Wednesday, May 31, 2006

More on the Looming Constitutional Crisis

Kip doesn't think there is anything to the current debate about the searching of Congressman Jefferson's office. While I tend to be a literalist when it comes to the constitution, I also understand that it is significant when a president (or his AG) initiates an action against a member of the legislature that has never been done in the 200+ years of the republic. What possible crime could Mr. Jefferson have committed to warrant the abandonment of a 200+ year tradition? A subpoena was ignored. Big fucking deal. The FBI already had enough to put him away for what would likely be the remainder of his natural life. I find myself in agreement with Jerry Pournelle:
Perhaps it is far better that the Congressman, already doomed given the evidence they had, be convicted seven times over than that we give too tender an attention to the principle of legislative independence and privilege. Adding five more years to this wretch's sentence will do more for the Republic than leaving stand a precedent of 200 years of legislative privilege. Not charging him with all the crimes he might be charged with -- after all, another wretch has said there were papers in that office -- would threaten the life of the Republic. Surely the Congress cannot be allowed to defy the law!

Of course the Congress was not in fact in defiance of the law, but that is not to the point. The man was a crook! He ought to be charged with every possible charge of his crookedness! And if that establishes the point that it was time and past time for this hoary old notion of Congressional Independence to be swept into the dustbin of history, so much the better.

The Executive must not be defied. The FBI could not possibly swear out falsities in a warrant, no more than would the BATF. The Attorney General could not possibly be involved in sending in armed agents on the basis of evidence from a self-serving accomplice! And of concealing the very doors of the place they raided after a fire fight broke out.

The Executive must not be defied.

As for me, I would rather that Mr. Jefferson get only 20 years rather than 25 or 30, if that be the cost of retaining legislative independence, but then I am one of those hopeless paleo conservatives. But I note that Bob Walker has the same opinion that I do.

I also find the attitudes of those involved to be disturbing. Hastert condemns the raid, then finds the AG's office suddenly interested in his affairs. The President himself is threatened and bullied by the AG's office. I'm not sure who the fuck Alberto Gonzales and his right-hand man Paul McNulty think they are, but they obviously missed a couple key civics classes at some point in their education.

As Jerry has said repeatedly since this story first broke: we will live to regret this.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Racism Is Alive and Well

Would someone please explain to me why this isn't racism? The national media is "surprised" by a black Republican? Why is that any different than me being "surprised" by a black that isn't lazy? Or a black that isn't on welfare? Or a black with an IQ over 90? Or a black that doesn't steal? A black man cannot be a Republican candidate without becoming the focus of the media as some sort of freak? Worse, he can't break from the Democratic plantation without having Hillary, Bill, Sharpton, and Jesse "The Impregnator" Jackson bringing down a rain of shit on his head? What is this fucking shit, anyway? Why is the media not only letting these ass-clowns get away this, but participating in it?

And these same mother fuckers call me a racist because I believe blacks should be treated equally instead of as some sort of protected, privileged class. Remind me again why I should treat any of these assholes with anything other than complete and utter contempt?

God's Liar

As long as Pat Robertson remains unchallenged by the Christian community, I will have no respect for God or his self-appointed spokespersons. Any omnipotent, omniscient God that allows such an obvious liar to continue to live unmolested is not a God I wish to have anything to do with. Any church that fails to condemn this foolishness in absolute, unequivocal terms is not an organization I have any desire to be affiliated with.

Of course, one alternate explanation is the God isn't omnipotent and omniscient, but something far smaller.

Another explanation is that God just doesn't exist. That seems more likely every time Pat opens his mouth.

More Personal Shit

Still recovering from having my sinus cavity violated. Things seem to be healing and they are already working better than they have in years. Vicodin is still my friend; I'm seriously considering getting my one refill just so I can keep some on hand. I've heard all sorts of horror stories about how different people react to it. For me, I just get real mellow and find myself taking a great deal of interest in random spots on the opposite wall. Given how shitty my job has become, they may become a necessary part of my continued employment here.

N made it back from her European trip. She had a lot of fun, not enough money, and experienced the joys of non-Americanized European hotels. She came back with a page of e-mail addresses from her new, international acquaintances, and almost 400 pictures, which I may eventually stick up on my Flickr account. She was home just long enough to pack, then leave again, this time for good. She moved to North Carolina to stay with her mom and brothers. I got the call on Monday that she had arrived in one piece. The last two and a half years of my life just officially ended. I love you, babe. Good luck and give yourself a big hug for me. I miss you already.

High school graduation, open houses, birthdays, and Memorial Day festivities kept me busy and away from a computer, hence the lack of posting here. Next weekend, I have a couple more, then maybe things will return to something close to normal. Heh.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Unfit Is History

The author of the Unfit comic strip is throwing in the towel. Nobody knows why, or if they do, they are keeping quiet. I suspect it has to do with the new guy that was supposed to be doing the drawing while Mike Belkin continued to write the jokes. But that is completely from my own head with only the timing of the announcement as an indication that this is true.

In any case, my comics list will be one shorter after today.

The End of the Republic

The current violations of the Constitution of these united States by Mr. Bush call for one of two responses: despair or insurrection. I'm told that despair is a sin. However, I doubt it is possible to pull enough "citizens" away from American Idol to mount a meaningful insurrection.

In other news, the Detroit News is reporting that it is now illegal for any teacher in Michigan to refer to citizens of these united States as "Americans."


I guess I'll just burn in hell.

Roto-Rooter Time

I mentioned in a previous post that I was scheduled for surgery on Tuesday. The purpose was to remove nasal polyps that had grown to the point that my sinuses were completely blocked most of the time. The surgery was far more extensive than originally thought, hence my absence. I'm doing much better now, thanks to a steady stream of vicodin and three days of sitting on my ass.

The down time did give me a chance to work out some issues with my Xandros box as well as some time to play with my new digital camera. I picked up a Sony DSC-S600 a few weeks ago, but I really haven't had time to mess with it much. I must say that I am rather impressed. Digital cameras are obviously on the same path as other electronic hardware: the difference between this camera and my five-year-old Olympus digital are simply astounding. The icon-based menuing system is at best obscure, but there just isn't enough screen real estate to do anything else. Some time spent randomly poking around supplemented by the 100-page manual makes everything clear in fairly short order. I'm looking forward to getting some serious time with this camera soon.

I expect that I will get back to my normal posting routine after the holiday weekend, and stop tossing up all these crappy posts I've been doing lately.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Catching Up

Still cleaning up some miscellaneous items from when I didn't have internet access:

Popular Mechanics has a comparison of alternate fuels showing, among other things, the full cost per mile. More people need to read this before spouting opinions about alternate fuels. This isn't complete, of course, and one can always argue with some of the cost figures. But it is a starting point, and it does a good job of cautioning against over-simplification.

And a new comic recommended by Scott Adams called Cow and Boy. So far, so good.

Just what I needed; another way to waste time at work.

The Weaker Sex

Women wonder why men just want to fuck them and leave. It's not that men have commitment issues, it's that a man should be committed if he volunteers for this sort of treatment. Not all women are like this, but if I'm single, why would I risk my sanity as well as my wallet on the off chance that my little snuggle bunny isn't? As most of this sort of attitude is the result of university "education," one way for a man to increase the odds of not hooking up with a psycho is to go for young women who have never stepped foot on a college campus. Not that this is any sort of a guarantee, as primary and secondary education becomes ever-more politicized and hostile to male children.

Or just stay single. It's cheap, easy, and, thanks to the sexual revolution, men can have all the commitment-free sex they want.

Dangerous Package

I've mentioned this before, but I never realized how serious the issue of tamper-proof packaging has become. First, pissing off paying customers to thwart the handful of thieves cannot be good for the bottom line. Second, how long (if it already hasn't happened) before some hot-shot lawyer decides to sue on behalf of someone who suffers permanent, irreversible tendon or nerve damage in their hand while trying to break into a product they bought and paid for? Third, if you talk to anyone in retail, they will tell you that the vast majority of "shrinkage" is going out the back door, not the front. All the tamper-proof packaging in the world does nothing to stop merchandise from going directly from the tail of the truck to the trunk of an employee's car. Fourth, the best defense against pilferage is a group of employees that give a shit, which means managers that give a shit about the employees.

An Ancient Warning

“We had been told, on leaving our native soil, that we were going to defend the sacred rights conferred on us by so many of our citizens settled overseas, so many years of our presence, so many benefits brought by us to populations in need of our assistance and our civilization.

“We were able to verify that all this was true, and because it was true, we did not hesitate to shed our quota of blood, to sacrifice our youth and our hopes. We regretted nothing, but whereas we over here are inspired by this frame of mind. I am told that in Rome factions and conspiracies are rife, that treachery flourishes, and that many people in their uncertainty and confusion lend a ready ear to the dire temptations of relinquishment and even to vilify our actions.

“I cannot believe that all this is true, and yet recent wars have shown how pernicious such a state of mind could be and to where it could lead.

“Make haste to reassure us, I beg you, and tell us that our fellow citizens understand us, support us, and protect us as we ourselves are protecting the glory of the Empire.

“If it should be otherwise, if we should have to leave our bleached bones on these desert sands in vain, then beware the fury of the Legions.”

Centurion Marcus Flavinius, Second Cohort, Augusta Legion to his cousin Tertullus in Rome.

Friday, May 19, 2006

What Has Been Going On

I generally don't do this kind of post, because I'm pretty sure no one cares about my boring-ass life. I'm not keeping friends and family up to date, because other than a few exceptions I haven't told anyone about this site. But this is a place for me to piss and moan about pretty much everything, and to keep track of just what the hell I spend all my time on, other than stealing music and downloading porn over my new cable internet connection.

First, just a thanks to those who stop by. I don't have a clue who most of you are, or how the hell you found this skank blog, but it is gratifying to see some gradual growth in the number of unique visits each day. Even better is the small group of masochists who seem to hit this place on a daily basis. While I have no illusions of becoming the next Jerry Pournelle (who receives more hits per second than I do in a month) or even Jason Mulgrew, it's nice to know I'm not shouting in a completely empty theater.

The last couple of weeks have been crazy as hell. Last week, N was getting ready for a trip to Europe. It didn't matter that we had been planning for a month, the last week was still just a crazy-busy push to get all the last minute shit taken care of. I managed to log a grand total of 24 hours at work for the entire week. I figured getting her on the plane would let things calm down. No way in hell that was going to happen. I've had an endless stream of people wanting to take me out to lunch, a garage sale to get shit ready for, doctor appointments, jockeying cars in and out of garages (and spending shit loads of money in the process), moving, packing, unpacking, re-packing, blah, blah, blah. Next week isn't looking any better. I have another doctor appointment Monday, N comes back late Monday night, I have surgery on Tuesday, and N's brother is coming up from North Carolina on a bus. Once he is here, we start packing up N again to move down to North Carolina to live with her brothers and her mom. Can you believe that shit? I guess I can just skip sleeping for the next couple weeks. The sad part is, I haven't even had time to listen to all my stolen music or watch all my porn.

OK, I'll stop bitching about my life and go back to bitching about religion and politics. I just wanted to have something to refer to when June roles around next week and I ask myself, "What the fuck happened to the month of May?"

The Hobbit Revisited

I'm surprised that The Panda's Thumb didn't have something on this yet. This is how science works. This is what you will never see from a creationist, the DI, or any other anti-evolution person or organization. Conclusions in science are always tentative, and you better cross every T and dot every I, because everyone is looking to punch holes in your work.

Prediction: the Creationism and Intelligent Design crowd will spin this as some sort of major setback to evolution. They will also, of course, manage to get every detail of the story wrong in the process. But it's ok to lie as long as you do it for Jesus.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

WorldNetDaily Does Some House Cleaning

Vox's latest column, which mentioned Nazi Germany in passing, has been edited by WND. Here is the original, here is the new clean copy. It still makes the same point, but I can't imagine the mighty Joseph Farah caving in to a bunch of illiterates.

Fred on War

Another good piece on modern warfare by Fred. When I graduated from high school, the rust belt economy sucked (Flint, Michigan in 1982; see Roger and Me for details). Many of my friends and acquaintances went into the military as they saw no other choice. Some, as Fred observes, were very intelligent; some were dumber than a box of rocks. Some have done very well and are now retiring; others came home shortly after they left with missing teeth and prison tattoos. And no, I didn't ask.

The ones that succeeded (outside of a couple that worked in intelligence) were much as Fred describes his Warrior:

...emotionally the Warrior has the uncomplicated instincts of a pit bull. Intensely loyal to friends and intensely hostile to the enemy, he doesn't want any confusion as to which is which. His tolerance for ambiguity is very low. He wants to close with the enemy and destroy him.

As Jerry Pournelle has repeatedly pointed out, this personality is the exact opposite of what is needed for constabulary duties such as Iraq. Incompetent Empire. Again.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Immigration Roundup

Some views on the immigration issue: Jerry Pournelle is concerned by the sheer number of immigrants and what that will do to our nation. Bob Thompson, like Fred Reed and myself, is concerned with who is immigrating, especially illegally. If 12 million nuclear physicists, doctors, computer programmers, aerospace engineers, or even competent auto mechanics were "swimming the river," we probably wouldn't be having this conversation. Kip has what could be thought of as more immediate and practical concerns about Mr. Bush's response to the problem. Bob Thompson, like me, wants a wall. Vox Day makes the great point that walls work both ways. As someone that was alive during the era of the Iron Curtain, I can certainly see his point.

The problem, as I see it, is that we are a bunch of white guys, and no one gives a shit about what a bunch of white guys think about anything. Mr. Bush's speech is proof of that.


I can't shake the feeling that something is going to break. Get mobile. Get small.


Avast! One of the most wonderful parts of having a cable modem is how easy it is to be a music and video pirate. I've been playing with Limewire and Bittorrent. Limewire is simply fantastic for music. Almost any song you can think of is on there. I've downloaded several hundreds of dollars of music over the last couple of days. I really don't feel guilty about it because a) most of it is music I don't like enough or am not familiar enough with to buy, and b) as the owner of over 350 CD's, I think I've proven more than willing to purchase what I like. It's just that these days, it is nearly impossible to get a feel for a group's music from what is played on the radio.

Example: Cold Play (yea, yea; I know) has two songs that get air time. They are nearly identical. The instrumental is so close that I often confuse them when I'm in the car and paying more attention to driving than listening, until the lyrics kick in. Based only on that, I would never pay $20 or more for their album because they are obviously a one-hit wonder. Yesterday, I downloaded everything by Cold Play I could find on Limewire and was mildly impressed. I'll listen through the 20 or so songs a number of times, and may decide to purchase one or more of their albums. If it wasn't for "illegal" copies on the internet, I would have never considered buying anything. So Cold Play and whoever their label is, went from no chance in hell of selling me an album to a better-than-even chance of selling one or more thanks to the "thieves" and "pirates" that use file-sharing software like Limewire. The best part is that other than my investment in time, there is no cost to me, the band, their label, or any part of the distribution channel. I seriously think the music industry is missing out on an opportunity to rake in some cash.

I'm using Bittorrent to grab old episodes of TV shows that I've missed, which by any stretch of the law or of court cases is not a violation of anything. There is music available, but there doesn't seem to be the depth that you find on Limewire (or maybe I'm not looking in the right places). But for movies and especially TV shows, it's awesome.

Does anyone know where I can find one of those cool hats and an eye patch?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Another Hat Trick for KipEsquire

I really don't have much to add to these:

Phone Record Scandal: "Legal" Does Not Mean "Proper"
McCain versus Acton
Quo Vadis, Dollar?

We seem to be living in interesting times.

Reading Comprehension

OK; I want to know if the two people who read this blog are as functionally illiterate as those that read Vox Day's. Read this, then read this. Is it really that hard to get a simple point?

[Update: The copy of Vox's column on WND has been edited to remove the one-sentence aside that mentions Nazi Germany. You can read the original here.]


Fred says it all. I can't think of anything to add. And notice that Fred, who lives in Mexico and, one would suspect, talks to Mexicans on occasion, backs up what I said about how Mexicans view those who "swim the river":
The Latinos coming into America are heavily Indian and uneducated. Mexican ophthalmologists do not swim the river. Mexicans who can make a decent living do not want to live in the United States. Thus the US gets the losers, the second-grade educations, people who on average have neither the intellect nor the urge to study. Yes, there are exceptions. But they are exceptions.
If this is even partially true, living in Mexico is looking better and better.

More on the Brown Invasion

Again, most people that know me assume I'm some sort of nut job, but at least I run with an impressive crowd.

Building the Wall

Most people who know me assume I am some sort of nut job when I say things like this. But if I am nuts, I am in good company.

Biking News

The short version: There ain't none.

The longer version: It's rained all day every day since last Friday. I'd rather be fat, out of shape, and broke from buying $3/gallon gas than cold and wet.

If summer ever shows up, I'll start riding again.

Back to Normal

Whatever was preventing me from posting from work seems to have fixed itself. Good thing; I almost had to do some work.

Xandros is working pretty well so far. I've been having the occasional application hang for no apparent reason, so I was doing my usual questioning why I was putting myself through the hassle when my nephew stuck his head through the door to ask if I knew how to get rid of some Windows virus. He wanted to do a quick test of the cable modem to make sure all was well, but didn't bother to set up the router first. In less than a half hour, he was infected. We now have the router set up (even running Xandros, I wasn't about to plug my PC directly into the cable modem) but with the virus already on his PC, the router would do little or nothing to protect my PC if I were running Windows. I can live with a few glitches if I don't have to reformat my hard drive once a week. Xandros will be good enough until I can afford an Apple. I only run Firefox and Limewire anyway, although I have been looking for some decent music library software. I'll also grab a copy of Gimp at some point for working with the photos from the digital camera. I would like to find something more light-weight, but Gimp will do if I can't find anything else.

Sunday, May 14, 2006


Sorry for shouting, but I am back on the web and running on a Charter Cable connection. Damn this is sweet!

I'm also running on Xandros Version 3 Deluxe. I'm not sure what the "Deluxe" was but I paid extra for it! Yea, baby! I'm a consumer!

Anyway, this is the second attempt at using Xandros. Last time I tried to install too many applications in an attempt to re-create my Windows install. I won't be making that mistake again. This machine has to do two things: run a web browser and play MP3 files. If I can find some sort of on-line MP3 library where I can store everything and play it whenever I want to, I'll only need the web browser.

Sorry for the long pause in posting; the last week has been just crazy busy with me moving, N going off to Europe, getting utilities and internet at my new place, car repairs, car purchase (I traded the massive Chevy 3500 for a much more agile Dodge Durango), and on and on and on. Then to top it all off, some screw-up on my PC at work has shut me out of posting on Blogger. Can you believe that shit? Why do these assholes think I keep this shitty job in the first place other than to use their high-speed internet connection to blog and look at really nice titties!!

Anyway, more when I have some time. Right now, I have a huge back-log of tits and ass I have to look at!!

Friday, May 05, 2006

View from the Outside

It's always a good thing to listen to the views of people who have a little distance from a situation. I recently mentioned Mr. Bush's decision to exempt himself from US law. Well, here is one view from Australia. It's hard to imagine a second civil war in the United States, but I would assume that the average American citizen would have said the same thing prior to 1861. My advise is still the same: stay mobile, weed your possessions down to what will fit in a couple suitcases, and learn to live on less than you ever thought possible.

Price Gouging

KipEsquire takes on the congress of the United States trying to ban something (in this case, price gouging) that they cannot define. It reminds me of President Reagan Porn Hearings. That was pretty much their conclusion as well: porn should be banned, but we cannot define it in a way that includes all the stuff we don't like without outlawing half the art hanging in our art museums. I don't recall who said it, but the money quote was something along the lines of, "I can't define it, but I know it when I see it!" Some things never change.

Like Kip, I would love to see the analysis that concludes that it is "obscene" for ExxonMobil to convert 15% of its sales into profit, but why it is acceptable for Procter & Gamble to make 19.4%.


Whoever said our "leaders" were logical? Or smart. Or honest. I wonder how much P&G paid congress for a pass on its gouging?

Productivity Killer

According to my stats, I am a productivity killer. Over 92% of my hits are on Monday through Friday, and over 75% are between 7am and 5pm. Looks like I'm not the only one that wastes work time by playing on the internet!

The Stepford Wives

Here is something to do to entertain yourself. No, not that. Try to think through the impact these will have on our legal system. For example, is it really prostitution if one solicits sex from, or is solicited by, something non-human? The courts are already struggling with how to handle computer generated "kiddie-porn." Would sex with an android made to look like a 14-year-old be pedophilia?

Big Brother is Watch-Listing You

If anyone can become a criminal on no evidence, no trial, no arrest, no charges, no judge, no jury, and no recourse, please explain why I should have any respect for the law or anyone associated with its creation, implementation, or enforcement? We are the worst of both worlds: an incompetent empire.

Taxpayer Dollars at Work

An e-mail sent to Jerry Pournelle and posted on his web site. I have nothing to add.

Dr. Pournelle I was doing triage on Saturday in an ER in the Southwest. I saw a young lady who was complaining of abdominal pain, sweating and chills. Upon further investigation I learned that she had missed her methadone dose on Friday because she had to go to the hospital to bring home her daughter who was discharged from the neonatal ICU after a three week stay.

So the young lady probably wasn't ill.. she was in withdrawal from opiates. I told her that the ER physician could probably write her a script for a single dose of methadone that she could get filled at a pharmacy and that would hold her over until her next regular visit to the methadone clinic. She then became mildly indignant at this suggestion because a dose of methadone at a pharmacy would cost at least eight dollars and she didn't think that Medicaid would pay for it.

Let us Review:

1. She is hooked on opiates, which judging from her gang tattoos the addiction probably originated in illicit drug use.

2. She just produced (at tax payer expense) a child which had to spend three weeks in NICU (at tax payer expense) withdrawing from opiates.

3. She is now outraged that her taxpayer funded ER visit (caused by her own inability to manage to fit in a fifteen minute detour to the methadone clinic the day before) may cause her to spend a entire eight dollars out of her pocket to stop her withdrawal symptoms.

There is a bright side to this though... the Federal Government may be able to re-coup about two days (~$1500/day) of NICU treatment for a her addicted child by sending bill collectors after Army specialist Tyson Johnson who failed to repay his re-enlistment bonus after losing his kidney in Iraq.

Your Government and Tax dollars at work.....

Steve (an ER nurse in the Southwest)

More Stupid People at Work

Yesterday, I received an e-mail from the Queen Bitch Director with the "montly" IS newsletter attached. That's right: a person at the director level not only cannot spell and/or type the word "monthly" correctly, but is also too stupid to spell check her e-mail before sending it to the entire IS department. But wait! There's more!

The first two-thirds of the newsletter was a lot of useless shit including a blurb about our brand new IS Employee Pride Board, which is where employees are encouraged to post pictures of themselves or family members doing something to be proud of, or some such thing. Anyway, it was described as "really neat." Gee wilikers, Buffy; isn't it just keen?!?! Anyway, buried at the bottom of the newsletter was a bit about how IS had been dinged by the hospital's outside auditors, and that management had already responded. Only one problem: our managers are completely clueless about the details of the applications we support. That's not a criticism; the sixteen people in my section of IS support something like 400 applications. It is impossible for our manager to even recognize the names of all the applications we support. What I am critical of is my manager answering specific problems about the applications that a co-worker and I support without even running it by us. All that was set up for the following e-mail exchange between myself and said co-worker:


FYI - [External auditors] audit findings. [Application] referenced twice. Interesting that management responded without asking us anything (in case either the finding or response was inaccurate). Nothing like being respected and included.

My response:

Yep. But it's ok; Mommy R [Queen Bitch Director] and Daddy J [our PHB] are taking good care of us. No need to worry yourself about really hard things like an audit. Just keep working on your time sheet and trouble tickets and leave the thinking to the adults. And remember to smile, because smiling counts for 80% of your grade!

BTW, I'm having a slip-n-slide installed in my cubicle next week. You wanna come over and play? Mommy R will have cupcakes and ice cream for us!! We can take pictures and put them on the IS Employee Pride Board! Wouldn't that be "really neat?!?!"


Would someone remind me why I'm still here? Oh yea; to make money to pay for a big expensive house I don't live in.

montly newsletter

I wonder if it would help if the Spell Check button took up half her screen?

(double sigh)

If anyone needs me, I'll be in the john trying to flush myself down the toilet.
I felt better, and it made my co-worker laugh as well. Damn, this summer can't go by fast enough.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The Terrorists are Winning

Kip summarizes how thoroughly the terrorists have defeated us since 9/11. Mr. Bush has effectively succeeded in a power grab that staggers the imagination.

Just remember, despair is a sin. And the U.S. boarder is only a few hours away by airplane. Just because you purchase a round-trip ticket does not mean you have to come back....


Medicare will start running deficits this year. Disability Insurance started running deficits last year. Social Security will start running deficits in 2017, a date that has not moved in spite of numerous attempts to "secure" Social Security. Doomsday indeed.

My advice: learn to live with less than you ever thought you could live on, because in a decade, that is all you will have if not less. The clock is running.

More Wetbacks on Parade

Yesterday, illegal immigrants turned out in force to show how important they are to the U.S. economy. The impact on me was zero, but then I'm not on the front lines of the Brown Invasion. But Jerry Pournelle is, and he reports the most pleasant day on the freeways since the 1980's. Somehow I doubt that was the intended result of this "strike." On a personal level, I have watched too many teenagers trying to make money to pay for college, who are unable to find work that pays enough to buy the gas to drive back and forth to work, not alone pay even part of their tuition. Because high school- and college-aged people compete directly with wetback labor, I certainly could live without the wetbacks being here driving down wages and filling up jobs that could be done by our young people. Maybe the next march of illegals can head south and not stop until they are back home in Tijuana.

Understand, as a descendant of legal immigrants, I have no problem with legal immigration. I do have a problem with illegal immigration. If I were Emperor for a Day, the Wall would be completed, the military would be stationed on the Mexican border with orders to kill anyone climbing over it, and the dead bodies would be hung on it as a warning to others. I estimate that illegal immigration would virtually disappear in 48 hours or less.

And no, I don't give a shit what the Mexican government thinks of my plan. Or the Democrats, or the squealing liberals or anyone else for that matter. A country that does not control its borders cannot be considered a sovereign country.

And just to be clear: First, I love Mexico, but I'm not too fond of their government that insists Mexicans have a right to cross into the U.S. illegally, then expect free health care, free education, and a whole bushel basket of other government services. Of course, your typical Mexican on the street isn't all that thrilled with their government, either, so maybe it's just symmetry at work. Second, I know from working directly with Mexican programmers in a previous job that professionals in Mexico are more than happy to off-load what they view as the dregs of their society onto the United States, but they are confused as hell as to why we not only allow it, but actively encourage it.

I know, I know. I'm an asshole. So be it.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Leaving the Ministry

Anyone who has been a reader for a while knows that I used to be a youth pastor of sorts. I was never given that title officially because I didn't have a college degree. [Aside: Peter was an illiterate, or at best a semi-literate, fisherman. According to this logic, he would not be allowed to even hold an associate pastor position.] But I was basically doing the same job, only without any pay. I have always disagreed with the church on a number of points, but I had always been able to gloss over it. But the cognitive dissonance finally got to me and I left the church. But I still live in the area, so I have had a lot of opportunities to see just how much of the crap Christians say they believe ever makes it to practice. For all but a few of them, the answer turns out to be "very little" as N & I have suddenly become invisible. I figured it was just that church, or denomination, or town, but it seems that it is more universal. I should feel vindicated, but mostly I just feel sad. How can so many people devote their lives to studying a book and still miss its primary message?

In a similar line of thought, My niece, N, and I darkened the door of a church Sunday for the first time in 2006. It's part of the "alt-worship" scene and grew in part out of a vision of one of my former partners in my college study group. We spent literally thousands of hours over an 18-month period developing what a church could look like if convention was thrown out of the window. It's still a work in progress, but it looks promising. I'm certainly not ready to jump back in with both feet, but I'll be lurking around the fringes for a while.

Weekend Riding

I used to make fun of my grandfather for his tales of walking to school bare-foot, in the snow, up-hill both ways. It looks like I owe him an apology. As I posted on Friday, I rode out to my secondary office and was surprised at how tiring the long up-hill climb was and looking forward to the easy ride back. Except it wasn't easy; it was as much work as going the other way.

It was up-hill both ways.

Sorry Gramps.

Saturday, I ran all over northern Michigan, it seems like. I didn't get half the stuff done I wanted to. One of those things that didn't get done was some riding time. Sunday, N & I dragged ourselves out of bed early and rode about four miles to Bob Evans for breakfast, then rode back to the motel. We were going to ride the other direction for our favorite treat (Cold Stone ice cream) but we talked ourselves out of it (the riding part, not the ice cream part). What can I say? I'm a lazy bum and a bad influence on those around me.

On the Move Again

N & I will be moving out of the motel into a house. My niece and nephew live there and need help with bills and such. I figured it made no sense for me to spend nearly $800 a month to squish two people into a 10-by-14 motel room when I can pay a third of that to live in a house. This may or may not effect the longer-term plans, but at least it will give me some short-term financial relief. The only part that really sucks is that I can't bike to work due to the distance. I can still ride part of the way, and I will be getting about four times the miles in every day, but it has been nice going for days at a time without burning any gas.