Monday, December 18, 2006

Weekly Podium: "Feelings, Reactions, Opinions...oh my!"

Why is there so much crying, blubbering, and useless information being passed as "news" these days? Did the "Democratic De-evolution" have to spark such a regression of what is considered to be "important" and "notable" news stories.

A good example of this is a very recent story on CNN about the Olympic Bomber, Eric Rudolph. It seems that The Gazette of Colorado Springs has been running a series of "letters to the editor" from Mr. Rudolph, who provides an excellent depiction of life in Supermax, which is one of the toughest maximum-security prisons in America. However, in a land populated by leftist-hippies(Colorado Springs, Colorado), Rudolph is given a forum to talk about how his life sentence in Supermax is driving him insane, and how he spends 23 hours a day in his 7 x 12 cell. He also thinks that Supermax is designed to cause "mental illness and chronic physical conditions", and that solitary confinement is used to "inflict as much misery and pain as constitutionally permissible."

This is a man who pled guilty to the Olympic Park bombing in 1996 and three other bombings, one of which was a Birmingham, Alabama women's clinic.

All that said...what's the problem?

We put the most dangerous people to society in places like Supermax. The idea is to break them down, make them pay for the crimes they have committed. Now, this guy wants sympathy?

His letters and statements will be used by bleeding-heart liberals as a reason why we need to stop the prisons, and attempt to "rehabilitate" these "poor individuals". The fact that the man can be classified as a terrorist is not something that can be "rehabilitated". The fact that this "individual" killed and injured people is not to be ignored. He is doing what all that commit such crimes should be doing...rotting away in a concete and steel hell. Suffice it to say, I believe he is reaping what he had sown.

A question for you people to ponder...why is it that the plight of the raped, tortured, and murdered citizens of Darfur is of utmost concern to liberals...but for over a decade, the plight of the raped, tortured, and murdered Kurds in northern Iraq was of zero concern to these same liberals? It must have something to do with the Hollywood trend of adopting(or, in Madonna's case, stealing) little children from Africa.

Kofi Annan spent most of his "farewell" (I call it a "good riddance") speech challenging the United States to, paraphrasingly, do what he and most of Europe think is "right". Annan did a lot of quoting of Harry Truman in his goodbye speech. Where does Annan and his spineless legacy get off quoting Harry Truman? Honestly, how can Kofi "let's fight terror economically" Annan quote "Give 'em hell, Harry" Truman with a straight face? Annan also mentioned that the U.N. must take the steps necessary to end the violence in Darfur. Nice turnaround in your last speech, Kofi. Just last month, Annan said that the U.N. did not have the force nor the will to go into Sudan and take care of this situation.

So which is it, Mr. Annan? Do you think that the U.N. should or should not intervene in Darfur? I would ask you to make a stand in your final speech, but taking a hard stance on anything except anti-American sentiments is something you have failed to do during your lackluster tenure.

I find it amazing that a supposed "leader" like Annan can only appear brave and emboldened in his denouncing of Bush's administration when he had the quasi-socialist French and other members of the European Union(of Soviet Socialist Republics) standing behind him.

If you don't believe me, I urge you to read or listen to Annan's "goodbye" speech, and count how many times he says the words "you Americans" to preface a very long statement about how America needs the U.N. and needs a global economy.

Dennis Kucinich is once again attempting to gain the Democratic Party's nomination for President again, and he believes that he can do it.........*yawn*. Moving on...

Leonardo DiCaprio (an environmental "expert", naturally, because he is an award-winning actor) wants answers from America on the topic of Global Warming. His question is this: "What are some simple steps or creative ideas that people can take at home and work to combat global warming?"

My answer is even simpler than that...I say, "well, Leo, you can stop using your private jet, as it puts as much pollution in the air during a one-way flight from Los Angeles to Chicago as my ULEV-rated car would in 30,000 miles of continuous use."

If you don't believe me, you can look it up, as that is a fact. This fact also applies to such "conscious" celebrities as George Clooney, Cameron Diaz, and Julia Roberts. So much for the new trend of celebs using enviro-friendly cars and speaking out about global warming...they're a bigger contributor to the greenhouse effect in a few hours than most Americans are in a year!

Speaking of global warming, would someone tell Erik Curren that his post-apocolyptic dystopia has been put on hold indefinitely?

According to a few sources, a soon-to-be released United Nations report will downgrade human influence on global warming, stating that livestock are only responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gasses (not the much larger figures Curren threw out 2 weeks ago), and that American cars are only responsible for 6 percent.

Also, the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Control (IPCC) is lowering their predictions for future sea level raises. They lowered the high-end estimate for sea level increases from 34 inches to 17 inches by 2100. So at-worst, we'll see a 17-inch increase in average sea levels in 94 years.

Curren's "worst-case scenario" in his previous article predicted over 40 feet of water-level increases in 50 years.

So let's compare these worst-case scenarios. The liberal-loved U.N. says that, at worst, we'll see sea levels raise less than 1 1/2 feet in 94 years. Erik Curren says over 40 feet in 50 years.

I recently read another report that states three scientifically-backed facts. One of those facts was that the hole in the ozone over Antarctica is closing. The second fact was that the regression of the arctic ice-cap seems to be stabilizing. The third fact was that the Antarctic ice cap was beginning to increase in size again.

Pro-environmental liberals (such as Mr. Curren) across the world will start crying now, as "the day after tomorrow" will be pretty much the same as the day before yesterday. Their beloved United Nations has told them that global warming is not the impending doom they once thought it was. Now is 17 inches going to be a problem? Well, I'm sure there will be some ramifications (beach erosion, etc...), but it is certainly not the end of western civilization as we know it, and is a gradual enough increase that humans can adjust easily to this. Plus, as I said before, the 17 inches is the high-end estimate.

Next thing you know, environmentalists like Curren will tell you that the unusually large solar flare that caused the I.S.S. and Space Shuttle astronauts to take cover from radiation exposure was really a massive simultaneous fart from cows near Chernobyl and Three Mile Island.

All jokes aside, there needs to be a separation of reality and far-fetched, unproven theory. While it is true that "worst-case scenarios" tend to grab your attention more than the "most-likely scenario". However, "worst-case scenarios" that are presented as "this is what's most likely going to happen" make my stomach turn in that way that makes you want to scream "LIARS!!!"

I am going to close this week's column with a rebuttal to Stephen Winslow's statements in last week's article on payday lending. Mr. Winslow, I can understand your hesitancy to do your job as you were told to do. It's not easy to follow procedures when it involves taking people's money, whether they like it or not. However, Mr. Winslow, you're not stealing money from people by following the procedures of your company, you are simply protecting your company's assets.

Guess what, those lobbyists happen to be right. They are providing a service, they are providing tax revenues, they are providing jobs, it is a free market, it is capitalism, and I have yet to have someone twist my arm to use payday lending. Like the majority of those who use payday lending, I have only used it in emergency cases in which the immediate need for money was only a short-term problem.

Allow me to add, before we go further, that I am not so well-paid that I don't have periods of time in which I am living paycheck-to-paycheck. My wife and I each earn enough to allow us to put food on our table, a roof over our family's head, and clothes on our family's well as pay my monthly bills. Most of the time, after it's all said and done, there isn't much left for a lot of fun and frivolity other than the occasional night out for dinner or some other unnecessary, but entertaining, expense.

However, those desperate times call for tighter measures of control over your finances, not "desperate measures". The reason why many people can't get out of the cycle is because they don't control their finances. That, my friend, is the fault of the customer. It is not the fault of the lender that the customer does not make the appropriate lifestyle and financial changes necessary to adapt to the repayment of the payday loan. Most payday lenders will only allow you to borrow up to a certain percentage of your average paycheck, as to allow you to have the funds necessary for fee repayment and to also have some funds available for you to live on.

While I agree that these interest rates are high, to say that a lender is predatory because there are a minority-percentage of customers who come in more than once-a-month to borrow money is harsh, and deflecting appropriate responsiblity from the individual and placing it upon the "big, bad, predatory lender".

It's time people stopped buying into the sales pitch alone, and started seeing the whole picture for what it really is.