Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Irate? Kill a pirate.

First, it's no wonder people claim the English language is one of the more difficult to learn. How come irate and pirate don't rhyme? There must be some rule about the word beginning with a consonant?

Anyway, I recently read about the latest in vacation entertainment. Sign me up! For $5000, a Russian luxury yacht company is offering a "pirate hunting cruise". I'm not making this up. The ship will sail through the pirate infested waters off Somalia at a "deliberately slow speed in the hopes of attracting pirates". For an additional $17.50 per day, vacationers will be issued an AK-47 and 100 rounds of ammunition. Former special forces troops will sail along as a security measure.

Now, if one chooses pirate as an occupation I suppose certain risks must be accepted as well. But I'm having a hard time seeing this as good clean entertainment. Part of me is appalled. But to be honest, part of me is quite intrigued by the prospect of feeding a pirate a hot lead sandwich. Must be all the John Wayne movies in my youth. Maybe I should just stuff that appalled part of me while I consider the business opportunities provided by this concept?

1- The Ghetto Safari. Participants are issued .357 Magnums, shoulder holsters, and baggy coats. They are then individually guided through high crime areas after being coached on how to look vulnerable. Hopefully, a willing mugger will put himself in a position where it is relatively easy to blow his brains out.

2- Cruisin' For A Car Jacker. In this scenario, a remotely controlled box will be placed in the back seat of a luxury sedan. You then try to hit every red light in an area noted for car jackings. When that 9 mm auto is shoved in your face and you are asked to abandon your vehicle you will do so willingly, knowing that as the perp is pulling away, you will be pushing a button on your remote control, releasing a four foot diamondback rattlesnake within the confines of the vehicle. What a hoot!

3- Rapist trapping. Women are given a sealed vial of highly concentrated hydrochloric acid and released into Manhattan's Central Park at 2:00 AM. Hopefully a rapist will appear and happily begin to give his would be victim the business. Appearing resolved to take what's coming to her, she will break the seal on the vial and pour it's contents on the wiley rapists naked back. The ensuing scene can only be described as modern interpretive dance.

4- Burglar Snares. Drop down murals depicting stores of precious gems and metals are installed in ground level rooms of your home. At night, after opening a window, you retire in the hopes that a hapless burlar will enter the room, only to discover the ruse. Before he can exit or do any damage out of anger, the windows and doors snap shut and a lethal dose of chlorine gas gets pumped into the room. Imagine the expression on his face!

5- Home Invasion Booby Traps. The impact of kicking in a front door triggers a blast from three concealed shotguns giving the the perps a lethal "Dick Cheney Facial" (Big Dick needs to collect royalties on this one.)

OK out there. Put on your thinking caps! What other ideas can you come up with for this one? Put them in the comments below and they will be published in a future post.


Common Sense

Saturday, June 27, 2009


The king of pop has passed. It's sad in a way. I was never a fan of his music but I certainly recognize the impact he had. He was also an extremely tragic individual that one couldn't help feeling sorry for. But what concerns me is the magnitude of coverage occasions like this garner in the press. I just don't get it. We have wars going on in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our economy is in the toilet. Katrina victims are still living in dilapadated trailers. Hard working Americans are finding themselves unemployed and unable to care for their families. I'm sure any of you can name a myriad of examples that should be more newsworthy than the passing of an entertainer yet we will be bombarded in the days or weeks to come with stories on Mr. Jackson and his family. And this doesn't stand alone. What the hell is going on in this country? I find this type of "news" coverage to be somewhat embarassing.

Is a night on the town with Paris Hilton or Lindsey Lohan really newsworthy stuff? Do we really care about "Brangelina" and the other celebrety couples so seemingly integrated into our culture? What is the fascination with Britany Spears? Why does the news of MJ's death completely overshadow that of Farrah Fawcett? Anna Nicole Smith? WTF? Who determines the magnitude of these events and how much coverage they should get?

We do. The "news" media has itself become an entertainment industry. We don't see "news" anymore. We see what some executive has decided will attract viewers. And as I've said many times, we are becoming a nation of morons so, get used to seeing moronic news. The only way we are going to stop it is to raise up as a country and start a campaign to educate and intellectually stimulate our lazy, ignorant, apathetic selves so we will WANT to see news worthy issues in the news.

What do we watch on TV? American Idol. Survival. The Great Race. The Bachelor. OK, not we... but enough of us to concern me. I watch a lot of the History Channel but even that has stooped down to accomodate the idiocy we have cultivated in our society. Ever see "Monster Quest"? The show examines whether actutal "monsters" exist out there living among us. Some are more idiotic than others but the bottom line is THEY NEVER SHOW PROOF OF EXISTENCE!!! The closest we come is someone insisting they "saw" the creature in question and it wasn't a dog, cat, bear, shark, whatever.... I'm guessing it was a hallucination brought on by a night of heavy drinking.

What can we do about this? It starts with our children. Or maybe it's too late for that and needs to start with our children's children. We need to impress upon our kids that Michael Jackson was NOT necessarily someone they or our grandkids should aspire to become or emulate. I mean come on, the guy was a suspected pedophile for crying out loud. And talk about mal-adjusted. Who in their right mind subjects themselves to that level of plastic surgery? Think about how unbelievably low your self esteem needs to be before you go that route. This is someone we want to canonize?

Our priorities are completely screwed up. American citizens are living below the poverty level but we spend billions of dollars a month on wars we can't win and unfortuantes who will probably never even set foot on American soil. We tolerate abuses by our sports heros and celebreties but won't allow gay people to get married. We stand up and cite constitutional rights and allow hate groups like the KKK to exist among us but throw those rights out the window when it comes to tapping our phones and monitoring our emails in the name of national security. Why are we outraged by the crackdown on protestors in Iran but not outraged by our failure to find WMDs in Iraq?

I would like us all to take a moment to mourn the passing of Thomas W. Wolfarth. What? You never heard of him? Well, "Wolfie" was a the president of the Delaware County Emergency Health Services Council in Pennsylvania. A career EMT. A man who had received several commendations for the excellence of his work. I guess his most noted rescue was the 7 1/2 hour life saving extrication of a worker, injured, bleeding, and trapped "15 feet below grade in an unshored excavation". Wolfie was 42 years old and passed away due to complications from a brain tumor. Now think about it. Is Wolfie's passing any less significant than MJ's? Personally, I'm a inclined to mourn Wolfie a little more.

Maybe we could funnel a few of those billions into cancer research. Perhaps if we had, Wolfie would have made it.


Common Sense

Friday, June 26, 2009

A Public Service Announcement

Today I'm going to offer up a little self help test that each and every one of you can do. Don't thank me... I live to serve.....

So, here's the deal. The next time you are driving on the freeway look to your right. If the cars to your right are going as fast or faster than you, well, I'm sorry to say, you may be an asshole. Let's take it a step further. Are there any cars in front of you? If the answer is no, I'm afraid it isn't looking good. Now, look in your rear view mirror. Are there cars behind you? If the answer is yes, guess what? You are in fact an asshole.

Now, I know what you are thinking (if you're an asshole). You're thinking "hey! I'm doing the speed limit! You need to back off Common Sense"! Well, you are wrong. If I park my shopping cart in the middle of the aisle at the supermarket. Am I breaking any laws? Are there signs posted that say "Do NOT park your cart in the middle of the aisle". Am I within my "rights" to do this? Of course I am. But if you are coming down the aisle and I decide I'm not going to move out of your way until I'm done due to the reasons listed above, what does that make me? You got it... an asshole.

If I'm walking through an aiport with three friends and luggage. And we spread out abreast and decide to walk really slowly, have we broken the law? Are we within our "rights"? Why, yes we are. But if there are angry travelers behind us trying to make their connecting flights, what does that make us? Right again, a PACK of assholes.

Have you ever been in line at the store, and someone at the register has decided they are going to get rid of ALL their change while they pay their bill. You stand in line and wait, watching this person go through all their pockets and count out their change, dollar by dollar, cent by cent... The line is growing longer. You are wishing someone would open another register. But that doesn't happen. The guy's bill is large, and he's obviously got a lot of change. Are you thinking "How cute! This guy want's to pay with pennies!"? Of course not. You're thinking "what an asshole!"

Now, a word about speed limits. Yes, I know the posted speed limit is the maximum speed you are supposed to drive. Yes I know that if you exceed this speed limit you are technically breaking the law. And yes, I am fully aware that if you are doing the speed limit and there are people behind you you aren't really doing anything wrong. But, being an asshole doesn't have anything to do with man's laws. Have you ever been pulled over for doing two, three, or even four miles per hour over the speed limit? Of course not (and I don't want to hear from the one or two percent of you who claim to have been ticketed for being a mile over the speed limit. First of all, I don't believe you. Second of all, it's a major exception even if true. So save it). This isn't about the rule of law, this is about common courtesy. This is about you not being the police, just another driver. For all you know that guy behind you might be trying to get a kid to the hospital. May be ill and trying to get themself to the hospital. Maybe they are just late for an important appointment. Probably, they just like driving fast. It really doesn't matter. What matters is when you insist on this annoying adherance to the letter of the law, you are making a substantial contribution to the phenomenon of road rage. You are also at risk for being pulled from your car and throttled by someone like me who has little, if any tolerance for assholes.

Now all this goes out the window in crowded residential areas and school zones. If you go too fast through these, the roles are reversed. The guy doing the speed limit (or one, two, maybe 3 miles per hour over the limit) is being safe and the guy speeding is the asshole. But out there on the freeway, or even busy thoroughfares, do your best to not be an asshole.

Let's briefly talk about the car pool lane. Some of you obviously are not aware of this, but the carpool lanes were put into effect to encourage people to carpool. No surprises there. But what was the motivation to carpool supposed to be? Well, it was supposed to be that if you carpooled you could use that carpool lane and have an ADVANTAGE over those that don't. You wouldn't necessarily be hindered (or AS hindered) by the flow of traffic as those that chose to drive alone. So, if you are in the carpool lane and the people to your right are going as fast, or faster than you, you have transcended being an asshole. You have just become a major fucking asshole.

In closing, I beg you all to take this test and heed the result. If you insist on driving the speed limit or below MOVE YOUR ANNOYING ASS OVER TO THE RIGHT LANE. If someone there is slower than you, you can then move left to pass them but get back to the right when you are done. Trust me, the world will be a much better place.


Common Sense

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Bogus Right Wing Emails

OK, this is a particularly large thorn in my side. Can someone please explain to me why there are so many of these fallacious emails circulating on the web that originate from the right? Obama is a Muslim. Clinton was in bed with Enron. Obama is a Socialist. The ACLU is trying to keep Marines from praying. That whole "Swift Boat Campaign" against John Kerry. What's up with all this? Has the right become so unbelievably desperate that they are willing to resort to out and out lies in their feeble attempt to garner support?

I participate in a rather interesting diologue via email with a small group of friends and acquaintances. We happen to be split down the middle with three of us being liberal minded and the other three conservative (one of them claims to not be conservative.... but he is). I have asked repeatedly for evidence of the same type of tactic from the left. To date... nada. I think on one occasion someone sent me some flimsy example that was so irrelevant I can't remember it's specifics. Can anyone out there point me in a direction that will uncover the same kind of crap emanating from the left?

I find these emails to be both irritating and frightening. The irritation is obvious. I lean left so of course I would be irritated by shit like this. It's the frightening part that is... well... frightening! The number of these things out there can only be explained by two conclusions. Either the people making this stuff up believe that there are enough Americans ignorant enough to believe it OR the people making it up are ignorant enough to theorize it. Either way, when ignorance becomes the basis for anything American I think we have a problem.

I have said many times in the past that we are rapidly becoming a nation of morons. If you need proof, take a good hard look at the most popular shows on television. Better yet, go to any Internet portal (is that the correct lingo?) like AOL or the like, pull up an article, and read the posts below it. It is horrendous. Now like I said in my first post, I wasn't an English major. But too many people writing this stuff spell like 3rd graders, have the grammar of a functional illiterate, and proclaim their stupidity to the world through their racist, ignorant ranting and raving. And we, as a nation, seem content to accept or ignore it.

How in the world did George W. Bush get elected (twice mind you) when things like that swift boat campaign were sweeping the web. How could we, as a nation, not stand up and say "whoa... something here isn't right... do I want to support a party that would knowingly defame a veteran who honorably served his country?" "Do I want to put in power, those that would turn a blind eye to falsified rhetoric and anti-American innuendo?" How could we as a nation not be outraged by this? WTF? Hey, I'm not a big fan of John Kerry but I certainly do NOT question his service to the country. And to those that would point to a picture of him in the close proximity of Jane Fonda and make that a basis for degrading him, well, all I can say is fuck you.... The thought of intentionally slandering an honorably discharged vet through the use of lies is repugnant to me.

And a quick aside about Jane Fonda, John Kerry, and any perceived association between the two. First of all, one of the benefits bestowed on us as citizens of this great country is the freedom to express our views without fear of reprisal. That any veteran of a foreign war can come home and state his disapproval of that war should be viewed as a testament to our freedom, not used as a condemnation of the vet. It's not like he was the ONLY person who didn't approve of the conflict in Viet Nam. You young people who think there is controversy surrounding the war in Iraq "ain't seen nothin' ". So to single out Kerry is ridiculous. To put him in bed with Fonda because of a picture is likewise ridiculous. And to continue to beat Fonda over the head for mistakes she made as a teenager or young "twenty something" FORTY YEARS AGO is also ridiculous. She has apologized. Let it go for crying out loud. We release convicted felons from prison in less time than that.

But, to get back on subject, my challenge to you is two-fold. First, when you get an email that is in any way suspect, take ten minutes and check a website like Snopes or Political Fact Checker to see for yourself if it has merit. Then, do your own analysis. Ask yourself whether the number of emails of this nature you see that degrade the left equals those that degrade the right.

Now here is my prediction for the future. What we will start to see is unbelievably stupid emails that do in fact defame the right. So stupid that even the most hapless moron would see them as bogus bull shit. And these will also emanate from the right. And the right will use them as examples of the left playing that game as well. But they will need to be REALLY unbelievable to insure that the idiots out there don't believe them. After this, the right will at least be able to claim the left plays dirty too, even if they can't deny their own participation in this crap. So, expect to see emails claiming that fat bastard Rush Limbaugh performs abortions and Ann Coulter digs group sex with orangutans.

I leave you with this, my personal favorite of the slanderous right wing proclamations. And my theory on why it came about (is it a theory or am I stating the obvious?). My favorite is the email that proclaims Snopes to be run by ultra-leftist radicals that don't do a lick of research on the topics they address. Why did this one spring forth? Could it possibly be because the right one day realized that Snopes was dismantling their propaganda machine? What better way to put an end to that than to call into question the legitimacy of Snopes? Now the morons out there can believe this bull shit, even if Snopes says it's bogus.....

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Getting To Know Yoooou, Getting To Know All About Yoooou.....

How exciting! My very first blog post! I read the news, engage in dialogue with friends, listen to the carefully scripted babble of our politicians, observe the "goings on" around me and the human condition, live my life as a husband, father, and member of our great society, and find myself needing an outlet to vent, express myself, and shout out that we are all nuts living in a crazy world that makes very little sense when you boil it all down. At least not for the average person. I'm guessing that 95% or more of the human beings on this planet are in some way getting screwed. Probably more than 95%. Yet I still refer to our society as great. Well, great is a relative term. Breaking your arm is going to seem great if compared to decapitation. So I do believe that here in America, we have a great society. Beats the shit out of living in Somalia don't you think?

So I will be expressing myself in future posts. I was not an English major. My spelling and grammar are not stellar. My opinions are just that... opinions. I'm really not an expert on very much at all. But I view that as a potentially good thing. Experts tend to be rather set in their ways. There are a lot of advantages to being an outsider looking in. It provides a rather clean slate for development of thoughts that are not necessarily clear to our so called experts. And one thing that bothers me about experts is their self proclaimed value. Frankly, I don' think a lot of things are anywhere near as complex as the so called experts would have you believe. But if we all find out they aren't that complex, we won't need those experts now will we. So they paint these complicated pictures that the average person has trouble viewing and comprehending and then ask us to just trust them. After all, they are experts. They know best.

So, just a little about me. Currently I'm a stay at home dad. I spent around 25 some odd years in corporate America. I rose to the level of middle management (with no desire to rise higher) and then did a brief stint in sales. I own a rental property with two business partners. Ultimately, I want to own a small business that can potentially grow into a large business. My wife and I are working on that right now. I am definitely a liberal. But I'm not as liberal as my friends think I am. I'm really more "anti-right" than liberal. You can decide for yourself as time goes on what my true political beliefs might be but liberal works for now. I've always been athletic, but age has taken it's toll and although I'm hardly "old" I am old enough to have begun falling apart. I try to work out regularly but I eat like shit so I'm still fat. I play in a classic rock band but blues is my favorite genre. I ride a Harley. I rode Hondas in my youth and always wanted a Harley. Finally made it happen in 2005. And I ride a lot. Almost 10,000 miles a year (which is a lot for a guy with the commitments associated with being a husband and father). I dabble in golf. Used to be a golf junkie but the time required to be a golf junkie is excessive and that caused problems with the rest of my life. My strongest sport was basketball but my knees and hips are shot so that's now something that is in my past (but I can still shoot...) What else can I say? I'm nothing special. Certainly not to you. But I have all these things circulating in my head and have just decided I need to get them out so....

Stay tuned. I look forward to sharing myself with you and I really look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments on my thoughts and comments. I suspect there will be lots of fodder to keep this thing going for a long time (not to ignore the fact that many of you are solid logical thinkers... but frankly, I do believe we have become a nation of morons). I am going to try to post daily but hey, I get lazy so who knows. What I can guarantee is controversy. I have a large degree of tolerance for those that disagree with me when they make sense. I have little if any tolerance for opinions based on false propaganda and inane beliefs.


Common Sense