Friday, October 26, 2012


I'm going to dwell on this one for a bit. I posted a video on FaceBook by Winning our Future, the Newt Gingrich SuperPAC. The video is beyond disturbing; I think it is hate speech.

Let's start with the Winning our Future Mission Statement from their website:


"It is not 'can any of us imagine better?' but, 'can we all do better?'"  Abraham Lincoln, 1862

At Winning Our Future, we believe our nation to be the most successful civilization by any measure in all of human history,  Therefore, she is worthy of protection from the ideologies that seek to undermine her standing as a force for good in the world.   We can escape neither our history nor our duty.  Our solemn obligation is to perpetuate the virtuous principles that have made America a beacon of hope for all who commit to ascend to her ideals.
Political leaders and their decisions can make any place prosperous and free or poor and oppressive.  Therefore, strengthening our foundation in the bedrock of freedom demands leaders who understand without apology why America is great.
We seek to disrupt the status quo in Washington DC, and displace those elected officials - without regard to political party - whose chief aim is to diminish freedom by expanding government beyond its Constitutionally limited role.  Our goal is to defeat them, their ideas and their agenda and replace them with individuals who will preserve, protect and advance America as "the last best hope on earth."
America can do better.
At Winning Our Future, we will work tirelessly to deliver the leadership this great country deserves.
Now here is a link to their video (I don't yet know if this has aired on television). You need to watch it; it is just under 3 minutes.
I used pause and start to isolate a number of images, and these need to be highlighted for this discussion. Most of these appear for a fraction of a second in order to be planted in your mind but not dwelt on.
0:48 in the section labeled World Chaos, following images of angry Arabs demonstrating, blowing things up, tearing an American flag apart with their teeth, and etc. is a quick flash of an evil skull superimposed on the face of the Statue of Liberty.
1:10 in the Energy section, long lines of cars at gas stations and other images are followed by a quick shot of blood-like oil dripping down an Obama American flag logo
The Religion section - 
1:31 an image of 2 gay men being married, 
1:31 a quick image of a fetus in a womb is followed by a photo of Obama speaking at Planned Parenthood
1:35 is an image of an American Atheist billboard questioning religion
1:38 is an image of a church superimposed with the text "Church Converted to a Mosque"
1:40 shows a large wooden cross being cut down with a chainsaw, and then a quick image of a Newsweek cover with a bloody-faced Jesus
1:57 is a relatively lengthy video clip from the Democratic national convention when there was a floor vote about having the word "god" in the platform. The camera lingers on two people who shout "NO!," one of them a woman holding a sign that reads "Arab American"
2:10 in the Health Care section, a small TV set showing Obama and Biden embracing is destroyed with a sledge hammer
The final text of the video: "A vote for Romney is a vote for America."
The disclaimer at the bottom, explaining that the video is not produced by a political campaign, is almost unreadable. 
I think a lot of the above is hate speech. It is anti-Arab, anti-Muslim. It is anti gay. It conveys the message that non-Christians are attacking Christianity. A large number of the images are very violent. The musical score is very ominous.  And all of these horrible things are because of Obama. 
I think that things have gone too far in political campaigns. Yes, this was produced by a SuperPAC, but why does that really matter? There should be some kind of boundaries set for political ads, and enforcement of these rules. 
Am I the only one disturbed by this ad? I hope not.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


For many years we have had a photograph of my in-laws sitting at a restaurant table. The year was 1944 and they were in their mid-20's. In the background, at a table behind the very beautiful smiling couple, is a man sitting alone. I have wondered for all these years what his story was. Recently, as I looked once more at the photo, his story came to me and I wrote it. Here it is for your enjoyment:

Monday, October 08, 2012


Here is a video of a recent campaign speech by Mitt Rmoney. This is one of the big Republican lies of the season, the Myth of Job-killing Taxes. According to this myth, raising taxes on small business owners (or owners of small businesses) will keep them from hiring more employees. You see, my friends, the majority of owners of small businesses are taxed on their income (this part is true), and raising the income tax rate on these folks will make them not hire more people (this is a huge crock of poop).

I am the owner of a small business. I previously owned another small consulting business for 21 years, and employed as many as 16 people at any one time. I can tell you exactly how many times my hiring decisions were influenced in any way by my income tax rate: ZERO. Hiring decisions are based on existing and projected work load, work capacity of existing staff, and sometimes on opportunities to add a new product or service.

Mathematics needs to be applied here. Let's say that for every new hire I make an additional $30,000 profit for the year (I'm making up a number here). If my income is taxed on this number at 35%, I would pay $10,500 in income tax, leaving me with $19,500 in my pocket. If I'm taxed on that profit at a rate of 40%, I would pay $12,000 in income tax, leaving me with only $18,000 in my pocket. Oh no, I better not hire anyone because I will make only 18,000 additional dollars this year instead of 19,500! Damn job-killing taxes!!!

What amazes me is that anyone believes this myth. As an owner of a small business, I'm speaking out; I hope others will do the same.

(Can we get someone to scoop up this stinking pile and get it out of here?)

Thursday, October 04, 2012


OK Democrats, untie the knots in your panties, stop hyperventilating, and lay off of Jim Lehrer. Obama did not lose the 2012 election.

In debate number 1, we saw a desperate Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, adopt the persona of a pit bull (sorry pit bull lovers) to try to save his campaign. He came out swinging wildly at every pitch. He came off as a rude bully.

The Democrat, Barak Obama, was cool and seemingly having trouble engaging the way we know he can. He, like Romney, also ran over the allotted times, but was polite to the moderator as he did so.

Although style is the metric most commentators are focused on, the meaningful difference was substance: Romney dished out falsehoods and outright lies, Obama laid out facts and mostly truths. (Note: I tend to overlook the occasional blurring of fact in these events; after all, can anyone REALLY remember every single number and date and name, etc.?) The majority of media outlets I've looked at have done the fact- checking and have said that Romney was not being factual regarding a large number of his talking points.

Another point: who was this Mitt Romney? Certainly not the same one we've seen campaigning for way too many months. This is the classic shaking of the etch-a-sketch, and a new figure is drawn. Obama many times pointed out that this Romney was denying the programs and ideas and statements of the previous Mitt incarnation.

In the end, it comes down to this primary point: there is a basic difference between the Republican and Democratic view of government. This was very evident in the debate. Viewers need to get past the theatrics and listen to the words. It is a huge and growing divide in this country, a divide that cuts to the very core of who we are and who we will become as a nation. Maybe we won't survive as united states - remember the Soviet Union?

Finally - lay off of Jim Lehrer. I think he did an OK job with the difficult structure imposed on him by the Committee, and against a relentless bully. Should he have yelled at Mr. Romney to "shut the fuck up!?" Did he have a cut-off switch for Romney's microphone (no)? Both candidates, as I said before, ran over their time limits - typical for every debate of this sort. But there were numerous times when Obama acquiesced to the moderators insistence that they move on; Romney shouted him down at every attempt.

So bottom line: what's important is whether or not the debate changed the minds of voters and tipped the election in a different direction. It might have, but then again, maybe not - time will tell.

And so we wait for the next engagement.