Craig Ferguson’s Voting Rant

Craig Ferguson is host of the Late Late Show on CBS. On Wednesday night, 9/10, his monologue consisted of a serious and funny rant about the election season. It came after the ridiculous fake GOP outrage about a comment Senator Obama made about putting lipstick on a pig.

Ferguson, a native of Scotland, became a US citizen earlier this year.

Here is a video clip of what became a two part rant. The 2nd part was given during his desk chat before the first guest.

Here is a short paraphrasing of the best bits from the rant:

Why is McCain having his VP up there running for president – (as an old man) there you go isn’t she pretty? Spoiler alert – (shakes his no) – you’re not.

People want to see real solutions to real problems.

Only one poll that matters and that is November the 4th.

If your families are off limits then why are they on stage with you and they have a damn profile in People magazine! You damn manipulative hypocrites!

On the Today Show this morning they asked which candidate would you rather have dinner with? Here’s your answer – I don’t care – none of them. I want to know what do you plan to do for this country!

Let the Daily Show do what they do and the regular media needs to take this thing seriously.

If you don’t vote you’re a moron!

We have 2 patriotic candidates who love their country and they have different ideas on how to help this country – learn about them, read about them, question them, listen to them and on election day exercise your sacred right as an American and listen to yourself.

It seems it takes an outsider to remind us of what is important.

4th of July Diminished

The 4th of July use to be one of my favorite holidays when I was younger. Back in Findlay, the holiday was a community event. Some years there would be kid games and BBQ at Riverside Park. Along with the cascade of flags and a parade it was a fun time. Other years my Uncle Bob would have a shindig at his place which ended with shooting off the illegal fireworks he had bought during the year. Other years we would drive over to the Fort Findlay Mall parking lot and watch the firework show sponsored by the old Hill’s Department Store.

Much like the discount retailer, the show was low brow. It seemed they could only afford one fire tube so we would have to wait minutes for a shell to go up. Then more often than not it was dud – with the loud *BOOM* but no works. Later when I moved to Columbus, their Red White and Boom show blew me away and I knew I could never watch a show like the one at Hill’s again.

In recent years, my fondness for the 4th of July has diminished.

I think it has all to do with our principles and the lack of acting on those principles and in some cases doing the complete opposite.

My disillusionment started when learning that even though the founding fathers said at the start of the United States Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That it wasn’t until the mid 1960’s that a majority of people were finally treated as equal humans. But even today there are still segments of citizens, such as homosexual and atheists, who are still treated unequally.

While the United States Constitution had a Bill of Rights, those rights didn’t start being applied equally until after the Civil War and again there are segments of society who don’t enjoy all of those rights today.

Then there was the government supporting dictators in other countries as long as they were anti-communists. This was done with money or training death squads at US bases like the School of the Americas. In some cases the CIA would encourage and finance dissent groups who would overthrow an unfriendly leader like Iranian Prime Minister Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953.

Then there was using the FBI to infiltrate and disrupt so-called dissent groups in the US under the COINTELPRO project from the 1950’s to the 1970’s. As stated in the article linked to here:

In the Final Report of the Select Committee COINTELPRO was castigated in no uncertain terms:

“Many of the techniques used would be intolerable in a democratic society even if all of the targets had been involved in violent activity, but COINTELPRO went far beyond that…the Bureau conducted a sophisticated vigilante operation aimed squarely at preventing the exercise of First Amendment rights of speech and association, on the theory that preventing the growth of dangerous groups and the propagation of dangerous ideas would protect the national security and deter violence.”

The Church Committee documented a history of FBI directors’ using the agency for purposes of political repression as far back as World War I, through the 1920s, when they were charged with rounding up “anarchists and revolutionaries” for deportation, and then building from 1936 through 1976.

And today we have a President who doesn’t think twice to using warrantless wiretaps and inhumane interrogation techniques along with a a compliant Congress to further gut our basic principles of democracy and freedoms.

To me, the 4th of July is mere symbolism and until we return to the principles that led to the Declaration of Independence we are just a large body of hypocrisy.

In an illustration of the difference is this quote I heard during the recent HBO series John Adams. Adams is arguing for the passage of the resolution that would lead to our Declaration of Independence. He says to the Congress:

I believe sirs the hour has come… My judgement approves this measure and my whole heart is in it. All that I have, and all that I am, and all that I hope in this life I am now ready to stake upon it. While I now live, let me have a country. A free country.

Adams and the other men gathered in Philadelphia during that hot summer were ready to die for the principles spelled out in the Declaration. King George III had already proclaimed that if the colonists insisted on their course of action they would be tried for treason and hanged.

Today I don’t see men or women with that kind of principle. Too many politicians are worried about being re-elected and too many people take their rights for granted or don’t think giving them up will harm them in the long run. It seems there are few if any people willing to stand up for what our country is suppose to stand for.

Until I see a return to our founding principles, the 4th of July means nothing other than a day off of work.

Dems bend over for a lame duck President – again

Remember all the brouhaha about warantless eavesdropping by the NSA that President Bush kept arguing was needed to “fight terrorism”? Remember how the Democratic leadership went nuts and threatened legal action and hearings etc… etc..?

If not read this NSA warrantless surveillance controversy

Well in an about face, some Dems broke ranks and voted to approve S. 1927 that now makes such wiretapping “legal”.

The bill passed the Senate 60 to 28 (16 Democrats sold out our rights) and passed the House 227 to 183 (with 43 Democrats selling us out).

The bill allows the government to intercept phone calls and e-mails from anyone including US citizens as long as there is some thread of connection to terrorism. It also removed oversight of the taps from the secret FISA court and gave it to the Attorney General – the guys who likes to lie to Congress.

The bill, listed on the House roll call list, is titled “Protect America Act” but they left off the rest. The full title should be “Protect America Act from stupid terrorists who use common methods to transmit information about their activities”.

The point of some Democrats passing the bill is summed up in this quote:

They also appeared worried about the political repercussions of being perceived as interfering with intelligence gathering. But the disputes were significant enough that they are likely to resurface before the end of the year.

House Approves Changes in Eavesdropping 

Once again the Dems bend over for a lame duck President with a 28% approval rating – amazing.

For more info on this stupid action check out:

Why I won’t contribute to the DCCC

Senate Democrats Bend Over, Hand Bush The K-Y And Vote For Warrantless Wiretaps For No Reason Other Than Craven Cowardice

Cell phones in Findlay High School causing trouble

Back on May 9th a group of Findlay High School students approached the school board to ask for a change in the cell phone policy at school.

It seems that FHS as a zero tolerance for cell phones on campus and if found they are confiscated and returned at the end of the day. If the same person is found with one again then a parent or guardian has to come to school to pick it up.

Cell phones are like a part of the body of most teens these days. They are always talking, texting, or now taking pictures to share. Schools do have a reason to control the use of the phones during school hours for the same reason you can’t have a boom box. The phones not only can disrupt class but they can also be used to cheat.

When I heard about the issue I sided with the current policy.

In my younger days calculators were just being made affordable for most students. At first they were banned from school. It was considered cheating if you used one. But then they found out that calculators can help marginal students in math since most of the trouble is doing basic math functions. The policy changed and calculators were allowed but if you had a fancy one that could save formulas you had to bring them to the teacher before a test and he/she would reset the machine to wipe out any attempts to cheat on the test.

The problem with cell phones is, that unlike calculators, they have NO educational value.

The students suggested changing the policy to allow them to bring them as long as they are off and kept in their lockers during the day.

Sounds reasonable.

Then I read a follow up story in today’s Courier.

It seems that some students still bring the phones to school and some even use them during the day, fully knowing that it is against the rules.

But that wasn’t the kicker.

It seems that the administration is searching the phones they confiscate and punishing any rule violations contained on them like bad language in text messages and pictures showing underage drinking.

The kids are pissed. They feel that their privacy is being violated.

I think the kids had a good argument – if it wasn’t in school. Students have no privacy in school. When I was there in the mid 80’s we had a couple of school wide locker searches. Each class had to open their lockers and a staff member would look through them and punish any violation they found. One time they even brought a drug sniffing dog.

Cell phones are not school property but you really can’t blame the administration for searching them especially because they aren’t allowed in the first place.

As a teacher is quoted in the Courier article:

“Doesn’t there have to be some respect for the rules?”

Originally posted on the blog “Hancock County Politics Unfiltered”

Poor Findlay City Councilman David Cliffe

All Councilman Cliffe wanted was to chair a public hearing on a proposal to ban smoking in public areas in the city of Findlay. A group of students from Glenwood Middle School were to present their ideas on the ban as part of a class project.

The proposed smoking ban has been a hot topic of late in the city and an ad hoc committee chaired by Cliffe has been holding a series of public meetings to get community opinion on the issue. The committee has mostly private citizens participating.

Crews from several Toledo television stations showed up to cover the hearing and the students presentation. Toledo’s council passed a smoking ban that has caused a lot of reaction from the bar and restaurant owners there.

Councilman Cliffe, acting on a misunderstanding, decided to kick out the news crews after the student presentation. The city law director had advised Cliffe that the city shouldn’t record the meeting but Cliffe took it to mean that he could close it to the media as well.

He found that wasn’t the case.

A reporter from WTOL 11 in Toledo refused to leave. It was a public meeting concerning a topic of interest to the public. Councilman Cliffe then adjourned the rest of the meeting.

In the Courier report of the incident Cliffe tried to justify his action. He said, “I think it’s very sad that a media group from Toledo has come down and undermined Findlay folks’ opportunity to express their opinion.” and he also thought since the ad hoc committee is mainly comprised of private citizens they shouldn’t have their faces publicized.

He is wrong on both issues.

One great thing about our democracy is that we require our governmental bodies to have their meetings open to the public. The media is part of the public and they report on the meetings for those who can’t attend. Ohio has an open meetings law, aka the “Sunshine Law”, that has been on the books for 30 years. The only governmental meetings that can be closed to the public are those dealing with personnel matters or competitive bids.

If you are a private citizen and don’t want your face in public then don’t participate on governmental committees.

Councilman snuffs out smoking ban hearing

Access spat shuts down forum on smoke ban

Findlay Leaders Back Away from Dispute

Originally posted on the blog “Hancock County Politics Unfiltered”