Thursday, December 30, 2010

Fox News is Watching

If you're a recent Muslim convert, fly often, and have said bad things about American foreign policy, watch out.

Fox News is watching.

Although, I don't understand what Fox News has against this woman. She's on their side. She openly says that the current government is communist. C'mon Fox News. Surely you have more guts than to try to get rid of someone who so clearly agrees with you!

Oh, that's right. She's Muslim. So obviously, she must be evil. Duh.

I quite liked this lady's response to one of Fox News' emails (which I, quite frankly, would have spammed and left quite alone, because I don't like random people emailing me)-
"“The so-called 'jihadists' you have mentioned are actually personal friends of my husband from childhood. In the video he was expressing his love and gratitude to his friends, who have died fighting for freedom. Just like any other American or European citizen who displays pictures of soldiers who have died on their videos. There is no difference in gratitude and love. It is just that your government has deemed these noble men as 'terrorists' because they are not on the same side. Least us not forget the Mujahideen who fought the Russians for the U.S. They were deemed 'heroes' and lead by Osama Bin Laden at that time, and now because the government says so... they are "terrorists.””


Quite possibly their biggest beef with this woman? She wouldn't accept a friend request from the reporter. On Facebook. Well, duh. Facebook even warns you with something like- "Unless you know this person, you should not friend them" or something like that.

The moral of this story is: be careful what you 'like' on Facebook. Because, after all...your postings and 'likes' can be proof of your terrorist tendencies. And Fox News is most definitely watching.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas

O dear. It's been forever since I've blogged on here. I've been dreadfully busy with other things, and none of the news has interested me enough to blog, in any case. v.v

So, your Christmas post is late, even! :P Merry Christmas, Happy Saturnalia, Happy Holidays, all that fun stuff....hope everyone had a nice, uneventful day. My whole family vegged all day long. XD

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Drama in High Places

President Obama, in attempting to curry favor with the Republican bloc, has made his own party just a tad angry. The President finally reached some sort of compromise with the Republicans on the issue of tax cuts. To give you the short story- they're being extended. Again. And economists are predicting we'll be $900 billion deeper into our deficit before they expire again.

Of course, the one thing everybody is forgetting is that, if we didn't have so much darn spending on our plate, to the tune of some 3,500 billion, we might not have to levy so many taxes. But since that logic is soooo fourth grade, we're not going to go that route. No siree. It's so much more fun to dig ourselves deeper into debt, but hey, at least we'll be happy while we do it! Sort of.

On another note, I thought I'd say something about the drama surrounding the Wikileaks fiasco.

Heh. I find it ridiculous, the furor that's arising over all this. Our government is paralyzed with fear that, horror of horrors, we'll figure out what backroom deals they've been negotiating, where our money is being sent, and what they've been doing in other countries all these years.

In any case, I don't understand why some people are calling for Assange to be either thrown in jail to rot for all eternity, or, alternately, to be hunted down like an al Qaeda operative. Meh. If we're going to hunt him down like we do the leaders of al Qaeda and the Taliban, Mrs. Palin, he's quite safe. Trust me on this one. Of course, if we're going to hunt down Assange that way, then it would also make sense to hunt down some New York Times writer or editor or somebody. Yes, indeed.

In any case, I think much of the blustering is just attempted distraction. Our government doesn't want the rest of the world to suddenly realize that we've been total junior-highers and have been saying bad things about them behind their backs, not to mention trying to pull all sorts of shenanigans. That would be bad. v.v

Monday, December 6, 2010

And 2012 is Upon Us

Only, not really. Of course, you couldn't tell it by the eagerness of the New Generation of Republicans. They've already begun lining up for the senate seats that will be up for grabs in two years.

Now, I will say that I've been guilty of wondering who will run for President in 2012 (I'm probably going to be rooting for Gary Johnson, if anybody cares), but I find it rather ridiculous to be worrying about the same races we just got done with. v.v

Friday, November 26, 2010

Depressing Current Events

North Korea attacked South Korea. We were all duped by a shopkeeper in Afghanistan. Tom DeLay was arrested for money laundering or some such. The TSA is still being a pain in the neck. I found out that each aircraft carrier we have commissioned carries the equivalent of many countries' actual air force. And we have these all over the world. And we wonder why people feel threatened by us. I wonder why we feel threatened by them.

Just your typical, happy-go-lucky Thanksgiving week, in other words. I hope everybody had a good one...I got to cook nearly our entire Thanksgiving dinner because my mom wasn't feeling well. It was actually pretty fun- I ran down the battery on my iPod and got to get very hungry cooking it all.

Since all that was going on, I don't actually know that much about the whole Korea thing. As near as I can tell, North Korea apparently shelled a small South Korean island, which of course made South Korea a little angry. North Korea subsequently issued a warning that war could follow if things got too heated. Like, if we got involved, things might get a little tense.

But, of course, we have to stick our big noses where they don't belong. Why we have to conduct military maneuvers with the South Korean navy in the first place...I have no clue. But I think that qualifies as butting in and getting involved. Just a little.

I still don't understand why we think we should have to be involved in every thing that happens on the planet. Or why, like the substitute on the Glenn Beck Program said this morning, other countries should "fall in line" with us. Yeah. Because we're the world's mommy. We have to save them from themselves.

Of course, I don't think North Korea will actually do anything. With the power shift currently going on there, I'm inclined to believe this is just saber-rattling to make sure people don't think that now, as their power structure is changing, would be a good time to attack them. Amidst all this, China isn't even trying to get involved. They don't want war breaking out in their backyard. Again. And I understand why not- they're in the middle of prosperity. They don't want to mess it up. ^.^ If we only had as much sense.

Monday, November 22, 2010

In the Name of Safety

I'm sick of this subject. Which is why I'm going to proceed to rant about it for a minute. Or more.
I love how much is done in the name of "safety." We have to be "safe." After all, we wouldn't want to be...uh....unsafe, right?! It's for the children! So that they can...uh...well, be seen naked by creepy TSA people you can't see! Yeah! Save the children from...

Inept and slightly stupid terrorists. Who won't even blow up their own seats. I'm not sure why I should be scared of that. But okay.

Safety. What is safety? The absence from fear? Yeah, right. People are always afraid of something. It's practically a rule from the Human Handbook. And if there's nothing logical and concrete to be afraid of, our minds will make something up. Classic example: vengeful, angry ghosts. Throwing away billions of dollars and tons of privacy in the name of making people "feel safe" is absolutely silly from that standpoint.

If we define safety as merely being able to get on a plane without being blown up...well, since the chances of your dying in a terrorist attack are pretty near non-existent, I think we have that all wrapped up. Mission accomplished. The TSA can go home now. Leave us alone. Buh-bye. Let us go back to regular fears, like possibly dying from heat stroke or electrocution.

There's also the logical hilarity of the arguments used to support these new measures. The "Underwear Bomber"? Please. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab didn't even embark on a plane in the United States, but rather in Amsterdam. How was that a failure of our security services, and how could any heightened security measures here have stopped him in any way? (Except of course, for that little measure we could have taken of revoking his visa, but that would have been way too simple!)

The other two "major" terror attempts in the past few years have also not been connected to commercial flights departing from the US- the "Times Square Bomber" which was in no way connected to airplanes or airports, and the Terrible Cartridge Bombs of Death, that were sent through the cargo and baggage areas of the airport. On a FedEx plane. Tell FedEx they must submit to rigorous security protocols. FedEx can be used to initiate terror plots against the United States!

Yet despite all that, the government continues telling us that, in the pursuit of "safety", it is essential that we ignore every area of transportation and mail that might actually prove to be a threat, and instead focus on the civilians of America. In other words, us. Somewhere along the way, we became the enemy...if we ever even had a real enemy in the first place. Which I doubt. We created a phantasm in our minds, and now shy at it reflexively. But like nightmares, the danger is very real.

But only in our minds.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Civilian Trials (once again)

Ahmed Ghailani, one of the men supposedly involved in the embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya (that occurred, um, twelve years ago) was brought to trial Wednesday- or at least, that was when he was acquitted of all but one out of 280 charges.

Yessir. Those poor prosecutors were unable to use statements he made under duress (the outrage!), and unfortunately their trail had gone cold since, apparently, terrorists are unlike regular people, and we can't bring them to justice immediately. Oh no. We have to wait twelve years. Actually, only six, since he was captured in 2004. And then sent to Guantanamo.


Despite the acquittals, Ghailani is still looking at anything from twenty years to life in prison. Go us. We now know that if you conspire to mess up a pretty government building, you can get life in prison.

Right. Okay.

In any case, the response to this is pretty typical. In fact, it's laughably familiar. Didn't we already go through this? The Republicans are mad because they only had circumstantial evidence to throw at him, and hence he's not...uh...going to go to jail for a long time. Guys, let me acquaint you with one of the beauties of the American justice system:

You can't send somebody to jail if you don't have proof. It doesn't work. No matter how much you absolutely know, deep down in your little heart, that Ahmed Ghailani committed grievous crimes against us, without proof, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. That's a good thing. It keeps innocent people from going to jail.

This does not prove that civilian trials won't work for terror detainees. It just means that we have a cultural block, and we need to get over it and realize that these people are just that- people, who deserve just as much courtesy and justice as any other human being. We afford the worst kind of people civilian trials.

And on that note, I'd also like to, once again, challenge that little thing. "They're not civilians!" people cry. "We can't try them in civilian courts!"

But... "They're not a military! We can't afford them the protections of the Geneva Conventions!"


This proves it. I know what these men are.

They're figments of our imagination. *nods seriously* This has all been a big trick played by our minds. 9/11 didn't happen. Guantanamo doesn't exist. Because there is not a netherworld between military and civilian, and hence these men must not exist.

In any case, and all joking aside, I have decided that most of these trials are merely a sham, in any case, as this quote from the NYTimes aptly illustrates:

"Had he been cleared of all charges, the administration would probably have been forced to take Ghailani back into military custody rather than see him released."

And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. It just flat doesn't matter. Nothing matters in this crazy country we're living in now. According to the government (not only this administration's, but past ones as well), convictions, or non-convictions, by a jury duly appointed can be turned over at the whim of said government.

People ask how they can see us naked and pat us down in incredibly invasive ways for the mere crime of *gathp* wanting to travel?

That's how. Welcome to America.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Political Celebrities

So I suppose it was to be expected. Doesn't mean I can't enjoy the hypocritical irony.

You see, during the election (and after, and now) I remember people blasting President Obama because he was acting like a celebrity. I mean, he like, had TV cameras following him around all the time! He like, was feted like he was Brad Pitt or something! He had his own fan club! That evil man! How dare he think he's a celebrity or something? Politics isn't supposed to be a celebrity sport!


And now, the same people who said all that are lining up to fall down in loving adoration at the feet of the new political celebrity: Sarah Palin and "her Alaska". Maybe she'll take them out on that island so they can see Russia, and prove she's still fit to be President of the United States.

Sorry. That was low.

In any case, I find the hypocrisy there quite interesting. Hilarious, actually. Oh, the joys of American politics.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Well. It's been awhile since I posted, and for that I'm (sort of) sorry. Life has been nuts for me. ^.^ My mom and I attended a Students for Liberty conference in Austin, Texas on the 6th, which was awesome...except for the eight-hour drive to get there. Thank God for iPods and big books. (In addition, I'm participating in NaNoWriMo, and planning for another missions trip next year...and trying to raise money....but that's a whole 'nother subject, and we won't go into it.)

In any case, I figured I'd be a good blog author and post some stuff, just because I think that would help make my blog more interesting...and stuff.

The Pentagon has decided that repealing DADT would do practically nothing to the nature of our conflicts overseas and the makeup of the military. Really now? How surprising. Imagine that..."people are people, no matter how..." uh.... "strange." There we go. There are some pretty strange people in the world, let me tell you. Anyway, I don't think this study comes as a surprise to much of anybody except people who think gays are a literal abomination and that they should all be railroaded out of the military, along with Muslims.

In other news, a couple people in Washington are beginning to see that, hey, if we want to cut spending...we're going to have to give up some stuff! Like, we might have to stop handing out money like it grows on trees, or something. Huh, imagine that. That's...weird. I'm wondering when more people will catch onto the truth that we're not going to be able to have a utopia where we spend tons of money and reduce the deficit. Sorry, folks, it doesn't work that way. So, future retirees, buckle up and start saving money, because you're going to need it if you want to retire. Kids, save for college. Single mothers, find a good guy and settle down. Because this isn't going to be pretty, and people are going to be hurt in the short term. Loss and having to live a less exorbitant lifestyle sometimes is part of life. Get used to it.

However- and this is a big however- it would be far better to both cut $200 billion (or more) from our budget....but not increase taxes and "squeeze" an extra $100 billion out of Americans. Because people aren't going to like it. It's not going to go over well. "Yeah, we're cutting spending...but we need more money to do it!"


My favorite quote of this whole article? "It would stabilize borrowing within the next three years, balance the budget by 2040 and bring the debt more in line with historical norms."

We're going to stabilize borrowing. Not stop borrowing. Stabilize it. Yeah. We're going to stabilize the Titanic after that.

Oh, and don't forget this one: "Spending cuts outweigh revenue increases by about three to one, a ratio Sen. Richard J. Durbin (Ill.), the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, called lopsided."

Wait. Isn't that...the point? don't have enough revenue. So you're cutting spending. Yeah. Wouldn't that be sort of the purpose of this venture?

Well, there you go. Your daily spurt of cynicism.

In other news, today is Veteran's Day! In the spirit of the holiday, I thought I'd copy my Facebook status from this morning relating to it:

A thank-you to all our veterans. Your sacrifice is appreciated, even if our politicians are dingbats and have put you (and are putting the current generation) in unnecessary danger.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


So...the Republicans took the House. Big surprise, whoopiee. In Texas, my home state, Rick Perry got elected to a third term. Awesome. I'm so proud of the voting Texans in this state. They averted....uh....Rick Perry's virtual carbon copy, Bill White, from getting into office. Go ya'll. Thank you so much for saddling us all with that man for another four years.

Mac Thornberry, our representative for the House also got reelected. For the ninth time. This'll be his tenth term in the House. Once again, I'm so proud we voted in a small-government candidate from the Republican party! You go Mac, keep voting for legislation like the PATRIOT act, TARP, and all that stuff, and reduce the size of that government!

Yeah. I'm....very excited about the outcome of this election, in case you can't tell.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Terrible Cartridge Bomb of Death

In today's news, the UK police discovered what appeared, on first glance, to be a bomb. Only, it probably wasn't. Or it was. Whatever. You know, it amazes me how al Qaeda always manages to pick plots that can be so easily encapsulated in little two-word catch phrases. "Underwear Bomber". "Times Square Bomber". "The Cartridge Bomb". So easy for dumb Americans to remember and chant.

On top of that, there's the idiocy of current al Qaeda operatives. We had Abdulmutallab, whose bomb wouldn't have taken out more than this own seat. We have the Times Square Bomber (whose name escapes me now that I think of it) whose bomb wouldn't have done...well, much of anything, actually, seeing as it wasn't really a bomb to begin with. Now we have The Infamous Terrible Cartridge Bomb of Death that...

Was so obvious officials could spy it as suspicious from the outside of the packaging because it had white powder and wires. On the outside. The only thing that was missing was the ominous ticking of a Time Bomb. (BTW- don't click that link unless you want to spend many hours of your life on a website that is epic in its ability to suck you in...and because it's just sheer awesome, but anyway.)

It's hard to be shiveringly fearful of an organization that consistently manages to (once again) prove just how idiotically inept and impotent it really is. Dear al Qaeda people- please make all this government control in my life worth it and prove that you really can pose a threat to us. Please.

Monday, October 25, 2010


are almost upon us. The impending big day has been greeted with much speculation about how bad the Democrats will end up- not "will they", notice, no. They're going to do bad. It's just a question of how bad.

You know, it's rather frustrating. We had an election two years ago. Things aren't going to magically change/get better/even get worse in 2 years. We could, oh I don't know, stick with one side for awhile just to see how it'll end up before we automatically switch...and end up getting the same thing as we had before.

Rather closer to home for me, Texas is having the time of it's life. Rick Perry is probably going to win (again), have another term in office (again). Yay! I'm so 'cited. His most prominent opponent, Bill White, wouldn't be any better. But, of course, those are the only two people focus on. And whine about. The mantra is "Oh we don't have choices, so we'll just vote party."

Because, after all, voting with da partay has fixed our problems so effectively in the past. That's why America's in a drawn-out recession. Yeah.

The problem is, my dear fellow Texans, that you do have choices. So they're not great choices. Kathie Glass may have gotten the Libertarian nomination for governor, but that doesn't make her an ideal libertarian. (I'll leave you to go do the research on that one...) And the only other one is some Green Party candidate named...Deb Shafto, I think.

Not amazingly wonderful choices. But anything's better than the Perry/White choice at this moment...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Didn't we already do this?

Right. So now we're about to sell $60 billion in weapons to our very near and dear radical Muslim friendly friends in Saudi Arabia! Because it's so smart to do that. It's worked so well in the past.

I mean...Iraq never turned on us after we sold her weapons. Nor did Russia. Or Syria. Or Iran. Or Pakistan.

Not at all. Why, selling our weapons to other people just makes them love us so much! They think- "Wow! America really loves us! Let's not attack her now!"

If only...


The don't-ask-don't-tell policy is back in the news. Again.

Frankly, I find the significance of this policy questionable. I mean, what do you want? Should we make everybody in the army carry a big sign clearly proclaiming their sexual orientation, that way everybody's clear and we all know whether you like guys, girls, or both?

Frankly, I just flat don't see how this should matter to much of anybody. As far as I understand, in the military, your sexual orientation just doesn't really matter that much, seeing as you don't go there to find a date: you go there to go kill people, or whatever else it is the military does. Where, exactly, does having the ability to tell which sex you like better matter in any way in that setting?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Marijuana & Social Security

Fun subjects, right? You bet.

First up, Eric Holder issued an announcement that the DoJ wouldn't back down on marijuana law enforcement even if California (a sovereign state, did I mention that?) legalized said drug. Holder seems to be conveniently forgetting, in his push to keep it illegal so the federal government can continue enforcing drug laws, that the federal government has pretty much failed at either containing drug use, drug proliferation, and violence related to drugs.

Of course, one of the most hilarious (or sickening) parts of this thing is that the Republican party is against it. A state can't pass a law like that! They'll imperil the ability of the federal government to enforce laws! While...uh....Arizona is doing the same thing. Yeah! .....Right.

In other news, the Social Security Administration is reporting that payments to beneficiaries are once again staying at the same place, instead of going up as they apparently should. I wonder why that could be? It couldn't be at all because costs are increasing in other parts of the government, and so there's less money to devote for Social Security? It couldn't be because the Social Security system is bankrupt?

Oh no, of course not. It's just the recession. Yeah.

So there's your depressing fix for today. ^.^

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Free Market?

Only so long as companies stay here. If they want to leave, forget it. We hate them and we hate the elected representatives who gave them the freedom to leave.

It will never cease to amaze me, the hypocrisy here. Especially on the Republican side. Republicans, sit down and think about this for a minute. The free market is good. The free market is our friend. The free market regulates corporate behavior and makes sure that companies go where profits are. In the end, everybody's well off. But now the free market is taking businesses to China. Bad. The government should stop them because only the government can fix the free market, even though the government can't fix the free market so they should get out of it.



Now, on the Democrat side. Obviously, giving companies an incentive to be here (tax breaks) means they're going to outsource and lay off workers here. But if we just...raise their taxes...and make it astronomically expensive to operate here in the States, they'll stay here.


What planets are you all living on, again?

In any case, its become fashionable now to bash one's opponent in a midterm election race with the fact that they'll "send jobs overseas." Seeing as that's the one thing they all can agree on- that the other side is going to make jobs disappear overseas- I say we just get rid of all of them.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Life Goes On

Even in the middle of evil terrorists being tried. Well, well. Four trials prosecuting terror suspects were held in the past two weeks.

I'm sure some would like to say that there was mass rioting and much badness happened as the evil terrorists spouted anti-American rhetoric and thousands fell under their sway via their evil Sith mind tricks...

Unfortunately, nothing like that happened. People nearby, in the city, outside the city...were just fine. They didn't even hardly notice. It was a normal day. Birds singing, people talking, cars honking...

And the best part? It didn't cost New York City billions of dollars in security or trial fees. It didn't cost any more than any regular trial on any other regular case. 'Magine that. (H/T to SunTzu for this story. :) )

In other news, a Michigan judge ruled the health care law Constitutional yesterday. Oh, the joys. The judge's argument? He used the Commerce Clause, which is an innocuous line in the first article of the Constitution. It reads: "[The Congress shall have power] To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes." (Emphasis added)

How, exactly, that gives the federal government the leeway to mandate people must buy health insurance I don't know. You might be able to say that would justify the government making health insurance companies cooperate and like, let their policies carry on over state lines, because that's just smart and all. But not to demand that private citizens must carry some form of insurance.

Also, for those of you have been following the story of the soldiers who repeatedly staged combat deaths of multiple Afghanis for some strange, demented reason, court-martials have now been "recommended" for them. Really, now? You mean we might now want to court-martial them?

Meh. The military's inner workings will probably remain a mystery to me far into the future, and I really don't mind that. I don't want to know.

So, from terrorists...and back to terrorists. Peace.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Islam: Taking over Campbell Soup

Yes sir, that's right. Campbell Soup apparently decided it needed to cave to the pressures of those evil Muslims (who want to kill infidels) and make sure its canned soups were halal-friendly. Dietary halal is a set of rules about what Muslims can and cannot eat, obviously non-infidel friendly, as it restricts the eating of the beloved bacon and spiral-cut ham and also the gorging typically exercised in all-you-can-eat restaurants that are, of course, near and dear to the American heart.

This is, as you can see, yet more proof that all the Muslims want to kill all of us infidels. What will it be next? Will all-you-can-eat restaurants begin closing down? Will pork become scarcer? Will Jews be forced to eat halal foods instead of kosher? What will it be then?

How much will be too much? Will our government continue to let these private companies do what they can to make money, and accede to the demands of the evil Muslim conspiracy that is infiltrating our society bit by tiny bit? Will they let the Muslims use soup as a wedge to drive yet more space between themselves and the rest of American society?

Stop the Soup. Boycott Campbell Soup.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Using God

So, I'd like to get a for a minute. Yes, I know. Don't run away screaming, pweese?

Christine O'Donnel, the new Republican/Tea Party darling, has definitely stated that God wanted her to run for public office. And do something.

Yeah. Right.

And He came to you in a cloud and told you this, did He not?

You see, I really don't buy into that kind of thing. Something tells me that God, at the heart of it all, just...really doesn't care who is in office. I'm reading an excellent book right now, "The Myth of a Christian Nation" by Greg Boyd. Wonderful book. In it, he talks about the kingdom of the world (Satan's world, which he owns and rules) vs. the kingdom of God- the heavenly kingdom God runs and owns. His whole point is that God doesn't concern Himself so much with the kingdom of the world because it's all fundamentally Satan's. He's more concerned with Christians showing Calvary love to those around them and showing the kingdom of God in everyday life.

Add to that the fact that Jesus Christ never once encouraged political action. In fact, he discouraged it, and refused to talk about political issues of the day. When people tried to get him to take a stance on taxation by the Roman empire, he pointed out that since, according to the people around him, Caesar was an idolatrous phoney, why not give the idolatrous phoney what he wants- that is, his money back?

As a Christian myself, I get antsy when people claim God's endorsement when they're running for office, mostly because I see it as superficial. As this gentleman pointed out, it's a copout on some level, because it makes it so that the candidate doesn't have to take a stance. "Where do you draw your inspiration?" "The Bible." "Who's your hero?" "Jesus."

Really? Are we in Sunday School now?

More than that, I regard it as using God. Politicians use God to reach a goal. They know that by appealing to the broadest base of public support- religious Americans- they can get power. Because, after all, what will get you more votes- answering the question of why you want to be in office with the honest "Power and money" or "Because I want to turn America back to her roots, back to God"?

Which is sad, of course. Americans eat it up, not realizing the fundamental hypocrisy that goes on there. American politicians who call for God's endorsement also often seem to support the most contrary things- they support big business, which keeps millions of people the world over in bondage to a system of virtual enslavement. They support wars that are unjust and that foster rhetoric like "kill them all and let God sort them out."

Somehow- and this might just be me- I don't think that Jesus Christ, the same man who said that the greatest should become least and that all should love their enemies, would quite approve.

So perhaps it isn't so much that politicians use God...they just create their own that approves of everything they do. As Anne Lamott said- "You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Sorry it's been awhile since I last life has been pretty boring lately, and hence I've been too bored to actually write a blog post. Although, in my defence, I was out of town from Thursday to Sunday night (actually, Monday morning if you want to be technical), and so I couldn't blog. the news this week, local police officers are now going to have even more license to make eternal nuisances of themselves, as their job descriptions are now going to be expanded to "watching for precursor activity to terrorist activities" or something like that. (And an hilarious image of Barney Fife trying to apprehend a terrorist just popped into my head...)

From this article: "But this initiative represents the administration’s first thoughtful steps in fulfilling President Obama’s commitment to defining a lasting rule of law for this brave new world. We must make it work."

We "must"? Oh yeah, that's right. So we can be safe, yada yad. Right. I forgot that part. Of course, there are other options. Like, you know, we could, like stop bombing and invading sovereign nations without cause and stuff. You know. Be smart and courteous and all that good stuff. Stop hitting other children on the playground.

But oh wait. That would be the smart thing to do. We're Americans. We aren't smart, so we're not needed to be. That's right.

In that same vein, our government is now trying to control the internet- oh wait. Not control it...just make don't say something stupid, using the vehicle of fear. There goes half of my Facebook activities. Sarcasm? Out the window. Joking references to terrorism and your plot to blow up the 2011 Comic-Con? Don't even think about it.

You see, apparently the government has decided that Americans don't use phones enough anymore. We've all migrated to the internet, so now, naturally, the government is going to have to start imposing rules upon the internet. Well, to be fair, not quite rules. They just want to team up with social networking sites to get information about their widdle citizen's activities. Because we all need to be babysat, of course.

"Essentially, officials want Congress to require all services that enable communications — including encrypted e-mail transmitters like BlackBerry, social networking Web sites like Facebook and software that allows direct “peer to peer” messaging like Skype — to be technically capable of complying if served with a wiretap order. The mandate would include being able to intercept and unscramble encrypted messages."

Mm-hmm. Because it's always good to tie the hands of independent companies that operate on the free world of the internet so that they have to cooperate. At least Google went into willingly.

Once again along that tack, the Obama administration (which is, of course, for terrorists and against anything akin to intel gathering or the wars) wants to have more control over banks, not for the purpose of money, but so that banks have to report money transfers out-of-country.

But always remember- Obama is soft on terror.

In a rather ironic twist, atheists and agnostics score the highest on a poll on American religious knowledge.


That's sad, Christians.

The midterm elections are approaching, which is rather...well, not exactly exciting, per se, since I am fixing to make a prediction about who's going to take the Congress. Before I do that, I'd just like to say that this prediction kind of stinks.

Because I'd really rather the Democrats lose their majority, but the Republicans not gain one.

I dream of a better world where the true interests of the people are represented by a four, five, six party Congress...

I dream big, in case you couldn't tell.

There's lots more I could talk about. But I don't really want to. I'm already depressed enough.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Wall of Separation

‎"The wall separating church and state has functioned as a one-way wall, primarily restraining government and doing little to restrain religious individuals or religious organizations that are accorded the same rights to free speech, publication, association, a redress of grievance that other secular entities and individuals are accorded. So that has allowed religion to robustly serve as a moral code to the conscience of the country. No restriction on the ability of religion to speak to political issues, nor should there be. The limitations that are built in come the other way. The government cannot impose religious views on any person. Cannot choose up between religions, cannot choose religion over a nonreligion, can't endorse religious messages or oppose religious messages. It definitely shouldn't be funding overtly religious activity."
Rabbi David Saperstein, quoted in "The Holy Vote" by Ray Suarez

So I have to say: I agree with this guy. He states what I've tried to say numerous times quite simply and eloquently.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Short-Term Memory Loss

You remember Dory, the little blue fish in the Disney-Pixar film Finding Nemo? According to her, she suffers from short-term memory loss- an unfortunate predicament that leads to some very interesting plot twists along the journey she takes with the clownfish, Marlin.

Anyway. Hilarious fish aside, I am of the opinion that Americans suffer from a bad case of short-term memory loss. Why?

Maybe it's because American Conservatives seem dead-set on forgetting that their golden boy, George Bush, began the bailouts back in '08. Maybe because liberals consistently forget that they hated the wars not so long ago. Maybe because conservatives also always forget that not too long ago they were marked as possible terrorists...and then cheer on the deliberate expatriation of terrorists and the stripping of Constitutional rights from them.

Maybe all of that...

There's a video my mom found during the '08 election cycle. It featured parodies of George Bush and Clinton, with a "baby" John McCain and Obama, and Bush and Clinton were giving their two prodigies political advice. At one part in the song, they are singing about how their political plans are failing, people are getting upset...

"But if efforts at deflection aren't succeeding/And you feel that your career is on the brink/you've one trump card to play before conceding/As the details of your scandal become more than they can handle/They will surely seek relief and with memories oh so brief/With but one cycle of the news they'll find trivia to amuse/*gasp* Brittney's back in rehab!"

Yes folks, that is exactly what America is like. And this is what we're doing to ourselves.

Welcome to the world of one-week attention spans.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


So I figured it might be good to inject a little bit of humor into the blog for a moment...not only that, but I think this is a viable argument for amnesty. ^.^
(Notice the slight sarcasm. However, I will say that I've had some excellent burritos from ethnic Mexican people...ah, it's like heaven...)


Thanks goes to Megan of "The Mom and Wife Life" for her hard work and research on this article, originally posted on her blog. This subject is one that should be spoken about more often, but without the hysteria often provoked by conservative talking heads. So without further ado:

Sharia. It seems to be the new "buzz word" that people, particularly conservatives, keep getting all up in arms about. I am not going to say other people do or do not do their own "homework" because honestly I don't know, but as a Magic 8 Ball would say, "signs point to no." Why do I think that? Because it seems while this word is thrown around so much, largely as a scare tactic and a way to oppose anything having to do with the Muslim religion and culture in America, nobody I've come across personally can actually correctly define Sharia law. And so, to better grasp what it is in the first place, and why people are so opposed to it, I went in search of answers. And after hours upon hours of research, I still barely understand it. But here's my feeble attempt anyway, for whatever its worth.

The argument I hear by conservatives is that Sharia law is leaking into both American culture and her courts, and that the powers that be are allowing it, and that pretty soon Sharia "law" is going to basically take over America as we know it.

First of all, from my understanding, there is moral/personal Sharia - the moral, ethical, religious, and highly personal governance of one's own life by Sharia law. And there is legal Sharia - Sharia as it applies to legal matters. Yes, they are intertwined somewhat, but that doesn't mean they share the same function. The way I compare it to make it relevant to myself is the differentiation between Christianity being the framework by which I govern my own personal life, and the Constitution being the framework by which I abide by my country/culture's laws.

Secondly, Sharia itself is largely hard to define - both personal and court Sharia - because so much of it isn't "nailed down." Some comes straight from the Koran or other esteemed Muslim writings. But a lot of it also comes from.... Honestly, nobody knows where. It is based in large part on tradition and things accepted as "Muslim," however much of it appears nowhere in print. At least Christian Americans can say their convictions come from written sources - morally/personally from the Bible, and legally from the Constitution.

Read -here- for excellent information about this, including passages taken from the Koran and other Muslim writings. (Just be forewarned, some pop ups may come up when you click on the page...annoying and detracting, but I promise, the article is well worth the read.)

Now maybe its just bacause I am a Christian American, but I find the whole idea of a moral and legal code that isn't in written form unsettling. A code of any kind that isn't defined is one that is open to biases, corruption, usage for personal power and/or notariety, personal gain, manipulation, inaccurate translation and application...and the list is endless. Therein lies the fundamental flaw, in my eyes, within Sharia, and why I don't believe it will EVER be tolerated by or used for legal purposes within our courts. Even in matters pertaining to one's personal ethics. And here's why.

NO citizen in America, regardless of their religion, gets a free pass on murder (honor killings) or spousal or child abuse. Pre-meditated murder = life imprisonment or death sentence - end of story. People make the argument that honor killings have been permitted in America. This is absolutely untrue to the best of my knowledge. There is one case I know of where a man has been convicted and is on the run, but once caught, that man WILL be brought to justice for his heinous crime. Further, as for "eye for an eye retribution," that is also shot down hard by the Eighth Amendment's guideline for fair trials and justice to be carried out. "...nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted." A court would never allow someone to enact retribution on another that is "cruel and unusual," such as, for example, crashing their car into someone because they killed their relative in a drunk driving accident.

In other countries, yes, some heinous acts of Sharia have been permitted or "swept under the rug" based on what I can only define as "religious exemptions." However, in America, that would be unconstitutional. It would be showing religious favortism, which is contrary to the Constitution's First Amendment:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

This protects our rights to our religion, but it also protects one religion from being esteemed over another. To make an exception/exemption on a moral or legal matter which violates Constitutional law, would be in and of itself unconstitutional. So to permit or downplay honor killings, spousal abuse, child abuse, eye for an eye retribution, or anything else that is prosecuted by the law of the Constitution based on one's religion would be unconstitutional.

Still not convinced? Think of it this way... This is America. In America, regardless of whether or not you're a citizen of this country, if you're on our soil and commit a crime, you answer to our laws and legal process - NOT that of the country from which you immigrated or are visiting. And most, if not all, countries around the world have that same structure. Most other countries' legal processes/customs are a lot more harsh and their systems are a lot more corrupt and biased, but ultimately, you are to answer to the legal process of the country in which you commit the crime. It may not seem right, and it may not seem fair, but that's how it works. To ask that your own legal process be used in another country's courts is ludicrous to begin with! You would be laughed at for even asking!

But for the sake of argument, let's look at what would happen if we even tried to allow Sharia in our courts.

To cross-reference, here's the Sixth Amendment:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

And here's the Sharia. These references are taken from -Wikipedia- but have been collaborated by a number of other sources. I am going to break it down with my own comments/dissections.

-- Sharia courts do not generally employ lawyers; plaintiffs and defendants represent themselves.

So a Muslim wants to use Sharia. Great, then they waive their right to legal representation. In my opinion, that is a really stupid legal move, but okay, fine, that's their right. It probably won't work very well in their favor - it will make for a VERY weak case, since an "Average Joe" doesn't know the court system the way an attorney does - but whatever, that's their choice. If they want to waive the right and have little to no strong case and probably therefore lose their legal battle, then fine. No skin of my nose.

-- Trials are conducted solely by the judge, and there is no jury system.

So much for a "public trial, by an impartial jury." The Sixth Amendment pretty much shoots that down to begin with, which is enough right there. But for the sake of argument, even if it was decided that a jury not be present, that is putting your fate in the hands of one person - one person who may have missed things, has biases, etc. In my opinion, not wise.

-- There is no pre-trial discovery process...

This would not lead to a fair trial AT ALL! Things would be VERY skewed! Without a pre-trial discovery process, crucial evidence isn't obtained, so never entered into court. This could cause a guilty person to go free, or an innocent person to be charged. It is crucial to the process in order to maintain an "unbiased" trial! I just cannot foresee our courts, under constitutional law, EVER conducting a legal proceeding without it.

-- cross-examination of witnesses...

Again, this is integral to the Sixth Amendment's guidelines "to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor..." And without cross-examination, you are only hearing one side of the story. This could either exhonerate a guilty party, or convict an innocent one.

-- ...and no penalty of perjury.

No penalty for lying?!? Well, if lying is permitted without penalty, then you know there will be a LOT more liars in court than there already are! Wow, can we say corruption of justice?? If this were ever to happen, then yes, that would be a scary thing, because it would undermine the entire legal fundamentals of American justice!

-- Instead of precedents and codes, Sharia relies on medieval jurist's manuals and collections of non-binding legal opinions, or fatwas, issued by religious scholars (ulama, particularly a mufti); these can be made binding for a particular case at the discretion of a judge.

Non-binding opinions? Issued by religious scholars? Made binding at the discretion of a judge? Did these stick out like sore thumbs to anyone beside me?!? This would mean an ever-changing, ever-open-for-discussion, nothing-set-in-stone legal system. The Constitution IS set in stone! It cannot be changed on the whim of one judge or religious leader, and is hard to misinterpret, especially since our legal guidelines are pretty airtight. I take comfort in knowing what (hypothetically) would be facing me BEFORE I stand trial, and not be at the mercy of the judge, based on what the religious "scholars" are telling him/her! And fortunately, with the Constitution, I can go into any court knowing what to expect, and knowing its not subject to change based on the "gospel" of any religious leader or the discretion of any judge. Shot down by the Sixth Amendment once again!

-- Sharia courts' rules of evidence also maintain a distinctive custom of prioritizing oral testimony and excluding written and documentary evidence (including forensic and circumstantial evidence), on the basis that it could be tampered with or forged, or possibly due to low levels of literacy in premodern Islamic society. A confession, an oath, or the oral testimony of a witness are the only evidence admissible in a Sharia court, written evidence is only admissible with the attestations of multiple, witnesses deemed reliable by the judge, i.e. notaries. Testimony must be from at least two witnesses, and preferably free Muslim male witnesses, who are not related parties and who are of sound mind and reliable character; testimony to establish the crime of adultery, or zina must be from four direct witnesses. Forensic evidence (i.e. fingerprints, ballistics, blood samples, DNA etc.) and other circumstantial evidence is likewise rejected in hudud cases in favor of eyewitnesses, a practice which can cause severe difficulties for women plaintiffs in rape cases.

Sorry for such a big chunk on this one, but it all makes pretty much the same points over and over, but better than I can, so there ya go. Basically, with Sharia law, any evidence other than verbal testimony is rejected. No forensics, no circumstantial, no written, nada. However, the majority of the most heinous crimes, such as murder, rape, etc., HAVE NO WITNESSES!! So we're supposed to reject forensics, physical evidence, cirumstantial evidence, and written evidence in favor of the testimony of a suspected murderer or rapist?!? Are you kidding me?!? Basically, all the evidence says the perp is guilty, but he gets off scott free because, well, he says he's innocent?!! Oh, and I'm sure his cronies testifying on his behalf are all credible witnesses who are telling the truth and were there to witness him raping some poor woman. Yeah...of course they were. And obviously, their testimony is better and stronger than the victim's because, well, they're men, and men are always so much more honest and credible. Of course they are. (That was sarcasm, if you couldn't tell.) Sarcasm aside, this would NEVER fly in an American court of law! NEVER! We find the evidence, process it, and USE it, and let the EVIDENCE have a voice. To silence the evidence is to silence the most credible witness.

-- Testimony from women is given only half the weight of men, and testimony from non-Muslims may be excluded altogether (if against a Muslim). Non-Muslim minorities, however, could and did use Sharia courts, even amongst themselves.

Yeah, that'll make for an impartial trial. Mm hmm. And besides, I'm sure all the women's rights activists will just roll over and let that happen! (Sarcasm again.)

-- Sharia courts, with their tradition of pro se (self) representation, simple rules of evidence, and absence of appeals courts, prosecutors, cross examination, complex documentary evidence and discovery proceedings, juries and voir dire (oath of honesty and honor) proceedings, circumstantial evidence, forensics, case law, standardized codes, exclusionary rules, and most of the other infrastructure of civil and common law court systems, have as a result, comparatively informal and streamlined proceedings.

This is Wiki's summary, so I'll offer mine. (Oh goody. As if you haven't read enough of my mumble jumble already, right?!) Basically, by my interpretation, their system is one entirely of "he said, she said." Nothing is concrete, and its highly biased and wishy-washy. It is open to interpretation, changes, corruption, selfish usages, and therefore, I'm sure, results in many (if not mostly) false convictions and exhonerations.

By contrast, the US Constitution is concrete. It doesn't change, it doesn't bend, and if implemented properly, cannot be penetrated by corruption or used for ones' own personal motives. Each person walking into a court knows what to expect. They know its going to allow them a speedy, fair, public trial by an unbiased jury. They know there will be witnesses who will be cross-examined, and forensic, physical, circumstantial, and written evidence will be allowed to speak for itself and for the victim.

Ultimately, Sharia itself - moral and legal - is different from person to person. Each person defines it differently, and since there is no concrete governing document (for either facet, but especially legal) by which to base, well, anything really, then I cannot believe it will ever come to pass here in America. How can something undefined overrule and overthrow the defined?

Bottom line, as long as the Sixth Amendment stands, then Sharia never will. And based on that, I don't live in fear of Sharia. Do I like it? No. Would I ever use it to live by in my own life? Never. Would I (given the choice) want to use it in a court of law? No way. But because of my Constitution, and the court system in my America, I don't live in fear of it. Sure, its an interesting time and world in which we live. But this is America. Its Constitution is POWERFUL, and I have faith in it and in my country, that it will never be torn down in favor of a system that is so fundamentally flawed, ineffective, and biased. That's not what America is about - not when the Constitution was written, not now, and (hopefully) not ever. I think we'd have to get both really stupid and really lazy before we'd ever practice Sharia in our courts, or permit the aspects of it which violate constitutional and human rights in our culture. And I like to believe we're smarter than that. ;)

Saturday, September 11, 2010


As I ready myself for the deluge of "God bless America's" that will inevitably find their way onto my Blogger Dashboard and Facebook wall, I thought I'd just say a couple words on the subject of 9/11.

1) Originally, I had resolved to keep politics out of this. I decided that was an impossible venture this year, especially since I've already been challenged on 9/11 this morning. Fun times. I possess the amazing skill of finding (and semi-starting) a debate before eight am...this is one of my talents.

2) 9/11 actually means my little brother's birthday more than the 9/11 most people think of...Gilbert was born on 9/11/02. The poor kid is going to have that hanging over his head for the rest of the life. He's a character though. Happy seventh birthday Gilbert.

3) 9/11 was sad. What's sadder is what came out of it- two wars that have eaten up billions of dollars and millions of lives that many Americans don't seem to care about because they weren't our casualties. The events of 9/11 have been hijacked by the leaders of the New All American Cult of War. They've twisted them, creating a reality wherein all of a religion was used as a scapegoat for the actions of a few radicals.

To end this on a happy note, I wish everyone a good day!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Economic Woes

The economy is still failing- at least, if you measure the success or failure of that sector by unemployment rates, which still stand at over 9 percent. This rate is increasing amongst high-tech skilled workers, who are getting laid off due to lack of work- and then their jobs are being given to younger people fresh out of college. Exacerbating the problem is the fact that many of these jobs are now being sent overseas, where there is a burgeoning job market for these kinds of talents, and where workers will do the same work for less than Americans.

As we know, high-tech positions and workers aren't the only ones being hurt by this recession, but I think there is some credibility to the argument that they are sometimes hurt more than less skilled laborers. If an electrician gets laid off, he can get a job somewhere else relatively easy, even if it isn't electrical. But if there is a drop from somewhere like Hewlett-Packard as a computer engineer to fast food...well, that just isn't good.

But you know, don't worry. Our fearless leader has a plan. He's calling for $50 billion to be put into a new infrastructure fund and for there to be a push to upgrade the roads and railroads of America, thereby creating jobs.

It's about time, if you ask me. Some of the stretches of interstate highway I've seen are absolutely disgraceful. (Still better than some stretches of highway between Lusaka and Livingstone in Zambia, Africa, but still pretty bad. ^.^)

This is one measure I think I could potentially agree with President Obama on. Our road and railroad system is due for an overhaul, and this seems like a good idea. It may or may not be wise during a time of economic upheaval as we're in, but at least it's Constitutional. I also think some of the logic behind the plan, that of hoping to prevent earmarks headed for transportation projects, is good. It might make our lawmakers more focused on important things. Or wait...maybe we don't particularly want that.

In any case (and all jokes aside), at least they're still trying. But there's one area that some are saying shouldn't be maintained, and they should stop trying.

That's the housing market. From this article:
"As the economy again sputters and potential buyers flee — July housing sales sank 26 percent from July 2009 — there is a growing sense of exhaustion with government intervention. Some economists and analysts are now urging a dose of shock therapy that would greatly shift the benefits to future homeowners: Let the housing market crash. When prices are lower, these experts argue, buyers will pour in, creating the elusive stability the government has spent billions upon billions trying to achieve."

In the Texas town where I live, house sales are crazy. You drive down a residential street, and you're almost guaranteed to see a house for sale. And these houses aren't selling. They're just sitting there on the market, waiting for someone with enough money to come along.

And as the article above pointed out, despite the billions of dollars the government has pumped into the industry, it hasn't helped. The housing market is still failing. Further, the government insured thousands of loans and credit for mortgages on new houses, and now those people are defaulting, costing us even more money.

Personally, I agree that they should just leave it alone. Experience shows us that oftentimes, when an industry like this goes down, it springs back up soon after. People have to have houses to live in, one way or the other, and they'll continue to buy them, just as they will food or clothes.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

God, the gospel, and Glenn Beck

This was an excellent article.

By Russell Moore

A Mormon television star stands in front of the Lincoln Memorial and calls American Christians to revival. He assembles some evangelical celebrities to give testimonies, and then preaches a God and country revivalism that leaves the evangelicals cheering that they've heard the gospel, right there in the nation's capital.

The news media pronounces him the new leader of America's Christian conservative movement, and a flock of America's Christian conservatives have no problem with that.

If you'd told me that ten years ago, I would have assumed it was from the pages of an evangelical apocalyptic novel about the end-times. But it's not. It's from this week's headlines. And it is a scandal.

Fox News commentator Glenn Beck, of course, is that Mormon at the center of all this. Beck isn't the problem. He's an entrepreneur, he's brilliant, and, hats off to him, he knows his market (see video news report). Latter-day Saints have every right to speak, with full religious liberty, in the public square. I'm quite willing to work with Mormons on various issues, as citizens working for the common good. What concerns me here is not what this says about Beck or the "Tea Party" or any other entertainment or political figure. What concerns me is about what this says about the Christian churches in the United States.

It's taken us a long time to get here, in this plummet from Francis Schaeffer to Glenn Beck. In order to be this gullible, American Christians have had to endure years of vacuous talk about undefined "revival" and "turning America back to God" that was less about anything uniquely Christian than about, at best, a generically theistic civil religion and, at worst, some partisan political movement.

Read the rest.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Current Events

So, a pastor in Florida is going to sponsor a Qur'an burning at his church on September 11.

I can't stand people who want to burn books. I don't care what book it is. You have to be some kind of crazy person to intentionally burn a book. For real.

Further, where exactly is this man's church going to get the Qur'ans they are going to burn? Buy them? Um...wait. We're going to spend money...just so that we can summarily burn it. Right. Why not just sponsor a burning of Fed money? Because that would make just about as much sense.

Anyway, in further news. The Americans for Prosperity Foundation is in trouble. Turns out that, under 501(c)3 status, a company/foundation/organization cannot make any explicitly political statements. For instance, they can't bash certain policies of certain people we all know. To Tim Phillips, I'd just like to say- "voter education" doesn't include bashing just the opposite party's platform. That's telling the voters what we wish they'd think. How about we just let Fox News handle that, hmm?

Also, the Presidential family went on vacation (again). Not that I really care. Wish I had time to go golfing. Oh wait, I do, but I'm not the President. Right. I still don't care. What, you're saying it's wrong of him to spend his salary on what he wants? Really? How does that work?

Seeing as we, the American people, do have to pay our President, and said President does have alternate sources of income (his wife still has her own income, I believe), he can spend his money however he wants. If I had as much money as he seems to, I'd be taking trips to Martha's Vineyard, too. Of course, it might be hypocritical for him to counsel us to tighten our belts, then go on a vacation. But then again, Obama doesn't have the monopoly on bad advice. Remember Bush, telling us to "go shopping" in response to 9/11...and we all know where that brought us.

Wall Street is defecting to the Republicans, moving away from their normal ally, the Democrats. Odd, that.

So Democrats are using it as a campaign talking-point, that Republicans are, fundamentally, friends of big business, and not to be trusted as, obviously, big business must be paying off Republicans to try to repeal the stimulus/etc. if Republicans want to do so. Does that have logical validity? Sure. Is it likely? Probably. But Democrats have also been bought off in times past, and still are, so there you go.

So anyway. Americans are still concerned with things that aren't really important, a la Cordoba House, Republicans (and Democrats) are being bought off by Wall Street, and lots of other people, and our political system is still just as messed up as ever.

In other words, just another day in the life.

Cordoba House

Something I had never considered before- seeing as the Cordoba House (variously known as the "Ground Zero Mosque" or Park51) is being built on Park Place, this could very well interfere with a cultural icon dear to the hearts of many Americans.

Anyone who has ever played the game Monopoly knows that Park Place is one of the most expensive properties, and hence arguably one of the most important. If the Cordoba House is built on Park Place, it might very well be seen as an attempt to take over the beloved game of Monopoly.

Those evil Muslims.

(Disclaimer: if you did not get the sarcasm inherent in this post, you really should go get some sleep, and then come back and reread it.)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Parent Company Trap

Jon Stewart critiques the folks over on Fox News over their obsessive (or not so much) tracing of "where Rauf's money is coming from."

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The Parent Company Trap
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Now let me say- I don't think the majority of people over at Fox News are necessarily stupid. Misguided, perhaps, though no more misguided than the folks over at say, CNN or ABC or CBS or the NYTimes or the Washington Post.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Ad Hominem

I find it semi-hilarious when I'm attacked because of my stance in a debate, in a kind of strange, bittersweet way that isn't really all that funny when you really think about it.

Count as of now:
Three times in the past week my faith has been called into question.
Two times in the past week, my love for America has been called into question.

Two of the first three was because of the Cordoba House (Park51). The other was because of a gay marriage debate concerning Elena Kagan's confirmation and Prop. 8. The past two were because of said Cordoba House.

Once it was from someone I've looked up to as near-family.

It's rather sad, actually, how people you know and love can call into question some of the things that shouldn't be questioned just because you disagree with them.

So, for future reference, to all those who may want to attack me on these two things:

Don't call into question my faith in my God. Please. Let me and God take care of that one. We have a pretty good handle on it.

Please don't attack my "love for America." America is a great nation. She has problems. Calling her out on those problems isn't "attacking America." That's constructive criticism that should be put into effect to make America better.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Leaving Iraq?

So we've finally done it. We have achieved (at least partial) success in Iraq. "Yay us!" in the words of quite possibly the ditziest TV character ever written (kudos to anybody who can name her).

So, to recap seven years worth of war-

We went in under the auspices of Bush and his cronies, who touted the idea of supposed weapons of mass destruction owned by the Iraqi government. Since that time, according to CNN, 4,000 American soldiers have died in Iraq, as well as 106,000 Iraqi civilians. Mm-hmm.

Oh, but wait. What is this? We're not actually leaving Iraq. Of course not. We're leaving 50,000 American soldiers behind to help clean up. Well, I suppose that's only fair. We made the mess, we should clean it up. Of course, it would be optimum if we had never made the mess in the beginning, but one can't cry over spilled milk.

So not only are 50,000 American soldiers staying behind, but a bunch of our diplomats will also, to accomplish the goal of, and I quote, "By October 2011...assum[ing] responsibility for training the Iraqi police, a task that will largely be carried out by contractors."


But I'm being cynical. Who knows. Maybe we will be able to get this beautiful country cleaned up in record time. But judging by the fact that most countries we've been at war with are just now coming back, or have been on a slow, hard road to recovery...I wouldn't count on it.

Say hello to "War, Part II- the Aftermath, as we try to clean up what we screwed up, and fail utterly."

Have a nice day.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Victory in Iraq? Eh, Maybe Not

Okay, so I admit it- isn't the best place one can get their news. Okay, so one could hardly call it news. But nonetheless, I found this hilarious. So, for you, this direct from

CAMP SPRINGS, MD—Addressing troops at Andrews Air Force Base Tuesday, President Barack Obama claimed victory in Iraq, saying that formal combat operations in the region would end Aug. 31, and that the United States had emerged from the seven-year war triumphant, kind of.

"For nearly a decade, our mission in Iraq has been to root out those who would choose violence over peace, to create a stable Iraqi government, and to transfer power to an incorruptible civilian police force," Obama said. "And, in a manner of speaking, we sort of did some of that, right? More or less?"

"Granted, this is not the definitive, World War II–like victory most of us expected," Obama continued. "But there's a military triumph in there somewhere, I swear. You just have to look at it from the right angles."

The aftermath of what the president is calling "a success, in a sense, although not really in a traditional sense, per se."

According to the president, the relative victory could be credited to a number of achieved benchmarks, depending upon how strict one's definition of "achieved" is. Obama pointed to the democratic election of an Iraqi parliament currently being held together by a thread; the streets of Iraq being slightly less hellish than they were in 2006; and the fact that women are now, for the most part, free to move around the country so long as they don't make a big production out of it.

Obama also noted that during the war more Iraqi insurgents died than American troops, which, he admitted, isn't necessarily the best way to determine a war's victor, but is nonetheless still preferable to the other way around.

"By the end of this month, victory, to a certain extent, will be ours, and we can finally welcome our troops back home," Obama concluded. "That is unless they are one of the 50,000 U.S. soldiers who will have to stay in the region for the foreseeable future."

Following the president's address, a car bomb ripped through an outdoor market in Baghdad killing eight Iraqis and wounding 32.

Pentagon officials also declared the mission, in a sense, kind of sort of accomplished Tuesday, citing the handful of Iraqi hearts and minds that may have been won over by the U.S. occupancy, and the fact that Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki had not yet been assassinated.

"In cases where we were unable to rebuild infrastructure or quell violent civil unrest, it wasn't for lack of trying," Gen. Ray Odierno, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, said during last Sunday's taping of ABC's This Week. "And trying your best, one could argue, is technically a triumph in and of itself."

"And hey, Saddam Hussein isn't in power anymore," Odierno continued. "So that's something."

With the cessation of combat operations, and the declaration of what sources said couldn't be called a complete and utter failure because to do so would be to admit that the U.S. wasted $750 billion, lost 4,400 troops, and killed 100,000 Iraqi civilians for absolutely nothing, both Democrats and Republicans have attempted to take credit for the quasi-victory.

"President Obama deserves zero praise for this borderline accomplishment," Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) told reporters. "After all, if it weren't for President Bush ordering the initial invasion of Iraq and making it his central foreign policy initiative, we wouldn't be here right now awkwardly celebrating the muddled outcome of whatever the hell it is we've been doing over there for the past seven years."

Pentagon and White House sources said the American people should expect more wince-inducing victory-if-you-can-call-it-that celebrations 10 or 15 years from now when we kind of, but not really, win in Afghanistan

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"The Immigration Problem"

So with all the controversy surrounding the Arizona immigration law, I thought it was probably high time I said something on the subject. And so, without further ado-

I've noticed that some people seem to have this view that immigration is evil, no matter whether its legal or not. Their thinking is that America is for the Americans, whatever that means. Then we have people who think that "illegal" immigration should be stopped. Then there are still others who think that immigration is fine and all, but once people are here, they should "become American"- whatever weird "American" they're thinking of. Then there are people who are of the opinion we should just let anyone and everyone in, whether they are legal or no.

As for me- well, I'm not really sure. One thing I do know is that, if we completely stopped immigration, our economy would most likely either stagnate or implode completely as cheap labor ceased to come in. However, if we let too many in, we might see either not enough jobs to go around and unemployment would skyrocket, or more jobs being created as labor became cheaper as the workforce expanded.

One thing I do think is a given- the immigration system America currently has needs a lot of work. For one thing, its astronomically expensive. And if anybody can figure out how a Spanish-speaking Mexican national who lives on three bucks a day can get into a country that requires thousands of dollars and the completion of multiple forms (all in English) before they can even have a hope of eventually getting into America legally (within oh, ten years), then that person will officially become a genius in my eyes.

So for starters, it would help immensely if we cut down on how much it cost. Yes, yes, I know- "if they want it enough, they'll pay for it." With what money, pray tell? We expect them to go to the end of a rainbow and nicely ask the leprechaun for his pot of gold?

Now, for illegal immigration- yes, it is a problem. But when one has a problem, it oftentimes helps to trace the problem back to the source. Why is it a problem? If people feel the need to come here illegally, why? I think it can be traced back to some of the above factors, at least some of the illegal immigration. It's too expensive. They can't afford it. What do they have to lose if they try to just cross the border? Deportation? Won't be any worse than the hell-hole they're in at the moment. Length of the process. Once again. What do they have to lose if they try to cross the border immediately?

And so, it is easier to come across illegally.

Now, for those illegals who are motivated by the profits to be gained here- drug dealers, etc. Well, let's see. We've been fighting a "war on drugs" since 1971. Since 2009, we've also been sending money to Mexico to try to help them eradicate the drug problem. Let's see...1971, it's now been almost 40 years since we've started this "war on drugs"?

That means that, in 40 years, we've not only failed to eradicate drug abuse and drug dealers, but the problem has only escalated. In 2003, it was estimated that over 50% of high school seniors were abusing drugs. 20% of 8th graders had tried marijuana. In 2007, 8% of people over 12 had "used" illicit drugs. (This site has an excellent map of drug abuse stats, etc.) According to Wikipedia, in 2005, we had arrested more than 2 million people for drug use.

The "drug war" has failed. Its just wasting money. So stop. Remove the stigma from marijuana, and I do believe we'd see use fall. Yes, people would still use drugs. But it's their body. They can mess with it if they want. And if use fell, we'd see drug dealers trying to get in from Mexico cease trying to get in as much.

Next, obviously our "wall" at the border hasn't managed to keep anything out. As Gary Johnson said- "A 10-foot wall [just] requires an 11-foot ladder." Or, in the case of some of the drug dealers, it just requires a truck with some handy hiding places, and not so much luck as you'd think. Some of the border patrol officers seem more inclined to harass a middle-aged man with his white wife and three teenage children (have a friend that happened to) than the people who might, more logically, be drug dealers. That just shows you the power of a quota.

So here's what we need to do- either hire border patrol officers with more sense, or institute a better system. Oh yeah, and make sure that people who are here illegally can leave, and not detain them as they try to leave, spending lots of money keeping them in jail, because that's just silly. Then, we should streamline the immigration process, and make it so that it is less expensive and takes less time to come here legally.

Anyway. Just my thoughts on this subject.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Cordoba House- Again

So this issue has once again been brought to my attention. Here is a short, probably not-so-sweet, but to the point summary of my position.

I do think it is a bit insensitive of Cordoba to build this so close, especially when they've seen the reaction. However, there are some facts that cannot be disputed. They bought the property, hence they have the right to do whatever they want with it- property rights. They have a religion, and are free to practice it- freedom of religion. They have a right to worship together- freedom of association.

However, I do think one thing needs to be remembered- Cordoba and Imam Rauf did not kill those 3,000 on 9/11. The guys who killed those 3,000 are dead. It's useless to whine about them now. It's over. Can't cry over spilled milk. Yes, what happened was terrible. I condole with the families who lost loved ones- both Muslim and Christian and athiest, and whatever other belief systems may have been represented, because I'm sure the families of those 19 men miss them just as much.

But we also can't forget what has risen out of this. It's killed hundreds of thousands of civilians all over the world. It's divided Americans even more starkly along lines of left and right. It's made Americans so gun-shy they freak over the slightest evidence of a possible terror attack- while the rest of the world laughs at our naive belief that we are the only country that has ever been attacked by a terrorist. We lambast a whole race of people for the actions of 19 men. 19 men attacked us. There are roughly 1.5 billion Muslims on the globe, and the number is rising. You do the math. 19 is such a tiny percentage, I'm pretty sure you'd have to put it in decimals. Even if you put in the couple hundred estimated insurgents involved in al Qaeda, the Taliban, and like groups (and that membership is growing too...I wonder why?), you've still got a small, small percentage. That's like saying that, out of the couple billion Christians in the globe, all of them should be treated with as much disdain as we all treat Westboro Baptist Church. That doesn't make sense, and nor does ostracizing and behaving with such venom towards an entire sect of people.

To summarize- yes, I feel for the families of the 9/11 victims. I do think Cordoba should look into moving this community center/mosque somewhere else. But in the meantime- Constitutionally, they can do whatever they want with the property. And I think, that if this does begin to happen, and happens, we should let it be. Move past it. We're all adults. Osama bin Laden would love nothing more than for us all to jump on Muslims and demand they shut down their mosques. Do you know how much of a PR field-day that would be for him? His recruiting levels would go up immediately! The evil Americans, denying what they profess to believe in, and repressing the poor, beleaguered Muslims. Yes, we may look at that and think that he's misrepresenting the situation...but we know about the media, and we know that's exactly what bin Laden and his ilk will say.

Let's not give him the satisfaction.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Conquest through Corporation

So I had a thought last night- for the last ten years, our country has been embroiled in two conflicts to quash out radical Islam. Recently, we've also had problems with Iran (she's radical too, apparently). However, what we need isn't wars.

We just need to push Walmart and McDonalds to settle down there, make themselves at home, and open up shop. There's nothing like Western fast food and convenience to quash those pesky concerns about religious and national identity. It's worked great in other countries, anyway.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A Random Musing on Hypocrisy

It will never cease to amaze me how people who don't want government in their wallets, their churches, their homes, their gas station, their workplace, their hospital, or their local stores, will nevertheless push for government to get involved in the bedrooms and bodies of Americans everywhere.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"Ground Zero Mosque"

So the entirety of the American political spectrum is up in arms- has been up in arms, to think of it- over this issue. A group of Muslims, led by one Imam Rauf, is planning to build a mosque three blocks away from Ground Zero.

Oh noes.

Of course, it's entirely unacceptable that America, like, be the beacon of religious freedom she has been for the past two hundred years. I always thought religious freedom was over-rated, anyway.

The opposition to this mosque/community center arises mainly (surprise, surprise) from the Right. In the American exceptionalist mindset the average Republican pundit possesses, it is inconceivable that America should actually allow alternate views and religions to rise up in her land! After all, those Muslims spread their religion! And...they blew up our towers!

Hint about that last one, by the way- the people who blew up our towers...are dead. Just thought I'd let you know.

But, of course, those aren't the only reasons we don't like the idea of having a mosque in America. This mosque is practically right on Ground Zero! Even though it's...three New York City blocks away. But it would hurt the sovereign, just, righteous cause we have! That Muslims are evil! That they killed our people! It would send a message to our enemies that- Hey! Bring me your tired, your worn, your radicals!

This author has an answer to that:

"But I’d have thought that opinion leaders of all ideological stripes could reach consensus by applying a basic rule of thumb: Just ask, “What would Osama bin Laden want?” and then do the opposite.

Bin Laden would love to be able to say that in America you can build a church or synagogue anywhere you want, but not a mosque. That fits perfectly with his recruiting pitch — that America has declared war on Islam. And bin Laden would thrill to the claim that a mosque near ground zero dishonors the victims of 9/11, because the unspoken premise is that the attacks really were, as he claims, a valid expression of Islam."

My take-

It's a mosque and community center. As one of the commenters on the above linked article asked- how would Palin, King, etc. react if it were a church being proposed? Would they care if Muslims objected?

That's a laugh. It would be whimper-and-whine time. "Oh boo-hoo. Help us. Religious persecution!"

But since it's another religious group we're discriminating against...oh well, that's fine.

Furthermore, I don't think this will harm our image in the Muslim world. I think it'll show people that America is mature enough to not compromise on what she claims to believe in- that is, freedom for all, not just the people we like.

Jon Stewart had an excellent segment on this issue:

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

In the News...

Lots of fun stuff is happening, as usual!

Airstrike "Complications" (Yeah, I'd call it a complication)

So for starters, we just killed five Afghan soldiers who were *gasp* actually doing their jobs! In our defense, it was an accident. So McChrystal instated new rules that made it difficult for soldiers to call in airstrikes on unidentified personnel. God forbid we actually like, exercise discretion before we go in, guns blazing like we're in the Lone Ranger or something. Totally unacceptable.

Yet those rules are loosened and we instantly see an uptick in deaths. Um...yeah. I'm thinking McChrystal's approach was better. The article put it this way-
"Yet other [soldiers] say there have been few cases identified where it is clear troops have been harmed because they were prevented from properly defending themselves – and that the drop in civilian deaths from airstrikes and night raids has also meant fewer enraged cousins and brothers who themselves become insurgents and kill Americans to avenge the deaths."

Can we learn this principle of "blowback" people? We let our soldiers kill civilians, our soldiers die. It's that simple. (Of course, we could avoid both parts of that equation by just getting the heck out of their country, but since it seems nobody outside of a village in Afghanistan seems to think that's a good idea, I don't think it's going to happen.)

As one of the commenters said- "Has any army since Alexander the Great successfully subdued Afghanistan? If not, what makes us think we can?"

Excuses, More Excuses

That's the title of a song BTW, written by a Christian evangelist person who is now dead I believe. He was hilarious. But anyway. That is irrelevant to this section.

What this portion is about is the fact that we keep finding more and more reasons to attack Pakistan and take over their government and stay there for decades and kill their people and harass their military and their government and ruin their infrastructure and all that fun stuff we've done in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Sure, it looks all nice on the outside- we've caught terrorists! We've charged them with crimes! We know who they are! We're going to put them in Gitmo and uh...use interrogation techniques that may or may not mentally and/or physically harm them, and find out all their secrets! Then we're going to put them in jail for a long, long time!


"Newly unsealed charges against Adnan G. El Shukrijumah...present the government's clearest case to date that the main al-Qaeda organization remains active in trying to attack U.S. targets, alongside similar efforts by al-Qaeda affiliates."

"The court filing comes as President Obama and senior national security aides have increasingly cited recent domestic terrorism cases as justification for the war in Afghanistan, noting that country's border with uncontrolled tribal areas in Pakistan where al-Qaeda is based and from which, U.S. officials say, threats continue to emanate."

Yeah. So the next logical step is, of course, to attack Pakistan and continue our quixotic search for these evil terrorists.

Tea Party Exceptions

So now Sarah Palin is trying to get the ardent members of that Tea Party populace to not engage in their deficit-reduction fervor quite so much. Why? Well, it just wouldn't do for us to stop spending 3-11 billion every time we bought a ship. Entirely unacceptable.


Last time I checked, we were in the midst of a major recession. When people are going through hard times, what do they do? Well, they might just decide to scale back, not just on that new gadget or on their food budget...but usually, they might also fire that extra security guard if they have one. Y'know. To save money and all that good stuff.

See there's this amazing thing about the Declaration of Independence, that thing we celebrated just a few days ago. One of the complaints they lodged against King George was that he had a standing army. Remember that? Yeah.

Kind of amazing, that little fact, right? ^.^

So yes. Just a little foray into three things that caught my eye. There's more, of course- lots of oil-spill drama, even more economic drama. However, I'm not going to cover it here...

As a quick note- I'm going to be leaving Sunday for church camp, and will not return till the following Sunday. I'm going to enlist my mother to post comments for me again. Play nice. ;)