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Elections Junk Mail

by @ 3:53 pm
Filed under: politics — Tags:

With the electronic age and all, I don't check my mailbox that often, possibly once a week, if that. I have unsubscribed from all junk mail and I get all my bills via email. Today I was a more than annoyed when I opened my mailbox after a long hiatus and found it overflowing with political junk mail.

I decided right then and there that I would vote for the candidate that sent me the least amount of junk mail. And the one the didn't send me any will receive my ardent endorsement.

Do these political charlatans think that people are so dumb to believe in their junk mail? I don't know, maybe people are dumb. In my case, I filed their junk mail in the most fitting place I could find, the dumpster.

It's high time to vote for the right candidate, the one that sends no junk mail at all.

Dialogue With USA, Bad Idea… For Iran

by @ 5:42 pm
Filed under: politics — Tags: ,

The latest on the nuclear stale-mate with Iran is a report suggesting that Iran's imminent and reform-minded administration may be interested in direct talks with the US. I am no fan of the Iranian regime but a much lesser fan of the American foreign policy. America has proven time and time again that it can not be trusted. It may fight its enemies but it stabs its friends in the back. Here are some notable figures who trusted America and paid a heavy price for it.

  • In 1953 Mohammad Mosaddegh having established a fledgling democracy in Iran was overthrown by a CIA-backed coup that brought the Shah (Pahlavi dynasty) back to power and re-established western control (exploitation) of the Iranian oil. Mosaddegh eventually died under house arrest.
  • In 1978 America abandoned the same Shah (whom had been called a close ally) allowing the cleric-inspired revolution to establish a new regime in Iran. While on the run or his life from the revolutionaries this close friend was allowed in the US for only a short period and was subsequently forced out of the country. The Shah eventually died in Egypt where a true friend (Sadat) became his host.
  • Manuel Noriega of Panama, a CIA collaborator for many years, was captured after the US invasion of Panama and was imprisoned in Florida. He was eventually returned to Panama and is serving what is tantamount to a life sentence there.
  • Saddam Hussein of Iraq was once a strong ally of the US. He was visited by many American politicians such as Donald Rumsfeld and was financially and militarily aided by the US during the Iran-Iraq war. A few years later the US invaded Iraq, killed his sons, and captured him. He was subsequently hanged.
  • Muammar Qaddafi of Libya was once an enemy of the US. He eventually made peace with the US destroying his arsenal of chemical weapons as a peaceful gesture. His high hopes were dashed however when American planes began to bomb Libya and the American-backed Libyan rebels captured and killed him during the Libyan civil war.
  • Hosni Mubarak, a staunch US ally was deposed by the Egyptian revolutionaries in 2011. America turned its back on its ally by remaining silent even when Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison.

Going by history, it seems safer to be an American enemy than to be its friend. Khomeini of Iran, Kim of North Korea, Chavez of Venezuela, and Castro of Cuba were only removed from power by the forces of nature, proving that keeping the US at a safe distance can extend one's life. Iran should consider its options with the US very carefully. It is after-all a perilous path with proven disastrous results for those who may be tempted to trust the US.

Prostitution, So What?

by @ 7:00 pm
Filed under: politics,religion,social — Tags: , ,

Once again the American legal hypocrisy rears its ugly head to punish a bunch of adults for doing something it should be no one's business. (‘Zumba Madam’ Allegedly Used Maine Dance Studio As Brothel and Made Videos of Customers - The Daily Beast.)

A group of men up in Maine paid for sex and now the law up there will reveal their names dragging them and their families in the mud? It's high time for people to demand that the dumb law be stricken from the books. What's next, outing people for surfing porn, or gawking at bikini models?

This is about adults engaging in consented activity. Like men don't pay for sex one way or another, be it dinner and a movie, or an engagement ring, or putting half of their assets on the line.

If gays could come out of the closet and not be ashamed of who they are,  why not sex workers and their clients? Then who cares if their names get published. It'll be like outing people for buying pizza.

For the record, I am totally in favor of regulated and taxed sex industry, and while we're at it, the same for mild drugs like pot or opium. Go ahead you hypocrites, publish my name in every newspaper in the nation, see if I care.

Apple Discrimination

by @ 5:14 pm
Filed under: computers,politics — Tags: , , ,

A few weeks ago my children dragged me into the local mall's Apple store, kicking and screaming where I bought them each a Macbook, a cheap Linux knock-off in a shiny skin.

I am a devout Apple-hater and have been so since 1988 when I had to write a LISP program on a Macintosh desktop. Nothing this company does or produces has ever looked remotely exciting or interesting to me and let's not even get started with the ridiculous prices. I personally own nothing from this company and am proud of that fact.

I could have bought my children very nice Windows laptops at a third of the price, but that wasn't an option. Apple seems to have plenty of people under its spell. They can sell them street garbage stamped with the bitten-apple image like it's some magical product from Venus.

Since Apple has the policy of not selling to Iranian-Americans, I just wonder where the Apple police was on the day I wasted my hard-earned money on their junk.

Apple sucks. Always has, and probably always will.

Rev. Graham: 'God has forgiven me of my sins'

by @ 3:10 pm
Filed under: politics,religion — Tags:

"All I know is I’m a sinner, and that God has forgiven me of my sins." says Rev. Franklin Graham.

It's true. God whispers that in his ears every night. He also tells him that Obama is a Moslem and is hell-bound.

Thank you reverend for sharing such spiritual revelations with us. Now where do I send the check?

Rev. Graham: Obama seen as 'son of Islam'.

Amazon fires California affiliates

by @ 12:35 am
Filed under: business,law,politics — Tags:

This is old news by now, but fresh on the heels of firing its Connecticut affiliates, Amazon just terminated its California affiliates program in protest over the new state law requiring it to collect sales taxes on purchases.

The law may be fair or unfair, but Amazon could have easily complied, as it does reluctantly for New York. Perhaps Amazon already wanted to get a bunch of affiliates off its books anyways and this provides a good excuse. But the company is just being childish by lashing out in this manner.

At any rate, the business impact of firing the California affiliates is most likely minimal for Amazon, or else it would have hung on to them, as it has been doing with the New York affiliates.

Amazon cuts off California affiliates - San Jose Mercury News.

Handling Illegal Workers Problem

by @ 12:41 pm
Filed under: law,politics — Tags: ,

This is a perfect example (link at bottom) of how the illegal immigration problem should be handled. Charge the businesses that hire them. These businesses not only hurt the nation but also abuse the illegal workers themselves.

What's there to be gained by arresting and detaining a bunch of illegals? These people don't have much money and they return anyways. By going after the businesses that hire them, you dry up the incentive to cross the borders illegally, and the government can possibly recoup the litigation costs.

This is not unlike the war on drugs, where the government fights the losing battle of arresting and incarcerating people with a joint. The real solution is to legalize some milder drugs, like marijuana, then tax them heavily and use the proceeds for public outreach and education.

Of course, all this requires a government with efficiency and integrity, and when is that last we had such governance?

NYT: A crackdown on employing illegal workers - Business - US business - The New York Times - msnbc.com.

Middle-Class Squeeze

by @ 10:44 am
Filed under: financial,politics — Tags: , ,

I haven't looked at the details of the latest tax agreement reached between Obama and the Republicans, but judging by its face value, it's yet another jab at the middle-class who's always the punching bag of everyone else.

So let's get this straight. The super-rich get to keep their unfair tax advantages squirreling away their monies in their foreign accounts and gold and enhancing their hedonistic lifestyles. In other words they'll just keep richer and filthier. The unemployed continue to receive their unemployment checks well beyond the reasonable term the unemployment insurance was meant for. In other words they'll just get lazier and keep coasting along on other people's dime.

The twisted logic is that by making the super-rich even wealthier, they'll be motivated to hire more people thereby spurring job growth. An the other end of the twisted logic the longer the unemployed receive checks, the more they're encouraged to spend thereby spurring economic growth. The flaw in both arguments is that neither case has been able to definitively prove its intended results.

What's proven is that these reckless policies have helped balloon the country's deficit to unsustainable levels. Soon enough the US will not even be able service its debt and guess who'll have to dig the country out of the mess, the shrinking middle-class.

What the US needs real bad right now is a good dose of austerity. That means some new taxes (yes, for the rich people too), and spending cuts (yes, for the unemployed too). But the gutless politicians are too craven or too connected to the special interest to even try it. Keeping the pressure on the middle-class is hardly a formula for economic success, it's fast-track to economic ruins.

Airport Security

by @ 11:43 pm
Filed under: politics

Airplane Taking OffDoes it seem a bit odd that a person is found dead in the wheel well of a plane that flew from New York to Tokyo and other than a passing mention there isn't much media coverage? Meanwhile the case of the man who foolishly went the wrong way in the security area of Newark airport has been covered ad-nauseum.

Which one is more of a security threat? It’s possible that the wheel well stowaway might have belonged to the ground crew, but it's also possible that someone slipped onto the airport tarmac and got close enough to a plane to climb up the wheel assembly and hide inside the compartment. Doesn't take much imagination to envision what this person could have done while inside.

Getting past the security and terrorism aspects of this breach, I wonder what kind of person would attempt such craziness. Most people know the chances of survival in the wheel well is almost none. There are more painless ways to end one's life.

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Why I Voted Obama Today

by @ 12:01 am
Filed under: politics

I am an independent in just about all facets of my life, including in my political choices. It's a simple belief that not one party is right or wrong all the time and either side can produce good or bad candidates.

While many have supported or opposed Obama because of his economic policies, my vote went to the person that would be less likely to start a war. Having subsidized (through tax payments) one unjust war, my conscience could not bear the responsibility of financing another. Under Obama I may pay higher taxes, I may subsidize the poor, or I may pay more to heat my house, but for me the stakes were much higher. The risk of contributing to the demise of more innocent lives was much greater under a McCain administration.

The Iraq war was based on fabricated evidence. We went to Afghanistan to capture a terrorist mastermind, but somewhere along the way we were railroaded into another war that was anything but rightfully justified. The terrorists who committed the 9/11 atrocities were Saudi Arabians, financed by a Saudi. They were trained in Afghanistan. Most transited through Europe and they got their flight lessons in the US. There was no connection to Iraq and no weapons of mass destruction were ever found there.

In the ensuing years American forces and Iraqi citizens have sustained heavy losses. For what? Bin Laden and most of his cronies are still at large, while the architects of the Iraq war (Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz) gloated over the capture and hanging of Saddam Hussein. Yes, he was a brutal dictator but also a one time pal, armed to the teeth by the same powers that eliminated him.

Reminds me of the song "Fortunate Son" by Creedence Clearwater Revival:

Some folks inherit star spangled eyes,
Ooh, they send you down to war, lord,
And when you ask them, how much should we give?
Ooh, they only answer more! more! more!

Well, today I decided not to give them any more!

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