Tag Archives: Politics

Carnifex on Duck Dynasty guy

So this bigot goes on TV and and likens homosexuality to bestiality, bigot then gets suspended from said TV show (and will likely be fired) and queue rightwing rants. So here is my take on the subject.

1. This is not a 1st amendment issue. The first amendment protects him from the government, not a privately held company.

2. A&E is a business, and as such has the right to decide who represents their brand. They made the business decision that bigotry is a loosing business strategy, and acted within that framework.

3. Duck Dynasty guy is absolutely within his rights to be a bigot, however A&E is not obligated to purchase him a soapbox on which to deliver his message. If he wants to buy TV time and spew his hatred, fine good luck with that, but A&E should not be forced to provide him with airtime.

4. Again Duck Dynasty guy is absolutely within his rights to be a bigot, however he should be prepared to deal with the consequence of his bigotry, if you have an unpopular view, you should not be surprised that people react negatively towards you when you express said unpopular belief.

Please Mr Speaker, by all means, proceed

I have not entirely avoided the whole government shut down thing, I have skirted the topic on Facebook and here. While I am a believer and a supporter of a functioning government, I think this needed to happen. Our government has been seriously broken for some time now. We can argue about when it became broken and who broke it, but I think we can all agree that it is broken. Personally, I think our government went down on December 12th 2000 when the Supreme Court of the United States handed the Presidency to George W. Bush and never got back up. All of that aside, we have been headed to this moment since January 20th 2009.

The government has been in a partial shut down for several days now as we passed the first bump of failing to get a budget passed and the second bump of raising the debt ceiling. The expectation is by November we, as a country will have to decide who gets paid, China, senior citizens or soldiers, because we  won’t be able to pay everyone. Certainly incoming tax money will cover most of our bills, but not all of them. We are at this point because the Speaker of the House, Representative Boehner refused to allow a vote in the house on a clean budget, no budget bill with de-funding of Obamacare language can make it through the Senate and even if it did, President Obama would veto it. So here we are.

As I see it, the Republicans are going to loose this battle. Recent poll numbers are showing independent voters are siding with the President and the Democratic party on this issue. Further, the approval rating of the Republicans party has fallen to an all time low, even among other Republicans. It is said in politics, if you are explaining, you are loosing. I see an awful lot of Republicans appearing on TV trying to explain their position, while the President and the Democratic Party have only to say “We do not negotiate with terrorists”. In short, the Republicans are taking the blame for this. The President has nothing to loose here. If the Republicans blink, he wins, if they don’t and hold fast, it gives the Democratic Party a weapon to use against the Republicans next year in the mid-term elections.

Representative Boehner on the other hand, has everything to loose. My guess is he will not be the Speaker of the house for more than a few months maybe a year at most and there is nothing he can do to save his job.I believe he will allow force the country into default, he really has no choice, the Tea Party arm of his caucus has tied his hands. I believe will eventually see a deal perhaps in November or December, probably before the end of the year, but not before the damage is done. If this happens, I believe the Democratic Party will gain control of the House of Representatives, they will gain a filibuster proof super majority in the Senate and lay the ground work for another slaughtering in 2016. So, as my title says, “Please Mr Speaker, by all means, proceed.”.

Why Raylan Alleman is Wrong

Okay, this one sure brought the afternoon up to a boil with PezWitch. Go read this, then come back.

http://www.fixthefamily.com/blog/6-reasons-to-not-send-your-daughter-to-college

So your back now and if you are anything other than a recently thawed Neanderthal this probably bothered you at least a little bit. I don’t really care that he thinks sending his son to college is an excellent idea, but is wasted money on his daughters. It is his money, he earned it, he can spend it anyway he wants. What irks me here is he is pretending that he is not “Against educating women” and he is not for “Oppressing women” when in fact this is exactly what he is preaching here. So lets go down his list, shall we.

1. She will attract the wrong types of men: Yes, yes she will attract the wrong type of men. It is a well known phenomenon that fathers hate most of the men their daughters date. Yes, she will likely date some bad boys, this is also a well known phenomenon that young girls like the bad boys. The bad news is there is nothing you can do about this except lock her up in the basement chained to the wall. The good news is she will learn from her mistakes and eventually meet someone who is right for her and makes her happy.

2. She will be in a near occasion of sin: This is another one you have no real control over, unless you are willing to cross the line from concerned parent to chains on the basement wall type of crazy. Look, by the time they reach 14 or 15 all you can hope for is that you have taught them enough common sense not to have sex and if they do to make sure it is safe sex. If you did not do that college age is waaayyy to late to be worried about it. If your daughter is inclined to have sex, it is a good bet she has already gotten the T-Shirt by the time she gets to college age. If you have taught her well and she has all the intellectual and emotional tools she needs to navigate the rough waters of youthful romances, then you really have nothing to worry about.

3. She will not learn to be a wife and mother: Uhm so what? Its not the job of the college to teach a woman to be a wife and mother. If you are as good a parent as you believe yourself to be, then chances are good she has had the best training she can possibly have to be a wife and mother, she has had good role models. If on the other hand you were a cold, distant father and your wife is overbearing and judgemental, then you are right, she is going to have a hard time with this one.

4. The cost of a degree is becoming more difficult to recoup: This applies to sons as well as daughters, if money is really the issue here then you should be discouraging your sons from going to college as well.

5. You don’t have to prove anything to the world: This is true, you don’t have anything to prove to the world. But you should know that the world thinks you are kind of creepy.

6. It could be a near occasion of sin for the parents: Re-read #4, this applies to sons as well as daughters. If you are unable to go into debt for your daughters education, then you should should not go into debt for your son either.

What’s really wrong with America

whats_wrong_with_america

Syria, Oh Syria

Okay, for the record, I am against any aggression against Syria. The bottom line is, we have no business involving ourselves in their civil war. Yes, what’s his name is a horrible monster who is doing terrible things to his people, however, it is a civil war and during any war, terrible things are going to happen to innocent people. In fact horrible people doing terrible things to innocents is the very definition of war. Assad has already killed something like a hundred thousand of his own people, I seriously doubt the US killing a hundred thousand more is going to make anyone’s life better.

If Syria’s neighbors are afraid he will turn his WMD arsenal on them, then they need to deal with Syria. If the European Union is afraid of having to absorb a large number of refuges over a long period of time, then let them deal with Assad. I 100% guarantee Syria will not using his WDM against us and anyone who suggests a mainland chemical attack against the US by Syria is an actual possibility, is most likely very very crazy. So I see no practical reason for the US to involve itself in the Syrian civil war.

Besides all of that, I do not think we are even capable of sustained military action in Syria. Our military was gutted by the Bush administration. Our military is exhausted and shell shocked from a decade of war and our treasury has been drained by tax cuts for the rich and the fore mentioned decade of war. If we are not talking about sustained military action, then what are we talking about? Dropping a few bombs on airstrips? Does anyone really believe that will do any good?

As in 2003, I remain adamantly anti war.

Sick Dayz

So I have not felt well since Sunday morning, which means I have not been eating well or sleeping well and by extension I am cranky. So this morning when I found out that the Republican controlled House of Representatives had voted for the 13th time to de-fund ACORN I reacted very poorly. The first version of this blog post was not kind to Republicans as a tribe. The only thing I am going to say now about this is, I remember a time when Republicans were a legitimate political party, that time is long past and you center-right conservatives need to take a good long hard look at those you are putting in office, because they do not represent you.


For those of you who are interested, Munchkin Deluxe has been reprinted and is available again. The big difference between this and the regular set is the game board which lets you track everyone’s levels. If you already have more Munchkin cards than you care to admitt to and don’t want to buy yet another set of basic cards, Steve Jackson Games has also released “Munchkin Level Playing Field” which has the board, some tokens and 4 new cards.

http://www.worldofmunchkin.com/levelplayingfield/


Maybe it is just this creeping crud getting me down, but as I roll new Magic decks over in head, I can’t help but to think I just can’t afford to get back into this. This game is a lot like golf, you need to invest time and money into it to be even casually competitive. Nobody gets by renting half bags of clubs and playing once a month, everyone who wants to play a decent game buys a full set of decent clubs and spend a few hours every weekend playing. The same thing applies to Magic, nobody gets by buying a couple hundred cards and playing FNM once a month. If you want to be good at it, you need to invest money into a good solid card base and you need to play at least once a week. I have already discussed the economics of playing Magic, which makes it difficult to afford cards that make competitive decks. There is a format of Magic called Pauper, which restricts cards to commons only and a reasonable competitive deck can be assembled for less than $20 and sometimes for less than $10. However, this format is only played in Magic Online, very very few venues in the real world host these types of games.


I got MicroProse’s old Magic the Gathering game working under Windows 7 inside of Virtualbox. It was not much a challenge beyond fixing the installer so it will install under something other than Windows 98. The A.I. is simplistic, but occasionally makes some surprise moves. I find if I play one of the pre-built decks, I win about 3/5 of the time, if I construct my own decks, I win 100% of the time. This is kind of fun in that it more closely resembles the play I remember back when I first started, limited card pool, crappy decks and players who made the best of what they had. I think if I were going to start an MTG game group, I think I would go for a limited pool of some kind.

 

More things that make you go HMMMM.

I find it interesting that there are several states passing anti-Sharia laws and these very same states are the ones actually implementing Sharia law in the United States. I have said many times, there really is very little difference between extremist Islam and extremist Christianity. Both want to implement very similar laws governing how we live our lives.

Things I can’t figure out

For the life of me, I can not figure out why  live in Texas rather than Oregon. I mean seriously, the two states are politically polar opposites of each other and my politics definitely aligns with Oregon rather than Texas. While Texas is trying to figure out new and creative ways to restrict women’s heath care, Oregon is trying t make life easier for its young by implementing what they call “Pay it Forward”. Essentially the program is a replacement for the student loan system where instead of being being saddled with a $100,000 loan that will take decades or possibly a lifetime to pay off, Pay it Forward has the person pay 3% of their income for 20 years. So if over the course of 20 years you make an average of $50,000, you would end up paying roughly $30,000 for your degree. If you get laid off and are unemployed for a year, you pay nothing. The idea being that this is not a loan, but rather you are paying into a pool so future generations can have the same access to higher education that you did. This is a great idea that I am a bit surprised has not been implemented elsewhere.

Scenario Time

Okay so here is a scenario, one that has actually played out many times, but in this case it is simply a what if situation.

Frank and his wife Mary have an argument one night. It is not violent, but it is loud and the neighbors do hear the yelling. Because the neighbors are friends, they also know Frank and Mary and working through rough financial times. Frank leaves the house to go for a walk to cool off and wanders the neighborhood for a couple of hours, he stops at a convenience store not far from home and uses his debit card to buy a candy bar and soda. When he gets back he finds his wife dead, Frank Immediately calls the police.

In this scenario, what do you think the result is going to be?

So what do I think about this whole Snowden thing?

Good question. Frankly I am not particularly sure what he did wrong. Its not like we didn’t already know the government was spying on us. I mean seriously, we went through all this during the Bush administration, no one seemed to care back then, so I am not sure why its an issue now. Okay lets assume that some significant portion of you really are too stupid to remember the Bush administration and this Snowden thing came as a complete surprise to you. So What.

This is not going to stop the government from collecting all our meta data. When we found out about Echelon, Total Information Awareness Office, Warrantless wiretaps and Sneak & Peek Warrants, the government did not stop, not even for a minute. And as I recall most everyone was screaming AMERICA FUCK YEAH! when all of this was discussed 10 years ago.

It is also not going to change anything the “Terrorists” are doing. Lets face it, if a “Terrorist” is so stupid as to get caught by this, they were probably not going to do any serious damage anyway. Look at the Boston Bombers, this system did not catch them because these guys had IQ’s something above 100, like all such systems, it is designed to catch the idiots, not the evil masterminds.

On top of all of this, I don’t think anyone outside the Slashdot/Reddit crowd gives a flying rat fuck about any of this. I think if the government honestly wanted Snowden, he would already be in custody, on US soil and everyone would be lawyering up. What I think is the government wants this to go away. The best way for this to go away quickly, is for Snowden to get amnesty somewhere like Venezuela or Bolivia, where he can settle down and quietly disappear and everyone can go back to watching Snookie or Honey BooBoo or whatever.

I think my big problem here is after being treated the way I was treated 10 years ago when I was worried about all this, I simply find it impossible to work up any kind of sympathy now. Sorry, but the best I can do is yawn and say, I told you so.