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