Thursday, January 27, 2005

My Modest Proposal

There is a lot of talk about social security, everyone throwing his or her two cents in. So here are my two cents; End it. That’s right end it, give those of us who paid in our money back. It is as simple as that. Let me explain a bit.

If I put in $10,000 the federal government cuts me a check for that amount.

Now say that I have retired and over my life paid in $20,000, but I have already collected $5,000, then the government cuts me a check for $15,000.

Now I know you are asking what if someone has collected more than they paid in, there are three possibilities.

First, the retiree pays back the difference.

Second, the debt goes to the retiree’s heirs.

Neither of those being popular, or practical, here is the third idea; the difference is written off as a loss.

One argument against this plan is that the government has used the money we have already paid in for other things. My solution, find it. That means no more $1,000,000 for a lettuce farmer, no more airline bailouts, no more government studies on the mating habits of the hedgehog, and no more Ted Kennedy Big Dig.


Another argument is that people wont plan for their retirement. My solution, get off your ass and plan. The day you learn that the federal government is not your mommy and daddy will be the best day of your life.

Social security was a cute idea a half century ago, but its time has come and gone.

I know this idea is a bit radical. What I don’t understand is when did the idea of keeping the money one earns become radical?

Thursday, January 13, 2005

When Harry met Sally, Axis Sally that is.

We now come to the Harry question. How do we deal with a boy of his age who wears a swastika and Afrika Corps uniform to a party? I have heard some very generous people discuss the concept of educating young Harry. I have incredible respect for those people, however I vehemently disagree with them. If someone can be privy to the education that Harry no doubt had and still thought it ok to don that getup then he is beyond help. The key is not that he did not know it was wrong; it is that he thought it was acceptable. Harry does not share the blame alone, his Father and Grandmother are incredibly negligent in this spoiled fops upbringing. First Grandma, her excuse is that she finds her soap operas more engaging than her son or grandsons. Ok maybe I can’t blame her for that. Now we come to Pops, he seems to spend his days wandering his residence in his adult swaddling clothes sipping cherry brandy, and whining about not being King.
So I have expressed my contempt for the Royal Family. We still do not know what to do about Harry. Here is my suggestion; he should be forced to meet every surviving British World War II veteran. This is not so Harry will learn a lesson; he is too far-gone for that. It is for the veterans, they deserve a free shot at that royal asshole.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Keep your eyes on the prize

“We have to win their hearts and minds,” is the battle cry heard on an almost constant basis. The idea is right on the money, however it may be an impossible task. We are greatly out-matched in the war of propaganda in the Muslim world. The dictators who run the Muslim countries control all the media, the indoctrination against the US and Israel is a constant in the media, that is something that is very powerful and indeed very difficult to combat. How can we tell our story when the preconceived notion of the US is that we are the devil/crusaders/infidels etc.? Imagine someone from another country coming here and telling you that Germany won WWII. How would you react? That is how powerful their propaganda machine is. We cannot change, overnight, the false history that passes for fact in the Muslim world.

In the war on terror, the hearts and minds concept seems to be front and center, at the cost of the most crucial issue regarding the war on terror; terrorists will get a nuclear weapon and use it on us. We cannot take our eyes off that prize. When we get bogged down in arguments such as “this war costs too much,” or “we can’t do this without UN approval,” remember this; the terrorists will get a nuclear weapon and use it on us. Keep your eyes on that prize. The terrorists have the will to kill all of us, but they lack the means, and we need to keep it that way.

Forget about the cost. Let me ask how much we should spend to save our lives?

Forget about UN approval. If they would like to join us in this fight they are more than welcome to, but if they continue to be an impediment, they should stand aside. They can thank us later, however I don’t see that happening.

We have the means to defeat the terrorists, but do we have the will?

Never take your eyes off the prize.

Monday, January 03, 2005

A bum wrap & Malarkey

Today Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush got together to let Americans know how they can help in the relief effort. This is a wonderful show of bi-partisan effort.

Think back to the horrible things Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush said about each other during the 1991 campaign. Now flash-forward to the present, the two of them talking, agreeing and even joking during a cable news interview. With the hatred and rhetoric behind them, they warmed the heart of an old curmudgeon like me.

They both supported George W. Bush against criticism that he was slow on the uptake in the disaster relief.

Bill Clinton said that the President makes hundreds of decisions every day and is pulled in a thousand different directions; he felt the President got “A bum wrap” and that George W. Bush cares about this.


George H. W. Bush called charges that the President did not act fast enough “Malarkey”.


Another issue is that this is a perfect opportunity to enhance our credibility in the Muslim world. I don’t think it is, I think we should do it because it is the right thing to do, but it will not buy us any “capitol”. If anyone thinks that this will make the Islamists stop hating us, you are wrong. Aid is not what they want from us, they want Men to grow there beards and the women to cover up their thong bikinis with burkhas. I like shaving, and to outlaw the thong bikini ---what kind of sick individual would want to do that?

I don’t know how I got from disaster relief to thong bikinis, but I did, and to think I didn’t know what I was going to write about today. I still don’t.




Sunday, January 02, 2005

BAFC

For this, my second post, I find myself in an odd position. I feel compelled to write about the tsunami. Why is this odd, you ask? The answer is that I am not very knowledgeable when it comes to geological-related events. The compulsion stems from the anti-American sentiment being disseminated, much of which I am sorry to say comes from our fellow citizens. They are not, unfortunately, a rare breed. I, of course, am speaking of the “card carrying” members of the BAFC (Blame America First Club).

First was an attack on our only giving 35 million. I am not sure how you can say “only’ and “35 million dollars” in the same sentence. One thing to keep in mind, when the 35 mil was pledged, the death toll had not reached the cataclysmic level of 150,000. Once that tragic number increased, so did our relief offering.

Second, we were criticized for giving more to the Florida hurricane relief effort. Two things in our defense: one; our infrastructure costs a lot more to maintain than does Sri Lanka’s, and two; our government is charged with protecting US citizens first.

Third and final, we give the lowest percent of our GDP than any other industrialized nation. Balderdash! We sent our military over there to administer the relief effort. The military cost trillions to run every year. Those statistics also fail to recognize private donations. The US gives more than 50% of all relief aid and 60% percent of all food aid. That is something to be quite proud of considering that we make up only 6% of the world’s population.

Please do not let the BAFC get you down.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Hello, and Happy New Year

Hello, first I wanted to wish everyone a happy and healthy new year.

For my first blog entry I thought I would further explain the blog title and a little of what you can expect to see here. January 1st felt like a good time to start a blog. I want to do something fun, informative and thought-provoking. I am not of the strong left or right persuasion. I try to look at as many facts as possible before coming to a conclusion. I feel that the public discourse in this country is bordering on uncivilized and unreasonable. The more I read the more moderate I become -- both Democrats and Republicans have had great triumphs and great shame. All the problems we have are solvable; it is just a matter of putting the pieces of the puzzle together correctly.

A few weeks ago I was talking to a State Assemblyman; he is a moderate republican. He and a colleague of his, a moderate democrat, began a bipartisan coalition to try to break up the gridlock -- a noble endeavor to be sure. They built up a group of several members; of the republicans they stopped receiving support from the religious right, and as for the democrats they stopped receiving support from the labor unions. This happened because both the religious right and the labor unions were appalled that someone they once supported dared to align themselves with a member of the “other side”. That is an example on the state level.

On the federal level, the extremists on both the left and the right are not only willing but are actively trying to subvert The Constitution. What both sides are not willing to do is compromise, and compromise is the only way to solve our problems. Paraphrasing Benjamin Franklin talking about compromise, he said when a joint on furniture does not fit, you have to shave a little from both parts to make it fit.

I look forward to making the ‘parts fit’. I hope we have some fun on the way as well.