Monday, April 29, 2013

What's so different about 'terrorism'?

It's nice to see that various Boston health services providers are going to pay the 'co-pays', ie, the money that the victims would have to pay out of their pockets. But I have to ask this question, without appearing to be a curmudgeon: Would these victims bills be paid for 'gratis' if they had been victims of everyday crime? Just two weeks before the Boston Marathon Bombings, someone shot up an MBTA (Boston's Transportation Authority in charge of buses and subways) bus at the Dudley Station around 5:30 in the afternoon. Yet there was no city-wide lock-down, no remain in your homes and lock your doors. One person was killed and I am sure that the other passengers on that bus were 'terrified'? So why the difference? During the Bush Administration, we were treated to almost daily, color-coded terror alerts and around Christmas time, we were told that Al Queda might try to blow up a mall, such as the Mall of America, the country's largest, in Minnesota. Just a few years ago, a young man, about 18 years old went on a shooting spree in a mall in Omaha, Nebraska. People were shot and others were cowering behind store counters. But again this was not labeled as an act of terrorism. Had the kid been yelling "Allah Akbar!" while doing it, would that have made it an act of terrorism? Would the victim's bills had been taken care of my the health insurance providers? On any given day at malls across America, someone is robbed, pick-pocketed, assaulted and occasionally killed just because they were at the wrong place and the wrong time. I am just curious to people's reactions, on a governmental and media level is so different when 'terrorism' is involved, while there is senseless killings that go on every day in this country. If you have to live in a high-crime neighborhood, you may be 'terrorized' as a party of your normal life. Someone, please explain...

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Chinese still want to come to the US for an education despite the bombings in Boston

Muslim Exclusions Act?

The Scorched Pig: Squeals From The Desert is back online! It's been a long time. Way back since 2008 was my last post. One reason why I have been so long gone has been due to the fact that I've spent way too much time on Facebook and the other reason is I have been teaching English to college students in China where blogger is blocked. I have returned to my roots, now in Boston rather than Las Vegas, where this blog was conceived. Over time, I will post some of my experiences from China, but for now, I feel I must vent over the events in Boston over the Patriot's Day Weekend. In several Muslim countries, there are laws against religious prosletyzing that are punishable by death, notably in Afghanistan, Libya and Yemen and probably Saudi Arabia and Iran as well. It is also against the law in China, an officially atheistic country. Of course, not all Muslims are terrorists, but the majority of the terrorists have been Muslim. Fundamentalist Muslims, like fundamentalist Christians, see the world as they are 'right' and the rest of us are infidels. The Boston bombers, at least one of them, was motivated by religious extremism after a trip to Dagestan. Our 'ally' Pakistan is home to many of the religious 'madrassas' that promote fundamentalism that leads to terrorism. Muslims have problems with Hindus, just look at how they burn down each others' temples; with Jews - most hate Isreal, despite legitimate claims to land; and Christians - look at the bombings of Christian churches in Egypt on Christmas Eve a few years back. And now, Al Quaeda was planning to blow up a train in Toronto. In the 1880's the US passed the Chinese Exclusion Act. The Chinese did nothing against the US, it was just union pressure in the mining industry in Virginia City, Nevada and other western mining towns that provoked the act. In light of the Trade Center Bombings in 2001 and Boston in 2013, maybe it is time we consider a Muslim Exclusion Act for the US. Several European countries have considered similar acts including Germany, France, the Netherlands and Austria. If you are Muslim in say Syria, and want a better life, fine, escape to Egypt. Since there is no way we can weed out Muslims would do innocent people harm, because THEY want a world that resembles the Middle Ages,from peace loving (majority) Muslims, I propose that we prevent all Muslims, good and bad, from passage to the US, for business or pleasure until Islam purges ITSELF of radical elements. When was the last time you have heard of a Buddhist terrorist?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Obama Needs All the Help He Can Get (and give)

I haven't written anything for quite some time due to the fact that I have been busy searching for a job and watching how things keep getting worse and worse. Now that my Unemployment (Extended) has run out, I will soon be among the homeless. Currently, I am living in a boarding house, which I'd love to stay at, and I might be able to eke out another month if I avoid paying bills.

On a positive note, this past Monday I received my Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language from the Boston Language Institute. I also got my passport last month when the money was still coming in. I had hoped on traveling to Southeast Asia, China or Madagascar, as that is where most of the succulent plants that intrigue me so much hail from.

On another positve note, I found an old friend, Steve, with whom I worked a few years back at Wentworth. I found him on LinkedIn. I wasn't sure if it was him, since thre were about 50 users with a similar name, but I figured he was in the Virginia/North Carolina region. I found him in Research Triangle Park. He made me aware of a career fair for the Wake County Public Schools, but since I don't have any practical experience teaching yet, I figure not to get any hopes up.

When you look at the constant drumbeat of bad news all around the world, its a wonder there isn't more general outrage against the CEOs and execs who we trusted to be smart enough to manage the economy. When people get jail time for smoking pot, but screwing up the economy and constantly laying off workers to pay for executive jaunts and conferences with tax payer money, why aren't they getting jail time?

I spend most of my time looking for work, either in any capacity in IT or as a way to get into Teaching ESL. I am also working on creating a very large Cactus and Succulent database that I have been working on for a few years now. The goal is to eliminate invalid species (over 2400) that would be 'verified' by the Cactus and Succulent Society of America. Someday, I'll get my hands on a digital camera, take a few hundred pictures, add growing instructions, get it self-published, and voila, instant book.

I spend most of my days now, using wifi at my friend Bruce's new business, "Let's Go Clay', a paint your own pottery (ceramics) business located at 699 Adams Street, Quincy, MA. Check out his website at I used to spend a lot of time at the Library, but their public wifi was often sporadic and I got hassled by the cops for no good, apparent reason.

On Election Day, here in the US, I had to actually get in line to vote. I don't ever recall that happening to me, other than being 2nd or 3rd in line. But this line was coming out the dor and it was mid-morning! I felt vindicated when I saw crowds in New York, Chicago and Boston, dancing and celebrating Obama's victory. This 8 year nightmare of a Presidency couldn't come to an end soon enough.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Another attempt to avoid the issues - with just 53 days to go...

This is how bad the US election has sunk. Barack Obama uses the phrase 'You can put lipstick on a pig, but its still a pig!'. This is a phrase that is in common usage, in fact John McCain used the very same line concerning Hillary Clinton's Health Care plan.

But conservative bloggers are all over Obama viewing it as an attack on Sarah Palin. How ridiculous. They are claiming that it was a sexist statement because she used the word 'lipstick' in her acceptance speech at the RNC. If it weren't for Hillary running for President, Palin would never have been considered. Do women really know what they are getting with Sarah Palin? This is just a crass attempt to avid the real issue, like the loss of jobs, homes and the destruction of the middle class under 14 years of GOP rule.

Something you always knew... the National Park Service is in bed with the Oil Industry. NBC news reported yesterday that employees of the Department of Interior were not only having sex parties with the employees of the oil industry and their lobbyists, but with themselves - in other words some of them were DOI toys.

A lot of stuff needs to be cleaned up in DC, but McCain and Palin are not the ones to do it.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Democratic Cave-in on FISA

The other day, the FISA bill which would allow the US Government to open and read your email and monitor your overseas phone in the name of national security passed despite the so-called Democratic opposition. Bush and Co., essentially had gotten all that it asked for and Barack Obama allegedly supports this latest assault on our privacy. Phone and ISP providers have essentially been given a green light from immunity from future prosecution. This merging of corporate and government power united against us, amounts to nothing less than fascism.

But if the Democrats are going to act like Republicans why bother talking about 'Change'. Do Democrats have a plan and or a backbone?

Ted Koppel is doing an interesting series of reports on China as we approach the Olympics, called "The People's Republic of Capitalism". In espisode 2, they began the talk about politics in China and he interviewed a former Seattle art student who lived in Seattle and has since returned to his native Chonqing, China. When asked about China's crackdown on dissidents he answered: "I do not like my government, but I trust my government." Do you trust yours.

The Chinese government to its credit at least palns for the future. The series concerns Chonqing and China's plans on making it a high tech and business hub of the Southwest part of China. I wish the US government had the same commitment to the future of America's rusr belt areas and give residents in the Midwest and Northeast hope for their futures.

After the disaster of Hurricane Katrina, I'll ask the question again, "Do you trust your government?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Banks are at it again!

My bank is in the town over from me, so I usually take money out from an ATM at my supermarket. The ATM owner is Citizen's Bank and they have just raised their fees from $2.00 to $2.75. That's almost a 40% increase just to use their machine. While I won't argue that there is a cost incurred for them to fill the machine, this fare increase can't be justified. Don't blame it on the high cost of fuel, I know that's a tempting excuse for justifying any increase whatsoever. These fees are now equal what you would pay at a 'captive audience' site like an airport or a casino.

But you come right down to it, aren't the banks one of the prime culprits of America's credit meltdown? While conservatives like to blame individuals for taking on risky debt, it was the loan officer's responsibility to ensure that bad loans not get processed in the first place. Back in the 1980's the issue reason for the economic collapse was the same - banks being to greedy with mortgage interest rates. Now they want *US* to pay for their bad decision making.

Is it any wonder why the American consumer is in so much debt. Back when people had equity in their homes, banks encouraged people to take out home equity loans to pay off their debt to credit cards (also owned by banks), and Bush's response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, was to 'go out and spend more money'.

In view of the fact that America's credit meltdown is due in large part to the banking industry's call for gluttony, they should take the lead to get the country back on its feet, by not ripping us off when they WANT us to use their machines by putting them in places where people on tight budgets go to same some cash, their local supermarket instead of an expensive night out at a restaurant.

Citizen's Bank should change its name - they have nothing in common with the people they serve.


Congratulations on the Boston Celtics upon winning their 17th Championship against their storied rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers! Paul Pierce and company did Red Auerbach proud!

Go Red Sox!

Go Bruins!

Go Patriots!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

An Appeal to Hillary

To Hillary Clinton:

If you don't want the country to wake up to George Bush's third term, I would urge you to give up your egotistical pursuit for homage to you and get behind the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party, Barack Obama.

Women are in charge of many aspects of American society, so you and your hippie feminist supporters should stop complaining about sexism. You blame the media and others for not defending you? Many did, most notably ABC and MSNBC. Where were you when Ann Coulter was calling John Edwards gay? Didn't see you fight the right when John Kerry was being attacked by the 'vast right wing conspiracy'.

Both you and Barack Obama hold the same views on many issues, so the best way to support the working people of America is to get out now, admit you did not win the nomination, and do what is best for the country. Not everything is about you.

You are not the first woman to run for President of the United States. You won't be the first woman to run a country, you won't be the first female vice presidential nominee, the first female, Senator, Governor or Secretary of State. Get over yourself.

I used to respect you and read your books, but if this country wakes up to a McCain Presidency, we'll have two people to vilify. Ralph Nader and you.

Grow up and get behind the grownup.