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Some short rants

December 2, 2009 - John Stack
How poorly can your Home Owners Association act? Many HOAs have restrictions on many things that may detract from the neighborhood. No broken down cars in the front yard. No farm animals. No having loud all night parties. Many are for aesthetic reasons. Then, there is the Richmond Sussex Square Home Owners Association. A homeowner in this association happens to be 90 year old Van T Barfoot. Why are they picking on this man? All he does is raise and lower his flag daily and try to live in peace. But, The HOA has decided his flagpole is ‘not aesthetically pleasing’ and ordered it – through their lawyers – to take it down. Oh yeah. Mr Barfoot also happens to be a retired colonel who happens to own a MEDAL Of Honor from WWII and also served in Korea and Vietnam. Sometimes you wonder how stupid some people can be.
            Then of course there is Bill O’reilly. I watched his show last night after President Obama’s speech. Of course he was his normal idiotic, blowhard self. But, what got me was his first guest was Karl Rove. Now, as a Democrat, Karl Rove is politically an enemy. But, unlike O’Reilly, he is a bright man. Watching him last night, O’Reilly would say some insipid comment about the president’s speech, and Rove would correct him, and tell him he thought O’Reilly was wrong. Now, as much as I dislike Rove and his politics, if Gore, or Kerry had a ‘Rove’ W would never have been president. The thing about Rove, was his points were well thought out and logical, something that O’Reilly has never been accused of. What Fox needs to do is get Rove his own show, and get rid of Limbaugh as the voice of the Right. At least he would be interesting to listen to.
            In the version of the health care bill that passed in Congress, there was a ‘Stupak Amendment’ that got it over the top. The Stupak Amendment would make any insurance coverage that could be bought on the ‘open exchange’ portion of the bill ineligible if they offered ‘elective’ abortion coverage. These insurance companies could add on an additional ‘rider’ for abortion services though. But, as abortion is almost always from an unplanned pregnancy, how many will opt to pay the extra amount? Also, will enough women actually opt for this rider for it to be profitable at all for the insurance companies, causing most, if not all, to drop the rider? The right keeps saying that the health care bill will lead to rationing and that insurance and the like is best left between the doctor and patient (as if that actually happens for the vast majority of people covered by insurance). but, they themselves want to limit what will be paid, and what a doctor can suggest to a patient if their insurance doesn’t cover it. What’s next? Will ‘the pill’ be the next on the chopping block for those who believe abstinence is the only accepted method? Why are these people not saying Viagra shouldn’t be covered? Di we really need our tax dollars paying for Bob Dole to get discount or free Viagra? (shudddder).
            Hey, here’s a great duo for the 2012 ticket. Sarah Palin and Carrie Prejean(former Miss California)! Both of these women seem to have no ideas of their own. They seem to be famous only for… being famous. Like in the paper you read about ‘reality show’ star. It doesn’t really make sense. But, these 2 seem to be able to keep their names in the paper no matter what. Heck, Palin’s book wouldn’t have sold so well if it wasn’t for the myriad inaccuracies and her whining about how put upon she is. Carrie Prejean seems to hold some sway with crazy right wingers. Other than being pretty, she is a vapid brain surgically dead enhanced nut job. The GOP could do worse.
            The GOP seems to want to purify itself, and hopefully (for us) cleanse the political landscape of the far right. The GOP is proposing a litmus test, if you will, for supporting Republican candidates. This test is 10 seeming ‘core values’ of which a candidate must pass at least 8 to get funding. Some are expected, such as right to bear arms, and smaller government. Then there are the wacked ones. How about ‘Containment of Iran and North Korea, particularly effective action to eliminate their nuclear weapons threat’. What does that actually mean? And who, Democrat or Republican would actually not follow this? Or ‘Protecting the lives of vulnerable persons by opposing health care rationing and denial of health care and government funding of abortion; ??? Opposing health care rationing? They better stop taking money from every HMO in the country, which by its very definition, rations health care. Oppose denial of health care? Who in their right mind would? Finally ‘Victory in Iraq and Afghanistan by supporting military-recommended troop surges’. This is just laughable. If I was a commander in Afganistan, and I really wanted to ‘win’ I would suggest 500,000 troops to really get the job done. But, this overlooks many other important topics, like, ‘what is our goal? – to eradicate all Al Queada or Taliban? That would take 50 years and trillions of dollars. Is it to squelch the Taliban’s influence? The commanders on the ground may have different view of what is needed, and actually what is in our nation’s best interest or priority. This is often a good thing, as any military man worth his salt is looking to overcome his enemy at almost any cost. But, if Iraq and Afganistan become very stable, and AlQueda and the Taliban are not only not threats, but that the climate is bad for them to even show themselves, we should get out. A general may request an additional 10,000 troops to just hunt down Bin Laden, this may not be in our best interests.
By the way, this purity test really came about because of local right wing nutjob Hoffman didn't know that Dede Scozzafava's political positions until he lost the GOP nomination to run for Congress recently. The North Country would be without at least 3 or 4 of our representatives because of this. Dede wouldn't pass, nor would Janet Duprey or Teresa Sayward (Betty Little should also be on the list, but I think she likes her Senate position too much)
            That’s it for now. Off to Tampa to see my nephew off to fight in Iraq!


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