Friday, March 6, 2009

Watch this...

I want everyone who stumbles across this blog to watch this video, because I think it's important and rolls a lot of my political leanings into a brief 4 and a half minute video:

Saturday, February 28, 2009

New song

I put a new song up on my myspace music site...

It's called "Mea Culpa" and it's my first "full" ballad.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


This is just a quick post to encourage anyone who reads this to read the book "Meltdown" by Thomas E. Woods. He is a historian and Free Market advocate. This book provides an excellent look (from a free market point-of-view of course!) about what is wrong with our economy, what the cause of it is, and what we're really in for. The good news is, it's written in easy-to-understand terms. The bad news is, our elected officials and the media will think it's a joke, if they even pay attention to it at all.

Capitalism is not the culprit of our economic woes, which, mark my words, will get much, much worse. We are clearly headed for total economic collapse, and I fear that this will be as bad, if not worse, than the Great Depression. The true culprit of our economic woes is the Federal Reserve.

Capitalism is not an evil system based solely on greed that ruins "the poor." The Federal Reserve system is and does, respectively.

There are several things we need to do to "save" our economy, and two important ones are abolishing the Federal Reserve, and using a commodity-based currency; one that is backed by gold or some other precious metal--something with intrensic value. As it stands now, the Fed artificially lowers the interest rate to "stimulate" the economy, but this has the disastrous effect of causing people to spend, rather than to save. But nothing can be lended and no credit can soundly be established unless someone first saves money. That person, in turn, would lend their saved money to the borrower, e.g., someone buying a house or something. However, the Fed can pump money into the economy at will, and since it is not backed by gold, then it is super-cheap to produce. But the Fed also supplies nothing to the economy. It does not perform a service or produce anything. It simply injects unbacked paper slips into the economy, thereby devaluing them. This money is even further devalued through fractional reserve banking. Since banks are only required to keep a small fraction of their money on reserve for day-to-day operations--currently 10%--they can in effect create money out of thin air to lend to consumers. If the fed gives them $1,000, for example, then the bank would keep that $1,000 in reserve, and then lend out $9,000 to consumers who are applying for credit. Artificially low interest rates entice people to apply for this credit and spend beyond their means, rather than save.

Conversely, Mr. Obama/Congress' idea of "stimulating" the economy by revamping our infrastructure and potentially giving a check back to taxpayers is absolutely not the way out of this mess. First of all, the $800-billion-plus is money that has to come from somewhere. There are only 3 ways the government can appropriate money:

1. print it at the Federal Reserve
2. borrow it from other nations
3. tax the people

NONE of these will stimulate the economy. Printing the money will further weaken our currency and cause inflation to rise. Borrowing it from other nations will widen our deficit spending, increasing our national debt. Taxing the people will not help the economy because the government does not provide any goods or services that create wealth. Only the private sector can create wealth. Any money taken out of one of the private sectors and put anywhere else not dictated by the market will put a drain on the economy. Revamping our infrastructure would mean allocating money towards projects that may not serve consumer demand. Money spent on these government-mandated projects could be money that might be spent building more fuel-efficient cars, or creating the next hottest mp3 player, etc. Something potentially more valuable to the economy. These temporary jobs supplied by Mr. Obama's plan are jobs that would be better served in other areas of the economy based on consumer demand.

Government does not create wealth, and it cannot create wealth. Is it any wonder that as the government grows in size, the economy would worsen?

I could go on, but I'm still not nearly as learned as I wish I were on this subject. Suffice to say, "Meltdown" is great, and you should definitely read it.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A brief rant...

If anyone out there supports the Obama/Democrats' $819 BILLION "economic stimulus" I'd sure like to know why; what do you think this will do for our economy? Where is this money coming from? The common answer to that question is, US, the taxpayers, and that's at least somewhat correct, I'd say. But the far scarier side is that this money HAS NOT BEEN CREATED YET. IT WILL BE CREATED for this purpose. THAT means that there will be $819 BILLION flooding in. This "bail-out" and "stimulus" crap was dumb when Bush pushed for it. It's STILL dumb when Obama pushes for it. I heard mention that some of the money would go to build new houses...hopefully I heard that wrong. What the hell do we need new houses for? We've already got more houses for sale than there are people willing to buy them!

That said, I'll give Obama props on one thing: closing Guantanamo. If he does nothing else right in his time as President (and I hope that he'll wake up from this economic stupidity he's personally lobbying congress to partake in, and actually accomplish some things of real merit) then at least he's closing this awful prison. I've heard (haven't had time to read or search out specific complaints) that some Republicans are bitching about the closing of Guantanamo. But there are several reasons why I just can't support having such a prison facility.

1. As a Christian, I do not support torture in any way, shape, or form, REGARDLESS OF WHAT A PRISONER HAS BEEN ACCUSED OF. There HAVE been such instances at Guantanamo.

2. Note the all-caps above. These prisoners have NOT been convicted of ANYTHING. They are sitting in prison, with NO right to legal counsel for an indefinite period of time. As I understand it, no habeus corpus whatsoever.

3. There are no applicable laws at Guantanamo.

a. Dick Cheney (and the Bush administration with him) said that International law would not apply when it came to keeping America "safe" from terrorists--no Geneva conventions.

b. American law does not apply because technically, Guantanamo is not on American soil.

c. Castro apparently does not consider Guantanamo part of Cuba either (due to a continual lease the U.S. has had since 1903...) so Cuban law does not apply.

Therefore, if International, American, and Cuban laws do not apply, then essentially ANYTHING can happen.

I believe very much so that Dick Cheney, David Addington, and George W. Bush belong in prison. How many others with them, I am not sure. But I do know that Cheney used the UNODIR ("Unless Otherwise Directed") principle to assume far more power than any Vice President has ever had before, and that his attorney David Addington falsely justified everything Cheney wanted to do--be it torture, wage war, etc--under the Constitution, and Bush signed off on it all. Bush is not an idiot, he is a willing accomplice.

Rant over.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Open Letter to the Texas Rangers Baseball Club

In a more upbeat blog than the one I just finished a few minutes ago, as a long suffering Rangers fan, I am going to compose a brief, cathartic letter to my baseball team. No, I'm not going to bother to mail it to them.

Dear Texas Rangers,

SIGN BEN SHEETS ALREADY! We finally have the chance to get a GOOD starting pitcher on our team. Don't let him get away. I have been waiting since Nolan Ryan's retirement for us to FINALLY have a legitimate Ace on this team.

Thank you.

--Frustrated Ranger fan.

PS: don't make me falsify his medical records! I'm despearate!

(Im)mortality: an introspective look at myself with the help of Alice in Chains

I've been meaning to write a blog for a couple of days now. My sister suckered me into signing up for this thing, even though I already have two myspace accounts (one is for my music--I'm not one of those people who signs up for the same thing a million times because I can't remember my log-in information) and a facebook account. And, somewhere in the depths of cyberspace, a Xanga account that I haven't logged into in at least two years because xanga is lame.

Now that I've sufficiently bored you with the perfunctory introductions, perhaps I will be able to slather something of substance on here. Actually doing this right now is sort of like "pulling teeth," if you will--I have a mountain of emotion that I don't particularly want to post, lest you think me some blubbering mass of all things pathetic. Yet it's something that needs to be done, and I figure that I might as well use this blog as my own personal therapy in different ways. If you don't want to read it, don't bother, I don't care whether you do or don't. But maybe I'll help someone feeling the same "sick" that I feel, or at least, maybe someone else will identify with it and we'll know we aren't alone.

For several years I have dealt with daily pre-occupations with death. Probably since age 12--at least that's when I first remember consciously thinking about it and feeling a sense of panic. Not longing for suicide or anything like that. Just trying to come to terms with the fact that earthly life is finite, and I am not able to process whatever lies beyond in infinite realms. That is not to say that at various points in my life I have not entertained the thought of suicide, but for the most part these thoughts are merely part of the package, and not something that I myself even take seriously. Part of that is because, no matter how horrid I may think my life at any given moment, I am so scared of the afterlife (would I go to hell if I took my own life? That possibility alone is enough to make me forcefully push away such thoughts!) that I cannot fathom "offing" myself. Nor do I really want to. But even in the most joyous of times, when I am thoroughly enjoying myself, a nagging voice in the back of my mind says, "some day, this will not matter, you will be gone, and all of the people sharing in this moment with you will be gone."

So, to use my first mention of Alice in Chains, I'm like a fly trapped in a jar (geddit, "Jar of Flies?" Dumb joke.) The jar is a prison that I cannot escape and I am frantically trying to free myself from this unescapable situation that is my own mortality. I'm buzzing around, suffocating, franitcally smashing into the glass trying to escape, until I give up. Another way I looked at it is, I'm a hamster on a wheel, running endlessly but getting absolutely nowhere. Only while I'm running endlessly and not getting where I want to be, there's a sick twist: the wheel is rolling down a hill, and at the bottom of that hill is Death; the end. As the years pass by and my situation fails to improve, I'm starting to roll faster and faster, until at some point, I will reach the rocks at the bottom, game over.

Another analogy that came to me is that I am on the edge of a cliff. Over the cliff's edge is death. But I can't walk away from it because there is a brick wall that stops me, so I'm trapped. Either I am foolishly pushing with all my might at an impenetrable wall, or I'm falling off the edge into the world beyond. So I am stuck in one spot, finding that I do not have the strength to break down the wall, but I don't dare step too far toward the edge of that cliff, or WHAM, I'm toast. The sick twist in this scenario is that the brick wall has been built by me, and I have trapped myself. My lack of self-confidence keeps me from trying to climb my own wall, or even better, just smashing it down, but my fear of the world beyond keeps me from leaping to my death. Instead I'm just stuck in a game that I have tired of playing but am too afraid to not play.

But the "fun" doesn't end there; there is another variable: my incessant perfectionism. Perhaps that is what has altogether zapped my self-confidence. If I can't do something right the first time, then fuck it, I'm not going to do it. If you tell me I can't do something, 9 times out of 10, I'm not going to prove you wrong--unless it's a command, like "don't do something" then I will prove you wrong out of spite if you make me angry. Or, I will feel so guilty at the slightest deviation from said command that I will find it difficult to sleep. And so my perfectionism causes me one by one to give up pursuits I once enjoyed. I'm fighting with all I have to keep picking up the guitar and playing, but I feel that I'm losing this battle. So the perfectionism slowly destroys my ability to enjoy anything, and I spend a good deal of my time angry with myself. If no one is home, I'm liable to go into a rage at myself. And while I am not enjoying anything, I am also not trying to achieve anything, because I cannot accept the fact that I might fail, so it is easier not to look for a better job, or really put effort into things because they will only end in ruin. I cannot tolerate failure, yet I do not have the patience and persistence to be successful.

I say none of this so you will feel sorry for me. Who knows if anyone will even read this. I'm not broadcasting this. But let's just say, I've been praying (at least as much as I can make myself talk to the Lord), and I read my Bible daily. I know that this is not how the Lord wants me to live. But it feels, quite simply, like I'm "Down in a Hole" (Alice in Chains reference #2). In fact, I named this blog "Down in a Hole" because if there is (sadly) a song that has become the soundtrack to my life, this is it. I have been at least a casual Alice in Chains fan for years, though my appreciation for that band has grown more and more as the years have gone by, because it's sort of like they "get" me. (I don't care how many people dog them for continuing on after Layne Staley's death, I think the new singer is awesome and I can't wait for new music from them!) So, I will share some of the lyrics from "Down in a Hole"

"...You don't understand who they thought I was supposed to be
Look at me now, a man who won't let himself be...
...Down in a Hole, feelin' so small...
I'd like to fly, but my wings have been so denied."

So in closing, what I've got to do is figure out a way to come to grips with my mortality, to end the ridiculous perfectionism, trust in the Good Lord, and reach my full potential. Sounds so easy, doesn't it? Yet it isn't. And I have to do something, because this combination will kill me eventually. Pehaps not in some horrible suicide, but whatever is left of my spirit will wither and I will simply burn out.