Thursday, September 08, 2005

Skating away...

Image by Lawrence
"So you ride yourself over the fields,
and you make all your animal deals,
and your wise men don't know how it feels
to be thick as a brick." -Ian Anderson

I don't know. Maybe it's me, but I think it's probably not.

Riddle me this. Why do we find ourselves in a conservative place economically and politically but, yet, we live with a huge defecit? How can we, conservatively, spend more than we take in?

I know, it's the entitlements. But, the thing is, we spend as much in entitlements in a year as we spend elsewhere in the world in a month (maybe less).

Am I mistaken, but didn't Liberal Clinton balance the budget for most of the years he was president? The picture isn't clear to me. It we have a war and it costs $$$ (mainly due to folks like Haliburton charging $25.00+/meal for freeze-dried lasagne...) ought we not raise the tax rate? Or, maybe change contractors?

In the last spate of contractor dealings with war related stuff, Haliburton got the contracts, with no bid (NO BID) necessary. Hell, where I live you have to be the sole provider to get that kinda deal. We know that's not the case though, don't we? There's plenty of providers. It's the free market, remember?

Conservatives bemoan the monies spent on "welfare" and entitlements to American citizens. There are plenty of good reasons to argue with those programs and expenses. Yet we spend deficit dollars to bankroll military contractors and such. It sounds like rich man welfare to me. Which is worse?

In the end, both are obviously bad. In the end, cut them all off and start from scratch, a scratch that's truly fair to the American people. Pay what it's worth, not what you can steal or cheat or bilk from the American teat. That goes for people in need as well as people in business.

In the end, it won't happen because those in power do what it takes to retain power. Some will say Freedom's not free. Others will say that freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose.

I tend to agree with the latter.

The fight for web talk heightens
Even as the legal tussle between Google and Microsoft is making the headlines, these web portals, along with Yahoo! are involved in an all out war for supremacy in the web communications market.
Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a ##prayer## site/blog. It pretty much covers ##Katrina## related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)
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Hello there, I found my way to your blog. What a nice site you have!

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Speaking of freedom ...

Leo, er, I mean Mr. Kerouac, do you like how the spammers are taking liberties with our blog?
General Domestic Product leaders, 2004, in U.S. dollars:

1. USA $12 trillion
2. Japan $5 trillion
3. Germany $3 trillion
4. UK $2 trillion
5. France $2 trillion
6. Italy $1.7 trillion
7. China $1.6 trillion

"Huge deficits" don't scare me any more than a mortgage does.

Halliburton's not the big bad wolf. The jihadi boys are. Get your priorities straight.
"Thick as a Brick" by Tull is one of the best songs EVER.

Really don’t mind if you sit this one out.
My words but a whisper -- your deafness a shout.
I may make you feel but I can’t make you think.
Your sperm’s in the gutter -- your love’s in the sink.
So you ride yourselves over the fields and
You make all your animal deals and
Your wise men don’t know how it feels to be thick as a brick.
And the sand-castle virtues are all swept away in
The tidal destruction
The moral melee.
The elastic retreat rings the close of play as the last wave uncovers
The newfangled way.
But your new shoes are worn at the heels and
Your suntan does rapidly peel and
Your wise men don’t know how it feels to be thick as a brick.

And the love that I feel is so far away:
I’m a bad dream that I just had today -- and you
Shake your head and
Say it’s a shame.

Spin me back down the years and the days of my youth.
Draw the lace and black curtains and shut out the whole truth.
Spin me down the long ages: let them sing the song.

See there! a son is born -- and we pronounce him fit to fight.
There are black-heads on his shoulders, and he pees himself in the night.
Make a man of him
Put him to trade
Teach him
To play monopoly and
To sing in the rain.

The poet and the painter casting shadows on the water --
As the sun plays on the infantry returning from the sea.
The do-er and the thinker: no allowance for the other --
As the failing light illuminates the mercenary’s creed.
The home fire burning: the kettle almost boiling --
But the master of the house is far away.
The horses stamping -- their warm breath clouding
In the sharp and frosty morning of the day.
And the poet lifts his pen while the soldier sheaths his sword.

And the youngest of the family is moving with authority.
Building castles by the sea, he dares the tardy tide to wash them all aside.

The cattle quietly grazing at the grass down by the river
Where the swelling mountain water moves onward to the sea:
The builder of the castles renews the age-old purpose
And contemplates the milking girl whose offer is his need.
The young men of the household have
All gone into service and
Are not to be expected for a year.
The innocent young master -- thoughts moving ever faster --
Has formed the plan to change the man he seems.
And the poet sheaths his pen while the soldier lifts his sword.

And the oldest of the family is moving with authority.
Coming from across the sea, he challenges the son who puts him to the run.

What do you do when
The old man’s gone -- do you want to be him? and
Your real self sings the song.
Do you want to free him?
No one to help you get up steam --
And the whirlpool turns you `way off-beam.

I’ve come down from the upper class to mend your rotten ways.
My father was a man-of-power whom everyone obeyed.
So come on all you criminals!
I’ve got to put you straight just like I did with my old man --
Twenty years too late.
Your bread and water’s going cold.
Your hair is too short and neat.
I’ll judge you all and make damn sure that no-one judges me.

You curl your toes in fun as you smile at everyone -- you meet the stares.
You’re unaware that your doings aren’t done.
And you laugh most ruthlessly as you tell us what not to be.
But how are we supposed to see where we should run?
I see you shuffle in the courtroom with
Your rings upon your fingers and
Your downy little sidies and
Your silver-buckle shoes.
Playing at the hard case, you follow the example of the comic-paper idol
Who lets you bend the rules.

Come on ye childhood heroes!
Won’t you rise up from the pages of your comic-books
Your super crooks
And show us all the way.
Well! make your will and testament. won’t you?
Join your local government.
We’ll have superman for president
Let robin save the day.

You put your bet on number one and it comes up every time.
The other kids have all backed down and they put you first in line.
And so you finally ask yourself just how big you are --
And take your place in a wiser world of bigger motor cars.
And you wonder who to call on.

So! where the hell was biggles when you needed him last saturday?
And where were all the sportsmen who always pulled you though?
They’re all resting down in cornwall --
Writing up their memoirs for a paper-back edition
Of the boy scout manual.

See there! a man born -- and we pronounce him fit for peace.
There’s a load lifted from his shoulders with the discovery of his disease.
Take the child from him
Put it to the test
Teach it
To be a wise man
How to fool the rest.

We will be geared to the average rather than the exceptional
God is an overwhelming responsibility
We walked through the maternity ward and saw 218 babies wearing nylons
Cats are on the upgrade
Upgrade? hipgrave. oh, mac.

In the clear white circles of morning wonder,
I take my place with the lord of the hills.
And the blue-eyed soldiers stand slightly discoloured (in neat little rows)
Sporting canvas frills.
With their jock-straps pinching, they slouch to attention,
While queueing for sarnies at the office canteen.
Saying -- how’s your granny and
Good old ernie: he coughed up a tenner on a premium bond win.
The legends (worded in the ancient tribal hymn) lie cradled
In the seagull’s call.
And all the promises they made are ground beneath the sadist’s fall.
The poet and the wise man stand behind the gun,
And signal for the crack of dawn.
Light the sun.

Do you believe in the day? do you?
Believe in the day! the dawn creation of the kings has begun.
Soft venus (lonely maiden) brings the ageless one.
Do you believe in the day?
The fading hero has returned to the night -- and fully pregnant with the day,
Wise men endorse the poet’s sight.
Do you believe in the day? do you? believe in the day!

Let me tell you the tales of your life of
Your love and the cut of the knife
The tireless oppression
The wisdom instilled
The desire to kill or be killed.
Let me sing of the losers who lie in the street as the last bus goes by.
The pavements ar empty: the gutters run red -- while the fool
Toasts his God in the sky.

So come all ye young men who are building castles!
Kindly state the time of the year and join your voices in a hellish chorus.
Mark the precise nature of your fear.
Let me help you pick up your dead as the sins of the father are fed
The blood of the fools and
The thoughts of the wise and
From the pan under your bed.
Let me make you a present of song as
The wise man breaks wind and is gone while
The fool with the hour-glass is cooking his goose and
The nursery rhyme winds along.

So! come all ye young men who are building castles!
Kindly state the time of the year and join your voices in a hellish chorus.
Mark the precise nature of your fear.
See! the summer lightning casts it’s bolts upon you
And the hour of judgement draweth near.
Would you be
The fool stood in his suit of armour or
The wiser man who rushes clear.
So! come on ye childhood heroes!
Won’t your rise up from the pages of your comic-books
Your super-crooks and
Show us all the way.
Well! make your will and testament.
Won’t you? join your local government.
We’ll have superman for president
Let robin save the day.
So! where the hell was biggles when you needed him last saturday?
And where were all the sportsmen who always pulled you through?
They’re all resting down in cornwall -- writing up their memoirs
For a paper-back edition of the boy scout manual.

Of course
So you ride yourselves over the fields and
You make all your animal deals and
Your wise men don’t know how it feels to be thick as a brick.
There's the old saying "The devil you know is safer than the devil you don't know."

Either way, aren't they devils?

I'm not comparing Haliburton to terrorists. I do take umbrage with their way of doing business at the taxpayer's expense however. Not exactly fair value for dollars spent, is it?
I tend to agree with Leo here. We can debate the legitimateness of the war and the reasons for it. But bad business is still bad business.

Americans pay taxes willingly and unwillingly, whatever. It's just plain wrong to waste the money. It's not responsible. If simple citizens do that, they go broke or go to jail.
All these Halliburton expenses and the procedures through governmental contracting, procurements, etc., are being documented and audited to the Nth degree in our transparent system of open goverment and a free press.

There will be an accounting. A reckoning.

If real wrong was done, it will surface.

Meanwhile, democracy will be growing like a weed in the Middle East, and won't that be worth your taxpayer dollar?
Real wrong was done. Haliburton got fined 35 million dollars last year, or something like that. And they still keep doing business with them.

Bad business is still bad business. The more money you've got, the easier it is to stay out of trouble.

What democracy do the rest of the world learn? How to screw your people and get away with it?
Ah. Healthy debate over the uncontrollable. I love it.

You know, everything that happens has a corresponding Rock and Roll lyric. In this case, I'm reminded of the Hornsby song, a paraphrase of Ecclesiastes.
"That's just the way it is. Some things'll never change."

By the way. I've replaced all my lightning cooked switches on the network here at work. I can get on line again at work after intermittent outages
You guys argue too much. What happened to the funny pictures and silly commentary. The ultra-sound pic was almost funny and the zen thing was really good. By the way mike, I liked your blog. Keep it up.
Not saying this is necessarily you guys, but in general the people who don't like Halliburton basically fall into the anti-war/anti-Bush camp. And that is their prime motivation to swallow-and-regurgitate the Michael Moore mantras that bash their leaders.

It's political.

As for Halliburton, it pays its fines, which means it is playing by the rules.

You break the speed limit, you pay the fine. Does that mean you are evil?

People who focus more on rule-keeping, rather than the larger picture of, say, defeating terrorists are like Pharisees. Straining a gnat and swallowing a camel.

Yeah, I think Michael Moore has swallowed the camel.
Paying fines is a great thing. Getting caught over and over is another. Is that what you call playing by the rules?

It's like letting a convicted repeat bank robber guard the bank or a child molester watch your kids. Maybe they've been busted and paid but how in all honesty how can you trust them?

Besides, this is life and death and survival of our troops in a war zone. That can't be compared to a speeding ticket, especially when it's wilfully done. Done on purpose is always evil.

Did you see the Michael Moore movie? I thought it was long and boring, but if only half of it's true, how can anyone be optimistic about the Bushes?
When I break the speed limit, I am one person.

Halliburton is an organization of 85,000 people. It's a scale of economy.

I break the speed limit repeatedly, and usually I do it willfully.

Here's another analogy: Once I ran an advertising agency and I charged clients $65 an hour for my services. That was actually lower than the average market for that sort of thing. One time I bid a job and I estimated it would take me 5 hours to do it, and I bid accordingly. $325. It only took me 2 hours. The client was fully satisfied. Furthermore, I subcontracted the work to an artist, who was delighted to receive $50 an hour for his work. We love to point fingers but we often fail to look at the larger picture, like disobeying the posted "Do Not Swim" sign in order to save someone who is drowning.

We also like to bash the rich, because they're sucessful and we're not, and we're jealous.

Yeah, I agree it's "life and death and survival of our troops in a war zone."

I totally agree.

That's why I get upset when people who were not elected to the job of Commander in Chief will sit in their armchair and play Monday morning quarterback, criticize the President, second-guess him, stab him in the back, say "yeah yeah I voted for him" ... and they stick a "support the troops" sticker on their cars so they can look patriotic to their neighbors and friends.

Meanwhile, to the soldier in the field -- and I hear this frequently -- when he is aware that there is division and strife back home, that the commander is under attack from his own people -- that would be about the most damaging thing to his morale, and his will to fight, and his will to win.

If we don't like the policy, we will vote in a new leader. That's our privilege as free people.

Michael Moore has been roundly proven to be inaccurate, deceptive in his editing methods, and grossly biased.
Wow. Zinged by a guy called Wet Willie. That really stings.

Let me just add that when jesus chastised the pharisees, he also kicked their collective keisters for tithing their mint and cummin while ignoring the bigger issues of justice and mercy.

I saw the Moore film and, as Mr. Mike says, it was long. I found it tedious. But if even a shred is true it adds fuel to cynicism.

On that note, I go off on the quest of funny pics and silly commentary.
Yeah, Willie's right. What happened to having fun?
I dunno. I get this undying urge to get mugs riled up occasionally. Then Mikey bites and Ted goes after him with daggers and the Wall Street Journal. Nothing gets solved and we all laugh and go home.

Maybe I really was/am a prankster?

I have strong feelings about what is right and wrong.

I use simple logic and facts.

Not daggers. Only as a last resort.
Daggers in the metaphoric sense. The tools of the wordsmith are sharper and mightier than a razor in the hand of a gangbanger.
Well, if I'm gonna be a gangbanger, then I want my Mac 10. Ahs gwine take mah gat an' put a divot in yah neck!

However, you make a good point.

I do tend to shoot off my mouth sometimes.

I don't mean to offend anyone. I am just a passionate believer in our country's principles. I don't care if our leaders make mistakes. They're human.

Jihadists must die.
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