Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Throughout history, one of the identifying features of a civilized culture has been the respecting of a dying man's last request. Whether a matter of law, policy, or unwritten rule, the seeing-through of the deceased's last wishes has usually been considered a noble act reserved for the closest of kin or best of friend. Then came liberalism.
Where common sense and general decency dictate that your property is exactly that-your property, liberalism dictates that your property belongs to the government, who allows you to "borrow" it until the moment of your death, at which time they have the right to reclaim it. At least, that seems to be the logic behind the idea of the "death tax".
Consider this. Assuming that you are a law abiding citizen, during your time on this Earth, every paycheck you ever earn is taxed before it even touches your hand. Then, everything you ever purchase is taxed...sometimes redundantly. By rights, (and the constitution) anything left over is supposed to be yours. Consequently, it is supposed to be you who makes the decisions regarding who will inherit what's left over. But, as with all other decisions in life, liberals believe that your last request should be left to that Goliath of bureaucracy we call "the government".
I say "Why stop there"? If the government is entitled to decide who gets your money when you die, then why not the rest of your stuff? After all, who are you to decide who gets your family photos? Pets? Clothes? Beer stein collection? Books? Baseball cards? Etc, etc...
With liberalism having such a "death grip" on our life...and death, it's easy to see why it is no longer a custom to place pennies on the eyes of the dead.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
As a rule, I try not to re-hash topics I've covered in the past. But with the current state of our economy and congress' child-like understanding of both the cause of it, and solutions to it, I felt a refresher coarse might be in order.
As congress fights among themselves about whether or not to extend the current tax rates, or raise taxes on certain, but not all citizens of America, it occurs to me that in the future, we might want to consider a basic aptitude test as a requirement for being allowed to run for public office. Until that day though, all I can do is offer my free economic lessons and hope that prospective politicians take full advantage of it.
I'm going to make this short and sweet. If you think raising taxes on "the rich" is going to help the economy, you are wrong. First, it's not fair to tax one citizen at a different tax rate than another. Especially when it's done for spite, jealousy, or simple ignorance of economics. Second, if you want to "create jobs", who better to do that than the people who actually do the most hiring? I mean really! Who hires more people? The X-Box addicted, 87' GEO driving, Mamma's basement living welfare case? The small business owner who's business has never actually required the hiring of more than thirty people? Or the "rich fat cat" who's enterprises require a minimum of two thousand associates to staff adequately?
Who is more likely to purchase big ticket items like boats, cars, pools, planes, summer homes, or turn one condos at Charlotte Motor Speedway? The welfare case? Mr. Small Business? Or the rich guy? Considering that those big ticket items do not grow on trees, where do you suppose they come from? You guessed it, the American worker. That is assuming that their manufacturers haven't fled the country trying to escape excessive taxation...irony.
So though it may bother you that some rich jerk just bought his third 120 foot yacht, you need to remember that the purchase of that yacht employed hundreds of people and fed many families. From everyone who works for the yacht company to the guy who scrapes the barnacles off it's hull, and everyone in between...people made money from the rich guy's indulgences.
Reducing the rich guy's ability to indulge himself via higher taxes might make you feel better, but it ain't going to put food on the table of the guy who assembles yacht engines.
Third, the age old rule of "S#&% rolls down hill" applies today just as it always has. That means that even though I might not be rich, my boss is. And when his taxes are raised, I'll give you one guess as to who is actually going to feel the pain of it. Be it a smaller cost of living raise, reduced benefits, or another year without new equipment, I'll be the one who takes the hit. You see, rich guys don't just buy yachts, they buy entire fleets of new trucks for their companies...unless the cost of those trucks goes up due to taxation. Keep in mind that an unsold truck brings NO tax revenue, but trucks sold at a reasonable/less prohibitive tax rate will bring tax revenue.
They are supposed to be teaching this stuff in schools. So why is it up to me? I should be in bed by now!
Saturday, November 6, 2010
First, I would like to address the state of Maryland. You were robbed. Though I'm not usually prone to conspiracy theories, and I rarely rely on anecdotal evidence, I must say that in my un-scientific opinion..."You got jacked Bro!".
If I am not to assume that there were some sort of electoral shenanigans that produced an O'Malley/Mikulski win on Tuesday, then there are only two other possibilities. Maryland voters are so embarrassed by their desire to vote democrat, that they refuse to put O'Malley/Mikulski signs in their yard, or there is a densely populated part of Maryland that is not shown on any map and can not be seen from any road, and just happens to vote primarily democrat.
You see, as a truck driver, I cover all points of Maryland. From the Eastern Shore, to the mountains of Garret Country and everywhere in between. From Baltimore to Cumberland and Waldorf to Rockville, there has been one thing that stands out above all else in recent weeks. The ratio of Ehrlich signs over O'Malley's has easily been 20 to 1. It's been nearly impossible to swing a dead cow without hitting a giant 4x8 Ehrlich sign, but finding an O'Malley sign has been akin to a game of Where's Waldo.
Between this puzzeling observation and O'Malley's reference to illegal aliens as "new Americans" in a debate, I have to assume that there is something fishy going on in Annapolis.
Second, I would like to address California. You guys are just screwed. At this point, your best hope for the future of your state is that the San Andreas Fault finally gives-way and allows California to slide on out to sea.
On a more serious note, there are many lessons to be learned from the election of 2010. The most most important being that there are few things more valuable on this Earth than education. Not necessarily an education certified in some over-priced, ivy-league, snob-o-torium, but the sort of education one receives through life experience and a willingness to apply rational thought to an issue when there's no one around to impress. It was the regular folk out there taking the time to educate themselves on issues like health care, taxes, government spending, and illegal immigration who saved the day on November 2nd, 2010...not the smug-ocracy from Harvard and Yale.
We also need to understand that this election was not the victory we should be celebrating. Yes, I understand the need to do a naked "happy dance" on the front lawn to revel in the defeat of Nancy Pelosi. Yes, I understand the scope of Republican/T.E.A. party wins on every level of government from national to local. And yes, I do understand the satisfaction we felt when the liberal/main stream media was forced to announce the election results to the world, while trying not to look like they just swallowed a turd (Matthews and Olberman couldn't quite pull it off).
But the larger point is that even thought this was a massive electoral victory, it was really more of a successful job interview...and now we actually have to do the job. A better analogy might be that this election is mearly a solid foot-hold on a beyond vertical climb, up the icy rock face of Mt. Everest, while competing climbers are allowed to shoot you with B.B. guns.
We may have thrown the Obama agenda off track for the moment, but the battle is just now getting started. As evidenced by election results in California, Nevada, Maryland and Delaware, we still have a long way to go before we can safely say we've defeated socialism in America. We have many debates and Congressional votes ahead that will need to be won. We have millions of hearts and minds to win. There are literally millions of people out there who are in dire need of a complete ideological/philosophical over-haul...and we have less than two years to do the job.
In short, this is no time to celebrate. It will be after the liberal/progressive agenda is stigmatized and ridiculed out of the main-stream that I will crack open "the good stuff" and propose a toast.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
In support of Juan Williams, I have decided to re-run an article I wrote in February of 2009. I sure hope NPR and George Soros think they've got their money's worth by firing Williams. Rather, I do believe they've just thrown NPR's "thought police" agenda head-long into the national spotlight for everyone to see.
I guess Teri Gross can officially call her show All Liberal Things Considered.
WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE
No, this is not a "photo-shopped" picture designed to shamelessly plug my book. It actually is me with the Juan Williams of FOX News and NPR. Mr. Williams was lecturing at Shippensburg State College, which is mear minutes from the Roadhouse homestead. As a long time fan of Williams, I couldn't justify missing an opportunity to meet him. As a conservative, I often disagree with Juan's assessment of issues facing our nation, but what sets Williams apart from the liberal herd is not his opinions, it's his personality.
Since I first took the red pill and was drawn into the "Matrix" that is the world of politics, I've seen many political pundits hock their wares across my television screen. Among the liberal media are platoons of snarky, elitist "intellectuals" who never miss a chance to bash conservatives with little more than school yard shin-kickery. Through it all, one guy has stood out to a point where I frequently ask my wife, "Why can't the rest of those jerks be more like him?" That guy is Juan Williams.
The topic of his speech was "Eyes on the Prize: The Truths of American Race Relations". Admittedly, I was expecting Mr. Williams to be a bit more partisan, given the college setting and no cameras rolling. I actually told my traveling companion (AKA, my father-in-law) that we would probably be doing a lot of eye rolling during his lecture. I was wrong.
Like true statesmen of a time pre-dating focus groups and Neilson ratings, Williams spoke of racism in terms that were both fair and accurate. He spoke of personal responsibility or lack there of in the black community. He spoke of Dr. King's message and how he might relate to society today if he were still alive to witness things like gangsta' rap or modern day poverty. He reminded us that even though there is more work to be done, people in general have come much further in their attitudes towards racism than they are usually given credit for. He advocated more communication between ethnicities, and how important it is to keep the conversation going.
Amazingly, he did this without blaming George Bush for all the ills facing the black community, and without throwing verbal pitchforks at those of us on the "right". Unlike just about every liberal talking head I have ever heard, Williams managed to speak for an hour, and take questions from a predominantly "left" audience without making me want to throw produce at him. In fact, I really can't think of one thing he said that I disagreed with. Spooky huh?
After his speech, he did a book signing. He was every bit the respectable American in person that he is on the TV. I told him that I don't always agree with him, but I consider him to be a true statesman. I gave him a copy of my book and he was even gracious enough to let me get a picture of him holding it...his idea.
Juan Williams...a class act, and proof that being a liberal doesn't mean you have to be a nut-job.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Maybe it's my repeated exposure to the lessons of Aesop's Fables which I've been reading to my kids for the past six years. Maybe it's my eternal "glass half empty and leaking rapidly while teetering on the edge of the table" way of looking at life. But in any case, I must tell you that I refuse to adopt the current general consensus that the Democrats are going to go down in flames via a Republican tsunami in this year's mid-term election.
Fore-gone conclusions may be fun to consider, especially when there seems to be so much circumstantial evidence to support them. Polls might be a blast to track and calculate. But I would caution everyone hoping to end the current nightmare to remember a few things.
Only two short years ago, this very same country elected a man with no verifiable experience, connections to enough radical, anti-American communists to start a baseball league and a legislative resume more hazy than my recollections of my 21st birthday (thanks alot Coors brewing company).
In those two short years, the media has yet to loosen their lip-lock on Obama's hind-quarters. In those two short years, Obama supporters have had time to rally funds and organize. In those two short years, political and legislative efforts have been made to help insure a Democrat victory. And I think it's safe to assume that in those two short years, the number of people who've had a political epiphany and come to their senses is probably less than overwhelming.
It's not that I'm trying to pee in our own Cheerios, I just want us to remember who we're up against. Team Obama is a conglomeration of bullies, radicals and well connected union leg breakers. To them, cheating, lying, distracting, and winning "by any means necessary" is part of the job description. My point is that it is way to early for anyone to be breaking out bottles of champaign and making assumptions of any kind (I'm looking at you Dick Morris).
Let's wait until that fateful Tuesday night to decide if we should be toasting our victories or drowning our sorrows. In the meantime, we need to fight this political battle as if our very life depends on it...because it does.
Friday, September 10, 2010
In the weeks following the dueling controversies of the Ground Zero Mosque and the burning of Korans by some "weak on follow-through" preacher from down south, much has been said about Americans being "Islam-o-phobic". My old school Webster's dictionary defines phobia as "a persistent illogical fear". Being acrophobic myself, I can relate to a having a fear that could be considered "illogical"...except for the whole "plummeting to a horribly violent death, resulting in your guts being splattered about the ground like a busted water balloon" thing. Other than that, a fear of heights is pretty irrational. But what about Islam-o-phobia?
Is Islam-o-phobia really a phobia? I don't know, is it "illogical" to fear a religion that has been conquering empires since pre-biblical times? Is it "illogical" to fear a religion combined with a system of government that sanctions female genital mutilation and honor killings...in the year 2010 no less? Is it "illogical" to fear a religion that calls for the violent death of anyone who does not convert to it?
Is it illogical to fear a religion responsible for the September 11th attacks, the first World Trade Center bombing, The USS Cole bombing, Lockerbie, Munich, Iranian hostage crises, embassy bombings, British subway bombings, Marine barracks bombings, Fort Hood, DC sniper attacks, Danny Pearl and Nick Burge beheadings, Spain train bombings, Somalia, Serbia, etc, etc?
Obviously, as Americans we are simply over-reacting in our skepticism toward the agenda of the Muslim community. Be that as it may, I have decided that logical or not, I am Islam-o-phobic.
I break it down this way. When a person of any-or-no faith at all depicts Jesus or the Bible in an unflattering way (see Comedy Central), the most they have to fear from a Christian is a good ol' fashioned forgiving, and maybe a prayer or two. Yet when someone says (or draws) something showing Allah or the Koran in a negative light, it's time to strap on the bomb vests or break out the beheading swords. And another thing. Has anyone noticed that there seems to be no Hindu-phobia, Bhuddah-phobia, or even Satan Worship-0-phobia in the world? I wonder why that is? Oh, that's right, those guys don't see blowing up schools as a way to please thier various diaties.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
LIFE, LIBERTY, AND LANDSCAPING
Leave it to me to have an entirely different take on the 8/28
"Restoring Honor" rally that I and a co-worker attended last week. As expected, I was impressed with the turn-out, and the general attitudes of everyone I saw there. I found no fault with any of the speakers, their message, or even the accommodations for such a mass of people. But as I and my former Marine, fellow truck driving traveling companion walked through the crowd, one thing stood out as a constant, nagging, negative observation...THIS PLACE WAS A DUMP!
Some of you may remember my article chronicling my trip to Washington DC for the 9/12 Tea Party rally last fall. At that particular event, my excursion was limited to the northernmost end of the National Mall. While I was there, I had spent most of my time in the middle of the mall talking to people, as opposed to critiquing the mall itself. This latest trip was different.
At it's southernmost point, the National Mall is a mix of wooded areas, ponds, monuments, and small rolling hills, with any number of bushes and shrubs throughout. Sounds pleasant and picturesque, right? Not so much.
You see, I forgot to mention the many areas that I would best describe as some sort of cess pool/swamp-like spring situation, and the countless ankle-breaking, basketball-size holes that dotted the grounds. Then there was the Reflecting Pool.
Being a naive American, I assumed that the Reflecting Pool and surrounding ponds were filled with water. WRONG! Apparently, these features are being used as temporary holding sites for an un-identifiable liquid, best described as something that might be leaking from Monty Burns' nuclear power plant, and kept secret with the help of "Fat Tony" and Mayor Quimby (Simpsons fans know what I mean).
I can also assume that no part of the trillions of dollars in current Federal spending has been allotted for the purchase of weed eaters. I mean really. The National Mall is visited annually by hundreds of thousands of people from around the globe. It is supposed to be inspirational and project an aura of both power and elegance. Between you and me though, the landscaping at my house makes the National Mall's look like a pile of puke.
To be fair, until 9/12/09, I hadn't been to Washington DC since Reagan was in office, so I am not blaming Obama for this one. For all I know, the Mall might have been looking this way for the past twenty years. Still, that's no excuse to have the beacon of freedom for the entire world looking (and smelling) like a truck stop bath room.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
One Saturday, Fred decided to take his sixteen year old daughter Jane car shopping. Her grades were good, and she had been holding down a part time job, so he felt she was worthy of her own set of wheels. Not yet in the first mile of their shopping excursion, Jane let out an ear piercing shriek proclaiming that she had found her ride of choice. "That one, that one right there!" she screamed.
Slamming on the brakes, Fred sailed into the otherwise vacant lot where the only vehicle present was a 1987 Ford F-350 diesel crew cab truck, complete with dual wheels and contractor's "shop body". Unsure, Fred asked his daughter if he had missed the car she was bellowing about. He had barely stopped his pick-up when she jumped out, ran across the lot and hugged the old Ford work truck as if it were her long lost soul mate.
Naturally assuming that this was his little girl's idea of a practical joke, he reminded her that their time was limited and asked her to get back in the pick-up. But Jane persisted, proclaiming that this hulking mass of metal, rust, and oil leaks was exactly the vehicle she both needed and wanted. Realizing both that she had never picked up a tool in her life, and that she was hoping to major in English literature (not masonry) after high school, Fred felt obligated to start asking some questions.
He asked Jane if she knew what kind of fuel mileage this truck was probably going to get. She proudly said that she didn't care. He then asked if she understood how difficult this truck was going to be to park. She acted as she didn't even hear him. When he asked if there was any practical purpose for her to own such a vehicle, she said "No, but who cares?"
Humoring her insanity, he suggested they call the number and see if they can arrange a test drive. She laughed and said "No way, why bother?". Upon further inspection, he noted to her that all six tires were bald, and the passenger door's glass was busted out. Again, his daughter ignored his observation.
Amazed at her ignorance, and short-sightedness, Fred impatiently asked her why on God's green Earth would she ever want such a colossally impractical vehicle to get from home to school in? Jane looked at him as if he had three heads, and after scolding him for being so incredibly ignorant and narrow minded she said "Are you kidding? Can't you see? It's BLUE!!!"
This story may seem unlikely and ridiculous in it's substance, but it's a perfect analogy to the liberal progressive's idea of advancement and hiring on the basis of "diversity".
Friday, August 13, 2010
In order to solve the issue of terrorism as soon as possible, I have decided to submit my anti-terrorism policy proposal today, rather than keep it in my pocket until my inevitable election to the U.S. Presidency. The following is a practical, effective formula designed to end terrorism in timely, efficient and economical manner.
POST INAUGURATION ANTI-TERRORISM PROPOSAL
Effective-immediately following swearing in ceremony.
Day one: I instruct the Joint Chiefs of Staff to launch a mass-media campaign including but not limited to leaflet drops, E-mail, radio broadcasts, text messages, and co-opted television spots across the entire Middle East. The message will be simple:
Attention: Due to the latest terror attacks in the name of Islam, the United States will be implementing the following response. As of today, every coalition soldier killed of injured in Iraq or Afghanistan will be replaced by three more soldiers.
Henceforth, our mission objective will no longer be to replace, or modify in any way the governments of any country or province in the Middle East. As of today, our mission will be to kill terrorists, and suspected terrorists. The United States reserves the right to enter any country harboring terrorists, and will use all resources to kill them and destroy their capabilities.
The United States will be implementing new rules of engagement. In short, if we have reason to believe you are a terrorist, we are going to kill you. If we have reason to believe you are helping terrorists, we are going to kill you. Any building known to contain a terrorist will be considered a priority target...including but not limited to mosques and/or madrases. Terrorists will be considered priority targets at all times...including but not limited to when they are among "civilians". We suggest distancing yourself from those you suspect of being a terrorist. It would also be in your best interest to assist coalition forces in the search for terror suspects, as we will be utilizing our newest anti-Islamic terrorism munitions.
I am directing the U.S. Army to deploy our new "pork round" technology. Starting today, every bullet, mine, rocket, bomb, missile, and grenade in our arsenal will be impregnated with pork fat in it's inner core. The pork will be extruded from pigs that have been raised by female Baptist preachers, and blessed by Jewish Rabbis.
We will no longer consider it our responsibility to replace or rebuild any infrastructure damaged as a result of our incursion. Remember, if you don't attack us, we won't attack you.
Regarding our current occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. There will be a timeline for our departure, and it will be set by the United States...not the U.N. Until said deadline, the aforementioned countries will have the opportunity to convince the world that it actually wants to control it's own destiny. In the event that such aspirations are not demonstrated, our deadline will stand, and the resulting power vacuum will be filled by whichever entity wants it most. Human rights abuses and oil will no longer be a consideration of the United States as we will be drilling and refining our own oil and protecting our own civil rights with the help of the United States Marine Corps.
Those not wanting to live under Taliban or Al-Queda control will be given the opportunity to apply for asylum and U.S. citizenship after a lengthy screening process. In return, they will be obligated to work for the U.S. tax-payer through a supervised sponsorship program where they will earn their citizenship and resulting benefits until the day of their full citizenship.
We regret any inconvenience as a result of our new anti-terrorism policy, but then again, we didn't ask anyone to fly planes into our buildings either.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
In the interest of full disclosure, I must reveal my one true fear in life...air travel. I do realize that for a most people flying is as routine as eating at McDonald's. For me, flying in anything under any circumstance is a crippling nightmare. Hence, I simply won't do it. So in an odd and irrational way, I have always had a certain admiration for anyone brave enough to board a plane. By my weird way of looking at it, you could be Jeffrey Dahmer and I would still be able to respect you for having the stones to fly. Those who fly for a living have always fascinated me. It stands to reason that these people would have to understand the law of averages alone makes their job particularly risky. Yet, they still go to work. Couple that with an increasingly whiny and belligerent public, and you have the makings of a potential emotional powder keg.
As a truck driver, I can relate to dealing with the public, while still having to maintain a professional attitude as you wear your company's logo on your chest. Representing your employers and keeping cool under pressure can be one of the hardest parts of driving an eighteen wheeler. So when I heard the story of the flight attendant who "lost it" and went off on the passengers on his plane, only to then deploy the emergency ramp, and go home, I knew I had a kindred spirit out there.
This guy is my new hero. He did something that most of us only dream of doing, and did it with style and passion. Really, grabbing the six pack of beer on his way to the chute was genius in it's simplicity, putting the cherry on top. In this summer of oppressive heat and an even more oppressive government, I had to wonder just how many of us will be "going stewardess" in the coming years.
I'm not saying what he did was right...but I understand.
Friday, July 16, 2010
In the years since I jumped into the political arena, I have noticed a common tactic used by the left...sympathy. Like Yoda's light saber, progressives wield sympathy with deadly precision for the sole purpose of manipulating your emotions, and ultimately your wallet. The reigning champion in the competition for our sympathies is undoubtedly "the poor". Be ye a minority, a female, a homeless person (bum), or immigrant (legal or otherwise), the one common denominator in your list of exploited "plights" is probably going to be "poverty".
Realizing this, I have decided to submit for your approval my plan to end poverty. If for no other reason than to take it off the table once and for all so it can no longer be used as a distraction in substantive issue debate. But before we examine my plan to end poverty, we will first need to define poverty.
If you possess any of the following, you are not poor:
flat screen TV
case of beer
pack of cigarettes
You see, "poverty" is when you have nothing...including options. But in America, does that really apply to you, or anyone else? Does a poor person in America really have no way to get by without their government giving them money that's been taken from those who choose to work for a living? In an age where it actually pays to not work, I think I have found a more practical and motivating answer to poverty in America.
Benjamin Franklin once said that the best way to help the poor, is to make them uncomfortable in their poverty. With that in mind, I submit the following solution.
Step one would be to end all forms of government sponsored welfare. This would include unemployment compensation, food stamps, W.I.C., etc. etc. After all, without welfare, there can be no welfare fraud or dependency.
In the place of welfare programs, I suggest we bring back the concept of "poor houses". Because we are a prosperous and generous nation, I do believe in the concept of a safety net for those who fall on hard times. But there is a difference between a "safety net" and a king-size, Sleep Number bed with satin sheets, feather pillows, and accompanying personal masseuse. The purpose of a safety net is to do nothing more than save your life, not enhance and indulge it's every demand. A safety net is not supposed to be comfortable, let alone evolve into a lifestyle. When a trapeze artist falls off the wire and hits the safety net, he doesn't make himself at home, order a pizza, and fire up his X-Box on that net. No, he immediately gets off the net, climbs back up the ladder and tries the stunt again.
I assert that a "poor house" is the perfect safety net for those who's lives have hit the skids. You see, my poor house would cost the tax payer a fraction to operate compared to the bottomless pit our current welfare system has become. That's because people would only go there if they absolutely had no other option in life. And when they got there, they would bend over backwards to get back out. Here's why.
Once registered at your local poorhouse, you would have access to three healthy meals a day, but they would be bland, without variety, and washed down with water only. You would have access to medical care, but only the same no-frills care given to prison inmates, and no elective procedures at all. On the up-side, you would also have access to a library specifically stocked with self-help and vocational books, thus helping you to be a more attractive candidate to a prospective employer, as well as a better citizen in general.
You will also have access to our grooming department where you will be issued all things essential to making a good impression. A grooming consultant will be on hand to assist you. Your consultant will be advised to ridicule you for the following; baggy pants, backward hats, body piercings, tattoos above the collar bone, sagging pants, and wearing women's jeans if you're a male.
This facility will be safe, efficient and maintained at the highest standards of cleanliness. Our staff will be trained to the highest standards of professionalism. As part of their training, they will be taught to do everything in their power to assist you in your attempt to get back on your feet, but in a short, snarky manner. This is due to the idea that being in a poorhouse is supposed to be an unpleasant and humiliating experience, therefore motivating you to make sure you never need to return. In keeping with that theme, your bed will be automated to shorten by one inch for every day you stay following your first six weeks there. At that point, your food will then be served cold, as will be your showers.
The facility's ambient air temperature will vary at random, but always ten degrees away from the standard 70 degree "room temp".
In conjunction with the introduction of these regional poor houses, I suggest we start a national campaign to re-associate shame and humiliation with being poor. Particularly if your poverty is simply a result of your own laziness and bad decisions. Part of the problem with poverty today is that there is no longer a stigma attached to it. Today, it is assumed that if you are poor, it is probably the result of someone else making you that way, making you the victim by default. In reality, it was probably some decision you made that brought you to the steps of my "facility".
My advice...get a job, keep it, and don't spend beyond what that job provides. Stick with that, and you'll never experience the splendor of a poor house.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Yes, I know. It's been quite a while since my last article. Sometimes life has a way of filling your days and weeks, especially with two kids, a wife, an unpredictable work schedule and the final stages of a home addition. But enough about me.
As I've been watching the events in the gulf go on and on like some sort of continuous hybrid of a Three Stooges short and a Michael Bay action adventure movie. Unfortunately, this flick has too few heroes and way too many villains. But for the purposes of this blog, I am going to skip the political aspect of this nightmare and simply offer some solutions.
Keep in mind, I am not an engineer, but that's never stopped me from throwing ideas around until I found one that worked. As for the stopping of the leak, I submit the following ideas to anyone reading this who might be more credible in the field of structural engineering:
1. Jam a cone-shaped solid steel plug into the pipe and repeatedly drop a massive weight onto it until it stops the flow. The deep sea robots currently on the scene can guide the plug into position until time to drop it, and the weight can be guided similarly.
2. Construct a massive steel "can" to be placed upside-down over the leak. Pile solid steel ingots or massive boulders on top of the can until it sinks far enough into the sea floor to seal the oil accumulating inside. The "can" could even have an access valve near the top for collecting oil under controlled circumstances. A tall enough "can" pressed far into the sand with enough weight on top would have to eventually overcome the pressure of the oil flow.
3. Drill a new pipe as close to the leaking one as possible. Drill to half of the pipe's current depth. Lower into the new pipe the most massive, NON-nuclear explosive charge that will fit into it. Then, fill the pipe with sand and detonate the charge. I would have to assume the sea floor would cave in around the pipe and seal the flow of oil.
THE CLEAN UP
To expedite the restoration of the Gulf, simply turn the process into a contest. The President should hold a news conference where he announces a five million dollar prize (tax free) to the individual American who can gather the most oil from the gulf in a two week period. The only rules would be that their method must be deemed safe by the Coast Guard, and not interfere with other contestant's efforts. The "Oil Derby" can be repeated as often as necessary until the gulf returns to a life sustaining condition.
In addition, all oil gathered can be sold on the open market by those who gather it at whatever price they can command.
This plan has muti-fold benefits. One, free labor. Two, competition spawns innovation, so it stands to reason that rednecks across the land will be inventing and field testing new and exotic ways to separate oil from water. Three, as an armada of contestants descend upon the Gulf, they will need places to stay, and food to eat. This solves the problem of revenue lost in the Gulf's tourist industry since the disaster struck.
The "Derby" can be televised and even produced by the guys over at "The Discovery Channel". Mike Rowe can narrate, and even present the first winner with their comically large prize check.
Could any of my ideas work? Maybe, maybe not. But so far, they're better than anything I've seen so far.
Monday, May 3, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
If ever there were a case to be made for education reform in America, it was Sunday's vote for health care reform. That being said, there is plenty of blame to go around. First, I blame myself. Though I've become known in my social circles as "that guy who wrote that book about politics and junk", I rarely go out of my way to talk to people...let alone start conversations about our government. Not that I assume my contributions to a political discussion would move mountains, my reclusiveness has done nothing to help for sure.
It was also me who chose to pay little-to-no attention to my civics teacher in High School, or the world around me in my early adulthood. I was the one who until September 11th, 2001 crafted my ideology from narratives I saw in liberal sitcoms and stand-up comedians. Before that awful day, I was the one who decided to invest my time in beer and video games. All the while, people in positions of power were plotting elaborate schemes designed to erode the freedoms I was taking for granted. But I was not alone.
What about you? And what about now? Before you go swinging that finger of blame around, take a look in the mirror. When exactly did you start giving a crap? Do you "go there" with your friends and family, or do you keep the peace by not bringing up certain topics?
As with all history, it's water under the bridge now. The question we all need to ask at this point in the game is, did we learn anything from our experiences? Rather than dwell on our past mistakes and indifferences, we need to get our collective asses in gear and prepare for tomorrow. If you have kids, teach em'. Teach them about the founding fathers and our constitution, because their schools certainly won't. If you don't know about those things, then teach yourself! Go to the library. Read a book. If you have a liberal friend or relative, instigate em'. Don't be insulting or rude, but show them where they're wrong. Remember, you might have been a liberal idiot once yourself.
If we're going to right this ship, we are all going to have to start venturing out of our comfort zones. We are all going to have to make our existence here count. Sure, it would be fun to see the look on a liberal's face when their socialist utopia falls apart, and we all love to say "I told you so"...but. It's our world too. When they screw things up, they take us with them. Our new mission needs to be all about saving liberals from themselves, before they get us all killed.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Listening to liberals try to explain our current economic situation is alot like listening to a four year old trying to explain how airplanes fly. The irony to that is that flight is much more complicated and harder to explain than economics. But for the sake of the liberal readers that occasionally frequent my humble blog, I will explain the basics of free market economics.
The free market is actually less of a "system" and more of an expression of humanity and it's aversion to oppression. To put it simply, it's a matter of buying and selling the things we want/need, for reasons and priorities of our own choosing.
Like the fly in the ointment of all liberal concepts, it is the human condition that drives our economic system. If we were robots, we would require only the most basic of needs and no wants. If we required a car for transportation, the simplest of automobile would be all that we'd ever need. And being robots of coarse...we would never complain. Enter humanity.
As humans, our requirements are different, and so are our tastes. In fact, the idea that we even have tastes and/or opinions at all is what separates us from the robot world. A robot could care less what kind of car he drives to work, or what kind of power drill he uses when he gets there. But a human has a whole set of priorities unique to his individual needs. Maybe he is tall and needs a certain amount of leg room. Maybe he has three kids and needs a four door. Maybe he has small hands that require a drill with a particular style of grip. Maybe he likes to fish on the weekends and needs a truck to pull his bass boat.
It is this individuality that spawns our free market system. For all of our differences, there must be a way to cater to those needs and wants...hence, the entrepeneur. For every Tom, Dick, or Harry with a personal preference, there is someone out there with a way to provide for their needs. Tom likes hoagies? Enter, Subway and Quiznos. Dick likes Burgers? Enter, McDonald's and Burger King. Harry likes trucks, but his wife likes station wagons? Enter, the SUV.
In America, the common denominators between the buyer of goods and the seller of goods is both freedom and liberty. The buyer has the ability to make decisions based on the things important to him/her alone. Be it quality, convenience, or symbol of status, your reasons for purchasing something are as personal as any other part of your life.
The seller has the ability to make the decisions that result in the production of the things the buyer wants/needs. The seller makes decisions based on quality, cost, and competition.
Oh yeah, competition. Another part of the human condition. Again, since the robot could care less about quality, competition would really not be a factor in meeting it's needs. But humans need and want more than just a slab of meat between two buns. We need the Big Mac. We need the five dollar foot long. We need the stuffed crust pan pizza and the Chevy Tahoe with 33" tires for blasting through snow drifts.
It is competition that demands higher quality. After all, there would be no need to improve on the cheeseburger, if there were no other companies to compete with. The Mustang would not be nearly as cool of a car if there were no Camaro forcing Ford to innovate in order to stay ahead of the curve.
How does any of this relate to jobs? Well, unfortunately, cars and burgers do not grow on trees in some magical mystical forest. They are produced...by people. For those people to produce their good or service, they need to hire other people. This is what's known as "job creation". Now, if you were to create an environment that is hostile to this system, you might experience something known as "job destruction".
You might be wondering what could cause a hostile environment for employment. Glad you asked. Imagine you are the owner of a company that makes buggy bumpers. You've just heard your President tell the nation that he plans to raise your taxes in order to implement some pet project that nobody wants. He follows that by promising to create new regulations and standards that will increase the expense of running your business. Are you supposed to ignore him or assume he's bluffing? Or will you more likely take his word for it and take the appropriate measures to prepare for increased overhead? Knowing that the cost of your buggy bumpers will go up resulting in fewer sales, do you think it would be a good idea to throw caution to the wind and hire ten more people, or trim the cost of running your business by laying-off five people.
In addition to you, your customers heard the same message from the President and have decided to cut their spending in all areas in preparation for higher prices at the register. This results in fewer orders for all goods and services as well as their related transportation, warehousing, and retailing. You see, just because your President promised to not raise your tax rate which happens to be below his arbitrary $250,000 line, that doesn't mean he won't be raising the taxes of the people who produce the products you use. A nickle more for a tube of Chapstick here, or a dime more for a box of Pop Tarts there tends to add up after a while. Both costs passed onto you (the consumer) to make up for the cost of someone's brilliant tax increases or job creation stimulus bill.
And let's not forget your boss (if you're lucky enough to have one). Since he falls on the wrong side of the President's fiscal "line in the sand", what do you suppose he's going to do? He's looking at your up-coming Christmas bonus on one hand, and a promise of whopping new taxes on the other. You do the math.
He's looking at your request for a new company vehicle on one hand, and a rising cost of doing business due to up-coming "cap and trade" regulations on the other. Again...you do the math.
I'm not trying to say that Harvard didn't have an excellent business program when President Obama was studying there, but I am saying that business wasn't his major.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Cruising around the blogoshpere has lead me to some interesting writing concepts over the years. Not the least of which is the chronicling of random thoughts by the author. One such blogger over at My Voice on the Wings of Change recently inspired me to try this myself. I'm sure I won't be adopting it as a regular format, but I thought it might be cool to try something different for a change...so here we go.
Thought #1: The movie industry relies way too much on CGI today. Yes, flicks like "Cars" and "Toy Story" are fun to watch and are impressive in their detailed animation, but these movies are not trying to mesh with reality. They are just a better quality cartoon and little more than that. Hollywood oversteps their use of computer generated imagery when they rely on it alone, as opposed to simply using it to enhance a scene. Gone are the days of stuntmen and special effects artists. Now, we have CGI cars being chased by CGI monsters. The art of film and cinematography is being shoved aside for the sake of speed and commercial efficiency.
Between that and the guy who will inevitably talk during the movie, I have fewer and fewer reasons to buy an increasingly expensive movie ticket.
Thought #2: Al Gore needs to be strapped to a chair in my front yard, wearing Bermuda shorts and a "wife beater" for a duration of time to last no less than one hour. After he experiences the two feet (and counting) of snow and mid-teen temperatures that encompass my reality for that hour, I will be willing to listen to his views on global warming.
Thought #3: Abortion has been making the news lately, so I would like to clarify some mis-understandings about "pro-lifers" and our position on the topic. There actually is a clear distinction between our views on abortion vs. our views on capital punishment. An unborn baby has not yet had the ability or opportunity to abuse their right to live, unlike a murderer. An aborted baby has not been afforded their right to due process or a trial by a jury of their peers, unlike a murderer. We see no line in the Constitution that decrees your rights do not exist until the severing of an umbilical cord.
Thought #4: The only way I could give President Obama the benefit of the doubt is by considering the following theory. He is actually a double agent of sorts, and mearly posing as a radical socialist, anti-American, naive, narcissist. In realty, he saw the folly of liberalism at an early age, and devised a complex scheme to infiltrate, and eventually lead liberals and Democrats to their own political demise. His plan to expose liberals in Congress and show in living color the horrors of socialism to an America that was previously happy to remain un-informed, is nothing short of brilliant. And as of yet, his execution of it has been masterfull.
Just a theory.
Thought #5: Snow is no longer "fun".
Thought #6: Pop Tarts - still the perfect food.
Thought #7: To call liberals "retarded", is to give the retarded a bad name. I'd be insulted too if someone compared me to a liberal.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Today, in a five to four ruling, the Supreme Court finally decided that all men are created equal...even rich men. After lifting the restrictions on the amount of money a corporation can give to a political campaign and when they're allowed to run ads prior to an election, the Supreme Court all but sealed the fate of "the McCain/Fiengold act" which has made mince meat of the first amendment since it's inception.
As expected, the left is having a tantrum. Why? Because of the long held liberal myth that corporations are nothing more than conglomerations of robotic non-human entities from a far away galaxy who's only purpose in life is to destroy the lives of poor people. Believe it or not though, corporations are actually comprised of American citizens who just so happen to own businesses. That's right, American citizens. Not robots, not elves, not space aliens, and not in-animate objects under the control of some OZ-like character hiding behind some massive green curtain. Corporations are nothing more than groups of people who share a common interest, as well as the same Constitutional rights as we "poor folk".
The Constitution of the United States does not guarantee our rights assuming only that you meet a specific income guideline. It guarantees ALL of us the same rights, regardless of whether you're dirt-poor broke, or the CEO of a major investment firm. And like ALL of us, the American CEO has the right to free speech. That means he/she has the right to purchase a prime time spot to air his multi-million dollar ad campaign for or against any candidate at any time.
This is when the liberal would say "But that's not fair, some people can't afford to buy ads on TV, and that could lead to corruption!". OK, can you point me to the line in Constitution that guarantees the right of the people to "afford", well...anything? To afford something has to do with personal ability, not personal rights. As for corruption, as long as a human being is involved, their could be (not necessarily will be) corruption. As for fairness, it is absolutely fair because both the rich and poor man have the right to purchase air time and speak their mind. The only difference is that one may not have the ability.
Another argument against this ruling is that only the opinion of "the rich" will find it's way into the public discourse. Really? You mean the opinion of a rich person like Al Gore? Or like George Soros? Maybe you mean the opinion of rich guys like Rush Limbaugh or Mitt Romney? I'll see your Barbara Streisand, and raise you one John Voight. How about I trade you one Ted Turner for a Rupert Murdoch? Just what is the opinion of a rich person?
Thankfully for us, these issues were sorted out a long time ago by a group of both rich and poor guys known as our founding fathers. They explain it all in a little piece of parchment called the Bill of Rights.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
As of the writing of this article, Scott Brown is being projected the winner of the Massachusetts special election. As I type, I can hear Martha Coakley giving her concession speech in the background as my wife puts my son to sleep for the night. Though I realize the fight to save our country is far from over, I will be able to sleep a little better tonight knowing that there may be more "common sense" Americans out there than I originally thought. Considering my concern for the future of my children, and my recent bout with ideological "war weariness", I believe this is just the shot-in-the-arm I needed.
Already, excuses are being made, as well as bizarre suggestions as to what Democrats should do to save their quickly sinking ship. One genius says that this election means that Democrats need to be more liberal, and another thinks it's a mandate against Republican policies. Brilliant!
As for this particular political pontificator, I think this election says many things, not the least of which is that the Kennedy machine has a broken crank shaft and a cracked block. The voters have responded by buying a whole knew car.
I read this election as a sign that ALL states are "in play" now...and every Democrat candidate up for election in November, or 2012 just crapped their pants. If this election were in Maryland, or West Virginia, it might be mildly newsworthy, but this happened in MASS-A-FREAK'N-CHUSETTS! What state is more traditionally "blue" than Massachusetts? None! What Senate seat has been more solidly liberal than Ted Kennedy's? None!
The message has been sent to Obama, the unions, A.C.O.R.N., Congress, and the media...you ain't "all that", and your agenda is living on borrowed time. Another lesson that some should learn from tonight's events is that if you see Barack Obama coming down the street to give you a hand with your campaign...RUN! RUN LIKE THE WIND!
Monday, January 11, 2010
I credit this post to my wife. She once asked me why I love her. I told her that one of the things that draws me to her is also one of the things that annoys me the most. In short, she has a way of dragging me kicking and screaming out of my comfort zone. If it were not for her, I would most likely be a uni-bomber-esque hermit of some sort (minus the whole mail bomb, and violent tendencies thing) living in a shack in the woods.
Though a life of seclusion and absolute privacy still appeals to me, I am grateful for my exposure to other aspects of life I would have otherwise never experienced. This exposure has made me a better person, if for no other reason than I learn something from each new thing that Mrs. Roadhouse "suggests" I try. This got me to thinkin'.
If my formerly liberal way of thinking could be so transformed by simply being exposed to other people, maybe other liberals are simply suffering from a lack of exposure to the other side of the coin as well. In my first book, I wrote that I do not think liberalism is some great "conspiracy", rather nothing more than an institutional mind set. Consider the following.
If there is such a thing as a "core" to the poison apple of liberalism, it is surely the large metropolitan city, namely New York, Chicago, L.A., Seattle, etc., etc. Here, liberalism can thrive for one main reason...insecurity. Face it, we all have insecurities, but unless you live and work along side a few million people every day, you might not be as pressured to confront them.
Case in point - me. I am the original "country mouse". I live well outside of a small farming town, and I drive big rigs for a living. If I so choose, I can go for days without interacting with anyone, with the exception of my family. And in my "culture", it is a social norm that everyone understands that your opinions are your own, and you are not entitled to agreement from anyone. We are under little pressure to hold a particular opinion, because most of us simply don't care what the other guy thinks. As a result, opinions tend to vary in the country, and social standards are dictated by common sense, not popularity.
For the "city mouse", none of this is the case. In the city, space, quiet, fresh air, time, civility, and freedom of movement are all but non-existent. To assume that this alone would not have an effect on one's mentality would be naive at best. For one thing, "city mouse" rarely has time to collect his/her thoughts and just think. Try finding a quiet spot to simply "chill" for a few hours in the city. Somewhere where there is no noise, elbows, or thumping music is akin to an oasis in the desert. This leaves little opportunity for "city mouse" to mull over the validity or merit of his/her opinions.
Then there is the never ending peer pressure city folks suffer from. Sure, you can wear a bone through your nose and pink leotard on the street and probably not get many strange looks. But try quoting Patrick Henry in a corporate break room and see how fast you can be ostracised. Over time, the prevailing viewpoint on any given issue tends to be considered the norm. Not because it makes sense, but because no one took the initiative to dispute it for fear of being looked at as a freak. After all, standing out in a crowd of three thousand (my town's current population) is one thing, but a crowd of over one million is a whole other story.
Couple all this with the fact that the bulk of our media is rooted in these cities and charged with distributing information to the rest of us, and you have a recipe for intellectual disaster across the nation.
It is my belief that if those closet conservatives who reside in the city were more willing to speak out, it might be harder for liberalism to infect the rest of us. It's time for them to get out of their comfort zone.