Thursday, November 29, 2007

Stupid People Suck

Eddie Murphy had a line in one of the Beverly Hills Cop movies where someone supposedly did #2 in the pool and he yelled out "whoever sh** in the pool f***ed it up for everybody." That is so true of our society.

I realize that the job of the news is to report the bad - good news just doesn't sell for some reason. The above link is to a story of a two-time drunk driver killing a motorcyclist last night. Have you ever noticed that it doesn't matter how many laws are on the books, they will be broken? They don't serve as a deterrent. Perhaps its their lack of teeth. Or maybe it's the idiocy of sentencing guidelines. Or maybe it's the damn constitutional freedom from cruel or unusual punishment. Here's a thought: dole out a severe enough punishment often enough and it won't be "unusual." I don't typically advocate anything about militant Islam, but that whole lashing thing seems to be pretty effective. So does hand removal for theft. If judges were left with more options and more discretion, perhaps the criminals would be less inclined to repeat their behavior. There again, if more crimes carried the death penalty with public hanging, stocks, etc., the prison population would be reduced. Nero, that insane Roman emperor, used to use Christians to illuminate the city streets. Perhaps if every city had a lovely "Walk of Shame" with flaming criminals lighting the way, a message would be sent loud, clear, and ah-hmm, BRIGHT.

I cannot count how many times my truck has been broken into and in one instance, stolen. In my past twenty plus years of driving, more than half my cars were burglarized at least once. My house, three times. Yesterday, I discovered that someone stole my USAF license plate. What the hell purpose does that serve? To put it on your 86 Tercel with Wal*Mart clip on spinners? Invariably, you'll get pulled over by the illustrious popo and get hit with having a stolen tag and/or a tag not registered to your vehicle. Smooth move Ex-Lax. I'd be all about allowing the USAF to hunt down the car on the roads and light it up with a pair of sidewinders. That'd be hugely entertaining!!

Some 10,000 brass sprinkler heads have been stolen from area farms in the past year. Why? So the crack heads can take them to the scrap yard to recycle. You would think that the scrap yards would get suspicious, but apparently they don't care. Air conditioners are repeatedly stolen from countless businesses in the "hood" areas of town for their copper. One genius freaked out when the freon escaped in a cloud and he ran to the nearest cop like a frightened school girl. Of course, the brainiac was arrested.

What purpose does SPAM serve other than to clog up Email? Who do you know that has EVER responded to a SPAM solicitation? Responding ought to be as much of a crime as actually generating it. But, the result is SPAM filtering that in many cases prevents legitimate Emails from reaching their intended recipients. You have to advise the recipient to put your address in their "approved" list. Gee, if I have to pick up the phone and call them with that morsel of info, it'd be easier just to tell them whatever I had wanted to Email.

I even learned last night that the teenage girls at my church, who wanted to paint their classroom (which they use twice a week for a few hours at a time), got into a whiny, diva pissing match with each other and their mothers over which shade of pink to paint the room. Who gives a crap? It's not like it's their bedroom. Pick a color and call it a day. Were they my kids, I'd veto the whole thing and paint it blue - just because I could. And all because one entitlement-minded snot-nosed teenager and her mommy can ruin it for everyone.

Pick an issue and I can show you how one rocket-surgeon jacked it up for everyone. How about holidays? No longer can a so-called Christian nation celebrate Christmas (or X-mas), it's RamaHanuKwanzMas - except for the atheists who have to wait for April 1 for their annual holiday. Show me one bit of "good" in this world, and I'll show you how some moron is trying to mess it up.

Wake up, People.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Holiday Funk

No, that's not a new Cheetah Girl song - thank goodness. I've already had more Hannah "Big Sky Mouth" Montana than I can ever take. She's like X-rays. There's a lifetime limit after which your genetic structure falls apart.

At any rate, I'm in a funk. As I look back across my old blogs, one thing rings true: they are laments about stuff over which I have no control and am not likely to any time soon. In that sense, they remind me of Solomon's agonized cry in Ecclesiastes 1:

2 "Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher. "Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless."
3 What does man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun?
4 Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever.
5 The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises.
6 The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course.
7 All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again.
8 All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing.
9 What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there anything of which one can say, "Look! This is something new"? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time.
11 There is no remembrance of men of old, and even those who are yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow.

How sad that the man once considered the wisest of all, a king of countless riches and splendor, the son of David should be reduced to this? Yet is this not where we all should find ourselves when we consider our human condition? Created - from nothing. We have one pass at this vapor in time that we call life. Solomon knew this and he was heartbroken by it. For all his successes, he had many regrets. Things he should've said or done; perhaps other things he should've left unsaid or undone.

I stumbled upon a blog today while looking for my cousin's website. It wasn't my cousin, but a brother and sister in Christ. Strangely, ironically, I know folks that they know. From long ago. But beyond that, their website was a three year journal of God's faithfulness to them. Where I have spent a mere few months commentating on the world around me - a world that is temporal and fleeting - they have stayed focused on the course. The eternal. The foundation that cannot be shaken.

The past few years, while they have maintained their focus, my foundation has been shaken. It's been three years of drastic and dramatic change. Some good, some great, some really bad. I am often reminded that we cannot change our past and therefore should not keep looking back at it. As such, that three year blog reminded me that I should look forward; use the past as a benchmark against which to measure new growth and a marker to remember from where I've come. It was the "slap across the face" that my new pastor often mentions, telling me "hey, dummy, you need to pray more." Nothing more. Nothing less. Commune with God and listen for that still, small voice. I need to pray with those whom I love and do so without ceasing.

I have resisted for too long. The Bible speaks so many times of men wrestling with God or testing God. He was always faithful. And He always won. I think that blog was my wake-up call to pay attention and move forward. God is Good . . . all the time.

Walk with me . . .


That's my new word du jour. I liken it to RINO (republican in name only vis-a-vis Rudy Giuliani). Transpoliticked can actually have two meanings according to Mike's dictionary of the insane. 1) adj., origen unknown, refers to one whose actually political beliefs vary markedly from their political affiliation. Ex. calling oneself a democrat when in reality the person is a bleeding heart socialist. Or, 2) adj., describing a politician who cannot figure out which sexual organ they prefer so they use one and dress like they have the other.

This phenomena likely doesn't happen in Iran, because as President Mahmoud Imawhackajob says, this is unique to the United States. However, it has happened twice in recent months, and oddly enough, not in San Francisco.

First, there is Susan Stanton, former Largo city manager; formerly known as Steve Stanton. At age 48, after losing his/her/its job in Largo, FL, Steve decided that it was time he come clean - so to speak. Despite marriage and children, Steve preferred hosiery to dress socks and bras to wife beater undershirts. And so began the era of Susan Stanton.

Some months have passed and the mental image that scarred my mind's eye had faded. Until today, when it was reported that incumbent Michael Bruce ran for Riverdale, GA's city council seat as Michelle Bruce.

Honestly, if these two dudes can't figure out what to do with their own twig and berries, how can they possibly represent a constituency, whom for the most part I suspect, know damn well who they are, what their private parts are intended for, and what they believe? Beyond that, look at them. Guys can get away with ugly a lot easier than women can. It's a terrible, yet true, double-standard. As men, I'm sure these guys were relatively average save for their FUPAs. (Look it up at But as women, they are butt fugly; as in, fell out of the ugly tree, struck every branch on the way down, and landed in a major bucket of suck.

I can understand, perhaps, having a preference for one gender or another. As a guy, my preference is FOR the female gender. Not to be one, dress like one, or act like one. As such, one might conclude that I am a lesbian trapped in a man's body. Nevertheless, I don't wish to look like a real lesbian wearing butch jeans and butch hair and talkin' all tough like I just wiped my rear with a pine cone. I cannot understand the desire to be, biologically, something that I am not. Contrary to some opinions that may form as a result of my coarse demeanor, I subscribe to the classic Judeo-Christian tenets of faith and as such believe that every human was "fearfully and wonderfully made" and that no person, in their present form, was a mistake. As such, if you want to re-create yourself as a member of the opposite gender or another gender/species entirely, that's up to you. However, do NOT think that you are entitled to hold an elected office as a one-man/woman/thing freak show.

I am sick to death of every whiny-ass minority thinking they warrant special rights and treatment. The most politically correct in our society like to spout ad-nauseoum about tolerance yet refuse to tolerate the opinion of the majority who say "stop pandering to these fractional, freak show minorities." "Oh, we need gay rights, lesbian rights, transgendered rights, wild monkey-love rights, hippy rights, witchcraft rights, black rights . . . " Blah Blah Blah

Of all of those, only one is an uncontrollable genetic event. The rest, arguably, are choices. Gay or otherwise. Personally, I have an enormous propensity to favor females. However, as I have learned the hard way, I MUST choose one and be done. It works so much better that way. I cannot go around having coitus with multiple females and then whine that I need special rights. The only "right" I have is to be harshly judged and condemned for my actions. Period. Similarly, what a person does or doesn't do, prefers or doesn't prefer, should have no bearing on the assignment of special rights. There are human rights. Period. Life. Liberty. The pursuit of happiness.

As such, if playing dress-up and taking your grown-up drag show on the road is your pursuit of happiness, go nuts. You're already half way there in my humble opinion. However, don't expect to be welcomed into public office with open arms and then whine that you were disenfranchised. There are plenty of things to do, irrespective of your so-called preferences that don't involve elected office. Go do that. And stop grossing the rest of us out. I don't expect you to wear a Scarlet Letter 'F' (standing for freak) but neither do I want to have your issues imposed on me.

It has long been time that we collectively settle on a singular, universal set of rights called "human." Beyond that, if your preferences result in you being on the fringes, then accept that and move on. Don't expect the majority to bend over backwards for you. That ain't how it works.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Fetch Me My Shawl

I was stricken by a bit of an epiphany yesterday. Somewhere in the past few years, I became uncool, of course calling into doubt whether I ever was or if they were just delusions of coolness.

It began last weekend when a whippersnapper showed up at our door peddling alarm systems. We don't need one, per se, but the equipment is a bit dated and for some reason, the lady of the house invited the tike in for tea. (I think she thought he was her type from 20 years ago.) At any rate, he told us of his studies in college and proclaimed that he didn't know what he wanted to be when he grew up. Without missing a beat the words "when I was your age" came out of my mouth as though I was some mountaintop guru having vague yet fond recollections of being a sophomore in college. I went on to lament the tragedy of having to decide what we wanted to be as adults when we didn't even know who we were or what interested us. All that interested me at that age were girls, cars, and money. Well, mostly figuring out how to get all of the the above.

My hopes of being a fighter pilot in the USAF via ROTC crashed and burned that first semester when my vision went from beyond perfect to not so much. I was told I could still fly back seat or do anything else, but with no throttle or yoke, my interest quickly diminished. I had no idea of my artistic capabilities or interest in quantum physics or mechanical engineering back then, so I opted for the Speech Communication, Finance, Management track. Speech Comm was great but for the fact that I had no idea what I would do with it. Finance and Management? ZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. But hey, the money was good for 16 years. Well, more like 11. Banking wasn't very lucrative even when the industry was at its prime.

So here I sit, 18 years later looking at this youngster with nary a care in the world other than whether we'd agree to have this nifty new alarm system installed. Insert heavy sigh here.

My favorite morning show added a new assistant producer yesterday that some are saying will be more like a co-host. Her name is Meredith, but I'm sure she'll get a fitting nickname like Skankho in no time. I went to her bio on the show's website to discover that she's a relatively attractive 20-something party chick. There are some 30 photos of her doing what most unwed 20-somethings do best. Partying. I also noticed that she hung out with plump chicks. I guess that's her way of ensuring she's always the hottest in the group.

I remarked last night that I can't even recall the last time I felt like partying like that much less actually did. If it's past Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, I'm happy to still be awake, much less shaking my now-larger booty on a dance floor. I have images of Flubber and Fat Albert in my mind as I give thought to myself dancing to anything but Lawrence Welk's Anthology. I hate Meredith. And Alarm Boy - Caped Crusader of Wireless Alarms.

But more than that, I hate having realized that I've gotten to that point where my cool factor is pretty much shot. I think I only THINK that I am stylish and fashionable now. In truth, I'm probably like every other nearly-40 dude give or take a few inches on the waist. In fact, I'm probably like the dude in the link below: at a concert because it used to be fun, but wearing ear plugs because I'd like to retain what's left of my hearing, wearing cheap-ass WalMart shoes because, well, they were cheap. And wearing a doofy looking cap on my head because all the 20 year-old skater dudes do and they seem to be "all the rage."

Having firmly established this latest epiphany, all I can say is, "fetch me my shawl."

Monday, November 19, 2007

I'm Blinded by Flashes of the Obvious

You know it's a slow news day when you have the following headlines:

  • Prison System a Costly and Harmful Failure: Report (Reuters)

  • Motor City Named Nation's Most Dangerous (AP)

  • China Not Fighting off E-waste Nightmare (AP)

The headlines herald from the news as though they should come as a surprise; as though by reading the articles, we will be blessed with a trifeca of epiphanies. So, let's dissect these morsels of wisdom.

America's prison population has increased eight times since 1970 yet has had little impact on crime. Over 2.2 million Americans occupy a prison or jail cell compared to 196,429 in 1970. It will cost another $27.5 billion to build additional facilities to deal with the influx of another increase of 192,000 in five years. On the one hand, this study was funded partly by George Soros, so I have to believe that it carries his standard bias. On the other, numbers don't lie, so perhaps we can conclude that prisons are not necessarily the best or only answer to our obviously growing crime problem.

Speaking of criminals, Detroit is now the most dangerous city in our nation followed by St. Louis, Flint, Oakland, Camden, Birmingham, North Charleston, Memphis, Richmond, and Cleveland. As though Detroit doesn't have enough problems as evidenced by their renewed effort to draw new business and tourism, now they are saddled with being the nation's most dangerous city. Their next marketing campaign might include "See COPS live - right here in Detroit!" Or, "Detroit, where you can freeze your dead ass off." All of these cities have something in common and, interestingly enough, Detroit is also home to one of the nation's largest populations of those peaceful Muslim folk. Hmmm, I'm thinkin' their peacefulness hasn't rubbed off too much.

You would think that Soros would be interested in ridding the world of much more than guns and would turn his attention to Guiyu, China where the world's electronics are "recycled" without so much as the first environmental or OSHA-like control in place. TV picture tubes are smashed by hand to recover glass and electronic parts while at the same time releasing as much as 6.5 pounds of lead dust. Wire is melted to recover the copper and computer circuit boards are broiled to release the gold. Even the West has found that it's 10 times cheaper to dump our junk on unsuspecting third world hell-holes than it is to properly dispose of it here. I am not even allowed to discard my used fluorescent light tubes in the dumpster because of mercury contained somewhere in the glass confines, but China can destroy human life and the environment without so much as an awkward glance from the enlightened parts of the world.

Some 35 million tons of toxic waste is dumped on China each year without the first control in place for its safe disposal. The report tells us that the ground water has been unsafe for human consumption for a long time yet fish for human consumption are still raised in local ponds and piles of waste adjoin rice paddies.

At some point, China will need to be seen for the human rights, environmental rights, and common sense violator that it is. This nation has gone unchecked for far too long and now we are reaping the results. How many pets and children have to die from Chinese product poisoning? How many Chinese workers have to die from their working conditions before the world takes notice? The US and Europe are all up in arms about the man-made global warming myth, yet no one ever looks to the Pacific Rim to see that if anyone is a major contributor to pollution, it's them!

Look back at these three headlines and see what's missing. Common Sense. Nearly 40 years have proven that prisons as we know them do little to deter crime. I find it ironic that this coincides well with the atheists mandating that God be banished from the classroom and the courthouse. Detroit is a dangerous place. Ya think? Obviously prison isn't a deterrent to crime and the root cause for the crime has been misdiagnosed. In part, I think that non-existent fathers and crack-whore mothers are a major factor. Failed liberal policies are another. Finally, China. You cannot go a day without hearing of some major flaw in that communist crap-can country. Given their lack of controls, why would we even consider buying anything from there? The Wal*Mart nation mentality has reigned supreme: bigger, faster, more, cheaper. At some point, that low price point means a sacrifice somewhere else. I think we have found it.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Get Yer Pitchforks!!!

It's a witch hunt!! We're going to slaughter every last cultural icon on the altar of Political Correctness if it . . . well . . . if it kills US!!

First, on a barely light note, our beloved, albeit fictitious, Santa Claus in Australia was instructed to no longer chortle with "ho ho ho" as it may frighten children and offend women. Instead, his caricatures must say "ha ha ha." How about "duh duh duh," I ask. Santa has been around far longer than political correctness and let's face it: He's an old dude. And most old guys get a pass on their antiquated figures of speech. Young black guys can call each other "nigga" with no remorse or retribution. White guys can call each other "cracka" with similar immunity, although the term "Florida Cracker" actually came from cattle herders throughout the state that used whips to git their doggies along. The crack of the whip earned them that name. But apparently since Don Imus, in typical fashion, referred to the Rutgers Womens' Basketball team as "nappy headed hos" the term "ho" is now potentially offensive irrespective of whether it's in reference to a wintry character's (don't want to offend anyone by referring to the C-holiday) chortle, a female with nappy hair, a woman of ill-repute, or the latter third of the state Ida's name. Guess we'll be eatin' taters from Ida now . . . wouldn't want to frighten lil chilrens or women whom now, according to the Australians, lack the mental and emotional fortitude to tolerate the age-old chortle from an age-old fart in a goofy red suit.

In today's news of the ludicrous, a Halloween costume award may keep the highly qualified Julie Myers from receiving the Senate's nod of approval to maintain the post of Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement - a position to which she was appointed in 2005 during a Senate recess.

I cannot fathom why anyone would actually sign on to be a democrat. I've never seen a bunch of people walking around with sticks up their butts looking to wreck everything for everyone like they do. Talk about pandering to the lowest common denominator of the fraction of some disenfranchised minority. Seriously, if democrats didn't keep inventing victims, they'd have a constituency, counting themselves, of about 447, give or take.

The brouhaha stems from a costume contest at the agency (ICE) where she and two other managers awarded the "most original" costume to a cracka, er, an Anglo-Saxon homosapien of male persuasion wearing dark make-up, dreads, and a prison outfit. Insert whiny liberal voice here: "that's insensitive to colored folk who like to wear their hair in a certain way while wearing orange coveralls." Which turnip truck did Harry Reid (liberal hack, Nev.) fall off? Does he so quickly forget that his colleague Robert C. Byrd of West-by-god-Virgina was A FREAKIN KLANSMAN???? As in KKK. The Kracka Kuntree Klub? Byrd probably tied a few knots himself in his day, but shhhh, "he is enlightened now." Oh, WHAT . . . EVER.

Never mind the fact that the "National Association of African-Americans in the Department of Homeland Security" sent a letter to Reid this week praising Myer's commitment to black employees. OK, that's all well and good, but why does HSA need an association for black employees? Do they have one for crackas too? What about Asians for the Ethical Treatment of Panda Bears, the AETPB? Or one for liberal employees called Democratic Unification of Minorities (DUM)?

Sen. Claire McCaskill, (liberal hack, Mo.) says she "can forgive anyone who apologizes for a wrong deed." "But it doesn't change the fact that the incident showed a woeful lack of judgment." Once again, without liberalism, we wouldn't have mediocrity. These folks are the kings and queens of androgyny, homogenization, and pasteurization of society. If it isn't genderless, religious-less, plain, and unremarkable, it's b-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-d. It's freakin Halloween, People. Get over yourselves for five seconds. Even the French, in a country synonymous with "whine" (and wine) can be pragmatic every now and again. The poor guy couldn't dress up as the Easter Bunny (even though the term "Easter" has pagan origins), St. Patrick (sounds too Catholic), St. Valentine (Catholic and possibly gay), George Washington (too white and a Mason), Yankee Doodle (has a song about dandy doodles - could be misconstrued as unlawful harassment), or a Pilgrim (again, too white and they were mean to the Native Americans). So really, what was left? I guess if he dressed in a Klan outfit he'd have been ok with the Libs. Hey, it works for Byrd . . .

Poor Julie. Try the private sector, ma'am. It hasn't devolved THAT far yet. And the pay is marginally better. At least until your naysayers get into office and tax us to death.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Flying Carpets, Flying Monkeys

Today's AP is reporting that a 19 year-old woman in Saudi Arabia who was gang raped has been sentenced to prison and 200 lashes for having been in a car with a male non-relative. WHAT????!!!!! Oh yes. They increased her sentence because she took her case to the media for attention.

The rapists were also sentenced to terms varying from 2 to 10 years. The judges have the discretion to hand down no punishment to death in rape cases. Sure, sounds reasonable. I'm starting the think that sentencing guidelines aren't so bad given this degree of discretion.

Boy, ya gotta love that peaceful religion that gives us Sharia Law. Heck, let's bring that on over to the States. "I Divorce You. I Divorce You. I Divorce You." That's all it takes and you're done. I reckon if you say it with candles and turn around three times in front of a mirror, a genie will appear too.

Oh but that's not all. The judges have stripped her lawyer of his license for trying to defend her. He is up for a judiciary review. I can only imagine what will happen to him . . .

And to think we are amused by Disney's Aladdin. As a rat-owner, I'm offended that they even refer to him as a "street rat." That's offensive to rats everywhere. But the Sultan seems about right: mindless, clueless, and hypnotized by his own stupid rules. And what kind of idiot keeps a pet tiger? Look at those two guys in Vegas. Didn't work out too well for them. Ok, I know it's just a movie, but still.

Sadly, that very mentality is alive and well in our own nation. We have democratic candidates who want to take "excess profits" (whatever those are) from companies and give them to the poor. So much for the main tenet of capitalism: YOU CANNOT HAVE EXCESS PROFIT. The concept is an oxymoron. It's also alive within our beloved homeowners associations.

Yesterday, a letter was received that detailed countless guidelines by which the architectural review committee would carry out their maniacal duties. No more than five trees per lot (you'd think Algore would take issue with that). Ten if you live on a corner (oh bless you great HOA monarch people). Only these specific, bland colors (the lightest two shades available). And only these six colors for your driveway. Plants must be green (even if they are normally yellow, purple, brown, tan, variegated, etc.). Landscape borders must be earth tone - I guess because they're near the earth. Sadly, the only thing down to earth with these clowns are the landscape borders.

Here we have a Board of roughly ten members handing down edicts like little neighborhood emperors and Saudi judges. In the absence of reading the actual rules and the legislation behind them, we'll just make stuff up. If you want to hang a flag no greater than 4.5' x 6' the ARC must still approve it. In a neighborhood of 1100 homes, none of which worth more than $250K on a good day, who gives a crap if you have a garden flag to celebrate the season? While mailbox posts may be replaced with ones of similar size and shape to the original, committee approval must be obtained first. I wonder what happens when a post is struck by a car and needs to be replaced, but it takes a month to get the post approved? Presumably one of the illustrious Board members will wait outside your home each day to retrieve the mail from the carrier and deliver it to your color-approved door, across your color-approved driveway, past your color-approved plantings and five trees, and place it in an approved cardboard box under your pre-approved flag made of pre-approved Egyptian cotton flown from a synthetic pole made by Orthodox Jews who ate only kosher pork for lunch. (For those not in the know, pork cannot be made kosher - unless the Board approves it, apparently.)

So as I look at these Saudi judges and mini-monarchs that are the so-called Board, I return to one of my long-standing conclusions. You've never seen a statue of a committee in a park. And you certainly won't see one where I live if it wasn't pre-approved. By the way, did you know that a group of vultures is called a "committee." Go figure. Seriously, there is a better chance of monkeys flying out of my rear than there is of this committee being found worthy of the respect of the community over which they reign.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Darwin was Right . . . Sorta

The concept of Evolution and its half sister "Survival of the Fittest - Natural Selection" has caught on a bit of a snag.

Here's my rationale: undesirable traits are said to breed out because those traits result in the demise of the species. Birds without wings for example - not so good if your gig is flying. Breeds out. Can't reach the nest to partake of the, well, birds and bees. So, you'd think that other traits like homosexuality and stupidity would breed out as well. The former because such individuals are not in the business of pro-creating and the latter because their stupidity wounds, or better yet, kills them.

And so I take you to Crackerview, er, I mean Riverview, Florida. My hometown, so I can call it that. Some knucklehead reportedly spread an urban legend around a high school that a hobo, no not Johnny Depp, left some money in or near an anhydrous ammonia pipeline that crosses our beloved Alafia River.

Some of the kids that ride the short bus, apparently, decided to go look for the proverbial pot of gold. What they found was a very real bucket of suck. Drilling into the pipe, as if cash would flow out like water, resulted in one of them being burned over 18% of his body from face to crotch. Granted, second degree chemical burns on the twig and cherries could be argued as punishment enough. But given that it resulted in hundreds being evacuated, $250K in pipeline repair, a major highway closure, business closures, and traffic snarls that spread over 50 square miles, I'm not inclined to be too sympathetic. The real rub is that the pipeline company has stated that they're just going to "eat" the cost of the repair and not seek to prosecute the teens.

Let's make this even more poignant. This little hole involved the fire department, sheriff's office, US Coast Guard, Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection, US EPA, Mosaic (the recipient of the product), Tampa Pipeline, a high-risk welding specialist from 1000 miles away, and countless others. Enormous volumes of water were used to disperse the lingering cloud into the river over two days. The impact of which is yet to be fully revealed. As we are in "manatee season," the season in which protected manatees return to shallower, warmer waters for the winter, no doubt some of them could be impacted. Fish kills? Perhaps. No one knows yet.

I am aghast at that magnitude of this very small issue. A reader to the local paper commented online that he wonders the impact if someone with deliberate malintent took a stick or two of dynamite to this 30 mile pipeline. Then what? There were no emergency shut off valves, no safe ways to depressurize the system, and no other risk mitigation controls. The pipeline is labeled with periodic signage, but of course who reads instructions much less obeys them?

My argument is that if these misguided youngsters are not charged with any sort of crime, then the government agencies, businesses, and individuals impacted by this mini-disaster have a right to claims against them and their parents. Some argue that they deserve to be cut some slack. Not so much. Common sense tells you not to drill into a pipe that isn't yours. Common sense tells you not to steal (be it money or ammonia). Hell, there are laws on the books about stealing. These fools robbed every evacuee from 48+ hours of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Apologies are all well and good, but really . . . who really means it today? Especially kids when you practically have to water board them to get an insincere, attitude-riddled "sorry."

So yes, I think there may be some validity to natural selection, yet it is not comprehensive. Maybe it stops somewhere along the food chain just past the vulture. Otherwise, idiots like this would've bred out ages ago.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Moose is Loose on the Field

There's always one. Sometimes two. I have criticized overly zealous HOAs in the past and am about to do so again. Frankly, I must assent to them being a necessary evil for all the obvious reasons to which even the most rigid HOA-hater will concede.

However, they remind me of youth sporting activities. There's always that one overly vocal parent - usually a mom - wailing that the wild pitch was intentional. That they tried to hurt "Lil Chauncey." Then, when Chauncey actually does get hurt, as sometimes happens in sports, set the house on fire - it's easier to deal with - because now the moose is loose on the field.

And so it is with a community forum in which I participate. If anyone from there reads this, I suspect they'll know with relative precision of what I speak. But I've found it to be a rather ubiquitous truth. Those with ample idle time to devote to their middle class HOA are also the worst at actually managing it with professionalism, class, and tact. Instead, it's a bash them (the peasants, er, I mean constituents) over the head with a 2x4 till they comply or give up approach.

Recently, a specific development's website message forum was disabled. No real loss as it was mostly a place for the board members to lambaste anyone with whom they disagreed. In fact, it was downright abusive and bordered on slanderous. I'm really surprised it didn't result in more than a few cease and desist letters. Nevertheless, it was brought back up some time later with only the sitting board members as long-standing members. All the rest of the peasants had to re-register and were mandated to provide their street name and use their first or last name in their screen-name. This forum is paid for by the community, so really, if I wanted to be MainStreetHeckler, then it should be my prerogative. Screen names provide enough anonymity to protect you from all but the most obsessive and insane. Given the tactics employed by the ruling party, screen names seem even more prudent if you don't want to be harassed about a crack weed in your driveway. Now, perish the thought, but a few people asked a few legitimate questions after the relaunch.

The questions were met with even more vitriol than before resulting in the forum being shut down, presumably forever. Well, thank Allah/Buddha/and Macy's. Good riddance.

Sadly, the ending isn't so happy. No, the vipers found a larger community forum on which to spew their toxin. And as before, not one word of good, helpful, or kind information was provided. Fortunately, many of those on the larger forum are savvy enough to see a snake in the brush. The newbies are itty bitty fish in a big pond without the clout or credibility they once thought they had. And as is their practice, they think everything is about them. They probably have one Carly Simon song constantly running through their narrow minds.

Stranger still, they try to use private messaging to seduce others into their lair. Fortunately, I don't see that it's working. It only took one person three posts to be seen for who they are. The other one is only a post or two behind. No doubt, others will join. Hopefully, they won't spoil the whole as they did before.

As I mentioned earlier, there's always one . . . and it is loose on the field. If you know anything about moose, they're big, but not too bright. Eventually, size won't be enough and the dim wits will be outwitted.

Friday, November 2, 2007

We're So Screwed

That could be the name of a new song sung to the tune of "You're so Vein."

I was just on my town's forum where a new member was posting about her business. It touted itself as selling "heirloom style products that strengthen family ties." Sounds nice. Even a bit like Mayberry. Heck, at first blush, I'm thinking "sign me up"!! But then it occurred to me, heirlooms are developed, not bought. I cannot go to Sears today and buy an heirloom that means anything to my family. I can, however, look at a Hummel that my father gave my grandmother, that he bought in Germany in 1960 and say, "gosh, that's an heirloom." Four generations of my family have experienced it. Or the wooden camel ottoman that he bought in Turkey during the same tour. Me, my cousins, their kids, and my kids have all ridden on that silly thing as though it was real. Again, four generations. But, alas, in our "have it now" immediate-gratification society, we can no longer wait for an heirloom to form. We must go market them and buy them.

Several of us remarked that you cannot buy heirlooms. I even added that it's probably like other Chinese made crap found in catalogs for pennies on the dollar. Chances are it was made in some substandard factory with leaded paint by exploited children. You would've thought I ran over this lady's dog. With two SUVs.

I didn't realize that my opinion, since counter to hers, was both narrow, prejudicial, AND egotistical all at once.

She is the perfect example of the expression: ignorance is bliss. Frankly, I don't care what she wants to sell or buy. If she can make a success of it and herself, more power to her. That's the beauty of a free market capitalist society. The marks of a socialist or fascist society is one in which free speech and contradictory opinions are slighted or banned.

With that stage set, take a moment to look at the upcoming presidential election. In this corner, at a shrill 145 lbs, Shrillary "The Hun" Clinton. Backing her is Obama "The Magic Negro" and John "Breck Girl" Edwards.

In the opposite corner, Rudy "The RINO" Guillllliiiiiaaaaannnnniiiiiii! Supported by Mitt "The Mormon Monstrosity" Rommmmmnnnneeeeeyyyyy and Fred "Sleepy" Thompson.

As I stand back and look at my choices, I consider my own thoughts from prior elections. Thoughts like: this is the most important election of all time. And of the choices available, especially the last time, Jorge Bush was probably the lesser of all evils, but evil nonetheless. Not one of these individuals is a staunch, unabashed supporter of the Constitution. Not even Bush. And as each of these might be called upon to uphold the Constitution, they should be tried for treason at the first hint of waffling. This includes Bush.

Yet sadly, the majority of the US population is likely similar to this woman who got her dainties in a twist because I insulted her industry. She only sees part of the picture - the part she wants to see. Damn the torpedoes - as long as my myopic perspective works for me, then who cares how it impacts the next generation. Hmmm, for someone sold on selling heirlooms, this mentality is certainly leaving a lousy one for our grandchildren.

But hey, ignorance is bliss. And, "we're so screwed."