Monday, February 20, 2006

President's Day post
It is interesting to ponder the consolidation of these two important holidays in February - Washington's Birthday and Lincoln's Birthday - into one generic "President's Day." Was this an anti-union conspiracy? A way of taking a holiday away from the average working man [or woman]?
In the rage to name everything after Ronald Reagan, where is the "Reagan's Birthday" holiday, along with Washington and Lincoln? Not that I think the guy should get a day of his own but I'm just surprised his fans haven't tried to promote it. You can almost hear how that would go over in the halls of Congress: 'Oh, well, we can't do that, it would go against capitalism, forcing companies to offer a paid holiday on Feb. 6, blah, blah, blah ...' [and what's with the February birthdays?].
Andy Rooney had a great bit on "60 Minutes" last night lamenting that naming the holiday after all the presidents insinuates that they have all been worthy of a holiday. It was a good point; made all the more relevant when you think how great Lincoln was compared to recent batch of boneheads we've had in the Oval Office.

Speaking of presidents, has anyone else been watching this issue of handing over our ports to a company owned for a foreign government, specifically, the UAE ["Democrats plan bill to block Dubai port deal"]? What good is a War on Terror if we are handing over regulation of some of our biggest ports to company which could be potentially infiltrated by terrorists? It almost seems as though the administration is trying to allow a dirty bomb into the country! They are doing nothing about the porous borders; they are doing nothing about trying to heal the problems our nation has with the Muslim world; now, they want to hand over operation of our biggest ports to a strange company owned by an unstable Middle Eastern country? Insane. At least that is what one dad of a 9-11 victim thinks: ["'President's gone insane' - 9/11 dad "].
"'I'm a lifelong Republican and I think the President's gone insane,' said Gadiel, 58, who heads 9/11 Families for a Secure America.
Two of the 19 9/11 hijackers were citizens of Dubai, the Arab emirate whose bid to run ports in New York, New Jersey and four other cities was okayed by the White House even though investigators have found signs that money used to finance terrorism flowed through Dubai banks."
Well, yeah, insane just about nails it, eh? No true conservative and no one in their right mind would allow this to happen. But without checks and balances, without fighting opposition parties, this kind of stuff is bound to happen. Thankfully, some folks seemed to be trying to stop it.

Speaking of the "fighting opposition," here is interesting column by another Nader defender - Bob Koehler, of Tribune Media Services - about his problems with some folks on the Web: ["The Nader Effect: Democrats are chasing ghosts instead of Republicans"]. I especially like this:
"While the ghost of McGovern, who was mauled by Richard Nixon in 1972, is the most deeply ingrained and enfeebling, seeming to guarantee uncritical Democratic support ("we love America, honest") for every cynical Republican military or civil-liberties outrage concocted in the name of national security, the ghost of Nader is the most life-threatening. Its effect is emetic, causing an immediate discharge of rationality among the party faithful at every hint of a challenge from the party's values base. The Nader Effect causes Democrats to upchuck the very medicine that will save it."
Exactly. The medicine is simple: Stand for something. Imagine, that a column entitled "Give Peace a Vote," would garner such madness from those people who propose to be the saviors of the nation? Koehler's offense, of course, was suggesting that someone better could represent the 8th District of Illinois instead of the incumbent Democrat. And, with Democrats like this - she voted for the bankruptcy bill, the estate tax repeal, CAFTA, the AHP bill that guts state healthcare protection laws, the Enron/Halliburton energy bill, the PATRIOT Act, the Real ID Act, the Iraq War, another bloated defense budget, the flag desecration amendment, and the recent leave-no-millionaire-behind "tax relief" bill, according to Independent candidate Bill Scheurer's Web site [] - who needs Republicans?
Plus, why are they eating their own ["Backroom Battles "]? This is the kind of potential candidates the Democrats need:
"Hackett, an Iraq War combat veteran, was hailed last summer as just the kind of “fighting Democrat” the party needed to reinvigorate its base and end its years in the congressional wilderness. After narrowly losing a race for Congress in a lopsidedly Republican district outside Cincinnati last August, the telegenic veteran—famous for dissing President Bush as a “chickenhawk” and “sonuvabitch” while on the stump—was courted heavily by Democratic leaders, including Sens. Charles Schumer and Harry Reid, to take on DeWine. But no sooner did Hackett enter the Senate race last October than Brown announced his candidacy for Senate, reversing an earlier decision he had made to stay out of the race."
Now don't get me wrong, Rep. Sherrod Brown doesn't sound like a bad guy. But why should Schumer and Reid even be involved in this? They are from New York and Nevada, respectively, not Ohio.

Retirement. Once you hit 40, you start thinking about it. You may not be doing much about it, but you are starting to think about it. I worry about it too and not just because I have a very young son and I am wondering about all those things he may need in the future. But, I wonder if I will ever see retirement and whether or not that is such a bad thing.
And, this isn't just about Social Security solvency or beach homes, this is about retirement in general ... the act of not working ... on something. I wonder if I will really ever be able to retire. Not just because I may not have the money to retire, but the fact that I probably won't be able to stop working.
I like working. I like working hard. I always have even when I was doing menial things like washing dishes. There is no indignity in work and the more fulfilling, the better. Plus, what can you do in retirement when you have done almost everything you've ever wanted? Can you spend the whole rest of your life living on a beach catching up on your reading? I go stir crazy after a week away from work. How am I going to handle not working at all?
Anyhow, this whole thread of thought recently came to me after I read this article: ["Retirement age 'should reach 85'"]. Hey, I'm all for working late in life ... but 85? That seems a bit much. I might not fully retire but I don't want to wait until 85! Come on.

2008. Interesting articles in the Sundays this week about 2008: ["Primary buzz is building early"] and this: ["Pols lining up at the gate for 2008"]. As well as this from earlier in the week: ["Conservatives Divided on '08 Candidate"].

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