Monday, June 11, 2007

It's Us or Them

Immigration. You know, the illegal kind. Not like the legal kind all of our ancestors did when they lined up at Ellis Island and had their names reconstituted. Back then everyone and anyone could come into our country – and we took them all. Very few questions asked. Everyone was a human being with the potential to add something great to our society. They didn’t get treated well, but the got a chance.

Now the children of those children of immigrants believe that this immigration thing is what’s bringing us down. It’s the cause of our budget deficits, it’s the cause of high medical costs, it’s the cause of the problem with public education, and it’s the number one cause of crime in the streets. It’s the issue that all color of conservative can agree on. Get rid of those damn Hispanic/African/Asian illegals! They’re killing us!

Well if you ask me, and no one ever does, this is not the most serious problem facing the face of White America. Illegal’s account for only about twenty percent of all the uninsured people who go to the emergency rooms in this country. They only account for twenty percent of the people who don’t pay their taxes, and they do jobs that no one else wants to do, and for a wage that no one else will accept. Sure they are a billion or more dollar problem, but they are the great scapegoat of the minute. I guess as a Jew I should be thankful to them for that.

Here’s what’s going on – the right-wing conspiracy is using the easy target of illegal immigration to divert attention from the fact that American industry has become a small group of multi-national conglomerates who are slowly shipping our middle class to India, China and parts unknown. They are creating a world where the chasm between rich and poor is growing wider; more of “us” are uninsured, underpaid, and further and further in debt. That’s our countries dirty little problem.

We live in an atmosphere of unbridled greed where we are trying to squeeze more and more profit out of our businesses. Our corporate boards are now driven by the need to raise their dividends that aren’t paid to us. They pay the money to each other, to other huge corporate stock owners, pension plans, invenstment banks, and venture capitalists. Meanwhile it’s harder for the working man to afford the very things they are pushing us to buy. On top of it, getting rid of the illegal immigrants permanently would get rid of a major source of workers for small business, that would then make it impossible for them to compete with the bigger companies. That means higher prices for us – and more profit for them!

In the end we are closer to the illegals than we are to the people who want us to believe that they’re a problem. I have an idea! Let’s solve both problems: let’s make the illegals citizens, make them pay taxes and make them work for a minimum wage. And let’s tell the corporations and they politicians in their pockets that we don’t want to live in a world of endless corporate profit. It’s the human thing to do.

Monday, May 14, 2007

And the truth is...

I watched George Tenet on the Daily Show and you know what; the guy has some real balls. Not the lie to your face kind like our President, but like a man who sticks to his convictions to the bitter end. Granted he didn’t seem to want to take too much blame for what happened back in 2003 – he seems to like to pass most of that to Doug Feith in the Pentagon. But I like the guy. I always seem to like the underdog, and he surely is that these days.

But it still brings up that nagging question that hits me every time I turn on the TV, the radio, read a paper or a magazine – what the fuck happened. It’s like I just slept through the car crash that killed my family. How did this happen?

Wouldn’t it be great if just once someone in this administration stood up and said, you know what, we were wrong. This was the wrong thing to do and we did it the wrong way. Which makes me think; is David Frost dead? Cause it would be great to see him interview Bush like he did Nixon and have GWB admit he was wrong, like Nixon did. Yea right? Never happen. GWB will take it to his grave.

But I think deep inside, in places he doesn’t talk about at cocktail parties (sorry Col. Jessup) he knows that he fucked up. He knows that he didn’t have a plan. He knows that he didn’t make the right decisions. He knows that Paul Bremer is an ass. But he will never admit it to anyone other than his wife or his dog. And certainly not to Dick Cheney.

So it’s up to guys like George Tenet to get out there and give us a slice of the truth. We’ll certainly never get it from Richard Pearle or Paul Wolfowitz or Donald Rumsfelch. I don’t think Cheney and GWB even know what the truth is anymore. We’ll never know what the thinking and planning was, where the mistakes were made, and who made them. It’s probably better that way. What difference does it make?

Monday, January 29, 2007


As in: another day in paradise. I so hate myself right now. My career is a fucking joke. There is nothing here. Tomorrow I go back to being a grip. I hate being a grip. I loathe it. Certainly I am grateful for the work and the money, but it's not what I'm supposed to be doing. It's not the job I'm supposed to have. It's not the job I want to be doing. There's nothing wrong with a little manual labor, when it's gardening and or helping a friend put in his kitchen. Fifteen hours on a movie set? No Thank You!

But I've wasted about twenty of my prime earning years for this. I lived in the fear of risk and thus didn't try or accomplish anything. Now I just get to live with that feeling of panic that rips through you when you realize that this is as good as it gets and what the fuck are you going to do when you're sixty? Fuck, I'll be working until I'm eighty. And I thought I had the chops to be a millionaire. Only if I win the lottery.

Thought for the day? Can I die now?

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Hotel California - Ozark Style

Ah, incarceration. The twice-daily butt fucking and the thrice-daily beatings… what can be more fulfilling than to be in a room the size of a Tokyo hotel suite with one open-air toilet? “Smells like you loved that bar-b-que yesterday, Tex.” I would never be able to poop.

The penal system here in California has become a major source of statewide pride. We have more inmates per capita, serving longer sentences, for the most ridiculous crimes, than anywhere else on the planet. Granted we’re not as bad as Iran or Singapore or Turkey, but then they don’t aspire to the level of civility that we do. Or do we…. Hmmmm.

I feel like this about prisons: they are about two separate but related and important questions. One is should they exist; the other is what should they be like. What connects them together for me is this idea of a social contract. Mills spoke about the social contract and how if you treat others correctly you will get treated correctly in return. My idea of prisons is that they are the ultimate punishment for taking that social contract for granted.

That’s why I am not on my usual team for this debate. While I believe that torture is unwarranted (unless it’s the Arab guy who was giving me the eye at Sunnin yesterday. He is so Al Qaeda), the idea that we are not giving our prisoner’s top notch medical care and their creature comforts is craziness. These dude and dudettes decided that the covenant that exists between us, the one that our society stands on, wasn’t important enough to them. They decided to break that contract and fuck someone over. That, to me, means that we don’t have to be so nice to them on the flipside.

So if it’s a question of sending convicts to Tennessee to end overcrowding and make it safer for the guards then ship them out. What the hell do we care if they aren’t for it? Three hots and a cot, some books and an hour outside: that’s what you get when you break the social contract. It’s the fear of that deal that keeps a lot of people inside the law and outside of jail.

And if you’re wondering: I think that the greatest break of the social contract is to take another life. You do that to someone and you forfeit all of your rights under out society. So yes I am for the death penalty for First Degree murder convictions. I think that if you want to make that choice and you get caught, then bing, boom, out the door you go.

Friday, January 26, 2007

My Kingdom for a Job!

Another week of not working and I don’t know how much more of this I can take. It’s really wearing me down. All I fucking want is a chance. Just a fucking chance to show what I can do. But it isn’t happening and it breaking me up.

What I take from this is that I’m a jerk. I’m a jerk at work that doesn’t do good work and isn’t fun to be around. Maybe it’s more of the former and less of the latter. I’m fun enough, but I don’t do good work. It’s because I’m afraid to commit to my job. That and the fact that I have trouble concentrating, so I wander a lot and don’t always remember to do things. And that I am a fucking loser. Let’s not forge that.

I wish I knew what I was supposed to be doing. I found something like, but that got pulled out from under me because the company decided to keep it freelance instead of full-time. So I had to get laid off and can’t go back until May. Fuck me. What a sweet job and a great boss. Man my butt is stretched out.

It’s the time I should be earning. Instead I’m suffering the errors of my arrogant, uncaring youth. I didn’t think I was going to get old. And never thought that I would have no career by the time I was forty. I mean: no fucking career. This is pathetic. Maybe it’s time to check out…

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Libertarian for a Day!

Here’s how my crazy mind works. I’m reading this great story about the murder problem and the fumbling, bumbling way that the mayor, council and police chief are dealing with it… I mean this town really has Big Apple Envy… and I start thinking like a libertarian.

We live on a big round Petri dish. That Petri dish has a limited amount of resources that we all compete for every day. People are living longer. People are using more. How in the fuck is that supposed to work. Let me tell you where my head went: we are trying to eradicate death. We are curing disease. We are increasing the life span of people world-wide. How are people supposed to die?

People need to die. We need to get rid of the old and welcome in the new. This article says they can’t figure out why murder rates go up? You’ve got more people competing for less and less stuff and you wonder why they kill each other. The best way to lower the murder rate is to let people start dying of tuberculosis. Stop trying to cure cancer. You can’t have your cake and live to two-hundred. The more people we shove into the phone booth we call Earth, the more agitated we are going to get. And that means we are going to start killing each other.

Read yesterday that by the year 2020 China will have almost 30 million more men than women. (Check this out from 2004) That’s with the one child law that they enacted a decade ago. Thirty million angry, lonely, horny guys with lots of free time on their hands is a real road map to disaster. After about twenty years of jerking off to Britney Spears photos they’ll be ready to roll and that could mean right across the Bering Strait.

So the libertarian in me says to stop trying so hard to cure what ails us. People need to die and better they get Cancer than to say goodbye looking down the barrel of a pistol while you’re taking money out of the ATM. At the least stop pretending that we can’t figure out why there’s so much famine, war, and violent crime. I mean, we are just animals.

Day 33 without work. I’m still not sure what stage of grief I’m in, but it sucks.
Article of the Day: Stranger than fiction...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Back Again, Naturally...

Welcome back again, I say. And this time for good. What is it about this blog of mine that makes me hide and shiver in my boots? The thought of putting down my thoughts, where no one is even going to read what I say, scares the bepoopy out of me. What the fuck is up with that?

I’m not working and that would seem to be the perfect time to take five minutes and write down my measly little thoughts. So start the timer… now.

I joined Myspace a couple of weeks ago because some friends told me that we would be able to keep in touch that way. It’s opened up a world that I just don’t really understand. What is going on there? Are people really keeping alive friendships by leaving little comments for each other? I can’t even remember to check my site. It’s just not in my “Circle of Memory”.

There’s always been a wide chasm between the under twenty-five crowd and those over. It’s a sad day when you cross that threshold and begin to think more about paychecks, retirement and your legacy than on your immediate gratification and new toys. I try to stay open to the world; I keep abreast of the trends that the kids love. But it’s just impossible for me to change the way I think. I still think in the old media way: read the newspapers, the magazines, watch television, talk on the phone. I don’t email as much as some, I don’t use my wireless PDA device to send text messages to the guy I just met at the bar who was looking for a producer. I don’t even have a wireless PDA device. I thought having a cell phone was enough.

That’s probably why I’m out of work. I better get out my toolbox and see if I can’t rewire my brain pan.

Today's article: Making money, honey.