This Day in History. "A country without a memory is a country of madmen." - George Santayana

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Man-made Global Warming: Hoax or Win-Win Situation?

Having been through the research process a number of times, I know that you can make foregone conclusions based upon data. It's easy to get wrapped up in the results you're looking for rather than what may be the truth. That said, it's completely unfair to the thousands of scientists - who generally are apolitical - to accuse the climate change researchers of being politically and financially motivated. Many within the research-side actually have altruistic intentions of ensuring that we have not hit a tipping point. That said, there is some scientific-based skepticism that is definitely worthy of merit, particularly this guy Dr. Roy Spencer (www.drroyspencer.com) (who has never been funded by the oil companies to research alternatives to the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis).

Are we jumping the gun with legistlation? Perhaps. At the end of the day however, even IF human-caused global warming is false, using less energy, researching and funding alternative sources of energy (including nuclear), all while doing more to make less of a CO2 impact on the environment is a win-win; we become more energy indepedent and stretch out our reserves of limited natural resources. The argument against doing so is short-sighted and only concerned for how it will affect our pocketbooks with little regard to what we may be leaving for our grandchildren.

Opinion does not equal scientifically/statistically researched hypotheses. I give weight to both sides of the argument on their scientific merits; opinions on both sides, I do not. Right now, there is a mountain of evidence that shows a global warming trend coinciding with an increasing CO2 global concentration. When/if the alternative hypotheses can mount that much data in opposition to the commonly held manmade causes, we can kick ourselves, but faith and skepticism are not on equal footing with the scientific method.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Hey World, does Obama really deserve the Nobel Peace Prize yet?

Don't get me wrong, generally speaking I am a fan of Obama and his style of governing. More-over it's nice to have someone who can pronounce words and string sentences together. However, what has Obama done yet to deserve the Nobel Peace Prize? I mean, there are people who dedicate their lives to the cause of peace, but you give it to the guy that's not even been in office for a year. I know, you like the guy. And you wanted to send a message saying that you love the fact that he's not Bush (you won't get any complaints from me), but without Palin, McCain would've been at least a LITTLE better than Bush.

It IS a great thing that he got it, but the simple fact that I am questioning the merits means that there's a Boston Harbor full of Tea-Baggers, Birthers, Beck-ians, and Limbaugh acolytes that are going to jump on this and let it support their wacky ideas of the coming Apocalypse. Yes, Obama has severely shifted the American tone in the World and it has been a great thing to try to win our good-standing back in the World, but I think this pick comes across as politically expedient and reeks of political correctness.

They could have waited a few years in my opinion. I have little doubt that as the Obama presidency moves forward, he (and his Administration/staff) will further attempt to bridge gaps and bring peace to the World - just as the US should use its standing to do - and what better way to help in about three years when reelection comes up? You see, the conservatives are going to foment over this for the next three years saying Obama is the President that Europe (they will say it in a very condesceding way) likes. This will further their message that he's a socialist/Marxist/blah-blah-blah-ist, but the dumb American public is going to buy into it. I just think the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Obama was a bit too preemptive.

Monday, September 28, 2009

It Came from the Comment Boards! #4: The Redskins Wreck Report Edition

The Redskins Wreck Report: Skins 14, Lions 19

Finally some people seem to get it on the comment boards as everyone calls for Zorn or Campbell's head; it's DANIEL SNYDER damnit!

"Snyder is the problem and it goes far deeper than his greed and the high prices he charges for tickets and parking. Prior to 1999, the Redskins were one of the premiere organizations in the NFL and you could see or feel that in the players, the type of leadership they had, and pride in the team that represents the nation's capital.

For more than 10 years, the Redskins, as an organization, haven't come close to that level of excellence on or off the field. They have been and continue to be an organization in disarray because of poor personnel decisions and a lack of leadership. Daniel Snyder, like Jerry Jones, meddles in every aspect of the organization. He's like a kid who bought the team and wants to do everything his way. And just like a kid, those desires change very often so you never know what direction the Redskins want to go."

This team has been in constant upheaval over the past 10 years. Nothing is consistent between coaching schemes, players, etc. This is ridiculous. Let's just keep changing it until we get it right? We've become so fickle as Redskins fans that we are too impatient to ALLOW change to occur over a few years. So we let go of QB's who go to other teams and win them games. And we let coaches go that go to other teams and win them games!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Jimmy Carter says Tea-Baggers are Racist.

I think there are legitimate concerns amongst the Tea-Baggers, but most of the vitriol seems to be spewed by those who - maybe outside of their own understanding why - simply hate Obama. I was no fan of Bush, nor do I constantly sing Obama's praises, but the accusations and out-right craziness that is on display for the entire country to see is rooted in something. There is a reason as to why some of the outrageous claims - palling around with terrorists, socialist/Marxist/facist/word-of-the-day-ist, Hitler, - stick to him better than some of the ridiculous things coming from the left did to Bush; Obama is different. Different in ways that to some are misunderstood/unfathomable. The clearest difference as to why people cannot or do not want to understand the man, or simply listen that he is trying to speak to all Americans, is because he IS different. These folksy people pouring out from their small towns have probably not had to deal with black people outside of avoiding certain areas of town or giving change to the bum on the corner. To them, there is a perception that someone who is half-black is all-militant and all-angry at the white man. Then they bemoan the left of caving to "white-guilt." Well, as a white man, I have nothing to feel guilty about, but certainly things to feel sympathetic towards. To me, the right is projecting onto those of us who have made it into the 21st century of race relations their own guilt.

So no, it's not ALL racism, and I understand the fear of the concentration of power in the government (AND in corporations), but I think it is safe to say that the most seething individuals - and therefore the most likely to make it on TV and into the American public's perception - are in fact acting out of racism.

Friday, September 11, 2009

An Eight Year Reflection

Today marks the 8th anniversary of the very tragic, horrific, and surprising attacks that on occured on September 11th, 2001. Not since Pearl Harbor had America had such a jolt to our collective sense of security and military standing in the world. My heart sincerely goes out to all of those who lost someone or who has lost someone in the War on Terrorism since.

There comes a time in the mourning process where, after going through the motions of anger and denial, that we need to reflect on what the loss means. I was not personally affected by 9/11, but at the same time I was. I did not lose a family member or a friend, but I did lose a sense of security that I know most Americans held dearly close. I recall shedding tears in the days that followed as I saw American flags draped over highway overpasses on 295 between Baltimore, MD and Washington, DC or when I watched replayed clips of the towers falling and the panic that was occurring on the ground.

It almost seemed surreal, and I think it was the reality of the situation - that I was not watching a movie - that affected me most. In a movie you know no one is ACTUALLY hurt. The World Trade Center towers falling would be merely a special effect, either done in a scaled model or completely on computers. The people running for their lives would be actors, who would either collect their cash for being an extra and go on with their normal lives or return to their trailer after getting lunch from craft-services. But this was real. To this date, I still have trouble watching those scenes of sheer terror. The looks on peoples faces cannot be replicated in a movie. The scenes of the firefighters covered entirely in dust in the fallout regions of the NYC streets were like nothing I have ever seen before. Then there were the bulletin boards that went up all over the city with pictures, names, and phone numbers with the simple intent that someone just wanted to hear a loved one's voice, or just to have confirmation of what they either feared to be true or had faith had not occurred.

I was 20 years old. Too old to not understand, but too young to have seen death on that scale - in America - before. In the days that followed, the welled up sense of patriotism in my heart and mind lead me to want to seek vengeance. We had so much good-will built up in the international community as many countries joined us in solidarity. Being mindful of international politics even before taking a class, I had mentioned to friends on 9/11 that I thought Osama bin Laden likely had some part to play. When reports started coming in about the Taliban and their complicity in the events with bin Laden I thought, "We've got to get those fuckers!"

In this way, I understand where people are coming from when they imagine an enemy that needs to be obliterated and sent back to Hell, figuratively or literally speaking. However, over the past eight years, I've grown callous to the machismo/bravado-laced arguments for foreign policy by force. We sit, eight years later, without Osama bin Laden in our custody (if he is even still alive), fighting two separate wars (and not a single war on two fronts), and piles of military debt, both literally in the gross amounts of money spent on both wars and figuratively in the service that many Americans have given to our country. There is no doubt in my mind that our service-people, though still trudging through Iraq and Afghanistan with a pep in their step, are growing weary. Sons and daughters want their mommy or daddy back home. Wives and husbands, girlfriends and boyfriends want their significant others to not have to be redeployed.

Taxpayers want answers and results. The weak case for Iraq was for the protection of America from weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), though it seemed much less weak at the time. I was taking an international politics course at the time of the lead-up to the Iraq war, so I was intimately aware of the history of Iraq and the entire Middle East, particularly in the past half century, focused primarily on Saddam Hussein's rule. I saw the merits in the arguments for and against the war and was ultimately not convinced by George W. Bush's speech, but rather Tony Blair's speech to the House of Commons. Here we sit, still in Iraq, working to rebuild the infrastructure we destroyed while looking for the unfound WMDs and then rooting out the insurgents we attracted to the region. And people have the audacity to intone the losses incurred on 9/11 to continue to pursue this costly venture, as if somehow we are going to break the mold of the colloquial definition of insanity - doing the same thing and expecting different results.

The War on Terrorism is a war that is nothing like what we have fought before; it is a battle of ideologies. Surely, comparisons can be drawn between this war and the Cold War purely by the fact that it was a war against an opposing ideology - Communism - fought largely on the basis of containing and eliminating said ideology, but beyond that is where comparisons fall flat. In the Cold War our enemies were states or nation-states; the USSR, Cuba, North Vietnam, North Korea, etc. Now we are dealing with nations of people. People who are not necessarily tied to their country of origin as much as they are to the ideals of radical Islam. This makes the identification, location, and extraction of any of these terrorists quite precarious. We need the world on board with us in order to achieve capture and elimination, but we have lost a lot of the good-will that was generated post-9/11.

I would never wish another 9/11 on America, but I fear that in our attempts to prevent an event of this magnitude and horror we are almost asking for it. We have done nothing to address the root causes of terrorism; it's like saying we are going to fix a leaky pipe by collecting the water, getting rid of it and continuing to replace the bucket - it's not fixing the pipe itself. That does not mean I have all of the answers, nor do I have concrete suggestions on how to address the root causes. I'll leave that up to the policy makers who have had many more classes and much more experience on these matters. I think the Obama administration is making the right moves in trying to address the War on Terror more diplomatically, but there is a great deal of damage that has already been done thanks to Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Rice. Their assertions that "might is right" and the fundamental belief that we are free from reproach carried with it a sense of arrogance overseas and there is no better example of their reckless ideology than what occurred at Abu Graib prison.

We have to ask ourselves, despite the money spent and despite the increase in government (Department of Homeland Security - an increase in government that was not bemoaned at all by Republicans or town-hall meetings with enraged citizens), are we any safer than we were on that fateful September morning? If based solely on appearances and rhetoric, I think most would resoundingly say, "Absolutely," but appearances and words can be funny like that. Sure, we are more AWARE of the dangers that can befall us, after all, we have our nifty terror alert color scheme. We are more AWARE of who would seek to harm our country and our people. But does that make us any more adept at preventing a tragedy such as 9/11 to catch us by surprise again? Arguably, I would say no, because we, "the West", are over there as "the Infidel" making few in-roads in trying to understand the causes of terrorism and how to prevent or at least minimize its multiplication.

And at the risk of being accused of being anti-Semitic, which is quite often the case if this argument is made, I think much of the detestation of the US in the Middle East stems from our unwavering support of Israel. Again, it all boils down to the collective US belief that "might is right" and Western-style democracy is free from reproach, as if Israel does not have a part to play in the attacks from the Palestinians. For the record, I believe both sides act like petulant children, but we sometimes need to ask ourselves in the US: "How would I feel if my land were taken from me?" or "How would I feel if I were forced to live in a ghetto (i.e. the refugee camps), where few economic opportunities were extended to me simply because of my ethnicity?" Then we may begin, at least, to understand the birth of Palestinian terrorism - which may translate somewhat to the birth of Islamic terrorism, something we've really only largely experienced since the 1960's.

In conclusion, I hope our leaders (in both political parties) take a moment today to reflect on the dramatic changes in our reality that September 11th spawned. I hope that they understand that we cannot go this alone. Finally, I hope that we continue to make strides in removing ourselves from Iraq - a war in which we should never have been involved - and focusing our efforts on making permanent changes in Afghanistan (and perhaps Pakistan) that could help change the ideological landscape of those two breeding grounds of radical Islam.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

It Came from the Comment Boards! #3: Fucking Freeloaders! Edition

Here are a few nice little ditties I found on a CNN comment board talking about an article regarding the public option aspect of the proposed health care plan(s):

1) There is the "Fuck-you, I'm gonna get mine" (probably an evangelical Christian) perspective:

"I can certainly understand why irresponsible citizens who are facing bankruptcy for buying more of a house than they can afford are for a government funded option. They're in quest of more taxpayer handouts. As a responsible taxpayer who doesn't live above my means I don't approve such an option. I'm not making your house payments either. Get a job and work it out like the rest of us."

2) To twist the free-loader idea on it's head, here is one from a guy/girl who understands that it is, in fact, the insurance companies and their executives that are getting rich on our dime:

"Somebody once compared the public option to the shipping/parcel industry. They said the public option is like the United States Postal Service (USPS) while the private insurances are like UPS & FedEx. Only while they said this scenario proves the governments program, USPS, is inefficient and not nearly as good as the private providers, I think it proves the system works. The fact that the USPS is a competitor forces UPS & FedEx to offer excellent service at low cost. Eliminate the USPS and see what happens to shipping costs. My guess is that they would go up. So why not institute a government entity to lower health insurance costs? It is difficult because so many people make money off healthcare & they don't want that to change."

3) Finally there's the thought that government will become the free-loader on our own money:

"This is yet another deceptive article written by an intelligent Democrat who is too smart to actually believe what he is saying.

The public option, sponsored by the government, out to make no profit at all, will ultimately and INEVITABLY become a monopoly on health care. The writing is on the wall. The public option is not an "option" at all. Any public option will become the only option within a decade.

If you want the government to control ALL health care, which comprises a massive portion of our economy and personal lives, then by all means, go ahead and support this disaster."

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Health Care Chronicles: How could "change" affect you?

Let me first start out and say that it's fair to have some concern and perhaps even some reluctance about the government stepping into a privatized industry like the Health Care-Industrial Complex. Our country was founded on the outright disapproval of centralized power understanding that absolute power corrupts absolutely. I understand the history we have experienced as a country and therefore I understand where the ambivalence comes from. There is no doubt in my mind that total government control at least leads to inefficiencies and at worst leads to outright corruption. For this reason though, I have enough reason to equally fear the executives of many companies

Too frequently however, I hear the comparison of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to the proposed healthcare initiative. I think you're confusing the British system with what is technically being proposed. Comparing the DMV to healthcare is not even close enough to say that you're comparing apples and oranges. The proposed system would not make public the hospitals nor the administers of health. On top of that, doctors will still funnel into their private practices and private hospitals much in the same way they did before. I applaud the efforts of the administration and Congress to at least try to do something so that even hard-working people do not end up in compromising circumstances. If a larger majority of hard-working people get healthcare and a few abusers of the system slip by, that is fine by me.

By the way, I will continue to enjoy my company-sponsored health care. If the day comes that the company cannot afford as has been spelled out by doomsdayers, then I will buy market-rate individual health insurance, because I can. Yes, I have made all the right moves because I had parents who supported me, I was lucky enough to go a great bunch of schools, and worked hard to get a scholarship to undergrad. I do not aggrandize my experience b/c it took the support from a good number of people.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Health Care Chronicles: I hear cries of "RINO" in the distance...

Amidst all of the disinformation campaigns and cries of "socialism" and "communism" on the right and the unwillingness to back down from a full public option on the left, it is nice to see that there are some politicans that are interested in working together to craft bipartisan (or at least compromised) legislation. The sad part is that any attempt by a Republican to reform health care will be viewed by neocon Republicans (and their adoring public ditto-heads) as capitulation to the Democrats; they term these people "RINO" - Republicans In Name Only - a term that plagued Arlen Specter for years. In this potential legislation, the public option would only take hold if the health care industrial complex does not meet the goals outlined in the proposed legislation. Unfortunately however, few are likely to report this in depth and even fewer in the public are going to care.

It was said best in the movie Gladiator: "The mob is fickle, brother." Even now as we have important things to debate, the more viewed stories on CNN are "Heigl to take 'Grey's' Hiatus" and "Michael Jackson to be interred Thursday." People have hit overload and they are losing faith in the plan according to polls, and the politicians - outside of a few - are doing nothing to help keep this topic as a part of REASONABLE public discourse.

I have heard many positive messages on NPR as of late regarding health care, but it's falling on ears that already agree that something needs to be done. We have some semi-objective studies done of what is offered around the world ( TR Reid's The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care), but people have already made their minds up. They listen to Glenn Beck decry socialism at the idea that the government could take on a minor role, while leaving much of the system private (read: STILL CAPITALISTIC!) and see images of the hammer and sickle and imagine themselves being planted into a bread line in Communist Russia. The few responsible Republicans that remain and the Democrats are doing nothing to battle this perception problem. I want Olympia Snowe to come out against the neocon notion that she is only a Republican in name only; I want her to come out sneering at the Party-of-No Republicans that at least she is attempting to compromise. But that might be expecting too much out of politicians, and expecting that the public will be thoughtful and open-minded probably would be too.

Friday, August 28, 2009

You've Got To Be Kidding Me! #4: Michael Jackson's Death Ruled a Homicide

[It's been a short while since I've posted, so here's another one in the "You've Got To Be Kidding Me!" series]

I was reading in the news today, amidst speculation that Jacko's death was a homicide, that it was officially ruled as such by the coroner. You've got to be kidding me!

I can definitely say it was not a suicide by any means, and part of me really thinks this is a case of wrongful death, but homicide or even manslaughter? I just cannot agree that enough of the fault lies on the doctor to rule against him. Certainly the doctor prescribed Propofol, which according to the article can only be administered by anaesthesiologists, violating medical guidelines; I hear that many of the "Doctors to the Stars" will prescribe a variety of drugs to sedate their clients. But at what point do we put the onus on those who have been prescribed the drugs rather than those doctors who have prescribed the drugs?

My fear is, based upon the outpouring of ridiculous coverage of Michael Jackson after his death, that people are simply searching to find a scapegoat for Michael's often weird and outlandish behavior. If Michael was taking the reported 60+ prescriptions, at what point did he not say to himself: "These are a lot of fucking pills!" For that matter, I cannot imagine that Michael was so non-techno-savvy that he could not look up "Propofol" on the internet (WebMD, Wikipedia, etc.). We may never know how many pills MJ was advised to take, but if it is as powerful as it's said to be, I highly doubt the doctor was like "Dr. Spaceman (pronounced Spa-chi-min)" from 30 Rock and said "Take as many as you'd like."

MJ was an amazing pop-star. He reached out and touched the world and I have many fond memories in the early-to-mid-80's of listening to his music. But at some point, we all need to admit that he snapped and become an incredibly odd and (excuse me) fucked up individual. Is there no reasonable doubt here that perhaps Michael took too many of these pills on his own accord?

It's not about who we WANT to hold accountable, it is about who we CAN hold accountable and I sincerely doubt there is enough evidence to conclude that MJ's death was the doctor's fault. Sorry, but I'm just not so infatuated with Michael Jackson that I think he was not capable of doing wrong. Quite honestly, this is a waste of time and money. Furthermore, I'm not a lawyer, but I have to consider whatever legal precedent this may set if there is none on record.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Peter Tosh Said It Best.

I just recently finished reading an opinion piece on CNN that reminded me of our ass-backwardness in this country. Regarding pills, we are growing increasingly dependent on prescription pain killers (read: Rush Limbaugh and his Oxycontin bout) which can sometimes lead to heroin abuse - if the drug is opiate based.

The sad part is that my tax dollars (through Medicare and Medicaid) and health care premiums pay for many of these peoples' "legal" drug addictions while it is still illegal to own the smallest amount of marijuana. I see, when a big pharma company makes a drug, everything is OK about it, but use a drug recreationally (in the SAME WAY in which alcohol is consumed) or even sometimes to self-medicate persistent pain and suddenly it's a terrible thing. We can truly be a backwards country sometimes still lost in its puritanical hypocrisy.

Want to find a way to fund healthcare? I do. Regardless of the proposals on the right and left to fix healthcare, it will undoubtedly cost some amount beyond what we can already afford. Legalize marijuana, regulate it, and tax it. Immediately it will serve as a means of tax revenue, but over the long term it will help to discourage small time drug dealers, make the cross-border Mexican drug trade multitudes less lucrative, and will clear our prisons for the violent and malevolent offenders. The economic benefits will be astoundingly one-directional in our favor.

I have recently said to a few friends that the drug trade is - in my opinion - the last TRUE free market out there. Prices are set by supply and demand. There are no bailouts. You have to build your business from the ground up and cannot make more lucrative money unless you start out small-time. Can you imagine what good it would do if we prevent the "gateway" drug from being one of the cheaper ones that dealers can start selling? Ask any dealer and I would BET they started by selling marijuana in high school or sometime close to then.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bad News #4: Who Cares?

I will tell you, I have been trying desperately to avoid using less-than-savory language while writing this blog, but I keep having Lewis Black moments where the word "fuck" just comes flying out beyond my control.

It is stories like this one recently posted on ABC.com that confirms the fucktardedness of our present-day media. It should be clear from scanning my posts that at this point, for all practical purposes, I am a fan of Obama, but PLEASE... why the fuck should I care about what beer Obama chooses for his sit-down meeting between Gates and Crowley?! This is national business news? Not only that, but this is a news article that deserves FOUR fucking pages?! Come on ABC, save this story for something like All About Beer magazine or some equivalent.

I have long maintained that we do not have a liberal -OR- conservative media, though both sides frequently try to point out "bias" to gain the advantaged position and generate mistrust of the press (recent example: Sarah Palin). Rather, we just have an equal-opportunity idiotic media that largely shows puff pieces anymore. This comes in the middle of some potentially ground-breaking and financially crippling legislation that of which the citizenry of the US needs to be made aware: Health Care Reform. Instead we focus on Michael Jackson, So You Think You Can Dance, whether or not Paula Abdul is returning to American Idol, Henry Louis Gates-gate, and what fucking beer Obama is going to choose when he sits down with Gates and Crowley... Yes, please don't pay attention to what is happening behind the curtain...

Corporate advertisers and lobbyists need their asses handed to them for a month or two while our news networks need to be straight with us about all the potential advantages and ramifications that could result from upcoming health care proposals. Instead of airing the dis-information commercials from the left and right, PRESENT US WITH THE FUCKING FACTS! DO YOUR DAMN JOBS!

Friday, July 17, 2009

It Came From the Comment Boards! #2: A Good One

Usually I will visit the comment boards on the Washington Post and CNN (and a variety of other places) and there are a sea of two sentence responses uttering the most idiotic garbled nonsense that indicates the "Me" Culture we live in; everyone thinks they have a voice. The irony of course is that by writing this blog and hoping people will read, I am succumbing to that same very cultural urge, however, not all commentary/blogs/opinions are created equal. Occasionally, I come across some affirmative/positive opinions on the comment boards and I'd like to display one thoughtful post in reference to a "Black in America 2" commentary regarding parenting:

"I agree with you Mr. Ferguson - the last few generations of young Americans are the MOST dumbed-down Americans ever to walk the country - but I dont know how you can manage such an undertaking.

First, look at Television - its a total wasteland with mindless shows promoting mindless goals. Second, look at movies - again, endless mindlessness and the kids all think its "cool" simply because of special effects. Third, look at music - where we used to have musicians and performers we could envy and look up to, it seems now to make it in music you have to be a criminal, and have the IQ of a vegetable.

An old college professor once said to us that "democracy without individual responsibility is merely defacto chaos" and today, that is very true. We have parents who's main concern is the size of their house, their car, and how much they can consume devoid of any real parenting responsibility. We have children who can name all the latest rappers, but cant name the state capital of the state they live in, let alone understand anything about the world at large - and this, and lots more only gets worse.

Vladimir Lennin said "if you want the people to crave white bread, you feed them only white bread" meaning that to control a populous, dumb them down so that what they consume seems to them to be the best. If you look at our society now, that is what we have. Kids who think their music, movies and television are "ground-breaking" when in fact, they are merely being dumbed down by these media outlets so that they can flood the airwaves with commercials for stuff no one needs.

I admire what you aspire to - but for me, frankly, I have given up and realize that eventually, the United States will implode on itself because we chose to raise greedy morons who have no individual responsibility, let alone deep thinking capacity.

It does not take violence, or rigid rules to make a democracy work - but it does take an informed and interested populous - and that, we have just about killed off."

When folks make commentary like this, it gives me hope that we still have some portion of our country that is educated and thoughtful. Praise goes to the commentor. Parenting has fallen off in all communities, not just the black community, and as a result we have a generation of parents who are so concerned about themselves that they assume school and society will teach their children. Sad state of affairs.

Bad News #3: No Duh!

According to a recent CNN article, they claim that certain families of the victims of the September 11th attacks in 2001 do not want Obama to close Guantanamo Bay. Well, no shit! If you have ever heard anyone who lived in NYC at the time of the attacks recount their experience, it is clear that it was very traumatic, and rightfully so. I cannot even begin to imagine losing a loved one in the first tragic attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor. I would never try to take that away from them. Getting to the point of my article however, that is not what is wrong with this story.

Let's go over the two major blatantly flawed parts of this article:

1) 9/11 victims want us to continue to hold "Muslim terrorists" at the Guantanamo Bay facility. No duh! This is not news. Anyone who has suffered the amount of tragedy/loss that many of these victim families have is going to want revenge/vengeance. Of course they are going to want to hold these people indefinitely because, honestly, they are going to be selfish (again, rightfully so). They want the retribution for their families' losses; I would most likely be the same way. It does not take a stretch of the imagination to know that this is how they would respond, CNN.

2) The point of an article is to inform, but frequently it is also meant to adjust public opinion or political action. What bothers me is that these victims are not experts. They are simply people more closely connected to the situation than many of the rest of us. Their responses are purely emotional and should not be held with any gravitas above that. These family members are not experts in terrorism, the Middle East, Islamic jihad, so beyond the fact that they lost someone, what does their opinion matter? How about interviewing someone who can tell us, USING FACTS, what could happen if we close down the Guantanamo Bay facility? I am open to either side of the coin if someone can reasonably argue why or why-not.

On one side, we hold these people indefinitely, further losing standing with the Muslim world (you know, those of whom we are trying to win "hearts and minds"), but also most of the developed nations for potentially violating the Geneva Convention. On the other side, we "release" these detainees into supermax prisons across the US, holding them on our soil, and charging them with crimes. Justice will be served either way. From an visibility standpoint, it would seem to make sense to go with option #2. The detainees would be separated, and less visible to the international media. We get so scared by the words "on our soil" as if they are going to breed Islamic terrorism in the prisons with the hour or so of time they will have out of their cells.

CNN, you can/should do better. The opinions of these victims' families matter to me about as much as asking an Average Joe on the street how he feels about closing Guantanamo. Nothing is resolved in my mind over whether we should or should not close the detainee facility. Just another "feel-good" filler piece to load the 24-hour news cycle crap bucket. Let the Today Show cover that shit and give me FACTS.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sarah Palin in a Nutshell: Hypocrite

Amongst all of this Palin resignation hoopla, I feel it is important to reflect on the nut in the shell that is Sarah Palin. It is not my intention to rise above the muck and write some unbiased piece. This is my brief roast of the woman on her way out.

Over the past few months, this is basically Palin's paraphrased message to the media: "Damn you for your coverage, but really, thanks for the coverage *wink*. I did not mean for my family to become part of this until I thrust them into the spotlight and made them part of this. Please do not focus on me or my family anymore unless it's about my book deals and speeches or my daughter's baby."

She is either VERY smart, or VERY dumb. But what I can say, regardless of whether her approach to her popularity is intentional or not, she is an egotistical hypocrite (like MOST politicians).

Don't get me wrong, I am not claiming some sort of moral high-ground in which I am cleansed of any and all hypocritical behavior. We all have moments in which we say one thing and then do another. The difference is that we are not out there claiming some consistent moral high-ground.

Many women - on the right, in the center, and even on the left - would have you believe that Palin is some kind of superwoman, largely because I think they all want to think of themselves as superwomen. These are the same women who think they can work 40+ hours a week and still be considered the greatest mom ever. They either do not have the time or do not make the time to self-censor what their kids watch/play/read/learn, so they expect the government, the public education system, and businesses to bow down to their ideas of what is decent and proper, either through legislation, regulation, or petition.

In one vein, Palin talks all day about freedom-of-this and freedom-of-that and yet in the other she wants to limit said freedoms to what she sees fit. She would limit the freedom to information (sex education), freedom of sexuality (gay marriage amendment), freedom of (and from) religion (creationism in schools). But don't tell the woman she can't own a high-powered automatic rifle that could tear a person apart, that would just be unAmerican... right.

I will tell you one thing that is consistent about Palin. Regardless of what she says about the press/media, she LOVES the attention.

For her sake and mine, I hope that this marriage of convenience between Palin and the media ends soon as she resigns from the position of Governer of Alaska. She can head home and try to make more time for her family as she tries to be the good mom she claims to be, and I can go on living my life feeling thankful that she is not our vice-president.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

It Came From The Comment Boards! #1 (New Series)

I don't know why I am so facinated with comment boards. It's not as if I need to be constantly reminded of how retarded people can be. I see that on the roads EVERY DAY to and from work. Furthermore, I am not sure why I feel compelled to verbally ass-rape some of these people. Maybe, I feel like they need to be brought down off of their digital high-horse of anonymity.

Usually, this is how my comment board experience goes:
I type "www.washingtonpost.com" into the address line in Internet Explorer (Sidenote: Yes, geeks of the world, I DO know about Firefox, AND I STILL USE IE because I like it! Now get off me already with your hip web-browser). I find a news story that interests me and start reading... until I make it past the picture often on the right hand side and see that there are already 1,409,567,329 (or maybe less) comments on a news article that was posted five minutes ago. I am intrigued... *CLICK* and in 5... 4... 3... 2... 1... "FUCK! WHERE DO THESE PEOPLE COME FROM?!"

In this series I will be hand-picking comments, both good and bad (but mostly bad), and displaying them along with links to the article in regards to which they've been written. Call it therapeutic or cathardic, but occasionally I just need to expose to everyone the wackos and idiots we have running amock making ignorant commentary while enjoying the cover of internet-anonymity.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

You've Got To Be Kidding Me! #3

Oh, PETA... what would we do without you? Apparently the some folks at PETA have their panties in a wad over Obama killing a fly during an interview. Really PETA? You've got to be kidding me!

Go back to your corner and eat a tofu-cake or something. Look, I like animals, and agree that some ought to be treated ethically, humanely, etc. but we're talking about a fucking fly here. Should he have trapped it in a net or some other device, walked to the closest door, and then opened it saying something akin to "In America, even our flies have freedom" or some bullshit like that? Better stop driving your cars PETA-members, you kill a good number of bugs. Do you wince every time one hits the windshield or are you more concerned with where you are going and what you are doing? My guess is the latter.

Yet again, another altogether ok-in-my-book lefty group loses good will over making stupid comments.

You've Got To Be Kidding Me! #2

You know, I'm sympathetic to gay rights issues... to a certain point. However, with that said, I think they are losing a lot of good will that has been generated amongst moderates and possibly even some more liberal straight folks by bitching and moaning that there is not enough that is being done for them. Apparently, according to some gay rights activists, Obama's extension of some benefits - that were not previously available to gay couples - is simply "too little, too late." You've got to be kidding me!

Personally, I have no problem with gay people and I am willing to advocate that same-sex civil unions along with allowing homosexuals to raise children will not topple the very foundation upon which many believe this country has been built.

This all or nothing approach comes across as childish and immature. Compromise and staggered legislation/action is necessary because these things take time. People rarely change their minds overnight and clearly we've seen what some wacko, hate-filled right-wing extremists will do (Tiller assassination, Holocaust shooter).

Monday, June 15, 2009

Bad News #2: The Cat Killer is Caught

In a recent story on the cat serial killer that had been plaguing Miami, CNN just reported that he was caught. Oh joy! Who gives a shit. Let's move on to something important that affects, oh I don't know, the entire country?! This article should be left strictly to the local news in Miami. Yes, it's tragic, but why do I need to know about it?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Oh, The Hell I Have Created!

Democrats, General asshats, The New York Yankees
Circle I Limbo

Greens, Libertarians
Circle II Whirling in a Dark & Stormy Wind

Nancy Pelosi, PETA Members
Circle III Mud, Rain, Cold, Hail & Snow

Scientologists, Militant Vegans
Circle IV Rolling Weights

George Bush
Circle V Stuck in Mud, Mangled

River Styx

Goths, Hipsters, Rednecks
Circle VI Buried for Eternity

River Phlegyas

Parents who bring squalling brats to R-rated movies, DMV Employees
Circle VII Burning Sands

Jerry Falwell, Republicans, Bernie Madoff, Creationists
Circle IIX Immersed in Excrement

Osama bin Laden
Circle IX Frozen in Ice

Design your own hell

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bad News #1: Another Rapper Shot

*Bad News is going to be an ongoing series exposing the idiotic and non-newsworthy stories that the cable news networks report on to keep their 24-hour news cycles going.*

You ever heard the colloquial phrase "No News is Good News"? Well, depending on your disposition, perhaps that phrase is true, but I would argue that not all news is created equal.

Now, I never got a degree in journalism nor have I ever worked at a newspaper or in the newsroom of a local or national news station, so I have never had to deal with the pressure to "make news." A recent CNN article (which, at the moment I am writing, is the #1 "Most Popular on CNN" news story), reporting on the shooting death of some no name rapper, Dolla, deserves to be singled out my first focus on Bad News.

So you may ask, what makes this Bad News?

1) Who the hell is this rapper Dolla and why is he making headlines? This is the first I have EVER heard of this guy. So he was garnering some interest from Akon, big whoop; a superstar that does not make him.

2) This article upholds commonly held stereotypes. Go into any largely white community and I'm sure you'll hear grumblings about another young black male being shot and the belief that it goes on ALL the time. Now, I am not trying to underscore the fact that it does unnecessarily happen frequently, but an article such as this only adds fuel to the fire that is being fed by TI going to jail and Mike Vick coming out. To top it all off, this is coming from the news network (CNN) that broadcasted "Black in America," exposing some of the perception problems black people often face in society, and then they go and join in the smearing. If this was a big name rapper, I think it would be another story, but this kid was barely on the scene. Do better work, CNN.

3) Amidst all that is going in the world, THIS is news?! C'mon CNN, just in America we are in economic dire straits, we have two wars still occuring, an upcoming healthcare announcement from the Obama administration, Pelosi saying that the CIA supposedly did not provide her with all the facts and a boatload of other stories that I would claim are GROSSLY more newsworthy this puff piece. That is just national news, let alone many goings-on internationally.

4) You are giving the public what they want and not dictating what the public should want. I think that I am going to find this to be a recurring theme in this series. Rather than elevate the public discourse and leave entertainment or unnecessary news to Entertainment Tonight and the tabloids, CNN and the other cable news networks puff in these pieces that pass for news and, in my honest opinion, help in the dumbing down of America. I do not care who Britney Spears or Lindsey Lohan is fucking and if I did, I do not expect to find it on a news network that appears to take itself seriously. This piece on Dolla belonged on MTV at best, if that network ever took time out from it's reality series to talk about, you know, music and music news.

There's a little bit of Bad News for you, enjoy!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Gingrich Insists Investigation of Pelosi is an "Absolute Obligation"

In this recent CNN piece, Republicans old and new alike, Gingrich included, are starting to come out of the wordwork against Pelosi (and perhaps, rightfully so). The larger point here is that Gingrich suggests she be investigated citing that she will either look incompetent or dishonest. Fair enough, investigate her - we could use one less "spend/vote-first, ask questions later" politician, a very liberal one at that - but do not think for one second that we can have a one-sided, singled out investigation. If we are going to investigate for mold, we cannot just cut a 1-inch-by-1-inch square out of the drywall, we need to tear the whole wall down. And Republicans may not be happy with what the entire wall shows. So, by all means, investigate at will, but do not be surprised if a calculated political move comes back to bite you in your ass as well.

Sidebar: I like the use of "despicable, dishonest and vicious political effort," Newt. Kind of like the investigation into Blowjob-gate? How short politicians' memories seem to be.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Why I Am Not A Republican (But Not A Democrat Either) - Part I

This recent CNN blog article in which Cheney essentially "outs" Colin Powell as not being a true Republican prompted me to pause and give thought to why I am not a Republican in the party's present incarnation. I am not opposed to fiscal restraint, and in fact, I believe we ought to be much more vigilant in trying to practice it while keeping the frothing Democrats from spending every last dime China has lent to us. Furthermore, I am not so socially liberal that I could be considered a TRUE "lib'rul" (liberal, in the words of many in the GOP).

What Cheney has shown, in his double-talk about inclusiveness for moderates, is that the GOP actually does not have room for moderate thought. Extremism, of any stripe, makes me uncomfortable. The simple idea that there is no room for compromise makes me uneasy. The GOP has gone from a broad-ranged, inclusive party in the 1980s to the party of closed-minded, fake-Christians, who talk about states' rights out of one side of their mouth, while talking about federal constitutional amendments defining marriage out of the other side. They talk all day about "politically correct" double standards and yet they more frequently become the ones who institute double standards. How about a little consistency?!

On top of that, many in the Republican Party seemed to give Arlen Specter a swift kick in the rear on his way out, giving very little thought to the fact that they were shoving another nail into their coffin by not trying to court him into staying. Many suggest that the two other Republican supporters of the "stimulus" bill in the Senate ought to leave the party as well. This purity cleansing is disheartening because it only seems to marginalize the Republican party while allowing the Democrats to essentially get away with anything. The Republican party has been minimized to a party of "No!", offering very little in the way of alternative approaches, ideas, or compromises. This scares me because I can envision that their (risky) strategy is to oppose all legislation, sit back and let the Democrats spend frivolously, and then get back in power eventually after we've spent too much. This is risky on two counts: 1) It gives carte blanche to the Democrats who will surely find a way to mess things up (come on, they're politicians), and 2) If somehow the Democrats do not mess up, the Republicans are doomed in the next election. It shows me that Republicans are more concerned with regaining power to push through their outdated social and fiscal agenda. This is the party that has claimed to have the monopoly on patriotism and love for country in the past few years. How about a little oversight! How about a little care for what actually happens to this country rather than your next election! And how about caring for the millions in the "middle class" who have very little to benefit from your tax policies except to go to bed at night and dream about the day they win the lottery, upon which they will be in the top 1% tax bracket for whom you fight.

I think it is safe to say "trickle-down", supply-side economics have not benefitted the middle class as the GOP claimed it would. A greater disparity in wages between the top and the bottom has continued to increase. The middle class is almost essentially becoming a lower-class block. CEO wages have grossly increased with little to no increase (and in fact some decreases) in wages indexed to inflation for common blue collar and white collar workers. Moderation is key and essential. We have a mixed/managed economy (not pure capitalism) and have had one for quite some time. The Republicans act like "socialist" activities are suddenly new to our economy, as if roads, bridges, etc. were privately funded before Obama.

I am just done, and have been done for quite some time, with the double-talk, the closed-mindedness, and desire for political purity that seems to plague the GOP as I am sure many people are these days. Until they open their minds, they are going to sink into irrelevancy as a new generation of people my age side with the Democrats on social issues and elect economic moderates. I could go on and on, but I think I will stop here and just call this Part I... more to follow.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

You've Got To Be Kidding Me! #1

Alright, so I was scanning around Facebook for no real good reason at all and stumbled upon a group called "Foxnews: true defender of the fundamental values that America was built on." Poor grammar, neglected capitalization, and the fact that it's Fox News aside, I already knew this group was going to be filled with dumbasses. Then, I saw the following discussion topic "To fix the illegal alien problem."

The first entry is as follows: "It's simple to fix this problem. We should not spend millions upon millions of dollars to try and put up fences. Lets just line up a division of troops on the border and invade Mexico and go all the way to the Panama Canal (which we should not have given up to start with). That way we wouldn't have any more illegal aliens. We can make Mexico the 51st state and we'd have oil (Mexico pumps it out but using old tech we could help there). I think we'd be seen as liberators! All the new jobs and and tax payers would get us out of the economic problems we have now. I would say not a shot would be fired (except for the drug dealers). Also it's easy to defend the waterway at the Panama Canal small border to secure!." (Yes there was a period AFTER the exclamation point; you can't make this stuff up)

So many things to address here, where to start? First, I believe this is called imperialism. We would suddenly become that much closer to being Rome as we expanded an "empire" that we can hardly sustain right now. Second, this just goes to show how the Fox News people see the world: Clearly this guy does not understand that after Mexico, there is El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and then Panama (for which the PANAMA CANAL is named!). "Yup, he's brown, he must be Mexican, because we already killed all them In'juns." Sure many of the people in Central America are of either Aztec or Mayan plus Spanish decent, but there are separate and distinct countries after Mexico.

I thought this might be a joke, but then he got some woman from the choir to which he was preaching saying that this guy should get the job as Speaker of the House! And then he came back, just as serious as before basically appreciative of the cosign.

Wow.

You've got to be kidding me!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Plug-In Mini is "Charging" Ahead

A recent CNN Money article announced that the plug-in Mini Cooper is prepared for limited release to select markets in NYC and LA. Mini is owned by BMW.

It does not surprise me in the least that the American car companies have not come close yet to release of something as groundbreaking as this. American car companies had their chance to make good with the US public but decided to push huge trucks/SUVs as the rest of the world prepared for the upcoming need to move away or at least reduce reliance upon fossil-based fuels. This shows limited future-vision on part of the executives of the American car companies, particularly GM. Still, people will try to blame it all on the unions. I agree that the unions were part of the problem, but if GM had been able to sell more cars they would not be complaining about their union scapegoat. Again, groups of people displacing the blame/responsibility that they should own up to onto other people; after all, why are executives paid so well? It is because, when the company is doing well, they claim it's because they had a clear and direct effect upon the profitability of the company, but when the company is doing poorly, it's not their fault. It's a clear sign of the pussification of America.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Vegan Bomber makes it on FBI Most Wanted List

I never have understood the crazy animal rights activists that will bomb humans or at least bomb buildings in which humans are employed in order to save the poor little defenseless animals.

In this story, a guy has bombed two facilities because they were potentially linked to animal testing. Ok, animal testing is not really my cup of tea, and perhaps there ought to be regulations to minimize cruelty, but honestly, these people would be out there yelling at these corporations for releasing products that harm people if they did not test on animals. Is it sick? Yeah, but having my bachelors and masters degree in chemical engineering also reminds me that some chemicals can have some sick reactions in the right conditions. Clearly there are chemicals we KNOW are not going to harm people, but they are not always going to be the cheapest to purchase or synthesize, so unless you want to buy shampoo for $20/bottle, sometimes companies try to cut corners. Would you rather they test on a stray dog or your little kid?

It comes down to a bigger issue in my opinion. I really think something is psychologically wrong with some of these animals rights people. They value animals "feelings" and "rights" over those of humans in certain cases. What kind of trauma have these people gone through that makes them place more value in animals over humans? And for that matter, wouldn't it be better to try to sit down and talk about these things rather than bomb places?

This guy is an idiot. I don't think they serve tofu in jail.

Friday, April 17, 2009

New Series: If I Were a Candidate

Foreward: In an attempt to equivocate for myself and my readers (if I have any), I am starting a new series of blogs called "If I Were a Candidate." In this series, I do not flirt with the idea of actually being a candidate for some political office, rather I am attempting to take my feelings and thoughts on issues and record them in an organized manner. In ways, I think it may be therapeutic, but I hope it can be enlightening in trying to describe my complex political and socioeconomic views; I am not easily characterized into one traditional political camp or the other despite neo-conservative attempts/desires to label me as a "librul." In short, many of my ideas take root in the liberal school of thought but I have a fiscally conservative streak about me. I am hardly one who believes strictly in throwing as much money as possible at a problem in the attempt to solve it. Though some may find it hard, I tend to hold to the philosophy of "what's good for me may not be good for everyone else." In that way, I have more traditional values and beliefs that I hold for myself, but I believe in the freedoms set out in our Constitution and that they were broad for a reason. Agree with me, disagree, I don't really mind either way.

Some Upcoming Topics (In no particular order)
Political Parties
+ Two Party System
+ Bipartisanship versus Partisan Bickering

Economic Issues
+ Taxes
+ Corporate Welfare/Bailouts
+ Capitalism, Socialism, Mixed Economies
+ Regulations

Social Issues
+ Religion's Role in Politics
+ Abortion / Sex Education / Birth Control
+ Education
+ Health Care
+ Social Security / Medicare
+ Welfare / Medicaid
+ Funding for the Sciences / Arts

Energy/Environmental Issues
+ Global Warming/Greenhouse Gases
+ Renewable Energy versus Readily Available Natural Resources
+ Regulations

Foreign Policy Issues
+ Global Terrorism
+ Talking to our "Enemies"
+ Militarism versus Diplomacy
+ Colonialism versus Protectionism

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Taxes Will Double for Everyone in the Future?

According to this commentary at CNN, it's a very strong possibility. Now, I am a proponent of a fair degree of fiscal restraint, but I will not be bullied or scared into it due to some projected/speculated belief that my taxes will double in the near future.

Here's a novel idea. Look back to previous times of crisis in our history and review the tax rates for the highest income bracket. People, most notably the ones with a great deal of money, were asked to sacrifice some "hard-earned" dollars to help keep America's economy alive, sometimes upwards of 90% of their income above the tax bracket below the top. Keep in mind that during the 30's and 40's when tax rates were hiked considerably on the wealthy we had both a financial crisis and we were involved in a war abroad on two fronts. Sound familiar? I am not advocating that we increase to the high 80% rates that existed then, but something reasonably high (50%) like in the early 80's could help keep us afloat. When the top 10% hold over 70% of the wealth and the top 1% holds over 35% of the wealth in this country, I think it's only fair for them to utilize some of that squandered wealth to help keep the American dream alive. I probably do not need to remind many that it was largely people in the top 10% of income earners that laid the groundwork for our financial mess, so they ought to bear the burden of helping prop the economy back up.

It's not socialism, it's patriotism. Or would you rather see the country spiral downward as long as you've got yours? Without going into it greatly, I think there is mutual benefit to ensuring the bottom does not fall out from under the poor. Think of crime rate increases, drug-use increases, and other general societal degradation that frequently occurs in the poorest of neighborhoods of cities, towns, and rural communities. It has a tendency to spread.

*Sidenote: An interesting review of that tax rates leading up to the Great Depression (specifically 1925-1929) could lead one to note that when we place a great deal of trust in our top 10% to not act selfishly (i.e. let them keep their wealth rather than tax it), we have seen our trust thrown back in our faces when the economy collapses under greedy folks at the top. I'm not one for class warfare and I acknowledge a certain amount of envy of those at the top, but I find it silly that people argue between $5 and $10M as if they are OWED the $10M. Shit, I would not complain about $5M.

I am working on a blog about taxes that should come out soon.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Fake Breasts

Ladies I love you, but why do you feel compelled to get breast implants. I am an avid reader (yes, READER of the articles) of Playboy Magazine and it seems every issue has some pretty young girl with larger than normal fake breasts. I am not upset by breast lifts because I understand that there are many circumstances under which weight can fluctuate and there is a natural propensity for breast to start sagging when you get older; besides that's what God/Allah/[insert favorite diety]/genetics gave you with a mild amount of augmentation. It is at least still all you.

What upsets me is when you ladies size them up beyond your natural size. I know there is tremendous societal pressure to look a certain way. Furthermore, I would never admit turning away from an amazingly perfect looking set of breasts. But that's just it, they are perfect-looking, but they are essentially a lie. And worse still, a lie for which you (or some boyfriend/husband/parent) paid. I know that us guys are not always as deep as you want us to be and frequently we can be downright shallow, but there's nothing more sexy than a girl who is comfortable with herself. Granted, we all have our preferences, but I can tell you that most good guys will never turn down a beautiful, funny, intelligent and confident girl just because she has small breasts.

Personally, I think fake breasts are kind of tacky. I mostly associate them with porn stars, strippers, actresses, and models. And for the record, I understand that women in those professions also may very well be very intelligent, successful women. What I am getting at however is that they are not the first I think of when I want to take a girl home to meet the family or who is properly going to help raise a family. Perhaps it's maturity getting the best of me.

I think fake breasts are a representation of a larger problem at hand. We glorify vapid women in the limelight who all too frequently are just messed up in the head (Britney Spears, Lindsey Lohan, etc; the list could go on). This is fed down through at a very young age to impressionable girls who are taught what "beautiful" should look like. It's a very morally slippery marketing strategy to push clothes, cosmetic products, or a variety of other female-targeted merchandise. This often leads to a lack of self-confidence or low self-esteem. The quick fix appears to be to do something about one's breasts, but does that really heal things underneath? After the breasts, can you honestly tell me that you are satisfied with EVERYTHING else?

The point of the matter is that I think you ladies are selling yourselves short. Yes, men are attracted to the physical, but while lust-at-first-sight may reel us in, something more substantive is necessary to keep us around.

I might get some heat from other guys here, but I just am not a fan of fake tits.

Anyways, there's a more prevalent problem than small breasts, a disease called "Noassatall"... you ladies should look into some ass-implants... just playing.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Rabbis Also Call for Holy War

This article confirms for me why I have trouble blindly supporting Israel. And yet again, why I have serious trouble with religion. The Christians, Jews and Muslims all think they are correct and those blinded by their faith cannot see any differently. Kooks.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Newfound Respect for Bush

A small news article I found today gave me a newfound respect for former President Bush. While he did not speak glowingly about Obama and did throw in a comment of "if I agree with him," he gets respect for not joining in the rank-and-file Limbaugh-style bashing of Obama.

In the past, I have not had kind words for or about President Bush, but the fact that he chose to decline comment shows a sense of collective patriotism that I did not expect out of him. Add to that, he has insisted that he will commit to some initiatives he started in office such as combating AIDS and malaria in Africa. Regardless of whether or not this is missionary work, it has to be applauded.

So, bravo Mr. ex-President, you have earned an ounce of respect from me.

Disclaimer: I am well aware that I would not have wanted to be in his position when he was forced to make some tough decisions. I just wish we had contemplated and debated more rather than trusting "gut-wisdom." He made some noble attempts and some serious blunders and perhaps the blame should lie on the Republican Party just as much if not more than on him. For better or worse, he was more of a puppet in my opinion than a leader.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Obama is a Socialist(?)

All I ever hear from the Conservatives/Republicans anymore is "blah blah blah, Socialist, blah blah blah." Let us make something perfectly clear, Obama is hardly a socialist. He obviously believes in free-market principles but believes a mixed economy is key. This is not a push towards Lenin/Marxist-type principles. It is acknowledging that when the economy is left completely unchecked, it implodes/explodes beyond sustainable levels. While in my heart, I would love to see some of these banks and auto manufacturers fail, in my mind I know that something as catostrophic as that is not in the best interest of ANY American. If you believe Obama is a socialist, you have NOT read The Audacity of Hope, or heard him speak for that matter. By his own words, he values hard work and rewarding those who do work. Last I checked welfare is hardly a livable paycheck. Besides, if wanting higher wages for workers so they can maintain a comfortable lifestyle is socialist, then color me socialist. Please, turn Rush off, use your brains, and think about what is best for EVERYONE and not just yourself.

A CNN commentary article recently called out Republicans on their "small government" rhetoric versus their record.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Just Say No!

Update: Thanks to Tanner Cooley (on The Official Blog of Chris Cooley) on finding the article(s) that state the Redskins have expressed no interest in T.O.

It was a bittersweet moment today, as a Washington Redskins fan, to see that Terrell Owens had been let go from the Dallas Cowboys - for those who do not know, we Redskins fans absolutely hate the Cowboys. In one vein, he caused so much controversy and confusion in the team on and off the field that I think he helped stand in the way of the Cowboys playing to their full potential; clearly the front office took notice. In the other vein, the spare moments of glory he did have were pretty outstanding, though few and far between, and helped elevate the Cowboys in a few games. Perhaps everyone will get off of the Cowboys' saddle without T.O. to garner the limelight. Or maybe this is the speedbump that they needed to be removed that will allow the Cowboys to at least do well in the playoffs, if not make it to the championships or God forbid, the Super Bowl. You know that Jason Witten is going to be getting some good looks out there from Tony Romo, all with the added bonus of Romo not having to hear about it from T.O. after the game all the time.

My emotions hardened however after I read that there is speculation that the Redskins might pick up T.O. This is on the heals of the Redskins picking up the most expensive DT in NFL history for a 7-year contract. Any consideration of T.O. is like doubling down on a 13 at the high-rollers blackjack table; it just does not make sense when you have got that much to lose. Added to that is the fact that T.O. is like a cancer. His ego infects the team and throws its normal functioning out of wack. At least a year of chemo will be needed afterwards. In all sincerity, I hope that the Redskins front office CED's (Chief Executive Dumbasses), Daniel Snyder and Vinny Cerrato, just let this stay a passing fancy. It is like having a chance to have sex with a ridiculously hot girl who you know has the HIV and being told you cannot wear a rubber; it's just stupid! In the immortal words of the D.A.R.E. program, "Just say NO!" Dan Snyder.

When are Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder ever going to learn that you cannot just buy a winning team?! My only hope is that Dan Snyder wises up while Jones continues to throw his money around at cancerous players like T.O.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

On Jonathan Krohn and CPAC



On Jonathan Krohn: You can make a parrot repeat what you want it to say and it will come across charming. I sincerely doubt this kid has a single independent thought; he's likely been brought up in a very conservative home, watching Fox News and hearing his dad and possibly his mom go on about how great it is to have money and be a Republican. He's likely not dealt with many of the social woes that society has to offer because he's been underexposed.

Honestly, I do not really understand the message the Republicans are trying to send here. I can think of two. Either one, they are trying to say that even a thirteen year old realizes that conservatism trumps liberalism, thereby saying that all the liberals are dumber than a thirteen year old. Or two, and this is likely NOT what they are attempting, that their principles are so SIMPLE that even a thirteen year old can grasp them. I have often thought that the problem with the present day Republicans is that they resort to one-liners ("Drill Here, Drill Now") and knee jerk reactions ("If we let gays marry, who's to stop someone from marrying a goat?"), effectively oversimplifying often complex problems/issues.

Perhaps it's a matter of perspective. Getting back to Jonathan Krohn's underexposure, maybe it is an issue that some of these people do not know any better. For instance, maybe they have only ever seen downtown Baltimore on the news or as they race through the "bad parts" of the city to get from the Inner Harbor back to Owings Mills, Towson, or White Marsh. They live in their bubble and expect that everyone else can easily do what they have done and live the way they live and it's just that simple. Like Kriss over at the Insanity Report suggests in a related article on CPAC, it's possible to be a socially liberal, fiscal conservative; that's what the GOP USED to be before the Reagan Revolution. When they talked about smaller government, they meant they were not going to use the government to invade your private life and tell you how to live. If the current lot of Republicans are the defenders of the Constitution they say they are, they would uphold the aspect of "Freedom of Religion" in the First Amendment that clearly implies you are free to practice whatever religion you want, even if that means no religion at all. Thomas Jefferson wrote an additional commentary (in a letter I believe) that discussed the "separation of church and state," that I believe provides justification that "Freedom of Religion" can also mean "Freedom from Religion."

The current Republicans call for theocratic rule out of one side of their mouth while advocating for smaller and smaller government. Well, if the Republicans can successfully negotiate the criminalization of abortion, how do they intend to enforce it? If they successfully make gay marriage illegal, are they going to stick to their States' Rights guns when "liberal" states allow them through referendum or legislative votes? Quite a bit of money is already poured into federal oversight of States' Rights they disagree with; the DEA comes in and punishes people for smoking marijuana when the State of California says it's OK. So, it is a message of smaller government only when it agrees with their world-view, otherwise we can build up huge budgets to other government institutions that enforce the rules they want to see enforced. Just as long as they are not helping poor people or taxing the wealthy at reasonable rates. Deficit spending is deficit spending anyway you look at it, regardless of whether the money is going to beef up the DHS or going towards more "welfare" programs.

Luckily, not all Republicans are THAT wacky. While I may not agree with him ALL of the time, I have a great deal of respect for Ron Paul in sticking to his old school GOP, pseudo-libertarian ways. He generally appeals more realistically to common-sense rather than touchy-feely emotions surrounding the issues related to morality. I could agree with him a lot more if I did not think that people in the position to have a lot of money and power will not try to keep that money and power at all costs. For better or worse, the drivers of a capitilistic economy are greed and envy - "keeping up with the Joneses". I also believe that from the bottom to the top, it is a natural instinct for people to get the most they can doing the least amount of work necessary, so I find it hard to believe all of the folks at "the top" who claim to have worked "so hard" for what they have. Not to belittle the efforts of those who have truly worked hard, but "working hard" is a matter of perspective, and I have often found that there is a wide variety of views on "hard work" in the eye of the beholder. Think about it next time when you hear a co-worker or friend complain about what they have to do.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Playing Catch-Up

So, I started the blog back in July as the campaign was starting to heat up between Obama and McCain, but had not nearly gotten close to reaching it's peak. A lot has happened and I had intended to write about a lot of it, so I am using this time to play catch-up. Here goes...

August - September

- Obama officially wins the Democratic Nomination and the campaign between Obama and McCain really starts - I was excited and liked McCain as the GOP nominee (keeping in mind the rest of the flock to choose from)... until he started to tow the party line. He was like Bush-Light... not Busch Light, the tasty, cheap Anheuser-Busch brand Bud Light alternative in which McCain's trophy-wife has vested ownership, but President Bush light... Needless to say, I was disappointed in McCain.

- Sarah Palin is selected as the GOP VP nominee - Here's what went through my mind: "Who is this wacky bitch? Damn she's stupid... kinda hot though... but definitely stupid. Oh, she's against teaching children anything but abstinence in school, what a surprise... wait her daughter's pregnant?! Bwahahaha." In retrospect, what a DUMB move for Republicans.


October - December

- Joe the Plumber - Douchebag extraordinaire... possibly a GOP plant? What was the count of the number of times McCain used his name in the debate? "Joe the Plumber... my good friend Joe... Joe..." Joe the frickin' plumber.

- Despite everything thrown at him, Obama wins handily on Nov. 4th - Freakin' sweet! That said, I was happy that the Democrats did not win the filibuster-proof Congress; the last thing we needed were the Pelosi and Reid combo of spending without a little bit of check and balance from the opposing party.

- The Auto Bailout - Let the Big Three fail if that is what is going to happen eventually. Renegotiate the labor contracts, put limits on executive pay and start making better cars! People on the left wanted to blame the executives and people on the right wanted to blame the labor unions. I think both are to blame and in this case both groups are filled with people who feel they are owed more than they deserve. Stagnant development and uninteresting designs, along with little regard for impending energy issues have contributed to the failing of these companies. Along with that, the labor contracts put the companies in a poor position to compete with their foreign-designed, but domestically produced competitors. Of the three, I think Ford can fare the best and would like to see them make it out of this, but Chrysler and GM can eat a fat one.

- Christmas Season '08 - Despite the fact that commercials start running right after Halloween these days, the season was even more ridiculously commercialized than usual and thus overly annoying as a result of the bad economy... and, this gets to me everytime, who in the hell buys a Lexus for their significant other during that time? Rich, white Republicans, that's who... at least Lexus knows their target audience (just watch the commercials). You want to know what is ruining the Christmas message? It is not the over-PC-ification of Christmas; I will say "Happy Holiday" or "Merry Christmas" to most of the cashiers/workers during the season and they seem to appreciate it more often than not. It's the blatent free market capitalism mentality of "consume, consume, consume" that has muddied the waters of what the season represents: Family coming together and if you celebrate it, the birth of good ol' JC.

January

- Massive gun-sales leading up to Jan. 20th - Who in the hell needs an automatic rifle? They are cool, I will admit. I think guns are cool, yes... but don't hit me with the bullshit that you need an AK-47 for hunting. What are you hunting?! Elephants?! Just say what it is... it's an overcompensation for something you lack. Either you are making up for your Larry Craig-ness or your John Bobbit-ness... by the way, that's what your ridiculously oversized pick-up truck is saying about you too; if you have a dualie I better see you hauling something or permanent mud all over your truck.

- Obama is sworn in as the 44th President of the United States of America - This was an admittedly moving moment and despite what some pundits said I thought he killed the speech; he said what he needed to and did a good job of capturing his moderate message. I think he is going to be a great President; this is pretty clear by the fact that he is butting heads with both the established Republicans and Democrats. I will say that I was really surprised some hillbilly hick, Jimmy Bob Lee, did not show up and try something though. Obama clearly has more faith in his people than I do... dude got out of the car and walked a mile along the Presidential parade route. Either that, or he's got bigger balls than anyone. Gangster.

- Goodbye Bush! - Sha nah nah naaah, sha nah nah naaah, hey, hey, f***ck you! Just watching from the sideline while the Republicans continue to dig their political grave.

February

- Michael Phelps smokes marijuana/pot/ganja/wacky-tobbacy - Who gives a shit?! Dude won more gold medals than Flava Flav has clock-chains and viking hats. Let the guy act his age... and according to what I have read it is pretty hard for about half of America to judge anyways. The other half would probably do well to smoke some and chill out. And who is this guy/girl who decided it was their moral (or monetary) obligation to take a picture of him smoking? Michael, you would do well to pick your parties better.

- Octomom - Let me get this straight. She already had 6 kids and she wanted more? And, she doesn't work? 8 more kids?! This chick is clearly out of her mind! That is really all that needs to be said.

- The Bailout (a.k.a. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) - I have got mixed feelings about this piece of "stimulative" legislation. I can see both sides of the coin and think that fiscal restraint is important, but doing nothing is quite possibly the worst thing we could do. Leave pet projects for appropriations bills, Democrats! Stop being whining losers, Republicans. What a time for Republicans to start talking about fiscal responsibility after YEARS of spending billions in Iraq, on the Department of Homeland Security, in granting tax cuts to the folks who didn't need them, etc. Apparently, 3 Republicans are willing to work together with the Democrats and the rest just kow-tow to Rush Limbaugh, the almighty.


That about sums it up, and now I am caught up to date and can start talking current events. If there are any other important things I missed, feel free to add them to the comment section.

Update on an Update

Just updating to say that I am going to get to this blog at some point soon again. I don't even think I have any readers yet, so I know there's no rush, but I've been brainstorming some ideas of articles/themes, etc.

-CMA
The Perpetual Procrastinator
"Procrastinators Unite... tomorrow!"