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TRUTH-PAIN EMPORIUM



In my Garden of Eden, liberties are not cherry-picked, pro-choice is applied to everything, and nothing is an absolute. Absolutely nothing ...



Updated: 2017-07-27T07:48:50.757-07:00

 



A case for a Divided States of America ...

2009-04-16T11:28:43.494-07:00

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... or reasonable facsimile thereof ...,

United States, States! of America. It used to be that the Federal Government served at the pleasure of the States. It used to be that the 10th Amendment actually meant something. It used to be that from state to state, the differences in architecture, peoples, cultures, geography, micro-climates and to some extent micro-politics were something to behold, love, admire and appreciate. The diversity of America was natural, not legislated. There was a time that crossing a state border was akin to going from Spain to France. Starkly different it was. What happened?

Many things happened. Amongst them, the commerce clause in the Constitution gave way for "cookie-cutter" legislative powers to Congress. This in turn, led to one-size-fits-all mentality. A case can also be made for the effects of franchising and branding. When McDonald's goes nationwide, one can't tell if you  are in a strip-mall in Kenosha, Wisconsin or Albuquerque, New Mexico. The building of the Interstate Highway system in the 50's led to the faster criss-crossing of the country. But most of of us can agree that forced Federal legislation has made once proud, independent and unique states simple "counties" of Washington, D.C.

It will change, and much sooner than I think. The globalization of the economic mechanisms, the light speed communication access to most citizens, and the recent multi-trillion spending by the Administration has opened up a psychological fissure not even considered a mere 4 years ago. Some states like Texas, are already barking up the secession tree. Other states are rejecting forced accepted of bailout dollars. The beginning of the end of "... a more perfect union", and in my mind a good thing. This country has outlived a 50-state union matrix. The time has come for States to either go their separate ways, or voluntarily form regional "American Provinces". This will help each state, each region deal better with their unique needs of population, culture and socio-political dimensions. The needs of schools in Amarillo, Texas are far from the needs of Provo, Utah; and that is but one of 50 other examples I can spell out to better buttress my argument. Division of states does not have to mean an end to the Federal Government need, but rather a return to basics Federal intent such as national defense, trade policy and protection of national borders. Let each state or regions decide for themselves what is best for their population's needs in health, education, economic engines, tax law and immigration policy. 

In closing, I leave this microcosm for consideration. We each live in towns and cities. While we share some common things like schools and hospitals, at the end of the day we go home, to our roofs, our furniture, our taste of foods and preferred TV programs. As unique a thing to each family or household as a fingerprint. The "American City" has to allow the states, or its "homes" to have the unique stamp that makes them culturally autonomous to their population and history. Otherwise, states are merely a piece of land with names like "Alabama", "New York" and "Arizona" .... nothing more. It is time to decide what is it that "unites" us, but allow that which makes us unique not get lost in translation. 

Long live the States of America, not America the master of the States.





Recoil ... (oh the pain...)

2009-04-15T05:16:27.005-07:00

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A very funny thing happens when you get full of yourself, ... you just get punched in the mouth. Maybe not physically, but the pain is just as lasting. 

A few months ago, I decided to temporarily close the House of Pain so that I could entertain a joint-venue with other fellow Bloggers. Suffice to say that it failed to become what we all wanted it to be. No guilt, no regrets, and certainly no finger-pointing.  Although it fizzled away for many reasons, it left some good lessons on what works, what doesn't, ... and at the very least, why a little humility is always a sweet vile to swallow. 

This is my first posting in many months, and with this new effort I have decided to do some things differently. Not because change for the sake of change is good or warranted, but because this version of the Emporium is one I have not tried and am curious to see if this version takes those lessons to heart and makes this a better Blog than it has been in the past. 

Here is the short of it: 

*   I propose to be thrift in verbiage and my postings to be a quick read. Who after all has the time to read 10 minutes worth of my blog? Many of us read a few, if not dozens of Blogs on a daily basis. It is the height of hubris that allows me to think anyone has this sort of time to invest in their daily read. In my view, short and summarized is better for this Blog than long and self-gratifying. Enough said. 
*   Videos will be part of the Emporium arsenal. If a picture can paint a thousand words, a video can paint a Federal bailout-sized one. But not just any videos..... , my own. 
*   I should post on a frequent and consistent manner, if not daily. At times some of us Bloggers feel that every posting has to have Earth-shaking importance written all over it. It doesn't. 
*   I have put a reminder in my Blackberry so that it will prod my Ass with 125,00o mili-volts of go-go juice everyday at 5:00 p.m. so that (as some love reminding me) posting more than twice a year will actually be a possibility. 

Thanks in advance for stopping by, ... I have much to say, ... and less words to use in the process ... 



On second thought ...

2009-01-27T13:32:21.734-08:00

I do want to know how sausage is made ... Transparency. Go ahead and do a search on how many times somebody has mentioned that word in the past week or so. Transparency. What does it mean? Or better yet, what is the symbolism behind the word? Its a great idea; transparency. The problem is, the land of the free and the home of the Atlanta Braves is also the most secretive, compartmentalized, technocratic, red-taped and dysfunctional form of government the world has ever seen. And those are our virtues. We are not wired for transparency. We can talk about it all day, and espouse the wonders of a "clear and transparent" government, but until we get a peek at how the sausage of public policy is really made there will be no such day.I really hope this blog goes viral. That 150,000 people read it in the next week and the inertia of its message is so pulverizing that Obama himself has to mention my name on his weekly You-Tube dog n' pony. I really think it will change the world. But I know it wont. So here I go talking to myself again....Here's a few things Government can do to really be transparent:* Make every high-level economic meeting's minutes public within 30-days of their occurrence. Why 30 days and not immediately? The news cycle is too quick. You got to allow the politicians to be able to take problems head on and make logical decisions without being subject to the emotions of the moment. They will still be aware that their language -salty as it is- and content of their conversations will be published in a month. That alone may edit the way they talk, but at least America will see the type of argumentation that goes on behind closed doors up on the hill.* TARP Money? Immediately launch a super-duper Treasure Dept web-site that keeps a line-item by line-item and clearly-identified narrative of where the hell every printed dollar winds up, who spent it, where it's kept and where its going. 700 billion is a lot of fuckin' money, pardon my English 101, and we are letting 535 politicians play and haggle with it like it was an obscure and abstract thing that really has no meaning or value to us today. If we don't flood Washington with this demand then we demand to get our asses boinked.* Economic Stimulus?... I want somebody in Government (and Prez Obama would be a nice choice,... if he has the stones), to stand up and say the following for the sake of my transparent needs: "The economic stimulus plan will work because we have X and Y model-examples of the past where the same type of spending occurred and this type of result was immediately apparent. Not only do I guarantee it is going to work, but I will back it up with this promise. If it doesn't work, then both the Treasure Secretary and I will resign within 24 months of the day the bill is signed into law" ... Transparency I can believe in ...* I think every Congressman, Senator, President, State and local Legislator should put their daily meeting and visitor logs on their website for all the world to see. You say special interest Lobbyist will not have any influence? Then let it be the law that you have to disclose EVERY single lobbyist you come across during your public service tenure. Be it in your office, at dinner, or while sitting in the commode at some Airport. Oh yeah, while you're are it, put in a summary of the minutes and agenda in there as well. After all, my tax dollars are paying your salaries, so like a good supervisor I want to know what the hell you are doing during my time. Can't be done? Well hell, College Football Coaches have to disclose what recruits they "bump into" during recruiting season, right?....* Finally I think President Obama should install a web-cam in the white house. I will even say kill the audio (OK, so people will still read lips). But whats wrong with that? Jefferson used to let people walk into the White House and see him with no appointment or email. He didn't even have a Blackberry. I just want to make sure he is working and not trying to break my record on Brickbre[...]



Coda ...

2008-12-31T14:15:10.209-08:00

I've been having some good heart-to-hearts with Robert, my friend and blogging colleague, about many things as of late. We tend to use the other as an idea-foil when the writing-block Monster turns up unexpectedly. This morning as I cracked the knuckles for the last posting of 2008, my mind is remembering those conversations and banters. What better way to end the year than to pay homage to those good chats, the ideas they hatched, the postings themes that were left in the shelf and those mental itches left unscratched...* The election of Barrack Obama changed politics forever; and for the most part -in my opinion-, for the good. The "experience" factor is forever gone as a strength and virtue for any politician. From hereon, we will judge them by their managerial ability to forge a strong team of advisers and cabinet members. Say what you will of Messier Obama, but he rarely lost his cool, he stayed on message, he went toe to toe with both the Clinton and Republican machines and came out without a sweat bead on his forehead. In the process, he forever changed fund-raising mathematics, got the country excited about a candidate for the first time in 28 years, got the world to salivate and an incoming President, completely filled his Cabinet a full month before he took office, -something I don't think has ever happened to my knowledge-, and finally, and in spite of a full-plate of serious and grave national dangers awaiting him, looks and projects himself as presidential, thoughtful and eager to tackle the Dragons. I never thought I would say this, but I am proud to have Barrack Obama as my President. I will be vigilant and watchful that his words and deeds conform to law and Constitution, ... but for now, and can do nothing but admire the man. Amazing...* After 9-11-2001, a commission was set-up to inquire on the lead-up to that catastrophe and (hopefully) set recommendations to avoid such an event in the future. Its finding were published in a 600-page tome that is still holding up my Chevy's axle. One can make the argument, that the housing market collapse, the affiliated meltdowns of Fanny Mae, Freddy Mac et al ... the domino effect of the AIG, Bear Stearns failures etc... , at least merit the same type of commission to identify how this all happened, who was at the wheel when it happened, and the triggers needed to avoid similar disasters. Has anybody heard anybody calling for this? Not me. Which tells me both parties have had their hands in the largess of money coming in from these industry groups. Nobody, not the parties, not the Governors, not the Senate, not Pelosi, not Bush... and probably not Obama, ... nobody wants any flashlight of transparency shining in on any of this.Memo to my President-Elect. If by 3:00pm on January 20th, you sit in the Oval Office and call for a neutral commission to investigate this economic meltdown, and allow the Justice Department to set up a Special Prosecutor to hire thousands of investigators and to the full extent of the law castigate those responsible for putting us in this pickle...., If you do that, and shake the rats off of the good Ship America, then you will have gone a long way in making me salivate to vote for you in 2012. C'mon, do the right thing! No matter where it leads...even if it sinks half the members of both parties,... let justice be done. Sure the mushroom cloud will be ugly, and your presidency may loose the luster it sorely needs to govern. Bu that one act alone will tell Joe Citizen that you are truly a transformational figure that will govern above and outside your own core ideology. This election after after all,... is about me Mr. President, ...not about you.* The continued fall of the bastions of traditional media outlets such as newspapers, while fun to watch, is not something I wish continues. Sure at times I disagree with many an editorial piece, and yes the majority of them are of left-liberal persuasion and rarely give the other side "fair and balanced" access. S[...]



The Ghost Of All Things Past ....

2008-12-26T19:13:22.236-08:00

.... the beauty of drinking yourself silly on Christmas eve (An unnamed fruit-punch concoction) is that one wakes up particularly ornery, impatient at most things and just wondering why it is that you do the things you do in the first place. So please allow me to indulge in my annual year-end venting. It is in no particular priority or logic.... just T-P being , well.... a roll of paper...As I get older, I find myself amused in that I am attracted to things that as I child I would have never looked twice. Gardening? Poetry? ... Bird watching? Book classics? Those I call my friends here in California (... and Alabama?) say I am maturing and appreciating the simplicities of life. Knowing my cousins in New Jersey and Puerto Rico, they will rip me a new one and think I am for certain turning metro-sexual, or worse. My mind tells me its something more apparent. I have been watching a ton of documentaries on American History and Biographies. That John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, two figures I have grown fonder by the minute, were lovers of nature and read everything they got their hands on has certainly been influential. As an example, I recently looked up who the hell Cincinnatus was, based simply on a reference from one of Jefferson's letters.Why is it that age takes away physical strength, yet gives us better clarity to understand the poignancy and relevance of history? Its easy to put it all on the maturing of the mind, but could it be that age awakens a level of beauty in the eye of the beholder that can only be uncovered by unidentified colors of pain, our unplanned catastrophic reference points and the drip-drying of tear ducts?...In thinking of history and appreciation of the proverbial days of yore; the writings of Americans from the past has me physically spell-bound. Last night, while nursing said drunkenness in bed, I watched the Ken Burns' documentary of Lewis and Clark's westward expedition under President Thomas Jefferson. The letters from Meriwether Lewis to Jefferson, while simple, elegant, non-contrived, and devoid of angst, are as powerful and emotive as a punch to the solar plexus. The letters from Lincoln to his Generals during the Civil War?,... nothing I've read in my life has made me as embarrassed of my own ability. Has there ever been a love story with a natural grace as told by the letters between Abigail and John Adams? How is it that these times had such great writers? How did these people, without a public education system of note acquire such expression-dexterity? Such eloquence of syntax and penmanship? It would be so easy for me to drop in an example of how Washington (the General) would have texted his concerns to John Hancock were he to have had a Blackberry, .... but I won't.......Ok, this is too temping not to, so I will.... "Yo JH, pls snd $ for guns. We R chillin' in V-Forge. Benedict A. keepn us warm with jokes LMAO. Say Hi 2 Gen. Howe if U C him. Peace out" .... It just doesn't quite have the same regal gait and aplomb, does it...In a related topic, and as I have been spending time at my newest Blogging collaborative effort, (www.conservativeconvictions.blogspot.com) I've been scratching my dome about many things. The founding Fathers and Mothers were for the most part Statesmen yes; but they were not foreign to dropping the F-bomb here and there and using the saltiest of words to make their case. Good language and conduct was considered of good manners and social-form; not something to be done due to the pressures of a politically correct atmosphere, as is the case in today's discourse. So I ask myself, why should I have to be a "kinder and gentler" T-P? Why?.... I know, I have spewed many times on not letting the messenger derail the message. I am an ardent believer that -for the most part-, when one delivers a message on a bed of flowers it is going to get more of a look-see that if it were on a bed of thorns...... still, why Do we have to be so nice? Why DO we have to be th[...]



Change Happens ...

2008-11-14T21:48:02.761-08:00

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When Blogging, most of the time one falls into a few categories: The casual blogger who does it for fun and without fanfare, regardless of the passion for the Blog's theme; the passionate believer who has time I can only envy and posts once or more per day; and lastly the one who has time to post but hates to do snippets of quick hits. This Blogger refuses to post anything unless it has a semblance of depth, a little humor, and a piece he can be happy to put his or her name to it. I am clearly in the last hump.

In the two and a half years I've been doing this I've had runs where I go loony on the postings and do 5 or 6 over a few days, and many more times where I disappear from the grid until somebody awakens me from my slumber. Work, life, other hobbies, varied interest, changes and overall joy for variety keeps me away from taking a vested interested in the maintenance of my Blog. I don't do structured things very well, at least those not having to do with my job, that is. I get ants in my pants. I love doing this,... LOVE IT!, but i don't have the passion to do it with the time and effort it takes to maintain a blog interesting on a daily basis. That's just a fact.

A few days ago, Robert, my dear online friend whom I've known for a while (www.conservativeobservations.blogspot.com) told me about this new collaborative effort he had going. After a day of perusing the idea and the site, I was invited to join as a collaborator and was happy to accept. The other collaborators (Jenn and Sam) are both familiar to the conservative blogging nation within our circle of commentators and together, this foursome is hoping to make Blogging history. The concept we are beginning to develop is quite unique, ambitious and (to us) pretty darn bold.

I cordially invite you to visit "Conservative Convictions" at www.conservativeconvictions.blogspot.com. I think you will be happy you did.

In the meantime, Truth-Pain Emporium will remain in publish mode, albeit for a lesser-altruistic purpose. Most of you know my style, and believe me, it may not work well with the seriousness of the new endeavor. But here, I can blast away and wax poetic on the many stupidities than keep me amused, without offending anybody. To be further truthful, this is quite liberating in that I can maintain the topics that deserve a serious treatment over there (Conservative Convictions), while doing whatever the hell my mind conjures in the comfort of the Emporium's front lawn. I kind of like that...

To those of you here for the first time, welcome. I hope you can honor us in visiting both blogs. If you are a returning friend or pseudo-enemy,... well, welcome again and I hope I can maintain your interest with more frequent postings that will lighten up your spirits during these most heaviest of times.

Onward ...



The end of the best and brighest ...

2008-10-16T18:52:34.296-07:00

The third and last Presidential debate last night was not extraordinary because of the answers to the Moderator's questions, but just ordinary because of the answers he did not get. You can love Barrack or John, -and God love ya' for you have every right to do so-, but there is no denying that both of them lost a precious opportunity to either seal the deal (B.O.) or make a grand case for reconsideration (J.M.)Both B.O. and J.M. could have knocked some softballs clear out of the Hofstra U. ballpark last night, and both failed at getting some lumber on the ball. The following are two examples of how I would have replied to specific questions posed by Mr. Schieffer. I know what you're thinking, "well hell TP, its real easy to have a whole night to come up with something clever. Let's see you do that Live you idiot!...". You may be right, but after you read my replies, you must also admit that the logic was there for the taking. You decide:Mr. Schieffer: Senator McCain, is your running mate qualified to be President?John McCain: Bob, there is not a single person that can be honest to Americans and say with conviction that he or she is ready. How does anybody know what "ready" is? What you want to know is whether or not the person has a history of surrounding him or herself with the best and brightest minds to help make the choices and decisions in the areas where experience is not a strength. Sarah Palin has shown she has the temperament to take on her party when it was the best thing for her State, the wisdom to select a Gubernatorial cabinet worthy of the great State of Alaska, and pragmatic enough to select both Democrats and Republicans to her staff. THAT is the idea our Founding fathers had when they envisioned "citizen government". Sarah Palin is a person that came up through the circumstances of her community and in the span of 10 years went from House wife to PTA to City Council Woman, to the Governor's chair and now near the White House! That is America; a country where anything is possible and where Government should be composed of professional citizens, not professional politicians! Heck, her story is more compelling than mine! I was first famous for getting shot and being in prison at a foreign country... I envy HER story! How can you not say she is not prepared for the presidency? Has Barrack, Biden or even myself had to balance a budget? No! She has! Have any of the men in these two tickets been in charge of a State's Energy Commission? No. She was! .... At the risk of diminishing myself in stature here,... I can make the argument that she has proven that experience is not necessarily the best barometer for success, but the ability to surround yourself with the best, and the moxy to take on corruption and the status quo regardless of the party affiliation. Was Washington ready? Was Lincoln? Was Truman? How much experience did FDR have? What about Monroe? Even Governors like Carter and Clinton? Besides being Governors, which Sarah Palin is,... what other experience did THEY have that made them qualified and beyond questioning? None. Absolutely none. Yes, Bob... unequivocally yes. She is prepared to lead, and prepared to step in for me where I incapacitated to do so.Mr. Schieffer: Senator Obama, what about the negativity of the campaign?... you especially ran on a new tone and above-the-fray mantra. How do you feel about the turn for the nastiness here?Barrack Obama: Look Bob, every battle plan is a good plan, maybe even a great plan... until the first cannon shot or bullet is fired. Then -as they say- it turns to hell. I meant what I said when I said it and I am sorry that it has come to this. I meant to have a clean a smear-free campaign, but I am not going to sit idly-by when the attacks cross the line of being against the policy and starts to hit the front lawn if you will of your character. If I can't prove to the American people that I don't hav[...]



Changes I can believe in ...

2008-12-09T17:12:14.471-08:00

I'm going to skip the preambles. I've been gone far too many weeks (or maybe not long enough...) to make this yet another blowhard moment. I'm not gonna lie and tell you my absence has been for anything noble or even justifiable. No. I have been feeling blue in many ways,... not depressed, not negative, not down.... just a soft shade of blue. Change is in the air, and of the type that not only affects me internally, but outwardly towards my daily life as well. In that spirit I would like to enumerate the changes that would (permanently) put a smile on my otherwise dour facade.Changing the idea, of HOME: I don't know what that is. Period. I was born in New York, grew up in New Jersey, Florida and Puerto Rico..., moved to California to serve in the military; and while living in this state, I've relocated no less than 10 times in my 27 years here. Why the nomadic spirit?... I've never found home. My idea of home is a land that mimics my ideal of what my country means. Corny, huh? So sue me. Some of my new-found dearest online friends can attest to this. I have been hunting far and wide for a place that just smells and taste like Americana. I've not been searching for utopia,... I want the skeletons and all, ... I am still looking for a place that I can call home to settle-in for the rest of my healthy and happy days. When i find it, -and maybe i am closer than i realize-, i will post on it right here. I have a much larger posting about this theme, but I'm too darn lazy to even fathom writing the sucker. In the meantime, this little town will have to host my antsy ass until further notice...Changing the idea of Elections: Memo to Barrack. You want change we can all believe? let's change the game not just the players. No more professional politicians in Washington. Everybody gets a single 6-year term then they get to get a real job requiring it to be farther than 1500 miles from the beltway. While we're at it, abolish the Senate. That 100-King pompous-ass body has nothing to do but ratify treaties and affirm laws? Screw 'em. Let there be a single uni-cameral system in Congress. Why have every freaking piece of legislation be vetted twice and go to "conference" when it does not mimic the other? What was the reason for the Senate anyway? Did John Adams long too much for the Roman model of a Republic?... please. Lets move on and streamline our Government. One term means no more running for re-election 15 minutes after the swearing-in. And speaking of swearing-in, let there be an electoral season that starts in August and ends in November...... of the same f***ing year! The Israelis and Britts can dissolve their parliaments and have a government installed in half an hour. Why is ours so bloated?...Change of the word WAR: It occurred to me that the term war is applied liberally when we want to tackle something. The war on this, the war on that,... but the funny thing is the same rules don't apply to all wars, do they? For example we all know about the war in Iraq and Af-crap-astan, right?... but why is nobody commenting on the wars on drug and poverty? I mean surely we've spent untold trillions on those wars and nobody is threatening to cut-off funding for those wars, right? Why is it that although not one tangible and positive element has been gathered in those wars, no fat-assed senator has stood up and demanded on "exit" strategy on them? Did we not we go in too soon on the war on drugs? Where was the plan for the "occupation" once we had conquered poverty? Where was our exit strategy on that stupidity? its been 24 years or so,... should we not move on to something else to nuke or carpet-bomb or IED?.... I guess not.Ok, enough for now,... time to take a day or two to catch up on my blog-reading... [...]



Political Party Coolness 101

2008-12-09T17:12:14.616-08:00

.... or how the GOP can re-invent itself with the coolness factor.The GOP has simply run out of cool. I don't think the GOP has had anything cool since,.... well since,..... hang on it will come to me,...Seriously, think of it for a sec. The Democrats have the cool factor down pat. They have Hollywood pimpin' them, they have musicians jumping aboard, the seem to be light years ahead in the integrating the internet and TV to massage their message, and finally, having Eddie Murphy plan "Donkey" on Shrek just put the Elephant 6 feet under for good. Pachyderms no longer rule. They have the cool issues, they have the young cool mouth pieces, they have the cool love of the world, .... its cool to be a Democrat. I don't see too many Dubya 2004 bumper stickers anymore.....What to do? Well, the Pain-Man knows compassion and the Elephant Party is in dire need of an extreme makeover. Why am I doing this? Hey,... as an ex Republican myself I have a soft spot for my ex party brethren. Besides, at heart I am a true conservative in the mode of Thomas Jefferson (Yeah.... the founder of the Republican Democratic party back in the day of Washington). The original member of the modern-day Democrats was a true revolutionary small-government Libertarian. They just did not call themselves that. Pity. But I digress. So here are my TOP FIVE things the GOP can do to increase their coolness factor and start gathering votes from the next generation of voters.1. GET RID OF THE OLD FARTS. Sorry, I know its rude and even mean, but it has to happen. Look at the stable of candidates you guys have rolled out since 1976. Ford vs Carter? (Ford looked like Frankenstein without the neck bolts. Carter even had hair over his ears! Very cool. The aberration was Reagan and Bush 41 (Carter just imploded with the hostage crisis thing). Although older than Carter, in 1980 Reagan just looked cool! And in 1988 Bush 41 had "Potatoe" Quayle to offset Dukakis' size 56 melon so he barely made it. But after that? Disaster! Bush and Quayle had no chance against Clinton and Gore in 1992. They looked cool together. Again in 1996 the GOP pulled out the oldest of war horses, Bob Dole as a sacrifice lamb. Skip the next two Bush 43 wins and what does the GOP do? Again they drop the oldest of war horses in McCain. C'mon! No matter what you think of Obama, the guy is out there playing basketball with the NC Tar Heels! That is cool! Seriously people, take a cue from Democrats. They are brutal with any ex candidates. You think they gave Dukakis, Ferraro, Kerry or Gore a second chance? Nope. They went to the ash-heap of democratic donkey-dung pile. Bring on the fresh meat.2. GOP. Let's see, it stands for "Grand Old Party".... emphasis on old..... Nix it. Call yourselves the GYP (Grand Young Party), or NRP (New Republican Party) or BMJP (Bad Mamma Jamma Party).... anything but old! You want to connect with the next youth generations you have to market yourself much better than the word "OLD" and a freaking elephant. How about the Snake as a mascot? You know like the "Don't tread on me" Snake used in the flags of the original 13 colonies. That appeals to the bad-ass mentality of most men and it will have had a bonding thing with most woman (you know,... the garden of Eden's Snake with the apple thing....)3. Streamline your platform so that, a) most people know what you stand for and b) put some things in there than the youth and generation X'ers can relate to. No, I am not saying pander to a specific group, I mean massage the message in a way that makes it compelling to everybody, not just middle-age, white, Christian, conservative voters. There is a nobility and coolness about "conservatism" that transcends age. Show it to them! Show the masses that being progressive is not exactly what the work implies! Look, if you ask anybody in the street what the GOP stands for[...]



What if illegal aliens looked like her?....

2008-12-09T17:12:14.976-08:00

Race. The word has taken a high visibility exam in the past year, has it not? It always has been this "under the radar" thing. We felt it, thought about it, pondered about the changes needed to be made, yet it remained -for better or worse-, in the closet of discussion until Mr. Obama did his race speech and it was "release the hounds" time; everybody jumped in after the elusive fox. All the networks including the major cable channels were trampling over themselves to put hour-long specials on the air. NBC did an interesting piece called "Finding David Wilson" where a black "David Wilson" traced his roots all the way to a white "David Wilson" plantation in the modern day south. Touching. All the talking heads put race front and center in their "talking points" and before you knew it race was in the middle of what is considered a seminal moment in American politics. I've never seen the populace so willingly delving into this self-flogging moment. My October 27th posting called "Its the wiring, stupid" made even more sense to me as I watched with mild amusement and fascination the nation having a full pledge discourse on the topic. Then I made the mistake of getting on a mental tangent that took me to race as it applies to the immigration discussion (still) being held in this political cycle...., and one thought laid into the other like moss on a redwood's north side...I started to ponder things and began looking at socio-politics as the related to borders in other parts of the world. to correctly gauge comparisons and have apples to apples examples, one must look at places where 1st world countries (like us) have a 3rd world country at its border (like Mexico). What if our southern neighbor countries were all of "white" European descent and culture?, and were mostly Caucasian?.... What if Europe itself was there and not Mexico. What if say, Denmark, Finland and Belgium were right across the Rio Grande instead of Tijuana, Sonora and Rosarito? Think of the possibilities and ramifications as it applies to today's socio-politics. Is it really the idea of illegal immigration that most of America is harping about? or is it the type, culture or racial mix of illegal aliens to which we particularly disapprove? Would the cross-border problems of health, drugs and language be as blatant? or would they be more palatable? If a bunch of "Inga Bjornson's" and "Sven Ikea's" were coming across dropping blue-eyed and blond anchor babies, would we we as intolerant? What if Great Britain was across the border and since they all spoke English there would be no issue of bi-lingual schooling needed; would that change our opinion? I have to confess that I paused at the idea and wondered if I would have the same visceral reaction to a culture that mimics my own coming across, rather than the implied "invasion" of illegals that some portray due to the fact that they are all brown, don't speak the language and (for the most part) come to gain the economic advantage instead of integrating themselves into the bastion of Americana...Remember when the wall came down in Berlin?.... After the initial euphoria and celebration of reunification, what happened? Was there not a massive backlash from the West Berliners against their eastern brothers and sisters? Were they not treated like dog meat in spite of being of the same race, culture and language? Did they not piss on them due to the perceived "lower class" status and the massive hit to social programs? .... sound familiar? What about when the iron curtain fell and a myriad of Soviet satellite countries found themselves fending for themselves? did they reach out and touch someone? of did they circle the wagons to those of similar design and ejected anybody else that looked or spoke differently? When Israel became a country back in the 40's, did the displaced[...]



Bring on the Summer! ...

2008-12-09T17:12:15.117-08:00

Feb 27? Has it been that long?... Well, I have been busy ya' know...., the real estate swamp that has hammered the country finally caught up to my company. The cutbacks were brutal and many fine people lost their jobs. I thought I was a goner for sure. Being a Quasi-Libertarian in a sea of Utopian semi-socialists can leave you about as comfy as a puppy next to Michael Vick. But I'm good.The living situation is another animal. I am really dying to get the hell out of the left coast. Mostly to be closer to the little one in Pennsylvania, but also to live in small-town America and become a "fly-over country" citizen. I'm looking at Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama and Florida currently. My goal is to move somewhere there in about 18 months (I can hear Robert going "Oh sweet Jesus....not in my state...").To be honest I hate my cave-dwelling sabbatical, seriously. I just impale myself in books, research and other life minutia that by the time I come up for air 2 months have gone by.... I ask the forgiveness of my bloggerland brethren. I deserve to be flogged....So what is new in the past two months?.... like we don't know... politics! I will be getting deep into this for the next few postings, but here's a sampling of my thoughts,...1. McCain? If he pulls this out of his ass, er ... hat, it would not surprise me. Don't underestimate the power of the voter in the solace of the voting booth going "... Obama?.... what? oh hell no......". I'm not saying its going to be racially motivated (it will have some effect), but i just don't think America has the stones to put his relatively green, young, and liberal butt in the oval office; no matter how cool he looks in relation to McCain. But I have been wrong often as my last post so condescendingly noticed...2. Obama? Part of me is dying to see him win...., think of the blog material for the next eight years! But then my brain kicks in again and I just stare at the wall in amazement that I can even consider the thought...3. Hillary? I'll give her credit for making my news-watching nights more fun. That she went from the inevitable candidate to an underdog in 3 months, is proof that I am an idiot for not believing in God. He's gotta' be up there smoking a fat one going "I got to screw-up these elections more often..."4. Super Delegates? Its funny that the "Democratic" party has such an undemocratic way of crowning their candidate. But then again, their party has changed, no? Their wonderful founder (Tommy Jefferson) was a real Revolutionary who battled to have the smallest Government footprint on society. Imagine,... a democrat who believes in small government. But I digress. The Super Delegates are gonna' stick their wet finger in the air around the end of May and try to run for the bandwagon,... only that wagon may already be a few miles down the road with no room for front-runners any more.5. Speaking of God. Many of my postings have espoused my agnostic tendencies. No more. I swear I am not kidding. I realized that having faith is the greatest leap possible. It transcends logic and all that is sensible. There is something romantic, tragic, hypnotic and eternally blissful in believing in something for which you have no proof of its reality,... but your faith. A year ago, if I would have written that, I would have laughed. I am really looking forward to finding out where my new-found acquiescence leads me ...Ok, but enough about me, I am heading over to the neighbors house to see what everybody has been writing about....[...]



WHAT WAS I THINKING? ...

2008-12-09T17:12:15.317-08:00

Isn't revisionist history great? Especially when applied to one's self? My mind has been musing lately on all the things I've said, done, prognosticated, hoped-for or just plain gotten wrong going back to my "Yute". Here's a sampling:* When I was a kid (mid-60's) the year 2000 seemed like a Star Date right out of Sci-Fi. I was dead certain we would all have flying cars like the Jetson's, our watches would have little monitors (like Dick Tracy) and I would have a lot more hair. None of them came true.* I prognosticated that Rudy and Huckabee would be the wining ticket for the GOP. I may have batted .1000 here if Rudy had not run the worst campaign since McGovern in 1972. Mike Huck may still join McCain, but I still won't vote for him. I'm staying home in November.* I also said Hillary was going have the primary wrapped-up by January 2008,... life does have a giant sucking sound, doesn't it Rodham? (Quote by Perot so I am still plagiarism-free)* I said Arnold was going to clean Gray Davis' clock in the California Governor's race (I was right). Then I got stupid and said he was going to ride his Hollywood bully pulpit down the Democratic Legislative body and make California a truly centrist GOP state. I forgot to count the Maria Shriver factor. Arnold is a R.I.N.O (on steroids at that). That's "Republican In Name Only" for those of you politico-lingo challenged.* I swore our troops were going to be met with flowers and fanfare in downtown Baghdad when they first went in. They were. I just figured it would last more than 15 minutes. It did not. I also predicted Playboy would have a "Woman of the Sunni Triangle" edition immediately thereafter. I'm still waiting on that...* I thought the Minuteman movement down at the border would be a seminal moment in the history of border politics and that it would start a much-needed reversal of policy. It didn't.* In feeling sorry for white America, I lobbied for a "White History month" to be taught in our schools; you know, just like black and latino history months are?.... Not that I am white by any measure but I just though the Caucasians where taking it in the ass with not having one. It went over like a wet fart after bad nachos at Taco Bell.* Having failed at the above, I lobbied for 2 token white guys to be part of every NBA team. Sort of like a affirmative action for white boys, ya' know? Amazingly they scoffed at my idea due to something called "competition"....? the horror! What was I thinking.* I though Ray Nagin would be toast after his "New Orleans will always be a chocolate city" comment. I failed to take into consideration the everlasting patience, stupidity and spineless disposition of some (most?) voters.* I tried to pimp the principled disposition of my party, the Libertarian party that is (www.lp.org), and both Democrats and Republicans laughed at my sorry ass. I have one more post coming on that one.* I glowingly said that "In our Hands" by Charles Murray was the coolest, most though-provoking book I had read the whole year,... and got lambasted for supporting eugenics. Do you see a pattern here?...So what the hell; here a sampling of my bold predictions for the rest of 2008.* Barack is taking the White House, but not by the landslide the talking heads are yapping about. McCain is going to surprise some people with his strength in the south and (trumpets please) that he loses California by only 2 points. And no, he is really not picking the Huckster as his VP. It's Lieberman baby.* Speaking of Barack, twenty minutes after he sits his boney ass in JFK's old chair (shouldn't they retire that freakin' thing?) Russia, China, Iran, Bosnia, Venezuela, and a half dozen other countries will begin planning how to test the new American President. The first 100 days will be ugggglyyyy[...]



LIBERAL REARING 101 - (Part of my fair and balanced forum)

2008-12-09T17:12:15.592-08:00

After a posting like my last one (and no reported suicides), I NEED levity going into President's Day weekend.(Editor's note: Are you humor impaired, satire-phobic or sarcasm-challenged?... just skip this and have a jolly good day)A few months ago, I was having lunch and discussing the merits of good parenting with a former co-worker; he of serious liberal / progressive dispositions. After much bellowing as to how his kids "better not ever THINK of voting Republican as long they are under my roof" (or words to that effect), I went back to my corner office with a view of nearby U.S. Highway 101, and a jovial yet evil smile formed in my otherwise handsome facade.(soft music intro in the background)....I can imagine one of the conversations between said Father and his 14-year old Son, to go something like this:....Son: "Dad, why are you a liberal?"Dad: "Why?.... It's in my blood Son! and in your blood,... and the blood of any self-respecting and enlightened American to be of left-wing persuasion. I am a liberal because of the legacy of FDR and because I believe the State has a duty and responsibility to care for the needs of its citizens, no matter how trivial or large. Everything,... schooling, health, medicine,.. the whole Magilla. We get taxed up the butt, so Government should care for our butts after taxing us as well. To think any other way is to be a selfish capitalist who only believes in his own good, and not in the good of the collective..."Son: "So.... is that the best system we have? or is that that best system YOU chose to vote for?"Dad: "It's not a "system" Sparky! its a way of life (grinnin' ear to ear). To live a liberal life it to care for those less fortunate than you, to open your arms to the weak, sick and hungry, to give freely so that those more needy than you can have a better Day. To be a liberal is to take from those who have, and give it to those who don't. A kinder, gentler way of socialism..." (futher smug grinnin')Son: "Ok,...I guess I don't know why you rolled up the car window so fast when that homeless guy came up to us at the stop light..... but anyways, is being a liberal a better choice then?"Dad: (clearing the throat... ) Well, about the homeless guy,... I did not want to endanger you or your Mom, Son. You never know who is passing as oppressed nowadays,... besides, the guy behind me was rolling down HIS window so I knew that Bum, er I mean homeless soul was getting something.... (laughs uncomfortably) ....... but let me explain this to ya'; Choice is the pre-eminent word in our beliefs. We are the better choice of culture, we are pro-choice for keeping a woman's right to choose, we are a better choice to give the poor and dis-enfranchised a better choice for gettin' back on their feet, ... yes Son, its about choices"Son: " So... , if I chose to say vote Green, or libertarian, .... or Republican, especially after hearing your pimpin' of the liberal way, you would say that would be ok, since it was my choice, right Dad?,... and speaking of choices, does the unborn fetus get a choice to live or die in the opinion of Roe V Wade or is this a selective type of choice?"....Dad: (chuckles in a condescending way...) "well, lets not get ahead of ourselves kiddo, you've a long way to go before you are of age to vote and intelligent enough to make such a choice on voting, for that matter. As to Roe V. Wade, well that is a very complicated issue there...., the fetus is just a bunch of molecules and cells held together in the amniotic sack,... it is not a "person", its a, er,... a soon-to-be-human, you know?, and as such is not protected by the laws of the land.., and who taught you about abortions anyway......?"Son: "But Dad, if choice is so important, why did you get upset a fe[...]



REQUIEM FOR A LAND ONCE CALLED CALIFORNIA...

2008-12-09T17:12:15.773-08:00

In 2058, after nearly half century of demographic shifts in its population and burdened by the steady exiting of most manufacturing and technical industries to easterly neighbor states, Canada and Asia, the state of California -after a decade of political and Supreme Court decisions supporting it-, seceded from the Union and declared itself the Republica de California Norte (As opposed to Baja).The results of this action were apocalyptic in its effects and unforeseen by the remaining vestiges of the once-magnificent American population. Mexico, having annexed Guatemala to the south just 4 years before, instantly declared bi-lateral talks with the new Government and a free-immigration zone was quickly declared along the Mexican-California border. A makeshift border fence constructed by the Army Corp of Engineers in 2031 was demolished over 16 months and the existing border was declared void by the new Republic and its neighbor to the south. Most major cities in the state, -now shadows of their former selves due to urban decay and rampant corruption-, became bastions of anarchy like the wild-west times of bygone eras. The agricultural middle valleys were quickly nationalized, as were Federal lands and antiquities, natural oil and gas reserves and whatever was left of Government fixed asset surpluses. Cities such as Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Francisco, mirroring images from Hollywood post-apocalyptic films, were ripe with looting of such magnitude that the States of Arizona, Nevada and Oregon were forced to open refugee camps by the thousands to comfort Californians fleeing the Golden State. Border skirmishes at Oregon and Nevada quickly erupted by ex patriots trying to salvage the remaining union of western states against further aggression. The Governments of Venezuela, Cuba and Uruguay purchased large swaths of land of what once was Orange County and Santa Barbara and immediately commenced nationalizing the off-shore oil fields long laid dormant by the zealous environment movements of the time.The falling of the former 6th largest economy in the world started a domino effect of a magnitude never imagined by the founding Fathers of a once-great Country. Florida, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi immediately coalesced into the United Gulf States and recalled its entire congressional body in the spring of 2059, thus starting the disintegration of the US system of government as it was known. Middle America, -or what was left of the original union- became a loose confederacy of states inter-depended on each other for trade but the large Federal might of the economy and military power faded rapidly.Signifying a never-before seen socio-religious movement, Michigan, Illinois and Ohio had grown to be 26% Muslim with torrents of illegal Arab immigrant coming through the Canadian border by the tens of thousands each month. Within 6 years from California's secession, Sharia law was declared in all but one of the great lake States. The last President of the Union, -the honorable Mathew Schwarzenegger-, ended the final body of Congress -and the dissolving of the Union on July 04 of 2076-, with these words:"Had we known the effects of such things, had my father not listened to my mother Maria in terms of the burgeoning immigration crisis of 2011, has we been disciplined in our stewardship of the Republic and not kneeled to diversity for diversity's sake, had we tempered our naive road towards tolerance in blind worship of political correctness, our nation would still be one, and still be great. Three hundred years old we would have been today..... what happened? Oh God what have we done..."And then we all awoke,... happy to have been dreaming, happy that it was but a nightmare.The[...]



Early thoughts on the political season ...

2008-12-09T17:12:16.107-08:00

Ahhh, ... my first post of the year of our Lord 2008; and you guys thought I was gone for good....Mathew Dowd had a very interesting piece that caught my eye at www.realclearpolitics.com and made jot down some thoughts. Can you imagine Hillary Clinton not winning the primary popular votes, and horse-collaring the super delegates to vote for her to get the nomination? I want to see her explain why Florida/2000 was stealing votes and that "every vote" counts, except when it comes to the nominee of a political party. It would be suicide and gumption of the highest order. But what the hell; most of the populace is enamored with the idea of having Monica Lewinski's ex boyfriend's wife for president so who am I to argue?Speaking of the primaries, I hope Barrack takes not just the nomination but the general election. Hear me out on this. The pro's of having McCain as president? Maybe coninuity of the war effort to a successful conclusion (whatever you define that to be), experience in Goverment (is that a pro or a con?), and keeping the left wing out of the white house. The cons? It gives the Republicans and independent conservatives like yours trully no "urgency" to look for the next great visionary. You think McCain is going to cede the White House after just for years to a VP-in waiting? That pugnacious, hot-tempered, Hanoi-Hilton Yoda is a lot of things but gracious he is not. He feels he is owed, and he will love nothing more than to have his brand of Republicanism be the event that changes the party forever. Having said that, here' my take on having Barrack as Prez. Presidencies are more about symbolism than substance. As much as MLK's words of judging a man by the content of his character and not the color of his skin is ideal, it just does not ring true in the real world. Having a Black man (ok, ok... so he's half black) take the oath of office would turn one big, wet and ugly page of our history and have a seismic shift in what kids of color think can achieved. The Caucasian males have had 240 years of being in charge. Let the country be headed by a man who mimics what the world is turning into... an osmosis of cultures and races. Can he fuck up the nation in 4 or 8 years? I don't think so. We had Nixon, Carter, Jackson, Harding..... Bush..., if none of those boneheads could cause a tectonic shift that was permanent and undo-able in the fabric of mother America then I doubt having Barrack sitting his skinny ass in the White House will either. I'm serious. Maybe this will be a good thing in the long run. Besides, think of how much fun talk radio and the cable taking heads will have! I personally can't wait to see Rush with an oxygen mask on his ditto-cam the first time Barrack the purple flag in the south lawn.... classic. In all seriousness, the conservative movement (in is classic definition) needs to have its collective ass kicked and new standard-bearers will have to be found. Not in the hallways of Capital Hill, but in the streets of regular small town or big town America. Where are the next great libertarian and fiscal conservative minds going to come from? Where will we find the next legion of leader who have the cojones to tackle the pain of the baby-boom retirees coming home to roost? C'mon people. Let's take one in the shorts and vote the fella' in. Congress will still be grid-locked so nothing will really change, except for the possible exceptions that symbolically the nation can puts its foot on the neck of its marginal racist past.... forever.If I may put my sarcasm and tongue-in-cheek aside for a moment (as painful as that is....), I work in a pretty left-leaning organization that provides affordable housing in the lower bay ar[...]



So i was waiting on my flight, when suddenly...

2008-12-09T17:12:17.006-08:00

'Twas the day after Christmas, and the Pain-Man is stuck for 6 hours at Pittsburgh International until his flight to San Jose via Phoenix takes off......, 6 hours! That's what happens when your Beechcraft out of Franklin, PA breaks down and you jump on a commuter bus hoping to make your flight...., and you're 15 minutes late. Dammit! As good a time as any to post since all the books at the Hudson News stand looked un-appetizing to my dome at the moment. Just some general observations .... The Primaries: I called for Giuliani / Huckabee to win the whole thing back in the spring (I love harping about that), but I think I may have gotten it backwards. Its funny that all Howitzers have flung from Romney to Huck. Let's see if the Media things he is a "nice" guy now that his is the Alpha Dog. Do I still stand by my prediction?... Yep. I'm riding the Giuliani pony up until he impales himself in Florida, then I will mount the Ron Paul horse just for my own amusement. I'm writing myself in as a candidate, in case you were wondering.....Christmas: As a religious agnostic, I have no problems with America's Judeo-Christian ethos, none. Is a matter of fact I love saying "Merry Christmas" and all the pleasantries that come with the holidays. I especially love saying it in California, where the word has been non grata for years now. My progressive friends get anal-cramps every time I say it (sorry for the visual), but screw 'em. My reason is simple. Some traditions are just good ol' American Apple Pie stuff and though you may not agree in principle with some of them, is it hurtful in any way to wish somebody a merry day in the time we celebrate the birth of a guy who -at the very least-, was a good man and tried to be a good example to us all? Shit, if someone wished me Happy Ramadan or Beelzebub day I would grin widely and say, "back at 'cha"! Yeah, I heard Romney's speech, and yes, I think it was inspiring, beautifully spoken, and a great illustration of what makes this country un-governable at times. So what! I don't believe in the day of the dead, but I celebrate Halloween. Besides, Isn't the new year something conjured up by the Judeo-Roman calendar way back when? Was it not influenced by religion? Why don't we have a problem with that too? If we start cherry-picking the crap we are not happy with then I really hope there is a God to save us from our own politically-correct sorry asses.NFL Football: I hate New England. There is nothing to love them for, nothing. In spite of the magnanimous way Brady carries himself, Moss is a dropped-pass away from imploding, Belichik has the charm of a Rhino, and the uniforms themselves are stupid. That having been said, if they do roll over everybody, then they HAVE to be mentioned as the best team ever. Best dynasty? maybe they are getting close to that too, but you gotta' give them their props. And curse Baltimore for calling that bone-head time-out at the end of that game....they had them on the ropes, the bastards!Local Politics: Things move slowly at the local level, at least that has been my experience with my new targeting of my own backyard issues. Its not that you need any more grease to be heard, its that you need the grease AND timing. Local politics is very chummy, and if you are a newcomer to your town then you are screwed because nobody knows you, trusts you or gives a shit about how altruistic your intentions are. So I'm motoring on, with nothing more to report other than the fact that it is amazing the differences are between your home-town news rag, and the national one. Much more transparent, full of caffeine, and yet utterly digestible. (Hang on ... gotta' get my 2nd can of [...]



THE MOTHER OF ALL INSURRECTIONS ...

2008-12-09T17:12:17.143-08:00

OK, so its been a month! I just love sabbaticals, don't you?... It happens to me often. After a few weeks or months of posting ad naseum, I get ants in my pants and have to vent in other ways rather than the almighty pen, ... or keyboard. Sorry, its in my nature to want variety of blow-hardness. This time it was not ants that got to me, this time it was my desire to do something tangible, something real,.... meaningful. So I did two things that I've never considered in the past. One, I started a "MySpace" page. What is normally a social-mingling virtual cafe, I've decided to use as a base of operations. Its really a grass-roots (on my end) venture to connect with local like-minded independent-fiscal conservative-libertarians. Yes local. I want to build a local-only net-roots of political mass inertia. The second thing?... I am looking for a race to get into. A real race, a seat in the local school board, a seat in the local redevelopment agency, a voice in the PTA, a volunteer in the local whatever ,... anything ANYTHING to get me wired into the real machinations of LOCAL government. After all the belly-aching I do about my shitty Government, I decided that I am a hypocrite-ass who is happy to be on the sidelines barking at the moon. Enough, I thought. Do something or shut your trap AND and your pen. Why did I do those two things? Why the emphasis on local?.... It happened during one of the early debates, I believe it was the first YouTube debate of a few months ago. I found myself thinking, "My God, I know the names of most of the Federal Executive Branch, but can't tell you who the hell the Mayor of my town is.." I can name 30 Federal Agencies, yet can't name 3 local ones. I can name details of the Federal budget but have no idea what is the budget of my city. Seriously. It is a microcosm of my prism. I am obsessed with national politics, the soap operish nature of the election cycles,... I am glued to talk radio and the cable talking heads,... and yet I found myself embarrassed at my inexplicably low knowledge of local and state politics. What the f**k is that all about?... Why am I, -and the nation for that matter-, so fixated on the at-large motions of politics. Tip O'Neill had it right. All politics, he said, is local. No shit.So I'm local-inizing myself (pardon the Bush-ism). I've been pounding the keyboard for more than a year, and while it has and will continue to be fun, cathartic, amusing, and challenging; I want to balance it with really doing something that I can sink my teeth into. See, I think in some way, we have become enamored with the macro. And while its entertaining and back-patting as all hell to be bantering with my fellow blogger-brethren across the land, the truth is, my little town is still knee deep in the problems that I've been bull-horning all along. So why not turn my bull-horn to myself, to my town? .... yes, I've been making noise, but in the wrong direction.!... Am I really changing anything?...I want to make a change right here, in little Gilroy, California. I've begun the mother of all subversive plans and if it takes me 10 years,so help me hades I am going to make a difference. National politics will always be there to piss on,... but if all politics are local, and if the preponderance of the electorate begins to fix their own backyards,... then the Feds will have to take notice, ... and if they don't, then we are really up shit creek. Memo to the red, purple and blue counties across America,... look at that map people, look at it! Fly-over country should not cede the the power of the future of America just because a few mega-populous states control a thir[...]



IT'S THE WIRING, STUPID! ~~~ (Part 1)

2008-12-09T17:12:17.466-08:00

Martin Luther King once mused about a world where a man can be judged by the content of his soul and not the color of his skin. Rodney King once asked "Can't we all just get along?"..... It has come to me that we have been waxing poetic about a Utopian society that is fixated on getting along, merging with the un-mergeable, talking to people you don't necessarily like, not celebrating (or acknowledging) the differences of races, cultures and habits and political correctness at the expense of honesty. I'm done with the Star Trek moment folks. Put your oxygen masks on:It is because we are "wired" differently, that the "cumbaya" moment of all of us joining hands in a chain link around the planet is never gonna happen.Let's talk about the brain wiring according to the House of Pain, shall we?WE can gloss it all we want, and we can espouse the virtues of being color-blind until Jesus lands in Jerusalem again, but I think the human being is naturally drawn to that which most closely resembles himself. Do you think it's an accident that most whites marry whites? most Asians marry Asians? Most Blacks marry Blacks? It is because all things being equal (and there are always the aberrations so pipe down!), we will always steer ourselves to "comfort circle" that our own kind brings. Why do gangs in prisons segregate according to race? Do you think its an accident or its written in the Warden's manual as they roll in? Nope, its as natural as going potty. As yourself this, if you were put into a room with 10 different groups of racial/cultural backgrounds, would you feel equally comfortable with all? or would you naturally have an affinity to that group which most closely mimics your ethnicity? That's not to say you would not mingle at will with others,... I'm just saying that in most cases we are drawn to those closest to our own reflection of looks, and we extrapolate from there to culture and behavior patterns. Political correctness be damned, I will say it for you. I call it innate racial preference, and in no way am I implying it is negative. It is what it is.I was listening to Limbaugh the other day as he bellowed on the fact that ANYBODY has the ability to improve his or her life, and thrive to become a wealth-earner in America blah-blah-blah. Rush, I love ya' babe, you are as entertaining as a fart in a jacuzzi; but let me put it to you this way. That kool aid has some amount of B.S. written in its code. Sure a good percentage of the population is just lazy and if prodded with the right incentive and motivation can certainly improve their financial situation greatly. But lets not kid ourselves, not everybody is wired to excel, not everybody is wired to want more that the regular guy next door. Not everybody was meant or wired to do what it takes to buy a house. That's why there are apartments! Seriously. Not everybody is wired to compete for the best life has to give. Some folks are just not materialistic and have a socialistic ethos of living. They believe you should just have enough to live comfortably -but no more-, with a small carbon footprint, and any other economic largess spewed out by the economy should be put to use for the greater good. These people are not necessarily bad or necessarily of altruistic intentions, they are just not wired to have the BMW, the 2,800 square foot stucco home, nor the 120 gig I-Pod. They are happy living a simple life and at times look condescendingly at those (like Rush) who thrive on competition on monetary success. Let's face it, society will always have to deal with that 10% of slugs, leeches and just lazy-asses who just don't k[...]



Bloggus Interruptus ...

2008-12-09T17:12:17.585-08:00

(image)
Im taking a few days to work on my MySpace.com page. I know... i know..., but its the central freeway and clearinghouse between my family and i so I promised them I would upload pics, and fill it with the usual bells and whistles. I can't do both this AND that now can I?.... ,

Never fear, the House of Pain will be back in about 48 hours.... or so...


(yeah, thats me on the pic... love that hair......)

coda ~



when you hit a wall? re-post...

2008-12-09T17:12:17.806-08:00

On July 2006 there was a great uproar over the incident of Qana, in Lebanon. The following is what happens when I happen to go to a blues club with ganja in the air. Did I go to bed? Nah... I just decided to post while under the influence of 2nd hand ganja smoke. Why the re-set? Oh, I don't know, I guess I feel like reliving a good laugh or two.... The posting was called:HEZBOLLAH HILLBILLIES IN ACTION !(Warning: The following excerpts were stolen from NSA high security computers underneath Fort Meade, Virginia. It depicts a conversation in Southern Lebanon between 2 Hezbollah freedom fighters on the eve of that terrible "massacre" of innocent woman and children at Qana. This conversation has been abbreviated to compensate for the differences in dialect and content. Persons on Prozac consumption, of queasy tummy's and hemorrhaging liberal views will find the content barbaric, myopic and in terrible taste,...... enjoy it!, as I know you still won't contain yourself from reading.)(The hills of southern Lebanon, north or Qana, 2130 hours GMT)Mustafa: "Kahlid!, praise be to Allah!, I have found a great place to launch holy rockets into the pit of the Jewish land's underbelly..."Khalid: "May his elegant blessing be passed to all our martyrs (kneeling and bowing, facing Cleveland, ...er Mecca)... where is this holy site you have found, Mustafa..?"Mustafa: "It is Qana, a perfect town for our undertaking Kahlid!, Allah will surely guide our hands like holy archers in the night,... we will see the lights of Haifa burn like the flames of Hades!... "Khalid: "But where?... Qana is but a small village, no holy warriors live there! Surely there must be a place of much safer passage, no? and what about the U.N. Forces...."Mustafa: " What U.N. Forces?... (laughs echoing in the night), they are but a token force with no authority to stop the movements of Hezbollah!, they can't even do their own mandate of dis-arming us much less preventing us from positioning ourselves there; those blue turtle-headed muppets! 2,000-strong they are and all but a paper tiger with no teeth,... You must have faith in my reasoning my un-circumcised Brother, Allah works in mysterious ways.."Khalid: "Then praise be to him, my twice-circumcised friend,.. for he has surely given you visions greater than I am able to see..."Mustafa: "We have already pre-positioned camera crews from CNN, Al-Jazeera and our own Musli-vision to cover the massacre to come. A reality show contract with MSNBC is sure to follow,... it will be a...."Khalid: "Massacre?... of what massacre do you speak of Mustafa?..."Mustafa: (with puzzled look at Khalid)"...why, the glorious massacre leveled to the woman and children of our safe house once the hateful Jews drop those 5000-pound bombs down our sorry Syrian asses!, what other massacre could it possibly be you nappy-headed Damascan?..."Khalid: (gulping...) "but why are we to perish?...why can't we live to tell the tale to our sons, to our daughters? to our Clitoris-less wives?... What is the logic of launching holy Katushkies from a home full of children and our venerable Muslim woman?..."Mustafa: "... Its KATYUSHA rockets you un-educated half-breed, .. and you call yourself Hezbollah!, don't you see? first we launch, then Israel's demonic telemetry software picks up the trajectory of the incoming rockets, and instantly vectors those Satanic American-made F-16's to our site virtually assuring may-sweeps like ratings to Al-Jazeera and CNN once the bodies of the babies are recovered,... Cristian Amanpour must be in a nippled frenzy wit[...]



The good ol' days ... (for some of us anyway...)

2008-12-09T17:12:17.934-08:00

On this Friday, I want to leave you with a little simplicity. I know you've seen this snippet before on the net, and probably in one of my postings of last year. Back then, one of the fine commenter's wondered why I was harking back to the days of "Ozzie and Harriet". Well, I'm really not. I know the days of yore were not always full of noble and good things, and we have certainly done many things as a society to correct some of the "bad" things that were considered "normal" or "American". We've come a long way, Baby. I simply want us to recall the days when we weren't as concerned about lead paint, smokers, and dozens of other things that have taken over our social psyche. I present to you.... THE WAY WE WERE...., and TO THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED THE 30’S, 40’S, 50’S, AND 60’S ...First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing and didn’t get tested for diabetes. Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paints (built HERE not in China..). We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking. As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pickup on a warm day was always a special treat. We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle (thus not contributing a jillion plastic bottles to waste). We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this. We ate cupcakes, bread and butter and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we weren’t overweight because WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING! We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K. We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem. We did not have Playstation’s, Nintendo’s, X-Box’s, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, no video tape movies, no surround sound, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms…..WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them! We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate worms and although we were told it would happen, we did not out vary many eyes, nor did the worms live in us forever. We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them!Little league had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that! The Idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law! This generation has produced some of the best risk takers, problem solvers and innovators ever! The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL! And YOU are one of them!CONGRATULATIONS! Send this on to others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our own good. Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn’t it?! There, I've had [...]



Argumentation 2.0

2008-12-09T17:12:18.084-08:00

Two of my recent additions to the Bullhornus-Maximus blogroll, Jen (Conservative Chic) and Wight Wing Wadical, have had a few postings as of late that have unraveled the passions of some of their commenter's. Wadical wrote an introspective piece on debating, and Jen wrote a piece questioning why people still don't believe in God. Both pieces put me to think about a a posting I wrote last year concerning the art of argumentation. I think I even synopsized the factors in my comments at Wadical's post. The more I thought about it the more it occurred to me that as much as schools, family and society teach us to read, write, spell, diagnose and think critically; there is not a general push to try and give people a road map on how to expose their thinking in a "language that we can all here understand.." (paraphrasing Malcolm X, there....). I think the art of argumentation is lacking even more so in the blogosphere; where it is so damn easy to get into a pissing contest (sometimes just for the fun of it) without even knowing it. So, if you allow me the hubris and arrogance of pretending I have this figured out, I present to you...TRUTH-PAIN's IDIOT's GUIDE TO MAKING YOUR POINT ON SOMEONES POST WITHOUT PISSING THEM OFF ...Number 1Know where the hell you are, and respect the "vibe" of the place. If you know the host is particularly sensitive to your sarcastic style (uh.. that means you T-P), then lay off the lumber and notch it down a little, will ya'? Nobody wants a Troll coming to his or her house and making a nuisance out of themselves. It makes the Blogger start putting up those stupid "moderation" filters. Number 2If you really don't have anything to add to a topic, then just read the thing (or not) leave a cursory "nice post" or "cool blog, I enjoyed reading this", and get the hell out. Don't try acting like you are well versed in the virtues of 7th century eastern philosophy if your literature of choice are Yugi-Oh comics or cliff notes on 90210 novels. Not that you can't participate, just stay within yourself. Believe me, I know what I am talking about. You can definitely get embarrassed real easily in some of these sites...Number 3Know the angle of argument the host or commenter is using as his "trump" card. By trial and error, I've come up with 7 little things that make up a persons prism : Emotional, Philosophical, Religious/Moral, Legal, logical and Political. Wadical allowed me the use of an example of how I would apply these parameters to a hot topic, allow me to provide it here:ABORTION: Emotionally, I am against it. To this very day, I suffer the loss of an unborn child I never knew, a face I never touched, and a name I never gave. Enough said. Partial birth? don't even come near me with that argument, I cant think of (and maybe some of you can) one good reason why this barbaric procedure should ever be done. Morally, I am against it. I cannot believe this to be good for anyone. Not the mother suffering the indignation of her heels tossed up on stirrups, not the surgeon performing the hoover maneuver; and certainly not the glob of cells we call a fetus (but conveniently, not a person). How can we save the ****ing whales, the trees, and every stray cat tossed about and selectively not give a shit about life growing inside a woman? The indignation of P.E.T.A railing for the ethical treatment of animals rings hollow when a society draws the moral line in protecting its own procreation process. Religiously, I am ambivalent. Although I am a believer in a[...]



It's Gonna' Be A Fun Four Years...., maybe

2008-12-09T17:12:18.189-08:00

(AP – Washington D.C. Police reported a man calling himself Truth-Pain broke into the National Archives building yesterday and got away with the transcripts of President Hillary Clinton’s minutes during the first few days after the election. The following is a portion of the contents.)(Principals: Hillary Rodham Clinton (POTUS), James Carville (Senior Adviser), George Stephanopoulos (Chief of Staff) and Bill Clinton (ex POTUS)Clinton: James, do we have the list for the inaugural Ball finalized?James: Yes, Ma’am, although some of the people that you initially excluded are coming anyway…Clinton: What? … who?James: Well, namely my wife Mary Matalin,….. (Looking sheepish)Clinton: Goddammit James! I told you I don’t want her there! I’m still hot over the bombs she lobbed at Bill while she was Cheney’s Aide,… can’t you bring another date?James: Madame President…… will all due respect, she is my wife! If I don’t bring her to this thing she will hang me by the balls,… er pardon my Cajun-ism, Ma’am…Clinton: Well, I have ovaries so I can’t sympathize with your predicament, but can you at least consider, oh, ..I don’t know,.. Gloria Steinman? Whoopi?... any of the boys from that Gay show on Bravo?.... and don’t even think about inviting Oprah. Obama can bring her ass as his date if he wants…James: Yes Ma’am, I’ll see what I can do. Moving on, we really have to finish our Cabinet Level candidates, and you know who has had my number on speed-dial for a week now…Clinton: Oh God,… is Biden still barking about wanting State?...George: Well, he has been in the Foreign Affairs Committee for decades. There is no denying he is well qualified…Clinton: Isn’t there anybody else whose mouth doesn’t motor as much?... I can just see him go full tilt for 30 minutes on the meetings, … between him and Bill they’ll be no oxygen left for anybody to say anything…James: Well, … he is from Delaware….Clinton: …Meaning?...George: (eyes lighting up) that’s right! Dover!! He’s Irish! let’s make him Ambassador to Ireland! His wife goes there twice a year,… and they have the best hair restoration surgeons in Europe! I think the State Dept. health plan covers it… Clinton: It does? How the hell....James: They passed that health-plan nugget at midnight back in '93..., don't think anybody's caught wind of it yet,....Clinton: oh Jeez..... ok, Done,… what’s next?James: I did not understand your memo on the White House Chef…. You and Mr. Clinton don’t like the food?Clinton: It’s not the food. Her boobs are too big and causing a distraction to Bill, … I want her out of here….George: Madame President…. (Shifting from one butt cheek to another) I don’t know if we can do that,.. If the press gets a hold of that?... we have another White House travel-gate mess in our laps…. Don’t you think we should move on to the National Security briefing?Clinton: Jesus George! Those undulating breasts are going to make Bill go back to heart surgery..., not to mention neck whip-lash, hence distracting me from reading the damn report!... don’t you think getting that ridiculously large rack out of Bill’s radar is a national security priority?....James: … you have a point,… George, don’t we have a NORAD station in Alaska somewhere that we can transfer her to?....George: (shifting to the first butt cheek), I'll get right on it…Clinton: What about the Parade? … Have we done the re-routing y[...]



ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL ...

2008-12-09T17:12:18.516-08:00

If you’ve read any of my postings relating to socio-political issues, you know what side of the fence (no pun intended) I veer towards in the immigration battle. My family is French, Spaniard, Italian, Puerto Rican and Jewish with the possibility of some African thrown in for good measure … (my apologies to the dead ancestors from Af-crap-istan that I forgot to mention). This nation is composed mostly of immigrants, and the only real Americans are the poor ****ers with Casino Indian Tribes as their claim to fame. Yep, even those funky white boys from around Virginia who are responsible for kicking Britain’s ass during the revolutionary war were, yep, sons or grandchildren of immigrants. Legally or illegally, that’s what they were. Can we all agree on that? (Amen! Goes the crowd!). They humped it over the Behring Straight, Rowed across the north Atlantic pond, came in slave ships, or dropped in from planet Lovetron, … immigrants the lot of them, I tell ya’… Can we all agree on that? A ton of them came “legally”, whatever that word means in the context of that point in history. A ton of them came illegally, or without any significant process pursuant to whatever laws of entry existed. Can we all agree on that? Good, now that I got that boring preamble out of the way,… let me tell you the theme of this post. I used to be for a fence on the border, not just the southern one, but the northern one too, what the hell. But now I feel that......A BORDER FENCE WON’T WORK! and the top 5 reasons why I changed my mind about it. (I can do that, right?)1. The imagery. I know, I'm wussying-out here, but I can't wrap my frontal lobe around the Statue of Liberty saying "Bring me your weak, your hungry and your tired" while at the same time building a massive wall to keep those very mentioned out, regardless of the legal implications. Keep reading please, my twisted logic will make sense in a few paragraphs.2. Show me a 25 foot high fence, and I'll show you a 26 foot ladder. Trust me on this one. I can jump any fence given enough motivation and desperation to do so. People climbed over the Berlin freaking’ wall in search of liberty, food, freedom etc,… many getting shot, maimed, killed, tortured or imprisoned in the process. Tell me that if you are on one side of the fence, your family is hungry and victim of your Government's corruption or political ethos; that you won’t do whatever it takes to feed your little ones, laws or no laws, borders or no borders. A barrier has never kept a highly motivated human from getting to wherever the hell he wants to go. Don’t believe me?... who the hell did the Great Wall of China ever deter from hoping over?... and that puppy is 1500 miles long, 25 feet, high, 30 feet thick at the bottom and 12 feet thick at the top,… do you think we have to moxy, money or sack to build a monstrosity like that? No, right? So what makes you think that a lesser-sized monolithic fence can work?3. The money. Sorry to be such as cheap-ass, tight-fisted Libertarian but I'll make a trade for ya'. I'll give you your 2,000 mile fence from Brownsville to San Diego, if you give me back the 4 Aircraft Carrier Groups (that are not needed), lop-off the ¾-ths of the intelligence community bureaucracy (see my intelligence post back in May of 2006), kill all federal and state taxes on gasoline,... forever!, and while you’re at it, let me invest all my FICA deductions into my 401K and i[...]



SUPPORT THIS! ...

2008-12-09T17:12:18.867-08:00

(Warning: The following posting may be hazardous to humor-challenged bloggers of all stars and stripes...)My newly-found friend, Jen (Go see her at the “other bullhorns” blog roll) had a posting on what exactly supporting our troops meant. She got nearly 50 comments from all angles of the political spectrum, each (myself included) trying to express what it means to them and why (to some) the other side is wrong, etc. I’m not gonna’ get into a heavy, deep-analysis diatribe here. Instead, I am just going to give you 5 things I support, and 5 things I don’t. They are not in any particular order of preference. And by the way, my definition of support is simple. As long as it supports the full package, is not too snug around my waist, and comes in all kinds of pretty colors… then I call it “support”.I SUPPORT…1. …every soldier that every laced up the combat boots, no matter the war, no matter the political climate, no matter the Monday morning quarterbacking denoting said war. This is not to say that if you committed a war crime or other atrocity you should not get what is coming to you, but independent of that, I support them. No matter how you feel about war, peace, non-foreign intervention (like me), we can all agree that these men and woman all know that there is a real possibility of them dying in the service of their country. How many of us (with the obvious exception of cops, fire fighters etc) can say we live day-to-day knowing we can be put in harms way at any moment? Besides, this man served in the military proudly, honorably and with dignity. The military professional, -in its majority-, is a good and decent person, regardless of the Generals and Politicos who drop him into quagmire scenarios.2. … the right to kill anybody who is aiming his cannon at my ass. Yes I am a non-foreign interventionist, but that doesn’t mean I am stupid, turn-the-other-cheek-fellow or a pacifist. I promise never to launch an attack on your lawn, but if I see you aim your water sprinkler at my fence, then I am going to go medieval with the super-soaker and lay waste to your damn orchids.3. ... the right of my Girlfriend to own 135 pairs of shoes, bangles, purses, hair scrunches or nail polish bottles, as long at it does not forcibly interfere with my right to buy 135 pairs of …… anything (see previous post if you don't get it...)4. … the office of the President of the United States. No, I did not vote for George W. Bush, but he IS my President Goddammit! Any efforts on my part to lessen the constitutionally-mandated powers of that office (emphasis in office) will lessen the effectiveness of any future President that I do happen to vote for. I did not vote for Clinton either, and although that he showed an amazing lack of judgment in some of his public (and private) missteps, he was still MY President Goddammit! (I love saying that word…)5. … your right to kneel down to any God that happens to win your soul at the moment. I am agnostic, so I don’t kneel down to anything except the whims of my daughter and to tie my shoe-laces. Seriously, you want to pray and believe in the Holy Trinity? or Allah? or Jehovah? Jesus? Mother Teresa? … Great! I could not be happier for you. I happen to believe that some of the teachings of Jesus are universal in their message of good, and his philosophy for loving your fellow man are noble, natural and wonderful. If you are relig[...]