Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Conservative 50s and the Liberal 70s

While reading an excellent article on Alternet, I found an ignorant comment responding to this article which pissed me off. What follows is the original comment plus my response.

Difference between so-called progressives and conservatives

The difference is simple: it is the difference between a world run by progressives (think of the 70s - we have been there!), and the 50s (a world run by conservatives, not neo-conservatives!).

The 70s: terrorism run wild - the weathermen, black panthers, Badder Meinhoff gang, the IRA, PLO, etc. etc. - crime gone wild - New York murder capital, cities going down the toilet, white flight, sexual mores out the window, rise of AIDS, STDs, broken homes, damaged people, etc. etc. Drug-addled zombies everywhere. Sure, you could strap on a pair of flares, walk two blocks from Times Square, and screw some strange woman against the wall. But it was also double-digit inflation, high unemployment, bad products, etc.

The 50s: social stability, safe streets and neighbourhoods, lots of jobs, great product design - in fact the best in the world, people looked healthy - few fatties, no AIDS, low drug abuse rates, net savers and richest in the world, people respected each other, people dressed well.

We sadly are now slipping back into the 70s. We are seeing the social and economic chaos of that time coming back. Sure, we have the funky squad now in the White House, but it is going to be hell for your average person on the street. Society needs a return to the values of the 50s, not the 70s.

My response was brief and to the point:

Simplistic and Misleading Comment

Sure, the fifties were great, just as long as you were a white, male, heterosexual, monogamous, married, educated, middle to upper class, attractive, able-bodied, mentally and physically healthy, non-intellectual, conservative, Anglo-Saxon Protestant.

If you didn't fit all or most of these criteria, maybe not so much.

I came of age in the 70s and it was one of the happiest times of my life.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ten Things Not to Say On a First Date?

While trawling the net for something to write about, I came upon an article "10 Things Not To Say On a First Date. Following below are the ten things, plus my comments about each point.

1. "My ex is crazy."

If a woman I just met told me this, my first thought would be to wonder if she wasn't a little bit crazy herself to get involved with an unbalanced person. There's plenty of time later on to talk about exes after you've gotten to know each other enough to know that the other isn't "off".

2. "I would like to get married and have kids asap."

I don't know about you, but that would send me running for the hills, post haste. But, perhaps it's a good thing to have that issue laid on the table right away, so we don't waste one another's time if we're of different minds on the subject.

3. "Who are you voting for?"

Most of the time, I'm just looking to get laid, so I avoid talking about potentially touchy subjects that might kill the deal before it even happens. As with the first point, there's plenty of time to talk about politics later on after you've gotten to know one another.

4. "Can you pay the check? I'm broke."

I can't imagine anyone being impressed with someone who gives the impression of being a cheapskate or a mooch.

5. "What's your favorite TV show?"

This one isn't so bad, even if it is a bit boring.

6. "Where did you go to school?"

This one is a variation of the "what do you do?" question. Remember, it's a date, not a job interview. You're there to have fun, not exchange resume highlights.

7. "Can I take your picture?"

Kind of creepy and stalker-ish. There's plenty of time for picture taking, which will happen spontaneously once you get to know one another better.

8. "I'm poly-(fill in the blank)"

This is one I don't agree with. I'm not monogamous and I let prospective new partners know that I'm a libertine from the get-go. If they're expecting a monogamous relationship and are not willing to budge on that point, it's better to know that right away so we don't waste one another's time and risk misunderstanding and hurt feelings.

9. "So I just got out of rehab."

Though it shouldn't be the first thing you tell a date, I'd not advise keeping this one to yourself for very long, especially if you've only recently kicked the habit. Those whose addictions are safely years in the past can of course, wait until you know one another pretty well before rattling down this particular skeleton from the closet.

10. "So ya wanna come back to my place?"

I usually get laid on the first date, as I'm usually looking for a friend with benefits or a one time deal. I'm getting too old to invest a lot of time in women who aren't on the same page with me, so I routinely break this "rule" as well. Of course, I tend to only choose women who are looking for the same thing I am, so I don't often have crossed wires about this issue.

So, there we have it. Your mileage may vary, of course, on the validity or lack thereof of my response to these "rules", but it's worked for me for years.

Friday, November 21, 2008

World Toilet Day

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Some Issues Aren't Effectively Addressed By Throwing Laws At Them

I recently read a blog post where the author stated :

I would like to end all abortions. I have not seen that happen in conservative administrations and I don't think Roe v. Wade will be changed. But there is hope for change from the bottom up grass roots and from the top down.

My response to her follows below:

I believe that some issues are not most effectively addressed by throwing laws at them. I think the Prohibition era, when alcohol was made illegal, much in the same way drugs are today, is a good example which has relevant parallels to abortion. That is, abortion has existed as long as history -- or at least as long as we've had laws regulating sexual activity -- and desperate women will always seek the, no matter the danger.

As illegal alcohol (and illegal drugs and prostitution) provide organized crime with avenues for making money, I think a return to an outran ban on abortion would return abortion to the hands of organized crime. Rich women will always have a choice as they can travel to get what they want, but the less affluent and particularly the poor will be relegated to organized crime sources -- if they're lucky -- and back alley do-it-yourself hacks, coathangers and other dangerous means if they're not. Thus, the outright banning of abortion wouldn't make abortion stop, any more than banning alcohol, drugs, or prostitution has eliminated those activities. It just makes them more dangerous. Plus, you add a whole lot of mothers dying along with their unborn children.

Thus, using law as a way to address abortion and other similar "vice crimes" isn't particularly effective and it costs millions of dollars and millions of headaches to prosecute. Plus it opens up another can of worms with violating the right to privacy and right to bodily integrity.

I think a more effective goal than the outright banning of abortion is to seek to reduce abortions, while at the same time allowing it to remain safe and legal. (Similarly, I think that drug and alcohol abuse and, in some aspects, prostitution, ought to be addressed as medical issues rather than legal ones.)

How is this done? There are several approaches, all of which should be used. First of all is to address the reasons why women choose abortion and to ameliorate the problems there, which are mainly related to poverty and lack of supportive resources for parents of young children.

Secondly is education, which is to support comprehensive sex education in the schools so young people know how to prevent pregnancies before they happen. This goes hand in hand with supporting all forms of birth control and research into newer, more effective and more safe options. Education is also needed to reduce the stigma against non-marital sexual expression and single parents.

Third, the foster care and adoption system in this country needs to be fixed. Presently there are hundreds of thousands of children languishing in foster care, many of whom will never be adopted. If abortion is outlawed across the board, where will all the extra children who are put up for adoption go? As an aside, I find it incomprehensible that when there are so many children available for adoption in our own country, that many couples go overseas to adopt children, China being a favorite choice.

Also, with a decade of seeing abused children while working as a cop, I can tell you that the child welfare services are overburdened and frequently do not adequately serve the children they are charged to protect. In many instances, they get there too late for the children. There's generally a lot of time and bureaucracy involved before a child is removed permanently from defective parents, as the mindset is to try to keep the family together and give the parent every chance to straighten up. So, even if the worst doesn't happen, the child often ends up being bounced from pillar to post, from foster care to home to foster care to home in a vicious circle, that leaves the kid to grow up emotionally scarred in any instance. And in the worst cases, it's hard for me not to think that abortion might have been the lesser evil in such cases.

So, for the reasons listed above, I could never support an outright ban on abortion. It's not a simple issue and there are not and can not be simple solutions.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Lowest Common Denominator

The other day, Alternet posted an article, Former News Radio Staffer Spills the Beans on How Shock Jocks Inspire Hatred and Anger by Dan Shelley, which went behind the scenes of one such talk radio host. My response to the article follows below.

Lowest Common Denominator

Right wing talk show hosts specialize in simplistic, black and white thinking and rely heavily on ad hominem attacks.

They attract the lowest common denominator of listeners and appeal to people's basest, least civilized instincts.

I regularly monitor Neal Boortz in a "know your enemy" campaign, but I'd never call the show, as I know I'd not get a fair hearing for my views. I've seen how he "handles" callers who disagree. For one thing, he usually only lets the most inarticulate opposing callers on the air, whom he proceeds to make fun of and uses to "prove" his points. Any opposing callers who slip through who speak clearly, he prevents them from making their points by constant interruptions. He'll hang up on them if they begin to get the upper hand.

So, I know it's a pointless endeavor to call this show, or any others of the same ilk.

Rather, I make my responses on my blog, where I can make my point without interruption and where it can be read for months and years afterwards.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Bar Hookups

A recent Alternet article, The Thrill of the Bar Hookup by Josey Vogels recently posed the question:

What exactly do people get out of cruising for inebriated strangers in bars?

As one who has extensive experience with one-night stands, I commented on this article which follows below:

I Outgrew the Bar Scene

I used to do a lot of bar pickups when I was in college (drinking age was 18 then). As the author said, I wasn't looking for any meaningful relationships; I was just looking to get laid. But some of those one night stands turned into friends with benefits relationships and I met my ex-wife in a college bar.

But when I left college, I gave up drinking and also any desire to hang around drunks and spend time in smoky places. Thus, using bars to find new partners dropped off for me and now, I rarely enter a bar for any reason. And the older I got, the more important it became to avoid alcohol, so there is no chance of anything interfering with my "functionality".

However, the desire for the thrill of the hunt and the victory of conquest has never left me. Fortunately, however, I've found I'm able to make pickups wherever I go. Some favorite places are bookstores, the library, the supermarket, outdoor festivals, fairs, and flea markets, laundromats, and so on. Partners found in these places also yield a higher possibility than not to end in friends with benefits relationships. I prefer being sober and having sober partners, plus I tend to find more intelligent women, especially in bookstores and libraries, with whom I can also have a real conversation with.

Those readers who have hooked up for one-night stands in the past, feel free to share your experiences below.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Mormons and Marriage Discrimination

The passage of Proposition 8 in California, which categorically defines marriage as being only between one man and one woman, was successful in part because of the LDS (Mormon) Church's mobilized support for the issue, despite Mormons being only two percent of the state's population.

According to the Los Angeles Times, monetary support for Proposition 8 from Mormons is estimated to have been about twenty million dollars. Donations from individual Mormons were in response to a letter from church leader read in all LDS congregations in California, urging members do all you can to support" the proposition by donating "your means and time." The church's position, the letter said, was that "marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and the formation of families is central to the Creator's plan for His children."

As well as providing financial support to Prop 8, Mormons also hosted websites, formed an outreach organization: Protect Marriage Coalition, posted pro-Prop 8 videos online, and so on.

I think the Mormon stance against same-sex marriage is ironic, considering that the US government forced the LDS church to give up polygyny in 1890, as a pre-requisite to Utah becoming a state.

Perhaps if the US had allowed polygyny and other forms of polygamy to remain legal and aboveboard, we'd not be seeing these renegade Mormon groups forcing underage girls to marry old men, as the government could have applied the same rules to such marriages as they do to monogamous ones (consenting adults only).

One would think the Mormons would be especially sensitive to marriage discrimination, but apparently this isn't the case.


Friday, November 14, 2008

No Communion For Obama Supporters?

Rev. Jay Scott Newman of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Greenville, SC has told his parishioners that they should refrain from receiving Holy Communion if they voted for Barack Obama because the president-elect supports abortion, and supporting him "constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil." He went on to say that "those Catholics who do so place themselves outside of the full communion of Christ's Church and under the judgment of divine law. Persons in this condition should not receive Holy Communion until and unless they are reconciled to God in the Sacrament of Penance, lest they eat and drink their own condemnation."

Oh, where to begin?

First, using his pulpit to threaten parishioners because of their political choices is inappropriate. It's all well and good to talk about his church's opposition to abortion, but to couch it in political terms is another thing entirely. It is enough for him to talk about the Catholic church's position on abortion, then to leave voters to vote based on their own consciences.

Second, responsible voters choose a candidate according to a wide range of issues, not just a single issue such as abortion. If one uses abortion as the only litmus test for an acceptable candidate, we must remember that Hitler was against abortion, but that hardly made him a worthy candidate to vote for.

It's also interesting to note that Obama opposes the death penalty -- which agrees with another official position of the Catholic Church.

So, why then is Newman being inconsistent and hypocritical by not cautioning voters who voted for pro-death penalty candidates and demanding penance out of them? Does he consider some official Catholic positions on various matters to be more important than others?

Fifty-four percent of Catholic voters in SC voted for Barack Obama, a state which ended up going to McCain in the recent election. It's quite possible that concerns about the economy, health care, the war in Iraq, and so on, took precedence in influencing their choice of candidate, rather than imposing their church's stance on abortion on the American population, most of whom who are not Catholic, through secular law.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

FDR's "Economic Bill of Rights"

This is an excerpt from FDR's 11 January 1944 message to Congress on the State of the Union. Too bad he wasn't able to get it passed -- it sounds pretty good to me. I'm hoping Obama can work on some of these during his time in office.

It is our duty now to begin to lay the plans and determine the strategy for the winning of a lasting peace and the establishment of an American standard of living higher than ever before known. We cannot be content, no matter how high that general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people—whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth—is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, and insecure.

This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights—among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.

As our nation has grown in size and stature, however—as our industrial economy expanded—these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.

We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. “Necessitous men are not free men.” People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all—regardless of station, race, or creed.

Among these are:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.

America’s own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for our citizens.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Killing Them With Kindness

As many of you might know, I have several "mirror blogs" on different blog hosting sites. Several days ago, I posted what I thought was a fairly low-key post about personality type and political orientation. It didn't get a lot of response here or on my other blogs, but last night my Blog City version of this post got a scathing comment from a far right neocon, whom I presume can't be much older than 22 or so, based on this maturity level.

I responded, but not in the way he wanted me to. Rather, I followed my father's old strategy of "killing him with kindness". What follows below is his comment, then my response. You might wish to re-read the original post, so you can see precisely how much his comment was out of context

Anthony said:

You liberals disgust me. Liberals are driven by Satan and lie constantly. I'm a conservative right-wing Republican, yet I do not see in any way that reflected in my MBTI "personality type" Apparently I'm a INTJ. But I am a Physics and Electrical Engineering Double Major.

See, you jackasses to me make no sense.... on any issue. Name one issue you liberals are fanatical about. Abortion? The holiest sacrament of liberalism? You're going to tell me it's a constitutional right for a mother to plunge a fork into a baby's brain? Liberals are more upset when a tree is chopped down than when a child is aborted. Even if one rates an unborn child less than a full-blown person, doesn't the unborn child rate slightly higher than vegetation?

My response:

Anthony, your comment proves my point. Thanks for being so helpful.

It is possible to disagree with people without resorting to ad hominem attacks -- getting all worked up like you did in your comment is rarely productive -- it doesn't convince anyone to convert to your opinion.

You'd do much better persuading people to adopt your opinion if you remained objective, factual, leaving the drama and emotion out of it.

Thought a liberal, the traditional conservative does not "disgust" me. Rather, I see them as a person who cares about issues like I do, but has drawn a different conclusion than I have. I may think they're wrong and/or misguided, but I have no need to demonize that person in order to convince myself that my opinion has merit. It's not necessary.

Man, you don't know me, so your level of hostility is uncalled for. I'm not going to debate you on ANY issue, because your comment has shown you don't care a thing about civilized debate. You need to chill out and lighten up a bit. It will do your blood pressure a world of good and you'll live longer,

Good luck on managing the anger problem.

If this person is typical of young Republicans, then they're in deep, deep trouble. I also seriously doubt he's an INTJ by the level of emotion generated in his post toward someone he doesn't even know and who never once mentioned abortion in the post commented on.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Man Jailed For Having a Brown Lawn

About a month ago, 66 year old Joseph Prudente was sent to jail. His crime?

Having a brown lawn.

That's right, he was sent to jail for brown grass! Prudente, who lives in a Home Owner's Association neighborhood in Florida has been having money problems recently and was barely able to afford keeping up with his mortgage, let alone spending money on lawn care.

I was surprised to see someone jailed for what is a civil matter; I don't understand why the HOA did not take him to civil court. Or better, why they couldn't have worked with him, considering his circumstances. It's not as if brown grass is the crime of the century.

Personally, I'd never live in a HOA community; I couldn't hand over my privacy and freedom to a bunch of neighborhood Nazis who see nothing wrong with putting a sick old man in jail over brown grass. You'd think the man had killed somebody by the way they reacted

Fortunately, the story has a happy ending. Some citizens in his community saw a newspaper article about his plight and decided to do something about it. Two companies donated new sod and several volunteers came to Prudente's home to tear out the old grass, put in new, put in mulch and flowers and replaced his broken sprinkler system. Prudente was released from jail once the HOA had verified that the work had been done.

Even though I believe that HOAs are evil incarnate, the response from his community renews my faith in humanity, after all.


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Mutts Like Me

In his first post-election press conference, when asked about what kind of dog he and his wife plan to get for their daughters, Barack Obama said, referring to his daughter Malia's allergies, " "Obviously, a lot of shelter dogs are mutts like me. So whether we're going to be able to balance those two things, I think, is a pressing issue on the Obama household."

His description of himself as a "mutt", which was made casually in good humor, is an allusion to his biracial heritage, of having a black father and a white mother.

This self-reference indicates to me that President-elect Obama will take a common sense approach to racial issues, free of touchiness and without carrying a chip on his shoulder. We can safely assume that he won't blame every criticism of his administration, opposition, or setbacks on racism. Barack Obama will not play the race card at every opportunity, though I'm sure he'll effectively address any instances of real racism.

Many have said that he's the first African-American president, which is true. But it's not the whole truth. He's the first biracial president, just as much white as he is black, and he represents the white side of his heritage just as much as he does his black side.

Mutts like me. America has always prided itself on being a melting pot -- we're all mutts of one sort or another. It's part of what has made this country great and will continue to be.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Propostion 8 Passes in California

California has passed Proposition 8, which yet again repudiates same-sex marriage, returning it to a legally unrecognized status. Religious conservatives, who supported Prop 8, made much of the idea of "preserving the 'sanctity' of marriage".

But they're wrong. It wasn't the "sanctity" of marriage that was up for a vote; it was the legality of it.

The idea of sanctity has a religious base, thus is not subject to any law in a country that has the separation of church and state. It is a highly personal and private thing and properly is defined by whatever religious, ethical, or personal tradition one may believe in. It has never been the business of the government, nor should it ever be.

The legality of marriage, on the other hand, has nothing to do with religion in our country and never has. This is shown by the fact that getting married by a judge, a justice of the peace, or other non-clergy member is legal, where a wedding performed in a church or other house of worship without a civil marriage license is not a legal marriage, though it is a religious one.

Legal marriage has to do with practical benefits bestowed by the government, period. It doesn't concern itself with the emotional aspects of marriage or anyone's idea of sanctity. That's a wholly personal matter, up to those involved and whatever ethical beliefs they have to provide privately.

Even the Bible says to render unto Caesar (government) what is Caesar's, and to render unto God what is God's. Legalizing same-sex marriage, then, is "rendering unto Caesar", and has no effect on "what is God's".

Legal same-sex marriage will not affect religious marriage in any way. Houses of worship will be free to offer or deny religious weddings to same sex partners as they always have, as it will not affect their legal rights to be married in any way.

It just boggles my mind that such a basic right was put to the population to vote on, where people are likely to vote against the right to same sex marriage based on religious beliefs, that they think it's "icky", and other reasons that are properly considered to be legally irrelevant. Interracial marriage, for example, was finally legalized in all fifty states by a Supreme Court decision, and was never subject to voting from the general population. If it had, I'm guessing it would still not be legal in all fifty states.

And though I would vote in favor of same sex marriage (and did two years ago, unsuccessfully), I personally believe it's none of my business. I do not think it's my place to decide on the basic civil rights of fellow citizens, as same sex marriage does not affect my rights or my life any way, positively or negatively, Those who voted "yes" to Prop 8 based on religious reasons have effectively imposed their religious beliefs on the rights of others, which violates the separation of church and state in my opinion.

If it were up to me, I'd just abolish legal marriage altogether for everyone, as I don't think it's the government's place to define, legislate, or promote any form of private, personal relationship between consenting adults. As a non-monogamous heterosexual, I strongly believe this.

The practical rights and benefits that currently come with marriage could be granted under Domestic Partnerships that would focus wholly on such practical benefits that come with sharing a household on a long-term basis, and would be granted without regard to the nature of the personal relationship of those involved, sexual or non-sexual. That would be private, as it should be. Marriage would then be defined by those involved and optionally by whatever faith, personal, or ethical tradition those involved might have and would be unrelated and irrelevant to whatever legal benefits one would have as a Domestic Partner.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Why McCain Never Had A Chance

Last night, shortly after hearing about the Obama victory, I listened to John McCain's concession speech, where the old, independent McCain re-emerged from under the murk of campaign rhetoric. As I listened to him speak, I was reminded of a McCain who would have made a much better president than George Bush, had he been elected in 2000.

But in 2008, he never stood much of a chance of being elected. Putting aside the obvious reason that Obama was simply the better candidate with a better run campaign, I thought of several other reasons which contributed to doom the McCain campaign.

1. George Bush

Arguably the worst and least popular president the United States has ever had, McCain was handicapped from the very start by having to drag around the millstone of guilt by association with Bush. This factor would have hampered the campaign of any Republican candidate, however, not just McCain. Rightly or wrongly, McCain was dubbed "McSame" by a population weary of eight years of inept Republican leadership and who were ready for a major change.

2. Karl Rove

As another blogger said, nasty isn't nice. The dirty campaign he ran that obscured the real McCain, who was relatively moderate and known for reaching across the aisle to work in a bi-partisan manner, backfired on McCain.

3. Sarah Palin

The unfortunate pick of the grossly underqualified and bizarre Sarah Palin was the final straw for many voters, who might otherwise would have voted for McCain. She was chosen to appease a Religious Right that was clearly unenthusiastic about McCain, who was never one of them. The discomfort many people had with the idea of her possibly becoming president should McCain become disabled, was yet another nail in the coffin of the McCain campaign,

4. McCain's age

Directly related to the reason above, compared to the young, vital, and forward looking Barack Obama, McCain came off as old, tired, and mired in the past. Coupled with an extremist, unqualified, loose cannon running mate, McCain's age was a major concern to many voters. He might have been able to mitigate this factor somewhat had he chosen a qualified and experienced running mate with a broader appeal, however. Nevertheless, it was obvious to many that McCain's time had passed and it was time to look forward with a new generation.

There are many other reasons why McCain lost the election, but these four coupled with the obvious reason of Obama simply being an outstanding candidate, were the ones that most quickly came to mind.


Happy Days Are Here Again

At 11pm Eastern time, I learned that Barack Obama had been elected 44th president of the United States.

For the first time in eight years, I have hope that things will get better in this country and that we'll regain the respect of the rest of the world..

I have to admit that as the historic moment swept over me, I felt a little misty. I felt as aware of the historical significance of this election as we did when Neil Armstrong first landed on the moon.

I'm a bit speechless at the moment, but very happy. Feel free to share your thoughts below.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Another Endorsement

Ron Reagan, youngest son of President Ronald Reagan has endorsed Barack Obama for president:

I assumed most people already knew that I had supported Obama. Anyone who has spent five minutes listening to my program would have known that. But if it helped to make it official, I'm happy to make it so.

Considering how much I've read from Republicans who insist that a vote for McCain will mean a return to Reagan Republicanism, I find it rather ironic that Reagan's son has declined to endorse McCain and will be voting Democrat tomorrow.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Signs of the Season

In the last several weeks as I've been driving around, I've seen Halloween decorations side by side with a growing number of political yard signs. In the last two weeks, political signs have greatly outnumbered the various kinds of Halloween decorations.

Because I live in an obdurately red state, I've seen more McCain signs than Obama signs. I expect to see more McCain signs in affluent neighborhoods, but I'm scratching my head when I see them in neighborhoods that can kindly only be described as being "down at the heels". It boggles my mind when I see people who vote against their own interests.

I suspect that McCain supporters in poorer neighborhoods probably are one-issue voters who are religiously motivated to concentrate on social wedge issues, such as abortion and gay marriage, and ignore their own economic interests.

However, for one state election, I'm seeing about as many Democrat signs as Republican signs. One reason for this I'm thinking is that Obama yard signs are hard to come by in my area -- I was unable to get one when I went down to my county Democratic headquarters. So, I think if Obama signs were more readily available, I'd be seeing a lot more than what I've seen, if the number of signs up for the local Democrat candidate is any indication.

And I've seen a good number of Obama signs in this one upper middle class neighborhood, which is a happy sight for me. So, not all people on that end of the economic spectrum will be voting knee-jerk Republican, either.

For the most part, I've not seen much sign vandalism. There's one McCain/Palin sign on one of the roads heading into town that looks rather battered; it's leaning on an angle and it looks as if it's peppered with BB gun shots. On the other side of town, one Obama sign is all twisted and dented in. But both damaged signs still stand.

I'll be happy to see the election over and all the signs finally gone.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Like Rats Off the Titanic