The things people say

I have long believed that the only ones who actually listen to shows like Rush Limbaugh are far removed from me. I don’t mean in a partisan sense or simply based on ideology, I mean that I thought that those kinds of people lived in other regions of the U.S., regions far from here. Rush Limbaugh is only the first name that came to mind when I was trying to think of the very conservative radio shows, I am sure there are dozens of other names that I could have thrown out there had I been thinking about it. Not that it really matters for my purposes right now.

Hurricane Katrina was a horrible disaster that destroyed a major city. The same kind of devastation happens overseas fairly frequently but here in the good old us of a it’s pretty rare. Turns out that when it does happen we are woefully unprepared. For days before the hurricane actually touched shore it was common knowledge that it was going to be bad. I live in Arizona FFS and I knew it was going to be bad. When it hit, and when they got one of the worst case scenarios, everything went to hell.

Most of the people had already abandoned the city. The elderly, the poor, and the 24 hour convenience store clerks (which kind of fits into the last group) were probably about the only ones who didn’t flee. Why didn’t they flee? They couldn’t. People started offering up shelter for the victims by the thousands after the hurricane, before it though they would have just had to hike out of town and find a vacant lot to sleep in, hoping they could survive the storm in a vacant lot rather than their low-income housing unit. If I had been in that situation I would have hoped that the flood waters didn’t make it to my house, the other option seems a bit worse. I really doubt that the majority of the people who didn’t flee stayed back because they were stupid or stubborn. Poor probably but not stupid or stubborn.

The negligence of every agency charged with responding to disasters borders on criminal. From the City level all the way to the Federal level. There is simply no reason why it should have taken several days to get buses in there to start moving people out, why Wal-Mart (how I despise them) was the first on the scene with fresh water, water for christ’s sake, didn’t anyone other than Wal-Mart think that a city many feet deep in sewage and human remains might need fresh water? The response to this catastrophe was horrible at every level, I think that is a fair statement.

Today I overheard a conversation where I work, it was not pleasant. The man, whom I will call Cluelss, was talking to well, hell, I don’t know who he was talking to (the other person was behind me). Clueless started spouting some facts about the hurricane relief. “Bush had the National Guard on the borders of Louisiana on Sunday night. When they tried to get into New Orleans on Monday the residents were already shooting at them.” Only he didn’t say residents, he dropped the N-bomb, thus sealing his fate as being called clueless for my purposes. His racism aside though, does he really believe that? If the National Guard actually got to New Orleans on Monday, and if people started shooting at them, don’t you think it would have been pretty big news? The National Guard probably just wouldn’t have turned tail and run, it would have been a bloodbath. The only thing I ever heard about guns being fired in the beginnig was regarding people shooting into the air as helicopters hovered overhead, not shooting at them, but claiming the next shot was for the pilot if he didn’t land and carry them to safety. I suppose it will be quite some time before we know which of those versions is closer to the truth, but I am pretty sure that his version was spoon fed to him by someone on the far right of the political spectrum.

Clueless went on to say that our esteemed leader was actually in New Orleans on Tuesday (meaning the day after the hurricane hit) offering federal aid to the city. I just went and googled it up and it turns out that Bush didn’t actually visit New Orleans until the 12th (yesterday), a full two weeks after the hurricane hit, though in defense of Dubya it only took about a week for him to deliver on the Federal aid that he promised while he was in New Orleans still on vacation, national disasters be damned!

Clueless really believes that Bush did absolutely nothing wrong in this whole ordeal, not a damn thing. Stupid democrats are just trying to tarnish his reputation (as if we have to actually try to do that). Every bit of fault for the slow response is at city or state level. When the federal government tried to help New Orleans and Louisiana would not let them. I find that just as laughable as religion, but he sure seems to believe it. I guess a lot of other people are with him on that logic though, at least 50.1% at the very least. Somehow I doubt that that number is going to stand up after the federal handling of this disaster.

I was brought up thinking that this was supposed to be the United States of America. If the government isn’t supposed to respond to a disaster in a particular state then we would just be the States of America. That would mean that the federal government is a really evil, money stealing roughneck (sounds about right anyway). The funny thing is that people from every state in the union are stepping up and sending money and supplies to the ravaged area, some are even offering spare rooms in their own homes to the victims. That is what being United is all about. Common good. Not just common good for campaign contributors.

That’s our Bush!

Bush finally responds to the disaster in Louisiana. I don’t know exactly where I copied these lines from, fair use laws be damned!

Bush returned to the White House on Wednesday, two days early from a monthlong Texas vacation, to oversee relief efforts. Bush dismissed criticism that he didn’t return sooner as political sniping

Yeah it was probably just democrats trying to make him look bad, not that he needs any help.

“I hope people don’t play politics at this time of a natural disaster the likes of which this country has never seen,” he said.

Respectfully, Mr. Bush, that would be Way more believable had you not just done it yourself. With you avoiding it altogether for the week that it was coming, not caring for the first several days, then only coming home when you saw that it really was pretty bad…That is playing politics, mostly because you said that no one should be playing politics once you decided to come back. Everyone in the country, except you, seemed to know that it was going to be pretty catastrophic, now you dare to talk about playing politics?!!


On the return flight to the White House, Bush viewed the damage as Air Force One descended to below 3,000 feet over the hardest-hit areas, including New Orleans.
“The devastation I saw was very emotional. It is so devastating it is hard to describe it,” Bush said, adding that he observed flooded neighborhoods in New Orleans and “entire communities obliterated in Mississippi.”

So it’s all good. The leader of the country viewed it, briefly, from 3,000 feet…Many days too late…It’s all good!

Perhaps he needed to get a slightly closer look of the situation, you know, see the carnage, smell the stench of death flowing (well stagnating, as there is nowhere for the water to go) through the water… Something tells me that a 3,000 foot “fly by” didn’t really put him in mind of the actual situation. Bodies floating in a stagnant pool; people killing each other for a place on a bus out of there… It is bad. Bush actually said, on record, “I don’t think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees.” The truth is that everyone on earth, except him, thought that the levees would break. It is not Bush’s fault that they did fail, but it is entirely his fault that it took three or four days to make a plan of action once they did.

If you truly worship a god, Mr. Bush, please ask him to give you advice and advanced warning about events that might cost thousands of people’s lives. At the very least, find a god that wants you to help those in need (you know, the ones that are actually dying as a result of a hurricane while you are on vacation).

The longer Dubya is in charge, the more people that die because of his negligence, the longer it will be before anyone who is even slightly liberal votes republican. Do you have a death toll in mind, Mr. President?

Government proposes new SUV fuel standards

I found this article on Yahoo today. My first thought was, “so it only takes the at the pump pricing to average $2.50 nationally before even Bush decides he, being an Oil Man, is really raping the American people.” But then I read the rest of the article. Of course since I found it on Yahoo it is most likely an edited version of some AP post. With that in mind, I am gonna comment on a few of the high(?) points of the article.

The proposal would require the auto industry to raise standards for most vehicles other than cars beginning in 2008. All automakers would have to comply with the new system by 2011.


Okay, so the problem has been building for all of time. It really began to show its teeth in the oil shock in 1979(?), now we are finally going to do something about it, after all this time! But, not right away. It will start in three years, then it will be a requirement in six years. Way to nip it in the bud fully grown, out of control disaster phase, then, wait another six years to go ahead and do anything about it.

But the plan would not apply to the largest SUVs, such as the Hummer H2…


Oh, so they don’t want to curb the fuel usage of the largest SUVS, they just want to make the small cars more economic with their fuel. What in the FUCK is that all about? Okay not really the small cars, just light trucks and other such, pretty much anything between an actual car and really big SUV’s are the ones that are covered. So light cars, since they have pretty decent requirements anyway, aren’t really covered. Huge SUV’s, since they don’t know the meaning of the phrase “fuel economy” are also not covered. It is only covering mid-sized trucks, which should have to have some sort of standard, but why not cover the really huge ones that consume the majority of the fuel? You know, the ones that the Bush administration gave people tax breaks for buying, the ones that only get 10-12 miles per gallon? Those ones are exempt, why?

Oh yeah.

“At a time when Americans are paying record prices for gas, the Bush administration has sided with its cronies in the auto industry and rejected real solutions,” said Dan Becker, director of the Sierra Club’s global warming program.


This is a war on terror after all. How is it possible that becoming less dependent on foreign oil could possibly help America? That’s right! There is no way. It is our dependence on foreign oil that puts us into, and keeps us in, such quagmires as the situation in Iraq. That is obviously helping to change the world view of the U.S., we are now viewed as liberators (of the oil of whatever country we decide to invade next). And could it possibly be just a coincidence that the year slated for the beginning of Bush’s grand good passable new fuel standards happens to be the year that he leaves office?

Of course auto manufacturers are not at all set back by this, well, maybe a little bit

American automakers have cited a disadvantage against foreign competitors because sales of large SUVs, a major source of profits in recent years, must be offset by the sale of smaller models to comply with fuel economy standards.


So, they are at a disadvantage because they are selling huge, ugly, gas-guzzling cars, while other companies are selling small, sleek, cute, fuel-efficient cars? Why don’t they just go ahead and build some small, sleek, cute, fuel-efficient cars of their own? Oh, I got it. They can’t make ten thousand dollars per sale on cars that only cost ten thousand to the consumer.

Then there’s this:

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a trade group representing nine automakers, said the “higher fuel economy standards will be a challenge, even with all of the new fuel-efficient technologies that are offered for sale today.”


These fuel-efficient technologies include such things as solar power, fuel cells, hydrogen (which most people are afraid of since a dirigible filled with the gas once fell from the sky), not to mention various patented technologies that vaporize gasoline before it reaches your engine (some engines in the 1970’s, running with v-8’s and carburetors were able to achieve more than 60mpg using that technology, and that was a simple consumer add on).

Do they really expect us to believe that they can’t do it? My guess is that, given the current administration, they won’t do it. I think the reason the fuel standards are supposed to come into play the year Bush leaves office is solely to make it look like he did something decent during his eight years. If Bush wasn’t an Oil Man, he would probably try to make standards to help curb fuel usage for generations to come, since he is an Oil Man, he offered a bill that slightly changes fuel standards, which will only come into play once he leaves office. He will leave office with very full pockets, but also as the least admired president of all time.

Mark my words.

Bush’s master plan

Is it wrong to enjoy the fake news about Bush’s agenda more than the real news? Maybe. I will say that the fake news is far more realistic. Take this weeks top story from The Onion.

Bush Vows To Eliminate U.S. Dependence On Oil By 4920


Well at least there is a definite time frame there, something you would be hard pressed to get the Bush administration to assign to any of their current plans. Hell if the United States was led by Bush, or someone with similar goals, that might be far too optimistic of a goal. There would likely be more money going into deep space exploration to search for other planets with fossil fuels (which through some loophole would become the property of Bush’s successors) than to trying to harness all of the limitless sources of power that we already have, Solar and Hydrogen power for example.

The Onion frequently hits pretty close to home with its stories. This one is a bit too outrageous to fit into that context, but it is only barely satire. Bush is at the helm of the country, steering it with the confidence of a great and knowledgeable leader. Unfortunately he doesn’t seem to realize that he is not a great and knowledgeable leader, and those around him only add to his confidence. My only hope is that his eight years of rule will not have soured the entire world to the U.S., and that, with more responsible leadership, the next generation of Americans will have a country to be loyal to, not a crater left by the simultaneous nuclear (nukular) bombings aimed here by every other country on earth. One can always hope.

There was one quote in that fake news article that made me write this post, one which I think is more truth than fiction;

The proclamation comes on the heels of Bush’s plans to pay off the national debt by the early 6300s, and win the war on terror by 7450.


Perhaps a bit too optimistic, considering the current administration, but certainly an achievable goal!

Pass me the duct tape!

Kudos to NASA, who released this statement, “NASA: No Flights Until Foam Issue Fixed “. That should be a comforting thought, right? Well, when the article that it leads to is This one, I am not so sure. The last time an American shuttle left the ground heading for space some foam tore away from it, that led directly to the deaths of a bunch of people. What on earth were the people on the ground doing after that? I ask only because,

SPACE CENTER, Houston – NASA grounded future shuttle flights Wednesday because a big chunk of insulating foam flew off Discovery’s fuel tank during liftoff — as it did with Columbia — but this time apparently missed the spacecraft.


So they went ahead and investigated the whole spacecraft, yet neglected to look at the weird foam flying off issue? As if they didn’t have any knowledge that the foam would rip right off of the craft as it ascended towards the heavens (heavens meant as the clouds)? They had warning, it happened the very last time they tried to go to space…And people died.

This time was going way better though:

The chunk of foam flew off Discovery’s redesigned tank just two minutes after what initially looked like a perfect liftoff Tuesday morning. But in less than an hour NASA had spotted images of a mysterious object whirling away from the tank.

Wow, it took only two minutes for this mission to go horribly wrong. Is that a record? Probably not. As I recall the complete annihilation of the crew of the Challenger took only about, what, a minute? Technology is certainly making for better space flight (at least until they want me to board that death trap).

Was something done wrong to make the foam blow away? Were therulterioror motives behind the actions of those involved? I really don’t think so. Beyond that, I am pretty sure that it was good old ignorance that caused the problem, as opposed to terrorism. I certainly hopre that the crew make it back alive, yet, it would be a stern, in-your-face moment if they didn’t. That may sound crass, but the guy said:

“You have to admit when you’re wrong. We were wrong,” Parsons said. “We need to do some work here, and so we’re telling you right now that the … foam should not have come off. It came off. We’ve got to go do something about that.”

I didn’t put those words into his mouth. Though I would try crazy glue or duct tape before I sent the damn thing out again. It is a death trap as it is, not a lot of people going gung ho to jump on. I might, but I don’t really care whether I live or die. Perhaps that should be on thquestionnairere that you fill out. If you would rather live you are not qualified.

Independence day

Here in America the date July 4th has some significance, for virtually unknown reasons. In a survey that I saw recently, yet can’t find a link to, over half of the kids in America were not able to name the country that the USA declared independence from. Precious.

The actual event has lost so much meaning over the years that it is now more about a day off of work (for some), a day to drink excessively (for myself) or a day to just blow shit up. I know that a couple hundred years have passed since the war that liberated us from the British occupation of the states, but it is pretty simple to draw a few parallels between the British occupation of the U.S. in the 1700’s and the U.S.’s occupation of Iraq in the 2000’s.

In the 1700’s (and well before that), we were all just ripping off (and killing) the Native Americans. Every country on earth seemed to have had a hand in it. Name a nationality and marvel at what some representative of that country did to rape, pillage and/or plunder the virgin land and its inhabitants.

Now, instead of ripping off the land, we are focused on the oil. We are the oppressors, yet again. It may be disguised as a “war on terror”, that doesn’t change the fact that there is no way we would be in the war with Iraq (sorry, the war is over, we are trying to stabilize Iraq) if there was not a lot of oil involved. This is the wrong war to be fighting, at the wrong time to be fighting at all.

If the US media were not involved, and if you were to poll, at random, 1,000 Iraqi people, I bet that the number of them considering the U.S.A. “Liberators” would be a very small number. I bet that number would skyrocket if you asked the same group of Iraqis if the U.S.A. was an invading force that needed to be eliminated.

Iraq hates us, NATO hates us, all of the countries that are not in NATO hate us, what are you going to do now, Mr. Bush? Your legacy may well depend on the next decision you make about the war on terror. If you pull out you negate so many speeches about “staying the course”. If you continue to occupy Iraq there will be thousands more dead American soldiers…with no end in sight…I don’t care how good you were at the game “risk” as a child, this is life or death. And those deaths should be squarely placed on your shoulders, you made the call to go to war with a country that was no threat to the US, you forced a bill through congress to give you ultimate control, and you can’t dig yourself out.

Imagine the praise of the Iraqi’s when you finally make the decision to pull out. They will actually have democracy, and not the forced democracy of the oil crazed US, real democracy. I’ll call this pipe dreams 101.

Police; Meta blogging; taxes in DC

Yeah, it has been a while. I would like to spout out various excuses, but I can’t seem to do it. The act of simply posting a new update on this site takes me a lot of time and that is time spent without reward. It turns out that I don’t have nearly as much to say as I thought I did when I began this little venture. Who knew?

I did look into the possibility of going to a Movable Type format a couple of months ago, but I didn’t really like the features on the free version, and if the paid version is not better than the free version by one thousand times, there is no way I am going to pay for it.

The key features of movable type appear to be its auto-archive and cgi based feedback system. Of course since I never get any feedback, and don’t care enough about my old posts to take the time to make them searchable (or click-able for that matter) I really doubt that anyone who reads this page would. The free version that I tried allowed you to set a font, and that was about the extent of its features. Not for me.

With my posts becoming less and less frequent, however, I have decided that I am (for sure this time) going to keep a running front page, which I will update whenever the hell I feel like it, and save it to disk weekly. The difference between that and what I have been doing since I started the page is small, in theory, but larger in practice. Now I am going to type some shit down here, and upload it immediately to the web page. I will also probably quit trying to archive my older posts with description of contents.

The official “Weekly Post” will be made every Sunday, small quips will be added on a daily basis, in theory. That is all going to start this Sunday, be warned. I am not sure how it is going to work out but it has to be better than my current schedule.

• Have you ever been driving down a sleepy little street that doesn’t have such luxuries as stoplights, only to nearly crash into the side of a police car? I have, happened today as a matter of fact. I was on the major street (that being the one without stop signs) merrily driving home to lunch, when, out of nowhere, a police cruiser pulled into the street ahead of me. I had to lock up the brakes to keep from hitting his car, and I guess he knew he did bad since he just waved and smiled, as opposed to stopping me for reckless driving. So it is all good, I guess.

Here is the question: If I had actually plowed into him, would I have gotten a fair trial? I was obeying every law of traffic, going the requisite 25mph, looking at the crossroads as I went. Some cop drives through a stop sign (no siren, not going very fast) and makes me have to lock up the brakes to keep from T-boning him. He is obviously at fault, but would I actually be able to plead my case? I have no doubt in my mind that if I had hit him he would have said that I was speeding and driving recklessly (which I wasn’t, else I would have hit him), yet, he was the one that drove right past a posted stop sign. The cop would have been the one that broke the law (traffic law), but you don’t really get a trial by jury on traffic offenses. I would have likely been cited for reckless endangerment, careless driving and possibly other offenses.

What really, really, really pisses me off about the whole situation is that I really wanted to go down and report him to the police. Thing is that you can’t do that in a town as small as mine, else you will be on the local police shit list for the next…well, until the end of time, really.

Humorous aside to the story is that had I actually been speeding he would have T-boned me when he drove through a posted stop sign. I bet you can name your price when the cop T-bones you.

On a similar note, I have believed all of my life that it is possible to do a “citizen’s arrest” on anyone (including police) if they break the law. That (what I am going to call an urban legend) says that if you notice a police car that is breaking traffic laws (with the red and blues off), you can flash your headlights to pull him over, detain him, force him to call another officer and cite him for his folly. I still believe that this is the law, but if you try it, good luck on driving to work tomorrow. Those so-called “stupid cops” have really good memories.

• One other random thought. There are several fundamentals of American society, one of which is “no taxation without representation”, that’s a darn good ideal. Why, though, do the residents of Washington D.C. have to pay taxes? Washington D.C. has no senators, no presence in the house of representatives, yet they pay taxes. Where is their representation? Just curious.

Women dies so religious zealots can convince themselves they aren’t having sex; Brother Dan photo

Strange thing, when I end up throwing something up over here it is usually when I have no intention of doing it. That is exactly what is happening today. I have absolutely zero first hand knowledge of the issues at hand, but I am an American, therefore I have a pretty strong opinion about it. If you don’t agree with me you are simply wrong.

This first link was stolen directly from The Washington Monthly, where the blogger (Kevin) opined that not vaccinating women against a virus for which there is a vaccine “left him speechless”. I then went to read the article that he had linked to. My panties got all bunched up over this one.

The article, in short terms, says that about half of all women in the U.S., between the ages of 18 and 22, have this HPV thing which can lead to cervical cancer. There is now a vaccine that can make you immune to it. Religious groups in the U.S. are staunchly opposed to the vaccine since that will give women license to have sex before they are married. While the site also notes that most of the cases of HPV clear up on their own having no lasting effects, some do result in cancer. If it is in your power to prevent the spread of a potentially fatal condition, shouldn’t you do it?

I really don’t have anything against religious crackpots, but when they decide that the best way to prevent disease is through abstinence I gotta make an exception. The core values of westernized religion seem to be pretty good; If you do good you will be rewarded in heaven, if you do bad you will be punished. Those are pretty sound values (with the exception of being rewarded or punished after death) that a lot of kids today lack. But, when GOD decides to invent a vaccine that can save hundreds of lives, the religious folks want to back out.

Honestly, if you are actually religious don’t you have to believe that every new invention is the work of God? If God invents a vaccine that can save lives, you should use it, right? Or do you question God’s will and let hundreds or thousands of people die? I guess I better leave that question for the religious crackpots to answer.

For some reason when I searched for ‘abstinence only’, after I had read the previous story, the number one link was to a post at DazeReader.com, a site that I do visit from time to time. I figured what the hell and went to look at the post regarding the subject, which turned out to only be a link to a different site.

The site is called AbstinenceOnly.org, and is possibly the most humorous website I have seen in years. Yet, it is informative. You can learn how to do oral, anal, gay, group and vaginal sex while still being abstinent. It turns out that as long as there is underwear between you/your member and the female it is not actually sex. Same for any other form of sex, as long as there is underwear in the way it is not sex. Bodily fluids may be exchanged, but there was never sex of any sort (not even letting a big woman in a blue dress go down on you). Where was this website when I was sixteen, trying to tell my girlfriend that anal sex didn’t really count against her virginity?

On a (possibly) more serious note. I really think that if it is possible to vaccinate women against the cervical cancer that comes from touching dirty men’s junk, we really should give the vaccine to all women in the U.S. (the entire world in my opinion, since most of the deaths occur in developing countries, Africa, for instance). There are plenty of other S.T.D.’s out there that we can not cure, A.I.D.S. is only one of them.

I am sure that in a perfect, Christian, world there would be no sex unless you were married, but that doesn’t translate well into the 2005 world where everyone is fucking everyone. Don’t those religious types understand that the more they condemn something the more the people want it? It is not brain surgery, you can make a few mistakes, but don’t let people die for your archaic, pseudo cause.

I have never put any photos on my site that weren’t either myself, my wife, or our animals. This is going to be the exception. Here you see a photo of one or my brothers, doing his best to look like Kid Rock, while he holds his son D.J.. I dunno if I will get many more chances to see either of them before D.J. starts stealing cars and being a neighborhood menace. There might be a precedent for my thinking the small child will go that way….

Politics

Well, today I am going to talk about politics. I am telling you now that you would be better off to not read what I am about to write, then again I might surprise myself. Still, I am gonna vent a few views that may be unpopular, so really, don’t read this.

I have been reading The Washington Monthly for quite a while, hell since its inception really, since I used to read it back when it was CalPundit. I know that it is a blog that is written by a liberal, so there are always liberal points made during the presentation of a story, I expect this. I think Mr. Drum does do a pretty good job of presenting the actual facts before trying to spin it though, that is what I find admirable about that blog. While I read his blog daily, I also vist several conservative blogs on a weekly basis, just to see what is going on on the far, far, far right bank of center. Without exception, the right end blogs present less actual facts and more commentary, but I like to read them anyway just enough to know where both sides stand.

I have always considered myself a liberal; I support gay marriage, abortion rights, and many other concerns that are purely liberal. I don’t think that it is anyone’s business who marries whom, beyond that, I really don’t think that marriage is a sacred covenant with GOD, it is a sacred covenant with your spouse, regardless of gender. Men should have absolutely no say in the abortion argument; when you can reproduce asexually, or give birth yourself, then you can have a say. I am also a bit to the left on many of the financial issues that affect me directly, Social Security for instance. It is at just about that point that I want out of the left.

I guess I am kind of conservative on some of the issues as well. I really don’t want a socialist economy, or socialized healthcare for that matter. While it is true that most of the rich were born rich, some have actually gotten rich by hard work and determination. In my opinion it would be wrong for them to literally pay for every good or service that the poor receive. Yet, at the same time, I really don’t think that we should allow the poor to become homeless and die on the street.

I know that I have told the story of how I ended up in Arizona before, but since I can’t find a reference to it (since I never got around to updating my archives), I will just do the quick version here: I left Oregon while I was in a bit of trouble with the law. The belongings that I had with me all fit into a small, overnight bag (which consisted mostly of cassette tapes), I moved down to live with my mother, I actually had to borrow clothes from her when I got a job, six days after I got here, since all I had were shorts and tanktops. I lived with my Mother once I arrived here for about a couple of months. At that point she was moving back to Oregon and I needed to find a place to live. I lived in a cramped studio apartment for the next seven years. I used empty soup cans for drinking glasses and bowls, I was sleeping on a “super single” mattress that was acquired from the trailer court where mom lived, beyond that the only furniture was a small (smaller than loveseat size) couch that was made of wood and naughyde. It was miserable.

Beyond the fact that I didn’t have the money to buy anything, I also had a court judgement against me that was in excess of $10,000, and an outstanding warrant for my arrest in the state of Oregon. I think that the term destitute would be a fair assessment of my situation at the time. I had nothing, and what little I had was being paid to try to clear up the financial problems (which were not of my causing) and the legal problems (which were totally my fault).

Kind of as an aside, You would be amazed at just how many uses you can get out of the average milk crate. They are modular, after all, you can use them as bedside tables, coffee tables, end tables, kitchen tables, footstools, entertainment centers (just for holding the components, trust me), magazine racks, file cabinets, I really could go on and on… Milk crates were my furniture for a lot of years.

It was from that humble beginning (using the term beginning a bit loosely, since I was 20 at the time) that I worked my way to where I am at today. I do mean worked. Most of my relatives didn’t know where I was (which was intentional, since I did owe money to the courts and creditors, and they have an uncanny ability to find debtors…The mob probably wishes that they had that type of efficiency), not that any of them were independently wealthy in the first place, and even if they were they likely wouldn’t have offered to help me out. It seems that some families really care about a strong family tree, while other families don’t give a shit until someone dies (the latter of which is describing me, but when the family members that died are the one that threw you out of your childhood home so he could sell it, followed by the one that didn’t give you the small inheritance you were due [so she could buy a new truck], what would you do?)

Some of those facts are disputed to this day. Unfortunately, the only things that I was ever able to see were the actual, factual documents relating to it. I was not able to hear the spin that whatever relative wanted to put on it. Perhaps I am a bad person for basing my opinion on absolute fact without first listening to spin? I guess I am proving myself liberal again, or at least I thought.

The Washington Monthly website is mostly viewed by liberals. While I side with them on most arguments, I at least check the alternatives first. I made the horrible mistake of reading the ‘comments’ on one of the posts today. It turns out that a lot of the liberal people are just as whacked out as the people on the right. I will say that at least the left-leaning sites usually have a comments section, while most on the right don’t, but I will have to add to that that most of the people who are commenting are getting their news (political anyway) only from that one source. Having biased information is probably worse than having no information, here I must cite the reelection of Dubya; with no information the public would have despised him, with liberal information he didn’t seem so bad. Of course, with conservative information, he was the second coming of Jesus.

I have struggled, really struggled, to pay off my debts and get a meager amount of money into the stock market. I now own my own mortgage (home), and providing I don’t miss any payments it will be mine in the year 2032 (though that number is a bit high since I am paying an extra 6 dollars a month towards the principal, which will actually shave a few years off of the loan).

My stock market investment has absolutely no gurantee. I could lose it al in a second. If I were to invest that money into an IRA I would have some protection, but I have lived under a bridge and, as such, I don’t like the thought of my money being tied up until I retire. This is perhaps naive and foolish, but, if you have ever spent a cold October night sleeping under a bridge in Oregon, you would probably agree that quick access to your money is a good thing. Which actually screws me out of the tax loopholes that the rich use, but, what are you gonna do?

The other thing that is really pissing me off is that the really poor people (like I was not long ago) are claiming that there are no jobs available. I worked at a number of minumum wage jobs for the first 5 years of my adult life. The jobs are there. One of them (when I saw a whole bunch of people applying), I told them I would work one shift for free, if they liked my performance they could hire me, if not I would walk away. I worked the one shift for free. Guess who got the job. Like I mentioned earlier, it was only six days after I got here that I had a job, while mom’s boyfriend had been out of work for months. Could it somehow be related to determination? Maybe the one that really, really wants to have a job gets the job?

Unemployment only requires that you tell them that you looked for a job, while some released convicts have to get a manager to sign to say that they applied for a job and were not hired. Let’s institute my plan: If you are out of work you can only draw unemployment for the first four weeks, then you go four weeks without it. Now you get two more weeks of unemployment, followed by two weeks without it. Then it is done, forever. Get a job or die.

When questioning my wife and then my mother and then her boyfriend, I found that none of us has really ever been out of work for more than two weeks in our adult lives, While I see girls in the town I live in banging out a kid every 9 months and living better than I do. I think it has gone far from a liberal/conservative issue, this is a moral issue. The poor are poor, the rich are rich, but why does the middle end up paying for the upbringing of the poors’ small children?

Mandatory Birth control would be something that I could get behind. Sure, it would never happen since the republicans are in power, but, come on. The wealthy have far fewer children than the poor. Is that due to better education? Is that due to the socioeconomic climate? Is that due to more prophylactics? Maybe all. The thing is that the really poor don’t look at the grand scheme of things, they hardly look two weeks down the road. Another child? well that is just downright fun! So, there go my tax dollars (being middle class) as the rich and the poor battle it out to see just who is less wrong.

I am not happy with the way I am going here, so I am gonna call it a night. As always, the email address is directly below.