Real-ID

While we’re on the subject of security, give this article (Real-ID: Costs and Benefits) a read. It’s about the national ID plan that was snuck into a support the troops bill and is going to cost us $11 Billion and practically do nothing for us except make us feel more secure while we’ll actually be less secure.. It’s kind of sad actually but in my world, perfectly predictable.

Pay Attention.. Grow Up.

There is a really thought provoking piece in Time magazine this week called “In Defense of Partisan Bickering” by Michael Kinsley. He makes some really astute observations and touches on something that I feel really strongly about: ending partisan politics.

…it’s pretty clear what Americans want. They want an end to partisan bickering. They want pragmatic solutions, not ideological posturing. They want leaders who reject politics as usual and put the country’s interests ahead of the party’s. They want a government that will do the right thing, regardless of whether it is “liberal” or “conservative.” They don’t like labels. And, oh yes, they are tired of spin.

Amen.. I totally agree with this statement. In my mind, the partisan crap is what is causing all of this inertia in federal government. We aren’t debating and solving the issues. We are simply spinning our wheels and battling each other.. like the Hatfields and the McCoys. The article continues however to say something that I don’t agree with fully:

This postpartisan era everybody wants is not going to happen, and the great longing for it is childish. What Americans say they want–or even what they think they want–needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Their objection, very often, is less to politics than to arithmetic. Do they want our health-care system fixed? Yes. Do they want Social Security and Medicare on a more solid footing? Absolutely. Will they pay for these things? Not a chance. There are no pragmatic, nonideological solutions to the big question of what the government should do and what it shouldn’t. You can have your government programs and pay for them, like a good liberal, or you can have your tax cuts and forgo the programs, like a good conservative. Asking for both is the opposite of pragmatic.

See, here is where I wonder. Are Americans really against taxes? I’m not so sure. I think that if we trusted our leaders and we understood that the government is not made of magic money (like we thought about our parents when we were children) we would willingly pay taxes for things that we as a majority supported and would grudgingly pay taxes for things that we as a minority were against (because we would understand that fundamentally we were doing the right thing).

I believe that we as a citizens have to grow up and be adults. We have to decide what we want and then we have to make those things happen. We have to stop sitting around waiting for someone to change our diapers and feed us. How do we make that change? Little steps. We vote, we demand that the media starts to give us news instead of propaganda, we talk to our friends and neighbors, we actually pay attention to the world.. Are these hard things to do? Really? I don’t think they are…

Let Virgin America Fly

Virgin Airlines wants to open up shop in America. They want to bring some of that awesome service and coolness that they have in Europe here to America on domestic flights. The new company is US run and has a sizable ownership portion owned by Americans. The rest is owned by Richard Branson (who we all know and love). The problem is that there is a law disallowing foreign owned carriers from working in America.

I think that the current carriers simply don’t want any more competition. They want to keep up with the current model of poor service, high prices, bankruptcies and govt. bailouts. I say, let the market decide. If you are interested, you can go to this website to see what VA is planning and sign a petition. There is also an auto-mailer tool so you can email your representatives and friends.

This post was inspired by a Time Magazine article : “Flight Delayed at Virgin

Georgia and oral sex

So.. a good young boy at 17 gets oral sex from a 15 year old girl.. Ends up being put in jail for 10 years for “aggravated child molestation”. Sure Georgia has since changed the law so that there is a 3 year window where you can interact.. but they changed the law after this kid was convicted and they didn’t make it retroactive. Interestingly if he had had sex with her, it wouldn’t have been so bad..

Dare I say it, but this is fucked up.

Outrageous Injustice

The War On Drugs – Turning?

Seems that now it’s becoming public that not all LEOs think that the “War on Drugs” is working.. In this foxnews.com piece “Former Narcs Say Drug War is Futile” you can see some evidence of what I, and a lot of others have been saying for a long time.. the war is not being won and will never be won:

These aren’t stoners. They’re former public servants, and many risked their lives for a cause they now say is mistaken.

That’s powerful stuff. When a guy tells you he regrets what he’s done for most of his career — and what he could well have died for — his words take on a unique credibility and urgency.

One common characteristic you’ll find in many members of LEAP is guilt. Most of these former officers lug around a weighty burden. Many concede they realized early in their careers that the drug war was a failure, and would always be a failure. They regret now that they didn’t speak up sooner.

The Shield

Happy New Year! Over Xmas and New Years I found a very good TV show called “The Shield”. This has been on FX for a number of years and a friend lent me seasons 1 and 2. I have to say that this is the best cop drama I’ve seen since “Homicide”. Sure, Homicide is still the winner, but this comes quite close. My girlfriend thinks that the main character is more compelling than Tony Soprano and I kind of agree in some ways.. I heartedly recommend it to all.