Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Bless this union, Mr President

Today I had one of my magnificent meandering thoughts. It started innocently enough by reading someone else’s Blog.

The entry was entitled “This Farmer Wants a Wife”. Now, I don’t know where the thoughts of a normal human would go after reading this, but mine didn’t go anywhere near that place. And I don’t read the Startlegram.

Very keen readers of aforelinked blog will know by now that my spousal unit is from Germany.

What you may not know is that before I met my spouse-to-be, I didn’t care much about the government. Life goes on and they are going to do what they are going to do. If they don’t hurt me, I don’t care.

Well, you should try falling in love with a woman (or man) from another country and just see how involved with your personal life our government is. It’s not pretty. I got so irritated at one point that I sent a nasty email to my senator. I normally don’t do things like that.

Mainly I sent her the email because she wanted to amend the constitution to formally make a marriage a union between a man and a woman. I don’t know how that reads today, but I think she missed my point. In fact, I suspect lots of people miss my point.

The point I was trying to make in my sarcastic letter that I can’t find the text to, was that government needs to get out of the marriage business all together. Why the hell is it any of the government’s business who I intend to spend my life with?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The biggest state of America

Today I wanted to take some time to try and fix our “immigration problem”.

At what point did it become a problem? Is it a problem?

If we are to believe what the government and the media tells us then we have lots of illegal immigrants from Mexico working in the USA. I suppose they might be taking jobs for lesser salaries thus causing unemployment. I suppose you could also argue that it would be easy for terrorists to slip in through this “back door”.

Why are we focused more on Mexico than on Canada? Are people more likely to cross illegally from Mexico than from Canada? Are Canadians too lazy to cross the border illegally?

Well, my solution is to make all of the Mexicans, that are here, legal citizens of the USA. And how are we going to do this? We let the Mexican government know that we have a problem. Apparently a large portion of citizens in Mexico want to be citizens of USA. If they don’t believe it we have lots of data to back it up. So, either the Mexican government fixes this or we annex Mexico as the 51st state of the union.

Once Mexico is annexed, all Mexicans immediately become citizens of the USA. And wah lah, it’s all fixed. Building a fence across the border to Guatemala will be a helluva lot cheaper than building a fence across the border to Mexico. I guess while we are annexing we could annex all the way down to Panama, then the fence is already in place because of the Panama Canal.

Canada, at that point, will be the only country in North America to not be a part of the USA. They’ll have no choice but to join the collective.

Monday, April 28, 2008

New news about stress

Back in the mid 90’s there was this doctor who was more homeopathic than anything else. I liked him for some reason even though the term homeopathic gives me chills. I guess he was kind of different. He was more about drugs in moderation. Like before giving a kid antibiotics when their ear hurts, he would encourage them to drink more water, lay off the milk, and breathe. Apparently, breathing is very important. You have to learn to breathe in deeply through your nose in a nice relaxing fashion that opens up the airways into your sinus cavities to relieve the pressure.

He was also big into stress. Stress kills. He advised people to quit watching the news or reading the newspaper because the news that sells tends to cause stress. It makes you worry which makes you sick. Normally, I’m not one to jump on a bandwagon. I’m too lazy. But, I decided to try this. I just completely quit watching the news and it paid off. Of course, this went well with my laziness because I am generally too lazy to watch TV as well.

I challenge you all to quit watching the news or reading the newspaper for the next week and see how it goes. Ignorance is bliss. This recommendation especially goes to the person that instigated my need to blog. I think he’s been watching the news too much lately.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Pot smoking prison population and politics

I doubt you can argue that law enforcement in America is probably the best in the world. There are a few bad apples, but overall they do a damn good job.

We have 5 percent of the world’s population and almost 25 percent of the world’s imprisoned population.

Is this something we should be proud of? How can we fix it?

I reckon we start by legalizing drugs. We should start with the “casual” drugs like marijuana. We legalize marijuana and tax the hell out of it. It’ll still be cheaper than buying on the streets. And, it’ll be safer (if you trust the FDA).

From 1992 to 2002 45 percent of drug arrests were arrests involving marijuana.

Legalizing marijuana saves money by easing the jail and court systems. It saves lives by giving our police force something more pertinent to focus on. And it makes money in taxes. Would you believe that Canada’s marijuana crop is estimated to be worth somewhere between 4 billion and 7 billion dollars? I didn’t even know Canada had a marijuana crop. I wonder what Mexico’s crop is worth? If you tax marijuana like a cigarette, I suspect that’s a lot of money that could go towards cancer research or feeding the world’s hungry.

Another way to fix the jail population is to make them less comfortable without being “cruel”. I think that’s easily obtainable. We make jails less pleasing so people don’t want to get in and once in try harder to get out on good behavior. I think our incarceration system today is too “politically correct”. We’d save money by not building comfortable entertaining facilities. We’d also save money because destitute people wouldn’t be trying to get in to get 3 good meals and a good night’s rest. We could use the savings to build more shelters for the homeless.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Freedom of Catholic Religion

Bill Maher made the news by badmouthing the Catholic Church and the Pope. My mom always told me that the truth hurts. I think that Bill probably hit too close to home for a lot of Americans.

There have been all kinds of responses including the “Fire Bill Maher” website that popped up. Apparently, if Sharpton can get Imus fired for making degrading remarks about a basketball team, then the Catholics can get Bill fired for talking bad about the Pope and their church.

I heard a radio show today debate about this. Of course, all the people on the radio were on Bill’s side and couldn’t believe that the folks responsible for the website would even dare request such a thing. “What about freedom of speech?” they cried. “How can a religious organization possibly ask for Bill to be removed from the airwaves?” He’s on HBO anyway which is subscription based so that’s already kind of stupid.

But they are missing the biggest point of all. Religion is a chosen cult. These people chose to be Catholic. In my opinion you can bad mouth people all day long over something they chose to be. Imus was fired for racial comments. People can’t choose their race. Incidentally, children aren’t always allowed to choose their cult. At what age can a person be held accountable for the cult they have chosen?

Where do we draw the line with Freedom of Speech? Do we need to draw a line? I don’t agree with the whole Imus thing either. I’d even go out on a limb and say Sharpton is twice the racist that Imus will ever be. I would not have even heard about what Imus said if it weren’t for Sharpton.

My mom always said that sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me. But, apparently, if you pretend they hurt, you can get lots of free publicity and make yourself look like a big moron on TV!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Delete all you want, we'll make more

I’m curious if anyone knows where these junk emails come from. I can understand people who try to sell stuff getting together a collection of valid email addressed and just mass mailing their ads to a huge market in the hopes of getting a few bites. It’s good business. I’m not one of the biters, but at least I can see the logic of it.

What I don’t understand are the nonsensical emails that I get 20 times per day. What is their purpose? Do they have a purpose? Or is there a 3 year old somewhere that has found their parents mass email account and is just sending out gibberish?

This was my favorite one from today: “Find out what Prescri] ptionz are on sale daily”

I have no idea what Prescri] ptionz are and if I wanted to find out I don’t know how. I suppose I could Google it, but I suspect I wouldn’t find much. Maybe I’d win a million dollars.

The problem stems from SMTP. The S stands for Simple. By propagating SMTP, we have inadvertently created a huge junk email problem. The only way to filter it is at the receiving end. My computer has MS Outlook which does a pretty good job of filtering junk mail. Out of the 40 or so per day, only 1 or sometimes 2 pop into my Inbox. And only 1 or 2 good emails get dropped into my junkmail box.

It’s not really a good solution. Thus you have the “fancy” spammers who come up with funny looking emails that try and slip through the filter. I think this is where the random text comes from. If I spew forth a few hundred random words in my spamilitious emails perhaps I can circumvent the recipient’s flawed filtration system.

You can, of course, set up your account not to accept emails from anyone not in your address book. A good spammer can get past this as well. And, you might inadvertently miss an email from someone who has recently changed their address. Or that old high school friend that you have not heard from in 20 years. Do you really want to hear from them anyway?

The correct answer, I believe, is to fix SMTP. We’ll call it ASMTP (that way we just have to add an A at the front). We’ll call it the Anti-Spam Mail Transfer Protocol. Think of all the packets that would get saved from needless collisions by reducing the amount of “simple mail” on the wire.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Oh government please protect me from myself

In the last election, Bush ran with the theme that only he had the experience to protect us from the terrorists. Bin Laden had a message to the American people. "Your security is not in the hands of (Democratic candidate John) Kerry or Bush or al-Qaida. Your security is in your own hands."

In my opinion it was the most intelligent thing said in the last election. Heck, the US Government has yet to come up with anything more intelligent.

I fail to see the reasoning behind the government putting people in prison for crimes where there is no victim. How many people are in prison for doing drugs? If they want to do drugs in their house, then let them do it.

Cities and states are starting to pass laws to make smoking illegal. If a bar allows smoking and I don't want to inhale second hand smoke then I have the freedom not to enter that bar. Why does the government think it needs to pass a law?

Somehow, somewhere, the US Government decided that we are not smart enough to take care of ourselves. At some point, they have to stop holding our hands. It'll be hard at first. We'll have to learn how to take care of our own kids. We'll have to learn how to adjust the radio dial to protect the innocent. We'll have to learn how to turn the channel on the TV all over again. But, I think we might be smart enough to do it.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Apollo Automobiles

In 1961 John F. Kennedy challenged the USA to put a man on the moon. Although there is some conspiracy theorists claiming this was a hoax, I'd like to assume that it actually happened in 1969.

If the President and the government are powerful enough to do something like that in less than 10 years, how long would it take them to eliminate the need for us to "drive" to our destinations?

I suspect if the new President in 2009 were to say, "By the year 2015, we will replace fuel consuming death traps with some other means of safer more environmentally sound form of transportation", it could be done.

I'm not talking about mass transit. I'm thinking along the lines of a private transportation device that you get in, punch in your destination and it takes you there like a packet on the information superhighway (without the collisions of course). No more automobile deaths. No more drinking and driving.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Rockin' Country with a Two-by-Four

I don’t watch TV. Well, I don’t watch TV unless my wife makes me. So, thru no fault of my own, I was watching the CMT Music Awards last night.

Have you heard that 80’s rock is dead? Well, apparently, it’s just shifted over to Country. Or, as my wife calls it, Country Rock.

I didn’t watch all of this program, but from what I saw, there wasn’t a whole lot of country music being played. LeAnn Rimes did one of her new songs and I kid you not. Had I not been watching already and just accidentally turned to the channel, I would have sworn that I was watching a rerun from the 80’s of one of Madonna’s live performances.

Later, this band called Rascal Flatts did a performance and it was mostly rap only that sing song rap that the Barenaked Ladies kind of made famous. You certainly couldn’t 2-step to it. Not that I would want to anyway.

To make matters worse Robert Plant won an award for a duet he did with Alison Krauss. If you don’t know who Robert Plant is, you should look him up. Google Led Zeppelin. Not long after that Joe Walsh got up on stage to hand out an award. To Joe’s credit he didn’t look very happy. Hopefully, they gave him some money.

So, if you love country music and you love 80’s rock, this must be like heaven to you. I suspect that there are a lot of diehard country fans that are wondering what happened to country music. I’m not one of those fans. Although as a purist, it kind of bothers me that they are calling this stuff country.

There is one of the recent Idol contestants that has the country whine that will make her famous one day. I was commenting to my wife that when she sings it makes my teeth hurt because she whines so good. Whines So Good would be a good name for a country song. Anyway, my wife was shocked that Simon agreed with me. I have to quit watching TV.

80’s rock is not entirely innocent of whining. Steve Perry whined too. I never liked Journey until they replaced him. I think women like whiners. Maybe I whine too and I’m just jealous.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Texas Interstate Truck Stop

A lot of time when the urge to blog strikes, it is personal in nature. When it comes to writing in a forum where anyone can read it, the insane part of you that thinks that everyone will read it takes over. Then, you are forced to somehow take your personal issues and convert them into something more worldly. I’m not saying I am doing that now. Well, maybe sort of.

There is one thing I am forced to do every day that I really dislike doing. That thing is driving. I must get to work in the morning and because of the way the DFW area is mapped out I am forced to drive. I could ride a bike the 25 miles to work, but I expect my life expectancy would be severely reduced.

There are places in this area where you can see the grocery store in the distance. But, to get there, you either have to drive or take some kind of insane pill and run across 10 lanes of 60 miles per hour traffic (assuming they obey the posted speed limit).

I lived in Germany off and on for maybe a year. For that entire time it would have been quite easy to live without a car. A Taxi ride to a downtown bar costs maybe $10. Trains can take you to any city in Germany and get you there relatively fast. I used to think that the Europeans had it down and we Americans were just behind.

After some domestic traveling I’ve decided that it’s just Texas. We love our cars. Some unwittingly call it the friendly state, but we stoically stay away from any kind of social contact. There is no mass transit to speak of. If there were, I doubt anyone would use it. It’s hard to find a place where people just gather for socializing except on Sundays and that’s a social stretch. I think that this blog will be a series with a finale and everything!

Monday, April 14, 2008


I got this picture in my email box today. It looked rather fake to me although the email read that it was taken in Fort Stockton, TX on April 3rd. It came from a relatively reliable source. Although the source is also sometimes gullible. Are gullible people less reliable?
I am leaving it up to you, the 2 readers of my blog, to find out if this picture is legit. I tried Googling for the picture and discovered a duplicate on Flickr and the person there said it was taken March 30 so the timeline is obviously in question.
It is a cool picture though.
I heard today on morning news that Hillary and Obama are fighting again. I guess this warrants them some more free media attention. Read below for my opinion of media whores.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Corrupted candidates and gray matter

Ever have one of those days where you have so much stuff going on that you would like to put it all into your Blog, but you don’t have time?

Today is one of those days. I’m going to try and keep it stored in the long term memory cells of my deteriorating brain and perhaps bring it back up later.

For now, I will post some of my meandering thoughts from a previous Blog on a previous site that went largely unread. It you’ve seen these before, then consider yourself one of the lucky enlightened few.

What traits make a good President? What traits make a person “electable” by the general public? I suspect that these traits are diametrically opposed. If I could prove this then I could prove that democracy is not all it is cracked up to be. Maybe it’s all the media’s fault. Democracy works fine until the general public relies on the media for unbiased news, but the media will only broadcast stories that sell. People that sell good stories do not make good Presidents. If A is B and B is C then A is C you see?

I’ve decided that I’ll vote for the Presidential candidate that promises to sit on their hands for 4 years.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

We are innocent

Do you ever notice how things are oddly connected? Or maybe my neurons fire in odd directions which makes things oddly connected only to me.

The most recent example of this is the Tibet versus China thing and now the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) versus Texas and apparently the USA if the FBI is involved.

If you remove the morally objectionable material, these two cases are identical. A religious sect was breaking the law of the land and steps were taken to curtail this behavior.

It seems like a read something somewhere once upon a time (is that vague enough) that religion is illegal in China -- probably because religion is the root of all evil. So a bunch of spiritual leaders praying and protesting would be equivalent to a bunch of hippies in America standing out in front of the White House smoking joints to protest America’s marijuana laws. I suspect they would be arrested.

I saw a woman on TV carrying around a big sign saying something along the lines of, “China must grant Religious freedom to Tibet”. I wonder how she feels about FLDS. Religious freedom isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Man without religion is like a fish without a bicycle

For some reason, this West Texas religious brainwashing molestation thing really bothers me. You have two unique and opposing ideas. But, can we agree on any of it?

We are promised freedom of religion.

We are promised personal freedom.

What happens when someone’s religion trounces on our personal freedom? Does the government have a right to step in and say, “Sorry, personal freedom is more important than religious freedom.”?

I believe that all religion has some amount of brain washing. Some are more subtle than others.

How did this sect get away with brainwashing generations of people? Is it because of freedom of religion? So maybe religion is the root of all evil?

Why are we having so much trouble in Iraq again? Isn’t it something about religion? What is Jihad?

Maybe they should reduce the number of troops in Iraq. They could bring a division or two back to Texas and wipe out some child molesting, raping, hiding-behind-religion morons.