Saturday, September 25, 2004

Hurricane Season

Florida is due for another hurricane hit -- this time from Hurricane Jeanne. My brother is in the Air Force and is stationed at Patrick Air Force Base, near Cape Canaveral -- this will be the second one to hit near him. The Air Force shut down the base for Hurricane Frances, so my brother and his family evacuated out of the state (I was glad for a couple of reasons -- they were out of danger and I got to see my little nephew). This time the storm is expected to hit a little further south so the base will stay open.

Hurricane season is why I could never live in Florida year round....


Thursday, September 23, 2004

Powerful Reading

I read a fairly large number of blogs and am always adding more to my list of must reads. Power Line is one of those.

This column from the New York Post was linked on Power Line this morning. It is one of the best columns I've read lately, too.


Social Security re-vamp

Another issue Kerry spoke about yesterday was Social Security (after all when you are in Florida you have to cater to the senior citizens). He says that he will not privatize Social Security. The only way that this program is going to survive is if it is somewhat privatized. I do not expect to see a dime of Social Security -- it will collapse long before I am eligible to receive my money back. In fact, my retirement planning (in the early stages at this point) is based on the idea that I will receive nothing from Social Security. I want the opportunity to invest the money myself. Let me be responsible for my own retirement.

There are too many baby boomers and two few younger workers to keep the current arrangement viable. Something has to be done.


Is there a Draft in here?

Why is John Kerry using scare tactics? Yesterday he said that if the President is re-elected then a draft may be implemented. The only people talking about instituting a draft are the Democrats -- H.R. 163 was introduced into the House in January 2003 by Rep. Charles Rangle, and is sponsored by 14 other Democrats.

Military recruitment levels are very high. There is no need for a draft and one will not be implemented. John Kerry knows this -- he is just pandering to his audience again.

Update -- In all fairness, it looks as if the original AP story was a little off in its accounting of Kerry's statement. Spoons has a good accounting of the story.


Tuesday, September 21, 2004

What is Kerry's plan?

I forced myself to listen to John Kerry's speech at NYU yesterday. Maybe it is just me, but I do not enjoy listening to the man -- and not just because of the content of his speeches. He does not have an engaging speaking style.

Kerry talked about his foreign policy plans, but offers nothing different from what the current administration is doing. He talks of building coalitions with our UN allies and of getting additional forces from our UN allies. President Bush has already taken those steps. It is up to the UN to follow through with what it has promised to do. What is John Kerry going to do to make them follow through?

The UN is worthless, as far as I'm concerned. It likes to pass resolutions but then does nothing to carry through. Resolution after resolution against Iraq was passed and that country still continued to thumb its nose at the UN. If the United States, and the UN, hope to have any influence in the world we must stand by our resolutions.

The United States must protect our own interests. If the UN will not help us, then we must go it alone. But in reality, we are not alone. A coalition of supporters is in place. John Kerry does a great disservice to those who have agreed to help us but not acknowledging that support.

Even after listening to and reading Kerry's speech, I still don't know what he proposes to do in order to fight this war. I am not willing to trust my defense to a man who cannot make up his mind about what he plans to do.

Another thing that struck me about yesterday's speech -- the presence of "9/11 widows". I thought that Kerry and the Democrats were accusing President Bush of politicizing the vicious attack on our country, but here he is putting it front and center.


Wednesday, September 15, 2004

CBS and Rather

I've been following the recent (and ongoing) controversy surrounding CBS and the forged documents. I'm amazed at how quickly this blew up -- approximately 12 hours after the broadcast it was all over the Internet. With so many blogs and alternate news sources available it is easier than ever to bring things like this to light. I know that I will be less likely to trust any major media news source. These are supposed to be the "professional" journalists and it appears that, in this case at least, they did not do their job.

Here is a partial list of sites that have more info on the details:

Power Line was one of the key players in all of this.

Little Green Footballs
Roger L. Simon
Allah Pundit
Free Republic
One Hand Clapping
Volokh Conspiracy


Monday, September 13, 2004

Three years later

It is hard to believe that three years have passed since the attacks on our country. I still remember exactly what I was doing at the time. I worked as a paralegal and was getting a probate file ready for the senior attorney. The other paralegal called my desk and said that a client just told her that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. We turned on the only tv in the office just in time to see the second plane hit. A little while later our law clerk called and said the Pentagon had been hit -- I didn't believe him because it seemed so unreal. We were all watching as the towers fell and as reports came in about United Flight 93 going down in Pennsylvania.

Three years is long enough for complacency to start. We've been lucky that another attack has not occurred but we should not forget that day. Over this anniversary weekend I read two books that tell the stories of those involved in the tragic events of that day. Love, Greg & Lauren is one husband's story of his wife's recovery from a burn injury (82.5% of her body was burned) suffered that day. Lauren Manning worked for Cantor Fitzgerald (the firm that lost close to 700 people that day) and was entering the building when the first plane struck. She was in the lobby when a massive fireball came from an elevator shaft. Her story of survival and recovery is inspiring.

Never Forget: An oral History of September 11, 2001 is a collection of personal stories from participants in the days events. People who survived the crashes into the building, rescue workers in NYC and D.C., and victims' family members all take part. Even if some of the stories are familiar the book is one that should be read.

Hopefully we will never forget what happened to America on that day...and why the battle is still being fought.


Thursday, September 09, 2004

Project Vote Smart

Want to know how politicians rank according on various issues? Project Vote Smart has a page that lists the ranking given by various interest groups.

The site also includes biographical info, contact info, and voting records (among other things) for both national and state level politicians.


Tuesday, September 07, 2004

The strangest things...

...seem to happen to me. The latest instance of this is my discovery that this blog is listed on the Tennesseans for Kerry website as a Tennessee political blog. First of all, I never considered myself a political blogger, but looking back at my posts I can see that I do tend to post more about politics than anything else. But I have never, never, never, been a Kerry supporter. In fact, I will be doing everything I can to see that he is defeated.

I emailed the site and told them that they were free to leave the link up, but that I am not a Kerry supporter and that they would not see any endorsements from me for that candidate.

In fact, I just added a Blogs for Bush link to my page, just to make it clear who I am supporting in this election.


Political Follies

So the conventions are over and we are now into the full heat of the presidential campaign. I watched most of the Republican convention and came away with a good impression. As I told some family members, the Republican party is truly the big tent party these days. I know that some pundits said that the party was being disingenuous by inviting moderates to speak. I don't agree. I think it shows that the Republican party is truly open to many viewpoints and welcomes those who disagree on issues.

The Kerry campaign is having trouble finding a voice. Of course, when your candidate can't make up his mind as to what he believes that does make it hard to have a consistant message.

I'm also fed up with the attacks on the 527 groups -- on both sides. When Congress passed and the President signed an unconsitutional law (something I'm REALLY not happy about), this is what you get. Freedom of political speech is one of the hallmarks of America -- it is one of the primary objectives of our Founding Fathers. Political speech should not be curbed. So what if peoples' feelings get hurt? No one is guaranteed the right to always feel good but we are guaranteed the right to say what we want. If the 527 loophole is closed it will be devestating to our freedoms. Not only will the "negative" political speech be gone, but the positive speech as well. The only ones who will be allowed to talk about candidates will be the news organizations. They should not have that much power.