Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Edward Snowden is a traitor and other observations

Well, he is a traitor.

Here's the deal, folks, you don't go to work for agencies such as the NSA without some hint of what they do. It would be like putting in an application at Walmart because you thought they performed dentistry. This secret organization has a publicly known goal, one that Snowden was completely content to have.
Edward Snowden's ego propelled his decision to be a leak. There are methods to becoming a whistle-blower that do not involve consulting Barton Gellman, who is the patron saint of those who naively believe that the government should not have secrets at all. And if you had a chance to take a gander at Lindsay Mills'--Snowden's girlfriend--blog before she deleted it, the thrill of being viewed as a spy was a form of pillow talk between the two, even though Snowden is nor ever was a spy. Going to China didn't exactly help his case.

The outrage for this form of collection is amusing at best. In 2006, America was also outraged by intelligence gathering, then they got bored and moved on to something else to feed that need to be righteously indignant. Collecting data isn't new. Even the Patriot Act was just a spit shine on old shoes. Before the Patriot Act was the 1981 Executive Order 12333. After this administration vacates the White House, the next one will put another shine on these old shoes, and the public with be angry on cue, and forget it on cue. When the next terrorist act happens, they will hand their privacy on a platter faster than they are already doing on Facebook.

Snowden, you are a traitor. Turn yourself in for a public shellacking by the government, or you can spend the rest of your life playing a fugitive from the agents that will undoubtedly find you. As for the Americans that claim to be outraged, I've got money on how fast your positions will turn when the next Al Qaeda has organized.

Friday, June 29, 2012

This is why you don't go STS

STS (n) - an acronym that stands for Straight to Supreme Court, or Straight to SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States)

When the entire brouhaha about the proposed plan by the Obama administration to pursue a national health care plan, several states jumped the gun and took it straight to the courts with the assumption that it would be declared unconstitutional.

Not smart.

I was always wondering why didn't they just leave it in the hands of Congress? You don't EVER want to straight to SCOTUS. In fact, I'm creating a new acronym: STS--Straight to SCOTUS. And justices can be unpredictable. Eisenhower appointed Chief Justice Earl Warren and that resulted in the Brown v. Board of Education decision that ended segregation. While history will show that was the best decision in that case, when the decision came down, Eisenhower was not pleased. He referred to Warrens appointment as being a mistake. At the end of the day, you just can't predict how justices will go.

You don't want to go STS because they turn laws into stone. I was talking to someone a while ago about Roe v. Wade. Said individual believed that Roe v. Wade was being chipped apart in the courts. My thought was that either the organizations behind the repeal of Roe v. Wade are either caught up in zeal or they are doing it to give their supporters the illusion that they are fighting in court. You don't even make it past p. 7 of those rulings before you see the words "this court still upholds Roe v. Wade." So those groups that are going after the ruling in the courts only reinforced it. And this was the situation in the health care law case, and I want to be clear that I'm not comparing the context of the two cases, just the nature of how they were brought to court. I'm hoping whoever is reading this is smarter than that. I remember mentioning that the 7-2 decision in favor of Roe v. Wade was dominated by Republican-appointed justices and said individual went from normal to banshee in seconds like the whole thing was my fault. I didn't write history, I just stated the facts. But I digress...

Anyhoo, because those states that filed the suit against the health care bill jumped the shark and went STS, President Obama got to do his victory pimp walk to the podium.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The political cost of the Trayvon Martin murder

The tragic murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin has gone global, with several cities and thousands of people in the streets and online donning hoodies in protest.

There is, however, a potential political setback that I am stunned officials in Florida have failed to appreciate. Of course, this could also be a chilling sign that the dismissal of incidents such as this indicate a norm that lead state and local officials to think they were immune to a backlash.

When it was evident that the Trayvon Martin murder would not go away quietly, it may have appeared to officials and Governor Jeb Bush that the "smart" thing to do would be to stay quiet. However, one would think that some political strategy foresight would suggest the squashing of this incident immediately. There was--and still is--legal recourse to put George Zimmerman in jail, even if only for a short time. It is too late for an arrest to diffuse the outrage, but it could put a dent in it. However, had an arrest been done at the time, we would have never heard about the death of Trayvon Martin.

Let's face it: the Republicans could be in serious trouble this election. There is argument that the strong dislike towards the sitting president will be enough to send the base to the polls, but with three candidates that are splitting the vote and the support, the force is leaning in Obama's favor. Last election, seasoned politician Senator John McCain and running mate Sarah Palin couldn't bring out the vote enough to get the White House. Sarah Palin, whatever your feelings about her, is a charismatic entity for the GOP base. What chance does Mitt Romney or Santorum have? The GOP is merely tolerating Romney's existence. Santorum looks so stressed from just campaigning that it is questionable if his stamina will make it to November. The Republican Party is facing the growing rage stemming from the backlash regarding anti-contraceptive and abortion laws. They don't need this. One thing the GOP had in their favor was the disenchanted base of the Democratic Party not showing up to vote.

If the Democrats were thinking strategically, they would urge Florida Democrats to push to put the repeal of the "Stand Your Ground" law on the ballot to use the anger over Martin's death to get voters to the polls.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Playing a highly volatile voting group

A thought occurred to me as I read about this continued legislative hailstorm regarding women that is making the government anything but small: I wonder if this is just another political game. That is a "duh" statement. Of COURSE it is a political game. Didn't anyone notice these laws are popping up around election season? That was sarcasm in case you missed it.

True, there may be one or two politicians that actually believe in what they are pushing, and some are undoubtedly bandwagoning, but surely they are familiar enough with how this country's legal system works to know that their law will fail at the SCOTUS level. And that's the idea, isn't it? To placate far right voters enough to get them to the polls, and then let SCOTUS knock the laws down. Major players in the GOP have been promising to overturn Roe v. Wade for years and never done so. Why? Because they don't have that authority, and even if they did, why would they? All they have to do is just say the word "abortion" and their base is fired up. If abortion was illegal in this country, their greatest pitch would be lost. At the end of the day, the objective of any politician--Democrat or Republican--is to be reelected.

A backlash is on the horizon from all these laws, and I'm sure the legislators pushing these laws know exactly what they are doing. They know their followers will never accept that the system of Checks and Balances cannot be overturned in Congress or by electing a new president. If you don't believe me, find a hardcore pro-lifer and just ask them. I personally don't think of them as pro-life, they are something else entirely. One too many experiences with the highly hostile natures of people I've met from this demographic have been a life lesson. Even what appears to be simple conversation on non-related topics goes from "Hey, this person is nice" to "I hope my pepper spray is in my purse because this person is scaring the hell out of me."

An answer I gave to someone's commentary that I honestly thought was harmless about how my voting decisions would not affect Roe v Wade because of how the country was set up went from civil to frightening in seconds. A completely illogical and frightening tirade was written to me. He was offended by my civics lesson and the next thing I knew, I got an email with abortion "info" that was 30 years old and possessed not one verifiable source. Just from mentioning Checks and Balances. He was the one that brought up abortion. That wasn't even on my mind. My motivation for voting was the economy, and if people like him weren't so trigger-happy and clung so tightly to erroneous information, they would see that abortion rates drop when they economy is good. So someone that is thinking about the economy isn't "the enemy". But nothing will even get them to change the topic. No research is valid to them unless it comes from the unvalidated website that tells them exactly what they want to hear. You either are a monster or in need of reeducation in their eyes. They will keep talking as if you didn't say a word and will keep the volatile monologue going until you back down or run away.

I remember watching Cheaper by the Dozen with a group. After the movie, I said that I hoped I never had that many children and was immediately accused of planning abortions for a pregnancy that didn't exist. True story. After expressing my fears to a priest (who is pro-life), he told me that these types of people terrified him, too, and to just "Wait a few days and then just tell them what they want to hear" so that they didn't give me any trouble. I read a comment on a video where women were criticized as being bad mothers if they weren't willing to die from a pregnancy. That is how heated this issue is. There are four groups: pro-choice, undeclared, pro-life and them. This is my first-hand experience, not some assumption based on the experiences of others.

And politicians know this issue is a trigger, that is why they keep pulling it. But the deal is sweet for them no matter what happens. When the laws are beaten down at the SCOTUS level, they can say, "Hey, we tried, but those baby killers stopped us. Remember that and vote for me!" Wash, rinse, repeat. As I said earlier, the objective of any politician is to be reelected, and this set of voters is very easy to stir up and impossible to sway.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

...and Mississipi?

Romney came in third behind Gingrich and Santorum, effectively guaranteeing a battle for delegates all the way to the Republican convention and making a certain president very, very happy. Somebody's in trouble...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Surprise! Surprise! Santorum takes Alabama

NBC, CNN and Fox News are calling Alabama for Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum. Mississippi, caught in a three-way split, is still being marked as too close to call.

Santorum took 34% of the Alabama vote, seizing 13 delegates with 58% of the vote calculated. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich coming in second with 30%, Mitt Romney came in third with 28% of the vote and Ron Paul trailed with 8% of the voted.

So what does this mean? It means the Republicans still have a serious problem on their hands. Mitt Romney failed miserably at his attempt to appear like a regular guy with some painful attempts at Southern jargon this morning. Romney couldn't even beat Gingrich. But this should not really be a surprise, given that Alabama and Mississippi are tagged as being the most evangelical and conservative voters in the country. Romney is just coming off as being too country club to appeal to Joe Blow America. Republican voters are still iffy about Romney, despite the fact that he may be as good as they are going to get. However, Santorum does not have a snow's chance of catering to the moderates in a general election. Gingrich has enough baggage to take him to Saturn and back. Poor Ron Paul is just in denial.

President Obama has slipped drastically in popularity, but this three-way split may very well be his saving grace. Even with the divide being so clear and a projected frontrunner for the Republican Party being so ambiguous, the conservative vote may still steadily stream towards whomever is picked. But my eyes and ears hear conservative voters with ultimatums: "our" guy or the highway.

Whatever the case, the battleground for the general election is moderates and women voters, and superconservatives are rapidly losing appeal with those populations.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Indiana lawmaker calls Girl Scouts radical group

And not "radical" in surfer parlance, either. According to Rep. Bob Morris (R-IN), the Girl Scouts is a militant group of sexualized cookie hookers that are the future army for Planned Parenthood's attack on American family values.

He didn't actually say that, but that is the gist of his complaint.