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December 30, 2008

Stop it already with the dumb baby names...

My wife received a Christmas card from an old "Knottie" friend and it has been begging for a post on my blog. About 6 months ago this person told everyone (on The Knot*) she had the perfect name for her unborn girl, a name she kept a secret so nobody would steal it and use it for their own.

The whole ordeal reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where George Castanza had the perfect name for his future kid and, in a moment of weakness, revealed the name to an expecting couple who then stole the name. Do you remember the name? Seven, like the number. So the months went by and after the birth of her child she unveiled the name to everyone on The Knot while the umbilical cord was still attached.

Before I tell you the name of her baby girl I must tell you that the name wasn't as bad as some of the celebrity names that these idiots came up with. Here is a short list:

Moxie Crimefighter Jilette
Pilot Inspektor
Kal-el Coppola Cage
Apple Blythe Alison Martin
Sonnet, True, Autumn, & Ocean Whittaker

FFS, what the hell are these people thinking? True, they are offspring of celebrities and probably won't get picked on- even Moonunit has done fairly well despite her drug induced name. But what of the rest of us mere common folk who decide to be different and give our children names that we think are so clever?

I recall several people on my first boar who gave their children unique (i.e. stupid) names, almost like they were competing against each other- Jasmine Mercedes and Myasia to name a few. This was back in 1992! I had a conversation with the A ganger who named his girl Myasia (like the continent) and where he came up with that gem- why chose a continent? Mypapanewguinea has a certain charm to it also. He told that Asia means "beautiful" and that his girl is "my beautiful" girl. It is a romantic idea, I suppose, but I asked him from what dictionary he got the definition of "asia" from.

I have a great name for all you ass clowns who name your children by flipping through an atlas or by mixing consonant and vowels together like you are puling tiles out of a Scrabble bag. Here it is:
Throw a Soccerball at my head (Last name here)

Why that name? Because that is what is going to happen when that kid gets in the 6th grade.

Back to my wife's friend. Are you ready? Here it is:
Analiese
Yes, please, reread that name and I assure you that you did read it correctly the first time. Most guys, because we are very intuitive to sexual innuendos, pick right up on the reference for that name. Women, are you stumped? Let me help you:

Did this woman just not make the connection or was just so overwhelmed by here cleverness at combining the names Anna and Elise(?) that she just didn't put 2 and 2 together (no pun intended). But I can't put the blame solely on her. What kind of a man doesn't catch that faux pas? So, either he just didn't mention it out of fear of his wife, or, he did mention it and his wife thought, "No, honey, it isn't spelled the same as the ass lube and besides, people aren't that cruel." For fuck sake woman, at least use two "N"'s or better yet, if you are going for the unintentional innuendo word combination why not just name her Ball Gag?

One thing is for sure, that guy better buy a shotgun and a lot of rock salt. Those high school boys are going to mistake the name Analiese as a wanna-be porn star name and be beating that door down every night. Buck Cherry is a pretty cool name, though.


*The Knot: A web board associated with all things wedding consisting of a message board of the most mundane, useless, and contrite shit you have ever had the misfortune to read. There is more drama on these message boards in one day than in an entire season of Melrose Place.

December 21, 2008

Trip to Germany

I recently spent 4 glorious days in Deutschland, mostly for company business but with a lot of spare time to eat, drink, and see some of the area. The trip there, however, was absolutely horrid and United Airlines can suck it from now on. Two of their planes had mechanical problems, we were rerouted twice and then, because the would not call ahead to our connecting flight in Dulles, had to spend the night there and consequently lost a free day in Germany. I won't go into more detail because I still get pissed off. Oh, did I mention that they lost my luggage? Out of 6 of us that traveled together I was the only one.

There was a bit of disturbing news to be reported in that I made it through 4 security checkpoints in 3 different airports in the United States with my 3 inch knife in my backpack. I forgot all about it when I was at the airport digging through my mesh pocket in the front of the backpack- in plain view. On the other side of the security checkpoint. But I decided to tempt fate again after we had to leave our first plane for electrical problems and go back to ticketing. I made it all the way to Brussels before I threw it away in the bathroom garbage. I didn't need any more trouble overseas. So yeah, TSA can suck it too. I thought about taking pictures of myself with the knife out and then sending it to TSA but then I remembered that it is usually a bad idea to take incriminating photos.

At first I was pretty pissed about the lost luggage thing but the Director of Finance for my company was with us. I went shopping for new clothes and they were all expensed from the company card so I can't complain too much. We stayed at a really nice hotel which was also a quick taxi ride to the company. I was bummed for our day delay in getting to Germany because I had a whole day of training with one of my German colleagues. In fact, I had my return trip changed to come back on Wednesday so that I could attend a 2 day training on Monday and Tuesday but then my Department head thought he remembered that my direct supervisor was going on vacation the day that I would be staying. That would normally be no big deal but we have 3 days of training so I had my trip changed again for me to leave on Monday. Funny story- when I landed in the States I finally got an email from my boss telling me to stay in Germany for the training.....


There was a Christmas festival next to our hotel and we met with some German colleagues to enjoy the local food and drink. Gluwien is a seasonal drink made of spiced wine served piping hot. It was really good and warmed me up very quickly. Unfortunately, I had nothing to eat before I drank 2 cups of it and I started feeling the wine. I had lots of brauts, chocolate covered fruit skewers, and various other foods at the festival throughout my stay. We did eat at a few restaurants but they were Italian and Mexican. Because of our large size we had problems finding places to seat us all.

We did make it to the company grounds on Friday (the day after our arrival) for the tour of the facilities. It is unbelievably big and the process involved in making the inverters is overwhelming. After the tour I met with the person I was supposed to be getting the training from. We had a big lunch in his building's eating facility that included pizza, breaded sardines, and lots of wine. In fact, I found it very difficult to drink anything but wine and beer. Restaurants do not automatically pour glasses of water and if you do ask for it they bring the common water that is carbonated.

The main reason we all made the trip was to attend the Christmas party. It was a huge event with about 2500 employees gathered to eat, drink, and watch a variety of presentations and skits. As a new employee, I was trotted around the dining room and then led over to the front to sing the company song, in German of course. It was a 5 verse song and we sang it in a round fashion, kind of like Row Row Row Your Boat. After that, all the subsidiaries were led to a back room and handed the words to We Are The World. We all had our separate parts but sang together on the chorus. We absolutely hacked our verse that ended with "as long as we stand together as one" We received a standing ovation for our efforts and I was really touched. The Chief Financial Officer came up after we sang but I did not bring the translator headset so I did not understand what he said. In short, he gave us all props and thanked us for our contribution to the company.

With that contribution came an extremely large bonus for 2008. We more than doubled our 2008 goal and made, as a whole, over $650M euro. We were also told that the profit sharing bonus for the year would be equal to 4 months of pay. I about shit myself. Needless to say the rest of the night was even more merry. I danced, visited, and finally made my way back to the hotel about 4:30 a.m. We were told that leaving before midnight was bad form so our group went above and beyond to make a good showing.

On Saturday I took a tour of the area which included the Brother's Grimm route. It was very interesting to hear about the history of the town and to learn about the two brothers who wrote so many fairy tales. We visited a museum and I was 2 feet away from an original Rembrandt painting. It was very moving and I'm sure my Humanities professor would be proud. We also visited a castle built in the 1600's complete with a room full of armor from the era. I was in awe at the whole experience and would have given my left testicle for just a piece of the most dilapidated armor hanging in that room. Hell, I would have liked to have taken a few pictures but we were not allowed.

All too soon it was time to come home. I flew on Lufthansa airlines directly from Frankfurt. It was a 10 hour flight but it was incredibly relaxed. I was upgraded to economy plus so I had plenty of leg room and complimentary drinks. They fed us several times and handed out hot towels, snacks, and drinks the whole time. The first class accommodations were even sweeter but I don't think my company would fork out $16,000 for a first class ticket. It is good to be back home with my family and I took the day off to recuperate. My two year old has not left my side since I got home. I have posted some pictures of my trip but they do not do the justice of an actual visit, as is with most journeys. Enjoy and Frohe Weinachten!








December 5, 2008

Woot! The Juice has been squeezed

So long, dick head; have fun in prison. He should be thankful that he is just now starting his sentence instead of having the 10 reprieve he has been milking. After reading the Yahoo article I was a little dissapointed that the Goldman's made the remark they did about Simpson's robbery being partly their fault.
The Goldmans took a share of the credit for Simpson's fate, saying their relentless pursuit of his assets to satisfy a $33.5 million wrongful-death judgment "pushed him over the edge" and led him to commit the robbery to recover some of his valuable sports memorabilia.

Whatever, dude.
O.J. Simpson speaks during his sentencing hearing at the Clark County Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, Friday, Dec. 5, 2008. Sitting right to Simpson is his lawyer Yale Galanter. Simpson was sentenced Friday to at least 15 years in prison for a hotel armed robbery after a judge rejected his apology and said, 'It was much more than stupidity.'








November 12, 2008

Suck it, treehuggers

I was so happy to read this email my wife sent me concerning the Navy's use of active sonar off the coast of California. I remember how much of a pain in the ass it was to come out to San Diego to do battlegroup operations becuase of the Marine Mammal Active Sonar regulations the Navy had to adopt. In short, whenever a few whales beached themselves, there happened to be a Naval exercise somewhere in the area, perhaps even 2000 nautical miles away. This was unequivocably related and caused by the active sonar operations of the ships and subs, regardless of whether or not the power levels were 100dB or 250dB.

I remember one exercise that came to a halt because a pod of dolphins was detected near our boat. 2 U.S. submarines, a Frigate, and a helicopter had to secure active until the dolphins got tired of playing with us. Heaven forbid a humpback get in our path in which case we had to provide right of way, no matter the distance.

Oh yeah, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg can suck it too.

November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day memoire

While rummaging around in one of my Rubbermaid boxes of Navy stuff I came across a stenopad with a mini essay I wrote while stationed aboard the USS LOS ANGELES (SSN 688). I do not know the exact date of this writing but it was sometime in October 1998 based on an underway log entry made immediately following. I am finding more and more of these notebooks and pads and I have mixed feelings after I read them. On one hand, I am extremely grateful that I m not punching holes in the ocean aboard a nuclear powered submarine. On the other hand, I miss punching holes in the ocean aboard a nuclear powered submarine. The following essay is exactly how I wrote it over 10 years ago. Enjoy.


The very nature of a submarine causes people to dislike the situation they are in. It is a unique animal which demands a like coexistence with its crew. Most people will admit that they like their job and just tolerate the rest of the bullshit that goes along with it (drills, workups, fucked up command policies, etc.) until they (a) transfer off the boat or (b) get out of the Navy. But the one thing a submariner likes to do is bitch about his situation. I would have to say, however, that the Navy cliché “A happy sailor is a bitching sailor” is a contradiction in terms- it’s more of a cause and effect.

Nobody wants to be in a shitty situation; they deal with the stress and frustration by bitching. Like Old Faithful, the command gives an inexhaustible and predictable supply of material to bitch about. To wit: The boat pulls into San Diego for repairs. Everyone (sans duty section) has liberty until 0100 the following morning. The duty section, after having to stay aboard the first day, only has liberty from 0730-1300 on their day after. The obvious point here is the duty section getting screwed with only 5.5 hours of liberty when the other 2/3 of the crew had a great time in San Diego the previous day.

A lot of people were complaining about the 0100 curfew. Why bring people in at 0100 when there wasn’t anything in the Plan of the Day until 1230 when the ORSE briefs started? The 1300 curfew for the day after duty people was still a mystery that was never really fully explained by anyone in the command. The big curveball came when the command secured everyone’s liberty on the second day. We received a tentative underway time of 0600 on the third day. Reveille was at 0400. In actuality, it was probably a smart move of the command’s part to keep everyone on board all day, all night, until we left. People were pissed off and that would have been the day everyone would have gone out and gotten shitfaced. A few glasses of Jack & Coke is an effective way for me to forget about the boat for a while. Is getting shitfaced the night before an underway irresponsible? Not any more irresponsible than getting hammered the night before an advancement exam. Would it be a smart thing to do before a major exam like ORSE? Probably not, but it would have been nice to go play a few games of pool or watch TV in the barracks lounge before the underway since we have been gone from Pearl for a month.

What it boils down to is that the command could have made the best of a situation that pulled us into port for a short time but didn’t because of job security, ignorance, or perhaps even out of malice. In the command’s eyes they are actually doing the crew a favor by screwing them out of some well deserved liberty. But dammit if they can’t just twist the knife just a little more by doing something totally retarded like securing the television onboard at 2200 thinking, “That will get them to bed earlier and they will be more refreshed for the underway!” Hey. Assholes. The crew doesn’t appreciate your concern for their well being. In fact, the crew resents being treated like children by being told when to go to bed. As a gesture of good will, the XO bought $100 worth of soda to act as a Jedi Mind Trick in hopes that the crew would forget about the San Diego 1998 bone job. The blue shirts misread the gesture as a pillow for our heads as Billy Bob reamed our unlubricated assholes.

A bitching sailor is happy? I don’t think so. There were a lot of unhappy, bitching sailors in San Diego. What substitutes for happiness when things are going badly on the boat is one of two things: 1) physically abusing someone or 2) verbally abusing someone. Verbal abuse constitutes about 60-80% of all conversation aboard a submarine at any point in time. Ironically, the verbal abuse is usually unprovoked and has a very high probability of being an antiquated mother joke (MJ). The MJ is usually a lame attempt to save face when the person can’t think of an imaginative, original slam. This type of MJ elicits little more than a pity laugh/moan- if he is lucky.

The other type of MJ is ad lib and comes out of nowhere. It isn’t spoken out of malice but rather as a competitive, insincere slam. The situation was just too tempting to leave a good mj out. I remember a time when a guy came into crews mess and innocently asked for the time, instead of looking 3 feet to his left to read the clock. He might as well just said, “Hey someone give me a relentless barrage of humiliating insults which will throw me into a mild depression and render me useless for the rest of the day.” Almost immediately after this Seaman nub asked his question, I fired back with, “It’s time for your mom to get fucked in the ass by all those prison guards.” Mouth agape, he turned around without saying a word a left the mess decks, the guffaws bellowing down the passageway and ringing in his head.
Some people deserve all the verbal abuse they get. With the kinder-gentler Navy quietly taking over, the Barney techniques for dealing with punk assholes are wearing pretty thin. I miss the old days when a roll of EB green tape and a grease gun could take care of any intolerable, cocky shit bag. The ripping noise from a roll of EB Green sent nubs running for cover.

*Thought: Only on a submarine would you hear this conversation:
“Holy shit. What the hell is that smell?”
“It smells like shit. Are we blowing sans or something?”
“Dude, I think that’s chow.”

I have to say that it is pretty bad when you can’t even distinguish the smell coming from the ventilation as either shit or what you are about to eat after watch.
Another unique statement:
“Ya know, the cool thing about sweat ass is that when you take a shit, it doesn’t take long to wipe.”

It would appear at first glance that submariners have a fecal fetish but it’s really nothing more than conversational backslide when there really isn’t anything else to talk about. With a crew of around 120, and a total of only 4 shitters for the blue shirts, conflicts are bound to occur, especially right after drills or wake ups. Everyone is up and most have to take a shit. I would have never thought I would have gotten used to the smell of (someone else’s) shit while I was brushing my teeth or even be able to not even notice the sound of flatulation echoing in the stainless steel shitters. Just another day.
“The cool thing about taking a shit after a fire drill is that it doesn’t take long to flush because the trim header is still pressurized.”

There is an inboard shitter that leaks flushing water. To prevent an overflow the ball valve is left cracked open. I did not know about the condition of this ball valve and fully shit it before I sat down to do my business. I reached around to wipe and my knuckle brushed the rising turd that was only inches away from my butt cheeks. Good thing I don’t mess around when I take a dump or I would have been picking it up off the floor after it overflowed out of the bowl. I digress.

Physical abuse aboard a sub is pretty much gone. It just isn’t worth losing a stripe over. It broke my heart when the Zero Tolerance Hazing policy was introduced and the first sacrificial lambs were busted for tacking on dolphins. An age old tradition congratulating and accepting a new shipmate into the brotherhood of submarines was lost forever. As sorry as I was to see it go, however, I could easily see why it had to be throttled.

I remember a Seaman who, after just 5 months, received his fish. As he stepped into AMR an A-Ganger congratulated him by picking up Thor, a lead hammer, and pummeling his chest just once. The dolphins split in half and embedded the backs of the pins into his chest. Gasping for air, the seaman stood up and watched the bloodstain slowly appear and spread on his shirt. He was barraged a half dozen more times before leaving the machinery space. His shirt was ruined and his top two ribs bruised.

I was greeted with the same response in AMR but not as bad when I got my fish in September 1989. In fact, right after I received my fish from the Captain during Quarters on the Pier, a fellow Sonarman turned around immediately after were dismissed. He gave me my first punch and almost knocked me off the pier after I tripped over something. But even with all the punching, hitting with foreign objects and even kicking, I knew that it would all be over at the end of the day. I was initiated into the most elite and protective fraternity in the world- I was now a Submariner. I was someone the crew could trust with their life. I took the punches as an unspoken, “Good job. You made it.”

November 6, 2008

The next 4 years

Wow, I hadn't really finished my last post on election day when, only 13 minutes after the polls closed here in CA, Obama had reached the 270 electoral votes. I almost feel bad for the people on the West coast who waited in line for 2 hours to vote for McCain.

I honestly feel the better candidate did not win and the close popular vote showed that Americans were almost divided on whom should pick up the office for the next 4 years. But only time will tell, as with everything, but I hope that Obama's presidency will not weaken our country like Clinton's did. Speaking of which, it was a historic day because the United States has elected it's second black President.

I don't see much change coming in the next 4 years though. Obama's liberal and consistent voting record will be his benchmark for me. I hope that he proves me wrong because our country is desperate need for some help. But I don't have much faith in a man who, along with his party, do not support the idea of teachers passing out aspirins to students but then think it is perfectly reasonable for an underage girl to get an abortion and the parents should not be notified. I don't get it. In fact, the Proposition on our CA ballot for parental notification and waiting period did NOT pass. People are retarded.

I am happy to say that most of the Propositions I voted for passed. Thank God the chickens now have room to flap their wings before their heads are chopped off (Prop 2). Prop 8 passed and homosexuals will have to wait a little longer to get married, or, in my opinion, have a civil union. I feel bad for the people who waited in line at the chapels and courthouses who then had to go home single. At least CA allows domestic partnerships, unlike Florida (a.k.a Hell's Waiting Room) that passed a Prop to eliminate them. My home state of AR showed it's backward thinking by disallowing people who aren't married to adopt. It was originally targeted for same sex couples but that would be discriminatory so they included everyone. Let's hope Obama can change all this, right?

Generally speaking, I wasn't really bummed that Obama won, unlike the feelings of disbelief and angst when Clinton won a second term despite everything that happened in his first 4 years. I think that the last few elections have shown that the younger candidate that can actually hold their own in a debate will win the presidency. Republicans need to be grooming their own minority, 4 year Senator with no experience and they will win by a landslide.

November 4, 2008

For the record- The race to 270

Today was the first time in 20 years that I actually went to a polling station to cast my vote. I had sent in absentee ballots the whole time I was in the Navy so this was an eye-opening experience. My polling station is small and I was the 8th person to cast their vote this morning. Starbucks gave me a free cup of coffee for my civic duty.

I think this election will be a nail biter but as I am writing this Obama has taken a significant lead in electoral votes. I have always though the electoral process is crap and that the popular vote should be the deciding factor. As it stands, it is a race to 270, and the McCain/Palin ticket is lagging.

Besides the Presidential vote, there were some important propositions here in CA that were also on the ballot. There were also a few people running for reelection of offices in the state that I did not really care about- so I wrote in my name. I have a pretty good shot at taking Judge of Superior Court #6 since Peter McBrian is running unopposed.

So, without regret, here are my selections for my first non-absentee election:

Pres/V.P.- McCain/Palin (see my previous posts for my reasons)
Congressman District 3- Dan Lungren
Senator- Dave Cox

Prop 1- High Speed Train YES
Prop 2- Farm Animal confinement YES
Prop 3- Children's Hospital Grant NO (they have plenty of money that hasn't been used since 2004)
Prop 4- Waiting period and parental notification for under age huzzies who get knocked up and want an abortion YES
Prop 5- Nonviolent drug offenses etc. YES
Prop 6- Cop funding, criminal penalties and laws NO (not worded good enough for me)
Prop 7- Renewable energy intiative NO (Seems counterintuitive for me since I work in that industry but there are too many loopholes for big power companies to soak taxpayers)
Prop 8- Same sex marriages protected NO (Stop calling it marriage. Get married in a church, get a civil union in a courthouse for taxes, with holdings etc. and be done with it)
Prop 9- Victim's right for Parole notification HELL YES
Prop 10- Alternative feul vehicles NO (rewrite because it is too vague and gives too much leniency for things to get effed up)
Prop 11- redistrictin ginitiative YES
Prop 12- Veteran's Bond act UHH, HELL YEAH


Tomorrow dawns a new age either way.

October 8, 2008

Second round Pres debate /wrist

Not much to say about last night's continuation of the first debate 4 weeks ago. Each didn't really say anything, both slammed each other, each misrepresented the other's policies, plans, and stances on the issues.

The transcript is even more tortuous to read than watching the actual debate, which this time did not include a podium and had Tom Brokaw moderating. Those were the two key differences between both Presidential debates. Like I said, voters will not be able to glean anything the candidates actually say because there is just too much rhetoric; it is like being in a House of Mirrors at the carnival.

There is one thing that is becoming increasingly more apparent to me as the weeks drone on and that is the position of the Vice President. We can name a dozen VP's who were not very inspiring, articulate or even well known. The same can be said of Biden and Palin but there is something these two VP hopefuls have the other ones didn't really have a shot at- actually taking over as President.

McCain is less than a year away from hitting 70- normally not that big of a deal but McCain has had a tough life. I don't know anything about his medical history but those years in a POW camp probably caused some long term health issues.

Obama is a different story. He is young and in visibly good health but, at the risk of sounding racist, he is black. There are a lot of backwards ass rednecks that wouldn't take too kindly of a black man in charge. I'm just throwing that out there as a possibility- you can be sure that the Secret Service will have their jobs cut out for them if Obama is elected.

So who does that leave us as the next President of the U.S. during a time in our history where we are surrounded by our enemies, both inside and outside our homeland, we are in the worst financial crisis of our lifetime (and probably our parent's lifetime), and we continue to fall farther behind the rest of the world in education and social programs. Hell, even immigration has declined slightly since the financial crisis hit the news.

Americans are losing their jobs, their retirements, their homes, and their sanity. Which one of these candidates can pull it all together? Can any of them? Can any of them pull the reigns on the Wall Street jackoffs who got us into this mess and punish them?

/rhetorical questioning=OFF

Yahoo News had a pretty good round up of some of the issues that were (kind of) touched on last night. It helps when trying to weed through the actual debate. Their information came from factcheck.org

OBAMA: Said McCain's proposal to give people a tax credit in exchange for treating employers' health insurance contributions as taxable wages amounts to "what one hand giveth, the other hand taketh away."

THE FACTS: Obama's suggestion that McCain's health care plan is a wash for families is misleading. McCain offers families a $5,000 tax credit to help them buy health insurance. The corresponding increase in taxable wages would result in a much smaller cost than the value of the tax credit, at least at first. Over time, the value of the tax credit may diminish as premiums rise. However, the Tax Policy Center estimates that McCain's plan would increase the federal deficit by $1.3 trillion over 10 years — mainly because it would lead to less tax revenue coming in, meaning it is a true tax break overall.

___

McCAIN: Said he would provide a $5,000 refundable tax credit for families to buy health insurance "rather than mandates or fines for small businesses as Sen. Obama's plan calls for."

THE FACTS: Obama's health care plan does not impose mandates or fines on small business. He would provide small businesses with a refundable tax credit of up to 50 percent on health premiums paid on behalf of their employees. Also, large employers that do not offer meaningful coverage or contribute to the cost of coverage would be required to pay a percentage of payroll toward the costs of a public insurance plan. But small businesses would be exempt from that requirement.

___

OBAMA: "Actually I'm cutting more than I'm spending so that it will be a net spending cut."

THE FACTS: The bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates Obama would increase spending by $425 billion over four years and reduce spending by $144 billion for a net increase in the deficit of $281 billion. Obama has said he'll cut pork-barrel programs and the costs of the war in Iraq to pay for his programs — as well as raise taxes on the wealthy — but the specifics of his new spending plans outweigh the few spending cuts he's identified.

___

McCAIN: Said one way out of the financial crisis is to "stop sending $700 billion a year to countries that don't like us."

THE FACTS: Although he didn't spell it out, he was referring — as he has in the past — to purchases of oil from countries hostile to the U.S. The figure is inflated and misleading. The U.S. is not spending nearly that much on oil imports and roughly one-third of what it does spend goes to friendly countries such as Canada, Mexico and Britain.

___

OBAMA: Blamed some of the problem of terrorism in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region on Bush administration policy in Pakistan, saying "We can't coddle, as we did, a dictator, give him billions of dollars and then he's making peace treaties with the Taliban and militants."

THE FACTS: Obama oversimplifies ex-President Pervez Musharraf's approach to making peace deals. In fact, the U.S.-backed Musharraf focused more heavily on military action, launching blistering attacks on the militants at times and negotiating peace deals with them at others. Obama also ignores the fact that Pakistan's newly elected civilian government, also U.S.-supported, is seeking the same kind of peace deals and has stepped back from heavy-handed tactics that were pursued by the Musharraf government.

___

McCAIN: Said Obama had voted for tax increases "94 times."

THE FACTS: This inflated count, heard before, includes repetitive votes as well as votes to cut taxes for the middle class while raising them on the rich. An analysis by factcheck.org found that 23 of the votes were for measures that would have produced no tax increase at all, seven were in favor of measures that would have lowered taxes for many, 11 would have increased taxes on only those making more than $1 million a year.

___

OBAMA: "I believe this is a final verdict on the failed economic policies of the last eight years, strongly promoted by President Bush and supported by Sen. McCain, that essentially said that we should strip away regulations, consumer protections, let the market run wild, and prosperity would rain down on all of us."

THE FACTS: McCain has indeed favored less regulation over the years but supported tighter rules and accountability on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac two years before the start of a financial crisis prompted in part by those giant mortgage underwriters. Obama was not a leader in that unsuccessful effort. Some of the current problems can be traced to legislation passed in 1999 that lifted many regulations over the financial industry. That deregulation was championed by then-Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, a McCain supporter, but also by President Clinton, who signed the legislation, and by former Clinton Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, now a top Obama economic adviser.

___

MCAIN: "Oil drilling offshore now is vital so we can bridge the gap between imported oil ... and it will reduce the price of a barrel of oil. ... We've got to drill offshore and do it now."

THE FACTS: The government estimates that opening the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and eastern Gulf of Mexico to drilling "will not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030." Even then, it would only increase domestic oil production by 3 percent.

This is why we fail

WASHINGTON - Days after it got a federal bailout, American International Group Inc. spent $440,000 on a posh California retreat for its executives, complete with spa treatments, banquets and golf outings, according to lawmakers investigating the company's meltdown.

AIG sent its executives to the coastal St. Regis resort south of Los Angeles even as the company tapped into an $85 billion loan from the government it needed to stave off bankruptcy. The resort tab included $23,380 worth of spa treatments for AIG employees, according to invoices the resort turned over to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Yes, you read that correctly. The same assholes the government bailed out so that millions of Americans could have a chance to salvage what is left of their retirements, homes, et al just threw a Sweet 16 party- and we weren't invited.

This just reaks of one of those "Priceless" commercials. At least Obama is shaking his finger at them. That should help.

October 6, 2008

My $.02

This presidential election is going to be doozy. The whole process will drain me emotionally and intellectually until the moment the results are flung to the world this November, which is only 30 days away. I watched both debates and I have reflected on both what was said and what wasn’t said.

Obama is a great speaker; he reminds me of Bill Clinton in a lot of ways and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the same people have prepped both men. But I hold the same mistrust for both men also. I believe that the election is not going to be won by policies and attacks on the opposition’s stances but by whom the American people trust the most. Let’s face it, neither the Obama-Biden nor the McCain-Palin tickets are that impressive when it comes to combining all the elements of what a U.S. President should have. But then again, I can’t remember an election when they did.

Obama has had a tough time with the Ad Hominem fallacy of “guilt by association.” The first blow out was with, ironically, Obama’s preacher, Jeremiah Wright. Wright and Farrakhan could roll together on the “Kill Whitey” campaign train. In fact, while Obama may disagree with what these two hate mongers preach he has no problem with their continued support.

Another violent connection can be found between Obama and William Ayers, a former(?) member of a terrorist group called The Weather Underground Organization. This group claimed responsibility for several bombings in Chicago during the early 1970’s. Ayers commented that he regrets not setting off more bombs in an interview with the NY Times. Obama and Ayers worked together on a board for an anti-poverty group. Ayers is now a professor and the University of Illinois Chicago. There was a lot of commotion when it was discovered that Ayers sent a campaign contribution to Obama thereby creating one more financial tie to another scum bag. Granted it was only $200 but again, Obama had no problems accepting the contribution. Bill Dyer offers some insight into the life of this despicable man- Ayers, that is.

NYT minimizes and conceals both extent and seriousness of Obama's multi-year ties to terrorist Ayes over multi-million-dollar conspiracy to radicalize American education

Brokaw claims Ayers is now a mere "school reformer"

Tony Rezko was plunged into the spotlight at the beginning of the year, but only for a short time, before Obama damaged control rushed to the scene with their patch kits. Here is an interesting article on Rezko by the Chicago Sun-Times. I thought it was kind of funny that Hillary was the one to start the momentum for this scumbag. Then again, she is the queen of underhanded activities and what better person to flush it out than someone with first hand
experience in the area of corruption and coverup.

There are probably others but they are little fish compared to these 3. Perhaps more will surface in the upcoming months but at this point it would have to be a picture of Obama french kissing bin Laden while doing the Dance of the Flaming Asshole with the American flag to really raise my eyebrows.

It is hard for me to figure out which candidate has the better programs or plans for our future. Each has its own website that elegantly lays out just how much better off we will be by choosing the webmaster’s financier. There are even sites that juxtapose each candidate’s views in a two-column format to frustrate us even more. The sites are good for viewing the partisan views of the candidates and what they think about abortion, gay marriage, etc. but not for getting into the nitty gritty. For example, each candidate says the other voted against or for something but doesn’t get into why they cast that vote. Obama shakes his finger at McCain for “not supporting the troops” when voting against a bill geared towards education benefits for service members but it takes some research to find out why McCain did that. Additionally, both McCain and Obama share the same views on a lot of issues.

I was really hoping that the debates would be the deal clincher- that we could finally gain some insight into the views of the candidates that would break up the “Tastes Great, Less Filling” atmosphere. I was wrong. Obama gave an impressive performance and was well groomed for the debate. McCain pissed me off by not directly addressing either the moderator or Obama. There were several times McCain could have gone for the jugular but instead fell back on his autobiography. Obama spoke but didn’t really say anything. They both shit on each other’s voting history on key issues but the rebuttals left me wanting to get a refill on my glass of Chianti. But I didn’t dare leave.

The VEEP debates focused on what I had expected- “Hey, my Presidential nominee is the greatest.” Good thing for Palin, I guess, since she doesn’t sem to do very well when it comes to talking about the roles of government, world events, or addressing an issue she doesn’t know anything about. But I forgave her because she is more down to earth than Biden and her rising MILF status is nothing to sneeze at either. She didn’t do that bad, but I wanted her to stick it to Biden and Obama by actually answering the damn questions. Coming back to old topics and saying, “And I may not answer the questions that either the moderator or you want to hear, but I'm going to talk straight to the American people and let them know my track record also” really sounded like a cop out to me. I’m actually glad Biden called her out on the whole “We’re mavericks!” thing because, frankly, I was getting tired of hearing it. When hear maverick, I think of Tom Cruise banging Kelly McGillis in Top Gun, not candidates for an election.

Not one of the four candidates impressed me with their plan to get us out of this financial mess we are in. Pelosi has been chiming in with what she thinks is the problem- THE REPUBLICANS AND GEORGE BUSH!!! Hey, Pelosi, you have had control of everything for two years now- you can’t use the lame duck as a guinea pig anymore. Both Obama and McCain warned of the times to come, more or less, but it really was the Democrats, many years ago, who got us in this mess, with the help of a few Republicans taking kickbacks. Don’t know who Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac are? No, they aren’t Hee Haw stars or comedians. Here is the lowdown via Gather.com:
The [Community Reivestment Act of 1974] bill encouraged the Federal National Mortgage Association, commonly known as Fannie Mae, to enable mortgage companies, savings and loans, commercial banks, credit unions, and state and local housing finance agencies to lend to home buyers. It also encouraged the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, commonly known as Freddie Mac, to buy mortgages on the secondary market and sell them as mortgage-backed securities on the open market.

Sounds good so far. But only now are we feeling the after effects of Bill Clinton, more specifically his deregulation of the industry. Fannie and Mac picked up $12 Trillion of the mortgage market. “NO credit, bad credit, illegal alien, NO PROBLEM!” Now people can’t pay their bills and the housing market is crumbling. It is definitely a buyer’s market if you can find a bank to finance you. But even the banks are scared now. I can easily count a dozen houses for sale just on the 2 block walk to my son’s school. Billy Bob may not have caused the crisis but he sure didn’t help prevent it. It is a very complicated issue, as is anything concerning that amount of money, and there are many other sites who sum it up better than I can.

The shot heard ‘round the world happened last week when the bailout plan was defeated in the House. Stocks plunged, tempers flared, and the rest of us are still wondering just what the hell is going to happen in the months ahead. The Great Depression is looking for a comeback and it very well might happen. At first, I was pissed that it was defeated. After all, the government was going to buy back the mortgages and then…. Oh wait, the government was going to get involved. That bit of info finally set in and I snapped out of my financial fever. Here is the poop on the old bail out plan via Yahoo News:
The legislation the administration promoted would have allowed the government to buy bad mortgages and other sour assets held by troubled banks and other financial institutions. Getting those debts off their books should bolster those companies' balance sheets, making them more inclined to lend and ease one of the biggest choke points in a national credit crisis. If the plan worked, the thinking went, it would help lift a major weight off the national economy, which is already sputtering.

But what the plan also did was lift the responsibility of bad decisions from the asshole institutions that got us into this mess in the first place. It essentially gave them a “Get out of jail FREE” card. The government would pick up the tab and then slip it into our pocket when we weren’t looking. American’s saw the writing on the wall and email, telephoned, telegraphed, pigeon mailed their concerns to their Congressmen and Representatives who wisely let the people win this battle. A new bail out plan was approved today but did this bill pass? Money at CNN has some info:
House Minority Whip Roy Blunt, R-Mo., told reporters before the vote on Friday morning that three things have happened to change some Republican members' opposition to the bill since the House defeated the measure on Monday: more calls to their district offices in support of the bill; a clarification of SEC accounting rules; and the Senate additions, passed on Wednesday, including a number of tax break extenders and an increase in FDIC deposit insurance coverage.

The NY Times has an FAQ concerning the Historic Bailout Plan and its implications. It does a decent job of explaining how and why the average person who isn’t involved with swapping stocks or defaulting on a home loan are going to be affected by the bail out. It is definitely one for the history books. Here is another article written by William Grieder at The Nation.com that skillfully breaks down why Americans should be pissed off at the bail out plan and the people who got us into this mess.

I can safely say that 30 days will be longest I have ever held my breath. The tension in the weeks to come will be similar to the final scene in The Birdcage.

October 4, 2008

Karma , jackass. Karma...

13 years after murdering his ex-wife, O.J. is convicted of going totally bat shit crazy and pulling a gun on memorabilia collectors. Of course there will be an appeal and another, ad nauseum. But I think O.J. is finally headed to the big juicer to finally get what's coming to him, preferably a life sentence as someone's bitch in the state penitentiary. I guess his next book will be If I didn't do it.

September 27, 2008

Thanks, Paul

Paul Newman died today at the age of 83.

What we've got here, is a sad day in history. My favorite films are Cool Hand Luke and Slap Shot. He did play a great pool shark though. He also served in the U.S. Navy.

Thanks for the great films, your service, and the salad dressing.


"I can eat 50 eggs. And for the record, I would steer clear of me for about 3 days after."

September 11, 2008

Dastardly Deed

I remember exactly what I was doing this day 7 years ago. It isn’t important but it is one of those remembrances of my lifetime that parallels the Space Shuttle disasters, the day President Reagan was shot and the death of John Wayne. For me however, this event still, and probably always will, tighten my gut and cause a few tears well up in the corners of my eyes.

I will not watch any memorials or September 11 rehashes on the news. I don’t need them to remember who did this to us, why they did it, and why the lives of millions of Americans have never been, and probably never will be, the same since that day. September 11 rivals the attack on Pearl Harbor and Roosevelt’s description of the December 7 attack as a “dastardly deed” just doesn’t seem apropos to describe the actions that happened in NYC, the Pentagon, and Flight 93 that never made it to its target. But the terrorists did awaken a sleeping giant that day.

For too long our countrymen suffered attacks overseas by Muslim extremists and for too long we suffered attacks on our own soil before finally doing something about it. It has been a long 7 years, even longer for the men and women of the United States military who have fought in Afghanistan and Iraq. But it is a different war than what our fathers and grandfathers fought and died in. It seems like there is something missing from Americans today in this War on Terror. Resolve, mutual cooperation, and pride were elements of a mantra adopted by Americans during the World Wars that seemed to dissipate when our involvement in Vietnam launched us into an unpopular war with some Americans- much like the war in Iraq.

I see the war in Iraq and an opportunity for politics to dictate our actions instead of our resolve, our will to defeat an enemy being trumped by rules and laws that protect them. There have been some mistakes in this war on terror, some only realized in the perfect 20/20 vision of hindsight and some warned of from the start. Instead of learning from them or even correcting them, lawmakers, politicians, and Republicans and Democrats alike, use the mistakes as ammo to attack each other. There is more of a fight in Washington to defeat the other party than there is in defeating the terrorists who want to kill us.

McCain and Obama agreed to pull their ads on this day in a show of respect. Why would they have to do that unless the ads are so negative that they distract from anything else that might be on? Yahoo! didn’t even bother to commemorate the lives of the 2974 Americans and visitors who were killed on September 11- but they did have a cute banner graphic for the Olympics and ducks for Mother’s Day. They couldn’t make the “H” in Yahoo to look like the twin towers? Google is no better. It must be too much of a risk to put something on their homepage that might stir up some emotion or patriotism.

While most Americans live their lives oblivious to the war we are fighting, unless it causes their gas costs to increase or that they miss a tv show because a September 11 special is on, I will never forget.



September 5, 2008

The Next 60 Days

Well, 2 weeks of conventions have passed and America is probably a little better informed about the candidates. I have to admit that after Obama’s speech I was impressed with his message. After thinking about it for a while, however, it dawned on me what his message really was. You really had to read between the lines but I got from it was higher taxes, kiss the terrorists asses, and McCain is a weenie.

Obama promised to just raise taxes on the rich and corporations and I stated in a previous post that I don’t think those 2 demographics are going to be to supply the money needed for Obama’s proposed plans. They very well might, however, Fred Thompson summed it up best:

Now our opponents tell you not to worry about their tax increases.
They tell you they are not going to tax your family. No, they're just going to tax "businesses"!

So unless you buy something from a "business", like groceries or clothes or gasoline ... or unless you get a paycheck from a big or a small "business", don't worry ... it's not going to affect you.

They say they are not going to take any water out of your side of the bucket, just the "other" side of the bucket! That's their idea of tax reform.
A lot of talk went on about each party’s qualifications and experience level. Although Palin has had more government experience as a Governor and Mayor than Obama, who held positions on several Board of Directors. In my opinion, neither is very impressive, although their positions were probably very demanding at times. But at least Palin has some experience in government and has an impressive track record to boot.

McCain is a true hero, I get it. He went through some pretty rough times as a POW. I get that also. I just hope that we don’t have to hear about his torture and his triumph every time someone speaks about him. Again, I look at his record and there are some things I like and some things I don’t like. Overall, I am more impressed with McCain’s record than Obama as well as McCain’s character.

Both the RNC and the DNC speechwriter’s should be commended on the VP and Presidential nominee’s speeches. They were all well thought out and expertly delivered. But I take all this with a grain of salt. It was all just a dog and pony show and hopefully, over the next 2 months, we will get to the meat of the candidates, get to the substance that will make up our minds.

Obama is a great speaker and a sharp looking man. His very persona appeals to a lot of people who are tired of the last 8 years of bullshit. McCain looks like the same old story and selecting Palin as his VP was a brilliant move. But I hope that America sees through the smooth talk and fancy suits and actually listens to what both sides say.

A guy in my office, who was going to vote for McCain before he heard Obama’s speech last week, didn’t even bother to watch the RNC. I just have to shake my head.

Another liberal at my workplace told me that Obama has his vote because of the renewable energy plan. True, since we work in that industry, that is a valid point. My coworker also countered my view of higher taxes under Obama as misunderstood. Obama is only going to tax the higher tax brackets and big businesses. He also poiinted out how many billions of dollars of tax breaks hte Bush administration has given the oil companies. I told him that McCain and Obama are going to put a stop to that but that the taxes will still go up under Obama because the tax hikes to businesses will be compensated for in higher prices. The coworker said that the energy plan will compensate for that.

He just didn't see the effect of higher taxes on businesses that sell things that he will buy. When I pointed out to him that he will continue to buy gas, groceries, clothes and DVD's under Obama's presidency and those taxes will cause those prices to go up. He finally got it but he didn't want to admit it so he commented that it wouldn't matter if those costs went up because he would be making more money.

This same guy also told me that Obama will change our foreign policy and help the world see us in a better light. I asked him which countries- Russia, China, Iran, North Korea? How about the Arab countries we send millions of dollars to each year that also hate us? Are those the countries we need to pander to?

"Hey, man. We all have our opinions", as he leaves the room. I guess if you can't defend your position or your candidates you can cop out with that phrase.

It is going to be a wild 2 months.

August 28, 2008

The DNC........ /yawn

I have been catching the DNC and so far I am unimpressed. It has been a tear fest so far with no substance. I just watched Biden's speech and it was so-so but I am waiting for some clear and unclouded plans for the United States of America over the next 4 years.

Obama talks a smooth line but I don't know what the hell he is really saying most of the time. He tows the party line on a lot of issues but I think he is more liberal than Ted Kennedy when you read about his voting history and what little he does stand for.

Overall, Obama is for higher taxes- inheritance tax, gas tax, income tax, et al. That is what Democrats do- they raise taxes to pay for the programs to help people who cannot help themselves (or more to the point, too lazy to help themselves) by taking money from people who bust their ass to make some money. If you think things are economically bad for you now then it won't get better with Barrak in the White House.

I had a discussion with a hard core liberal at work the other day who is also voting for Barrak no matter what. I think if pictures of Obama came out showing him in a circle jerk with Bin Laden, Arafat, Amadhnejad (sp), and Kim Jong Il, this guy would still vote for him. I asked this guy at work why he was going to vote for Obama and got the typical Obama supporter reply- "He is for change."

I asked him what exactly Obama is going to change and I was told, "Everything. He will bring the country together." When I then asked how he was going to do that this supporter said, and I am not paraphrasing one iota, "Because he's black."

Because he's black? That's going to bring us all together, that's going to solve the gas crisis, the economic slump, the housing market crash, and our foreign reputation? Are you fucking kidding me?

This guy made the repeated point that our foreign relations are in the toilet and that it is Bush's fault. In fact, this guy couldn't defend Obama's position as much as he could just say that Bush sucks. So I think this speaks volumes about him and a lot of Obama supporters: they don't know what he really stands for, how he is going to fix our problems or bring America together. All they know is Bush sucks and they relate McCain to the perpetuation of the Bush cadre if McCain is elected. The Democrats know that they will not take the White House without a close race. Why else would they be making a big stink about how many houses McCain owns or that he pushing senility? They got nothing.

But more important to me, other than what Obama stand for politically, because he and McCain stand together on a lot of issues, is Obama's character. I don't trust him just like I don't trust the Clintons. A man who refuses to put his hand over his heart and recite the Pledge of Allegiance should not be running the most powerful country on this little blue planet. Peroid. I see Obama as an elitist jackass, much like how I view John Kerry. Obama hasn't impressed me much with his patriotism and I think that he will weaken our country's safety and security measure just like Clinton did in his 2 terms as president.

We live in a much harsher world than we did just 10 years ago. Muslim extremists do not like Americans, although they do like our movies and our clothes (Allah must not have a hard on for infidel fashion) and they will continue to kill non-Muslims no matter what the skin color of our next president. I don't think Obama understands the severity of just how important our foreign policy just doesn't matter to terrorists or the leaders of countries who hide, train, or support them.

I foresee more press conferences trying to tell us what Obama really meant to say if he is elected and even more ridiculous catch phrases than "That depends on what your definition of 'is' is."

August 10, 2008

wtf, over....

Bernie Mac died at age 50 the other day, Isaac Hayes died today at 65. I guess show business can be rough.

Only the good die young.
- Billy Joel


I didn't listen to Bernie Mac's stand up except for maybe a few minutes as I was channel surfing. He was playing in Vegas a few weeks ago when I went for the weekend with my wife.

I have posted about Isaac Hayes when he decided to leave South Park after the creators dogged the stupidity that is Scientology. Hayes didn't seem to have a problem when Matt Stone and Trey Parker made fun of all the other world religions. I didn't read the story about Hayes but I can only guess he didn't die by falling off a suspended bridge while on fire, only to fall off and become impaled on a pointy rock, and then mauled apart by a hungry bear and mountain lion- then ending in a violent release of his bowels. Cosmically ironic if it did though.

On top of these weekend deaths, visitors to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing have been murdered. The father of a 2004 Olympiad was stabbed to death and his wife critically injured by a Chinese man. It is a shame that this happened but I have to wonder why the people of the world would expect otherwise.

China is a communist country and ruled by a dictator. True, China is gaining a strong economic front, but that shouldn't fool people into thinking everything is hunky dory over there. China has ensured that politics will get a gold medal and freedom of speech will finish dead last. 2006 Olympic Speedy skater Joey Cheek, had his visa revoked for speaking out against the mess that is Darfur. Way to promote that Olympic spirit, commies.

I was told that the opening ceremonies were incredible but I have no desire to watch the Olympics. To give China the privilege of hosting the Olympics, a time for celebration of the human condition, is like giving Yasir Arafat the Nobel Peace Prize.

China and Arafat can both suck it.

August 9, 2008

Terrorists, Hollywood, braindead Dems and Muslim extremists

This is why that group of people piss me off:



The last seven times we Americans took up arms and sacrificed the blood of our youth, it was in the defense of Muslims (Bosnia , Kosovo, Gulf War l, Kuwait , etc.)

Muslim Nations demanded apologies from the US after the disgrace at Abu Ghraib but no such call for an apology came upon the extremists came after 9/11.

Muslim and Arab leaders didn't apologize for flight 93 and 175, the USS Cole, the embassy bombings, the murders and beheadings of Nick Berg and Daniel Pearl, etc.

Every time terrorists hide they find a convenient 'Holy Site.' Soldiers who follow them are rebuked by the Arab world, Muslims, and even Americans.

Terrorists do not receive the same rebuke for flying a jet into the World Trade Center that collapsed and severely damaged Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church - one of our Holy Sites.

All of the murderers on 9/11 were Islamic Arabs. I'm all for racial profiling and get extremely angry at the system when my wife and 2 small children are pulled out of line for screening. When was the last time a white woman, a toddler, and an infant were engaged in terrorist activity?

Most Arabs and Muslims have to live in squalor under savage dictatorships and their leaders squander their wealth. Hundreds of years have shown a consistent declination in quality of life in every country Arabs or Muslims control. There is not a Middle Class.

Those same governments breed hate for the US in their religious schools, mosques, and government-controlled media.

Some Arab governments pay the families of homicide bombers upon their death those same bombers are brainwashed thinking they will receive 72 virgins in 'paradise.'

The U. S. A. has to step in and be the biggest financial supporter of poverty stricken Arabs while the insanely wealthy Arabs blame the USA for all their problems.

The United Nations scammed the poor people of Iraq out of the 'food for oil' money so they could get rich while the common folk suffered.

The homicide bombers think pregnant women, babies, children, the elderly and other noncombatant civilians are legitimate targets.

Our troops die to free more Arabs from the gang rape rooms and the filling of mass graves of dissidents of their own making.

Muslim extremists have killed more Arabs than any other group. Period.

Foreign trained terrorists are trying to seize control of Iraq and return it to a terrorist state. Leaving Iraq would give free reign to terrorists to plot against us in one more Middle Eastern region.

Yasser Arafat was kicked out of every Arab country and high-jacked the Palestinian 'cause.' He has been responsible for the murders of hundreds of Israeli people; he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994.

No other Arab country will take in or offer more than a token amount of financial help to those same Palestinians. Somehow, it is Israel's fault, the country that occupies less than 1% of Arab lands, that the Arab countries are in the mess they are in.

Voters on the liberal left don't understand the frightening changes that are taking place in the Muslim world (take France's growing Muslim population for example) and what these changes will do to this world in which we live.

The Democratic Party has been high-jacked by Socialists and Communists right under the very noses of those who take pride in calling themselves democrats.

Our own left wing, our media, and our own brainwashed liberal masses do not understand any of this (from the misleading vocal elements of our society like radical liberal professors, CNN and the NY TIMES).

Actors should not abuse their power and spew their political views on camera, especially when it is used to further their own political agenda.

Deep down inside, when most Americans saw the Abu Ghraib incident reported in the news, we were like - so what? We lost hundreds and made fun of a few prisoners. Sure, it was wrong and it dramatically hurts our cause, but until captured we were trying to kill these same prisoners. Now we're supposed to wring our hands because a few were humiliated?

We hang out our dirty laundry for the entire world to see. We move on. That's one of the reasons we are hated so much. We don't hide this stuff like all those Arab countries that are now demanding an apology.

“Patriots” like Robert Redford demand an apology from the leaders of our country for going to war in Iraq, but thinks it is acceptable to show films of children portraying date rape victims or films showing bestiality in his Sundance Film Festival.

Cindy Sheehan mourns and honors the death of her son who was killed in Iraq by going on a mission to destroy the fabric of our patriotism by rubbing elbows with some of the most evil men in the world to further her twisted cause.

Our compassion for terrorists and Muslim extremists is tempered with the vivid memories of our own people killed, mutilated and burnt amongst a joyous crowd of celebrating Fallujahans.

But some Americans pity the terrorists as misunderstood, as just trying to fight the mean old hegemonies of the United States. Or better yet, that we are killing brainwashed terrorists and extremist to further our oil reserves. Or even better yet, that we actually started this whole mess.

Barack Hussein Obama may be elected president of the United States when he doesn't have a clue on how to be a strong Commander-in-chief in a world filled with Muslim extremists who will do whatever it needs to do to destroy the lives of civilized people while killing innocent men, women and children in order to bring a change that is beneficial to all Islamic terrorists worldwide.

Muslim extremists do not fear out court systems as much as we fear their beheadings. Democrats and Muslim sympathizers do not understand that these extremists cannot be reasoned with, cannot be bargained with. Our talks of negotiation are but a sign of our weakness and further the homicide bombings, the targeting of American troops, and the murdering of women and children in mosques, funerals, and marketplaces around the world.

People gasp with horror when watching a video of a disturbed soldier throwing a puppy off of a cliff. They add that to the list of reasons why we have to leave, then they complain that their lawn isn't getting enough water.

This next election will be the most important decision any American can make for it will determine the direction our country will go for the next decade. Will our country continue to be an open door to illegal aliens and terrorists? Will our country continue to ignore the growing threat of radical Islam?

Choose wisely.

August 4, 2008

Preach it brutha...

The article below was sent out on the Internet as written by syndicated columnist, Thomas Sowell, in a nationally syndicated column titled 'Random Thoughts'. Altough Sowell frequently writes for TownHall.com, he did not write this piece- someone erroneously attached his name to it for street cred I suppose. regardless, it is a funny piece that not only further begs non support for Obama, but gives a little glimpse into why we should have "old Man" Mccain and "Crazy Joe" Liebermann as our White House winners.

The Endorsement
Senator John McCain could never convince me to vote for him. Only Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama can cause me to vote for McCain.

After long and serious thought, I have decided to endorse Senator John McCain for President.

I have always voted for the person and have not voted for anyone because some political party was telling me who I should vote for.

We all know the choices by now and, that said, I do believe that the process of selecting a chief executive is deeply flawed. The words 'money' and 'special interests' come to mind, among many others.

Here's the way I see it:

Barack Obama, you are a fine public speaker. You are also an extremely liberal Senator from the State of Illinois, which has a long and rich history of political corruption of the first magnitude. You are indeed a child of that system.

You have finally insulted my intelligence far beyond my capacity to tolerate your insults. It has nothing at all to do with your skin color. As a matter of fact, it would be so COOL to finally have an African-American for President. What a great statement that would be to the entire world that we are indeed the greatest country on earth!

But, unfortunately, General Colin Powell is not running, and YOU are NOT the man for this job !

Barack baby, you want me to believe that you have never heard the sermons of your own pastor, the Right Reverend 'God Damn America' Jeremiah Wright. It is a matter of record that this has been your church for over 20 years. It is a matter of record that you were married there by this very pastor, and that your children were baptized there.


The good Reverend saw fit to visit Khadafy in Libya with you and to give a lifetime achievement award to Louis Farrakhan, of all people.

We have all now seen excerpts of his sermons all over the airwaves by now. And you have publicly stated that this man IS your 'spiritual mentor.'

BUT, your pastor is NOT the reason I am NOT voting for you. His words were disturbing enough, but it is your own HUGE church congregation, seen jumping, hooting and howling to his words in the background that disturb me the most. And please don't tell me you attended church there and never once heard a 'discouraging word' in the 20 years you attended there. Don't tell me, that in addition to the good reverend, that you are now not having anything to do with all those other people seen hooting and howling out in the audience in the background of his fiery tirades. Even Oprah Winfrey got disgusted and walked out on your campaign. I am no Oprah fan, but still she did the right thing.

Now you look me in the eye and ask me to believe that you never heard such language in all the years you attended there! This is like me telling you that I attended dozens of Klan rallies and never once heard the 'N' word. Yep. And Bill Clinton 'did not inhale'.

Yes, Mr. Obama, we all have friends who have said stupid things that embarrassed us, but NOW you have asked me to believe something that is so incredibly stupid that you are telling me that I am just stupid enough to believe you. THAT is the main reason that I will never vote for you.

I am deeply sorry, that in a country teeming with enormously talented African Americans who would make a good President, that the political system has chosen YOU. You are a pathetic and plastic excuse for an American, who will not even salute the Flag during the Pledge of Allegiance. God forbid you ever get near the Oval Office.


Which leaves us with Senator John McCain.

John, you are a flawed man. You are a bit old, a bit looney, and you have a notoriously bad temper. This perfectly qualifies you, in my humble opinion, to lead us for the next eight years. I WANT your trembling hand on the nuclear button.

Think about it.

We have Kim Jong IL, Chavez and Ahmadenijad all running around like lunatics, threatening America and threatening to plunge the world into nuclear Armageddon. We have Putin and the Chinese blustering and rattling their sabers at us. I want John McCain in the Oval Office and I want him to be really ticked off at all these other nut jobs around the planet.

John, once you are elected, I want you to go into the Oval Office and throw one of your perfect FITS. Jump up and down and throw something through a plate glass window. Rip the drapes down and foam at the mouth a bit. And I want the whole thing on camera so that Ahmadinejad can see it. I want ALL of these 'world leaders' to lay awake at night and to break out in a cold sweat every time they think of messing with the United States of America.

I want the nuclear button sitting right next to the alarm clock on your night stand. I want pictures of this to be sent to Iran, Russia, China, Venezuela, Cuba, Libya, Syria, Pakistan, and those other dopes in the sheets, the Saudis.

On the domestic front, poor John did try and reach across the aisle to the opposition in a desperate effort to compromise and to get the Congress to do something. You may not agree with his efforts, but at least he TRIED. For all his efforts, all he got handed to him was his head in a basket. The liberals are ticked at him and the conservatives are ticked at him. Just my kinda guy.

I predict that John will select Senator Joe Lieberman as his running mate. Good choice. I want a Jew whose memory of the Holocaust is still fresh in his mind and who is royally ticked off at all of these towel-headed morons in the Middle East to be the next in line if something should happen to John. Shalom, Vice President Joe. One heartbeat from the Oval Office.

Finally. John McCain knows on a most personal level what it is to suffer horrible torture for years and to see others die, right in front of you, for their love of America. When you ask him about it, he will tell you that what he did was 'nothing special. ' Even more incredibly, he states that ANY American who truly loves his country would do exactly the same as he did in that situation. You and I will have a hard time bel ievi ng that, but the real point is that John McCain believes that about the 'average American,' and that, dear friends and neighbors, is why I will cast my one poor ballot for on election day for John McCain -- warts and all.'

July 27, 2008

Shade coming to parts of the Earth!


There will be a total solar eclipse on August 1, the first total eclipse in about 2 years. Of course I am not in the umbra, again, for the 18th time in a row but fortunately for the people who live in the northern most shit holes of the Earth- like Greenland, the Arctic, Northern Canada, and the primo vacation spot Siberia-
will get a spectacular view of the sun being totally blotted out by the moon.

A total eclipse will happen somewhere on the Earth roughly every 1.5 to 2 years and if you can hang out in one spot for at about 300 years you will eventually witness a total eclipse. Before people really knew why the moon blots out the sun, it was left up to the folklore and superstitions to explain why. Many an advisor or witchdoctor lost their head for not being able to predict this lunar miracle. Today, we know that it is not a giant dragon eating the sun or an angry god punishing the Earthly denizens.

The moon is phase locked with the Earth which is why we always see the same side of the moon. Its rotation rate equals its orbit rate around the Earth. The moon has a circular orbit but it does not follow an exact axis around the Earth, otherwise we would get a solar eclipse once a month and it would be no big deal. So sometimes it follows and latitude above our equator and sometimes below. But every two years or so it hits an axis equal to the suns and blots out the light along an umbra, or shadow. The umbra is never bigger than about 175 miles so only a small portion of the Earth will be in the exact area to see the eclipse. The rest of the Earth will see a partial, less exciting eclipse. The cool thing about the eclipse is that the moon has the right distance from Earth to block out the sun, but not entirely. What we are able to see is the corona from the sun, or the sun's atmosphere.

But this is always changing since the moon is moving away from the Earth about 3 inches per year. Eventually, the umbra will be huge and more people will be able to witness the event. Those lucky bastards in the year 5000 won't have to take special eclipse tours to see one.

We are very lucky to have the moon, or Luna, as the Romans called it. It is the only moon in our solar system that has the largest relative size to its host planet. Contrasting Neptune, Saturn, and Jupiter, they are extraordinarily huge compared to the dots that orbit around them. The moon gives us tides, stable weather patterns, and for millennia, was used as a time piece. Without it, life on Earth would be very different- if it could exist at all. It was only recently (mid 1970's) that we sorta-kinda knew how it ended up in Earth's orbit.

For centuries people speculated that the Earth and the moon were formed together about 4.5 billion years ago as our solar system gathered the dust and debris from a long ago star that went supernova. As our sun horded the 99% of the debris, the rest of the planets had to make due with what was left over. Luckily there was enough to make the 8 planets and 3 dozen or so moons that exist in our solar system today. People though the moon actually broke off from the Earth which would explain its size and close orbit. But when the Apollo missions returned with the 45 pounds of sample from the moon, the rocks told a different story. Although the isotopes of some of the elements were the same as the Earth, like oxygen, the iron content was grossly different. BFD, you say? Well, it is because the Earth has a nickel iron core and if the moon sprouted from the Earth then it would have the same materials. But it didn't.

Another theory, purposed by a Navy officer stationed in Mare Island, CA who had a lot of time on his hands, said that the Earth snagged the moon out of a close orbit and captured it into our own. This theory was accepted from about 1908 until the mid 70's but it had a few holes. The Earth just didn't have enough mass or gravity to pull something as big as the moon into its orbit. A group of astronomers created a computer model that showed that it was possible for an object about the size of Mars to have slammed into the Earth when it was still a molten blob of matter early in the solar system's life cycle. The collision created debris that was pulled into Earth's orbit and that debris eventually formed the moon. After a day or two, the Earth resumed its circular shape and after a few million years or so finally hardened. This would explain the differences in mineral content but even this theory has a few holes that most astronomers and scientists are willing to forgo until a more plausible theory comes along.

Although interest in the moon declined sharply after the last Apollo mission in the early 70's, the U.S. plans on making a permanent station on the moon for research and to have a better launch point for our eventual trip to Mars. Even China has lofty goals of reaching the moon so that the starving people who live there can look up and know that at least a few astronauts who make more than $2 a day made it to the big time. But for now, we Earthlings will be content with making an occasional glance into the night sky to see our closest cosmic neighbor who has been watching our backyard for billions of years.

July 26, 2008

Falling gas prices

I read an article by CNN Money.com concerning the recent lowering gas prices. Normally I don't read anything on the Communist News Network, but this was a generic article that contained some national pricing information.

I have noticed that the gas has been steadily decreasing over the last few weeks. I can remember a peak on my way to work of $4.55 a gallon for the cheap stuff. Diesel was closing in on $6 a gallon. So now everyone is jumping up and down because prices have dropped almost 40 cents- I say BFD. My truck holds 21 gallons of petrol and a few weeks ago it almost cost me $100 to fill it up. I almost crapped my pants. With the current gas prices, my out of pocket cost to fill up is "only" $86.15, a savings of about $8.00 or two grande cinnamon dolce latte's from Starbucks. Using this comparison I get an extra 2 cups of coffee a week which doesn't seem like a bad deal. the bigger picture seems to elude a lot of people- I am paying $86 for a tank of gas!

I have 2 different opinions for the cost of gasoline: one is based on my selfish (but cost effective) desire to pay the least amount of money for gas so that I have more money in my pocket to, oh, I don't know, feed my family. Gas should be no more than $2.00 a gallon- to Hell with oil company CEO's getting a $30M severance package.

"But, it is the price of crude oil that drives up the cost of gas", you say. This is true, however the oil companies have done nothing to build new refineries or anything else to curtail the high costs of crude. Then again, why would they? It is the classic principle of supply and demand (dammit, Capitalism. You got us again!) and if the supply is low, prices increase. I find it ironic that the Big Oil bubbas always seem to find a "shortage" around the time everyone is on their Spring Break, Summer break, or Christmas vacation. More refineries, or repairing the ones that are in disrepair, would help a little.

George Bush said that "Americans are addicted to oil" in his State of the Union address earlier this year. No shit, Sherlock, and behind every addict is a pusher. Oil companies and investors have enjoyed the highest profits in the history of pumping our asses for gas prices. Until there is some pressure from D.C. to put a cap on this horse shit it will never change. Although the oil companies tax the gas at 10%, it is the states and other greedy hands that tax it far more. CA has a 17% gas tax. WTF, over? Is this some hippie, tree hugging plot to get us off fossil fuels or to just line someone else s pocket?

Which leads me to my antithesis point of view: Tax the shit out of gasoline. Why? To wean us off of it. It would be a brutal transition, but if we get enough kooks like Al Gore on the team it just might be realized in our lifetime. The high taxes would be comparable to an intervention of a crack head- throw him in a room and wait for him to detox akin to watching Americans finally getting fed up with fossil fuels and switching to renewable energy sources. It is a win-win situation except for the oil companies, their lobbyists, the people in Washington making money off of fossil fuels, and the oil exporters in the Middle East who use our gas money to fund terrorists. Did I miss anyone?

Switching to alternative energies is great for the environment and cheaper in the long run. It would take a while for us to switch over but can you imagine the cost of electricity if 10,000 people in that area used solar power and fed their excess power to the grid? The costs of utility grid maintenance would go down which would mean cheaper electric bills. Gas stations replaced with battery chargers or other fuels would help the production of alternative fuel vehicles by eventually driving the prices down.

The best part is that the oil companies would be crying like a fat kid staring at his ice cream on the side walk, unless of course they hop on the bandwagon and get into the alternative fuel industry. It will come, eventually. Solar energy is already being traded on the EU stock market. Most of the countries in Europe realize the impact of solar power and put the United States to shame when it comes to taking advantage of the free energy from the Sun. Germany, for example, only receives half the amount of sunlight per year as the U.S. but they produce twice as much solar power. Brandis, Germany has a 42 mega watt solar station. Unreal.

But solar isn't very cheap to utilize mainly because the solar panels cost so much. You will pay about $10 per watt for a solar system with the inverter itself only taking up about 10% of the budget. But there are some places that are helping home owners out with that cost and even giving investors a break when they become partners in a solar energy plant. California has an incentive for solar buyers to help offset the costs of the system, but it will be coming to an end in December unless the incentive is renewed. If Washington could step in and make a national incentive that is worthwhile to owners, investors, and utility companies then more people could buy solar which would be cheaper for everyone in the long run. Yes, I am harping on solar because I work for a solar company but it all makes sense anyway.

Getting back to my truck, I will probably sell it to someone who doesn't mind the sub par gas mileage and wants to haul stuff around. Right now I get about 55 mpg with my motorcycle, something that every vehicle should be getting. In fact, Congress should pass a law stating that every vehicle should get at least 50 mpg. We have the technology to do so but it just isn't in the profit margin for those companies involved in that industry.

Whatever. In 2029, Earth will probably be annihilated by an asteroid anyway. Asteroid 2004 NM4 will come closer to earth than some of our communication satellites. If it gets within ~300 miles or so of Earth, it will collide with us 7 years later.



Sleep tight!

July 25, 2008

Yahoo! news unintended humor

On the front page of my Yahoo! homepage I read these two news stories one above the other.

Only jalapenos grown in Mexico linked to salmonella, FDA says

Three Pa. teens charged in fatal beating of Mexican immigrant

To satisfy my curiosity, I read them both to see if they were related. Unfortunately, they were not. The beating story is really messed up and two honky's are in for a rude awakening. Of course, the hate crime allegations come up because the white boys called the immigrant an ethnic slur (any guesses to which one?) and proceeded to beat the shit out of him when he turned around to ask them if they had a problem.

Dumbass, of course they have a problem or they wouldn't be harrassing you. There isn't anything to do in the shithole coal town of Shenandoah, PA but to harass illegal aliens. John Denver never saw this coming. On que, the lawyers are asking to throw out the hate crime allegations on the basis that they boys were just being assholes and calling this illegal Mexican ethinic slurs, but beating the shit out of him had nothing to do with his race? What's worse is that this guy got beaten in front of his fiance with whom he had a few kids with.

Tough break, man, to come all the way to Bumfuck PA to pick cherries only to fall victim to ignorant, intolerant teenagers. Of course if he came into this country legally this wouldn't have happened. The cosmic irony is saturating. Sad, however, but please don't think that I condone this behavior of illegal immigrants anymore than I do of wife beating- no matter how much they deserve it...

July 17, 2008

Tony Snow gone but not forgotten

I hate not being up on the news and then getting side swipped by something like this. I was in Vegas all weekend and didn't hear about Tony Snow's passing. He was only 53 and died of cancer. That is really depressing since I am creeping up on 40.

I liked Tony and thought he did a great job as Bush's press secretary. He had an abmiance about him and if he did perpetuate some of Bush's bullshit you never would have known it. He was a very likeable person. Here is a write up done by AP. Bush attends funeral for Tony Snow


July 16, 2008

Obama pimp slapped by The New Yorker

This is the greatest and most revealing caricature I have ever seen from that 'elitist' magazine. Here is the story: Obama punked

July 10, 2008

The Giant Douche speaketh

As the time gets closer to chose between a giant douche and a turd sandwhich, the Democratic nominee further distances himself from my vote (if he ever had one) by making the following comment in a town hall meeting in Powder Springs, Georgia yesterday:

Instead of worrying about whether immigrants can learn English -- they'll learn English -- you need to make sure your child can speak Spanish. You should be thinking about, how can your child become bilingual? We should have every child speaking more than one language.

So let me understand you correctly- I NEED to make sure my kids can speak Spanish? I will admit that being bilingual has its advantages, but why exactly should they NEED to learn Spanish, especially after this asinine comment:

You know, it's embarrassing when Europeans come over here, they all speak English, they speak French, they speak German. And then we go over to Europe, and all we can say [is], "Merci beaucoup." Right?


So, do I NEED to teach my kids Spanish or French? How about German or Italian? I contend that Obama made the Spanish remark to pander to the illegal aliens whose children are going to school. This would give them the reassurance that Obama is on their side and that they can be rest assured that more help will come.

The next paragraph was Obama letting his guard down and showing just how much of an ass he really is. We can’t even get some our high school graduates to read above a 5th grade level much less learn another language. I am waiting in earnest for the “misunderstanding” message from the Obama camp to tell us what he really meant. Those guys are slacking because it has been more than a day.

To clarify, learning a second language is a good thing, whether it be Spanish (which I am currently learning via Rosetta Stone) or anything else that can give an edge in the global market. I am learning Spanish because my company sells our products to Mexico, Central and parts of South America. It just makes sense for me to learn the language as part of my job- but not so I can tell the cleaning lady to come back after 2 o’clock and to please leave more towels.

The more I listen to Obama the more I think he makes John Kerry look like a pretty intelligible guy. I wonder if Obama is using the same people for clarification purposes. They must be worn out.