Monday, October 31, 2011

Check me on Yahoo! Contributor Whathaveyou

So in an attempt to gain more readers and notoriety, I've started to submit shit to the Yahoo! contributor network.  I don't really care about how prestigious it is or whatever, and I didn't even realize that they pay you to do it till I had already submitted something, but it's whatevs.

So, check me out and give me some link love!  It's more akin to the type of stuff I write on Political Realities (ie. it doesn't sound like a sailor wrote it), but I still try to inject my biting commentary wherever I can.

Enjoy!

"Why Don't We Blame the Kids?"

Dumbass Idea of the Week

Apparently not happy with it's current image of being a bunch of totalitarian jackasses, the Chinese governmnt announced that they're going to limit the amount of TV shows that are considered to be "entertainment."

There's a limit to the number of programs that can be broadcast to the Chinese people per channel, and according to what is considered to be prime time.  Instead, shows that "promote harmony, health, and mainstream culture," will be shown.

How much do you want to bet that "mainstream culture," will include programs with titles like "How I Met my Party Assigned Spouse," and instead of Two and a Half Men shows like "One Man, One Woman, and Definitely Only One Baby Girl"?

I'm sure "Hu and Friends," will be a big hit.

It's anything but a party.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

And Jesus Sayeth: Fuck the Poor!


In the New Testament, someone asks Jesus if it's possible for a rich person to enter heaven.  Jesus says something to the effect that it'd be easier to thread a camel through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to get into heaven.  He is emphatic that what you do in life is important, because his entire ministry is about inclusiveness, compassion, and sacrificing for your fellow man.

So can someone explain to me how Jesus' ministry has *anything* to do with individualism and freedom?  Jesus makes no mention of either.  Maybe freedom from sin and vice.  Maybe individualism in the sense that we've all got to find our own salvation.  But please tell me where the hell Jesus says it's totally cool to be filthy fucking rich and NOT help out poor people?  Where does Jesus say that it's okay to not donate to charity, because that's your choice?

Spoiler Alert: He doesn't say any of that shit at all.

In fact, Jesus seems to advocate almost entirely for the poor and disenfranchized people of his time.  But none of that matters, right?  For some reason, some people didn't get the memo that the Gospel of Wealth and that the Protestant Work Ethic were major perversions of Jesus' ministry.  Why do you think guys like Carnieggie told poor people that his wealth was an outward sign of God's grace?

Sure, no one should force a rich person to give up their wealth to the needy.  But guess what, if you don't give then according to Jesus you're a douche bag.  "But Jack, guys like Bill Gates donate millions in charity every year!"  And what, may I ask, will he do with the rest of his $40 billion?

You all know I'm not advocating free handouts for everyone ever, but there's a lot of suffering in this world.  Believe it or not, there are people out there who are unemployed through no fault of their own.  They are perfectly capable, qualified, and hard workers who can't find a job.  Is it fair to tell someone who got laid off from a company whose CEO took a bonus in that same year to fuck off?

"Life isn't fair, Jack."

"It's their choice to give whatever they want.  That's what freedom is all about."

Those are just phrases that people say to make themselves feel better about doing nothing to aleviate the suffering of others.  What really gets me is how many Christians have this selfish "what's mine is mine," attitude, yet they'll go to church on Sunday and worship Jesus, a person who they claim SACRIFICED HIS FUCKING LIFE FOR YOUR SINFUL ASS.  He dies for your sins, and you want to sit there and turn a blind eye to suffering?  That is the ultimate hypocrisy, and if I remember correctly, Jesus wasn't too fond of hypocrites.

And speaking of hypocrites, I love how many Christians shit allover people of other faiths and denominations.  It's like you completely ignored the whole Good Sumeritan parable.

But that's okay.  Keep pretending that Jesus was some sort of selfish, cold-hearted douche who said it's totally okay for you to not give a shit about the suffering of others.  I'm sure that's exactly the point he was trying to make.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Recommended Show: Homeland

If you know Damien Lewis from his character Richard Winters from Band of Brothers, then you know he's an amazing actor.  I personally love the guy in all of his work.

So when I heard that he stars in a Showtime series as a former marine POW turned Al-Qaida terrorist, I was immediately hooked.

I get the feeling that some of my more conservative readers may not like the show, but I strongly urge you to give it a shot.  It's very well scripted, even better acted, and it constantly keeps you on edge.  From the moment his character arrives home after nearly 10 years of "captivity," you don't know what to expect from him, and that's fairly intense.

The show is only four episodes in, but it's looking like it will be a doosie.  I'm also a sucker for stories like this, the sort of fallen man thing where we're led to try to sympathize with the tragic character.  You want him to be good, because you can sense that deep down he's a good and honorable man, so you can't help but keep asking yourself "how did they turn him?  Where did it all go wrong?"

Watch with an open mind.  It's not trying to push any agendas, it's just portraying the contours of life and the complexity of what we call ethics and morality.

Homeland airs Sundays at 10 pm, after Dexter, on Showtime.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Why Do We Embrace Transgender Shit?

Sometimes life just takes a shit on us.  Other
times it's a pigeon.  Either way, we've just got
to deal with it.
By now, my cohorts and readers should have the impression that I'm a fairly open-minded guy.  Yes, I can be strong willed, but I always take into consideration the things that people say.  Hell, I've even admitted that I'm wrong in some cases (usually when it comes to economics, because I hate the subject, and my knowledge of it is woefully inadequate).

So when I say that it's incredibly retarded that we as a society are doing too much to accommodate transgendered people, I hope that you realize I'm not speaking from a position of fear, ignorance, or bigotry.

Here's the thing: I'm empathetic to their plight.  I have no idea what it's like to feel like I should have a vagina instead of a penis, or to think that nature, God, or whatever somehow made a mistake in making me a man, but I can understand that it must suck pretty hard core to feel that way and not be able to help it.  But really, isn't this just a mental disorder?

Think about it.  You're a dude, but you think that "inside," you're a woman, or that you were somehow supposed to be a woman.  Isn't that fairly fucking delusional?  What if I thought, deep down inside, that I'm actually a penguin, and that God and nature mistakenly made me a human being?  What if, deep down inside, I thought that I'm a math genius even though I suck hard core ass at math?  Wouldn't you think I'm delusional?

I could never be a penguin, and I can never be a math genius, but as long as that's what I feel on the inside, that's what I am, or so at least that seems to be the idea du jour for society right now.  I read an article today about how a boy wants to join the girl scouts.  When the den mother, or whatever the fuck they call it, told the boy's mother "no," mom responded with "well I don't see what the big deal is."

. . .

Oh I don't know, maybe it's because he's a boy.  I guess he's considered transgender or whatever, because he wants to be a girl, but so fucking what?  He's not a girl.  No matter how hard I try--I can get a bunch of cosmetic operations to look like a penguin, I can go live in the arctic and huddle with them and shit--I can never be a penguin.  Similarly, he can get all the operations he wants, and do however much hormone therapy or whatever to his heart's content, he will never, ever be a girl.

Why?  Well, if for whatever reason it needed to be determined beyond a shadow of a doubt whether he's a male or female, then a DNA test would show that he's a male.  Forever.  You can't change your DNA.  It's not what parts you have, what clothes you wear, or who you fuck and how that determines what you are.  It's your DNA.  Pretending to be the opposite sex is nothing more than pretending.

"Well Jack, sex is different than gender."  Sure it is.  You can be the most feminine dude on the planet.  You can get your dick chopped off, get a brand spanking new vagina, a nice pair of tits, and all the estrogen you want coursing through your veins, but at the end of the day it's just an extremely expensive game of dress-up.

And society wants to accommodate this.  Instead of telling them, "you're confused, and you've got a real mental disorder," we cater to their fucked up brain shit.  Mind you, the same *cannot* be said for being gay.  If you're attracted to the same sex, that is real.  It might go against our biology, but then again so does monogamy.  Believing that you should be the opposite sex, or that somehow you are the opposite sex inside (whatever the fuck that even means) is delusional, because you can never be anything other than what you are.

It might suck, but you simply cannot be whatever you want to be.  We have to play the hand we're dealt, and instead of allowing children to indulge in the disorder, we should help them cope with it.  That mom might feel great that her little boy can go be a girl scout, but that little boy is going to face a lifetime of ridicule for it.  Is it really worth it?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Shocking but True: Animals Don't Have Rights

And we think we should grant anti-slavery
rights to this?
How many readers did I just lose with that smug statement?  I'm hoping not many, and that you all will at least hear me out before you start throwing paint on me or something.  There's some PETA loonies claiming that some whales at Sea World should be set free, because their "slavery" violates the 13th Amendment.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm fairly certain the 13th amendment only pertains to humans . . .

What is a right?  A right is a moral power to claim some value in yourself.  Because we are human beings, because we have aspirations and can make claims on this world, human beings have rights.  We're sentient like animals, but unlike animals we are able to do things that are beyond our biological imperatives.  We do not simply hunt, eat, and fuck.  We create art and institutions.  We have creativity and the capacity to make decisions based on past experience and future hopes.

Can an animal do any of that?  An animal cannot make art (arguably, many humans who claim to be artists can't either) because art requires more than just random flashes of color.  Although many animals have a herd or pack mentality, they do not have institutions.  Animals have no sense of the past, and they have no hope for the future.  The only thing they are able to care about is fulfilling their present needs.

"But why do they protect their young if they don't care about the future, Jack?"  Because biology compels them to do so, HTNS.  "Predators mark their territory, so isn't that making a claim on the world?"  Nope.  Making a claim on the world means that you understand something about the world, and you articulate something about how the world works.  What do animals understand of the world?

Animals have no rights.  They're not human, so how could they?  What's more, they don't recognize anything that has to do with rights.  "Well of course they don't Jack, because they don't have the brain function."  Well, if they don't have the brain function to recognize a concept like rights, then why should we impose that concept upon them?

Animals don't care about you or any other animals.  A lion would slaughter any of us in a heart beat if it was hungry.  Hell, male lions slaughter the cubs of rival prides.  (When people say that humans are the only things on this planet that kills its own species, I can't help but laugh.)

Animals may not have rights, but that doesn't mean we should completely shit on the cause of Animal Rights.  Animal Rights, as misguided as 99.9% of the advocates for it may be, is not about the animals and their little made-up rights.  It's about humans.  Just because some sentient creature doesn't have rights doesn't mean we have the right to treat it inhumanely.  A person who is able to be cruel to another sentient thing, someone who is able to torture it or not give it the proper care, is a vile person.

As custodians of this planet, as beings of higher cognitive capacity, we should treat living things with the respect that life deserves.  Does that mean we shouldn't eat other animals?  Hell no.  But if we're going to eat the flesh of a once living creature, we should be respectful enough to make its death quick and painless.

So these PETA idiots are retarded.  If the Sea World whales should be set free from their "slavery," then all animals should be set free.  Milk cows, oxen, goats, sheep, whatever.  Who cares if there are people who live off the land and off the back of their livestock.  Fuck 'em, right?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Iraq Shit Storm, Posterity, and You

So we're finally getting the hell out of there.  After 10 years of monetary and human cost, we're finally saying that Iraq has to fly on its own and shape their own destiny.  So what does that mean for us?

Well, firstly, I think posterity will be somewhat kind when looking back on the Iraq War.  They will talk about how inept Donald Rumsfeld was, and how for 8 years of the war it looked like an unwinnable shit storm that was poorly executed.

They will also talk about how unpopular the war was and how President Bush was largely villified for the whole affair.  Text books will show the protesters holding their "No Blood for Oil," signs, and when talking about American culture it will be noted how big of a fad it was in Hollywood to shit allover the Bush administration.  The books will speak of a country divided over the prospect of "making the world safe for democracy."

There might also be mention of the military implications of the whole conflict.  I think we've lost less than 10,000 American lives after 10 years of bloody conflict.  We actually toppled the government and affected the surrender of Saddam's army within a month of actually invading the country.  This will be a lesson in how technology has significantly impacted the way wars are faught.  We seem to have reached a point where we can inflict heavy casualties upon our enemies while sustaining as few casualties as possible on our end.  Our technology is making it so that one man can kill as many human beings as possible.

Should Iraq prosper, should their democracy work and actually help the country flourish, then the Iraq War will likely be viewed as a success.  It might sound sickening to us to consider such a thought, but if the Iraqi people can live free in a democratic society then why shouldn't it be considered a success?

Perhaps there's no such thing as a "successful" war.  All wars are bad, even if they're justified, and even if the end result means the world has a greater potential to be a better place.  Wars leave deep scars that can't ever be undone.  Though there are many dead, there are those still living who will have the bear the burden of their loved ones' sacrifices until they draw their own terminal breath.

Unlike Vietnam, we didn't sustain heavy casualties and we stuck with it to the end.  After 10 years, we can say that Iraq at least has a chance to craft a decent society.  We can only hope that the Iraqi people take this opportunity that we've given them with spilt blood, and flourish as a democratic society that values liberty and justice.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Dumbass Idea of the Week

Well, unbeknownst to some of you, we've survived two Raptures.  That one loon that was preaching the end of days back in May said that he miscalculated, and that the end times were supposed to come about this past friday, October 21st.

Either he was wrong, or the entire world is filled with nothing but shit heads since no one was raptured.  Actually, both of those statements are true, I guess.

When reached for comment, he had no comment.  Perhaps all the ridicule finally helped reality to sink in.  Or, perhaps the fact that he was wrong (twice) helped reality to sink in.  Way to go, buddy.

"You down there!  You're fucking WRONG!"

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Meaning of Gadhafi's Death

My guess is that the fat bodyguard in the background was
not one of Gadhafi's first-stringers.
I did something similar to this when Osama bin Laden was whacked, and I think it's important that everyone contemplate the meaning of death, not just the deaths of well-known world political figures, but for everyone we know that dies in our lifetime.

Gadhafi's death probably doesn't mean as much to us as it does to the Libyans.  Yes, we no longer have to fear his "Line of Death," and it seems that he's paid the piper for all the terrorism he's sponsored in the last 40 years.  But for those who lived under his horrifying opression daily, this probably comes as a relief to those demanding he face justice for what he's done.

Perhaps it's only a small comfort.  It would probably have been better had he been captured alive and brought to trial, but I'm not so sure.  Gadhafi was definitely a bad guy, and there's no arguing that he was a vile man who probably didn't deserve a quick death considering all the suffering he has caused.  But what good would a trial have really served?

Sticking to our principles is a good thing most of the time, and we probably shouldn't get comfortable with executing villains on the spot without trial.  My question is, given a trial would the outcome have been any different?  We can't know for sure, but it's likely that he would have met the same end.  Gadhafi would have been found guilty of some of the most heinous crimes against humanity, executed, and probably still dragged through the streets of Tripoli.  With a trial, however, he would have been given one last chance to grand-stand in some silly purple outfit; he would go into the trial knowing he was a dead man; and his antics would have just made a mockery of the judicial process.

That's what happened at Saddam's trial, which in my mind was largely a symbolic three-ring circus.  Saddam was just as wacked out as Gadhafi, and there was no doubt that he had a one-way ticket to the gallows the moment he was caught and incarcerated.

It would have been nice had the rebels just thrown him in a prison, waited to establish a government and functioning courts, and then prosecuted Gadhafi with a fair trial.  Was that realistic, though?  When we caught Saddam the major part of the war was over.  And mind you, we caught Saddam.  American soliders, well disciplined and with orders to take him alive if they could, caught and detained Saddam.  In Gadhafi's case, he was caught by the very people he brutalized for 40 years, and asked them for the mercy that he never showed them and their loved ones.

Can you really blame them?

Some of you will say yes.  Some of you will say that a fair trial should always be held, and that the principles of fair justice should always be upheld.  Some of you will assert that the rebels are nothing but uncivilized barbarians who have no concept of justice, but before you pass judgment on them, perhaps you should first look deeply into your own soul.

I think that anyone in the same situation would have acted as they did.  They are rebels--a rag-tag collection of citizens fighting for freedom agains brutal opression--who are still in the midst of a war against Gadhafi's terror.  They could have been among the many who were personally affected by the sting of his reign.  How many of you would honestly grant him the mercy for which he begged?

My guess is that given the same circumstances any human would have likely acted the same way.  We like to think that we don't have it in us to kill another human being, but few of us have actually lived in a tyranny like his.  How many of you would have shot Hitler on site had you captured him?  Who would have let Stalin live if he begged for mercy?

I'm not justifying the acts of the rebels, but I understand why they did what they did.  We're no better than them, considering all the jubilation that was expressed when we found out Osama had been killed.  People still cheered knowing that he was defenseless when found.  Human beings everywhere, no matter how "civilized," they're supposed to be, are little different from each other.  It's easy for us to say that rule of law is important, and that everyone deserves a fair trial, but those are fairly hollow assertions in my opinion.

We're not living in a country in violent rebellion, and how many inmates of Guantanamo Bay have received a fair trial?  Humans are shit heads, no matter what flag you fly, what god you pray to, or what color your skin is.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

October 20, 2011: Gadhafi Dead

"Somehow I knew this would end poorly."

It's been confirmed by officials that the crazy former dictator of Libya, Moamar Gadhafi, is dead.  Although it's probably a good thing that he's no longer around, it's a little disappointing that we don't have anyone else to wear ridiculous ensembles to meetings with world leaders.

Maybe now the people of Libya who had to endure over 40 years of his maniacal opression can rest a little easier knowing that he's parted from this mortal coil.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Today on Political Realities: "Occupy Wall Street - Brave New Trash Heap"

I promised you something inspired, and you've got it.  My article for today is on Political Realities which, if you haven't visited before, is a nice little patch of internet space run by LD Jackson.  Contributors include Ted from Country Thinker, myself, and recently added William McCullough from Comments on National Amnesia.

So check out my article there, and I encourage everyone to peruse the content there.  There's some good stuff at PR.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Why I Suck Lately

I might be a bit vain in thinking this, but I'm betting that my dear readers have noticed that I've been slacking lately in posting.  Before this past month, I was doing a good job at posting something nearly every day, and now it would seem that I have slowed down a bit.

There's a couple reasons why.  First and foremost is the fact that I've grown tired of writing about the news for the simple fact that it seems like everyone in every news outlet is writing about the same shit every day.  I don't like rahashing topics unless I think there's some sort of new aspect about it to explore.  The news is just boring lately.  It's like we're stuck on a broken-ass record that only plays the phrases "Class Warfare" and "Occupy (Insert Location)."

Also, the whole partisanship thing is starting to get on my nerves a bit.  If you were an outsider looking in on this mess, you'd think that America was filled with nothing but moronic and inept villains and evil-doers.  Both sides think that the other side is willfully trying to destroy the nation for nefarious purposes.  Both sides are trying to master-mind their own conspiracies, and both sides fail at their plans hard core.  So I really haven't been feeling like writing about politics lately, because it seems like there are few people left who are willing to have a rational discussion about important shit.

I've been feeling somewhat uninspired lately, and I'm not sure why.  Perhaps I'm just bored, or maybe I've just run out of interesting things to say.  It might be because of work, as well, because there's been an influx of irresponsible parents calling us, so it's hard for me to write my articles at work.  By the time I get home, I just want to chill and not do anything productive.

Things will probably be worse, though, because I've been selected to play in the Star Wars: The Old Republic beta.  For those of you who don't know, it's an MMO.  I'm a *huge* Star Wars nerd, and as if getting to play an epic Star Wars game that's a sequel to one of my favorite game series, Knights of the Old Republic, wasn't enough, I get to fucking play it with friends.  Ballin' out of control.

The call to The Old Republic is strong, and soon I'll have Batman Arkham City and Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim to spend my time playing.  So it looks like it will be even harder to write.

But that's okay.  I'm not going on haiatus or anything, I just need to stop being lazy.  I'm actually starting school this January to get my teaching license, so things will probably be even worse then.  I can imagine that my posts will get more abusive and vituperative, but never towards my loyal readers.

Enjoy your Tuesday, and hopefully I'll have something more substantial to write for tomorrow!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Dumbass Idea of the Week

What I don't understand is why amazing costumed vigilantes don't exist in real life.  This guy, who can't even come up with a better name than "Phoenix Jones," dresses in a suit of molded body armor--which admittedly looks pretty well done--and apparently just goes around calling the cops on people.

Well, his antics met a hiccup when he pepper sprayed a group of people outside a club, apparently for no reason.  One of the women in the group beat him with her shoe until the cops arrived and booked him.  He faces a $5,000 fine.

Seriously dude, if you're going to dress like a badass then perhaps you should actually BE a badass.  Just once I'd like to see a real-life costumed hero who can actually throw down like Batman.  I guess we're just cursed to have dorky weirdoes for heroes.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Villains and Heroes: A stupid way to view politics

(Insert name of political figure you hate here)
One beautiful and sunny morning when I was in college, about two years ago, I was sitting in a class on the U.S. Congress with one of my favorite professors.  Although I found the class fairly interesting, I sat next to a very attractive young girl who made it hard to concentrate.  Yes, I was about 26 at the time, so I suppose it makes me somewhat of a perv, oggling 18 year old girls, but whatevs.
Anywho, the professor asked us a question: how can we understand the decisions that congressmen and women make?

Me being my usual cynical self, I responded "figure out what they want."  He chuckled and replied "well that's not the answer I was looking for, but now you're starting to think like a political scientist."  Of course I was proud of myself, not only because he thought highly of me, but because I felt like I had stumbled upon a truth.

I've said this many times before, but politics is all about rival interests coming together to work out a solution that best works for the common good.  Politics is all about what people want.  I mean what else can it be?  Do we honestly think that we elect a bunch of people to go make arbitrary decisions about things that have no bearing on our lives?  Do government officials convene simply to engage in meaningless discussions about inane things?

Some of you might answer "yes," to both of those questions, but in all seriousness, politics is all about trying to get what you want when someone else wants it for themselves, or when someone else wants to achieve an effect that completely contradicts your interests.

So for me at least, this begs the question: why do people see American government and politics as some sort of epic clash between heroes and villains?

(Insert name of political figure you love here)

I don't always like to call out my commenters, but Jersey McJones left a comment on my article yesterday and brought up some salient things.  I don't think I did a very good job at explaining myself on some things, and he was right to call me out on those things.  It was his last comment that really stuck with me, though.  He wrote:
We desperately need massive national investment and the scumbag, crooked, cheap, short-sighted, evil, lowlife, scumbag (again) moral vacuums known as Republicans refuse to do it.
They would rather sink the nation than lose power and money, even if just in the short run.
I feel like there's a blatant logical fallacy in the final statement, that they'd rather sink the nation than lose their power and money.  My response to him was if the nation were to go belly up, what power would they have?  They only have power because we give it to them.  Also, Republicans are generally all about limiting the size and scope of government.  How is it power hungry to constantly call for the abdication of power?

Also, it seems fairly ridiculous to suggest that the Republicans somehow stand to gain something from tanking the economy.  They're not going to get wealthier if the economy is in the shitter, so why would they want to make it worse?  If their goal was to destroy America, and that goal succeeded, then would their money even matter?  Destroying America would ensure that they'd lose all their money and power, so why would they want to?  If they're so greedy, then it would make more sense that they would try to strengthen the economy so they can accumulate more wealth.

This is the only real solution I see to all of our
problems.
And if you think there are heroes in all this, guess again.  Just because the Democrats "advocate" for the poor and disenfranchised doesn't mean they're all altruistic saints.  They probably do believe in whatever it is they're doing, but at the end of the day it's all about doing whatever is necessary to continue their congressional careers.  If the Democrats were such compassionate people, then none of them would be very rich, because they'd front their own money to help out the less fortunate.

Whenever someone paints a political opponent as a villain who wants to destroy America, or makes a politican out to be a heroic champion of the people, I can't help but chuckle, because laughing at it is the only way to get through it.  That's what they all want you to think.  They want you to believe, in your heart of hearts, that the opposition is the enemy, and that they are your savior.  Why?  Because you'll never vote for a villain.  Deeply divided, partisan politics makes election time easier for those up for re-election, and it imprisons your mind.

There are no heroes and villains in this little drama we call American government.  There are only people trying to get a bigger piece of the pie for themselves and their constituents.  Neither party stands to gain anything from destroying America.  That's not to say that their policies won't destroy America, but to assert that they actually want to ruin everything is pretty silly.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Some People Seem to Finally Get It

Sorry, pal.  You can't win 'em all.
Obama's jobs bill got swatted down in the Senate.  Before we talk about what this means for Obama, let's talk about what this means for us.

This is sort of a double edged sword in my eyes.  It's probably a good thing that the bill didn't pass the senate, because we can't really afford to spend more damn money on gambles and half-truths.  This is a bad thing because there's not been any alternatives presented, or at least none that have received any of the lime light.

I suppose that's not entirely true.  The Republicans seem to have some ideas, but everyone is afraid to try them.  It sucks having to just wait and see if they're going to do anything to help get us out of this slump, even if doing something means taking themselves out of the equation.

At most, we should expect the government to do things that make this country conducive to economic success.  We're not likely going to achieve that by taking a one-sided approach.  I seriously want to slap a kitten anytime someone asserts implies that the solution is easy as just raising or lowering taxes.  I'm not going to pretend like I know what the hell I'm talking about, or what changes are going to get us back in the black, but I don't think spending more money is going to get us out of this.

So what does this mean for Obama?  Well it means that he's probably fairly boned come November 2012.  The Democrats control the senate, and they did not fall in line with his bill.  Some guy at the Daily Beast said that this amounts to a vote of no confidence.  I'm inclined to agree.

Any time a president can't get his own party behind a piece of legislation he's introduced, you know he's in trouble.  He's in campaign mode right now though, so he'll likely do what he's been doing in the past couple of weeks: he'll blame congress for inaction, and admonish them for "screwing" the American people.  A man who doesn't have to worry about getting reelected would likely take this time to sit back and think hard about the things he believes in.

If your own party is nervous about spending more and more money, then shouldn't you start to wonder if spending more money really is the solution?  Discount the fact that Jimmy Carter did the same thing Obama is trying to do and his jobs bill failed to be a long-term solution, and forget about the fact that none of the recent spending has done anything to get us out of this--Obama and the Democrats really need to think hard about this.

Sure, government spending is not always a bad thing.  Take the 1950's for example.  We were booming despite the marginal tax rate for the highest earners was 90%, and the government was spending money like crazy.  The difference was, though, that Eisenhower believed in fiscal responsibility--that crazy notion that we should not spend more than we take in--and all the money was being spent on stuff that actually spurred growth.

I think somewhere around 50% of the federal budget goes to entitlements.  How many people receiving those entitlements are going to actually give something back to the economy?  How many of those entitlements are doled out inefficiently?  Government spending is fine when the money is spent on stuff that's going to spur growth.  It's not a good thing when the money spent is simply trying to sustain people's lifestyles.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Dumbass Idea of the Week

There's a couple of rules in life that everyone should know.  For instance, don't piss on an electric fence.  Never consume raw or undercooked pork or chicken.  And oh yeah, never punch a dude on national television.

Some Russian billionaire guy, Alexander Lebedev, punched some other Russian guy on television.  Apparently, he clocked him so hard that he sent the guy flying backwards.  Now, he's been arrested and could serve 5 years in prison.

When asked for comment, Vladimir Putin said that it was all "hooliganism."  Apparently, rule #4 is never call a rich Russian dude that you'd rather get punched in the face than talk to him.  You'll get what you asked for.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Deep Questions for a Beautiful Sunday

I'm not going to provide commentary today, so instead I'm just going to ask some important questions that everyone should ask themselves and contemplate.

1.  Is the universe truly infinite?  If so, then how can that actually be?  If not, then what lies beyond our universe?

2.  How significant is life on Earth knowing that we are a microscopic spec in the grand scheme of all existence?

3.  If there was an alien civilization, would that shake your faith in the existence of God?

4.  How moral can we be in such an immoral world?

Friday, October 7, 2011

New Poll: Who are you voting for?

Vote it up, fools!  The poll is on the right-hand side.  The candidates are not listed in any particular order.

In a shocking turn of events, the Westboro Baptists still suck

Always a classic.
Steve Jobs died yesterday, or the day before or something, and that's pretty sad.  I sort of hated what he represented and all, being a PC elitist myself, but pancreatic cancer is a fairly shitty way to go.  I might have harsh words for the man and what I viewed as a symbol of the dumbing down of society, but there's one thing I'd never do: protest his fucking funeral.

The Westboro Baptists, arguably some of the most vile human beings on the planet, are planning on protesting Steve Jobs' funeral because
"He had a huge platform; gave God no glory & taught sin . . ."
Fucking seriously?  The best part about that is that the stupid bitch tweeted that from her iPhone.  I'm seriously wondering if that was like, I dunno, purposely supposed to be ironic or something, or if she really is that retarded.  My guess is that she's just retarded.

I don't really understand what the point is other than those cock suckers are just trying to get more attention.  I hate using the trite phrase "what would Jesus do," but fucking seriously, would Jesus have condoned some shit like this?  How is preying on the misery and pain of other people giving glory to God?  Someone please explain to me how these sort of actions are in any way, shape, or form indicative of a good Christian who truly believes in the idea of love and compassion.

Oh, but I guess the whole golden rule thing is just a crock of horseshit.  So really, what they're saying is that they would love for their own funerals to be desecrated so that someone can promote some sort of religious or political agenda.  Because that's what funerals are for, right?  They're not for the grieving families to say their last good-byes to a loved one.  Apparently, a funeral is just another forum where some hatemongering asshats can spread their feces.

I get that we have to protect free speech, but that also means that I'm free to say that they are a bunch of fuck heads who haven't got even a shred of human decency left in them.  If I came across any of them on the street and they were on fire, I wouldn't even piss on them to put them out.

"Well, that's not very Christian-like either Jack."  No shit, Sherlock.  The difference is that you don't see me running around telling everyone how great a person I am for being Christian.  Sure, I'm a bad Christian.  I might be a shit head, but at least I can admit that instead of pretending to be some self-righteous dick face who thinks he's "saved," and thus have a license to do whatever I please.

I have a feeling that in the old days, ca. 1,500 BC, these media whores of Babylon would have been stoned for shitting allover the memory of the dead and the sentiments of the bereaved.  Agape?  Caritas?  Love?  I'm not convinced any of these fuck heads have heard any of those words before.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I've Been Missing Out: "It's Always Sunny in Philedelphia"

I don't know why I started watching this show other than the fact that I heard that it was funny, and it has Danny DeVito in it.

Well I'm really fucking glad I did.

The show centers on 5 friends who are arguably some of the worst people on the planet.  The situations they get into are kind of crazy, and all the while you're sitting back wondering "who would ever do this?"  I think that's part of what makes the show hilarious.

There's not a whole lot more I can say about it, other than the fact that it's amazingly funny.  It's one of those shows that you just have to watch in order to get how funny it really is.  So this show gets the official Jack Camwell recommendation!

It's Always Sunny in Philedelphia airs Thursday nights at 10 on FX.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The DVR Generation

Whenever a commercial comes on, both my kids, aged six and three, almost always say "dad, can you fast-forward it?"  At this point I usually get irritated, because not only do they ask me to fast-forward every damn time a commercial comes on, but they get all disappointed when I tell them I can't because it's live television.

Is DVR ruining my children's generation?

There's an entire generation of people who are not going to know what life was like before DVR.  Now some of you might be saying "Jack, TV is not that important anyway, and it rots your brain.  So why are you making a big deal about this?"  Sure, TV is not actually important, and it probably is eroding people's minds.  I'm sure some parents think I'm horrible for even letting my children watch TV.  But seeing as how there's a giant ass number of people in the country who regularly watch TV, I think that it does have a meaningful impact on society.

Before DVR, if you wanted to record a show you had to do so with a VCR.  The quality would be shitty, and the tape would degrade over time after continuously overwriting everything week after week.  If you weren't the recording type, then you had to be sure that you were at your TV whenever your favorite show came on.  If you missed a new episode of whatever you liked to watch, then that was it.

Think about how long you had to wait to see that episode, or if you would ever see it.  If you were lucky, there'd be a couple of months where they'd show the re-runs from that current season, but you generally had to wait several months before they started showing re-runs.

Now-a-days, there's virtually no such thing as "missing," a new episode of your favorite TV show.  A shit ton of people have DVR, which means they can digitally record whatever shows they want and watch them at their convenience.  It doesn't take any fiddle-fucking with a VCR or whatever, just a few buttons on your remote control.

Oh, you don't have DVR?  Well chances are you've got an internet connection that's at least half-way decent.  You can go to just about any network website and watch all of their shows' latest episodes for free.  There's also hulu if you're looking for a one-stop-shop for all your TV viewing needs.  Although a lot of the cable networks like A&E don't put their shows on hulu or their websites, they do usually put the latest episodes on an OnDemand through the cable company.

Do you see what this means?  We've got an entire generation of kids that don't ever have to wait for their TV entertainment.  They never have to worry about watching at a specific time on a specific night.  It's like a safety net for TV.  Why be on time when you can just watch whatever you want at your leisure?  Not only that, but they'll rarely ever have to sit through more than 30 seconds of commercials.

There's no anticipation.  There's no being forced to sit at the edge of your seat, begging for the plot to unfurl.  They'll never appreciate television the way we had to.  For them, the world will be a place in which all they have to do is fast-forward through the shitty parts, and one in which they don't have to worry about failing because there's always a safety net.

Granted, I love the TV safety net, but I still appreciate what it means.  They will just expect it.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Dumbass Idea of the Week

Question: What do you do if you're a chick with huge tits and a shit ton of money to blow?  You take out an insurance policy on your fake tits.

Some chick that I don't think I've ever even heard of, Holly Madison, insured her breasts for $1 million.  There are AIDS babies dying in Africa, and children starving all over the planet, but thank fucking GOD that Holly Madison will get $1 million should her breasts ever suffer a horrendous accident.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

If you could be an X-Men mutant, what power would you have?

If you're not at all familiar with X-Men, then that's okay.  The question could simply read: what super power do you most want?

Yesterday, Damien mentioned something about power on my article about how war is retarded, and that got me thinking.  What is it about power that so profoundly affects the human mind?  We all want to think that we're benevolent creatures.  We want to believe that we would weild power justly, and not allow it to poison and twist our minds.

But is there any human on this planet that could actually do so?

Perhaps there are some religious figures that could weild it justly.  The Pope has a tremendous amount of influence and power, and the popes that I can remember seem to do so with humility and conscience.  The Dalai Lama doesn't abuse his influence and power.  But then we see plenty of religious figures who use their power and influence for evil.  Whether it's a Muslim extremist trying to blow shit up, a Catholic priest getting young boys to blow him, or some bible-thumping pastor trying to swindle people out of their money, power still has a tendency to distort even the best of people.

If I were an X-Men mutant, I'd have the power of Charles Xavier: the ability to read, and in many cases control, the minds of other people.  When I was musing about this the other day, a sudden realization dawned on me.  I knew that if I had such a power, that I would probably not use it for good.  The temptation to use it purely for my own benefit would likely be too great.

I mean, how could I resist convincing Mila Kunis to be my sex slave?  How could I not make Obama depants himself during the State of the Union Address?  How many idiots do you think would be left living if I had such a power?

The worst part about it is that I'm very good at feigning certain emotions or attitudes.  I love being in charge of things.  I love having control of other people.  However, you wouldn't really know it because I always act like it is such a burden that I'm always willing to lay down.  I pass it off as "well, I just want to make sure that it's done right."

I guess being a badass means you can
wear whatever ridiculous costume you
want.  I mean, who's gonna make fun of
fucking Wolverine?
The truth is that I'm probably no different than anyone who enjoys power and would likely abuse it for his or her own benefit.  I'm generally a good person.  Some of you might think that I'm a bit too Machiavellian or morally gray for your own personal tastes, but generally I try to do the right thing and bring happiness to people rather than pain and sadness.  So if I know I've got that demon inside me, I think it would be reasonable to assume that many, many more people do, too.

So the question is a two-parter: What super power would you have, and do you think you could handle having such a power?  I'd love to hear from all of my readers, as this is an interesting question that actually says a lot about a person's personality.

Enjoy your Sunday!