Friday, February 24, 2006

Arabs running our ports

Oh brother. Talk about a non-issue. Larry Norman was spot-on when he wrote in a song:

The politicians all make speeches
and the newsmen all take notes
and exaggerate false issues
as they ram it down our throats

I may as well let you all know now that I love model trains. I've had them since 2nd grade and have collected and enjoyed them ever since. I'm not a hardcore hobbyist but there is something magical about ruling over a tiny kingdom. Just an ego thing probably...but anyway.....

...the Dubai company that is referred to in the press as "The Arab Company" is known as DP World and they purchased a British company called CSX. CSX has been handling freight in our country for a long time. Know how I know this? I have model railroad box cars with the company name on it. The same people that work for CSX now work for DP World like any acquisition. If I'm to believe the knee-jerk reaction of many politicians I guess this would mean that my model railroad is about to be overrun by Islamic fanatics.

I think what surprised people is that we don't have companies in our own country to handle this. The United Arab Emirates is a country that has been slowly moving oil out of their economy. It is a country where Christians can practice their faith openly. It is a place that manages ports (by manage we're talking about operations and bookkeeping) all over the world. Don't freak out because these people are "Arab."

You may as well also know that the terms "Arab" and "Moslem" are not synonymous. Arabs are a semetic people (like the Hebrews) that are descendents from Abraham of the Old Testament. In contrast those in Pakistan, Iran, and Iraq are not Arab. They come from a whole host of other geneologies. To single out a group for simply being Arab is in a different way being "Anti-Semetic."

I for one am going to let these Arabs manage my model railroad freely and without prejudice.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Going Number Two

I've resisted this blog post for awhile as it is pretty childish and far less sophisticated than our venture into Halloween Haikus. What euphemisms do you have for this...uh...topic above? I'd love to see some original ones.

Here are mine:

Backing the old brown Buick out of the garage.
Making mud pies. (See post from Thanksgiving)

Your turn!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Black History Month

I'm not going to preach about this month and its importance or unimportance to our nation and culture.

I know most of you don't care about Black History Month but allow me to pass this advice along:

Never grow tired of listening to stories of people overcoming adversity and becoming great despite the barriers put all around them. Someday it might be you and others will need to draw inspiration from your story. Be ready to make your own history.

Oh, and have a good President's Day too.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Offensive Cartoons Part 2

I got a couple of emails indicating that my cartoon just wasn't offensive enough. So I modified the cartoon slightly but included a few polarizing characters. Enjoy, but please riot responsibly.

Offensive Cartoons

With all of the uproar going on in response to the offensive cartoon depicting the prophet Muhammad, I decided to enter in with my own provacative cartoon.

Let the rioting begin!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

My fondest Valentine's Day memory

When I was in elementary school I enjoyed Valentine's Day immensely. Our class would always make mailboxes to put at our desks and then on February 14th, before we had our class party, we played mailman and handed out our Valentines to everyone, including other boys. Most of the time I made mine by hand (ya know...folded piece of paper cut into an ear and then folded out to make a heart) but one year my mom actually procured store bought valentines so I could be like the normal kids whose parents had money left over after feeding their children.

My fondest memory comes from 3rd grade. This memory is so profound that I virtually have forgotten all other events from this time in my life. Here's how it goes:

This kid named Matt was in my 3rd grade class and I always found him to be quite annoying. He'd sit by me during lunch and strike up conversations about whatever was on his mind. Looking back I see him as a nice kid but he annoyed me beyond my words to describe. At the same time I never turned away anyone who was annoying. He pretty much had no friends and I could tell making friends was difficult for him so if he considered me a friend that was okay. My situation was the opposite...I had more friends than I wanted.

Matt's grandmother was Japanese and he talked all the time about how he was going to bring some Japanese food for our Valentine's party. He brought it up all the time and was very excited about it. Each time he talked about it I had to resist rolling my eyes.

So February 14th came and it was the day of our party. I brought a small bag with my valentine's to hand out to everyone but didn't bring any food for our class party. This is when I was relieved that I came from a poor family because I really didn't want to be encumbered any more than necessary.

Matt brought his sheet of whatever it was (I'm remembering it being California rolls or something but at that time I only had the sophistication to call it "that Japanese stuff.") When our party started Matt started handing it out to everyone from this flat cookie sheet. He was holding one half of it and had the other end resting on a table while handing it out to everyone. He was so excited.

Now here comes the part that brings me the fondest memory. He started to pull away from the table but didn't grab the other end of his cookie sheet. What happened was he dropped all of his grandmother's food on the floor. It all cascaded down into a big sticky rice mess. I saw it all happen almost in slow motion as Matt yelled, "Oh no!" He was so bummed that his exotic party dish was now all over the floor of our classroom.

Why is this my fondest memory? I didn't have the heart to tell Matt how annoying he was and I would've felt like a jerk telling him. I also never would have had the heart to knock his sheet of food out of his hand and tell him to shut up either...but it was like fate smiled on me for the sake of my entertainment...albeit, at his expense.

Aside from laughing at Matt's misfortune I gave this girl named Michelle a valentine with Donald and Daisy Duck on it and both ducks were surround by lots of hearts. I'm sure she understood fully the subtle symbolism of the affection I had for her for about two weeks that year...until I became distracted by our new playground balls. Yes, I've always been that smooth with the ladies.

Happy St. Valentine's Day everyone.

Friday, February 10, 2006

It's almost real money

As the saying goes: If you rob Peter to pay can generally count on the support of Paul.

You Conservatives that elected your beloved George W. Bush now have this legacy to hang your pointed hats on:

1. 2.77 Trillion Dollar Budget proposal. This number doesn't even sound may as well be a gazillion dollars. Yet Bush insists he made some smart cuts to the budget. Here's a reminder for you thickheaded conservatives: There is no such thing as a fiscal conservative. You either think it's right to take money from some to pay others or you don't. If you want a smaller federal budget you must elect someone who is a fiscal libertarian. (No capital L required)

2. Debt up the wazoo. Congratulations conservatives, you now have more debt and a more worthless dollar to pay it off with. Good thinking.

3. You've shown that you can no longer blame liberals for 'tax and spend' politics. They are not above blame still because the modern-day liberal generally thinks that socialism would work if the right people were in charge...basically them. So if Conservatives are Tax and Spend and Liberals are Tax and Spend...what hope is there to ever get a handle on debt? Not as long as they're getting support from all of you. Some of you 'Paul's' are going to have to give 'Peter' back his money at some point and stop taking it. If you don't, Peter is eventually going to kick your ass.

To both parties: So as you're looking to 2008 please don't nominate another "we need to cut Government waste" pinhead...elect someone who understands the constitutional role of the federal government and can communicate it effectively. If nothing else he can just rip pages out of the Executive Order book while congress wipes their collective butts with your tax dollars. That would be an improvement.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Missed Opportunity for the Modern Civil Rights Movement

I'm saddened that at this point in history, some major players in the Civil Rights Movement are passing on. What saddens me more is that their legacy is being rewritten by the modern movement that calls itself by the same name.

I learned about the civil rights movement initially as a child. It was not discussed at school, but if it had it probably would've been wrong anyway. I learned about it from home from my mother who was mortified by segregation. Not because of the inequality necessarily but because the social cues it spawned kept her from knowing and speaking to people she thought were interesting.

I shared the story about how she cried from embarrassment when she got on a bus quickly from out of the rain to accidently sit in the seats reserved for "Colored Patrons." The black man sitting behind her just took the sign off of her seat and moved it back one.

My mother's other story was when she worked at a New Orleans country club. The wait staff (all black) got their tips at the end of the week because no one bothered to add it all up and distribute the money. She asked if she could do this in her spare time so that they could take home some cash at the end of the day. It was no big deal to her but they were grateful. Eating everyday at the country club for lunch was free for employees but she always ate alone. She finally asked if she could eat with the wait staff in the kitchen so it wasn't so lonely. My mom was not trying to bridge the gaps between racial lines, but just didn't like being told who her friends could be. She was from Seattle and didn't know any better. This is the way my mom tried to teach me about. It had nothing to do with race, but she emphasized "Don't let anyone tell you who you can be friends with or who not to like." I knew nothing of the individuals behind the movement that changed segregation forever.

To take the legacy of these great heroes of the civil rights movement and rewrite them within the context of our current politically divided time, does a huge disservice. To eulogize Coretta Scott King by taking swipes at the president was in poor taste and was a lost opportunity. It not only reduced the memory of her cause, but lost a great opportunity for all of us to understand the great sacrifice of her time.

Martin Luther King Jr. did not run down this country or claim it to be a major force of evil in the world. He proclaimed that the country simply hadn't fulfilled its promise of equality. He likened it to writing a bad check and having it come back with insufficient funds. His dream was to have the promise fulfilled and the check cashed so that everyone could stand together and proclaim that they were 'Free at last."

I'm not patting myself on the back for being completely free of prejudice...because prejudices are a part of my life. I've grown to appreciate what that movement has meant to this nation and to the many it has given opportunity...a lesson I should've learned long ago. A lesson that many should've had the opportunity to learn yesterday but probably did not.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

A year of blogging

Blogmess is about a year old now. I started it to get feedback on the things that I wrote and continue to use it to entertain and be thoughtful from time to time. Here is the year in review from my blog.

I shared dreams about Aliens spanking me. I gave a tribute to the Pope before he died and suggested that people could win arguments more easily if they stopped comparing people to Hitler and instead compared them to Liberace.

I made fun of Oregon as often as possible and commented on all the holidays that dot the calendar including St. Patrick's Day, President's Day and the now famous 'crap candy' post from Halloween. I made fun of red staters and exploited blue staters for their stupidity. I reached a lull in April but picked right back up again.

I complained about taxes, President Bush, the Election, and Hospital Volunteers. I took cold medicine and then tried to blog...not recommended. I shared a rare appreciation for my brother and called for the legalizations of drugs.

I had explosive diarrhea on Thanksgiving and wished Veteran's a happy day. I made a movie and made a plea for people to stop complaining about offensive sports mascots. I shared immortal wisdom like: If no one gets the joke, then you're basically just cross-dressing. Hey, don't forget Halloween Haikus. Fun! You all helped me go get a real tree and I enjoyed it...even though Christmas sorta sucked anyway.

All in all, a great year of blogging. Let's do it again.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


This morning I signed for Sudafed and had the pharmacy take my ID so they could make a log of me buying this cold medicine. This is what you have to do in Washington State because the drug is not simply an effective cold reliever but an active ingredient in meth.

The pharmacist said, "Sorry, I have to ask for your ID, this is truly the dumbest law in the world."

I asked him, "Has making the log made a difference?"

He said, "No, in fact it does no good at all. We have the same people in here all the time and it doesn't stop them. So we make you wait in line and bother you with all of this just because you have post-nasal drip." I let him continue.

"I called the police and showed them the log and told them that if they stopped this guy in the parking lot he'd probably have 30 boxes of sudafed in his car. They didn't care and they didn't do anything about it. This law is pointless."

I signed for my cold medicine and had my Washington State Driver's License recorded and then walked away. Here's my full take on the situation:

1. Lawmakers should really consider talking to the police...not police unions, but actual beat cops and ask them if they'll likely enforce a law if it were put on the books. They'd probably be surprised to hear that most laws are not enforced and the police has no interest in doing so...not to mention the lack of resources.

2. What an adult decides to put in his own body is his own business. This goes for both pot and sudafed.

3. Since stores are requiring signatures and ID checks, the meth problem has not gone away in this state.

4. Our state spends millions of dollars in anti-smoking campaigns while the product is completely legal...then makes me sign for a completely legal cold product...all while not enforcing our own controlled substance laws.

5. The war on drugs is lost. The drugs have won. All must bow down to our new drug rulers and surrender our citizenship. Just kidding, sorta.