Who needs heels?
September 5, 2008, 9:29 am
Filed under: Current Events | Tags: , , , , ,

My mom has an extra vertebrae in her back. If I was a med student, I’d probably be able to tell you which one. But I’m not. I just know that it’s one of the big ones in her lower back, so it actually adds quite a bit of height. It also gives her back problems. Just like dachshunds have problems because they are a long tube perched on stubby little legs, my mom is a long tube perched on even longer legs.

This is probably why she’s 6 feet tall.

When you’re 6 feet tall by age 14, and a girl, your teen years are pretty hard for you. She towered over everyone. To top it off, she was in high school right around the development of Title 9, so her high school was actively trying to build up girls’ sports. Like basketball. If you were a basketball coach trying to build a girls’ team, and you saw a 6 foot tall girl walk past you in the hallway, you’d probably piss your pants with excitement, too.

Too bad this woman has fallen off a curb, standing still, stone-cold sober, with nobody near her. She doesn’t possess the grace of a gazelle, let alone the reflexes of a cat. She works out ferociously at the gym, and she ran cross-country until I was born, but neither of those things require contact with other people, or, God forbid, flying objects. She was not meant to be a basketball player, despite the extra vertebrae. The coach was understandably disappointed.

But, as most people do, she outgrew high school. She took her time, but she grew into her height. Now, when she grunts and groans in her aerobic weight lifting classes, she’s doing it to protect her bones as she ages, so she doesn’t lose even a centimeter of height.

She married a man who is 3 inches shorter than she is. Consequently, she produced a daughter who is 4 inches shorter than she is. She picks on me for it, but she always reminds people that her wise grandmother told her when she first hit her height that she should think of her daughters: don’t marry a tall man.

It takes guts to be married to a woman that much taller than you. It takes self-assurance and grace to be comfortable around someone that much taller than you. She judges people, particularly men, based on how they react to her height. Due to her job profession (administration in social work) she is in contact with Suits a lot: doctors, lawyers, local and state politicians, various High Ups in State Government. Many of these people, mostly men, are offended by her height when she soars over them. They stand up straighter. If they could surreptitiously stand on a stool, I’m sure they would. Holding the higher ground is necessary to their self worth.

Essentially, their egos smart from it. A tall woman is an affront to their sensibilities. Women are supposed to be subservient, short, and silent. These men are Big and Powerful and Important, and their height shows that. Even if they say they believe in equal rights, and women in the workplace, they certainly don’t want to have to look up to them, figuratively and especially literally. This reaction is a weakness in my mom’s eyes. One ought to have enough self-confidence to not be unended by a tall woman in the room.

Why am I talking about this?

Obviously, it’s because my mom is totally awesome.

Actually, it’s because of Sarah Palin.

I have been closely following both the conservative and liberal reaction to her, through my Facebook friends and their status updates, and popular bloggers and actual pundits. The conservatives are drooling over because, well, she’s hot. Oh, and she hunts. And she’s hot. She’s a hot hunter!

The liberals have taken a turn for the batty. I can understand them disagreeing with her: she is a conservative Republican, and they are liberal Democrats. The disagreement is part of the definition, and that’s understandable. I disagree with many things that Joe Biden says and does, but you don’t see me getting my panties in a knot over him. Obama was going to pick an old, Catholic, white man with a long track record in Washington. Joe Biden makes sense for that. My disagreement with his policies doesn’t make me angry that Obama picked him.

To take Palin’s positions and say, “Look! She’s conservative! And Republican! AND WE HATE HER MORE THAN WE’VE EVER HATED ANYONE BEFORE BECAUSE OF IT!” is a really strange leap of logic. You are allowed to dislike a Republican because of their views. You are not allowed to point to her views and declare her worse than everyone else. Nor are you allowed to say, “Republicans, you deserve so much better. You’re so screwed up because you picked Palin.” If Republicans agreed with you… well, they’d be Democrats, wouldn’t they?

I guess what confuses me the most is the loud fervor of their hatred. Obviously, Democrats would have disliked anyone that McCain picked. But it just seems so strange for them to be so riled up.

Perhaps, like my mom, a woman like Sarah Palin is an affront to their sensibilities. She has more executive experience than any of the candidates combined, even if it was ‘just’ as mayor of Wasilla and governor of that state that is on the other side of Canada. She got where she is without having to marry Bill Clinton. She got where she is despite marrying young (probably knocked up, no less), despite having a passel of babies including a late-age Down Syndrome baby, despite having a knocked-up teenage daughter, and despite not being part of the Washington political culture. Her success up until now is not because of anything; it is in spite of those things. I do agree that McCain picked her over Jindal because of her plumbing, but before this week, it’s been all her.

She is female and is still pro-life. She is female and she still hunts. According to the Democratic mindset, she is an aberration, because women are always pro-choice, and they are always part of PETA and they are always in lockstep with the party line. Her presence plus her success are a surprise and affront to everything they believe.

Just like the Suits who stand up straight and are consternated in my very tall mother’s presence, these people are consternated by the very presence of Sarah Palin on stage.

Now, I’m not saying that Sarah Palin is going to cause McCain to win. I still think this is a Democratic year, and I’m more surprised than anything that Obama isn’t doing better than he is. He ought to be sweeping it, and he’s fighting to stay in the lead.

I do think Palin just made a grand entrance onto the political stage, and win or not this year, she’s going to be around for a long time.

I wish that the liberal voices would stop yelling so much about her. You’re not making any sense. We already know that you don’t agree with her: screaming about it isn’t changing that message. By hating someone purely because they have political differences with you that everyone already knew about, you just make yourself look ridiculous.

Don’t lose sleep over Sarah Palin. Your behavior? You’re doing it wrong. It’s making us judge you, and you look ridiculous. You’re no better than the men who are offended by a woman taller than them. It’s nothing you can change, and having a smarting ego over it is a sign of weakness and lack of self-assurance.


Substance (Abuse) for The Weekend
July 18, 2008, 8:53 am
Filed under: Pittsburgh | Tags: , ,

Ok, “Math Major” (HA! He’s actually a ‘Music Recording Technology’ major or some such nonsense), I’ll give you substance.

I have come to the startling conclusion that Pittsburgh is one of the most conservative cities, anywhere.

Shocking, right? I know! I was totally dumbfounded when I thought of it. Considering that about 80% of residents are Democrats, we haven’t had a non-Democrat mayor since before World War II, and the exceedingly liberal Post-Gazette is the only newspaper I see on the T in the morning, you would think that Pittsburgh wouldn’t be conservative, right?

You would be wrong.

What does it mean to be conservative? Merriam-Webster defines it as such:

1: preservative 2 a: of or relating to a philosophy of conservatism bcapitalized : of or constituting a political party professing the principles of conservatism: as (1): of or constituting a party of the United Kingdom advocating support of established institutions (2): progressive conservative 3 a: tending or disposed to maintain existing views, conditions, or institutions : traditional b: marked by moderation or caution <a conservative estimate> c: marked by or relating to traditional norms of taste, elegance, style, or manners 4: of, relating to, or practicing Conservative Judaism”

We can ignore 4, for obvious reasons, even though we do have a large conservative and Orthodox Jewish population. I bolded the definitions that I feel are the best descriptors. Conservatives are cautious about change. This is why I maintain that housepets and children (I might be redundant there) are absolutely conservative. Conservatives do not trust change for change’s sake. If change needs to happen, it needs to be careful, deliberate and not to be rushed into heedlessly. Conservatives are reactionary: that is why they wait until change NEEDS to happen before instigating it, because unnecessary change can cause more problems than it fixes (Carter overthrowing the Shah of Iran is an example of this. We got rid of a moderately corrupt government and replaced it with a crazy, radical corrupt government. Hello, Ahmadinejad!)

Conservatives? They like things to stay the way they are unless they have to change. If the status quo works, why mess with it. Don’t fix what ain’t broke! Even then, they will probably dislike it, and will probably resist change despite all evidence that it needs to happen. If you’re really honest with yourself, you’ll realize you’re the same way in your day to day life. I know that if someone takes your parking space or disrupts your morning schedule, your whole day is thrown off. YOU KNOW IT’S TRUE. I’M LOOKING AT YOU, ROOMMATE.

Gee, does that sound like anyone in Pittsburgh?

Guess what. It’s not a giant taco stand. In fact, NOTHING HAS CHANGED. Potato Patch fries are still there, the rides are just as awesome, and I bet everyone has forgotten that it’s not owned by the original families.

  • Remember when the Rooney brothers started talking about selling the Steelers? Remember how Pittsburghers near and far reacted the same way they did to Kennywood being sold? Oh wait, that’s happening RIGHT NOW. Hair being pulled, clothes being rent. Doom, gloom, blah-di-blah.

Guess what. The Steelers will still be just as awesome. If they aren’t awesome, it won’t be the owners fault. Frankly, not having ownership become a battle between the many, MANY grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the prolific Rooneys is better for the organization. Less in-fighting, more Super Bowl rings. I think all Pittsburghers can support that idea.

  • Remember how Pittsburgh hasn’t elected a Republican since 1926?** Let’s be straight here. Pittsburgh city government is hopelessly corrupt. The finances are awful, the debt is huge, and the services are non-existent despite all that money. Lord Lukey Pants likes to do fun things like use police SUVs acquired via Homeland Security funds for his own personal use, use public funds to pay for his entertainment, and then play the hero when he ‘chooses’ to go to the Stanley cup games on his own buck. They supposedly consolidated the Row offices 2 years ago but nothing has changed. We would be better off standing at the Point, throwing twenties into the Ohio. Why is it so corrupt? Because the Democrats know they have no competition. They can get in there, do whatever they want, steal Pittsburghers blind and STILL GET REELECTED.

This is not a dis on Democrats, per se. If the Republicans had been in office for that long, the same situation would be here. Hell, if the Anarchists were in office for that long, NOTHING WOULD BE DIFFERENT. Governments work best when you don’t allow it to do anything. That can only happen when you have an equal amount of opposition on every side. Pittsburgh does not have that.

Why, you ask, does Pittsburgh not have any political opposition? Because Pittsburghers are conservative to a fault! (Yes, I did just say that). They vote Democrat because thats what their daddies did. Their daddies voted Democrat, because thats what their daddies did. Despite all evidence showing that the Pittsburgh Democratic party is hampering this city, and may in fact, have been part of the decline in the past 40 years, Pittsburghers still vote for them, because change is evil and to be avoided at any cost. The real election happens in the primaries; the actual election is a mere coronation of the Chosen Democrat.

The next time I hear a Pittsburgher try to tell me he’s a liberal, I’m going to laugh my skinny ass off. I’m more liberal than all of you, and I read the Trib! ON THE T! IN FRONT OF OTHER PEOPLE!

**Seriously, click that link to the list of Pittsburgh mayors. Go look at Joseph Barker, mayor from 1850-1851. He ran as an Anti-Catholic (in Pittsburgh? Really? He would be startled and horrified by the number of Catholic churches all over Western PA now): “elected while serving a year in jail after protesting the Catholic Church, he was illiterate but popular during a xenophobic time in the nation. Uniquely he is probably the only mayor in history to meet his death by “train decapitation”.”

That, my friends, is hilarious. And I wish they would provide a schematic to explain what exactly that means.

Reading Material for the Weekend:

You might not find this funny. But you would be wrong.

If by ‘depression’ she means ‘Munchausen’s By Proxy’, she would be right.

Recommended Reading
July 10, 2008, 8:35 am
Filed under: daily | Tags:

In case you thought beer was non-essential: you’re wrong.

In case you thought Obamessiah was “new” and “fresh” and “changing the political scene”: you’re wrong.

In case you thought Congress is totally useless: you’re right on target.

People will never lie to you, part 3.
June 19, 2008, 9:07 am
Filed under: Current Events | Tags:

This, I believe.

I believe that it is our obligation in our lives to do our very best to ensure that we help people who are less fortunate than ourselves. I believe this not just because of my faith, but also because I know it is the right thing to do. “Those to whom much is given, much is expected.” This, I believe.

And yet, I am of a conservative mindset. I do not believe in taxes, welfare or government-mandated income redistribution. This should be a paradox, correct?

If you believe that, then you don’t really understand conservativism.

Think of this: If you have an income that falls below the line to receive welfare, you have an incentive to not get a job. Say the line for you is $15,000 a year. You make about $14,000. Your welfare checks give you an extra $5,000, bringing your total income to $19,000. That’s still a very poor situation to be in, frankly. You are given the opportunity to get a slightly better job, one that pays you $16,000. With that job, you would lose your welfare benefits. You would have $3,000 less per year. That’s substantial. That can be the difference between barely scraping by and having to turn to drugs or prostitution to provide for your family. So, you don’t take the better job. You stay on welfare. You never get ahead because you’re literally being paid to remain in poverty.

We are paying people to stay poor. That’s immoral. You can twist and spin it, saying that welfare is only temporary and that they provide training opportunities. But when you really boil it down, we are paying poor people to stay poor.

This, I believe.

I also don’t agree with the cap and trade idea, or carbon limits. This isn’t because I am a greedy oil man. This isn’t because I want to be able to spew carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, or waste precious fuel joyriding in my huge Hummer. In fact, I don’t even own a car, and I’m hoping that when I get a job, I will be able to put off car ownership for a long time by using public transportation.

Instead, it is because I believe that those kinds of limits will crush the poor. The countries that produce the greatest amount of pollution and greenhouse gases are those that are developing, because their technologies are primitive. If you put limits on them, you will limit their ability to grow and prosper in any way close to what developed countries have. You will force them to stay 3rd world, poor, desolate places. You will force them to continue dying of diseases we eradicated years ago. You will force their babies to continue to starve to death.

Yes, it will effect us as well. But the higher your income is, the smaller the proportion of it will have to go to deal with higher energy costs. When a poor person has to deal with high energy costs, that percentage cuts into their food, shelter, and health care budgets. Limits on energy will first hurt the desolate poor people in foreign countries. Then it will effect the poor in our country. Either way, it hurts the poor the most. That is immoral.

And then there’s healthcare. If we were to switch to universal health care, the quality of health care would go down. Along the border of Canada in New England, there are a number of high quality health care clinics. They mostly serve the rich Canadians who are willing to pay cash for MRIs, surgery, etc. Things that they would have to wait in line for months to receive in Canada under their socialist system. That means that the poorer people who can’t afford to drive to Maine and pay out of pocket for care are getting substantially worse care than the rich. Again, this affects the poor more than it affects the wealthy. That is immoral.

And yet, I am of the evil, selfish, greedy sector of the political spectrum. It’s funny how these things play out.

People will never lie to you, not if you really pay attention. There is a certain group of people in our country who say that they want to help the poor, close the gap between the rich, help the middle class. They want to do these things using methods that are obviously going to hurt the poor far more than they will hurt the rich. They aren’t lying to you, not in their actions. They are deceiving you with pretty words, but they are totally honest when you look at their behavior.

This, I truly believe.

People Will Never Lie to You, Part 2
June 13, 2008, 12:53 pm
Filed under: Current Events | Tags: , , , , , , ,

I’m tired of “Bush Lied, People Died”.

Oh sure, it’s very clever. It rhymes and everything. Good job on that.

But I am tired of it. It is blatantly false. This is why.

1. It is referring to the “benign” time that Clinton lied. Sure, he only lied about whether or not he was having an affair with Monica Lewinsky. No big deal, right? Wrong. He did it under oath. That’s really bad. That’s illegal, in fact. HE COMMITTED PERJURY. Perjury is a very serious crime, and if the Big Dude in the United States of America can’t see how very very very wrong perjury is, to the point that he is willing to commit it over something minor like a blowjob, then imagine how very fluid the rest of his ethics are.

That’s why he was impeached by the House.

2. Bush didn’t lie. Saddam Hussein lied.

Let me say that again, in case you missed it. SADDAM LIED, not Bush. Why were we so convinced that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction? We had some photos, that maybe implied WMD. But more importantly, we threatened Saddam that if he didn’t let UN inspectors in to see whether or not there were WMD, we would go to war. We told him this repeatedly.

He knew he didn’t have them. Why didn’t he just let them in? He could have avoided this whole mess, right? It seems stupid to have played like he had them when he really didn’t, right?

No, not really. During the 1st Gulf War, we threatened to go in and take out Saddam. In fact, we Bush the First promised the Kurds that if they started revolting, we would swoop in, save the day and knock out Saddam.

We sort of did that. We swooped in. We stayed a few days. We left Saddam Hussein in tact.

If you want to talk about a Bush lie, that’s the one you need to be pissed over. After we scooted away, patting ourselves on the back, Saddam systematically gassed the Kurds for their treachery. The treachery that we instigated, the treachery that we did not back up in the form of ousting Saddam. He punished them for believing Bush’s lies.

So, Saddam really didn’t think this Bush was going to change his behavior. He figured there would be some bombing, but that he would be fine, because he was last time.

With that thought in mind, he was concerned that if he announced that he didn’t have WMD to the world, that he would put himself in danger.

Danger from whom, you might ask? Iran. If Iran knew that he was defenseless, they would have no problem flying in and taking over. And THAT would be a disaster.

So: if your choice is an unlikely attack by the benevolent USA, or a guaranteed, brutal, violent attack by your major enemy, which would you pick?

This is why he pretended that he had weapons he knew he didn’t have.

Bush didn’t lie. Saddam did. To protect himself from Ahmadinejad. All because the first Bush lied way back when.

By the way, this theory is not mine. It’s from a brilliant writer over at http://www.nationalreview.com, but I can’t remember which one right now, so I’m having a hard time finding the piece. I do, however, believe it to be true. There is no other plausible explanation for why Saddam lied about WMD. When I figure it out, I will link it.

In fact, what I really wonder is why so few people are questioning his lie, and so many are pointing the finger at Bush.

Also, I was pooped on by a pigeon yesterday. Maybe I should blame that on Bush, too.

May 11, 2008, 4:26 pm
Filed under: Current Events | Tags: , , , ,

While I bemoan and begrudge the ever-rising price of oil for my own purse and the fact that it’s causing food prices to rise for people who only earn enough to feed themselves, I am more irritated by other folks in this situation. The ones who want us to subsidize the cost of fuel, because it’s just getting to expensive for folks to handle.

The more expensive an item is, the less likely it is to be wasted. You are more careful with your fine fancy china that cost $150 a plate than you are with your cheap Corelle plates, right? It helps that Corelle dishes bounce when you drop them (but if you DO manage to break them, they literay distintegrate. Tiny slivers of hard plastic everywhere!), but in the grand scheme of things, when something is precious, you treat it as such. You do not waste what you want the most. Therefore, should the government pay the difference to subsidize the cost of your Spode bone china? If that happens, then everyone will want Spode bone china AND be able to get it. Only so much Spode bone china is made, however, so Spode increases the actual price in response to the increased demand. Who pays more? The government that is subsidizing the cost of the Spode.

The same goes for other staples. Oil might not be as pretty as your Spode bone china, but it is precious, and getting more precious by the second. Further, contrary to popular opinion, but like Spode bone china, oil is a fixed quantity. It might be a very LARGE fixed quantity, but there is only so much oil available on this earth. If the government pays the difference to subsidize the cost of oil to more “manageable” levels, then the consumer consumes as much as he wants, because it is financially feasible for him to do so. The rate of consumption of oil goes up, because there is no pressure on the consumers to acknowledge the preciousness of the oil, and the fact that there is a limited quantity, and alter their consumption accordingly. The demand goes up, and so does the price. The government continues to pay more and more, while consumers consume more and more. They pay for this in the form of taxes, but they don’t see the direct correlation because they are paying it once a year, not everytime they fuel up the Ole Gas Guzzler.

And then, the Spode china factory closes. The oil dries up. There is no more. This is a disaster because the consumers were not putting pressure on companies to find alternative forms of energy. If prices had been allowed to reflect the true market situation, the consumers would have pressured for other energy sources, and they would have rationed their consumption. They would have done this to ease the pain on their wallets only, and for no other reason. But the market forces have the curative effect of finding new energy sources AND extending the period of time that we have to find those sources by slowing the rate that we use oil. Everybody wins.

That’s why fuel prices aren’t a disaster, and more importantly, why they shouldn’t be falsely altered by governments. Spode bone china is expensive because it is precious. It is then treated very carefully (like a China Doll, even!) because it is precious. It is not discarded haphazardly, or misused. It lasts a long time, generations. Its use is extended because it is treated as though it were precious.

Oil ought to be treated the same way. Don’t subsidize. Hell, increase the taxes on it! (I know what you’re thinking, OMG THE CRAZY CONSERVATIVE JUST SAID INCREASE TAXES!) We discourage the use of cigarettes ought of safety and health concerns with heavy handed taxation. If we want to discourage the use of oil out of concern for the limited supply, for the dependence on the crazies in the Middle East, and for the risk of global warming, we need to tax the crap out of it. Make it even more precious than it really is.

But for the love of God, don’t subsidize it.

This is all part of my theory as to why the oil companies are actually concerned with global warming. They are rationing the amount of oil that is drilled in an effort to force us to use less. Out of concern for the earth, you see. And the polar bears.

(I’m being very facetious when I say that. But in reality, that is a side effect of them trying to drive prices sky high by not producing as much oil. The liberals who want to limit energy production and use in order to save the polar bears ought to take note.)

Oh yea, and Obama is the only one who knows what he’s talking about when he says we shouldn’t suspend the gas tax for the summer. I hate to say it, but I AGREE WITH OBAMA (cough cough cough hack). If we take away the tax, the oil companies will raise the price by whatever the tax was per gallon. Our cost won’t change, but instead of that 30 cents a gallon going to our government, it will go to the fun folk over in the Middle East. As much as I hate giving money to the government, GUESS WHO I WOULD PREFER TO PAY. That’s right. The politicians in Washington (cough cough cough HACK).

I hate it when I agree with Obama. It makes me feel green on the inside, and a little shaky. Maybe I should go take a nap.

Fidel Castro Resigns As President
February 19, 2008, 11:28 am
Filed under: Current Events | Tags: , ,

Well, that’s funny. I thought Fidel Castro was dead. I’ve been telling people since 2006 that I thought he died and the Cuban government was just propping him up. I know, I know, there have been pictures of him and he’s written things, blah blah blah.

So maybe he’s not ACTUALLY dead. He’s pretty gosh-darn close, though.

However, as a political figure of influence, he is dead. He has been dead since he underwent intestinal surgery in 2006. He has been dead since his own daughter speaks out against him. He has been dead since his countrymen are fleeing the island in inflatable boats, at risk of death by drowning, sharks, etc. Michael Moore might espouse the view that Cuba has the greatest health care system in the world on the silver screen, but that doesn’t change the fact that people are leaving Cuba in droves despite said health care. What is the best way to determine the quality of a country or a government? Look at the walls. Look at the direction that people move OVER the walls. If you build walls to keep people out, you have an excellent country. People want to come in. People will risk their lives to come in. If you build walls to keep people in, you have some problems. People want to leave. People will risk their lives to leave. People usually don’t risk their lives or the lives of their families in order to leave some place cool and go to someplace crappy. It doesn’t make sense, and as a whole, people usually do things that are best for themselves. Egoism at its essence. Things must be pretty bad if potential death by sharks is a better alternative to staying there.

Now, he is officially dead as president of Cuba. The oppressive system he has inflicted on his countrymen for almost 50 years  is going out the window. Raul Castro is only 5 years younger, and does not have nearly the charisma or history that Fidel does. He does not have the power to hold a country in the iron grip that Castro did. The Castro regime is dying. In time, someone new will come in, and will begin reform. Of course, it will be supposed reform within the communist context, but so was Gorbachev’s perestroika. Look where that ended up: the fall of the Soviet Regime.

Here we have it, folks: further evidence that communism is a sham. A sham at the expense of the people it supposedly empowers. A sham that is slowly but surely fading into the pages of history.

Ding dong, Castro’s dead!