31 January 2009

Iran: Men vs. women soccer game draws punishment

Here we go folks with yet another story from peace-loving Iran and the tolerant and peaceful religion of Islam. According to Ali Akbar Dareini, a writer for the Associated Press,a soccer game was held in Iran and people were punished for it. Well, after all it was a mixed soccer game, the first where males and (HORRORS!) females played together since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. It seems that the peaceful and tolerant religion of Islam bans any physical contact between unrelated men and women, and Iranian women are even banned from attending soccer games when male teams play.

Even the president Imadingyjihad (Ahmadinejad) surprised his conservative backers when in 2006 he decreed that women could attend soccer games; he said their presence would “improve soccer-watching manners and promote a healthy atmosphere.” Wow, pretty progressive for a lunatic bent on destroying Israel and America with the nuclear weapons they're NOT developing in the desert. It gets better though because their "supreme leader", Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, disagreed; since he has the final word, no women can be in the stands when the men play...so much for peace and tolerance huh?

27 January 2009

What in the World???

I know, I know, it's been a while since I posted anything and I do apologize to the few who actually read my writings. I have been having a difficult time coming up with topics to write about without degenerating into sociopathic rantings. Barack Obama has been president for a week and the withering criticisms from the uber-whacko-right are astounding. I was listening to NPR this afternoon on my way home and heard a GOP Senator complaining about all the "pork" in Obama's proposed stimulus plan. What pork he is talking about is money for education and the NEA (National Endowment for the Arts)

So I guess the handouts to his rich buddies weren't pork but spending money on education and the arts is. It's really funny to me how when Bush was president all the Faux (Fox) News talking heads were all atwitter over how Bush was gonna save the banks with the bailout. Now that Obama is president, the exact same bailout garners him the accusation of beign a socialist. It just makes me wonder how supposedly intelligent people can watch Faux News and actually believe anything they say.

During his campaign, Obama promised he would bring transparency to the White House and to a certain extent he has. Except for when a reporter tried to turn a cordial visit into a press conference and now Obama is being accused (yep, by Faux News) of reneging on his promise. Insanity is the modus operandi of the whacko, bible thumpin, monster truck and Nascar watchin right wing conservatives, I guess. Another thing that gets me is his ordering the closing of Guantanamo; he promised he would and he signed the order the other day. This action has been lauded by human rights organizations as well as Evangelical preachers and bishops around the world.

Great move, huh? Not according to the malcontents; in fact the handful of terrorists that were released have returned to Al Qaida in droves! Still, how is that Obama's fault? Faux News blames Obama for their release but they were released during Bush's term! Again, how is that Obama's fault? The financial crisis is being blamed on Obama by Faux News and their minions (usually simple minded automotons who simply parrot Faux News) but the crisis started under Bush! And now we have the piece d'resistance, the whacko anti-abortion morons (otherwise known as Right to Life)...they are up in arms because Obama repealed the ill-advised and much maligned Executive Order issued by Bush that stops funding to countries and organizations that allow or provide abortions.

Why is this an issue? Who is going to take care of the unwanted babies? Aren't there more pressing issues to worry about like the financial crisis, terrorism, poverty, and education? Can the uber-whacko, bible thumpin, monster truck and Nascar watchin right wing conservatives get their heads on straight? It must really be tearing them up that we now have a president who can utilize rational thought AND form a complete and coherent sentence.

18 January 2009

Too Real Tragedy

I was sitting in my living room today reading the Sunday paper when a couple of things caught my eye. One was a letter to the editor so inane it made me laugh and the other was so tragic I almost cried tears of rage. How could these two pieces are related is what made me feel like I absolutely had to write this.

As you know, I have blogged in the past about the stupidity of abstinence-only education and the failure of the so-called virginity pledge. As I have said before I will say again; I agree 100% with Planned Parenthood on the need for comprehensive sex education for children starting in middle school. Time and time again it has been proven the head-in-the-sand abstinence-only approach to sex education does not work. It has been proven that virginity pledges do not work. It has been proven time and time again that the religious right is wrong, so very wrong. Yet, in today's paper is a response to the news piece announcing Mississippi has the highest rate of teen pregnancy. It should come as no surprise the letter was written by a religious education teacher. In it, the letter writer blames teen pregnancies on the sexual revolution of the 1960s. Never mind the fact that this so-called sexual revolution is more fantasy than fact, this is the typical response by a bible-thumper. To continue to promote abstinence only as the only way to prevent teen sex and the resulting pregnancies is sadly the modus operandi of the high and mighty Christian Right.

Which brings me to the second story. This can only be a tragic and sad testament to the Christian Right's sexual education campaign. In Dallas, Texas a 6-month-old baby boy is on life support and the courts may decide to pull that life support. This poor innocent precious child is suffering with severe brain damage and 42 skeletal injuries. A doctor noted that the boy's hands and feet appeared to have been pulled, twisted and crushed and that he also had skin injuries including bruises and human bite marks. BITE MARKS and CRUSHED HANDS AND FEET!!!! Evidently the mother and father visited these horrific injuries on their only son. According to the Associated Press the mother and father, ages 23 and 22 respectively, subjected their only child to long-term, extensive physical abuse. Both parents are sitting jail on $500,000 bail each. A court-appointed attorney for the infant boy has filed a motion in Dallas County juvenile court for life-support to be removed. One can only assume this is to spare the baby from any more suffering.

So now I suppose the right wing whacko bible thumpers are going to descend on Dallas en masse to protest this action because, after all, all life is sacred. They will no doubt blame the liberal left for wanting to remove the baby from life support and will also blame the liberals for the child's injuries. It's society's fault, you see. The parents were encouraged to have sex because of the lack of moral values in Hollywood and whatnot. The whackos will undoubtedly not bring up the fact that obviously abstinence only education did not work here. Another fact ignored would be this baby was born because they did not practice birth control which is another big taboo for the whacko bible thumpers. The mother could not have gotten an abortion either, if the whacko right had its way.

You see we can't have abortion, birth control, or sex education because it will encourage kids to have sex; it couldn't possibly be as effective as scaring the living hell out of the kids and telling them to remain abstinent until they are married. Yeah that's an effective education tool and when it doesn't work, we'll just blame the media and the liberals. That's what they are doing today anyway, blaming liberals for the problems they created. This baby's blood is on the Religious Right's hands, they know it and we know it. Keep thumping your bibles and crawl back under your rocks, people; you are being relegated to the obscurity of irrelevance.

15 January 2009


Ok folks, I have changed the title of my blog because if you Google "The Way I See It" you will get thousands of hits, none of which is me. So, the new title of my blog is "Motorcycles Have No Doors and Other Musings".

The short story behind the name comes from an old joke we used to tell in 1989 on my first ship; it goes like this, "Which is the quickest way to school?" the answer, "Motorcycles Have No Doors"

I know I know, you don't get it and well, neither do the majority of people I have told the story to...except for those who have served in the military...my brothers and sisters who have served are quite aware of what happens to the human mind and body when it has been pushed harder and farther than any civilian can understand.

The joke evolved after another tech and I had been up for 92 hours straight on the ship trying to track and isolate a problem in one of our main communications networks...we were punchy to say the least and the joke was actually a combination of about three jokes muddled together by fatigue and sheer exhaustion...in fact neither one of us remembered telling that joke but everybody who was around during our marathon heard it and told us about it.

One guy said it was the weirdest and funniest thing he had ever heard...but I guess you had to be there...

14 January 2009

Financial Lunacy

We all know 2008 was a tough year economically, right? The stock market plummeted, foreclosures and bad debt threatened to bankrupt several large businesses and individual retirement accounts took major hits. It is situations such as this that all the self-styled financial advisors come out of the woodwork, all preaching they and they alone know what is best for poor ignorant people like us. In fact, let’s take a look at some of the sillier suggestions on how to save a buck.

First up is Stacy Rapacon from Kiplinger.com who says we can refile our W4 to claim exemptions in order to increase take home pay; of course in the first of the year you will be paying the income taxes that were not withheld during the previous year. Another piece of advice is to raise the deductibles on your car and homeowners insurance to $1000 to reduce premiums. You may save a couple hundred bucks a year in premiums but what do repairs cost; remember you are now on the hook for the first $1000 of any type of repairs. That’s not so bad if your repair bills are going to be in the thousands but what happens if you have two or three minor accidents in the year with an average bill of about $700? Now you’re out $2100 but you only saved about two hundred bucks in premiums. We can drop our high interest credit cards and go with a card such as a rebate card like the American Express Blue; great deal, you get 1% rebate for gas, groceries and pharmacy purchases and .5% rebate on everything else and if you charge $15,000 dollars worth of purchases you can possibly bump your rebate to 5% and 1.5% respectively, “saving” you a whopping $490 a year. So you spend $15,000 to get $490.

Our second advisor, Brett Arends, from Wall Street Journal Online, advises we could buy a bread maker and possibly save about $200 a year by not buying store bread. That’s not all, we can also get a credit card with a great sign-up bonus like AirTran’s Visa card; you pay a $40 annual fee and use it once to get enough “reward miles” for a free $250 flight then you cancel the card! We can get rid of our premium cable package and subscribe to NetFlix to get movies and television shows that we download off the internet and watch at home. Sure my cable package (tv and internet) is pricey but we stay at home most nights to begin with and record stuff on the DVR as well as On Demand programming which is totally awesome. We could plant our own gardens to maybe save about $50 a year, or maybe we can make our own coffee since everybody drinks Starbucks because they don’t know how to make good coffee at home (yeah, right)

Our last guru is Steve Santiago from BankRate.com, who tells us to raise our insurance deductibles to $1000 (remember this, boys and girls?) He also advises us to turn down the temperature on the water heater to save money and protect us from those pesky scalding injuries from too hot water; we can also turn down the thermostat so when it is 15 degrees outside set it to a balmy 60 degrees (I don’t know about you but that is too cold for me) He tells us to buy one of those coupon books with all those great discounts like $2 off movie tickets or $5 off dinner at the national burger chain.

Don’t get me wrong, they do seem to give out some good advice about upping 401k’s and going to the library rather than buying books, but most of the good advice is moot if you are already living within your means. It’s really not that hard to do, you just spend less than you earn and how hard can that be?

09 January 2009

What Digital TV Conversion?

Stop me if you've heard this before; in 2005, the federal government mandated that all major television broadcasters will convert from analog broadcast to digital broadcast. This conversion was delayed and delayed again until a deadline of February 17, 2009 was established. Once the deadline was established a massive advertising campaign aimed at educating the citizenry on the conversion was launched. In addition, the federal government set aside about $1.3 billion (that's right...BILLION) dollars to provide subsidized coupons to purchase digital to analog converters.

So, the coupons were made available and there were commercials on every channel talking about the conversion, how it would affect you and what you needed to do to prepare. To sum up the advertising campaign it was broadcast repeatedly that if you had an older television but had cable or satellite tv, you were fine. If you had a newer television with a digital tuner built in (which is just about any television made with a cable ready jack) you were fine. If you had an older television and you were using an antenna (meaning you don't have cable or satellite) then you needed to purchase a converter box and you could get a coupon so you wouldn't have to pay full price.

The beauty of the conversion was in the sheer bandwidth of frequencies that was going to be freed up and auctioned to cellular service providers and the like. How this works is an analog television signal is broadcast on a set frequency, let's use 88 Mhz as an example here; frequencies are measured in hertz (hz), a hertz is one complete cycle, Mhz is Mega hertz which means 1 million cycles per second. Okay, so an analog signal broadcasts at 88 Mhz; well a digital signal will broadcast at 88.1 Mhz and that is the difference between an analog and digital signal broadcast. What that does is free up massive amounts of analog frequencies that cellular providers desperately need in order to expand their service areas and provide better service; imagine being able to go anywhere in this vast country and ALWAYS have a cell signal...sweet huh? No more roaming charges or dropped calls, always a signal no matter where you are. The sheer beauty of this conversion was the average person on the street did not need to know all the technical stuff; all the average person needed to know was how old their tv was and if they had cable or satellite...not too hard is it? I mean, is it really that hard to look at the back of your tv to see if you have the cable jack or an antenna jack? Is it really that hard to determine whether you get your tv signals from an antenna or a cable? Well, evidently it really is that hard. I was listening to NPR in my pickup on the way home from work today (yes, I am a geek, I listen to National Public Radio) and could not believe my ears. Here was this "consumer advocate" talking on the show All Things Considered about the poor unfortunate people out there who have done nothing to prepare for the upcoming conversion...nothing.

He whined on and on about how they did not purchase a converter box and now there weren't any more coupons available. This guy says there are three million households...3 MILLION...who are not prepared and they are evidently whining about it. People that are too dumb or just too lazy to do this are nto prepared and they are crying loud and clear in DC. So what is happening now? Well consumer advocacy groups and even the President-elect are calling for yet another delay for the conversion...all for these people who cannot be thought of as anything but DUMB STUPID IGNORANT jerks. Now, back when it became public knowledge this conversion was going to take place, I stated that no matter how much advertising, no matter how many Public Service Announcements, no matter how many coupons were issued, there would be people in this country whining about how they didn't know or they were confused or they couldn't get a coupon.

So what's going to happen? It's anybody's guess right now but the losers will be all of us who prepared ahead of time. Progress, meaning expanded cell frequencies and much improved cell service not to mention a vastly improved and more efficient broadcasting medium, is put on hold so the "guvmint" (meaning us taxpayers) can cater to the whims of the stupid, lazy, ignorant fools in this country. There is only one question to be asked here...WHY? Why is it everybody has to wait for these people? Isn't this taking the "equal opportunity" thing just a tad too far? It is television, it is not something vital to survival of the species. The good things that will come out of the conversion vastly outweigh these possible negatives. Plus, at least for me, this is proof of concept for the story of the grasshopper and the ant. Most of you out there know that little fable whose moral is those who prepare are the ones who will prosper.

So again, why do we have to wait for these few morons? I mean come on, the equality argument only goes so far fellas. Equality means everybody has the same opportunities and, despite our many flaws, this country affords everyone the same opportunites; when people do not take advantage of the opportunities afforded them and then complain it is someone else's fault, then it is not about equality. No, now it becomes you are a lazy whiner who wants everybody else to do it for you...oh wait, we've had that for decades now...my bad, carry on.

06 January 2009

Appointments, Senators and Racism...Oh My!!!

I am a Democrat...there I admitted it publicly. Yes, I am a Democrat and I voted for Obama and I am relieved "lipstick on a pig" Palin is not our Vice President (yes I think she is dangerous in that she is a moron in a powerful position), so sue me...nyah nyah nyah. We all know that by Obama being elected his Senate seat has been vacated.

Normally it would be up to the governor of Illinois to appoint a replacement Senator to serve out Obama's remaining term. Except that the good Illinois Governor, Rod Blagojevich, felt the seat was his to sell...and he got caught. Okay, does anybody out there know what this means?

What this means, boys and girls, is that good Governor Blagojevich is about to be an impeached and possibly imprisoned ex-governor...and I am all for it. The fact this moron even thought he could get cash and plum appointments for a SENATE SEAT is troubling at best. Personally I hope he goes to prison for a very long time where hardened criminals use him as their personal sex toy.

But I digress...this is not about Mister Blagojevich...nope, this is about his dubious appointment of Roland Burris to the Senate seat. For months now the pundits, the GOP, the Dems, and yes, even Mister President-elect Obama have been warning that any appointee named by the disgraced governor would not be seated. What was their reason for this? Well it goes like this, the overwhelming majority of the American public would think of that appointment as tainted by scandal, and rightly so.

Now, just so we get our facts straight let's recap; Blagojevich is caught redhanded trying to sell Obama's vacant Senate seat, Blagojevich is publicly warned by EVERYBODY (including the President-elect, remember this for there may be a quiz later) to NOT appoint anyone to the seat, Blagojevich defies everybody by appointing Roland Burris.

So, what do you think happened? Well, today when the rest of the new Senators were being sworn in, Burris was trying to get to his Senate seat and was turned away...just like everybody was warning would happen for a month now! So what happened? Well Dianne Feinstein warned that not seating Mister Burris would have ramifications for all gubernatorial appointments...got that...Ms Feinstein believes that not seating an appointee named by a corrupt governor would have an effect on an appointee named by a NON-corrupt governor.

And like I said in my last post...but wait, there's more! Some of Burris' supporters actually think he was denied because of his RACE!!! That's right boys and girls, even AFTER the BLACK President-elect warned that Burris would not be seated there are STILL idiots out there screaming racism!!!

A friend of mine blogged about the end of white guilt with the election of Obama and, for a while, I believed it too. Turns out we were wrong...the racism of blacks is alive and well in the good ole USA.

04 January 2009


Has anybody been watching tv lately? Specifically the specialty channels like HGTV and Food Network? Hell, even any of the other channels at any time of the day or night...anybody? Ok, so you're probably sitting there reading this and looking around you saying out loud, "I don't watch much tv..." Ok, it's your story you can tell it any way you like.

Chances are if you watch ANY television at all, you have seen the adverts featuring Billy Mays screaming about the next greatest thing you absolutely have to have. You may have seen the adverts for "The Snuggie" or "The 2-Way Draft Blocker" or "The Egg Cooker Thing" or maybe "The Pasta Cooker Thing for The Hopelessly Inept."

Seriously, folks, do we really need this crap? I mean is there really somebody out there who can't boil water and put the pasta in the pot, or put the eggs in the pot and then boil the water? Is there truly anybody out there who CAN'T grill a freakin hamburger? Maybe you are asking right now, 'What in the world is a "Snuggie?' Well think of a blanket with arms or a Franciscan Monk's robe. Seriously, what did we ever do without these earth shattering inventions? Here's a good one for you, "The Water Globe" You put the water in and stick the thing into your potted plant's soil and it "automatically" waters your plants...you know, because you're so dumb you can't figure out how to water a plant on your own. Or better yet, ladies are you tired of lugging around a big heavy purse? All you need is the "Purse Organizer" and you are set! You can load it up with every possible accessory you can think of and THEN hang it on your shoulder! I love the video of this one...in black and white here's a woman who is having a hard time carrying a big heavy purse; then, in color, she is carrying this thing that has everything she had in the old purse only now she's smiling and carrying it like it's light as a feather.

Do they think we are really that stupid? I mean, who is sitting there watching tv thinking, "WOW, I never could figure out how to cut a tomato or cook pasta or boil eggs...all I have to do is get this latest gadget and my life will be perfect!" Do we really need a digital voice recorder to tell us we need eggs in the grocery? Are you really going to stand there like a fweeb holding the thing to your ear, nodding your head and smiling an idiotic smile as you listen to your own voice?

Don't you love how they start every one of these in black and white with some moronic line like, "Ever been frustrated when your boiled eggs come out wrong?" and there's the black and white video with a woman holding a really messed up egg and shaking her head looking like she's gonna cry. What really kills me is this crap is shown on Food Network, a specialty channel for foodies!!! Seriously, if I am sitting there watching a chef prepare beef wellington I'm really not interested in the eggerator thing.

I brought up Billy Mays earlier...come on dude, do you HAVE to be that annoying? Okay, so maybe the oxi-cleaner crap does work but COME ON, do you REALLY think we need a "mini-hamburger" cooker? Every time this idiot comes on, I just want to slap him upside the head and tell him SHUT UP, WE DON'T CARE!!!

Oh well, maybe I can just sit back and quietly laugh at the goobers and easily led bumpkins as they walk around with the voice recorder up to their ear. Maybe I should make an infomercial for never being taken again...I could start it in black and white with the off-screen voice saying something like, "Are you tired of throwing your money away on stupid infomercial gadgets?" I could make the video with a guy surrounded in waist deep gadgets shaking his head and slapping his forehead. Then we transition to color video with the guy reading a book with a big dopey grin on his face and the voice says something like, "You don't have to fall for those ads...just buy this book 'How Not To Be A Dumb-Ass'!!! In this book you will learn techniques like changing the channel or turning the tv off...in a matter of days you will feel smarter!" Do you think it would work? I could charge $19.99 and throw in an extra like a cool bookmarker...but wait, there's more!!!!