Monday, April 28, 2008

McCain's 100 year war quote - the truth

As the race for president continues, it is important to find out the facts about the candidates. If we depend on the media as our source of information we will be hit with a barrage of out of context quotes and lies. When the topic of conversation turns to John McCain, it is nearly impossible not to hear about the infamous “100 year war” quote. The Democrats have used this quote to try to paint McCain as a war-mongering Bush clone. Whenever anyone asks them in an interview about McCain, the first thing they say is something like this, “He wants to keep this war going for 100 years! Do we want that?” or something similar to that. The claim that they make is ignorant and way out of context, and they know it – The problem is that they know that casual followers of the presidential race won’t take the time to find out what McCain really said.

For a little bit of background I have posted the original video of what McCain said below. A reporter was talking about how Bush mentioned staying in Iraq for 50 years, and McCain said “make it 100…” He then went on to explain that we have been in Germany since WWII ended and in Korea since the end of the Korean War. He also made it very clear that it would only be ok to be there for that amount of time as long as US soldiers were not being killed.

John McCain never said that he wants the current war in Iraq, in its current state, to last for 100 years. It is important, though, to keep a military presence in the Middle East. The Middle East is one of the most volatile regions in the world. Many people think that if we just leave and let them take care of themselves that everything will be fine. They believe that it will not affect us. The truth of the matter is that if the rest of the world ignores the Middle East, it will put more and more people in danger. Radical Muslim extremists are being taught around the World, including in the USA, that Americans and their allies are evil and should be destroyed. They are taught that all people must convert to their religion- whether by force, manipulation, or some combination of both doesn’t matter. What Osama Bin Laden said is quite telling about the attitude of those who are fighting against our freedom. He said, “We love death. The US loves life. That is the difference between us two.”

It is obvious that the democratic candidates are using John McCain's quote out of context in order to advance their own campaigns, but in reality they both know that he is right. We will not be able to pull out of Iraq immediately, an even when active combat ends, we will have to maintain a military presence for years to come.

This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.” ~Elmer Davis

Friday, April 4, 2008

Huckabee's supporters at it again

With the support for Romney as VP rising, a group of "social conservatives" has created a website in which they lie and write a letter to McCain saying that he can't choose Mitt for VP. Guess who's supporters are behind it? Yeah, its Huckabee's. The website is the majority of those who are adding their names to the letter are actually for Romney and adding pro-Romney comments. I created an online petition that is against that website, go there and sign it if you agree. Click Here for the petition. Romney is not the only choice for VP, but it is ridiculous that these people can't get over their hatred for Romney and would try to destroy his chances.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Wright and Wrong

The president that we are going to choose has to be a person of good judgment. We must pick the person who will protect our country and who will make the right decisions at the right time. All of the candidates have their good qualities, and also their bad ones. It's up to us to decide who is the right person for the job.

During the past couple of weeks, there has been one name that has monopolized air time on all of the major and minor news stations. That name? Reverend Jeremiah Wright, the former pastor and long time friend and mentor of presidential candidate Barack Obama. Reverend Wright is the man who Obama said changed his life and introduced him to Christ. He has been his spiritual adviser, and until recently held a position in Obama's presidential campaign. Reverend Wright has been at the center of much controversy. In the past week videos of some of Reverend Wright's vitriolic sermons have been circulated and shown time after time on YouTube and other news stations. In many of these sermons, Wright made outrageous comments about America. He called the USA the US of KKK ... A . He also put a new twist on the common patriotic phrase of "God Bless America" when he said "... God bless America? no ... G** D*** America". He then went on in other sermons to blame the United States for the terrorist attacks of 911 saying that "the chickens have come home to roost" These comments are highly offensive and completely anti-American.

I understand completely that he is protected by the 1st amendment's freedom of speech, and he can say what he likes. He has a strong following in the black community and many people admire him. The person in question, though, is Senator Barack Obama. Obama has attended Wright's church for the past 20 years. He had his children baptized by him, and he was even married to his wife, Michelle, by Reverend Wright. Barack credits Wright as being the man who introduced him to Christ.

When Obama was questioned whether or not he had heard these comments in church, he responded that he had not. In a speech Obama gave last week he did admit that he had been in attendance when some comments that could have been considered controversial were said. Before that, he was asked if he would have stayed in the church if he had heard those comments, and he said that if he heard them repeated he would have left.

I want to continue by saying that I do not think that Senator Obama is un-American; nor will I say that I think that he is a dis-honest person. However, this story has caused me to doubt whether or not he has the correct judgment to be President of the United States. Many people ask what he can do in order to make up for this issue. Many people say that he just has to repudiate the comments that were made, and everything will be fine. In my opinion it will take more than that. He can not make up for 20 years of attending and receiving advice from someone like Reverend Wright, with a 30 minute speech. Whether or not Obama was in attendance when the worst of those comments were spoken is irrelevant. If he really is as close to the Reverend as he says he is, then he would be perfectly aware of the feelings that he held towards Americans, and in particular, white-Americans. It is understandable that Obama does not want to disassociate himself with Wright, because he truly has been an important figure in his life. However, a man running for president on the platform of Unity and Hope for a brighter future, should not have a man who pushes divisive policies and centuries old rhetoric as his spiritual adviser, nor should he play a part in his political campaigning.

I do not agree with Obama on many issues including Abortion, Health Care, Taxes, The War in Iraq, Immigration reform, and many others. Those are the main reasons why I can not vote for him. However, his apparent lack of judgment in this recent controversy has caused me to question even more his ability to lead and unite the country. Being President of the United States requires a keen sense of judgment and the ability to make correct decisions for the good of America. In my opinion, Obama's lack of good judgment should raise many red flags for anyone considering voting for him this election year.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Romney for VP?

Today Mitt Romney was interviewed for the first time since withdrawing from the race, and when he was asked whether he would take the VP spot if it was offered to him he said the following, "“I think any Republican leader in this country would be honored to be asked to serve as the vice presidential nominee, myself included, Of course this is a nation which needs strong leadership. And if the nominee of our party asked you to serve with him, anybody would be honored to receive that call … and to accept it, of course.” He also said that he thinks that it would be easier for McCain to beat Obama, because people are starting to recognize that he is inexperienced and McCain will look great in contrast with him.

One of Romney's best lines of the interviews was when he was talking about national security. He said that listening to Obama and Clinton discuss their national security credentials, Romney said, is akin to listening to two chihuahuas argue about which is the biggest dog.
He then said that when it comes to national security, John McCain is the big dog, and they are the chihuahuas.

Romney said that there are no hard feelings between the campaigns, and some of Romney's top campaign officials have been in contact with McCain talking about fund raising. McCain will be in Boston tomorrow, but it is not known if Romney will be present at McCain's rally. We shall see.

Many people want Romney to be the VP, including many people within Bush's inner circle. I think Romney would be great and would help McCain to gain a lot more support. With Romney's grasp of the economy I think a lot of people will take another look, especially because of the current economic problems.

It is also interesting to note that after a few weeks of being down, Romney's website is back up and running. What that means we can only speculate, but if Romney is offered VP, we now know that he will accept it.

Friday, March 7, 2008

The Rise and Fall of Mitt Romney's presidential campaign

Well, there hasn't been much to write about lately, so I decided to make this random post. enjoy! Check out the link on the right of the page that says "My Helium Articles" It is a link to a website where I have written a few articles about other subjects as well as politics.

Every person who decides to run for President of the United States knows that there will be challenges along the way. That is part of the process. A great way to judge a candidate’s ability to be president is to observe how he or she reacts to opposition. Each candidate in this year’s presidential cycle faced unique challenges in their run. In the following paragraphs I will briefly describe and analyze the campaign of one of these candidates; his name is Mitt Romney.

Romney officially began his campaign for presidency February 13, 2007. At that point he was not very well known, and he had a long journey ahead. It was a journey that would require all of his time, and the help and support of his family and friends. Romney’s preliminary success was almost instant, as he won the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) straw poll, garnering 21% of the vote. Romney began holding fund-raisers and in the first quarter of his presidential run he raised over 23 million dollars in addition to just over 2 million dollars that he contributed from his own fortune. He began to spend this money on advertisements in two crucial states; Iowa and New Hampshire. These advertisements focused on his conservative credentials and he began to lead in the preliminary polls in those two states.

Things were looking good for Romney, and he began to receive better name recognition. However, along with his rise in the polls came an increase in the scrutiny that he received. This was the beginning of Mitt Romney’s downfall. One of the main issues that came up was Romney religion. Romney is an active and involved member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (commonly known as the Mormons). Many people were wary of his religion, because of his beliefs which differ in some parts from the “mainstream Christian” beliefs. From nearly the beginning of the campaign Romney had to try to prove to the voters that his religion would not affect his ability to lead the country. The religion issue came to a climax when Romney gave a speech entitled “Faith in America” in which he explained that authorities from his religion would not affect his presidential decisions. Although he was able to calm the fire slightly, it still burned brightly in the hearts of many people who didn’t feel comfortable supporting a “Mormon”.

Romney continued working hard and was poised to win the Iowa caucus. Those plans changed when another no-name candidate came into the spotlight. That candidate was named Mike Huckabee. Huckabee was a former Southern Baptist preacher, and was very popular among evangelicals in Iowa. His popularity soared through the roof in the weeks preceding the Iowa caucuses and that resulted in a victory in the first of many contests. This put a dent in Romney’s armor and forced him to change his strategy slightly.

At that point Romney began to run ads which some construed as negative, in which he compared his record with his opponents’. Romney’s competition took advantage of this to point the finger at him and labeling him as the first to go “negative”. His top two opponents took every chance that they could to point it out in their interviews, apparently not seeing the irony in what they were doing. Nevertheless, Romney made a comeback and won some key primary contests and caucuses, which put him in the delegate lead for the time being.

In the interim between the first rush of primaries, Romney’s opponents and the media threw everything that they had at him in debates and in other interviews. He was accused of “flip-flopping” on several key conservative issues. The major issue that he was questioned on was his switch from being pro-choice to being pro-life. He explained that he had been pro-choice in the first case because of a close family member who had died of an illegal abortion, and for that reason he thought that it abortions should be safe if they were going to be performed. Romney gave his reasoning for the change, explaining that he had learned more about the issue, and could not support the stem-cell research that was being performed as a result of abortions. Despite Romney’s explanation he had already been labeled a “flip-flopper”, and that is one of his main challenges in his presidential run.

Romney hung in there until Super Tuesday, hoping to come away with big wins which would keep him in the running. Unfortunately the states which he won did not give him the amount of delegates that he was hoping for. Within a week of realizing his chances of capturing the nomination were slim, Romney gracefully bowed out claiming that he didn’t want to deny the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee, John McCain, the opportunity to begin his national campaign.

Romney’s run for president ended sooner than he, or many of his supporters, would have hoped, but it was far from a failure. Romney received the name recognition that he so desperately sought during his entire campaign, he engaged in many debates in which he looked very professional and presidential, and he set himself up for a potentially successful career in politics; which could possibly even include another presidential run in the years to come.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Obamamania? or ObamINSANia?

We all know what it is like when we discover a new fad. We know what it feels like when we hear an awesome new singer or band for the first time. Some of us may even know how it feels to be a part of their "fan club." Honestly, it's a good feeling. Everyone wants to feel like they are a part of something bigger. Most people want to be part of the "cool" group. This is normal, and a part of life, and in my opinion it is a very big part of why Senator Obama has become so popular as of late. I've been thinking about it a lot lately and I have a few theories about this so called "Obamamania"

In my sociology class we were studying group dynamics and one of the things we studied stuck out to me. It was the concept of "groupthink". Groupthink is defined as a narrowing of thought by a group of people, leading to the perception that there is only one correct answer, in which to even suggest alternatives becomes a sign of disloyalty. In my text book it says that people who develop this tunnel vision often, "put aside moral judgments and disregard risk." In a way this frame of thought affects the supporters of all candidates running for president, but I believe that it has affected on a larger scale the legions of Obama supporters. I am not saying that they are a bunch of mindless drones. Nor am I saying that they can't think for themselves, or that they shouldn't support their candidate. What I am saying is that Obama has gone from heavy underdog to superstar in the span of just a few short months, and there has to be reason.

It's easy to explain the reason for his popularity. Senator Obama has a great talent for giving speeches. He knows how to deliver lines that would have a much lesser affect if delivered by some of his opponents. He has based his campaign on a message of hope and change. The downfall? What he is "hoping" to "change" is widely unknown at this point. I have to admit that whenever I hear him give a speech he almost convinces me with his words, but when I look at his plan for "change", it's a plan that I can't swallow. This is where the above quote comes into play. Senator Obama plans on withdrawing all of the troops from Iraq starting the first month that he is in office. He plans on focusing on Afghanistan, with the "hope" that the terrorists that we will be leaving un-opposed in Iraq will follow our lead and go home. He said the other day that he would withdraw from Iraq immediately but if Al-Qaeda was in Iraq that he would "consider" going back. John McCain jumped all over that saying, "I have some news — al Qaeda is in Iraq. It's called: 'Al Qaeda in Iraq." If we withdraw from Iraq Al-Qaeda is not going to leave their new safe haven and return to Afghanistan to fight us there. They will make their bases in Iraq and plan attacks on us. The truth is that with the recent successes in Iraq more of the terrorists are leaving Iraq and going back to Afghanistan. Following Obama's "hope for change in the war" will only expose the American people to more risks. Jumping on the Obama bandwagon may seem like the cool thing to do, but the truth is that supporting Obama and electing him president disregards a very big risk, a risk to all Americans.

I have always said that I think Obama is great man. I believe that he does love this country. I don't pay attention to the rumors that he is not patriotic, and honestly I am not surprised that people look past his actual platform and jump on his train. I think that he truly does want a change in this country; but isn't that what all the candidates want? There isn't a candidate running for president who doesn't want to change some aspect of the government to make our lives better. Our responsibility as citizens of this great country is to decide who offers realistic changes that will work, and who merely offers unrealistic changes that will most certainly have the opposite effect.

**The War is not the only issue that I disagree with Obama on, but it is one of the more important ones at this point in my opinion, which is why I have been focusing on it more as of late**

Here are some videos for some comic relief :) (They're just for fun!!) Brought to you by "Swiftkids for truth"

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

IRAQ: Why we can't just leave and why Obama can not be our President

I had the unique opportunity to hear a lecture by Major Art Finch, an army major who has been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq many times in the past six years. He came to my Political Science class today, and his comments helped solidify my support for the War on Terrorism; and it also solidified my opposition to Senator Obama's candidacy. **Major Finch has been in on many important operations and has participated in meetings with General Petraeus**

Watching the news, one would think that all that is going on in Iraq is blood and carnage. That we are fighting a hopeless battle, or even that we shouldn't be there. It is obvious why a large majority of Americans think that we should pull the troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, which also would explain part of Senator Barack Obama's popularity. It is a well known motto in news that "if it bleeds, it leads". It's interesting to note that we rarely hear about Iraq anymore. Occasionally there is a story about a suicide bombing, or some other event in which life was lost. The reason we don't hear much anymore is because we are winning! We have to be careful when listening to the media. We have to wade through the spin that the media throws at us to find the true story. The following is an example that Major Finch shared. Near the beginning of the war in Iraq there were many stories in the news about all of the hospitals being looted; it showed people throwing gurneys down the streets and ransacked hospital rooms. To the casual observer this would translate to failure. While it is true that some hospitals were looted, the numbers are quite interesting. In Bagdad there are over 200 hospitals. The amount that had these problems was six! The stories that make it to our television sets are those of reporters who go to Iraq and instead of being embedded with troops, turn and run and tell stories of failure and death. The stories of the embedded reporters, who have first hand stories of the successes don't make it past press room. My point? We have to take what the news stations tell us with a grain of salt. Below I will state some of the common questions about the war, followed by some of the answers that I heard at today's discussion with a first hand participant in the war, Major Art Finch.

Is the Surge working? (the surge is the increase of troops in Iraq that began around a year ago.)

In simple terms, yes the surge is working. What is some evidence of this? The lack of news stories about Iraq. As I stated earlier, if we don't hear about anything, it's because good things are happening and not just bad things. This is basically what the military is doing and how its works; They are capturing the bad guys, sitting them down and talking to them, and getting information about where other bad guys are. Sound simple? That's because many of the bad guys don't like what they are doing anyway, and are beginning to realize that they are losing ground. This has caused a great decrease in the leadership of the terrorist organizations in Iraq.
It's also interesting that we are starting to hear about an increase in violence in Afghanistan. There is a direct causal relationship with the War in Iraq and this increase in violence. The extremists are abandoning their posts in Iraq and returning to Afghanistan.

How is the morale of the soldiers?

Good! Major Finch told us that the soldiers are there, they get why they are there, and they are seeing the success of their efforts. They are helping civilians and building schools, and the children are always trying to get close to them and talk to them. It's not all pretty, but they know what they are doing and are encouraged by their recent successes. Major Finch did say that they are a bit ticked off at us Americans. They feel like many American's are being hypocrites. They receive tons of packages and letters of hope and support, but then they see polls that say that 60-80% of American's don't think we should be there. They feel like if we really supported them that we would support them in every aspect.

What effect would pulling out of Iraq immediately have?

When asked this, Major Finch said, "It scares the tar out of me." He said that if we pull out the troops before it is necessary that it will change the entire battlefield, it will give the terrorists a sense of security, and we will fight this same war later on, but it will be more expensive in the cost of American lives and more extensive in the ground we will have to cover.
He also emphasized the fact that so many attacks on American soil are averted every week! He says that he is very surprised that none of these attacks have slipped through, and that it is because of our ability to stop them in Iraq before they can put their plans into action on our soil. The troops don't care anymore why we went to Iraq; it doesn't matter anymore. They are there and they want to finish it now, so their children won't have to fight the same war 20 years from now. Iraq is not a land full of terrorists, it is a land full of families; grandparents playing with their grandchildren, aunts talking with their nephews, parents counseling their children, mothers nurturing their babies. The soldiers want to allow these people to have some semblance of freedom so they can enjoy those gems of life. If we pull out the troops immediately, they will lose all freedom that they have so far been granted.

So how are we going to win? According to Major Finch, it's through information. When people can choose the information that they receive without having to wade through the media's manipulation we will be able to gain ground on the enemy. When we as American's unite and truly support the efforts of our military, we will win.

These are a few of the questions and answers, mixed with my own insights about the War on Iraq. These are the main reasons why I can not support Barack Obama. We need a president who will fight for our freedom. A president who will not surrender to the terrorists and thus strike fear into the hearts of our soldiers. A president who will not get stuck in the media's intricately spun web of deception. The best choice we have to protect America and defeat the terrorists is John McCain. He isn't strong on everything, but he knows very well the consequences of surrendering to the terrorists in Iraq. He knows that surrendering their will endanger us here. That is why I am now supporting John McCain, and will simply not vote for Obama. I will vote for substance over speeches, truth over rhetoric.

*Major Finch also talked about the Blackwater Scandal and Weapons of Mass destruction and Osama Bin Laden. It was very interesting. If anyone wants to know what he said about them, let me know.