Day by Day

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Article 2, Section 1

Is Senator McCain eligible to be President of the United States?

The Democrats are having a debate, errr, squable, about qualifications for the Presidency and whether Senator Clinton or Senator Obama is more qualified...

... but what about Senator McCain?

Admittedly, the following argument is surrounded by ambiguity since there is no decisive law on it. But, should it ever become a case, it'll come down to a decision by the United States Supreme Court. (And people wonder why whom a President selects for Justices of the Supreme Court might be important?)

It starts with Article 2, Section 1, of the Constitution of the United States of America (a.k.a., the Users' Manual to our country). This section defines the office of the Presidency, and specifically for our discussion, there's Clause 5: "No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States."

Senator McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone. And, the Canal Zone is not a State. (Also, the CZ is not the District of Columbia...)

Therefore, Senator McCain (and my son, amongst others) is not a natural born Citizen.

And thus, not eligible for the Presidency...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Attention Homicidalists!

I'm curious... how come, when you decide to go out with a few semi-automatic bangs, gun shows aren't a common choice of venue?

Why, oh why, must it always be some "gun-free zone"?

National Guard Armory? Nope.
Local Police HQ? Nuh-uh! (Are you nuts, they'll shoot ME!)
Local outdoorsman hunt club? hahahaha

No, it's churches, universities, and other SAFE places (no one ever says for whom they're safe, but I think we're starting to get an idea.)

When will the administrators and legislators decide that it's alright for the populace to defend ourselves (I read somewhere about "keeping and bearing arms", but what do I know)?

How many more must imitate ducks at the county fair shooting gallery?



My mom sent this to me. I haven't had time to read up on Mr. Beck's organization, NumbersUSA, but I must say, he sure does know how to use visual aids effectively - and that's not a common comment for someone with a lot of charts.

Surprising Conservative Results... In Washington

The state of Washington is not known for its conservative leanings. So, it's a tad revealing to see:

McCain - 29.52%
Huckabee - 27.46%
Paul - 23.83%
Quitter - 19.18%

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Informed Voters

Ok, two of my electoral pet peeves are candidates who quit and the uninformed voter.

These two peeves are showing nicely in recent primary results.

I was looking at Wisconsin's primary results. Yes, all the precincts aren't in yet, but some things are obvious.

And not just that Senators Obama and McCain have won.

If you watch the tickers at the bottom of the news channels, you may (thought probably won't) notice that the percentages for each side's top two doesn't add up to 100%. Why is that?

Because of the previously mentioned convergence of Candidate Quitters and the Uninformed Voter.

For the Democrats, let's proudly congratulate each one of the following voters for either believing so strongly in their candidate of choice that they could care less that they don't have the backbone and stamina to see a campaign through OR are so uninformed that they don't know that their candidate has quit (with 81% of the precincts reporting):
  • 5,359 votes for Mr. Edwards
  • 2,070 votes for Rep. Kucinich
  • 679 votes for Sen. Biden (been out a LOOOONG time)
  • 416 votes for Gov. Richardson
  • 400 votes for Sen. Dodd
  • 382 votes for Mr. Gravel
That's nearly 10,000 voters on the Democrat side who as surely voted for their candidate as if they'd voted for Bugs Bunny (in my book, comparably as qualified as some of those other names.) Of some comfort is that these folks only comprised 1% of the voters casting votes.

And the Republicans were not immune (with 81% of precincts reporting):
  • 15,021 for Rep. Paul (technically, he's not quit, nor suspended his campaign - however, he HAS emailed his supporters and said he's focusing on his Congressional race)
  • 6,222 for Mr. Romney
  • 2,185 for Mr. Thompson
  • 1,687 for Mr. Guiliani
  • 684 for Rep. Hunter
  • 150 for Rep. Tancredo
That's 25,949 for the Republicans. Frighteningly enough, that's 7.9% who voted for non-candidates.


Come on, people...

Drew Carey Project - Education Revolt in Watts

American Alienation

I've seen this on a few other blogs, and it is SPOT on. Frighteningly enough, it sounds like a few things I've been known to say.

Warning, strong, strong language. And some images that should bother you to no end.

Please, watch.

BREAKING NEWS - Citizens DO NOT Voluntarily Tax Themselves

A few months ago, I wrote about how folks who wanted to raise taxes could voluntarily do so at any time. All that they needed to do was to write a check and mail it to the government.

Learned that there are a couple of states that actually tried setting up funds for such activities, and one of them is Virginia. Who knew? (Another, by the way, was set up by a gentleman named Huckabee when he was governor of one of those middle states... Arkansas, I think.)

The good news is that the concept of voluntary taxation has REALLY taken off.

How much money has been raised? Will taxes be eliminated due to the generosity of those wonderful taxpayers who put their money where their mouth was?



Not likely.

Virginia's fund has raised $10,217.04 (can't forget the four cents!) since it's inception in 2002. For those who attended government schools, that's $1459.58 per annum. You could multiply that one hundred times and STILL not come close to a penny contributed per citizen.

So, what happens to everyone who's in a hurry to raise taxes? One would suspect that the states' revenue collection departments would be hiring extra staff to handle the deluge of mail containing all the checks pouring in.


So, next time someone supports raising taxes - ask them how much they contributed above the minimum required by the tax form. And treasure the look on their face that you'll see. Spending other people's money is fun; sending in extra taxes instead of buying yourself something special... not so much.

Oh, and for a continued public service - if you'd like to contribute to the federal budget:
Attn Dept G
Bureau Of the Public Debt
P. O. Box 2188
Parkersburg, WV 26106-2188

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Saudi Arabia Plans to Behead Witch

I'd like to take an easy potshot at the "Religion of Peace", except... you know something? There are parts of this article that look as if they'd been written in Salem, Massachusetts.

The judges who convicted her relied on her forced confession and the statements of witnesses who said she had "bewitched" them.

One man claimed that he became impotent after Falih cast a spell on him.

Witches have long faced persecution, by many religions (though truth be told, I've never heard of persecution of witches by Jews, Buddhists, etc), primarily Christians and Muslims. And it's a crying shame.

Especially modern-day Wicca - we can learn a lot from the philosphies inherent in that particular branch of spirituality. There's something very elementary schoolish about those who are the most ardent adherents to a religion - "My religion is better than your religion" or more historically accurate, "My religion can beat up your religion" and "My God(s) will destroy your God(s)."

A little open-mindedness goes a long way. And being faithful to your religion, and being a "good" believer doesn't mean that another religion's existence is something to lose your head over.

A Pet Peeve

I don't like smokers. Not for the usual, popular reasons. I truly don't care if someone smokes or not. It's their choice.

What else is their choice is how to dispose of their cigarette butts when they're finished smoking. Look at the picture above. This could be a road... anywhere.

Look more closely.

There are thousands of butts there. No one thinks for a second about quickly rolling their window down and tossing the butt out the window. Sometimes, I've had a still lit, smoldering butt hit my windshield. And let's not even discuss the times I was driving in a convertible with the top down and had a butt land inside my vehicle. I still remember the cigarette burn on the seat... and thankful that it didn't land on ME.

Why can't smokers keep their butts with them until they get to a trash can? Why is the outside world their ashtray?

It's so frustrating to see this... and worse, it's accepted. We've become desensitized. Sure, we'll pick up trash, but the millions and millions of butts out there... are just part of the scenery now.

And it's disgusting.

Alcatraz - The Center for Peace

So far, over 10,000 individuals have signed a petition to remove the famous prison from the island and replace it with a Peace Center.

I'm not sure WHY they want that spot.

For one thing, I wonder about the symbolism of building a Peace Center that is accessible only by ferry - is Peace inaccessible to most?

Apparently, the plan would cost one BILLION dollars. Again, not sure of how it costs one billion dollars, but then, when you factor in inevitable governmental cost overruns, it could easily be another quarter-billion above that.

From the Reuters' news article:
San Francisco voters will decide on Tuesday whether to remove the famous Alcatraz Prison visited by thousands of tourists a day and instead create a "global peace centre."

The proposition sharing the presidential primary ballot comes from the director of the California-based Global Peace Foundation who gives his name as Da Vid. He says transforming Alcatraz will "liberate energies, raising the whole consciousness of the Bay Area."

Supporters would like to raze the prison and build a medicine wheel, a labyrinth and a conference centre for non-violent conflict resolution. Volunteers collected 10,350 voter signatures last year to put it on the local ballot.

But even in a city long famed for its embrace of counterculture, many are sceptical about he plan.

"Perhaps we haven't reached the proper stage of enlightenment yet, but we're more inclined to support propositions with defined sources of funding attached to them," the San Francisco Chronicle said in an editorial.

Alcatraz is San Francisco's second-most popular paid tourist attraction after cable cars, luring 1.4 million visitors annually on a short ferry ride into San Francisco Bay.

To sceptics Da Vid responds: "Like John Lennon, I may be a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

Good news - the voters defeated the plan... 72% against. Ouch. Well, at least they gave Peace a chance.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Different Values

Or... why we're different from them.

Recently, our government has undergone grand debates about whether or not "waterboarding" is torture, or a valid interrogation tool.

In recent news, we've learned that the prisoners at the "despicable" and "horrid" detainee camps at Guantanamo are given education classes and movies for entertainment.

And we know how closely the Coalition forces are held to rigid Rules of Engagement and expectations to uphold the Geneva Convention (though they clearly do not apply, we apply them anyway.)

And then, there's al-Qaeda.

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Curious, think there's any debate within al-Qaeda about this?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Peace Was Our Profession

Once upon a time, the United States Air Force was simply and clearly delineated into three major commands - MAC, TAC, and SAC (Military Airlift Command, Tactical Air Command, and Strategic Air Command, obviously respectively.)

That all changed in 1992, when the Cold War having been declared won by default, it was felt that a reorganization was needed.


Various reasons were given, cost-savings of course being one of them, however sometimes organizations reorganize for the sake of reorganizing.

The USAF changed to AMC (Air Mobility Command, to replace the more pronounceable MAC, though not sure why), ACC (Air Combat Command, combining assets from TAC and SAC, and providing another unpronounceable acronym), and to further complicate matters, the nuclear assets of ACC, formerly of SAC, would also report to USSTRATCOM (US Strategic Command). Confused?

Yeah. (First rule of thumb of military acronyms - the military SPEAKS in acronyms, so they should at least be pronounceable.)

We went from having one command managing ALL of the assets needed for nuclear response via air and space (the Navy handling the submarines, logically enough) to spreading the wealth.

The result?

A "Lack of Focus" according to the report recently issued by a panel chaired by retired USAF General Larry Welch.

After the Cold War, the once-vaunted Strategic Air Command, which controlled all Air Force nuclear weapons, was dismantled. The military's nuclear missiles were assigned to a division responsible for operations in space, and its nuclear bombers were moved to Air Combat Command, which also includes nonnuclear fighters and reconnaissance aircraft.

Although the internal Air Force review has not been made public, a copy of its executive summary obtained by The Times asserts that the split organization has led to fragmentation of policies and accountability, without a single commander responsible for nuclear missions.

These are nuclear weapons, folks. Our government agonizes about the potential loss of control of nuclear weapons in other nations, e.g. Pakistan, Russia, and the development of weapons in countries such as Iraq and Iran. Yet, we've managed to instituionalize the loss of control in a formal manner within our own nuclear forces.

An interesting quote from the article:
"We can't go back to where we were in 1991," Peyer said. "We don't live in the same world. It's not the same environment."
(Note: Major General Polly Peyer conducted an internal United States Air Force review.)

The general is correct. Until 1991, we faced primarily ONE nuclear enemy - the Soviet Union (I know, I know, the Soviets had disbanded, but I'm trying to keep this simple). Now? Who knows. Literally. Russia hasn't had the tightest control of its nuclear assets, and those potentially lost nukes could be anywhere. Iran is trying to gain nuclear assets, North Korea does have nuclear assets, and let's not forget our friends, the terrorists.

This is a time when we need ABSOLUTE control over our nuclear forces with a clear, simple chain of command. Anything else is foolish and inviting trouble.

The State Department Represents __________

I've always believed that at the most basic level, the US Government represents the best interests of the citizens of the United States of America. I know, I know, we've been given plenty of evidence otherwise... however, this is a most egregious example:

The State Department is considering supporting the Palestinian Authority in its quest to avoid paying hundreds of millions of dollars in judgments won by American victims of Palestinian terrorist attacks in Israel, according to Palestinian officials and defense lawyers involved in the cases.

U.S. officials insist that no decision has been made regarding the complex litigation, which could force the Bush administration to choose between supporting compensation for victims of terrorism and bolstering the Palestinian government as the United States presses for a breakthrough in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Testimony in Israeli courts has connected senior Palestinian leaders -- such as the late Yasser Arafat -- to specific terrorist attacks involved in the lawsuits. But Palestinian officials have argued that it makes no sense for the United States to be providing millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinian Authority while U.S. courts are threatening to bankrupt it.

In the article from the Washington Post, it's reported that the State Department is actually considering intervening on the part of the Palestinian Authority, and by logical extension, terrorists.


The argument from the Palestinians is that the US is giving money to the Palestinian Authority with one hand, while supporting taking the money away with the other.

Ok, I can see that.

Let's introduce the PA to the IRS. I am an employee with the Federal Government. The government pays me with one hand, yet takes my money with the other.

I wonder if the Palestinian Authority would therefore support the abolition of the IRS in America, and perhaps all tax collecting agencies world-wide?

Preposterous, I'm sure they'd believe.

The Palestinians aren't the only ones with views regarding this matter. There are those relatives of the victims of terrorism who are parties to the lawsuits in the Israeli courts. They say that should the US give in to the Palestinian demands, then it'll decrease the moral authority of the War on Terrorism.

Good point.

So, there's debate to be had, no? And what happens to the debate if you return to the preposition that the US Government should represent the best interests of the country's citizens? Well, then in that case, it's simple. A) Stay out of it, and let the Israeli courts decide, and B) support your citizens in their efforts to pursue damages caused them by organizations which are against your moral imperatives, i.e. terrorists.

Sheesh, was that so hard?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Demise of the Middle Class

We're DOOMED! Run for the hills... hoard everything. The END IS NEAR!!!

And I thought I was doing so well.

The rich get richer, the poor get poorer... we all hear that refrain endlessly (especially from the Left, but the Right's not immune). Anyone hear how the Middle are... middling? Nah... they must be getting crushed out of existence, even though if you DO go along with the illustrative example of "Rich get Richer, poor get poorer", then the Middle must therefore be Expanding. Oh well, government schools.

Mitt Romney Suspends Presidential Campaign

Mitt Romney suspended his campaign today.

A lot of the commentary about this is how it is a "magnaminous" move, and it generates "good will" towards a run next time.


You know what I learned about Mitt Romney today? He's a quitter. Not a leader. The going got tough, the future was questionable, and he might have been embarrassed had he continued.

So, he quit.

It's an American trend. War not going well? Let's quit. Job not going well? Let's quit. Not getting the grades you like in school? Let's quit.

It's SO easy to quit.

My question to Mr. Romney is this: Over the campaign, in the elections held thus far, 4,136,944 people voted for you. During elections when turnout is notoriously low (it's SO hard to vote, don't you know), over four million people came out to support you. More than a few as recently as 48 hours ago.

And you quit.

What about your supporters in states not yet voting?

Too bad, he quit.

By the way, the same goes to the rest of the quitters - Duncan Hunter, Dennis Kucinich, Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, John Edwards, and Bill Richardson. You want to lead a nation of over 300 million, but you can't tough out a campaign???

IF you're not going to finish, don't start. Don't crush people's hopes and dreams like that.

Let's look at who's left: Hillary and Obama... there's a spirited campaign. And on the Republican side, John McCain, Mike Huckabee (whom so many are writing off, yet he's still winning and fighting), and Ron Paul (whom while gaining few votes, campaigns vigorously and endlessly, which speaks well for him). Also, I suppose we can still include Mike Gravel and Alan Keyes, though... not sure their campaigns ever really started.

I cannot support quitters.

That's not a good indication of a Leadership quality. Maybe it's part of what's indoctrinated into me through the military... never leave anyone behind. Well, Mr. Romney, you just left over four million behind.

A Chilling Way to Start Your Day

Once upon a time, the United States lived in mortal fear of the Soviet Union.

Nowadays, most look back upon the stories of what it was like back then as... nostalgia. The new youth certainly don't recall what it was like. Or how close to the edge, we often all lived.

When you study the past, you learn how the pendulum often swung back and forth between positions of strength for the US and for the SU.

Prior to 1981, following the Presidency of Jimmy Carter, and the drawdown of the post-Viet Nam era, the US military was not up to... snuff. President Reagan rapidly changed all that, and made quite a difference in the way the pendulum was swinging.

Prior to that, the following was certainly possible:

Certainly, we can all understand if people have the reaction, "But that was never possible." No? I've written in the past over the need for us to be prepared. Part of that requirement is to try to imagine that, which to us, is unimaginable.

In World War 2, we were surprised when the Japanese developed suicide weapons. It shocked and horrified us. They would willingly fly their planes into targets!

In this war, we're surprised when the Islamic fascists developed suicide weapons. It shocked and horrified us. They would willingly fly our planes into targets!

We often cannot fathom those who do not think like us. Whether it's Right vs Left, Conservative vs Liberal, Middle East vs West... Them vs Us.

Planning for your own destruction isn't exactly a joyous, fun activity. There are more exciting things to do, to be sure. However, it IS a necessary one. You must try to imagine what others will do, so you might prepare to prevent it.

Is this a big leap? Look at your house. Many of you plan for burglars. Perhaps they'd creep around in the dark - so you add motion-detector floodlights. Maybe they'll try to sneak into a window, so you make the windows harder to open. And if all else fails, we throw in alarms. And there's steps we take when we're away: stop the mail, ask the police to drive by, set lights to random timers...


Well, collectively, this is our house. We must plan. We must dream the unthinkable. And remember that the most likely attack will be the one we didn't dream.

Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

Who knows when the next sunny, clear day will arrive... when the world changes again?