Thursday, May 29, 2008

Stupid Statement of the Day

I've been saving this up all day. As if some of the voter interviews from the Democratic primary weren't enough to make West Virginia look bad enough, along comes West Virginia Racing Association President John Cavacini.

West Virginia's Department of Health and Human Resources is working on a plan that garnish the winnings of casino gamblers who owe child support.

"A person could actually come to the casino, purchase $2,000 worth of chips, cash out $1,000 worth of chips, and it would look like he won $1,000. But the truth is, he lost $1,000. There's no system in place that would compute winning and losing."

What makes this so incredibly stupid is who gives a shit? Take the fucking deadbeat's money and give it to the kids that the deadbeat is not man enough to support. Maybe this will keep skumbag deadbeats out of fucking casinos that they have no damn right to be in the first place! Impound the frigging car they drove to the casino with!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

High Gas Might Be a Good Thing, Maybe Now We Will Do Something About it

I was pretty young at the time, and I don't have a high opinion of much of what Jimmy Carter did as a President, but one of the things that I thought was a good idea was promoting and making research money available to alternative energy projects. He did this not as a feel good, tree hugging environmentalist, but to help insure we were never at the mercy of OPEC ever again. I have always thought of it as a matter of national security.

Ronald Reagan did not think this was a good idea and cut all that funding because the Arabs, at least the ones with oil, were our friends again. I remember my father explaining to me at the time that the free market viability of alternative energy would determine whether or not private industry would develop those technologies.

But one thing put in place at that time also helped make gas cheap: CAFE standards increasing the miles per gallon expected from autos. That ended in 1987, but its effect lasted through the nineties. It worked so well in fact, that Americans then decided it would be a good idea for every family of 3 to buy a 5000 pound SUV with atrocious gas mileage.

When the CAFE standards were attempted to be raised in the nineties, I distinctly remembered the impassioned cries from a certain side of the aisle which said that the ONLY way to increase MPG is to make cars less safe. I'm sure that was the concern and not shilly pimping for certain industries who might be negatively effected by such a move. But I thought it gave short shrift to the engineering capability of Americans.

So now we find ourselves in the same boat. If only our resolve to fix this problem had not dimmed in the intervening time since those gas rationing seventies, those "years [it would take] to have an effect" would be behind us instead of in front of us. Sure we could drill some more for this finite resource, but we are only delaying the inevitable. There is only so much of it and the rest of the world is demanding more of what is left.

The fight with environmentalist was not conceded, it was merely determined that at that time environmental costs outweighed the economic benefits. It was an easier choice to make before $135 barrels of oil were a fact of life. I would be that ANWR oil is as good as gone now.

Price controls would be disastrous because it would, once more, lessen our resolve for energy self reliance. I've seen editorials in the Sun poo-pooing solar energy, and instead promote nuclear energy, without noting that the cost of solar panels has been cut in half in the last quarter century and they have increased in efficiency. I remember, because I never finished the LTTE that I started in response to that staff written editorial.

While I'm not anti-nuclear energy, I don't seem to understand how the Sun's editorialists don't recognize that we might not have nuclear energy if it were not for a massive government subsidy called The Manhattan Project. Perhaps the key is to figure out how to use solar energy to kill people. It would then get all the research money it needs and there would be solar panels on every home within a decade.

I'm of course being slightly sarcastic, but the bottom line is that we, as a nation, made this bed and now we lie in it. Manipulating the price back down might be politically expedient, but we would once again lose our will to shake off our junky-like dependence on other oil producing countries, the majority of whom want to destroy us.(Libya, Iran, Iraq, Venezuela, and let us not forget the birthplace of 3/4ths of the 911 hijackers, Saudi Arabia).

Friday, May 02, 2008

(non)Blogging Excuses and a Yet Another Response

Although I haven't been doing any blogging since Febuary, I have been writing some shit. Mostly in other peoples blogs. I"ll probably try to collect some of it up and post it, either for my later amusement or for further ponering.

I still love the Murray Ledger message board. Not really because of the content, but really just a chance to engage other members in the community.

The Paducah Sun has created a few blogs for there writers and I have posted a few comments in them.

They got me fired up to write a letter to one of their editors (as opposed to a Letter To The Editor), and we had a respectful exchange that I would like to get around to documenting.

I try not to miss the steady blogging Grimsaburger, whose thoughtful postings and my own responses to them sometimes would probably preoccupy my lunch time even if I didn't know her.

But todays post is going to be about my response to this exchange on the Murray Ledger Message Board:

If anyone thinks that the war in Iraq is protecting America from "bad guys" they may be from outer space.

the sleeping gringo

He was answered by:
Sleeping Gringo. You do not know what the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are doing to stem the religious zealotry against the 'infidels", the non-Orthodox Muslims. Become informed before you comment.And as always, if you don't like American policies, move somewhere else. God Bless the USA and all Servicemen and Servicewomen who serve in uniform.

Been there, done that

This was my response on that:
While I would agree that 'the sleeping gringo' may be short on any substantive claim, YOU might not know what the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are doing to INFLAME the religious zealotry against the 'infidels". I think we could both could agree that people in other countries don't think exactly like Americans. For being able to speak about what we don't agree on, God Bless the USA and all Servicemen and Servicewomen who serve in uniform.

For the "we got to fight them over there so we don't fight them over here" crowd I have a question. Would the Hamburg Cell, the 19 guys who were implanted here by Bin Laden himself for 9/11, have done anything different if we had invaded Iraq in the summer of 1999? I don't think so. They will attack us at the cost of their own lives and I'm not so sure that where our troops are deployed even enters into that equation.

Personally, I think that America's greatest defense against that is to make sure this country keeps being the most free "land of opportunity" that this world has ever seen. We need to live in an America where the terrorist they send over here to infiltrate us would decide they would rather get a job, make a decent living, and raise their kids up in a safe environment like Murray than fulfill such a mission. Extremists are hardly ever successful where oppression is uncommon and economic opportunity is abundant.

Seven years ago, 19 deluded men were convinced otherwise. 300 million Americans weren't. Those terrorists had already lost before the first tower fell. That is true regardless of where our troops are deployed. I have nothing but respect for those who wear the uniform, and from that respect I feel a sense of duty as a citizen to question the policies which put them in harms way, because they themselves have voluntarily subjugated that right to fulfill a duty to their country. I will never cease to be grateful to those that have done that but that freedom they are sworn to defend is worth absolutely nothing if I am ever unable to "like American policies" or "move somewhere else".

Man, I hope that came out alright.

Be my luck they wouldn't even publish it.


What the hell am I doing this for anyway?

I've recently thought in hind sight it was probably inappropriate to create a tag called S.T.A.R.O.M.B., but I won't dwell on it. I have posted nothing since Febuary because A) Sprintime is the busiest time of my year, B) the last thing I want to do in the busiest time of the year is type on a friggin keyboard when I get home, and C) I of course really don't give a shit if I publish things on my blog.

C) there is kind of actually for my mom and dad. I have had conversations about from both of them about crazy people writing crap on the internet that really nobody else could give a crap about and the motivation for doing so. My prime motive is really to keep like a diary or journal for myself so I can remember things that might have been happening. Or to look back on what I might have been thinking at a particular time.

So to me its just kind of like a diary that I keep when I want to keep. But google has to keep up with it. :-)