Not happy With The Democrats?

I’m not really a Democrat but I am anti Republican. I believe in Democracy and in our Constitution. I wish we could rid ourselves of this two party system, or at least these two parties. It would be nice if there were more of a difference on the honesty and doing the peoples work side. The main reason I am anti elephants is because in addition to doing neither of those, they don’t believe in democracy at all.

I changed from Independent 10-15 years ago when it was apparent we needed to rid ourselves of the Republican infestation and its threat to any remaining freedom in this country.

The choice of parties isn’t great because I haven’t found a party that uses reason as their core policy. I’m a realist and have to remain a “registered’ Democrat for now. Damn!

Hillary And The Wrong Wing Media

Why the rush to approve Barack, the republican choice of an opponent to McCain? Why not let the primary voters complete their vote. Even last night, the evening before the final primary voting, the republican media is manipulating their corporate news media saying Hillary had conceded when it wasn’t true and had no basis in fact.

But, it looks like Barack will probably get the nomination. Too bad, he has much less a chance to win than does Hillary. My guess is a 5% difference. Assuming a probable 60% vote if Hillary were the nominee and my belief that the Republicans still have control of possibly 5% of the vote through fraud and manipulation of voting machines that makes the results too close to call and we may easily end up with another unwanted, unelected Republican as our president I’m a bit worried. I do hope that if Barack is chosen that he is smart enough to recognize this danger and select Hillary as his running mate.

I hope that we never have another primary like this one and finally do the primary vote correctly and have all states vote at the same time and date. It’s the only honest way to do it. If this were a normal year, California would have been having their primary vote today, as well, meaning that their vote, the most populous state in the nation had nothing to say about the selection of our president. That is extremely wrong!

I have to wonder why Barack did best in the red states, open primary states and caucus states all more easily manipulated by those damn  Republicans.

Wrong Wing News

Leslie Griffith, was a local real journalist. Leslie was an award winning anchor woman on Channel 2, the now local FOX affiliate. She worked there for 20 years, the last 10 years as an anchor. She started there back before the days of the FOX network and back when Channel 2 had the best news department and team in the San Francisco Bay Area. When they became a FOX affiliate I started to watch another station’s news, Channel 4. In the beginning, the news on Channel 2 seemed the same but the FOX influence then moved in. I was recently wondering why Leslie was suddenly gone a year or two ago and Goggled her and learned a little more about what happened. As it turns out she was fired. As far back as 2003 when Bush twisted events such that Osama became Saddam and Afghanistan became Iraq she was acting like a journalist, looking at what happened, asking questions and reporting. Evidently she recognized the problem with Bush on the day of his 2003 State Of The Nation speech and wanted to discuss it on the newscast. For fear of being fired, nobody else there was interested. Evidently she had a long term contract because she didn’t leave until mid 2006 and either won a law suit against the station or they bought out here contract but she never returned. In reading about the events as she describes them on her website, it is a perfect description of what is wrong with the media now that it is corporate based rather than locally owned. Hopefully, some day, we’ll pass some realistic laws to protect the Fourth Estate and not allow multiple ownership nor network control of stations and other local news media. If not, we’re in very serious trouble and the future of our freedom is in extreme danger. We’re living in the days of the chain store media and need to move back toward the farmers market media.

Now as to the station I changed to, Channel 4. They had a good independent news group. They evidently were not responding appropriately to the Wrong Wing News according to NBC. NBC dropped their affiliation and bought a station in San Jose, a supposedly different TV market. NBC bought some votes at the FCC, as well and moved San Jose to San Francisco and Channel 11 became the local NBC affiliate with a bunch of newly hired talking faces as the reporting staff. Too bad. Channel 4 remained mostly independent but the big bucks were gone and the news quality has been slipping because of staff reductions. Too bad!

Another example. Last week, all three major network news anchors, Brian Williams (NBC), Katie Couric (CBS) and Charles Gibson (ABC) were on the Today show. They were asked how they thought the news media did covering the Iraq war. Williams and Gibson thought they did well. Only Couric was bold enough to say that the news media did a terrible job and failed to ask any questions. When Couric came to CBS when Dan Rather was fired, I thought it was the end of real journalism at CBS. While they still did not ask the questions, at least she recognizes that they didn’t. I wonder how much longer Couric will be with CBS?

Finding honest news and real journalists has become very difficult.

Iraq Improving, Not

It’s interesting to hear from general Petraeus report on the improvements in Iraq. I just checked the death and injury statistics for March each year and they differ very little from March 2004 to March 2008, generally mid 30′s for deaths and mid 300′s for injuries. Just what has improved. There is still no progress politically and no plan for an exit by the US troops. This war IS identical to Viet Nam in its un-winability and being unnecessary. Are we actually worse off for leaving Viet Nam? Are the people of Viet Nam any worse off? I think not.

What will really improve conditions in Iraq is our departure. Any impact will be short term and then nil.

I do believe we should establish and keep a secure military base (naval and air) there like in Cuba. From there we could watch and take immediate action if required but let them work out their own future otherwise.

Has anyone else noticed this is the 7th year of this “war”. We’ve conquered the world twice before in about half that period. We’ve fought three executive follies (Korea, Viet Nam, and the current Iraq conflict) since then all with no significant benefit. The loss of life by our military in each of these actions, statistically, was much greater than in the real world wars.

Bad Business

I mistakenly subscribed to Popular Science magazine a couple of years ago. My mistake was using a credit card with a business like Popular Science’s publishers or distributors, whoever they are. That’s part of the problem.

Last year I saw a charge for Popular Science renewal. i didn’t intend to renew and never received any correspondence from them regarding the proposed renewal and didn’t agree to a continuing renewal. It didn’t cost much and there is an occasional article of interest in the magazine, not many though that’s why I intended to cancel.

This year, I did receive a card in the mail. The print was all 6 point so it was more than your typical small print notice. It did not mention what it was related to except that deep in the notice, it had a phone number that I needed to call in order to cancel whatever it was. I suspected it was the Popular Science subscription so I called it. It was an automated system. It requested I enter the Subscriber number from the form. It was difficult to find and read due to placement and size. When I entered the number it said the account didn’t exist. On the 6th try and after attempt to get me to enter every other form of identification that might relate to me, it finally recognized the account. It then asked if I wanted to cancel. I said yes. It said to the effect, “fine and since you’re such a good customer we’ll cancel the subscription and send the magaazine to you for 6 months for free. If you then contact us we’ll not enter your charge subscription”.

It was actually worded such that probably 99% of the people answering the question would end up with a continuing subscription thinking they had canceled.

This is an example of a business that doesn’t deserve anyones business. I will not read another PS magazine nor anything else from the publisher of it.

I normally use disposable credit card numbers to prevent just such nonsense and I’m not sure how this one by passed that. I must have been in a hurry and thought they were a reputable business. A mistake!

The problem is that they aren’t too different than most other businesses.

Some gas stations deliberately swap the grade selection at the pump in such a way that a user who normally selects the lowest grade as I do will select the highest grade. It’s easy to see it was intentional because, where I’ve seen it, they aren’t in order. Normally they are placed highest to lowest left to right as a normal person would suspect. At the crooked dealers, I have seen them Medium, lowest then highest, left to right. Cute.

How about the nice market that advertises a sale product and then places higher priced similar items in the space below the sign. They may have the actual item nearby but the placement doesn’t appear accidental. And then there is the stuff along the shelves near the registers. I’m sure the moms apreciate all the candy being placed there.

And then there’s the City of Santa Cruz with their parking violation scam. They consider the posting of a sign as unimportant to inform the driver of parking restrictions, if, a sign is posted someplace else in the city. Just shows you don’t have to be a slimy business man to be dishonest. “Public” servants can be as well.

These are just a few and possibly not the most significant attempts at swindling us recently.  The problem is, they are not isolated incidents. It seems to be the norm for business activity recently. For that reason, I am intensifying my efforts at not doing business with such organizations and making life as difficult for them as I can in every other way I can. I just wish there was more I could do to put such business out of business more quickly.


What if Al Gore’s election to the presidency in 2000 hadn’t been stolen? What if we hadn’t had to suffer through the worst presidency in history and the worst strain on our democracy?

We wouldn’t have suffered through these past seven years of recession. The economy would still be booming. The president’s people keep telling us that all is going well but the real facts say otherwise. Ask your neighbor how he likes working at McDonald’s now and his other job, and his wife having to work rather than the well paying manufacturing job he had previously.

We would not be as dependent on foreign oil and would be moving away form oil use for energy entirely.

We wouldn’t have started another world war just to save the world for our religion.

We wouldn’t have alienated our friends and inflamed our enemies making the world and ourselves more at risk for terrorist attacks.

The twin World Trade Center Towers would still be standing. This is the Wag The Dog thing. I believe Bush either directly plotted or enabled the execution of the “attack” to allow him to pursue his war of salvation..

Workers would be reaping more of the rewards of their labors instead of seeing it stolen by conglomerates.

We wouldn’t have had the savings and loan fiasco,

We’d have a realistic energy policy and California wouldn’t have had 6 billion dollars stolen from it by Enron. Along with this, California wouldn’t have then lost a good governor and gained a lousy one who still can’t pronounce California.

We’d still have local newspapers and TV stations rather that just a few intentional corporations.

We’d still have some undisturbed parks and forests that, if used for necessary mineral production, would have netted the nation appropriate financial rewards rather the less than administration costs.

We’d have students that could read, write, speak, and calculate better than the rest of the world rather than almost the most ignorant student body.

Imagine. I try to, but it makes me sad to think what could have been and what will take decades to achieve now, If at all possible.

The Post Office Needs Fixing.

I hate what has happened to our postal system. Rising costs, reduced service and all that junk mail.

More than 98 percent of our mail is junk mail. Why can’t they be customer oriented and allow the customer to specify they don’t want to receive that junk saving the customers the aggravation and the system the cost of delivery and the environment the impact of tree usage and disposal impacts?

The cost of a letter has been rising about $.04 per year recently and probably will continue to do so. I can’t even buy a roll of stamps anymore and use it before the price rises and additional stamps are needed to supplement the rate. I guess they do now offer lifetime stamps but at what cost and impact to the system? The letter carrier now drives house to house in older areas so that they can deliver the handfuls of junk mail every day whereas they used to deliver one or two letters to each customer every few days. The major reason the cost of a first-class stamp has risen is to carry the junk mail, which is delivered at a reduced rate. Don’t tell me you can’t by politicians votes . It’s cheaper to buy votes than to pay the delivery costs.

And then there is the waste of the time of the customers having to sort through all that junk mail.

Supposedly you can “opt out” of receiving junk mail but it doesn’t work or we wouldn’t be receiving it. Why opt out? Why not opt in? Because no one would. So they pay to keep everything opt out. They say it would be unconstitutionally violating their freedom of speech. I say they’re violating my right to not have to listen.

That would be how I would define “the right to the pursuit of happiness?”

Left or Right?

I have a pet peeve. I hate people who don’t know how to walk. I shouldn’t be surprised, they probably are the same people who don’t know how to drive but I still hate meeting them. There isn’t a law, but there should be. When approaching someone, you should pass on the right. It seems simple to me but too complex for far too many people. It seems far too many architects have the same problem because they are always placing the in door on the left when it should be on the right. There usually is absolutely no reason just ignorance.

Interestingly, the majority of the world drives on the right side of the road so these people should have no problem. But the folks from England and many of their former colonies drive on the left side so you would think that might influence their erroneous passages but I think not. Most are not from such places so can’t claim that as the cause, just ignorance and/or inconsideration. They are probably the same people that crowd in line, don’t hold the door for others and don’t open doors for ladies, the disabled and the elderly. They are also likely the people who poke along two or more abreast making it impossible to pass them from either direction and probably the same folks that block the pathway to chat.

They really annoy me!

Who Should Be The Next President

What an interesting campaign. The Democrats have possibly the best list of potential presidents ever. Any one of the major Democratic candidates would make a great president. While my favorite is Edwards, he has little chance of winning. Of the two leading candidates, Clinton and Obama, either could easily win but Clinton has the stronger experience and she also has the most capable adviser, her husband. In addition both Clinton and Obama represent minorities. or at least political minorities. Obama is black. Hillary is a woman.

I believe the larger minority, which is actually a super majority is the best way to go. Women make up more than 50% of the voters and even 18% of Republican women say they would vote for her. That bodes well for her candidacy but, unfortunately, some men, even democrats wouldn’t vote for her. Unfortunately, I don’t think Obama is as well served by his minority status as he is by his capabilities and charisma. There are sill far too many people in this country that are racist and that bias will override their political motivations. That’s too bad!

For these reasons I support Hillary as my preferred candidate. She can win and, in my opinion, a woman is probably what it will take to restore this country to what it was, before this most recent disastrous president, and also move the country forward to what it can and should be.

And now a quick analysis of the republican candidates. Are you kidding. What candidates? Bigots, criminals, and liars.

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