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November 28, 2006

Navy Safety Center

The Navy Safety Center (NSS) is the gestapo equivalent of safety management. I don't pay much attention to them because the weekly harangue of motorcycle safety enforcement has numbed me to the point of apathy. How many times do I need to hear about wearing a gay refelctive vest while I ride? But I digress.

I sent the following letter to NSS and it is self-explanatory as to my intent.

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Research the people, not their actions.
STS1(SS) Greg Smith

I am writing in response to the article by Jack Dorsey, Off-Base Crashes Proving A Safety Issue For Sailors (Virginian-Pilot, Oct 18, 2006). After reading the consequences for various vehicular infractions- getting a ticket before a holiday weekend (mandatory prepackaging of personal items to send to next of kin), going 1 mph over the posted speed limit (loss of driving privileges for 45 days), and demotions/fines- and analyzing the current social dynamics of military members, it is easy to see why people speed off base.

The instinctive reaction to counter rising traffic fatalities is to impose harsher rules, more stringent enforcement policies, and more awareness of the rules and policies as preventative measures to reduce the number of traffic infractions. It is painfully obvious that these methods are not the most effective means of deterrence. The Naval Safety Center, Commanding Officers, Chiefs, and other sailors are scratching their heads wondering how to counter this deadly trend of vehicular deaths. I brainstormed and came up with some policies that might curb the increased traffic fatalities but they would be just as ineffective. I believe the answer lies not in finding more policies and rules but in finding the tipping point- the break in an epidemic.

The following paragraphs serve to correlate the growing problem of Sailor/Marine deaths and current societal problems and although they appear to have obvious answers perhaps they are the types of questions people need to be asking. The military is a reflection of America insomuch that it suffers the same problems. Can we “fix” our sailors and marines if they are subject to the same epidemics as their civilian counterparts?

Does Hollywood contribute to the increased speeding problem?
Could there be a link between the movie The Fast and the Furious and similar street racing movies and the rise in off-base traffic fatalities? I am not suggesting the Naval Safety Center should put pressure on Hollywood but perhaps some targeted research could yield some quantifiable data other than “67% of all off base traffic fatalities occur at night.”

Do motorists speed to make up for lost time or even speed out of frustration when they leave the harsh base-imposed limits behind?
On the Naval base in Norfolk, a reasonable person can assume that if driving 1 MPH over the speed limit will result in loss of driving privileges, that most motorists are driving 1 or 2 miles per hour under posted speed limits while on base to play it safe. The main gate exit then turns into a Grand Prix starting line. Kaneohe Marine Corps Barracks, Hawaii has a similar problem and local police stage “military appreciation days” outside the gate just around the first bend.

Is there a correlation between tight base security and off base alcohol related incidents? Sailors go to base clubs because the alcohol is cheap, they are in close proximity to the barracks, and, before September 11, non military were allowed on base with little or no extra security measures required. I remember Club Pearl was full of non military women on Friday and Saturday nights. After September 11 security measures were stepped up on base and the restrictions make it hard for non military personnel to attend the base clubs. Sailors will go where the women are; if they aren’t frequenting the base clubs then they will go off base. It would be criminally negligent of bases to dismiss their security measures for the sake of increasing the girl to guy ratio in base clubs but maybe some research should be directed at what can be done.

There are pages and pages of traffic statistics on the NSS website but it doesn’t appear that any of the statistics are being used to tackle the real problem of reducing the annual deaths. It is going to take more than statistical analysis of who, what, when and where if the problem of alcohol related incidents and off base speeding is to be solved. The NSS statisticians have done an excellent job of identifying who is at risk but some hard-line social analysis must be conducted to determine why the sailors have such blatant disregard for their own safety or the safety of others- a blatant disregard despite the amount of time and resources dedicated to awareness, despite the harsh punishments, despite the inept policies and procedures already in place.

There may not be a solution to the growing trend of Sailor/Marine vehicular accidents and deaths. In the end it comes down to changing a person’s attitude and if harsh punishments and force-fed safety training is not helping then perhaps different tactics need to be researched. Instead of producing meaningless statistics, like young Sailors and Marines who get drunk are more at risk of getting killed in a car accident, research the people and not their actions.

SUBMARINERS

Beween the innocence of infancy and the recklessness of maturity comes the unique specimen of humanity known as the Submariner.

Submariners can be found in bars, in arguments, in bed, in debt and intoxicated. They like receiving mail, mid month paychecks, nude pin ups, sympathy, complaining and beer.

A Submariners secret ambition is to change places with the Captain for just one trip, to own a brewery and to be loved by everyone in the world.

A Submariner is a Sir Galahad in a Japanese brothel, a psychoanalyst with Readers Digest on the table, Don Quixote with a discharge note, the savior of mankind with his back teeth awash, Valentino with a fiver in his pocket and democracy personified in a Red Chinese prison cell.

A Submariner is a provider in war and a parasite in peace. No one is subjected to abuse, wrongly accused, so often misunderstood by so many as a Submariner. He has the patience of Job, the honesty of a fool and the heaven sent ability to laugh at himself.

When he returns home from a long trip, no one else but a Submariner can create such an atmosphere of suspense and longing as he walks through the door with the magic words on his lips:

"HONEY, WHERE’S THE BEER?"

November 23, 2006

Sports, shmortz


Ohio State Defeats Michigan 42-39 In Ultimately Meaningless Game
November 23, 2006 | Onion Sports

COLUMBUS, OH—In what had been touted as a college-football matchup for the ages, the top-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes defeated the No. 2 Michigan Wolverines 42-39 Sunday in a game that, while exciting, ultimately made no real impact on the football landscape and had no significant effect on the national rankings.

Ohio State coach Jim Tressel echoed many of Henne's statements in a press conference during which he had obvious problems staying interested.

"This was a tough game for us," Tressel said. "By which I mean it was tough to get excited about it. Playing Michigan should be special, but going into this game, we knew that no matter what happened on the field, the BCS polls would have us either first or second. There was really no point in playing this at all."

Read the entire story here.

November 22, 2006

Commanding Officer sacked

It seems that men in high places still haven't learned to keep their dorks zipped up. Capt. Scott Bawden, Commodore of Submarine Squadron 17 in Bangor, WA, was relieved of commnad after having "lost the confidence" of his boss. If you follow submarine news you will remember that Bawden was the Commodore who axed some of the crew of the USS Columbia after a hazing incident. /hat tip The Stupid Shall be Punished

What comes around goes around? It has been quoted by a Chief who knew Bawden that morale will probably get better now that Bawden has been shitcanned. Sounds like a few Commodores I know. But there is more to this story than a guy who perhaps can't do his job anymore. Bawden was busted sleeping with someone elses wife, a Chief's wife, no less, IN HIS OWN command.
Will the top brass save a onetime fair-haired boy's career, or will he end up "walking the plank?"
What a jackass. It's bad enough that the Officers screw the enlisted, but do they have to screw the enlisted's wives too?

So long Admiral promotion and we have lovely parting gifts.

Chinese sub thumbs its nose at the Shitty Kitty


After playing cat-and-mouse with Russian submarines during the Cold War, it appears that the U.S. will now start playing with China, but in coordinated exercises. How ironic, since a Chinese submarine surfaced near the USS Kitty Hawk last month. Of course it took this long for the Commander of the Pacific Fleet, Admiral William Fallon, to confirm it (Navy Times, 11/27/06, p.26).

This is a significant event in the world of Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW) for a few reasons. First, a submarine surfaced near an aircraft carrier undetected. The carrier is the life blood of the battle group. It must be protected because it has no real defenses of its own to combat an enemy submarine. It does have aircraft that can find them but they are not on the hunt 24/7, only when a suspected threat is imminent.

It is up to the ASW capable vessels in the battle group to find enemy submarines and what better tool to use than another submarine. Although the article does not identify what kind of submarine surfaced, or how long the submarine was surfaced before it was sighted by Kitty Hawk, the implication is that this submarine was close enough to have placed ordinance on the carrier. Granted, in time of war the U.S. Navy is in a heightened awareness but someone dropped the ball on this one.

Secondly, if the carrier was involved with an ASW exercise in which one of the participants launched an exercise torpedo (a regular torpedo but without the explosives) what would the Chinese submarine have done? Would it have thought it was being fired upon and launched a counterattack?

Fallon said, “We don’t consider the Chinese the enemy. None of us believe the sub was a threat.” Nice PR, Admiral, but I believe otherwise. Any submarine not of U.S. or ally origin is a threat. I understand that China has been moved to the Ally list but that is another PR stunt, in my opinion, so that we can try and keep North Korea under control. That submarine surfaced in close proximity to the carrier to thumb its nose at us.

“Coulda got ya!”

The United States and China have decreased military exchanges since an aircraft collision between a EP-3 and a Chinese fighter jet (a MIG, I think) in 2001 off the coast of Hainan Island, China. I remember that well. I was on deployment at the same time my brother was. He was attached to a P-3 squadron out of Kaneohe Bay and when I heard a P-3 had collided with a Chinese jet I feared the worst. Luckily, the EP-3 was not from his squadron but I thought, “Damn, what a great sea story for a first deployment.”

November 21, 2006

Top News stories?

Playstation 3 Ridiculousness
It has been four days since the debut of the Playstation 3 and I am still shaking my head in disgust at the response by the people who bought them- stampedes, robberies, assaults, and shootings. Way to go assholes.

I remember a few years ago it was almost the same thing, just short of a soccer induced mob riot. There were plenty of PS3's on eBay all going for over $2000; one console went for $30,000. Yes, you read that right.

"Hmmm, do I want a car or a PS3?"

Idiots. All of them.

I put part of the blame on Sony for only sending out 400,000 of the consoles. No less than 1 million would have been my marketing strategy and my first impulse was to make Sony pay for the damages caused by thier games. Then I reevaluated that rash statement and realized that Sony is just capitalizing on moronic infatuation or greed on a cosmic level. Love that capitalism!

Drunk Drivers Beware
I remember driving back from the clubs and then realizing I was driving up to the base front gate but not remembering the trip there. I have wised up since then and always use a designated driver or take a cab back to my home. It is a pain in the ass to go back and get my car the next day but it is better than the headache involved with getting a DUI.

For all the losers who can't stay out of their vehicles after hitting the sauce, have no fear- those ladies at Mothers Against Drunk Driving are on a campaign to put a tattletale device in your ignition. Basically, you blow into a tube and if you are over the limit your car won't start. So, aside from paying a stranger $50 to blow into the device you will have to come back when your breath isn't tainted with the sweet fumes of Jack Daniels. New Mexico is getting geared up to make this device mandatory. Ole!

Web Site Victory
The California Supreme Court said yesterday that Internet publishers could not be held liable if they posted defamatory comments written by others. This is great news for companies who host blogs, like Google, because I can tell all the bleeding heart liberals out there to kiss my hairy corn hole and there is nothing they can do about it. The First Amendment is safe online, for now.

Stupid Celebrity Sex Videos
For all the losers who love to see celebrities having sex, instead of paid professionals who actually know what they are doing (except you Pamela, you know how to deepthroat jimma-jamma), Britney Spears has her honeymoon sex tape on the market. For free. That's right, the mother of 2 and the ex wife of Kevin "I smell like ass all the time" Fetterline, has decided to put the tape out for free so that Fetterline can't cash in on it, thus following in the footsteps of Pamela Anderson and Paris Hilton. What is it with blondes letting themselves get video tapped? Without having seen the tape I will make a bet that Brittaney knows how to suck the chrome off a Harley straightpipe. How else could she have made so much money making crap music.

Who Gives a Shit News
I almost put Britney's sex tape here but I found a few more articles more worthy.
* Tom & Katie on their honeymoon- whoopty doo
* Rosie O'Donnell criticizing The View- who cares what that fat retard says. Seriously.
* Mexico's elections- Brushing aside election results that declared him the loser in last summer’s polls, Andrés Manuel López Obrador had himself sworn in as Mexico’s legitimate president in a public ceremony full of fake pomp and splendour. Until that country stops helping thier citizens jump the fences they can kiss my ass.
* The U.N.- A divided UN nuclear watchdog has put off until Thursday ruling on Iran's bid for aid for a project the West fears could yield bomb-grade plutonium, but is still likely to block such assistance. Likely, but not definate. The U.N. has shown that it cannot be trusted with world security.
* Any news about sports.
* O.J. Simpson's book- Is this guy fucking serious? I am glad Fox had the sensibility to shitcan the whole thing.

November 17, 2006

UCLA Student tazed

Videos like this bring out the best and the worst in people. Ironically, it also brings out people who claim to have been stunned, citing a quick Google search on the "effects of stun guns" to back up a claim that you can’t get up after being hit with 40K+ volts. Here is the video via NBC News. The Iranian Truth continues to cover the story here.

The ALL CAPS entries on blogs surrounding this event above all point to one particular incident that is supposed to absolve this student- he was heading to the exit. While this might be true he did not cooperate with the rent-a-cops and became belligerent, albeit we only know as much as what the shitty cameraman caught after the incident started.

Loud, vocal outbursts of obscenity are enough to give anyone pause as to the intentions of the screamer let alone a peace officer/rent-a-cop/campus security. "Get your hands off me!" doesn't sound like a cooperative person. The police are there to investigate a person who doesn't have the ID to be there and this is what they run into.

It wasn't an abuse of the Patriot Act although that would make for some good headlines. Too bad it didn't happen before the elections and really bolster the anti-PR folk's resolve to vote. It was a bad decision one-upmanship contest that reflected poorly on everyone involved, including the students who took on the role of Citizen Patrol.

It was a poor decision by the student to act like an asshole to underpaid and under trained cops. Seriously, he had the wherewithal to scream grandstanding comments about the Patriot Act, which will now be emblazoned on a T-shirt that has Orwell rolling over in his grave, but couldn't just stand up and be escorted out by the police?

In the end, the police had to pick the pipsqueak up by his handcuffed appendages and escort him out anyway. Why couldn’t they have just done that in the first place when they realized they were dealing with a non-compliant person? Then again, why should they have to risk injury to themselves because of a non-compliant person?

It probably doesn’t matter how high of a threshold to pain you have- one blast from a stun gun is a clear message the person on the other end isn’t fucking around. Why tempt his trigger finger any more than necessary. Perhaps the crowd in the library was this student’s spinach, his courage to make a routine stop a platform to stir up trouble. Who knows. As cooler heads have pointed out on this thread, everyone lost that night.

Iran's real reason for nukes


Anyone who thumbs their nose at the world’s only surviving superpower, openly threatens a powerful neighbor with annihilation, and flaunts his pursuit of nuclear weapons… err, power, has to be a total whack job or an Islamic fanatic, but I repeat myself.

Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, despite his good looking exterior, has an inside that burns with the fire of Jihad. It is no secret that he wants Israel to be a memory and it seems that he has been preparing for the final battle with Israel for a long time. Let’s take a stroll down Ahmadinejad’s past, shall we? But first, a little lesson in Islam.

From Wikipedia:
The Mahdi (مهدي translit: Mahdī, also Mehdi; "Guided One" ), in Islamic eschatology, is the prophesied redeemer of Islam, who will change the world into a perfect Islamic society alongside the Prophet Jesus before Yaum al-Qiyamah (literally "Day of the Resurrection"). The "hdi" of "Mahdi" refers to the Arabic root "هدی" which means "to guide".

Interestingly, Jesus, the son of God and the leader of Christianity, will join forces with the Madhi, a prophet of a religion who spreads its religion by force if necessary, and create an Islamic society. I don’t remember reading that part in the New Testament.

What does this Mahdi have to do with the current Iranian President? From 2003 to 2005, Ahmadinejad, then the Mayor of Tehran, head an urban renewal project to hasten the return of the Mahdi by making streets easier to navigate. When will the Mahdi return, you ask? He shows up after a time of chaos, war and bloodshed. Now where in the world is there chaos, war and bloodshed? But it appears that supporting Hizbollah to war with Israel is not enough and Ahmadinejad is setting his sights higher. As the “Man of a Thousand Bullets”, it is safe to say that job title can only look good on a resume to become the President of Iran, which he easily took in 2005.

A nuclear attack against Israel would provide just the right environment for the return of the Mahdi. This clown is trying to hasten a prophecy- a prophesy that is equal in proportion to Christianity’s Second Coming of Christ. Not all Islamic leaders are on the apocalyptic bandwagon and think that Ahmadinejad is taking steps well beyond the rest of Islam. These leaders claim that no one knows the day of the Mahdi return except Allah himself. This little tidbit isn’t slowing Ahmadinejad’s momentum.

Professor Raymond Tanter, co-author of What Makes Iran Tick and the President of the Iran Policy Committee, has this to say about Iran’s nuclear race:

"There is a link between Iran’s nuclear weapons program on one hand, and its ideology of trying to facilitate a cataclysmic event to hasten the return of the Mahdi. As a result, no conceivable positive or negative incentives will influence the leadership of the clerics and the revolutionary guards from acquiring nuclear weapons. They need nuclear weapons in order to facilitate the ideological precepts of the return of the Mahdi.”

Tanter also dismisses the bogus realist claims that Iran is pursuing nukes because of the tough neighborhood in which it lives. This is like Capone requesting a concealed weapon permit because he is afraid someone might try to kill him. All the Iranian government wants to do is hold off the sanctions as they will put a damper on their plutonium project.

“Plutonium? What plutonium?” - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

So the question is what can the World do about it? Left to the U.N., Israel will have a nuclear fallout winter. What’s to stop Ahmadinejad from bullying the rest of the world with his weapons? Strike, or wait it out- that’s all we really have. Israeli Prime Minister Bebe said it best when referencing preemptive actions in that it is hard to prove just how bad things would have been if the actions hadn’t occurred.

I guess he has never heard of Monday morning quarterbacks.

November 15, 2006

Class act

My last class of the semester was an interesting one because the first two hours of the class, Compensation Management (MGT 645), had nothing to do with the topic. As I returned from the bathroom I came in on the professor, who is a lawyer here in Hawaii, on a semi-tirade about our presence in Iraq and how it is a bad thing that we are there. As I looked around the room, observing 6 Army soldiers in uniform and several other armed forces people in this night class, they sat quietly and listened to this guy tell them that he knew 3 years ago it was a bad idea for us to go into Iraq.

Maybe he had that gut feeling, as did many anti- war protestors, but I finally had to speak up and tell him that he was right only in hindsight. He asked why we were there and I made the unfortunate mistake of leading off with a mention of oil. He became ecstatic and started, no doubt, a lawyer induced cross examination of me.

“So Bush lied! We went there for oil, is that what you’re saying?!” Several students joined in and I realized either they were kissing this guy’s ass or really believed what he was saying. Either way, I was alone in my stand.

After not being able to get a word in I finally was able to ask the professor to stop making up a position for me and then attacking me on it. This gave him pause and then he gave me time to explain my position, all of which were received in the same way as my first comment. I thought I was in a high school classroom at one point when the professor asked me if I thought it was a good idea that we went into Iraq. After pausing for a moment to articulate my response and guy behind me recessed into a sophomoric “Aww, yeah, what’s up now? Can’t answer the question?” to which I replied, “Good one Potsey, are you going to tell us your point of view or just piggy back off of his [professor].”

The professor, and some of the students, still believe Saddam didn’t have WMD’s, still believe that he didn’t do anything wrong and that the U.S. had no right to go into Iraq, and kept bringing up all the other countries that do have WMD’s yet we did nothing about (i.e. N. Korea). These are military people in my class and I was stunned. Eventually, a few of them started to argue my points at which the instructor conveniently used the ‘agree to disagree’ to stop the conversation.

The Iraq debate led to the religion of Islam when the professor mentioned he had started reading books on Muslims and their religion. I asked if he had ever read the Koran, instead of reding a book that talks about it, and he said that he had not. I started to make a point about the Koran that I have been reading and he interjected with a comment about interpretation and how the books of one’s religion are based on how they are interpreted by the believers. I started to ask him how I was supposed to interpret one of Bin Laden’s threats to Americans as Bin Laden quotes the Koran. The professor, in the middle of my question, allowed the Potsey behind me to interject by calling on him. I guess it is acceptable to be rude when you are about to be butt slammed.

Potsey started enlightening the class on how much more violent Christianity has been that Islam. I deducted that Potsey was trying to head me off at the pass with that comment so I politely told him that a quick Google search would prove his statement to be false. He quipped that he has 3 Muslim cousins and they are all peaceful to which I informed him of my 3 Mexican cousins and my inability to speak Spanish. That point went over his head like a steering wheel over Paris Hilton’s head on a Friday night so I politely told him that although only 10% of the Muslims in the world are violent, that leaves an imposing 60 million people who want to cut me head off in the name of Allah. By the way, here is an example of Egyptian Muslim tolerance towards Christianity- Rodney King style. Notice now the policeman’s feet are off the ground.

Again, the professor jibed with his interpretation issue but before I could get into the fact that the Old Testament comes before the New Testament for reason he decided it was time to take the last hour of class to actually talk about Compensation Management. My point was going to be that people who spew their ignorance of the Bible by bringing attention to the violence in the O.T. do not know that the N.T. subjugates that era’s customs. Christ taught a completely different ideology and that is why we are called ‘Christians’ and not ‘Leviticans’. Oh well, a discussion for another time.

I am three classes into my Masters and unfortunately I will have to follow most of these goobers around, class to class, listening to their unhinged comments and then having to shove it up their poop holes. Luckily I only have 4 more classes to go.

November 13, 2006

BASE Jumper bungee stunt

Base jumping, for those of you who aren't familiar with this sport, involves jumping from fixed objects. BASE is an acronym that stands for:

Building
Antenna- uninhabited tower like a radio mast
Span- bridge, arch, or dome
Earth- cliff or natural formation

We've seen Bond do it countless times and these BASE jumpers always show up on Extreme sport videos. It is very dangerous but looks like one of the best adrenaline rushes a person could get. They are professionals and I'm sure a lot of training and theory to practice comes into play. You wouldn't want to just jump of a building without checking the wind conditions first.

Bungee jumping is almost like BASE jumping (although it has been around longer) but, after experiencing a short free fall, unlike the BASE jumpers the bungee jumper is safely attached to something and then springs back up. I use the word 'safe' in the loosest of forms because there are plenty of stories of bungee mishaps involving miscalcultions of body weight, bungee length etc. One of the coolest bungee jumping videios I've ever seen was a dual jump off a bridge where both people's heads hit the water below with about as much force as getting a pat on the head. That is pretty impressive considering they jumped from 150 feet above the water.

The video below shows the combination of the two sports. It took me a few times watching the video before I realized exactly what happened and that these two men should probably have a shitload of life insurance.

Both men jump off a bridge connected to each other by a bungee cord. One guy then takes off his parachute, bungees off of his friend who is still gliding, detaches the bungee cord and then throws another chute seconds before he hits the treeline. 'Incredible' doesn't even begin to describe this video.

November 9, 2006

Monday Morning Quarterback politics

After reviewing the election results for the different issues that were on the ballots this year I have mixed feelings about the outcomes of the initiatives and propositions. For example, Arizona voters elected to make English the official state language. At first I thought, “Good for them” but then as I read how many states have made English as their official state language I realized that it really doesn’t matter.

English Only
California, believe it or not, made English its official language in 1986 yet still shells out a lot of money for multilingual paper products. Here are some statistics from USEnglish.org:

- The cost of multilingual ballots and translations represented one-eighth of Los Angeles County?s $16 million expense in the Nov. 2004 general election. (Source: European Commission)
- The City of San Francisco must spend $350,000 for each language that a document is translated into under the city's bilingual government ordinance. (Source: Janet Ng, Asian Week.com, June 2001)
- The total annual cost for the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to provide language services is $2.2 million. (Source: U.S. Office of Management and Budget, Report to Congress: Assessment of the Total Benefits and Costs of Implementing Executive Order No. 13166: Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency, March 14, 2002)

I would think that having a state language would alleviate the problem of having to print multilingual material.

This is a touchy argument for a lot of people. On one hand this is America and English is the predominant language. Our laws, business transactions, and road signs are written in English. Unless immigrants intend to live in an area that speaks their language, Chinatown for example, then they do not have to learn English to survive. Since 1980, the number of people who cannot speak English has doubled to an alarming 21 million. Simply put, is it too much to ask to learn the language if you are going to live in this country? And please, spare me the argument “Well, the U.S. doesn’t have an official language.” It is English, official or not, and now states are adopting the language as official.

Here is a graphic of the states that have official English laws:


*WARNING- There are a lot of state abbreviations in the upcoming paragraphs. If you do not know them, punch yourself in the ear and pick up a 4th grade geography book.

Gay Marriage
Another big ticket item was gay marriage, specifically banning gay marriage. The ban on gay marriage was passed by almost all the states that had it on their ballots- CO, ID, SC, SD, TN, VA, and WI- but surprisingly, the margin for victory was slim in all but a few states. So, for now, the rump rangers have 7 less states to look to for a marriage license, although Colorado even shot down domestic partnerships. Of course CO also had a proposition to legalize marijuana. Stupid hippies. Arizona was the only state to shoot down the ban on gay marriage. But the time will come when the margin for gay marriage will favor the peter puffers and the straights will have to figure out how to tell their kids why Suzie has 2 daddies- never mind an intuitive question like, “Then how do 2 men have sex and have a baby if they both have a penis?” If you are a homophobe you better start buying your books now on how to deal with it. It is coming; it is just a matter of time. I have said it for some time now, let the gays get married. Why should straights be the only ones miserable?

For the people who are wondering where the gays can get married, and consequently start emitting their gayness into the atmosphere (converting all non gays), there are only 2 states that allow gay marriage- Massachusetts (2004), New Jersey (October, 2006) and Arizona (November 2006) however, there are many countries that do allow it, not that it would help an American citizen- Canada, Belgium, Netherlands, South Africa, and Spain.

A few state do allow for civil unions, CO not being one of them as of yesterday, and they are CA, CT, and VT. Several countries have civil unions as well- Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Iceland, Luxemburg, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Scotland, Sweden, and Switzerland.

And if you are gay stay away from Honduras, Latvia, and Uganda (popular shithole tourist areas) as they have banned gay marriage.

So, to all my gay and lesbian friends, go to one of the states above for your civil union / marriage or just wait a few more years until your state adopts it.

A few states decided to raise the minimum wage at least $1 over the Federal minimum: AZ, CO, MI, MO, NV, and OH. I feel good about that because that kid in McDonalds will now have more job satisfaction now that he is making more money.

Abortion and the Environment
I had to shake my head at the defeat of California’s proposition 85 which would have required parental notification of a minor who is getting an abortion. The ridiculousness of this defeat was offset by the defeat of proposition 87 that would have taxed the bejeezus out of companies drilling for oil in CA in an effort to raise money and encourage the use of alternative fuels. So, the message in CA is clear- irresponsible kids have a right to an abortion without their parents being notified by the hospitals and fuck the environment, we need to drive our SUV’s. Oregon also adopted a similar proposition. But who gives a shit about Oregon?

I am not against helping to preserve our environment but there has to be a better way than to just tax the shit out of people and/or companies. This strategy is also used in states that have hiked the price of a pack of cigarettes over $7.00. Don’t do that under the guise of trying to protect people, just come straight out and tell us that capitalizing on a vice is the best way to raise revenue. In a related story, Hawaii will ban smoking indoors (including bars) next week. Welcome to the 21st century retards. Even my home state of AR adopted similar laws before this state did.

Miscellaneous: Weed, Slots and Stem Cells
There were a few Whiskey Tango Foxtrot propositions on the ballots this midterm. Along with adopting English as its official language, voters also had the opportunity to vote on a $1 Million Voter Reward. Basically, it was a lottery that would randomly pick a voter every two years to receive the money. I understand that this was an effort to increase voter turn out but once again it falls under the “Use money to change people’s minds” tactic. Can you imagine the shit storm that would follow if an illegal immigrant won that reward?

Nevada and Colorado both wanted to legalize the possession of 1 ounce of marijuana, realizing the cost of the weed will be comparable to a pack of smokes in a few years anyway. The propositions were wisely shot down by a substantial margin. South Dakota wanted to legalize weed for medicinal use and it was narrowly defeated along with a proposition to ban abortion. We wouldn’t want any potheads, who are legally high, to be denied an abortion.

Ohio wanted to legalize slot machine. Slots? In Ohio? Well, maybe Ohio is due for another scandal involving coins.

Missouri’s Amendment 2 would amend the Missouri Constitution known as the "Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative" and would protect embryonic stem cell research. It would specifically legalize all stem cell research and therapies consistent with federal law but would ban human cloning. MO was the only state to have stem cell on its ballots. Michael J. Fox and his opposition aside, if we have found some kind of science that can help people with deleterious diseases then why not exploit it? Why not make someone’s quality of life better at the expense of a blob of undeveloped cells? “But it’s a potential life!”, you say. Think of it as a potential child molester then, or whatever will help you sleep at night.

Local Voting
Locally, voter turn-out is pathetic and continues to be a frustration with politicians. An article in the Honolulu Advertiser, written in August 2006, said that only 4 in 10 registered voters gets out to the polls and votes citing voters are “apathetic, content, too busy, disinterested in public affairs, cynical about politicians and distracted by new technology and access to unprecedented amounts of entertainment.” Say it isn’t so, locals are apathetic? They have no problem making it to the Day-after-Thanksgiving Day sales at 5:00 a.m, showing up in droves.

There were a few places that turned voters away because of time disputes. Several people had a few minutes to spare before the doors closed in several voting areas but they were turned away because the clock on the inside said 6:00 p.m. while the voters’ cell phones had 5:57. C’mon. Let the people in line vote since they were in line before 6. Or, to prevent this bullshit in the future, get your ass to the polls well before closing time.

Even so, Hawaii made national news as it had recorded its lowest voter turn out- ever. Just over 50% of registered voters even bothered to get off their asses and vote. No wonder politicians like Maize Hirono (D-HI) win elections with ads that say little more than “Vote for me, my opposition likes Bush”. The aged Akaka easily waxed his opponent with more than 60% of the 50% of the voters. Awesome, another 80+ year-old Senator. My wife always throws it in my face that Akaka is pro military- and he is but only to the extent of “Move here and spend your money but don’t do anything”. Is it any wonder why our roads, schools, sewage systems, electric company, and housing costs sucks. Local do nothing to improve it via the medium of casting a vote.

The good news is that I’ll be out of there next year, only to become a resident of California. Even then I won’t be able to cast a vote for Arnold because he will have hit his term limit. Bummer.

November 8, 2006

Quite a day

I woke up to a Democrat controlled Congress and House, Rumsfeld's resignation, a new Speaker of the House and the blogosphere in a tizzy. Bad day for Republicans, good day for terrorists. The people have spoken and we had a good run Republican's. No matter, the same thing happened to Clinton and Reagan; the only thing left to do is see what happens in 2 years, especially with crazy Pelosi leading the way.

I find it unsurprising that the moonbats were donning their tinfoil hats in celebration over their victories, showing just as much poor sportsmanship for their wins today as their losses 2 years ago. At least Arnold won his second term.

Gay marriage bans, illegal immigration reform, stem cell research, and marijuana possession- all of which I could give 2 shits for right now- were waving in an ebb and flow last night, some made it and some didn't. Coincidentally, none of these issues were on the ballots here in Hawaii. In fact, some places here were late in opening for the polls and a few didn't open at all because of lazy assholes that didn't show up for work. Un.Beliable.

Here is the short list of priorities for the new Democratic Congress via the AP:
Military: Force an immediate drawdown of troops in Iraq and conduct oversight hearings on missteps on the war. The announcement Wednesday that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was resigning met Democratic demands that he step down to take responsibility for the situation in Iraq.
Intelligence: Increase attention given to emerging terrorist threats in Africa and Southeast Asia and devote more resources to North Korea and Iran. More oversight of terrorism and government surveillance.
Energy and environment: Increase incentives for biodiesel, ethanol and other alternative fuels as well as wind, solar, geothermal and other sources of alternative energy. Renegotiate oil and gas leases that waived royalty payments to the government. Impose a national cap on industrial carbon dioxide emissions. Resist Bush's efforts to open more public lands to oil exploration.
Judiciary: Conduct oversight hearings on treatment of terrorism detainees, domestic surveillance programs and President Bush's use of "signing statements" affecting some requirements in the laws he signs.

We'll see.

OpinionNation had a great write up comparing Dems and how they act when they win or lose.

November 5, 2006

Justice served


"I admit it. I'M AN ASSHOLE!"
-Saddam Hussein, former despotic dictator of Iraq who, by the NYT admission, had a "nuclear primer".

What a great way to wake up, pumpkin spice coffee brewing, egg-in-a-basket cooking on the stove, and Saddam's death sentence all over the Internet. The only time I have been this happy about the Iraqi dictator and his family was when I heard that his two sons were killed by good old fashioned American bombs, and the fact that one of his sons was still alive long enough to see an American face kneeling over him as he breathed his last.

I am sure a quick search will yield more than enough information about this trial nad the verdict but it is worth posting a link to a video of Saddam's reaction, defiant to the end like the crazy asshole he is.

Guilty Verdict Video

November 3, 2006

Pot: "Hey kettle, you're black."

This story is beyond shocking. The New York Times is complaining that documents released by the Bush organization, under pressure from Congress, via a website contain sensitive information. So now the NYT is worried about leaking sensitive information? Their hatred of Bush must really be blinding if they are allowing themselves to look like 1) Complete hypocrates, or, 1) Complete jackasses.

A very interesting sidebar to this story, and one the NYT probably didn't anticipate with this "Bush screwed up again" post, is that the NYT will now have to answer for their "There is no threat in Iraq" position. Whoops. Now they know how John Kerry feels after making a stupid remark.

The Captain's Quarters had some damning paragraphs directed at the Times that I also echo:
Actually, we have much, much more. All of these documents underscore the threat posed by Saddam Hussein and show that his regime continued their work on banned weapons programs. We have made this case over and over again, but some people refused to believe the documents were genuine. Now we have no less of an authority than the New York Times to verify that the IIS documentation is not only genuine, but presents a powerful argument for the military action to remove Saddam from power.

The Times wanted readers to cluck their tongues at the Bush administration for releasing the documents, although Congress actually did that. However, the net result should be a complete re-evaluation of the threat Saddam posed by critics of the war. Let's see if the Times figures this out for themselves.

November 1, 2006

John Kerry and his Freudian slip

Once again the Senator from Massachusetts has made an ass out of himself. Addmittedly, I am blogging about this a little late but it seems Kerry has apologized, sort of, for his remarks and this makes for a good update to a story that has rallied the military against Kerry- once again.

But our troops know how to take it all in stride:


I won't bother going over the details of his botched joke suffice it to say that it wasn't botched. He said exactly what he meant and it was only after his nervous laughs compensating for an otherwise silent crowd that he realized he slipped.

There is a lot of criticism on the blogosphere from Democrats who are chastizing us for our chastizing of Kerry. It seems we are not to make fun of a Democrat's stupid remarks even though the Dems have been doing it with Bush for the last 7 years. But there is a little more in the substance of what Kerry said that differentiates it from Bush's butchering of the English language.

Here is part of Kerry's "apology":
I sincerely regret that my words were misinterpreted to wrongly imply anything negative about those in uniform...
I take offense to the tardiness of this half-assed attempt at a political reckoning. How stupid do you think we are? Is there any wonder why Kerry has pulled out of a CNN and Minnesotta appearance? His statement is an attack concealed as an apology.

Kerry supporters are also spinning thier demigod's comments, laughing at republicans who dare to criticize, using lame quips like, "A week before the elections and this is what the Republicans are running with?!" it is no more ridiculous than the Democrats running with the Matt Foley mess.

It would appear at first glance that the Democrats deal more with reputation than with substance. You would be correct. Their campaign message this year is "Vote for us, we're not Republicans." Their television ads are mindless charicatures of the candidates who are hoping the main stream media will pull them across the finish line November 7.

John Steyn nailed it:
I find the Derb/Jay line, agreeing that Senator Kerry was making a joke about Bush, highly implausible. If you talk to Democrats of the middle-class and upper-middle-class and (in John Heinz Kerry’s case) the neo-Gulf-emir-class, you’ll have heard the same thing a thousand times: these poor fellows in Iraq, they’re only there because they’re too poverty-stricken and ill-educated so they couldn’t become Senators and New York Times reporters and tenured Queer Studies professors like normal Americans do. That is, in fact, what they mean by the claim that they “support our troops”: they want to bring them home and retrain them so they’re not forced into taking jobs as Bush’s torturers and thugs.

It’s part of the same condescension as describing soldiers as “our children”. If a 22-year old intern wants to drop to the Oval Office broadloom, she’s a grown woman exercising her freedom of choice. But, if a 28-year old guy wants to serve in Iraq, he’s a poor wee misguided Grade Six drop-out who doesn’t know any better. John Kerry’s soundbite is interesting not because it’s the umpteenth self-inflicted wound by Mister Nuance but because it gets right to the heart of the Democrats’ “support” for the troops.