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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Y'argh! I be givin' them the attention they so desperately seek! 

Ok, this isn't even funny anymore. Madonna is getting as gross as Michael Jackson, with her homosexual pedophilia. I think 80's pop-stars need to be banned from getting near anyone of the same gender under 30.

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Attempted New Record for Offensiveness 

First of all, let me be the first to say that the Boy Scouts of America needs to put more emphasis on the Electricity Merit Badge.

On a totally different note, Muslims need to get over their damn selves.

I bring this up because Rep. Tom Tancredo said that we should threaten to annhiliate Mecca if Islamic terrorists nuke DC or New York. The Muslim groups, the Liberals, and the State Department instantly spontaneously combusted.

However, this statement merely mimics the policy throughout the Cold War. If the Soviets were gonna nuke DC, we were gonna nuke Moscow. Result: No one nuked nobody.

Let us also remember that one argument for not invading Iraq was that we should contain our enemy, like we did in the Cold War. Mutually Assured Destruction was how we contained the enemy.

You say not all Muslims are evil? I say not all Russians were evil in the Cold War. Most of the citizens in Hiroshima weren't evil. However, if you follow evil leaders, even if you have no choice in the matter, you will have to face the consequences. And quite frankly, the modern Muslim has a lot more power in selecting their leadership than the Japanese of 1945 did. The fact is, until recently, the Arab and Muslim communities have been negligent to condemn terrorist attacks, even when perpetrated on other Muslims.

One term I find interesting is "Moderate Muslim," which seems to relate to any Muslim who doesn't support suicide bombing, at least out loud. Contrast that with the term "Moderate Catholic," which seems to insinuate a Catholic who isn't against abortion. I wonder if perhaps the Muslim world doesn't look at suicide bombings the same way the Western World looks at abortion:

"Yeah.... it's bad, it's probably murder, but hey, do what'ya gotta do."

The BBC says one in four British Muslims would not turn in someone if they overheard them planning a terror attack. If this is true, then we may have to face the non-PC truth: That Muslims may really be the enemy.

Luckily, I see no reason to start believing the BBC now.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Supreme Relief 

I thought I'd take a moment and try to discuss my thoughts on the Supreme Court fight that, thankfully, does not seem likely to occur now.

First, I know nothing of the guy Bush nominated. At this exact moment, I can't even remember his name (John Roberts?). But y'know what? At least I admit it. She doesn't really know anything about him. These people, they have no clue. And these morons? They can't tell the difference between shit and chocolate.
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Now, the role of the Supreme Court is pretty simple. Their job is to look at the Constitution, and decide if it allows, prohibits, or stays silent on any given law. The average 10th Grader should be able to do this.

For example. The following things are easily found in the Constitution:

Freedom of Religion: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; Therefore, it is obvious that we have a undeniable right to pray in schools, to put up Nativities on public property during Christmas, and any other religious activity that does not result in bodily harm to others.

Freedom of Firearms: ... the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. I really don't even think I can elaborate on this one.
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Similarly, there are certain things that are explicitly prohibited. The most important of the moment:

Racial Discrimination: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. This makes Affirmative Action programs based on race all illegal, I'm afraid.
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Moreover, most issues that we currently trust to the Supreme Court totally do not belong there at all.

Abortion: The Constitution is blank on this. Roe v. Wade is an illegal decision. Does this mean abortions should be illegal? Of course not. Again, the Constitution does not ban it anymore than it allows it. The issue should belong to the elected Legislatures.

Gay Marriage: Again, absent. The Supreme Court has absolutely no right to rule on this. The Supreme Court invalidated state Gay Marriage laws by citing Webster's Dictionary's definition of Marriage. Websters may be a useful research tool, but it is not the law of the land. Since the Constitution is quiet, it is up to the Legislature.
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"But Jon," you say. "The Constitution is a living document!"

Wrong. It is a literal Social Contract, like that envisioned by the British philosophs, Locke and Rousseau. It ennumerates our exact rights and the government's exact responsibilities, and sets them in stone. You don't like what is already on the stone? There is a process, although difficult, to chisel on new rules. But the Constitutional Contract cannot be broken, any more than any other contract can be. Citing foreign law? That is the equivolent of using someone else's oral agreement to try to weasel new provisions into your contract. Judicial Activism? The equivolent of using fraud to avoid contractual obligations.

Now, obviously, some of the original provisions can be related to new technology. Freedom of the Press applies just as much to the internet as it does to newspapers. But this straw-man argument does not mean that "Freedom of Religion" means "Restriction of Practicing Religion, now that America has a lot more Religions."



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Friday, July 15, 2005

Rove-ing for Trouble, but Hitting Delays 

Well, perhaps Karl Rove wasn't the leak who "outed" Valerie Plame. Apparantly Rove learned about it from Robert Novak. New York Times reporter Judith Miller is still rotting in jail for refusing to reveal her leak. Since Rove has gone on the record to allow all reporters to reveal anything he told them, we can bet she isn't hanging around prison for his benefit.

The favorite Right-Wing conspiracy at the moment is that Joe Wilson was the source of this story in an attempt to bring down Rove. I doubt it is anything that contrived. However, it is becoming more and more apparant that the Wilsons weren't exactly overly secretive about their careers. All their neighbors knew, and when this kerfuffle began, Wilson's personal web page was discovered, where Plame's name and occupation were prominently displayed.

This whole issue is based on the Democratic strategy throughout the 1970s and 1980s, where they would accuse a Republican of some shameful act or crime, and the Republican would resign to avoid the shame. This was probably due to fall-out due to the Nixon resignation after Watergate. Republicans were tinted with scandal, and the public refused to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Robert Bork, the Supreme Court nominee, was the most horrendous example of this. Teddy Kennedy made him out to be the modern incarnation of Hitler, saying he was against desegregation, and such. If Democrats wanted a Republican lawmaker to resign, all they had to due is find someone to accuse him of sexual harassment, and he'd leave with nary a fight.

Oliver North and Clarence Thomas both managed to fight their way through their unfair allegations, and found moderate success, although both are still tainted with the stigmas attached to them by political enemies.

Bill Clinton, however, changed the whole dynamic. After he was accused of sexual harassment, assault, and eventually rape, moderates and Democrats began to actually want PROOF before scandal ruined careers. This is a change that the modern Republicans have taken and run with.

If this was still 1985, there is little doubt that the very accusation of wrong-doing would have destroyed the careers of Karl Rove (Plame kerfuffle), Don Rumsfeld (Abu Ghraib), Tom Delay (something about lobbyists...), and maybe even Dick Cheney himself (Halliburton profiteering). But the American public actually wants to see people investigated now before convicting them. Thanks to Dan Rather and Jayson Blair, people aren't satisfied with the Court of the Media. It has been proven to be unreliable, and downright untruthful.

Let's face it, no one really even knows why Tom Delay is even in trouble. The Democrats keep harping on him, but it goes nowhere. They've harped about Halliburton for six years now, and outside the Beltway, most people probably wouldn't even recognize the name.

The political process is once again about ideas, and not about unproven scandals. Until the Democrats get out of the mud and return to the arena of ideas, we can probably get used to a Republican dominated government.
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On another note, I wanted to write a blog on the political messages of Harry Potter, but someone already did I better job that I could ever hope to. Just don't tell the Pope.

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Drive-By Opinion: Schwarzenegger and Supplements 

Schwarzenegger is in trouble now because he promotes fitness aids in magazines, while at the same time, he promotes campaigns against steroids. Now, I think 90% of the problem in this area is that consumer advocates are too stupid to realize the difference between steroids and safe supplements, such as creatine. Creatine is safe and legal, and many athletes use it for positive change. When experts tie it to steroid use, which is neither safe nor legal, they send a message to the youth that steroids are no worse than creatine.

The same error, of course, has been made in the fight against drugs. When we joined (were forced into) the "Just Say No" clubs in elementary school, we essentially learned that cigarettes and alcohol were as bad as crack-cocaine and acid. Since we had all been safely acquainted with alcohol and cigarettes by the time we hit our 15th birthday, many of us were skeptical about how dangerous drugs really were by the time we hit college.

Not me though. I'm a good li'l Catholic boy.


......really!

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Sunday, July 10, 2005

Just Plame Stupid 

So according to Newsweek, which has never been found to make up stories to hurt the Republican administration, Karl Rove probably outed Valerie Plame.

Number of people surprised: 0
Number of people who truly care: 0

For one thing, the moment Joe Wilson entered policy debate, he lost all expectations of privacy. That extends to his wife.

For another, Plame was not exactly an undercover agent deep in enemy territory. She was a critic of the administration, hoping to catch them in a trap. She would have succeeded too, except as I mentioned before, no one cares.

So, let us all get over the feigned outrage. If she was in Syria at the time she was "outed," it would be one thing. But she was safely state-side, as she likely has been since she joined the Agency.

Under a perfect system, all bureaucrats hostile to the current administration should be removed from office. Unfortunately, somewhere back in the 1800s they thought bureaucrats should be protected from changes in the administration, which is asanine. But, that is another blog for another time. I will just say that up until the moment Joe and Valerie posed in Vanity Fair, she could have returned to anonimity, and no long-term harm would have been done. I will leave it to another blog to go into detail about how Senator John Kerry, who by the way served in Vietnam, outed a CIA agent during the John Bolton confirmation process.

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Thursday, July 07, 2005

God Bless the Brits 

No one in the world is as well loved as Britain. They epitomize both American-style bravery, and the class that most Europeans can only claim to possess. But not even they were immune from the attacks of fascism.

We don't know who attacked London. Most think it was al Qaeda, since they are the most infamous villain of the age. With the United Kingdom hosting the G-8 Summit, however, it is just as likely to have been an anarchist group or Communist interest. Also, the Irish Republican Army, though quiet since 9/11, is still alive and active.

Whoever it was, they fight a hopeless cause. London was forced into the sewers during Hitler's relentless attacks during the darkest days of World War II. Nothing any of these terrorists groups could possibly do would match Hitler's onslaught.

Pray for the British and for the victims of this onslaught, but don't worry. The British people are strong, not craven Spaniards, who above all should be blamed for this attack, due to their cowardly capitulation last year.

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Monday, July 04, 2005

Hollywood: Because Africa is Already Forgotten 

Hollywood is in the biggest slump in their history. Personally, I'm not surprised. I think there are two reasons for this.

Reason #1: Tickets are $10. Popcorn is another $5, and no longer freshly popped. Candy is another $5. Soda, another $5. So, $20 per person is a fairly conservative estimate on what a night at the movies will cost. Practically everyone owns a big screen TV and a DVD player now, so for $12 you can watch the DVD at home.

Reason #2: Hollywood people suck. People do not want to be lectured by their entertainers. We go to church or call our mothers for that. Will Smith, for example, declared its time for a Declaration for Interdependence during the Live 8 concert. Screw you, Will! I don't want my destiny intertwined with that of Germany, Sudan, Iran, or any other banana republic any more than it has to be! Besides, you didn't seem to want to help the Shia and Kurds Saddam was systematically murdering. Are they not part of your utopian interdependence?

Meanwhile, half of Hollywood called anyone who supported Bush Nazis during the last election. George Lucas called me a Sith not a month ago! I'm not overly inclined to pay $20 Sean Penn or Alec Baldwin when they get on their high horse and call me names.

Of course, in reality, I spend a small fortune at the theaters, so I'm actually quite fine supporting these elitists who hate me. The only movie I refuse to watch is that movie with Jane Fonda. And even that, well, is because the movie looked like total crap. Which, I suppose, could be considered Reason #3. Movies lately have sucked.

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Saturday, July 02, 2005

MTV 

Gedoff told the artists at Live 8 that they were to refrain from Bush-Bashing, which I respect.

What I do not respect is MTV using every F-ing commercial break to whine about the Iraq War.

MTV, by the way, is a viacom company. Meaning, CBS.

Also, as I type this, George Harrison is playing with U2, and MTV is showing Green Day instead. What...... The..... Fuck?

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Live 8 

If only the world could be fixed with good intentions alone...

I really don't want to be too hard on Live 8. The goal is laudible, and the organizers, Bob Gedoff and Bono, are both great guys. And any event that reunites Pink Floyd deserves a Nobel Peace Prize. In addition, both have gone out of their way to praise the Bush administration, whereas lesser philanthropists would havbe blamed the 200 year history of poverty in Africa on Halliburton.

Unfortunately, it seems to me that rock stars seem to have an over-inflated opinion on the impact of their music.

Despite concert after concert, Tibet is still not free, because China didn't really give a fuck that Pearl Jam sings purty. Despite massive campaign help from Bruce Springsteen and Dave Matthews, Senator John Kerry (who, by the way, served in Vietnam), did not win the 2004 election. And despite the success of the original Live Aid concert, Africa is still starving.

The issue with Africa is that practically every nation on the continent is led by men corrupt enough to make Saddam Hussein look like Abe Lincoln in comparison. Any money that Live 8 brings in will only go to enriching Mugabe and other Banana Republic leaders.

I do believe the structuring of third world debt is criminal. A real solution to this problem, however, would be to impose a debt cap. For example, no one should ever have to owe more than three times what the original price was on an object. In domestic policy, this would be considered loan sharking, and it would not be tolerated. In regards to Africa, western banks put all sorts of traps in any loan they give to the third world to ensure they never escape from debt. The African heads of state don't care, because they live like emperors, and have no intention of ever trying to pay off their debt. They don't care that their currency is worth less than used toilet paper.

In the western world, if you didn't pay off your debt, no one would offer you credit. In regards to Africa, the more in debt they become, the more money we offer them. Corporations like to have that African debt as an asset. You loan $100 to Africa today, in about a years time, Africa will owe you $1,000. The fact that the corrupt government will never pay you is irrelevent, because just having a claim to this $1,000 would be a tradable asset.

I think the best solution to third world debt would be the implicit understanding that no debt acquired by a dictator would be expected to be honored. After all, the money dictators spend it not for the welfare of their people, it is for their own prestige and luxury. There is no reason that the people of Liberia, for example, should be held accountable for the debts that Charles Taylor accumulated while murdering them. If dictators were not expected to pay back loans, they would no longer receive any credit. Without that foreign money coming in to help them oppress their peoples, they would either be overthrown, or be forced to resort to capitalism to bring in investment, to earn money legitimately.

As for Live 8, I really support what is in the hearts of the organizers. But I don't think that it will do much good. the G-8 will give them lip service, then they will go back to their usual politics. Also, Africa is so fucked up, I'm not sure that even the G-8 would be able to set them straight.

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