Friday, July 18, 2008

My monkey butler Brian Dennehy screwed up again and he’s sorry - UPDATED!

Turning away from political matters now, a story crossed my path that I just HAD to comment upon. It comes from Springfield, MO, which I'm thinking is making a dedicated run at being declared the weirdest (or dumbest) city in America.
Recall earlier this year the reports of innocent civilians getting waylaid by a crafty door-to-door tattoo artist and his homemade tattoo gun? Yep, that was Springfield. So, now, courtesy of the KC Star, comes their latest bid for the title:

A southwest Missouri woman has sued Wal-Mart, local health officials and Cox Health Systems, claiming they discriminated against her and her monkey named Richard.

Because it's vitally important to the story for the readers to know the name of the monkey.

Debby Rose of Springfield...

No, the other monkey.

said in the lawsuit that the 10-year-old bonnet macaque helps curb a social anxiety disorder that can cause her to have panic attacks in public.

Health officials in 2006 sent letters to restaurants and grocery stores, advising them not to let Rose in with the monkey.

Well, there's some Grade-A crackerjack advice for you right there: Don't let any wackjobs into your store if they're toting around an effin' monkey... especially if it's named Richard.

Although, I'm torn on this issue. I think if I had to be waiting for hours in a hospital, or other fun bureaucratic-type environment, I'd really enjoy watching a loon struggle to keep her masturbating, feces-flinging monkey from going out of control. Especially if it's wearing a cute little hat.


UPDATE: Obviously, stories found online don't last forever so it's no surprise that the KC Star link is now dead. Not to fear though our intrepid friend, The Rachy, is on the case! She goes internet mining, and comes up with gold: a link to FoxNews's coverage - with a picture! I sincerely hope that Richard wasn't a Buddhist in a previous life... because it must have been horrifying to come back and be that crackpot's pet monkey.


Labels: , ,

Saturday, July 12, 2008

We're doing fine on the One and Nine line

What follows is another in my continuing (though recently absent) series of open letters I've written to various persons and groups.

I noted with interest that the RNC is soliciting input from us mere plebeians regarding the party's platform to be taken up at the convention this fall in Minnesota. After a cursory look at the major issues up for discussion, I sat down to write a thoughtful, informed, and thorough suggestion... with the intention of writing more on the various issues that are important to me and other Americans.

But, sadly, they're not interested in anything I have to say. There's a 1000 character limit on submissions, so only the much-derided John Edwardsy "bumper sticker" stuff gets through. Oh sure, I understand that they don't want some Truther wackjob to fill up the server with 85 pages of bong resin induced fantasy... but just shouting platitudes without bothering to back up your arguments is the kind of pathetic crap one would see on the internet. For Pete's sake, this is supposed to be a national political party discussing the direction in which our country should go, not a ridiculous blog talking about Brittney's cooter pics!


Be that as it may, I hereby reduce myself to their level, and post what should rightfully be residing in the RNC suggestion box - onto a ill-trafficked blog. Hell, at least this way someone will read it. Not that it matters, since the only choices we have in November are "Democrat and Democrattier."

Dear Republican National Committee:

It is absolutely ridiculous that we are burning food for fuel when we have untold billions of barrels of oil readily available and easily accessible to us on our own land. Land that the inhabitants thereof (such as there are) wholeheartedly want us to utilize to meet our energy needs. We need to drill, and drill now. We *know* where the oil is, all we have to do is go out and get it.

In the meantime, given that corn prices (and other agricultural products usable as fuel) are skyrocketing, can we take a serious look at curtailing subsidies - ESPECIALLY those for non-production. Why on earth are we paying people in Manhattan NOT to grow corn, when A) there's no farmland in Manhattan, and B) growing corn is pretty damned profitable right now, and only getting moreso as time goes on?

But raw production is not the only facet that needs to be addressed. We also need to reduce or eliminate the absolute stranglehold that the Federal government has over our nation's refining capacity.
No new oil refineries have been constructed in this country in years now. The temporary price spikes after hurricane Katrina should have taught us a lesson regarding our scarce refineries, but now that those post-Katrina prices are soon to be the daily prices nationwide, we have still done nothing.
This principle should also apply to nuclear power production as well. It is easy to raise the spectre of Chernobyl or Three Mile Island and dismiss nuclear power out of hand as unsafe, but those incidents are over 20 years ago. Computers took up entire rooms then, instead of carried them their hands. People used record players or reel-to-reel tapes rather than ipods smaller than a saltine. The technology we have available has improved dramatically, and is used extensively throughout Japan and Europe for clean, cheap, and readily available power production. If they can do it, why not America??

We cannot let this issue slide due to apathy, or let fears of global warming - a hotly contested theory, and one that has had several of its base assumptions proven false this past spring - cause us to abandon market principles, common sense, and our economic independence to communist or fascist nations whose true loyalties lie only with themselves.
As many wise men have noted, the engine of capitalism (and freedom) depends on the free flow of energy at market prices. So let's get the government out of the way and finally let it happen!

Sincerely, Stewed Hamm (or a reasonable facsimile thereof)

I should note here that I said I had plenty of other thoughtful, reasoned arguments to make on other issues. I do. If I get time, I might post them to the blog. (I understand that's what they're used for, when not otherwise occupied with cat pictures and bitching about movies) But I'm currently trying to find a job in this fabulous economy that Congress has led us to, and it's a full-time job all in itself. If you want to forward me a couple-three dollars, I'll hammer out a platform issue for you... but since you're in the same world economy I am, I doubt you've got it to spare. Not to worry though, if they come up in the course of comments to this or other posts, I'll give 'em a whirl.

And finally, a note to my regular reader(s):

Given that the blog is turning towards ongoing debates with a decidedly political bent, I should also announce that I have asymptotic patience for the Presidential race as Election Day approaches. As far as I'm concerned, it's Aliens vs. Predator: "Whoever wins, we lose."
As I've said before, I'm quite firmly behind my state and local candidates. The West Hammistani mayorial election is starting to heat up, with some great shenanigans happening late Thursday afternoon. I can't wait to see what happens next. (assuming I'm still living in Hammistan by November, that is)
So, what I'm trying to say is that I don't support either candidate for President. I don't support Ron Paul's inane hordelings or any of the other vote wastes either. Don't waste your time trying to persuade me to vote for your favorite horse/magical hopechange unicorn. I will delete out-of-hand any comments I deem to contain outright campaigning or spamming of stump speech points. You've been duly notified-itized.

I am, however, perfectly willing to entertain thoughtful, reasoned debate on whatever subject should arise - provided that you can conduct yourself like an adult.

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

If you'll just hold on for one more second

Guess what, everyone? It's "Random Discussion Tuesday!"

So if you're not regular readers of the Hillbilly Mansion, then you won't be aware that Hillbilly Mom dedicated an entire post to me and a comment I made regarding where to assign credit/blame for the state of the economy. This is, of course a signal honor, considering that it's not a political blog. I would have replied in the comments , but I wanted to include some text formatting and a graph. (thanks, Dr. Stapp!) So if this sort of thing interests you, you'll first want to read up on her post, so you know where we all stand.

An entire post dedicated to me? Gosh, I'm flattered. (I'm sure the Economy is flattered as well) Now, while my main point was that assigning all blame to one party for the state of the US economy is hardly fair, I'm happy to reply to your answer.

To start with, you are entirely correct that the Democrats have not had a veto-proof majority for the past 6 years. They still have control over committees, where legislation is drafted, and the legislative calendar, which determines the bills that will be debated on the floor. So let's keep in mind that every bill voted on by Congress has already passed a Democrat-controlled committee of both houses, and the Democrat leadership's legislative calendar of both houses.
This, of course, does not actually prevent Congress from passing laws and forcing the President to veto them - a useful tactic as it puts the President on defense for his veto, rather than pressure on Congress for failing to act. But you can imagine how many more Democrat-preferred spending and economic bills make it to the floor than do Republican-preferred bills.
Naturally, the President can only sign or veto bills that actually get to his desk. He doesn't have any power to draft laws himself, and must depend on Congress to author responsible laws based on solid economic principles (and good luck with THAT, no matter who's in power)
If a bad law was signed, then I think that equal blame must be shared by the Democrat-led Congress that wrote it, and the President who signed it. Again, that's all I asked.
So, are you saying that there are some bills that would have strengthened the economy that President Bush vetoed, but shouldn't have? I'd be interested to hear your take on his very few exercises of the veto.

Moving on, I do indeed recall two government shutdowns (of "non-essential employees") during the 90s. As I remember it, Congress passed budget bills that weren't big enough for your man Bill. Bill wanted to spend more money, and raise taxes along to way to make sure that he could do it.
The Republican-led Congress refused, and let the government's authorization to spend money expire. There may have been other times prior to this when this happened, but my political memory only goes back so far - to the mid 80s. This particular time I remember well because I wondered why the hell the government was employing those people in the first place if they were non-essential.

As to our comparative educations in History, I'll take a pass on that. My schooling in US Government came primarily from my creepy 9th grade teacher Mrs. Eichmann, who always had a big smile on her face, regardless of how gruesome the subject was. Stalin? Viking Wing Death? It's grins all around from Mrs. E.
I'll also have to skip over your unemployment office experience, since you didn't say when it happened or for how long. It wouldn't be gentlemanly of me to ask a lady to supply such salacious (what a great word that is) things as dates and times.

I really like your National Debt chart though. Granted, it's from a politically biased source, (an LA County Democrat Party) so it should be discounted out of hand, and we should go look up the raw data ourselves. As we both have important things to do like watch Food Network and Ice Road Truckers, let's just assume that their data is accurate and move on.
This graph really cuts to the core of my (and the Economy's) point made in the earlier comment. Replace all the labels that refer to the party of the President in power, with the party in control of Congress, and we see a very different graph. Practically all of the large increases in the debt occur under Democrat-controlled Congresses, and the period of reduction in debt increases occur during a Republican-led Congress.

So when we assign some blame to the branch of government in which spending originates, it's not so clear-cut, is it? As my Congressionally-labeled graph shows, 9 of the 10 largest increases occurred under Democrat-led Congresses. (1985, 1990-1993, 2003-2006) 10 out of 10, if we include 2007, which does not appear on this graph. Incidentally, the NEW Records! that the Gardena Valley Democrats thought were so important to mention all happened under Democrat Congresses as well.
It's also important to note that this is a graph of INCREASES to the debt. Notice that not once does it ever decrease. Ever.

I've been dirt poor through both Clinton and Bush, though I've never felt poor enough to say I was "penny pinching." There was economic growth during both periods, but how it was reported by the media is mainly what makes people feel about good or bad economic times. Regardless, our individual experiences are statistically insignificant when talking about something as massive as the largest economy on the planet.

I'm with you on BO, though. I get lost trying to keep up with what he believes from day-to-day. About the only thing that's stayed consistent is that any criticism of his proposals or personal deficiencies is "a distraction from the issues" or "isn't helping [Michelle Obama's] kids."
If BO's like me, and can't stand the liquid annoying-ness that oozes off of Lindsey Buckingham, then I don't blame him for taking a pass on the Mac. If he's looking for a song from the era, I'd suggest Journey's "Any Way You Want It."

"Any way you want it
Thats the way you need it
Any way you want it"

There's a bunch of stuff in there about lovin' touchin' and/or squeezin' (hey, they should have written a song about that stuff too) but the BO-centric part gets mentioned over and over. I'm sure that makes me and Journey (and possibly the Economy, too) a bunch of racists.

Labels: , , ,