Thursday, September 27, 2007

Bad Drivers I: The Nervous Old Woman

In this series of stereotypical, racist, sexist, and ageist blogs, I will examine the bane of all of those mentally and physically competent drivers who man the roads: bad drivers.

We all know who they are; we all know where they are; we all know what they are. Bastards with a driver's license.

First up: the nervous old woman.

Imagine yourself enjoying a nice drive through the country, on an old, unassuming road with a 55 mile-per-hour speed limit. Few people are on the road, things are flowing smoothly. And then you see it. Off in the distance, an old, 80s-era K-car putt-putt-puttering its way in the same direction of travel as yourself.

You gain on it quickly, of course, as it seems to be only averaging 40 MPH, while you, not one to obey every law to the letter, travel about 60 to 62 MPH. As you close, you think you see a driver, but aren't sure. The nearer you get, the more it seems like all you see is a steering wheel with a pair of hands on it. But then, the reveal: a gray poof of hair just level with the steering wheel. Oh, shit... it's an old woman.

Annoyed, you slow down to 40 to maintain speed, waiting your chance to pass as oncoming traffic makes its way by. Then you slow down to 37, then speed up to 42, then back down to 35, then up to 45. Finally, irritated beyond all belief, you attempt to pass.

But...

The old hag freaks out and starts swerving nervously, frighteningly. You hesitate in your attempt, as you fear she might swerve into you. You curse your bad luck... and try again.

This time, she holds fairly still, but for some odd reason, accelerates to match your speed, as if she's somehow following you. Oncoming semi... fuck... you slow down, get behind the bitch, and wait for a two-lane road.

We've all been there; I was just there a couple of hours ago.

Solution: mandatory full driver's tests every renewal period for all drivers over 65. Then, after 75, mandatory full driver's tests every year.

The old hag might have a problem with this, of course, but I don't care. I'm self-centric.

Have a nice day, and vote for Clint Eastwood... who is old enough to need annual driving tests.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Recombinant Sci-Fi: One New Story from Many Old Ideas

A while ago I posted a blog concerning screenplay ideas. After receiving absolutely no help from you, my so-called loyal readers, I narrowed my choices down to two.

The first, a half-fiction, half-fact World War II script, I had been working on for quite some time. While the actual screenplay portion of it has never been started, the research portion of it is almost complete, and I've a veritable goldmine of plot and action. Still, the time didn't seem quite right to hit this one full speed.

So, I picked the second... a sci-fi horror that I had mentioned in the previous blog, but heavily, heavily modified. So heavily modified, in fact, it no longer encompasses the single project, but is now a combination of three projects I had started, as well as three existing movies you've no doubt all seen.

Anyway, it's called The Gate, and it's coming together nicely. I don't want to give anything away, but let's just say the overall premise is another combination of ideas... this one of Aliens and Doom (don't ask).

As I began writing the first draft months ago, I realized that the story, though attempting to be profound, lacked a lot of what makes a good science fiction movie (namely, pacing and action), so I had to take a step back and look at it from a different angle. And, finally, I think I found it.

Basically, I took two other treatments I started (one an obvious will-never-get-made Star Trek treatment and the other a quasi-wannabe-Battlestar Galactica-esque story) and merged them into The Gate. In addition, I took heavy inspiration from Halo, Starship Troopers (the book, actually), and even Return of the Jedi.

Well, I only mention Halo and Starship Troopers because any reader of my script will likely make those connections, mainly due to the likelihood that any reader of my script probably won't have any military experience, which is where the true inspiration came from.

What I am left with is four stories in one. One of the male protagonist, one of the female protagonist, one of the sci-fi/horror/moral aspect, and one of the sci-fi/war aspect. Which, hopefully, will give me plenty to fill 120 to 150 pages of script.

How I decided upon this, I'll never really know. Writing is such a funny game to play.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

One Win, Two Loss-Inspired Pointless Musings

The Chargers certainly looked better this game, even though they still lost. Run offense and run defense are still no-shows.

Has Hollywood lost the ability to film actually passenger airplanes for movies? Or do producers and directors really think that expensive computer-generated images convince the audiences that they're seeing a real airplane?

Can you guess the big missing piece of the Chargers defense? He wore 59, and his name is Donnie Edwards. Despite the presence of Jamal Williams and Marlon McCree, there is no true leader on the Chargers defense. Williams seems more of the engine type, not the driver, and McCree hasn't been a Charger long enough. I say sign Junior Seau back from the Patriots and let him groom someone for two years.

Why isn't Jordanna Brewster in more movies?

Anybody else notice that Donnie Wahlberg is a better actor than Mark Wahlberg? Not that Mark Wahlberg sucks, but Donnie is just better.

I'm getting a lot of "an Army Marine Corps is a bad idea" messages, but to this date, not one single person has offered a specific, legitimate reason why. Many offer no reasons at all.

I love the movie Munich. Love it. That being stated, the ending was rather odd, and Spielberg did history and his film's protagonist a great disservice by not depicting the misidentified Arab that was killed by the Mossad operation in real life.

I haven't seen a film in a theater for weeks. I'm having withdrawals.

I ran out of Nicorette gum. I'm having withdrawals.

I haven't had a drop of alcohol in weeks. I'm not having withdrawals.

Vote Clint Eastwood in '08.

Friday, September 21, 2007

United States Marine Corps, Department of the Army

A year or so ago, I posted a blog that incensed a few Marines. In it, I basically posited that the United States Marine Corps was a waste of money as long as it remained in the Department of the Navy. (You can read it here.)

Today, I restate that fact (not opinion, mind you... fact): maintaining the USMC outside of the Department of the Army is a huge waste of money. Again, what we have is essentially two raised armies, each with their own training and logistics systems. That alone drives the cost of maintaining 13 active-duty divisions much, much higher than it would be otherwise.

Anyway, I'm not going to fully reiterate the original blog now, but I am going to point out some oft-skewed and sometimes hard to find facts (not opinions, mind you... facts) concerning the United States Marine Corps and the United States Army.

1. In World War I, when the United States Army's 2nd Infantry Division was formed, it was partially comprised of a Marine brigade. On top of that, two of the 2nd Infantry Division's commanders during that war were Marine officers: Major General John Lejeune (for whom Camp Lejeune is named) and Major General Charles Doyen.

Score one for an Army/Marine combination.

2. In World War II, when the Marine Corps was finally authorized permanent divisions (they wound up raising six for the war, and currently maintain three active duty and one reserve division), they used the Army division as their blueprint.

Score two for an Army/Marine combination.

3. Also in World War II, as the Marine Corps continued to develop and perfect amphibious assault operations (influenced by British ideas and equipment), they relied on the Army to develop and perfect amphibious resupply operations. This was accomplished by the Army in the form of the Army's Amphibious Training Center and the Engineer Amphibian Brigades (later, Engineer Special Brigades). The doctrines formulated by the ATC and EABs serve as the basis for modern USMC resupply doctrine.

Score three for an Army/Marine combination.

4. Following World War II, the Marine Corps slowly reorganized into Marine Expeditionary Forces (MEFs). The three active MEFs in the Marine Corps are organized as such: a ground division, an aircraft wing, and a logistics group. This is identical to the overall organization of the Army in World War II, when the Army consisted of Army Ground Forces, Army Air Forces, and Army Service Forces.

Score four for an Army/Marine combination.

5. The only reason the Marine Corps exists as a Navy organization is due to the fact that, during the American Revolution, General George Washington didn't want to deplete his manpower reserves by supplying marines from the Army.

I'd say score five, but that point was more for trivia value than supporting my argument.

As of this writing, I have only heard one solid argument for maintaining the Marine Corps in the Department of the Navy. The argument is that the Department of the Navy isn't subject to the Army's thinking that "smaller is better," and can maintain as many Marine Divisions as it so chooses.

Among the other arguments I've heard: the Marines have a different mission (not entirely true); the Marines are organized to fight a different kind of war (not true); the Marines need to be trained and supplied by the organization that supports them during war (true, but the Marines are much more a land-based service today than they ever were); the Marines have more difficult and more effective training (arguably true, but the Army needs to address their own training problems anyway, so this is essentially moot); the Marines are an "expeditionary" force (true, but so is the Army).

There have been other arguments, ranging from the completely defeatist ("that's just stupid") to the downright moronic ("where would we put the Marine barracks?").

By the way, there's an irony to the sole solid argument I mentioned earlier: I came up with it myself.

Vote for Clint Eastwood, who'd probably like us to save money in our military establishment.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Iran: the White Elephant that Probably Shouldn’t Be

Disclaimer: this blog is, admittedly, nearly 100% conjecture on my part. Although parts of it are supported by fact, much of it isn't, and my conclusions can just as easily be dead wrong as they could be absolutely right.

Within the past couple of days, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad requested permission to visit Ground Zero in New York City. His request was denied, with given reasons ranging from "security risk" to, most alarmingly, "why?"

Well, despite the probability that Iran does harbor terrorists (something our state department rather judiciously reminds us of), the man likely wanted to pay his respects to a tragedy that even his country felt was an extreme response to so-called American imperialism. After all, a little known fact of Iran is that damn-near the entire country held a prayer vigil for the victims of 9/11.

Now, before I proceed, I am most certainly not claiming that Iran is our friend. However, I am claiming that Iran may not be the "next significant enemy" of the United States. Remember, at several points in the last 100 years, Iran has been an ally. Of course, they have also been an enemy.

Here are some quick historical snippets:

1. In the early 20th Century, Iran's independence was constantly interfered with by the British and Russian Empires. The withdrawal of Russia due to the rise of the Soviets left Britain in a position to try to strong-arm Iran single-handedly. Result: anti-British sentiment.

2. In World War II, supposedly fearful of Iranian support to the Axis, Britain and the Soviet Union invaded Iran. Result: anti-British and anti-Soviet sentiment. Another odd result of this was that Iran's political system would be opened a bit, and political parties and public elections would come into being.

3. 1953, the CIA sponsors a coup. Already in a confusing state of pro-West, anti-West, this doesn't help things much. The Shah, having been ousted a couple of years before, is back in power, albeit this time as a virtual puppet of western governments. Result: anti-US sentiment.

4. 1979, the Ayatollah ousts the Shah and the Islamic Republic of Iran is formed. During the so-called revolution, Americans were taken hostage, causing an official break in diplomatic ties and anti-Iran sentiments in the United States. Result: more anti-US sentiment.

5. In the 1980s, Iraq invaded Iran. For whatever reason (likely the new anti-Iran sentiment), the United States provides support to Iraq. Result: other than the obvious irony, even more anti-US sentiment.

6. The 1990s, in a somewhat unexpected and surprising gesture, Iran begins to promote what it calls an "alternative thought" movement, and advocates official tolerance for diversity in culture and politics. Iran somehow becomes a Middle-East equivalent of the United States in terms of having an open liberal versus conservative government (though quite a bit more violent than ours). Result: US culture starts sneaking into Iran on a grand scale, with mixed results, although it can be argued that the country lessened its anti-US sentiment.

7. 2001, Iran supports the anti-Taliban fight in Afghanistan. Result: the possibility of the US and Iran officially reopening diplomatic ties seems real.

8. 2002, Iran sells weapons to the Palestinians. Result: Bush, Jr., declares Iran part of the ridiculously monikored "Axis of Evil."

And here we are, still confused about what the Hell to do with Iran. Bush, it seems, wants to invade. Why? Well, why not? Others (including Condoleezza Rice), it seems, want to reopen diplomatic ties. Why? Well, why not?

I don't have any answers, I know, nor do I have any real theories. I do know that since the Ayatollah's death, Iran hasn't made any significant statements claiming that the United States is the pop-culture whore of the world, implying that they don't really believe that anymore (or even care). And I do know that much of our relations with countries in the Middle-East are dictated by those Middle-Eastern countries' relations with Israel.

Basically, and this may seem from left field, until the Israel-Arab situation is dealt with once and for all, we're probably going to remain official enemies with Iran. And that's just plain stupid. After all, we're technically friends with both Taiwan and China, right? Not to mention Israel and Lebanon.

There's an answer to this, I swear, and it probably lies in agnostic logic. Good luck finding any of that in world government.

Vote for Clint Eastwood, who probably would like an Iranian ambassador in Washington, D.C.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Insignificant Things I Wish I Could Change Anyway

There are many, many things about the world I wish I could change. War, famine, disease, deforestation, etc. But all of these are really important aspects of our world that probably most, if not all, of us wish we could change. And, since I'm in a light-hearted mood this fine evening (despite my Chargers getting spanked last night), I decided to talk about tiny, insignificant things that really make no worldy difference to anyone... and how I stay up at night wishing I could change them.

1. Chrysler being owned by a non-American company. That's just wrong to me somehow.

2. The Brewers being in the National League in Major League Baseball - seriously, why does the NL have 16 teams (two divisions with 5 teams and one division with 6) and the AL have 14 (two divisions with 5 teams and one division with 4). DOES THAT MAKE ANY SENSE TO ANYONE?

3. The 11th Airborne Division being inactive. We need a bigger army anyway, so bring it back. I mean, how much better is an airborne division called "The Angels" than an airborne division called "All-American?"

4. Japanese characters in Hollywood movies portrayed by Koreans and Chinese. It's not that I don't mind when actors play races that they are not, it's just that I know Hollywood just thinks nobody notices.

5. The NFL Cardinals being in Arizona; the Colts being in Indianapolis; the Rams being in St. Louis; the Texans being in Houston. I say move the Cardinals back to St. Louis so the football team and baseball teams match; move the Colts back to Baltimore since that area actually has horse races; move the Rams back to Los Angeles; move the Texans to San Antonio and bring back the Houston Oilers; move the Ravens to somewhere in Virginia (to keep with the Edgar Allan Poe motif); give Indianapolis and Phoenix new expansion teams.

6. The Marines being a part of the Navy and not a part of the Army. It's stupid, it's expensive, and it's stupid. Tradition be damned.

7. American cars driving on the right side of the road. Wouldn't it be much safer if we could park on the side of the road and open the driver's-side door without worrying about getting hit by oncoming traffic?

8. The Bible referring to me as God and not by my proper name. This one REALLY pisses me off. And not mentioning my prowess in the haystack when I boned Mary. Believe me, there was no virgin about it.

9. The Clippers being in Los Angeles. Move them back to San Diego and put an NHL expansion team there, as well.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The San Diego Chargers: Warning Signs

I'm writing this during the fourth quarter of a proper ass-kicking by the New England Patriots. Seriously, there is no question who the better team is. All complaints from last year's divisional playoff game must cease (and stay ceased unless somehow the Patriots and the Chargers meet in the playoffs this year).

I was worried this offseason that the Chargers had shot themselves in the foot with the whole coach-GM debacle. I remained worried about it during the game with the Bears, which, despite being a win, was as sloppy as a win could be. And now... I'm absolutely terrified.

Watching tonight's game it's crystal clear now that the Chargers are not the disciplined team they were last year, or any year under their previous head coach, the oft-maligned Marty Schottenheimer. Say what you will, the man was a disciplinarian, and A.J. Smith, the Chargers' general manager, never gave the man the credit he deserved.

Well, here it is (and no, my tune's not changing... just read my Chargers blog from last year):

The Chargers owe their resurgence as an elite team to four people. Two of them are players, one is a coach, and, yes, the other is A.J. Smith.

The coach, in case you're wondering, is obviously not Norv Turner (who has historically stunk as a head coach), but Marty Schottenheimer himself. The players are LaDainian Tomlinson (naturally) and Drew Brees. Notice something? Yes, that's right, two of these people are no longer with the Chargers... they were forced out by A.J. Smith.

Smith is, to give proper due, a player-personnel genius. You can't argue with his draft picks. You just can't. Even Philip Rivers, who this year seems lost in the NFL so far. But, the man is a dictator, and it's his way or the highway. If you don't do things his way, you're gone. The problem here is that Mr. Smith is not a coach. Marty Schottenheimer was a coach.

I've never been a huge Schottenheimer fan. I'm on the "he's too conservative" bandwagon, and despite the leaps and bounds he made last year to shed that perception, he's still too conservative. That being stated, I've never been a Norv Turner-as-head coach fan at all. Great offensive coordinator? Yes. Good head coach? Hardly. He's been handed the keys to what is probably the most talented team in football, and he couldn't even make the Patriots break a sweat.

Schottenheimer, and let me make this perfectly transparent, SHOULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWED TO COACH ONE MORE SEASON. With one season of "Marty-ball is dead" under his belt, who knows what he would have done with the team this year? Not only that, with both Cam Cameron and Wade Phillips gone to their own head coaching gigs, Marty could have proven to A.J. that he is, after all, a great coach (perhaps that's one reason A.J. didn't let him stay... A.J. didn't want to afford someone he can't stand the chance to prove himself).

Smith, to this point, has been hailed as a genius. This year, however, I think he's about to be brought back down to just being hailed as a good general manager.

Brees is gone, replaced by Rivers. Brees managed to excel with a new team and a new system last year. Rivers managed to excel with a team built around its running back. Both QBs are struggling so far, but Brees is the one who has already shown that he can overcome adversity. Rivers has done no such thing.

Schottenheimer is gone, replaced by Rivers. Marty managed to turn around a crap team and turn it into an elite one. Not only that, he's done it before. Turner has run every team he's ever had into the ground.

Is Smith the problem? Probably, but even I have to admit that I'd hate to see him go. What Smith needs to do is find a head coach that inspires players to work hard and not make mistakes. Norv Turner is not that man.

If the Chargers aren't 6-2 by the midpoint of the season, I'm going to start crying every Sunday, because that would be enough evidence that the Chargers, who were thought to be in their Super Bowl window, are now simply, in fact, rebuilding once again.

Vote for Clint Eastwood. Even though he directed that Boston-based movie, Mystic River, I'm sure he wants a California team to take the Lombardi trophy this year.

Friday, September 14, 2007

America’s White Elephants: China and Islam

America. Arguably the greatest country with the greatest political system on Earth. Arguably the proud owners of the most powerful military on Earth. Arguably the world's economic leader. Arguably... well, arguable.

America, since the turn of the 20th Century, has inarguably been THE world power. Our involvement practically dictated the outcome of two world wars, drew the lines (and fought over a few) in the Cold War, and created an economic disparity that the rest of the world envied. For better or worse, this is the legacy of our country.

Until fairly recently, one thing America lacked was fear. We weren't really afraid of the great Red Soviet world takeover (sure, enough to cause some personal bomb shelters to be built, but that's another story). We weren't afraid to travel to remote and near-alien parts of the world. We spout religious freedom, and weren't afraid to experience the religions of others. We were, after all, on top of the world in every way, shape, or idea imaginable.

That was then; this is now.

Not only do we now live with the subtle fear of being victims of terrorism, our spot on the top of the world is in grave danger of being usurped. The game of king-of-the-mountain we have been playing since the Great Depression may truly be lost to a former enemy and former ally.

We all know who I'm referring to when discussing the fear of terrorism: Muslim extremists. Due to our good fortune this past 100 years (cause of jealousy), our place as the sole remaining super power (cause of jealousy), and our innate and government-granted right of freedom of speech, religion, and dress (cause of anger), we have been targeted by a group of people (the worldly "have-nots") who, with no other enemy to fight, feels like fighting us.

And we're afraid. They destroyed two American icons, as well as several smaller American properties and symbols.

Did we react angrily and whoop some ass? Yes, we did. But, again, all that is changing. We have become afraid, and, as with most American wars, we have become tired.

We have become so afraid that most of the American press refused to print those European "Mohammed" cartoons that incited several riots in the Muslim world. Freedom of press? Right... more like fear of Islam. More specifically: fear of Islam in America.

You see, most Muslims here in the USA would definitely have complained about Mohammed being depicted as such (and rightly so... it is, after all, their religious belief). The problem I have with that is not their reaction, but the inarguable fact that they have chosen to live in this country. The USA. The one country on the face of the planet where anyone can SAY WHAT THEY WANT TO SAY and poke fun at anything they want to poke fun at.

Maybe it wouldn't bother me so much if the Muslims of the United States were as vocal when the press or the entertainment industy pokes fun at, say, Jesus or Buddha. But they largely remain quiet, only defending their own so-called right to defend their Prophet.

To that I say: fuck off. Deal with our country or leave. And before any Muslims reading this get too offended, I say that with ANYBODY who feels they have some sort of privileged right over anybody else's political or religious leanings (which includes Christians who rally against Jesus cartoons, but remain quiet and/or supportive of Mohammed cartoons). Again: fuck off.

And then there's China. The largest country, population-wise, in the world. Nearly 1 in 6 people on this planet is a Chinese citizen. 1 in 6. That's quite a ratio. Over 1 billion Chinese to barely 250 million Americans.

And they are primed to take over the world.

China, despite being officially communist, is quite possibly the most successful capitalist country in this young century. Their GNP has skyrocketed. Their industrial output has skyrocketed. And, even more fearfully, their military is modernizing at a rapid rate.

It appears, in my eyes, that China wants a fight with the United States. Maybe not an overt military fight, but definitely an economic one. And, if they can figure out a way to keep their growing-too-fast economy from collapsing from underneath them, they will win.

We turned our back on Taiwan when Nixon went to China and formally recognized them as the official Chinese government. If we turn our back on China now and allow them to outpace us militarily and economically, we will no longer be king of the mountain.

But, somehow, I fear that most of you reading this don't really give a damn because you're too worried that your shoes don't match your belt or that you're running out of money for college (and won't consider a stint in the military to both help pay for school and serve your country) or that your favorite sports team or celebrity just ran into a bit of bad luck.

After all, those Great White Elephants snuck into the room somehow.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Too Sexy to Fly?

Okay, so let me get this straight. In the past week, two women have gained notoreity for being "too sexy" to be on an airplane.

I'm sorry, what?

Apparently, some lady named Satara Qassim was flying from Las Vegas to Los Angeles and was asked to "cover up" by a probably all-too-jealous flight attendant (a.k.a. stewardess).

There are, in my mind, several things wrong with the above statement.

First, since when to airlines have dress codes? I get the fact that you're not getting into your cramped aisle seat butt-naked, but by being dressed nicely (a.k.a. sexy)?

Are you fucking kidding?

Not only that, the flight was from Las Vegas (a.k.a. Sin City) to Los Angeles (a.k.a. we like our hot women here).

Are you fucking kidding?

Dudes, I'm hoping everyone is with me on this... WHO THE FUCK CARES? Personally, I'd like to be on an airline full of women who look and are dressed like Satara Kassim (heck, I'd even take that overrated blonde who got snagged a week ago and somehow made it on The Today Show with Matt Lauer). I mean, who the Hell wouldn't?

We're talking about an industry that used to REQUIRE their stewardesses be gorgeous women. Maybe we should all band together and get Hooters to reopen their airline? If anything, lonely and horny men will flock to the airports for the chance of getting a wink and a smile (and a bag of peanuts).

Agh, political correctness is getting to me.

I get why stewardesses are no longer "hot chicks." Yes, I do. It's a legitimate industry that has no place dictating what their employees look like. But going so far as to tell a woman who was, near as I can tell, appropriately dressed for any occasion save a funeral that she can't fly because she's too hot?

Are you fucking kidding?

If the airlines want to impose a dress code for passengers, fine. Like I said, it's a legitimate industry that provides a paid service and they DO have a right to dictate certain things... as long as they dictate on paper and somewhere everyone can see it.

But, as Ms. Qassim implied, to put the interpretation (a.k.a. jealously) in the hands of the flight attendants themselves? Bullshit.

I call for all women to dress as sexily as possible and board an aircraft. Let the protests begin!

And vote for Clint Eastwood (who probably wouldn't mind being sandwiched between to gorgeous women beautifully dressed on an airplane).

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Military Draft: Not So Random Thoughts

This past weekend I happened to read a well-thought article by a former Marine concerning the reinstitution of the draft (it was either in Rolling Stone or Newsweek, I can't recall which). The Marine's thesis was basically that until the haves join the have-nots in the military, corporate and political America will not properly support our men and women in arms.

While there's a definite degree of logic to his argument, I would have to disagree on his theory that a draft would ultimately be good for the Armed Forces. It would not.

Already, especially in the so-called "easy" services (basically, everyone but the Marine Corps), there is a huge dearth of discipline and more than a little lack of proper training. Not only that, there is more than a little lack of motivation, even within the ranks. And this, my friends, is in a military that is already "all-volunteer."

Can you imagine what would happen should we start forcing people into the military?

Look at it this way: our military, specifically the Army, is already far too small. In fact, given my hypothetical leanings (albeit supported by some tried and true experts), the United States Army is AT LEAST two divisions too small (that's roughly 30,000 to 40,000 people, depending on how one counts). I would go ahead and state that the Army is more likely five divisions too small, given what we're trying to do in the world.

Currently, the Active Army consists of less than a half-a-million soldiers. Drafting personnel simply to bring it to the strength that it should be would require (by my count) at least 75,000. In the end, that would be more than 1 in 10 people forced into the military.

1 in 10.

Sure, some of those (most even, maybe) would just grin-and-bear it and serve their time, but some of those would fight it the entire two or three years the military makes them wear a uniform.

Imagine the headaches NCOs and officers already have with the shit-bag soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen already in service. Now compound that with people that didn't even volunteer for the shit they're going to have to put up with.

Now imagine that those people are the sons and daughters of high-ranking politicians, or rich businessmen, and the military (and government itself) is likely to have a few lawsuits on hand. And Heaven forbid if one of those draftees is killed in combat. Oh, shit, what a shitty shit-storm.

Of course, the government can always do the Vietnam route and draft the "less fortunate," but the end result will be the same, what with the ACLU and other so-called "liberal social" organizations running rampant.

No, what we need to do is restructure the military (again, I know) to streamline personnel and save money. In addition, we need to slowly rebuild the base active services to be about 15 to 20% larger than they are today. Reagan managed to do it without a draft, so what's the problem now?

Hah... don't get me started on bratty American youth who feel that they deserve privilege in this country, and don't have to earn it.

Anyway, there's more to this than I have the time or the will to write in a single blog, but feel free to ask the tough questions and/or tear me a new asshole.

Vote for Clint Eastwood (a volunteer in the Army).

Monday, September 3, 2007

Licensed to Drive, Revisited

There are, as you are well aware, too many fucking morons driving around on our streets today. Too many idiots who don't seem to know how to use a turn signal; too many dipshits who can't drive in the rain; too many assholes who think yellow lights are NASCAR starting flags; and altogether too many ignorant fucks who don't even know their own states' driving laws.

And why? Well, because most driving tests are ridiculously easy. So easy, it's like there's a fear that America will cease to function should every half-retard out there not get a driver's license.

Solution (and this is by far NOT a catch-all): increase the difficultly of the driving tests (obviously), and introduced a tiered licensing system.

In other words: no high school diploma, no driver's license.

Here's how and why it would work. Clearly, more stringent driving preparation courses (such as a one-year driver's education course in high school, instead of a one semester) would pay dividends, but by forcing high school students to take the bus (it's free, school is required, what's the fucking problem), these young non-driving shitheads won't be on the road to drive up our insurance premiums and cause stupid accidents.

Also, by not finishing high school (which, though a topic for another blog, isn't even an effective benchmark for which to test "dumb-ass-ness"), you give up your right to have a non-restricted license.

Yes, everyone can get a license that will allow them to drive to and from work, to and from the grocery store, and to and from any post-secondary education. However, if that person with a restricted license is pulled over somewhere that is clearly NOT on the way (or from) one of those places, that person loses their driving privilege for the REST OF THEIR FUCKING LIFE. Deal with it.

To summarize all that chaotic crap above: graduate high school and pass your new driver's ed... or no unrestricted license.

Oh, and learn how to drive a stick shift WITHOUT power steering first. After all, learning how to actually CONTROL a fucking car will make driving one with all of the amenities that much easier.

I also think people should have to graduate high school before they get the right to vote, but that's neither here nor there...

Anyway, drive safe, and vote for Clint Eastwood.