me

Do you want to know more about the guy who's on the other side of your screen, saying all this stuff?

Then come right in...

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These are my Mission Statements.

rant

These are my longer "deep-dive" articles on specific subjects so they don't get lost.

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The fun stuff that doesn't fit elsewhere.

Gun rights and personal responsibility

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You do have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen, don’t you? How about in your car? Garage? If you do, then you’re my kind of person. You’re careful and thoughtful, keeping well aware of realistically possible emergencies.

Do you have a crime extinguisher? You know, a firearm. Are you familiar with its operation? Do you take it to the range often to keep yourself familiar with it? (you can also have fun with it at the same time) Do you get to carry it with you where ever you go? Gun Rights Advocates Take Aim at Concealed Carry Bans talks about the fight in the last holdout states that do not let law-abiding citizens carry concealed firearms.

Guns prevent crime. Gary Kleck did a careful study to prove that gun control works, and found out the exact opposite. Lawful defensive use of firearms results in the prevention of 2,500,000 crimes a year. In 97% of those incidents, all it takes is for the citizen to show the weapon and the criminals run away. Only in 1/2 of 1% is somebody actually shot or killed, and of course those are the only incidents that make the news.

Back in the 90’s, Florida (a concealed weapon state) had a rather serious crime wave in rapes. The police took action and the headlines sum it all up, “POLICE GIVE GUNS, TRAINING TO RAPE VICTIMS.” Don’t you know, the bottom fell out of that particular crime wave.

It has been documented in state after state that when the citizens are allowed to lawfully carry weapons, the crime rate goes down. When the criminals know the victims have a fair chance to shoot back, they change their habits.

I myself used to have a carry permit. I had a lot of self-imposed restrictions. I couldn’t yell at anybody, no matter how idiotic they were. I was very careful as to where I went. My family could not stand on my gun side. I was always alert to my surroundings. I trained constantly, and at my peak I could draw from cover and put two rounds in the center of a target up to 25 feet away in under 3/4 of a second, well under a defensive reaction time. But it was all worth it.

You can never know when violent crime will strike you and your family. All you can do is be prepared for it when it does happen. Are you ready for it?

Government on a Commission Basis

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This article, Child Welfare System Must Grow Up, shows what happens when a governmental agency is paid on a commission basis.

The incentive here is 180 degrees out of what it should be. Yes, there is a need to sometimes got a child out of a hostile environment, but it is also important to reunite the child with the parent(s) after the problem has been solved. If the problem can’t be solved, you need to transition the child into an adopting household as quickly as possible. Leaving a child in a ‘temporary’ situation for years does terrible damage, but when the governmental agency gets paid for how many kids are in foster care, that is exactly what happens.

The human cost of rushing children into foster care does not stop when they reach 18 years old. According to CDDS data, among youths who “emancipate” from foster care, 50 percent do not complete high school; 45 percent are unemployed; 33 percent are arrested; 30 percent are on welfare; 25 percent are homeless.

These are statistics that do not need to happen. Get the foster care system away from a commission basis today.

The Importance of Research

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I have been dealing with some rather personal issues over the past multiple months. Being depressed, I never thought about it much, thinking it was just a by-product of the depression. Well, after my appointment with my Medication nurse, I spent some time with my family. I mentioned my problems with my wife again, and she went to my computer and looked up the side-effects of my medications. Sure enough, all of my issues were the uncommon side-effects of one of my medications.

The medication in question is a ‘last-resort’ medication, the one to go to when everything else has failed. This has given me pause, and now I will spend the next month thinking about the subject on whether or not to change this medication. I will be bouncing this off my Case Manager. While these side-effects are seriously impacting the quality of my life, I worry about the impact of a bullet with my brain even more. Decisions, decisions.

Good Vs. Evil

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First, a reading assignment: This Perfect Day by Ira Levin.

I picked this one over Brave New World, THX 1138 and 1984 because if it’s idyllic perfectness. In your reading assignment, you have truly a perfect world. Everyone is equal, no Alphas, Betas, Deltas and Gammas, and there is no war like in 1984.

This Perfect Day describes a Tranzi’s idea of heaven. The world is one big Family. The Benevolent UniComp takes care of everyone, from picking a nameber (Name/serial number, like Mark GH5178392), to deciding where you live and what you do. ‘F*ck’ is an acceptable word, but ‘hate’ is used as a swear word. You eat cakes and Cokes every day. The price is total conformity. Any deviant behavior gets you grabbed and taken to a medical facility where the ‘sick’ person is ‘helped.’ You are constantly pumped full of psychotropic drugs to keep you happy.

The standing question is, can good things happen in such a world? I mean the bad things were eliminated, like war, crime, poverty, intolerance and hate. Does this mean that only the good things were left? And what else was given up? Individuality, self-determination, worship of God, freedom and the like. Are these good things?

In Oh, God! Book II, the little girl that God picked to be His messenger asked God, “Why do bad things happen to people?”

(I’m paraphrasing here, I don’t remember the exact conversation)
God replied, “Have you ever seen a top without a bottom?”
“Nope,” said the little girl.
“How about a left without a right?”
“Nope.”
“An up without a down?”
“Never.”
“Then,” Said God, “how can you have good without bad? You tell what the good things are by comparing them to the bad things. If you have nothing to compare good to, is it really good?”

I believe the single thing that makes America great is the freedom to choose bad over good. That doesn’t mean I’m soft on crime or whatever. I firmly believe there should be serious, negative consequences for doing bad things, just like there are serious positive consequences for doing good. It is this very action/consequence cycle that should propel us towards good, but doesn’t always do so.

Just look at the rest of the world. Nowhere else is anybody able to have as much freedom and power as the American people. Nowhere else do you see people who work harder, produce more, are more innovative and play harder than America as well. We are the people who invented the light bulb, powered flight, the computer and landed on the moon.

Good and bad are on a bell curve. Every time you take a serious piece out of doing bad, you lose some of your greatness in the process. I am quite sure we could take a serious bite out of the drug trade by executing dealers on the spot. But what would that cost us in the long run? What freedoms would we lose in order to allow such an action? And what are the long term effects of the loss of such freedoms? Not developing some important piece of technology? How about not saving someone’s life?

The consequences of ‘getting rid of bad’ at any cost are myriad and uncomprehendingly complex. It’s like in the 1978 series Connections James Burke starts off with a touchstone. He then draws a line from innovation to innovation, one invention or idea building on the last one until he arrived at the atomic bomb. There is just no way to determine what the long-term consequences will be to our actions if we are not very careful.

It’s like the Treaty of Versailles. The conditions of the treaty on Germany made World War II inevitable, but at the time they thought they were making sure war wouldn’t happen again. Irony can be pretty ironic.

Which brings me back around to my old Conservative idea of doing the right thing for the right reasons. This is not an easy task, let me tell you. You can do the right thing for the wrong reasons pretty easily, getting positive short-term results. But then something will come back and bite you in the rear later over it and it will leave you wondering, “What did I do to deserve this?” All must be in positive alignment, action, motivation and intent, to obtain a long-term positive outcome. Remember this always and you will do much good in this world.

Let’s not do that again

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Wow. That ‘something’ to help me with the insomnia laid me out like a sledgehammer to the forehead this morning. I made it to work, but I was in no condition to drive. I came back to the apartment and I didn’t get up until 2pm. I’m still pretty laid out but feeling better.

I’m slowly looking over the news, and working on an essay or two. Later.

My apologies

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After getting a bad start on the day, I had to do some shopping, go to a medication appointment and spent a good chunk on family time. Thus, no posting for today. But I do promise some light posting in the morning (I got something that should help with the insomnia) and substantial posting Tuesday night. All my shows are set to record so there’s no stopping me tomorrow.

So late it’s early

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I think the main reason I haven’t been running at my best over the past few days is because I’m suffering through a rather nasty case of insomnia. I have been trying to go to sleep since 10:30 and that just means I’ve been laying in bed for the past 3 hours and 45 minutes with nothing but my racing thoughts.

Oh, well, back to try again. Maybe I’ll fall asleep in the next hour or so.

3.25/2.75

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Following links from USS Clueless again, I happened across the Pournelle Political Axes, a 2D X/Y scale to reflect political leanings. A very thoughtful read. I have a couple of Ayn Rand e-books that I’ve been meaning to read, now that I see where she lies on the scale, it might be a waste of my time to do so.

My only disagreement was the Editor’s analysis of Reagan as a 4/2 is a little too far. 4/2.5 perhaps, but no lower. He also lists President Bush at 3/3. I would put him more on a 3.5/3.25, his leanings into Social Engineering with the Medicare prescription plan and such puts him over the edge. Otherwise Bush would be a 3.5/2.75.

Where are you?

Caught in the act

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It seems that the L.A. Times has enraged a significant portion of its readership. This article, Readers Keep Fleeing Biased L.A. Times plainly proves that there is immense bias in the paper, both in editorializing and in the straight reporting.

[Times editor John] Carroll continues to duck the issue of another outrageous example of the paper’s hypocrisy: burying and censoring news of Bill Clinton the rapist while trumpeting claims of Schwarzenegger the fondler.

The Times has already admitted that they’ve lost 1,000 subscriptions, and they are admitting losing additional uncounted subscriptions. Add to that sales from vendors and other places where you buy it on the street, they could be looking at a significant loss of readership.

Now all that is needed is a concerted letter campaign against the businesses that advertise in the Times. Loss of advertising revenue together with loss of readership will definitely put the hurt on them.

These people are flagrant Liberals. They are doing their best to tell you what you should be thinking, because to them you’re not smart enough to know what to think about anything. When they want you to have an opinion, they’ll tell you what your opinion should be!

Me? I offer things, show you the evidence and offer my own insightful commentary. I find articles that you won’t find in your local paper. After I present these things to you, I let you draw your own conclusions. I think you are smart enough to decide that either I’m on to something or that I’m full of BS. Your decision, not mine, and definitely not the Times.

Something is Fishy

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I lost the link, but there is a story related to Valerie Plame Outed as CIA Agent Long Before Novak Column.

NewsMax released a story just a couple of days ago about how the husband, Joseph Wilson, was going to release his memoirs. The review of the subject matter was ‘underwhelming’ according to the article I saw.

I think that Mr. Wilson has some ulterior motives, because he is howling way out of proportion as to any real damage that was done to him or his wife. He is spearheading an assault on President Bush and his administration. With the book deal, is seems to be trying to grab some of the glory for himself.

A classic example of doing the wrong thing for the wrong reasons. He should quit while he’s behind.

Problems on the Right, too

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This just goes to prove that the Conservative movement has it’s loony fringe elements as well. State Dept. Outraged at Robertson Nuke Comment proves to me that there is little difference between Pat Robertson and Osama Bin Laden.

“I read your book,” Robertson told Mowbray. “When you get through, you say, ‘If I could just get a nuclear device inside Foggy Bottom [State Department headquarters], I think that’s the answer’ and you say, ‘We’ve got to blow that thing up.’ I mean, is it as bad as you say?”

The American way is to plain old fire them, kick them out of their jobs. They are allowed to have their own thoughts on things, but when it comes work time, they are to toe the company line. I think the State Department sees the wiggle room President Bush gives Colin Powell and tries for some of their own.

I believe that if President Bush wins re-election, Powell won’t be part of the team anymore and a lot of the Senior State Department people who aren’t toeing the line will be asked to go with him. The President needs to clean the State Department house, the sooner the better.

The party of tolerance

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I give you this shining example of how racially tolerant the Democrat Party really is: ‘Despicable’ Democrats Under Fire for Racial Slur Against Indian-Americans

I just get warm all over when I see the mask slip from Liberals faces. It seems to me that the Liberals believe everybody should own a pet minority person.

“This is just typical liberal spin trying to throw race into it to bring down the opposition or to bring themselves up,” spokesman David Joyslin said. “As Republicans, we don’t care about race. We just look at the person’s stance on the issues and if they’re going to be a good candidate.”

Clinton appointed Madeleine Albright as Secretary of State because she was a woman. A quick look at her resume would have clearly shown that she was not qualified. I don’t recall any Black (or any minority) people in high places of power under President Clinton.

President Bush has appointed a wealth of minorities and women into positions of authority, and (gasp!) all of them are actually competent and qualified. Will wonders never cease.

So which party is actually the more tolerant one? The one on the Left that promotes tokens that promptly bump into a glass ceiling, or the one on the Right that promotes on qualifications first, skin color/sex second?

Not doing well

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Things haven’t been working out too well over the past 24 hours. I visited my family yesterday afternoon to deliver some prescriptions and I couldn’t get into the mood. You know, the one where you enjoy yourself in the company of those that you love. I actually went back to my apartment early and didn’t make it to a MechWarrior tournament because something wasn’t right with me.

Today was worse. Between picking up a couple of new people that live in the extreme corner of the county, and the office calling every 10 minutes to make sure I was picking up somebody or another, my first load ended up an hour long. Then a quick second load from the list the other driver normally gets (he’s been out sick for the past two weeks). During the quick one hour I spent at the center, I spent most of it banging my head into hard things.

I bang my head because I am frustrated and there is no other way to express it. I bang my head because something isn’t working right and I’m trying to find the restart button. There are times I can feel my brain undulating because it wants to explode and I must expose my brain to the air so it can explode. There is some thought or concept in my brain that I must let out at all cost. I don’t know what it is, but I have to get it out, no matter what.

Considering how well I’ve done over the past 24 hours and the fact that I would be working alone tomorrow, I decided to call in sick ahead of time. Can you blame me?

Please excuse me while I crawl into the closet and scream for a while.

What Liberals think

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I just found this on Right Wing News, The Democratic Underground Post Of The Day: We’re Geniuses, You’re Stupid!

It’s too late to offer my usual insightful commentary, but I offer you this quote:

#1 – I would dare to assume that most of us here are in the upper 1%-20% of the population intelligence-wise. We must come to the realization that the majority of the population is in the lower 80% to 99% percent of the bell-curve. WE are not the norm. The Republicans understand that the average American is not very bright. They cater and pander to the masses. The Democratic Party tries to appeal to the population about “issues” that these people just don’t understand.

Yeah, that’s all that the Democratic Presidential candidates have been talking about, issues. They haven’t been mercilessly slamming President Bush and his policies without offering one iota of their own ideas other than, “I wouldn’t have done it THAT way!”

Like I said earlier, meaningful compromise is impossible with people who believe like that.

Duct Tape Alert

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I first heard about a DTA from Glenn Beck. He warns his listeners to “Wrap your head in duct tape. That way when your head explodes over this, you will be able to find all of the pieces.”

This is one of those moments.

I just found this article, Group Calls for De-Legalization of Marriage and knew from the title that this was a DTA.

Marriage and children are given their advantages because that is what the government wants you to do. Get married and have a bunch of kids. Raise them as part of a nuclear family to raise the population and you get rewarded with the tax breaks and other incentives.

To eliminate the advantages of marriage will devastate everything associated with it, with no possibility of any advantages. This is a concerted effort to destroy the nuclear family. Study after study have proven that children do better in a two-parent household. The best possible situation is to have one parent at home with the children (i.e. stay-at-home/home office parent).

I am not in favor of gay marriage, but I am also against a Constitutional Amendment favoring heterosexual marriage. An amendment would be swatting flies with a sledge hammer and should not be used for such purposes. The last attempt at such Constitutional social engineering was Prohibition. I am against gay marriage solely because they cannot produce children by themselves. As far as infertile heterosexual couples go, they have a distinct medical reason, not from a lack of trying.

I want to make this clear: I have no problems with homosexuals. I believe they have as much choice to be homosexual as I have to be heterosexual. I commend them if they are in a committed life-long relationship. But marriage is something that is not in the cards if you are homosexual, just like due to my life circumstances I can never own a firearm ever again. If they want to work at a company that recognizes same-sex life partners, go for it! I am not happy with the decision and I have no alternatives, but kids and marriage is out of the question. Sorry.