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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Give Me Liberty Because Death Is Inevitable

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. - Psalm 24:3

I'm not overly religious, but that's got nothing to do with belief. I won't boast any strong knowledge of theology, but I know exactly what this psalm means. This whole thing we're living in is the valley of death. Life itself is the Valley of Death.

For about the past year I've been surrounded by it and its left me pondering it constantly. Family members, close friends, relatives, people I've known since high school, people I only know via social networking. The sheer volume of it swirling around me is mind-boggling. The idea of it's inevitability walks around behind me everywhere I go. I'm not obsessed, and I'm not depressed, but I am indeed walking in the shadow of it. So are you. It's the one thing we all have in common.

But there's one thing I've managed to do so far, and so have you -- enjoy the privilege of carrying this earthly coil on our walk through the valley. It's one other thing we have in common. Each little sliver of survival is another opportunity. I know it sounds like some dumb, trite, Facebook share, and that's a shame. because its so much more important than that.

As a society, we've done so good walking through the valley we've lost our ability to understand how narrow the valley is -- until it reminds us of its presence, and we quiet the noise around us long enough to listen to it. No government can protect us from it, and no living person can prevent it. Can it be that we've mired ourselves so deeply in the minutiae of living that we've forgotten the very essence of it?

Realizing how short, fragile, and without guarantee our walk is, I am reminded once again why I'll resist until my last breath another man deciding my freedom. The beauty and essence of living is the freedom of will and the exploitation of our time and talents in the pursuit of our own happiness. Government doesn't provide us rights, we got those when we landed here. Anything else the government "gives us" is simply the price we pay for giving up a little bit of our freedom. The more the government gives us, the more of ourselves we give away. It's very simple.

I have no interest in what interest group you've decided to hitch your wagon to, because at the end of the journey the only interest group you belong to is you, and the only thing you'll leave behind is the life you've lived. My sincerest hope is that your walk through the valley of the shadow of death is the walk you choose to take.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sandra Fluke. Joan of Arc. Lady Godiva. OMG. Whatever.

First of all let's just get this out in the open.
  • I am male
  • I am white
  • I am over 21
  • I don't care what you do with your life as long as you don't interfere with mine
  • If I have to pay for something for someone else, that is by default interfering with my life
  • If I am paying for your free access to sex-without-consequence your sex life is now my business
  • If you go public with your views on "women's health" and "choice" I have a right to disagree because your argument that I am a male and have no business talking about "women's health" is insipid
I'm glad we had a chance to clear that up.

Joan of Arc. Young Woman. Saves France Then Gets Burned At the Stake

Joan of Arc was a female French person who had a vision from God that the English were completely out of line in their relentless pursuit of the destruction of France during the 100 Years War. Having God on her side, she led the French to some stunning victories against the English and before anyone knew it, Charles VII was King of France. Unfortunately for Joan, a bunch of unhappy people from Burgundy hated Charles VII so they captured Joan and sold her to that pro-est of English bishops, Pierre Cauchon, who had nineteen-year-old Joan burned at the stake. Luckily, if not a little late, the Catholic Church stepped in a few years later and cleared her of all wrong doing.

Joan is not to be confused with Lady Godiva.

Lady Godiva. Middle Ages Woman. Gets Jiggy In Her Effort To Lower Taxes

Even though this sounds like one of those completely unfunny Monty Python skits, Lady Godiva was the wife of Leofric, Earl of Mercia, and the mother of Aelfgar, who was, coincidentally, also Earl of Merica. It seems that Leofric was most likely a Democrat because Ms. Godiva rode her horse in her birthday suit in a protest against the oppressive taxes the old Earl had levied upon his tenant farmers. You see, the Earl grew tired of his wife's constant nagging about the poor people of Coventry so he told her he'd lower their taxes if she rode naked on her horse through town. He was joking, she obviously had no sense of humor. Being somewhat Middle Aged and prudish she decreed that the townsfolk stay inside and not look at her, which everyone did but this one tailor named Tom. Luckily for the people of Coventry the Earl dug the public nudity and he abolished the oppressive taxes.

Lady Godiva is not to be confused with Sandra Fluke

Sandra Fluke. Legal Scholar.  Understands That Having Sex Is Expensive In Many, Many Ways

Democrats across the land are all a-twitter (literally) today because the crusty old white guys that made up yesterday's GOP hearing on contraception didn't allow the brilliant and erudite Ms. Fluke to testify. Luckily for us, she still had a forum for her brilliance and insight when the Democrats on the panel let her speak unofficially during a break in testimony. I believe this was because Ms. Fluke is the best the Democrats have to offer when it comes to the current demagoguery of "women's health."

Sandra Fluke is a third year law student at Georgetown University, and as far as I can tell she speaks for all women on matters of "women's health."

Lest you people accuse me of being misogynistic and of making things up, I'll let Ms. Fluke's words speak for themselves:

Ms. Fluke knew that Georgetown University was a Jesuit run school that did not include free contraception in it's "women's health" coverage. She applied anyway. “I decided I was absolutely not willing to compromise the quality of my education in exchange for my health care,” so she has spent the last three years lobbying the Georgetown administration to pay for her contraception. So far they have resisted her constant nagging.

Fluke wanted to talk about the poor pitiful girls at Georgetown University who have to pay for their own contraception. A full-time law student at Georgetown pays $23,432.50 per year, so yeah, I can see where the rest of us need to pick up the tab for their Saturday night happy-half-hour. “I wanted to be able to share their stories. My testimony would have been about women who have been affected by their policy, who have medical needs and have suffered dire consequences. The committee did not get to hear real stories I had to share, about actual women who have been dramatically affected by this policy.” She also did not mention the poor guys who had to suffer the old-school embarrassment of going to the pharmacy to pick up something for their end of the bargain. “Sadly, I think what I have learned is how willing some members of our government are to play political football with women’s health. That has been heartbreaking to watch."

“Forty percent of the female students at Georgetown Law reported to us that they struggled financially as a result of this policy (Georgetown student insurance not covering contraception).” Fluke had no comment on whether tuition at Georgetown made female students struggle financially. Fluke also had no comment on the whether she was pro-choice when it came to women having sex they couldn't afford. She makes it sound like it's not a choice to just go have a nice dinner and burn off the frustration of being a law student with a little bowling and then calling it an early night.

“Without insurance coverage, contraception, as you know, can cost a woman over $3,000 during law school.” That's a thousand dollars a year! Holy crap. Man, if contraception cost me that much, I'd stop having sex immediately. I want a boat, but the damned bank said it would cost like $3500 a year in monthly payments. I told them I needed a boat for "mental health." They didn't seem to care. Additionally, Fluke made no mention of what it costs the poor male law students in dinner, movie tickets, flowers and perfume.

Realizing that people like me, who understand freewill and personal responsibility, were going to write sarcastic columns about her, Ms. Fluke came prepared to talk about actual "women's health." Fluke has a friend who has polycystic ovarian syndrome. This was her way of confusing women's health with women's choice at the expense of other people's belief systems. Typically, contraception is prescribed for POS only when a woman wants contraception also. Fluke wanted us to believe that contraception is the only treatment for POS when in fact, it is only one possible course of treatment. Fluke says her friend is a lesbian. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but lesbians don't typically need contraception. In fact, being a lesbian is a foolproof method of contraception, so Ms. Fluke has thrown a red herring at us because her lesbian friend can get other treatment that is covered by Georgetown's insurance policies.

In closing, Ms. Fluke said, “We refuse to pick between a quality education and our health and we resent that, in the 21st Century, anyone thinks it’s acceptable to ask us to make that choice simply because we are women.” I suppose the following choices I can come up with would really be offensive to Ms. Fluke:
  • Get a job and pay for your own contraception
  • Ask your boyfriend to get a job and pay for your contraception
  • Find another hobby
  • Understand that you made a choice when you went to Georgetown and no one feels sorry for you that you purposely started a crusade against the Jesuits that even you, as mighty and profound as you are, are going to fail at
Ms. Fluke, do what you want with your body, but stop whining about it when people have different ideas than you about "choice."

Monday, February 27, 2012

Residents of Jackson, NJ, Hate High Taxes But Apparently Not As Much As They Hate Progress

A Tale of Suburban Stagnation

I'm going to take a break from world and national affairs today because you people are apparently not listening to me anyway. How do I know that? If you were listening things would be a lot better out there.

Instead I'm going to talk about my property taxes. I live in a 101 square mile township in New Jersey that up until twenty years ago was filled mostly with pine trees, deer stands and toxic waste dumps. People lived here, but not many.


Population
  • 1960 - 5,939
  • 1970 - 18,276 (207% increase)
  • 1980 - 25,644 (40.3% increase)
  • 1990 - 33,233 (29.6% increase)
  • 2000 - 42,816 (28.8% increase)
  • 2010 - 54,856 (28.1% increase)
There are two supermarkets, four Chinese takeout joints, two Burger Kings, two McDonald's and probably 1,400 pizza "restaurants" in town.* The culture of our town consists of two CVS pharmacies, three Wawa convenience stores and a Quik Chek.

I moved there because the town I was living in turned into a nightmare of traffic lights, drug busts and decaying roads. So pretty much, I'm just like everyone else who moved to my town in the past twenty years. The only apparent difference between me and them is that I can see a cure for oppressive taxation and I bring our dogs in as soon as they start barking.


Once Upon A Time Jackson's Leaders Were Starving For Development

In an act that makes pimply-faced high school geeks look suave and sophisticated as they get up the nerve to ask moderately attractive girls to the prom, when Warner LeRoy, a famous New Jersey rich person came to Jackson in the late 1960 to build a theme park, he was given a complete and total moratorium on property taxes in perpetuity by our forward-thinking and overly needy town fathers.

The Six Flags corporation still laughs at us.


My Property Taxes Are Way Higher Than Yours and I Pay For My Own Garbage Collection

I'm not going to tell you how much I pay a year in property taxes because its none of your business, but I will tell you that if you guessed "around $10,000" you wouldn't be wrong. For my money, I get some okay schools, angry cops who tell me that because of manpower cuts they can't respond to anything but the most grievous of civil disturbances, a Public Works department that runs its snow plows over my lawn a few days after the snow stops, no parks or recreation areas to speak of (that I can use without a permit), and I pay for my own garbage pickup. The township does collect my recyclables every other week, but they subcontract that work out to a private company, so I'm not sold on how much bang I get for the buck.


An Annoying Woman Drives Around My Neighborhood Complaining About A Cemetery

In December I was minding my own business, putting up our Christmas decorations and cursing under my breath about how annoying decorating for Christmas actually is, when some strange lady in a minivan started yelling at me from the street. Usually this would be a sure sign that a member of my first wife's family had found where I live, but that wasn't the case. This annoying woman was driving up and down the neighborhood trying to rouse the rabble into protesting against a cemetery that was being planned down the street from us.

This woman was against the development of unused land into a place with grass and trees and dead people. Why? Traffic.

This is the mindset of the town I live in.


Mitch Leigh Threatens to Destroy Jackson Township By Bringing Jobs and Tax Ratables

In the 1960's, Mitch Leigh wrote the book for Man of La Mancha and made a 1960s-sized fortune. Being wise with his money he purchased a bunch of acres of pine trees, deer stands and toxic waste dumps in the township as an investment. In 1989, he presented a plan for a subdivision that would include over 1,600 homes. That got shot down.

In 2004, Leigh got preliminary phased approval to build a 2.9 million square foot Town Center that would include a hotel, stores, a "European-style" downtown area with residential and commercial buildings, plus warehouse units. Approvals were given, but the townspeople complained bitterly about the tax relief, culture, shopping, and job opportunities the development would burden us with.

In fact, the good citizens of Jackson went nuts. Signs littered yards all over town imploring Mitch Leigh to leave Jackson undeveloped. The local newspaper took up the vigilante cause of its readers and township political leaders played to the masses instead of leading. I didn't actually see hordes of neighbors with pitchforks and torches heading for Leigh's real estate firm at midnight, but I'm sure they talked about it.

Traffic! the people exclaimed. Storm water runoff! the township engineers exclaimed. I moved to a clear-cut tract housing development in the middle of Jackson and spent thousands of dollars to plant my own trees because I loved the ruralness of Jackson! more people exclaimed.

Needless to say, the property is still undeveloped.

Meanwhile, my property taxes continued to rise. Since 2004 they have increased over $4,500.


Here's the link to the story in our local paper. I urge you to read the comments at the bottom so you can get a feel for what I'm up against: Mitch Leigh Pushing Forward Again on 2.9 Million Square Foot Campus In Jackson. Even the headline gives you an idea of the attitude of the big thinkers in my town, (although it's nice to know that there is at least one twenty year-old in town with common sense).


If You Are Against This Project You Give Up Your Right To Complain About Your Taxes

I am a strong proponent for the development of the Town Center project for the following reasons:
  • My property taxes are incredibly high 
  • People need jobs
  • It might be nice to spend some of my money in my town rather than having to drive to other towns to buy most of the things I buy
But I fear I will once again be in the minority. The development is being presented to the public as a burden on the school system and a traffic increaser. Neither of which are true:
  • Commercial development pays for schools without the burden of additional little brats
  • Traffic is already ridiculous because the roads were designed and built when 5,939 people lived in town and now 54,856 live here. Unfortunately almost all of them drive. The development will, by necessity, force roads in the area to be redesigned and redeveloped
But facts never get in the way of a good whinefest. Short-sighted people who don't understand how money works will shout loudly and emotionally about the development of property near their homes, even if their homes are clear on the other side of town. It's time the political leadership of Jackson made the case for growth. While it may be easier to burden the populace with taxes they can't afford, true growth and prosperity requires leaders who are able to see beyond the next election.

If we had put away our intellectual pitchforks and torches ten years ago, the development would have gone forward, and who knows, maybe the local economy would be tolerable now because of the commercial ratables the Jackson Town Center would have provided.

As a society we need to stop complaining about lack of growth while fearing real progress. We need to build something for ourselves and our children, and we need to start thinking about the good of the community instead of the inconvenience a few hearses a week pulling out of a cemetery, or a bunch of people spending money down the street from us, might cause.

Let Mr. Leigh do with his property as he sees fit, and help the Township of Jackson's stick its hands a little less deeper into my pockets.

It's time people with common-sense started mouthing off a little.


* - I took the population figures from Wikipedia, so the chances are they are dead wrong, but as far as I can tell from driving around town, the figures will work for demonstration purposes. The factual data about our local cuisine is from my memory as I type this, and the figure on the pizza joints may be + or - a thousand or so.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Watch Me Prove President Obama Is Clueless About How Markets Work

This Is The Part That Sets Up President Obama's Arrogance And Lack Of Understanding

Yesterday, President Obama condescended to those who disagree with him over our non-existent reality-based energy policy by saying the GOP had a three-point plan to lower prices at the pump, "Step 1: drill, step 2: drill, step 3: drill." You need to understand that this was a direct play to his Sarah Palin-hating base who shudder at her "drill, baby, drill" battle cry. Making fun of common-sense solutions to real-world problems is an accepted part of the politics of the Left.It is pure political demagoguery. After stirring up his base's utter hatred for anything they neither understand nor agree with, the President continued by saying, “Anyone who tells you we can drill our way out of this problem doesn’t know what they’re talking about -- or isn’t telling you the truth.” His solution is to invest what little money we don't have on energy sources that don't exist and that we won't be prepared to exploit for twenty years or more.

Arrogance on full display. Ignorance in full bloom.

This Is Candidate Obama in 2008 Blaming High Gas Prices On Everyone, Even Democrats:



This Is The Part Where President Obama Manipulates The Markets To Fit His Political Ideology:

In 2008,Candidate Obama spoke about how prices are going to have to rise in order to save the planet from certain destruction from green house gases. His logic is that high prices will necessarily force the markets to turn to alternative energies. This is an example of government manipulation of the free-market against the will of the people. Candidate Obama obviously did not understand that the government cannot force its market will upon a free people, but you voted for him anyway, which causes me to be concerned about you.



This Is The Part Where President Obama Contradicts Himself Re: Brazilian Oil

In a March 19, 2011, White House press release,President Obama talked down to the citizens of Brazil while hoping no one in America was paying enough attention to understand how ignorant he is:
“We want to help you with the technology and support to develop these oil reserves safely. And when you’re ready to start selling, we want to be one of your best customers. At a time when we’ve been reminded how easily instability in other parts of the world can affect the price of oil, the United States could not be happier with the potential for a new, stable source of energy.” 
A couple of things pop into my head:
  1. He feels the US is capable of helping Brazil develop its off-shore oil fields safely at the same time he bans off-shore drilling in the US because it is unsafe?
  2. Nothing against Brazil, I'm sure it's a nice place, and the people are lovely, but he wants a stable source of oil so he goes to Brazil to get it instead of the US?
Incidentally, Brazil signed contracts to sell the bulk of it's new-found massive oil deposits to China. Probably because they offered good money without the condescension. But that's just a guess.

Here's The Part Where I Show How Obama's Base Is Okay With Expensive Gas

Before we continue putting the kibosh on Obama's perceived grasp of how markets work, consider this article at TreeHugger.com on one reason high gas prices are good. Can't argue with the logic there, can you?

Then there's this piece at Treehugger about why you should take the bus, because it's better for all of us: Buses and Trains the Best Deal. This line of reasoning is wonderful and all, except I live in New Jersey, the most densely populated state this side of Bangladesh and mass transit around my house is non-existent, so what about those poor rubes that live in all of those icky, rural red states?

This Is The Part Where I Infer That Obama Is Either Lying Or Clueless

President Obama claims the following reasons are the causative factors for the current spike in gas prices, but that's only half the story:
  1. Instability in the Middle East. Like the Middle East is any more unstable now than it was a year ago? If you think it is, you are simply not paying attention.
  2. Speculators who are buying futures and raising the price of oil. This is a nice ploy, but history shows this doesn't actually work like people think it does.
While they may play a minor role, those explanations don't tell the whole story. There are other factors to consider:

A major contributor to the rapid off-season increase in the price of gas is not being reported widely by anyone -- soon-to-be-released EPA regulations on oil refineries to reduce the amount of sulfur content in gasoline. Senators from both parties wrote a letter in January to EPA administrator Lisa Jackson asking her to slow the implementation of these regulations because of the financial damage they would do to consumers, but so far the EPA has not replied. Haven't heard about that anywhere else, have you?

Another factor is the Obama Administration's rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline for specious reasons that amount to an appeasement of their environmentalist base. This week, the monolithic media are falling all over themselves in an effort to separate the Keystone XL rejection from the rise in gas prices. You will be propagandized into believing the Keystone XL oil was only going to go to China anyway, and that it would be years before we saw any real results at the pump from the pipeline as a way of protecting President Obama for taking responsibility for any of this.

This Is The Part Where My Head Explodes From The Democrats Obfuscation And Demagoguery

Whenever they come out against any increase in production or supply from American sources, the Democrat line is always that any relief or improvement won't be felt for years, so what's the point? Meanwhile, they force the markets and the people supporting them to buy into non-existent energy sources that nobody wants and won't be available for years. Why the American people are not able to see through the stupidity of this argument is a mystery to me.

This Is The Point Of The Whole Piece

Even though there are many contributors to the global rise and fall of oil, there is one simple truth that cannot be denied:
In July 2008, President G.W. Bush lifted a ban on off-shore oil exploration that was stupidly put in place by his father, George H.W. Bush in 1990. The ban was a politically motivated knee-jerk reaction to the Exxon Valdez "disaster" that people claimed would destroy Alaska for five-hundred years. Sarah Palin is proof Alaska survived, and so did Prince William Sound. 

We should note that in July 2008, Iran was still being run by lunatics and day traders were still hedging their bets on oil futures.

At the time of the lifting of the ban, gas was $4.11 a gallon.

In December, 2008 gas was $1.45 a gallon.*

Boom.

* - Don't even try the non-sensical argument that the crash of October 2008 caused demand to drop. It didn't drop enough to lower the retail price of gas almost $3.00 a gallon. The economy did not come to a standstill, it just slowed, in spite of how horrible the people in charge want you to think it was. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Links From Homs, Syria

As with everything in the Middle East, there is no clear definition of who is right and who is wrong in Syria. Generally in cases where that is the case, both sides are wrong in some way, and that is clear in Syria. However, regardless of the seeds of the battle, what the world is witnessing is a government shelling its own citizens into submission, and there can be no justification for that.

The fighting, centered around the city of Homs, stems from sectarian bigotry and hatred between members of the Alawite and Sunni Muslim sects. It has now become a civil war between a ruthless dictator with a death grip on power against a small army of insurgents. The women and children of Homs are caught in the crossfire.

This video, aired on UK Channel 4 was produced by a French photojournalist and is a compelling synopsis of the life and death struggle on the ground:



In Syria, the government and middle class back the Alawites, while the Sunni sect holds the majority of the population. The situation in Syria is not very different from the situation in Bahrain, except for the presence of the US Navy, which presumptively kept the Bahraini government from leveling its own cities.

For more in-depth analysis of the current civil war in Syria read this article by Mariam Karouny in Rueters (dateline Damascus, February 1, 2012).

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Today I'd Like To Talk About Your Uterus, Or, I'll Make You A Deal: I'll Keep My Hands Off Your Uterus If You Keep Your Hands Off My Wallet

Today's column is presented in the form of a letter to all of the meddling liberal women on various social media sites who are mad at me about not wanting to chip in for the use of their uterus.

Warning: This column is offensive, so consider yourself warned. It mentions "uterus" twenty-two times and it makes fun of simple minded people who are currently up in arms about Republicans wanting to control their uterus, which they don't, they just don't want people to be compelled to pay for how you use it. If you find yourself offended by this column, you are a hopeless liberal woman who has been used by the Democrat party to further its agenda of over-reaching statism and are probably mostly mad at me for pointing out how dumb you are.

Dear Liberal Uterus Carrying Persons,

Please stop being so easily offended. It's causing you to be used by the very people you think are there to protect you and your uterus.

In a brilliant tactical move, the Obama Administration ordered, by fiat, that Catholic organizations be required to provide free contraception to their female employees via their healthcare insurance (Obama Gives You Want You Want Except He Doesn't and You Thank Him For It. February 10, 2012). Granted, some on the Right seized the opportunity to talk about issues like abortion, which was not too smart, but the general response to Obama's announcement was one of distaste at anyone being forced against their personal beliefs to pay for something a private individual chooses to do.

Actually you stuck your uterus in my
business. I was perfectly willing to
look the other way.
But if I have to pay for the use of
your uterus by others,
then I want a say in the matter.
The reason why this was such a brilliant move is because most people are dumb and are willing to be led around by their uterus by those who would manipulate it for their own political advancement. Social media sites have been buzzing with annoying little pictures and slogans by Leftists who have completely obfuscated the actual argument. The Dems think it will work for them because it does. It works for them because people are dumb and unwilling to think for themselves.

Obama's brilliant political move is about who wants control of your uterus instead of how the government wants to control a particular religious group (whose members likely include people with a uterus). The Democrats have postured themselves as the kindly saviors of your uterus in the war against the mean Republicans who want to park their bandwagons right up there in that thing. They don't. In fact, everyone is just getting tired of your uterus and how much it's going to cost us in the long run.

All of this stems from people with common-sense who are steadfastly opposed to providing free birth control to women under the pretense of "women's health." This is utter non-sense and you should be ashamed of yourself for being so dumb. Why aren't politicians proposing free condoms for men? They do the same thing. I'll tell you why, but you're going to get offended: Because you have sold your uterus to a political party. You are nothing but a uterus, a couple of Fallopian tubes and an extremely naive world-view to the Democrats.


Why You Should Be Ashamed Of Yourself For Selling Your Uterus To A Political Party:

The Democrat party could care less about you and your so-called "women's health." What they care about is using you and your uterus against the good of the country, through fear mongering and demagoguery. Quite frankly, no one is very interested in your uterus, okay maybe one or two people like that creep in the cubicle next to you or your horrible disgusting man of a husband, but the rest of us are far too busy trying to earn a living, pay taxes, keep our jobs, and save our way of life from becoming Greek-like. However, every stinking time the Democrats find themselves unable to comprehend the real problems facing all of us, they bring up "women's health" or some other sticky social issue so you will get mad at the people who are tired of buying you things, which then saves everyone from worrying about the other boring stuff like our future.

Personally, I don't want to pay for, subsidize, or even hear about your sex life. Frankly, I'm a little bored and turned off with you constantly sticking your uterus in my face. You should also be ashamed of yourself for wanting other people to subsidize your uterus for you. Next thing I know, you're going to want me to pay for your medication to help you quit smoking because you don't have any money left over after paying $8.00 a day for a pack of cigarettes. Oh. Wait. We already do that. Anyway, have all the sex you want, do whatever the hell you want to do, but step up to the plate and pay for it yourself. My desire to not be involved in your uterine decisions is what started this latest round of debate about "women's health," even if none of you are capable of comprehending that.

This month's debate on "women's health" is not about abortion, (which a president has no say in anyway). It's about you and your ilk forcing me and my (rapidly disappearing) ilk to pay for your personal uterine choices.

I feel sorry for you for allowing yourself to be used in this way and for only identifying yourself as a uterus in need of someone else's financial support, rather than a fully thinking human being who truly wants to protect the freedom to do with your uterus as you wish.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go buy some dog food for my elderly mother, laugh at a homeless person, be afraid of homosexuals, fill up the gas tank of my SUV and make a lame racist joke about Jeremy Lin (oh wait, the media does that already). Trust me, I'm far too busy being a dumb stereotypical anti-liberal to get all flustered about your uterus.

Your Friend and Supporter of Freedom (Uterine and Financial),
Jack

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Obamaganda for the Masses: The New Obama Budget Cuts Spending, Grows Giant Beanstalks, Protects the Little Guy, and Puts the Kibosh on Prosperity Once and for All

President Obama released the final budget of his term last week, (late again, except who cares, right, I mean he's the only president in modern times who hasn't presented a budget on time, but he's Barack Obama for crying out loud! Leave the guy alone). The people who have been brainwashed into believing the government is the hub of the wheel on which we all spin will be happy. It's just a shame those people don't care about the country they leave their kids.

Please read the op-ed piece Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Jeff Sessions (R-AL) published today in the Washington Post to get the loyal opposition's common sense response to Obama's wild and dangerous budget. It should sharpen your focus on where we are and where we are headed (without immediate and decisive intervention from people who care about all of us -- not just the brainwashed who will vote for them).

Paul Ryan - Jeff Session Op-Ed on Obama's Budget

Meanwhile, we are being told the economy is getting better everyday. By golly, unemployment is down! Gas prices are up and that's a sure sign of an improving economy -- except we are paying extra at the pump now for something we think might happen in the future, which goes against all logic and supply-side economic theory.*

It's time we all put our big boy pants on (or big girl pants depending on your gender or proclivity) and started acting like adults. The first step is rejecting the failed policies and politics of Barack Obama and the current crop of Democrats who are all sucking the life out of the country in the name of progress.



* - If you don't believe in, or don't understand, supply-side economic theory, then please, either read a book or get your head examined. Everything humans do in their daily lives is based on supply-side economic theory, and pointy-headed statist do-gooders can't change that.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Whitney Houston

It's been a solid week of wall-to-wall Whitney Houston coverage. I've heard the Big Note from her hit I Will Always Love You enough for a lifetime and I hope I never hear it again. Luckily, all the bad stuff in the world like Syria or an American economy hurtling toward disaster took a break for a week so we could collectively concentrate on something far less important in our dull and empty lives.

Before you all start composing your next round of hate mail, let's just shut down our easily offended reflexes and quietly consider a few things.

We don't actually know what caused Houston's death. We might surmise, we might speculate, but we don't know. What we do know is the last fifteen years of her life were a colossal waste of precious life, regardless of the amount of talent she was blessed with. Because of her choices she ceased being a regular part of our lives years ago. To saturate our every waking minute with her death is dishonest.

Some people think she was on the road to a comeback, while others think her downward spiral was continuing. Nobody knows, and its none of our business anyway. Whitney Houston did not share her talents with us -- no artist ever shares their talents. Houston sold her talents to us and we bought them, it was a transaction both parties benefited from, and just because we may have had an emotional connection to her music doesn't give us the right to circle her coffin like the vultures. Her talents were a gift, she traded that gift for fame and fortune, and she squandered that gift on the trappings of escape. You can hate my words, but you cannot argue the truth.

As far as her drug problems are concerned, no one is to blame but Houston. She is no different than any other addict. Bobby Brown and Clive Davis are as responsible for her addiction as I am for owning a Whitney Houston album. She did not suffer from an incurable disease. To claim that is to insult the efforts of every addict who has overcome their addiction. The system did not fail her. To claim that is to claim the Lindsey Lohans of the world should all be cured after three weeks at a posh rehab facility. The last fifteen years of Whitney Houston's life were indeed a tragedy, but we should remember that was her choice. We should hate the reality but we shouldn't hide from it.

None of it matters anyway because none of it is our business. Now is the time for her family and friends to celebrate what they loved about her and lament what they could not help her with. Because we liked her music, or acting, or the way she looked, gives us no right to take part in her death.
 
Unfortunately, even though none of this is our business, the media needs big manufactured stories like this to keep the likes of Jeff Rossen, Perez Hilton and the other Rona Barrett's of the day employed. Celebrity misfortune, self-destruction and death is great for the bottom line. In 1977, the public shock at Elvis' death opened the media's eyes to the incredible revenue they could generate on the backs drug-addled and faded rockstars. There's just something about a truly gifted person who is way better than us in every way falling in a death spiral. It makes us feel a little less loserish I guess. I know lots of truly gifted people no one ever heard of who never honored their gifts because of addiction, but their lives and deaths were not worth less because they were anonymous. Whitney was just another addict who didn't help herself. Unfortunately for her loved ones, many of us feel connected to her and want a piece of the grief, even if just as a curiosity.

When Michael Jackson died, we weren't shocked, we were curious. It was such a compelling story we all watched and shook our heads and passed judgment. Sure Jackson entertained us and gave us the soundtrack to a great deal of our lives, but again, it was a deal we both benefited from it. Our lives were better because of Jackson, and his life was better because we purchased the fruits of his gift from him. He owed us nothing and we were entitled to no claim to his life beyond that.

Maybe the world was surprised and indeed saddened by Houston's death, but the simple fact is the world had been spinning along without Houston's active participation for years. Let her have her peace and let her family come to grips with her life and death, much like you want your family to be given space when you lose a loved one.

Our lives were better because we chose to purchase Whitney's products from her and the fruits of her labors are not changed by the choices in her life, but our claims to her life and death ended after our transactions with her were completed.

She didn't owe us an explanation, or more music, or a healthy lifestyle.

She owed us nothing. We are entitled to nothing.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Obamaganda for the Attention Deficit Nation


This latest Obama campaign poster needs a little clarifying for those of you who get tingling in your legs instead of using your developed brains whenever Obama is around.
  1. 3,000,000 new private sector jobs. Except from 2008 to 2011 we lost 8,700,000 (Bloomberg)
  2. Smaller Government. Based on attrition, not based on any actual department cuts
  3. $2,000,000,000,000 in deficit reduction. This is just non-sensical smoke and mirrors designed to trick the gullible. Obama's own budget projects a $11,600,000,000,000 deficit for 2012 which is double the 2008 deficit ($5.8 trillion) (Forbes)
  4. Health Care Reform. He says that like it s good thing. If it was so good why did he wait to implement most of it until after a potential second term was over?
  5. Wall Street Reform. Really? When? Where?
  6. Saved the US Auto Industry. He did? I though it was my tax money that bailed them out, and quite frankly, my money didn't save them, it just staunched the bleeding until the next downturn. He also stole $20 billion from shareholders and gave it to the UAW
  7. All "bailout" money returned with interest. If you play games with the figures you can make this case. Of course, if you play games with the figures you can make a case against this as well. But how does this constitute a win for the Obama Administration?
  8. Three new trade agreements. Okay, with South Korea, Colombia and Panama. Read that again in case you didn't quite understand how not a big deal this is.
  9. Repealed "Don't ask don't tell." Okay, that's a good one, but honestly, it doesn't counter-balance everything else to move our guy into the "win" column
  10. Killed Obama bin Laden. Not to split hairs here, but the US Navy did, Obama watched. Did he give the order? Sure. He's Commander In Chief for crying out loud. I should pat him on his back for giving an order on a  no-brainer?
  11. Rescued American Hostages. I think he's referring to the kids who were detained in Iran. Did you ever write your resume and start scrapping the bottom of the barrel because as you wrote it you realized how lame your resume was?
  12. Toppled Ghaddafi without an American casualty. Wow. This is a stretch. The Libyan people toppled Ghaddafi, and the bulk of the foreign intervention came from other countries. To take credit for this is insulting in the extreme.
  13. Unified the world against Iran. As long as Russia and China are kicked out of the world.
  14. Has the Arab League watching Syria. Are you Obama sycophants freakin' kidding me? If we elect narcissists like this, no wonder the rest of the world hates us. Incidentally, the Arab League has done absolutely nothing to protect the people of Syria
  15. No tax dollars spent on BP clean-up. Obama didn't do this, existing laws did this
  16. More deportations per than Bush. This is because the Obama Administration relies on "voluntary deportation" which means an illegal can be stopped at the border and told he has the option to turn around. The Administration counts this as a deportation, when in fact the illegal can turn around a few minutes later and attempt to cross the border again (and get counted by Homeland Security again)
  17. Fewer regulations than Bush. In less than half the time in office too! Amazing.
  18. Supports State's Right on medical marijuana. Except he doesn't support State's Right on anything else medical related
  19. Ended the war in Iraq. On Bush's timetable
  20. Reduced military spending by $500,000,000,000. See Item #19
  21. Increased veteran's benefits every year. I didn't even bother to look up the facts on this one because no matter what we do we don't do enough for our veterans
  22. Saved the world from global financial collapse. Shhh, don't tell Greece and the EU that Obama fixed their problems
  23. Hired more Border Patrol Agents than Bush. And sued Arizona for trying to protect its citizens and economy from all of these new BP agents not doing their jobs
  24. And he quit smoking. I love Obama and he is an inspiration to me.
What I did in my last three years at my job was pay a ridiculous amount of money for a government that is too big, too lazy and too out-of-control to do any good for anyone.

Seriously people, start paying attention a little. If the GOP loses to this guy on the record he's touting, we're all doomed anyway.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Libertarian Manifesto: I Don't Fit Into Your Conservative / Liberal Mould

Maybe its time to retire the argument-inducing words "conservative" and "liberal" as we attempt to define ourselves politically. I'm neither, but I agree with far more of what is defined as conservative than I do liberal.

Most people would call me a conservative because I vote Republican pretty much almost exclusively and because I'm for free-markets and small government. To me these beliefs transcend silly political posturing. America has already proven that free-markets and small government (i.e. loosing the energy of the people) is the greatest political system this world has even known. Were there mistakes made by America in its history? Absolutely, but trying to atone for those mistakes but turning our backs on the entire system is childish.

According to current conventional wisdom, here are some things I have to believe in in order to be a good conservative:

I Must Be Against Same-Sex Marriage

I support same-sex unions. This is a no-brainer to me. On a personal note, I kind of wished maybe there was a compromise that would allow the term "marriage" to be reserved for traditional marriage, but I understand the logical opposition to that view and have zero issue with it. There I said it: my support for same-sex unions does not make me a liberal any more than my personal preference for the definition of a word makes me a homophobe (whatever that is).


I Must Be For A Strong Military


The hue and cry of 'conservatives' every time the military is faced with a budget cut is absurd to me. Just as the hue and cry of the entitlement-takers is absurd when they are faced with less largess. If you are trying to tell me the military can't ever be cut, anywhere, for any reason, you need to open your eyes up to reality, because you are drinking the Kool-Aid of the men with the epaulets and that my friend is a dangerous thing.

I am for a strong military in defense of the borders of my country, but quite frankly at the end of the day I'm a bit of an isolationist. America's role as policeman of the world, which was thrust on us in 1945, needs to end. We've lost too much blood and treasure in defense of those who would really rather we left them alone. Meanwhile, America has become hated around the world because of its lumbering and foolish foreign policy. Before you attack my position, explain why military intervention in Libya was good, political opposition without understanding the ramifications in Egypt was good, but in Syria state forces can tear the eyes out and rip the limbs from a 9-year old boy and nobody cares? (You'll have to look it up, I'm not going to link to it)
 
American foreign policy is rife with hypocrisy. We call it diplomacy.
 
 
I Must Be Against the Little Guy In His Struggle For Fairness In America's Corporatocracy
 
Life isn't fair. America isn't fair. Deal with it. Any unfairness in the country today from a financial point-of-view comes from the regulation and heavy-handedness of the federal government, not from the fat rich old  white guys in corner offices on some nightmarish Monopoly board. The Left blames the free-market for our troubles, but there is hasn't been anything even resembling a free-market in this country since 1972. If you're under sixty you have no idea what a free-market actually is. Stop complaining about something that doesn't exist.
 
While I'm at it, labor unions have destroyed the American manufacturing sector with the complicit aid of the federal government by pricing their product (labor) above what the market (us) can bear. To make matters worse, the federal government lowered the gangplank and threw bon voyage confetti as they regulated the manufacturing sector right out of the country. Americans want Wal-Mart prices at UAW salaries, and it ain't gonna happen.
 
Start blaming the right people.
 
 
I Must Be Against Change
 

Right? That's where the term 'conservative' came from in the first place. This disqualifies me immediately from being called a conservative. I want change, and I want it in swift and uncaring expediency. Here's the change I want:
  1. A citizen legislature and if it takes term limits to accomplish what the lazy electorate won't do to save its own behind, then so be it.
  2. An end to regulation by fiat, this means no csars (what a sick title to give an American bureaucrat), no EPA, no HHS, none of it. You want a law to regulate something? See Item 1.
  3. A flat tax on consumption with a constitutional amendment outlawing income taxes. Sure we need to pay to live in this great country, but this great country should never have gotten into the business of taxing accomplishment and wealth re-distribution in the first place.
All the other stuff is just lazy political posturing. These are the changes that will allow us to leave our great-grandchildren the country we wish we lived in.

 


I am afraid that most people who call themselves 'liberal' do not have a firm grasp on the definition of the term, and should rather be called 'statists.' Likewise, there are alot of confused 'conservatives' running around proclaiming every idea that doesn't gibe with their's to be 'socialist" and dangerous. Don't get me wrong, most of the ideas I hear coming from the Left are socialist and dangerous, but conservatives loose their credibility when they act like liberals and paint politics in either black or white.

We need thinkers and leaders, not hacks and angry pundits to lead this country. Sooner rather than later.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

In Spite of the Pressure I Feel, My Television Told Me To Wish You A Happy Valentine's Day

Note at the top: I get tired of trying to point out how screwed up everything is all the time, so today I'm going to take a break and enjoy this most special holiday.

Remember back in the day when the only people who went green were the neighbors down the street with all those horrible olive green kitchen appliances?

Back then, you brought some goofy little cards to school and handed them out to everyone, even the creepy kids. When you got home that night, if your parents weren't fighting, they sent you to bed early and then rummaged through the junk drawers looking for the key to 'mommy and daddy's happy cabinet.'

Then you got a little older and you didn't get any Valentine's cards, but you thought everyone else did so your self-esteem plummeted. Eventually you had a significant other and that first Valentine's Day together you went out of your way to show him/her what a true romantic you were, even though you're not romantic, you're a liar. The year after that you maybe went to dinner, and if you were lucky enough to trick your significant other into staying with you long term, you spent the next few years running out at lunch time to get a card.

Then something happened.

Advertising stepped in and made everyone's life miserable. There is no way normal, regular men on a regular-guy salary can keep up with the demands of the jewelry stores and Japanese luxury automobile manufacturers to make their partners happy at Christmas, New Year's and a month and a half later at Valentine's Day.

Now, the partners of regular men on a regular-guy salary feel unloved and stuck with a loser of a heartless jerk because they're not getting jewelry for Valentine's Day. But ladies, seriously, after we buy you the Lexus with the big bow on it, followed by the Jane Seymour Heart-to-Heart pendant and then whatever that Navy pilot on the aircraft carrier had his kid run out and buy for his lady back home, we're friggin' broke. How the hell are we supposed to compete with a hunky Navy fighter pilot and some rich dude who not only has the money to buy you a Lexus, he can get the Lexus theme song uploaded onto his Guitar Hero? We told you we were going to put our clothes in the hamper and not go to strip clubs for a few weeks, and yet somehow, you're not satisfied.

The chart below explains how Valentine's Day works in this day of non-stop media guilt-tripping:


I am romantic, but I also have this incredible personality flaw that keeps me from rolling over every time someone comes on my television and tells me how I should live.

People decorate their houses for Halloween now because Wal-Mart carries the cool little decorations you just have to have. At Christmas, we decorate our homes to make Clark Griswald look like Jackie Mason. And if we're not buying jewelry and luxury cars we're just not keeping up with society.

We get brainwashed by the news media. We get brainwashed by the advertisers who pay for the news media. And all this brainwashing gets us are feelings of inadequacy. Stop being used by merchants.

Happy Valentine's Day. Go tell the people you love that you love them, and maybe do something nice for your honey. Just don't go to Target at lunch...all the good cards are sold out.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Greece Blames Humiliation On Germany, Ignores The Part Where They Humiliated Themselves

The following video is from the point-of-view of the Greek people, the people who will face austerity measures and high unemployment as its government tries to figure out a way to dig itself out of the hole is has found itself in. The people who are made at the adults in the neighborhood (Germany) for telling them its time to behave. It also makes the subtle claim the Greek government forced socialism on an unwilling populace.




The Greek government spent $15 billion on the 2004 Summer Olympics, probably around $15 billion more than it could afford. Most of the facilities are closed or abandoned, and the ones that remain open are maintained with state funds. The Greek government also takes care of its people cradle-to-grave and so far the Greek people haven't stopped pretending relying on the government is anything other than a fool's game.

Unemployment in Greece is around 21% (about 5% higher than complete, adult estimates of unemployment and underemployment in the US).

The EU is bailing out the Greek government to the tune of $172.6 billion. With strong urging from Germany, the following austerity measures were overwhelmingly approved by the Greek parliament today:
  • 15,000 public-sector job cuts
  • loosening of labor laws and regulations
  • lowering the minimum wage 20%
These measures are in addition to previous measures to raise the retirement age and slash other social welfare programs.

The next step in the Greek odyssey is that Greece will become a sort of ward of the state to the European Union. That's what usually happens to irresponsible people. In the old days they called it the "Poor House" but that might hurt the pride of the Greek people who spent themselves right into a residency in the ol' flop house.

George Karatzaferis, a Right Wing member of the Hellenic Parliament complained that the measures amounted to Greeks being "humiliated" by Germany. Karatzaferis didn't mention exactly what role the people of Greece played in their own humiliation. Neither did the producers of the above video.

The things that chills me the most is the parallel between Greece and the US. In Greece it's too late, the damage is done, the country is destroyed and the Greek people have been left unprepared to fend for themselves by a government who promised them something they could not deliver. In the US, one side is warning of looming financial problems while the other is taking over parks and glitter-bombing politicians because they want as much of something for nothing as they can get their soft little hands on.

Probably a good time for the rest of the world to start realizing its time to stop the socialism lest we all become Greece.

The Arab Spring: One Year Later, Part 1

Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of the uprising in Bahrain. In the past few weeks the Bahraini government has essentially shut the borders, denying visas to human rights monitors and journalists. To say there is tension surrounding the anniversary is an understatement.

Meanwhile, the failure of the revolution in Egypt is painfully obvious, what is yet to come in Libya and Tunisia in unknown, and the Syrian government is slaughtering its own while the world steps back because that's what Vladimir Putin wants it to do.

Just to remind everyone that we are talking about actual people and not some amorphous foreign entity, here's a quick video of families rescuing children from an apartment after a government mortar strike:




Friday, February 10, 2012

Obama Gives You What You Want Except He Doesn't And You Thank Him For It

Under pressure from Catholic groups and other people who would really rather the government kept its stinky bureaucratic hands off of their junk, President Obama announced changes to his rule-by-fiat that religious organizations need to provide their employees with health insurance that pays for their birth control.

Even though the general feeling of people on the Left (based on my horrendously masochistic Twitter feed) is that this is really just a bunch of boring old church ladies complaining because they can't get them some. The following quote tweeted by a person who describes herself thusly illustrates this:
Provocateur or Evocateur. Your choice. Professional writer, editor, erotic event producer, public speaker & free expression activist.
And her quote was:
At worst, the contraception issue will lose Obama *some* Catholic *clergy* vote.

Obama chastises God, because seriously, this planet's
not big enough for the both of them.*
This fine Einstein of the Left pretty much sums up how the Left feels about annoying Catholics and other folks who like their freedom without government interference thank you very much. So why did Obama backed down on the issue then?

Good question. He didn't. He just hoped you weren't paying attention.

Obama announced today that "under the rule, women will still have access to free preventive care that includes contraceptive services, no matter where they work -- that core principle remains. Religious organizations won't have to pay for these services, and no religious institution will have to provide these services directly." Directly. Let me repeat that: directly.

Obama's revised plan allows religious organizations to refuse to cover contraceptive care, and it requires insurers to offer a plan that does not include contraceptive care in their contracts with nonprofit religious groups. Here's the best part (at least according to all you people who think Obama was a good idea in the first place), the insurers would be required to make contraception available free of charge to women anyway.



 Fantastic! We're sticking it to the Man! you squeal with delight as you hope you can line up dates for all of your Saturday nights now that your personal life is being taken care of by someone else.

Free of charge! Free of charge, I tellya! Nobody gets it for free, no way, no how, but at least now when you do get yourself some, somebody else is going to be paying to keep you from being a soccer mom, or any other type of mom you don't want to be.

The only problem is where the insurers are going to get the money to pay for your birth control now that you don't have to. Insurance companies aren't going to pay for it out of pocket because they are mean corporations who don't care about the 99%.

Insurance companies are going to get the money to pay for your birth control from people like me (and all the other losers like me whose insurance rates are going to go up). So the next time you're gettin' busy using your free birth control, think of me and say a quiet 'thank you.' It's the least you can do.

Obama changed the wording and shoved the payment off onto the mean old insurance companies at the same time he used word manipulation to make you all think he listened to you and changed his mind. .

In the words of one White House staffer, this was an "accommodation" not a "compromise." So yeah, you people think you won one, but you didn't, you just got played the fool and you thanked Obama for doing it.


I lifted the picture from the Owl and Bear Music Blog and no copyright or ownership is implied by me.




Thursday, February 9, 2012

The West Cowers As Russia Asserts Its Authority In Defense of Assad

Twenty years ago this month, Syrian President Hafez al-Assad sent the Syrian army to the town of Hama to put down a rebellion by Sunni radicals and members of the Muslim Brotherhood by completely destroying the city. While most Western diplomats maintained that only 1,000 people were killed, widely accepted estimates put the number of casualties at 25,000, while some estimates have been as high as 40,000.

Western response to the massacre was tepid if not non-existent. In the ensuing years the focus of the West was on courting Assad because of his ties to the Soviet Union. The Western policy was to ignore the casualties and the reason for them. Reagan's Secretary of State James Baker visited Hassad, as did Clinton's Secretaries of State Warren Christopher and Madeline Albright. Clinton himself visited Hassad in 1994.

Assad died in 2000 and like all good governments of the people, by the people, and for the people, his son Bashar al-Hassad succeeded him.

Residents in a shelter in the Sunni Muslim district
of Bab Amro in Homs. February 8, 2012.
Credit: REUTERS/Mulham Alnader/Handout

Fast forward twenty years to the Syrian town of Homs.

Without benefit of unfettered communication between the people of Syria and the rest of the world, Syria has been in a state of civil war for the better part of the past year. Only recently have western journalists been able to get inside Syria to provide even minimal reports.

Estimates last summer were that over 1,000 people had died in the fighting, and in recent weeks the fighting has accelerated exponentially.

Some sources from inside Syria claim the middle-class are standing firmly alongside Bashar al-Hassad as the civil war continues. To a certain extent this may be true, but just as in neighboring Bahrain, where the Shi'ite majority is trying to quell unrest from the Sunni minority, the middle-class is largely comprised of a different sect from the class that is being routinely displaced and murdered.

From a diplomatic standpoint the West's hands are tied because of Syria's close alliance with Russia. From a military standpoint anything short of a full-scale invasion isn't going to help, but Putin has sent signals that any military intervention by the West could very likely result in a Vietnam-style stand-off between the West and Russia. Putin is still burned by the intervention in Libya and as he ratchets up the rhetoric, it has become clear that Western intervention in Syria is not acceptable.

On Wednesday, Putin made the following statement:
"Of course, we condemn any instance of violence, whatever side this violence comes from, but one cannot behave like a bull in a china shop. 
“We need to allow people to decide their own fate independently. People should be given [the opportunity] to decide their fate themselves.” 
The first sentence is an obvious swipe at President Obama and NATO for our involvement in Libya. An involvement that admittedly has an unknown conclusion.

Putin's comments were made after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov returned from Damascus and stated Hassad had vowed to end the violence. “The president of Syria assured us he was completely committed to the task of stopping violence, regardless of where it may come from,” Lavrov said after meeting with Assad. Whether Hassad figured the best way to stop the violence was to completely wipe out the opposition wasn't made clear by Lavrov.

Some will say this is an internal squabble between classes or religious sects. Some may even gently turn away from what Assad is doing because Syria is a state sponsor of terrorism, and not the best regional friend the US has.

Add this to the fact that Putin is facing unrest in his own country, with the possibility of a "Russian Spring" a real possibility as he runs for re-election. Syria and Iran are all that remains of any credible Russian bloc, and it looks like this is where Putin is going to make his stand. While the events in Syria are troubling and ghastly, the underlining political climate as it pertains to Russia is cause for concern.


We beat Russia to the punch in Libya and now it seems the people of Syria will pay the price for that. Syria and Russia are presenting the West with a rather unpleasant Buridan's Ass.


Portions of this post possible with information from DayPress.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Rick Santorum Smackdown

There are a couple of things we can take away from Rick Santorum's surprising hat trick in Colorado, Missouri, and Minnesota yesterday:
  1. The Mainstream GOP (aka Democrat Right) is in serious trouble, as well they should be
  2. The shift away from Statism and liberal morality is in full swing
  3. The much maligned, late great Tea Party is still a force to reckon with no matter what the media says
  4. The Monolithic Media not only doesn't know what they're talking about they're clueless too
  5. Mitt Romney isn't connecting and the GOP base is unwilling to make the McCain '08/ Dole '96 mistake again just because the Establishment tells us it's Mitt's turn
  6.  The base is energized and they're ready to sustain the fight for the White House until November
  7. The Monolithic Media is not the political be all and end all they position themselves as
  8. The haters and attackers (on the Left and Right) now have a new target to spew their venom at
  9. If anyone tells you this is either a non-event bump in the road, or a major change of direction, they are lying -- things are far too dynamic in the GOP right now for anyone to venture any reasonable guess (that won't stop them from trying though)
  10. Remember, you heard it here first, no one has any clue what yesterday's results mean yet
I still have my problems with Santorum but you can't deny this is a fascinating turn of events. The Establishment GOP, the Democrats, and the Monolithic Media all are rooting for Romney for various reasons; I'm not exactly sure who is rooting for Newt anymore and we all know the far Right anti-big-government people (like me) who think the momentum of the government can turn on a dime (unlike me) are for Paul. It makes perfect sense that Santorum would yield majorities based on the flaws of the other three.

Don't let your Democrat friends and other assorted Leftists you cross paths with make you feel like all hope is lost for us non-Statist, anti-Nanny State types. We're watching the GOP school the Democrats on how a primary works. In 2008 the Establishment and leftist kook-fringe joined together to anoint Obama with nary a scratch on him after dispatching Hillary to Burma or Krygfrygamamastan or wherever she is right now. This time around the GOP base is looking at what is best for the country and the party before settling on our next inept president.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Obama White House Actually Isn't Pro-Choice

This week's Fun With The Obama Administration's Complete Lack Of Understanding Of The US Constitution comes to us via sex. Or, more to the point, sex as recreation and that stupid biological function of procreation that keeps messing everything up.*

Catholics,** the American Left's punching bag of choice, are being forced to accept something they (as a bloc) have said they don't want to accept. In detail, the Obama Administration, ruling once again by deaf fiat, has determined Catholic organizations who employ women of faiths other than Catholicism must provide free contraception coverage as part of their health insurance benefits. In short, the Obama Administration disagrees with the teaching of the Catholic Church so they are going to force their beliefs on it by regulation -- all in the name of fairness.

The Obama Administration has proudly made a lot of noise about an exception for those businesses and organizations that employ Catholics only. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney defended the ruling saying, “Those institutions where women of all faiths, many faiths, work, need to have the same kind of coverage that all other American women have.”

Note to Jay: Or, they could go get a job somewhere else, or buy their own birth control pills, or take better control of their own personal sex lives, but hey, no one can talk about that aspect of life, right?. Right now you're thinking I'm a dangerous Troglodyte for saying that, biologically-speaking, sex has a role in life other than a way to kill a Saturday night, but I'll wait for you to catch up to me.

The pundits on the Left are all over television claiming "90% of Catholic women use, or have used contraception," as their way of saying the Catholic church is run by stodgy out-of-touch old men who wouldn't know a good time if it invited itself over to the rectory. I'd like to know where they're getting their facts and numbers from. That bit of situational ethics non-sense sounds like some hyperbolic stat made up by a middle-schooler in an attempt to manipulate her parents into letting her stay at the mall until 9:30 instead of 8:30.

Here's the correct logical viewpoint on providing free contraception in government mandated health insurance:

If you are pro-Choice and think the government has no business determining your right to do what you believe is best for your own body and life, then why do you contradict yourself by saying it's okay for the government to force a group with whom you disagree to go against one of their core beliefs?

It's not the 1950s anymore. Women can go work somewhere else if they don't like the circumstances of their jobs. What if their boss is a complete and utter @$$%^&? Is the government going to mandate that bosses can't be @$$%^&s anymore? Or should women just find jobs that jibe with their own core beliefs and sex lives?

Why doesn't the government mandate private health insurance cover:
  • Tooth paste so women can have fresh minty breath?
  • Deodorant so women don't stink in the workplace?
  • Hairspray so women can have only have awesome hair days at work?
  • Condoms for the men in the warehouse in case they get lucky after line-dancing Friday night?
I know you think I'm an @$$%^& like your boss right now, but that's okay, you'll figure it out if you try hard enough.

The Islamic viewpoint of contraception is not quite as defined as Catholicism's is, but the Q'uran does proscribe permanent forms of sterility. Why is the government not forcing Muslim groups and organizations to provide coverage for vasectomies for its male employees?

While I'm at it, I'm sure pig farmers would need less subsidies if everyone stopped being so Kosher all the time. So why isn't the government telling Jewish-owned businesses they must provide free ham sandwiches to their employees as part of the the government's new free lunch program? Are you sure there's not a goyim in accounting who's tired of gefilte fish?

You may think I am being ridiculous, but I'm not. The Obama Administration is infringing on the right to religious freedom of Catholic organizations by this ruling. Just because something religious takes place on a day other than Sunday (or Saturday)(or Friday) doesn't mean it's any less religious.

You people who look down on religion from your statist perches need to understand that when one of us loses a bit of freedom, we all lose a bit of freedom.

It's easy to oppose the rights of others right up until the time your rights are being oppressed.



* - I know that according to the Left I am not supposed to have an opinion either way about contraception, or women's "health" issues, or kids, or anything, because I am a male person. That's fine, because if you actually read and comprehended what this piece is about you would have realized that my own personal opinions on the subject are not included here. My concern is liberty and the Constitution as it pertains to Presidential Fiat and the en vogue bashing of certain faiths.

** - I am personally not a big endorser of organized religion in much the same way that I am not a big endorser of a lot of organized things, but I am a big defender of your right to live in your faith as you wish without some bureaucrat mandating otherwise.

Friday, February 3, 2012

If You're Black You'd Better Support Barack Obama or Thaddeus Matthews Will Throw Your Ass Out Of His Studio

Remember that time I posted about civility, or the lack thereof, in our current political dialogue? It was yesterday.

Today I came across a video of Thaddeus Matthews, a radio DJ on WPLX 1180 Memphis, Tennessee.

Mr. Matthews obviously has a problem with his guest, Charlotte Bergman, who is the 9th District Republican candidate for the US House of Representatives. Judging from the words he refuses to apologize for, Matthews also has a problem with white people and the blacks who befriend them.

Ms. Bergmann may be a good candidate, she may be a horrible candidate, but either way, the fact that Matthews disagrees with her does not justify his treatment of her. I realize he is an entertainer first regardless of how passionate his hatred of white people and Republicans may be, but, Matthews is exactly the closed-minded, small-thinking, half-baked rhetoric spewing person the country is being destoyed by.



Among some of Mr. Matthews more brilliant repudiations of Ms. Bergmann's political views:
  • She is a "token negro"
  • The US Constitution wasn't written for and has nothing to do with black people
  • The Tea Party found her after deciding to "get us a curly haired nigga"
He then asks her to "get [her] stupid nigga ass out of my studio," and when she obliges and offers her hand to him in a gesture of civility, he refuses to shake it, saying he "is scared some of [her] whiteness may rub off on [him]." (Matthews did apologize for that bit of stupidity, but he stands by the rest of his words.)

If you read the crawler, which I assume was put together by either Matthews staff or people in agreement with him, you will read the following:
  • The Tea Party is racist and they hate Obama
  • The Tea Party pays sellout blacks to support them
You won't hear about this story anywhere in the monolithic media because, quite frankly, it's an embarrassment to them. I feel embarrassed just writing about it. Matthews' ignorant racism and apparent lack of understanding of anything other than racial hatred makes me feel sorry for him and his closed mind and angry heart.

Matthews is certainly entitled to his opinions, but as a steward of the airwaves, he also has an obligation to be responsible with the power his radio station grants him. Disagree all you want, but be a decent human being in the process. It's the standard expected of the Right, and it's time we started expecting it from the Left as well.

Mr. Matthews claims Bergmann, like all Republicans, "only want[s] to throw money" at problems. It's a shame he's so closed-minded and full of hate, because that's exactly what people in the Tea Party and on the Right in general say about the Left. The difference is, the Left does throw money at problems, and the Right is hated for trying to stop them.

Just because you may have a point about racial transgressions and political failures does not give you the right to be a jackass. Maybe if we all started growing up and getting past the flame-throwing barbs of racial and political prejudices we might be able to offer our children the kind of country we wished we lived in.


Disclaimer: (Made necessary by prejudiced haters everywhere)
  • I don't support President Obama, not because he is half- black, but because he is 100% diametrically opposed to everything I know and believe about politics
  • I am not endorsing Ms. Bergmann because 1) that is not the reason for this post and 2) I never really got to her anything she had to say
  • I am in no way making a racial judgement about anyone. I'll leave that to the haters and race-baiters like Thaddeus Matthews
  • I'm not going to entertain any ignorant and incendiary hate mail because I stuck my neck out and voiced an opinion about black-on-black racism. The simplistic view through racial glasses has grown tedious.
  • My concern is that good people who disagree with the dominant racial and media culture in this country are going to walk away from serving instead of suffering the humiliation and attacks pundits like Matthews feel are okay to heave at them. So if you are angered by this column, go yell at somebody else
  • Being a hypocrite, and a crass one at that, does not heal anything. Dividing the country because you hate the people who live in it is only going to further exacerbate the problems that have you so angry in the first place. Don't accuse me of doing anything other than pointing that out

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Rage Against The...Well, Just About Everything

Everybody just seems cranky and touchy. The entire country is suffering from a really bad case of PMS. In fact, I am sure that 73% of women reading this are offended to some degree by the previous sentence. We're all like a bunch of hungover 49ers fans sending death threat tweets to Kyle Williams. You people are getting out of control -- over politics, over football, over American Idol -- as if acting like a jackass is going to solve anything.

We've all become crampy and flatulent from the constant political stew we consume on a daily basis. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Alan Colmes, Eric Boehlert, et al, are stirring a ginormous pot of political gumbo and ladling it into our gullets as we tip our heads back and ask for more. The gumbo is horrible and missing a lot of ingredients, but hey, we're buying what they're selling so the pundits are making money and we're finding excuses to throw a hissy fit. Add Twitter, the blogosphere and other social media outlets and nobody pauses to taste the gumbo anymore, we all just complain about the spice. Sprinkle in a President who can only hold onto power by dividing, and you have our current climate of political rage.

Here's who to blame by sub-category, because you can't be an American in 2012 without assigning yourself to a sub-category:

The Left blames:
  • The Right for hating
  • The Tea Party for being racist and mean to poor people
  • George Bush for everything
  • People of faith for having faith
  • Millionaires and billionaires for earning their money on the backs of poor people
The Right blames:
  • The Left for being Socialism's BFF
  • The Occupy movement for being dirty and disrespectful (strike that one, the Right may have a point there)
  • Barack Obama for being inept, a socialist and a foreigner
  • Environmentalists and people who buy from L.L. Bean for being animists
  • Poor people for being poor
There used to be a vast majority of people who thought straight even if they had disagreements with the "other side," and those were the people we all depended on to keep the country moving forward. But I'm afraid those people are so busy trying to have original thoughts on Facebook and Twitter (or copying other people's original thoughts) that they've Tweeted themselves out of existence.

Election time used to be known as the "silly season" because, well, everybody started acting a little silly trying to get their candidates elected. I'm afraid 2012 will be an extended "ignorant season" instead.

Mitt Romney says he's not worried about the poor because they have safety nets, and if the safety net needs fixing, he'll fix it. Every media moron in the country is running around like they finally got the scoop that will give them an extended contract after finally trapping Mitt into his rich-guy cage. Does Mitt need to think a little deeper about the words he uses and the order he puts them in? Absolutely. Does Mitt actually not care about poor people? Please, your amygdala is over-riding your cerebrum again. I'll agree Mitt needs to figure out a way to communicate like a politician and statesman before he gets my vote, but seriously kids, stop flying off the handle everytime you think you heard something you didn't hear.

Same thing with Obama. Granted, he's a mess, but not because he's an evil socialist. He's a mess because he's in so far over his head he has to sit on a phone book to look like an adult in the Oval Office. I've got nothing against the guy, except for the fact that he has as much business in the White House as I have wearing a rakhis on my wrist in obervance of Raksha Bandham.* But every single thing that comes out of his mouth is not furthering the destruction of America.

Same thing with Newt and janitors. I'll withhold judgement on Ron Paul and a nuclear Iran.

Get a grip kids. Stop sniping and start listening. If you actually take the time to listen -- or have the patience to reasonably explain your own positions -- you'll find there is indeed a vast majority of people out there with functional intellects. Democracy is messy and watching Democracy work is like watching your mom make sausage. The former might make you cranky while the latter might make you skip Mother's Day and sausage for the rest of your life.

State your cases, make your points, but just because someone disagrees with you doesn't mean you can get all enraged and forget civility. A little civility might actually be a good thing.


* - I picked myself to prevent you people from getting your granny-panties twisted up for picking on someone else, and I used a Hindu observance because we all know the only ethnic group its okay to pick on nowadays are Indians. Watch some network sitcoms or a Metro PCS commercial if you disagree.

I had considered using the following metaphors:
  • Me playing basketball (because I am under six foot eight and don't like basketball) but I didn't want to be accused of being racist
  • Me hosting a Seder (because I am not Jewish) but I didn't want to be accused of being anti-Semitic
  • My dogs playing chess (because my dogs don't play chess) but I didn't want to be accused of comparing Obama to my dogs

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

That Noise You Hear Is the 10th Amendment Rolling Over In Its Grave

America is falling to pieces. The Senate hasn't passed a budget in 107 days. You people do understand that without a budget to restrict spending, the buffoons in Washington can spend whatever they want right? That's why there's no budget.

Besides all that, America is going to hell in a very giant handbasket, simply because we -- the clueless American electorate -- continue to vote stupidly so we can hurry back to Facebook to see if that girl who ignored us in high school got fat or something.

The latest example of why America can't seem to get its collective head out of its collective posterior (the reader shall refrain from making New Jersey jokes here) is a little bill introduced by Al Franken (D-MN) last March.

Al Franken: He's good enough. He's smart enough.
And doggone it, Minnesota likes him. 
For those of you who don't know him, Al Franken was a chronically unfunny comedy writer who apparently had some dirt on SNL producer Lorne Michaels, which caused Michaels to force Franken and his unfunny comedy on us for what seemed like 300 years. Now Franken is a chronically insufferable (and humorless) United States Senator.

Last March, Franken introduced Senate Bill S.555 "Student Non-Discrimination Act of 2011." Ostensibly this bill makes it a crime to discriminate against kids in school because of their gender assignment or gender choice. Read the Bill here. You should take the time to read the Bill, but here's a quick definition taken directly from the Bill:
3) HARASSMENT- The term ‘harassment’ means conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive to limit a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from a program or activity of a public school or educational agency, or to create a hostile or abusive educational environment at a program or activity of a public school or educational agency, including acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility, if such conduct is based on--


(A) a student’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity; or

(B) the actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity of a person with whom a student associates or has associated.
Even though this Bill is similar in scope and purpose to hate crime laws already on the books, this law specifically focuses on LBGT teens and adolescents.

In short, the Bill makes it a Federal crime, with recourse in Federal court, to harass a public school student because of their sexual identity. There is nothing particularly scary or chilling in the Bill. It's just another example of Washington trying to fix all the social ills in the world while it ignores the really tough problems.

Or is it?

Of course no one in their right mind is going to object to a law that makes harassing and injuring people a crime. Opposing this law on an emotional level is like rooting for cancer.

And this is where the Left owns the Right, because the Right gets indignant about the wrong thing. If you oppose this Bill on moral or religious grounds no one has a right to belittle you or call you names, but there's also a responsiblity to actually read the Bill and know what's in it -- which is why the Left is sponsoring the Bill in the first place. Most people who oppose the Bill will not take the time to read it.

LBGT kids in trouble? Let's sponsor a toothless law to make everyone think we care, when in reality all we want to do is piss off the GOP and the religious crazies.

The Left is trying to make what looks like an honorable stand against a heinous act, knowing all along the Bill is pretty much unenforceable at the Federal level. What they also know is that a vast majority of people on the Right are going to have a knee-jerk conniption fit and start claiming the Left is trying to teach our children to be Gay, or at the very least, swap genders. While the Right does this, the Left sits back and laughs and laughs and laughs because the Right has fallen into their silly little trap once again. If you actually read the Bill it says nothing more than what your standard and fashionable hate crime law says, but, it makes people on the Right twist and tear in the wind of perceived immorality and Big Brotherism. This is a waste of time, for all of us, even the kids the Bill is trying to protect.

I object to the Bill prima fascia because education should never, ever, have become a Federal issue. Education worked perfectly well when it was a local issue, but since the Feds and the NEA took control, education has become nothing more than a laboratory for social experimentation and advanced political hucksterism.

Instead, we should be asking Al Franken and the 29 US Senators who co-sponsored the Bill the following questions:
  1. What makes you qualified to legislate morality when you can't even pass a Federal budget?
  2. Don't you have any other pressing matters, like, oh, I don't know, the deficit, the war in Afghanistan, the defiling of the American manufacturing base, the out-of-control tax code, or the Jabba the Hutting of the Federal government? I know these are hard things to work on, BUT THAT'S WHY WE SENT YOU TO WASHINGTON! 
Just for fun, look and see if your Senator is a co-sponsor. If so, why not give them a call and tell them that while you agree with their flaccid attempt to protect those in need of protection, you'd rather they get their priorities straight and protect the greatest number of people first. After they fix the problems we sent them there to fix, they can get involved in the minutiae of the classroom.

Senate Co-Sponsors of S.555:
  • Mr. FRANKEN
  • Mr. HARKIN
  • Mr. KERRY
  • Mrs. MURRAY
  • Ms. KLOBUCHAR
  • Mr. MERKLEY
  • Mr. DURBIN
  • Mr. LAUTENBERG
  • Mr. BENNET
  • Mr. BLUMENTHAL
  • Mr. UDALL of Colorado
  • Ms. MIKULSKI
  • Mr. LEAHY
  • Mr. SANDERS
  • Mr. BINGAMAN
  • Mr. WHITEHOUSE
  • Mr. CARDIN
  • Mrs. BOXER
  • Mrs. GILLIBRAND
  • Mr. MENENDEZ
  • Mr. AKAKA
  • Mr. SCHUMER
  • Mr. WYDEN
  • Mr. BEGICH
  • Mr. CASEY
  • Ms. CANTWELL
  • Mr. BROWN of Ohio
  • Mrs. SHAHEEN
  • Mr. REED
  • Mr. COONS