Dec 19, 2014

Obama Finally Gets Something Right

Well, it has taken two Presidential elections, a turnover of several Congressional seats, and six years, but President Obama finally got something right.  Actually, he got two somethings right.  The President made his "End of the Year Speech" - perhaps a little early since we still have a couple of weeks, but I'm sure he has a vacation planned- to nation and world already used to his lies and demanding speeches.  However, this time he finally got something right.  This time he finally sounded....well, he finally sounded like an American President should sound.

The first thing Obama got right is that he waited until the FBI had pretty much concluded that North Korea hacked the Sony computer files before he announced that North Korea did it.  In the past this President has been quick to jump out with his opinion before the facts are known.  He usually does in response to police officers having to defend themselves or having to arrest someone associated with the President in some way or another.  However, this time he waited, allowed the FBI and other agencies to develop their theory and their case and then he came forward and said North Korea did it.  Good job Mr. if you had been doing this for the past six years, maybe we wouldn't be in the mess we're in right now and maybe some of your Democrat buddies would have kept their seats in Congress... oh, well so we learn.

The second thing the President did was he said Sony should not have stopped the release of the controversial movie.  Link The President said, "We cannot have a society where some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States, because if somebody is able to intimidate folks out of releasing a satirical movie, imagine what they'll do when they see a documentary that they don't like, or news reports that they don't like -- or even worse, imagine if producers or distributors or others start engaging in self-censorship because they don't want to offend the sensibilities of somebody whose sensibilities probably need to be offended,"  The President went on to say that Sony should not have withheld the release and that he wished they had spoken to him first.....well, in all fairness to Sony Mr. President, you don't have the best track record in responding to this sort of stuff.

So at the end of the speech the President left us wondering what sort of action will be taken against North Korea.  After all, we have never experienced a cyber war fact, is there really a cyber war being waged?  If there is a cyber war, exactly how do we fight it?  Well, however we fight it, one thing is for sure....If this President will act - encourage Sony to release the film - heck, release it for free on the Internet and have the entire world view it, not just people paying at the movies! - and truly stand up to North Korea for their actions and do something, then he will have gained a small bit of respect from Democrats who have felt betrayed by him and some Republicans who have been trying to warn America for six years now.  Besides, if America is going to fight a cyber war, then President Obama already has all the key weapons he needs right here in the U.S.  Consider that Linux, Apple, and Microsoft pretty much run on the universal Unix that they helped develop and grow and North Korea may just find everything from their files being hacked and missing to their missiles and weapons being turned off from some remote IP address located in North America.

Dec 12, 2014

The Times They Are A-Changin

It is perhaps ironic that this evening as Congress battled over yet another budget crisis people could be reminded of the old Bob Dylan song "The Times They are A-Changin". In 1964 the song came out with a verse that states "Come senators, Congressmen /Please heed the call/Don't stand at the doorway/ Don't block up the hall" (Song). It's been fifty years now since that song opened up and tonight we found senators and congress once again being asked to "heed the call" and "don't stand in the doorway, don't block up the hall," which would have essentially shut down the federal government. Unlike previous battles though, this one found President Obama firmly supported by....wait for it....Republicans. Democrats were hesitant to jump on with the spending bill and in fact the battle went late into the night before the outcome could be decided. (decision)

The question has to come up: Why were so many congress members standing in the doorway and trying to block this bill tonight? After all, Democrats have stood by Obama now for six years. Further, for six years Obama has stood firmly against Republicans. So why the sudden shift in alliances? It's really simple as you'll see.

First and foremost, many of those Democrats feel betrayed. Their anointed President, the hopeful replacement of the Democrat strong-man Bill Clinton, did not live up to the expectations. Democrats followed him blindly even when Americans overwhelmingly said, "Don't do it!" Perhaps they were hoping that in the end Obama would be proven right and the nation would have a six-month memory loss concerning their representatives and the betrayal to listen to the people back home by the Democrats. The people did not forget. In fact, many of those Democrats will be on their way out this January. Their Democrat President will continue for another two years, retire from office to the fanfare of his supporters, raise money, build a library somewhere-likely Chicago even though I'm sure Hawaii wants it too- and settle into post-presidential life where he jokes with other ex-presidents, does good deeds, has a major charity and gets interviewed whenever a current crisis needs an ex-president's input - don't worry, they all do it with each other. Basically, Obama has two years in the final stretch and then it's out to graze and enjoy life. The Democrats who were beat though, will return home, or move to a new area, fade back into private life, maybe teach at a college or some major university, run a blog, and if they are lucky then a major network will high them to "comment" on current events. Regardless of what happens though, they are out of the spotlight while their leader continues down the path of stardom.

The second reason for the sudden shift is Obama himself. Obama may be a lot of things, but he is no dummy. He knows that to get anything done in the next two years, he has to work with a Republican dominated Congress. He spent six years talking about how the "Republicans" made a mess of everything and how bad Republicans are in general. Now he has to spend two years with them and being the intelligent man he is, he is drawing his enemy near. He now wants to be friends with the new Republicans, the old Republicans, and in the eyes of the people he has two years to show that he likes Republicans and that the people voted right in November 2014. Don't hate Obama for all this. He's just doing what any good politician would do...he's surviving. Look for him to be friends with Republicans, talk with them, work with them, and if we are lucky we'll even get things we want pushed through and signed by Obama during the next two years.

If all this worries you in anyway, well don't let it. When Bob Dylan first sang about the times changing and included senators and congressmen in his lyrics he knew that some things would never change. Fifty years later Congress is looking out for themselves still, blocking what they don't want, and often standing in the way of progress, but so is the President. Perhaps, if we are lucky, then come January when so many new Republicans walk into office, they will remember the reasons we sent them there. If they don't, then we always have the next election and if anything has been proven in fifty years, the people can make those time change at the ballot box.

Dec 1, 2014

The Protest Tragedy of the Brown and Wilson Tragedy

Disagreements and protest are going to happen in a country where we have free speech and free thought.  Nobody will deny that it is our right as American's to speak up when we do not agree.  No matter what side you were on with the recent issues in Brown/Wilson tragedy though, there are just certain things you should not do for reasons of right as well as reasons of legality:

1.  Don't burn down other people's businesses - burning of businesses occurred in both Caucasian, African-American, and other minority business.  These people are operating businesses in their community - They did not shoot Brown and they are not Wilson- They are fellow American's trying to get by, trying to survive, and trying to live in their community-They did nothing wrong to deserve to be burned or destroyed.

2.  Don't loot and steal - Looting and stealing is wrong, period.  It's against the law as much as burning down businesses and churches is against the law.  Because Brown was shot, or because Wilson was found innocent does not give you or anyone the right to steal.  The logic is wrong and completely irrational - stop and think- A young man is shot and killed, and an officer is found innocent of any wrong doing, therefore I should be entitled to a new television set! This is not protesting - This is stealing.

3.  Don't burn YOUR flag - One of the many things that broke American's hearts over the Ferguson riots was seeing our fellow American's burn the flag of this country.  While it is certain that some countries in the world will rejoice as they see the pictures, and doubtless use those same pictures in new propaganda ads, it is simply wrong.  Your nation did not wrong you - we can still debate, discuss, and maybe find solutions on all sides, but the fact is this- An American young man was killed, regardless of what he did or did not do, and an American young man shot the other young man, regardless or justified or not.  Two Americans had a tragic moment that ended one man's life and will forever change the other man's life.   It is horrible that it ever happened, but it did.  Now, the law has investigated, and it is very certain that other laws will be used in future lawsuits-that is part of the American justice system - it is the same laws that says you can protest, the same laws that says no a man can not be shot without justification, and the same laws that says that if a man is shot and the justification is questioned, we can ask the law to check into the, we can demand the law check into the incident.  The flag that you chose to burn in Ferguson is a symbol of all those protections and is YOUR symbol, my symbol, America's symbol.  Men and women, African American, Caucasian, Asian, Indian, Native American, and on have stepped forward under that flag and defended YOUR right to protest....Don't trample and burn the one symbol that stands for everybody in Ferguson and the country.

4.  Don't hold all law officers as the same - the fact is there are some bad law officers out there.  There are some who simply use their power as a weight to throw around and "rule" others, but not all of them do.  One picture of a young man hugging an officer has gone world-wide as a symbol that we can protest, disagree, cry, and even mourn what might have been or what is going on without hating our law enforcement officers.  When we have a bad one, protest, demand justice, write letters, make verbal demands, but do not hate them all because of one or two.  I have seen officers crying at the death of children regardless of race, I have seen then putting their lives on the line regardless of race, and I have seen them stand up to protect and enforce our laws when nobody else would-to the point of giving their own lives.  They aren't rich - check the public records- few officers make the kind of money that you can make in other fields.  Just remember, they are not all the same.

Finally, remember that the Republican Party will always support your right to protest.  The party was founded on the issue of protesting slavery in this country.  We have learned that you can work, protest, push for new laws, and bring equality in this nation.  The events in Ferguson, illegal and wrong, would bring tears to the Republicans who gave so much for equality in this nation.  Lincoln, Eisenhower, and Dr. King never have wanted people to loot, steal, burn business, and burn our own flag to protest.  They wanted us to demonstrate and protest, yes.  But they wanted us to demonstrate and protest in a civil manner.  As you go through the day, whether you support the Wilson side or the Brown side of this tragedy consider this one final thought from Dr. King:

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."