Thursday, September 29, 2005

Noonan's Take on Today's Post

I should have read Peggy Noonan first before my post today.

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Let Freedom Ring!

My friend Moonbatty has a running meme on position politics. The other day she had this post with a political map. Totalitarian and libertarian on opposing corners; facism and socialism the same.

I saw the chart and knew that the conclusions would be flawed. Similarly, a well-educated friend of mine said that politics is a circle and both extremes end up at the same place - totalitarian. No. No. No. Sorry, don't mean to be pendantic, but this is simple.

Political scoring of this sort can be done easily with a straight line. On one end you have absolute freedom and on the other you have totalitarianism.

The government wants to say what books I can and can't read? inching toward totalitarianism.
It wants to limit the art I see? No, thanks Benito!

Likewise...
The government wants to take a portion/all of my income (on pain of imprisonment) for MoMA or interstate highways or mass transit or school lunches or so no child is left behind? You're flirting with Hitlerism. Not going home with him mind you, but at least a nod across the bar.

The government wants to tell me how to do business, who I can employ, how I can fire employees, blah, blah blah. Same thing.

Look, freedom is a terribly messy thing. In the short term there can be severe pain. But in the long-term, it provides the necessary conditioning for the growth of the human spirit. However, humans do have a natural fear of disorder and chaos and pain so we will gladly impose on ourselves someone who promises order. One of the impolite secrets of Germany in the 1930s is that Hitler didi fudge. He didn't lie. He told Germans exactly what he was going to do - and they like it!

Where are we on the line? I don't know, but I'd rather error on the side of freedom so anytime I have a political opinion, I ask "am I forcing somebody to do something?" If yes, I toss it out.

I think the US Federal Government should be limited to those things in the Constitution. But we have messy interpretations and new fangled problems, but we're still dealing with the human condition which hasn't changed in 10,000 years since the intelligent designer (snicker) brought us to our modern self.

Furthermore, many complain about the slippery slope. That we'll head into facism or communism or some other totalitarian -ism. Well, yes. But democracy is deciding where to stop on the slippery slope. My fear is that year after year we seem to nudge ourselves closer to the totalitarian end. Sooner or later this great ship of state will begin to list and the sharks of totalitarianism are already swimming just waiting for us to tip the scale a little to far and we end of looking like Robert Shaw in his final scene in Jaws.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Duped by the Media

You know you're not blogging as much when you have to look up your password.

A few posts ago I suggested accountability for the media for wall-to-wall "investigating" missing blondes in Aruba (I'm all for finding blondes) instead of investigating rather boring topics like levy strength, security holes, etc.

I'd love to see Geraldo smuggle himself in from Japan in a dark, uninspected shipping container with a fake nuke. If nothing else for the chance that he could die.

Now, I find out that I was being generous. All the death in New Orleans, the horror of the Super Dome and Convention Center....made up. Here's the LA Times:
State officials this week said their counts of the dead at the city's two largest evacuation points fell far short of early rumors and news reports. Ten bodies were recovered from the Superdome and four from the Convention Center, said Bob Johannessen, spokesman for the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.
So it looks like poor black people acted about as well the the diverse victoms of the WTC. Funny thing is the Federal dollars are already rolling in mostly based on the mass carnage and lack of civilzation that was reported. Also, in 5 years people are going to remember the reported baby-rapes and stacks of non-existent bodies, but not the correction.

It makes me want to throw up.

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Saturday, September 24, 2005

My First Enquirer Story

Here it is.

I've two more stories lined up with the Enquirer. Not bad. A week ago I had nothing. Pays the cable bill.

The folks at the German-American school are a friendly bunch. More than happy to talk to me.

Although I did get the giggles while speaking to Helga Bucher. German accents are nothing out of the ordinary in this town, but every time I said "Mrs. Bucher" I thought of Frau Bl├╝cher from Young Frankenstein. I was half expecting to hear horses whinnie.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I've Lost Interest

In this blog. Alot has been going on in September. Alot. I can't really write about some of it. Don't want to write about other bits. I've already let you know about writing for the Enquirer. I've submitted a story to my editor and I did an interview for another one tonight. I need a few phone interviews for a third. I even had to schedule a photographer for one story and still need to schedule one for another.

Who'd a thunk it? Li'l ol' me.

This is kind of fun, but it keeps me running on empty. Oh yeah, and I have a massive deadline on October 31 for a corporate writing gig I picked up in the summer.

Finally, all my clients seem to be back from summer vacations and want to meet like NOW!!!

Arghhhh!

So please forgive if I don't post much. The news is unexciting to me. I always seem to be saying the same thing, but it's always when I feel like this that the blog actually picks up.

I didn't go into the office today because of sickness. It was really a mental health day. I got to spend some time with the Divine Mrs. M and also Daughter #2.

As I was putting her down for a nap D2 (age 4) explained while looking at my hair, "Daddy, you're hair is turning black!"

"No, dear, it's turning gray. I used to be very dark black hair."

She curled her nose up. That's her nice way of saying I'm a liar.

I showed her my wedding picture that was nearby. I was heavier then - not much - wore owlly glasses and looked uncomfortable (because my picture was being taken while surrounded by relatives and I always look uncomfortable around relatives), and I had dark hair.

She didn't believe it was me still. In her mind daddy has mostly gray hair. That's how daddy's should be. No Grecian Formula for me then. But maybe this stuff. Whatcha think?

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Sunday, September 18, 2005

Infrequent Posts

Post have been few lately. There's a number of reasons. I tend to post less when under stress and I have been. We're short staffed at the office and some of that work is coming to me. Simple things like having to answer the phone now is eating up minutes during my day.

I do have good news. However, I don't want to jinx it. Wait. I'm not superstitious (sp?)!

I've expanded my freelance reporting duties. No longer will I be only doing work for the Northern Kentucky Sunday Challenger (which I forgot to pick up today), but I've now been assigned 3 stories from the Cincinnati Enquirer.

That's the big league for me.

This freelance journalism stuff came about just on a lark. I was bored one day and needed a change. Now, a year later, I'm writing for major paper. Not on staff and only little fluff stories, but, hey, who am I?

So between being short staffed at work, the corporate writing I'm trying to do, my freelance work, and my own private practice, things are a little tight and this blog suffers.

Poor blog.

There are bigger problems. I just wished it all paid better.

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Monday, September 12, 2005

Accountability

In the last few posts I've been more than happy to peg part of the blame for the New Orleans flooding on Bush (again, what if the attack came from Abdulla al-Katrina?). I have repeatedly wondered how much of the lack of action was fear on Bush's part in confronting an entrenched black local government. I wonder the same on the border situation. How much of his lack of action is political fear in confronting Hispanic politicians. A little bit of white Republican guilt? or just political opportunism? Either one makes me mad.

I think the Louisiana politicans are going to get there's also.

However, two groups are not. First is congress. They're already demanding heads and a commission. Yawn. My question and demand is that there are 535 Senators and Representatives. Why didn't they look into the levy system last year? Where were they? Especially those from Louisiana. Don't they have responsibility here and shouldn't Congress look into that first?

Second is the media. They're also demanding heads. But where were the stories about the levy weaknesses or whatever is going on a year ago. Greta on Fox was wall-to-wall dead-blondes-in-Aruba. Now it's dead-blacks-in-Louisiana. Just like before 9/11 it was some dead-girlfriend-of-a-married-congressman.

OK, fine. Lessons learned. But when all this blows over and we're back to the next dead/missing/maimed blonde chick where will the story be on our still weak spots. I know they're boring, but isn't that what the news media is for? Don't they put themselves up on a pedestal as defendors of the first amendment and the oppressed and whatnot? Push those stories! Do your job! Quit pointing fingers so fast when you've been profiteering off the corpses of dead young women.

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Sunday, September 11, 2005

Scary Night

Last night we ate dinner at some friends. They have a new house and showed it off. Not my type of thing but it seems nice for them. I don't like vaulted ceilings, but Scott is 6'4"ish and it doesn't look silly with him in the place.

We left 11:00 or so with the kids chatting away. Alicia was trying not to go crazy with their blather and I was just wanting to get home and that's when I saw her. The interstate was sort of busy - it's 4 lanes each way. I was going east bound on I-275 ready to get on I-471 northbound when I saw her. Alicia didn't; the kids didn't. But it was a woman crawling in the far right hand lane. She was about to reach the right hand white line.

I pulled over as fast as I could, called 911 and tried to calmly tell them where I was at. My voice had raised a few octaves. I had Alicia and the kids stay in the car. I didn't realize how far I had driven past her - must have been a quarter mile. I ran toward her. By the time I got there, another car had pulled over. It was full of older people; about 60+. The woman had made it across with little damage; the only blood was from her elbow. She was about 60 also. Drunk off her ass. Smelled of pot.

She was flailing about as the oldsters attempted to steer her away from walking/stumbling back into traffic. Since I was about 50 lbs heavier, 6" taller and 30 years younger than anyone else there, I told them to back off from manhandling her and I would just run a block if she stumbled toward traffic. We had to take her down once - not pleasant.

From what I could tell by her screaming and rambling she had apparently finished servicing (you know what I mean) a guy. Since he was done with her he tossed her from the car. The minimum he could have been going at the time on that highway was 50. Great guy.

Cops showed up and I left quickly since I still hadn't explained to Alicia and the kids what I had seen. I didn't know if they knew what was going on.

I never have insomnia but I did last night. Not good. I'm sure the lady has a hell of a hang over today.

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Friday, September 09, 2005

Support Your Local Sheriff

Sorry I've been away so long but things have been a little uber-stressful and my writing frequency slows during those times. I feel big changes on the horizon and that's not always bad.

I think Katrina has brought me down quite a bit. The suffering was bad enough, but the politics has begun to sicken me. It's depressed me. But I do want to make a brief point.

In this blog post from July regarding the Roberts nomination I stated:
People should be able to lead there whole lives not giving a damn who is on the Supreme Court because their life shouldn't be that affected by the Court. People should be more concerned about who their county prosector or police chief or neighborhood night patrolman is (know yours?) because that person does have an effect on you and your families safety and well-being.
When you're right, you're right. And I'm right. Anyone slightly familiar with political history knows Louisiana is a political cesspool (example, example, example - read 1935 on).

The citizens of Louisiana didn't hold their officials accountable. It was the third world. It looks like they've got some serious losers as New Orleans mayor, Governor, and Senator. People need to get more involved with the local stuff. School boards and city councils and mayoral races. They need to know who is in charge of the cops in their neighborhood and who are the cops. Say hi.

This doesn't void my last post blaming Bush. I'm not sure he's exculpated in this case. I fear he knew what how important Louisiana was to the oil pipeline and he knew that taking charge would make a lot of black politicians mad so he just backed off and worked on other things. That's my fear.

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Thursday, September 01, 2005

Bush Doubts: Of Borders,Hurricanes, and Terrorists

I like Bush. I know this is tv talking, but I just feel like I know where the guy is coming from and I understand it. However, there are a number of things that I don't agree with the President on.

One being compassionate conservatism. As opposed to meany conservatism. Look, I don't think it's compassionate to keep another generation on welfare and in the slums. Another is No Child Left Behind. As if a guy not going to college and becoming a plumber is a tragic loss. I have plenty of clients who drive trucks with their names on the side of their doors unclogging toilets or laying cement. Here's a secret: the guy's got alot of cash.

But I'll take my little disagreements and lump them because in general I think Bush is OK. Mainly, he lowers taxes and kills terrorists. I like that.

Here's the big black question mark in my mind: Why doesn't he go all the way with homeland security? I'm starting to think he may be negligent.

Why isn't there a 10-foot fence across the north and south borders? Why are they're still people coming in? I'm pro-immigrant to my bones. See my book here - page 44. It's been awhile since I crossed the Northern border, but it can't be that hard for me. And I don't trust that Pedro, Antonio, and Javier and going to report a guy named Abdulla carrying a briefcase that crossed with them.

A fence can't be that expensive. What a shuttle flight or two? Can you tell me what the last shuttle flight did besides hobble back to earth?

If the next terrorist comes through Mexico, Mr. Bush should be impeached.

Another thing that is making me question Bush is Katrina and her waves. This storm took out a relatively small portion of a levee and floods a major city dislocating a half million people, choking off oil to the country and halting shipping through her port. I'm seeing pictures of houses built next to this levee. You can't tell me a Timothy McVeigh-style truck or one of those houses loaded with C-4 couldn't punch just as big a hole in one of those walls.

We had several days notice that this bitch of a storm was coming. The terrorists will give us none. And we can't figure out how to plug that hole? There was no plan to plug it in case of attack?

There's been no major attack on our soil since 9/11. Have we been just that good or just that lucky?

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Gmail Invite?

For some reason I can't get a text message on my phone which is required before I can sign up for g-mail which is required before I can get Google Talk. I hate cell phones including my own and trying to figure out something as useless to me as text messagine holds no interest.

So I go begging: Anyone out there have a gmail invite I can use? I promise to be your friend forever.

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