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How much change do we really want?


Fri, Feb 8th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

As the number of presidential hopefuls gets smaller an interesting field of candidate's remains. Each in their own way represents a certain segment of the electorate. Left in the race is a person of African-American heritage, a woman, a Mormon, an evangelical Christian, and a senior citizen.

This represents the most demographically diverse presidential 'crop' of candidates in my lifetime and perhaps, ever. Our choices in the past, at this stage in the race, have always been white men, either middle aged or senior in years with mainstream religious affiliations.

This presidential race is far from over, but is it just possible that America has matured enough as a nation that we are ready and prepared to elect an African-American President or a woman as Commander-in-Chief? Is the religion of a candidate no longer an issue and are we ready to elect a Mormon or an evangelical Christian as President? Have we as a country overcome our fears so that race, gender or religion no longer matter in a Presidential contest? Or, instead does this diversity in candidates represent the divided nation that we may still be.

I don't think we yet know the answers to those questions. And as I listen to our media, I sense it remains timid, in fact, ill-prepared, in talking openly about whether personal prejudices rather than political differences are determining the outcome of this election.

Indeed, has the media's discussion of election results by "demographic profile" become the new code phrase for "prejudicial voting"?

For example, throughout the Super Tuesday election night, media reporters and pundits often described Obama's win of caucus states, like Minnesota, as representing the more educated and dedicated political voter; whereas wins in a primary state such as Massachusetts went to Clinton due to her strong appeal to the blue-collar voters in Boston. Only on National Public Radio did I hear mention the lingering wounds of the battle over desegregated school busing in Boston as a possible reason for the strong Clinton vote.

Let's face it, voting stereotypes abound: young folk won't vote for the old; poor whites won't vote for a black; men won't vote for a woman; and so on. The question remains whether these stereotypes are still playing out in 2008.

The polls show that Americans are largely unhappy with the direction our country is going and want change. Is our desire for change enough to overcome our history of .....
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Nobody was listening anyway

Fri, Feb 1st, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Last Monday night my wife was baby sitting so I was able to watch the "State of the Union" speech in its entirety. There was no one home to hear some of my language.

Most of these speeches are used to lay out bold and broad policy objectives ..... 
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What I did at Camp

Fri, Jan 25th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Camp is for kids, right? Well, I left my three kids with dad and set out for St. Paul for a weekend of intense "camp," without the traditional canoeing, mosquito-friendly tent, and fireside songs. I was a little nervous about what to expect, but I c ..... 
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It's all about the Benjamins

Mon, Jan 21st, 2008
Posted in Commentary

With a possible economic recession in our near future some in government think that a tax cut is the way to prevent this from happening. This theory is if we pay less in taxes we will have more money to spend and thus boost the economy.

I g ..... 
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Second hand smoke

Mon, Jan 21st, 2008
Posted in Commentary

The reported health risks of second hand smoke are likened to the Great Plagues of Europe. If it were true, Baby Boomers would not be a threat to Medicare and Social Security. They would not have been large enough to mount campaigns for women's righ ..... 
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The Year of the Rat(s)

Fri, Dec 28th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

Some last minute thoughts as we enter 2008, or in the Chinese lexicon, the Year of the Rat.

• There is one year left of the Bush - Cheney junta. They introduced the world to such noble concepts as rendition, torture (think waterboarding) ..... 
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Let's hear it for the "City Guys"

Fri, Dec 21st, 2007
Posted in Commentary

We see and hear tributes to our firefighters, police, and emergency responders; they deserve this praise, especially in our small towns where they are often volunteers, risking lives to protect us.

There is another group of folks who merit o ..... 
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Maybe they really are evil

Fri, Dec 14th, 2007
Posted in Commentary

Internet chatter in the so called blogosphere is nasty and vitriolic. Main street media is not much better with both major political ideologies demonizing and calling the other evil.

I have been concerned about Bush's intellect and Cheney's ..... 
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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 we ..... 
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