Posts Categorized: ideas + opinions

U.S. Gov’t Defense Budget vs. Fire Fighting

Jim Washburn has an eye opening, if a bit inflammatory, opinion editorial in this week’s OC Weekly:

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: it is flat-out insane for a nation to spend billions on a missile defense shield while leaving itself defenseless against the damage that any nitwit, domestic or foreign, can do to us with a single match. A great many experts will tell you a missile defense shield simply won’t work and that, moreover, none of the terrorists we regard as a threat have a missile that could pester us. Meanwhile, the threat of arson is so palpable that I could instead be writing this article in big letters in the layer of ash blanketing my neighborhood.

Why even mention the missile defense shield at this charred moment? Because we have only so much money and resources. We have only so many scientific minds. We have only so much civic will. And we are frittering it all away on a bunch of fearmongers’ hardware instead of on programs that might ever conceivably do us some good, particularly in weeks such as this.

Do you know how many nuclear warheads the U.S. has? As of February, we had 10,729 operational nukes, and Bush wants to build a pricey new generation of treaty-busting ones.

Do you know how many firefighting tanker planes we have? Thirty.

For a nation that has spent the last two years venerating Firefighters, why don’t we allocate them the resources and staff to do their jobs?
San Diego, with a high proportion of tax-cut fervored Republicans, got caught with their pants down. Right or Left or Center, we Americans need to rethink our approach to essential services and infrastructure and tax accordingly.
I don’t know about you, but I think I would like a well-staffed and equipped fire department, clean water & air, good roads, and effecient sewage treatement over more warheads.

Preach it Brother Shea!

A 100% Pure Product of American Protestantism – in this blog post Mark Shea tells it straight and links to an article that spells out the extreme results of American Evangelical culture.

“Same with American Protestantism: at it’s best you get saints like Billy Graham or Jim Eliot. At its worst, Brother Bubba’s Informercial Gospel Hour.”

Mr. Shea forgot to mention that American Protestantism at its worst also gives us George W. Bush and his cronies.
As a nice Californian Christian person from a family that is a mix of Catholic and Protestants and Agnostics, as well as someone who attended a conservative Protestant Evangelical college, this post reminded me why it is very important to be flexible, be open to the tenets and emphases of the other major branches of Christianity, and why not to take oneself and one’s beliefs so darned seriously.
Christians of all the branches of the faith should read Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman’s “Good Omens” to loosen up and have many great laughs.


Last week, I left a message on Wanda’s machine to the effect of, “My family is in the middle of a huge conuberation. Argh!” Wanda left me a message later that said, “I looked up conuberation and it is not in any dictionary. What did you mean by that word?” Blessings upon my English Masters / journalist/ editor friends for keeping me honest.
I looked in my dictionary. There is a conurbation (a continuous network of urban communities; example: Los Angeles). But no conuberation. I was surprised, as I have been using the word for years, mostly with Erika and my brother Joe. Upon reflection, I realized that Erika, Joe, and I all make up new words all the time, and as a result have no problem with using made up words in context. Some of the words get used frequently, and then become a “word” in our vocabulary.
I called Erika and asked if I made up conuberation or if it is a real word, because I know that she and I use it all the time. She told me that I made it up years ago to describe how crazy my family is and that we both now use it regularly in conversation. She said it is spreading to other people.
Here is the official definition that Erika and I have decided upon:
Conuberation: \k&#228n-(y)u-ber-‘a-zhen\ modern Califorian, n: a fit or enactment of crazy, mixed up, hysterical, out of control place, situation or family.
The conuberation is a hybrid of conniption and conurbation.

California Uber Alles

Notes from the 10:00 pm (PDT) hour on the day of the Recall Election:
1) I must quote Jello, the punk prophet, who called it in 1980, “California Uber Alles”. Heil Arh-nold. Arnold + Arrogance + Big Money GOP Backing = Arnold – you are now what you fear most – a whore. Go shoot more steroids, then you will be a real man…
2) (Arrogance + Actor who reads scripts for a living + cult of celebrity) + Calif’s career politician legistature = hell hath no fury like a woman scorned + one interesting Circus to come.
Hope Arnold has been coated in teflon, the Terminator may not last through the first one hundred days or so predicts conservative George Neumayr.
3) Can we Recall Dick Cheney? Please?
4) Art and Punk Rock is always best under oppresion and facism. Look at what the Reagan 80’s produced…. Bush Jr + Actor Governor = Bye Bye Blink 182, Good Charlotte and the like. Hello Anti-Flag!
5) At the Grisham for Govenor Rally on Sunday night, one of the security guys said to one of the bands, “I like your music, but I hate your politics.” Hello! Wake up! Real Punk = Radical Politics. If you don’t want radical left politics with your music, go listen to Korn or Brittney Spears or Celine Dion.
Let the Games begin! Shall we all go to the Colesium for bread and circus?
(note to the faint of heart or the moderate: this post was purposefully inflammatory)

Please Vote on Tuesday

Many of my friends and family are highly political creatures and have already planned their day on Tuesday to fit in voting on the California Recall. Last night at the Adolescents’ show at the HOB Anaheim, a bunch of us at the Rose Terrace Bar got into a good discussion on the Recall and why Arnold S. cannot be our next Governor.
If you are on the fence, you are indifferent or otherwise don’t think your vote counts, please resist your inertia and go and vote on Tuesday. For or against the recall, and whoever you believe to be most fit to govern our state, just go and vote.