Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Welcome to the Lemming Zone

I know the cold shoulder. I know how it feels. I can spot it coming a mile away. I know all the signs that it is being given and I can tell you Iraq has just blown us off. Iraq had to “wash its hair” and missed our date. We have just been stood up and dumped for someone they share more in common with.

George Bush was to meet with Jalal Talabani on Wednesday in Jordan to discuss Iraq’s future. George Bush flew in without any delay and posed for the customary photos with Jordon’s King while awaiting Talabani’s arrival, only he did not show. Instead, Bush was told their two day play date would have to be a one morning meeting. Talabani had other plans.

Meanwhile, in Iran President Ahmadinejad announced that he and Talabani had worked out various deals for Iraqi security. This meeting was held just a few hours before Talabani was to meet Dubya in Jordon to discuss this very subject.
"We discussed in the fields of security, economy, oil and industry. Our agreement was complete," Talabani told reporters. "This visit was 100 percent successful. Its result will appear soon."

But wait, there's more because Wednesday also saw the release of a three page letter from Iranian President Ahmad…whatever. In this letter he recommends we leave Iraq for our own good and concentrate on the Katrina victims. He tells us that Palestine is the central issue that must be dealt with and that Israel are the real terrorists and we are the real supporters of terror in the region.

The man certainly watches a lot of American news, I can tell you that, but he does not understand America or Americans. He thinks he can play on the divisions we foster and nurture amongst ourselves, but he does not realize how we come together when provoked from outside. We may not support Bush, but we will rally behind the President if push comes to shove every time. We are not like the countries he usually deals with that are on the brink of revolution and overthrow. We are America and we eventually do the right thing.

Right now the right thing is for us to leave Iraq. It is time to thank them for the flowers and the candy and come home. We are going to break this country in the name of pride if we keep going this way. They do not want us there and we do not want to be there.

I realize I was saying we needed a draft to deal with Iraq the other day and I still believe we do need a draft, but we also need to now leave Iraq in light of recent events. They have snubbed the nation that saved them for the nation that is killing them. If Iran wants to call it victory then so be it. What other signs are necessary?

The "I Know I am Wrong, But..." Post

I am a fairly left-leaning sort of bloke. I approach every issue armed with logic and reason, but I do tend to still find myself slanted just a tad to the left. It could be because I am left-handed and have an affinity for it the same way my blue eyes influence my preference for things blue. I know this is an Earth-shattering revelation I have just unleashed upon my regular readers, but it is true.

Do you need a few moments to digest this before I continue? Take your time. The reason I am bringing all of this up is that I am about to take a very un-lefty position on a very left-intensive issue: global warming. Just move ahead when you are ready. The words are waiting for you.

See, I do not believe global warming is man-made per say. I think we are influencing it, but not the way most environmentalists do. I find most environmentalists to be more anti-capitalists rather than Earth-savers. Their solutions always rely on someone else doing something, usually some corporation. They think their marching and donations carry their end of the deal as they buy hundreds of tiny plastic bottles of water every year and drive their SUV’s to the corner store to buy them.

Everyone seems to agree that CO2 emissions are the leading cause for global warming. Most people look to cars and industry as the leading CO2 producers, but I tend to think differently. I tend to think over six billon people exhaling creates far more than all the corporations put together. I think we are influencing global warming by our uncontrolled population growth and resource abuse. I mean these 6,000,000,000+ people need places to live, so we simply cut down the forests to make room. We forget trees breathe in CO2.

We talk about a “hole” in the Ozone layer forgetting the basic principles of physics. Ozone is a gas and gases will fill empty space. How exactly can there be a hole in a layer of gas? I am no scientist and could be 100% off base on this one so please correct me (I know you will).

Saving a species from extinction is a very noble thing to do. It makes a person feel good, but are they really helping anything? Species go extinct naturally every day. It is nature’s way of population control. Should we really be trying to save every species with an “endangered species” list? Don’t these species also exhale CO2?

There will be some extremist who stopped reading long ago and will probably post that we should just kill everything and solve the problem. That is not what I am getting at. What I am saying is that we might be saving our foot just to lose the leg. The actions we are doing to fix a problem that we know is a natural cycle could just be accelerating it.

Nature has done a great job of maintaining itself long before we were ever here and it does not need our help. If you want to do something then stop building new houses when there are empty ones, support sex education and stop demanding others do things you are not willing to do. Rats in a cage become hostile as space runs out. Why think we are any different? Notice any more wars lately?

The views expressed here are probably 100% wrong, but they are the things that pop in my head as I read about global warming issues. I posted this because I am hoping someone will be able to help if I am way off base.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

It's a Miami Thing: You Wouldn't Understand

I must be excused for this momentary outburst I am about to have. It is not common I have hometown pride. In fact, I am usually among the first to attack Miami AKA New York the Spanish Sequel. This is my home town after all and I have seen it change over the last 35 years and not for the better. I have every right to complain about this town. If nothing else I am still here, but shame on you if you insult my home from the comfort of someplace else. Shame on you, Mr. Tancredo.

Rep. Tom Tancredo is one of the Republicans to remain in the House after America played maid. His pony’s trick is that he is very anti-illegal immigration and he was in my neck of the woods on this very issue. He was speaking in Palm Beach and used my town as an example of immigration gone awry. His exact words were that Miami “has become a Third World country.''

Let me say “F*ck you very much Mr. Tancredo!" How about coming within the actual city limits of Miami and actually seeing this town before condemning it? I know Republicans are allergic to facts, but come on already.

What exactly makes Miami a third world country? Is it the fact that we are multi-cultural? Is it the fact that areas of Miami are 100% Spanish? I believe New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and numerous other cities have “Chinatown” and “Spanish Harlem” and other such ethnic-centric parts of town. In fact, when I worked in Boulder, Colorado (the state Mr. Tancredo is from) I can honestly say the kitchens I worked in were 100% Mexican. There was no English spoken in the back of those places and none spoken by the busboys.

Maybe it is an economic thing that causes Mr. Tancredo to call my home city a third world country. I know that aside from our insurance rates living in Miami is fairly cheap compared to most other major cities. We have no state income tax for one thing and that is a big thing. Our property taxes are not that high per say and unemployment is relatively low. Things are actually pretty good down here economically. I am a home owner for the first time in my life for example.

There is one reason left for Mr. Tancreepo…sorry, Tancredo to say what he did about my home town: bigotry. He claims that if one were to “just pick it(Miami) up and take it and move it someplace. You would never know you're in the United States of America.” It is true that Miami is a very colorful city. The majority of the population here is Hispanic and Latin culture is dominant here. I always joke that living in Miami is like living in the Melting Pot of America. It is here that all cultures merge and form something unique unto itself. Miami is Miami and there is nothing like it in the world, but third world?

Does Mr. Tancredo believe that a lack of white and black faces makes some place a third world country? Any place that is Spanish must be third world? That is a very bigoted point of view if that is his intent.

''Moreover, the sheer size and number of ethnic enclaves devoid of any English and dominated by foreign cultures is widespread…Frankly, many of these areas could have been located in another country. And until America gets serious about demanding assimilation, this problem will continue to spread.''

Maybe he should take care of his own state first and let those of us in Miami worry about Miami. Those immigrants he is speaking of that do not speak English are mostly Cuban refugees who are not here illegally, but are “guests” of the Federal Government. He needs to remember that America is made up entirely of foreign cultures and should be work on uniting the country instead of this finger pointing hunt for a new scapegoat.

Fundamentally Babbling about Faith

The Christian Coalition is a funny sort of club. They claim to profess a love of Christ, yet spit in the face of his teachings on a regular basis. They are the quintessential “do as I say not as I do”ers. It is not a Christian world they strive for, but just an intolerant one and the recent fiasco over who will lead this group proves this point in spades.

Rev. Joel Hunter was to take over the Christian Coalition of America, but has since declined to do so. The senior pastor from Northland Church in Longwood, Fla. said the reason for his departure from the organization was that he wanted to steer the group towards the actual teaching of Jesus. He wanted the group to focus on poverty and the environment. He wanted the coalition to focus on “issues that Jesus would want us to care about.” They did not agree with his preference for these topics over the group’s standard issues of abortion and gay rights and told him that “'these issues are fine, but they're not our issues, that's not our base”.

If I am to understand this correctly, the Christian Coalition of America has just said that the teachings of Jesus are not their issues and do not reflect their base. Instead they would rather continue to focus on divisive issues that Jesus never spoke on either directly or indirectly. They are admitting that they are not a religious organization, but a political one with political, not spiritual motives. They are the American Taliban plain and simple and their declining the leadership of an honest man of G-d proves this fact.

This rise in fundamentalism world-wide is a serious problem and we are ignoring it mostly. We say it is fundamentalist Islam that is causing problems. We say fundamentalist Christians are intolerant. We say fundamentalist Jews are killing innocents. Why do we not see the common thread is fundamentalism and not the faith attached to it? Why can we not see that it is the ignoring the possibility that our side could be wrong that is causing the most damage, and not what it is we believe?

Are fundamentalist Republicans any less dangerous than fundamentalist Islamists? Are fundamentalist Democrats any better than fundamentalist Christians? Or are all these groups equally distrustful and narrow-minded as the other? Grouch Marx once said that he would not join any group that would have him as a member. I urge all people reading this to take those words to heart.

We are each born with a deep-rooted understanding of right and wrong that only becomes vague and complicated as we age and let others alter what we knew and accept their realities as truth. Gay marriage can only hurt your marriage if you or your significant other leaves to marry someone of the same sex. What your neighbors do will not affect your marriage. Abortion only affects you if you have one. If you do not support it then let other people know why you choose not to support it and let them decide. Freedom means sometimes dealing with things you would rather not.

Playground rules are what I am fundamentalist about: do unto others as you would have them do unto you; share; don’t hit; be honest; worry about what you do and let others worry about what they do. These are the truths we are born knowing and that we forget as we age. Life is hard enough living for one.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Oops, There's No News Again

There is nothing out there today in the world of news. I mean there are stories being reported as news, but very little of it contains any real “news.” I expected to be overwhelmed after my four day news break, but it seems that the news was the one taking a break and not me.

All I can see today are predictions and opinion again. The most dominate story I can find is that Britney Spears has taken to the flash-friendly poses her peers use ever since she began dating Princess Diana Monroe. Yes, the B-Spear has begun hanging out with your favorite and mine, Paris Hilton and is taking lessons in Public Image Tarnishing.

Can the ex-Disney ex-Pop Starlet really do anything to further tarnish her “Toxic” image? She sang “Hit Me Baby One More Time” in a Catholic School girl’s uniform. She teased her breasts more than her tiny cups were worth and then hid the upgrades. She married a back-up dancer with two kids only to file for divorce after giving him two more. Can she really damage that image? Yes, yes she can. The newly soon-to-be single mom has thus far shown off her ample paid for uppers and a quick flash of her coverless lower. The student has caught up with the master and Britney Spears’ return to top searched celebrity status has begun.

I have yet to see the photos and am not really sure I particularly want to. She is in fishnets so that is something, but it is also Britney Spears countering that point. Seeing the good girl B-Spear nude would have been great, but seeing a white trash trailer park refugee’s naughty parts is just not that special. The quintessential “been there/ done that” moment if ever there was one. I mean I used to date a stripper in college.

No, her fantasy girl days are long behind her and no amount of public flashing will help save her. She quit at the high point of her career and the music scene passed her by without a second thought. Her best bet is to take the Vegas deal before they come to their senses and realize that teenage girls are not going to pay enough to support giving her a show there. When the options are gambling, Celine Dion, Prince, Siegfried and Roy, Cirque de Sol, or Britney Spears I cannot see her winning out unless everything else is sold out.

Real News soon I hope. Come on politicians and do something stupid for me. I don’t care what party you are part of. Just give me something.

It's Monday: Welcome Back Reality

I am sitting here right now and it is starting to dawn on me that I really am back at work. My first clue is the fact that I am on the computer without a cigarette dangling from my lips. My second clue is that I am on the computer and not in bed at 10 in the morning. The final big clue is the fact that I am not in my house. Yes, I am definitely back at work or all my co-workers have started camping outside my bedroom door: reality hits hard.

I hope everyone had as great a holiday as I. Yes, there was a fight or two, but that is what family-gathering holidays are for. They bring us together with those we love and those we were cursed to share a name with. They are to remind us why we do not live in the same house anymore and why we only see each other on major holidays. They allow us to blow off steam on a safe target as well. One could say the fight is as much a part of thanksgiving as the turkey. The important thing is the next day after the fight and if that phone call is placed between the warriors. I am happy to say that the calls that mattered were made and the potholes in the road of family joy have been marked and will be avoided next time. Enough said on that…

Since it was a full vacation I am lost as to the status and affairs in the world right now. The updates will begin anew soon. Stay tuned and avoid the cliffs.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Obligatory Thanksgiving “What I am Thankful for This Year” Post

It appears that the obligatory Thanksgiving “what I am thankful for this year” post’s time has finally arrived. You knew it was coming as did I. I did everything I could to postpone it for as long as I could, but I think the time has come to just get it out of the way. We can just rush through it together.

I do not mean to make it sound like a chore. It is an obligation for any blog host to post a thread the night before a major holiday that deals with the day at hand. It is something that must be done and here I go:

1. I am thankful for my family and all their love and support. I am a pain in the ass about as often as I am a joy and I thank you for putting up with me when most people would not and for accepting my flaws with a smile.

2. I am thankful to each and every one of the Lemmings who have found their way home. I really did not know what to expect reaction-wise when I started this blog. I had no idea what I was doing (and still don’t) and you have supported my growth and helped make me a better writer. You have no idea how much your coming here means to me.

3. I am thankful for my friends and all their love and support. I have never had many friends, but always had close ones. I am so lucky to have the group I do. Yes mom, there is more than one.

4. I am thankful I live in a country that allows me to scream as often and as loud as I do. I am fully aware I would have been shot long ago in many other nations. Right or wrong I can state how I feel. There is nothing greater than being allowed to be wrong. It is liberating.

5. I am actually thankful to be alive at this time in history. I realize it must seem like we are teetering on the brink of oblivion here, but I think it always seems that way to those going through history. I think we are advanced physically, spiritually, mentally, and technologically that we can overcome anything before us if we try.

6. I am thankful for the group of people I work with. They are an amazing group of people. Like my family, they must put up with quite a bit just for knowing me and, unlike my family they do not have to put up with any of it. They do and I am so thankful for that.

I know there are infinite more things I am forgetting, but I am also thinking of my reader right now. I will be honestly shocked if you get this far. Thankful lists are rarely the most interesting of reads, but their writing is essential. Have the best of Turkey Days to each and every one of you.

And Thank You to You.

One Time is Weird, Three Times is a Pattern

There are three stories last night I read before I called it a day. Each one on their own is interesting and weird, but together forms a much darker picture. I am used to the Drudge Report being the bearer of bad news, but he has taken the cake last night. You will see the picture I am speaking of after you see the events.

Our first stop is in Waikiki, Hawaii and President Bush’s entourage. The acting director of the White House Travel Office was mugged outside a club there yesterday morning. His wallet, passport and cellphone were stolen and he was beaten. This is a strange event, right? Don't answer yet.

Next we come to Argentina for our next two tales and the pattern will become clear. First Jenna Bush’s purse was stolen yesterday from a restaurant. Her wallet and cellphone were taken in the robbery. Notice anything standing out? Also a secret service agent, in an unrelated incident, was beaten after an attempted mugging. I see a pattern for certain.

There are two levels to this pattern and it only gets worse the deeper you go. The first pattern is a complete lack of respect for Americans in the world today. This goes to a hatred of Bush in the global view and not just simple robbery. This should tell everyone that now is not the time for travel overseas no matter the country. Of course, this is only the upper rosy layer. Shall we dig deeper?

What seems like random crimes in places far apart I believe were not random at all. The items stolen and the timing of the robberies are too close; the items stolen too specific and valuable for nefarious purposes. Imagine the numbers the Travel Office director's cellphone would have stored in it, the text messages; or Jenna’s phone for that matter. This amounts to more than just a petty robbery or a mugging- this is a national security problem now.

The gut reaction for many is to mock this story for the inept job the Secret Service did in protecting their charges, but that is just the sarcastic blogger in me's reflex. The truth is that this could amount to a major threat. THink about everything we keep in our cellphones and now compound that with national security. I hope this is me being paranoid.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Weird Game Challenge

I have been tagged. Variant E has tagged me to post six weird things about myself. It is an online game of sorts. Being one who loves a good game I must do this. Should be rather fun.

The rules for this game according to his blog are as follows:
1. Write six weird things about yourself.
2. Post this confession of the absurd on your blog
3. Tag six other bloggers to do the same challenge
4. Leave a comment on each of their blogs to inform them they have been chosen.

I must remember my mother reads my blog as I answer this question. She is a Jewish mother and has a very carefully and well crafted illusion of her son and who am I to wreck it?

On a tangent: How can you prove Jesus was Jewish? He thought he mother was a virgin and his mother thought he was G-d. Just a joke…tough crowd: I’ll just get back to the subject at hand.

How do I limit myself to only six things really? What exactly is weird really? I will have to put myself in my co-workers shoes to answer this. Thank G-d they wear sneakers because I don’t know how to walk in heels.

1. I collect action figures. I have my entire life and still have most of the toys from my childhood. I have at least 80 action figures on shelves throughout my house. They range from Marvel superheroes to Musicians such as Jimi Hendrix to Elvis Presley and, of course Star Wars and Simpsons.

2. I am an insomniac who works dayshift for a sleep disorders center. I think the irony in that alone is rather worthy of a weird point.

3. I do not drink alcohol except for once a year and that is to remember why I do not drink alcohol. I am not an ex-addict or anything, but I just do not like my drunk self and I get drunk very quickly.

4. I will go out of my way to not cause another person any pain even to the extreme of causing myself pain. I think I am over empathetic and usually see the other person’s side before my own.

5. I learn the words to songs I hate faster than I do the songs I love. I know every word to Spice Girls and still struggle with “Desolation Row.” I have heard Spice Girls I think ten times and “Desolation Row” somewhere near 500 at least.

6. The weirdest thing about me is I am a blogger. There is no longer any denying it or finding cleaver ways to phrase it: I blog therefore I am and nothing about me is weirder than that.

I will be tagging Rex, Serena, Steve G, and the boys at PWZ. That one alone should be a great read…
Game on.

Rest In Peace Mr. Altman

Hollywood as lost an icon today. Robert Altman produced his own style of movie and changed the way we looked at what they could do. Robert Altman has passed away at 81 of undisclosed causes at Los Angeles Hospital Monday night.

He was not so much a director as a traffic conductor organizing the chaos of his movies into story and plot. He was famous for multiple characters talking over one another and general onscreen randomness while capturing the heart and soul of his characters. His movies were always more about the characters involved in the story over the actual story itself.

Sometimes, as in M*A*S*H, there was no real story to speak of. Sometimes, as in Nashville or The Player there were more stories than one movie could contain, but he always made it work and work beautifully. Robert Altman captured time periods and attitudes and beliefs. He was more of an artist than most of his peers. He will forever be remembered and studied and missed.

Hollywood is not likely to see another like him again. Rest in Peace Mr. Altman.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Outfoxing the Juice

Was this just the greatest set up in history ever or what? I mean O.J. confessed to a double murder and does not get one cent for doing it. That is just brilliant. And News Corp gets to save its public face at the same time. Just f*cking brilliant!

Ok, for those living in a bubble allow me to bring you up to speed on the day’s events. “If I Did It” was to be a book/ two part interview with O.J. “What Me Murder” Simpson. The interview was to be split between November 27th and 29th for sweeps week on Fox with the book coming out the following day. The purpose of the double public onslaught was for O.J. to make a quick buck and talk about how he would have done the crime if he did, but he didn’t. The interview has since been cancelled and the book has been called off: both by Rupert Murdoch himself is reporting.

Rupert is quoted in the report today as saying "I and senior management agree with the American public that this was an ill-considered project…We are sorry for any pain that this has caused the families of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson.”

While this is in the face of massive public scorn with many Fox affiliates and bookstores refusing to carry it, it still should be commended that News Corp did the right thing for the right reasons. We all know that the same scorning disgusted public would have tuned in and lined up. The book would have been a top-seller just for the freak show aspect of it.

Then there is the aspect for the illiterates. This was Fox's ultimate reality show. I can see O.J. wandering around the crime scene with cameras rolling as he does his "research" for the book. Those tender moments with the camera at just the right angle as he breaks down into camera friendly crocodile tears. I really just hope they filmed the moment they let him know this was all a ploy. They are the network of “Average Joe” and numerous other sadistic reality shows so it is not that far a stretch.

Well done Rupert. You have my respect.

A State's Rights Federalist? Impossible

John McCain is guilty of a crime that bothers me to no end. He uses political buzzwords that are actually the opposite of what he means to say. I believe George Orwell called this phenomenon “doublespeak” if I remember my literature correctly. It is a cleaver and devious political ploy used by those in need of power and support.

McCain appeared on George Stephanopoulos’s show on Sunday and was asked how he felt about Roe V Wade. He said he would support the decision being returned to the states instead of the Federal government deciding because “I’m a federalist." Only supporting state’s rights is not Federalism, it is the exact opposite of it. A Federalist is one who supports a strong central government by definition. McCain wanting the states to decide on their own is a very strong anti-Federalist position, not a Federalist one.

To understand the difference between a Federalist and an anti-Federalist one must go back to the founding of our constitution. There were those who wanted a strong central government to rule over all the states. These were the Federalists. They felt is was the best way to ensure all states followed the same rules and gave equally to the growing country. They felt the Articles of the Confederation left the United States weak and unprotected.

The Federalists were right in some regards, but they were countered by the anti-Federalists who feared the tyranny of the majority. They believed that the states were in the best position to decide what is best for them and there should be as little federal interference as possible in the day-to-day running of the state. They remembered that America was founded partially out of the fear of a strong central government.

I am not going to get into which side is right because there is no right answer. There are valid arguments for and against both these points of view, but McCain managed to use these terms in just the wrong way to come across as a “talking point spouting” fool. He cannot support state’s rights as a Federalist. It is that simple.

I know he is referring to the Nixon New Federalist movement when he calls himself a Federalist and not a supporter of Madison. Nixon stated that the new Federalists believed major issues such as abortion and gay rights should be decided by the states, but Nixon was wrong in his use of the word plain and simple and so is McCain. Supporting the states deciding on their own is being an anti-Federalist.

The entire reason for the change is that McCain does not want to refer to himself as an anti-Federalist. The average person hears “anti” placed with “federal”-anything and they get jumpy. McCain should not alter historical terms for his own convince though. Either say you are an Anti-Federalist or say nothing. The doublespeak must end already and I expected more from the “maverick Republican” moderate.

So ends his 2008 Presidential bid I hope. The man either does not understand or is purposely talking out of both sides of his mouth. Either way he is no longer qualified to be President.

Big, Long, Gone

When Rummy left the Pentagon I believed that they had lost their master of the obvious. I should say their oblivious master of the obvious. Rummy was great at stating those great truths we already knew and stating them as if he was brilliant for noticing them. His “known knowns” quote is pure obvious gold, but it seems Rummy was the symptom and not the disease at that military institution because they are still stating the obvious while trying to sound brilliant.

Today the Pentagon unofficially released their newest assessment of troop strength needed for Iraq and have given us three options after a long study. We will call this recent release the “Big, Long, Gone” option.

“Big” means we will need to increase our troop strength in Iraq for an indeterminate length of time. “Long” means we do not increase troop strength, but increase the tours of duty for those already there. “Gone” obviously means we leave Iraq. I cannot wait until we get some actual intelligence behind our military instead of these stupid cleaver word games.

Can anyone reading this give me an option they left out? I cannot think of a single one. I mean stay, stay big, or leave basically covers everything. These options are actually the same ones we had before we even went into Iraq and none of these plans will really help with the current secular violence happening in Iraq. Longer stays or leaving completely is not going to help the problem that we created (and do not mistake for a second that it is us who created the problem) and more troops will not convince anyone we plan on leaving.

Iraq was not great before we got there and was evil under Saddam, but chaos is worse than evil any day. Evil can be anticipated and countered, but chaos has no pattern and can not be anticipated. You never know when chaos is going to strike you next once you remove the order. We removed the order without installing a new system of order and now we are dealing with the price of our folly. The truth is that there is only one option for Iraq and it is one that will make both the left and right hate me so I know I must be right. The only solution left is to increase the troops in Iraq and completely take over the country. This means we need a draft.

No politician is going to suggest a draft because they know it will be re-election death, but that is a risk they must take. They must risk their political career to save this nation from the mess they created. We are short of well-trained troops right now. Between Iraq and Afghanistan we are busted. North Korea and Iran know we do not have the force to do anything about them and they know we lost the good faith of the world to help us deal with them. The only choice left is conscription.

I realize that military life is hard enough with people who volunteered to be there, but we are in a situation right now that demands we ignore what we would rather do. The statement by the Pentagon today is simply more spinning of wheels. It is the illusion of progress while not actually doing anything. They know the options they gave us today are bullshit but are terrified of being the first to suggest the “D” word. This is why I am suggesting it now. There is no other option if we are going to continue on our current path of endless war.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Instant Smile Maker

Sometimes something is just so cute that any bad mood just disappears. I think this qualifies.

Writer's Doubt

Funny thing about living in Miami; it only takes one drive to go from a great mood to a bad one. I am serious. It was not heavy traffic or anything really, but somehow and for some reason I left my parent’s house in a very good mood after a great dinner and conversation only to walk in my front door uptight and annoyed. Weird, huh?

I know there is no full moon right now (I think I know) so that cannot be the cause of this strange mood I suddenly find myself in. Work was actually very good and fun today so that cannot be it. I think it is my writing that is getting to me to be perfectly honest and not Miami or the traffic.

I am going to have to go back to school or something and take a few basic classes to refresh myself. I do tend to obsess a bit so it is very likely that this realization made during the drive home could alter my entire mood. I just know I am in a funk.

The reason I believe it is my writing is that I am very dissatisfied with the quality I am putting out lately. I find myself examining every sentence and double guessing my grammar. I question my paragraphs wondering if they are run-ons or am I breaking them up where I should not be? Did I use the right verb tense with that last reference? Did I really misspell that word or is spell-check crazy?

If that is bad, just wait until we get to the actual context of my writing. I find myself reading something I enjoyed writing just to find myself doubting its worth. I ask if my opinion is valid enough to write on. I wonder if anyone really cares about what I think. I even start to think I must be wrong. I fight the urge to put a disclaimer at the end apologizing to the reader for wasting their time. Sometimes I even lose the fight as the OJ story showed.

Are these thoughts normal for writers? I have always dabbled in writing, but this is the first time I have really committed to it and done it with the intent of entertaining others instead of just myself. This is the first time I really cared what the reader thought. That was my first mistake, wasn’t it?

Just fought the urge to apologize for this post… this is getting bad.

"It's Friday": the Post-Vacation Issue

For today’s edition of “It’s Friday” I will be letting you in on a very important secret. People have died for this secret. Wars have been fought and nations destroyed for this secret and I am going to just give it to you for free right now. Today, I am going to teach you how to make a five day vacation extend for three weeks at work. How is that for an enticement for the loyal Lemming?

I know, I know. This is just too much for me to be handing out without asking anything in return, but that is what it is. To thank each and every one of you for your loyal patronage I am going to let you in on this vital and valuable lemming trick. No thanks are necessary.

The trick to being a happy Lemming is maximizing your vacation time. Most people go for the traditional Monday to Friday week off which does give a person nine straight days off, but that only serves to make returning to work impossible and painful. This lemming trick gives you the most rest while never taking so long off from work you regret returning.

The trick is simple and rests entirely in the timing of your week’s vacation. You must start your vacation on the Wednesday that falls exactly two weeks before Thanksgiving. You work that Monday and Tuesday and start your vacation that Wednesday. This gives you a two day week for that first week. The second week you take Monday and Tuesday off and return to work on Wednesday. This gives you a three day second week. Now comes Thanksgiving where most offices are closed for Thursday and Friday which makes week three a three day week. You have just worked a total of eight days in three weeks. If that is not a three week vacation I do not know what is. If cleaver you can even repeat this process for Christmas or New Years. Any two day holiday works with this trick.

Remember that colonies of Lemmings have waged massive and bloody wars to protect this secret so do not just go and share it with anyone. Happy Friday by the way.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

My Sinking Standards

I just read a story below even my already sub-sewer standards. I am impressed with the depravity the subject of this story showed, but I just really cannot get into the tale. I mean this website is a family-friendly franchise. OK, a dysfunctional inbred family, but a family just the same.

I know I have already written about various idiots and their ventures into sexual deviance and/or crime, but this story really crosses that line. I just can’t do it. It is even below that guy who went to find a sheep while his wife was out of town. It beats the man driving while using a penis pump and blows away the couple engaging in sexual acts during an armed robbery (pun intended a little).

“Bambi was cute, but his Mom was so sexy towards the end of the movie”

I will say this: just because the deer is dead does not make the act any better. Just go here if you really must know more. You will be so mad at me though if you read too much.

On a much funnier note (or is that more funny note?) there is this story out of Stuart, Florida. This is also a story found at the Smoking Gun . If you ever wondered why I say “Floridiot” to describe my fellow residents you will not much longer.

A man walks into a convenience store in Florida. He gets in line and waits patiently for his turn at the counter. He very slyly removes a machete from his pants (he was NOT happy to be there) and points it at the clerk’s chest demanding the register be opened.

The man did not do his homework obviously because, while trying to hold the oversized knife to the clerk another clerk came up behind her and startled our brave young dumb criminal. He withdraws momentarily, but a moment is all our heroine needs to grab a machete of her own and the stand-off begins. It ends with our hero running out of the store being chased by yet another unaccounted for male employee now in possession of the clerk’s machete. I love the stupid.

I know the description is a bit hard to follow so, lucky for us it all happened on film. This guy really did not do his homework at all on his job. Wrong weapon, unaccounted for employees, no knowledge of the equipment he would encounter, no mask, no gloves, and all done right on center stage. Enjoy the film.

My standards are sinking because I did end up kind of writing about our dear with the dead deer desires. Oh well...

Tips for the Suckers (The PS3 Warning)

By Kanrei

This is an open letter to the suckers. Who are the suckers? They are those fools you see lined up in the front of your local Target or Best Buy store waiting to get a Play Station 3 (PS3) being released tomorrow. Some have been there for days; some have quit their jobs to wait in line; most are planning on selling their purchases on Ebay for thousands and not one of them are going to get a PS3 tomorrow. Not a single one of them.

I should firstly state that I am a Play Station 2 owner and lover. I also owned and loved my first Play Station more than life itself, so I am not an unbiased person when it comes to this subject, but even I have no plans to purchase this new evolution in home gaming technology. There really does come a point where enough is enough and these new systems have just leapt past that spot. I mean the graphics of the Xbox or PS2 were light years beyond the Atari 2600 I grew up with yet the game play remains fairly the same. It is still running, driving, shooting, and saving things. It is just a matter of how graphically intense the images are. I personally prefer the cartoonish appearance of video game violence over photo-realism. For me the PS2 is perfection, but that is just me so why am I calling these PS3 dreamers idiots today? Well, because they simply are.

The first problem with the PS3 (and the Xbox360) is simply the format it uses for its DVD player. As most people do not know there are two competing formats for the next-gen DVDs: Blu-Ray and HD-DVD. The two are not compatible with each other and both formats will not survive. With the Xbox embracing HD-DVD and the PS3 embracing Blu-Ray this simply means one of these two very expensive systems will be invalid as a DVD player within a year. Remember the VHS/Betamax war? How are those Betamax machines holding up today?

Secondly is the lack of PS3 exclusive titles. Play Station used to have titles that you could only get for their system. For example, Grand Theft Auto had always been on Play Station only for a year after release. Xbox owners had to wait, but not any longer. Sony is releasing the PS3 with far fewer exclusive titles which really makes which system you decide to buy inconsequential to the games you will be able to play on it. Since Xbox 360 has been out for a year and readily available on store shelves today this gives them a major advantage.

Speaking of the store shelves issue, that is the third strike against the PS3. They are only releasing 400,000 of the most anticipated toy to the United States. There were quite possibly more than that in pre-sales which means every store is sold out before they are even stocked. Stores like Best Buy did not allow pre-sales, but they will also be only stocking approximately 25 per store so good luck to all those campers out there.

The last big mistake Sony has made is the price of this system. You do have two choices of which model you want to buy, but at $500 and $600 it really does not make that big of a difference. This is still a massive investment for most people and, considering it comes with NO GAMES and only one controller, this means parents can expect to spend at least $700 if they want their kids to not fight.

You do not need to buy a single PS3 game for this new system in theory, but that is not going to work in practice. Sony had advertised that the PS3 would be able to play all PS2 titles which sounded wonderful until they just announced this week that it did not work out as they had hoped. Not all PS2 titles will work and, with over 2000 titles they really cannot let people know in advance which will work and which will not. I can forsee many sad and crying kids this Christmas.

I realize the sucker title must sound kind of cruel, but how else would you describe a person who sleeps out for days to purchase an over-priced video game system that they probably will not be able to get and will not work as advertised if they do? What word do you use to describe those people who must be the first to get something regardless of their need or ability to afford it?

My advice to the parents out there is to take the money you planned on spending on this year’s “Tickle Me Elmo” and use it instead to by a ton of games for the system your kids already own. Unless you already have a HD TV you really will not be using the new system to its fullest anyway and most of the software coming out for these systems are already available on the older generation with the same graphics and game play. The only difference is the price.

Working Out the Rust

OJ Simpson was found not guilty of a double murder. The system says he can never be tried for the crime again regardless of any evidence that may arise. Even if he admits on national television and writes a book detailing how he did it he can never be charged with the crime again. He beat the system if he did it…

I don’t know if he did or did not do it to be perfectly honest. I did not watch the trial everyday like half of the country, but I did see some of his testimony. I will quote a good friend of mine, Vern, who said: “I have seen OJ in movies so I know OJ can’t act. I saw OJ testify and I believed him. Considering how bad an actor he really is he must be innocent.” That is how I always looked at his guilt as well.

Then there is the matter of his evading punishment. This is something different. I do not think he evaded anything. Infact, I believe his punishment is worse. In prison he would be “The Juice” and a hero. He would be isolated from the hating public scorn and feel nothing. Now he is in the public shame. No endorsements, no glory, no career: nothing. His only claim to fame now is being the guy who got away with murder.

The famous “not a murderer” factor of his current fame is what brings me to writing about him today. OJ is in the news again. OJ is the news again. Don’t worry, no one else has died. OJ Simpson has written a book and will give a national interview on Fox November 27th and 29th detailing how he would have done the crime…if he did it, which he didn’t, but if he did the book explains how he would have, but he didn’t actually do it.

The book, entitled “If I Did It” will be from the point of view of an OJ guilty of murdering his ex-wife and her friend in his backyard. The book will explain how the guilty OJ, not the real OJ mind you, destroyed evidence and created an alibi. It will cover the details only the real killer could know, but it is all fiction. It will place the reader in the killer’s shoes that probably will not fit. I wonder where the bookstores will stock it…

Why did he wait so long to write this book? Possibly because the statute of limitations on destruction of evidence just expired I would assume, but it is pure assumption. I do not know what the statute of limitations is to be perfectly honest. I am also not going to guess too much in this. You see, I live in Miami where the “Juice” currently haunts. I like my head where it is. I do not need rancid OJ chasing me down.

I feel a bit down in the accomplishment department while on the subject. I have yet to even write a book and here OJ has a successful football career, makes movies, kills two people and still has time to write a book. I mean is accused of killing two people. Down OJ,down.

On a side note, never take a vacation from writing. My lack of writing for this past week is really showing. I realize this update and the last one have not been up to my usual form. I will get back soon I hope. Just wade through the bad for now and it will get better, I promise.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Vacation's Over (and How)

By Kanrei

I see now why I do not take vacations. The world has gone insane in this last week without my constant criticism. I mean what the hell is Iran doing with processed plutonium? What the hell is Tony Blair doing saying we can work with Syria and Iran? I realize he is relatively new to the world stage, but even a new born knows that Iran has been the problem for the past three decades.

I admit fully to being a “chicken-dove.” If there is such a thing as a chicken-hawk, then there must be a chicken-dove. If a chicken-hawk supports wars they are too scared to partake in themselves then a chicken-dove avoids conflict for the same reason. I have never been good with conflict and even I support action against Iran.

I do not know if it should be military action per say simply because we do not have the force. Right now it would be like Gandhi threatening to take Mike Tyson in a fight. We do not have the strength or resolve to do anything right now, but something must be done. Tony Blair appealing to the insanity of the Mullahs is not exactly the something I was thinking about though.

A nuclear Iran is a very bad element to bring into a world where pre-emptive war is the new Tickle Me Elmo. It is the toy everyone wants to play with. Iran wants to play with Israel so badly it is almost bursting. News like this is only going to make Israel Tickle Me Elmo crazy as well. Remember the “Domino Theory” from the 50’s? It works the other way as well as we are learning.

Moving to take out Saddam was the first Domino to fall over causing this chain of events that has gotten out of control. They thought they had every piece in place, but that first Domino did not fall as they planned and now the entire chain is out of whack. It seems the Saddam Domino was the thing keeping Iran in check and, by removing him we have allowed Iran to grow unfettered by hostile neighbors. By keeping us bogged down in Iraq with their Shiites we really cannot afford to leave to stop them. Israel and Palestine also realize our hands are tied and use this time to get all froggy with each other by jumping the boarders. North Korea takes this time to openly defy the U.N. and test missiles and nukes. Hugo Chavez reminds the world that South America does exist and openly talks tough against a flaccid America. These things did not start after 9/11. These things got out of control after we let the world know we were going to Iraq.

It is too late for any of these “what if” scenarios. We are where we are and we must find our way out. The birds ate the breadcrumbs so we are lost and cannot depend on anyone to find us. The candy house looks friendly, but we must remember the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Taking the friendly and easy path is what knocked over that first Domino in the first place. Tony Blair wants to run to the candy house, but we know there is a witch waiting to destroy us there. The time for inaction is now. We must think carefully about our next step. I am not saying to ignore Iran because we simply cannot, but we must think more than one step ahead this time. Easy and clean is not an option this time.

I think I need a vacation...

Monday, November 13, 2006

What is Your Vote Worth?

Stamp collectors know it as the “Inverted Jenny Stamp.” It was printed in 1918 by the U.S. Postal Service with a picture of a bi-plane on it. It is quite a famous stamp actually and, while most do not know it by name, everyone knows this stamp by sight. It was printed upside down making it one of the most collectable stamps in the world. There have only been about one hundred of them ever found which makes it one of the most valuable stamps in the world.

To give one a proper understanding of this stamp’s worth the Reuters reports that a block of four of the stamps sold for close to $3 million just last year. This is the holy grail of stamp collecting. No, I am not into stamp collecting, but I am into politics and that is why I speak of this stamp.

You see, we have always heard the right to vote is priceless, but one person put a price on their vote here in Florida. We really do earn that “Floridiot” title quite often it seems. Some poor schmo here affixed this rare stamp to their absentee ballot in Fort Lauderdale. They placed at least a one hundred thousand dollar vote. I really hope their candidate at least won. I mean to lose the stamp and the election would be enough to drive someone to Darwin Award Nominee status.

The report is saying that it quite possibly is an Alzheimer’s related mishap. I certain do hope so. The bright side of Alzheimer’s is that the poor schmo will not remember even having the stamp. Of course it does beg the question how they remembered to vote?

A weak update I know. This is more to say “I am still alive and resting very nicely.” Doing nothing is everything I dreamt it could be. I have two more days of unreality and plan on making the least of both.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Vaca Day Two

Yesterday was a waste. Well, not if you were Carl Johnson, but for me it was a waste. Who is Carl Johnson? He is the main character in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Yesterday with my help and a few well timed cheat codes he finally tracked down the dirty cop who killed his mother and got his revenge. It was a wonderful moment as the stolen fire truck crashed over the bridge and Officer Tenpenny crawled from the burning wreckage. Three years of game time ending in a great and exciting cinematic moment.

Yes you read that correctly: three years of playing the same game. It was the investment of a lifetime literally. I am sure a kid could finish the game within a month, but I like to milk these things out. The ability to roam where you want and do whatever you want in GTA’s universe is too great a temptation. I think I spent a solid year playing the game and not doing a single mission, but rather just exploring and causing mass chaos. My new addiction is going to the airport and stealing a jet just to jump out of it and parachute onto building roofs. You can cause mass damage from a rooftop with a bazooka and there is little anyone can do to stop you. I highly recommend it: very good for stress relief.

I need a new game now. I can hear my mother in my head right now saying “how about the clean your house game”, but that is neither fun nor a stress relief. I need a new videogame, but my requirements for a game make it nearly impossible to find one.

You see, Grand Theft Auto was made by people who thought like I did about games. It drove me crazy that a character in a virtual world was limited by the direction of the story or by the size of the screen. I always felt Mario should just side-step the barrels instead of jumping them. I wondered why the Street Fighter guys got stuck in the corner of the screen while in an open field. GTA created a game engine that allowed you to go anywhere and do missions how you wanted to. It was very liberating, but raised the bar higher than most games were willing to try for.

Game makers want you to finish the game and buy a new one as fast as possible. The three year lag between games I enjoyed with GTA is not profitable for the companies so games like GTA are hard to find. If a game with the freedom of GTA is found then the quality of the gameplay is lacking usually. Most people really do not understand the genius of the GTA series.

When the average person is asked about GTA, they correctly think of guns, car theft, and killing. There is no debating that those are the central themes to the game and it is certainly not for kids. It is a game where you can pick up prostitutes and kill them after they service you. It is a game where you can steal cop cars and take on the army. I am not going to lie about that, but you do not have to do those things and the game’s plot never directs you to do those things. You must think of it on your own to do it.

The game allows you to race if that is what you are into. The game allows taxi missions, ambulance missions where you pick up the injured, fire fighting missions where you drive around and put out vehicle fires. You can listen in to the police scanners and go hunt criminals if you choose. If you get bored of all that you can return to the game’s story and open new areas. The game is an entire state after all with three complete cities and numerous small towns.

Wow, did I just babble this entire time about a video game? I think I need to start my second day of vacation already and get out of my house. Sorry to have wasted your time on the finer points of GTA, but it is a great game for adults.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Bye Bye Rummy, Bye Bye

I knew there was going to be some fallout. I knew that things were going to start to change, but I had no idea it was going to be this quick. I assumed that the Democrats would at least be sworn into their new dominance before the downfall began. I guessed there would be a time for celebration before bloodshed, but I was wrong. The rats have begun to leave the ship just one day after a horrible mid-term election for those in command. The rubber stamp officially broke yesterday.

The mid-term election was placed in the context of a referendum on the handling of the war in Iraq. Both parties are very guilty of politicizing this tragic folly instead of trying to help fix it and the lead up to yesterday was a great example of that. The Republicans focused on fear and the Democrats focused on anger and anger won. The people are more upset with the handling of the war than they are scared of it falling to terrorists.

The people spoke and now the government is listening. Donald Rumsfeld is no longer a factor in the folly of Iraq. The quagmire as lost its architect exactly three years too late.

Donald Rumsfeld trying to resign is not news. He tried twice in the wake of the Abu Ghraib scandal. He obviously has been aware of his failures for quite a long time, but this marks the first time Bush has accepted it. Does this mean a President who claims to not pay attention to the polls is actually listening to the polls?

The exit polls placed discontent with the handling of Iraq as the top motivation for people’s votes, but Bush claims to not care about polls. Perhaps our little Dubya is growing up and learning in his final two years that he is the President of America and not just those he likes. Perhaps Dubya is terrified of the Democrat House and is offering a sacrifice in hopes of appeasement. Either way, Bush obviously paid attention to yesterday’s poll and Rumsfeld is gone.


This is something that should have happened so long ago. This should have happened once the insurgency started. This should have happened when Abu Ghraib was fueling our enemy’s rage. This should have happened when no WMD’s were found. This should have happened so many times in the past that, to be honest, this move really is starting to strike me more and more as the sacrifice option and not as our little Dubya growing up.

I thought Rumsfeld leaving would fill me with joy, but it’s not. It seems they are still politicizing this damn war. They are still playing it for headlines. Rumsfeld removed Pelosi from the news and got the Republicans in a positive light again. At least we can rest knowing the war will end soon and Rumsfeld’s lack of vision is not going to kill anyone else.

Change of the Guard

By Kanrei

It appears the Democrats have received control of the House. They only needed 15 seats to win and they appear to have won 25. There are more Democrat Governors now as well and while the Republicans appear to still control the Senate, they do not have a solid majority. This is that moment that comes around once in a blue moon for the Democrats.

The Democrats must remember one thing very clearly: they did not “take” the House and they did not beat the Republicans. The simple and clear fact is that the Republicans beat themselves. They became as corrupt in ten years as the Democrats did in their forty years.

How many Republican members of Congress have resigned in disgrace just this year? How many prominent right-leaning leaders have been caught in hypocrisy? The American people will forgive anything but a lie. Their “do as I say not as I do” approach to governance obviously did not work with the American people. Today’s results proved this truth, but this is the Republicans beating themselves.

What ideas did the Democrats run on exactly? I can tell you I voted for Bill Nelson to prevent Katherine Harris from getting to the Senate, but I really did not vote for Bill Nelson. If Tommy Franks or anyone other than Harris had gotten the nomination instead I might have voted the other way. I really cannot say. Bill Nelson had this won the minute Harris was his opponent and had no need to campaign really.

I honestly pray that Speaker Pelosi does not think this change in Congress is approval to impeach Bush. I hope she remembers that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I hope she thinks about the damage to the American psyche if our history proceeds as:
  • President Bush
  • War in Iraq
  • President Clinton
  • President Impeached
  • President Bush
  • War in Iraq
  • President Impeached
  • President Clinton
Just think of the poor children who will have to learn this and keep it straight. It already is going to be hard enough keeping track of which President Bush toppled Saddam and in what year. Forcing them to keep back to back impeachments straight on top of it is just sadistic.

Seriously though, the timing for an impeachment is just not right. By all means censure Bush and try to fix the problems, but an impeachment will take too much attention away from more important things. Remember that September 11th was planned during the last one.

Instead, Speaker Pelosi must do everything in her newly acquired power to get our troops home and end the occupation of Iraq. She must change the conversation from us losing in Iraq to simply of us leaving Iraq. We toppled Saddam and made sure Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction. We set up a new government and provided security for two elections and a constitution. The only thing left to do is come home. All occupations end that way.

This is a big moment for the Democrats. They were handed power they probably do not deserve on a silver platter. This is their time to show those of us who have spent the last six years disappointed by their lethargy exactly what our hopes where tied to.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

It's Tuesday (The Vacation "It's Friday")

Time for yet another edition of “It’s Friday.” I know what you are about to say and you are correct, it is only Tuesday, but I am officially on a vacation until next Tuesday so today is an honorary Friday (in a good way).

Today was easier than most Fridays are, but it also lasted soooooooooooo damn long. I only had to schedule for one day as opposed to three as well, but then there was the stress…

I am not a person who takes vacations normally. I may take a day off here and there, but extended vacations are usually something I never bother with. There is something about leaving work for a week that makes it harder to come back. I tend to need a week off after my week off just to prepare to return, but this time is different. This time I need to leave my office for a week just to shake out all the stress.

The stress I am under is largely of my own creation to be honest, but it still remains a fact that stress and I are not the best of bedfellows. I am one of those “one thing at a time” people. Once I get a second task I tend to start to fray. Normally I have more than one boss so things get spread out nicely and evenly. I will get the chance to finish one thing before starting the next one. The last two weeks did not work out that way and I snapped.

See, my main boss was on vacation for two weeks and my other boss was in meetings and such so I was left on my own to deal with quite a bit. You have followed this blog so you know the stress pattern I have been under. See the last two “It’s Fridays” and the MIA IT story for more details. It built and built upon me and I snapped.

From the stories I am hearing I did a bit more than snap, but most of them are exaggerated for dramatic effect. I would say 75% are based on truth and 100% of them end up as works of fiction. The other 25% are flat out lies.

The big one is this: yes I kicked a door on my way out of the office. It was a left over trait from the restaurant business and I do regret that, but it was only done once, not “repeatedly.” I realize though that office people are probably not used to such behavior. I never yelled or screamed in front of anyone, but rather went outside for a cigarette when I needed to do those things. I did not threaten to fire anyone, but rather spoke about how great it would feel to do it and I never mentioned names. I do not have the authority to fire anyone at work.

I tend to talk about things I would love to do to help unload some stress. It reminds me that I am never trapped and always have options. I mean I quit my job about twenty times a year on average. Sometimes, to paraphrase the classic show “News Radio”, I come in on my weekends to quit a few times without anyone getting in the way. I also have employers who understand my shortcomings and are always there to talk to me about it when this starts happening.

I reach a critical stress level once every two years. I never see it coming and usually cannot see it while it is happening, but I recognize it when described to me. When my boss says “Brad we have to talk” I know exactly what is coming. I am blessed with great audio memory so I can always recap honestly the situation that caused the freak-out, but I never justify it. I should never show it and I do. I should probably have been fired a while ago, but as I said I have very understanding employers and co-workers.

So now I am on my week off to shuffle my deck and put the bad cards on the bottom. I plan on cleaning out my head, my heart, and my home this week. It will not be a restful week so much as just a necessary week. I will not abandon my Lemming House this week though so do not fear that. I cannot afford any squatters moving in. Thank G-d the week is over.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Last Minute Endorsement Change: Max Linn for Governor

There is a last minute endorsement change to those the Lemming House supports. This change is in the race for Governor and it is due to the fact that this candidate did not get any press coverage during the race. Max Linn is an independent running for Governor who this Lemming cannot help but support 100%. While voting for Crist or Davis is picking the lesser of two evils, a vote for Max Linn is voting for actual good.

On Education: In fact, the FCAT has been failing our students, their parents and our teachers. For that reason, -- I give the FCAT an "F." It is being applied unfairly with the result that our teachers and students are under intense pressure. All the creativity and excitement inherent in learning is being lost.

On Insurance: I believe it is grossly unfair to Florida's taxpayers to allow private insurance companies to cherry-pick the least risky properties and leave the state-funded Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (which is owned by us, the taxpayers) to insure only the high-risk leftovers. Tallahassee politicians are allowing big insurance companies to privatize the profits and socialize the losses.

On Gun Control: I support the right of all Americans to own firearms and to carry firearms with a permit.

On Offshore Oil Drilling: There is no way I will let the oil companies and the federal government put Florida at risk. I will fight and defeat any measure that calls for the expansion of oil and gas drilling off the coast of Florida. The threat to our beaches from a potential oil spill is too great a risk to accept.

This is the candidate for Florida and I am very proud to support this man even if it is too late. I will vote third party this election. I hope others follow their hearts and vote for good instead of the evil they believe can actually win.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Hang in There Kitty

By Kanrei

Saddam Hussein, the butcher of Baghdad, has been found guilty for ordering the deaths of 148 people in 1982. He and a select few of his fellow defendants will hang from their necks until they are dead. They do get an appeal which could take up to four weeks to be denied, but there is little doubt that it will be denied so he is basically now a dead man walking. I can honestly say I am not the least bit surprised in the verdict. In fact, I am quite numb to it to be perfectly honest.

Even though I opposed the war in Iraq, it was not because I ever once thought Saddam was a good man. I opposed it because I thought there were larger more urgent threats to our nation than he was. I thought that one war should be 100% finished before we found ourselves in another. Not for one second though did I ever think Saddam was a nice guy who we were wrongly picking on. The closest thing to defending him I ever said was that I thought we could have used his presence as a counter balance against Iran. I never deluded myself into thinking he was a good leader. There was no doubt that we were going to have to deal with him again sometime in the future.

I suppose numb is the wrong term to be perfectly honest in regards to this verdict. There was one minor surprise I did feel. I did not think people were still hung in the 21st century. It seems so barbaric and overly cruel to me. I know we are talking about an evil man, but still there are more humane methods of execution we could use readily available. Lethal injection or even the electric chair leaps to mind. If a public spectacle is what they are going for they could televise the event, but a hanging?

I am basically one of those “anti-death penalty” people 99.9% of the time. As a person who does not believe in a life after death I cannot help but see killing someone as an end to their punishment. I realize that most people do believe in one and they believe this person goes to Hell and suffers greater punishment than we could ever administer. I just cannot see that as an option. Saddam is a different case though. Saddam has to die for his crimes.

Saddam Hussein is not a criminal or a murderer; he is a world leader. His weapon was his authority as the
President of Iraq and he must be an example to other world leaders. His death is not about punishing him, it is a message to others who would follow in his path. It immortalizes his sins and forever links his name to his actions the way Hitler’s is to the Holocaust. It ends his story and closes the book on his contribution to it. He is now and forever a villain. That is what his death will bring.

There was no surprise in this verdict. The trial probably was a joke in many ways, but that is because there really was no defense for the man. He was as guilty as a person could possibly be. I am just shocked at the method chosen for his demise. I really thought we had progressed as a species beyond a hanging in the public square. That just seems strangely wrong to me.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Here Comes the Friday

Today is more than just Friday. Today a good friend of mine is getting married and I am going to the wedding. Even better than that, I am not part of the service at all so I get to just enjoy it and have fun. No tie for me tonight and that is always a great thing. I hate ties. I never understood their purpose or function outside of being a silk slave collar, but ties and the evil they contain is not the purpose of this “It’s Friday.” Today we celebrate the wedding, the easy Friday, and leaving work early.

The usual roadblocks I encounter on Fridays seem to be on vacation today as well. I have gotten most people confirmed already for the weekend. I had to make a few deals to get it all covered, but everyone seems to be on the same page today and understands the urgency. They are agreeing to overtime without any real arguments. They are taking the overtime and accepting “I owe you one” from me. I am taking furious notes as well to make sure I do not screw any of them over either. Notes are a bad memory’s best friend. They are helping me this weekend so I owe it to them to keep my promises. Trust is a two way street and I must carry my end.

The temptation to write some partisan story today is almost unbearable. There is so much in the news today and it is all so juicy. This is the final Friday before the election so it is the last chance to dominate a news cycle. Both the left and the right are just emptying their closets for the media today with nasty stories flying back and forth. Most are lies, some are spin, there is the nugget of truth hidden in a few, and the rest are just plain old political opinions dressed up as facts and truth. I made a promise to stay above the trash and I will keep it. I posted my endorsements last night and that is as far as I will go with that. Just make sure everyone votes. I do not care for whom as long as you make the effort. I want to see an over 50% turnout this Tuesday. We can do it.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Offical Home for Wayward Lemmings 2006 Endorsements

By Kanrei

The Lemmings of the House is ready to announce our endorsements for the 2006 election. In keeping with the pledge of nothing negative I will not place any sarcasm or underhanded jabs at those I could not support. I will only state the reasons for my decision and leave it at that.

I should just get the obvious one out of the way and move on. The Home for Wayward Lemmings is proud to support Bill Nelson for Senate. In a landscape of Senators fighting for the national spotlight Bill Nelson has remained largely under the radar and focused on the state he was chosen to represent and not the party he is in. I cannot believe Katherine Harris, who is already a national figure, would place the state above the party she is a member of.

The House of Representatives race is a simple choice as well, but not for the obvious reasons. Lincoln Diaz-Balart is the current Representative for my district as well as Vice-Chairman of the House Rules Committee and the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Legislative and Budget Process. He has served my district for many years and I cannot tell you one thing he has sponsored or done for south Florida. He is a party man. This is why the Home for Wayward Lemmings must endorse his opponent Frank J. Gonzalez. The simple reason being that Diaz-Balart is a Republican and I always believe the Congress should be the opposite party of the Executive branch. This is not choosing a Democrat over a Republican because I voted for Republicans in 2004 as I voted for Kerry to be President. It is how I always vote.

Now for the big one: the race for Governor. The race is between Republican State Attorney General Charlie Crist and Democrat Representative Jim Davis. This one was easier to decide than I originally thought. I admit to leaning towards one candidate over the other, but I still did my research on the two. The more research I did though, the more I seemed to continue leaning. Eventually it just seemed ridiculously obvious which candidate to support. The Home for Wayward Lemmings is proud to endorse Charlie Crist as the next Governor of the state of Florida.

I know many of you are shocked that I am supporting a Republican for Governor, but my reasons have nothing to do with party. Crist has spent his career thinking about Florida and how to protect and improve it. Davis has been a Washington politician for too long I think. In the debates between the two I saw Crist as a Floridian and Davis as a politician. Crist I also believe will govern much like JEB and, believe it or not I think JEB was great for Florida. I would not support JEB for President, but I was impressed with the job he did and Crist worked very closely with him.

There are the Lemming Endorsements in a nutshell. The Amendments are too confusing to get into and who really cares outside my state anyway about those? For the record, if we had a Democrat President I would be voting for Lincoln-Diaz, but not Harris.

I run the risk of going negative now so I will close with GET OUT AND VOTE ON TUESDAY!

Today's Earworm 80's Style

Are you brave enough to enter the post and test the Earworm's power?

A Non-Partisan Zone is Now in Effect

In honor of how I believe the media should be covering elections I will not post any negative stories here about any candidate until after the election starting today. I will, after that final bit of research, be posting who I intend to vote for on Tuesday, but I will not play political games until then and will only be commenting on the elections that I vote in.

Any race in any other state is none of my business and I have no opinion on them as of today. The reason I am announcing this is that someone needs to show the media the proper way to handle elections, especially elections this vital to the nation.

There are no national races in this election cycle. Every single person running is running for a state related office. Even those running for the U.S. Congress are running to represent their states in Congress. The national media has no place in this election. Voters should be looking to local news outlets for the real stories about who they should be voting for. National news is more concerned with the party races and which side has control over the course of the nation. We should be looking for who will do the best job for our states first.

All Lemmings are requested to learn their own way to the cliff and not follow the crowd. Do some research on your candidate’s views and vote for the person who will represent you and your state, not who will make your party stronger. The politics of party is the only thing that can defeat us.