Tuesday, May 29, 2007

One year ago

It was one year ago today that my family was struck with some tragedy. My niece's husband was killed when he was the victim of a hit and run. His body was found at the end of the street where they lived as he was walking home from a nearby restaurant/bar. He was celebrating after having just received a raise from work.

Here is an update on what has gone on over the last year:

The guy who did it plead guilty and the judge gave him the maximum sentence without time served. He's likely to see jail for around four years.

Every other week I've noticed the local news report of someone killed or injured due to a hit and run. I'm angered that the laws in my state and around the nation focus attention on what people do to themselves rather than on what people do to each other.

My niece has had ups and downs but I would summarize that this year has been difficult for her and she has not always adjusted well. She hides alot of sadness sometimes.

My grandniece is doing great and is a wonderful little girl. Her big challenges are a bit ahead of her yet.

Two days after it all happened I made a call out on my main website and this blog for people to help. She had a great deal of bills to pay and the young couple were only getting started in life. They were living with my sister to get on their feet financially and had some savings though not enough to cover immediate costs.

My niece began receiving checks, gifts, and notes of encouragement from all over the country and a few from other countries as far as New Zealand. Several thousand dollars rolled in because of your loving kindness. The bills did get paid and while the checks have been cashed I know she was strengthened by the cards and letters that she received.

Just about a month ago I was dealt with another blow as a guy I've known for about 11 years was killed in a freak accident that involved wheels from a tractor trailer coming off and crushing the side of the van where he was sitting. He left behind his wife and four month old daughter in a profoundly sad and similar situation. After hearing of this my niece wanted the address of the widow to pay forward a tiny bit of the incredible generosity you all extended to her.

I know this blog is a place for my stupid commentary, bunker ramblings, and political thoughts from a classical liberal perspective. I share odd facts, weird dreams, thoughts on holidays and use the word 'ass' to describe things. But when I took a minute to offer a chance to help I was overwhelmed by your response.

When I started this blog I only wanted to keep an active place to write everyday or as often as possible but I have received far more than I had bargained for. You all have my sincere thanks for visiting, reading and participating.

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Illegal Immigrants and the Original American Dream

Lots of talking about immigration this week. I've heard the following statement more than a few times in the last few days:

No one is suggesting we can deport 12 million people. We need to get them a legal status so they can pay taxes and be documented.

Wait a minute. Are you telling me that 12 million people came here from another country and were willing to cross the desert just to be able to work even without a social safety net?

I have an idea:

Instead of documenting illegal immigrants why not make the rest of us more like THEM? I'd like to be an undocumented American. Perhaps if I could become a Mexican citizen I could come here illegally and actually live the original American dream.

Think about that the next time your local politican goes on and on about building a wall to keep them out.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The wayward GOP

The recent reaction to Ron Paul's candidacy within the GOP has very shown very clearly that what Democrats have been saying about the party is quite true.

Since the 2nd debate the Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party started a petition to the RNC to have Ron Paul removed from future debates. The Chairman withdrew his petition because he had about 14 signatures all while a petition to keep Ron Paul in the debates had about 12,000 early this afternoon.

I really resist trying to make this blog about Ron Paul but you have to admit it's very telling. Ron is considered to be too 'out of step' with Republicans but in the current crowd I would imagine Barry Goldwater would be considered too out of mainstream.

My parents were Goldwater Republicans. They took me to their Republican club meetings when I was little and talking politics is like speaking a second language to me. I know what Republicans used to be.

For Republicans to support the top 3 candidates this is what Republicans must force themselves to believe:

Reducing the size of government is not important.

Abortion is suddenly a tricky subject.

The Federal Government holds the primary responsibility for

As a nation, we have a moral obligation to force democracy on
other nations.

Osama Bin Laden hates us because we're free, except when we were helping him fight the Soviets...we were free then but he didn't realize it or something...not sure on this one.

Printing money and selling it off as reserve currency to China just to pay the bills of our overextended government is not only normal but a great idea.

Marriage between a man and a woman is constitutionally protected or at least should be.

The party has lost its way and to any of you that read this blog and call yourself a Republican you must really understand this. It's important now that you nominate someone who actually believes the principles you wish to support...win or lose.

Only in this way will the GOP build a base that will once again throw off the corrupt Country Club Rockefeller Republican types...just like Goldwater did in '64.

GOP Fun Fact: Not convinced that the Republican Party needs new blood? Since 1952 (with the exception of 1964) every Republican presidential ticket contained either a Nixon, Dole or Bush.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

GOP Debate - Part 2

Wow! This one wasn't nearly as nice.

I love how the Democrats wouldn't go on Fox News because they thought it was biased while at the same time the Republicans went on MSNBC to have a debate moderated by a former democrat Speaker of the House chief of staff. That was fair and balanced I guess?

So in the so-called friendly confines of the Fox News Channel this debate got feisty. Hell, even Rudy got all over Ron Paul for suggesting that Al Qaeda attacked us because of our involvement in the Middle East. Funny, I remember Bin Laden saying exactly that...I guess Rudy think he's lying and the real reason he attacked us is because the former mayor of New York dressed in drag. Who knew?

Chris Wallace even told the candidates several times that they weren't answering the questions. I thought the questions were very pointed and forced the candidates to take real positions on what were mostly stupid subjects that don't really impact most Americans.

As usual, Ron Paul was the only one correct on the issue of Iraq...but I'm not fair and balanced.

My declared winner: Rudy

Best one-liner: Huckabee's comment on Congress spending money "like John Edwards at a beauty parlor."

Sunday, May 13, 2007


I grew up in a very small town. The year I was in first grade my town's population was well below 500 people. Normally people have the idea that I grew up as a backwater hillbilly and while that is true to some degree, the town near my home was not a hick town.

My town had more art galleries than taverns and was often frequented by hippies. It's like after Woodstock many hippies moved off-the-grid into my dumb town. They were always flashing the peace sign and trying to hitch a ride. My dad was always tolerant of them but scorned them privately under his breath.

I always rooted for the hippy. I think somewhere in my mind I always saw them as victims. As if checking out mentally meant that they were running from something terrible in their lives. As a child I could never wrap my head around it except to muster pity. Their lifestyle seemed free but I could never bring myself to consider them to be an enlightened bunch. As an adult I see them much the same way but I have a quiet admiration for them anyway.

I remember picking up a hippy several years ago. It was a gal who was, as she described it, heading to a clothes optional campground to worship the moon. She invited me along though I politely declined. I know many of you are thinking that this paragraph should've begun with "Dear Penthouse" but there's nothing particularly sexy about hippies or moon worship.

I know for me the movie Forrest Gump became a favorite because of my connection to hippies. Next time you see this movie look at it again from my view: A total moron exposes these people for what they truly are --dirty, shameful idealist simpletons. But...I still root for them anyway.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

France - If only we were as sophisticated

Back in 2004 I remember listening on NPR (ugh, yes sometimes I do listen) how France was particularly irritated with us after our country reelected George W. Bush. I remember reading other articles about how their reaction was not only disappointment but also contempt for our collective stupidity. How were we so dumb to elect this man? I partially agree, but only to the point that in both cases his opponent was also an idiot.

In 2000 I voted for Harry Browne and in 2004 Michael Badnarik who I believed would've been far better choices however not perfect ones (at least in Badnarik's case). Some of you who voted for Kerry were VERY upset but limited your grief to merely savoring liberal political cartoons and talking around the water cooler about how dumb Bush was.

Now France has elected a new president and has for the short term rejected a Socialist leader. Their reaction was to be upset and then have some riots too. The country that presumes to lecture us about our lack of sophistication and dim-witted voting has shown they neither have the capability or capacity to take the election results and the peaceful transition of power with any grace. I think in this example my dear French friends, we have surpassed you in sophistication.

I'm not going any further on this and be seen as piling on France. Why we aren't good friends with this country is beyond me. They helped us in the American Revolution and we in turn helped them in both world wars. We should be friends and friends that trade freely.

I'm glad that the new president of France wants to be friends with us. I only hope we return the sentiment.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

GOP Debate

This is a summary of most of the field:

Iran - Huge threat. Holy Cow! We gotta do something!

Iraq - The war was mismanaged but we're not against mismanaging it a little more in a different way.

Gay people - They can be fired for being gay...at least in Wisconsin.

Abortion Summary - I was pro-choice now I'm pro-life but I'm okay with the states making whatever decision they want to make even if I personally would make another choice because I'm against choice.

Evolution - Sure why not, but I still believe in God...but that won't impact my policy decisions unless it does.

Monetary Policy - (crickets)

Would you pardon Scooter Libby? - Who is this Scooter Libby you speak of?

What's the difference between a Shiite and a Sunni Muslim - Rudy nailed this question and impressed both people still watching at this point.

Ron Paul's summary - Against the war in Iraq, Iran is not really a threat, our bad foreign policy forces us into debt, our debt forces us into bad monetary policy, our bad monetary policy forces us to keep our poorest Americans poor. Also he said he would never interfere with habeas corpus to which most Americans probably mumbled, "What the hell did he say?" Ron needs to remember that he needs to dumb it down for the GOP audience; he's not speaking in front of the LP.

My overall thoughts - I liked this debate as much as I enjoyed the Democrat debate. The GOP debate was more civil. Also, calling it a debate isn't as accurate than calling it a style-points contest on a 10-way press conference. I rooted for Ron Paul but it was obvious to anyone watching that Rudy and Mitt probably did the best. Worst performance was Tommy Thompson though I will say that if the debate was a brawl...Tommy would've won hands down.

Anyone else have thoughts on what they saw or sound bites they heard later?