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The Occupy Movement – A Critique of the Message


Well, this has certainly been long in coming. Last friday – October 7th – I went in person to observe the Occupy San Diego protest. I haven’t been able to do any follow up since, but I’m planning to drop by Civic Center Plaza sometime this week to take note of crowd sizes, and most especially how the message has evolved since day 1.

Before I went down, I had several questions buzzing around my mind. We already had two weeks of the Occupy movement taking place, varying in attendance from city to city, but with a few common themes – the 99% argument, a general attitude of anti-corporatism, and anti capitalism that seemed to have socialist sympathies. It was being sold as a noble movement – the oppressed, the homeless, the foreclosed, the unemployed lower classes rising up against the rich to call for economic fairness. The leftist version of the tea party, if you will -a ┬ácomparison that has been made many times – usually by those commenting from the leftist sphere of opinion.

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Obama’s Inauguration: Monologue


I just finished watching the inauguration of our new president.

Talk about a complex swirling of emotions. For me, and many of the people I know, Bush has been our president for almost half of our lives. Many of us have been frustrated, and angered by his performance, and his approval ratings at the end of his presidency were amongst the lowest in history. America is frustrated, and desperate for some change in Obama. Personally, I am not happy with Bush for many reasons – mainly with the early conduct of the Iraq war, and his major expansion of government. However, I am forever grateful to the man for doing an outstanding job of watching over the nation. When faced with a world-changing attack on September 11th, he reacted exactly as we should have – and ever since that day, our soil has been untouched. Say what you will about Bush, but he cared about our safety, more so then almost anything else – and that’s what I believe history will remember him for.

It is during his last days that a president is often the most hated. Some of our most popular presidents of yesterday were despised by the common man under their rule, and as people today sneer at Bush, and call him ‘the worst ever’, I simply invite you to look at Calvin Coolidge, James Buchanan, or Warren G. Harding. It always could be worse.

I watched Marine One rise from the capitol steps with mixed feelings – this is a huge shift for this country. It’s not quite the end of an era – more like a change in focus – or an attempt to change the focus of the country. It was odd, watching the man who presided over a tumultuous period in our history finally leave, and hand his power to his successor peacefully, the way it should be. I knew it was coming, but it never quite hits you when it actually happens. When Obama finished his oath, people were cheering – but it seemed somewhat muted, as if people were remembering that we are stepping forward into hard times. And indeed, we are – the world is a much scarier place now then it seemed a decade ago.

I remain cautiously optimistic about Obama, and will continue to be as I judge his actions over the term, or terms, of his presidency, until he gives me good reason to believe otherwise. Many of you have high hopes, and others fears – and I expect he will surprise us all with what he ultimately does. Many folks love Obama right now – and this is a proud moment for our nation indeed, this is the time to be celebratory. But be wary – In times like these, inevitably, he will make choices that will be very unpopular. We must remember that there is still a great deal of frustration and fear in this country – frustration at the political process, frustration with corruption, anger towards people such as Bernie Madoff, and those in power who always seem to somehow get away with ripping off their fellow man.

Washington is still the same as it always has been, if Pelosi and Harry Reid have been any indication, as we saw with their political gamesmanship with Burris and Blagojevich. Don’t be surprised if we see a lot of spars between Obama and the Democratic leadership – already, lines are being drawn in the sand, rhetoric being thrown back and forth. Extremist elements in the democratic party are thirsty to use the power they have been handed by a disgruntled nation, and Obama’s biggest challenge will be to keep these elements in check.

The ceremony itself was fairly nice – the musical performance with Perlman, Yo-yo ma, and others was a treat – especially when it rang with echoes of Aaron Copeland, while the poet laurette and the 2nd pastor were a bit odd. What sticks with me however, was the National Anthem sung by the navy chanters. Call me sentimental, but when done properly – with dignity – it never fails to fill me with emotion. Obama’s speech was also pretty well done, and inspiring – while I listened with some skepticism, I was still impressed. Say what you will about him, but the man gives great speeches – like Bush used to when he was first elected.

So, my hat goes off to my – our new president. He finally has it – the day I never thought I’d be seeing has come and gone. I wish him the best, for all of our sakes. I do not agree with Obama on many things, and many of you know this – but I am an American, and Obama is my president. That simple fact will not change over the next four years, barring extraordinary circumstances. But I will also do my best to hold him accountable for what he does in office. And I encourage all of you to do the same, Left, right, no matter your ideology. I’m not asking you to be paranoid, or angry, or doubtful of everything he does – simply hold him to a high standard, make him EARN your trust and your faith in his actions. I think America has really stepped up to the plate in the past few months – as a whole, I believe we are more well informed, more interested in current events, and generally more actively involved in politics. This is a very positive thing – and it is exactly what we need to have continue so we can really make some progress in battling the corruption of the political class of this nation. Good luck Obama.

Keep an eye on this: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/executive-orders/disposition.html

EDIT 6/10/13: Light polishing

California 2008 Numbered Propositions Results


Since they have been so hard to find, I will put these up for easy viewing.

California 2008 General Election Propositions

Prop 1A (High speed rail): YES
Meh. Fine, it passed. At least it’s mostly funded by private industry, but keep an eye on it. We don’t want it to become another Big Dig (boston).

Prop 2 (Humane Treatement of Farm Animals): YES
Nice to see this one pass. And you got 7 years to get ready farms. Not that bad.

Prop 3 (Children’s Hospital Bonds): YES
Disappointed. The Children’s hospitals have always spent their money recklessly and asked tax payers to bail them out. They need to be held accountable at some point.

Prop 4 (Parental Notification of Minor’s Abortion): NO
Another disappointment. If she is a minor this decision is too important to be left solely in her hands. Her family deserves to know – the majority of cases are not abusive families, and this prop had protections.

Prop 5 (Non-violent Drug offender early release & Parole): NO
Glad to see this fall. It needs refinement, as worded it was too open to exploitation.

Prop 6 (Police funding): NO
Another plus. This sort of budgeting should not be in the hands of voters.

Prop 7(Money for Renewable Power): NO
It was a scam, and voters didn’t fall for it. Very positive.

Prop 8(Gay Marriage Ban): YES
This represents a return to 2000. From here, we need to make a solid compromise: Keep marriage as it’s own, and make a standard for gay unions, with it’s own title, and the same benefits. This way everybody’s happy.

Prop 9(Crime Victim’s rights): YES
Bad. This one was redundant and has now added a lot of lawyer speak to the constitution. Very exploitable.

Prop 10(Other Energy Bill): NO
Soundly defeated. Another energy scam that didn’t deserve passage – there’s better ways.

Prop 11(State Legislature Independent Redistricting): YES
Very good. While far from a perfect solution, it was imperative that we get the state legislature district drawing out of their hands. When they failed as badly as they did last budget round, they should NOT be allowed to draw their own election districts which would stand for 10 more years.

Prop 12(Home loans for Veterans): YES
Neutral. While I have concerns for the veterans who may be vulnerable with these loans, and I think that this could’ve been done better, it’s a positive for them. They need all the help they can get and I’m willing to cede that.

Obama Wins


Obama won.

And it was a hard fought battle, but first thing’s first. This represents a moment of great maturity in our nation. Step back, both liberals and conservatives, and consider what has happened: America, a country that has had considerable racial strife in it’s past, has just elected it’s first African-American president.

Most of you who know me know that I had a lot of concerns about this man. He still has so many unknowns, so many odd views, things that worry me. But, I also consider myself an American before I label myself as a conservative, and above all else I respect our constitution and system. The people have spoken, and they chose Obama. I commend him for his victory.

A lot of people are worried now. We face the prospect of higher taxes, increased government, and legislative agendas that will try to mold our lifestyles. Congress has swung into the hands of democrats – but take heart. This election does not represent a swing to the left in the opinions of America, but rather – a rejection of the republican party. The shunning of a party that no longer cares about it’s founding ideals and it’s base. This is something I am almost positive Obama has realized.

If you haven’t already, I encourage all of you to listen to Obama’s acceptance speech. Not once did he mention ambitious social agendas, partisanship, or how evil the other side was. It was a speech asking for our support, and understanding. What I took away from his speech was that he knows that America is a country of moderates, and that there are many conservatives still out there. He will remember us, and respect our views – if you take him at his word.

Obama’s major challenge will be keeping congress under control – just take a look at the current congressional leadership. They represent the factors in the democratic party that have nearly hijacked it, and forced them to the hard left. Bernake, Schumer, Barney Frank, Pelosi – they are nearly foaming at the mouth, eager to nationalize health care, try the bush administration for war crimes, force through union agendas, raise taxes, cut military spending – you name it. They will be pushing Obama to accept their views – and we will truly know where Obama stands with his response.

If Obama pushes hard left, he will alienate all the people who took a chance by voting for him, and he knows this. Keep this in mind, as we go through the following months. Hard times are ahead, but there is reason for hope. But all that aside – even though I am giving Obama a chance, I will be scrutinizing his actions. If he fails to follow through, and takes us to the radical left, I, and many others, will hold him accountable.

It’s not over. Far from it. But pay attention, and keep informed, and give Obama time to prove himself.

For all of you who voted, congratulations. Even if you lost, your voice was heard, and it made a difference.