Sunday, July 29, 2012

Hit and Run

OMG, it was only a little pot, they said it wouldn't hurt...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Gun Control

The United Nations wants to control the import and export of "conventional" arms. What is linked is not the many articles on the subject, written from political perspectives, with agendas, but the report of the Preparatory Committee. You see, this has been in the works since 2006 and has touched nerves here and there ever since.
But it is a UN endeavor, it will never come to fruition, it is simply fodder for both sides of the gun control issue. The disarmament at all cost folks will raise lots of money on this as will the NRA, and isn't that what it is really all about? Except maybe for some well meaning folk in the trenches of those organizations, it is about the money (and to a small extent, the power).
I am a firm supporter of the right of the people to keep and bear arms, check my right side bar, in Pennsylvania that right shall not be questioned.
And I am a firm believer in common sense. If you are mentally unstable, you shouldn't be able to buy a weapon, if you are a convicted violent criminal, you should not be allowed to buy a weapon. If you are a minor...and other common sense restrictions.
I don't believe in hand-gun registration, unless voluntary. I do believe in waiting periods, and in the instant background checks available through the internet.
That's me.
Back to the issue at hand: The UN will never come up with a treaty on this issue. Heck, it's been 6 years already and according to the linked document they were barely able to come up with an agenda for this years meeting to discuss the agenda for next year whereupon there might be a report outlining the desires of the 82 member states...
Get it? It is simply another reason for a bunch of do-gooders to get together in some plush hotel, hold endless meetings that accomplish nothing, and then slap each other on the back for the progress they made, ensuring the safety of civilians around the world all while UN troops take off the blue helmets (and uniforms) to rape those same civilians. Or in the case of Syria, allow Hezbollah to re-arm the border. Or allow Iran to continue enrichment...
Get it? This UN treaty, if one ever is written, would never be signed by our government, would hold no sway here in the Untied States, and would carry the full weight of the power of the UN, meaning absolutely nothing.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I was taking a quiz and ran into a freaking liberal lie. Okay, it's a lie of semantics, a lie of omission, but it is none the less disgusting. In 2011 Congress decided to help further destroy social security by enacting a 'payroll tax cut'. That was bullshit. They began taking less from workers for the social security trust fund, that 'untouchable' account that is just about broke. And the coo and coo and coo about how they 'cut taxes'. No they didn't, it isn't a tax to begin with, it is a contribution, mandatory sure, but not defined as a tax in the code. This never should have happened and it should be allowed to expire, or be repealed TODAY.
It is funny though, if you as a liberal if we should be able to privatize our social security, they mostly say no...but...but...

Here is the question with the stupid and impossible to choose answers:

2. In 2012, the payroll tax cut implemented in 2011 to help stimulate the economy was extended another year, sending middle-income workers home with an average savings of $400 more a year. Where do you fall on the extension of the payroll tax cut?

The US Capitol building in 2011. (Carolyn Kaster / AP)
There should be a flat tax rate, no matter what the taxpayer’s income.
If the economy is truly on the road to recovery, why extend the payroll tax cut? Everyone should have to pay his or her fair share.
Times are still tough. The current payroll tax cut is a good idea, and hopefully people will spend that little bit of extra money to help stimulate the economy.
Middle-income workers are the backbone of the American economy and deserve even bigger tax breaks. Next year let’s make the average savings $500.
Middle and low-income workers should be taxed far less than the wealthy. Let's make the payroll tax cut permanent.

Working again?

I have a post I wrote on Saturday that never posted, I wonder if I can find it now?

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There is my answer. Nope. And I am not writing it again. It was too long to begin with. I guess this is what happens when I write a post critical of the Supreme Court.

Friday, July 6, 2012

This weekend

This weekend I am going to write 4 things.
1. A blog post about the insane Supreme Court decision last week.
2. A blog post about writing.
3. A speech about dealing with local government.
4. An entry for the JR Wagner contest.

And of course this post about writing a post. Remember back when I tried to post every day. I am going to try that again.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Deterrence or Retribution

Pay for your crime or deter the next guy? Why and how do we set punishments?
This is linked to the discussion on another blog about paroling minors who have committed violent offenses. I tend to agree with trying to figure out if the offender is 'cured', but just can't figure out how.
And then the mind works, and I began to wonder if we should set our punishments to deter or for retribution. An eye for an eye is retribution, and, some would argue, a darn good deterrent, but crime rates go up and down, even as punishments go up and down. And they go up and down as punishments stay the same.
Look, we tell our kids, "don't do that or..." hoping the 'or' is enough to keep the kids from doing whatever it was we were trying to deter. With mine it was a grinder for any tattoo. Three boys, no tattoos so far, I guess it worked! And those parents who do not follow through with the threatened punishment soon learn that the threats are largely ignored.
It's the same for criminals, is it not? Capital punishment for first degree murder? Poorly used, and the criminals know that.
According to the article, cited below, during the enlightenment the classical version of criminology took shape and we imperfect humans began to realize that if we wanted people to stop committing crimes, our rulers would have to treat us fairly. So, out goes the torture chambers (sort of) and in comes punishments that fit the crimes, in the hopes that people would be afraid to commit them. It worked for a time, and a large portion of humanity is raised with the inherent fear of punishment.
But then came the humanist and liberals, questioning every punishment, justifying almost every manner of criminal behavior with societal ills, and limiting punishments.
So now criminals know that a simple assault (which could result in serious damage to the assaulted) won't even result in jail time.
Too long, too much to discuss...sorry folks...if you have an hour, go read the journal article.

Deterrence would work if we actually followed through, just like with our kids.

PATERNOSTER, R. (2010). HOW MUCH DO WE REALLY KNOW ABOUT CRIMINAL DETERRENCE?. Journal Of Criminal Law & Criminology100(3), 765-823.

Fulfilling a Promise

A very close friend of one of my sons has published a book titled The Rest is Silence. It can not be purchased online, but if you read this post and are interested in purchasing a copy I can broker that deal. And by Broker I mean figure out a way to put you in touch with the author, Shannon, so that she can sell you a copy. Or some such thing.

The story is wonderful, twisty and gritty and written from the heart. Yes, from the heart; and as we know that can cause a few problems, issues that will be solved over time for this young author, because she is going to keep writing. I promised her I would be honest, so I am going to be.

I loved the story. I figured out one of the twists, but not the other (no spoilers). I was drawn to the main characters but wished they had been allowed to get to know one another better so that we could have as well. Keeping one or two characters in the dark is a fine literary device, but we needed just a little more depth. The settings were well developed, each stop on the journey was clear in my mind, from the Hospital to the lake to the apartment to the first 'home'. Distances were a touch tricky, but it didn't take away from the premise or the story.

My one problem was (and this might just be an old guy thing) was the glaring lack of firearms. Right at the start, any weapon will do, but at some point someone needed to break into a Kmart for more than granola bars and oatmeal. I know it would have changed the dynamic of several scenes, but would have helped with the realism. 

Back to the 'from the heart' comment. I only say this because when we write from the heart, we send our 'children' out into the world too quick. We don't edit with the blind determination that is needed to present a polished product.

So, Shannon, keep writing (and you are right, she is dead)(not a spoiler), so she's not an avenue for your creativity. I would like to be on your 'first reader' list for your future stories, I know there will be more, and I am looking forward to what ever comes next!

Contact me to grab your copy of The Rest Is Silence by Shannon Hayes. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

I love Auctions

This one was run by Paisley Auctions and was a bunch of stuff from a local fire house that is moving. I buy junk. It's what I do. Box lots of junk. Or tables full of stuff.
So I am listening to my better half this time and using what I buy or selling it on Craigslist or donating it to a needy something or other.
I bought a 30 cup coffee maker.

So I made 24 cups of coffee to make sure it worked (don't worry, it was half and half). It worked! Now I had coffee to drink, but it's hot. Wait...I bought a bar blender! If I fill the blender with ice, and add some cream...oh, this could work.
A coffee slushy! needs something else...oh, right, sugar!
Now, add coffee, plug in the blender and flip the switch. It works, thank goodness. And the result:
Yummy, frothy, slushy, coffee goodness! Now, what can I do with that 14 inch butcher knife?