I Have a Gripe

October 30, 2010

Should the President Stump for Fellow Dems?

So, here I am watching President Obama stumping for Dick Blumenthal in Connecticut. I’ve been thinking about this for awhile and I would love to hear from my readership on this thought.

I know that both parties have sent the President and/or First Lady to stump for their fellow party members during a campaign. However, should they be doing that? Let’s face it, it isn’t cheap for the President to fly around and when he goes anywhere, it is on the taxpayer’s dime, not the party or the candidate. The same should go for the First Lady. We pay for her travel as well.

The President is supposed to represent all Americans, not just those in his party. Therefore, I really believe once he gets into office, he shouldn’t be allowed to stump. Regardless of party. Period. When the President partakes in partisan rhetoric, he only represents those in his party and potentially alienates the rest of the nation.

So, am I being overly-sensitive? I would love to hear the thoughts of my readers.

Another Example Why if you See Something, Say Something

Yesterday, the United States once again averted disaster when suspicious packages that were confirmed as explosive devices were discovered on their way to our nation.

These packages were sent via UPS and FedEx from Yemen and headed for Jewish organizations in the Chicago-area. How were they discovered? An alert employee inspecting packages. Additional “test” packages were found across the United States.

This illustrates two items; first, Middle East nuts (that are yes, Muslims) are still trying to kill us. They are trying many different ways to reach us and as President Bush and other law enforcement officials remind us, they only need to be right once; we need to be right every time.

Second, it is important for the public to remain vigilant. If you see something, say something! It is our responsibility to help law enforcement to keep this nation safe. A perfect example is the attempt on Times Square. A street vendor saw something suspicious and helped law enforcement avert disaster.

Don’t forget…we all need to work together to keep us all safe!

October 21, 2010

NPR Shows Their True Colors

On Wednesday, 10-year commentator at NPR (National Public Radio), Juan Williams, was terminated from NPR due to comments said on “The O’Reilly Factor” the previous evening.

Now I will say I disagree with close to 90 percent of what Mr. Williams says, however, to me, this shows NPR’s true colors. In my humble opinion, NPR is a left-leaning media outlet. Now I would normally not have a problem with that, however, NPR is funded by our tax dollars. This, is a problem to me.

According to statements from NPR today, his termination had more to do with a history of comments giving his opinion as opposed to reporting on news, which clashes with their focus on hard news and his most recent comments were somewhat like the straw that broke the camel’s back. They are now backtracking slightly regarding how they handled the situation. NPR CEO Vivian Schiller just released this statement: “I spoke hastily and I apologize to Juan and others for my thoughtless remark.”

Fox News Analysts have come to Mr. Williams’ defense, including former Governor Mike Huckabee who has said he will no longer accept interviews on NPR.

Now we all know that if Fox News fired a pundit that is left-leaning due to comments said on another station, the uproar would be huge. There is a political correctness that has taken over this country that is not only shameful, but dangerous. I, for one, will not be a part of it.

I personally agree with Mr. Williams’ thoughts. I have been on a plane only once since 9-11 and I was so nervous and upset about it, I wrote out a will-like document on a legal pad and needed a tranquilizer from my doctor just to get on the plane. If I see someone who has not really assimilated to the American culture getting on a plane, and yes, this includes Muslims in traditional garb, you are damn right I am going to notice. To me, this is no different from me being more aware when I am getting on an elevator and there are several men and no women. What does that make me? Anti-men? Just like Mr. Williams, I also agree that we need to move past that fear and there are a number of steps that need to happen to get to that point, on both sides.

So I say shame on NPR for their ridiculous decision. I will be personally writing NPR and my Congressman regarding their ongoing support to the radio station. I will also be writing Fox News to applaud them for supporting him and should expand his “Wednesdays with Juan” segment into a full show. I encourage everyone who reads this to do the same.

October 16, 2010

Football, Loyalty and Perfection

OK, I’ll admit, many may see this as a post discussing something somewhat, well, silly, compared to the major issues of today. However, trust me when I tell you, read to the end and you will see there is a message here.

I love professional football. I grew up watching football in a household with Giants fans, Pittsburgh fans, Houston (Oilers, that is) fans, Redskins fans and San Francisco fans (me). Sunday was an awesome day in my house. Grandma’s macaroni and fried meatballs, my cousins over, playing gin with my Uncle Tony, and of course, football. It was a great day.

Those were the days of Staubach, Bradshaw, Montana, Swann, Payton and Rice. Whenever I play the “Pick Six” in New Jersey, I actually have a set of numbers that are all the jersey numbers of my favorite players. I remember watching “The Steel Curtain” and loving every minute of it.

Now, why am I telling you all this, you are probably wondering at this point? It is simple, these players, and those teams, represented two things to me; the constant pursuit of perfection and loyalty. They worked as a team and not as an individual just trying to increase their numbers so they could negotiate a better contract. There was no such thing as collective bargaining and there was respect for your coach. You started your NFL career with a team and you ended your career with that team. I mean, seriously, can you imaging Bradshaw playing in Minnesota? Payton in Buffalo? Never. Period.

When Montana left San Francisco to go to Kansas City, I was not just mad at San Francisco management for treating a player that defined the meaning of excellence, but I was mad at him. He was a 49er. How could he ever be part of any other team? It killed me. Over time, I got over it, but it still killed me. This is my favorite player of all time. He was single-handedly the reason why I was, and always will be, a San Francisco fan. Just like back then with the players, fans stick with their team through good times and bad.

Players today could learn by taking a page from these classic players. They believed in teamwork and loyalty. They played for the love of the game. They were aware that their actions off the field were a reflection on not just them, but their team. Everyone is entitled to make a good living, but the showboating and bragging that goes on today and the attention they require is shameful. Look at that nonsense with Darrelle Revis this year. Shameful.

These players taught important life lessons, not just lessons on the field.

See? I told you there was a point. I hope I made it.


October 15, 2010

Who is the Next GOP Star?

While the mid-term elections are still a few weeks away, many are starting to think about who in the GOP will be strong enough to go up against the President in 2012.

Now, let’s think about this. Even though the President’s numbers are dropping, he still has this “rock star” quality. He is young, a minority with a great life story overcoming many challenges in his life, has cute kids and a very popular wife. Not since the Kennedy White House has there been this “perfect family” feel. He is also charismatic, a great orator (as long as he has his teleprompter in tow) and is media savvy. Whether we like it or not, in today’s media-rich world, you have to have a love affair with the camera and the media as a whole. The GOP needs a rock star.

In the previous Presidential election, McCain just didn’t have it. As soon as it came down to Obama or Clinton, I knew we were screwed. Let’s think about this, an old white guy, the first serious female candidate or the first serious minority candidate? The decision was obvious. The GOP wasn’t going to win.

I have been mulling this over for awhile and I’ve come up with a list of potential candidates. Some I like, some I don’t.

Sarah Palin: Whether you like her or not, she can definitely energize the base, raise money and draw serious crowds. Unfortunately, she also seems to be very polarizing. The mainstream media hates her and you can forget support from the NOW. In my humble opinion, she should focus more on possibly becoming the head of the GOP as opposed to the head of the free world.

Bobby Jindal: Now, this guy, I like. Even though he didn’t do well delivering the GOP response after the State of the Union, he came off as very strong leader during the Gulf oil crisis. Way stronger than Obama. He is young, has experience in the Executive branch of government, unlike Obama in 2008, he served in his state government and in 2008, he was ranked as one of the most popular Governors at 77 percent. He is the son of immigrants, providing a great life story, even delivering one of his children at home when there was no time to get to the hospital. He is definitely a force to be reckoned with.

Mike Huckabee: I really like this guy. I supported him in the last Presidential election and was very sorry when he dropped out. I love his ideas on the flat tax. He also has executive experience as Arkansas’ Governor, again, another skill Obama sorely lacked. I believe he is true of heart and comes from a solid family upbringing. Sadly, I don’t think he will ever get a fair shot due to his conservative views (he was a Minister) and think he would make a better running-mate than the head honcho on the ticket.

Mitt Romney: I have to be honest, I can’t stand him. He is way too slick for me and reminds me more of a used car salesman than a President. He comes from a wealthy background, which I don’t think bodes well these days when trying to understand “the common man.” I believe his missionary work is certainly laudable, but I don’t think it is enough, especially that he did it in France instead of some poor third-world country, or even a tough city in the U.S., like his hometown Detroit.

Condoleezaa Rice: I would LOVE to see her run. She has the complete package. A great life story, excellent foreign policy experience and no real “controversies” in her history that I know of. She is a professor, an accomplished musician, a diplomat, incredibly intelligent, a woman and a minority. She would be a formidable opponent. The only “issue” I can think of is that the Dems might claim the GOP would “use her” to offset the minority-status of the President, as well as being a female to offset Hillary Clinton, in case she decides to make another run, which I believe is a serious possibility. She doesn’t believe in affirmative action, an opinion I personally love and Barbara Boxer doesn’t like her, which to me is a plus. Let’s face it, she is one tough cookie!

John McCain: Forget it. Moving on…

Cory Booker: Yeah, yeah, I know. He is a Dem. But I would love to see him “switch sides” and run on the GOP ticket. He has worked hard to bring Newark from the depths of despair and I believe is true to his word. A rarity in politics.

Chris Christie: I don’t know about 2012, but I could definitely see him trying for a run in the future. As a Jersey-girl and the wife of a teacher, I have mixed feelings on this one. In Jersey, you are used to an “in your face” attitude, but I don’t know how it would bode in the Bible belt or the Midwest. Only time will tell on this one.

This is sort of my GOP “watch list.” Personally, I would like to see a ticket of Rice and Huckabee. I think they would provide a great balance of opinions. Rice/Jindal would be a solid ticket as well. Rice has been starting to come back to the public eye recently, which makes me think she could be considering a run. Only time will tell…

October 13, 2010

What a Wonderful World it Would Be…

Filed under: International News — alvb1227 @ 1:32 pm

Like many around the world, I have been watching the rescue of the miners in Chile. This has been a true blessing and while I continue to hold my breath that each man comes up safe, I had a few thoughts.

During the ongoing commentary, they spoke about all the countries that have come together. The United States sent mine experts, NASA sent different technologies, such as the IV fluids used and compression garments to help prevent clots on the ascent. Oakley donated the specialized glasses the miners needed to help adjust their eyes to the light. The Bolivian President came to the site to welcome the one Bolivian stuck in the mine 69 days. South African engineering teams have helped throughout the entire process.

Prayers and well wishes from around the world have been posted online. I’ve seen posts from Africa, Greece, the U.S. and more.

Now, I am far from an expert on international affairs, but from my understanding Bolivia and Chile aren’t exactly the best of friends, but they worked together, along with countries from around the world to help. Chile wasn’t afraid to ask for help and many countries answered the call. As far as I know, countries like Iran didn’t offer help, but still, I think it shows a great human spirit. Countries put politics aside and worked together to focus on a solitary goal – saving these men.

See what happens when politics is put aside and people work together? What a wonderful world it would be…

October 1, 2010

Feds Consider Buying Flood Zone Homes in NJ

So, I just saw a report onĀ  my local ABC news station that there is a plan underway to either purchase homes that repeatedly flood in Little Falls, Pompton Plains and Wayne, NJ and level them in order to return the area to the marsh land it originally was or to raise the foundation of these homes, both at the cost of the taxpayers.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing so I did some additional research online. Lo and behold, I found an article online about a grant that will raise the foundation of 34 homes. The real kicker to me is that people who are not eligible for this grant opportunity are actually complaining! A quote from the article reads: ‘Lisa Shoaib has one such home, directly on the banks of the Passaic. She is disappointed, asking “If it’s not the ones who are directly on the river like us, then who’s getting it?” ‘

Now, this is simply ridiculous. These people knowingly purchased a home in a flood zone. Now tax dollars are going to be used to purchase their homes or help raise their foundations? I’m sorry, but if you purchase a home in an flood zone, I have absolutely no sympathy for you. You rolled the dice. I’m not going to pay the bet when you loose.

We are not talking about some freak flood that reached an area that has never flooded before and these people need help. We are talking about people who were dumb enough to buy in towns like Pompton Plains, Little Falls and Wayne in NJ. Since I was a child, I watched flooding near the Willowbrook Mall. Flooding in this area is never a shocker. There are additional areas that flood regularly, but it seems the focus is always on these towns.

So, wise up people. You don’t want flood damage? Don’t buy a home on the banks of the Passaic River in a flood zone.

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