Wednesday, October 31, 2007

South Park: Imaginary Terrorists Are Really Dangerous

Tonight is the third part in a trilogy of South Park episodes involving terrorists and our imagination. The whole point behind the main plot line, I think, is that now we as Americans are more afraid of what we imagine could happen than is likely to happen.

Terrorists have physically terrorized us. And now they're in our imagination, terrorizing us at the mental level. We could nab all the terrorists in the world, but if we still lived in fear, the War on Terror would never end.

South Park depicted some terrorists entering our imagination and blowing up a wall that separated good thoughts from bad ones. All the bad guys from every movie ever are now mingling in the collective imagination with our dearest Disney friends.

I think what the creators behind South Park are doing is warning us that if we rely too heavily on "what ifs," we could dig ourselves a hole that only a major war could get us out of. Indeed, these are dangerous times, in both the physical and mental realms.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Arnold Schwarzenegger, President-Elect In 2012

The way things are going, I think we just might give him the opportunity to run for President.

Remember how he initially became California's governor? The former guy wasn't doing so well. And everybody wanted someone new.

Well, our current President doesn't seem to be doing so well. And I get the feeling that even while we want someone new, it's not necessarily anyone who's running right now.

If Schwarzenegger ran for President, would you vote for him? I think I might...

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Monday, October 29, 2007

The Dethroning Of A King

I was watching a show on Nostradamus last night, and in it they said he may have predicted a French uprising 200 years before it took place. In that uprising, the people overpowered the government, and dethroned the king.

When I first heard about the massive nationwide protesting going on about the Iraq War, I thought, "Too little, too late." Really, my first feeling was that to do any good, the protests should have happened much earlier.

But that got me thinking. If more and more of the public is fed up with the current administration, does that mean we're approaching a time when a consensus will be finally reached on the matter of impeachment?

Or will we as a nation get so, "Out of control," that martial law is declared?

I really hope the latter is not the case, but anything's possible nowadays.

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Another War? Nuts.

Do we need another war? Is Iran really a threat? No.

Or what if it is? And the President already cried wolf too hard before, and now his warnings are falling on deaf ears?

If we go to war, things could be bad. International relations may suffer.

If we don't go to war, and Iran really does get The Bomb, things could get really ugly.

I don't see us taking no action. I think we'll probably take steps toward an invasion of Iran, and then maybe something will happen to stop us. Maybe we'll stop ourselves. Maybe other countries will say, "No, this time you actually are right. Go on ahead, and we'll help." Or maybe they'll say, "And why can't Iran go nuclear, huh?"

To which we'll reply, "Because they're crazy."

Yeah, I think like it or not, we've got a brewing confrontation on our hands. And that's a shame.

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Fox News Is A Terrorist Organization

A terrorist works to spread fear. Terror-ist. A terrorist breeds terror wherever and however possible, to further its own goals. A terrorist is selfish because it makes people afraid for its own selfish reasons.

Fox News breeds fear among the public with unfounded rumors like, "al Qaeda is behind the California fires." What does Fox News want? A police state? It sure looks that way. But at least it's the leading provider of fair and balanced news. Not!

Inciting panic among the people through the use of stories not based on TRUTH means that FOX News is a terrorist organization. And isn't there a war on terror?

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Friday, October 26, 2007

"The executive has no right, in any case, to decide the question, whether there is or is not cause for declaring war." - James Madison

This page contains a list of brilliant statements by James Madison, the fourth President of the United States. They seem especially relevant today, as America continues down the slippery slope towards fascism.

Here are 12 separate quotes. Placed in a specific order, these quotations make up a "speech" in which Madison seems to be directly alluding to our current situation, and the danger we face:

  1. "All men having power ought to be mistrusted."

  2. "The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse."

  3. "Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power."

  4. "It is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad."

  5. "The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home."

  6. "I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations."

  7. "Of all the enemies of public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other."

  8. "If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy."

  9. "No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare."

  10. "The executive has no right, in any case, to decide the question, whether there is or is not cause for declaring war."

  11. "The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty."

  12. "We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties."

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Is George W. Bush Just A Pawn?

Some leaders are simply figureheads. Our President actually makes decisions, which is why I dismissed the idea that he was a pawn when I first thought of it. But then I realized if he was a pawn, his decisions would effectively be made for him.

The Syndicate of Evil would say, "Turn down this bill. Don't aid disaster victims. Start WWIII." And he'd have to oblige, given their undisclosed power over him.

I figured if this were true, and we only learned of it later, we'd look back and feel bad for a President who was widely disliked for doing things that he really had no hand in. Would that be better than a President who is definitely in control, and uses his power against the will of the people who voted him into office? I'm not sure...

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Next Pope Will See The World End

Saint Malachy's "Prophecy of the Popes" contains 112 short Latin phrases, each of which describes a separate Pope. The prophecy dates back to 1139, and says that the final Pope, Peter the Roman, will be in charge when Rome is destroyed and Judgment Day occurs. Our current Pope, Pope Benedict XVI, directly precedes Peter the Roman.

Wikipedia has the text of the final Latin phrase, along with the translation:

"Ominously, the longest and final motto reads, 'In persecutione extrema S.R.E. sedebit Petrus Romanus, qui pascet oves in multis tribulationibus: quibus transactis civitas septicollis diruetur, et Iudex tremêndus iudicabit populum suum. Finis.' In translation this means, 'During the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church, the seat will be occupied by Peter of Rome, who will feed his sheep in many tribulations; and when these things are finished, the seven-hilled city will be destroyed, and the formidable Judge will judge his people. The End.'"

So according to this prophecy, which has seemed to somewhat accurately describe each of the previous Popes, along with the current one, once Pope Benedict XVI steps down, the final Tribulation will begin.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Could George Bush Be Furthering The Work Of The Antichrist?

2012 is a year of much speculation, and many predictions. On Wikipedia, there are quite a few theories as to what will happen, if anything.

One of the predictions is as follows. "The book The Nostradamus Code speaks of a series of natural disasters caused by a comet (possibly as above) that will allow the third Antichrist to disperse his troops around the globe under the guise of aid in preparation for a possible nuclear war, although in the strictest sense it is unspecific as to nuclear war or some other natural or man caused destruction."

Recently in the news it was divulged that George Bush is gunning for a U.S.-led missile defense program for Europe, to defend against Iran, which could develop nuclear technology capable of attacking the U.S. or a European ally by 2015. We've already got troops in Iraq. We're looking to invade Iran. Where else can we "disperse troops around the globe in preparation for a possible nuclear war?"

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Garry Kasparov, Brilliant On Bill Maher, Makes Our Politicians Look Bad

I think everyone should see the interview Garry Kasparov recently gave on "Real Time with Bill Maher." Kasparov, the former world chess champion, is running in the presidential election in Russia, but in doing so he puts his life in jeopardy.

Bill Maher says Putin's approval rating is pretty high, and Kasparov responds, "How do you know? I mean, are you seriously, are you relying on the polling results of a police state? I think that with the same tight control of media and a pervasive security force, I believe Bush and Cheney could enjoy the same approval rating here."

What if that's why Bush's rating is still around 24%? Maybe there's a weaker version of the system in Russia already in place in the U.S.

Kasparov also disproves the idea that Russia is "meant" to be under one man's control, saying that Democracy would most likely work, given a chance. He later remarks that the U.S. is using Democracy as a "geopolitical tool" to get what it wants, at the dismay of its international brethren. There's a lot of good stuff in this interview, so without further ado, here it is:

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

47 Deaths Associated With The Clinton Family

I received an email today, and found it interesting enough to post. Apparently there are a bunch of deaths tied to the Clintons. Maybe whoever researched this is trying to infer a connection that doesn't exist. Maybe once you reach a certain level of political power, you become associated with so many people that of course there will be a few of them who die for one reason or another. The more people you know, the more dead people you will have known. But maybe there's more to it than that. You be the judge.

Here it is:

-- Begin Email --

So you want to work for the Clintons


Just a quick refresher course lest we forget what has happened to many "friends" of the Clintons

1 - James McDougal - Clinton's convicted White water partner died of an apparent heart attack, while in solitary confinement. He was a key witness in Ken Starr's investigation.

2 - Mary Mahoney - A former White House intern was murdered July 1997 at a Starbucks Coffee Shop in Georgetown. The murder happened just after she was to go public with her story of sexual harassment in the White House.

3 - Vince Foster - Former White House counselor and colleague of Hillary Clinton at Little Rock's Rose Law firm. Died of a gunshot wound to the head, ruled a suicide.

4 - Ron Brown - Secretary of Commerce and former DNC Chairman. Reported to have died by impact in a plane crash. A pathologist close to the investigation reported that there was a hole in the top of Brown's skull resembling a gunshot wound. At the time of his death Brown was being investigated, and spoke publicly of his willingness to cut a deal with prosecutors. The rest of the people on the plane
also died. A few days later the air Traffic controller committed suicide.

5 - C. Victor Raiser II - Raiser, a major player in the Clinton fund raising
organization died in a private plane crash in July 1992

6 - Paul Tulley - Democratic National Committee Political Director found dead in a hotel room in Little Rock, September 1992. Described by Clinton as a "dear friend and trusted advisor."

7 - Ed Willey - Clinton fund raiser, found dead November 1993 deep in the woods in VA of a gunshot wound to the head. Ruled a suicide. Ed Willey died on the same day his wife Kathleen Willey claimed Bill Clinton groped her in the oval office in the White House. Ed Willey was involved in several Clinton fund raising events.

8 - Jerry Parks - Head of Clinton's gubernatorial security team in Little Rock. Gunned down in his car at a deserted intersection outside Little Rock. Park's son said his father was building a dossier on Clinton. He allegedly threatened to reveal this information. After he died the files were mysteriously removed from his house.

9 - James Bunch - Died from a gunshot suicide. It was reported that he had a "Black Book" of people which contained names of influential people who visited prostitutes in Texas and Arkansas.

10 - James Wilson - Was found dead in May 1993 from an apparent hanging suicide. He was reported to have ties to Whitewater.

11 - Kathy Ferguson - Ex-wife of Arkansas Trooper Danny Ferguson, was found dead in May 1994, in her living room with a gunshot to her head. It was ruled a suicide even though there were several packed suitcases, as if she were going somewhere. Danny Ferguson was a co-defendant along with Bill Clinton in the Paula Jones lawsuit. Kathy Ferguson was a possible corroborating witness for Paula Jones.

12 - Bill Shelton - Arkansas State Trooper and fiancé of Kathy Ferguson. Critical of the suicide ruling of his fiancé, he was found dead in June, 1994 of a gunshot wound also ruled a suicide at the grave site of his fiancé.

13 - Gandy Baugh - Attorney for Clinton's friend Dan Lassater, died by jumping out a window of a tall building January, 1994. His client was a convicted drug distributor.

14 - Florence Martin - Accountant & subcontractor for the CIA, was related to the Barry Seal Mean Airport drug smuggling case. He died of three gunshot wounds.

15 - Suzanne Coleman - Reportedly had an affair with Clinton when he was Arkansas Attorney General. Died of a gunshot wound to the back of the head, ruled a suicide. Was pregnant at the time of her death.

16 - Paula Grober - Clinton's speech interpreter for the deaf from 1978 until her death December 9, 1992. She died in a one-car accident.

17 - Danny Casolaro - Investigative reporter. Investigating Mean Airport and Arkansas Development Finance Authority. He slit his wrists, apparently, in the middle of his investigation.

18 - Paul Wilcher - Attorney investigating corruption at Mena Airport with Casolaro and the 1980 "October Surprise" was found dead on a toilet June 22, 1993 in his Washington, DC apartment. Had delivered a report to Janet Reno 3 weeks before his death.

19 - Jon Parnell Walker - Whitewater investigator for Resolution Trust Corp. Jumped to his death from his Arlington, Virginia apartment balcony August 15, 1993. He was investigating the Morgan Guaranty scandal.

20 - Barbara Wise - Commerce Department staffer. Worked closely with Ron Brown and John Huang. Cause of death unknown. Died November 29, 1996. Her bruised, nude body was found locked in her office at the Department of Commerce.

21 - Charles Meissner -Assistant Secretary of Commerce who gave John Huang special security clearance, died shortly thereafter in a small plane crash.

22 - Dr. Stanley Heard - Chairman of the National Chiropractic Health Care Advisory Committee died with his attorney Steve Dickson in a small plane crash. Dr. Heard, in addition to serving on Clinton's advisory council personally treated Clinton's mother, stepfather and brother.

23 - Barry Seal - Drug running pilot out of Mena Arkansas, death was no accident.

24 - Johnny Lawhorn Jr. - Mechanic, found a check made out to Bill Clinton in the trunk of a car left at his repair shop. He was found dead after his car had hit a utility pole.

25 - Stanley Huggins - Investigated Madison Guaranty. His death was a purported suicide and his report was never released.

26 - Hershell Friday - Attorney and Clinton fund raiser died March 1, 1994 when his plane exploded.

27 - Kevin Ives & Don Henry - Known as "The boys on the track" case. Reports say the boys may have stumbled upon the Mena Arkansas airport drug operation. A controversial case, the initial report of death said, due to falling asleep on railroad tracks. Later reports claim the 2 boys had been slain before being placed on the tracks. Many linked to the case died before their testimony could come before a Grand Jury.


28 - Keith Coney - Died when his motorcycle slammed into the back of a truck, 7/88.

29 - Keith McMaskle - Died stabbed 113 times, Nov, 1988.

30 - Gregory Collins - Died from a gunshot wound January 1989.

31 - Jeff Rhodes - He was shot, mutilated and found burned in a trash dump in April 1989.

33 - James Milan - Found decapitated. However, the Coroner ruled his death was due to "natural causes."

34 - Jordan Kettleson - Was found shot to death in the front seat of his pickup truck in June 1990.

35 - Richard Winters - A suspect in the Ives / Henry deaths. He was killed in a set-up robbery July 1989.


36 - Major William S. Barkley Jr.
37 - Captain Scott J. Reynolds
38 - Sgt. Brian Hanley
39 - Sgt. Tim Sabel
40 - Major General William Robertson
41 - Col. William Densberger
42 - Col. Robert Kelly
43 - Spec. Gary Rhodes
44 - Steve Willis
45 - Robert Williams
46 - Conway LeBleu
47 - Todd McKeehan

Quite an impressive list! Pass this on. Let the public become aware of what happens to friends of the Clinton's



-- End Email --

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Human Chip Implants: Good Or Bad?

Could having a chip implanted somewhere in your body be a good thing? I think it might, if it does more than just track you and take away your privacy.

I've read that one prominent foresight specialist sees 2045 as being a year by which if you're not hooked up to technology somehow, you won't be able to comprehend the rapid changes that are going to take place. He doesn't just advocate something like logging onto the net every few hours. He means you've got to have some sort of implant that complements your biological intelligence.

By 2045, it is theorized, AI (artificial intelligence) will have reached the Technological Singularity. At that point, it will be inventing new technology faster than "regular" humans can have a hand in the process. So in order to understand what's going on, we'll all have to be part machine.

A chip in your brain that made you smarter and able to link up with other people and communicate without actually speaking could be a very powerful asset to an individual. However, let's focus on what a chip might do in the next couple of years.

I'd say early chip implants would have some basic functions, probably as outlined in the Book of Revelations. Your chip will identify you, track you, and allow (or prevent) you to buy things. It will essentially be a LoJack and credit card.

I personally dislike the prospect of 24-hour surveillance. On the other hand, if disaster strikes, and someone is kidnapped, a locator could be very helpful. But there will probably be ways to dampen the field and fool the computers into not knowing where that person is. So the "hacker-types" and G-men will be able to mask someone's location, but the general public will not, and will therefore be highly visible, all the time. Still sounds scary.

But if you forget about the "Big Brother" component, and focus solely on the commerce aspect, what you get is an interesting scenario. Plastic is already being touted as superior to cash, in ads like those for the Visa Check Card. In those commercials, people are seen swiping a card without signing anything or getting a receipt, rapidly speeding up the buying process, but also creating a lack of security and physical transaction records. Someone in a commercial like that could easily be using a stolen card. How is the clerk to know, when there is no way to verify that the person using the card actually owns it? If the card were implanted in their hand, however, that would be a different story.

If you had a tiny, flexible Visa Chip implanted on the back of your hand, you could easily swipe and pay with no fuss, and no worries that someone else will steal your card. If they cut off your hand to get your card, you'd likely first focus on your injury as the more severe problem.

So you swipe and pay, and don't get a receipt? If you trust the computer networks to maintain an accurate transaction record on your behalf, then you've got nothing to worry about. Sounds neat, right? Sure, until the Visa Chip becomes mandatory, and is renamed "Mark of the Beast." Then things get weird.

All in all, I am still highly doubtful about the benefits of microchips implanted in humans. But the fact that we're already using them to track pets leads me to believe that it won't be long before everyone gets to confront this issue in an up close and personal way.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

George W. Bush = America's Last President?

I read that a reporter mentioned this to George Bush: Vladimir Putin has suggested that when his presidential term is up in Russia, he will become Prime Minister and quell any attempt to change the political climate. Putin's plan is to retain his power as the supreme leader of his nation.

Came Bush's reply: I've thought about doing that myself.

I read somewhere else that people in favor of impeaching Bush won't do so for fear that he'll declare Martial Law and cancel elections in the face of the State of Emergency.

This is pretty scary, but what's even scarier is the idea that Bush comes close, but doesn't do it. We get complacent. And our next president does declare Martial Law just before their term ends.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Friendly Face of George W. Bush

Take a look at these pictures:

Some people wonder why 24% of Americans still support Mr. Bush. Here's a theory:
It's because he just looks so darn friendly! If I hadn't heard any ill of this man, my natural inclination would be to think well of him.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Bush Says: Iran Will Start WWIII

This article reveals that George W. Bush recently mentioned to other world leaders that Iran's current leader wants to blow up Israel. What better way than to nuke it? Tehran is currently being looked at because of its suspicious nuclear program.

Bush was quoted as saying, "So I've told people that, if you're interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon."

What does this mean? It means that in Bush's mind, as soon as Iran becomes a nuclear power, it will inevitably nuke Israel. And that means that all Hell will break loose.

So if World War Three is being thought of as guaranteed unless we step in to prevent it, doing so by crushing Iran's nuclear prospects, then that means that Bush has already made up his mind that we must invade Iran if they don't back away from nuclear research. And why would they?

Bottom line: We're going to Iran.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Verge Of WWIII -- Will We Back Down? No Way!

Some people think the U.S. will find a way to justify and sell its people on a war with Iran. After all, Iran's nuclear program can be interpreted as having the ultimate goal of creating an atomic bomb.

Vladimir Putin, the current Russian president, warned the U.S. not to take any military action in Iran.

"But they're building nukes!"

"I don't care. Don't invade."

Option #1: Invade. Begin WWIII.
We enter Iran. Russia assembles a League of Arab Nations and fights us. BOOM!

Option #2: Don't Invade. Iran gets The Bomb. Nukes us. WWIII.

Why prolong the inevitable? Why get nuked?

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Monday, October 15, 2007

Technology Can Easily Aid In Total Surveillance, Credit Card Chip Implants, and the Rapture

In this day and age, with things getting smaller and smaller, and faster and faster, pretty soon it's going to be incredibly easy to put a camera on every corner, and in every room, watching and listening to everybody, all the time.

Commercials are already pushing the Visa Check Card as a faster and therefore better method of payment than cash. But they skew things. The Card users always have their cards ready and in their hands. No need to sign any slips of paper, according to the ads. How secure is that? And most of the time, the "loser" who pays with cash is shown reaching into his or her pocket or wallet or purse to get the money in a slow and apparently exasperating way. Now, that's totally unfair.

If one person has their form of payment in their wallet, the other should too. The Card members should have to reach in and retrieve their Cards, just as the cash user does. But it would be so much easier if the Card were embedded beneath the skin of the hand, wouldn't it? Sure, some would laugh and say, "Ha ha, you've got the mark of the Beast!" But we'd all know that with just a flick of the wrist, we can pay for that overpriced coffee and extra donut and not look foolish to the customers behind us in line, all of whom have been brainwashed by the Visa Check Card mentality of, "Hurry up, get out of my way, I need to pay now!"

Is the Book of Revelations right? It sure looks like some good planning could make it so...

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Fascism vs. Terrorism: Which Is The Bigger Threat?

Over the past few years, terrorist threats have dominated our public consciousness. But a more sinister, subtle threat has emerged: A growing trend toward American Fascism. And many feel that this is the greatest danger to the American way of life in the history of our nation.

This article mentions how the government is teaming with corporations to bring America into an ever-increasing state of Fascism. A Communist government controls the corporations. A Fascist government is controlled by corporations.

According to Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, our government is using disasters as a way to manipulate the public. Whenever tragedy strikes, changes are put into effect to increase privatization and profitability. Homeland security, schools, housing, and foreign military affairs (specifically, the Blackwater economy in Iraq) are all cited as areas in which this negative privitization has occurred.

Many feel that George Bush is to blame, as it is his administration that has created this situation. Maybe our next President will set things right. But they could also theoretically go further than even Bush has. And that's what scares so many.

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Saturday, October 13, 2007

"None Of The Above" For President

In "Brewster's Millions," Richard Pryor as Montgomery Brewster ran for political office with the campaign slogan, "None of the Above," advising folks to vote for neither him nor his fellow candidates. What if America were to vote "None of the Above?"

There are a few options here. First, we could boycott the vote. If nobody voted, we'd likely have to have another election. But what if we all actually went out and voted for a write-in candidate by the name of "None of the Above?" Since that phrase doesn't have a solid meaning, even if "None of the Above" won, it wouldn't win, unless the public had obviously agreed to what it meant beforehand.

If it means, "None of those who are running," it might force a new pool of candidates into the running, and keep Mr. Bush president a little longer.

If it instead means, "No, no more presidents," then I'd bet someone would try to convince the public that we really do need someone to look to for leadership.

Let's think about how a school would handle it if the student government held an election and nobody voted for anything other than, "None of the Above."

From what I remember about school, those in power could make and break their own rules at any time. So I bet at one school, if "None of the Above" won, the principal or previous president would decide who the next one would be. And that’s not Democracy. But I guess that's what we'd get if we as citizens put out the message that we're not voting for anyone anymore. Thankfully, that hasn't happened -- just yet.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Stephen Colbert For President

This article revealed that Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central's "Colbert Report" wants to run for the office of President as both a Democrat and a Republican.

In his native state of South Carolina, Mr. Colbert can kick of his campaign using media outlet ETV to garner support from fellow citizens of SC. He is gracious enough to allow the public to determine which party he truly belongs in. As a returned favor to Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who previously mentioned he'd like Colbert to be his Vice President, Colbert has decided that Mr. Huckabee can be his VP, if and when he is elected.

For those of you who read my recent post about Why America Will Never Vote In A Comedian President, you already know my thoughts on the idea of electing someone on the basis of their TV or movie persona. However, Mr. Colbert insinuated that his persona isn't necessarily the one that's running for President. Saying that he's really two people who go by the same name, it's possible that if America does elect him, they won't get the Colbert Report Stephen. They'll get the real one. And who knows, he could have a knack for politics.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

If Everybody Voted On Everything

How would that work? If we no longer used politicians to make decisions, but instead put every question and issue to a vote, in which everybody participated, would it make things better?

I think having people specialize in issues and ideas is a good thing, and works, because it makes them much more prepared to decide things for the future. They have the experience, and can put that to use in every question they address. When the majority votes on an issue, they vote on what they know, what they've seen or heard. It's more difficult to become genuinely informed when you rely mostly on the news and word of mouth. Rumors can develop, secret agendas can skew the facts, and the truth can be lost in the shuffle. If we all voted on something right now, I'm not sure that would be better than leaving it to the pros, because it's likely we'd be manipulated to some end, much as we are during the time of an election.

A man walks up to you, and says, "Hey, buddy, are you going to go vote?"

You say, "I wasn't planning on it."

He says, "Oh, but you should. It's your patriotic duty, and it's good for the nation!"

You say, "Gee, you're right. I'll go vote right now!"

He says, "That's the spirit! And don't vote for my side."

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Obama's Old Goof-Up

Here's an old clip of Barack Obama speaking to his supporters, and letting them know that 10,000 people died in a Kansas tornado. The actual number was 12.

He also erroneously reported that the Iraq War was the reason cleanup had been delayed by a shortage of industrial equipment. This was later refuted by the Kansas Army National Guard.

Some would say he made a few simple mistakes. Others think he was using scare tactics to incite the crowd. I like Obama's attitude, but I don't like it when political leaders get things overtly wrong.

I got used to people poking fun at Bush and his weekly malapropisms, but that kind of thing gets old quickly. I think something even worse than poorly articulating the correct facts is the expert articulation of falsehoods. Hearing something like that has a negative effect on the amount of trust I can put in a leader. Thankfully, I haven't noticed too many similar slip-ups.

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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Could We Really Elect A Comedian President?

I'd say no.

I've never actually seen the Robin Williams film in which he's the President of the United States, and leads the country using wit and satire. I did read the IMDB plot summary of the film, and according to that, his victory owed itself to a voting systems glitch. In spite of the fact that even in the movie he was not truly chosen to lead our country, I think it's important to understand some of the reasons why a candidate with a similar outlook on reality would probably not do very well in the polls, given our current political climate.

As long as I can remember, there's been the need to be able to take our leaders seriously. Only when you have absolute faith in a leader can you allow him or her the freedom to laugh at things, but even then, laughter is usually kept to a minimum. In a system far from perfect, time is better spent on coming up with solutions than coming up with jokes.

Sure, pointing out something that is funny because it is flawed makes us feel better. Sure humor and laughter are methods for confronting problems. And sure, making light of something sheds light on it, exposing an issue that needs to be addressed. But when all you do is expose issues, and never really address them, you're not truly leading.

Even if a leader were to spend the majority of his time off-camera working to resolve his country's problems, if the only things his or her citizens saw of him on-camera included cracking jokes and winning in a battle of wits, they'd naturally assume that that is the full scope of his official duties. That would weaken morale and citizen confidence, and do unnecessary damage to the state of a nation.

In this day and age, we need a leader who can take him/herself seriously, and can be taken seriously. Sure, there must be leeway for light-hearted moments, but light-heartedness should be the exception, not the rule.

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Monday, October 8, 2007

Hillary Clinton on South Park

"The Snuke" was an episode of the cartoon "South Park" in which Hillary Clinton had a nuclear weapon hidden inside her body. I wonder what effect, if any, it had on public opinion?

“South Park” is probably watched by a younger demographic, and I’ll bet many of its viewers are too young to vote. But 18-24 year olds are a powerful voting force, and perhaps “The Snuke” impacted their feelings on Hillary Clinton. If anything, it gave her more visibility.

There were rumors that Tom Cruise fought to have the “South Park” episode lambasting him along with Scientology removed from airing. I’m not sure those rumors were true. Maybe other unnamed people fought on behalf of the Cruise organization.

Not hearing about any problems the Clinton campaign has with “The Snuke” could make Hillary seem more tolerant by comparison -- more willing to poke fun at herself, more down-to-earth, and therefore, easier to relate to. And voting for someone is much easier if you feel you can relate to them.

I wonder if there are plans for any episodes involving other presidential candidates? Maybe the creators of “South Park” are aware they have a lot of influence, and would rather not get involved in the pre-election shenanigans. It’s not too difficult to see someone taking an idea and running with it in the media, insisting that “South Park” is trying to force people to vote a certain way. I generally like “South Park,” and the vibe I get from the show is that bad ideas in any form are going to be made fun of. The viewer is instructed (in a subtle, entertaining way) the think for him/herself. Because of this, I don’t think “South Park” would intentionally favor one candidate over another, unless there was a good reason, most likely ideological, and not financial. And who knows? There could be.

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Friday, October 5, 2007

Presidential Power

George Bush and his administration has done more for the Presidency than many former Presidents, in that he has been able to strengthen and increase the influence the President can exert while in office. He has gathered power not only for himself, but for future leaders of America. What does this mean? Are we on the path toward a Despotism?

A guest on "The Colbert Report," Naomi Wolf suggested that we are indeed on the path toward Despotism. She said that she would very much like to return as a guest in a year to discuss how we narrowly averted disaster. I've mostly thought that future Presidents would "fix" what changes Mr. Bush has effected, which so many people disagree with. I thought if Hillary Clinton were to win, or Obama, that they'd both reinstate the balance of power between the President and other parts of the government that so far has seemed to be in flux. But what if they don't give up that power?

In the news lately, Bush shot down the children's health care reform bill, citing that it didn't cover the poorest children adequately. That sounds ok. But it seems like a lot of things that could be beneficial have to get through him, and he often disagrees. Is the media just making it seem like he's hindering progress? Or is it somewhat true? It's as if we've got an expert team of scientists working toward building a better tomorrow, and a bureaucrat pops his head in the lab every now and then and says, "I don't think so."

I like to believe that there is a reason Bush is apparently directing this nation on a course of his own choosing, and that it is a good course, but with such a public outcry against him, I can't be 100% certain. I'm sure in time his goals will be understood, and in hindsight, maybe he'll seem like the best President we ever had -- strong, resolute, steadfast and determined to do what's best for America, even in the face of thousands of nay-sayers.

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