Friday, December 12, 2008
According to police, Wagar was on his property Sept. 16 when he used night vision goggles to see 15-20 people running toward his place. He told police that he told them to leave, swore at them and sprayed them with the fox urine. He also allegedly struggled with one of the teens.
This is a non-incident. The authorities getting involved can only be bad: bunch of prankster punk teenagers who wouldn't leave this guy alone got what they deserved.
In an increasingly authoritative society, the citizens our founding fathers would have characterized as "innocent" in these cases, and justified in defending their land from unwelcome guests, become the criminals. Never mind the fact that we have a Constitution which is supposed to grant us basic rights of life, liberty, and property; a guy who would be so callous as to catch on to when these teenagers were arriving to vandalize his land and catch them off guard must be insane.
Say good-bye to your rights, if you were ever lucky enough to live in a time where you had any.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
During a 20-day stay, he said, he was lashed to a bed, forced to take pills and given injections that made him numb and woozy. When he told the doctor he was a petitioner, not mentally ill, the doctor reportedly said, "I don't care if you're sick or not. As long as you are sent by the township government, I'll treat you as a mental patient."
By yesterday evening, the Xintai city government was rejecting The Beijing News report as reckless and slanted. In a telephone interview broadcast on Shandong provincial television, an unidentified municipal official suggested that those confined to the mental hospital had gone mad from their single-minded quest for justice.
Welcome to the future of the US.
When you consider that China has the highest federal trade surplus out of any nation in the world, and the US has the highest federal trade deficit of any nation in the world, it isn't that much of a stretch.
In Sun Fawu's case, the government polluted his land with coal refinement by-products and he was seeking compensation, much like someone in the US would do. Instead of hearing his argument in court, they threw him into a mental asylum; a cheap solution to the problem.
Globalism has taught us that we should not only do business with all trade partners possible (read: cheapest labor and goods available while governments collect higher taxes to invest in military presence) we should also inherit their problems because we're all one global community, which fuels the fire of neurotic morons looking to police "human rights" across the globe. This provides a great distraction for what's really happening in Europe and the US, where culture is being torn apart by a lack of direction in political leadership.
Instead of turning outward to China and reporting on their human rights violations, moaning about what a great country they would be if only they could just adopt the US Constitution (as if that would work, and as if it's any of our concern thousands of miles away), we should be turning inward to regain our local townships and cultures, and allow them to live according to values they select.
We've adopted a negative attitude toward life: we point out what foreign governments do NOT do, such as NOT allowing their people the same entitlements as we receive here in the US, but we fail to point out what it is we should be doing:
- Stay out of the business of other countries
- Build great, self-governing cultures which have better goals in mind than money (this would assume very little in the way of immigration)
- Promote the idea of families spending time with each other more (less office work & business travel)
- Insist on better leadership by voting in those who speak more to long-term planning than short-term band-aid solutions
- Promote body and mind health (independent thinking; no fast food; more efficient work in less time)
- Resist any attempt to centralize power in government
- Reduce overall population so resources don't become scarce
This would be a start; we can only hope enough begin to resist the globalist charade and care for their own communities to implement these vital changes against an insane political system.
Therefore, Congress unlawfully transferred its power to coin money to a privately owned bank, which now unlawfully prints or creates it. Now, when the government needs money, it prints Treasury Bonds and exchanges them for Federal Reserve Notes (US dollars), which are given to them by the Fed, a company whose only shareholders are other banks.
This means that in order to create money, government bonds, which are debt, must be created. This debt comes with an interest rate. Therefore, our government pays a private bank interest to create its own money. Yet more importantly, this means that any money created in our financial system is created from debt with interest tacked on. However, the Fed only prints the principal amount of the loan, not the interest needed to pay it off. So how is it possible to completely pay off all the debt in our financial system? Simply put, it isn’t. Every dollar you carry around actually is somebody else’s debt. You own nothing.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Wait, what was that last thing again?
Editor Alex Birch has thought enough of my recent contributions to make me a staff member, the responsibilities of which consist mainly of writing blog posts. There's also a neat radio show/interview I did with respected emeritus professor Dr. Albert Bartlett (found at the link below). I wasn't thrilled with my journalistic capabilities in terms of on-the-fly reactions and follow up questions, but otherwise I think it turned out okay.
My blog posts on Corrupt.org can be followed here:
This link only catches blog entries. For example, I also did a movie review for them recently, and that's in the Culture section. To follow all of my activity on the site, you can go here:
And look for where the "Author" column has my username.
I was thrilled that Alex asked me to become a staff member and only hope I can continue to contribute in a way which lends itself to the values of Corrupt.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Follow link here; excerpt below.
One could come to the conclusion that most of what is going on recently is deliberate. In a society where people are simply willing to give up their cultures, neighborhoods, even their very lives, to the idea that the government should simply take care of us, it’s hard to understand why worldwide governments wouldn’t want to take advantage.
The recent global economic summit is yet another reminder that our government, and those of other nations, are too busy making power plays to worry about its constituents. Clearly, this system is broken.
Monday, November 17, 2008
With the diminishing price of televisions and the proliferation of channels, it's getting easier and easier to kill time alone, and free time is one thing a 21st-century depression would create in abundance. Instead of dusty farm families, the icon of a modern-day depression might be something as subtle as the flickering glow of millions of televisions glimpsed through living room windows, as the nation's unemployed sit at home filling their days with the cheapest form of distraction available. [How is this different from today?]
In general, novelty would lose some of its luster. It's not simply that we'd buy less, we'd look for different qualities in what we buy. New technology would grow less seductive, basic reliability more important. We'd see more products like Nextel phones and the Panasonic Toughbook laptop, which trade on their sturdiness, and fewer like the iPhone - beautiful, cleverly designed, but not known for durability. The neighborhood appliance shop could reappear in a new form - unlicensed, with hacked cellphones and rebuilt computers. [You mean, consumerism might start to fade in favor of practicality? Good!]
Health insurance premiums have risen to onerous levels in recent years, and in a long period of unemployment - or underemployment - they would quickly become unmanageable for many people. Dropping health insurance would be an immediate way for families to save hundreds of dollars per month. People without health insurance tend to skip routine dental and medical checkups, and instead deal with health problems only when they become acute - meaning they get their healthcare through hospital emergency rooms. That means even longer waits at ERs, which are even now overtaxed in many places, and a growing financial drain on hospitals that already struggle to pay for the care they give uninsured people. And if, as is likely, this coincided with cuts in money for hospitals coming from cash-strapped state and local governments, there's a very real possibility that many hospitals would have to close, only further increasing the burden on those that remain open. [This already happens and may induce a favorable result - getting the government out of health care again.]
Higher education, another big expense, would probably take a hit as well. Students unable to afford private universities would opt for public universities, students unable to afford four-year colleges would opt for community colleges, and students unable to afford community college wouldn't go at all. With fewer applicants, admissions standards would drop, with spots that once would have been filled by more qualified, poorer students going instead to wealthier applicants who before would not have made the cut. Some universities would simply shrink. [Good - less people overall going to college and crowding the system with idiocy would result in the ones who belong in college being able to flourish.]
More on the above points:
TV: People spend too much time in front of the TV already; time better suited for being outside and spending time with family (real time, not TV time). Who cares if some morons would decide to spend even more time in front of the TV than before? Are these people really all that productive when not in front of the TV as it is?
Health care: Health insurance used to be only for catastrophic instances. People didn't need health insurance for everyday visits before HMOs; they paid cash for routine medical visits because they were CHEAP, and even privately-funded hospitals (funded with donations or through other private means) would never turn away anyone at the ER. HMOs and the gov't becoming involved in health care is what's pushing costs up. if we're really that blind that we wouldn't pull gov't out of medicine during a depression, I suppose more people would go to the ER, but hopefully we'd change our health care system around to be like it was before HMOs, which was much better - and abandon any idea of socialized medicine, which our gov't wouldn't be able to afford (they actually can't anyway, but people are under the illusion they can). Look at our VA hospitals for the future of socialized medicine, or just go to Italy and wait in line with everyone else like a few people I know have done.
College admissions: Wealthy people already get in over qualified candidates because private universities play the politics/legacy game. Student loan programs have pushed tuition way too high, which already keeps out some qualified applicants as they don't want to go into insane amounts of debt. Less people in college would mean that the ones who are supposed to go would go, with the people who are just going because it's trendy might finally start figuring out other things to do. This might actually help revive the manufacturing sector. A depression would likely involve tariffs to ensure the remaining manufacturing jobs don't get sent away, to protect American industry and our GDP. We'd need people (hopefully legal citizens) to run the machines again, so maybe we'd start producing something in this country instead of borrowing and spending to feed a service-based economy that leads us nowhere.
Sunday, November 09, 2008
There are horrific consequences of methane escaping into the atmosphere in larger amounts than normal. Of course, there are natural swings in nature which at times release different levels of different gases into the atmosphere, but we need to keep in mind that humanity has evolved during the most peaceful era the world has ever known – and yet we seem intent on ruining that with overpopulation, heavy industry, and a disregard for the real problem while we buy green light bulbs, blissfully unaware of how close we are to disaster.
Natural swings or not, methane is about 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, and so the climate change deniers are seemingly unready to cope with the dreadful reality that would be vast amount of methane release – which we may be able to avoid.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
The government recognizing gay marriage – or any marriage, for that matter - is more of an entitlement than an 'equal right'. Whether one believes in gay marriage or not, forced equality is not the same as equal rights under the law. Equality here would mean, for all parties, that the government stay out of the game of marriage completely, not limiting it in legal terms but also not propping up the "traditional" marriages of morons who happen to be men and women but can't get their lives together. This only fuels the fire of people who may live within the bounds of traditional marriage, but are otherwise foolish about the reasons they would want to protect that tradition.
What we see is a confused, neurotic group of people, some of whom are crying foul because the people they live with do not approve of their lifestyle. Whether you're for or against the measure, the problem here is that California is a large state with millions of people, and not everyone is going to agree on what to allow and what not to allow.
Friday, November 07, 2008
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Voting in modern society has become a cruel game. Somewhere along the way, America lost its entire value system and replaced it with a lowest common denominator. Now, voting is just a way to fit in, as it doesn't really change much, and is more of an advertisement than anything else (see my recent Corrupt.org article here for more on the 1960 election and how it symbolized a change in the way Americans viewed political candidates). However, there are a few ballot questions and candidates that may finally get me to the voting booth come Tuesday.
You can see from my posts below that, in my opinion, the only effective Presidential candidate, until he dropped out of the race, was Dr. Ron Paul. He's the only one who could actually tout a decades-long voting record of limited government, traditional American values, and more power to the states with a more realistic and sane fiscal and foreign policy platform. Unfortunately, the government bailout and what will surely be a resulting recession, if not decade-long depression, is occurring too late for the 2008 election. People still stare at the TV, convinced that Obama The Messiah is somehow going to dangle whatever they want in front of their eyes; they're going to be transfixed by it and vote for it, but in the end, we're going to be worse off when no one realizes how to pay for any of it. The below excerpt from the Campaignforliberty.com website is a great analogy as to how I feel about Obama:
The most eye-opening civics lesson I ever had was while teaching third grade. The presidential election was heating up and some of the children showed an interest. I decided we would have an election for a class president. We would choose our nominees. They would make a campaign speech and the class would vote.
To simplify the process, candidates were nominated by other class members. We discussed what kinds of characteristics these students should have. We got many nominations and from those, Jamie and Olivia were picked to run for the top spot.
The class had done a great job in their selections. Both candidates were good kids. I thought Jamie might have an advantage because he got lots of parental support. I had never seen Olivia’s mother. The day arrived when they were to make their speeches. Jamie went first. He had specific ideas about how to make our class a better place. He ended by promising to do his very best. Every one applauded. He sat down and Olivia came to the podium. Her speech was concise. She said, “If you will vote for me, I will give you ice cream.” She sat down. The class went wild. “Yes! Yes! We want ice cream.”
She surely would say more. She did not have to. A discussion followed. How did she plan to pay for the ice cream? She wasn’t sure. Would her parents buy it or would the class pay for it. She didn’t know. The class really didn’t care. All they were thinking about was ice cream. Jamie was forgotten. Olivia won by a land slide.
Every time Barack Obama opens his mouth he offers ice cream, and fifty percent of America reacts like nine year olds. They want ice cream. The other fifty percent know they’re going to have to feed the cow.
Obama is a commercial, an advertisement for how 95% of the morons in this country want the government to simply provide for them without working for it. Dr. Paul is a candidate who simply wants to return to American values - keep prices low by using sound currency, allow people to work for whatever they get, and government can be there simply to protect the American people from fraud or liberty violations. Our founding fathers were libertarians; it's time we go back to simpler government and less illegal, undeclared wars.
Specific to Massachusetts, I'm supporting the following candidates and proposals:
- Brion Cangiamila for State Senate: wants less government involvement, lower income taxes, lower levels of corruption, elimination of red tape - in short, simplifying state government and taking the pork out of the barrel. Easy decision.
- Question 1: Cut state income taxes. Our government has shown just how corrupt it has become - we're the fourth most taxed state in the nation, and yet we're about to become the most bankrupt, without any money for fixing crumbling infrastructure while toll collectors make $70,000 per year, not even collecting enough money per day to pay their own salaries. Send a message to the MA State House by voting YES on this measure.
- Question 2: Reduce penalties to those caught with less than one ounce of marijuana to essentially a speeding ticket. I support this law because there are far too many drug busts with very limited amounts of a substance that doesn't cause nearly the reckless behavior that legal drugs, such as alcohol and even cigarettes, can cause. Pretty simple here, no reason to lock people up and have a CORI entry (background check) for less than an ounce of weed. This would hopefully be a small step toward legalizing many substances our pharmaceutical company would rather keep to themselves or regulate for the sake of pumping millions of chemical substitutes into the market. Voting YES on this measure.
- Question 3: Eliminate dog racing in Massachusetts. At first, this seemed like an easy "Yes" vote. But after learning that veterinarians are on hand during these races and that most of these dogs are treated fairly well and are adopted out once their careers are over, I'm not so sure this is so cut and dry. I'm probably voting "No" on this simply because the state would take back all of the land owned by the dog racing tracks, and that would result in a lawsuit - this is more red tape we don't need.
- United States Senate: Though there is no acceptable third party candidate, Jeff Beatty (Republican) seems to have a good head about him, and has worked with a few counterterrorism agencies in his time. He's no fan of the war in Iraq, and any opportunity to unseat John Kerry is one I'll gladly take. I'm voting for Mr. Beatty in this election.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Please read the below letter from Andrew Lahde, someone who decided to say "kiss my ass" on the way out the door, preferring to profit from an empty, materialistic industry but with a long-term view on life much more healthy than any of his contemporaries.
I applaud Mr. Lahde for doing the right thing and not giving into the soulless pursuit of money for the sake of it. He has plenty of money to retire on now; why not go for a hike, buy a house in a remote area, and live off the land with that money instead of living in congested cities and attending parties with other empty creatures? The best part about Mr. Lahde's success is that most of his money came from the knowledge that the subprime debacle, as he calls it, was going to come home to roost at some point, and when it did, all his bets proved correct.
Without further ado:
Today I write not to gloat. Given the pain that nearly everyone is experiencing, that would be entirely inappropriate. Nor am I writing to make further predictions, as most of my forecasts in previous letters have unfolded or are in the process of unfolding. Instead, I am writing to say goodbye.
Recently, on the front page of Section C of the Wall Street Journal, a hedge fund manager who was also closing up shop (a $300 million fund), was quoted as saying, “What I have learned about the hedge fund business is that I hate it.” I could not agree more with that statement. I was in this game for the money. The low hanging fruit, i.e. idiots whose parents paid for prep school, Yale, and then the Harvard MBA, was there for the taking. These people who were (often) truly not worthy of the education they received (or supposedly received) rose to the top of companies such as AIG, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers and all levels of our government. All of this behavior supporting the Aristocracy only ended up making it easier for me to find people stupid enough to take the other side of my trades. God bless America.
There are far too many people for me to sincerely thank for my success. However, I do not want to sound like a Hollywood actor accepting an award. The money was reward enough. Furthermore, the endless list of those deserving thanks know who they are.
I will no longer manage money for other people or institutions. I have enough of my own wealth to manage. Some people, who think they have arrived at a reasonable estimate of my net worth, might be surprised that I would call it quits with such a small war chest. That is fine; I am content with my rewards. Moreover, I will let others try to amass nine, ten or eleven figure net worths. Meanwhile, their lives suck. Appointments back to back, booked solid for the next three months, they look forward to their two week vacation in January during which they will likely be glued to their Blackberries or other such devices. What is the point? They will all be forgotten in fifty years anyway. Steve Balmer, Steven Cohen, and Larry Ellison will all be forgotten. I do not understand the legacy thing. Nearly everyone will be forgotten. Give up on leaving your mark. Throw the Blackberry away and enjoy life.
So this is it. With all due respect, I am dropping out. Please do not expect any type of reply to emails or voicemails within normal time frames or at all. Andy Springer and his company will be handling the dissolution of the fund. And don’t worry about my employees, they were always employed by Mr. Springer’s company and only one (who has been well-rewarded) will lose his job.
I have no interest in any deals in which anyone would like me to participate. I truly do not have a strong opinion about any market right now, other than to say that things will continue to get worse for some time, probably years. I am content sitting on the sidelines and waiting. After all, sitting and waiting is how we made money from the subprime debacle. I now have time to repair my health, which was destroyed by the stress I layered onto myself over the past two years, as well as my entire life – where I had to compete for spaces in universities and graduate schools, jobs and assets under management – with those who had all the advantages (rich parents) that I did not. May meritocracy be part of a new form of government, which needs to be established.
On the issue of the U.S. Government, I would like to make a modest proposal. First, I point out the obvious flaws, whereby legislation was repeatedly brought forth to Congress over the past eight years, which would have reigned in the predatory lending practices of now mostly defunct institutions. These institutions regularly filled the coffers of both parties in return for voting down all of this legislation designed to protect the common citizen. This is an outrage, yet no one seems to know or care about it. Since Thomas Jefferson and Adam Smith passed, I would argue that there has been a dearth of worthy philosophers in this country, at least ones focused on improving government. Capitalism worked for two hundred years, but times change, and systems become corrupt. George Soros, a man of staggering wealth, has stated that he would like to be remembered as a philosopher. My suggestion is that this great man start and sponsor a forum for great minds to come together to create a new system of government that truly represents the common man’s interest, while at the same time creating rewards great enough to attract the best and brightest minds to serve in government roles without having to rely on corruption to further their interests or lifestyles. This forum could be similar to the one used to create the operating system, Linux, which competes with Microsoft’s near monopoly. I believe there is an answer, but for now the system is clearly broken.
Lastly, while I still have an audience, I would like to bring attention to an alternative food and energy source. You won’t see it included in BP’s, “Feel good. We are working on sustainable solutions,” television commercials, nor is it mentioned in ADM’s similar commercials. But hemp has been used for at least 5,000 years for cloth and food, as well as just about everything that is produced from petroleum products. Hemp is not marijuana and vice versa. Hemp is the male plant and it grows like a weed, hence the slang term. The original American flag was made of hemp fiber and our Constitution was printed on paper made of hemp. It was used as recently as World War II by the U.S. Government, and then promptly made illegal after the war was won. At a time when rhetoric is flying about becoming more self-sufficient in terms of energy, why is it illegal to grow this plant in this country? Ah, the female. The evil female plant – marijuana. It gets you high, it makes you laugh, it does not produce a hangover. Unlike alcohol, it does not result in bar fights or wife beating. So, why is this innocuous plant illegal? Is it a gateway drug? No, that would be alcohol, which is so heavily advertised in this country. My only conclusion as to why it is illegal, is that Corporate America, which owns Congress, would rather sell you Paxil, Zoloft, Xanax and other addictive drugs, than allow you to grow a plant in your home without some of the profits going into their coffers. This policy is ludicrous. It has surely contributed to our dependency on foreign energy sources. Our policies have other countries literally laughing at our stupidity, most notably Canada, as well as several European nations (both Eastern and Western). You would not know this by paying attention to U.S. media sources though, as they tend not to elaborate on who is laughing at the United States this week. Please people, let’s stop the rhetoric and start thinking about how we can truly become self-sufficient.
With that I say goodbye and good luck.
All the best,
Please contact me via commenting here if you'd like a .pdf version of this document.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Some might say these values are outdated and it's the government's job to provide for its citizenry. This idea is called socialism and is one that our Founders were afraid of. Socialism is the same as corrupt politics, and any economist knows that the occasional monopoly or "robber baron" is much preferred over a corrupt government which artificially fixes prices and attempts to provide for people instead of simply governing the people. Unfortunately, most of those economists are in academia, and the ones who are supposed to be upholding free market economics are bought off by the government to perpetuate a now-bankrupt federal reserve system that was never supposed to exist.
Take the example of railroads. Broadly speaking, there was a monopoly, and many were afraid of all the power one man in one industry could have. Any forward thinking economist at the time would have told you that without the government stepping in and creating anti trust laws, the industry would have eventually reached the point of diminishing returns until it figured it was profitable to allow other small railroads to pop up as intra-state enterprises. Eventually some of those smaller companies would have merged, effectively allowing competition. And while all this is happening, another manufacturer of railroad cars would have come along and simply asked about a fee to allow them to use the track. Both instances would eventually have allowed competition into the marketplace. Somehow, this point was lost on the example of Bill Gates one hundred years later, and we're finally seeing that a monopolist, after years of success, eventually settles back down and has to work extremely hard to continue creating a product that people want in the marketplace.
The broad strokes which outline an argument against our current debtist/socialist government are as follows:
- income taxes: illegal, something our founders never intended, and an excuse for government to over-regulate
- Libertarian values: no longer upheld; the individual in the collective (meaning sheep) is valued more than true individual liberties in our society, and this has to change
- Federal Reserve: bankrupts our economy and provides zero benefit to the free market whatsoever (look what's happening to our economy, and the fact that our Fed is printing money to fund programs now because the US is in so much debt)
- overregulation: the US government has decided to price-fix wherever possible to justify the huge sums of tax money collected, and they've ended up ruining industries and workforces instead of allowing them to thrive.
- Separation of government/business: this is just as important as a Church/State separation, and our Constitution has been falsely amended so many times that the government
- 10th amendment: Powers not granted to the federal government go to the state governments, and state government laws challenged in courts that are found to be in violation of any of the principles of the Constitution can be overridden. Any other state laws are permissible and should be regulated at the state level.
- Right to bear arms: Pretty simple; when you outlaw something that the Constitution explicitly allows, most scratch their head and wonder why. Since most people are sheep and simply want to obey the law, they steer clear of guns because the government tells you not to have them, even though our country was founded upon values which allowed citizens to have guns. This only makes the criminal and aggressive element of society stronger, who for the most part are sociopaths and don't reflect the type of people who should be the only ones carrying firearms in our society. Clarifying this by simply allowing the free market to decide which guns get produced and for whom would go a long way toward ending violence. It should come as no surprise that Texas, known for upholding the 2nd amendment, ranks in the middle of the pack with respect to gun violence, nowhere near the top of the list.
Read more below.
This club’s mission shall be to raise awareness of the US Constitution as the foundation of American government through political activism including, but not limited to: rallies, protests, speeches, booths and general campaigning for candidates who endorse a constitutionally limited government. We seek those willing to actively and openly campaign for the Constitution as well as the candidates endorsed by this club. However, we are open to all members who adhere to these beliefs, regardless to the extent of their activism.
The purpose of the organization shall be to foster the principles set forth in the United States Constitution among the student body of the University of Mississippi and to organize student activists in preserving those fundamental beliefs.
The UM Constitutionalists are affiliated with the University of Mississippi. It is here where the first UM Constitutionalists, inspired by the current political climate, decided to organize in pursuit of a common goal of political change. The UM Constitutionalists hope that with the ever increasing corruption in American politics, more Constitutionalists groups will be formed on other college campuses, all united as one major political force. For information on how to be a part of this movement, please go to the contacts page to get in touch with an officer. Together we can make a difference.
Obviously, LaBruzzo was removed from his leadership role as vice chairman on the aforementioned committee. Even if you don't support eugenics policies, it would have been a great springboard for a debate, but apparently no one in the Louisiana State House of Representatives was up for such a debate.
I helped write the script to the video posted below, and Corrupt.org links below will do a better job than I can of explaining their viewpoint and why they support LaBruzzo. Please check these links out. For those of us who are not weak and would have something to contribute to a better society, don't feel guilty about agreeing with some of what LaBruzzo says - he's not Hitler, he's just a realist, and we are all better off with like-minded individuals than force-fitting multiculturalism into what was supposed to be a Libertarian, free-market society.
How LaBruzzo wants to end welfare abuse
LaBruzzo and Corrupt.org campaign to end welfare abuse
Monday, October 27, 2008
"We don't have the dollars to do it," said Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. "It's not that we don't believe in the virtue. We don't have the money."
As someone who commented on this story wrote, using Deval Patrick's campaign slogan in jest:
"Together we can..."
1) Run the state into receivership.
2) Overspend on the governor's car and drapes for his office.
3) Take the first four months in office off because our spouse is tired.
4) Not make good on a single campaign promise.
5) Do NOTHING to make this "historic" administration noteworthy.
Massachusetts politics are outrageously corrupt. Some people, even outside of Massachusetts, still see the Commonwealth as some beacon of hope for education and welfare. Somewhere along the way, the fact we borrow money from the federal government and waste insane amounts of it - while simultaneously having the highest revenue-generating state lottery in the country - translated into Massachusetts being a "progressive" state; a symbol of the future of the US. Let's hope people wake up soon and realize that less government is better, that legalizing gay marriage is just a BS symbolic gesture of liberalism, and that when our state goes bankrupt, no one will be able to help pick up the pieces because the federal government will probably be bankrupt too.
True leaders don't come from Massachusetts anymore - gravy-train incumbents like Ted Kennedy and John Kerry do nothing for this state and are only concerned with their own image on the Hill. Until people in this once great Commonwealth go back to the Constitutional values upon which this nation was founded (as a start, we could go back to defending rights and not entitlements), Massachusetts will go bankrupt and will be forced to cut its welfare programs and wasteful spending. The only question is whether or not we'll have the foresight to break our fall a little, a lesson that the country may finally begin to heed from Dr. Ron Paul, who has been spreading this same message for years.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Chandrayaan-1 (Moon vehicle), a cuboid spacecraft built by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) blasted off from a southern Indian space center shortly after dawn in a boost for the country's ambitions to gain more global space business.
India's national television channels broadcast the countdown to the launch live. Some scientists thumped their chests, hugged each other and clapped as the rocket shot up into space.
Greeted with patriotism in the media, the launch appeared to have distracted India from an economic slowdown, collapsing stock prices and outbreaks of ethnic and religious violence.
India and China, two countries which can't afford to feed their respective populations, are somehow finding money (likely from the US in the form of borrowed, soon to be worthless dollars and foreign investment), have now made the jump into space.
This is a perfect symbol of our dystopic future: money being spent on insanity like space missions while people starve. I'm all for learning as much as possible about the universe, but first we should fix the problem with our over-regulated, pseudo-capitalist democracies around the world. Since the US has stuck their nose in everyone's business, it's the unfortunate reality today that news like this affects us all. If the US reined in its empire around the world and allowed free market economics to provide services and goods to the population, we wouldn't discuss socialized medicine and inefficient, bureaucratic social welfare programs.
Digg and comment here.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
As many know, Ron Paul ran a presidential campaign in 2008 as he did in 1988, but this time, he refused to leave the Republican Party in order to do it (in 1988 he ran as a Libertarian third-party candidate).
I've avoided politics for most of my adult life. I'm one of those disillusioned people who believe that no politician is ever really looking out for the people, and who doesn't really care about the future of this nation. But there is a simple solution: all politicians at the federal level take an oath to uphold the Constitution; the only problem is that few follow it. The few that do follow it are an example of what the federal government should be about, and Ron Paul - a strict Constitutionalist - seems to have more of a pulse on the problems this country faces, and sensible solutions to those problems - than anyone else in Washington.
Here's a summary of his views, as well as a few YouTube videos and links. You'll understand quickly why I support him instead of either Senators currently in the race for the white house (Barack Obama, John McCain).
- Federal Reserve: RP's position is that the Fed needs to go, along with fiat currency. Only sound currency (based on some asset) has any real value over time; all fiat currencies eventually end. The Federal Reserve abuses its unconstitutional position of power to play God to the markets when the free market is the only entity/organism that knows how to set prices of any kind.
- Federal Government: The Constitution clearly lays boundaries to the government's level of authority, with a checks and balances system, and even holds that any powers not specifically granted to it should be in the hands of the individual states. Any social welfare program, income tax, etc. that limits your rights as an individual or attempting to redistribute wealth, or artificially limiting moral hazard in the marketplace is unconstitutional and should not be allowed. The current size of our federal government is too large and should be limited back to the vision the Founders had.
- Individual Liberty: The Constitution provides that no person shall be denied life, liberty, or property (without due compensation). Any law limiting those liberties (drug laws, gun laws which also go against the 2nd amendment, etc.) at the federal level is inconsistent with separation of powers between the federal government and state governments. RP also believes in no entitlements for anyone, as this leads to social welfare and redistributes wealth via a form of socialism (usually that wealth is accumulated by the government via taxation). The free market would take care of all of the people's goods and services demands, and is the only entity qualified to do so.
- War/Foreign Policy: Believes that we should be out of any territory unless there is a clear and present danger to the sovereignty of our nation, in which case a declaration of war is necessary in order to take action against another nation. In today's world, this means withdrawing from Georgia, Germany, Iraq, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan - any nation in which we have troops where Congress did not declare war on that nation.
- Trade: Believes in free trade, not managed free trade (no NAFTA, no WTO). Free market economics dictate uniform tariffs where required and otherwise free trade among private entities even across country's borders (note: this is an important distinction between isolationism and non-interventionism; RP is non-interventionist but still believes in free trade).
These are just a few of his positions and I may edit this document to add more focused viewpoints later. Seeing the man himself speak is the easiest way to get a sense of what he believes in:
Be sure to watch all six clips.
More below, mostly on the economy, the Fed, wars, and current election:
[Recent Interview with The Cauldron (Ohio)]
[Campaign for Liberty website]
Lost in the fray are the political messages and subliminal attacks on anything that challenges the status quo. A car commercial will show you a family with kids staring at the DVD screen hanging from the ceiling, while the parents argue about whether or not they're lost, and the wife turning on the navigation system. Women have so much more purchasing power since the 1970s; didn't you know that? So the woman in these commercials need to play a role too, and hey, can't you relate to this situation if you have two kids, a dog, and a collection of Disney DVDs? You can't?? Then you don't fit in, silly; go back to the dark ages and leave us alone to conform to this Utopian imagery!
Since television has become such a large part of our lives, with advertising fueling that engine, advertising has permeated almost everything you see when you turn on the TV. It started in the 1950s with cute product placements in shows - innocent enough, until we find out later that corporations wouldn't allow certain plot lines if they didn't conform to an image with which the advertiser was comfortable. But in the 1960 Presidential debate, when Kennedy scored huge points for good looks, posture, and youth over Nixon's five o'clock shadow and worn down appearance, advertising crossed a cultural divide: it wasn't just about TV anymore; the image of candidates were becoming increasingly important, vs. the ideals and messages of those candidates. It's no wonder that at about this time in US history, we lost strong leadership.
This is not to say advertising was never a problem before TV came along. Of course, advertisers had sign placements and product placements well before TV - on radio, on city streets, in magazines. As television became ever more important, however, so did advertising, and in 1960, we saw just how important it was when Kennedy clinched one of the closest elections in US history away, from a Vice President of eight years no less - even after radio broadcasters had declared Nixon the clear winner in the debates.
Fast forward to 2008, and we have much the same problem: candidates parroting words that the crowd wants to hear, and advertising simply mirroring that same problem in the form of pushing junk like hamburgers and sugar-water down our throats:
"McDonald's spend over two billion dollars each year on advertising: the Golden Arches are now more recognised than the Christian Cross. Using collectible toys, television adverts, promotional schemes in schools and figures such as Ronald McDonald the company bombards their main target group: children. Many parents object strongly to the influence this has over their own children.
"McDonald's argue that their advertising is no worse than anyone else's and that they adhere to all the advertising codes in each country. But others argue it still amounts to cynical exploitation of children - some consumer organisations are calling for a ban on advertising to children. Why do McDonald's sponsor so many school events and learning programmes? Are their Children's Charities genuine philanthropy or is there a more explicit publicity and profit motive?"
"Advertising Age estimated global measured advertising expenditure of$1.9bn in 2006, making Coca-Cola the world's #12 advertiser."
In politics, money is collected in the form of donations (read: special interest groups attempting to buy a candidate so that if they do get elected, they would be forever tied to that group and their needs instead of the needs of the people). Those donations buy advertising for the candidates, and in the past few decades, the candidate with the most advertising dollars wins. Once the masses allowed Obama's campaign to catch fire, and once he became the trendy pick for President, money began pouring in - and now the final push begins, with the election merely two weeks away:
"Sen. Barack Obama shattered, by a country mile, the record for dollars raised in a single month, pulling in $150 million in September, according to an e-mail the campaign sent out this morning....
"The number explains why Obama has been able to saturate the airwaves in swing states, and afford luxuries such as the half hour infomercials he plans to run later this month."
In a healthy society, would morons be so powerful en masse with their "votes" - which are really bought by candidates - who are bought by special interests - via parroting ideals like 'change', without any details behind what's changing or how? This is all indicative of a broken system; advertising government to the masses with fluff (which, not coincidentally, is allowed in the corporate advertising world). The government has inserted itself squarely into the marketplace, which the founders of this country envisioned as free of government intervention. To strike back, corporations have inserted themselves squarely into politics, so two institutions which were supposed to be separate (industry and government) have begun regulating each other, leaving the rest of us to watch bright images on high-definition screens - alternating between the football game, pictures of cute girls in beer commercials, and candidates on TV telling you how if you're not happy with your current lifestyle, things will change for the better as somehow, some way, more money will be put into your pocket - or taken out so the government can take care of you like the baby you are.
It's time our society rid itself of the collusion between government and industry: the two working together have helped produce some of the most harmful products ever seen in history for consumption - be it political candidates, Bisphenol-A, poisonous but legal pharmaceutical drugs, or sugar water assisting the spread of a diabetes epidemic. Your tax dollars, in part, go toward fueling the advertising of all of these things right back to your TV set. Speak with your actions, not just your vote: ignore the TV!
Note: this article was also published in an abbreviated format at the following link: click here
Monday, October 13, 2008
While the premiers of Quebec and Ontario both gave this deal their outspoken assent this week, the Europeans can't help noticing a major barrier to a deal that would harmonize European and Canadian standards and allow companies to do business with governments as if they were at home: Canada's provinces have never been able to get that kind of co-operation between each other. Note the tragic irony: Canada, a sovereign nation with 10 provinces and three territories, is considered fractious and lacking in unity by an organization that contains 27 independent nations and employs 3,000 full-time translators, including a woman who spends her days rendering Estonian into Maltese.
Europe has become a totalitarian state over the past few decades, slowly building up 27 "independent" nations into a bureaucratic mess. Now they want Canada to do the same and are frustrated that Canada's provinces actually have some independence from the mother ship.
Europe has taken its seize-control attitude, muscle it has flexed in particularly fine form with Ireland and Romania recently, abroad. Watch out, US - when the depression hits home and Europe(tm) is busy diversifying its portfolio of satellite nations, we might have yet another superpower/competitor to deal with.
Europe used to be a beacon of how great a continent could be if each community followed its own rules, and if each culture stayed true to itself and allowed/disallowed certain members of the population to live among them based on merit. It has now become worse in terms of corruption and self-service than the Italian mafia just before RICO statutes took most of it down.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
[Ford] will roll out a new feature on many 2010 models that can limit teen drivers to 80 miles per hour, using a computer chip in the key.
Parents also have the option of programming the teen's key to limit the audio system's volume, and to sound continuous alerts if the driver doesn't wear a seat belt.
Let's cut through the pleasantries: Ford suddenly is concerned about kids driving faster than 80MPH on the highways? And about drivers wearing seat belts? Consider the source: Ford is one of the three decaying, formerly great American car companies. Add to that a social welfare state where people desire material wealth and comfort without working for it, and you have parents who don't really like to parent but would rather use machines and technology to limit their children - "don't do that" instead of telling them why it's bad and, oh, by the way, setting a good example.
As I stated in my post about quaint parenting gestures vs. real parenting, these actions only breed contempt, and has fostered an increasingly dangerous environment for teenagers and college students whereby as soon as parents and professors aren't around, they're acting out like wild animals and drinking/getting laid as fast and as much as possible. The more parents try to control the MySpace, Facebook accounts, emails, and friends (impossible in these times), the less they respect that authority and the more they act out against it.
Set a good example for your children when they're young: Be good parents, and try to build communities with shared values instead of accepting our reality at face value, then trying to limit a child's participation in that reality through artificial means.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
The scientists deduced that whatever is driving the movements of the clusters must lie beyond the known universe.
A theory called inflation posits that the universe we see is just a small bubble of space-time that got rapidly expanded after the Big Bang. There could be other parts of the cosmos beyond this bubble that we cannot see.
In these regions, space-time might be very different, and likely doesn't contain stars and galaxies (which only formed because of the particular density pattern of mass in our bubble). It could include giant, massive structures much larger than anything in our own observable universe. These structures are what researchers suspect are tugging on the galaxy clusters, causing the dark flow.
Realize how small you, your religion, and your existence are; live life in harmony with this reality instead of inventing false drama like most of the herd in our "enlightened" society.
"Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every 'superstar,' every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there—on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam." -Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994
"We feel like we've lost something personal in our team," Gomez said recently, cutting hair at the Fernandez Barbershop in Jamaica Plain, where many Latino Sox players come to get haircuts. "It's a big community, the Latinos. It makes us feel proud to at least have representation."
"I've always been a Red Sox fan. That's not going to change. I want to be a Red Sox fan," said Javy Fernandez, a 22-year-old Dominican-American who owns a market in Dorchester. "But I get more excited when I see my people - people of my ethnicity - play on my team. It makes you feel like you're playing on the team also."
Jed Hoyer, the Red Sox's assistant general manager, declined to comment specifically on any of the recent moves, but he stressed that all decisions are based on a player's talent, not ethnicity. When making personnel moves, such as not re-signing Pedro in 2004 or trading Manny in July, Hoyer said club officials are only considering one thing: what's best for the team.
So much is wrong with this article.
Apparently they didn't have enough to report on today. A poor population of mostly illegals, only in Massachusetts (a far cry from the Dominican) because of the free benefits offered by the state, latches onto a local team because a few Dominicans happen to be on it. They identify with the team and then with the city, celebrating two World Series victories (read: millionaires dancing around like morons who care nothing for the fans or the city in which they play - sounds kind of like illegal immigrant populations to me, no wonder they love the athletes so much). Suddenly they feel like "part of the team" (uh, sound a bit like a 7-year-old idolizing Mickey Mantle?) and are disappointed when a few of them leave for greener pastures (greener meaning more money). The sad part is they don't realize, or have tricked themselves into believing, that they wouldn't do the same thing. Like there aren't enough Latinos in LA (Manny Ramirez) or New York (Pedro Martinez) that these athletes can defraud into thinking they're part of the Latino community.
The Red Sox are racist because their Latino population is dwindling! Off with their heads!
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
This is Jokela High School Massacre Redux. The media will try to cover this up as just another psycho who pulled a gun at a school, but with incidents like this becoming more common, we can't fool ourselves any longer: school shootings are a message and a warning to modern society; a disruption not unlike a high-profile hack (a la Sarah Palin's email), only with human casualties.
More to come as Corrupt.org reports on this most recent schoool shooting.
Edit 9/23/08, 9:35am EDT:
Corrupt.org post - click here.
Friday, September 19, 2008
The move, he said, would not be necessary in a well-functioning market and is only a temporary step that is part of the actions being taken by the Federal Reserve, the Treasury and Congress.
A recent wave of the market maneuvers -- where traders seek to profit by selling unowned shares of companies in the anticipation their prices will drop -- has been blamed in part for the demise of venerable investment firm Lehman Brothers and other big companies.
When the financial speculators are fat and happy, short selling is just considered part of the game. Financial speculation works both ways: you're betting on when a company goes bad (short selling) and betting on when you think companies might do well (the more "normal" type of investments: buying stocks, bonds, etc.). At least in the realm of financial speculation, this type of maneuvering makes some kind of sense.
The problem now is that our economists at the Federal Reserve want to keep pumping paper money into the system instead of lowering interest rates. Lower rates might mean more investment here at home (mortgages, etc.) in theory, but with consumer behavior leaning heavily toward savings these days (no matter how much they try to brainwash - er, advertise - us into buying that new plasma TV), they know that lowering the interest rate would accomplish nothing but allowing foreign investors to continue buying up pieces of America. And why wouldn't they? They're pissed enough as it is that they hitched their wagon to our economic star, and now that we've mismanaged ourselves into a recession, the rest of the world is seeing the side effects. So why not buy up that same driving force when/if a rebound occurs?
Our economists and government are more transparent than ever. They call this a "temporary" measure, as if we're about to bounce out of this recession all the better. In five years, we'll still be waiting.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Further to my first Bisphenol-A post, a new study links the dangerous, and widely used, chemical with heart disease and diabetes.
BPA is used to line most canned goods, from soups to soft drinks, to prevent corrosion. It helps make sunglasses and compact discs durable. And it strengthens virtually all transparent, light-weight, hard plastic bottles.
Researchers led by Iain A. Lang of Peninsula Medical School in Exeter, England, analyzed urine levels of BPA among 1,455 American adults, using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003-2004. Higher levels of BPA in urine were associated with the form of chest pain called angina, coronary heart disease, heart attacks, and type 2 diabetes.
Feel free to digg and comment on a similar article here.
This is extremely disconcerting, but hardly surprising. Our government and the corporations that have bought it up piece by piece are not concerned with your health. They decided that Canada was jumping the gun when trying to ban BPA earlier in the year, when even they didn't know the facts.
How does this chemical even get past our FDA? Because our FDA isn't made up of an army of altruistic scientists looking out for the health of Americans, sadly enough. Maybe our tax dollars should go toward creating such an organization though, instead of, I don't know, benefits for people who don't belong here and a broken welfare system
Full article on Boston.com here: [+]
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Here's some tips from the article, at ecostreet.com on how we can make our lives better with a few little tricks - not painful at all:
Healthy teeth healthy rivers: Remember to turn off the tap while brushing your teeth-a running tap wastes over 6 litres per minute. If the entire adult population of England and Wales remembered to do this, we could save 180 mega litres a day-enough to supply nearly 500,000 homes.
Fill up those dishwashers: Hand-washing dishes typically uses about 63 litres per session; if those dishes are rinsed off under a running tap the total water used averages 150 litres-in comparison, a modern dishwasher can use as little as 15 litres of water per cycle. But make sure you fill the dishwasher or you’ll be wasting even more than if you were to wash up by hand. And if you’re in the market for a new dishwasher, look for the energy efficiency ‘A’ rated machines since these usually waste the least amount of water. If you take a closer look at the energy label, it actually does tell you how much water the machine uses.
Be sprinkler savvy: We all love our gardens, but sprinklers can use as much as 1,000 litres of water per hour-that’s more than a family of four can use in a whole day. Using your sprinkler early in the morning or late in the evening will mean less water will evaporate from your garden and more will get to the roots, where you actually want it to go.
Interestingly enough, this article was listed under the "sustainable lifestyle" section of the website. Which is exactly why I'm calling "BS" here.
Our lives are not sustainable. Using a machine which is supposedly efficient (how about the oil it uses to heat up the water, same as your tap? how about the electricity it uses to run?) doesn't change anything. Neither does using a hose instead of in-ground sprinkler systems to water the palatial estates we feel the need to maintain in our society, complete with unnaturally-shiny green grass. Want some tips on how to save water? Here's some of mine:
- Use mulch on your lawn instead of grass. No need to water it, no worries about it becoming ugly, because it already is.
- Re-use glasses and plates, or just rinse them off with a quick squirt of the hose attachment, instead of dropping every water glass and bread-crumb littered plate into the dishwasher to "fix".
- Buy an outhouse and don't use your toilet anymore. The new Port-A-Potty models are spectacular, I hear
- Don't shower three times a day
Of course, most people can't imagine a lifestyle without skyscrapers, indoor plumbing, and vast supermarkets (which is a huge waste of water and electricity; anything you do in your home to waste water pales in comparison to today's megamarts/malls/shops). This lack of imagination and lack of living in conjunction with nature instead of shutting it out from our lives is exactly the reason we feel modern guilt wrapping around our necks like a noose, thinking we can loosen it up a bit by making painless tweaks here and there. "I fixed the faucet; that's one more kid in China that gets clean water today". Well, not really, Mr. Gore. All you did was what any responsible adult should do in one's home; your water comes from a local reservoir, and those reservoirs get drained more and more each year by people who can't even be bothered to reschedule their automated in-ground sprinkler systems during a rainstorm.
Token gestures don't help. Changing our lifestyle and community setup would, but unfortunately, most people can't be bothered with such mundane things - they're too busy figuring out how many liters of water they can save by buying that new toilet at Home Depot.Original article:
Feel free to digg and comment here:
Monday, September 08, 2008
A perfect example of this is professional sports. The most recent story which is provoking reaction across the web is that Tom Brady may be out for the entire NFL season after the New England Patriots quarterback suffered a significant knee injury during yesterday's 17-10 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.
Brady hasn't missed a start since taking over for Drew Bledsoe in Game 2 of the 2001 NFL Season. After the Spygate fiasco last year, I shared my thoughts on the NFL, the media, and 99.9% of the fans in the league who love the idea of parity because it mirrors what they want in their own lives: forced equality so no one is overly successful, which would highlight the shortcomings of certain individuals.
To recap, the Patriots' coach was caught taping defensive signals from a sideline, which is a violation of NFL rules. The media cried "cheaters!" even before most Patriots' fans realized what was going on. The hype ensued, and for the rest of the season, the Patriots' had a chip on their shoulder - winning every game, some by large margins, before eventually losing in the Super Bowl - due to the fact that everyone wanted to jump on the back of a championship team and bring them down to everyone else's level.
Few things to highlight here, as I did in my original post:
- Former Dallas Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson admitted to sending personnel in to opposing head coach's hotel rooms the day they checked out to search through trash barrels for playbooks or play sheets
- Former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher defended Belichick, as did the entire Steelers organization
- Former New York Jets coach Herm Edwards didn't believe there was a big fuss to be made over a tape of a defensive signal
- St. Louis Rams coach Mike Martz had said he wasn't really interested in whether or not a Patriots' tape of a walkthrough of their practice before Super Bowl XXXVI existed, only that if it did, it would be a "bit disappointing"
Seeing a trend yet? NFL coaches live in their offices and study for hours, trying every which way they can to get an edge over other teams. Because Bill Belichick doesn't like the media very much and is generally not very personable as a football coach, people wanted to bring him down because of his success. As a result, the herd saw an opportunity to pounce once they were caught breaking a taping rule, and suddenly the floodgates opened. The media even found an idiot golf pro in Hawaii willing to make up stories so he could get his fifteen minutes of fame.
Fast forward to May of 2008. Finally, the Patriots are cleared of charges that they taped a Super Bowl practice walk through, and we can finally move on - right? Wrong. Still, bitterness exists from the crowd, and still, they insist on labeling the organization "cheaters" so they have something to feel good about when the Patriots come into town and roll over their team.
Now it's Game 1 of the NFL season. Brady drops back to pass and goes down with a knee injury. All the bitter fans from the rest of the country love that Brady is likely out for the season because they can start shouting about "karma", "just desserts", and the like.
So why have I decided I'm done with professional sports? Everything sports-related is hyped and melodramatized to a ridiculous degree, giving fodder to the herd that wants everyone down at their level. Television coverage, internet coverage; it all focuses on the individual when the Patriots were always about team. They weren't a media-friendly organization and likely won't be one in the future. Yet they set a shining example of what an NFL team should do, with a misstep along the way being blown way out of proportion and being the unfortunate cross to bear for the rest of Belichick's tenure as head coach.
The last year or so of following professional sports has taught me a lot about the modern day fanbase and media. Instead of looking toward the fans as an excuse for following the sport, now I find most of them even more reprehensible than the billionaire owners who insist on public funds for infrastructure to keep teams in certain cities, and moreso than players who make way too much money and are in it for themselves instead of the team. I should have learned that lesson a long time ago, but when you're brought up following sports in New England or New York, it can be tough to separate sports from one's life. I'm just about there.
Saturday, September 06, 2008
In typical, disgusting fashion, she has no problem discussing the most personal relationships, including a failed (surprised?) marriage and an abortion. We really need to hear about her experiences with the hook of death? Hm, wonder why there weren't any pictures of THAT on her homepage?
Story about Stephanie Klein's blog can be found here.
"IT'S addictive," Meredith Balossini said. "There's compassion. There's want. There's misery."
Ms. Balossini, 28, an executive secretary from Prospect Park, N.J., wasn't describing a hot summer beach read but a blog about the trysts, triumphs and heartaches of a young New York City woman named Stephanie Klein.
Stephanie Klein's Web site is illustrated with photos of her, her friends, her dog and newspaper mentions of her publication deal.
Since Jan. 20, 2004, Ms. Klein, a 29-year-old art director with freckles and long red curls like Botticelli's Venus, has been blogging about the intimate details of her life, from her affinity for rainy days and grilled cheese sandwiches to her sexual escapades, including one that involved a stranger and a can of Pam cooking spray.
Today the blog has an international readership with fans who recognize Ms. Klein when they see her gallivanting around Manhattan and the Hamptons, and who find parallels to their own lives in her candid, freewheeling stories.
According to Technorati, which ranks blogs based on "net attention," or the number of people who are linking to them, Ms. Klein's blog has a rank of 2,132, meaning that of the world's more than 13 million blogs, there are only 2,000 or so with more inbound links than hers.
"That would put her in the top 1 percent of all bloggers," said David L. Sifry, the founder and chief executive officer of Technorati.
Ms. Klein's blog is a voyeur's playground, with many photos of Ms. Klein, her friends and the swanky places they go. But the allure is muted by accounts of Ms. Klein's childhood summers at fat camp, the husband she says cheated on her when she was pregnant, her subsequent abortion and her ongoing quest for love. Nothing, it seems, is too private not to share with readers.
Modern people really are that sick and neurotic that they feel the need to trace the steps of a woman who lives a fantasy life, ignoring any of the world's problems and making a profession out of getting laid, drinking a lot, and whining about her personal drama on a popular blog. This is exactly why we need strong leaders to tell us what to do instead of what we jokingly call "democracy", which is really just the most effective form of totalitarianism ever created.
Friday, September 05, 2008
Yeah, high-fructose corn syrup comes from natural products. So does cocaine.
What they fail to mention is that corn syrup is used as a preservative for foods that would otherwise spoil easily. So you end up loading food that's already no good for you, with sugar (which is what corn syrup is), as well as bleached, ultra-processed white flour - the discovery of which allowed for foods to keep more easily on a shelf - see Hostess products. If people just ate locally grown food and lived a more organic lifestyle, we'd realize we don't need corn syrup for any reason. What was that lady pouring in the video anyway? Teach your kids to drink water and 100% natural juice.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
The aid, along with Cheney's visit, is sure to increase tensions with Russia, whose leaders have accused the United States of stoking the conflict with Georgia over its two separatist regions by providing weapons and training to the Georgians."
More tribute money going to one of our would-be colonies. We're looking at Cold War II turning into WWIII.
In terms of how this relates to our election, I saw a great glimpse of the future in this casual toss of $1billion toward a country no one in the States should even care remotely about: Obama wants benefits for all (but you're going to pay for them as he'll raise taxes to socialistic levels (oops, they're already there) in order to fund an inefficient, centralized government operation of rights-for-all, even illegals). McCain doesn't really have much in the way of foreign policy experience (he admitted as much) but he's going to act tough - by continuing to give our tax money away to countries like Georgia which stand their ground against budding superpowers like China or Russia. "Here you go, take a billion of our pesos, or better yet, let us install a missile deflector shield so you can really cozy up to Russia".
The two options we have for President this year couldn't have been worse.
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Most television is rehashed garbage. Once in a while, a show comes along and makes an impact, be it The Sopranos and the misunderstood David Chase, the dark-humor specialty of Seinfeld, the fun jabs at modern society in Family Guy, or the mystery of Lost. The Shield is character-driven with an anti-hero as its main character, like The Sopranos, and has retained its quality over seven seasons. They could have ended this show after three seasons; they could have extended it to ten seasons. Either way, the producers did the right thing by ending it now, only a season or so removed from the death of a major character.
The Shield has been criticized for putting its anti-hero protagonist - Michael Chiklis' Vic Mackey - on a pedestal. In reality, the main character is morally flawed, and the show reflects the gritty reality of what an effective police detective needs to do in a place like the rough, inner city neighborhoods of Los Angeles. Of course, as the seasons have worn on, reflection on the characters and questioning whether or not their flaws are justified is more thoroughly explored.
Does being flawed and having to resort to the rule of the street to be effective, excuse the fact that sometimes Vic will do what he needs to do in his own self interest? That's what the show asks constantly, and we see that time and time again, Vic has learned a thing or two from the streets: he can wiggle out of almost any jam. He always has a way out, a trap door, a way to circumvent the rules to deliver the results craved by the public and the politicians. This is partly due to the fact that he's lucky, and partly due to the fact that he's intelligent enough to be a few moves ahead of the people above him in the chain of command - and will lie to their faces if needed. The show asks the viewer to determine if the ends justify the means, and Mackey certainly delivers results. Even Vic's most hated rival, CCH Pounder's Detective Claudette Wyms, now Chief at the Barn, says she needs someone "with a little Vic - the right kind" when Vic's replacement-to-be, Kevin Hiatt, messes up one too many times in his audition for the top spot of Vic's Strike Team.
The Shield's creator, Shawn Ryan, has done a great job extending The Shield: Mach II (Seasons 4-7) with Shakespearian themes of broken bonds and betrayal, focusing inward on the team itself and the surrounding environment instead of cheer leading about how the team can wiggle out of any jam. Surprisingly, Season 3 ended with the team breaking up, a chance not many shows would have taken, but one can conclude in looking back at all that has followed, that the producers and writers have wanted to tell a story and they aren't nearly as concerned with ratings as they are with getting their story across. In that sense, The Shield is a rare treat in a world of spit-shined, low-level entertainment.
Seasons 1-4 saw a building up, a climax, and the eventual decay of The Strike Team. Seasons 5-6 focused on The Strike Team paying for its past transgressions, to the point that one of the team's four core members has killed another on the team, the other two members know it, but no one can do anything about it through legal means because of all the dirt they have on each other. Season 7 will see how the final act plays out: have these men become so accustomed to betrayal that they will keep a decaying organism (The Strike Team) alive, even though they'll be watching their own backs more than each other's (Shane's view)? Will they decide to go their separate ways peacefully and just forget everything, leaving it all behind (Ronnie's view)? Or will Vic settle the score of Shane killing Lem, hauling Ronnie along for the ride, preserving the idea that Vic is king of Farmington and no one messes with him? It will be an interesting end to a well written and well executed series.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Let's see how risky a pick this really was for McCain:
"A significant part of Palin's base of support lies among social and Christian conservatives. Her positions on social issues emerged slowly during the campaign: on abortion (should be banned for anything other than saving the life of the mother), stem cell research (opposed), physician-assisted suicide (opposed), creationism (should be discussed in schools), state health benefits for same-sex partners (opposed, and supports a constitutional amendment to bar them)."
So this woman wants to deny reality (teach creationism), as well as not support a method by which we can cure very curable diseases (opposing stem cell research).
John McCain has chosen Female George Bush as his running mate.
This woman has the same canned religious ideology as any of the Republican/Conservative candidates. So our election sees one candidate with no track record of anything, acting as a projector screen for people who want to believe he'll "change" things, and the other is towing the line of his party but using a woman VP pick to shock the liberals and convince the Bible Belt to continue voting Republican.
Sounds just like 2004. And 2000. And 1996.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
The checklist includes dozens of conservation measures, ranging from paper and plastic recycling to use of water-saving plumbing features to installation of automatic lighting features and rooftop landscaping. Equity Office said it expects to spend about $4.7 million on a pilot program that includes upgrades to four buildings. The effort will ultimately result in all its buildings being upgraded over the next several years.
It's sad that gestures like this gain widespread news coverage, when the real problem is being ignored. Sure, let's make all of our over sized office buildings, which use far too much energy and water, "green", by making them use slightly less energy and water. That'll really help the environment!
The process of digging up a huge swath of land for the foundation of a large building is an environmental disaster. If these companies really wanted to go "green", they would tear down their buildings and grow organic food for people instead.
The "green" movement, for the most part, is a trend; a fad used by politicians and rich people who want to be seen in a better light. It's terrible that people actually buy into this LEED certification crap, that they actually believe rate of consumption matters with the overall level of energy, water, and food consumption required for office buildings (and 6.5billion people on the planet).
I understand the usefulness in responsible consumption - sure, using less water and energy in a decades-old building is a technological marvel, as is paper recycling, which should be a service used by every household in all of our towns. But once again, people use these trendy ideas as surrogate solutions, and ignore the real problem: there are too many people, consuming far too much food, energy, and water. This problem will not go away no matter how much you try to squeeze more and more out of every watt of power.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
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One of the highlights of the lecture was the professor quoting Asimov, all the way back in 1969, when none of our leaders or policymakers would hear any talk of overpopulation or overconsumption of the Earth's resources:
(From: Bill Moyers: "A World of Ideas", Doubleday, New York City, 1969, P. 276)
Moyers: What happens to the idea of the dignity of the human species if this population growth continues at its present rate?
Asimov: It will be completely destroyed. I like to use what I call my bathroom metaphor. If two people live in an apartment, and there are two bathrooms, then both have freedom of the bathroom. You can go to the bathroom any time you want to, and stay as long as you want to, for whatever you need. And everyone believes in freedom of the bathroom; it should be right there in the Constitution.
But, if you have twenty people in the same apartment and two bathrooms, no matter how much every person believes in freedom of the bathroom, there is no such thing. You have to set up times for each person, you have to bang at the door; "Aren't you through yet?", and so on.
In the same way, democracy cannot survive overpopulation. Human dignity cannot survive overpopulation. Convenience and decency cannot survive overpopulation. As you put more and more people into the world, the value of life not only declines, it disappears. It doesn't matter if someone dies, the more people there are, the less one individual matters.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
The right-hander has a fastball that tops out at about 40 miles per hour.
He throws so hard that the Youth Baseball League of New Haven told his coach that the boy could not pitch anymore.
When Jericho took the mound anyway last week, the opposing team forfeited the game, packed its gear, and left, his coach said.
Officials for the 3-year-old league, which has eight teams and about 100 players, said they will disband Jericho's team, redistributing its players among other squads, and have offered to refund $50 sign-up fees on request. They said Jericho's coach, Wilfred Vidro, has resigned.
But Vidro says he did not quit and the team is refusing to disband. Players and parents held a protest at the league's field Saturday, urging the league to let Jericho pitch.
When someone becomes too good for the comfort of the sheep around him, and is obviously a much better talent than most in the crowd can handle, the crowd attempts to shuffle that talent away instead of allowing it to develop. The modern logic is this: "He'll strike everyone out and hurt my kid's precious ego. He'll be the biggest and brightest star in the league, and there will be no room for anyone else to be king for a day while they're in this league. I can't have that, even if it's an important lesson for my kid - I'd rather he face similar talent and never know that there are better players out there, so he has hope until he's about 18 and realizes he's not all that special after all."
Maybe that's not what these mothers and fathers tell themselves before going to sleep each night, but if they looked into their subconscious, this is exactly the type of bitter jealousy they would find, buried deep down.
This isn't about one kid who's better than the rest, and it's not as if he can skip a grade like a superior intellectual talent in public school. You can't just take this kid and promote him to a better league - there is no better league until he grows big and tall enough to play against a different age group. This is it, his only chance to shine right now, and he's being told that it's better he handicaps himself at second base and not do what he does best, for the benefit of the morons around him who aren't as good. The lesson he's learning right now is that it's better to hide your talent away until you can get paid millions of dollars to show it off. Otherwise, it's shameful to strut yourself out on that mound and strike everyone out.
What happens if another kid comes along next year with a 40-mph fastball? Do the parents forfeit those games, too? What if there are two or three within a few years, and the talent level is obviously increasing among some kids in a certain age group, but not others? Does the entire league disband?
This is a great mirror for modern logic as it pertains to evolution. We don't want to admit, for example, that certain recessive traits are desirable, so we shuffle away anyone who tries to show us why they're desirable, and change the rules accordingly so that people can continue believing that we're enlightened and fully evolved, even though nothing could be further from the truth. This type of passive-aggressive behavior, forfeiting games and playing the victim just because your team isn't talented enough to hit a ball (hint: coach them to hit a faster ball instead of keeping a kid down because he's really good!), is typical of society's attitude: Me first, and if anyone shows they are better than me, I'm going to take them down, because the word humility isn't in my vocabulary.
In trying to make everyone equal and yet a unique little snowflake simultaneously, we deny reality, and in this case, the victim is Jericho Scott: a rising young talent who will always remember this experience, and as such, make millions while laughing at the crowd he's paid to entertain. One wonders how many professional athletes are jerks because they were always told they were hot shit, and how many had experiences like this and end up jerks because of the people around them when they were just trying to get ahead.