"I venture to suggest that patriotism is not a short and frenzied outburst

of emotion but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime."
Adlai E. Stevenson, American statesman (1900-1965).

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Washington Post: Palin "Utterly unqualified"

Journalist Fareed Zakaria claims Palin has a 1 in 5 chance of becoming President if McCain wins November's election.

Listen to his take on Palin as interviewed by CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Eight is Enough

Eight years earlier...














Eight years later...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Chicken McShit

Small Town America is not fooled by McSame's valiant, brave and maverick-like choice to suspend his campaign to single-handedly rescue America from Economic Doom.

There are 98 other Senators on duty to handle the issue. They do not need one more to add to the confusion. This is a political McPloy of the worst sort, and the McSame camp oughta be McShamed of themselves. We are not fooled by your attempt at selflessness--this is the most selfish thing you could have done.

Do not begrudge us our debate. Show us you are a multitasker-- show us you got a pair--and belly up to the podium, man----adjust the mic, and let's roll.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What about my cut?

My thoughts on the "bail-out" issue...

I think it is beyond gutsy, ballsy, whatever you want to call it, that Paulson wants absolute, utter control over this deal, so far as his actions shall not, under any circumstances, be subject to review, judgment, legal action, etc...

Barack Obama said (paraphrase) why should we agree to give someone total control over $1T with no accountability or oversight, when it was the lack of accountability and oversight that got into this mess in the first place?

What I'd like to know is ...
  1. Why can't we consider this money a loan to these banking companies? If the government is using taxpayer money to "bail" these yahoos out, why can't they be charged interest on these loans?
  2. Why can't the American taxpayers each get a cut of this interest? A little check--quarterly, annually, whatever--however they want to do it, they can send me my earned interest check. They could even tax me on it--I wouldn't mind. That is still some extra cash in my pocket to spend. It would inject money into the economy, and raise more taxes for the government to spend on programs.

*That* to me is a wise use of our money. What I mean to say is, if they are going to use it anyway, why shouldn't we get something for it?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Letter to Nancy Martin

I wrote this post on 9/21 (before Nancy Martin was chosen as the new SLCRPC) and chose not to publish it. As I have now met Nancy Martin, I would like to share it with her. It is my hope that she learn from her predecessor's mistakes. I am a Democrat--so what do I care, right? Well, there are people very close to me that are Republicans...family, friends...I feel they need--deserve--better representation.

Open letter to St. Lawrence County Republicans...

It has come to my attention that you will soon be choosing a new Republican Party Chair for St. Lawrence County.


I know very little personally about either of your two choices, Nancy Martin and Janet Kelly.


I do know this, however: Janet Kelly is a piss-poor representative of your party. She is, in my opinion, disrespectful to the citizens of the North Country. You need to get rid of her.


The following is a comment I made to a post on Political IV. I believe it bears repeating on here...


"Janet Kelly is a hypocrite.


One day, she is suggesting Democrat Addie Jenne Russell is not suitable for the job of Assemblywoman because she is a new mother and has a lot on her plate. The next day, she is on the front page of the Massena-Courier Observer singing the praises of Republican Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin. We should vote for Palin, Janet Kelly says--she is one of us--she hunts, fishes and her husband rides snowmobiles.


Well, isn't Mrs. Palin a new mother herself--of a special-needs baby, no less? I would deem the Vice-President a slight more demanding a position than that of North Country Assemblywoman, wouldn't you?


What's with the double standard? And does Janet Kelly really think we are that stupid to fall for that "she's one of us" crap? Jesus! I thought someone from here would have more integrity than that. I thought someone from here would show more respect for her fellow citizens of the North Country. She disgusts me. She is an insult to our people, to our area, to our heritage. She needs to move to the big city where she will fit right in with the rest of the Republicans who feel rural America is filled with a bunch of easily manipulated rubes, easily lead around like sheep to slaughter, easily told what to think like brainless backwoods idiots.


Well, I am not one of those rubes. She cannot fool me. She can kiss my ass."


In summation, I feel Janet Kelly insulted our intelligence--not as individuals, but as a collective group. Suggesting that we vote in favor of someone because they hunt and ride snowmobiles is one of the most ridiculous political endorsements I have ever had the misfortune to read. Unfortunately, sadly, people will listen to this drivel. This is why we are where we are eight years later, with a president some hick feels they can have a beer with.

Well, tell me, have you had that beer yet? Better yet, can you actually still afford beer?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Are you qualified to be an American citizen?

Take the Naturalization Self Test and see how you do.

Post your results in the comments section (anonymously, if you need to! lol)
Let us know which ones you got wrong.

Scooby Snacks to the first 5 people that tell us how they did.

Have fun!


Thursday, September 18, 2008

You name it...

We want to know what you think...about anything that has to do with this year's election.

Are you concerned about your Second Amendment rights?
Does the Roe v. Wade issue push your buttons?
What do you think about Gov. Palin's promises for "openness and transparency" when she gets to the White House?
Do you think T. Boone Pickens is a whack job or the smartest man in America?

What would you like to hear about and discuss? Anything is game. Lay it on us.

~STA

Monday, September 15, 2008

Health Care by John McCain

I was recently chided on another blog for pointing out someone's grammatical error instead of looking at real issues that affect Small Town America. While I stand by my poking fun at someone on a Republican rant who called the President a "Commander and Chief," I gladly yield to my fellow poster and take a look at something McCain would like to implement were he chosen as our "Commander--in--Chief," something I feel would directly impact Small Town America.

Health Care

To simplify, McCain would like to completely revamp the health care industry in the following ways: he encourages employees to purchase health insurance themselves rather than rely on employer provided insurance; he would facilitate this by giving tax credits to off-set the cost of said private insurance; he would take a "free market" approach to health care industry, thus encouraging competition between the insurance companies, thus driving down premium costs; according to the New York Times, "he would provide refundable tax credits of $2,500 to single people and of $5,000 to families" (1).

At first glance, it doesn't look too bad.

Here are the problems:

1) The money that would otherwise be paid by your employer for your insurance now goes in your pocket. Good right? Nope. This now becomes income, upon which you must pay taxes.

2) The tax credits sound great, right? "While still having the option of employer-based coverage, every family will receive a direct refundable tax credit - effectively cash - of $2,500 for individuals and $5,000 for families to offset the cost of insurance. Families will be able to choose the insurance provider that suits them best and the money would be sent directly to the insurance provider" (2). He is even willing to send the money directly to the insurance company for you. What isn't mentioned? "[T]he average cost per family for health insurance is $12000" (3).

3) "While the change would primarily affect those with gold-plated insurance policies, health analysts point out that middle-income workers with conventional coverage could conceivably pay more in regions where insurance costs are high." (1)

I don't know about you, but this Small Town American cannot afford an extra $7000 a year. Unless I got a nice raise--which, with the economy as it is now, doesn't look like it will happen anytime soon.

To sum up I offer this from AFL-CIO (4):

McCain's Health Care Plan:

Increases Costs to Workers. The modest tax credit McCain wants to give people to cover his new tax would cover less than half the average health premium, leaving workers to pick up the difference. Also, by promoting high-deductible Health Savings Account (HSA) plans, which provide fewer benefits at higher costs, he will make the high costs of individual insurance even worse.

Leaves Workers at the Mercy of Big Insurance Companies. McCain’s efforts to "eliminate the bias" toward employer-based health care will encourage employers to stop offering health care, pushing workers into an unregulated private insurance market to fend for themselves. Big insurance companies will be free to weed out people with health care needs, charge excessive premiums and limit benefits.

Makes Health Care Harder to Get. Pushing workers into the private health care market and promoting HSAs will encourage insurance companies to attract only the healthiest people, driving costs up overall. Insurance companies can decide to refuse to cover people with preexisting conditions, such as cancer survivors. Retirees will have a particularly hard time getting health care.

For the complete list, visit: http://www.aflcio.org/issues/politics/mccain_healthcare.cfm

"The AFL-CIO union movement represents 10.5 million members, including 2 million members in Working America, its new community affiliate. We are teachers and taxi drivers, musicians and miners, firefighters and farm workers, bakers and bottlers, engineers and editors, pilots and public employees, doctors and nurses, painters and plumbers—and more."


_________________________________________________________________
(1) http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/01/us/politics/01mccain.html?_r=1&oref=slogin
(2) http://www.johnmccain.com/Informing/Issues/19ba2f1c-c03f-4ac2-8cd5-5cf2edb527cf.htm
(3) http://www.time-blog.com/swampland/2008/09/mccains_health_care_tax_increa.html
(4) http://www.aflcio.org/issues/politics/mccain_healthcare.cfm

~STA

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Its Lotsa Laughs with Lefty Limericks

governor palin says she knows the score
and has diplomatic experience galore
'cause, she took a vacation
in a foreign nation
and russia is right next door
visit http://leftylimericksbyrwiley.blogspot.com/ for many more riotous limericks by fellow north country blogger, rwiley.

Now tell us how you *really* feel...

This is an excerpt from an article on huffingtonpost.com by Michael Seitzman:

"Now, I want to be clear and speak directly to those of you who LOVED that Palin interview [with Charles Gibson]. You're an idiot. I mean that. This is not one of those cases where we're going to agree to disagree. This isn't one of those situations where we debate it passionately and then walk away thinking that the other guy is wrong but argued well. I'm not going to think of you as a thoughtful but misguided person with different ideas who still really cares about the country and the world. No, sorry, not this time. This time, if you watched those interview excerpts and weren't scared out of your freakin' mind, then you're mentally ill, mentally disabled, or mentally disturbed. What you are NOT is responsible, informed, curious, thoughtful, mature, educated, empathetic, or remotely serious. I mean it.

But I like to think that anyone can change.

Stop voting for people you want to have a beer with. Stop voting for folksy. Stop voting for people who remind you of your neighbor. Stop voting for the ideologically intransigent, the staggeringly ignorant, and the blazingly incompetent.

Vote for someone smarter than you. Vote for someone who inspires you. Vote for someone who has not only traveled the world but who has also shown a deep understanding and compassion for it. The stakes are real and they're terrifyingly high. This election matters. It matters. It really matters. Let me say that one more time. This. Really. Matters."

For the full article, visit:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-seitzman/sarah-palin-naked_b_125861.html

Sunday self-reflection...

I sit here in front of my computer, a stolen moment of silence and reflection while my children are napping. I have been checking out what my fellow North Country Small Town Americans are writing about in their blogs. I came across Aimless Wanderings of a Fretful Mind (http://fretfulmind.blogspot.com/.) How apropos a title; it goes very well with my mood today.

As I click from link to link eager to read more about our national political goings-on, I feel a twinge of futility. Am I wasting my time? Does what I feel and care about really matter to anyone other than myself? Is anyone going to listen to my rambling? At times, I feel like I am mute--like one of those nightmares when you are shouting, but nothing comes out, no one hears your warning, and the other people get gobbled up by the monster.

Is the Republican campaign my monster?

I cannot fully express how this election has affected me.
I was involved in 2004-- I attended the debates televised in a lecture hall at a local college. I wore my pin everywhere. I voted. I went to an election night party complete with blue cookies and donkey-shaped chocolates. Now that I think about it, we had Bloody Marys that night, which are obviously red--maybe that's where we went wrong--we jinxed ourselves.

My objective at that point was, if I am truthful, simply to get Bush out of the White House. He annoyed me. His condescending sneer and accompanying snicker were too much to bear another 4 years. He talks to the American public like we are a bunch of idiots with a 5 year old mentality.

This time around, it is so much more than that. It gets me in my gut. I am scared for America's future if it stays in Republican hands. The kicker of it all, at least for me, is pride.

My grandfather was a World War I Veteran. My father is a World War II Veteran. Two of my brothers are Vietnam Veterans. My cousin Stephen died in Da Nang in '65. I am grateful to have grown up in a patriotic military family. I was taught from a very young age the respect our flag deserves. I cried at my first flag burning ceremony--the proper and dignified retirement of flags that were flown so much they were ragged, or those that slipped out of grasp and, just for a moment, touched the floor. The American flag should never touch the floor, I was taught.

There was a time, not long ago, that the words, "I am an American," were welcomed, and so was the person who said them. Now, we are looked upon with scorn. A great nation full of patriotic citizens is now laughed at, and it kills me. And as I write this, I am near tears.

It is this blogger's opinion that the GOP played upon people's fears in 2004, and they are doing it again in 2008. They state they are the true agents of change, but they are using the same tired tactics as last time. A large majority of our voting population doesn't have the opportunity to research like some of us. They are at the mercy of whatever news channel they are watching and whatever sound bites may be playing that night. (And by the way, whatever happened to unbiased journalism?) They make their choice based on what someone else tells them is the "truth." Some people rely on their families, some on their church.

Can I reach these people? Little ole me in rural St. Lawrence County? Unless you are a carp angler, no one believes anything actually exists above Syracuse. So, this is where I am at. Am I wasting my time? I suppose I could look at the glass-half-full and think that if I contribute to only one person voting against status quo, I have done well. But, as in most things, that is not good enough for me. I have a voice--I want it to be heard loud and clear. I want those big-city republicans to know--I am not as dumb as they think! I want America to take pride in our jobs and once again feel the delight of job security. Americans should not have to worry about our own government giving incentives to companies that take our jobs to another country. There is something fundamentally wrong with that. I want America to be looked upon not as a global bully, but as a compatriot in global unity. We need someone to pick up the pieces, to rebuild our burnt bridges, to mend our broken fences. I feel that in Barack Obama.

"I am asking you to believe. Not just in my ability to bring about real change in Washington...I'm asking you to believe in yours."--Barack Obama

I believe--does anyone else?

~STA

Back to reality...

This morning on msnbc, Sarah Plain (Freudian slip?) was the hot topic of conversation, as usual.

It was mentioned that the American public may perceive that Gov. Palin was unfairly "pressured and put on the spot," during her interview with Charlie Gibson, therefore, gaining her sympathy from the masses.

I ask you, Small Town America, is this even an issue? Should we give a damn if the woman was a little out of her comfort zone?

In my view, being pressured and put on the spot are in the job description. There is no fair or unfair when you are sitting across from Medvedev or Putin or Kim Jong-Il (or any of his body-doubles.)

This reminds me of one of my favorite lines: "There's no crying in baseball."
Scooby Snack to the first person who names the movie and the actor that said it.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

New York Times gives Palin a scathing review...

I don't think I really need to comment on this--It speaks volumes in itself.
I warn you, it is a long article, but I encourage you to read it to the end.
Read here: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/14/us/politics/14palin.html?_r=2&hp=&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1221343324-tGxa66AkDRYq1tsNYpjoIw&pagewanted=all&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

Friday, September 12, 2008

Cantwell? Can't tell.

A welcome break from national politics…
Last night I had the unusual but delightful opportunity to sit across from a political candidate and have him completely at my mercy.

I was attending the 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony in Waddington. The dinner was hosted at the American Legion Champion-Hobkirk Post 420. I was eating, minding my own business, chatting with the person next to me, when in walks Russell B. Strait and his wife, Mrs. Strait. I have known Russell my entire life, so naturally, I mention that I just lost my appetite (he’s Republican.) Russell and his wife, Mrs. Strait, are accompanied by a handsome young man (I call him young, but he is just a bit older than me) who happens to sit, where else?-- right across from me.

A cut to the Reader’s Digest Condensed Version: it turns out the handsome man is none other than Bobby Cantwell, Republican candidate for the 118th Assembly district seat, recently vacated by Darrel Aubertine. Oooooooo……I tell you, I was almost salivating, waiting for my chance to pounce on him. I politely waited “my turn” and then launched my rockets: “Now, what seat are you running for?” “So, what makes you think you are qualified to fill the position?” and “What makes you Republican?” among others.

My observations:
He was pleasant, forthcoming, grounded in this area, and sincere—oh, and handsome. He did have a slight aroma of politician—I’ll call it aroma for now, because I don’t know him well enough to determine if it qualifies as stench or not.

He has experience at the town level. He believes in fiscal responsibility, believes tax and spend are the wrong way to alleviate our current economic cesspool (my word, not his.) He believes less is more when it comes to government. He went into good detail about his life, growing up, some hard times he has been through before getting to this point in his life, and how that affects his outlook on life and policy. We also found we have the same employer. Our bonding was cut short when my 7 year old came in to tell me she stepped in a mud puddle with her new school sneakers.

I believe that, in his heart of hearts, Bobby Cantwell really believes he can make a difference. He moved back to the North Country after having been downstate for several years. But, to me, there is a big difference between growing up in the Clayton/Watertown area and growing up in, say, Louisville or Morley. Nonetheless, he appreciates this area and the potential it has, much as I do, having moved away and returned myself. There is no better place to raise a family.

Mr. Cantwell made a very good point about the Democratic candidate, Addie Russell. Where has she been? Cuz I sure as hell haven’t seen her around here. She wants to debate Mr. Cantwell. Well, of course she does. She is a lawyer; he has a two-year business degree. She can’t pin him down to a series of debates because he is busy meeting people—his prospective constituency. I have never met Addie Russell. I haven’t seen her in Waddington.
What I liked about the whole thing was this: I checked out Bobby Cantwell’s website when I got home. There was no mention of his attending the 9/11 ceremony. He came unannounced, with no fan-fare or publicity.

I tend to be more lenient in regards to party orientation when voting for my local representatives. When it comes to national elections, I vote for my beliefs and who most closely embodies them. In local elections, I vote with my gut. The fact that Addie Russell hasn’t made an effort in my neck of the woods does not sit well with me. There’s 53 days left for her to change my mind.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Massena Alcoa Steelworkers endorse Obama/Biden for election

Thursday, September 11, 2008, 10:15am
MASSENA – Steelworkers Union members at the Alcoa East plant have endorsed political candidates in the November election.For president and vice-president, the PAC Committee of Local 450-A United Steelworkers, which represents about 360 hourly workers at the plant, has voted to endorse Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
http://northcountrynow.com/nc-this-week/story-of-day/full-story.asp?uid=1234&area=NCNow+News

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

De Ja DooDoo

Is it just me, or is Sarah Palin spewing the same crap ev-er-y-sing-gle-time she speaks in public?

If I hear, "I'm just a hockey mom from Alaska," and "I told Washington, 'thanks, but no thanks, for that bridge to nowhere,'" one more time, I may begin spewing chunks!

I committed myself to watching Sarah Palin speak at the Republican Convention. I sat through the whole thing. I found her engaging and funny, but I think that is because she was new. She delivered a hell of a performance. But that's one thing to remember, it was just that--a performance. She delivered a speech someone else wrote, that was originally written for someone else (Joe Lieberman, perhaps?)--someone else's words, someone else's ideas... The only thing that we really learned about Sarah Palin, was her ability to pull off sarcasm (which I do admire greatly, by the way.)

Quite frankly, that is all we seem to really hear from her--sarcasm. As an attack dog persona, the Republicans hit the jack-pot--what was it she said?--the only difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull is lipstick. Her attacks are relentless, but repetitive...monotonous, now. They are getting annoying; the sarcasm is getting annoying. If I wanted to hear sarcasm day and night, I would tape record myself.

I think it will be her downfall. I am getting the distinct feeling she is all style and no substance.
Anyone else feel this way? Or not...I'm willing to listen to a different view.

I can't wait for her to debate Biden, though.

~STA

Monday, September 8, 2008

HOOK, LINE & SINKER...

As you can see from the subtitle of this blog, "We're not as dumb as you think," I feel that Small Town America is generally considered stupid and easily manipulated by big-city Republicans--

Apparently, this has shamefully trickled down to the small town republicans, as well.

Upon hearing the brief bio of the recently chosen Republican Vice-Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, I thought to myself, "Do they really think that we are stupid enough to give a crap whether or not the woman hunts?"

Apparently, they do.

To my dismay, on the front page of this past Saturday's Massena Courier-Observer, was a prominent picture of the St. Lawrence County Republican Party Chairwoman, proclaiming that Sarah Palin was one of us. She hunts, she fishes, her husband rides snowmobiles--Let's make her Vice-President of the United States of America!!!!!

The second most important job in the WORLD, and we are to use fishing and hunting as the criteria for choosing a Vice-President?

Are you kidding me?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Been a busy week...

Well, with school starting, it has been busy around here...

I have been thinking a lot about the direction and tone I would like this blog to have.

I really want this to be an open arena for Small Town America to thoughtfully discuss the present State of Our Union and the upcoming Presidential election.

That said, please feel free to "talk amongst yourselves" via the comment section. (a shout out to SNL, a Scooby snack to the first person who can name the SNL character that said this.)

I would expect everyone to be respectful of others and their beliefs--or non-beliefs, as the case may be.

Thanks!
STA

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Happy Birthday!

It is our first day, so we'll take it easy...

This blog will be mostly political in nature. Our views, thoughts, and what-evers from Small Town America.

I believe it is time the Urban-Republican-American population realized we're not as dumb as they think. I hope this helps in some small way.

Thanks for stopping by!
Check back soon....


Those who cannot learn from history are condemned to repeat it

~George Santayana

They must have read my mind...

hat tip to abaycircus for finding this gem: