Friday, October 24, 2008

Why it's important to know the issues and the candidates...

You've got to listen to this audio from Howard Stern. I'm no fan of Howard (I usually find him too crass for my tastes) but someone sent me this audio in an e-mail. I have to say, after listening to this, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry or roll my eyes or scream. I probably did all of those things at one point or another. Made me wonder if maybe we should have to take a competency test before being allowed to vote. I say that rather sarcastically, but now that I think about it, it might not be a bad idea. Listen up and tell me what you think.

You know, I've always been an advocate of people getting out there and voting. But I kind of think it's important to know who and what you're voting for. Who'd of thought that needed to be specified? Geez.
Now for this:
"The price John McCain paid for his country, you couldn't even pay the taxes on."
That's a quote from the guy in this next video. His entire video is about 10 minutes long. I suspect that not many will take the time to watch and listen, though. Politics has become an almost taboo subject among most Americans. It's like talking about abortion, women's rights, racial issues and religion...most of us won't discuss these things in public for fear of "offending" someone. Welcome to the Politically Correct United States of America...where personal views are to be mocked and discouraged and silenced because to give voice to them might cause someone to have to respond with personal thoughts of their own, which might actually result in a debate on the issues and gee whiz, who wants that?
I question America's new-found propensity for being silent, unoffensive sheep. I don't think it's what our founding fathers had in mind for us when they began their quest for freedom and created this wonderful place called the United States of America where we can express views without fear of retribution. Seems like, in the main, the only people who want to express a political view are the ones who are members of an actual campaign. Most of us regular "folks" have taken on the role of bystander. We've sure come a long way, baby...too bad we took that U-turn somewhere along the way.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sarah Palin...Tougher Than She Should Ever Have to Be

Have any of you guys seen this video? The one that features young girls, some very young, calling Sarah Palin to task on Women's Rights issues, as well as abortion, the war in Iraq, book banning, rape and domestic violence.

For those of you who found this video to be "deep" and "thought provoking" and "a reason to question John McCain's choice as vice presidential running mate" (actual comments made by some viewers), I would ask that you look into these ridiculous allegations for yourself. Get the facts - this video is nothing more than a prime example of "mud slinging" - something the left has done over and over again to Sarah Palin during this campaign. I only wish Barack Obama would get even half the scrutiny that Palin has gotten and I wish that even a quarter of that would be in depth scrutiny. I think America would have a whole different view of Obama if they actually looked into him, his past and his stances for themselves instead of letting the media tell them what to believe. But I digress. This post is about Palin and this latest horrible attack on her. After watching this video, think of these things, if you will:

Palin has been a member of Feminists for Life since 2006. This organization is a Pro-Life Feminist group (a group after my own heart, I have to tell you!). In August 2006, Sarah Palin told the Anchorage Daily News that "no woman should have to choose between her career, education and her child", a belief held by the Feminist for Life organization, as well.
Some of you may not realize this, but one of our earliest feminists in this country also was against abortion. Her name was Susan B. Anthony. In her writings, Anthony occasionally mentioned abortion. She opposed it. She blamed men, laws and the "double standard" for driving women to abortion because they had no other options. Here's a quote from Anthony:

"When a woman destroys the life of her unborn child, it is a sign that, by education or circumstances, she has been greatly wronged." 1869

She believed, as did many of the feminists of her era, that only the achievement of women's equality and freedom would end the need for abortion. Anthony used her anti-abortion writings as yet another argument for women's rights. Sooooooo, the makers of this video are reminding Sarah Palin who she should thank for the opportunity to run for VP and what do you know? Sarah Palin carries on many of the same views held by the Great Susan B. Anthony, a woman who was a prominent American civil rights leader who played a pivotal role in the 19th century women's rights movement to introduce women's suffrage into the United States. Exactly who's forgetting who to thank here? I would venture to say that Sarah Palin is well aware of our foremothers efforts and sacrifices that have brought her to the point where she is on the verge of being the first woman elected to the office of Vice President of the United States of America. What I find immeasurably shameful and unworthy of our foremothers efforts and sacrifices is this bizarre attack (and others like it) by women against a woman. What do you think Susan B. Anthony, Lydia Chapin Taft, Francis Wright, Ernestine Rose and all those other women who fought to get us the vote would think of these attacks? Honestly. What would they think?

By the way, on the issue of abortion, when asked what she would do as governor if Roe v. Wade were overturned, Sarah Palin responded "it would not be up [to me] to unilaterally ban anything. It would be up to the people of Alaska to discuss and decide how we would like our society to reflect our values." Palin personally supported bills to outlaw late-term abortions and to require parental consent for underage abortions in Alaska, but rebuffed religious conservatives who wanted to legislate restrictions on abortion even though she agreed with the bills.

Regarding the war in Iraq, Palin supported the Bush Administration's policies in Iraq, but has expressed concern that "dependence on foreign energy" may be obstructing efforts to "have an exit plan in place". Her own son is serving over in Iraq. To suggest that she wants Americans to die over there is nothing short of obscene.

To address the purported "book banning" that Palin has been accused of: According to Wasilla librarian Mary Ellen Emmons, she and Palin discussed the question of library censorship in October 1996. Emmons recalls Palin asking whether Emmons would object to censorship, and recalls Palin raising the possibility of people circling the library in protest, to which Emmons replied that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) would get involved. In early December, Palin spoke publicly about the issue, using it as an example of a discussion she'd had with her department heads, stating that "many issues were discussed, both rhetorical and realistic in nature." She further added that censorship "was discussed in the context of a professional question being asked in regards to library policy" and that she did not have a specific list of books in mind. No books were removed from the library. From 1986 to 2008, several books acquired by the Wasilla Public Library were challenged by various citizens as poor selections, such as a challenge to Heather Has Two Mommies in 1997. None of the challenged books were opposed or removed by Palin.

Finally, the issue of rape and domestic violence in Alaska. Just as a matter of interest, you should know that Governor Palin signed into law bills designed to protect victims of domestic violence and raise awareness of domestic violence crimes (House Bills 213 and 215).

HB 213, sponsored by Rep. Andrea Doll, D-Juneau, provides for the imposition of greater sentences, up to the maximum for the offense, for crimes committed on the premises of a domestic violence shelter.

“People who come to domestic violence shelters need to know that they are safe and protected,” Governor Palin said. “They need to know that they are not in harm’s way when they come to a shelter.”
HB 215, sponsored by Rep. Anna Fairclough, R-Eagle River, establishes the Task Force to Review the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. This task force would prepare and present a report to the full Legislature by March 1, 2008 – and then will be repealed on April 16, 2008. The task force would bring members of the Legislature and administration together with members of the public to have frank and comprehensive discussions about the council and the issues it addresses.

I've watched a lot of political coverage, I've read a lot of political news, columns, opinions and blogs. I've tried to get stories from both sides of the issues so that I can have an understanding of both sides. And I'm telling you right now, this election is being won not only by low down underhanded moves from groups like ACORN (who claim quite loudly to be non-partisan, a fact disputed by numerous videos of ACORN conventions, ACORN workers and ACORN policies), but also by the media. I have no idea why the media is so determined to elect Obama, but if any of you out there don't believe that to be the case, you are either woefully ignorant or willfully blind. Obama has gotten a pass on his relationship with Bill Ayers, his affiliation with ACORN and his 20 year membership in a racist, "white America" hating church that was run by one of the most vocal racists in recent history. He gets a pass on his voting record in the Illinois State Senate, where he apparently couldn't manage to stand for anything, opting to vote present rather than vote a position. What has he not gotten a pass on? For those of you who claim that he has answered questions regarding these things, tell me what those answers where. Tell me where Obama answers honestly. He hasn't. He's danced around the subjects and the media has let him. Sarah Palin, on the other hand, has been eviscerated at every single turn. She has been called every name in the book, she has had her integrity, her parenting skills and her intelligence questioned. She's been mocked at every level, she's been subjected to sexist remarks and she's even had her devotion to her Down Syndrome child called "pandering to the pro-choice crowd". I don't know how this woman has stood up under this nightmare. I don't know how she hasn't hit back at some of these people who are so intent upon tearing her life apart. I don't know how she has kept her sanity. All of this strife, all of these untruths, all of the vitriol and hate...and this woman gets up in front of crowds of Americans every day with her head held high, always on message and always with a positive attitude. And some of you question whether or not she could handle life with the "big boys" in Washington and around the world. Sarah Palin has proven she can handle them. And much, much more.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

More Walking the Walk - Not Just Talking the Talk

As some of you may have noticed, I've made some changes to my blog in the past day or so. I seem to have picked up a "Blog Stalker" due to my political posts. I've always welcomed comments here, good or bad, but this person was starting to abuse that policy. I don't know much about my little disturbing commenter, other than I believe this person is located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and uses a Verizon ISP. This person told me their name was "Tom", but I believe he/she told another blogger the name was "Sue". Who knows the truth and really, who cares? I had to stop allowing "anonymous" comments because, as I said, this one particular person was abusing the practice and was using my comment section as a place to spew worthless bile against certain political figures. I don't mind some good old fashioned disagreements, but talking ugly just for the sake of talking ugly is boring. Hence the change in my blog. And now that I've explained all that, I'll get on with the post. Here's yet another reason why I, a woman, support John McCain for President of United States of America: McCain actually walks the walk when it comes to equal pay for women.
(for the full story, click here)

Actually, a case could be made that McCain does more than walk the walk, as his female staffers actually average slightly more in salary than his male staffers. The story linked to above deals with McCain, Obama and Hillary Clinton with regards to the number of women each had on staff compared to the number of men, as well as compared the salaries for both.
From the above referenced article:

Both McCain and Clinton also employed more female than male staffers, while Obama employed more males than females. However, Obama's staff was more balanced between male and female staffers than either McCain's or Clinton's. Also, McCain and Clinton had more female than male staffers making six-figure salaries, while Obama had more male than female staffers making six-figure salaries.

The reason I find this information so telling is this (from another article that you may read in its entirety by clicking here):

While Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign has produced a television ad criticizing Sen. John McCain’s position on equal pay for women and pointing out that women in America are paid only 77 cents on the dollar compared to men, Obama pays his own female Senate staffers, on average, only 78 percent of what he pays male staffers.

The referenced Obama campaign ad says:

“Today women work to help support their families but are paid just 77 cents for every $1 a man makes. It’s just one more thing John McCain doesn’t get about our economy.”

It goes on to say that McCain said equal pay would be "a burden on business". That is not what McCain said regarding equal pay, it was what he said regarding the Ledbetter legislation proposed by Dems (more on that in just a bit). Meanwhile, also from the article:

NOW President Kim Gandy did not view the pay disparity as a problem. “It depends on what positions they’re in,” Gandy told “Certain positions are paid more than other positions. I do know quite a number of women very high up in his staff and in his campaign who are extraordinarily strong supporters of women’s rights. We don’t advocate people be hired because of their gender. We advocated people be hired and paid without regard to their gender.”

Okay, first of all, I just gotta dumb of a statement was that? The part about "I do know quite a number of women very high up in his staff and in his campaign who are extraordinarily strong supporters of women's rights". Well, duhhhhhhh. If they're women, one would hope they would be supporters of women's rights, wouldn't one? Anywho...other than that goofy part, I agree with the general assessment of reasons for equal pay. It does depend on what job someone is doing, how long they've done it, etc. I will even go further and say I advocate paying someone based on ability and aptitude, not gender or race or hair color or shoe size or batting average or any other criteria (unless you are a player in Major League Baseball in which case that batting average issue would be of some importance, obviously).

The point as I see it, though, is that Obama's camp made this big deal out of saying that McCain does not understand the economy because he doesn't support equal pay when it would appear that Obama doesn't understand or "get it" too well himself. I'm simply not seeing how McCain has illustrated his so-called "not understanding" of equal pay - he seems to have a firm grasp of that concept, certainly within his own staff. The only other thing I've found regarding John McCain and equal pay has to do with Lilly Ledbetter. Anybody remember her name being brought up in the 3rd debate? Obama brought up the legislation regarding Ms. Ledbetter during the debate as a supposed example of McCain's unwillingness to support women. If you remember, McCain very firmly called that legislation "a trial lawyer's dream" and I believe he was right about that. This whole accusation of McCain's failure to support women came from McCain’s reservations about a bill that would overrule the Supreme Court’s take on a technical statute of limitations issue. The bill, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, is named after the plaintiff in the Supreme Court case at issue, Ledbetter v. Goodyear. The Court rejected Lilly Ledbetter’s claim that Title VII’s statute of limitations is reset with each paycheck, declining to establish a special rule for pay discrimination cases. Regardless of what you may think of the technical issue in the Ledbetter case (and I happen to think it does bear some looking at), it's sheer bull-hockey to equate McCain's opposition to overruling the decision with opposition to equal pay for women. I think this country is lousy with lawyers willing to sue anybody over anything and I wholeheartedly agree with having laws in place to prevent too much of that nonsense. As I alluded to earlier, though, I also happen to believe that the Ledbetter case brought to light some interesting aspects of the fair pay laws that should be addressed and looked at, but the sort of sweeping legislation that the Dems tried to pass through is not the answer. As far as the issue of equal pay goes, please keep in mind that pay discrimination against women legislation has been in place since the 1963 Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. As John McCain was serving in the United States Navy during those time periods and not the United States Congress, I think it'd be a tad bit disingenuous for the Obama camp to claim McCain either supported or opposed that particular legislation.

I see this as another example of the differences in the candidates. John McCain is certainly "walking the walk" on this issue and not just "talking the talk". What do you think?