Thursday, September 27, 2007
A lady is taking a long plane flight. A movie is being shown. Said movie has some nudity in it. She doesn't like this. Lady contacts airline, but doesn't like the answer. Her response? Get a law passed.
Hey, how about this? Why don't you try calling the airline prior to buying your ticket an asking if they'll be showing any R-rated movies. Why don't you tell every one of your friends that you disagree with the conduct of this private company? Let your friends know that they should write to the president of the company - just as you yourself have done - telling him/her that you will not again use their airline until they stop showing these movies.
Children traveling on planes would be shielded from movies with adult content under a bill introduced Tuesday by U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler, D-Waynesville.
Shuler’s bill would require airlines to set aside a place within the cabin where parents could seat children younger than 13 out of range of PG-13 or R-rated movies. Airlines could continue showing the movies they choose on screens in other sections, as well as on individual screens, Shuler said.
But no, what does she do? She runs to Nanny asking our government to intervene into the day-to-day non-safety related operating decisions of this private company.
Sound familiar? This bullshit is just like smoking in restaurants. It starts with them having to set aside a non-smoking area and progresses to total prohibition. Then it continues with a prohibition in bars. Then to all publicly accessible buildings. Then to your car, home and public outdoor areas. It's for the children.
IF YOU DON'T WANT MY SMOKE, DON'T GO TO A SMOKY BAR. IF YOU DON'T WANT TO SEE AN R-RATED MOVIE, DON'T FLY THIS AIRLINE.
Speak with your feet and your dollars. Make personal choices and stick to them. Understand that not everything you want will happen the way you want it to. That's just life.
We don't need a law for every fucking aspect of our lives.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Americans tend to get fat, dumb and forgetful quite easily. It generally takes a big kick in the nuts to remind us what our country stands for, and what our rights and responsibilities are as American citizens.
9/11 was one of those nut kicks. It reminded us that we have enemies. If those enemies say they want to kill us, we ought to take them at their word. If we get the chance, take them out before they take us out. We have the right and the responsibility to do so.
I'm doing a Risk Assessment for my bank on the impact of a terrorist attack somewhere in the country. I've been going through the various likely targets, methods of attack and responses - both on an individual and governmental level.
A number of the scenarios involve direct attacks against children. One of the most repugnant is an attack similar to the one that occurred in some Russian town in 2004. In this attack, they killed nearly 400 people - mostly kids. They did some pretty heinous things to these little children.
Terrorism experts have predicted that if schools are hit, they'll be middle schools. The girls are old enough to rape, but the boys not big enough to put up a real fight. Nice, huh?
In all of my research, there has been a common thread with all of the attacks: Target areas or facilities with tight gun control laws. They are specifically selecting areas that are relatively remote (slower police response) with little or no gun/hunting culture. If I were a terrorist, I'd do the same thing. Lower levels of resistance increases the likelihood of a successful mission.
I was looking for an attack scenario that would impact business, and as a result, the financial markets. It would have to be something so heinous that it got workers to stay home, regardless of the personal financial impact. People stop working, money stops flowing: Deposit rates drop, loan defaults increase.
One of the scenarios I've analyzed is a group of middle schools getting hit simultaneously. Five or six at once. Hundreds, if not thousands of kids killed, raped and maimed. Schools across the country would close for a couple of days. They would re-open a few days later after reassuring words from the President and other government officials.
After the collective sigh was released, the terrorists would simultaneously attack double the number of original schools, doing twice as much damage as before.
As a parent, what would you do? It would be my bank's financial nightmare: You'd leave your job, pull your kids from school, and they would not go back. Period.
As I was playing this scenario through my head, I was trying to imagine what a regular "working Joe" would do: He's working two jobs now, and is home in only short spurts. He'd get a gun for his wife that was now staying home with the kids. He'd tell her to carry it with her whenever she went out. Concealed carry permit be damned. He'd tell her that no government is going to throw a mother in jail that's just trying to protect her kids when her government is obviously unable to do so.
Even in states like California, New York and Massachusetts, people would insist that gun laws be loosened. The terrorists would demonstrate that the State is simply unable to protect the individual citizen. That the Second Amendment was included in the Constitution for a real, practical reason. That the instinct for self-preservation has the ability to change a screaming, liberal gun-grabber into a gun-totin' mama when her cubs are at risk.
That was one of the possible responses. Imposition of martial law or other draconian steps against the citizenry was another.
I believe that an attack scenario similar to the one describe above will indeed happen. It's a, "not if, but when" thing. It will be interesting to see how the American people respond.
Cower or courage?
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
I am a strong believer in self-determination, self-reliance and personal responsibility. You reap what you sow.
Hand in hand with that goes the expectation of freedom of choice. Do not prohibit me from doing what I want to do as long as it does not infringe on the rights of others. I'm a strong believer in the federalist form of government - in general, a smaller federal government is a better federal government.
So it is probably not surprising that all of this universal health care noise is quite disturbing to me.
Early in the 20th century, two things happened that set our current acceptance of Big Gov in motion.
The first was the passage of the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act of 1914. It masqueraded as a way to collect taxes (an express power granted to the federal government in the constitution) on opiates. Through a creative interpretation of one specific clause, it allowed the police to jail doctors that prescribed certain drugs to addicts. Supply dried up instantly.
The result was to push the drugs underground, increase their price and spawning the criminal activity that naturally follows. A huge illicit drug economy had emerged by the early 1920's, requiring...... more laws, of course. Thus began our long, painful and expensive engagement in The Drug War.
Although fought in courts on a number of fronts, the law was upheld. I believe this was the start of the acceptance by the American people of the concept that the federal government knew what was best, and had the right to regulate personal behavior, even that which did not infringe on the rights of others.
The second major event was Roosevelt's New Deal. Just like what we're seeing today, Roosevelt campaigned on the promise of income redistribution and Nanny State protections:
...in the event that Congress shall fail to take these courses and in the event that the national emergency is still critical I shall not evade the clear course or duty that will then confront me. I shall ask the Congress for the one remaining instrument to meet the crisis—broad executive power to wage a war against the emergency, as great as the power that would be given to me if we were in fact to be invaded by a foreign foe.I can see President Hillary saying those exact same words in her first address to Congress.
From the New Deal, we had some good, some bad. I think things like the Civilian Conservation Corps and the WPA were good, temporary solutions. You had to work for your pay.
Things got a little more dicey with Social Security. It was designed to provide for a retirement income, unemployment insurance and welfare grants for local distribution. I can get behind the retirement income and unemployment insurance as long as you contributed to the "pot".
Clearly, where things spiral out of control is with the welfare grants. It's for the children! was the sales job. Nowadays, anyone who can't or won't work for virtually any reason, can get disability (welfare) payments. All are welcome at Nanny's House.
So, what do we have? We have a population that accepts that its government
- has the right to tell them how to act (regulation of personal freedom)
- will take care of them if they come upon hard times (charity/caretaker)
You see, Americans like to think we are rugged, independent individuals. Frontier mentality and all. But look at what we have allowed to happen with little more than a sheep's bleat:
- I can be ticketed if I ride my personal motorcycle without a helmet.
- I can be ticketed if I drive my personal automobile without wearing a seat belt.
- I can be jailed for no reason other than I was driving my vehicle with more than 0.08% alcohol in my blood stream.
- I can be stopped at a roadside checkpoint and questioned by the State even though the State has no Probable Cause for stopping or questioning me.
- I can be jailed for growing a plant and smoking its leaves in my own home.
- I can be jailed for smoking legally purchasing cigarettes in my car if my minor child is present. Or I'm on the beach. Or in my apartment. Or in a public square.
- I cannot buy food with transfats in my favorite restaurant.
- I cannot buy a soda if I'm on a State sponsored schoolyard.
- I cannot run a bar or restaurant business and allow smoking or other activities as I see fit.
- I cannot make you a prosthetic limb, teeth or eye without government sanction, regardless of the quality of my product.
- I cannot purchase a handgun, rifle or any other weapon - a right specifically reinforced in the Constitution - without prior approval of the State.
- I cannot purchase weapons that are available for purchase by agents of the State.
- I cannot carry a weapon of self-defense without the prior approval of the State, even though the State is not required to protect me as an individual.
You need to think about the bigger picture: In all of the examples above, the rights of no other individual have been infringed upon. They all assume something bad will happen if I'm not controlled. They are all about Nanny wrapping you up into a nice, neat, well-controlled, manageable cocoon. You're compliant.
So, based upon our government's past performance when they're given these extra-Constitutional powers, what can we foresee for our future with Universal Health Care?
Eventually, all private insurance and hospitals will be driven from business. The cost to continue operations will be too onerous. We see this happening right now with the requirement to take in the indigent and illegals. Get the State even more involved in Health Care, and you'll see this problem expand geometrically. The State will become your doctor.
Without the availability of choice in doctors, you will follow the State's health directives, or be denied care. In Hillary's plan, you must have health care! Or be jailed, I guess. Either way, the State will become your keeper, as well.
Want a beer? Nope, bad for the cholesterol.Skydiving, boxing, soccer, football, tree-climbing, jogging, street crossing. All unacceptable. Too risky. Just stay at your cubicle and get your work done. You're safe there.
A slice of pizza? You must be kidding!
How about some chocolate cake? Seditious thought! You must be jailed!
Yes 'um, Massa. Whatever you say.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
It's finally here: HillaryCare II. God save us.
Her plan, which will only cost us $110 BILLION a year, will require every American to have insurance coverage (do they throw you in jail if you're not covered?). About half of it will come from increased taxes. A third of the money will come from (get ready for a good laugh) savings from increased government efficiency. Really.
They don't mention where the remaining 20% or so will come from. Maybe fairies from heaven will endow us with some cash.
As expected, it is nothing more than socialist scheme of income distribution. Those that work and try to provide for themselves and their families, will also be required to pay for the care and upkeep of total strangers who choose not to work.
Now, that averages $367 in tax for every man, woman and child in the country. A family of 4 will be paying an extra $1466 a year. We will get that average bill even if we already have insurance. Oh, but wait. If the $1466 is for an average family of 4, that assumes we all work, and can pay the tax. Hmmm. I guess us actual workers will have to chip in a little bit more to pick up the slack of those not working. It's only fair.
Sure does give you an incentive to work, doesn't it?
We're so fucked. This plan, or something like it, will be foisted upon America. All of the Dems and Repubs will be tripping over each other to get their plan accepted by the public. It is going to be the last big push that is needed to bankrupt this country.
I think I'll do a post tomorrow on what the logical "slippery slope" will be of Universal Health Care. You think we have a Nanny State now? You ain't seen nuthin' yet...
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
I was listening to the radio this weekend, on the way to seeing my Raiders get their butts kicked by (wow, this is hard to say) the Detroit Lions (sorry, a little self-pity there!). Anyway, the host posed an interesting question:
You are white. The best high school (in terms of academic achievement) in the area is predominantly black. Would you send your kids to that school, or drive them each day to a predominantly white, lower test score school?Without much hesitation, I answered, "the white school".
I picked up my buddy that I was taking to the game, posed the question to him, and gave him my answer. He essentially called me a racist.
I don't think so, but perhaps he's right.
A little bit about me: I've lived in the SF Bay Area my entire life, so I've been exposed to every color and creed of person on this earth. In college, I attended SF State. Lots of interaction with different races every day. I played football at State. Our team was predominantly black. I not only interacted with them, I depended upon them (and they on me). Many became close friends.
While in college, I worked at Wells Fargo bank, which was as diverse as San Francisco itself. I met and married my wife, who is of Mexican descent.
In the workplace, I have often said, I don't like diversity. I expect all of my employees to be the very best. Their sexual orientation or color are irrelevant.
I walk the walk.
Yet, here I am, saying I would choose a school for my kids based on race.
As we talked through different scenarios, things began to clear up for me. My concern was more about the black race as a whole, not the individuals themselves. I believe that, in general, broad terms, the culture of American whites is what I want my kids to learn.
A school of 2,000 or so kids WILL have an influence on your child regardless of what you teach/preach at home. They will be with their classmates 6 hours a day, 5 days a week. This is clearly more than most parents will spend with them, especially with teenagers.
My bottom line: I want my kids being influenced by people with similar cultural values than by those that don't. Different races have different cultural values.
We went around and around about generalities versus specific people. Your kid could fall in with the stoner/skin-head white crowd. Or the Urkel crowd at the black school. You never know.
I think I've shown my kids that I don't care about the race, creed or color of my friends. We have an annual party and we have blacks, whites, Asians and Hispanics in attendance. We have Christians, Muslims, Jews and Atheists.
As an individual, I don't care about your color. I only care about your religion in regards to how it influences you in your interaction with me, my family and our community. I care about your personal values.
a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others.Does this point of view make me a racist? Perhaps. I don't think whites are superior, but I know my race, agree with most educational, achievement and religious norms, and it's how I want to raise my kids.
A thought to leave you with: If the choice were between a high-performing Asian school and a lower achieving white school, I'd most likely choose the Asian school. Reverse racism????
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
I've said many times, that I've been against the war in Iraq since Day One. Aside from all of the WMD and "threat to America" bullshit, I never bought into the premise that you can easily and cheaply instill democracy in a region that is historically and culturally anti-democratic.
If you're going to do it, it takes massive force, trillions of dollars and decades of time. Think Japan and Germany.
What is most galling to me is that, for some unknown reason, the president and the boys at PNAC figured that we could do it on the cheap. In and out in a couple of years at most, roses in the streets, busts of Bush and his cadre adorning every public square in the country.
It didn't quite turn out that way (feign shock and horror).
Regardless, we're there. So what do we do now? We realized that this two-hand-touch-below-the-waist crap (AKA, Winning the Hearts and Minds) simply cannot work. Either get out, or bomb them into submission. Any other alternative unnecessarily puts our boys on the ground in peril.
I've said before that we don't have the political will to do the latter. Especially at this point in time, the American public does not want to see mangled bodies, dead kids and cratered-out neighborhoods. Our politicians don't have the backbone to do the only thing that will actually result in a "win" (whatever that means at this time).
When "The Surge" was proposed, I opposed it for similar reasons: It was a band-aid. It was buying Bush time, and our boys on the ground were paying for it with their lives. As I screamed back in January when The Surge trial balloon was released:
OK, so what will it [success] look like? How will we know when we've won this war? How will we know when to bring our boys home? What is our objective and how will we know we've met or missed it? If a president can't answer those questions, he shouldn't commit American lives to "a cause".As we all know, Bush still went ahead with The Surge. It has brought some minor progress, but it's mostly like killing cockroaches: If you target them in the kitchen, a few die, and the kitchen seems clean. But they've just moved to the bathroom. They breed (recruit), rebuild their numbers, and start anew. To fix the problem, you have to kill them all at once on a massive scale.
Of course, the answers to those questions were not contained in his speech. How could they be? Bush knows the way in which we are fighting this war is un-winnable. You cannot defeat a guerrilla force with a conventional military approach. You win by bringing terror to the terrorists. Like we're now doing in Somalia. Rain hell down on their heads until they beg for peace. You don't need 140,000 boots on the ground to do that.
Because of the upcoming report to Congress, Bush took a little weekender to Iraq. To assess the situation and all. Shockingly (note the look of disbelief on my face. No, really...) he said this:
"When we begin to draw down troops from Iraq, it will be from a position of strength and success, not from a position of fear and failure," Bush told several hundred Marines assembled at an air base in Anbar province.Huh? We're pullin' out?
Oh, wait.... I see. That was the plan all along. Preserve the legacy and all. Even the Bushies realize they can't win this war without a huge time, money and personnel investment. Americans won't buy off on that. Hell, even Republicans in both houses of Congress are turning against him. But, get in a couple of good shots against some terrorists, show a little progress in spots around the country, then get the hell out of Dodge while the gettin' is good.
How many American soldiers and Marines died so Bush could save face?
I so hate politicians. The Democrats were put into power to get our boys out. They've hemmed and hawed and let Bush have his way. Absolutely nothing has changed. Nothing. They didn't want to take responsibility should things go wrong with a pull-out. It's all about "gotcha!"
Ego-maniacs and cowards. That's who we've put in charge. Ego-maniacs and cowards.