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Monday, July 30, 2012

London 2012 (Part II)

The media would have us believe that the Olympics are a microcosm of the human experience, that people of different nations and cultures share much more in common than in differences. I think I reject that notion. The "common man" does not adopt a four-year schedule pointing toward important life-events. We do not ignore 90% of what is happening around us in favor of focusing on our "training" and minute improvements in high-level skills. We don't subvert our supporting family members and friends to a lesser status as they show deference to our heightened needs for attention and accommodation. And we do not attempt to parlay celebrity status emanating from our peculiar skill to general overall expertise in world affairs or the human condition.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

London 2012

An exciting new egalitarian twist has been announced by the IOC for the Olympics. They have decreed that they are eliminating all discriminatory medals - gold, silver and bronze - for all events in favor of participation ribbons. This way small nations like Djibouti, Mali, and Tuvalu will not feel out of place and will return home with appropriate self-esteem. As part of this change, all nations will be allowed to enter participants in all events they wish. As a result, preliminary heats in each involved event will triple the duration of the Olympic Games. As a result, the American presidential party conventions will be postponed until late September. Preliminary polls indicate American voters support this shortened official campaign season.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Aurora Shooting: National Tragedy (Part 2)

I so hate it when I'm right on those occasions where I wanted to be wrong.  None of the national politicians who could effect a change are willing to risk any political capital reducing the likelihood of the next mass shooting similar to Aurora.   And I fully understand,  people, that the actions I endorse and support would not end gun violence in America.  But I would rather the shooter not have easy access to automatic assault rifles and magazines with hundreds of rounds of ammunition.  They just ain't "sportin'".
But Romney is totally in the NRA camp and Obama lacks the cajones. “Multiple deaths similar to the Aurora movie house massacre are the price we pay as a society to underwrite the Second Amendment “rights” for “lawful gun owners.” I believe, based on when it was passed, that the Second Amendment guaranteed each of us the right to single shot muzzle-loader or a small single shot pistol. That would have been "the right to bear arms" in the late 1780s.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Tragedy in Aurora_Political tragedy in America

Who cannot be saddened by the events last week in Aurora, CO? Such events continue unabated. From last year's Arizona shooting to the massacres at Virginia Tech, Columbine, Jonesboro AR we have witnessed similar events. Some of those involved perpetrators who it could be argued might have been identified and targeted. Others, not so much. Nevertheless, in every instance the events have prompted calls for more "gun control", for making it more difficult for crazed shooters to obtain their weapons of choice. This always produces righteous protest from the NRA and 2nd Amendment defenders. They always assert (usually eloquently and with a flag waving in the background) that restrictions are not the answer. And politicians from both major parties have come to accept the NRA declarations that one can't get elected if one appears to wish to weaken or abrogate the 2nd Amendment. What Romney said to the recent NRA convention: “We need a president who will enforce current laws, not create new ones that only serve to burden lawful gun owners.” It sure makes one wonder what existing laws were not enforced last week in Colorado which, if they had been enforced, would have prevented a dozen senseless executions. This argument would make more sense if the shooter had perchance been an illegal immigrant. Then the blame could have been laid squarely at the feet of Romney’s opponent. But alas, the shooter was not an illegal. The weapons were not illegally obtained. The 6,000 rounds of ammunition were legally sold and bought. What this must mean in spite of any subsequent contrary declarations?: “Multiple deaths similar to the Aurora movie house massacre are the price we pay as a society to underwrite the Second Amendment “rights” for “lawful gun owners”. Meanwhile, President Obama’s statements and positions are similarly toothless. He has assured gun owners and those who oppose any and all gun control that he supports “common-sense measures that protect Second Amendment rights of Americans, while ensuring that those who should not have guns under existing law do not get them.” Unfortunately, there is no indication that the Colorado shooter was not one of the “Americans” who should have been denied the weapons he obtained and used. The inevitable meaning of Obama’s campaign position is that “Multiple deaths similar to the Aurora movie house massacre are the price we pay as a society to underwrite the Second Amendment “rights” for “lawful gun owners.” So, as you hear politicians declaring that we must make sure this “never happens again”, don’t believe them. They just don’t mean it. What they mean instead is that “Multiple deaths similar to the Aurora movie house massacre are the price we pay as a society to underwrite the Second Amendment “rights” for “lawful gun owners.” Note: I acknowledge that this published screed means I will never be elected as a legislator on any level. That’s the price I’m willing to pay to underwrite the rights I think are even bigger than our 2nd Amendment rights -- the right to LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Great Advertising Slogan

On several occasions I've railed against advertisers and commercials that I find inane. It's only right to highlight a brilliant advertising line. Yesterday my wife & I took a drive & ended up in Brenham TX at the Blue Bell Creamary. On their flyer they make the following statement - (paraphrasing) - "our ice cream is so good that we eat all we can and sell the rest." LOVE IT!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Armageddon by Leon Uris

I just finished reading Leon Uris’s 1964 work, Armageddon. It described post-WWII Germany, the Berlin Airlift and the Marshall Plan. It makes me believe that the type sacrifice and clear headed statesmanship that allowed the Air Lift and the Marshall Plan to succeed would likely not be possible today. There is no way the two major American political parties could agree cooperatively to pay the costs, seek the solutions to our challenges the way Americans did (and British and French) in 1946-48.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


I must be missing something, maybe several somethings. Why do so many of my peers & friends detest and oppose the Affordable Care Act? Many people who are either Medicare eligible or federal retirees or both have, if they will admit it, benefited from aspects of “socialized medicine” for significant portions of their professional lives. Yet they now lambast the decisions taken by the country in 2009 and subsequently to extend the availabililty of medical care to large portions of the populace. Why? I do regretfully understand the position taken by some in the 20s – 30s age groups who prefer to roll the dice on their current state of good health and avoid the cost of insuring that it continues. That is and should be their “right”, perhaps. Except that the whole concept of insurance has always been that resources are produced by large portions of a population for concentrated use by isolated individuals when unplanned needs arose. And while a person may choose to go without automobile insurance coverages that address replacement or repair of their car if damaged, they cannot likewise decline liability coverages for dealing with what happens if their wreck damages someone else’s car and injures others. In this vein, I could agree with the libertarians that people should be free to pay or not pay for health insurance. If . . . and only if the hospitals and “the people” were free to decline to treat the uninsured. I also am totally missing the argument in the news the last few days that the ACA represents such a huge “tax”. Which specific taxes are set to rise?? And by how much? The “penalty” or “tax” for those who opt out of the “mandatory” coverage would affect a fairly small segment of the population. But what other taxes besides that will be exploding?