Archive for the 'Op-Ed' Category


The Peoria Tea Party

Supposedly there were at least 500 or 5000 demonstrators–the local news outlets haven’t decided.  5000 seems high.  I wasn’t there, but I do agree with some of the core concerns, including the one below.  And while I think there is a huge amount of waste in much of the public sector, and that spending should be cut, I’m not necessarily on the low taxes bandwagon.  Thank “I.O.U.S.A.” for that sentiment, but I’ll save that for another day.

honk(Credit:  Blogging While Republican)


Slowest Common Denominator

So far Obama hasn’t done anything to really irritate me, but the democratic congress has.  One of the smaller pieces of legislation they’ve prepared that is misguided involves the delay to Digital TV, or rather a delay to allowing analog TV to shut down.  It bothers me because it is indicative of waste, slowing society down to the slowest, and a lack of personal responsibility.

Start with the assertion that there are some in remote areas, possibly low income, that haven’t yet made the switch.  Why is that?  If they haven’t been watching TV and didn’t get the notices, they can continue to not watch TV once we’re all digital.  When they choose to watch again, they go buy the $40 box.  For those that do watch TV, they have either made the switch, don’t need to switch (i.e. have cable or satellite), or they’ve ignored the incessant warnings for the past two years.  This gets to personal responsibility.  If someone can’t, over two years, get around to forking out $40 to preserve their precious TV, then they should be allow to suffer a bit.  (At which point they’ll get off the couch and go buy the box.)

Congress seems to treat TV like it’s electricity or running water: an essential service.  Sorry, it’s not.  We watch a few hours a week tops and survive.  So on one side of the equation we’re worrying about lazy couch potatoes experiencing a minor inconvenience.  On the other side, you have all of the stations out there who are screaming to turn off their analog transmitters.  They’ve already had to upgrade to digital, yet they’re still paying the power and maintenance bills for their analog transmitter.  So faced with the opportunity to remove a substantial, real cost for a lot of business, congress is on the verge of pandering to the irresponsible.  I think this is the wrong decision

Of course this a is relatively small matter in all respects, but the issues surrounding it are indicative of much larger problems.  I’m disappointed and worried that progress (and efficiency) is being held up by slowing everyone down to the slowest among us.  We need to do much better to get out of our various messes.


Finally! Election 2008 is over

Well, the 2008 presidential election must be one of the longest versions of presidential campaigns. I recall coming home to Illinois and watching the news channel being completely swamped with pre-campaign stories. I returned to Peoria mid July 2007; the candidates for each party have not been completely named yet. The coverage of world news was measly at best when compared to the CNN International or BBC World which was available while in NZ. The world seems to be in “pause”, while the US preps for election. At least that seems to be the case when news media is concerned; and this is true irrespective of right, left or center media.

As an observer to the 2008 presidential election, I must say that I am quite impressed with the manner this election was held. Those of readers who are more cynical might say this must come from one who is too naive to see beyond the smokescreen. Everything is relative my friend; I come from a country where one party, one race, one gender and one religion have ruled since independence. Do not get me wrong, my home country is a peaceful country and people live in harmony. However looking from the outside in, it is still many decades away from the day when a person who is potentially very capable but not the correct race or religion will be elected as the prime minister. I am proud to have witnessed the democratic ideas in full swing. I am also proud to witness the day the American public officially see beyond one’s skin color.

PS: Don’t worry, my next post will not be about politics ;-) .


Pinch Me

I woke up to the alarm with a tear in my eye.  Not the normal “I want to sleep for another hour” tear, but joy and disbelief that this is probably the last day of the current presidential campaign.

When this all started, Angela and I were living in another country, surrounded by different people, doing different jobs.  I can recall having political conversations in the office and continue to think that they surely must have been about a different campaign, but they weren’t.  I think 21 months or whatever it has been is way way way  too long, and unfortunately there is nothing in place to curtail it going forward.  Maybe the 2012 campaign should start today?  (Sorry, I forgot that it already did–with the Palin selection.)

Despite being weary, I’m also excited to go vote.  And I always enjoy election night.  I just hope it doesn’t end with other Florida-like debacle.  I recently watched “Recount” which reminded me how silly it can all become.  It boggles the mind the technical sophistication that surrounds and connects our lives, yet we cannot reliably and verifiably count anonymous votes.  I very much hope this thing is well and truly decided by the time I go to bed.

So c’mon Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, and all you other states that matter….  Do good work!


The Dispatch Endorsement

With a daily readership in the high single digits, an endorsement by the Peoria Dispatch carries real weight, and it’s time to make it public:  I’m supporting Barack Obama for President.

I decided shortly after the RNC, and the respective campaigns’ behavior since then has only reinforced my decision.  I’m definitely not a straight ticket voter and support a number of Republican candidates in other races, but the choice for President has become pretty easy.  I’ll forgo the reasons–you’ve heard them all before by sampling the political news deluge.  But forget for a minute the agonizing details of the candidates’ big reform plans and agendas, and watch these two recent ads.   They pretty much sum up the tenor of the two campaigns, and the core attitude that has swayed me:


Have you had a depressing week?

If you’ve read the news you have.  How in the world does everything unravel so quickly, and go unnoticed (or at least unchecked) for so long?  A while back I watched a great documentary about the Iraq war called “No End In Sight”.  The big takeaway from that movie was how much bad management–ignorant management–has had to do with failings in Iraq.  Undoubtedly there will be a similar documentary out soon showing the same level of incompetence behind this economic chaos.  (I do believe I.O.U.S.A, a movie about the US Debt, has just opened.  Great timing!)

I’m tired of listening to sound-bite compilations about extremely complex topics surrounding extremely fundamental and serious issues.  I don’t want to hear Obama and McCain talk of bi-partisan anything, and then give their completely irrelevant suggestions on fixing the financial crisis.  I don’t want to hear Sen. Shelby talk ad-infinitum about his list of 200 economists who disagree with the bailout plan (go interview the economists!  Please!).  I don’t want to hear Bush at all (and neither does Congress).  And I certainly don’t want to watch Gov. Palin voice her flashcard views during the train-wreck of an interview with Katie Couric.  If she had referred to Iran as ‘those bad guys’ one more time I’d be buying a new TV.

Just get the people who fell short in the popularity contest but have a damn clue, put them on and let them explain some of this in depth, and at least give me hope!!!


30 More Years?

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