Thursday, December 30, 2010

Next Time, Blame the Tabasco!

I think I am going to make Tabasco my excuse for everything from now on. Seriously. Or at least if it works for this guy. It seems this 50-year old guy was on a flight, seated next to a 17 year old high school cheerleader. Mid-flight, she glances at the guy, and he has one hand on his laptop which is on top of the tray table, and his other hand is under the tray table and he is apparently masturbating. When he was arrested, he claimed that he wasn't masturbating, but rather trying to quell an itch brought on by him spilling Tabasco sauce on his penis. He told police that he didn't have his junk out, but rather that his hand was inside his pants trying to deal with his discomfort.

All I can say is PUH-LEASE! First of all, how could he have spilled hot sauce on his nether regions if it weren't out? In her statement to police, she said that she could "clearly see the mans penis going side to side under the tray table that was down." Wait, maybe it was a Tabasco incident gone wrong. He wasn't masturbating, he was waving it in the air ... fanning it, if you will, to quell the burn.

While we are on the subject of disgusting things, I will never complain about my house being a mess any more. Especialy after reading this article about the Playboy Mansion. Past playmates who have left the Playboy Mansion have spoken out about the conditions they have to live under. The house dog never goes outside. It pees on the curtains and poops on the floor in Hef's room. In his "girlfriend's" rooms, the furniture doesn't match and looks like it was bought at a thrift store. The mattressess in their rooms were stained and worn, and the sheets and blankets were threadbare.

When going out with Hef, they would drink champaine and take qualludes to get them in the mood for sex, not because they wanted to, but because Hef would tell them to. Hef would have sex parties in the master bedroom twice weekly for which he would need to take large doses of viagra.

The girls had to be there for this (though they did not have to participate every time, they still had to be in the room), and they had a 9pm curfiew, except for when Hef would take them out. In exchange for this, the girlfriends recieve a $1000 per week allowance.

I don't live in a mansion, I don't have a harem, but somehow, I think I am far happier than Hugh Hefner right now.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

There's glitter on the floor ...

OK, so maybe using a Ke$ha lyric as a title is a little odd, but go with it for a moment. To me, this post is kind of important. I had talked about Meghan McCain in a previous post, and now I am going to take on Sarah and Bristol Palin.

I think that the Palins are trying too hard to show America that they are a typical family and that Republicans and conservatives are normal people. They honestly didn't need to do this. At work there is a guy who is socialist in his ideas and is a vehement supporter of the Democratic Party because they are closest to his ideas as a socialist. When John McCain picked Sarah Palin as his running mate, this guy was running scared because she was so "genuine" it terrified him. He admitted that Sarah Palin scared the heck out of liberals because she was Conservative and middle class. The thing they don't want is middle class Americans identifying with a conservative Republican. If too many Americans look at her and think "gee, she is more like me than either of those two guys on the Democratic ticket, the Democrats lose the middle class, and like "Reagan Democrats", many will never return to the fold.

So the hunt was on. The media dispatched a legion of reporters to Alaska to dig up dirt on her, which failed. They tried to attack her on Bristol's pregnancy, but that didn't work, because so many middle class families go through the same exact thing. Then they started to focus on her inexperience, pointing out her lack of understanding of current events in Djibouti, but that didn't work either because most of Americans don't even know Djibouti exists, much less what their current diplomatic standing with the United States is and whether or not they offer safe haven to terrorists. Finally they focused on the cost of her wardrobe. "How much like you can someone wearing five hundred dollar shoes be?" was the unspoken question they were offering.

The election is over. Sarah Palin is not in the Vice President's residence on the Naval Observatory grounds. Rather than face into the background, Sarah and Bristol instead used the campaign to leapfrog into the world of celebrity status. Sarah got a gig on Fox News, which in itself is fine, but then she does her reality show "Sarah Palin's Alaska." Not the action of someone with Presidential aspirations. If getting on reality TV is a prerequisite for being President these days, we are in trouble. Does anyone else cringe at the thought of President Snooki?

Bristol goes on Dancing with the Stars and goes all the way to the finals. Good for her. Apparently, the stars don't have to glitter all that much to get on DWTS. What exactly qualified her as a star? Her inability to keep her knees together when Levi came calling? Somehow I don't think that is enough. I mean sure, she is cute. But should she, someone who displayed some problems with living up to the moral standards that the family claimed to stand for be on national TV shaking what her momma gave her? There were people saying she dressed, acted and danced like a whore. Thankfully my exposure was limited, but that didn't stop the liberals at school from throwing it in my face.

I choose not to defend them. I choose to defend ideas rather than people. Sadly, liberals will use the flaws of individuals to discredit ideas. The idea could date back to Adam Smith or Alexis deTocqueville, but if it is held by Sarah Palin, the fact that she believes it renders the idea as something that is not worthy of consideration.

This is the way the left operates. Destroy the people, because they are easier to destroy than ideas. I bought into Sarah Palin during the election. I wasn't a booster, but I thought she was just what McCain's anemic campaign needed. It was just what an anemic Republican Party needed. now, the Palins are just wannabe celebrities. Enjoy the glitter girls.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Living Conservative in a Liberal World (Part 6): A "recovered" liberal ...

NOTE: This is the final pre-written post on this string of posts. As I mentioned before, I will, from time to time revisit this topic thread. Hopefully, 2011 is a year of productive and happy blogging.

I sometimes describe myself as a recovered liberal. I first became politically aware back in the seventh grade. I remember the election of 1980 quite well. I remember going to the library on the bus after school and hearing people talking about the election. I said to one of the gentlemen, a Reagan supporter, something to the effect of 'Ronnie ray-gun will only get us into a war.'. The gentleman, an older gent by my recollection (of course when you are 12 anyone above their teens is "old"), said to me, "we have had four years of the clown, it is time for the cowboy."

I started attending church and going to youth group a few years later, and I remember listening to talk shows on the Christian radio station. As I listened, I heard a show featuring an interview with a guy by the name of Lindsey Williams who was exposing what he called "the energy non-crisis". He talked at length about "one world governments" and "the illuminati". He also referenced the then-current president of the United States, Ronald Reagan as being swayed by these secret groups. I made the assumption that Republicans were bad, and democrats were good. After all, people were starving around the world, and Republicans were in charge, didn't that make the fame in Ethiopia Reagan's fault? Working off of partial information and wild assumptions, I became a liberal. This lasted until my senior year in high school and that is when things began to change.

My senior year in high school, I had an amazing experience. I had the opportunity to go on a trip with a group of students to Washington DC as part of a program put on by the Close Up foundation. While we were there, we saw all of the sites and had educational programs. During our evening group discussion sessions, there were two liberals in the room, myself, and a young lady from Iowa. We argued our convictions with courage and passion, but by the end of the week, I was starting to question my beliefs.

Because I believed I lacked opportunities, I left to join the Navy right after high school ended. No one in my family had ever gone to college, and because we were barely making ends meet and couldn't afford the fees, I never took the SAT or ACT test. We couldn't afford college anyways, so why even try?

While I was in the Navy, I discovered many things. They say that boot camp makes or breaks you, well in my case it made me. I came out of boot camp far more confident than I went in. After boot camp, I went to Naval Air Station Memphis to attend my training school. While I was there, I spent a lot of time in a place called the Armed Forces Center, which was run by missionaries who were reaching out to military personnel on the base. In my time spent there, I came under the tutelage of two older military members who volunteered at the center. They taught me many things about constitutional government, patriotism and the founding of the United States. The more I learned, the more I realized that my previous beliefs were wrong, and by the end of my time in Memphis, I had abandoned them, but I didn't quite embrace conservatism yet.

As I had opportunity to travel the world and learn about the world and our own nation, I grew more and more conservative in my ideas. I came to realize that freedom from oppression and tyranny made all the difference in people's lives and lifestyles. I also learned that freedom from oppression and tyranny is more than being free from outside nations, but it encompasses being free within the borders of your own nation from excessive government intervention and interference in your life.

By the time I left the navy, I was a rock sold conservative. I based my convictions on my Christian beliefs, my observations of the world, and the writings of philosophers who believed in freedom and basic human rights. In the end, isn't that all you need?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Living Conservative in a Liberal World (Part 5): And This Passes For A Good Time

NOTE: This is the next to last of the posts from this particular series of posts that I have already typed. I am thinking about more topics to address under this heading, and I will use this heading from time to time in my blogging.

I spent a little time in the dating wasteland the other night. I went to a live music show. It was a local cover band at a bar. Nothing horribly exciting, except it was 80's rock and roll, live, and the drinks were reasonably priced (if your drink of choice is Diet Coke, always).

The band was great. They are called Oil Can Harry, and if you are into the local music scene and in southeastern Wisconsin, check out a show. At this point you might be thinking, "how does this fit in with my theme of living conservative in a liberal world? " Stay with me here. Almost as entertaining as the band was the people in the crowd. You see, I am an avid people watcher.

One of the often repeated mantras of liberalism is "if it feels good, and no one is harmed, and everyone involved is a consenting person, you should be free to do it. So, right below the stage, on the left, is a group of twenty-something women dancing, and dancing rather nastily at times. There were three of them. Occasionally a twenty-something young man would come from the fringes of the crowd, dance with them for a while, then fade back into the crowd. Always the same guy.

Anyways, I am watching the women, and two of them are REALLY getting nasty. They were grinding on each other, and at one point, one of them turned toasted the crowd and pulled her sweater open, baring her breasts for the crowd and bouncing em around for all to see. She and her friend would, from time to time, engage in some very intense kissing as they danced. Dancing to one song as they were grinding very hard, the woman in front's skirt rode up over her posterior, and her friend's jeans had slid down somewhat and it was obvious that neither of them was wearing any underwear.

Now, not being a homophobe, I didn't really pay any attention to them aside from the fact that they were obviously doing it for show for the crowd. A little later, I noticed that one of the women was wearing a wedding ring. So, my obvious thought was that this was a case of girls night out gone way too far! Then eventually, watching the interactions between the women and the man who would from time to time join them, I realized that he was her husband. They all thought it was quite a hoot for the wife and her friend to put on a show for the crowd.

This is one of the legacies of liberalism: promiscuous actions with no decency, shame or regard for the possible consequences of their actions.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Living Conservative in a Liberal World (Part 4): Social Awkwardness

NOTE: Yet another catch-up post in this series of posts.

Dating is a scary word when you are forty-two. Heck, it is a scary word when you are in your twenties if you are serious about it. At forty-two, all you can be is serious. You don't have a whole lot of time to date around.

I was one of those people who waited. I waited to have sex, I waited to date seriously, and I waited to get married. My goal was to do it once and for all. Too bad my ex-wife didn't think the same way. She said she did, but when the rubber hit the road, she started having cyber-flings, and they turned into some rather serious relationships, and eventually she announced that she was leaving me (this by the way, is the short version of the story ... I may tell more of the story in a later post). Two months after her announcement, she was gone.

So now I am stuck navigating the Darwinian wasteland of dating late in life, and I have discovered something: dating has sure changed. People meet online, they "hook up" at bars, and they treat people like socks ... as long as they are warm and comfortable, they are fine, but as soon as they start showing some wear, it is time to get rid of them and get some new ones. There are so few people looking for a serious relationship these days, even amongst my age group.

Add to that the prevalence of liberalism in females, (I read recently that fifty-three percent of women identify themselves as liberal) and you can see me start fraying right before your eyes. Contributing to that fraying is my theory which I call "the perils of not being Brad Pitt.". The theory works like this: every woman has a vision of the perfect man. As a generic name, we will call him Brad Pitt. Why pick on Brad, you ask? Because once, while talking to a female coworker who was well and truly smitten with him, I pointed out his very public faults at length, and she dismissed them, saying "when you look like that, it makes up for a lot."

Anyways, so this perfect man has a set of attributes, any one of which can be dismissed, either singly, or en masse if, and only IF, you are attractive enough. If you have the bad luck of being me, meaning generally unattractive due to lugging around excessive weight, then it starts to nibble away at the attributes you DO posses that the woman would normally consider to be positive.

So I pick my way through the wasteland, keeping a weather eye over my shoulder for Darwin as he hunts the unworthy, something I find beyond scary, perhaps even terrifying.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Living Conservative in a Liberal World (Part 3): And Justice For All

**NOTE: This was written previously and kept sitting on my iPad until I was ready to post it. There are about three or four more of these that I will be posting as "catch-ups" between now and new years.**

So this week, we talked briefly about the death penalty in my class today. To be honest, I tend to waver about the death penalty. I am torn between the fiscal sense of the death penalty and the lack of social good it does ... let me explain.

I believe that the death penalty makes good fiscal sense. It costs lots and lots of money to maintain a prisoner in prison, especially with the indefinite sentence of "life in prison", which ostensibly means you remain in prison until you die. It makes much more fiscal sense to enable states to use the death penalty as a punishment for violent offenders, which then removes the financial burden from the state of maintaining the prisoner.

However, I believe that the social benefit of the death penalty is limited at best. The deterrent effect of the death penalty is confined to the offenders themselves. A dead criminal will not commit any more crimes. Beyond the actual offender, I don't really think that the average person gives any thought to the death penalty as a deterrent. After all, we execute criminals so infrequently, is a sentence of death really any different from a sentence of life in prison?

IF we were to want to make the death penalty a more effective tool of social change, it would require a serious change in the way the due process of death row inmates is handled. We would have to limit the ability of an inmate to postpone their execution date by filing lawsuits and motions. We would need to streamline the appeals process for death penalty cases so that an appeal is filed, heard and disposed of in short order. Perhaps if it becomes regular news of criminals being sent to their maker, others will think twice about committing heinous crimes.

Finally, we considered this thought: put the executions on pay per view. Even at only five bucks per execution, there are enough death junkies out there to put the death penalty on a paying basis. Just one televised execution would net the prison system millions. Imagine, living in a world where rape an murder are rare, and the perpetrators are caught and punished for their crimes.

ADDENDUM: So as I post this I am re-reading it and realizing it ends rather abruptly, but I will leave it as it was when I typed it.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Living Conservative in a Liberal World (Part 2): Why I Am Writing This

NOTE: This is a post that was written some time ago. I am gradually posting them in order to build up the blog and perhaps get myself into the habit of the blogging regularly.

I was talking to my class one day when I was struck with a couple of revelations. One revelation is that my urban students are "stuck on liberal," a revelation that is none too shocking. The second revelation, however, was shocking. The revelation was that it is the fault of conservatives that my students are stuck on liberal. As a matter of fact, it may well be the fault of conservatives that urban public education is failing altogether. This got me to thinking about the world we live in. It truly is a liberal world. Young people are inundated with liberal thoughts and ideology for at least twelve years if they are in public education.

Conservatives are an interesting bunch. I ought to know, because I am one. There are many different types of Conservatives, but there are a few distinct characteristics that many conservatives share. Many conservatives believe that the public education system is a bankrupt program which has failed to elevate the masses to full participatory citizenship in the great experiment we call the United States of America. Public education has failed to fulfill Jefferson's belief that only when people are well-informed can they be "trusted with their own government."

I would argue, however, that this failure is due to the ascendancy of liberalism in the public schools and the flight of conservatives out of them. In the 60's, liberals realized that the best place to replicate was in the sector of public education. Liberals started to go into teaching and take over the staff lounges at the nation's public schools. During the 1980's, seeing the path that liberals were taking our public schools, conservatives, and especially Christian conservatives, pulled their children out of public schools and placed them in private, often church run schools. Removed from the population of public schools in one decade were not only the students whose family upbringing would make them conservative in nature, but the conservatives who would have otherwise worked in public education to teach them.

We are rapidly approaching a time when those who believe in a greater government role in the lives of citizens will not only outnumber those who believe in limited government, but they will have a large enough voting bloc that old fashioned liberty, liberty envisioned by Jefferson, when he said "A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government."

It is sad, as one who loves liberty, to see the people of the United States sliding into the depths of being a culture of dependency. They look to the government for the things that our forbearers did for themselves. During the "great recession" of 2008-2010, a Facebook group was created called I.N.A.F.J. which stands for "I Need a F-ing Job." It was a poignant plea from people who are fed up with being unemployed. They wanted jobs, sure, but by creating a Facebook group, it seemed like what they were really after was validation. Through online T-shirt sales, they actually raised the money to pay for a billboard that greeted the President in Buffalo during a stop there that read "Dear Mr. President, I need a freaking job. Period. Sincerely," Last time I looked, it was not the job of the government, or the President, to help you get a job.

Now, I understand that the costs of regulation and high taxes leads to private sector job losses. I also understand that government action can create a favorable business environment that leads to job growth. That is not the point here. Sure the INAFJ folks talk about taxes and regulation on their website. They favor (supposedly) smaller government that spends less, allows people and businesses to keep more of what they earn and with that kept wealth, stimulate and grow the economy. But anyone who would buy a billboard that reads "Dear Mr. President, I need a freaking job" is a group that Makes me say "Dear Billboard Owner, Retrain, Reapply, Relocate" because, when it comes down to getting a job, I believe in the three R's.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Living Conservative in a Liberal World (Part 1): Who I Am

NOTE: I typed this a while ago. I started this document on my iPad to test out the Pages word processor, and now I am finally posting it. I will add more sections I had typed on the iPad over the next few days and continue this beyond what I have already typed.

I am a conservative. There, I said it. Of course, that is only the first part of this conversation. I am a conservative, but to many of my liberal colleagues and friends, the question is: "why?"

I am a conservative because I know what it is to be poor. My parents divorced when I was a baby. I was raised for the first twelve years of my life in a public housing project called Berryland, on the ninth side of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. My mom was on welfare ... we were on welfare. Mom didn't drive, so we took the bus everywhere. Mom would shop at the grocery store and pay the bill with food stamps. As soon as I was in school, the welfare office required my mom to find work. We eventually left the projects and moved on to apartments, duplexes, but never a house. After all, a house is not a home, as the song says.

I was the last of five children, but I was the first to go to college. But, I get ahead of myself. I finished high school, and afterwards did a tour in the Navy. While in the Navy, I learned about duty, honor and service, three ideas that would come to shape my psyche.

I had gone to church and youth group during my teen years, and thought that the way that the church and youth leaders reached out to others was cool, and after My enlistment, I decided to go to a bible college to become one of those people, someone who reached out to others and helped them.

Sadly, events transpired at the church and bible college where I was studying that went against my personal code of honor that I had developed during my military service. This caused a crisis of faith as I wondered how the leaders of an institution that was supposed to be serving God could act in a way that seemed to me to be detrimental to their fellow man and disrespectful of the civil authority. These events led me to leave the bible college.

I spent several years wandering through life, wondering what my purpose was. A change in employment brought me into contact with several teachers. After a while, I finally understood. I was meant to teach. I reentered college, and this time set my mind on getting my education degree and teaching license. Five years later, I entered my first classroom.

I am a conservative. This is strange to many people, because I choose to teach in a public school. It was not a choice I made lightly. I had married, and become stepdad to two wonderful girls. I wanted to provide for them the best way in could, so public schools with their good pay and excellent benefits were a perfect fit. Plus, there was something more.

I understand the entrenched liberalism of the public education system. I understand that politically I am outnumbered by a margin of about nine to one. I know that I could have a less stressful life teaching "good" children who are not from broken and dysfunctional homes if I were to teach in a private or religious school. I know I would find more people whose ideologies are closer to my own, which might help to enhance my social life now that I am divorced. Sure I understand all of that. But I understand something even more important. These students who are in public schools need me. They need someone who is willing to stand for the principles of duty, honor and service, because the liberal public school teaches who understand these things are few and far between.

I am a conservative. I am a teacher. I am more important than anyone realizes.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Time Enough for This

So I don't blog regularly. I should. I could. I always say I don't have time, but a quick mental self-audit has revealed to me that I definitely have time for this.

We tell ourselves we don't have time for something to make us feel better about ourselves when we are too lazy to do something we really know we could and maybe should be doing. For instance, I have a friend. OK, big revelation, I know people. I mean honest to goodness, real life people. Anyways, this friend is a business owner. He is married, and his three kids have all grown and flown.

He will call me some nights and want to play video games online. Now, don't make that face. Video games are a perfectly acceptable leisure time activity for grown adults. Note the conditional factor: LEISURE time. Being married, his domestic duties are limited to helping his wife out from time to time. Being alone, my domestic duties are ... well ... all of them. Sometimes I think he doesn't take into account that I have to keep my place clean (or somewhere approaching that condition) all by my lonesome.

I sometimes feel guilty that I am playing games and not doing something productive. Oddly enough, I tend to get this feeling when I am playing games, and not when I am, say sitting on the couch watching a movie. I think it has to do with the ability to multitask when you are watching TV. Can't get up and do something while playing a game online ... your friends end up getting scragged by some virtual terrorist with a beef about freedom, short skirts and rock 'n roll.

I guess what I am saying is that in all of my pondering about my life as 2010 draws to a close and 2011 nears, I should make better use of my time ... and perfect my sniper shot.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I am NOT immune!

If you remember my post entitled "Congratulations Mr. Jobs, It's A Fad", I was initially very skeptical of the iPad, but if you noticed the signature line on my last post (and this one), I am now a part of the iPad toting legions.

I actually have three Mac guys in my school. One is definitely a toucher. I swear, when Steve Jobs is webcasting, he is looking for lotion. The other two aren't so bad, but with Mac people, I always worry that there is a kind of a heaven's gate thing brewing. It is more of a cult than a company. The slavish devotion of Apple's devotees is almost religious. But I digress ...

I was, and I guess still am a PC purist. Back in the days I was a DOS guy. I resisted buying windows, saying that if I had wanted a Mac, I would have bought a Mac. All the while, I had to (grudgingly) admit that Apple always created a great product that worked marvelously, but this is because they control every aspect of the hardware. The Apple OS works with only a limited hardware set, eliminating the need for drivers for every piece of random equipment built by every manufacturer of PC components. In computers as well as cooking, the old saying is true: "too many cooks spoil a pie"' and that is the Achilles heel of the Windows platform. Too many people making components for the operating system. When Windows Vista was introduced, it was plagued with crashes, almost all of them due to buggy drivers.

So now I am sitting here, typing a blog post on an iPad, proud owner of an iPhone and a Mac Mini (albeit an older one, the first generation mini), and I am seriously drooling over the newest generation of MacBook Airs.

I am still a PC guy at heart, but I now understand and appreciate the beauty and functionality of a Mac.

8^) Jim
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:W Green Tree Rd,Milwaukee,United States

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday Shopping Adventures

I have a confession to make. I like Black Friday shopping ... mostly.

I don't like doing it at home, and I don't like doing it alone (two key features of my life right now), but the challenge, the thrill and the general hurly-burly of it all just gets my blood pumping.

I don't like doing it alone, because everyone needs a partner in crime for things such as this. Someone to watch your cart when you need to go to the bathroom, etc. One woman today left her cart and walked around the back of a rack to grab something, and in the two minutes she was away from her cart, the jackals had descended on her cart and taken half of her stuff.

I don't like doing it at home because I live in Wisconsin. Wisconsin has a "fair competition law" which basically states that a company cannot sell a current item at a loss in order to drum up business. Thus, all of the major retailers have to create separate prices and ads for Wisconsin (and Minnesota, as I understand it) in which the prices are about ten percent higher. Needless to say, as a firm believer in the basic tenets of capitalism, I don't like to shop in an artificially created business climate.

So, when Thanksgiving rolls around, I hop in the car and visit one of my friends, and we do a great dinner and go Black Friday shopping.

This year, we had a slightly different plan than in past years. We went out at midnight so that she could snag some kid's pajamas for her boys (an annual tradition). Walmart was a study in order and chaos. Around the pallet of video games, you had all of the ,young, unmarried gamers in what was basically a rugby scrum. Around the pajamas, the moms had told each other what they were looking for and if the one right up at the pallet found yours before she found hers, she passed it to you to help you out. One wonderful woman even got hers, set them on top of the display then helped other people find theirs.

We accomplished everything we wanted, except we passed on stopping at Menard's, due to the fact that the line to get in wrapped across half of the front of the store and down one of the sides.

At almost every store, we were in and out in about half an hour, a testament to Katie's planning and preparation for the adventure. In most of the stores, there was no pushing, shoving or grabbing. Most of the people were kind and friendly.

At BigLots, there was a rather obnoxious woman giving the clerks a hard time over another clerk handing a woman a limited quantity item, then taking it back when he realized she didn't have the "I waited in line for this" ticket they had handed people as they walked in. Then, to top it off, she was arguing with them over the WRONG item, due to the fact that she didn't read the banner at the top of the ad that said "available Saturday only". I felt so bad for the clerk, that when she (somewhat rudely, given that the mistake was hers) demanded to know what time they opened the next day, I chimed in with "the time posted on the door", which then set this beastly woman on me, giving the poor clerk a very short reprieve.

I vaguely remember reading or heading someone say that the day after thanksgiving should be called "thanksgetting". That may sound a bit extreme, but if you haven't gone Black Friday shopping lately, may I suggest you strap on your pads and helmet, and give it a try.

8^) Jim
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:1st St,Sunfield,United States

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Integrity of our Elections

Elections are no longer about the will of the people. There, I said it.

The will of the people, if it to be properly determined has to be done in a manner which leaves no doubt as to the veracity of the election results.

Enter modern elections. Early voting, same day registration, and no identification required have opened our electoral system to widespread vote fraud. wether it is the buying or bullying of votes via corrupt political machines of the past such as Tammany Hall, or modern vote fraud of registering ficticious people from non-existent addresses and then later voting in their names, our electoral system cannot be guaranteed to be safe and accurate.

At a minmum, we need:
  • Pre-registration, at least 30 days in advance
  • Identification required to vote on election day
  • Voting only ON election day or absentee via mail ...

these are the first, sane steps needed to ensure valid and fair elections.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Getting back up to speed ...

once upon a time, I said in one of my posts that I wanted to update this blog more or less daily. As you can see by th etime gap between my last post and this one, I havne't exactly held up to that now, have I? What has made my life soooo, hectic that I have neglected this blog?

Short answer: I am a teacher.

Long answer: I am a teacher attempting to have a life.

In the past couple weeks, I have been turning a few things over in my brain that would affect this blog and a few other things.

#1: I am so buying an iPad. This is important because, well, I want one and a while back I was not too keen on them.

#2: I may retitle the blog. not sure yet, since I really like this title and format.

#3: I want to change the layout .... done! Boy that was easy!

#4: I am contemplating a different narrative style for writing the blog, making it more ... I dunno, personal.

#5: I will stop cross-posting at TCUNation ... too much work involved.

More to come ...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

OK, make up your minds environmentalists!

So I was talking to a friend today.  She takes issue with the fact that I take issue with environmentalism.  Our discussion today was caused by this article about Arizona spending $1.25 million to save some endangered squirrels.

She argued that spending the money was a good thing because of the whole circle of life thing, saying you never know what bad things will happen if this particular breed of squirrel goes extinct.  I countered with extinction being a PART of the circle of life, and to name one bad thing that has happened because the dinosaurs became extinct.  Her counter was that dinosaurs became extinct because of a natural event, not because we were building roads through their habitats.

That got me thinking about life and common sense.  According to environmentalists, we (humans) are the product of a billion years or so of evolution.  If this is true, what is humankind but a very evolved animal – the king of the animal kingdom if you will, the top of the evolutionary ladder.

Now the other side of the argument is creationism.  God said, and it came to pass.  End of story.  We are created, we didn’t come from no monkey.  God created the earth, planted a garden, and then created man to care for the garden.  Expand the metaphor of the garden to the planet, and God gave us the earth and wants us to take care of it.

Which leads to the question: why is it that conservative religious groups who believe in the literal words of the Bible don’t seem to care about the planet?  Why is it that eco-leftists who believe we are just another animal care about the planet more than anything else? 

So, my question to eco-leftists and environmentalists is, if humans really are just highly evolved animals, then we are a PART of nature and everything we do is an act of nature.  The answer is simple: ALL SPECIES CHANGE THEIR ENVORONMENT TO THEIR BENEFIT: as sure as that dam built by beavers causing flooding in a valley is a part of nature, that road through the mountains is a part of nature because we are a part of nature (according to environmentalists).

As for creationism, I am not sure what I believe.  Intelligent design, day equals age, seven literal days, evolution, I honestly don’t know any more.  I prefer to focus on the here and now, and spending $1.25 million to save a squirrel population of 250 from extinction really doesn’t matter in the world of the here and now.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Congratulations, Mr. Jobs, It’s a Fad

There are those people. Those … Apple people. They are people who watch the podcasts of Steve Jobs introducing a new product and have an overwhelming desire to touch themselves in naughty places. They buy every new apple product no matter how useless it is.

I work with two guys who are solid Apple guys. Between them they own everything that has ever come out of Cuppertino. One of them has an Apple TV for cryin’ out loud (talk about a useless product. You buy an Apple TV, and then you use it to buy videos … from Apple!) Well, both of my Mac Guys have decided to pass on the iPad until they had proof it was worth buying. Both of them have admitted that the iPad doesn’t really seem to have any real world use.

But, the iPad will be an initial success. Why? this guy in a Bloomberg online article said it best: “It’s ridiculously expensive, way overpriced,” said Josh Klenert, a 36-year-old graphic designer, who still went ahead and bought one. “You may call it a dumb computer or a smart telephone --it’s in between. It’s a unique, sexier device.”

Five hundred bucks for an electronic paperweight seems a little steep to me.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

It all started with a bumper sticker …

The Name Game.  Liberal, liberal fee-fi-iberal.  Conservative, conservative moo-oink-ervative.  Lets get real.  Republican?  Democrat?  Liberal? Conservative?  Those terms have become irrelevant.  They have been stripped of all meaning by history and a press that is quick to cast the fog of war on politicians they don’t like.

Many, many years ago, I remember a bumper sticker that said “I’m not anti-abortion, I’m PRO-LIFE”.  This set off a revolution over political naming rights.  Who has the right to determine what a person is called politically?  Pro-Life has such a  … well, positive, sound to it.  Of course, so as not to be considered “anti-life”, abortions rights people decided to describe themselves as “pro-choice”.

Republicans haven’t always been conservatives, and conservatives haven't always been American in their ideals.  A conservative is one who believes that the established order should be maintained and protected, while a liberal wants to change the established order (usually  in the name of reforming it).

By those definitions, the American Patriots fighting for independence were liberals, and the loyalists were conservative.  The Confederates, fighting for states rights and against federal intervention in property laws were conservatives and the abolitionists were liberals.

I think that one of the weaknesses of political discourse today is a lack of absolute terminology.  Mark Levin in his book Liberty and Tyranny prefers the term “statist” to describe the main body of the current Democratic party.  A statist is one who believes in “giving a centralized government control over economic planning and policy” ( definition of statism).

I am anti-statist.  I believe that the best thing government can do is get off our backs and let the American People be free and prosperous again.  This is something you will unlikely get with Democrats, Republicans, liberals and conservatives in the United States today.

Friday, February 12, 2010

What conservatives need to win …

This will be short and sweet in honor of Valentine’s Day.  If conservatives really want to win this November, they need something.  They need specificity.  The democrats won by whining and complaining.  The American people, now that they are seeing specifics of the democrats ideas and plans, they don’t like it.

So, for the republicans to win… for conservatives to take the government back, they need to put forth to the people a unified, SPECIFIC plan and message, much like the Contract with America from 1994.  Call it the American Plan for Prosperity or something.  Here is my wish list for the plan:

  • Include in it a simplified tax code with three brackets (starting at $18,000.00 and eliminate the EIC at the same time) and close the current loopholes the tax code is riddled with. 
  • Include in it a tax subsidy for homeowners who add solar and wind electrical generation systems to their homes if those systems feed power back to the grid.
  • Include in it a cap on punitive damages in medical malpractice cases at the amount of the $500,000.00 or the ten-year average of the doctor’s annual salary, whichever is more.
  • Include in it a ten-year plan of spending and construction to retrofit all existing federal buildings with green technology.
  • Include in it a portability law which allows workers to take their health insurance with them when they change jobs, and allow people to purchase insurance across state lines.

By providing a simple, straightforward plan, with specific, measurable goals, we can take our country back from the democrats who seem hell-bent on destroying it.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Meghan McCain: Defiantly hot, but do we want her? NOT!

Meghan McCain is many things.  In the days after the campaign, she was put up as the face of a newer, younger, hipper Republican Party.  Sure, she's mattressable, but beyond that, does she have anything to offer a conservative like me?  Let's see, she hates the teabag movement. She favors gay rights (I am not anti-gay-rights, I m pro-civil rights, no one group deserves special rights).  She can't tell the difference between original sources (Rham Emanuel saying liberals were "retarded") and secondary reporting (Rush Limbaugh quoting Emanuel).  She is basically an empty-headed socialite who is, like Paris Hilton, famous only for being famous.  She has nothing in her resume that makes me believe in her as an individual.

I believe that she is a Republican only because of her family, and once John passes on, she will probably switch parties.  To that I say, fine.  Go Ahead Meghan.  Stop pretending and go be a Democrat.  Trust me, you will fit right in since I doubt your professed belief in conservative fiscal principles is very genuine.  You will fit in with all the other showy socialites.  Meanwhile, those of us who stand on principles will be rid of your poisonous influence.  And after the sad day that your father does leave this world, you will, thankfully, fade into the obscurity from which you came.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Environmentalism as religion.

Sadly, we lost a great mind several years ago when Michael Chrichton left us.  Aside from great books like Jurassic ParkCongo and Sphere … aside from ER, the greatest medical drama ever to grace our TV sets … he gave us something most interesting.  He gave us the theory of Environmentalism as a religion.

In a very provocative speech before the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, he drew a parallel between Judeo-Christian belief and environmentalism.  Consider his explanation:

“There's an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature, there's a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a result of our actions there is a judgment day coming for us all. We are all energy sinners, doomed to die, unless we seek salvation, which is now called sustainability. Sustainability is salvation in the church of the environment. Just as organic food is its communion, that pesticide-free wafer that the right people with the right beliefs, imbibe.” (Read the whole article at

Environmentalism … the religion of choice for 21st century urban atheists.  Scary, huh?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Weapons of Mass Distraction

OK, so this post comes a little early (cutting and pasting the entries I had was all of a ten-minute job).  I just can’t get this out of my head, so I figured I would blog about it.

We just finished our chapter on Political Elections in my class.  I wrapped it up by showing clips from a great movie: Man of the Year.  In this movie, Robin Williams plays a comedian who does a politically-based comedy “news” show on cable (like John Stewart or Stephen Colbert) who decides to run for President.

During the campaign, he speaks about something he calls “weapons of mass distraction.”  These are political “hot button” issues that politicians use to distract the public from other things that would, quite frankly, piss them off.  So, to save themselves the grief of a pissed-off electorate, politicians use these issues as a kind of smoke screen to keep the public away from the issues that are bad for the politician (I hope you understood that explanation).

Anyways, two of the issues he calls “weapons of mass distraction” are flag desecration amendments and same-sex marriage amendments.  However, you can see this far more clearly in the current administration.  Granted, when President Obama entered office on Jan 20, 2009, he inherited an economy that was in a shambles.  However, when it comes to the economy, Presidents often get blamed for things that are not their fault, and they often take credit for things they did not do.  What happened in ‘08 has been referred to as the “perfect financial storm”.  It had all of the ingredients for a major meltdown, but no one was able to connect the dots, and people who did and tried to warn us, well, we called them doomsayers and ignored them.

So, President Obama wins election based, in part, on his ability to link the poor economy to the previous administration.  Once he became President, it became HIS problem though.  Enter the Stimulus Bill.  It spent money we didn’t have on things that would have happened anyways, albeit perhaps more slowly.  He promised us that if the Stimulus Bill passed, unemployment would not go above 8%.  Now we sit at 9.7% (an artificially low number because of how the government counts unemployment, I will probably post about that topic in a later post), and we were as high as 10% before about half a million unemployed persons simply gave up looking for work.

So, what does the President focus his energies on?  Fixing the economy?  No, he focuses instead on healthcare.  Get the people riled up about healthcare, and they won’t notice the continuing degradation of the economy.  And it has worked.  How many people have realized that in the past three weeks, the Dow has lost pretty much all of the gains it has made in the past six months?  Not many.  Why?  We are worried about our insurance plans, whether or not we will lose our family doctors and whether or not we will be able to care for ourselves in the future with the insurance we will have.  All while polls show that the majority of Americans are happy with their health insurance.

Now THAT, is a weapon of mass distraction.

Catching Up: Political Toolbox …

OK, so we often refer to Democrat politicians as "tools" ... people who exist to be used by liberal special interest groups. Well, exactly what tool do you think President Obama is? I hereby nominate him to be a ...
Strap Wrench.
Why a strap wrench? You buy a strap wrench for something, and find out it isn't very good at doing what you bought it to do ... and it is totally useless for anything that has a decent purpose.
What political tool do you nominate President Obama to be?

Catching Up: Americans … The Next Nazis?

So a friend of mine ... marginally conservative, well-meaning Christian ... is a perfect example of what happened in Germany in 1933. He and his wife have jumped on the organic bandwagon. They breathlessly and evangelistically recommend the movie Food, Inc.

Movies like this really frost my cookies. It is listed as a "documentary", but it is something I call "polimentary", or a political documentary. It is chock full of anti-capitalist, anti-business statements. It is a clearly activist film that pushes a leftward agenda.

The movie uses food to re-enforce class warfare divisions: the poor who cannot afford to eat healthy and are stuck going through the drive through, and the well-to do who can afford to buy and cook actual fresh vegetables. It tries to re-enforce class divisions by equating Latinos ("undocumented workers") with African-Americans calling them "slaves" of the food industry. It tries to revitalize the tarnished image of the unions by creating a new crusade for them: lets fix food! The reference that great socialist tome of liberalism gone by: Upton Sinclair's The Jungle. The language they use is straight out of the failed assault on Wal-Mart: 'we want our food as cheap as we can get it but don't realize that it comes at a high price' in the toll it takes on the workers while these companies are making 'billions of dollars'. One bright spot was an organic yogurt producer selling to Wal-Mart and how positive a thing that is.

There are elements of justice for sale, farmers telling the stories of being ruined by the evil corporation, Monsanto. Over and over, corporations are vilified in this film, and then the discussions are ended with a external shot of a factory with the notation that the company refused to be interviewed for this film. Why would a company want to be interviewed for a movie that is a hatchet job against you. Do banks hand out guns with every account? Of course not! That gun may be turned around and used to be rob the bank. Why would you willfully participate in your own lynching?

The movie also goes into the "control" over the legal system that these food companies have. They talk about "veggie libel" laws and "cheeseburger" laws. It talks about lawsuits brought by Monsanto against small farmers who knowingly or unknowingly violate their patents.

As the movie progresses, it embraces the environmentalist agenda, talking about how industrial food is part of destroying the planet.

What does this have to do with Nazis, you may ask? Do you think people elected Hitler based on the promise to slaughter the Jews? Of course not, he was elected because of his promises to rebuild the economy and improve the lives of the German people. Does any of this sound familiar? Liberals do not run for office promising to change our lives, but to improve our lives. They promise to protect us. The theme of protection shows up in the movie when they talk about a child dying from E.Coli poisoning.

This is liberal fascism. They will protect us. The government will take care f us, and the only politicians who care are of course, liberals ... or so the liberals want us to believe.

A movie full of human tragedy caused by heartless corporations, one that works towards what I believe is the modern liberal goal. The modern liberal goal is not so much to change people's minds, as it is to get the conservatives and conservative-leaning people to not oppose their actions.

Hitler didn't need people to vote to kill Jews, he just needed the people to not oppose him while he did it. Wake up conservatives!

8^) Jim

Catching Up: Obama’s Victory is Our Fault, Conservatives!

We don't like to hear it, we don't want it to be true, but the fact is that Conservatives have been setting the stage for a President Obama since the 1970's. How, you may ask? By our virtual abandonment of public education.

Back in the 70's, when liberals realized that the way to win the future was to get the kids while they were at school, they rushed into public education like crazed teenagers at a concert. And, while they grew more numerous and powerful in the educational establishment, conservatives established an alternative educational system through church-run schools and "Christian Academies" to provide a safe place for conservatives to educate their children.

The 80's vintage report on the failure of schools to turn out a literate population further solidified the belief in conservatives that the public education system was beyond redemption and more and more students (children of conservatives) left the public school system, and conservative teachers left a system that was now considered to be the den of secular humanism and took pay cuts to teach at these schools that held to good Christian values. Meanwhile, values is stricken from the curriculum of public schools, and there is no one within the system to stand up for traditional moral values.

This trend continued and the children who were abandoned by conservatives, educated by a public system that focuses on social justice and equality of result, voted en masse for President Obama. He energized the youth of America, whose education left them susceptible to his charisma, but unable to properly evaluate his statements and promises.

In short, because conservatives left public education, we didn't so much as stop teaching children, as we have stopped teaching them to be Americans. I see this every day. I am a high school civics teacher, and I am a conservative. I actually have students who ask to switch to my class because they want a conservative opinion. They need us, they want us. Are we willing to answer their call?

"What spectacle can be more edifying or more seasonable, than that of Liberty & Learning, each leaning on the other for their mutual & surest support?" (James Madison)

8^) Jim

In this crazy life, who has time to blog?

OK, so it has been a MAJORLY long time since I have posted anything.  It isn’t that I haven’t had thoughts, but I have so many outlets for my thoughts (school, colleagues, friends) that I often purge things from my mind before I get a chance to write about it.  As such, I end up sometimes forgetting this blog.  Then today, something really profound hit me.

I have a friend.  She is one of those distant, once in a lifetime friends who bring your whole world into focus.  Not a romantic kind of friend (though it could have been once), but the kind of friendship that helps you define who you are and that keeps you from taking yourself too seriously.

My friend is in a rough patch in her life.  No job, very little money, but she manages to get by.  She has a blog that she writes in almost daily (sometimes more than once a day) and she has established herself as a semi-professional blogger.  I enjoy reading her blog and keeping up on the goings on in her life.  Her blog is about life in general (her life in particular) and I am often amazed at her positive outlook on life.

It has been said we rarely tell the people who are most important in our lives exactly what they mean to us.  Reading her blog has inspired me to make sure I write more in this blog.  I am going to cross-post between this blog and TCUNation, since both blogs cover the same topic but reach different audiences.

So in the interests of catching up, tonight I will cross post the current contents of the two blogs, and then, starting tomorrow, even if it is a minor observance, I am going to try like the dickens to post something every day.  Heck, maybe I will even theme the days and make little daily icons like she has.  In the mean time, check out her blog here.