Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Media Whores

Typically I wouldn't be posting this here, but I think it's important to share - at least that's my opinion. I have another blog which doesn't have many readers, if any, and that is typcially the place I put my rants about sensitive topics.

I've blogged about the polygamist situation a couple of times in the last week. This continues that saga. Before I discuss the reason behind the title, I just want to clarify my position on the situation again...

Arranged marriages to underage girls by old men is sick, perverted and wrong.
Incest is wrong.
Brainwashing is wrong (although I suspect that anyone with kids could be found guilty of this, just by virtue of different belief systems.

My understanding of the polygamous nature of the FLDS Church, is that previous to the current leader (Warren Jeffs - currently serving time as an accessory to rape) they had a strict policy of marriage only to girls who had reached the age of 18. This was changed under Warren Jeffs to include girls as young as 14. I would suspect that even though that change was made, many of the families may not actually practice this. With that said, there are definitely cases where older men have married underage girls, and often where the marriage constitutes an incestuous relationship. Cases like this should be prosecuted, but on a case by case basis, not the way in which they are currently doing this.

So last night I was catching up on some exercise and decided to watch the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. I like Jay, especially his monologue based on current events. Last night he seemed to have a theme through out the monologue, in which he kept returning to the Polygamist situation. I'll admit I laughed at some of the jokes, as they were pretty clever, but at the same time, every topic seemed to wind back to the FLDS situation.

His first guest was Dr. Phil. Dr. Phil was not there to be interviewed. He was there to discuss the FLDS situation, and by discuss I mean, present a lecture to America about it, under the guise of an interview.

Let's look at Dr. Phil. He lost some credibility a month or two back with a situation where a couple of girls lured another teenage girl into a house and then video taped themselves beating her. The girls involved are currently in jail. Dr. Phil's show tried to bail one of the girls out in order to have her on the show. There was a pretty big outcry over it, and they backed off. Last night he made it sound like they just didn't want to do the story any more. Sorry Phil, I'm not buying that one.... I call him Phil since he is also no longer licensed as a shrink, or whatever it is that he claims to be.

Phil also spoke a lot about Mark Shurtleff. Mark is the Attorney General for Utah. He was the AG who originally went after Warren Jeffs on the rape charges, and rightfully so. Unfortunately I lost most of my respect for him a few months ago, when a local TV station did an Expose on Political Corruption. I don't like the lady who does the expose type reports, but Mark did himself no favors in the interview. He got really defensive when she asked him about some tickets to a sold out Rolling Stones concert that he had been giving by a Mortgage group. He said that he had taken his daughter and they had left after 3 songs. He claimed that there was nothing wrong with accepting the tickets as a gift. The Mortgage group was being investigated at the time, and has since been charged for a bunch of stuff. Mark's defense is that the tickets were a gift and didn't affect his decision to charge the company in Utah as well. He forgot to mention that Utah only did this several months after all the other states involved.

Like I said before Phil wasn't there for an interview. He was there to make a statement. The problem with his statement is that he made broad generalizations that all the polygamists are perverts and despicable creatures. He wholeheartedly supports the government intervention and planned eradication of this religion. About the only thing I actually agreed with was that putting these kids in foster care was a bad idea, but as for the rest of his little speech, it only displayed prejudice towards a very different religious group, and complete disrespect for the rule of law.

Our constitution has been violated on many levels with this illegal action by the state of Texas, unfortunately Jay Leno, Dr. Phil and the majority of the whores in the media seem to have missed that.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Polygamist Raid

The situation in Texas is troubling me more and more each day. My wife and I are discussing ways in which we can do something to help this situation.

I did not do the story justice the other day. This morning I read some coverage of the situation that appears to capture a lot of that which has happened. It is a tail of government intervention gone awry, religious persecution, unlawful search and siezure and many other unconstitutional acts.

I became a US Citizen less than 6 months ago. This is not the America that I wanted to align myself with.

The story is here.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Zimbabwe and Free Will

As you may know, while I grew up in South Africa, I was originally born in Zimbabwe, although it was called Rhodesia at the time. Zimbabwe has been in trouble for a number of years now, and it continues to get worse. Inflation is around 15,000% (Last time I checked at least), unemployment is off the charts and basic food and other needs are in short supply.

The leader, one Robert Mugabe is a dictator and grows increasingly corrupt. Finally it appears that the opposition party may have won the elections this year, but...

Mr. Mugabe claims that he will not release the election results until he knows they are accurate. It's been a month, and he is still asking for recounts. Meanwhile, he has threatened to charge anyone who claims that the opposition has won with treason. He claims it is an attempt to start a coup.

As this has been going on, a shipment of arms (3 million rounds and a ton of RPGs) was shipped from Chine to the South African Port of Durban. The president of South Africa, Mr. Mbeki has said that they cannot prevent the arms from being delivered.

Mr. Mbeki is in a precarious position... He is the only world leader who is still on speaking terms with Mr Mugabe, and such, should hopefully be able to persuade the man that his time is up, but he doesn't seem willing to do this. It's a situation I'm glad that I am not in.

This morning however, I heard that the dock workers union in South Africa has refused to unload the arms!

It's always good when the free will of the people trumps the incompetence of government. I think it's just a matter of time, before the free will of the people takes care of the rest of the problem.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

KGB, Big Brother, Orwellian etc.

I know that typically, I don't get a good response when I write serious stuff, but I feel pretty strongly about this...

If you don't know about what has been happening in Texas the last few weeks, let me fill you in. The FLDS Church, a break off from the LDS or Mormon Church, has a ranch in Texas, where they live. One of the key parts of the FLDS Church is that they practice polygamy. Technically this practice is against the law, but it is typically regarded as a act of civil disobedience and not much else. The problems enter when the brides are young girls as young as 14 or 15 and they are married to me, many times older than them. While my understanding is that this is the exception to the rule, it does happen.

The current leader of this Church is Warren Jeffs, a man now serving time for being an accompliss to rape in the marriage of a very young girl to a much older man.

Please understand that I do not agree with this practice, and that I think that Warren Jeffs is a desipicable person for doing what he did. But incidents such as thing are the exception rather than the rule.

Several weeks ago, the Police in Texas received a call from a girl who claimed to be living in the Ranch. She claimed that she was routinely beaten by her husband, while one of his other wives held her baby. Allegedly her name is Sarah.

There are a number of problems with the story being told by the media. I'll skip most of them as the whole thing turns out to be false. Sarah was a woman living in Utah or Arizona, and has never been to Texas. The man she accused of the abuse has never been to the Texas ranch, and her name isn't even Sarah. You would think with the invention of caller id, that police would have figured this out early in, but instead they did the following:

They mounted a raid into the ranch to find Sarah. In the process of looking for Sarah, they removed multiple woman and children from the ranch. Overnight the raid grew from a mission to find Sarah to a full blown search of the entire facility.

Sarah was never found, which is to be expected since she didn't actually exist.

The premise for removal of the woman and children is that they are in danger of abuse. The abuse problem is with young teenage girls who are married to older men. But authorities saw fit to extract any child, even infants still nursing from their mothers. I believe the number of children is 437.

The explanation now given is that while Sarah is not real, she is a metaphor for all the abuse which has been happening. So apparently in Texas you can be arrested based on a metaphor. That's pretty scary.

Mothers have now been separated from their children and are under constant watch. Children have been placed into the foster care system. The foster system is riddled with drug abuse and other abuse. This is too protect the children - keep them away from their culture and traditions and subject them to dregs of American Society - no doubt someone will get an award for that stroke of genius.

I could go on and on, but what this boils down to is a gross use of power by the Texas authorities. While the FLDS no doubt has some problems, so does every other community in the United States or the world for that matter. They may be different, but I would suspect that an FLDS home is generally a place of love and caring for children. What the Texas authorities have done is DEAD WRONG.

I'm not generally a proponent of law suits, but this is one case where something needs to be done. Unfortunately since many regard polygamists as wierd and different, I suspect few will be rushing to their aid.

If this goes through without too much trouble, how long will it be before they come after you?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Glenn Beck and my Leg

Maybe I'll start with my leg... You may recall that 2 weeks ago, I screwed up my knee and went in to see the doctor about it. It turned out to be IBS, which just needed a little rest. I've taken it easy for 2 weeks, and done 90% of what they've told me too - I missed a little stretching here and there, and some of the Ibuprofen doses as well.

He told me to take 1 week off. I almost did 2, just to be sure. Saturday I went down to St. George for a triathlon. I had a phenomenal swim, and excellent bike section, but as I ran my bike in, and started my run, things went awry. At first it was just that I forgot to remove my bike helmet - DOH!!, but then it became apparent that my leg is truly messed up. I got my worst 5k time of the last year, mostly because I walked half of it.

When I was done, I did get my best Sprint Triathlon time ever, but it was a lot slower than I had hoped. My moping only served to annoy the missus too.

Saturday was OK, Sunday was a little stiff, and today I'm back to where I was when I saw the doctor. I'm going to give it a week, and if that doesn't work, I'm going to see if I can talk the doc into a cortizone shot. 4 weeks till the half marathon, and I can't even jog for more than a couple of seconds. This is not looking good.

Now onto Mr. Beck. I used to listen to him, he's conservative, but I then I used to be as well. I really like his honest and often humorous approach to current events, so much so that last year I subscribed to his magazine and even bought a T-shirt promoting his radio station - The Frog 109.9. (If you want to send me a comment explaining how that last thing mist be wrong, because you miss the fact that it's a joke, you should probably be reading a different blog....)

He used to share how some years back his show got very political and his ratings actually dropped, once he got back to humorous stuff however, then his ratings went up again.

I haven't listened to him for almost a year now, and here's why... You'd think he'd have learned from the past.

* With election 2008 approaching, he has decided that Barrack Obama is the anti-Christ.

* He criticizes the Democratic party for vilifying republicans (Apparently anti-Christ is actually a term of endearment?)

Edited to add: It would appear that Glenn may not have referred to Barrack Obama as the Anti-Christ. I deleted the email where I got the impression that he had, so I cannot prove it one way or the other. The fact that it did not surprize me that he may have referred to him in that way, does say something for the way in which he portrays candidates who do not agree with him.

* He didn't like Jon McCain because he wasn't conservative enough, but when given the opportunity to even speak to Ron Paul, he attacked the man about as badly as he's attacking Obama. Ron Paul is probably 90% inline with what I thought Glenn believed - apparently not though.

* He now appears to love Jon McCain. He did this same switch-a-roo with Romney. Glenn is a mormon, Romney is a mormon. I didn't like Romney in spite of his being a mormon. Glenn said he wouldn't back him just for that reason, but yet, after being invited to Romney's big, I'm a mormon speech, Glenn fell in love with him...

I could go on for hours, but I'll spare you that. I think Glenn has lost touch with his audience, at least with me. I liked funny honest Glenn, not grouchy, tow the party line Glenn.

Edited to add as well: I took some flak for the comment above. Apparently some bloggers feel that I need to source any claims made in my blog - Hey, my opinion, my blog and you are free to disagree!! While Mr. Beck does not claim to be a Republican, or back up the President in everything, I do feel that he feels beholden to some of the ideologies of the Republican Party. This is my opinion. I formed it while listening to Glenn for many years, and then listening to him discuss Ron Paul, a man who I felt was 90% in line with Glenn, and not give him any support at all. Again this is my opinion of Mr. Beck based on my impressions over time.

Glenn doesn't like Jesse Ventura either. Jesse Ventura who is not a career politician, who get borders security and who was a Navy Seal, but suspects that all may not be right with the current war mongering administration. I think I trust his judgement more than I would most other people. Here's a man who life depending on his instincts and doesn't spew fear everywhere. He and Glenn probably agree on 90% of policies too, but rather than back him, Glenn gets upset, and so now America gets to choose between war mongering Jon "the Flip flopping geriatric" McCain, Barrack "I like him, but he's a little too Marxist for me" Obama, and Hillary "Whiny and ineffective" Clinton.

Is it really a choice when you can only pick amongst the bad?

Oh - and if anyone would like to be a guest blogger and write up a piece on why any of these guys or girls would be a good choice, I'd be happy to have you! The only rules being, honesty and a little humor.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Trifecta Update

I think it's time for an update to my personal hot babe trifecta. There has been much contention in the Koda house about this, but when it comes down to it, even if Connie Young lives less than an hours drive from my house.. First, I am married (generally happily married at that) and second, it's not like I would have a shot anyway, and third, if she wanted to go for a married guy, I'm not sure I'd like her any more. So I have put my foot down (likely next to the couch where I will no doubt be spending a couple of nights, should the lovely Mrs Koda decide to read this).

OK, so I've decided to drop Kiera, who although my primary favorite actress in recent years, is just not quite up to the same standard as the new girls. I've also dropped Natasha Bedingfield. It's not that I don't like her, it's just that I think the new girls have raised the bar abit, and aside from looks, I don't know much about Ms. Bedingfield.

OK, so in no particualr order, my new Hot Babe Trifecta is:

Rachel McAdams, mostly due to her roles in the Wedding Crashers and the Notebook.
Connie Young, due to her role in Singles Ward and appearances on the Chunga Show on 101.9 The End.
Alyssa Milano, I liked her as a teenager, and she's still pretty hot! She was on My Name is Earl last week, and some other show I watched a few months ago.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Things that hack me off...

Added March 2009
This post has become pretty popular with people looking up where to use their Horizon Card in Utah. It has offended some, and I thought I should clarify some things right up front before I offend some more.

I've worked my way up from nothing. I came to this country with $200 in my pocket, and have since found a way to put myself through school, all while raising a family and working full time. I've been through tough times and I know what it feels like. And it sucks.

In the past year or so, I've become far more partial to government assistance programs, but I think there are always going to be those that see this as a right and not a privilege or a safety net. I have long held the belief that communities should take care of eachother, but I think we've lost that basic desire to take care of one another, allowing the goverment to intervene on our behalf.

My issues with the benefit program in Utah are:

1 - I could like likely qualify for assistance, but I live a good life and my family eat healthily, so I don't feel the need or the right to apply. Obviously I'm on the upper end of the poverty range, but cable TV, a cellphone and a brand new car are not rights.

2 - I've worked as a cashier on occasion. While there are obviously people out there who need assistance, most if not all horizon card users who came through my checkout where buying expensive and unhealthy food. More often that not, the alcohol, tobacco, candy, soda's and similar products would come through and be paid by with cash. Where after the TV dinners and other processed stuff would be put on the card.

Is the benefit program necessary? - I believe it is, especially in these times.

Is it abused? - absolutely, and unfortunately the abuse takes from those who really need it.

So with that in mind, please don't be offended by the following article. I could probably have written in more sensitively, but at the same time, I'd just mailed off my taxes and the subject of my being annoyed was not buying healthy food, she was buying expensive nutritionally deficient crap. On top of that she was treating her kid like crap.

I'll be the first to admit I don't know her situation, and I have absolutely no right to judge. So for what it's worth... Here's what I wrote previously...

I've become much more tolerant in recent years. It's helped, especially when I commute, now I view myself more as being in the same boat as everyone else navigating the traffic, and less in conflict with them.

There are however a few things that still get to me...

Friday night I took my two youngest kids shopping. It was the weekly grocery shop, so we ended up getting a fair amount of stuff. Usually my youngest son will sit in the cart, but towards the end when avalanches started becoming a regular occurrence all around him, I figure I should heed his cries to get out and walk.

I suppose Friday night at Walmart isn't the busiest time of the week, but all the same, they only had one major checkout open. There were a couple of express lanes open, but I had way more than 20 items.

I ended up behind a lady with a full cart and the checkout belt loaded high as well. I'm not a judgmental person, well, not as much as I used to be, but I think a description of this lady may add to the story. She wasn't small by any means, and I don't mean tall either. She was probably about 5 foot 4, and probably well exceeded 300 pounds. She had the stomach that comes out and then hangs over the tight leggings. I'm sure the legging are comfortable and provide a level of support - I race in tight clothes and I prefer it - but there are parts of the morbidly obese I would rather be left to the imagination.

Her kid was probably about 3 years old and looked to be headed in the same direction, gravitationally as his mother. This story isn't all bad. He was a really cute kid. Pretty quiet, but he kept interacting with my two monkeys, and it was fun to watch. Nothing quite like watching the fruit of your loins interacting with those around them.

So after about 5 minutes I gather that she has a couple of different orders she was working on. I think I had joined the line about half way through the process, as bags were piled up at the end of the lane. OK, so I sometimes have different orders, I can't complain about that.

For the next bit, let me describe what was on the belt. Soda, and we're talking a lot of soda. Those cheap, crappy, bought in a box pizza's. I do enjoy the pizza other than home-made, but even I can't stomach these things. Little more than cardboard with tomato paste and a few strands of cheese, and then an inordinate amount of salt and oil. Perhaps this was the start of the clues as to why the woman was as large as she was. Gatorade - it's a sports drink people, and there was no way in hell she does any kind of athletic activity. But the belt was piled with it. V8 juice - Perhaps a sad attempt at being healthy... and then a ton of other brand name stuff, piled as high as could be.

It was then that it hit me, well that and noticing what she was doing...

Have you ever gotten behind a price matcher? These people are the most inconsiderate people out there. I have problems with price matching on many levels...

1 - If Walmart were truly about saving money, their prices would be the lowest. Stealing other companies deals is just dishonest.
2 - If you want a good deal, go to the store that is offering it.
3 - If you're price matching, why are you going for all the brand name stuff. If money is your motivator, why not get the cheap stuff and save even more.

OK, so this lady was price matching everything. Which really hacked me off even more.

I'm sure there were other things too, but the grand finale was when she whipped out her horizon card. If you know what an horizon card is you probably understand already. If by chance you use a horizon card or know someone who does and are going to be offended by what I'm about to say. Speak up, I'd love the chance to help you realize what a bad program this is.

OK, so the horizon card is the State of Utah's benefit to people who have fallen on hard times. I am sure there are a few who might need this, and use it as a good way to get back on their feet. I would guess that about 90% don't need it, but enjoy sucking my tax dollars dry because I obviously owe them for being a productive member of society and making them feel bad about being good-for-nothing losers. I was up late doing my taxes last night and mailed off a check to the State of Utah this morning, so they can fund more of these bottom feeding, lazy pieces of crap. The other thing that bugs me is that these people who have the card always buy the fancy food to eat, while I, who actually works in order to feed my family, have to get the cheap stuff - Me, bitter?

OK, so not only was this lady price matching, then she whips out the horizon card, solidifying in my mind her status as scum sucker. She then starts yelling at the kid who is obviously bored out of his mind because she is taking so freaking long... And he wasn't doing anything really bad at all.

She finally gets done, much to my and the cashiers relief. The cashier apologizes, even though it wasn't her fault and I made some comment about the despicableness of price matching. She then says that WIC users (Another abused government entitlement program) are about as bad, and that lady had done all the WIC stuff before I got there.

I was late getting home, late to the gym, and on top of that I now have a cold. Might as well blame the fat lady for that too!

Monday, April 07, 2008

A turn for the better...

My luck seems to have changed...

I got an appointment with a doctor this afternoon. We (my coworker who runs with me and I picked a doctor based on looks. We wanted a guy about my age who looked athletic. We found one and got it scheduled. Luck started to change as I signed the Credit Card slip for the Co-pay...

#1 The lady told me the pen I grabbed wouldn't work, but it did!!!

#2 The doctor came in, and it turns out he's a runner, and he's running the Ogden half marathon as well!

#3 I've been diagnosed with Iliiotibial Band Syndrome. It's not that scary and fairly common. The doctor had it himself. I should be able to start running on Saturday. I didn't ask about the Kanab Triathlon, but that should be fine too. As a last resort I can have a cortizone shot. I would prefer to avoid that, but when the doc had the same problem, he took the shot 3 weeks before a big race, and it worked like a charm. If any of you want a referral to this guy, let me know, he's my new go to guy for sports injuries.

#4 Jesse Ventura has a new book out. Don't start the revolution without me. I like Jesse Ventura for any reasons, even more so after his interview on the radio this morning. The following is from the blurb on his blog from

Ventura--former governor, wrestler, and Navy SEAL--discusses what's wrong with the Democrats, the Republicans, and politics in America. He also reveals why he left politics, and why he is now considering reentering the arena with a possible independent run for the presidency in 2008.

Mr. McCain... Mr. Ventura was a freakin' Navy Seal!! He didn't get caught by the enemy like you did. Sure you suffered in a prison camp, for which I feel bad, but that's nothing compared to being a freakin' Navy SEAL!!!

Mr. Obama, I like you, and you might have gotten my vote, but you ain't got nothing on Mr. Ventura. The man is charismatic and he walks the talk. Besides that, he could kick your ass!

Mrs. Clinton. You're whiny and ineffective. You campaign has been about change and experience, both of which don't seem to be able to stand together logically.

I'm sad that Ron Paul won't be running this year, but I think Mr. Ventura is a much better option than all of the current candidates.


Time to stay in bed.

Last Thursday, I ended up taking my youngest two kids for a bike ride. The youngest followed me in the trailer while my daughter rode her Dora the Explorer bike, complete with training wheels. I realized as she temporarily forgot how to turn that I had neglected to discuss with her, how to brake. Usually she's not going fast enough to worry about that.

As her bike went over the edge of the river bank, I dropped mine and ran. I reached the edge in time to see that she had held on the whole way down, and only when her front wheel hit the mud did she fall off and proceed to do a gnarly face plant into the same mud. I reached her less than a second later and pulled her out. She was fine, although very shaken, and proceeded to howl the whole way back to the car.

Friday I was planning on a good long swim. The lap swimming ends at noon. I was done with work at 10. It took me till almost 11 to find the keys which the kids hid for me. I then drove 15 minutes to the pool only to discover that I had left my pass at home. At this point I figured that if I attempted to convince the pool staff to let me in, or paid the daily fee, that I would likely drown. I then skipped my bike ride to avoid any possible road rash or other accident.

Saturday I took the day off exercising. I did however end up in the dog house with the wife. I had no idea why, but I have learned that in situations like this, asking only makes things worse, coz apparently that just shows that not only did you do x, but you are also so clueless and insensitive to know that x was a problem or to realize that she didn't appreciate it.

Sunday I decided to go for a long run. The goal was 14 miles. I stopped at 7 to get some my GU gel, and have a gatorade. As I started running again, my left knee started to really hurt. So much so that after 3 strides I wanted to cry. I walked then tried it again. I ended up just going home, cancelling the long ride on the bike again, and hobbling around the house the rest of the day.

I don't want to go and see the doctor. I'm pretty sure he's going to tell me to stop running for a while at least. It's not like I can run in this state anyway, but I really want to do the Kanab triathlon in 2 weeks time.