Debt... It's A Bitch!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Last Minute Gift Ideas For Me

Here they are folks, run out of ideas? Ive got the answers...

1. Spray-on Tan: That's right I watch Jersey Shore, and ever since the shows name generator deemed me "The Bicep", I feel its time to Italian-ize my pythons. One would think I'd get my yearly dose of the boot country at Roseto's Big Time each year, but this Christmas I want to take it one step further and see the guns a glisten.

2. The Chia Obama - For those of you who don't know, I collect obscure trinkets of one-term Presidents and this would proudly grace my chochkey shelf alongside my H.W. Bush Sweatband and matching cuffs, and the Jimmy Carter Trapper Keeper. Who wouldn't want our ratings-deprived CIC growing green dreads and smelling carbon-free?

3. Antler Chandelier - This is like the epitome of redneck class. We beer-swilling, caribou hunting, 4x4 driving folks can be classy hosts from time to time, and this is like the paramount of being a dignified hick. Sure, some have chandeliers of gold and bronze, but antlers throw a touch of rustic swank.

4. Bean-bag Chair - Im broke as a joke living the low-wage, post college grad life and no piece of furniture would make my humble abode feel as comfy as the symbol of college bachelorhood. It says, "yeah Ive got furniture", but it also doubles as a huge damn pillow... or a dog bed.

5. Darth Maul Cup - OK, ever since Star Wars Episode 1 came out I had got all the freaking cups that Pizza Hut and Taco Bell put out, one such beverage holder has alluded my path. I got multiple Yodas, and several Jar-Jar Binks, as well as a damn Boss Nass. Boss Nass can go to hell! My brother was able to get a Maul, but not I. Nevermind if the movie stunk, its the cup that honors what could have been the most badass villain in the franchise. To think I could be drinking out of one this summer would put a smile on my nerd face.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

On Afghanistan: Part 2

Its been my speculation for several months now that the President was looking to find a plan that appeased as many people as possible. After all, with a low approval rating and even some in his party starting to question heavily the direction his leadership has brought us has awakened a whole new host of critics. Despite that, a plan for the war in Afghanistan has been talked about for a while, and even the hand picking of a General that the President wanted. But after the Pres. went to West Point to tout a plan to add 30,000 troops to the impoverished region, we find ourselves with a very shortsighted path to victory. I applaud Mr. Obama in the surge, and to be honest in proportions to troop levels with comparing it to Iraq, this surge far exceeds Mr. Bush's late success. In all do honesty though what still trips me up is deadlines. By setting a timetable you allow your enemy to see an end. This happened with Vietnam and Harry Reid tried to do this with Iraq. Sunset provisions do not work. Nor does combat limitation talks, which basically state that we limit ourselves to the weapons we use. The genius of Reagan is bluffing with strength. Theres a term we use in the Army called Mildec, which refers to military deception. Its essentially a macro-level approach to psychological warfare. Frighten not just your enemy, but more importantly your enemies leadership. Im a full believer that the only way to peace is through victory. With Afganistan weve drug our feet, and both administrations are guilty of it. However having some of America's most brilliant and experienced Generals, not to mention a man who could go down in history as our greatest Secretary of Defense helps. But with winter here and the closing of the regional mountainsides and northern provinces in Tora Bora and the Hindu Kush ranges, the violence will be completely centralized to the south, completely. Thus forcing nearly all combat operations on American forces. And with a possible olive branch to Taliban leaders many within our military ranks find themselves abandoned and without decisive support. Not too mention internal gutting hosted by the DoJ and civilian trials for self-avowed terrorists. Moral is low. In fact it is in the garbage can.

Any plan I could offer would cost extreme political capitol on behalf of the Administration and would simply never be done. Those of you familiar with my ideals and beliefs know that while I supported Iraq and Afghanistan, Im a strict constitutionalist and am fastidious toward the War Powers Act of 1973. However, these operations are essential to national security and I find it frustrating that both parties are not willing to own up to the incorrigible constitutional loop-hole. That being said, national defense is a tough game to lay in regards to semantics and for those diehards out there, I welcome any and all comments for a casuist exchange that would bring clarity, yet I feel somehow were beyond the point of playing a gentlemens war, which is the sad thought of many leaders today.

Monday, December 14, 2009

EnvironMENTALLY Retarded

"This is our time. Global warming is our challenge. Economic recovery is our challenge. American leadership is our challenge. Let's step up right now. Let's not quit until we have fulfilled our responsibility to our children and our grandchildren. Thank you very much. What a great day, this is like giving birth again.”– Senator Barbara Boxer 9/30/2009

I grew up thinking people who saved whales were out there. Then I came to the conclusion that they just had too much time on their hands. Now I'm realizing that my thoughts about them are still evolving... I now currently hold the belief that they are in a cult. Hold the phone on calling me a environmental terrorist... I'm an Eagle Scout, avid hiker, hunter, and spend more time in the woods that most people do in their entire lifetime. Ive traveled throughout the world (yes Beijing) and seen the devastating impact that certain malpractices toward land, water and air have reaped, and even yet, I would consider my self a naturalist before an environmentalist.

Simply loving to be in nature isn't enough to categorize yourself as an environmentalist these days. You need to be a card-carrying member of the Sierra Club, PETA, Greenpeace or numerous other crazy groups that place animals, plants, lichens, amoebas, bark, and shark shit above human beings. Many of us on the pragmatic end tend to have priorities that revolve around entities who have opposable thumbs. However, we recognize certain validity among those on the green fringe.

Renewable energy, nuclear energy, biomass, and biofuels are all possible overlapping areas of common interest. However, crusaders have hijacked any notion of working together in a free-market based way. Now with the EPA threatening to take action if legislation isn't pushed to control emissions, well have an independent bureaucracy imposing strict and stringent regulation on the free sector. This creates a rogue tilt in checks and balances. Who really controls the EPA? The Supreme Court in 2007 ruled that the EPA is and can enforce environmental regulation. But it wont just stop there. Clean coal, restrictions and higher taxes on oil companies, permit decreases for lumber areas, and the failed policy of cap-and-trade will crush any growth and industry. Our leaders fail to recognize... government cant create jobs without a flourishing private sector. Last I checked, our economy is as limp as Tiny Tim (oh but they'll tell you were in a jobless recovery, those spinsters).

Right now, the co-sponsor of the doomed climate bill rolling through our Senate, John F'in Kerry has been touting that his bill has one thing, and one thing only on his mind... security. Saying well be safer by lessening our dependence on foreign oil is like saying gay men listen to Cher albums. No shit Kerry berry! But if its security that him and Babs are looking for why aren't we tapping into the North Slope, Brooks Range? Why aren't we developing more nuclear plants? In 1982, we had 301 oil refineries, with an estimated 230 million people living in the U.S. Today we have 149 refineries with over 300 million people. Why with more people are we allowing less drilling to take place? We've only reached a little bump after Pres Bush last year released some areas to drill, including parts of the Gulf of Mexico and the Bakken shale area in North Dakota.

My problem with environmentalists is that they never stop. Winston Churchill once said, "An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last." Those words ring true today. Rachael Carson took what was once a Nobel Prize winning creation and turned it into an environmental enemy, poor Paul Müller. That's right, DDT. It helped soldiers in World War 2 from malaria and typhus and now its deemed unfit, unless you go to other countries.

Why are other nations getting it though... I mean hell, even France is adding more nuclear plants and were dragging our knuckles, instead we get more wind farms? Booooo! Wind farms are for those losers who were proud of making towers made of macaroni and marshmallows in tech classes! I want steam and turbines! Our failed initiatives at clean coal with bloating budgets for carbon capture and sequestration has led our government apathetically saying they have a handle on it. Where is the accountability? The green revolution is in the hands of corporate insiders, and our government. Its estimated Goldman Sachs will be making tens of billions from cap and trade, which is why they threw the Dems $4.4 million for last years election. Friends, lets find ourselves seeking first our own truths, and realize that we don't have as much control over our lives as we think. The sooner we can come to grasp that, the sooner well be able to confront that there is nothing we can do, the climate will change, if that's whats even happening. Of course, cleaning up cancer causing pollutants like what Christie Whitman did as EPA Chair in the early years of Bush is something all conservatives can hop on board with, but show us the science, and show us how the free market can benefit, and IF, IF well be making a positive influence.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Wait A Hot Shit Minute: Copenhagen's Climate Sex Change Operation

Ever since Americans have been duped from the fanatical "green" zealots that global warming is now climate change, Ive seen an increasing number of people fall for the shifting of dialogue, literally right under their noses and without question. The basis is that our climate is out of control because "we the industrious" are releasing excessive amounts of greenhouse gas, thus making our atmosphere a lot less predictable, and causing an eventual apocolypse. The greater debate however is amongst people who believe all this is happening; on whether its man made, or as a result of a natural/cyclical pattern the earth evolves in. There's no doubt to which side I stand. I mean, hell if you expect me to be here and give a balanced view then chances are you're either new to my opinions or you've been secretly having a liberal séance group send warm and fuzzies my way. Hate to disappoint but as MoNique says, "Dat shit aint happuh-nin". So listen up folks, debating climate science is best left to scientists, not political opportunists who see us moving in a new, improved green economy. Trying to have government reorganize an economy is a bad idea, having government do anything is generally horrendous. The workers are lazier and less efficient, they are held to less accountability and they get away with murder... just ask Vince Foster...ooooh.

That being said, with the "climate change" topic so heated, why isn't there any debate? Al Gore has not once debated it even at the bequest of leading scientists Dennis Avery and Lord Monckton of Brenchley, a former advisor to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, but yet he's out there advocating for it, and poses to make billion of dollars off it. Why has Dr. Arthur Robinson of Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine been able to gather 31,000 leading climatologists to reject man-caused climate change? Why is Mars getting hotter? Why are NASA's thermal readings of the sun indicating that its possibly in its warmest period in over 11,000 years? As Mark Levin writes, "... the Enviro-Statist abanadons reason for a faith that preaches human regression and self-loathing". Folks, long story short... its a power grab.

Since the freedom strangling efforts by Nixon in 1970, the EPA has done all it can influence society using aggressive yet efficacious actions to "clean America". What its done, using their proselytes, has mobilized a movement based on incredulous science and the elimination of debate. A great quote I like to throw against all you liberty haters out there is from Dr. Richard Lidzen. "With respect to science, the assumption behind consensus is that science is a source of authority. Rather, it is a particularly effective approach to inquiry and analysis. Skepticism is essential to science; consensus is foreign. When in 1988 Newsweek announced that all scientists agreed about global warming, this should have been a red flag of warning." Only of recent has there actually been a debate storming. With the half-assed passing of the Waxman/ Markey bill this past summer, many are looking to see it make its way through the Senate, even though the bill was never completed. The bill is officially DOA in the Senate. I could go into this for days, but recently with the University of East Anglia's emails being released (or hacked) to show the world that all the temperature records were lost or extrapulated, and then they took it upon themselves to fill in false temperature proxy, shows that people are starting to loose faith in those leaders sounding the trumpet for a green, clean, pristine mother Earth. Not too mention how Prof Michael Mann from my Alma Mater was given half a million in research grants to "prove the science was real" after gaining noteriety by the now-infamous hockey stick graph. If it were not for sharp eyes like that of Ross McKitrick and Steve McIntyre, this faulty science would not have its feet at the fire.

With Old Barry swinging by Dopenhagen, its rumored to believe he feels its his messianic duty to pledge $10 billion in our tax money to combat climate change in developing world economies. Let me say this...with China holding $800 billion of our assets, do you think were going to dole out this, and try to limit economic growth by imposing 17% reductions in emissions? Waxman/ Markey is dead. Barbara Boxer and John Kerry are humorously attempting a similar yet less ambitious bill, thats wrapped up in the syntax of "security" and "business friendly", but no ones convinced.

It's time to get real people. We did not pass the Kyoto Protocol, because our Senate voted 98-0 against it. It was a flawed treaty and with this recent scandal and growing government dissent in our country, I'm pretty sure, we the people are going to flick this world convention the finger just like 1998. My predictions are that Obama does not have the political capitol to pass this, but watch how the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) reacts. America, tougher times are ahead, and I believe you might see some of these green-Nazis from other nations try and take action against us if this isn't ratified. Angela Merkels appearance not long ago indicated that the nations of the world want us... but we want science... and truth.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Who Would Be My Family Feud Team

I often have those coupling dreams where you have sporadic characters that span across spectrum of influence, and in the midst of such an illusion, you realize not only the coincidence of it all, but why this group? Why these people? Despite Family Feud being a sometimes guilty pleasure of mine, I feel as if my teams contain some sort of allegorical meaning. Maybe not. Maybe I secretly just want to sit down and have a good old spout with some of these folks. I wholeheartedly know that this is a weird entry. So I've assembled three lists that encompass what is to be my living team, my dead team, and my imaginary team. These squads will be explained to enhance my sense of rational when it comes not only to Final Feud, but the traits and characteristics they bring to the table. I'll have fat people (yes, they re human too), I'll have the gorgeous, the ugly, the obnoxious, and the pale. So ladies and gentlemen, entertain me and read what is to become a mere fantasy regarding my conscious decision to bring forth so much talent and well... fame. Survey Says...

Glenn Beck - How can you ignore a man who's tapped into the cultural lexicon being loved and loathed all at the same time. We'll hang out after for some TEA.

Denise Richards - I just want to see if her, you know... are.... real. I'M TALKING ABOUT HER ACTING TALENTS.

The Dali Lama - He would put everyone at peace, and psych out our opponent with divine karma

Sam Elliott - This dude exudes badass. You stare at him and you feel your soul go to leather and gravel. I think short of jumping on a grenade, theres no way to out-tough this man. I'd throw Eastwood on here, but... I don't think he's got the chops for a brawl these days.

Margaret Thatcher - This sexy baroness has always drawn me to the fascination of women in power. This lady exudes class and elegance.

John Candy - I know I'm actor heavy ON THESE LISTS, but I've loved this guy since I was a kid. I'm watching Uncle Buck, haha classic.

George Washington - He'd speak so silently that It'd be difficult to hear, but the man exudes all that is American.

Pocahontas - I'd see if she was as hot as I think she was. Then Id ask her to give me the scoop on the lost colony of Roanoke. Afterwards we'd hunt down some beaver pelts... if shes hot.

Grace Kelly - So beautiful... would serve as back up eye-candy if Pocahontas looked like a fetus face. But Grace Kelly may just be the most beautiful woman ever and the brains to boot.

John the Baptist - You need that guy that's crazy enough to freak opponents out by eating weird shit. I mean seriously, who wouldn't be intimidated by a man with a squirrelley beard who pulls out a locust and goes to town.

The Predator - I'm going with this guy for a strong sense of intergalactic knowledge and charming complexion.

Gandalf the Grey - Ive never smoked weed, but if I did...

Captain Kirk - OK, I'm letting my nerd colors fly, but seriously, this is really just William Shatner playing himself in space. A narcissistic man who runs around chasing tail and creatures that look fake.

Red (from The Shawshank Redemption) - His vocal chords... its like, milk and cookies. I mean who wouldn't want to just listen to "get busy living or get busy dying" all day.

Hermione - Whatever, shes 19... Its cool.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Is Christmas Coming Too Early?

This has become quite the argument the last few years, more so because those in Hollywood and the bourgeois at Hallmark have convicted us that Santa's fatass starts to jiggle right after Halloween. Even I admit the holiday tunes sometime in mid-November fill the silence of my Jeep. Someone I respect recently accused me of foregoing Thanksgiving and jumping the gun, so I said I'm taking this to my bully pulpit blog. We agreed that Thanksgiving was point of fact our favorite holiday. Its hard to beat a holiday where your house is turned into a high end cafeteria style banquet. I even know someone who literally dances before such a feast. However, even as you're slopping down the mashed potatoes one cannot ignore the all-encompassing holiday spirit, whether it be movies, carols, or the wreath on your local fire department. My argument is this, that the Christmas spirit can exist around Thanksgiving without threatening the holiday Pilgrims made hip. Thanksgiving has like 1 song to its resume (and its by Adam Sandler), 3 movies ( one is Charlie Brown, so it hardly counts), and the decorations are fashionable for a whole 5 days.

I can't help but feel that it does get annoying for some people to see Christmas stuff early. But no one I've encountered has bitched of an early Kwanzaa or Hanukkah. I think theres room to celebrate the holidays as the spirit of something that encompasses our goodwill toward mankind. Christ's birth represents one of the greatest moments in history; it embodies the truest love, one of life. God gave his son to mankind for our ultimate salvation. Within that spirit lies the heart of thanksgiving to our creator, and thus both holidays are one and the same. Mutually exclusive, hell no... Christmas and Thanksgiving are the greatest pairing ever (behind Turner and Hooch of course) which serve as the bookends of human love summed up in a season of joy and cheer. Because lets face it, Noel ends at noon that day, after the 8th showing of "A Christmas Story". Merry Christmas and Happy Thanksgiving. Break out the Nog!

Veterans Day

I guess its always personal when it comes to this and Memorial Day. Being as yesterday was Veterans day, I have to wonder how many out there had thanked someone who served. Its kind of weird going up to a total stranger and expressing an appreciation. I liken it to attempting a conversation with your boss at a urinal. You know he warrants respect, but the awkwardness alone makes it difficult from just getting on with business. Ladies, sorry... my best analogies revolve around bodily functions. You catch my drift though, in a sense that we wish it were easier. I know, for myself I feel like a chump being labeled a veteran when in the midst of World War 2, Vietnam and Korean War veterans, who had boots 3 sizes too small and ate food that would cause scurvy. These were heroes who were more men than most, and yet I still feel immeasurable pride having served in combat too, but realize I was also able to watch season 4 of "Alias" after a mission. However, the older veterans draw us in and treat we from Iraq and Afghanistan like brothers and fellow heroes. Its an odd brotherhood that I still ponder years after coming home. It hits me though sometimes that despite not being connected by the same war, were connected by the same spirit. We all answered the call. We defended the Constitution of the United States and the people of our nation.

This might sound like I'm elevating myself. I'm not, I'm elevating my friends, my brothers and sisters. My tour was a personal journey I'll never forget, but my memories would be nothing without the guys who got me through it. So to my friends, most of whom just got back from a second tour, I say from the bottom of my heart, the bottom of my being; you are all better men than me, and I as well the nation owe you a huge debt. God bless you.

To the rest of you... imagine wearing a uniform, with the weight of heavy armor and equipment, and the elements of extreme heat and cold. Now place yourself in the middle of a fire fight, or the blast of an IED, or feeling the shrapnel scrape across your Kevlar helmet. Place yourself in a moment of fear as you close your eyes. Then imagine that, for a period of months, without those closest to you, your wife, parents, children, or friends. Look, feel, think. I pray that you would come to some heartfelt peace that theres people out there doing things on behalf of your freedom, on behalf of you and the life your choosing to live. It makes going up to a veteran seem like such an insignificant thing despite the awkwardness. We owe it to them.

Armistice Day, which is now Veteran's Day is held on November 11th every year at 11am to signify the end of World War 1. 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Social Justice or Socialism

My agitations with this growing movement stem from something more than just a simple skepticism, its birthed out of what I call... laziness. Today's evangelicals have attached themselves to the social justice movement because it enables them to feel a part of the growing swarm of people out there who feel philanthropy is cool for the sake of a shallow belief system. Im not a heartless monster, I do believe in helping people.... if it works. I'm a Christian and believe that Christ is the only way to bring about true change. Period. However, many Christians desire that savvy cool, or want to co-manage with those (i.e. George Clooney) with no desire for a conversion of the heart. Many Christians want to be accepted in the green movement, the One campaign, Saving Dar fur and that Red blitz and all those really hip and polished charities. Hey! We are world! But at the core, its nothing more than a desire for Christians to be lazy by not having to stand up for the defining issues of our faith. It agitates me to find fellow evangelicals get up in arms about the evils of corruption and how the Israelis treat the Palestinians, but never raise an eye brow that we have damn near 50 million deaths attributed to abortion. Seriously! Then you have the people who would impose government charity, but would never step foot into a soup kitchen or ring the bell for Salvation Army. Maybe its my anger at Christian hypocrisy that causes me to go on tirades, but what are we defining as charity these days? There's a book that Ive dabbled in called "When Helping Hurts", and it discusses the the proposition that even when you think your helping, your only helping the symptoms, you not curing the disease. Our society, our government, our world is trying to solve symptoms instead of going after root causes. Were not allowing people to fail, and its killing us. This social justice movement is an umbrella term for providing aid, for redistributing wealth, for trying to play God, for allowing ourselves to be in touch with nefarious acts, by citing moral superiority. To this I ask, on what level should we be interventionists, and on what side isolationists? For those disenfranchised by Iraq and Afghanistan, why do you beg and plead to send troops to the Sudan, or back to Haiti, or across the globe to engage in a military excursion devoid of our national interest?

But back to social justice. Can and how do we monitor justice regarding social entitlements? How do you quantify it? Can you honestly look at someone and say, "wow.... that demands justice!"? I don't think we can, but Christians, you need to wake up on this... allow yourself to use your sense of individualism, and your love for Christ to be a blessing, not within the realm of being hip or aligning with world leaders, but because God requires us to love our neighbor. When the government or an organization tries to monopolize goodwill, it makes it a brand and thus all sense of true community and true love is absent in the act of charity. Social justice has merits in the movement and that's the hearts of the individual for there fellow man. The best philanthropist is the one who picks his friend up and takes him out to eat or gives his brother or sister in Christ money to make it through the holidays, or works at a soup kitchen and makes friends there, who invests themselves in others who are down on their luck.

Christ never got government involved in his act, he knew better. Government corrupts all it touches. Jesus knew that if true change, true social justice, it would involve a person's capacity to just love his or her friends. If we are to be true Christians, can we look at ourselves if we let bureaucracies centralize power in the guise of benevolence? If we look at our duties to God, to love, to life, can we simply swallow our core principles in order to further ancillary goals? I ask that you'd stop being lazy. Stop allowing an erosion to take place. Preserve the sense that Christ stood up against tyrants, against politicians, against platitudes, and hollow statements. I fear this new social movement, is one of redirecting the core Christian moral compass. I fear it dilutes our passions and concerns. It seeks to make us an appeasing, lukewarm, and droll body that has little backbone. I also fear its a way to push a Unitarian government that plays on morality and uses those who seek a kingdom not of this Earth, and impose a tyranny through the forfeiting of liberties for a justice that one could see might hold divinity. Do not be fooled by words my friends... beware the prophets who seek a profit.

Major Hasan and the Military

Are we truly civilized? Its a question that begs serious debate in our society and let us look This campaign that we wage is not about ending affirmative action. Its about ending preferances on the basis of race

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bromantic Gestures: Appropriate Uses in Questionable Times of Brosephus-like Action

The term bromance has been floating out there like Balloon Boy for the last year or two and we've adapted it into our language much like other new words as sexting, googling, and tramp stamp. Its funny actually to hear your parents use some of these words because frankly; I thought our generation owned them. When my dad said tramp stamp I literally LOL'd (a hah, another addition to our ever growing dictionary). However, bromance is a portmanteau, a combination of the words "brother" and "romance", with innocent and comical ramifications,which lends to its charm. Why? It's something nearly all guys are guilty of, investing time and ridiculous acts of stupidness with your friends. I'm not going into the psychology of being a man-boy in modern-day America, but my goal for this entry is to give an outlook on familiar gestures, that me and my boyz grant each other. Does it get gay? Borderline... Does it get stupid? Absolutely. Will it gross a girl out? I would be worried if it didn't.

1. The Ass-Slap: Used in times of heightened competition. Flattened hand, quick slap means an easy, yet important victory. The more of a cuppage of the hand, the more stunning and hard-fought a victory. Be weary of over use, and never, never hug during this.

2. The High Five or Fistbump: Again a competitive use, or the acquiring of a great feat! Depending on its use, you could've made out with a hot chick, shot a deer, won an award, had a kid, or defended your title in the Tether ball championship. High fives are familiar territory and something best used with people who are old as fucking Don Knotts. Fistbumps are for baby-boomers.

3. The Punch in the Arm: This is for your bros who you make fun of. This is the one that crosses friendship barriers between those who reside in different social settings. Its like a skater being friends with a hick, or a metro sexual being friends with a meat head. The punch i the arm reminds you that yeah sometimes you wanna just hit your other friend for being different, but hell... you'd have their back in a bar fight any day.

4. Wrestling or Brawling: Birthed from boredom and an over abundance of testosterone in the room. Keep your bravado in check and beware of the dude pitching a tent, this can get real gay, real quick. If its two friends who need to iron out some anger, just let it happen and officiate in an unbiased way. If we learned anything from "The Quiet Man" its that sometimes fighting is necessary because if you let angst boil, its gonna spill out to a hellacious result eventually.

5. The Ass-tronaut: Sheer gayness. More of a prank than anything. When your fellow Bro Montana hovers with a bare ass over your head then wakes you up and farts in your face. This generally warrants an ass punch or a kung-fu chop to the groin, and then get Pelé on his ass with some soccer kicks.

6. The Ball Tap: This is for those who warrant swift retribution. This is something you do when a brother leaves you hanging or blatantly defies a plea for help. Use sparingly.

7. The Trout: Something most are unfamiliar with. Its when you take a flat palm and slap the inner thighs of your friend in a rapid motion to assimilate a trout tail slapping your femoral region. Its funny, and yet it leaves most people in either shock or a squirming unfamiliar feeling. Reactions are hysterical for first timers. Beware of overusing on seasoned trout victims. If done for long periods of time, they develop a-thousand yard stare and talk about their legs as weathered stumps.

Editor Dave Carnie coined the term in the skateboard magazine Big Brother in the 1990s to refer specifically to the sort of relationships that develop between skaters who spent a great deal of time together.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fall Into The Gap: The Rich and Poor Divide

I'm getting slower with my writing because frankly I'm either working, reading, or hunting. Nothing personal fans, but when it come to either discussing all things of relevance or pouncing on some weighty venison, I'll take my thirst for deer blood any day. A liberal friend of mine and professional Facebook Rebel-rouser passed along a report from Citi-Group in 2006 discussing the despairingly large gap between the rich and poor and essentially a smaller number of middle class individuals. Asked to place a thought I figured why not. So I pose the question to you, the reader... how would you solve this 'crisis'? Being the supply-side thinker my thoughts afterward turned immediately to our tax code, something that has been in need of reform wince the 16th amendment. Damn the 16th amendment. For those of you who are unfamiliar with our tax code it is nearly 67,000 pages long. In 1913, the Fed income tax was designed to apply to the wealthiest 1% of earners, that grew to 5% in 1939, and the after World War 2 75% of the U.S. With that those dumbasses in Washington on both sides of the aisle, we let them create an all encompassing bargaining chip that has been intrusively growing into our lives more and more. Now that 67,000 page document didn't start out at that length, its grown over the years. It was only 14 pages long at its inception. What has happened you ask? Well theres 2 real distinct objectives within a tax code. One, favors can be done for special interest groups and hidden in the complex framework; and two, the tax code can crush an enemy without leaving broken bones and reward political allies without leaving a paper trail. If you control the tax code, you control your friends and enemies.

This enables some slight of hand work, those tricksters. This is a reason with a degree of success that political hostility has been aimed at those evil oil companies and insurance companies. More taxes are added thus creating higher costs. Look at the Laffer Curve if you jamokes want a better understanding of macro economics. So what does all this mean Duke when we biol this shit down? To quote the preeminent thespian of our time Samuel L. Jackson, "hold on to your butts!"

If you haven't found this out yet our government dosen't care that much about you... all they have on their mind is power. How to stay in power. How to get more power. How to centralize power. How to destroy competitive power. Read a book if you have any doubts about such ordeals, or attend a middle school for more details on this. With it on their mind, they choose to minimize the power brokers, thus making the tax code complex to strangle out free market competition. This kills the middle class and gives the corporations even greater strength. Should the rich get richer? Why not, thats the spirit of meritocracy, become better and stronger. However when you hinder those young entrepreneurs who are out there using elbow grease to make a name and a living, you hinder the spirit of the free market. Capitalism isn't failing, the government is failing to enable TRUE capitalism. Our complex tax code makes it easy for politicians on both sides to screw the pooch. Only when we take back our government and make politicians responsible for this, can we hope to have change in this area, until then the gap will grow.

How do we solve it? A bracketed flat tax system. Russia has since adopted one and its helped them pay down there debt. Enough with these buoyant taxes that crush businesses and households. Our nation is over 11 trillion dollars in the hole because of excessive spending in bailouts to the automotive industry, an embarrassing failure of a stimulus package aimed at further government growth, and an out of control congress that throws money at fish tank experimentation projects in the Sudan. When we raise the taxes on people, the rich move and the middle class stay. Why? Because they are traditionally planted in such places. Another cause. We have to stop taxing to death and creating unnecessary programs. The top 1% of earners in the U.S. paid 39% of the federal income tax, the top 5% paid 61%, and the top 40% paid 99.4%. Holy COW! 47% OF FAMILIES DON'T PAY FEDERAL INCOME TAXES! Are you getting this... our government is a bunch of thieves.

I'm going to leave you with the words of a man who dealt with more hate mail than Jon Gosselin and George Bush combined... Abe Lincoln. He says..."Property is the fruit of is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is house less pull down the house of another; but let him labor diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume VII, "Reply to New York Workingmen's Democratic Republican Association" (March 21, 1864), pp. 259-260.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Flu the Coop: A Commentary

My goal with this blog has always been to influenza people... get it? Before you roll your eyes I ask that you heed my request and finish this entry. Believe it or not influenza means influence in Italian and since were entering the season I thought itd be good to bring everyone up to speed on this nasty little disease. Last Saturday afternoon I got my nasally-injected vaccine and made the joke "H1N1 is the loneliest number". It didn't have the sardonic impact I hoped it would, but it got my mind wrapped around the flu and its overall affect in the past century. To be honest I immediately formed in my mind a compilation CD with flu-like symptoms including Cat Scratch Fever, the ballad from "Grease", "I got chill's, they're multiplying..." and Mariah Carey's "Weakness of the Body". I stopped after that. This past April, the world became familiar with the aforementioned strand commonly referred to as the "swine flu" coming from pigs, humans and birds. In June the WHO declared this new amogamation a global pandemic level 6. This was because of H1N1's ability to spread to far reaches of the globe, not on its severity. The worst pandemics in history, were rated considerably less and have produced some lofty results in the realm of global mortality. Going back to the Russian flu of 1889-1890 we see nearly a million deaths worldwide. Holy Cow! Quite the amount, but it only gets worse. The Spanish flu from 1918-1920 which is regarded as the worst in history left anywhere from 50 to 100-million people dead, 17 million alone in India and over a half-million in the U.S. CW Potter a professor at the University of Sheffield Medical School declared this to be "the greatest medical holocaust in history" and may have killed more people than the Black Death. People like FDR and Walt Disney made it through this, but not Donald Trump's grandfather Frederick or famed economist Max Weber (guy I admire). Drink a beer for these poor bastards if you get the chance. But other pandemics have ensued over the years to include the Asian flu in 1957-58 where over a million died and the Hong Kong flu in '68 and '69 with a little less than a million. However, these others were of different strands... the swine flu (H1N1) is the same strand as the Spanish flu! I know! I need this like I need diarrhea on the Appalachian Trail! Education and faith are the best ways of dealing with such things. Ultimately the decisions you make will affect you and those you care about, so tread lightly. Personal responsibility is the greatest freedom were afforded, because it reminds us we have some control over our lives. However, use your freedoms wisely and know that it requires great humility... they're intrinsic, not mutually exclusive. Also remember this...

Fear: a balancing act between normality and idiocy. It paralyzes the majority, but gives clarity to some.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Wheres My Torpedo Damnit!: The Case for a Captain Kirk Medal of Peace

If you're going to try and out-nerd me, I already concede, I'm a luke-warm trekkie and even subtler fanboy, but I hold this... I was born into a world that made fun of people who merely uttered an affection for these films, and I was a victim. Sure I had Jurassic Park sheets, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle garbage can and numerous other memorabilia. I still have a Lord of the Rings sword on my wall, and hell yes I still have a Darth Maul cup from Taco Bell! However, somewhere deep inside my being, my most prized nerd trophy is a Klingon dictionary. Make lifetime virgin jokes until your gut hurts, but this little book has provided hours of self-entertainment. I bought it at a ride in Las Vegas and immediately began to use it just to get a laugh. I knew by having that in my possession that 1 of 2 things would happen. 1. A difficult and reclusive social life spending my Friday nights hanging with my parents and watching Battlestar Galactica (the old one) would overtake me or 2. a self-acknowledgement of being nerdy and facing the ridicule of friends would allow me to actually have a life. I chose 2. But my early childhood (Im talking like 7 or 8) had me emulate Captain Kirk (even after his bullshit demotion in ST4, OK Ill stop) not because I was wrapped up in sci-fi, but he represented what was cool about America. He kicked ass and shot down ships. He was like the great English sea mariners of old who lived by a code, and that code was... get out of my way. Now Star Trek always had an allegorical context to it, the Klingons representing the Russians, now the Vulcans representing the Israelis so it keeps a sense of importance that shows how valuable fantasy and science fiction has become. The 6th film, represents the end of the Cold War, quite possibly the greatest representation of a peaceful conclusion we'll ever see and this is why Star Trek is valuable, and even more-so Captain Kirk. For years this genre has represented our greatest fears and anxieties, but what happens when it shows our great triumphs. Captain Kirk died a shitty, stupid death on-screen. I mean a fucking rock fell on him? The man who impregnated alien nations, saved whales, worlds, and all mankind was given the screen death equivalent to Piggy from "Lord of the Flies" Its cinematic injustice! But Kirk always aimed for the mission to succeed even at great peril, and personal cost. The biggest lesson is that sometimes making the unpopular decision is the right decision, and getting your hands dirty is required, something that I think a lot of people in the world aren't willing to do. My suggestion to those in power, those who are over-seeing 2 wars... get the torpedos!

Prick us do we not bleed, tickle us do we not laugh, wrong us, shall we not revenge!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A New Face In The Mirror

This might fit along the lines of a journal entry but Im not going to turn it into a fluff piece on how I take picture of flowers and find the vibrant beauty of a radish, but I would like to tell my faithful readers how I've changed for the better in the last few months. I'll start with the biggest plunge I've taken... I'm attending Catholic mass. While I was baptized Catholic I had little ties to it since my parents pro-created me. And you all thought I was stork brought, HA! Asswipes! But in going to mass I find something I've had little of the last few years, a tradition thats stood the test of time. A bond that links the liturgy of old with the spirituality of new. I will always get my kicks out of the new evangelism movement, but I afford myself an anchor, a constant system. Christianity is about a relationship with Jesus, but then... what is denominations purpose? I find it to be the strict parent or boarding school teacher. They aren't terribly fun, but you respect them because they've seen where the cyclical season of life take individuals. It's earthly mentor ship in the ministry. The Catholics know there faults, they know there strengths, but they always tend to be bedrocks of faith. For me, of late, they fit. Another thing Ive been trying my hand at is yoga. Trust me, plenty of gay jokes have already surfaced, I expect nothing less of my Pennsylvanian friends, because I'd honestly be doing the same thing. I recently left a facebook status regarding my second attempt as "Zach Strewn had his Yoga instructor baffled upon revealing to her that it was only his 2nd class... Some call me the Yoga prodigy, others call me the Miracle on the Mat. In tight-knit circles I go by the Sultan of asanas, or the Titan of tantra. Know this though... I was born... to Yoga". Now I realize my ability to come off ostentatious and narcissistic plays up to audience (all of the dedicated 3... oh, shoot, I have 4 followers now), but I really was complimented and I did better than a few of the huskier people. Maybe it was because I was trying, but its enjoyable. Its helping me to become more conscience of something I would otherwise dismiss as fruity or stuff Fabio would do. To keep it pithy, the change I'll address is doing laundry, and ironing my clothing... or taking my appearance more important I should say rather. Ironing clothes sucks. I oft think of hell being a laundry mat, and Satan being the cranky minority lady who runs the joint like its the E-ring at the Pentagon. The thing I've learned from it though, is that you ACTUALLY have go through with the WHOLE process, no half-assing. There's a reason God didn't make sheep have self-flattening hair. We were meant to deal with all the idiosyncratic bullshit that society imposes on us IF want to be taken seriously... why? Because it reminds you of responsibility... responsibility to your self, others, and even to God.

Enjoy the changes God's working in you! Oh and feel free to comment on both my good looks and my blog entries!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Nobel Joke

If I were the inventor of dynamite, such as Mr. Alfred Nobel was, I would've created a Nobel Prize in mathematics. In 1895 he decided to create the awards as a testament to the achievements of mankind in five areas; including physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, and peace. Finally in 1901 they were awarded annually. Eventually they began to award the medal for economics under a slightly longer, not-as-to-the-point name. Why no mathematics? And why was economics not part of the original awards? Let me first divulge that previous winners of the Peace Medal have included the likes of Yasser Arafat, Lê Ðức Thọ, Mikhail Gorbachev, Jimmy Carter, and now Barack Obama. Of course the Dhali Llama was a recipient in 1989, but recently our President chose to not meet with him because they want to improve relations with China. Huh? Who doesn't meet with the Dhali Llama? But I digress... mathematics, playing with numbers. Benjamin Peirce called mathematics "the science that draws necessary conclusions". Mathematics do not lie, its natures quanitative indicator. I believe that mathematics is intrinsic to common sense logic, and systematic reasoning. Is it any wonder why Pythagoras of Samos (creator of the Pythagorean theorem)was a revered and well-known philosopher? Mathematics solves problems with regard to logic. So why did Alfred Nobel choose to ignore mathematics up front? I have little proof on an exaggerated conspiracy, but you have to wonder if his original intentions or beliefs can be seen in today's prizes? Does someone deserve a preemptive award? Do they deserve the award if they have committed former acts of terror or aid in the escalation of a world war? I mean, hell... Ghandi, Reagan, Mother Theresa, many who deserved the award never got it. My point? Pro/ Con lists... what stacks up and wins. Some folks in Oslo agreed that it was better to give President Obama the award now then later, ok... fair enough. But then its not an award, its a recognition. Its an indicator of what the world wants him to be. Awards take work, and he has not done anything to warrant this. Regardless of past recipient's ideology, it lends the argument, no... the fact that the Nobel Peace Prize is a novelty, a club medal, a trophy for good sportsmanship with the world-leader establishment... it holds no weight, nor any integrity. Mathematics, had they been acknowledged by the committee as an award, would've lent to honest discussion of the number of nations Obama's changed, the ADDITION of dollars he's spent to "STIMULATE" the economy, the MULTIPLICATION of American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, the SUBTRACTION of jobs, the INCREASE of czars he's hired, the DIVISIONS of Americans he so promised to help heal, the TOTAL of taxes his administration has been introducing to congress, and other NUMBERS that can explain his true intentions. Numbers and economics are not on our President's side, nor is science, and his 2 biographies certainly wouldn't warrant such an award in literature (I read his first). I however hope for our nations sake, that he would one day warrant this in peace (I do)... too bad the man who could have one day earned this, is the man who fundamentally made it a joke. I digress to the words of a man I admire... "The laws of common sense do not change according to scale." Maybe a President who can acknowledge common sense could make decisions that benefit the peace we all want, even if he/she never gets a medal.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

7 Lessons in Big City Living

1. The Fanny Pack is your friend. I’m a backpack guy, no doubt, but sometimes youre just needing a third cargo pocket so that pesky janitor size key set doesn’t puncture your oysters. I was hesitant to pick up the 90’s symbol for soccer mom-esque packwear. An ass purse for men… next, we last few on the high end of bravado would be touting shower caddys. But I embraced the fannie pack and it has become an unlikely ally in big city living. Snacks, metro cards, money, a multi-tool, blackberry…. All can be safely left in the hands of my good friend Fannie.

2. Don’t hit on chicks with Adam’s apples. Not that I’ve learned this from experience, but friends tend to pass on universal truths and this one ranks up there.

3. Develop street cred with the local gang of 10 year olds. These little tyrants know all, and having both their allegiance and respect wields an incredible power. Kids know who gives the best candy at trick-r-treat, they know the meanest dog in the neighborhood, and they know which restaurant is best to dumpster dive behind. They can also be used to get information on newly single neighbors, and the schedule of the ice cream truck.

4. Monitor pigeon flight patterns. These birds will shit on you! Vigilance is the best defense regarding the dove’s evil twin. I’ve developed my own walking pattern to counter act a ravenous onslaught of these terrors. I simply make zigzag patterns to confuse their primitive minds. I never use the same zigzag pattern. Never let your enemy get comfortable with your movements, remain unpredictable to the pigeon, and the pigeon will lose. Do not tire, do not falter. Stay strong even in the midst of uncertain victory… because bird shit, just doesn’t stain your clothes, it stains your soul.

5. Always talk about how Irish you are. Even if the only Irish you’ve ever been exposed to is Leprechaun 3, tout the hell out of it! Because by God, you worship the land Mr. Guinness walked on! In a city enviroment you need people to believe you attended the “Zach Strawn School for BAMFs”. The most diplomatic way of saying don’t screw with me however is to advertise your lineage to some of the craziest bastards the good Lord has ever made… those from the Emerald Isle. We Irish have a crazy charm to us that lets us get away with cursing, drinking, getting rowdy, and looking like an ignorant ass. For some reason, people love it… and respect it. After Braveheart came out, people didn’t want to piss of the Scots, but it was that crazy fuck from Ireland that had people recognize who to not mess with. And lets face it, in a city with tough minority types, why not have the toughest in your corner.

6. Abandon chivalry on the Subway. When it comes to grabbing the train, hold no mercy in your heart. I’ve had little old ladies push me out the door on a packed sub car. I’ve been bamboozled out of seats by sweet innocent girl scouts. Even accepting an Angela Lansbury gesture of goodwill could be the death blow you’ve always feared. I take no prisoners when it comes to getting on trains. I make no friends. I talk to no one. If a pregnant woman on the subway asks for a seat you look at her as if she just walked out of a Hollywood prop trailer because that belly bump is an excuse to get your seat.

7. Make the Chinese Buffett your Mecca. Fewer things bring as much delight as unlimited cafeteria style food made by the world’s greatest ethnic improvisers. Chances are youll be broke as a joke and looking for a coke. Sure the fries always suck at a Chinese buffett, but you get to eat truly obscure shit like yams, or General Tso’s chicken, or unlimited egg roles. And lets be honest… sometimes, unlimited egg roles is the best medicine after a hard day of Facebook stalking.

Monday, October 5, 2009


ACORN!!! Being an intern at a "certain news corporation", I've gotten to see these soup sandwiches up-close. For the full story watch "Fox News Reporting: The Truth About ACORN" on You-Tube because it will give you the genesis of the organization. Let me just say, it amazes me how powerful a grass roots organization can become, and how entangled their operation is. I'll also state that Wade Rathke (ACORN founder) is a genius. Diabolical? Certainly. His interviews go from calm, cool, and somewhat charming to out-right annoyed. Meghan Kelly definitely sticks it to him in the post-sex sting video revelations. But ACORN also represents the worst of cronyism and radicalism. Stanley Kurtz says it correctly... ACORN is a de facto socialist organization, only instead of toppling a regime, it permeates it from the ground up. When an organization can bully and manipulate with mass numbers (i.e. the poor) you can build a private army. Are they responsible for the housing crisis, the sub-prime lender crisis, banks not lending, immense numbers of voter fraud counts and the fraudulent Al Franken victory? Is the sky blue? Did OJ do it? Will Jon and Kate Plus 8 survive without Jon? In a contest of America's nicest lesbians would Ellen DeGeneres win? YES! Watch it!

Hollywood Morality

I find myself laughing every time I see another actor, director, or studio exec stand up for an "important issue" or for one of their colleagues. Everything from Will Ferrell portraying insurance companies as evil, to Leo's passion project on global warming have demonstrated a complete isolation of thought that resembles an elitism mingled with complete narcicism. It almost feels that the sympathy, social justice advocates, and green conscious Hollywood crowd believes they are America's beating heart. Even the latest Michael Moore yarn is about the "evils of capitalism". Now granted, Hollywood has been the easiest target for middle America the last few years but, why does it seem that they get louder and louder? Why do God-fearing, gun-toting, 4x4 driving Americans put up with a new morality being imposed, at the cost of being lampooned? We sacrifice our moral fiber for the price of entertainment. Quite simply, some days we want to laugh, or cry, or get an adrenaline rush from our lazy-boy recliner. We've given power to an unchecked body... the media. Media distrust is probably the oldest form of skepticism in American culture, right up there with our government (thanks to Roswell). But its not the deeper conspiracy that overcooks my grits... its the flagrant disregard of sanity. David Duchovny (Mulder)talked about his 8 yr-old kid masturbating on a talk show. David Letterman making jokes about rape, and then admitting to having sex with some of his staffers. I mean really. Don't get me wrong, I like low-brow humor, BUT WHEN DO WE DRAW THE LINE? Now we have Roman Polanski, a very talented director whose capture for a crime committed years previous has led to an onslaught of Tinseltown's most loved to voice their opinion in favor of the proven rapist. Their argument... "well, it was so long ago." I say BOLDERDASH! It amazes me that people are willing to flip shit over Michael Vick coming back to the NFL, but Polanski gets a sympathetic following of devout fans. This even after Vick's institutionalized reformation, steps he took both forcefully and willingly. People like Martin Scorcese go from my book of respect to my book of smashed ass holes. Hollywood has hijacked the credibility of credible science, they've tampered with our constitutional understanding and our national defense. They use talent, humor, music, and blend it with fringe opinions and left-leaning agendas. If it continues down this route, Im sure the federal government will bail Hollywood out too... much like it has the automotive industry, The New York Times, the banks, and other bankrupt institutions...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sore Loser

Cold sores. They suck, plain and simple. Regardless of whether people look at you like you just made out with a toilet seat, a cold sore already thrusts you into the same league of extraordinary gentlemen as Tommy Lee, Mick Jagger, and all those other hapless heathens of rock and roll. Recent links of cold sores to alzheimers doesn't exactly scream a peachy-keen outlook either on the condition. So what is a brother to do beside amp up on beta caradine, healing cream, and crossword puzzles? Well... theres not much. One time on a date I used an excuse that I had eaten a hot pizza bagel, whom most of you could testify can be blazing hot (if made correctly). Obviously the girl saw past my web of deceit, and looked for reasonable ways to make an exodus. I think her official reason was that she "moonlit as a superhero". So while some girls look at you for that brief 10 day period as a leper, here are a few tips to avoid the boat to Molokai. Grow a beard. Smoke and mirrors folks. A little rugged scruff can cover the face like a jungle canopy. The sore won't be able to hide like Charlie did in NAM, but its a start. Constantly reverse pucker. A constant bitter beer face will show people youre not afraid to guzzle brews long after the expiration date, and it will completely cover the sporadic nuisance on yo face. Lastly, just let it go. Sometimes the best bet is to say, eh to hell with it.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Supreme Beings: My Semi-Review on "The Nine" and Commenatary of Constitutional Law

Quite the opposite of an entry on God. Just today I finished "The Nine: Inside the Secrets of the Supreme Court". While not the greatest page-turner, it helped me realize even more who and what really pulls the strings on our marionette nation. The Supreme Court tends to be the branch, most politically saavy individuals turn a blind eye to. Its a body of nine who interpret the constitution of our beloved republic. In reading this book I was able to mold my own constitutional understanding. I find myself drawn to originalist belief which takes the document as it stands. While some believe some aspects are anachronistic (i.e. the second amendment), I retreat to the opinion that if we disregard one, we'll end up disregarding all. People blatantly forget that a lot of our fore fathers hated each other, but they came together to blend philosophy, religion, society, science, economics, and thousands of years of political thought. Our constitution is our law. If we break that law and nothing is done, it gives no credibility to the law. Lawlessness begets lawlessness. While this book tends left I have to say it is a phenomenal read. It highlights the last 11 years of the Rehnquist court and the early Roberts reign. The decisions, the stories, the passion, and the personalities make our high court the most interesting body to study. To hear of Scalia calling Breyer a commie, and Breyer insinuating his colleague a militant nationalist, all the while doing it through note passing during a case makes me laugh. Not to mention Rehnquist's scolding of them as the patriarch of the justices. Vignettes like these give birth to thought that interpreters of our constitution can be ideological counterparts, yet still enjoy each others presence. It gives praise to political stability and our constitution to hear of unlikely friendships. Im a conservative, and I believe its the only way I can approach my life, and it works. That does not mean I think liberalism isn't needed. It is... but within the confines of our constitution (this is why I'm vehemently against universal health care, yet indifferent to gay marriage). Ive seen liberalism work and it does not fit my philosophy to best live my life. If liberals... and conservatives can live within the guard rails of constitutional law, then our society can live peacefully. John Adams once said that, "We are a nation of laws." I am inspired by our new court and even Justice Sotomayor's views. Sure she is left of center, but within the mainstream, but there could be a shake-up. Is she a stealth candidate for the pro-life cause (being the 5th catholic on the bench)? Time will only tell. The court in the 90's represented a rightward shift in regards to religion, responding to the Clinton administration. The early 2000's titlted left in response to the Bush years, before the resigning of O'Conner. So will the stronger right tilt influence Sotomayor... we'll see. But my interest also lies that if the ideologically drawn court will sustain the commradery I read about? Can conservatives, liberals and the moderate Kennedy all co-exist? Ask Mary Matlin and James Carville?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Reagan Quotes from 1979 and 1980

"Government we recognized and respected as a referee, with certain power to restrain. But that restraint was to restrain the players in the game to keep them from harming each other and I submit that that is governments primary responsibility still, that mainly and no other. Now it's 40 years later and somehow government with the best of intentions has become no only the referee, but a player in the game as well. To many, he is viewed as the great provider of all good things and the regulator of our very lives. We've been told that modern times are too complex for anything but big government. Big government growing always bigger. Not even the Office of Management and Budget today knows how many agencies, bureaus, departments, and commissions there are in Washington, but the regulations they've spawned are recorded in the federal registry that has almost as many pages as the Encyclopedia Brittanica. Businessmen have been told that if they all sell their product to everyone for the same price they are guilty of price fixing, and if they don't, they're in violation of the Fair Trade Practices Act. And sometimes they are found guilty of violating both at the same time by different agencies of the same government."

"As Dr. Parkinson said,'The government hires a rat-catcher and the first thing you know, he becomes a rodent-control officer and he has no intention of getting rid of the rat. They become his clients." - Reagan

"We haven't lost our moral fiber, we maybe have mislayed it temporarily. Actually, I think we should be happy about one thing and that's governments waste and extravagance. Can you imagine how miserable we'd be if we were getting all the government were paying for."

"There are those who say 'Oh but that's proof just that ours is a materialistic society." Is it? With that materialism we have more churches, more libraries, support by voluntary contribution, more symphony orchestras, more opera companies, more non-profit theater groups, and print more books than all the other nations of the world put together. We have more doctors per thousand people than any other country and one-third of all the young people in the world who are getting a higher education are getting it here in the United States."

"We fought hard and payed a higher price for freedom than any other generation that has ever lived. A few years ago, when the disturbances were going on the campuses, I had a young student rebel challenge me and he said, 'Your generation cannot understand ours.' He said, 'You , when you were our age, you didn't have instant electronic communication, nuclear power, space travel, cybernetics, computers figuring in seconds what it used to take men years to figure out." And that's true... we didn't have those things. We invented them."

"God has given us the responsibility of leadership. He has also blessed us for, if we doubled our present day troubles, were still better off than any people on earth. And he has blessed us by giving the people of this land a capacity for greatness that is needed to do, all that must be done. All we need to do is be like that farmer who finally took a vacation to Europe many years ago when it wasn't easy to do then. He was seeing the wonders of the old world and they were showing him Mt. Vesuvias and telling him the great power of that awful cataclysmic disturbance, that volcano that came on. And he listened patiently and then he said, 'We got a volunteer fire department at home, well put that out in 15 minutes.'"

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Muammar al-Qadhafi. You look like hell dude. Sure we American's are pissed off about the Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi's "heroic return" to your nation. Actually were infuriated. Your speach at the U.N. was written on diner napkins, Snuggle® Fabric Softener Sheets (which work by the way) and loose-leaf papers. Has this guy ever heard of a Trapper Keeper? You murder moderate world leaders and cover it up with a wave of tyranny and global deceipt (i.e. Musa al-Sadr of Lebanon). But I have to say, the thing that chaps my ass as I peck away on my keyboard... is that you sent a rogue squad of Libyan nationalists to kill Doc Brown in "Back to the Future". To that I say... Muammar, I serve you a KNUCKLE SANDWICH! One day you'll suffer for the indignation of your sins, the countless lives and blood that stains your hands and robe (fashion fopa btw) will come from the hands of the Almighty, or a soldier of fortune. Your avarice as well as your egregious plastic surgery performed by Nip/Tuck wannabes will come under judgement by the law of man or God. May Christopher Lloyd have mercy on your soul.

"God damn America" – Time magazine, April 2, 1973

On Afghanistan: Part 1

I have to tread careful water on this next entry because it is a matter of opinion that WILL be controversial. Let me say several things, if there was one true thing that I could allign myself with President Obama on, this would be it. First off, listen to Gen McCrystal. Commanders on the ground are the ones who should be making these decisions. OK, pressing on to what will be an on-going debate I urge you to uderstand that I have an Intel background. I have friends that have much more experience than I do, but I have come to certain deductions in my research. I'll go to the most stinging observation in Part 1. The reason we've seen Afghanistan deteriorate is because of several mitigating circumstances, but chief among them are WOMEN and their CONSTITUTION. The ratification of their constitution came in 2004 as well as their first election in which Pres Hamid Karzai was elected. If you read the constitution which was HEAVILY influenced by western nations, it requires by law that over 1/6 of their House of Commons be women, thus equating them to men. This is not well received by the Pashtuns, or the Hazara (whom hate each other, well get to that in another entry). Afghanis are largely territorial and are not binded to materialism like western thought requires, so their perception of private prooperty is limited at best. Private property is however, best examined in their view on women. They are possessions. Is this right... NO! But before we go all moral on the world, we have to recognize that in order to secure Afghanistan, we must to a degree submit to their mores. Americans are now realizing the distinction to which isolation vs. interventionalism is playing on the world. We toe a very small line in priority to our national defense. Do we who choose to enhance our security by securing the interior of nations who could harbor terrorists, enable ourselves to impose our morals, at the cost of ethnocentric aggression? I as a Christian, and soldier have to come to grips that maybe the moral thing is to allow Afghanistan and Iraq to govern democratically while not imposing certain freedoms and liberties on the misistries and departments within their respected governments. More thoughts on this to come...

In Defense of Michael Bay

In what might be my most controversial subject, I implore you to see my reasoning. Through all of his films, only one has not made money. That being said, lets get to the meat and potatoes of the man who reinvented the explosion. As a member of the 90's youth you recount those summers at the cineplex. As a member of the card-carrying club for dudes, you tend to gravitate toward action films. Action films at this point were evolving. No longer was the cultural lexicon satisfied by mindless dribble, they wanted brains and pragmatism. The days of AH-nuld mutilating his enemies while using catchy idioms were numbered. However, some staples still applied. Earth rattling explosions, war-like gun-fire, epic cleavage and platinum vixens, and a villain with an accent were requirements if you wanted to be a part of the new cannon. Two films I believe gave birth to the new action renaissance. "Heat" and "The Rock". "Heat" was directed by Michael Mann, whom I truly consider the Oracle of gunfights. See "Public Enemies" or "The Kingdom", which he produced if you doubt my claims. But Bay made Nic Cage a smart, intellectual hero. Bay became the newest disciple to bravado cinema. Yes, he did Bad Boys in 1994, but The Rock showed us a new vision of what action could be. We saw helicopters flying into sunsets... actually we saw a lot of helicopters. Add Sean Connery, Ed Harris and you get accomplished actors headlining a film. It showed us that the acting must be on par with the ambition and the writing. Afterwards we got "Armageddon", which is a damn good movie too. The only thing good about "Deep Impact" (its meteor related rival that summer) is that you can remember it, CONGRATS! You reduced your chance of Alzheimers! Armageddon rescued Bruce Willis from obscurity in the genre he helped build. My only remorse for this film is... Ben Affleck. Michael Bay's next film became inexcusable... even for a fan. The only thing in recent memory to hurt my heart as bad was when Posh Spice left the Spice Girls. "Pearl Harbor" entered this world in 2001... starring Ben Affleck. Three things made me through this film; Kate Beckinsale, Jon Voight, and the bombs-eye view shot. Bay had created a shot that entered the literature of film students, which modern day movie snobs loathed. The bombs-eye view is something to be marveled, because frankly... Bay perfected it. He contributed to ACTUAL cinema. Then came "Bad Boys 2", and "The Island" which spread his ability to coach actors in real emotions, though not especially deep ones. Bay hit GOLD by becoming the newest mentoree to Steven Spielberg with the "Transformer" movies. All I can say is, if Spielberg believes, then so do I. Now Bay has become an American caricature (or icon), but his imprint on action in irrefutable. His influence stretches into his horror-produced remakes and the willingness for big name stars to work with him. He became Jerry Bruckheimer's prodigy. With the exception of Tony Scott, Bruckheimer (the greatest action producer of all time) goes with directors of little talent. He saw Bay hone his skills as a director of Aerosmith videos, to one day become the man who possibly upstaged him. Next time you marvel at how "cool" Tarantino is, or how much David Fincher rocks, or even when you hang that "Boondock Saints" poster... remember... who made the sunset cool again.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

How Never To Miss A Chance At Being Awesome

When one thinks of me (The Duke) you either have rising thoughts of incredulity as to several aspects of my life. (Just please go along with this little narcissistic piece please, I assure you Im way more humble than this blog will make it out to be be.) I usually get asked these questions:

Where do you get your money?
Why are you moving there?
How do you land in such lucky situations?

You get the point. However, this can all be attributed to one universal truth. God. No joke. Me and the JC have been in business for years, "and brother... business is a boomin'". I also have a personality that can sometimes be either extremely over-whelming, undoubtedly reserved, suave or Carrot Top awkward. This does not preclude me from attempting to appear... "awesome". Here is a few tips off my list, that may help you, or cause you to stumble...

1. Never miss a chance to blair AC/DC from your car or truck. It makes people think you dive from explosions on a weekly basis.

2. Watch westerns. You can relate to your fathers generation a lot more, and plus people might assume you have a desire to paint your neighborhood red and cross-out your town's welcoming sign and put HELL! (High Plains Drifter)

3. Drink high end beers, and white trash beers. It says, yeah Im sophisticated, but if you fuck with me, Ill smash this Pabst Blue Ribbon over your head then go Bass fishing."

4. Travel as much as you can... and not just to Europe. Go to places where friends will elevate you to a Busch league Indiana Jones. If you can go by yourself and rely on your international savvy.

5. HUNT... or shoot, or own more than 2 guns... this is a general one. Dont try and substitute this with easter egg HUNTS, or owning a line of Super Soakers, or potato guns. Well potato guns are pretty cool.

6. Have friends that are slightly crazier than you. One group of friends forced me to run and jump over a moving train, jump in an ice hole in February (polar bear club), cliff jump into a quarry, and fit my 185 pound physique into a tight as hell cave in the Ozarks.

7. In regards to romance, treat yourself like a catch. Anyone who ends up with you is gonna be one lucky person.

8. Love your family and friends with the love God has given you.

9. Go to church, pray, read your Bible, take time and invest in the body of Christ.

10. Be yourself. This list is full of crap (except the last few entries). We all have a "list", but its tailored to our personality, and God, as well as the people in your life enjoy you for your personality, your quirks and your heart.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Changing Paradigm

To use a word like paradigm with colleagues in a location like my hometown you better damn well have the word memorized to Webster's exact definition. I've come to the conclusion that big words threaten some people, annoy others, and invite the possibility for the rest to engage your intellectual prowess; it is in fact a theory generated framework. Indeed there have been very few in the media who have elaborated upon a "changing paradigm", but I am one to say, its been in the work for some time. What am I referring to... a new political prism. Disenfranchised conservatives, alienated voters, and an out of control liberal establishment have led our nation to the fringes of civilized discourse. You see a majority moving up, while those in office (both sides mind you) have trended down, Ill explain. Were seeing our nation divided into statists and libertarians (see the above diagram). Many on the Republican side have been and certainly will be taking advantage of it in the coming 2010 elections, but... if we elect an assembly of moderates, so help me God, the Republican party will die (I'll explain RINO's some other time). "Moderation in the pursuit for justice is no vanity", as I posted the other day reflects those of us who are sick of unethical compromise. Modern libertarian to conservative thought ingests a brand of liberty that is the very keystone to a democratic republic's political thought. Conservatism, (unlike what its been hijacked to represent) is an intellectual application birthed out of liberty and individual prosperity. Liberalism... well, liberalism, all one needs to do under it is... care. Because anyone who reads this will automatically be turned off by the word conservative (much like the term Christian), it behooves you understand how it came about. Read "Conscience of a Conservative", "God and Man at Yale", "The Fountainhead", "Liberty and Tyranny", Milton Friedman, Bill Buckley, Ayn Rand, Edmund Burke, and more importantly read the constitution. The two easiest ways to defeat a liberal in conversation is invoking a supreme knowledge of our constitution, our bylaws, our framework, the parallel rails that contain traffic. Liberal Justice Thurgood Marshall once said, ""You do what you think is right and let the law catch up". Folks, that's not constitutional reasoning or our framers intent. That's whiping your ass with the 1787 document. Trust me, it'll be rough on the cheeks. We must coach ourselves, educate ourselves, and impassioned as well as leads others and draw moderates to conservatism. Do not move to the center, stand firm, and those who seek freedom and liberty will be drawn in.

"In politics there is no left and right, there is only up and down." - Ronald Reagan

AuH2O Quotes You Better Damn Well Remember

"Now my fellow Americans, the tide has been running against freedom. Our people have followed both prophets. We must and we shall return to proven ways, not because they are old, but because they are true."

"We must and we shall set the tides running again in the cause of freedom."

"Anyone who joins us, in all sincerity, we will welcome."

"I will remind you that extremeism in the defense of liberty is no vice"

"And let me remind you also, that moderation in pursuit of justice... is no virtue."

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

HOPE got me no job

What do you do when you're an unemployed college grad who has an internship where theres plenty of down time? You got it, blog til your fingers bleed. Before I ascend the throne of blogaratti, I must confess that its taken me a while to finally break down and put my use of words for a cause other than ridiculing those in my life. Being one of the millions lumped into the largest college graduating class ever makes my bachelors degree feel like that time I walked away with a 17th place ribbon at a pinewood derby race in the Cub Scouts. Sure it looks like something important, but close up it makes for great ass whiping material. Which begs my question... why does a degree only mean your entitled a part-time career at Starbucks? Do I blame our education system? No. As you'll come to find I rarely find myself victim to "social injustice". I blame parents, banks, and well... the government. I separate our education system and the government because frankly, they should be. Government is for people who couldn't hack it the private sector, and thus cannot manage with competence. Parent... why should your kid go to school? Your child watches Family Guy, infuses Doritos as a dietary staple, borrows your 2003 Chrysler Sebring, and has only ever held a part time job at Subway for 3 months. THEY AREN'T READY FOR COLLEGE! Let them know that if they want a higher education they're going to have to work there way in. WORK, SAVE MONEY, GET SCHOLARSHIPS, SERVE IN THE MILITARY! Education is something you should have to fight for, it shouldn't be just handed on a platter with an all-access credit card. Work ethic is something best developed in the desire for something better. Banks... predatory lenders see student loans as great money makers. I see them as vacuums of debt that create higher interest rates on loans for people who rarely take out such requests and it creeps into other lending practices. And Government... is there anything that you don't completely screw up? When you have the keys to the printing press and a statist mentality, you can enforce your "goodwill" for humanity by pressing and changing the argument to benevolence and helping people. I'm am grown weary of my generation's entitlement complex. Since when did we earn everything that we claim were owed? Education like many of our contemporary issues is something that if you want, if you sacrifice for, you'll get. You have to want it enough.