Thoughts of a tardy nature
Posted by Euroranger on June 1, 2010
Just like that sore on your lip that all your best friends keep telling you is herpes…I’m back. I can only hope that my return is slightly more welcome than a self-evident result of the combination of poor decision-making processes, inherently flexible morals and beer goggles during your college days. Or “last Friday night” if you didn’t attend college but need a parallel example.
Anyway, I used to afflict my gaming buddies on our forum with my occasional thoughts on politics. In return they found my views so repellent compelling that they insisted I share them with the wider world via a blog (and not confine nor even repeat them on the gaming forum). Much like inviting the village idiot to take his soapbox for a long walk off a short pier, here I am. Normally I only pinch off a post here when something particularly noteworthy occurs to me (or I get bored). As you can see from the length of time since my last post, nothing has tripped that particular threshold for almost 2 months. That is, none of the news or personal happenings has been of sufficient interest to interrupt my award winning apathy AND I discovered Left4Dead 2…and nothing beats out a potential blog post like blasting zombies into smaller unrecognizable parts of zombies with an AK-47.
However, I am at work right now and because most of my work for the week is already done (and the sound of me gleefully slaughtering the undead would likely arouse suspicion) I find that I am at loose ends right this moment. What better time to blather on inanely on mundane subjects! So, let’s start:
Gulf Oil Spill (aka: “BP Fucked Up”) – So, around a month or 2 months or a year ago (I don’t keep track of time well), there was this explosion on a deep water drilling rig out in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana and it killed some men and then sank and the pipe that sat on the sea floor over a mile under water didn’t do what it was supposed to do and so it’s been leaking anywhere from a few cupfulls of oil per day to anywhere around a gazillion barrels of oil per second into the water depending on whom you decide to listen to. This is what is known in industry (pretty much any industry) vernacular as “a very bad thing”. The oil that’s leaking is washing up on beaches and ruining them, sticking to the ocean bottom and ruining the shrimp and oyster beds and generally being an immense nuisance to BP’s bottom line. You might think that there’s really no “sides” in this kind of thing. I mean, it’s pretty much universally accepted that a regionally catastrophic oil spill of this magnitude won’t have many fans cheering for it…and you’d be right. However, there is something I’d like to remind folks of and that is that we (as in “the United States”) are to oil like fleas are to a dog: we can’t seem to get off it. I mention this because in the wake of such a terrible environmental and humanitarian disaster such as this, there are those who’d react far too emotionally and would advocate to simply stop all offshore drilling completely. This, I cannot agree with.
I have, more than once before but possibly not here, said that the number one thing the United States could do to help ourselves, our allies and the rest of the world in general is to get off oil and move to a more diversified energy economy featuring hydrogen as the main source of energy supply. Former President Bush said as much during a State of the Union address almost 10 years ago and Obama campaigned with similar promises in 2008…and they both turned out to be full of shit. Bush was full of shit because he pledged to fund such an initiative to the tune of $1.2B which is something the president can’t actually do. Obama has been, quite surprisingly worse still, with his proposed budget cutting $100M from the already paltry budget earmarked for hydrogen cell research. What neither of these buffoons seem to realize is that a domestic hydrogen production capacity does several beneficial things:
- Stops sending money to the Arab world which winds up eventually funding anti-West terrorism campaigns
- Immediately reduces the national trade deficit when we reduce our purchases of foreign produced energy (oil, natural gas, hydroelectric, etc)
- Slows or even reverses a decades-long national decline in heavy industry (think “jobs that actually produce a product”)
- With a new national energy creation industry, tax revenues would skyrocket from the new businesses, higher paying jobs, federal and state excise taxes on the fuel produced
- Would revive our ailing automobile industry which could find itself leading the world in the production of hydrogen powered vehicles (see last point for why that might be a good thing)
- With more electricity production and personal automobiles using hydrogen, our generation of pollution goes way down (according to some, this would be a good thing vis-a-vis “global warming”)
So, while we can cheerfully bail out banks and mortgage lenders who seem to exist for no other reason than to fuck us legally, the chunk of common sense that is committing to and funding an essential industry in the interest of our collective future gets flushed by Washington like so many other good, common sense ideas. That said, we still have to have oil to run our economy. Cutting back on drilling because of a single accident (not to minimize it’s impact) exacerbates an existing problem. The remarkable thing is that we CAN extract useful amounts of oil from the deep ocean floor. The even more remarkable thing is that while people are outraged at the revelation that private industry will endanger the lives of their employees and the viability of the environment all in pursuit of the almighty dollar such that a vocal minority are railing against all drilling…a similar hue and cry did not result from the Upper Big Branch coal mine disaster just under 2 whole months ago today. Yeah, I’ll bet you DID forget about that one already, huh? No cute animals got soaked in coal dust I suppose. Although 29 men were killed…so there is that, I guess.
Barack Obama is just another politician (aka: “Hope and Change” was a huge load of shit swallowed willingly by idiots the world over) – I’ve made no bones about the fact that I was not one of the ones who drank the Kool-aid during the last presidential election. I have always wondered how it came to be that a first term junior senator from Illinois whose only real claim to effectiveness was a description of the man as a “community organizer” wound up being pushed forward ahead of Hillary and won the presidency of my dear country. My suspicion was that it had way more to do with race and the sleazy world of Chicago politics than it did B.O.’s superior organized communities. So, the man gets elected and right off the bat there’s the whole sordid episode of the governor of Illinois getting cold busted trying to sell B.O.’s recently vacated (and hardly used, to be honest) Senate seat…which is, of course, a no-no. Somehow, through the miracle of a mainstream news media being way too hung over from the months of fellating their newly crowned hero to actually pursue the story worth a shit, Obama’s administration manages to successfully hang the entire thing on Blagogagvukovich (or whatever that toupe-wearing clown’s name is) and skip away unspattered by the unseemly affair of selling political favors (which is a Chicago specialty but which, naturally, B.O. has never ever encountered).
Well, it would seem that while he’s the grand master champion in the community organizing category, he’s a little lighter in the “learn from your fucking missteps, dummy” category as familiar accusations of political influence peddling came up the past several days in relation to the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania. You see, Barry liked Arlen Specter, the roughly 315 year old former-Republican-now-Democrat Senator who’d been in Washington since the time Moby Dick was a minnow. Barry liked Arlen because Arlen had a revelation and realized that his personal ideals and morals were now more accurately reflected in the positions and policies of the Democratic Party rather than the Republican Party he was about to get his fucking ass handed to him in the next Republican primary because he had betrayed many of the ideals and positions he’d claimed to hold when he was elected…so he switched parties. Well, it seems that turncoats aren’t the most popular folk and don’t engender a terrific amount of trust in their oaths and promises. I know, right? Anyway, another Democrat in that district, a dude named Joe Sestak, took exception to the newly self-proclaimed Democrat and decided to run against him in the upcoming primary election. Well, would you believe that the people of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania decided they didn’t want an ancient political flip-flop for their Senator and the polls soon showed Sestak would be the Mexicans to Specter’s Alamo? Well, Barry, being the shrewd man of character that he is saw the writing on the wall and decided to take the high road, respect the opinion of the people of Pennsylvania and welcome the new Democrat nominee to the fold should he win the primary. Ha-ha! Just kidding! No, someone in the White House offered Sestak a high ranking job in the senior executive branch of the government if only he’d drop out of the race.
You know: he offered him something of value to subvert the American political process upon which the entire foundation of the country rests. Oh, I know, I was absolutely flabbergasted that such a thing could happen. But hey! Good news! It turns out that it wasn’t Barry’s idea at all! It was Bill Clinton’s and most assuredly not Barack Obama’s! You all remember B.J. right? The guy who pretty much gave the finger to the entire American judicial process when he lied his everloving ass off in front of a federal grand jury? That Clinton? Yeah, well, it seems that Bill, and absolutely not Barack Obama, through some bizarre notion that he, and not Barack Obama, had the ability to offer high-ranking federal positions to people in exchange for favors, ended up offering Joe Sestak a high ranking federal position in exchange for the favor of him dropping out of the race! Because Bill Clinton, and definitely not Barack Obama, has an overriding interest in who wins the Pennsylvania Senate seat.
And now I, through a most ironic twist, am really looking forward to some “Change”. Not much “Hope” though because of…
The Rise of the Tea Party (aka: “People being dismissed by the establishment”) – Aside from the enormous embarrassment of Barry campaigning for something like 6 politicians and they all went on to lose their respective primaries, we get to enjoy the rich counterpoint of the establishment Republicans getting their asses handed to them in their primaries by candidates espousing the Tea Party mantra of lower taxes, less government involvement, etc. Across the country, mainline Republican candidates and a few incumbents have been getting systematically defeated by up and coming candidates who tout the mores of the Tea Party as their guiding political principles. If it weren’t for me being such a cynic, I’d actually have some hope that finally those in the middle of the American political spectrum might actually be seeing a movement to stake out middle ground between the two increasingly radicalized main political parties. See, I don’t like my politics controlled by those who lick the boots of evangelical Christians any more than I like them being controlled by those who owe a reacharound to the gay/illegal immigrant/ecological batshit nutball coalition. I guess I’m just weird that way.
Anyway, it would seem that the recent moves by the state of Arizona to finally do something about the unchecked tide of illegal immigration in this country, coupled with a simmering anger over the out-of-control deficit spending by the federal government and the health care boondoggle that was foisted upon us a few months back has given birth to a movement of people who are determined to test their political will and muscle…at least in the Republican party. Normally, this would be a great thing and if sanity ruled the day would be heralded by mainstream media as Americans standing up and deciding that a Change was in order (y’know…kinda like they did for that Obama guy a couple of years back). Alas and alack, that is not to be. Generally derided as nutjobs, ignorant racist rednecks, and Libertarian loons, the general press about the Tea Party movement has been overwhelmingly negative. I’m not saying 100% of that image is undeserved. I have seen video of people who I wouldn’t trust to carry a bucket of crap espousing their political acumen on TV in response to some reporter asking them “why are you here and what’s this all about?”. Mind you, they do take pains to find the most repugnant, imbecilic, brain dead douchebag to ask so they might imply that such is representative of the movement as a whole. While that is a tactic that has worked previously, I believe it has the potential to backfire spectacularly and produce something we truly don’t want: mob rule.
Mainstream media, to my mind, still does not truly grasp the informative nature of the internet. That is to say, clinically they get it that it’s everywhere and that it’s much faster at delivering a message than their existing media outlets are…but they don’t quite yet grasp that they’re no longer leading the horse. Every time they portray this group as a fringe, easily dismissed, transitory movement they risk illustrating exactly what part of the group has gathered together for in the first place: to NOT be ignored and pushed into the background in favor of big business, gay activists, abortion protesters, tree huggers, entitlement champion Liberals and others who truly ARE the actual fringe groups in America. By denying them their rightful place in the political debate as what is likely the largest minority group they risk lending actual credence to their claims that politics in this country is all about money, media and good ole boys. If the voice of the largest minority (and I’m just guessing at that…I don’t and won’t bother to go look up “stats”…it’s just my opinion) can’t be heard fairly and clearly then that group may begin to believe that it cannot work within the existing political rules to get their issues addressed. You only have so far to look as Arizona to see that in action. And any time you have a nebulous group of disaffected people who are just discovering they have actual political power…things can get unpredictable. I’d like much more to see Sarah Palin on the cover of Playboy than I would on the cover of Newsweek, if you know what I mean. That’s not to say I don’t like women in power…that IS to say I don’t like HER in power. As much as Barry was an inept and inexperienced pretender being championed by an ill-defined group such that he earned my instant suspicion…so goes Sarah Palin.
My name is Euroranger and I approved this message.