Michael Brown Says John McCain was Almost Democratic Vice Presidential candidate

On Fox News tonight, Democratic pundit, Michael Brown, for some reason alluded to the reported offer by John Kerry to John McCain for McCain to be Kerry’s vice presidential running mate four years ago.

I think he was trying to insinuate a more extreme liberal position for John McCain … sort of like … “Let’s put some doubts into the minds of those ultra conservative Republicans.”

Right.

Let’s also remember that Abraham Lincoln offered command of the Army of the Potomac to Robert E. Lee. It just didn’t happen.

I also suspect that Lee gave more consideration to Lincoln’s offer before saying, “No” than McCain gave to Kerry’s offer before, likewise, saying, “No thanks”.

Let me further say that this analogy is, in no way, intended to suggest that John McCain shares Lee’s views. The analogy is simply made, by an ignorant Southerner, to point out that sometimes offers are made that “Just ain’t gonna’ happen”.

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Al Gore Says People Who Don’t Believe in Global Warming Believe the World Flat

Well, He’ probably right in general but the question really wasn’t posed correctly by Leslie Stahl.

Al Gore’s position is that not only is global warming occurring, but that it is being accelerated at an alarming rate which is being caused by humans, and that greenhouse gases, primarily in the form of carbon dioxide, which are being produced by humans, are creating that acceleration.

In support of his contention which is being sold wholesale … no … at full retail in the form of his book … to the public, is the consensus of scientists who concur with his hypothesis.

The only problem with a consensus of scientists being in agreement is that it only takes one scientist being right to prove the rest wrong. Think about that.

The controversy that Leslie Stahl was alluding to in her interview with Al Gore was not really Dick Chaney’s doubts about global warming … which gave Al a good sound bite … but the fact that during this period of time that the CO2 (carbon dioxide) levels have been rising so dramatically according to Gore and the consensus of scientists, global temperatures have actually been decreasing. That’s right. Since 1998, global temperatures have actually been decreasing.

According to Gore and the consensus, as CO2 levels increase global temperature will increase and, since CO2 levels have increased more rapidly recently, global temperatures should be correspondingly increasing more rapidly … the greatly expounded greenhouse gas effect … creating a crisis for humanity in the near future. Therefore, we need to take dramatic and draconian actions to protect humanity from itself since humans are the cause of the rapidly increasing CO2 levels.

Except … it isn’t happening that way. CO2 levels are increasing and the temperature has been decreasing, the opposite of what has been touted. The “controversy” that Leslie Stahl was alluding to isn’t really a controversy at all. It’s based on substantial data which basically brings into serious question the entire contention of Al Gore and a lot of scientists who are starting to look like they have egg on their face.

Al Gore is pushing a hypothesis which is based on computer models of climate change which aren’t being supported by current data. Al Gore just doesn’t want to admit he might be wrong and Mother Nature just isn’t cooperating with him.

CO2 is, all of a sudden, being vilified as some noxious agent which is going to kill all of us and the environment.

Let’s think about it for a little bit and review some of that basic science we were taught in school. Humans, and other animals, inhale O2, oxygen, and exhale … that’s right, CO2, carbon dioxide, while plants absorb CO2 and give off O2 … a nice, mutually beneficial cycle.

What has also been documented but has totally gone under the radar of Gore and this concensus of scientists is the fact that, as the CO2 level has increased, the rate of plant growth has correspondingly increased.

Plants are critical to our survival … for that balance in nature that we need. Rain forests are a significant factor in this balance and need to be protected and better managed since they have covered significant portions of the earth’s land mass. But … land mass is only a small portion of the earth’s surface. More critical is the part of the earth’s surface which is covered by water. And … water contains algae … which, like land plants, absorbs CO2 and produces O2. Marine plant life plays a more critical role in the CO2/O2 balance.

Global warming has been going on since the Ice Age. Humanity has adapted,increased and prospered. The warming hasn’t occurred in a straight line. Hopefully , children are still being taught about Washington crossing the Delaware River which was almost frozen over during a period frequently referred to as the Mini Ice Age. I can remember when scientists were swearing that the world was cooling back in the 1970’s. I can also remember frequent snowfalls in the 1950’s in middle Georgia as well as yearly ice storms in the early 1960’s.

Weather changes and the climate is changing. Hurricanes occur with a cyclic frequency. Are they getting worse? Look at the historical reports of hurricanes on the Atlantic coast during the 1700’s and 1800’s to find the answer to that question.

I appreciate Al Gore’s reference to the world being flat, but he may have it pointed in the wrong direction. In spite of Viking expeditions to North America which were generally unknown outside of their culture and possible earlier Phoenician trans Atlantic voyages, also unknown to 15th century Europe, the conventional wisdom … that consensus of contemporary scientists … was that the earth was flat. And one person proved them wrong.

When scientists form a consensus, a red flag should go up … especially when opposing views are ridiculed and suppressed … because the scientists have stopped being scientists … because it’s always the responsibility of the scientist to question, doubt, prove … question, doubt and try to disprove … over and over again … period. That is the only way that science advances.

Al Gore isn’t a scientist … and he’s promoting “bad” science, pseudo-science … and worse than that he’s ridiculing the true scientists … the people that are questioning the validity of his hypothesis. It’s their job, their responsibility as scientists.

The world is warming and where it will stop, no one really knows. Humanity does need to change it’s ways to protect the world we live in, but rich people like Al Gore “buying carbon credits” so he can go his merry way while the less financially fortunate return to living in unlit caves isn’t necessarily the best answer.

The American public needs to be ever diligent for egocentric demagogues who claim to have “the answer” and scientists who form a “consensus”.

I recall a science class that I took. On the first day of the course, the professor told all of us to “just sit and listen” … and began lecturing … for 50 minutes. We then took a ten minute break and returned for the next hour of the lecture. The professor began by saying, “What I told you during the last hour was what was true last year. Now I’m going to tell you what’s true this year. Start taking notes.”

I’ve never forgotten that lesson.

All the scientists in the world agreeing on something which isn’t proven can’t make it a fact … an irrefutable truth. One scientist with irrefutable facts proves a truth.

Obama “Stutters”

Last night while dining with a friend, I was asked the following question, “Where do you think Obama got his speaking ability?”

We were discussing his remarkably polished speaking style which seems to be wooing so many people into his camp and leaving his opponents with, at least, a grudging respect.

Not having really given the question posed any significant thought previously, I was at a loss for an intelligent or thought out response but, after considering what I have read about him, my final response was, “Probably his mother.”

It was a “best guess” under the circumstances. From what I’ve read about his mother, although very sketchy, and given her otherwise unconventional nature, I imagine that she might have possessed the qualities of a good salesman including an adroit and agile command of the English language.

Since last night, I’ve given the question further consideration, mentally reviewing the speeches I’ve heard him give. All are very polished … articulate, well presented … and eloquent … a word I and others have used previously to describe his oratorical or declamatory capabilities.

But …

When outside his prepared and polished realm, he looses his composure. He becomes repetitious and hesitant. He “stutters”. When confronted with questions that he is not prepared to answer or is confronted with topics he appears to be uncomfortable with, he “stutters”.

Stuttering and stammering, what is the difference? More significantly, what causes it?

Stuttering is defined as “the compulsive repetition of certain syllables or words” whereas stammering is defined as “complete blocking of some speech”(1). As noted in the reference, both are almost universally accepted to be psychogenic in origin. Stuttering usually first occurs with emotional tension in the three to six year old child and can be considered a transient normal in children of this age. The reference further states when it persists in the older child, referral to a child psychologist or psychiatrist is recommended, the aid of a speech therapist may be needed and the child’s inadequate confidence will need to be bolstered.

According the the Psychiatry reference(2), children who stutter may have conflicts over passivity and aggressiveness. “Speech is regarded as an aggressive function in which the child may attempt through hesitation to control both himself and the audience. The speech pattern eventually becomes habitual, i.e., persists without constant emotional content, and the stutterer needs speech therapy and psychotherapy for help in resolving the emotional conflicts associated with the disorder.”

I think this raises some interesting questions regarding Barack Obama’s eloquent speeches when well crafted and the onset of his stuttering when confronted with questions for which he is unprepared and those with which he is obviously uncomfortable. It could also be the explanation for his avoidance, in general, of unscripted interviews with reporters, his apparent preference for interviews with perceived “friendly” interrogators and his complete avoidance of perceived hostile situations.

So, is Barack Obama’s eloquent speaking ability one that has come naturally to him or one that is the result of extensive efforts to overcome and mask a speech defect rooted in psychological conflicts and deeply rooted in his childhood? If the latter is the case, how has this shaped his career choices and how he may have carefully crafted his public persona? Would it make any difference in his ability to function effectively as president?

References:

1. Silver HK, Kempe CH, Bruyn HB. “Speech Defects”. Handbook of Pediatrics, 12th ed., 1977: p. 172

2. Solomon P, Patch VD. “Child Psychiatry, Speech Problems, Stuttering”. Handbook of Psychiatry, 3rd Ed., 1974: pp. 530-531.

Is Persistent Swigging of Bottled Water in Public a New Oral Fixation?

This morning, as I was catching up on the latest news, I saw a very short clip of Howard Dean repeatedly swigging on a bottle of water as he was surrounded by a group of people talking to him. This immediately brought to mind the many clips of Barack Obama swigging on bottled water as he stood before various crowds of supporters.

Now anyone not aware of the current political incorrectness of smoking has to have been caught in a time warp of galactic proportions. Even so, it never really was politically correct to smoke in public or at public functions where you were the center of attention. FDR did have his cigarettes on his long cigarette holder and John Kennedy had his cigars which he probably enjoyed in private while also enjoying the comfort of his rocking chair.

Now we have a new breed of politicians who apparently think it’s appropriate or cool to have a bottle stuck in their mouth as they face the public.

I don’t know ( an expression of disdain).

Is that really cool?

I understand that drinking water is a process of re-hydrating the body, but, do we really need to be exposed that that function so frequently ( or at all ) any more than we need to be exposed to them relieving themselves of excess water?

Sure. I know that it’s a time honored tradition for a glass and a pitcher of water to be present at the podium or on a table for a speaker, but I always thought that was for the purpose of relieving a dry mouth from speaking or caused by a certain degree of anxiety created by appearing in public and not intended as a constant accoutrement like a pacifier. Maybe I’m wrong.

It’s not like they just finished running twelve miles and are dripping sweat … excuse me, perspiring, … while decked out in their sweats ( as in sweat suit … or perspiration suit … whatever).

In the era of the Internet and Google, asking questions like this is always an educational experience. I had no idea that a popular singer named Shakira had done an “Oral Fixation Tour” which is now on DVD … like all you Shakira fans don’t already know that since the DVD is sold out. Duhhh!!!

Getting back to what I was thinking about … (I wonder why she called it the “Oral Fixation Tour”.)

Okay. That didn’t work. Let’s try … “thumb sucking oral fixation”. Google that!!

Wow!! That did it!

Thumb sucking turned out to be … too pediatric … I think. I got a whole page of “How to stop your child from sucking his/her thumb”. Well, maybe that wasn’t too far off.

Paydirt … nail biting, pencil (or pen) chewing, chewing gum, etc.

The English have a great sense of humor. I thought this post was hilarious.
Just don’t tell me I’ve got an oral fixation.

Freud put sexual connotations to everything and referred to the earliest stage of life (0 to one year) as the “oral phase”(1) where the mouth is the principal focus of pleasure involving feeding, etc. in the early, passive phase followed by a more aggressive late phase which might involve biting.

Thumb sucking (2) is a continuation of the oral phase beyond the first year of life which usually (and hopefully) diminishes and ends by the fifth or sixth year of life. It is described as the result of and is stated to usually occur when the child is “tired, upset, or emotionally insecure”. When manifested with increasing frequency, into the school years, (or beyond), it is considered pathologic and a sign of continuing oral dependent traits and “insecurity”.

Interesting. Maybe I was too quick to dismiss thumbsucking.

As previously mentioned, nail biting, pen or pencil chewing and chewing gum are additional manifestations of an oral fixation along with thumbsucking which have their basis in possibly pathologic and abherent extentions of the oral dependent period of infancy.

The question posed is, “Is persistent swigging on bottled water a manifestation of an oral fixation?”

Therefore, do Barack Obama and Howard Dean have manifestations of emotional insecurity exhibited by their occasional but frequently noted public swigging on bottled water?

What do you think?

References:

1. Solomon P, Patch VD et al. “Child Psychiatry, Childhood Development”. Handbook of Psychiatry (3rd Ed.), 1974: p.523.
2. Ibid. “Thumbsucking”: p. 530

Bush’s Upcoming Proposal to Overhaul Financial Regulation

Knology – News

Like John McCain, I’m no economist or financial expert. Neither are Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. Both of the Democratic candidates are quick to point out John McCain’s statement that he doesn’t know much about the economy. McCain’s honesty is refreshing and should be lauded rather than ridiculed.

After spending several years of retirement watching CNBC and Bloomberg trying to figure out the best way to make investments, I’ve come to the conclusion that the so-called “experts” don’t really know that much about it either.

That’s not to say that economists with bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees don’t have a lot of knowledge regarding economic history and theory, but it’s also very apparent that there are as many opposing views about economics and the application of economic theory as there are political opinions. Everyone, well, almost everyone, has 20-20 hindsight. There are some out there that will still argue that the sky is green and not blue.

It almost humorous to watch CNBC (my current favorite) invite economists and financial experts with opposing views onto their various programs to “duke it out”. It’s sort of like, “If you get enough views expressed on your program, in all probability, one of them will be proven to be true … in a given circumstance.”

I’ve noticed also, if the market is down on a particular day, CNBC will get the nay sayers, the prophets of doom and gloom, to come on and say, “I told you so.” If the market is up or showing signs of improvement, they’ll get the preachers of “good times are here forever” on their shows to match the market sentiments. When the market is “iffy”, get ready for both and a string of heated arguments. Then there’s Cramer, Jim Cramer. This guy’s so influential that you can’t afford not to watch him. But, hold your breath. If he happens to trash that favorite stock you just purchased, get ready to watch it plummet to the bottom of the cesspool. If you’re really lucky, you’ve done your research ahead of him and his callers and are holding a stock that he mentions favorably on his show that everyone’s been ignoring. Then you can watch it climb astronomically in after hours trading as his listeners try to get the jump on the next morning’s trading. I think the only group that may be more fanatic are the followers of Warren Buffett’s portfolio. Simply look at Burlington Northern as the latest example of Buffett’s influence. Warren Buffett could buy stock in a company that packages dog poop for party favors and the stock would go up 20 points.

I manage several portfolios for my mother so I have the responsibility to her and my siblings of not loosing the family inheritance. It’s a formidable responsibility to try to maintain and enhance her fragile investments which are a significant part of the sum of her life’s work and savings.

I am old enough to remember the out of control economy of the Carter presidency with nearly 10% unemployment and interest rates passing 20%. I was in the unfavorable position of having to buy my second home at an interest rate of nearly 15% in 1983.

The facts above really make me wonder at the demagoguery of Democratic pundits complaining about the current 5% unemployment and the “high” interest rates running between six and seven per cent recently. You would think all of them were born yesterday. Or, more accurately, they’re treating the American public like we were born yesterday … with short attention spans and even shorter memories. I give my dog credit for a better memory than they seem to attribute to the American public.

The fact that so many people have been getting into trouble with minimal increases in interest rates on their adjustable rate home loans and the massive crisis this has caused in banking and investment institutions is a reflection of the lack of adequate oversight by the federal regulatory bodies who have been given that responsibility.

There are already laws on the books regarding proper lending practices and these have been completely ignored by the lending institutions and the federal agencies who have the responsibility to exercise that oversight. This is criminal and the justice department should have enough investigations and pending cases to keep it busy for a very, very, very long time. These should include not only corporate personnel but the bureaucratic bumpkins responsible for the oversight.

Adjustable rate mortgages are not new. I don’t know whether the subprime lending practices are new, but someone in a position of responsibility should have been diligent and alert … sensing that the real estate bubble wasn’t going to last forever and someone eventually would be left holding the bag … like a chain letter.

Anyone over forty years old should remember the real estate bubble that burst in the late 1970’s. That’s just not that long ago.

I can recall when, even in the rural community where I grew up in central Georgia, agricultural land appreciated to valuations ranging from $1200 to $3000 an acre. This was 50 miles from any urban centers. The land became practically too expensive to buy for farming. When the bubble burst, the land depreciated to a more realistic $200 to $300 an acre … and that was the best land. The current crisis was predictable.

Fortunately, I became very uneasy about what was going on in 2006, a full year before the meltdown began, and got my mother out of banking and financial stocks and resisted the temptation to jump into the blind elation that was rampant during 2007 which ran these stocks up before their sudden collapse.

I was no more prophetic in 2006 exercising caution with financial stocks than Barack Obama was in 2002 when he spoke out against a war in Iraq. There was one big difference in our actions, though. My actions were based on experience and his was based in ideology.

Barack Obama has already vaguely outlined a plan, or at least his desire, to increase the regulation of financial institutions. The Democrats may oppose the Bush recommendations simply to forestall President Bush from stealing their thunder. That, in itself, would be reprehensible since there is an immediate need to fill in any gaps which may exist in the ability of the government to oversee the financial markets. Any improvement in this ability is better than none. The politicians shouldn’t be “playing politics” with this crucial necessity. I don’t know that they can be trusted to resist the temptation … probably not.

By the way, someone should inform Obama that having his picture taken with Warren Buffett doesn’t make him a financial guru. Maybe Obama and his wife should get an IRA or 401-k (which neither have according to their tax returns) and see what it feels like to try to invest for the future. Even a little experience would help if he’s going to be president. I suppose he’s counting on the federal retirement system to take care of that problem. That’s arrogance … or stupidity. Take your choice.

Regardless, the current crisis isn’t simply a product of the Bush administration and has nothing to do with his economic views. It has resulted as a lack of proper oversight and could have been deterred to a large degree, if not in entirety, if existing laws had been enforced. This is the responsibility of a career bureaucracy which is little, if any, changed from administration to administration. It is also the responsibility of the Congress which has been too busy with political bickering, both Republican and Democratic, to fulfill their responsibility to the American public. Frankly, I’m sick and tired of their finger pointing.

Some bureaucratic heads need to roll … from low to high. And … people need to be held accountable and criminally prosecuted if warranted from property appraisers and loan officers to high corporate officials.

Jeremiah Wright’s Misrepresentation of the Tuskegee Study

Listening to the sound bites of Jeremiah Wright’s inflammatory sermons, we repeatedly hear his claim that blacks were given syphilis by the United States government. It is the prominent part of his justification for his claim that the government “invented” AIDS for the purpose of genocide against black people.

We also hear black ministers use the Tuskegee Study as validation of Wright’s claims in his sermons and a justification of their paranoia.

I was first introduced to information about this study many years ago, in fact just a few years after the study had ended and, somehow, Wright’s claim that black men were “given” syphilis just didn’t have the ring of truth to it. The study was taught as a classic example of how studies of medical treatment can go terribly wrong over the process of time and was part of the basis for new and more strigent criteria and guidelines for setting up studies in medical research.

The study was begun in the early 1930’s when the only treatment for syphilis were toxic heavy metals such as arsenic and less toxic silver salts. The study was set up to determine if treatment with these substances were, in fact, beneficial to the persons receiving the treament. Part of the study was a cohort of patients who were untreated versus a group who was treated with the standard treatments of the time.

The major problem with the study comes when penicillin became standard and accepted treatment for syphilis in 1947. The study didn’t end until 1972 and the untreated cohort remained untreated and uninformed about the availability of effective treatment.The study was conducted by the U. S. Public Health Service. See:

href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuskegee_Study_of_Untreated_Syphilis_in

_the_Negro_Male”>Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male</a>.

The U.S. Public Health Service didn’t obtain informed consent and didn’t offer treatment when effective treatment became available … for about 25 years … which was reprehensible.

What the U.S. Public Health Service did not do, as Jeremiah Wright claims, was infect the persons in the study with syphilis.

While using the study as an example of how blacks may have been discriminated against by not being offered treatment when available, to state that the government infected the patients with syphilis is both disingenious and a lie.

The question has to asked, “Why would Reverend Jeremiah Wright with all his degrees and reported intelligence, at a minimum, distort the truth or, more accurately, simply outright lie about the study?”

What points is he trying to make with his fallacious claims?

I can only surmise that it suites his purpose, and the purpose of others like him, to promote a sense of fear and distrust among blacks of the government (run by rich white people) and white people in general. Is this part of Barack Obama’s “typical white person” stereotype.

Frankly, I’m surprised that no one else has pointed out this discrepancy in Wright’s statements since the true information is so readily available. Any physician or medical researcher should know that Jeremiah Wright just wasn’t being honest … and that says a lot about his character. I think it also says a lot about his ardent supporters, their honesty, integrity, judgment and thoroughness.

Tonight, I’ve heard a lot of black ministers step up in a news interview defending Jeremiah Wright claiming that Wright’s methods of preaching are typical of black ministers. I would hope that lying and distorting the truth isn’t “typical” for black ministers. Then they’re less ministers and more demagogues like Jim Baker and Jerry Swiggert.

Bingo!!!! Ideology versus Theology

I knew something was stinking up the woodpile but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Then I ran across this post:

http://pullonsupermanscape.typepad.com/pull_on_supermans_cape/2008/03/

identity-religi.html

This is a must read for anyone trying to figure out what’s going on … and everyone should read it.

Basically, Barack Obama is Jeremiah Wright, just pulled out of the gutters of south Chicago and dressed in an Ivy League suit, cleaned up to be more palatable to moderate Americans.

This Black Liberation “Theology” is about a foreign to Christianity as Islam is. It’s no small wonder that Louis Farakan received an award from Wright’s church.

Wright is somehow justified because he “does good” in south Chicago. Well, Hesbollah and Hamas are praised for “doing good” in Lebanon and Gaza strip. If you buy one, you buy the other.

Barack Obama would love to make this about black versus white, the “oppressed” versus the perceived “priveleged” … turning the race card to his own advantage, inciting a type of social warfare … which he’s done, so far, fairly effectively.

Somehow, I get the feeling that American democracy hasn’t been so threatened internally since demagogues like William Jennings Bryan, Huey Long or Joe McCarthy. Each had their own political era and message, but the intent was just the same. No, I’d go further than that. He smells a little of Fidel Castro wooing the middle class in Cuba or even Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.

I’m curious as to how gullible the American public really is and am beginning to appreciate the precarious success of FDR against the likes of Huey Long in the 1930’s, basically a “moderate” populist against a demagogue.

The funny thing is that Bill Clinton has met his master, someone who can sweet talk the public better than he did for eight years. And, now that they’re in competition per his surrogate, Hillary, the same crowd that threw roses at his feet in adulation are now feeding him to the lions.

All hail Barack, the new master!!

And the sycophants are falling at his feet; ergo, Bill Richardson!