Thursday, November 29, 2007

"Do you believe every word of the Bible?"

In last night's CNN YouTube debate, one of the questions posted by a "youtuber" wanted to know if the Republican presidential candidates "believed every word of the King James bible".

OK, so now we've got serious (I hope they are serious) candidates for the highest office in the land being asked if they believe every word of a collection of parables, wisdoms, truths, fables, histories, laws and visions that were collected over several hundred (or thousands) of years and then translated from Aramaic to Greek to Latin to Old English to the King James version of the bible which was published in 1611.

This was one of the thousands of submitted questions that was deemed worthy of broadcasting to all of CNN's viewers and getting a response from the candidates. Of course, stammering, equivocation, outright agreement and every other type of response or non-response ensued. The best prepared for the question was the good Reverend Governor, Mike Huckabee. Being a Baptist minister and all, he was right at home and let loose a burst of scripture that Elmer Gantry would have been proud of.

Really, what have we become as a nation? Do you think Jefferson, Lincoln, Roosevelt (either of them), Truman or Eisenhower would have answered such a question? I don't. As a matter of fact, I think Harry Truman would have punched the person who asked the question in the nose.

Religion and Religious belief is a private matter. Whether someone is a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim, a Hindu, a Buddhist, a Pagan, a Wiccan, or worships the Flying Spaghetti Monster, I don't give a damn. What I care about is that the presidential candidates don't care who worships what, as long as they respect the rights of others to worship who they want.

The Bible is full of truths, but is it the truth? I don't know, and I really don't care. Would you really make a decision on who is president of the United States based on whether they believed every word of the Bible or not? I wouldn't.

Tell me what you think.


Monday, November 19, 2007

Why I'm For Joe Biden For President

I'm for Joe Biden for President. I've thought long and hard about the nominee's for president from both sides of the political spectrum, and believe that the senator from Delaware is the best choice we have for leading the country.

The reason? The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the troublesome situations in Iran and Pakistan. The new president will come into office with situations more dangerous than any in the last 100 years. It is not a time to have foreign policy novices at the helm of the only remaining super power in the world. Besides the middle east, Russia and China are flexing their muscles, both economically and strategically across the world. Without a doubt, foreign policy will occupy the majority of the new president's time for the foreseeable future. What's the best possible course of action? Get someone in office who understands foreign policy and can generate sound recommendations and strategies for dealing with this mess.

I'm a self-proclaimed independent, so I've taken a hard look at the entire field of candidates. My opinion is that there are few that have the experience and the ability to deal with this problem in a cool and deliberate fashion. Biden does.

As a liberal, you can imagine that the field of Republican candidates leave me cold. I'll do a post and explain why soon, but suffice to say that none of them save McCain have the foreign policy experience to lead the country. McCain's deficiencies far and away outpace his strengths, so he's a non-starter.

This brings me back to the Democrats. Dodd, Biden and Richardson are certainly the most experienced politicians in the field, with Biden and Richardson having the best foreign policy chops. Dodd is a thoughtful and good senator for his state, Richardson's clearly got the foreign policy experience, and has been a reasonably successful governor. However, Biden's credentials and his reputation in the Senate for working with Republicans clearly give him a step up in my opinion. He's got his problems for sure. He has a significant case of open mouth and insert foot disease (remember the gaffe about Indians? What about his remarks about Obama being "clean"?) He's arrogant and sometimes comes off as a bit of an ass. The other VERY SERIOUS problem I have with him is that he voted to authorize George Bush to use military force in Iraq. This is almost a deal-breaker for me. But, given his plans for a federalized Iraq, his position on Pakistan and the reasonable but pragmatic view he has on Iran, I can get past the Iraq war vote.

Biden's been in the Senate for over 30 years. He's worked with majorities and minorities in congress. He's worked with Republican presidents and Democratic presidents. He's got the time in grade and has made good use of it. Check out his record and see for yourself. For now, at least, he's got my support and my vote.

Tell me what you think,



Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Remember, Remember, the 7th of November

With apologies to Guy Fawkes, a poster on another blog paraphrased a scene from the terrific movie "V for Vendetta", where the stranger in the Guy Fawkes mask took over the television set and put forward this commentary. It is eerily applicable to what is happening in America. Read and ponder. "Remember, Remember the 5th of November, the gun powder treason and plot. I see no reason the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot."

Here's the speech.

August 9th, 2008,

Good evening, America. Allow me first to apologize for this interruption. I do, like many of you, appreciate the comforts of the everyday routine, the security of the familiar, the tranquility of repetition. I enjoy them as much as any bloke. But in the spirit of commemoration - whereby those important events of the past, usually associated with someone’s death or the end of some awful bloody struggle, are celebrated with a nice holiday - I thought we could mark this Second Tuesday in November, a day that is sadly no longer remembered, by taking some time out of our daily lives to sit down and have a little chat.

There are, of course, those who do not want us to speak. I suspect even now orders are being shouted into telephones and men with guns will soon be on their way. Why? Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there?

Cruelty and injustice…intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance, coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well certainly there are those who are more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable. But again, truth be told…if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror.

I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn’t be? War. Terror. Disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you and in your panic, you turned to the Conservative. He promised you order. He promised you peace. And all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent.

Last night, We sought to end that silence. Last night, We destroyed the Old Lieberman to remind this country of what it has forgotten. More than 250 years ago, great citizens wished to embed the Second Tuesday of November forever in our memory. Their hope was to remind the world that fairness, justice and freedom are more than words - they are perspectives. So if you’ve seen nothing, if the crimes of this government remain unknown to you, then I would suggest that you allow the Seventh of November to pass unmarked. But if you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, and if you would seek as I seek…then I ask you to stand beside me, three months from tonight at the Voting Stations. And together, we shall give them a Seventh of November that shall never, ever, be forgot!