Questions Remain

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People’s Seat

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History is Made – Like It or Not, It’s Good

Obama 2008Congratulations are in order for President-Elect Barack Obama

and his historic achievement of being elected the first African-American President of the United States. No matter what your politics or whether you agree with his policies or not, you must admit that history has been made tonight and it’s a good history. It’s good for our country, it’s good for our people, and it’s good for the world to see that freedom and democracy work.

America’s election of the junior senator from Illinois is not only historic in the obvious sense, it is historic in a deep and healing way. This nation has been plagued by racism since it’s inception. We have endured civil wars, riots, inequity, the civil right movement, and countless other challenges, none more felt than by the African-American community. This long lasting and deep seated racism is not only felt in the black communities and urban neighborhoods, it effects all Americans, from the immigrant workers to the most affluent CEOs. It affects how we act with one another, how we speak to each other, and many times it affects us so deeply that these feelings cannot even be uttered in public. Barack Obama’s decisive election win is one step further away from America’s tarnished past, and toward a more united future.

It is my sincerest hope that today’s election has proved to any doubters, white or black, conservative or liberal, that in this land of the free, anyone can accomplish anything no matter what the obsticals, sterotypes or preconceptions.

This is the United States of America and we are stronger when we stand as one nation, under God. We may not agree on many things, but we are all united in the fact that we are Americans and we can stand proud in front of the entire world as a shining example of democracy at it’s best.

In the months and years ahead, I will be sure to voice my opinions when I disagree with Obama and the liberals in Congress as I have always done. It is my hope that he will serve like many past presidents and govern more to the center and do the peoples work, not his parties. I trust that he will live up to his campaign promise to reach across the aisle to bring Americans closer together and work to end the divisiveness in the country. I will give him the benefit of the doubt to fix our economy, but will be watching very closely for any dangerous or civil rights infringing policy making. I will also prepare to elect a Republican president in four years.

However, I am a patriotic American and I will stand with my President against this nation’s enemies at home and abroad. I am proud of our democracy even when “my side” doesn’t win. I am proud that Americans can, and have, looked past skin color (and names) and were able to choose Obama to lead this nation.

It may seem strange but despite my guy losing and am proud to have voted today in this historic election. Most of all tonight I am proud to be an American!

Is the Obama Campaign Breaking Election Laws?

The Obama campaign may be ignoring national and/or state election and gaming laws. Specifically, for offering the chance to “Win a front row seat to history” if you make a donation.

This is not the first time the Obama camp has tried to pull off this scheme. Last July, the campaign was forced by gambling regulators to change the rules to include the opportunity to non-donors to conform with the states gaming laws. The Minnesota Gambling Control Board and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety considered it an illegal lottery at the time.

Of course this close to the election I wonder if anyone will have the fortitude to confront him on this. The story seems dead in the water as the national news outlets have not picked it up. The only one reporting on it that I can see is Mike Parker of CBS Chicago, and even he’s a bit wishy washy. He questions if federal election laws may be broken. Although, it may be local gambling laws that may have been broken. He also reports that the Obama campiagn declined to comment.

 

From the Obama campaign website:

“You could be there with Barack on Election Night when the results come in.

We’re planning a big event that will include tens of thousands of supporters in Grant Park in downtown Chicago.

Some of the best seats are reserved for 10 people — 5 first-time donors and 5 previous donors — who make a donation one last time before Sunday at midnight.

You and a guest will be flown to Chicago, put up in a hotel, and brought backstage for the biggest night of the campaign.

Make a donation and you and a guest could join Barack on Election Night.

Hell Houses – Reprint from The Stranger (Updated)

The Stranger removed it’s story and the link is now bouncing back to Drudge where it originally got it’s legs. They undoubtedly heard a few voices or saw the threat of lawsuit. Not ones to take any responsibility they continue with a discussion on their blog, The Slog and now call it the “Hell House Freakout”.

As the original published story is newsworthy, I have decided to reprint the article (with addresses removed) for those interested to see the original and decide for yourselves what kind of publication The Stranger is. Those who wish to contact the staff of the Stranger are encouraged to do so.

You can find a contact list for these fine folks on my original post.

 

UPDATE- Nov. 2 10am:
The Stranger is now doing some serious back peddling. A new post on the Slog is now claiming that they removed the article because they received “death threats”. Since their personal addresses were posted in comments of the original story, they claim that they are now simply protecting their staff. If that was true, why didn’t they simply moderate the comments?

Well Stranger Staff, It seems you don’t like it as much when the shoe is on the other foot, do you? As for those “death” threats? I don’t buy it for a minute. The editors and staff probably saw the err of their ways by being threatened alright. Threatened with law suits and loss of advertising revenue.

REPRINT: HELL HOUSES– Originally published on Nov. 1st by the Seattle newspaper The Stranger.

Hell Houses
Topography of Terror: The Eastside Edition

By Stranger Staff
Cobwebs and witches are for children and morons. If you’re looking for the most hair-raising Halloween horrors, try scouring the streets of the Eastside. That’s where we found the most pants-wettingly scary houses, sure to give you night terrors well past Halloween and all the way until November 4. Because in an election year, nothing’s more terrifying than the future.


-ADDRESS REMOVED- Mercer Island

“No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear,” wrote British philosopher Edmund Burke in 1756. It’s as true today as ever. Case in point: this bloodcurdling Mercer Island lawn display, a quadruple whammy of Republican propaganda capable of driving the most reasonable citizen to insanity. By day, it’s a standard collection of yard signs on a well-manicured lawn. But at night, it’s a GOP graveyard, where the yard-sign tombstones are unearthed by zombie candidates hungry for brains. Do you have what it takes to drive a stake through the heart of zombie Dino Rossi or blast a shotgun into the chest of zombie Dave Reichert or fight off the reanimated ashes of Steve Litzow, swirling out of that terrifying urn? Run.


-ADDRESS REMOVED- Mercer Island

Hungarian peasants have an old and terrible story about “the tree of death,” which by some trick of evil had lurking in its twisted branches the “dark lord,” the master of the underworld, the evil that brings all things to their end. It was there in the tree, waiting, watching, and preying on the living. Passing this dead—nay, murdered—tree on Mercer Island takes us back to the scariest bowels of Hungary, only instead of one dark lord, this tree is possessed by a trinity of evil, represented quite fittingly by cheap glossy crassness tacked over mercilessly hacked nature.

 


-ADDRESS REMOVED- Bellevue

What is more terrifying than this edifice, in which there is no door, few windows, and no handholds by which one might scale its faceless heights to register complaint? One half-expects loudspeakers on the roof to be blaring Orson Welles voice, from his movie version of Franz Kafka’s The Trial: A man comes from the country, begging admittance to the law. But the guard cannot admit him. Can he hope to enter at a later time? “That is possible,” says the guard. The man tries to peer through the entrance. He had been taught that the law should be accessible to every man. “Do not attempt to enter without my permission,” says the guard. “I am very powerful, but I am the least of all the guards.” Without a doubt, this is no home to man, but a monolithic holding cell packed floor-to-ceiling with bubbling black goo.

 


-ADDRESS REMOVED- Mercer Island

That John McCain sign is screamingly scary enough in the early-evening light, like a little flag for an evil army of pint-sized ghouls marching through the leafy streets of Mercer Island. And that zigzagging, funereal fence behind it? That is the sign of an isolated home, sheltering isolated minds—bristling, cold and black, a thousand points of death—and the kind of house that gives trick-or-treaters miniboxes of raisins. Beware.


-ADDRESS REMOVED- Bellevue

This most terrifying tableau gains its power from what’s not shown but easily imagined: the presence of John McCain and Sarah Palin not in name but bodily form, striding triumphantly onto this balcony like a trailer-park Eva Perón and her cryogenically defrosting old-man running mate. Down below, the desperate, unemployed masses huddle in the shrubs, their bellies roiled by hunger and heartbreak, their cold bare ankles stung by the blades of wet grass. Or… could those be tiny tentacles or the haunted bubbling of mass graves or the desperate clutching fingers of a special-needs child? Flee, and don’t look back.


-ADDRESS REMOVED- Medina

Like an oversized cousin of John McCain’s aged, brown iguana teeth, this foreboding fence is busy keeping immigrants out and Jesus’s love within. How like the wily immigrant is the frightening foliage, as it insidiously creeps and scratches at Real America’s doorstep! How mighty the speculum of Dino Rossi—an army of dead-baby ghosts at his back—aborting civil rights before civil rights can abort him first! Who knows what liberal bogeymen lurk outside this fence’s cherished sanctum? The nightmare has just begun for you, Republican fence.

The Violent Left- Obama’s Minions

So, my McCain/Palin campaign lawn sign has been vandalized 3 times in the last week. I should have known better since I live in the home state of “The One” himself. Actually, I’m surprised it has lasted as long as it has, a whole two weeks so far. Alas, I digress. The subject of this post is not to talk about my woes, but to inform readers about the violent and radical activities from the left during this (dare I say) historical presidential election.

The number and magnitude of these “hate” crimes is on the rise as we near the election on Nov. 4th, and it is alarming. I call these people “Obama’s Minions”. These radicals that support him will, in my opinion will drive a wedge between the left and right in America that has not been seen since the 60’s. They will do anything to get thier radical brother elected. These leftist radicals are trying to recapture their glory days and hippy youth and it will be wrought with violence.

They profess to be champions of free speech, but at every turn the bias is deafening and the hipocracy is blinding. Have an opposing view, and you will feel thier rath and taste thier distain for any real debate as they degrade into street thugs and hate mongers. 

So I plan to keep this post updated with links to the latest stories on the inter-web reporting on these acts of violence and vandalism.

Check back here often to see the latest reports-

 

 GALAX, VA. – Mike Stevens says he and other Republican campaign volunteers were attacked on Monday when they were sprayed with pepper spray after an altercation with two people over campaign signs.

 

   

           
LONGWOOD, Fla. – The home of a Central Florida Republican headquarters manager was shot up and damaged over his support of Sen. John McCain, the man told police. “Democrats Far More Aggressive in Seminole County,” Victim Says.

 

 

PORTLAND, Ore. – Authorities have arrested two men after a Molotov cocktail was thrown at a 4-foot by 8-foot campaign sign for Republican presidential candidate John McCain in a southeast Portland yard.

 

 

MANHATTAN, Ny. “Defendant grabbed the sign [informant] was holding, broke the wood stick that was attached to it, and then struck informant in informant’s face thereby causing informant to sustain redness, swelling, and bruising to informant’s face and further causing informant to sustain substantial pain.” 

Would the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn On the Lights? – RhinoTimes Reprint

By Orson Scott Card

Editor’s note: Orson Scott Card is a Democrat and a newspaper columnist, and in this opinion piece he takes on both while lamenting the current state of journalism.

October 20, 2008
 
An open letter to the local daily paper — almost every local daily paper in America:I remember reading All the President’s Men and thinking: That’s journalism. You do what it takes to get the truth and you lay it before the public, because the public has a right to know.

This housing crisis didn’t come out of nowhere. It was not a vague emanation of the evil Bush administration.

It was a direct result of the political decision, back in the late 1990s, to loosen the rules of lending so that home loans would be more accessible to poor people. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were authorized to approve risky loans.

What is a risky loan? It’s a loan that the recipient is likely not to be able to repay.

The goal of this rule change was to help the poor — which especially would help members of minority groups. But how does it help these people to give them a loan that they can’t repay? They get into a house, yes, but when they can’t make the payments, they lose the house — along with their credit rating.They end up worse off than before.
This was completely foreseeable and in fact many people did foresee it. One political party, in Congress and in the executive branch, tried repeatedly to tighten up the rules. The other party blocked every such attempt and tried to loosen them.
Furthermore, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were making political contributions to the very members of Congress who were allowing them to make irresponsible loans. (Though why quasi-federal agencies were allowed to do so baffles me. It’s as if the Pentagon were allowed to contribute to the political campaigns of congressmen who support increasing their budget.)
Isn’t there a story here? Doesn’t journalism require that you who produce our daily paper tell the truth about who brought us to a position where the only way to keep confidence in our economy was a $700 billion bailout? Aren’t you supposed to follow the money and see which politicians were benefiting personally from the deregulation of mortgage lending?

I have no doubt that if these facts had pointed to the Republican Party or to John McCain as the guilty parties, you would be treating it as a vast scandal. “Housing-gate,” no doubt. Or “Fannie-gate.”

Instead, it was Sen. Christopher Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank, both Democrats, who denied that there were any problems, who refused Bush administration requests to set up a regulatory agency to watch over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and who were still pushing for these agencies to go even further in promoting subprime mortgage loans almost up to the minute they failed.

As Thomas Sowell points out in a TownHall.com essay entitled “Do Facts Matter?” (http://snipurl.com/457to): “Alan Greenspan warned them four years ago. So did the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers to the President. So did Bush’s Secretary of the Treasury.”

These are facts. This financial crisis was completely preventable. The party that blocked any attempt to prevent it was … the Democratic Party. The party that tried to prevent it was … the Republican Party.

Yet when Nancy Pelosi accused the Bush administration and Republican deregulation of causing the crisis, you in the press did not hold her to account for her lie. Instead, you criticized Republicans who took offense at this lie and refused to vote for the bailout!

What? It’s not the liar, but the victims of the lie who are to blame?

Now let’s follow the money … right to the presidential candidate who is the number two recipient of campaign contributions from Fannie Mae.

And after Fred Raines, the CEO of Fannie Mae who made $90 million while running it into the ground, was fired for his incompetence, one presidential candidate’s campaign actually consulted him for advice on housing.

If that presidential candidate had been John McCain, you would have called it a major scandal and we would be getting stories in your paper every day about how incompetent and corrupt he was.

But instead, that candidate was Barack Obama, and so you have buried this story, and when the McCain campaign dared to call Raines an “adviser” to the Obama campaign — because that campaign had sought his advice — you actually let Obama’s people get away with accusing McCain of lying, merely because Raines wasn’t listed as an official adviser to the Obama campaign.

You would never tolerate such weasely nit-picking from a Republican.

If you who produce our local daily paper actually had any principles, you would be pounding this story, because the prosperity of all Americans was put at risk by the foolish, short-sighted, politically selfish and possibly corrupt actions of leading Democrats, including Obama.

If you who produce our local daily paper had any personal honor, you would find it unbearable to let the American people believe that somehow Republicans were to blame for this crisis.

There are precedents. Even though President Bush and his administration never said that Iraq sponsored or was linked to 9/11, you could not stand the fact that Americans had that misapprehension — so you pounded us with the fact that there was no such link. (Along the way, you created the false impression that Bush had lied to them and said that there was a connection.)

If you had any principles, then surely right now, when the American people are set to blame President Bush and John McCain for a crisis they tried to prevent, and are actually shifting to approve of Barack Obama because of a crisis he helped cause, you would be laboring at least as hard to correct that false impression.

Your job, as journalists, is to tell the truth. That’s what you claim you do, when you accept people’s money to buy or subscribe to your paper.

But right now, you are consenting to or actively promoting a big fat lie — that the housing crisis should somehow be blamed on Bush, McCain and the Republicans. You have trained the American people to blame everything bad — even bad weather — on Bush, and they are responding as you have taught them to.

If you had any personal honor, each reporter and editor would be insisting on telling the truth — even if it hurts the election chances of your favorite candidate.

Because that’s what honorable people do. Honest people tell the truth even when they don’t like the probable consequences. That’s what honesty means. That’s how trust is earned.

Barack Obama is just another politician, and not a very wise one. He has revealed his ignorance and naivete time after time — and you have swept it under the rug, treated it as nothing.

Meanwhile, you have participated in the borking of Sarah Palin, reporting savage attacks on her for the pregnancy of her unmarried daughter — while you ignored the story of John Edwards’ own adultery for many months.

So I ask you now: Do you have any standards at all? Do you even know what honesty means?

Is getting people to vote for Barack Obama so important that you will throw away everything that journalism is supposed to stand for?

You might want to remember the way the National Organization of Women (NOW) threw away their integrity by supporting Bill Clinton despite his well-known pattern of sexual exploitation of powerless women. Who listens to NOW anymore? We know they stand for nothing; they have no principles.

That’s where you are right now.

It’s not too late. You know that if the situation were reversed, and the truth would damage McCain and help Obama, you would be moving heaven and earth to get the true story out there.

If you want to redeem your honor, you will swallow hard and make a list of all the stories you would print if it were McCain who had been getting money from Fannie Mae, McCain whose campaign had consulted with its discredited former CEO, McCain who had voted against tightening its lending practices.

Then you will print them, even though every one of those true stories will point the finger of blame at the reckless Democratic Party, which put our nation’s prosperity at risk so they could feel good about helping the poor, and lay a fair share of the blame at Obama’s door.

You will also tell the truth about John McCain: that he tried, as a senator, to do what it took to prevent this crisis. You will tell the truth about President Bush: that his administration tried more than once to get Congress to regulate lending in a responsible way.

This was a Congress-caused crisis, beginning during the Clinton administration, with Democrats leading the way into the crisis and blocking every effort to get out of it in a timely fashion.

If you at our local daily newspaper continue to let Americans believe — and vote as if — President Bush and the Republicans caused the crisis, then you are joining in that lie.

If you do not tell the truth about the Democrats — including Barack Obama — and do so with the same energy you would use if the miscreants were Republicans — then you are not journalists by any standard.

You’re just the public relations machine of the Democratic Party, and it’s time you were all fired and real journalists brought in, so that we can actually have a daily newspaper in our city.

Reprint from The Rhinoceros Times of Greensboro
View the complete article here:

 greensboro.rhinotimes.com