Tuesday, September 29, 2009

There Seems to Be a Lot of Hatred for Obama

Am I wrong, about this? There seems to be a lot of outright media hatred for the president lately. And some politico hated as well (but these people are just coming across and nit picky). It just seemed to come out of nowhere. And some of it, I agree with and I don't know what that says about me. I'm not impressed with him as a president yet, but I don't hate the man.

I mean for God's sake, there was a Facebook poll on whether or not he should die! What kind of messed up shit is that??? Hate him as an elected official but remember he does have a family.

"Sooner or later it is going to occur to Barack Obama that he is the president of the United States. As of yet, though, he does not act that way, appearing promiscuously on television and granting interviews like the presidential candidate he no longer is. The election has been held, but the campaign goes on and on. The candidate has yet to become commander in chief."

I can understand that. He's young and kind of inexperienced yet. Remember, he was a Senator before becoming President. He needs time. He's almost like a combination of Bill Clinton and JFK...idealistic and historic, in a way.

But in a way, all these television appearances make sense. If he's going to reach the people, he has to do it on their terms. He's not some stogey old lifelong politician, sticking to what he KNOWS works. He's branching out and trying new things.

Look at people today. When was the last time we sat down to read a newspaper or watched a local news broadcast? We get our news online, on Facebook and MySpace and even by Twitter. I can't remember the last time I picked up a newspaper, but I read newspapers' websites daily. In a way, what Obama is doing is the modern "fireside chat," a series of thirty evening radio speeches given by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt between 1933 and 1944.

Another point of contention seems to be the 2016 Olympics. "First lady Michelle Obama vowed Monday to "take no prisoners" as she and her husband launch an unprecedented bid for Chicago's 2016 Olympic bid."

"The White House confirmed Monday that President Obama will fly on Thursday to Copenhagen, Denmark, where the International Olympic Committee will be reviewing bids from several countries on Friday. It will be the first time that an American president has lobbied the IOC in this manner."

My question is this: why does Michelle need to go? Does something like the Olympics fall under the role and responsibilities of the FLOTUS? At a time when so many people are homeless, jobless and going without, or even just cutting back their spending, this trip to Copenhagen by Michelle Obama seems an unnecessary expenditure on the American taxpayer.

From How Stuff Works:"On any given day, the first lady of the United States (FLOTUS) is under pressure. From sunrise to sunset, she may be hosting a tea for visiti­ng dignitaries, testifying before Congress, advising the president (her husband), delivering a statement before a few dozen TV reporters and directing the renovation of a room within the White House -- all while wearing a pantsuit that critics may later say was a bad color choice for her."

"She will also make a formal presentation to the IOC, before the president makes his own pitch on Friday. "We're each going to do our own proposal," she said. "I think we have as good a chance as any country."

I think Michelle needs to be careful. If memory serves, the American public seemed to feel that after awhile, Hillary Clinton was a little too involved in Bill's presidency. I can almost see the tide turning for Michelle from trend setter to over involvement. We all know the Obamas have a good marriage and are a tight family, but that doesn't mean they need to work together on things like bringing the 2016 Olympics to the United States.

Monday, September 28, 2009

American Students Do Not Need Longer School Days

I'm going to put this out here right now, just to get it out of the way: I am not a parent. I'm just a tax payer that remembers what it was like to be a student.

"Students beware: The summer vacation you just enjoyed could be sharply curtailed if President Barack Obama gets his way. Obama says American kids spend too little time in school, putting them at a disadvantage with other students around the globe." I think that no matter what American students do, we are always going to hear how we are at a disadvantage, compared to other countries. This is starting to sound old...okay, so we suck at something. How about we talk about we're good at?

"The president, who has a sixth-grader and a third-grader, wants schools to add time to classes, to stay open late and to let kids in on weekends so they have a safe place to go."

Seriously? Have the schools open on weekends? Who is going to watch those kids, if they even show up? Do you want teachers to work an extra two days a week, as babysitters, for the pay they are already getting? If you give them a raise, who will pay for it? And how many kids would actually head over to the schools on a weekend? As a kid, I lived for the weekends...hell, as an adult, I still do!

"'Our school calendar is based upon the agrarian economy and not too many of our kids are working the fields today,' Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a recent interview with The Associated Press."

I think we all understand that, but can we really expect these children to put in longer days at school than what some of us work? I work a 37.5 hour work week. I am at work M-F, 8 AM-4:30 PM. Imagine being a student and having to keep an even longer schedule, if President Obama gets his way. It's too much. These kids need their weekends and their summers, to decompress and relax, even to just veg out a little bit.

Or if you really insist on the students getting more out of their education, then school boards should consider making it mandatory for certain grades to have at least one extracurricular activity per semester. That would keep the kids busier during the day and make for longer days.

"Young people in other countries are going to school 25, 30 percent longer than our students here," Duncan told the AP. "I want to just level the playing field."

While it is true that kids in many other countries have more school days, it's not true they all spend more time in school.

Kids in the U.S. spend more hours in school (1,146 instructional hours per year) than do kids in the Asian countries that persistently outscore the U.S. on math and science tests — Singapore (903), Taiwan (1,050), Japan (1,005) and Hong Kong (1,013). That is despite the fact that Taiwan, Japan and Hong Kong have longer school years (190 to 201 days) than does the U.S. (180 days).

Homeless Ga. Sex Offenders Directed to Woods, and the Others That Have No Where Else to Go

"A small group of homeless sex offenders have been ordered to move from a makeshift camp in a densely behind a suburban office park...directed there by probation officers who say it's a place of last resort for those with nowhere else to go."

All together now...wah wah wah. Poor old sex offenders...have to live a rough life in the woods like animals! My bleeding liberal heart just breaks for them.

They should consider themselves lucky to not be locked up somewhere. If they willfully sexually violated a minor, then tough shit if they are having a hard time finding a place to live.

"It's kind of like a mind-game, it's like 'Survivor,'" said William Hawkins, a 34-year-old who said he was directed to the campsite two weeks ago after being released from prison for violating probation by failing to register as a sex offender in Georgia."

See that? Not only is William Hawkins a sex offender, he violated his probation by failing to register. Can you say "dumbass"? And quite honestly, what did he hope to gain by giving his name to the reporter?

"It's not the only place in Cobb County where offenders can live — there are hundreds of other sex offenders throughout the county living in compliance with the law. But Ahmed Holt, manager of the state's sex offender administration unit, calls the camp a "last resort" for homeless offenders who can't find another place to live that complies with the law."

"The outpost illustrates the unique dilemma the law creates for homeless sex offenders, who unlike other homeless people, cannot take shelter in a church or curl up in a park because they are barred from both...
[Sarah Geraghty, an attorney with the Atlanta-based Southern Center for Human Rights] said she has found only one homeless shelter in the state that meets the residency requirements for homeless sex offenders. The shelter, she said, is in the northwest Georgia city of Rome and has only two beds, which are often unavailable."

Now, I will admit, the idea of having a homeless shelter, in Georgia where this is clearly a problem, that only has two beds cannot be considered a way to meet residency requirements. That is the most bizarre thing I think I've heard in awhile. I guess the people in charge of the shelter can't throw a couple of cots out for these guys to get them out of the woods at night?

But in the long run, I just can't muster up any sympathy for these guys. If you can't understand that sex with a minor is illegal, then don't whine about your life after you've done the deed and done your time.

Additional Entry Added 09/29/09

These are the homeless tent city residents that I feel bad for.

"In cities across the country, people with nowhere to live have done what many would have thought unthinkable before the economic crisis: moved into tents. Tent camps once associated mainly with the "Hoovervilles" of the Great Depression are springing up in places as varied as Sacramento, California; Nashville, Tennessee; Pinellas County, Florida; Providence, Rhode Island; and Seattle, Washington

These are decent, hardworking people who have fallen on hard times. They didn't choose to be homeless and not working. They are struggling, day-to-day, just to get by.

"The camps have often led to standoffs between local governments that say the camps violate housing ordinances and homeless rights advocates who argue that people struggling to get back on their feet need a permanent place to stay."

I think it's an outrage there is this ongoing struggle between people in need of a safe place to pitch their tents and local governments. I'm sure these aren't your 'typical' homeless people, the stereotypes you imagine when someone says 'homeless person.' "Before a homeless person can move into the camp, their names are checked against a county list of sex offenders to keep predators out. Drugs and alcohol are also prohibited, camp organizers said." Look, they even have their own prohibited lists to keep their residents safe, for God's sake! They aren't squatters. I bet they take really good care of their environments too.

Years ago, there was a little tent city of sorts in Virginia Beach. I'm not sure what kind of people lived there, but if you were in a high enough vehicle, you could see it, way off the side of I-264WB (what used to be old Rte. 44), by Holland Road. I haven't seen it in years, probably 8-9 years now that I think about it. I don't even know if those people left on their own or were told to leave.

"Debara Hiefner,known as "Sissy" to her street friends, lived for three years in a sort of tent city off Holland Road, where she said more than 20 homeless people once lived."

"In 2007, 476 homeless were counted. The number was 479 in 2008." Overall, people shouldn't have to live like that. What kind of community are we when people like this have to resort to camping, when there aren't enough shelters?

Congressmen ask Gates to keep 11 carriers

In the grand scheme of things, namely trying to avoid an East Coast/Atlantic Fleet version of Pearl Harbor, would it be so terrible to move one of the Norfolk air craft carriers to Florida? "The Hampton Roads congressional delegation is uniting to press Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to avoid cuts to the number of aircraft carriers in the naval fleet."

'[Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Westmoreland] said: "Our current carrier structure allows us the agility to maintain a worldwide presence and react efficiently to threats as they develop. Further reductions in carriers would hinder our reaction speed and place an increased burden on our sailors and marines around the globe."'

Just from a security standpoint as the average Hampton Roads resident, I can't believe that our worldwide presence by the U.S. Navy would be damaged or hampered by moving ONE carrier. Again, for me, it just goes back to the "what if" idea of a terrorist attack here on our bases. We do not need all the carriers on the East Coast here in one area. That strikes me as unsafe for the Navy. Instead of looking at the situation as losing a carrier, we should look at it as ensuring the safety of the fleet by providing a backup carrier in Florida.

And yes, it would be a temporary burden on the families of the carrier chosen to go to Florida, but aside from the safety aspect, I think it would benefit the region in a number of ways. By having families leaving the area, it would free up jobs in the communities for other civilians, both on base and in the surrounding areas. By opening up those jobs to new employees, it could help stimulate the local economy.

On the downside, apartments and houses could be left empty when the renters and owners leave. We already have a number of houses up for sale and rent in our neighborhood. Right now, the economy isn't great for home sellers.

"In the letter, the group applauds Gates for proposing to keep the mandatory level at 11 through 2040 in April and urges him not to waver from that stance."

I've heard that for Florida to take on a carrier, they need to build a nuke-ready pier for the ship first, and that it would cost in the millions, at a time when the military is already stretched thin. That shouldn't matter, because even if Norfolk keeps all it's carriers until 2040, this issue will resurface. I truly believe that Norfolk will pass a carrier along to Florida at some point.