Sunday, November 30, 2008

Cancer Report

Hopefully you have seen in recent news reports that there has been a decline in rates of most types of cancer in the US. This news obviously is a good thing when considered on an initial read.

I have sent an online question to the American Cancer Society to look at another possibility behind the drop. Is it possible that with the increasing percentage of uninsured Americans over the past decade, the report's findings may have inadvertently left out this rather significant percentage of the American population? If one has no insurance, it's unlikely that diagnoses will be made and treatments will be instituted secondary to the fact that this population will not pursue health care maintenance. Therefore, the cancers that would have been detected and treated within this population would not be part of the statistics if this very subset has been excluded.

My hope is that the issue of the uninsured was taken into account in the production of this particular report.

I will post whatever answer I receive from the ACS.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Great Game I

Okay, here's another link for you. It's a rather lengthy article from the recent "Foreign Affairs" journal. By the way, I happen to love this particular journal. Fortunately, I have the ability to speed-read...and so whenever I'm at Borders and have the time, I'll digest this scholarly work. And please, take the time and effort someday to have a good look at this journal yourself. You will be seeing many more comments and citations from me in the future about their writings.

This article is quite substantive with regards to the on the ground realities of this particular region. The suggestions made for our future policies are subject, of course, to more intensive evaluation.

The only critique I have of this particular article is that it seems to avoid the underlying nature of Islamist thought and its aversion of Western thought and culture. It may be true that perhaps the US needs to hold more formalized discussions with our adversaries in this region to effect a "peace". But this may just be a Damocle's sword in the long term.

There is a significant percentage of the world's Muslim population which supports violence against those who would fail to submit to Allah. The word Islam refers to the obedience and submission to Allah's will.

I fully support and honor individual and collective choices to practice whichever religious thought that provides spiritual comfort. I will not support, however, interpretations of any religion or quasi-political belief that embraces the spread of its dogma through violence. My study of Islamic fundamentalism shows no desire for it to enter into a meaningful understanding of social and cultural needs of the "non believers". It's quite easy for readers of this article to do simple word searches detailing political aims of Islamic fundamentalism to verify this base reality.

Now that you have read this posting....make your own judgments about the last few days in Mumbai.

And it really doesn't matter as course of explanation to know whether the assailants were directed by Pakistan or were an Indian Muslim group or, as some reports indicate, included British-born Pakistanis who traveled to India to commit this carnage. The fact remains they represent a violent strain of Islam that represents a continuing threat to our security as well as that of our allies.

I support any means necessary to eliminate this threat.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


As you may have gathered so far, I am holding true to my promise that I will strive to educate interested constituents on not just my own preferences, interests and points of view...but also will include at least one or two copy and paste links to other background material for each of my postings which I believe will help to serve as further clarification of my perspectives. I hope that some of these links will stimulate other questions for you in perhaps challenging your own perceptions of issues. I have always tried to establish the value of realizing that for every argument or dilemma, there will be at least two opposing points of view, which when evaluated separately will offer meaningful context to the entire evaluation of any problem. I have found that there never is a "black and white" response to any issue...the subjective and objective shades of grey that we all bring (based many times on our own personal belief structures) into the analysis of any issue of concern is sometimes the greatest stumbling block in the co-creation of policy making.

Now for your homework...go type "realpolitik" into whatever word search engine you choose and try to digest the various definitions you may find.

My particular policy evaluation style is based upon this form of political reality. I think that this perspective is a much more rationale explanation of those shades of grey that sometimes need to be evaluated in establishing coherent policies.

And why do I think these comments and requests are important for you?

I have no interest in being your caretaker. I am not going to go to Washington to act as a "father-type figure" who will simply pat you on the head and say "don't worry, my established all knowing system will take care of you and you don't have to do a thing".

I want to do something a bit different. I want you to be involved and I want you to not only know what's going on inside my head but I want to educate you in the ways of the real world. Imagine this irrationally foreign concept of a partnership between the generic needs of Americans and their elected officials. It's important for me to have that partnership. I refuse to exist as that man behind the curtain.

Realpolitik does exist by the way, even if you've never heard of it before. This particular word "realpolitik" is going to be repeated over and over on this blog. You will become sick of hearing it. But I think that it's important enough to understand.

And that's my job...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Nixon Doctrine

Earlier this summer, I purchased on ebay a 1972 Nixon campaign button with the famous "Now More than Ever" logo next to a profile of the late President. The reason behind my purchase was a personal resignation (apropos term I suppose in this case) to my complete lack of confidence in the 2008 Presidential candidates of the Republican and Democratic parties. I do not know either of these gentlemen personally and while I was sure they "meant well" neither of them inspired me with the confidence of forming a truly bipartisan gameplan in which our various economic and foreign policy concerns would be carefully evaluated and re-tooled to effect a solid plan of future success.

I reflected back on my knowledge of Nixon's exploits and Conrad Black's book "Richard M. Nixon: A Life in Full" allowed me to interpret an interesting variation and definition of the Nixon Doctrine. For those unfamiliar with the Nixon Doctrine, a key construct of the plan was that the US expected its allies to take responsibility for its own military defense. These comments were primarily directed at South Vietnam in Nixon's November 3, 1969 address to the nation.

The word "responsibility" seems to hold more political truth for me...and I think that our society's avoidance of responsibility of ones' own actions has provided the impetus for numerous failures of our national "personal infrastructure". And no...I'm not talking about the infrastructure of bridges and roads and railway systems. I'm referring to a personal accountability perspective and the various manifestations of a lack thereof. The corporate greed endemic within the present shakedown on the present international financial system ('s just not about us anymore) comes most presently to mind. I am unable to fathom how it was possible for highly educated financial MBA types to have not figured out the potential inevitability of today's situation. And the layers of lawyers and business people who represent all of us in Congress weren't aware of this debacle? I find that this present dilemma not having been foreseen to be extremely unsettling. Perhaps I'm way too naive.

But the concepts of responsibility do represent importance for me. I will push for guidelines to establish a greater degree of oversight and responsibility when it comes to the public good. I can no longer tolerate a system where the foxes are allowed to guard the henhouse over and over again just to protect isolated interests unrelated to the general public welfare. I'm wanting to know why the desires and hopes of the citizenry are considered to be an impediment to economic and political growth by various interest groups as opposed to a valued partnership in maintaining the strength of our United States.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Compare and Contrast

The above links may seem to represent two items of seemingly unrelated procedural ephemera. My perception is that both concepts of "senatorial courtesy" and "desk drawer veto" should be abandoned. Both entities serve as a potential tool for restraining dialogue and debate to advance personal and party-based agendas. These concepts in my opinion seem to discredit the need for a system of valid and constructive discourse from "both sides of the fence" to establish national and state policies. I will not follow these examples.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A quiz

I ran across the above link earlier this evening and took the quiz. I invite you to take the quiz and then evaluate your score with the results compared to additional information on the following link from the same organization.

In case you wonder...I got a fraction less than 85%.

My point in inviting you to take the test is not a means of passing or failing your knowledge base of politics and basic US civics. More so, it's a means of demonstrating (according to the statistics developed by this group) the simple lack of understanding and awareness of political history and civics from our own elected officials...we are the ones that should be held to a higher regard of understanding of our own political history and how said knowledge should relate to present policy making.

Friday, November 21, 2008


I have made my decision to run for elected office in 2010 which therefore explains the title of my blog. This blog will serve not only as a reminder for me to maintain momentum and focus for my aspiration but will also provide a curious way of sharing my experiences and adventures for those folks who might want to know what would make a relatively sensible individual decide to run for federal office in this day and age.

I look at this blog as being a tool in helping potential voters to understand my motivations and subsequent platform stances, the outset, I should discuss. Over the course of this blog biography (as it were), I will review my perspectives on numerous foreign and domestic issues. As a former Democrat and present Independent, my political and social beliefs can run from ultra-right to ultra-left depending upon the subject material at hand. My frustration with the present two party system is that there is very little leeway in having alternative views that match productive points of view of both parties. I suppose I would consider myself more of a proverbial "centrist" overall but, as I noted before, my various positions will become more apparent as time moves on.

The hallmark of my path to DC is the development of an educated voter base. I think the mainstream media and our present system of government has produced a highly uneducated class of constituency in which the average American's knowledge of domestic and world affairs is the end product of what I call "minimalist news". The world is a much more complicated place and really can not be explained in an occasional flurry of 30 second news pieces on TV or a few paragraphs in print. An educated and informed public is quintessential in the formation and evolution of a savvy voter base---a group that should be able to have easily accessible and perhaps contrarian opinions.

This blog will hopefully provide a quality forum of educational opportunities for Delawareans and other interested individuals to understand not only my foci of political dynamics but with the aid of various links to issues to develop a greater understanding of the world at large.

Speaking of links, maybe we should start with a general discussion of what is called the middle class and I'd like to introduce the following link as reading material on this particular topic. I think this represents some interesting reading on the nature of both the definition of the middle class but also I can appreciate the conclusions this author offers as it does correlate with my concerns as to how official government statistics could be manipulated for party-related gain. And while this link details one small component of understanding within the entire scope of US economic thought, the specific concerns and observations did change my perspectives on the nature of middle class valuation and I gratefully appreciate this work by Mr Fitzgerald.