Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Nuclear City

And no I am not talking about nuking a city. We are on the verge of being forced once again into a city centered, high density, community. The days of far flung subdivisions where people could live twenty miles or more from their job are coming to an end. Tree huggers have been talking this way for a while now so nobody, until fairly recently was inclined to worry too much.

Now gas prices are hovering at or above $3.60 a gallon. That means if you own a little car that gets 40 miles per gallon, something that most people do not own, and you travel 12,000 miles in a year in your car, something that most people do, it will cost you $1,080 a year to drive you little eco-car. Of course the average American has a car that gets about 24 miles per gallon, so they get to pay almost $2,000 a year for gas.

Now the for the "fun" future. Americans will eventually be paying about $7 per gallon. This is still about $2 per gallon less than everyone else in the world pays right now.

At $7 per gallon that little eco car will cost you $2160 a year in gas. Remember too that this equation I am using is for a person that has puts 1000 miles a month on their car. How many of you really do that?

For suburbanites some people are putting 100 mile round trips on their cars. At that level, at $7gal., they will be paying out a wopping $7600 bucks for gas a year just to drive to work and back.

So the era of long commutes from the country to jobs in the city is almost over. If you want to live in the country, fine, just make sure you have a job in the country. Another telltale sign of the times is that housing prices are falling, pretty much, only in the outlying areas. City housing has not really been touched by the so called housing slump.

Adam Smiths invisible economic hand will push people back to the city, kicking a screaming at times, but will drag them back all the same.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Stupid things to say!

"If Iran attacked Isreal with a nuke we would obliterate Iran." That is what H. Clinton said yesterday. As a student of history, politics and common sense, I find that another nail in her coffin.

Not that defending a friend is a bad thing. But in politics it is always better to keep your enemies guessing. What she said sounds like something that could be coming out of Bush's mouth. One of the numerous problems Bush has had is that he swaggers around showing people his hand all the time. Clinton seems to want to be Mrs. Bush.

The last thing I want is a President so mindlessly stupid as to think that talking tough is the same as being tough. "Speak softly and carry a big stick" Remember that? Not a bad idea. But lately our Presidents and wannabe-Presidents have forgotten, or perhaps are not educated enough, to understand the basics of foreign policy.

Many wars have been averted by Presidents NOT talking tough. So far there has been no war with China over Taiwan precisely because of the language NOT used by either side. By tipping your hand and telling your enemy what would make you do X you show them the way forward for their own agenda. This leads to America being on the defensive again.

Just because the idiot in Iran says stuff like that all the time about Isreal is NO reason for the President, or person who seeks that office, to act in such a stupid way. If the President of Iran jumped off a bridge would Clinton and Bush do the same?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Religion and War

It is a regular conservative talking point that the Koran states that Islam should be spread by the sword. Hmmm. What does the Bible say?:

Firstly the image above is taken from the Bible given to Louis the XI back in the 13th century. What a peaceful bucolic scene.

expert from Psalm 149

Let the godly ones exult in glory;
Let them sing for joy on their beds.
Let the high praises of God be in their mouth,
And a two-edged sword in their hand,
To execute vengeance on the nations
And punishment on the peoples,
To bind their kings with chains
And their nobles with fetters of iron,
To execute on them the judgment written;
This is an honor for all His godly ones.
Praise the LORD!

Jashua 6 20-21:

"When the trumpets sounded, the people shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the people gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so every man charged straight in, and they took the city. 21 They devoted the city to the LORD and destroyed with the sword every living thing in it—men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys."

Ah the peaceful Bible...

My point is that both the Koran and the Bible are filled with sword play, war, and lots of bloodletting. So for a Christian or a Muslim to try and tell the other that "their" religion is one of violence is a joke. Both religions have been spread with violence and both spread with peace.

I am tired of having the ignorant Christian voice the only one that is ever heard. Many, and I mean many - the majority, of Christian scholars understand very well the history of both faiths. Only an ignorant person could claim that Christianity spread via only peace and Islam via violence.

The sad truth is that Islam is at a violent crossroads. Christianity has really only been at peace for the last 300 years. Prior to that very few people would have considered Christianity and peace one in the same. And even during that brief three centuries there have been outbreaks of Christian terrorism. Particularly in Northern Ireland. Few Londoners would argue that those who planted bombs in stores and train stations were not inflicting terror upon the population. And likewise few Catholics would view the assassinations carried out by the ultra unionists as civil.

It is advisable to remember the nature of the last great Christian blood letting. In the 1680's the Protestant population of France was viciously, and at sword point, either converted, enslaved, or massacred outright. Children were taken from the parents to be raised by Catholic parents, and protestant towns burned to the ground. Hundreds of thousands of refugees streamed into England fleeing the genocide.

That was only the most recent mass Christian genocide. What made the genocide possible and popular among Catholics was that it was standard operating procedure and had been for a thousand years. Yet it would be a great mistake to assert, because of the genocide of the Huguenots, that Catholic Christians were more violent than Protestants. The violence was policy carried out for various political and personal reasons, by the King, and the evil nature was due to the king's ambitious secretary of war. Even the King was horrified when he learned how the "conversions" had been carried out.

Today there are fringe elements of most all faiths that see violence as required to serve God. What makes the fringe dangerous is when circumstances become such that their way, the way of Satan, is seen as Godly. Poverty, war, uncertainty, all can lead to that.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Proud but stupid too

I was accosted outside Powell's Book Store by a signature gatherer. He wanted me to sign a petition to make Oregon's primary "open" I got into it with him.

So let me get this straight. You are a voter who wants to vote for candidate "A" This candidate belongs to Party "A" You belong to party "B" You wish to not follow your fellow "B" people and vote for "A"? Well then become a member of the "A" party!!!!!!!

As a member of "A" party I do not want other people who aren't really sure about what they believe in or want, mucking around. If you, as a "B" member want to vote for our candidate in the general election GREAT!!! Just don't expect to be part of our decision making process when WE are determining who OUR candidate is going to be. Again if you are really interested in the things that candidate "A" is saying then maybe you really belong in "A"'s party.

Remember we are not currently electing a President. All the various parties are deciding who they want to represent them in the coming election this fall. That is it.

When the parties are finished deciding who they are going to field, then in the general election you can vote for whomever you want.

Monday, April 14, 2008

We have heard the Generals and Bush talk...now how about the Iraqi's?

Here is the latest blog posting from MAMA: another lady living in Iraq:
Friday, April 11, 2008

Reasons why Iraqis leave their houses
"There are many reasons to make Iraqis leave there own houses.
just try to imagine leaving your own house suddenly.
Raffi's family left home because every corner reminds them about their loss ,and induce pain . they see Raffi in his room ,on his chair, every where causes grief for them. they left their memories and their own house behind them and rent another house.
Others may leave their house for the same reason or because of danger either direct threatening, or dangerous neighborhood.
Sometimes the terrorists captivate the house and it's owners, so in any chance, they leave to stay alive.
In the other hand the military forces may hide in citizens house’s to watch the surrounding areas or to make an ambush for someone hiding nearby.
Some may leave the country or their town to look for a job or to work safely without blackmail..
But the American government and president Bush talk about their big achievements in my country, where we find nothing but fear ,losses, pain, and threats. no safety , no electricity, no tap water in most of the cities , lack in all kind of services even health services , nothing but the worst schools and education , no jobs, no human rights."

Taken from: Emotions

note: "Raffi" was the blogger's older brother. He was killed last month in a suicide car bombing.

Obama "Bitter" Comments

As a person who lived in Small-town rural America I can attest to Obama's comments as right-on-the-money. He is totally correct in his comments about rural, poor, America. It has always been that way and not to acknowledge that, just like not acknowledging a racial divide, is the silly.

As far as I am concerned he again shows that he is "in touch" with Americans. McCain and Clinton, too cowardly and afraid to speak the truth, want to dump on Obama for telling it the way it is. They would have dumped on him about his race speech too if he wasn't a man of color.

I want to vote for the smart guy, not a couple of has-bens.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Face of Iraq

To view Iraqi's only through the lens of the NEWS is to see a dirty, bearded, screaming, dead, shooting, man, or a veiled woman. Here are a couple of young Iraqi's. They do not know who George Bush is, they do not know who Bin Laden is, and they have NEVER known a time in their country when their was peace. Neither was born when Bush invaded.

They will learn, like all kids do. They have already had mortors and bullets fly by them. Their parents have known friends that were blown to bits. And these little kids even got to get woken up in the middle of the night to a US Army inspection team. What will they end up learning?

Monday, April 07, 2008

The Stupidity of the war in Iraq

The strategic mistake of Iraq is still very much alive. To prove this go down the list of EVERY single enemy or potential enemy of the US and see who is the worse off for our blunder? The only "enemy" who is worse off is Saddam and he is dead. Other than that one man there is NO other enemy of the US that is in any way worse off.

The strategy of global supremacy being practiced by Bush and the idiots around him is the same strategy as the Russian roulette player uses when trying to amass cash in his own lethal, and quite stupid, game.

The use of military power should always put you at a strategic advantage at once. Anything other than predetermined victory and you should keep your army at home. And do not hold up WWII to me to refute my view either. WWII validates my view. For all the nations that thought that the moving of their armies into one nation or another were destroyed. Remember the Allies did not start WWII. If you are going to start a war you better be 100% certain, in a cold, rational, non-religious, mathematical, non ideological way or don't bother wasting your time and blood.

The war in Iraq is the capital sin, vainglory, and those that started it are now being punished by the souless, unstoppable hands of fate. All wars are evil and those that start them are followers of darkness. This being said there is no problem with defending yourself from attack. If you are attacked by all means defend yourself. It is righteous to defend your children and friends from harm. But to start a war with the idea of preempting a future you do not like, is the same capital sin, the same loathsome evil, dressed up to look noble.

Who Came up with "The United States Of America"

Did you ever wonder who originally came up with the name United States of America?

You can thank Thomas Paine for your countries name. You can also thank him for writing Common Sense and his articles called "The American Crisis" that Washington had read to his troops to bolster their confidence.

Thomas Paine was another founding member of our nation. Like many of the founders he was also a deist. While he languished in a Paris Jail awaiting execution as an enemy of the State, he wrote his last work "The Age of Reason"

This little book was warmly recieved in most countries but not in America. Even though it was dedicated to the USA and to President Washington. Paine argued in this last book that a revolution in theology was needed to follow up on the revolution in government. If not he feared that simple atheism would gradually take over the world.

To Paine all the great religions were nothing but myths. He called Christianity, "an amphibious fraud". This did not endear him to American Christians. However the reformers in Europe, long oppressed more directly by imperious churchmen, eat it up!

Paine was rescued from execution.

In Paris, where he had lived, there is a plaque that reads, "Thomas Paine. Englishman by birth. American by choice. French by decree. Citizen of the World."

Thomas Edison, the inventor, had this to say about Paine:

"I have always regarded Paine as one of the greatest of all Americans. Never have we had a sounder intelligence in this republic… It was my good fortune to encounter Thomas Paine's works in my boyhood… it was, indeed, a revelation to me to read that great thinker's views on political and theological subjects. Paine educated me then about many matters of which I had never before thought. I remember very vividly the flash of enlightenment that shone from Paine's writings and I recall thinking at that time, 'What a pity these works are not today the schoolbooks for all children!' My interest in Paine was not satisfied by my first reading of his works. I went back to them time and again, just as I have done since my boyhood days"

Abraham Lincoln wrote a paper defending Paine's Deism but his friend burned the paper to save Lincoln's political career.