The Rich Support McCain, the Super-Rich Support Obama

The Wall Street Journal reports...

The Rich Support McCain, the Super-Rich Support Obama

"Lower Richistanis tended to vote almost exclusively based on taxes. But Upper Richistanis placed a higher priority on longer-term societal issues like health care, the environment and education, which are traditional Democrat issues. Some say Upper Richistanis can afford to minimize taxes, since they have plenty of money even after the government takes its share. Others say the ultra-rich have better tax attorneys so they don’t care as much about tax rates."

Investigations into Joe the Plumber

Checks on 'Joe' more extensive than first acknowledged

Helen Jones-Kelley of the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services stated, "Given our understanding that Mr. Wurzelbacher had publicly indicated that he had the means to purchase a substantial business enterprise, ODJFS, consistent with past departmental practice, checked confidential databases."

She continued by stating, "Not surprisingly, when a person behind in child support payments or receiving public assistance is receiving significant media attention which suggests that the person appears to have available financial resources, the Department risks justifiable criticism if it fails to take note and respond."

"She said on Monday that her department frequently runs checks for any unpaid child support obligations 'when someone is thrust quickly into the public spotlight.'"

ODJFS checked Joe because of his claim to be buying a business while being behind on child support payments. This should not hurt the Obama campaign unless someone produces some evidence showing that the Obama campaign encouraged the investigation. Although the anti-Obamaites out there will not allow reality to get in the way; they will definitely use it against him without any sound reasoning. I can already hear the new round of robocalls and anti-Obama commercials. Forget any chance of McCain trying to get us to vote for McCain. It's much easier to get people to not vote for Obama.

In the end, Joe the Plumber is really not the type of guy that I would want to be the mascot of my campaign. He's behind on child support and probably believes that Obama will actually raise his taxes when he does not make over $250,000 a year. The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services was just practicing due diligence in running checks on him.

A Terrible Case of Reporting

Australians charged over attack on 75-year-old blind flamingo

This flamingo that is at least 75-years-old is attacked. The reporter never bothers to tell me why the attackers attacked the bird. Finding the answer to that question was the whole reason I read the story. Did the bird attack them and they retaliated? Were they just being vandals? If so, why did they choose to hurt the bird?

Stupid anonymous reporter.

After the Obama Infomercial

Well, Obama laid out his plan on what he wanted to do. That was immediately followed up by ads from McCain telling me why we should not vote for McCain. Instead of laying out an agenda, McCain is still trying to make Obama run against himself. He's running his campaign on the principle that a vote for McCain is a vote against Obama. Why does he not talk about what he wants to do?

The New Weight Loss Diet

I was so happy today in the checkout aisle at Meijer. I was waiting in line and I decided to flip through Woman's World rather than see what Hollywood stars really look like in their bikinis. The cover story that caused me to pick it up was on a new diet to lose weight. Intrigued, I opened up the magazine, looked at the table of contents, and then flipped to the relevant page. I was so happy to see that the culprit of our fatness is corn syrup because I am sensitive to it and would prefer to have all products without corn syrup. I really like a soda now and then, but I hate the corn syrup. Give me a foreign Coke made with real sugar and I am really happy.

Here is the actual study from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center: Limiting fructose may boost weight loss, researcher reports

The study suggest that the body quickly processes fructose into body fat.

"The researchers found that lipogenesis, the process by which sugars are turned into body fat, increased significantly when as little as half the glucose was replaced with fructose. Fructose given at breakfast also changed the way the body handled the food eaten at lunch. After fructose consumption, the liver increased the storage of lunch fats that might have been used for other purposes."

“This is an underestimate of the effect of fructose because these individuals consumed the drinks while fasting and because the subjects were healthy, lean and could presumably process the fructose pretty quickly. Fat synthesis from sugars may be worse in people who are overweight or obese because this process may be already revved up.”

"Dr. Parks said that people trying to lose weight shouldn’t eliminate fruit from their diets but that limiting processed foods containing the sugar may help."

If you elect me as President, the first thing I will do is ban corn syrup.

McCain Robocall - The Democrats are to Blame for the Economy

I just received a phone call from the McCain camp telling me not to vote for Obama for two reasons: His relationship with Tony Rezco and the Democrats have driven the economy into the ground since they took control of Congress two years ago. The caller did not tell me why I should vote for McCain. I guess a vote for McCain is a vote against Obama and that should be enough to make me vote McCain.

The second point just made me laugh because the Republicans have controlled Washington (the White House and Congress) for the six years before the last one and a half. The Republicans oversaw the biggest increase in spending and the biggest increase in our deficit and debt. I would have given the Republicans some slack because 9/11 did set us back some, but they did not turn the ship around later. The last time the Democrats had control of Congress and the White House was the years between 1992-1993. Those were not nearly as bad of years as we have seen lately. Maybe Newt, who I love and would vote for in a heartbeat, has more to do with the prosperity of the 90s after the Republican Revolution in 1994, but McCain is no Newt.

McCain's economic policy seems to be to cut taxes and that will solve the problems. I am in favor of balancing the budget before cutting taxes. I have not heard how he will spend more wisely. He just says he will stop all spending increases. That's great, but what about the wasteful programs? Why not cut them more? What about the good and necessary programs? Why not increase them? I like Obama's position of decreasing spending where it is not effective and increasing spending where it is doing good.

Budgetwise, we actually have to go beyond balancing the budget and start spending less than we take in to start paying off the debt we have built up. We have a responsibility to the future generations of Americans to not leave debt behind. Our preceding generation did not care all that much about leaving debt, but we need to reverse the tide. I would much rather leave this nation better than when I was born into it rather than worse. Obama has talked about this responsibility. McCain has not to my knowledge.

Maybe the Democrats won't do any better than the Republicans if they have control, but I would be greatly surprised if they actually did any worse. Things are bad. When things are bad, change is necessary.

Game Store Mooning Gone Bad

Men severely beaten in comic shop mooning incident

Reply from the Christian Children's Fund over the Gygax Auction

Here was the reply I got from writing Christian Children's Fund after sending them an email asking for their reasons on why they declined the money from the charity auction. They get bonus points for replying within two hours of the question being sent. The writer explained that it was not the source of the money as much as the presentation of the event making it look like the auction was hosted by the CCF rather than them just being beneficiaries of the proceeds. They have to be careful about not offending their donors. It might be unfortunate that they refused $17,000 because of the kids that could be helped with that money. As an organization with Christians that are are sensitive to Dungeons & Dragons, they might lose support that would cost much more than the $17,000 that they rejected

You can read the reply for yourself:

Thank you for contacting Christian Children's Fund through our website.

Christian Children’s Fund made the decision to decline the gift from Gen Con, LLC after the review of numerous factors that in combination precluded our acceptance of the gift. These reasons include the possible misinterpretation of CCF’s role in regard to the event. CCF is selective in its endorsements or support because it must maintain the highest degree of integrity with respect to the use of its name and logo. The information presented to us gave the appearance that CCF (the organization) was an endorser or supporter of the event instead of a beneficiary.

Thank you for your interest in CCF. Please contact us if we can be of further assistance.

A Warning on

I thought I would have fun the other day and take an IQ test. The ads say "Obama's IQ is 142, are you smarter than Barack?" So I went and took the test. First off, it really wasn't an IQ test. Second, I never got the results after going through screens trying to make me accept offers. Don't make the same mistake. I did not provide a link to the evil because it is evil. Ignore that ad. It pops up in the google ads all of the time. It is a waste of time. You have to give them your email early on in the process, so I hope my inbox doesn't get inundated with junk mail. If anyone knows of a good, free, online IQ test, I am all game. Please let me know.

Random Thoughts

Some words of wisdom from Isaac to start the day out: "I've picked my ears, and it doesn't taste good."

Children's Christian Fund rejects money raised from a charity auction from the estate of Gary Gygax, the creator of Dungeons & Dragons. Not many details there, but it seems baffling to me. I am going to email the Children's Christian Fund to see if they will explain their reasoning. We'll see if they reply.

I wrote a post over on Chi Rho Live about a Despicable Church Sign.

I have been playing around on Pandora and have created a few stations. They are in the sidebar to the right if you are interested in listening to the music I enjoy. It's tasty fun.

I'm torn on this story. A mother slept after working her third shift job. Because she was getting ready to move, she had withdrawn her kids from their daycare. While sleeping, her two children undid the deadbolt, went outside, got in the car, and died from the heat. Now they are trying her for child abuse. After just seeing Reign Over Me and the thoughts that it made me think, I wonder if this is the right action for society to take on a grieving mother. Is something that we can do to show her love in her time of grief and suffering? Maybe I should write the prosecutor a letter. Even though her pain was self-inflicted, it is only by the grace of God that similar tragedies haven't happened to most parents.

Palin's $150,000 Wardrobe Malfunction


Politico broke the story that Sarah Palin used campaign money to buy clothing, cosmetics, and stylists. The whole campaign process, in regards to money, is utterly disgusting. We are a visual people, and we require our presidential candidates to look good. When they spend money to make themselves look good, then we are supposed to be upset. But we were the ones that expected them to look good in the first place.

It is not like she could not have bought herself a new wardrobe. The Sarah Palin Truth Squad (I don't know how trustworthy a place that calls themselves the "truth squad" can be but they were the only source I could find) reported on the 2007 earnings of the Palins:

The Palins’ assets seem enviable: a half-million-dollar home on a lake with a float-plane at the dock, two vacation retreats, commercial-fishing rights worth an estimated $50,000 or more and an income last year of at least $230,000. That compares to a median income of $64,333 for Alaskans and $50,740 for Americans in 2007, according to the Census Bureau.

Palin was not destitute and in need of the campaign to buy herself a new wardrobe, but does that mean that she should have incurred a personal expense to spruce up her wardrobe for the campaign trail.

A woman has it a little tougher than a man on the campaign trail. She can't just put on the same suit day after day. I cannot find a firm source, but Obama's suits cost around $1,500 each, and he owns multiples of them. Women's clothing is typically much more expensive than men's clothing. Also, she needs a new outfit for every appearance. Okay, she doesn't really "need" a new outfit for every appearance, but it is part of our disgusting materialistic culture that women do not reuse dresses used on big occasions. If we had the honest numbers, I bet the Obama family has spent about as much on their clothing, stylists, and the like while on the campaign trail.

The Telegraph stated, "Federal campaign finance law prohibits the use of campaign funds for personal use, which it defines as any expense 'that would exist irrespective of the candidate's campaign or duties as a federal officeholder'."

Honestly, she would not have had this expense if she was not running for President. She would have continued to governor Alaska, live in her three houses, and find herself comfortable in her Alaskan wardrobe. $150,000 in expenses is a little extreme. A $295 pacifier is really extreme, but it is expected that her and her family look good on the trail. What makes a baby look better than a $295 pacifier? Some are talking about her having to pay taxes on these clothes, but they seem to be the uniform of the job rather than a personal indulgence. She did not even shop for her own clothes. What kind of woman indulges on clothes by sending staffers out to get them? Not doing her own clothes shopping should infuriate women more than the cost of clothes. What an outrage! Not doing her own shopping.

Waste is normal business in a presidential campaign (and the government for that matter). The Democratic National Convention cost over $100 million dollars to pull off. Now, the Democratic news outlets are trying to say it is a sham that Palin spent $150,000 on clothes. A good post at the Weekly Standard talks about $140,000 in stage construction and other expenses related to the convention. The whole system is a sham, not just Palin's clothing.

What is most disgusting is that this has become a focus of the campaign. Thank you Politico. Good, solid, meaningful investigative reporting. In a time when the stock market is crashing, unemployment is going up, gas is at $3.00/gallon, our education is failing, our health care is inferior for a developed nation, and we are in two wars with other international situations, we get a story about a candidates wardrobe. We do not need this distraction.

In the end, Palin is not making us pay a dime for her new wardrobe unless you donated to the RNC. This money came from RNC coffers that was to be used on campaigns. Someone who might be losing a tight Senate or House race might have a reason to have grief over the $150,000 clothing expenditure because it is money the RNC cannot spend on their campaign, but it is not a surprise that there is waste in the administration of the RNC. They, after all, are half of our wasteful government. We live in a culture of waste and this story is just one of the symptoms.

Our Dislike Of Death Bed Conversions or A Total Misunderstanding of Grace

A new post by me over at Chi Rho Live.

Our Dislike Of Death Bed Conversions or A Total Misunderstanding of Grace

Reign Over Me - A Movie Dialogue

Reign Over Me is the story of a dentist who is miserable in his life, a former dentist who is wallowing in depression from the loss of his wife and children on September 11, and a society who refuses to love.

***Spoiler Warning Galore***

Reign Over Me attempts to inspire us to be patient and love those who are struggling with mental illness. The case portrayed in the movie was such an extreme case that it is tough to draw a comparison to my real life in which I need to be loving to someone who is temporarily mentally cracked. The point to be taken is that I need to handle everyone with love and gentleness.

The shadow of the colossus (a terrible video game but one that is used throughout the movie to portray a theme) will never go away. For Charlie, his shadow was the plane hitting the World Trade Center, engulfing his wife and three lovely daughters. The scene where Charlie teaches the dentist how to play Shadow of the Colossus is actually reflective of the dentist teaching Charlie how to live again, but it also reflects that they both had a good time doing it. Having friends around to show us how to live in the shadow of the past and become victorious once again is the way to learn how to live again when tragedy hits. That victory only comes when we let love reign, as is shown through the movie by playing the Pearl Jam remake of The Who's Love Reign Over Me throughout the movie. The director was a little overt in using other media to portray the themes with "Love Reign Over Me" and "Shadow of the Colossus" repeated frequently, but it was a good theme and excusable. Charlie was healed through a relationship with a friend who did not view him as a project but viewed him as a friend. Charlie brought his own brand of healing to the dentist as he brought healing to him. They were friends helping one another out.

The saddest moment in the movie is when state held a hearing to see if Charlie should be put in a mental hospital. The mental hospital was cold and heartless. This is probably unfair to many of the fine mental hospital doctors out there who plug away day in and day out to try to bring healing to the people in their hospitals, but the major point of the movie is that our society does not treat its mental patients with love and patience. That might generally be true. The conflict between love and punishment rose to the top when Charlie was at his hearing. He was so close to recovering, yet the process of recovering was making him fall apart. Society wanted to throw him in a hospital while his doctor and friends wanted to let him "find his own way." In the end, a wise judge places the decision in the hands of his n-laws. They decide right, and Charlie is on his way to recovery.

The most inappropriate storyline in the movie was the messed-up woman who eventually fell for Charlie. The relationship was contrived and undeveloped and really dampened an otherwise great movie.

Reign Over Me was a good movie, and I am glad I watched it. May we will deal a little more lovingly to those who are challenging to us. The reason they are more than likely challenging is because they are hurting.

Entertaining: 4/5
Inspiring: 3/5
Ethical Thinking: 5/5

Goodbye Kontera Ads

I must apologize for the annoying text link ads that I have had on here for about a month. A post the other day made me realize how annoying those little buggers are. Now, you can trust my links. No more Kontera ads.

To Not Vote for Obama

Is Obama A Socialist? Not if You Ask One

This article, besides Obama being pro-choice, is one of the most convincing articles I have read on not voting for Obama. It is not because he is not a socialist but because the article paints him out to be a dirty, typical protector of the wealthy. True capitalism does not protect the wealthy. True socialism does not protect the wealthy. What we currently have, and what this articles says Obama is proposing, protects the wealthy.

Obama's Chicken Counting

The media, especially Drudge, wants me to think that Obama is out of line in planning his transition team and having construction done on his election night party site.

I just wonder. Has McCain started planning his transition team? I sure hope so. I would hate for our next President to not be prepared when they take the White House. Preparing one's transition team is a basic requirement of October politics as a Presidential candidate. You need to be ready to hit the ground running once you win the election, so that you can start being President the day you take office. Chuck Baldwin or Ralph Nader probably should not worry about their transition teams, but the Obama and McCain camps should. It is not presumptive of Obama to be prepared and have done what needs to be done for when he might win the election. I am sure that McCain is doing the same.

What is wrong for preparing the site of his election night gathering? It's less than two weeks away. He will have a big turnout, whether he wins or lose because they turn out before the results are in. And he needs to be prepared. Again, Drudge is trying to make him look presumptive, but he is doing what needs to be done in order to insure that election night runs smoothly. I would also assume that McCain has been making preparations for his election night bash.

But wait, Obama is not really a US citizen, he is a Muslim, and now he is a presumptive elitist. That's the story we need to stick with.

The Tough Times - Taleb's Thoughts on the Coming Depression

Tuesday night, on the Jim Lehrer Newshour, the economic correspondent interviewed Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Taleb, author of the book The Black Swan and an investment adviser who has profited greatly off of the crash because he successfully predicted it. The thing about Taleb is that he seems genuinely concerned about the future economic state of the world.

Here are some of the best quotes from the interview.

The banking system, the way we have it, is a monstrous giant built on feet of clay. And if that topples, we're gone. Never in the history of the world have we faced so much complexity combined with so much incompetence and understanding of its properties.


The banking system, the way we have it, is a monstrous giant built on feet of clay. And if that topples, we're gone. Never in the history of the world have we faced so much complexity combined with so much incompetence and understanding of its properties...that consolidation is what's putting us at risk, because we are -- when one bank, large bank makes a mistake, OK, it's 10 times worse than a small bank making a mistake.


Now you understand why I'm worried. I hope I'm wrong. I wake up every morning -- actually, I don't wake up every morning now. I start to wake up at night the last couple of weeks hoping that I'm wrong, begging to be wrong. I think that we may be experiencing something that is vastly worse than we think it is...Of all the books you read on globalization, they talk about efficiency, all that stuff. They don't get the point. The network effect of that globalization, OK, means that a shock in the system can have much larger consequences.


I don't know if we're entering the most difficult period since -- not since the Great Depression, since the American Revolution.

When faced with a depression like the Great Depression, or something worse like Taleb predicts, I wonder how we will survive it. I have heard that the Depression was inconsequential out here amidst the fields of maize where I live, but that was in another time. Now, because of technology and globalization, everyone in the world is more connected with one another. The farmers now raise food that is good for only one thing, making corn syrup. It has almost zero nutritional value. Maybe the wheat and soy beans could sustain us if we were able to continue farming. The farming requires oil from the Middle East to run these giant combines and trucks that send the food to markets around the world. Our personal jobs are all in the surrounding cities that we also have to travel to. There is nothing self-sustainable about our lifestyle except for the artesian wells in the fields around our homes.

Yesterday, I took the scenic route home from Fort Wayne and traveled the backroads through Amish country. I doubt the Amish, with their horses to raise crops and solar and wind power to run the electricity in their barns, will see much of a setback from a depression. They are used to being self-sufficient. They have become more connected in recent years as I see them shopping in Meijer and Walmart, but their strings of connectedness are thin compared to the rest of us.

The current situation worries me at times, but then I have to check myself. Worry doesn't do any good if it does not spur us on to action. If times get real tough, all I want is for my Lindsay and I to be able to provide our children with food, shelter and warmth, adequate health care, clothing, and a loving environment. If we focused on just those things now. And who knows, maybe a depression will make us a little less connected around the world and a little more connected with our neighbors. Maybe we will be happier after all.

All of this makes me focus on another quote.

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Juno - A Minimal Movie Dialogue

I just finished watching the movie Juno. I thought it was going to be more of a movie for my wife, but I have not enjoyed a movie as much since Little Miss Sunshine.

I usually explain a movie and my thoughts throughout the film, but I really can't with this movie.

All I can say is that when life really, really sucks, there is still beauty.

Entertaining: 5/5
Inspiring: 5/5
Ethical Thinking: 5/5

Another Stimulus Bill? - A Corporate Culture of Cronyism

What is going on in Washington?

The first stimulus bill has yet to be spent, although they have authorized $250 billion of it to buy stock in the banks, which was a much wiser decision than buying bad mortgages that nobody wants. This new stimulus bill, currently proposed as $168 billion, is being pushed by the Democrats with the focus being public works, jobless benefits, Medicaid, food stamps, and another round of tax rebates. At least this one is to help the poor rather than to stop corporations from losing their value.

The total of this package is close to all of the pork that was added to the last bill to influence Representatives and Senators to vote in favor of it. Bush had proposed a three-page stimulus bill. Eventually that bill inflated to 448 pages and added around $100 billion dollars in pork.

What needs to happen in Washington is not another stimulus package; what we need is monopoly busting. The consolidation of nearly every industry in the last decade has caused our system to become much more vulnerable than it should be. If these megacorporations never merged together, there would not be that much danger from a bank, or twenty banks failing. Each merger caused the holes in the safety net to grow. Eventually it reached a point where the net was completely useless. It is much easier to absorb the failure of a corporation when there are many other corporations of similar size in the same field to absorb the impact. There should be enough other banks to pick up the slack. What we see going on is banks that are too large for other banks to quickly pick up the slack failing. In the end, the failing banks are too large because government allowed them to become too large. The same situation could happen in many other industries because of the massive corporations in those fields.

We also need to stop different businesses in the same field from being owned by the same people. Competition really does not work if the owners are the same people in the companies that are to be competing with one another. We need transparency of ownership. That means those trust funds and investing groups need to stop being shields to prevent us from knowing who is investing in what companies. Combine this with monopoly busting so that companies that are owned by the same wealthy individuals will be viewed as the same company and busted as such.

Those are my two solutions to the problem. They are not short term fixes like a stimulus package, but they allow capitalism to work. Right now, we seem to be operating in an environment where corporations receive government help when things are falling apart but can rape the consumer for profits when the economy is thriving. The government needs to insure that the market has competition or capitalism is just a charade for cronyism. In capitalism, a company cannot rape the consumer for profits because another company will steal all of the business, nor can a company demand government help when failing because other companies are in the waiting ready to fill the hole. Let us move from cronyism to capitalism.

Random Thoughts

The latest Apple ad is much better than all of the previous in that it is not as condescending. It makes fun of Microsoft for advertising. Apple making fun of Microsoft for advertising. That's funny.

Obama's ads are much more negative this week. Although they are not nearly as cruel and uncivil as some of the ads I have seen from McCain. It is disappointing.

The last worldwide depression led to a terrible war. I sure hope this one does not do the same.

Gold and silver are as worthless as the dollar if people do not want it. Material items only have value if people give it to them.

Isaac and Eli are in a casual soccer league where we have no practices and only play once a week. How I wish all youth sports were casual like that. More than likely, my kids are not going to be professional athletes.

Yesterday, I had to listen to a bunch of people that I enjoy the company of who are on social security and Medicaid rail against Obama and socialism. That's about as funny as the Apple ad. A little less funny because it is more serious.

It's getting tough to make it through October without turning the heat on. Today could be the day we give in.

News Bias on Obama and McCain - Headlines Designed to Slant our Thinking

Today, I have perused the Drudgereport,, World Net Daily, New York Times, and to examine the headlines. What I found is disturbing.

I regularly go to the Drudgereport, but lately his headlines have been somewhat bias. Maybe I am just reading all of them wrong. A look at the Drudgereport this morning will give you the following headlines.

Obama vows to 'change the world'...
Nears record for spending on ads...
Lines up cabinet...
Obama's transition team meets...
And the large one in big letters that has been up for almost a full day: "MCCAIN: OBAMA POLICIES SOCIALIST"

The only headline on Drudge that deals with McCain directly is Dallas paper endorses McCain; Miami picks Obama...

Of course, I expect (and that is why I enjoy, listen to, and read) bias from Michael Savage. His current headlines read...

"Trickle-up" poverty: The new economics of Barack Obama
Liberals looking forward to supermajority power
Obama jokes he's not Jesus, he's really Superman
Libya's leader says Obama is Muslim, credits Arab money helping him win

Now, if we head on over to World Net Daily, a bastion of conservative news on the internet, we read the following:

The Big Headline reads...Gadhafi: Obama a Muslim, studied in Islamic schools
College associate editor says 'Obama is my Jesus'
2nd lawsuit challenges Obama's citizenship

Did Ayers' wife kill policeman?
Michelle Obama organized event with Ayers, husband
McCain blasts Obama tax policies
National anthem scrapped from Obama rally

Obama lines up a cabinet of stars

President Barack? Just say NObama!
- This one is an advertisement put out there like a headline.

Compare these headlines from liberal leaning news organizations like the New York Times and

For the New York Times, I had to go to the Politics page to get anything substantial.

Obama Raised Record $150 Million in September
The Candidates Debate Tax Cuts and Welfare - This one is similar in tone to the Conservative headlines decrying socialism and is an unbiased report of the dialog between the two candidates rather than a report declaring the one to be socialist.
Obama Attacks McCain on Health Care and Medicare, in Some Ways Inaccurately
Nearing Record, Obama’s Ad Effort Swamps McCain
Slow Economy Aids Obama in Missouri

At Salon, the headlines read...

Banking on early votes for Barack
McCain's last stand
Which John McCain will show up to debate?
Behind the GOP's voter fraud hysteria
Meet Sarah Palin's radical right-wing pals
The low road to the White House with the subheadline: "As the gloves come off in the presidential race, John McCain seems ever more willing to dispense with past claims to personal honor."


The problem with the whole situation is that biased people get their news from the biased source they trust. This creates a terrible situation. People reading only Salon are going to think that McCain and Palin are evil monsters. People reading WND, Michael Savage, and, possibly, Drudge, will think that Obama is evil. I cannot believe that the headlines at the New York Times are the most unbiased in my examination of the internet news.

Demonizing the other camp creates an atmosphere of distrust that will remain long after this political season is over. After the election we need to get along to bring about the changes that this nation needs, but the media creates an attitude that makes that nearly impossible. Neither one of these guys is the antichrist despite the biased news from each side proclaiming such in an attempt to win the undecideds and motivate their base. I remember that I wrote just a month or so ago that I would be happy with either candidate being my President. The news has done such a wicked job demonizing each candidate that I have lost excitement for either one. I will still vote, but I would have much rather voted being happy with either candidate rather than holding my nose as I vote.

In the end, the headlines tell us a lot more about the political view of the websites rather than give us a fair and unbiased report of the news, which is something we sorely need in these times.

Assisted Suicide For a 23 Paralyzed Man

I can't believe this is real. A rugby player was paralyzed in a training accident. He then decided that his life was not worth living. The family, who took him to Switzerland from England where he could end his life, released a statement that included the following: "He was not prepared to live what he felt was a 'second class existence'." What a depressing story.

We had to help our paralysed son die: Anguish of parents quizzed by police after taking crippled rugby player to suicide clinic.

A Brief Explanation of the Electoral College

This post has been improved upon and revised. Electoral College 101 - A Brief Explanation of the Electoral College.

It has been expressed in the comments to my post, McCain and Negative Ads, that the electoral college could vote for whoever they want to.

The electoral college really runs contrary to people who desire for a nationwide popular vote to decide the President. The battle against the electoral college is really about states' rights versus us being one federal state, although there are some lesser issues that are still pertinent. The reality is that the electoral college serves no role after the first vote, which many of the electors are committed to voting for their candidate and those that are not are strong party supporters chosen by the party, so they would not stray. If a candidate does not have a majority of the electoral vote after the electoral college votes, the President would be immediately decided by the House of Representatives.

Some have a great fear that the electoral college will steal the election from the people. That just does not seem to be the case. From MSNBC's website on the electoral college.

"In about half the states, electors are formally pledged—that is, they are legally committed to vote for the candidate of the party with which they are affiliated. In the remaining states, electors are “unpledged,” meaning that no explicit legal requirement exists to vote for the affiliated candidate. Still, even unpledged electors could face legal difficulties if they “faithlessly” voted for a candidate other than the one associated with their slate of electors. This is because the people of the state voted for that slate of electors with the reasonable expectation that those electors would loyally reflect the peoples’ choice. In fact, the problem of “faithless electors” has been more theoretical than real. About 20,000 electors voted in all presidential elections from 1789 to 2000, and fewer than a dozen voted faithlessly. The outcome of an election has never been changed by faithless electors—nevertheless, it could happen."

The electoral college system might not be the best thought out system in the world for a democracy but not due to elections being stolen by the electors. It will run into problems if a third or fourth party ever arises. In Europe, a multitude of parties run in a preliminary election followed by a final election in which the two highest vote getters run off against each other. I think that is preferable compared to a third party candidate causing the outgoing House of Representatives to choose the President. We have never had it happen, but it could. I would also like any change to the system that encouraged a third, fourth, and fifth party. Every political issue does not have two sides, and more parties create more constructive debate rather than the tit-for-tat we are wallowing in.

It is beneficial to keep an electoral system by state rather than a purely popular vote, or the President would be decided by a few major cities rather than the nation as a whole. We could get rid of the electoral college, but it appears to just be a formality that really has no bearing on what happens as long as we still weigh state votes rather than go by the national popular vote. In actuality, all the electoral college does is give some connected people to their respective partieis a free trip and get-together at their state capitols.

The main change that needs to happen is not the abolishment of the electoral college but the institution of a preliminary election, after each party has their primary, in which every party under the sun can run. Everyone can vote for whoever they want without "wasting" a vote. This would help move our nation away from party politics into issue politics. Again, I must emphasize that electoral system is still important. The preliminary election would be followed by the final election between the two people with the most votes in the preliminary election. This system would promote additional parties. This change will probably never happen, although it is normal election procedure in many nations around the world, until a crisis where the House of Representatives has to choose the President.

Mandatory Flu Shots in New Jersey for Preschoolers and Day Care Children

A recent story was written by David Crary of the AP.

NJ flu-shot mandate for preschoolers draws outcry

Being a family that has decided not to vaccinate our children after we looked into vaccines due to Eli having a bad reaction to one. Subsequently, we were congratulated by our doctor when we told him we would not vaccinate. Unfortunately, due to liability issues, he could not recommend the course of action we took. He volunteered that he does not vaccinate his children. I know two other family doctors who do not vaccinate their children. I would like to see an honest survey telling us how many doctors actually vaccinate their children.

Here is the most important point the story makes.

"There's not been a response from the government that is credible in terms of doing the scientific research that will screen out vulnerable children," said Barbara Loe Fisher, a speaker at the rally. She is co-founder of the National Vaccine Information Center in Vienna, Va., an advocacy group skeptical of vaccination policies.
"There's an acknowledgment that prescription drugs can cause different reactions in people, but there's a blanket statement by health authorities that we all have to vaccinate, all in the same way," Fisher said.

I also find this desire to make mandatory flu vaccines a little drastic.

Flu kills about 36,000 Americans a year and hospitalizes about 200,000. But children make up a small fraction of the victims — 86 died last year, from babies to teens, according to federal figures. Only two flu deaths of children in New Jersey have been recorded since 2004.

In the end, this is a very sticky situation for parents in New Jersey.

A Further Examination of our Responsibility to Love as a Society along with Other Issues

Josh wrote the following in reply to my earlier post, So, The Election is now about Joe the Plumber, today. As seems normal, my reply was way too long. Here it all is.

"Where does this come from, religion because I'm pretty sure there is no law that says it is so, "Prosperity is a responsibility to take care of those less prosperous."?

I don't have any issue helping those that need help but I'm bothered by a tax code that actually gives people back more than they pay. I'd be fine with some people paying zero but making money off of the tax code is bs.

Obama saying, "spread the weath around" is very scary. You should read "Atlas Shrugged" if you haven't.

I'm guessing my and your vote will cancel each other out. :)"

I was discussing religion and not the law. However, in the case of politics they become intermingled. My religious views influence my political views. If McCain would have made the issue abortion rather than Joe the Plumber, he would have had a better chance at winning my vote, but he made the focus Joe the Plumber although they did touch on abortion. Unfortunately, Joe overshadowed that conversation.

This is a cliffnote version of the theology behind my statements.

The promise to Abraham, which is the cornerstone of the Bible, is that God will bless Israel, in turn God's people will be a blessing. God does not bless for people to indulge. The Bible seems to show that when people indulge with their prosperity, they are out of line with God's will. The nation of Israel fell out of favor with God because of their failure of equal justice for rich and poor, oppressing the poor, not taking care of orphans and widows, and other relative issues. There are also many commands that if we see others in need, we are to meet those needs. The command of Jesus to love your neighbor as yourself. That is a difficult statement. If I apply it to the present situation, I would say, "If I want to love myself by having health care, then I should also love my neighbor by providing him with health care." Very difficult statement, but Jesus' statements were not always easy.

The law is just the transferral of our ethics or selfishness onto others. Each law derives from some groups' view, whether it is for the benefit of society or the benefit of one small segment. Some Christian groups, the Mennonites and Amish, abstain from involving themselves in government because they do not believe, this is a gross oversimplification, their personal religious ethics should be enforced on others. Most other Christian groups do not share that view. But to disregard a view because it is Christian would be to enforce the view that Christians should not be involved in politics. Every person derives their beliefs from somewhere, whether that is from a completely secular place or some spiritual place. People's beliefs should not be disregarded because they are derived from their faith. I am not saying that my view was disregarded because it was Christian; I am just laying the groundwork.

Onto the other questions.

You state that people should not get back more than they pay in. Wouldn't those people who are ill, not making any money, need to actually receive more in benefits than they pay in? The hope is that they will eventually become healthy and productive members of society. But even if they don't, we will still have loved them to the best of our ability, which is important to me.

Even in our current setup, most people who make under a certain amount do not pay for all of the benefits they receive. Public education gives over (for 2005-06 in Ohio) $8214 in operating costs per student on average. That is just at the local school level. That does not include the costs of overhead at the state level. You should be thankful that we home school because we are saving the state a lot of money, just $16,428 this year (that is if the cost has not gone up since then). Once my four kids are old enough, I will be saving the state over $32,000 just by home schooling. The reason society will $98568 (at 2005-06 levels for twelve years) is because society feels that is an investment that will pay off. If we were public schooling, I would have to make an awful lot of money to pay more than I get back for my children. That money we are saving the government would be enough to give my family an incredible health care package. I more than pay for that child tax credit they have give me.

Then you add the roads that I drive on to work everyday and the percentage spent on them just for me to drive on them. I am usually the only person on these back roads most of the time. Add to that the farm subsidies that makes all of the food we eat cheaper, and the per person expense of social services like police and firemen. The 2009 Department of Defense budget is $515.4 billion dollars. That's $1718 per person if we have 300 million people. That's $10,308 for my family of six. The list of government expenses for the normal person is massive and many people receive back much more than they pay.

It would be an interesting study to see what the break even point is. That is beyond my meager abilities here. I would assume it could be a doctoral study for someone in economics. But I would wager that the break even point is an income in the 100,000s of thousands. Just looking at the federal and state budget, here is what I get. The Federal budget for 2008 is 2,931,000,000,000. That is probably before the bailout but we will ignore that. For the sake of easy math, we will stick with the 300 million population. That is $9,770 dollars per individual in federal taxes. The state of Ohio 2008 budget planned to spend 25,668,000,000. With a population of 11,467,000, that is $2238 per person. Local taxes would vary depending on the place of residence. Let's take Cincinatti since that is where Josh is from. Hamilton county has a population of 845,303 and a 2008 budget of $1,239,644,248 after combining the general and restricted fund budgets. That is only $1467 per person. Cincinnati has a population of 332,458 and a 2008 budget of $842,898,940 for a total of $2535 per person. I know this is a little rough because it is based upon just budget and population numbers. It does not figure out how much of the population is actually adults, how much more of an expense children are, and the increase in cost of care in the elderly. But with my rough math, the total expenditure for a resident is Cincinnati by all the governments is $16,010. An individual would have to make $64,040 (that would be in the 25% tax bracket) to pay for all of the government expenditures for them. For me, as a family of six, I cost $96,060 per year. I would have to make $291,090 (in the 33% tax bracket) to pay for the expenses for my family. In the end, most people do not pay enough in taxes to pay for all that the government provides them, especially because those who make less actually need more assistance from the government than those who make more.

The idea is that society benefits from all of these governmental services. If something is beneficial, we do it. If it is not and we are currently doing it, we need to cut it. The key is that the people, through the government, should do what is beneficial for society. Somewhere along the road we decided to draw the line and say that certain things that would be beneficial to society should not be done by the government although they will provide us with roads, health care, state colleges, law enforcement, a military for protection, public television and radio, and a multitude of other benefits. Health care is of equal importance to the most important benefits the government provides, yet we claim that it should not be provided in our society by the government. That is fine for those who have health care, but that is not all that loving to those who do not.

I tried reading Atlas Shrugged years ago. I could not endure it. Maybe I will try again.

And as for us canceling each other out, Lindsay's vote will help. Also, Acorn (an organization I am pretty sure was founded by Obama and is administered by him covertly) has helped me register my kids and some deceased neighbors who I will get to vote for. ;)

So, The Election is now about Joe the Plumber

I had a tough time sleeping last night. I was too worried about Joe the Plumber. Joe must make over $250,000 per year or he would not be receiving a tax increase under Obama's plan. I just wonder how he will ever make ends meet, buy that second home, or afford to send his kids to college if he has to give another percent or ten in taxes. Joe's life gets confusing beyond the basic point of his tax bracket. McCain would like me to think that Joe's plumbing business, which he does not own, will receive a penalty for not insuring his workers. If he is making over $250,000 and not insuring his workers, he is a selfish pig. But McCain's story does not completely gel. We actually do not know how much Joe's business profits, nor could I find it online.

Obama was willing to tell Joe the Plumber that we as a society need to "spread the wealth around." He did not hide the idea. (We can insert the "scary" words here to scare everyone: socialism or communism.) Joe the Plumber was quoted later last night as saying, "It's not right for someone to decide you made too much---that you've done too good and now we're going to take some of it back." The problem is society already takes some of the money back. That is what taxes are. They are nothing new. We also have a responsibility as a society to take care of those less fortunate than us. That almost seems like it is new. Many would like to shirk that responsibility as a society, hand it off to the church (which has failed to do this job - maybe it is too big of a job for them or the church is focused on the wrong things) or local charities.

Obama's plan proposes not to just give the money away to the poor but to spend the money on things that should be economically beneficially to society. Insuring everyone and having a healthy workforce would be beneficial. Reforming education and providing more college education for those who cannot afford it is also economically beneficial. Investing in alternative energy provides more economic benefit. With great income, comes great responsibility. Prosperity is not earned so that the prosperous can just indulge in their second, third, or fourth home. It is not earned so that the prosperous can take extended vacations. Prosperity is a responsibility to take care of those less prosperous. If you don't want to care for others, don't become prosperous. Maybe I am transferring my ethical view of prosperity onto others, but law is always the transfer of one's ethical or purely selfish views onto others. Society would be better if we provided health care, better education, and developed alternative energies, and I think government should do what is best for society.

The debate centers on whether we believe in trickle-down economics. Trickle-down says that if the rich keep their money, they will create jobs for those less prosperous. In trickle-down, we have to depend on the goodwill of the wealthy to spend that money in America or to create more jobs, which are never guaranteed to be profitable. In Obama's plan, we depend on the person who can barely make ends meet to have services provided for them, which will be guaranteed to create needed jobs for those providing the services. The government's role would be to make sure that money is used in a way that the economy benefits. When the government invests in health, energy, and education, society benefits. If everyone was provided medical care like our Senators and Representatives receive, health care staff would grow creating new jobs by creating a healthier workforce. Investing in energy would create jobs in research, manufacturing, and repair while freeing us from sending money overseas. Investing in education, creates scientists who will create new technologies and administrators who will run businesses more efficiently; this will cause us to continue to prosper way into the future

To summarize the debate a vote for McCain is a vote to give Joe the Plumber, who makes over $250,000, a tax cut. This will cause us to wait for the economy to grow to pay for the massive spending in Washington. This is the same old Republican economic strategy that has got us into this mess. A vote for Obama is a vote to give Joe a tax increase in order to actually begin to pay for the spending in Washington and responsibly provide needed services to Americans who need them, improve our energy system, and to educate the workforce of tomorrow.

So if McCain turned the question into whether we should tax Joe the Plumber or give him a cut, I am voting to tax Joe the Plumber. Sorry Joe, but please understand that people out there need medical treatments to live, children need a better education, and we have to invest in alternative energy to have a better future. A few percentage points off your income could help pay for those improvements. You don't have to like this, but it would be better for you if you would change your heart and have a better attitude about the good you could do for society. Many other wealthy people want to help, why don't you?

I think I am decided now, but I would still be open to change my mind if something persuasive came along.

Ooh, my viewing is going to matter

I just got off the phone. Nielsen wants us to record our television viewing for the week of November 6. Now, I get to support the one television show that I regularly watch and Sunday football that I watch in the ratings. And I will also get $30. Life is grand.

McCain and Negative Ads - My Thoughts Heading into Tonight's Debate.

I am getting so frustrated with McCain's ads. Yesterday, I received my first phone call from the McCain camp in a long while. It was a negative attack call against Obama. I should have written down what it was about but I did not. It seems that they could get away with less credible attacks on the phone since it is not verifiable that they actually said what they said unless I was sitting here ready to record it when the phone rang.

Later last night, I watched some television. I really enjoy the Mentalist; it's a little less serious crime show, and I don't have to sit through autopsy dance scenes that I know some necrophile out there is enjoying way too much. Anyway, I see an Obama economic plan ad - you know the ad where Obama tells what he is going to do. Then I see a McCain anti-Obama economic plan ad - you know the ad where he tells us what he thinks Obama is going to do. I do not recall seeing any McCain ads telling me what he is going to do. Not that I am all too fond of his idea to buy up bad mortgages like he proposed during the last debate, so McCain ads telling me what he is going to do might not be all that convincing.

In regards to McCain's position to buy off the fallen values of the bad mortgages, I must ask, "What about the individuals, like myself, who knew we were not yet in the financial position to buy a house and did not pull the trigger although the mortgage brokers would have quickly giving us an ARM mortgage?" The responsible person, just like the responsible banks that are not on Wall Street, would not get anything. We have moved into a socialism for the irresponsible.

It seems that the McCain camp is making this campaign to be either a vote for or against Obama. Where are his positive commercials? Obama, at least in this market, has about six positive commercials for every negative one, and his negative ones are not that "mean." McCain has all negatives and they go from not that "mean" to downright "cruel." The Obama camp has attempted to raise the level of civil discourse in this country while McCain has tried the same old tactics of the past.

I will watch the debate tonight and see if McCain can stop coming across as a jerk, come out against the bailout. I really do want to vote for him, but he just makes it so hard.

If McCain wants my vote, here is what I need.

Stop the pork. Stop the move towards socialism for the rich. Stop the negative ads and tell me what you are going to do. Stop mischaracterizing Obama's positions like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity do all afternoon long. Don't refer to Obama as "that man." Look at Obama when you talk about him. Bring up your problems with Obama while he is there to defend himself. Stand up against the bailout. It's not too late to say you were wrong.

Okay, McCain will probably not get my vote. But miracles do happen.

I must get this final thought off my chest. In the last debate, McCain was talking against pork. Then he talked about how he canceled his campaign to go to Washington to make sure that the bailout bill got passed. Where was he when $200 billion worth of pork was added to buy people's votes? That might be the biggest pork package in the history of America and he claims he was there overseeing that the bill containing the pork got passed. If he takes credit for the bill, then he is responsible for the pork.

American politics is somewhat interesting. About a month ago I would have been happy with either of these guys as President. Maybe it was the bailout, but now I am not content with either. I had a friend tell me to check out Chuck Baldwin and the Constitution Party. Maybe I should go that route. Then, there is always Ralph Nader. We can always be content and throw away our vote. I mean that in a good way.

A Eulogy for Capitalism - The FCC and the NFL Network

The NFL Network sued Comcast because Comcast puts the NFL network on the sports tier. The judge has now ruled that Comcast discriminated against the NFL Network and will now decide whether Comcast will have to include the NFL network in their main package.

FCC sides with NFL Network in dispute with Comcast

From December 2007 - Bi-Partisan Group of Legislators Contacts FCC to Resolve Dispute Between Cable Companies and NFL Network for Fans

Since when does the government get to decide what channels a cable company must carry? Since when does the government even get to have a conversation on what channels a cable company should carry? Wow, we have strayed far from capitalism when the government steps into the completely irrelevant field of cable packages the government and begins issuing orders telling Comcast what to carry.

I never would have guessed that the NFL would put the final nail in the capitalism coffin, but their requests to force Comcast to carry their programming in the main package seem to just possibly do that. Maybe the government will begin to tell Clem's Collectibles what comics they must display prominently in the store. What's to stop them? The precedent has been set.

In the end, if the government is going to interfere with cable or satellite companies, I wish they would enforce a ban against bundling and allow me to buy a la carte. Here is an article I wrote on that in August 2006. A la carte programming is probably not en vogue in Washington because it would be a step toward capitalism, although nothing forced by the government is capitalism in its truest since.

Here's a toast to capitalism. It's sad that my children will never know you. I'll teach them fondly about you during their history classes. Oh capitalism - a relic of the twentieth century.

edited to add: I was informed that the government has control over these types of issues because Comcast is a monopoly. My goodness, that makes the situation even worse. Not only does the government recognize that a cable provider is a monopoly, but the only thing they do about is control it.

Would I Serve on a Board with Osama bin Laden

In the conversation following my last post on Obama, Ayers, and the Latest GOP Attacks I received the following question:

"Would you serve on a board of an organization that is focused on helping poor children receive a better education with Osama bin Laden?"

The brief answer is that I would. Let me explain.

It would not be about serving on the board with Bin Laden. That would actually be a drawback to being a board member. It would be about me helping the poor to receive a better education. I would not stop involvement in a good thing because of the other people involved in the process. The education of the poor is too important for me to play the disfellowship card on somebody that has done unlawful and despicable acts and holds outrageous beliefs.

This issue might strike at the core divide between McCain and Obama supporters. Obama is willing to meet and talk with those he disagrees with or to work on a common purpose with them while McCain supporters believe in guilt by association and refuse to associate with those they disagree with.

This might explain why I see elderly Democrats supporting McCain. This separationist mentality is definitely a cultural norm in the older generation. My perception might be tainted by the elderly generation in the small town rural Midwest America that I live in.

This refusal to talk to people like Ahmadinejad is also a reason why I do not support McCain (although I am still undecided but just barely). We do not legitimize "rogue" nations by talking with them. We do not legitimize the actions of a man thirty years ago (or even his current actions) by serving on a board for an organization helping the poor. Apparently, McCain supporters believe in this core principle of disfellowship, or they would not keep repeating the talking points. However, I think the talking points on this subject are useless on undecided voters like me. It actually turns us off to McCain. Meeting another person, having a conversation with them, and working together on issues where we share common ground does not mean that I agree with everything about that other individual, organization, or nation. We just have something we need to discuss or share a mission that we can do together.

Obama, Ayers, and the latest round of GOP attacks

It appears that the GOP is getting desperate. The latest round of attacks trying to influence people to not support Obama tell us that he would not be a good President because of his "close" association with Bill Ayers, who was a founder of the Weather Underground that was a violent anti-war group in the late 60s, early 70s. I do not approve of Ayer's actions during that time, and I do not want my thoughts to be construed as an endorsement of violent actions against the government.

Does anyone actually think that an individual should not serve on the board of a useful organization because another board member has attacked our government in the past? It seems like a preposterous position to me. If I had the knowledge and opportunity to serve on a board of an organization "whose goal is to increase opportunities for less advantaged people and communities in the metropolitan area, including the opportunity to shape decisions affecting them" (Woods Fund of Chicago) or an organization whose goal was to "improve school performance," (Chicago Annenberg Challenge) would I run background checks on every board member of those organizations? Would I refuse to serve and do good even if there was a man associated with a former violent anti-war organization on the board? You could put me on a board right now with the worst people in the world if our purpose of serving together on that board was to benefit people who need help.

But Obama was not friends with Bill Ayers during period of waywardness. Ayers is now a respected member of his community and a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Should his past also not be forgiven? It looks like he has moved on since the 60s and 70s. He is no longer organizing meetings to bomb the White House or the Pentagon. He is a man serving in his community trying to help children receive better education. He has overcome his violent tendencies of the past and is not working constructively on creating a better Chicago.

It was in Ayers' desire to help his community and Obama's desire to help the same community that these guys met one another. It was not as a result of Obama going to some covert anti-America meeting. Because Ayers and Obama shared a common interest of helping improve education and the lives of the impoverished in Chicago, it is no surprise that Bill Ayers hosted Obama and introduced him to some of the powers-that-be in the Chicago political scene when Obama ran for office. Should Obama have refused the political help from someone who shared the mutual desire to improve the life of those struggling in the city of Chicago? Obama did not have to support violent anti-American actions to receive help from Ayers thirty years after Ayers' missteps.

The other attack is that Obama wrote a good review of Ayers' book on reforming the juvenile justice system. Personally, I have not read the book, but it might have had some good thoughts in it. Maybe it was a book full of rubbish and could never be implemented. If so, we could question Obama's judgment for supporting such stupid ideas. I have not heard anyone attacking the contents of the book that Obama wrote a positive review for, nor do I know whether Ayers' book had a positive or negative impact on juvenile justice in Illinois. It was not like Obama wrote a positive review of a book supporting terrorist actions; it was a book reforming the juveile justice system. Has McCain ever read a book on juvenile justice? What did he think?

I look at Obama's service as a board member in these organizations as an asset. I have not done as much good for the community that I live in. Instead of attacking Obama through attacking the 60s and 70s actions of a fellow board member in these beneficial charity organizations, maybe McCain should point out the grassroots charity work he has been a part of. If he wants my vote, I would like to know what charity work he has participated in. I am not going to hold it against Obama that he was on the board with a person that committed some heinous actions in the 60s and 70s. I actually view his involvement on these boards as an admirable action.

A website that explores being pro-life and supporting Obama

I recently discovered an organization of Pro-lifers in support of Obama. There argument, in a nutshell, is that Obama will do more to get rid of abortion through his social programs than the rhetoric of McCain. Obviously, we know that he will not make abortion illegal. As an undecided leaning toward Obama, this issue still weighs heavy on me.

If you want to read more, go to Pro Life - Pro Obama.

The Call of the Road

I have been struggling with what to do after I graduate in the spring with my masters in history. I have tossed around getting my secondary education license to teach in a high school and coach sports, going back into the ministry full time, moving on right away to get my PhD, stay working full time for Clem's Collectibles, or to find a college that would hire me. Then daylight shone through the clouds of confusion with an idea that seemed too strange and weird to be practical. We could just sell everything and travel around the nation. Usually when I come up with crazy ideas like these, Lindsay immediately shoots them down. But this idea has found favor with Lindsay.

The idea is that we will sell everything we own except for the items we will take with us and a few items that are not replaceable when we get back. It will be a material possession cleansing. Then we will hit the road and travel from state to state, staying as long as we want. What makes this possible is that I can have a full time job teaching online, internet is available anywhere a cell phone signal is (also satellite internet is an option), and the internet and cell phones allow us to keep in touch with people despite being on the road.

We will travel to each of the fifty states and stay in each one a while enjoying the beauty of God's creation and some of the great things that man has made. Our plan is to travel with the weather. We'll be in the south when it is cool up north and up north when it is too hot down south. So we will zig zag up and down the States. Maybe we will journey some into Canada. Whatever interests us is where we will go. Personally, I would like to stay near the ocean as much as possible.

One friend mentioned to me that he thought doing this would be selfish of me. In a way, I can see how that would be so. But we would like to make it a ministry opportunity. We would try to minister to and help out other travellers as much as possible. It excites me that we would be able to travel to areas that have had disasters and help out in whatever way possible.

We have started looking at vehicles and travel trailers. We are going the travel trailer route because we could unhook from the travel trailer and head on into cities to enjoy things that we would otherwise not be able to enjoy with just an RV.

None of this is set in stone until I get that job that I can travel with. If that job never comes about, then all this planning will be in vain.

My main concerns are...

1) Will it be detrimental to my children to not have regular friends besides one another for a considerable period of time?

2) Will we be able to serve others effectively?

Other concerns that I will have to come up with solutions to are...

3) What will we do if one of our kids get sick?

4) How can we do it as safely as possible?

This is the change of life in a cliffnote version. If there is any pitfall you can think of, please share it.

The last thing I really want is to get into the career rat race. Maybe I will be ready for that in five years or so. Maybe I never will be. Right now, I just want to live life to the fullest and bring peace and joy to the people I encounter.

I recently read a letter in the Sun. The letter writer shared how when he was growing up he had to live on a cold porch with his brother and two brothers from another family. They loved life. Then they grew up, went to college, got successful jobs, and bought houses in upper scale neighborhoods. They all have big warm master bedrooms for themselves. The letter writer claims that they are not happier for it.