July 16, 2008

Hmmm, China

It turned out that I’ve had to remain in New York (with a side trip to New England) for an extra couple of days, as certain materials I require to meet the challenge of an unexpected development in my current work project were available for purchase (and for rapid overseas shipping) in a town a couple of hundred miles north of here, but that’s another story entirely and unfortunately of a proprietary nature. I have to leave tonight (no further reprieves, sigh), hopefully to finish the job within a couple of weeks – with luck, no more than ten days.

On the bright side, while my time has been severely limited, I’ve managed to squeeze in a few hours here and there to visit several of my favorite blogs, which has made the delay in leaving even more worthwhile.

On the job, one of our (at least, we Yanks and the other westerners, right thinkers all) more prevalent topics of discussion has been Bush’s decision to treat the Olympics in China as though the Communist country were just another nation deserving of equal consideration in an international event of that magnitude.

Our own consensus proved unanimous – China is our enemy, in fact it is the enemy of free countries everywhere and should be both viewed and treated as such.

We have allowed our nation’s economy to become all but intertwined with this enemy, not only by saturating our retail industry with Chinese products, in many ways building a dependency on their affordability, the vast majority of which are inferior in nearly every way to items manufactured here in the United States and many of which present health hazards to Americans, in particular children as so many of those products are toys, but by selling the Chinese billions of dollars’ worth of treasury paper.

I wonder what would happen if China were to decide to take back Taiwan at this stage of the game, and their premier quietly told POTUS that “if you interfere, we will dump all our U.S. Treasury instruments on world markets at once”. The dollar’s already on the fritz and with gas prices up so dramatically (thank you, Democrats), effecting the prices of almost everything else, the kerfuffle in the real estate financial markets and throughout Wall Street, the impact of an assault on the U.S. dollar would be rather telling.

If we continue to treat China as “our friend and valued trading partner”, we will pay a heavy price in the not-too-distant future.

For me, there are mixed feelings here: Being the free and market-based country that we are, it is not in our make-up to tell the private sector who they can and can’t trade with, though in rendering this opinion, I would be amiss if I didn’t point out that we have done exactly that where Cuba is concerned, going on half a century now. After all, if Cuba is our enemy and our business concerns can’t trade with them (mmmmm, a Montecristo accompanying an after dinner cognac…), why in blazes are we trading with China? China is, after all, a hell of a lot more of a potential threat to us than Fidel’s (Raoul’s?) pitiful little regime, since their powerful main sponsor went Chapter 11 more than a decade and a half ago.

The U.S. and the PRC are like matter and anti-matter somehow managing to coexist on the same planet, but this cannot remain permanent; China is a territory-hungry country biding its time until conditions are right for move toward expansion, and by our very nature as the leader of both global democracy and capitalism, the United States is their anti-thesis and by extension, as the Soviets once referred to us, “the main enemy”.

As our leaders have been lulled by Muslim propaganda clouding the true intentions of fundamental Islam, both they and their profits-first-and-last counterparts in the marketplace have allowed our massive commerce with China to cloud their minds against the reality of the remaining communist world power’s ambitions. Daily, emailed bulletins from Internet investment touts sing the praises of private investors on all levels pulling our capital out of the U.S. economy and investing in China, preaching about the exponential gains we could realize by doing so.

President Bush, Congress and the major players in the marketplace need to wake up to the consequences we will eventually face as a result of our being too chummy with Beijing, profoundly bolstering the Chinese economy (and therefore the Chinese war machine) and in effect baring our proverbial neck to one of our two most dedicated and lethal enemies.

by @ 10:36 am. Filed under Asian Affairs, Government Stupidity, Opinion

May 8, 2008

In The Proverbial Nutshell…

…here is one place in which I believe, at least in recent decades, we conservatives have been deluding ourselves.

Granted, I firmly believe that the “silent majority” of right-thinking Americans referred to during the Vietnam era is still alive and well, our self-deception is in our belief that it is sufficient that we do our talking at the polls on Election Day.

The problem there is that in between mid-term and Presidential elections, the only “talking” that really gets done is between elected politicians. Granted, there are occasional, though few and far between, voter rebellions wherein We, The People intercede en masse, such as the thankfully aborted amnesty legislation a couple of years back, but for the most part, we just kinda’ sorta’ sit back in blissful unawareness or semi-awareness while the commie trash social progressives in Congress gradually assert their socialist political agendas, with either too much compromise or insufficient resistance from those on the right side of the aisle. By the time the next election comes up, these agendas, virtually all of which are contrary to the letter of the Constitution, are already carved in stone. The same goes for “earmarks”, the vast majority of which are little more than bribes from representatives to special interests within their respective constituencies to gain votes for reelection, virtually none of which benefits the American taxpayers as anywhere near a whole. But that’s okay, right? Just ask any politician (you’d probably have to get him/her drunk first, and even then he/she would want to check to be sure you’re not wearing a wire), if Congressman Shmoe wants to get the $36 million bucks for local project A, Congressman Bonehead will be happy to sponsor same in return for The Distinguished Mr. Shmoe sponsoring his own earmark for $41 million toward the latter’s own local industry. Look at all those megabucks corporate agri-businesses that benefit from subsidies that the small, struggling farmers they were originally intended for barely see, or the same for political agenda-based venues like NPR, or the National Endowment For The Arts. Has anyone asked We, The Voters lately if we wanted our taxes to subsidize or otherwise support these institutions?

No, no one has, yet earmarks go on and laws are passed whether we like them or not, whether they are Constitutional (within the purview of our elected officials to even discuss, let alone pass) or not, the overwhelming majority of them drifting in a decidedly leftward direction no matter who we on the right elect to represent us in Washington.

This November, we have no recourse but to vote for John McCain, not because he is even remotely the right candidate from a conservative perspective, but because he’s not as bad as either of the two jamokes vying for the Democratic nomination.

This time out, our options are possibly the absolute worst in my lifetime to date, but what the hay? No matter who wins the White House, the following two years will simply be “business as usual”, the tenacious left sneaking their agendas into the mix, the complacent right ho-humming and making concessions, lining up their ducks for their next reelection campaigns.

No, I’m afraid that speaking our piece by means of the vote alone doesn’t carry the weight it once did and I’m even more afraid that it never will again.

by @ 6:55 am. Filed under Opinion

May 5, 2008

Noo Yawk, Noo Yawk (Yay!), And A Few Other Items

I’ve been trying my best to stay away from politics the last few days while I enjoy becoming reacqainted with my home town.

It’s actually becoming quite fatiguing seeing “Obama this, Obama that, Wright this, Wright that” everywhere I go on the Internet. It’s like watching news sites, blogs and other media flogging the same dead horse over and over while ignoring stuff that is being pushed on us under the radar, using the Presidential campaign as a distraction.

By this time, anyone who, despite all the suffocating coverage, still believes that either Hussein Obama or Hillary Clinton belongs in the Oval Office is either profoundly obtuse, a “liberal-run government at any cost” Utopian, a jihadist, someone who despises either our Constitutional form of government and/or the American People, or a communist. I simply see no purpose in continuing to do what amounts to beating my head against a wall trying to prove a point that’s already been proven.

Especially when trying to convince liberals, who, when confronted with scientific fact or other indisputable evidence that runs contrary to their politically based “beliefs” will shrug it all off with, “That’s your opinion.”

By now, those folks out there in the middle of the road have more than enough evidence to make their own judgement as to the viability of either Obama or Clinton where the Presidency is concerned, as this time out, even the MSM has failed to hide the truth about the two Democratic candidates. All they can do is manage weak attempts at spin or try to divert public attention in what, just as Obama’s efforts to distance himself from Irreverend Wright, are proving transparent efforts, at best.

Face it, no matter which of the Democratic candidates gets the nomination, McCain will prevail in November. Any other outcome would be pure insanity.

Moving right along, on Wednesday evening I visited one of my old Little Italy favorites on Mulberry Street at Broome (they relocated about 12 years ago from a Hester Street location), Umberto’s Clam House. Since I was dining alone, I ate in the kitchen (a small counter from which you can see most of what’s going on and be served directly by the chef). I chatted with one of the owners and ate ala carte, a generous serving of linguini with white clam sauce (I watched the chef shucking a big pile of clams — yum, clams! — for my dinner, what a pro!), a basket of fresh, warm N.Y. Italian bread with butter…

Afterwards, I walked down to my new favorite N.Y. bar, an establishment that’s been in business since 1972, in a building that’s been around since before the last century, Kenn’s Broome Street Bar.

I must confess to a rather lengthy evening therein. It’s a very comfortable pub with a great staff and a good crowd of local regulars (though quite a number of European tourists also find their way there), a large menu of good food, including home-made chili con carne (one of the house dishes, for anyone who’s really hungry and reasonably gas resistant, is an open-faced knockwurst “chili dog” with cheese and a large pile of either crinkle cut potato chips or fries. Their burgers are intense and large, as are all the other items on their menu. They don’t skimp on anything. Daily specials can be anything from blackened fish to langosta and they have a more than admirable Saturday and Sunday brunch menu.

So, Thursday I was up and out early enough to meet a friend for a lunch date, and we headed for Mulberry Street. Mulberry is an Italian food lover’s heaven, more than three blocks lined with Italian restaurants, bakeries (Mmmmmm, fresh cannoli!) and cafes. We were both ready to eat at 11:30, and most of the eateries on that strip of culinary delight don’t start serving until noon.

However, La Mela seated us at an outdoor table at 11:40 and took our orders.

I had pasta in a white sauce with mussels that was awesome, and they were extremely generous with the mussels. If you’ve never had mussels in New York, you’ve never had mussels. Mmmmm, mussels! My companion had chicken scapariello, which I had a taste of and was pretty impressed. I’ll have to order it next time I go there.

Afterwards, we went down to the Broome Street Bar for a drink before parting company. Ah, Guinness!

It began to rain in the evening, so I returned to the hotel to visit my computer and catch up on some of my news reading and so forth.

Through the weekend, there was night clubbing on Bleeker Street in the west village, including a couple of hours of great Jazz at the Blue Note, wherein they serve a remarkably good lobster ravioli (all this eating, in New York, is easily offset by the amount of walking one does in the interests of really seeing the city).

A late Saturday evening dinner date found my companion and I at a neat little Italian joint at East 50th Street and 2nd Avenue called, very appropriately as they specialize in lasagna (17 different kinds, ranging from ground sirloin to prosciutto to lobster to veal and everything in between), Lasagna Ristorante. This was followed by a cab ride downtown to — where else? — Mulberry Street, for canolli and capucino at La Bella Ferrara.

Sunday morning I was down at Duarte Square (Canal & 6th Avenue) to watch the start of a bicycle Tour of New York, wherein some 30,000 participants embarked on a 2-3 hour, 44ish mile ride around the boroughs, equipped with a continuous police escort to block cross traffic. It was a sight to see, every kind of bicycle in the universe, from regular 10 speeds to bicycles built for 3, several side by side 3 wheelers (two people in reclining high backed seats peddling from relaxed positions), some crazy configs wherein there was a small front wheel and a large rear one with the peddles right above the front wheel, a bicycle that was built to resemble a Harley chopper and one individual was pulling a small wooden cage-trailer that looked like it contained his cat.

One morning last week, I took a stroll down Bleeker Street above 8th Avenue (west village), and was totally impressed by the atmosphere of the neighborhood. It is simply beautiful, lots of trees and the view down nearly every side street was profoundly green, the shops all upscale without blaring the fact. I stopped at a local cafe for a chocolate almond croissant and a capucino, sat outside and enjoyed watching the people pass by, the bird sounds and the morning aroma of spring in New York…

…then several cloudy, rainy days arrived, today being the first clear, sunny day.

On a less pleasant note, as I said above, while so many of us make a major event of every word issuing forth from the mouth of Hussein Obama and every outrageous statement uttered by his “former” Pastor Wright, in my opinion doing little or nothing to change the minds of those wingnuts who view him as some sort of messiah (face it, friends, there are a lot of incorrigible boneheads in this country who believe America is the root cause of every problem of every kind, everywhere on earth, and that only the mighty Obama can save the world), we pay less attention to issues that we really need to focus on that amount, basically, to government encroachment on our free enterprise system and the price we pay for this wholly unconstitutional series of actions.

Issues such Congress’ decision to attempt to meddle in banks’ current credit and debit card management methods, the effect the ethanol production mandates are having on food prices across the board, including starvation and food riots in the same developing nations liberals claim to care so much about (this despite the fact that ethanol production and use produce more of the dreaded C02 than regular gasoline use), and still another dreadful bi-product of the government protecting us from ourselves.

Yes, all those high taxes local governments in states like Illinois and New York love to levy on cigarettes, purportedly to “help us”, have created a black market that directly finances terrorism. I ran across the above link at a security industry website, and, in as timely a manner as one could ask for, Walter Williams, one of the most “on-top-of-things” columnists in the business, penned a spot-on piece about it.

While it’s politically popular to impose confiscatory taxes on America’s 40 million tobacco smokers, there are a number of consequences one might consider, but let’s start out with a quiz. If a carton of cigarettes sells for $160 in New York City, and $35 in North Carolina, what do you predict will happen? If you answered tons of cigarettes will be going up I-95 from North Carolina to New York City, go to the head of the class.

Smuggling cigarettes is illegal; so the next quiz question is: Who is most likely to engage in cigarette smuggling? It’s a mixed answer, but for the most part, organized smugglers will be people with a high disregard for the law. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has found that Russian, Armenian, Ukrainian, Chinese, Taiwanese, and Middle Eastern (mainly Pakistani, Lebanese, and Syrian) organized crime groups are highly involved in the trafficking of contraband and counterfeit cigarettes. What’s worse is the ATF found that some of these groups use the money to provide material financial assistance to terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas.

Read on…

People who don’t spend a lot of time in major cities might easily miss this, but immigrants from Muslim countries have, over the last several years, established monopolies over certain retail-based industries that in some other sectors would easily inspire anti-trust lawsuits. Small markets selling, among other things, cigarettes are at the forefront of this phenomenon, with convenience stores and fast food restaurants not far behind. Here in New York, pizza shops are also on the menu to some extent, as are what I can’t help but think of as “jihadi wagons”, those stainless steel carts, towed daily to their respective curbside locations, from inside which Muslims serve hot grilled food (shish kebob, etc) through a window. Often one sees them joined within by fellow countrymen, deep in conversation, with others hanging around outside. When I lived here ten years ago, many of them were owned and manned by Russians, but this no longer seems to be the case.

Nice going, politicians — levy taxes, help finance jihad. Now the Bureau and the ATF have even more on their plates, so to speak, a tax-created homeland security issue.

Say what you want about the letter of the law, I tend to agree with Williams’ opinion that,

Some smugglers are good people who differ little from the founders of our nation such as John Hancock, whose flamboyant signature graces our Declaration of Independence. The British had levied confiscatory taxes on molasses, and John Hancock smuggled an estimated 1.5 million gallons a year. His smuggling practices financed much of the resistance to British authority — so much so that the joke of the time was that “Sam Adams writes the letters (to newspapers) and John Hancock pays the postage.” Like Hancock, some of today’s cigarette smugglers are providing a service to their fellow man caught in the grip of confiscatory taxation.

In my book, the Hancock-type smuggler is a hero of sorts. Let’s look at it. During the days of the Soviet Union, Swiss watches were illegal. During our Prohibition era, the sale, manufacture and the importation of intoxicating liquor was illegal. Britain’s Navigation Acts imposed high tariffs and restrictions on goods sold to the American colonies that ultimately led to our 1776 War of Independence. The common theme in all of these acts is government seeking to interfere with, regulate or outlaw peaceable voluntary exchange between individuals.


It has occurred to me on numerous occasions and I have mentioned a time or two in previous posts that for some time, our government, and I’m talking about both parties, has been betraying us, treacherously so and purely in the interests of individual political careers by gradually reintroducing the very same governance that our founding fathers saw fit to rebel against and in so doing break away from Great Britain, and found the United States of America.

However, rather than fight it, we collectively permit this regression to pre-Revolutionary War conditions. We continue to reelect politicians who could give a rat’s backside about We, The People or about our great country — to these scumbags, the only thing America means is realizing their own personal political ambitions, getting reelected at any cost, and I have come to realize that no matter how we elevate one above the other in our esteem, you can count all the politicians in this country who entertain even an iota of patriotism on one hand.

That said, two of my upcoming activities will be to catch Clarence Spady live, and also to attend a musical play called Street Dreams (an excitedly upbeat young actress, or aspirant thereof, handed me a hand-out for the play, billed “an inner city musical”, presented by the Rosetta Lenoir Musical Theatre Academy — never heard of it — and it looks like fun) at the ATA Theatre on West 54th.

New York, YAY!!!!

by @ 6:42 am. Filed under New York, Opinion, Politicians

April 28, 2008

The Latest Kerfuffle, Brought To You By…

…New York’s Own Race Card Institution, is…

The Bell shooting and the not-guilty verdict rendered in favor of the police officers involved.

The result of the not guilty verdict, another way of saying that New York police officers will not be crucified for doing what they deemed necessary, at a given moment, to defend themselves, is a rerun of Sharpton and fellow race maggots’ response to the Amadou Diallo shooting. Any excuse to go after “the Man”.

So there are idiots blocking traffic up in Harlem and announcements by Sharpton that he will organize civil disruption of the entire city (same as his attempts after the Diallo case), a despicable business, including lots of people sporting signs that said, “Adolph Giuliani”, and the “reverend” who makes his living off perpetuating anti-white bigotry has even said that he intends to probe the presiding judge’s (in the Bell case) background in search of skeletons.

These folks ignore one simple fact: Big city cops are confronted with the reality that today’s drugged-up gang-bangers have a nasty tendency to open up on a police officer, at the drop of a hat, with more than just a handgun — full auto weapons are a dime a dozen on today’s streets, including machine pistols small enough to conceal with little difficulty under a coat or even a light jacket.

A cop is neither paid to, nor expected to, gamble with his life. If he has cause to believe his life is in jeopardy, he is authorized to respond as he deems necessary to stay alive.

A lesson should have been learned as far back as the Amadou Diallo shooting.

When you hear, “Police! Freeze!” — You freeze. You don’t reach for a wallet or a cell phone, you don’t start dancing, you don’t ask questions, you don’t begin to comb your hair…. You stop dead in your tracks, don’t move another muscle, and you await further instructions, such as “Clasp your hands together on top of your head.” Or whatever.

Make a sudden move and get shot, that’s your problem and your fault, not the cop’s. It’s not his job to wait until you’ve gotten a shot off at him before he defends himself, when your shot might have already killed him. It also doesn’t matter whether he fires one shot or twenty shots. The overkill angle is nothing but pure political enhancement.

While my condolences go out to the dead man’s fiancee and family, who definitely have their right to grieve, they cheapen their loss by allowing it to become a pawn in the race card agenda of Sharpton and his miserable parasite ilk, and by participating as such, they spit on their own lost loved one.

It’s over, let it stay that way.

by @ 11:36 am. Filed under Opinion, Parasites, The Race Card

April 25, 2008

New York Food, Yum!

Tomorrow, I’m switching to another hotel here in New York, not because I don’t like where I’m at or the location I’m in – the upper west side is awesome – but because the new location will be closer to where I tend to spend my time and to where I want to establish a more permanent presence.

So I want to give mention to a few things regarding food up here on the upper west side.

Usually, after I get back to the hotel for the evening and am hungry or before I go out and want breakfast first, I call restaurants for delivery.

First, the best: Texas Rotisserie and Grill (since this is already New Yawk, ha ha, you can’t say “get a rope!”), on the northwest corner of 96th & Broadway.

My first day here, I happened to be strolling past and the aromas coming out of the place were heavenly, so I snagged one of their delivery menus, folded it and stuck it in my back pocket.

On the first occasion that I needed a delivery, I referred to it.

So many choices, not only where entrees are concerned, but appetizers and side dishes as well, and all coming out of one place. I’ve had their rotisserie chicken and their meatloaf, and such sides as their from-scratch mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, macaroni and cheese, whipped sweet potatoes and garlic parsley potatoes, and have nothing but great things to say about all of them.

I am a major meatloaf maniac, and their meatloaf, made with beef and turkey, has got to be the best meatloaf I’ve ever gotten from a restaurant. Yum!

To boot, all the portions they serve are profoundly oversized yet under-priced from a New York standpoint.

Dessert wise, their chocolate chip cake is to die for.

And their delivery time is nothing short of amazing. The knock at your door seems to come almost before you’ve hung up the phone.

Second, the worst. Artie’s, a Jewish deli at about 83rd & Broadway.

I stopped in there for a couple of potato knishes on my second day here, and they were easily of a quality to sing songs over. So…

A couple of days later, when I was hoping to get an early start, I called them at opening time (9 a.m.) and gave them a breakfast delivery order: a Nova lox platter, a potato knish, a chocolate egg cream and two large coffees. The woman who took the order told me it would be around 15 minutes.

At 10:25, I called to ask why the food had not yet arrived. The same woman told me that the cashier was sorry, she hadn’t put the order in on time, but that it was now on its way to me. 25 minutes later it arrived, I paid for it and tipped the delivery guy and took everything out of the bag. There was no knish, though it was on the receipt.

I called Artie’s, and the same woman, in a totally indifferent tone of voice, asked me, “Oh, so do you still want the knish?”

“Since I paid you for it,” I replied, beginning to feel just a little miffed at her attitude, “I would assume so.”

The lox platter was great, generous and very filling, there was a lot of stuff included in it besides the Nova, a bagel and so forth, but when I went to drink the coffee I found it was old and burnt beyond drinkability. When the knish arrived at about 11:00, I was so disgusted I simply threw it in the trash can.

I tried calling the manager to register a complaint. I was told that he would be back in 2 days and that his name was Omar.

I tried, for a couple of days after he was supposed to be back, to get in touch with him, but he apparently doesn’t want to hear customer complaints and is always, therefore, “not there”. The mysterious Mr. Omar, in my opinion, is a scumbag who runs a shoddy business – the indifferent bimbo who runs the place on weekends probably Monicas him to keep her job and as payment for her under-the-desk services, the mutt excuses her ineptitude and lack of any customer service attitude.

Since then, I’ve looked up customer reviews of the place and find that most of them are unfavorable where service and even cleanliness of the place are concerned.

So while I wouldn’t recommend Artie’s for the dog you hate the most, I give major marks to Texas Rotisserie & Grill.

Two upper west side eateries to enjoy dining out at, both also reasonable by NY standards, are Acqua, an Italian restaurant on Amsterdam Ave at 95th that uses a wood oven and serves delicious, wafer thin crust, Italian style pizzas as well as some pasta & veal (I’ve had the aforementioned dishes there) that are extremely desirable to eat, in ways I can’t begin to describe beyond the “adjective” yum!. The other, more laid back but a must for locals-oriented Italian dining, is Perfecto, on Broadway between 92nd and 93rd Streets.

I treated a new acquaintance I met a few days ago to dinner at the latter (her recommendation). For my own part, I had had mussels in a wine and tomato sauce for an appetizer (I sampled my companion’s grilled octopus and it was excellent, as well), and my entrée was linguini with white clam sauce, while she had veal marsala. We tried one anothers’ dishes, and both were Perfecto.

Since then, I’ve tried the Sicilian pizza at Perfecto, and it is also Perfecto.

The above places (with the exception of piece-of-shit-Omar and his Artie’s) are all among the locals oriented eateries that you don’t see in the out-of-town yuppie guides, they are places that locals dine at, within the average middle class budget and every bit as good as the more pretentious “to be seen at” restaurants one reads about in the society pages., where there are dress codes, etc.

Having eaten at some of the most expensive restaurants in NY in the past, I can honestly say that these “common” establishments (we’re talking NY here, where competition is king) feature fare that is equal to or in some cases better than the places where, choked into a suit and tie when you’re not even at work, you can dine for hundreds of dollars, just to say you’ve eaten there.

To tell you the truth, I’d rather have dinner at Mike’s Pizzeria on Yellowstone Blvd in Forest Hills, Queens, than at Mama Leone’s any day of the week.

by @ 7:54 pm. Filed under Dining, Just Talking, New York, Opinion

January 3, 2008

Too Much Government, Dagnabbit!

Now that Channukah, Christmas and New Year’s have come and gone and I’ve recovered sufficiently from a rather active New Year’s Eve to take a poke at this keyboard again with some semblance of coherence…

First, being a smoker, I need to pitch a brief bitch about the no-smoking-in-bars law that was moved up from this coming summer to the day before yesterday (1 January, 2008) here in Illinois. I read all these pieces about fellow smokers facing the tribulations of having to step outside the bar, into the Chicago winter (if I’m not mistaken, it’s less than 10 degrees outside as I type this), to smoke a cigarette. They speak of everything from purchasing ear muffs and extra scarves to giving up the tobacco habit.

For me, this just means I won’t go to any bars other than those in restaurants where I’m having dinner with friends, and I’ll abstain until after I leave the establishment. I simply won’t hang out at my favorite watering hole any more, or any other local drinkeries, for that matter. So I’ll save a couple of hundred bucks a week.

Then there’s this other law that kinda’ sorta’ went into effect without my even knowing about it: I noticed, over the duration of my last carton of Chesterfield Kings, that the durn things kept going out on me when I laid them in the ashtray (more of my cigarettes spend time in the ashtray than they do being smoked, as I light up most while I’m on-line, blogging, reading, commenting, etc). It seemed that there was a problem with the paper — so I called Phillip Morris to inquire, and they informed me that certain states (including Illinois) had adopted a law requiring that all cigarettes sold in them had to have the paper thickened so that they go out when they’re not being smoked. This was explained as a measure to prevent cigarettes from starting fires. Right. Okay. Whatever. I search-engined the law and read all the statistics. Fine. Ram it.

It’s sure nice to have government entities, be they local, state or federal, protecting us from ourselves. I mean, what would we do without intrusive government? Let’s make things really easy: Let’s simply shitcan the Constitution altogether. Who needs it, right? Today’s politicians apparently haven’t read it, anyway, so why bother to perpetuate its existence?

Having gotten that out of the way, let’s move on to the meat of this post:

Just like that–like flipping a switch–Congress and the president banned incandescent light bulbs last month. OK, they did not exactly ban them. But the energy bill passed by Congress and signed by President Bush sets energy-efficiency standards for light bulbs that traditional incandescent bulbs cannot meet.

The new rules phase in starting in 2012, but don’t be lulled by that five-year delay. Whether it’s next week or next decade, you will one day walk into a hardware store looking for a 100-watt bulb–and there won’t be any. By 2014, the new efficiency standards will apply to 75-watt, 60-watt and 40-watt bulbs too.

So now the government is dictating what kind of light bulbs will be available to us, cost be damned.

As a disclaimer, I will say that I use compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) for the simple reason that I dislike pedestrian hassles, especially being a high ceilings kind of guy, and the spiral bulbs mean not having to change a light bulb for a really long time.

However, I don’t believe that CFLs should be forced on the public, like it or not. They are significantly more expensive, for one thing, and for another, as was bandied about the Blogosphere several months ago, they bring a serious element of risk into the household.

Brandy Bridges heard the claims of government officials, environmentalists and retailers like Wal-Mart all pushing the idea of replacing incandescent light bulbs with energy-saving and money-saving compact fluorescent lamps.

So, last month, the Prospect, Maine, resident went out and bought two dozen CFLs and began installing them in her home. One broke. A month later, her daughter’s bedroom remains sealed off with plastic like the site of a hazardous materials accident, while Bridges works on a way to pay off a $2,000 estimate by a company specializing in environmentally sound cleanups of the mercury inside the bulb.

With everyone from Al Gore to Wal-Mart to the Environmental Protection Agency promoting CFLs as the greatest thing since, well, the light bulb, consumers have been left in the dark about a problem they will all face eventually – how to get rid of the darn things when they burn out or, worse yet, break.

So here we’re talking about government regulation requiring families and individuals to purchase and install in their dwellings common objects (unless, of course, they have no problem with living in the dark) that present potential health hazards.

Now, I’m not a litigious person, but…

… if the government can impose this upon the masses, then the masses should, by all means, be able to sue the government, big time, in the event that these CFLs, once they’re the only game in town, present the problem they did for Brandy Bridges. Instead of the citizen with no remaining freedom of choice paying for the clean-up, let Uncle Sam pay for it. After all, Uncle is forcing the situation on us, and doing so by ignoring the Constitution and the very principles of freedom that our founding fathers bestowed upon us.

December 29, 2007

Thoughts On Lawyers

Attorneys are an integral part of our Constitutional legal system. That is, they are as necessary under our form of government as are litter boxes to cat owners, composters to serious gardeners, carpet stain removers to hotel housekeeping departments or grease traps to restaurant kitchens.

There are a lot of honest, hard-working lawyers out there, but there seem to be an equal or greater number who are parasites that prey on any situation they can in as despicable, sleazy and dishonorable a fashion as they need to in order to milk the most money possible out of said situations.

These latter include liberal trial lawyers whose victimization of defendants via manipulation of the legal system has created a litigious atmosphere (and cottage industry) in this country that has businesses and individuals investing large sums of money and man hours in protecting themselves from frivolous lawsuits. One biproduct of this is a lot more work for lawyers who enjoy large retainers on the defensive side of the equation.

One thing I don’t miss, spending a paucity of time nowadays in front of the television, is all those commercials you see for law firms that specialize in sueing companies. You know, “if you’ve ever worked for a company that employed (name the chemical or compound) in their manufacturing process, you may be entitled to a significant cash award. Call Joe Schmoe Law Associates at 1-800… Now!”, or that tele-ambulance chaser’s ad a few years back that ended with an obvious welfare case bragging that “Ah got five thousand!”

These unscrupulous toilet cakes have corrupted our courts, severely damaging and making a mockery of our legal system for the sole motive of making money for themselves. Now don’t get me wrong, greed is good in its own arena, but these people are “officers of the court”. They are licensed to practice law, not to twist it and bend it according to their financial desires, nor to make victims of law abiding individuals, hospitals or business firms for the purpose of personal gain.

Also of the same low degree are attorneys found at such political institutions as CAIR and the ACLU. The former use the threat of lawsuits whose legal costs alone would bankrupt the average citizen as a way of stifling freedom of speech, the latter use lawsuits against all levels of government in order to stifle religious expression.

I won’t even go into the prophalactics who make careers of specialization in defending sexual predators, celebrity murderers, terrorists or drug traffickers.

But the sleaze doesn’t end at private sector level. It also seeps into the courts themselves, in the form of activist judges who legislate from the bench by way of decisions that reflect their own political agendas rather than the letter of the Constitution or even the will of The People. Remember, also, that these judges are lawyers, and if the “loser” in one of those politically motivated decisions needs to appeal to a higher court, such as SCOTUS, one or more lawyers will make a lot of money representing him/her/them on the appeal.

Moving right along, we go upstairs to the attorneys who become politicians and find their respective ways into lawmaking capacities.

The Senate. State or U.S., take your pick.

Think about that — lawyers making the laws.


While it makes sense (musicians make music, engineers engineer, artists create art, writers write, designers design, etc)… I mean, pornographers create pornography, so why shouldn’t lawyers be allowed to create laws?…

Sidebar, as they call a conference at the bench between opposing lawyers and a judge: I am reminded of the term nepotism, only changed to replace family members with colleagues.

Back from sidebar: The more laws these lawyers in elected office enact and the more technically complicated they make them, the more work they generate for fellow lawyers and for themselves as well, in the event that they lose an election and have to go back into private practice.

We have are a society ruled not by government, per se, but by lawyers.

With that thought in mind, I need a good, stiff drink….

by @ 2:52 pm. Filed under Assholes, Just Talking, Opinion

July 18, 2007

“La Reconquista”, Indeed

The very idea of Mexico reclaiming the U.S. southwest is one of the dumbest I’ve ever heard –

La reconquista, a radical movement calling for Mexico to “reconquer” America’s Southwest, has stepped out of the shadows at recent immigration-reform protests nationwide as marchers held signs saying, “Uncle Sam Stole Our Land!” and waved Mexico’s flag.

– nothing to do with the possibility or lack thereof of its eventual success, but what could be expected if these ambitions ever did come to fruition.

To figure that out, we need look no farther than Mexico’s history and the track records of their political leadership from the beginning until now.

If these idiots had their way, our southwest would only join the rest of Mexico, inheriting, eventually, its profound corruption and widespread poverty.

Then the usual suspects would resume sneaking in across the altered borders, and the same old immigration debate would once again be recycled, seeking any solution that doesn’t involve enforcing the law.

On another note…

In the event that any readers decide they would like their own geographic change of pace, Brenda has emailed me a novel way to go.

by @ 6:26 am. Filed under Opinion

November 4, 2006

Remember Clinton’s War?

You know, the one Germany and some other Euro countries got us into because they wanted more EU say-so in the Balkans? You know, the one in which the late Mr. Milosevic, the one they tried for five years in the aftermath and could convict of nothing was “ethnically cleansing” the Muslim population while the Muslim population did the same to non-Muslims? Yeah, that one, the one way street where Clinton felt it was just fine for Muslims to ethnically cleanse to their hearts’ content, as long as Milosevic could not?

We and several other countries really did the Muslims a favor there, helping them to practice their Islam on Christian Serbs with a minimum of interference.

Julia Gorin’s got a present day perspective up at JWR’s Political Mavens, done in her own uniquely humorous-yet-to-the-point style that bears a read, here.

October 29, 2006

The Democrats And Taxes

According to such cartoon characters as Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats, should they manage to get enough of their fellow travellers elected so as to have a majority in the House of Representatives, with Pelosi expected to become Speaker of the House (well, Halloween is almost upon us, so what’s a good scare among friends?), one of the first priorities of the Democrats will be to stamp out the Bush tax cuts and roll back our taxes to 1990s levels.

If I were an enemy of the state, I would utterly destroy my hands applauding this ambition. Unfortunately, I am a patriot who loves America, to say nothing of the fact that I am also an American who lives and pays taxes here, so I must convey the blatant fact that I am not a fan of this intended tax increase.

I understand the Democrats’ need to tax me into the ground. Well, not exactly understand it, per se, but I realize that the Democrats have a serious problem with their fellow Americans being able to keep some of the money they earn and are fixated on the concept of raising taxes whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Some people are into sky diving, some people collect butterflies, some people are passionate stamp collectors, some people love archery, some tennis, some throwing rocks at passing cars, some surfing porn websites, some collecting sea shells, some climbing trees, others mountains…. Democrats are into raising taxes. It’s what they do, just as sucking blood is what mosquitos do, or what leeches do.

It’s not their fault, it’s simply who they are.

They particularly like to tax those who are successful, like the rich and like large, prosperous corporations, and are very much like Robin Hood — they take from the rich, and give to the poor. It makes them feel good — hell, it makes them feel great — stripping a big company of its investment capital plunges them into ecstasy.

Back in the 1980s, during the Reagan Administration, the greatest President in my lifetime stopped the bloodsucking practice of penalizing American business for its success, allowing it to keep its investment capital in order to put it to work, and lo and behold, despite the Democrats’ criticism of what they fondly referred to as Reaganomics, our economy exploded into a dynamo of successful professionals, low unemployment, newly created millionaires and prosperous companies.

This trend continued through the Bush 1 Administration, but then, alas and alack, American voters sent Bill Clinton, a Democrat, off to the White House.

Keeping to the sacred tradition of Democrats, he raised taxes, as usual targeting the rich.

Before the end of his second term (he was actually reelected, go figure!), we were plunged into recession. The unemployment rate soared, businesses struggling to stay afloat transferred record amounts of their production to outsourced labor pools and after Algore, Clinton’s Veep, lost the 2000 presidential election to George W. Bush, the newly elected President engendered massive tax cuts.

Naturally the Democrats, dismayed that Americans were being permitted to keep more of their earnings, mounted yet another of their innumerable bumper-sticker friendly campaigns — “The Republicans have given tax cuts to the rich, screwing the poor as always!”

That was worth, at the very least, a good chuckle, since every American taxpayer was entitled to the cuts. The Democrats somehow managed, once realizing that they really couldn’t produce any low income working folks who were being either neglected or recieving the fid, cited poor people on welfare and other premature social security venues who weren’t benefiting from the tax cuts, the fact that these people didn’t pay any income tax to begin with notwithstanding… they actually forced the government to give something “back” to these noncontributors as well.

Meanwhile, the tax cuts enabled corporate America and smaller business people to use the “surplus” equity to expand existing business and create new enterprises.

The result has been a major rebound in our economy and a serious decrease in the unemployment rate that is still adjusting downward. America is again flourishing!

But let’s not be too confident, friends, okay? We still haven’t had this year’s elections, so we don’t actually know where we stand.

We’re pretty confident about holding a Republican majority in the Senate, but there has been a lot of negative conjecture regarding the House majority after 7 November. Personally, I believe we’ll hold our majority there, as well, though we’ll have a few less seats.


Should the Democrats gain a majority in the House Of Representatives, they will raise taxes, and you can bet your bottom dollar, assuming you still have one, that the late 1990s recession will return even more quickly than it went away.

Of course, the Democrats will find a way to blame Bush….