Thursday, July 31, 2008

AC/DC in Wilkes-Barre?

Fans of the Australian hard rock band should be excited. An extensive 18 month world wide tour is gonna happen and it is not kicking off in Australia. The first stop on AC/DC's tour of the world will be in our very own Wilkes-Barre according to

No information on tickets, location, or the date and time have been announced. It is safe to assume that the concert will be at the Arena.

And here is the video for Highway to Hell with the late Bon Scott.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sen. Ted Stevens Indicted

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Sen. Ted Stevens from Alaska, the longest serving U.S. Republican senator ever, was indicted on Tuesday on seven counts of making false statements, according to a federal grand jury indictment.

From May 1999 to August 2007, prosecutors said Stevens concealed "his continuing receipt of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of things of value from a private corporation." The indictment released Tuesday said the items included: home improvements to his vacation him in Alaska, including a new first floor, garage, wraparound deck, plumbing, electrical wiring; as well as car exchanges, a Viking gas grill, furniture and tools.

Ted Stevens gained internet infamy for his comments against net neutrality. The Daily Show lampooned a speech he made in the Senate where he called the internet a "series of tubes".

Net Neutrality is "is the principle that data packets on the Internet should be moved impartially, without regard to content, destination or source".

Stevens is up for election and the Democrats are eying his seat up. He has maintained a narrow lead according to Rasmussen Reports. Stevens lead only by about 2% since April. The latest poll of 7/17 shows his opponent Mark Begich with a 9% lead.

Because of Stevens age and the scandal he is involved in, I see it unlikely that he will be reelected. I am confident that the Democrats will be able to take this seat.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Free Obama Buttons is giving away free Obama buttons. They were also giving away free Obama bumper stickers, but I cannot find the link to that.

Free Obama Button

What I Overheard At the McCain Townhall

After John McCain left the stage to go down in the pit to shake some hands my grandfather and I tried to get up there. My grandfather, who supports McCain, wanted to try and get in there. While we were trying to get through the crowd I overheard a conversation between two people. I need to stress that what I'm reporting is not a direct quote. It is a paraphrase. I do not explicit remember what was said, but I remember the substance of what was said.

"He knows nothing about economics. He knew nothing about economic theory."

I thought the man was speaking about John McCain. I figured it was someone who wasn't won over. Soon I found out that it wasn't about McCain.

"You shouldn't ask a stupid question like that. We should really screen the people that come in here that are going to ask questions and waste time asking stupid ones."

I turned around and they were two young men in their 20s. They also had around their necks credentials identifying them as John McCain volunteers.

The "stupid question" was from a man who asked a question to McCain concerning the gas tax holiday. It was the only economic question asked. Others were about the war, education, the draft, and Israel.

It is rather shameful for two of McCain's volunteers to be openly insulting questioners. Maybe the McCain campaign should screen their volunteers for class and respect.

Some of the people who went to the McCain townhall were utterly disrespectful people. From the shouting of insults and "get a job" to protesters, to this volunteer's arrogant disparaging remarks about a person who asked a question.

Stay classy GOP.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Guess What?

Remember back in the primaries a lot of pundits were saying that Obama was going to have problems with Latinos?

They went as far as suggesting that the Superdelegates should back Clinton because she was winning over the Latinos.

We know that the real reason why Obama was having trouble with Latinos was his poor recognition amongst them. Latinos that were polled also indicated that Bill Clinton was another factor in their voting for Hillary Clinton.

After he became the nominee pundits were quick to point out that Obama needed the Latino vote. That is true, but I remember some of them acting like they were going to flock over to John McCain. I've had two discussions with two guys I know who both said that Latinos were not going to vote for Barack Obama because he is black. Do people still believe racial stereotypes like that? I guess Italians still hate the Irish.

I don't know about you, but I have seen an increase in racism in this area. This is not one of the most tolerant areas. I have heard things about blacks that I didn't expect to hear.

Do people really believe that Barack Obama will "turn over the country to the blacks and turn against whites because of past racism"? I have heard that belief too many times around here.

Well it turns out that Latinos are overwhelmingly backing Barack Obama.

Obama's approval rating with registered Latino voters, the nationwide Pew Hispanic Center poll found, is at 66 percent versus 23 percent favoring McCain.

Obama's "strong showing in this survey represents a sharp reversal in his fortunes from the primaries, when Obama lost the Latino vote to Hillary Clinton by a margin of nearly 2-to-1," according to Pew Hispanic Center associate director Mark Hugo Lopez.

If this trend continues and solidifies McCain will have a problem in states where Latinos make up a strong makeup of the voters.

America has see a lot of talk about race with this election and we have seen a lot of race baiting. I only hope that in the future we get better about race relations.

I was talking to another guy I know who told me Obama can't win the election because everyone voted for him because he is black.

Amazing we can't just get through huh?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The 50th Post Spectacular!

This is my 50th post on my little blog. About time right? I'd just like to share a candid picture that was snapped today of me and my father at the F.M. Kirby Center while we waited for McCain to get onstage.
If any of you read The Weekender, last year he was voted one of the sexiest men in N.E.P.A. Just a nice little fact I like to toss out here and there. =)

Help Dennis Out With the Fight

Sign this petition and show your support in the effort to impeach George W. Bush. Honestly he should have been impeached along with Cheney along time ago.

Friday is the day that Rep. Kucinich gets a chance to present his case to the Judiciary Committee.

After insisting that a full-scale impeachment of the president would distract from the work of Congress, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi bowed to political reality this week and the House voted 238-180 to send one of Rep. Dennis Kucinich's articles of impeachment -- this one charging Bush with lying to the American public about the causes for the war in Iraq -- to the committee.

Congress will probably not proceed with impeachment, but that should not deter any of us that want to see Bush impeached. Kucinich is an American hero for standing up for progressive causes in Congress. I'm proud to have probably been one of the few people in NEPA to have his "Kucinich 2008" bumper sticker on their car. He was my first choice for president, although he was a long shot.

And here is a picture of his wife so that everyone can be happy.

The Protesters

I believe the last one is of Kurt Shotko. He was shouting somethings. The shuffling McCain crowd responded by telling the protesters to "get a job".

Mr. McCain Goes to Wilkes-Barre Pictures

The last one is of Chris Hackett and Sen. Lisa Baker.

Time For a Music Video

Great song by The Hold Steady who I just discovered a few weeks ago. It is off of "Boys and Girls in America" which is a great album. I got their newest album "Stay Positive", but haven't gotten a chance to listen to it yet. So here is "Stuck Between Stations".

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

John McCain Tomorrow

I will be going to see the Senator speak tomorrow with my grandfather. He will be voting for McCain in the Fall, and he is looking forward to the townhall meeting tomorrow. I like to keep an open mind and I wouldn't pass an opportunity to see a sitting Senator of such prestige as John McCain.

So we'll see how it goes. I'd like to ask him a question. I have a few I'm thinking of. My mother told me that my grandfather has a question as well. If he does I'll keep my hand down so he has a better chance of addressing the Senator.

I'll be taking my digital camera, and hopefully I'll get some good pictures. I'll post them tomorrow as well as a take on the event.

Friday, July 18, 2008

John McCain Is Coming...For Free

Upset that you can't get into the invite only and $250 plate luncheon with John McCain? No worries, he will be at the F.M. Kirby Center Wednesday at 10 am. The doors will open at 8am. There are no details available as to how long it is expected to be or anything else.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

"I was against gay adoptions before I was kinda for them"

Two days ago John McCain in an interview came out against gay adoption explicitly.

"I think that we've proven that both parents are important in the success of a family so, no, I don't believe in gay adoption," McCain said in reply to a reporter's query.

Asked if those adopting should be a "traditional couple," McCain answered, "Yes."

Florida is the only state in the Union that outlaws gay adoption. There are over 100,000 children in foster care in the United States awaiting adoption.

The idea that gay adoption would be detrimental to children is not supported at all by major medical and psychological organizations. "The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychiatric Association and the National Association of Social Workers, among other groups, have expressed support for gay adoptions."

Likewise polling shows a change in American attitude towards gay adoption.

"A 2006 poll by the Pew Research Center found a near-even split on the issue; a 2007 poll by CNN and Opinion Research Corp. said 57 percent of respondents felt gays should have the right to adopt, while 40 percent said they shouldn't."

Now after backlash from the gay and lesbian community John McCain is slightly changing his tune.

"'John McCain could have been clearer in the interview in stating that his position on gay adoption is that it is a state issue. ... He was not endorsing any federal legislation,; a campaign statement said."

The statement also added this

"However, as an adoptive father himself, McCain believes children deserve loving and caring home environments, and he recognizes that there are many abandoned children who have yet to find homes. John McCain believes that in those situations that caring parental figures are better for the child than the alternative."

What a straight-talker. You say something to pander to your conservative base and then you backtrack to make yourself sound less of a bigot.

Besides an issue like this just further drives home the media-driven myth that John McCain is a maverick. Maybe he was honestly one back in 2000 and before, but not now. A real maverick in the Republican party would've supported gay adoption.

If John McCain and other conservatives believe that having a gay or lesbian parentage would harm a child, I wonder how they feel about religious radicals and fundamentalists raising children. Is not the radical and hateful indoctrination of a child at the very least child abuse? What if someone came out and said "Radical religious fundamentalists should not raise kids because indoctrination would harm the child's growth and social abilities?". There'd be an outrage.

You can defend almost anything by calling it religious. But just being a homosexual? Gosh, you're going to turn that adoptive child into the next Boy George!


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Utterly Tasteless

There are three billboards that carry this message in Orlando, Florida. It was put up by Business man Michael Meehan. On the website that the billboard advertises there is a promotion for Meehan's song and music video about why people should not vote for Democrats or liberals.

Naturally a lot of residents are offended. They find it tasteless and exploitative.

"'Just looking at it, I'm not thinking about Democrat or Republican, I'm thinking about the twin towers and all the people killed,' resident Mary Anderson told Eyewitness News.

'This is a blatant exploitation of that terrible tragedy for political and, perhaps even worse, personal gain,' said Bill Robinson, Orange County Democratic Party Chair.

In addition to Orange County Democrats calling for the billboards to be taken down, the local Republican Party is joining in as well calling it 'inappropriate'."

While Meehan certainly has a right to blame whoever he wants for the tragedy of 9/11, there is no denying that these billboards are offensive, tasteless, and are exploiting the 9/11 attacks. It is a disgusting move by Mike Meehan to do this. Especially if it is to help sell his anti-Democratic song for $5 dollars a copy. He has a right to free speech and I'll defend his right to do this, but it is still absolutly horrible of anyone to use the imagery of 9/11 for gain, profit, or exploitation.

That's how I see it.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Redskins Keep Their Name...For Now

The Washington Redskins scored a legal victory in the continuing battle over their name. The ruling didn't decide whether or not the name is offensive. Instead the ruling came on a technicality that the plaintiffs waited too long to bring their suit against the team.

"U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly made a similar finding in 2003, but the Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 2005 that one of the plaintiffs at that time was only one years old when Washington registered “Redskins” as a trademark in 1993. The Appeals Court said the District Court should review its finding in that light.

The District Court found no reason to change it’s findings, noting that the plaintiff in question waited eight years after his 18th birthday to file the suit. However, the court did not rule on the “appropriateness of the imagery,” but on the timeliness of the suit itself."

Hopefully this is the end of the battle. I understand why the Native Americans would bring suit, but I don't believe that the name should be removed. It is not being used in an offensive manner. Maybe I'm a little biased because the Redskins are my team, but we always cannot avoid offending someone. No matter what someone is gonna get offended, and sometimes they have to live with it.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Bisexual Animals

I found a very fascinating article on It is about the sexuality of various animal species and how homosexuality plays into their societies as well as ours. A very good read, especially for those who call homosexuality "unnatural". It occurs in over 1,500 species of animals in varying degrees. Just remember, humans are animals too.

Jesus Is A Sharpshooter

This church must be desperate for attendance when they are giving out free guns to get teens to show up for Mass. I can certainly think of better things to offer to get teens to show up, but since it is Oklahoma I guess guns is not a dumb idea.

Windsor Hills Baptist had planned to give away a semiautomatic assault rifle until one of the event's organizers was unable to attend.The church’s youth pastor, Bob Ross, said it’s a way of trying to encourage young people to attend the event. The church expected hundreds of teenagers from as far away as Canada.

They were going to give away one $800 gun to a contest winner. The pastor who was to give the gun away was unable to attend due to an injury. They will give away the gun next year. After the press caught wind of the gun giveaway a controversy naturally came about.

To me it seems hypocritical for a religion to give out a weapon as an incentive. It seems to be in bad taste to do something like this.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Some State News...

HARRISBURG - A state grand jury probe of illegal practices in the Pennsylvania Legislature resulted today in criminal charges against a sitting lawmaker, former legislative leader and current and former staffers of the House Democratic caucus.

"State Attorney General Tom Corbett announced charges against 12 individuals, including former House Minority Whip Michael Veon, Rep. Sean Ramaley, D-Beaver, and Michael Manzo, former chief of staff to House Majority Leader Bill DeWeese, D-Greene."

Does this really surprise anyone?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Atheist Soldier Sues Army Over Discrimination

Army Spc. Jeremy Hall is an atheist, formerly a Baptist, and is suing the Department of Defense, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and others.

His reason?


"In the suit, Hall claims his rights to religious freedom under the First Amendment were violated and suggests that the United States military has become a Christian organization."

According to Hall there were several instances where fellow personnel discriminated against him because of his atheism.

"Two years ago on Thanksgiving Day, after refusing to pray at his table, Hall said he was told to go sit somewhere else. In another incident, when he was nearly killed during an attack on his Humvee, he said another soldier asked him, 'Do you believe in Jesus now?'"

Clearly these two instances are uncalled for. These two incidents certainly harassed Hall. If these events are true, they are unacceptable.

Hall is also claiming that because of his atheism he lost out on getting promoted. Hall is quoted as saying

"I was told because I can't put my personal beliefs aside and pray with troops I wouldn't make a good leader,"

Yet it seems that the military is fine with the personal religious beliefs of officers being promoted via prayer and as an influencing factor in promotions.

Hall is not alone in this suit.

"Michael Weinstein, a retired senior Air Force officer and founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, is suing along with Hall. Weinstein said he's been contacted by more than 8,000 members of the military, almost all of them complaining of pressure to embrace evangelical Christianity."

Religious discrimination of any form is illegal.

The Pentagon maintain that these instances of evangelizing are rare.

According to this article from a year ago, discrimination against atheists in the military is viewed as acceptable.

"Now the Army National Guard is telling its unit level Equal Opportunity representatives that it is OK to discriminate against atheists. They are using my formal EO complaint as a training scenario in which a Lieutenant files a formal EO complaint against a general officer for claiming that there are no atheists in foxholes."

Atheists are one of the most discriminated and most distrusted minority groups in America. A poll found that a majority of Americans would not consider voting for an atheist. Women, Muslims, blacks, and gays were more likely to be elected than an atheist.

I have personally experienced such discrimination and most of it stems from ignorance about atheism. It is not a belief in nothing. Most atheists believe in an ethical reasoning of some sort. Myself, I consider myself a Humanist when it comes to ethics and morality. I do have beliefs. I simply reject the notion of a higher power. That is what atheism is. However; in America and other places, atheism is seen as a dangerous way to live.

Maybe one day we can all get along.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Like We Needed A Survey

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress should repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" law because the presence of gays in the military is unlikely to undermine the ability to fight and win, according to a new study released by a California-based research center.

Getting rid of DADT (Don't Ask, Don't Tell) would be the right step towards equality in the military. The notion that having open gays will deter the ability of the armed forces is plain silly.

The study is not just a bunch of liberals either grasping at straws.

"The study was conducted by four retired military officers, including the three-star Air Force lieutenant general who in early 1993 was tasked with implementing President Clinton's policy that the military stop questioning recruits on their sexual orientation."

"To support its contention, the panel points to the British and Israeli militaries, where it says gay people serve openly without hurting the effectiveness of combat operations."

There we now have a comprehensive study to back up efforts to repeal the law.

As Barry Goldwater allegedly once said

"You don't have to be straight to be in the military; you just have to be able to shoot straight."

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Fourth of July

I hope everyone had a great Fourth of July. I didn't get a chance to see the fireworks this year in Kirby Park although I went last year and it was a great site.

Instead this year it was a family cookout. Food was great as always.

My job this year was setting off the fireworks for the kids. I love fireworks, but next year I need to make sure I go on the trip to get the fireworks. My brother and dad didn't get many good ones.

Enjoy the weekend everybody!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Buzz About WALL-E

It is being hailed as a masterpiece, one of the greatest sci/fi films of all time, and perhaps the best CGI movie ever made.

As of posting it has a weighted ranking of 9.1/10 on where it ranks #6 amongst the 250 Greatest Movies of All Time, as rated by users of The Internet Movie Database. It is ranked higher than movies like Schindler's List and Star Wars.

Is it that good?

If I could I'd give it a 12/10.

It is is a remarkably excellent film. The film is visually gorgeous. The scene where WALL-E attaches himself to a space ship that is going through space is the most majestic scene in the film, and one of the most beautiful in a movie that I have seen. I love how they also incorporated live action into the movie.

The film is mostly without any dialogue. For the first thrity minutes or so there is virtually no dialogue and most of the dialgoue does not occur until the last twenty minutes or so. Even then it is sparse.

The film is a message film, but I don't believe it is a political message. It is a human message. This is a science fiction film. A lot of media that is sci/fi whether it be a movie, book, or comic often has a message. I dare say a warning. It takes an issue and makes it a hyperboyle. In WALL-E the hyperboyle is obesity, consumerism, and not caring about the earth. The movie is NOT saying anything about global warming or alternative fuels. It is telling us that we need to be more human and not lose the things that make us human.

Of course some commenators make take issue with that and turn it political. Some already are if you look at some more far-right movie reviews. They seem to do this with any movie that has something in it that can be contrived as political and it is often a pathetic attempt at film analysis. I remember that Bill O'Reilly had some talking heads on when Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith came out. There was one talking head that claimed Lucas was making a political statement in the scene where Yoda and Palpatine duel in the Senate.

Aside from all that, WALL-E is an amazing cinematic experience. The humor is intelligent and tight with jokes for everyone. I am so glad that there was no cheap low-brow humor in it. No crotch jokes, no jokes about farts or other bodily functions. I cringe at how stupid humor can be in movies. Not that there's anything wrong with a good bathroom joke. They just have become so overdone, that most aren't even funny.

The soundtrack is amazing as well. It is haunting, moving, and exciting. Stay for the end credits. They are wonderfully animated and you get to hear an awesome new song that Peter Gabriel did for the end credits. I love Peter Gabriel and was excited when I heard he did a song for the movie. Here's the song brought to you by YouTube.

I plan on seeing WALL-E again. Mostly because it is such a great movie.

And also because he is so god damn cute.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Are They That Afraid of Him?

Why is the GOP afraid of Bob Barr? Should they be?

After all he is just the Libertarian nominee and they don't get anywhere on the national scale, especially in a presidential run.

If any early polling is an indication yes.

If Bob Barr is attracting the Ron Paul voters as he says he is...then yes.

According to a poll done by InsiderAdvantage, Barr is polling at 6%.

No chance at winning, but just take a look what it does to McCain and Obama.

McCain 44%
Obama 43%

If that poll is any indication, Georgia may be a state that the GOP has to defend. The demographics make it a possibility for Obama with its high black population and a high number of young voters.

In 2004 Georiga went 57-41 for Bush.

I haven't come across any other state polls, but the polls show every indication that Barr is getting votes that McCain is failing to get which helps Obama.

Apparently this may have caused a GOP Senator to confront Barr and tell him to quit.

Barr said a GOP senator recently approached him to ask that he drop his White House bid, a request that has come from more than one Republican since he received the Libertarian Party nomination in May. The senator’s plea­ fell on deaf ears. (­Barr would not reveal the lawmaker’s identity).

“What they say is, ‘It’s not that we disagree with what you’re doing, Barr. It’s not that we don’t understand. We do understand, and we actually agree with what you’re saying, but we don’t want to vote against a Republican because that might help the Democrat,’ ” Barr said of the talks he has had with those who want him to quit.

Bob Barr is claiming that he is attracting Ron Paul voters and it should not be surprising that he is. Bob Barr and Paul are essentially on the same platform of Libertarianism.

Say what you want about Ron Paul supporters, but they can raise a lot of money for Bob Barr and that will be a benefit for not only Barr, but for Obama as well.

If McCain cannot win over these Republicans and independents who are going to go Barr, then he is going to have some tight electoral battles where he shouldn't.

We'll see how this one goes.