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3.31.2008

Crossfade to Communism: America's Choice

Politicians are very talented – you know? Most people are capable of talking out of both sides of their mouth. Politicians can talk out of both sides of their mouth at the same time and say two completely different and contradictory things.

It really bothers me how they constantly demonize “big business.” For some reason “the corporation” has become regarded as the spawn of Satan or something. Corporations, of course, represent greed and the big man crushing the little man. Here’s the thing: a corporation, in fact, consists of few big men and a bunch of little men. If you hurt the corporation, you hurt the little man too.

So while the politicians decry the evil, rich corporations, and levy taxes and regulations in accordance with their views; they also sympathize with the poor little man who just lost his job because of said taxes and regulations.

Now, you’ve got a bunch of homeless little people. So what does the vote-conscious politician do? Help the little man out, of course! And – this is where it gets really good – how better to help out the little man than with the big man’s money? That’s brilliant. It feeds into the class warfare rhetoric and buys votes.

The end result is that the politicians cause the problem of unnecessary homeless people which they try to fix with money from the wealthy and middle-class. Who loses? The little man, obviously. He’s unemployed and living on welfare. The rich lose too. They have to pay more taxes and their business ventures aren’t as profitable. Who wins? The politicians, of course. They stay in office.

The politicians continue to spout this class warfare rhetoric until it becomes ingrained into the populace. The rich are evil, of course. They’re exploiters. Yes, it is true they employ people, but they don’t give them the pay or benefits they deserve. Wouldn’t it be nice if everybody could be employed by the government? The government has our best interest in mind, after all. They would make sure everybody got what they needed. Nobody would take more than their fair share and everyone would be happy.

STOP.

What I just described above, more or less describes the course I believe America is currently on. At its end is a thing called communism. It’s easy to see how we might get there.

More and more, people are looking to the government for help. We’ve been trained to do so. Since FDR’s “New Deal,” the government has taken an increasingly larger role in the lives of ordinary citizens. First we were told that churches and charities were not sufficient to help the poor and those who were truly in need. The government needed to help as well. Then we were told that we weren’t capable of intelligently planning for our own futures, so we got Social Security. Now, any time disaster strikes we look to FEMA. When we buy houses we can’t afford we look to the Federal Reserve.

Now, it is interesting that our trust has shifted from the people (ourselves and the businesses we create) to the government because, while some corporate heads are greedy and unscrupulous, the most greedy and evil people of all are found in the government. Greedy, selfish, and evil people are in both parties. Evil people are in churches and synagogues and mosques. They are in big business and small business. They are in the military and in Greenpeace and in the NRA. They are in TV and radio and newspapers. Evil, greedy, and selfish people write this blog. I am evil. You are evil.

We’ve forgotten that.

It’s human nature that drives corporate greed and communist killings alike. We should not trust the government because we should not trust man. That is why our Founding Fathers chose a republican form of government – a government of the people, not of the king, nor the pope, nor the oligarchy.

A choice now stands before the American people.

We can run to the government like a baby to its mother. She can give us what we need. We can live simple, worry-free lives. In exchange, we will remain babies, forever stuck in our playpen.

The other choice is more daring. We can choose to grow up. We can leave the nest and see the rest of the world. In doing so, we risk falling. We risk starvation and death. But we also have the chance of a better life.

God made this very choice when he created mankind. He might have made us incapable of wrongdoing, but that would have robbed us of the ability to make our own decisions thus rendering obedience to Him meaningless.

What’ll be, America? Slaves to decent master or free men in possession of our own destinies? Does Old Glory still stand for liberty?

I echo the choice of Almighty God and the words of Patrick Henry. I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

3.26.2008

Brilliant Title

I was at the library today and I saw this book:

Apparently, popular music is no longer popular. I found that hard to swallow.

Now, I know that's not what the author means, but - hey... Once again we have an example of the consequences of poor syntax.

3.24.2008

The Forbes Fictional 15

Just in case you're ever in an adamant argument with a friend concerning the relative wealth of various fictional characters (and who's never been in that position?), Forbes has saved the day with their "Forbes Fictional 15". That's right! It's the fifteen richest fictional characters according to Forbes.

Topping the list is Scrooge McDuck who's valued at 28.8 billion dollars. Other notable characters include Jed Clampett of the Beverly Hillbillies, Batman's Bruce Wayne, and the amazing chocolatier Willy Wonka. Sliding in at number three is Richie Rich who is the youngest billionaire on the list being only 10 years old.

Apparently Forbes has been doing this list for a couple of years now. New members include blogger "Fake Steve Jobs" and Princess Peach of Mario video games.

Normally, I wouldn't question the authority of Forbes on matters of obscenely rich people, however, they might want to check some of their facts. For example, it lists Princess Peach's marital status as "divorced" claiming that a divorce settlement is the source of much of her fortune. Yeah, I don't think that's ever happened in a Mario game.

Forbes also says Willy Wonka's wealth comes from "candy" and "areospace". I'm assuming this is a reference to the Great Glass Elevator which I doubt has made Wonka any money. In the words of Johnny Depp's version of the character, "No one would buy it." I mean, c'mon. I don't think the FAA is going to approve a flying glass elevator.

Complete list here.

Humorous Rambles

Just watched The Bourne Identity, again, last night. I still love it, though the Greengrass camera work still gives me headaches.

Bourne is a much more believable character than Bond. This can be attributed to many facts, one of the primary ones being that Bourne has not appeared in 30 different movies starring however many different actors.

I disagree vehemently with the CIA's methods as portrayed in the movie. It does, however, make for a heck of a movie.

As to whether or not the CIA actually uses those methods... I'm going to ignore the fact that I just typed that, it's the day after Easter, and I don't feel like getting political.

I would segway into a nice bit about Easter right now, but it'd look utterly incongruous right below a XKCD comic.

3.20.2008

Back in Style

Just in time for spring, it's our good friend, Mr. Global Warming! Never mind that we here in Missouri had the worst winter in thirty-odd years! The whole globe is warming up!

3.18.2008

Sundry Musings

On the whole Barack Obama controversy right now: I can understand Reverend Wright's frustration and anger. Perhaps he wasn't so diplomatic about the way in which he stated those frustrations, and certainly there are some opinions expressed that are not based in reality [the U.S. created the AIDS virus, for example (even if we did, it wasn't to kill African-Americans)], but I know that it is virtually impossible for me completely relate to a person in his position. I know that I would have trouble being very forgiving if my ancestors had been enslaved...

Anyways, the thing that gets me about this isn't really what he said, it's the award given to Minister Farrakhan. Now, I don't even have a problem with giving an award to Minister Farrakhan by itself. But the Church and all the Christians therein, the representatives of Christ on earth, has no business recognizing a man that, well...perhaps it will be easier to explain if I show you what Minister Farrakhan said.

How does a Christian reconcile his faith with those statements? You can't. The primary tenet, really one of the only important tenets, of Christianity is that Jesus Christ was and is the savior of the world, God's Son sent to save humanity from their sins. Farrakhan can't be Jesus, plain and simple.

Now that all goes back to Obama, but in a less derogatory way than all the yelling and shouting does. It just shows to me that Reverend Wright is more concerned with skin color then he is with faith when he hands out those awards. I suppose he can give it to whomever he wishes, it just strikes me as a little odd for a Christian to be recognizing Farrakhan in this manner.

On Gnarls Barkley: It's amazing how refreshing it is to listen to a pair of guys who obviously love music. Check out Open Book...no, buy it. You'll love it.

Yes, I realize those have nothing to do with each other...

Hippies!!!

Okay, okay, I said I wasn't going to post anything political for awhile. This doesn't count. It's not really political and it's meant to be funny anyhow. Surprisingly, it's from Comedy Central. Isn't it weird how they actually produced something funny?

3.17.2008

Politics is a Game

More specifically, it's this game:

"Campaign Game" is a turn-base strategy game that allows you to go head-to-head against another presidential candidate in a high-stakes battle for the country. Yeah.

You hire your campaign staff ("ax men", "spinmasters", "fundraisers", etc.) and capture regions in an attempt to gain the upper hand. But in the end, it's basically about smacking the crud out of your opponent. Just like the real thing!

The game was released a month or two ago and the list of playable characters reflects that. In fact, John McCain isn't even included. The creator of the games says it will be updated for the general election, though.

You can play it here. It's hilarious as you might expect, although the gameplay's not bad either.


On a side note, I am completely sick of politics as I imagine many readers are. I promise it'll shut-up about it for awhile...

Well, no promises, really. You never can tell what might come up, but I'll try.

3.15.2008

Obama & His Pastor

It's universally agreed that Barack Obama, whether you agree with him or not, comes off as a nice guy. He's tried to portray himself as "above" the usual mudslinging of politics and he did a pretty good job of it until Hillary Clinton virtually pull him down into the mud.

Considering that fact, I find it odd how mean-spirited and divisive his pastor can be. Jeremiah Wright, the former pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago has recently be the subject of controversy because of his past comments. Here are some of them:

"The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color." (source)

(About 9/11) "We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye. We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America's chickens are coming home to roost." (source)

"The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America.' No, no, no, God damn America, that's in the Bible for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme." (source)

Here is what Obama has said in response:

"Let me say at the outset that I vehemently disagree and strongly condemn the statements that have been the subject of this controversy. I categorically denounce any statement that disparages our great country or serves to divide us from our allies. I also believe that words that degrade individuals have no place in our public dialogue, whether it's on the campaign stump or in the pulpit. In sum, I reject outright the statements by Rev. Wright that are at issue." (source)

"Here is what happens when you just cherry-pick statements from a guy who had a 40-year career as a pastor. There are times when people say things that are just wrong. But I think it's important to judge me on what I've said in the past and what I believe." (source)

At this point, I'm not going to make any firm judgments about Obama. To his credit, he hasn't pulled the "race card" thus far and in order to continue that, he had to distance himself from Wright. Is there any excuse for Pastor Wright's vitriolic statements? Clearly he believes there are still strong anti-black sentiments and that the government has abused minorities - or at least blacks.

It seems to me, that if a white person says anything politically incorrect about blacks - anything at all - they are dragged kicking and screaming out of public life. In fact, this is what just happened with Geraldine Ferraro, who recently made headlines by saying that Obama's race has helped him in the presidential primaries. The difference, of course, between Wright's comments and Ferraro's is the shade of the person's skin.

Both people were speaking their minds. They were calling things they way they seem them. Mr. Wright apparently sees himself and his "kind" as oppressed. Conversely, Ferraro sees being black as an advantage. Ferraro was dismissed from Hilary Clinton's campaign and denounced by nearly everybody. Wright was (selectively) denounced by Obama.

The fact is that Obama's ties to Pastor Wright are fairly strong. He has been a member of his church for 20 years and Pastor Wright performed Obama's wedding ceremony. Wright has also been an ardent supporter of Obama's bid for the Presidency. Obama based his book "The Audacity of Hope" on a sermon by Pastor Wright entitled "The Audacity to Hope".

I listened to this sermon, which was actually fairly good and lends some credibility to Obama's statements. The question is: how often did Jeremiah Wright preach sermons on hope and how often did he preach on the oppression of blacks by the government? How much of it does Obama really believe?

3.02.2008

Такого как Путин (From Russia with Gloom & Doom)

So Russia's election to "replace" Vladimir Putin as President of Russia has been all over the news. So I guess this answers the question of him stepping down. He's "stepping down" like a ventriloquist walks away from his dummy. For goodness sake, even Hillary Clinton knows Putin isn't really losing any power.

Putin's handpicked successor Dmitry Medvedev has essentially won, which is as surprising as walking out of your house and finding a sky overhead. For one thing, there was nobody else to vote for. The other candidates included an outright communist, an "ultra-nationalist", and a virtually unknown politician (indecently, two of those adjectives describe Putin as well).

Medvedev received Putin's endorsement, which basically means he was crowned President. The Russian people love Putin. He's made Russia richer (mostly through oil), and has been attempting to re-establish Russia as a world power.

After the election is officially decided, Putin has stated he will accept the job of Prime Minister. No surprise there either.

Currently, Russian politics are as consequential as American politics. Both are looking pretty grim. Both are electing socialists. Party on, comrade!

To give you a sample of just how popular Putin is I present this song which is apparently popular in Russia and if that's truly the case, it's a very frightening thing not only because the song essentially proclaims Putin is god, (English lyrics here) but also because it is possibly the worst song I've heard since the mid-90s. Honestly, if I were Putin, I'd be embarrassed. Of course, if I were Putin, I'd probably have hired a rock band to write my propaganda.



It seems to me the USA and USS - excuse me - Russian Federation have developed a sort of symbiotic relationship. We're getting their socialism and they're getting our culture. We're each passing our worse traits to the other. We get "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" and they get our awful dance music from ten years ago. That's what you call a mutually detrimental relationship.