Irony at its best

I have a two friends, in particular, who basically said “STFU” about my recent bashings of America. One made the argument I was against giving the Iraqi people the same freedoms I have to which I have a few responses.

If you are so much for these said freedoms, which 38% of Americans favor limiting, then why are you against allowing me my expression of said freedoms? I think America, on paper, is the greatest nation on earth, but in practice sucks.

People often misconstrue my critical stance of the US government as unpatriotic when in fact I’m fulfilling my patriotic duty to do just that. When they ask why I am critical I ask them why they aren’t in the face of such mounting evidence. I say shame on them for not being critical of their government. Our nation was founded by dissenters who were scared to death of government, which is why I’m so worried that the majority of Americans placate to the federal government now.

I’m not against dethroning Saddam. I’ve said it many times before that he’s dangerous and, in the interest of peace in the Middle East, something should be done. But that something should include unilateral support, solid evidence presented to the United Nations (or at least the American people), and a valid declaration of war.

It's official: America Sucks

I finally got around to seeing Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine today. I’m speechless. Combine the content of this movie with Against Empire, Shrub: The short, but happy political life of George W. Bush, and Stupid White Men makes for a sobering realization: America really does suck!

Horrific foreign policy that has seen us support murderous dictators such as General Agusto Pinochet and Saddam Hussein. Black Americans earned 61% less than white Americans, which, incidently, is the same earning rate recorded in 1880 (no that’s not a typo). We kill over 10,000 of our neighbors each year with guns, while Japan kills about 60 (remember the Japanese bring us Mortal Combat and the crazy Anime). The richest 1 percent of the country is making 157 percent more than they were in 1979, while those Americans in the bottom 20% are actually making $100 less per year (adjusted for inflation). To top it off we have a President who has threatened to shut down the White House AIDS office, denied college aid to drug offenders (murderers are still eligable), despite being a drug abuser himself, and cut $39 million in aid to libraries.

Yup, it’s a great time to live in America. We’re a bunch of peace loving, caring people aren’t we? If you are as mad as I am please contact your Senator or Representative.

Give me the strength

As school draws to a near I’m being pounded into the ground with homework, tests, and papers. For some reason I feel that I’m doing the same amount of work for the 6 credits I’m taking now as I did when I used to take 18 credits.

Of course it doesn’t help that I’m working, babysitting a few hundred fraternity “men”, etc. I’ve totally made up my mind that I’m going to take two weeks off right after I graduate to relax. I’ve been very much inspired by Cam’s recent self imposed exile. I’m setting my sites on California, most likely, to spend a few weeks with Jeremy. Hopefully the original mage can help me rekindle my lost desire to program.

This leads me to a more pesonal note: I’m pretty clueless what I want to do with my life. Most people would find this statement a little shocking. The reality is that I don’t want to work in corporate America, I don’t want to program for the rest of my life, and I sure as hell don’t want to work in retail. I want to own my own business, I want to be self sufficient, and I want to wear whatever the hell I please to work. Is this too much to ask for?

Oddly Enough

I walked into the bank yesterday only to find a lobby that looked more like a café than a bank. Off in the corner was a full blown popcorn machine. Yes. A popcorn machine. At each window were stacks of candy bars for sale.

And the most odd nugget of food-for-marketing laying around? Tiny Heinz ketchup bottles about the size of a small Tylenol bottle were everywhere. Perfect glass with metal twist top replicas complete with a catchy slogan: “Do you need to Catch Up? Ask us about our Roth IRA today!”

I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.

One Year

It’s official: Lauren has put up with me for one year as of Saturday the 22nd of March.

This is such a milestone I, generally speaking, suck. But, somehow, I managed to grab a cute redhead who likes dark beer, knows more about sports than most of my friends, and actually likes hanging out with me. Go figure. At any rate, I hope to be with Lo for many more years to come.

Prom != Booze

Finally! Evidence that a school administration is thinking with their brains and not their egos. A school in northern Michigan is requiring breathalizers before getting into prom this year.

This makes so much sense it hurts, which is why I’m surprised to see it coming from the US’s secondary educational system. I didn’t drink a drop until I graduated from high school, something I’m very proud of. I don’t think high schoolers are very smart when it comes to drinking: getting smashed in the middle of a field and driving home isn’t a smart thing. On the other hand, at college, getting smashed at a local bar and walking two blocks home is usually pretty safe. I can only hope more schools do this.

Bodies? What Bodies?

I just ran across an amazing recount of media censorship during the first Gulf War. Evidently, Cheney, our current Vice President (has anyone seen or heard from this guy lately?), was ruthless in managing the media during the first Gulf War.

As Applewhite photographed the carnage, he was approached by U.S. Military Police who ordered him to leave. He produced credentials that entitled him to be there. But the soldiers punched Applewhite, handcuffed him and ripped the film from his cameras.

The article also mentions how the Pentegon repeatedly touted a 98% success rate of the Tomahawk missle and the precision of “smart bombs.” What they neglect to say is that only 6% of the munitions dropped during the first Gulf War were smart bombs and that in 1999 the Navy confessed the Tomahawks were, in reality, only about 10% effective.

Something I’m just now realizing is that GWI was ran by the same people in charge of GWII. I suppose their still pissed they didn’t get the oil the first time around.

Funny names

I just recieved an email from a person named “Solong”, which I can only assume was pronounced “So Long.” I had to chuckle at the English translation of a name that probably has some honorable meaning in its native tongue.

Being my last name is Stump I’m allowed to laugh at other peoples’ names because I know how the jokes go. The only thing I wonder about now is if Joe or Stump have any funny meanings in other languages. If you know of any let me know.