The blame game

Author’s note: I once read a study that pointedly admitted that only 10 percent of Americans know the name of the country on their northern border. You can see the country from Alaska. Any guesses as to what that country might be? (Unfortunately, I can’t find a link to the study.)

Canada has become a haven for terrorism, according to Bert Tussing at the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania:

“The threat along the northern border, while far less publicized, is nevertheless cause for concern – perhaps equal concern, perhaps greater.”

Mr. Tussing’s concern for the Canadian border is even greater than the concern he has for the Mexican border. I don’t see how that’s possible, given that the illegal immigrant sieve, known to America as the Mexican border, is impossible to plug, no matter what America pretends to do in its continued feeble attempts at stemming the tide.

To America, illegal immigrants cannot be terrorists. Those illegals entering the U.S. from Mexico come for a better life, not to plan and execute terror attacks. Perhaps the Army War College should launch – if you’ll pardon the pun – an inquiry into determining how many of those millions of Mexicans are terrorists from somewhere else. Does anyone, anywhere, actually know?

* crickets chirp *

I didn’t think so.

Canada’s immigration and refugee policy is cause celebre for the concern, according to Mr. Tussing, and other, more well-known ignoramuses in America. There are still Americans who believe that Canada was the source of the 9/11 terrorists. How in God’s name that became a truth is entirely unknown, but given the American media’s constant parroting of Administration talking points and lies, I suppose its not unusual.

For the ignoramuses among us, the terrorists were mostly Saudi – you know, from Saudi Arabia – and three other Arab countries. Fifteen hijackers obtained their visas for travel to America in Saudi Arabia, no questions asked. That’s why America invaded Iraq, remember?

No mention is ever made of who lets these terrorists into America from wherever they might launch themselves. It does occur to me that all of the blame just might rest with the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service, the U.S. Border Patrol, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (long live Der Homeland!), and various and sundry other American agencies and councils that operate in secret and are paid trillions of dollars to prevent such incursions.

Touched as I am by America’s concern for who Canada lets into its own country, I think America should take a long and hard look within its own borders first. I’m not optimistic that will happen anytime soon, given America’s penchant to blame almost any other country first for its problems around the world.

The greater concern for the border-watchers should be for the hundreds of thousands of Canadians who enter into the U.S. for the sole purpose of spending money whilst escaping something known as the extreme Canadian winter. There’s no telling what those mostly white, Canadian-born, winter-escaping extremists might foment. (They’re called snowbirds, by the way.)

Can anyone give me the name of any country that has secure borders? I mean really, immigrants washing up on Florida soil from Cuba probably pose just as great a threat, but no one makes headlines over an insecure Florida border.

Perhaps they come for the waters.

Buy nothing day

Today in Canada, and tomorrow in 63 other countries around the world, is Buy Nothing Day. It began in Canada in 1992 as a small protest against raging consumerism. In 1997 it was moved to the day after American Thanksgiving — known as Black Friday — for reasons which I believe are quite obvious. Black Friday in America is known as one of the busiest retail days prior to Christmas.

I concur with the premise of Buy Nothing Day. Notwithstanding the encouragement of the various leaders around the world to buy, buy, buy us out of the current “recession”, I will do nothing of the sort. I’ll be leaving it up to others to entertain the economic juggernaut currently unleashed upon an unsuspecting world.

WordPress is getting a tad tiresome

I had a new implementation of WordPress installed on a motorcycle site, which was previously written in html. I wasn’t aware of any problems with the WordPress visual editor until I encountered it on the new site. I did a search and was able to come up with quite a few solutions, but none of the solutions worked for me — or for many others, it seems. No big deal. Find a thread, post a question, and someone will eventually come up with something that works.

It would appear that some of us have touched a WordPress nerve, thus we have this:

and here’s a general rant to those of you that are whining that your threads arent getting replied to (ive seen like 7-8 in the last 4 hours) — its a fucking holiday in the US (where 90% of us live), and some people dont spend them online. Im ONLY here because Im working. Get a grip — your dumb little “i cant get my adsense to show up” or your “i want an archives page” crap isnt more important than someone spending a damn holiday with their family, and away from a bunch ingrates that cant use a search box. FFS, most of you dont even say please, or thank you.

Go here if you want to see the thread. I’m the guy with the palm tree in my avatar.

As a result of this, I have decided to leave my site in html and remove WordPress. It looks much better the way it is, and editing the html is a breeze for me.

Thanks, but no thanks, WordPress.

Link to site here.

Furthermore, I get absolutely no spam on the site since it’s in html. It’s not a high-traffic site, but it does get three to four hundred hits a month, purely for the technical articles.

And whooami, male or female WordPress goowill ambassador that you are, you’ll find sympathy in the dictionary, somewhere between shit and syphilis.

Now for the history lesson

You knew it was coming, right?

The “it’s a fucking holiday in the U.S. of A.” that whooami makes reference to is called Thanksgiving. It’s celebrated in the U.S. as a time when invading religious zealots gave thanks to the native North American population for letting them come ashore, bringing religious fervor, pestilence, slaughter, mass displacement and ownership to an otherwise pretty satisfied people as a whole.

Outside of North America, I can’t think of one other country or nation that celebrates Thanksgiving. Certainly not Mexico or Central America, where visitors from Europe (for you geography-challenged Americans, that’s a continent, not a country) brought disease, more pestilence, religion-induced slaughter, and conquest to a civilization that was more than a little advanced. Obviously, Europeans (people living on a continent, not a country) don’t celebrate Thanksgiving.

South America (another continent, consisting of many countries) doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving. Nor does Asia, Australia, Africa, the Middle East and on and on and on. So basically, we have a country of 330 million people, far outnumbered by the remainder of the known world, completely in ignorance of the other six billion scattered here and there on the globe.

Oh well, it was ever thus.

Promise

Jack Kennedy held out the promise of a new generation of enlightenment, but he didn’t get to finish the deal. His untimely demise, 45 years ago today, shocked and saddened us all. Whether for good or bad, his legacy lived on for too few years under another administration’s hopes and dreams.

Now, a new administration has presented us with a promise of hope during a much-different time. While there may be very few parallels to be drawn between the Obama and Kennedy administrations that are appropriate for today, I for one do believe that the beginning of a new era of enlightenment has taken hold. Only time will tell whether I am right or wrong.

Hope springs eternal.

Motorcycle riding blues upside

Yes, there will be an upside: plenty of low-mileage motorcycles with a for sale sign on them.

However, don’t rush out with an eye to buy immediately. Wait until all those people that bought their motorcycles as an investment – and there are plenty – start to realize that a motorcycle isn’t actually an investment. Used prices will tumble faster than Ashley Dupré.

Motorcycle riding blues downside

Harley dealerships are starting to drop like flies. Santa Cruz. Wilwert in Debuque. And in Cranbrook, the authorized dealer there refused to finance a multi-million dollar hole-in-the-ground boutique to sell dog leashes, suspenders, doo-rags and t-shirts, thus the mother company declined to renew their franchise. That was a smart move on the part of the now-former franchise owners, given present economic times.

I’d say the more pressing problem is a lack of short term funding available for these dealerships to maintain access to cash flow. With sales down 60 to 70 per cent, cash flow is a dominating factor in a dealer’s viability. No cash flow, no business. Oh, and did you finance one of those fancy new boutiques to sell trinkets? You know, the ones the mother company forced you to build beside a major access point on a freeway or lose your franchise? Kiss that idea good-bye.

Second, I suspect that over the past ten to twelve years Harley’s aging market share took a lot of cash out of their homes to purchase those expensive toys and branded clothes because they wanted to look like a bunch of bad-ass boys. Well, it’s crunch time, folks, and with the housing market in the dumpster courtesy of the BushCo fools and their deregulation, you can kiss your motorcycle on the fender and wave goodbye when it’s repo’d.

I’m hoping the management at H-D still has a faint memory of their takeover of the troubled AMF brand in the early ’80s and has some idea of how to survive the current economic downturn. I’m not holding my breath, given that a new authorized dealership in Cranbrook has appeared in an appropriately shiny and new edifice, and is fully stocked with suspenders, doo-rags and dog leashes.

Good luck with that.

Mexico bullshit, the true grit way

Author’s note: I tagged this with the Baja, but it’s about travel on mainland Mexico. Same dif, just a more diverse part of the country. And yes, I’ve ridden the mainland too – in fact, those very same roads that this guy whines and snivels about.

While I recognize the need for some to embellish their tales of motorcycle derring-do, it disappoints me greatly the length to which some will go to provide false and misleading information. Over the years I have ridden to Mexico many times, and have never encountered one problem. However, that’s not to say that there aren’t any.

For a most enjoyable read on wintering in Mexico, fast forward to this post.

*     *     *     *

I’ve been reading about a bike trip some clown on a bagger took from Victoria, Canada to Mexico. It’s titled “Mexico Standoff”. Apparently this guy had been planning his ride to Ixtapa for years, but when he finally started his online research, everyone he contacted cautioned him against making the trip by motorcycle “with a lot of negative and scary reports”.

Oh mommy, don’t make me go.

By the third picture of his motorcycle, and the eighth paragraph of his sad tale, somewhere by Ely, Nevada, he’s complaining about strong wind threatening to throw him off of “his steed”, and rain showers. You pussy. Why not take the opportunity to vist one of the whorehouses in Ely – say, the Stardust – and relax with a beer while talking up the girls? You don’t have to sample the wares; you can just sit there and bullshit. But I digress.

By Nogales, he’s gotten himself checked into a sleazy motel right by the border. Yeah, shure. I’ve been through Nogales a time or two, and let me tell you, there are no sleazy motels right beside the border, chum. The border is completely denuded of anything for quite a distance. Those pesky coyotes and the illegals have seen to that.

While crossing into Mexico at a major port of entry can be a bit of an adventure, it usually entails riding on past the marker and watching the light. If it stays green, you keep right on going. Only when it turns red do you pull over for an inspection. Nogales is one of the more benign ports, believe me. It’s pretty much devoid of the traffic hassles that you can get riding into Mexicali or Tj. There’s not much chance you’ll get run over by an impatient truck or taxi at Nogales.

Naturally, once across the border, this guy’s paranoia factor is wound up to 10 because the poverty-stricken are watching him on his Harley-Davidson. Well shit, that’s a given. You get people staring at you in Bumfuck, America when you ride through town. Take a valium, dumbass, because almost everyone wants to look and listen when you ride by. It’s human nature for the great unwashed to want to fantasize about being out on the road and on their way to nowhere while riding a motorcycle loaded to the gills. Furthermore, in Mexico your fat ass is sitting on more dollars than most of those people will get their hands on in a lifetime.

Before I conclude my whining about this loser’s life, let me explain one more thing that he goes negative on, and that’s the military checkpoints. He makes a point of disparaging the young soldiers and their commanding officers that man these checkpoints by suggesting that they might want bribes. In my entire riding life down Mexico way, never — and I repeat, never! — have I ever been asked for money from anyone at these checkpoints. That is complete and utter bullshit, and to even suggest that it might occur is beyond the pale, in my opinion.

There’s much crying about bad roads, bad roadblocks, bad policia, bad military checkpoints ad nauseam. To top it all off, a day and a half from this guy’s destination, the dumbass turns tail and rides back home.

Oh mommy, I miss you.

Now that’s true grit.