It’s Not Just Me…

It’s Not Just Me…

I’m not a blog. What’s a blog? I suppose there are plenty of websites that I could link to for the definition and I suppose I could simply do that right now as I write. Naaa, I’ll wing it: a Blog is someone who thinks honestly and expresses those thoughts on a web site. Primarily, blogs are united against the usually odd claims of the “liberal” media. Go look for yourselves, check ’em out, there are lots.

Blogs seem to be plentiful these days as a direct reaction to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. They’re out there in droves because it is very easy to be for the war on terrorism and even easier to discern the intellectual dishonesty of the Left.

Intellectual dishonesty? Of course, it’s the hallmark of a Leftist to be intellectually dishonest. Meaning, at the level that a leftist pundit presents an argument for or against something, simple common sense will dismantle the argument. For example, the death penalty: will it deter crime? It certainly will stop the executed person from committing another crime, that’s for sure, hence non-criminals are one-up on criminals. What about all the mistakes the “system makes”? Yeah, what about ’em? Common sense, a bit of memory indicates that a) everyone knows the appeals process for a death row case – with notable exceptions, i.e., Timothy McVeigh – takes years, b) death penalty cases are very rare, hence they’re “front page news,” c) with that in-place, seems like a pretty good system of checks and balances, doesn’t it? So much for the system not being good enough to trust.

But this isn’t about the death penalty, but if you’re for it, you’d better be willing to flip the switch yourself and if you’re against it, you’d better be able to live with the potential reality that a person who’s committed unbelievable atrocities, like raping and killing and eating your infant daughter while you watch, could one day be your neighbor. Frankly, I’d rather flip the switch.

This is partly about me not being a blog. This part, in fact, covers that. A blog has a lot of time on his or her hands and spends a good part of it surfing the web, reading a lot of newspapers and commentary on newspapers and passionately writing about what he or she just read and subsequently posting such on a website on an as-many-times-as-possible basis, usually daily. Blogs come from a wide variety of backgrounds and are generally well-educated, or are articulate enough to appear well-educated. Though I recently read a good blog piece on blogs, I don’t think Matt Drudge is a blog. First of all, He doesn’t write essays, he provides links to news stories he thinks will catch the reader’s attention, that is, sell newspapers or “hits.” His site also is one of the most comprehensive “portals” to media websites. These media sites are omnidirectional concerning the political spectrum, e.g., the Nation and National Review are side-by-side. I’ve heard his radio show once, well maybe a minute of it, after Lynn Samuel’s show. I wasn’t interested because, eh, what’s he got to say that I can’t read elsewhere? I don’t think Rush Limbaugh is a blog because, well, I haven’t read or heard anything he’s done since 1993, when I decided listening to him had a negative value-added to my brain. G. Gordon Liddy isn’t a blog because, well, he’s better than that and his past speaks volumes; he’s also a very educated person, articulate and doesn’t need his ego fed. (I think he actually has fun “cutting through the bravo sierra” – he sure doesn’t do it for the money.)

Oops, got off on a tangent. Anyway, I’m not a blog because, while I surf the newspapers every day, and a lot of things do get to me, the passion to write about them doesn’t overtake my passion for my day job, something not necessarily related to blogging. I also don’t need to argue against Ted Rall or Susan Sonntag daily because a) someone else (the blogs) is doing it – a lot of times better than I could, and b) what’s the point? A little common sense is all you need to understand that these people are awfully strange and it’s a good thing all they do is write, other wise, imagine the damage they could do were they actually in charge of something important.

My day job consists of civil engineering design coincident with listening to heavy metal and punk rock mp3’s. It’s a lot more rewarding (and really a lot of fun) than hammering off an essay saying “look how nonsensical it was of Bob Herbert in the New York Times this morning complaining that the Justice Department was destroying free speech in the United States.” That would be fun, but not really rewarding and it would be a lot easier to simply link to a counter opinion some professional opinion essayist on the Right (or center, these days) has written. I also am not the best typist in the world and no matter how many times I proof a “perfect” essay, I later on find typos. It’s my own opinion that typos tend to discredit the writer, so it’s an insecurity issue on my part. Thus, I’m content to write half an essay, let it sit for as long as it needs (the one I’m writing on economics hasn’t been touched since September 2001, and the one about my 20th high school reunion has been sitting since the first week of December 2001). I also tend to drive myself crazy by filling my plate with too much, which is what I did every month up until November 1999, when I relinquished the post of Ink Nineteen Features Editor; in short, between the hassles of the daily commute, work, and a variety of personal issues (all financial, you know, student loans and the anaemic cash flow that goes with paying them off), I’d burn myself out, no, I was burned out all the time. And I’m not a burn-out!

To be a blog, I’d have to submit an Angry Ink column at least weekly, which would be possibly great, but on the other hand, require too much of my energy. Hmmm, that’s not really it. I think, rather, that I’m tired of repeating myself. I’ve stated my opinions on a wide variety of politically timely subjects over the years and I don’t feel like repeating myself. Oops, I just did. That is, I’ve made my passionate argument for why I’m against gun control laws (if you are for them you are a Nazi, again, common sense, think about it…). I’ve also beat the education issue to death (my final statement on the subject: we need an educational system that will protect me, to hell with “reaching” anyone). And I’ve blathered on for pages about science, the future, religion and more. I think the only subjects I like to write about in the Ink Nineteen setting are music and an occasional movie. Even then, I’m burned out writing about movies, I mean, what’s the point? There are lots of critics already out there, they’re mostly assholes and on top of that, most movies stink these days anyway. Besides, I usually see things in a movie that are there, certainly, but the unwashed masses just don’t get it. Why should I waste my pearls on swine? Oh, it is a lot more fun – and rewarding – to let loose a few sentences on a web forum or mailing list and get in a argument, than it is crafting a review. It’s easier, too. Likewise for music, I’m not interested in being an independent contractor nor am I interested in making a career out of music journalism. I know people who are and what they have to do, like occasionally whore themselves out (it is part of the job), they do with just as much gusto as I do when designing a building. The day job, if they have one, pays the bills, the real career is writing, writing, writing. Which is great and my friends who are successful at it deserve to be successful and maybe even famous for it. I like getting the promo CDs, but with my collection reaching the 2,000 mark, I’m not going out of my way to collect more. Besides, I only like European power metal these days. Interviews can be fun and rewarding, but I’ve had my chances and more often than not, the interview schedule doesn’t fit with my schedule and the time involved is too much.

OK, if you’ve gotten through that part, this is the political stuff. Like I mentioned above, there are a lot of blogs out there who can say what I’d like to say better and quicker than I. Noam Chompsky particularly bugs me, but there’s LeftWatch and David Horowitz out there in webland who are way more informed on the Noamster than I. What bugs me about him? He’s dishonest, that’s all. His strange Israel-hating (“those damn Jews” – NOT a Compsky quote, please, but it might as well be) doesn’t bug me, as it’s par for the course. Doggone it, those Palestinians are only throwing rocks! Hmmm, I’ve been hit by a rock and it hurts. The last time Israel used rocks in battle they destroyed an entire army… It doesn’t bug me that he’s a very dangerous person were he to hold an elected office, and if he wanted to, I’m sure he could, but… Hey, he’s pretty smart, why doesn’t he run for office instead of sit in his ivory tower at M.I.T. when he’s not out there giving speeches? Good question… I’ve been at his lectures and he is a great speaker; as should be expected, he’s the worlds greatest linguist. He’s also quite well-informed and knowledgeable on a wide variety of subjects and he likes talking about them. However, he’s certainly not a friend of America. The man, either implicitly or explicitly, has indicated his favor of a system of government that gives ultimate power to a cadre of philosopher kings who would decide every facet of a citizen’s life; for example, he would set a limit on the amount of money an individual could make for himself. That, in and of itself, isn’t dishonest, I don’t like it, but that’s what he and a lot of his pals are really for. Will they live to see it? No. Will I live to see it? Never. Will America become that? No. Then again, what if I’m wrong? OK, Chompsky is dishonest because he lied in his lectures about the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) during the 1980’s, Ronald Reagan’s time in the White House. I got this two-disk set of his lectures, see, and I listened to them. I know from firsthand experience that OSHA did not lower safety standards in favor, as Chompsky implies, of corporations making larger profits. That is 110% bullshit. First of all, a less safe workplace means downtime due to accidents which translates into money lost, so the Reagan Administration was for corporations losing money? Boggles the mind… Secondly, OSHA is not a Federal construction site inspection agency. The US doesn’t have one (doesn’t need one, either). Inspection of construction sites, pertaining to safety, is handled by the local authorities and the trade unions. OSHA is responsible, for example, for approving hard hat types and investigating workplace safety. Investigating meaning that they show up after something has happened. OSHA will, of course, come out to a job site if someone reports a bad job practice. I know this for a fact because every contractor I’ve worked with has horror stories about being fined up the wazoo (defined as “$10,000 or more”) by OSHA for what you’d think are “little things” like forgetting to put plastic tops on vertically exposed reinforcing steel. This was during the 1980’s. Now, that’s my experience. Common sense, if you use it, will verify. For example: ask your friend whose dad owns a small residential construction company if he was deliberately encouraged to relax his safety standards during the 1980’s. It’s ludicrous! Yet, this is what Chompsky repeats as a mantra. Someone out there will believe it, though, and that’s what bugs me. It simply isn’t true.

I’m also bugged by Amy Goodman. Who? You might ask? Well, she’s the hostess of “Democracy Now!” a radio show featured on Pacifica radio networks. I listened to the show while it was “in exile” from Pacifica for several months from September 2001 through January 2002 (check this out concerning Pacifica’s internal problems, bad stuff). Now, they were located in Manhattan, as am I, and after the 11 September 2001 attacks were probably the only voice of the “true” left. Hey, someone has to do it. Now besides interviewing Cubans who thought of the US as a terrorist state (again, ludicrous), and spewing the leftist, atheist line (oh, you know what I mean) they told several out-and-out lies. OK, you can say the US “deserved” the attacks and not get me mad. Well, you’ll get my attention and if you’re articulate enough and actually make sense I’ll listen, but if you lie, that’s another thing. The main lie, and it only lasted for a week, was that New York City policemen manning checkpoints were specifically stopping and searching black and Latino drivers and accusing them of being terrorists. This simply was not true. I know it wasn’t true because I work five blocks from “ground zero” and I saw with my own eyes that the National Guardsmen and cops – men and women of all colors – were stopping everyone. They were searching every truck and turning away every car that didn’t have official business in the area. Common sense: why would they target blacks and Latinos? The terrorists were Arabs. Nevertheless, the story only lasted a week, if that, because it just wasn’t happening. Could it have happened in an area I didn’t see? Hey, ice cream could’ve rained down from the sky in an area I didn’t see, so what do I know? Common sense, though, tells me that “profiling” the wrong groups of people is a waste of time and resources, a one-way ticket for protests and lawsuits courtesy of Reverend Al Sharpton (didn’t happen and Reverend Al doesn’t turn down an opportunity, no matter what the potential outcome), and widespread media coverage. Hey, if one thing sells papers, it’s racial unrest. It just didn’t happen. So, DN! dropped the story and I haven’t heard hide nor hair of it since. They did try telling people that Indians who were driving cabs were losing business because people refused to ride with them, but that story lasted a day because, again, it wasn’t true. Common sense: in New York City no one refuses a cab they’ve just hailed, dummy! Dude, it’s tough enough to get a cab… Could it have happened? I give it a 1% chance out of 100%. One thing is for sure: the mosque I walk by every day didn’t have any “activity.” Sure, it’s got graffiti on the outside, but that’s because it’s over on 11th and 1st, not because it’s a mosque. I walk by it twice a day and didn’t see anything other than people inside praying or outside selling incense or people just minding their own business. Hmmm…

Amy Goodman next bugged me after the bombing in Afghanistan started. Oh, of course they’re against it, I expected that and I am glad there’s a voice of dissent out there. But what she did and continues to do is refer to Donald Rumsfeld as the “Secretary of War.” He is not the Secretary of War, he is the Secretary of Defense. Is what he’s waging now war? It looks like it to me, but his title is what it is; the US hasn’t had an official Secretary of War since 1948. See, somewhere out there there is a kid who will think that Rumsfeld’s title is “Secretary of War” and will get it wrong on a history test one day thanks to Amy Goodman. It just irks me when people do that, call ’em what their title is, don’t give them one.

What also bugged me today was a UK report on the US’ treatment of al Queada prisoners at Guantonomo Bay (check the Blog sites, they have been showing off this stupidity festival quite nicely). Apparently it’s equivalent of some sort of torture, what with the sensory deprivation and what not. Well, fuck you, you limey shits, you’re way off base. If there’s one thing the United States does not do it is “torture” people. If our cops torture someone they are caught and sent to prison for most of their lives (ever hear of Justin Volpe?). Likewise, the US military has a reputation amongst foreign hostiles of treating prisoners well (why did the Iraqi soldier willingly surrender to Americans? Hmmm, because we wouldn’t peel their eyelids off and such). US soldiers are given an unbelievable amount of training in the laws of war and rules of engagement. On top of that, it has been well-established, and William Colby, the man who should know, has made it clear that torture is of negative value and it only strengthens a prisoner’s resolve. Whew! It is completely asinine to even think that the prison set up for captured al Queda fighters could be equated with a medieval torture chamber, which I might add, the English have a lot more experience in than do Americans, fuck you very much. Now, as I mentioned above, there are people who’ve said it better than I, so I defer to Victor Davis Hanson. Talk about ignorance, dude, to even question how we would set up a prison camp is stupid beyond belief. Amnesty International doesn’t approve? Who the hell are they? Who asked them anything? These prisoners are washed, fed, clothed and told which direction Mecca is. That’s not too bad a deal considering prior to being captured your mission was to destroy as many Americans as possible along with yourself. Idiots. Common sense, people, if you don’t know what you’re talking about, think about it.

I’m a bit flustered concerning airport security. Common sense tells me that the extra precautions are wholly unnecessary. After all, the terrorists were determined to defeat the system and did so. I just don’t understand how my shoe-eyes have never passed a metal detector and yet somehow these dudes got through with, what, box cutters? Hmmm… But I already wrote about that and look at my last Angry Ink for that stuff. What gets me about airport security is the supposed Federalization of it. Just what the hell is wrong with requiring baggage checkers to have a high school diploma? The voices on the left – note, they’re mostly Ivy League graduates – lamented that these poor people would lose their livelihoods and such, so, the Federal government lost that requirement. Well, what the fuck? First of all, it’s a job that someone has to do and by gosh if you can’t even graduate from high school what the hell business do you have doing anything other than starving to death because you’re too stupid or lazy or both or too anti-social to do what any citizen is kind of expected to do? Eh? If you disagree with me you are wrong and should go sit in the corner over there and think about why it is you are supporting someone who can’t get through high school like you did, hell, it’s free fercryingoutloud. Granted, it’s not the greatest job, but someone whose life ambition is to be a baggage checker is not supposed to get far in life. They aren’t supposed to have a family, a nice house and a nice car and a couple of dogs. It is a menial job that should be transitory. That is, you take the job because you’re working on something better, like being a student. Maybe you’re down on your luck and need a job, any job, but someone who stops there shouldn’t be counted on to, say, spawn the next Einstein. In fact, I would hope that they don’t breed because they couldn’t afford to pay for the family, meaning that you and I will pay for their family, something that really isn’t fair; hey, I can’t afford a family so I don’t have one, why should it be otherwise for someone who can’t even get a G.E.D? Not being able to graduate from high school is supposed to carry a stigma, it means you are a loser! Don’t give me that, I’m saying what you believe but are afraid to say because your stupid liberal-educated (maybe) mindset says I’m wrong. Think about it: checking bags does not require the training you might have as, say, a web site developer. It doesn’t pay as much, either. But a high school diploma? Come on! Then there’s the requirement that all bag-checkers be U.S. citizens. Well, yeah, dipshit, that would tend to answer a question about the person’s patriotism, at least on paper.

I’m also somewhat flabbergasted that anyone would question the mental stability of a U.S. Soldier. Not on the battlefield, mind you, but someone who would even consider joining. First of all, the military is pretty careful about who actually gets in to do the fighting. They’re even more careful about who makes decisions. Common sense: did Mei Lai teach anyone anything? Sure, and our military doesn’t want that to happen again. Common sense: did you know that other countries’ militaries don’t give two shits about wartime atrocities? Do you think the Somalis thought twice about dragging a US soldier through the streets? Hell no! Do any of our “enemies” give a shit about “atrocities”? No way, ruthlessness in war they see as an advantage.

If there’s one characteristic that marks a U.S. soldier, it is calmness. In the heat of battle, the coolest heads prevail. This is proven time and time again: if you are unstable, you are in trouble. On a similar note, a soldier who runs into battle screaming his lungs off is an easy target. If you love the sight of blood and just can’t get enough of it, you’re probably lousy at taking orders and are better at playing video games than actually fighting. The military is about disciplined killing that needs to get done; it’s not about having a free-for-all suicidal killing party. Anyone who thinks otherwise just hasn’t experienced the military first hand. Is your friend’s father, the Admiral, a lunatic? Is your pal, the Major in the Air Force, a raving homicidal manic who simply can’t function except when he’s killing people? Do you think your buddy joined the Marines so he could carve his initials into a man he just killed and take an ear as a prize? Really? Wow. Right… I think you get the picture, common sense, think about it…

Finally, I will be so bold as to say, and I know this is tough to understand, but… it is normal to admire the military and to want to be a soldier, especially for boys. Why the heck are professional athletes admired so much? Think about it. It is normal to want to hit back and it makes sense to hit back. It makes sense to hit back a million times as hard, too. Anyone who thinks otherwise either doesn’t know jack shit about the lessons of history or they’re on the other side. Is our country guiltless? I dunno if that’s even the right question to ask, I do know this: the folks in the WTC I know didn’t deserve what they got and the best way to stop it from happening again is to show the world that when the U.S. has had enough we will kick your fucking ass no matter what lame excuse you might have for your bad behavior. Hey, children must be disciplined, and really bad kids deserve no quarter; better to remove the bad genes through violence than to let the cancer incubate. And if you really want to get an education, sit in the corner and dwell on this one: the only thing that bothers the peasants is when the price of food goes up.

Now all through this, our government has been out front and talking to people. Sure, there are things I might not like and you might not like and you might not trust who is saying what, but nothing’s been secret. This is not a police state; in a real police state, the press is silent and people regularly disappear, never to be heard from again. There are no protests, no opposition. There’s no crime either, and the trains run on time. The citizens of the U.S. Have experienced none of this. Oh, I’ve heard several reports of Secret Service agents visiting homes of citizens and asking about “anti-American” activities. In fact, I heard them on Democracy Now!, naturally, because the lowest-common-denominator mainstream media just isn’t equipped intellectually to handle this sort of thing. I mean, you need a serious half-hour segment of interviews with the people and no ads if you’re going to get the story. What they don’t do is interview the Secret Service agents or tell you anything about the job they happen to have. It is their job to protect the President, so if your neighbor who things you’re an asshole decides to tell the local authorities that you’re plotting to kill the President, the Secret Service must investigate. It’s what they do. In both cases, there were no arrests and the people freely spoke on an internationally-broadcast radio show about it within a day or two of the experience. If that isn’t the polar opposite of a police state, I don’t know what is.

What, 4600 words already? That’s enough! I hate it when some bastard idiot tells me that they “…didn’t have time to read it all.” Hell, it’s not that much, shouldn’t take more than ten minutes to read. What’s ten minutes? A quarter of the normal train ride? Anyway, I don’t think I’ll write any more about this stuff unless some twink really tweaks me (ever been tweaked by a twink? It hurts). So, look for the next two Angry Inks: “Die for Oil, Sucker?” and “It Was Twenty Years Ago Today.”

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