Thursday, June 30, 2005

The ACLU: And you'd think the "Right" is evil!!!

There are tons of political blogs out there. You see a lot of things when you read them. They make you think or even expresss an opinion from time to time. The fanatical ones can drive you crazy. You can merely disagree with a point and you are drug through the mud and labelled an idiot or various other descriptive words you don't really want to hear. With that said here goes...

The fanatics of the left like to trash the right. Well, actually it does go both ways but what the left decides to trash comes down to their self appointed leadership. They love it when their leaders like Howard Dean call all Republicans dishonest. They love to see Bush mis-pronounce a word which is quite funny that most of the left feel the need for social programs to help everyone with an impediment. They love to kick someone they believe is down. And they think they are the all knowing pack of self righteous and educated know it alls that are superior to anyone that thinks otherwise of them. (Note: I don't wish any ill-will or bad luck to that last link) One thing, the left likes to do is poke fun at the religious right. Or zealots as they'd like you to think...

I got news for them. If they're afraid of what a power a few ministers may have when it comes to the President's policies, influence on the House or the campaigns of a few Senators? How about the having the most destructive organization to American Freedom, Culture and History, the American Civil Liberties Union, in the back pocket of two powerful Democratic Senators. Boxer and Feinstein.

You know, I am not a religious person but I have no problem with a religious President or the fact that the Ten Commandments are posted on government buildings or anything like that. You as a free-American shouldn't either, seriously. But I am afraid of the ACLU. Let's look at the two Senators from California above:

Boxer, my admitted all-time favorite punching bag, gets letter's from the ACLU. Check out this one on abortion. Or this scary one regarding the Fresno Police and it's," infiltration" into a club. Does the Federal Government have the right to do anything when it thinks something is up? C'mon... Though I only posted links to two letters, search Barbara Boxer out on the ACLU site, she'll scare the hell out of you.

But what about mild mannered, not so out spoken, kinda centrist in a way, Diane Feinstein. Huh? Look at this letter from the ACLU. And now Feinstein's response. Holy Crap! What did she say?

"On April 4, 2005, the ACLU published a reply to my letter, in which they listed what they described as ‘abuses and misuses’ of the Act. I carefully reviewed each of the examples provided in the letter. I also reviewed information provided to me by the Department of Justice about each of the examples. And while I understand the concerns raised by the ACLU, it does not appear that these charges rose to the level of ‘abuse’ of the Patriot Act.

That said, I believe that we can, and should, make some changes to the Patriot Act to ensure it is less likely to be abused in the future."

Is it me or did this lady, first not see an abuse, but now wants to change the Patriot Act to make it "less likely to be abused? What the hell is that? It's called sleeping with the enemy... It's fun, they're a real good person and then, oh by the way, can you support us even though you don't AGREE with us?

These are only a couple of examples. Sometimes when you argue with someone from the left they really do their homework and research, all be it from the Al Franken Show. Seriously, they always get some twist, (That they heard on Al Franken) that we jaded people of the right are blind and can't see what's going on. Well, I did my research on my own, unbiased, does it make you all feel a bit better now?

Monday, June 27, 2005

Some things I ponder often...

1. Tom Arnold has had a pretty successful career after marrying and divorcing Roseanne Barr, How?

2. If man is 5, and the devil is six and God is 7, what's 8??

3. If Bill Gates gave every single American 5 grand, he'd still be the richest man in the world. Imagine what that would do for the economy.

4. If Bono were an American, what political party would he belong to?

5. When did Katie Holmes suddenly grow six inches taller?

6. Will there ever be a "Chinese Democracy"?

7. Will I ever see a Canadian or French person burning their country's flag?

8. Why is REM's Automatic For the People album only ranked #85 in this month's issue of Spin Magazine's TOP 100 Albums from 1985-2005? (Missing entirely from the list, Depeche Mode's Violator, U2's Joshua Tree, The Cure's Disintegration, Social Distortion's Self Titled Album, Any of Johnny Cash's American Recordings and Emmylou Harris's Red Dirt Girl) (Honorable mention: Jawbreaker's out of print album-Dear You)

9. 95% of all golfers shoot over 100 no matter how much money we spend on technology.

10. Just how much web storage does have for their videos, jokes and photos?

11. Why is it if liberals really can't handle the Ten Commandments on a government building then why should they get Christmas off when it's on a weekday?

Check it out... My Pictures

You regular visitors and the ones I linked here, notice, I also have a photo blog here.

Pictures are mostly taken by me. Gives you a little more incite with my madness.

Have Fun!!!!!


Sunday, June 26, 2005

The Mis-Adventures of Illegal Downloading

One time I was king. I had it all. I was one of the very first in Sacramento to get a cable modem back at the end of 1999. The immense speed compared to dial up was addictive. Later that year, I discovered Napster. I downloaded everything I could find. I wasn't after songs really off of albums. I was more into the live or rare stuff you couldn't buy unless it was on an import from Europe or Asia. Who knew then if it was legal to even have those copies. Some time the next fall, U2 played a concert to introduce their new album, All That You Can't Leave Behind, and they broadcasted a radio show. Before the show had ended on radio in New York live, I had half of it downloaded off of Napster. That was flat out crazy! Then later on I discovered KaZaa and I was getting videos and games and all sorts of stuff. Then one day about 2 years ago I woke up and said, "Why?" Why did I beat down an industry that I supported so very much? I even went so far to get a degree in Music Business at the University of the Pacific, pack up and move to LA to get in to the business. Now later on, I am downloading all of it for free.

Reality check, is it really free? Hell, no and really it is quite illegal, but not that you'd notice. In fact, if you are busted for it, you can have a huge fine and jail time. You could spend more time in jail than Mike Tyson did for raping a woman. Title 17 of the US Code states all the rights you have as the owner of a copyright. You have the abilities to earn money, perform it publically, reproduce it, display it and distribute it. This is where the conflict stood with me when I discovered what I was doing with all this illegal downloading. What about the poor rock star who you were basically stealing from? I mean, seriously, would you break into Puffy's house and steal his Bentley. No. Would you steal from you best friend? Just as easily you'd answer no. What is the difference then?

Artist and musicians and creative writers, like authors, screenwriters and even directors spend years perfecting their craft for one soul purpose. To entertain all us. What is one thing we all do when relax? We turn on an electronic device in our houses to broadcast music, movies or TV just to unwind, educate ourselves or to discontinue some sort of monotony that goes on in our daily lives. Life would be quite boring without some form of entertainment. So why do we steal it?

The problem lies with America, and everyone thinking they have some magic rights to everything free. The power to abuse comes so easily, we forget how we got it in the first place. Talk to anyone who downloads stuff illegally and they'll tell you they aren't hurting anything or they can't afford the music or they just flat out don't care what the law or what the creative people say about it. The reality is, if we are getting the stuff for free why would the industry continue to produce it? I think if I were an up and coming artist, I may feel a bit dejected to see my work spread around the world like a wild fire in Southern California because I just couldn't control it. It's almost as if you went to work and discovered all the hard work you did was being taken credit for by someone else. You'd be so upset and in fact, you'd probably quit and do something else. How can a musician or writer just quit and work for someone else, like we could, when their name is bigger than the company they work for?

Hmm... Maybe it's just me and my Jimmy Stewart-like world I live in but nothing beats the pleasure of buying a cd at Tower on the day of it's release, going to the movies with my wife and friends or renting a DVD on a cold blustery day.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Flag Burning Amendment: A re-post from the past

This week House voted to create an Amendment to stop flag burning. Personally I am against any and all US Flag desecration but that does not stop me from listening to what you have to say about the flag burning. I am curious to know because it is a very hot political issue that may be flying under the radar. I also encourage to visit the Stop The ACLU blog for more opinions on flag burning. I wrote this post featured below a few months back. Please take the time to read it and voice an opinion. Here is the post:

Ragged Old Flag

One of my all-time favorite photos of Americana. I almost think that Johnny Cash is telling something that he doesn't want you to forget. If you ever heard the song, you learn that no matter what this country does, good or bad, win or lose, right or wrong, the flag is what it was done for. It was done for us, whether we agree or not.

I write this latest edition of my running Observations series with a bit of caution and some defensiveness. You might see some of my "wit" that I hear about from you, my small audience. I started this blog page here on Blogger because it was mainly something different to do. Well it really wasn't different as there are millions of people writing millions of blogs that go anywhere the writer feels like taking you. Still as technology changes and gets easier (writing and editing code for these pages sucks) we Americans, and World Citizens can be armchair publishers or photo journalists or critics with opinions. And its the opinions where topics can get heated responses or retorts. This is where I take this latest edition.

There are tons of political commentaries all over the blogosphere. Some are quite good and some are quite terrible. The good ones come from all sides. You see there are no both sides. I came to the realization this afternoon after remembering a discussion at a drunken poker game last night. Suddenly after the third beer and the shot Crown Royal, we turned political. And it got heated and it was all about Bush's reaction to the Tsunami. I started to get involved as I do here in blogger world, when I comment on other people's thoughts; I mean, that's what you are supposed to do right?. And 5 or so minutes into it I froze. I wondered what the hell I was doing? I had pocket 7's and I was folding? Folding to get involved with the subject matter. My good friend was talking passionately and I was not making good decisions. Why? Because I disagreed with him. I made a mistake in my own situation because I chose to get involved. And guess what? I lost out on the big pot and the big chance to improve my own standing on that poker table. I was defending Bush.... "Oh the horror!"

This last election turned this country into a mess. We are so polarized in our convictions. "But wait, Steve, didn't you just say there was no 'both sides'?" Yeah I did, so why are we polarized? We are polarized because we as a country believe, whatever "right" position we take we are with the majority. And hey the majority always wins. But that's where every American citizen is wrong. If you hate the fact that President Bush is still President Bush then you are not in the majority no matter how much you believe it or read about it. If you like President Bush, there are millions who oppose you. However, there are "tons" of blogs dedicated to slagging Bush. There are people that are still in the "shock and awe" and post-election blues, demanding protests and public outcry because he won. They want recounts, they want to point out all the flaws like Barbara Boxer did on Friday. For what reason though? What purpose? They hate... Mr. Bush. What good does this hatred do for our country, our flag? What good does it do for our standing in the world community? This outcry does nothing... It's really, I dislike saying it... Un-American! Sure, Boxer has the right to do what she did, but she did it because she hates Bush, period. I for one expect every vote to count but the system is not perfect. Still I need to believe in that system for each election because it is the only one we have and it will only get better. So how then when you vote, do you know your vote counts or isn't the one that jams the machine. You don't.... you just need to believe it does count or the system is a failure. And the system isn't a true failure.... the margins of error are no where close to failure.

But it is your right. You can speak out, you can hate Bush, you can write a daily journal on how much you dislike the man and his policies and his leadership. America gives you that right. You earned by supporting America in the past and being an American now and fighting for that now.
You are so lucky to have these freedoms of speech and getting the right to have any hairstyle you want. I couldn't live in another country and neither should you Bush haters, unless you want to. But being on that side of Bush, and writing about it, you need to expect criticism from the supporters of Bush. You need to understand that we are not brainwashed, war-mongering religious zealots. Disciples of Bush. We have our gripes too. It isn't a perfect political system but it is what we have and I wouldn't see it change much, even if Kerry were President.
The political system and our freedoms are what Bush is defending in the war on terror. That is what he believes, that is what he stands for. Sorry he is not camera friendly like Clinton. Why should he be?

I'll probably get some heat for what I said here but remember why Johnny up on top of this post is pointing at a ragged old flag instead of a fresh new flag. It is because its 229 years old and it has been through a lot, and it and this country it stands for will always be here. This country is a melting pot of beliefs and ideology. And that is what that makes that ragged old flag photo so great.Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

You know, I could almost stop blogging....

After that last post, wow, there was something new everyday to comment on and write about. That haloscan comment page I use almost could become another blog.

I pissed off some liberals and I am totally not sorry. No seriously, I throw one thing out there and they jumped on it like Bill Clinton on an intern. To them I am probably one or more of each of the following:

A Fascist: Which is pretty bold since I favor, an elected representative government filled with balance. I favor no race and I believe we are all equal. Dictatorships completely suck. Ask the people of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Egypt, Syria and oh hell, North Korea if they truly like oppressive leadership.

A bigot: Which again is very bold but far from the truth. A lot like a fascist or even a racist but simply put, a bigot is what a liberal calls a conservative after the conservative wins the argument. (Special thanks to the Kevin Show)

A Neo-Con: Liberals think this is an offensive description of a Republican. It's used like bigot, in the sense of the last use above. Please keep calling Republicans you cannot agree with Neo-Cons. It lets us know who is actually winning. Thanks!

Missing my cerebral cortex: A visitor on my last post indicated that I was missing my cerebral cortex. They said this while defending the death of Terri Schiavo because of "her wishes" and because the autopsy proved she was brain damaged. Note to all brain damaged people, the liberals are coming to get you next. It will be in the form of socialized medicine.

Far behind: Yes, I am far behind. Far behind in the amount of wealth needed for what I deem to be a satisfactory life. My plan is to live off of cheap labor, profits in the 90 percentile and to eventually lie to shareholders of my textile company based in, oh.... Costa Rica. The weather is nice in the winter there. Oh and hey, there is no such thing as Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny or Global Warming. The study of Geology has more than proved the world warms and cools naturally over time. I am one corrupt son of a bitch and plan to waste precious natural resources in running my company.

Will never make it to the next level: This was a comment left by a Dr. Forbush some time back. (Forgive me I forget the post where he actually stated this, but check the comments in a few of my posts in oh, let's say April) And to tell you the truth I didn't get it. Stupid me.... When I do get "to the next level" I probably will die suddenly. Some angel will pull me into Heaven and will hand me the "Golden" PSP to fight off the evil horde of Satan's Army. I will win and get a statue of Keanu Reeves.

Too Funny: I am not just funny but to some liberal posters I am "too funny". Thanks I am glad you are having a jolly good time visiting this blog. True, I may be "trying" to be funny. But what does it mean to be funny anyway? I mean, a lot of what I say is admittedly intended to "rile up the bowels of the left". I should feel a bit guilty for doing it, but then I read one of you guy's posts on your blogs and you mention polls and Bush's standings and well, hey, look at your presidential hopeful compared to Bush at Yale. I feel more comfortable that Bush got a "D" in Astronomy compared to Kerry's D in political science and history. I still have not received a response from Kerry regarding my email I sent him. See my email here. The post is "too funny".

That's all for now.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Terri Schiavo: The Liberals have won?

I wasn't going to do it. I was done with it, period. But then I started browsing blogs and I got into some comment trade back in forth on this site, and one of my favorite blogs Michael the ArchAngel got a topic going and well, the liberal villains will soon be after me. (Here's the return link I owe you, lawryde)

What good is it for a liberal minded person to call out the conservative blogger and say, "I told ya so. See her brain was DONE!! She would have spent 30 more years drooling on herself".
Sure the autopsy came back and the woman's brain was no longer complete. But we all knew that. Sure she'd be on a feeding tube that many deemed as "life support" for the rest of her life. But we all knew that. Her husband wanted her to die so he could go on living with his family. But we all knew that. Michael brought up a good point on his comment on his blog. Aren't people with let's say, retardation or Downs Syndrome or ALS like Stephen Hawking on some form of "Life Support"? In the old days, people with disabilities were finished. Life was over. We have come along way in this country. We study and we develop health for everyone to sustain life. Whether you like it or not, most people want to live through what they have. What we don't still know are what Terri wanted. There is a big difference between what her husband says, what her family wanted and what we all saw. Sure there are cases like this everyday in a America. But if it comes down to America making an opinion, you gotta choice life unless you know for sure. (And don't give me some anti-war bull in my comment section, it doesn't fly with this argument).

What the liberal agenda lacks in a lot of cases is morals. Divorce for example. The right to choose is another. Gay marriage. Adultery. The ACLU. The list goes on. I don't accuse any particular liberal of lacking morals. I am not naming names. I'd even go on to say that one of my best friends is a liberal AND probably the most moral person I know. A lot of what liberals say against issues like Social Security, War or even our current economic state in this country are biased on their hatred and quote "unfair" election of our leader. You are not winning by choosing Howard Dean, Michael Moore or Randy Rhodes as your role models.

Some out there are acting like they won something by Terri Schiavo's autopsy coming back and telling us what we already knew, she died of dehydration, her brain was damaged and she was disabled. It did nothing to shed light on her quality of life. Don't even begin to list her ailments like blindness. It'll only be a reflection of your blindness on society.

Ok, I am finished....

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Re-run: A favorite post from the past.

I wrote this true story in one of my first blog posts back in November. A lot of my friends still talk about the story. I have written 17 posts titled as "Observations". This is the first one. Those that are new regular readers I am sure you will like it.

Observations, part 1

Today I was in a Carl's Jr. drive thru getting lunch. For some reason, when I get into these drive-thru's, I like to study the process. Each fast food has their own routine. Some take your money before they give you food. Some give you your drink, take your money and then make you wait for the next batch of fries or something. Some ask you to call a number if you are asked to pay a different amount then the one showing. Some even have a timer above the window, showing you how long your order is taking. Some, frighteningly enough in Southern California have bullet proof glass!!!! 99% of all drive thru's have a left turn into them. There is a Kentucky Fried Chicken in Sacramento with a right turn and they take your money through the passenger side. Amazing. Some even have cameras in the speaker so they can see the car you are driving, and they actually comment on it, which is a frightening experience. Especially when its Starbucks and they have your Triple Venti Low Fat Mocha with no whip scream ready for you as you pull up.

Drive Thru's have good days and some have bad days. Some have a smooth flow and you can feel it because you are constantly moving. Others make you wait. Some scare me because the speaker is busted and you think your order is screwed or they don't give you a total and ask you to pull forward, which leaves you in total limbo, especially if the speaker is screwed. Efficiency is a key and it is something you begin to trust when you cruise through the drive thru.

Today, however was a bad day at this particular Carl's Jr. Why? Because they screwed the process by putting too much shit in the way. For starters, the left turn is narrow as hell. The SUV loving tree hugging yuppies in Sonoma County can't hang these corners. Many Tahoes take three point turns to cut the corner. Tons of scrapes on the far right side of the turn. I wonder how old ladies do it in Buicks. Secondly, there is a newspaper rack... just a bit out of reach. I understand the franchisee's need for profit centers in his business but a news paper rack. I witnessed the guy behind me lose balance pulling the spring loaded door, thus causing him to insert more coins. Then, after you have got your paper, made the turn, ordered and denied the voice in the speaker's feeble try at super sizing your order for 39 cents, you reach the spot before the window where you pay, where you see.... THE ATM MACHINE!!! This is here for all the fools that pull into the drive thru line that don't have the money. You know the feeling where you are looking under the floormats for the last quarter while you hold up the line four car lengths from the window, thinking you are saving everyone behind you time. Stop wasting time and slide the plastic! Of course the ATM is just out of reach of most of the people on the planet. But, still as it was, the tiny lady in the big ole Tahoe had to get the money in front of me. It was kinda comical at first because she leaned all the way out to slide the card. Then she had to key her pin and so while leaning out the window she opens the door to reach further, slamming her head and her door into the ATM, dropping her ATM card under her SUV. It was kinda funny seeing this while I was waiting, reading the headlines of the newspaper in the rack outside my door. Well finally she pulled forward slowly while putting everything back in her purse. She approached the drive up window ever so slowly handing the money to the cashier. Then the funniest thing I had ever seen occurred. The drive up window person dropped the lady's food. No joke. The thing dropped right under the door of the SUV, between the two tires. The bag was oblong like a football so it travelled pretty far. If I had been enjoying my soda at this point, I would have shot it through my nose as I laughed so hard. All I could see through the tinted Tahoe's windows was the lady miming "What do I do now?" The drive thru window person, in perfect comedic timing, gave that "I speak no English" look back. Then the door opened to the SUV, right into the drive up window for dent number two.

What happened here? Are we really into the demise of western civilization? We are so over-glutton for profits we make big huge SUV's for tiny people to drive. We fill ourselves with the appettite for high margin fast food. We don't want to get our asses out of our big SUV's to order this food, so we cram them into drive thru's built in the compact car era of the late 70's and early 80's, where we run into technology built for the 21st century, the drive up ATM and these drive thru's are run by people who will work for minimum wage. I see no solutions here. If we raise minimum wage the drive thru won't get any faster or easier to manuever. If we remove technology from our lives to keep it simple, we will not progress. Nobody wants to go back to there Gremlins and Mustang II's of yester-year. Heck, everyone knows you can't even park them SUV's easily so why close the drive through. We've outgrown our world. I am glad I told drive up window person that I didn't need to super size it but I am sure next time they'll be a new profit center for that lady in the Tahoe to stumble through.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Yo Joe!!!: They are just as fun today!

Some 22 or so years ago I was totally into GI Joe action figures. Toys every young Republican child needs. I had them all. I even had the dude that changed color from white to green. One time, I had the flu and I cut all my proof of purchase points off the box and sent off for the limited edition Duke character that was featured in the Cartoon. It came six weeks later.

Remember the cartoon. You had your loveable GI Joe characters, come to life. Snake Eye's didn't talk. The Cobra Commander had a snake lisp when he talked through that silver mask. Remember when they put that hood on him later instead of the mask so he looked like a Taliban thug. Then there was Cobra Commander's keeper Destro. I mean, who was in charge? They had all the evil dudes in all one color, blue like a cheap rip off of the storm troopers, all white look, from Star Wars. You couldn't stand the chicks either when you were ten. Scarlett and Lady Jay. In retrospect, I think Lady Jay would have to hide behind the "Don't ask, Don't tell" policy of our military. Then there was the evil chick, Baroness. She had the hots for Destro with her evil, Eastern Bloc accent.

When they had battles, no one died. There was no blood. No loss. Evil always was wrong and they always lost.

At the end of the cartoon, they had those cheesy public service announcements. Some kids would be riding their bikes at night with no light, and no helmets and one of the GI Joe dudes would help. Or there'd be a fire or some kids would get stuck on ice. Awesome!

Well, I discovered this webpage a few months back from EBaum's World. Someone, obviously from my generation, has updated those GI Joe Public Service Vignette's with a humorous take. I like to visit the site to laugh and I can't stop when I see them. Visit EBaum's and see these cartoons by following this link by clicking here. Must have Quicktime. Not all are in good taste, but they are very funny!

Monday, June 13, 2005

The Michael Jackson Verdict: Where's the balance?

Michael Jackson, as seen earlier on CNN. Was it a suprise?

Those of you that visit frequently noticed I had a poll on the side of my blog with various options for the Michael Jackson verdict. I wonder how accurate it really is. Was he guilty as OJ? But was his celebrity, his money, or his flat out weird behavior so great that he walked? I am still blown away by this verdict. True, I was not there. I did not know any more facts than the average person knows from what they heard on their daily drives to and from work or caught on CNN or Fox News at night. I have no legal expertise or actual knowledge of the laws he specifically had been charged in breaking. Yet, some bit of common sense tells me, Michael Jackson's celebrity got him off despite what the truth may have actually been. C'mon, he sleeps with boys!!

So what's the deal with my topic, "Where's the balance?" Balance is the basis of the adviserial legal system. We have prosecution and defense. We have rights to a speedy trial and rights to be only tried once if found not guilty. Rights to a lawyer if you can't afford one. Heck, you are innocent until proven guilty. You have the right to an appeal. Pretty simple eh? No.... not really.

I am a conservative. Pro-Life, Pro Gun, Pro Bush, and well, definitely a fiscal conservative. I hate socialism and I totally believe well into Adam Smith's idea of the "invisible hand". I believe in the idea of America and our equal freedoms. However, I cannot believe in the death penalty and cases like the Michael Jackson case is the exact reason why. My reason for not being into the death penalty is very much different then let's say the nut jobs over at the ACLU or in the Democratic Party. It's obvious that the ACLU is flat out for control of our freedoms and the way should live. Just look what the ACLU is doing to influence a California State Senator. However, I am digressing here; Michael Jackson, heck even OJ literally bought their way out of the case. So why I against the ability to buy your way out? Especially when I am so into the free market idea and free-economy of competition? Better lawyers really do deserve the better price they get, that is fine, there is nothing wrong. Just like a good research scientist or a good baseball player. However, the legal system is based on balance. How can their be equal balance in a murder or pedophile case when the defendent is a celebrity? The truth is there can't be. Because if we are going to tweak the right to buying the best legal defense possible, far enough to get you off when you really shouldn't, our system of balance will show that someone truly not guilty will fry for it. Why? Resources fighting the top lawyers are lost on cases where no one cares about who's being charged. There are people who deserve to die for their crimes no doubt. Peterson, Ted Bundy, Richard Ramirez and what not. There still is a chance though, unless evidence is overwhelmingly stacked against people like the previous murderers I mentioned, that someone sitting somewhere has been wronged and is sitting in prison and should not be, because the balance is allowed to shift as far as it does for the rich and powerful. When it's a matter of life and death, we as a country should choose life. It only enhances our freedom. That's why some of us are Pro-Life? Eh?


Sunday, June 12, 2005

The Greatest American: Who'd you vote for?

I have been watching this show this evening on the Discovery Channel. Quite an interesting and cheap history lesson of past and current Americans who people feel are the greatest. You have inventors like Edison and the Wright Brothers. You have past Presidents Washington, Lincoln and Jefferson, along with more current 20th Century one's like Roosevelt, Reagan, Kennedy and (gulp!) Clinton. Then people of courage like Rosa Parks, Lance Armstrong and Martin Luther King. Anyhow, check out the top 25. With out Bill Gates, Edison and Einstein, we wouldn't have TV or this computer upon which this post has been written.

You get to vote for 3 tonight. What a choice. My choices:

Martin Luther King. Probably the greatest American and someone I think should win this whole greatest thing above anyone else. And this is coming from a blogger who is white, middle class and Republican. (Oh the shock and horror) King to me bridges the past, from the start of the country through the Civil War, the Depression to well, now. If you listen to what the guy said in his "I have a dream" speech, he is telling first in foremost on how to be an American, how to live free, and all that stuff that fills our history books from 1776 on is what Americans ultimately try to accomplish from the good times and bad times. We must start with equality. If we aren't all equal, then we aren't Americans. Equality is truly the foundation of our Constitution. In order to have equality however, we all must support the American Dream. King was speaking for his people, which really was all of us. His vision was not unique but was well spoken and will stand forever in American History. He defied the paradigm because he believed in freedom and thought others should hear his vision as well.

My second choice, our greatest President, Ronald Reagan. I was in 1st grade when he won the Presidency but I was way too young to understand what he really meant. Our country ended World War 2 in good shape. We had great properity that was put in place with our escape of the Great Depression. Reagan was a man who lived through it all. He knew the Depression. He knew World War 2 and the suffering that went along through all of those events. But he also witnessed America at its worst. It's neglect of the military fighting a war in Vietnam. The troubles in the Civil Rights movement. America's loss of the Kennedy's and Dr. King. Then you had the scandal with the Nixon Administration where Nixon ended up resigning. We had an oil crisis that was more extreme then todays. You had two soft leaders in Ford and Carter. America was a mess and could have seriously faced the threat of war from the Soviet Union. Reagan rides in from California. Life is suddenly good again. He put country on his back, fought off the Soviets through diplomacy and got us to see some prosperity again. True he ran a deficit but what was wrong with that? He made America strong again. Americans had jobs. Americans became inventive again. Americans enjoyed their leisure and their prosperity. His shadow has still been cast over Presidents since. Even Clinton was a great admirer and was not afraid to speak to America, much like Reagan.

My last vote went for Lance Armstrong. Even with his story of survival from a pretty wicked cancer, his 6 Tour de France wins, and his LiveStrong Foundation, his story is still severely under-rated in my book. Those not familiar with sports, the Tour de France is probably the toughest endurance test by far in sports. An Ironman Triathlon is a 2 plus mile swim, a 100 mile bike ride and a Marathon. Tough long race right? Months of training, to complete one leg of that event in a day is awesome in itself. However, the Tour is 100 some odd miles of riding a day for 20 days. Up and down mountains. Time trials. Sprints. Crashes. Get on your bike and ride across town and back and tell me that is not take some effort. Lance won the event after recovering from a cancer that sucked half of his body away. His body, due to cancer, doesn't produce testosterone like the average 33 year old guy. He has said, he can't take suppliments to replace that loss because injecting yourself with testosterone is illegal in sports. In fact, for years he has been tested 300 plus times for banned substances with no positive tests. The odds are stacked high and deep against this guy and he still rolls on. Live Strong eh? I don't think there is another American hero out there than can hold up to this guy's courage and determination. Unbelievable!

If you have seen this Greatest American series on Discovery or have any thoughts on the list on the link I posted up top or my choices, let me know. Thanks!

Saturday, June 11, 2005

I went to SBC Park last night to see Giants play the Cleveland Indians. The Giants are terrible. See more photos here on my Photo Blog. Thanks for coming by. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Oh Lord! Terrorists in Lodi again!


Why is this not even funnier than it really is? Actually it is quite scary. Lodi, CA is just 35 some odd miles south of Sacramento. I grew up near Lodi. I took music lessons in Lodi for years. I even worked in Lodi in high school. Lodi is like a midwestern town. Full of old white people driving their old Cadillacs and Oldsmobiles. Lodi also has more churches per capita than any other city. You are either a Lutheran or a Seventh Day Adventist if you live in Lodi or you are an outsider. It's just a nice boring place to grow up. The most exciting thing to happen in this town, besides the terrorists they found today, is the opening of Walmart some years back.

What changed since Creedance Clearwater Revival wrote a song about it? I mean seriously, finding Terrorists there is about as odd as let's say Rush Limbaugh endorsing Hillary Clinton.

What has this world come to? This town is too low fidelity for this crap. Somebody change the 8 track before it clicks again.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Observations Part 17: Your Freedom... Does it matter what you shoot?

My golf game is terrible. I mean, I truly suck at playing golf. No matter what I do, what tip I bring into my arsenal, no matter which set of clubs, lessons I take or all that practice on the driving range does not matter to my game. I truly am pathetic.

In the last two weekends I have played a good share of golf. I played in two Thursdays back, here in Sacramento, played last Saturday at Old Brockway in North Lake Tahoe and got to play Old Greenwood featured on top. I played Friday night here again in Sacramento, played 9 yesterday at some rinky dink course down in the 'hood of south Sacramento and finally, I have a tee time today at 2:30 at Bartley Cavanuagh. So what's all this mean? I feel as if I am throwing money into pure torture and yet I keep going. I like to think of my golf score as a series of 9 holes to which I am shooting into the upper 50's. That's right I am no where near 100 on 18. It doesn't matter if its a $10 Twilight green fee or a $180 excursion in the Sierra Nevada, my score is always the same.

Let's rationalize this for a minute. Golf is a challenging sport. Duh! Look at rules. You have to hit a little ball, 200-300, ok as much as 500 yards down a big chunk of sprawling grass to a little piece of heaven called a "green". Along the way you'll see many different environments. If your lucky, mostly you'll see fairways, or what I call the easy routes. Somes your in the rough, less frequently mowed grass. Behind some trees. And then my favorites, the bunkers of sand. Pure torture if your not hitting correctly. Finally you reach your destination, the green. Green's for the most part in Sacramento, due to the heat, are not as green as you'd think, but they work. Once there on the green, 2-4, sometimes 8 strokes later, you have another demanding test of wit. Your putting. Putting on the green and driving off the tee are two opposite events of gold. You could dead on off the tee, the suck completely on the green. That "Driving for show, putting for dough" saying means everything to a golfer. So what happens when both are off? You get my scorecard, a series of numbers that look way more appealling to a bowler than a golfer.

"The American Flag"

It's an expensive hobby really. A way to get out, and get some exercise and not rot in front of a computer, blogging like I am doing now. It's also freedom. There are new rules when you are out there that are quite different to your home, your job or even a other social events like going to a restaurant or a family party. You have your own ettiquette that most golfer's follow. You are also free from other things if you want, like politics, crime, social issues and what not. When you are golfing you have no worries accept your score. High or low it does not matter in the grand scheme of things. It's your day, you are in command and you are in control. You also defend your freedom quite frankly. A guy like me or my buddies makes the decision to go golf. The wives really stay out of it, and actually encourage it. What a great freedom we enjoy.

I went out today to get some balls for golfing. I like hitting cheap balls because they are easily lost with my vicious hook. (My hook is a draw when it hits the fairway, when it goes off the fairway it's a hook) Today though while standing in line at the register at Copeland's Sports, I saw something intriguing while contemplating whether I was paying cash or use the ATM. An American Flag golf towel. It was awesome and they were almost sold out. I didn't buy the flag towel but I stood and stared. America is full of freedoms. Freedom speech, religion and the right to enjoy a damn fine day golfing. I found it eerie though that one would be wiping his golf clubs off with an American Flag and the issues surrounding the desecration of a flag. But then I thought about it longer, while driving the Porsche home with the top off. What a cool thing to have? An American Flag on your golf bag. Golf Courses can be quite beautiful and are a place that not one political entity could ever demolish as being a bad place. A place to just be free. God what a great thing. I am going back to buy the flag towel. I am sure American Flag will understand while I wipe the sand off my pitching wedge.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Cinderella Man: Must be a Paul Giamatti Thing

I was one of the fortunate people that got to see the new Ron Howard movie, Cinderella Man, at the sneak preview last night.

I don't want to spoil it but dude, is there anyone more deserving of an Oscar these days than Paul Giamatti?

In my very last post, I wrote about seeing Sideways and seeing similarities in myself and his character in that movie. I spoke of us all living in a world of improbabilities as we hope and dream the best, while we do what we need to do to get through the day working and paying our bills. This movie sure tags onto that. One thing you'll want to see, besides the familiar story and sense of knowing what will happen in the movie throughout, is Paul's character here. He does many extra expressions along with his dialogue that make his performance here stand out to me above the message of the entire movie. Lots of wit and charm and that same sense of uneasiness he had in the previous character he played in Sideways.

The story in Cinderella Man will seem like it's been told before. Like a lot of sports movies, this one has many similarities to Rocky or the Karate Kid or Rudy or even the Bad News Bears. However this time around, it's not make believe. This really happened this way. The story is being told to us even if Hollywood has already been there previously, yet does it hurt us to see it again? Certainly not! One experience I noticed in this flick was the reality of the surround sound. The theater was packed and everyone cheered as the crowds cheered in the movie. There also were those heartbreaking moments with interaction of Russel Crowe with his kids or Rene Zelleweger's reactions in Church that you heard enormous sighs of pain. You can feel this movie as well as see it.

The last sentence I wrote in my last post in regards to flawed human beings: "Some of us can accept rejection, deceit and lies. But we can all have dreams, one and a million chances, even if they are only fun moments of imagination we can only just think of." (Yeah, that was 2) True, but...
You can spend your entire life trying to be great at something whether its sports, work or music and art yet sometimes the opportunity falls in your lap and you have the chance to make it something big. I guess this is why I like films like Cinderella Man. The evitable becomes inevitable. A chance at something becomes a gift. Can we all get one?