Archive for June, 2008

 The End of the Road

Well, here we are at the end of 30 Days of Blog. It was fun, but I must admit that this turned out to be more difficult than I initially thought. Just finding the time to write was enough of a challenge, but finding interesting topics to write about was also difficult at times. I was trying not to sacrifice quality for quantity, but I’m not sure I was entirely successful over the course of the entire month. I’ll leave that for the reader to decide. I will no longer be posting everyday, but going forward, I would like to continue posting once or twice a week. I hope you have enjoyed, and continue to enjoy, reading.

 Awwww

When Josie was only a week or so old, I never would have guessed that we would have gotten a picture like this. Noah just wasn’t into the whole big brother role, and his actions toward her were what you could only call agressive. But he has mellowed quite a bit, and now he even seems to like her, and her face lights up whenever she sees him. I know it won’t last forever, but it sure is sweet while it does.

 2AR Phase III – Homeland Security (2045 – 2075)

[This is the third article in a series.]

The timing of the Supreme Court’s decision this week is fortuitous, because it serves to underscore the crucial point of Phase III, and that is that keeping and bearing arms is in individual right because personal safety is an individual responsibility. A person’s unalienable right to self-defense (using whatever arms they should happen to choose), as acknowledged by the Second Amendment, may be voluntarily delegated to others, however, it is important that every citizen understand that the responsibility for their own safety and security is not automatically assumed by any other party.

If you want to be safe walking down the street, you must take the proper precautions. If you want your home to be safe from invasion you must take steps to ensure that security. If you want your family and loved ones to be safe from harm, you must be prepared to defend them in any situation. These points will be hammered home to everyone throughout Phases I and II, but they cannot be emphasized enough. Our population has become not only complacent, allowing the responsibility for their safety to be assumed by others (police), but taught to be afraid of the very means they must be use to defend themselves and their liberties (guns).

When Mel Gibson’s movie The Patriot was released in 2000, there was some furor in the press over the scenes depicting Gibson’s young children in the movie using their muskets to fight the British Army. The argument being that this is not the proper message to be sending to our children. That we, as a society, do not want our kids to be learning at an early age how to handle and use weaponry. Futhermore, it was hard for some to believe that these scenes were based on reality — they cannot fathom a world in which 10-year-olds were capable marksmen, taught to not only accurately place a shot in the center of mass of their enemies, but also taught to safely handle their weapons to prevent the accidental injury or death of their kin. How could children be this responsible? Children are capable of many amazing things when we set our expectations of them sufficiently high. And, most importantly, responsible children grow into responsible adults.

It is this defect that education campaigns during Phases I and II will strive to correct — multiple generations of people who were never taught to use or respect guns, so they’ve grown into adults who fear guns, or disrespect their destructive power. These hoplophobes have convinced everyone else that guns are dangerous and unnecessary, when the exact opposite is true, and once this brainwashing has been reversed in a large enough number of people, the task of dismantling the government’s defense infrastructure will not seem as daunting.

During Phase III, all property of the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security will be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Private protection agencies will have been gearing up for Phase III for forty years at this point. They will be in best position to bid on all of armaments and other hardware of the Armed Forces and other federal law enforcement agencies. All of it will be gradually sold and the responsibilities for security, both personal security and that of our borders, will be gradually transitioned to the private sector during this phase.

Revolution complete – 2076

Americans will, for the first time in centuries, celebrate their freedom from oppressive government during our nation’s tricentennial. The federal government will no longer exist and the process can be expected to repeat for state and local governments, as needed.

 I’m Cheating

Fridays are the hardest. Whew. When I accepted this challenge, I wouldn’t have guessed that one day would be harder than the rest, but Fridays have turned out to be more difficult to find something to write about than the remaining days of the week. So yeah, I’m cheating. It’s actually Saturday and I’m pre-dating this entry. And it’s not really about anything except the difficulty of finding something interesting to write about every day. My hat’s off to the talented bloggers out there who manage to crank out a quality product day after day. Yeah, I’m cheating. So sue me.

 SCOTUS Gets One Right, For a Change

I don’t know which is more disturbing to me, the fact that the Supreme Court had to weigh in on the Second Amendment at all, or that it was only a 5-4 decision in favor of it. I was fully prepared for it to go the other way. I mean, the Court has not been shy about showing its disdain for fundamental rights, such as property rights, in their Kelo v. New London decision, for example. Since we no longer have a right to personal property, it would not have surprised me at all if they had moved to take away our individual right to self-defense as well.

So, now the residents of the District of Columbia can once again have an efficient means of protection in their homes again. It will be interesting to see if repealing the handgun ban in the District has any effect on crime statistics. One would expect home invasions, for instance, to drop considerably. The next step will be to remove any impediments to the citizens carrying their weapons with them, thereby reducing crime rates overall.

Thank you SCOTUS, for acknowledging a right that all of us already had!

 America is Doomed

Is America condemned by global warming? Or maybe some new terrorist threat? Is the high price of oil going to drive us to destruction? No, America is doomed because of this young lady (watch the video in its entirety). Whitney Houston used to sing that she believed that children are our future. Despite the inevitability of that statement, it really is true. And if Stephanie Woods (and her friend) is our future, America has already failed.

More specifically, parents have failed in their duty to their children to teach them right from wrong. Stephanie Woods clearly does not grasp the concept, and she is probably not alone among members of her generation. What happens to this nation in ten years, or twenty years, when Stephanie Woods is in a position of authority? Or worse, is a parent herself, and raises another generation with even less respect for the rights of other people? One of the YouTube commenters said that these two girls should be sterilized. I can’t say that I disagree.

 George Carlin Remembered

If you came of age during the 70s and 80s, and had cable TV, you undoubtedly watched Carlin at Carnegie. Probably many times. I know I did. I think I had the entire thing memorized at one time in my life. Everyone has certain pop culture icons that influence their childhood, and for me one of the biggest was George Carlin. I can’t explain it, but I always felt a special connection to him. Needless to say, the news of his passing this week saddened me — moreso than I would have expected. We will miss you, George.

 2AR Phase II – The End of Public Property (2025 – 2045)

[This is the second article in a series.]

Public property is a paradox. How can something be owned simultaneously by everyone and no one? In order to avoid this logical inconsistency, as well as the Tragedy of the Commons, and the staggering costs of the endless bureaucracies needed to administer it, public property must be eliminated.

During this phase, all land and property currently “owned” by the federal government will be auctioned off to the highest bidder (or returned to its rightful owner). This includes all interstate highways, Post Offices, National Parks, and all land currently held by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in the western States. It also includes federal territories such as Guam, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. It does not include military bases and the District of Columbia – these will be sold at auction in Phase III.

All public schools (from kindergarten to universities) receiving federal funding will be closed, dismantled and/or sold at auction during this phase. This includes the Department of Education and all of its employees. The People will once again have to take direct responsibility for the education of themselves and their children.

Private companies will be the most likely customer to buy schools. In most cases, schools will be converted in place to private schools, with the free market determining the cost of tuition. Teachers currently employed by the government-run schools that meet the minimum requirements of the private schools will likely not lose their jobs.

Post offices will most likely be sold to private delivery companies (FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc.), but may be sold to anyone with the means to purchase them.

National parks could be sold to private environmental organizations whose focus is conservation, such as the World Wildlife Fund or the Sierra Club. Admission to these parks would no longer be free, but any fees charged for maintenance and upkeep would be subject to free market forces (and therefore kept low) and could also be subsidized by the charitable donations already collected by these organizations.

BLM land will be given, free of charge, to any rancher/farmer who can show compelling evidence to a jury that their continuous use and stewardship of a given parcel of land should reasonably confer ownership. All other land will be auctioned to the highest bidder, while residents of all Federal Territories will be given their independence and granted full rights and title to their homelands.

 Cars – Mater-National

We bought the Cars – Mater-National game for our Wii mainly because it is my son Noah’s favorite movie and I thought he’d enjoy watching the game as much as watching the movie. I was not wrong. He loves it.

But I must confess that I like it too, and it’s a very well executed game. The graphics are extremely well done, the story that guides you throughout is imaginative and well-written, and the game play itself is very good. The cars handle in a realistic way (for the most part) and the controls are intuitive.

I especially like the fact that certain areas of the game become unlocked after you achieve certain milestones and that results in barricades with “Road Closed” signs disappearing from roads in the game, allowing you to explore new areas of the map. I also like that time progresses as you go through phases of the game, so sometimes you are driving during the day, and sometimes at night. Overall it’s a great game and I would strongly recommend it, even if you don’t have kids!

 A Good Time Was Had By All

We hosted a little shindig today for the whole family so everyone could meet the newborn babies — our daughter Josie and my cousin Laura’s daughter Becca. We had a sprinkler set up, Stomp Rockets, and of course Noah’s Hummer is always a hit. I think everyone had a good time. A few pictures from the festivities are in my album.