Monday, January 14, 2008

Monday, January 14, 2008

OK, yesterday I didn’t write, I needed to rest. The day before I went to a Ventura County central committee training session. Todd and I learned we have a lot of reading, learning and comprehending to do if we are going to be fully capable of leading a couple precincts and being able to intelligently speak on the voting issues on this years’ ballot. People shared talking points and books to read. Where is my yellow highlighter pen, six-inch ruler, cup of java, 3X5 cards, Barnes and Noble’s Namaste bookmark and ahhh my Tocasta strawberry Viennese wafers (at Costco’s ladies)?

I’m back from listening to the FOX, MSNBC, CBS and
Today most of the news is pretty grim. Crude is floating between $95-100 per barrel; hence, gasoline will hit $4.00/gallon by spring time. We are being advised to get the car tuned up, drive at a continual speed, instead of fast stops and fast starts, keep tire pressure up, and tires balanced. As for travel, book early for any flights, hotel rooms, rental car services and anticipate higher costs overall. Go to AAA or other motor club, MapQuest™ or internet map search for directions instead of driving 10-20 miles out of the way (calling it sight seeing) to keep costs down. That’s enough to make you stay home and enjoy the local park.

The recalls for toys are going to be continuous however Congress is looking at improving and increasing toy standards. I still can’t believe that Mattel didn’t care enough to be on top of this one don’t they consider whom they are passing out contracts to? Couldn’t they find a small town in the USA to paint their toys and bring the manufacturing back home?

No surprise to most people, ID theft is on the rise and legislation will be introduced by Congress on the reduction of requiring social security number usage. And to think that Hillary was even thinking about giving New York immigrant’s identification cards. Think about it, all the immigrants needed to do is find out where the cards were being issued and move to the next state and get another one which wasn’t “temporary” and become a legitimate US citizen with our poor tracking system. And then after the media badgered her for a response, she changed her mind? Who forgot to help her think that one through fruition? Bill must have been on speaking tour. Yeah, I said it.

There is discussion on CBS that social security number theft is becoming a problem. I remember my first reaction to learning that the university’s in Florida was using student’s social security numbers as their student identification number, “because it was much easier to process financial aide and to keep track of the student’s income, paper work, etc”, as the admissions clerk explained. In fine print in the back of the admission’s catalog you could have requested a ‘special number’ but they required you to get a request by an attorney stating your reasons, which costs money and only draws more attention to your admission status. I didn’t have anything to hide. However, I don’t remember any thefts there either. The next university I attended the computer geek stole the privacy files before anyone in administration knew it. You’d hope the university would value admission privacy but this guy programmed the system. Rumor among the geeks was that he wanted an increase in pay, they turned him down and he stole 10,000 gems on the way out. Sweet revenge you’d say. Eventually they did send out notices to students and staffs that we needed to check our credit periodically because there is no telling where those numbers were being harvested. Maybe he went to work at FaceBook…

Speaking of thefts, last night on “60 Minutes” Diane Sawyer did a piece on FaceBook. The owner’s expansion was conducted by “acquiring” the names and “entering” the system at the university he was attending. I guess he got a light suspension or maybe that is why he left Harvard? With deadpan expression, he seemed unmoved by Sawyer asking “this is stealing, right?” Was it any surprise that he also has colleagues suing him for using their collective computer concept now worth, industry specialists say, $15 billion, rivaling Goggle? He was offered $1 billion in cash for the business but said he had an obligation to the 400 employees, some moving on skates, skateboards, and unicycles and sleeping on thin cots adjacent to their desks. How is that for work dedication? The place looked like a huge unkempt fraternity or dorm room without walls. He said, even at 23 years of age, he lives in a modest 1-bedroom apartment. I wondered about the tax incentives in buying several huge mansions in an isolated cul-de-sac and offering the employees an option to create Facebook Home Village.

It is predicted on several channels that oil, bakery goods, vegetables, fruits and any products requiring transportation from the manufacturer will be going up by 3-4% in the grocery stores. So tighten up the belt and engage restraint says Harry. Being fresh out of college this won’t be difficult, but isn’t this the purpose of college to learn delayed gratification so when you graduate you can award yourself with those items coveted on TV, in magazines, on the net, and people sitting across from you in Starbucks while you nursed your $2.10 large cup of medium roast?

But the real discussion to me or is it much to do about nothing? Obama is being pushed to respond to the overt race question. Obama doesn’t want the conversation. The feeling is that the Clinton campaign is bating Obama to talk about this? No focus on race is necessary because we don’t want to focus on gender in regard to Hillary do we?

Tony Martin of CNN called it ‘chippy” but “this is rough and tumble” as the two camps are vying for the undecided African American votes in South Carolina. Unlike New Hampshire and Iowa African Americans, usually staunch Democrats, weren’t in the election equation. In South Carolina, won by Edwards in 2000, Black talk shows and blogs are going back and forth in chats and group discussions on the issue of why isn’t the black candidate discussing race and isn’t this an obvious subject? The “Shuck and Jive” comments by Andrew Como also have ignited discussion. Does Obama believe in government set asides for minorities? Should there be special provisions for people of color? Should there be a continuation of Equal Opportunity guidelines relegating percentages of employment, contracts and monies for the enhancement and equalizing of government funds and projects?

Hillary says though she has all the respect in the world for Dr M. L. King, Jr. his efforts would not have been realized if it hadn’t been for the President L.B. Johnson. What? Does she fail to say that it hasn’t stopped African Americans for having to apply for full citizenship every twenty years? Mrs. (Bill) Cosby thinks it is abominable that this hasn’t been corrected. Has Hillary spoke to this little faux pau? I don’t think so. Does anyone remember Hillary was a “Republican Goldwater Girl” during this time? I don’t think so. If it had been dependent on Hillary at that time, the civil right’s battle may not have been to fruition because she wasn’t even a Democrat at the time.

Obama, a biracial contender, may not want to get involved in this election discussion, but 40% of Black women in South Carolina are the undecided real prize. It was suggested that Howard Dean take a statesmen role and stop their public bickering. To date he hasn’t weighed in on the issue. If this is not bad enough, Associated press has now picked up the comments made by Bob Jones, senior advisor of the Clinton campaign and former creator of BET (Black Entertainment Television), whose reflections imply that Obama was dealing drugs while he was Chicago organizing. These kinds of comments are now being disputed over what was intended when Jones said it, subsequently Hillary has fired him. Yes, she may have fired him, but in her campaign’s Rove-style attacking it has left an impression on the minds of those who were privy to the original conversation. Does Jones really believe that Obama was dealing drugs as part of his Chicago organizing? In Obama’s book, he admits to understanding how easily he could have continued to slide into the drug world’s slippery slope.

Can we go back and ask her does she not remember Bill’s “I didn’t inhale” when he admitted to experimenting with marijuana when he was bidding for the Presidency. Was she not inhaling with him or is she squeaky clean? Can we return to bill’s relationship with Lewinsky which we know is in the back of many of our minds? If the Clinton’s don’t want to address the obvious, can’t we just move on to the real issues at hand.

We are entering a recession, admit it; We’re trillions of dollar in the arrears. More than ½ of our national debt is owned by foreign countries, some we aren’t that friendly with. Immigrants are crossing the borders in the hundreds and there aren’t any safeguards and serious provisions or homeland security efforts saying “Mexico, be responsible and stop it”. Oil prices, travel, and the cost of food that use oil by products are escalating. The writers and producers on strike are causing some entertainment dependent industries to layoffs, to go out of business, or to join the unemployment lines.

The mortgage interest rates are rising for millions of homeowners who are loosing their dwellings. Countrywide the largest mortgage lender in the USA is subject to be bought out by Bank of America because BOA is covering their ownership in the Countrywide stock.

Bush is playing around in the Middle East encouraging other Moslem nations to stand as allies to the US, the Navy is out practicing war maneuvers (cat & mouse games) in the “neutral” waters of the Strait of Hormuz antagonizing the Iranians (into getting into a war) to rationalize his over spending and lying about the Iraq war in the first place. Bush has chosen to not negotiate with Hamas, which has been instrumental in driving Condoleezza to bring the Israel’s and the Palestinian people to the negotiating table. Hamas does the guns and militarily understanding and impatience to keep the Israel’s at bay. The media hasn’t discussed the “peace group on the Palestinian and Israel’s side” that demanded there be a truce. The media doesn’t amplify the various soldiers on the Israel side that have refused to fight because they too questioned the futility of deaths. When will the media finally say, no war ever ended at the end of a barrel, it ended in negotiations with a pen and paper. Maybe the Facebook guy could work on creating that site. Meantime, can Super Tuesday get here fast enough? Before Bush is crowned King of the United States.

Peace Out, but stay tuned.