January 27, 2012
We salute you.
It’s time, my friends. It’s time to get serious.
I mean, I love to goof around as much as, if not more than, the next guy but…
This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco
This ain’t no fooling around.
This ain’t no mud club or C.B.G.B.
I ain’t got time for that now…
OK, maybe we can goof around just a little.
Also known as, there’s always time for a quick story…
So, I did a little traveling in the past few weeks. And, if you’ve been following my adventures over the years, you know what happens every time that I get into an airplane. Well, there I was… Sitting in seat number 11D. An aisle seat, in coach, on the starboard side of a Conti-nited Seven Forty-Airbus Something or another. Yes. I continue to prefer aisle seats, in spite of the inherent dangers. Mostly, the risk of falling asleep and then getting smacked in the side of the head by the hips of a flight attendant who doesn’t quite fit down the aisle.
I think Conti-nited has been poaching employees from US Air. But anyway…
There I am in my aisle seat. Some guy is sitting at the window. And we have an empty seat in-between us. As you probably know, an empty seat next to you when flying coach these days is like winning the lottery. Usually, at the last minute, just when I think I’ve won, a huge smelly guy shows up, carrying two backpacks, three laptops, and a four-foot Subway party sub.
Well, this time, something amazing happened. About the prettiest girl that I can remember ever seeing randomly enter an airplane is standing in the aisle next to me. She points to the empty seat and says to me, “hi…excuse me. That’s my seat.”
Of course, I look at her all confused like. “What? Yeah. Probably not.” But she seems pretty convinced, so I let her in and she sits down, settles in, flips her hair, makes the area smell all pretty, then starts to read a trade journal. I think it was something like Supermodel Today.
I look over and the guy at the window is dancing in his seat as if he were listening to the soundtrack from a bad 1970′s porno-flick and dabbing on some Old Spice. I think he’s feeling randy, baby… Then he gives me a side glance and makes that face that Butthead makes when he says to Beavis, “Heh, heh… We.. are going to score.”
But suddenly, the needle scratches off the record and there’s a giant woman standing in the aisle, holding the world’s largest duffle bag, three sandwiches and some left-over vegetable lasagna, and she says to our supermodel, in a shrieking voice, “you’re in my seeeat”.
Now things are making sense. Sure enough, the blond supermodel had confused seat 11B, across the aisle, with 11E, next to me. Naturally, the easy thing to do would have been for the woman still standing to take seat 11B. However, based on her size and the size of the people in 11A and 11C, not only could they not all fit in the same row, but it would have probably capsized the airplane. So…you guessed it…
Out with the supermodel and in with the vegetable lasagna.
Austin Powers was not happy. I quickly fell asleep, as usual.
And we can all rest assured knowing that all is normal in Archie Travel Land.
Now, let’s get down to business!
Did you watch the State of the Union address?
Do you know how easy (and fun) it would be for me pick apart the speech? Well, I’m not going to do it. No more distractions. El Presidente delivered a very nice election year speech. He said a bunch of stuff that got his fellow party-following-drones all excited. He said a bunch of things that, undoubtedly, moved some on-the-fence Americans to believe in his leadership. He even went as far as to say…
America is back. Anyone who tells you otherwise, anyone who tells you that America is in decline… /…doesn’t know what they’re talking about.
Wow! I guess, while I took a few days off to visit the Vegas strip…
Do a little skiing with my friends, Stonsey and V-Nap, in Steamboat Springs…
And watch a little football action in San Francisco…
…President O must have balanced our national budget, figured out how to pay down our national debt, corrected our trade deficit, made us competitive on the world market, and put a few million Americans back to work. Excellent. This means that none of us should have any trouble selling our houses, obtaining financing for a new home, or asking our employers for a raise. Party time! Someone send that guy an intern (in a blue dress, of course).
But hey… I’m not here to criticize the President, the Democrats, the Republican candidates, or the Republicans at large. The reality is that, I don’t care who wins in 2012 because, at the end of the day, it won’t matter.
As long as the system is broken, and we continue to be distracted by politics as usual, we’ll never fix the root problems. Power will continue to shift from side-to-side and Washington will remain broken. We have to focus. Let’s fix Washington first. We can worry about electing the right candidates later. Right now, it just doesn’t matter. In fact, for the first time since I turned 18 years old, I may not vote this year. Why should I waste my time?
Root Cause Analysis
Right now, Washington is broken. Instead of making sound decisions to get our country back on the right track, Washington just backs the special interest groups that have purchased our politicians in an auction. In order to stop the extraction of America, we have to loosen that financial grip. Today, 96% of the time, the politician with the most money win. Essentially, the position is bought. That doesn’t sound right. That doesn’t sound like the plan that America’s founding fathers had in mind, but it’s the plan that we have and we need to change it.
In his State of the Union speech, President Obama mentioned that many Americans believe that Washington is broken, but he failed to mention the primary factor in the breakdown. That’s because he is one of them and therefore, avoids the topic of campaign reform. He is dependent on their money for re-election. As will be the next President and the next President, until we get the money out of politics.
Our only hope is focus.
I truly believe that our two major political parties constantly work against us. They purposely keep us divided. They pick issues that many people get very passionate about and they bring those issues to light, in order to distract us and prevent us from teaming up against the real issue that is keeping our country down – bought politicians.
They always want to talk about religion, abortion, gay rights, healthcare, military spending and national defense, jobs and social security. Some are excellent topics that should be discussed. Others are purely personal issues that have no business in the politics of a free society. But they are all topics that deeply affect many Americans, in one way or another, and the two political parties don’t see eye-to-eye on any of them. The parties are divided and therefore the nation is divided. And I know we’ve all been taught that divided – we fall.
This is brilliant on their part. As long as the general population continues to foster this ”us vs. them” mentality, and we continue to root for our party, as if we were rooting for our favorite football team, we will never get together enough support to pass a constitutional amendment to get the money out of politics. So the AIGs, Enrons, Halliburtons and the like will continue to buy their politicians and continue to profit at America’s expense… at YOUR expense.
Imagine the United States without dependency on foreign oil. That’s not going to happen until we end the flow of dollars from oil company lobbyist into Washington. The oil companies are making too much money. Being dependent on foreign oil is bad for you and me, but it makes the oil companies filthy rich. That is the primary reason why our cars don’t already get over over 50 MPG and why we don’t have competitive fuels at the pumps.
We could go down the list and hit banking, the financial markets, trade – everything that extracts money from our citizens, sends our money overseas and ultimately ends up in the pockets of the tycoons, we could fix. We can get America back on track. We just have to stop lining political pockets with cash and restore a sense of doing what’s right for our country first. If the rich want to get richer, they’ll have to invest in our new America, led by innovation and the drive to be self-sufficient.
So what do we do?
Here’s Archie’s roadmap:
1. If you really want to vote in this year’s elections, join Americans Elect. This organization has now earned the right to be on the ballot in a number of states. They expect to be in all 50 states by the November elections. The goal is to get a candidate on the ballot by Americans, not by a political party. This may seem silly but this would be a major step forward in showing that America is tired of political party driven politics as usual. Check it out. I was skeptical at first, but it’s an awesome and growing idea.
Also, their tour ends in the next few days and they were only going as far South as Orlando but, it would have been great to catch the Crash the Party tour. Check it out. Maybe you can still make it to UCF on Monday…
2. We have to reverse Citizens United. If you don’t understand it, read about it. Learn about it. Stick it into GoogaBingHoo. If you trust me to give you some reasonably unbiased articles, you can read this one.
Read this article to understand why I will NOT be voting for Mr. Romney…
3. Do something. Tell someone. Educate someone. Get involved.
There are a number of organizations out there fighting for the same cause.
Be careful. Remain focused. Let’s get the money out of politics first.
We’ll fix everything else later.
While I hate to endorse what may appear to just be another website trying to be point-counterpoint. I am behind the folks at United Republic. This is a non-partisan group, trying to report the facts as they see it and trying to create a national movement to get the money out of politics and regain control of our country.
My favorite, however, is… Move To Amend - http://movetoamend.org/
You should join Move to Amend. If not, at least read through the website, watch the videos, understand what we’re talking about about and help us get the money out of politics.
I love these guys. They just recently organized Occupy the Courts on the two year anniversary of Citizens United. Unfortunately, I was traveling.
Otherwise, I would have been at my local court house.
Read more: http://movetoamend.org/OccupyTheCourts
Well, I think that’s all I have for today.
Although, have I put you guys onto Lissie yet?
Barnsley! Have we played Lissie yet?
He was just here. You’d think after going back to England for a month he’d be paying attention to the show. Hmmm..?
OK. I think I haven’t played Lissie for you, so here she is… Normally, I would be highly offended by anyone trying to remake any Metallica song, but when it comes to Lissie, I’ll make an exception.
First of all, she’s a pretty girl…
Then, I think she has Ashton Kutcher in her band…
Finally, take a peek at her remake of one of my favorite Metallica songs…
Nothing Else Matters
And I think by the end of the video, you’ll agree with me.
She’s talented and…
“I need me some Lissie.”
Anyone else feel tingly?
I think it’s the smile at the very end that does it for me. Too cute.
And did you get my subliminal messaging…?
- Let’s get the money out of politics.
- Nothing Else Matters
That is definitely all the time I have for today. My apologies for not posting more often. Unfortunately, life has been busy and it doesn’t seem to be letting up any time soon.
Enjoy. Keep up the fight. Peace…
January 6, 2012
(This is a test.)
When translated to English, “Fahrvergnügen” means:
a. Happy New Year
b. Where is Alicia Silverstone these days?
c. Driving Enjoyment
d. I have a BlackBerry and if you’re going to sit like that, I’m going to take your picture.
e. All of The Above
I hope the correct answer is “d”.
Ah, it’s 2012 and I’m all fired up…
I love January. The P&L starts over at zero. It’s like having a clean slate. It’s like being born again. It’s like having friends in high places and, suddenly, your criminal record has been erased and everyone calls you Dave.
We’re talking about feelings, we’re talking about passion, we’re talking about soul. We’re talking about physical, emotional, spiritual, psycological, and sexual energy…
Yeah. That’s what 2012 is going to be all about.
Now everyone stand up and SCREAM OUT LOUD!
Wherever you are, Jane.
Come out tonight!
Yeah. I probably need to ease up on listening to Cowboy Mouth.
But seriously… Let’s make this our year. Let’s erase the sins of the past. Let’s not sit by and merely highlight the problems, while everything around us continues to go to hell, in the proverbial handbasket, of course. Let’s do what is right. Let’s think before we act and make sure that each of our actions is the right action. Let’s return America to being the great country that we all know it can be. This needs to be a grassroots effort. It needs to come from the people, not the politicians.
How do we get started?
First – stop rooting for your team. Politics is not a game and the Presidential election is not the Super Bowl. It’s not about having your team win. It’s about electing representatives who will do what is right for America instead of doing what benefits them and the corporations who buy them via the PACs (political action committees).
This will be extremely hard to do. Imagine being an elected offficial for just a minute. Imagine being faced with a decision whereby, you know - that doing the right thing for America means going against the wishes of those who gave you tons of campaign support and essentially got you elected in the first place. And again, you know – that doing the right thing for America means that you will lose their support and, most likely, not be re-elected.
This is the trap. It’s the reason why we need to get the money of out of politics. It’s the reason why we need to enforce term limits and not have career politicians. It’s the reason why we have to reverse the Supreme Court’s decision that corporations have freedom of speech and, therefore, the right to vocalize their support of a candidate by giving them unlimited amounts of money. Corporations aren’t people. Only people deserve that kind of freedom of speech. Let’s make 2012 the year that we demand campaign reform and the removal of money from politics.
Not convinced yet? Wait until you see how many political ads will be running this year, now that the Supreme Court opened the flood gates on this corporate funneling of cash, turning PACs into Super PACs.
Alicia, by the way, seems to be having a fine time running her website/blog: The Kind Life.
Finally, let’s make this the year that we all step up and be Americans. Let’s make this the year that we see what we are allowing ourselves to become and say, “I don’t want that!”
For example: I don’t want government handouts. I want to work for my money. I want our children to work for their money and learn how capitalism empowers innovation and a better quality of life. I want government to make money available to entreprnuers via a solid plan and solid banking system so that I can start businesses and employ people and create wealth for myself and my employees, and pay that money back, and pay my fair share of taxes for things that we actually need from government, like the assurance of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Maybe 2012 will be the year when we figure out how to fix Social Security? And by fix I mean… 1) I’m a big believer in keeping promises, so if we promised things to millions of people, we (first) need to figure out how to make good on those promises. 2) Let’s not fool future generations and make them pay into a program that is broken and won’t be there for them, as promised. Personally, I don’t want Social Security. I’d settle for a refund on what I’ve paid in. In fact, I’d be willing to negotiate a lower amount, in exchange for a one-time payout. Give me my own money back. Thanks.
Maybe 2012 will be the year when each and every one of us looks intelligently at the future and understand that it will take short-term personal sacrifices to make the long-term viability of our country feasible… And we can start taking steps towards a stable America. Let’s give America the seal of approval that “Made in America” is supposed to represent.
Let’s listen to today’s musical guest… Bell X1.
I love these guys. I find their music fresh. It’s perfect for a new year.
Here’s their song The Great Defector, recorded live in Dublin.
Let me know if you liked them.
Maybe 2012 will be the year that we can reform our tax code, simplify it, and make it fair for all Americans. And I’m not talking about putting heavy taxes on the rich and having them pay for things for the poor. It has been proven, time and time again – when you overly tax the rich, they figure out how to take their money and go elsewhere. Then your tax revenues go down. It’s stupid.
That’s right, Mr. Buffett. Your plan is stupid. I don’t want you to pay more than me. I just want you to pay your fair share. Saying, “let’s tax the rich more” is a very popular idea, after all – there are more poor people than rich people. But that’s the problem, there aren’t enough rich people to really make a dent in our fiscal challenges. Plus, sooner or later, you and your rich friends will hire top notch tax experts and figure out how to legally move your money elsewhere and pay less. So, just pay your fair share, then shut up.
What I’m taking about is giving the rich (and others) incentives to put their money to work in our country and put everyone around them to work, so people can work their way our of poverty without government handouts. When Obama says it’s time that we need to spread the wealth a little… Let’s tell him, “No… thanks!” Let the wealthy keep their money, just don’t rip-off the rest of us – we’re willing to work for our share. We’re Americans, we’re capitalist – not socialist.
Let’s make 2012 when we start taking more responsibility for our own actions and for our own destiny and let’s stop pointing fingers at others, or at situations. I don’t want to hear complaints about the economy. I want to hear what you are doing to survive and thrive, in spite of the economic climate.
If you get drunk and drive off a cliff, don’t file a lawsuit against the city for failing to put a guard-rail there. The city should file a lawsuit against you for wrecking their cliffside. You are in control of your own destination. Government should need to keep you safe from yourself. Be smart, be vigillent… Be an Amercian! A real American. One who doesn’t need things from government or from his neighbors. Be strong. Be self-sufficient.
Now I know that this next video is going to seem “Republican”. I don’t know - it probably is. As you know, I’m not necessarily pro-Republican. I’m mostly anti-the-two-big-political-parties and hate the us vs. them mentality but, I also call them like I see them.
The bottom line is that, when Democrats are allowed to run things unchallenged, bad things happen. That doesn’t mean that Republicans should run everything. As groups, I don’t trust either. Nevertheless, this video exemplifies what happens when you lean too far to one side. You should watch it. Please take 13 minutes out of the 40,996,800 minutes in your life expectancy and watch this video. It’s shows the reason why we can’t depend on government entitlement programs. And why we need to take control of our country back, before the entire nation turn into Detroit. I loved this video when it came out a few years ago and it’s more relevant today than ever…
That’s it. That’s my New Year’s blog update. I wish everyone the very best for the New Year. I wish everyone the very best America for the new year. I wish for each and every one of you to be the very best Americans that you can be in this new year. Then, let’s make the changes that we need to make for it to all fall into place.