Day: May 7, 2011

World War I Goes Into History: The Link To Today And Terrorism

In February, America’s last surviving veteran of the First World War, Frank Buckles, died.

Now we have news that the last combat veteran of the war, a British national, who later settled in Australia, named Claude Choules, has died, also at the same age of 110.

After the death of Frank Buckles, the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri held a service and commemoration of the passing of the last American soldier of that war.

It was noted that Americans had changed their view of the world totally when they abandoned isolationism and joined the war effort in Europe, and how so many sacrificed their lives and their heatlh to serve in a just cause.

Now that the last “doughboy” and last European combat veteran have both died, it is fitting that we recognize 97 years after that Great War commenced, and with the death of Osama Bin Laden by courageous Navy SEALS doing their duty to protect America, that the war against terrrorism has had a victory, but that the battle for freedom and security must go on in a world fraught with dangers not that different than a century ago!

House Republicans Begin A Strategic Retreat On Medicare Portion Of Ryan Budget!

The Republican Party may have committed a “Waterloo” on themselves by promoting the Paul Ryan plan to privatize Medicare over ten years, and taking a vote where all but four Republicans in the House of Representatives voted in favor of what has become a major controversy in House districts all over the nation during the Easter recess.

When Paul Ryan himself, Allan West in South Florida, and other GOP Congressmen witnessed massive assaults on them at Town Halls in their districts, it had a tremendous impact on them, putting some of them into panic mode.

So now House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia has indicated that the GOP will not push the change in the Medicare system until after the 2012 elections.

That is a warning sign of what can be expected if the American people are stupid or ignorant enough to elect a Republican House of Representatives and Senate and a Republican President in 2012.

The Republicans are biding their time, and hoping that corporate outlays in campaign spending and effective propaganda commercials can fool the people a second time!

The Democrats, led by Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, have made it clear that they will hammer home what the GOP wanted to do, and what it will certainly do if they gain complete control of the government. And one can be sure that Democratic National Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the South Florida Congresswoman, will be effective in pushing the issue as well!

There is no question of the need to reform Medicare, but not destroy it, as the GOP has wanted to do since it was first born over their opposition in 1965 under President Lyndon B. Johnson!

The Fox News Channel South Carolina Debate: What It Tells Us About The GOP Presidential Race!

The Republican Presidential debate in South Carolina this past Thursday, the first in a long group of debates over the next year, tells us a lot about both the Republican race and South Carolina at the same time, and it is not good!

The focus audience at the debate sponsored by Fox News Channel seemed like aliens from another planet, certainly not the mainstream of the nation, and doubtfully, of the Republican party future.

Asked their favorite candidate among the five who showed up, the majority said Herman Cain, the African American former Chief Executive Officer of Godfather Pizza, also a talk show host on radio. His main point was to get government out of the way of business, a typical Republican viewpoint, but his chances for the nomination can be seen as zero!

Their second favorite was former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, who has made himself look foolish and extreme on social issues, and no serious observer takes him as a likely nominee, either!

It was interesting that Ron Paul, despite his support among libertarians, and actually making quite a good debate perfromance, failed to excite the South Carolina focus group.

It was also noticeable that Tim Pawlenty, often considered one of the more likely nominees as a “dark horse”, seems to have had no positive impression among the participants in the focus group.

The sum total is to demonstrate that Pawlenty probably lost some advantage by NOT impressing that group of voters, and that the focus group made one realize that there are a lot of people in the Palmetto state who seem not to have advanced beyond the times of John C. Calhoun and Strom Thurmond–meaning continued hatred of the national government as somehow the evil incarnate!

Without the “serious” candidates in the race–Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee–and the controversial candidates–Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, Newt Gingrich–the debate was basically a waste of time since nothing came out of it that could promise a good future for the Republican Party in the 2012 Presidential race!

Jimmy Carter, North Korea, And Food As Issue Of Human Rights!

Former President Jimmy Carter hast just returned from a visit to North Korea, which is suffering from a famine considered one of the greatest of modern times.

Carter reports that people are eating tree bark, grass, and leaves because of tremendous shortages of food, causing mass loss of life.

North Korea’s dictator, Kim Jong Il, has refused to cooperate with the six party talks attempting to negotiate an end of his nuclear threat to his neighbors. These nations include the US, Russia, China, South Korea, and Japan.

As a result, the Obama Administration is refusing to ship food stuffs to North Korea, despite the massive famine conditions that exist there.

Carter is criticizing that decision, stating that politics should not be connected to food supply availability, and that this action is a violation of human rights.

This is a very interesting viewpoint, and it gives one food for thought, no pun intended.

Should a nation use the weapon of basic human needs as a way to push a nation which has its people suffering, but has a recalcitrant government?

The tendency of the author is to agree with Carter, that the United States should immediately make food stuffs available, and stop making it a political issue. The people of North Korea are victims already of a terrible government, but the world should not abandon them and allow mass loss of life if they can have some input to prevent that!

The “Dark Horse” To Watch In The GOP Presidential Race: Jon Huntsman Of Utah!

Anyone who is paying attention to the GOP Presidential race knows that there is great dissatisfaction with the field of candidates.

Either they are highly controversial and divisive figures such as Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Donald Trump.

Or else they are such long shots that are “unknowns” such as Herman Cain, Gary Johnson, and Buddy Roemer.

Or they are candidates who have been around before, and are seen by many as uninspiring, including Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee.

Or they are newcomers who are seen as having potential, such as Tim Pawlenty and Jon Huntsman.

There is also Ron Paul, who excites the libertarian wing of the party, but has no chance to be the nominee.

And then, there are those who imagine that Chris Christie, the “bully” Governor of New Jersey, somehow can translate his tough guy image to the national scene.

In reality, other than Mitt Romney, who has many issues to deal with, but is seen by many as the best candidate, it is, as the author has said many times, Pawlenty and Huntsman who are the best alternatives, but in many ways, Huntsman is much more interesting.

Former Ambassador to China under President Obama, and former Governor of Utah, where he came across as a moderate, Huntsman is much more charismatic than Pawlenty. He is very handsome, dynamic, has the experience in China which makes him appear strong on foreign policy, and could be much more appealing in a two man race against Obama than any other candidate. He is truly the ultimate “dark horse” in the race, and this weekend, he is in South Carolina delivering the commencement address at the University of South Carolina. He is said to be ready to enter the race next month, and seems to many the most interesting person in the race.

Being a moderate on most issues, a Mormon like Romney is, and having worked for Obama in China, are all negatives to many, but don’t bet against him surviving a long way in the Presidential race and keeping it interesting!

Watch Jon Huntsman and read up on him, as he should be a major factor in the political race for 2012!

The Multi Tasking President In His Prime: One Week In Barack Obama’s Presidency

Everyone knows that the American Presidency is a tremendous burden, with the occupant of the Oval Office having to deal with so many issues and problems at the same time, that he MUST be able to multi task with great skill.

So is the case of Barack Obama, who in one week, did the following:

1. Had Hawaii issue his official Certificate of Live Birth to silence his critics, which now have dropped dramatically, according to public opinion polls.

2. Toured Alabama and other states that were victims of the worst tornado destruction in decades, and was praised for the quick federal response to the natural disaster, as compared to Hurricane Katrina uncer President George W. Bush

3. Traveled to Florida to witness the Space Shuttle launch, which was unfortunately delayed, but also to visit Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, wounded in an assassination attempt in January, who was there to witness her husband, Mark Kelly, the captain of the shuttle crew, begin the space mission.

4. Performed great standup comedy at the annual White House Correspondents Dinner, including teasing of Donald Trump, who has been bad mouthing Obama for the past month, including on the “birther” controversy.

5. All of that week, and even earlier, Obama was planning the raid on the compound in Pakistan to eliminate the Al Qaeda leader, Osama Bin Laden, the most daring action by a President in many decades!

And in the past week since, Obama has also visited the site of Ground Zero and commiserated with the families of victims of the World Trade Center, and also visited the Navy SEALS who were engaged in the most delicate operation possible, the attack on the Bin Laden compound and retrieval of the body of Bin Laden after he was killed.

This period of the last week of April and first week of May, a two week period, will go down in history as one of the most momentous periods in the history of the nation!