Archive for May, 2010

the pot calling the kettle

The problem with blogging about current events is that you know damn well that all you are doing is flapping your gums, er, fingers, to no avail. You are not going to change anyone’s mind and, most likely, no one else is going to change yours. And yet, we persist, which is why I have to write this post.

Felipe Calderon, you are a two-faced, political snake. Then again, most politicians are, otherwise they wouldn’t be in office. Still, it takes a special kind of disingenuousness for the President of Mexico to complain about the United States’ immigration policies (among other things).

Cut the crap about looking out for “your people” living in the United States and just tell the truth that is blatantly obvious to all of us. You do not want the tide of illegal immigrants coming into our country to stop because your country could not survive without that.

I know that this has been covered a million times in a million different places, so there isn’t much point in repeating it all, but I feel compelled to do a little of that anyways. First, the tons of money that the illegal immigrants send “home” is what keeps your country afloat. If you didn’t have that influx of American dollars your government would be toast. Secondly, if all those illegal immigrants had to stay in Mexico not only would you miss those American funds, but you would have a vastly larger population requiring all the social services that they are getting in the United States “for free.” Since you would not have the funding to support them, you would not be able to stay in power without oppressing political dissent, of which I do not doubt you are capable.

Give me a break on your opinions on our laws regarding illegal immigration. How about we change our laws to be as draconian as those of Mexico? Would that make you happy? I didn’t think so.

And knock off that crap about wanting to have the United States re-enact the “assault weapons” ban. Once again, I can only assume that you know the truth and that you are lying through your teeth to cover your own sorry ass. The weapons the drug cartels are using in Mexico are not coming from the United States, or at least only a very small percentage of them are. Those that are, are NOT assault weapons. Most of the weapons the drug cartels are using are not legal in the States and cannot be sold here. Look to your southern neighbors for the source of those weapons, or overseas. They ain’t coming from here. Drug money can buy a lot of whatever the drug dealers want to buy, and until that situation is resolved, you could ban every gun in the United States and it would have zero effect on the problem in your country.

Lastly, why don’t you keep your nose in your own country’s business instead of ours? I acknowledge that you and your predecessor have made some progress in combating the pervasive corruption in your government, but you’ve got a long way to go, baby. Clean up your own house; then maybe we might think you have something valuable to say about ours. Until then, keep your sticky fingers out of our business.

A side note about the sad incident in the Chatham neighborhood of Chicago (see previous post). Apparently, while an Illinois State Trooper was accompanying the ambulance carrying the mortally wounded police officer to the hospital, he t-boned a car crossing the street. He had his emergency lights on, but the three women in the car were a “little confused” about the traffic stop and the driver was trying to get around the traffic closure. Fortunately the officer was not hurt and the three women only received non-life threatening injuries.

However, the driver, a 25-year-old woman from Chicago, was issued citations for failing to reduce speed, failing to yield to an emergency vehicle and no valid driver’s license. Damn, I’m sick of this. I don’t know how many people are driving around Illinois without a driver’s license, but I know there are a lot of them, and this includes people driving on suspended licenses. Throw in the number of people driving without insurance and you have a real public safety problem. I don’t have an answer on how to solve this, but maybe there should be more serious consequences for driving without a license. A couple of weeks in jail might straighten those idiots out, though I doubt it.

pressing charges, mayor?

How about it, Mayor Daley? Is the City of Chicago going to press charges against the man in the Chatham neighborhood who shot and killed one man and wounded another? He obviously owned, possessed and used a handgun in Chicago, all of which are against the law. Or are there, perhaps, reasons not to do so?

How about the fact that the man, a retired police officer, was coming to the aid of his son who was being attacked by three punks trying to rip off his motorcycle? Perhaps retired police officers are allowed to retain their firearms? How about the fact that his son was a current Chicago police officer and a veteran who had recently returned from two tours of duty in Iraq? Or maybe, quite simply, that the man did nothing wrong other than defend his life and that of his son, in spite of your stupid laws?

Unfortunately, the punks committing the crime were armed, though why they would be in Chicago where it is against the law must surely be a mystery to Mayor Daley. They didn’t hesitate to use their weapon (or weapons?) and they shot the young police officer in the head, killing him. I don’t know if the police officer who was killed was armed. He was not on duty at the time but I believe that Chicago police officers can carry a weapon while off-duty. If he was armed, perhaps he didn’t have time to react to the attack. More likely, he didn’t think that the streets that he grew up on in Chicago would be more dangerous for him than the battlefields of Iraq.

It’s a damn shame this young man lost his life. It’s a damn shame that only one of his three attackers wound up in the morgue. And it’s a damn shame that Mayor Daley insists that the people of Chicago not be allowed to own the means to protect themselves. Work on stopping the crimes, Mr. Mayor, and let the people have the means to defend themselves. As hard as the Chicago police work to control the violence, they cannot be everywhere all the time, and each individual citizen is their own first line of defense.

Common sense? Not in Chicago.

not a two-story man

I just flipped on the television to check the online schedule and briefly found myself watching one of those “House Hunters” shows on HGTV for a few minutes. Just as I was about to turn the television off again, the prospective buyers walked into this huge family room with a two-story ceiling. I shuddered.

Why do people like rooms with cathedral ceilings? To me they make a room very cold, with no sense of coziness no matter how the room is furnished. Almost invariably such rooms are also noisy, particularly if carpet and drapes are absent. HELLO, HELLO, HELLO . . . hello, hello, hello . . . ECHO, ECHO, ECHO . . . echo, echo, echo . . .

Give me a rambling ranch house any time, with ceilings certainly no higher than ten feet. Maybe I’m just reliving my life as a bear and want to curl up in my own little den, but such a house is so much more inviting than those two-story monstrosities that waste half the floor space with vaulted ceilings. That rambling ranch has so many more opportunities for discovering neat little nooks and crannies and twists and turns than those cold, cookie-cutter McMansions.

Of course, I am talking about a custom-designed ranch home with a decent amount of floor space; not some one-story, 50’s rectangular box slapped down on some suburban rectangular lot. Then again, maybe comparing my ideal rambling ranch house with a McMansion isn’t fair. Maybe the McMansion is really just the evolutionary successor to that rectangular ranch – the 50’s on steroids, or at least the ostentatious great cousin of the 50’s ranch.

Anyways, give me a Prairie-style ranch with a nice inglenook over a Biltmore estate with ceilings you can only paint with the use of scaffolding. But that’s just me.

The Age of American Unreason – by Susan Jacoby

A liberal’s view of the peons standing beneath the ivory tower.

While I must admit that I learned something new from this book, I was overwhelmed by the attitude that only the liberal (equated by the author with “intellectual”) side of America’s political spectrum is qualified to properly govern our country. I couldn’t help but feel that the author was apologizing throughout the book for her less than “intellectual” birth status. It’s like some smart but poor kid who has received a scholarship to an Ivy League school – deserving enough to be there but never feeling like she really belongs.

While I can agree with some of her ideas, the author’s political bias destroyed any hope of an objective presentation.

(Finished 5/9/10)

the tension mounts

Sorry, folks. I just don’t feel like blogging. Everything I write just comes out as more complaining about life, the universe and everything. The three people I care most about are facing unenviable financial situations and it looks like one of them is going to drag me down, too. I am not able to help them and the stress all around is palpable. Choices must be made, and they will be neither easy nor enjoyable. Writing about it does no good, and there is no enthusiasm to write about anything else. Perhaps a hiatus is in order.

Edited later: So I guess I couldn’t keep from writing. It is tough, however, to see so much going wacky in this world and not be able to do anything effective to change things. That’s why writing about it gets to seem pretty pointless, even if it does let me get things off my chest. The problem is that those “things” drop straight from my chest to the floor, and then just lie there and die. Oh well. Who said life was supposed to be easy?

family guy – why?

I’m not sure why I am reacting this way. After all, every episode of Family Guy is an insult to someone or something. It’s just that I generally find irreverence to be acceptable, and even enjoyable, social commentary, even when it gores some of my own personal beliefs. Perhaps that’s the problem I have with the Brian and Stewie episode; there is no redeeming value to it, unless you want to call rubbing peoples’ noses in poo “social commentary.”

Somehow I can’t see the logic of using such weak material for the 150th episode, not to mention stretching such dreck longer than the normal half-hour program length. Calling the material “weak” is actually a bit too kind. I should call it childish, immature, sophomoric and disgusting, but that defines a lot of the episodes. Instead, what I think is that everyone involved with Family Guy was rolling on the floor laughing as the episode spilled out across the airwaves. They knew that they had finally managed to completely insult every viewer and still got them to watch this wretched episode. Just goes to show that even I can be suckered. My humility has been restored.