Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Shocking Secret About Alaskan Oil

During the Clinton Administration years, experts within the oil industry sought ways to pressure both Congress and the Clinton Administration to find some logic to invade and occupy Iraq because oil industry scientists believed that as much as 220 billion barrels of undiscoverd oil was in Iraq, the world's largest supply of oil, and about a 98 year supply at the present consumption levels. Even though a large supply of oil was close to the mainland U.S. in Alaska, oil industry scientists knew some shocking secrets about this oil that few in the public knew about that made the risks of war in Iraq seem like a far better alternative than the widespread use of Alaskan oil.

While many in the oil industry also did push for more drilling for North Slope Alaskan oil, they worked with their powerful Republican allies in Congress such as Senator Ted Stevens to help shield the industry from expensive lawsuits because of the some shocking secrets about Alaskan oil revealed during chemical analysis. On one hand many in the Republican leadership that were pushing for more Alaska oil drilling, including the White House claimed that this drilling was vital for "energy independence" , while on the other hand working to shape federal and EPA rules to shield the industry from expensive lawsuits because of the shocking truth about Alaskan oil that the industry and their Republican supporters have long known about, but have avoided publicly disclosing.

The shocking truth about the North Slope Alaskan oil is that it contains extremely high levels of cancer causing toxic benzene that present day automobile antipollution systems are not able to properly filter from the exhaust. For every mile driven, Alaskan North Slope oil emits up to 50% more toxic compounds into the air per mile than any oil from any other area of the world. Because of the extremely high level of dangerous toxic benzene output, Alaskan North Slope oil is absolutely unsuitable for use as gasoline for mass use in automobiles. Yet both the oil industry and their Republican allies in the White House and Congress have worked hard to conceal this secret, while at the same time working to tailor EPA rules to protect the industry from lawsuits for the expected rise in injuries and death from the use of the highly toxic Alaskan North Slope oil.

The fact of the matter is that oil industry as well Bush Administration controlled EPA experts know full well that toxic benzene passes into the bloodstream after being inhaled by the lungs and manages to store in fat and the bone marrow. After 48 hour, the level of toxic benzene in the body does drop somewhat, however repeated exposure means that the substance never really leaves the body, giving benzene the opportunity for genetic damage including birth defects, damage to the immune system and blood, and increases the chances of persons developing cancers by as much as 25%.

One of the only oil industry companies to actively work to reduce benzene levels is BP which installed a refinery at Cherry Point in Washington for $115 million which also works to reduce sulfur levels as well. But this is strickly a voluntary action, as most of the other oil companies are waiting until the EPA finally requires a reduction of benzene levels in 2011, allowing for a few more years for the Bush Administration and the next administration to continue war to pacify Iraq or secure another cleaner MidEast source of oil and make far less use of the toxic oil from Alaska. Current EPA rules also protect individual refiners with high benzene levels by failing to publicly disclose their level of benzene output in their products by falsely contending that such information is "confidential trade secrets" and protected information. However comparing toxic levels of poisonous substances that result in public health dangers and death to business trade secret such as the Kentucky Fried Chicken recipe or the formula for Coka Cola is an absurdity.

The Bush controlled EPA also prevents local communities and states from enacting tougher laws to clean up the benzene toxic problem . Only after some lawsuits, did the Bush controlled EPA finally agree to the 2011 deadline to deal with some reduction in toxic benzene levels. But for now the EPA is only accepting public comments on the benzene problem, including allowing big oil companies to purchase pollution credits, ahead of a report on the subject that will be released long after the November election.

The toxic benzene problem is just another area in which the public can see where the big oil industry, the Republican leadership of Congress and the Bush Administration know of a serious public health problem, but use the wheels of government to protect the industry and to endanger the public health. It is yet another pathetic example of your government at work under Bush Administration control by the big business oligarchy that controls the Republican Party to manupulate the government to protect public health threats for the sake of corporate profits. When industry and big business conspire together as they do to conceal and protect the benzene health threat, then the public welfare is put into great danger. It is yet another crass example of profits above people from this government under Bush big business leadership, where 42 major members of the Bush Administration are either oil company executives, major stock holders or former board members. Dr. Condoleezza Rice, for just example was a former Board Of Directors member for Chevron oil.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Authoritive ELECTION PROJECTION 2006 Website Finds No Solid Gains For Democrats Likely

Despite all the popular press analysis that has all but proclaimed that the Democrats will be the big winners of next week's elections, the very authoritive ELECTION PROJECTION 2006 from Scott Elliot finds no great trend towards he Democrats based on a careful race by race formula and analysis that he uses. The also very authoritive RASMUSSEN REPORTS also relies on Scott Elliot and has a page devoted to his analysis. In 2004, both ELECTION PROJECTION and RASMUSSEN REPORTS were the two most accurate polling and projection sources. Exit polling from the major networks was far off and mistakenly proved a John Kerry win, while even the 50-48 margin of both ELECTION PROJECTION 2004 and RASMUSSEN was near dead-on by comparison.

ELECTION PROJECTION finds that while Democrats will gain up to 7 governorships, they will likely fall short in the Senate and may at this point only end up with three more Congress members than the Republicans, which is so close that a larger than expected GOP turnout could threaten any Democratic hopes of Congress control despite so much disatisfaction over the Republican Congress and George Bush.

The fact of the matter is that Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean, who could not even get himself elected President in 2004 has failed to put together a unifying set of Democratic principles where many voters are very vague on what exactly Democrats really stand for. In addition Democratic "get out the vote efforts" are largely hit and miss local efforts that have missed millions of potential voters who could have voted Democratic had they been better groomed by Democrats. Many poor people who stand to lose Food Stamps or public health assistance program support could have been groomed to vote by Democrats to vote to prevent cutbacks to their needed services, but instead Democrats failed to take such opportunities ro garner potential voters. If Democrats lose again in what should be an easy election, then it is disorganization and a lazy effort not to even put the energy into something similar to the 1994 Republican's successful 1994 "Contract With America". If the Democrats manage to blow such an easy opportunity this year to gain control of Congress, which is seeming to be increasingly likely, then likely there will be another party shakeup of leadership and Howard Dean forced to step down. But it is pretty clear from the current polls that Democrats should be running far stronger than they actually are at this point. Democrats need to make a huge and successful "get out the vote effort" in the next week or more likely than not, fall short in this easy election. The best statistic put Democrats right on the cuff of victory or defeat, with almost no margin for error to control Congress. That's far short of where they should be at this point.

China Cuts Crude Oil Exports To North Korea

During September, new statistics prove that China has cut oil exports to North Korea. North Korea gets virtually all of it's oil exports from China. The big question is whether this is part of a Chinese effort to force Kim Jong-Il from pwer in favor of a more pragmatic Communist leader or simply because Chinese demand for oil has grown so strong that no spare oil supplies are available to share with North Korea. But China has also exceeded some of the U.N. sanctions on Noth Korea by tightening Chinese bank transactions with North Korea, so there is good reason to believe that China is taking an active role in attempting to undermine Kim Jong-I; which may now be seen by Bejng of simply too destabilizing of an influence in Asia.

China is also moving to tighten border security against many North Koreans who are starving running over their border. Reportedly a "security fence" is being assembled to control North Koreans who are seeking political refuge in China. China likely does not want the Communist government of North Korea to collapse, but wants to bring down Kim Jong-Il in favor of leadership that will not cause political problems that Kim Jong-Il has managed to bring to Asia. By applying enough pressures, China appears to forcing other North Korean Communist leadership to take control in North Korea.

Russian President Putin Sends Mixed Signals On His Role After 2008

Russian President Vladimir Putin has spent this week offering mixed signals on his intents after 2008 in which he claims that he will nor seek a third term as President. Now he claims he intends to have influence over the Russian government after 2008.

After years of consolidating power and clamping down on many press freedoms, eliminating many elected government positions and elevating many old Communist figures from the former Soviet Union era to high government positions, Putin on one hand seems willing to step back from his steady trend towards becoming just a little short of a dictator in Russia. However, Putin could hand pick a successor in a tightly controlled election in which other parties have little real fair opportunity to field candidates. Putin could also have himself named to the powerful government run oil monopoly, Gazprom, which would give him great power in Russian society and with the government.

Technically Russia is not a Communist government system anymore. Yet with so many former Communists and a sharp curtail on many press freedoms, the nation is hardly a real democracy either. Many wealthy interests find that the Russian government runs solely for their benefit, while many of the working people of Russia are effectively locked out of real political clout in this new post-Communist system. Cheap rent and many other Communist programs that used to benefit the working class have given way to a system that works to profit the wealthy interests of Russia.

Several things do seem likely for the future of Russia though. They will continue to have more than 2,000 nuclear warheads. They will continue to act as something of a power tival to the U.S. And U.S. and Russian frictions will likely continue over former Soviet states that attempt to pull closer to NATO or the West. Putin will likely have a near kingmaker role in choosing some leader to continue these goals. Vitaly Churkin has been a long time player in both the old Soviet system and also in Putin's government. Churkin has always seemed like the ultimate company man, without any real opinions of his own, sort of like a Communist Andrew Card. A candidate in this vein will be the likely personal choice of Putin. Real democracy in Russia hardly seems likely in the near future as Putin has put the entire press and political essentials for a free society under his tight controls.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Simply Awful And Cheap Halloween Costume Ideas

If your still haven't bought a Halloween costume for your kids or yourself, then here are a few of the worst cheap old standards. All of these can be thrown together with almost no thought or effort, and also unfortunately look like it.

BEDSHEET GHOST: This costume involves only a white bedsheet with two eye holes. A very effectove costume for very little effort. But doesn't work at all if the only sheet available is one with a lovely floral pattern. Blankets and other items also don't work at all, but are indeed laughably funny.

BATHROOM TISSUE MUMMY: This thoughless quick costume involves very little more thought than wrapping your child in bathrom tissue. But any rainy weather will quickly end this cheap idea. Almost as bad is sending your kid out with extra rolls of bathroom tissue to make constant repaors to the costume along the way.

MOM'S LIPSTICK FRANKENSTEIN'S MONSTER: At first glance, using mom's lipstick to make scars and other Frankenstein's monster makeup may seem like a great idea. But it will not only look crummy, but will likely stain the skin for days afterward and involve a lot of explaning. Not worth the effort. Buy approved use skin use grease makeup instead.

OLD CLOTHES HOBO: What better way to show off the crummy clothes you still have around your home that should have been given to the homeless or used as car waxing rags long ago.

CROCODILE HUNTER WITH BLACK TRASHBAG STINGRAY: It's way too soon for this tasteless, but simple costume. A Crocodile Hunter costume is easy enough to make with a coat hanger opened up and black trashbag material pulled over it. Please resist this urge.

KITCHEN FOIL ROBOT: Not only is this stuff really scratchy when used on the face, but unless used with cardboard boxes, is a real mess. A cool sounding idea that quickly goes "agog".

BROWN PAPER BAG MR. POTATO HEAD: Oh no. For Heaven's sake, no.

CARDBOARD BEARDS: Oh boy, does this really show a lot of effort and thought. What? Spending 29cents for the cheapest possible mask is too tough?

LONG LEFT OVER DRESSES USED AS COSTUMES ON SMALL CHILDREN: Watch your kids struggle to climb steps and fall down all along the way. Absolutely unsafe and a bad idea.

The best idea is not to be so cheap and to get your kids something worthwhile and safe to wear while there's still a little time. Most homemade costumes can quickly become a bad idea if given half the chance. Unless you're Martha Stewart who has the skills of MCGYVER to fashion something amazing from your household junk, then better leave things up to the experts.

American Elections Have Become An Appalling Display Of Ignorance And Dysfuntion

The American elections so far have become just about what you would expect from a nation in which sometimes only about 39% of students even graduate from high school, compared to Asian nations where students still commit suicide if they do not make it into higher education institutions and math and other skills are among the very best in the world. Ignorant ads that are intelligence insulting are the general rule this year, something that you'd expect from a society not even literate enough to construct complete thoughts or make good use of fully functional cognitive skills.

And many voters will still vote solely on the basis of ignorant single issues such as prejudice against others because they are an economic immigrant to this nation, a Gay American seeking equal justice and rights, or old time racial prejudice.

And our government is headed by ignorant men who put us in Iraq, not bothering to open any history books on the region to realize that we would only incite long held secular hatred and open up more violence. It was absurd to think that an only partially literate and intelligent society like ours which is not even fully civilized iteslf could seek to solve all the problems of a more primitive society like Iraq wiith no traditions of democracy and violence rather than civilized debate more the rule than anything.

It is likely that Democrats may do somewhat better than Republicans in this election. Yet under the very weak leadership of party head, Howard Dean, there was little good effort to construct a universal core set of values or beliefs, where many voters would be hard pressed to state what Democrats really stand for other than they are not the party of George Bush.

Democrats would like to win this year. But it seemed to involve too much effort to organize some cohesive thoughts together to state what the party really stands for, or to organize decent "get out the vote" efforts, and instead pins very thin hopes of a narrow win to control Congress. But lazy efforts get lazy results, and the Democrats may find themselves once again shortchanged because they barely did enough work to gain their desired results.

But a vote for many of the Republican candidates often proves even less common sense on the part of many voters. For the sake of a prejudiced vote against immigrants or Gay Americans, these voters will be punished by electing a government that keeps wages low, ignores the best interests of consumers and the average citizen, and often merely panders to the worst greedy instincts of big oil and other ruthless profiteering corporations.

American society is overrun by excessive imports where 96% of all clothing we wear is imported and not made domestically. All American automobile manufacturers are facing serious problems where it is possible that none will survive. Job layoffs to labor cheap nations such as China and India, where the students are far better at math and other skills than American students is becoming the rule. American society is a decaying mass of both manufacturing and intelligence and personal values declines. 28% of young people consider themselves to be shoplifters and those who consider themselves to be liars or other bad traits now top out as much as 60%.

Some of our best exports to the world are music such as Rap which often glorifies lifestyles based on violence, or country music which often glorifies drunkeness, divorce or the breakdown of the family. Rock music has even lost much of it's former beauty, and now often is little more than an angry outlet for young male frustrations by young males not even able to understand why they are so angry to begin with. These exports often better illustrate the ignorance and dyfunction of American society to the world almost better than anything except our ability to bring war, not peace to members of the developing world.

So ignorant people not even able to solve their own problems, with a lack of civility to even intelligently debate issues involving our own government as proven by tasteless campaign ads, will still seek to re-order the world after our election. It is little wonder that the more civilized nations of the world where education is the top priority, and who believe in intelligent and orderly problem solving do want partnerships with the U.S. on many issues.

Without a doubt, the American civilization is a declining one. The current ads during this campaign only serve to illustrate just how intellectually deficient our society has become. Few good answers have so far been offered by many who seek to run our government.

Our society has also become so secular that it has failed to note that in the Old Testament when ancient Israel became so spiritually worthless to God, that he allowed their society to be "corrected" and terrorized by a ruthless rivals. Many in the Islamic world feel that their current role is to "correct" the Christian and Jewish world for their sins. Up to 800 million of the 1.3 billion world Muslims may support this vision of bringing "correction" to the Western world. Americans need to take a good look to see of much of their problems aren't really in their character and lack of genuine spiritual values. Our lack of a civilized election here should serve as a warning that deeper values problems are rotting at the core of America.

When many young people don't want to go to school. Politicians don't want to be honest. Business leaders only want greed that best serves just their interests. And a raising force of worldwide Islamic radicalism feel that they are here solely to "correct" our civilization, then there is little reason to expect that this election in the U.S. will solve many of our problems and only hasten and continue our decline as a world power.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Rush Limbaugh And Ann Coulter Attacks On Parkinsons Victim, Michael J. Fox Tread On Very Thin Ice

Never known for being very nice persons, this weeks attacks on Parkinsons disease patient Michael J. Fox are treading on very thin ground with the public. Michael J. Fox has grown up with the public and is a well loved celebrity. Seeing how much his disease has destroyed his health is certainly very touching and represents an effective argument for better treatment and research to end this terrible disease.

Both Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter have helped to further the ugly conservative streotype of unfeeling and nasty persons. The awful video footage of Limbaugh lampooning the lack of muscle control of Fox was especially disgusting. And Ann Coulter always knows how to ghoulishly handle topics with a total lack of good sense or class and bring disgrace to anyone who dares call themself conservative. Coulter complained about "liberals" using victims to make their case. But it is actually the victims of pinheaded conservative policies that seek fairness for themselves by acting as their own good advocates.

It is disappointing that former prescription drug addict Limbaugh cannot find a little more understanding anc acceptance in his nature for victims of illness. Limbaugh expected public sympathy for the problems he made for himself with his drug addict personality traits, but just cannot bring himself to treat others with more respect. Ann Coulter is a complete lost cause. Her outrageous suggestions of support for violence against public officials that she dislikes steps way outside any bounds of acceptable human decency. And her recent personal attacks on the 9/11 widows display a very warped character that most normal persons would reject. Conservatives do a great deal of harm to their movement when sick personalities like these are two of their most prominent spokespersons. The George Wills and other educated and reasonable conservatives are sorely missed in the loudmouth and rude world of trash talking right wing radio and TV. There is simply too much loud and obnoxious Bill O'Reilly types these days, and not enough persons of any real class or intelligence in this movement nowadays. It too much reminds me of the old "know nothing" movement of the past.

Ads Using Paid Actors To Present Phony Testimonials Need To Be Banned

Both the antiHarold Ford ad and an ad run by Millionaire Republican candidate for Congress in Oregon have something in common. Both use paid actors to read scripts intended to destroy the reputation of their intended targets. Federal trade laws don't allow for phony testimonials for products by paid actors unless clearly noted in the ads.

In the antiHarold Ford ad, a Texas actress who can not even vote for Mr. Ford is used to misrepresent a PLAYBOY sponsored football party that involved 5,000 guests including many celebrities and did not involve any illegal or outrageous activity such as sexual misconduct, drugs or nudity. Yet the Republican paid ad with the actress from Texas who has ever never met Mr. Ford before, and was merely an outrageous fictionalized script meant to conjure up false and inflamatory issues against the intended target. This has to be one of the worst forms of character assassination and use of false recreations of events to destroy a person's reputation. There is no reason why this should not be illegal.

In Oregon, millionaire Republican candidate for Congress, Mike Erikson is using similar false scripted attacks on his opponent, Rep. Darlene Hooley by having paid actors who most likely never ever set foot on Oregon to pose as Oregon voters and read outrageous statements to make it seem as though Rep. Hooley supports cash or other givaways to illegal aliens. Again paid actors are misrepresented as typical voters to create a false impression. Mr. Erikson must realize that trade laws would not alow him to advertize his business interests with such false advertising, yet he finds no problem using such false testimonials to misrepresent his opponent.

There absolutely needs to be a tough federal crackdown on the use of these false testimonial ads. Real voters with real statements that they swear to the truthfulness must only be used in future ads. Fictionalized recreations with paid actors to destroy the reputation of the intended targets is not a fair or honest way to campaign. It also violates the most basic of the Ten Commandments as a "false witness" representation and flunks this important moral code of long held religious Judeo-Christian values. When some feel the need to walk outside of such serious values, then they are not really needed in public offices.

Comic Gilbert Gottfried Takes Time To Email Halloween Good Wishes To His Fans

One thing that sets great comic Gilbert Gottfried apart from so many other celebrities is that he takes the time to send out greetings to fans on fun holidays such as Halloween. Gottfried is one of the most freindly and accessible celebrities out there, a really great guy. His fan base is very important to him.

Gottried has had a nearly lifelong career as a comic, when he started at just 15 of years of age, reportedly skipping school to get comedy club bookings. Only my own grandfather from Norway did a more outrageous thing, at the age of 11 telling the owners of a large merchant ship that he had the permission of his parents to sail with them, and spending the rest of his life on ships, never seeing his parents in Norway ever again, but eventually becoming a ship's captain. Gilbert Gottfried's devotion to comedy has been just as strong and loyal.

But Gilbert Gottfried has often taken the hands on management approach to his career woth many long and notable achievements. He was a regular on SNL in the 80-81 season. He was a cast member on NIGHT COURT for a time. He's been in many movies including BEVERLY HILLS COP ll, PROBLEM CHILD, and has provided important voice-over work on projects such as DOCTOR DOOLITTLE, REN & STIMPY, and has become the famous voice of the AFLAC DUCK on AFLAC ads. He also does great comedy bits on JAY LENO during a celebrity JEOPARDY! comedy feature that comes up every so often. Gottfried often ad-libs in an outrageous manner and adds some great comdy drama to this bit. His funny ad-libs are almost his most famous trademark besides his distinctive comedy style. On THE ARSENIO HALL SHOW he was absolutely hilarious when he nonstop pressed Hall to answer whether he has sex with Paula Abdul.

On HOWARD STERN's morning comedy show, some funny insights into his life have been aired, including that his apartment was once furnished with cheap folding lawn furniture, and that he is notorious for being very thrifty. When he nearly died a few years ago of a ruptured appendix, he called friends such as Howard Stern to visit, with Stern reportedly asked to bring Gottfriend underware to the hospital, according to Stern.

In the film, THE ARISTOCRATS, Gottfried told perhaps the funniest and dirtiest version of a joke of all the comics featured. Gilbert Gottfried has just come out with a new comedy DVD and CD, in which he can offer comedy material without the censorship constraints of TV. Gilbert runs a website over at www.gilbertgottfried.com which is a great resource for those who cannot just get enough of this very funny and unique comic. For all intents and purposes, Gilbert Gottfried is probably just as good of a comic personality as any of THE THREE STOOGES or any greats of the past. Gottried is a darn good comic, and more of a legend than many actually realize. He's a true comic personality, not just someone who tells a few jokes. A great American treasure.

Friday, October 27, 2006

How Much Of The Dixie Chicks Controversy Is Just Career Management?

Certainly country music has a very limited artistic freedom style compared to rock music, but it is a good question just how much of The Dixie Chicks controversy is simply aimed at creating just enough of a public relations crisis to keep their act in the spotlight. Country music acts tend to have a very short shelf life in most cases. Only a few acts have a longer life. Certainly pop acts such as Madonna and Britney Spears have managed to turn a series of public events into living room and water cooler discussions, and have managed to stay fresh in the public view while so many other acts have faded. The Dixie Chicks might well be following this rule, figuring a little controversy is good for extending their "15 minutes" of normal shelf life fame.

In reality, some minor critical opinions on Bush would hardly raise an eyebrow in rock misic, but among the politically conservative audience for country music, The Dixie Chicks have managed to both encourage and anger some fans.

But compared to some in country music with hard core criminal histories, The Dixie Chicks mild rebel conduct seems very tame. Country legend, Merle Haggard served time for assault, robbery and burglary. David Allan Coe was another personality with a long criminal history. Country music probably has more personalities associated with serious crimes such as rape, murder, robbery, burglary, drugs and assault than even rap music, and many songs deal with social breakdowns such as alcohol abuse, adultry and divorce, yet The Dixie Chicks have somehow managed to create a rebel image amongst all of of this outrageous social conduct for some reason with a few small words about Bush.

This past week, The Dixie Chicks were back on OPRAH and on CHRIS MATTHEWS managing to squeeze just a bit more publicity out of their George Bush comments from some time ago. Why this is even news again is a perfectly good question, but without the commision of a serious crime like many others in country music, The Dixie Chicks have managed to keep their name out there, and keep on selling CDs. It must be the country music equivalent of The Who trashing their hotel room all the way to the bank.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Donald Rumsfeld Holds Testy News Conference

In a third day of obviously politically moltivated nonsense news conferences on Iraq, Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld held what was supposed to be an opportunity for reporters to ask questions about the Bush Administration's claimed "breakthrough" with the Iraqi government. And as expected Rumsfeld refused to offer even the most most vague of details, because no such "breakthrough" with the Iraqi government even exists, it's just a publicity stunt before the election.

The Bush Administration is certainly asking a great deal of the American public to return his party to control of Congress, when under Republican rule since 1994 many Congressmen now only work about two days a week, have pocketed many pay increases, and lobbyists now outnumber Congresspersons by a 60 to 1 margin. It is also this Congress that has just two children in Iraq, but votes to send other people's children there and stand behind a President who pathologically lies about claimed "progress" of the war at nearly every opportunity. For anyone who uses their head as something other than a hatstand, there is every good intelligent reason to pull the plug on the Bush Administration lies as soon as possible and vote for new leadership at Congress that does more than just vote new tax breaks for big oil companies who are making record profits, and only rubber stamp the Bush record of lies about the Iraq War.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Bush Administration Pulls Real Nonsense On Iraq Days Before The Election

Yesterday in Iraq, the U.S. staged a nonsense military newsconference intended to convey the false impression that some major policy change was agreed to by the Iraqi government to bcrack down on "death squad militias" and set benchmarks for Iraqi control of theor own security, attended only by Gen. Geoege Clark and the American Ambassador to Iraq. Not a single Iraqi government official was in attendance to lend any credibilibity to this foolish staged event. In the middle of this absurd nonevent, stahe only as a desperate event to help lift up sagging GOP hopes for the coming election, the electrical power even failed and the room went dark, only further affirming to the reporters that they were drawn to this nonsense "news conference" for no good reason.

And no doubt with the good advice of Karl Rove, Bush staged another absurd newsconference today to further move along the lies and propaganda from yesterday, and claimed like the liar that most Americans now see him as, how much "progress" were making in Iraq and to answer reporters questions from the claimed major agreement with the Iraqi government.

But like all lies, the truth soon brings the whole mess down. An angry Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki disputed that the Iraqi military or government will be held to any perfomance benchmarks by the Americans, strongly questioning whether the claimed American-Iraqi government major agreement story wasn't a near complete lie by the Bush Administration. Further after an attack on a major militia leaders home that is believed to be one of the death squad leaders, Iraqi Prime Minister was very angry at the U.S. goverenment. According to al-Maliki, this was without the permission or approval of the Iraqi government.

What's emerging couldn't be more clear. Outright lies and phony pree conferences right before the election by the Bush Administration to claim "breakthroughs" or successes that don't even exist. And on the part of the Iraqi government, a defensive government that is filled with many members of Shia militias and protects the systemative murders of Sunni citizens. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki gets his power by the support of the 40 elected members of radical antiU.S. cler Sadr and his violent militia. During the recent war between Israel and Hezbollah, Maliki made it well known his support for the terrorist Hezbollah organization. The election that brought Shiite militia groups into the increased power this past year was trully a disaster for any peace hopes in Iraq. The coalition that supported the moderate secularist Allawi ran a very poor and distant third, and the power of Shiite religious radicals and their Shia militias and death squads were the clear winners.

The U.S. cannot expect any serious partner to rid the country of Shia death squads or to disarm the militias. At some point the Shiite dominated corrupt government will likely ask the U.S. forces to leave so that they can really concentrate on murder and genocide of Sunni citizens, and then the MidEast will really see problems. And Iran is always hanging around and waiting to increase their clout in the region and become a big hero in the radical Muslim world by starting a future nuclear war with Israel. This is the real mess that George Bush Administration has brought on the MidEast, a bunch of dirt ignorant oil men only interested that Iraq has the world's largest supply of undiscovered oil if only it was put under "international supervision" as Paul Wolfowitz had once claimed under testimony to Congress.

There is an old joke where an alcoholic proclaims that, "This bottle cost me my job, wife, family and home. But I'm going to give it one more chance". In a similar way too many in the American public believed in the lies of George Bush, that the MidEast would be more secure and the American public more secure from terrorism if only they trusted in the Republican view of foreign policy. Instead Iraq is firmly in the hands of a corrupt government dominated by Shiite militas and extremists and a lost cause. Afghanistan is failing and the Taliban gaining strength. Iran is encouraged by the American weakness and failure to control either Iraq or Afghanistan and headed down the dangerous road of seeking nuclear weapons for a future nuclear war in the MidEast. And right now North Korea is involved in some very dangerous threats and nuclear ambitions in response to the Bush Administration's failures in the MidEast which displayed weakness on one hand, but also raised North Korea's fear of paranoia of an American attack on the other. All of this could mean a serious war with North Korea very soon if there is just one serious miscalculation. There are some in public that believe that Bush and the Republicans just need one more chance.

One more chance is just about right for a serious world situation to develop given all their inept foreign policy failures in the last six years.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Political Lynching Of Harold Ford, Jr.

By all means, Harold Ford, Jr. has to be seen as one of Tennessee's most promising and rising star politicians. A decent and religious man, yet populist enough he should have appeal to win in his Southern home state. Some polls only a week or two ago even placed him ahead slightly. Now the spectre of the "old South" racism embodied in a terrible new ad paid for by a Republican organization outrageously attempts to connect this great young Black politician to sexual images of sex with white women, Playboy Magazine and other unfair images in this conservative Southern state. The bottom line is that some things in the South still haven't changed all that much since the American Civil War. A young Black politician shows great promise ans hope for all the voters of his state, and White racists feel obliged to show him his "place".

There probably is no better qualified or honorable candidate for the Democrats to field in Tennessee than Ford. He's the type of personalty as Senator that would bring great respect to the state. But likely it will never happen in a Southern state that refused to make it's own Al Gore President, while he won a plurality of votes elsewhere. It was Tennessee more than Florida that kept Al Gore out of the White House.

Voters in states like Tennessee could start to use their heads for a change when they vote and seriously consider what kind of leadership they want representing them. But when the political lynching of Harold Ford, Jr. started this week, it pretty easy to see that many in the Southern state of Tennessee still don't want elections decided by the "content of character", but by the old Southern standard of the color of the "skin". Troglodyte cavesdewellers who decide to choose their political leadership by such ugly standards are only hurting themselves if a such a decent and intelligent man of character like Harold Ford is not given a fair consideration among Tennessee voters.

Tennessee voters would do wonders for restoring my faith in humanity by giving Mr. Ford a fair consideration and not run such awful ads on Tennessee TV that amount to little more than an ignorant socially retarded display of racism. Normal persons find ignorant racist ads like this intellectually insulting. Instead of a evolved discussion of serious issues like normal humans who walk on two feet, an ad that only focuses on vague race based attacks on a politician does nothing positive for anyone, and should be a serious concern for anyone with a moral compass.

Moderate Republican former U.S. Senator and former Defense Secretary, William Cohen yesterday on CNN voiced regrets about the antiFord ads. Cohen knows how to work well with all persons and both parties. This is something that will have to happen after the November election if America is to have any sort of government that works at all and is just not more name calling and nonaction.

Monday, October 23, 2006

When Elections Hurt Democracy

Some state ballot measures on the Oregon ballot are not unlike many more all across America for this November that will actually hurt democracy if voters foolishly choose to pass them.

One for example deals with term limits for members of the state legislature, and while there might be a natural inclination to "want to throw the rascals out" this year, such a thing as term limits only ensures that lobbyists will be most solid and powerful force in the Oregon legislature within a few years as the more effective members of government are forbidden by law to run for re-election, and big tobacco and other powerful lobby organizations only gain significantly in clout and power.

Another good way to hurt democracy this November is right wing mischief to monkey around with the court system. An Oregon ballot measure seeks to set Oregon Supreme Court seats by districts, almost certainly weakening the chances that the court will be as strong on environmental rules and other important manners for the good of the majority of citizens. Setting up elections by districts also gives the political right far more opportunity to gain control of the courts for their personal agenda, and the not the broader good of all citizens.

And major candidates certainly will represent some special interests that helped to buy them into office when elected.

It is not very hard to extend where all of this goes no matter where you live. There is likely many issues on your local ballot that will hurt democracy inless the viters where you live can see through the issues. But with a haze of millions and millions spent on some ballot measures, it's pretty hard for some voters to see through all of the smoke.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

SNL Is Absolutely Terrible Without Tina Fey As Head Writer And Many Key Cast Members Who Did Not Return From Last Season

If anything has been proven on the set of SNL this year, it's that the writing is really struggling since head writer Tina Fey departed to start her spinoff program , 30 ROCK, and it only proves what a comic genius she was with great writing instincts. Last night's episode was a typical low in this talent late night standard, but intellectually drained series, when even the great acting skills of guest John C O'Reilly could hardly rescue a laugh from any of the skits.

A series of disturbing "OREO" skits featuring O'Reilly, was far more an unsettling execise in dwelling on a deeply dysfunctional family in great need of professional help than any cause for comedy. Only the "Harpoon Man" skit offered a small laugh as actor O'Reilly played a whaler character acting out on city streets to a tune that reminded one of the 70's SHAFT theme. But even this was spoiled by a lack of comic instinct and writing intelligence skill, and like nearly every skit on the show, quickly failed. The problem with this group of writers, compared to the brilliant Tina Fey, is that even if they have a brilliant idea, the writers simply lack he skill level to make an entire three to 5 minute skit a success.

And the acting pool drain from SNL this year is devastating as well. Gone is the wonderful Rachel Dratch, so able to successfully create some excellent goofy characters, and one of the best female players yet on SNL. Horatio Sanz was a very good Hispanic actor, not totally unlike John Belushi in some regards. Even Chris Parnell, the once fired, once rehired cast member was able to launch a few effect rap music type comedy pieces that were memorable. Now only Amy Poehler, impressionist Darrell Hammond, and the talented Maya Rudolph inspire much of an impression of great talent among the remaining cast members of mainly replaceable personalities. Some like Andy Samberg only seem to be there because he reminds the audience of a fifth rate Adam Sandler.

Meanwhile Tina Fey is still campaigning for viewers on the talk shows for her ratings soft, but not too bad, 30 ROCK, by hitting ELLEN this week. But if anything, Tina Fey proved that SNL did not have the pool of writing and acting talent to divide SNL into two shows. Tina Fay was one of the strongest assets to SNL ever. She needed to stay there. Likely 30 ROCK will not even finish the season. Then it will be up to Tina Fay to go back and rescue SNL as a late night comedy institution if she really cares about the program and make the best use of her talents. SNL certainly needs the help this season.

China May Influence North Korean Communists To Demote Kim Jong-Il In Power To Help Nuclear Tensions

There is a belief among a small number of North Korean analysts that China may now consider Kim Jong-Il is simply too erratic to continue in his two powerful positions of power within the North Korean government, and China may be pressuring other North Korean Communist Party members to reduce him in rank similiar to when the Soviet Communist Party removed the erratic Nikita Khrushchev from power towards the more pragmatic Leonid Brezhnev in 1964.

Such pressure to make a remove an extreme faction in an internal Communist Party dispute is not unlike the character of China. After the death of Mao Tse Tung, his wife, Jiang Qing, and three other extremists known as "The Gang Of Four", were ousted in a power struggle in which the more pragmatic Communist leaders, Deng Xiaoping, Zhou Enlai and Ye Jianying consolidated power and began to set China on the more open and growing economy path it is on today. Today, in Chinese universities, golf courses are required because it is thought that many important business deals are made golf courses. This is a far cry from the revolutionary writings of Chairman Mao, but only a pragmatic path that has gained China increased world respect. If China can help play a major role in removing most power from Kim Jong-Il in North Korea, China will only gain more respect in the world community as a problem solver.

Right now Kim Jong-Il holds three major roles of power in North Korea as Chairman Of The Natonal Defense Commission, Supreme Commander Of The North Korean People's Army and General Secretary Of The Worker's Party Of Korea. If Kim Jong-Il would lose control of the North Korean military and Communist Party leadership, it would effectively leave him no batter off than Khrushchev after the 1964 Soviet power shakeup. China may currently be involve in pressure on Kim Jong-Il to fall into line, or may in the process of removing him from power by working with more pragmatic Communists with the North Korean government to create a power struggle intended to hold North Korea together as a nation and not create a humanitarian crisis if straving persons would flood the borders of of China and South Korea, and a more pragmatic govermnent in North Korea can begin to solve many of it's own problems better such as hunger and become a more integrated member of the world community.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

53 Year Old Soldier Killed In Iraq On Tuesday Related Why The Iraq War Cannot Be Won

On Tuesday, when 10 American soldiers lost their lives in Iraq, one soldier was a 53 year old Oregon Army Reservist, Ron Paulsen. When he was called back to duty in the manpower strapped army at the age of 52, he quickly learned why the Iraq War was simply not winable.

In the area where Paulsen served, the American government had high hopes that building a police station would allow Iraqis to police themselves. Instead the Sunni and Shiite and policemen failed to keep order in their neighborhood and instead engaged in war with each other and finally blewup the police station in warfare. Now American troops have to patrol the same neighborhood, and ultimately with rooftop snipers and roadside bombs, Paulsen lost his life. Now some claim that maybe the U.S. should spend even more money to build a new police station in this war torn Baghdad neighborhood where sectarian violence is the rule. But that is no promise that the police will not be corrupt or engage in sectarian violnce or blowup the new police station. Just last week, 3,000 corrupt Iraqi policemen and government employees were fired by the government.

Paulsen also lamented before his death that the nature of the insurgency in the Iraq War changes so fast that American troops just cannot get a handle on security in Iraq. With an inefective police force that oftewn commits sectarian killings themselves, one can quickly see why the George Bush "stay the course" efforts in iraq are simply doomed to failure. About the only positve justification for the continued role of U.S. troops in Iraq is that the sectarian violence would be so much worse without some efforts to stem the growing cycle of killing.

For 53 year old Paulsen, the Iraq War represented a conflict in which highly skilled veterans nearly as old as to be involved in Vietnam are increasingly being called back into active duty. But without a real plan to restore civil order or peace to Iraq by either the U.S. or the Iraqi government, so many good men and women are losing their lives in Iraq. Paulsen was just one of ten wonderful Americans who lost their lives in Iraq on Tuesday. Other families can tell you you what a wonderful son, father, grandfather, daughter, wife, mother, or grandmother their lost loved one was as well.

Racist Attempt To Suppress Hispanic Vote Linked To Republican Campaign By California Attorney General's Office

An outrageous threatening letter written in Spanish was sent to thousands of California Hispanics threatening them if they vote with jail time. The real truth is that it is perfectly legal for all naturalized immigrants to cast a vote on elections. Now the California Attorney General's office has traced this outrageous racist vote suppression effort to some sort of Republican effort to aid the Republican opponent of Democratic Congresswoman, Loretta Sanchez.

This represents only the latest racist attempt by the Republican Party to suppress the votes nonWhites in elections. In the 2000 election in Florida, Democrat Al Gore narrowly lost the White House to Gerge Bush, because Bush's brother contracted a private firm to compile a list of felons not allowed to vote, but knowingly refused to spend the funds against the firm's concerns to use Social Security numbers to only exclude just the felons, not thousands of mostly Black voters who had similar names.

It's one thing for Republican organizations to organize "get out the vote" efforts that are mostly superior to that of Democrats, but an entirely dofferent matter for Republicans to assume that because most Blacks or Hispanics may lean Democratic, that underhanded attempts to limit their votes should be done. It's dirty politics like this that most Americans are disgusted with, and this institutionalized racism only prevents many Blacks and Hispanic from considering the Republican Party, which often only looks like a racist White people's party to them, a far cry from the first successful Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, who was absolutely devoted to ending slavery and the equality of all men.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Once again NBC is stuck with three ratings weak programs that aren't really all that bad. FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS dropped through the floorboards with just 5.9 million viewers, which makes it a near certain candidate for an early cancellation despite being a quality program. Fictionalized TV sports team dramas never play wel with viewers. Look at the quick failure of the critically acclaimed CBS baseball drama CLUBHOUSE a few seasons ago.

30 ROCK is indeed a funny series, but head writer Tina Fey was out promoting this week's episode on talk shows because last week's much anticipated pilot episode gained only a mere 8.1 million viewers. Prime time SNL TV shows never fare very well, and is always a bad formula for ratings success. Even weaker was TWENTY GOOD YEARS which drew only 7.1 million viewers, despite an acceptable sitcom about two men in their 60's who scream a great deal. John Lithgow is a great actor, but was far better in THIRD ROCK FROM THE SUN, but still the only real redeeming feature in this so-so comedy.

Overall the prognosis is not very good for any of these three NBC shows, and the wise money says all three are gone before year's end. But all three are certainly better than staring at a test pattern and acceptable prime time entertainment.

Are You Ready For Some Football, ----Uh Terrorism?

An obvious hoax has been posted on some English language Website overseas that has raised some concerns that 7 weekend football games may be targeted by "dirty bomb" truck bomb terrorism. But this is so unlike the nature of real terrorists who secretly plan their evil and take victims by surprise. Real terrorists never warn their victims of their specific targets ahead of time. Certainly it is prudent to take safety precautions, but more likely than not some screwball had their fun by creating some fear needlessly and getting a panic reaction. For thousands of football fans, their games will likely be safe this weekend and nothing will happen.

It is deeply sad that when screwballs can create a climate of fear by posting such foolishness. But then again disturbed persons do crazy things.

Ron Saxton's Relative And A Former Law Partner Claim Saxton Lacks Leadership Qualities To Be Governor Of Oregon

yxAs a major embarrassment to Oregon Republican candidate for Governor, an older cousin has posted comments on www.saxtonwatch.com that strongly questions his leadership qualities to be Governor of Oregon. And as a futher blow, a former law partner of Saxton at Lindsay Hart Law Firm at a blog established on KGW after last night's Governor's debate also disputed any real leadership qualities of Saxton. So a relative who well knows Saxton and a former law partner both have strong questions about the leadership qualities of the Republican candidate for Governor of Oregon. This is very damaging.

Last night in a televised debate on KGW TV, Gov. Ted Kulongoski also pointed out that Saxton hired immigrant workers at his cherry farm, yet Saxton still fails to level with the voters of Oregon whether he hired illegal aliens against federal law. Not being formally caught up by federal authorities in an illegal immigration raid is a very thin line for Saxton to create an impression of no wrongdoing among Oregon voters in his hiring practices at his cherry farm business. Saxton further compounds his problems with this issue by a recent speech at the Portland City Club opposing tougher laws against employers who violate federal law and hire illegal alien workers. Saxyon also creates an image for himself not unlike that of the ugly slaveholders who fail to pay decent wages to migrant workers and uses these persons in a racist manner to rail against illegal immigration in his corporate paid TV ads, while creating the impression a hypocrite and racist on the issue.

Saxton's very thin experience at any role of leadership comes at a mostly failed four years as head of the Portland School Board in which he requested three financial bailouts for the Portland School District. Saxton also burnt up $1million on administration costs rather than providing schoolbooks or other needs, and even gave a $250,000 "golden parachute" to failed school administrator Ben Canada who quickly left Saxton's school administration for other opportunities.

At the current law firm of Saxton, the clients have been largely big corporations such as the German drug firm Merck and Pfizer. Some of these big pharmaceutical companies have faced significant consumer lawsuits over injuries, yet Saxton's lawfirm has represented the big companies and not the consumers. Saxton also opposes increases in the minimum wage and appears to be something of "Scroogelike" tightwad when it comes to working people, but spends money lke water with administration costs like he did with the Portland School Board when it's not his own.

Saxton also displays the spine of a jellyfish when it comes to standing up to the big tobacco lobby. Saxton opposes a proposed 50 cent a pack tax on cigarettes to help fund health insurance for the as many as 177,00 Oregon children who have no health insurance. Saxton's concerns are more in line with big tobacco's fear of lost profits than Oregon's children who are often victims of adults secondhand smoke.

Saxton is now touting the Newhouse papers chain owned Oregonian's endorsement for him last weekend. But the same paper endorsed George Bush before claiming that Bush has the "intelligence " to be President. While not as "Gilliganlike" as George Bush, Saxton still displays enough inept properties and inspires a silly"chipmunklike" impression every time he speaks out. In his latest ad, his wife is doing much of the talking, however she's not the one running for Governor.

Saxton has hired the same smear advetising agencies responsible for both the infamous "Willie Horton" and Swift Boats ads to unfairly tar up the reputation of Democratic Governor Ted Kulogoski whose values were shaped by being raised by nuns in a boy's home, and his military service in the Marine Corps. The Governor has attended the funeral of every service person killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, where every Oregonian's life matters to the Democratic Goverenor. Instead, Saxton's values were set in the racism and dehumization of a family agriculture business where migrant workers were only mere pawns to making big profits, similar to the old time plantation owners who owned slaves.

THE OREGONIAN endorsement claims that "change begins at the top". No actually, government rots from the head down like a dead fish if voters think that the failed leadership of Portland School Board head, Saxton is competant enough to be able to run the entire state government of Oregon. Like George Bush, Saxton is merely another grossly incompetant Republican politician who wants to be elected to some higher office far beyond his ability levels and skills. All the nasty corporate paid ads for Saxton won't make the feet of this"chipmunklike" politician won't reach the pedals when the skills and ability are just not there. Saxton is merely a weak challenger for the office of Governor, way in over his head.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Despite Big Technical Drawbacks, Home DVD Recorders May Spur Christmas Sales By 27% For Electronics

Every year companies compete for the Christmas dollar. This past couple of years, home computer sales have slowed somewhat, but the DVD recorder likely promises to spur electronics holiday sales by an estimated 27%.

Since the introduction of 2005's Windows XP Operating system, littke real excitement has spurred home computer sales except to replace older or broken units. While not technically that great of a product, the home DVD recorder is rapidly replacing the old VCR and becoming this year's electronics hot item.

But not only is the picture quality of many DVD recorders only marginally better than standard VHS vcrs at the slower speed, but jerky computer download type images noticeably lacking in detail are often common. Usually only at the 4hr or less recording speed setting are home DVD recorders able to offer a very good image quality. And with massive user manuals that nearly take a technical mind to read, the home DVD recorder is in most cases nowhere as easy to program or operate compared to the old vcr. One of the few advantages is that blank DVDs are sometimes as low as about 28-30 cents each on sale these days, compared to about a dollar for sale priced VHS tapes. And a stack of recorded DVDs is only a few inches tall or wide, compared to 2 and a half feet tall for VHS tapes. VHS tapes seem cheap enough, but too many will puch you out of living space. DVDS are both cheaper and far more compact.

Some Samsung models havve done a fairly good job combining relatively simple ease of operation and picture and sound quality for home DVD recorders, while others like Toshiba are of good quality, but a real headache to program. Sylvania offers some units for a very good price, but the tuner quality is sort of cheap . But the programming ease and picture quality is good enough at the 4hr speed when hooked up to cable to be presentable and worthy. At the 6hr, 8hr or even 10hr recording speeds the picture quality really suffers.

Back in 2004-2005, JVC offered some very good quality models with twin tuners able to record both a VHS tape and a DVD of different programs at the same time. But at a $599 retail price, and some defective units made in China when manufacturing was shifted from Japan, the JVC quality name suffered somewhat with buyers. Now achjeaper priced new unit in the $300 price range only offers a single tuner and gives up one of JVC's best features in the older unit.

Home computers with a TV tuner appear to be one of the best ways to produce good quality DVDs of TV shows. But the Microsoft Media Center software has real limitations with the supplied Sonic Solutions software, but unless you have the Sonic Encoder software, the DVDs will not play on any unit but a computer. Aftermarket software like DVD Santa will produce a high quality and resolution 720 by 480 pixel line two hour disc. But a two hour disc takes all of two hours to write, compared to the less good Microsoft /Sonic software. And the Microsoft supplied software also features sound that is not really even stereo, but a sort of double mono. By comparison both the DVD Santa software for the home computer offers great quality Dolby Steroe sound qality. How Microsoft could overlook this important feature is amazing. Great sound quality is a major part of the DVD experience.

A few years ago JVC introduced home SuperVHS vcrs able to record 400 resolution line pictures on normal recording tape with the SuperVHS ET recorders. So far few home DVD recorders have been this good, often only recording at 250 resolution linesand with a picture with technical playback glitches similar to a cheap low resolution computer download image. You can buy one of the new DVD recorders and struggle through the user's manual to get an image hardly better than a standard VHS image, and some cable TV programs may even fail to record as the players sometimes think that a program is copy protected when it is not. You ultimately have to decide whether this is the year to buy a DVD recorder or wait until lower priced, easier to use, better picture quality units are the rule, not the exception. But if you love collecting TV shows, DVD recording is a viable new alternative.

Big Tobacco Lobby Seeks To Limit AntiSmoking Laws Through Ohio's Issue #4

Big alcohol and tobacco is seeking a constitutional admendment which will gut Cleveland's antismoking regulations and prevent local governments from enacting future curbs on public smoking and secondhand smoke. The American Cancer Society is sponsoring a far wiser Issue #5 that will protect the health of nonsmokers, not the profits of the greedy who profit by poisoning the air quality and causing medical problems and injuries to nonsmokers such as babies, children and adults. Phillip Morris even admits on their own Website that cigarettes are responsible for SIDS in small babies on hand, but on the other hand the big tobacco lobby seeks to put the 3,000 or more poisons of secondhand cigarette smoke into the air that we have to breath.

One harmful substance is cadmium. This extremely poisonous chemical destroys the kidneys and lungs and is the same substance found in automobile batteries. This chemical is so harmful that EPA regulations have been seeking to remove it from household batteries, yet cigarette smokers and tobacco companies have been given special rights to poison the air.

Former Vice President Al Gore has even cited evidence that some of the 3,000 poisons in cigarettes are responsible for environmental damage and global warming. But once again, this big buck industry has been given special rights to destroy the environment.

Hopefully voters in Ohio will do the right thing and protect the public health as the American Cancer Society seeks, and sharply rebuff the polluters and poisoners of the environment.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Corporate PACs Spending Millions To Maintain Corporate Oligarchy Rule Of American Government

The dictionary definition of an oligarchy government is one in which only a small segment of wealth or military power has the control of a government. Rather than a democracy or republican sort of government, this pretty much defines the rule of America.

So far according to FEC financial disclosures from the reputable Congressional Quarterly's Political Moneyline, the financial power of big corporate PACs to buy into power the type of government that they want to help weaken government regulations, vote themselves big tax breaks, or increase pollution of the water or air is simply staggering.

While there are some notable big money money donors giving to PACs or candidates, the power of the big corporate PACs in American politics is awesome. It begs the question of whether we really have much democracy in America, and whether big corporations can pretty much buy their way into power. In Washington it is now said that 60 lobbyists exist for every elected Senator or Congressman.

Recent FEC disclosures note the National Rifle Association donating $438,505 to five Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate opposed to futher gun control measures. AT&T has so far spent $25 million in this election cycle when issues involving teleohone, cable and other regulation always play a major role in Congress. The American Medical Association has spent $1 million in just September alone to help elect candidates to influence legislation that impacts this profession.

Texas homebuilder, Bob Perry has so fat spent $8 million in this election to influence the control of Congress in favor of the Republicans by 527 donations to target vulnerable Democrats in Oregon, Iowa, Georgia, and other states. Even Donald Trump has made donations to possible 2008 Republican Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney. Dick Ebersol, Chairman of NBC sports has also contributed to Romney.

Transportation and automobile manufacturers have so far contributed $16 million in this election cycle to influence vehicle safety and fuel economy regulations in Washington.

Law offices have contributed $11 million so far in this election cycle to help influence the ground rules by which lawsuits may befiled and other regulations regarding this profession.

Health care PACS have contributed more than $28 million in this election cycle to candidates or issues to influence legislation that may hurt the profitbiliity of HMOs and other regulations.

Agriculture concerns have spent $13.2 million so far in this election cycle to help prevent legislation that makes stronger penalties against hiring illegal aliens and other profit related issues.

Real estate and construction PACs have spent $14.3 in this election cycle to help influence regulations related to this industry.

Insurance and finance industry PACS have spent $40.1 million so far in this election cycle to influence regulations such as tightening bankruptcy regulations to protect credit card companies from borrowers who hit hard financial times and cannot pay their bills due to medical bills or illness.

Defense contractors have spent $8 million to help promote what benefits their industry such as entry into the Iraq War or buying from one contractor and not another, or protecting no-bid contracts from the Pentagon purchasers.

Big oil and energy PACS have spent $16.5 so far in this election cycle to help elect a government more favorable to drilling for oil in Alaska or setting aside environmental rules.

Big retailers such as Walmart's PAC have spent $15.7 million to influence zoning for new stores of other concerns of the industry.

Communication technology intersts have spent more than $17 million in this election cycle to help influence legisation and regulation involving this industry.

Increasingly big tobacco, alcohol, food service industries and casinos are involved in influencing government both in the election cycles and with massive lobby efforts.

While republican politicians are generally seen as more in the pockets of the big corporate interests and against the best interests of the public good, many democrats are hardly much better or more concerned about the public good, and not the corporate will that helps to elect them to office. As a good example, some questions about Democratic Minority Leader , Harry Reid and the casino industry were raised in the last few days. But who would really be surprised that in Nevada and a powerful American Gaming Association lobby that pretty much only candidates highly favorable to this industry can get elected to higher offices in Nevada.

Americans get the best government that corporate money can buy. Real democracy or a government that really functions for the broader public good is something of an illusion in a nation in which big corporations really rule the nation and create wars for oil assets of other nations or to benefit defense contractors wanting to sell their death wares. Other industries seek to weaken consumer or environmental protections, broaden profits or gain advantage over other competitors. Elections in the U.S. are are pretty much little more than a cruel fraud where voters look hopefully to new leaders for real leadership to effectively and fairly rule them, but instead often only help to reward those corporate entities that spent money to buy them into office to look after their interests, not the public's goodwill.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Politicians In Israel Are Facing A Worst Fate Than Their American Counterparts

As bad as things look for Republicans, where just 19% of Americans approve of how they conducted Congress this past session, and only 32% of voters nationwide identify as themselves as Republicans, things could be worse. Oh sure, Representative Bob Ney pleaded guilty to Felony crimes related the jack Abramoff scandal. And Representative Mark Foley resigned in disgrace, and a second openly Gay Republican Congressman, Representative Jim Kolbe is under investigation for a 1996 camping trip with two 17year old male pages and failed REpublican candidate for Congress in Oregon, businessman Craig Schelske, the husband of country singer, Sara Evans, has been implicated in in adultery, seeking women for threesomes on Craig's List, and storing as many as 100 nude pictures of himself often engaged in sex acts with various women, which is interesting for a Christian Right graduate of Pat Robertson's Regency University . But in Israel, things are looking far worse for the government.

The Prime Minister of Israel has lost most public support after the failure to deal Hezbollah a significnt defeat in the recent war with Lebanon, and to gain the release of three Israeli soldiers caputured by Hezbollah and Palestinian militants. But worse yet, the 61 year old President of Israel, Moshe Katsav may be facing rape, sex abuse and public corruption charges. This has to be some of the most serious charges ever brought against a major state figure of any Western nation.

Certainly the Republicans are beginning to look like the spiritually fraudulent Old Testament Pharasises, who falsely made them appear spiritual to the public, but were frauds in the eyes of God. Certainly a party that has championed antiGay marriage attacks and courted the Christian Right "family values"voters is beginning to have their phony curtain rolled back mick like the "Wizard Of Oz". But at least, other than Bob Ney, they are not facing the serious charges that the President of Israel is and having the handcuffs slapped on. But that's hardly much comfort with a steady drip of terrible problems for the Republicans that aren't improving very much and are especially hurtful many demographics of American voters.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Supreme Court Will Hear Major Case Involving Abortion On November 8th

Normally, the election analysis of the aftermath of November 7th should be the major news on November 8th. Instead a major case involving abortion will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court that could major implications on Roe v. Wade.

345 members of Congress and the Senate had voted for a ban on the gruesome practice of partial birth abortion in which often later term babies are nearly delivered except for their head which is left in the birth canal, and while their little arms, legs, fingers and toes are moving, a scizzors is sruck into the back of the neck by a doctor and the babies brains are sucked out by a vacuum machine. This gruesome practive has caused some who support Roe v.Wade to oppose this practice, however a federal had ruled the ban that Congress has voted to unconstitutional. Atttorney General Gonzales is appealing this Federal Court ruling and opposing the Plantiff, Plannned Parenthood in a lawsuit entitled Gonzles v. Planned Parenthood.

With the two new additions of justices Roberts and Alito, it will interesting to see whether the Supreme Court will narrowly rule by 5 to 4 votes to affirm the ban voted by Congress on partial birth abortion or whether this will become the key case that they will use to overturn Roe v. Wade. But this case will likely present the first strong case this year with the opportunity to change the 1973 Supreme Court ruling .

Besides the gruesomeness of the procedure of partisal birth abortion that makes it so controversial, the fact that is mostly done on later term babies, and by only not allowing the head to slip from the birth canal is the only legal factor that keeps this controversial practice as being defined as murder. All of these factors and the more conservative nature of the Supreme Coirt since the two recent Bush appointees should indicate that partial borth abortion at least will be ruled an illegal practice and Roe v. Wade may also be trimmed back more or even overturned.

Whether a person has strong moral objections to partial birth abortion or even abortion in general, or is on the opposite sides of things , supporting both partial birth abortion or Roe v. Wade, the stakes simply could not be much higher for such an important key case this year. The aftemath of the November 7th elections may fade quickly as news of this major case before the court is heard the next day.

Friday, October 13, 2006

DANCING WITH THE STARS Contestant, Country Singer Sara Evans Bitter Divorce Brings A Fresh "Family Values" Scandal To Republicans

The bitter divorce saga of country music singer Sara Evans has brought a fresh "family values" scandal to the Republican Party who didn't need another scandal at this critical point only weeks before an important election. Both Sara Evans and her Oregonian husband, Craig Schelske are featured on the CBN website as examples of Christian faith and are known as figures among the Christian right of the Republican Party. In 2002, Craig Schelske was a Republican candidate for Congress in the 5th District in Oregon. On Schelske's campaign website, he claimed that "Family is my highest priority" among issues he intended to champion including prolife issues. Schelske is even a noted graduate of Pat Robertson's Regent University.

Now it turns out that the "family values" that failed Republican candidate for Congress, Craig Schelske actually practiced in his own family according to divorce papers filed by his wife Sara Evans include adultry, running ads on Craig's list seeking sex partners for threesomes, ads seeking women interested in anal sex, at least 100 nude photos of Schelske often engaged in sex with other women on the home computer, and Evans has sought a restraining order against Schelske that is intended to prevent any physical, emotional or verbal abuse.

Ironically, Schelske only recently had a reported verbal outburst against a Gay hairsytlist associated with DANCING WITH THE STARS program, demanding that the "Sodomite "not be allowed to enter the Evans -Schelske home. Publicly Schelske took hard right opinions right in line with the Christian Right of the Republican Party, privately the divorce papers filed by Sara Evans tell the story of an entirely different Craig Schelske than most know of.

For the Evans-Schelske household which is well connected to Republican Party politics, this represents the second major sex scandal since the Mark Foley incident. Today, in another incident of scandal, Republican Congressman Bob Ney pleaded guilty to Felony crime connected with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Some members of the Republican Pary that are absolute moral disgraces are causing great harm to their party only weeks before the election. This will likely only discourage some Republicans from even bothering to vote this November. This Friday the 13th has been especially unlucky for Republicans, bringing fresh examples of corruption and moral failure to remind voters of what they don't like about Republican Party poltical figures. When it rains it pours it seems.

Late Report Verifies Radiation From North Korean Bomb Site

The other day, I offered some speculation that the North Korean "nuclear bomb" test may have been faked due to a far lower than expected quake and the lack of detectable radiation from the site. Now a late report finally comes out that does verify some detectable radiation. It is likely that the test partially failed for some reason, such as the uranium not being pefectly compacted or rounded as required, or the conventional blast needed to compact the atoms together not blowing up uniformly.

Despite a partial failure, the fact that North Korea did indeed test a nuclear device of some sort. This is indeed very alarming because it means rather than North Korea simply bluffing to extort one on one talks and economic rewards from the U.S., that they are indeed headed down the path towards building a nuclear force of weapons at some point. This makes united world community U.N. actions all the more critical to send North Korea a message to begin to behave themselves as a responsible world community member. And although it it is a popular misconception that the erratic Kim Jong-Il is the head of state in North Korea, which he actually is not, still he best represents the unpredictable nature of this militarily dangerous little state of 23.1 million with a 1 million man army.

My best guess about North Korea faking the nuclear test turned out to be wrong in the end. Buy despite their partial failure, this state needs to be taken serious;y as a real problem that could lill up to 1 million persons in the first three days of a conventional war and has the ability to fire 300,000 rockets and cannon shells an hour into South Korea if war would break out. This is indeed serious and certainly deserves full world community attention.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Did Ron Saxton Hire Illegal Aliens?

There is increasing pressure on Oregon Republican candidate for Governor, Ron Saxton to come clean and level with the voters of Oregon whether Saxton and his business partners hired illegal aliens to pick cherries on his cherry farm business. Last weekend in an interview program aired on KGW, Saxton himself raised this question after he refused to directly state no. Instead an answer claiming that it was not "verified" that he had hired illegal aliens was used by Saxton. This is of course careful "lawyer" language meaning only that he was not directly caught by federal authorities hiring illegal aliens. Not being caught by federal immigration authorities is a very low standard to claim any innocence of these rising allegations, first raised by journalist Jeff Mapes of THE OREGONIAN in the weekend interview program.

While the campaign of Governor Ted Kulongoski has attemptedto take the high road and wage a positive effort based on achievements, Saxton has raised a mostly unfair and negative campaign to distort Kulogoski's record. Saxton has hit hard on the illegal immigration issue claiming that under Kulogoski, illegal aliens have been getting driver's licenses and registering to vote and getting state services. But the Oregon Secretary Of State has already discreded Saxton's claims about any evidence that illegal immigrants are loading up the voter registration rolls.

It has also been known while running his anti-illegal immigrant ads, Saxton still opposes both increaes in the minimum wage for lower income workers and also tougher state laws against employers who seek to profit by exploiting illegal immigrants . Now with increasing pressure from some journalists as well as the campaign manager for Ted Kulongoski it's time for Saxton to come clean and prove that he is not both a hypocrite and a racist who rails against illegal immigrants for political gain, but then exploits these persons for big profits and dehumanizes them by wanting to keep their wages real low. The whole question is coming to a real head, and no doubt there is an effort to find some hard evidence that Saxton broke the law and hired illegal aliens. Saxton may be running neck and neck right now, but his campaign is just one example of any illegal alien that he hired from becoming toast.

Saxton has forgotten way too many lessons of past successful statewide Republicans in Oregon elections such as Mark Hatfield, Tom McCall, Greg Walden, Norma Paulus and others who ran for office as moderates, had great character, were absolutely honest. Saxton has pandered to racism, uses political smear attacks, won't level with voters, and hides behind "lawyer" language when caught in a possible situation of serious hypocrisy. Voters usually expect someone that has been in office way too long to become unethical or corrupt, but Saxton is already appearing to some voters to be heading well down this rotten path, raising his own questions of character by his evasive answers about the possible hiring of illegal immigrant workers and running a high negative rating among voters in polls like a recent one from Rasmusssen.

With both the presss and the Kulongoski campaign likely looking for the illegal alien "smoking gun" to end Saxton's run for Governor, things are more likely than not, looking very bad like the wheels are just about ready to fall off. If Saxton would have run a very respectable campaign as a moderate Republican, things might have turned out far different. The motto at the Saxton office could read like a paraphrase of Pogo: "I''ve seen the enemy, and he is us".

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Wealthy Texas Homebuilder Hopes To Rescue The Republican Congress With Last Minute Smear Ads

Wealthy Texas homebuilder, Bob Perry, is launching an almost one man effort to rescue the Republican majority in Congress with last minute attack ads from a shadowy organization called The Economic Freedom Fund. Perry has contributed $5 million of his own money to this cause, and was responsible for the smear efforts of Swift Boats Vets to ruin John Kerry in 2004.

The Economic Freedom Fund is centered in Sacramento, California and the organization's attorney is California Republican Party General Counsel, Charles H. Bell, Jr. according to FEC records. The shadowy 527 attack organization is targeting what it believes to be vulnerable Democrats in Congress from Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, West Virginia and Oregon.

The ads run in Oregon target Democrat Darlene Hooley with unfair misrepresentations of raiding Social Security funds, voting for the "bridge to nowhere", and voting for government benefits for illegal aliens. The problem is that a majority of both Republicans and Democrats voted for these provisions within massive bills that covered as many as 800 pages. Likely no member of Congress has read the entire text of any of these large spending authorizations or other bills in recent years.

Distortion of some voting records at the last minute is the best hope for the Republicans holding onto Congress, it seems, according to the philosophy of this shadowy 527 organization that really represents very little but the pet financial interests of homebuilder Perry and his handful of wealthy supporters. Perry and the 60 lobbyists for every member of Congress best illustrate why Congress needs to change this November, no stay more the same as a special interest blessing organization.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

NBA Will Stop Using Leather Basketballs In Victory Against Animal Cruelty

One big change this NBA season may go unnoticed by most fans, the retiring of the traditional leather basketball in favor of the better performing synthetic ones. Persons concerned with animal cruelty finally won a big victory for animal rights when they influenced both the NBA and Spalding to change to the synthetic basketballs. Since the synthetic balls are superior in so many aspects, games may even improve as well. Synthetic balls have excellent bounce characteristics, and could even result in faster downcourt hustles and even speed up games and provide a little more action. It will be interesting to see if scores increase somewhat this season as a result of this subtle, yet great change in this game.

North Korea's Nuclear Claims To Get Attention Are A Poor Excuse For A Failure To Join The World Community

North Korea may feel that it is gaining some attention from the world community by their claims of a nuclear test, however this is a very poor way to gain respect. Both China and South Korea have become huge economic powerhouses and have gained huge world respect through massive production of goods such as clothing, computers, automobiles, electronics. On the other hand the economy of North Korea remains stick in the worst of third world levels. The GNP of North Korea is just $40 billion dollars, while China's is $8.855 trillion dollars, second only to the United States' $12.35 GNP. South Korea has ane economy with a $994 billion dollar GNP or 14th overall in the world.

The leadership of North Korea still orders the execution of persons for merely attempting to contact the outside world, and demands strict loyalty to the state. Without the freedom to contact the outside world, little investment ever comes to North Korea, and the economy remains stuck and never really grows. Outside of exports of short range Scud based missiles to nations such as Iran, North Korea has grossly failed to develop any consumer goods based manufacturing like it's neighbors South Korea and China which export huge amounts of goods to countries like the U.S. and worldwide. As China further develps it's economy, the Communism style of North Korea makes less and less sense. And China finds itself as the main food supplier to North Korea, where even agriculture has grossly failed.

Some years back some talk of a peaceful reunification of both North and South Korea was discussed. This seems like an idea that will solve many of the problems of the North. Poverty and starvation can be greatly helped if the leaders of North Korea would be willing to give up power and unite the nation that has been seperated since the 1950's war. Eastern Germany was stuck in 1950's economuc conditions, but has quickly caught up with the Western part since the reunification of Germany.

The leadership of North Korea needs to realize that old style silly sabre rattling is no longer how power is determined in the world. Despite the flood of imports that overwelm the American ports, North Korea should realize that this is how power is defined in the modern world. North Korea would be far better off to join this parade of imports to the U.S. rather than look for a MidEast or African dictator to sell a Scud missile or two to.

The best interests of North Korea would be to become men in business suits like the Chinese Communists have become and sell manufactured goods to the Western world. All the job losses to the U.S. economy haven't been great for the American worker, but they have provided consumers with low cost goods from labor cheap Asian nations such as China and made some American and Chinese capitalists very wealthy. North Korea might as well join this parade of other nations to sell goods to the U.S. This would certainly be better than the path that they're on now, which can olny lead to more isolation, more poverty and more pain for the people of North Korea. The possibility of military miscalculation also makes the present path one to try something new and to change. A primitive economy mostly built around a huge military of one million plus members for a tiny nation of just 23 million makes no sense at all.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Did North Korea Fake A Nuclear Test For Psychological Value?

While much of the world communinty is either concerned or alarmed about the claimed successful nuclear test by North Korea, so far the more accurate U.S. nuclear detection monitoring devices have failed to tect any measurable trace of radiation and only a small quake. This strongly suggests that North Korea may have faked the test by instead using an underground conventional explosion to wring concessions out of the world community and to present a psychological deterrent to the Pyongyang paranoia of a U.S. military invasion.

However the toothless foreign policy of George Bush that neither engages the trouble spots of North Korea or Iran directly in open one-on-one talks, has no current ability to wage yet another war against North Korea for a couple of important reasons. The worsening military failures to contain insurgent violence in both Iraq and Afghanistan prove that the U.S. military is currently stretched too thin for any serious ground combat operations against North Korea. And North Korea lacks any real mineral asets that make it valuable to the U.S. to place under some sort of control such as control of the oil assets of Iraq, thought to be the world's largest. An even larger deterrent to war in North Korea is that perhaps one million persons may die within days in both North and South Korea and such a military showdown will achieve very little constructive for the U.S. So it should be determined that U.S. military action is highly unlikely despite any paranoia by Pyongyang or dislike by Washington.

It is highly likely that North Korea may have staged this supposed nuclear test with only conventional weapons to play the world community psychologically and to inspire patriotism among the people of North Korea to take pressure off the cycle of starvation and poverty, and the failure of North Korea in nearly every area of national achievement. A "faked" nuclear test staged by North Korea could have been planned by Kim Jong Il to achieve a number of goals. He is likely a far more cunning adversary that is given credit. For whatever lack of real military capability he possesses, Kim Jong Il uses psychological warfare to magnify his shadow of fear much like that of the weak nature if terrorist organizations who plan acts heavily for the press and public fear that they will create rather than theire real military ability to win a conflict or gain control of a government. Weakness causes both Kim Jong Il and terrorists to act out psychological warfare mainly.

If North Korea did stage a successful nuclear test, then it was likely only with a very small amount of nuclear material because they have so little of it and need to be very sparing with it. This also suggests weakness. However this summer's grossly failed launch of the longer range Taepodong missile which suffered from mechanical failure almost immediately after launch was patheticly covered up by the launch of at least six insignificant short range missiles. The true nature of the North Korean nuclear threat is still not significant, only their conventional forces exhibit any real strength that is mainly a threat to South Korea and U.S. forces stauined there. But North Korea would like the world community, especially the U.S. to be fearful of their nation by projecting military power that it really does not yet possess. All of this speaks more about military weakness rather than strength.

During WWII, a popular form of Asian warfare was to have women construct useless tanks out of paper that both wasted an opponent's bomb and served the psychological purpose of projecting military power that they really did not possess. The weakness rather than real military strength of North Korea has likely forced Kim Jong Il to resort to "constructing" fear to gain world community "respect", deterrence and concessions. Kim Jong Il plays the world community much more like a shrewd chess player than the world community has yet seemed to realize. On closer examination something just isn't right about the claimed successful "nuclear test". An evaluation the next few days will tell American intelligence and security just how much of a bluff this claimed test might have been.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

CBS Moves To Shore Up Weaker Than Expected Ratings For THE CLASS

The producers of FRIENDS had hoped to have lightning hit twice by creating a new FRIENDS ratings phenomenom with THE CLASS. But it hasn't happened so far. Last week the series was only #11 among all the big Monday night programs, and the biggest drag on the #1 Monday night ratings champion, CBS. CBS still has faith in THE CLASS, but will move it to the 8:30 slot, and take the far superior HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, #7, and move it to 8:00 as the Monday night lead-in program.

While I personally did not like the pilot episode of THE CLASS at all, the future episodes have been much better, and I find myself slowly warming to the storylines of the characters and taking an interest where the romantic drama is headed. A few good laughs also glue the series together as well, however HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER is a vastly superior series in so many ways. The characters are far better developed, the acting first rate, and the comic relief often provided by the absurdly boorish character Barney(Neil Patrick Harris), all jell together to make HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER a very good show, with a slowly evolving storyline that could run for years. THE CLASS so far cannot really compare, but that does not mean that this freshman series is a lost cause as of yet. There is still plenty of time to better engage the viewer with a sharpened storyline and improved romantic comedy content.

Despite the ratings drag of THE CLASS, which seems like series far weaker than the excellent KING OF QUEENS 8:00 lead-in it replaced, CBS does have the strongest ratings overall for Monday than any of the networks. TWO AND A HALF MEN is #2 overall in ratings for the night, while the Julia Louise-Dreyfus comedy, THE NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE is #3 overall, while the very respected CSI:MIAMI is a the big #1 show on Monday night overall for CBS. I pesrsonally dod not like the first episode of THE NEW ADVENTURE OF OLD CHRISTINE and wrote a scathingly critical review of the episode I watched, but the show has dramaticly improved since and become a good show. THE CLASS still has time to develop, but the clock is beginning to tick. Very soon THE CLASS will have to deliver up to the big expectations or possiby face replacement on the schedule or even cancellation. CBS simply wants a program that does better than #11 on Monday evenings. Whether the writers of this program are up to this challenge will be tested in the next few weeks. But it's definately "crunch time" for the writers and producers of THE CLASS.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Wacky Third Rate Politics Of Ron Saxton

When Ron Saxton was a Portland, Oregon School Board member, he seemed like a far better public servant, and a Republican moderate. But in this year's bid to become the first Republican Governor of Oregon since carpet selling Arab American, Victor Atiyeh in the 1970's, Ron Saxton is running a wacky campaign against incumbent Democrat Ted Kulongoski that is a confused mess of misleading nonsense meant to appeal base instincts such as anti-illegal immigrant voters.

Saxton claims in his ads hammering Kulongoski that illegal immigrants number 175,000 and would constitute the second highest population city next to Portland. Saxton also claims that under the Democratic Governor, illegal aliens are getting driver's licenses and registering to vote. Yet the Secretary Of State, a Democrat claims that there is no evidence that he has that illegal aliens are getting driver's licenses so they can get involved in skewing the political system. Saxton finally admitted on a KGW unterview program that he "thinks" that's what illegal aliens are doing. Apparently whatever Mr. Saxton thinks is somehow now fact. On the same interview program Saxton was asked if he ever hired illegal aliens to pick cherries on his cherry farm, and he only can claim that hasn't been "verified". Basicly Saxton is saying that because immigration authorities have never caught him like many agriculture busineses hiring any illegal aliens, then he has clean hands and is not a hypocrite who took advantage of cheap wage labor to reap profits. This sounds like typical big business Republican hypocrisy, use low wage labor to reap huge profits but then wage racist attacks against these persons who only seek to find work and will accept almost any type of work for type of wages. If no for immigrant agriculture workers, then produce may cost up to twice as much. Then these wealthy agriculture interests would probably go to China or South America to seek profits and even more of the U.S. economy disappears.

Another side of this issue is that everyone on the road should have a valid driver's license and insurance regardless of their immigration status which is a seperate Federal Government issue. What does Saxton want to do, increase the number of uninsured drivers on the road? Saxton just doesn't think issues through like this. It's simply screwy that Saxton attempts to link these two seperate issues of safe motor vehicle operation with Federal immigration policies together. It's also sad that some persons haven't bothered to realize the nonsense of Saxton's viewpoint on this issue which indicates a limited ability of Saxton to reason through issues. It proves that Saxton is merely a weak Governor wanna-be candidate who is really not up to the broad wisdom expected for someone who wants to be taken as a serious possible candidate for this office.

On the issue of a proposed tax on cigarettes by the Governor to help fund health care for as many as 177,000 unisured children in Oregon, Saxton seems to side with the big tobacco companies and doesn't want this tax, even children and babies tend to some of the most injured and damaged by second hand smoke. Any tax that helps to cut down smoking and helps to fund health insurance for children. For everyone but Saxton, this issue should be a no-brainer, win-win proposal.

For all his antitax political claims, Saxton cannot cite the name of a single state agency to cut, and only cites that some other organizations or commissions have made some recommendations. Saxton does cite funding the state police as perhaps the highest priority, but will not mention what he believes to be the lowest priority, which might even mean cuts to social services such as food stamps or public health care for the poor of Oregon. Saxton doe admit that perhaps the $10 minimum tax for corporations may be too low. A few years ago, the Enron owned Portland General Electric paid only this $10 minimum tax despite millions in income.

When Jeff Mapes of THE OREGONIAN newspaper asked Saxton if he will attend the funeral of every serviceperson killed in Iraq and Afghanistan like the former Marine, Governor Kulongoski, Saxton replied that "I haven't thought about it", but he might do it. This is an interesting example of giving very little thought to just area of character that seperates this weak challenger from the Governor. Saxton also has publicly voiced support for the Iraq War, while offering only this lame level of possible respect for those that have lost their lives in the wars by not really committing himself to attending funerals of those fallen in those wars. By comparison the respect felt for every Oregonian who has lost their life in war has been proven by the incumbent Governor. It's little issues like this that prove a wide difference in character between the two men. Saxton has run mostly unfair and outrageous attack ads with few specific ways in which he'd actually run the state if elected, while the Governor has run positive and warm ads that spotlight little ways he has helped specific persons with problems or other positive ways of governing the state. The ads for the Governor are very low key and not very exciting, but compared to Saxton, the Governor appears engaged in issues important to the quality of life of Oregonians. Saxton begins to look like his feet just don't reach the pedals upon a closer examination.

Saxton is probably only where he is is because Native America casinos put so much money into attack ads against his Republican primary opponent. Two rival tribes operate casinos and Saxton supports the big money interests of one Native American casino over the interests of the other Native American casino interests. Being a preferred candidate of some rival casino operators is hardly any ringing endorsement of the quality of a candidate.

It is also disturbing that Ron Saxton is running close in some polls. He's obviously little more than a weak challenger for the office of Governor with a big bankroll of $3 million campaign dollars to spend, much of it from big business related contributors compared to much smaller $1 million dollar campaign war chest of the incumbent Democratic Governor. And Saxton reminds me of the satirical bumper sticker that I saw a few years ago which boldly stated, "Vote Republican.....It's Easier Than Thinking". The chipmunklike Saxton seems like a candidate tailor made to fit these lowered standards of reasoning ability on the part of some Repiblican leaning voters who seem to fall for any lame line of reasoning. Just like the grossly incompetant George Bush, Saxton's motto could well be "why not the worst". What the voters need next to a hole in the head is a candidate for Governor not really up to the job, but with plenty of money to run for that office. Such is the problem with American politics.