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Friday, December 3, 2010

In the news

There is so much going on in the news these days that I am having a little trouble figuring out what I can add that has not already been stated in a more eloquent/informative/funny way.  So I decide to wrap it all up in one rhyming verse.


There's a lot going on in our world today
Wikileaks and tax cuts and don't ask if they're gay
No pentagon papers will go unread
Bill O'Reilly demands somebody's head
Dick Cheney is charged with bribing
Pot growers are prescribing
Not surprisingly, Hillary Clinton is spying
quite sadly, Aretha Franklin is dying
Net neutrality is under attack
Cleveland wishes they had LeBron back
Body scans and pat downs and x-rays oh my
The things we must do if we want to fly
Musicians seeking Grammys found out who was nominated
After tallying the totals, Eminem dominated
North Korea is flexing it's power
China is hoping we cower
John Boehner is a malcontent
Qatar gets soccer's main event
Those are the stories going on today
I hope you enjoyed my rhyming replay

Friday, November 19, 2010

Blondes or Brunettes?

As a former United States Air Force member, I have a few thoughts on the policy of "Don't ask, Don't tell".  In 1992 I was a 20 year old service member stationed at Whiteman AFB.  President Clinton had just taken office and was starting to go forward with a campaign promise he made to allow homosexuals to serve in the military.  At the time, if anyone found out you were gay, you were discharged.  The debate began.  I did not know one single Air Force member that wanted the ban lifted. Including a young homophobic version of myself.  I think the main concern (for us non-combat folks) was that a gay guy might catch a glimpse of our "junk" and suddenly not be able to stop themselves from "trying something".  People said it would hurt morale and military effectiveness.  We agreed.  And we were mad as hell when the "compromise" of DADT was enacted.  It was bad enough that women were allowed in, and now this.  Now we are at a point in history that this "pro-gay" change to the military has become discriminatory and "anti-gay".  Thank goodness we are progressing.  Just as the integration of women in the military was met with great resistance, it was accomplished.  Women in combat roles. Allowed.  Women fighter pilots. Done.  Do you think those marines calling for air support care if the person flying in to save their ass is a Woman? A homosexual? 
Integrating openly gay individuals into the military is no different.  There will have to be some changes made to "group showers" while in Boot camp.  There will probably have to be some "sensitivity training".  The first few will probably have a pretty hard time.  But it will get done and it will not cause the demise of our military.  All the logistics can be worked out.  It will not significantly reduce unit cohesiveness, combat readiness, recruiting or retention.  Those are the exact same arguments that were made against women in the military.  It didn't happen then.  It won't happen now.  You know what impact DADT had on me performing my duties? None. The whole thing is ridiculous to me now.  Imagine you were interviewing for a job and the interviewer asked you, "Are you attracted to blondes or brunettes?" and when you answered, "Brunettes." He or she said, "I'm sorry, we only hire people who are attracted to blondes."  Seems like a pretty dumb way to judge a potential candidate huh?   As long as we are excluding potential military members because of who they are attracted to, we are limiting the potential of our fighting forces.  By the way, 6 years in the military of DADT and not once did anyone "try anything".

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Corporatocracy

Some people have a desire to be their own boss.  They would like to own their own business.  Capitalism, as an economic structure, depends on people's desire to get ahead and get more.  Just a few decades ago, if you offered a quality product for a fair price, you could run a legitimate, profitable business.  So it made sense that when politicians wanted to pass "anti-business" legislation, such as tax hikes or regulation, the people put enough pressure on them to stop it.  Because they still thought that someday they would own their own business. So, they were taking care of the business owners.  Please stop thinking it is still the olden days.  It's pretty hard to set up shop anywhere without seeing a Wal-mart, Home Depot or Lowe's within walking distance. If you have a product to sell, some retail giant will have it manufactured in china and sell it at a fraction of the cost and what do you know, you are out of business.  Legislation that regulates and taxes multi-billion dollar corporations is not "anti-business".  In my opinion, no one has ever EARNED $50 billion.  They may have had a good idea or a scientific breakthrough or luck, but they didn't EARN it.  So, why fight so hard to get out of paying taxes to the country who's economic system has allowed you to accumulate ungodly amounts of money?  The politicians like to pretend that this is about your uncle's small engine repair shop. It's not. They are just trying to distract you while the money is being slipped into their palm. That's not even the worst part.  After they sell out, they convince people that, not only is voting in favor of the big Corporations in their best interest, it's also patriotic.  Disgusting.  Wake up people. These politicians that are "pro-business"  are nothing more than opportunists looking for a payday.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Health Care-less

I am an "insured" American.  My job provides me with a health insurance plan that provides absolutely nothing; until I have paid my $2000 deductible for medical care and $1100 deductible for prescriptions. Then I "only" pay 20% of the inflated cost of the "care" I receive.  Don't worry though, the most I can pay "out of pocket" is $6000.  Might as well be a million.  I don't have $6000.  Sure, if I get cancer or have a heart attack, $6000 is a small price to pay for my treatment (if they don't find some way to cancel me) but what about catching diseases early and getting some antibiotics before a cold turns into bronchial infection and pneumonia.  With this kind of "insurance", I can't afford to take my kids to the Dr. unless I have at least $50 in my pocket.  Sometimes, that is not possible.   For that "benefit" I only pay $20 per month.  So, the problem I have is, if I have not paid any of my deductible and I go into anaphylactic shock from eating a piece of shrimp that somehow found it's way into my sweet and sour chicken, that trip to the E.R. is going to cost me $2000.  How is that insurance exactly?  The CEO of the company I work for recently sent an e-mail down to all team members that "explained" why our deductibles were going up (again).  ObamaCare.  And then made the statement "The purpose of health insurance should be to protect us from serious situations rather than pay for our routine health care costs,"  Did I mention we are "Self -insured".  So, basically our company has become an insurance company.  Of course insurance companies don't like the new Health care regulations.  It dips into their profits.  Requiring them to pay for Mammograms and Prostate exams and other useless preventative procedures.  You know, the things that could actually reduce overall healthcare costs in this country.  In 1998, I had good insurance.  The comprehensive kind that charged me a $10 copay on visits and $10 an prescriptions.  I am pretty sure insurance companies were profitable during that time.  Not profitable enough apparently.  During the next 10 years I saw my insurance get worse and worse due to de-regulation, fraud and greed.  Now that we have a president that is trying to stop that decline and get us back on track, they want to say our insurance is expensive because of Obama.  That is not ignorance, that is deceitful. If you have a better idea then let's here it, but to blame Obama for the state of healthcare is wrong.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Credit Where Credit is Due

On the heels of Veterans Day, I would like to say a few things. First of all, I am a veteran of the United States Air Force. I served from September 1991 to March 1997. The only War I took part in was the “Cold War”. Desert Storm had been over for about six months and there would only be a couple of “conflicts” and “peace missions” during my time in service. Even if an actual War had broke out during my time in, I would not have seen combat. Ever. I was assigned the job of servicing and maintaining Minuteman Missiles. The nukes so big and powerful that even Ronald Reagan thought they should be abolished. The chances of them ever actually being used were very slim. There were only a handful of bases that I could be assigned to and they were all right here in the good ol' USA. North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, or Missouri. Cold, yes. War torn, not so much. The point I am trying to make with all of this, is that when the average civilian thinks about military veterans, they tend to imagine that we all have somehow risked our lives for our country. This is far from true. The only time my life was in danger was in a bar fight in Cheyenne and I certainly wasn't fighting for my country. The vast majority of military members have ordinary jobs that put them in no more danger than you go through on your morning commute. I am not saying this to take away from the dedicated servicemen and women who make our military great. I am simply saying that when you put me in the same category as veterans who have risked their lives on a battlefield, you are diminishing their sacrifice. They deserve more.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Poetic Punditry

The state of politics
in this day and age
has got some people
filled with rage
They scream about Hitler
and Pol Pot and Rome
Some call for more troops
some want em' home
demonizing the left
for wanting to choose
and castigating the right
for sitting in pews
That side is racist
some will say
those people are lazy
and I heard they're gay
But what about the issues
isn't that what it's for
if we would focus on that
there would be progress galore
because the left and the right
they want the same things
Security and prosperity
and all that it brings.
They simply differ
on how it gets done
There are many means to an end
not just one.

Friday, November 12, 2010

No credit for compulsion

I am not sure what motivates me.  I am not motivated by money or power.  Some people have what I see as an unhealthy obsession with those two things.  They are what we call, "successful".  They talk about how they have worked hard to get where they are and yet they really don't have a choice.  They are just doing what their brain is compelling them to do. They couldn't stop if they wanted to.  Then there are people who have to work past an innate desire to be content. In this American culture, contentedness=lazy.  If you aren't constantly struggling to get more and more and more, then there is something wrong with you.  I think we have this completely screwed up.  I think there is something wrong with someone who is never satisfied, never happy with what they have.  I equate this to someone who has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  If someone with OCD keeps an immaculate home, I am not really that impressed.  They don't have a choice.  Their brain will not allow anything else.  On the other hand, if someone is the type of person that isn't really concerned with a neat house and yet fights the urge to let it go and keeps it clean, that person deserves more credit.  In my opinion,  that person "worked harder" than the person who has OCD.  The thing that bothers me about the system we have is the people that do become successful tend to think they worked harder than the rest of us.  I've worked hard.  I've served my country.  I pay my taxes. Because I am not obsessed with money or power, I will never be "Successful".