Saturday, May 31, 2008

A Resolve to Florida and Michigan

It seems that we may have seen the end to the Florida and Michigan issue. I watched a little bit of it today when both sides made their cases and both Clinton and Obama had some very passionate individuals speak on their behalf. I didn't catch her name, but a black female state senator from Florida made a very passionate and eloquent case for Clinton in regards to Florida. On the opposite side I thought Rep. Wexler did an outstanding job representing the Obama camp as he made his case. Another very eloquent speech.

I did wish that the Chair would've taken action against the Clinton and Obama supporters in the audience who were being disrespectful such as yelling during speeches and booing. It wasn't very appropriate at all.

I think that in the end the DNC made the fairest compromise that they could do.

There was no way that the Clinton camp's Michigan proposal was going to fly. They wanted Clinton with I believe 73 or so delegates. The remaining 55 or so would be uncommitted at the convention.

Sometimes politics is all about compromises. Just as Henry Clay.

So they decided to seat all the delegates, but give them half votes. I am not sure how super delegates are affected by this. They may be included in the numbers I'm going to show, they may not be. The media doesn't really say that right now. If they are, I'm not seeing it anywhere.

Clinton got 105 delegates from Florida and 69 from Michigan. Because the votes are halved, she has a total of 87 votes.

Obama got 67 from Florida and 59 from Michigan leaving him with 63 votes.

So Obama leads Clinton by 178 delegates.

The so-called magic number is now 2117 which means that Obama is now short roughly 64 delegates. There are 291 left which includes the uncommitted superdelegates.

There is the possibility and Clinton backer Harold Ickes suggested that she may appeal this decision to the Credentials Committee. It looks like she may have to wait until Denver to do so. We will have to wait and see.

She certainly has the right to fight this to the convention, but is it the best thing to do? It is expected that a convention battle for an election this contested may leave some damage. Maybe the Dems won't be able to fully unite for the fall. After the convention they have about three months to do this. At least if she concedes in June the Democrats have some healing time. However I nor anybody else really has the right to tell her to quit. We can merely suggest it.

I just hope that this ends well. I do not believe that Clinton has any shot at becoming the nominee. As for November? It is way too early to call anything. McCain may have a head start, but once the ball gets rolling I have a feeling the Democrats will catch up to him. I could be wrong about that. We cannot predict an election now. The Democrats however need to get their nominee and they need to get ready to face the Republicans.

That's how I see it.

Friday, May 30, 2008

In the Utterly Stupid Catergory The Winner Is....

Dunkin' Doughnuts and Michelle Malkin.

I just got a shudder when I put Michelle Malkin into the same sentence with the word "winner".

Today the "Great Big American Threat Brought To You By the Right-Wing" isn't gays, feminists, atheists, liberals, or even Michael Moore.

The threat is....Rachel Ray and her scarf.

Believe it or not these fanatical right-wingers attacked Rachel Ray for wearing in a scarf that seems to resemble a traditional scarf worn by male Arabs.

Dunkin’ Donuts pulled an Internet ad for iced coffee featuring celebrity chef Rachael Ray, after conservative bloggers complained that Ray’s scarf offered symbolic support for Islamic terrorists. The black and white fringed scarf, they said, looks like an Arab keffiyeh, famously worn by former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

Malkin said the keffiyeh is "the traditional scarf of Arab men that has come to symbolize murderous Palestinian jihad.”

It is my understanding that millions of Arabs wear these, as well as non-Arabs in order to keep cool from the sun and to protect them from sand. Shouldn't we consider the crucifix a "terrorist" symbol due to radicals bombing abortion clinics. What about associating the cross with pedophilia because of pedophiles priests? According to Malkin's logic, we'd be doing just that.

Here is a picture of Ray in the alleged keffiyeh.

And here is Yassir Arafat wearing an actual keffiyeh.

There is no similarity whatsoever. You don't have to be trained in fashion to tell that these are two very different accessories.

It is absolutely shameful that Dunkin' Donuts would cave to the callings of an obtuse blogger such as Malkin. I am sick and tired of these fear-mongers and their thinly veiled racism.

I guess anything relating to Arabic culture is sympathetic to the terrorists. Next we will prevent school kids from reading Ali Baba since it comes from The Book of 1001 Nights. We all know that it is the book of choice terrorists use to read their kids bedtime stories from.

Malkin and the other ignorant bloggers that made this happen should be proud. They made America safer. Thanks to you, Michelle Malkin, America will not have to worry about terrorists using donuts to brainwash and attack our citizens. I salute you!

That's How I See It.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Gay Marriage and the Sunshine State

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A majority of registered Californian voters oppose changing the constitution of the most populous U.S. state to bar gays from marrying, according to poll released on Wednesday.

This is the first time that a majority of Californians approve of gay marriage. It is no surprise that the poll found a great generational gap. Those 18-29 overwhelmingly approve at 68% while those 65 and up disapprove by 55%.

However there is another recent poll that shows Californians supporting the ban by a very narrow margin.

It appears that a ballot initiative to amend California's state Constitution may end up on the ballot since it has gotten at least 1 million signatures.

I do applaud the decision by the Court and I do hope that this ballot, if it makes it onto the ballot, fails. It seems like more youth are getting involved in politics, and I am confident that enough youth (18-29) will come out and help defeat this.

I am a strong supporter of gay marriage and gay rights. Some may see it as a religious issue. I see it as an issue of human rights.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Honor Killings, Radical Islam, and Religion

What is perhaps one of the most disturbing "traditions" for a lack of a better term is the honor killing. Up until early last year I had no idea about these. For the unfamiliar let me define a "honor killing".

"The so-called "honour killings" are murders by families on family members who are believed to have brought "shame" on the family name."

It seems that in the media that the focus is on honor killings that are Islamic in nature, but I am sure that any religion that has radicals in it has the capacity to commit an honor killing.

I came across two stories, which I will link, that show two recent example of honor killings.

BERLIN (Reuters) - Police investigating the fatal stabbing of 16-year-old German girl of Afghan origin are searching for her brother on suspicion he carried what media believe may have been an "honor killing".

The article doesn't state why the brother may have killer his sister. I believe it is safe to assume that it was sexual in nature.

Over in Jordan a man was sentenced to ten years in the honor killing of his sister.

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — A man who is suspected of drowning his 22-year-old sister for having an extramarital affair was charged Monday with premeditated murder, a judicial
official said.

The article mentions how an average of 20 Jordanian women are killed because of honor killings.

I am not sure of prevalent honor killings are in the USA or if any have occurred recently. I did some research and I found an article, but it lead me to a dead link. It seems that recently, in the past few years, a Turkish immigrant was charged with an honor killing.

If you want to read an excellent article on it, here is one from Amnesty International. It states how the UN reports that at least 5,000 women are killed yearly via honor killings. The UN also notes that these crimes are VERY unreported, and understandably so.

In some nations it is legal in certain regards such as catching your wife or lover in the act of adultery. In some, even premeditation is allowed.

This final story is not related to honor killings, but I believe it emphasizes the inhumane nature of radical Islam.

LONDON (AFP) — A gay Iranian who says he faces death if forced to return home has won a deportation battle and been granted asylum in Britain, officials said.

Thankfully he was granted asylum. The young Iranian is only 19. He moved to the UK in 2004 after his boyfriend was executed. Sodomy is punishable by death in Iran.

It is an absolutely disgusting example of how radicals use religion to further their inhumane views. It is one thing to disagree about the morality of homosexuality, but it is very different than believing homosexuals should die.

There is a very great line in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice regarding citing religious scripture to justify evil deeds.

"The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose."- Antonio

I'm not intending for a debate about homosexuality, but I believe that most of us being reasonable human beings would agree that it is barbaric to execute homosexuals. We should also be reasonable enough to agree that honor killings are just as barbaric.

I will continue posting any stories about honor killings or other examples of religious radicals attacking human rights.

Throughout history we have seen how radicals can twist and contort religious teachings, how wicked men can use religion as a tool to harm mankind. In the past at the forefront was radical Christianity. Today it seems to be radical Islam.

I don't know what the answer or solution is to this. I am not religious. I am an atheist. I read Buddhism for the philosophy. I don't believe that we can really find a solution. I believe that humanity has an obligation to protect each other from all evils. Whether that evil is found in religion, in business, or in government, we have a duty to maintain a respect for human rights and protection for our fellow citizens.

I do not believe that religion is evil. I believe that man can use religion as a tool for evil purposes. There are some terrible things written in the Bible as well as most holy books. These are examples of man using it as an evil tool.

Just look at the Sermon on the Mount. That, most would agree I assume, is a fine example of a very human friendly passage from the Bible. Compare that with verses that dictate the killing of certain people and you see the difference.

I do not believe that we should be appeasing radical Islam as well. Their reaction over the Danish cartoons was almost unbelievable. Death sentences were imposed on humorists! Some of those cartoons may have been in poor taste, but that is not worth a death sentence. Could you imagine what would happen in America if the Catholics went after George Carlin? I believe that most of us would be ashamed. We should not appease any radical force that disrespects human rights.

Some may say "These are different cultures, respect their beliefs". I respect beliefs that do not impede on human rights, especially beliefs that advocate the killing of others. Especially in the name of "God" or whatever supreme being it is.

I am not suggesting what some conservative Christians in the USA do, which is that there is a war against Islam. I believe that there is a conflict between the philosophies of life and of death.

Back in the 1980s, the author of "The Satanic Verses" had a fatwa imposed against him. Radical Muslims wanted him to die. Salman Rusdhie has had a death sentence imposed over his life because of a book he wrote. A book! He has yet to be harmed, however some of those connected to the novel such as translators have been murdered.

Once radical Christianity was at the forefront of human rights abuse. Look at the Inquisition, how missionaries treated natives, etc. Radical Christianity on a global scale doesn't seem to be significantly violent. There are of course still radical Christian terrorist groups. I believe I have confidence to say that the torch has been passed and radical Islam is the religious threat to peace in today's age. Gone are the days of the Crusaders, today is the day of the militant Muslim.

On the home front it seems that the biggest debate between religious society and secular society is over the place of religion in government, gay rights, and sex and violence on t.v.

Before I close let me clear up any discrepancies and misconceptions.

I am not opposed to peaceful Christians, Muslims etc. I don't see even riled up men such as Pat Robertson as threats to peace, I see these radical evangelicals and the like as threats to progress.

What I do believe are a threat to peace are ANY member of a church, religion, or ideologue who uses their philosophy to further violence against mankind. Whether that radical is a Muslim, a Christian, an Existentialist or even an atheist it does not matter. If you advocate or carry out violence against mankind, you are a threat to peace and prosperity.

I hope that in the end reason triumphs over blind fate and hatred.

That's how I see it.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Shame on You Chris Carney

Shame on you Chris Carney. I have been following some of his votes and I have to say that I am disappointed. He is nothing more than a Blue Dog. A DINO (Democrat in Name Only).

Let's take a look at some of his votes.

He voted against Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007. It would expand the 1969 federal hate crime laws to include crimes motivated by the victim's actual or percieved gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. The bill would also do the following.

  • remove the current prerequisite that the victim be engaging in a federally-protected activity, like voting or going to school;
  • give federal authorities greater ability to engage in hate crimes investigations that local authorities choose not to pursue;
  • provide $10 million in funding for 2008 and 2009 to help State and local agencies pay for investigating and prosecuting hate crimes;
  • require the FBI to track statistics on hate crimes against transgendered people (statistics for the other groups are already tracked)

It passed the House 237-180. Carney voted along with 166 Republicans against this. I would like to know why. Only 14 Democrats, including Carney voted against it. I plan on calling his office Tuesday and inquiring. I will post an reply pending if I get one. When he campaigned he said he supported it.

What has me really perturbed about Carney is his support for tele-com immunity. Sadly for us, Carney supports immunity and he supports the extension of Bush's wiretaps.

This is an interesting tidbit from the NRCC. A moment where Hackett and Carney agree.

"Hackett and Carney agree on part of the bill. Both said telecommunications companies that were asked by the White House to engage in wiretapping should be given retroactive immunity, because they were just following federal government orders."

Telecommunications companies should NOT receive any immunity from lawsuits. If they broke the law they should be punished. I believe they did violate our civil liberties by aiding the Bush Administration by helping them carry out illegal surveillance.

He has also continued to vote against troop redeployment.

He is no better than a Republican on these rather important issues. I hope that next election a progressive has the courage to run against him. Carney is only a step backwards. Just because he is a Democrat means we are getting anywhere.

That's how I see it.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Go see Indy

Last night I saw Indy a second time, and I do recommend seeing the movie at least one other time before making a final opinion. There are some silly/bad moments in it that you will nitpick the first time around, but seeing it a second time you realize how short and brief those moments are. You realize that as a whole it is a great movie.

Is it the best? No, there was no way it could trump Raiders.

Harrison Ford is back and still holds it up as Indy. Shia is surprisingly to me really good in his role. His character is a great sidekick. Cate does a fantastic job as the villain. Karen Allen's Mario could've been put to better use, but it is nice that she is back. John Hurt plays his character very well. Finally, Ray Winstone is seemingly perfect in the portrayal of Mac.

Some may complain about the true nature of the skull, but to me it is totally believable if you can believe Indy can survive riding down a mountain on an inflatable raft or the power of the Ark.

It is a great action movie, and a good Indy movie. Here's my ranking of the films.

Raiders of the Lost Ark
The Last Crusade
Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Temple of Doom

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Indiana Jones

Tonight I'll be seeing Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. God, that's a long title. I'm hoping I get early enough for good seats since it is a midnight premier. I really hope that it is good.

I will have a review up sometime tomorrow.

"It's not the years honey, it's the mileage"

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sen. Kennedy Has a Malignant Brain Tumor

Sen. Edward Kennedy has a malignant brain tumor. The hospital treating Kennedy released a statement today saying that the tumor was found during tests after the senator had a seizure Saturday. The tumor is in his left parietal lobe. Full story soon.- Taken from

Right now there is no actual article on Sen. Kennedy's condition. I've been flipping through the Big 3 and there are talking heads mentioning how he seemed to be in good condition and was walking. One on MSNBC mentioned how Sen. Kennedy was watching movies with his sons in the hospital.

Let's hope its nothing that the Liberal Lion cannot beat. From what I've been reading and hearing, the standard treatment is radiation, surgery chemotherapy. Survival depends on where exactly it is and other factors. CNN said it is glioma. Hopefully we will know more later.

No matter what your opinion is of Sen. Kennedy, there is no denying that he is an icon for the Democratic party and liberal ideology.


There is an updated story by the AP hosted on Yahoo. From what I'm hearing, having a glioma is not a good sign. Apparently it can be fast spreading.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Popular Vote? What Popular Vote?

It seems that some of Hillary's people claim that she leads in the popular vote. People inside of her campaign have said it and so has she.

“I believe that with your help we will send a message to this country because right now more people have voted for me than have voted for my opponent."

The claim that Clinton leads the popular vote is intellectually dishonest.

I am going to be using numbers from It is an excellent site that offers links to op/eds and articles by all viewpoints, both left and right.

If we look at the total popular vote in all states that released their popular vote counts, Obama clearly has a substantial lead.

Obama: 16, 108, 538: 49.3%
Clinton: 15, 512, 424: 47.5%

That is a spread of 596, 114: + 1.8% for Sen. Obama

Now before we get into the issue of Michigan and Florida there is something to remember. Iowa, Nevada, Maine, and Washington appoint delegates via a caucus. There is no official popular vote count in these states for ANY candidates. All that we have are reported delegate equivalents. So what RCP and other news sites do to estimate these totals is take the percentage a candidate got and they take get a popular vote estimate based off of the number of people who caucused.

This is the estimation using IA, ME, WA, and NV.

Obama: 16, 442, 622: 49.3%
Clinton: 15, 736, 286: 47.2%

Spread of:

706,336: + 2.1% for Obama.

Now let's add Florida to the mix. Before we do, remember that all of the Democratic candidates pledged not to campaign there. The Clinton campaign did in September 2007 agree to adhere to the DNC's rules. Check out this video from Meet the Press for more

Let's add Florida into the mix. These results are without IA, WA, ME, and WA.

Obama: 16,684,752: 48.5%
Clinton: 16,383,410: 47.6%

The spread this time is very thin.

301, 342: +.09% for Sen. Obama

If we add those four caucus states the results look like this.

Obama: 17,018,836: 48.5%
Clinton: 16,607,272: 47.3%

Spread of:

411,564: +1.2% for Obama

This is where the intellectual dishonesty really kicks in. Let us add Michigan. Mind you that Sen Obama and Sen. Edwards were NOT on the ballot. These numbers will include Florida as well.

Obama: 16,684,752: 47.6%
Clinton: 16,711,719: 47.7

Spread falls down like this.

26,967: +.08% for Sen. Clinton

A very slim lead however a very unfair and rather cheap way to claim a lead considering your opponent was not even on the ballot. But for the hell of it, let's give Obama all of the uncommitted votes just to see what happens. Uncommitted got 238,168.

Obama: 16, 862, 914
Clinton: 16, 711, 719

Spread: 151, 195 votes

I believe it is safe to say that if his name was on the ballot he still would maintain a very slim lead in the popular vote if Michigan and Florida's popular votes are counted.

But before we go, let's add the caucus state's estimated results into the MI and FL brew.

Obama: 17,018,836:47.7%
Clinton: 16, 935, 581: 47.5%

Spread: 83,255: +.24% for Barack Obama

There we have it. Claims that Clinton has a lead in the popular vote are deceiving and dishonest. Most news sources use this figure for the popular vote count since those four caucas states do not have official results and FL and MI do not count.

Obama: 16, 108, 538: 49.3%
Clinton: 15, 512, 424: 47.5%

That is a spread of 596, 114: + 1.8% for Sen. Obama

If we use the numbers that we know, and the numbers that count Obama has a lead that may not seem large. It seems rather close, but this far into the race it is impossible for Clinton to retake the lead.

All of the campaigns knew the implications of Florida and Michigan. They violated the rules and everyone agreed to adhere to those rules set up by the DNC. Going back on your written word like that is deceitful and opportunist. Like I've said before, I have a feeling that Clinton expected a coronation. Obama didn't have much name recognition and most pundits and people expected this to be Clinton's time. It wasn't and it will not be.

That's how I see it.

Source for the popular vote numbers:

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Corbett Blues

Thanks to a heads up by my father, who is a Corbett listener but not necessarily an agreer, I head about Corbett's so called "Operation Turndown". At first I thought this was just a joke until I realized how serious he was.

The gist is that Corbett, who is a die hard Clinton supporter and a self-proclaimed "Radical Democrat", is saying he will not back Obama in the general election since now it is all but declared that he will be the nominee. Now he certainly has the right not to back Obama. What I have an issue with are the callers who say they will back John McCain in the general election. While I was listening most of these callers happened to be women.

Whoa wait a minute here. John McCain?

The same John McCain who in May of 2007 said he would support overturning Roe v. Wade?
The same John McCain who voted to keep the ban on abortions at military bases?
The same John McCain who has a 0% rating by NARAL?
And the same John McCain who skipped the vote on the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and said

"They need the education and training, particularly since more and more women are heads of their households, as much or more than anybody else. And it’s hard for them to leave their families when they don’t have somebody to take care of them."

The Ledbetter Fair Pay Act would do in short help women seek remedies if they are being paid unfairly.

So I ask these women, do you know what you're getting into if you vote for McCain? Assuming you do not share his values and you are not a DINO, you are selling out your beliefs and values for revenge and out of spite. That is wrong.

I do not believe that we can handle another four years of failed policies and virtually the same Republican policies which have not worked for us.

One of the callers justified voting for McCain because it is safe to assume Democrats will strengthen their majority in Congress. That is fine, but there is one issue that the caller failed to realize. Not all Democrats vote alike. Blue Dogs are more conservative fiscally and may not back more liberal economic policies. Some Democrats are moderate and even conservative on social issues. And not all Democrats are committed to ending the war in Iraq. If Democrats cannot get the support to override vetos then we are not getting anywhere. If Democrats do not get the support to vote against conservative judges, then we are getting no where. It is safer to further Democratic policies if we have a Democrat in the Oval Office.

John McCain is already talking judges. Right now the Supreme Court has a right leaning bias. We need to make sure that the Court is at the very least moderate in their rulings.

We will see what happens.

That's How I See It

Inspired by the many bloggers in NEPA, especially by Gort42's blog, I have decided to jump in and share my opinions on what's going on here in our valley and the world. Everybody's got opinions and everybody wants to share them.

Before we get into it let me just give a little background on myself. My name is Tony Thomas and I have no relation whatsoever to Tony Thomas j.r. I needed to get that out of the way before rumors circulate that the Councilman has his own blog of rantings. I am a soon to be graduated high school senior who has been into politics since I was about 12.

Now let's get to it.