Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Be Nice Because the TV Said So

I just saw a commercial about stopping "cyber-bullying."

No lie, it was a commercial telling people to not write bad things about other people or say bad things to them on the Internet.


We need a commercial to tell people not to be mean online?

How about a commercial telling people to get a grip?

The commercial showed a little girl saying that another little girl smelled bad and had greasy hair. And then that little girl was sad -- so we need to abolish cyber-bullying.

Or, the little girl could check and make sure she bathes and washes her hair, and then tell the other girl to shut the $&%# up.

Monday, July 30, 2007

The Past vs. the Present vs. the Future

So New Haven is involved in an educational program about slavery in New England.


Sure, there's historical information involved, but it seems silly to focus on the past when you need to be dealing with the present and preparing for the future.

I think everyone can agree that slavery was a bad thing. I also think it's safe to say we don't have to worry about that happening again (unless of course you're talking about the free world being enslaved by radical Muslims).

Look at New Haven -- the present stinks and the future doesn't look any better, so why put forth effort and resources into recalling the past?

I think I'm extra leery because I've heard too many people using slavery to excuse bad behavior around here. I've been told that things like rampant illegitimacy, drug use and crime are all effects of slavery.

But I don't buy it, so I bristle whenever the subject is raised.

Sure, 50 years ago I might have even bought it. But my views are based on what I see, and since the day I was born I've been on equal footing with people of all races. I've gone to integrated schools, lived in diverse neighborhoods ... and the only disparities I've seen are in the way people behave.

At this point, the crutch has to be kicked out, and people have to realize that if their life sucks, it's because they're not trying hard enough. Opportunities are there; in fact, in some cases there are more opportunities specifically for the people claiming to be the most downtrodden.

I can't follow it -- if there is a possibility that someone in your family 5 or 6 generations ago was a slave, how does that affect your ability to not have children you can't afford, out of wedlock with multiple men who don't take care of them? What does it have to do with whether or not you go to school every day?

I've seen people of all races make something of their lives, and they weren't extra-special. They simply did what people were supposed to do. That's pretty much all it takes now. You can make it in this country without even knowing the language.

I just wish more emphasis was put on making a better tomorrow instead of talking about yesterday, because that isn't going to help.

Bleeding Hearts, Bloody Hands

The Taliban has taken hostage 23 Christian aid activists from South Korea.

They are demanding the release of imprisoned Taliban militants; so far these followers of the "religion of peace" have killed 2 of the hostages, one the group's pastor.

According to news reports, most of the Christian workers are women:

The rebels had also refused a government demand to release the 16 female
captives on the grounds it was against Islamic and Afghan custom to take women
as prisoners and hostages, negotiator Mahmood Gailani said.

This is yet another prime example of the behavior that bleeding-heart liberals are going to continue to ignore in the worldwide fight against Islamic fanatics, being too busy trying to come up with one more way to bitch about the fact that John Kerry lost the election by pretending he didn't.

Here's a note to those people around the world that are still clueless: This is not about religion. This is about control, subjugation, oppression. Free people would not choose to live under the rule of someone who dictates what they can say, think, feel, wear, eat and believe. Rules are one thing, total domination is another.

If people in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran were free, they would choose to not be under the thumbs of the militants. That's why I earlier told you to pay attention to Pakistan. The people in Pakistan are not bound by this bizarre "Islamic" law, so the fanatics have no power, so they want to destroy the freedom that allows people to not follow their rules.

Get it yet? All the ultra-libs who want to "understand the culture" and "respect the traditions" are so full of crap -- and themselves -- that they completely ignore the obvious: There is no culture in the fanatics' behavior, there is no tradition in their violence. They are violent just to be violent. They kill because they are animals. They murder women and children without purpose, without cause and without remorse.

They would murder you and your family if you let them get close enough.

How many more executions of innocent people do we have to watch before we do what needs to be done, before we fight the way we are being fought against? I believe the extremists can be beaten, but they have to be killed. Period. A dead extremist is a harmless extremist.

It's no longer a question of whether or not it's right, or whether there is an option. There is no option. It's become plain to me, and to thousands of other people, that there is a danger greater than disease or famine, and it has shown its face.

You must follow the Quaran like the fanatics supposedly do, and kill your enemy where he stands.

If not, you're as good as dead.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Gimme Back My Bullets

According to a story in the Register, gun sale and inquiries have spiked in the wake of the Cheshire murders. Average people are looking to arm themselves for protection.

I find it sad that people have to have a deadly weapon around just to make themselves feel safer; but I'm not opposed to it. I've always felt that if the criminals have guns, we might as well have them, too.

I know about all the arguments put forth by anti-gun advocates, and, believe me, I agree with all them. Guns are dangerous -- accidents happen, people get hurt.

But, sorry guys, that's just too bad -- our society has gotten so awful that we've come to this, and trying to make laws that try and stop law-abiding citizens from having access to firearms isn't going to solve the problem.

I mean, come on, really -- anti-gun folks make it sound like if all the average citizens suddenly gave up their guns, things would be better. But how the heck does that make any sense?

The very idea that a person bent on committing a crime with a gun would (a) pay attention to gun laws or (b) suddenly decide not to because his victims would be unarmed is preposterous.

I can't stress this enough, and it's been said by a thousand people a thousand times: Gun laws only apply to people who obey laws.

My big concern about a gun in the house is getting to it when I need it. It's not like you can carry it around all the time ... I would imagine most people would keep it near the bed, but what if someone busts in in the middle of the day when you're across the house?

I guess the easiest answer is to have guns all over your house.

When I used to live by myself I decorated my apartment with all sorts of weaponry -- a crossbow, knives and swords ... even a blowgun. I thought it looked pretty cool, and having at least 1 deadly weapon within arm's reach no matter where you were in the house was pretty sensible, I thought. (I even had a really nice 12-inch dagger stashed behind the sink in the bathroom, just in case.)

And it's not because I was paranoid, even though it was a pretty sketchy neighborhood. I just figured that if you were going to have a weapon it had to be handy.

I would tell anyone thinking about getting a gun to go ahead and get one. But I think a better first step would be a super-duper house alarm system, and maybe some self-defense lessons. The gun would be a bonus, but you'd have some options and some skills that could buy you time ... to go get your gun.

It's simple: Anti-gun people should quit griping about people having guns, and put their efforts into reducing the need for the guns. I doubt they'd succeed, but at least then they'd understand what the hell is really going on.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Locked Tight

In the wake of recent criminal events, people are being reminded to lock their doors and windows.

Smart advice. But it also makes me angry.

Just because a door is open doesn't mean a stranger has the right to go through it.

An old girlfriend of mine left her car running in front of a West Haven convenience store one day while she went in to buy a pack of smokes, so someone drove off with her car.

A family in Cheshire leaves a door unlocked and they wind up raped and murdered.

At an apartment I used to live in in West Haven, anything that wasn't nailed down -- from patio furniture to outdoor lights to mail -- would disappear immediately.

It reminds me of a scene in the movie Full Metal Jacket, where a drill instructor is berating a soldier for leaving his foot locker unlocked. He tells the soldier, "If it wasn't for people like you there'd be no thievery in the world."

That always intrigued me -- Because there is an opportunity for crime, a crime has to be committed?

It would seem better, to me, to take an alternative approach to such invasion of personal property, and make the punishment so severe that the opportunity for crime would be unappealing because of what would happen if you get caught.

Sure, a door to a house is unlocked, so you have the opportunity to go in and steal something -- but is it worth it if you'll lose your hand?

Which would a would-be car thief value more -- the car or his eyes?

I think you know by now what I would take from a rapist -- would they consider it a worthwhile gamble?

It's just sad that the answer to crime seems to be to keep yourself in a fearful lockdown all the time.

Doesn't it seem unfair that the innocent people are the ones who have to live in fear?

A Quick Thought About Britney and Lindsay

Part of my job each night is to put together the Register's People in the News section on A2. Every night I hope for some decent news out of Hollywood, interesting tidbits about who's doing what (or whom, as the case may be) ... I try to make it different each day, but there are a couple of people that seem to pop up on the AP almost daily.

Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears are mentioned far too much in our People column, I know -- but it's not my fault, that's what the AP puts out for us to choose from, and the two entertainers are, sadly, also what seems to be popular at the water coolers, so I run them.

Britney is always in the paper because, well, she's a freak -- like Michael Jackson, her behavior is just so out of control that people can't help but stop and stare. I don't know why she's so messed up; maybe it's a case of a person with no real talent suddenly becoming famous thanks to the entertainment industry's efforts to convince the world she is, and a gullible world ready to eat it up.

Lindsay makes the paper because people for some reason like to watch Hollywood stars spiral out of control, and it's even more popular reading when the person is so oblivious to the fact that what they do is wrong -- I think people like to be able to cite an example of someone who thinks they don't have to play by the rules because of who they are. Right now, Lindsay is facing new drunken driving and drug charges, before she even resolved her prior DUI case.

Now, I can't really comment on Lohan's acting skills -- it just so happens that nothing she's been in has ever really interested me enough to actually watch. But her behavior bothers me because it shows the disparities in how people are treated when they have money and fame.

If you read the newspapers at all, you see what happens to people when they're caught driving drunk, drinking while underage, or carrying drugs.

If a New Haven kid is caught driving without a license, drunk, and has cocaine on him, he's going to jail.

So why shouldn't entertainers be held to the same standards as normal folks? Shouldn't they be held to higher standards because of the money and fame? I mean, if someone has opportunities and privileges not afforded to the commoners, shouldn't they face stiffer penalties -- or even the same penalties, for goodness' sake -- because they had so many options available?

If Lindsay Lohan wants to go out and get wasted, fine. There's got to be someone who could give her a lift; I'm sure she can afford a cab. And even drug use - when you've got enough dough to buy a couple of houses anywhere in the world, can't you go to one and do whatever it is you're going to do, rather than carrying it all over town?

It's all made worse by the fact that Britney, Lindsay and others have hordes of young people watching them, ready to emulate their every moves, and this is what they get. I'm not saying that fame automatically obligates you to be a role model, but at least show your followers you can act like a decent human being.

It just seems sad that the same behavior puts one person in jail and another on the Tonight Show.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Anyone for a Mob?

The arrest of the 2 suspects in Monday's killings in Cheshire has me thinking ...

How come we don't see mobs anymore?

Is it that we've become too "civilized" to gather, torches and pitchforks raised, to hold bad people accountable?

Is it civilized to waste time and money and valuable resources to fight sleazy lawyers exploiting loopholes in the penal code just so we can incarcerate vile criminals, clothe them and feed them and give them medical care when we can't even muster the strength to give those things to good, law-abiding folks?

Is it civilized to do that, then have the guys get out on parole and commit more heinous acts even though we put them somewhere where they were to be rehabilitated? (I'm not a big believer in rehabilitation, by the way -- it may work for a substance abuse problem or anger management, but I think some things are just hardwired into our brains, period.)

The only mob action I can think of in recent years are 2 incidents, the locations of which I can't recall -- in one, a driver was stricken, went off the road and almost hit some people, so a mob quickly formed and beat the hell out of the guys in the car. I don't recall if they killed either of the men. In the other incident, recently, a driver bumped a kid who walked into the street, not injuring the child, but the mob pulled him out of the car and beat him anyway, and when the passenger got out to help his friend, he was killed by the mob.

Those instances were crap, as far as I'm concerned, and those mobs were nothing more than irrational behavior.

So why am I having such a hard time getting people angry about things that really matter?

A couple of years ago when 4 New Haven teenagers carjacked, gang-raped and tried to murder a UNH student here in West Haven, I was appalled that I couldn't get a lynch mob together to string these 4 scumbags from a light post. The same 4 kids, before being caught, drove around New Haven with a gun, taking shots at random people for about a week.

Sadly, I didn't have the courage or resources to do it alone ... which I guess is a flaw of my own, something I have to work on.

Because, honestly, I think vigilante justice is quite underrated. I believe vigilantes scare would-be criminals much more than police do, because the vigilante is not constrained by bureaucracy or bleeding-heart demands for understanding and compassion. If a rapist is caught by the police, they usually face charges that don't reflect the severity of the crime; if a rapist is caught by a vigilante, they would just be eliminated.

I think a community can benefit from mob mentality. It brings people together to make their communities better by weeding out the bad people.

And togetherness is good, especially if an ethnically diverse neighborhood can come together to deal with the criminals in their midst. A common goal, something to take pride in at the next block party.

And, a neighborhood with a reputation for hunting down and executing rapists, molesters and murderers is likely a safer neighborhhood.

Just a thought.

Embrace the Death Penalty

Here's a little story about 2 ex-cons who allegedly pulled a home invasion in Cheshire early Monday.

The details aren't out yet, but the man of the house was beaten up pretty severely, and the man's wife and 2 daughters are dead and his house lit on fire.

Authorities have not yet disclosed if the wife and children died in the fire or before, or if they were assaulted physically and/or sexually.

Cops caught 2 suspects a short time later.

So, I guess their stint(s) in prison didn't rehabilitate them the way everyone keeps saying prison is supposed to?

"Home invasion" is probably my biggest fear, because you're taken off guard. I hope and pray that if it ever happens I'll be able to kill the people who break in before they harm my family or me.

Every one of you out there should want these 2 guys -- if, of course, they're the right guys -- to swing from the end of a rope.

If you don't think people that can do this kind of stuff should be eliminated, then there's something wrong with you.

Some criminals are just silly wankers, so I believe the death penalty should be used judiciously, but I believe we should use it. And, I'm tired of the arguments that some of these people whine about, even when there is no doubt that the suspect is guilty of a heinous crime:

"It's not punishment, it's revenge" - Yeah? So what? What exactly is wrong with revenge? Maybe if the country embraced revenge a little more, there'd be fewer crimes because you know if you get caught, someone will extract revenge.

"It's not a deterrent" - How do you figure? I can tell you for certain that it deters that criminal from doing it again. Whether or not it deters other people from committing crime is something that I don't think you can gauge, other than asking people who don't commit heinous crimes -- but want to -- why they don't commit them. Even if you could prove it isn't a deterrent, so what? The goal of the death penalty is not to scare would-be criminals, it's to get rid of the actual criminals.

"It makes us no better than the criminal" - Actually, this argument is just a load of crap. Yes, we are better than the criminal because we're not criminals. Apples and oranges, just a diversion. Again, the goal is not moral superiority, the goal is elimination of the threat. Execution is the result of their action, not a comparable act.

"You could execute an innocent person" - Thanks to DNA testing, if we use the death penalty sparingly and carefully, I think we're OK on this one, too.

Look, it's simple. Some people are really, really bad. Nothing will ever change them. So, before you lock them up and make the rest of society pay for everything they need for the rest of their lives, just spend the $50 to off them. Limit the appeals, cut the crap with the conniving lawyers, and just do it.

I have a whole spiel about how much I hate lawyers, but that will have to wait.

I'll leave you with this: What do you have when you have 10,000 lawyers buried up to their necks in sand?

Not enough sand.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Chris Shays Needs to Learn Manners

Connecticut Congressman Christopher Shays, R-4, had an altercation with a Capitol police officer.

It seems Shays was bent out of shape because the officer would not allow Shays to violate Capitol policy with some constituents by using an entrance constituents are not allowed to use, so Shays argued with the officer and -- while reports are vague -- somehow became physical with the officer.

I'm not sure, because I wasn't there, exactly how he became physical. Some reports say he grabbed the officer, some say he grabbed the officer's name tag ...

The officer told his boss who talked to Shays, and now Shays is all apologetic, going on and on about how great the Capitol police are.

This is how our elected representative acts? At work, no less? Too bad he doesn't get that fired up on the floor, he might be more effective.

I guess it's fitting, really, because I meet too many people around here with that same "I deserve special treatment" attitude, and they're not even elected officials, just regular jamokes.

But, regardless of how sorry he is now, he's lucky he didn't get knocked on his butt by the officer, who showed great restraint, because I know I don't have the tolerance for that kind of junk.

A Book You Can Judge By Its Cover

I just read a story about a guy in a supermarket who ran down an old lady with his shopping cart because he was bent at standing behind her in line.

You have to see this guy's picture.

I know, I know, you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover -- but look at this guy! Can you honestly tell me he doesn't look like a psycho?

I don't care how superficial it makes me sound -- I see a guy that looks like this, I walk the other way.

America: The Nicest Captors

So President Bush signed an order concerning how terrorism suspects are to be treated.

It prohibits cruel and inhumane treatment, humiliation and denigration of prisoners' religious beliefs.

Isn't that nice?

I'm torn -- on one hand, I'm happy that when some people call America "barbaric," this type of action shows they're wrong.

On the other hand, it seems shameful that our country's interrogation techniques are subject to a legislature and a public that have no idea what's it actually like to interrogate these guys.

I have to wonder if the people that criticize U.S. interrogation techniques really realize what kind of information it is we're trying to get from these guys, information that could prevent a terrorist attack against this country.

The whole Abu Ghraib scandal was a farce -- no one died, no one that we know of even got hurt. Terrorism suspects were scared, humiliated and degraded.

And people in this country called that torture!

You know what torture is? Cutting a person up, or stabbing them or burning them or electrocuting them, or killing them.

Ever hear that "sticks and stones" line, folks?

And their defense is, "Do you want America to stoop to its enemies' level?"

Yes! Yes I do! Because our enemies will win if we keep pussyfooting around like this, fighting a half-hearted "war" against an enemy that does not stop until they are dead.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Girls, Please Stop Going Wild

Can I just say how much I despise the "Girls Gone Wild" commercials?

If you haven't seen them, then either you don't watch television or you're blind.

In one hour on Comedy Central, this commercial came up 8 times. The commercials are pretty pornographic, which in and of itself doesn't offend me.

In fact, quite the opposite.

I'm a normal heterosexual male, so the idea of pretty college girls getting naked and doing all sorts of filthy stuff is a pretty fun concept.

What bothers me, aside from the fact that the commercials are just so overplayed, is that the sheer number of these videos leads me to believe that there are just too many empty-headed sluts out there more than willing to be exploited.

People wonder why society is in such shambles, and I can't help but wonder if the fact that it's somehow become "hip" to be a dirty, nasty trollop has anything to do with it. It has to.

For years growing up, I was taught that I wasn't supposed to objectify women, that they were more than just sexual playthings. But, suddenly, now I'm being told the exact opposite.

I almost thank God that I'm not an adolescent in these times, because I would feel obligated to find all these girls that are going wild, and go wild with them.

Let's be honest -- women control how sexuality in society works. Men are always going to be pigs, that's just the way we are. Never going to change. What keeps the fabric of society in check is how many women reward that behavior by allowing it to work, to actually result in getting to "go wild."

If woman required men to at least hide their piggishness, society would at least look less debauched -- the filth would be behind closed doors where it belongs. But when there are thousands of girls just being, well, whores, that's what men are going to think women are now.

Where is NOW when it matters? Do they feel this crap empowers women?

The behavior in these videos is not only destructive to society, but I feel it promotes sexual abuse of women.

I don't think this stuff should be banned, and I'm not a prude -- but let's go back to treating smut as such, because to not do so will have only negative consequences.

Poor J.K. Rowling

There is actually a petition out there - no lie - to try to get author J.K. Rowling to write more "Harry Potter" books, as she has said the one coming out this weekend is her last in the series.

I wish I had a magic wand so I could stab myself in the eye with it.

Are you serious? A petition? To try and force an author to write something because you say so?

What, is she suddenly going to be the villain if she takes Harry away from you?

Aside from the fact that these folks must have way too much free time, if a writer doesn't write from within, why would you want to read it, anyway?

I've read books I like - J.D. Fitzgerald's "The Great Brain" series has been one of my favorites since childhood - but I wouldn't try to force the guy to write more just because I like it.

I don't even have a closing, the whole thing is just so stupid.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Nip It in the Bud, Part 1: Playing With Fire

Here's a pretty maddening story about 2 teenage girls from California who poured flammable liquid on a kitten and lit it on fire.

They were found out by some passers-by who heard the kitten yowling and the girls laughing.

The kitten is still alive and is being treated at an animal hospital.

To me, people that can do something like this to an animal -- this isn't like a kid shooting a bird with a BB gun -- people that can do something like this to a kitten, well, they're exhibiting something wrong in their core.

The thing is, if you have something like that deep down inside you, that's not a good sign -- you're absolutely flawed -- and it's not something that any punishment can eradicate. Like rapists and child molesters, this means you're simply not made right.

I would bet any amount of money that, if this is what they can do, if this is what they can laugh at, then they most likely will at some point do something very, very bad to someone.

I've already said that I like animals more than humans -- and this is a perfect example of why.

Given the opportunity, I think I would off these 2 kids without losing much sleep.

So before anyone even asks -- yes, I value the life of a kitten more than I value the lives of these 2 human.

I'd have to answer to my maker for it at some point, and He'd probably be angry, but I feel I'd be making the world a better place, and that's really the ultimate goal, isn't it?

War of Words: "Terrorists" = "Muslims"?

I was watching cable news this afternoon, and there was a segment on terrorism in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq, and the potential for terrorism here in the United States. And I got to thinking ...

Check it -- I took the newscaster's narration and replaced "terrorists" with "fanatical Muslims," "terrorism" with "radical Islam" and "suicide bombers" with "suicidal Muslims" ... and you know what? It was still completely accurate.

Go ahead, try it. Go to any news story about terrorism and replace the words, and the story stays the same.

The fact that these terms can be synonymous, doesn't that alarm you?

It should.

It seems Islam is the only religion that will kill you for not doing what they tell you.

I've read parts of the Quran (translations, though, so I have to take that into account), and it's pretty violent. Some people will tell you the Bible is violent, too, but I haven't seen any murderous Bible-thumpers lately.

Left-wingers will tell you to fear the "Christian right," because Christian right-wingers oppose things like sexual deviance and abortion, but I'm not worried about Oral Roberts trying to cut my head off.

When the Jehovah's come to my door trying to get me to convert, I can politely tell them to get lost and they don't blow up my house.

And you can tell me that Timothy McVeigh was a terrorist, too, but he wasn't. He was nothing more than a nutjob who blew up a building because he was pissed off. He didn't have some religious ideology behind his act, he was just a nut.

It's only these radical Muslims that are dangerous in the core of their belief system. And, the worst part is that I don't even know how long I'll have to use the word "radical," because I haven't heard a whole lot of "non-radical" Muslims reject such behavior -- at least not loudly enough, and not to the right people.

All I know is that if Islam truly is not supposed to be violent, then average Muslims better start speaking up and help us eradicate the bad ones, because if full-blown jihad breaks out I'm not asking questions before swinging my sword.

A Quick Question for Democrats

Just a quick question for the folks who voted in all the "We will end the war in Iraq" Democrats in the last election ...

Your guys got in. ... so why is there still a war in Iraq?

Suckers. They fed you a line, and you believed it. They wanted to get the jobs, the power and the money, and figured they'd exploit your antiwar feelings to get the votes.

And it worked! So, expect more of the same. These guys sure know how to herd the sheep.

Let's be honest -- if they really wanted to end the war, these lawmakers could have come up with a plan to do it by now, one that could garner bipartisan support, but then they'd have to deal with how screwed-up this country is, and they don't want that. The war -- and antiwar sentiment -- is the only thing that keeps people from noticing that the left has no idea how to run a capitalist society. They'll tell you that everyone should have this, and everyone should have that, and all for free -- without mentioning that you still have to pay for it. (Well, some of us have to pay for it -- and we have to pay for other people's, too!)

I read somewhere that Cindy Sheehan (the "peace mom" who said she wanted to go back in time and kill George Bush when he was a baby!) would run against Nancy Pelosi if the war didn't end. I can't wait, that race would be funny to see, because Sheehan might actually win -- far-left Dems have absolutely no loyalty if you disagree with them about anything -- look how quickly they turned on their old buddy Joe Lieberman to embrace filthy rich "I have only one talking point" Ned Lamont because Lieberman wasn't totally opposed to war (and Bush).

Heavy-Duty Rescue

Here's a neat little story about a 500-pound man who went tubing on the St. Croix River in Wisconsin.

It seems the man's tube went flat (no kidding?) ... when he tried to walk to shore he had chest pains, then hurt his knee and ankle after he slipped on some uneven rocks.

Because he weighs 500 pounds, it took rescuers 12 hours to get this guy out of the water.

At one point they tried a hovercraft, but it couldn't lift the man's weight.

So a group of men made a raft out of wood and 3 canoes. But there wasn't enough water for it to float.

So they used that contraption as a stretcher, but the man's weight made it difficult for the rescuers to pick him up and carry him -- figure a wet 500-pound guy, plus the wood and 3 canoes ... that's heavy.

So the story says 40 to 50 rescuers took turns carrying the guy 2 feet at a time until they reached an area that was deep enough to float him the rest of the way.

Wow. How bizarre.

This guy is only 39 years old, so I guess the first thing I want to know is whether his weight is voluntary or medical. If it's medical, then end of story.

But if it's voluntary, then (a) that's just shamefully disgusting, and (b) I want to know what happens now: Is he so mortified by making the national news that he'll drop a few pounds? Does he skip any more outings and become one of those obese recluses that just stays in bed and grows larger?

I'll keep an eye out for more info.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Pointless Legislation - Part 1

According to a story in Monday's New Haven Register, the New Haven's City Plan Commission is considering an ordinance "that would ban the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags in city-based supermarkets and retail pharmacies."

We've all seen plastic shopping bags floating in the wind around the city, getting caught in trees and power lines, and basically looking awful.

But this whole plan is nothing more than a waste of time, from the first thought to the last signature. The proposal was introduced by Aldermen Roland Lemar, D-9, of East Rock and Erin Sturgis-Pascale, D-14 of Fair Haven, Nathan Bixby, president of the Network for a Sustainable New Haven and Daniel Sumrall, a former Green Party candidate for Congress.

Nice work, guys. I'm glad to see you're working to make New Haven a better place by ignoring the juvenile delinquents, murderers, thieves and other social misfits,the failing schools, choked roadways and high taxes, and going after the real evil -- plastic bags.

First and foremost, the Progressive Bag Alliance (no joke, it's a real group!) says, "It's important to note that plastic bags are 100 percent recyclable."

But, Alderman Lemar notes, people aren't recycling their bags.

So the solution is to ban them? What kind of nonsense is that?

Plastic bags are quick, easy, cheap and they have handles. You get them from the store, and each week you can stick them either in your recycling bin or put them in the recycling bin at the supermarket. (The city's Shaws market has them.)

Let's not forget that the reason plastic bags were introduced in the first place was to slow deforestation. The bags, if properly recycled, were more environmentally sound.

The fact that this group of reformers wants to compensate for city residents' laziness by banning plastic bags is indicative of the root of social deterioration -- instead of telling people to do what they're supposed to do, remove the option for everyone.

So because of morons that can't figure out how to recycle a bag, none of us can use them. How come smart people who do what's supposed to be done always have to suffer because of people that don't? Why must we always conform to the lowest common denominator?

A final thought, and the part that made me laugh myself off my chair, was this line by Sumrall -- a former congressional candidate (how frightening is that?):

"If New Haven passes this ordinance, we will be ahead of the curve and raise our
city's national profile in a positive way."

Seeing as the last 2 things to put the city in the national spotlight were open arms for illegal aliens and the Guardian Angels having to come here because of the rampant crime, I guess he figures anything is better.

The Health Care Debate is Making Me Sick

As politicians battle for party nominations and Michael Moore fights to remain relevant, one of the big issues of the day is health care in the United States.

The goal of Moore, and of many of the Democratic presidential hopefuls, is government-funded health care for everyone in the country.

I agree, the current state of health care is a farce - Many poor people can't afford health insurance at all and even people above the poverty line, myself included, have a hard time paying the premiums.

But the idea of putting the federal government in charge of the system is flawed.

The most obvious flaw is that someone still has to pay for it.

Whenever anyone suggests the government should cover the cost of anything, they seem to ignore the fact that the money has to come from somewhere. The government doesn't have a job that produces income -- it simply takes money from working Americans like you and me.

Socialized medicine wouldn't reduce our health-care costs, it would only reassign where our payments go, and would likely increase our costs because instead of paying a premium for our own insurance, we would then be required to pay toward everyone's health care.

That wouldn't be so bad if everyone who received from the system was paying into the system, but that's not the case. Socialized medicine essentially means that some people pay and some people don't, but we all get the same product.

Totally unfair. Why should I pay for anyone else? Call me selfish, tell me I'm not compassionate, I don't care. It's a simple matter of sink or swim. I choose to swim, and anyone else I have to tow around is an unnecessary burden.

Why should I be penalized for educating myself and working? If I work to be able to afford things, why should I have to work harder so someone else can have things, too?

Another flaw: what constitutes necessary health care?

Even if you subscribe to the idea that everyone, regardless of whether they pay into the system, should get aid for illnesses, you have to ask yourself where the line is drawn as to what is medically necessary.

Some people have argued that sex-change operations should be considered medically necessary for people with gender-identity issues.

That's rich. So, I should give up money that I earn myself so Bob can become Barb? I'd rather save the money and let Bob deal with his issues on his own.

I feel the same way about "addiction services" -- someone else's addiction is not my problem, and being a weak-willed person who can't control their own behavior is not a medical problem, it's a character flaw. I shouldn't have to lose any of my income because some junkie or crackhead can't get it together and act like a responsible person. I've known enough people who have kicked bad habits to know that it can be done without medical intervention.

Oh, and you also hear time and time again about making sure "our children" are insured. Sorry, I don't have any children, can't afford to have them. How about a public service announcement just telling poor folks to stop having kids they know damn well they can't support. It's not hard to not have children.

I could go on and on, but even I'm getting tired of hearing myself talk about it.

Bottom line is this: If the government has to have any role in the health-care crisis, it should be to simply regulate prices on insurance, services and drugs so that the average working person can afford them. If they can do it with the electric company, they can do it with the insurance industry.

There's no reason a doctor should be allowed to charge $300 to look in your ear. When my father died, the hospital billed my mom around $5,000 for the in-town ambulance ride (and some CPR that obviously didn't work).

Here's a beauty: I hurt my back and, even with my $430-a-month health insurance plan, still had to shell out $100+ for my doctor to write a referral slip so another doctor could write out a prescription for a muscle relaxer and a painkiller. Mind you, no one actually did anything medical - the pills did that. These 2 doctors each got paid hundreds of dollars for writing a note.

You know, I'm not really interested in giving anything to people who don't work. The only people we should give free health care to should be military veterans and their immediate families.

I have to stop now, I'm giving myself an ulcer, and I can't afford it.

Friday, July 13, 2007

A Weighty Issue: New Study, Old News

A group of Yale researchers, in conjunction with researchers from Hawaii, have reviewed data from the past 40 years and concluded that overweight and obese kids are stigmatized by peers, teachers and even parents.

They say overweight kids are for the most part sad, depressed and even suicidal.

They say the the quality of life for an obese child is comparable to that of a child with cancer.

Researchers also say that, with estimates that in the near future at least 50% of kids in the U.S. will be fat, it's paramount that society find a way to protect the kids from poor treatment -- being teased, ostracized, left out of games -- so that their self-esteem does not suffer. Some examples include having teachers assign partners in games, rather than letting children choose their teammates, and stressing overweight kids' strengths so that they feel good about themselves.

The AP news story even cited one woman who had been picked on as a child for being fat, and she says the treatment affected her her whole life. (Incidentally, they ran a current photo of her, and she still is overweight.)
For those with medical conditions, I have sympathy. They are stigmatized by something they cannot control, and that's unfortunate.
But for many people, being overweight is simply a result of poor choices.
Some people are automatically going to give me hard time, tell me I'm mean and persecuting fat people. But I don't look at it that way, because I was the fat kid.

I was that kid who got picked last for kickball because I couldn't run -- and when I did, there were so many different flabby ... sections ... going in so many different directions that it would make everyone laugh.
I was that kid who in the sixth grade had bigger breasts than any of the girls in my class. (On a male, they're called "moobs," by the way.)

Most importantly, I was that kid sucking down the Twinkies and ice cream, watching TV and reading more than running and climbing.

At 36 years old, my pants are still 2 sizes smaller than when I was 13 -- and I'm about 10-15 pounds overweight now. You do the math; I was a tubster.

So I feel OK being critical of the people who choose to be fat, because I know for a fact it can change. Granted, it's really difficult. But it is possible. For me, I simply got tired of being a lard ass and getting picked on, so I stopped eating boxes of Mini Butterfingers and bags of marshmallows, and made it a point to be physically active.
I often wonder if nature intended for people to be fat. Watch the Discovery Channel - how many fat animals do you see? The difference is food for fuel vs. food for enjoyment, I think. I'll be the first to admit that it's much more fun to watch CSI and eat cookies than it is to bust your hump at the gym. I could live on cookies and ice cream (Double-Stuf Oreos and mint chocolate chip, if anyone is planning on sending me a gift basket). But I don't, because I know what would happen.

I gave up candy 6 months ago because I lack the willpower to eat it in moderation. (One of the benefits of adulthood - you can spend $20 on candy and eat it all at once in a chocolate frenzy!)

Voluntarily being obese is no better than smoking or using drugs - you're polluting your body and creating unnecessary health risks.

So, the Yale researchers who want to find a way to make fat kids' lives less miserable should simply help the kids lose some weight, like Shaq does.
They say everyone is beautiful on the inside. Well, we all know that some people are just plain evil inside, so right there it falls apart. But, even if, shouldn't you still try and do what you can with the outside?

Pay Attention to Pakistan

Even if you're not really interested in international goings-on, you need to pay close attention to what's happening in Pakistan right now.

Some antiwar activists, who try to spin every example of radical Islam's violent, irrational behavior as nothing more than a justified response to Bush's foreign policy, need to look at what's going on in Pakistan, because it shows just how violent these followers of the "religion of peace" really are.

These fanatical savages are calling for jihad, holy war, against General Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan's president, after the confrontation between government forces and armed radicals at the Red Mosque in Islamabad.

Syed Munawwar Hasan, a religious leader, told followers: "Musharraf is going an
extra mile to implement the agenda of America in this part of the world."
What agenda? Not allowing religious fanatics terrorize innocent people?

Two suicide attacks were reported on Thursday. Police on Friday raided a
house in the northwestern town of Dera Ismail Khan and arrested three suicide
bombers who were preparing for attacks, said Niaz Quereshi, a police spokesman.
Quereshi said five so-called suicide vests, 100 mortar shells, two rockets and
one landmine were seized.
How much of this do you have to see before you realize that radical Islamists' first and only response to everything they disagree with is murder and mayhem?

It amazes me that there's a crowd in this country that refuses to acknowledge the bloody nature of these people, while calling the frat house-like antics at Abu Ghraib "torture" and condemning their own countrymen. It amazes me that these "activists" blame America for the fact that these animals are of such low caliber that the only thing they know how to do is pray and kill people.

But the thing that amazes me most is that some people are so anti-Bush that they completely ignore the fact that these fanatical Muslims have plainly stated numerous times that they are going to kill us all, and instead call recognition of such statements "scare tactics" and "Islamophobia."

Here's the bottom line: Pay attention to Pakistan, because if you continue to ignore these ignorant, bloodthirsty killers when they show the world day after day after day that they are at war with you, and me, and every other free person in the world, then they will eventually come here and kill you and everyone you love.

But you can tell them, as they saw through your neck, that you marched for peace.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Help! The Liberals Are After Me!

My inbox tonight has at least 4 spam e-mails referring me to some various Web sites.

But these aren't your everyday 'grow your manhood' or 'hot girls' spam e-mails.

From the content on the sites they link to, these are some far-left folks throwing serious political propaganda.

So, I'm just taking a stab here: I've mentioned things in this blog that could be considered of a more conservative bend, so suddenly I have these things coming to me -- at me, it feels like -- that talk about war crimes and impeachment and how there's blood all over Bush's hands?

And the funny part is that none of the things I write about here should be linked to a political agenda -- I certainly don't view it that way. The things I say here simply make sense to me. If a particular political party subscribes to the same thought, then great, maybe I'll vote for them.

But honestly, I didn't mind getting the e-mails; I try to read all angles, so most of these sites I'm already familiar with -- truthout, commondreams -- because seeing the extremes is the only way to see the middle.

No, what bothered me is that one of the e-mails came from a person calling themselves annecoulterisabitch@gmail.com ... it was a link to a story on truthout.org about the White House being in "panic" mode trying to figure out a way to keep Congress on board for Iraq.

Understand this: My anger has nothing to do with Ann Coulter. My anger was simply that the address, to me, automatically detracted from the legitimacy of anything that person has to say because it was schoolyard junk.

I'm also mad that the address wasn't attached to a real person, because I really was pleased with my reply. Since they'll never read it, here it is, just in case:

Nice e-mail address, there. You could have at least spelled her name right.
Nice to see intelligent political discourse, though.

Of course the White House is in panic mode - the "war" is a sham and people from
his party are finally telling W he's got to try something else. Losing blind
loyalty is always a shock.

Truthout is an OK site to get some info, but really lopsided and, well, full of blind loyalty, so you have to be mindful of that. They make it sound like only Republican politicians are scum, while Democrats are somehow genuinely concerned for the well-being of the average working American and can cure the evils of the world.

Neither party gives a rat's ass about my kind, we're nothing but dollars to them to use on their friends, pet causes and things that will get them richer and more entrenched.

I don't think I would have been as irritated had they at least spelled the name right. When you want to insult someone it's a good idea to get the name correct, or else your credibility is called into question.

That being said, it's S-A-N-T-A-N-G-E-L-O.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Hooker, Line and Sinker

The infamous D.C. Madam is releasing the names of people who may have dealt with her prostitutes in the past.

Here's a clip from the story:

WASHINGTON: For months, Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the so-called DC Madam, has said that her voluminous phone records contained some
powerful secrets. Within hours of their public release, a Republican senator
acknowledged he was on the list.
In a statement, David Vitter said his number was included in Palfrey's records dating from before he ran for the Senate in 2004. He did not say whether he used the escort service, referring only to a "very serious sin in my past". He also said he had "asked for and received forgiveness from God and my wife in confession and marriage counselling". He added that he would "keep my discussion of the matter there".

My main question is, So what? Granted, I believe that prostitution should be legal -- too long to go into right now -- but really, do you care if anyone else visits a prostitute? As far as I'm concerned, it's none of my business.

I was one of those people defending Bill Clinton, by the way, in the whole Monica Lewinsky mess -- I didn't like the fact that he was mixing business with pleasure, but ultimately he was just a guy messing around with a willing girl, and that's no big thing in my book. He's a guy, and that's what guys are engineered to do. (And, I'll say it - Monica was really, really easy.)

I think expecting men -- designed by nature to want to do sexual things with women -- to suddenly not want to do those things because of a job title is just silly.

A normal man looks at women and wants to do things with them. Whether or not he does those things is solely a matter of morals, and I'm not passing moral judgement because it's not my place to do that. But I certainly am defending Clinton's -- and Vitter's, and anyone else's -- motives. I don't advocate infidelity -- but the desire itself should be celebrated, not looked at sideways like some weird perversion.

News organizations will present this tawdry info to you, sometimes for political reasons, sometimes just for titillating ratings boosts. But, a guy that visits a prostitute is not automatically a sexual deviant.

(Just for the record, no, I have never utilized the services of such working women; I'm too afraid of disease and also like to think that I don't have to pay for it. But, I will admit, making it a business transaction probably does have its benefits in terms of efficiency and overall long-term costs.)

Here's a newsflash -- normal heterosexual men find women attractive and want to do sexual things with them. They're supposed to want to. Nature drives us to be that way. Monogamy and morality dictate whether it's "right" for the person to actually do those things, but, plainly speaking, it's the guy who doesn't want to do those things that you should worry about.

How do you think we all got here, anyway? Do you really think guys truly want a screaming little human that does nothing for a year but yell, eat and shoot foul liquids out of every available orifice? No. I think it's nature's trick -- the Creator knew that men would run screaming from such an option, preferring instead to build things and then destroy them, and the population would die out. So, He (or She) made procreation the result of something that we all really like to do. The fact that we can still do that without the procreation part is just a bonus.

Leave these poor guys alone.

Musharraf Shows How It's Done

When radical Muslims trying to bypass Pakistan's government and install sharia law -- and basically oppress all the free people with their bizarre Muslim behavioral code -- took over a mosque, General Pervez Musharraf sent in his forces and killed them.

Well, here's a big "Yay!" for Musharraf!

I'm tired of ultra liberals in the U.S. and some other countries sticking their heads in the sand every time these twisted Muslims demonstrate openly to the world that their goal is to force you to obey their weird rules or die. The far left folks expect you to just look the other way and wait until the saber is at your throat. And then what?

Musharraf did what a leader of a free people is supposed to do - he didn't screw around and try to look nice, or sensitive, or understanding. He fought his challengers and won.

Now those subhumans holed up in the mosque are dead, and are no longer a problem. Bingo. Do that enough and eventually the problem is solved.

I'm convinced that if, instead of pussy-footing around in Iraq since Day One, the U.S. and coalition forces were as aggressive as the fanatics, the war in Iraq would be over. There's too much concern over "innocent civilians" in this fight - if the civilians don't wholeheartedly help defeat the fanatics, then they are no longer innocents, but accomplices.

Score 1 for China

You can read the whole story yourself, but here's the basic point:

Zheng Xiaoyu, formerly the man responsible for ensuring the safety of China's
foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals, was executed yesterday for corruption.
The Supreme People's Court approved the death sentence for Zheng, 62, the former
head of the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA), for taking kickbacks
worth 6.5 million yuan (£420,000) from drug companies to ensure he would approve medicines that should have been taken off the market.
The execution stands as a warning after a series of health scandals have damaged the "Made in China" brand at home and abroad.

The death penalty debate here in the U.S. rages on and on and on, and rightly so. I personally support the death penalty for certain crimes, on the condition that guilt is unquestionable.

But the death penalty for corruption? Actually, I don't think I mind.

I say that because I'd like to believe I would not become corrupt if ever I were given enough power to make people want to corrupt me.

On that note, I think there is and always will be corruption in government. It's just too easy. Think about how much corruption has been uncovered, and then think about how much else there is that didn't make it to the public. Yet, all of it affects you and me, no matter how small, because then government isn't acting in the interest of the public, but in their own interest.

I think it would cut the corruption way down. Granted, to even think about it you have to suspend your feelings on murder vs. vengeance vs. punishment. But go ahead, think about it.

If, instead of a short stint in a minimum security lockup, former Gov. John Rowland had been executed for his corrupt acts, wouldn't that make every other government staffer in the state think twice about doing something corrupt?

These aren't desperate, hungry criminals on the streets - these are white-collar folks who make good money and have things they want to live for. They're not going to risk a death sentence for a beach house or a vacation to Maui.

So you'd only have to do it once in a great while.

And, even if you ended up having to do it often, all you'd be doing is getting rid of corrupt politicians, which isn't too much of a loss.

All you have to do is get past the whole sanctity of life conflict, which, judging by such things as abortion laws that contradict assisted suicide laws, already could go either way in this country, depending on whom you ask and whom you plan to kill.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Smoke and Mirrors

Connecticut and many other states ban smoking in public places, including bars and restaurants.

Some say that smoking in such establishments is dangerous to non-smoking patrons and the employees of the establishment.

So? Smoking is certainly not a healthful activity, on that I think we can agree. But drinking is?

I agree that people should not smoke in public buildings. That's just consideration. If you smoke, you know that it doesn't smell really nice, and that stale smoke in a room is just foul. But I also know that I like to have a smoke if I'm at a bar having a few drinks. I also like to have a smoke after a good meal.

An establishment should have the choice to either be smoke-free, allow smoking, or be mixed. And, the last time I checked, people were still free to go where they want, and not go where they don't.

As for employees ... all jobs have hazards. If you feel strongly about secondhand smoke, then you should not look for work in a place where there will be secondhand smoke. It's all really voluntary, after all. I gave up teaching when I realized I didn't really like kids.

The simple fact that you can go out of your home and get drunk in public shows what a farce the whole idea of banning smoking is -- I'd rather have someone blow smoke in my face than hit me with a Buick.

I Don't Like Being Restrained

The state of Connecticut requires a driver to wear his/her seat belt. A driver found not wearing a seat belt can be fined $37.

I've had to pay a few hundred dollars in the past couple of years.

But I argue every ticket.

I really don't understand -- It's my car, I pay for it; I pay the taxes, the registration, the emissions testing, the upkeep. I pay the insurance. I pay for the gas.

As far as I can see, no one but I pays toward anything to do with my vehicle, or my use of the vehicle. With tolls and taxes, I pay for the road the vehicle travels on.

Where are all the "rights" advocates now?

And, I paid extra for a car with dual airbags solely because I don't like seat belts. I would rather crawl out with a broken ribcage than die on fire trapped in the belt.

Shouldn't it be my choice? Speed limits and red lights are one thing, they are for the good of the driving community as a whole; but any personal safety precautions should be up to me.

If the government is that concerned with road safety, it should fix the roads and stop giving out licenses like Watchtower pamphlets.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Some people should stay home

Here's an interesting story about a woman who says she is so sickened by perfume and other scents that she is fighting to have co-workers be forced to not wear perfume.

There's not a whole lot I can even say here that you hopefully haven't already thought.

This is like those kids with severe peanut allergies, whose moms want schools to ban peanut butter.

Nature is a funny one, isn't it? Natural selection and all that.

If you, as a human, are so fragile that normal things can kill you, just stay home so the rest of us can lead normal lives, please.

Shouldn't fragile people should be the ones whose lives are different? Not everyone else's. This particular woman should be the one who has to modify her existence to work around her physical shortcomings.

Please, understand -- I feel bad for this woman, just like I sympathize with anyone who has any type of disability.

But, I don't have a disability -- yet -- so, why should a fully-abled person be restricted from anything? Because it's bad for someone else? That's silly. You wouldn't be allowed to do anything. No more milk or cheese in a cafeteria, no more fake butter in the movie theater? You don't ban a perfectly good medicine because half of the population is allergic to it, would you?

A few final thoughts:

  • I don't think every ailment is a disability, though. Some things are just the way they are, our personal crosses to bear, not the responsibility of society to accommodate for.
  • The idea of banning something -- any thing, any place -- should never be taken lightly.
  • Ultra-compassionate "rights activists" infringe on people's rights every day. Every change affects someone negatively.

Spin, Part 1 - John Edwards' haircut

This is a short one. John Edwards, famous for expensive haircuts, in 2004 paid $1200 for a cut on the campaign train, because his regular -- and costly -- barber had to fly to Atlanta.

Whatever. This isn't even about how insane it is that Edwards spends thousands on his John Ritter-esque 'do -- it's this part that made my skin crawl:

"Breaking news -- John Edwards got some expensive haircuts and probably didn't
pay enough attention to the bills," said spokeswoman Colleen Murray. "He didn't
lie about weapons of mass destruction or spring Scooter Libby; he just got some
expensive haircuts."

This is a perfect example of political spin -- rather than address the fact that Edwards is a fool when it comes to spending other people's money, the spokeswoman ignores the issue and throws in a Bush-bash -- and a false one to boot. Bush didn't lie about anything. He used the same information that other politicians -- both right and left -- used pre-Iraq war. And, to use Scooter Libby? Presidents all do people favors - I would, and I hope you would, too. It's called friendship ... or covering your butt. Either one is a good thing. Does the name Marc Rich ring a bell? The criminal that Bill Clinton pardoned, you know, the one whose wife was always posing with Clinton with her cleavage busting out all over poor Bill?

You should be angry that Edwards spends thousands of dollars from campaign contributions on haircuts -- after all, this one particular haircut is more than one month's rent for my family, but you should be more angry that his campaign doesn't even consider you smart enough to be angry about the truth, and that if you dislike Bush enough then Democrats can pretty much do whatever they want as long as they can compare it to Republican wrongs.

So you can take drugs without fear, because you can just tell the judge that at least you didn't take drugs then drive 100 mph like Al Gore's kid; or you can drive off the road into a lake and not feel bad, because at least you didn't leave a girl to die in the car, like a Kennedy.

Don't be fooled by spin -- recognize it, and punish the spinners. The lesson here is that John Edwards is a wealthy fool, a sleazy lawyer who has amassed a fortune taken from other people, who has no idea what it's like to be hard up for cash and who, as president, would take all our money and spend it on whatever he wants, no matter the cost.