Monday, December 31, 2012

Predictions for 2013

Well, we survived 2012, but it really has not been a good year.  The economy remains sluggish, we have a never ending war in Afghanistan that we do not have the resolve to win (meaning turning the whole God forsaken place into a sheet of glass).  Iran is getting close to having a nuclear weapon,  Former allies Egypt and Tunisia have elected anti-western Islamist regimes, who quickly consolidated power and pushed through new constitutions instituting the draconian Sharia Law.  Welcome back to the 7th century Egypt and Tunisia.  It was nice knowing you.  Israel is under even more pressure from the west, including the Obama administration to make concessions to the likes of Hamas and Hezbollah, both who are dedicated to the destruction of Israel, and the extermination of Jews from the planet.

China is causing trouble for its neighbors, declaring the entire South China Sea as it's own private lake, and stirring up trouble with Japan over a couple uninhabited islands that just happen to have a lot of oil in their vicinity.  Russia has sunk deeper into creeping dictatorship, as Putin seems determined to resurrect the Soviet Union.  North Korea has launched a 3 stage rocket that  is capable of reaching the west coast of the USA, and is working hard on their nuclear program.  President Obama has all but abandoned our NATO allies in eastern Europe, and Poland and the Czech Republic are wondering if we can be relied on for any promise made by a previous administration next time the presidency changes. 

Africa remains dirt poor, starving, and mostly under the thumb of oppressive dictators, who care nothing for their people or developing their economies; and Latin America is sinking back into dictatorships, mostly leftist, fascist or communist in nature.

And finally, the American voters decided that President Obama and the Democrats were just ducky, and voted for free stuff instead of liberty and self reliance.  So where do we go from here?  I'd love to be optimistic, but I really don't have rose colored glasses pink enough to make me feel good about the upcoming year.  So, here we go.

  • ObamaCare taxes will kick in on January 1, and despite whatever President Obama says, we are all going to pay higher taxes.  Get used to it, ObamaCare is here to stay, at least until we run out of other peoples' money.
  • The economy will tank in 2013, and the US will sink into another serious recession, as companies reduce jobs in order to maintain the bottom line.  Many companies will outsource work in order to avoid the ObamaCare mandates put on them, and even more jobs will go off shore to places that have highly educated and less expensive employees.  Some will go to China, but some of the best engineering and IT jobs will end up in places like India, Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea.
  • Gitmo will remain open, 4 years after Obama issued an EO to close it.  
  • Israel will attack Iran before March, as Iran gets closer to developing a nuke.  The Obama Administration will condemn the action, even though they will give it tacit approval privately.  Egypt will tear up the Camp David Accords in retaliation, and Israel will invade Sinai late in the year after rocket attacks come and arms infiltration proliferate from Egypt via their Hamas allies.  The threat of a regional war looms, and the gulf states and the Saudis become increasingly nervous about both Iran, and the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt.
  • Al-Qaeda will execute a major attack against American interests in Europe, possibly an embassy of military installation. 
  •  The European economic crisis worsens, as Greece, Spain, Portugal, and Ireland default on their loans.  Germany refuses to bail them out and the future of the EU and the Euro looks grim.
  • France's unemployment rises to 30% as the Socialists continue to raise taxes on corporations and "the rich"
  • North Korea, the craziest country in the universe, continues to cause trouble in the region, tests another nuclear device, and launches more "satellites".  Russia and China continue to do nothing to contain them.
  • Russia and Belorus begin talks about unification, and Russia continues to exert pressure on its neighbors, especially Ukraine and Georgia.   Obama yawns.
  • Hillary Clinton dies from a brain tumor. (I hope I'm wrong. I really am!)
  • John Kerry is confirmed as Sec. of State, and continues Obama's wrong headed foreign policies.
  • Chuck Hegel is put up for Sec. of Defense, but even Democrats won't vote for him and his name is quickly withdrawn.  Barbara Boxer is confirmed to the position.  Ok, I'm joking there.  Bob Kerrey (D-NE) gets confirmed easily, and does the best job he can with the hand he is dealt.
  • The big government Republicans continue to be in charge of the caucus' in both the House and Senate.  Boehner and McConnell sell out to Obama early and often, as the GOP continues to lose support from the conservative and libertarian base.  The GOP looks a lot like a 21st century version of the Whigs.  If they could dig up Millard Filmore, they would run him for president in 2016.
  • The Obama Administration through either EO or regulatory agencies like the EPA continue to circumvent congress and place further restrictions on oil exploration, fracking for natural gas deposits, and coal burning power plants.  Further nuclear plant development is stifled.  More taxpayer money goes down the tube for bogus green energy programs, fraudulent companies, and Obama cronies.
  • The NLRB continues to strong arm private business who are trying to escape from closed/union shops.  Card Check keeps raising its ugly head, as the Obama Administration and the Democrats in congress try to backdoor legislation to make it happen.
  • More and more states, attempt to reign in government employees' unions, and everywhere they try it, there are "mostly peaceful" protests, where only a few dozen right to work activists get roughed up or put in the hospital.  
  • The Tea Party remains a force to be reckoned with, but the GOP leadership yawns, the mainstream media call them racists, fascists, violent teabaggers, and (apologies to Mel Brooks) Methodists.
  • The world does not end, but the barbarians are getting closer to the gate.  
  • The west continues to turn a blind eye to the danger of radical Islam, as the middle east turns into a tinderbox, and European Muslims continue to demand special rights, Sharia Law for Muslims living there, and riot at the drop of a hat.  "French Yoots" continue to burn cars and apartment blocks in the banlieu of Paris and Toulouse. 
So there you have it in a nutshell.  It's not a pretty picture, but I have no reason to be optimistic about 2013, considering events of 2012.  A lot of this is our own doing.  Elections have consequences, both here and abroad.  As my Scottish grandmother used to say, "you made your bed, you lie in it".

Have a blessed 2013 everyone.  It looks like it is going to be a bad year, but we can all try to do well in our own personal lives.  Take care of your loved ones, be kind to strangers, and be generous to those who are truly in need.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Movie, TV and video violence

I don't blog all that much, and I'm not a great writer.  I'm an engineer, and my brain is not wired to be a great man of words.  It took me a long time for me to absorb all that happened at the invasion and mass murder of innocent school children and their teachers in Newtown, CT.  First, I know this town, as I passed through it frequently when traveling to Sikorsky Aircraft in Stratford from Binghamton, NY back in the late 1980's, and always found it to be a nice, if picturesque small New England town on the way to some of the crap holes along Long Island Sound, namely Stratford and Bridgeport.

After the initial shock wore off about this horrible crime against civilization I thought seriously about what we as a country can do to minimize these attacks again.  I say minimize because, there is no way we can stop them completely, but I'm getting ahead of myself.  First I thought about disturbed people who do not get proper diagnosis and treatment.  I know "progressives" think that the solution is gun control.  Sadly psychopaths  don't care much about laws like this anymore than common criminals, and gun control laws will only take arms away from law abiding citizens who use then for protection, hunting or recreational use.  No, mass murder does not require fire arms, it can be done with machetes, knives, and swords. 

Then I thought that maybe it might be the culture of violence that America has not only become accustom to but celebrates.  Well, the western movies were often violent, especially the Sam Peckinpaw flicks of the 60's and the 70's, along with the Sergio Leone Spaghetti westerns.  Did they cause Charles Manson to go nuts and go on a killing spree?  How about the Clint Eastwood, Dirty Harry Movies?  I don't think that John Wayne Gasey or Ted Bundy were affected by these.

Violence on TV and movies has been attacked by Liberals for a long time.  Moe Howard from the Three Stooges lamented on the Mike Douglas Show a few years before he died, back in the early 1970's about the attack on the Stooges by the Cleveland area PTA, who successfully got the Stooges shorts banned from the airwaves there because they thought their comedy caused violent outbursts in the American youth.  Moe was a man ahead of his time.

I've come to the conclusion that we can never stop crazy people, and evil people from doing these crazy and evil acts.  All we can do is try to get these people who are mentally ill some treatment, and get the homeless people who have often been released from mental hospitals by do gooder progressives who think they are better off on the street, rather than in facilities that can help deal with their illness.

I've had some family losses over the past few years, and though not in such a horrific manner.  I can really sympathize with with the families who lost their children, and my heart goes out to all of them.  But please folks, don't let the gun grabbing leftists tell you that the problem is with guns.  It's not, the problem is with the human condition.  We as a nation have to figure out how we can prevent these tragic events from happening in the future.  Politicians are not helping us in this conversation right now.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Joys of a Red Eye Airplane Flight

A few nights I got stuck on a red eye flight, coming home from a business trip to northern California.  The folks who I contracted with provided the plane ticket (something I'll not let happen in the future) and stuck me on a discount carrier that seems to attract people who, on these late night flights would normally ride the Greyhound Bus.  Thankfully they offered Business Class seats as an upgrade, something I gladly paid for on a 5 hour flight.  Back in steerage coach the seat pitch is a tight 29" and the seats do not recline.  I'd have no problem suffering that for a short flight, but not a transcontinental one.

Since I was sitting up front, we got boarded first and were given a drink and a bag of peanuts before the rest came on board.  The parade of people I saw come past me turned out to be more entertaining as the process continued.  Does anyone remember seeing videos of midnight Black Friday shoppers at an Arkansas Wal-Mart?  Besides the road weary travelers, vacationers with little kids who were understandably tired and cranky, and airline employees getting a freebee, what I saw turned out to be an interesting circus parade.  People came on board wearing pajamas, bathrobes, house coats hair up in curlers.  Even though there was supposed to be a one carry-on bag limit that had to fit certain dimensions, it did not appear to be enforced.  People were taking everything on board but the kitchen sink.  One woman brought on 2 five foot pinatas she was taking to a family in Mexico. 

Finally, there was a very large woman, carrying all her worldly possessions with her who came on board huffing and puffing, and plopped herself down in a business class seat (that she did not purchase) and decided that it was her seat, and whoever was supposed to be there could drag his narrow ass white ass to the back of the plane and sit in 37E for 5 hours.  It took a pilot, flight attendant and customer service person to convince here that she couldn't sit there because she didn't pay for it.  She kept on repeating that because she was an exceptionally large woman (400+ pounds is my guess), she is entitled to have a bigger seat.  She obviously belongs to the entitlement class.  She ended up wedging herself in row 37E and really could not fit in there without 2 seat belt extensions.  The poor people unfortunate enough to sit next to here were in for a world of suffering.

I think I'll just say no to red eye flights on the el cheapo carriers, and even daytime ones on long flights.