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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

How To Shut Iran Up and Stick Our Giant American Thumbs In Saudi Arabia's Eye While We're At It

The rabble in Iran has been aroused again. This time they're picking on the British because of the new sanctions being placed on Iran by us and them, and they can't find us anymore because we split thirty-two years ago. All British diplomats have been pulled from Iran and all Iranian diplomats have 48 hours to pack up their carpeting and cheap Armenian suits and get out of Great Britain. This is a good thing.

A better thing would be to drop our giant capitalist L.L. Bean hiking boots on their throats by putting them out of business. This can be done in a simple 10 step program:
  1. Round up everyone in this country who is against American energy self-reliance and tell them flat out, "Listen Jeremy, stop getting in the way. If you want to go green there are a lot of undeveloped countries around the world you can take you and your hemp sweater to, but we're going to become independent again, so don't say we didn't warn you."
  2. Tell the EPA they'd better buy a lot of mops and buckets because there's going to be American oil, gas, and coal everywhere
  3. Go knock on Canada's door and explain to them how sorry we are that we have a guy in the White House who sort of doesn't understand anything other than getting elected, and that we sure would like them to bring their pipeline to the border on North Dakota because we've reconsidered and decided being grown-ups is the only way to save our asses, so on second thought we're going to build that pipeline after all, and Tim Horton's is way better than Dunkin' Donuts
  4. Personally visit every oil, coal and gas worker in the country and tell them how really sorry we are for being so insensitive and that we'll never let it happen again, and now that we've cleared all of that up can you please go back to work
  5. Visit the moose in Alaska and tell them they should start looking for new migratory routes in the Alaskan National Wildlife Reserve or get used to munching breakfast next to oil derricks and refineries. If the moose tell us they are unhappy with that we should tell them Canada is accepting moose Visa requests
  6. Flood America with oil -- no dope, not literally, figuratively and capitalistically.
  7. Watch the world price of oil plummet
  8. Stick our elbows in our neighbor's ribs and guffaw as the kind-hearted folks in the Middle East start scrapping their solid gold bidets to buy camel feed
  9. Refuse to answer the phone when Saudi Arabia robo-calls us with their end-of-year specials on light sweet crude
  10. Teach future generations about the folly of American foreign policy in the 20th Century but ensure them that America eventually came to its senses and broke the bonds of slavery to countries that would rather see us dead
It's not that hard to do America. We just need a little will and backbone and we need to teach the ignorant among us about what needs to be done so we can live the kind of lives the Occupy Whatever folks are demanding we let them live.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The American Path To Hell: Heaven Helps Those Who Help Themselves and County Welfare Agencies Take Care of the Rest

Don't get me wrong, I truly feel bad for kids who have been put in bad situations by stupid parents, and I feel bad for adults who are having a tough time right now, but I can only feel so bad. I have to save some sympathy for myself and having been in their shoes, my empathy informs me that none but themselves shall save them. I also feel slightly annoyed that I constantly have to qualify every criticism I have of the Left with silly, obvious statements like the one you just read. Maybe someday...

I have been broke before. No car, bologna-ends-for-$0.29-at-the-supermarket-broke. The wolves have been at my door, and as much as I would have liked the nice lady from the county to come and give me a handout, I found a way to work and earn enough money to get by. I took what work was available and I made the best of it. I have never been humiliated earning a dollar and I simply cannot feel sorry for a full-grown, healthy American adult, regardless of the state of the economy. Sorry, call me callous, but the fact is I have no patience for those of you who would argue otherwise.

I watched the first few minutes of 60 Minutes last night, mostly because the remote was on the other side of the living room and I was too tired from eating and watching football to get up and retrieve it. That lasted about eight minutes.

The first segment featured that most faux-sincere "I-wish-America-would just-give-in-and-admit-it-sucks-and-ask-to-join-France" journalist Scott Pelley. He was on the case of the 250,000,000 Americans who live in their cars and only eat nasty school lunches. Click the link to watch the video after you grab some tissues and have your pet Yorkie safely in your lap.

There were little kids galore. All were hardened from living in trucks and cars and waiting for someone to help their dads and moms with handouts and things like that. America never looked so bad, and I was just about ready to call up some of my Socialist European friends and ask if I could crash on their Ikea-couches.

One guy, who looked like he was strong enough to kick both of our asses without breaking a sweat, told Scott how he would sit on a cooler next to his car as his kids slept in it. They parked in the parking lot of a local hospital so they could use the bathroom (and presumably take advantage of the health care that's available for indigent people). They were down to their last orange when a nice lady from the county came along and gave them some money for a motel room.

Scott Pelley looked like he was going to pop a vein from all of the sincerity on his face. Then I thought occurred to me that broke me from the spell 60 Minutes was hoping to cast on my common-sense.

This father was portrayed as both a hero and a victim, yet it became obvious to me he was neither. He made the choice every night to sit in a parking lot and feel bad for himself instead of getting up off of his Coleman-imprinted ass and elbowing his way into earning whatever he could to help support his family. He was a victim of circumstance for sure, but he was a victim of choice first and foremost.

Every morning on my way to work I pass day laborers queued up looking for work. Some are illegals, some aren't. All of them are standing outside at 6 AM every day of the week, regardless of the weather. I've never seen this guy standing in line with them.

When I pass by that same spot at lunchtime they aren't there -- because they are all working. Scott Pelley and 60 Minutes wanted me to believe that in Orlando, Florida, a perfectly healthy adult American man cannot find a way to make enough money to buy four oranges and a loaf of bread for his family? Really? You're taking his word for it without thinking about this?

Because you are offended by what I have just said, right now you are saying that it is humiliating for an adult American to have to stand outside waiting for day work so he can feed his family. Well, sorry to have to say this but you are wrong. What's humiliating is living in a car in a parking lot with one orange to feed your kids and not doing anything about it other than crying and waiting for the government to come fix your wagon. What's also humiliating is allowing some condescending, arrogant journalist to interview you so he can sell soap. It is not noble to humiliate yourself, even in 2011 America.

We need to stop exalting the wayward among us and start placing expectations on them that they put every effort at their disposal into being good providers for their families, good neighbors, and good stewards of the America we have inherited but are so far seemingly hell-bent on destroying. I don't mind paying taxes to help the truly needy, but I resent paying anything to anyone who refuses to help himself first.

Heaven helps those who help themselves, and the county takes care of the rest. Until the county runs out of money.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I Am Thankful For Barack Obama, and Unlike His Wife, I Am Proud of My Country

I am thankful for a lot of things this Thanksgiving Eve. My house smelled like apple pie when I woke up this morning (my wife is an early morning baker), my daughter is flying home from college. I have a job that has its moments of not sucking, and other than suffering through the results of how I treated my body in my twenties and thirties, I'm in pretty good shape for the shape I'm in.

I'm also an American. Granted, the Obama Administration, most of the Democrat party and the totality of the MSM are trying to make me think that's a bad thing, but they simply do not have the same life experience I have. Is my life perfect? To someone living in Coite d'Ivoire, or a Mexican teenager crossing the desert in Arizona so he can go to Las Vegas and bus tables, its as near to perfect as it can be. The world is a sucky place to live in, and the amount of suckiness we deal with here pales in comparison to most of the rest of the world. I still judge the goodness of a place by the amount of people trying to live there or emulate it. The American political system is an embarrassment because of the fools we have put in charge, but the people and the country itself are unique among all countries.

That being said, I struggle with nationalism because of my philosophical beliefs, but being a pragmatist, I'm blessed to fly an American flag on my porch and I want nothing more than for every citizen on earth to be able to say that about their own circumstance. Don't be fooled by the Democrat's portrayal of other people's perception of this country. Other than the hard-core Seventh Century anachronists among the crazy wing of Islam, we are still admired for our generosity, spirit and industriousness. The recklessness of ill-informed and oft times poorly intentioned foreign policy notwithstanding.

But most of all, speaking politically, I am thankful for Barack Obama. His complete and utter ineptitude and malice toward the principles most Americans still hold dear will serve as a wake call to us all. Obama's wake-up call will make the post-Carter wake-up call look like an errant hit of the snooze alarm as we look back from history. As long as we heed it. 

Barack Obama has no awareness of history, political science, or philosophy while at the same time he has a distorted view of his abilities and his place in the world. This is a good thing. The American people gifted Obama the White House because we took the words of a smattering of political agendists who view being mad at America as no different than harboring resentment toward their dads.

No one paid attention to Obama, his history, his ideologies or his abilities as we looked the other way and gave him the run of the joint like a love-sick teenager hopes her prom date doesn't notice her acne. And now we've been reminded just how silly it is to depend on a bureaucrat to provide anything other than bureaucracy.

Cults of personality, idol worship, genuflecting to royalty, and kissing up to smarmy pointy-headed politicrats is not the American way, and I have faith my neighbors will understand this...even the ones who voted for Obama the first time because they thought they were actually doing something positive.

That's why I am thankful for Barack Obama. Like a harsh smack in the face, he has reminded us of who we don't want to be.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Libertarian Manifesto: Our Government Is Completely Filled With Fools, And Its All Your Fault

For some reason you people are enamored of a big, gigantic government that will hold your hand from the time you separate from your mom right up until your own kids disown you and stick you in a facility that's 100 miles away, and you know, "it's just too far to make the trip Dad, but I'll send you a Reader's Digest with a cool article about World War II."

That's because you all think you live in a democracy (you don't). Democracy is really nothing more than mob rule, and we all know how that works out for people who aren't in the mob.

You've been told you live in a "Representative Republic," whatever that nonsense is. You don't. You live in an oligarchy that's starting to do a really bad job of convincing you otherwise.

In my daily life, I live in a meritocracy, in spite of all of this stupid government that keeps constantly knocking on my door and trying to get me to acquiesce. You probably do too, if you work, or go to school, or do normal human stuff that doesn't rely on someone else to take care of you.

Since I live in said meritocracy, I look at what a person accomplishes. Intent is meaningless. As is potential. That being said, Barack Obama is an abysmal failure as a leader, and quite frankly I'm beginning to think as a human being too.

Unfortunately for America, John Boehner isn't far behind. He's just lucky that Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi keep cutting in front of him in the line for second place behind Obama.

This is the government you voted for. You wanted big government filled with professional politicians, but what you got instead is a power and intelligence vacuum at the very seat power you ceded freedom to.

That is why the Super Committee is such a joke. It was never meant to succeed.
  • Obama wanted it to fail so he could wash his hands of making the right decisions for America, which are unfortunately the wrong decisions for his party and his himself
  • Reid wanted it to fail because Obama told him so and because Reid only really worries about Cowboy Poetry festivals
  • Boehner wanted it to fail because he figured the next Congress would negate the stupidity of it by the time the budget cuts kicked in. He was assuming there would be a president not named Barry in office by then 
You were duped from the beginning because the people you hired to run your lives think you are all gullible fools. The Super Committee was just another way for these fools to kick the can down the road.

Good politics. Bad judgement. Horrendous leadership.

S&P is making noise that it is going to downgrade US debt soon because of the government's inability to govern. If I were you I'd start using your cash for kindling because in a few months it's not going to be worth anything, and we won't have any fuel to buy with it anyway.

Blame the government all you want. It's your fault though and the sooner you realize it, the better off your kids will be.

Note at the bottom: To maintain my sterling record of consistency, I will start to say extremely negative things about my congressional representatives, some of whom I voted for,  in the next few weeks.

A Tale of Two Michelles

The entire country, or at least the people in the media and those who think Obama is doing a bang-up job as prez, were all up in arms when Michelle Obama got booed at the start of the NASCAR race last Sunday:

Last night, GOP presidential hopeful Michelle Bachmann appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon:

The song the NBC / Jimmy Fallon houseband is playing is "Lyin' Ass Bitch" by the Roots.

What Michelle Obama got was an actual, spontaneous, political and emotional response from a crowd of people.

What Michelle Bachmann got was a set-up from NBC and the producers at Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

Where's the outrage? Where are the apologies? Where are the feminists?

Matt Lauer, Ann Curry & Al Roker: The Three Stooges of Doom

Because I have not yet mastered the art of being a happy person, I woke up wishing I could go back to bed today. But I do that every day except Christmas (most Christmas's anyway, depending on what I'm getting that year). My unhappiness with being awake on a Tuesday morning was compounded by my bad decision to watch The Today Show while I ate breakfast.

Ann Curry is very worried about you
 because it's going to rain tomorrow
while you're on the way to grandma's
 house to freeload some turkey
 and give the stink-eye to your

Here's what I learned:
  1. Thanksgiving is ruined because it is going to rain tomorrow and 42,000,000 Americans will be stuck at LaGuardia airport in New York City. Well, they didn't exactly say everyone would get stuck at LaGuardia, but I think that's what they meant
  2. Thousands of people who don't live in The Big City burn their houses down every year deep frying turkeys on Thanksgiving. They had the hokey staged videos of deep fried turkeys gone bad to prove it. Well, they didn't exactly say thousands, but I know what they meant 
  3. America is ruined because the Super Committee failed to do exactly what everyone with common sense knew they were specifically set up to fail to do. Everyone but NBC that is. Well they knew it too, but they think you are dumb and didn't know. Get it?
  4. English kids didn't think Kate looked like a princess because she wore a sweater and jeans or something to some thing she did somewhere over there, and a couple of English people are upset so we should be too
  5. My wife can't cook as good as Martha Stewart
    Would you trust your Thanksgiving travel plans to this buffoon,
    even if he stood in front of a map with clouds on it
     and acted really sincere about  the impending
    doom of Thanksgiving travel? 
Now, it's obvious you have some common sense or you would have blocked this website by now. Your common sense helps you realize that sometimes it rains, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes holiday travel sucks, sometimes you wish a blizzard would blow into town so you didn't have to spend so much time with all of those people.

But, understanding that the road of life sometimes travels on nice smooth roads as well as the kind of roads we have here in New Jersey is boring. Being an adult is boring, most of the time. Thank God. However, the 300 talking heads shouting at you on a daily basis rely on things not being boring so you will listen to them and buy the soap they are selling.

The Three Stooges of Doom only get paid when things are bad, so,
it makes sense to make sure things are bad.

Here's my advice to survive the impending holiday and all of the terribleness surrounding it:
  1. Bring an umbrella
  2. Leave a little early
  3. Hide the beer from the beer-swilling members of your family until after the turkey is carved
  4. Don't call your ex-wife and tell her you're thankful she's your ex-wife
  5. Avoid watching television so you don't know how bad things are while you do what you do. (Actually, that's excellent everyday advice)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Why I'm Having A Hard Time Feeling Sorry For You

I was reminded today of a beautiful, sunny, Saturday afternoon in July of 1979. It had something to do with the night before, Van Halen and Asbury Park, but that's none of your business. Yup, my memory (at least in this case) is that good, even at my advanced age. I spent about two or three hours that day sitting in a gas line, because that's what we all did in the summer of 1979 (except for the aforementioned bit which is still none of your business).

Just so you know, a barrel of oil cost about $15.85 (peak) and a gallon of gas went for around $0.85 cents (adjusted for inflation that's about 2.52 in 2010 dollars). I don't remember exactly how much I bought, but I find it hard to believe I would put in any more than two or three dollars since that's probably all I had in my pocket -- I was an absolutely broke college student, y'know. Since I was buying the gas to get my butt to school on Monday, I was pretty sure I spent the rest of the weekend doing things that didn't include driving somewhere or spending money. By the way, I'm not looking for pity here, key words: Friday night, Asbury Park, Van Halen. We make our choices in life, and that my friends is my point.

I was going to a technical school that later got shut down for falsifying loan applications, but its all I could afford at the time. I was unwilling to load myself up with student loans, figuring I could go to school on the five year plan (it eventually took fifteen). In the end, it worked out, but at the time it was a royal pain in the ass. But looking back, most of everyone's journey is in fact, a royal pain in the ass. That's kind of what it's all about...figuring out how to make ends meet so when you get older you can feel like you actually accomplished something.

It also gives people like me who were not necessarily born yesterday a chance to tell you kids to stop your bitching and apply yourselves, and stay the hell off my lawn while you're doing it. If you keep on hoping someone else will take care of your business for you, who's going to take care of it for you after you all put me away in the old age home?

Put that in your Occupy Wall Street pipe and smoke it.

Note at the bottom: I won't even start to talk about Iran, and the Soviet Union, Three Mile Island or Jimmy Carter. I don't think you caould handle it all at once.

Occupy Wall Street: "I'm Against Private Property, Not Personal Property," Or, The Left Begin To Eat Their Own

I lost my company football pool because the New York Giants couldn't beat the Philadelphia Eagles, at home against the Eagles' second string quarterback, so today started out somewhat lugubrious for me.

But my dark mood was lifted when I watched this video from the Jon Stewart Show:

I'm not generally a fan of Jon Stewart, not because I don't think he's funny -- I do, I just think the Left and the MSM give his point of view far too much weight. That's why a Left Wing media giant such as Stewart taking the darlings of the Left to task for their childishness and vapidity is such a wonderful thing to behold.

Maybe there is hope for common sense afterall.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Barack Obama Just As Dumb As GOP Candidates

Whether it's fair or not, the GOP candidates can't get spinach stuck in their teeth without the MSM swarming all over them like flies on road apples.

I don't recall the MSM doing the same for Barack Obama, but I do recall the flubs...

Google and YouTube are apparently having a little code problem today, so if the audio mutes after a few seconds, here's the original link:
Click to watch a YouTube video mash-up of some of our Commander-In-Chief's greatest hits.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Wallowing in Affluence

I knew a guy who was always broke. Cash poor. Ambition poor. Happiness poor. But he had gallons of piss and vinegar to help him ferment his antipathy for everything that didn't lend him a hand.

I would listen to him tell me what a sad hand life had dealt him all the while he was raising an eyebrow at what he perceived to be my success. I'm not successful to the extent I want to be, but I get up in the morning and try to achieve slightly more than I did yesterday. I miss the mark alot, but when I hit it, its worth it. I've had some really bad jobs that in no way match my utter brilliance and sheer industrial magnificence, but my choice of jobs has never been anyone else's fault but my own. Ditto any other decisions I have made as an adult.

I'm beginning to think I am in the minority on this, but I just can't feel sorry for people who continually make bad decisions and then blame other people for the result.

I was concerned after our subject told me the wolves were pretty much chewing through his front door and that it wouldn't be long before all hope was lost. I went to visit him and we watched some television on his 48" hi-def, but we couldn't talk much because he was constantly getting calls on his cell phone. I waited for him to finish one conversation by surfing the web on his Mac.

But, his life sucked and it was most definitely someone's fault. He took this feeling to his grave, and for that I will always feel a sense of failure -- his and mine.

When I hear someone, whether they are Occupying Wall Street or sitting at a bar, complaining about how unfair life is and how America doesn't offer them anything, I am reminded of the people I have met in my life who have spent their time wallowing in affluence.

Sure the economy is bad. Sure there are crooks in the financial and government sectors. But once you only identify yourself as a member of a group -- Democrat, Conservative, 99%, union guy, or downtrodden malcontent -- you have doomed yourself to a life of jealousy and envy. There will always be a group of people who are better off than you. There will always be individuals who are better off than you as well, but when you begin to identify yourself as "you" and not a part of something, you begin to realize the complete lack of limitations in your path because of the country you live in.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Who Cares About Bon Jovi's Stupid Bees, Or, Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) Joins In the Latest American Craze: Class Warfare

I don't like Jon Bon Jovi. It's not because I think his music is twee (I do), it's because he held a fundraiser for Al Gore at his large and ostentatious Monmouth County mansion in August 2000. It was on a Friday, and to ensure that that very elitist of tree huggers Al Gore, got to his little soiree on time, the Secret Service shut down 15 miles of the Garden State Parkway which caused me to sit in traffic for three hours instead of being home grilling burgers and drinking beer. Come to think of it, an awful lot of cars sat idling on the Parkway for an awful lot of hours burning an awful lot of fossil fuel just to keep Al and Jon happy. Screw them. Hypocrites.

Enough with the kissing guys,
I just want to get home from work,
if that's okay with you.
I also don't like Bruce Springsteen much because when I was a teenager you either became a Bruce fan or you didn't. I like most of his music, but as for the guy himself? Eh, not so much and I have no other reason why. Shoot me.

He did wave at me after I let him pull in front of me on his motorcycle on Main Street in Freehold many years ago. There, I am like everyone else in New Jersey -- I have a Bruce Springsteen story.

Apparently Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) doesn't like either of these two rock icons either. But that's because they got tax breaks on their properties in New Jersey. Read Senator Tom Coburn's (R-OK) Rather Lengthy and Boring Report on Why Everyone Should Hate Millionaires By Clicking Here.

Bruce Springsteen got some tax breaks for leasing his Monmouth County property to an organic farmer and Mr. Awesome Hair himself Bon Jovi only paid $100 in property taxes on his property because he raises bees on it.

These were two examples of millionaire tax abuse in Sen. Coburn's report.

First of all, so the @#;-) what? These aren't Federal issues they're state issues, and if the laws of New Jersey happen to give tax breaks to property owners for keeping their land preserved as farmland, then it's none of the Federal government's business.

Secondly, even some poor people in New Jersey take advantage of our rather generous farmland tax laws and I don't see Senator Coburn taking them to task. For that matter I don't see that master of not-really-being-a-Libertarian-but professing-to-be-so-because-that's-his-schtick John Stossel, who is quoted frequently in Coburn's report, taking them to task either.

Enough with bashing successful people. Even if you don't like them because they're stuffy out-of-touch rock stars who pretend to be everymen and who haven't put out a good song in like two decades, they still have rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

In fairness, the bulk of Coburn's report is about tax loopholes that dastardly millionaires take advantage of. Maybe Senator Coburn should stop being such a hypocrite and work on a flat tax for everyone if he's so concerned about fairness.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

POP QUIZ: Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis: Ugly Words or Union Cheerleader. Take Quiz Then Discuss.

Watch the video and the answer the question:

 LINK TO NBC 5 Chicago Video of CTU President Karen Lewis.

On one hand, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis thinks its okay to make fun of Education Secretary Arne Duncan's speech impediment, but on the other hand she tears up when talking about an unflattering cartoon of her in the Chicago Tribune. In her speech, Ms. Lewis also talks about the large amount of marijuana she smoked while attending an Ivy League college in the 70s because she was the only black woman there. 

This is:
  1. Fun to watch two denizens of Big Education turn on each other
  2. An example of the hypocrisy of Big Education and Big Labor in general
  3. An an example of a rapt union audience having moral turpitude by not booing a bully
  4. An example of a person who clearly should not represent anyone for anything
  5. All of the above
EXTRA CREDIT: Read more about Karen Lewis's self-admitted "ugly words," the backstory between Arne Duncan and the Chicago Teacher Union, and Ms. Lewis' completely unforced apology to Mr. Duncan: Click Link for EXTRA CREDIT.

Unless You Live In NYC Area You Probably Won't Get This Side of Occupy Wall Street Story

The bulk of this post was taken from a report on New York City's Fox 5 10:00 PM newscast from Monday, November 14. For the full report click this link.

This is the cleverly edited frame used by CNN for their video link on
the removal of protesters from Zuccotti Park last night.
If you watch the whole video (click here) you'll find its really rather
boring and innocuous. But we don't watch content do we?
We just absorb headlines.

When I visited Zuccotti Park in October I tried to speak to staff at two adjoining restuarants, but neither would speak to me on the record about any effects the protests were having on their daily business. Off the record, they were not happy but did not expect the protests to last this long.

Mayor Bloomberg (D-NY without having the backbone to admit it) has so far been more sympathetic to the Occupy Wall Street protesters (who are incidentally mostly not New Yorkers) than he has been to the citizens of his own city. That story changed last night after a group of business owners in the area marched on City Hall yesterday to let the mayor know how deeply the protest movement has cut into their livelihoods.

Here is the complete text of the Fox 5 story from last night:

(NewsCore) - The "Occupy Wall Street" movement has cost surrounding businesses $479,400 so far, store owners said.

A New York Post survey of a dozen restaurants, jewelry shops, beauty salons, a chain store and mom-and-pop establishments tallied almost a half-million dollars lost in the 53 days since the Zuccotti Park siege began on Sept. 17.

"We're done with them!" barked one Broadway business owner. The restaurateur -- who requested anonymity for fear of reprisals -- said his profits drained as soon as campers moved in.

"My customers used to take food to eat in the park, but now they can't," he lamented.

With clogged streets, aggressive signs and stories of predators and criminals lurking among the knot of protesters, business owners and managers say shoppers are not taking the risk of coming to the area.

"They think the protesters are violent," said Jewelry 21 manager Danny Nia.

It's worst on Saturdays, when protesters parade up and down Broadway all day long, the businesses said.

"When they march on the sidewalk, everyone runs away," said Mike Rauach, owner of VIP Men's Suits on Broadway. "They kill business."

Some businesses have suffered higher staffing costs. Stubborn occupiers, for example, often hold impromptu meetings inside coffee shop Pret a Manger, forcing workers to stay hours past closing time.

"They'd keep asking for 20 minutes, 20 minutes," one worker complained.

And the coffee shop has lost loyal customers who now can't find a place to sit.

"But we can't tell [OWS protesters] to leave," the worker added.

The movement costs the dozen businesses just over $9,000 a day.

That figure doesn't include money spent on toilet paper, cleaning supplies and repairs, businesses said, as the tent dwellers turn bathrooms into personal washrooms.

On two separate occasions the owner of the Essex World Cafe has rolled up his gate to find someone had defecated on it overnight.

"It must be a good place for them to hide," the owner cringed.

Next door at Ho Yip, a Chinese restaurant, filthy clothes and underwear carpet the bathroom floor, the manager said.

"I have to pick it up," the manager groused.

At Cafe Health World on Maiden Lane, delivery calls have slowed down from Goldman Sachs, where mid-level analysts burning the midnight oil would often order takeout. Now, manager Alex Furkov said, no one wants to stay in the Financial District.

"They're making it look like everyone's Warren Buffett over there," he said. "They're our livelihood. That's what keeps the lights on in this place."

The OWS folks insist, to the point of whining, that their First Amendment right to protest must be protected by the very society they are protesting against. I have a couple of questions regarding rights:
  1. What gives these people the right to keep other people from earning a living because they have decided they don't want to be part of a capitalist system?
  2. What gives these people the right to leave their dirty underwear on the floor of another person's business simply because their mom is not around to wipe their bottoms and pick up after them? 
  3. What gives these people the right to force a business to stay open past its posted operating times (thereby incurring extra cost to the owner) because they want a warm place to meet?
  4. What gives these people the right to defecate where it is convenient for them to defecate?
Nancy Pelosi asked God to bless the Occupy Wall Street protesters, but I would implore Him to bless them and her with some common sense and civility first.

After that we can talk politics.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day

As long as war is regarded as wicked, it will always have its fascination. When it is looked upon as vulgar, it will cease to be popular.
-- Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist

Thank you to all who served when called and for understanding firsthand the vulgarity of war.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Occupy Penn State, Or, I Sent My Kid to a College Where Football Is Sacred...Little Boys, Not So Much

College is one of only two times in life that a person knows everything. The other time is the period between 8th grade and high school graduation. Just ask someone in this age group and they'll set you straight. In fact, the MSM is so enamored of the sheer brilliance of the kids occupying various places across the country they are obviously willing to look the other way at the increasing number of sexual and property crimes being committed within the so-called "communities" springing up around the Occupy protests.

College kids shouldn't always be the arbiters of morality though.

Last night, shortly before 10:00 PM EST, the Board of Trustees of Penn State announced that Penn State football coach Joe Paterno and university president Dr. Graham Spanier were being removed from their positions. This was not only the right move, it was the only move the Board had. However, announcing the decision at 10:00 PM at a school with a segment of the student body as out-of-touch with morality and prone to poor behavior as Penn State proved to be not such a good idea.

What you have just watched is several thousand Penn State students protesting the firing of a football coach who failed to protect young children from a sexual predator he kept in his employ. Granted, it's about 1% of the total student population, but the morons chanting "Joe Pa, Joe Pa" and "We Want Joe!" as they destroy other people's property obviously don't have a problem when it comes to children being raped in the showers of their school's football program. I guess, according to this segment of the student body of Penn State, the school would have been better off if the scandal had just stayed out of sight -- like the victims themselves.

Meanwhile, Mike McQueary, the GA who admittedly witnessed Jerry Sandusky showering (and according to his Grand Jury testimony having intercourse) with a ten year-old boy, and decided to protect the kid not by beating Sandusky to within an inch of his life, but by leaving the scene and informing his coach, still has his job. Way to go Penn State.

Penn State, Joe Paterno, and the students of the university and their families have nothing to be proud of. Unless they are taking to the streets in defense of the dozens of kids whose lives were destroyed by Jerry Sandusky, the student body of Penn State needs to quiet down and do some serious introspection.

Just because Paterno was a legend on the football field does not mean he was not weak of character at best and morally bankrupt at worst. That also applies to every single person at Penn State who knew about Jerry Sandusky's depraved behavior and did nothing.

No amount of chanting or property destruction is going to change that.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Herman Cain and Me

Once upon a time I wrote and produced print and television campaign ads for my local Republican club. I also helped with other things in the political theater that were not so noble. My experiences opened my eyes to the utter bullshit that is politics in this country. While I'm confessing, I acted for a brief period of time as press secretary for a mayor that was put into power by a political machine. The problem is that mayors of small towns in New Jersey don't need press secretaries -- unless they are so unqualified for the job they have been manipulated in to that they do need one.

I also worked very hard to get a fellow Republican elected to the local school board in my town. I didn't like him very much, but it was his turn to run, and well, we are talking about the GOP here. Anyway, after he was elected he got drunk one night and assaulted some cops in a neighboring town. Brilliantly (and drunkenly) he kept asking the cops if they knew just exactly who he was. Needless to say his political career was over. Mine was too. Not because I got drunk and acted like an ass, but because I put alot of effort into someone who did.

I know from whence comes my cynicism.

A few months ago I endorsed Herman Cain. I realized he was a foreign policy lightweight as well as being naive on a few domestic policy issues, but he came across as sincere and willing to take a stand. Policy comes and goes, but character is what we leave behind when we shuffle off the planet.

Now, according to a few women, Herman Cain is also a pretty seedy guy. One woman coming forward I could ignore, but five gives me cause for concern -- even though I know full well that anything is possible in the theater of American politics.

I flat out don't believe Sharon Bialek. She has a lot of instability in her personal life and she said that by coming forward with her story she hoped Mr. Cain would reflect on his behavior and understand the err of his ways. Her words sounded too much to me like that of woman with an emotional axe to grind as opposed to someone who was actually hurt in some way. She also read her statement relaying the facts of her story. I have never been sexually harassed, but my first serious kiss was from a girl who was a year older than me and who, in fact, scared the hell out of me. I remember every uncomfortable detail of it, from 1974.

However, having gone through a messy divorce with a really pissed off woman who was not my first kiss, I also know what its like to have utterly nonsensical accusations tossed in my direction. There is no single way to handle being publicly told you are someone you are not, but there are common-sense ways not to handle it.
  • I am bothered by Mr. Cain's insistence that he doesn't remember certain facts, people or places as if he is above it all
  • He also comes across as far too naive for someone who has achieved as much as he has achieved.
  • He seems weak in the face of personal discomfort
  • He is defending himself by attacking others, including that old Clinton theory of a mass conspiracy against him
It was also revealed today that Sharon Kraashauer, who filed a complaint against when he was CEO of the National Restaurant Association, also filed a harassment claim at her very next job. Some people either have crappy luck or are liars.

My endorsement stands but I am waiting for the pages to turn. I am will to give Mr. Cain the benefit of the doubt because of the character he has shown me so far, but I won't hesitate to abandon him immediately if it turns out that he behaved in the way he is being accused of behaving. For the record, even though I never vboted for him, I pulled my support from Bill Clinton for the same reasons, but you people were obviously not paying attention to either me or Bill.

Mr. Cain, you do need to do a better -- more presidential -- job in handling the accusations being levelled at you. The press also needs to do a better -- more objective -- job in reporting facts, not suppositions, as well as keeping their own political persuasions at bay.

This is part of the vetting process that we should have done with our current president. Unfortunately, in 2008 most of you people couldn't see facts for the fairy dust in your eyes, so we got Barack Obama.

I'm going to let the process unfold before I make a decision either way.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Joe Paterno: Complacency Kills Another Legend's Reputation

I am a firm believer that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. That is why I have a hard time with organized religion, young cops, bureaucracies and any institution that allows people to hold onto power for long periods of time. And if corruption doesn't bring down the entrenched, complacency surely will.

I am a football fan, and as a by-product I am a Joe Paterno fan. Paterno is in his 62nd year on the coaching staff at Penn State and his 44th year as head coach. Critics have charged for years that at 84, football has passed JoePa by, yet he continues to recruit at a high level and his program continues (for the most part) to win. He has also been seemingly devoid of scandal for the length of his tenure.

Now word has leaked that in 2002, receivers coach and graduate assistant Mike McQueary allegedly witnessed former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulting a young boy in the locker room shower of a Penn State facility. Sandusky had retired from the football program in 1999, but was still a fixture on campus. McQueary contacted Paterno who then contacted Athletic Director Tim Curley and university vice president Gary Schultz. The police were never contacted. Both Curley and Schultz stepped down from their positions this week, and both face prison time for lying to a grand jury about Sandusky's alleged involvement with under-aged boys
McQueary played for Penn State in the late 90s. After working during 2002 as a graduate assistant, he was promoted to administrative assistant. He is now Penn State's wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator.

Sandusky was apparently able to access Penn State's facilities at his pleasure as recently as two weeks ago. There is no reason to believe that Sandusky's repugnant and criminal behavior suddenly ceased after the 2002 incident.

For Sandusky, Paterno and Penn State, more is yet to come. According to an article in the Los Angeles Times today:
The mother of Victim Six said she confronted Sandusky after her son, then 11, told her he took a shower with Sandusky after a tour of the Penn State football locker room in 1998.

"Jerry Sandusky admitted to my face, he admitted it," the mother said. "He admitted that he lathered up my son. They were naked and he bear-hugged him," she said.

The grand jury report said Sandusky apologized to the boy’s mother.

"I understand. I was wrong," the report quotes Sandusky as telling the boy’s mother. "I wish I could get forgiveness. I know I won’t get it from you. I wish I were dead."
-- David Zucchino in State College, Pa.

Joe Paterno needs to step down, sooner rather than later. He choose to act minimally in an effort to protect an associate rather than to protect vulnerable young boys who were being molested in his facilities. Age is not an excuse. Being a good guy is not an excuse.

JoePa may be a legend and an icon but the simple fact of the matter is he knew about Sandusky's activities. He also did not sever ties with Sandusky after learning of his criminal activity. Paterno's desire to keep the scandal in house is a moral failure. If you were morally outraged at the Catholic Church for protecting the reputation of the Church by moving admitted child molesters to distant parishes, yet you are willing to excuse JoePa because you like him or his success, you are a hypocrite

JoePa is guilty of helping cover up a scandal to protect his own legacy and the reputation of Penn State's football program. 

McQueary is no hero and also needs to step down. Sure he contacted Paterno, but he also apparently decided to forget what he saw after realizing nothing was going to be done about it.

Paterno may very well have assumed that he did the correct thing legally when he contacted his own superiors about Sandusky. But he not only is he the face of Penn State football, Joe Paterno is Penn State. Whether you like that statement or not, it's a fact. He is complicit in the cover-up and guilty of taking the morally bankrupt path by concluding his involvement was completed when he contacted his AD. Complacency and inaction in an effort to protect an institution while children were harmed in inexcusable.

After one's roots grow too deep, human nature insulates us from moral choice. Penn State's failure is society's failure, and frankly, I am tired of failing.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Tebowing: A Sign of American Hypocrisy or Ignorance?

I'm not sure if Tim Tebow will ever become a successful quarterback in the NFL. Most football pundits dismiss Tebow's throwing skills and pretty much predict he will fail. Lots of kids come out of college and don't live up to their expectations in the hyper-competitive NFL. Matt Leinart (USC) and Brady Quinn (Notre Dame) are two such notable examples. But Tebow is national news.

 Tim Tebow "Tebowing" during a recent Denver Broncos game

If you are a casual fan of the NFL you know who Matt Stafford is and you've probably heard of Sam Bradford. Both are college and NFL contemporaries of Tebow. If you don't live under a rock you know who Tebow is.

That's because Tebow is just about as polarizing a figure as there is in 2011. Sure he doesn't throw well, but the problem seems to be that he prays openly and unabashedly talks about his faith. He also did a Pro-Life PSA with his mother for the 2010 Super Bowl. The ad was considered "controversial" by many and was protested by many women's groups, which pressured CBS not to air the ad. (Huffington Post Feb. 7, 2010).

"Tebowing" -- the latest stupid social media fad -- is a way to either mock Tebow's overt Christianity or just have some fun at his expense. In his post on Deadspin, editor Tommy Craggs takes the Right Wing to task for being offended at people mocking Tebow (click to read). Unfortunately, even though he makes some valid points, it's obvious Mr. Craggs has quite the agenda against the Right and overtly religious people. So much for my search for objective arguments.
Packers tight end Greg Jennings kneels
in prayer after scoring a touchdown.
I have not yet heard of Jenningsing
as the latest Internet fad.

Athletes pray all the time. Some have so totally handed over control of their own destinies to God that they get really mad at Him when they drop an easy pass in the end zone. Who can forget the Buffalo Bills' Stevie Johnson and his angry Tweet to God after missing a sure touchdown catch last season? I don't know if God actually has a Twitter account, but I would assume that if He did He'd have an awful lot of followers.

"I praise you 24/7!!! And this how you do me!!! You expect me to
learn from this???How??? I'll never forget this!! Ever!! Thx Tho."

Jets and Cardinals players share
a post-game prayer.

I may have a different view of God from you, but I don't think He is so much of a micro-manager that He is responsible if you don't catch a touchdown pass. Or get you a parking spot at the Mall. It is unlikely He will drop a sack of nickels on your front porch so you can pay the cable bill. If you think He is a micro-manager, that's fine, I won't comment on your faith and you should avoid telling me I will burn in Hell because I don't agree with yours.

America likes to belive it is tolerant, but it's not, at least of people who don't conform with the current pop culture norm. America is also filled with people who are not able to discern between dangerous behavior and innocuous behavior.

Even though it was founded by people seeking it, America has never been a particularly tolerant place when it comes to religion. Or race. Or liking NASCAR. That's because America is filled with people, and people are typically not too bright when it comes to things they don't understand. And, well, someone has to go to Hell and it sure as hell isn't going to be me.

Tebow is a young man with a solid religious background and a public profile. As opposed to the myriad other professional athletes in this country who openly profess their faith, Tebow has also dared to disagree with the Pro-Choice movement in this country. Unlike other athletes who pray openly and leave it at that, Tebow entered the political arena when he did the Pro-Life PSA. That's why its okay to mock him and vilify his faith. That's kind of sad actually. He's not a leader, he's a kid with a belief and a platform. While I agree that the platform comes along with a certain level of public scrutiny, why is it necessary to publicly scorn someone you don't agree with?

Apparently in the America we live in, you can expect tolerance only if you parrot the corporate line as espoused by the MSM and dominant Left wing culture. The MSM and Left Wing find faith of any kind to be deserving of their derision and scorn. What does that get you? Voila! Tebowing and worse.

You have to question the fundamentals of any group of people who respond with condescension and anger to opinions and ideas that don't jibe with their own. I am talking to you, the Left in general and the narrow-minded amongst the Right.

We supposedly live in a free country. If Greg Jennings wants to pray after scoring a TD we should respect his rights as an American. If Tim Tebow wants to pray after making a play, and he wants to do PSA's with his mom about a subject he believes in, we should do likewise.

To do otherwise is to spit on the graves of every person who sacrificed their lives for the basic freedoms our Founding Fathers put their own lives on the line for.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

In Honor Of the OWS General Strike Called For Today Here's A Few Things I'm Striking Against

I am writing this column from a sixth row aisle seat on a Southwest Airlines flight from Philadelphia to Denver. It's cramped and funny smelling but at least I'm not sitting in traffic in New Jersey. Since I am looking at working a 16 to 18 hour day today, I though maybe an open letter to the people who support the general strike was in order.

Dear People Who Support The General Strike,

Today is the day of the general strike the Occupy Oaklanders came up with last week (November 2 General Strike - posted 10-28-11). I am joining you by striking against a few things that I think should be striked against (pardon the syntax but there was no other way to put that).

First and foremost I am striking against the general strike by flying to Denver today to do my job so I can continue to earn a living so I don't have to go camp in an urban park and complain about my lack of prospects. I was in college when Jimmy Carter drove the Ford Pinto that was the US economy right into a drainage ditch and I was just starting out in my career as Ronald Reagan dug the rear tires out of the mud and helped get my crappy American made econo-car back on the road. I know about thin prospects and tough times.

So here is what I am striking against starting today:
  1. if you actually think there is a major political party in this country that wants to pollute the air and water, I am striking against you because you are stupid
  2. if you actually think there are politicians in this country that want to make laws that get women killed on the floor of some doctor's office, you are stupid and I am striking against you
  3. if you vote for people based on one narrow belief or belief-system at the expense of the defeat of a viable political candidate you otherwise agree with, I must take you to task because you are causing the entire country problems. Democracy is a process, not a destination
  4. if you honestly think the Federal government has your best personal interest in mind and is actually enthusiastic about taking care of you, you guessed it, I am on strike against you
  5. if you believe that regardless of the stupid life choices you make -- like taking out a mortgage on a piece of property you can't afford or getting a Master's Degree in ancient Greek pottery -- someone else should come to your rescue, you need to call your dad and mom because I am too busy trying to make smart life choices to waste time having sympathy for you. 
  6. if you think that Bill Clinton's sexual harassment accusers are politically motivated but somehow Herman Cain's aren't, I must inflate my giant inflatable rat on your front lawn
  7. if you think there are jobs that are beneath you because you are educated or somehow superior to someone else, then I can't feel sorry for you if you can't get a job
  8. if you have not taken the time to understand both sides of the political debate in this country and have simply signed on with one or the other without a full briefcase of facts, I must picket you because you are at the root of the political quagmire we are in today
  9. if you truly believe that Barack Obama and his political party are working hard to fix things but all of us mean conservatives are getting in the way, I'm on strike against you
How will I accomplish this strike, you ask? Good question. I am just one insignificant Reality-based Libertarian blogger and I am only able to exert a slight financial pressure on the world around me. But I can do the following:
  • I will stop spending my hard-earned capitalist money on you or your products (that goes for people who are affiliated with you such as advertisers) if you are overt in your support of theories and decisions that are detrimental to the future of this country
  • openly and unabashedly laugh at you when you try to convince me that I am wrong about anything in Items 1 through 9
  • stop giving you a pass on your cute little naivete. It's not so cute anymore and its ruining the country
  • stop feeling sorry for you when you get mad at me for explaining to you how wrong you are
  • stop being polite as you proselytize your naive and ill-informed political theories in my direction.
Other than that I will go about my daily, freedom-seeking, capitalist existence with a smile on my face and my tongue firmly implanted in my cheek as I watch you live out your frustrated life because you have put your leaders ahead of you in your personal list of priorities.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Obama and the Trickle Sideways Economics Theory

Ronald Reagan had naive faith in the intelligence of the American people which allowed his particular view of economics to forever be derisively called "trickle down economics." Sure, if you're not top economic dog and you don't think deeply on a regular basis this theory sounds condescending. But so what? Get over it. You're not rich and it's not America's fault.

Reagan would have been better advised to message harder on the "rising tide lifts all boats" description, because indeed that's what it does.

The term "trickle-down economics" was originally used to describe the tax cuts and reforms put into law by Reagan and the Democrat congress he worked with. Reagan was able to work with the Dems back in the day because the Dems:
  1. were not the extreme ideologues they are today
  2. were not quite as ill-informed about how the world works as they are today
For thirty years the Left and the wienie-set amongst us has decried "trickle-down economics" as the foolish bluster of the rich right wing. And once again the lazy GOP allowed its theories to be demagogued relentlessly so that now any theory that doesn't depend on the government greasing the skids of the economy gets dismissed immediately.

Now we have a president who believes in a completely different economic theory: trickle-sideways economics. Trickle sideways is the economic theory of giving money to your friends and supporters so they will continue to befriend and support you, and if they spend some of that dough on the rest of us, well, all the better. The basic tenets of trickle-sideways economics are:
  • give union members jobs so they can go out and buy cheap Chinese crap to ensure the middle-man class stays solvent
  • give union members jobs so more money can be put in Democrat coffers, thus insuring more money for union jobs
  • insult and ignore the vast majority of Americans who don't work union jobs and offer no real reform of the tax and trade codes to give those Americans an actual chance to succeed
Under trickle sideways, teacher, police, firefighter and public sector unions make up the bulk of recipients of President Obama's stimulus and "jobs" plans. This puts smart people like me in the position of coming out against teachers and cops and firefighters. Coming out against giving more money to teachers and cops is like coming out in favor of cancer because not everybody dies from it. Only a real bad person would support cancer, and only a real bad person would be against throwing more money at teachers and cops, regardless of the folly of doing so.

Let the economic engine of the American people loose and the Federal, state and local governments will make enough money (even under the current horrible tax code) to buy Mercedes-Benz firetrucks and truffles for lunch for all of those little kids on the federal school lunch program.

We've allowed the members of the intelligentsia class to mock trickle down economics because they don't understand it, while we've let them shove trickle sideways economics down our throats because the theory is sympathetic to their cause.

Brilliant job America.