Dan Quayle - Pro Choice!?!
Well Danny boy does it again as the winner of this weeks foot tasting contest. Appearing on the Larry King Live show, Quayle was asked if his daughter became pregnant would he allow her to get an abortion. He replied that he would discourage it. But when asked if she decided she wanted to abort, Quayle said that he would support her decision.
Later that day Marilyn Quayle in a radio interview made it clear that her daughter would carry the baby to term regardless of what she wanted to do. Then Dan, under pressure from having said the "wrong thing" tried to clear it up by saying that she would have to be 21 years old.
Well Dan, in case you haven't figured it out by now, this is pro-choice. What I find amazing is that this guy is Vice President of the United States, a heartbeat away from being the most powerful person on the planet, and he is too STUPID to understand what pro-choice is!
I'd like to see Quayle's daughter be interviewed on Larry King Live to see how she feels about the question of choice. I'd have some other questions for the family like, "Would she give the baby up for adoption? What if she wanted to keep it, would Dan and Marilyn raise it so that she can finish high school?"
So now they're kicking around the question of getting rid of Quayle. On one hand he is an idiot and a liability to the ticket. Not that anyone votes for Vice President, but it reflects on George Bush's continued poor judgement. On the other hand, getting rid of Quayle is admitting he made a mistake.
My personal opinion is that everyone makes mistakes. Even I make mistakes. So I'm more impressed by those who correct their mistakes rather than continue to make them to save face. But I'm not voting for Bush anyway so what does my opinion matter?
But there are a lot of Republicans that are up for re-election that are seriously worried about what's happening in the party. Many of them are concerned that the Bush/Quayle ticket is a liability and if Bush does as bad in November as he is doing now he will take most of the party down with him. So if the President is going down it would be strategic for other Republicans to distance themselves from the President. But as soon as candidates start doing that then the party will seriously split which is something that Republicans don't deal with very well.
Much of what happens depends on the Republican convention in Houston next month. And unlike the unity of the Democrats (which is very unusual), the Republicans are a deeply divided house. In the forefront is the issue of choice. The Bush campaign will want to make a strong anti-choice statement because to be wishy-washy on the issue will piss off both sides. But the majority of the party is pro-choice. And the pro-choice Republicans intend to be heard on this issue.
Many republicans want to see Bush get in on the "change thing" and the "vision thing". Dumping Quayle would be a start to show the public that change is something Bush can deal with. Several prominent Republican senators are pressing Bush heavily on the issue of coming up with a plan to deal with the economy. There is a movement in the Republican party to get back to reality.
Personally, as a member of the Republican party I would like to see the Republicans get real. I'm afraid that if Clinton takes all 50 states and brings a lot of new Democrats into the Congress that they will get cocky. I want to see enough good Republicans in Congress to keep them honest.
Here's an article I wrote and faxed off to several major newspapers. I don't know if any of them will print it, but if you see it in the paper, this is where it came from.
Replace Bush? With Who?So, do I think that this is actually going to happen? Are the Republicans going to dump Bush for Tsongas? I rather doubt it. I don't know what's going to happen. The tendency would be to keep running Bush and let him go down to defeat. But I'm beginning to think that's not going to happen. Bush is going to lose this election big time. The Republican leaders know it. They know they are in trouble. More and more Republicans are calling for Bush to resign and every call weakens the ticket. So I would say that something is going to snap, but what will snap and where, I have no idea.
The idea of removing George Bush from the Republican ticket is becoming more popular as the Republican convention nears. But those who like this idea are faced with the dilemma of choosing someone else. So who would this someone else be? Who can the Republicans run that would have a chance of beating Clinton?
The Republicans are in real trouble this year. They are going to have to do something dramatic to turn things around. So let me make a dramatic suggestion. I think the Republicans should run a Tsongas/Rudmam ticket!
"But Marc", you say, "Tsongas is a Democrat!" Yes, but his views are a lot closer to reflecting the views of mainstream Republicans than any Republicans I can think of. And he would also be popular with Democrats and Perot supporters, especially since Perot endorsed his economic recovery plan.
The idea of running a Democrat on the Republican ticket is a very strange idea, but so is dumping the president from the ticket. Once you are willing to do something as strange as dump Bush, then running a Democrat isn't that much more strange. I, for one, can't think of any other pair that would get the Republican ticket more votes. Can you?
You might be wondering why I wrote the article on running Tsongas as a Republican. After all, I am a Clinton supporter. Here's the way I see it. There is an enormous amount of pressure on the Republicans to dump Bush. But who will replace him? The reason I'm nominating Tsongas is because I think he comes closer to representing traditional Republican values. By that I mean reduce the size of government, keep government out of the private lives of individuals, uphold the constitution, and be fiscally conservative. Tsongas represents the ideal of what Republicans should be returning to.
The Dark Side of the Force
By putting Tsongas up as a serious alternative to Bush will help focus the Republican party and give them the momentum to get rid of their "dark side". By the dark side I'm talking about the right wing religious bigots that seem to have a lock on the heart and soul of the Republican party. This dark side was brought into the party by Ronald Reagan who polarized the country into an "us against them" mentality. Tsongas understands that this is a country of diversity and that we are all in it together and that he represents all of America.
If the Republicans ran Tsongas it would rid them of the dark side and allow the Republican party to survive. Even though he might not win as president, the rest of the Republicans that are running for office can run on a platform that makes sense and is free of religous dogma and bigotry.
"So", you might ask, "Could Tsongas win?" Anything can happen this year. Let me put it this way, if Tsongas was smart enough to win he will be smart enough to be one hell of a president.
Realistically, I don't see it happening. But in bringing up the idea, if I could get the Republicans to even discuss the idea seriously, it will be another nail in Bush's political coffin. If the Republicans actually ran Tsongas it will help Clinton. Not that Clinton needs any help winning the election, but after the election he's got a mess to clean up and is going to need all the help he can get. A Tsongas ticket would transform the Republican party into a party that is willing to cooperate in an economic recovery plan and share the glory for turning this country around.
The Republican party itself is in serious jeopardy of falling apart. They might not even be around 4 years from now. Basically, the party is imploding and this year's elections are going to tear the party to shreads. If the Republicans were to run Tsongas they are still not likely to win, but they will survive to fight another day. It will allow many more Republicans in the House and Senate to keep their jobs and become more effective Republicans.
America is only 200 years old. Looking at the big picture we are still a "Johnny come lately" country. There is nothing that guarantees that we are going to be around other than us making sure we do things right. We are so desperate that we are going to have to resort to serious intelligence to fix this mess. We need to look at a broader range of options than we have looked at in the past. You may read these ideas I present and think that they are too strange. But unless you have a better idea, I think "too strange" needs to be on the table.
Bush's New Ad Campaign
Bush is about to launch his next ad campaign. He's hired a new speech writer who is writing speeches about the "truth thing". There's an old saying in politics: "If you're going to win elections, you have to be sincere. Once you can fake that you have it made." A friend of mine who works for a TV station has already seen Bush's new spots and says they're pathetic.
Bush is buying ads in TV shows that reflect his moral character, according to Advertising Age magazine. He asked CBS to pick moral shows to place the ads. CBS refused to make the choice and said he must pick them himself. When asked if afternoon soaps were OK the Bush campaign answered yes.
I got to thinking about what would be the right show that would reflect the moral character of George Bush. I think that perhaps CBS was a mistake. I think he should run his ads on HBO during the show, "Tales from the Crypt"!
Another War in Iraq?
Well it looks like we're gearing up for another war in Iraq just as Bush is sagging in the polls. Is this a coincidence? I think not. I think that this is a politically motivated move. I supported the war last time, but then it turns out we were lied to. I'm not going to support this war. In fact, you can consider me a war resister.
The last war was the fault of the Reagan/Bush administration who built up Iraq. They claim they had no idea what was going to happen but they sure had a lot of clues. Bush still supported him after he used poison gas against his own people.
How could we have avoided the last war? Well all we would have had to do was follow our own laws dealing with not shipping arms to terrorist countries. But Bush didn't do that. He broke the law and shipped arms to Iraq before, during, and after the war. And he left Saddam in power, why, I have no idea.
Now we have to go in and "finish the job". Assuming that finishing the job is what Bush has in mind. He might just have another war and leave Saddam in power again. How do we know if he intends to take him out? And it is conveniently near election day and Bush is way behind in the polls and is desperate to "do something". Since his highest approval rating was during the war, he might conclude that a war will help him win the election.
Now you say, "But Marc, come on! Surely Bush wouldn't start a war just to get re-elected, would he?" How do we answer that. Perhaps we can look at other things Bush has done and see how honorable he is.
Bush has supported Saddam when he gassed his own people. Bush delayed the closing of Silverado Savings and Loan till the day after the 1988 election because his son Neil was involved in the scandal. This cost taxpayers about 2 billion dollars. He currently has frozen bank and S&L closings for the last year to keep the economy looking good during the election year.
Now I know a lot of you may not agree with me about Bush's motives and you give him the benefit of the doubt that he was just stupid when it came to Iraq. Well let me ask you this then. Do you want America to get into a war led by someone that stupid? I sure don't. If Bush is too dumb to know when to stop the last war, then perhaps he too dumb to know when to start this one. And I don't want someone that stupid to be President either.
War is never something to be proud of, even when you win. War is something to always be ashamed of that we were so stupid as to let things get that out of hand in the first place. Never never be proud of war.
Well, I filed my lawsuit. (The one where I'm suing to vote on the Democratic and Republican primary ballots.) I'm representing myself. The people at the court were friendly and helpful and the paperwork wasn't as bad as I feared it might be. I'm attempting to serve the defendants by mail which requires they cooperate. Since I'm not asking for money I'm hoping they make this easy.
As a result of my defeating the 1/4 cent county sales tax in June, I have the local TV stations calling me to see if I'm going to oppose the renewal of a city 1/4 sales tax that sunsets this year.
As of right now I haven't made a decision. The tax is for capital improvements such as parks and storm sewers. Unlike the county, they aren't trying to pass it by using a single issue sneak election. Local taxes are in general spent more effectively than state and federal taxes, so one can argue that if you're going to pay taxes, it's better to pay a local tax. Compared to most cities, Springfield, Missouri does a good job of managing tax dollars.
On the other hand, we in Springfield are not suffering from the depression like much of the country. I believe that one main reason is that we have a low tax base. I have noticed that cities with low tax bases are doing better that high tax areas like California that are paying their bills with IOU's. It seems that the more money that government gets, the worse off they are.
Then there is the issue of fairness. Why are we playing this "three years and it's over" game. From the day they got this three year tax they were already advertising to get it extended. I think they were lying to us then and that they are lying to us now. Why don't they just come out and say that this is a permanent tax. I just hate it when I'm getting lied to and it makes it harder to decide to support it.
So it occurred to me that perhaps there could be a compromise where I would support the three-year extension if they were to commit to not asking for the tax again for another three years after it runs out. In other words, if I say yes to this sales tax, then this is the last new sales tax for 6 years.
This would make things a lot more interesting because it will bring out the issue as to whether or not this tax is temporary or permanent. The question about how much influence I have becomes an issue. I could endorse it and it still fail. I could oppose it and it still pass. The only vote I control for sure is my own. But it is my opinion that other voters are asking the same questions that I am and that if they can convince me, that they can convince many other voters as well. In other words, if the plan is a good plan, I have the opportunity to help the city sell the plan.
Bipartisan Political Advertising
I'm running some radio ads this election. The Missouri primary is August 4th. As a member of both parties, I'm running an ad endorsing a Republican and two Democrats in the same ad. I wrote a press release about it and hoping to attract some free news coverage. Here's the press release:
PRESS RELEASE:The second ad was censored by the radio station I wanted to run it on so I ended up running the first ad. The first ad is better, but I think my first amendment right to free speech was violated by not running the second ad.
Contact: Marc Perkel
411 North Sherman, Suite 300
Springfield MO. 65802 USA
VOTING THE HIGH ROAD
Marc Perkel, owner of a Springfield Missouri software development company has launched a "vote the high road" campaign targeted at endorsing candidates that kept their campaigns clean and truthful.
"I feel that there are good candidates in both parties and sleazeballs in both parties.", says Perkel. "This country is in trouble and we need to elect people who are honest. I believe that if a candidate runs an honest campaign, he is more likely to be an honest public servant."
Perkel, who recently filed a lawsuit in federal court to be allowed to vote in both the Democratic and Republican primary elections, believes in voting for the candidate instead of the party. "Realistically, both Republicans and Democrats will be elected. We need to find individuals who can rise above partisan politics and solve the problems this country faces."
In his 30 second radio ad, Perkel urges voters from both parties to vote the high road. Perkel mentions Bill Webster (R), Roy Blunt (R), Mel Carnahan (D), and Pat Deaton (D) as having run negative or deceptive political ads. Perkel mentions Wendell Bailey (R), Vince Schoemehl (D), and Doug Harpool (D) as having run clean ads.
30 SECOND SPOT:
Life and Politics have a high road and a low road. I believe how a candidate runs his campaign is a reflection of his personal integrity.
In these uncertain times we need leaders who have the courage to rise to a higher level and put partisan politics aside for the public good.
Three candidates who have resisted the dark side and maintained their integrity are Wendell Bailey, Vince Schoemehl, and Doug Harpool.
No matter which side of the fence you are on, I urge all voters to vote the high road. Let's bring some integrity back into government.
Paid for by Marc Perkel
30 SECOND SPOT:
Politics has two roads, the high road and the low road. I believe how a candidate runs his campaign is a reflection of his personal integrity. If he'll lie and cheat to get your vote he'll lie and cheat in office.
Bill Webster, Roy Blunt, Mel Carnahan, and Pat Deaton have taken the low road by running sleazy campaigns.
Wendell Bailey, Vince Schoemehl, and Doug Harpool have taken the high road and risen above the slime.
No matter which side of the fence you are on, I urge all voters to vote the high road. Lets bring some basic personal integrity back into government.
Paid for by Marc Perkel
For those of you out there who like this idea, go ahead and use my ad. All you have to do is change the names and buy the spots. If you're a Perot supporter, this is the kind of thing Perot was talking about. But don't wait for Perot, do it yourself!
Where is Ross Perot?
Last issue of Thinking Magazine I talked about what a wonderful new plan Perot had now that he has dropped out of the race for President. I still think it's a good plan, but I don't see Perot implementing it. He's having a few meetings here and there but I'm beginning to wonder if he's serious. I see a lot of talk but no action.
If you're a Perot supporter, don't wait for Perot. He's got a good plan. Go out and do it. I just don't see Perot talking the steps to put his plan into action.
Buying a Stereo
My wife and I went out and bought a new stereo last week. I used to repair stereo equipment as well as design audio electronic systems. So I consider myself to be an informed purchaser. Vicki had her consumers guides and was looking for certain recommended brands.
Everywhere we went we were accosted by "audio experts" that made claims about their equipment that were absolutely ridiculous. I kept trying to tell Vicki, "don't listen to these people, it will drive you nuts!" Anyhow, for those of you who are shopping for audio equipment, old Marc will save you a lot of time and trouble.
First of all, speakers are everything. If you're going to spend some money, put it in speakers. The best way to tell what you want in speakers is to listen to them. The thing that surprised me is that there is a lot of new technology in speakers these days.
We got into an argument about how important getting a big woofer was. I was arguing the point that "size isn't everything". She really liked the sound of the Bose 901 speakers. We took the front cover off the speakers and much to her amazement were nine 4-inch speakers. She kept looking for the woofer and there was none.
We ended up buying Bose Acoustimass-5 system. These are very unusual speakers. Both left and right are connected into a single sub-woofer cabinet which has a pair of 4-inch speakers inside. You then connect left and right outputs to the left and right speaker pairs. Now these speaker pairs are two 3-inch cubes that swivel in the middle. I don't know what's inside these 3-inch cubes but these speakers sounded better that some $2000 a side systems with 20-inch speakers. The speakers are rated at 200 watts per channel and the sound is incredible.
I look at these suckers and I have no idea how it's done. But it's quite the topic of conversation. For those of you who want to be amazed, go down to your local Bose dealer and check these out. Price is about $750 for the pair and well worth it.
Having bought the speakers the thing to look for in an amplifier is power. In my opinion 100 + watts per channel really sounds good. The reason you want power is to be able to reproduce the instantaneous power peaks that create the crisp realism that good music systems have. That way when you strike a bell you can hear the strike as well as the ring. So power is important.
Now it used to be that you would want to look at frequency response but these days, because of modern integrated circuits, most stereos are flat from DC to light and can reproduce frequencies a dog can't hear. Once you get the wattage you want it comes down to if you like the knobs and buttons, looks, warranty, and price.
Compact disk players are all the same. Here you are looking for features. I like the ones that hold 5 CDs at once. You might want to program the sequence or have random scan. But when it comes to music quality the $75 units are just as good as the $500 units.
With what little I told you here you know more about selecting a stereo that 99% of the stereo salesmen out there. Don't listen to these guys because they're idiots. Believe me, if they knew nothing it would be an improvement. Buy what you can afford that sounds good. Speakers are everything, the rest of the system will probably be good enough no matter what you get. Audio technology has advanced beyond what you can hear.
Old Music on Compact Disk
I bought the Time Life 1960-1964 classic rock collection and I'm not very happy with it. They have a good collection of songs that were remastered from the original tapes to create CD quality music. The result, a disaster.
These songs were recorded using the technology of the day. The originals are really not very good by todays standards but on LP records, which aren't very good either, they sound fine. But CD's are capable of reproducing a range of frequencies far beyond the bandwidth where these songs were recorded. This is also true of the dynamic range of the original recordings. Dynamic range is the ratio of the loudest sound that can be recorded compared to the weakest sound that can be recorded.
Anyhow, to describe the problem in simpler terms, it's like shipping a cassette tape in a refrigerator box. It fits, but you expect to find more in there. The music industry, in order to please the ear of the CD listener, has tried to re-mix the music and create a bigger, fuller sound, and it really hasn't worked very well. What you get is a mix that really doesn't sound like the original, and the new technology lets you hear the limitations of the old recording equipment. It creates an artificial sound. In my opinion, the TV ad I heard promoting the collection sounded better on my television than it did on my stereo.
One thing interesting to note was that different artists sounded better on CD than others. All the Beach Boys songs sounded great. But songs like Del Shannon's "Runaway" and Tommy Roe's "Sheila" just didn't sound right. "Wipe Out" by The Surfari's sounded flat. "Quarter to Three" by Gary Bonds really sounded bad.
I haven't designed any electronics in years, but I'm thinking about building something to try to make these CD's sound better on old music. First of all I would make a filter that would cut out the highs and lows. I tried it using an equalizer and it helped. But what I think will really help is cutting the dynamic range using a pair of diodes for logarithmic compression and bring some of the original harmonic distortion back to the music. Perhaps I can even add the sound of needle pops and some hiss and give it the old 45 RPM record sound.