Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy New Year

A joyful 2013 to my readers.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Thirteen Observations

Thirteen Observations made by Lemony Snicket while watching Occupy Wall Street from a Discreet Distance 

1. If you work hard, and become successful, it does not necessarily mean you are successful because you worked hard, just as if you are tall with long hair it doesn’t mean you would be a midget if you were bald.

2. “Fortune” is a word for having a lot of money and for having a lot of luck, but that does not mean the word has two definitions.

3. Money is like a child—rarely unaccompanied. When it disappears, look to those who were supposed to be keeping an eye on it while you were at the grocery store. You might also look for someone who has a lot of extra children sitting around, with long, suspicious explanations for how they got there.

4. People who say money doesn’t matter are like people who say cake doesn’t matter—it’s probably because they’ve already had a few slices.

5. There may not be a reason to share your cake. It is, after all, yours. You probably baked it yourself, in an oven of your own construction with ingredients you harvested yourself. It may be possible to keep your entire cake while explaining to any nearby hungry people just how reasonable you are.

6. Nobody wants to fall into a safety net, because it means the structure in which they’ve been living is in a state of collapse and they have no choice but to tumble downwards. However, it beats the alternative.

7. Someone feeling wronged is like someone feeling thirsty. Don’t tell them they aren’t. Sit with them and have a drink.

8. Don’t ask yourself if something is fair. Ask someone else—a stranger in the street, for example.

9. People gathering in the streets feeling wronged tend to be loud, as it is difficult to make oneself heard on the other side of an impressive edifice.

10. It is not always the job of people shouting outside impressive buildings to solve problems. It is often the job of the people inside, who have paper, pens, desks, and an impressive view.

11. Historically, a story about people inside impressive buildings ignoring or even taunting people standing outside shouting at them turns out to be a story with an unhappy ending.

12. If you have a large crowd shouting outside your building, there might not be room for a safety net if you’re the one tumbling down when it collapses.

13. 99 percent is a very large percentage. For instance, easily 99 percent of people want a roof over their heads, food on their tables, and the occasional slice of cake for dessert. Surely an arrangement can be made with that niggling 1 percent who disagree.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I'm still trying to figure out why a guy who harassed women, sent dirty pictures, but never broke any law, was forced to resign from Congress while a guy who broke the law going to the DC Madame is still sitting in Congress. Shouldn't they BOTH be gone? Is it because the douchebag who broke the law is Republican that he's being allowed to stay? Why hasn't Vitter been drummed out like Weiner?

This double-standard is sickening. Yet another reason no Republican will get my vote any time soon.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Best Comedy Show on the Road Right Now...

The Sarah Palin Ignorance tour on Paul Revere:
He who warned, uh, the British that they weren't going to be taking away our arms uh by ringing those bells and making sure as he's riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were gonna be secure and we were gonna be free and we were gonna be armed.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Regarding the Rapture

Anyone who is actually Christian should look at Matthew 24, particularly verse 36:
But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
In short, no Christian who actually reads the Bible and understands what they are reading would be egotistical enough to actually predict the date of any of the happenings involved in the Second Coming. To do so is to claim that you are God the Father himself, as He is the only one who knows. So, it's either the worst type of blasphemy, or sheer ignorance.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Some Idle Thoughts On Politics

I grew up in a conservative family and religion, and have recently begun attending my church again after a long absence. I've been thinking about how to justify, both to myself and to those conservatives around me, the fact that I'm a fairly liberal person. I think, in the end, it all comes down to a matter of choice.

I think choice is a very very important part of religion. If you force someone to believe something they have every right to reject it. Forcing someone to be baptized doesn't mean they are baptized in your religion, they have to choose it before any real baptism takes place. Baptizing babies is ridiculous. They're too young to choose. I firmly believe that until you are old enough to understand the choices you make, you are in a state of grace as far as heaven is concerned.

We indoctrinate our children. By we, I mean people of all religious faiths. Perhaps we need to give them more room. Innocence based in ignorance is unfit to protect itself, after all. And yet innocence is what parents go for, and that's impossible to provide in this world. It's better to let children know about the problems they will face so they know how to deal with them, than to expect them to deal with situations that are thrown at them unexpectedly.

Let's think about bacteria. When children grow up in a sterile environment, they become susceptible to dangerous bacteria because they were never given a chance to develop a resistance to them.

It's much much better to give a child the skills and answers so they can go out into the world and not have to deal with those things for the first time in a hostile environment. Sex education should be done by the parents, before the kids are even too curious. Explaining of values should be done by the parents. Indeed, the parents are responsible for making sure the child is ready to face what they will hear on the playground, on the streets, from their friends. It's a failure of parenting to not give a child that defense. The thing is, if every single person believed exactly as you do, and everyone was of one mind about morals, then teaching your children how to deal with life wouldn't be necessary. But when in history has that ever happened? For real, and not something imposed by leadership?

But it's more than just providing the proper defenses to the children. It's also about letting people, children and adults, choose for themselves what level of morality they want to follow. There are so many good and logical reasons to have high morals but instead of teaching people what those are we pass laws and try to force people to obey.

If you force people to act a certain way that they do not believe, then they will become resentful and rebellious. And rightly so. Forcing morality on people is not a good thing. It is an act of evil. In a truly good society, people will act morally because they want to, not because the government says they must or they will be punished.

In order to get people to act morally, you need to educate them, not to throw them in prison. And in order to educate people, you have to make sure first that they are in a state that can be educated. To be able to be educated, a person needs to know that they have control over their own life. And control over your life in today's society means simply that you have a job, shelter, food, and health care. So without the bare necessities for life, education is useless. You can preach all you want at the soup kitchen, but it won't sink in or even register properly unless people have control over their own fates.

So, the basics for people learning to be moral is that they have control over their own lives. To have control over their own lives, the basic needs of the person must be met.

Which political party attempts to make sure basic needs are met by providing health care, trying to improve the job market for the poor instead of just the wealthy, and works to make sure people have houses and food?

I have to say that the Republicans, at least in recent years, have utterly failed at all those tasks. The main concern of the Republican party seems to be making abortion illegal (legislating morality = evil in my opinion) and getting rid of taxes so the rich can get richer on the backs of the poor.

Meanwhile, the hapless Democratic party tries to get the economy under control while being hindered by corporations greedy for profit, tries to make sure everyone has health care while being hounded by insurance corporations terrified of losing their cash cows, tries to provide food and shelter assistance while being told off by Republicans who have no problem wasting billions on wars of aggression that profit mercenaries and oil barons while killing thousands of our soldiers and millions of civilians. They aren't effective because they are a group of people with different ideas trying to work together, instead of a crusade of lock-step control-freaks trying to force their ideas on all.

You might say there isn't much choice between them, but I'll go with the ones who are trying to make it better instead of the ones who are totally owned by corporations and only want to make sure millionaires get a tax break.

And so I'm a liberal. And I guess I can justify it to myself at least, even if other people don't accept my opinion.

Friday, May 13, 2011

You Reap What You Sow

Republicans in the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to replace Medicare with a coupon system. And now they have the nerve to whine that people are holding them responsible for it?

Frankly, I'd love to see every single Republican who voted to end Medicare and replace it with a voucher program voted out of office. And I'd be delighted if it was the so-called Republican base that did it, because the Republicans are utterly failing to represent their constituents. And I think it's totally fair for every Democrat to constantly remind those constituents about the Republican vote to end Medicare. Lord knows if the shoe were on the other foot, the Republicans wouldn't give Democrats a moment's rest about it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Cost of War

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron."
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Stopping Illegal Immigration the Intelligent Way

Audit flags potential fake worker documents.
ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice in Seattle said the department has stepped up I-9 audits under the Obama administration. Nationwide, ICE has conducted more than 3,500 such audits since 2009, compared to a combined 757 in 2007 and 2008.

"If we create a workplace where unauthorized workers are unable to get a job, it reduces the employment magnet that encourages people to come to the country illegally," Kice said.
I honestly don't have much of a problem with illegal immigrants, although I expect them to take the punishment without complaint if they are caught. But it's sure much nicer to live in a country that decreases the reasons for people to come and try to work illegally instead of violent raids that tear families apart.

Friday, April 08, 2011

A Stupid Proposal

If the government is going to be shut down, every member of Congress should be fined so that they can, collectively, pay the salaries of the military during the shut down. Not one Congressperson should be paid as long as our military is not.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Time to Kill Medicare?

Republicans plan to kill Medicare and Medicaid.

In short, if you aren't rich and you vote Republican, you are an idiot. The only goal of the current Republican party is to make rich people as rich as possible while utterly screwing anyone middle class or poor. If you are voting Republican for moral reasons, you are even stupider. "Oh, they agree with me on abortion and marriage!" No, they don't. They will claim they do, over and over, just to convince you to vote against your own interests. The people who care about stopping poverty and unwanted pregnancies are the people who try to protect them with a strong social safety net and ideas that will grow the economy and provide jobs. But since those people believe in marriage equality and the right of women to control their own bodies, moronic self-righteous idiots will vote for the people who are trying to kill Medicare. Good job, moronic religious voters. You should just give your paycheck to the nearest corporation, it'll be faster.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Deep Thought

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Corporate NonTax

Why are America's largest corporations paying no tax?
"I have one dollar in my wallet. That's more than the combined income tax liability of GE, ExxonMobil, Citibank, and the Bank of America. That means somebody is gaming the system."

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A New Amendment?

Because the police don't seem to understand that the public has a right to record what they do in public, a commenter on Reddit has suggested making a new Amendment to make it explicit that the people, not just the press, have the right to record information in a public place.
It is the right of the people to collect, record and retain information and evidence. There shall be be no laws passed constraining the exercising of this right by Federal, State, or Local Government where the action, speech, written word, or any other media, is in a publicly accessible location or forum. There shall be be no laws passed constraining the exercising of this right by Federal, State, or Local Government where the action, speech, written word, or any other media, is uttered, acted, or otherwise created by a public official, employee, or officer, while acting in their official capacity.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Rally To Restore Sanity

This was not a rally to ridicule people of faith or people of activism or to look down our noses at the heartland or passionate argument or to suggest that times are not difficult and that we have nothing to fear. They are and we do. But we live now in hard times — not end times. And we can have animus and not be enemies.

But unfortunately, one of our main tools in delineating the two broke.

The country’s 24-hour political pundit perpetual panic conflictinator did not cause our problems, but its existence makes solving them that much harder. The press can hold its magnifying up to our problems, bringing them into focus, illuminating issues heretofore unseen — or they can use that magnifying glass to light ants on fire and then perhaps host a week of shows on the sudden, unexpected dangerous flaming ant epidemic.

If we amplify everything we hear nothing.

-Jon Stewart