Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Health Care and the two parties.

Why is gay marriage such a big deal to American party lines? One reason, I suggest, is the fact that married couples in the US recieve over 100 different benefits and rights that unmarried couples do not. Here's a list of the top 100 from WI (LIST).

Having health care is a big deal. Maybe we don't realize it now because we are still under the parent's blanket of care, or maybe our parents don't have health care and we are coasting as students. But the fact is that in 2004, 45.8 million people were without health insurance coverage(1) . Do you know the costs of health care without insurance? Crazy-sad if you think about all the people with illnesses and injuries who can't afford to be fixed.

I'm not saying that the reason conservatives don't want people to be getting fixed, but by deniying marriage rights to those couples who seek it, that is what is happening. Not to mention the 200+ other rights denied to couples who are not a married man and woman.

Along with abortion, it is one thing to say something is morally wrong according to your beliefs, but it is an entirely other thing to deny rights and benefits to people who need them. I just think all people who are broken should be able to get fixed- that seems like a "moral value" to me.

1. Source

Monday, September 25, 2006

Mr. Webb. and hiskicks-

I love how opposition parties love to claim that their opponent is somehow "offensive" or "out of lines". The first amendment is not intended to protect uncontroversial speech. And yes, a majority of supreme court justices would certainly agree that, in this case, the wearing of army boots is political speech (see: Tinker v. Des Moine 393 U.S. 503).
This is like Green's response to Doyle when Doyle mentioned that most Wisconsinites property taxes went up, and that the average wisconsinite experienced a "x" percent growth, and oh Green, his property taxes went down.
Green claimed that it is "below-the-belt" to mention this. Yeah obviously he does. And if you are pro-Bush, then every anti-war rant is offensive. (The republicans that claim this are of the same party as the abortion protestors who, by blowing up photos of rarely performed, medical-necessity cases of aborted fetuses, try to mislead people about the real abortion issue. --Oh thats not offensive-)

Back to Mr. Webb.
Having served in the Military myself, (and still being up for activation until Feb 2008), I can tell you that whether Mr. Webb and his son disagree or not is not the issue. Mr. Webb isn't speaking on behalf of his son, he's speaking on behalf of his constituents, and clearly it is resonating.

Oh and do you think the cowboy boots aren't part of his opponents image, somehow the republicans are above political and media consultants and PR campaigns that dominate every other facet of american life.

Rock the boots. Rock the Vote.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Read the article. Mr. Webb served in Vietnam under Regan. His response to Iraq war comments have been, “I know what it’s like to be on the ground. I know what it’s like to fight a war like this, and either — there are limits to what the military can do. Eventually, this is going to have to move into a diplomatic environment, and that’s where this administration seems to have blinders. They are not talking to Syria, they are not talking to Iran, and there are ways that we can do this, move this forward.”

"Asked at a news conference last week if he felt torn about his son heading to Iraq, given his views on the war, Mr. Webb replied: 'My son is doing what our family has always done. I’m very proud of his service. Like most people in the military, we separate politics out from service to country.'"

I don't really buy into the unconditionalness many ask when supporting the troops. It is very possible to support the troops but not the war. In fact, I think the best way to support them is by bringing them home, or out of harms way.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I would be willing to bet that Mr. Webb is gennerating a lot of support based off the fact that he has a son in iraq. Personally i have lost a friend to the war in iraq, and still have friends who still serve there, however, i still support them in their fight to protect freedom and democracy. I find it offensive that he would use his sons honerable contribution to this coutry as a means to premote his own career.

Monday, September 18, 2006

“There are no cowboys in Virginia.” -James Webb's son, NY Times

In an interesting Times article about Virginia's Senate race (, two canidate's differences are evident from head to foot.
Literally though.

Highlighting this senate race (amongst, you know, real issues) is the contrasting footwear of the two canidates. Dem. James Webb wears his son's combat boots while incumbant Rep. George Allen wears cowboy boots. Interestingly enough, a central issue is over the war in Iraq- Webb in opposition to it. Webb has a navy history in Vietnam and a son in Iraq right now, giving him quite a voice on the topic. All Allen can say is that he supports the president and denounces the "Monday-morning quarterbacking."

With a late start in the campaign and the obvious incumbant obstacales Mr. Webb as to face, including far less funds, he is doing quite well in the polls about 4 percentage points behind Mr. Allen. Virginia is sizing up to be a very competitive race- and one that would help the Democratic party gain some control in Congress.

I guess my beef with a race like this- canidates like these and many others, is the lack of understanding I have for many republican voters. Fiscally I understand why someone who is wealthy would vote conservative, but I really don't understand the psyche of rural southerners. Is it all the religious/moral issues? And if so, what puts abortion and gay rights above social justice and capital punishment. Maybe I need a regional context or maybe I come from a rural, Catholic, farming family who is the exception to the rule, but the fact the republican party has such a stronghold in non-urban, poorer regions is in many ways beyond me.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


I voted. I think it's a very important thing to do- even more so because I am part or a voting block that is more of a non-voting block. At the same time, I had a hard time motivating anyone else to vote yesterday in our state's primary and I'm trying to figure out why.

First off, many people I talked to (outside of my political science classes) really had no idea it was voting day, much less what a primary was. But don't jump to criticize who my friends are before you examine this primary more in depth.

To try and support the idea of primaries, I threw out things like: "It gets at pickin the best canidate that will run in November... for certain offices like Governor and District Attorney." Another thing was that most of the people who I was encouraging to vote were in the very building that the could a) register them to vote on that day and b) vote in less than 15 minutes. Needless to say, it was still a hard sell.

But even informed citizens don't necessarily like primaries. Generally, anyone who is middle of the line, moderate, unsure, not that enthused, or really anything but a dedicated and informed voting citizen tends to not show up to the primaries like voters on the further ends of the spectrum. This leads to "moderate casualties" in some cases (1).

There are issues outside of voter ignorance that deters primary voters as well. Voting for a party could also add to the deterance.

I understand that parties as a whole don't like the idea of going head to head with two members of the same party, but I think it's important to look at how canidates could or should be picked if primaries were none. It seems there would be quite a lot of under-the-table canidates on the ballots. Maybe that is already a problem, but there would be individuals given no chance from the get-go.

Is a primary vote too much for the American public to handle? If so, is the lack of interest or desire to vote in the primaries enough to reform the voting system? To me, it's shameful that the numbers are so low that reform of the system is really a formidable option. But I guess the low voting percentages are a reality that the United States system has to face. I think US citizens should not focus on what their bumper magnet says as much as their country's voter turnout.


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

salutations, thanks for the invite.

Monday, September 11, 2006

This is my welcome blog.

hello and welcome.