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Hello all my friends, I hope this finds you all well. Normally I would not be posting another blog so quickly, because I have just posted one. However, with Labor Day coming up, the fact that I won’t be around, and John McCain making his Vice Presidential pick the day after the Democratic National Convention, the very convention where Barack Obama and Joe Biden accepted their party’s nomination for President and Vice President, I feel it is necessary for me to write this blog post today. Also the next post will be on Wednesday during the Republican National Convention.

Early Friday morning August 29, 2008, the McCain campaign indicated that he had made his VP pick. Some of those considered to be on the short list like Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty indicated that they were not the nominee that McCain had picked and that they had no knowledge of who the pick was. Shortly there after John McCain announced that his pick was Sarah Palin, the female Republican Governor of the state of Alaska. On the heels of the Democratic National Convention, where Barack Obama became the first black American, to be nominated by a major party for President, a party that also could have had the first woman nominee for President in Hillary Clinton, this was a major shock to all the media and political insiders. It also prompted an instant attack by Obama and company. They automatically attacked her for being to young, having no foreign policy experience, and having a special needs child instead of an abortion, how nice.

Sara Palin has not been in politics very long. She was raised in a middle class home, her parents both working for a school in Sand Point, Idaho. Her mother was the school secretary, and her father was a science teacher and track coach.

Sarah attended high school at Wasilla High School in Alaska where she played on the girl’s basketball team, and was their captain and a fierce point guard earning the nickname Sarah Barracuda. She also led the Fellowship of Christian Athletes there as well.

In 1984 Palin won the Miss Wasilla beauty contest, and finished second in the Miss Alaska pageant where she won a college scholarship. She now holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Idaho, and a minor in political science.

Her career scope is pretty varied. She worked as a sports reporter for local Anchorage television stations while at the same time working as a commercial fisherwoman with her husband whom she married on August 29, 1988.

In 1992 Sarah Palin began her career in politics. Running for city council in Wasilla, as a supporter of a controversial new sales tax, she served two consecutive terms on the council. In 1996 she defeated the incumbent mayor of Wasilla where she served two consecutive terms as well. Sarah Palin was also elected President of the Alaska Conference of Mayors. In 2002 Palin lost a bid for Lt Governor to Loren Leman. Palin received an appointment to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission where she served from 2003 to 2004 when she resigned in protest of fellow Alaskan Republican leaders for what she claimed was a lack of ethics. In 2006 Palin won the gubernatorial election for Governor in Alaska defeating incumbent Governor Murkowski running on a clean government campaign. On August 29, 2008, Sarah Palin was named as the Republican Vice Presidential nominee by John McCain for the party.

All in all I would say that Mrs. Palin has had a remarkable life for someone from the middle class. She is really just a normal everyday regular Joe type. Make no mistake about it though I think she is an excellent choice for VP and very dangerous to the Democratic ticket for the White House. She has a little bit of legislative experience in her city council terms, and a lot more executive experience in her two terms as a Mayor and her first term as Governor in Alaska, which I think makes her more than qualified to be in the White House with regard to executive experience versus Obama. As far as experience in commanding the military she is currently the Commander in Chief of the Alaska National Guard. She also has some experience with dealing with foreign nations as ships from many countries dock at Alaska’s ports. But I am sure she will leave foreign policy to John McCain who has approximately 26 years in that arena, as well as dealing with issues of the military, and intelligence. As far as the economy and the budget goes with Palin’s executive experience, and McCain’s legislative experience I think they have that very well covered.

I hope you all have a grand weekend, and an awesome labor day, and I will see you on Wednesday to talk about the Republican National Convention. I hope you guy’s enjoy the video too, CIAO4NOW!!!!!

P.S. Check out this new site I found.

Hey my friends, how are you all doing today? This, thank God, is the last post of the week, and last night was the last night of the Democratic National Convention. This post is going to be dedicated to the three speeches given by Bill Clinton, Joe Biden, and Barack Obama. I will try to make this short, sweet, and to the point. If you all are ready now, I’ll begin.

Let’s begin with Bill Clinton’s speech. I will have to admit that every time he stands up and gives a speech I am awestruck by the way he commands the stage and works the crowd. The ultimate ring master, Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus could not have put on a better show. The speech was approximately 30 minutes in length and Bill used every second of it to spread the Democrat message. He spoke about Hillary’s run for the Presidential nomination of the party and how proud he was of her. He also spoke about Obama, his character, and his qualifications to be President. He spoke to the lunch pail voters and the women voters who were Hillary’s back bone and wove for them a utopian vision with Obama and the Democrats in power. Of course there was your usual attack of the Republicans and John McCain, while saying that he liked and respected him. All in all it was the quintessential democrat speech, thoroughly motivational, full of holes and half truths, and at least one or two omissions of the truth. It was definitely the best of three speeches we are discussing.

What can I say about Joe Biden and his speech? You got to like the guy - the poorest Senator in Washington. He is a working class guy, born in Scranton, PA, fought is way up and along the way had a failed campaign for the Presidential nomination of his party and has spent the last 30 years in the Senate where he represents the state of Delaware. Now Joe is the Vice Presidential nominee for his party, and his acceptance speech was everything you would expect to hear from him. He gave the usual Democrat speech supporting all of their pet causes, praising Hillary, her run, and how great a friendship they possess. Of course there were the pre requisite attacks against the Republicans, and John McCain, while at the same time admitting he respected McCain and called him a friend. He also swore his oath of fealty to Barack Obama, and even went so far as to say he was infinitely more qualified to be President than John McCain. A very flat speech though, so it gets the #3 spot of the Gentlemen who spoke on Wednesday and Thursday evenings.

Last, but most certainly not least, the anointed one - Barack Obama. Obama’s speech said everything we expected it to, from how the Democrats know better than the Republicans, to four more years under McCain is the same as the last eight years we got from the Bush administration. He said he would end the war in Iraq, and put more resources in to Afghanistan. He renewed his support for abortion rights, and universal healthcare, and the party’s energy plan. He spoke of tax cuts for the middle class, his support of organized labor, and he spoke of closing the tax loop holes for corporations who make massive windfall profits, and doing the same to small business, and entrepreneurs. He also discussed the great campaign that Hillary Rodham Clinton ran for the party Presidential nomination. Last of all, he discussed how the Republicans have it all wrong, only the Democrats know what is right, and that while John McCain might be a decorated war hero, and a patriot who loves his country, he is out of touch with the American people, and that he (Barack) is more qualified to lead the nation with his vast experience. A very well thought out and prepared speech, better than Biden’s, but not as good as Clinton's. Just like the others, it is full of holes and full of omissions of the truth. This speech is definitely #2 of the three speeches we have heard from this men in the last two days.

In closing I would just like to say, that I thought their effort to unify their party was admirable and to some extent successful. However I don’t think they made their case as well as they would have liked. I don’t think that there is as much unity as they like, and I can’t help but wonder how much their proposed utopian society is going to cost us when it comes time to pay for it. It IS going to cost, and cost at least billions of dollars. That can mean only one thing - raise taxes, and then spend the money…it’s the Democrat way. Have a great day, and a wonderful weekend, and to all of my US readers have a wonderful Labor Day to, ciao4now!!!!!

Enjoy the video!!!!!

Hey ya’ll, how are you doing today? I hope this finds all of you healthy, wealthy, wise, and happy, or at least three of the four. As I told you on Monday I was going to do a piece on Joe Biden today. However, with what I saw yesterday and today with Michelle Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton, I think I should dedicated today’s blog to them and their speeches at the Democratic National Convention. I will start with Mrs. Obama first and finish with Mrs. Clinton so lets get started.

Monday’s speech by Michelle Obama was definitely a spectacle to behold. Mrs. Obama was turned out in an elegant green dress, (my favorite color) her hair shining, and smiling at the crowd as she took her place at the podium. She spoke of her time with Barack, their working their way through school, her children, her family, and the values she was raised with, and those that her husband, and herself are raising their daughters with. She spoke of the problems most of us face like paying the bills, worrying about health insurance for the family, and worrying about their children’s education, portraying themselves as normal everyday people who understand the plight of the normal everyday working/middle class people who make up the vast majority of this great nation. It was quite a picture of their history that she painted for all of us to see. It was something I could respect having been there and done that myself.

After that she started speaking about healthcare and education and all I could hear was the talking points of the campaign it reminded me of Barack’s stump speech and I was very much surprised to hear what I was hearing then I was saddened then angered. I thought to myself that she had successfully woven this image of Barack as the patriarch of his family, of how he drove home with their new born daughter in his arms, and in the next instant she was talking about the government assuming the role of patriarch, his role for the family, by supplying healthcare for everyone of us, and how everyone should get a free college education on the government, basically a land of entitlements. As all of this passed before my eyes and ears I started to notice that she wasn’t really looking at the cameras to much or at other people, that she wasn’t comfortable on stage, or how it was so obvious she was reading from a teleprompter, and how at the end she had to cajole her children to talk to their father on the monitor. Then it hit me, she knew she was lying about what she had said and how she felt and last but not least that she hadn’t really given her husband that much of an endorsement. It was a good speech but in the end I don’t think it was as convincing as they had hoped.

Tuesday night I watched Hillary’s speech and I watched it very closely because of what I saw Monday night from Mrs. Obama. Hillary was cool, crisp, and very much at the top of her game. She spoke of her family and bills family, of raising Chelsea as well as talking of her and bills time in college, working within the Democratic party, Bills governorship in Arkansas, their time in the white House, and her time as Senator for the state of New York. She was very eloquent about her run for the party nomination for President this year, and all the barriers that have been battered down to get her there. She spoke the usual talking points as well about McCain being four more years of Bush’s eight years and all that entails in the Democratic Party view, and she spoke of party unity attempting to bring her supporters into line behind Obama. She did all that was expected of her and she did it well. I think though, that she fell short in her endeavors, and not for lack of trying. Through out her entire thirty minute speech she only mentioned Barack ten times, which I think was not near enough, and as sincere as she attempted to sound, I don’t think she came off as truly sincere. For all of that though she was infinitely better at the microphone than Mrs. Obama.

The early polls for both of these speakers have indicated that neither one of them was as successful as the Democratic Party had hoped and that complete unity at this time has not been achieved by either one of them and at the end of their respective nights neither one of them had proved Barack’s qualifications to lead this country. Look out because William Jefferson Clinton and Joe Biden speak tonight so no one knows what will happen. I think it will all be up to Barack Obama to sell himself to us on Thursday night. I don’t think he can do it by himself.

Have a great day and I will see you all on Friday for the wrap up of the DNC, CIAO4NOW!!!!!!

Hello everybody it's time for another installment of Simple Man Politics. I hope you had a great weekend. This week we have the Democratic National Convention taking place in the mile high city of Denver, Colorado, so this weeks posts are going to be dedicated to Barack Obama, his Vice Presidential pick, Joe Biden, and their party’s and member’s direction through the convention, and beyond. Today we are going to concentrate on Obama. Are you all ready to get started? I am, so let's do it.

We all know that Barack Obama was a nobody when he threw his hat in the ring for his party’s nomination for President in the 2008 race for the White House. He got his start in politics as a community organizer and eventually moved up to state senator for eight years in the state of Illinois. Then he moved up to the US Senate where he is a first term senator, but it was only a short time before he decided to run for President of the United States. His first step into the national spotlight came at the 2004 Democratic National Convention where he gave the keynote speech to the party for the Kerry/Edwards ticket.

Since Barack Obama announced his bid for the Party nomination on Febuary 10, 2007, he has come from virtual obscurity to being his party’s Presidential nominee. He has dispatched his opponents handily, including the then presumptive front runner Hillary Rodham Clinton, who hung on until every last state and delegate was counted. He did this by saying that he was against the war in Iraq from the beginning, saying it was the hardest decision of his political career. He also stated that he is in full support of Roe v Wade, nationalized health care, levying more taxes on the wealthy, supports tighter gun control legislation, and no more drilling or discovering our own domestic sources of energy. Obama also said that he was for invading Pakistan if Osama Bin Laden is located there.

Obama’s meteoric rise to superstar status within the Democratic Party hasn’t been with out incident. First there was his association with the racist and possibly anti Semitic Reverend Jeremiah Wright, whom Obama claimed was his mentor for many years, while claiming he never knew the good reverends views on race and nation. Next came his apparent relationship with the Weather Undergrounds very own Bill Ayers, a homegrown terrorist who is proud of the bombings against the US by his organization, and who says his only wish was that they could have done more. Let us not forget Obama’s own wife the charming Michelle Obama who claims that she had never been proud of her country until her husband won the Democratic Party nomination, and also said the United States was a very mean country.

Then after all of that, he picks as a Vice Presidential running mate, Joe Biden, who not even two weeks ago stated that Obama didn’t have the experience or seasoning it took to be President of these United States. Last but not least, lest we forget, Obama has a problem with Americans clinging to their god and guns, and cannot even give a straight answer on any issue. His favorite words seem to be "um", and "uh", and words of that nature - befitting of a man with a Harvard education?

Well there you have him, Barack Hussein Obama in a nutshell. I don’t understand how the war in Iraq could be one of his hardest decisions when he wasn’t even a US Senator at the time the war was commenced. As for his stance with regard to the myriad of other issues he says he supports, they all just prove him to be your typical tax and spend democrat, and don’t for one minute think your taxes won’t be raised, because if he gets elected and rolls back the Bush tax cuts your taxes will surely go up. As for universal health care, that along with his views on taxation and the economy, only proves to me once again that he is a committed socialist, and committed to the idea that he knows better than you what is good for you. One more thing, on the subject of energy…drill here, drill now, and help keep our country secure, and explore all the different types of energy like natural gas, wind, geothermal, and nuclear, its just good simple politics.

That’s all I have to say on the subject of the Democratic Presidential Nominee Barack Hussein Obama. Like I always say though, while I report the facts to you, you still have to decide for yourself. I hope you all have a great day and I will see you all on Wednesday, CIAO4NOW!!!!!

Check out this cool video my significant other made!!!!!

Hello everyone and welcome to my last post of the week. I hope you all are really getting something out of what I’m doing here. Since Wednesday was part one of the war on terror in Afghanistan, it is now time for part two of the war on terror in Iraq. Let’s get this thing done…we are burning daylight.

The Iraq war, also known as the Second Gulf War, began March 20, 2003. The invasion led by the US, UK, and troops by other nations as a multinational coalition. The purpose of the invasion was the removal of Saddam Hussein from power and regime change for the Iraqi people. While removing Saddam Hussein from power proved relatively easy stabilizing the country and securing it proved quite difficult due to unrest among the various peoples of Iraq as well as the emergence of foreign fighters including Al Qaeda in Iraq.

Amongst the excuses for entering into the war in Iraq was the idea that Saddam Hussein possessed WMD, (weapons of mass destruction) and/ or had operating programs for production of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, and that these weapons posed an imminent threat to the security of the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. This was supported by intelligence from a variety of nations including British Intelligence. There was also intelligence from Russia linking Iraq with terrorism, and Germany supplied intelligence in preparation for the war. It has been concluded that neither Russian, nor German intelligence confirmed the presence of WMD in Iraq. Weapons inspectors also found no evidence of WMD, and the Iraq Survey Group determined that Iraq’s WMD programs ended in 1991 and that there were no active programs at the time of the invasion.

Another reason for the invasion was the accusations made by some US officials that Saddam Hussein was harboring and supporting Al Qaeda and the support of families of Palestinian suicide bombers. No proof of a collaborative relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda has been proven to have existed. Other reasons for the invasion include Iraq’s human rights abuses and Iraq’s oil reserves.

Both of our Presidential candidates have very different views of how to deal with Iraq. John McCain believes that the surge in Iraq has worked and advocates’ staying there until the war is won, and supported the war from the onset. Barack Obama says he has been against the war from the beginning, and advocates a 16 month timeline for troop withdrawal. There is even a side by side comparison of the two men on their positions for how to deal with Iraq.

Regardless of how any of you may feel about the war in Iraq and the reasons for us being there we are there now. While intelligence and investigation has proved there were no WMD in Iraq at the time of the invasion, we know that at one time Saddam Hussein possessed WMD as evidenced by intelligence, photographical, and eye witness accounts of the use of WMD by the Iraqi government against the Kurds in the north, and against his own people right in the heartland of his nation. We also know from one of his top generals, Georges Sada, that WMD elements were relocated outside of Iraq and into Syria prior to the invasion. As far as harboring Al Qaeda goes, even if he didn’t harbor Al Qaeda, he had some relationship with terrorist organizations because their camps were found in the north of Iraq after the invasion of Iraq was completed. These camps were used to train, equip, and finance terrorists.

There is no mistaking the fact that Saddam Hussein was a bad man, and the world is better off with out him and his Baathist regime in power. We also know that while the initial invasion and deposition of the Iraqi government was successful, we also know that violence and atrocities like Abu Ghraib as well as abuses against its own citizens were the rule rather than the exception for quite some time after the invasion. However with the success of the surge of 2007 and the fact that the Iraqi people and their own government are finally starting to take over their own country and appreciate their new national identity as fragile as it is. I don’t see how we can just up and leave and run the risk of the whole Iraq experiment in democracy becoming an absolute failure.

That is all I have to say on the subject of the Iraq war right now. As usual I can only find the facts and present them to you; you still have to decide for yourself where you stand. Have an awesome weekend, and I will see all of you right here next week, CIAO4NOW!!!!!

A hundred thousand welcomes to all of my friends out there. I hope you’re all ready for today’s installment of Simple Man Politics. On Monday we discussed the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp, so I think it's only right that we discuss the war on terror now. I have decided to break up the subject of the war on terror into two parts. Part one is going to be about Afghanistan, and part two, Friday’s edition, will be about Iraq. What do you all say let's get started?

The war in Afghanistan began October 07, 2001 when the United States and the United Kingdom mutually decided to respond in retaliation for September 11, 2001 after ascertaining that Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda were responsible for those horrific terrorist attacks on New York, the Pentagon, and flight 93. Two military operations were established to gain control of Afghanistan. The first was Operation Enduring Freedom. This operation involved coalition partners against Al Qaeda in the eastern and southern parts of the country along the Pakistani border and was lead by US military forces and is not a NATO operation, although many coalition partners are NATO members. Approximately 20,000 troops are in OEF.

Originally the US and the UK led air strikes against the Taliban and Al Qaeda while ground forces were supplied by the Northern Alliance. In 2002 the US, UK, and Canadian infantry were inserted into the conflict along with Special Forces from other allied nations and NATO troops were incorporated after that.

The second operation is the International Security Assistance Force. The ISAF was established in 2002 by the international community to stabilize the country and NATO assumed control of the ISAF in 2003. There are currently 47,000 troops from 40 countries with NATO as the core of the force.

The initial battles against the Taliban and Al Qaeda were extremely successful, and very soon after the war in Afghanistan started, control was entirely in the hands of coalition forces and the Northern Alliance. They had chased what was left of the Taliban and Al Qaeda out of the country and into the tribal areas of Pakistan, where eventually Pakistani President Pervev Musharraf came to be an ally in our war against the terrorists and the Taliban. However, at this time Musharraf has declared his intention to resign form the office of President of Pakistan. Also there currently seems to be some resurgence of the Taliban and Al Qaeda in the tribal areas. They are strengthening and are running more ops across the border into Afghanistan.

Our presidential nominees have very similar ideas how to fight the war on terror in Afghanistan. McCain says the war there is very important and he will get Bin Laden for sure. Obama says he will get Bin Laden even if it means invading Pakistan to do it. They even agree that more troops are needed in Afghanistan. McCain says three brigades are needed and they both say more resources and troops from NATO would be nice. Even the French President is allocating more troops for Afghanistan.

I believe that the war on terror in Afghanistan is absolutely necessary and winnable if we don’t treat these animals with kid gloves and get all human rights about them. I think more troops are definitely needed there and not just from us but from every nation in the coalition. I also think we should chase these bad guys down even if it means going into Pakistan to get them since a lot of their support comes from the Pashtuns in the tribal areas of Pakistan. I also think we shouldn’t worry about capturing Osama Bin Laden, and his cohorts we should just kill them where we find them. They aren’t giving any quarter to our people and we shouldn’t show them any mercy either. If we do that all the rest of those crazy bastards out there will think twice before messing with us and we can have some peace when this is all over.

That is all I have to say on this subject, and I hope I didn’t offend anyone with my comments. I hope you all have a great day, and I will see you on Friday for the second part of The War on Terror, ciao4now!!!!!

I’m back and ready to jump right in today, how about you? Today’s subject is going to be about Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp and its infamous guests. I have had some feedback from people who want me to discuss this topic, so I picked today for it. So let’s not waste anymore time and jump right in…we're burning daylight.

First, a little history on the naval base at Guantanamo because some of it applies to the topic we are going to discuss. Guantanamo Bay Naval Base is the oldest military base outside of the United States and inside a country where we have no diplomatic relationship with the host country. The lease was set up in the wake of the 1898 Spanish-American war, established in the 1903 Cuban-American Treaty, and its terms were modified in the 1934 Treaty of Relations. The current Cuban government considers the US presence there to be illegal, although the current government did cash one of the rent checks from the US after they came to power. The rest of the checks remain in a drawer in Fidel Castro’s office. The US government considers this a validation of the lease which also states that the lease can only be broken by mutual agreement of both governments.

Since 2002 there has been a military prison at the naval base (Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp). There were four detention camps here known as Camp Delta, Camp Echo, Camp Iguana, and the now closed Camp X-Ray. It is here that the enemy combatants (detainees) that have been captured in our war on terror are being held. They are being held here because it is not on US soil, but Cuban soil, and would not result in having to accord them the same rights as US citizens, or to give them the Geneva Convention rights accorded to legal combatants (uniformed soldiers of a recognized government), since they are illegal enemy combatants of a terrorist organization, and to guarantee the safety of American citizens by keeping them out of the United States. This was to be the location where any useful intelligence could be extracted from these individuals to be used in the war on terror. This ability has since been severely damaged by the US Supreme Court in its decision. (BOUMEDIENE ET AL. v BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, ET AL)

Both of our Presidential Candidates have very different points of view on the Supreme Courts' decision, although they both agree that the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camps should be closed. For more on their views there is a side by side comparison that you can read to see where they stand on Gitmo, and the detainees.

Now personally I side with the Bush administration on this one. If you’re an Al Qaeda, or Taliban bad guy you don’t deserve the same rights given to US citizens, as well as any of the rights under the Geneva Convention given to uniformed soldiers of a recognized government. As for water boarding, or what ever other method they chose to extract information from these and other members of these terrorist organizations I could care less because their sworn mission in life is to kill as many of us as possible before they meet Allah and get their seventy virgins, and for the record I realize these scumbags don’t speak for the vast majority of Muslims who practice the faith, and have condemned these animals actions. As for the US Supreme Court they should be ashamed for the decision they made and it is evident to me that the next appointee to the US Supreme Court is extremely important so that we don’t suffer any more injustice at their hands. That appointee should be a strict constitutionalist, as well as a conservative.

That is all I have to say for now, and I hope you all have found this very informative, regardless of how you feel about my personal views on this subject. Like I always say, all I can do is give you the facts, but you still have to decide for yourself. That’s just good simple politics for me. Have a great day, and I will see you all on Wednesday, CIAO4NOW!!!!!

Good day my friends. Welcome to Fridays installment of Simple Man Politics. Since this is the last post of the week, I decided to make this blog about a very controversial issue in politics. This one is going to be about gun rights, a truly emotional issue between both Democrats and Republicans. This issue, like many others within politics, is very emotional such as Roe v Wade, health care, and Social Security. However, of these issues, it is the only one which involves a constitutional right, (the 2nd amendment) and the attempts by some people to wrest those rights away from us.

The second amendment has become even more important recently because of a Supreme Court ruling in June of this year saying that the ban on privately owned weapons in D.C. was unconstitutional. (District of Columbia v Heller) This ruling was a defeat to those who believe that private ownership of guns should be the law of the land. These gun control advocates say that by banning privately owned weapons there will be fewer violent crimes committed. If that doesn't work, then they think that we should make gun control laws more restrictive. They even advocate registering each weapon so they know who owns what kind of weapon and where it is located, as another form of controlling the citizenry so that we don’t have the ability to police or defend ourselves from a tyrannical government. Remember big brother is always watching you.

On the other side of the subject, the gun rights advocates will tell you that if you outlaw guns, then only outlaws will have them, and that a law abiding citizen who has the right to carry a weapon concealed or otherwise is a deterrent to violent crime. States like Florida have even passed laws that protect "conceal carry" permit holders from prosecution if they are involved in gunplay, and are not committing crimes, like the Stand Your Ground Law.

Our candidates for president this year definitely have very different views on this subject. John McCain is definitely a pro gun rights candidate, and Barack Obama is definitely a no gun rights candidate. The side by side comparison makes that abundantly clear, as does their voting record on the matter.

However in recent years there has been a gradual change on the left towards being pro gun rights and this is particularly true in New Mexico. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson has a solid history of being a pro gun rights democrat in a party where that seems to be a most unpopular stance, given the attitudes of members of the party from both coasts where their answer is always no, no, and no. Most of the democrats in office in New Mexico seem to be cut from the same cloth as Bill Richardson as well. If the Democratic Party could adopt the same views as this Governor and put this issue behind them I believe they would have won far more National Elections instead of giving them to the Republicans.

Now I will be honest with you. When I vote, at least 50% of my consideration for voting for a presidential candidate, or even a senatorial or congressional candidate, is their voting record or stand on gun rights, because I am a pro gun rights voter. After that the other 50% of my consideration is relegated to issues like national defense, the economy, and social security. This is because I will not trust any candidate that would attempt to take away my constitutional right to bear arms, because these are people who think they know what is better for you than you do. That is just goods simple politics for me. As usual, I will tell you that all I can do is find out the facts for you, but you must still make up your mind where you stand on this issue. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and I will see you all on Monday, CIAO4NOW!!!!!

Hello all my friends, it’s time for Wednesdays post, and this one is going to be really controversial. Today’s post is going to be on illegal drugs, political policies, and the laws that deal with them. I hope the people that asked me to do this one enjoy it.

The war on drugs has been going on for a very long time now, and it has cost this country a great deal of money and resources, both here and abroad. We have fought this war in Columbia against the Cartels, who were responsible for the cocaine craze in the seventies, all the way up to today in the poppy fields of Afghanistan, whose opium is responsible for 90% of the world’s heroin. Right here in the good ole US of A as well the war's been fought, going after Marijuana farmers, methamphetamine, and cocaine labs.

I have to wonder after all this time if we are winning the war, losing the war, or if we are in a Mexican standoff with all these governments, and organizations who continually try to get it in the US. The government will tell you we are winning the war, supply is down, prices are up, and that many criminals have been locked up. The opposing side will tell you we are losing, and cite the rise of drug use, especially among younger Americans, and that every time we lock some bad guy drug dealer up there are ten more waiting to take their place. They counter that the money and resources could be used elsewhere to fight real crime, and offenders with no violent crimes attached to them should be treated not incarcerated. Then you have the guys who are actually in the drug trade telling us we aren’t winning or losing and neither are they. They say supply is at an all time high, as are prices because the quality is so much better, and every time we come up with a new piece of technology, or strategy to combat them they come up with something to neutralize it, and then we are all back to square one.

Then you have the medical marijuana war. One side says it should be legalized because it relieves pain for cancer, and glaucoma patients, and they have doctors who back them up. Then you have the anti medicinal marijuana crowd who say there is no evidence that it does any better a job than conventional drugs already being used, and it’s just a pathway to legalization of marijuana period, and that the medicinal part of the argument is just a hoax.

Then you have the politicians, and their candidate’s positions on marijuana legalization both medicinal and otherwise. There is even a side by side comparison of McCain and Obama on the subject. A thumbnail description on where they stand though is that McCain isn’t for the legalization of medicinal marijuana, and Obama isn’t opposed to it. However they both appear to be in agreement on doing what ever is necessary to combat the really bad stuff, like crack, cocaine, and methamphetamine.

I interviewed two individuals for this post to see where they stood on these issues. One was a teen, and the other was a twenty something conservative. They were both in agreement that all drugs should be outlawed with the possible exception of medicinal marijuana, and then, only if there were incontrovertible scientific evidence that there was a benefit to legalizing marijuana for medical use and that it increased the quality of life for the patient it was prescribed for. They both also agreed that alcohol was just as dangerous a drug as most of the others and probably more dangerous than marijuana. They didn’t both agree that drug offenders should be incarcerated, or treated. The younger interviewee was for treatment, while the older individual was for incarceration prior to treatment.

Now, for my two cents worth. I’ve had plenty of experience with both drugs, and alcohol, and I do believe that we have some major problems with illicit narcotics in our country and with the war on drugs. First off I believe that we should do what ever it takes to take hard drugs like crack-cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine off the streets of this nation simply because they kill. I also believe that alcohol is almost as dangerous as those drugs we should be fighting to remove it, especially when it is abused. As for marijuana, I don’t believe it is near as dangerous as alcohol, and don't believe that it leads to stronger stuff. I think it should be legalized, and not just at the state level, but the federal level too. As for incarceration of drug offenders, I believe that it can be an effective deterrent against the sale, and distribution of drugs, but that to a junkie or addict it really isn’t effective unless it’s a step towards treatment for the dependency.

There you go folks, everything I know about drugs, policy, and enforcement. All I can do is find the facts, and give them to you, but you still have to decide for yourselves. I’ll see you all on Friday for the last installment of the week. Have a wonderful day, CIAO4NOW!!!!!!

Hello and welcome all my friends to today’s installment of Simple Man Politics. I have been trying to figure out all weekend what to write for today’s post, and it occurred to me that today is the first day after summer break that both of my children (teenagers) will be back in school. So I thought to myself, why not write about education, the candidate’s views on the subject, and my own opinions based on my being a parent (and a pretty awesome one at that).

A Few Statistics
Over six million middle and high school students read below their grade level. A third of high school graduates do not immediately go on to college. American 15 year olds rank 28th out of 40 countries in mathematics and 19th out of 40 countries in science. About 30% of students in their first year of college are forced to take science and math classes because they are not prepared. America also has one of the highest dropout rates in the industrialized nations. About 70% of high school students graduate with a diploma, and the percentages are lower for African Americans, and Latinos. Roughly 30% of new teachers leave their jobs within five years of beginning their careers.

Obama on Education
Both of our current Presidential contenders believe that some form of comprehensive education reform is in order. Barack Obama believes that the goal of No Child Left Behind, (NCLB) was the right one, but has failed for lack of funding and implementation by the education department. A flawed design of the law has diminished its effectiveness, and undercut the support for it as well. Consequentially the law has failed to supply, support, and pay the caliber of teachers needed in every classroom. He would reform No Child Left Behind, make math and science a national priority, and address the dropout crisis amongst other things in his education plan.

McCain's Point of View
John McCain believes that No Child Left Behind, (NCLB) has focused our attention on the realities of how students perform against a common standard, and that we can no longer accept high standards from some students, and low standards from others. However he does see the need for some reform in our educational system including addressing the underlying cultural problems in our education system. He believes that parents should have the right to place their children in schools that benefit them academically, and to remove them from schools that don’t. McCain also believes that schools are responsible for educating our children and should be held accountable when they do not. You can read more about it in his education plan.

My Personal Experience
This past school year was the first for my children in Arizona, and my daughter attended a middle school where language was definitely a problem. Two thirds of the student body were Hispanic, and better than half of those were the children of illegal aliens, which led to the emergence of gangs. The teachers and faculty were overwhelmed by everything and could never gain control of their school. As a result my daughters studies suffered. Being her fathers daughter, she had a zero tolerance policy where it concerns bullies, and couldn’t resist taking them out when the opportunity presented itself, which resulted in suspension twice last school year. She has transferred to a new school this year, and it is much better academically and provides a safer environment in which to pursue her educational career. My son’s school however, has been top shelf from day one, and has great department for the educationally gifted.

The Bottom Line
I personally believe that both candidates believe that a quality education is something that our children have a right to and deserve, although they may go about it differently. I also believe that the schools are responsible for educating our children, but that we as parents are responsible for staying actively involved in our children’s education, which is often a hard thing to do when you have to bust your hump day in, and day out to make ends meet.

One of the things I think they can do to make the quality of our children’s education better is to make English a required language in our schools. If you can’t speak the language then learn it. If you can’t learn it, then they should have schools for people who don’t speak English that cater to foreign languages till such time as the student acquires a sufficient working knowledge of English to enter the public school system. I also think that educating illegal aliens is not our job either. Let them go back where they came from and go to school, so their countries can benefit from them. As far as gangs go, pass the right laws so that our law enforcement officers can come in and clean them out of our schools without having to fear they might be sued for violating the civil rights of someone who isn’t here legally in the first place.

Last but not least, hold your senator’s and congressmen accountable as they are the ones who make the laws we have to live by, and you do that at the voting booths. That’s all I have to say for now, but I will see you all Wednesday for another fun and fact filled post. Have a great day, CIAO4NOW!!!!!

Howdy folks, can you believe its Friday already? Well it is, which means its time for the Friday post of Simple Man Politics, and the last one of the week thank god. I think we are all looking forward to the weekend, and a little bit of down time. Of course no down time for me, busy, busy, busy as always, and the subject of this post has kept me very busy and aware that it is a most sensitive issue, particularly during an election year. I have had a couple of requests to discuss Roe v Wade, and since it is relative to politics, I have decided that regardless of how other people may feel, and my own views on the matter, I should get it over with and out of the way…so here we go.

Roe v Wade was a law decided upon by the United States Supreme Court on January 22, 1973. Mr. Justice Blackmun wrote the opinion, with Mr. Justice Rehnquist dissenting, and Mr. Justice Stewart concurring. The law came about as a result of (Roe) bringing a class action challenging the constitutionality of Texas criminal abortion laws. A childless married couple (the Does) attacked the law separately, “basing alleged injury on the future possibilities of contraceptive failure, pregnancy, unpreparedness for parenthood, and impairment of the wife’s health”. By the way, the wife was not pregnant at the time they challenged the law. A three judge district court ruled that Roe, and a physician named Halford has a case, and the right to sue. The court declared that the abortion statutes were vague, and infringing on the rights of the plaintiffs. They also decided that the Does complaint was not justiciable. As a consequence of all of this Roe v Wade was born.

Republican Presidential hopeful John McCain believes that Roe v Wade is a flawed decision that must be overturned, and as President he would nominate judges who would not attempt to legislate from the bench, understanding that is not their business. He believes that by reversing Roe v Wade that constitutional balance would be restored and each individual state would have to answer the question of whether or not abortion is legal within their jurisdiction. However, McCain also believes that reversing Roe v Wade doesn’t by itself end abortion, which he says is a human tragedy. There has to be more encouragement, and support for expectant mothers to bring their babies into the world. Also reinforcement of infrastructure there by strengthening faith based community, and neighborhood organizations that provide services to expectant mothers is imperative. McCain also believes that adoption is a viable alternative to abortion and should be heavily promoted.

On the other side you have Democratic Presidential hopeful Barack Obama. He says he respects other people’s opinions who disagree with him, and understands that abortion is a very explosive and divisive issue. He believes in upholding Roe v Wade, and a woman’s right to choose. During his time in the Illinois legislature he worked hard to make sure those rights were well protected. He is a co-sponsor of a bill to expand access to contraception, health information, and preventive services, in hopes of reducing unintended pregnancies, it is known as the Prevention First Act.

I also understand that this is a touchy issue for a lot of people, and that in a conversation or debate over its contents it can become very explosive very fast. However, this is where I put in my own opinion of Roe v Wade, and I am sure some of you may not agree with me. I believe that life begins at conception. I am not a big fan of abortion, and do not think it is a viable form of birth control which some people do use it for. I am strongly against the procedure known as partial birth abortion, and I believe it is an act of murder, and doctors performing this procedure should be tried, convicted, and sentenced the same as an individual who has committed murder in the first degree, preferably with a sentence of death. I also believe there should be some incentive for expectant mothers to carry their babies to term, and if not to raise them themselves, then to put them up for adoption, because there are a lot of women out there who can’t have children, but would be fantastic mothers. For the record, I do believe that a choice for abortion should be available in the case of rape, incest, or health of the birth mother.

There you have it, Roe v Wade, the candidate’s positions, and my own opinion as simple as I can explain them. I hope this is informative for you guys, and is not offensive to you in any way either. Like I always say, I can only find the facts and report them to you, but you have to decide where you stand for yourself. My opinion however is my own, and now you know where I stand. Have a wonderful weekend, and I will see you all on Monday, CIAO4NOW!!!!!

Hello all my loyal readers, its time for Wednesdays installment of Simple Man Politics. Today’s subject is religion and politics, and I’m sure it will be very touchy for some people. Please understand that I do not wish to make anyone uncomfortable, but the subject must be addressed. I will try not to be to abrasive.

Like race in politics (see Mondays post), religion in politics has also been around just as long and has been used for everything from the control of governments and people, to waging wars and erasing rival faiths and religious beliefs counter to those of others who which to be viewed as the righteous ones, and who want power. However, it has also been used by governments and different faiths for good as well. We’ve seen evidence of these things throughout recorded history right up till today.

Currently our faith, or should I say the Christian faith, in particular is being challenged everywhere especially in this country. From banning a monument to the Ten Commandment’s in Alabama to removing the pledge of allegiance from our schools because of the phrase one nation under God. It is continually being challenged in the pro life vs. pro choice fights, between the political parties and other groups with interests in that subject, as well as by gay rights advocates, the ACLU, and people of other faiths from around the world who have decided to come here for a better life.

One of this countries greatest beliefs is the in the freedom to practice your own religion with out being persecuted. As a result people have the freedom to worship Allah, Buddha, Krishna, and a whole host of other entities to obscure to mention as well as Satan. But when someone of the Christian faith attempts to worship, or display some sort of symbol glorifying their faith, or voice an opinion about something that states a Christian point of view, they are told they can’t do that because it’s politically incorrect and that it may offend people of a different culture or religious belief.

This country was founded by people who supported, and wanted to live life by Christian principles. However, because we are a nation of immigrants and due to our immigration policies, we have had to accept other people and their beliefs into our country. I personally don’t have anything against different people coming here to better their lives, or to be safe from religious or political persecution. If you are going to come here though, I think you should have to accept us and our Christian beliefs, since we have been forced to accept you and yours - after all, we were here first. By the way, you should have to learn English too, because it is the language most spoken here, and is recognized as the official language of the United States of America. If you don’t want to do these things then I kindly ask you to leave, since it is abundantly clear you have no wish to be an American.

As far as our Presidential candidates are concerned John McCain claims to be Protestant, and attends a North Phoenix Baptist church. Barack Obama, until recently was a member of the Trinity United Church of Christ, until he withdrew his membership there because of inflammatory remarks made by his former pastor Jeremiah Wright. However, both of these candidates are not very well received by Evangelicals, and other Christian groups for their views on abortion, and gay rights.

Well folks that is all I have for you today on the subject of politics and religion. I hope I didn’t offend any of you by inserting some of my own views on this subject into the content of this post. Since this is my blog though, I do reserve the right to put in my own two cents worth on any subject I write about. If you were looking for a more statistical analysis I’m sorry I didn’t include any figures this time. I believe this subject should have been discussed more from the heart than from the calculator. I hope you all have a great day, and I’ll see you all on Friday for the last post of the week, CIAO4NOW!!!!!

Hello everyone, I hope everybody had a nice weekend, and is ready for the first Monday of the week. Its time for another installment of Simple Man Politics, and I’ve had a couple of people ask me when I’m going to address race in politics this political season, so that is what I’m doing today. I will try not to be to longwinded, so, let’s get started.

Race and politics have had a long history together all the way back to the beginning of civilization. They have been used together to control societies, start wars, to promote one religion over another, and to control governments, and used together can be a potent and devastating combination.

In the current election cycle the threat of race in politics has been in the back of everyone’s mind for quite some time, but until recently had only been a thought. Now it's become a reality, and from the most unlikely source Barack Obama. You may ask how Obama could play the race card - he’s not a racist because he's black. It’s simple; he played the race card as weapon against McCain and the Republicans and as a scare tactic against his own supporters. Now you want to know how he did this and I will tell you. With statements such as, “oh and by the way he’s black” and “he doesn’t look like all those other presidents on those dollar bills”. As far as accusing John McCain and his campaign of playing the race card against him, I can find no evidence of that any where, and I’ve done a whole bunch of research too.

Some people seem to be worried that Obama’s remarks are racist and while I wouldn’t call Obama a racist, I most certainly would not accuse McCain of being a racist either, since he has gone out of his way to keep "race" out of the presidential race. McCain has even gone out of his way to chastise those who have attempted to play the race card against Obama and has denied he supports their positions to do so. Now I said earlier that I wouldn’t call Obama a racist, but he definitely had a very close association with a racist for more than twenty years - his pastor Jeremiah Wright. He has even gone so far as to say that this man was his mentor. Of course now he says he never heard any of the things that it has been proven Wright has said, even from the pulpit. I find that hard to believe. By the way the reverend Wright and his congregation gave Louis Farrakhan an award and Wright himself accompanied Farrakhan to Libya, and Farrakhan is certainly a racist and an anti-Semite.

Well boys and girls I can honestly say I’ve addressed the politics of race in this political season. Now all I can do is go out and get the facts and report them to you. It is still up to you to look at both of these candidates and decide for yourself who will best represent you in the next four years. Until I see you all again Wednesday, have a great day.

Good day my friends, it seems we have made it to Friday, which is a good thing, another blessing from god. We get one more day with our families and friends, and a chance to peruse my last post of the week. Today’s post is on Arizona Governor Napolitano’s position on the subject of border security, and immigration, followed by my own thoughts on the subject. I hope you ready, here we go.

Governor Napolitano’s positions on border security and immigration on the surface seem to reflect a person who believes that a secure border and legal immigration are necessary for the safety and prosperity of Arizonans. Governor Napolitano says we need more personnel, technology, and infrastructure on the border to secure it, as well as comprehensive immigration reform to address the 12 million already here illegally and those in the future that are sure to come. It also includes more aggressive stance against employers, who continue to violate the law by not verifying their employee’s eligibility to work in the US, and employ undocumented workers.

However, in April of this year Governor Napolitano vetoed legislation, (HB 2807) requiring law enforcement to do more to crack down on illegal immigration, despite strong bipartisan support for the bill saying it isn’t necessary because state law doesn’t preclude local police agencies from entering into agreements with the federal government to have their officers certified to stop, question, and detain people here illegally. She wrote, “A legislative mandate to that effect is unnecessary” and could end up being a 100 million dollar drain on the already over-tapped state treasury. For the record she vetoed the bill after officers of Somos America wrote her stating this bill would amplify sweeps, violate (individuals) civil liberties, the very things that Sheriff Joe Arpaio is accused of doing in his sweeps, and raids in Maricopa County, and often results in costly litigation.

This week you have all seen the positions of the three people who’s positions on these subjects are very important to me, because two wish to be president of the United States, and one is the Governor of the state of Arizona where I live, which is a border state. I feel that these three people are all for amnesty for the illegal immigrants already here, and if we aren’t careful they will give it to them. I also believe that only one of them is at all serious about border security, and would do anything about it. However, this is only because his party is using it as a political platform from which to run their campaigns and to bash the other party.

I personally believe that we should pursue, detain, and deport as many of these people as we can find, and send a message to the people who are trying to get here, and the world in general, that we won’t tolerate the crime of coming here illegally to work, not to mention some of the heinous crimes they perpetrate on the citizens of this nation like DUI, driving with no insurance and drivers licenses, rape, murder, drug trafficking, ect ect ect. I also believe that if you are here illegally you should not receive sanctuary from any city, or organization, and since you have committed a federal crime, these cities and organizations have also, and these cities and organizations should also be aggressively prosecuted for their crimes as well. I do believe for the record Mr. Obama that this is a matter of national security. There have already been detentions of people of middle-eastern descent crossing our borders with the intent to commit terrorist acts in the US. I also think as we draw down our military presence in Iraq, and re-enforce our troops in Afghanistan, we should put our national guard on the borders with the authority to enforce the laws of this nation with all of their capabilities, increase our number of border patrol officers, build the damn fence bull strong and pig tight from the pacific to the gulf coast, and patrol it aggressively. Remove these watering and supply stops in the deserts, and utilize all the technology we have available, including UAV’s and other relevant aircraft to support the aforementioned solutions.

That is all for this today, and this week. I hope you all read this, and give it serious consideration, especially the US citizens who are reading my blogs. Hold your senators, and congressmen accountable for your safety and that of your countrymen. I wish you all health, wealth, wisdom, and happiness. Have an awesome weekend, and I will see you all again Monday with something else I hope you will find interesting

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