Friday, September 17, 2010

Saving us from ourselves....

Here I sit watching Rachel Maddow talk out of the side of her mouth about how Elizabeth Warren is going to save us from ourselves. And Elizabeth was very quick to agree.

It wasn't enough that she had her dirty little hands in TARP. But now she actually believes that we need this new gvernment agency to regulate an industry that we don't actualy even need. She goes on and on about how if we don't spend money on credit cards instead of haircuts becuase we spend it on credit card payments. Forget the fact hat we don't actually need a credit card to get by in the world. The fact that we consider it such a necessity in this world, that we actually need government regualtion to protect us from our own excess is scary.

If we would stop financing shit and just pay cash for it, life would be better. If we didn't buy more house than we can afford we would be better off. If we did't use home equity and home imporvment loans to turn our homes into ATM machines to buy more crap that we couldn't afford we would be in real good shape.

So here we are. Mrs. Warren is going to do for us what we are unable, or better yet unwilling to do for ourselves. Maybe the next middle to upper class will be full of people who are smart enough to realize that debt is actually bad.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Oil as a way of life

This recent disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has made me give a lot of thought as to how we got there. Not how the rig exploded, and the uncontainable leak is slowly killing half an ocean. I mean what has happened to society, that we allowed ourselves to be in this position in the first place?

By position, I mean the risky proposition of having to deep water drill close to our own shores, for oil that will probably never even see the shores of America in any usable form. The fact that we will take this risk for profit is another story entirely.

I hear the cries in the media. I see the bumper stickers, groups on Facebook, etc. Oil is the demon.....or is it us? We use the oil, the oil doesn't use us. Our society, our lief style, our towns, the way we shop. All designed around oil consumption. And not even on purpose. There is no master plan. It's just the way it works out. An unfortunate by product of our own laziness, apathy, and greed. and now that we are submerged in this culture of oil usage, how do we break the cycle?

The way we live is fueled by our individual attitudes. We chose to drive every where. I read a comment by another writer, that he knows a woman who drives half a mile to the gym, to walk on a treadmill for 20 minutes. We drive across town to a mega store to save 50 cents on a bag of chips, instead of walking to the corner store. Our downtown's' house dying retail while we drive to the outskirts of town to a mall. Could not Old Navy build a store down town? Others would follow. We consume petroleum purely to fuel our own leisure. Think NASCAR. We buy a giant gas sucking SUV because we have a child, even though its not that much safer statistically, than a normal car. Or we just buy an SUV because we like the style. Where I live people let the car run in the winter for at least 1o minutes, so they won't be cold for the 5 that it takes the car to actually warm up once they get in. We waste oil just to waste oil.

Then there are the built in things we have no control over. We have Fed Ex and UPS in the area where I live every day. But they are not allowed to deliver mail, so we have the redundancy of the postal service driving around with a fleet of trucks and petroleum consuming infrastructure. You ever follow a school bus? Ever see the black smoke puff out when it accelerates? Years ago, buses only had so many stops picking kids up fro school and dropping them off. Today they stop every 10 feet to pick up or drop off kids instead of just dropping them off at one spot and letting them walk. Why?

Because we have stopped building sidewalks. Most residential communities now do not have sidewalks. I'm talking suburbs here, not even way out in the country. So kids and parents drive every where. Can't just walk in the street right?

Look at how we shop. We order something from across the country to save ourselves on the purchase price. Now the item must travel thousands of miles, propelled by fossil fuel. We dismantled the nations rail system, and now our roadways crawl with semi trucks, even though trains are more fuel efficient.

You will hear it said we need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. That doesn't solve the problem. We would still be dependent on oil. That's like saying I need to quit using imported heroin, and find a local poppy grower. You're still a junkie. We need to analyze the choices we make and make some sacrifices if we want to be free of this mess.

Right now we drill in Alaska and off the coasts. If you think that is risky, wait till you see what we do when that option runs out. What happens when an addict can't get a fix? They get desperate and the decision making process goes out the window. What will we give up? Environmental protection? DID IT. The health and safety of our citizens? DID IT. National security? DID IT. Whats next? What do we have left to sacrifice? And how far down the bad decision ladder will we let ourselves go?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Why Lindsey Lohan is destroying America

O.k. Maybe I overstated the case a little. She is not solely responsible for the downfall of our culture, but she sure as hell is not helping. Every where you look, there is some new half-ass reality show starring someone famous for doing nothing. But we watch. Along the way, they perpetrate all manner of morally egregious and scandalous behavior.

Let us start our examination of these cultural icons with the Kardashians. What has any of them ever done, prior to their "success" to warrant this kind of celebrity treatment? O.K. The dad was O.J Simpsons buddy, and the Mom married a guy who was on the cover of a Wheaties box back in the 80's. So? Then we come to guilt by slutty association. Kim had a sex tape leak out. That's what happens when you have a really sketchy boyfriend, as a good many overly-trusting American girls find out every year. Besides the above, and being a one time friend of Paris Hilton, I am still struggling to find out what really makes them famous.

Next take the case of the series on E called running Wild. It centers around 3 sisters: Tess Taylor, Gabrielle and Alexis Neiers who want to be famous. Their mother was a one time Playboy model, who's claim to fame was screwing one or more of the members of Pink Floyd. So these girls run around Hollywood under the direction of a chief enabler a.k.a. Mom partying, name dropping, and basically trying to make themselves famous without doing any work, or having any actual talent. Pretty standard stuff for our generation of white trasherazzi. These girls are so un-famous, they probably have to pay people to act interested.

Now take a trip with me down the the Jersey Shore. I know I talk a lot of trash, but I could not stop watching season one of this train wreck. Guido powers unite. I could go on all day about these fake tan sporting homegrown princesses and wanna be's. And normally I am not down with violence against women, but I think I cheered right along with the rest of America when Snookie got blasted in the grill. So now they do publicity tours and season two is either here or will be here shortly. Snookie actually came to our town. My question is who would want to see her and why? That anyone even knows these peoples names would amaze me. That anyone would care amazes me even more.

I guess my point in all of this is: with the unlimited power and potential of Television and now the internet, this is what we do with it? We should be the most enlightened society in the history of civilization. And yet we sit addicted to this trash, night after night. Paying attention to people who have not earned it. Eventually, our kids and the upcoming generation will treat this behavior as normal. We already see it with Youtube. People see it, think that if they do it they will be famous, and bam. Next thing you know they go out looking for a fight, while your friend holds the camera. Or your daughter thinks its o.K. to make a sex tape with her boyfriend. Hell, Ki and Paris did it and they are famous right? Someone will see it and I will be a star. I guess everyone should just stop and think. It's not enough to just be famous, you have to consider what you will be famous for.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What is wrong with us?

Has society finally grown too sick to survive? It sounds harsh I know. But lately I look at what we have become and it kind of sickens me. Our entire nation has become one giant, simpering, whining, materialistic, greedy, self-involved bunch of wimps. Come on people, we are America. Wake the hell up. Stop beating yourself about the head and neck with white-liberal guilt, and a victim mentality.

I was in the bookstore the other day, and overheard the worst kind of populist tripe I have ever heard. There is nothing worse than an ignorant fool, who gets a hold of one fact and shouts it from the rooftops for all to hear. Again, and again, and again. This idiot was waxing poetic about about how America needed to fall, because we have gotten, shall we say, a little too big for our britches. Our economy is too big he said. Its not right that we are soooo far ahead of the rest of the world. I have one thing to say to you, you jackass. Face the sunset tonight. Then turn right real sudden like. Now walk. After a few miles, you come to a lake. A short swim and you are in Canada. STAY THERE.

Now on to Ed Schultz. Recently, we had a terrible thing happen in a coal mine. It's a risky job, we all know. But it is still a shame when anyone dies like that. Well, Ed the head decides to stand on top of the bodies of those who dies and crow about how we need Card check legislation. How dare we not say we need it now, he scolded. Really? C'mon fat Eddie....really. What does taking away a workers right to secret ballots have to do with Mine safety? Nothing. It was just one more chance for Ed to get a dig in for his Union buddies who want to fix the game in their favor. Have we really gotten to the point where we will twist any fact or tragedy to suit out political masters? Ed sits there with his pal Rachel Maddow and once in a while you hear the fairness doctrine come up. They both favor it. Go figure. Fairness doctrine to liberals means only one thing......their way, their voice, no dissent. You see the left calls it dissent when they speak out and criticize a republican. When you speak against them you oppose fairness, social justice, the people, workers rights(which mean only one thing to them), and puppies. And the republicans are to blame too. You see it's all in the way you frame the debate. If you insult me, and call it dissent, it's no longer an insult.

On to the Mosque at ground zero. I know, I know its not really at ground zero, but it is close by. SAME THING. I know, lets go to the holiest place in all of the Middle east and build churches. Oh, wait. We can't. But we have to fall all over ourselves to tolerate them? I can't put a nativity scene in my yard, but I can listen to some robed jihadist hollering a call to prayer across my neighborhood? SHOW A LITTLE BACK BONE PEOPLE. Hey, a mosque is O.K. Just move it about 60 blocks further out, and we can all feel better. Someone please loan Mayor Bloomberg some balls. Borrow them from Rachel Maddow if you need too.

We have become soft and weak. Just look at what is going on in the border schools. You can have Latino pride day, wave flags,have cook-outs. Speak in your own language. But my co-workers son wears a shirt with an American flag on it to school, and they actually sent him home for it. No bullshit. Fairs fair. I say, we all go out and start a European pride day. If your french celebrate Bastille day. Fly the flag. German people, you have Oktoberfest. Wear your crazy shorts and drink with pride. And lets all do it in south Texas, Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico. Hell, how about 50,000 of us go down to Mexico and throw the biggest party they have ever seen to celebrate kickin the shit out of the Mexican army and taking Texas from them. They would go ape shit. Once we run out of beer, we can all apply for welfare. And generally just hang around sucking up public resources and demanding that they print all government documents in English. I used to be a landscaper, I can even mow a lawn. Because obviously all of the people who do that down there, are up here.

Roots. That is what we lost touch with. Our roots. Our parents, grandparents, or other ancestors who came here with nothing would be ashamed of us. We were not really a nation of immigrants. We were a nation of useful idiots who were able to work together. And we never would have stood for any of this crap 100 years ago. So why do we now?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

South Park and the prophet

I don't really even know where to begin. So Trey Parker and Matt Stone create yet another lampooning social commentary posing as a cartoon, and the good folks over at the blog go a little nuts. They allude to the fact that the creators may possibly end up like the ill-fated Dutch cartoonist Van Gogh and even show pictures. Then they post a link to an article about where they live.

The balls on these guys. Go read the blog they have. They ramble on with the victim-Muslim rhetoric and we won't stand for this, and after a lengthy diatribe say they are trying to promote open discussion. Open discussion about what? True open discussion means that there is a chance that they will change their minds after being presented with rational opinions. I don't think that will happen. I think the Muslim version of open dialogue is: you back down because they play the victim, they change your mind and convert you, you really do feel sorry and want to appease them, or they bully you into submission with threats, lawsuits, etc.

Good luck buddy.

I'm sure you all meant nothing but the best for the two gentlemen who chose to exercise the right to free speech. I know Islam is exceptionally tolerant of that. Muslim revolution can't even make the claim that South Park singled out Islam, because South Park slams every religion. Boys, it was just your turn.

This is why I love South Park. Nothing is sacred. They treat everyone alike. As comedic fodder for the masses.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

See the future

So now the President thinks he is doing all America a favor. He is going to tell the banks what they can and can't do, in order to protect us from them. Whatever happened to free choice? Are we so lazy and ignorant that rather than do our own homework, we need the President to legislate the banks to protect us from our own laziness?

Newsflash people. You can protect yourself. Stay away from large chain commercial banks and stay with the smaller local ones. Ask someone in the bank what type of investments they are into. Whatever products the banks offer commercially should be a good indicator. Better yet, have a seat and ask an advisor. They want to bring your business into the bank, so they will give you information. Use the internet. Ask your neighbors. Go can do it. It's o.k. ....don't be scared. And if the bank looks sketchy, pull out your money and tell them why. Individual depositors like yourself and businesses are what makes them tick. If they get crazy, you pull out your money and be sure to tell them why.

This is all somehow a scam. There is an angle being worked that you can't or maybe can see. Somewhere behind this is a lot of money. Who stands to profit? Big investment firms. If the banks can't get in, that leaves more profit for them. So all the little special interest groups, and community organizers, and leftist types that think this is a good idea are probably in on it. And I can bet you that somehow they will profit from it. This is graft on the highest of levels. Just watch and see. 6-10 months from now there will be a big story about someone who profited big from this. And I will bet $5 that you can connect that person to the white house in 3 moves or less. Or at the very least to someone in the Senate Banking committee.

Let me leave you with a final thought from Ayn Rand that is starting to ring true:
"Do you wish to know whether that day is coming? Watch money. Money is the barometer of societies virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion-when you see that in order to produce you need to obtain permission from the men who produce nothing-when you see that money is flowing to those who deal not in goods, but in favors - when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you- when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice- you may know that society is doomed."

-Atlas Shrugged

Think about what that means and what you see in Washington. Then sit back on the couch, and see if you can still shrug your shoulders and agree with what is going on in D.C.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

All hail air travel

Why does the airline industry fall on it's ass year after year? Has commercial air travel become suddenly unsustainable? Here is an industry that on every level, is just riddled with problems.

Let's start with the obvious. On an airplane its o.k. to have a baby on your lap during take off and landing. But you can't have your tray table down. You can get on the plane drunk, get drunker as they sell you booze, but you can't text during take off, because somehow this might bring the plane down. Me texting "hey honey, they delayed my flight again, so don't leave for the airport yet" is somehow more harmful than the drunken ski team I had seated behind me. Hey FAA, if my 750 mhz, 1/100th of a watt, 3kb text message can bring down a 757 then why are we screening for weapons? The FAA really needs to yank its head out of its ass.

Which brings me to airport security. TSA. Transportation Safety Administration. First let me say, that they have gotten more efficient and learned quite a bit. But boy do they still have a long way to go. I got a pat down search because I was wearing a hoodie, and the guy missed half my body. I could have had a chainsaw strapped to my back and he wouldn't have known. And because we still don't have the stones to target people ethnically for extra search methods, I get to watch old white ladies strip, with no explanation as to why it is required. They could sniff everyone for bombs. The technology does exist. I use it at my job. This would solve a lot of problems. At Newark I watched about 5 people slide past the first security guy checking ID's while he chatted up a young girl. The rest of them he didn't even stop to do any kind of comparison. He was just looking to make sure you had the right "looking" one, and waving you by. At Cincinnati we had extra screening at our gate. Gee they compared your I.D. to the name on your boarding pass, again, you ask to see my papers? What does this do exactly? One guy even had his shoe untied with laces flopping everywhere. How's that for attention to detail? No regulations, no standard procedures, and rules that are completely open to interpretation. Just some vague guidance and knee jerk reactions set to regulations that really just helps to screw with your entire travel experience. Why would that be you ask? Because....

The airlines have given up most any semblance of customer service, good business skills, and common sense in general. I won't even try to rank them. Overbooked flights, rising ticket prices, the very fact that you have to pay for your luggage now, carry on restrictions, and the fact that once they totally screw you over if you show anything resembling normal human emotions at the customer service desk, out you go. In September as soon as our flight got delayed and people started to grumble, the deputies showed up at the gate. Really? Your going to use the increased security posture as a club to replace good old-fashioned customer service? Why deal with someone's complaint when they can just be escorted out of the terminal? And do you really need a "Bill of rights" for passengers to be crammed down your throat by the government? How about you just not leave people sitting in hot airplanes at the gate for several hours with no food or water. That would be a start. Or when weather shuts down an airport, and you strand thousands there to get your schedule back on track, you do something for them? Something more substantial than giving them a toothbrush and a t-shirt to sleep in if they choose to pay for a hotel room because even though you chose to strand them there, it was originally the weathers fault so you tell them you won't cover the room. But hey you saved $60. Good job. And while your at it, tell your baggage handlers that they are not trying out for the Olympic luggage hurling team. I left 3 days ago for Florida with a brand new suitcase. I got it back 3 days later and it looked like they threw it out at 10,000 feet to lighten the load and had someone pick it up and drag it it back on a leash tied to a car bumper. This thing is hosed. Do I need to insure my luggage so I can get slightly less screwed so you don't have to force your luggage monkeys to be more careful with other people's property?

Really. What has happened to the industry as a whole? Deep seated organizational, regulatory and cultural issues from top to bottom. Someone help them please, before we accidentally waste m0ore tax dollars on them.