Thursday, January 31, 2008

Poverty.

God has no need of your money, but the poor have.
You give it to the poor, and God receives it.
Saint Augustine


This from Asianews :

Following the release of government economic data, Filipino bishops have called on the government to do something substantial to reduce the gap between rich and poor in Filipino society. As “shepherds of the flock,” 20 members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines visited the Presidential Palace to discuss the issue.

The gap between haves and have-nots in the Philippines is widening, with the richest 10 per cent of families raking in more than a third of the country's total income, whilst some 60 per cent live below the poverty line. The average family income now stands at 12 dollars a day, with few families able to accumulate any savings.

“We took advantage of the occasion to talk about what afflicts the faithful. Poverty is the leading problem but there is also a need for infrastructures and improvements, especially in the field of health care,” Tuguegarao Archbishop Diosdado Palamayan told AsiaNews.
In their plea the bishops also voiced concern for the conditions of farmers and miners who are increasingly exploited by multinationals in the name of unfettered economic growth.

The government responded saying that it would give its “utmost attention” to the points raised and pledged that it would address the problem of poverty next month.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

McCain Wins Florida.

Not really happy about it......
I'll still vote in the Georgia primary; early voting has already started, I may even vote tomorrow and not wait until next Tuesday.
If McCain wins the Republican nomination, I may sit out the general election.I'm not being a sore loser or a spoil-sport. To me, McCain is a closet Democrat and not worth voting for. I don't think he'd be any better than Clinton or Obama...... and it looks as if the Democrats aren't really wild about Hillary after all; maybe Obama will carry this off.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Bill Maher......Bigot.

From Bill Maher, who said, "I love America; it's Americans I can't stand." comes this:

“But I think it is much more likely that there could be space ships from outer space, than what a lot of things people believe. People still believe, you know, excuse me I know I may inject religion into every show but UFO’s are a lot more likely than a space god flew down bodily and you know who was the Son of God and you know had sex with a Palestinian woman, and um…”

Catholic League president Bill Donohue addressed Maher’s remark:
“There is no bigger bigot in America today than Bill Maher. His serial insults are tolerated on HBO and on late-night television shows because the producers are not outraged by what he says. How else can we explain his ability to offend with impunity?”

Another Endorsement for Obama ?

From The Hill : After giving his State of the Union Address, Bush sought out Sen. Edward Kennedy, who was seated next to Barack Obama, to exchange greetings. He also shook Obama’s hand and said hello:
“Hey buddy, how’s it going,” Bush said, according to Sen. Ben Nelson, who also sat next to Obama for the speech.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Toni Morrison Endorses Obama

Toni Morrison,Nobel Prize-winning American author, editor, and professor, is set to endorse Barack Obama for President.
Ms. Morrison caused a stir when she called Bill Clinton "the first Black President;"
In an October, 1998 essay for New Yorker, Morrison wrote;
"Years ago, in the middle of the Whitewater investigation, one heard the first murmurs: white skin notwithstanding, this is our first black President. Blacker than any actual black person who could ever be elected in our children's lifetime. After all, Clinton displays almost every trope of blackness: single-parent household, born poor, working-class, saxophone-playing, McDonald's-and-junk-food-loving boy from Arkansas.And when virtually all the African-American Clinton appointees began, one by one, to disappear, when the President's body, his privacy, his unpoliced sexuality became the focus of the persecution, when he was metaphorically seized and bodysearched, who could gainsay these black men who knew whereof they spoke? The message was clear "No matter how smart you are, how hard you work, how much coin you earn for us, we will put you in your place or put you out of the place you have somehow, albeit with our permission, achieved. You will be fired from your job, sent away in disgrace, and--who knows?--maybe sentenced and jailed to boot. In short, unless you do as we say (i.e., assimilate at once), your expletives belong to us."

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Can You Say.....Monica Lewinsky ?

During the recent Republican debate in Boca Raton, Fla., Romney had a quick reply when asked how he would run against the team of Clinton and her husband, the former president.
"I frankly can't wait because the idea of Bill Clinton back in the White House with nothing to do is something I can't imagine," he said.
Imagine.........
Bill Clinton in the White House with nothing to do.........
Can you say 'Monica Lewinsky' ?

New York Times Endorses Clinton, McCain


New York Times Endorses Clinton, McCain
The headlight alone should give conservative Republicans pause.
The New York Times editorial board said of Hillary Clinton,
"Hearing her talk about the presidency, her policies and answers for America's big problems, we are hugely impressed by the depth of her knowledge, by the force of her intellect and by the breadth of, yes, her experience,".

Surely, the Republicans can see that the newspaper does not have our best interests at heart.Their endorsement should, in a perfect world, be the death knell of McCain's campaign.
McCain and Romney are in a dead heat for the Florida primary.Giuliani and Huckabee don't have a prayer of winning Florida.....the Republicans should give serious consideration to picking Romney over McCain.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Afghan Journalist Given Death Sentence For 'Blasphemy'.

Early this morning, I went to Dr. James McInerney's blog, Science,Society, Stuff where he put up a link to a BBC story about an Afghan journalist jailed and given a death sentence for blaspheming Islam and the Koran. The BBC story says,
"Sayed Perwiz Kambakhsh, 23, was arrested in 2007 after downloading material from the internet relating to the role of women in Islamic societies."
The origins of the BBC story comes from the Reporters Without Borders web site, which reports,
"At a news conference yesterday, Hafizullah Khaliqyar, the deputy provincial prosecutor in charge of the case, threatened to imprison all journalists who support Kambakhsh, adding that “Kambakhsh has confessed to the crime and must be punished.”
Kambakhsh was supposedly arrested because of a controversial article commenting on verses in the Koran about women, although it has now been established that he was not the article’s author. Rahimullah Samandar, the head of the Afghanistan Independent Journalists Association, said he was in fact arrested because of articles written by his brother, Ibrahimi, criticising the provincial authorities."
An article on the Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty web site agrees that the death sentence may be motivated more by politics rather than religion,
" ' We feel very strongly that this is a complete fabrication on the part of the authorities up in Mazar, designed to put pressure on Parwez's brother Yaqub, who has done some of the hardest-hitting pieces outlining abuses by some very powerful commanders in Balkh and the other northern provinces, ' IWPR country manager Jean MacKenzie says.
MacKenzie notes that authorities in Balkh had searched Ibrahimi's computer and taken contact details of sources, adding that "we feel that what is happening with Parwez is not a very veiled threat against Yaqub Ibrahimi."
It appears that these Afghan thugs will use anything at their disposal to end dissent. I'm sure the "blaspheming Islam" ploy is just a red herring to stifle criticism from the Afghan population.

Yes,Sometimes the Truth isn't Convenient.

Contrary to what some would like us to believe, we will never get along completely with our fellow human beings.There will always be disagreements and differences of opinion.
There will always be a yin to every yang....a pro to every con. Up, down. Night , day.
Needless to say, not everyone agrees with my political views. But, I don't think I have to see eye to eye with someone in order to associate with them. I think I can be on fairly good terms with a Liberal, provided that person isn't an elitist as well.
I'm going to speak my mind and I'm not afraid of other folks opinions; even if those opinions are radically different than my own.
Not everyone feels that way. There are some who only want to surround themselves with like-minded people. Don't say anything disagreeable-don't point out the flaws in their arguments or way of thinking.
Don't disturb their little world view.
I will send links to photos of a developing fetus not only to my pro-life friends, but to the pro-choice advocates too.
I will send links to news items which contradict global warming not only to those who are already skeptical of "climate change" ; I'll send it along to people who should be more skeptical.
Some were upset that I sent the link to the video of Al Gore's views on gay marriage. There was no editorial comment from me....just a link to the video.
We need to know what these people think. You can agree or disagree with their views but, we need to hear them straight up.
After sending the link to a number of folks, I received an email, from an acquaintance, asking me to stop sending these little tidbits. I'm happy to do that, but, personally, I think a person should fight for the things they believe in and not be afraid to openly criticize ideas you think are wrong. Don't just surround yourself with "like-minded people".
If you think what I have to say is a load of crap, then provide the argument.....don't retreat to a world where everyone thinks the same as you.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Images of Fetal Development Redux.

Last July, I received an email that contained images of fetal development.I created a page with the images and put the link to that page in this blog.
January 22nd is the 35th anniversary of the Roe vs Wade Supreme Court decision and I felt today would be a good time to re-visit the images. The link to the webpage can be found here.

Update 9/18/2001:
This post has been updated with this new post.

Monday, January 21, 2008

More signs of Support.

It seems as if more people are jumping on the "Bill for First Lady" bandwagon. There's even a website where you can get bumper stickers, buttons and t-shirts; you'll even find the Mr First Lady Talking doll. The website also has a video of "Bill" campaigning for First Lady.
You'll find columns discussing the possibility of First Lady Bill on World Net Daily and nymag.com.
You can be sure that if Hillary becomes President, we can look forward to at least four years of comedians making Bill/First Lady jokes.
It might be worth voting for her if it will humiliate Bill.

Will Bill Vote For Hillary ?

In a recent article for Newsweek, Jonathan Alter suggests that a number of Democrat higher-ups believe former President Bill Clinton's aggressive campaigning may be harming Hillary's run for office.
That opens the question as to whether or not Bill actually wants Hillary to win the election.
Openly, he has no other choice than to support her candidacy even if he doesn't really want her to become President.
Lord only knows the true state of their marriage, but there is surely a dysfunctional dynamic at work. Bill's only way of "keeping her in her place" is his being able to hold his Presidency over her head, so to speak. Her becoming President puts a stop to that. He'd no longer have a way of pretending he's superior to her.
Then, of course, we have to consider Bill's place in history should Hillary become the first female President. If she is elected, school children 100 years from now will know about Hillary Rodham Clinton but Bill will be merely a footnote....a Millard Filmore or Rutherford B. Hayes. I'm sure he realizes that and his ego can't take it.
On the surface, Bill will continue to support his wife's run for office, but if she makes headway, he'll do more and more to sabotage her chances.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Jan. 20th Delegate Count

The media is all excited that John McCain won in the South Carolina primary.
Lets take a look at the Republican delegate count as it stands today according to CNN.
Romney: 72
McCain : 38
Huckabee : 29

Romney still has more than the next two combined. Let's just wait and see.

A Political Bumper Sticker.

I received this photo in a recent email.I touched it up a bit.....removing the tag number.I don't know the original source of the picture. It may even be strictly photo-shopped and not a real bumper sticker at all.
Anyway, it's a bit funny.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

God's Little Joke.

Who says God doesn't like a good laugh occasionally?
A heavy snowfall blanketed a global warming protest outside the State House in Annapolis Maryland. According to the Baltimore Sun,
"Many of the protesters who endured the cold to chant "Stop Global Warming!" said they didn't think the snowfall conflicted with their message. Davey Rogner, a 22 year old student at the University of Maryland College Park, beat on an African Djembe drum to rev up the crowd. He said the snow was a "gift" to remind everyone about how rarely Maryland has been blanketed with beautiful white in recent years as temperatures have increased."
It is worth noting that the protest sign in the photo above reads "Help Stop Climate Change" and not "Stop Global Warming".

Friday, January 18, 2008

Mabuhay Batangas.

This blog and the dumaguetecity.net website are tracked using Google Analytics. I like being able to see how many visitors I get and from where. With the Analytics, I can see which pages are the most popular. On the website, it's the Hotels and Resort pages. On the blog, it seems to be My Interview with an Icelander. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm not quite sure why that post gets so many hits....unless someone has bookmarked that page rather than the blog's homepage.
I'm surprised to find that I have a regular visitor from Batangas, Philippines. Of course, it's not unusual for me to get hits from Philippines....I write about the country often and I have friends and contacts in Dumaguete and Davao. But, why Batangas ? As far as I know, none of my Filipino friends have relocated there and I know nothing about the place.
It's flattering to see that I have a regular visitor. It would be nice, though, if you'd leave a comment from time to time. You could even send an email to me via the website email address.
I'm curious to know what you find the most interesting about the blog.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Papal Address Canceled.

Pope Benedict XVI had been scheduled to deliver an address to Rome's Sapienza University but canceled amid protests from professors and students who had occupied the rector's offices.
From Zenit,
"The protesters' letter mentioned a 1990 speech at Sapienza University that then Cardinal Ratzinger gave about the Church's 17th-century condemnation of Galileo. The signatories of the protest letter mentioned that the future Pope quoted an Austrian philosopher who said the trial was "rational and just." The protesters did not mention that Cardinal Ratzinger went on to say that he was not in agreement with the philosopher."
Sixty-seven academics had said the Pope condoned the 1633 trial and conviction of the astronomer Galileo for heresy even though the pope had actually said otherwise.
Also from Zenit,
"Giorgio Israel, a Jewish mathematician and professor at the university, noted in L'Osservatore Romano that the 1990 speech actually defended Galileo."
"It is surprising," the mathematician said, "that those who have chosen as a motto Voltaire's famous phrase, 'I don’t agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,' oppose themselves to the Pope pronouncing a discourse at the university of Rome."
This is reminiscent of Muslims protesting the pope for quoting a 14th-century dialogue between a Byzantine emperor and a Persian scholar. In both instances we have fools who are so blinded by hatred that facts and truth don't enter into their equations.
The text to the Pope's address was sent to the University and later published in L'Osservatore Romano . An English translation of the speech can be found on the Asia News website.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thanks Rush.

Sad to say, I've been reading too many political columns...seen and heard too many pundits and had gotten a bit twisted on my perspective concerning the recent contests.
Too many talking heads, like Robert Novak, were saying Romney's "losses" were putting his campaign at "death's door". To quote Novak:
"Romney's second loss puts his well-financed campaign at death's door.
1. Romney's core tactic in New Hampshire of attacking McCain on immigration fell flat partly because McCain reduced the issue to a squabble over the definition of "amnesty." Also, the negativity seemed to hurt him here as it did in Iowa. Finally, as a well-off corporate raider, it's hard for voters to believe Romney really cares about the issue. It comes across as opportunistic and purely political. Immigration has not proved a winning issue in recent years.
2. Iowa doesn't determine New Hampshire, but this time it certainly had an effect. For many Republicans, Romney was simply the "electable conservative." Once he lost to Huckabee, that title vanished. Also, Huckabee's attacks on Romney were effective. Finally, Iowa emboldened the other Republicans in Saturday night's debate, and he looked bad.
3. While Romney can dig into his own massive fortunes to stay alive, it's hard to imagine where he can win if he can't win in two states where he has spent huge amounts of money and time. The voters who know him best -- including those in his neighboring state of New Hampshire -- aren't quite sold on him."
I wasn't very optimistic yesterday when I wrote my last post but, now, thanks to a few minutes listening to Rush Limbaugh's show on my way to work, my outlook is brighter.
Here's some of what he had to say,
"Romney, by the way, you want to hear the delegate count after two states? On the Republican side, Mitt Romney, 24 delegates because he won Wyoming, which has as many delegates as New Hampshire. In number two the delegate race is Huckabee at 18, and number three is McCain, at ten, McCain, because of the margin of his victory in New Hampshire. So Romney, after three states, leads in delegates. Now, I know this is all going to change, but you can't come up and say, "Well, if he loses New Hampshire, he's out. If he loses Michigan, he's done." This is mindless! It's irresponsible! It's not even based in any kind of thought. It's just a bunch of individuals predicting things on one particular event after one particular event. This is not a momentum election, folks, this is important to understand. This is not a momentum election, because nobody has any momentum right now. The momentum shifts, we've had two states, we've had two sets of winners in both states. Where's the momentum? It's impossible to say that there is any momentum"
That's right......as we stand, right now, Romney is ahead in the delegate count. This is not the time to throw in the towel.
Thanks Rush.
The link to the transcript can be found here.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

All Bets are Off.

The day before the New Hampshire primary, the most reasonable prediction seemed to be that Obama had the momentum and could not be stopped. The idea was that independent voters, who might otherwise vote for McCain, would vote Democrat - choosing Obama over Clinton.That would put Romney and Obama as winners. As we can see, that didn't happen.
The Democrat nomination is still a horse race; the Republicans are disorganized and their nomination process is in shambles.
The choices the Republicans are giving us leave a lot to be desired.
Am I going to be forced to sit this one out? I'm not crazy about the idea of voting against the Democrat candidate.....I'd rather vote for a Republican, but I don't see that being an option in the near future.
We still have a long way to go in the selection process; I can still vote for Romney in the Georgia Republican primary, but it may turn out to be a wasted vote. I doubt if I could vote for Giuliani, McCain or Huckabee.....even if that means Hillary would win.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Did I misread the Democrats?

From the beginning I've predicted Hillary Clinton would win the nomination for the Democrat's presidential candidate. It looks as if I was wrong.
The New Hampshire primary is today and it looks like she's going to take a shellacking. Her numbers in South Carolina aren't good and some doubt she'll make it to Super Tuesday.
Like a lot of other folks, I thought of her as the inevitable victor. I didn't take into account the Democrats tendency to go overboard for the newcomer with the superstar persona.
Obama now appears to be the one to beat and I don't think Hillary can pull it off.
I said in an earlier post that I thought the November election would be between Hillary and Romney. I may have been wrong about Romney as well. He could still get the nod if he wins in New Hampshire today. I can't see the Republicans running McCain in November; if it isn't Romney I don't know who it'll be.

Monday, January 7, 2008

American Gothic Revisited.


Grant Wood's painting from the 1930s has often been used as a vehicle to parody contemporary politics. Today, I came across two political cartoons using American Gothic to poke fun at the results of the recent Iowa caucus.One cartoon has the couple as Obama and Huckabee supporters; in another, they are depicted as Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney.
I did a little search for images with Google and snatched a few; one with the Bushes and two with the Clintons.
I was tempted the include the parody photo of Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie posing as the couple for the T.V. show The Simple Life , but decided against it.
Further information about the use of the famous painting in parodies can be found at this link.




Friday, January 4, 2008

The Fat Lady Doesn't Sing in Des Moines.

The results of the Iowa caucus are in.On the Democrat side we have Obama the winner with 38% followed by Edwards with 30% and Clinton with 29%. On the Republican side, Huckabee is ahead with 34%, Romney with 25% and a tie for third between Thompson and McCain with 13% each.
Contrary to what some in the media would have us believe, the election is far from over.It's unlikely that come November the candidates will be Obama and Huckabee.
Let's take a look at past results. As far as the Democrats are concerned,with the exception of a sitting President (Clinton in 1996) no Democrat winner of the Iowa caucus has won the November election since Carter won in 1976 (and he actually came in 2nd in Iowa to "uncommitted").
The Republicans don't fare much better. A sitting President does OK, but otherwise, the Republican winner in Iowa usually loses the general election. (George W. Bush in 2000 is a notable exception).
I predicted Huckabee and Romney would take the 1st and 2nd place spots, though I couldn't predict who would come out ahead. I also said that a win in Iowa will not stop Huckabee's slide downward. He won't be able to rely solely on evangelicals to carry him. He's pretty much a RINO - basically, a pro life Democrat.
I will be very surprised if Obama wins the Democrat nomination.
Iowa is just the first of many contests. As the saying goes,
"It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings" and the fat lady doesn't sing in Des Moines.

Perdue professor's project pays poor people to puff pungent pig poop.

Say this three times real fast then click the link.
Perdue professor's project pays poor people to puff pungent pig poop.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Beginning of the End for Huckabee

It's difficult predicting the results of the upcoming Iowa caucus.....it's just too close to call. At one point, Romney seemed to be far ahead only to be overtaken by Huckabee. Now, some polls show only a couple of percentage points separating the two; well within the margin of error.
It's safe to say that Huckabee and Romney will take the top two spots in Iowa though who'll be number one is any body's guess.
That being said, even if he takes the top spot in Iowa, Huckabee won't get the nomination. He's got too many problems with Republicans that he shouldn't be having problems with.
Ann Coulter has written two stinging articles
(article.php?id=24148 article.php?id=24068 )
He's had run ins with Rush Limbaugh and Michelle Malkin says he's hucked up .
Catholic writer, Mark P. Shea is no Huckabee fan . The Catholic League is critical of Huckabee's playing footsie with the militantly anti Catholic preacher, John Hagee.
My guess is, that by the time we vote in Georgia this February, Mike Huckabee will be seen as just a flash in the pan.