Common Sense @ Kreuzweg

Musings on uncommon positions and decisions that puzzle even the most simple of folk.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Going out on a limb?

Well, we find ourselves just days from the November election; 11 to be exact. I suppose it is time to make my prediction. This way, should I be proven wrong, there will be a record for those who want to call me on my prediction.

I should tell you that for several months I have been predicting an electoral landslide re-election for President Bush. I became convinced of this about the time it became clear that the Democrats abandoned the country with the "anything but Bush" mantra and backed a candidate that has so much baggage, his arms must be exhausted carrying it all around.

Now just 11 days prior to the most important presidential election since 1980, President Bush remains slightly ahead in every national non-partisan poll and all the key states as well. He finds himself ahead despite dozens of reasons for the electorate to be less than enamored with him. You see, despite all the flaws and a few warts, rational, sane, informed voters see the President as a known entity whom they can trust to do what he says; whether it is popular or not.

Senator Kerry has given us no compelling reasons to seriously consider him as our next Commander in Chief. On the contrary, he has given us reason to pause time and again. Whatever your beliefs and whomever you pull that lever or push that chad for, just get out there and make an INFORMED choice. There are still 11 days to make up you mind.

So on to my prediction:

Worst-case scenario: President Bush will hold onto all the states he won in 2000 except New Hampshire. He will have surprise wins in Wisconsin and Iowa. This will result in the following Electoral College totals: Bush 295; Kerry 243.

Best Case scenario: Chris is correct and President Bush holds onto all his 2000 states minus New Hampshire and adds Wisconsin, Iowa, New Jersey (pending union turnout), Pennsylvania (pending evangelical turnout in the center), New Mexico (good chance), Minnesota (outside chance). This will result in the following Electoral College totals: Bush 342; Kerry 196.

Either way, short of massive voter fraud in Ohio or Florida, some last minute terrorist act or revelation that shocks the nation, President will be re-elected on November 2nd. Or perhaps after the lawyers finish: no later than Christmas!

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Missing the Gipper

A great American patriot and legend died today when we lost President Ronald Reagan. Always larger than life, he was the first presidential candidate for whom I was ever able to vote. His biographer Edmund Morris said it better than anyone could, in describing the monumental impact President Reagan had on the world: "his impact can best be seen in the things we don't see today "Soviet Communism, rampant inflation, hatred and embarrassment for our armed forces and a fear of patriotism and flag waving. President Reagan, ever the optimist, made us all proud to be Americans and left us with an unwavering sense of hope and an understanding of our place and responsibilities in the world.

Never shirking from his sense of timing and right and wrong, President Reagan did what had to be done when it was needed the most. While it is fashionable for "scholars" today to claim that the Soviets were simply exhausted and communism had run its course, they are just plain wrong. Liberals relish the embarrassment of the Iran-Contra affair and dismiss the great communicator as a mere figurehead who had no idea what was going on in his own administration. Both ideas are again off the mark. While Iran-Contra and the withdrawal from Beirut were low points, we had so many highs it is easy to put those two failures aside.

His was a great American tale. Growing up in the Mid-west, Ronald Reagan moved west to a career in Hollywood and eventually in politics. Originally a democratic, President Reagan, like so many democrats grew up, matured and realized he had far more in common with conservatives. History will be the ultimate judge of his place in history, but we should hope that historians are true to the events of our lifetime and not revisionist in nature. Ronald Reagan should be remembered as the greatest American President of the modern. He was the oldest to enter office at 69 and the longest surviving president at 93 years of age. While his passing will sadden us all, we should reflect on this amazing American journey he shared with us.

Farewell President Reagan, we shall always remember you and be grateful you were on of us.


Sunday, July 13, 2003

The second topic is the rabid press and Democratic attacks on one small reference in the President's State of the Union address back in January. I will make light of this in greater detail later on. For now I can only remind everyone just how quickly opponents dismissed the address and Secretary Powell's presentation days later at the United Nations. The claims on the left and among democratic hopefuls were: "not compelling, we do not believe the story." Funny how the argument was not strong enough (in their own claims) to justify war but it is now suddenly sufficient to claim the President was "lying" to the world. Enough of this political convenience already! Grow up!

Yes the inclusion of this particular comment regarding supposed Iraqi attempts to purchase Uranium from Niger should never have seen the light of day. But you should also remember that the National Command Authority was in a very difficult position to not reveal sources and methods yet still convey the VERY REAL and serious threat posed by the unfriendly regime in Baghdad to the West, the world and the Iraqi people.

If you want to be elected or your goal is to discredit the administration, please move on to substantive issues that actually matter to thinking, concerned Americans. You might delve into the ridiculous drug benefit plan that will become the largest single mandatory benefit in only a few short years. Then move on to the Farm subsidy programs that should have been eliminated rather than continued. Now that is something that matters. try those issues on for size.

On the correct side of the debate,


Well it is Sunday.... So I have little free time to go on a rant.

1st Up: People are remarkably self-oriented (rather than self centered)

So what is the deal with the Germans these days? For that matter, what about the rest of Western Europe (the French have jumped in to defend the Germans on this issue)? A significant number of Germans are up in arms over comments from Berlusconi and his tourism minister about the less than sterling German propensity for not behaving well. The vitriolic comments in the German (and many other West European) news media would lead those of us in the rational world to suspect that Germany and Italy are about to go to war over long standing animosities. Come again? Perhaps Germans ought to grow a stronger hide and get over themselves. The Italian comments were just that: comments. There was no state diplomatic or economic activity that harmed Germany or Germans. As to getting their feelings hurt, the Germans should dust off the shelves of their libraries and read a few newspapers.

It was only a few short months ago when a member of the Schroeder government compared President Bush to Hitler, merely because she disagreed with his politics. German indignation was noteworthy in its absence on this occasion. In reality she was actually cheered by many in the press and on the streets of the Federal Republic. Add the cynical Schroeder promise to deny use of German soil for the Iraqi campaign (quickly reversed after the elections last September) and his bizarre Anti-American campaign in the run up to the war and we see a very clear image of self-denial in Germany.

Mind you, no state is innocent in this regard. But a bit of balance is in order here. While screaming insults at the Italians and demanding apologies over a trivial incident, the Germans ought to mend the fences with America over a substantive action that seriously weakened the most dependable post WWII alignment: the Atlantic Alliance.

Monday, June 23, 2003

Yes it is true; it's good to be loved. I must say that I am a bit overwhelmed at all the attention they shower on me. I feel honored but a bit awkward about all that attention.

So what am I rambling on about? Unsolicited e-mail; SPAM. Yes you can empathize with me. You know all those nifty little messages that arrive in your electronic mailbox each and every day of the year. Personally I like to check my mail every so often just to see if anything new has arrived. Just kidding.

Actually, I (like you), despise all that junk mail. But all the fuss over me as a potential consumer or joiner of something offered in those messages makes me wonder just how effective those clowns think their junk mail is going to be..... It was with this thought in mind when I set out on a brief experiment last week to see just how much spam would be directed at me and how long it would take to reach my mail box storage limit. Assuming the deluge continued at the same rate, I would receive at least 40,144 messages. That is the 772 spam mailings this week and at least the same for the next 51 weeks.

At what point does this all become too much? Does anyone in their right mind actually think I could ever even consider opening all those messages, let alone respond to any of them! Over 40,000 messages and that is just my yahoo account. I don't even look at the thousands of crap messages that appear in my MSN mail box (an address I have NEVER even used, not once). I realize this stuff is sent in the hopes of finding a gullible person to actually respond to an ad. But they are missing the point. Even a novice can and does search the Internet when they are looking for something that interests them.

It's well past time that legitimate merchants and sites end this practice and rely on getting their site noticed through search engines and legitimate requests from web surfers. This would leave only the nefarious sites to contend with (the vast majority of the culprits). There are plenty of legal and a few technological means to deal with those turds. We need only the will and a bit of international cooperation. This cooperation is not nearly as difficult as most politicians claim. Much overseas data is fed to us through a few narrow data pipelines that can be easily controlled. So let's make an effort to eliminate this theft of our time and bandwidth.

Sunday, June 22, 2003

Spam.... More to follow soon on this annoying issue.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Just a quick note to get this blog started:

So where is the outrage? A rather simple question, but one few seem to be asking these days.

Let's jump into the wayback machine with Sherman and Mr. Peabody and set the time for about 1994. The Republicans took control of the House of Representatives and the Clinton Administration was not amused. We now jump forward several months. The Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, a former university professor was offered an advance on a book about his political views and experiences. I believe the advance was rather large at the time, something like $2.5 million. Left-wing politicians led a rapid campaign decrying the inappropriateness of the advance. One of the loudest complainers was First Lady Hillary Clinton. Eventually Gingrich gave the advance back to the publisher.

So we jump back into the wayback machine and land in 2000. We find that Senator elect Clinton will receive an $8 million advance for a book about, drum roll please: her life, the Clinton administration and her political views and opinions. Come again? $8 million for a book advance. Funny how an $8 million advance has generated absolutely no discussion. A sum greater than three times what Gingrich was offered for the same work. Yet there is no outrage...... Funny world we live in today.