Friday, March 12, 2010

Well America, I’m back. RipperBravo6 took a short hiatus from all the fallderall to gather his head, brew some homemade beer and take care of his family. It was a well deserved and well spent rest period, but current events have drawn me back into the world of complaining about our current situation.

What could it be that interrupted my mental nap? Well, it’s the current HealthCare debacle. Congress stands poised (maybe?) to use a little known “reconciliation” clause formerly reserved for budgetary items to unashamedly slip an unwanted Federal takeover of HealthCare industry up our collective skirts.

Wait a minute, doesn’t Congress have some kind of rule for passing laws? It takes a 2/3 majority to pass something. Correct? So there should be enough dissenters to prevent Congress from passing stupid laws, right? Oh no, my fellow Americans. You see, in 1974, Senator Robert Byrd saw the potential for gridlock on certain budgetary items and proposed that Congress have the option to pass budget related items by simple majority. Not a bad idea, if American’s corrupt representatives spent too much time haggling over earmarks and pet projects in a budget, that budget might not be passed. Then we have no money to run the country. Makes sense.

However, the reconciliation option is strictly designed for budgets, not huge over-reaching Federal entitlement programs. In fact, Congress has been, up to this point, smart enough to defer using it on such items as the 1993 Clinton HealthCare plan and attempts to open the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge to drilling by the Bush Administration.

But now, with a Democratic majority in Congress and a President in the White House who is desperate to pass any of his “Progressive Agenda” items it appears that we are poised to have another unwanted, intrusive, costly program forced upon us.

Wait! You mean to say that America doesn’t want HealthCare “reform”? In a Gallup poll conducted March 4-7th off 2010, 48% of Americans surveyed said they wanted their Congressman to vote against HealthCare Reform. Only 45% were in favor. Seems to me that if Congress votes the way it’s constituents want, this is a dead issue.

But alas and alack, there is another issue at work here. See, although this would seem to be an unpopular issue, Senators and Congressmen are “elected” officials. They serve at the mercy of the “public”. So, what does this have to do with anything? Well, it’s all about the earmarks.

You see, instead of earning their $169k salary passing laws beneficial to America, most Congressmen spend their time trying to get reelected. Like most pigs, they are constantly struggling to stay at the trough. No one wants to give up the good life, right? So, Congressmen wrangle to get these earmarks, which are basically Federal dollars that are promised to their home districts. These earmarks allow a Congressman to go home at election time and answer questions with a straight face. When asked “What did you do in Congress to deserve my vote?” they can say “Well, I got a 30 Million dollar commuter rail system built here in Pig’s Knuckle, Arkansas that allowed your retarded cousin Jethro to get a job as a train engineer!”. Sadly enough, this is usually good enough for we selfish, self centered Americans. So, the current occupants of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue are handing out earmarks like Mardi Gras beads to secure the votes of members of Congress. Business as usual.

So, America, be aware that your member of Congress may not be representing your views. They may be wheeling and dealing, trading principles for a chance at reelection. Be aware, and beware! Hold your elected representatives accountable in all this. Call or write and let them know that you will remember what stance they took on this attempt to bankrupt America and drive us into Federal slavery. Let them know that regardless of how much money in earmarks they are able to steal (it’s your tax money after all). You will not forget where they stood come election day!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

My first rant of 2010!

It is with a heavy heart that I slide into 2010. Maybe I am being a tad bit pessimistic, but I don’t see things improving in the new year. 2009 contained an unprecedented amount of turmoil and angst on both a national and international level and it sure seems that the poo-poo train has a good head of steam and will continue to roll for the foreseeable future. Here are a few of the things that are on my radar for the upcoming year, so keep your pecker hard, your powder dry and your preps up to date!

1 Terrorism and America’s response- The attempted Christmas Day attack by a Yemen based Al- Quaeda splinter group on a Detroit bound airplane could be just the start of our trouble. There are literally hundreds of these small groups all over the world looking to make a name for themselves in the world of Jihad. They are notoriously bad at planning and execution, so we can expect more amateurish attacks like this Nigerian “Boxer Brief Bomber”, who apparently was only able to scorch his own genitals with his faulty PETN bomb. However, like any terrorist group, they will learn from their failures and we can expect their attacks to grow in both sophistication and scale. More puzzling than the attack itself is our government’s response. At first, the incident was downplayed as nothing but a “firecracker”, then it was an :isolated incident” (indicating no international terrorist involvement) and finally, it was revealed that pretty much the entire system designed to preempt terrorist attacks had failed us. This Nigerian, who was on the terror watch list, was issued a visa to visit the US, and was allowed to board a US bound plane, even though we had ample warning form his father and the Nigerian government. Apparently, the CIA was hesitant to publish a warning because they “didn’t have a good picture of him”. Seems to me that a cartoon of that Spy vs Spy guy holding a bomb would have been sufficient since we had other important info such as his name, location and destination. Have we slipped into complacency since it has been almost a decade since we have actually suffered a real attack against the mainland US? Shame on us.

2. A reliance and obsession with technology is making Americans “more stupider”- A slew of new laws prohibiting texting and driving went into effect on New Years Day. While I applaud an attempt to stop a dangerous, selfish and plain stupid practice, I lament the fact that we as Americans have to be told not to do it. Seriously, are we that retarded that we simply cannot recognize that trying to read a 2 inch screen and manipulate a tiny keyboard while hurtling down the road in your 2 ton death machine is unwise? This goes into the file along with “Caution Hot!” warnings on coffee cups, and “Do Not Eat” admonishments on packets of silica gel as yet another indication that we, as a country, have simply chosen not to exercise our common sense. I recently read an article on Fox News about 3 separate couples who followed the directions of their GPS and ended up stuck in a snow bank on Christmas Eve. GD people! Seriously? Do we have that much faith in technology that we won’t take our heads out of the sand and look around? It’s called situational awareness. If you walk around looking at your phone, your Crackberry or your MP3 player, eventually someone is going to notice, crack you on the head with a brick and rob you blind. And you know what? You will deserve it. America, make your New Years Resolution to not use a cell phone in your car. At all! I promise you won’t miss much on Facebook on your 20 minute commute home.

3. America loves a scandal- I know it was exciting when an out of control Britney Spears shaved her head and flashed her clam at America, but this obsession with stars fuck ups has to stop. I think we, as common Americans, love to see someone more successful than us hit a rough patch. The Germans call it Schadenfreude, “shameful joy”. We revel in the comeuppance of our heroes. But is it really front page news that Tiger Woods like to slip his putter into a variety of bags? TMZ is entertaining, but let’s not lose sight of what this is, nothing more than petty gossip. Our national obsession with it is a sickness. Turn off the TV and read your kids a book. And someone remind me why anyone with the last name Kardashian is currently famous.

4. Our government- I want yo to read something:

HONOLULU - President Barack Obama has rejected his first piece of legislation from Congress, a stopgap spending bill that never had to take effect.
The White House on Wednesday said Obama exercised his right to send back to the Congress a temporary appropriations bill that lawmakers passed in case a winter storm about two weeks ago would have prevented them from approving a final measure to fund the Defense Department next year. The Dec. 19 blizzard didn't keep them away from the Capitol and they approved the $626 billion defense spending bill before the previous budget expired.
The White House described the move as a technicality that the president took out of an abundance of caution, and that it was his first veto.

This article was on FoxNews on December 31st. Basically our President vetoed a bill that was for something that was supposed to happen 12 days earlier, but never actually happened. Classic government effectiveness at work. Do you think we will see a veto on the broken HealthCare bill that is going to bankrupt our country? Don’t bet on it America.

5. Our dirty government- Did you know that the gentleman currently nominated to head the TSA admitted to using an FBI database to check up on his exwifes new boyfriend? Of course not, you have been watching TMZ all this week. Dirty politicians have taken power in our fair country and they have put out a welcome sign for every schister, malcontent and power abuser out there. We are getting fucked over here people!

So, what can we do? Well, barring armed insurrection, not too damn much. We should use our power as voters to punish everyone in Washington DC who is not looking after our interests. We should start paying attention to the world around us, lest we be “overtaken by events”. We should realize that we as Americans have a sacred trust to leave our children a better country that the one we inherited. And we should fuckin’ hang up and drive!

Have a safe and happy New Year.