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Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Land of Unintended Consequences- The Sunday Collage

“Most of the harm in the world is done by good people, and not by accident, lapse, or omission. It is the result of their deliberate actions, long persevered in, which they hold to be motivated by high ideals toward virtuous ends.” 
 Isabel Paterson, The God of the Machine

No quote captures the essence of progressives/liberals better than that one. That of course, is my blog's subtitle.  After my liberal college indoctrination...

It took me a full 28 years to regain consciousness. 

Life is all about choices and it is most certainly relative. This is not an opinion. In a society that wants what they want right now, it seems we are always after the quick fix. The problem with that mentality of course, is that sometimes our solution creates a far bigger problem for us down the road. That is where we find ourselves today. In the land of unintended consequences.

We have become undisciplined. As we seek out the quick fix for everything, say a boob job for our self esteem-or a pill because we can't sleep- we suffer the ill side effects because those things are often unforeseen or delayed. We diminish any thought of the potential side effects because we want relief now. We think that money, drugs, and boob jobs will make us happier but those things always fail. They don't work because they are just symptoms of our deeper, spiritual dilemma.  

We have told ourselves this lie so many times- like the money lie- that we begin to believe it.

That's the problem. In a capitalistic society- a society that is always willing to give you what you want if you have enough money- people don't care why you are filling that Xanax prescription. They don't care why you think you need big boobs to feel better about yourself. 

When responsible purveyors of things such as Xanax and boob jobs attempt to find out why a customer wants those things- often the customers' become indignant and self righteous. The customers claim and it is always implied, that the reason that they want something is none of the seller's business. The customers threaten to go somewhere else to get what they want. And they do. Until such day that the people selling Xanax and boob jobs don't really care why you want those things anymore. If you have enough money- they just give you those things because they are in business and caring about you or your intentions gets them nowhere. If they don't sell you those things, they know their competitors will.

And so you get those things. You sleep better for awhile. After a six months or so, you realize that you are addicted to Xanax. You have now entered the land of unintended consequences. Perhaps you must continually up the dosage. Withdrawal leaves you incredibly sick, depressed, homicidal or suicidal. It interferes with other medications and you  lose energy and mental capacity. Your family and career suffer. Soon you discover that withdrawal takes months. You switch medications. Maybe you try  a rehab center but the addiction is strong. It never leaves you. You may even spend a lifetime in addiction.

That is our number one societal problem. This insane belief that these short term solutions work and that we can control them. There will always be some unscrupulous salesmen offering up some panacea to a sea of willing customers. The customers want relief now. The salesman knows this is his opportunity and even though he knows the product only works briefly and it has lasting ill effects- he wants the immediate reward of the sale. So he sells this crap to you while rationalizing that if he didn't- someone else would. 

So immediate relief meets immediate sale. Instant gratification.

That is where we find ourselves today. Forever and always it seems, trying to avoid pain while seeking the quickest remedy. Ignoring the long term ill effects of our inability to behave patiently or with discipline. That's too bad.

The long term ill effects are now arriving. The unintended consequences of letting American jobs flow east, of giving trillions of dollars away to bankers and stimulus, of financing eternal wars and the resultant economic hardship- are here. We have a bunch of cowards running our country. Nothing they will do will have any lasting or real effect. They will keep looking for the quick fix. All you can do in the land of unintended consequences is prepare yourself. There is no escape this time. It's time we paid the bills.

It took me 47 years to discover that the best intentions of people have caused all of our problems. As a country, we have been in the process of discovering that for five years. Our national malaise will continue unabated, until such time that men of courage step forward and undo what has been done. Until then, we are going to feel the pain of all of those unintended consequences as politicians squirm and lie- looking for the easier, softer way. The quick cure for everything that ails us. Taxes, health care, gun control. Un- fortunately, it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better. But that's just the optimist in me.

I think 2013 is going to prove that out. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Give Government An Excuse...

Where Your Name Is Not Important

An interesting note today. Sympathy cards not solicited or accepted. Maybe something will catch your eye...

I suppose we have to call people something to get their attention. So we all get some sort of name when we are born. My friend, named Jack, died yesterday. I caught him in the wrinkled, gray stage of his life. I had only known him a little more than three years.

It is a fascinating thing that I could know so much about a man and yet, not even know his last name. Your surname isn't important in alcoholics anonymous.

I hate the term alcoholic. Maybe it has too many negative connotations. Maybe that's why the liberals are forever changing labels and policing speech. I think I understand. I am just getting "old beyond vanity" and I don't really give a shit anymore. So I played nice with the existing terminology rather than try to change the world to suit my views.

I just didn't want to drink any more and I figured those cats knew how to do that. They do. There are some things you learn right away.

Who you think you are doesn't matter so much in AA. You find that out quickly. Who you want to become does matter. So many of us, in various states of exhaustion and disrepair, kind of hobble in and find each other. I like to say that nobody gets to alcoholics anonymous on a winning streak.

I only knew my first sponsor's last name because he was the parish priest. I saw his name every other day near the front entrance to St Francis' church in New Orleans. So when he died or "graduated" as those in AA like to say, finding Des was pretty simple.

Des was not ashamed of AA. In fact, the Catholic Church might have been ashamed that one of their star employees was in AA, but Des wasn't. Des was just as zealous about AA as he was the church. At Des's funeral, attended by a mob of church employees including everyone but the cardinal it seemed, there were only two books on the coffin. The Bible and AA's Big Book.

"You cannot tell a man there is something wrong with him, but you can tell a man there is something wrong with you. Do that and you have a chance." That's why this thing works.

I left New Orleans in the summer of '08. After a year in California, I landed in Boise the following summer. That's when I met Jack.

Jack chaired a lot of meetings. That's how I came to know him. We would go out to eat after meetings usually once or twice a week. We also had service positions within our group and saw each other at business meetings. I loved that Jack told it just like he saw it. No bullshit, no tactful or passive aggressive innuendo for you to unravel. Jack never brought his personal problems to a meeting, either. If he trusted you- he might talk to you privately about his issues. That's how I learned so much about Jack.

Jack's health started to decline in November of last year and he became a little disgruntled about life in general. I began to see less and less of him. His health forced him to change his lifestyle and give up service positions. Pretty soon he was carting around oxygen. About a month ago, I picked Jack up at the hospital in the middle of the night. That was the last time I would see him.

The important things in life like who you are, where you've been, and what you hope to accomplish- those are some of the things that matter. Deciding what kind of a man or role model you are going to be also matters. Jack helped shape me and reminded me about the things that still matter. The truth is- Jack told me his last name long ago. In the big scheme of things it just didn't seem that important to me then. Odd now that his surname would seem a little more important.

I am going to miss Jack but the truth is, I've been missing him for quite some time already.

Django Movie Review


Have you ever paid 10 bucks to see a movie and been forced to watch advertisements, commercials, and coming attractions for 40 minutes?

Forty minutes. That's how long we were taken hostage at the Edwards Cinema in Boise before Django started. I was pissed. Just as the movie started my little sister started whooping and hollering in a moment of anarchy. I was very proud of her. I chimed in as well. Some others joined us.

I like Quentin Tarantino movies. I still  think Pulp Fiction was his best movie but Django isn't too bad. I loved the first couple of scenes in this movie. In fact, I liked most of the movie. It was the last 20 minutes of Django I am still trying to sort out.

I don't mind bloody violence. I don't mind the casual way this movie deals with killing people... mostly because the people who die are the types of people we secretly want to kill. But the last few scenes in this movie were a little too much in the sense that I am not sure they were really necessary.

So all six of us liked the movie. My brother thought it was outstanding because he likes lots of violence.

The humor in the movie is also very good. In fact it was appropriate to the scenes and very funny. There is one scene where an armed posse with KKK style white hoods on- gets in an argument over the usefulness of the hoods they are wearing. Without ruining it with specifics- I thought that scene was very funny.

Special effects are top notch except some of the "blowing up scenes" which seemed a little cheap and not all that realistic. There is no sex and just a brief hint of nudity.

There is heavy use of the "N" word and racism. It seemed appropriate to the setting so I think this movie can get away with it.

Tarantino squeezed his usual cameo appearance in- near the end of the movie. He is a far better director than an actor. Tarantino used some sort of contrived Australian accent which seemed odd and inappropriate, but maybe I missed something.

All in all this is a very good movie that has an interesting premise and setting. There is enough humor and Tarantino gimmickry in it to remind you that it is just a movie. I like that. I am going to give Django an 8.5 on the 1-10 scale... and it would not take a debate team to get me to a 9.

It was worth the 10 bucks sans the 40 minutes of hostage taking on the front end. I'd love to hear your thoughts on Django if you've seen it already...

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Buyers Didn't Show Up

Our family agreed to forego Christmas shopping this year. It's stressful, it's a hassle, and Chirstmas is for kids. None of us have kids. So I liked the idea.

Up until one member of the family caved in. Then of course we all caved in. But mostly we gave retailers the middle finger.

Christmas sales are less than 4% of our nation GDP- yet to hear economists talk about it- our entire economic future hangs in the balance.

Of course this is bullshit and as I shopped this year- I could tell that there were far less shoppers at the mall. The Boise mall is a ginormous draw- not just in Boise- but within a 200 mile radius.

I didn't see the kind of traffic that I did pre 2008 or even last year. I also believe people have less disposable cash and that savings are falling in sync with buying power. The problem with the business class and government is that they have pillaged the village. Paying sweatshop wages and then expecting double digit sales increases while counterfeiting our currency- year over year- is complete fantasy.

That and tax burdens just keep rising. Forget the national tax debate. Local taxes, property taxes, utilities- those costs just keep going up.

Not surprised to see holiday sales disappoint.

A lot of cash changing hands- but only among family members. I see that trend continuing.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Wirecutter Christmas Wish

Pure gold. More gold here:  I can't stop laughing. Kenny is one class act.

25 December 2012

Merry Christmas, Fuckers!!!

From me and mine to you and yours.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Boise St v. Washington Huskies*Updated

Recently, some men's magazine named Boise the number one city in America for men.

I'm not sure about that- but our football fans here are rabid. I cannot believe that on a recent trip to Reno I forgot to bet Washington.

For those of you who follow football closely as I do- Boise St opened up as 7.5 point favorites and promptly got bet down to 5. That's a huge move and it is exactly what I would have done.

Boise St has a good team but this is not the team of years gone by. This team has no offense. They lost at home to San Diego State. Washington on the other hand beat some seriously good and highly ranked opponents. Off the top of my head, that was Oregon St. and Stanford.

They threw one serious clunker with Washington St. They did beat San Diego St....which is the team that invaded the blue turf and won.

Take Washington plus 5. Worth a small money line bet too.

* Washington covered the spread in a two point loss.

The Inside Report on Silver, FG Style

I was in absolute awe this week as I watched silver prices plummet. There might have been a couple of reasons for that. Legitimate reasons.

A problem a lot of us are experiencing is becoming quite obvious- that this Frankenstein Government of ours is going to tax the shit out of everyone next year. Anyone with a sharp pencil knows that the rich can't bail us out. Not even close. That ship left the harbor circa 2008.

So people are selling gold and silver- taking profits in a lower tax environment. I get that. Taxes are going up and industrial demand is going down because the world's economies must contract. Economies always contract as governments confiscate the wealth of their citizens. And there are two other problems. I will leave out the inflation caused by central banks and counterfeiting.

The FED manufactured bull market cycle in stocks is over. Earnings are beginning to deteriorate. People are going to have to start buying Obamacare. Remember, the Supreme Court ruled that Obamacare is a tax and they were right. I think when people see the 4 digit per month price tag for a family of four with Obamacare- things are going to get a little turbulent.

Have you noticed that nobody has really published anything regarding the actual price we will have to pay for Obamacare including the government?

So all of that shit is not good news. So let's finish with the really good news.

A couple of weeks ago, I was reading a very interesting article by a writer on TF Metals stating that the price to mine, extract, smelt, and bring silver to market is somewhere around 25 bucks per oz. That seemed a little high to me and for a couple of years I have used 20 bucks as my break even point for silver. However, I am not going to split hairs.

If the cost to bring silver to market is as low as 5 bucks an ounce as some idiots say- silver miners would be experiencing 400% profit margins or greater. Earnings would be through the roof. Clearly that is not the case. In fact, silver miners are barely making money. I have looked at the balance sheets of dozens.

So what gives? The majority of the demand for silver has now become investment demand. That's it. People are buying silver to preserve wealth. Mine supply is going down. When demand is rising and supply is going down at already barely break even prices- it will not take much of a spark to light a rally like you have never seen.

The floor is in. If silver were to fall another 5 bucks, I'd simply quit mining silver. Why take a loss on your finite reserves? I'd just take a holiday. I don't want to sell something that I know is worth a hell of a lot more than a banker manipulated market is willing to pay me for it.

When and if the producers quit selling- watch out. Silver is not a crop. The earth ain't making any more of it.  Markets are already intensely tight. There is only so much to go around and in a market where the price has been suppressed for decades- a rally to 100 bucks an ounce seems reasonable. I mean that.

There is serious evidence that backs this up. I sat at my computer in absolute amazement as I read the story of silver selling in China at 32.50 yesterday- while it was selling at 29.60 here. A THREE DOLLAR per ounce difference. The arbitrage possibilities are profound.

Another really odd thought occurred to me over the past month as I watched mining stocks get hammered and sold short by bankers along with the other year end shenanigans. Why not just buy the already mined stuff knowing that it is so under priced already? Instead of dealing with the double whammy of banker suppressed prices in the futures pits and bankers selling miners short...why not just buy PSLV, have it stored for you, and watch Eric Sprott take a huge chunk out of all the supply as he buys for the trust?

Other than taxes- which you cannot escape in appreciating miners anyway- why not just buy the real stuff in the Sprott managed trust? So a two pronged approach would have you buying physical metals in small un reportable amounts. Buying silver or gold bullion in Sprott's gold and silver trusts.

Rarely do we talk about the other white metals. I have really been eyeing Stillwater Mining in Montana (SWC) which has been rising for a number of reasons including being added to the Standard and Poors index. I like this miner and it's one of the few platinum/palladium plays.

A couple more points.

If I was a legitimate silver miner in this market- I would seriously consider taking my mines and my shares private if I had operating capital. I also have to think that big miners with dwindling supplies of metal will have to go looking for promising reserves. After all of these poor years and decades, I think a giant window of opportunity is opening as world currencies begin to collapse. I don't think that is a party I would want to miss and I sure as hell wouldn't want to be paying 3% in dividends or 4% for debt when I didn't need to.  

Buying junior miners with verifiable reserves might not be the worst thing to invest in right now. In the meantime, let's just kick back and watch 2013 unfold. The bankers are losing control.

Friday, December 21, 2012

I Was Briefly Worried About Gun Control Until...

...Obama dished the job off to Joe Biden.

That's when I knew this was just political bullshit. Tear in his eye, very nice special effects. About 52% of the voting public falls for that shit.

If you believe passionately in something- you will find the time to make it a priority. If you don't believe passionately in something- you will behave like Obama does- talk some smack and dish the project off. Pretend to care. If you have to, you can blame Joe later.

In the meantime, if you want to read the very best piece of anti gun control and solution based writing on the web- an expert opinion as opposed to all of those blathering idiots running their mouths... I recommend this. Get a cup of coffee, it takes a few mins.

In life, people make time for the things that matter to them. It is always true, 100% of the time. It is true in relationships, it is true in virtually every project or subject that a person engages in outside of work. If somebody fails to make you or a project a priority- it's time to re- think. Never forget that.

The Day Ain't Over With Yet

I can't tell you the level of disappointment I felt today when I woke up. I have been looking forward to this day and the end of times for many years.

Not only did the earth appear to remain intact, but as I looked around- the idiots that surround the FG compound seemed to also be acting normal. I opened my Apple portal hoping that others were being killed by the millions or being hurtled into space. No such luck. It was the same old, same old.

I gotta tell ya...these Mayans are pissing me off.

People were still writing shit on Huffington Post. CNN blamed Bush for the fiscal cliff dilemma- Ace of Spades contributor Gabriel Malor blamed the "fringe" elements of the GOP for failing to vote (eating gumbo) and ruining Boehner's "Plan B" vote last night in the House- like any of that is going to change  the mess that we are in. Speaking of Plan B...

This is my all time fav clip on Plan B. Dave has it posted over at the Golden Truth. I click on it every day- and watch all 12 seconds of it. I never grow tired of watching it.

So the same old predictable things keep happening. Day after miserable day. The end of times would have been much more interesting. I waited up late last night for the Mayan spaceship to come and gather us and get us off this miserable rock- but I'll be damned if the only thing I spotted out the window were the crack heads across the street.

Not even one brown skinned gal carrying a clothes hamper on her head. Nothing. Nada.

So look. It's only a little after 10, mountain time. Most Californians haven't even had their first toke yet. So I am going to stay strong and optimistic. I'm not unpacking my bags just yet. Maybe the Mayans just had some meteor trouble or had to stop and kick some Romulan ass on the way here. You just can't tell with these things.

So there's that.

I am going to stay focused and hopeful because the day is only half over with. But I'd be lying if I didn't say I am starting to get a little worried...

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Congress Filled to Capacity With Psychopaths, Now Allowing...

the indefinite detention of Americans without trial under the NDAA act. Forget due process and all of those Constitutional guarantees and the bill of rights.

Get your passports NOW.

I just had to clip this comment from the blog. My sentiments exactly.

new alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture
Vote up!
No nation gets the government they want. Every nation gets the government they deserve.
All we are seeing here is what has been long predicted and proven to be fact: What we allow or government to do abroad, we invite them to do at home.
Everyone's morals are defined by what we allow to happen to others. Americans remained silent when the US implemented this policy abroad, now they must take it in the ass at home because they were complicit by virtue of their lack of opposition to government policy.
Saying nothing is as political an act as saying something.
Don't complain about this new asked for it.

Adam Lanza, Time's Man of the Year

This is so wrong on so many levels- that I just have to post it.

I have always loved Brian's wit and writing, even when it is sinister. Oh well. We all pick sides. Some of the finest smart assery you will ever read. Right here. 

If I Never Hear the Term "Fiscal Cliff" Again...

...ever, it will be too soon.

The latest installment of idiocy is taking place today and tomorrow. Then the idiots are going home for the holidays.

Let me explain something quite simply. There is no such thing as a "fiscal cliff." For most of us, this is commonly referred to as "paying your bills."

The problem for us hoi polloi is that we have "credit limits" meaning that once we have borrowed all the money that we can borrow...we are done borrowing. At that point, "paying the bill" becomes mandatory. At least that has been the custom. The problem with the idiots or non- hoi polloi, is that they have an unlimited credit line which they have over spent so spectacularly- that it can never be repaid. Never. There is no such thing as a "credit limit" and now it is "paying the bill" time for them. The game simply continues until the truth becomes so evident that not even the BIGGEST idiot on the planet- say Krugman- can deny it.

Now when people with a spending problem over spend, at some future point they are suddenly forced to pay the money back or declare bankruptcy. That is the same boat the idiots find themselves in. The smart thing to do would be to declare bankruptcy or insolvency and just pay back the foreign creditors who were stupid enough to loan us money.

Unfortunately, they will not do that. Instead, we will get the slow death version. They will make these ridiculous attempts to tax people to death- coupled with benefit cuts and instead of adding 1.4 trillion per year in debt, we will only add 1.2 trillion or so.

This will go on ad infinitum until some left wing math major with credibility in some future year, say around 2025, realizes that it is impossible to pay back the national debt and he tells the rest of his fellow welfare recipients this. The possibility that we have written a check we can't possibly cash will suddenly move from fiction to reality with the accompanying shock and awe. Maybe when China opens fire on us for stealing their dough. By that time, only 18 years will have elapsed. This same phenomenon has been occurring in Japan for the past 25 years.

A trillion dollars is not something to fuck around with. It is a thousand billion. Nobody has ever seen a trillion dollars. We don't even know if an actual trillion exists. It is like the yeti- a lot of talk but nobody has ever dragged one into town.

So for those of you who think we have 16.3 trillion laying around, I gotta run now. I am expecting the Mayans to land in my front yard tonight and whisk me off to a planet in a neighboring solar system. For those of you who cannot get enough of this bullshit, here is the latest. For Zerohedge readers, this is a round trip.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Adam Lanza Took Fanapt, Left Coast Psychologist Weighs In

An anti psychotic that can sometimes cause violent behavior. That's Fanapt.

In a follow up to my piece, the "Warlords Keep Winning" here then is big pharma's drug and the original story.

This link calls Asperger's Syndrome as a cause of violent behavior,  a "red herring."

One last clip, from the above link.

"There really is no clear association between Asperger's and violent behavior," psychologist Elizabeth Laugeson, an assistant clinical professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, told the Associated Press.

This is what we have for psychologists. There isn't a clear link between alcohol and violent behavior either. I mean, I have seen people drink and just pass out. Or get pissed off and shoot up the bar.

People with altered levels of consciousness tend to do crazy shit...or do we have to show our masters degrees to debate that too?

So really what Laugeson is saying is that people with AS don't always do violent things. I get that. Drunks don't always drive, either. Adam Lanza was one fucked up kid. I'm sure the AS had nothing to do with that.

This Is Our Promising Future

From a reader. Worth passing along. Once while fishing, I threatened a young man while he was texting and I promised to throw his Iphone into the lake. Unlike most people, he knew that I would. The phone was put away...chop, chop.

Monday, December 17, 2012

When God Needs a Hit Man, He Calls America*Updated

Patriot or nationalist. Take a stand for what's right or pollyanna up. These are the choices we make when we decide what kind of people we are going to be.

I was moved by President Obama tonight. Not only was he able to hijack another tragedy to steal some limelight ala the Osama Bin Laden murder- but in Newtown, Obama declared that, "We can't tolerate this anymore."

Now for those of you confused by my Osama Bin Laden reference- let me make this perfectly clear. We murdered Bin Laden. We broke into his house and killed him in cold blood. There was no trial, no due process. Hell we even had to trespass across a border or two. Please don't get me wrong, all of that's fine. Bin Laden probably deserved murdering. In fact if anyone deserved murdering, Bin Laden certainly flowed to the front of that line. Besides, this is war. People get killed in war.

We are always killing somebody because after all it is our manifest destiny. If God had fallen on the side of the Anerican Indian, maybe we'd all be dead or on the reservation instead.

So clearly, God's on our side.

When God needs somebody killed, he calls America. Because we know who deserves to die. Operation Cyclone or Charlie's Wilson's War... armed Bin Laden.'s_War
Bin Laden having whipped Russia's ass in Afghanistan- felt emboldened enough to tackle us.

I find the hypocrisy almost deafening. Obama is in Newtown talking about 26 deaths. Yet Obama apparently has no problem dropping bombs from drones on innocent Pakistani children. Oh sure, we get a few innocents and children...but that is God's way.*Please see chart below.

You simply can't run around the world, picking fights, starting wars, and killing people and then tell folks you don't believe in killing. Clearly Obama believes in killing- so maybe it's just the methods he opposes. Drone strikes 7000 miles away don't garner all the media attention or permit access as easily as an incident in Western Connecticut.

*Update. A soldier with a conscience.

Maybe you want to use Newtown to disarm the responsible people.

If you're gonna claim the high ground all for yourself, you gotta have some credibility. A track record of believability. You better be pounding your fist on that Presidential podium telling us that it's not ok to kill innocent people via drone strikes. Maybe even stop drone strikes.

You want to end all wars permanently? Pass a law that prevents all people from entering the military except kids from the Ivy League and the sons and daughters of people with wealth in excess of 500k. Suddenly and inexplicably, nobody would find a reason to send troops to the middle east. Wars would be over when the elite would be subject to them. That ain't a theory- that's a fact. Without a disposable class, wars would be deemed "barbaric."

So I think Obama is full of shit. In fact, I think not only will he tolerate killing- he will probably do some more.

Maybe the rules don't apply to Obama. Maybe while he was out on his apology tour for everyone else's actions- it didn't dawn on him that maybe he owes a few apologies as well. Perhaps what he does is beyond reproach. It is the rest of us that he is worried about. That's how it's been in this country for a lot longer than I care to remember. The leaderless group exercise continues. Apparently when God needs someone killed, he calls on us.

One more thank you to zerohedge.

YearNumber of
Number Killed

2) US Drone Strike statistic based on research by a team of journalists of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism:[3][18]
(As of October 24, 2012)
  • Total strikes: 350
  • Total reported killed: 2,586 – 3,375
  • Civilians reported killed: 472 – 885
  • Children reported killed: 176
  • Total reported injured: 1,252 – 1,401
  • Strikes under the Bush Administration: 52
  • Strikes under the Obama Administration: 298

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Warlords Keep Winning- The Sunday Collage

I wish that I could tell you that I entered law enforcement because I loved my fellow man and I wanted to make the world a better place. But that would be untruthful. My reasons were far more shallow than that. I thought law enforcement would be fun. I wanted to be entertained. I'm not sure it was any more complicated than that.

Eventually, that superficial thought process would fade away.

About six weeks ago, I read this story about a woman who stabbed and killed her 7 year old son, a 5 year old girl she was babysitting, and the two family dogs. She made the children pray before she stabbed them to death. What are the chances that this woman is insane? Better than average. I landed on schizophrenia for her.

When you are prescribed medication for mental health issues- the translation is that we don't have any way of fixing you- so society's answer is that we will just medicate you for 40 or 50 years and hope that everything turns out well. Medication is not a cure. It never has been. For millions and millions of undiagnosed and/or depressed people- many simply self medicate with booze, pot, or maybe some valium.

The point I am trying to make is simple. Drugs do not cure people. In a country devoid of patience- we want what we want- now.

We have been sold this ridiculous notion that we can fix broken people with some magical compound while ignoring all internal and external influences on this person. In an emergency room, they might refer to this as a mechanism of injury. If you don't know the precise mechanism of injury- you cannot possibly hope to properly treat the underlying illness.

For several years, I taught mental illness at the state police academy. My degree is in law enforcement. This was a bare bones kind of mental illness approach. I taught young police officers the basic differences between schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, and depression. I also had a rudimentary knowledge of lesser known problems like obsessive compulsive disorder, autism, and the new kid on the block, Asperger's Syndrome. I taught these things in an attempt to understand them primarily- and then secondarily- to assist young officers in rapidly assessing what they were most likely dealing with when confronting these folks in their daily activities.

Here was my experience. Schizophrenics and people with Aspergers could be highly difficult to deal with. They were prone to violence and highly impulsive. Depressed people tended to be more isolated and if prone to violence- it tended to be suicide ideation. I never needed validation of that opinion. This was my truth and my experience. So when a young man shoots his mother in the face and then oddly, goes to a school she is associated with, that tells me that his actions were highly impulsive. Having a lack of empathy for others, allowed him to kill children. That type of rage and impulsivity, in my experience, was limited to people with schizophrenia and possibly Asperger's. Indeed this morning, I read this piece.

So how do we deal with mental illness? Are we going to lock up everyone with a schizophrenic or AS diagnosis? No, the supreme court has decided that. No plan B.

So one of the things this country is very good at- is ignoring our own problems like we don't have any. Our leaders have plenty of money to drop bombs on middle easterners while telling us we don't have any way of dealing with the mentally ill.

This is beyond bullshit. The truth is- this country doesn't give two shits about the mentally ill until some insanely tragic thing happens in Connecticut, West Virginia, or Colorado. In Idaho, I have actually listened to state legislators publicly DOUBT the existence of mental illness. I am not kidding. That level of unconsciousness is hard to comprehend.

So for the next few days, we will have to listen to talking heads with alleged credentials yak on television or listen to the left talk about gun control like that is the real issue. We love to blame the symptoms.

I have refused to turn my television on.

In all three cases- Virginia Tech, Columbine, and now Sandy Hook- the shooters were all people with a long history of mental illness. What a coincidence! Who deals directly with those people? Teachers and cops. Every day. Who's asking the teachers and cops for information about these people? Nobody. Because nobody thinks that is important and worse yet, other than social workers and immediate family members- I don't think anyone really cares about these people. They have been marginalized.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that our society is horrible at diagnosing, identifying, treating, and then providing after care for this particular demographic. We don't check on these people regularly. We don't assist them with housing or help. Instead we write out some script- get them some prescriptions and hope that they take them. That's our solution to a mental health problem that will only enlarge and get worse. To presume otherwise means some sort of large scale intervention by a government that up to this point- would clearly rather spend OUR billions bombing and killing foreigners than provide aid to our own people. We can see where the priorities are.

Now all of this might sound socialistic to you. But I have to say this. I know of no other mechanism to help the mentally ill while preventing death and destruction to the rest of us. Perhaps programs administered by states with all of that largesse the government confiscates from us each year. I simply can't think of a better way. In my mind- it's a win for everyone in our country and a vast improvement over the wars, waste, and destruction that we currently engage in year after miserable year.

To me, wasting our money on wars makes socialism look wonderful.

If the government diverted 5 billion dollars or one day's spending, that would be a hundred million dollars per state for mental health care. Chump change. But instead we will waste billions upon billions bombing other countries and paying interest on the debt we borrowed to bomb them. It seems, the warlords keep winning. The people keep losing.

Whether we decide to voluntarily help the mentally ill or we are ultimately forced to do it, will simply be a matter of how bad our society continues to break down. For years I worked with the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. I advocated for better treatment of the mentally ill. Law enforcement taught me that the mentally ill are a huge problem for the rest of us. I gave up when I realized that beyond the people who are intimately and directly effected by the mentally ill- nobody seemed to care. That's too bad.

Because the mentally ill keep showing up at places like Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Sandy Hook. It doesn't appear that they are going away any time soon.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Who Kills 5-10 Year Old Children? This Guy Does*Updated

*I am not surprised that CNN initially reported that Ryan Lanza, rather than his younger brother Adam Lanza, is the deceased shooter in Newtown, Conn.

News agencies are reporting that cops got the two names mixed up. The latest info is that Adam Lanza was carrying his brother's ID when he shot and killed himself. In some odd way- that all makes sense to me.

MSM now stating Adam Lanza is the deceased suspect. Cops are questioning brother Ryan.

Back in the old days, I often speculated on why "would be" killers never showed up at the police station. It was simple. We have guns and we will use them. A guy even tried walking into a Detroit Police Station a few years later to shoot a few cops and test that theory. He is no longer with us.

So the cowards, guys like Adam Lanza, focus all of that pent up hostility and hatred on unarmed children. Killing them at will. These were 5-10 year old children just before Christmas. The body count rests at 28, at least 20 of whom were very young children.

What happened to reports of a second shooter? Apparently that report just disappeared.

Within an hour or two of the shootings, Zerohedge had posted Ryan Lanza's facebook page on it's blog as the alleged shooter. Mistakes travel every bit as fast as accurate info. 

I don't think you'd be normal not to feel some anger for a guy that simply walks into a school and starts gunning down innocent children. How can you explain shooting innocent little kids? Hint- don't try. It's useless. 

There is nothing to be gained from getting angry about the depressed and mentally ill. They used to frustrate the hell out of me. For the most part, they present themselves as fairly normal- especially when they are medicated. Trust me, I can tell you with 100% certainty that this guy suffered from mental illness. 

So is that an excuse for what he did? No actually, and I doubt Adam Lanza would invoke one. He doesn't care. All of that anger, rage, and hostility was just looking for a flash point. His needs are self centered- completely self absorbed. Now we are finding out that Lanza's mother worked at the school and he killed her too. Shot her in the face. That's a big clue.

Our world is full of people who are angry and depressed. I'm not sure our society has the where with all  or the money to arm every venue against attack. 

The problem runs so much deeper than the usual and shallow rhetoric that will be discussed in the days and weeks to come. The people with agendas will be out- the anti gun people. The media will discuss this bullshit ad nauseum. 

Adam Lanza suffered from some serious mental health issues, that is a given. Adam is a symptom of a society that thinks the solution for depressed people is a bottle of Prozac or some pot. I think that we are going to find that Adam Lanza suffered from a whole life long laundry list of issues and one day- he just snapped. The problem is much larger, more uncomfortable and complex, than most people care to think about. Except guys like me. I am actually comfortable talking about the things that disturb us.

So I think I'll try and tackle that on Sunday.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Apple Has Jumped the Shark

When I was a kid, I watched Happy Days religiously. Until I grew up that is. A few years ago, people started using the phrase, "jumping the shark." In the last episodes of Happy Days- the writers were apparently running out of material to write about. So they came up with this ridiculous idea of having the Fonz water ski off of a ramp and over an enclosed shark pen.

Jumping the shark has thus become cliche for something that obviously- should have already ended.


This morning I was reading another blogger who was extolling the virtues of Steve Jobs. Jobs was a great industrialist- but he surely was no patriot.

There are 43,000 Californians paying taxes thanks to Apple. Big deal. There are four times that or 180, 000 Chinese employees making a little over a dollar an hour and get this...

Foxconn, the Apple subcontractor, has agreed to only work employees only 60 hours a week. Fucking humanitarians, those Chinese.

The truth is, I liked Jobs. He ran Apple with an iron fist which is why it has done so well. But Jobs is gone and in all respects, I think he took Apple with him. Apple pays a dividend now which is something Jobs would never do.

So I don't mind all of the visionary labels attached to Jobs. Or an industrialist tag or two. But please don't call him a patriot. He was just another greedy capitalist, whoring out his labor and inflating his margins. At the cost of the American worker.

Unfortunately- it was too hard for Apple to import a fleet of Chinese people to operate Apple stores. They would have had the protection of American labor laws including a 40 hour week and a minimum wage a little bit north of a buck an hour.

Succeeding CEO Tim Cook has seen the future. He knows there are people like me out here- people who will refuse to buy those over priced Apple products especially knowing that Apple has averted standard overhead costs while employing slave labor.

So Cook is going to build a line of Apple computers in the U.S. Well bless his little heart.

I bought my last Apple product a year ago. No more 200 dollar Ipods with Itunes, no more MacBooks starting at 1000 dollars and going up. No more trinkets and accessories priced 5 times higher than anyone else's. No more Iphone. No more Ishit period.

Even if Apple products were competitively priced, I simply wouldn't buy them knowing that Apple uses slave labor to produce them. Paying ridiculous margins for a product that is marginally or arguably better than competing brands- is just not worth it. I think Apple has finally jumped the shark.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

All Great Men of Faith Have Courage

This is not one of them.

We Are Not Obligated To Obey Bad Law, Nullify It

You are going to hear the term nullification a lot as Obamacare approaches. The Constitution was never written in a way that allowed the Federal Government to impose unconstitutional restrictions on the states. In fact, it is the duty of the states to oppose those over reaching and unconstitutional laws.