Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Modern Day Walter Mitty in a World of Hope and Change.

There is a fictional character called Walter Mitty which was also made into a bad Danny Kaye film (most Danny Kaye films were bad as he was the Chevy Chase of his time...Chevy with bad musical numbers).

The Mitty character is basically a sheepish, mild-mannered man of little to no importance who sleepwalks thru life while dreaming of all the things he could do if he had the chance. If life would only give him the opportunity, he could show the world what he could do. Meanwhile he just lives his average life, short of the things he wished he had and short of the adventures he wishes he could have.

I have always identified with Mitty, unfortunately. The American Heritage Dictionary defines a Walter Mitty as "an ordinary, often ineffectual person who indulges in fantastic daydreams of personal triumphs". My whole life I have dreamed of things I could do. Write a best selling book or a blockbuster screenplay. Front a Rock & Roll band on a world tour or create the next great Concept Album. Become the next Senator or Congressman from my part of the country and of course all the things I could do if I won the Lottery.

This unto itself is not unusual. We all have dreams, as we should and some people find ways to make them come true. I am just not one of those people. I have never really done anything to even try to make any of my dreams come true. Even when I did make an effort, I gave up at the 1st sign of adversity.

My case of Walter Mittyism runs even deeper than that. I find myself hoping for changes around me to even accomplish the most simplest of tasks. If I had a girlfriend, I'ld clean my apartment. If my pay was higher, I'ld work harder. If I had more money, I'ld spend and invest it wisely. If I had HealthCare, I'ld be healthier.

You'ld think the answer is obvious in that I obviously have the cause & effect in reverse order. I'ld maybe have a girlfriend if my apartment (and me) was clean. Maybe I'ld earn more if I worked harder (or at a better paying job) and I would have more money now if I spent and invested wisely now.

Health Care is a little different in that being healthy is not going to grant me HealthCare but the same principle applies. You see, if I had health coverage now and went to the doctor, he/she would advise me to stop smoking, eat healthier, exercise and stop living in filth. I would most likely ignore that advice because I already know these things are bad yet I do them anyway.

Maybe if I won the lottery, had a beautiful girlfriend(s), owned my own record company and citizens were imploring me to run for office, I'ld care more about living longer, would take better care of myself and wouldn't need HealthCare anyway.

Better still. Maybe I can make all these changes myself in my own life now. Maybe I don't need to wait for someone to inspire me or a government entity to provide for me. Maybe I can improve the lives of my family, my friends, my country and myself by taking responsibilty for them instead of always making excuses for not trying and expecting someone or something else to provide for me what I can get myself.

Whew! I feel good now. I'll definately get started on that...tomorrow.

Pleasant Dreams Everyone,

Monday, September 28, 2009

#9 Conspiracy..."Poppies...poppies..."

During the 1st Gulf War, many accused President George H.W. Bush (and America) of going to war for oil. I never did, nor do I now, dispute this claim (partially) because after all, the most common reason for war is to take over or defend resources while using the human tragedies of war to garner emotional support for the effort. The reality is that despite protecting the sovereignty of Kuwait, Saddam Hussein could not be allowed to control those oil fields. We should have marched on Baghdad back then instead of a decade later but the point of this blog is not to condone or condemn those wars. I simply want to admit that there is always more than one reason to go to war and it is often the unspoken reasons that are the main catalysts.

This particular Conspiracy Theory attempts to ascertain why we have invaded Afghanistan beyond the given reasons of hunting for Osama Bin Laden and fighting the Taliban/Al Qaeda.
I believe the reason for The Afghan War is for another natural resource and for a political agenda.

The resource is Poppies...and the agenda is National Health Care.

Here is a Wikipedia excerpt as to why Poppies are important.

Poppies as medicine

Tasmania, Turkey and India are the major producers of poppy for medicinal purposes and poppy-based drugs, such as morphine or codeine.[8] The USA has a policy of sourcing 80% of its narcotic raw materials from the traditional producers, India and Turkey.[9]
A recent initiative to extend opium production for medicinal purposes called Poppy for Medicine was launched by The Senlis Council which proposes that Afghanistan could produce medicinal opium under a scheme similar to that operating in Turkey and India.[10] The Council proposes licensing poppy production in Afghanistan, within an integrated control system supported by the Afghan government and its international allies, to promote economic growth in the country, create vital drugs and combat poverty and the diversion of illegal opium to drug traffickers and terrorist elements. Interestingly, Senlis is on record advocating reintroduction of poppy into areas of Afghanistan, specifically Kunduz, which has been poppy free for some time.
The Senlis proposal is based in part on the assertion that there is an acute global shortage of opium poppy-based medicines some of which (morphine) are on the
World Health Organisation's list of essential drugs as they are the most effective way of relieving severe pain.

Of course we already know that Nationalized Health Care is important to President Obama, but why does he want the Poppies? It's very simple really...Soma for everyone. If the government controls Health Care, then it also controls prescriptions.

The next logical step is to also control the supply of opiates that most of our (good) medications are made from.

Afghanistan has lots of Poppies.

*Disclaimer - I don't know if all these fields are poppies or if the video loops.

Of course a valid argument can be made that the Taliban & Al Qaeda make millions of dollars from the heroin and that money is then used for terrorism.

But now that ObamaCare seems to be floundering and we may not have Federalized Health Care after all...Obama seems much less interested in "winning" in Afghanistan.

It's really all about the Poppies...isn't it?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Progressive Bowel Movement...Constipated since the 70's.

Talk to any old hippie (if you dare) and they will gleefully tell you how they changed the world in the 60's - early 70's. "We stopped The War", they will say with a sense of pride and satisfaction. "We got involved, changed the dialogue and changed the minds of Americans".

But if you ask them about the 100's of thousands (perhaps millions) of people who suffered intolerably when the U.S. pulled out of Vietnam, they will deflect the conversation to attacking America for getting "involved" in the 1st place.

Outcomes are not really as important to hippies (progressives) as much as "making a difference" is. If the cause is great, that is all that matters. What doesn't matter is that they have no clue how to fix the problem or the ramifications of whatever plan they have. It just matters that they are "....changing the dialogue."

Well these progressive cause-loving hippies have not had a "world changing" movement since the Vietnam War. They have been busy devising ways to make money and get rich while staying true to their hippy ideals (Climate Change fits that bill) and now that they are successful they are racked with a sense of guilt (over becoming wealthy) and have become cranky feeling that they don't "make a difference" anymore.

Obama and his Hope & Change Mantra is just what they have been longing for. A way to use their new found wealth & power in order to be relevant again. Sure there are true believers out there who think Obama's Centralized Government Control is a great idea, but I suspect that many (many, many) of them just feel old and constipated because they haven't had a good movement in decades.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wake Up America...The Dream Is Over.

I grew up believing that in America you had Freedom and an Inalienable Right to Pursue Happiness. I also grew up believing that these two powers granted us were to be honored and respected...but also to be feared.

These powers are tremendous and led to a Nation of (mostly) highly motivated individuals who worked hard for everything they wanted and had a sense of pride for everything they achieved. People prospered because of their hard work, their ingenuity and there talents. We looked up to the most successful Americans because they were our shining examples of what we can achieve...if we try hard enough... was called The American Dream.

Was it harder for some people to achieve succsess? Did some people start off with disadvantages and did some people have seemingly huge obstacles they had to overcome in order to achieve their dream? Yes, most certainly so but that always made their success all the more inspirational.

Was it fair that some of these obstacles existed in the 1st place? Yes actually, it was. Some specific obstacles were (and are) wrong in a moral sense but simply having a disadvantage of some sort is not an injustice. Actually, the only way to have justice and fairness is to ensure that everyone has obstacles to overcome.

In a Free Society it is simply impossible to remove all of the percieved injustices because the very freedoms we enjoy sometimes create them when they are used for personal gain at the expense of others or when one persons happiness is causing anothers grief.

The American Dream felt like a nightmare to some because they felt it wasn't fair and/or their obstacles seemed too great to overcome, so Liberal Politicians (like Ted Kennedy) stepped in to supposedly "even the playing field" and create fairness where it was percieved to be missing...and now the American Dream has become a Nightmare for us all...isn't fairness and equality wonderful?

Now our society looks at success as somehow evil. If you are successful, you must have hurt many on the way. How many others dreams were squashed so that you could achieve yours? I am poor because you are wealthy. I want what you have. I deserve what you have. It's not fair.

Corporations are evil because they make lots of money.
Small Businesses are evil because they don't pay as well as the larger ones.
Individuals are evil simply because they have things that others do not.

Class Envy and entitlement attitudes have transformed our nation into something I don't recognize as American, nor do I like it very much, nor is it healthy. I may not be the most successful person myself but at least I have always known that my successes and failures have been MINE! I own them and I still own my dreams which I will achieve (or not) because of my own initiative, my own hard work and by overcoming any and all obstacles that may exist or arise.

I don't need Ted Kennedy's (or Obama's) "dream" of government control to achieve my American Dream. I just need to take control of my own life and be responsible to those around me. If we need Governement to force us to be productive, responsible citizens then the American Dream is truly over...

...and the nightmare begins.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Zombie Economics...Part 3: "Righteous Indigestion Over Health Care Reform".

As many who "know" me are aware, I seem to be suffering from some sort of intestinal/abdominal condition which has yet to be diagnosed let alone treated because I am one of the 15-40 million Americans who have no Health Insurance. The company I work for actually does offer insurance to some of it's employees but for some reason not to me (or my direct supervisor either). There does not seem to be any logical criteria for why this is the case and I suspect that some law(s) is being broken in this policy. Legal proceedings perhaps will ensue eventually if I am hospitalized (for lack of care) and it turns out that their practices were illegal.

Now I have no problem getting the Government involved if laws have been broken under Unfair Practice but if it turns out that this company has done nothing (legally) wrong then it is a personal/business issue between me and my employer. They obviously don't value my work, nor my health enough to offer me these benefits and I obviously don't value myself enough to seek better employment. It has been my choice to stay with this company and Hope for Change rather than making my life better for myself and my children.

Now I DO have a problem with Government stepping in and saying, "We are going to give you Health Care and this is what you are gonna get." It's not that I don't want the care...I do...I just don't want it from my Government. No one should be and no one can be in charge of my betterment other than myself. Succede or's up to ME...not Government...not my's all about what choices I make for my life...for better or worse.

Choice is the key thing in not just Health Care but in every aspect of our lives. The more choices we have (more jobs to choose form, more HMO's to choose from, what car to drive, where to live) depends not on a Government to provide but for Private Industry, Business and the Individual Worker to decide, based on Competition, Profit and Individual Talent.

Government Programs by design do not offer choice but rather limit it, or take it away completely. Government Programs also by design give too much power and control over our lives to the Government. This is never a good thing. The possibilty for coersion, rationing and corruption becomes all the greater when Government is put in control.

This is what many of the protestors are balking at and yes even shouting about. "We are NOT going to give you control over our lives by placing the condition of our health into your hands!"
That is simply too much power for any Government to have over it's citizens. Now, I am not one of those saying that old people and the chronically ill will be the 1st ones to be Euthanised under a Government Program, but what I am saying is this..."You have to recognize that that possibillty exists because you have given the Government that power over you (should they decide to utilize it).

Think back to George W. Bush getting the ok to utilize wiretaps to "gather intelligence" on possible terrorists. I agreed with the Left on this one in that it grants too much power to the Government to monitor and perhaps infringe upon Free Speech. I was terrified of future attacks and evil plans in the making, but I said then that it is foolish to give that kind of power to Government because who knows how it could be used in the future. Look at what we have now...our current President wants us to report on our fellow citizens for "fishy" speech. Can I now expect my phone to be tapped because this blog was flagged by someone as "fishy"?

What is that old saying that "the road to ruin is paved with good intentions". Health Care is a prime example of that. I understand the compassion of the Left to want to provide service to everybody, I truly do...and I think most Conservatives and Libertarians do also but there is a right way to go about it and a wrong way...and the Wrong Way is most definately Government Provided and/or Government Controlled.

Ok, so what is the "Right Way"? I don't really know but I do have an idea for consideration (which is probably full of holes but here goes anyway)...

The Federal Government could pass a law that states that Health Insurance MUST be provided by every business to every employee without exemptions (pre-existing conditions, part-time, etc.) and also Deregulate the Insurance Industry to allow National Coverage as opposed to State-by-State coverage. This deregulation and subsequent competition would drive down the overall costs for everyone...worker, business owner and Insurer. Would some Insurance Companies fail because they can't compete? Yes, most certainly..and as it should be. Could one company gain a monopoly? No, because there are already laws preventing that.

(now try to stay with me because I know you're worried about cost for small business owners)

Every business whether small or large will be given a Tax Credit based on what they are paying in Health Benefits. This money can then be used (must be used actually)to reinvest in the company to grow, sell more widgets hire more employees...whatever it takes to be more succesful (and wealthier) thereby improving the overall economy.

(but that's still alot of investment by the Federal Government, I know...hear me out. ;>)

Along with the Tax Credit for all businesses comes a "slight" tax increase on profits. The more money the business makes, the more money the Government gets to fund the Health Care Tax Credits. However, the tax increases would be on a gradual system based on how much profit is being made above the cost of the Health Care Benefits. If no profit can be made then the business gets a one-time-pass untill they restructure so profits can be made (or go out of business because the owners suck). Would some people lose their jobs in the restructurings? Yes, probably so.

(but what about the Unemployed? Now they're out of work AND have no Insurance.)

1st off..not to sound too uncaring or unfeeling but if I am let go from my job because of cost cutting measures...well the company obviously didn't deem me worthy of keeping around which is likely my fault and I am probably better off going elsewhere anyway.
2nd...the Federal Government (and/or State) CAN offer Catastrophic Coverage for the interim unemployed...No Doctor Visits but Emergency Room Coverage for...well..emergencies. If someone remains unemployed for an absurd amount of time, then quite frankly they are not looking hard enough and maybe they should be the first ones euthanised. (just kidding) ;>P

When I am rehired at my old job or hired at a new one, I will once again be on the Basic Health Care Package but with the option of increasing my coverage (a PPO instead of a HMO) through payroll withholdings. If I can't afford better coverage than I need a better job. Every worker would have this option for increased coverage either out of their own pocket or through contract negotiations with their employer.

Could this plan work and could it pay for itself while business thrives and people still have choices? I don't know. I am not an economist, nor a politician nor a business owner. I am just a simple working man with cronic indigestion who would like to see a better/fairer system but I say NO! with righteous indignation to Government Control.

That is why I have Righteous Indigestion.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I Should Be a Liberal...

I should be a Liberal because although I work hard, my job does not offer me Health Care Benefits and I can not afford private Insurance.

I am not a Liberal because I realize that it is a dead end crappy job and it has been my choice to stay with it.

I should be a liberal because when I see people get hurt, I wish it could have been avoided.

I am not a Liberal because I realize that much of the time the people who get hurt could have avoided it themselves.

I should be a Liberal because I am Pro-Choice, I favor sex education in schools and don't care if Gays want to marry.

I am not a Liberal because I believe abortion is the wrong choice, teens should not be having sex and why does anyone want to get locked into a contract that ultimately bites them in the ass...really!

I should be a Liberal because I believe in complete Free Speech, Freedom of the Press and Freedom of (Peaceful) Assembly.

I am not a Liberal because alot of that speech, press and assembly annoys the crap out of me.

I should be a Liberal because I want pot to be legalized.

I am not a Liberal because I realize you can't always get what you want...and if you try get what you need.

I should be a Liberal because I want to Make Love, Not War.

I am not a Liberal because I realize not everyone else feels that way.

I should be a Liberal because I really have no idea what God is, what His interactions with us are and what the meaning of Life is.

I am not a Liberal because He is, He does and there is.

I should be a Liberal because I think I know what is best.

I am not a Liberal because I know you do too.

I should be a Liberal because I could totally see myself reciting this at a pretensious, bohemian coffee haus.

I am not a Liberal because I realize how incredibly lame that truly is.

Linky if you wanna post there where it's plaid and full of smart peeps.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"Ghost of the Future,"... "I fear you more than any Spectre I have seen.

So President Obama has embraced the conversion of Arlen Spectre to the Democrat Party.

If we were to hold Obama to his campaign promises, then this conversion should be condemned, not praised. Spectre's party switch is an act of political expediency on the part of a desperate man to hold onto power.

The point is not whether he really ever was a Republican or not or whether he will help Obama's agenda or not. The really troublesome thing to me is that this is another example of how power is the motivating factor in most if not all of our elected officials. It is our own fault though, of course, because we the people vote for Congressmen and Senators based on what they can do for us. The more powerful they are, the more pork we receive.

Arlen Spectre will gladly chide the GOP in order to gain favor with the majority Left in his state so he can hold on to his power...and the voters will likely gladly vote for him in order to keep the pork coming.

I fear the chains that we as a society are creating for by link...a chain of dependancy...a chain of indentured servitude for generations to come.

Jacob Marley: I wear the chain I forged in life! I made it link by link and yard by yard! I gartered it on of my own free will and by my own free will, I wore it!

Scrooge 1935