Tuesday, June 27, 2006

By the corporations, for the corporations

Instance after instance of US government secret monitoring programs keeps surfacing, all of which were authorized by the Bush administration, and all in the name of national security. Terrorists. Threats. American lives. Danger. Paranoia.

Why exactly does the government want us on a constant state of paranoia and terrorist alert?

One of the more recent programs monitors financial records of private citizens and even corporations. Rest assured, it's to track the terrorists and the execution of the program is very narrow. If you believe that, I've got a nice chunk of waterfront property that you'd be interested in buying.

The Times recently reported this, and this is what your government representative had to say:

"Each of us swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, which includes the power of a free press. We also believe that this power comes with great responsibility, especially in wartime when the lives of millions of Americans are at stake. We believe this power was abused by the New York Times for the most cynical of reasons: to end American involvement in Iraq no matter the long term cost in lives and national security."

- Rep. Hayworth

Millions of lives at stake? This secret monitoring program protects millions of lives?!?

The Bush administration knows that true "terrorists" are sophisticated enough to know better than to use financial transaction methods that are easily traced. When the Times reported this, the only security broken was that of the government's ability to secretly monitor not only private citizens' lives, but commercial competitors and other nationals as well. The Bush administration has taken this "by the people, for the people" government and changed it into a "by the corporations, for the corporations" government.

January 20th, 2009 cannot come fast enough.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

junk science? i think not.

It's officially official, especially since Fox News is covering it - global warming is real and humans are at fault.

Something I had predicted:

"Other new research Thursday showed that global warming produced about half of the extra hurricane-fueled warmth in the North Atlantic in 2005, and natural cycles were a minor factor"

"The Bush administration has maintained that the threat is not severe enough to warrant new pollution controls that the White House says would have cost 5 million Americans their jobs."

I guess I contend that if human activities are the primary factor to the increase in strength and frequency of hurricanes, and since hurricanes are costing hundreds of thousands of americans not only their jobs but their homes and in many cases their lives, now might be a good time to rethink this strategy.

Hurricanes aren't going to get any easier on us. It's going to get worse and worse every year until we do something to stop feeding the hurricanes.

Friday, June 16, 2006

A grave mistake...

One of my wife's friends had a birthday party the other day and I somehow got suckered in to going to this party. Now don't get me wrong here - I like Jessica's friend and I would have gone regardless. But still, I ended up going even though I'm not much of a party goer. I'm not really that much of a social butterfly. I would put me somewhere closer to a social rolley-polley. So when the group of girls started talking about pregnancy, bad husbands, and some combination of the two, I decided that now was a good time to wander around.

At first, I looked at the pictures and other stuff that was hanging on the wall. That kept my attention for about 27 seconds. Then I saw something on the TV that looked somewhat interesting. I headed over to this really cool container and wondered what was inside. So, being the curious fool I am, I opened the container. What I saw was something straight out of a comedy.

Ashes. That's right, I had opened up a box of Uncle Fred's ashes. I think I might have even inhaled some of Uncle Fred. Having been duly mortified, I quickly put the lid back on and inconspicuously walked around, hoping that nobody had seen my atrocious faux pas. Either everyone was too embarassed to actually say anything, or I might have gotten away with it. I'd rather not know one way or the other.

So I'd like to ask: who in the world keeps the ashes of their beloved ones ON TOP OF A TV? Little kids might knock it down, some cat might knock it down, some stupid moron might actually mistake the container as something cool and peer inside... anything is possible. I mean, it's one thing if Uncle Fred just can't get enough reruns of the Adams' Family, but I suspect something else is going on here.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Big Oaks Camping? More like Big Oaks Scamping

Every once in a while, Jessica and I like to go camping. We're not really outdoorsy-types, at least I'm not, so camping is really a big deal. And when we camp, we really don't rough it that much.. several camp sites have electrical hookups and we just go to have fun, which usually involves some electrical toy.

So we've been planning for the past month to go camping at a place in Rehoboth, DE called "Big Oaks Camping." It's a fairly decent campground - it's no Mahoney State Park, but it'll do. As Murphy's law demands, though, as the weekend approached, the weather guys predicted severe lightning and thunderstorm warnings to go along with flood predictions for the weekend we were going to go camping. We suffered through a really fantastic thunder storm last night.. lost power for a brief moment, cable went out on us.. poor Yankee barked at the thunder rather authoritatively. Needless to say, camping in that kind of weather is probably not the smartest thing to do. So I call up the campground and request to reschedule our reservation, citing the dangerous thunderstorms.

They wouldn't let me.

That's right - they need a 72 hour notification or else they'll take all your money, which we had paid upfront.

Now, I can understand why this policy is in place, especially if the campground is busy, which campgrounds typically are this time of the year. But it's not like we cancelled just for the sake of cancelling. We cancelled because it's NOT SAFE TO CAMP IN THIS KIND OF WEATHER. Severe lightning storms, spot flooding, heavy rains, strong winds.. not safe.

Their claim was that they couldn't predict the weather. That makes sense. Wussing out because it might rain is pretty silly. But wussing out because you might get caught in the middle of a severe thunder storm is a whole different ball game. The representative from Big Oaks put a manager on line and the manager proceded to tell me that the weather was supposed to be beautiful this weekend. I don't know about you, but when weatherchannel.com tells me that the forecast in Rehoboth, DE calls for heavy lightning and thunder storms, I don't think that's a beautiful weekend. In fact, at the time of this writing, there is a severe weather alert for the Rehoboth area: "AT 135 PM NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A VERY STRONG THUNDERSTORM NEAR BETHANY BEACH. THIS THUNDERSTORM IS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING NUMEROUS CLOUD TO GROUND LIGHTNING STRIKES, STRONG WINDS, SMALL HAIL, AND VERY HEAVY RAIN. THIS STORM WAS MOVING TO THE NORTHEAST AT 20 MPH." Mmmmmm... now that's what I call beautiful weather!

Finally, after much protesting on my side, the manager agreed to not charge me for cancelling my reservation. But she told me that she was putting a note in my file ... ooooooo! Well, I'm putting a note in their file - don't go to Big Oaks for camping. They treat their customers like this - just imagine how they treat their campsite.