Making Some Impact

My aunt told me that my letter to the editor on tattoo parlors in Kershaw County had a favorable impact on the chief councliman Steve Kelley. The issue is now "under study." This will probably kill it as an issue, but the city council wants to get invovled with it as well. I'm just surprised the guy can read.
 
As for Christmas coming up, I intend to be a Scrooge. I'm an atheist, so I don't get the religion part at all. I'm also a cheapskate, and I can't stand seeing all that wasteful spending. Nothing hurts me more than someone getting a gift that they clearly didn't want esp. if that someone is me. So, no gift giving to or from me. It's time to put a stop to this madness.
 
 

Turkey Day Hangover

I'm still feeling a bit polluted from drinking too much Jim Beam last night. We had a bonfire going and burned tons of wood, furniture, etc.
 
I have no one to be thankful to and nothing to be thankful for. But I'm still going to eat some turkey.
 
 

Firefly/Serenity

I watched a mini-festival of Firefly on SciFi last night. This is a great show. I highly recommend it along with the movie.
 
People say this series is way better than Star Wars or Star Trek. Yet, few people know anything about it. The reason should be obvious. Firefly is for grown-ups. Between all the shooting, killing, sex, prostitution, and the atrocities of the Reavers (which include rape, eating people alive, and using their body parts as clothing and decoration), there's no way kids are ever going to be allowed to get into this show like they did with Star Wars and Star Trek.
 
Kids are a huge part of the entertainment market. As such, this is why I've decided to include children's lit as part of my writing project list. The success of Harry Potter and Lemony Snicket also show that you can do this area well without being all gooey and syrupy either. But back to my topic.
 
You really need to check out Firefly on SciFi and Serenity on DVD. You will be hooked. I guarantee it.
 

Sports Roundup

I wasn't happy with the Panthers losing to the Chicago Bears. Combined with the Gamecock defeat, it was a sorry football weekend for me.
 
Tony Stewart won the Cup, and this is good. I'm one of those people not afraid to say that I like Tony Stewart. Everyone says he's some sort of punk or asshole, but he justs seems to be a great driver who loves to race and is not afraid to speak his mind. This year was a good year for him concerning the controversies he seems to always have hitting him.
 
The other thing I am interested in is whether or not the Colts can go undefeated for the year. They are a dman good football team, and I expect them to get to the S-bowl with no problem. But a perfect record would be the icing on the cake. That would make them legendary. But I am rooting for the Panthers to win it all this year.
 

The Cocks Blow It

Carolina lost to Clemson last night. I was less than pleased with this outcome. There is something about the Gamecocks that just insists on losing to the Tigers. They need a sports shrink or something.
 
Hopefully, the Panthers will prevail against the Chicago Bears to give me some small bit of triumph this weekend.
 

Letters to the Editor

I write letters to the ditors of newspapers ranting and raving over a variety of topics while remaining consistent with my libertarian beliefs. Some get published while others don't The advantage of having a blog is that all get published on the internet.
 
Here are some recent letters I wrote:
 
1. To The State newspaper on capping property tax:
 
On Nov. 6, The State published a breathtakingly stupid
editorial calling for "fairness" in terms of property
tax that car owners pay.

All property taxes are inherently unjust. To make the
injustice more uniform does little to remedy the
problem which is the fact that all taxes levied on the
populace are essentially state sanctioned theft. The
State's call for fairness is akin to combatting
burglary by insisting that the thieves spend more time
and effort in affluent neighborhoods.

The only truly fair solution is to abolish all
property taxes. This will end the poor getting soaked.
This will end the rich getting soaked (or getting off
without paying a thing while the poor pay it all.) And
it will end the ultimate unfairness--paying for
government services you don't enjoy or watching
taxpayer funds go down the toilet of wasteful
government spending.

The State has simply fallen for the politicos'
favorite strategy for increasing their power and
tyranny--divide and conquer.
 
2. To the Chronicle-Independent on the issue of noise pollution:
 
I couldn't help noticing that the Celebrate Freedom
Festival has created a bit of controversy over the
noise it brings to the  county. It got me thinking
about the whole issue of noise.

People tolerate a lot of noise in day-to-day life. We
tolerate the sounds of cars and trucks and
construction. We even tolerate other people's
entertainment to a certain extent. In addition, we
tolerate the sound of military aircraft from places
like Shaw AFB or the sound of booming artillery from
Fort Jackson. But when is enough enough?

Noise pollution is essentially a property rights
issue. In other words, I don't care that people like
to listen to gangsta rap since I believe in freedom
and my right to listen to Tim McGraw. But I certainly
don't go around blasting "I Like It, I Love It" for
everyone else's entertainment as I roll through town
or neighborhoods. Yet, for some reason, hip hop
aficionados seem intent on violating the peace and
quiet I enjoy with their exceedingly loud stereos and
booming bass. This violates people's property rights.
In other words, you can enjoy your music, but you need
to keep it on your property.

Like it or not, all noise is a violation of property
rights. But the public tolerates these intrusions as a
courtesy. For instance, the sound of electric saws and
hammers as contractors construct a home is accepted
because one day you or I will probably want to do
construction on our own property. Planes take off each
and every day from airports, and we tolerate this
because we enjoy air travel and want to fly on those
airplanes. And we even put up with the noise of
fireworks on holidays though I could certainly do
without it.

But why is that we do not tolerate the booms of
supersonic aircraft? The reason is simple. It is an
annoyance we are not willing to bear even if it was to
benefit us at some future time. This is why the
Concorde was doomed as an aircraft. People just aren't
going to put up with that kind of noise.

With the Celebrate Freedom Festival, a lot of people
find the aircraft annoying. I know I do. To vilify the
critics of the airshow as cranks or "unpatriotic"  or
needing to get a life is a bit much when you consider
how courteous people are when it comes to tolerating
the other activities at the airport. The fact is that
people have a reasonable expectation to live in peace
on their own property free from such disturbances.
This is why we have mufflers on our motor vehicles.
Mufflers are not for the sake of vehicle performance
but purely to preserve the hearing and sanity of other
people who don't want to hear your noisy vehicle. Like
it or not, noisy operations don't have a right to
violate the property rights of other people. We
tolerate the noise we do as a courtesy because we
expect the same treatment in return.

Like it or not, the Celebrate Freedom Festival bothers
people with the noisy aircraft. My recommendation is
that instead of vilifying people who are already
gracious enough to tolerate so much noise to begin
with, organizers and supporters of this event make
efforts to reduce the noise for an event that amounts
to entertainment. People shouldn't be expected to
sacrifice their peace and quiet on their own property
just so other people can have a good time. If you
disagree with this, let me know, and I'll be sure to
turn up Tim McGraw or some Lynyrd Skynyrd when I ride
by your house.
 
3. To The State on cuts to the Department of Mental Health:
 
There is a bit of controversy swirling around cuts to
the Department of Mental Health and people decrying
the "cruelty" of such moves. Personally, I don't think
the cutbacks go far enough.
The State of South Carolina needs to abolish the
Department of Mental Health completely for a variety
of reasons.

The mental hospitals in this state effectively serve
as an alternative prison system to lock up people who
are no threat to anyone else but fail to conform to
society's standards for strictly personal behavior. In
other words, they are odd people who make us feel
uncomfortable. The difference between these nuthouses
and the Department of Corrections is that prison
inmates are told what they've been charged with, and
they have some idea when they will be released. Mental
patients incarcerated against their wills do not enjoy
the same luxury. They are at the mercy of doctors,
nurses, and a legal system that will judge whether or
not they are "normal." The sad reality is that none of
these professionals can define what "normal" is. A
person who believes in government conspiracies is a
crackpot, but a person who believes in appearances by
angels or the Virgin Mary is left alone. What is the
difference? One pathology is socially acceptable while
the other isn't. That's the difference.

Many people in the state's mental health system have
problems with drugs and alcohol. So, what does the
state do? They incarcerate them and put them on other
drugs. If these patients get out of line, they perform
the equivalent of chemical lobotomy. In order to save
people from frying their brains on crystal meth, the
State of SC fries their brains with thorazine. This is
compassion?

The reality is that these people are a threat to no
one, but they are simply weird and make us feel
uncomfortable. So, we lock them up and call it
"compassion." We are doing this "for their own good."
And since these people are deemed unfit to know what
is in their own best interests, they have no say in
what will be done to them. In addition, family members
can use the system against other family members to
lock them up when they merely want to get rid of them
or enact revenge or whatever their fevered brains can
come up with.

The final justification for this system of tyranny is
that many of these people are suicidal and need our
help. Yet, after being helped by the Department of
Mental Health, they are turned loose with a social
stigma and some with a whopping hospital bill that
many of them can't pay. Naturally, this is depressing.
Yet, why not let these people decide for themselves
whether or not they want help? And if they don't want
to live any longer, why should we stop them? And why
would they even seek help when they would end up being
incarcerated for speaking about their feelings?

The Department of Mental Health is simply a prison for
weird but harmless people cloaked as therapy. And what
is this therapy they get? Drugs and coloring books.
I'm not making this up.

As for the mentally ill being homeless, the vast
majority of them would rather live free on the streets
rather than locked up in an institution, and I can't
blame them. Remember, they aren't hurting anyone. They
just bother people simply by existing and being
visible. What people want is for these people to
disappear. There's no compassion to this at all.

As for those mentally ill people who are a threat to
others, we already have a place for them. It is called
prison. And if you think prison is cruel, it is no
worse than a mental hospital. The only difference is
that prisoners have rights while mental patients
don't. I also see no cruelty in locking up people who
hurt other people. This is the proper role for our
government. Yet, we have violent criminals paroled
each year while odd people languish for years in a
mental hospital with no hope of release.

It's time for the system to end. If families want
treatment for relatives, there are private facilities
available for them. And if substance abusers and the
depressed want to hurt themselves, then let them. We
let smokers, fast food eaters, and bikers without
helmets run considerable risk to themselves without a
trace of guilt to show for it. Why should drug users
and the suicidal be any different? Their lives belong
to them to do with or dispose of as they please.

Finally, what is the success rate of these
institutions? What kind of report card do they have? If
it is anything like the Department of Corrections or
the Education Department, that should be enough right
there to end these programs. If a government program
yields virtually the same results as doing nothing, it
makes sense to do nothing simply because it is
cheaper. But as I've pointed out, the goal of the DMH
is not mental health. It is incarceration much like
the Education Department's mission is not education
but indoctrination. At least the Department of
Corrections succeeds in its mission though I don't see
where they've corrected anything. But as long as they
keep murderers and rapists off the street, that's
success to me. The only thing the DOC needs is a name
change.
 

 

Clemson/USC Back on Free TV

Everybody here is happy that they get to watch to the Carolina/Clemson game on ESPN 2 now for free. I'm happy about it myself. I think beating Florida and Florida State, bowl bids, and a top 20 ranking for the Cocks helped out a bunch.
 
Folks, the free market works. ESPN listened, and they are now providing.
 

Why Books Are Better Than Movies

You've probably heard this before. "That movie was good, but it wasn't as good as the book" They never are.
 
The reason books are superior to movies is because print invokes the imagination more than a passive medium like movies or TV. I discovered this reading Sherlock Holmes and liking it more than watching CSI. Movies and TV are to books what masturbation is to sex.
 
The popularity of video games also attest to this phenomenon. The video game industry is now larger than the movie industry. Like it or not, people want more active forms of entertainment. The internet is also another bit of evidence that people want more active forms of entertainment.
 
So, why aren't books more popular? Well, the publishing industry has remained about constant for the last 200 years. Despite what you hear, reading is not in decline. There are some people who simply don't like reading for pleasure.
 
The whole point of entertainment is to experience what shrinks call "flow." It is that experience of losing yourself in something. It is very addictive, and the more active forms of entertainment produce this better than the passive forms. The drawback is that it is kind of hard to read War and Peace after a 12 hour shift in the factory. You're just too damn tired.
 
For me, I'm a book man, so I'm going to stick to print and just say the hell with movies, DVD's, and TV shows. They just don't deliver like the books can.
 

The Cocks Rock

The Gamecocks finally beat the Gators. As many of you know, I spent some time down in Florida where I was regularly ribbed on an annual basis as the Cocks got their asses handed to them by Steve Spurrier and the Gators. It's nice to see the tables turned after so much defeat.
 

Drunks and Drug Addicts

My cousin Billy Joe took my car without permission last night to buy beer. He has a suspended license because of a third DUI. The boy is an alcoholic.
 
I have no use for drunks. I like to socialize and hang out. I even think it is OK to have a few drinks though I'm a virtual teetotaller these days. But to get wasted to the point that you lose your job and your driver's license is just plain stupid.
 
I'm not much on broadcasting this type of shit on an internet blog, but it makes me feel better without beating the boy's head in. Alcoholics and addicts don't give a shit who they hurt. They are the lowest form of human scum. They may express regret, but this is only to buy more goodwill from you which they will later exploiut to get high or drunk again.
 
My tip for anyone forced to live with such dirtbags is to hide your wallet, your checkbook, and your keys.

Crummy Day

I haven't heard back from any of the prospects I interviewed with. This sucks. I can feel the black cloud of depression beginning to swirl around me. I have to fight that shit. I can apply, interview, piss in cups, and do callbacks. But I can't make anyone say yes.
 
I also got rear ended today. My left rear fender has a crink in it now. I didn't notice it at the time and told the chick it was OK. Then, I saw the damage when I returend to my car after a visit to OfficeMax. I wasn't too happy about it, but there's nothing I can do about it.
 
My dream vehicle is a 4WD Toyota Pickup. I don't care what year. An older one would be better. I just need A/C. A crink in a Camry is a tragedy. A crink in a truck is character.
 
The weird thing about the accident was the woman had stopped in time but her throttle or transmission hung up so she slowly tapped into the rear of my car, and it started pushing. She was driving a Ford Explorer. I told her it was a manufacturing defect, and there was probably a recall on it. That is some dangerous shit.

Carolina, Clemson, and PPV

A lot of people are pissed off because they are going to have to pay to watch the Carolina-Clemson game. If one or both teams were ranked, this probably wouldn't be an issue. But they're not. Like it or not, the only people who care about this game reside in this state.
What makes me laugh is how people think they have a God-given right to watch this game free of charge. But if they put together a party at their house and split the cost among five or six people, it will cost less than a DVD from Blockbuster. It seems everyone thinks they should get something for nothing.
I think Carolina will win this year. If Clemson doesn't get a bowl invite, Bowden will be looking for another job.
The Panthers are looking really good and will probably return to the Superbowl where they will probably face the Colts. Get on the bandwagon now.
 
 
 

Ixnay on the Macksay

I've pulled the plug on the PS forum because no one seems to have the time to waste arguing the finer points of the nickel defense or whether Jaime Pressly has a nice ass.
 
In other news, I am debating speaking my mind at an upcoming meeting of the Camden City Council conerning tattoo parlors. Essentially, the City wants to do the same thing as the county--tell you how to live even if it doesn't hurt anyone including yourself.
 
I'm a much better writer than speaker or debater. Plus, I'll probably end up cussing or something. I've already called the mayor a lying politician bitch to her face.
 
They say you can't fight City Hall, and I believe it. But you can give them the finger. Heh heh. . .
 
Out.
 

If You Are Reading This. . .

. . .you have to post a comment at the bottom. (I want to see if anyone is actually reading this stuff.)
 
If you don't post a comment, you will have mucho bad luck. Your children will all turn out homosexual. Your crops will wither. And your livestock will be barren.
 
You've been warned.
 

Three Dollars in the Mail

I got three dollars in the mail today from The State newspaper. I sent an email to complain about missing sections from the Sunday edition of the newspaper. They were prompt and courteous in getting to the bottom of it, and they refunded me 3 whole bucks. I wish the government did this type of thing.
 
I am finding that the squeaky wheel does indeed get the grease.
 
In other news, I am considering speaking before the Camden City Council about their possible proposal to ban tattoo parlors from our town. This is distinct from the county's efforts to do the same thing. It should be fun if I decide to go.
 
Also, I feel that I will be gainfully employed in the next week or so. Or it could be constipation. You can never tell with these things.
 
 

DVD- Kingdom of Heaven

I finally got around to watching this one. Brett Greer panned it and most people who have seen it say it is a bit of a letdown. I am not overly enthusiastic about it either.
 
Kingdom of Heaven fails because it ends in a happy ending. it isn't about honor at all. The guy ends up back home with his woman, and they live happily ever after in obscurity. Meanwhile, the movie pretty much sums up what the Crusades and the Middle East crap of today is all about--fanatics jousting over stones and real estate. But hey, at least the guy wasn't eviscerated like Mel Gibson in Braveheart.
 
It is a notch below Troy which means it is watchable.
 
Out.