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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Bob Sikorsky and the New York Times

The things I type about hit me at odd times and this was one of them. I was reading a Journal Inquirer article from Bob Sikorsky, The New York Times syndicated columnist and all around automotive guru. He was asked by D.D, via e-mail to publish his list of companies that do and do not import oil from the Middle East. He begins by answering that the biggest importer of Middle Eastern oil is Shell, followed by Chevron-Texaco, Exxon-Mobil, Marathon-Speedway, and Amoco. He also informs us that by buying gas from these companies you will fill the coffers of the country that hatched most of the murderers of 9/11. Sikorsky states that if you're inclined to buy oil from companies that do not import from the Middle East such as Saudi Arabia get your gas from Citgo, the national oil company of Venezuela, Sunoco, Conoco, Phillips 66, Hess, and BP.
Bob makes a noble effort to inform the public, but I can also copy and paste mass E-Mails! Yes, his information is flawed and appeared in an "Urban Legend" mass e-mail. That is why I did not use quotes, the writing simply is not his. Citgo in 2002 imported oil from both Iraq and Kuwait. While Conoco didn't import oil from the Middle East, they have merged with Phillips 66 which has imported from Iraq and Saudi Arabia. In 2002, BP imported oil from Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Algeria. Of his list of countries that do not import Middle Eastern oil, Hess and Sunoco do not. It is unfortunate that a writer who is respected in his field has been duped as well as a world re known newspaper. For more information, please link here and read the actual e-mail and the real facts! Have a great day because I know I will. http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/saudigas.asp

Monday, March 28, 2005

I Don't Feel To Well Today

So this will be short, I will give you more info and facts at a later date.

Can you imagine working for a company that has a little more than 500
employees and has the following statistics:

* 29 have been accused of spousal abuse
* 7 have been arrested for fraud
* 19 have been accused of writing bad checks
* 117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses
* 3 have done time for assault
* 71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit
* 14 have been arrested on drug-related charges
* 8 have been arrested for shoplifting
* 21 are currently defendants in lawsuits
* 84 have been arrested for drunk driving in the last year
Can you guess which organization this is?

Give up yet?
It's the 535 members of the United States Congress. The same group of idiots
that crank out hundreds of new laws each year designed to keep the rest of
us in line.

Friday, March 25, 2005

OK, They Broke Me Down....

As many of you know, it is my birthday Sunday so I will be taking the weekend off to drink. Also, you all may have figured that I have been trying to avoid writing about Michael Jackson, Terri Schiavo or the massacre in Red Lake, Minnesota. Well, I have been broken and will write about them, but not how the media has portrayed these event. I am going to put a spin of blunt honesty on them, a twist if you would, on all three.
First, Michael Jackson, I will not inundate you with the details. He is on trial for child molestation. I personally do not think he actually molested the kid because of the past court "performances" of the accusers family. I do however think that there is something wrong with Jackson in the head. He is a loon, well any 45+ year old man who "shares" his bed with any children other than his own has serious mental issues. All my opinions of his guilt, innocence or mental health are moot, I intend to write about his fans and detractors. Everyday Michael arrives at the courthouse in Santa Maria, California whether it be late or on time, he has throngs of fans who swear he is innocent (with no actual knowledge of the testimony) and detractors who have condemned him to hell (with no actual knowledge of the testimony). My question is this, DO THESE PEOPLE WORK? Do they have families? Lives? Let us take fan Susie Mumpfield, who quit her job and moved to Santa Maria from Los Angeles because she "is a soldier of love in Michaels army." She is 23 years old and thinks :it is my daytime job to be here." Okay so Susie needs therapy at 23, I know younger people than that that have issues. There is also Evalie Horner, 29 who wrote her master's thesis on Jackson! Evalie "fell in love with his work, his humanitarian efforts and spiritual philosophy." Ms. Horner doesn't even know this man, maybe she should have written her master's thesis on how a 40+ year-old can share his bed with children. Maybe she should use her masters degree and get a job instead of standing outside of a courthouse supporting some weirdo whom she will never meet. I know what you are all thinking and yes I have a little obsession with Johnny Maestro and the Brooklyn Bridge. I think they are premiere artists and are under-rated as a band. But Evalie and I differ in one aspect, I have met them. Not once or twice in passing but several times, I have talked to them about the past, making music, and their future. They are cool and they don't sleep with other people's children! There are over 1,600 media groups represented at what is no doubt the trial of the most famous person ever facing a felony. Over 200 hundred supporters and detractors show up everyday, well I can say this with little respect for both sides, GET A LIFE, he will never hear you or meet you, your presence there is meaningless.
Sometimes I can be a heartless bastard, I know this and many of you do. Yes, I laughed when the fellas on Imus in the Morning called Terri Schiavo the human flycatcher, well she never does shut her mouth like most women! (ZING) But in all honesty, let the woman die for Christ sakes. I am only mentioning her because I think you should all go to this site and consider printing and filling one of these out: http://www.nhpco.org/files/public/Connecticut.pdf . This way what is happening to this women will never happen to you and prevent the grief that has ripping this family apart.
Finally, I would like to touch on the subject of Red Lake. Red Lake Minnesota is where Jeff Weise went on a rampage and left 9 people dead in his wake. The media has insisted on releasing the Nazi web-site of which he was a member and posted on. Why do that? To encourage other kids/people to go check it out? Granted, I did go and look, but I am morbid, set in my ways and have enough sense not to be influenced by hate mongers. But what about the 13 year-old who is naive and easily influenced? Sure, it is the parents responsibility to monitor their kids on-line activities, but can you be everywhere all the time? No. They even had the gall to post this website which was a view into this kids mind, http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/195194 this is a cartoon, but it is graphic. Now think about it, what newsworthy purpose does this serve? None in my opinion. From a psychological point of view it may help professionals understand these things better but how does it help the public? Yes, maybe IF some one that knew him had seen this they could have intervened, but hind sight is 20/20 and pretty much useless. People have said that he should have killed himself, now, but when they were watching the Flash Video they thought the "graphics were infantile." Great help there. My favorite feedback were these "This kid has some problems he needs help before he kills someone" ya think? Or "keep it up you have a great future!" to bad it didn't last to long. People are reaching out for help everyday. I do not support what this maniac did and my heart reaches out to the families of those who died but who was watching Jeff Weise? Obviously no one, the similarities between him and the murderers from Columbine are uncanny. Some one anyone should have noticed. It is unfortunate that our society will now once again buckle down on bullying and security only to let the reforms lapse when this shooting is forgotten.
There, that is it! I did it I discussed these three things and I took them in the order that the media gives them attention which unto itself is a tragedy. Michael Jackson is more important than Terri Schiavo who is more important than the brutal massacre of 9 people. OH WHAT A WORLD! I may write something up if Terri dies but if not, I shall return on Easter! Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me, oh birthday gifts may be made to EnsJohnnyMaestro@aol.com at Paypal.com.
https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_home

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Why Do Countries Threaten The United States?

People, you must all understand that I am doing my best not to write about "current events" that the media has been focusing on say for the last 15 years. If you cannot guess what two things I am hinting at then maybe you should just end it all because the world is passing you by, or you don't watch the news. As many of my fans know, I have always preferred the newspaper over televised news reports. The texture of a paper in my hands and the ability to actually read the news and make your own interpretation of the writers intent is more appealing to me than some one reading it to me. Since my mugging I do find it more difficult to stay focused and find myself wandering and having to read sentences over and over never mind writing this to enlighten you all. All that being said, I try to focus on issues no one really talks about and today will be no different.
Venezuela's president, Hugo Chavez, has warned the United States that he will cut off shipments of his country's oil if our current administration support an attempt to force him from office. This comes on the wake of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld criticizing Venezuela's attempt to purchase 100,000 AK-47 assault rifles from Russia. For quite a few years the relationship between the United States and Venezuela has been rocky at best. People have accused the United States of interfering in the region for years. Our government was also accused of helping with an aborted coup against President Chavez in 2002. I should note that Venezuela provides 13% of United States oil imports and is the fifth largest oil exporter world-wide. This being said let us discuss the finer points of having another country threaten us.
Let me first state I detest Donald Rumsfeld. He stands for everything I am against, he is a war hawk and should have been removed from office. Secretary Rumsfeld stated that he "can't imagine what is going to happen to 100,000 AK-47s," while visiting officials in Brazil. Well Donald, is it really any of our business? How many AK-47s does the United States possess and I mean street thugs, not our military. We should take care of our own problems with gun control before we begin giving other countries our two-cents.
President Hugo Chavez is a former colonel who was was elected in 1999. During his presidency, Venezuela has seen sweeping changes throughout the country, including a new constitution and new social programs. He is not a petty dictator but an elected official of a sovereign nation. This does not give him the right to threaten another country, well Haiti maybe but not the United States. It would seem as a military man he has forgotten the Falkland Islands. The Falkland Islands make up an overseas territory of the United Kingdom. The islands lie in the South Atlantic Ocean east of the southern coast of Argentina. In April 1982, Argentine troops invaded the islands. Great Britain then sent troops, ships, and planes to the Falklands. Air, land, and sea battles broke out between Argentina and Britain. The Argentine forces surrendered in June 1982 with casualties of 236 British and 655 Argentine people. Argentina was obliterated plain and simple in an undeclared war that lasted 72 days. President Chavez would do well to read up on his history before making threats to the United States. The Venezuelan army has approximately 100,000, Iraq had 1 million men, what would stop us from retaliating for these threats? the United Nations? They are nothing but a figure-head, a rubber stamp if you will. Nothing can stop us, which in itself is nothing to brag about but it is a fact.
Venezuela continues to be highly dependent on the petroleum sector, which accounts for roughly one-third of GDP, around 80% of export earnings, and more than half of government operating revenues. In late 2003, President Chavez committed himself to $1 billion in new social programs, money the government does not have. Petroleum and petroleum products and aluminum are Venezuela's leading exports. The main imports include chemicals, industrial machinery, and transportation equipment. Venezuela's chief trading partners include the United States, Germany, and Japan. If they cut the United States off or in turn we put economic sanctions against Venezuela in place, how will they make up for the loss? President Chavez would do well to think before speaking next time. Venezuela is weak with us economically and would be destroyed without us. And finally, to threaten a country that is "your better" economically and militarily is just plain foolish.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Is Connecticut Saving Every Dollar It Can?

Governor Jodi Rell has once again called for raises for the “sin taxes” in order to plug the hole of an over one billion dollar deficit in the State budget. Smokers and drinkers have been shouldering one of the largest burdens of state taxes for several years. But instead of making them suffer once again, why not look for places to cut the budget? For example, I would love to know if the State Representatives and Senators would care to explain their salaries? In 2001, State Senators made a base salary of $28,000, and an expense account of $5,000. This expense account includes transportation. I have never been paid to travel back and forth to work. Now in the legislature, if you hold a leadership position you have a larger salary. There are some 36 members of the State Senate, of these 36 members thirty-six have leadership positions! I understand the need for a Senate President Pro Tempore, a Majority Leader even a Majority Whip or two, but 8 Assistant President Pro Tempore? Eight Assistant Majority Leaders and 10 Assistant Minority Leaders and even five Majority Whips. The State House of Representatives is even better. The House consists of 150 members and has 53 leaders! I mean are they such an unruly bunch that they need so much supervision? Representatives also make a base salary of $28,000 and an expense fund of $4,500 (2001). Being in a leadership position or a chairperson of a committee also brings legislators more money in the House. Come on, 16 Assistant Majority Leaders? 12 Assistant Minority Leaders? What is a Deputy Minority Leader at Large? There are also by my count 25 Committee Chairpersons, 24 Vice Chairs and 12 Sub Committee Chairpersons. When I was a student at Hartford Public High School, there were almost 2,000 students, 1 Principal, 1 Executive Vice Principal and 4 Vice Principals, approximately 1 administrator for every 300 students. In the House there is a leader for every 3 members! These is an obvious attempt to make/give themselves a larger salary. Most hold other jobs and can be called into session whenever, without fear or retribution from their employers, which is how it should be, but do they really need to make up bogus leadership positions to make even more money? Legislators who talk the talk should walk the walk and stop this blatant greediness.