Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Quick Shots

I think 'Celebrity Whining' needs to be a criminal offense punishable by up to 1 day in jail, with no fine. These people get away with murder!!!! I mean, literally get away with murder, simply because the amount of doubt required to acquit them is less than anyone else. Therefore, we need to hold them accountable to some laws, why not something that is nearly as annoying as them bumping off gold-diggers. (My apologies to all those who were rightly offended by that last statement...)

Barry Bonds is tired. Well, I bet you're tired too. I think I am a pretty entertaining guy. How come nobody watches me working (ha ha, I don't work...) and cheers? How come no owner wants to sign me up for his professional computer game players league? How come I don't get $20 million dollars a year to play games? Well, frankly, because I didn't work hard and I wasn't blessed with superior athletic ability. However, if I was making that kind of money and it was discovered that I was a BIG PHONY CHEATER, then I think I would hide my head in shame. I certainly wouldn't sit there like a petulant child pointing fingers at everyone else! It's your bed Barry, sleep in it!

Terry Schiavo. Man, what a tragedy. As depressing as the media coverage ON BOTH SIDES of this has been, her story is the truly sad one. I wish this happened to nobody, because it is a very tough place to put your loved ones in. I think everyone who feels passionately about this should have a Last Will and Testament written by or for him or her as soon as possible. Then get it notarized and you're all good. All I really have to say about this is starving her to death is as inhumane as you can get. What ever happened to "First, do no harm?" The ACLU (which stands up for the husbands rights in this case) wouldn't want the government to starve death row inmates. I mean, if she has to die, why can't they just give her a lethal injection or something? I totally find fault with anyone claiming it is a painless way for her to die. How can anyone know what she feels?

Science as God. Some of the most religious people I have met in my life were physicists. Physicists that are Orthodox Jews, Christians, etc, who spent their lifetime researching the far ends of the universe down to the smallest molecules. For everyone ready to anoint a Doctor as your final arbiter of right and wrong, I caution you. Science is not perfect, these people are human, and even a majority of them can be dead wrong. In my opinion (which means skip the rest of this sentence since my opinion is meaningless, right?) Science is the fastest growing cult on Earth! All someone has to say anymore is, "There was this study done by..." and the rest of their statement is considered by people to be fact. Theories are really good hypothesis that have been backed up by experimental data. They are also frequently changed. The Theory of the Atom has undergone wholesale changes since it's inception. Don't be so quick to accept Science as gospel; it might be as false as others feel the Holy Bible is.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Air Conditioned Comfort

"The men who flew the missions against the WTC and Pentagon were not "cowards." That distinction properly belongs to the "firm-jawed lads" who delighted in flying stealth aircraft through the undefended airspace of Baghdad, dropping payload after payload of bombs on anyone unfortunate enough to be below – including tens of thousands of genuinely innocent civilians – while themselves incurring all the risk one might expect during a visit to the local video arcade. Still more, the word describes all those "fighting men and women" who sat at computer consoles aboard ships in the Persian Gulf, enjoying air-conditioned comfort while launching cruise missiles into neighborhoods filled with random human beings. Whatever else can be said of them, the men who struck on September 11 manifested the courage of their convictions, willingly expending their own lives in attaining their objectives." -Excerpt from Ward Churchill's "Some People Push Back"

Spoken just like a college professor, who will be hereafter referred to as simply Warp, for I can imagine no greater compliment to Mr. Winston Churchill than to never confuse his last name with this dolt. Where to begin with drivel such as this? I guess it isn't enough to be ignorant of whom you are speaking of, but to be ignorant of what you are speaking about as well.

Why does Warp not mention the invasion of Kuwait? The overwhelming majority of nations, including Arab states, which supported the operation? The fact that Saddam Hussein signed a cease-fire agreeing to sanctions if he failed to abide by it? The fact that Iraq then disobeyed the cease-fire agreement, triggering the sanctions from the UN? The fact that rather than bow to worldwide demands, Saddam grotesquely allowed his own people to die? Why did Saddam fail to use the BILLIONS of dollars in 'Oil-for-Anything-but-Food' money for his people? Why is his anger aimed more precisely at Presidents George Bush (both) than President Clinton, who oversaw the sanctions?

Politics.

Warp is simply playing the left for fools. Why not? You have a vast untapped pool of guilt and frustration lying around with nothing to occupy it. Not even charitable gifts of enormous proportions to the very Islamic people who hate us are enough to satiate this guilt. [Tsunami Relief] So just run out and type up some outlandish story of how we were to blame for the attacks of September 11th after all! It's easier to fix the problems we created anyways, right? Just elect Democrats!

In spite of his long and distinguished military career, Warp appears to have gained little respect for those who fly jet aircraft. Perhaps he was disgruntled during his tour in the motor pool? I would submit as fact that flying any military jet is one of the most dangerous activities one can perform in a peace-time military. Fatal plane crashes occur with a great frequency in the military. This is due to the nature of a military organization: using high school graduates, who have been trained but are not experts, to maintain and service these vehicles. How many of you would trust an old grimy chief and 6 kids who don't even shave to disassemble and then reassemble your CAR before you went on a road trip? Imagine that you would die if even the slightest instrument failed during the trip?

Air-conditioned comfort while sitting at computer screens? I think in spite of Warp's Army career he has developed Marine-like derision of sailors. I can think of hundreds of sailors who died in that very "air conditioned comfort" screaming in agony. How many people want to burn to death? I am sure none of those aboard the USS Scorpion wanted to, but they did. How does being crushed under the pressure of the vast Atlantic Ocean sound? I've heard atheory that when a submarine's pressure hull finally succumbs to the weight of the millions of tons of water above it the entire atmosphere in the sub ignites. I guess it wouldn't matter since the bulkheads would crush you anyway. However, I have no doubt that the men aboard the USS Thresher had plenty of time to think about that death as their submarine fell helplessly to the bottom of the ocean. Hopefully, I don't have to remind you that those aboard the USS Cole had the opportunity to be blown up by a boat-bomb off the coast of Yemen in 1998. I assure you, having at one time been a sailor myself, those who died that day did not do so in "air conditioned comfort", they just died seconds before they got their breakfast. Nor do those hard working Americans deserve your derision, as they have just as little impact on our National Foreign Policy as most of us do. They are just the poor slobs who get paid less than $18000 a year in salary to "beat down the helpless".

Terrorists or Freedom Fighters?

The first line of the Declaration of Independence begins:

"The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,..."

I realize that having the attention span required to read AND comprehend that document is rare, however, just the first line tells you what you need to know. Our forefathers were not the Usama bin Ladens (UBL) of their day. These men represented the people in the colonies. Just as your congressmen represents you today. Whether you voted for the crook or not, they had the best interests of their constituents at heart. Who do these terrorists represent? Islam? Last I checked Islam is no nation, nor is it a colony, nor a state, nor a repressed minority. In fact, UBL doesn't even represent most of Islam. He preaches to a minority, and these poor fools are simply pawns in his game for greater glory. They sacrifice their sad existence on this planet for his power, in acts of murder and suicide. Both of these horrendous acts are strictly forbidden by the Koran.

The fact is that the Islamic East, with all its 'wonder' and 'mystery' is really a sad place to live. While Buddhists, Taoists, Islamists(?) and others have all brought their mysterious religions to the West, and been clamored over by the elites, the people there remain in abject poverty. Only a few control the wealth, oil or otherwise, while the many struggle to make ends meet. The truth of this conflict, in spite of Warp's warped belief that they have had enough of these Americans pushing us around, these people are simply fed up with their existence and looking for someone to blame. The real evil is found in the men (women) who channel this anger into aggression against innocents.

The greatest lesson in World War II was found early, and late. While the German's were certainly reviled around the world, the focus of Allied propaganda at the time was the Nazi government. Hitler, it has been taught for decades now (except to Warp), used the ANGER AND FRUSTRATION of the German people and channeled it against a minority. The results of this were Hitler's rise to power and the near genocide of European minorities, mostly Jews (6,000,000). [Note: Try counting to one million sometime and you can begin to grasp how truly horrible that number is. That would also just be a small number of deaths for Stalin or Mao.] While many German's recognized the danger in Hitler's ascendancy, they were powerless to stand in the way. Once Hitler was removed, the German's have been restored to their natural state, making great products and disdaining conflict.

Unfortunately, we failed to use the same object lesson against the Japanese (it was their government not their people), and our racist nation meted out a great deal of needless suffering and pain on their nation. [I know, I know, Pearl Harbor, Bataan Death march, Changi, Nanking, were horrible events and despicable as well. I guess what I am saying is that if it wasn't truly necessary, it doesn't make us any better to stoop to their level.] Once the government was removed and replaced with a Democratic (European style?) government, the Japanese would become well known for making great products and disdaining conflict.

Americans, in spite of our unearned 'bloodlust' characteristic, have actually been quite the peace loving producers. President Woodrow Wilson had to manipulate the Americans to get us into World War I. It was widely believed that President Roosevelt (FDR) would have found a way to get the US involved in World War II if Pearl Harbor had not happened. In fact, when Hitler declared war upon America, it granted FDR exactly what he so desperatly needed, an excuse to get more involved in Europe. When we are left alone, all we do is make things and disdain conflict. Isn't that why we always seem to have war protests whenever we are involved in some conflict? That is just our nature.

All I am trying to say is that left to their own devices, people are generally good and law abiding citizens who just want to get fair compensation for a hard days work, no matter where or who they may be. The great evil is those individuals who amass power and wealth and use it to manipulate others into evil behavior. Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and UBL are not monsters. They are people. Evil people. They use the fears and hatreds of others to further their own diabolical plans. Why would any community allow this to happen? Wouldn't you call the police if there were a gang of hoodlums behaving in this manner? Why should the World Community allow it to happen?



In conclusion, the greatest example that this UBL character, his dupes like Warp, and the terrorists are false lies within a comparison to George Washington.

After the revolution, it has been said that General Washington was approached with an unusual proposition from his aids. Angry at the newly freed colonies' failure to pay the soldiers after the Revolutionary Army had won independence, the officers offered their support to eliminating the fledgling government and replacing it with a Monarchy, under King Washington I.

George Washington declined.



Credits:
http://www.archives.gov/
http://www.kersplebedeb.com/mystuff/s11/churchill.html
http://news.bbc.co.uk

Monday, March 07, 2005

Social Insecurity

No surprise that this has become the big issue of this election year, as George W. Bush must rally wary republicans to his banner (in spite of their big win) in order to begin the march against history. I say against history since Social Security is the last "third-rail" of elected politicians. Touch-it-and-die has been the rule, but since the success in tampering with other people's pork (such as Military Bases and Welfare), W. is going to give this a shot as his lasting domestic agenda.

It should be no surprise to the left or the right that this has come to the fore in national politics, as it has been the trillion pound gorilla in the room for the past decade. Every year, the baby-boom generation gets older and closer to retirement, and the workforce gets smaller. This is true in all facets of industry, not just old white collar guys, but even blue-blooded union employees can see this happening at their own jobs. The answer to the big question, what do we do about Social Security, is complicated because it is so obvious. Since its inception, Social Security has been a tax designed to take from the productive and give to the unproductive members of society. Whether it be to those who have retired or to those who are no longer capable of work due to accident or disability. The truth is in the details.

When it began, Social Security paid benefits upon reaching the age of 65. The workforce that began paying into it were no different than those paying into an annuity of a life insurance company. This is because the government never expected to have to pay them, since they would largely die off before becoming eligible for benefits. Not to mention the joke of disability. In order to qualify for disability you have to have had an accident satisfy three conditions: that it will cause the loss of productive work (defined as $700 a month in earnings), that said loss lasts more than 12 months, and that said disability could cause death. In practice, Social Security denies the first application for disability no matter what your claim, and thus only repeat filers have a chance of getting benefits. In other words, hire a lawyer. But don't worry liberals, if you do qualify, Social Security will wait to pay you for 6 MONTHS. I hope you don't have bills. The only smart thing to do would be to scrap the whole thing.

Unfortunately, the people have been very sensitive to the reduction or elimination of Social Security. Essentially, there are millions of registered voters within 10 years of receiving benefits who have now paid for them all of their lives. These registered voters are AARP members and they always vote. They are also most likely to cross party lines over an issue like this. They can, and will, punnish anyone that effects their benefits in any way, and are often the easiest to influence through print or media advertisement. How can you blame them? Even if they, like most of you, knew this Social Security was a joke, they aren't going to want the rug pulled out from under them. They deserve this money now since they have paid for all their forefathers to get it. It's tough to argue against them.

Solutions to a problem so severe are essentially impossible. The tsunami of retirees are approaching the coastline of young people at breakneck speed. Soon we will all be drowning in the wake of increased taxes, massively reduced future benefits, and likely increased age requirements to receive benefits. W's proposal to add private accounts are a tip-off to the governments plan, which will be to wean the public off of the idea that they will get the Social Security their fathers received. Is it already too late? Most likely. Social Security is expected to become insolvent when I retire in 35 years (yeah right, retire). Since the program is running massively in the red, even with major economic boom, the only way to regain the black status is tax increases or benefit reductions now, not in the future.

Tax Increases, also known as the Republican Party Split ammendment, would be disastrous for Bush. It would also be disastrous for the people. Already we pay about 7% of our income to FICA, but our employers also match that 7% out of their coffers. In other words, you are taxed 15% of your income already for FICA (since if he wasn't paying it to the FED's your kind and generous employer would give you a raise, right?) and an increase in that rate would be ghastly to the economy. If you paid 15% of your paycheck into a 401k from 18 on you could retire as a millionaire easily. Ask an old person if Social Security made them millionaires, and they will laugh at you.

Raising the maximum rate is a good idea, even though it is already at $95,000 per year in salary. Essentially, this means if you earn $400,000 a year (yes, you basketball bench warmer) you only pay FICA on the first $95,000 of your salary. Increasing the maximum would bring in more money, and largely punish the wealthier members of society who are also most likely to receive the full benefits anyway. After all, how many hard working, hard living, union fellas are going to make 67? Between cancer (exposure to noxious chemicals, drinking and smoking), overtime (increased stress levels raise the likelihood of heart attack and stroke), and dangerous work environments (check the jobsite fatality rates for mechanics and lawyers) these people are unlikely to receive their benefits. So why not allow those most likely to receive benefits to pay a little more? Well, I am reminded that the wealthy already receive far less in benefits than the poor, are taxed more heavily on their disburtions, and already pay far more taxes for everything else, so why should they be punnished. If anything, they have paid for their own retirement and the retirement of hundreds of others over the years.

Reduced Benefits are another option, but who is going to tell them? Not me, those old people can get pretty fiesty. No-one is stepping up to the line and asking for their benefits to be reduced (although the baby boomers probably should be) and until someone does, no politician is going to risk his political career volunteering someone to do so. Even raising the eligibility for benefits by one year is dangerous (search Hagel), so imagine the response to a large reduction in benefits!

So what to do? I think the American people should be able to divide the electorate and vote down the benefits of a group. The hippie generation perhaps? Or maybe its time to finally get back at the disco generation? 80's fans really drive you nuts? Maybe those grunge kids deserve a fiscal spanking? I really think that the final analysis just might show you that those of us more than ten years away from Social Security won't be receiving much of it. The only solution is to make a bunch of babies right now, and then hopefully they will all work and pay for our retirement. That might push the insolvency back another 30 years! By then, I'll be dead and won't give a damn anymore....

Right?

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Garbage is Back!

I am pleased to discover that a new Garbage song (and video) are available on the internet! I have been a huge fan of past releases, and have been looking forward for some time for a new album. They have been around over ten years, and with only 4 albums out, they are a bit tough on the fanbase. The europeans are far luckier than us states-siders as the released singles with B-sides tend to get released there only, with us Americans stuck with expensive imports. At any rate I look forward to snatching up "Why Do You Love Me?" as soon as I can find it. They will be in concert here in LaLa land shortly, and I might be able to scratch up enough dollars to observe them again. It's truly an amazing experience, as Shirley Manson has fabulous stage presence, and the lads rock hard. With four albums released now, the concert should just blow the fans away. I hope.....

Interested parties should just google: Garbage + "Why Do You Love Me"

Tour info and more available at www.garbage.com

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Welcome All

First Blog!

OK Seahawks fans... today was a tough day. The team traded away Trent Dilfer, our back-up QB and one of the best (if not the best) teamplayer we've had on our sidelines. Dilfer has had a tough few years in Seattle: losing his starting job, getting it back, then losing it to injury, and finally, and really the only true tragedy, the loss of his son. He has throughout been a stand up guy (I doubt Barry Bonds would have cooperated in an interview to discuss the death of his son with reporters, has he ever cooperated in an interview?) and a huge supporter of the team and his succesor at QB. I can only conclude by saying that I hope with all my heart that this trade was conducted with full knowledge and approval of Trent (he deserves that at least) and that he will be given another opportunity to start a complete season as QB.

Statistics will never measure HEART.