Thursday, September 24, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
I just cannot figure the Democrats out. Why, why, why do they think that the "government option" is the ONLY solution to helping take care of the health care situation? Why are they so dead set on sticking through this - thick-or-thin, come-what-may, hell-or high-water? Why won't they weigh any other alternative, no matter how logical or reasonable?
What has made them so close-minded and intolerant to discussion and debate on this issue that they won't compromise one letter, despite the potential consequences to Obama's reputation as a leader and to their own re-election chances? Why is the passage of this one bill worth sacrificing their political careers and to the "edge" they hold in the House and Senate, this despite legitimate and credible doubts to the plan as they wish to enact it?
It boggles my mind, and it makes me grateful once again that I long ago decided to embrace my "independent" status after having supported Democratic candidates for so long (and I keep having to say this: Just because I no longer consider myself a Democrat does not mean that I am now a Republican. The GOP drives me nuts as well). Otherwise, I too would have been lost in their foggy-minded insanity.
I can hazard a guess, mainly because like I said, I was once one of them before I came to my senses. I believe that the Dems see the passage of this nutty GovOp (as I've been calling the "government option") as so crucial and primary to everything else is because they are of a mindset that belongs to the past: the left-wing 1960s.
I believe that this current crop of Dems, which is made up of a lot of aging baby boomers who grew up in that era, feel that this is their one last, best chance of finally implementing their dream of a (bracing myself for the potential criticism here, because there is no other way to say this but to call it) Communist-style health care system in which it's all free - paid by the obscenely wealthy overprivileged class that robs from the rest of us poor dumb slobs who wouldn't know thier anus from their belly button if the Dems weren't there to tell us.
In other words, the Dems believe they know better than us on what's best for us. And they decided that this GovOp is the best for us - despite arguments and evidence to the contrary, because this idea came into its full flower in that holiest of holy eras of the 1960s. It's a dogma, in other words - so right and correct that to try to say otherwise is blasphemy. When the rest of us unwashed rabble dare to question the GovOp dogma, we are insulting their god.
Even a mass of 50,000 or 1 million (depending on whose stats you believe, but I think it would be easy to know the difference between a group of 50,000 people and a million of them. Someone's yanking our chain here) marching on D.C. this past weekend was not enough of a sign that perhaps the GovOp is not the only alternative out there.
No, the GovOp is still the way to go for them. They favor this plan that will prove nihilistic to their re-election chances if they pass it anyway - which they are hard at work to insure that it does. Well, bully for them if they get themselves voted out in the process. I had long said that the party needed to implode from within and rebuild if it's ever going to return to its former glory. Perhaps we are finally going to witness that belief of mine coming into action.
Thing is, they are proving so short-sighted that they aren't even thinking that if they succeed in passing it and do indeed get themselves voted out in 2010 and 2012, who's to say that the new members of the House and Senate - who will most likely be a lot of Republicans - won't turn around and dump that plan right off the bat - especially if the GovOp proves to be as disastrous as some have been saying?
So then the Dems will have pushed and pushed and pushed themselves out of D.C., all for a plan that will do much more damage than what it will allegedly solve. In the process, they will have given the Democratic party a black eye that will take a very long time to heal. And a self-inflicted black eye at that. There is no other word for it than "insanity"; dumb, blind, feverish loyalty to an outdated set of values from another era. Hmm. Maybe there is something to that "natural selection" idea after all.
Thursday, September 03, 2009
Adolf Hitler, the Nazi Party, and the rise and fall of both, is a history lesson that will be studied for a long time to come - and it will certainly be used over and over again by political activists of all stripes seeking to persuade discussions to go their way. Basically, the formula is to link your opposition to Hitler in some way or fashion, and the rest, theoretically, takes care of itself.
Much has been made lately of comparing President Obama to Hitler, and there has even been altered pictures circulating that has Obama with Hitler's toothbrush mustache. While left-wingers may cry foul over that, they are far from innocent in using Hitler for political aims. For pretty much all of President Bush's terms of office, left wingers had tried to link Hitler to Bush and the war in Iraq.
The truth is that neither president nowhere near approaches Hitler's lust for power nor his territorial ambitions - and while you may argue over how much loss of human life each has caused, their numbers nowhere nears the staggering loss of life that Hitler brought about. It's just not a valid comparison - and yet that won't stop the comparisons from being made. There is a saying that the definition of insanity is to do the same failed thing every time and expecting a different result each time. Both left and right wingers cling to the Hitler tactic because it is a lazy shorthand way of labeling the opposition instead of actually debating the issues. It's for them that "Godwin's law" was made.
Let me ask this: How many of you had your mind changed after you heard that "X" is just like Hitler? Were any of you a Bush supporter until left-wingers compared him to Hitler, then you switched sides? Did any of you back Obama until you saw those pics of him with a Hitler mustache? The truth is that Hitler and Stalin were monsters the likes of which had never been seen before, and hopefully won't be seen again.
To try to turn the tragic, painful lessons brought about by their murderous actions just to score cheap political points is an insult to all those who suffered and died under their respective regimes. Politics is a dirty, ugly business, and it often is reduced to childish and immature behavior just to gain some edge over their opponent.
Having said all that, this is not to say that there aren't any instances of comparing "Person X" to Hitler, just that the Hitler card has been played so much that whenever it shows up, it's mostly because of that player's intellectual laziness rather than through any valid comparison. The overuse of the Hitler and the Nazi card also has the effect of blurring or diluting the true lessons that can be learned from his actions, and that's something that should NEVER be forgotten.
I'll save that discussion for another time, because I want to be able to deal with this thoroughly.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
It is a fantasy because to have a "free health care for all" plan will fail by the simple fact that there is simply not enough money to support such a program. We will not be able to tax the rich enough to support it, because there aren't enough rich people to tax. And if you tax them too much (which you will have to do in order to get the funds for the public option), then they will either not be rich anymore, or they will take their money and leave the country. In either instance, we will be "SoL", because then who is left to tax for what will become the motherof all money pits? Ya got it, bucko. The rest of us slobs.
Plus, if employers are given the option of paying a private HMO for its employees vs not paying anything and letting them sign up for the gov't plan, what option do you think they will take? What employer would be willing to take on the added expense of paying for a private HMO for its employees when they wouldn't have to? And what private HMO could stay in business if employers drop them in favor of gov't plans? Those private HMOs will then go out of business, thus leaving the public "option" as the sole remaining option.
The argument that the gov't is simply trying to provide "competition" for private HMOs is a false argument, because there is no way a private HMO can compete with the gov't, who doesn't have to worry about making a profit, thus it can set its own prices - including prices that would be ruinous for private HMOs. This is simple economics that even I know. Soon we will be throwing money at an organization (the gov't HMO, that is) that has no incentive or motivation (like profit) to be doing a professional - or even a good - job in providing your health care.
I call the public option "delusional" because that is exactly what it is to expect that a change from a plan run by profit-mongers - that is, private HMOs - to a plan run by power-mongers - that is, a gov't plan that will become a football in the hands of politicians and lobbyists. Why would we expect that a simple exchange of mongers will make things better? At least with the private HMOs, we can hit them where it hurts by shopping around when they start putting profits ahead of service. Not so when the public option eventually becomes the only option.
Having said all this, this does not suggest that I don't think we need health care reform. Far from it. What I DON'T support is the belief that "health care reform" is totally synonymous with "gov't plan". In fact, I would view them as polar opposites. I am fully aware that private HMOs pull a lot of funny business and I would totally support true health care reform that helped to curb their abuses. More on those alternatives in my next or upcoming blog entry.
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Will a federal health insurance plan (FHIP) do any better than the private system that we have now?
First, understand that I tried very hard to keep this question from sounding like I'm some sort of anti-government kook. However, I can't shake the idea that a FHIP will become yet another political football whose coverage will vary depending upon who's in office. I also can't shake the fear that a FHIP will become the tool of political lobbyists for pharmaceutical corporations and various other associations allegedly based on "health services". In other words, I can't shake the belief that certain illnesses will get preferential coverages under a FHIP because a certain PAC happens to have powerful lobbyists working for it rather than coverage being based on actual need.
Granted, there will be a "shake-out" period for any FHIP that happens to get off the ground, but can we afford to wait until such a shake-out is complete? And any medical or pharmaceutical PAC would want the "shake-out" period to last as long as possible so that they can keep taking advantage of the uncertainty to work in as much influence into the final plan as they can. I can't shake the feeling that a FHIP is going to be a gigantic financial boondoggle that will do more to hurt health care than help, because we are depending upon politicians to not resort to type by using a FHIP to help their re-election chances rather than to help the people for whom it was intended: the currently uninsured. Can any of you honestly trust politicians to not think of themselves first before the constituencies that they serve - especially with something that is going to be so personal and primal to our lives as our health and health care?
There are some other things I can add, but now is a good time to stop and get some feedback before I continue. However, I will say that it really would give politicians' word more sway if they made themselves subject to the very same FHIP that they expect us to take up (see my previous blog entry). If it's going to be mandatory for us to take it, then it should be the same for them. As foreign a concept as this might be for them, if they would lead by example, then it would speak volumes more of their faith in a FHIP than exempting themselves from taking up such a plan while requiring us to take it up.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
I say that they should set the example and require that this mandatory sign-up also include themselves. If it's good enough for them, then it should be good enough for the rest of us. Otherwise, they're setting themselves up to look like a bunch of friggin' hypocrites.
Yeah, I know what you're thinking: "Gasp! A politician lied! That's never happened before!" Still, if they want us to swallow this bitter medicine, then it will down easier if they share our pain.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Does Sotomayor likewise believe in "undesirables"? I held out hope that her talk of "empathy" was more than just talk, but when the chips were down and the opportunity presented itself for her to publicly demonstrate her level of "empathy", she fell flatter than her "wise Latina" quip. She refused to answer directly on her views of the abortion issue.
If she's pro-choice, then why not state so? It's not like the GOP could do anything to stop her ever reaching the Supreme Court. But if she's pro-life - ah, there's a potential hitch, because if there were anything that could derail this "lock" and get the Democrats to vote against her, it's a public admission from Sotomayor that she's actually pro-life.
No, wait. Wait.
If Sotomayor were truly empathetic, then she would be empathetic no matter the political cost to her. That's what being liberal means, right? Supporting the "little guy" - damn the consequences? Ginsburg betrayed this hallowed liberal ideal by her admission that she believes in a class of undesirables, but it's still not too late for Sotomayor. C'mon, Sonia, do it. Do it for the little guy. Damn "The Man", Sonia - Damn "The Man"!
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
If Sotomayor is willing to extend her empathy to this group of people, then I might actually be able to support her entry into the Supreme Court.
Thursday, July 09, 2009
The left wingers are terrified of her. Why do I say that? Damn, man - the election was so last year, and yet the lefties can't stop checking on her and trashing her when they get the chance. David Letterman's stupid human trick of a Palin joke succeeded in only giving him a temporary ratings boost, but his joke on Palin's 14-year-old daughter was beyond moronic. And yet, he's only the most recent example of the left not being able to turn away from Palin.
Why are the lefties frightened of Palin to the point that they have adopted obsessive/compulsive habits over her? It's because they know - either consciously or subconsciously - of the potential populist power she has. They know if that if she ever got her act together, she can be a genuine threat to their way of doing things. And on top of that, she's very attractive - a "MILF"("Mother I'd Like to F**k"), according to some of the cruder slang terms out there. The lefties act very much like a 4th grade boy who find himself attracted to a girl in his class, but he doesn't know what to make of his feelings, so he hits her.
So far Palin seems to be her own worst enemy, which the lefties can't help but delight in whenever she seems to stumble in the public arena - but their reactions speak volumes of their not-so-secret fear of her. Their reactions are their worst enemy - it is because of the way they react to their fears that Palin is still in the limelight. How many other losing vice presidential candidates do you know of who still get this much attention more than 6 months after the election? Ain't that ironic that she's still in the limelight because of the left's obsession with her?
But let's not forget the right-wingers here. The right wingers blame her for John McCain's loss to Barack Obama, which is stupid beyond belief. What happened was that they mishandled Palin. They had a game-changer in her and didn't know what to do with her. I say a game-changer because to this day the left is STILL keeping tabs on her. Anyway, rather than blame themselves for their own bungling, they blame her instead.
Palin also represents a contrast to how the GOP wants to do things nowadays. Nowadays they are trying to be more "centrist", while Palin does not. Ultimately, I feel that the GOP is a bunch of cowards because of their constant failure to back up what is alleged to be their beliefs. Does the left worry about whether or not they should back up their beliefs? Hell no. At least the left has the courage to state what they believe in - no matter how stupid and wrongheaded it may be.
That actually leads to a question I always wondered: Which is worse - to be right yet cowardly in defending those views, or to be wrong and yet brave enough to stand up for those views? Well, anyway, Palin at least has the courage of her convictions that many in the GOP do not. So she scares the right as well.
And now we have the instance of Palin on her own now - unmoored to an office and its responsibilities. This makes Palin a rogue element - or perhaps a loose cannon. In either case, both the left and the right are watching her very carefully to see what she does next, which is anyone's guess. Perhaps that's how she wants it - them wondering what she plans to do next.
And you know what? A part of me hopes that she gets her act together. I have to admit that the potential she has stirs the mind of what kind of impact she could have once she has an idea of what she wants to do. I also hope that she runs as an independent in 2012. Oh, would that be most fascinating! A Palin, organized and a potent political force, running as an independent. I can't help but feel that such a scenario could only be endlessly entertaining for people like me.
Palin in 2012!
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Only now am I beginning to notice that Red's conk to my noggin not only left a knot, it also broke skin. I feel blood trickling down, and my head is starting to pound like a jackhammer. I've had hangovers that made me feel worse, though. I follow Red up the metal staircase, but I wish it weren't so damned long. I finally reach Red just in time to hear her curse a blue streak.
“Just found out that you went to the observation deck, I see.” I tell Red. “Might as well give it up, toots. There's no other way out.” Red looks one way, then another as her breath gets more shallow. Then she stops and looks straight at me, declaring, “I’m not going back to prison”. Before I can react, she suddenly disappears over the railing just before I pass out from the pain in my head.
"BENNY!" Betty yells in my face. "You awake? C'mon, wake up!" I suddenly jolt up to a sitting position only to feel my head pound like thunder. I fall back to what I discover is Trixie's lap. "Howyadoin' boss?" Trixie inquires from above me and upside down. "I wish I had been doing something fun that was worth having this headache." I reply just as Betty hands me an icebag.
As I apply the icebag to the knot on my head, I tell Betty, “So fill me in, kiddo." "From the looks of it, you chased Red up to this observation deck, and apparently she jumped over the railing to escape. You tried to stop her, but passed out.” “Oh. Oh yeah, that’s right.” I respond as it all starts coming back to me. I then look her way and ask, “Did you find Red?”
Betty's face becomes crestfallen. "No Benny, we did not. The cops are still looking for her. There's only the river below us, and we're high up enough that diving from such a height would have knocked her out. The cops just now sent divers to the river bottom." I get myself to my feet, despite the dizziness and the ache in my head. "There's still some things we can check out, Betty. Follow me."
"But we already searched Red's hideout, Benny." says Betty as we enter the room. "No Betty, you didn't." I scan the room. "What do you mean?" "Because you didn't find anything. There's a reason it's called a hideout." I point to a spot on the floor. "Here" "Just scratches, Benny." "But note the pattern, Betty - back and forth." I shove the desk aside and start feeling the floor.
My fingers finally find a notch and I get enough of a fingerhold to lift the false floor up. "Bingo." "A secret vault!" Betty exclaims. A quick examination of the contents reveals a treasure trove of incriminating evidence. "We got goods here to finger other mob bosses, business leaders, and politicians. Even if Red surfaces again, her empire is dead." We gather up the rest of the vault's contents.
Trixie notices us coming out with armloads of documents "Whatchat got dere, Boss?" "This is how we’re getting’ paid for this case even if we didn't nab Red." When the police lieutenant shows up, we hand him the goods. “Thank you, detectives. You’ve done this city a huge favor.” “All in a day’s work, officer.” I manage to reply, despite the soreness on my forehead. I'm gettin' too old for this.
"Yes, Officer. Thanks for lettin' us know. Goodbye." I haven't even hung up the phone yet before Betty’s asking "What'd he say?" "They ain't found Red yet. They'll keep looking and will let us know if anything turns up." "Drat! It's been 2 days, Benny! Where could she be?" I light up a cig as I say, "All the more reason I shoulda stopped her when I had the chance."
"C'mon, Benny - don't beat yourself up over this. You had a concussion, you know!" "Kid, it was just a conk on the noggin. I coulda shook it off." "Ben, we got all that stuff on her anyway, so we got something done." "Yeah Betts, we did. But not everything I had hoped to do. Ya know I hate unfinished business." "Why'd she do it, Benny? Why'd she leap over that railing? I don't get it."
“Hard to say, kiddo. Before she jumped, she said she wasn’t going back to prison – that’s our only clue. But she had to know that water was below – I don’t see her as the suicidal type.” I take a couple of drags on my cig as I scan the city skyline outside my window. “I have a sneaky suspicion, Betty, that we ain’t seen the last of Rhode Island Red.”
Saturday, July 04, 2009
And yes, I think Palin is setting herself up for 2012.
By the way, Happy 4th of July. :-D
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Rule #1 for Goon Psychology 101: When the lights go out, goons get spooked and start firing. Me, Betty and Trixie immediately hit the floor as the gun battle begins. With bullets whizzing over us, we crawl to the one door that has light shining at the bottom of it. We hear one goon fall, then another as Red yells, "QUIT SHOOTING, YOU IDIOTS!' as she swats at them.
We all manage to scamper outside into the alley, just in time to hear the police sirens in the distance. "Sounds like the boys are almost here," I whisper to Trixie and Betty. I hand Betty the gun I nabbed off one of the mooks while crawling past him. "Here. Take this, go meet the cops, and lead them down to Red's hideout. I'm going back in to nab Red." Betty nods her head and darts off, followed by Trixie.
Sneaking back into Red's hideout turned out to be a piece o' cake, 'cause Red is busy yelling at her goons. "We lost our ticket outta here, you morons! Now the cops are about to be crawling all over the place! Upstairs - NOW!" I then hear the scamperings of little goon feet charging up the stairs, so I tiptoe my way back to the room where I was before. Then I see stars, and I ain't talkin' Hollywood.
I manage to keep myself from going completely out despite being pistol-whipped by Red. I still have trouble keeping up as she darts down the alleyway and towards the river. However, she runs into a dead-end, and she knows it,'cause she wheels around to face me and pulls out her gun. "Not another step, detective!"
"You have no bullets, Red. Otherwise you would have shot me back there when you had the chance." Red grunts "Ngh! You and your deductive reasoning!" She then hurls her gun at me, which I easily sidestep, but it was meant to be a distraction anyway for her to slip away to a set of stairs that I didn't see from my angle. Given that she is wearing high heels, she makes good time as she clanks up the metal steps.
Friday, June 19, 2009
I shake down every informant I know that might know anything about where Rhode Island Red hides out, but it ain't until I get to Sammy the Snitch that I finally get someone who knows something. "I want something in return for this information, Benny." I yank Sammy up by his lapels and growl, "Okay, you'll keep all your teeth." Sammy audibly gulps and says, "Good deal. Okay, here's what I found out..."
Me and Trixie are staking out the riverside dive known as the Gingerbread House. This is where Sammy the Snitch said that Red runs her operation. Normally I don't bring Trixie, but I need her in case Betty needs help while I concentrate on nabbing Red. Plus, Trixie has her famous "Joisey Rules Uppercut" - of which I have felt personally, so I know that she can take care of herself. And protect Betty, if need be.
"Remember the rules, Trixie: no swingin' until I say so" I whisper as we enter The Gingerbread House. "Got it." she whispers back. We stroll in and I case the joint as she follows close behind. It's the usual crowd of thugs, goons, bonebreakers and other mooks. A normal night, in other words. I start towards the bar when I feel a gun barrel in my back. I then hear Trixie mutter, "Aw nerts."
With guns in our backs, Trixie and I are led to a floor below the Gingerbread House, and into a large room that has Red standing next to Betty, who is seated on a chair. "Benny!" exclaims Betty. "Hey, I was just having a chat with Red! We've been talking it over and..." Suddenly one of Red's goons interrupts by cocking a gun aimed at Betty's head. "...and, uh - I guess we're done talking now..."
Betty turns to Red and exclaims, "So all that girl talk was just for show eh? This whole time, you were just setting me up to be a bargaining chip!" "You're far too trusting, my dear" Red replied with a smirk. "Well, at least allow me to finish this excellent tea". Betty takes several sips, savoring each sip. Suddenly she hurls the saucer upward, hitting the light fixtures. Everything goes pitch black...
Friday, June 12, 2009
"Okay, Benny - so what do we do next about Red?" asked my private eye business partner (and kid sister) Betty. I scratch my 3-day beard on this poser. "Well kid, she got the drop on me, and it's only 'cause she wanted me to owe her a favor that I'm still here now." I then snap my finger. "But YOU don't owe her no favors - so bend an ear kiddo, 'cause here's what we're gonna do..."
My secretary Trixie is able to open envelopes using only her fingernail. She claims she learned it in secretary school. I'm watching her rip through today's mail as I'm pacing back and forth waiting for word from Betty. "Any calls yet, Trixie?" "Have ya hoid da phone ring, boss? No! Now siddown, shaddap, and take it easy! Ol' Betts is a smart kid! She'll figger dis out!" Trixie says in her Jersey accent.
All this sitting and pacing waiting for Betty to call ain't doin' me a hill o' beans. Trixie's watching me and shaking her head. "Boss, why dontcha go woik on uddah cases? Yer drivin' me nertz wid all yer walkin' around!" She plops down a stack of folders of still active cases and orders, "Here. Look t'ru dese and find a case you can woik on in da meantime!" She's right, of course, so I start sorting.
I find a case to work on, a mobster by the name of Tweets Flappywings, when the phone rings. I grab the phone and yell "Betty!" "Guess again" a female voice coos on the other side. I sneer out "Red". "Yes! And nice try, sending in your sister like that. She's my guest now." "If you do anything...!" "No, Benny - I hold the cards here. I'll be in touch." She then hangs up, and I slam the phone down.
Need I say? To be continued...!
Friday, June 05, 2009
Anyway, I'll try to resume my regular blogging schedule next week.
In the meantime, your good thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
However, I will say that it kind of bugs me that she wasn't picked so much on her judicial abilities as she was picked based on her race and gender. Would a white male of the very same ideological qualities and personality type been nominated? So what does that make Sotomayor - a token Hispanic and woman? Is that something to be proud of?
I've always said all along that if I am ever fortunate to be famous for my opinion writing or my editorial cartoons (or both), then I want to be known for those skills alone, and not that I happen to be Hispanic while exercising those skills. Don't get me wrong - I am proud to be Hispanic, and I most certainly want Hispanics to succeed in life, and I certainly support Hispanics that have "made it" to try to be role models for other Hispanics to follow in their footsteps.
...if I'm ever given the privilege of being a role model for other opinion writers or editorial cartoonists (regardless of their race or gender), then I want it to be because I have proven to be that good at those skills. You know what I'm saying? In other words, I want to be known as an opinion writer and edtoonist who is Hispanic - I DON'T want to be known as a Hispanic opinion writer and edtoonist, because being Hispanic is NOT why I write and draw.
I am Hispanic - I had no control over that, it simply is what I was born into. Again, while I'm proud to be Hispanic, I am not Hispanic because I worked at it and became one; I can't take an achievement pride over being Hispanic, because I did nothing to become one.
However, I am also proud of being an opinion writer and an edtoonist. That IS something that I worked at. And that I happen to be a Hispanic who is from the "wrong side of the tracks" and still became a writer and artist is gravy.
Some of you might be thinking that I want to hide my Hispanicness. Far from it. However, being a "Hispanic writer and artist" is too limiting, because this implies that I will limit myself to "Hispanic" themes and topics (however that is defined). No, I demand the freedom that comes with being a writer and artist PERIOD. No cultural definer attached.
Thus, I have to wait and see how things turn out with Sotomayor and how she is presented, and how she is received. If she's qualified to be a Supreme Court judge because she is Hispanic, then you might as well nominate me too, because I likewise satisfy that qualification.
If she's going to be the token Hispanic on the bench, then I can't support that, because she did nothing more to become Hispanic than I did. Am I supposed to feel some sort of justice done or vindication for the country's past and present racist sins against Hispanics just because a sitting president uses tokenism to pick his candidate? Isn't that instead, something of an insult - that Sotomayor would not have otherwise been nominated had she not been something that she had no control over being?
To be nominated just for being Hispanic, I think, is about as bad as being denied nomination just for being Hispanic. In either instance, it's the cover, not the book's contents, that are being judged. So was Sotomayor a token nomination? Time will tell.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
It seems to me that the Dems are going to look the worse for having blocked the passage of this bill, and it could end up jeopardizing the passage of other bills. My question is, is the Voter ID bill worth the bad PR that the Dems might get if the other bills go down as a result?
I don't see any good coming from this. All the GOP has to do is stand pat and let the Dems hold things up, and they'll end up looking like the bad guys. I'm going to keep this blog entry short, because I want to see how this plays out. To be continued....
Friday, May 22, 2009
Benny Baloney and the case of Rhode Island Red
She was a hot lookin' dame, with hair so red it set off smoke alarms and legs so long giraffes were jealous. But I've been in this business long enough to know that hot dames often pack trouble in their purses, and hers was named Smith & Wesson. I should have seen this coming, but I could never resist a pretty face. Just another day in my line of work.
Her name was Rhode Island Red, and she had been running the mob on the south side of town for the past 6 months. "Sticking your nose where it doesn't belong, detective?", she said as she waved her pistol in my face. "Red, you know that sticking my nose where it don't belong comes with the job." She answered by conking my noggin with her gun, dropping me to my knees. As I shook that off, I heard the gun click.
I ain't chattin' with St. Pete yet, so I raise my head to see what Red's up to. Gun still pointed at me, I can see the gears turning in her head. "No" she says, as an evil but sexy grin spreads on her trademark red lips. "No, not this time. This time, I want the great detective to owe me one." She steps back and says, "But I will leave a parting gift." Without looking away she says "Boys, it's playtime".
I wake up face down sucking sidewalk with my head ringing like the xylophone section of the Philharmonic Orchestra. I then remember that Red's goons had roughed me up with their watermelon-sized mitts. As I get to my feet shaking the cobwebs, I notice a notecard in my trenchcoat pocket. I spot the red lipstick print right away. "Until next time, Mr. Baloney." Underneath the lipstick print is "SWAK".
Rhode Island Red is a totally new character, who has a red-themed schtick going with her name, appearance, and so forth. What's up with the red theme? I don't know yet. It could be that it's her favorite color, or that she's trying to draw attention to herself, or some other reason. All I know is that I will know her reasons before you will. :-)
Anyway, I'll try to make this a weekly thing, and feel free to offer your suggestions and criticisms. It's still my hope to make a website of my previous BB stories, and with some time off coming up, I might finally get around to doing that. And of course, I'll include the RIR story in there, as well.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Still, this is for more detailed responses instead of the mundane stuff that is usually posted on facebook or Twitter. Must ... get ... back ... to blogging...
Friday, May 08, 2009
Surely he and other athletes were warned of such women. They're out there, and people like Dirk are like honey to these bees. The Dirks of the world simply can't afford - financially and metaphorically - to be stupid in times like this. I would imagine the temptation is enormous when women are throwing themselves at your feet. Heck, I'll be honest in saying that I don't know what I'd do in that situation; I've never had lots of beautiful women throw themselves at my feet - editorial cartoonists just don't get stuff like that happening to them.
But I'd like to think that I'd have enough willpower to realize that these women don't love me for me, they want me for my money. I can imagine that Dirk is also lonely. Still, you can't let loneliness make you stupid. I'm not sure what I'd advise Dirk to do if he ever asked me, but he was told by friends and family about this woman, and it looks like he should have listened. I suppose that's what he needs to do: let friends and family meet whomever he has an interest in and let them tell him what they think. Being in love, it is said, can make you blind - and it's in such times that you need your family and friends to help you see straight.
But relying on them telling you such things is one thing - listening to them when they tell you is another. Hopefully now Dirk will be more willing to listen next time - but then again the "lost puppy dog" syndrome can be hard to shake. In a very real sense, this whole embarrassing episode could turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to him - provided that he learns the lessons from it. Time will tell.
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Funny thing is, I had jokingly told someone that that piranha is now what's for dinner. He asked if piranhas are edible by humans. I told him that I honestly had no idea. A quick Google search shows that it is. How do you catch piranha, though? Perhaps roll up your sleeve and stick your arm in the Amazon river until some of the piranhas bite, then take your arm out of the water? That's when someone would walk up and say, "You know, you could use this..." and show me a fishing rod. Yeah, I could go the wimpy route...
Friday, May 01, 2009
So would it have been better if she just lied? I mean, it wasn't a political office or an ambassadorship she was running for, after all. Perhaps it would have been better to not have asked politically loaded questions in the first place, but that's probably going to be coming even more and more now. Perhaps beauty queens and others who vie for such public positions should just prepare their responses in advance so that they say what the judges want to hear.
She was asked for her opinion, she gave it, and no doubt the judges told themselves "Hell, do we want the PR firestorm that will come if she's made Miss USA? Let's just give the crown to somebody safe so that we won't have to deal with this messy situation." So I ask again - would it have been better if Miss California had lied instead?
Monday, April 27, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
And no, I am not referring to the "Obama girl", in case you're wondering.
Instead, I refer to his recent visit to Georgetown University, in which he asked that a symbol representing the name of Jesus be covered up for the duration of the speech. Despite this story that states that it wasn't just the name of Jesus being covered up, to even ask a Catholic university to cover up its religious symbols - particularly those related to its founder - is offensive. As much as I hate to use that word because it is overused, I still can't think of a more approriate word in this instance. Imagine Obama asking a synagogue to cover up its Stars of David or its menorahs or to ask a Muslim group to cover up its symbols while he gave a speech and see if those groups don't likewise rise up in protest.
The reason I titled this blog entry "Obama's 'Bare Breast of Justice' moment" is because it reminds me very much of the John Ashcroft story from 2002, in which he had the bare breasted statue of justice hidden behind a curtain. Most stories state that he was simply tired of photographers making concentrated efforts to have that statue in the background whenever they photographed him. Even so, why not simply move to another location whenever he had press conferences so that the problematic breast wouldn't be in the background?
And the same with Obama in Georgetown: Why not have the press conference in another location where those antagonizing symbols won't hover in the background teasing him as he spoke? Being that Ashcroft and Obama are very visible public figures, having the bare breasts of statues of justice or to have a religions' symbols covered up can only be taken in the wrong way, and given their level of education along with their length of experience in the public eye, it's amazing that this didn't occur to them. However, if they knew it would be problematic and did it anyway, then this would be worse, because it would then suggest an arrogance that a public official shouldn't have if they are to represent the people. So - this means that Ashcroft and Obama are either appalingly clueless or stupidly arrogant, and I don't know which would be worse.
As bad as it was for Obama to ask Georgetown to cover up its symbols, it was even worse for them to comply! The university should have offered to move the press conference to another location - because a sitting American president has no right to ask a religious faith to cover up its symbols while he's present. This could easily be made into an argument of the State interfering with the matters of the Church, and if it's wrong to breach that wall of separation in one way, then it's wrong going the other way as well. This was poorly handled by all parties involved.
I wish I could believe that this won't happen again, but I'm pretty sure that it will.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Before you start bashing on the Vatican about turning down Kennedy for the ambassadorship, consider that she's only available for the position because her state turned her down for the senate seat. So she's been dissed twice now (she's probably saying to herself right now, "Where's the love, man?"). And before you start saying that the Vatican turned down Kennedy because she's a woman, I say pfft! The previous ambassador the the Vatican was a woman!
The Vatican is entirely within its rights to accept only those candidates whose views are consistent with its teachings. Rather than cite the Vatican for its supposed "intolerance", criticism instead rightly belongs to the Obama administration for its lack of respect to nominate candidates that will not offend the Vatican. This is not rocket science, after all.
Also consider that if Obama had gone through as much trouble finding a suitable candidate to represent the U.S. to the Vatican as he went through finding a "First Dog", then this issue would have been settled a long time ago with no controversy. Still, that dog better watch out for himself. For all he knows, he's going to be the Obama administration's nominee as ambassador to the cat kingdom.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Anyway, usually after such discussions, I've been asked why I don't just call myself liberal or conservative instead of trying to straddle a line in between the two. I've tried to do that before, but I just can't seem to come up with a good enough explanation that will satisfy everyone, but I'll try again anyway. For one, I am not straddling any line, sitting on any fence, nor seeking any "middle path" - far from it. My views are my views, and they happen to fall on both sides of the political spectrum. Being against abortion is considered a conservative view and being against the death penalty is considered a liberal view - how could I possibly have a middle ground between those views when they cover different issues? It's like saying there's a middle ground between gun control and "baggy pants" laws; in other words, it's apples and oranges. I can't explain it any better than that.
Next, I can't call myself liberal until being liberal means being 100% prolife (and that means being opposed to legalized euthanasia and the death penalty as well as legalized abortion). If liberals can't come to the defense of the ultimate in defenselessness among us, then it puts the lie to the usual belief that being liberal means coming to the defense of the little guy. Simple as that. Truely, I can't understand why this is so hard to understand. Belief in the sacredness of all life should, in the eyes of what I think all liberals should believe, be above all political ideologies, social experimentations, economic theories, Frankensteinian scientific experiments, medical flights of fancy, or any other groups or philosophies that have utilitarian views towards human life and its value.
All of the inhumane atrocities of human history have been because the leaders or certain groups of people didn't take the full humanity of other groups of people into account. I shouldn't have to provide some historical examples of what I am referring, but I think I do: the Holocaust and slavery. Any time one person or group in a position of influence decides that they are above the rest of us or that a group of people are beneath them, then they are headed down the path that has no good end in sight. So with that, why do we think that, in our day and age, we are exempt from committing inhumane atrocities ourselves? A saying about pride and falling comes to mind.
I categorize legalized abortion as an atrocity. An unborn human dies every time in an abortion. Period. Anyone that denies this denies logic, reason, and scientific fact, so I honestly don't get the "yes, but..." that usually follows when I make that statement. And it pains me to think that liberal Democrats are legalized abortions' most ardent supporters, and I wonder what the hell for. How do they manage to leave out a whole group of people whenever they rush to the defense of those that the rest of us would shun? In other words, if you're going to be "bleeding heart", then it needs to bleed for everyone.
In case you think that I don't have my gripes about conservatives, then just sit tight a second - I'm about to get to that.
My main gripes about conservatives is that they seem to believe that the free market will solve all. Before I continue, let me state here that I am no Communist. I do NOT support a Statist point of view in which the State controls all. Far, far from it. However, many free-market conservatives seem to believe that there are no scam artists out there to make a quick buck no matter what despicable thing they do to get it. Not all of them are as easy to spot as an e-mail from a Nigerian banker's widow or a phone call telling you that your car's warranty is about to expire. Sometimes they come disguised with initials such as AIG. Just ask the many millions of Americans whose retirement plans have been wiped out because of the chicanery of people in suits who were supposed to be managing our finances.
Another avenue rife with potential abuse are insurances. You can go years faithfully paying your insurance, but it won't be until you actually need it to find out what it actually will cover. Then you find out that it won't cover X because Y happened, and it was spelled out in the fine print that stated "certain (unspecified) fees apply". The most recent of this cycle of economic chicanery has been the medical industry and health insurance. I swear, it's a MUPM (Mutually Assured Profit Margin) when doctors, hospitals, and health insurances work on the final bill that you will pay so that you pay for more of it.
And how, I ask, will socialized medicine help? The only people I see benefiting from a national health care program are the politicians. In essence, they won't wipe out the MUPM vicious circle, they'll only get themselves included in that circle so that they too, benefit. And then we'll really be SoL (S**t outta Luck). No, as chaotic as our present system is, at least it makes it harder for these various groups to pool together to make things even worse for us. The solution will not come from the government in the form of socialized medicine.
What we need from the government is to speak for us like it's supposed to. THAT'S its role - to speak for us against the financial barons of the various industries that put profit above all else. In order for the free market to be a fair market, a strong government is necessary to keep them on the straight and narrow. Otherwise, the free market will go down the path of putting profit above all else, thus justifying various economic absurdities such as the American sales of 90% of the weaponry that the Mexican drug cartels use. Without our representatives, we are voiceless. When our representatives sell out on us to these financial barons, then we lose the only defense we have against these people. No, for the government to put themselves in the free market only makes them a player in it where they are more tempted to put their own profits above serving our needs; and when that happens, then we're REALLY SoL.
Conservatives want smaller government, and yet too small a government is useless. We need its voice and our representatives to speak for us. I can't call myself a conservative until conservatives understand the limits of a free market and the potentials of abuse. I also want to see how they plan to curb such abuses if "self-policing" doesn't work. People who work hard all their lives to settle comfortably into retirement shouldn't have to worry about the economic greed and stupidity of CEOs who can't control themselves around other peoples' money.
Nope, I am neither liberal or conservative. I am comfortable right where I am at.
Friday, April 03, 2009
Thursday, April 02, 2009
Apparently, Minnesota's 2008 election is still going on. I really don't know why they just don't have a runoff election like every other state in the union has whenever the final results are too close to call. I think it was the late George Carlin who once said that a judge is nothing but a lawyer in a robe, and that should scare anybody. All the more reason to take this out of the courts' hands and back into the hands of the people that the eventual winner will be representing. In that light, since the representative is going to be making decisions that's going to affect the lives of his constituents, shouldn't they have a say in who represents them? Maybe it's just me.
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
You know - I have a "rubbernecker" fascination of how this is all going to be handled, and I will update you as more information comes out.
This link takes you to the website for Texas Christian University's Heal Hunger Campaign.
This link takes you to their auction items. Make some bids on items you are interested and let's see just how great the reach that both the Internet and your generosity have.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
I am, however, having less and less respect for politicians in general and the Democrats in particular (including President Obama) because of the sheer cluelessness and stupidity that we have witnessed and been subjected to so far this year. It's been so bad that I don't know where to start in regards to writing about it. If the GOP was so stupid in what they have done in the past 8 years, then why didn't the Democrats learn a damned thing from the mistakes they made?
I think it's like what my uncle once told me: Democrat or Republican, they're all politicians who are wealthy, and they are all equally separated from how things really are for the rest of us. That is, their social and political culture - especially in D.C. - is so insular that they really can't relate to us anymore. Our fault is that we keep electing these people back into office who should have been voted out a long time ago.
I'll think about this some more so I can write more coherently instead of out the frustration that I'm feeling right now over how our "leaders" have been conducting themselves in recent weeks and months.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
about DIGITAL COMICS by ~Balak01 on deviantART
Note: Be sure to click on the arrows to the side of the frame to advance to the next image. It's a Flash program.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Friday, March 06, 2009
I say he should do it.
It was a mistake for Obama to acknowledge Limbaugh in the first place, but now that that's done, I think the only way for Obama to get him out of the picture is to take him on, mano a mano. Otherwise, Limbaugh is going to be hovering nearby taking advantage of every little slip-up, and he'll be doing that for all of Obama's time in office. Does Obama need that distraction? I think not. So I say: Take him on, Mr. President - or get used to having that wolf baying at the door for the next 4 years.
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
This is from Canada, by the way, where the only thing we get that is Canadian is cold fronts and bacon.
Friday, February 27, 2009
FREE THE EDTOONS!
Friday, February 20, 2009
Know what that says? It says that not even plants are safe from these hard times. Damn, it's a bad sign when plants get fired. No one is safe anymore. /:-(
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Also as part of the event, the Cats will be holding A-Fraud Redemption Day, allowing all fans who were a victim of A-Fraud between 2001-2003 to bring in A-Rod related merchandise or collectibles and receive four general admission tickets, good for a 2009 Cats’ game at LaGrave Field.
Fans can run the bases, play catch on the field, take tours of the ballpark and enjoy complimentary hot dogs and sodas while gearing up for the 2009 season. There will also be bounce houses and other activities for kids. Fans can get autographs from current and former Cats’ players as well as Dodger and legendary first base coach Wayne Terwilliger.
As for the issue of A-Rod himself, I 'm not quite sure what to say about the dude. How he can not know that he was taking steroids? Having something foreign injected into your butt should be a clue! If he's an athlete and he doesn't have a cold, then was else could this substance being injected into his butt be? Apparently, whatever it was, it didn't boost his intelligence. Nope, I don't buy his alibi - I believe that he knew what he was doing, and I think he should suffer the consequences for his actions.
I'm going to switch to a sport that I know doesn't have cheating scandals: Boxing. :-P
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
25 Random Things About Me
1.) If I could go to only one place in Europe, it would be Vatican City. It’s a Catholic thing.
2.) I am the son of a former teenage single mother who lived in what would be called poverty, and yet I managed to not only get my Bachelor’s, but also my Master’s. So don’t believe those stories that children born in the circumstances that I was are doomed to failure.
3.) As a boy, I wanted to be an astronaut or a scientist.
4.) I’ve only had one pet in my whole life, and he died as a pup from distemper. I never owned a pet after that. His name was Scout, and he was (I think) a toy Manchester terrier.
5.) Back in high school, I had the biggest crush on a cheerleader named Susan. I still see her once in a while, and she is still good looking.
6.) I recently came across the notebook I used in high school. Man, I had crappy handwriting. I could have been a doctor!
7.) I’m not Irish, and yet I find women with red hair and green eyes very attractive.
8.) And while we are on the topic of the physical attractiveness of women, it’s not big boobs or long legs that will get my attention as it is beautiful eyes.
9.) For some reason, I think taking up archery would be cool.
10.) I honestly don’t know why the entire human population isn’t pro-life. What’s wrong with believing that all unborn babies have a right to live?
11.) The Dark Knight is currently my favorite recent movie.
12.) I believe that a laptop computer with wireless Internet access is the closest thing to Star Trek technology that we have right now.
13.) I was once mere inches away from shaking hands with Charles Barkley. The dude in charge of the event he was at turned him away at the last second.
14.) Injuries suffered while playing pick-up games of football and basketball over the years: twisted ankles, sprained fingers and thumbs, stubbed toes, bruised ribs, countless cuts, scratches and bruises all over, hit in the nose, eyes, and mouth as well as numerous times of pulling my hamstrings. In a freak occurrence while trying to tackle my cousin, I also once got a heelprint on my forehead. And yet, I recall those times fondly. Must be from too many shots to the head.
15.) I still laugh at the Three Stooges (maybe this is related to #14?). My ringtone is the classic “Calling Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard…”
16.) If I had a super power, I’d like Green Lantern’s ring.
17.) For most of my childhood and well into my young adulthood, I believed that I was going to be a cartoonist for a living, but once I discovered how much I like writing, I decided that I’d much rather do that for a living. Funny how life can throw curves at you like that.
18.) Because of some of the views I hold, liberals think I’m conservative, and conservatives think I’m liberal. All this time, I’m just being me. Funny how the opinion of a person is so easily judged by their stands on certain political issues.
19.) In my whole life, there are two women who come immediately to mind that I would have been willing to marry had they not been seeing someone else at the time. My timing stinks.
20.) I still get goosebumps whenever I see one of my columns published and my name in the byline.
21.) I have never skied, nor have I ever been on a boat bigger than the ones in San Antonio’s Riverwalk. Why I felt the need to tell you that? Because I’m trying to get to #25!
22.) There were two editors whom I felt were the best when I worked for my college newspaper. One was conservative and the other was liberal, but both shared the commonality that they both respected the views of others even if they disagreed with it. The worst one I had canned a lot of columns because she disagreed with their statements. It is people like her that the newspaper business is tanking, and it will be people like those two editors that will save the newspaper business.
23.) I believe that it will take a change of heart to save our country from ourselves rather than change that is brought about from yet another government program. President Obama has the right idea, but the wrong implementation of that idea.
24.) Ultimately, I am a hopeful and optimistic person. I try to temper it with reality so that I am not delusional, but I also try not to be so grounded that I can’t dream. For this reason, I pray the Serenity Prayer every day: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage the change the things I can change, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
25.) I will leave this last one open-ended, because I know that later I will think of more than just one.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Granted, the woman has put on few pounds, but she's hardly fat! I bet thousands of women wish they were that "fat"! That's the problem with being a celebrity: Everything about you is scrutinized. Maybe it's because I prefer curves on a woman, but she honestly does not look fat to me.
Alright, got that out of my system. Next time I'll be discussing real stuff! :-D
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Woman accused of taking scratch-off ticket gives up claim to prize money
Sad that a friendship broke up over money, but I think that this didn't need to happen. The woman who had lent her friend the scratch-off ticket to her friend to check out should have just held on to it and done it later. Of course, this is all hindsight, but still - a little logic should tell you that money makes people do funny things, and it especially applies if it's a lot of money.
So what do you folks think of this story?