07 November 2007

Post-Election HumpDay Edition:
Fort Wayne has a new mayor...finally. We can only hope that the people who have elected Tom Henry will be satisfied with whatever may come down the pike for the next four years. The voters have made their bed...now they have to sleep in it.

My personal take on this is that if Matt Kelty was NOT going to be mayor, my NEXT choice would have been Henry, so I'm not totally put out by the outcome. One thing I will miss is all the bloggers that have focused SO much on all the political nit-picking on a seemingly DAILY basis.
I found it funny that so many people could devote so much time to ragging on one another. There were a few times when the local blogs DID provide some good, solid information, and (as a decision-maker) I appreciated that to no small end. I just hope the dust is allowed to settle and everyone gets along again.

I honestly wish Mayor-elect Henry the best in his new "job", and trust that people will not pre-judge or harbor grudges. What's done IS done, and we can only do the best we can to support him. What we can ALSO do is be vigilant, and be ready to call him (or anyone else in local public office) on issues that need addressing.
It was nice to see the CANDIDATES run a good, clean campaign. I can't say as much for all the ancillary people, especially the parties fronting the candidates. The Dems did nothing but stir the s**t pot (and IMHO, unjustly) against Kelty when it was the campaign finance LAW that was flawed in the first place. And having the GOP (especially Souder) all but bailing on Kelty gave a completely *new* meaning to the word LOYALTY (or the lack thereof).
If I had a DOG "that loyal", I'd have to shoot it for fear of being MAULED TO DEATH!

The City Council DID receive a nice shake up in the process. Congrats to MITCH HARPER for winning the 4th district. Barring any recounts, it appears as if both Doc Crawford AND Don Schmidt will not be returning to the council chamber. We already knew that Sammy (the Bull) Talarico wouldn't be seeking re-election. It will be good to see (Cpt) Marty Bender back on council, and hopefully the *new* faces will provide new insight and opinion worthy of debate and not be a bunch of hand-raising sheep.
But the TWO people I would have LOVED to have seen defeated were, sadly not. Tim (I get in your face for no reason) Pape and Glynn (I look like I'd rather be elsewhere) Hines were both re-elected by large margins, so that means more of the "same" for the SOUTH SIDE of town....and by that I mean NOTHING (and lots of it). That would also make those two the "senior" members of the council (that's all we need...one of THEM as council president).
I do hope Tom Smith becomes council president.
City Council looks to remain at 5 Reps and 4 Dems, so that will prove as amusing as ever when it comes to the "yay or nay" sessions on cable access.
I will say one thing...out of ALL the candidates that were running (and could garner votes on the south side of town), ONLY ONE had the cajones to actually come to MY house (and HE got the vote), and that was 6th district council candidate ROBERT ENDERS. He's a good kid (at my age almost everyone is a "kid") with good ideas and plans, and he should not let this deter him from running again. But considering the mayoral candidates as well as all the council-at-large candidates that COULD have come through our neighborhood...ALL of them were AWOL! And it's not like people would NOT be at home if they came knocking. Hell, nobody WORKS down here (save for a very few at REAL jobs), so someone is ALWAYS at home (that would be ethnic males as well as the white trash contingent).

So...what does all this mean for our fair city? Well, in some cases, your guess is as good as mine. But I will be watching...and listening, as I trust most all of YOU will be doing. One thing I AM hoping for is a tougher stance on CRIME down on the south side (but as usual, I am not holding my breath on that one).
I'd like to see Rusty get replaced with someone more like Sheriff Ken. I think the time of having the FWPD walk on eggshells when it comes to fighting crime should be OVER. And it would be real nice to get Karen Richards replaced with someone who has a REAL zeal for nailing perps and not plea-dealing them back onto our streets.
As for deputy mayor...who else? Matt Kelty. Yeah, I can dream (the price is right).
But a lot CAN (and usually does) happen in four years. All WE can do is pay the hell attention and not buy into the crap we've been spoon-fed over the last four years.

There IS good news for those in INDY...Bart Peterson is NO MORE!
I guess the people didn't like all the crime and corruption down there, eh? Greg Ballard, a retired marine Lt. Col. is the mayor-elect of our state capital (Semper Fi), and if he's ANYTHING like the marine officers I've had the "pleasure" of knowing, there WILL be changes, and they WILL be for the good of ALL concerned...now drop and give him TWENTY!

You just gotta LOVE democracy...especially when it WORKS.

06 November 2007

Odds And Ends...
**Today is ELECTION DAY, and here in Fort Wayne, we'll finally see if the rubber will meet the road, politically-speaking. Everyone's been crying for a changing of the guard, and perhaps it will happen. Too many people here have had enough of the "status quo" (not to be confused with Status Quo, a great hard rock band from the late 70s), and wish to see people elected who have passion, drive, and a sincere desire to cut needless spending in our local government (and not at the sake of city services).
A daunting task, yet a noble one.
Time will tell how this will play out.

**I hear that you might be able to nail a deal on some office furniture and computers real soon. Kitty Hawk will be selling off it assets (after falling flat ON it's assets right smack-dab into their SECOND bankruptcy this decade), and it will most likely be a public sale. Check the papers for information.

**Gas prices are on their journey UP again. Man, this "roller-coaster" is making me nauseous. With problems in Venezuela, Iran, the price of oil is tickling $100 per barrel (I, for one am NOT laughing). Maybe the British should have NEVER turned their Middle East "possessions" back to the native population after WW2? The GOOD news is that GM is rolling out some prototype hydrogen fuel cell cars for people to test drive. The BAD news is that YOU won't be ONE of THOSE people (tests are being done in CA, NYC, and Washington, D.C.) lucky enough to drive one. Celebs should apply.

**This winter looks to be a "mild" one, meteorologically-speaking, thanks to La Nina. We're looking at a 2-3 degree higher mean temperature. The "down" side to this is that atmospheric moisture will abound, providing us with more inclement weather. Now if I do the math correctly, that means (maybe) not so many big storms, but a snotload of little ones, and that alone can make snow accumulate to where we develop "cabin fever". Then again, everyone could be wrong.
But never fear...the price of NATURAL GAS will only go UP regardless.

** Crime is down...or is it? Here in Fort Wayne, crime (so we've been told) has dropped over NINE percent, but what we're NOT being told is that VIOLENT crime (you know, those nasty crimes such as RAPE...HOMICIDE...the kind of stuff that has LASTING EFFECTS on people, such as DEATH) has gone UP about FORTY-FOUR PERCENT! Thanks to some good reporting over at the Fort Wayne Sentinel (blog), we get the REAL story. Gee, seems like I WAS right all along about this (as usual). Yeah...it's a curse, I know.

**If you're thinking of buying a home (and I know I always am, if JUST to get the hell AWAY from these aborigines), then having a good credit rating is essential (DUH!...'ya think?). People "should" aim for a rating of 720, so says an "expert" in the field (and we know what EXPERT really means: X=an unknown quantity, and a SPURT= a sudden jet of water from a faucet), and he should know. Our credit rating is...let's say ...in the 800s - 'nuff said, so where is OUR home? You realtor mooks should be lining up at our door to sell us a house, right?

**With Hoosier health in the hopper (we're 32nd out of 50 states), being able to exercise outdoors safely is a priority, and being able to be seen is very important (unless you live down HERE, where STEALTH is more important during a fun-filled convenience store heist, or those home invasions at 3AM). Reflective outerwear is now available in most every aspect of clothing from hats down to socks (and let's not forget those glow-in-the-dark-thongs and condoms). Living in an area where the ONLY time you can see ANYONE at night is when they SMILE would seem like the PERFECT place to hawk these articles of clothing....(yeah right). That's gonna happen...when pigs fly*.

So on that happy note, get out to vote early. Make a difference. Be someone who supports change, not for change sake, but for PROGRESS (which is still the opposite of CONgress...LOL).

And when dealing with any *porcine aviator...do NOT look up!

05 November 2007

Monday Musings...
I trust everyone got their clocks turned BACK an hour this weekend, because if NOT, you're about 60 minutes EARLY to everywhere today!
We're finally done with DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME...and it's not daylight "SAVINGS" time...ain't no one rushing to get to any bank to stash their cash! And what "exactly" DID we "save" during that time?
(altogether now......)......NOT ONE DAMN THING. Gee, Governor Mitch...that was one great idea...that went nowhere and did nothing. Maybe we'll go back to the way it was...again.
But I digress...

There was an interesting story in Sunday's rag about how military schools might be placing minorities in harm's way as cannon fodder. And after re-reading the article, it got me thinking...as in does someone want to clue these pacifists IN on the REAL story, and cut the crap?
Currently we have a couple hundred thousand "soldiers" in country, on the ground in harm's way across the globe (even I don't know the EXACT figure...lol). Let's say for argument's sake we have 200,000 (nice round figure). That's 200,000 troops, pilots, sailors, marines with weapons at the ready, in some combat zone in "wherever". What these pacifists in the article DO NOT realize is that for EVERY SINGLE combatant we have fighting, we have about TEN OTHER people in uniform (conservatively speaking) who are there in the capacity of SUPPORT for THAT one, single combatant.
That would be the guys and gals transporting ammo, food, water, medical supplies, tents, tires, fuel, sunblock, snowboots, hazmat gear, spare parts, mail, and about several thousand OTHER "items" that every single one of those combatants will require at one point or another during their tour of duty.
Then we have the people servicing and/or repairing the trucks, humvees, planes, boats, ships, electronic gear and just about every machination in those units.
We have those in T-COMMS, weather monitoring, ATC (air-traffic control), quartermaster, logistics, as well as engineers in a variety of construction as well as demolition roles.
We have people swabbing decks, cooking meals, pulling teeth, removing shrapnel, conducting mass and prayer services.
We have those behind larger desks making sure everything moves in the manner it was intended. In short...we have a LOT more NOT in combat than IN combat. And they come in ALL shapes, colors, religions, ethnicities, and nationalities by virtue of their lineage.

So where does this group come off saying that ANY ethnicity is cannon fodder? As is true in ANY war, conflict, police, or military action anywhere on the globe, people DO get injured...or killed. Many die in training accidents. That's one part of the equation we haven't quite figured out yet. Maybe someday we will, but for now, we just have to admit that this is a necessary evil (in order to halt a greater evil).
Every man or woman has the same "opportunity" when they enter military service to either be in "the thick of things" or not. Perhaps the path they choose will not lead them into the path of a bullet from an enemy's rifle.
Perhaps it might.
It could depend on the specialty they pursue in their branch of the military. If you choose to be in the GREEN BERET, RANGERS, SEALS, or even AFSOC, chances are you WILL get "up close and personal" with some very "un-friendlies". That's the of the beast, and what YOU chose to become.
Unlike in years past, the military is taking a much longer and harder look at personal APTITUDES....what are YOU best suited for that will make the branch of the military YOU are serving in BETTER for all? That's a large part of joining. It's no longer all about training to kill, grabbing a gun and going in country.
Then again, with an ALL-VOLUNTEER service, being "choosy" matters a lot more than a bunch of inductees that need to be whipped into shape ASAP, so they can replace those lost fighting "Charlie". And with the technologies available on the battlefield, specialty OPS is getting more and more JOB-1. The military is looking for the bright ones in the bunch to run all that sophisticated gear, as well as train those who will work with it later.
So don't tell me that every minority that signs up becomes cannon fodder....that dog just ain't gonna hunt. I will say that EVERYONE that does sign up "can" have the same chance of being placed in a "hot zone", depending on what abilities they demonstrate. Many more will only come close enough to real combat either in "BOOT" or in some simulator. And we won't even address the FORTY PERCENT of recruits who will wash out after signing up.

Let's tell the WHOLE story, people...and not some one-sided version of mistrust directed and the men and women or our Armed Services, who proudly serve this nation so that everyone ELSE can enjoy the freedoms and liberties these uber-pacifists (apparently) take for granted every single day.

02 November 2007

Eye Of The Beholder...

When you were growing up, do you recall your parents saying that they wanted a "better world" for you? Actually, most times, it almost seemed like a PROMISE...as if you KNEW that the world you would bring YOUR children up in would BE that better world, and then you could make the same promise to YOUR children.
Well...what happened?
Is the world of today better than the world of 100 years ago? Or is it better than even 50 years ago?Twenty years? Five?
Oh sure, we can ALWAYS point at technology, that convenient scapegoat, when we envision a better world for everyone. We've got technology oozing from every conceivable orifice on our bodies, but it's still not enough. People are STILL starving around the world. People are STILL waging wars if not against others, then amongst themselves. We're still robbing one another, killing one another, raping, groping, grabbing, seducing, schmoozing, and otherwise acting as if the word "evolution" was never introduced into our lexicon.

So where EXACTLY is this "Better World"?
You're sitting right on top of it, people, so get used to it.
Welcome to BIZARRO WORLD, where everything is bass-ackwards!

Yep...another case of "If it's not one damn thing, it's another".
THIS IS...our better world.

It became painfully apparent to me while watching Glenn Beck last night. On his show was mentioned something called L.O.S.T. (Law Of the Sea Treaty), and many nations have signed it. America is looking to sign this, as it's passing through our federal legislature like crap through a goose. This treaty would take away OUR sovereignty as a nation when it comes to things such as drilling for oil offshore.
Case in point: China working with Cuba to drill for oil off the coast of FLORIDA. And we also count Venezuela and Russia sleeping in the same bed. Basically this treaty remands occupational or territorial disputes to the (in)capable hands of the United Nations. And we all know how EFFICIENT they are at quelling unrest around the globe (and funneling money from the FOOD FOR OIL gig).
Add to that the seemingly overt attack ON our economy by nations such as China. Our dollar continues to become devalued while other currencies such as the CANADIAN dollar are on the rise. Gold is at a high (about $800 an ounce) which hasn't been seen since the late '70s.Sure our inflation rate is ONLY 1%, but take into account our TRADE DEFICIT, our WAR BUDGET, our GNP, and the DOW dropping about 360 points.
We can point to layoffs, closings, mergers, and bankruptcies. Rising crime in our cities, the active drug trade, and the unsecured borders all figure prominently into the mix as well. Hell, let's drop the interest rate yet AGAIN, shall we?
Let's face it...we're the "big kid" on the block, and militarily, we're numero uno, so what better way to undermine our country than to hit us where it hurts, namely in the "wallet". During wartime, the FIRST, BEST way to defeat an enemy is not through attrition. You have to break the MORALE of a foe to ensure victory. And the BEST way to break morale is to give their economy a good, healthy crack across it's skull. Break their ability to support themselves financially in a global economy and then they collapse from within. The people lose confidence in their government and by then, you can call it a victory of the first order.
That is what is happening to America. And we have to "whoa-up" on this before it's too late. We are "at war", and in this case, we don't even know it.

In the mad rush to involve ourselves economically across the globe, we've neglected what other nations are doing to "get a piece of the pie".
-We get tainted food from overseas, we get lead-infused toys for our kids from overseas, and we get minuscule electronic parts with planned obsolescence built into them all from overseas.
-We replace items that traditionally would last YEARS longer in decades past.
-We change up on technologies to get the "cutting edge", while overseas companies laugh all the way to the bank.
-We allow our universities to be bought up lock, stock and barrel by Middle-Eastern "investors", and we pat ourselves on our backs for our ingenuity in educating our kids.
-Our healthcare system is rapidly devolving into shambles thanks to illegals leeching the resources dry.
-We "give" houses, tax breaks, and government checks to people who have no intention of ever becoming productive members of our society, and applaud our efforts towards "diversity".
-We allow criminals to plea-bargain out of jail regularly, citing our willingness to "not be cruel", no matter HOW CRUEL the criminals are.
-We dumb down our education system so that 2nd world nations produce better students, and we cheer the fact that we're being tolerant, progressive, and fair to everyone.

Now be honest...is THAT the "better world" your parents spoke of?

Maybe a little isolationism might be good for America, but at this point, we're "in for a penny, in for a pound", and that means we're playing the cards we've allowed ourselves to be dealt. And I think it might be a tad late to develop that "poker face" we've been toying with.

Sadly, I feel things will have to get worse before they improve. It's just the nature of the "beast". What we do need is a good swift kick in our own complacency. The only problem is that we're hip deep in global financial muck right now, and we've got the think first about we're going to extricate ourselves from this mire.

But hey, let's not think about all this crap...there's a holiday season up and coming, right? Use that credit card. Spend that money. Worry about things later.
Screw tomorrow, eh?
Hmm....sounds a lot like what got us INTO this mess in the first place.

Have a Safe Weekend.

01 November 2007

There's Got To Be...A Morning After...
Well, I got to watch my Garfield Halloween tape (as noted in yesterday's post) on my BETA machine (which is older THAN most bloggers...LOL) unfettered by annoying interruptions. And that's no small FEAT in this part of town.
We had NO ONE show at our door for trick or treat (must have been the fact that the front light wasn't on), and I could have counted the number of trick or treaters on ONE hand that I saw around the neighborhood.
Now we DO have kids around here, because I'm always seeing them walk to and from the nearby convenience store (a haven for after-hours activity of the dubious nature), as "mom" is AWOL when it comes to getting her children any snacks when they go food shopping with YOUR tax dollars (that would be welfare). Dad's been AWOL since "mom" got preggers.
They must have went to YOUR neighborhoods...the ones with money, prestige, luxury items, loads more people with free candy, respect, civility (did I mention money?), and a sense of caring. Those are all traits we rarely see outside OUR OWN front door, or as I like to say:
"We're the island of reason in a sea of apathy".
Hey, maybe they were the "advance recon" for their "baby-mamas and baby-daddys", who might be dropping by YOUR part of town for the holidays (to relieve you of those nasty gifts and decorations you bought to make YOUR holiday season bright). Sorry if I appear a bit cynical, but from where I stand (for the past ten years), I have little if anything to dissuade me from the way I feel based entirely on what I have ALREADY seen, heard, and experienced firsthand.

But what would any Halloween be without some village idiot?
Boring, right?
Well, leave it to those *new* people that moved in down the street who have been, for the most part unassuming and quiet. That changed around 5PM yesterday. We first heard LOUD music from their garage (decked out with cobwebs and pumpkin lights), and then the cars began to arrive. Over TEN vehicles wound up at the house, and people were milling about out back in costumes with kids. I wouldn't have a reason to gripe, but for the fact that the music could be heard at the OPPOSITE END OF THE DAMN BLOCK....now that's loud.
So I call the FWPD, and within 15 minutes...it was turned WAY down.
End of story, right?
The party flared back up like a wildfire in San Diego County around 10PM and went on until after 1:30AM. I know, because I was TRYING to get some sleep. And as a "finale" to this affair, they set off some aerial fireworks (two to be exact). This morning, I can still see the cars of those who spent the night (at least nobody drove while drunk), but this will no doubt set a disturbing precedent. Since these "people" (let's call them redneck white trash, shall we...for argument's sake) have "gotten away" with ONE loud party...there WILL be more forthcoming...we can bet the farm on that.

Now in my 55 years on this good earth, I can truthfully state that I have been to MY share of parties...and we tossed some real "lulus" in our day. But in ALL that time, we NEVER, I repeat NEVER had the "5-0" called on us for ANY reason...by ANYONE. Hell, I don't even recall any fights or aberrant behavior by ANY person for ANY reason. We stayed inside, played our music, drank our soda, beer (or whatever else was at hand), and ended at a decent hour.
And when we grew too old to be "supervised" by adults...we threw our OWN parties and supervised OURSELVES, making sure no one either got stupid or did anything stupid. But wait...that was when people had something called RESPECT FOR OTHERS, wasn't it? We, in our flawed minds took time to think about other people; people who might have to get up for WORK the next day, or people raising the infant two houses away that might wake up crying, or that elderly couple up the block that like to go to bed early.
Curse that infernal parental upbringing!

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that there are a LOT more people on this planet than just those in attendance at some drunked-up, loud-ass party. And it certainly doesn't take much to make a decision to take those people into account whenever WE decide to have people over.
A little COURTESY always did (and still can) go a LONG way these days. We're just not seeing it, that's all. We're too busy parking our widening asses in front of the Wii all day, or jamming earbuds from our iPods into our skulls, or blu-toothing our way through our lives to even worry about OTHERS...aren't we?

And therein lies the rub, as Shakespeare would say.
People are in your face when it comes to saving the planet, but fail to understand that it's not all about our planet. It's about the BILLIONS of people that have to LIVE on it as well. And our first job in taking care of Mother Earth should be to treat ONE ANOTHER with a modicum of civility. When that happens, and we become used to doing THAT, taking care of the planet will not only be a no-brainer, but will be something we do, not because we HAVE to, but because we WANT to.

And WANTING to do something is preferable to HAVING to do anything.