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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Ruminations From the Void - January 18, 2012

The End is Nigh!!!  2012 has arrived bringing with it, the end of days.  Bend over, grab your ankles and get ready to kiss your bootie goodbye because everything you know is about to be destroyed. 

While the end has not taken place yet, we were able to get a small taste of it today, when Wikipedia and other websites went dark today.  The movie 2012 had it wrong that the end of the world came about because of the earth's crust displacement.  No - all you need to do is put Facebook at risk to cause mass hysteria.

(note:  normally I would link my mention of "2012", but that seems a bit pointless today, doesn't it?)

Don't get me wrong, I'm not an advocate of SOPA as written, but let's not kid ourselves - it's not censorship.  It's a poor attempt to fix a real problem - international online piracy.  Portions of the bill were written poorly and offered too many avenues for abuse.  But that's often inherant in any new regulations that are written in Washington, DC. 

I remember several bills that became law over the past several years in Washington that were also written poorly and offered too many avenues for abuse.  These include the PPA (Obamacare) of 2010, the Dodd-Frank Financial Oversight law of 2010 and the Credit Card reform Act of 2009.  These laws control access and availability of healthcare, massively regulate our nation's financial sector and greatly reduced the availability of adequate credit for the poor and increased the cost of credit.  What I don't remember was the huge outpouring of opposition on Facebook to these laws while they were being debated.

While my daughter's college friends are all over the net about SOPA, I wonder if they realize they will be forced to buy health insurance against their will next year and they will only be allowed to buy a plan that meets the approval of the Federal government; or that their access to credit will be more limited than it should be.  Apparently, for the next generation, Congress can do whatever it wants as long as it leaves social networking alone.

Keystone XL
In 2008 candidate Barak Obama said that he would like to see gas prices higher, stating that he would like to see a "gradual adjustment".  Today, President Obama did his part to meet that goal by rejecting the Keystone XL oil pipleine project.  Construction of this Canada to Texas pipeline would have created tens of thousands of jobs and gone a long way to decreasing our energy dependence.  It would have also allowed more fuel exports at a time when we have a huge trade deficit.

This decision comes just days after Saudi Arabia announced that they would keep oil prices above $100.  Obama has continually done his part to ensure higher long term gas prices in this way - limited drilling in gulf following his imposed six month moratorium, decreased exploratory drilling permits and further closing off coastal areas from drilling.

Gingrich Rising
Former Speaker Newt Gingrich is rising once again following Monday night's Republican Primary debate in South Carolina.  On Monday night, as in past debates, Gingrich was at his best when focused on the current White House occupant and outlining policy differences with Democrats.  He received a standing ovation for his answer to a question from Juan Williams that implied that previous comments by Gingrich were race insensitive.
I believe every American of every background has been endowed by their Creator with the right to pursue happiness. I am going to continue to find ways to help poor people learn how to get a job, learn how to get a better job, and learn some day to own the job. - Newt Gingrich
I was fearful that Newt's past may make him unelectable.  The clarity of that line and how it was delivered has made me change my mind.  If he can stop the petty fights with Romney and lock-in on his vision for America as opposed to Barak Obama's, people will hear what he has to say and like it.  His problems have often come from trying to attack other Republicans because the politics of it has him pushing angles that aren't sincere.  But when he's focused on Obama and the general election, he has the sincerity and the gravitas and the intellect to be our standard bearer. 

Remember when all those tea party crazies were tossed into jail for the crimes committed during their tax protests?  Remember when the tea party crazies tossed smoke bombs on the White House lawn?  Me neither.

OccupyWashingtonDC put the White House under lockdown yesterday by tossing a smoke bomb type item over the fence onto the the White House lawn.  This follows several criminal actions that have taken place inside the Occupy protests across the nation along with heavy police involvment in compelling the protestors to adhere to local laws.

During the height of the Tea Party in mid-2010, I had someone mention how radical and crazy they were.  I asked him what they were doing that was bad.  He never could tell me any particular action or position that he disagreed with, just that they looked crazy on the news.  This same person was later promoting the Occupy protests.  Unbelievable.

On the nicer side, St. Louis will hold a parade scheduled for January 28th, which will be the first to welcome the troops home following the war in Iraq.  A Facebook page has been created for it.  Click here.

Sorry if I've been inconsistent posting here.  Working shiftwork and coaching my son's teams along with my other non-paying jobs doesn't enable me a lot of time for this non-paying job.  Please follow me on Twitter and friend me on Facebook to get updates when I have a new post to read.  Just click on the Twitter and Facebook icons on the right side of this web page.

Thanks for reading and God bless.

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