Thursday, November 30, 2006

When Sea Mammals Go Bad

Yes, it's true. The final battle for control of the earth has started.

The first attacks were made by West Coast sea lions, but today Shamu went on the offensive. What is happening is obvious. The sea mammals wish to return to the land from whence they came, but first they must eliminate all humans.

And I, for one, welcome our new sea mammal overlords. I'd like to remind them as a trusted TV personality, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground plankton caves."

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Good Parents or Bad Parents

I've used my blog in the past to rail against what I consider poor parenting and here is another case where I think a set of parents are not doing their job.

Take a look at this article and video clip on

Oddly, I'm not going to go on about parents letting their daughte play football. If a girl can be physically fit enough to carry a rifle in the army or fly an F/A-18 off an aircraft carrier then she can probably play football.

What gets me is this girl is 5 foot 9-inches tall and weighs 310 pounds. I'm the same height and way 115 pounds less then she does and I need to lose weight. So for a girl or a boy to carry this much weight simply can't be healthy.

What are her parents thinking? What will they think if she keels over from a heart attack on the practice field or dies of heart disease when she is 30?

ESPN should not have glorified this child. Her obesity may help her to be an offensive guard, but it is also terribly unhealthy and not something to be proud of.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Can The Pope Stop Terrorism

If there is one person in the world today that has the ability to face down Muslim extremism it is Pope Benedict. Unfortunately the manuever I have in mind could lead to his untimely death.

What Benedict needs to do is physically wade into a crowd of protesting Turkish Muslims with a translator in tow and talk to the people. By facing the angriest people we will see what exactly the Muslim faith creates. Either murders or people willing to listen and speak with someone who is a man of God.

If he can walk through the crowd and calm it down it would be a sign that he could be a bridge to the Muslim world. If the opposite happens and he is set upon by the crowd and injured or killed then all the world will finally see what we are dealing with. Madmen who cannot ever be reasoned with. He would become a martyr.

I'm surprised the Catholic Church has not done more to help bring about some kind of solution to the terrorist problem. Unlike other world leaders or the UN, the Pope represents the pinnancle in religious belief. How could those who proclaim to follow the same God ignore the Pope if he offered to broker a settlement of some type.

What would happen if Benedict offered to talk with Iran's president, the Saudi's or the Palestinians, or Hamas or Hezbollah? How about bin Laden? All of these men could refuse citing any poor excuse they want, but that would show them to be nothing but your basic, secular, power hungry dictators. It would remove religion from the equation making it harder to convince the average Muslim to hate everyone else.

Or maybe not, but the Pope has a great deal of power at his disposal and now is the time to use it.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Nobody Likes School

Here is an interesting/scary story concerning what is called a "free school" in Brooklyn, NY.

The school eschews every basic covenant of a normal school such as classes, rules, tests and standards of any kind. The kids do what they want when they want and learning anything is an option. Oh yeah, they also get to make up the school's rules at a weekly meeting where a first grader has as much say as a teacher.

It's a good thing these kids live in NY City. This way they can get a good look at their future everytime they pass by a homeless person sleeping on a park bench.

I think this free school is the ultimate example of parents abrogating their responsibility to properly raise their children. One parent said that her son had done well in a normal school, but hated going and would cry when dropped off, but he loves the school where anything goes.

So what exactly is this kid being taught. When something is difficult give up and do something easy? What happens when these kids try to get into college or get a job. They will be even less prepared for life then a graduate of one of the city's public school's, which is saying a ton.

I see parents give in to their kids all the time. Whether it's allowing poor behavior, talking back or simply giving them everything the child asks for even if its not in their best interest.

In the past, say 30 years ago, you could blame the child for his or her bad behavior or inability to do well in school. If only because the parents probably were trying hard to raise the child properly. Now the blame can more times then not be placed firmly at the parent's feet.

The only positive that will come out of this is that these parents will end up supporting their children until the parents die because there is no way these kids will be able to function as adults.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Lou Dobbs

Who knew Lou Dobbs was so important, except himself?

In his latest CNN column/rant he certainly makes a case that he is personally responsible for stirring up controversy in Washington. Unfortunately, somewhere along the line Lou forgot that he is just a reporter of the news, not a maker of it.

Friday, November 10, 2006

U.S. Gov't Is A Bad Bet

My government is out to protect me from the evils of online gambling and it's going to cost me more then what I probably would have lost in a year of playing Texas Hold'em online.

In October President Bush signed H.R. 4954 The Security and Accountability for Every Port Act. The vast majority of this bill is designed to improve port security against terrorism. Definitely a good idea and the bill was passed almost unanimously. However, an amendment was added earlier this year by Virginia Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) to ban all online gambling. Goodlatte said it was to stop online gambling companies from making untaxed dollars, most are offshore, but in other newspaper accounts he stated he thought all forms of gambling were evil.

Why add something totally unrelated to a national defense issue? To ensure it passes, of course. No member of Congress could place our citizens at risk just so a few million people could lose money on the Internet.

According to the bill will cost the average American family of four $87.07 per year. Now this includes the security aspects of which I am not opposed. During the past year of playing cards online I was down about $75. However, during the past few weeks before the ban was put into effect, and I closed my account, I was on a winning streak and if my skills and luck held out could have broken even.

With the ban in effect not only do I have no chance of winning my money back, but I'm guaranteed to lose $87.07 every year to help pay for the bill that stops me from possibly making money.

To make matters worse Goodlatte's amendment was so unpopular that House Speaker Bill Frist had to sneak it into the port security bill. The generally underhanded way this was accomplished is explained in fine detail here.

The biggest joke is Goodlatte's amendment allows for onling horse race betting and lotteries. Interestingly the linked article states the horse racing industry has donated large sums to Goodlatte's election fund.

This entire episode is another fine example of the government trying to socialy engineer the country through legislation. I normally consider such acts the domain of the Democratic party, but when it comes to issues of Vice things get turned around and the Republicans jump on their soap box. Unlike drugs, drunk driving or second hand cigarette smoke online gambling only hurts those who not only want to play, but have to go far out of their way to do so. It is not my fault that others cannot control themselves, yet I'm being punished.

If the government were smart it would have figured a way to work with the gambling companies to tax any winnings or their profits. This alone could have paid for the port security bill.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Get Ready For Some Holiday Shopping

If you're one of those people who love to wake up early on the day after Thanksgiving, popularly known as Black Friday, then check out this link

Some of the deals are pretty amazing, a $299 Compaq Presario notebook, $129 19-inch LCD PC monitor and a Syntax Olevia 32" HD LCD TV for $499.99 all at Circuit City. Best Buy's deals are also listed.

The one thing to keep in mind is each store has a very limited amount of these products, sometimes as low as 10 units, at each store. So if you are not willing to wake up and get on line at 3am for the 5am store opening, don't expect to get any of the products mentioned.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Britney To Divorce, I'm Shocked

Actually, I'm not.

I'm no fan of her music, but she was totally suckered by the talentless leech she married, Kevin Federline. As the story goes, she finally became fed up with K-Fed's antics and I suppose the manner in which he was draining her bank accounts.

Now if we could just inject a tad more intelligence into Britney so she doesn't go and do this again. Maybe she can get remarried to the poor slob from her hometown again. I think they were hooked up for about 48 hours before her agent and mother squashed that deal. To bad he might have been decent to her.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Is It Over Yet?

Election Day, that is.

I can't possibly express how sick I am of the entire process. Not Democracy, but the act of running for office. The commercials, pamphlets and hand shaking politicians they are everywhere in NY. And let's not forget the exuberant political party helpers who insist on telling me to get out and vote as I walk down the street.

While all these actions are bad enough, what really set me off this year is having a person running for Suffolk County Clerk approach me as I was sitting on my train going to work. I was reading the paper when she announced her presence. Her flack then handed me a pamphlet and the wannabee clerk held out her gloved hand for me to shake. I guess skin to skin contact is a no-no.

My train ride is my last sanctuary. Even with the idiots jabbering on their cell phones, I can still sit and read for an hour in semi-comfort.

So this lady ruined it and guaranteed I will not vote for her today. I have no idea if she would be the best county clerk ever, but she lost my vote.

Same goes for the idiots who think an automated phone call to my house during dinner is a good way to get my vote. I politely listen, make note of the candidate and then promise myself to vote against that individual.

Then there was this candidate running for my town council. I would give his name, but I've purged it from my memory already. But he had the nerve to place on his pamphlet a picture of himself with his wife and his mom with a caption that read, and I paraphrase, "candidate so and so with his wife and mother, who recently lost her husband who was a decorated Korean War veteran."

Is he looking for the combination sympathy/patriotic vote? Does it make a person more electable if his parents did something noble? Should we not elect someone if his family is full of scoundrels? How far back can one go to find a relative that you can place on your pamphlet?

If this idea really worked I would think everyone and his uncle would swear to be a distant relative of Abraham Lincoln. So this fellow also will not get my vote.

So I can't wait to go to work tomorrow knowing I will not have to dodge hand shaking politicos or take a chance on getting a nasty paper cut from a pamphlet that is being stuffed into my hand.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Saddam Guilty, Dog Bites Man

The way the networks were playing up the verdict one would think it was unexpected.

Even OJ wasn't this guilty so I want to know why give it wall to wall coverage on a Sunday morning.

Why Iraq Is Mess

This comment was made in response to a very interesting article on the US Naval Institute's web site on Iraq.

Reverend Charles S. Cavanaugh said:
Part of our problem is that we want this more than they do, said U.S. Army Major General J.D. Thurman, who commands all U.S. forces in Baghdad." That is unfortunately the real answer to the problem that our idealistic senior, civilian leaders are ignoring.

This is the reason Iraq is such a mess. The people don't care. Either because they are to uneducated to know a better life is available or they would rather stay how they are then accept help from infidels.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A Rarity In Life

This is a good story on basketball player Keith Van Horn deciding that spending time with his family is more important than overloading his savings account.

Of course, the story states his last contract was worth $73 million so that must have helped ease his mind when he made his decision.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Kerry Makes Amends

I either have to get my blogs up faster or pick topics that will not change to quickly.

Sen. John Kerry did what he should have done yesterday and gave his mea culpa for insulting out troops.

For the full story check out this AP report.

The previous blog is still indicative of how people handle making a mistake these days, so I would hope my three readers, Greg, Steve and Tara will take the time to read it.

When Lies Pass For Truth

There is a horrible tendency in America today that when a person is caught lying or saying something inaccurate that instead of fessing up they go on the attack.

A great example of this is Sen. John Kerry's response, to the responses made to this comment said to some California college kids:

“You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well.” But, he added, “If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”

The following is the text of what Kerry issued to those who called for him to apologize for not only insulting every soldier, Marine, sailor and airman now serving, but for lumping in all those who also served in Vietnam.

If anyone thinks a veteran would criticize the more than 140,000 heroes serving in Iraq and not the president who got us stuck there, they're crazy. This is the classic G.O.P. playbook. I’m sick and tired of these despicable Republican attacks that always seem to come from those who never can be found to serve in war, but love to attack those who did.

I’m not going to be lectured by a stuffed suit White House mouthpiece standing behind a podium, or doughy Rush Limbaugh, who no doubt today will take a break from belittling Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s disease to start lying about me just as they have lied about Iraq. It disgusts me that these Republican hacks, who have never worn the uniform of our country lie and distort so blatantly and carelessly about those who have.

The people who owe our troops an apology are George W. Bush and Dick Cheney who misled America into war and have given us a Katrina foreign policy that has betrayed our ideals, killed and maimed our soldiers, and widened the terrorist threat instead of defeating it. These Republicans are afraid to debate veterans who live and breathe the concerns of our troops, not the empty slogans of an Administration that sent our brave troops to war without body armor.

Bottom line, these Republicans want to debate straw men because they’re afraid to debate real men. And this time it won’t work because we’re going to stay in their face with the truth and deny them even a sliver of light for their distortions. No Democrat will be bullied by an administration that has a cut and run policy in Afghanistan and a stand still and lose strategy in Iraq.

Let's deconstruct what Kerry did. His first words said anyone who read his initial comment as an insult is crazy. Not reading the comment incorrectly, or assuming the worst, but crazy. They are mentally unstable and therefore cannot be trusted to comment on what he said.

Next he states that those angry at his words are Republican hacks who have never served in the military and even if they did they never saw a shot fired in anger. This is a direct dig at the President who was a fighter pilot in the Texas Air National Guard, but never went to Vietnam. Kerry seems to have forgotten gentlemen like Sen. John McCain, whose service in Vietnam far outsrtips what little Kerry did during his shortened tour.

Then he states that these non-servers love to attack those who have served, meaning himself being a Vietnam veteran. Now, did Kerry forget that his first act upon returning from Vietnam was to swear before a Congressional committee that the men fighting in Vietnam were committing atrocities that would make Attila the Hun blush. Kerry immediately stabbed his fellow servicemen in the back.

Kerry then goes totally on the offensive stating he should not be apologizing, but Bush should for getting us involved in Iraq. He of course forgets that he voted for the war. Then he says Bush is giving us something he calls a "Katrina" foreign policy. Huh, I can't even figure out what he is saying and I doubt Kerry understood it either.

His final paragraph has nothing to do with the issue at hand. It is just more vitriole.

The entire statement is heavily grounded in 1960s-early 70s anti-Vietnam rhetoric. Kerry simply cannot remove himself from the period.

Now, I believe Kerry did not intend to humiliate our troops. If for no other reason then it is one stupid manuever during an election week. But he certainly should have the nerve to stand up and say, "hey, I goofed." Particularly since one of the Democrats longest running arguments with the president is that he cannot admit a mistake. Kerry could have instantly turned this into a huge political plus by simply contrasting his willingness to apologize with Bush's refusal to do so.

But he didn't and that makes me glad he lost the election.