What I've never understood about Conservatives

  • April 16, 2011
  • James Skemp
I've never understood how conservatives can be anti-government, but also be for government intervention in regards to abortion, prostitution, gay/lesbian marriage/civil unions, video and movie ratings, marijuana, and etcetera. Of course liberals aren't necessarily pushing hard for some of these, but see a benefit to government that doesn't include making the above illegal (and enforcing those laws) and building up the miltary. Maybe it's the fact that some people are for legalizing and then taxing some of those items, and they're anti-new taxes?

Read More

Countries that come to mind ...

  • April 10, 2009
  • James Skemp
When I think of Europe I think of the U.K., France, then Germany. What about Spain though? Moving east, Japan and China, followed by North Korea. I realize that India should be on the list, but it's not one that immediately comes to mind. Africa, as a whole, is not on the list; only bad things come to mind (AIDs and spammers/scammers). Same with Israel; isn't it bad that I think not of religiousness, but rather of constant war?

Read More

Should Obama have a personal blog?

  • January 24, 2009
  • James Skemp
I work at the State Bar of Wisconsin, the membership of which elects a president every year. (Technically they elect a president-elect, but that's moot.) One of the things my co-workers and I (Rob and Dan) bounced off each other was a blog for the president-elect, for the three years they serve (president-elect, president, and outgoing (?)). With the Obama administration, I wonder if the time of weekly addresses is out, and the time of a more timely blog is in.

Read More

Do you assume I'm a liberal because I wear Grateful Dead shirts?

  • November 19, 2008
  • James Skemp
I ran into a co-worker who suggested that I probably held a certain environmental view, because I was wearing a Grateful Dead shirt. While I knew it to be true, I'd never really thought that my political views too may be out there based upon the band t-shirt that I was wearing. Wearing Grateful Dead? Liberal. Wearing Bruce Springsteen? Liberal. Wearing Fleetwood Mac? Liberal. Billy Joel? That's probably liberal as well.

Read More

President Obama

  • November 4, 2008
  • James Skemp
About 10 minutes ago Fox, CNN, NBC, and ABC showed Obama winning the election. After 2 disappointments ... it's hard to feel absolutely confident until there's 100% reporting, but I'm feeling pretty dang happy. :D

Read More

Survey says: Top way to spend your unexpected day off

  • September 9, 2008
  • James Skemp
(Tongue firmly between teeth.)  In today's world, what do you think the best way is to spend a day off? Survey says: ... Working at your second job. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and the middle does just a little worse ...

Read More

Comment re: Go MIT!

  • August 12, 2008
  • James Skemp
I couldn't post this without creating an account, so … This is in regards to this comment. Full post. I agree with montysimmons - the attack on George Washington was uncalled for. However, he makes an interesting point that they've been able to make the technology easy enough for someone from the 18th Century to understand and use. This is in fact better than saying "easy enough for a child to use," which may have been better, since even children use computers these days.

Read More

What if gas cost $10 a gallon?

  • May 18, 2008
  • James Skemp
Shirley Skeel wrote an interesting article on MSN Money titled "What if gas cost $10 a gallon?" All-in-all, pretty interesting article. I don't know about anyone else, but I've been doing what I can to save money (ignoring the fact that I bought another monitor the other day), including using more energy efficient light bulbs in all of my sockets. But I wish my gas mileage was a bit better .

Read More

Why do we elect judges?

  • March 14, 2008
  • James Skemp
This is the second Supreme Court judicial campaign that I've been aware of. However, the question is, why do Wisconsin citizens even vote for judges? If judges can't tell us how they would vote, why not just let them be elected by their own kind (whether that be judges or lawyers)?

Read More

Romney: A vote for a democrat president aids a surrender to terror

  • February 7, 2008
  • James Skemp
Special edition over my lunch break ... It seems Mitt Romney, former presidential hopeful, has withdrawn from the race. Guardian Unlimited quotes him as such: "In this time of war I simply cannot let my campaign be a part of aiding a surrender to terror," he told the Conservative Political Action Committee As with the 2004 race, once again a Republican is stating that a Democrat president would result in the United States surrendering to terror (sadly, it doesn't look like that piece was moved over to the site, but I'll see if I can't dig it up and re-post it tonight).

Read More

The Daily Show is now available online

  • October 19, 2007
  • James Skemp
One of the view things I miss about cable is The Daily Show. Thankfully, I can now get my fix, as well as catch up on older shows, online, legally. The archives are available from the Show's Videos area. Among the gems is this one on the recent healthcare veto: Headlines - Kids' Healthcare Veto. The short commercial at the beginning and end are fairly non-obtrusive, save when they cut into the end abruptly.

Read More

An interesting monologue overheard - July 8, 2007

  • July 10, 2007
  • James Skemp
This weekend we went down to the Capitol for Madison's farmer's market on the square. While walking towards the square (the streets surrounding the Capitol building) I overheard a glimpse of a man's speech. While I only heard part of, and I have no idea what was going on before or after the conversation, it sounded quite like a monologue. The gist of his speech was that there's a fight to give illegal immigrants legal status in America.

Read More

Updated DST happens - nothing else

  • March 11, 2007
  • James Skemp

Read More

The cause of the salmonella outbreaks?

  • February 18, 2007
  • James Skemp

Read More

Post election wrap-up

  • November 8, 2006
  • James Skemp
First, is good to see Doyle re-elected.  Related to this, thanks to Gavin for the information he provides on Green. Second, it's unfortunate that Wisconsin has decided to make a constitutional amendment to "provide that only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state and that a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state.

Read More

Make sure you vote next Tuesday

  • November 5, 2006
  • James Skemp

Read More

Comments on the first 2006 Gubernatorial Debate in Wisconsin (9/15/2006)

  • October 8, 2006
  • James Skemp

I've wanted to watch the debate for some time, so, after the one on Friday, I decided it was time to take a look for some video. I did find a copy of the first one, from WisPolitics.com, so here's my comments on the debate.

Read More

An Inconvenient Truth

  • June 24, 2006
  • James Skemp
I just saw An Inconvenient Truth this afternoon.  If you've any desire to see it, see it.  If you're concerned about the environment, see it.  If you care about (extended) family members younger than yourself, see it. What bothers me is that now that I've seen the movie, I want to donate - I want to write, etcetera - but where's the call to action?  Turns out it's at www.

Read More

Kirby Puckett

  • March 7, 2006
  • James Skemp
I don't typically keep track of sports, but since Kirby Puckett was one of my favourite sport's people when I was younger, I have to at least mention his passing. It's funny, but now that I bought rabbit ears for the TV, I've been actually getting more news than I was before.  Unfortunately, and in some ways fortunately, the numbers I'm hearing from the news are quite high.  As in over 60% of troops in Iraq want out of Iraq, over 60% don't have confidence in Bush, and over 60% think civil war in Iraq is likely.

Read More

France delivers nuclear threat

  • January 20, 2006
  • James Skemp
What a headline … Jacques Chirac, France's president, has threatened to use nuclear weapons against any state that supported terrorism against his country or considered using weapons of mass destruction. http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/e805e2d4-88e6-11da-94a6-0000779e2340.html So, terrorists are everywhere, not contained within set land boundaries. States/governments/masses of people, on the other hand, are/can be. Are you punishing the 'terrorists', or are you punishing the common man in what-so-ever country is determined to be aiding the terrorists, in that some of it's most popular few are assisting?

Read More

What can the birth places of the United States Presidents tell us?

  • March 15, 2005
  • James Skemp

There is an old saying that says something to the effect of “if you try hard enough, you can become anything, even president” (the President of the United States is usually implied, but the general idea is the ruler of a country/government). I was thinking one day that there must be certain states in which certain individuals have little chance of actually becoming President of the United States, so I undertook to find out what states Presidents have come from, and look at what states Presidents have not come from.

Read More

Have we discovered the true goals of the United States of America?

  • January 22, 2005
  • James Skemp
First it was Afghanistan. Next, it was Iraq, Iran and North Korea, parts of the ‘axis of evil’. Now Condoleezza Rice is calling our attention to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Zimbabwe, Burma and Belarus (Belarus? Is anyone else wondering where this is? And I keep myself fairly up to date on these things, I thought.). Gavin introduced me to Noam Chomsky’s spoken word, so I understand why Cuba would be a threat to the United States.

Read More

Can Wisconsin Pick a Presidential Candidate, or What?

  • January 8, 2005
  • James Skemp

After the 2004 election, where Bush won by allowing the American public to live their lives in fear (see my own On the Saying “Terrorists Will Put Bush in Office”), I decided to look at the voting record of Wisconsin, whether they could pick a President, or not.

Read More

On the Saying "Terrorists Will Put Bush in Office"

  • August 23, 2004
  • James Skemp
The reason most people foresee George W. Bush taking the presidency in the 2004 election is because most people believe Bush has the best chance protecting America from terrorists, compared with John Kerry.  The question is, what does this mean? Put bluntly, this means that despite Bush’s record from 2000 to the present, fear will put Bush in the Oval Office for another 4 years – fear brought on by an arbitrary colour system – fear of a people on the other side of the world, attacking us because we believe in freedom, or so they say.

Read More

On Arnold Schwarzenegger Having Become Governor of California

  • October 13, 2003
  • James Skemp

Unless you've been lying in a coma, or spending an extraordinary amount of time playing such games as Sid Meier's SIMGolf™, SimCity 3000™ Unlimited, Age of Empires II, Solitaire, etcetera, or, if you're just reading this (perhaps) long after I've written it, you probably heard that Arnold Schwarzenegger (see Running Man, Terminator, Terminator 2, Terminator 3, Kindergarten Cop, Total Recall, etcetera) has become, according to the masses of Californians that went out to vote, the next Governor of California, taking the place of the recalled (the second in the nation) Governor, Gray Davis (I personally keep thinking it should be Gary, but... interesting name I suppose). There's a lot going on with this, Arnold becoming the next Governor, and I've put off writing this page for that reason, as well as for a few other reasons... Anyways, even though I live in Wisconsin, I figured I'd tackle a few of the things that I've thought whilst paying attention to this. Here goes :)

Read More

Confucian View on Conflict and the Ruler

  • April 22, 2002
  • James Skemp
For this paper, I would like to focus on the topic of conflict and the ruler from the view of Confucianism. Specifically, I would like to look on how a ruler should operate, and under what conditions conflict, or war, should occur. By looking at the Analects, the Book of Mencius, the Doctrine of the Mean, and the Great Learning, I hope to gain some insight into the relationship between these two subjects.

Read More

Chapter Synopsis - Chapter XIX, John Locke

  • November 3, 2001
  • James Skemp
For my chapter synopsis, I read Chapter XIX. Of the Dissolution of Government for John Locke. This chapter deals with dissolving the government; how governments are dissolved, and what do to when they are. He says that governments are either overturned from without, or from within. When a foreign force conquests the commonwealth, the current government can not survive. Therefore, we return to the state of nature, and are free to survive alone, or find another way to survive, with another government.

Read More

The Foundations of Western Culture and Nationalism

  • May 13, 2001
  • James Skemp
“O my brothers, love your Country! Our country is our Home, the house that God has given us…” (Mazzini). It’s not hard to see why nationalism doesn’t sound like a good idea. Nationalism is the idea that the nation that you live in is important, and that when you look at yourself, you should see your nation, and its ideals. Nationalism has been around for a very long time, probably as long as there have been nations.

Read More

Rousseau's Social Contract and the Foundation of Western Culture

  • March 7, 2001
  • James Skemp
“Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains.” (Rousseau, Chapter I). Jean-Jacques Rousseau and The Social Contract had a large impact on Western Civilization in the late 18th century. Rousseau based his ideas on some of the writings of previous philosophers, trying to form a good political theory. The Social Contract was developed by Jean-Jacques Rousseau around 1762, during the time of the scientific revolution and the Enlightenment. The Social Contract was based on the ideas of Baron de Montesquieu and John Locke.

Read More