Friday, December 08, 2006

Rolling Back the Clock

The year of our Lord 2006, though I could convince you that it is 1966. Rampant social intolerance: Tancredo - Miami, Third World, etc. Michael Richards - You heard what he said, Mel Gibson - Hear that sugar tits? Supreme Court and school integration! Throw in an occupation of a foreign country rife with insurgent attacks - my dear lord, all we need is a draft and another million man march.

Can you believe how awefully polarized this nation is? I have never witnessed this kind of division. I am 33, so I went through my twenties during the nineties. That was a decade! Was it a coincidence? Prosperity - both economic and social. People were into the environment, People were into being polite. People were into the arts. What happened?

First, it was the hijacking of the conservative movement, who then hijacked the congress. This tied the Democrat's hands and forced a new "reform" which still makes my neck ache. I can still see Rick "Man on Dog" Santorum holding up his hands as if God himself elected him by mandate. Where are you now?

Democrats, liberals, progressives: we have been given a chance. A chance for change. A chance to take back America. A chance like never before because if we screw this up, there will not be another one for decades to come.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Future Bleak, Dems face the Odds

With the Democrats assuming power in Washington this January, the questions have started from all sides. One that seems the most notable to me is the inevitable broad-brushing: "What will the Democrats do about Iraq?" Being a member of the Democratic party and walking with a left-of-center limp, I am terrified of the mess we've inherited from the rubber stamp Republicans. This victory is either a blessing or the last time we'll see the majority in at least 20 years. This can swing either way, the winner keeping a grip on Washington for a generation to come. I have no degree in Political Science, I've no degree in anything related to politics. My broadcasting degree simply allows me to play records. However, as a moderatly informed American citizen and father of 2 (with one on the way) I epitomize the demographic today's politicians are courting. The dwindling middle class is definately dwinding. I know that my job has paid the same wage since 1997, though it doesn't provide what it used to. I am currently working 2 full time jobs so that my family will have a fighting chance to own a home in the next few years. Not a house, mind you, most likely a town house. South Florida's real estate market is really great if you are in real estate or of a calibre of investor who can afford to dabble in the game. This is something that will not change anytime soon.

Let's now focus on what's ahead for the last 2 years of W's rule. Rep Nancy Pelosi's (D-CA) First 100 hours plan will make an attempt to address some of the issues that are foremost on my mind, and the minds of my colleagues and middle class bretheren. The current Iraq debacle is paramount, but what can really be done? I hear many different opposing opinions about how to come to a successfull conclusion there, and none of them are really that pretty. Let's discuss what this means to the country and to politics in general.

First there is the unpopular and highly politicized "cut and run" strategy which actually never really existed. Distoring Rep. Jack Murtha's (D-PA) opinion that the US is destined for failure and should set time table for withrawal. His reasoning is perfectly sound: we're creating more terrorists by occupying their land, period. In the Islamic mind, we are the infidels, we desecrate their land by our very presence and the only way they can sleep at night is if they do everything in their power to force us out. This theory, though is exactly that, a theory. It may very well be true that the re-deploying of troops to Afghanistan (remember that country?) may send the signal to the Iraqis that we are no longer watching the kids and if they want dinner they will have to cook for themselves. A horrible metaphor, but you get the idea. I sincerely hope this happens. I hope that the idealogues get the notion that a lack of American troops means that they don't have to wage the violence. But the lack of GI's will not change how the Suni's feel about the Shia! This won't change how hey all feel about the Kurds, no and not the Jews either.

Secondly, we can escalate the conflict, as in Vietnam; reinstate the draft, as in Vietnam; change strategies after 41/2 years of a failed policy, as in Vietnam. I don't want the 17-34 year olds in this country to have a considerably minute representation as do those from the Vietnam era. I don't want that, do you? Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) believes in this plan. We all know that the citizens will not vote for a draft, but it will not be up to the citizens to vote (though it may finally be an issue that would break the 32% turn-out). Imagine if the Dems vote to reinstate the draft and we succeed in Iraq! Imagine if we fail! Either way, the Dems will be villified. They will be the party of death, the party of lies, the party who promised a new direction in Iraq, but instead sent more to their inevitable demise.

We cannot win the politics, but we can win the war. The future of this country, and of Western Civilization in general hinges upon a non-partisan approach to a highly partisan issue. A polarizing, socially wedging issue like Iraq may spell the doom for the Dems regardless of the outcome. History will show that this time, much like the days of Joe McCarthy and his 'Red Scare', is a time of sacrifice. The truth will win, and it will lose. Either way, someone has to stand up, shout something that will be wholly unpopular yet entirely effective. Those who put this forward will hang for it. They will also be silently revered, secretly mourned, eventually vindicated and ultimately immortalized as patriots. Treasonous patriots will win.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

What Next?

Here we are, basking in the glow of a suprising triple democratic victory - and the talking heads are already picking it apart like coyotes after the kill. They claim that the new Dems are not the "Far left liberal wing" like Nancy Pelosi and Ted Kennedy. These are "Centrists", these are "moderates", these are "conservative democrats". I am floored as to why the media are making this not a democratic victory, but more a republican loss? I look at the winners in this election, and I see the faces of Americans. I see my neighbor who thought that we needed a new direction in Washington. I see my brother, who agreed that the Bush Administration's policy in Iraq was failed at best. I see my staunch Republican father who split his ticket and voted a Dem here and there. But again the pundits are barking the usual hate for us. They are offering an olive branch and use words like 'bipartisan' and 'compromise'. When the tables were turned only days ago, it was the democrats who were always "politicizing" the issue. Just like Tom Delay and the rest of the Neo-cons had to fly back in the middle of the night to save poor Terri Schiavo. Add in the Religious Right and the Randall Terry's of the world who couldn't get off the stump long enough to say the word "politicize". But it was the democrats who were on the wrong side of the issue, spun to be the party of death. Even now, with the dems in the majority of the House and Senate, and controlling 6 more Governor's mansions, somehow they haven't won. The American people chose the lesser of two evils. They didn't so much as vote for the dems as they voted against the GOP. Well, fellow countrymen, if we have learned anything at all over the past 12 years and even more over the past 3 - is that their machine is well-oiled, well funded, well manned and plenty loud. But the most important factor, the one thing that can throw a monkey wrench into their gears is a little thing called the truth. The truth is on our side. The middle class is on our side because we are what's left of that middle class. We are the voices of those who have been silenced for far too long. Whether or not the new dems in office are centrist, conservative or liberal - they are united with one goal: to save the middle class, something the GOP has tried so desperately to dissolve in order to speed up their race to the bottom line. Well, here's the new bottom line: the American People have spoken, spoken loud and true: "It is time for a change - we will give you a shot now don't screw it up". Madame Speaker, it's your turn - don't let us down.


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

USA: The United Slaves of America

The more I read into the direction this country is headed, who is leading us there and why, the more I feel the need to stand up and be heard. One voice is nothing, a fly-speck on the Great Wall. One hundred voices, one thousand voices, one million voices, now that is what it will take to regain control of this country. I am calling for every citizen of these great 50 states to take peaceful action and assume the office into which we are all born: public office. A government of the people, by the people and for the people. The majority is ignorant, feels small and ineffectual and just doesn't care anymore. They've lost faith in the system and have lost their voices. We can all take back America from the Authoritarians. This web is so large and sticky that one simply goes crazy trying to find where it is attached to the wall. We have to find that attachment and pull it off, let the web unravel. Stop letting this kabal of fear-mongers scare us into believing that sacrificing our liberty is necessary for safety. The immortal words of Ben Franklin, "Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither".

We all have a voice, a single loud and effective voice. If our elected officials don't act on the issues we want, they lose elections, period! We have the power to run this country, we DO run this country. We must educate. We must organize. We MUST UNIFY!!!!

America, it is time to drop that cheeseburger and remote control, pick up the telephone, grab that pen, type that letter.

This is our country and no one shall take it from me, from us, from We the People....


Tuesday, August 01, 2006


How many times have you come to realize that your actions were perceived completely opposite of your intentions? I've recently made decisions that have caused me some emotional distress. Apologies cannot reclaim the trust one holds in another. In storybooks, a good deed can erase a bad one, but in the real world, nothing of the kind exists. "I'm Sorry" doesn't cut it, and the road to redemption is wrought with personal peril. All in the name of vanity, so I could sit with the big boys; because of this my name is soiled and a wonderful person's heart has been broken. Free advice: don't lie, even if you think it isn't a big deal, even if you cannot imagine that this little lie could hurt someone. Regardless, lies cut deep and the wound heals slower than you may think.


Sunday, July 30, 2006

Political Discussion Dividing Families

Last night was the celebration of my Grandmother's ninetieth birthday. Bless her energy and wit. I've met some ninety-year olds who can't put a sentence together or dress themselves, but my grandma not only plays with a full deck, but has the poker face to boot. I spoke to family that I haven't seen in nearly twenty years and some of whom I've never even met. So what does one speak about at these things? Normal people will often discuss the usual topics: the kids, the job, the new car, the weather. What are the universal taboos of all family reunion subjects? We all know that you never discuss politics, religion and or money. These days, it is impossible for me to refrain from discussing politics. I can usually avoid money and religion because I have neither.
Most people who are lucky enough to have a large family like myself, can boast the diversity inherent. Diversity in philosophy, social status and education, not to mention character and personality. These days, however, the very articles of diversity can drive a steak into the heart of the closest kin. For example, a holiday gathering one day erupted into a conflagration of name calling and verbal abuses. Mostly the Republicans against me. Any of my younger cousins or nephews who claim allegiance to liberalism were silent. The biggest complaint that I have to this day is when confronted with the facts, they call me names, refer to Michael Moore and blame it all on Clinton.

Soon I will be forging ahead in the life poli-sci, one day maybe I will make a difference. I will chip away at the ignorance until I get at the "soft white underbelly". Then I can caress the ignorant to sleep and they will awaken refreshed and liberal.


Saturday, July 29, 2006

Where have all the good times gone? Wake up Americans!

The cliche' question, but a necessary one these days. My good times consist of nostalgia and a glass or two of an alcoholic bevie. I am constantly asking questions about some of the events unfolding in front of me, yet I am surrounded by those who will not see or cannot see 2 feet in front of them.

In the early and middle part of the 20th century, Americans were driven by the duty, civic duty. Does anyone remember that term? I sure do! One's civic duty used to consist of a few things: jury duty, voting and taxes; three that come to mind immediately. Within the voting category was the sub-duty of actually RESEARCHING the candidates. For those of us who follow the news and listen to political talk, we know the issues of the day, yet the main stream media outlets are cramming "Rapture and Armageddon" stories down our throats.

Why isn't anyone asking why? In the midst of "World War Three", our congress is debating gay marriage and flag burning. If you ask 100 Americans, 5 in 20 different cities in all 50 states, I almost guarantee you that those issues will come in very far behind: Israel, Iraq, Healthcare, Gas Prices and maybe Stem Cell Research, maybe.

Where are Americans? Who have we become? Is there a doctor in the house? We need a large vat of cultural smelling salts to snap this country out of the coma it is in. I am not even referring directly to partisan politics. The Dems have a lot of catching up to do if they think they're going to make a difference in November. The Right has this election thing down, both legitimately and arguably illegitimately.

I am calling on everyone I know to spend just 20 minutes a day to delve deeper into what's going on and maybe by '08 we can start to wake up, smell the gangrene and amputate that part of us that died.


Friday, July 28, 2006

The USA has been Hijacked!

I have just finished watching Loose Change. You can see it here. This is a very disturbing documentary which convinced me to listen more closely to those nut-ball conspiracy theorists who claim that the U.S. Government was behind the 911 attacks. Well, to be honest fellow fatheads, this is about as close as you can get to the fire before your evil little cousin pushes you in laughing as you flap around and scream, desperately trying to stomp out the flames.

Billions upon billions of dollars, lost evidence, eye-witness accounts, statement retractions and conflicting stories make you wonder. Put partisan politics aside and focus on the science. You know, that discipline which eludes this administration. The hottest days in U.S. history: global warming is an attack from the left to incite fear. Stem Cell research is murder: using human tissue that was to be discarded anyway. The science, by George! Basic science poses questions or "problems". Solutions can be reached only after a hypothesis is formed.

The problems, cutting through all of the fat:

Who had the most to gain from 911?
Who had the resources to accomplish even the most intricate of operations?
What kind of person could perform such incredible acts upon his or her own people?
Why won't anyone ever ask any poignant questions?- history tells us.

I am ashamed, angry and ready to reclaim this great land.


Caught in the Lower Middle Class

Hey Fatheads! So today as I take 5 and blog, I am reminded of the new trap which has been clamping down on my right leg ever so slowly over the past few years. I am making the most money I have ever made in my life, yet I am sinking. Not into debt, because my wife, bless her, managed our money with precision, so our debt ratio is dropping. I am writing about the general state of the economy from my point of view: with 2 kids and one on the way. I have not gotten anything but a 3% raise every year for the past few years. "Oh, quit yer belly-aching," you may say to me. No! How much have gas prices risen? How high is real estate here in SoFla? Am I still renting? Yes! Are we doing well? Maybe!

Ok, so I have good health coverage, thanks to my employers large employee base-buying power. but what if I want to go out on my own? Something normal in my industry: video, but here is the rub: no affordable coverage for my family. So I am trapped. Are you? How many millions out there feel this way? Many are far worse off than I. They don't even have a nice 3 bedroom in Sunrise to boast about.

So the economy is booming? For the guys at the top, sure. Exxon making $10billion in a quarter, great. $ 1300 per minute they say. Great great!

Where is my share of the hard work? Oh, I wasn't born lucky enough to have it handed to me, I see.


Some Miami Cubans Want Censorship

Miami, FL -

I am astounded by what I heard in the halls of this corporate dungeon I call the workplace. Three Cubans debating politics and they haven't a clue. I know, who am I to judge? I haven't a four year degree in Pol-Sci, I am a Vidiot! But these people really get my blood pressure at dangerous levels. So there is a book entitled, Vamos a Cuba, written for 3rd graders about the Caribbean Island of Cuba. That's right, the same island controlled by the evil Fidel Castro, the very man whose tyranny caused the influx of millions of Cubans to the Miami shores. Now, I love the Cuban-American culture, as long as it is Cuban-American and not simply Cuban.

But I digress. So these three individuals are debating about this book which does not go into the political status of Cuba, but a simplistic version of life in Cuba. Remember, this book is written at a third grade reading level. So the Miami-Dade School Board rips it off the shelves. Hello? Castro? Anyone ever heard of Censorship? The communists love to control what the good people shove in their gray-matter. Well, I think I've made my point. They are so terrified that the kids might think good things about Cuba for the 5 or 6 years he or she has before the child learns the truth. We don't have to tell a 3rd grader about political prisoners, do we?

In closing, it is my opinion that they are creating the very thing they have escaped and unless they get a grasp of this nation's constitution, they'll bring the rest of us down with them.


I've Discovered Jean Shepherd!!!!!

Excelsior, You Fathead! The phrase mentioned all around the Blogosphere and then some. For me, Shep has always been a name I recognize due to the popular film, A Christmas Story (1983), we're all familiar with Ralphie and Randy Parker and their trials and tribulations with Scut and Grover. But who is the man behind the classic? A genius who is somewhere making even the most stoic of humorless twits reexamine the ethereal plain on which they now exist. I think I should expound slightly on how this revelation came about (I'll omit the part where I again wish I was living about 40-50 years ago and not in this oppressive day).

I was watching the Blues Brothers, lying in bed and hoping that my wife didn't start to snore before I fell asleep. A common problem in my relationship, first to sleep, only to sleep. Moving on, there is a scene where Jake and Elwood go to get Matt "Guitar" Murphy and Blue Lou. When good ole Matt realizes that the Blues Brothers are back, he greets them with comments about bad food at various state facilities they may have frequented, including one Terre Haute federal Penn. That prompted me to remember a line from ACS which mentions Terre Haute. I hopped on Google and brought it up...not really caring much about Terre Haute when I remembered that I loved ACS and the story and wanted to find the story behind the movie. Fast forward an hour and I am lying in bed listening to the tale of Kris Metropolis.

I have a lot to learn. There is so much I'd like to read about and experience to catch up on. I am, or aspire to be, a writer and filmmaker, though I am the dreamer and not the do-er. If I were a do-er, I'd create the greatest tribute piece for this man. I have a background in radio, so it means even more to me. The world should listen, really listen to Jean Shepherd today. Congress should enact a statute which requires all Americans, and those who wish to become Americans to listen to Jean Shepherd for one hour per day. But we know what Congress is like, and we know that most Americans will not miss their American Idol. Only if...well, thanks Shep, I have discovered a new world. One day the Scottymouth with speak at length about my new hero, maybe some Fatheads might stream for a minute or two...maybe.