Monday, November 15, 2010

Airport Security = Personal Rape

Simple question:  How many criminals have been arrested and terrorist plots foiled by the magnetometers that used to attempt to catch guns on your person as you went through?  Answer: ZERO

Simple question:  How many bombs have been discovered in laptop computers that you have to remove from your briefcase and place separately in the x-ray machine?  Answer: ZERO

Simple question:  How many shoes or chemicals in the small clear plastic bottles have been discovered to contain explosives since we started screening for this crap?  Answer: ZERO

Conclusion:  United States transportation authority is only capable of reacting to threats rather than anticipating them.  The measures they place to stop further crimes are worthless.  We remain as "at-risk" as we ever were because terrorists are more creative than our law enforcement personnel entrusted to protect us.  The terrorists appear not to be stupid enough to repeat the same crime twice.  And the traveling American public appears to buy the B.S. they are sold, so far without question.  How sad.

Solution:  How about if we implement REAL airport security, like say they do in Israel.  Israeli security profiles potential terrorists and implements additional security precautions ONLY when they are warranted.  How about if we began using more bomb-sniffing-dogs that are known to be somewhere around 99.99% accurate as opposed to full body scans that are NOT.  Just the combination of these two steps would increase security well beyond current levels, particularly if luggage (and airmail) had to pass the dog-nose-test before it entered the plane.

Instead:  The government (which has LIED to the American public on multiple occasions and has intentionally put US citizens health at risk on multiple occasions for its own purposes) now tells us that the risk of radiation of full body scanning is "minimal".  This is the same group that said that the machines were "incapable" of storing images until an investigation "proved" they were in fact storing images, which can be done by the flip of a switch.  "Pat downs" are never going to catch an inventive criminal (a lesson drug mules already have a solution for), any more than any other intrusive measure has ever been successful to date.

Alternative:  How about if until the government agrees to take real measures to protect us without giving every man, woman, and child flying in America a healthy push towards cancer - we, the traveling public, simply refuse to spend our hard earned dollars on air travel, or refuse either the pat-down or the cancer creator?  Now that's an idea, even the tea-party should be able to agree with ...

Friday, September 10, 2010

Reacting to Idiots ...

This week a lunatic calling himself a Christian Pastor in central Florida decided to burn 200 copies of the Muslim Quran in protest of the fanatics within that religion that advocate violence.  Worldwide reaction, threats of violence to our troops and overseas citizens by radical Muslims; thus proving that there are many radicals who believe Islam approves of violence, and the US has its share of idiots calling themselves Christians.  The larger irony is that the press who cannot resist such a juicy story of potential religious intolerance and resulting violence gave the lunatic an international platform for his hateful antics thus becoming a central participant in the idiocy.  Had the press simply ignored the lunatic, at least they would not be complicit in stoking world-wide fundamentalist responses. 

Frankly, I seldom blame the person doing the taunting for the violent physical reaction of the person he taunts.  If you call me a name, and I shoot you, I am responsible.  The jury verdict is guilty, as I would deserve.  A juror may feel sorry for me about the name calling, but that does not excuse my response.  And if I reacted in such a way to every person I ever encountered who called me a name I did not appreciate, I would be a mass murderer by now, or stuck in prison since the age of five.  Fortunately my parents taught me to ignore those who call me names, and generally do not like me.  And as such I have avoided needless grudges, conflicts, and negative attitudes that come from hatred returned.  Instead I pity the idiots who obviously have insufficient intelligence to truly understand what it is they proclaim that they hate.

But in our country, in today's political climate, everyone from the President, to Generals in the field of conflict speak out against burning of Qurans as being a tool to recruit for Al Qaeda, or insight violence in general.  We remove the responsibility from the violent folks, and put it back on the lunatic calling them names.  Seems to me I could care less what someone in Iran, Saudi Arabia, or any other Muslim nation decides to say about the US, Christianity, or me in particular.  They can burn our flags, our Presidents in effigy, and our Bibles, but it does not change how I think, what I feel, or inspire me to violent responses.  As I said, I have been taught to ignore idiots.

Why our country cannot do the same is a mystery to me.  Our constitution guarantees the right of free speech and freedom of expression in our religious beliefs.  If a lunatic burns a book, he is merely a lunatic.  Whether that be a local school council in middle American who thinks Mark Twain too controversial an author, or a lunatic calling himself a pastor in central Florida burning a Quran.  Burning most anything as a sign of protest is your first sign that the intelligence behind the protest is lacking.  If you cannot figure out that pretty much only idiots burn books, perhaps you are holding the torch ...

Friday, April 23, 2010

Democrats Your Gonna Lose Me ...

Check out CNN and look at the size of the oil rig fire in the Gulf of Mexico.  Take a trip down to Galveston to the beach and enjoy getting all the tar on your feet and body that exists everywhere on the beach and in the water BEFORE this horror unfolded.  Now explain to me how increasing our domestic oil drilling off the coasts of the entire eastern half of our country is nothing more than a disaster waiting to happen.  And for what, a miniscule percentage difference in our overall consumption.  The risk is NOT worth the reward.

Instead invest in fuel alternatives and make Gasoline the most expensive proposition, not the least.  It is the only way we are ever going to get off carbon fuels.  I would rather pay $4.00 per gallon of gas and be able to go to the beach and enjoy it, eat fish without fear, and know my tax dollars are working to offer me hydrogen based engines, natural gas engines, electric engines, something else, anything else - just PLEASE no more drilling off our coasts.  Watch the footage again and tell me this is a good idea. 

If the Democrats do not fix this, I am switching my votes to independent's or Republicans across the ticket.  At least I know what I am getting there.  I hung in there with you Dems on health care, even though the end result was crap.  Even though you sold out on universal single payer, I stood with you.  I held in there with you on the stimulus bill, which has done little to stimulate anything.  I held in there on financial reforms of wall street.  I held in there on increasing troops in Afghanistan.  But on this one, you ARE GONNA LOSE me.  Fix it, or count me out.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Conservative Murder ...

How much is your life worth to you?  Would you trade everything you own in exchange for keeping your life around a while longer?  If your life was in jeopardy and all it took was friend to pay the ransom of $100 to save you, would you survive the ordeal?  Or would you find no friend to pay your bounty. 

When conservatives offer the argument that we simply cannot "afford" universal health care, they are placing a monetary value on your life they are simply unwilling to pay.  If effect, conservatives do not mind condoning murder by neglect, for those who are unable to save themselves. 

The irony of this proposition is that many conservatives will fall victim to their own arguments.  Should they lose their current employment, or be dropped by their precious insurance company only when the true needs arise; they will find themselves unable to qualify for medicaid because they still "own" too many assets (i.e. homeowners).  No reform, becomes a death sentence for them.  A death sentence they supported through this argument of "priorities" as it stands today.

Feel free to call me a bleeding heart liberal, but I think your life is important.  I would rather pay a bit more in taxes, fees, or premium rates to know that you will live if you fall on hard times.  And perhaps more personally, I would live with less stress to know that I will live if I fall into your unfortunate situation.  This may reduce my wealth a bit, but crazy as it seems, I value health a bit more than wealth, even if it is yours.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Process of Redefinition ...

Through the coming year, this BLOG will be dedicated to redefining the term "Liberal" from a political context that shows it to be the preferred way of thinking.  Republican conservatives have tried to demonize this label, and have been successful enough to have former "liberals" change their names to "progressives".  But this is merely a cop-out and reflects more of a lack of character in the Democratic party than a real change in thinking.  Time to take our label back and be proud of it.

"Liberal" does NOT mean Atheist, or Agnostic.  In fact, Liberals are often better living examples of the ministry of Christ than conservatives are.  From a policy point of view, conservatives are quick to cut budgets that feed, educate, or house the poor in order to be fiscally prudent.  Note that they do not alter programs like defense or tax-cuts, to acheive fiscal conservacy, but are more than willing to cut budgets that affect the poor.  This protect the rich at the expense of the poor runs completely counter to the ministry of Christ.  "Liberal" spending may be less fiscally sound, but address' inequality and injustice much like what true Christians are supposed to be doing.  Thus "Liberal" is not anti-religion, it is Pro Christ, or Ghandi, or Mother Teresa, or whoever your role model is for caring for those who have less.

"Liberal" does NOT mean Pro Taxes or anti Defense.  In fact "Liberals" would prefer a reprioritization of spending items to reflect a balanced advancement of society rather than one built on "sacred cows" and untouchable budgetary items like Defense.  "Liberals" believe in a strong Defense, but one that addresses the threats we face today, not the ones we faced 50 years ago.  Evolving our military to meet the needs of fighting state-less enemies,  insurgencies, and global terrorism does not require the same spending levels of priorities it as it did 50 years ago.  Standing armies in countries like Germany designed to thwart a Soviet advance which is now completely irrelevant are a prime example of areas where the military could evolve and reduce expediture.  Balancing Defense as a priority in a greater budget would allow for maintaining or lowering taxes and still covering programs that would advance our entire nation, not just the interests of the rich.

"Liberals" fight for the middle class.  We fight to lift the less fortunate into the middle class.  And we fight to keep the rich from forcing the middle class into poverty.  Without restraint and regulation, greed will serve itself at the expense of the middle class, until their lives look more and more like the poor than they ever have in the past.  Recent Wall Street failures and bailouts should prove this point.  "Liberals" fight to keep balanced lids on the greed of big business.  Business should be free to grow and succeed, but NOT at the expense of its workers.  Workers should share in the success of their employers, not suffer from it.

"Liberals" believe in the future of our country and our world.  We fight to protect natural resources that might otherwise disappear due to the greed of narrow business interests.  We fight to keep air, water, and land from being poisoned by improper waste disposal, pesticides, and environmentally destructive practices.  We try to preserve and protext animal species and native wildlife areas to maintain the balance of nature throughout the world.  We prefer to work in concert with nature than against it.  While perfection may not be possible, balance should be achievable.

This is the beginning of our redefinition of the term "Liberal".  Throughout the year I will post opinions on current political topics and debates from hard line Liberal perspective.  I welcome comments and commentary from any who have interest, and believe over time reader will come to see the wisdom of espousing a "Liberal" agenda.