Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Political humor and nonsense

since my adult life, I have always been interested in politics, and while I am a self-identified conservative, I realize that no one party has all the right answers and one all of the wrong ideas. The truth of the matter is that there are good and bad ideas in all political parties and there are good and bad candidates in all political parties. What I would like to focus on today is the humor in the inconsistencies within the current presidential election. I must be honest, I have not yet decided who to vote for as I believe both Barack Obama and John McCain are seriously flawed politicians. Anyhow, here are a few of the inconsistencies that I find humorous, especially the way that media, pundits, and voters are hypocritical in their assessment of candidates.

1. The concept that Sarah Palin is a blubbering fool. Yes, she seriously messed up in attempting to defend a statement in an interview with Katie Couric as is seen here:

but to characterize her from this one mistake is disingenuous when Barack Obama has made his own gaffes that are not widely spoken of or shared in the media, as is seen here:

and John McCain makes mistakes too:

And Joe Biden as well:

Needless to say, all politicians, as all people, have moments that they wish they could take back. So it is humorous to me to think that people will say Palin is not fit to be president because of a few fumbling of words when all candidates have done it.

2. The attacks from the media and from the political left that Palin has no foreign policy experience and is therefore not qualified to be Vice President. Hello, people! Barack Obama does not have any more foreign policy experience than Palin in any measurable way, and he wants to be President! If you are going to knock Palin for it, you have to knock Obama in return.

3. John McCain as Maverick? Ok, so McCain has done some things to tick conservatives off, but to say that he is a Washington outsider is funny. He is full-blown Washington!

4. Barack Obama as a bipartisan agent of change? Haha! This one really makes me laugh! It is hard to believe that the media has sold him as such and America is buying it. The reality is that he has voted 94% of the time lock-step with the democratic position in the senate. 94% of the time! How is espousing the democratic platform change? How is never reaching across the aisle to compromise with republicans bipartisan?

5. Barack Obama as an agent of hope? Obama is pure-blood politician who has been involved in some pretty corrupt dealings during his reign in the Illinois state senate. Just listen to him try to explain away his relationships with corrupt politicians, businessmen, and preachers--it is quite humorous!

6. John McCain with his straight talk? Just listen to him twist and turn on his positions.

7. The media's sudden revelation that McCain is dishonest in how he portrays his opponents is hilarious! The media beats up on McCain for "distorting" Obama's record in his web-video adds and they seem shocked by the maneuver. HELLO MEDIA! McCain was doing the same thing in the primary elections when he completely distorted Romney and the media ate it up. McCain hasn't changed in his tactics--it is just that the media ignores it if the tactic is used on a republican then cries foul if it is done on a democrat. This should be no surprise to anyone who is honest in their observations of the political contests.

There is so much more that I could get into, but I do not wish this blog entry to be too long. The fact of the matter is that double-standards do exist with the media, that both candidates have some serious baggage, and the American people on both sides of the issues are being duped into false ideas and perceptions. I'll address more later.

Friday, September 26, 2008


"Relatively" is nothing
More than perceived perspectives
Flaunting vain comparisons
To endless examples of the unknown.
I am average.
Everything points to this fact--
One is more this. . .
One is more that. . .
Relatively speaking
I am nothing
More than what one chooses to believe.
I am a million souls
To a million minds!
I am a hundred souls
To a hundred minds!
(I'd be lucky to have that many thoughts utter my name).
My friends are few,
But faithful.
So many fear in life to be a molecule:
One drop within an endless sea!
I embrace my mediocrity,
Knowing it is relative,
But it is mine.
And relatively speaking,
My mind relates the greatest judgment to my soul.

--Brett Hall
October 26, 2007

Monday, September 22, 2008

California's Highway 1

. . . after hiking about crater lake I headed straight for the California coast. I arrived in California late at night and after some searching found a place amid the redwood forests to camp for the night. It was extremely damp and cold--quite unexpected for this time of the year. As I lay in my tent attempting to sleep, I heard some large animal rummaging about my campsite--There was nothing around for it to find as I literally pulled up, pitched my tent, and went straight to sleep. Whatever it was, it didn't stay around long and I didn't bother to find out what it was--I was too tired at this point so I simply went to sleep. The next morning I traveled down Highway 1. It is an impressive drive. I kept pulling off of the side of the road in order to get pictures. I ended up camping again somewhere in the northern part of the state and during my drive I made sure to stop at a number of lighthouses. To be brief, I made it to the bay area where I stayed the night with some good friends of mine--Erik and Tammy Shipley. The next day I was off again, heading down through Big Sur where I arrived for the sunset. I was at a pretty good vista for the sunset itself, but kept convincing myself that there must be something better around the corner, so I kept driving around the bend, got out of my car, took more photos, and then drove around the next bend convinced that it could only get better. This allowed for some great photos just before sunset, but to my dismay, when the sun actually was setting into the sea, I was in the worst possible location for photography--Needless to say, I learned a little lesson in greed! :)
I had thought about camping in Big Sur, but it had been a long trip since I left Home in June. It was now August and I longed to sleep in my own bed, so I drove home through the night and arrived at my apartment some time around 3 a.m. My Roommate was not expecting me and upon hearing me enter the apartment was on his feet ready to discard the intruder with his bare hands (my roommate is a former marine who loves weapons and is three times my size).
Anyhow, it was a wonderful trip, and I enjoyed it all (I have left a lot out from this blog as it would be too laborious to include everything that I experienced on the journey. I got a few nights sleep in my own bed before heading out again with the high adventure scouts, spending a week in the Sierra's and hiking half dome. I had one more night in my own bed before heading out for another week at scout camp. It was a fun and eventful summer to say the least.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Crater Lake

From the coast I headed back inland in order to experience the pristine beauty of Crater Lake. I had often heard from my brother-in-law of when he was a boy and his father took him to crater lake, and he stared down the steep slopes into the distant water. It is truly amazing to be standing atop this old volcano that has filled with water. I ended up taking two hikes here--the first, a short hike down the slopes to the lake shore. The second to the top of the tallest peak within the National Park to get an overview of the lake. Words cannot do the scene justice, but perhaps these photos will help. . .

The Oregon Coast

. . . From the heartland of Oregon I worked my way back to the Oregon coast. I have an aunt who absolutely loves the central coast and from the pictures that I had seen, I knew that it was a must see for me. The Oregon coast is nothing short of amazing--forested mountains diving down into the sea. I stopped by a number of lighthouses and marveled at the varied nature of the coastline. In some areas it was filled with forests, other mountains, others sand dunes, and others, sandy beaches stretching out. . .

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Central Oregon

. . . so, after being completely amazed at the wonder and beauty that the old scenic highway along the Columbia River had to offer, I continued my trek out to Mount Hood. It was an impressive sight, but if you have to choose between Rainier and Hood, my advice to to visit Rainier. Nevertheless, Mt. Hood is a sight to behold, especially in the manner that it dominates the fertile valleys below. The best part of this part of the trip was driving through the farming communities and stopping at the roadside stands that sell fresh produce. I purchased some fresh-picked raspberries and blueberries and was in heaven as I partook of their juicy sweetness while driving lackadaisically through the idyllic countryside.
Traveling further in the farming districts I ended up in Central Oregon where I viewed and photographed a number of covered bridges. It was a cool sight to see and there really weren't any other tourists driving about (at least not that I could detect. . . the reality is that there was no-one driving about, or so it seemed). As the evening shadows stretched themselves out upon the landscape and the sun dipped beneath the horizon, I concluded that I had ought to find a place to sleep for the night. The problem--I was in the middle of farmsteads--not exactly a place for tourists to stay. I finally drove passed an RV park and stopped by asking if they had any place for a tenter. It turned out that this RV park was run by the city and there was one small section for tenters. Needless to say, I was speaking with a city worker who told me all about it. He warned me that there was a homeless couple camped out in the tenting sites and mentioned that they would talk my ear off. His parting words were, "If you have any problems, call 911." He quickly recognized how poorly that sounded and I told him I was not worried.
So I ended up camping with this homeless couple, who actually proved to be really nice people. It was a husband and wife and the husband was quick to assure me that he had only been homeless for a couple of months and that he did not plan to stay homeless. It turns out that he has had a rough life. He served in Vietnam and shortly after his return, his wife committed suicide. He later remarried only to be divorced sometime later. He recently married his third wife (about a year ago), and shortly thereafter learned that his second wife had come down with cancer. He took at a load against his house in order to help his previous wife pay the medical bills and then he lost his job and naturally lost the home as a result of being unable to pay the bills. In the meantime, his second wife passed away. Regardless, they were a kind and upbeat couple and I enjoyed visiting with them.
The next morning I was heading back toward the Oregon coast where I drove from the central coast southward. . .

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Northern Oregon--The Columbia River

From Washington I headed a little ways down the Oregon coast before heading north-east to the Columbia River region. The valley and the old scenic highway are a wonderful view and drive. Anyone who is in this region of the world MUST take this drive--it is truly breathtaking! Anyhow, I don't have time to write about it now, so enjoy the pictures. . .