Wednesday, March 29, 2006

61 Taser Deaths: The Gun Alternative

Last year 61 people died from a taser gun shot by police in the United States. This was to be the death-free alternative to guns for police. Hmmmm... Guess not. So, the lesson is if you have heart issues, or are taking recreational drugs or drinking alcohol, or have mental illness, don't get tased--it may be your life at risk.

So, tasers aren't harmless? Well, one cop was apparently permanently injured from a quick jolt from a taser in training. Ok, so if you want to be able to walk and move without pain for the rest of your life, then make sure you don't get tased.

And, one researcher in the UK claims that tasers have been used in the US and Canada as ways to get compliance from people already in their custody (a 2004 Denver Post survey found that one-third of all taser use in the Denver police force was used on handcuffed individuals). This researcher also claims that the taser can easily be used as a means of torture.

If you read these articles, then you know that a taser sends two barbed receptors to the victim and injects 50,000 volts for a period of up to 5 seconds. Each trigger press sends more and more volts to the victim. Sounds like a modified electrocution, doesn't it? I thought they decided that death by electrocution is cruel and unusual. So, wouldn't that mean that individuals under the custody of police that receive taser jolts are receiving cruel and unusual punishment??

Wait, I'm bringing up that Constitutional thing again. Cruel and unusual=taser=torture? Oh. Hmmmm...

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

You Gotta Know When to Hold 'Em, Know When to Fold 'Em

I don't know if Kenny Rogers wrote that song especially for this ocassion, but it seems a bit fitting, doesn't it?

If you didn't right click and read the title link in a new window, well Card has folded. Andrew Card, who's been sitting at the same poker table at the George W. Bush White House Casino for almost six years, has decided to collect his poker chips and go home. Kind of makes you wonder what the House is holding in their hand, doesn't it? Hmmmm...

Ooops--Dup'ed Post

Oops.... Duplicated Post -- is removed for your viewing pleasure.

Have a great day!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

EEeeeck! Dr. Evil Is Likely Working Hard In His Laboratory

The Avian "Bird" Flu doesn't scare me as much as what some creepy mad scientist will do with it. Oh, you're not following me? Didn't you read my last post about the bird flu? Well, scroll down and read it.

One of my diligent blog readers forwarded the Title Link (right click on the title and select open in new window), which expands the knowledge that our mad scientists have to make such a pandemic a reality.

Here's the statements from that article that are likely making Dr. Evil laugh with evil delight:

First and foremost, it (avian flu virus) would need mutations in the spike, the haemagglutinin molecule, to enable the virus to bind to cells in the upper respiratory tract.

This would enable the virus to spread via coughs and sneezes and nasal mucus, which are caused by irritation to the upper airways.

To boost its pandemic potential, the virus also needs changes in its PB2 gene, which controls an enzyme essential for efficient reproduction.

I can hear it now: "Muwaaaah ahhhh ahhhh. My scheme to take over the world, it's all coming into place now. Muwaaaah aaaaah aaaah."

Freedom of Religion?

"We obviously wouldn't want to see anybody face execution just for exercising their freedom of religion," he said.

I'm going to assume that it was President George W. Bush that said this, although the article is not clear who this quote should be attributed.

Can someone tell our president that in Afganistan there is NO FREEDOM OF RELIGION!

Sometimes when I read the headlines on Google News, I can't stop shaking my head. What kind of president would say that? I guess one who has no idea what Muslim laws under an Islamic government are all about.

Maybe that's one of those reasons why Iraq isn't going as well as we were led to believe. What were we thinking? That nations in the Middle East are very tolerant?? Yes, they are so tolerant that their women walk around enshrouded in black. That's Middle East tolerance for you and that should have clued us in a little bit, don't you think?

Where's that big ACME anvil when we need it??

Bye, Bye Birdie?

Imagine a conversation with a top "investor" in pharmaceuticals and/or issues pertaining to legislation to combat the avian flu and a researcher in the study that found the current form of the avian flu virus is difficult to transmit from human to human.

Hmmm... So, your research has shown that the bird flu is hard to pass from human to human. What can you do about that, you know, to make that virus do that? You said something about the virus mutating, can you do that? Make it mutate? You know, like teenage mutant ninja avian flu viruses? Give 'em some throwing stars or something that will really be a big hit with people everywhere.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Tale of Two Cities: New Orleans & Baghdad

There's a sense of similarity when it comes to redeveloping the destruction of these two cities: New Orleans & Baghdad.

As we look at the Iraq War over the past three years, the redevelopment that we were expecting after capturing Saddam Hussein just isn't happening. As we continue to spend billions upon billions to get Iraq to become civil, now we have a civil war knocking on the Iraqi door. Most of the billions we spend in Iraq is not for rebuilding, but for what? I don't see the promised rebuilding there. The Iraqi people don't look better off than three years ago.

On the other side of the coin is New Orleans. Devastated last fall by an epic hurricane, and subsequent flooding. Will they ever be able to redevelop their neighborhoods to their previous grandeur? Will normal life in New Orleans ever happen for displaced citizens of New Orleans? Will our government spend millions of dollars, just so the rich can rebuild in New Orleans?

It seems that both locales have plans that are going wrong for their average citizens. Normalcy in either location seems a distant and obscure prospect. We can't in all real expectations think that either city can rebuild from such devastations in one or two years. But, you'd hope that they would have a plan and a timeframe to get the job done. A feasible plan that in both cases is not there.

Why'd the Chicken Cross the Road?

To spread the Avian Flu virus, of course.

Here's another riddle for you: How can you quickly infect thousands upon thousands of birds with avian flu at one shot and spread it across a continent?

Answer: Infect the birds when they have migrated south for the winter, then in the spring, watch it spread like wildfire!

You're not laughing. Oh, you read the linked article. Well. I'll have to say that when the avian flu hit Turkey last fall, that the migratory birds would spread it to Europe in the spring. And look who's got it first? France. That's logical. The majority of birds haven't migrated, yet, and in an effort to get back at France's inability to support the Iraq war, well, you know how that goes.

Don't worry, scientists are working diligently to create the human to human form of the avian flu so their pharmaceutical backers can find vaccines and drugs to cure it. They are working hard to make sure that they can get the almight dollar. Don't worry too much, the USA will probably see the first case of the human to human form of the avian flu, which will likely kill about five hundred people before everyone goes crazy to get vaccinated.

Of course, the vaccination will be mandatory to all US citizens and travelers in the US within six months of introducing the human to human avian flu vaccine. So no worries. The vaccine will also have a GPS device inside so the government can really play big brother. They will claim the chip is a time release device for the vaccine, but really it isn't. Some wisecracking folks will have shirts for those innoculated saying "Intell inside." Then, Intel will sue those wisecrackers for millions.

By the time its all over, it'll just be one big joke for the organizers of this epic tragedy, as the remaining citizens of the US will be programmed like robots to do as they are told and they will know that big brother is watching. Sounds a lot like 1984, huh?

Monday, March 20, 2006

Generation Y Less Violent?

Current generation is less violent than previous generation? Really?? Hmmmm...

I read a similar article to the one I am linking to in the March 12th Des Moines Register. Who are they trying to fool? There's still violence.

This is like Tom Brokaw calling the World War II generation the greatest. Although that generation had some good people, Mr. Brokaw's opinion is not to be construed as fact. There were some very terrible things that World War II generation faced. There are terrible things that the current youth are facing. However, I wouldn't call Gen Y the second greatest generation. Maybe Tom Brokaw would.

So, all the violent video games, acceptable drug use/abuse for new fangled ailments like ADHD, the pervaillance of drugs in smaller communities, rave parties, loud boom cars, the total lack of respect for anyone but themselves, and complete disregard to authority makes them less violent?

How about this: Police are more willing to tolerate this generation's reckless (and feckless) behavior because they don't want to deal with them and their attitudes. This generation has gotten away with more crime than my terrible Gen X ever could. We see this Gen Y, or Millennials, as they apparently prefer to be named, talking back to police officers and other citizens on our small towns streets consistently. We speak to the police officers who would prefer not to bother them when they are fighting at the quicky mart down the street because they don't want to deal with them. The police ignore the drug trading that is going on right at the courthouse square and across from the middle school, as if the brown bag that is passed is just filled with peanut butter sandwiches and an apple. This is a generation that feels entitled, and desires to be spoon-fed, lest they have to ever think on their own. And if you force them to think on their own, well, then you're not being fair.

And this: The more we make children nice, obedient robots, the less apt to deal with rebelious issues. Right? Well, instead of finding a cause for a child's inability to focus when we want them to pay attention, let's just drug them. That's what we've done to the Millenials. Approximately 8.8 million children each year are prescribed with stimulant medication to treat ADHD. It's become the miracle pill, or has it? How safe is it? Does it really help the child, or is it just to keep the sanity of the teacher, or parent, who can't deal with certain children? What underlying conditions is such a drug like Ritalin covering, especially for those children misdiagnosed in their early years? How have we in effect doomed these young children for the rest of their lives with the label ADD/ADHD and forcing them to take a pill that in the 70s and 80s would be classified as an illegal drug for kids (remember speed, uppers)? Is the current thought of less violent kids a direct result of the legal drugging up of our children? Is this all a part of the dumbing down of America?

Is this why children in the US are more inclined now more than ever before, to be overweight? Are our children so complacent with ADHD drugs that they don't have the energy or ability to play on their own without some guidance (by teachers or drugs)?

Can ADD/ADHD and other distracting behaviors be overcome without the use of drugs? Yes. And Yes. But that would take some effort on the part of teachers, school administrators and parents. They'd have to take an active interest in our children and truly help them. Work with the environment kids are in to avoid distracting objects, and becoming an example of behavior that is expected of them. That takes brain power and human relations power, that apparently schools don't want to be forced to use.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Does That Make Censure?

"The president has broken the law," says Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin). Sen. Feingold views Bush's public surveillence without a warrant as an offense against the constitution and grounds for censure in the US Senate. Feingold's five-page resolution will be presented to the US Senate today.

Republicans that support Bush, however, have rebutted the notions of censure and possible impeachment in the House, not by proving Bush did not offend the constitution, but by linking the Democrats actions with hindering the war on terror and degrading the US international reputation.

Senate majority leader Bill Frist claims that this action will "weaken the United States in a time of war."

Ah, reality check, Mr. Frist. Ok, we started a war based on weak intell in Iraq, when we still had not finished one in Afganistan and have yet to capture Osama bin Laden, the kingpin of 9/11. We have ignored our own constitution by detaining US and US-based foreigners without any due process, allowed a president to spy on our citizens without a warrant that would nullify any evidence received this way in a court of law, and weakened constitutional rights under the guise (disguise) of the unwinnable war on terror. As insurgents and the workings of an Iraqi civil war surface, the US military situation is not looking very good there. And then there's Hurricane Katrina, proving that Homeland Security isn't so secure after 9/11 after all the money we've dumped into such an idea as homeland security. You think President Bush is making the US safer, Mr. Frist, really? C'mon. I think we've done a "helluva" job weakening US foreign and domestic impressions very well, already.

And you, Mr. Frist, want to claim that standing up for the constitution would weaken international impressions of the United States? On the contrary, defending the Constitution of the United States would be a symbol of a strengthening United States, showing the world that we are responsible for upholding our laws and willing to stand strong behind the one document, the foundation that sets the United States as a great nation.

Senator John Warner (R-Virginia) claims that Feingold's censure announcement is "political grandstanding... And it tends to weaken our president." Actually, the process of censure will either prove that President Bush is strong in upholding the Constitution, or as weak as his actions prove him to be.

If we don't defend the Constitution of the United States when it is tested, either by the president or any other action by the US government, then the checks and balances imparted by the Constitution have failed.

If we don't uphold the Constitution of the United States, then we are a weak nation.

Friday, March 10, 2006

MMmmmm-Impeaches are Ripening

A case of mmmm-impeaches, please. With House Resolution 635 that Rep. John Conyers (D., Michigan) presented to the House in December 2005, the first fruits of the impeach tree were noticed as budding from the spent blossoms of impropaganda. Now, in the March 2006 edition of Harpers Magazine features an article on this bold statement from Rep. Conyers.

It is amazing, especially recently, how so many incidents, negligence, and ignorance from the Bush Administration inadvertently proves those yummy impeaches are just about ready for harvesting. And you know what that means? Delicious Impeachment Pie! Check out my recipe for impeachment pie, and when those impeaches are perfectly ripe, make yourself a couple of impeachment pies--one for you and one for a friend (or if you are impatient, frozen impeaches work, as well). Hey, if impeachment pie is too long to say, you can call it "Imp Pie", too!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Let's Call The Whole Thing Off!

Tomato, tomahto...Potato, potahto...Let's just call the whole thing off!

Never in my wildest imagination did I ever think I would put those lyrics to the abortion debate. But, today after reading some of the reactions from both the pro-abortion, anti-choice groups, these lyrics seem to fit right in.

You'd think with a full ban recently legislated in South Dakota, you'd think the pro-life would be rejoicing. Think again.

"As a pro-lifer, I feel guilty saying this, because people are out there all excited, but a ban is actually counterproductive," said Mary Kay Culp, executive director for Kansans for Life. Does that statement seem odd to you, too? Yes, really, she said that.

Now, apparently, pro-lifers feel that they need more time to turn society's thinking around about abortion before going for the jugular on abortion rights. Ah, you've had over 30 years to turn society's head on to the ideals of the pro-life movement, and you say you need more time? What? The posters of aborted babies, protests at abortion clinics and other places that accept abortion practices not helping society to see the pro-life movement in a good light? What's missing here??

Ok, let's look at the other spectrum. The pro-choice, pro-abortion movement. You'd think they'd be outraged at this outright ban in South Dakota and the possibility of a ban in Mississippi. You'd think that, wouldn't ya?

Nope. Their message seems to be going soft, as well. According to the article, a memo circulated by Third Way, a progressive movement, through congress a message to uphold personal liberties while accepting a moral responsibility to reduce the number of abortions. Nothing new there. I believe this was Bill Clinton's stance on abortion when he was president. And my stance, as well.

What I see happening is that both sides are beginning to realize is that being pro-life or pro-choice is all about respecting and valuing life, regardless of its stage. And in the history of both movements, there have been extremes that have devalued life. Now, they see that they are defending life, either that of the mother or that of the child or fetus. Both movements, in essence, are pro-life. They both want to uphold life.

Potato, potahto... whatever. I'm taking my ball and going home. You want to come along? I'm a bit thirsty and I think mom could make us PB & J sandwiches. Sound good?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Prepare Ye The Way...

"Pre - - - pare Ye, The Way Of The Lord, Pre - - - pare Ye, The Way Of The Lord." PREPARE YOU, THE WAY OF THE LORD. FOR THE TIME IS NEAR WHEN OUR SAVIOR WILL DWELL AMONG US. Again.

40 Days of Preparation... Starting Now! Have a wonderfully introspective Ash Wednesday!!