Sunday, August 31, 2008

Republican Party Convention dilemma

At 1:00pm PST today John McCain said the Convention had to respect the potential tragic situation unfolding from the hurricane and suspend some activities. Then Chairman of the Republican Party Duncan announced a cutback to the scheduled Convention due to the Hurricane now preparing t hit the New Orleans area. (One thing worth noting was that Duncan said, they needed to go forward on certain required topics and one of those actions was the selection of President and Vice President. I'm not kidding. Doesn't he know it is only to decide their candidates, not actually the President and Vice President. Sounds like wishful thinking.)

While listening to McCain I heard him sounding as though he was President. He spoke as if he was in charge of all this preparation. He complemented all involved and said how things were working so well between Federal, State and Local officials. We shall see if his statements prove true.

The Christian Right religious leaders haven't leveled this charge because it is happening during the Republican Party Convention. If it were the Democratic Convention you would be hearing Rev. Pat Roberts saying that God was bringing down his fury because if the policies of the Democratic Party on same sex marriage, abortion rights and other issues that tend to inflame passions. But they are silent today. Very interesting! :))) Well actually Rev. Dobson was praying for a hurricane for last Thursday for Barack Obama's speech at the Democratic Party Convention, according to the Moderate Voice.

I have a cousin who is an official delegate to the Republican Convention. I would love to know what he thinks of McCain's choice as VP. But I have heard nothing. :)

One of the benefits of this hurricane is that it doesn't show the crowd difference and support for Barack Obama as compared to what John McCain will have. He is very lucky to be able to get out of this and he knows it. The press was already talking about the comparisons.

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Barack's historic moment: He lived up to the hope of millions

After Barack Obama's speech last night and his clear articulation of what he plans to do as president, I feel, for the first time, he has a real chance to win in November. He made clear distinctions between his plans for the country and compared each to John McCain and the failed Bush policies. I remember hearing JFK was I was young and this speech, although different in the absence of flowery prose usually found in his previous speeches, he was electrifying. I was proud to be an American, proud that as a people we selected Barack Obama as a candidate, and finally proud to be a part of this historic moment in time. The setting of the Football stadium contributed to the feeling of an unstoppable movement that will win and take the White House in November.

God Bless America!

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

What will be the message contrast between the Republican and Democrats Convention?

The week of the Democratic Party Convention is coming to a close. What take aways did people get from the Convention and how will they differ from what comes out of the Republican Party Convention? Well I for one saw the Democratic party Convention focus is all about "people", specifically the Middle Class and their struggles during the past 8 years of the Bush Administration and their down right focus on the wealthy few, to receive the benefits from their policies.

What do I expect to hear from the Republicans next week? Honestly, I am not sure. But if they follow the previous Republican Party Convention goers and their TV audience, they will put the focus on Barack and attacking everything they can think of about him. They will talk about "money", because that is what is important to them; how much they have, how much they want, less government in our lives and to promote the security of our country from the "evil" ones, through the fears they will conjure up, stating that the Country will be at risk under a Barack Obama Presidency. They will use fear in every form and contrast that to the "hope" of the Obama message.

I might be wrong here but I don't think by much. It is obvious that the Democrats are for uniting people at this historic moment and anniversary of both Martin Luther King speech "I have a dream!" and the three year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the abysmal response of the Bush Administration in the aftermath even to this day.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hillary, Hillary, where were you during the Primary!

What a speech last night at the Democratic Convention. I have never heard her speak like that and she moved the Convention Hall and the Party to Unity. For the first 5-10 minutes I wondered if it was going to be another speech about Hillary, but then as magical and as smooth as one could do she brought it seamlessly to total support for Barack Obama. It was as skillful as the master himself, her husband Bill. It will be remembered long from now at future Party gatherings. I would not want to be her husband tonight, as she is an impossible act to follow.

The party IS united now and can make the distinctions clear between the Bush/McCain plan for the future and the Democratic Party's with Barack Obama and Joe Biden's leadership. Now it's up to all of us to Vote in 2 months.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Best speech of the Democratic Convention here!

That's right. And who delivered that speech? Watch the You Tube link and be surprised:

click here!

Unbelievable job and much passion which has stirred the crowd but not been televised by the Main Street media.

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To Hillary Supporters still upset

I can truly empathize with your feelings. It is a real disappointment to get out and really support your candidate you hope would be the best presidential candidate for the Democratic Party and not to have that happen. I felt the same way supporting Joe Biden in the Primary and I was disappointed he didn't win the Primary. But you can still support Hillary by helping to pay off her debt. When Biden didn't win, I sent in donations for Biden to help him. It is not up to Barack Obama to pay off the Clinton's debt. I hope she does well tonight.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

There's a caution sign for Hillary at the Democratic Convention

That's right, Hillary must be cautious her supporters don't take her future away by antics she would not want to take place. Movements can get away from those they are supporting without the leader being aware of it until it's too late. if things are discordant at the Convention, it is Hillary that has everything to lose, not Barack. People won't forget what happens here when we vote next time for President in 2012. It is the Clinton name on the line this week.

All Democrats want to win the Presidency and stop the policies of George Bush, none more so than the Clintons. She is going to need her loyal staff supporters to help her and Bill get through this without damaging the Clinton Brand. And you can count on Republican dirty tricks to try to create some discord, as witnessed by the latest ad of John McCain asking why Hillary wasn't chosen as VP. There are even so called "Independents" there with Hillary signs lamenting the situation and carrying Hillary signs. Don't be fooled by the distractions and circus outside the Convention .

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Will Americans take that next step- maturity?

We are about to be bombarded with news from the Democratic Party Convention this week and the following week by the Republican Party Convention. But will we mature and listen for ourselves what the messages are from these conventions, our Presidential Candidates and their VP choices, or will we just listen to the media synopsis and the sound bites televised to make up our minds about the issues and the proposed solutions? It is time, my fellow Americans, for us to do our own due diligence and hear for ourselves, firsthand, what the candidates are saying and draw our own conclusions. It is time to make the election of our President a priority in our lives and put other matters on the back burner.

If you want to stop complaining about our President, Vice President and their policies, it is time YOU and YOUR FAMILY took the matter of deciding who will best restore America's greatness and put our fiscal house back in order. I know it's easy to complain and to blame someone else for the state of this country, but now its future is in your hands. It's time to grow up, take responsibility for learning about the real issues our country faces, not the ones the media likes to hype (like whether John McCain knows how many houses he has or whether Barack really believes what Rev. Wright, his former pastor was preaching). It is time to demand more concreteness in defining the issues and what remedies each candidate proposes to solve them.

You must make the time to educate yourself. The reasoning that you're too busy is a lame excuse. Any President can make one decision that will dramatically affect your life and that of your family members in an instant. God only knows the one we have now has made decisions which have affected the entire world.

And finally, you must make sure you are registered to vote! All the time spent educating yourself about the issues is meaningless, unless you vote. So, as we approach these 2 full weeks of politics, pay attention, get the news direct for yourself by listening to as much as you can to the Conventions and especially the VP and Presidential Candidates speeches and come away ready to ask tough questions of each of them, in preparation of your vote in only a little more than 2 months from now.

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sen. Biden: Comments and appearances from 2005 to now documented here

Today is a historic one as Barack Obama has picked Sen. Joe Biden as his VP running mate. What follows here are some of Biden's best moments as noted here in past posts. For one example is the repost of a Poll which said Biden is the MOST TRUSTED DEMOCRAT ON FOREIGN POLICY. I had supported Biden in the Primary, contributed to his campaign and watched it not gain traction. But today I am very happy to see Joe on the ticket. Here are some previous posts and key phrases with links to the original posts:

Sept. 13, 2006 "Poll says Senator Joe Biden is Most Trusted Democrat on Foreign Policy"

"The poll, which samples key decision makers in Washington, DC, asked respondents: Who in your party do you trust most on foreign policy? Poll respondents overwhelmingly favored Senator Joe Biden, followed by former President Bill Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and U.S. Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT)."

Mar. 19, 2006 Sen. Joe Biden and Sen. Lugar on CNN

"Sen. Joe Biden and Sen. Lugar were on CNN Late Edition this morning. As usual both Senators have it right on Iraq. Sen. Biden has given some really good suggestions over the past 3 years to this Administration. He has proposed a regional conference of neighbors to Iraq put together a comprehensive Peace plan for Iraq, Biden looks more and more Presidential and instead of just complaining about what is wrong with the Administration, he offers some worthwhile suggestions as to how to solve the problems in Iraq. He could have just remained silent but he hasn't. He has nothing to gain politically if the Bush Administration took his ideas seriously and implemented them. Joe would then not have much to run on in the 2008 elections except to say they were his ideas. But Sen. Biden wants to see a victory for the USA as it is too important to lose, as he has stated many times. This is the kind of unselfish advice I wish more would offer this President from the Republican side. Instead they seem to want to let the President and VP run this game without their two cents of advice included. That way, they can say it was a failure of the President and not theirs. Where's the accountability! We need more candidates like Senator Biden running for every available seat in Congress and the Senate. Notice I said candidates, not Democrats nor Republicans. This country needs true Patriots and unselfish non-politicians to help change this country back to where it once was; respected across the world!"

Mar. 24, 2006 Biden blasts Chertoff on Chemical Plant Security

"Sen. Joe Biden has put a much needed focus on Chemical Plant Security after Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Michael Chertoff, announced that safeguarding chemical plants will be the responsibility of the chemical industry, not Homeland Security.

Nov. 28, 2005 "Sen. Biden on Meet The Press (regarding Iraq war)"

"Senator Joe Biden was on Meet the Press again yesterday, Sunday Nov. 27th, and he was well prepared for the questions thrown at him by Tim Russett, moderator. It is the truth that for the past few years, Sen. Biden has tried to help this Administration win the war in Iraq. I have mentioned a number of times where Sen. Biden 's suggestions made good sense. But they went unheeded by President Bush and more importantly, by Sec. of Defense Rumsfeld, for whom I have lost a lot of admiration over the past few years. He seems to have become very stubborn and is not listening to good ideas. He too surrounds himself with idealogues so they all chant the same chorus. Now it seems that many Americans are starting to come to the same conclusion I did, back on my posting of August 5th, when I said we were at a turning point and that the war in Iraq felt more and more like Vietnam when we all knew that we weren't going to win that war either and it too was a turning point.

Bush has 6 months maximum to turn this thing positive. I doubt he has the skill or competency or desire to take a risk and make a course change which is required to win this thing. I am afraid it was a bad idea to go in there and it was a bad idea not to have a plan to secure the peace. Everything promised there has gone bad. We don't use the Oil of the Iraqi's to pay for the war. We have no real allies there any more and we are the only ones dying there besides the Iraqi's. God help the people of that nation when we leave."

Aug. 14, 2005 Sen. Biden reaffirms he's a candidate for President

"Biden's comments on Meet the Press were spot on the sentiment of regarding where the country is regarding Iraq. He said the Administration and this President are not leveling with the American people. He said the American people know things aren't going well there, that it is incomprehensible that we still don't have the right body armor protection for our troops, as was described in the NY Times today. Senator Biden said he has no confidence in Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and the President should fire him, because everything that could go wrong there has gone wrong there.

On another Sunday show, Sen. John McCain also said he has lost confidence in Rumsfeld.

On Chris Mathews NBC show this morning, NY Times correspondent, David Brookes, said, "Senator Biden and Sen. Clinton are the only Democrats that have given specifics as to how to improve the situation in Iraq" (I would say it is apparent that their suggestions have fallen on deaf ears).

Senator Biden reiterated his plans to seek nomination from his party to run for President in 2008 after visiting recently in the "Red States" and being encouraged to run.

Henry Kissinger when asked on Wolf Blitzer's The New Iraq this morning, about whether what is starting to happen in Iraq today is reminiscent of what happened in Vietnam. Kissinger in his response seemed to blame the anti-war movement for what happened rather than a failed policy of the Nixon Administation and previous Administrations. My question is this When are these current and former policy makers going to take responsibility for their failures? They want to blame the American people for what was wrong in Vietnam and now in Iraq, other than a failed policy and strategy. Why didn't Rumsfeld consider more troops when he was advised to, going into the war, from his top General? We should reinstate the General and have him get Iraq right. As Senator Biden said today, "If Donald Rumsfeld was a CEO he would have been fired long ago!!!"

Jun. 19, 2005 Sen. Biden announced his run for President today.

"Senator Joe Biden of Delaware, made news this morning announcing his intent to run for President in 2008, on "Face the Nation". His comments on what we need to do in Iraq shows why this Senator knows what he is talking about. From enlisting Nato to help guard the borders in Iraq, to accepting the Europeans offer to train more Iraqi's, I hope the President and the Administration listen to his suggestions to turn the Iraq situation around right now. Senator Biden, returning from a trip to Iraq, his 5th trip, reports US. Generals there tell a different story than what the Administration is touting now. VP Cheney even said the insurgents are in the last throws of being defeated in the past few days. Recent pronouncements by the Administration said we had turned a corner there. This was about the 6th time we had "turned a corner" there. Seems to me when you turn the corner so many times one could accurately conclude, we are going in circles. I think so. Don't you?

This is an email I sent to Senator Biden this morning after the "Face the Nation" broadcast:Wow! I am thrilled you will be a serious candidate for President in 2008. I saw the "Face the Nation" broadcast this morning and again realized what a plain speaking, intelligent, thoughtful and sincere person you are. I was particularly touched by your comments about wanting to help a family bring home the remains of their son from Iraq and you were turned away. I did a short summary of your comments, as well as a link to your web site on my Blog this morning at: Keep speaking out on what is needed in Iraq. It is too important to just let failure play out. I am encouraged by your comments on this Father's Day, that there is hope still. Thanks Senator.

Looking back Biden has been right on most things and not afraid to say what needs to be said. The Democrats now have a chance to win the Presidency with Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Thank God for the Country and our future. Change is coming from the failed policies and presidency of George Bush and Dick Cheney. Amen!

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Rep. Stephanie Tubs Jones, rest in peace.

We have lost a great woman who also happened to be a Democratic Representative in Congress. Her passionate support for Hillary Clinton was a thing to admire. I first saw her on CNN and being interviewed by Wolf Blitzer. She was terrific and showed us all what kind of an amazing political force she had become. Her constituents will miss her, but a piece of America will never be the same without her. I have been a supporter of Obama but I always enjoyed hearing her happy positive support for Hillary.

May she rest in peace.


Who has the cards and who will win in a showdown between Russia and the U.S. over Georgia

We are sending some war ships to Georgia with "Humanitarian Aid", according to U.S. officials, as we recently watched the Russians capture some Georgian soldiers near their port, blindfold them and took them away along with their HumVees. When the U.S. gets there Russian ships will be there too. How does this play out? If Russia does anything to block U.S. ships from arriving in port, who wins? The answer- Russia. As tensions rise between this former superpower and the U.S. which thinks it is a superpower but has no teeth, the result will be a rise in Oil prices. Russia wins in that event as their sole national product, oil, has lost a 21% return on their oil revenues in the past 2 months. They have everything to gain and it appears from their actions, nothing to lose by keeping the tension continuing. So much for President Bush's read of Putin.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Bush makes it a perfect record. Now it's Russia

So the Bush Administration has overplayed its hand again and has been blowing smoke at Russia in the form of bellicose language expected to threaten the Russians. Do you really believe this tactic will work? If you do, wake up. President Bush and Vice President Cheney have been the most incompetent leaders of our country ever. The thing that most amazes me is the gullibility of the American people. Most are ignorant of world affairs, and are the same people that voted for these 2 so called leaders. They have done more harm to the U.S. than any enemy could have, including Al Qaeda.

The war on terror is in place to keep you subdued and impotent. It is working isn't it! Let's see how the American people have matured by how they vote in November. I am willing to bet, we will all be disappointed.

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Barack asks 10 supporters backstage but look what States they are from!

Barack Obama's team is planning every aspect of their convention in Colorado. This includes inviting supporters from 10 States to join him backstage as he accepts the nomination.

In the email I received today it lists all 10 people and a little about each of them. They make up all races, ages and backgrounds, according to the email.

But one thing I noticed mostly is the States they are from. Here's the list:

North Carolina
North Dakota

Each State represents a State Obama hopes to put in play in this election but you won't read that in this email. Clever, quite clever, in my view. I wonder what else he and his people have up their sleeves? Maybe Sen. Joe Biden for President? I would like that very much as any reader here knows, I supported Sen. Biden in the Primary.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Georgia/Russian Conflict? Now Poland provides the incendiary fuel

This morning another news item about our deteriorating relationship with Russia caught my eye. When you read it remember the Cuban Missile crisis during the Presidency of JFK and how we felt. We must not do the same to Russia and must be more sensitive to their concerns. We can’t bomb our war to peace. We must talk and respect where others are coming from. In this situation we have walked in the Russian shoes and it did not feel good. We were all scared of a Nuclear confrontation. President Bush is bringing this past back with his failed Foreign policies and expansion into the former Soviet Republic.

We need to be more predictable in a positive way around the world. Right now we are very predictable in a negative way, we put sticks in our key relationship’s eyes and ask them not to complain about their pain. Shame on us. What arrogance as a nation that once was the hope for the world. If we continue our policy here we will let those former Soviet Republics down and they will be on their own. Yes they want to feel safer by cozying up to the west, but in reality there is only so much we can do and are willing to do.

Here is the news item and the link to it:

Russia: Poland risks attack because of US missiles

By JIM HEINTZ, Associated Press Writer

MOSCOW - A top Russian general said Friday that Poland's agreement to accept a U.S. missile interceptor base exposes the ex-communist nation to attack, possibly by nuclear weapons, the Interfax news agency reported.

The statement by Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn is the strongest threat that Russia has issued against the plans to put missile defense elements in former Soviet satellite nations.

Poland and the United States on Thursday signed a deal for Poland to accept a missile interceptor base as part of a system the United States says is aimed at blocking attacks by rogue nations. Moscow, however, feels it is aimed at Russia's missile force.

"Poland, by deploying (the system) is exposing itself to a strike — 100 percent," Nogovitsyn, the deputy chief of staff, was quoted as saying.

He added, in clear reference to the agreement, that Russia's military doctrine sanctions the use of nuclear weapons "against the allies of countries having nuclear weapons if they in some way help them." Nogovitsyn that would include elements of strategic deterrence systems, he said, according to Interfax.

At a news conference earlier Friday, Nogovitsyn had reiterated Russia's frequently stated warning that placing missile-defense elements in Poland and the Czech Republic would bring an unspecified military response. But his subsequent reported statement substantially stepped up a war of words.

U.S. officials have said the timing of the deal was not meant to antagonize Russian leaders at a time when relations already are strained over the recent fighting between Russia and Georgia over the separatist Georgian region of South Ossetia.

Russian forces went deep into Georgia in the fighting, raising wide concerns that Russia could be seeking to occupy parts of its small, pro-U.S. neighbor, which has vigorously lobbied to join NATO, or even to force its government to collapse.

Under the agreement that Warsaw and Washington reached Thursday, Poland will accept an American missile interceptor base.

"We have crossed the Rubicon," Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said, referring to U.S. consent to Poland's demands after more than 18 months of negotiations.

Washington says the planned system, which is not yet operational, is needed to protect the U.S. and Europe from possible attacks by missile-armed "rogue states" like Iran. The Kremlin, however, feels it is aimed at Russia's missile force and warns it will worsen tensions.

In an interview on Poland's news channel TVN24, Tusk said the United States agreed to help augment Poland's defenses with Patriot missiles in exchange for placing 10 missile defense interceptors in the Eastern European country.

He said the deal also includes a "mutual commitment" between the two nations to come to each other's assistance "in case of trouble."

That clause appeared to be a direct reference to Russia.

Poland has all along been guided by fears of a newly resurgent Russia, an anxiety that has intensified with Russia's offensive in Georgia. In past days, Polish leaders said that fighting justified Poland's demands that it get additional security guarantees from Washington in exchange for allowing the anti-missile base on its soil.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Georgia/Russian conflict discussion

I came across a Blog today which had commented a few days ago about the conflict. It was titled, "The American Portrait" and read Ryan's post about the conflict and then added my comment. Here it is and my comments:

The Puppet Master

If you're one of the few people who still thinks Dmitri Medvedev is calling the shots in Russia, you'd better think again. When Russia invaded Georgia, President Bush (and rightfully so) issued the United States' response to the move, calling it "unacceptable". Condi Rice has played her role as Secretary of State (almost like a prime minister) by doing most of the "behind the scenes" work during the negotiations.

When Russia gives its response to the United States, Vladimir Putin of all people is the one to give it. He criticized the United States for portraying Georgia as the victim and for airlifting Georginan troops from Iraq. Shouldn't Medvedev have given that response? A prime minister in a secondary leadership role giving the official public response to the leader of another nation? Sounds fishy to me.

Europe and the United States need to learn that Russia's steady ascent to increased aggression over the last decade is due solely to Putin, an old school KGB man. Putin in some regards is a full blown dictator without an official title. As the world is prepared to give Russia a good 'ole slap on the wrist, this just seems a little too 1939ish for me.

My Response and Comment:

Ryan, I think you are missing some history here. Since the Bush 41 Presidency, the U.S. has been embarking on a policy of cozying up to former Soviet Countries and wooing them to be a part of NATO. Russia has objected and we have kept pushing.

I don't know if you are old enough but do you remember when Russia did a similar thing in Cuba during the JFK Presidency and how we felt?

I am not a friend of Russia but I am not their enemy either. We have created this mess and it is playing out as predicted given our previous provocative actions. One of the things I am disappointed about is American's immaturity arrogance and lack of accountability when it comes to the consequences of U.S. actions around the world.

It’s never about one person like Putin. All countries share in the accountability for allowing these conditions to be created in the first place.

Just for the record, I am not Russian, nor Georgian, I am American by birth, Italian by decent and a citizen of the World in my spirit. I am a social liberal and fiscal conservative and I voted for Sen. Biden in the Primary.

Charles Amico

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Georgia/Russian conflict: Please explain it to me again?

Today I received an email from Senator Joe Biden's wife on his behalf informing me on his stand regarding this conflict. Here is my reply to the Senator in the form of an email to him and at the bottom I have copied the initial email from his wife:

"Senator, I noticed this in your statement with Senator Lugar back in April, "Russia is clearly trying to provoke the Georgians into an over-reaction that will tarnish Georgia's image in the West. To its great credit, Tbilisi has so far chosen the path of restraint and negotiation, as evidenced by Mr. Saakashvili's magnanimous diplomatic initiative."

I am no expert here, nor do I side with Russia on this, but it seems that President Saakashvili initiated the military action during the Olympics, instead of the heeded advice from you, Senator Lugar and others.

It also seems to me that our strategy for allowing membership into Nato by countries surrounding Russia is provocative in itself. We would not appreciate Chavez of Venezuela building similar alliances with Cuba and other neighbors of ours as we also reacted when Cuba was friendly with Russia and now the Chinese. It feels like we are sticking a sharp stick in the eye of Russia instead of working with them on the issue of Iran, War on Terrorists and things like this conflict.

I know you are busy and most likely haven't the time to respond. I am an average American, a financial supporter of yours again most recently and I am confused by the explanations. Why is it in our interest to cozy up and enter into Alliances like Nato with countries we most likely would not defend with our Blood and Treasure when we have our hands full now and the world knows it.

I appreciate your indulgence Senator. The average person is as confused as I am and this topic needs some time to educate us on this matter and a one page letter, even with links, doesn't do that.

Warmest regards,
Charles Amico
Larkspur, CA"

If the good Senator responds to my inquiry, I will post it here in an Update.

Dear Charles,
I'm sure you have been following the disturbing news regarding Russia's aggressive military tactics in Georgia, begun during the start of the Olympic Games. I wanted to make sure you were the first to read Joe's take on the situation.

Joe penned an op-ed on Georgia for the second time since April, this one in the Financial Times – just now up on their website. In it, titled "Russia Must Stand Down," he outlines the potential consequences of Russia's actions:

By acting disproportionately with a full scale attack on Georgia and seeking the ouster of Georgia's democratically elected President Mikheil Saakashvili, Moscow is jeopardizing its standing in Europe and the broader international community – and risking very real practical and political consequences...

Joe identifies what the next steps need to be for all parties involved and clearly summarizes what we could be facing if things do not change – fast:
The only hope for preventing this crisis from becoming a calamity for Russia's relationship with the west is for Moscow to immediately ceasefire, pull back its forces and agree to negotiations brokered by the international community – all steps that the Georgian government has agreed to. If the fighting continues, this moment could emerge as a turning point in the west's relationship with Moscow, and deny Russia the international standing it seeks. That is not the future the United States or Europe want – but it is the future Russia may get if it does not stand down and live up to its responsibilities as a force for progress.

Once again, Joe and Senator Lugar of Indiana were ahead of the curve on this critical issue. In April, they wrote an op-ed in the Washington Times that highlighted what a crucial region of the world this is. In that piece, "Stand up for Georgia," they said:
Georgia has done its part by refusing to overreact and continues to seek a diplomatic solution. The time has come for the trans-Atlantic community to show unity and commitment.

As always, please do not hesitate to share your opinions on this or anything else that matters to you. We appreciate hearing from you. I'll continue to pass along Joe's thoughts on this developing situation.

Valerie Biden Owens

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Why high gas prices are just what the doctor ordered!

It is simply amazing at all the cries about high gas prices. People are screaming at politicians to do something about it. But for all the shortsightedness by the masses, there has been a tremendous benefit which more are starting to see.

First the headline from today's news: "106 mpg 'air car' creates buzz, questions." It seems that free enterprise is coming to the rescue. Instead of drilling for more gas, many are thinking of ways to eliminate our need for Oil and Gasoline by creating cars that run on air, corn, hydrogen and whatever else the imagination can muster. This is the good side of high gas prices. I say, if you want to break the stranglehold the Middle East has on the rest of the world, keep gas prices high and you will eventually see the wealth of the Middle East crumble. The intellectuals know that and so don't the leaders of Oil rich countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Do you wonder why oil prices have dropped dramatically in the past few weeks, think again about it. When people think of ways of eliminating the need for Oil and Gasoline, you will see the prices drop even farther and the speculators will be caught as well. I say good for that as well.

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Giving credit where credit is due: The Chinese people did a fabulous job at this Olympics

I have been critical in the past of the Government of China regarding their policies on Darfur and Tibet, but I must give credit here for the absolutely fabulous spectacle of the Opening ceremony of this Olympics. I felt one with the people of China in my happiness and pride to see what humans can accomplish when they work together as one. The creativity to even imagine putting together this once in a lifetime, artistic pageant of epic proportion simply can not be described with mere words. The smiles and joy of the people of China was wonderful. If fear can be replaced with courage, and if a closed heart can be opened, the people of the world could come together for prosperity and love to all. It is a wonderful dream and a glimmer of that possibility was exposed to all this week.

We can come together. Dialogue is the way, trust the means and enlightenment is the reward.

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