Author Archives: rationalzen

Should Iowa really have this much control?

Perhaps the real question is do they really have any at all?

Reading the coverage today I was reminded of one of the posters hanging on our wall at work. You know the kind, where they are supposed to have some sort of trite phrase that affects the employee’s morale and motivation? Anyway, you can see the particular poster I’m reminded of here.

Yes, none of are indeed as dumb as all of us, CNN tells us this is true. I will applaud the subtlety.

Looking at that page without understanding the English language you’d be forced to see the pictures only. Which candidates seem to have the most appeal for CNN? What would you say about their personality, or suitability as a candidate based on photo alone? It would appear that according their coverage that Rudy, Hillary and Barack are the only viable candidates. Then interestingly enough compare the adjectives in the descriptions of each candidate. Look at the difference between the Edwards and McCain excerpts. Both of whom were unsuccessful in their seeking of the presidential nominations. Interesting.

The real question becomes, do small things like adjectives, photos and the like have so large an effect on us as individual thinkers? The answer is surprisingly, no. The problem is that those little things have a tremendous effect on people as a whole. In an election nobody wants to back the loser, so often times they pick the person who has the highest likelihood of winning. Not the best person for the job. That is what is alarming to me in this presidential race. There are only three people (or so) that I will be able to vote for, in no particular order: Barack, Mitt, Mike (Bloomberg). I’m half joking about Bloomberg, but if it’s a choice between Hillary and Rudy, I will either abstain or be voting some independent third party (if any real ones emerge).

My prediction will be that harnessing the power of Chuck Norris, Mitt will edge Huck by a few points with McCain a distant third, Ron Paul a close fourth.

Let’s hope the all of us are not dumb enough as some of us that buy into the garbage that Huck is presenting during the race.

~RationalZen  – part-time contributer, full-time thinker.

Go Seahawks!

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Barack Obama, Candidates, Democracy, Election 2008, Hillary Clinton, Iowa, John Edwards, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Race, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani

Could Pat Robertson have clean hands and a pure heart afterall?

A well known comic and lesser known blogger, Scott Adams, coined a term (as far as I know) that I’ve adopted as it fits perfectly in the way I live my life. It’s called the sniff test. Basically, if something smells a certain way it more than likely is in fact that thing you’re smelling. In the case of Robertson’s endorsement, I think I’ll apply the sniff test:

Question: Is there any shred of evidence that Pat Robertson’s endorsement of Giuliani is of pure motive?

That’s a personal question I’ve been struggling with since I first read the news. I know a little bit about how Pat has spoken about the LDS faith historically, I know that there are plenty of ignorant people that buy into the palaver of websites like carm.org, I know that it’s very possible that Robertson is taking the enemy of my enemy is my friend approach. At least it smells that way, further investigation is needed.

What better place to start than Pat Robertson’s website to see what he really stands for as a religious leader. Deep down, does he personally believe that abortion is wrong all the time, most of the time with certain exceptions, or is it acceptable all the time? Does he believe that our 2nd Amendment should be a right that is earned rather than one that is lost? Does he believe that marriage should be a bond between man and woman, or are there acceptable alternatives? To my dismay I couldn’t find any content regarding these topics, so I’m left wondering what his personal stances on those topics really are.

So, assuming that his personal views on those topics are congruent to Giuliani’s, then an endorsement would be applicable. However, doesn’t it seem that he’d have to be conservative on those topics to consider himself an evangelical leader? Logic dictates that personally, he’d be a staunch conservative on those topics, and would be pushing for the conservative candidates (Romney, or anyone else for that matter). Potential, compromise number one; endorse a candidate he agrees with personally, but not religiously, or endorse a candidate that doesn’t appear to have any shot at actually winning, or the third option is endorse one of the front runners with whom you may disagree with on some topics, but overall the good outweigh the bad OR there’s something else.

Here’s the conspiracy that I call “SOMETHING ELSE”:

Reading his website again I started to read his biography, after perusing a short time I got two distinct impressions. One, I believe that he believes that politics is the next step for him. I believe, that he believes that he’s the man for the presidential position not these other guys. Two, I get the impression that as an evangelical leader he’s not a spiritual conservative. He’s a pragmatist. His teachings are about common sense (his teachings actually match up to the counsel given by the leaders of the LDS church, which he calls a cult). I also found this snippet that piqued my interest, “I’m an entrepreneur at heart…..”

That to me says that he sees himself as a business man first, and spiritual leader second. He would never publicly say it in those terms, but you get the idea. That’s why all of his books, teachings, etc, are all pragmatic. That’s what sells, leave the extreme viewpoints to Micheal Savage and the terrorists. Toe the middle of the road and people will support you, both vocally and financially; the perfect setup for a businessman.

Why do I bring this up? I (RationalZen) personally believe there are ulterior motives at play. They are of either a financial nature, Giuliani gave him the offer he couldn’t refuse for his endorsement (much like the other party candidates do with the unions), or they relate to his own political aspirations. Perhaps he wants to divide the Republican party, so in 5 years when Hillary has polarized the country he can be the pragmatist that saves America as the next great candidate.

I don’t think that Robertson is a bad guy, I don’t know him from Adam, nor do I know what’s in his heart (God looketh upon the heart). I respect him as a businessman, not necessarily as a spiritual giant, but for me something just doesn’t smell right with what he’s doing in this presidential primary race. If he is trying to position himself to fulfill his political aspirations, I fully support that notion. If you’ve got a goal, than do what it takes to accomplish it. I would congratulate him for that notion, rather than castigate, it may appear as a wolf in sheep’s clothing but that’s probably not the first time he’s been labeled that In this situation I’ve tried to give him the benefit of the doubt, but the more I analyze the scenario the more I believe that this endorsement stinks for both Giuliani and Romney. He’s too bright of a guy to not understand what ripple effect this endorsement might have, something is fishy and time will have to tell what he really is after.

Rational Zen (part-time contributor)

6 Comments

Filed under Candidates, Christian, Christianity, Conservative, Election 2008, Family, LDS, Mitt Romney, Politics, Religion, Romney, Rudy Giuliani

Libertarians must hate the children

On this very blog, amongst other places, I have said openly that I think that career politicians are a poison to our democratic system of government. I actually have no idea what their respective backgrounds are, but the bi-partisan dynamic duo of Commerce Committee Chairman Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii) and (now infamous) Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Vice Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) should both be relieved of their duties that have to do with technology immediately.

Just like Kip, I love technology too and I hate seeing it be misunderstood and blamed for something that’s not it’s fault. Recently the aforementioned dynamic duo took part in a meeting that called for universal implementation of filtering and monitoring technologies on the Internet. The last thing I want is my ISP, HOA or other public group deciding what is and isn’t decent for the entire world. I don’t have any problem regulating open transmissions like radio and unencrypted television etc. However, trying to filter the Internet universally to “protect the children” is just stupid. Only someone that doesn’t understand how to filter the “series of tubes” as he called it, would make such a ridiculous claim. All in the name of the children.

My problem with this whole scenario is that it’s coming in a wake of debates about Net Neutrality. Shocker that the two leaders of our commerce are now calling for monitoring implementations universally on our global Internet. I wonder if any of the nation’s broadband providers have paid any lobbying money to get network traffic filtering legislated, so they can then levee that into offering consumers premium (higher priority, means you don’t have to wait in line) broadband plans for a premium price leaving the rest of the consumers in the cold. Or possibly more deviant, the larger ISP (Your AT&T’s, Verizon’s etc) that are required to lease the usage of the large tier networks to smaller broadband providers (a.k.a. their direct competition) would like to make their traffic more reliable and their lessee’s traffic worse, so the lessee’s customer’s switch providers for a better connection. Couldn’t be…….nah, never.

That being said, here is my real issue with the duo’s remarks: from Sen Inouye

“While filtering and monitoring technologies help parents to screen out offensive content and to monitor their child’s online activities, the use of these technologies is far from universal and may not be fool-proof in keeping kids away from adult material, ….. In that context, we must evaluate our current efforts to combat child pornography and consider what further measures may be needed to stop the spread of such illegal material over high-speed broadband connections.”

Who does he think he’s kidding? The current best technology isn’t enough to keep kids away from porn, therefore we must universally implement this inadequate technology universally? Wow, what a moron. He then says that contextually we need to determine what measures may be used to stop spreading child pornography. Here’s how to stop child pornography: Make the punishment so stiff (worldwide) that it becomes too dangerous to casually view, store, serve or create such pornography. Sounds great doesn’t it? Except, we go back to the age old “I know pornography when I see it” ruling. How can you attempt to determine measures to stop something that you can’t define what “it” is (thank you Mr. Clinton).

These two should be fired for one of two reasons:

1) They are absolutely incompetent to make the decisions to regulate our commerce of technological nature (which they’ve both shown).

2) They are heads of a committee that should be fighting for capitalism, not caving to the lobby of the large broadband providers that want to eliminate the lower tier competition by not giving them reliable connections on the large tier networks.

All in the name of protecting the children of course……

Leave a comment

Filed under Congress, Conservative, Democrats, Family, Justice, Law, Legal, Liberal, Liberalism, People, Politics, Progress, Progressive, Republicans, Senate

It’s not about “the science”.

According to (suprisingly) the NY Times, The former, and I stress former, Surgeon General is claiming censorship.

Interesting, that a position that traditionally has been bi-partisan if not politically neutral has all of the sudden cried foul play, and just short of a year later. He complains that officials had him come to meetings to explain “the science” of things like global warming but wasn’t heard. He also claims he was pressured to not release reports about the dangers of even brief contact with second hand smoke. I would love to ask him a few questions of my own.

1) Why now? Why did you wait for over a year to even bring this up?

2) You were elected to a position that is meant to safeguard the American people, why did you allow politics to interfere with that end?

There are more, but they are all inter-related with the above. Here’s what I got from the article. There is a former surgeon general that was not asked for another term, even though his adminstration was, now he’s upset because he didn’t take advantage of his time in office. Here’s why, when he consulted the Surgeon Generals that were appointed by the Reagan and Clinton administrations, both stated they felt political pressure to either release, or not release certain findings or theories from the administrations. Yet, both of them had the fortitude to release them anyway. Dr. Carmona, unfortunately was not as strong. He didn’t have the spine to stand up for science, now he’s stating that people didn’t respect his scientific opinion. I don’t respect his opinion now either, he has shown that scientific finding and reason are not his number one priorities, even while sitting as Surgeon General of the United States.

He can complain all he wants, but this isn’t about “the science”. This is about a doctor that did not live up to his appointment, and is now trying to blame someone else for his own folly. I’m not buying it. Did he honestly believe that the American people wouldn’t support him if he released a report about the dangers of second hand smoke? If he were to release such a report, what president would dismiss the man that reported on an issue that is very important to the people? The answer is none. It’s not about censorship or “the science”, this doctor is just feeling remorse for not doing what he was appointed to do.

~ RationalZen

4 Comments

Filed under American History, Climate, Congress, Conservative, Earth, Environment, Global Warming, History, Liberal, Media, Politics, Republicans, Science

Why Romney is the man for the job.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=11689698

In a world of partisan political divide I find myself without an identity. In fact I’d have a hard time finding a political candidate that I can say I agree with 100%, there are some that come close, but certainly no clear cut guy I would call “my guy”. To plot my political mindset on a number line it would fall somewhere in the trifecta of Capitalist, Libertarian and Conservative. I support science and rational thought, therefore I’m part libertarian. I believe that competitive markets create economy and innovation, therefore I’m part Libertarian. I believe that the greater good of the people is almost never served by choosing what “feels” good, therefore I’m part conservative. Ergo, neither Donkeys nor Elephants can please me on their own power. In the distant coming election, I’m going to have to choose and barring some faux pa of major consequence I’ll probably be siding with a good portion of the country, the guy with the best hair.

I think that Romney has two major strengths that push him over the top: 1) Very little political experience. 2) He’s a great businessman and forward thinker. Two qualities that I think are the “intangibles” that a person leading the most powerful country in the Western World should have. Looking at the rest of the candidates, only Obama has as little experience and there isn’t a better businessman amongst the group. Bloomberg could throw a wrench in that one, although I’m not sure which I would qualify as better, they are both wealthy enough to be called successful for sure.

This business prowess was able to show through in his leading of one of the most psuedo-forward thinking, backwards moving states in the union, Massachusetts. The health care plan Romney framed for the citizens of MA is genius. Sorry liberal college students, no more going without health care, it’s time to become responsible adults. Sorry businesses, no more skimping on your employees and not providing adequate health care to your workers, and if you don’t you’ll be punished financially (the only true motivator for business). Sorry big three health care providers, there is now a focal point where citizens of MA can go to get the most bang for their insurance buck, pre-tax dollars, you no longer can simply cater to the people that line your pockets you must now provide what’s best for MA consumers or they will find better.

Congratulations hospitals, this type of health care plan will begin to reduce the high cost emergency room abuse that has been on going for years. Congratulations lower middle class working two jobs, you can now have each employer pay your health care and only worry about maintaining the one plan. Congratulations employers of the lower middle class, those employees of yours that carry more than one job will be offsetting your health care cost with the other employer. Congratulations migratory employees, you’ll be able to carry your insurance provider from job to job with you eliminating the hassle which will help you stop resisting change when it’s needed for upward mobility. Congratulations those at or below the poverty line, rather than having expensive ER visits, you’ll be receiving the funds for your own health care for potentially free.

I’ll never support socialized medicine because governmental control stifles innovation. I love Romney’s plan, and frankly can’t see why anyone would really oppose it, because it breeds competition in the market place. It creates an environment of accountability and punishes the right people when necessary while rewarding those in need. There will for sure be some hiccups along the way, and some changes will be made to the plan but overall this is a universal health care plan that could become scalable nationwide.

That kind of innovation is why Romney is the man for the job.

~Rational Zen

2 Comments

Filed under Barack Obama, Bill Richardson, Brownback, Congress, Conservative, Election 2008, Family, Fred Thompson, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, John McCain, Law, LDS, Liberal, McCain, Mitt Romney, Mormon, Politics, Progress, Progressive, Republicans, Romney, Rudy Giuliani, Sam Brownback, Science

What’s the Big Deal?

If I’m ever in need of some good old fashioned conversation I can find it at work.   I happen to work with some highly intelligent people, and all come from a varied background politically and otherwise.  We got talking about the age-old topic of global warming and here’s the conclusion that surfaced from our conversation:

Global warming is no longer about science and protecting the Earth.  One major piece of evidence backing that conclusion is the fact that the politicians have now gotten involved.  Consequently, their involvement has now dumbed down the issue to the point that it’s not worth discussing.  There are far too many people that are unwilling to accept the fact that humans COULD BE causing the accelerated warming of the Earth based on the simple notion that Al Gore did a movie saying otherwise.  There are an equal number of idiots out there that believe simply because Al Gore or Michael Moore have gotten behind a topic that it must be the truth.  Neither group have anything intelligent nor useful to add to the conversation, which is catastrophic for the American people as they are the people influencing our voting politicians.  Global Warming is no longer about Earth, it’s about drawing the party line in the sand.

That being said, here’s what I know about global warming.  It’s happening, it’s happened before, and will happen again.  Also if the Earth warms up, then the ice caps will probably melt and overall climates around the world COULD change.

Here’s what I don’t know about global warming:  Is it really a bad thing if our climate changes and the Earth warms up?  I haven’t seen any compelling evidence that postulates our Earth is in it’s prime climate state right now.  If it’s not in the prime state than I have to believe that it’s in a sub-prime state.  If it’s in a sub-prime state, then why waste so much time and effort into stifling change?  It could be for the better, that’s a risk I’m willing to take.  Life will move one, it always has.  Who knows, with some fertile farm land from our freshly melted ice caps Canada might achieve some relevance on Earth outside the worlds of the NHL and Maple Syrup.

Either way, it’s deplorable to me that our politicians have stifled innovation.  The only reason I’m pro-environmental reform is because I believe it’s ludicrous that we’ve not progressed any further with the combustible engine than we have.  There’s not one logical reason why the USA has any dependence on foreign oil right now, except for maybe the politicians got wind of a scientific topic and removed the science from it……just like global warming.

~ RationalZen

Leave a comment

Filed under Climate, Doctrine, Earth, Environment, Global Warming, Liberal, Liberalism, Meteorology, Nature, Politics, Progress, Progressive, Science, Weather