November 2004 Archives

1) American health care is wanting. 2) America's college bound are destined for unprecedented debt. 3) Poll finds Americans support Roe V. Wade. 4) Lowering the minimum wage is one outcome of government policies. 5) Bush gets some more money to under educate school kids.

1) Mental Illness in America is the unspoken, and other half, of the health care crisis. The Washington Post reports:

The study -- the result of a months-long examination of the state's foster care and mental health services -- chronicles the difficult decisions that thousands of Virginia parents have made to relinquish custody of their children to the foster care system so they can get mental health services that are otherwise unavailable or unaffordable.

Happy Turkey Day!

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No, those are not well wishes for President Bush. But, we all have much to be thankful for if we will take just a few moments to recount our blessings. We are not living in a post nuclear holocaust world, yet. President Bush does want to be remembered favorably in history books. That has to be good for a thanks or two. And though our democracy is full of faults and malfunctions (mostly folks in Congress), we are still a long way from Orwell's 1984 or Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. And mad cow has not spread to turkeys yet, so, please enjoy family, friends, good food, and American abundance while we still have it.

Third party candidates suffered a devastating blow in this last election. Altogether, they garnered just over 1 million votes nation wide. Compare this to Ross Perot, who in 1992, pulled over 19 million votes, and all third party candidates pulled almost 21 million votes. Of course Ross Perot spent over 60 million dollars of his own money on his campaign.

While 3rd parties offer a voting choice to Americans where they can get on the ballots, that is about the only positive comment one can drum up for 3rd parties today who are viewed by most Americans as little more than spoilers to one of the Republocrat (Dem. or Rep.) candidates. Ross Perot proved, as did Theodore Roosevelt in 1912 when he pulled 88 Electoral College votes as an independent 'Progressive' candidate, that Americans are willing to turn on Republocrats in large numbers if the 3rd party candidate has name recognition and addresses the failings of the Republocrats in a way that has meaning for voters.

Bribing Good Behavior

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Child psychologists warn against it. Psychiatrists warn against it. President Bush criticized Clinton for it with N. Korea. So, why has bribing good behavior become the Bush administration's central foreign policy theme?

The President said this week he will send more aid to Colombia as a reward and assistance for its anti-drug efforts. The Administration has funneled billions of dollars into dictator Musharraf's regime in Pakistan for its assistance. Could Afghani's be far from the American handout? Soldiers on the ground in Iraq hand out 100's of thousands of dollars a month for good or helpful behavior. The U.S. has offered to reinstate monetary incentives to N. Korea in return for their backing off nuclear weapon development and proliferation.

Congress and Fallujah.

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Two questions. If you don't stop Congress now, when will you? And second, now that we and the new Iraqi interim government have killed thousands of Sunnis, can we convince them that voting us out at the ballot box will succeed?

Winslow Wheeler, author of The Wastrels of Defense was interviewed on Booknotes (C-span) by Mr. Brian Lamb a few days ago. It was a very telling interview. The basic premise was that your Congressional representatives, charged with the responsibility for the checks and balances of our government, far too often elect to ignore, or even undermine, those checks and balances. They do so for two reasons, observing checks and balances is harder and more limiting than ignoring them, consuming more time and man-hour resources, and ignoring or undermining them enhances their political careers and insulates them from criticism by the public. Taking a stand draws criticism, not taking one goes unnoticed.

The Texas School Board forced publishers to alter text in their middle and high school textbooks to delete the words "married partners" and to put in place the following definition of marriage: "lifelong union between a husband and a wife." What Texas (the second largest text book buyer in the country) dictates to the publishers, ends up in textbooks in a host of other states which buy books from the same publishers.

Now, does one really have to ask if the definition above is going to make a dent in the 50% and growing divorce rate in Amerca? I don't think so. Is this the new wave of legislating through school curriculum for the future ? I do think so. Will it be successful - that remains to be seen.

Nader 397,468 - Badnarik (Libertarian) 379.000 - Cobb (Green Party) 105,590 -- Kerry (Dem) 55,750,105 -- Bush (Rep) 59,284,062. By the Republican standard, Nader won among third party candidates with a progressive mandate! This is rather laughable, considering how close the numbers were between Kerry and Bush.

Even the Electoral College vote was close, where just one state could have reversed the result. The only mandate coming out of this election is that our country needs a president who can cross party lines and represent a true majority of American's interests. Without fulfillment of such a mandate, the divide in America will only deepen and splinter.

Too Close to Call

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Ohio appears to be the new Florida of the 2000 race. As of 4:08 AM on Wednesday morning, despite other writer's claims of a win for the President, it is still too close to call according to MSNBC's Electoral College map. As Sen. John Edwards said, it will not be over until every vote counts and every vote is counted. Thus, Sen. Kerry has not conceded the race. The President is growing impatient as daylight approaches in a couple hours, for one of the too close to call states, to be completely counted and throw any one of those states into his column to put him up past the 269 Electoral College (EC) votes which has been unchanged since around midnight.

Voter On A Mission

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I saw my wife off to work and my daughter off to school this morning from our home in the hill country North of San Antonio, Texas. I donned a sweater, got in my pickup and headed out for the Volunteer Fire Dep't. station where I could cast my vote. I was highly motivated for the 5 mile drive, having written about American politics and this Election Day for over a year now. I arrived and got in line. I was the 41st person in line at 7:15 AM. I wondered how long I would have to wait.

Vote! I can't get too excited about going to vote for Kerry or Bush, but, there are a number of other offices on the ballot and some state issues and candidates that are very important close to home. If the Presidential election has turned you off, don't let it stop you from going to vote on all these other ballot initiatives, local issues, and federal, state, and local officials. It really is a very important election even if Bush and Kerry both lost to Mickey Mouse.

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

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