With The Borg