Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A modern day scarlett letter for illegal immigrants

"Make a Hole Make it Wide"

Big Poppa's sitting at the end of the bar, looking around at all the patrons and is wondering "are they all here legally?" And I ain't talking about their age!

On April 23, 2010 Arizona's Governor Jan Brewer signed a new tough illegal immigration law, a law designed to help identify, prosecute and deport illegal immigrants in the "Grand Canyon" state. To date there are about 20 million illegal immigrants in the United States, but would you know an illegal immigrant if you saw one?

The law states police officers are to detain an individual they suspect as illegal in the state or detain an individual if they are not carrying immigration papers. But what does an illegal immigrant look like? Are they all Hispanic? What about those that are illegally here from Sweden? They do not look Hispanic, as a matter of fact many from Sweden look like Elin Nordegren, the wife of Tiger Woods.

What about those that are illegally here from Canada? They do not look Hispanic, many look look like Sidney Crosby or Tom Hanks or Alanis Morrisette.

What about those of Hispanic decent that are natural born citizens of the United States. Hypothetically one day , an individual runs out of the house, forgetting their wallet and is pulled over by a police officer for a busted taillight. Could the police officer detain that individual on suspicion of being in the United States illegally even though that person speaks perfect English? Yes the officer could, depending on his/her judgment, since the individual has no identification, they can be detained. Then of course after the fact, proper identification is produced, the individual loses a days pay, blah blah and that person could file a lawsuit for the detainment. The Arizona law could produce more headaches then warranted.

But there's a person out there with a vision, a person in Iowa with a vision to help the citizens of the United States and the police officer identify an illegal immigrant. Pat Bertroche is a congressional candidate this coming election and he wants to put a micro chip in anyone caught in the United States illegally. In his words "I actually support micro-chipping them. I can micro-chip my dog so I can find it. Why can’t I micro-chip an illegal?" Now that is an interesting concept and according to research it costs roughly $30 to micro chip good 'ol "Snoopy," so why not Pedro or Hans or whomever cannot produce the proper papers! It could be a whole new version of "Cops." Quick call Steven Segal or Jeff Probst.

So according to plan, local police officers can detain an "illegal" if there is no evidence that the individual is in the United States legally. They then call up the local US Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services to send an agent over. The agent arrive (give an hour to 24 hours for arrival) does the necessary paperwork and sticks a needle in the back of the individual with a micro chip. Finally the newly micro chipped individual gets an air conditioned ride the border and is set free, "Run Pedro Run." But which border? Where would you drop off someone here illegally from Sweden? Maybe their respected Embassy.

However a micro chip does not really help the naked eye, unless everyone watches them on a GPS. If you can look up sex offenders in your neighborhood on the Internet, then you should be able to follow the path of an illegal immigrant.

So why not use a radio frequency identification tag on the illegal immigrant in the ear like an animal researcher would do on a grizzly bear or a whitetail deer? Think about it, document the illegal individual and then tag with the bright yellow RFID tag transmitter on their earlobe, kinda like a modern day Scarlett letter. Bristol University has been experimenting with smaller version of RFID's for years on ants, but these need to be visible for every red blooded law abiding American to see and call the proper authorities.

Ok, it is lunacy from both myself and Mr. Bertroche to even think of such an inhumane way to track and locate those here illegally. After all, Hitler used tattoo prison numbers on those in concentration camps and those were permanent. The illegal could always pay to have the earlobe cut off.

Outside of Arizona and California, the states of Illinois, Idaho and Utah have the largest illegal immigration growth. So how does someone know if you are here legally or illegally without knowing what to look for? The Media has focused on those of Hispanic decent, more for the fact that Arizona and Mexico share an open border, but what about our neighbors to the North? What happens if Montana or Vermont decide they have an open border issue with Canada? After all, they have cheap prescription drugs in Canada and in some areas, Canada is only across the street.

We focus to much on the overwhelming obvious stereotypical illegal immigrants, those of Hispanic decent, yet illegals do not all come from the Southern Hemisphere. The Arizona law has more open holes in it then does our open borders with Canada and Mexico, but then again, it took Arizona seven years to observe Martin Luther King Jr Day after it became a national holiday.

Fill the peanut bowl, poor a cold frosty one, and of course pay the political tab

Friday, April 23, 2010

So you wanna run for President in 2012?

"Make a Hole Make it Wide"

Big Poppa's a little weary eyed this Friday morning, too many frosty cold ones and empty peanut bowls from watching a triple overtime Penguins game and the NFL Draft. But I stumbled upon an article concerning the state of Arizona's new "Birther" provision and I'm tired of conspiracy theories. People need to come up with better conspiracies for 2012.

So Big Poppa's thinking of running for President of the United States in the 2012 election cycle, well besides the three basic U.S. Constitutional laws we have, Arizona added a fourth for everyone to follow and there are more states to follow.

On April 22, 2010, the great state of Arizona passed a new anti-immigration bill that sent the Media-heads twisting. The Arizona House also passed a smaller provision that very afternoon as well, we'll call it the "Birther Provision." The same measure is on State Legislature calendars in Oklahoma, Florida, and Missouri.

The U.S. Constitution, that "living" document so many Americans hold close to their heart, states three simple steps to legally become the President of the United States:

1. Only a native born U.S. citizen may be President of the United States. If you are born abroad, as long as both parents are still citizens of the United States, you can still become president.

2. You must be at least 35 years old to be president (Note: there is no upper age limit, so if you are 100 years old, you can be president.)

3. In addition to being a natural born citizen, you must live within the United States for at least 14 years. There is no mention of these being consecutive years.

The U.S. Constitution could not be any more clearer to those facts and by all means, President Barack Obama has met all those requirements. No where in the U.S. Constitution does it say "A document stating place of birth be required." Was Senator John McCain asked to show his birth certificate in 2000 or in 2008? He was not born in the United States, we was born on a Naval Base in Panama, but he still met the requirements.

Does Barack Obama meet Criteria #1? President Obama was born in Hawaii, it became the 50th state on August 21, 1959. President Barack Obama was born on August 4, 1961. To this day there are many Americans who still believe President Barack Obama is not a natural born citizen. But Hawaii was indeed our 50th state for almost two years when he was born.

House Resolution Bill 593 was signed on July 27, 2009. The resolution states "recognizing and celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the entry of Hawaii into the Union as the 50th State," and also notes this provision "Whereas the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, was born in Hawaii." So he meets criteria #1 on the Constitution.

Does Barack Obama meet criteria #2? Well even though his father is from Kenya, his mother, Ann Dunham, was a natural born citizen as well. Born in Wichita, Kansas and had lived all across the globe, never relinquishing her U.S. citizenship. So he meets criteria #2.

What about criteria #3? Though he lived with his mother on her ventures across the globe, he attended several schools in the United States and at the age of 48, he has been here longer than the 14 recommended years.

So what all the fuss about a birth certificate? Simple conspiracy is the answer. Just because he has never shown a "long" form of his birth certificate, people would that against him.

Or is it because his middle name is Hussein? Are people that ignorant in today's world to hold a man's dream hostage due to his middle name, albeit a family name. What if his middle name was Joseph, but spelled "Josef." Would people say he was a Communist because that is how Josef Stalin spelled his name? What if it were Ivan or Igor? Would people think of Ivan the Terrible or the disfigured minion of Count Dracula?

Now Arizona, with the states of Oklahoma, Florida and Missouri in tow, is now requiring anyone who wants to be in their states presidential ballot needs to show a birth certificate to prove citizenship. Maybe this should be taken up with the Federal Elections Committee first, because nowhere in their official guidelines does it state anything about showing a birth certificate.

Arizona legislatures state the "birther" provision is meant to help contain illegal immigrants in their state. Yet, this provision is pointing directly at President Obama and he is not helping the matter at all. President Obama has shown his "short" birth certificate, the only one he says he has. Is it a legal document? Yes it is, with doctor signatures and the Hawaii Hospital stamp on it.

We pride ourselves on our "living" Constitution, should we not still believe that it is correct on how we elect our presidents?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

To Ben or Not to Ben? Steelers Nation waits

"Make a Hole Make it Wide"

OK, it's Big Poppa's draft and what does he do? Trade his $100 million dollar franchise quarterback and move up the draft order or does he stick with his original draft board? Yes, Big Poppa is gonna shy away from politics for a moment and talk, well politics of the National Football League, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Steelers Nation.

The National Football League takes serious consideration when it comes to the newest additions to their 32 team league. Rookies go through a week long symposium, usually somewhere, as in 2009, with beautiful weather like Palm Beach, Florida. A large majority of these rookies were treated like gods on their college campuses for four years by the fans, student body, and boosters. Some rookies might be mature beyond their age with thoughts of post football careers in mind and some might be immature self-centered egomaniacs about to sign large money contracts to get all the women, all the money and all the cars.

During symposium week, about 256 rookies will sit through hours upon hours of seminars from current and former players, financial management gurus, and media relations experts. Some former players may talk about how they made horrible financial decisions because they wanted to help everyone from family to childhood friends. Some current players may talk about how intense the local media can be and how to act professional among any situation. But one driving force behind this symposium is that the rookies understand what they are about to get into, what to expect, how they can handle it, and that they not only represent the NFL, but they also represent the fans and the city that has now become their adopted family.

But what happens after the symposium, after say that player's second or third year and they are extremely successful on the field. In this case, we are talking about Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Roethlisbberger was drafted in 2004 and by game #3 of his rookie season he became the team's starting quarterback. Success came fast and furious. The Steelers Nation, those loyal Steelers fans through good and bad, casted a god-like image of Roethlisberger after his successful rookie campaign that led to a loss in the conference title game. One game away from the Super Bowl as a rookie quarterback for a legendary team, oh how the head can swell.

There is no doubt the Steelers Nation is the most loyal of any fan in any sport. Sure there's the "Black Hole" to describe the Oakland Raiders loyalists, or the "Dawg Pound" for the Cleveland Browns. These are fans that bleed their team colors, talk about the last game or upcoming season dawn to dusk and there is one thing you do not do to them and that's piss them off. You do not disgrace the team, the players, and most certainly not the fans.

The Steelers Nation has been a buzz for about two weeks now on whether or not the Pittsburgh Steelers, better yet the Rooney's should trade Ben Roethlisberger for his last misguided immature behavior. Yes, Ben Roethlisberger was not found guilty of sexual assault of a 20 year old college student in Millegdeville, Georgia. He was not convicted of any crime and DA Fredric Bright even said "we do not prosecute on morals, only on crime." However, as DA Bright explained to full detail of what happened in that 5'x5' employee bathroom, he pretty much convicted Roethlisberger of sexual assault to the Steelers Nation. In a sad sense, as O.J. Simpson was cleared of murder with; "We found blood in your Ford Bronco, we found bloody footsteps from the Ford Bronco to your porch, we found bloody gloves and clothing in your laundry room, but we cannot convict you because we cannot link the evidence to Mr. Simpson."

Just as in the O.J. Simpson case, you can chalk the current Roethlisberger sexual assault charge up to shabby police work. Millegdeville Police let the janitor clean the employee bathroom before they gathered any evidence, let patrons leave the area after the college student and her friends chased down the closest officer to file charges of rape, and the unprofessional manner of Officer Jerry Blash towards the alleged victim.

The Steelers Nation is now split over the actions of Ben Roethlisberger. Some are calling for the Steelers to trade or cut the star quarterback while others are accepting the 4-6 game suspension as sufficient due to policy. Many of those calling for Roethlisberger's ouster may also be the very same crying if the Steelers go 5-11 and miss the playoffs for the second consecutive year.

The Steelers have to look at this as a complete business transaction. Roethlisberger is damaged goods right now, and trading him to another team will get very little in return. First, Roethlisberger's suspension began when Commissioner Roger Goodell announced it on April 21, so Roethlisberger cannot even attend team activities till summer training camp this July. Secondly, Roethlisberger's monster contract would go with him to whatever team that may trade for him. Roethlisberger signed an 8 year deal worth $102 million. He was paid $12.75 million in 2009, so that's close to $4.8 million sitting on the bench for first six games of 2010.

Hypothetically, if Roethlisberger is traded, say to the Buffalo Bills, what is the return value? The Buffalo Bills have the #9 pick in the 2010 draft, do the Steelers deal for that pick and swap starting quarterbacks? The Bills current starter is Trent Edwards, who threw for little over 1,100 yards with a QB rating of 73.8%. In comparison, Roethlisberger completed over 4,300 yards with a 100.5 QB rating. That does not even come close. However there are teams such as the Oakland Raiders and Seattle Seahawks in the trade rumor mill as well, all looking for quarterback help and higher in the draft order.

Also, if the Steelers do plan on trading Roethlisberger, will the team and the fans have to endure more years of sub par season and wallow in mediocrity? Two decades of poor performance from the list of Neil O'Donnell, Mike Tomszcak, Kordell Stewart, and Tommy Maddox. At least O'Donnell was able to quarterback the team to Super Bowl XXX, albeit the team's only Super Bowl loss in 7 visits.

The Steelers Nation demands loyalty from their team. They put the team and players on pedestals, like Greek gods. They buy merchandise of foam helmets, Terrible Towels, expansive jerseys, etc.. How many in Steelers Nation are burning their $200 authentic Ben Roethlisberger jersey tonight?

For Big Poppa, my conclusion in this matter is simple; beginning today, the Steelers need to place Charlie Batch or Byron Leftwich at the #1 QB position. The team needs to know who its leader is until Roethlisberger is able to return. And his return to the field after his suspension is when the Rooney's say it's so, not Steelers Nation or Coach Tomlin feel is necessary

Loyalty, ain't it a kick in the ass (or checkbook?)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

"Diva" Hannity?

"Make a hole Make it wide"

I've been seeing and hearing a lot of bad news about FOX News opinionator Sean Hannity the last few weeks. Has Hannity turned into the limosoune riding, private jet flying elitist he rails against each week? Has Hannity the "Celebrity Male Diva" taken over control of Hannity the "Opinionator" mind?

Debbie Schlussel reported on her blog a few weeks concerning Hannity's involvement in Lt. Col. Oliver North's Freedom Alliance. To paraphrase her blog, Schlussel accused Hannity of skimming the profits for his celebrity usage. If you do not know, The Freedom Alliance helps raise money for wounded veterans and helps with tuition costs for veteran families.

However according to Schlussel, Hannity has one of those "rider" claused deals, the kind celebrities send out as requests for the wants and needs. A report came out a few after my "Celebrity Palin" blog last week on many of Palin's "rider" clauses. According to Schussel, Hannity doesn't fall far from Palin's tree.

Hannity requests of; use of a Gulfstream 5 plane to fly him and his family/entourage to the concerts or a fleet of either Cadillac or Lincoln SUVs for Hannity and his family/entourage. One promoter stated Hannity demands well over $200,000 per event. Wait, Hannity has an entourage? Does he prefer bottled water with bendable straws or just good ol' American tap water? At least he requests American branded SUV's, whether they are built in the USA's can be debatable.

Hannity is a celebrity, "a male diva," and I can see requests to fly his family to Freedom Allaince event to event or the usage of SUV's. I'm sure celebrity "opinionators" such as Rush Limbaugh and Keith Olberman do the same.

I've always given Hannity the benifit of the doubt when it comes to his charitable work and the Freedom Alliance's devotion to our men and women in uniform is tremendous. But how much star power does "Celebrity/Male Diva" Hannity been consumed by?

On dreaded tax day, I was driving around and was listening to the final hour of Hannity's radio show (There is only so much Ben Reothlisberger news a sports fan can take.) And at the end of the final hour, Hannity stated "see everyone in Cincinnati for the big Tea Party rally. Come see me, Jon Voight, Sonja Schmidt, blah blah blah and Joe the Plumber." WTF? Joe the Plumber? Why is he significant to this rally? But hey, it had to be a paying gig for good Ole' Joe I guess.

Two days later, I see this headline on Yahoo! "Sean Hannity angers Fox News management by charging Tea Party demonstrators to attend show taping."

Apparently the Cincinnati Tea Party was charging admission of $5 to attend and if you wanted a seat closer to the stage, you had to pony up $20. Not to mention the closer to the stage, the more visible your sign will be.

However, FOX News was more upset that the Tea Party was using Hannity as a promotional headliner to get more bodies in the building. Expected attendance was 13,000 at one point.

So by my estimation, FOX News knew nothing of the headlining promotional tag until late on Tax Day and ordered Hannity back to New York City, leaving Cincinnati without its star attraction. Tea Party promoters created webspace to issue refunds to those who request.

So where's does "Celebrity" Hannity play in all this? Can you honestly believe Hannity knew nothing of the admission fees or the headliner status? Someone as close to the Tea Party as Hannity says, he did not know any of this? I DOUBT IT.

According to her April 16Th column, Ms. Schlussel claims Hannity called the Tea Party promoters and stated he had a family emergency. On his program that evening, he did not utter one word of apology to Cincinnati or even mention the rally.

Hannity is a "celebrity male diva" rarely admitting when his wrong. Hannity, like that of Beck/Massa reporting last month, is so concerned about conspiracy that he is not thinking thru on many of his decisions. Look how quickly he and the cast of other Conservative opinionators turned on James O'Keefe, the ACORN Pimp. Seems Mr. O'Keefe doctored the tapes quite well to make it look like he wore the "pimp" outfit while meeting with ACORN workers. And everyone bought into it. Yet, they were so conspiracy thirsty to oust ACORN and Democrats, they dove right in. O'Keefe should be presented with an Oscar for his performance thus far.

FOX News has been getting a lot of bad press these days and Rupert Murdoch has finally taken notice. After all, Rup's kids are about to take over the family business and they do not like Roger Ailes, FOX News honcho.

Looks like Hannity and Ailes may be looking for new employers when the kids take over.

Monday, April 12, 2010

"Celebrity" wins over Sarah Palin in 2012

"Make a hole, make it wide"

So it's April 13Th and just a few days away from tax day. Many people will find a spot somewhere in their town square or take a drive to Washington D.C. with their anti-tax signs, no matter their wording, yell, kick, scream, and holler. Token members of Congress will come out and tell these people that they are with them, they'll coddle them, embrace them, even give that sympathetic frown of approval of what they are doing. Afterwards that token member of Congress will venture inside, look back, and lock the door all the while saying "How much longer will I have to endure these mobs?"

See folks, Big Poppa's been sitting in his normal spot at the end of the bar, with a line of empty peanut bowls and Guinness bottles wrapping around the other end , wondering why some people don't understand that they are being used by members of Congress. They are using these fine American voices, using them until Election Day. Oh they'll hold your hand, walk beside you, kiss your babies, make the normal promises they do to every voter, but it's how much those people are buying these claims is the outlandish mark.

Now I said last week, that Gov Sarah Palin would not run for President in 2012 and Big Poppa got some nasty emails with that statement. "What do you know?" "Sarah is the best pick!" "You're an idiot, Sarah is a true Maverick" blah blah blah.... What made me make such a statement, well it's simple, Gov Palin is loving the celebrity status she has acquired from All Media. She's a celebrity, in the same sense that she lays the smack down on those limousine riding, private jet flying, liberal elite celebrities.

Don't get me wrong, if you're able to gain celebrity status and enjoy the riches that come with it, good for you, there's nothing wrong with it. However, you better admit everything you are doing in that status and not knock those around you that are doing the same. Gov Palin is no different then Heidi Montag, minus the plastic surgery, or the outlandish remarks of Sean Penn. Reports that Gov Palin and her entourage raided the Oscar gift room, pitching her soon reality TV show with a reported $1 million per episode, floundering FOX talk show, the (Ghost written) Going Rogue memoir and another in the works. I give Gov Palin this, she's a workaholic, but nowadays, you gotta work hard to gain the celebrity status she has.

Gov Palin will not run in 2012 and lose all her hard work celebrity riches she is enjoying and it's best for the Republican Party that she stays away.

As a faux reporter, which I will give her that title, she is paid to make her opinion noted to a viewing audience. Her latest concerning President Obama's signing of a new START Treaty with Russia were just that, an opinion. Her words of "the vast nuclear experience that he acquired as a community organizer" were good enough for a 10 second Media clip, but last I checked President Obama has been in office for 15 months (of a 48 month term), which is about a few months less then her half term as a first term Governor of Alaska. So my question is, "How much vast nuclear experience does one have for only serving 18 months as Governor?" Answer is, none.

And last I checked, as Governor you do not have the Secretary of Defense, National Security Advisor, Secretary of State, and a vast arrangement of Generals/Admirals advising you, so I'd say President Obama has the advantage over Gov Palin in the respect of our Nuclear Defense.

Before anyone starts firing off nasty emails and comments, it was in 1984 that then President Reagan signed a treaty with Russia to downsize our Nuclear arsenal by 1/3, the same amount President Obama is shooting for! So, would you say President Reagan was too Liberal on National Defense. I would think not.

But this is what Gov Palin is getting paid for, to speak her mind, use her celebrity status to bring more people into the argument. And she's doing just that. And another thing, I realize a Governor's term is 48 months, but Gov Palin technically wasn't doing much governing between Aug 29, 2008 and Nov 4, 2008, her Lt. Governor was on the job.

She will not run because she believes in the almighty poll result, she's a narcissistic about it. I hate polls, but so many Americans take pride in knowing poll results to make themselves feel hopeful. The Southern Republican Leadership Conference just ended and Gov Palin won 18% of the straw poll, finishing behind Gov Mitt Romney and Congressman Ron Paul. Funny thing about that straw poll, Gov Romney wasn't even there and he won. You don't like that poll, okey dokey here's another straw poll from CPAC 2010. Ron Paul won that one, beating Gov Mitt Romney who won the CPAC Straw Poll three straight years. Gov Palin finished third again, but only earning 7%.

The Washington Post ran a questionnaire on Feb 11, 2010 and of those polled, only 37% held a favorable rating of Gov Palin, down from a whopping 72% on Election Day 2008. And 70% of those respondents said Gov Palin was not qualified to be President.

So to sum this all up, Gov Sarah Palin the presidential hopeful is not favorable, however, Gov Sarah Palin the limousine riding, private jet flying, political elite celebrity is highly favorable. And Gov Sarah Palin knows where the bread is buttered, the adoring fans, and that is where Celebrity Sarah Palin will stay.

Oh one more poll I forgot, Big Poppa's butt covers 100% of two bar stools.

The peanut bowl is empty and I'm quenching a thirst. Please pay your political tab.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Big Poppa's One Hit Wonders

"Make a Hole, Make it Wide"

Well Big Poppa has returned to the corner of the bar and seated comfortably on the 2 bar stools. I've received comments and emails from all sides of the aisle concerning last week's blog on my visit to Pittsburgh's Tea Party rally and I thank everyone for the words of appreciation and even the hateful ones as well. But a few readers asked Big Poppa about his views on everything from gun control to nuclear energy to even who's gonna be the Republican choice in 2012. So this blog is dedicated to what I'm gonna call "One Hit Wonders," my personal view on many topics. So pour a tall frosty one, fill the peanut bowl and let's roll...

1. Do I think Sarah Palin is a psycho bitch?
Well that's a good one to start off with and Big Poppa's answer is No. I do believe she is as polarizing a figure as Hillary Clinton. Gov. Palin entered the national scene on a wave and is still riding that wave. How she handles that wave is up to her, not All Media.

2. Do I think Sarah Palin will run in 2012?
Another No. Gov. Palin will not run, but will be a factor for whomever the Republican choice shall be. Big Poppa's feeling is that the next Republican choice will have to have Gov. Palin's stamp of approval for many voters to get vote for the choice.

3. Who does Big Poppa think will represent the Republicans in 2012?
There's a small list of possibilities out there right now. Minnesota's Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Congressman Ron Paul and Gov. Mitt Romney are on top now. But I'm looking at names like Mississippi's Haley Barbour, Nebraska's Dave Heineman, Utah's Gary Herbert or Senator Jim DeMint, Judd Gregg or even Tom Coburn to jump into the shark tank. One name I wish not to see is that of former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum

4. Do you own a gun?
I read that question and looked over my shoulder as precaution. No I do not own a gun of any sort, yet I do believe in the 2ND Amendment. I still have yet to get a true answer on why someone needs to own a AK-47 for hunting. But there are over 180+ gun laws on the books, if we cannot enforce those laws then any new law would just be added to the list for no reason. Pennsylvania's Ed Rendell attempted to pass a law that a person could only buy one gun a month, which I also think is fair as well.

5. Who did I vote for in 2008?
I admit I voted for President Obama. Hey, if Senator John McCain of 2000 was running in 2008, I would've probably voted for him, but it wasn't. Senator McCain ran a bad campaign, his campaign managers were a horrible lot, it became a campaign of cliches

6. Do I believe in homegrown terrorism?
Yes, I do believe that it exists and for those who do not, drink more "Morning Joe" coffee and wake the "F" up. There are more homegrown terrorists in this century then there were in the past 3 decades.

7. Why do I hate the Tea Party so much?
I went to a Tea Party to see firsthand what I was missing through All Media, FOX and MSNBC especially. I found the 150 or so that attended a civil bunch and expected the typical talking points from the speakers. It's the crowds that get the media coverage, not the speakers. I have said it before, it takes only person to start the wave at a stadium and it takes only person to make a crowd unruley.

8. Whose better MSNBC or FOX?
Well I'm glad CNN wasn't in the question, because the don't really report on CNN, they expect the viewer to report for them. Both FOX and MSNBC are looking at ratings. If you want to compare the 6p-10p opinion talkers, it depends on your thirst for opinion. I do enjoy watching MSNBC's Morning Joe. I like Joe Scarborough, and it's sad that people think Joe is a Liberal because he's on MSNBC, not knowing he's a Conservative, entered Congress on that great wave of 1994 and was one of the many that pushed the Contract with America.

9. Why do I hate Glenn Beck?
I do not hate Glenn Beck and I am tired of people claiming I do. I was listening to Glenn Beck in 2004, a fellow coworker told me to give him a try and I did. I had liberal friends calling me insane for listening to him, only for them to tune in daily now. I can listen to Glenn Beck and agree/disagree on many topics. I do not like watching his FOX Show, because you can predict when he will say "I love this country" with a tear in his eye. I give Glenn Beck loads of credit for everything he has accomplished in life and career.

10. Do you favor one party over the other?
It depends on the topic. I have always sat in the middle and listened to both sides, do the homework, and go from there. If you vote straight Democrat/Republican ticket only because you dislike the other then you are not listening. Can you honestly say you believe your party of choice 100%? There are good Democrats/Republicans out there, you have too find them and listen with an open mind. By voting straight party ticket, you are really becoming part of the problem, not the solution.

11. Who's gonna win Dancing with the Stars?
As long as it is not Kate Gosselyn, I don't care, don't watch the show.

12. Who's your first pick in Fantasy Football 2010?
Well it sure ain't gonna be Pittsburgh Steelers Ben Rothlisberger!! You never take a QB in the first round, but it depends on the fantasy league. I'd say Titan RB Chris Johnson or Texans WR Andre Johnson (hint hint).

13. So, sicne you're a Democrat, you're against Nuclear Energy?
Nope, I'm for Nuclear Energy as long as it is regulated correctly. It works in France and Europe because they only use 2 models of design. I'm not sure how many power companies we have in the US, but say we have 18 companies, I can guarantee each would want their own design model. Now if regulated correctly and they are only allowed 3 models of option across the country, and something goes wrong at design model #1, then everyone with that model can look for the very same issue. If you have 18 different models you can have 18 different problems.

14. Can Obama win in 2012?
I honestly believe President Obama can win again in 2012, but by the narrowest of margins. It's really going to be up to the Economy, Health Care, and the strength of the Republican candidate.

15. Who wins in 2010?
There are so many that are retiring in 2010, that it will come down to how the candidates present themselves. Like I said, there are good Democrats/Republicans out there, you as the voting public need to listen to both sides and make the choice. Simply saying "Candidate Bob is a Democrat and I refuse to vote for him" is not good enough for me. Listen, pay attention and for goodness sake, no matter the party affiliation be civil. Stop being a polarized nation of voters.

Well that's it. That's Big Poppa's "One Hit Wonders" for this round. The peanut bowl was empty on question 8 and someones gotta pick up my thirsty political tab for my 37Th birthday.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Big Poppa takes time for Tea (Party)

Make a Hole, Make it Wide"

Big Poppa was looking for a way to get out of some much needed yard work and took up the invite to visit a Tea Party rally held here in Pittsburgh.

Why you ask? Simple answer, Big Poppa wanted to see if the hype we see on TV is the same live. See what crazies lurk around the crowd? Would there be any Harry Reid pinatas in the crowd as there were in Searchlight, Nevada? Any posters of President Obama dressed as Hitler as we see on all the major news outlets? So Big Poppa waddled on down to the North Shore of Pittsburgh to take a peek for himself.

Now, I was actually concerned about the attendance of the Tea Party rally for the facts of: 1) It was to be the final regular season NHL game @ Mellon Arena for the Pittsburgh Penguins, 2) the Final Four was to be played, 3) it was Easter weekend and how many people travel, 4) the clear sky 80 degree day, and 5) how little advertised the rally was to the casual observer, how much would this affect attendance?

The last fact was the more concern for Big Poppa. For the casual political observer, they would never have known of such a scheduled rally, unless they visited Now if you were a Tea Party member, I'm sure you would have gotten a notice of some sort.

As I ventured to the rally, Big Poppa made sure he parked his car away from others just for the fact of sticker on the back window read "OBXAMA" and waddled across the street. There I met Michele Urbenz, a very nice lady from Euclid, Ohio. Ms. Urbenz travels too many Tea Party rallies, selling the many buttons featuring Glenn Beck (dressed in military garb), Obama/Pelosi/Reid depicted as the 3 Stooges, and the bright yellow flags addressed "Don't Tread On Me." Being from Pittsburgh, I had to tease her about living near Cleveland, but enjoyed listening to her talk about the many rallies she has attended

Leaving Ms. Urbenz, I walked along the dark shadow of the Alcoa building to enter Allegheny Landing and hit by the beautiful skyline of Pittsburgh and the warmth of the sun. A barbershop quartet was singing patriotic songs and people were gathering along the grass and the shoreline trail. I could see the speakers prepping their speeches and vendors setting up their stands. There was about 150 people in attendance, although Channel 11, a local news station, stated less then 100 attended

The signs were not as harsh in wording as depicted by the cable media, the expected venom to be spewed was nothing but a mere whisper as I passed the scattered groups of people. Some looked upon me skeptically as I carried my camera and notepad, but I took it as a gaze of the awesomeness that is Big Poppa. I listened to some of their conversations, some talked about how the Amish are not part of Obamacare, someone mentioned the reason "someone" set up a private army, vote for so-so because they believe in us, why are we listening to these hippies nowadys tell us what to do, and etc. Yes someone was talking about Hippies running our Federal government.

Cascading through the vendors of State $ Local Republican candidates, I received much literature from groups like the 912 Project, 2ND Amendment Rights, other rallies happening over the next few months, Biblical Quotes found at the PA State Capital, amongst others. I found one vendor that caught my interest, called America's Future Foundation.

AFF is new in the Pittsburgh area, however, according to their literature they "invest in the next generation of principled leaders ho will promote and defend free markets, limited government, individual liberty, and personal responsibility." Promotion on one piece of literature talk about a networking event for conservatives in Pennsylvania. Even had a business card with Thomas Jefferson on it. We spoke briefly on how Texas plans on rewriting history books by making Thomas Jefferson, one of our Founding Fathers, a mere footnote, and pushing to add more prominent Republican/Conservative figures into the books. Now Big Poppa thinks the likes of Newt Gingrich is note able in our history, but not that worthy enough to push Thomas Jefferson to mere footnote status. Also on how taxpayer money will be used to pay for the new books, not just in Texas but possibly in the entire US. Currently Texas is the #2 schoolbook buyer and what happens in Texas education happens everywhere else in the US.

I was a little discouraged that many did not remove their hats as the barbershop quartet sang the National Anthem and everyone patriotcally spoke the Pledge of Allegeince. I always was told it was unpatriotic if you didn't remove your hat.

As the speakers started, I noticed the crowd becoming closer on the "grassy knoll" of Allegheny Landing. Talk of "last year we were complacent, this year we say join a group and fight" were said within the first 2 minutes of the first speech. Cap & Trade was lampooned, but no mention of the current talk between Republicans and President Obama on Oil Drilling and Nuclear Energy.

The next speaker talked of how the Christan Community bought into President Obama's lies and that now they should "Put Hope in God and Change the President." Agreement with Rush Limbaugh that "he hopes President Obama fails," and wished that the Federal government had invested more in investigating mosques for jihadist cells and not in the Michigan Militia.

A anti-Health Care speaker rose to the podium and spoke of the 13 states that planned to sue the Federal government, and how dare Henry Waxman (D-Cal) call upon corporate CEO's to testify before Congress about the claimed revenue loss due to Obamacare, and (for some odd reason) attacked PA Rep Jason Altmire for not being forthright and letting people know his vote intention immediately but for waiting till the 11Th hour to declare. Big Poppa was a little confused on the Rep Altmire attack, only because Rep Altmire voted both times against Obamacare, both time for not being clear on control cost and deficit reduction.

By this time, the crowd was getting their mood on and being a little more verbal in response to each speaker. A local 2ND Amendment advocate, Kim Stofler got the best crowd response of the day. Big Poppa's 2ND Amendment view is simple, if there are 180 gun laws on the books, then they should be enforced. Adding a new law does nothing if not enforced, to which Mr. Stofler and I have agreement on, as he wishes that if you add a new gun law, then that means there was a similar law that didn't work and should be repealed.

However, as Big Poppa waddled through to take photos, I heard the same talking points in the crowd, heard some people repeat a current poll figure by saying "well the poll stated 43%..." Here's Big Poppa's view of polls, they are a joke and nothing but a mere talking point to make one feel better of their view. If you poll 100 people in Oshkosh Wisconsin, those 100 people do not have the same feeling as those in Savannah Georgia.

I talked to many people in attendance. Some asked me why I was carrying a notepad and taking photos. I explained about my blog and how I wanted to experience for myself a Tea Party rally and could compare to what I see/hear on the news. Many were pleased about that and happily smiled for photos, holding their homemade sign high, asking me for the blog site and title. I was asked how I felt about the rally, I can simply say "well with such low attendance, the crowd was very civil, I was expecting more people and some rowdiness. But it only takes one person to start a wave at a football game, and it only takes one person to get a crowd into an uproar," to which the person shoke their head in agreement.

To those that attended, if it matters, I thank you for your hospitality and kindness. Many of you happily displayed your signs and shook my hand, questioned me with respect and respected my answers and vice verse. When I asked one supporter "So many people take the Tea Party as Republican brand only, yet there are many disenfranchised Democrats out there looking for a place, why hasn't the Tea Party brought them in?" I received little indication of such a bold move, as if it was sacred ground not to step over. I expected talking points from the speakers, but I only saw a diminished few drinking Kool Aid. Had there been better organization, had it been a different weekend possibly, had maybe some of the speakers been more prepared and gave more credence to talking points, the crowd may have been larger and more vocal.

With April 15TH Tax Day soon arriving, many talked of the bigger rally to be held in Pittsburgh, as many will be held across the USA. If you wish to attend the next rally in Pittsburgh, I will direct you to visit to see where they may be meeting before the rally starts.

Peanut bowl is empty and the beer mug has gone dry. Please pay the political tab.