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Friday, October 31, 2003

Conflict of Interest


Here is an enlightening article, Tax Laws Protect Illegal Workers, and proof that illegal immigration cannot be solved without a major paradigm shift.

Everybody must be fully involved and committed to kicking illegal immigrants out. If one agency does not cooperate, the efforts of the rest are undone. As long as they can find jobs, obtain assistance and other services, we cannot stop the flood. And that is a bad thing. We must starve them out, and we must start now. Confiscatory fines for employers, drop the illegal Mexican immigrants off on the south side of Mexico, immediate deportation for the rest. No respite in the court system, no mercy from the Executive branch. It must be done this way, and it must start today, because it is unfair to those who followed the rules and are here legally. It is the legal immigrants we should be kind to, for they are following the legal American Dream.

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Thursday, October 30, 2003

My favorite sport...

...is bashing liberals. They are so two faced you never know which one you're talking to. Jonah Goldberg has a wonderful article, Walk of Shame and fairly skewers the left side of the line.
Rarely has the intellectual rot of liberalism been more evident. Both at home and abroad, the honorable tradition of liberalism - and there is one - has been hollowed out by its own appetite for power and vengeance. Indeed, it is exceedingly difficult to see how liberalism, at the national level, stands for anything but appetite - undirected, inarticulate, unprincipled, ravenous appetite. Truly it has become Bill Clinton's party.
I guess I can start calling them sharks now, because that is what a shark is. A predatory, implacable appetite that seeks out the weak and then devours them.

I can't sum it up any better than this article, so I won't even try. Read and enjoy!

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A small first step


There is an important difference between broke and poor. If you're broke, you have a temporary cash flow problem. You anticipate having money flowing again in very short order and you are willing to do anything legal to do so. Being poor is a mental state that says you can't do any better. So, you don't try to change the situation because you believe there is nothing you can do to make things better.

This article, HUD Orders Public Housing Tenants to Volunteer asks for eight hours a month in community service.
"This is not volunteer," Tanner said. "This is mandatory work and we really shouldn't try to confuse the two. This is very much like workfare."
I have always held the belief that you should be worked like a dog if you're on welfare.

If you have a job, you're working as hard as you can and still can't make ends meet, that's one thing. I commend you for it and don't mind supplementing your income to help out. That should be the definition of welfare.

If you are physically or mentally disabled (myself included) and are unable to work, I have no problem with my tax dollars supporting you. * (see note below)

If you're stupid on purpose because you dropped out of school, or you didn't pass your classes, if you have had two kids before you turned 18, I want to work you like there is no tomorrow. I want to work you 60-80 hours a week so you think a regular job is easy.

Once you apply for welfare, you have 6 months of no work, because your job will be to find a job. If you don't have at least a GED, you get 6 months of intense schooling before that, and/or job training. If you are still on assistance at the end of your free time, then you start working for welfare, 40 hours a week. Heavy, menial, backbreaking work. You work on the weekends so you have two days off during the week to look for a job. After a year of that, you start working 60 hour weeks, wearing an orange jumpsuit. If that isn't enough, you start pulling 80 hour weeks. If you aren't going to work for yourself, you're going to work off what you owe the taxpayers. If you don't work, you don't get paid. Period.

I don't mind welfare being a safety net, but I do mind it being a safety hammock. To get paid for not working when you can work just boils my blood. It runs counter of everything I was brought up to believe in. Between my military and civilian job careers, I put in 20 years of hard work. I was never unemployed for more than 3 weeks, because when I looked for a job, I went through the want ads like Godzilla did Tokyo.

When I got out of the military, I actually made the Navy Times. That's a weekly military newspaper. They had an insert on transiting to the civilian sector, with several people and their stories profiled. I made the cut because I told them exactly what I told you with the Godzilla crack. When I looked for a job here in Memphis, I went through the Yellow Pages and wrote down the name and address of every computer related company in town. I made a resume for each of my listings. I then started at the top and worked my way down. It just so happens the third place on my list hired me on the spot.

I have always been extremely aggressive when it comes to job searches, and I will never understand anybody who isn't. If you don't want to invest in yourself so you can get better jobs with more pay, then you're exactly where you deserve to be. I plan on starting to take advanced computer classes in the near future so I can solidify my resume. I got most of my jobs because I was already working at those levels, so the lack of training was made up for by real-world experience.

* I wanted to explain this without interrupting the flow of what I was saying. I receive a fair amount of Social Security Disability, because of what I made before I was sick, the fact that I'm married, and that I have a child. I work as much as I can, because if I got paid any more than what I get paid now, I lose my disability. In order to have the same amount of take home pay as I do now, I would have to have a job that pays about $48,000 a year, about what I made before I got sick. I can't just jump into such a high level job like that, not with a 5 year gap in my resume. So, I am stuck in my situation with very little options. I know that $48K sounds like a lot, but remember that's pre-tax, plus health care and supporting two households. There is very little fat in our budgets.

UPDATE: I am sorry to say that while I included my income from my part time job, I didn't tell you I did. I realize it sounds like I am getting paid an obscene amount of disability, but it really isn't.

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Professional leeches


This article will leave you chuckling. Blood-sucking Leeches talks about out ever-present, professional politicians. This can even apply to the long-term men and women who are truly dedicated to the country's business.
This is an anomaly of the way our founding fathers intended our system of government to work. They wanted the House of Representatives to be composed of citizen politicians who left their farms, stores and small businesses for a few years to serve their fellow Americans in the House – after which they would return home to continue their professions, living and working under the very laws they enacted.

The Senate was to be composed of distinguished citizens chosen by each state to serve longer terms as stewards of states' rights against the encroachment of the larger federal government powers.
I cannot sum up my thoughts and feelings better than this quote. I was actually going to use paragraph #3, but upon reflection, I think this sums it up pretty well.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2003

My apologies


I'm sorry that I don't have anything today. It started out with a power outage, then a 90 minute trip to get to an important doctors appointment for the wife. Then I had to invest time in a family crisis. The crowning moment was on the way back, the transmission died. I have a mechanic friend who will do it for a lot less than if I had it done at a dealership, but that doesn't mean it will be cheap.

As if my life doesn't already have a lot of excitement.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Feeling somewhat better


Well, further evidence that the Wellbutrin XL is working. I actually fired up my Usenet reader and got caught up to date with rec.models.rockets. Which is something that I haven't done in months.

Which leaves me in a quandary of sorts. I am beginning to see a crunch on my time. There are 5 major things that I want to do at the moment, each of which can absorb several hours a day.

They are:

1. Reading Mechwarrior message boards.
2. Reading other blogs
3. Reading news sites and posting on this blog.
4. Working on rocketry projects.
5. Reading Usenet boards.

This is the order in which I have expanded myself. I have moved from one to the next, and it seems the time between expansions is shrinking.

Thinking about the quantity of these things and the speed in which they are piling on is staring to scare me. If I am not careful I could go manic, and that would be very bad. I can't tell you how doubleplusungood me being manic is. Dangerous bad.

Come to think about it, I have had to fight down some rather annoying impulses to spend money. The fact of me wanting to go next door and buy a soda for 80 cents is nothing next to the urge to do it. I also bought $45 worth of rocket motors Sunday. It doesn't matter that I had enough rocketry cash to do it. The fact that I did do it without my normal second and third thought is. The budget I live on is tight enough to use it as a trampoline. Most of the spending money I get is from incidental purchases from my family. I break a $20 to buy dinner or something and I get to keep the change.

This is a rather disconcerting development, one that I must watch like a hawk. Every action must be double checked, every motive scrutinized. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. If it wasn't for this blog, I would not have recognized this change in behavior until much later, if at all.

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Anti-Emergency


This made me chuckle. Device Allows Motorists To Control Stoplights proves that there is a sucker born every minute.

Here in Memphis, we don't use the MIRT, but rather a flashing strobe mounted on the dashboard. The strobe has to be flashing in a particular pattern to trigger the light change. Sure, even if the code is detected, it is no major malfunction to change the code. Then the pirates are stuck with $300 boxes that don't work. Plus, even if you did get it to work, our system has a red beacon light that activates when it detects a valid code. Go through an intersection like that and if there's a cop there and he notices the beacons, you have a good chance of being pulled over and having to explain yourself. That I'd pay money to listen to.


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Hypocrisy


I haven't been commenting on Rush and his condition on purpose. I figured there was already a couple of terabytes out there and my little 2 cents wasn't going to do much. Then this article came along, Rush and Hypocrisy.

I guess I'm a hypocrite as well. I hold high moral standards for myself, and try to inspire the same in the people around me. To do the right thing, as it were. But we are all imperfect beings, and as such there are a lot of times we cannot hit what we aim for. To have standards at all puts us ahead of the game. It is the blood, sweat and tears we expend in the name of achieving those goals that we should be proud of. To actually achieve them is but a distant second to the effort we put into trying.

I am familiar with the level of pain that Rush is in. In early 1997 I ruptured my L5S1 disk. The details are unimportant. The pain I felt was immense. I experienced a deep burning from my tailbone up to my kidneys, then a fierce sharp pain reaching from my tailbone all the way down my right leg to my paralyzed foot. I only had to put up with it for a week or two. After the operation, the doctor didn't prescribe me any postop painkillers, because the relief I felt from what I put up with before the operation made the postop pain feel like a hangnail.

Rush put up with this kind of pain for what, five years? I'd have been popping pain pills like they were M&M's too. If Rush has been able to operate on the level he did with that kind of pain and doped up, his level after rehab and with pain control will be nothing short of phenomenal.

To be imperfect is the norm. To expect someone to obtain perfection is crazy, and I don't mean mental illness crazy. IT is okay to have high moral values, as long as you try to live up to them. The effort makes all the difference.

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Preemption


FOX carried this opinion piece, A War Casualty We Can't Afford.

In this post 9/11 world, the last thing we can afford is a 'measured, proportionate response.' We had two buildings destroyed, we brought down two countries as payback. If we get a city destroyed, all the world should be scared shitless awaiting our response.

In order to do that, we need intelligence. Clinton gutted the CIA, then hamstrung what was left, forcing it into something like police procedures. There are times that we can only guess at what is going on. I would rather guess that a foreign hostile country had something when they don't rather than guess they don't when they do. And you can never tell either way until it's too late. To wait for confirmed, incontrovertible evidence will be two days too late, and we no longer have that luxury. We are going to lose a city in the next five years, one way or another. The question is, what are we going to do about it, before and after the fact.

Hindsight is always 20/20, and to Tuesday Morning Quarterback the President and his administration is grandstanding at its worst.
Preemption must not become another Washington casualty of the blame game. Yet the doctrine remains on an artificial respirator so long as our pre-war intelligence on Iraq seems so faulty.
I remember a comic, where this one kid sat next to another kid, a bully. The bully was minding his own business for once, but the first kid was so worried about being picked on, he up and knocked the bully flat, unprovoked. To the teacher, he then proclaimed, "I HIT HIM BACK FIRST!"

That is what we must do for now on, until all of the terrorists are dead, play whack-a-mole. Every time a terrorist pops up, we flatten him. No waiting around for a political statement, no response to an attack, kill them before they kill us. That's the rules the terrorists taught us, how long we are willing to live by those rules is up to us, because we get to choose our leaders. Will we pick one that will take the fight to them, or one that will let them bring the fight to us? Right now we have a man in charge how is taking the fight to them. Yes, we are taking casualties. Yes, it is an expensive war. But the choice is either a)Attacks on our soldiers in Baghdad, or b)suicide attacks on civilians in Boston. There is no inbetween, no grey area, no room for negotiations. One or the other and you, my dear readers, get to choose.

Choose. And choose wisely.

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Children in harms way.


I am sickened by this, New Jersey Fires 'Incompetent' Social Workers for Letting Boys Starve.

These people may be overworked, but is is by their own design. It also proves that there is money to be made in the foster care industry. The sacrifice these children are giving is intolerable.
"I had staff that were either incompetent, uncaring or who had falsified records," said Department of Human Services Commissioner Gwendolyn Harris. "I have members of this division who have failed children almost to the cost of their very lives."
I am shocked beyond words to describe this situation. On top of the trauma of having to endure the abuse of their parents, then forced separation from their family, then unimaginable abuse at the hands of the system that is supposed to care for them, these children have been through hell several times.

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Danger for your kids


This article, FDA Warns of Possible Suicide Risk With Children's Anti-depressants was a red flag to me.

As someone who has been and is on antidepressants, you do not use them lightly. My current condition is because of a severe side effect of the first antidepressant that I tried. I remember the doctor almost chuckling about how "classic" my symptoms were as she wrote my Prescription of Death. I say it that way because my life, who I was, everything about me, died when I started taking Effexor.

I have listed those antidepressants that came in the article, and next to them I gave the brand name, because that will be the name the doctor uses with you. They are: citalopram (Celexa), fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine (LUVOX), mirtazapine (REMERON), nefazodone (Serzone), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), venlafaxine (Effexor).

Be careful with these. They can change your life either way.

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Monday, October 27, 2003

Authority figures


I found this on Drudge, High school senior came 'out' - and was expelled and wanted to comment on it.

The fact that the student was gay is to my comments is unimportant. The fact that I wanted to bring up was the fact that he was asked a very personal and private question by an authority figure. The student told the truth and suffered serious consequences for it.

I for one have learned through my life experiences that you admit to nothing when it comes to authority figures. I don't mean to lie, and there are times when admitting your guilt is the proper thing to do. In instances where your butt is on the line for some serious consequences, you should keep your mouth shut. I have never been interrogated, nor have I ever done anything that would warrant such a treatment. But if faced with such a situation, I have come to realize that you do more damage to yourself by talking in such a situation, even about the smallest things. The interrogator is not your friend, he is not there to help you, he wants you to admit to something so they can use it against you. Period.

Always remember that.

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Kicking a man while he's down


CBS stepped over a very clearly marked line when they decided to show "The Reagans." With all of the firestorm created so far, they might give it up, but I doubt it. It is sweeps week after all. I have links to articles here, here, here, and here.
NewsMax.com throws up.

This pretty much sums it all up.
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What liberal bias?


Ah, yes. The great New York Times strikes again. In this article, Hit-and-Run Pesticide News has another pro-ecoterrorist piece.

Telling only half the story and not revealing conflict of interest tidbits seems right up their alley.
The New York Times famously boasts on its banner, "All the news that's fit to print." I guess that sounds better than, "Only the news that we want to you to know."

That pretty much sums it all up.

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Sunday, October 26, 2003

Personal Update


I know I haven't made any personal updates for a while, I just haven't been up to it. Plus there really hasn't been anything new to report. My sleep time is still skewed at the 1am-9am slot. I'm awake by 7:30-8:00am, but I cower until 9 or so.

I'm 2 weeks into taking Wellbutrin XL, an anti-depressant. I've taken "plain" Wellbutrin before, without effect. I don't know what they do to make XL different from the regular stuff, but they tout XL as having less sexual side effects. A couple of side effects that I am concerned about is loss of appetite and weight loss. I used to weigh 230, but I'm under 200 and still losing. It seems that I can't drill holes in my belt fast enough.

The good news is I think this stuff is starting to work. The last time I commented on my Depression Scale, I was at a 6. I think I'm up to a 4 now. What I think is helping is I wasn't very consistent with a morning Trileptal dose. I'm 100% compliant now, because I must take the Wellbutrin.

I think it's working because I've done a lot today. I visited with a rocketry friend, did some rocketry shopping, then came back and did some rocketry stuff that I've put off for months. I've done more rocketry stuff today than I have done for almost the entire past year. I also cleaned a bird cage and swept up in the apartment. Normally I'd be having some closet time about now, but after finishing this entry I'm going to continue puttering with my rocketry stuff.

I can't say I'm feeling good, but I'm feeling okay, and that's good enough for today. I'll go for good tomorrow.

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Friday, October 24, 2003

NOW means NOW



The president of NOW is throwing a hissy fit that Patricia Ireland got fired from the YWCA. This article, NOW Blames 'Ultra-Conservatives' For Ireland YWCA Ouster clearly shows that this woman is not right in the head.
"Ultraconservative groups slammed the YWCA for hiring a strong supporter of women's rights," Gandy alleged. She also blasted the Bush Administration as acting "in concert" with "these bullies" at the conservative Traditional Values Coalition to remove Ireland.

If you don't like what is going on, scream and hold your breath until your face turns blue.

I don't know which side of this issue the reporter is on. Only one and a half paragraphs directly quote portions of the YWCA press release concerning the issue, which are the only facts that I can tell. The rest of it is unsubstantiated rants and cries of conspiracy.

Paul Nowack has a political cartoon that addresses this issue. Scroll down to Wednesday, and you better hurry. I can't permalink to this cartoon and it will be rotated off on the 29th of October. My blog account won't let me post images.


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Always a good read


You should bookmark this page, National Review Online, so you can always see what Victor Davis Hanson has written.

Today it's The Event of the Age. I like Victor because he makes you think. Using the only muscle that counts.
Indeed, each day the great gamble in Iraq is taking on significance that transcends the immediate tactical advantages that accrued from ridding the world of Saddam Hussein's savagery. True, the world is a far better place without the worry of Kurdish genocide, 10,000 U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, perpetual no-fly zones, clumsy U.N. embargos, Abu Abbas loose, guided missiles and WMD programs in Iraq, blood money for suicide bombers, exasperation that Saddam Hussein had violated 1991 agreements, SCUDs raining down on Saudi Arabia and Tel Aviv, assassination plots against American presidents, and so on. But there are other positive rippling effects that are already beginning to become manifest.

Read the rest. I command it. ;-)

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Thursday, October 23, 2003

Liberals, gotta love 'em


This is an eye-opening piece, The 'Psychology' of Liberals where the underpinnings of why liberals behave like they do is revealed.
You really can't blame them for their misguided views. They themselves are victims of 20th century psychology, which in textbook after textbook taught clinician after clinician - as well as the general public - that leniency trumps discipline, "concern" trumps consequences, motive trumps morality - and that one's "feelings" are sacrosanct.

It tries to prove that there are mental health issues involved, and at some level I can agree. About half of the people professionally involved in the mental health field are involved because they have MH issues and they wanted to understand them better.

I don't agree with the borderline diagnosis. I have that as one of my diagnosis and the black and white viewing of things doesn't really apply to them. They see things in grey (except republicans). There is also a "I hate you! Don't leave me!" part of borderline that I don't see in liberals.

But all in all, a good, recommended read.

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Slave reparations


This article, Feds Finally Confront 'Slave Reparations' Criminals talks about how people are defrauding the government through tax returns to get what they think they deserve.

I have to admit, I am for it in some cases. For those on Welfare and its related programs, let's make it a one time grant, ending all entitlement programs for those people for all time. That would save the feds a lot of money in the long run.

But generally, I think we should stick to the original deal, either 40 acres and a mule, or a one-way ticket to Liberia.

Since the civil rights movement in the 60's, racism is largely a thing of the past. Blacks are now treated equally when they give that treatment to others. I admit, it's not perfect, but it's a damn sight better than Africa where they still practice slavery to this day.

A $500,000 per person grant is outrageous and not warranted by the circumstances. No one in America today has suffered from the institution of slavery.

And what about all of the white indentured servants? I'm sure at least one of my ancestors was such, don't I get anything?

Feh.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Deja vu all over again


This article, Beware of Stealth Energy Tax, Conservative Group Warns, is all about trying to back door the Kyoto treaty.

The Kyoto Protocol which was meant to stop global warming, wants the US to cut back emissions of greenhouse gases to 1990 levels. Even supporters of the Kyoto Protocol admitted it would only move the inevitable result back 5-10 years. To comply would wreck our economy in no uncertain terms. It could even be fatal to our economy, starting us on a downward spiral to total collapse. Of course, the Senate rejected it.
Even groups who support the legislation admit it will raise prices. The group Environmental Defense estimates the cost at $10 per household in 2010 - a "low cost," it says.

Ten dollars a what? Year? Month? Week? Day? And of course like any other government sponsored program, that is a very low ball figure, certain to double or triple in no short order.

I'm no scientist, so I can't say one way or the other about global warming. Hell, the scientists themselves can't agree. But I do know that our society rests lightly upon our infrastructure and by jogging one part like this, everything can come down like a house of cards. And by causing a splash in one part, all of the other parts of the infrastructure are affected by the ripples that spread everywhere.

Let's just assume for a minute that the cost outlined above turns out to be $10 a month. Okay, you pay that without a sweat. But you also pay that same $10 for all of the companies involved in delivering all of your goods and services. And companies pay a magnitude more for their electricity than you do. You end up paying like 10% more for everything you buy, from Wal-Mart to your ISP. Companies do not absorb increases like this, they pass it along to the customer. And in any chain of manufactured goods, you're paying for 3-4 companies worth of increases.

Think about it. Then write your Senators and see what side of this bill they are on.

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You can never be too paranoid


ATM Skimming - Consumers Beware! details in yet another way your electronic identity can be stolen.

I don't understand how the extra swiper is being employed at ATM machines. I know that unscrupulous restaurant employees who you hand the card to can have a hand swiper that steals the information, but unless the whole ATM is a fraud, I don't understand.

Anyhow, I only use ATM's that belong to my bank. I live next to a Stop n Rob (Memphis slang for convenience store) and I picked my bank based on the ATM in that store. I only use other banks machines in extreme cases due to the ATM fees, and I never use third party machines.

Let's be careful out there.

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Maybe you can be too paranoid


What does this say about our society? Killing the Good Samaritan is a story about a guy trying to do the right thing and getting body slammed for it.
The incident reflects how paranoid our culture has become after decades of political correctness that defines and divides us into categories eternally at war: female against male, whites against minorities, heterosexual against gay.

You should read the whole article, especially the couple of paragraphs about how the author defines The Devil.

In war, training is used specifically to dehumanize the enemy, making it easier for the soldier to kill and not agonize over it. This is exactly what the Liberals are doing here. By assigning everyone into a category, then associating that category with something bad, then you assign something bad to everyone you put into that category, guilty or not.

We must fight this on every level. I follow the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and I judge a person by the content of their character, rather than by he color of their skin. I do not lump people together in groups, I treat every individual as that individual treats me. You should do the same.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2003

No Posting Today


Sorry about this, Tuesdays I work and extra hour, and the family needed to go shopping tonight, so no time to search and post. I'll be up bright and early tomorrow to bring my usual analysis.

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Monday, October 20, 2003

The Fifth Republic


After reading this article, A French Revolution in Iraq?, I begin to understand how incredibly klutzy the French are.
France began its own path toward democracy by explicitly rejecting this [Anglo-American] view. Unlike the American Founding or England's Glorious Revolution, the French experience exulted in humanistic ideals about man's potential. The immediate result was the orgy of the guillotine, followed by a cynical regard for religious values and institutions. "We will strangle the last king," cried the revolutionaries, "with the guts of the last priest."

France is currently working on its fifth incarnation of a republic since the end of the Napoleonic era. We are still on our first. The Articles of Confederation don't count because there was no revolution to bring about the Constitution. The Articles were not doing the job, and so were refined into the Constitution we follow today.

The French claim that we are the naive ones, but it is the French that are naive. They believe that they can stab us in the back and be friends again instantly. They believe that once the process of democracy in Iraq is started, it can stand and survive on its own. Both of these views are wrong on so many levels that it isn't funny, it's sad. To see a country that was once a superpower, now collapsing due to its own selfishness and indifference is disheartening.

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Humanism Education


We've been over this subject before. Compassion-Based Schools Teach Kids 'Untrue Drivel,' Critic Charges.

Of course it's centered in that great Liberal stronghold of San Francisco. Unabashedly teaching unsubstantiated left-wing psychobabble to children and passing it off as "humane education" makes me want to pull out what little hair I have left.
"They are going to be teaching alarmism, which inherently means filling their heads with untrue drivel designed to breed a new generation of modernity-loathing robots," Horner added.

This couldn't be more of a brain-washing indoctrination if it was being done in China or South Korea. I understand that these people must exist (how can you have good without bad?), but it's the influence that they have on our young that enrages me.

Fight this wherever you see it. Please.

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Friday, October 17, 2003

At no time will my fingers leave my hands


The title comes from a line some magicians use for a laugh before they pull off a big illusion.

I got a chuckle out of this headline, Secondhand Smoke Scam. I have a clear bias against smoking, both my parents and sister smoked. I remember sticking my nose into my shirt every time my parents lit up while we were in the car, yelling at them to crack the windows.

But this falls into the misdirection category, where you pick a lay audience to announce your findings, then refuse to release your data to peers for critical review. You do this to maximize your "findings" while tap-dancing as fast as you can to fool the very people who can shed light on what you want to keep secret.

Rabid environmentalists have done this for years. They either make up stuff out of blue smoke and mirrors, or they take one little fact and bend it way out of context. In either case, they start screaming it at the top of their lungs, hoping for it to ripple outwards and get into the national consciousness before they are found out. When the real facts emerge, they are downplayed to the point of invisibility.

Almost every liberal group with an agenda have done this at one time or another. Which is why I am very cynical in regards to any flashy "findings."

Color me not impressed with this "study."



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Wednesday, October 15, 2003

The Homeless


Until I landed in my apartment, stable on my medication, I was homeless off and on for three years. There were the big blowups that got me into the hospital, but there were lots of smaller blowups that resulted in me grabbing my backpack and walking out of the house for three days to a week. I've slept under bridges, in doorways, in missions and libraries, in summer and winter. It was an experience that you should do your best to avoid at all costs.

Telling The Truth on the 'Homeless' talks about the underpinning causes of homelessness. You can't solve the problem with the Liberal solution, which is to just give housing to the homeless. You need to treat the problem of why these people are homeless. The right thing for the wrong reasons and all that. Normally doctors treat the symptoms to cure the disease, but in this case that doesn't solve the problem. You have to have a patient who is willing to address the problems as to why they are homeless, or confine them to long-term care facilities where they get the treatment if they like it or not. But that money and facilities simply do not exist. Psychiatric facilities are there to treat acute problems, not the long care stuff.

Because I had a family that was dependent on my disability money, there was nothing left over for me to use for the long-term care that I really needed, such as a care home or my own place to live like I have now. It took the fortuitous break of getting a job where I could support myself and walk to work.

While my family and I still have a long way to go, my relationship with my family is at it's best since I became sick.

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Gun rights and personal responsibility


You do have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen, don't you? How about in your car? Garage? If you do, then you're my kind of person. You're careful and thoughtful, keeping well aware of realistically possible emergencies.

Do you have a crime extinguisher? You know, a firearm. Are you familiar with its operation? Do you take it to the range often to keep yourself familiar with it? (you can also have fun with it at the same time) Do you get to carry it with you where ever you go? Gun Rights Advocates Take Aim at Concealed Carry Bans talks about the fight in the last holdout states that do not let law-abiding citizens carry concealed firearms.

Guns prevent crime. Gary Kleck did a careful study to prove that gun control works, and found out the exact opposite. Lawful defensive use of firearms results in the prevention of 2,500,000 crimes a year. In 97% of those incidents, all it takes is for the citizen to show the weapon and the criminals run away. Only in 1/2 of 1% is somebody actually shot or killed, and of course those are the only incidents that make the news.

Back in the 90's, Florida (a concealed weapon state) had a rather serious crime wave in rapes. The police took action and the headlines sum it all up, "POLICE GIVE GUNS, TRAINING TO RAPE VICTIMS." Don't you know, the bottom fell out of that particular crime wave.

It has been documented in state after state that when the citizens are allowed to lawfully carry weapons, the crime rate goes down. When the criminals know the victims have a fair chance to shoot back, they change their habits.

I myself used to have a carry permit. I had a lot of self-imposed restrictions. I couldn't yell at anybody, no matter how idiotic they were. I was very careful as to where I went. My family could not stand on my gun side. I was always alert to my surroundings. I trained constantly, and at my peak I could draw from cover and put two rounds in the center of a target up to 25 feet away in under 3/4 of a second, well under a defensive reaction time. But it was all worth it.

You can never know when violent crime will strike you and your family. All you can do is be prepared for it when it does happen. Are you ready for it?


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Government on a Commission basis


This article, Child Welfare System Must Grow Up, shows what happens when a governmental agency is paid on a commission basis.

The incentive here is 180 degrees out of what it should be. Yes, there is a need to sometimes got a child out of a hostile environment, but it is also important to reunite the child with the parent(s) after the problem has been solved. If the problem can't be solved, you need to transition the child into an adopting household as quickly as possible. Leaving a child in a 'temporary' situation for years does terrible damage, but when the governmental agency gets paid for how many kids are in foster care, that is exactly what happens.
The human cost of rushing children into foster care does not stop when they reach 18 years old. According to CDDS data, among youths who "emancipate" from foster care, 50 percent do not complete high school; 45 percent are unemployed; 33 percent are arrested; 30 percent are on welfare; 25 percent are homeless.


These are statistics that do not need to happen. Get the foster care system away from a commission basis today.
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The importance of research


I have been dealing with some rather personal issues over the past multiple months. Being depressed, I never thought about it much, thinking it was just a by-product of the depression. Well, after my appointment with my Medication nurse, I spent some time with my family. I mentioned my problems with my wife again, and she went to my computer and looked up the side-effects of my medications. Sure enough, all of my issues were the uncommon side-effects of one of my medications.

The medication in question is a 'last-resort' medication, the one to go to when everything else has failed. This has given me pause, and now I will spend the next month thinking about the subject on whether or not to change this medication. I will be bouncing this off my Case Manager. While these side-effects are seriously impacting the quality of my life, I worry about the impact of a bullet with my brain even more. Decisions, decisions.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Good Vs. Evil


First, a reading assignment: This Perfect Day by Ira Levin.

I picked this one over Brave New World, THX 1138 and 1984 because if it's idyllic perfectness. In your reading assignment, you have truly a perfect world. Everyone is equal, no Alphas, Betas, Deltas and Gammas, and there is no war like in 1984.

This Perfect Day describes a Tranzi's idea of heaven. The world is one big Family. The Benevolent UniComp takes care of everyone, from picking a nameber (Name/serial number, like Mark GH5178392), to deciding where you live and what you do. 'F*ck' is an acceptable word, but 'hate' is used as a swear word. You eat cakes and Cokes every day. The price is total conformity. Any deviant behavior gets you grabbed and taken to a medical facility where the 'sick' person is 'helped.' You are constantly pumped full of psychotropic drugs to keep you happy.

The standing question is, can good things happen in such a world? I mean the bad things were eliminated, like war, crime, poverty, intolerance and hate. Does this mean that only the good things were left? And what else was given up? Individuality, self-determination, worship of God, freedom and the like. Are these good things?

In Oh, God! Book II, the little girl that God picked to be His messenger asked God, "Why do bad things happen to people?"

(I'm paraphrasing here, I don't remember the exact conversation)
God replied, "Have you ever seen a top without a bottom?"
"Nope," said the little girl.
"How about a left without a right?"
"Nope."
"An up without a down?"
"Never."
"Then," Said God, "how can you have good without bad? You tell what the good things are by comparing them to the bad things. If you have nothing to compare good to, is it really good?"

I believe the single thing that makes America great is the freedom to choose bad over good. That doesn't mean I'm soft on crime or whatever. I firmly believe there should be serious, negative consequences for doing bad things, just like there are serious positive consequences for doing good. It is this very action/consequence cycle that should propel us towards good, but doesn't always do so.

Just look at the rest of the world. Nowhere else is anybody able to have as much freedom and power as the American people. Nowhere else do you see people who work harder, produce more, are more innovative and play harder than America as well. We are the people who invented the light bulb, powered flight, the computer and landed on the moon.

Good and bad are on a bell curve. Every time you take a serious piece out of doing bad, you lose some of your greatness in the process. I am quite sure we could take a serious bite out of the drug trade by executing dealers on the spot. But what would that cost us in the long run? What freedoms would we lose in order to allow such an action? And what are the long term effects of the loss of such freedoms? Not developing some important piece of technology? How about not saving someone's life?

The consequences of 'getting rid of bad' at any cost are myriad and uncomprehendingly complex. It's like in the 1978 series Connections James Burke starts off with a touchstone. He then draws a line from innovation to innovation, one invention or idea building on the last one until he arrived at the atomic bomb. There is just no way to determine what the long-term consequences will be to our actions if we are not very careful.

It's like the Treaty of Versailles. The conditions of the treaty on Germany made World War II inevitable, but at the time they thought they were making sure war wouldn't happen again. Irony can be pretty ironic.

Which brings me back around to my old Conservative idea of doing the right thing for the right reasons. This is not an easy task, let me tell you. You can do the right thing for the wrong reasons pretty easily, getting positive short-term results. But then something will come back and bite you in the rear later over it and it will leave you wondering, "What did I do to deserve this?" All must be in positive alignment, action, motivation and intent, to obtain a long-term positive outcome. Remember this always and you will do much good in this world.

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Let's not do that again


Wow. That 'something' to help me with the insomnia laid me out like a sledgehammer to the forehead this morning. I made it to work, but I was in no condition to drive. I came back to the apartment and I didn't get up until 2pm. I'm still pretty laid out but feeling better.

I'm slowly looking over the news, and working on an essay or two. Later.



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Monday, October 13, 2003

My apologies


After getting a bad start on the day, I had to do some shopping, go to a medication appointment and spent a good chunk on family time. Thus, no posting for today. But I do promise some light posting in the morning (I got something that should help with the insomnia) and substantial posting Tuesday night. All my shows are set to record so there's no stopping me tomorrow.

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So late it's early


I think the main reason I haven't been running at my best over the past few days is because I'm suffering through a rather nasty case of insomnia. I have been trying to go to sleep since 10:30 and that just means I've been laying in bed for the past 3 hours and 45 minutes with nothing but my racing thoughts.

Oh, well, back to try again. Maybe I'll fall asleep in the next hour or so.

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Sunday, October 12, 2003

3.25/2.75


Following links from USS Clueless again, I happened across the Pournelle Political Axes, a 2D X/Y scale to reflect political leanings. A very thoughtful read. I have a couple of Ayn Rand e-books that I've been meaning to read, now that I see where she lies on the scale, it might be a waste of my time to do so.

My only disagreement was the Editor's analysis of Reagan as a 4/2 is a little too far. 4/2.5 perhaps, but no lower. He also lists President Bush at 3/3. I would put him more on a 3.5/3.25, his leanings into Social Engineering with the Medicare prescription plan and such puts him over the edge. Otherwise Bush would be a 3.5/2.75.

Where are you?
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Caught in the act


It seems that the L.A. Times has enraged a significant portion of its readership. This article, Readers Keep Fleeing Biased L.A. Times plainly proves that there is immense bias in the paper, both in editorializing and in the straight reporting.
[Times editor John] Carroll continues to duck the issue of another outrageous example of the paper's hypocrisy: burying and censoring news of Bill Clinton the rapist while trumpeting claims of Schwarzenegger the fondler.

The Times has already admitted that they've lost 1,000 subscriptions, and they are admitting losing additional uncounted subscriptions. Add to that sales from vendors and other places where you buy it on the street, they could be looking at a significant loss of readership.

Now all that is needed is a concerted letter campaign against the businesses that advertise in the Times. Loss of advertising revenue together with loss of readership will definitely put the hurt on them.

These people are flagrant Liberals. They are doing their best to tell you what you should be thinking, because to them you're not smart enough to know what to think about anything. When they want you to have an opinion, they'll tell you what your opinion should be!

Me? I offer things, show you the evidence and offer my own insightful commentary. I find articles that you won't find in your local paper. After I present these things to you, I let you draw your own conclusions. I think you are smart enough to decide that either I'm on to something or that I'm full of BS. Your decision, not mine, and definitely not the Times.

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Something is Fishy


I lost the link, but there is a story related to Valerie Plame Outed as CIA Agent Long Before Novak Column.

NewsMax released a story just a couple of days ago about how the husband, Joseph Wilson, was going to release his memoirs. The review of the subject matter was 'underwhelming' according to the article I saw.

I think that Mr. Wilson has some ulterior motives, because he is howling way out of proportion as to any real damage that was done to him or his wife. He is spearheading an assault on President Bush and his administration. With the book deal, is seems to be trying to grab some of the glory for himself.

A classic example of doing the wrong thing for the wrong reasons. He should quit while he's behind.

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Saturday, October 11, 2003

Problems on the Right, too.


This just goes to prove that the Conservative movement has it's loony fringe elements as well. State Dept. Outraged at Robertson Nuke Comment proves to me that there is little difference between Pat Robertson and Osama Bin Laden.
"I read your book," Robertson told Mowbray. "When you get through, you say, 'If I could just get a nuclear device inside Foggy Bottom [State Department headquarters], I think that's the answer' and you say, 'We've got to blow that thing up.' I mean, is it as bad as you say?"

The American way is to plain old fire them, kick them out of their jobs. They are allowed to have their own thoughts on things, but when it comes work time, they are to toe the company line. I think the State Department sees the wiggle room President Bush gives Colin Powell and tries for some of their own.

I believe that if President Bush wins re-election, Powell won't be part of the team anymore and a lot of the Senior State Department people who aren't toeing the line will be asked to go with him. The President needs to clean the State Department house, the sooner the better.

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The party of tolerance


I give you this shining example of how racially tolerant the Democrat Party really is: 'Despicable' Democrats Under Fire for Racial Slur Against Indian-Americans

I just get warm all over when I see the mask slip from Liberals faces. It seems to me that the Liberals believe everybody should own a pet minority person.
"This is just typical liberal spin trying to throw race into it to bring down the opposition or to bring themselves up," spokesman David Joyslin said. "As Republicans, we don't care about race. We just look at the person's stance on the issues and if they're going to be a good candidate."

Clinton appointed Madeleine Albright as Secretary of State because she was a woman. A quick look at her resume would have clearly shown that she was not qualified. I don't recall any Black (or any minority) people in high places of power under President Clinton.

President Bush has appointed a wealth of minorities and women into positions of authority, and (gasp!) all of them are actually competent and qualified . Will wonders never cease.

So which party is actually the more tolerant one? The one on the Left that promotes tokens that promptly bump into a glass ceiling, or the one on the Right that promotes on qualifications first, skin color/sex second?

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Friday, October 10, 2003

Not doing well


Things haven't been working out too well over the past 24 hours. I visited my family yesterday afternoon to deliver some prescriptions and I couldn't get into the mood. You know, the one where you enjoy yourself in the company of those that you love. I actually went back to my apartment early and didn't make it to a MechWarrior tournament because something wasn't right with me.

Today was worse. Between picking up a couple of new people that live in the extreme corner of the county, and the office calling every 10 minutes to make sure I was picking up somebody or another, my first load ended up an hour long. Then a quick second load from the list the other driver normally gets (he's been out sick for the past two weeks). During the quick one hour I spent at the center, I spent most of it banging my head into hard things.

I bang my head because I am frustrated and there is no other way to express it. I bang my head because something isn't working right and I'm trying to find the restart button. There are times I can feel my brain undulating because it wants to explode and I must expose my brain to the air so it can explode. There is some thought or concept in my brain that I must let out at all cost. I don't know what it is, but I have to get it out, no matter what.

Considering how well I've done over the past 24 hours and the fact that I would be working alone tomorrow, I decided to call in sick ahead of time. Can you blame me?

Please excuse me while I crawl into the closet and scream for a while.

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Thursday, October 09, 2003

What Liberals think


I just found this on Right Wing News, The Democratic Underground Post Of The Day: We're Geniuses, You're Stupid!

It's too late to offer my usual insightful commentary, but I offer you this quote:
#1 - I would dare to assume that most of us here are in the upper 1%-20% of the population intelligence-wise. We must come to the realization that the majority of the population is in the lower 80% to 99% percent of the bell-curve. WE are not the norm. The Republicans understand that the average American is not very bright. They cater and pander to the masses. The Democratic Party tries to appeal to the population about "issues" that these people just don't understand.

Yeah, that's all that the Democratic Presidential candidates have been talking about, issues. They haven't been mercilessly slamming President Bush and his policies without offering one iota of their own ideas other than, "I wouldn't have done it THAT way!"

Like I said earlier, meaningful compromise is impossible with people who believe like that.

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Duct Tape Alert


I first heard about a DTA from Glenn Beck. He warns his listeners to "Wrap your head in duct tape. That way when your head explodes over this, you will be able to find all of the pieces."

This is one of those moments.

I just found this article, Group Calls for De-Legalization of Marriage and knew from the title that this was a DTA.

Marriage and children are given their advantages because that is what the government wants you to do. Get married and have a bunch of kids. Raise them as part of a nuclear family to raise the population and you get rewarded with the tax breaks and other incentives.

To eliminate the advantages of marriage will devastate everything associated with it, with no possibility of any advantages. This is a concerted effort to destroy the nuclear family. Study after study have proven that children do better in a two-parent household. The best possible situation is to have one parent at home with the children (i.e. stay-at-home/home office parent).

I am not in favor of gay marriage, but I am also against a Constitutional Amendment favoring heterosexual marriage. An amendment would be swatting flies with a sledge hammer and should not be used for such purposes. The last attempt at such Constitutional social engineering was Prohibition. I am against gay marriage solely because they cannot produce children by themselves. As far as infertile heterosexual couples go, they have a distinct medical reason, not from a lack of trying.

I want to make this clear: I have no problems with homosexuals. I believe they have as much choice to be homosexual as I have to be heterosexual. I commend them if they are in a committed life-long relationship. But marriage is something that is not in the cards if you are homosexual, just like due to my life circumstances I can never own a firearm ever again. If they want to work at a company that recognizes same-sex life partners, go for it! I am not happy with the decision and I have no alternatives, but kids and marriage is out of the question. Sorry.

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Liberals


I read Steven Den Beste at USS Clueless every day. I came across this scathing analysis of Liberals in his log entry Democratic Contradictions.
Of course, if everyone in the world embraced the Tranzi vision, the process of establishing that utopia would be very straightforward. But it's not to be expected that this take place, and the Tranzis understand that the majority of the human race will resist it to the end, for a wide variety of reasons all of which are fundamentally wrong. Those who would oppose it are unwise, unenlightened, indoctrinated, deceived, dogmatic; but they cannot be reached intellectually, so it's necessary to force it onto them. Once it's in place, they'll come to realize that they were wrong and will accept it and even support it, but there's no way to convince them of that before the fact.

It chills me to the core that such people exist. Not the Transnational Progressivism, you can combat that every day with clear, logical arguments and pointing out their hyprocracy. No, what scares me is a group of people who have no morals whatsoever and are willing to violate anything to achieve their ends, because the Liberals/Tranzis think their idea is what everybody should live under, not caring that the people don't want to.

On a lot of levels, Liberals are the same as any dictator. They work within the system until they achieve power, then ruthlessly crush any opposition and then do whatever they want.

These people must be vehemently opposed and ideologically destroyed. You can't negotiate with them, you can't compromise or reach a consensus. You must go after them like Reagan did, not stopping until they are totally defeated. Expose their nonsense, lies and hypocrisy for what they are and defeat them utterly.

Because they are trying to do the same to us. Every time they can get us to compromise, they win and we lose. Because they will come back and want you to compromise and give ground again, just because you did it the last time.

There can only be victory, as the alternative is too horrific to consider.

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Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Talking it out


Since I missed work yesterday, I'm making it up today. My Case Manager will be visiting me at work this afternoon. I plan on asking him to refer me to a new counselor. I've been through talk therapy with over half-a-dozen different counselors, but my wife wants me to try again. There are a lot of issues I haven't fully faced yet. I have a lot of emotional baggage that I am dragging around that is contributing to my depressive mood. Like I've said, I'm trying to brute force my way out of this, but I'm not making a lot of progress. If you know of an LCSW in the Memphis, TN area that acts like R. Lee Ermey, please email me, my address is to the right.

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A good time was had by all


I had to take off yesterday to take my wife to a doctors appointment because she can't drive. So I was free when it was time for a MechWarrior tournament. So my son and I made it there early, and we discussed tactics and battle plans on the way down. Once there, we took our time picking our forces.

In most wargames, the only criteria is how many enemy units did you kill. I like MechWarrior because you have three Victory Conditions that you need to consider to win a battle. You need to consider:

Under certain conditions, you can wipe out every enemy unit and still lose. So you have to think smart, not just "Kill! Kill!! Kill!!!"

Any how, in my first game I was properly aggressive and handily won. I killed several units and didn't lose any of my own. In my second game I had to go against my son. He played smart and he was winning toward the end of the game. In MechWarrior, under certain conditions you can damage your own unit. Well, those conditions came up and he accidentally killed one of his units. This put me ahead by one point and he ended up losing the game more than I won it. He was upset until I told him that he played an excellent game and it was one bad dice roll at the wrong time that cost him the game. I also told him I was proud of him for winning his first game and his excellent play of his second game. I was also proud of him not getting frustrated, which is something that can happen easily with him.

At the end of the night I ended up with the Champion prize. Even if my son won the game, I still would have ended up with it because he would have given it to me. There are different groups to collect in this game and this prize belongs to the group I collect.

I ended up having a good time last night. It gives me hope that my other days can be like this.

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Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Anti-Gun and Pro-Porn


I happened across this article, Google Accepts Porn Ads but Refuses Those for Guns.

I was doing the Happy Dance last night because my blog showed up if you searched "Conservative Zone" on Google.

Then this came along. Google is well within their rights to refuse to do business with anyone, but I think it shows their values if they can advertise porn sites, but not a firearms dealer.

I'm just waiting for whatever justification they try, because any justification shows their hypocrisy. "For the Children" would be lovely. "We're against advertising guns because of gun violence, but we're for advertising porn sites that treat women as nothing more than sex objects" and all that.

In case you didn't know, guns are a hot button topic for me. Maybe I'll write it at length in a future post.

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Monday, October 06, 2003

My kind of Guy


I've been wanting to talk about this person for a while, but I haven't had the right words. Dave Ramsey is a financial planner who has a nationally syndicated radio show. If he isn't on your local radio station, you can pick him up on the web for free, both the live broadcast and the archives.

I like Dave because he teaches good, Conservative values. Self-discipline. Get on a budget and out of debt. Become financially independent and invest in yourself to become rich. He is currently on a book tour, selling the Total Money Makeover, where he uses common sense, Grandma's advice and the Scriptures to get you on a budget, out of debt and then rich.

He laughs with you, cries with you and offers advice that has helped thousands of people. He also has Financial Peace University where you can learn in a group directly from Dave the principals of his system.

I personally am out of debt, but I had to go through a bankruptcy to do it. Check him out, especially if you're in debt. You'll be glad you did.
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Hypocritical Press


If you've noticed that a lot of my links point towards Fox News, this is the reason: Fair and Balanced?
I think it's fair to call groping for what it is, wrong and unacceptable, when it involves a man named Schwarzenegger. What's odd is ignoring Juanita Broderick's allegations of something far more serious involving a man named Clinton.
When the press underreports or does not report at all on important stories and allegations simply because it's against the people that they support, they wound us all. When the press fails to hold these peoples feet to the fire, they provide a disconnect between power and responsibility, accelerating the process of power corrupting the ones in power. As more and more abuses don't get reported, each abuse of power becomes worse than the one before.

Of course, overreporting is also a failing of the press today as well. Giving a pass on people they like, exacerbating and extending coverage on non-issues on people they don't like. They use their printing presses as a weapon when it suits them. It really is a sad state of affairs for the Fourth Estate.

UPDATE: I just found this article via Drudge: Why wasn't Davis investigated too?
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Sunday, October 05, 2003

Not the right kind of black


This disgusts me. NAACP Wants Rush Fired, But Gave Lib Radio Racist a Pass shows exactly how hypocritical liberal organizations such as the NAACP really are.

Rush is getting raked over the coals for a comment that is easily verified by anybody who wants to look. Rush Limbaugh Was Right says it all.

But when Neil Rogers calls Condoleezza Rice everything but the N-word, the NAACP is quiet. Can it be because she's not the right kind of black person? I mean, Condi got to where she is on her qualifications, rather than her skin color. She didn't get to where she is by being a "token" anything. She didn't need the NAACP to open any doors for her. Maybe that is what rankles the libs the most.

If the NAACP is not needed by blacks, then they are out of business. So the NAACP actually has a vested interest to make sure that as many blacks are dependent on them as possible while at the same time while supposedly "helping" them. The NAACP is doing more today to promote racial separation and divisiveness than they ever did to promote racial harmony.

Dr. King must be crying every day in heaven.

UPDATE: NewsMax releases this CBS article: CBS Says McNabb Tops 'Overrated' List
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Light-hearted Sunday fare


Dennis Miller strikes again. Confounded by Chads? Don't Vote! drives home the importance of voting smart.
Let me reiterate, if you’re such a complete zipper-head that you cannot maneuver your way around a chad, then guess what? I don’t want you to vote because you’ll vote stupid and I’m not talking about run of the mill stupidity here either. I’m talking about weapon-grade stupidity.


Fox News has a link about halfway down to see a video of this presentation. Watch it. It's funny in that Miller style.

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Friday, October 03, 2003

The REAL War on Terror



Hats off to Moe at Occam's Toothbrush again. I found this, Dispatches from a Real War on Terror and it provided some thoughtful reading.

I can almost promise this is how the world will look if there is another 9/11. I find our responses to date down right reasonable and restrained. One more attack and the world will see us pissed off. Believe me, you don't want to see the US pissed off.

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Thanks Moe!


Yesterday Moe Freedman at Occam's Toothbrush gave me a glowing thumbs up. I'm outside of his usual forte, but I won him over anyways. If you haven't read him, please click on the link in my blogroll and check him out.

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Depression is a thief


I have been an enthusiastic player of wargames for years. I would spend hours pouring over the statistics and charts of weapon systems, studying how they would interact with other systems, devising tactics and counter tactics. And I was good. In some games I was almost unbeatable.

Even with MechWarrior, before a match I would invest 2-3 hours in developing several battle forces, analyzing each force for strengths and weaknesses. Last night, I was ready to skip the entire thing. I just didn't feel up to it. But my son looks forward to these events, so I picked him up and off we went. I just threw a force together and lost both games. Even when I was winning, my failure to properly use my forces led to my losing more than my opponent actually defeating me.

Depression steals enjoyment. Even the things that you love to do becomes too much of a bother to actually expend the effort. You would rather spend time staring at a blank wall for hours than doing constructive things. The depression makes you sad. Your inability to do things you once loved compounds the situation, heaping sadness upon sadness. All you can dwell on is the sadness, so anything you can do to get away from the sadness is the best you can hope for.

I have to brute force my way out of my sickness like John Nash (A Beautiful Mind ). I have tried about three-quarters of the anti-depressants currently on the market, and they have either drove me into a manic frenzy, done nothing or given me severe side-effects. I am documenting my struggles not only to provide insight to you, my readers, but to help me combat this thief.

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Slipping a bit


I think I'm down to a 6 on the depression scale. Things seem just a little greyer lately. Yesterday, I was actually awake at 7:45 in the morning, but I couldn't get out until 9:30. I remember being a hard charger. While I didn't leap out of bed, I made it out in good order, got ready and got to work. Yesterday I might as well been trying to move a mountain with a teaspoon. To lie there, helpless, makes me angry. But it wasn't enough to get me going.

Another thing is food. I no longer enjoy eating. To me, food is simply fuel to keep me going. I don't enjoy the taste, I don't savor the company if I am out eating with my family or friends, as long as it isn't nasty, it's just "okay." I have all of the excitement of eating as I do taking a dump. They are both the same to me, merely something that must be done.

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Thursday, October 02, 2003

Tree Huggers



Talk about timing. Less than a minute after my last post, I found this story, Everglades Cleanup Exposes Environmentalists.

One thing's for sure. The Everglades controversy is a great showcase for the eco-activists' insincerity and unreasonableness.

This just goes to show you. It sounds like to me that the level of run-off and the timetables were pretty much pulled out of a hat. It also shows that the eco's target is not to clean the water, but to unreasonably curtail the runoff in the first place.

I lost the link, but a related story said that we have to double our farm output in the next 30 years or so to take care of the world's exploding population. That means we are going to have to accept the possibility of some environmental damage to related lands. But when there are ways like this that can handle the run-off and side effects, we ought to applaud their achievement and ingenuity, not scrap our present farming practices and lose years of progress into more efficient farming.

Wildlife areas left to themselves are not balanced. They need some kind of maintenance. Look at our great forests out west. By correctly managing them, wildlife populations are controlled, underbrush is cut back and in case of fire, the fire is easily controlled. By not managing them, animals such as deer go through periods of population explosions, followed by periods of famine and/or encroachment into suburbs and cities. Wildfires take thousands of acres and hundreds of homes.

The greatest conservators of wildlife and their habitats are hunters and fishermen. The money raised from their licenses helps maintain wetlands, rivers and wildlife preserves. Their hunting keeps the population under control and is a humane way to cull the herds. It is in the hunters best interest to keep the forest in good shape, the herds in good health, and they quietly do the job.

The eco-terrorists on the other hand, have only personal and political power as their goals. They do not see progress by Man as a good thing. Of course, they need their SUV's, but nobody else should have them. They do not care if a tenth of the local large animal population starves to death over the winter instead of humanely culled, they want nature to be "pristine" and "unspoiled by man." They are driven by their own neurosis to do unreasonable things and despised acts.

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Outage Problems


My cable access had a major problem today. My cable modem kept resetting, so I took it to the local office and had it swapped. After that, the new one wouldn't initialize properly. By the time that got straightened out, I had a total service outage. Once the connection finally came up, I was backlogged so that only now do I have the time to get to cruising the news sites. Not much time left, I have to take my son to our weekly MechWarrior tournament where we beat the snot out of each other.

I also have to go into work early tomorrow, so no morning posting. I will be off early so look forward on some insightful commentary Friday night.

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Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Read this. Read this now.



Bill Whittle, owner of the blog Eject! Eject! Eject! has come out with a new essay. Here is POWER.
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Personal stuff


I haven't written any personal stuff over the past couple of days because I haven't been up to it. I've been trying to fight the depression and I have slipped back somewhat. While I did get up at 8:30 this morning without a problem, today was the exception. Monday night was particularly rough. I hit a low that I haven't hit in a while that night, followed by having to get up early for work. I was not at my best yesterday.

Right now I'm just perusing until my Case Manager arrives, then I have some family time planned.


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Consumer Spending Up


Finally! A piece that is positive on the economy and without left-handed "compliments." Consumer spending increases.

Let's get this straight. Spending disposable income is good for the economy. Let's take a look at a supply chain below:


Of course, in some cases like Wal-Mart, things like the Wholesaler, TC #4 and Retail store are inside the same company, but the steps are still there. There are other exceptions as well, but this list is pretty accurate most of the time.

In the case of increased spending, everybody gets more business, everybody gets more money and everybody pays more taxes. Taxing that dollar as it moves through each step means it is taxed over and over again, both in corporate taxes and payroll taxes from the workers. This is where the increased tax revenues comes from.

The other important part is whenever a company hires an unemployed worker, that worker converts from being a tax consumer to a tax creator. Instead of consuming $300 a week in unemployment benefits, they turn into someone who pays taxes. Don't look at just what he makes, look at the total swing in taxes, then multiply that by the thousands for everybody who made it off the rolls.

The other news is, it takes time for things to move through the supply chain. The increase in demand at the retail store won't be felt at the manufacturing level until a couple of months from now. Companies like several months of increased business before they look at hiring. This plus the delay in the supply line will always mean that hiring will always lag the economic indicators. Considering the time of the year, things will really be jumping around Christmas, on top of the normal holiday rush. Normally, manufacturing peaks at this time of year for Christmas. Additional demand from today's spending should extend the manufacturing sector busy time until January or so at the minimum.

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