Category Archives: President George Bush

Luminaries on the Left Lit Into

John Burciaga gave capitalism a good whacking in the Newburyport Current (May 7th) – “Goldman Sachs: Poster boys for capitalism”.    He states in the article, “I’ve had my glimpse of the business world and excused myself, lest I were found guilty by association.”

Too close to Goldman Sachs?

That “guilt by association” thing, he writes of, can be a good guide.  Staying away from bad folks like Goldman Sachs is terrific advice. 

With this in mind, I wondered why John’s article never referenced President Obama’s still-in-place connections to Goldman Sachs.  The President received $994,795 in campaign contributions from them.  He also has several people in his administration, including Timothy Geithner, with ties to Goldman Sachs.  How does the President escape from a guilt by association perception?

A week ago, John wrote an article for The Current entitled, “It was never easy being green.” In it, John gave unqualified praise to Rachel Carson and the Sierra Club.  Do they deserve it?

Rachel Carson's malaria connections?

Rachel Carson was a marine biologist who wrote as if her training also made her an expert on pesticides.  She asserted in Silent Spring that DDT had questionable value and some readers took her assertion and went on to get DDT banned.  Prior to this, DDT had been part of successfully eliminating malaria in Europe and North America.  Under Rachel’s initiative and the zealotry of followers, Africa was denied the protection DDT provided.  The result was an estimated thirty million deaths in tropical Africa from malaria and yellow fever. 

Rachel originally had a co-author (Edwin Diamond) when the manuscript that became Silent Spring was started. Edwin had been a professor at MIT as well as Science Editor for Newsweek.  Reason for quitting the writing with Rachel?  “It (Silent Spring) was an emotional, alarmist book seeking to cause Americans to mistakenly believe their world was being poisoned.”  Shades of Al Gore? 
 

Louisiana black bear - protected at what cost?

Another of John’s favorites is the Sierra Club. Back in the 1990s, the Army Corps of Engineers studied and determined that the levees on the southern end of the Mississippi Rivers needed to be raised and fortified.  A spokesman for the Army Corps at the time said, “The 303 miles of upgraded levees (along the Mississippi River) were needed because a failure could wreak catastrophic consequences on Louisiana and Mississippi.” 

The Sierra Club ignored the warning being more concerned about the disruption the levee improvements would cause the Louisiana black bear.  Therefore, when the Army Corps tried to start the levee-improving project the Sierra Club filed suit and prevented the work from getting started.  In late August of 2005, Hurricane Katrina slammed into Louisiana.  The levees, as they were, proved no match for Katrina – $81 billion worth of damage and 1,836 deaths. 

John frequently makes sport of Fox News’ claims of being “fair” and “balanced.”  Overlooking Obama’s connections to Goldman Sachs, Rachel Carson’s connection to lives lost from malaria, and the Sierra Club’s connection to the Hurricane Katrina disaster assure me that John will never be accused of either.

 ( Appeared as a letter-to-the-editor in the Newburyport Current on May 14, 2010. )

Leave a comment

Filed under Barack Obama, Katrina, Newburyport Current, President George Bush, Uncategorized

Underwhelmed by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama

Hillary ClintonAre these two the best that the Democrats have?

Burger King should switch their headquarters from Fountainbleau (FL) to Chappaqua (NY).  After all, with Hillary Clinton in residence they truly are, “The Home of the Whopper.”

Hillary ClintonHillary has always had trouble telling the truth but in the past could count on many in the media to defend or ignore her actions.  Since Barack Obama has become the media darling the former first lady finds herself closely scrutinized after every utterance.

Therefore, she no longer gets a pass when she claims that she has experience in dealing with crises overseas – think Irish peace talks and Bosnian sniper.  Predictably, when the media does its homework and checks into her version of events they find irrefutable facts to disprove her stories.   Confronted with lies she answers with excuses.

Then there is Barack Obama. He went from prospect to suspect with his speech on March 18th.  You and I know that by not announcing that he was separating himself from Jeremiah Wright’s church he gave approval to what went on there. 

Barrack ObamaThe politically astute thing for Obama to do was to toss Reverend Wright and his church under the bus instead of his white grandmother.  Were his supporters then likely to switch over to Hillary or John McCain?  No chance!

Barack stayed with Trinity United Church of Christ even though it’s not politically advantageous because he doesn’t find Reverend Wright’s anti-American rhetoric as offensive as the rest of us do. 

Certainly, Reverend Wright’s rhetoric is indefensible and he should know better because he’s acquainted with the Bible.  Yes, there are places in the Bible where Jesus was angry at what he saw going on around him.  Reverend Wright seems to have this anger side covered but there are also places where Jesus insisted on the need to forgive others.  Somewhere during the 20+ years of listening to Reverend Wright, Barack should have clearly noted the imbalanced tone of Wright’s messages and moved elsewhere. 

There is an obvious shortage of bumper stickers for Obama or Hillary in Newburyport.  I guess that even the most ardent Democrat is in a quandary defending either of them.

George Bush leaves office on January 20, 2009.  Heaven help us if either Hillary or Barack is anywhere near the premises when it happens.

(Appeared in The Newburyport Daily News on April 2nd and Newburyport Current on April 4th)

Leave a comment

Filed under Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Newburyport, Newburyport Current, Newburyport Daily News, President George Bush

I Voted for Barack Obama

Barrack Obama

I am writing to congratulate myself for voting for Barack Obama and being part of his 28-vote victory in Newburyport in the Democrat primary.

My vote was not based on Mr. Obama’s skin color because I’m not a racist.  I do admit,however, that I do not watch BET (Black Entertainment Television) or support the United Negro College Fund because they’re racist.

My vote was not based on Barack’s middle name, “Hussein.” That middle name is part of his Moslem background.  If I let his background factor into my vote, I would be a racist and I’m not.  However, if I learned that his hand was going to be on the Koran instead of the Bible when he was sworn in to the presidency I would vote against him.  That’s not being racist. That is believing that the Bible, not the Koran, contains the truths that I want my leader to pledge allegiance to.

My vote was not based on Barack being against the war in Iraq.  Barack was in the State Senate, not the US Senate, when the vote for that war took place.  If he had been confronted with the same evidence that President Bush and Hillary Clinton were confronted with he would have voted to go ahead with the war. 

My vote was not based on Barack’s belief that abortion should be available in all nine months of pregnancy.  I am opposed to abortion and consider the slaughter of unborn children to be a horrific tragedy.

My vote is not based on Barack’s willingness to put an end to some of the tax cuts that have been enacted during the current administration.  I defy anyone to explain to me how sending me out into the buying world with less money is going to help the economy. 

My vote is not based on Barack’s talk of unifying the country.  I believe that his idea of “unity” is for me to change my previously held positions and switch to his.  I have a right to my opinion even if it disagrees with his opinion.  Labeling opinions that are different from his, “divisive,” is a step toward trying to shut off constructive dialogue. 

My vote is not based on the endorsements of Senator Kerry and Senator Kennedy.  Those two are the punch lines of jokes in any comic setting.  Kerry was offered $1 million to clear up the controversy surrounding his service in the Vietnam War.  He proved that either he didn’t need the money or he couldn’t clear his name by taking no action.  Kennedy looked out his ocean-side window and decided that his view was more important than a wind energy program that would lower electricity rates on the Cape.

So why did I vote for Barack Obama?  Quite simply it was a vote against Hillary Clinton. 

At a dinner party recently, I heard someone say that they were voting for Hillary because, “she was the only one that they could trust.”  You’re right, it stunned me too!  If past performance means anything, Hillary is the one that can’t be trusted.

Let me make a prediction: Barack Obama is going to get the Democrat nomination but during the trip to also-rans, the Clintons are going to tear that party apart.  It gives me pleasure to think that I may have had a hand in that process in a voting booth at the Brown School.

( Appeared in both the Newburyport Current and the Newburyport Daily News on February 15, 2008. )

Leave a comment

Filed under Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Iraq, Newburyport, Newburyport Current, Newburyport Daily News, President George Bush, Senator John Kerry, Senator Ted Kennedy

Surprising Behavior by Senator John Kerry and Michael Cook

What is this world coming to? 

Is it possible that prolific letter writer Michael Cook wrote an entire entry for last week’s Newburyport Current (“Culture of celebrity is all about marketing”) without including “President Bush” and an unflattering adjective in the same sentence?

Is it also possible that our Senator Kerry called former president Bill Clinton a “liar” last Friday?

It is not only possible but also true in both cases.  I found both occurrences refreshing.

I will admit that I generally only read Michael’s entries until the word “Bush” shows up.  After that, the Far Left talking points start and my interest vanishes.  I’m not crazy about President Bush, especially on immigration, but he is not the cause of all the evil in the world. 

In this article, which I was able to read in its entirety, Michael opined on a topic that my wife and I have discussed more than a few times: “Why do some of the lightweights of our society get paid so much money?”  Like us, Michael wonders why those who really make a difference in society struggle to get by. 

Michael credits this unfairness to the fact that the successful are getting assistance from publicists while the rest of us are not.  We may be doing great things but no one is notifying the media of it or setting up contacts that will lead to financial rewards.  I absolutely agree.

I do think we have to remember that we live in a culture that is willing to pay dearly to be entertained.  Those offering the entertainment know this.  When ticket prices go up people are outraged.  However, they do have two choices – pay or stay home.  Most choose to pay and that just emboldens those offering the entertainment.

Michael thinks that the sordid lifestyles of many of the celebrities will eventually lessen our interest in following them and/or paying to see them perform.  I hope he’s right but after flipping through the TV channels and seeing previews of coming attractions, I think that those providing the entertainment totally disagree with Michael on this point.   The faces and thoughts of fools are constantly before us today and most likely will be there tomorrow. 

When the Super Bowl is over and they start interviewing the participants you can bet that more than a few players will be an embarrassment to watch………but we’ll watch just to see if they embarrass themselves.  Of course, if they’re celebrating Patriots players we’ll bear with it and the networks know that.

John Kerry 

The other pleasant surprise I referred to was Kerry calling Clinton a liar.   It wasn’t breaking news that the Clintons are often free and easy with the truth it was just that Senator Kerry showed some moxie and went after the Clintons.   Kerry’s endorsement of Obama early this month didn’t cause much of a stir. I, in fact, thought that Kerry’s endorsement might do Obama more harm than good since Senator Kerry is about as popular as those dogs that leave their calling cards down on the Merrimac River boardwalk are. 

It aggravated many Obama supporters that because Kerry delayed his endorsement he fumbled a chance to help Obama in the neighboring New Hampshire primary.  A number of national media types, much to his embarrassment, noted Kerry’s poor timing. 

The media criticism stirred Senator Kerry into action.  He made sure that he wasn’t late in having an impact in Massachusetts on Super Tuesday (February 5th).  This time around he not only told the truth about the former President but also reinforced his support for Senator Obama.  Hillary currently has a 30+ point lead in the polls in Massachusetts.  However, with Governor Patrick, along with Kerry and now Senator Kennedy backing Obama it could get a lot closer come primary day. 

So, thank you Michael Cook and John Kerry for pleasantly surprising me.

(Submitted to the Newburyport Current on January 29th as a letter to the editor. )
 

Leave a comment

Filed under Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Governor Deval Patrick, Newburyport, Newburyport Current, President George Bush, Senator John Kerry, Senator Ted Kennedy

Shame on the Blame Game

It seemed obvious to me that it was the article that didn’t belong.

What article?  “Lots of blame for delay to go around” written by Henry Precht in the September 8th Bridgton News.

That edition’s front page carried articles about Arden Stitzell and Dr. Monique Kramer.  We learned that Arden is a displaced Tulane University student who is eager to go back to New Orleans and help any way she can. Dr. Kramer, on the other hand, was part of an effort to empty animal shelters in Georgia so that animals from the Katrina-effected areas would have a place to be.  Bravo to the two of them!  And I’m sure that there are others in this area that also made significant contributions immediately and others who will before long.

That’s why I suggest that Mr. Precht’s article is out of place.  His first response to the disaster is to blame someone for it.  He finds no room for any expression of compassion. His entire intent is to pin the blame for Katrina on someone and, as we have come to expect from Mr. Precht, the culprit has to be George Bush.  A CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll found that 13% of the people polled share Mr. Precht’s opinion.  Obviously his slant is an unpopular one to just about everyone!

You’d think that the President would have better things to do than to send hurricanes into the Gulf Coast!  Just kidding, even Mr. Precht won’t go quite that far! 

But no question, according to Mr. Precht, most of what happened to the Gulf Coast is the President’s fault.  After all, the President knew that global warming is the cause of all the hurricanes and has done nothing about it.  Wrong.  The impact of global warming is highly debatable.

Maybe the President is listening to Roger Pielke Jr (Director of the University of Colorado’s Center for Science and Technology Policy Research).  Mr. Pielke has done extensive research on the damage caused by hurricanes that have affected the US since 1900.  He recently told the Rocky Mountain News: “I don’t think you could find any hurricane scientist that would be willing to make the statement that the hurricanes of last year or Katrina are caused by global warming.” 

Next we learn that insufficient funds were sent to New Orleans to protect them from a possible hurricane.  But the levees were in place.  They weren’t underfunded.  They were designed to withstand a Category Three storm.  Are you suggesting, Mr. Precht, that President Bush knew that a Category Five storm was coming and wouldn’t send the money to build better levees?  In this country the local and state governments have a say in what’s done in their neighborhoods.  If we can have the Big Dig in Boston they certainly had a chance at the Big Levee in New Orleans if they wanted it.

And then as expected Mr. Precht wanders into familiar territory connecting the Katrina situation to our efforts to bring freedom to the Iraqi people.  This time he informs us that our Iraq efforts slowed down our military’s response in the Gulf Coast.  Sorry, that just isn’t so. The head of the National Guard (Lt. General Steve Blum) said he had 40,000 guardsmen ready to go to the Gulf Coast immediately and could get another 40,000 if needed.  We also had several large naval ships in the area that could have desalinized water and provided beds for the needy. 

The most appalling part of Mr. Precht’s attempt to place blame was his use of the race card.  To suggest that because the blacks and poor don’t traditionally vote Republican caused the President to let them suffer is preposterous.  Please, Mr. Precht, you should be ashamed to even suggest such a thing!

I think that the days ahead will show that the majority of the people in this country are good-hearted and will rally to help where they can.  Instead of waiting for the government to take care of things people have stepped up and met needs where they could.  Someone’s homeless?  Curt Schilling of the Red Sox takes people into his home.  People need to be evacuated?  Al Gore sent a bus down to bring some out.  Short of supplies?  Brett Favre of the Green Bay Packers sent a plane load.  The list of these types of grassroots actions is enormous and continues to grow.

Mr. Precht, it’s way too early to be even thinking about placing blame.  Now is the time to encourage the relief effort and help where you can.

Let me close with a quote from Tony Snow: “In the manner of New Yorkers after Sept. 11, the folks who form our national heart and soul will bury the dead, care for the living and build upon ruined soil the foundations of a revived civilization – chastened by the big storm, educated by the failures of a culture that spawned looters and cheats, and inspired by the opportunity to say to the large and deadly storm, “Nice try, but you picked on the wrong country.”

( Appeared in the Bridgton News – September 15, 2005 )

Leave a comment

Filed under Bridgton News, Katrina, President George Bush