December 17, 2006

Yeah, I Know, You Can't Depend On Anybody....

.... these days.

I've pretty much learned that the hard way, belonging to a conservative blogger group.

I recently did a post {re the Air Force Academy} whose comment thread would have been well aided by a member of this group who had been there, done that, so to speak, and he pretty much shined me on, even though I requested his help.

As a result, I will no longer affiliate myself with the group, because I know that they are bogus allies.

No more alliances for this kid, I've learned my lesson.

Right at this moment, I'm listening to Songs Of Leonard Cohen and taking a break from working on my house for the tenant who will be here after the first of the year.

I actually plan to make a lot of changes -- I need to bring in some outside help.

Despite a friend's help in hooking me up with Haloscan trackbacks, that's not working either, except for the very first trackback, I get none. (Googling my blog, I learn this) and neither is the help I thought I was getting in blocking spambots.

Bottom line: I can't depend upon anyone I know via the Internet. Whether or not it's their fault, they simply don't or can't deliver.

In short, I can't guarantee my longevity at Hard Astarboard -- I am becoming so frustrated at so many things that, well.... Let's put it this way: I'm not a computer dude. I use a computer, but to me the technical details are pretty much like Sanskrit.

If I could get away with it, my home phone would have a rotary dial.

All that said, we will see what develops....

Posted by Seth at 09:48 PM | Comments (16) |

November 13, 2006

Ruminating, Or Something....

When I was much younger, and I stress much here, in my mid to late twenties, I was one of those people who had absolutely no clue as to what I wanted to do with my life. As a kid, I’d always wanted to be a geologist, as a young adult, a journalist. I began to follow the latter course in college, but events occurred that interrupted that endeavor.

Following said events, I spent a few years roaming around the country. I lived very much hand to mouth, getting bored easily with whatever I was doing and moving on. I worked as a tugboat deckhand, a roustabout and then a roughneck on a few offshore oil rigs, I did general labor, peeled bricks, blended coffee, did construction labor, laid bricks, did pipe yard labor and various other things, often living an “if I don’t work today, I don’t eat tonight” existence. There was also some retail management in the mix, heh, and some loss prevention work, as well as a stint as an undercover rent-a-cop. I spent a short time living in a flophouse and lived in some pretty sleazy hotels. After all that, I worked in the Commodities business on Wall Street (back then, when computers weren’t following you all over the country and can’t-do ignoramuses hadn’t yet turned Human Resources into an industry that does more harm than good for Corporate America, it was pretty easy to jump from one scenario to another), spent the early 1980s therein, also running a mail order business and dealing in Persian rugs at the same time, and again got bored, only I was then in much better financial shape to take a hiatus and again look for what I really wanted to do.

It arrived, at long last, after two interesting years of traveling around without the stress of survival concerns – I went to work in an entry level position in casino security in Nevada and advanced pretty rapidly, floor officer to undercover officer to investigator to shift supervisor. The Security Director, an ASIS member and a great believer in absorbing information got me into the same mode, and I eventually left the casino and went into freelance work, in executive protection and consulting as I explored various other areas of the Protection Industry, kept on learning and expanding my areas of expertise. A couple of additional “hiatuses” and a lot of clients, countless seminars, workshops and conferences later, I’m in pretty good shape.

This piece of biography I’m sharing is being shared for a reason:

To point out the following – when I blog about issues involving day-to-day life and the situations of low income workers and so forth, I am not speaking from the position of those people who do all their talking from columns of government figures, pie charts, graphs and so-called “statistical data” – I’m speaking as someone who has been around the block on the graphic reality end of things. It’s very easy for someone who’s always maintained a level state of financial security and pursued the same career since college to opine on subjects he or she has not only no firsthand knowledge of, but hasn’t been within a zillion miles of same.

In short, I’ve lived a pretty full life.

That said, one thing my younger years taught me was that I am very definitely a survivor. I don’t share the fear so many others have of being stripped of everything I own and tossed into the street, so to speak, because I know that even at the half century mark, I have the natural instincts and the marketable asset value to “make a comeback”. You can’t keep a good Seth down.

Another product of my rather adventurous younger years is a penchant for seeing humor where most others might see only tragedy. I suppose that when you’ve had your share of hard times with no one to blame but yourself, your outlook on life changes. You often feel like you’re as much a spectator as a participant in life.

You learn to laugh at yourself, and at the idiocies of others.

I view politics thus: I am a patriot, I believe in the Constitution as it was written and I cherish my liberty, but when I watch our political leaders, the people my fellow Americans and I vote into office do what politicians do, I must admit I get a big charge out of much of it. You get streetwise, you find you see through all the passionate bullshit the politicians project from their rostrums and you laugh when they make what they, and the vast majority of those reading their quotes or listening to them speak take completely to heart.

You laugh at mainstream media spin and you laugh at outrageously off the wall declarations by idiots like Jack Murtha, John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, the Admiral of Chappaquiddick, et al. You laugh, even knowing that they are now in a position to give this country the biggest fid in the history of the universe.

Why? Well, in this case, why cry? The Republicans in Congress let us down and got themselves fired in large numbers, so now the southpaws rule the roost. That’s it. Done deal. Nothing we can do about it until this month in 2008, while we’re also deciding who we want to be the CEO of the government.

The next two years will be fraught with legislation that runs in utter contradiction to what America’s founding fathers intended for this country. What those folks intended served us quite well for a couple of centuries, give or take, and was respected by both of our major political parties before a bunch of liberals decided that they needed to dismantle it all, and began subjugating the once great Democratic Party for their own ends.

In the next two years, we’ll see our taxes increase significantly, very possibly a return to the recession of the late 1990s and early 2000s, we’ll see once again a French (spit!) like cut-and-run from a war that will sell out several million people who trusted us to see them through and lead to a bloodbath not unlike that our withdrawal from Vietnam left in its wake, and a resulting emboldenment of terrorists to once again attack targets right here in the good ole U.S. of A. We’ll see them aided and abetted by the Democrats via “revision” of the Patriot Act. Perhaps we’ll also see the Democrats win the War On Fetuses, see the floodgates open for Mexico to empty its unemployed and unemployable into the U.S.

So, yes, I’ll be laughing quite a bit in sheer amusement, because of

a) The idiocy of my fellow voters in “punishing” the Republicans in Congress by replacing them with Democrats
b) The idiocy of the soon to be realized agendas of a political party that claims to have America’s best interests at heart
c) The idiocy on the part of the Democrats in blowing their first majority in a dozen years over a period of less than two.

You see, this is my own point of view: You voted for it, you deserve it. For those who voted Democrat who have no real money in the bank or in investments, or equity they can live on for some time without a paycheck, you deserve whatever happens to you in the next two years, no sympathy from me. I would rather laugh at you than give you a quarter.

Those of us who weren’t gullible enough to vote in the Democrat majority will deal with it, confident in the fact that in far less than two years most Americans will realize their mistake and in November 2008, vote to starboard. I only hope that those who voted to the right last Tuesday are financially prepared for the coming Democrat economy.

As for me, I’m heading into the kitchen to do a 1.6 lb porterhouse, marinated in my own chiante, olive oil and garlic marinade, and a big pile of from-scratch garlic mashed potatoes.

Then read some more articles and posts that abound of that which the Democrats have thus far said and done in preparation for January, since winning their congressional majority, and chuckle some more. ...

Posted by Seth at 08:36 PM | Comments (47) |

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....

Posted by Seth at 04:27 PM | Comments (29) |

October 24, 2006

4 A.M. Relaxation And Thoughts On Israel

So I'm just sort of kicking back at 0400 hours, playing with my new Firefox download -- I haven't yet(after what, 10 months?) figured out how to adjust my blog clock to the east coast, so the time of this post will appear as a zillion hours or so earlier.

I have my MusicMatch library running some Bangles through my great Logitech speakers, stuff like September Gurls and my all time favorite song by that awesome group, Return Post.

I'm thinking about the present situation in Israel -- the Hamas rejects and Fatah squaring off to blow each other away, both sides arming up. Okay, so this isn't as unusual among Arab Muslims as it might be among normal, 21st Century human beings -- we discuss, they destroy. Western diplomacy consists mostly of a bunch of over-educated assholes sitting around a table engaged in two-faced, multisyllabic dialogue, but at least they usually come to some sort of agreement that preserves the peace. Arabic diplomacy is just a bit different: It usually means a lot of explosions and hot lead flying in many directions, and lots of people "expiring". The diplomats that most effectively get their points across are those that kill the most diplomats on the opposite side of whatever disagreement happens to be on the table are considered the best diplomats, even though they, personally, don't have to wax anybody.

The flotsam that lives to butcher innocent women and children are the true warriors of Islam.

The very idea that the Bush Administration wants these people to have a sovereign state is beyond me, but GWB is the President, so I suppose he must know what he's doing. Excuse me, I have to go to the head....

I think I'll let a great blog I recently discovered and blogrolled called Morning Coffee give us an update.

Meanwhile, the combatively challenged Prime Minister Olmert has agreed to bring a "hardliner" onto his team in order to avoid a slide into ruin for his own ill conceived Kadima party, one Avigdor Lieberman, and thank G-d for him, and his Israel Beiteinu Party. Lieberman's own point of view as to how to get things done is fractionally different than the politically correct Ehud Olmert's, maybe a mere 180 degrees, at most. Not too much. Did I say "thank G-d for him"?

My own model scenario would be for Fatah and Hamas to kill each other off in the civil war that seems to be brewing between the two corrupt terrorist factions that are the sum total of the so-called "Palestinian" entity, leaving a few necessarily reasonable Arabs who might be willing to assimillate themselves into the Israeli population and allow the Jewish State to get on with living in peace and prosperity, but that's probably too much to hope for....

Posted by Seth at 11:59 PM | Comments (11) |

October 09, 2006

Chickens Come Home To Roost

While this situation is pretty screwed up, I find it more than a little amusing, as I always do when I see businesses of any size finding illegal practices, whether for "cost efficiency" or corner cutting purposes, coming back to bite them on the derriere.

Illegal immigrants who worked at Café Express in Houston and two other cities in Texas have sued the chain and Houston law firm Boyar & Miller P.C. for negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and other allegations related to the filing of employment certification paperwork.

According to the lawsuit, filed in Dallas Country District Court, Boyar & Miller and Café Express, a unit of Wendy's International Inc., missed a 2001 deadline to file paperwork that could have allowed the illegal immigrants to become U.S. citizens. Wendy's was also named in the suit.

First, the Wendy's subsidiary had criminal aliens working on their payroll before some dimwit politicians tampered with our immigration laws to begin with, setting a filing deadline to grant legal status to illegal immigrants -- basically trespassers, if you want to get technical -- based on employer sponsorship.

Second, they subtracted money from these criminal aliens' paychecks every week to cover the necessary representation by an American law firm.

Third, the law firm screwed the pooch by failing to file the documentation they were required by their clients to file by the deadline.

Fourth, even after the legal eagles missed the deadline, their paychecks continued to be debited for the representation they weren't receiving.

Fifth, the Wendy's unit, Cafe Express, took what they saw to be their only recourse and fired the criminal aliens involved.

My own feelings are mixed, here:

A) I don't believe that people who aren't even in this country, let alone working, legally should be entitled to sue in our courts, but,

B) Seeing as Cafe Express, and by extension Wendy's, had these illegals on their payroll prior to any sponsorship filing legislation, knowing that doing so violated federal law, and

C) Failed to meet obligations for which they'd been taking these peoples' money every week,

I believe that both Cafe Express and Wendy's should get it up the kazoo, big time -- there need to be both heavy monetary penalties and the folks who knowingly hired the criminal aliens need to go to jail, but at the same time I see no reason to allow the aliens involved to sue in our court system. I believe the law firm that shirked their obligations needs to pay some kind of price for failing to discharge duties for which they were, while not producing, continuing to accept fees, and that the criminal aliens involved need to be sent packing. After all, at the end of the day, the fact remains that they knew up front that they were here illegally.

Basically, that whole sorry lot needs a good, solid slapping down.

It will be both interesting and, to me, highly entertaining to see how this mess develops....

Posted by Seth at 01:59 PM |

August 07, 2006

From The U.N. To Israel: BOHICA

That's right, Israel, BOHICA {Bend Over, Here It Comes Again}.

Once again, the U.N. is talking "cease-fire", and despite earlier support for Israel's purely defensive military incursion into Lebanon, even the Bush Administration, partnering with, of all countries, France (spit!) is going with the program. They've held off on finalizing a cease-fire plan, awaiting input from a delegation of Arab nations' representatives.

The reason for "international community" concern over the war between Israel and Hezbollah is based on death and destruction in Lebanon. Had Israel been the recipient of the same degree of death and destruction, there would be crickets chirping in Turtle Bay -- except behind the closed doors of the offices of many a delegation, where there would be much hand wringing and good cheer at the prospect of the "inconvenient" Jewish state being finally irradicated.

I've been outspoken on this issue for a long time, and will continue to be.

Every time the Israelis tire of being victimized by terrorism and set out to do something about it, the Euro/ U.N./ MSM axis immediately goes to work condemning them for "initiating more violence", as though the Islamic terror machine has done nothing to deserve even a hard look.

So they're beating the shit out of southern Lebanon -- this is where Hezbollah rules the roost, where they receive strong support from the civilian population that is now paying the price in collateral damage for said support of a terrorist organization. A civilian population that apparently has no compunction about sharing their habitat with Hezbollah missile launchers, arsenals and armed terrorists. A civilian population that has voted the terrorist organization into government offices and considers them a viable political party. A civilian population that sings the praises of the same terrorist organization, rejoicing in its perceived victories that are inevitably composed of nothing more than the butchery of "infidels", principally Israeli Jews.

We seem to have "forgiven and forgotten" their little mass murder in a Marine barracks a little over two decades ago. Well, I shouldn't say "we", because I sure haven't, even if our politicians, the mainstream media and, naturally, our liberals (I'm sure most of the latter were more inclined toward "attaboys" and "way to go's" at the time, anyway) have.

Of course, now that the U.S. has reneged on its earlier support of Israel's military campaign and joined the ranks of the toilet cake nations in working toward a cease-fire (thanks again, George, ever since we reelected you, you've been letting us down, big time, on a number of issues -- I mean look, Hezbollah is the west's enemy as well as Israel's, and grinding them to a collective bloody pulp would be an important victory in the Global War On Terror), we can pretty much count on "business as usual".

We pressure Israel to stand down. They stand down. The head cheese in Beirut demands that the IDF vacate southern Lebanon, and the U.N. agrees. They vacate. The U.N. posts a "peace-keeping" force in southern Lebanon -- there's already been one there for years, but they seem to have spent all their time playing Parcheezi or something, because they sure as hell haven't been keeping any peace -- Hezbollah has been allowed to multiply and flourish, stockpile weapons and train without any interference. So a new and just as impotent U.N. "peace-keeping" force enters the picture.

Hezbollah regroups, and the status quo is back to normal, a terrorist army sitting on Israel's border.

And then the cycle recommences and continues until the next time Israel is forced to defend itself, and the U.N. again steps in....

{Israel, see BOHICA, above}

The Lebanese president whines about the damage Israel is doing to his country, its infrastructure and its economy. Why wasn't he whining about a terrorist organization running a third of his country? Why didn't he take steps to disarm and/ or abolish Hezbollah? Could it be that like most Arab Muslims, he was behind the anti-Israeli terror org 100%?

Well, hey, dude, guess what? There's a price tag attached to everything we do, and the trauma your country is presently experiencing is the cost of doing business with Hezbollah.

If you want my honest opinion -- even if you don't, you're gonna get it -- the idea of Lebanese sovereignty is a joke! I mean c'mon, they themselves have enabled their country to become a battle field for disparate non-Lebanese factions. They've permitted Iran to sponsor Hezbollah on their turf as though they were some rental meeting hall -- does the term "whore" come to mind? -- and allowed the terrorist organization to become entrenched in the very fabric of their society, effectively granting Hezbollah "second government" status.

Now they have to pick up the tab, and the "international community" needs to live with it, period.

Posted by Seth at 11:13 PM | Comments (5) |

July 31, 2006

Speculation On Muslim Proneness To Violence

First, let me give credit, where credit is due, to Always On Watch, whose references linked me to posts, in sequence-of-events order, at three really good blogs, here, here and here.

Thanks, AOW, you really got me to thinking about this.

We're at war, although you won't hear much about it from the left, with fundamentalist Islam.

This war isn't merely a war between people whose Sabbaths fall upon different days, it is a war between two profoundly different moralities. One advocates strangling your wife if she goes to the corner for a quart of milk and forgets to bring a male family member along. It experiences no problem with sacrificing innocent people as human shields for use as propaganda against its enemy, or of committing suicide in order to murder a few women and children, with an occasional toddler, just because.

The other side is our side, at least those of us who believe in liberty and justice {boy, did that sound noble!}, ahem. Um, ahem! .... or simple human decency.

All that said, what I started thinking about after reading about the Texas incident in the first above link, from Eyes All Around, was "what if the shooter was just a maniac who happened to be of Arabian descent?"

I don't know how many western born and parented readers have actually gotten to know any Arab Muslim immigrants (I don't mean as "how do you do" while walking your dogs, I mean as actually sociallizing with one anothers' families, etc). I'll wager that most have barely if ever even seen the inside of said Muslims homes, let alone relaxed in the living room with their missus and kids in evidence.

I've begun to wonder about this immediate attribution to jihad that becomes the immediate issue whenever an Arab goes on a murder spree.

I've found myself theorizing that a significant portion of Islam's violence output isn't necessarily religious, but instead employs religion as an excuse to destroy and murder, some strain of hereditary mass emotional disorder. I mean, a religious doctrine that literally revolves around mass murder in order to achieve its objectives must leave quite an interesting impression on its followers, especially if they've grown up among a society of fellow psychotics whose religious leaders and other teachers have been preaching them a menu of intolerance and hate since they were old enough to pay attention. No, no, I'm not by any means attempting to play the liberal "it's not this poor, hard-done-to creature's fault that he murdered all those people, it's society's fault game, I'll leave to the same idiots who believe street crime is the fault of the proletariat rather than that of the actual criminal. I chose the word "proletariat" because I want those who kollektively believe that way to feel also at home.

No, I'm from the school of thought that believes that a mad dog must be put down for the good of the community.

Imagine growing up in an Arab Muslim society. Here is a people who ceased to advance socially some fourteen centuries ago. Their issue from the days of the child molester Mohammed has grown up in a world that has been passing them by, a generation at a time, for 1400 years. The only reason they know about flushable commodes is that western countries taught them how to recover their oil, and made them rich. Today, only because they were born atop lots of black gold, instead of choosing between a dromedary and a bactiary, they can choose between a convertible and a hard top.

So yeah, I can see why centuries worth of a civilization like that unchanging, inflexible dogma of the religiously defined Muslim Middle East could have produced millions of mental basket cases over the centuries, each raising a crop of their own.

What other community, even in civilized countries, explodes into such violent, destructive riots and rampages, the tantrums from hell, over the slightest percieved offense? What other community will hang a retarded teenage girl for being taken advantage of by some sexually opportunistic adult aged grease bag? What other community bestows honor upon parents because their children sacrificed their lives to blow up innocent women and children? How many other societies raise children capable of torturing, mutilating and beheading others with the same casualness the rest of us might identify with going grocery shopping?

My point is that as in the case of the drive-by doctor, perhaps we needn't necessarily read jihad into his actions: Perhaps they were simply a biproduct of an Arab Muslim's inherited mental instability, as may be the sudden, reasonless violent acts of many other Arab non-members of Muslim terrorist organizations.

These are a people who have proven themselves unfit to coexist, given their collective demonstrations of bloody and senseless violence, on the same planet with civilized human beings. They are social and emotional troglodytes whose religious beliefs, like them, belong centuries in the past, and as long as we share the planet with them their violence will continue to threaten the rest of us.

Tell me I'm a bigot, call me racially insensitive, call me whatever you like, but to ignore what is coming out of the Middle East to infect the west is no figment of anybody's imagination. It's there, it's an in-your-face threat to the safety of the innocent and it lives inside all too many of the "dark complexioned Arab males" you pass on the street or otherwise encounter every day, the ACLU and CAIR protected species about whom you can say no wrong without being termed a racist.

Posted by Seth at 08:48 PM | Comments (7) |

May 20, 2006

The Da Vinci Code

That's it, I have to speak my piece!

What prompted me to do so was this WSJ Opinion Journal Op-Ed by deputy editor/ columnist Daniel Henninger, not because I take umbrage with the man's point of view, in fact I think I know where he's coming from --

"The Da Vinci Code" would not be the subject of this column had it not sold 60.5 million copies, according to its publisher Doubleday. Of course this does not make it the best-selling book of all time. That title, as irony would have it, goes to the Bible, half of which one of Dan Brown's characters dismisses as "false."

-- but because all this hoopla, much of it mind-bogglingly senseless, over the novel... I say again, novel, is becoming something of an irritant and Mr. Henninger's column on the subject was merely the proverbial straw that broke the equally proverbial camel's back(I've never completely understood that saying, given the weight of straw -- I didn't think they manufactured camels big enough to reasonably balance enough weight in straw to break them, certainly not so much that one more of those ultralight, skinny suckers could do so).

I regularly receive emails from a number of conservative individuals and organizations, in large part Christian political action groups and their members or supporters, and from the latter quarter I've gotten a lot of action condemning Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code because the story is predicated on Mary Magdelene not only having become the wife of and borne Jesus a child, but also, as the story unfolds, his chief disciple. It doesn't help Brown's cause at all that the person on Jesus' right in Da Vinci's Last Supper isn't a man, but Mary Magdalene herself, nor that the Catholic Church, also according to the novel, knew this but chose to cover it up to the point that even today, assassins from Opus Dei seek Mary's concealed remains and scrolls accompanying them that could repudiate the Vatican's "male only" priest policy(exposing, instead, the concept of "the sacred feminine")... Anyway, I've said too much as it is, there may be someone out there who hasn't yet read it, despite all the controversy.

Needless to say, the Vatican's up in arms, all sorts of clergy spokespersons have spoken in outrage, cults have been established that fanatically support Dan Brown's "theories" and people have been running around in all directions making mammoth hay about the novel.

Mr. Henninger says,

Here's my theory of "The Da Vinci Code." Dan Brown was sitting one night at the monthly meeting of his local secret society, listening to a lecture on the 65th gospel, and he got to thinking: "I wonder if there's any limit to what people are willing to believe these days about a conspiracy theory. Let's say I wrote a book that said Jesus was married. To Mary Magdalene. Who was pregnant at the Crucifixion. And she is the Holy Grail. Jesus wanted her to run the church as a global sex society called Heiros Gamos, but Peter elbowed her out of the job. Her daughter was the beginning of the Merovingian dynasty of France. Jesus' family is still alive. There were 80 gospels, not four. Leonardo DiCaprio, I mean da Vinci, knew all this. The 'Mona Lisa' is Leonardo's painting of himself in drag. Da Vinci's secret was kept alive by future members of 'the brotherhood,' including Isaac Newton, Claude Debussy and Victor Hugo. The Catholic Church is covering all this up." Then Dan Brown said softly, "Would anyone buy into a plot so preposterous and fantastic?" Then he started writing.

By George, he might be right, and I commend the man for sharing this.

They say the film did not perform well at the box office when it opened, but being a reader first and a movie-goer third(I really don't like being packed into a row of movie theatre seats to watch a brand new flick and being denied the luxuries I can enjoy while watching a six month old movie on the 62" TV in my den), I could care less -- that's Opie's, I mean Richie's Ron Howard's lookout, not mine.

But I read the novel back in late 2004 or early 2005, and enjoyed it immensely. The book was well written and held my interest from cover-to-cover, the "theories" advanced intriguing, if not accurate by the standards of conventional faith, the story delivered in conjunction with what Mr. Henninger rightly refers to as a "conspiracy theory" at a pace that kept me interested enough to read the entire novel in one sitting, in the end wishing there were a few more chapters. It was fascinating, Dan Brown is one very creative novelist.

I did not take the novel as anything more than that: A novel. Period. A fiction story, which the author no doubt intended it to be, else he would have left out the story and written the theory behind the book as non-fiction rather than a novel. This is entertainment, nothing more.

A novelist's "job" is to write stories that people will want to read. His/ her income, based on book sales, depends upon it. Offhand, I'd say that selling over 60,000,000 copies in several languages is quite a measure of success in anyone's book, please pardon the double entendre (why is French so hard on the palate? Using their words is like gargling on doo doo, but I suppose that when you're French...).

What aggravates me about the aggressive defensive attacks on the novel by the so-called "religious right", who are as much on the starboard side of the aisle as I am, is the intolerance they demonstrate where a work of pure fiction is concerned.

We are constantly (and rightly) accusing the self proclaimed "tolerant" liberals (you know, those folks who will sue you for saying Merry Christmas or kick your kid out of school for praying) of intolerance, yet here folks on our side of the political frontier wage war and spend big bucks deploying their condemnation of a novel.

For G-d's sake, people, let's get things in perspective here! Let's not exercise the same pro-censorship policies that they do on the left side of the aisle, the American political kollective from whence have come all members of the American Communist Party. Repeat after me: BE TOLERANT... BE TOLERANT... BE TOLERANT...

We are, after all, talking about a damn novel...

Posted by Seth at 03:06 AM | Comments (4) |

April 16, 2006

What's Wrong With Liberals?

With the exception of my Aunt Brenda, who is a conservative Democrat in the mold of those who were around before the liberals took over as the DNC's spokespersons(Hah! A PC term!) and still retains her logic, reason and patriotic attitude, the remaining members of my family are liberals(not me!).

In an email the other day, a cousin of mine who is an attorney and pretty far to the left, evidently, told me he believes we should open our borders to any and all immigrants, legality apparently notwithstanding, who wish to come into the United States. He cited the fact that immigrants have always been dimly viewed for whatever reason, referring to those who came here long ago. My reply was along the lines of what follows herein --

I suppose my entire reply was a rant, telling him that the single most significant reason the liberals' control of the Democratic party has injured it is that liberals tend to gravitate toward the Utopian rather than the real.

Sure, it would be great if we could accept everyone who wants to move here, bring 'em on in!

But, I asked, what happens when we've got everyone on earth who wants to live in the USA here, tens of millions of immigrants who are having a rough time where they are(in the days to which he refers, the combined totals of members of each ethnic group immigrating were a mere fraction of that which we are looking at today, and most entered the U.S. with some semblance of legality)? What about the unemployables and the tens of millions of immigrants whose very presence exceeds available jobs? You know, the ones whose only options will be to get on welfare or starve? What about health care? What about housing?

Liberals don't think about what happens down the road, they only consider the Utopian principles of the now.

"This is nice, so it must be done..."

In order to accommodate the massive immigration these liberals think is acceptable, we would have to readust our economy, big time. Not the least of our adjustments would be off-setting healthcare, after the HMOs became unprofitable, by allowing the government to go with socialized medicine, setting up still another federal bureaucracy(we all know how screwed up that would be in terms of mismanagement, big gubmint having already established a track record thereabouts) and transforming our successful capitalist republic into the same kind of majorly overtaxed, 10+ % unemployed, failing socialist quagmire they're experiencing in the Euro countries.

I can't, having known my cousin since exactly ten years after I was born, even begin to think that he's the Marxist most other true-believing liberals are at heart, or simply someone who hates America and all it stands for(tell me it ain't so!), a member of the "blame America first" system of belief. Here, his being misguided would be highly preferable to my peace of mind.

Of course, the creation of the kind of mess open borders would bring in would mean, as do all socioeconomic messes, more work for lawyers, so perhaps he's thinking like most attorneys do -- the hell with the wellbeing of the country, we must look to our own employment security...

What do you call a busload of lawyers with one empty seat...?

In the open border scenario, taxes would more than double what we pay here and unemployment would become the same nasty joke it is in socialist countries like France. Ouch!

And our own homegrown leftists either don't think about that or simply ignore the concept.

Which sums up liberal doctrine: Mares-eat-oats-and -does-eat-oats, in an ideal world....

They either don't consider the consequences of their Utopian efforts due to a "we need it now(forsaking any thought as to long term penalties for what we do)" or they simply couldn't care less. In my cousin's case, I like to believe that it is the former case, that it's his optimistic instincts kicking in rather than any sense of reality. What a hard call that must be, though, either way -- "feel-good vs reality".

Hmm, tough.

I truly don't want to believe that he may be a member of the mainstream cult of liberals that feel our form of government is obsolete and must, at all costs, be replaced with socialism if not all-out Marxism.

I mean... I mean, WTF!?

Posted by Seth at 09:45 AM | Comments (4) |

March 25, 2006

A Brief Comment

We are constantly reading of nuclear weapons programs, the threat of nuclear weapons programs or evidence thereof as regards such insanely motivated leaderships as those in North Korea and Iran. For the past few years, we've watched as the so-called "Dear Leader" has developed weapons he shouldn't be allowed to have, now we're doing the same with Iran, whose president has made it quite clear that should he have the opportunity, he'll destroy Israel. What better way than with nukes? And this is one of the people who were in charge of the hostage situation at our embassy in Teheran a quarter century ago.

As NK's acquisition of nuclear technology should have been nipped in the bud five or so years ago, so should Iran's today.

It hasn't been and, to judge by the diplomatic baloney thusfar exercised, won't be. Several nations will sign off on meaningless sanctions against Iraq, and the leaders of Iraq will shrug, smile thinly and accept the largesse of Russia and China, whose aims are more along the lines of business than western security issues.

So we've got two unbalanced political regimes, one now armed with nuclear weapons and, presumably, usable delivery systems and another that will soon have them, and a surplus of bullshit impotent diplomacy allowing both tragedies-in-the-making to occur.

I don't blame any western political parties, nor do I find fault with any specific government.... I blame them all -- the fact that these two countries pose, or are about to pose nuclear threats to the western world can be laid squarely in the laps of our government and those of all countries with influence in the U.N. Security Council, regardless of the party of leadership.

There comes a time when talk becomes obviously useless, diplomacy moot and action the only option. This has happened where Kim Jong Il is concerned and now applies to Iran.

But nothing concrete will be done, even the Bush Administration, which is often these days unaccountably mellow when it should be more aggressive with its opposition, will probably go along with the "global community's" dumb, irresponsible, balls-less game, and Iran will have its nuclear weapons.

Posted by Seth at 11:40 PM |

January 31, 2006

Out Of "Left" Field

Now me, I'm not a big TV or movie fanatic, I'm completely disgusted with what the Big 3 are broadcasting these days and have little use for Hollywood's incumbent output. I must admit that I'm not the type to sit through something like Wuthering Heights, if I'm going to suspend my personal productivity, I'd rather watch action flicks or films whose plots possess the hint of danger or violence as they go, or are really funny comedies, the mindless sort of stuff that requires no deep thought, are just pure entertainment.

So here I am, watching a movie called Murder At 1600

I'm a Wesley Snipes fan, which sucks where this film's concerned because it's another lefty propaganda effort.

Ronny Cox is the President.

U.S. airmen are prisoners of North Korea, and are being beaten and otherwise abused by the commies therein on international television. While all his advisers believe we should rescue our military personnel from the bad guys, the President is a peace-at-any-cost kind of guy with a Carteresque attitude towards the situation.

Definitely a Democrat with strong liberal leanings.

A twenty five year old woman is found murdered in the White House, and all the evidence points to the First Son. DC homicide detectives Wesley Snipes, Dennis Miller and Secret Service Agent Diane Lane investigate, despite aggressive pursuit by Lane's own agency, and in the end discover that there is a plot by SecDef and associates to destroy the President via blackmail based on the concept of POTUS' son, a spoiled, lecherous brat, being responsible for the murder in question(a frame-up).

So of course, SecDef and his ilk(read that as the GOP and its minions) are the evil murderers, blackmailers and general scoundrels who mastermind the plot.

Coincidentally, however, the cast includes an assassin named John Kerry and, though the film was made in the 1990s, the First Lady is more reminiscent of Theresa Heinz-Kerry than anyone else.

Heh heh.

Bottom line: The bad guys are war-mongering Republicans whose plan is to blackmail the President into sending troops into North Korea snd rescuing the U.S. military people from the clutches of the commies, then resign.

And this movie came out in the late 1990s, prime Clinton years during which the Presidential attitude was "let our citizens and military personnel be butchered, wherever on the earth they happen to be, we'll take no positive action. We are Democrats, we could care less." Remember Mogadishu?

Clinton's policies as President were not unlike those of Jimmuh Cahtuh, the other recent-decades-Democrat President who allowed U.S. citizens to be held as hostages for months without addressing the situation.

Murder At 1600 was, in short, while being an action film, also another pitiful political jab at conservatives by the amoral, anti-patriotic Hollywood crowd.

The saboteurs of freedom attempting to demean those who protect the United States.


Sounds like today's liberals...

Posted by Seth at 09:55 PM |

January 11, 2006

Bangalorian "Technical Support"

First, whether or not I believe in outsourcing is irrelevant, because it is the right of any private businessman or company to follow the marketplace in pursuit of cheaper labor, less expensive materials or products that can make him or them more competitive.

That said, one would think that these firms could be just a bit more discerning when it comes to outsourcing technical support.

Most tech support for computer users comes out of Bangalore, though some firms, such as Dell and DirecWay, offer U.S. based tech support for corporate or other business accounts. Of course, it's more expensive -- that is, you pay for the luxury of speaking to a fellow American, and recent experience has taught me that it's worth the money.

I had DirecWay come out on Friday and install a satellite dish for broadband access, and set up the modem. Signal strength was good and things seemed to be working when the two installers left, but shortly thereafter problems began, worse than those I've blogged about at some hotels I've stayed at.

I dealt with at least five different Bangalorians in trying to solve my access problem, all in vain.

See, I knew exactly what the problem was, I just didn't know how to fix it. I attempted to explain it to each of them, and there was always the same result: I got myself walked through menus from one end of the universe to the other and back, keyed in scores of numbers and each time, in the end, the person I was talking to assured me my problem was solved, thanked me for calling in a way that sounded like my call was the high point of his very existence, hung up and went back to his bowl of curry.

And my problem remained.

Calling for about the sixth time, I was told by a woman that since I have a business account, I have "special" U.S. based tech support.


I was connected with a fellow gringo in south Florida, where DirecWay keeps 'em, had my problem solved and was off the phone in about ten minutes, as opposed to the fruitless half hour to an hour sessions with the Bangalorians.

What's happening is plain to see: In order to maximize the savings they get from outsourcing, they go for the least qualified, "I need a job, any one will do" people they can find, the only prerequisite apparently being that they can speak somebody's version of "passable English" -- then they give them problem solving guides to a limited number of "most common problems".

So you call up Tech Support and some guy with an Indian accent and an American nic greets you. The problem you need solved isn't included among his computerized flash cards. Even if it was, it might not matter because he has no idea what you're talking about, anyway.

He doesn't tell you this, of course, instead he simply ignores what little he understands of what you're telling him and steers you through a bunch of menus that are totally irrelevant to your problem, but fine for the problems of others that appear on one of the flash cards.

He wastes a whole bunch of your valuable time and solves nothing.

Inflicting such crappy customer service on consumers is not a marketing technique I've ever heard of, and is surely not any way to command a loyal customer base.

Maybe these companies need to try getting less Bangalore for the buck.

Posted by Seth at 06:41 AM | Comments (4) |

December 29, 2005

Showing I.D. To Vote.


ATLANTA - At the end of a losing battle during the past legislative session, Georgia state Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan burst into the civil rights anthem "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around" to protest the passage of a law requiring voters to show a photo ID at the polls.

W, as they say, TF!!!?

In the next session starting Jan. 9, the 27-year-old black Democrat says she will not be moved in her fight to get the law repealed.

"It's whatever it takes," Morgan said. "I'm putting on the armor. Nothing they can do will fix the bill. It's a bad law and it needs to be repealed. We're not going backwards."

Thomas and other black lawmakers know they are in for a battle as Republicans stand determined to defend the law, which requires voters who do not have a driver's license to buy a state-issued ID card for as much as $35 — a fee critics say hurts the poor, the elderly and minorities.

The entire article is here.

First, to establish something we know in advance will be blown up into a racial event{look for appearances by the usual suspects, like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and perhaps even Louis Farrakhan}, this is not a racial issue, and the very idea that low income folks are so poor that they cannot somehow produce enough money for the onetime purchase of state I.D. is ludicrous. I'd also like to point out that there are a whole lot of dirt poor white families in both rural areas and major cities, I happen to have met both examples, so this law does not only require low income minorities to produce picture I.D. at the polls.

I refer you to California; I recently moved from there to the east coast, but I've voted numerous times in San Francisco. My polling place, as a matter of interest, was a Honda dealership at the intersection of Van Ness Avenue and Market Street, which was once the site of Bill Graham's Fillmore West. I used to own a live double album, on vinyl, recorded there by the Allman Brothers' Band.

There, in the lap of the liberal capital of this solar system, I was required to produce both my voter's registration card and... California picture I.D.

Times have changed since the days when you could write a personal check at a store you'd never been to before on the strength of merely producing a checkbook.

Today, the country plays host to millions of illegal aliens who would simply love the opportunity to vote for political candidates sympathetic to their illicit cause(essentially that of allowing them the same rights as documented citizens while allowing them to remain "off the books"), and without adequate identification requirements, a single illegal could make the rounds of every poll in his or her city and vote in every one.

There's also the fact that anyone else could do the same -- vote several times under several different names using identifiers like Social Security cards and utility bills that don't have photos on them.

It's bad enough that each state has its own voting authority that isn't linked to the other forty-nine. Back when Bush defeated Gore in the 2000 election, the Mainstream Media made a big deal about hanging chads in Florida and so forth, accusing Bush of "stealing the election," but they totally ignored the issue of many thousands more liberals from New York, having moved to Florida, voting at polls in Florida while also voting by absentee ballot in New York.

So can the race card, Alicia T. Morgan, the law requiring showing valid picture I.D. at the polls is perfectly justified.

Posted by Seth at 02:01 PM | Comments (2) |

November 26, 2005

A Note To Readers

Anyone who reads the three posts that have, thusfar, constituted the posts I have entered today is welcome to place them in any category they so desire.

Right thinkers such as myself would classify them one way and, no doubt, those whose views are set in the opposing camp will classify them another way.

A liberal Democrat recently referred to my blog as shrill, indubitably because of my undeniable outspokenness where my conservative political beliefs are concerned. This is typical, though.

The left has been attacking nearly every value dear to patriotic or God-worshipping Americans in the course of a merciless, unending and omnipolitical assault-based campaign for many years, a campaign that has intensified profoundly since George W. Bush was elected President and has redoubled since he was reelected.

They have often countenanced rhetoric that any thinking person would consider shameful and extreme.

Yet any conservative forum that refutes their assault on right-thinking doctrine is labelled "shrill," whether reasonable or not.

It is perfectly acceptable to the left to publish opinions that give aid and comfort to the enemy in time of war, to keep racism alive and use it as a political tool and to challenge the very concepts upon which our country is based and has succeeded in order to keep pushing America towards a more socialist and, in the context of the principals upon which our form of government has always existed, an opposite position in the annals of civilization.

Either they just 'don't get it' or their goal is a society in which they no longer enjoy the freedoms they now have.

The left has been demonstrating, for years, that they don't believe in freedom of speech unless it echoes their own beliefs. Just go to most liberal websites and venture a conservative comment. You won't get a balanced argument, you'll get a gang attack by leftist readers lacking in any reasoned argument. Then go to a conservative blog, and find that most of the same types of proponents offer evidence-based arguments.

Yet according to them, they are "reasonable" and we are "shrill."

The left owes the freedom of speech they enjoy to the same factors they want to stomp into oblivion, which is more the pity.

They seek not to encourage debate, but to silence dissent.

Totalitarian regimes discourage freedom of speech(see "but to silence dissent"), seek to take guns out of the hands of citizens(so they are unable to defend themselves against government suppression of their freedom) and remove religion from all public forums(God cannot come between the proletariat and the supremacy of the government). So does the American left.

The aims are the same, yet the left continues their full court press, and either they don't understand what they're pushing on America or they seek to shatter our form of government and plunge us into totalitarianism.


If some uninformed, brainwashed or treasonous American wants to call me "shrill," he is entitled to do so, but I hope for his sake that we never end up in the hell of the kind of government he or she advocates due to pure ignorance of the realities of life.

I think the term "reality" sums up my own views, versus the term "Utopia" that defines the doctrine of the left.

Posted by Seth at 07:44 AM |