NYC mayor’s vendetta against bladder busters may spread

A cartoonist for the Conservative Daily News caught the mood just right here.

New Yorkers may soon need to grab a refill if they want to consume mass quantities of soda. That is, if Mayor Michael Bloomberg has his way.

It’s just another day at the office for Hizzoner. Since taking office, Bloomberg has opened fire on smokers, trans fats, salty snacks and soft drinks. This latest has Bloomberg calling for a ban of sugared drinks in anything larger than 16 ounces, no matter what the majority of voters say.

So much for the famous Bladder Buster, or whatever it is your favorite convenience store calls its 40-plus-ounce Mt. Dew. Even the 20-ounce bottle, which is the new standard size for soda, has to go.

Keep your nose inside the vehicle at all times.

Meanwhile, in New Jersey — which is really New York South though no one will readily admit it — is considering another out-of-left-field law that will prohibit the family dog from riding in the passenger seat with his head sticking out the window. Pets must be restrained when in the vehicle, maybe even with a harness.


I don’t live in New York. I’ve never been there, and I have no desire to ever go there as long as I live. I could say I don’t understand the Bloomberg way of governance, but that would be a lie. I grew up in California, which is about like New York except the sun occasionally shines.

It’s my California experience that keeps me from laughing as I read about the latest Bloomberg Follies and about New Jersey’s proposal. I’ve seen too much, and California wrote the manual on how to be a proper Nanny State. Even New Yorkers laugh at Californians.

(A fast disclaimer: “New Yorkers” means those who live in That Big City Up North. If you call an upstater a New Yorker, he’ll hurt you and I won’t blame him. But I digress.)

But New York and California are the incubators for many of our national problems. Folks talk of street gangs now as if they’re the newest threat to our way of life; they’ve been around New York even before I was born. Illegal immigration used to be a California problem; now it’s even in the Carolinas and yes, the Midwest.

Same thing with some of the laws you used to laugh at. Now you’ll have a problem finding someplace to smoke indoors or make a phone call while driving, and many of those laws started because someone in New York or California complained.

A state with a lot of immmigration — like South Carolina — tends to adopt these laws faster than someplace like South Dakota, which isn’t exactly a hot immigration magnet. Part of it is a natural thing. We California-bred types like our Mexican food, and New Yorkers like the idea that they can call someplace and have a slice of pizza and a bagel delivered at 4 a.m. Except I still can’t find any Mexican food that is even close to the real thing out here, and the 4 a.m.  pizza/bagel runs haven’t materialized yet.

But we’ve got their laws. And we’ve got politicians who think they know what’s good for me better than I do. Something obviously got lost in the translation.

If you want to know the future here in these United States, cast your eyes on New York and California. It’s better than a crystal ball. Just hide your Bladder Buster when you see a cop, and make sure Fido’s paws and tongue stay inside the vehicle at all times.


US Asks Scientists To Censor Reports To Prevent Terrorism

Yes, I can see the rationale behind this. Really. Don’t want the bad guys to know certain things. I get it.

But isn’t that terrorism angle overworked just a tad?

In fact, terrorism has become a dandy excuse for the government to dilute Costitutional rights just a bit more, a whack here, a whack there. Government-induced censorship in any form is seldom justified, and never a good thing.

I totally get the rationale. But it’s a real slippery slope that I just don’t feel like skiing on.

The link, from Slashdot:


Firearms are hot this holiday season

What consumer item saw huge sales for Black Friday — and for the Christmas season so far?


It’s a definite sign of the times. Makes me wonder how gold and concentrated food are holding up so far?

(And gee, I treated myself to a smartphone. Do I need to go shopping again?)

Support your local TSA (or not)

Got these courtesy of talk show host Neal Boortz. Check ’em out — they’re a real hoot.

Remember, though: No laughing in the airport pat-down line. No levity whatsoever. (I found this last part out the hard way while boarding from Kona Airport, but that was too long ago to go into.)

Obama’s got Woody Allen’s vote … for dictator

Do people actually pay attention to these Hollyweird types?

This is from Fox:

Woody: Obama for ‘Dictator’:

… director says President Obama should be given dictatorial powers for ‘a few years’, GOP should ‘get out of his way’ …

Let’s see. Woody Allen? THE Woody Allen? Does he still have credibility?

But then, let’s get inside the head of your average voter. Credibility means nothing. It’s star power, baby. Which is why folks actually pay mind to what Barbra Streisand and Woody Harreslson — and Woody Allen — have to say. That’s why they keep voting for California’s action-figure-turned-Governator. 


Arizona belongs to who?

This comes from commentator Neal Boortz:

OBAMA’S OPEN BORDERS: “Just to remind you — Barack Obama hasn’t done one thing since Arizona’s new law to solve the problem of Arizona’s open border with Mexico. He hasn’t done anything since he was elected. He won’t do anything this week. He won’t do anything next week. Truth is, Obama doesn’t want to close the border. The criminal alien invaders will keep pouring in. Remember … a Pew Research poll showed that 58% of Mexicans believe that Arizona belongs to Mexico anyway. Just keeping you up to speed. How’s that hopey-changy thingy working out for you?”

I wonder how many think California belongs to Mexico?

Meanwhile, Los Angeles is now the largest city to boycott the State of Arizona, and there’s pressure on Major League Baseball to boycott next year’s All-Star Game, which will be in Phoenix. The latter, by the way, sure reminds me of the NFL putting the squeeze play on the state over the Martin Luther King holiday back in the 1990s. 

These boycotts generate a bunch of noise, but in reality don’t work all that well. The NAACP has been boycotting South Carolina over the Confederate Flag issue, and it hasn’t exactly kept people away. If it did work, then how about boycotting Los Angeles for being led by a bunch of politically-correct pansies?


Whether we like it or not, Obama shows his hand

Another Obama-ism, at a recent Nuclear Security Summit:

That key sentence again:

“Whether we like it or not, we remain a military superpower.”

Whether we like it or not? Pray tell, what does our alleged president mean here?

Personal footnote: I used to think he was just overmatched, in over his head, just a community organizer thrown into a job he is not qualified for. But with statements like this, it looks more and more like he has an agenda. A plan. And it’s one that turns us into one of those European nations that’s going down the drain. The more I think about it, the more it looks like he wants to castrate America.

Enough of that. With that off my chest, here’s the deal:

If you happen to be one of those folks who doesn’t like it, I just have one thing to say:

“Delta is ready when you are.”

Please. Go away. Get your slack butt out of this country and quit bugging me. OK?

(Gee, what’s so hard about that?)


Speaking your piece: Blogging whys and hows

[First of a short series on public discourse]

They used to say about newspaper publishers that you never argue with a man who buys ink by the barrel and paper by the ton.

But that was a couple of decades ago. Now the guy who buys all this ink and paper has no real credibility. He’s in the tank. Newspapers are dying. Network TV news is dying.

But the need for a free, independent press remains, and probably now more than ever. This brouhaha over the ObamaLosi health care plan is instructive. If it wasn’t for public discourse via the press and Internet, how would you know some senators — maybe even yours — sold their votes for a bit of pork or a few judges? How else would you know what is in that health care plan, and how much it would cost to future generations? How would you know about that gigantic proctoscope coming your way, unless someone tells you about it?

I’ve written plenty about the stuff going on in Washington, and I’ve hardly scratched the surface. But I’m not unique. Plenty of bloggers do the same thing, and some do it as well, or better, than me. But that’s OK too.

More people get their news via the Internet these days. And with today’s tools (Google Reader, Twitter, Facebook) it’s easier than ever to share news. Shoot, even with my modest 540 Twitter followers, you can see the potential. Assuming my average Twitter follower has 2,500 unique followers of their own (and I’m clearly shooting wild with the numbers here), you can see how word of something can get out on the Internet:

  • First generation, my followers: 540.
  • Second generation, my follower’s followers: 1,350,000.
  • Third generation, my followers’ followers’ followers: Forget it. Smoke is pouring out of my calculator.
  • All of this takes place within a few seconds.

OK, that’s some real fuzzy math, but you get the idea. Now you know how a news story or video can go “viral.”

Years ago, thinker Marshall McLuhan named the printing press as one of the great extensions of man, arguing that it made the common person into a reader. He later amended it with the copying machine; everyone’s a publisher. Ol’ Marshall’s no longer around; if he’d lived to see blogging and Twitter, he’d say everyone now has a newspaper.

But you get the drift. The media is no longer top-down, i.e. a publisher and a gang of reporters telling you what’s news. It’s now bottom-up, with the common man setting news policy.

Now, that sea change is for better or worse. The Internet has a horrendous signal-to-noise ratio. For each solid, meaty piece of reportage there are about a million pieces of fluff about Britney Spears or Tiger Woods. Sometimes this bottom-up news policy does make me long for some good old-fashioned elitism.

Still with me? Cool.

Setting up a blog is easy. Just about anyone who can turn a computer on and point a mouse at the Web browser icon can do it.

I’m using Blogger, which is a platform owned by Google. What’s beautiful about it is that it’s free, it’s easy, and initial setup takes almost no effort at all.

Before you do anything else, decide what you want to blog about. If you want to write a bunch of crap about how many beers you puked up, or who you hooked up with last night, do me a favor: Please ignore everything I say here. We’ve got plenty of the likes of you on the Internet, and you’re probably looking at the wrong web site anyway.

But if you’re interested in the world you live in, if you are able to string together a few coherent and independent thoughts, if you’re not a Kool-Aid drinker, then let’s talk about blogging.

  • Give yourself a sign-in name and password. If you have a Google account (such as gmail), use that.
  • Come up with a name for your blog. You will soon be known for that, so choose carefully.
  • Pick a template. There are plenty, and some are butt-ugly. But pick one. Don’t worry about all the cool widgets and things just yet; you’re just writing now. Got it?
  • Pull up NEW POST, then write a headline.
  • Lock and load. Get your thoughts down.
  • Read it over. If it looks like it’s what you want to say, click on PUBLISH POST. See how easy that was?
  • Don’t worry that no one is reading it. Keep writing. If your stuff is good, the readers will come. Tell folks what you’re doing. Put it on your Facebook page, or whatever social media you’re using.
  • Stick with it, and learn the nuances of blogging as you go. There’s a whole new science about it. For now, though, just write.
  • If you don’t write worth a flip, just use your computer webcam and talk to your readers. Start a YouTube channel, save your videos and talking messages there, and post them to your blog. Just make sure you’re, well, wearing something — PLEASE? — when you make your video.

That’s the basic stuff.

OK, so why am I giving up all this information?

Because I can, and because we need more voices out there on the Internet. We need more, well, I said it. Independent thinkers. Folks who don’t give a rip what the mainstream is saying. Folks who, like that guy in David Baldacci’s Camel Club, “want the truth.”

Something smelling funny in Washington, or in your state capital? Don’t just sit around whining about it. Blog about it.

(Props to commentator Michael Berry of Houston for putting this idea in my head.)


[In a future Column, I’ll continue this thought … I’ll discuss ways of keeping up with all these Internet headlines. Think RSS here.]