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America and The New Divide

This morning I woke up and didn’t recognize my country.

This election cycle has been one if the most divisive in my lifetime. The incumbent, Barack Obama, ran one of the nastiest, most un-presidential campaigns that I have ever seen. Both guys threw blows, but one candidate was much more presidential in his tact and delivery.

Unfortunately for us he was also unwilling to attack the President’s performance when it mattered most, during the Foreign Policy debate. Libya was the most obvious, most successful route to undermine the Press’ reporting and the President’s own words. Romney, however, was unwilling to go on the offensive in the third debate because he had momentum that should’ve carried him through the election (turnouts from his last few campaign stops verify this); that is until Sandy hit the NE and the media largely ignored FEMA’s horrible ineptitude on the ground (It’s just as of yesterday being called the “Cold Katrina”).

A lot can be said for Romney and his campaign. That he was an “uninspiring candidate”, “too conservative”, “too rich”, that the “demographic of the electorate was wrong”. At the end of the day, though, his and his PAC’s GOTV movement failed miserably.

It’s not the candidate that failed conservatives in America, though. What we’re experiencing is the new Divide in America, an America where the majority of youth have always been handed everything. As children they were given trophies, as teenagers they were given endless tests where they weren’t ever challenged, and as young adults they were given easily accessible college tuition and education.

These young adults, ages 18-30, have been given everything and are in a “Hakuna Matata” phase of their lives, to borrow from the Lion King. They have abandoned the America their ancestors left for them because they grew up so much differently and don’t know any better. They need to see Mufasa fall from the proverbial cliff, be mired in and experience the pain that causes, and then realize that in order to restore Pride Rock to the place they and their parents grew up in that it will require hard work and dedication on their part.

We’re not there yet and I don’t know what will trigger it for everyone, some of us have already experienced it and are starting to do our part. I pray for the sake of this great nation that its not something catastrophic and that we can all come together to rebuild this great country as a nation united behind hard work and integrity when it does happen. Because if the majority never get out of the “Hakuna Matata” phase, I fear what will become of our great history.

May God bless you and our Great Nation.

Filed under : Politics
By dhert
On November 7, 2012
At 5:37 pm
Comments : 0

Saudi Revolution, coming to a Middle East near you.

With most all of the Middle East on fire one of the last bastions of stability has been Saudi Arabia. So far at least there has only been minimal protests and demonstrations, and those were largely related to the Governments response to flooding. Well, it seems that a Saudi revolution is being scheduled through facebook.

If this revolution actually gains any traction I fear we may wish for the days of Jimmy Carter. A day when even far left Presidents would use force to protect our access to oil in the Middle East. Or even days when we could have started drilling at home to get our dependence on foreign entities down (they say the process would take around a decade).

Back in December an ex-Shell Oil boss was predicting $5 a gallon gas by 2012, but that didn’t include this sort of unrest in the Middle East. If this trend continues we could see $4 a gallon gas by early Summer and $5 a gallon gas by Winter of this year, and that is a hopeful prediction that doesn’t account for an actual uprising in Saudi Arabia. If a real uprising happens in Saudi Arabia then all bets are off, our gas prices could double or triple and gas could likely become a very rare commodity.

Filed under : Politics
By dhert
On February 22, 2011
At 9:55 am
Comments : 0

Ohio Senate Bill 5

Ohio Senate Bill 5 is the bill against Collective Bargaining for Local and State Government workers Unions. The debate has heated up and theres a lot of misinformation on both sides of the court. The best thing I can recommend to anyone before they take a stance on this bill is to read it. There is also good balanced reports on the bill at the Columbus Dispatch, WLWT, and Yahoo!.

The bill will help to fix pensions (which are currently so absurd that they will soon be unfunded liabilities) which will help Ohio get its budget under control for the future. It also awards teachers based on merit rather than seniority, which in turns helps school throughout the state become better as it will help to weed out those teachers who are unsatisfactory.

Unions do not fight for the rights of these workers, this is a fallacy that has been purported for decades. Ohio has had civil-service protection laws since 1912, of which all of these jobs are covered by. Below are some highlights of proposals in the bill from the Columbus Dispatch article.

Proposals in the bill:

State workers

  • Eliminates collective bargaining for state workers, including higher education employees.
  • Requires the Department of Administrative Services to develop a merit-based system of pay.

Local workers

  • Removes the requirement that deadlocked safety forces go to binding arbitration, instead extending the prior union contract for one year.
  • Requires mediators to consider wages of employees who are not members of the union and does not allow them to consider future tax increases as part of an entity’s ability to pay.
  • Allows employers to hire permanent replacement workers during a strike.
  • Removes health insurance from collective bargaining. Management will pick insurance policies, and employees must cover at least 20 percent of the cost.
  • No longer requires that once a subject is included in a contract that it becomes a mandatory subject of future bargaining.
  • Defines an “impasse” as a lack of agreement after 90 days. After that point, it requires each side to make public its last, best offer.
  • Prohibits public employers from picking up extra employee pension contributions.
  • Eliminates from state law automatic pay increases for experience and education.
  • Eliminates from state law leave policies and automatic 15 sick days for teachers.
  • Prohibits school districts from bargaining away certain management powers, such as the ability to deploy teachers to certain buildings.
  • No longer makes longevity a deciding factor when management is deciding to make layoffs.
  • Requires a public employer to publish on its website any changes in the union contract that impacts compensation of workers, including wages, length of service payments, and insurance coverage.
  • Requires the employer and the State Employment Relations Board to publish the parties’ offers on their websites before and after fact-finding is complete.
  • Allows schools or local governments in fiscal emergency to terminate or modify a collective bargaining agreement.
Filed under : Politics
By dhert
On February 21, 2011
At 6:09 pm
Comments : 0

Middle East unrest spreads.

Egypt style protests are now happening in Iran, Bahrain and Libya.

Iran comes as no surprise, given the protests they were having after the “rigged” elections of 2009. The Green Movement is working hard again in Iran and the government there has already started forceful shutdowns of shops and demonstrations. At least two people have already been killed.

Libya should also come as no surprise, given its proximity to Egypt. Bahrain is a bit more concerning considering its proximity to Saudi Arabia, though it may not have much effect on the Saudis given the island’s small stature.

Given that protests have already come Yemen, Jordan, Syria, Algeria, and Morocco it may be time to zoom out of the region a bit and keep a keen eye focused on Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the Southern European countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. If this is all tied to the Muslim Brotherhood and like-minded groups we could be seeing the start of a Islamic Caliphate, just as Glenn Beck had warned and the New York Times affirmed.

Filed under : Politics
By dhert
On February 15, 2011
At 9:29 am
Comments : 0

Egypt: Military Coup by Popular Demand

Mubarak has officially stepped down as President of Egypt. Power of the country has been handed over to the Military, this in essence has become a ‘soft’ Military Coup. The questions now swirl as to who exactly the Military will promote to lead the country, or if there will be a “democratic” vote.

If a vote happens expect the Islamic Fascists (Muslim Brotherhood) to snatch control and kick all the Communist groups that helped them out of the country (this include Labor Unions and Code Pink). They will be very Anti-Israel and United States. This change could take a few months or only a few weeks, but chances are we’re seeing the rise of another Iran in the Middle East.

This comes on the 32nd Anniversary of the Iran royal regime falling during the Iranian Revolution of 1979.

Filed under : Politics
By dhert
On February 11, 2011
At 12:00 pm
Comments : 0

Violence in Egypt, Day 2.

After 15 hours of violence yesterday everything had finally come to a calm. Anti-Mubarak demonstrators set up what looks like a patchwork wall and base camp in Tahrir square. This morning at around 9:45am EST heavy gunfire broke out around Liberation square in Cairo, the sounds were of heavy caliber automatic weaponry. Its not clear at this point if the gunfire is coming from Egyptian Military firing into the air to clear out fighting between sides or if the Pro-Mubarak side has obtained heavy weaponry.

Keeping my eyes peeled as the situation changes. Pray for all the people in Egypt, that they see peace and transition soon.

UPDATE, 10:10am EST: It has been confirmed that the sustained heavy gunfire was the Egyptian Military firing warning shots. They were clearing out Pro-Mubarak protesters from Liberation square.

CNN was shooting live yesterday afternoon when a Pro-Mubarak protester went to throw a Molotov Cocktail at the Anti-Mubarak crowd when he failed horribly and set himself on fire. Chances are the poor guy was injured badly, as he ran after it happened rather than stopping, dropping and rolling.

Clarification: Liberation Square and Tharir Square are the same thing. It’s absolutely beyond me why there are two different names for it.

UPDATE, 5:15pm EST: Here’s a story no one else is really talking about anywhere else and something I’ve been saying to keep an eye on. Silent Protests in Saudi Arabia, which is much bigger news than it may seem to someone outside of the region. Saudi Arabia is quite possibly the most stable country in the Middle East and silent protests there could lead to much bigger things no one would really expect.

Filed under : Politics
By dhert
On February 3, 2011
At 5:00 am
Comments : 0

Violence in Egypt

Violence has broken out between whats being described as “Pro Mubarak” demonstrators and “Anti-Government” demonstrators in both Cairo and Alexandria. For now they’re only throwing rocks at each other, though injuries are still mounting. What we’re seeing is an absolute travesty and we can only hope that order returns to the region soon.

Watch what’s happening here.

NBC’s Brian Williams is reporting that this all started when paid government “thugs” were interjected into the crowds and thats when this violence broke out. This claim would make sense given the protesters from both sides were very peaceful and working together up until today. UPDATE, 10:45am: Al Jazeera was just showing video from earlier today where Protesters were holding up IDs of Police force members who came in and started violence amongst the groups.

Military has taken over the Egyptian Museum and have been using it as a base. Warning shots have started to ring out over the crowds and are clearly audible on Al Jazeera’s live feed.

UPDATE, 2:00pm: Pro-Mubarak supporters have begun using Molotov Cocktails, Whips, Sticks and Swords over the past several hours. Reports indicate that ~750 people have been injured, Egypt’s Health ministry reports closer to 400 people. More Pro-Mubarak supporters have been “taken into custody” and Egyptian Police ID’s have been found on them, making it pretty clear that the Egyptian government is involved in this violence.

UPDATE, 4:30pm: More evidence has come to light that the Pro-Mubarak supporters have been bussed in from the country side and in many cases are being organized by the National Democratic Party, which currently runs the government. CNN has been hearing from many Pro-Mubarak demonstrators that they work for the government and there have been many rumors that these supporters are being paid for their being there. This MSNBC article sheds a lot of light on the situation.

UPDATE, 10:00pm: Reports from Anti-Mubarak demonstrators in Tahrir Square on Al Jazeera are that shots have been fired coming from the Pro-Mubarak crowd. Egyptian military are still sitting on the sidelines while all of this goes on, but some fear if they don’t intercede soon that this could turn into an absolute tragedy.

Filed under : Politics
By dhert
On February 2, 2011
At 10:18 am
Comments : 0


Egypt’s leader, Hosni Mubarak, is now making concessions to the protesters throughout the country. Promises include reform of the current government and that Mubarak will not run for reelection, but no promises to move the government to a true democracy which is what all of the protesting was for. President Obama spoke about the events today with a stance opposite the one held on Monday, urging that an orderly transition “must be meaningful, must be peaceful and must begin now”, but what should we expect to see?

Mubarak has indicated that, to this point, the current government will stay in place and reforms will be made to it. He will not run for reelection, though we can assume that his son would run in his place as he has been groomed to take over. That, however, assumes that Egypt makes it to the elections in September. Even ‘Opposition Leader’ ElBaradei has stated that Mubarak will not only be a “lame-duck president” but also a “dead man walking” if he doesn’t step down before the next election (I apologize for the bit of Propaganda at the end of the video):

This indicates to me that there will be a tough road ahead for the country and the region. So long as Egypt remains in turmoil other countries will seize on the opportunity to begin revolutions of their own. Should someone like ElBaradei and the Muslim Brotherhood seize power in Egypt it would only further deteriorate US relations in the region.

Filed under : Politics
By dhert
On February 1, 2011
At 11:59 pm
Comments : 0

A Good Day

Today’s been a good day for those who oppose the health care legislation and for fans of the Cincinnati Bengals. If you happen to fall in both camps its probably one of the best days on record this year and its only the end of January.

A U.S. District Judge in Florida has ruled that the individual mandate of the new Health Care Law is unconstitutional. It’s inevitable that this case will end up in the Supreme Court for the Justices there to decide, and given the track record so far one could argue that they will hold with this decision. That is not to say that Congress doesn’t have the power to regulate the Health Care system, but they certainly don’t have the power to require citizens to purchase it.

As for news on the Bengals front I’m proud to announce that everyone’s favorite target this year, Offensive Coordinator Bob Bratkowski, is now unemployed. While I feel for anyone searching for a job in this climate, his time had certainly passed. After having a top 10 offense during the ’05-’07 seasons he’s put up sub 20 numbers since and this year he had what could be called the most talented offense this city has seen since ’89. Numbers show what he was able to do with the talent and it wasn’t much.

Rumors which were previously rather mild are now sweltering with the idea that the Bengals could take advantage of the Vikings paying Childress $3 million/year for the next two years to bring him in as Offense Coordinator now at a discount. Other rumors are promoting the current QBs coach and hiring Jim Zorn. The reality will be known in the coming weeks and certainly will be effected by Mike Brown. I, for one, am hoping they bring on Childress, but thats just me.

Filed under : Politics,Sports
By dhert
On January 31, 2011
At 4:30 pm
Comments : 0

Middle east…

The middle east is on fire, literally and figuratively. Fires have broken out in Tunisia, Libya, Algeria, Jordan, Yemen, Morocco and Egypt which include protests and riots in these countries wanting to overthrow/replace their government. The people are sick of their governments and are demanding more freedom and democracy. There are also signs that protests are starting in Saudi Arabia and hundreds have already been detained there.

I propose that we pray for the people in these countries.  No matter what God you believe in, these are troubling times for everyone in the world. I hope that an acceptable resolution comes quickly.

Filed under : Politics
By dhert
On January 29, 2011
At 3:47 pm
Comments : 0