Sunday, April 29, 2007

Debate Rundown...

Okay. Here's the "down-and-dirty-I'm-up-at-1:15-in-the-morning-three-days-after-the-debate" rundown of how the candidates measured up.

First of all, let me say, I was not happy with this debate format. I hate group interviews that are called debates. This was a "speed forum" if nothing else. That being said, here ya go:

1. Hillary Clinton: Can this woman get any more fake? If I had never heard her speak and had no idea what she stood for, this performance would have made me her fan. As such, I give her the debate-winning prize. Her strong answer on the terrorist attack question and believable tone reminded me of her husband. Good going. (A)

2. Barack Obama: Who was this guy? Stick to the platitudes. They are your strong suit. Unfortunately, you are running for the Democratic Party nomination. If you don't get some policy points in your presentation before Labor Day, you'll be sunk. You said more words than anyone on stage, and yet you said nothing of substance. Down you go. (C-)

3. John Edwards: That $400 haircut looks just like your $50 haircut. Too bad that story got attention prior to the debate. I think alot of people were looking more at your hair than your platform. Overall, you gave very succinct answers that were heavy on policy. I like that. (B+)

4. Joe Biden: "Yes" was the best answer you gave all night. You dodged Mr. William's questions like a pro. I was particularly intrigued by your answer on the Virginia Tech shooting. Considering none of the gun laws you mentioned would have been useful in this case, what was your point? Thanks for complementing the Democratic field of candidates. Don't fawn over Hillary too much, though. (B-)

5. Bill Richardson: For experience, policy positions, and downright balls, you are my favorite candidate. However, you did yourself very few favors in this "debate." Did you have trouble hearing the questions? If not, were you constipated? Your answers were garbled and you looked uncomfortable. If I didn't like you so much, I'd give you a lower grade. (B-)

6. Chris Dodd: Stiff. Boring. At least you gave a creative answer on abortion and Justice John Roberts. (C+)

7. Dennis Kucinich: You have improved so much since 2004. Fmr. Sen. Gravel made you look almost sane. You earned a high grade, but your still just a bottom feeder used to make other candidates look more reasonable. (A-)

8. Mike Gravel: Dude! You like to scream, don't ya! I can't stand people who are too angry to make a convincing argument. (D)

Overall, a disappointing night for me. I can't stand Hillary Clinton, and yet, she did best everyone on tone and content. She probably just added to her already burgeoning lead in the polls. Everyone else gained a little name recognition and introduced themselves to primary voters. Hopefully the next debate will be more inspirational.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

First Presidential Primary Debate of the Democratic Party Candidates

Airs tomorrow at 7pm Eastern/6 pm Central on MSNBC. All eight candidates will be there:

Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, Bill Richardson, Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, Dennis Kucinich, and Mike Gravel.

I'll be commenting on their "performances" sometime after the debate.
Screw Democracy!

I'm tired of people complaining about the lack of "democracy" in America. I know that sounds strange, but not if you think it through. Our representative form of government allows us the ability to bring our petitions and grievances to the government regardless of popular support. I've seen enough "recalls" and "ballot initiatives" to know how dangerous pure democracy is. Under a pure democracy, all minorities would be forced to accept the will of the majority. Then, if the previous minority attains majority status, there could be legal retribution.

Our Constitution has stood the test of time for a host of reasons. Primarily, I believe it is due to the checks and balances offered by our representative government. The majority, represented by the House and President must deal with the less democratic Senate and Supreme Court. It has worked very well (with a few exceptions) for the last 200 years. Let's not mess it up. Keep democracy at bay.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Virginia Tech and Gun Control

Since the horrible events at Virginia Tech occured, I have heard alot of Democrats and liberals calling for a renewed effort to pass gun control legislation.

Bad idea.

First of all, I'm not a big supporter of gun control. Personally, I believe you should fear a government that fears the people it represents. Yes, there are nut jobs out there who will use guns (even legally purchased ones) to commit horrible acts, but most of us are honest, law-abiding citizens. I don't even like guns, but I think every person should be allowed to carry one wherever they go, even on airplanes. Do you think there would have been a single highjacked plane on September 11th if 20 or 30 guns had suddenly appeared from passengers' jackets? (And for those of you worried about "cabin pressure." That myth was already busted. Watch the Discovery channel once-in-a-while.) If students and teachers at Virginia Tech had been "packing," it's possible that a dozen or more lives might have been spared.

Let's not have knee-jerk policy decisions based on horrifying and emotionally-charged events. That kind of action gets us things like the "Patriot Act." And that's not good for America.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

KET Candidate Debate--Governor's Race, Democratic Primary

Monday, April 6, 2007, 8pm Eastern/7pm Central

Live on KET stations and at

Thursday, April 12, 2007

So easily offended.

This whole Don Imus controversy has brought to mind some interesting characteristics of the human psyche. Our egos are totally incapable of insult, and even though other parts of our psychology are supposed to protect us and diffuse such comments, we appear to have lost that ability.

Muslims get offended when "Westerners" use the image of Muhammed (PBUH).

Christians get offended when Jesus is portrayed as a happily married man (or something less than the chaste western European that he really was).

People of color are offended when worthless old has-beens use racist language for the purpose of inciting controversy (looks like that worked out well), and white people get offended when black people call us out for having deep-seeded racism.

Illegal immigrants get mad when asked to learn English.

Telling a woman she is attractive in a workplace is tantamount to rape (if the perpetrator is ugly, of course).

Well, I believe Muhammed must have been really ugly (PBUH). I'll have my daughter draw a picture. Jesus was an unmarried 30-year-old Rabbi? With followers? Black people need to clean up their own racist language and stop worrying about what white people think, and white people need to stop over-compensating for what is obvious deep-seeded racism. Guilty! If immigrants, legal or illegal, can't learn to speak English, they don't deserve to be citizens. And if I weren't married, I would tell every woman how attractive she is and hope that I'm not so ugly that I get reprimanded.

We're not always going to get along, Rodney King, but that doesn't mean we have to crucify (no offense, Jesus) each other over the words or our mouths or the impulses of our primitive nature. When someone offends you to the core, wait for an apology. If an apology comes, do not treat it with disregard. "I'm sorry" is one of the hardest phrases to utter (especially if you haven't learned English). Remember, wise AND ignorant people have something in common: They've both pissed somebody off.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Addendum for "Imus"

I do not intend to be "glib" about the remarks made by Don Imus. They were reprehensible and he should be held accountable, but I've been hearing things about "laws" and "you can't let somebody get away with this." Why not? Freedom is a bitch. You can't have it AND deny it to others.

I should be able to say whatever I want in whatever forum I want, regardless of how offensive and cruel it may be. There can be private oversight (i.e. firing someone for racist or sexist remarks), but public policy should have no incursion into the basic right to free speech.

Don Imus is an idiot, and should probably be fired. But if he isn't fired, he should be able to show up on his next day of work and say whatever he wants without fear of imprisonment or other state punishment. I mean, we still let George Bush have a microphone! Candor and intelligence are not prerequesites of freedom. That's the last word.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Imus in the Mourning

I don't know what it is, but I never could stand Don Imus. Racist comments aside, the man is about as fun to watch as a bowl of cereal. In fact, the few times I've attempted to watch his simulcasted radio broadcast, I've found myself looking at the Corn Flakes in my bowl for entertainment. Who cares what he said about the black female basketball players at Rutgers? Although, if it gives CBS and NBC a reason to get rid of him, it's fine by me. I love MSNBC from 8 am to 10 pm, everything except for Imus (and those stupid "In-Depth Investigation Documentary Crime Stories").

On a related note: Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson need to be hogtied. Let the likes of Chris Rock and Bill Cosby speak for people of color. At least they are still relevant. Moving on...

Should Imus be fired for his comments? Maybe. But he should definitely be "let go" because he's a has-been, a boring, washed-up old fart with nothing original to say. Trust me, Howard Fineman will get plenty of airtime without him. Give Allison Stewart a morning show with a Hispanic co-host in Imus' place. That'd be useful AND ironic.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

What is up with John Edwards?

This is not the same guy who ran in 2004. I'm not sure what to make of it. I'm glad you admit that you were wrong, but color me skeptical. You railed against Howard Dean in 2004 and now are trying to court the same voters. That's one heck of a conversion. Be genuine. You either have bad judgement, or you are a con man, which worked well for Bill Clinton, but if you think we want to go through that again, you're crazy.

Oh, and sorry about your wife.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

A little bit about myself....

Since the candidates aren't giving me much to work with, I thought I might share a little bit about my life and my views. I'll try to be brief for those of you with ADD like myself.

I had a confusing childhood, although pretty typical of a person in my part of the world. My parents were and are Southern Baptists, but raised me to be a staunch Democrat. Now, of course, they are big fans of Fox News Channel...

...Sorry, I blacked out for a minute. Something about Fox...

....I really apologize. Anyway, getting past that...

For a long time, I tried to harmonize my views on civil liberty (all very progressive) with my religious tradition (arch-conservative). I basically depended on those in my church who took a very simplistic view of our faith: Love God with all your heart, and believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ for your salvation. It was easy enough to ignore all of those ugly social views while I was a teenager and more concerned with what the girls in the pew in front of me were wearing than what the Pastor was talking about. Then came college.

There is a reason religious people look upon organized education with disdain. I tried to insulate myself from non-Christian influence by attending a Baptist college. Big mistake. They force you to take religion courses to graduate. Add to that a gay roommate who wanted to become straight because his religion told him that was the thing to do. Begin my "crisis of faith."

Anyway, shorthand (very shorthand), I followed a new path that acknowledged the problem with organized religion. I became a humanist and a spiritualist with an agnostic theology (an oxymoron, I know). This freed me to look at solutions to the world's problems through more practical means. I no longer believe that right belief is the path to salvation. Taking care of your fellow man (just like Jesus taught) and giving of yourself (also as Jesus taught) is the true path to salvation. I cannot guarantee there will not be reward and punishment in the hereafter, but I feel certain enough that it doesn't concern me.

That's me in a very small nutshell. Feel free to comment and dig deeper. Let me know about your personal journey.