Presidency

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Gedeon’s “100 Reasons Why McCain Won’t Be President of the United States” touches on a lot of the reasons I have a hard time supporting McCain.

For years I greatly admired Senator John McCain. He had a reputation for being a political maverick and seemed to vote with his conscience instead of with his party. When it came down to choosing between what was right and what the GOP wanted, John McCain more-often-than-not chose what was right.

Then he set his sights on the White House.

I voted for McCain when he was running against Bush prior to the 2000 elections. He was a different candidate back then. When he lost to George W. Bush, it was like the GOP beat the heart out of him. Now he just feels like more of the same. I suppose that’s why I’m leaning more towards Obama these days. I’m not entirely sure what we’d be getting in terms of a President, but at least I can expect that it won’t fully be business as usual with Obama at the helm.

God Help Our Country

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(I’ve been trying to avoid political subjects here, but this has me upset enough, that I felt like something had to be said.)

You’re going to have to pardon my language here, but what the hell is President Bush thinking? Yesterday, an Executive Order was issued Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq. The language in this Executive Order is vague enough that it could be used to seize property from anyone who undermines political and economic development in Iraq. Because it does not define anyone person or group specifically, it’s possible that this order could be used against anyone that opposes the war in Iraq.

This Executive Order spits in the face of the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution:

“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

President Bush, you are not Caesar. You, sir, are abusing your power as President. You are not above the law. You are not above reproach. You blatantly ignore the checks and balances of the Judicial and Legislative branch. You sir, have hijacked the Federal Government. And you are guaranteeing that Republicans are going to lose a foothold in our government at all levels. You aren’t acting in the best interests of America any longer. You’re acting in the best interests of George W. Bush & Co.

God help our country.

Witchhunt

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Did Don Imus deserve to get fired? We all stay stupid things from time to time, and Imus has made more than his fair share. I won’t excuse him for the comments he made… but did it really deserve this much attention?  He apologized for his remarks. End of story, right? Would Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton apologize if they made racially charged statements towards someone of another skin color? They haven’t yet.

I never listened to Imus, but I can’t help but feel a little sorry for him. He’s lost everything over this. This feels like a witchhunt to me.

Irony

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Wow… now this truly is the very definition of irony:

Look over the descriptions of the following two houses and see if you can tell which belongs to an environmentalist:

HOUSE # 1:
A 20-room mansion (not including 8 bathrooms) heated by natural gas. Add on a pool (and a pool house) and a separate guest house all heated by gas. In ONE MONTH ALONE this mansion consumes more energy than the average American household in an ENTIRE YEAR. The average bill for electricity and
natural gas runs over $2,400.00 per month. In natural gas alone (which last time we checked was a fossil fuel), this property consumes more than 20 times the national average for an American home. This house is not in a northern or Midwestern “snow belt,” either. It’s in the South.
HOUSE # 2:
Designed by an architecture professor at a leading national university, this house incorporates every “green” feature current home construction can provide. The house contains only 4,000 square feet (4 bedrooms) and is nestled on arid high prairie in the American southwest. A central closet in the house holds geothermal heat pumps drawing ground water through pipes sunk 300 feet into the ground. The water (usually 67 degrees F.) heats the house in winter and cools it in summer. The system uses no fossil fuels such as oil or natural gas, and it consumes 25% of the electricity required for a conventional heating/cooling system. Rainwater from the roof is collected and funneled into a 25,000 gallon underground cistern. Wastewater from showers, sinks and toilets goes into underground purifying tanks and then into the cistern. The collected water then irrigates the land surrounding the house. Flowers and shrubs native to the area blend the property into the surrounding rural landscape.

Which sounds like the home of someone more concerned with the environment?

Continue reading

Iraq Pullout in ’08?

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I want our troops home as much as the next guy. If the Democrats have their way, they might be returning home sooner than any of us could have imagined. (Democrats Rally Behind a Pullout From Iraq in ’08)

Honestly though, is this really a smart thing to do? Might we consider that this will embolden the Iraqi insurgents even further, by acknowledging our defeat? We really ought to think this through. This could potentially put more troops lives at risk in the interim, if this course of action is chosen.

Campaign 2.0

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Get ConnectedHow are 2008 Presidential Candidates using the Internet in their campaigns? That’s what I wanted to find out when I started putting together data for Campaign 2.0: 2008 Presidential Campaigns and their Use of Web 2.0.

It all started when Don sent me a link to John Edwards’ page on Social Networking. I was astounded when I saw that his campaign had setup profiles on 20 different social networking sites. At first, I couldn’t believe that someone spent that much time getting setup on so many different networks… but then, I realized this might be really, really smart: his campaign can now be seen on twenty different, established networks.

Reviewing the websites of candidates that have formerly announced and/or filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission was eye-opening. Most Democrats are utilizing RSS feeds, and have setup accounts on one or more social networks. Few Republicans are offering an RSS feed. Only one is using a social network. All three Libertarian candidates are using RSS feeds, and two of the three are on multiple social networks – and one has included options to Digg the site, add to Del.icio.us bookmarks or view their Technorati profile. I’m not surprised that the Democrats are using technology like they are… but I am surprised by how little the Republicans are using the web…

This brings up a number of questions that I hope to have answered between now and November 2008:

  • Will using social networks (or Web 2.0) make a difference or will homegrown social networks be the real winner?
  • Will social networks “accept” candidates as legitimate participants in their communities? More specifically, will users “friend” candidates, comment on content submitted to the community, etc.?
  • Will candidates increase their use of existing social networks as we draw closer to the election?
  • Will Republicans use the web more?

For now, I’ll be detailing which social networks candidates (and providing links to their profiles and/or groups on each of those networks). As additional info becomes available, I’ll be updating the site. Of course, you can help with this too… if you know of any additional information that would be helpful with this table – let me know! You can email me at chris@cdharrison.com.

Rush to Hang Hussein Was Questioned

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Saddam Hussein

This is a really eye-opening article in the New York Times on the rush to execute Saddam Hussein.

I’ve got mixed emotions on Saddam’s execution.

On one hand, I feel like man should not take death into his own hand. Yes, Saddam committed atrocities against the people of Iraq. Yes, Saddam was an insane dictator. But the contempt that was shown him as he was hung was disheartening. It was like a pack of animals was sending him to his death. “Is this how real men behave?,” asked Saddam right before his death.

On the other hand, I can’t help but remember, my dad served in the Gulf War. Saddam invaded Kuwait and claimed til the end of his reign that Kuwait was a state of Iraq. He killed his opponents. He slaughtered ethnic groups in his country. He was a bad person, and deserved to be punished.

But death? In this fashion? I have a hard time with it. Saddam was broken, reserved, and dare I say fearful of his end. His executors were ugly, disrespectful, and mocking of his death. Saddam was being hung for his savageness, yet his executioners were the real savage on this day…

If there is one good thing about this whole ordeal, it is that the United States was not directly involved in his execution.

“The Iraqis seemed quite frustrated, saying, ‘Who is going to execute him, anyway, you or us?’ The Americans replied by saying that obviously, it was the Iraqis who would carry out the hanging. So the Iraqis said, ‘This is our problem and we will handle the consequences. If there is any damage done, it is we who will be damaged, not you.’”

Regardless, Saddam is now dead, and perhaps the world is better off because of it. But I hope the way his death was conducted will help the Iraqis to re-examine some of their barbaric tendancies.

Here’s more on the subject.