the UK Plot – total BS?

Thought I was done for the day until I read this post. Hmn.. seems to now be some substance to my claim about the BWH maniplating the UK terror plot. Even though Rubin (who writes the Bling blog) isn’t convinced, I am.

You know, I can care less that I said it was bullshit or that others knew it was before me, etc. What really makes me mad is that the MSM is NOT DOING ITS JOB and they are doing our country a disservice. Dick Cranium quoted in the piece from his blog said “the media really needs to step back and take a look at how they were once again played” and he’s totally right.

This country is falling all apart around us and the media is by and large simply watching it happen.

Choosing where to get our Oil

I’m always amazed with the amount of choice we have as consumers in America. There are like 50 types of toothpaste, 10 different types of milk, dozens of types of cars, stereos, etc. This is a good thing, although it’s a bit excessive. One of the least obvious benefits of choice is that we can boycott companies and products by being careful about our purchases. I have a whole list of places I won’t shop and products I won’t buy.

This is a very good thing. This is where my conservative side shows up in spades. The free market is a wonderful tool for the consumer to influence the company (and also the price of products) and the economy and in some cases politics.

So, it should come as a surprise to all of you that there is no way for us to decide as consumers where our oil comes from. If you think about it, we get our gasoline from a number of different places. It comes from the Middle East, Russia, South America, Canada, Alaska, etc. But when we pull up the pump we have no way of telling who we are supporting other than the company selling the gas (and there are a few on our household list that we won’t go to).

But imagine for a moment that you could boycott all oil from the Middle East or perhaps Alaska. Would you pay 1 or 2 cents more per gallon to get your oil from Canada or South America? I would. Why is it that we can have 50 different types of toothpaste, but we can’t choose where our oil comes from?

Sit Ins

Now.. assuming you’ve listened to or read the Kucinich speech, you would have heard him call for more action from us, the people of this country:

It is time for truth, a time for clarity. A time for action. A time for teach-ins, for meet-ups, for marches, for rallies about the war to begin at college campuses, at churches at labor halls, at libraries. Time to gather in civic centers, in town halls, to discuss the truth about this war, and to plan civic action to end it.

It is time for the American people to exercise their First Amendment rights to stand up, to speak out. Time to redirect the policies of this country. Time to learn and practice peaceful, non-violent conflict resolution. Time to believe in our capacity to evolve beyond war. To believe, and act upon the belief that war is not inevitable, that peace is inevitable – – if we are ready to commit to the daily work of peace building everywhere.

You know what? He’s right. Instead of just blogging about how mad we are, we need to start acting on it. We need to stage some sit-ins like they did in the 60’s. I’m willing to get arrested doing one just so I can get some publicity out of it and have that publicity inspire others to do the same. We can actually grow this movement from one of complaining into one of action. We can end the American occupation of Iraq.

So, I’m going to put together some friends and come up with a plan for our own old fashioned sit in. Are any of you with me?

Dennis Kucinich

On Friday, while on my way up to the suburbs for the weekend I was listening as usual to Air America (I can only get it in the car so I listen to it all the time while I drive) and to my favorite host, Randi Rhodes. She spent an hour with Dennis Kucinich who I should admit I’d only knew little about up till now. For those of you who don’t know who he is, he’s a congressman from Ohio and he ran for president a few years back as an independent. I’ll let you guess his political slant.

Anyway, she started off the segment with a recording from one of his speeches on the hill. You can hear it here and/or read the transcript, though I really recommend you listen to the speech in his voice. Wow! We need to have more people like this guy in congress. Though he’s in the minority, he is fighting the establishment every step of the way.

I urge you to donate to his campaign so he can continue to fight for the few us in America that have brains.

Handicapped Parking

About 8-9 years ago in South Philly, everyone (and I really mean everyone) had a handicapped license plate on their car. In addition, the city was kind enough to put up some signs in front of the peoples houses that limited parking to those residents only. It was amazing. You would look down any street and see 6-7 of these parking spots. The state eventually cracked down on the handicapped plates. From what I can remember, the only thing you needed to get a plate and the signs was a doctors note stating you could not walk more than 100 yards without needing to take a break. Honest!

Ok.. so now today there are no longer license plates but you need these little placards that hang on your rear view mirror. It was my belief that to get these placards you actually needed to be handicapped.

I’m not sure that’s true. I’m out in the suburbs today and in front of every store in every strip mall out here there are at least 4 and usually 6-8 spaces right out front for handicapped only. You can tell the spaces by those little blue signs with the white stencil of the wheelchair.

First of all, I have never seen a handicapped person drive a car and I’ve barely seen one of them as a passenger. There may be lots of handicapped people in the area, but I don’t think they get out in their cars as much as we do. I’m not sure they need all the spaces that are allotted to them.

But anyway, I’m not mad about that. What I’m angry about is the massive abuse of these spots. See, I sit in the car while my girlfriend runs into stores. I’ve done it most of the day today and a bunch last night. I usually park near the front of the stores so I have a perfect view of the handicapped spaces.

In the 1-2 hours that I was watching the spaces I saw (yes I counted) 5 cars pull into and out of these spots. Do you know how many of the cars were driven by or occupied handicapped or disabled people? Zero. You knew that didn’t you? I was amazed. One car had these two young girls in it. They could barely drive.. I thought as they pulled up “Ok, they are just ignorant idiots and they are either making a mistake or don’t care or know about the $300 fine”. They pulled into the space on an angle (taking up 1.5 spots) reached down to the floor and up came a placard. They hopped out of the car and jogged into the store.

I saw this 4 more times. These people weren’t even fat, or old, or anything.. Can I ask you something? What the fuck man? And more importantly, where can I get one?

BillMon at the Whiskey Bar

BillMon, the sole writer at Whiskey Bar is awesome.. anyway, here is a post he wrote about the UK deal that I found pretty perfect.

My favorite part is in the Update at the end :

The risk is that the guys in the Clash of Civilization Bureau are creating more terrorism problems than the boys and girls in the Law Enforcement Department will be able to keep an eye on.

It makes the perfect point that to stop terroism, we need to fight it as a law enforcement probelm. Bombing people does nothing, NOTHING but make the probelem worse!!!

The UK Plot – more comments

So.. now it seems that people are going to cut back on their air travel.. not becasue of fear of terror, but for avoidance of severe inconvenience. I agree. If they ban carry on bags and laptops “Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Michigan, said the situation ‘eliminates the days of carry-on baggage.'” I can see that people are going to cut back on casual flying.

So, I suppose that we can now call our government terrorists. Why? Well, their regulations and enforcement are going to be the main reason that people stop flying. Sure you can say that their policies are the result of the new threat level and sure you can say the threat level has been raised due to the UK plot and sure you can blame th UK plot on the people involved and sure you can say that the people involved did what they did for some reason, and on and on.. since you can basicly go back forever, it only makes sense to me to assign blame to the people one step back from the problem and that is the TSA and our government.

But anyway, I’m just trying to make a point here.. Not unlike when I wondered what a terrorist is exactly. I mean, the blame for this should be shared by all of us. Our country is a target for these people becasue of our policies and our meddling in the Middle East. The sooner we accept this, the sooner we can head to some solution. Calling these radicals ‘terrorists’ and grouping them all together as this great evil enemy is no way to create a lasting peace in the world. If we could only agree that these are simply other humans who have differing opinions than ours, we could perhaps see why they have resorted to the techniques they have.

Have you ever been in an argument that escilated to the point of becomming irrational? Can you see how this can be translated to groups of people? The solution is not to come to blows, the solution is to step back, take a time out for a while and then approach each other peacefully to work out a compromise. Like a good friend of mine suggested the other day, we should seriously think about a full pullout of the Middle East. No oil, no troops, nothing.. a full disengagement from that region for 10-20 years..

But that won’t happen. The ‘terrorists’ will ‘cripple’ the airlines and we will end up bailing them out again. Yup. Think $10-20 Billion to the airlines (public companies mind you) to make up for lost sales.. Yea.. that fits in perfectly with the capitalist, free market model.. yup..

The UK Terror Plot

In regards to the UK terrorist plot I have the following opinion.

First off, let me say that if this thing was real and happened the way it appears to have happened (i.e. there were real people, really about to hop on planes and really ready to blow them out of the sky) I have 100% thanks and approval of the British authorities.

Now. It’s pretty sad that I’ve become so skeptical of our current government. I mean I can’t believe that the first thing that came into my mind was that this was a non-event that was trumped up to a) raise our terror alert level and b) scare the American voters who in 3 months are going to vote on congress. The first thing I thought was that this was not unlike the goofballs in Florida a few months ago that we arrested.

It’s also a sad fact that we as citizens can’t be sure of the threat level of a terrorist plot until it actually happens. Because of that (and I understand why that is) we have to trust our government when they tell us we just dodged a bullet.

But I find it strange that one of the first things out of Chertoffs mouth today was al Qaeda, even though he was saying that it is too soon to tell if it was them or not. I find it odd that the plot was going to be carried out on planes again. It seems to me that the terrorists have so many easier ways to attack us and achieve the results that they would have achieved with this attack. It seems odd that this happened so close to an election. And most of all, it seemed odd to me that the story even came out at all. I mean, how does it help us as citizens to even know about this plot? Why is this such a huge story? I know it’s sensational and I know its somewhat important, but until anything is proven, isn’t this all conjecture?

I can’t really get my mind around what is bothering me about all this today. And I know if I had more time I’d be able to articulate this all better, but I wanted to post something before the day was out so there you go. We’ll see if I’m inspired to write more at a later time…