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So, this is democracy?


Fri, Dec 14th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

The unfortunate thing about living so close to Iowa is the spillover effect of the presidential primary which is held every four years. The white noise emanating from south of our border has been deafening and will only get louder in the next few weeks.

All of this is played out at full volume in the media, which has the tendency to turn election politics into a contact sport.

Have you ever seen NBC's Tim Russert any happier?

"See if Mitt and Rudy will be able to fight off the rising Huckabee storm? Can Barak and Oprah steal Hillary's thunder?"

It seems an unfortunate way to elect a president, trying to convince 100,000 people in a mid-western state that you deserve the right to run for president from your party.

The primary system is a political free-for-all, a migration of big money and organization, that goes from Iowa to New Hampshire to South Carolina and Nevada and all points in between that will climax in late summer at a party convention.

I much prefer the parliamentary method, where one has to win a seat from a constituency and then convince your party colleagues, all of whom are elected members of parliament as well, that you should be their leader.

It makes for a short campaign season which displaces the impact big money and the national media have on the election. It also fosters a multi-party system where, more often than not, coalitions must be formed with other parties to get a majority to form a government.

There are 175 registered political parties in England. While the Conservative and Labour parties dominate, several other parties play a major role in British politics. It takes the edge off of partisan politics.

Our founding fathers, while leery of the abuses of the parliamentary system in the 1700s, with its elitist House of Lords, would be astounded as to how we elect a president in America nowadays.

Approximately 38% of registered voters in America are independents. Not Republicans, not Democrats. They are an amalgamation of voters - socialists, libertarians, fiscal conservatives, liberal progressives - voters with no affinity for either of the two major parties.

And while the two parties will decide who runs for president in November, it will be independents who decide who the next president will be - they are the tipping point in any election.

Politicians and pollsters have broken down voters into demographics by age, gender, race, rur .....
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Awash in a sea of noise

Fri, Dec 7th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

I never thought I would be agreeing with Spiro Agnew or Dick Cheney, or even G. W. Bush. They and others have over the years railed against the print, radio, and TV media about not sharing what they consider to be the good or accurate news.

..... 
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Henny Penny the sky is falling

Fri, Dec 7th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

A new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) was released last Monday. There are some astounding facts associated with its findings. They mostly make me believe it will be a long time before other countries will take our word about intelligence findin ..... 
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America, the benevolent dictator

Fri, Nov 30th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

Joseph Broz, aka Tito, was one of those more benevolent dictators - using a bit of carrot and stick to hold the ethnic stew known as Yugoslavia together.

"No one questioned 'who is a Serb, who is a Croat, who is a Muslim (Bosniak)', we were ..... 
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If I were a true patriot

Fri, Nov 23rd, 2007
Posted in Commentary

If I were truly patriotic I would be demonstrating on our streets and carrying placards calling for the impeachment of President Bush.

How is it that I can stand by while President Bush has amongst many other things:

Violated the Uni ..... 
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Do the right thing with recycling

Fri, Nov 23rd, 2007
Posted in Commentary

Every day we are faced with the same dilemma: to recycle or not to recycle.

My recent trips to the gas station seem to be pressing this issue on my subconscious mind. I reach down to grab the bag of garbage when I eye a plastic pop bottle sn ..... 
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Irrelevant?

Fri, Oct 26th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

Two recent headlines concerning Mr. Bush have me on more tenterhooks than usual. I am really getting tired of being insulted by someone so intellectually incurious and inexact. The first in the Washington Post was "Bush Deplores American Timidity", ..... 
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Bankrupting America

Fri, Sep 28th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

It used to be that the U.S. Dollar (USD) carried some weight overseas. Working and travelling in Asia several years ago, I knew that there was always two prices for a product - one in local currency and one in U.S. Dollars.

"Dong or Dollar?" ..... 
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Truth as we know it to be

Fri, Sep 21st, 2007
Posted in Commentary

Truth might be defined as an accepted fact or reality. And yet, as we have seen all too often there are varying interpretations of the truth. Truth comes in different forms. There is my truth, your truth and the "real" truth. Some examples of accept ..... 
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