Obama Address

I can actually say I wasn’t annoyed by Obama’s address at ASU. The only annoying thing was the local NBC station making a lame attempt to equate Obama’s visit with the previous visit of Pope John Paul II. Talk about tangentially playing right into the lame ass notion by some of the more wacky Obama supporters where they equate Obama with the Pope. And they wonder why right-wing screwballs mock Obama and his supporters by calling him “Messiah”. Maybe the local NBC affiliates should take a step back and at least pretend to be objective reporters for once.

Anyway, overall decent, if uninspired, speech. Pretty much the usual  graduation speech given at commencement ceremonies: change the world, make a difference, you’re the future, always keep striving and learning, et. al.

Nod to Chavez (and why has his reference been censored in speech transcripts?)

I also appreciated his reference to a Southwestern civil rights hero, Cesar Chavez. Most outside the region seem oblivious to the man’s role in civil rights so it was somewhat surprising to me that he mentioned him. Too many have forgotten that civil rights were fought nation wide for all minorities, thus there are other civil rights leaders besides Dr. King worthy of remembrance. I give credit to the President (or his aides for making him aware of Chavez’s regional significance) for this small reminder.

This leads to the following: I’m disappointed to find a number of “transcripts” I went looking for shortly after his speech ended actually censored that small part of the speech out. Whether this censorship was intentional of not remains to be seen but it does make me wonder given the current discrimination against anything Hispanic or Latino in this country. Hopefully transcribers will realize their mistake and correct their transcripts of the speech.

And hopefully, the faux controversy over the honorary degree is now dead, with the President’s own words.

Obama at ASU Commencement

Tonight President Obama gives a commencement speech at Arizona State University (ASU). It’s an honor for the school and certainly will be memorable for the graduates attending the ceremony and those lucky few who’ve been selected for scholarship under the newly named Barack Obama Scholars program, worth up to $17,000 a year for freshmans. The only bad thing is for those who’ve decided to opt out of attending commencement because restrictions on the public would make attending unbearable due to seasonal heat and the notoriously uncomfortable seating of the stadium, particularly so for the elderly and very young.

There are some who are still whining about the faux controversy about the university not giving President Obama am honorary degree, ignoring a big fact the school has never given any President an honorary degree and he has yet to meet the schiil’s criteria for such an honorary degree. Obviously the President feels differently than his lefty whiners as he is going to be participating in the ceremony tonight. Personally, I hope the scholarship program will have a more lasting effect but only time will tell on that point.

So I hope everyone attending enjoys the ceremony, bears with the heat and uncomfortable seats, and partakes the President’s address (which will be annoyingly broadcast on several stations and webcasts in the Valley). Congratulations to the graduates, who are what the whole this whole ceremony is genuinely about.

“Cap” at 36…Gimme a break

Congress continues its march in showing all Americans their true and unrelenting corruption. This time, ‘helping” Americans by “limiting” credit card companies. Funny. Seems like all they did was become yes man to what the companies wanted: higher credit card rates. All the while thinking they can dupe people into buying into this garbage by saying they’re adding a “cap”.

Senator urges discount for retail cash payments | Politics | Reuters

Durbin said he would also introduce two other amendments that would establish a consumer protection watchdog for financial products and cap interest rates at 36 percent.

“Capped” at 36 percent? It’s sad, disgusting, and disappointing that Congressmen consider 36 percent a reasonable “cap”. And people thought the 24.99 max percent rate was bad. Durbin and the rest are still selling out the American people with that ridiculous interest rate. I am still of the opinion that CC interest rates should be no higher than bank interest rates. Maybe, at the absolute most, 10 percent interest. Period. Anything else is intended to turn Americans into economic slaves while continuing to allow these companies to push hidden fees resulting in an ever increasing rise in prices. How typical of Congress to ignore the real problem, intentionally so or not, so they don’t have to deal with it and allow the greedy and corrupt to continue their plunder of the people.

If Americans are smart, and learned anything from this recession, it is to dump the credit cards and live frugally with minimal credit card use. Possessions and materialism don’t make a better life. The corporations and the government certainly have no interest in making life better for anyone but their elitist selves.

Eminent Domain Abuse

I am all for a Flight 93 Memorial but I am completely against the abuse of eminent domain for this project. I also am of the opinion the desired size of the memorial is somewhat questionable. There have been many historic events in this nation and I can’t help but feel that in this instance it is being abused to steal a questionably large amount of land (2,200 acres), legal or not, away from owners to set up a memorial that could be more than adequate for a fraction of the size (say 5-15 acres).

Yes these people deserve their remembrance, but this project is now bordering on egotistical. It now seems to be more about the organizations and their control rather than the people on Flight 93 and their sacrifice. Save the grand over bloated monuments for something else and concentrate on a small, thoughtful memorial more becoming to the actions and efforts of those oft forgotten heroes of 9/11/2001. Something that the common American appreciate, not some grotesquery for the government elite to trot out whenever they think they need a good political photo op.

National Day of Prayer

Obama tones down National Day of Prayer observance – CNN.com

Normally I would not care one way or the other about Obama toning down National Day of Prayer observances given that I’m an agnostic. I have never liked the idea of the Federal Government “sanctioning” anything of a religious nature such as prayer. In this case, I comment given a Christian conservative friend of mine, who is very much aware of my non-religious nature, was all in a tizzy over the President’s decision, calling it spiteful and an “attack” on Christians nation wide.

To this I pointed out that most Americans didn’t care or were even aware of day set aside for prayer so how could it be an “attack”. I also reminded him of several other points to which he grudingly agreed: the government should not be sanctioning one religion or religious practice over others, Christians should pray daily anyway (let alone live moral lives according to their beliefs), and that Obama was just returning to the pre-Bush days of how the day was recognized. I then added he shouldn’t allow someone, be it a member of his congregation or a church leader, to twist his faith into anger, rage, or other negative emotions incompatible with the core teachings of Christianity over a non-existant slight. In the end he agreed I was right and indicated he was going to pray for forgiveness tonight for allowing another to disrupt his personal relationship with God.

I may be an agnostic but I respect those of faith. I think the caution here for those who are religious is to avoid letting contrived controversies interfere with your faith and its practices. More importantly, don’t allow your faith to be used by others to push agendas. One does not need, nor should they desire, government sanction to justify or support their religious practice.

Cinco de Mayo

First off, Cinco de Mayo!

For those unaware, Cinco de Mayo celebrates the Mexican victory over France at the Battle of Puebla. It’s kind of ironic that so many outside of Mexico celebrate the holiday even if some only do so as homage to Hispanic culture when the holiday is more a regional event in Mexico proper.

I’m disturbed by the nominee for Legal Adviser to State appears to be advocating registering gun owners in this country as well as favoring global efforts to repress gun rights. A guy advocating usurping the U.S. Constitution and sovereignty through treaties is hardly one you want giving legal advice to our nation’s international face. He sounds more akin to the idiot lawyers in the Bush administration that essentially said things like water boarding were not torture. Look how well that turned out. /sarcasm

So Justice David Souter is stepping down soon from the Supreme Court. Some lefties are having kittens. I could care less about who Obama picks so long as they have a thorough knowledge, understanding, and unbiased view of the Constitution and have no propensity or agenda for trying to destroy the parts of the Constitution they don’t feel are “relevant” any more. Would it be nice for a woman or another minority to become the replacement Justice? Sure, so long as they get it on merit, experience and qualifications, not political leanings or some form of gender or racial parity or equity to make up for historical injustices.

The Arizona Legislature is still wrangling (in their usual BS partisan way) over the budget. Everything needs to be pared back but even I think the Republican dominated Leg is suspiciously partisan in what areas of government are getting cuts. But then the Democratic Party has done the same thing in the past. Neither party has the best interests of Arizona at heart, only their respective National Party bosses’ corrupt agendas.

The Associated Press: NRA convention venue seeks OK for alcohol, weapons An interesting conundrum but obviously necessary to keep the  Convention Center in line with the laws of Arizona. Hopefully the Department of Liquor Licenses and Control will allow a waiver for the event so as to avoid any legal issues or future challenges.

High court’s ID-theft ruling is unlikely to affect Arizona Not surprising since the lawyers and legal expert who drafted Arizona’s law tried to eliminate any and all loopholes for illegals and other criminals to exploit when it comes to identity theft. There are going to be some left winger, illegal supporters out there that will challenge the lawn of course. I do have to wonder how much better off illegal aliens would be in this country if their “advocates” spent more time getting immigration laws changed to allow more immigrants to come here rather than wasting time and effort in covering for the crimes the illegals actually commit.

Obama’s Border Czar Alan Bersin is Taking on Drug Gangs and Illegal Immigrants – US News and World Report So the administration brings back a guy who completely and utterly failed in his previous round og “border czar”. How many people will die this time because of the guy’s ignorance? He’s already bought into the Obama administration’s inane notion that all the border problems are America’s fault.

Chris Simcox wants to dethrone McCain – David Catanese – POLITICO.com I think this one covers all the reasons why I doubt Simcox will be much of a challenge to Sen. McCain. Too narrow on his issues. National politics, like those of a Senator, require a broader, national view and perspective while maintaining the focus to do what is needed for not just your state but your nation as well on a multitude of issues. That requires compromise, negotiation, and patience.

The radical right can hate McCain all they want but they don’t control the Arizona GOP voting public. Or the voters in general for that matter. The right wing radicals of the AZ GOP are jus that- radicals. They’ve sold out to either the religious statists or corporate hegemonies and have no interest in representing Arizonans. They’re just lapdogs to their chosen masters intent on imposing their “vision” of America on the populace whether the populace likes it or not.

What people really need to remember is neither the Republicans nor the Democrats have the American people’s best interest at heart anymore. Perhaps they never did. What has become clear over the past two decades (if not longer) is both are out to pillage the country as they play their political games, dividing and duping the public while they pillage the nation’s financial institutes and industries leaving a swath of destruction behind them in the form of unemployment, homelessness, outrageous healthcare costs, slashed wages, rising food prices, and outmoded and overburdened tax systems. In the past, the parties were able to hide their motives. Not so now, as we see the supposed party of the poor and downtrodden (the Dems) pillaging the poor and middle class, the unions, et. al. at the behest of their wealthy benefactors and the party of the rich (the GOP) pretend to be the champions of the middle class yet happily pillage alongside their political opponents.