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Uncommonly Sensible

Keeping the "anal" in analytical... (While trying to remain civilized)

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Location: United States

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My brother Bill...

...has won the championship in his dragbike class for the second year he's competed in the American Drag Racing League.

He was (at least!) a 10 time National Champion in the American Motorcyclist Association racing division, but has basically moved on to the aforementioned American Drag Racing League.

I went to see him race this year, but I'm more of a doer than a watcher, so I don't go often; I am definitely proud of his success, however.

I've been meaning to write about him, but at least I finally got around to it. Better late than never, so "they" say....whomsoever "they" are.

I remember when we were too young to ride motorcycles, Bill used to always want to go as fast as he possibly could, pedaling for all he was worth down hills. As for me, I was generally content to let gravity take me down those same hills.

Anyway, he surely does go fast now.

Oh, and let's not forget Veterans Day...

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Got plans this Saturday?

From the Carlisle Theatre website:

FOREVER WILD: A CELEBRATION OF WILDERNESS A Benefit Concert to Establish the Appalachian Trail Museum in Central Pennsylvania. One of America's most unique folksingers and backcountry travelers, Walkin' Jim Stoltz, on tour from the mountains of Montana, will bring his powerful multi-media show, Forever Wild, to the Carlisle Theatre, 40 West High Street, Carlisle, PA, on Saturday, November 8, 2008, at 7:30 p.m. The mix of stunning photography, stories, and music make this one-of-a-kind concert an inspiring journey into our nation's last wilderness areas. This event is sponsored by the Appalachian Trail Museum Society and is a fund-raiser to help establish the Appalachian Trail Museum, designated for Pine Grove Furnace State Park in Michaux State Forest, Cooke Township.

I mentioned the Appalachian Trail Museum project in a piece that I wrote here this past August.

This coming Saturday in Carlisle, PA there will be a concert, the proceeds of which will benefit the project.

We need someplace to reassemble the Earl Shaffer shelter, which we took apart the first weekend in August.

It is being negotiated for the museum to be established in Pine Grove, near the Ironmaster's Hostel, which is located at the midpoint of the Appalachian Trail.

If you can make it, then that would be great.

An appreciation for folk music would help...

Sunday, November 02, 2008

"Talking the Talk" vs. "Walking the Walk"

I took the picture above about 1½ miles from my home, along the route I take to and from where I work. As you can see, both of the major Party's candidates are represented therein. So much for the "Party of tolerance", eh? Someone had stolen my next door neighbor's McCain sign from his lawn too...but each sign has since been replaced. In fact, my neighbor just added a "Democrat for McCain" sign to his lawn this past weekend as well.

There's a BIG election coming up this week. After what may have been the longest campaign season in U.S. history, we are poised on the brink of deciding to vote for either Barack Obama or John McCain.

While McCain is not the candidate I would have preferred, there are many positive attributes about the man and his policies, demonstrated over a long and distinguished career of government service. I won't go into the negatives about McCain; some of them he has already redressed.

Mostly, I am going to point out why I believe that voting for Obama would be an enormous mistake.

Obama claims to be an agent of change. That's all well and good, and to be expected in any event...all candidates running for public office (except incumbents) promise some variation on this theme.

However, let's look at the facts. There are plenty of them out there, try though the Obama team might to obfuscate and spin them away.


Obama has had plenty of questionable liaisons over the years, with Rashid Khalidi, William Ayers, Jeremiah Wright and Tony Rezko to name but a few. His typical answer when questioned about them has been to minimize their actual involvement in his life.

Rashid Khalidi and William Ayers are a couple of former (?) proponents of terrorism, one imported, the other domestic. Obama has had long-running and close ties to both of them.

Rashid Khalidi has expressed support many times for Palestinian terror, calling suicide bombings a "response to Israeli aggression". Obama admitted "I do know him because I taught at the University of Chicago". In fact, at a 2003 farewell party for Khalidi (from an article in the L.A. Times): "A special tribute came from Khalidi's friend and frequent dinner companion, the young State Senator Barack Obama."

William Ayers was a founding member of the Weather Underground, a radical group that bombed a number of government facilities in this country, injuring some while killing others. He got off on a technicality, and was quoted in the New York Times (in an article published on 9-11-01, no less) as regretting only that he didn't do more. Obama's political career was started at a party in Ayers' home, yet Obama claims that Ayers is "just a guy who lives in my neighborhood". That is only one of many extremely transparent lies told by Obama during his campaign.

Another lie regards Jeremiah Wright, his former (?) mentor and pastor of the church he attended with his family for 20 years. When it first surfaced that Jeremiah Wright is a hate monger, calling upon God to damn America, Obama claimed that he never heard such things when he attended that church. Later he admitted that he had indeed heard such vitriol. Finally, he cut ties with that church, after it was affecting his chances of being elected.

Regarding Tony Rezko, another "guy who lives in his neighborhood", he is a slum lord who was convicted on multiple counts of fraud and bribery. Obama's house in Chicago was purchased for hundreds of thousands of dollars less than the asking price by working out a deal with Rezko. Evidently the Obamas and the Rezkos were on quite friendly terms with each other.

Thus, he has repeatedly demonstrated that he is in fact a liar. One common theme that I heard while discussing Obama with some of his supporters has been their insistence upon what "Obama says". Talking the talk is cheap; anyone can do that. Walking the walk is another matter, and McCain made an excellent point during the debates about comparing record to rhetoric.

What else is he lying about? How can we know?!

Tax and spend.

According to CBS News, after reviewing Obama's "infomercial" last week, "his numbers don't add up."

As McCain has said regarding Obama's proposals: "Do the math".

Although he has already stated that he intends to raise taxes, he also claims that he will only do so on the top 5% of taxpayers. Never mind that this particular demographic group already pays 60% of the income tax revenues that the IRS collects. Never mind that the bottom 50% of all income earners only pays 3% of the income tax revenues that the IRS collects. The cold, hard fact of the matter is that it would be quite impossible to raise taxes on only the top 5%. Why? Because when the costs of doing business go up, those costs invariably get passed on to the consumer. It's really very simple, basic economics. So, though you might not pay a higher income tax rate, ultimately you will be paying for any tax hikes.

Of course, to pay for his (estimated) $4.3 trillion of new spending over the next 10 years, taxes will definitely have to go up. As I just illustrated, we will all be footing the bill for that.

The most costly expenditure that Obama wants to add to the budget is health care for everyone. This may well be a very high-minded ideal, but I submit that it will drive up costs, while driving down quality...for everyone. While traveling this past Summer, I was discussing this very issue with some Canadians, who assured me that their health care in Canada is "not that bad". I told them that I preferred my good health care to a government-run version that's "not that bad". Then I asked them if it was true that they were paying more than half of their income in taxes, which they verified. I informed them that I had no desire to be placed into the same situation.

Speaking of health care plans, there seems to be some confusion regarding McCain's proposed approach. While he does want to tax employees' health care benefits that are employer provided (which are a de facto form of compensation) as income, he also wants to give everyone a tax credit to offset this. In other words, a deduction from federal taxes due, which is worth more than what the tax on a premium health care policy would be. That would mean that the proposed tax credit would more than make up for having one's benefits taxed as income. It would also help anyone who pays for their own health care by providing the same tax credit to them, and would also allow people to shop around for the best deal.

Obama's plan is to "spread the wealth around", A.K.A. Socialism. As he said to Joe the Plumber (whom he later contemptuously mocked) in one of his more candid moments, "I think that when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody".

"Spread the wealth around"? As in rob from Peter to pay Paul. According to George Bernard Shaw, "a government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul."

This socialist philosophy that Obama espouses has been cultivated for a long time, probably beginning while he was living with his grandparents in Hawaii, when he was influenced by Frank Marshall Davis. From an article in the U.K.'s Telegraph: "Although identified only as Frank in Mr Obama’s memoir 'Dreams from My Father', it has now been established that he was Frank Marshall Davis, a radical activist and journalist who had been suspected of being a member of the Communist Party in the 1950s. In his memoir, Mr Obama recounts how he visited Mr Davis on several occasions, apparently at junctures when he was grappling with racial issues, to seek his counsel. At one point in 1979 Mr. Davis described university as 'an advanced degree in compromise' that was designed to keep blacks in their place."

In a radio interview back in 2001, Obama pointed out that the Supreme Court (under Chief Justice Earl Warren) had "never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth", which is apparently something he would like to see them legislate from the bench. Were he to be elected President, it is projected that he could very well nominate 2-3 Justices to the Supreme Court, or as many as 5 of them in the event of his serving two terms in office. This alone should be considered by those who have not decided which Presidential candidate they plan to cast their vote for. Of course, if we wind up with a Democrat in the White House and a filibuster proof majority of Democrats in Congress, the legislation from the bench point may be a moot one. This redistribution of wealth will happen, in that case, with nobody being able to prevent it. You can read an excellent Wall Street Journal article on the subject at the following link: Obama's 'Redistribution' Constitution Also, you can check out Obama's discussion about "redistribution of wealth" on the aforementioned 2001 radio program HERE.

Again, regarding Obama's claim to be an agent of change, he didn't take long to join in with the "business as usual" practice in Washington of adding earmarks to various bills. During his first term as a U.S. Senator, he has requested the better part of a billion dollars worth of them.

John McCain, during his 20+ years in the Senate has never asked for a single earmark; zero, zip, zilch.

The War On Terrorism.

Obama's prediction that the "Surge" in Iraq would be unsuccessful (to put it mildly; he actually said that it would make things worse) he has yet to admit that he was wrong, only allowing that it had "succeeded beyond our wildest dreams".

He still maintains that a similar "Surge" strategy would not work in Afghanistan, even though his claim that it would fail in Iraq was proven incorrect.

He has also said that Iran "doesn't pose a serious threat", and that he would invade Pakistan. On matters of National Security he seems to be completely out of his depth, which apparently isn't all that deep to begin with.

A young veteran of the war in Iraq posted his views about that particular conflict in a much viewed video on YouTube: Dear Mr. Obama.


This is a touchy subject for many; I've heard it said that since I have no uterus, I'm not entitled to an opinion about it. However, even those who believe in a woman's right to choose generally agree that there should be reasonable limits. Obama thinks there should be none whatsoever, even with regard to the utterly heinous and horrific practice of partial birth abortion. For those who remain blissfully unaware of what that barbaric procedure entails, it is when a baby's skull is punctured so that the brains can be sucked out, while in the course of passing through the birth canal. Sickening. Obama goes one step farther; he has argued against even providing medical care to babies who survive being aborted, some of whom have been left to die amongst the soiled linen and infectious waste bins in various hospitals. Apparently Obama has no philosophical problem with all of that. I shall repeat: sickening. "Obama's radical stance on abortion puts him further left on that issue than even NARAL Pro-Choice America."

Media coverage.

The "mainstream" media has been so thoroughly and blatantly in the Obama camp that a majority of Americans have noticed. Some journalists have even broke ranks and are criticizing peers about their obvious lack of objectivity. Some good articles about that situation are "Embarrassment" by Jules Crittenden and "Media's O-colored glasses blank out leftist truth" by Diana West

Listen to reason.

Reasons to vote for McCain/Palin

More reasons to vote for John McCain

Reasons against an Obama Presidency

More reasons to vote against Obama

Additional articles for your consideration:

Huntley Brown explains why he won't vote for Barack Obama

Senator Government by Larry Elder

What would an Obama Presidency be like? Let's Never Find Out.

PS: It has also been credibly suggested that Obama has Narcissistic Personality Disorder...

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