Tuesday, August 10, 2004

New Stuff

Tuesday, Aug. 10.
I'm supposed to be retired, but I find myself at my desk in the Daily Herald office three days a week, as always, pounding out rhetoric on my computer. Instead of writing columns, I am updating them, am adding to them and will cook up a new title for my book, "Halas Hef, the Beatles and Me."

Monday, Aug. 9.
Alan Keyes, a person who lives in Maryland, is the Republican choice to run for the U. S. Senate against Barack Obama.. Keyes comes to this race in Illinois as an experienced loser, possessor of a voice that could bring in pigs from the next county, and the generator of sweat - or perspiration - on scale of unprecedented proportions. He seemingly could sweat in a snow storm.
In an interview with Elizabeth Brackett on Channel 11 Keyes was without perspiration. Brackett tried for a meaningful interview but Keyes answered most questions by referring to the U.S. Constitution.
I'll still refer to GOP state chair Judy Baar Topinka's initial reaction to a Keyes candidacy. With a million people in Illinois who could qualify to run for the Senate, why in the world should we endorse some guy who lives in Maryland and probably doesn't know whether Chicago is in Cook County or Sangamon County or Lincoln County. Or is it Springfield that's in Lincoln County. Or is Cairo still the state capitol?
In the race for the U.S. Senate, Keyes may set a record for lowest vote in Illinois history in a contested race.
On the same page, Judy Baar Topinka reached the depths of 180-degree turns when on one day she said there are a million people in Illinois qualified to run for the Senate and no way should we pick somebody from Maryland. The following day she had nothing but praise for this wonderful candidate from Maryland, who would have to establish a home in Illinois if he entered the Senate, which he won't because Obama will bury him in November.

Tuesday, Aug. 3
I just finished an interview with a crew from Northeastern Illinois University and Congressman Raum Emanuel. Subject: my experiences in World War II. I say "experiences" because my service, four and a half years in the Navy, weren't very exciting. I didn't serve on any Navy vessel. I spent a couple of years successfully helping defend Iowa City against enemy attack. I asked for combat assignment, and was assigned to duty in Guam and the communications facility - JCA - which handled all communications running the Pacific war.

Monday, Aug. 2
I'm theoretically on vacation, but for a news junky, there is no vacation. There is no escape from compulsion to read three newspapers every day, scan the Wall Street Journal, and read the seven news magazines I subscribe to.
The campaign oratory is tending toward the windbag side. Same stuff, over and over. Might the candidates put in writing what they stand for, hand out copies at all the big rallies, and devote the rallies to singalongs? They can emulate the 2000 Year Old Man's national anthem: "They can all go to hell except Cave 37")


Blogger Cynthia said...

I saw the Brackett interview and I was the one sweating buckets. It was appalling -- if this is what passes for a government studies PhD from Harvard, I question our entire education system. Where is he coming up with these interpretations of the Declaration of Independence anyway, if you can call them that? And I don't get his Lincoln rant at all. He's very scary.

August 10, 2004 at 11:11 AM  
Blogger ArchPundit said...

Great to have you as a new blogger--i've already linked to you.

August 10, 2004 at 12:24 PM  
Blogger jim said...

I applaud you still going in 3 days a week to the office. It's kind of like a runner. When the race is finished you don't stop cold. You keep jogging for awhile.

As far as the Keyes thing. I too beleive he will be trounced in the Nov election but I am glad he is in it. Who better to debate the issues with Barack. I know there will only be 3 debates instead of the promised 6 but I think Keyes will be able to expose Barack's ultra liberal views.

I will vote for Keyes this fall. Not because I am a fan of him. I think he is too far to the right but I would vote for the duck on the Afflac commercials over Obama if the Illinois GOP put the him on the ballot.

Barack is just way to far to the left for me. Illinois already has a left wing liberal (Durbin) as a senator. We don't need two of them.

Barack Obama is just a repackaged old time liberal Democrat. He is in the same mold as Ted Kennedy or George McGovern. He is a tax and spend democrat.

August 12, 2004 at 7:08 AM  
Blogger DoctorD71 said...

Glad to hear it. In the primaries, I voted for Nancy Skinner because I was concerned that Obama might not be liberal enough. After 4 years of seeing how conservatives govern, controlling all 3 branches of government at the federal level, I think we need all of the liberals in office that we can get. Or even better, ultra-liberals!

Liberals champion science, civil rights, environmental protection, workers' rights, etc; basically every good idea for improving society. Conservatives have guns, unnecessary wars, and superstitious nonsense. I'll stick with the liberals.

I'm hoping for as many debates as they can squeeze in. If Obama, as I hope, is as liberal as you say, and Keyes is to the right of even you Jim, the debates should be VERY interesting. If only he had been in the race from the start, maybe we could have seen more of them.

August 12, 2004 at 7:23 PM  
Blogger jim said...

"Liberals champion science, civil rights, environmental protection, workers' rights, etc; basically every good idea for improving society. Conservatives have guns, unnecessary wars, and superstitious nonsense. I'll stick with the liberals."

The Civil rights movement was coming in the 60’s no matter who was in the White House. It was going to happen either way. It’s time had come. Besides it was the southern democrats who fought tooth and nail against that wasn’t it?

Let’s see. The environment. Who started the EPA anyways? It must have been a real liberal democrat right? I think it was. His name was Richard Nixon!

Let’s see. FDR did start Social Security didn’t he. That worked for awhile at the start but we can see it won’t end well.

The Dems are floating an idea about social security that isn’t that well known. What they want is a asset means test. That means in about ten years or so the govt will look at what you have be it home equity, a pension or 401 or just savings and if you have what they think is too much you don’t get a social security check. What they will say is “hey, thanks for all those fica payments over the years but you won’t be getting any of it back, we will give it to those who didn’t work to better themselves and didn’t plan for the future”

That is the liberal democratic m.o. is. Take from those that have and forcefully give it to those that have not. I’m all for helping others out in a tight spot but with 50% of our income being taken from us in the form of fed, state, property, sales, utility taxes there has to be a limit. The GOP is the party of responsibility. The dems used to be the party of the working man. Now they are the party of the non-working man. They are quickly turning into socialists.

August 13, 2004 at 2:48 PM  
Blogger DoctorD71 said...

Heheh the "Party of Responsibility?" Since you're not from Maryland, I'm sure I don't need to detail to you the irresponsible acts of our former Governor Ryan. But as long as the GOP is the Party of Responsiblity I'm sure they won't mind taking responsibility for the record high deficits they have created for us.

Liberals have fought and are fighting for a higher minimum wage, overtime pay, family leave time, unions, and worker's rights. Sounds like they're for the working man to me! But we've strayed far afield of the original topic...

I'm looking forward to hearing what Barack has to say in the debates to hearing more about his proposal to creating a network of teaching acadamies, adding 25K new teachers nationwide. Also what kind of changes he has in mind to jumpstart the job market. What kind of proposals are you hoping to hear more about from Keyes?

August 17, 2004 at 12:04 AM  
Blogger al said...

Dr71 wrote "Liberals champion science, civil rights, environmental protection, workers' rights, etc; basically every good idea for improving society. Conservatives have guns, unnecessary wars, and superstitious nonsense. I'll stick with the liberals."

Liberals improve society? Where? Illinois? Havn't had a true conservative in office in years and it shows. Farther and farther down the tube. Maybe Chicago? nice park. 1/4 billion in tax dollars. Seems like that could have been better used. Still not a place I'd want to live. I think that liberals mean well but they just don't have a clue on the implementation. They just want more (of my) money to keep making a bigger mess.

As for guns - I'll keep mine. The founding fathers got that idea right. As for unnecessary wars - 40, 50 million people in Afghanistan and Iraq are on the way to a new way of life. Man - thats terrible. War is the last resort. Sometimes its the only resort.

August 18, 2004 at 8:29 PM  
Blogger jim said...

"What kind of proposals are you hoping to hear more about from Keyes?"

Not that I think Keyes would win but what I want to hear from him is that if elected he will try to stop the liberal agenda in Washington. The GOP needs every senator they can get in lest the dems take control of the senate.

Any comments on the soc sec thing I mentioned? Sound good to you? Doesn't sound good to me. That is the democratic m.o. like I said before.

Barack has been spouting off about how he is going to lower the taxes on "working people". He says that like if you make a good salary than you are not working for it. As it is not the "working poor" or "working people" hardly pay any taxes as it is. In fact many them through the earned (that's a joke - 'earned') income credit actually get money handed to them at tax time while those of us who work harder and pay a good living have the money taken from us and given to the.

The democrats are for the re-distrubution of wealth. They always have been. This kind of thing plays well in Europe but we are not Europe.

This is not a socialist nation (net yet anyways). We are also not a democracy. We are representative republic but the dems want us to rapidly become a socialist nation. This has to stop.

Like I may have said before. I would vote for the duck in the Aflac commercials if the GOP put him up against Obama. Who the GOP fronts is not important. Just as long as that person (or duck) votes the party line.

August 18, 2004 at 9:37 PM  
Blogger FairNBalancedBob said...

I admit to being an independent, not a socialist and have a couple comments for the poor mope who would vote for a Republican duck. I could happily join the Republican Party of Teddy Roosevelt or Abraham Lincoln... but find the party of Tom Delay, George Bu$h, and Ken Lay to be noxious and unChristian.
TR and Abe were on the side of "We the People." The current Republican leadership and their IL senate candidate, are NOT. Keyes has admitted that he wants Senators elected by the carreer politicians of Springfield, not the people of Illinois. The Republican Party disenfrachised 50K voters in Florida so Bu$h could be elected, 4.6 to 4 carrying 50% of the women's vote and 100% of the Black vote, by the appointed Supreme Court. Well, I want my vote counted, and if voting against Republicans is a way to increase the probability of that, I will vote on that issue, to protect my ability to vote on other issues.
I would rather vote for Obama and his programs that help people (I was tempted to write paralleling the Democratic proposals with the Beatitudes.) rather than Keyes... what will he propose next, the enforcement of the dietary laws of Leviticus? There is something Christian about helping people and something vile about seeking every opportunity to restrict, inhibit, and punish them. Mr. Keys' "fire and brimstone" is fine for a revival meeting tent, but has no place in governance. Somehow Keys' answer to "What would Jesus Do?" always seems to come down to smite some folks. This theocratic extremist's Illinois campaign should be dispatched to the dung heap of his failed Maryland senatorial campaigns.

August 19, 2004 at 8:52 AM  
Blogger jim said...

"There is something Christian about helping people and something vile about seeking every opportunity to restrict, inhibit, and punish them"

I agree. I give to the united way at work. It's taken out of my check. Last year according to irs records I gave to the United way $5437.00. That comes to about $450 a month. Not looking a medal. Some give a lot more, some give a lot less but please don't say I don't care for the down trodden.

I am not against helping people. I don't appreciate the neary 50% of our income being forcefully taken from us and given to those who don't try to improve themselves. There should always be a safety net for those that need it but not a earned income credit check every single year until they retire.

August 19, 2004 at 2:26 PM  
Blogger FairNBalancedBob said...

"I am not against helping people. I don't appreciate the neary 50% of our income being forcefully taken from us and given to those who don't try to improve themselves. There should always be a safety net for those that need it but not a earned income credit check every single year until they retire."

This is the ultimate BS. Given the marginal tax rate and the fact that, as a percentage, payroll taxes are negligable when the tax burden approaches the 30% level, the only way to get to this whopping 50% figure is to earn a lot of money and include federal, state, and local taxes. Assuming the gentleman is sincere and honest in his statement, he is including his local taxes, which pay for fire protection, police protection, and schools. I don't like his including policemen, firemen (remember who was heading up the stairwells at the WTC) and teachers included in his list of people who "don't try to improve themselves." Then there are the military and intelligence budgets, two major pieces of the federal budget with which I would guess he has relatively few objections. His assertion that 50% of his money is "forcefully taken" and wasted is discredited. I would gladly accept a better estimate. I suggest that we all count up our parents, useless brother-in-laws, welfare queen daughters and other societal sink holes and divide it by the number of people we know. This would be the percentage of the welfare budget which he could then object to without raising our eyebrows. The fact is that 60% of US citizens now spend some of their life drawing from a means-tested, government program. The vast majority uses it for a brief time of trouble then goes back to being a productive citizen. The abuse that he magnifies to gigantic proportions by citing 50% of his income is a small percentage that we all can advocate finding and bringing to justice. I applaud his support of charities... but there appears to be a shortage of Christian charity and government makes up the shortfall. We democratically elected to have them do such. Until we have a more perfect world and/or more effective churches/charities, it beats letting them starve.

August 20, 2004 at 7:51 PM  
Blogger jim said...

All B.S. aside. If it looked like I was saying that 50% of my money is given to the welfare state than I am sorry. I didn't mean that. What I meant was that with fed, state, local, sales, property, utility taxes and other fees no matter who is doing the taxing too much of our income is being taken away from us. I don't mind choosing which charity to give to. The United way is a good one so I choose that. It doesn't matter. The fact is for the average american couple (who could easily hit 6 figures in salary if they both work) taxes are just too high. It doesn't matter who is doing the taking. The Dems don't see a problem with this. That is why I say they are for the re-distribution of wealth. There should be no earned income credit. It is simply a welfare program plain and simple.
As for local taxes, yes, they are too high also. There is lots of waste being done by these local politicians. If you speak out about it then you are branded as being against police officers or firemen or teachers. That is not right.

August 20, 2004 at 11:10 PM  
Blogger FairNBalancedBob said...

Jim said:
"The fact is for the average american couple (who could easily hit 6 figures in salary if they both work) taxes are just too high."

Now, I'm not offended, but I worry about the good folks of Naperville (median household income of $88,771, 12th in the nation, http://www.city-data.com/top19.html), Glen Ellyn ($79,457), Lombard ($60,015), and Wheaton ($73,385). They might not like being called lazy welfare slackers. Since more than half of Illinois households make less than $46,590 and less than half of the nations households make less than $41,994, these are pretty affluent communities but fail at Jim's standards for hard working folks.

Don't get me wrong. I applaud Jim's charity. I thank him for his caring and community spirit. I'm sure he's a decent guy. I'd gladly buy him a cup of coffee and am sure we could have a pleasant and, for both of us, informative discussion about these things. However, given his impression that everyone who works hard can easily earn over $100K, eventually the conversation would turn to "What have you been smoking and where can I buy some?"

August 22, 2004 at 6:02 PM  
Blogger jim said...

Boy, talk about being misunderstood. I talk about people being overtax and now I am be accused of saying that any couple who makes less that 100k are welfare reciepients.

My wife and I used to make about 100k but I was laid off and and my new job pays much less plus she got sick and she cannot work so now we take in less than half of that. I see nothing wrong with making any amount. If you are a janitor and you do a good job then good for you. There is nothing to be ashamed of. If you do a good job at whatever you are doing then great. This isn't a class war I am waging although the dems love to do that. My only argument is that we are being taxed to death way too much. The dems want to keep that going and the repubs are trying to stem that tide.

August 24, 2004 at 8:32 AM  
Blogger DoctorD71 said...

What, no support for Keyes' proposal for reparations for slavery? Heheh it looks like the topic has morphed to taxes. I have no complaint on taxes being too high or too low; my complaint is for the way they're being spent. That $200 Billion that we've spent (so far) to invade and rebuild Iraq leaps to mind. Oh yes that's right, it was to give them a "new way of life". Those that survive, that is. Just think what we could have done with that much money to improve the way of life for Americans. Since only Republicans seem to think it was our "only resort", isn't there a way we could tax only them for that money? All except Jim, of course; I kind of feel for him now. He's far from being the only one that's lost a job or had to go to a lower-paying one under this President's term. Join the club, Jim; we have jackets.

August 25, 2004 at 6:11 PM  
Blogger jim said...

I am humbled by your sympathy for me but I will be allright. I did not lose my job because Dubya was in the White House just as if I cannot thank my prosperity in the 90s because chubby chaser Bill was in the White House. I lost my job because my company was doing too well not because of anything the repubs or dems did. They bought another company and found that it was cheaper to use the newer facilities of the other company across the country. I understand the decision. I am not happy about it but I understand it. As it is that other facility across the country was in a kind of depressed area so the people of that area could not be happier. As it is those of us here in the Chicago area lost out. Oh well. That's life.
My main point if we can get back to Obama is that I could never ever vote for a Democrat as long as they keep up this tax and spend attitude. Sure, the repubs are guilty of spending too much also but in the end it is the vast differences in the parties’ thoughts on taxes that keep me voting on the right. As you might have guessed (or maybe not) I am a fiscal conservative. Socially, I guess I am a moderate. Abortion? I think it does not belong in politics. I think it is something between a woman and her doctor and has no place in politics. Gay marriage? Does not make any difference in my relationship with my wife. I think too much time is wasted arguing about these things when the real important issues like taxes and spending are put on the back burner.

August 25, 2004 at 9:06 PM  
Blogger DoctorD71 said...

It seems we're closer on some of these issues after all then Jim; I don't believe in overtaxing or overspending either.

I would never blame either of our individual situations on Bush, it's his overall job record (a net loss of about 2 million) that's open for criticism. Not to mention that those that are working are making less money on the average. What's worse, higher taxes or not making the money to pay any taxes in the first place?

I believe that as a "fiscal conservative", you will be able to vote for Obama with a clean conscience. According to his website, he's planning to penalize companies that send their operations overseas with taxes, while rewarding those that create good paying jobs in America with tax incentives. That should help more people get good jobs here and help drive the economy. No big tax hikes needed, simply divert the focus from one group to the other. John Kerry himself is only proposing to roll back the tax cuts on those making $200,000 a year or more (which I believe we both fall well short of the mark on), so I don't think you have to worry too much about any Democratic senators getting too overzealous about raising taxes.

August 26, 2004 at 4:33 PM  
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November 12, 2005 at 10:52 PM  

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