Sunday, August 31, 2008

Saved By The Storm

Republicans had a golden opportunity to showcase speeches by Bush and Cheney on Monday at their convention and wake the nation up the fact that John McCain is just like them, but then hurricane Gustav ruined all of that and cancelled most of the GOP business for Monday. Nothing would have been better to dash the hopes of John McCain in the eyes of many voters than to see plenty of Bush and Cheney at their convention telling the nation just how much McCain is like them and would only continue most of their own ruinous policies that are leaving Americans with sky high energy bills and gas, war, home foreclosures, rampant food inflation, extreme health care costs and numerous other serious problems. Bush and McCain's blessing of McCain would have been the perfect Judas' kiss to wake voters up about McCain. But nature had other ideas.

Interestingly, at least 10% of major GOP lawmakers including many incumbent senators such as Gordon Smith of Oregon were deliberately avoiding the GOP convention because they didn't need any association with Bush and Cheney to thwart their scant chances at re-election. And the McCain Campaign lacked the common sense to ask Bush and Cheney to stay away. There is nothing positive either can do for McCain other than drag him down with their own basement digging low poll numbers.

But the storm which looks likely to cause serious property damage to the Southern U.S. has forced the GOP to set aside partisan politics for the day and to join all Americans in sympathy for the possible effects of this disaster on the lives and property of many persons who have already suffered great loss before.

The McCain Campaign certain;y dodged a real disaster of their own making when Bush and Cheney had to cancel their Monday speeches which would have such a damning endorsement of John McCain that you'd think that the Democrats could not have bought any better negative advertising for the McCain convention as this could have brought.

After his completely goofy choice and underqualified for a vp running mate who looks like comic Tina Fey playing a SNL character, and a particularly troubled campaign riddled with resignations and conflicts of interest from too many lobbyists, John McCain really could have used the endorsements of Bush and Cheney to really set the whole mess rolling of a cliff into a complete electoral disaster. But alas, it was not to be.

Voters should really be wise enough to realize that the next four years of a McCain rule would certainly look an awful lot like the last eight years of Bush-Cheney rule. But the appearances of Bush and Cheney endorsing the McCain ticket would have really helped any Doubting Thomas's out there actually sitting on fence who have not realized this fact for some odd reason. There could not possibly be any better damning praise possible.

Yes, indeed sometimes Mother Nature disappoints.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Obama Determined To Win And Become A Great President While McCain Is Still McCain

Young Senator Barack Obama achieved several important goals with his highly successful Democratic Convention and acceptance speech watched by 38 million persons on TV and more than 84,000 in Denver. Obama proved that he is a strong and determined candidate who will pull out every effort required not to become like a Michael Dukakis or John Kerry failure candidate to his party, and will work very hard to win the election. To the American public, Obama promises the potential to be a great president with all of the talent potential to follow in the footsteps of both Roosevelt and Kennedy. There was also a message to the African American community that Obama is running for everyone and will make every effort to rule as a great president and to bring pride and hope to that community to further break down any still existing discrimination barriers and spur every African American child to hope to become anything that they desire, even becoming president.

By contrast, John McCain hoped to steal a little headlines from the Obama message of hope and a promise for a bright new future with an outrageous choice for a running mate that is classic John McCain in too many unsettling ways.

John McCain's campaign for president has been plagued by putting exactly the wrong sort of persons into positions of authority such as former 1970's soft porn movie producer turned economist, Phil Gramm, and others who have only proved themselves to be embarrassing,insensitive and aloof to the actual state of things at hand. Many other goofy personalities that McCain has delegated responsibility have proven themselves to become an embarrassment to the campaign as well with plenty of resignations from the campaign as proof.

They say that pilots often make poor presidential candidates because they refuse to take orders from anyone. And McCain's life has been characterized by this. Even while studying in naval academy, McCain often found himself at odds with others and was even rated as the fifth lowest out of his entire class. In the Senate, McCain has often been a loose cannon, attacking members of his own party or major businesses, sometimes for good reason, sometimes not. It is classic McCain to be a fighter, but not always for a worthwhile cause. It is just part of his volcanic personality.

Sarah Palin is a typical John McCain type of pick. She is certainly not the most qualified GOP woman in America by any means, but she does manage to shake things up and question the ethics of others, while at the same time her own ethics remain under investigation in Alaska. There will no doubt be a great effort to quiet down this ethics investigation while she runs for VP for the next couple of months by the GOP both in Alaska and nationally. But it's the same problem as John McCain, someone who claims to be a reformer, but is proven to be a little bit of a hypocrite. McCain was once in deep political trouble due to his role in Charles Keating Lincoln Savings & Loan scandal as one of the worst of the "Keating Five", and then reinvented himself as quasireformer and "maverick" for his own political survival while still ranking as one of the most conservative of senators. In a great many ways, McCain is far more of a loose cannon than any "maverick".

Palin will also be hard pressed to prove that she is just not some warped form of Republican affirmative action program where someone is simply chosen because they meet some sort of gender or racial stereotype, while holding wacky right wing political views that are odds of most in their community. Clarence Thomas was a great example of this, as he seemed like an absurd right wing replacement for the excellent career of pioneer civil rights litigator Thurgood Marshall. Palin will have to prove that she is really indeed a qualified personality, who just a scant 18 months ago was mayor of a tiny Alaska town with barely more than 5,000 persons. And indeed, Palin seems to remind one of comic Tina Fey playing a goofy character on SNL. Such an impression hardly seems to make her seem suitable if she were to become president to confront Vladimir Putin, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Kim Jong-Il in the event of a true international crisis should she become president. John McCain celebrated his 72nd birthday yesterday and has had several cancer scares in a land where few Americans live to be 80. Neither of my parents lived to be 80. There is a real possibility that Sarah Palin could become president more than most any vice presidents in American history.

Palin seemed like such a goofy choice to me, that I honestly admit I spent a great deal of yesterday laughing about her choice as VP running mate. I could not wait to see what the late night comics would say about this. It seemed to be another absurd choice like Dan Quayle, in which the GOP claimed that women would vote for him because he looked sort of like Pat Sajak. Well, that certainly proved to be a great qualification for office, and after his term of VP was over, Quayle quickly slipped from memory. Palin will be hard pressed to prove how a small town city councilwoman and mayor, turned governor of a tiny state with a few igloos and caribou is somehow suitable to become president if the need should arise. And Palin doesn't bring another new electoral college state int play for the GOP either.

Well, if John McCain intended to steal a little of the headlines from Obama this week, then he certainly succeeded on that account, but maybe for all the wrong reasons. Once again McCain proved he picks unusual choices to delegate responsibility to that have only seemed let him down before. And once again McCain has proven that he's a sort of a guy who refuses advice and makes his own decisions, but which often turn out badly it seems. Once again McCain's judgment to lead is called into question.

Barack Obama left the week with a great impression of the kind of leadership that he is capable of. He left voters with the vision and hope for a great tomorrow for the U.S. McCain by contrast only left many of us laughing.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Barack Obama Prepares To accept Nomination On Anniversary Of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther Kings's " I Have A Dream" Speech

On the anniversary of the great "I Have A Dream" speech by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, the first African-American candidate to be nominated by a major American political will accept the Democratic Party nomination in a crowded football stadium in Denver, Colorado to a crowd expected to exceed 70,000 persons. Dr. King called on the nation to judge persons "on the content of their character" and not the "color of their skin". Young Senator Barack Obama became the nominee of the Democratic Party by becoming the greatest political phenomenon to rise out of Illinois since Abraham Lincoln in 1860, whose own unlikely rapid rise to power made him perhaps the greatest president in American history. Barack Obama has some huge footsteps to follow in, being the first African American president ever and honoring the awesome challenge of Dr. Martin Luther King as well as living up to the greatness of Abraham Lincoln. But Brack Obama has proven an incredible ability to amaze everyone with an endless resource of intelligence and skills and has all of the potential to become one of America's greatest presidents ever.

It is also ironic that it was Abraham Lincoln from Illinois that ended slavery in the United States, and now an African American candidate from Illinois may benefit from this to become president and complete this cycle of history, from slavery and exploitation of an entire race based on the color of their skin, to emancipation, to equality, and to be being judged by a majority of voters as their choice for president. It is a great day for the U.S. and a powerful message that anyone can grow up to be anything that they want. It is a powerful statement that all have an equal opportunity to share in the American dream and the old barriers of prejudice have fallen enough that most persons will give a person a fair opportunity and an equal opportunity to become anything, including the president.

in the pages of American history a great new page is now being written. Tonight's event in Denver should be an awesome event that you will want to record and save to show your children and grandchildren. There will no doubt be some memorable and very notable quotes that will live in history from tonight's speech as well as the inaugural address of President Barack Obama in January It is a great time to be alive and a witness to so much history and to play a small part in it as a participating voter.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Real Trouble With John McCain's Ads

Amazingly, the latest polls so far show a virtual dead heat in the presidential race, not yet reflecting any bounce from the convention for the Democratic ticket so far as a result of their week to make their case to the voters. Until the Republicans have their chance to run their convention to state their case, they are relying on some ads that really don't take too much thought to totally dismiss.

One such silly McCain ad features a Hillary Clinton backer who now claims support for John McCain. Well, that certainly makes no sense, as the voting records of John McCain and Hillary Clinton have very little in common. McCain has never been a big supporter of equal rights, civil rights, or equal pay for women. John McCain has a strong antiabortion voting record. Hillary Clinton is on the other side of this issue. And Hillary's Clinton's awesome convention speech could have made it more clear that John McCain doesn't share most of the values shared by Clinton and Obama, yet John McCain thinks that he has some valid case to attract the Hillary Clinton voters. Unless McCain is attempting to appeal to a few knotheads who would not give an African American candidate the same fair consideration as any other candidate running for office, then I really don't see whom McCain is attempting to attract. This ad doesn't take much thought to wholly dismiss.

Another silly McCain ad uses middle class images and language to lure these voters with some completely false and misleading claim that Obama will raise their taxes. In reality the Obama plan calls for a middle class tax cut and only raising taxes on those earning more than $250,000. If this McCain ad was subjected to the very same FTC standards as ads dealing with products, it would probably be pulled from the airwaves as false advertising. It doesn't take much thought to dismiss this ad as merely desperate and pathetic and an attempt to attract votes by using an obvious falsehood about raising taxes. It is an outright lie.

Perhaps the worst recent ad in support of McCain isn't even run directly by the McCain Campaign, but by the Republican Party in Texas. It claims that Barack Obama ignores a brother living on a dollar a day in Kenya in poverty. This ad is ghoulish and disgusting on so many levels. When Barack Obama was merely two years old, his father from Kenya divorced his White mother from Kansas, and young Barack Obama was raised by his maternal grandparents. Two year old Barack Obama only saw his father once more in his lifetime after the age of two before his father was killed in a 1982 automobile accident. He had no knowledge of the new life in Kenya his father lived by a new marriage to a woman from Kenya that Obama had never met until only in recent years. The woman in Kenya may legally be called his stepmother, although she never had any contact or ever raised Barack Obama during his lifetime. And a halfbrother of Obama's named George does live in Kenya, but Barack Obama didn't even know of his existence until only in very recent years. According to CNN, George Obama is angry at any claim that he lives in poverty in Kenya and is in fact a member of some community organizations that actually help those who are less fortunate in his community. The Republican Party of Texas ad for McCain attempts to capitalize on the tragic life of a two year old Barack Obama where divorce tore his family apart. Despite this tragic childhood, Barack Obama become a top student, attended law school, taught constitutional law as a professor, became a community organizer, became a state legislator and now may become president of the United States. Any the claim that his halfbrother, who Barack Obama never knew, is living in poverty is false. This ad in so offensive and wrong. It attempts to create a false scandal where none exists and exploit the tragic childhood of a two year old child's life after divorce for political gain. It's the worst of gutter politics. No political issues are discussed here, just a false character smear.

It is a real shame that John McCain who not that very long ago claimed that he would be honest with voters and use "Straight Talk" is being represented by TV by ads that promote outright lies and falsehoods against his election opponent. It's too bad when some longtime politician like a McCain wants to be elected so badly that he or his supporters will tell voters absolutely anything just to be elected. McCain did not want to even level with voters in how many homes he owned when asked, without first asking his advisers on what he should tell the voters for political reasons. It is a campaign of this sort that is characterized by so much intellectual dishonesty that the voters should soundly reject this old time corrupt politics of this type. Barack Obama's campaign is about opening the window and letting in some fresh air instead. McCain's old time politics is based on doing or telling voters anything regardless of whether it is true or not, because being elected is the main goal. Unless voters enjoy being lied to on a regular basis, they should reject all of this sort of politics. the McCain Campaign has certainly made truth the first victim of their lusts for political power. The next four years of a McCain government would be just like the last eight years of the Bush Administration where truth about Iraq and other vital issues has been very scarce indeed. Anyone like a John McCain who has made a real career out of breaking the Ten Commandments by "bearing false witness" against his opponents or betraying the trust of his first wife with an affair on the side has hardly earned the trust or the votes of the voters. McCain's own ads, most of which he has personally approved stand as exhibit "A" in this indictment of his character.


Monday, August 25, 2008

The Celebrity Political Money Trail For Barack Obama

Many persons may wonder who are some of the major celebrity, business and public figure political money backers for Barack Obama. Well, this is the sequel to part one which has already been run here. Here's an interesting list from the public records of some highlights who are major supporters and donors to Barack Obama so far during the current election cycle.

For Obama: Ben Afleck, actor, $4600. Big Kenny Alphin, recording artist, $2300. Marc Andressen, Internet guru, $4600. Jennifer Aniston, actress, $2300. Patricia Arquette, actress, $2300. Rosanna Arquette, actress,$2300. Kevin Bacon, actor, $2200. Tyra Banks, talk show host and model, $2300. Angela Bassett, actress, $2300. Shane Battier, NBA star Houston Rockets, $2300. Maria Bello, actress, $2300. Lawrence Bender, producer,$2300. Tom Bergeron, TV host, $1750, Halle Berry, actress, $2300, Valerie Bertinelli, actress, $2300. Jerome Bettis, for NFL great and sportscaster, $2300. Judy Blume, author, $4600. Andy Borowitz, satire writer, $2100. Zach Braff, actor, $2300. Steve Brill, Court TV founder and writer, $4600. Blair Brown, actress, $500. Jackson Browne, recording artist, $2300. Mark Burnett, reality game show producer SURVIVOR, $2300. Ken Burns, filmmaker, $2300. Levar Burton, actor, $300. Candace Bushnell, author, $1000. Jimmy Carter, former president, $2300. Michael Chabon, author, $4600. Jay Chandrasekhar, actor, director and writer, $500.Richard A. Clasrke, national security expert, $2300. John Cleese, actor and author, $2300. Bill Clinton, former president, $2300. Hillary Clinton, U.S. Senator, $2300. George Clooney, actor, $2300. Chuck Close, actor, $2300. Harry Connick, Jr., recording artist and actor, $4600. Cindy Crawford, model, $2300. Alan Cumming, actor, $500. Drew Curtis, founder and author, $500. Matt Damon, actor, $2300. Larry David, actor and comic writer, $2300. Geena Davis, actress, $4600. Robert Deniro, actor, $2300. Taye Diggs, actor, $2300. Paul Dooley, actor, $30800. Karen Duffy, actress and model, $2300. Joe Dumars, Former NBA star Detroit Pistons, $500. Tracey Edmunds, entertainment industry executive, $2800. Anthony Edwards, actor, $2300. Michael Eisner, Disney CEO, $500. Hector Elizongo, actor, $200. Omar Epps, actor, $2300. Clarke Kent Irvin, former Homeland Security Office expert, $250. Linda Evans, actress, $2300. Jane Fonda, actress, $2300. Tom Ford, fashion designer, $2300. Milos Forman, actor, director and writer, $3050. Jamie Foxx, multitalented comic, actor and musician, $2300. Johnathan Frazen, author, $1000. Morgan Freeman, actor, $2300. Jim Gaffigan, comic and actor, $1250. Jeff Garlin, comic actor and close friend of Conan O'Brien, $250. Jennifer Garner, actress, $4600. David Geffen, Dreamworks co-founder, $2300. Richard Gere, actor, $2300. Thomas Gibson, actor CBS' CRIMINAL MINDS series, $1000. Charles Gifford, Bank Of America Chairman, $2300. Cuba Gooding, Jr., actor, $2300. Louis Gossett, Jr., actor, $4600. Topher Grace, actor, $4600. Father Andrew Greeley, Roman Catholic Priest and author, $2300. Jasmine Guy, actress, $2300. Paul Haggis, screenwriter and producer, $500. Herbie Hancock, jazz musician, $2300. Daniel "Lemony Snicket" Handler, author, screenwriter and musician, $2300. Hill Harper, actor CSI NY, $2300. Ed Harris, actor, $2300. Emmy Lou Harris, recording artist, $2000. Mariette Hartley, actress, $250. Teri Hatcher, actress, $2300. Tom Hayden, activist, $2678. Sean Hayes, actor, $1000. Dennis Haysbert, actor, $2300. Christie Hefner, CEO Playboy Enterprises, $2300. Grant Hill, NBA star, $2300. Cheryl Hines, actress, $1000. Dustin Hoffman, actor, $2300. Susana Hoffs, recording artist, $2300. Bruce Hornsby, recording artist, $2300. Phil Jackson, NBA coach, $2300. Randy Jackson, AMERICAN IDOL judge and musician, $2300. Samuel Jackson, actor, $2300. Billy Joel, songwriter, $2300. Scarlet Johansson, actress, $2300. Kevin Johnson, former NBA Phoenix Suns great, $2300. Spike Jonze, director, $2300. Michael Jordan, NBA legend Chicago Bulls, $2100. Casey Kasem, radio personality, $1000. Garrison Keillor, author and performer, $200. David E. Kelley, TV production mogul and screenwriter, $2300. Ted Kennedy, U.S. Senator, $2300. Tereas Heinz Kerry, wife of Senator John Kerry, $2300. Margot Kidder, actress, $500. Don King, boxing promoter, $2300. Gayle King, editor and friend of Oprah Winfrey, $2300. Cedric "The Entertainer" Kyles, comic and actor, $2500. Don LaFontaine, famous movie voice-over promoter, $4600. Jim Lampley, sportscaster, $2000. Jessica Lange, actress, $2300. John Larouquette, actor, $1500. Spike Lee, filmmaker, $2300. John Lithgow, actor, $1000. Nia Long, actress, $2300. chuck Lorre, TV show producer, $2300. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, comic actress, $4600. George Lucas, filmmaker STAR WARS, $33100. Sidney Lumet, director, $2300. Bernie Mac, (recently deceased) comic, $2300. Seth MacFarlance, animator and producer, $2300. Norman Mailer, author, $200. Natalie Maines, recording artist, $2300. Wendy Malick, actress, $250. Stephon Marbury, NBA player, $4600. Branford Marsalis, musician, $4600. Marsha Mason, actress, $3550. Mary Stuart Masterson, actress, $500. Greg Mathis, TV judge, $34600. George McGovern, former senator and presidential candidate, $750. Terry McMillan, author, $2300. Seth Meyers, comic, $2300. Errol Morris, filmmaker, $500. Toni Morrison, author, $1000. Rob Morrow, actor, $500. Eddie Murphy, comic and actor, $2300. Randy Newman, songwriter and recording artist, $2300. craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, $33100. Mike Nichols, filmmaker, $2300. Leonard Nimoy, Mr. Spock STAR TREK and actor, $2300. Cynthia Nixon, actress, $1000. Edward Norton, actor, $33100. Stan O'Neal, former Merill Lynch Chairman, $2300. Sarah Jessica Parker, actress, $2300. Adrian Pasdar, actor, $4600. Joe Paterno, Penn State coach, $250. Jane Pauley, TV personality, $2300. Kal Penn, actor, $2654. Robin Wright Penn, actress, $2300. Tyler Perry, actor and playwright, $4600. Father Michael Pfleger, activist Roman Catholic Priest, $1500. David Hyde Pierce, actor, $10000. Oliver Platt, actor, $978. Sidney Poitier, actor, $4600. Ellen Pompeo, actress, $4600. Annie Potts, actress, $2300. Maury Povich, TV host, $2300. Bonnie Raitt, recording artist, $2300. Harold Ramis, actor and director, $3300. David Rasche, actor, $500. Phylicia Rashad, actress, $1500. Carl Reiner, actor and comedy director, $200. Paul Reiser, actor, $2300. Ryan Reynolds, actor, $3100. Randi Rhodes, radio show host, $250. Bill Richardson, New Mexico Governor, $2300. Patricia Richardson, actress, $2300. Lionel Richie, recording artist, $2300. Jay Roach, director, $2300. Tim Robbins, actor, $3000. Chris Rock, comic and actor, $4600. Linda Ronstadt, recording artist, $500. Stephen Root, actor, $500. Eli Roth, director, $500. Brandon Routh, actor, $250. Mark Ruffalo, actor, $1000. Meg Ryan, actress, $1000. Horatio Sanz, former SNL cast member, $500. Susan Sarandon, actress, $4600. Thomas Schalame, director, $2300. Sherwood Schwasrtz, TV producer GILLIGAN'S ISLAND, $1000. Martin Scorsese, filmmaker, $2300. Garry Shandling, comic and actor, $2300. Brook Shields, actress and model, $2300. Andrew Shue, actor and former prosoccer star, $2000. Alicia Silverstone, actress, $400. Sam Simon, director, $2300. James Sinegal, Costco CEO, $4600. Emmitt Smith, former profootball great and beard coloring commercial host, $2300. Jada Pinkett Smith, actress, $4600. Hal Sparks, comic and actor, $300. Morgan Spurlock, filmmaker, $2300. Darren Star, producer, $2300. Leigh Steinberg, sports agent, $30500. Daniel Stern, actor, $1000. Fisher Stevens, actor, $750. Oliver Stone, director, $1000. Meryl Streep, actress, $2300. Rider Strong, actor, $500. Christine Taylor, actress, $2300. Betty Thomas, actress and director, $2300. Cheryl Tiegs, model, $500. Gary Trudeau, cartoonist, $2300. Gabrielle Union, actress, $2300. Amber Valetta, model and actress, $2300. Paul Volcker, former Federal Reserve Chairman, $2300. Kate Walsh, actress, $2800. Vera Wang, fashion designer, $2000. Cash Warren, producer, $2800. Denzel Washington, actor, $2300. Isaiah Washington, actor, $4550. marlon Wayans, comic actor, $2500. Steven Weber, actor, $2300. Bob Weir, Grateful Dead legend, $2120. Jann Wenner, ROLLING STONE CEO, $4450. Tom Werner, Boston Red Sox co-owner, $4600. Forest Whitaker, actor and director, $2300. James Whitmore, actor, $9020. Olivia Wilde, actress, $250. Gene Wilder, actor, $2300. Will.I.Am, recording artist, $30800. Treat Williams, actor, $250. Oprah Winfrey, TV host and actress, $2300. Steven Wozniak, computer industry pioneer, $3100. Jeffrey Wright, actor, $2050. Peter Yarrow, recording artist from Peter, Paul & Mary, $2200.

Well, that's quite a list of who's who and proves a wide cross section of support for Senator Barack Obama among many in the celebrity community.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Celebrity Political Money Trail

Major celebrities have been making some very interesting political donations this election cycle. While some are surprising, some are not too surprising at all. But public record keeping does turn up an interesting money path of donations by some top celebrities. Here are a few highlights from the current public records:

For John McCain: Troy Aikman, former NFL quarterback and sportscaster, $2300. Mario Andretti, retired racer $500. Pat Boone, former teen idol and Christian singer, $4600. Jerry Bruckheimer, megaTV show producer, $9600.Clarence Cazalot, Marathon Oil CEO. $15000. Pete Coors, Coors Brewing CEO, $2300. Dick Vevos, former Amway founder and CEO, $4600. David Dorman, AT&T Chairman, $2300.Clint Eastwood, actor and director, $2300. John Elway, retired NFL star, $2300. Steve Forbes, publisher Fortune Magazine, $4600. Ted Forstmann, financier, $63,200. Roger Goodall, current NFL Commissioner, $2300. Kelsey Grammer, actor, $2300. John Hagee, millionaire TV evangelist, $1000. William Harrison, CEO of JP Morgan Chase, $27,300. Kathy, Rick and William Hilton, Hotel owners and executives, a total of $9200. Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas Governor and presidential candidate, $2300. Ray Irani, Occidental Petroleum CEO, $2300. Kirk Kerkorian, Casino owner who attempted a failed Chrysler buyout, $4600. Alan Lacy, Sears CEO, $5600. Edward Liddy, Allstate Insurance CEO, $2300. Mary Matalin, Republican political strategist and advisor, $2300. Lorne Michaels, NBC SNL and other shows producer, $2300. Jack Nicklaus, golf legend, $1100, Arnold Palmer, golf legend, $1000. Richard Parsons, Chairman of TIme Warner, $26,500. Richard Petty, Nascar legend, $1000. Colin Powell, former army general and Secretary Of State, $2300. Dan Quayle, former Vice President who couldn't spell potato, $20000. Curt Schilling, baseball great, $2300. Vin Scully, sportscaster, $2300. Gary Sinese, actor, $2300. Roger Stauback, NFL legend, $40800. Rip Torn, actor, $2300. Dick Van Patten, actor, $2020. Jim Walton, WalMart billionaire, 42300. Darell Waltrip, Nascar legend, $1000. In addition John McCain draws in big donations from a large number of corporate CEOs including oil industry and communications heads.

Contributors To Hillary Clinton & Also To John McCain: August Busch, III, CEO Anhauser Busch, $2300 to Clinton and $4600 to John McCain. Dick Ebersol, NBC Sports Producer, $4600 each to Hillary Clinton and John McCain. Charles Ergen, Echostar CEO, $2300 to Hillary Clinton and $4600 to John McCain. John Faraci, International Paper CEO, $2300 to hillary Clinton and $4600 to John McCain. Brad Grey, Paramount Pictures CEO, $4600 to Hillary Clinton and $2300 to John McCain. Jeffrey Immet, General Electric Chairman, $2300 each to Hillary Clinton and John McCain. Leonard and William Lauder, Este Lauder executives, $3700 to Hillary Clinton and $9200 to John McCain. Rupert Murdock, News Corporation CEO, $2300 each to Hillary Clinton and John McCain. Susan Saint James, actress, $4600 to Hillary Clinton and $2300 to john McCain. Donald Trump, real estate developer, $600 to Hillary Clinton and $33,050 to John McCain. George Steinbrenner, NY Yankees owner, $2300 to Hillary Clinton and $15000 to John McCain

Contributors To John McCain, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama: Barry Diller, media mogul, $4600 each. Terry semel, Yahoo Chairman, $4600 to Hillary Clinton, and $2300 each to John McCain and Barack Obama.

For Barack Obama & Hillary Clinton: JJ Abrams, TV producer, $2300 to both Clinton & Obama. Chris Albrecht, former HBO executive, $4600 to Clinton & $2300 for Obama. Byron Allen, TV producer and personality, $4600 to Clinton & $2300 to Obama. Clarence Avant, record producer, $4600 to Clinton & $30800 to Obama. Billy Baldwin, actor, $1000 each. Ellen Barkin, actress, $2300 each. Paul Begala, Democratic consultant, $4600 to Clinton & $2300 to Obama. Arthur Blank, Atlanta Falcons owner, $4600 each. Steven Bochco,TV show writer and producer, $2300 to Clinton & $30800 to Obama. Christie Brinkley, model and serial marriager, $3250 to Clinton & $2000 Obama. James L. Brooks, TV show producer, $4600 each. Warren Buffet, billionaire, $4600 each. Kate Capshaw, actress, $2300 each. James Carville, Democratic political consultant, $4600 to Clinton & $2300 to Obama. Peter Chernin, News Corporation CEO, $4600 to Clinton and $2100 to Obama. Glen Close, actress, $2300 each. Jamie Lee Curtis, $4600 each. Danny Devito, actor, $2300 to Clinton & $2000 Obama. Michael Douglas, actor, $4600 each. Jodie Foster, actress, $4600 to Clinton & $3300 to Obama. Michael J Fox, actor and Parkinson's disease activist, $1200 Clinton & $2300 Obama. Jami Gertz, actress, $4000 Clinton & $2300 Obama. Berry Gordy, record producer and soul talent scout legend, $4600 Clinton & $30800 Obama. Brian Grazer, producer, $4600 each. John Grisham, author, $4600 Clinton & $1000 Obama. David Guggenheim, filmmaker, $1000 Clinton & $2300 Obama. Tom Hanks, actor, $2300 each. Hugh Hefner, Playboy Magazine founder, $4600 to Clinton & $2300 to Obama. Marg Helgenberger, actress CSI TV show, $1000 to Clinton & $2300 Obama. Alan Horn, movie producer, $4600 Clinton & $2300 Obama. Ron Howard, movie director and actor, $4600 each. Ron Insana, TV business analyst for CNN, $4600 each. Joan Jett, punky rock star, $750 Clinton & $250 Obama. Magic Johnson, basketball legend, $4600 to Clinton & $2300 Obama. Vernon Jordan, Democratic Party power broker, $4600 to Clinton & $2300 Obama. Jeffrey Katzenberg, Co-founder Dreamworks Pictures, $2300 each. Caroline Kennedy, sole survivor of John Kenndedy's family and author, $2300. each. Calvin Klein, fashion mogul, $4600 Clinton & $2300 Obama. Christine Lahti, actress, $2300 each. Sharon Lawrence, actress, $3000 to Clinton & $2300 Obama. Norman Lear, TV show producer, $4600 to Clinton & $2300 Obama. John Legend, recording artist, $1000 Clinton & $4600 Obama. Tobey Maguire, actor, $4600 Clinton & $2300 Obama. Barry Manilow, singer and songwriter, $2300 each. Bette Midler, singer and actress, $4600 each. John Morgridge, Cisco executive, $4600 to Clinton & $2300 Obama. Alonzo Morning, NBA basketball star, $1000 Clinton & $2300 Obama. Paul Newman, actor, $4600 each. Rosie O'Donell, comic, actress and TV show hostess, $2300 each. Holly Robinson Peete, actress, $2300 Clinton & $4600 Obama. Rhea Perlman, actress, $2300 Clinton & $2000 Obama. Howard Schutz, Starbucks CEO, $2300 each. M Night Shymalan, Filmmaker, $2300 each. Rusell Simmons, media mogul, $1000. Tom Skeritt, actor, $2300 to Clinton & Obama $1000. Steven Spielberg, filmmaker, $2300 each. Ben Stiller, comic actor, $4600 Clinton & $2300 Obama. Heather Thomas, actress, $2300 Clinton & $4600 Obama. Lily Tomlin, comic and actress, $2000 Clinton & $200 Obama. John Wells, TV show producer, Clinton $2300 & $4600 Obama. Bradley Whitford, actor, $2300 each. Rita Wilson, actress, $4600 Clinton & $2300 Obama. Joanne Woodwatd, actress, $4600 each. Andrew Young, civil rights leader and lobbyist, $2000 Clinton & $1000 Obama. George Zimmer, Men's Warehouse suit stores founder, spokesman and CEO, $500 Clinton & $2300 Obama.

Coming Tomorrow, the top sole celebrity donors to either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. Stay tuned.....Same Bat time, Same Bat channel.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Marc Bolan vs. Gary Glitter

In the 1970's the UK pop charts were topped by competing glam rock acts like T.Rex, Gary Glitter, Slade, The Sweet, Mud and Alvin Stardust, which provided the greatest excitement in the UK music scene since the rise of The Beatles and Rolling Stones ten years earlier. Of these six main glam rock acts, Marc Bolan's T.Rex which grew from a two man acoustic hippie act of the late 60's into a full blown electric band with onstage pyrotechnic explosions and guitar floggings with a long whip and Gary Glitter who donned an Elvis like appearance and managed some unique new updates on 50's and 60's song stylings, became the two main competitors and chart rivals with each other for UK pop chart dominance. And Bolan made it clear that he did not like Gary Glitter before in interviews where the competition was genuine and not based on mutual admiration

Before the days of the new wave and punk scene in the UK, British music buyers were looking for some new excitement from the mainstream of British rock acts like the solo Beatles albums, Jethro Tull, The Rolling Stones or blues acts like Ten Years After or Eric Clapton. But for the most part, the UK glam rock scene made little impact on the American market where the mainstream American and British rock acts continued as the main bread and butter sales for the record industry and concert scene.

Marc Bolan and Gary Glitter both made such an impact on UK record buyers because they were flashy performers and knew how to electrify an audience, although the same sort of excitement never seemed to really translate well enough for the U.S. record buying public here. T.Rex, Gary Glitter and others were largely only a curiosity to American buyers. Marc Bolan's song stylings first heavily rooted in acoustic mythology poetry and then later in throwaway disposable lyrics that worked almost like a reverse Bob Dylan where Bolan slung around words for the way that they sounded rather than what they really meant in a slew of pop singles like TELEGRAM SAM, CHILDREN OF THE REVOLUTION, THE GROOVER or 20th CENTURY BOY never really excited most Americans except for his rock anthem standard, GET IT ON. And Gary Glitter's biggest American hit continues to be his instrumental piece, ROCK AND ROLL PART 2, often played at sporting events although I DIDN"T KNOW I LOVED YOU UNTIL I SAW YOU ROCK AND ROLL is pure electric excitement and spine chilling good glam rock. For some reason, both T.rex and Gary Glitter had a primitive and primal sound that seemed to go right to your soul compared to other rockers, and fans just loved it.

American rocker and early punker, Joan Jett was heavily influenced by Gary Glitter and recorded his DO YOU WANNA TOUCH, and I'M THE LEADER OF THE GANG, which became a couple decent hits for her. If anything Joan Jett became the American version of Gary Glitter where her interpretations of his material could translate well enough for American listeners than the UK originals. And perhaps many of the big hair and big show performers of the 80's heavy metal rock scene were influenced by Marc Bolan's rock performance stage shows much more than his actual songs. The American music scene may have had some persona influences by both Bolan and Glitter, while their actual recordings did poorly stateside.

But the recent release from prison of Gary Glitter in Vietnam is living proof how life really went sour for both Gary Glitter and Marc Bolan in the end. Well into the 70's Bolan's records were less of a hit even in his native UK and some albums that lacked the magical appeal of the earlier classics like ELECTRIC WARRIOR and THE SLIDER began to disillusion some UK record buyers who began to look for the next big thing and some new artists to provide the next big thrill. The early punk scene with The Sex Pistols, The Stranglers, The Damned and others was beginning to lure away listeners from the glam rock acts.

Marc Bolan managed a pretty good late career revival gig hosting a TV Show, THE MARC SHOW, and into 1977 a new record, DANDY IN THE UNDERWORLD, which was one of his most enjoyable efforts in years for listeners and Bolan also offered up a new single, CELEBRATE SUMMER not on any album yet released. But then a fatal car crash in September 1977 ended the life and comeback career of Marc Bolan at the age of 29, just short of his 30th birthday. But even in death, Bolan has managed a a strong cult following of loyal fans over the years, where like Jimi Hendrix, far more albums have been released since their deaths than when both were actually alive. Bolan fans have been more than willing to pay some decent cash for five and six disc box sets issued on Easy Action Records for Bolan rarities within just this last year which is pretty good for an artist that died 21 years ago this September. And Hendrix continues to be just as durable, who only released just three Jimi Hendrix Experience albums before his death. In fact, Bolan is often compared to Hendrix because of his guitar stylings and stage electricity persona as being as close to a British Jimi Hendrix as you might come.

Gary Glitter's career really crashed and hit the skids in other ways, as two arrests related to sex abuse, provided a real ugly stink over any comeback hopes for his career, and no record company really wanted to handle Glitter after this, although Glitter claims that he intends to record a new album. But the record company that recorded his last album shelved the project after his last arrest and imprisonment. The once powerful act that was a real force on the UK pop charts is now more than damaged goods and far less appealing at the ripe old age of 64. For almost everyone, it's just not cool any more.

In the end, it was the sexual excesses of both Marc Bolan and Gary Glitter that became their ultimate downfalls. Marc Bolan was obsessed with cars and even owned a Rolls Royce, but never learned to drive himself, and while having an affair with a backup singer from his band was killed in a small British car with no seatbelts or locking seats of head injuries when his lover driver lost control and hit a tree. Gary Glitter just could not avoid landing in prison twice for crimes related to small girls, first in the UK and then in Vietnam where he sought out illegal sex in the Orient.

All that glitters has now turned to rust.

Not Your Father's Small Car Business

General Motors announced new plans to build a new small car to adapt to the recent consumer demand for smaller more fuel efficient automobiles since gasoline prices hit such a high spike in the $4 a gallon neighborhood. The cost to build this car is a staggering $500 million in development and tooling costs, a figure that is an awesome amount compared to the much smaller amounts of cash outlays once required to develop new models by the major car makers.

In April of 1970, little American Motors Corporation was able to build the first modern American subcompact, the Gremlin, for a mere $6 million in development and tooling costs by cutting about a foot and half out of it's existing Hornet compact which was developed for a cost of just $40 million dollars from a project that started way back in 1966 to bring out a car for the 1970 market. But the history of the American small car was mostly a smaller segment of the American car market as years and years of cheap gas made smaller cars a real second choice for many American buyers who sought the bigger and more powerful models.

In 1951, American steel tycoon and industrialist, Henry J. Kaiser sought to steer Americans towards the purchase of small fuel efficient cars and his early subcompact, the Henry J, hit the American market with an economical 68hp four cylinder engine. Even Sears Department stores had their own version of the Henry J to sell in their stores rebadged as the Sears Allstate. But in the days of 27cents a gallon gas, both cars were quick marketing failures and quickly disappeared from the market before very long. Many buyers instead opted for the bigger models such as the Chevy Deluxe or the later Chevy 150 instead which were larger and had six cylinder engines. The 1950's were characterized by American cars growing bigger and wider by the year it seemed, and subcompact models had little buyer interest except for a few rare imports like the late 1950's BMW Isetta oddity. The Isetta was a strange little car with only one single door on the front of the car that seated just two. The driver had to connect the steering wheel on the door to the steering gear on the floor in order to drive the car as well. With a 236cc motorcycle two stroke motorcycle engine that produced just 9.5hp, the little Isetta was a success in Europe but not the U.S. American buyers were just ready to give up on so much American car power or luxury to get 50-70mpg like the tiny Isetta offered.

By 1960, as the American economy hit recession in the late Eisenhower years, American carmakers responded with a flurry of compact models to compete with the success of the compact Rambler from American Motors which sold for just $1880. Ford brought out the Falcon. GM brought out the revolutionary, but controversial rear engined Corvair. Plymouth had the Valiant. Little Studebaker had the ultrathrify Lark models. At the time, only the Volkswagon Beetle was the main foreign competitor. Japan was still struggling to build toys out of recycled soup cans in 1960 and the head of the new Sony company in Japan was having difficulty convincing the government and the public there that the transistor was the ticket to economic success for Japan. But by the later 70's, both Toyota and Datsun were able to make serious new dents into the imported small car market and began to challenge the market of Volkswagon a little.

The success of Volkswagon, and rise of Toyota and Datsun by 1970 spurred the development of the subcompact AMC Gremlin, but also Ford to develop the Pinto. GM spent even more money to develop the troubled Vega model. But it was the first serious attempts in modern times for the car makers to build truly smaller and higher mileage cars that were actually Volkswagon sized unlike the bigger compacts of the past.

By the 1980's and beyond, small cars had to become more safe and more high tech in design and the Ford Escort and Focus models were both based off of successful European models that were proven in use overseas.

Today, the development a new small car is an expensive project where the quality has to be very good as well as the fuel economy. It is nothing like the days of the $1300 1951 Henry J that cut costs by having fixed rear windows, no arm rests or no flow through ventilation. Even the 1970 compact Ford Maverick which sold for just $1995 left out the glovebox to cut costs. One of the main selling points of the Competing 1970 Hornet model from AMC which sold for $1994 was that it cost a dollar less and had a glovebox. Today such would hardly become a selling point with most new car buyers. Even small cars are a capital intensive business and the permanent high cost of gasoline will probably make the small car here to stay for good unless alternate fuel technology can make the larger cars or trucks more economical like a Toyota Prius hybrid model.

The American public may finally be ready for the subcompact models to become a permanent major share of the American automobile business for good. Just like in Europe where high gas prices have forced a market of smaller cars, motorcycles and motor scooters, America is adapting to the same sort of models as a response to the new reality of gas that will be priced between $4-$7 a gallon for the future.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Russian Government Efforts To Promote Mideast Peace Ignored By American Media

The American media has been running with the border security conflict news story between Georgia and Russia the last few days and unfortunately inspiring new Cold War tensions as a result. Perhaps even the slight surge of support for John McCain has been as a result of the media inspiring fear of Russia among the American public while ignoring the numerous ways in which Russia still actively continues to be a constructive world community member.

The American press seemed to totally ignore an important Mideast Black Sea resort peace effort by Russian President Dimitry Medvedev and Syrian President Assad that encouraged more direct talks between Israel and Palestinian leaders and encouraged waring Palestinian groups Fatah and Hamas to unite and speak as a single voice for peace.

Instead of reporting important Mideast peace news such as this that the government of Russia is actively involved in, nearly all of the recent American media news about Russia has been dominated by a dangerous trend to completely vilify this state because of a border conflict they are having with the government of Georgia. And the Bush Administration only helped to stoke the flames by working with Poland to place antimissile missiles in Poland, which could fuel a new and dangerous arms race as an overreaction to the ongoing localized political and military feud between Georgia and Russia. John McCain also capitalized on the situation by calling for Russia to be kicked out of the G8.

The fact of the matter is that Russia hasn't recently stopped becoming a mostly constructive world community member in the last few days just because of their ongoing feud with the government of Georgia. If Bush and McCain were really the wise leaders on foreign policy that they really claim to be, then they would call for some peace talks between Russia and Georgia to peacefully resolve any differences and not blow the situation into an international arms race by placing any antimissiles in Poland aimed at Russia. A few Patriot missiles or 10 Interceptor missiles is hardly any defense against 5518 Russian nuclear warheads, but just enough to make Russia angry and create unnecessary new world tensions and allow the local Georgia conflict to cast a far larger shadow than it really should. The Georgia situation needs to be played down, not played up to dangerous heights.

The Georgia situation doesn't need to become the trigger point for a dangerous new arms race, but unfortunately Bush is allowing that, and John McCain is apparently reaping some political benefits from the Bush Administration's total mishandling of this localized feud between Russia and Georgia because the American public is mistaking this ineptness for strength.

It is a very good time for all tensions to pull back and prevent this situation from becoming like a runaway train where a dangerous new arms race or a military standoff between the United States and Russia results in some accidental war.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Political Purpose Driven Life

The world of the super evangelists is filled with competition for who can build the biggest church, sell the most books, draw the biggest TV audience and of course, make the most money. While last weekend's Saddleback Forum hosted by Pastor Rick Warren, who comes from a long Southern Baptist history family background, was a huge TV ratings success, and left many bloggers debating who supposedly "won" this interview forum, in the end it was Pastor Rick Warren who emerged as the biggest winner in the competition to be the biggest leader in the White evangelical community.

The White evangelical community, which is largely Southern Baptist in nature is largely comprised of many churches where politics, psychology or prosperity gospels are main articles of faith compared to so many African American churches in which there is a deeper sense of communion with the Holy Spirit and faith in God is more centrally the focus. Billy Graham once called the hour spent in church as the "most segregated hour in America".

All of of this is not to say that Pastor Rick Warren's Southern Baptist Saddleback Church located in Lake Forest, California does not have some good spiritual points, however in the end it is just another politically conservative religious hotbed that has sided in with antiGay issues and other Christian right causes in a fairly consistent pattern over the years. If anything, the forum hosted by Pastor Warren might have had two real winners, Warren, and John McCain who gave tailor-made answers to appeal to a large audience of Christian right voters across the U.S., many of whom are single issue voters on many issues such as abortion, same sex marriage, etc. The more theologically liberal Barack Obama never really had much of a chance to make much of a dent in the wall of White evangelical voters who are more commonly organized around right wing politics than prayer or God in too many cases.

In fact, is a remarkable public makeover that has revamped the image of the Southern Baptists over time. In the 1630's many Baptists came over from England and began to settle in the U.S. and soon frictions between this religious group and official religion of the government of England, the state church, the Anglicans, developed. Baptists were many of the early supporters of the revolution against England to establish religious freedom in the early American colonies from England. By the mid-1800's many wealthy tobacco, cotton and other farmers and landholders who wanted to keep slaves began to revolt from the mainstream faith of the early American Baptists. By 1845, a group of pro slavery Baptists who were supported by the wealthy tobacco and cotton landholders rule of society and others in the early Southern oligarchy formed the Southern Baptist Conference to use religion to justify slavery and as a means to justify the rule of this group of the wealthy in Southern society. For decades since, including with the American Civil War, the Southern Baptists were the central faith in the rule of the wealthy ruling class in the South. For decades the Southern Baptists separated themselves from other more traditional Baptists with unBiblical doctrines of White supremacy and support for slavery or segregationist views. The poorer Whites and Blacks were even removed from the right to vote in many Southern states by the means of poll taxes or literacy tests that kept voter turnout as low as just a little over 10% in some Southern states as late as the 1930's until these barriers to universal voting were slowly lifted or ruled unconstitutional by the courts.

The traditions of the Southern Baptists has still often been politics that leans heavily to the political right wing, as witnessed by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, or Rev. Pat Robertson or even largely by Pastor Rick Warren. Warren may make it a little less apparent than others that he is indeed a Southern Baptist, but that's his educational roots and politics roots both. He wasn't exactly as nonpartisan of a player in the Saddleback Forum as he might have claimed. But on some issues Southern Baptist Preacher Rick Warren has proven some sense of compassion such as on the AIDS issue. But that can hardly be mistaken for political independence or liberalism.

But one of the most telling quotes on the Internet about where many of the passion's of the Southern Baptist evangelicals fall was this quote, "The true scandal is not that Warren invited Obama. It's that the evangelical reaction shows that our loyalties do not lie ultimately with those who share our faith (or even our values), but with those next to us in the Republican Party". Evangelicals are largely Southern Baptists and the Republican Party is largely a Southern political party supporting Southern politics and values.

It is really nothing new in the long history of the Christian church for many of those profess to be Christian evangelicals to actually be far from the real nature of faith in God, where the church becomes an empty shell used for other purposes than professing genuine faith in God. In the book of Revelation it was the Apostle John who wrote about the Seven Churches, most of which were revealed by God to John to be without God at their very core of existence. Today many churches still follow in the same traditions, especially among the White evangelical churches where politics, psychology or a prosperity gospels have actually replaced a true profession of faith in God. Certainly any faith originally organized rule by a wealthy Southern tobacco or cotton aristocracy and supportive of White Supremacy and slavery started off on a bad foot of serious Biblical doctrinal error. And if you build a big church on such a bad foundation of bad faith in God, then you cannot help but wonder how much more doctrinal error still exists in such a institution built on bad faith cornerstones.

Southern Baptist Pastor Rick Warren's Saddleback Church held the political forum because politics is still a core value of this church. Somehow most in the evangelical community are still trying to build some man-made political kingdom counterfeit here on Earth as a counter to the promised fully equitable kingdom of God in the Bible they claim to profess faith in. And while the Southern Baptists are no longer trying to control Southern Society or slaves, they now seek to control the votes of many members who vote overwhelmingly for the big oil and big military contractor rule of America by the modern Republican Party and all the wars, high oil prices and economic meltdown problems for the average person that it brings. In the end it is is the same old church walking in spiritual error, with not a page of the actual Bible itself endorsing any of this. It is a political purpose driven life to be sure.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Russia Moving Nuclear Capable Missile Launchers Into Georgia

Instead of actually withdrawing from the South Osettia province of Georgia, THE NEW YORK TIMES reliably reports that Russia is instead moving a number SS-21 mobile missile launcher trucks into the province. These SS-21 missiles can carry a warhead of high conventional explosives or even a tactical battlefield nuclear warhead.

During the Russian invasion and military action last week at least two conventional SS-21 missiles were fired by Russia into Georgia. However, with a nuclear warhead such weapons could cause a serious destruction of the capital city of Georgia. Since these missiles used a solid rocket fuel they are more difficult to stop with Patriot antimissiles than liquid fuel rockets as well.

Such missiles have a 120 km range, that could certainly put Georgia's largest cities in the direct line of fire if Russia should renew military action.

In other provocative actions, Russia continues to flex it's military muscle to intimidate the U.S. with flights of nuclear bombers near Alaskan territory. And Russian troops seized some American made military hardware in Georgia such as a group of Humvees.

Russia really needs to lower tensions, but is only adding to the latest tensions with each new act which only takes on more significance since the Georgia incident.

AntiUnion Organization Uses Actors To Harass Democratic Senate Candidate

An antilabor union 527 organization run by superlobbyist Rick Berman is using actors dressed as the "Grim Reaper" to harass Oregon Democratic Senate candidate Jeff Merkley at campaign events across the state of Oregon as Merkley campaigns for office. Officially, Berman's organization is heavily funded by many right wing Southern antiunion businesses such as the tobacco or alcohol industry or meat processors.

Berman's organization has the latest new -low hit by 527's and antiunion organizations to use actors dressed in costumes to disrupt political campaigns of Democratic candidates, yet publicly claims to nonpartisan. Berman also claims that his antiunion front groups are neither pro-nor antiunion yet when an independent proworker organization posted some internal documents on their website at AMERICAN RIGHTS AT WORK, Berman went to court to have the documents removed and sealed by a court that proved that Berman was paid a large retainer by pork processor Smithfield Foods in North Carolina that has been involved in a long conflict with an union campaign by the United Food And Commercial Workers. Berman tells the public one thing, but when documents prove different, then Berman goes to court and sues to mask his money trail and coceal his union busting activities.

Berman is no independent player in American politics. He is a right winger with a clear political agenda to drive down wages and to mislead the public with smear campaigns to tar up labor unions and elect conservative Republican legislators although some of figures associated with the tobacco industries that have been known to support Berman's work are associated with companies found guilty of civil racketeering in court before and document destruction.

Abortion, Cigars, Fidel Castro and GOP Congressional Candidate Mike Erickson

At one time Republicans held some hope that they might just be able to pick up a few seats in Congress by winning in a few swing districts. And Oregon's Fifth Congressional District looked to be a good hope for the GOP after longtime incumbent Democratic Congresswoman Darlene Hooley made a surprising announcement that she would not seek re-election. Successful businessman and former Portland State University football star athlete Mike Erickson who ran a strong race in 2006 looked like a good prospect to win the seat in Congress. But then during the May primary the wheels started falling off the Erickson Campaign.

Erickson barely survived a formidable challenge from former Oregon Republican Party Chairman Kevin Mannix who distributed campaign fliers to 60,000 voters detailing an account that alleged that Erickson got a girlfriend pregnant, so he gave her $300 and drove her to an abortion clinic to "clean up" the problem. Erickson first seemed to hide out from the news-media ducking questions for a couple of days, but then his campaign attempted to offer nonsense explanations claiming that Erickson only drove his girlfriend to a medical appointment. Somehow Erickson expected voters to believe that he was brilliant enough to become a millionaire businessman on one hand, but not intelligent enough that he got a girlfriend pregnant, was paying for an abortion, or driving to an abortion clinic. Erickson narrowly won the May primary but was damaged goods.

The Oregon Right to Life has refused to endorse Erickson for the November election, even though Erickson still claims to be antiabortion and pro-life. Erickson's May primary opponent Kevin Mannix also has withheld support. But even worse for Erickson, the Republican Party is largely ignoring him well, and instead concentrating on better candidates and better races where a decent Republican candidate has a better chance to be elected. And both Oregon's sole Republican U.s. Senator Gordon Smith and Congressman Greg Walden, both decent and honest men, are also refusing to support Erickson and tarnish their good names.

Just when it hardly seems that things could become much worse for Erickson, they actually have once again. This week THE OREGONIAN reported a new damaging story about Erickson taking a pleasure trip to Cuba to attend a cigar festival and an auction for the benefit of Fidel Castro. Once again Erickson offered up another absurd explanation that he was in Cuba on a humanitarian mission to distribute 26 boxes of medical supplies to Cuban hospitals. But the founder of Hemingway Travel who organized the vacation trip to Cuba claimed that it is very difficult to bring any items into Cuba, and the tour was so tightly organized that Erickson had no more than just about three hours to himself at most and it is nearly impossible for travelers to visit the tightly controlled hospitals in the Communist state. Once again Erickson's penchant for weaving innocent tales to cover-up his own personal nonsense of his own making is hurting him is hurting him. His absurd story of a huge trip for humanitarian reasons is being contradicted by Erickson being seen at the cigar event, Fidel Castro auction and at the Tropicana Club in Havana. All of these were sightseeing or pleasure events, with no humanitarian mission or medical supplies involved. Erickson's credibility has once again hit a new low.

In November, Erickson's greatest opponent is indeed himself. His Democratic opponent Kurt Schrader is hardly an awe inspiring choice, but compared to Erickson looks like a knight in shining armor to most voters. You can just about put a fork in the Erickson Campaign, it looks done to most voters and political observers at this point.

Monday, August 18, 2008

STARSHIP TROOPERS 3: MAURADER Offers Political And Social Commentary

The third film in the STARSHIP TROOPER series is a markedly better film than the awful low budget STARSHIP TROOPERS 2 which was filmed on a shoestring budget just 5% of the budget of the first film which is a true Sci Fi classic. And STARSHIP TROOPERS 3 has also managed to catch much of the sense of humor and social and political satire of the first film with an extensive use of newsreel type footage.

Like the first film, a right wing neofascist united Earth government makes extensive use of propaganda films to recruit young people into a war effort with deadly alien insects. However, the third film's newsreel footage vilify the peace movement and attempt to paint them as terrorists and even uses executions as a weapon of repression and fear in order to control dissent in this fascist system of the future.

Unlike many elective wars, this war of the future is indeed a true battle for the survival of mankind, so a large part of this social commentary falls a little short here because most wars of the present are elective wars with goals such as capturing the natural resources of another nation or changing the government of another nation, where phony arguments of dangers are hyped up used to justify the actions. The U.S. did that in Iraq, and more recently Russia did the same in Georgia. But a clear antiwar message in the film about an ongoing future war still is clear.

And the film makes a more than extensive debate about faith and religion as well. Officially the fascist government of the future is antiGod and antifaith, but events help to restore faith to this Godless society. But it is certainly surprising why the debate about religion was such a main theme in this film for some strange reason.

The film is certainly not perfect, but there is plenty of good Sci Fi action, but actress Jolene Blalock from the old STAR TREK series ENTERPRISE looked especially big lipped, which provided a bit of a distraction for me, as she came across as a cheap Angelina Jolie in the film, and left the viewer wondering if this big lipped look was the result of stage makeup or plastic surgery gone real bad such as way too much collagen. Regardless of this distraction, once the viewer could get past all of this, Blalock came across as an adequate enough heroine figure.

At least this film provided a few decent half famous actors like Blalock and Casper Van Dien and Catherine Oxenberg compared to the ultra-cheap STARSHIP TROOPERS 2 which attempted to pass off aging background police and fire department movie extra Ed Lauter dressed up in a military uniform as a general as the film's main name star. Lauter looked well past retirement age in STARSHP TROOPERS 2 for sure.

STARSHIP TROOPERS 3 may not be anywhere as enjoyable as the first classic film. But the film is worth at least one look as a DVD rental. And the clever use of newsreel type footage as well as the political and social commentary provide more interesting reasons to give this Sci Fi film at least a viewing or two. You could do worse.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Bush-McCain Policies Towards Russia Only Promise A Dangerous Arms Race

The decision by President Bush to send 10 Patriot missiles and about 100 U.S. soldiers to Poland is a dangerous escalation of the rapidly worsening relations with Russia since their military actions in Georgia. For months now, the Bush Administration has been trying to convince Moscow that plans to station a group of seven Interceptor missiles in Poland and an antimissile radar network in the Czech Republic was only meant to defend against some "rogue" state threat like Iran, which currently has neither missiles to reach such a range as parts of Europe near Poland or even nuclear weapons. But now the decision to send just 10 Patriot missiles to Poland is certainly not enough antimissiles to defend against a Russian warhead force of 5518 warheads and more than 1,100 total missile launchers. But 10 Patriot missiles are just enough missiles to make Moscow very nervous and angry and they could well likely counter with some out-of-proportion offensive nuclear missile border security threat to the mainland U.S. or Europe. This sets in motion a very dangerous trend. And with the Cold War logic of John McCain, you know that he supports all of this or even worse.

The real fact of the matter is that the U.S. really only has just 10 Interceptor antimissiles all located in Alaska to defend against a force of 5518 Russian warheads on mobile launchers, in submarines or on strategic bombers. After the U.S. spent more than $100 billion since the Reagan years on antimissile projects and "Star Wars" technology experiments that largely failed, the 10 functional Interceptor missiles are a pretty sad comment for American military technology experiments that spent great amounts of taxpayer money but yielded very few real results. Reagan cut social programs and other vital projects for the poor and elderly to help to fund these failed antimissile technology tests. Even schoolchildren were forced to suffer where school lunches could be cut back where a small amount of tomato ketchup was even allowed to be classified as a vegetable. All through his years in Congress and the Senate John McCain largely supported all of this Reagan Cold Warism and billions spent on failed antimissile technology tests.

There is also a serious concern that many of the tests involving the Interceptor missiles were done under highly controlled circumstances that nearly put an Interceptor and an incoming offensive missile on a near string collision path into each other. In a real conflict, stopping real missiles will likely prove far more difficult. And the fact of the matter is that Russian missile technology largely uses a primitive but proven formula of use of kerosene based propellants while even America's NASA program continues to use a troublesome mix of liquid propellants. The problems with the Space Shuttle program are a pretty frightening glimpse into American missile technology problems. Tiles fall off in the rain, and some of the Shuttles were only kept flying after it was discovered that NASA was purchasing 1970's vintage computer parts off of Ebay to keep the Shuttles operational. After the 1986 Challenger explosion accident, the bodies of the crew members were actually thrown into the back of a pickup truck for transport back to NASA by a recovery team rather than handled with care and dignity. By many standards, the U.S. missile technology program is almost Third-World in nature despite many successes. The Russian missile technology may be more simple, but it at least works with far less problems. In a real war situation, the Russian technology could prove far more deadly than the American technology.

Even many Russian combat aircraft still use tubes rather than solid state components like their American counterparts. But these tubes are less prone to electronic problems if a nation would use a plutonium umbrella explosion to knock out all electronics and provide a shield for a massive launch attack. The U.S. would be in very serious peril in such an attack if most military computers or even for that matter wrist watches all stopped working and an incoming wave of Russian missiles went unanswered.

Russia also has a number of weapons such as the Sunburn class of nuclear antiship cruise missiles designed to destroy an entire u.S. aircraft carrier, aircraft and crew in one single nuclear blast. And Russia has more recently developed a newer class of hypersonic nuclear cruise missiles that can easily outfly any American antimissile defenses in sheer speed as well. The Russian military may be awful in many areas, but it would be a huge mistake to underestimate their deadly nuclear missile potential in any actual shooting war. A force of 5518 Russian nuclear warheads could quickly reduce much of the U.S. into just burned rubble. And a few Interceptor or Patriot missiles won't change that cold hard fact by very much if at all.

Another reality is that many military experts believe that at least 1600 space based Interceptors would actually be needed be needed to shoot down a decent percentage of solid rocket fuel based missiles. Solid rocket fuel based rockets are much harder to shoot down upon launch than liquid fuel based rockets which may only require around 700 space based interceptor missiles. However at this point the U.S. doesn't even have one operational space based unit of this type. Just to be safe, at least two Interceptor antimissiles need to be aimed at every solid rocket fuel based offensive missile launch. This only proves how far fetched any American dreams of relying on such a shield for protection really are. And the Patriot missiles generally are only effective against low flying missiles such as those fired from theatre or battlefield nuclear weapons launchers such as Scud missile launchers. But still the possibility that nuclear material will be spread or still explode are highly likely. Nuclear warheads comprise a ball shaped nuclear charge that a conventional explosion of equal force from all directions forces the nuclear material to compress and create an atomic chain reaction that explodes. Unless this part of the missile is fully exploded, this process of compression and chain reaction and explosion will still result. Unfortunately the Patriot missiles were famous for only damaging the casing of many Scud missiles shot down during the Gulf War, allowing many mostly intake Scud missiles to crash into Israel or elsewhere.

The fact of the matter is that after spending great amounts of money on failed antimissile technology tests the U.S. is not in any real good position to invite a new arms race with Russia or encourage new offensive missile threats from Moscow near American or European ally borders. This only invites a war that could be started by a mistake or a miscalculation. During the Reagan years, such a mistake by the old Soviet army nearly lead to Soviet missile launches against the U.S. In fact, a Soviet missile commander actually was kicked out of the Soviet Army because he disobeyed orders and failed to order the launch of missiles against the U.S. when a mistaken group of offensive missile launches from North Dakota silos was wrongly detected by defective Soviet equipment. Today this disgraced Russian military officer lives retired without a military pension in Russia. But he saved millions of lives in both nations. In an environment of an arms buildup and mutual threats, it is just too dangerous to expect that some hero is always going to step up to prevent mankind from killing themselves.

The fact of the matter is that Russia could very easily station some offensive missiles in Cuba or other areas and American security would greatly suffer. The old Cuban missile crisis was a response by the old Soviet Union to the U.S. putting some offensive nuclear missiles in Turkey close to the Soviet border. If anything it is important to understand that both Russia and the U.S. are very concerned about offensive nuclear threats sitting right on their borders. The Patriot missile decision will very likely renew new border weapons threats to both nations just when serious efforts to renew relations by both Russia and the United States should be the real goal.

If anything the McCain presidency would likely be characterized by a tough but tactless foreign policy that will only continue to fuel a dangerous arms race with Russia that the American economy cannot now afford. On the hand, it is hoped that an Obama foreign policy will be a smarter foreign policy that will work to restore normal relations with Russia and lower tensions to prevent a new arms races or even worse an accidental nuclear conflict that neither the U.S. or Russia could survive. Your life, and your family's live could depend on this. McCain is the exactly the wrong man for the job of president at the wrong time.

Friday, August 15, 2008

U.S. Troops And Missiles Headed To Poland As A Result Of Georgia Mess

Georgian President Mikeil Saakashvili anticipated that simply applying for NATO membership, friendship with Washington and the aura of international goodwill surrounding the Olympics would all be more than enough political cover for military action in South Ossetia. Instead this terrible miscalculation will probably end up costing Georgia both South Ossetia as well as Abkazia, by inviting an armed conflict with Russia, and has created significant new problems in U.S.-Russian relations that may linger on for years.

Saakashvili's country might be a relatively small-time ally of Washington, yet the problems that this little nation created will only continue to color all relations of the U.S. and Russia for the foreseeable future. Georgia is hardly like any legitimate member of NATO, yet is seen as a Western ally enough by Putin's hardliner Russian government that Washington will reap all the blame for this mess that Georgia created and Washington will only be seen as a willing culprit in Georgia's actions by Russia in all of this even though they played no real role. Georgia sure knew how to create an international mess for Washington to deal with. Why Washington wasn't more in touch with Georgia and keeping them from getting neck deep in such a mess is a very good question.

Now Poland has quickly agreed to house the American anti-missile shield system in their nation out of fear of Russia, and in turn Russia now views this as yet another threat to their border security. This might be especially so since the U.S. is quickly moving to send some Patriot missiles and U.S. soldiers to be temporarily stationed in Poland. If anything send signal of worsening between Washington and Russian relations, it is all of this. There could well a snowball of little frictions like this that could add up to very serious political problems between the West and Russia.

Saakashvil's miscalculations are unfortunately not unique. History has been here before. In 1956, Egyptian strongman Gamal Nasser created the Suez Canal Crisis which proved to be a pivotal political victory over Britain, France and Israel that only enhanced the political power of Nasser in the region. But in 1967, Nasser expected that he could pull off another political victory of this sort by choking off the Strait of Tiran to Israel, not expecting lose the Sinai Peninsula to Israel in the disastrous Six Day War that it took years to regain under a peace treaty.

Sometimes history repeats itself when a small nation attempts a military effort in an area in which a larger military can squash them easily like a fly. Not only is that war badly lost, but years of political problems always follow. Now Washington will have to deal with years of significant political problems from Russia. Putin or his political party are not at all likely to leave power in Russia for up to several decades. Washington is going to have a long wait for a new Russian government to forget all of this Georgia mess.

Famous Benelli Bikes Back In Full Force

The legendary Italian motorbike manufacturer has seen many changes during a history that started way back in Pesaro, Italy back in 1911. The company survived world wars to develop models that made a name in racing. By 1973, legendary Argentine motorcycle developer Alejandro de Tomaso acquired the Benelli brand as well as Benelli chief competitor, Moto Guzzi, and pumped new life into the brand with a number of new multi-cylinder models including some six cylinder 750cc models. By the 1980's the Benelli bikes began to fall on hard times once again, and the latest revival of this legendary brand is by a new owner, Chinese motorcycle manufacturer, Qianjiang Group.

Under the leadership of the new Chinese owners, the Benelli nameplate is reemerging on a new line of high-end motor scooters such as the brand new Benelli X50 model which just hit dealers floors only days ago. The X50 features a sort of hybrid sport bike-ATV-like macho styling and has a top speed of 45mph. It features an aircraft-styled gas filler cap, dual headlights, 5 position adjustable rear shock absorber, wild high tech styling. However with a very tall seat height of 32.5 inches, this bike might just be more limited to taller riders. But the fit and finish quality are superb. And the custom-styled tuned exhaust is a real trick feature that you usually find on customized scooters, not on models straight off the dealer floor.

For around $2,800 when dealer preparation and setup. license, shipping, etc. are included, the X50 is a very cool little ride. It also has just about the biggest and fattest almost ATV-like tread design tires on 10inch wheels that I've ever seen in my whole life. A 90cc model will be available soon as well, with even bigger 12inch wheels and tires. The tires on the X50 look super grippy, and more than ready for almost any road conditions compared to some more slippery looking and sometimes handling tires on some other scooter brands. My tires on my CPI remind me of a racing design, almost like semi-slicks, and are absolutely fine for well paved faster speed streets, but leave you with a real uneasy feel on those less well paved side streets or hills, where you get a more than creepy uneasy feeling that you could lose it if you don't really watch where you're treading. But the tires on Benelli X50 look nearly glued to the ground by comparison, but it is the extremely high seat height, with a very high center of gravity that could still give a few riders an uneasy feel for this bike. But for taller riders, this bike might just be the prescription.

While the older Benelli name was most often associated with racing motorcycles, the new Chinese owners are reinventing the name by combining it with the Chinese expertise in scooter design, making the Benelli name a new force in high-end motor scooters and revolutionary daring new designs that break from the normal conventions of most scooter designs. And the quality control looks very good on every Benelli model built by Qianjiang. Each new model looks more impressive than the last one brought to the marketplace.

It looks like the famous Benelli name is back in full force once again. Live hard. ride hard.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

America's Worst Credit Card Offer?

The average American household gets credit card advertisements in the mail every so often. Most are by serious banks that are offering a serious credit card offer that often involves special benefits such as zero interest for an extended period or airline miles or some sort of saving benefits at participating retailers. But then there's those nonsense credit card offers from First Premier Bank which really disgrace the good name of MasterCard in what has to be the very worst of terms for any credit card offered that I know of.

Most good credit cards don't charge an annual fee, except for some special business class of cards from American Express who offer almost unlimited credit lines to some businesses almost like a small business loan organization. But American Express is a very good company. But First Premier Bank not only charges an annual fee of $48, plus a $29 account set up, a $95 program fee(whatever that is supposed to be), plus a monthly service fee charged at $84 a year, and if you want a second card, well that's only another $20. And guess what this company only offers a credit line of $250 to many users, leaving them just $71 in credit left all these fees, unless you opt for the second card option, then you have a giant $51 credit line to spend.

Of any credit card that I know of, this has to be the absolute worst of the worst of terms. It is probably persons with bad credit, young people, minorities and others that this company targets. There is even a cash advance credit limit of just $25 for many users.

Many lower income persons with bad credit may think that they are getting a credit card. But this First Premier Bank MasterCard is hardly much more than a great deal of fees and probably even worse than those absurd prepaid cash "credit cards".

The fact of the matter is that lower income persons will only continue to be victims of all sorts of high fee schemes or other schemes because of their weak financial position in society and their history as being bad credit risks. Some states like Oregon sought to tighten up the rules on some schemes such as those cash advance or pay day loan businesses, and many have closed up shop when they were restricted to charging much lower interest rates. But the bad terms credit card schemes will only likely exist for a lot longer because they are far more difficult to control. But the fact of the matter is that one should never have to pay an annual fee for a good credit card except for those special class of American Express Business cards that work like small business loans to business users.

Ripoff Report on the Internet features many complaints from unhappy users about First Premier Bank and their outlandish fees for their MasterCard scheme. It is almost surprising that MasterCard doesn't set some rules down with First Premier Bank and restrict them to fairer and more upfront terms with their users. First Premier Bank had to pay a $4.5 million dollar settlement in a case brought against them by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. In one case, a man had two $250 limit cards issued by First Premier and only spent just $51 before cancelling the cards, but wound up $1,017 in debt to them in fees.

Unfortunately, there are many schemes that target the lower income in society, and not every person can understand the terms of a contract that they sign. First Premier Bank wants you, or better yet, your money.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Putin's Russia, Border Security & The Russian Press

Interestingly on the official Russian government-controlled news website, VOICE OF RUSSIA, the news appears to be dominated by Olympic coverage of Sochi hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics. You have to do a little search to find news about the big world news of the Russian assault in Georgia. Certainly the Putin controlled press is attempting to always present it's the best possible face to the people of Russia, no matter how paranoid or even brutal some of their security actions may actually be. While Russia was legally allowed to play the role of peacekeeper in South Osettia, it was the extent of their brutal police action against Georgia that alarmed many in the West and the U.S.

The government of Georgia had merely applied for membership in NATO, however was not a member state, just merely proWestern. And the Georgian government wholly miscalculated that this was enough security for them that they could take some strong military action in this breakaway South Ossetia region, never expecting that Moscow might also take strong military action against them. Apparently, the government of Georgia is too young and inexperienced in foreign policy and world affairs matters to recognize the dangers that perceived border security issues present to major powers and the possibility of resulting military action from a major power. And under the domination by Putin, a former KGB official, border security issues seem to rate right at the top of their government concerns list.

But Russia's actions in Georgia may only be a preview for even more Russian actions in other areas where Moscow has felt that it has lost influence in the region or can possibly argue for some sort of a border security issue. In Kosovo, another longtime important issue with Russia, there is an argument on Voice Of Russia that Moscow should arm the Serbs there since the U.S. is backed the Albanians. This is just what the U.S. doesn't need, some sort of a future proxy war in Kosovo or even worse some conflict that could drag in NATO down the road somewhere.

The next president will likely find himself with a full plate of foreign policy issues to deal with.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Labor Union Members Hold Informational Demonstration About "Nonprofit" Hospital That Netted Nearly $500 Million in Profits Last Year

Local members of SEIU who comprise hospital workers and other service employees held an informational demonstration yesterday to educate the public about a local Portland, Oregon area hospital that grossed nearly $500 million in profits last year, yet is legally classified as a "nonprofit" organization under tax law. The labor union members were urging the hospital to lower it's excessive fees to patients and behave more like what one expect of a legitimate "nonprofit" organization.

Hospitals that classify themselves as "nonprofit" organizations have been notorious for having some of the worst fee inflation of any businesses sectors in the American economy for many years in a row while some segments of the economy such as the electronic industry has actually reduced many prices by significant amounts since even the 1970's despite inflation in raw goods, etc.

One famous example of the outrageous fees that many "nonprofit" hospitals charge is $8-12 for just two aspirins to patients, while the same patient could buy an entire large bottle at any Safeway store for less than $1. A one dollar bottle of aspirin can net a "nonprofit" hospital as much as $600 or more. Any many more examples of these type of outrageous fees charged by hospitals that hide behind a "nonprofit" status to evade taxes exist.

Hospitals like to justify their "nonprofit" status by claiming that they pour the money back into research, etc., however not all hospitals have research departments, and much of this research may be paid for by government grants or tapping donors for cash,etc.

The SEIU educational demonstration raised some important issues. The cost of medical care continues to skyrocket far beyond the inflation rates of other parts of the economy, and medicine is one of the most profitable industries out there, with massive Director and CEO salaries reaching into the heavens. Not your father's concept of a "nonprofit" organization?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Russia's Latest War Could Impact The U.S.

Motorists this week could wake up to some sharply increased oil prices once again as war between Russia and the much smaller pro-Western Republic of Georgia worsens and impacts nearby oil supplies to Europe and the U.S. And the pro-Western government of Georgia draws the U.S. ally into a dangerous neo-Cold war type conflict with Russia, potentially drawing the U.S. into a difficult position. The U.S. needs to be a balanced player here, seen as promoting the peace and restraint on both sides and nor helping to fuel further fighting in the region.

Georgia has a military of just 37,000 soldiers, but has announced plans to withdraw 2,000 peacekeepers from Iraq to join the fight which is hardly good news to the U.S. or any nation wanting to see this conflict soon end. Georgia has just 230 tanks and 12 combat aircraft. By comparison Russia could throw it's huge weight of 1.1 million soldiers, 6,000 tanks and 1,700 combat aircraft at the conflict and quickly crush the proU.S. government in Georgia if it desires to do so and the U.S. could watch it's ally smashed to pieces within days. Yet any American involvement in the situation other than urging a ceasefire and peace is absolutely dangerous. There is really little that the U.S. can do here. The U.N. will Security Council will meet for a third time and urge an end to the fighting that has already left more than 2,000 dead.

If anything, it was alarming at how quickly Russia moved in with major military force to attempt to resolve a situation that they did have a legitimate role to be peacekeepers in. But it is the extreme amount of force used so far and the amount of destruction that is so alarming to the world community.

The world community should have the full right to expect a return to peace very soon and hope that this situation does not spread in the region and involve new players or draw in the west on one side of the conflict and Russia on the other. Such a situation could spin out of control and become most dangerous to world peace.

Look Like Batman On the World's Coolest Scooter For Less Than Nine Grand

The world of motor scooters includes some tiny little bikes that look almost like kid's toys or motorized bicycles on the lower end all the way up to some pricey jaw dropping cool rides like the Piaggio MP3 line of three wheeled macho powerhouses with engines up to 500cc. The Piaggio three-wheelers actually look sort of like some bike that Batman would be driving with their completely wild and ultra-cool design.

The Piaggio MP3 line scooters feature an incredible revolutionary suspension system that allows for radical angle turns around tight corners while providing an awesome level of road gripping security not found on your normal two-wheeler. The excellent stability of the Piaggio MP3 line compared to any other normal two-wheeler makes this bike one of the few that is really safe for all weather use and fun. Normally wet weather increases the stopping distance and safety of any two-wheeler significantly, but this Piaggio has an almost ATV-like grip on the road, while the rear drive wheel gives the rider a freedomlike thrill ride unlike any four wheeled vehicle can ever deliver. You get the best world's of safety and security with this unique combination of two closely spaced steering front wheels and a third single drive rear wheel. And the look is awesome as well. Form and function both.

And the Piaggio MP3 line models all feature plenty of luggage storage that could also make them just about the coolest grocery getters ever made if you would ever use them for that purpose. And since they are scooters, they offer the rider an easy to drive twist-and-go CVT automatic transmission, that actually is both easy to operate as well as gas saving despite the awesome high performance that these models have. The 500cc model tops out at 89mph. The 400cc at 88mph. And the 250cc at a cool 77mph according to the manufacturer's specs. Any of these bikes will get you there fast. Real fast.

There just might not be a better way to spend less than nine grand ever devised by man than the Piaggio MP3 line. But there are some models with a smaller engine displacement that come in at a lower price for the penny pinchers out there. But as long as you're into buying a real good toy, why not spend a little more for the best toy of the lot. You can't go wrong with this ultra-cool line of scooters. but for as little as $7,199 you can ride the 250cc version and impress everyone stuck in some four-wheel econobox having no fun at commuting to the office.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

10 Real Good Reasons To Elect Barack Obama President

Too often is is far easy to simply be critical of opponent during an election campaign. But this doesn't really give any good reasons why one would support one candidate over the other. The fact of the matter is that voters should have some good reasons for voting for a candidate for president. Here's ten good ones:

One: Barack Obama has a 98percent positive voting record for labor and working people's issues according to the AFLCIO's Committee On Political Education(COPE) according to Union Review. Working people can put their full trust behind Obama to work on behalf of their interests. Just this last week, Barack Obama gave an excellent speech in which he articulated why he believes in labor unions and displayed a wide knowledge of their history and contributions to American society including the 40 hour work week, the end to child labor, good wages, health care benefits, and many other bonuses to the lives of workers that have helped to propel them to middle class status in American society.

Two: Barack Obama is trustworthy. He has had one solid marriage to one wife. He's a good family man. There has never been infidelity or an affair like his opponent.

Three: Barack Obama is young and has the energy and drive to do a great job as president.

Four: Barack Obama is an excellent manager who knows how to delegate responsibility to the right people to achieve results. It was absolutely amazing how the Obama Campaign was so well organized that it could topple the Clintons during the primary campaign, which was proof that Obama can delegate enough responsibility to achieve whatever results are needed.

Five: Barack Obama is blunt and honest about the facts. Barack Obama realizes that it would be up to a 10 year process of permits, exploration and work for any new oil drilling to provide even one drop of oil for American motorists. And some Wall Street oil analysts estimate that up to $250 billion of new investment would be required to pay for all of this as well. Instead of holding out this far fetched promise to his voters like his opponent, Barack Obama is offering a wider more forward looking and realistic energy policy where new oil drilling is not the main hope for making American oil independent.

Six: Barack Obama has a far wider education than his opponent. Barack Obama not only has a law school education, but taught constitutional law as a professor.

Seven: Barack Obama is ver7y smart. Barack Obama could have millions of dollars in business as a CEO or top manager, but has instead devoted himself to community and public service instead. This has been a great sacrifice on his behalf, but it proves where his values are.

Eight: Barack Obama has a vision for the country. His opponent's campaign ridicules Obama for having a vision on what he would do as president only because they lack a vision of their own. The Obama campaign offers comprehensive solutions to numerous issues on their campaign website and in policy papers.

Nine: Barack Obama is an agent of change. It won't business as usual at the White House with big interests able to bully the public or buy their way into power. Even in a Wall Street speech, Barack Obama bluntly told these powerful persons some things they didn't want to hear while at the same time holding out a strong hope to them of working hard to improve the economy so that everyone can share in the American dream, not just the wealthy and powerful. The Obama Campaign is all about hope for a better tomorrow for everyone. Everyone's invited to a partner in this new hope.

Ten: Barack Obama will appoint the right kind of judges based on their qualifications and not just their political ideology like the current president. As a constitutional law professor, Barack Obama understands the importance or preserving the U.S. Constitution and The Bill Of Rights. He is the candidate running for president whose educational and teaching background uniquely prepares him to make wise choices the head the nation's courts and make justice work again.

Need I say more?