Trolling Not Allowed

Trolling Not Allowed! Comments from anonymous trolls are not permitted and are deleted if posted by the offending pest.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Political Dynasty: Good or Bad?

Not long ago, I encountered a gentleman (?) who had some strong feelings against political dynasties in the United States. I have no real knowledge of this individual other than the fact that he is an educator who was attending the annual conference of the Assocition of Educational Service Agencies this past December. I was sitting at a large round table at a conference general session that was preceded by a luncheon with my group from Lucas County Ohio. During lunch and prior to the general session itself, I was having a conversation with them about the possibility Caroline Kennedy becoming a United States Senator when this fellow who was also at the same large table interjected with his thoughts. He voiced his very strong feelings and I responded that the only "qualifications" to be a United States Senator involved age, citizenship, and residency; and, the fact that someone may be related to others in elective office has no relevency. He didn't like my response and refused to look at me for the rest of the time we were in that luncheon session. Oh, well!

Around that same time, I had a similar conversation with a friend of mine who voiced the same concerns as the fellow at the AESA conference. With two different yet similar conversations taking place at nearly the same time, I started to be a bit more astute and realized many people share the same concern. Hmmmmm, says I to myself.

I do not understand why people are so opposed to what they call political dynasties, i.e. members in the same extended family who are acitive in American politics or government. No one seems to have a problem with family dynasties in the medical profession, or the legal profession, or in factory work, or in teaching, or in denistry, or in construction trades, or in skilled trades, etc., etc., etc. Elective office and government positions are jobs in the public service. What's wrong with that? Why are family members who share a common interest and common careers in public service any different than family members who do likewise in the private sector? Why do people treat this topic the way that they do? I can't figure it out. Elective positions are elected; if the person isn't doing the job, that person may be removed by recall or simply not be re-elected. Problem solved. After all, the voting majority does indeed have the final say. Then there is the situation of family members who work for the government. If someone employed in the government sector is not performing satisfactorily, that person is subject to corrective action, including dismissal if warranted. Again, problem solved.

Recently, I read the Washingington Post piece Dynasties in Decline by Op-Ed columnist David S. Broder and it seems quite poignant.

I also read Political Dynasties: An American Tradition from Brookings which I also fond to be very interesting.

Oh, by the way, there's a piece over at Wikipedia entitled List of United States political families that you might wish to explore.

We have in the United States of America a system of checks and balances and we have a voting box that is a regular occurence. Quite frankly, I think political dynasties are A-OK.

I imagine many folks disagree with me. I sure would like to know the logical reasoning of their disagreement.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Help Wanted: City of Toledo Mayor; Toledo City Council

Some time ago, I made a futile attempt to stir up the interest of Toledoans in seeking good candidates for Mayor of Toledo. I did so on an interactive web site that is billed as a "site dedicated to breaking news and political discussion of Toledo and Northwest Ohio." Apparently the majority of folks using that site are, for the most part, just moaners and groaners who get their jollies by making moronic comments rather than substantive contributions to political dilogue. Hey, don't take my word for it, click and read the message thread Toledo Mayor in 2009.
That SwampBubbles web site along with another site called Toledo Talk, both of which I had been a frequent participant, became pretty well useless as far as I am concerned in that many people possting there were trolling flamers who just made stupid and snide or belittling comments while remaining behind a cloak of anonymity. Consequently, I stopped visiting those two sites and ceased being a participant. Unfortunately, pretty much the same type of thing has transpired with a very popular Toledo political blog in which I had also been an active participant. Now-a-days, I pretty much just stay away from making comments on that site, as well.
All this is just a lead-in to the entry I am making below.

Roland Hansen Commentary is now seeking applications from candidates for the position of Mayor of Toledo and for the position of at-large representative to Toledo City Council.

Persons who are interested in being candidates for these positions may apply online within this help wanted posting simply by responding in the comments section below.

If you are interested in any of these positions and if you have a website that you would like to have featured on Roland Hansen Commentary with a link to that website, just let me know. As a previous candidate for elective office, I know all too well how difficult it is to receive media exposure.

For purposes of full disclosure, you should be aware that I reserve the right to comment on any candidate and may indeed endorse and promote candidates whom I favor.

Now then, are there any takers?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Blame the Messenger: Israel, Gaza, Palestine, Me?

Those who know me know that I do not care much for forwarded e-mails, but every now and again something peeks my interest.

Recently, I received a political cartoon about the Israel, Gaza, Palestine conflict which I in return played messenger by forwarding it to several people who I thought would also find it interesting. Of course, I sent it with my e-mail account that uses my name. Why not? After all, I am not one to hide behind anonymity and I accept responsibilty for my actions and my words.

Apparently, several people did find that political cartoon to be interesting, as well as controversial. I have received a several e-mails in return regarding that cartoon with a variety of responses running pro, con, and in-between.

Heck, my messenger status even made it over into Liberal Common Sense with the entry I don't think this defines "honesty" by a long shot...

If you go over to that entry by Lisa Renee, you will be able to see the cartoon itself along with some interesting commentary. And so the saga continues........

Monday, January 12, 2009

Another Holocaust? Another Silent Pope?

It is with awe and wonder that I hear and read so many comments from people about the current situation with Israel and Gaza.

A recent comment I have read seems quite poignant. It is the Rowsey Blog entry entitled The Mess in the Middle East.

Some people are claiming that Israel is perpetuating a holocaust on Arab Islamists. Others are just as adament in professing that Israel has a right to defend itself in preventing another Holocaust.

It was The Holocaust that has resulted with the phrase Never Again being more than just a phrase.

The silence of the Pope back then has never truly been explained, at least not to my satisfaction. With that in mind, I cannot help but wonder why the current Pope seems to be following the established past practice of the Roman Catholic Church with his silence and seemingly indifference to the current situation.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Israel: Right or Wrong?

I received an e-mail forward/forward/forward from someone who wanted to share thoughts about responding to critics of Israel. I am interested in reading the comments of the readers of Roland Hansen Commentary in response to it. Therefore, I am copying and pasting that forwarded e-mail piece in its entirety below. What say you?

Answering Israel's critics
Six cliches you are likely to hear constantly in the coming days, and why they're false - Yigal Walt

1) "Israel's response in Gaza is disproportionate"

Since when is war a mathematical equation? The basic objective of any warring party is to inflict maximal damage on the enemy while minimizing its own casualties. Was there anything proportional about the US war in Iraq? Or about Iraq's invasion of Kuwait for that matter? Or about Russia's recent war against Georgia? Israel is doing exactly what any other country has done in the past. This is how war works.

Would a British citizen complain that "too few" British soldiers are being killed in Iraq? Probably not.

And on a more elementary note: Palestinian military inferiority is not an indication of moral superiority. Palestinian insistence on resorting to violence despite this military weakness is an indication of poor judgment perhaps - yet it is by no means an indication of moral virtue. Being militarily weak does not make the Palestinians right.

2) "But Qassams don't kill"

Actually, Qassams do kill. Not too often, perhaps, but dozens of Israelis were killed and wounded by rocket fire in recent years. Moreover, at this time the Palestinians are firing long-range Grad rockets with even greater explosive power. Such rockets killed 2 Israelis Monday.

Yet beyond the casualty figures, the psychological damage caused as result of living under an ongoing rocket threat is immeasurable. Would anyone in the West agree to have their family live under constant rocket attacks and be regularly woken up by sirens in the middle of the night? Would anyone living under such conditions appreciate being told that "these rockets don't kill?" Probably not.

3) "It's all because of Israel's siege. Israel should allow aid into Gaza."

Israel has allowed goods into Gaza regularly throughout the "siege". Palestinians have been able to complement these deliveries with supplies smuggled through hundreds of tunnels (of course, they would likely be able to bring in even more food had they not used the tunnels to smuggle in missiles.).

The day before operation "Cast Lead" got underway, Israel allowed dozens of trucks carrying aid to enter the Strip. On Tuesday, another 100 trucks - double the normal number -are expected to enter Gaza after Defense Minister Barak approved the move.

In short, Israel is allowing aid into the Strip (but guess who has kept Gaza crossings mostly closed thus far? That's right, Egypt.)

4) "Why didn't Israel just agree to renew the Gaza truce?"

First, what truce? Terror groups continued to fire rockets throughout the lull, even if somewhat infrequently, and even if the world didn't seem to care too much. Nonetheless, Israel clearly declared that it is interested in extending the truce. Our top officials made it clear time and again.

Yet Hamas leaders clearly declared that the truce has ended on December 19th, and proceeded to bombard southern Israeli communities with dozens of rockets daily. In short, it is no wonder that even the Egyptians are blaming Hamas this time.

5) "But Hamas was elected democratically - why can't Israel accept it?"

Although Hamas won the Palestinian elections, it took Gaza by force, in the process hurling rival Fatah members down to their death from high-rises and shooting others in the knees with the declared aim of maiming them. Some democracy.

In any case, Israel in fact "recognizes," de facto, Hamas' rule in Gaza, which is precisely why it is justified in attacking the Hamas-ruled Strip, recognizing that it is indeed being governed by a terror entity. Israel did not launch the operation because Hamas is in power there - rather, it did so because Hamas is a terrorist organization that has deliberately targeted civilians with thousands of rockets over the past 8 years.

6) "Israel is targeting civilians"

You mean to say that "one of the most powerful armies in the world" has been bombing Gaza for days, deploying massive air power, dropping hundreds of bombs, and ultimately killing a grand total of 50 civilians or so in the "most crowded place on earth?"

There are two options here: A) The Israeli army is not targeting civilians, or B) Israeli pilots suck. We tend to go with option A.

Indeed, Israel goes to great lengths to avoid civilian casualties, by deploying precise ammunition and specialized techniques. In fact, nobody in the world does this better than the Jewish State.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Roland Burris: Guilty By Association

The scandals continue and the American people have spoken! Enough is enough. The American citizenry will have no more of the shenanigans from any elected official, any governmental official, any politician, or any nominee for governmental position. Keep those bums from holding any and all positions of public trust!

The wise political leaders of the Democratic majority in the United States Senate led by Harry Reid are right there with the apparent prevailing sentiment of the American public. No more corrupt people are to be allowed to hold public office. Harry Reid has made it clear that it is his and the Democrat majority’s belief that Roland Burris should not be seated in the U.S. Senate. Why? Because he is guilty of having received the appointment from that crook – Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. That makes Roland Burris, a former Attorney General of the State of Illinois, tainted and makes him guilty by association with Blagojevich.

You’ve heard about Governor Blagojevich; he is the guy who has been accused of offering to sell the appointment to the Senate seat vacated by the election of U.S. Senator Barack Obama to President of the United States. President-elect Obama has called upon Blagojevich to resign as Governor of Illinois. Blagojevich has refused to resign and the Illinois state legislature is considering impeachment of the Governor. Meanwhile, Blagojevich, who is still legally the Governor and who has the legal authority and responsibility of performing the duties of Governor, has named Roland Burris as the person to replace Obama in the United States Senate. However, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White has refused to certify the appointment of Burris. Apparently, Jesse White believes he has the authority to negate the legal actions of the Governor.

Oh! Don’t tell me that you haven’t heard. Governor Rod Blagojevich has not been indicted for any illegal activity, let alone be tried and convicted of a crime. Nor has there been any allegations of illegal activities or improprieties of any kind made against Roland Burris.

Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Senate Democrats, the Illinois legislature, and Jesse White have all fallen in line with what appears to be a popular belief held by many Americans. Of course, if these elected officials wish to stay in power and have the support of the public, they need to reflect the views of the public.

It appears to me that the popular belief, i.e. the prevailing sentiment held by the general American public, is that persons accused of crimes are guilty until they prove themselves innocent. Ancillary to that premise is the tangential spin-off effect that anyone associated with the accused is also guilty by association. Therefore, the accused and those associated with the accused are to be punished until they have proven their innocence beyond the shadow of a doubt. Ergo, Blagojevich should resign and the appointment of Burris should not be allowed.

Apparently, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson has demonstrated that he has learned that prevailing sentiment very well. Richardson is under investigation in regards to a New Mexico state contract being awarded to donors to his political campaign organization. Consequently, even though Richardson has not been indicted, tried, or convicted of any wrongdoing, he has withdrawn himself for consideration of United States Senate confirmation of appointment by Barack Obama for United States Secretary of Commerce.

Yes, indeed. The American people and political leaders are very wise. Guilty until proven innocent, guilt by association, it’s the American Way! --- NOT!!!

I wonder what the Founding Fathers would think of all this.