Sunday, March 25, 2007

Chuck Hagel, Say It Isn't So

On today’s ABC’s This Week With George Stephanopoulos, Nebraska U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel said, “You govern by trust.” Wrong, Chuck. You govern by force. It’s as simple as that. Whether the particular uses of force are justified or not is another matter. But the use of force is central to any system of government. On the other hand, the maintenance of any system of government is by trust. When there is no trust, the system of government eventually collapses. The firing of eight U.S. Attorneys for apparently political reasons may be one more straw that breaks their camel’s back.

David Iglesias, Stop Spinning: You’re Making Me Dizzy

On today’s NBC’s Meet the Press, an email from David Iglesias (fired U.S. Attorney from New Mexico) ended with citing Proverbs 19:25 (“Smite a scorner, and the simple will beware: and reprove one that hath understanding, and he will understand knowledge.”). He said on the show that he really meant to cite Proverbs 19:21 (“There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.”).

Oh, please, David Iglesias, stop spinning. I think you really meant what you wrote. Look at. It applies perfectly. “Smite a scorner” – damage one who expresses contempt, i.e. you – “and the simple will beware” – the other Attorneys and perhaps the voters will pay attention – “reprove one that hath understanding” – find fault with one capable of knowing the truth – “and he will understand knowledge” – he will have the (political) facts. In essence, don’t mess with those with political power.

Rather than four verses earlier, David could have chosen four verses later and made as much sense: Proverbs 19:29 (“Judgments are prepared for scorners, and stripes for the back of fools.”) You figure that one out.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Election of U.S. President by People is Unconstitutional, according to U.S. Constitution

There's a LOT of talk about the 2008 U.S. Presidential election. This is the way it’s supposed to be done (substitute your own state for “Texas”):

Texas appoints Electors. The number of Electors is the total number of Texas Senators and Representatives in Congress. This appointment is done in the way that the Texas Legislature says - i.e. by direct selection, by vote of all Texas’ residents, by lottery, by flipping a coin, by looking at the stars, by whatever. Additionally, according to Article 2, an Elector cannot be a Texas "Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States." (emphasis added) ... Wow, that would exclude a LOT of people.

Meeting in Texas, the Electors “vote by ballot for President and Vice-President.” The Electors “make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President … and Vice-President” along with the number of votes. This list is certified and transmitted sealed to the President of the Senate, who opens it and counts. If one person gets a majority of all Electors, that person is the President. If there is no majority, the House of Representatives chooses by ballot from the top three names, Texas having one vote. This must be done by the next March. (Amendment 12)

Thus, the primaries for Presidential contenders and the general election for U.S. President are not U.S. Constitutional. They’re a waste of time and money. (Of course, we already know that.) The Electors are supposed to do it. Why? Because the federal system is a Republic, not a Democracy. It’s not that it couldn’t be a Democracy. Just amend the U.S. Constitution. But until that’s done, let’s not pretend that it is a Democracy. Besides, even a Democracy is not what most people would really want... But that’s another story.

MSNBC Talking Torso on H-air

Now I know the republic (not democracy, but more on that later) is safe. An MSNBC talking torso related a story about how hair – its absence and/or styling – might affect the electability of a Presidential candidate. Forget their ideas. They’re disposable anyway: they change with the people’s wind. We must have a good-looking President. There’s so little to inspire us these days.

So, I guess I can finally forget about being President of the U.S.A., no matter what my ambitions might have seemed to be in my song on Of course, I could always buy the needed materials. Everything seems to be for sale these days. But, I doubt if I’ll do that. There’s too much wind around.

Sorry, California

Well, I forgot about the Al Gore factor in the Miss USA 2007 show. Congratulations to Miss Tennessee. You won the lottery. I'd say, "Cheers," but I don't want to encourage you to drink. I don't think Mr. Big Wig is ready to pardon another lady with a drinking problem. After all, you are an example ... to someone. But I really think they ought to add a talent portion. Just strutting around half-naked should not be enough anymore. Besides, I really enjoy hearing people sing worse than I do. It really encourages me.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Sorry, Ladies

Mr. Big Wig (pun intended) did it again: the Miss USA 2007 show was the most boring one yet. Most of the music was repetitious and hideous. No talent is ever required. The questions were ridiculous. Who will the winner be? I'll say it's California's year. Let's see.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Sanjaya Malakar sings "I Will Survive"

Well, Sanjaya Malakar could sing that clever, peppy song. Last week I wanted to write about how he survived being voted off American Idol last week. This week I MUST write about it. I have nothing against him. He appears to be a very pleasant young man. But let's get real: he has a very weak voice and he lacks a strong stage presence. So how has he held on again? My theory is that India (or wherever we call) doesn't just ACCEPT support calls.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Celestine Prophecy - A Celestial Quest

The movie “The Celestine Prophecy (2006)” is an interesting tale about how human relationships could be much better. (It calls it the next step in evolution.) The beautiful rainforest scenes are inspiring. There is enough intrigue and action to satisfy a lot of viewers. The “heady” parts will probably escape them. I tried to process the words, but it took a lot of work. It helped having the captions on.

The so-called “insights” are interesting. My jury is still out on the nature of coincidences. But the ramifications of energy – particularly the need to give it – are important. Much of this reminded me of the late Peter McWilliams’ statement that people need to be free to experiment with what works for their lives. In religious terms, this would be “working out your own salvation.” Sounds like a wonderful idea to me. I think I heard of it before… Oh, wait. It’s in the U.S. Declaration of Independence: “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Babel - How To Really Mess Up Your Life

The movie “Babel” is an interesting story – actually four stories – about how to really mess up your life. The American couple vacationing in Morocco are truly victims. The Moroccan boys should have been taught better by their father. The Mexican housekeeper should have done more research. The Japanese girl could have sought out better friends. But then we could all do better.

The movie is a bit – heck it’s a lot – tedious for a long time. I thought at least 20% could have been eliminated without losing any impact. I also hate it when there are time switches in a movie without clear identifiers… But hang in there. It gets very interesting the closer the ending comes... Perhaps we’ll learn to think things out more for ourselves.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Phony Official Inflation Rate

OK. Let’s just admit it at the start: the government’s official inflation rate is way too low. You feel it. You see it. So why don’t they just admit it? Well, it saves the government LOTS of money in higher Social Security payments, cost-of-living adjustments, and low borrowing costs. Look at the things they don’t include. I’ve read that food and energy prices are excluded or given a low rating. Hey, what do they want us to do? Eat grass and walk?

So, what is the “true” inflation rate? There isn’t one rate that applies to every person. Try to figure it out for yourself. Google the phrase “official inflation rate” for help. (Here’s a good one: Then contact Congress. A lot of good it will do, but you might be psychologically satisfied.

Insurance's Vicious Cycle

Insurance – especially on our homes – keeps going up. And why not? Insurance is basically a cartel, supported by the state. It’s a vicious cycle with the consumer left out except for paying the bills. Insurance people charge more saying that you’ll need the money for repairs: to rebuild that domicile the way it started out, all shiny and new. (Darn. I wish doctors could rebuild me the way I started out.) So therefore, the repair people can charge more to rebuild it that way. So therefore, the insurance people can charge more to rebuild it that way. So therefore, the repair people can charge more to rebuild it that way...

You see where this is going? Up, up, and a-way up. What’s the solution? Well, think about it. Everything – and I mean everything – that government people “regulate” ends up costing more and more. So get them out of it. Let that free market – to which they all like to give lip-service – work. Let the consumer decide what value they’d assign to their houses and other property. Otherwise, it’s just a victorious cycle, with no victors but the meddlers.

Daylight Shifting Time

Well, Daylight Shifting Time starts early this year, thanks to our omniscient Congress… Oh, excuse me, I was supposed to say Daylight Saving Time. (Admit it: you thought I was going to retract the “omniscient.”) But that might be a misnomer, since Americans don’t save much of anything anymore. It seems that everything is discardable, including lives… Perhaps we could call it Daylight Spending Time, since it’s supposed to provide more evening time to spend outdoors (who does that anymore with TVs, DVDs, TiVos, & laptops). Of course, you will be spending more time adjusting those clocks forth and back FOUR times this year. Perhaps the software on computers will be updated soon. But then, why didn’t they do it by now? Too much effort needed to work on all those OTHER malicious things, no doubt.

No, I think it should be called Daylight Shifting Time, since we’re just shifting the starting and ending times for the things we do. We could all start work an hour earlier. We’ll be doing that anyway, but just fooling ourselves by numbers. (Of course, we already let ourselves be fooled by the “official” numbers – but more on that later.) But I guess it’s better to let Congress think they’re finally doing something worthwhile and continue the control they love to have over our lives.

So don’t forget. Be a good follower. Don’t be out-of-sync.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Dancing on Bubbles

On March 22, 2005, I sent an email to CNN American Morning about the Terri Schiavo case. All the posturing was very sad and disgusting. So I wrote that "I do believe that the USA is going down the drain while a few people are dancing on the bubbles." As I watch the news each day, I think that this even better describes us today. There's a lot of partying, but not a lot of long-term confidence that things will get better. Perhaps we are re-living history. I sometimes wonder what it would have been like to live in ancient Roman times. As Rome was declining, most people probably didn't even know it... Well, cheers. Let's party.

Always, Always Carry Your Camera

There's a new reason to always carrry your camera: you may need it to prove that you weren't where prosecutors say you were. The LA Times reported today that Juan Catalan, falsely charged with murder, received a lawsuit in his favor for being jailed for nearly five months. Discarded tape from filming the show "Curb Your Enthusiasm" revealed that he was where he said he was: at a ballgame. How scary! What if the tape had been burned? So remember: carry that camera and take pictures, pictures, pictures of yourself ... with a wide angle, of course, so we can tell where you were.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Donna Shalala, You're Wrong

No, Donna, the situation at the Walter Reed Hospital complex is NOT an embarrassment to "the country." It is another failure of government. If you don't see that, you won't "solve" anything... And by the way, how much is this publicity stunt going to cost us? Wasn't there already an oversight committee or something? My belief is that people have decided to talk since President Bush removed his top general from Iraq, in effect saying he didn't know what he was doing. Let's see if more revelations are forthcoming.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Chariot of Liar to Brazil

I read today that President Bush would arrive in São Paulo, Brazil on Thursday (March 8) with a "plan to create jobs and decrease poverty and inequality," according to the New York Times. I'm so glad to hear that there's no more work to be done in the U.S. on those issues. But I wonder how much the trip will cost. According to Yahoo Answers (, "Boeing's web page says the 747 burns about 1 gallon per second, or about 5 gallons per mile." And says the distance from Washington, DC to São Paulo, Brazil is 4,746 miles. So the plane burns 23,730 gallons of fuel. I'll assume that the fuel costs at least $1 per gallon. So just the fuel costs at least $23,730. Then there's all the staff and accommodations and food and drink and ...... Wow! Wouldn't it be better to use teleconferencing?

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Ann, Ann, Ann

Dear Ann Coulter,

When will you learn to keep your mouth shut and your idiotic thoughts to yourself? Before working on "improving" other people, you might want to work on that goiter (or whatever it is) on your neck. Perhaps you need to gain some weight... You might want to hire a new wardrobe specialist. You look like you need red lights around you... You also might want to curl that straight hair a bit. You could look so stylish. Maybe then we could ignore the drivel (and hatred) that you spout out... Give it a thought.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

American Idol

How did Sanjaya Malakar avoid being voted off of American Idol this week? He appears to be a nice person and has a pleasant enough voice, but please... His voice was much weaker than one of the males voted off... Is he getting a lot of votes from India? After all, so much of our computer support is performed by people in India. Perhaps they're tired of just answering telephones and hearing complaints... I have long been suspicious of the way all those votes come in. Could they be from computer dialing systems? If Sanjaya Malakar wins this season (unless he greatly improves, of course), American Idol may need a better system.

Chariot of Liar

The Chariot of Liar is expected to visit Enterprise, Alabama. I guess that lets President Bush avoid the needed discussions with the Democrats about Iraq ... and many other things.

Enterprise, Alabama High School Tragedies

On Thursday, a tornado severely damaged a high school building in Enterprise, Alabama. Eight students were killed. On Saturday, CNN's Miles O'Brien was on location. He seemed most interested in doing a puff piece on FEMA's technology. It seems to me that he should have been investigating the structure of the high school building. Was it built well? But that would take effort - and possible accusations. So once again, the real story that we need to know about, may not be told.