I have been watching this years Oregon Legislative session very closely this year. I normally watch anyway but with all the talk of high cap bans, assault weapons bans and other such nonsense, I have been a little more attentive then usual. This makes me a little better informed then usual and THIS is making me scratch my head and wonder if the entire Legislature has qualified for medical marijuana.
Not that there is anything wrong with that per say, I just wish they could wait until the session ends to spark up a blunt or 5.
For those of you not paying attention, which is sadly most of you, allow me to explain.
If two bills before the legislature pass, it will be illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to use a tanning bed but it will be legal for a 7 year old to operate an ATV off road.
No, I am not making this up, if you don’t believe me, go read the front page of today’s Oregonian, I dare you.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe that children need to be protected, unless they are real idiots in which case I believe we should let Mr Darwin do his work, but come on. It seems to me the job of protecting children from the dangers of skin cancer or skewering ones self on a tree branch should lay with the parents, not the state.
If Mom and Dad feel its OK for their spawn to endanger themselves, who are we to say no. If we are lucky the worst result is that the gene pool will get a stronger and the state can enjoy some added cash in its coffers from all the fines and what not for child endangerment.
Sometimes, you only have to look as a far as the “Food” section of your daily paper to see that we have as a nation abandoned any sense of personal responsibility for our own actions.
In a continuation of the current popular theme that “The gun killed the children”, “The tanker truck sized soda is the reason I am fat” and “If they hadn’t served me those drinks I would not have gotten a DUI”, New York Times News Service reporter Alexandra Jacobs has turned things up to 11.
In a nationally syndicated article that appeared in newspapers across the country, Alexandra related her near death experience with an immersion blender in her kitchen. Yet another hidden danger just waiting to tear apart the lives of the unsuspecting cooks of our nation who are just trying to provide quality meals for their families.
According to the article, Alexandra fell victim to the evil device while trying to use it to cream hard butter for a batch of cookies she was baking. The device came to life of its own accord while she was trying to remove the caked cold butter from the blade of a stick blender with said blender STILL PLUGGED INTO THE WALL.
I guess I wouldn’t even be writing this if the tone of the article had been more “Don’t be a retard like I was” and less a call to arms for more safety devices, warning labels and awareness of the danger these devices represent.
If you ask me, Alexandra got far less then she deserved with just a mangled finger or two.
You see, Alexandra stressed a point that I have made in this forum time and time and time again.
That point is simple…There are, in this country, far to many people who are simply too stupid to be allowed to live. We have gone too far in our interference with the natural order and are allowing far too many morons to live long enough to reproduce. Global warming pales in comparison to the crisis of stupidity and lack of common sense in today’s modern world.
If our elected officials want to pass some laws that will save lives then I have one that needs to be bumped up to the top of the list and fast tracked like nothing else in the history of our nation.
Are you ready?
OK, here we go.
BAN ALL WARNING LABELS
Thats right my friends, it is time for us to pour some chlorine in the gene pool and give Mr Darwin a free reign to do his thing.
If someone can not figure out that they need to unplug a device with razor sharp rotating blades before they stick their fingers in it, do we really need them around? What good is someone who can’t reason that something that has just spent 4 minutes in the microwave is going to be hot and should be handled with caution? Is the excuse that nobody told me it would be bad to stick my head in a plastic bag really a valid reason for us to turn the motion picture Idiocracy into a blueprint for our nations future?
Sure it is going to be bloody and unpleasant in the near term, but it is my belief that the long term benefits and, lets face it, sheer entertainment value, far outweigh any inconvenience this law may cause.
She really has the best of intentions and means well. She has been very vocal in her support of an all out firearms ban in the wake of the recent tragedies and I have been kind of sort of harassing her a bit on Facebook.
I do have to take exception to something she said early on. I initially let it slide because like I said, she means well and she is very sincere and passionate about her beliefs and those are two qualities I really respect.
Now I am hearing it being used by the media and a few of our more vocal politicians.
I understand that rather than focus on the reason why these tragedies are occurring, we are blaming the tools used to carry them out.
I get it, it’s easier. Fine. Whatever.
Since when is an assault rifle a “Weapon Of Mass Destruction”?
I have to tell you, I find this horribly offensive and completely unnecessary.
An assault rifle or any other firearm is designed to kill. That is it’s purpose. No one is denying that. No one is denying that in the wrong hands, this class of weapons can inflict a large number of causalities.
But a Weapon Of Mass Destruction?
I was trained by The United States Navy to load nuclear weapons on aircraft. During the course of my training it was impressed upon me how truly devastating these weapons are and that by participating in PRP I could at some point be called on to perform action that could, indirectly, result in the deaths of ten of thousands of people in the blink of an eye.
This a weapon of Mass Destruction.
In 2003, the government of The United States decided to wage war on the nation of Iraq because we believed, at the time, that a madman had access or was soon to have access to weapons of mass destruction. Horrible weapons that could snuff out countless lives through biological or chemical means.
These are weapons of Mass Destruction
To date, 4448 of Americas best and brightest have been killed in a search for weapons of mass destruction that did not exist.
To refer to an assault weapon as a Weapon Of Mass Destruction is to spit on the graves of each and every of these Brave Americans.
I realize that the left and right both have to resort to inflammatory language to get their points across. Neither side seems to want to look at facts. Why should they when both sides know that people in this country are more influenced by rhetoric.
I know it seems like a petty point to get upset about but words and language have great power and with great power comes great responsibility.
No matter which side of this argument you may fall on, to apply this label in this manner cheapens and weakens a phrase that should terrify any rational human being.
FOX News reported today that a group of 6 Senators, 5 Republicans and independent Joe Lieberman, released letters from 13 defense contractors bemoaning the detrimental effect the upcoming mandatory budget cuts to defense will have if they are allowed to kick in.
The move was an effort to pressure the White House to come up with a deficit reduction plan that will keep the cuts from happening.
Scarily enough, I agree.
But,, not for the same reasons as the Republicans.
You see, the cuts are being made in all the wrong places.
If you really want to save money, the first thing you have to do is fire the fucking Admirals and Generals who have allowed the procurement process to become a money gobbling welfare program for the defense industry.
I am all for a strong defense. My motto is “Walk softly and carry a compact Glock 45.”
There was a time when Admirals and Generals looked out for the best interests of their war fighters, making sure they had the best weapons systems on the planet. It seems that lately they have been to busy thinking about which companies board of directors is going to offer them the fattest check instead of what is going to keep the boys and girls at the sharp end of the stick alive.
So how do we reduce defense spending and still field the mightiest fighting force the world has ever known?
How about we get back to basics.
First, we fire all the freaking contractors. I mean is it really cost effective to farm out work traditionally done by PFC’s and Airmen to companies like Halburton. I worked in the chow hall on Temporary Assigned duty during my service. It was a right of passage. How is it cheaper to have civilians do the same job for three times what a PFC makes?
Why are we paying companies like Blackwater or whatever they are calling themselves these days to protect generals and diplomats. For what we are spending to protect one person, we could train ten special operators. That is what I call more bang for the buck.
Next thing we have to do is to streamline the procurement process for weapons systems.
The Joint Strike Fighter (F35) has been in development since 2001 and to date we have spent nearly 400 billion dollars. For that we have received 30 aircraft of which 16 are actually operational, the rest are for testing. A report issued in November 2011 identified 13 critical flaws with the aircraft;
The helmet-mounted display system does not work properly.
The fuel dump subsystem poses a fire hazard.
The Integrated Power Package is unreliable and difficult to service.
The F-35C’s arresting hook does not work.
Classified “survivability issues”, which have been speculated to be about stealth.
The wing buffet is worse than previously reported.
The airframe is unlikely to last through the required lifespan.
The flight test program has yet to explore the most challenging areas.
The software development is behind schedule.
The aircraft is in danger of going overweight or, for the F-35B, not properly balanced for VTOL operations.
There are multiple thermal management problems. The air conditioner fails to keep the pilot and controls cool enough, the roll posts on the F-35B overheat, and using the afterburner damages the aircraft.
The automated logistics information system is partially developed.
The lightning protection on the F-35 is uncertified, with areas of concern.
This is how we do things?
Of course if we drop the program we flush all the money that has already been spent, so we will just forge ahead.
This is like walking into a Mercedes dealership, asking to buy their top model, paying twice list price and as you are driving out the door having the salesman warn you not to turn on the windshield wipers as it will make the gas tank explode, but, if you are willing to spend three times the list price, you can bring it in for a warranty repair.
And who are we supposed to fight with this thing, provided we can get it to work.
Last I heard we are reorienting our forces to conduct what are being called Low Intensity Conflict’s much like the war in in Afghanistan. Do we really need a whiz bang stealth fighter attack plane to support our troops on the ground.
Want a kick ass ground support aircraft? Go out to the desert and dust off all those A6E Intruders and run them through the cancelled A6F upgrade program. We would have 100 aircraft with a larger bomb load and a proven track record for about the same price we are going to pay in cost overruns on the F35.
What about trimming some of the fat in the Pentagon? How much money could we save there I wonder. Thin out the REMF’s and get that money to the war fighters.
But most importantly, lets get rid of the outright incompetence in the way the peoples money is being handled.
6.6 Billion dollars IN CASH earmarked for Iraqi reconstruction has simply disappeared. POOF. And it’s GONE. A total of 21 military cargo flights, each carrying 2.4 Billion went to Iraq. Half of the money that was sent is unaccounted for.
According to the GAO, another 1.1 Billion in fuel for the Afghan Army is unaccounted for.
A recent story in The Huffington Post reports;
The Associated Press reported earlier this month that U.S. military authorities in Kabul have estimated that $360 million in U.S. tax dollars has ended up in the hands of people the American-led coalition has spent nearly a decade battling: the Taliban, criminals and power brokers with ties to both. The military said that only a small percentage of the $360 million has been garnered by the Taliban and insurgent groups. Most of the money was lost to profiteering, bribery and extortion by criminals and power brokers.
Well isn’t that comforting.
The list goes on…and on…and on.
We don’t need to cut military spending to save money. We just need to empty out the Pentagon, fumigate the place, and get some first year accountants and real live warriors to get our people the tools they need to protect our nation.
I have so many friends who are more then willing to share their points of view with me.
Each and every day my Facebook page is filled with their thoughts and beliefs.
It is fantastic. It expands my knowledge and my understanding of all the people who inhabit this great country of ours. I am overjoyed to live in a nation where the freedom of expression guarantees that so many differing points of view can be aired publicly.
There is however, one group, who I want to single out for special recognition, for it these people above all the rest, who go that extra mile to insure I am well informed on matters that are of the utmost importance.
I am talking about my very special Red State, Tea Party, Conservative Republican Friends.
Now, before I anyone gets their feathers ruffled, I want to be clear on something.
I DONT TRUST ANY POLITICIAN,BE THEY RED OR BLUE. I AM NOT AN OBAMA SUPPORTER, LIBERAL, SOCIALIST, LIBERTARIAN OR CONFORM TO ANY AGENDA OTHER THEN MY OWN.
So, now that we have that out of the way, I can get on with my thanks.
Thank you so much for keeping me up to date on Obama’s latest outrages, often through the use of memes that parrot the latest coming from the great thinkers of our times.
Limbaugh, Beck, O’Reily, their words live on attached to witty photos.
It is through this information that I know I can make an informed political choice as to the course of our nation come November.
However I am left with a question and please, feel free to to illustrate your answers.
What The HELL do you think Mitt Romney is going to do for YOU!
Last I checked, no one on my friends list is a millionaire, hell, I doubt anyone who reads this has made over 75 grand in a single year, so you are small potatoes to The Republican Party. Hell, you probably only register on their radar because they know the “drone” vote is going to make or break the election.
None of my friends have donated millions of dollars, oh wait, I think I friended a major corporation and as we all know, under the law, they are people too now. Big political contributors are the only ones who directly benefit from a candidate gaining political office. The rest of us have to happy to fight over the table scraps after all the big kids have gotten their fill.
Hows that retirement planning going? Got the million or two you are going to need in the bank, provided of course that the financial institution you have chosen to entrust your future to is still there in ten years, or five or tomorrow. Not to worry, deregulation is going to insure our financial stability for years to come and if that doesn’t work you will always have medicare and social security, right? Oh wait, we got rid of those to insure that the job creators can keep their tax breaks.
You see where I am going with all this.
The bottom line is this, we are no longer electing leaders in this country. I don’t blame you for wanting something different, we all, Democrat and Republican, do.
However, as long as we continue to support those who have figured out that the American people are going to throw their lot in with the ones who pander to the lowest common denominator, those who are willing to place spin and sound bites above plans and ideas, well folks, we are going to get just what we deserve.
Before too long, the politicians are going to stop trying to do even that much and this is what we will be left with, but hell, at least it is honest.
Maybe it is being in a new and healthy relationship, maybe it is getting adjusted to working a graveyard shift, but lately, I have just been very angry lately, much to my friends disgust. I can be pretty schmaltzy when I am happy, which Bacon Betty has made me in the extreme these last few months.
With that in mind, a piece in this afternoons (morning’s) paper had me spitting coffee across the table.
Effective Thursday, a new law goes into effect that frees that enslaved class of Americans, the flying public.
The new regulations are a result of an incident that occurred in December of 2006, when passengers were held on board an American Airlines flight that was en route to Dallas and was diverted to Austin. Passengers were held on board the aircraft for 11 HOURS!
The new regulations will impose a fine of $27500 per passenger on any airline that holds passengers hostage for more then 3 hours. Another example of government reacting to a real problem for a change, score a victory for the little guy, right?
Well, not according to David Castleveter of the Airline Transportation Association of America, an industry lobbying group.
According to David the new regulations will only cause more cancellations, more missed connections, more mishandled bags and more passengers who will not get where they want to go.
How fucking hard is it to pull an air stair up to a cabin door and let people get off the aircraft to stretch their legs and take a leak, David?
How deeply would it cut into corporate profits to have a facility located inside the secure area of the airport equipped with restrooms, coffee, a few vending machines and maybe a phone or two, and maybe (gasp) a smoking area, so that the passengers YOU strand could maybe feel a bit human.
You would only need one such facility per airport, I am sure all these big airlines can learn to play together, a few bus’s to transport the passengers, and maybe a TSA officer or two to keep passengers from wandering off.
Come on now David, it’s not like that facility is NEVER going to get used or anything.
I find it interesting that instead of embracing these changes and vowing to better serve the customers that pay your freaking bills, the airline trade associations instead decide to issue threats. Pretty telling, don’t you think?
I don’t fly very much these days and, knock wood, I have never had to endure being stranded on the tarmac for hours on end, but considering the fact that they are charging a fee for everything but breathing, opps, wait a minute, strike that, I don’t want to give the airlines any ideas, you would think that the airlines would be just a bit more concerned for their customers.
I guess I just have to be a little more realistic, it isn’t as if sheeple are going to stop lining up to be abused in the name of profits, right?
You would think in the age of identity theft and consumer rip offs, collections agents would be on the cusp of security and understanding about an individual being hesitant to reveal personal information over the phone.
You would be wrong.
Allow me to explain.
A few years back, the X and I lost our home. Through no fault of my own, the mortgage got too far behind to recover and we were forced to do a short sale. It all turned out pretty well, I even made a small profit on the deal in the form of the coffee cup I swiped from the title company.
Now, about 6-8 weeks ago, I received a call from a collections agent. After the usual back and forth of;
Is this Mr Angry Jew?
Who is calling?
Is this Mr Angry Jew?
I can do this all day, who is calling?
This is an attempt to collect a debt. Am I speaking to Mr Angry Jew?
A debt for what exactly?
I can only discuss this matter with Mr Angry Jew? I need to verify your identity.
Well, I need to verify yours, how do you propose we proceed?
they explained that the debt was for the amount of $50.00 owed to my former homeowners insurance company. They explained that the company had sent several letters to my old address in an attempt to collect before turning the matter over to collections.
This was starting to sound legitimate for me. The X would have more then likely have had her mail forwarded from the old address, but who knows what could have happened.
Anyway, I gave them my current contact information and asked them to send me a letter with the details of the account and that I would talk to the insurance company and if the debt was indeed legitimate i would pay the account.
I never heard another word. No letter, no calls, no nothing…until today.
Again, I get a call from a number I do not recognize and go through the whole “who is this?” rigmarole.
Finaly the kid explains he is calling about the whole insurance debt.
WTF says I.
I explain my prior conversation with his professional debt servicing company and he seems befuddled.
Don’t you have a record of my prior conversation with one of your people?
I don’t see anything in the file.
How do you think you got this number and my address…let me save you some brain cells dumbass…I gave it to you.
Oh, here is a note saying they sent you out a letter on the …
No you didn’t, because if you had, I would have called the insurance agent, asked what the hell was going on, and then cut a freaking check.
Well, would you care to settle the account today, I can take your credit card information over the phone.
I am sure you can, we live in a very technologically advanced society, but if you think I am giving a stranger my credit card number over the phone, then I want to see the results of your last drug test.
Oh, they dont drug test here.
Well, if you will sit on hold, I am going to look into why the letter was never sent out.
Uh, listen, whatever the problem is, it is on your end of this transaction, not mine, so you will forgive if I don’t give up my valuable time while you try to figure out where YOU fracked up. So just send me the fracking letter and I can get this done and over with.
Sir, I have to advise you that the debt collection process will continue.
You mean you will continue to call me to explain that you cant seem to figure out how to mail a fracking letter.
If you are an eccentric pop star who touches little boys, your death will result in a media frenzy lasting for months.
If you are a bloated, never was been who happens to marry a gazillionair and gets a reality show so the world can watch you stagger around in a drug induced fog, your death will be the lead item on every tabloid show for weeks.
Slash up your ex wife and a guy who happened to be returning her glasses to her, the entire world will learn your name.
If you are an educator who changes forever the lives of inner city youth, you are guaranteed a two inch piece, below the fold, on page 2.
Jamie Escalante, who was able to motivate and educate his students in one of Los Angeles worst schools, died Tuesday after battling bladder cancer for several years.
In 1974, Escalante took a job at Garfield High School in East Los Angeles, California. He found himself in a challenging situation: teaching math to troubled students in a rundown school known for violence and drugs. While some had dismissed the students as “unteachable,” Escalante strove to reach his students and to get them to live up to their potential. He started an advanced mathematics program with a handful of students. In 1982 his largest class of students took and passed an advanced placement test in Calculus. Some of the students’ test scores were invalidated by the testing company because it believed that the students had cheated. Escalante protested, saying that the students had been disqualified because they were Hispanic and from a poor school. A few months later many of the students retook the test and passed, proving that they knew the material and that the company was wrong.
Escalante’s achievements were chronicled in the 1988 motion picture “Stand And Deliver”.
Vaya Con Dios Amiga, your contributions will not be forgotten.
I have been experiencing what is truly wrong with our health care system over the last four or five days and I thought I would share it with you all.
Regular readers know that I recently tried a new drug to help me deal with concentration and frustration issues at work. I had to build up to the drug slowly, over the course of weeks, to get the full effect. For the first two weeks I was unable to work as my body adjusted to the medication. As the dosage increased, I began to notice some truly unpleasant side effects. All of them were normal for this drug, but that did not make them any easier to cope with.
To my dismay, the drug was doing its job, making it possible for me to focus and concentrate, and by doing so control some of the paralyzing anxiety I have been suffering over recent years. The advantage of the drug, it being a non narcotic, and the fact that it was working, seemed to balance the scales somewhat for the nasty side effects.
So when I met with Doc Ray, my prescribing nurse practitioner, I had mixed emotions about continuing the drug. After some pointed questions and heated debate, the decision was made to continue the drug at a lower dosage in the hopes it would reduce the side effects and still be effective. He wrote me a scrip for the reduced dosage, the first months supply of graduated dosages came in the form of an office sample pack, which I dropped off at my local drug store to be filled.
This was on Tuesday last and I still had two of the higher dosage pills left.
This was when the “fun” began.
On Wednesday I get a call from the pharmacy, my insurance wont pay for the drug without a prior authorization from Doc Ray. I have been down this road before and was not particularly concerned. The pharmacy would fax the paperwork to the doctors office, he would fill it out and send it to the insurance company, and I would get my meds. I ask how much it will cost me to buy a seven day supply to get me through, they quote a price in the three digits. For seven pills. Its a rent week, I don’t have the money
On Thursday I took my last dose and received a call from the docs office. They needed ME to contact the insurance company and request that the paperwork be sent to them.
Didn’t the pharmacy send you the paperwork?
Yes, but we need a number to fax it back to.
OK, whatever, I call the insurance company and get them the info.
Friday arrives, no meds, no word from the doc’s office.
I call them, they tell me that Doc Ray wont be back in the office until Tuesday…
What What What?
Wait, I am out of meds and I have to work, can you get a message to the doc and see if he can hook me up until the prescription goes through?
We will give him the message.
I go to work.
It is a disaster.
I can’t hold a thought in my head, can’t find my ass with two hands, a flashlight and a GPS system.
I make it through the weekend, no sweat. I am not doing anything that really requires the kind of focus and concentration work does. I do find myself getting frustrated easier, but I keep it under control. On the plus side, the side effects are slowly disappearing. Good times. Now I am starting to think I made a bad call by agreeing to continue the drug, even at the reduced dose. I vow to talk to the doctor about it when he calls.
Monday morning comes, still no word from the Doc. Now the frustration is getting harder to keep in check.
I call the Doctors office and again explain the situation. There is no help to be had, would I care to leave a message? OK, tell him I have been out of meds since Friday, that I don’t feel I can work in this state and that I am going to go back to my old meds, the narcotic stimulant, of which I still have a supply.
Then I call the insurance company.
It takes me ten minutes to navigate the phone system, the computer is convinced my member number does not exist. I finally speak to a human being and once again, explain my predicament.
Hmm, says the insurance company, I see the problem, your coverage will not cover the drug because it is a non formulary drug, ie, a name brand without a generic equivalent. They need documentation that the drug is necessary to treat my condition.
He wrote me a prescription for it, I have been taking it for a month, that seems like proof enough to me.
Yes, that is true, but we can not authorize it without the documentation.
But I can’t work without it.
Sorry, says the insurance company.
I call my boss, I explain the situation, and tell him I am going to be out for a day while I go back on the old meds. He is not happy and I don’t blame him.
I take the meds and feel the rush…my hands shake, I cant sit still, my conversation with BB, who has been a witness to all this craziness, skips from topic to topic, seemingly at random. Slowly I adapt to it, I take two more doses through the day, the rush fades, my concentration returns.
It is Tuesday morning…no word from the doc’s office, I continue to take the old meds, I feel liker crap, probably the remnants of the new drug left in my system fighting with the old, you are not supposed to take them at the same time. I have no choice but to go to work…
How about it Mr. Obama, do you have a fix for this one?
When it comes to keeping tabs on it’s own population, our friends in Great Britain have us beat hands down.
Along with having the most CCTV cameras of any nation on earth, the English also maintain the largest DNA database per capitia and are currently hard at work crafting legislation to allow even greater powers to track EVERY email, text message and phone call made in the UK.
It’s getting so you can not even enjoy a London pub without running into laws designed to control the populace. Recent laws laws designed to control so called “lager louts” have done away with many popular drinking games and promotions. On the horizon is a government mandate to make pint glasses from an unbreakable material to prevent drunks from using glass shards as weapons.
So, you might ask, whats next?
How about a trash can that can nark you out.
That’s right friends, since 2002, the British government has surreptitiously installed 2.6 million microchips in trash cans that will allow the government to monitor how much it’s citizens are throwing away.
The government is saying that the chips could serve a variety of purposes, from tracking the location and status of the cans, tracking the actual weight of the cans, or, as privacy advocates warn, to charge residents for throwing away too much.
Most British municipalities have yet to activate the chips, wary of backlash to this latest and decidedly unpopular law.
Big Brother Watch, a privacy watchdog group, is claiming that the government could use the chips to monitor whether some one is home or not and to discriminate against larger families, who would naturally produce more trash and would have to pay larger fees under a “pay as you throw” policy.
Is this a wave of the future?
Would Americans consent to this level of monitoring?
Would it matter if we didn’t.
In my humble opinion, yes, no and sadly no.
Now, if the could invent a trash can that could walk itself out to the curb every Thursday morning, that is something I could get behind.
Speaking of the English nanny state, I came across a BBC miniseries, The Last Enemy, that paints a pretty alarming picture of what the future might hold in a surveillance obsessed society. I give you the first episode with the rest available without charge on HULU.com.